Graphic designing has evolved as one of the more rewarding professions in the digital domain. While the basic premise involves drawing, designing, modeling, creating, and combining ideas for visually depicting concepts and messages, you require a lot of technical expertise to make it big in the concerned arena. Moreover, you need to be well-versed with Adobe CC suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, InkScape, etc.)
Then again, each one of the mentioned software sets for graphic designing requires exceptional levels of processing firepower. Besides that, you also need to look for portability, as most of the designers are always on the move. Also, if you are looking to purchase a productivity-centric device for your different designing indulgences, you need to focus on many aspects.
Professional graphic designers who are looking to set up workstations must consider a good GPU as the stepping stone towards amplified productivity. In hindsight, it isn’t a GPU-intensive task, but the final display and representation depend on how the graphics processor encodes the image.
While the GTX-10 or 16-series GPU might just be enough if you are a mid-level professional and happy with 8- bit color representation, you should consider workstation-grade Quadro GPUs for better color output.
As a pro-level graphic designer, you might work with GIMP, Affinity Designer, CorelDraw, and some other Adobe Suite applications. While we did talk about the role of GPU, it is necessary to consider a powerful CPU, preferably Intel H-series or K-series, with exceptional single-core performances, brilliant display with 100 percent sRGB color gamut, fast SSD storage, and a sizable chunk of RAM for handling larger workflows and multitasking requirements with ease.
Finally, to future-proof your gadget for matching up to the evolving standards, it is necessary to concentrate on upgradeability more than anything else. While CPU and GPU are the restrictive components, RAM and storage units can be expanded (in many devices) when required.
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- 11 Best Laptops for Graphic Design in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Razer Blade 15
- 2. Best Runner Up: Dell XPS 15 9500
- 3. Best RAM Allocation: Lenovo Legion Y540
- 4. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: HP Spectre x360 15t
- 5. Best Apple Laptop: Apple MacBook Pro
- 6. Best Value for Money: Asus ROG Strix G
- 7. Best Thin Laptop: MSI GF63 Thin
- 8. Best Budget Lenovo: Lenovo IdeaPad L340
- 9. Best Battery Life: Microsoft Surface Book 3
- 10. Best Under $800: Acer Aspire 7
- 11. Cheapest Option: Acer Aspire 5
- The Frequently Asked Questions
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
Minimum and recommended set of specifications are enlisted based on the budget, skill sets, expertise levels, and the overall system requirements. Most importantly, laptops flaunting only the minimum system requirements can also run major graphic designing software at optimal levels.
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||8th Gen Intel Core i5||8th Intel Core i7 or better|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD or more|
|Display||13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|Graphics||3GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050||4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 or better|
|Battery||Up to 5 hours||Up to 8 hours|
11 Best Laptops for Graphic Design in 2021
|Razer Blade 15|
|Dell XPS 15 9500|
|Lenovo Legion Y540|
|HP Spectre x360 15t|
|Apple MacBook Pro|
|Asus ROG Strix G|
|MSI GF63 Thin|
|Lenovo IdeaPad L340|
|Microsoft Surface Book 3|
|Acer Aspire 7|
|Acer Aspire 5|
Graphic designing relies a lot on the processing power of the laptop. However, more than the number of cores and the overkill GPU, it is the processing speed that matters. You also need to understand that a moderately powerful gadget will also crawl out UI designs, art, and illustrations. Still, it is the speed of the GPU, RAM, and CPU that matters when encoding and rendering performances are concerned.
Our experts used each of these machines to create brand-centric designs, personal layouts, logos, illustrations, app UIs, and other personal and professional layouts using highly demanding application programs like PhotoShop, Illustrator, and more.
1. Best Overall: Razer Blade 15
The Razer Blade 15 is one of the most sought-after laptops offered by Razer, courtesy of the brilliant craftsmanship and certainly a more than adequate specs sheet. Although this variant of Razer Blade 15 is still primarily considered as a gaming notebook, it can handle graphic designing or some of the more intricate tasks like video editing and 3D rendering with seamless ease.
Under the hood, It flaunts the competent Intel Core i7-9750H processor, capable of reaching turbo clock speeds of up to 4.5GHz. As laptop users, you need to understand that a powerful CPU matters the most. When it comes to running apps like Illustrator, InDesign, or the entire Adobe Creative Suite, you must emphasize more on single-core processing performances.
Although the H-series chipset outperforms in the given category, it also comes equipped with six cores and 12 threads for the more demanding processing jobs. The existing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU ensures that images, designs, vector illustrations, and other graphic designing aspects.
However, it is the memory speed of almost 12Gbps that ensures faster representations. The 6GB VRAM comes into play only if you are working on intricate 3D rendering or planning to connect multiple 4K monitors for a more cohesive professional workflow.
When it comes to handling multiple applications and resources at once, the 16GB of RAM support comes in as a handy computing trait. If you are a regular Adobe Photoshop user and looking to work with Motion designs, 3D renders, graphic layouts, web designs, and more, the existing RAM allows you to amalgamate diverse platforms at once, sans stutters.
Storage-centric requirements are handled by the 256GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. As a rule of thumb, you must try to install some of the more demanding application programs like Photoshop, GIMP, Illustrator, and CorelDraw Suite onto the SSD for ensuring quicker access. When it comes to the OS, it comes pre-installed with Windows 10.
The 15.6-inch display is a visual treat for the graphic designers, boasting of an edge-to-edge panel, 100 percent sRGB color gamut, and sharpest possible viewing angles. What stands out though is the matte screen, ensuring excellent sunlight visibility. For gamers, Razer brings forth a 144Hz screen refresh rate that contributes towards a better game-playing experience.
Razer takes good care of the productivity-enhancing specs with the Chroma backlit keyboard, silky touchpad, class-leading speakers, and a functional webcam-microphone association. The craftsmanship on display is nothing short of brilliant as it flaunts an aluminum unibody chassis and precision-cut edges.
At 4.63 pounds, this is still quite a portable device. The port management, however, is pretty intuitive with Razer making way for Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, and the elusive Thunderbolt 3 slot that allows you to pair external resources and transfer data at almost 40Gbps.
Apart from that, all the latest wireless standards are persisted with followed by a standard battery module, offering a 6-hour backup. Nevertheless, it is a great choice for the professional graphic designer in you, best characterized by the brilliant screen, trendy design accents, and the processing power.
- Powerful processor
- Dependable GPU with Turing Shaders
- Upgradeable memory
- Dual-storage module
- Stellar display
- Thunderbolt 3 support
- Middling battery
2. Best Runner Up: Dell XPS 15 9500
If you have the budget to opt for exceptional aesthetics without compromising a tad bit on processing performances, the Dell XPS 15 9500 is the notebook to consider.
For starters, there is a 10th gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor at the helm, capable of turbo clocking a speed of up to 5GHz. Therefore, this laptop is capable of handling any kind of graphics designing workload with ease. Our experts tested Photoshop CC by indulging in creative work, photo editing via multiple filters, and other demanding tasks. When it came to benchmarking results, the XPS 15 9500 outwitted the likes of XPS 15 7590 and the AERO 15.
In case of highly demanding graphic designing requirements, the CPU offloads certain tasks onto the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU that comes clubbed with 4GB VRAM. While the existing graphics process is slightly slower than the 1660 Ti, it is more than adequate for pro-level designing. However, the gaming results were middling as compared to some of the more powerful RTX 20-series GPUs (i.e., RTX 2080, 2070, and 2060).
In terms of RAM support, Dell expectedly offers 16GB, capable of handling multiple workflows and multitasking requirements with ease. The 512GB SSD unit is faster than a conventional HDD and helps minimize the device boot-up times considerably. The Windows 10 Home edition operating system supports all of your favorite graphic designing software.
However, it is the masterful display that steals the show, courtesy of the FHD+ resolution, amounting to 1920 x 1080 pixels. The edge-to-edge paneling ensures that there is a lot of screen real-estate for the designers to work with. Besides that, it boasts of exceptional color clarity owing to the 100 percent aRGB color gamut, VESA certification, HDR technology, and the 94 percent DCI-P3 gamut for a better wide-angle viewing experience.
Dell keeps innovating with a class-leading backlit keyboard and a responsive touchpad that’s 62 percent bigger than the predecessors. The existing set of speakers is insanely powerful, bolstered further by the 3D acoustic experience. Apart from that, there is a decent webcam and a serviceable microphone. The thermal layout with Dual-fans and stealth heat pipes for increasing dissipation is a praise-worthy addition.
From a structural purview, this is one of the sleekest ultrabooks in the market. At almost 4.5 pounds, the gadget also qualifies as portable. When it comes to ports, you get 3 USB Type-C units with 2 being Thunderbolt 3 compatible. Apart from that, it also features other legacy slots, Killer Wi-Fi 6, and a diverse array of wired and wireless connectivity schemes. The battery can last up to 12 hours on a single charge.
Overall, the Dell XPS 15 9500 is one of the more equipped gadgets for graphic designing, courtesy of a powerful processor, and top-notch portability. However, you can counter the only significant bottleneck i.e. the price, by opting for the refurbished Dell XPS 15 7590.
The certified refurbished model is probably the meatiest gadget on our list, featuring 32GB RAM, touch-support 4K display, 1TB SSD, comparable GPU sans the Titanium version, and a beefier battery.
- 10th gen processor
- Dependable GPU for designing
- Ultra-Fast RAM with a memory speed of 2933MHz
- Top-of-the-line display
- Long-lasting battery
- Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Doesn’t support high-end gaming
3. Best RAM Allocation: Lenovo Legion Y540
At the core, you get the powerful Intel Core i7-9750H chipset that comes equipped with HyperThreading technology. Despite the single-core, a turbo clock speed of up to 4.5GHz that can handle almost every graphic designing task with ease, the HyperThreading support also makes the Legion Y540 a great choice when multi-core rendering and gaming activities are concerned.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU flaunts the Turing Architecture and comes equipped with 4GB Video RAM. The existing graphics processing conglomerate is capable of handling and encoding some of the more intricate 2D and 3D designs with precision.
Lenovo concentrates a lot on multitasking and parallel workflows and ensures that you get 24GB RAM for a lag-free experience. Coming to storage, the dual setup, featuring a 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD works like a charm. While the SSD ensures that the Windows 10 OS, games, and demanding application programs like Photoshop and Illustrator load faster than usual, the 1TB hard disk offers a sizeable capacity for storing data, workflows, projects, and other beefy entities.
When it comes to the display, you get a 15.6-inch wide-angle screen, featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Lenovo takes good care of your eyes with the anti-glare panel. Moreover, LED-backlit technology on offer is extremely energy-efficient.
Lenovo also features a durable keyboard with white backlit support, a responsive trackpad, Harman speakers featuring the Dolby Atmos technology offering a wonderful music listening experience, a decent webcam, and a mic-headphone combo for further amplifying laptop productivity.
When it comes to weight, the gadget is tagged at 5.1 pounds. However, the port arrangement is pretty intuitive with Legion Y540 making way for USB 3.1, HDMI, Type-C, Mini DisplayPort, and a few additional wired and wireless connectivity slots and standards. The existing 57wh battery offers a 5-hour backup on moderate to heavy usage.
The Lenovo Legion Y540 is a class-leading device, best characterized by the massive storage and a significant chunk of RAM for avoiding gadget slowdowns.
- Excellent processor
- 24GB RAM
- Dual storage module
- Dual-Band Wi-Fi support
- Decent keyboard
- No Thunderbolt 3 support
- Underwhelming battery
4. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: HP Spectre x360 15t
If you are a graphic designer, looking for a nifty convertible that scales beyond the competition courtesy of the portability quotient, the HP Spectre x360 15t is the one to invest in.
When it comes to the processing performances, the Intel Core i7-9750H CPU enables you to handle every graphic design app, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and more without any issue. Besides featuring excellent single-core performances, the multi-threaded architecture makes this a perfect laptop for CAD modeling and rendering. The existing chipset turbo clocks at 4.5GHz and is ably assisted by the GeForce GTX 1650 GPU and 4GB of VRAM.
The existing processing conglomerate enables you to work with 3D designs and even consider 4K video editing ventures. When it comes to system memory, the 16GB RAM is a decent addition. Storage-centric preferences are handled by the ultra-fast 512GB SSD with NVMe support. The existing storage drive is sizable enough and can easily boot-up the Windows 10 Pro edition OS, originally supplied with the gadget.
The existing 15.6-inch touch panel is as vibrant as a laptop display can be, courtesy of the 4K resolution. Besides a cumulative pixel spread, amounting to 3840 x 2160, the Spectre x36015t also features a micro-edge screen layout, toughened Corning ‘Gorilla Glass’, and the BrightView technology for ensuring power-efficiency.
This gadget is also a handful if you are looking to indulge in leisure tasks like surfing, business meetings, and content writing, owning to the inclusion of a backlit keyboard, smooth and silky touchpad, B&O Speakers with the Audio Boost support, potent FHD webcam, and an array of powerful microphones.
The gem-cut design and a manageable heft of 4.79 pounds further add to the aesthetics of this powerful machine. Despite being a convertible, there aren’t any performance tradeoffs as HP packs in a USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support, HDMI 2.0, and other functional slots.
Besides wireless and wired connectivity specs, HP also packs in a powerful 84wh battery, realizing a backup of almost 15 hours, despite the 4K panel. Therefore, the HP Spectre x360 15t is one of the most appropriate laptops for graphic design, featuring ample firepower and top-of-the-line device portability standards.
- 9th Gen H-series chipset
- Stellar touch display
- Exceptional aesthetics
- Long-lasting battery
- A decent chunk of RAM
- 12MB cache memory for faster app access
5. Best Apple Laptop: Apple MacBook Pro
When it comes to MacBooks, a graphic designer has a limited number of options to rely on. However, the newest MacBook Pro is all about raw performance and immersive graphic designing indulgences, therefore giving an edge to the professionals.
Under the hood, Apple packs in the Intel Core i7-9750H processor with 12MB of L3 cache and turbo clock speed of up to 4.5GHz. The existing processor is more than capable of handling Graphic Design Studio, Sketchbook, and other applications like LibreCAD. However, if you are looking to explore walkthroughs, 3D models, and renders, the AMD Radeon Pro 5300M dedicated GPU and the Intel UHD 630 iGPU work in tandem for making way for the best possible visuals.
When it comes to the VRAM, Apple features 4GB GDDR6 memory with faster bandwidth. This feature comes in handy if you are looking to set up workflows using external 4K devices. Apple brings forth an upgradeable 16GB RAM followed by an ultra-fast 512GB solid-state storage drive. Both these features allow you to work seamlessly with larger files and projects without hitting a dead end. You also get the latest macOS Catalina, pre-installed within the MacBook.
Graphic designers are best served by the 16-inch screen with an overall resolution of 3072 x 1920 pixels (close to 4K resolution.) The Retina Display technology adds to the visual clarity of this laptop whereas the extensive P3 color gamut ensures exceptional color reproduction levels. Put simply, the GPU and display work in cohesion to portray the processing output of the processor by visualizing exceptional designs with perfect color contrast and saturation.
The magic keyboard amplifies productivity followed by the responsive trackpad with the integrated TouchID. The touch supported Touch Bar makes professional activities easier whereas the six-speaker system makes room for exceptional acoustics. Apart from that, Apple also brings in a top-of-the-line webcam and an enhanced microphone array.
The MacBook Pro 16 is also known for the brilliant thermal architecture, featuring a massive heat sink and improved heat dissipating fans. Despite having fan-based thermal management, it’s one of the quietest laptops and feels very similar to fanless machines.
Apple flaunts a sleek chassis that weighs a respectable 4.3 pounds. When it comes to ports, you get 4 Thunderbolt 3 units followed by other legacy slots for pairing peripherals and external displays. Apart from that, the company also flaunts high-end Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards, followed by a powerful battery with an 11-hour backup.
Overall, the MacBook Pro 16” is one of the more complete gadgets if you are looking for a pro-grade graphic designing machine.
- Powerful processor
- Exceptional dedicated and integrated graphics-centric performances
- Upgradeable memory
- Secured access
- Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Predictable design
6. Best Value for Money: Asus ROG Strix G
You must be very careful while selecting mid-range notebooks for designing, as you would want to spend the money wisely and based on diverse professional preferences. Therefore, if your requirements are strictly restricted to diverse forms of product graphics, logo designing, UI structuring, and more, the Asus ROG Strix G is the perfect option.
When it comes to power, you get a resourceful Intel Core i7-9750H processor. The existing chipset turbo clocks at 4.5GHz and is ably assisted by the GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, based on the Turing architecture. The powerful processor is the first line of defense against demanding graphic designing apps like Photoshop but does offload certain tasks to the GPU that is further bolstered by the 4GB VRAM.
Multitasking feels like a charm of this gadget courtesy of the 16GB RAM. As far as storage is concerned, you get access to a 1TB SSD unit with PCIe support that can load the Windows 10 Home edition operating platform and the demanding application programs with ease.
The 15.6-inch display is all about clarity and precision. Moreover, thin bezels ensure that there is a lot of screen size to work with. Asus boasts of a cumulative display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels that further enhance the quality of the IPS display.
Productivity is never an issue with the ROG Strix G, courtesy of the WASD compatible, fast-actuating keyboard with 4-zone RGB support. The N-key rollover tech and the keystroke durability of almost 20 million cater well to the content creators and occasional gamers. Apart from that, there is an integrated and smooth touchpad followed by powerful speakers, a serviceable webcam, and functional microphones.
When it comes to thermals, the ADC cooling tech and the sizable fans are class-leading additions. Besides that, the laptop weighs close to 5.28 pounds and features USB 3.0, 3.1, Type-C, and other functional ports, followed by the Wi-Fi 5 connectivity standards. The battery, however, is a middling addition and barely churn out 5 hours, on a single charge.
To sum things up, the ROG Strix G from Asus is a performance-oriented machine that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.
- Hexa-core processor
- A significant amount of RAM
- Sizable storage capacity
- Innovative cooling tech
- Top-of-the-line Keyboard
- Underwhelming battery
- No NVMe storage support
7. Best Thin Laptop: MSI GF63 Thin
Are you looking for a budget laptop that can run games like Fortnite, PUBG, Overwatch, League of Legends, etc., and also help you with your graphic designing work? In that case, the MSI GF63 Thin with the Intel i7 CPU + 16GB RAM + NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU is the one.
If you are interested in a mid-range, professionally compatible notebook that doubles down as a gaming device, the MSI GF63 Thin is the best option in the market.
The Intel Core i7-9750H chipset guarantees power and performance. The processor’s best thing is the single-core performance, validated by the Turbo Clock speed of up to 4.5GHz. Graphics-intensive tasks like 3D modeling and rendering are perfectly handled by the GeForce GTX 1650 GPU that boasts the Max-Q layout, thereby increasing processing performances. Moreover, the existing graphics processor also comes integrated with 4GB VRAM.
While the processing conglomerate makes sure that every graphic designing app, including Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop, runs with ease, the 16GB RAM takes care of simultaneous usage and multitasking. The Dual-Channel RAM is followed by the 512GB solid-state drive, with NVMe compatibility.
The GF63 Thin persists with the standard 15.6-inch panel and a 1080p display resolution. Besides that, the graphic designers are best served by the 45 percent NTSC color gamut and the inclusion of slimmer, ultra-thin bezels.
When it comes to additional specs, you get a standard backlit keyboard, integrated touchpad, balanced HD webcam, and a decent set of speakers and microphones. The cooling tech, however, is extremely innovative, with MSI boasting of a dual fan set up, 7 stealth pipes, and 4 exhaust vents, all working in cohesion as a part of the cooler boost arrangement.
At 4.10 pounds, this notebook lives up to its name and doesn’t compromise on the port arrangement by featuring USB 3.2 Gen 1, Type-C, and a few additional slots for data transfer and display pairing. The existing battery is capable of lasting up to 8 hours, depending on usage.
Overall, this is an extremely portable laptop, best suited towards professional graphic designers who are constantly traveling and on the lookout for more portable options.
- A faster processor that is 10 percent faster than the 8th gen chipsets
- Powerful GPU with Max-Q technology
- NVMe compatible storage module
- Decent battery support
- Portable and sleek form factor
- No Thunderbolt 3 support
8. Best Budget Lenovo: Lenovo IdeaPad L340
While there are many good laptops that cost less than $800, the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 is one of the most preferred options among creative professionals.
Although there are many machines that are suitable for designing, the IdeaPad L340 from Lenovo comes across as a decent selection owing to the competent processing hardware optimized with good GPU selection.
Under the hood, Lenovo stacks in the class-leading Intel Core i5-9300H chipset with a turbo boost clock speed of up to 4.1GHz. Every graphic designing application is ably supported by this chipset, courtesy of the above-par single-core performances. The Hexa-Core SoC is complemented by the GeForce GTX 1650 GPU that works in the cohesion of 4GB VRAM.
When it comes to system memory, Lenovo only offers 8GB of RAM but supports upgradeability. Therefore, it is best advisable to use this gadget as the primary workstation and multitask with restraint. In terms of storage, you get the 512GB NVMe solid-state drive that comes with the support for upgradeability. Windows 10 is the existing operating platform, pre-installed by Lenovo.
The Full HD IPS panel also boasts of a cumulative resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Lenovo also comes with the Vantage mode for safeguarding the eyes against the screen glares.
As far as productivity is concerned, Lenovo brings in the backlit keyboard, responsive touchpad, powerful speakers with Dolby audio enhancement, and a serviceable webcam-microphone combo. Most importantly, the thermal layout is pretty innovative and subject to personalization, based on the distinct productivity modes, including the Quick mode for better gaming and the quiet mode for professional activities like graphic designing, audio production, and more.
The IdeaPad L340 is a bit on the heavier side at almost 4.84 pounds but doesn’t compromise on the existing array of ports. Lenovo boasts of HDMI 2.0, USB Type-A, USB 3.2 Gen 1, Wi-Fi 5, and more. The featured battery is capable of lasting up to 6.5 hours before requiring a recharge.
The IdeaPad L340 from Lenovo is all about power, heft, and desktop-like performances. This is one of the better choices in the market if you are looking to compromise on the portability quotient.
- Powerful processor
- Upgradeable memory
- Dependable battery
- Dual working modes
- No Thunderbolt 3 support
- Bulky design
9. Best Battery Life: Microsoft Surface Book 3
A graphic designer who relies heavily on performance despite always being on the move can easily consider the Surface Book 3 for his or her professional indulgences. If you belong to this category, this detachable laptop is expected to fulfill each one of your productivity-centric requirements in a heartbeat.
Under the hood, Microsoft has the Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor. Despite being a low-power, graphics-optimized chipset, it can give the likes of H-series SoCs a run for their money, courtesy of the single-core performances. This quad-core processor boasts of a turbo clock speed of up to 3.9GHz which is more than adequate for raster and vector graphic designing.
The existing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 clubbed with 4GB RAM is a decent addition and fits in perfectly if you are looking to indulge in video editing or bigger projects upon pairing external displays with the highest possible resolutions. The Max-Q GPU is extremely power-efficient and keeps heat generation to a minimum, despite demanding graphics-intensive tasks and mid-range gaming.
When it comes to the display, the 13.5-inch touch screen panel might be slightly restrictive for a more expressive graphic designer. However, the tablet-like form factor followed by the Stylus Support more than makes up for this minor bottleneck. When it comes to resolution, you get 3000 x 2000 pixels which adds to the visual quality of the laptop.
Next in line is the sleek yet efficient backlit keyboard followed by the smooth touchpad, front-firing speakers, and dual camera setup. You also get a decent set of studio microphones on this gadget for further amplifying the professional quotient. Despite being a sleek gadget, the Surface Book 3 is durable enough courtesy of the metallic chassis.
At 3.62 pounds, this is one of the lightest detachable notebooks in the market, featuring a slew of functional ports and connectivity specs, including USB 3.1 Type-A, Type-C, Power Delivery Revision technology v3.0, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0. When it comes to battery backup, the keyboard-attached unit can go up to 15.5 hours on a single charge.
To sum it up, there is no better laptop for graphic design than Surface Book 3 if you are on the lookout for the best possible balance between power and portability.
- Graphics-optimized processor
- Low processing TDP
- Sleekest form factor
- Enthralling display
- Long-lasting battery
- Not fit for gaming
10. Best Under $800: Acer Aspire 7
If you are only interested in graphic designing and looking for a budget-centric notebook that can virtually run any application related to this domain, the Acer Aspire 7 is a pretty resourceful option.
When it comes to raw power and performance, the Intel Core i5-9300H chipset exceeds expectations. The Hexa-Core processor clubbed with HyperThreading technology is a great asset, provided you are looking to indulge in more complex vector and raster graphics followed by 3D and motion designing. However, the single-core performances associated with this gadget are top-notch and capable of handling every graphics-intensive requirement with ease.
The existing processor works in tandem with the GeForce GTX 1650 GPU that boasts of the Pascal Architecture and 4GB of dedicated VRAM with a decent memory bandwidth for faster processing, if and when external displays and workflows are involved.
You also get decent multitasking support with the 8GB RAM and major projects and designs can be stored with ease at the 512GB SSD unit. The NVMe storage unit is ultra-fast and helps load the Windows 10 OS and the demanding application programs in the least possible time.
The 15.6-inch display boasts of exceptional color reproduction levels courtesy of the overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Moreover, Acer offers a widescreen and all-screen viewing experience courtesy of the thinnest possible, 0.24-inch bezels. Designs on the Aspire 7 look brilliant and true-to-life owing to the 72 percent NTSC color gamut.
Other productivity-centric specs include a backlit keyboard with a dedicated Numpad and a decent key travel, an innovative Precision touchpad with an integrated fingerprint scanner, dual speakers with Acer’s proprietary acoustic boost, a 720p webcam, and voice purified microphones.
This gadget weighs close to 7.28 pounds and comes equipped with a standard USB 3.1 Type-C, Type-A, HDMI ports, and dual-band Wireless support followed by Gig Ethernet connectivity. Acer doesn’t compromise on the battery backup and ensures an 8.5-hour backup, upon moderate to heavy usage.
Overall, the Aspire 7 from Acer might not be a top-of-the-line gadget for graphic designing but it gets the job done if you are only into designing and nothing GPU-intensive.
- Class-leading processor
- Long-lasting battery
- Precision touchpad
- A decent chunk of RAM
- NVMe supported SSD unit
- Not meant for gaming or 3D rendering
11. Cheapest Option: Acer Aspire 5
As a graphic designer on a budget, you can blindly put faith in the new and efficient Acer Aspire 5. Despite being a sub $700 laptop, the Aspire 5 is an extremely capable unit, best known for the graphics-centric processing consortium and several productivity-centric attributes.
When it comes to the relevant processing performances, concerning the unhindered usage of the Adobe CC applications and even 3D modeling resources, Acer makes room for the Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU. The quad-core, graphics-optimized chipset assumes a turbo clock speed of up to 3.9GHz, which is good enough for several mid-range designs, logos, typography, and even animations.
Lending support to the mobile SoC is the entry-level GeForce MX350 graphics card. Faster than the MX250 GPU by almost 20 percent, the MX350 is more than capable of managing several GPU-accelerated processes, as and when initiated by Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and more. The 2GB VRAM, clubbed with the GPU, is capable of managing texture-intensive designs and several entry-level games.
However, it is the 8GB DDR4 RAM that makes a world of difference to the graphic designing performances. The ultrafast chunk of system memory empowers the mid-range CPU and enables the same to process more intricate designs at a faster rate. Completed designs, files, datasets, and applications find their place in the 512GB SSD unit. The solid-state drive is also capable of booting up the Windows 10 OS in a heartbeat, whilst projecting the same as a visibly stunning interface.
Acer also accommodates a 15.6-inch screen, which is a major creative resource, courtesy of the Color Intelligence technology. The 1080p screen also exhibits slimmer bezels with the IPS technology making way for sharper viewing angles. The color-accurate screen is bested by the inclusion of the BlueLightShield technology, which showcases class-leading anti-glare properties.
Coming to the gadget functionality, Acer Aspire 5 showcases a relevant backlit keyboard for assisting the content creators. Besides, the TrueHarmony stereo speakers add to the acoustic output. From a professional perspective, this sleek and 3.97-pound gadget accommodates an HD webcam, voice-purified speakers, and the widest possible range of connectivity specs.
Acer includes the Type-C port, USB 3.1 Gen 1 slot with power-off charging support, HDMI port for pairing external devices, Ethernet slot with Gig speeds, Bluetooth 5.0 standard, and support for the Intel-powered Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. As far as the gadget autonomy is concerned, Acer manages to churn out close to 8 hours, before needing a refill.
Considering each of the mentioned specifications, the Aspire 5 is one of the most competent laptops for a mid-level graphic designing professional, more so due to the graphics-optimized, low-power processor in play.
- 10th gen processor
- Entry-level GPU despite the budget tag
- Upgradeable storage
- Enthralling screen
- Wi-Fi 6 support with 2×2 MU-MIMO support
- Not meant for heavy gamers
- Cannot double down as a 3D rendering workstation
The Frequently Asked Questions
Why additional cores wouldn’t guarantee exceptional graphic designing performances?
Graphic designing is a single-core process and therefore best initiated by CPUs that offer higher clock speeds for the single-core and even support overclocking. Therefore, an 8 core processor might not be the most cost-effective bet for a graphic designer and wouldn’t offer any additional benefit as compared to a Hexa-Core i7 processor.
Do you need high RAM for graphic designing?
When graphic designing is concerned, it is the CPU that does a majority of heavy lifting. However, in case you are working with applications like Photoshop and Illustrator at once, the complexity of multitasking might eat into the system memory. Therefore, additional RAM is always advisable for a more professional setup, just to ensure that the system doesn’t lag or freeze.
Why should you invest in a good display?
A good display helps you understand the color contrast and saturation levels of the design. Therefore, while a Full HD panel is a bare minimum for at least checking the brightness of the vector and raster designs, it is necessary to have at least 72 percent NTSC color gamut or 100 percent sRGB color gamut for better outputs.
What is the importance of sRGB, aRGB, and NTSC color gamut for graphic designing?
sRGB and Adobe RGB are the color standards used by laptops to ensure that there are minimal color differences between the actual design color and the one that comes out in the print. NTSC or the National Television Standards Committee is more of a standardized unit as most of them come with 72 percent NTSC color gamut which is equivalent to 99 percent sRGB. In most cases, the NTSC color gamut is comparable to the Adobe color gamut.
Is an SSD a must for graphic design?
A good laptop for graphic design must have a fast solid-state drive although you can also work with a hard disk drive. SSD, especially the ones featuring the NVMe technology load data, files, and the application programs faster than a conventional HDD. This feature comes in handy if you are constantly traveling and looking to save loading times.
As per experts, graphic designing isn’t a hugely demanding process and can be pursued professionally if the gadget has a powerful processor. However, depending on the aligned preferences, additional skills sets, and the budget, you can always zero in on the best possible notebook, by carefully analyzing the aforementioned gadgets.
- If you are looking for an all-round notebook that can even double down as a leisure gaming machine, the Razer Blade 15 is the best option to look at.
- If you feel that the 16GB RAM might run out easily, based on your multitasking preferences, the Legion Y540 from Lenovo is a better choice.
- If you are still looking for decent gaming performances without going for overkill in the GPU department, the MSI GF63 Thin is a preferred option.
- If the screen size isn’t a factor, the Surface Book 3 from Microsoft is one of the better-looking gadgets for professional graphic designers.
- In case you’re looking for a professional device for working from your home office, then you should consider getting the Dell XPS 15 9500.
Our aim with this post is to ensure that one gets the best graphic designing experience. Let us know which device are you getting? You can also get in touch, if there’s another machine that’s worth being added to this, our editorial team regularly moderates & updates the guides.