Best Laptop for Graphic Design 2018

Best Laptops for Graphic Designers 2019


Graphic design is a challenging job that requires serious hardware and software. In the current digital nomad haze, laptop characteristics such as mobility and weight have also become extremely important. As with every profession, the laptop choice is always a subtle game of balance between performance and weight, large screen and portability, maximum features and affordable price.

Luckily, laptop providers produce products for different categories and professions. In this article, we’ll provide a general buying advice on how to choose the perfect laptop and list some of the best laptops for graphic designers on the market in 2019. Keep in mind that for simple social media graphics you don’t need impressive hardware power and online graphic design tools can run effectively on any computer.

Need more power or a bigger screen? See here for the best desktop computers for graphic designers.

Do more programming / coding? See our post on the best laptops for programming.

As 2019 progresses, we will endeavor to update this list.

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What factors define the best laptops for graphic designers?

Performance

Laptop performance and speed are the sum of three parts: processor, RAM and Storage Drive.

The processor is an integral part of a laptop that ensures that multiple open applications can run smoothly. There are numerous processors to choose from but here are the most suitable ones for graphic design related projects: Core i5, Core i7, AMD Ryzen and Intel Xeon.

RAM aka Random Access Memory is a hardware that stores data inside the computer. RAM stores data temporarily so, when you switch off the computer, all RAM data gets lost. RAM allows the processor to process more data, which can dramatically improve laptop performance.

Storage Drive or Hard Drive – unlike RAM, Storage Drive can store information permanently. SSD can ensure super-fast boot and wake time and better processor performance.

Screen

Perhaps, the most important part of a laptop selection process is choosing the right screen. A screen with higher resolution would mean better details and color accuracy. The size of a screen matters too. A larger screen makes tinkering with the design a lot easier. A 15-inch screen size is a golden standard in the graphic design world.

Keyboard and touchscreen

Graphic designers rarely do design only. They usually work in a team or with clients. So a convenient keyboard is a must. You don’t want to keep missing the keys and spend hours on editing your emails. Additionally, designers often use keyboard shortcuts so proper placement of keys and ergonomic design can be critical for your work speed.

Looking to buy a laptop with a touchscreen? There is no universal approach among designers when it comes to touchscreens. Some love them as they provide a quick and easy way to zoom in and out, others hate the touchscreens since they don’t add much to the experience. But, certainly, after some time, you get used to the touchscreen and it ceases to be a nuisance.

Battery Life

Most graphic designers love novelty, as it brings inspiration and new ideas. You probably have a favorite workspace, but also venture out to coffee shops or co-working spaces. The absence of plugs at your favorite coffee shop can sometimes be frustrating. But with a good battery, you can take your laptop wherever you go and get the work done, all the while enjoying the digital nomad freedom. 12-14 hours of battery life will get you as far as across the Atlantic and through a long productive day.

What is the best laptop for graphic design?

These are the top 8 best laptops for graphic design in 2019.

  1. Apple Macbook Pro
  2. Microsoft Surface Book 2
  3. Dell XPS 15
  4. Acer Predator OR Aspire
  5. Lenovo Yoga
  6. Asus ROG Strix SCAR II
  7. HP ZBook Studio G5
  8. Dell Inspirion 13.3″

Out of your price range? See our post:

Top Laptops for Graphic Designers Compared

Title

New Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Touch Bar, 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD) – Space…

Microsoft Surface Book 2 HNM-00001 Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i7-8650U, 13.5″ Screen, Storage: 512…

Dell XPS 9570 Laptop 15.6″ FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, GeForce GTX…

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6″ Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, Intel i7-9750H, GTX…

2019 Lenovo Yoga 730 15.6″ Touchscreen 2-in-1 Laptop Computer| 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U Beat…

Processor

2.2GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7

8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H

9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core

8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U

Pro Choice

Preview

New Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Touch Bar, 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD) - Space...

Title

New Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Touch Bar, 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD) – Space…

Processor

2.2GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7

Preview

Microsoft Surface Book 2 HNM-00001 Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i7-8650U, 13.5" Screen, Storage: 512...

Title

Microsoft Surface Book 2 HNM-00001 Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i7-8650U, 13.5″ Screen, Storage: 512…

Best Value

Preview

Dell XPS 9570 Laptop 15.6" FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, GeForce GTX...

Title

Dell XPS 9570 Laptop 15.6″ FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, GeForce GTX…

Processor

8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H

Preview

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, Intel i7-9750H, GTX...

Title

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6″ Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, Intel i7-9750H, GTX…

Processor

9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core

Best Budget Choice

Preview

2019 Lenovo Yoga 730 15.6" Touchscreen 2-in-1 Laptop Computer| 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U Beat...

Title

2019 Lenovo Yoga 730 15.6″ Touchscreen 2-in-1 Laptop Computer| 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U Beat…

Processor

8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U

1. Apple Macbook Pro

Apple Macbook Pro

If you are a creative you need to appear as such. Right? Personal brand image and operating system are the two main reasons why graphic designers choose Apple products. But the Apple MacBook Pro is also a powerful machine with its Intel i7 6 Core processor and 16GB of RAM. However, this laptop is not for everyone. If you’re an avid Windows user, it will take some time for you to get used to the new system.

This laptop also doesn’t have any USB ports, which creatives might find uncomfortable. But for the outstanding design experience that Apple offers, and the courage to push its user base towards innovation and technology, the Apple MacBook Pro certainly deserves an ovation. Graphic designers will find AMD Radeon Pro Graphics and the high-resolution screen a pleasure to work with. The only drawback of this laptop is it’s a hefty price. See here for a list of expert designer recommendations, many whom recommend the MBP.

Unsure of what Apple laptop to get? See our guide to the best Macbooks for designers.

Learn More

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

2. Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft Surface 2

The Microsoft  Surface Book screen is smaller but the performance metrics of this laptop are on par with MacBook Pro. The laptop runs on Core i7 processor and with a screen resolution of 3000 x 2000, it’s the best laptop screen for sketching and creating graphics. The Surface Book is highly portable and can easily be transformed into a tablet. Add a touchscreen and the included stylus and you’ll get a laptop that is perfect for creatives who hate to overwork their fingers. It comes in 13.5 and 15″. To save some more cash you can go with the earlier Microsoft Surface models.

Learn More

 

Latest Price on Amazon:


Microsoft Surface Book 2 HNM-00001 Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i7-8650U, 13.5″ Screen, Storage: 512…

  • 1.9GHz (Up To 4.2GHz) Intel Quad-Core i7-8650U, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU (2GB GDDR5)
  • 16GB of RAM | 512GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro (64-Bit)
  • 13.5″ 3000 x 2000 PixelSense Display, Detachable Design
  • The fastest Surface Book yet, with 2x more power. Runs Windows 10 Pro Vibrant PixelSense Display: now available with an improved 13.5″ touchscreen
  • SDXC Media Card Slot USB Type-C | USB 3.0 Type-A 802.11ac Wi-Fi | Bluetooth 4.1 LE Detachable Design

3. Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS

Dell has always been known for producing reliable bargain machines. But it has recently entered the graphic design space with a powerful and still affordable product. The Dell XPS 15 features a 15.6 inch display, runs on Core i7 CPU and has 16GB of RAM.

Dell might look too business-like for a designer’s taste but it delivers one of the best performances on the market. There are plenty of ports including an HDMI, two USBs, a Thunderbolt, and an SD card reader. Couple it with 512GB SSD and an amazing graphics card and you have a high performing laptop for a sweet price.

Jacob did an in-depth review in 2016 about the differences between the Dell XPS 13 Vs Macbook Pro.

Also see number 8 on our list for a lighter, smaller, more affordable option, the Dell Inspiron 13″.

Learn More

 

Latest Price on Amazon:


Dell XPS 9570 Laptop 15.6″ FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, GeForce GTX…

  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7 8750H Processor 9MB Cache, up to 4.1 gigahertz
  • 16GB 2666 megahertz DDR4, 2x8GB
  • 512 GB M.2 2280 [PCIe] SSD, No Optical Drive
  • 15.6 inch FHD 1920 x 1080, Infinity Edge Anti Glare, Non touch IPS 100% sRGB 400-Nits display: Silver machined aluminum; Power Supply: 130 Watts Power Adapter
  • Be more productive. Windows 10 is the best for bringing ideas forward and getting things done

4. Acer Predator or Acer Aspire

Predator Laptop

This laptop is classified as a Gaming Laptop, meaning it was created to process high-level graphics. As a graphic designer, the way your laptop displays graphics has a direct influence on the quality of your work. So it makes sense to look into Gaming Laptops. The Acer Predator is equipped with an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060.

Depending on your graphic design needs, the laptop comes in two sizes: the 17.3’’ and 15.6’’ screen size versions. The larger screen size version weighs 9.26 pounds, while the smaller size version weighs 8.16 pounds.

You could also consider their Acer Aspire 15″ which has similar specs at a cheaper price tag ($550-$950), and a more business professional look.

Learn More

 

Latest Price on Amazon:


Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6″ FHD IPS w/ 144Hz Refresh, Intel i7-8750H, GTX 1060…

  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4.1GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Overclockable Graphics with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
  • 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display (144Hz Refresh Rate, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC )
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz DRAM Memory & 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD | Extra empty accessible slot for 2.5 inch hard drive or SSD
  • Gigabit Wi-Fi |Backlit Keyboard | USB 3.1 (Type C) | Dual All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan Cooling | Metal Chassis.Battery Capacity:3320 mAh

5. Lenovo Yoga 730

Lenovo Yoga Laptop for Designer

Another laptop that combines reasonable price and outstanding quality, the Lenovo Yoga is equipped with a 15.6-inch touch screen, features an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U and possesses 8GB of RAM with 256GB of space which can be upgraded. While this laptop might not run as smoothly as MacBook Pro or Microsoft Surface Book, it still offers a great graphic design experience at a fraction of the price.

If you’re just starting in graphic design and don’t have much of a budget, this laptop is a perfect choice. Its performance is good enough for graphic design purposes and its screen display is of top-notch quality. You might find the touchpad too sensitive, but this can easily be solved with the help of an external mouse.

Learn More

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

6. Asus ROG  Strix SCAR II

Asus Scar II

If you’re looking for a laptop with a unique design, then Asus ROG Strix SCAR II Gaming Laptop is your best bet. The laptop has ambient lighting and a techy feel. The laptop is also packed with high performance hardware such as a Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX and 500GB of space. It comes in 15″ and 17″.

The battery life of this laptop is slightly over 2 hours, but for such an affordable price it’s a great laptop, that can become a hero at the meetings and showcase your work in the best light.

Learn More

($1011-1799)

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

7. HP ZBook Studio G5 Mobile Workstation

The most powerful laptop for designers

HP ZBook g5 laptop

The company classifies this laptop as a “mobile workstation”. It’s equipped with an 8th Generation Intel i7 Core with 32GB RAM and a NVIDIA Quadro P600 graphics card. It’s one the most powerful machines on the market. Some designers might find the production capabilities of this laptop a little over the top, but for those who are dealing with 3D graphics, HP ZBook Studio G5 provides a super fast work experience without taking all the valuable space on your office desk.

Learn More

 

Latest Price on Amazon:


HP ZBook 15v G5 (Core i7-8750H, 32GB RAM, 2TB HDD + 2TB PCIe SSD, 15.6″ FHD 1920×1080, NVIDIA Quadro…

  • 8th Generation Intel i7-8750H 6-Core (2.20 GHz up to 4.10GHz, 9 MB Cache), NVIDIA Quadro P600 with 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) Touchscreen Glossy Display, 1 x 10/100/1000 Mb/s Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45), Wi-Fi 5; Dual-Band (2.4 & 5 GHz), 2 x 2, Bluetooth 5.0
  • 32GB DDR4 SDRAM Memory, Standard Backlight notebook keyboard with numeric keypad, Kensington Lock Slot, Fingerprint Reader
  • 2TB HDD + 2TB PCIe SSD, 1 x Thunderbolt 3, 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 via Thunderbolt Port, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x 1/8″ (3.5 mm) Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack, 2 x Integrated Speaker,…
  • Windows 10 Professional (Win 10 Pro), 1 Year Manufacture warranty from GreatPriceTech (Professionaly Upgraded by GreatPriceTech)

8. Dell Inspirion 13.3″

The best value 13″ laptop for designers

Dell Inspiron

For designers that travel a lot, a smaller, lighter laptop is ideal. Introducing the 2019 Dell Inspiron 13 which has a flexible 13.3″ touch display, an Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-Core CPU and 8GB memory. This is the perfect balance of performance and portability.

Learn More

 

Latest Price on Amazon:


Dell Inspiron 2019 Premium 13 5000/ 15 5000 13.3″/15.6″ 2-in-1 FHD IPS Touchscreen Business Laptop-…

  • Upgrade Your RAM and SSD 8G DDR4 128G SSD up to 32GB DDR4, 1TB SSD to Improve Performance
  • Choose 15.6-inch or 13.3-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Truelife LED-Backlit Touch Display with Wide Viewing Angles-IR Camera
  • 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i7-8550U Processor 1.8GHz(8MB Cache, up to 4.0 GHz)
  • 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, 1x Combination Audio Jack, Bluetooth 4.1 . 802.11ac; 3-in-1 (SD/SDHC/SDXC)
  • Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Weight: 4.84LBS, Backlit Keyboard, 360-degree Convertible Design.

So what is the best laptop for graphic designers in 2019?

Graphic designers tend to have a specific list of requirements for laptops. But rarely can you tick all the boxes from the list. More likely, you’ll spend hours researching all the different options and trying to find the best price-features combination.

The Apple MacBook Pro still remains the #1 preferred option for many designers due to its stunning design and top performance. But other brands are also catching up with high performance offers, that are no less pleasing to the eyes.

Here they are all summarized again:

5 Best Laptops for Graphic Designers

Title

New Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Touch Bar, 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD) – Space…

Microsoft Surface Book 2 HNM-00001 Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i7-8650U, 13.5″ Screen, Storage: 512…

Dell XPS 9570 Laptop 15.6″ FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, GeForce GTX…

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6″ Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, Intel i7-9750H, GTX…

2019 Lenovo Yoga 730 15.6″ Touchscreen 2-in-1 Laptop Computer| 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U Beat…

Processor

2.2GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7

8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H

9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core

8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U

Pro Choice

Preview

New Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Touch Bar, 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD) - Space...

Title

New Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, Touch Bar, 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD) – Space…

Processor

2.2GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7

Preview

Microsoft Surface Book 2 HNM-00001 Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i7-8650U, 13.5" Screen, Storage: 512...

Title

Microsoft Surface Book 2 HNM-00001 Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i7-8650U, 13.5″ Screen, Storage: 512…

Best Value

Preview

Dell XPS 9570 Laptop 15.6" FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, GeForce GTX...

Title

Dell XPS 9570 Laptop 15.6″ FHD, 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, GeForce GTX…

Processor

8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H

Preview

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6" Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, Intel i7-9750H, GTX...

Title

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC, 15.6″ Full HD 144Hz 3ms IPS Display, Intel i7-9750H, GTX…

Processor

9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core

Best Budget Choice

Preview

2019 Lenovo Yoga 730 15.6" Touchscreen 2-in-1 Laptop Computer| 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U Beat...

Title

2019 Lenovo Yoga 730 15.6″ Touchscreen 2-in-1 Laptop Computer| 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U Beat…

Processor

8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U

 

This post was contributed by the DesignBold team. DesignBold is an online graphic design tool that aims to redefine the boundaries of design and technology, empowering all users and organizations to share their visions, products and services.



Also published on Medium.



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