Do you use Blender 3D on a regular basis and dislike the “sluggish performance” of your current laptop, or are you a beginner who wants a machine that can run it smoothly? After spending 17 weeks researching and reviewing devices from reputed brands, we’re here with the expert-recommended options of 2021.
3D animation has taken the world by storm and there are so many software that can help with the same. Blender is one of them, is a free and open-source 3D creation suite that is developed by hundreds of experts. Not only is it free, but it also has all the tools that you’ll require for, animation, rendering, compositing, simulating, rigging, modeling, motion tracking, graphic designing, and video editing.
You must’ve realized that Blender is powerful software, and not every laptop can handle it. It requires a powerful laptop with a high-performance graphics card and a decent amount of RAM. Of course, you cannot use an average budget laptop for 3D modeling as the task itself is resource-intensive.
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- Best Laptops for Blender in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Razer Blade 15
- 2. Best for 3D Modeling: MSI GL65 Leopard
- 3. Best-in-Class Display: Asus ZenBook Pro Duo
- 4. Best Value for Money: Acer Predator Helios 300
- 5. Best for Animation: Gigabyte AERO 15
- 6. Best AMD-Powered: Lenovo Legion 5
- 7. Best with Dual Storage: Dell G5 15
- 8. Best Battery Life: HP Pavilion 15
- 9. Best Under Budget: Lenovo IdeaPad L340
- 10. Best Thin Laptop: MSI GF63
- 11. Best for Beginners: Acer Aspire 5
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Verdict
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
The Blender is a cross-platform software. It runs on all the major operating systems: Windows 10, 8, 7, macOS 10.12+, and Linux. The developers have made the software available via RollApp so you can use the software even from Chromebooks (not reliable if you use it regularly though.) So, here are the minimum and recommended system requirements that we suggest for being able to run it smoothly.
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||8th Gen Intel Core i5||9th Gen Intel Core i7|
|Storage||256GB SSD or 1TB HDD||512GB SSD|
|Display||15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX350||6GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti or better|
|Battery||Up to 4 hours||Up to 8 hours|
Now that you know the minimum required specs and know the recommended specs, let’s just begin with the list.
Best Laptops for Blender in 2021
|Razer Blade 15|
|MSI GL65 Leopard|
|Asus ZenBook Pro Duo|
|Acer Predator Helios 300|
|Gigabyte AERO 15|
|Lenovo Legion 5|
|Dell G5 15|
|HP Pavilion 15|
|Lenovo IdeaPad L340|
|MSI GF63 Thin|
|Acer Aspire 5|
As Blender is an extremely versatile application program dedicated to 3D modeling, sculpting, 2D and 3D animation, simulations, rendering, compositing, and almost everything creative, you need extremely powerful gadgets to utilize the same to its full potential.
Exploring Blender 2.90 or even the older versions such as 2.81 in their entirety necessitates the role of multithreaded CPU, CUDA-powered GPUs, massive chunk of RAM, and obviously a fast SSD-based storage unit.
Keeping these primary factors in mind, our experts have reviewed the 11 best laptops to run Blender on, regardless of the version. We’ve tested each of the enlisted machines based on performance, productivity, display, and additional features that can be of creative relevance. Furthermore, we have also made a conscious effort to accommodate differently priced notebooks for catering to every price bracket.
1. Best Overall: Razer Blade 15
If you are a creative professional with inclinations towards application programs like Maya, Blender, ZBrush, and more, the Razer Blade 15 is an extremely competent laptop. It has everything you’ll need to make sure that all your 3D software runs smoothly.
For starters, the Intel Core i7-10750H processor is a commendable addition, courtesy of the 6 cores. Although Razer could have persisted with the Octa-Core Intel i9, the 10th gen i7 chipset doesn’t disappoint either. The 12-threaded SoC, thanks to the Hyper-threading support, is a great choice for running Blender. Besides that, the single-core turbo clock speed of up to 5GHz also comes in handy.
Blender also makes extensive use of GPU acceleration, and the supplied NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q can certainly make a difference. The mobile graphics processor ensures that the OptiX or Ray Tracing API availability for future-proofing your Blender indulgences.
Moreover, this is a CUDA optimized GPU with 2304 parallel processing cores for better viewport rendering. NVIDIA also makes a highly resourceful toolkit available for the Blender professionals courtesy of CUDA synonymy. The Max-Q architecture, on the other hand, minimizes heat generation and improves power-efficiency.
The 8GB VRAM also plays a major role in optimizing 3D performances. Blender is definitely a Video RAM monger if you are interested in high-end rendering that isn’t limited to the viewport, poly modeling, and sculpting.
When memory allocation is concerned, 16GB RAM is a bare minimum, considering the existing processing setup. However, the dual-channel system memory supports upgradeability to up to 64GB. As optimal Blender performances, duplicate, and cache object data related to creative meshes, extensive professional usage will eventually need you to upgrade the system memory to its highest capacity.
The 512GB SSD might be fast but slightly underwhelming for the Blender fanatics. As the software works on the principle of data preservation, the temp files conglomerate can stack up real-fast. Therefore, you need to clear out the memory frequently to stop the program from slowing down.
However, Razer brings in 4 M.2 PCIe slots in case you want to beef-up the laptop further for highly demanding tasks. Amid the more technical discussions, the Windows 10 OS also deserves a special mention, and the featured solid-state unit ensures that it loads faster than usual.
Razer makes room for a 15.6-inch sharp screen, flaunting a cumulative resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. While the thinner bezels add to the screen real-estate, the color accuracy can be an asset for the video editors and 2D animators. However, the 144Hz screen refresh rate on a laptop is a handy inclusion for high-end gaming and top-notch rendering and simulating performances.
Besides indulging in 2D and 3D creative tasks, the Razer Blade 15 also allows you to be professionally productive, owing to the backlit keyboard, smooth precision glass trackpad, and serviceable webcam-microphone combo (not as good as an external webcam), amplified speakers, an innovative cooling design.
The aluminum-clad notebook is delightfully light at 4.56 and features some of the more resourceful connectivity specs, including a Thunderbolt 3 port for setting up eGPUs and workflows, USB 3.2 slots for faster transfers, HDMI, Gig Ethernet, and Wi-Fi 6 support. Despite being a decently-loaded notebook, Razer churns out almost 7 hours of battery backup at one go.
Overall, the Blade 15 Base Model is a great choice for high-level or mid-level professionals who are looking to get something under 2000 dollars.
- Hexa-Core processor
- RTX GPU with 6GB VRAM
- Upgradeable memory slots
- Thunderbolt 3
- Innovative cooling tech
- Restrictive onboard storage
- The Max-Q variant is slower than the vanilla RTX 2070
2. Best for 3D Modeling: MSI GL65 Leopard
The MSI GL65 Leopard is quite a handful ally if you are a 3D creative with inclinations towards game development, Android development, modeling, rendering, and sculpting. While you might have to make peace with a few connectivity-specific limitations, you are more than expected to like what you get for this competitive price tag.
The hexa-core Intel Core i7-10750H chipset shows up, offering the requisite multithreading support to the latest version of Blender. Besides, the turbo clock speed of up to 5GHz allows you to handle some of the single-core processes to perfection.
Furthermore, creative application programs like Blender, AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, Maya, or even BIM architectural tools have a penchant for GPU acceleration. The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU with 8GB VRAM comes in as a handy resource, considering the 2304 CUDA cores, Turing Architecture, and Ray Tracing support. Our experts were pleasantly surprised with the top-notch real-time rendering performances, courtesy of Blender’s Eevee engine, which requires a lot of VRAM.
Furthermore, the processing conglomerate takes good care of high-precision, creative tasks by splitting the 3D modeling responsibilities like overlays and geometry selection between the processor and the graphics card. Specific Blender processes like 3D sculpting use the 16GB onboard RAM. However, you might have to consider upgrading the same if you are into high poly 3D models and wary of the aggressive caching for keeping up with optimal performances.
The 512GB SSD unit with NVMe support is fast but lets you down in terms of capacity. However, it still supports faster boot-ups and loads the Windows 10 Home edition OS quicker than standard PCIe units. Blender usage requires excellent displays, and the GL65 Leopard doesn’t disappoint. You get access to a 15.6-inch IPS screen flaunting an overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Color accuracy is guaranteed by the 72 percent NTSC color gamut.
Additional specs that are of relevance include SteelSeries, backlit keyboard, HD webcam, 3W speakers for a better acoustic output, smooth trackpad, and the revolutionary cooling tech, tagged as the Cooler Boost 5. However, the strategic arrangement of pipes, fans, and cooling hardware lends a bit of heft to the gadget that weighs slightly more than 5 pounds.
The port arrangement is pretty basic, with Type-C and USB 3.1 gen 1 being the primary players. However, the Wi-Fi 6 standard’s inclusion is heartening and helps you establish faster and more stable internet connections. Battery life suffers as MSI offers a mere 4 hours of backup on a single charge.
Considering the price, this is an excellent laptop to consider if you are into creative modeling, rendering, simulating, sculpting, compositing, and Shader editing.
- 10th gen GPU with HyperThreading support
- Top-of-the-Line GPU for seamless rendering
- Upgradeable RAM up to 64GB
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Exceptional thermal layout
- No Thunderbolt 3 support
- Middling battery
3. Best-in-Class Display: Asus ZenBook Pro Duo
Using Blender or some of the other futuristic creative programs requires truckloads of innovation. The ZenBook Pro Duo from Asus lives up to the same, owing to the dual-display functionality. However, the gadget isn’t all bell and whistles and packs in a pretty beefed up specs sheet for your modeling, rendering, and sculpting indulgences.
Processing performances are top-notch with the Intel Core i7-9750H processor at the helm. The existing processor is one of your best bets for 3D sculpting, provided the RAM allocation is up to mark. Besides supporting HyperThreading, the CPU also boasts of a decent turbo clock speed of 4.5GHz, which is a decent attribute for reinvigorating the rendering engines.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 makes an appearance, and the CPU-GPU Hybrid achieves class-leading results when Cycles production rendering is concerned. In case you are more inclined towards real-time, GPU-only rendering, the existing graphics card is a resourceful addition, courtesy of the 6GB VRAM.
Memory allocation deserves some attention with Asus stacking in 16GB of RAM. While we would have preferred 32GB RAM for high-poly mesh modes, the allocated chunk is more than adequate for the relentless Blender caching. You also get a 1TB NVMe-compatible storage unit, which means that the capacity will hardly be an issue for mid-level creatives. In terms of OS, you get Windows 10 Pro, straight out of the box.
However, it is the path-breaking display conglomerate that steals the show. While the primary, 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD panel is exceedingly vibrant and flaunts a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, you also get a 14-inch secondary, matte display in place of the touchpad. Better termed as the ScreenPad Plus, the interface can work as an extension of the primary, glossy interface or as an app switcher for improved productivity.
Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is never short of thrills. It aptly incorporates a backlit keyboard, detachable palm rest, Light Bar as an indicative resource, one-touch numeric keypad, Alexa-compatibility, and high-fidelity speakers. Furthermore, your professional productivity isn’t compromised either with Asus making way for an IR-empowered webcam, innovative cooling tech, ErgoLift design for optimal typing performances when writing a blog, and not to forget stylus compatibility.
Understandably, the ZenBook Pro Duo, at 5.50 pounds, is hefty enough to be carried around with ease. Furthermore, you get an excellent port arrangement to work with, featuring Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 gen 2, HDMI, and other relevant slots. If you are into faster internet connections, the Gig+ Ethernet functionality and Wi-Fi 6 standard are expected to make a difference.
With a display-specific double whammy to deal with, the battery life on this laptop isn’t worth applauding and stands at a paltry 4-hour mark. Nonetheless, the ZenBook Pro Duo is one of the best gadgets in the retail arena for your creative indulgences, provided you are willing to make peace with the desk-bound restrictions.
- Hexa-Core processor
- GPU comes with OptiX API support for Ray Tracing
- Innovative dual-display functionality
- Thunderbolt 3
- Wi-Fi 6
- Innovative cooling technology
- Subpar battery life
4. Best Value for Money: Acer Predator Helios 300
In case you are invested in Acer as your go-to laptop brand, the Predator Helios 300 is a fine product to consider, especially for running Blender and other creative software & suites like Adobe Creative Cloud is concerned.
The Intel Core i7-10750H CPU exhibits excellent processing performances. As Blender works miraculously well on multithreaded processors, the HyperThreading technology associated with the SoC is expected to drive exceptional modeling and rendering performances. Furthermore, graphics-intensive architectural tasks are perfectly handled by the GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, clubbed with 6GB of Video RAM.
If you are a top-level professional, invested in poly meshes, viewport rendering, and real-time rendering – the GPU acceleration levels supported by the dedicated graphics card are expected to come in handy. In terms of RAM support, Acer offers 16GB of high-speed memory to rely on. As Blender relies heavily on caching for better scene rendering and sculpting, the RAM allocation might underwhelm some advanced professionals.
The 512GB SSD unit is no pushover, and Acer ensures that we get an upgradeable slot to pack in additional storage capacity when deemed necessary. Nonetheless, the SSD is fast and loads the Windows 10 Home OS faster than SATA SSDs and HDDs.
You get a 15.6-inch color-accurate screen to go with the excellent processing specs. Acer flaunts the widescreen panel with LED-backlit support for unmatched power efficiency. However, it is the overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels that makes a world of difference to the vibrancy of the IPS panel. If you would be interested in details, the Predator Helios 300 features a 72 percent NTSC color gamut for bringing sculpts and renders to life.
Productivity-wise, you have your hands full with Predator Helios readily incorporating a backlit keyboard, professionally enticing webcam-microphone combo, excellent cooling hardware led by AeroBlade fans technology, PredatorSense UI for intelligent resource allocation, and MaxxAudio speakers.
The concerned notebook weighs 5.07 pounds and yet accommodates Type-C, USB 3.1, Mini DP, Wi-Fi 6, and other revolutionary specs. Battery backup, on the other hand, is pretty basic, with Acer promising almost 6 hours of autonomy on a single charge. Overall, the Predator Helios 300 is a functional gadget to rely on, especially for the 3D creatives who are also invested in part-time editing and compositing via Blender.
- 10th gen processor
- Stellar crisp & bright display
- Color accurate screen
- Upgradeable storage
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- VR ready
- AeroBlade 3D cooling tech
- No Thunderbolt 3
- Middling battery life
5. Best for Animation: Gigabyte AERO 15
The Gigabyte AERO 15 is our personal favorite, considering the beefed-up specs sheet and unmatched portability considering the seething power underneath.
For starters, we get the 9th gen Intel Core i7 chipset, featuring 6 cores and HyperThreading technology. Besides assisting multithreaded applications with aplomb, the Intel Core i7-9750H CPU also works closely with the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU for better 3D modeling, sculpting, and rendering performances. Besides, the 6GB VRAM is quite a handful for GPU-intensive real-time rendering.
The graphics card makes room for CUDA processing, which is something we would recommend for running the latest version of Blender. The NVIDIA Optimus technology is a surprise addition, allowing you to use the integrated UHD graphics 630, if and when desired. Next in line is the 16GB RAM, capable of handling the more complex scenes and diverse data structures in play. Moving on, you get access to a 512GB 760p SSD. This solid-state storage module is PCIe compatible and comes across as extremely power-efficient.
When it comes to the operating platform, Gigabyte prefers the Windows 10 OS. The 15.6-inch OLED display, on the other hand, is a spectacle of sorts. With a cumulative resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels to rely on, followed by the 100 percent PCI-P3 palette, there aren’t many screens that can match the color accuracy exhibited by the AERO 15. Besides, the Pantone certified panel also flaunts sharper viewing angles and excellent sunlight visibility.
Gigabyte also brings a backlit, RGB Fusion 2-certified keyboard into the mix, followed by a functional webcam, precision touchpad, responsive fingerprint reader, and Nahimic speakers with surround sound enhancement for a better music listening experience. Another revolutionary feature is the Azure AI user interface, helping the gadget allocate resources as per the task complexity.
At 4.4 pounds, AERO 15 is one of the lightest Blender-compatible notebooks on our list. However, the sleekness doesn’t impact the top-notch cooling standards as this notebook includes the Grizzly Thermal remnants, stealth heat pipes, and beefed up fans to maximize heat dissipation.
Connectivity-wise, you hardly have a match with Gigabyte making way for Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, Mini DP 1.4, Card Reader, Gig Ethernet, and Wi-Fi 6 compatibility. To make full use of the WiFi 6 technology, you’ll need a good wireless router that is capable of handling gigabit speeds.
Amid the celebratory collection of specs, the 8.5-hour backup comes as a pleasant surprise, furthering the portability quotient, holistically. Overall, for the given price point, the Gigabyte AERO 15 trumps every other gadget on our list in terms of productive features.
- Excellent processor
- A sizable chunk of VRAM
- 760p SSD for power-efficiency
- Maximal heat dissipation
- Light and portable
- Long-lasting battery
- Top-of-the-line display
- Higher RAM allocation was expected
- No OptiX support owing to lack of RTX GPU
6. Best AMD-Powered: Lenovo Legion 5
The Lenovo Legion 5 is an exceptionally powered notebook that doubles down as a creative ally, courtesy of the exceptional GPU, and a host of other potent inclusions.
At the front, you get the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU, which is 46 times faster when compared against the multithreading performances of the i7-9750H processor. AMD flaunts the SMT or Simultaneous Multithreading technology for translating the octa-core processor into 16 threads for better Blender usage. Besides, the existing processor can support boosted clock speeds of up to 4.2GHz, for handling more demanding tasks.
Lenovo persists with the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU, which supports CUDA architecture for better real-time rendering and modeling performances, albeit in 3D. Furthermore, the gadget also brings in 6GB of video RAM for efficient handling of renders and creative tasks like photo editing, video editing, and more.
Legion 5 accommodates 16GB RAM that processes files and data at 3200MHz. This attribute is adequate-enough for handling complex scenes and poly meshes with ease. As far as storage is concerned, the 512GB NVMe unit is one of the better traits on offer.
Windows 10 Home edition is the pre-supplied operating platform that ensures an exceptional and intuitive interface for Blender-centric operations. The 15.6-inch 1080p display is minimalistic, color-accurate, and extremely vibrant. Moreover, if you are looking to indulge in some leisure gaming, the 144Hz refresh rate can be quite a handful.
Legion 5 flaunts a TrueStrike keyboard with unmatched durability and key travel of 1.5mm. Besides, Lenovo also makes room for an HD webcam bolstered further by a privacy shutter (recommended for online schooling), Harman Kardon speakers, smoothest possible trackpad, functional microphones, and the innovative Coldfront 2.0 thermal layout.
The cooling hardware clubbed with copper pipes, and heat-dissipating fans add to the heft of the Legion 5. At 5.42, this is one of the heaviest notebooks to rely on. In terms of connectivity, you have access to HDMI, Type-C, four USB 3.1 slots, and Wi-Fi 6 support. However, an 8-hour battery backup is often more than sufficient, in case you are looking to carry the gadget around for work.
Overall, the Legion 5 from Lenovo might be a bit chunky for our liking, but it certainly gets the creative job done, provided you are into Maya, Blender, Da Vinci Resolve, and other demanding applications.
- Octa-Core processor
- Exceptional battery
- Intuitive thermal design
- Upgradeable memory
- Brilliant keyboard
- Dual Burn gaming support for leisure indulgences
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Lacks Thunderbolt 3
7. Best with Dual Storage: Dell G5 15
In case you are looking to make the best use of the Blender creative suite, the Dell G5 15 is quite a resourceful laptop to invest in, courtesy of the relevant specs sheet and intuitive storage setup.
Processing performances are top-notch, courtesy of the Intel Core i7-9750H chipset. The 9th gen processor is one of your best bets for running Blender and other 3D modeling tools, with HyperThreading technology to rely on. However, the single-core turbo clock speed of 4.5GHz ensures the utmost inclusivity when other demanding tasks are concerned.
Production and real-time rendering performances are taken care of by the GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, boasting of Turing architecture, and adaptive shading expertise. While you get 896 CUDA cores to work with, the 4GB VRAM is what counts more, considering your inclination towards rendering, compositing, and 3D sculpting.
Dell accommodates 16GB of system memory for handling complex projects, scenes, and caching, whereas the storage requirements are handled by the SSD + HDD module. As a rule, you must install the latest version of Blender on the 256GB NVMe SSD module alongside data caches and the Windows 10 operating platform for faster boot-ups. Temporary files, projects, archived sources, and other static datasets can find their way onto the 1TB hard disk drive.
The 15.6-inch display on the G5 15 serves the creatives perfectly. While the IPS panel exhibits 1920 x 1080 pixels as the display resolution, it is the anti-glare screen that adds to the productivity-quotient, thereby minimizing any form of ocular strain.
Besides being a Blender-compatible laptop, Dell G5 15 also makes way for several professionally endearing specs, including a backlit keyboard with WASD support, Nahimic speakers, responsive trackpad, and an advanced thermal layout.
At 5.95 pounds, the laptop is anything but light. However, the port arrangement impressed experts to the core. Dell persists with a Thunderbolt 3 slot, connecting eGPUs and external displays that can take 3D creativity to a whole new level. Besides, you also get access to several legacy ports, including HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1, and more.
The battery stacked within churns out 8 hours or slightly less at times, depending on usage. To sum it up, the Dell G5 15 is one of the more powerful gadgets on the list, best characterized by the dual drive storage module, preffered by art students and 3D professionals.
- 9th gen processor with 12 threads
- Resourceful GPU
- Long-lasting battery
- Dual storage module
- Thunderbolt 3
- Anti-glare display
- Predictable design
8. Best Battery Life: HP Pavilion 15
The HP Pavilion 15 gaming laptop is a decent-enough option to consider if you are only willing to shell out close to 900 dollars for your creative indulgences.
Despite being a comparatively affordable machine, you get access to an Intel Core i5-9300H processor. As it is a quad-core processor, you get 8 threads to work with, which is a decent enough limit for basic scenes, minimalistic sculpting, and production rendering. The existing CPU can turbo clock at speeds of up to 4.1GHz, which comes in handy as a text and video editing resource.
You get a mid-range NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, which takes good care of the 3D rendering and modeling performances. In case the CPU looks to offload certain tasks, the existing graphics processor can be an extremely functional resource. The existing GPU is more than capable of handling software like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, QuickBooks, and more with considerable ease.
Multitasking, high-poly modeling, and basic rendering requirements are handled by 12GB of system memory. Storage-wise, you get access to a 512GB SSD module followed by the 32GB Optane memory for keeping the cached files handy. HP offers Windows 10 OS, straight out of the box.
HP makes room for a standard 15.6-inch 1080p display, boasting of anti-glare properties. The color-accurate screen is a good choice for compositing. Furthermore, WLED-backlit technology is extremely power-efficient. Although a majority of individuals regard the 60Hz refresh rate irrelevant for Blender, it can make a lot of difference in determining the quality of simulations and video editing.
The usual productivity-enhancing specs are persisted with, including a backlit keyboard, responsive trackpad, integrated webcam, and an efficient thermal layout. HP also makes room for amplified Bang and Olufsen speakers followed by the VR ready UI. From a structural purview, the gadget is pretty sleek and weighs less than 5 pounds. Port arrangement, however, is pretty standard with HP accommodating Type-C, USB 3.1, and a few legacy slots.
The battery on offer is capable of lasting close to 8.5 hours on moderate usage. But with rendering engines on, our experts were able to churn out 5 hours at max. Nonetheless, for a sub-$1000 price tag, the Pavilion 15 gaming laptop is quite a good catch, considering the mid-range processor and more than adequate battery life.
- 9th gen processor
- Dependable battery
- VR ready
- Anti-glare display
- Optane memory
- Upgradeable RAM slots
- The quad-core processor isn’t meant for top-level creatives
- No Thunderbolt 3
9. Best Under Budget: Lenovo IdeaPad L340
When it comes to 3D modeling, sculpting, and video editing performances, the Intel Core i5-9300H delivers more than expected, courtesy of the octa-threaded architecture. The excellent single-core turbo clock speed of 4.1GHz also adds to the credibility of the CPU.
Graphics-intensive processes like Eevee and viewport rendering are taken care of by the GTX 1650 GPU. Besides, the CUDA architecture plays a pivotal role in speeding up the modeling and rendering throughput. Blender is a VRAM monger, and 4GB of the same seems more like adequate for GPU acceleration, better sculpting, and high-poly mesh modeling.
Lenovo offers 8GB of RAM for handling simultaneous operations with ease. However, if you are into modeling and rendering moderately complex scenes, 8GB might fall short, and you might have to upgrade. The good thing is, upgrading your RAM is cheaper than purchasing a fully equipped laptop, but it requires you to open up your device and mess around with the hardware.
When it comes to storing data, archives, files, and projects, the 512GB SSD unit deserves a special mention, owing to the speed and stability of the existing unit. The solid-state drive also houses the Windows 10 OS and ensures faster boot-ups.
The stunning 15.6-inch screen is worth investing in, owing to the cumulative resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Although the color-accurate display doesn’t flaunt several bells and whistles, it is the Vantage Eyecare or the anti-glare panel that readily makes a difference. Other professionally resourceful specs include a responsive trackpad, integrated webcam with physical shutter, powerful speakers with Dolby Audio enhancement, and dual usage modes for sequential resource allocation.
At 4.84 pounds, the IdeaPad L340 is a portable device, relying primarily on Type-A, Type-C, HDMI 2.0, and a few additional legacy ports. Lenovo also offers 6.5 hours of autonomy before requiring a refill. In conclusion, this laptop from Lenovo is a reliable budget option for the entry-level creatives, mostly inclined towards video editing, 2D modeling, and viewport rendering.
- 9th gen processor
- NVIDIA 16-series GPU
- 4GB VRAM for complex scene rendering
- Decent storage capacity
- Eye-Care Mode
- No Thunderbolt 3 port
- Middling battery life
10. Best Thin Laptop: MSI GF63
As a globetrotting creative professional, you need to rely on portability more than anything else. This is where the MSI GF63 Thin comes in the mix, courtesy of a sleeker chassis, and a decent-enough specs sheet.
For starters, you get an Intel Core i5-9300H processor stacked within, featuring four cores and 8 parallel processing threads. Supporting the CPU is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU, clubbed with 4GB of VRAM. The CPU-GPU hybrid handles basic 3D modeling and production rendering with precision.
3D sculpting performances get a significant boost with 8GB RAM. However, MSI supports upgradeability up to 64GB RAM for accommodating more complex processes and 3D requirements. In terms of storage, you get access to a 512GB GB solid-state drive. MSI offers Windows 10 OS, straight out of the closet.
The 15.6-inch display is exceedingly color accurate and flaunts sharper viewing angles. With an overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, this is one of the brightest and most vibrant displays to view models and renders on. Besides, the IPS also flaunts 45 percent NTSC color gamut followed by thinner bezels for amplifying screen real-estate.
MSI also makes room for a backlit keyboard, Nahimic speakers with surround sound technology, a handy webcam-microphone combo, and an intelligent cooling layout. The brushed aluminum structure weighs a mere 4.1 pounds but doesn’t compromise on the connectivity specs, with the main inclusions being USB Type-C, HDMI, and more.
On moderate usage, the existing battery can last up to 7 hours and more before requiring a recharge. Overall, if portability is one of your many priorities as a creative individual, the MSI GF63 is the perfect laptop to consider.
- 9th gen processor
- Battery backup is above-par
- Color accurate screen
- Functional CPU-GPU combo
- Underpowered for high-poly models
- No Thunderbolt 3 support
11. Best for Beginners: Acer Aspire 5
The Acer Aspire 5 isn’t meant to drive exceptional creative performances but can certainly hold its own when basic 3D modeling and video editing tasks are concerned.
Under the hood, Acer flaunts the graphics-optimized Intel Core i5-1035G1 chipset. Despite being a low-power chipset, the quad-core, octa-threaded architecture can handle basic Blender functionalities with ease. Furthermore, the processor can turbo clock at speeds of up to 3.6GHz, if and when required.
Graphics-intensive tasks are initiated by the NVIDIA GeForce MX350 GPU. With 640 CUDA cores to rely on, the GPU acceleration levels aren’t commendable but can still lend ample support to the processor when basic 3D rendering is concerned. Acer also brings in 2GB VRAM for furthering the viewport rendering performances.
Running the software on a sub-$700 notebook is a luxury, but the Aspire 5 aims to achieve the same courtesy of the 8GB RAM. As far as storage is concerned, there is a 512GB SSD module to rely on. The solid-state drive can adequately store the achieved files, data sets, cached data, and the Windows 10 OS, besides speeding up the boot-up process significantly.
In terms of display, you get a 15.6-inch standard panel with LED-backlit support at the helm. The IPS screen exhibits a cumulative display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is more than adequate for standard compositing and 1080p video editing.
Professional productivity doesn’t take a backseat with Acer incorporating the standard additions like the backlit keyboard, HD webcam, TrueHarmony acoustic support, and an enviably sleek chassis that weighs a mere 3.97 pounds. When ports and connectivity standards are taken into account, Aspire 5 readily scales beyond some of the more premium inclusions. You get access to Wi-Fi 6 for enhanced web browsing, Gig Ethernet, Type-C port, USB 2.0 port, and other functional attributes.
The portability-quotient gets an additional boost with Acer exhibiting 8 hours of extended backup before requiring a refill. To sum it up, Acer Aspire 5 is the best laptop for running Blender on, provided you are looking for an affordable selection sans performance tradeoffs.
- Stellar display
- Wi-Fi 6
- Long-lasting battery
- Portable gadget
- Stellar display
- The processor isn’t powerful enough
- Not accommodative of complex scenes and renders
Frequently Asked Questions
GPU is mainly responsible for accelerating 3D modeling and rendering performances, whilst lending a helping hand to the processor. However, it becomes extremely important for Cycles production rendering and Eevee real-time rendering. According to us, a GPU with higher VRAM is preferred for better rendering performances. Although GTX cards would suffice, RTX opens up the OptiX API support and future-proofs your Blender usage.
Blender relies heavily on multithreaded performances and, therefore, it is necessary to opt for a chipset with a higher number of cores. However, you must look for processors that support HyperThreading technology for Intel families and SMT for AMD families to double up the number of logical cores.
3D sculpting is strictly a CPU-intensive task and requires decent multithreading performances. However, the CPU fails to leave an impression if the gadget doesn’t aggressively allocate RAM for handling cached data, especially for high-poly meshes and models.
Blender, especially the recent version, comes with a large memory footprint. Be it sculpting or mesh modeling, a sizable chunk of RAM improves the caching and data duplication system. This approach speeds up the processes and cuts down on lags. Therefore, 16GB is a bare minimum for mid-level professionals who consider Blender as their go-to creative suite.
If you are into large-scale 3D modeling and rendering, especially for studios, Maya is the go-to resource. However, Blender is the perfect fit for smaller businesses and even exhibits a smaller learning curve.
When it comes to addressing the storage requirements for Blender, you need to focus on cached data, archived files, and temporary files. Therefore, it is advisable to opt for a minimum 2-drive setup, including an SSD module and an HDD storage unit. If the laptop comes with yet another upgradeable slot for SSD storage, ‘read & write’ performances get an adequate boost.
Gaming laptops can handle 3D creative tasks with ease. Most gaming notebooks feature 9th gen H-series processors with at least 6 cores to rely on. Besides, the featured GPU and existing VRAM help improve the rendering outputs. Lastly, these gadgets feature innovative thermal layouts, which can prevent overheating despite hours of professional indulgence.
When buying a laptop for 3D editing and animation, make sure you choose the right graphics card. The GPU will make all the difference in the world when it comes to creating special effects. Apart from GPU, a fast processor is also a must-have as it will do all the calculations for you. These graphics cards and processors tend to be very expensive so, choose according to the size of your project.