10 Best Laptops For Cricut Explore Air, Air 2, Maker & Joy in 2021

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Most of the modern laptops can work with the Cricut Explore Air, Air 2, Joy, Maker without running into any issues. But why get the one that is JUST compatible when you can get a much better machine that provides high performance without breaking the bank?

Whether you are a beginner or an expert at precision crafting, the laptops in this list will keep up with the performance so that you can focus on your work. For those who don’t know about electronic cutting machines, we’re going to explain a bit about them.

But if you already have enough knowledge about them, spend huge working with them, and are just looking for laptop suggestions, then feel free to jump to the list.

The Cricut Maker & Explore Air, Air 2 are among the top-rated electronic cutting machines. They are quite popular among people and businesses based on arts and crafts. It cuts out the paper on a special adhesive mat. These cutting machines can cut vinyl, foam paper, leather, and other fabrics & materials for crafting purposes. Besides all of the above, the device can also be used as a printer to print designs.

Is your current laptop unable to work properly with the Cricut Design Space (some people call it Design Studio) software or the Explore Air, Air 2, or Maker even after trying all the troubleshooting steps? You certainly must be looking for a new laptop that can efficiently work and connect with the device.

Cricut Explore Air, Air 2, Cricut Maker, and Design Space System Requirements

You will be using the Cricut Design Space software a lot when working on the Cricut cutting machines. Besides providing a space for designing, it’s also an interface between the laptop and the machines be it Cricut Joy, Air, Air 2, Cricut Maker or even the old Explore One. Below we’ve listed the minimum & recommended specifications to concentrate on. We also listed the specs for each laptop, making it easy to compare them.

 Minimum System RequirementsRecommended System Requirements
CPUIntel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3Intel Core i5 or above
RAM4GB8GB or above
Storage256GB SSD or 1TB HDD512GB SSD
Display15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768)15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
BatteryUp to 5 hoursUp to 8 hours
ConnectionUSB port or Bluetooth® connectionUSB port or Bluetooth® connection
OSWindows 8 or LaterWindows 10 Home/Pro
Not Compatible with Windows in S Mode

A laptop that meets the above-stated specifications will readily help you multitask, use other software, web browsers, etc., concurrently. Additionally, it can also ensure butter-smooth performance when connected with Cricut Explore and Maker.

Best Laptops for Cricut Explore, Air 2, Joy & Cricut Maker in 2021

Now that you know the system requirements, it’s time for you to go through the highly-suitable models for Cricut Explore. In the subsequent sections, we’ve ranked and reviewed the top 10 options from reputable laptop brands to handle your crafting needs!

ImageNameFeaturesCheck Price
ASUS ZenBook 15
  • CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-10510U
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch 4K UHD IPS (3840 x 2160)
  • Graphics: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
  • Battery: Up to 9 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
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MSI Prestige 14
  • CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-10510U
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch 4K UHD IPS (3840 x 2160)
  • Graphics: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
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Apple MacBook Air
  • CPU: 7-Core Apple M1 Chip
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 13.3-inch FHD Retina (2560 x 1600)
  • GPU: Integrated Apple 8-core
  • Battery: Up to 18 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
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HP Pavilion x360
  • CPU: 1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G1
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch FHD IPS Touch (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 2GB Nvidia GeForce 940MX
  • Battery: Up to 9 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
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HP Pavilion 15-CS
  • CPU: 1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G1
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD graphics
  • Battery: Up to 8 Hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
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MSI Modern 14
  • CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-10210U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0
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Dell Inspiron 15 5502
  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-1135G7
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Xe
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1

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Lenovo Ideapad 3
  • CPU: 1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G1
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch HD Touch (1366 x 768)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD G1
  • Battery: Up to 7 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.0
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Acer Aspire 5
  • CPU: 2.3GHz AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: Integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
  • Battery: Up to 7.5 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.0
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Asus VivoBook 15
  • CPU: 2.1GHz AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon Vega 8
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1
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  • CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-10510U
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch 4K UHD IPS (3840 x 2160)
  • Graphics: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
  • Battery: Up to 9 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0

Hands down, the ZenBook 15 from Asus is the best laptop for Cricut, especially if you want a dedicated secondary display. More accurately: a ScreenPad. Asus takes laptop innovation to the next level and even fulfills diverse laptop requirements for Cricut machines and the proprietary Design Space.

CPU

At the core, you have a U-series processor from Intel, boasting turbo clock speeds of up to 4.9GHz. The Intel Core i7-10510U chipset might be mid-range but capable of easing through every Cricut-friendly design via Photoshop, Illustrator, and other resources.

GPU

The quad-core processor is perfectly complemented by the GTX 1650 graphics card. However, Asus trims down the intensity of the graphics card by including a power-efficient, Max-Q version of the same. Next in line is the 16GB RAM module, making it the best laptop to use with Cricut design space.

RAM and Storage

Coming to the storage, there is a 512GB SSD unit in place, which readily adheres to the Cricut Explore Air 2 requirements. Besides, the ZenBook 15 runs Windows 10 OS, right of the box. However, with such a sizable chunk of RAM in place, you can also install Linux distros for managing Cricut work with Linux OS.

Display

Furthermore, the 15.6-inch screen is one of the better features associated with this Cricut-compatible laptop. The 4K panel assumes an overall resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels followed by slimmer bezels and a wide-angle viewing experience, precisely for envisioning every Cricut element, as it is.

Keyboard and Design

This notebook doesn’t sell you short in terms of functionality and stacks in several important resources, including the IR webcam, Alexa-compatibility, backlit keyboard, MIL-STD durability, and the revolutionary ScreenPad 2.0.

Regardless of the otherwise impactful specs sheet, it is the ScreenPad 2.0 that makes quite an impression, offering a 5.65-inch touchscreen to the Cricut professionals. The existing secondary panel works as an app switcher or Slide Xpert upon demand and amplifies the multifunctional capabilities of this laptop.

Ports

Not to mention the light form factor with the ZenBook 15 weighing a mere 3.6 pounds to be exact. That said, it is the connectivity suite that deserves all our attention. The excellent spread of Type-A, Type-C, and HDMI ports followed by Wi-Fi 6 standard make it one of the better options for Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore, and almost every other machine.

However, the Cricut Maker Bluetooth support is pretty snappy and allows you to connect the machines, sans lags. Not just that, this gadget churns out almost 9 hours of battery backup, despite the 4K screen stretching the same to the precipice.

Overall, if you seek the best laptop for Cricut Explore Air, Cricut Maker, or any other machine that concerns vinyl cutting and other crafting solutions, the Screenpad equipped Asus ZenBook 15 is the best option to invest in.

Pros
  • Brilliant display
  • Ultrafast processor
  • Commendable battery backup
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Light and portable
  • Stellar display
Cons
  • Middling storage space
  • Pricey
  • CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-10510U
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch 4K UHD IPS (3840 x 2160)
  • Graphics: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0

The first laptop on our list is strictly a creator-ready device, best suited for Cricut, graphic designing, and even audio editing. While the existing specs sheet associated with the MSI Prestige 14 is in sync with almost every design you envision, it is the beautiful display and an efficient processor that takes center-stage.

CPU

At the core, the Prestige 14 houses the reliable, Intel Core i7-10510U chipset. The quad-core processor is capable of reaching clock speeds of up to 4.9GHz, which is good enough for almost every graphics-heavy process. Therefore, you can use the Prestige 14 as a part of your Cricut workstation, while working in Photoshop and Illustrator as the apps of choice.

GPU

What impressed us the most about the MSI Prestige 14 is the inclusion of the Max-Q variant GTX 1650 processor! Unlike some other gaming devices that stack overkill GPUs, MSI only houses a mid-range, power-efficient graphics card. While gaming might take a backseat, you can manage diverse GPU-accelerated processes like color grading and more with ease.

RAM and Storage

Moreover, the 16GB single-socketed RAM module readily qualifies the Prestige 14 as the best laptop for crafting, regardless of the Cricut version you choose to go with. Starting from the basic Cricut Go to the more advanced Cricut Maker, the Prestige 14 is good enough for almost every machine you wish to add to your crafting routine.

Then again, our only gripe is the inclusion of LPDDR3 RAM, which clocks at a middling speed of 2133MHz. However, the i7 processor more than makes up for the same!

As far as the storage support is concerned, the 512GB NVMe-compatible storage drive is fast enough. Plus, it even boots up the Windows 10 Pro OS at enviable speeds.

Display

MSI doesn’t cut corners when the display is concerned and offers a pretty vibrant, 14-inch screen. Coming to the resolution, the 4K panel exhibits 3840 x 2160 pixels. The UHD panel combined with the thinnest possible bezels allows you to ideate and realize the designs in their truest form.

Design and Keyboard

Productivity doesn’t take a backseat either as MSI fits in the Studio’s drivers for better graphics followed by the elusive CalMAN verified screen. The white-backlit keyboard is a great-looking asset and adds to the aesthetic appeal of this 2.64-pound notebook, making it suitable for traveling.

Ports

The connectivity suite is what interests us the most, with the likes of Thunderbolt 3 and USB 2.0 ports qualifying this as the best computer for Cricut Explore and explore air. In addition to wired connections, this laptop also allows you to establish remote connections, courtesy of Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 standards.

Lastly, you get 10 hours of battery life between charging. Therefore, if you are looking for a premium yet portable laptop for your Cricut creations, the MSI Prestige 14 is the best one to have.

Pros
  • Light and portable
  • Thunderbolt 3 support for fast wired connections
  • 10th gen processor
  • Requisite graphics support
  • Top-of-the-line display
Cons
  • Sluggish RAM
  • Expected better storage support
  • CPU: 7-Core Apple M1 Chip
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 13.3-inch FHD Retina (2560 x 1600)
  • GPU: Integrated Apple 8-core
  • Battery: Up to 18 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0

Without a doubt, the new MacBook Air M1 qualifies as one of the best computers to use with Cricut Design Studio. And yes, macOS and Apple computers are compatible with Design Space. If you love the Apple experience and looking for a light-weight yet efficient device that can be part of your Cricut workstation and help generate almost every type of design for your Cricut, the MacBook Air a great choice.

CPU

At the core, Apple houses the proprietary M1 chip, capable of reaching maximum clock speeds of up to 3.2GHz. Moreover, the octa-core chipset comes loaded with 4 efficient and 4 performance cores, making it good enough for almost every design, regardless of the resource load.

GPU and RAM

Besides, the MacBook Air M1 also throws in an 8-core GPU, which paves the way for faster graphics and readily qualifies the same as the best laptop for vinyl cutting. As vinyl cutting beckons complex designs and customization across the Design Space V4.0.51, the high-speed 8GB RAM comes in as a reliable ally.

Storage

While the storage space at 256GB is on the lower side, we would still tag this as the best laptop to use with Cricut Explore Air 2 owing to the availability of high-speed ports. However, the existing storage module is insanely fast and trumps even the NVMe-compatible units.

Display

The 13.3-inch display might be a deal-breaker for certain Windows-dependent individuals. However, the Retina Display and overall resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels add to the quality of visuals. Therefore, if you are into complex designs, the existing screen allows you to assess the quality of colors, precisely for helping you perfect your craft. And the Thunderbolt ports make it easy to attach up to two more monitors to this device.

Keyboard and Peripherals

The MacBook Air M1 also makes room for the Magic keyboard, integrated FaceTime webcam, powerful mics, force trackpad, and secured Touch ID support. Not just that, the metal-clad, 2.8-pound MacBook Air M1 also boasts a fanless design, which allows you to work sans distractions. 

The connectivity suite deserves a special mention with two Thunderbolt 4 ports leading the way. Moreover, you also get Wi-Fi 6 support for speedier Design Space uploads and BlueTooth 5.0 for seamless Cricut Maker Bluetooth connections that are latency-free. 

Not just that, the 18-hour battery backup furthers the credibility of this excellent computing resource. Overall, if you are deep into Cricut designing and have a penchant for machines like Explore Air 2, Joy, and Maker, few gadgets come close to the new MacBook, in terms of performances and functionality.

Pros
  • Efficient AI-ready processor
  • Top-of-the-line integrated GPU
  • High-speed RAM for faster processing
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Lacks the ability to connect with Windows-based design apps
  • CPU: 1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G1
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch FHD IPS Touch (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 2GB Nvidia GeForce 940MX
  • Battery: Up to 9 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0

The new and optimized HP Pavilion x360 is arguably the best 2-in-1 laptop for Cricut maker. While there is a lot going for this notebook, as tested by our team of experts at Freedom251, the way it handles Cricut Design Space is second to none.

CPU

Under the hood, HP houses the graphics-optimized i5-1035G1 processor. This Intel core chipset doesn’t look like a lot but offers decent processing firepower for all your Cricut crafting needs. Not just that, the quad-core architecture followed by the HyperThreading technology allows you to go about the Photoshop designs, with precision.

GPU

Moreover, the HP Pavilion x360 also accommodates the GeForce 940MX graphics card. Allowing you to stay ahead with the design-specific requirements of the Cricut Maker. This GPU speeds up the graphics-accelerated designing processes, thereby adhering to the embossing and engraving requirements of the artisan in you.

RAM and Storage

You also get hold of 8GB RAM, which processes designs, files, and Design Space uploads at 3200MHz. The ultra-fast chunk of system memory is complemented by the 512GB solid-state drive. Now with the Design Space restricted to a subscription-only model, thereby restricting the number of uploads to 20, the existing storage module might come in handy.

Display

Coming to the user interface, the HP Pavilion x360 easily qualifies as the best laptop to use with the Cricut maker with the Windows 10 Home OS surmounting newer compatibility feats. For the display fanatics, the 14-inch 1080p  touch screen display is one of the highlights. Plus, you hardly need to worry about the bezels, owing to micro-edge paneling.

Keyboard and Periperals

As far as productivity is concerned, this gadget makes room for a pretty durable backlit keyboard, Alexa-support for hands-free control, stylus-compatibility, B&O speakers and a responsive webcam for video conferencing. Besides, the gadget weighs 3.5 pounds, which furthers the portability quotient.

Ports

However, if you are deep into creating products for home and commercial use, the HP Pavilion x360 is the best laptop to invest in. While it handles Cricut maker like a pro, it also features the top-of-the-line laptop specs for Cricut design space and the machines, including USB Type-C, HDMI, and other relevant slots.

That said, the Wi-Fi AX and Bluetooth 5.0 standards ensure faster and better wireless connections pertaining to the selected Cricut machine. The battery backup extends beyond the 9-hour mark and even responds to the fast charging support. Overall, the HP Pavilion x360 satiates the diverse laptop requirements for Cricut and qualifies as the best touch screen option for the hardcore crafter.

Pros
  • Portable machine
  • Excellent battery life
  • Graphics-optimized processor
  • High-speed RAM
  • Latest connectivity standards
Cons
  • Smallish screen
  • RAM isn’t upgradeable
  • CPU: 1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G1
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD graphics
  • Battery: Up to 8 Hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0

Provided you are looking for a functional, Cricut-friendly mid-range laptop for your crafting needs, the HP Pavilion 15-CS is a great choice.

CPU

While there is a lot going for this HP-branded laptop in terms of specs sheet, it is the mid-range Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor that stands out. The 10th gen graphics-optimized chipset isn’t a processing behemoth but still gets the job done, owing to the exceptional turbo boost clock speed reaching up to 3.9GHz.

GPU and RAM

Coupled with the UHD graphics support, the mobile processor is capable of sailing through even the most complicated Illustrator and Sure Cuts a Lot inspired Cricut designs. Moreover, HP offers access to 12GB RAM, which stands out as an exceptional multitasking resource.

Storage

Storage doesn’t take a backseat as you still get to work with a cost-justified, 512GB SSD. However, it is the additional 32GB Optane memory that stands out amid the otherwise decent specifications. The ultra-fast optane memory makes it the best laptop for Vinyl cutting, as the Design Space uploads are almost instantaneous.

Display

Moreover, the storage setup also boots up the Windows 10 OS in a heartbeat. The 15.6-inch display isn’t a pushover either and assumes an overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. However, we were most impressed with the touchscreen functionality and the WLED-backlit, power-efficient screen.

Keyboard and Ports

Other relevant and functional attributes on offer include the Wide Vision webcam, backlit keyboard, and dual speakers, bolstered further by the Audio Boost technology. At 4.08 pounds, this isn’t a heavy laptop either.

Connectivity-wise, you get a wide-range of attributes; including the Type-A, Type-C, and the HDMI out port followed by Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 support for setting up Cricut machines wirelessly.

Lastly, the 45W battery module churns out close to 8 hours at one go, and readily qualifies the HP Pavilion 15-CS as one of the best options for your Cricut and crafting indulgences.

Pros
  • Future-proof processor
  • Excellent connectivity suite
  • Reliable battery module
  • Touchscreen panel
  • Ultra-fast optane memory
Cons
  • Not meant for GPU-accelerated designs
  • CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-10210U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0

What is the best laptop to buy for a Cricut maker? For us, it has to be the one with the best color reproduction, something that the MSI Modern 14 takes pride in. However, the OEM doesn’t compromise other highs to accommodate a brilliant display and the entire specs sheet is class-leading, to say the least.

CPU and RAM

Powering the laptop is the Intel Core i5-10210U mobile SoC that can reach maximum clock speeds of up to 4.2GHz. Despite being a mid-range, low-power processor, it can still help you design Cricut-ready designs via Design Space. The 8GB DDR4 RAM is pretty snappy and makes the Modern 14 quick to boot and providing enough firepower for your crafting needs.

Storage

Storage-wise, the 512GB SSD is a price justified addition, best known for loading the design studio and the Windows 10 OS in virtually no time. The display, as mentioned, steals the show with the 14-inch panel exhibiting the 72 percent NTSC color gamut. Paired with a 1080p panel, the featured display helps you view the exact colors and design patterns, making Modern 14 one of the best laptops for Cricut Maker.

Keyboard and Ports

This gadget also stacks in a backlit keyboard, powerful speakers, and a True Color panel for added display-focused productivity. Moreover, this ultra-light laptop weighs a mere 2.62 pounds, making it one of the easiest options to carry around.

Apart from the unmatched portability, we also liked the connectivity suite in play with MSI offers Type-C, Type-A, Wi-Fi 5, HDMI, and Bluetooth 5.0 support. Therefore, you can connect any Cricut machine with this laptop either wired or in a wireless manner. The 10-hour battery backup exceeds expectations and allows you to manage multiple designs and prints sans requiring a refill.

In conclusion, if you seek a powerful laptop that is heavily loaded with display-specific perks, MSI Modern 14 is the one to consider.

Pros
  • 10th gen processor
  • A decent connectivity suite
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Brilliant display
  • Light and portable
Cons
  • Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Doesn’t offer a discrete GPU
  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-1135G7
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Xe
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1

The Dell Inspiron 15 5502 comes with a fast processor and has ample RAM. It not only meets but exceeds the display resolution requirements required to run the Cricut Design Space. So if you are looking for a budget laptop that can run with the Cricut machines such as the Explore & Joy, then this is the one for you!

Display, CPU, RAM and Storage

It is an excellent choice for casual movie watching. It has a 15.6-inch full HD display. It is a well-constructed silver color laptop with an intelligent and ergonomic design. It is fitted with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core processor with an 8GB DDR and 512GB SSD which increases the efficiency and makes the performance seamless and fast.

Peripherals

The laptop also comes with an HD webcam and a dual microphone which makes video calls easy. It has MaxxAudio pro audio to give you the best music experience. The SD media card reader helps you to transfer files quickly from and to the device to your laptops. It also has a headphone and microphone combo jack with high-quality built-in speakers.

The laptop has an operating system of Windows 10 home and can also be a good option for playing and streaming games on Platforms like Twitch using devices like Elgato Game Capture.

Ports

There is also fitted with a DVD writer and a digital media reader. Additional features include dual-band wireless Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for better connectivity. The laptop has 2 USB ports which are 3.1 USB port and 2.0 USB, which will help you connect with almost every type of device.

Pros
  • Widescreen display for a better view
  • Audio sound system for a good audio experience
  • Battery life is good for more extended use
Cons
  • Processor can be a little slower
  • It gets overheated very fast
  • CPU: 1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G1
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch HD Touch (1366 x 768)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD G1
  • Battery: Up to 7 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.0

If you need a fast i5 processor, have a tight budget, and at the same time want more than 8GB of RAM, then Lenovo Ideapad 3 is what you’re looking for! This device has all of these aspects covered within the budget of $600!

CPU and GPU

The laptop comes with the 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and Intel UHD Graphics G1 which is excellent for the given price. The storage in this laptop is plenty for you to store data quickly, and the performance of the laptop is seamless with no hiccups.

RAM and Storage

It has a whopping 12GB RAM and 256GB of SSD storage support. The 12GB RAM should be more than enough for running Cricut Design Space and other software concurrently!

Display and Peripherals

The display is 15.6 inches widescreen to provide a better view. The laptop weighs just 4.07 pounds making it light in weight. The operating system used in this laptop is Windows 10.

The all-new range by Lenovo Ideapad 3 is now thinner and lighter, making it more compatible and easy to travel with. So if you use the Design space to make designs at-home and carry the laptop to the office for using the Cricut Explore machine (Air 2 or Air), this lightweight laptop can really reduce your burden. It claims to have a state-of-the-art processor, accelerated graphics, and a recreated keyboard.

Ports

The laptop has multiple ports which are HDMI, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, audio/microphone combo jack. This wide range of USB ports will make sure you can connect with all types of devices without any hassle. The laptop also features Bluetooth, 720HD Mic, and a Wi-Fi connection so that you can easily connect with the internet.

Pros
  • Aattractive and sleek finish
  • 10th Gen i5 processor
  • Touchscreen support
  • 12GB of RAM
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • No USB Type-C port
  • CPU: 2.3GHz AMD Ryzen 7 3700U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: Integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
  • Battery: Up to 7.5 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.0

Are you still confused about purchasing a Cricut-friendly laptop that doesn’t burn a hole in the pocket? Worry not, as the second product on the list i.e. the Acer Aspire 5 comes forth as one of the better investments to make.

CPU

Starting out, Acer prefers keeping the feature sets strictly conventional with the Ryzen 7 3700U chipset. The 12nm mobile SoC assumes boosted clock speeds of up to 4GHz and offers four cores to work with. Therefore, the elementary Cricut processes that involve designs via apps like Silhouette Studio and Adobe Illustrator can be managed without breaking a sweat.

GPU

Moreover, as we mentioned, a dedicated GPU isn’t required for running Cricut Design Space. Therefore, the Radeon RX Vega 10 graphics co-processor will do just fine.

RAM

Acer accommodates 8GB of RAM, which is good enough for managing the Cricut professional workload. However, this might not suffice if you are looking at a as crafting, creating, and uploading designs in Design Space requires a massive chunk of system memory.

Storage and OS

512GB of storage space is more than enough for crafting designs you might create in other software. As a majority of designs and patterns are uploaded to the cloud, courtesy of the Cricut Design Space, laptop requirements for Cricut is hardly bottlenecked by lack of storage space. 

Plus, the existing NVMe-storage unit is capable of booting up the Windows 10 Home OS faster than laptops featuring SATA drives. However, when it comes to installing and using the Cricut Design Space, Windows OS is the most accommodative. 

Display

The display, on the other hand, is at par with any good laptop for a Cricut machine, with Acer featuring a 15.6-inch IPS panel. As far as resolution is concerned, you get 1920 x 1080 pixels right out of the box. Not just that, the slimmer bezels and Color Intelligence technology allow you to look at the designs, as envisioned.

Keyboard and Peripherals

Productivity-wise, this is one of the more reliable laptops on the list, boasting a standard backlit keyboard, stereo speakers, HD webcam, and a premium-looking chassis. Furthermore, at less than 4 pounds, this is also one of the more mobile and portable laptops for professional usage.

Ports

As far as connectivity is concerned, you get access to USB 2.0 and USB 3.1 ports for pairing external storage devices and peripherals with the laptop. Other specs include HDMI port, Wi-Fi 5 standard, and Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting Cricut Joy, Explore Air, and other gadgets wirelessly.

Coming to battery life, this unit offers 7.5 hours of standard backup, qualifying the Aspire 5 as the second-best cheap laptop for Cricut.

Pros
  • Octa-threaded processor for faster operations
  • Sizable RAM
  • Ultra-fast storage space
  • Long-lasting battery
  • A decent set of ports
Cons
  • Speakers might sound muffled
  • CPU: 2.1GHz AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon Vega 8
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours
  • Wireless Communication: Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1

What is the best laptop to buy for a Cricut maker if you are starting out with your venture? Consider looking at the Asus VivoBook 15 — a powerful yet affordable laptop that doesn’t push your finances out of the window.

CPU

To start with, you get a mid-range, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U chipset, which is best characterized by a burst clock speed of up to 3.7GHz. The quad-core architecture and the excellent single-core performances make it good enough for vinyl designs, wooden imprints, and other layouts.

GPU, RAM and Storage

Plus, there is an acceptable Vega 8 integrated graphics co-processor to rely on, primarily for managing the visual experiences better. With 8GB RAM to work with, the Vivobook 15 fulfills one of the most important Cricut Explore Air 2 laptop requirements. However, the 256GB SSD is not the largest hard drive space, but since all designs are in the cloud it will be more than enough for other craft files and inspiration photos you might want to save.

Display and Peripherals

Coming to the display, the 15.6-inch screen is anything but dull. Despite this being a 1080p panel, Asus trounces others with an excellent screen-to-chassis ratio. Not just that, the VivoBook 15 isn’t only the best budget laptop for crafting but also excels when productivity is concerned.

Therefore, you get an entire gamut of specialized specs, including fingerprint scanner, excellent webcam, reliable backlit keyboard with the ErgoLift hinge, and a pretty light chassis that weighs close to 3.5 pounds.

Ports

Moreover, this is also the best laptop to use with Cricut Design Space as the connectivity suite, including Wi-Fi 5 and Ethernet support allows you to upload designs with ease. Plus, the exceptional consortium of USB ports supports Cricut machines, provided you want to refrain from the sluggish Bluetooth 4.1 speeds.

Our only gripe has to be the middling, 5-hour battery backup that slightly restricts the portability quotient. Regardless, despite the minor misses, the VivoBook 15 qualifies as a pretty good laptop for Cricut machine.

Pros
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Sharp display
  • Excellent processing performances
  • A decent set of physical ports
  • Durable yet light
Cons
  • Underwhelming battery life
  • OK storage space

Frequently Asked Questions

Which mobile SoC should be prioritized for running Cricut Design Space?

If you are into crafting and dependent on Cricut machines for managing professional workflow, it is important to invest in a laptop featuring at least a quad-core processor. While the H-series, hexa-core chipsets might be overall, we would suggest purchasing machines with 10th gen i5 processors, preferably the U-series ones. U and G-series processors are power-efficient and laptops featuring these come at a pretty affordable tick. Besides, 10th gen mobile SoCs need to be prioritized to manage the subsequent version of the Design Space and the functionalities that come along.

What is the best RAM allotment for Cricut Design Space and crafts?

If you are a professional using Cricut Maker and you use Adobe Software besides Cricut Design Space, you want to aim for something in the 16GB ballpark. If you are more of a hobbyist and want to use only Cricut Design Space for Cricut Joy and Cricut Explore Air 2, a computer with 8GB will be sufficient. Given that you are not planning to use multiple applications simultaneously. For complex designs and subsequent prints via Cricut Maker look for a laptop with at least 12GB to avoid system slowdowns.

What are the best software solutions for professional Cricut users?

Although you can always prepare designs for mugs, leather rings, and other 3-Dimensional products using Photoshop and Illustrator, these applications hardly adhere to the complexities that a Cricut machine is capable of handling. This is why you must invest in Cricut-compatible software solutions, apart from the proprietary Design Space. Some of the best software solutions for Cricut including Make the Cut, best known for preparing exceptional die-cut designs, Inkscape, Sure Cuts a Lot, and for vinyl crafts the famed Silhouette Studio.

Does cricut work with linux?

According to Cricut’s official system requirements, Cricut’s Design Space software is not compatible with Unix / Linux Computers.

Does Cricut Explore Air 2 work with a laptop?

Yes, all Cricut machines and their official software: Design Space are all compatible with laptops running Windows 8 or later and macOS 10.15 or later operating systems.

The Verdict

While each laptop mentioned on the list handles Cricut designs and crafts like a pro, not every notebook is created alike. Moreover, as the specs sheet is comparable in most models, it often becomes difficult to choose the perfect one, as per budget and preferences.

Therefore, if your mind is rife with confusions, here are some of our curated recommendations:

  • If you want best laptop for Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore, and every machine there is followed by excellent compatibility with Cricut Design Space, consider the ASUS ZenBook 15.
  • The HP Pavilion x360 is best convertible not just for Cricut but also for other graphics-focused tasks like photo editing, video editing, and more.
  • While if you’re looking for a notebook for complex photo editing, Cricut crafts, streaming, and other graphics-optimized processes, we recommend Dell Inspiron 15.
  • For Apple fans, we suggest Apple MacBook Air. It is capable of handling the latest version of the Cricut Design space while doubling down as a feature-packed business laptop

While these are some of the personalized recommendations, you are free to pick any gadget from the list and pair the same with a Cricut Machine of choice. However, if you want to explore the most complex designs and patterns, it is necessary to have a discrete GPU handy for the GPU-accelerated effects. 

Written By
Ray Kinton

A veteran techie from the days of the ZX Spectrum 48K. Ray enjoys technology, entrepreneurship, travel, writing and photography, and always looking for ways to improve his skills. He has built many computers and enjoys tinkering with technology. Follow Ray on Twitter

4 thoughts on “10 Best Laptops For Cricut Explore Air, Air 2, Maker & Joy in 2021”

  1. Is the Lenovo Flex 14 2 in 1 convertible laptop compatible with the Cricuit Maker? I know it is the newer version of the Lenovo Ideapad

    Reply
    • Starr J Dixon, The AMD Ryzen 5 3500U which is much better than the Intel i5 processor which is much more than the minimum required specifications to run the Design space. However, I think you shall consider getting 12GB RAM variant because it’s much more future-proof and could be used for other tasks such as video editing, photoshop too! (More like a package.)

      Reply
  2. Brand: Goldengulf
    3.0 out of 5 stars 53 Reviews
    Goldengulf 2020 Latest 10 Inch Computer Laptop PC Android 6.0 Quad Core Mini Notebook Netbook 8GB WiFi Webcam USB Netflix YouTube Google Player Flash (Pink) will this computer work with my cricut air

    Reply

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