Deciding on the best laptop for you

Choosing a laptop for graphic design can be difficult. There are so many things you need to take into account when selecting which laptop you should buy.

 

Do you want to focus on the battery life or the display? Is it portability you’re after? Is RAM the most important factor for you? Can you survive with a limited selection of ports?

 

Making a decision is extremely difficult when there are so many questions you need to ask.

Laptops that cover all of your design needs

That’s why we weighed up all the requirements of graphic designer when we were compiling this list of the 25 best laptops for 2020.

 

Each laptop has the power, speed and display to run all kinds of graphic design applications. All you have to do is pick your favourite.

 

The specs of each laptop are listed beneath them to ensure that you are able to make an informed decision.

Microsoft Surface Book 2

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is still as formidable today as when it was released in 2017. As far as 2-in-1 laptops go, few come even close to the Surface Book 2. The detachable screen ensures that it’s equally as comfortable being a tablet as a laptop. So you can easily work at your office, at home or on the go.

 

Using a pen to draw on the tablet feels natural. There’s no lag between your pen hitting the screen and your illustration appearing on it. This gives graphic designers more creative freedom than ever before when using a touchscreen pen. The screen resolution is sharp and clear, with the display of text, images and videos coming out impeccable.

 

The Surface Book 2 doesn’t come cheap and, depending on the model you choose, it could end up costing you between $1049 and $2999.

 

Despite Microsoft’s claims that the Surface Book 2 will run for 17 hours, the reality is closer to the 7-13 hour mark, depending on what software you’re running.

 

All in all, this laptop is a highly impressive machine and one of the premium choices for graphic design.

CPU: 8th gen Intel Quad-Core i7-8650U, 4.2GHz “max turbo”

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060, 6GB graphic memory

RAM: 16GB

Screen: 15-inch display, 3240 x 2160, 260 PPI

Storage: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD

Battery: 7-13 hours or 5 hours in tablet mode

Ports: 2 USB-A, 1 USB-C, Surface connect, SD card slot, headphone jack

Weight: 4.2 pounds, 1.8 pound in tablet mode

Price: $1049-2999

Apple Macbook Pro 15″

Apple’s flagship Mac has the look and feel of a top of the range device. It’s sleek design is one of its many plus points, all of which make it a fantastic choice for a graphic designer.

 

With the 2019 refresh, the Macbook Pro 15” adds updated processors and an improved keyboard. The keyboard is more responsive and is less likely to get stuck than the previous iteration of the Macbook Pro.

 

The touch bar, a staple of newer Macbooks, is again featured. While more apps are getting touch bar functionality, it still needs to do more to justify its inclusion. On the plus side, it includes a very effective fingerprint scanner for logging you in.

 

If you want to purchase the Macbook Pro 15”, you’ll be looking at an outlay of around $2399-2799.

 

The smaller, more affordable, Apple Macbook Pro 13” lacks some of the features of its big brother, but it still packs a hell of a punch when it comes to graphic design.

 

For the ultimate Macbook experience, keep your eyes out for the Apple Macbook Pro 16” that’s rumoured to be launching in the near future.

CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i9 processor (octa-core, up to 5.0GHz)

Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20

RAM: 32GB

Screen: 15.4-inch, 2,880 x 1,800 Retina display (backlit LED, IPS, 500 nits brightness, wide color P3 gamut)

Storage: 4TB SSD

Battery: 7-10 hours

Ports: 4x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), 3.5mm headphone jack

Weight: 4.02 pounds

Price: $2399-2799

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is a superb option for a graphic designer who wants to design on the move. Its 360 hinge allows the laptop’s screen to be folded back entirely, making it appear like a tablet.

 

It improves on the power of the Dell XPS 15 by adding an 8th generation Intel Core processor alongside built-in AMD Vega graphics. All of this is done while slimming the laptop down, which is an impressive feat.

 

The 9575 8th gen Intel Core i7 version is a high-end performer that matches its lofty price tag of around $2699, but you can get the laptop at lower specs for a lower price too. The base version of the XPS 15 2-in-1 starts at around $1299.

 

There is a stunning 4k screen on the premium laptop, which is great for image and video editing. It’s a bright and engaging visual experience that will give all of your designs that little bit of extra pop.

 

Apps from the Adobe suite such as Photoshop, InDesign and Lightroom will all run extremely smoothly on this laptop, no matter what size of a project you’re working on.

 

One negative point is the XPS 15 2-in-1’s battery life. Unlike other laptops in its class, its 2-in-1 structure and 4K screen cause its battery power to dip.

CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8705G Processor

Graphics: Radeon™ RX Vega M GL Graphics with 4GB HMB2 Graphics Memory

RAM: 16GB DDR4-2400MHz Integrated

Screen: 15.6” display

Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive

Battery: 6-7 hours

Ports: 2x USB-C 3.1 with power delivery & display port, headset jack, noble lock slot, 2x Thunderbolt 3 with power delivery & display port (4 lanes of PCIe Gen 3), MicroSD card reader, battery gauge indicator.

Weight: 4.36 pounds

Price: $1309.99-2699.99

Acer Predator Helios 300

The Acer Predator Helios 300 a laptop that’s primarily aimed towards gamers, but it’s also a great graphic design workstation.

 

It’s a fairly powerful laptop, with 16GB of RAM and an Intel 6-core Core i7-8750H processor, ensuring that it will comfortably run the majority of design applications.

 

Despite being almost half the price of some of its competitors in this list, the Helios 300 is a formidable laptop. Depending on which specs you choose, you could be looking at anything from $942-1169.99.

 

It has an impressive screen that will be helpful for creating vivid graphic design. You will get a better screen on higher priced laptops, but at this price range, the Helios 300 is definitely up there with the very best.

 

One of its main drawbacks is its low battery life, which will only last for between 3 and 4 hours before you need to charge it. That said, this type of battery life is typical of a laptop built for gaming.

 

It also has a somewhat noisy fan and a relatively slow SSD, but for this price, you will be hard pressed to find a laptop that performs as well as the Acer Predator Helios 300.

CPU: Intel 6-core Core i7-8750H processor

Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5)

RAM: 16GB

Screen: 15.6” (1920×1080)

Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD

Battery: 3-4 hours

Ports: 1 x USB-C 3.1, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0, RJ-45 Ethernet, SD card reader, 3.5mm headphone jack

Weight: 5.95 pounds

Price: $942-1169.99

Lenovo ThinkPad P1

The Lenovo ThinkPad P1 is a fast and powerful laptop. That in combination with its slim build and excellent keyboard make it a dream to design on.

 

There is the option of a 4k display, which will make all of your graphic design projects look vibrant and colourful. However, the display could still be brighter and you will notice that some alternatives to the ThinkPad P1 won’t be as dim.

 

The P1 has an easy-to-use fingerprint sensor that logs you in fast and securely. So if you leave your laptop down, you can rest assured that it’s impossible for someone else to start using it.

 

It has stylish and durable carbon fiber case with thin bezels that place emphasis on the display. The P1 also has a battery that will last for a good few hours, it could be better, but it’s unlikely that you’ll have to frequently charge your laptop while your designing.

 

If you want a thin, lightweight laptop that still packs a ton of power, then the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 could be for you.

CPU: Intel Xeon E-2276M with vPro (2.80GHz, up to 4.70GHz with Turbo Boost, 6 Cores, 12MB Cache)

Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro® T1000

RAM: 8GB DDR4 2666MHz (customisable to 64GB)

Screen: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, 300 nits, anti-glare

Storage: 256GB SSD

Battery: 4-7 hours

Ports: 4 USB ports, headphone jacks, Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.0, SD card reader, HDMI 2.0 and Ethernet

Weight: 4 pounds

Price: $1299-2329

HP ZBook X2

The HP ZBook X2 is a powerful laptop that really allows you to amp up your creativity, and it’s intended to cater for all of your design needs.

 

It’s a testament to the care that went into designing this laptop that it almost feels like you’re drawing on paper when you’re using its pen feature.

 

The design of the ZBook X2 is unique, making it look completely alien to most of laptops on this list. It’s bulky and robust looking, with a thick bezel that houses buttons which allow for shortcuts. This type of design makes it resistant to drops and shocks.

 

It’s larger and heavier than many laptops, but it makes up for it with a vivid screen, powerful performance and intuitive design features.

 

Depending on the specs you choose, this graphic design utopia is available for a wide variety of prices, with the base model starting at $794 on Amazon, and the price rising to $2918 at max specs.

CPU: Intel Core i7-8650U

Graphics: Nvidia Quadro M620 (2GB)

RAM: 32GB

Screen: 14”

Storage: 128GB

Battery: 4-10 hours

Ports: Power connector with LED, 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports, HDMI 1.4 port, USB 3.0 (charging) port, SD card slot, fingerprint reader, Combo headset port

Weight: 4.9 pounds in laptop mode, 3.8 pounds in tablet mode

Price: $794-2918

Asus ZenBook Pro 14

There’s one particular feature that makes the Asus ZenBook Pro 14 looks different to its competitors, and that’s its touchscreen touchpad.

 

You can run a number of applications on the touchpad, allowing you to play videos or browse Twitter while you design. However, availing of these features will stop you using your touchpad, so you might need to get a mouse.

 

Like the Macbook Pro’s touch bar, this feature should only be regarded as a minor tool and you shouldn’t base your decision to buy around it. If you feel you don’t need it, you can always disable it. Doing so will also significantly save on battery.

 

The ZenBook makes use of Asus’s clever ‘ergolift’ function, which means that the keyboard is elevated for easier typing and the fans have space to circulate more effectively.

 

It’s a powerful option for image editing and other design tasks, and is definitely a good choice for a graphic design laptop.

 

With the release of the ZenBook Pro Duo, Asus could be stepping up its laptop game even more, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.

CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U processor (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.6 GHz)

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q graphics (2GB RAM), Intel UHD Graphics 620

RAM: 8GB

Screen: 14”

Storage: 256GB

Battery: 6-12 hours

Ports: 1 x USB-C 3.1, 1 x USB-A 3.1, 1 x USB-A 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x audio jack

Weight: 3.52 pounds

Price: $1199-1399

Huawei MateBook X Pro

Huawei’s MateBook X Pro has all the features of a top-drawer laptop and is a fantastic option for any graphic designer.

 

Huawei have positioned the MateBook X Pro in direct competition to Apple’s Macbook Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Book 2, and with its 2019 upgrade, it certainly manages to match them.

 

It has a gorgeous display that would be hugely beneficial for design, and it also boasts a well laid out, receptive keyboard.

 

It has two things that you always need when you’re designing, lightning fast speed and a good battery. At 6-8 hours, you will find few Ultrabooks (mini notebook with similar or superior computing functionality as that of a standard laptop but with less size, weight and greater battery life) with this kind of longevity.

 

At a cheaper price than many of its competitors, the 2018 Matebook X Pro is a solid choice for graphic design. If you get the 2019 edition with updated processors, you’ll see an increase in price, but also a performance increase of around 10%.

CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U (quad-core, 8MB cache, up to 4.0GHz)

Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620, Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics (2GB GDDR5)

RAM: 16GB

Screen: 13.9”

Storage: 512GB SSD

Battery: 6-8 hours

Ports: 1 x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, 1 x USB-C 3.1, 1 x USB 3.0, 3.5mm audio jack

Weight: 2.93 pounds

Price: 2018 – $1049.99-1649.99 2019 – $1,809-2262

LG Gram 14Z980

Gram by name, gram by nature. The LG Gram 14Z980 is a super light laptop that weighs in at just 2.2 pounds. It’s compact and super portable, making it ideal for designers who move around a lot.

The Gram has one of the most impressive batteries on this list, clocking well into the high teens, even with rigorous use. So you will hardly ever need to charge it while you’re working.

It may be small and compact, but it doesn’t sacrifice ports, and offers a headphone jack, a microSD card reader, three USB 3.0 ports (including USB-C), and an HDMI port.

While not as powerful as the LG Gram 15Z980, it will still comfortably cover many of your design needs. The 2019 edition of the LG Gram 14Z980 has an updated processor and comes in a stunning white chassis.

This laptop is a real all-rounder and it also has a very vibrant display that will make your design pop off the screen.

CPU: Intel Core i7 (8th Generation – 8565U) Processor

Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620

RAM: 16GB

Screen: 14”

Storage: 256GB SSD 

Battery: up to 19.5 hours

Ports: x2 USB 3.0, x1 USB C, HDMI, headphone jack and microSD card reader

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Price: $996.99-1546.99

Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED

If you want one of the world’s best displays on a laptop, then Gigabyte’s Aero 15 OLED is the way to go. The Samsung AMOLED 4K display is truly breathtaking and sets a new standard that high-end laptops may need to match in the near future.

 

Gigabyte is specifically targeting designers with this offering, expanding on its usual gaming target audience with similar hardware.

 

The Aero 15 OLED will comfortably run all design applications and is a great choice for video editing.

 

There is a variety of price points for this laptop, as its specs are highly customisable. The cheapest you can get it for will be around $1615 and then for more power, speed and storage, it goes up to $3299.

 

The design of the Aero 15 OLED looks similar to its previous iteration, the Aero 15, but it has improved in many ways. For example, the webcam is now less conspicuous and the hinge has been minimised.

CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H (hexa-core, 12MB cache, up to 4.50GHz)

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 (8GB GDDR6; MaxQ); Intel UHD Graphics 630

RAM: 16GB

Screen: 15.6” 4K gloss

Storage: 512GB SSD

Battery: 4-5 hours

Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3; 3x USB 3.1; 1x DisplayPort 1.4; 1x HDMI 2.0; 3x USB 3.1 (Type-A); headphone/mic 3.5mm jack; UHS-II SD Card reader

Weight: 4.4 pounds

Price: $1615-$3299

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen

The Samsung Notebook might be thin and light, but this doesn’t have an impact on its performance.

 

It has one of the smallest screens on this list, which may see it lose out to larger laptops. However, for its size, there are plenty of plus points.

 

It comes with a handy stylus that is great for designing and you can flip its 2-in-1 display around so it becomes a tablet.

 

The touchscreen is very receptive and this makes drawing on the Notebook 9 Pen an effortless experience.

 

Despite it’s slender build, it’s a fast and powerful laptop that will handle all design applications. Its fans are also very quiet, so you won’t feel conscious about doing some designing in public!

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U Processor with TURBO BOOST to 4.00 GHz

Graphics: Intel UHD 620

RAM: 8-16GB

Screen: 13.3”

Storage: 256GB-1TB

Battery: 4-5 hours

Ports: 1 USB-C, 2 Thunderbolt 3, microSD, 3.5mm audio jack

Weight: 2.92 pounds

Price: $1297-2099

MSI GV62 8RD-200

The MSI GV62 8RD-200 has a familiar, dependable look when it comes to MSI laptops. It’s a reliable machine for gaming and design that combines powerful performance with a light chassis.

 

Not only is it powerful, but as far as gaming laptops go, it’s also affordable. The MSI GV62 8RD-200 will cost you between $624-1099, which is a very appealing price for this model.

 

It has an optane memory module, which is an alternative to a solid-state drive, and this results in rapid file transfer and a fast cache.

 

The touchpad and keyboard are both responsive and comfortable to use, and there are also numerous ports to ward off any connectivity concerns.

 

If you’re looking for a portable, powerful laptop for graphic design, the MSI GV62 8RD-200 might be the way to go. One word of warning though, its battery life is gaming standard, so you should take that into consideration.

CPU: Intel Core i5 8th Gen 8300H

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

RAM: 8GB

Screen: 15.6”

Storage: 1TB

Battery: 4 hours

Ports: 1 USB 3.1, 1 HDMI 2.0, a Mini DisplayPort, 1 USB 3.1 port, 1 USB 3.1 Type-C port and separate mic and headphone inputs

Weight: 4.8 pounds

Price: $624-1099

Dell Precision 7530

The Dell Precision 7530 is an absolute beast of a mobile workstation. There are a huge range of powerful CPU options available that rival any of its competition, but it’s the GPU that really sets it apart.

 

The NVIDIA Quadro P3200 packs a huge amount of VRAM and can easily all types of video editing.

 

It’s a laptop that’s extremely configurable, with a number of custom options available for CPU, GPU, RAM and storage. If you want the very best this laptop can offer, it could set you back an eye-watering $9343.57, so it’s definitely not a budget option.

 

You won’t be short on connectivity with the Precision 7530 either, as it packs in an impressive 11 ports.

 

Some drawbacks of this laptop include its extremely short battery and its hefty weight of 5.75 pounds. That said, if you want a powerhouse laptop that will plough through multiple heavy tasks quickly, the Precision 7530 will do that for you.

CPU: Core i5-8300H-Core i9-8950HK

Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro WX 4150-NVIDIA Quadro P3200 (6GB GDDR5)

RAM: 8-64GB

Screen: 15.6”

Storage: 256GB-2TB

Battery: 2-5 hours

Ports: 2x USB 3.1, 2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), an SD card reader, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI port, RJ45 Ethernet port, security lock slot, headphone jack and optional smartcard reader

Weight: 5.75 pounds

Price: $1129-9343

Asus ROG Strix SCAR III

While the ROG Strix SCAR III might scream gaming laptop, it’s equally as adept at being a graphic design laptop.

 

It’s a heavy, robust device, but for what it lacks in mobility it makes up for in power and speed. It’s well able to glide through any design app from the Adobe suite.

 

It does have the typical gaming laptop flaws though, including a battery life that will plummet rapidly at high brightness settings and a loud fan.

 

The display is well lit and colors will display vibrantly on this laptop. If you want to create designs that pop off your screen, the Asus ROG Strix SCAR III is worth considering.

CPU: Intel Core i9-9880H, octa-core, 2.3GHz-4.8GHz, 9th Gen

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070

RAM: 32GB

Screen: 15.6”

Storage: 1TB SSD

Battery: 1-5 hours

Ports: 1x USB Type-C 3.1 (DisplayPort), 3x USB Type-A 3.1, 3.5mm combo audio jack, HDMI 2.0b, RJ45 Ethernet jack, Keystone

Weight: 5.12 pounds

Price: $1614-2459

HP Omen 17

The HP Omen 17 is a superb choice for 2D and 3D animation and boasts an extremely fast processor and graphics card.

 

It has a huge 17.3” screen that will be ideal for designing and strong visuals that run smoothly under heavy usage.

 

However, the battery life may be an issue, as it runs below the standard set by many gaming laptops. And at 7.1 pounds, it won’t be something that you’ll carry around with you too often.

 

If you are willing to overlook these issues, you’ll have a powerful laptop on your hands that is primed for painlessly creating graphic design.

CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070

RAM: 16GB-64GB

Screen: 17.3”

Storage: 256GB SSD; 1TB HDD

Battery: 2 hours

Ports: 3x USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, DisplayPort, mic/headphone jack, Ethernet, SD card reader

Weight: 7.1 pounds

Price: $1100-1979

Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro Black Edition

The Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro Black Edition is a gaming laptop first and foremost, but it doubles very well as a design laptop.

 

It’s built to handle a very heavy workload, and no matter what graphic design tasks you need to do on this Aspire, you’ll have no problem swiftly completing them. Stylistically, it doesn’t really look like a gaming laptop, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on your point of view.

 

The display is large and vibrant, making designing on the Aspire V 17 a real treat. While not the brightest screen around, it does display colours really well. It’s battery is also pretty good for a gaming laptop, coming in at around 3 to 5 hours.

 

At the end of the day, the Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro Black Edition is definitely a worthwhile investment for its price range.

CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ 27

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060

RAM: 2x 8GB DDR4

Screen: 17.3”

Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD

Battery: 3-5 hours

Ports: 2x USB Type-A 2.0, 2x USB Type-A 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1), 1x USB Type-C, HDMI, SD card reader, Ethernet, audio jack

Weight: 6.8 pounds

Price: $1349.99-1699.99

Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15 L55W-C5259

If you like some of the other laptops on our list, but found the price tag off putting, then you might be more open to the Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15 L55W-C5259, which comes in at a reasonable $549.99-799.99.

 

It might not have the CPU or GPU of more powerful laptops, but it’s very capable of running graphic design software.

 

There’s only 128GB of storage on this laptop, so you might be tight on space after using it for a while. Its battery life is also not amazing, but if you’re willing to look past these drawbacks, you’ll still have a solid graphic design laptop on your hands.

 

As is the case with most laptops, you get what you pay for. If you want a budget laptop for design that has decent power and speed, the Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15 L55W-C5259 is a good option, but it doesn’t come close to some of the big hitters.

CPU: Intel Core i5-5200U dual-core processor

Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500

RAM: 8GB

Screen: 15.6”

Storage: 128GB SSD

Battery: 3-4 hours

Ports: 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI, headphone/microphone combo jack, SD card reader

Weight: 5.1 pounds

Price: $549.99-799.99

Lenovo Yoga 920

The Lenovo Yoga 920 is one of the best 2-in-1 options for graphic design. It has a great touchscreen and a flexible 360 hinge.

 

It has an integrated graphics solution that will be comfortable handling a variety of graphic design tasks. Its successor, the Lenovo Yoga C930 is also an amazing laptop, but if you want to save a bit on the price, the 920 will do the job.

 

It’s a stylish, durable unit that is just as effective in tablet mode as it as a laptop. The Yoga 920 is very slim, making it comfortable to hold as a tablet and easy to carry around.

 

The stylus included with the laptop works very well and you will find it very easy to sketch on the screen. It has a vibrant, bright display that radiates from its 13.9” screen.

 

For 2-in-1s in this price range, the Lenovo Yoga 920 can certainly be considered one of the best design laptops.

CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U quad-core processor

Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620

RAM: 8GB

Screen: 13.9″

Storage: 256GB SSD

Battery: 6-7 hours

Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB 3.0, audio jack

Weight: 3.02 pounds

Price: $1199-1549

Microsoft Surface Pro X

The Surface Pro X is a laptop/tablet from Microsoft that has a huge amount of graphic design potential.

 

Not only does it look sleek and modern, it’s also extremely lightweight, coming in at an ultra-portable 1.7 pounds. It’s also easy to type on and draw on, with the pinpoint sensitivity that you’d expect from a premium Microsoft device.

 

There’s great colour and brightness from the 13” display, making your designs look vivid and engaging.

 

It’s a uniquely powered laptop, with Microsoft debuting their very own SQ1 processor and combining it with a Qualcomm Adreno 685 graphics unit. It has a great battery life that will last throughout your working day.

 

If you want an impressive mixture of style and substance, the Surface Pro X should be high up on your laptop wishlist.

CPU: Microsoft SQ1

Graphics: Qualcomm Adreno 685

RAM: 8-16GB

Screen: 13″

Storage: 128-512GB SSD

Battery: up to 13 hours

Ports: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 1x nano SIM, 1x Surface Connect, Surface Keyboard connector

Weight: 1.7 pounds

Price: $999-1799

Dell Inspiron 15 5000 5577 Gaming Laptop

If you’re staying under the $1000 mark, the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 5577 Gaming Laptop is a reliable choice.

 

It has a strong processor and graphics unit that can handle design applications and transfer files fast. With multiple tabs open you won’t experience any lag on this laptop.

 

It’s battery will be a worry for many though, with this laptop unlikely to last very long without a charge. It’s also a bit on the heavy side, so portability could be an issue.

 

There’s plenty of storage in the Inspiron 15 5000 5577, so you will be able to store most of your projects on its 1TB SSD.

CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 105

RAM: 8GB

Screen: 15.6″

Storage: 1TB

Battery: 2 hours

Ports: 3x USB 3.0, 2-1 card reader, HDMI 1.4, ethernet

Weight: 5.66 pounds

Price: $698-849

Asus Vivobook Pro 17

The Asus Vivobook Pro 17 has a large 17.3” display that’s bright and vibrant, allowing for an immersive design experience.

 

It’s 8th gen i7 processor and 16GB will fly through most tasks efficiently and ensures that this laptop’s performance can’t be called into question.

 

Its port selection is pretty standard, although its HDMI 1.4 could have been upgraded to a more modern version.

 

The Pro 17 is also a light laptop for its size, weighing in at a very reasonable 4.6 pounds. Unsurprisingly, you won’t find many other 17.3” laptops at this weight.

 

Overall, the Asus Vivobook Pro 17 is a well-rounded laptop that is a good option for graphic designers who don’t want to shell out on a premium machine.

CPU: Intel i7-8550U

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

RAM: 16GB

Screen: 17.3”

Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD

Battery: 4 hours

Ports: 3x USB type-A, 1x USB type-C 3.1, HDMI 1.4, card reader, ethernet

Weight: 4.6 pounds

Price: $999-1179

HP Envy x360 13

If you want a well-designed, lightweight laptop that you can take anywhere with you, the HP Envy x360 13 will tick all of your boxes.

 

As the name suggests, it’s a 360 laptop, and it’s just as effective for designing in tablet mode as it is in its laptop form.

 

Its touchscreen display is receptive to both a stylus and hand use. Ports might be an issue for some, as the Envy x360 13 doesn’t include a USB C connection.

 

It’s battery is decent, and for this price, you’re getting a reasonably powerful laptop that will cover the majority of your design requirements.

CPU: 2.2GHz AMD Ryzen 7 2700U (quad-core, 4MB L3 cache, up to 3.8GHz)

Graphics: AMD Radeon RX Vega 10

RAM: 8GB

Screen: 13.3”

Storage: 256-512GB SSD

Battery: 3-5 hours

Ports: 1x USB-C 3.1, 2x USB 3.1, 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card reader

Weight: 2.87 pounds

Price: $695-1025

Acer Switch 3

The Acer Switch 3 is the cheapest laptop on our list and it’s a great budget option for any graphic designer.

 

It might not be able to handle some of the heaviest tasks, but it will be fine for image editing and design creation.

 

It’s a portable laptop that you can easily bring around in your bag with you and you can turn it into a tablet to design anywhere and everywhere.

 

For its small size, it feels fairly powerful, and you’ll rarely be left with an annoying lag under a reasonable amount of load.

 

For this price, you’ll find few laptops that will do the job that the Acer Switch 3 does.

CPU: 1.10GHz Intel Pentium Quad Core N4200 – Intel Core i3 7100U

Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505

RAM: 4GB

Screen: 12.2”

Storage: 64GB-128GB

Battery: 4-7 hours

Ports: 1x USB 3.1 type A, 1x USB 3.1 type C, audio, MicroSD

Weight: 2.8 pounds

Price: $439-799

HP Spectre x360 15t

The HP Spectre x360 15t is an absolute powerhouse of a laptop that is a dream to design on.

 

It’s thin for a 15.6” laptop, but it doesn’t sacrifice ports. It also manages to pull off being both robust and portable at the same time.

 

The touchpad and keyboard are smooth and responsive, allowing you to work on your graphic design projects with ease. It has incredible image quality, which will make your work pop off the screen.

 

The Spectre x360 15t really has very few negatives and if you are willing to meet its asking price, you won’t regret your purchase.

CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 

RAM: 16GB

Screen: 15.6”

Storage: 512GB-1TB SSD

Battery: 6-8 hours

Ports: 2x USB-C, USB 3.1, HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack, microSD Reader

Weight: 4.81 pounds

Price: $1399-1899

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Microsoft have managed to squeeze out a hugely impressive battery life from the Surface Laptop 3. Depending on how you use it, it can go for 6-10 hours.

 

It has a large, sharp screen with a powerful combination of an AMD Ryzen processor and Radeon Vega 9 GPU. This processing duo will effortlessly see you fly through most design software.

 

On the downside, ports are sorely lacking on the Surface Laptop 3, with only 2 USB slots available to connect to.

 

It’s sleek design comes into multiple colours and it’s a relatively light laptop that you’ll be able to carry around.

 

If you want a long lasting laptop that’s both powerful and fast, it’s worth taking a look at the Surface Laptop 3.

CPU: 2.1GHz AMD Ryzen 5 3580U

Graphics: Radeon Vega 9

RAM: 8-16GB

Screen: 13.5” or 15”

Storage: 128GB-1TB

Battery: 6-10 hours

Ports: 1x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 3.5 mm headphone jack, 1 x Surface Connect port

Weight: 2.84 pounds or 3.4 pounds

Price: $999.99-2399

Now it’s time to choose your favourite laptop

Once you’ve read through our list of graphic design laptops, you’ll have all the information you need to get the right laptop for your design requirements.

 

With high prices and lots of technical jargon, buying a laptop can often be a leap of faith. This list aims to make it easy for you to decide on what suits you best.

 

With the right laptop, you can really optimise your productivity and get the most out of your work.

 

What laptop is your favourite to design on? Let us know by tweeting @getdesignwizard.

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