While choosing the Best Laptop For Beginner Graphic Design work, you should concentrate on several aspects: tech specs, performance, design, size and weight of the model. Due to their mobility and functionality, laptops are becoming widespread not only in the business sphere and gaming industry; now, you can buy the best laptop for photo editing. Are gaming laptops good for graphic design? The current models are equipped with decent IPS displays and offer sufficient performance for complex work with graphics, which favorably affects the graphics programs’ functioning. But at the same time, these laptops are very heavy and inconvenient. A decent gaming laptop may weigh more than 4 kg, i.e., it won’t be quite mobile and convenient. Thus, difficulties arise, as the designer needs to have both a convenient and lightweight device.
What factors define the best laptops for beginner graphic designers?
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.
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.
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.
Best Laptop For Beginner Graphic Design
1. MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2018)
Specs: 15.4” (2880 x 1800), 2.6GHz 6 core 8th generation Intel Core i7, Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSDPros
- Remarkable performance
- Discrete Radeon Pro 555X with 4GB video card
- Touch Bar works with Photoshop
- Not found
When you need a laptop with a suitable screen to work with photos, purchase this one. Retina display features a resolution lower than 4K screens but more precise in color than its competitors. Besides, it reproduces a decent sRGB color gamut and supports DCI/P3. Furthermore, it features the best trackpad we have ever used. Nonetheless, this laptop for graphic design has a shallow keyboard and several ports to connect accessories. Moreover, it’s pricey and features a shorter battery life than we would like. There are only four USB-C ports and one headphone port, so you’ll need an adapter when you wish to connect an Ethernet cable or legacy hardware. However, it offers a powerful processor and plenty of RAM for complex tasks, which is really important.
2. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Specs: 15” (3260 x 2160), 8th Gen. Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSDPros
- Removable screen
- Exceptional battery life
- Fastening the swivel may cause problems
- No HDMI port
Speaking about two-in-one hybrid laptops and tablets, there’s nothing better than this device. Rotate the screen and it will be conveniently detached from the keyboard, so you can use it as a huge tablet. But, thanks to the Surface Pen stylus, you may get more control using it as a drawing laptop with pen. Learn more about the Surface Book specification; it’s impressive in every line. With 3240×2160 resolution, the screen is sharper than the majority of laptops on the market (including all existing MacBooks), and 4K will look exactly as you imagine it. A graphics processor and Nvidia GeForce make it even more powerful in terms of graphics, while RAM and the modern Intel processor turn it into a monster of image processing. If the price tag means more than positive reviews, then you must agree on the 13.5-inch screen.
3. Apple MacBook Air 13-inch Retina display (2018)
Specs: 13.3” (2560 x 1600), 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, Intel UHD Graphics 617, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSDPros
- Touch ID
- Retina display
- Great new trackpad
- Long-term work in offline mode
- The display isn’t very bright
- Low CPU speed
- The graphics core is built into the processor
- Still few USB-C connectors
This is the best Mac laptop for the majority of people. It’s fast enough for basic tasks – browsing the web, working with documents, even easy picture retouching. It also features a superior high-resolution screen, an excellent trackpad, and a battery life that allows most people to work throughout the day. At a (relatively) reasonable price, Apple is selling many laptop models right now, but Air offers the exemplary combination of functions, performance, and price. Is MacBook Air good for graphic design? Yes, but it has some drawbacks common to other modern Apple laptops: a keyboard with low speed, a small number of similar ports (two Thunderbolt3 ports) that could require USB-C hubs or new cables, and a high price in comparison with Windows laptops of identical performance. Nevertheless, a lightweight, sturdy construction and long-lasting battery life make it Apple’s best budget graphics laptop.
4. Dell XPS 15 9570 (2018)
Specs: 15,6” (3840 x 2160), 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti with 4GB, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSDPros
- A decent display
- A remarkable performance
- Touch Display
- In some situations, a non-uniform backlit of the screen is visible
- Small and inconvenient trackpad
Dell XPS 15 for graphic design with a wide range of configurations may be perplexing: there are currently 10 various specification options. We believe the configuration mentioned above represents an exceptional laptop for drawing and gaming. You’re offered the exemplary 4K screen with 100% Adobe RGB coverage together with a 6-core processor including large RAM. The processor is slower than the Core i9 model, but unless you’re a very active user, this processor would be sufficient for you. Similarly, 32GB of RAM is also fine, but 16GB is enough for Photoshop unless you deal with giant images. Port selection includes two USB, one USB-C, HDMI and headphones, but there is a full-size SD card slot as well. The screen doesn’t match Apple’s Retina display; however, for such a price, it gives better opportunities than more expensive Windows computers. Full Adobe RGB coverage is a benefit. Altogether, it’s the best laptop for graphic design that you may purchase for now.
5. LG Gram 14Z980
Specs: 14” (1920 x 1080), 8th Gen. Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSDPros
- Very thin and lightweight
- Good screen
- Excellent battery life
- Not very fast
- Only 8 GB of RAM
As for the LG Gram screen size, its 14 inches have full HD resolution – less than the majority of competitors, but enough for work on the 14-inch laptop. IPS LCD screen technology provides excellent viewing angles and sharp colors. One of the best laptops for design features 100% coverage of the sRGB color space. Even though it features 79% of Adobe RGB, it won’t interfere with the work of amateur photographers. Color accuracy is slightly disturbing; it is worse than other similar laptops have. As for mobility, the 14-inch version features a declared weight of 995 grams. Though the laptop is thin, there is enough space for two USB-A ports including a microSD slot. Despite the relatively fast overall performance, the processor isn’t so powerful. It may take a while to apply more complicated Photoshop effects. LG assures that a single battery charge will last 17.5 hours. Still, we would appreciate more RAM as the installed 8GB is sufficient to work in Photoshop. LG Gram is appreciated for its weight, and it’s the best laptop for graphic designers who work on the go and value mobility, not speed.
6. Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon (6th Gen)
Specs: 14” (1920 x 1080), 8th Gen. Intel Core i5-8350U, Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSDPros
- Great screen
- Excellent battery life
- The CPU speed isn’t impressive
- Small trackpad
Among the sixth-generation models, you may choose from several screen options – all 14-inch – but we settled on the superior panel, with remarkable brightness. It isn’t a touch screen, but the sufficient resolution, 99% Adobe RGB coverage, and brightness please us, although the uniformity of brightness is average. The same may be said about the speed, which is noticeably inferior to laptops with 6-core processors. Nevertheless, as a compromise, you may increase energy efficiency. Besides, you still get sufficient performance for each task in Photoshop except the most complicated ones. If you’re searching for mobility and decent battery life but don’t wish to compromise on screen quality, this configuration could be the best laptop for graphic design and image retouching.
7. Huawei MateBook X Pro
Specs: 13.9” (3000 x 2000), 8th Gen. Intel Core i7-8550U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSDPros
- Beautiful design
- A fantastic display
- Remarkable battery life
- No SD card slot
- The webcam is inconveniently placed
Undoubtedly, you’ll be amazed by this laptop’s great design, but the performance impresses even more. You’ll understand you’ve got a powerful laptop that can cope with complicated tasks when you recognize the Intel 8th generation specification, 512GB SSD and up to 16GB RAM. You’ll surely be pleased with its low battery consumption, too. However, this computer is convenient if you intend to edit shots on the go. Your works will look much better on its great display with high resolution. It is not only one of the exemplary models for image editing, we believe it’s the best laptop for digital art at the moment.
8. Acer Aspire E 15
Specs: 15.6” (1920 x 1080), 8th Gen. Intel Core i5-8250U, NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSDPros
- Pretty good screen
- Rather powerful
- Decent battery life
- There are light flares on the screen
- Looks cheap
The Acer Aspire E 15 is the best budget graphics laptop for image editing. Despite its low price, it still offers amazing performance with an Intel Core i5-8250U processor. Its 15.6-inch full HD widescreen display provides excellent visual image editing capabilities. Windows 10 Home is included, while 15 hours of battery life allow you to complete long-lasting photo editing sessions.
9. Dell XPS 13 9365
Specs: 13.3” (1920 x 1080), 8th Gen. Intel Core i7-7Y75, Intel HD Graphics 620, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSDPros
- Good screen for business class
- The battery should be improved
This is considered to be the best laptop for animation and graphic design. The touchscreen notebook provides high performance thanks to its Intel Core i7 processor that supports Turbo Boost up to 3.60 GHz. Its 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD will ensure a smooth photo editing process. The 13.3-inch Full HD Infinity Edge touchscreen is covered with fourth-generation Gorilla Glass, which makes it more resistant to damage.
10. ASUS ZenBook 13 UX331
Specs: 13.3” (1920 x 1080), 8th Gen. Intel Core i5-8250U, NVIDIA Geforce MX150, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSDPros
- Good screen
- Thin and lightweight
- Stylish design
- Faint sound
Asus Zenbook 13 UX331U is currently being sold as “the thinnest laptop on the planet.” With a meager thickness of 13.9 mm, this is certainly one of the smallest models we have tested. Although it is very thin, it offers reliable performance. You will have a choice between 8th generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, both of which will have 8GB of RAM. Whichever processor you choose, it will complete most of the graphics tasks. Therefore, it is a remarkable graphic design laptop. Its 13-inch FHD screen is above average for this price. The combination of a stellar keyboard with ZenBook trackpad make the laptop a great choice for any buyer looking for a device that accurately combines portability and performance. The only drawback is that its ultra-thin dimensions mean that you get only integrated graphics, which will be a problem for people who want to edit photos on it.