Graphic designing is a demanding job … that requires good specs hardware and heavy load software.
In today’s digital world, notebook features such as mobility and weight have become extremely important.
As with all professions, the choice of the laptop is always a subtle game of balance between performance and weight, big screen and portability, maximum features, and affordable price.
Laptop suppliers produce products for different categories and professions. In this article, we will provide a general buying guide on how to choose the perfect laptop and list the best graphic laptops on the market in 2022.
As 2022 progresses, we will strive to update this list of the best laptops for graphic designers.
BEST LAPTOP COMPUTER FOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS 2023
Huawei Matebook X Pro (OUR CHOICE FOR THE BEST LAPTOP IN THE WORLD)
Processor: Intel Core i5 – i7 8th generation | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620, Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8 GB – 16 GB | Screen: 3K 13.9 inches (3,000 x 2,080) | Storage: SSD 512 GB
It’s a beautifully designed laptop with an impressive screen (although with a rather odd aspect ratio), and it comes with advanced components that allow it to work brilliantly. Huawei may not be the first name that comes to mind when looking for the best laptops for graphic design, but with the Huawei MateBook X Pro, the Chinese company has proven that it has what it takes to get through with the biggest names in the notebook market.
It has a style and performance that rival the powerful MacBook Pro while being much cheaper. This makes it an ideal alternative for people who find that Apple products are too expensive.
In addition, it runs on Windows 10, which allows you to install all the digital art applications you are used to. Based on his latest laptop, Huawei is definitely a name to watch in the future.
- Simple and elegant design
- Beautiful screen
- Terrifying Battery Time
- No SD card slot
- Average webcam
Microsoft Surface Book (Best Overall)
The Surface Book may be the ultimate notebook for graphic design and graphic design
The Microsoft Surface Book is an amazing machine – even in its lowest specification option. That’s why we highlight it as the best laptop for graphic designers.
The fact that you can use it as both a tablet and a laptop makes him the ultimate computer graphic designer. Simply detach the screen and draw using the included Surface Pen, or buy the innovative Surface Dial for 90 € and get an intuitive way to control your graphical tools.
Better yet, flip the screen over, attach it again and you can use it to draw at a more natural angle. It is proposed at € 1,299 for the lowest specification at the moment – which is a boon for such a versatile and powerful graphics machine.
- Tablet mode
- Beautiful screen
- Surface Pen + Surface Dial Accessories
- Becomes quickly expensive in the higher ranges
- A little heavier than these competitors
Dell XPS 15 (superb laptop with a high-end screen)
The XPS 15 is a really great laptop – and from € 1,749. For that price, you get the virtually borderless InfiniteEdge screen in Full HD resolution, a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB HD hard drive, and 32GB SSD.
Dell may seem too professional for a graphic designer’s taste, but it offers one of the best performances on the market. There are many ports, including an HDMI, two USB ports, a Thunderbolt, and an SD card reader. Combine it with a 512 GB SSD and an amazing graphics card, and you get a high-performance laptop at an affordable price.
Increase the price a bit (or a lot, in fact) and you can get a 4K screen with multi-touch, turning it – with the help of the Dell stylus. If you do not need a 15-inch, look at the XPS 13, which may be the perfect mix of power and portability.
- Good battery
- Excellent screen
- Fine and light
- Messy cladding around the keyboard
MacBook Pro (Best laptop for students in graphic design)
It might be expensive, but the MacBook Pro has long been the benchmark for professional graphic designers who want a perfect blend of power and portability. Fast, light, thin, and with a fantastic screen, the new Touch Bar allows you to perform quick tasks in applications (provided that they are supported) with a simple movement of the finger.
The specs are, as you might expect, pretty good, with the latest i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. The most impressive of all is the build quality – it’s really a nice laptop.
- Apple Quality
- Relatively High Price
HP ZBook Studio G4 (Power meets portability – a fantastic laptop for graphic designer)
If you’re looking for total power and price is not an important factor, take a look at the HP ZBook Studio G4, the newest addition to the HP Mobile Workstation family.
The high-end model is not cheap, but it comes with incredible specifications, including a 15.6-inch, easy-to-calibrate 4K DreamColor display, an ultra-fast Intel Core Xeon processor, 32GB of RAM, a high-performance SSD 512GB and NVIDIA Quadro M1200 graphics with 4GB VRAM. There is also a healthy range of ports for Bang & Olufsen devices and speakers.
At a little over 2 kg (4.6 lb), it does not break your back and is rather thin at 18 mm.
- Excellent screen
- End and powerful
- High Price
What to look for in a laptop for a Graphic Designer?
The performance and speed of the laptop are the sum of three parts: processor, RAM, and storage.
- The processor is an integral part of a laptop that ensures the smooth operation of multiple open applications. There are many processors to choose from, but here are the most suitable for graphic design projects: Core i5, Core i7, AMD Ryzen, and Intel Xeon.
- RAM is hardware that stores data inside the computer. RAM stores the data temporarily. When you turn off the computer, all RAM data is lost. RAM allows the processor to process more data, which can significantly improve the performance of the laptop.
- Hard disk – unlike RAM, can store information permanently. An SSD can provide super-fast startup and wake up time and better processor performance.
As you are likely to use resource-intensive programs for your creative work, it makes sense to pay more for a powerful processor.
The less time you spend waiting for your computer to catch up, the sooner you will finish working. You can also see processors called CPUs (CPUs) or simply chips.
AMD and Intel are the two names in town when it comes to processors. Nowadays, there is little distance between the two brands, and both offer high-quality processors for high-end notebooks.
For design and visual work, you should accept nothing less than an Intel Core i5 processor (with i7 being preferred), an AMD Ryzen chip or AMD FX.
Perhaps, the most important part of a laptop selection process is choosing the right screen.
A screen with a higher resolution would mean better detail and better color accuracy.
The size of a screen is also important. A larger screen makes graphic work a lot easier.
A 15-inch screen size is a gold standard in the world of graphic design.
Most designers love novelty because it brings inspiration and new ideas. You probably have a favorite workspace, but also venture into cafes or coworking spaces.
The lack of catch in your favorite coffee can sometimes be frustrating.
But with a good battery, you can take your laptop wherever you go and get the job done while enjoying the freedom of the digital nomad. 12 to 14 hours of the battery will take you to a long productive day.
Which MacBook to choose for a graphic designer?
Apple currently offers three lines of MacBook. The thinnest is simply called “MacBook” (a model with a 12-inch screen), the range “Air” slightly exceeded is in the middle (13-inch screen) and then there is the high-end range Pro (available in 13 inches or 15 inches).
As a graphic designer, you will need a Pro.
In other words,
The 12-inch screen of the MacBook is too small for any serious design work. Do not get me wrong, it’s a great laptop, but it’s not designed for graphics. Beyond that, the 12-inch MacBook processor is malnourished for the job itself.
The MacBook Air, on the other hand, has a 13.3-inch screen more acceptable, but it only has a resolution of 1440 × 900 pixels, so it’s not even an appropriate HD display.
The Air also has obsolete processors: the fifth generation of Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, which, while claiming fairly fast speeds of 1.8 or 2.2 GHz, respectively, these processors will be less efficient and less powerful overall than the current processors of the eighth-generation MacBook Pro line.
The Pro range is the only viable option if you’re looking for a MacBook for design.
It is available in two screen sizes, 13.3 inches and 15.4 inches with resolutions of 2560 × 1600 and 2880 × 1800 pixels, respectively.
The Pro Series is also significantly more powerful than regular Air or MacBook series, with 8th generation processors and better graphics cards. The 13-inch model has an Intel Iris Plus 655 GPU, and the 15-inch will give you the choice between the Intel UHD 630 GPU or two AMD Radeon units.
With the Pro Series, you’ll also have access to more USB-C ports, four in total, making adding devices like an external drawing pad or a less arduous hard drive.
Are Gaming laptops good for graphic design?
Graphic designers need powerful laptops with big screens, just like gamers.
So, can you kill two birds with one stone and get a single laptop for both jobs?
All the tasks you need to perform for the graphic design that you would be able to perform on a laptop gamer.
When it comes to playing on the machines on this list, you will be slightly missing in the graphics department. In order to handle the high graphic demands of modern games laptops need to have powerful discrete graphics cards, and these require serious cooling to work effectively.
As a result, gaming notebooks tend to be big enough, and throwing one in a mailbag before going to work is likely to hurt your shoulder.