10 Best Laptops for Artists and Designers in 2021
Drawing is not an easy job, it’s even painful when you don’t have the proper equipment, right? The same goes for digital artwork and digital drawing, that’s why you must have the best laptop for artists.
No matter it’s a drawing tablet or notebook, a snappy and fast performing machine ensures quick response (touchscreen), loads your files quickly, and most importantly saves a lot of precious time.
If you’re one of those users who prefer high portability, then I would like to recommend buying a 2-in-1 detachable laptop such as Microsoft Surface Book 2 and Acer Switch Alpha.
On the other hand, if you don’t mind bearing a few pounds of more weight then choosing a standard artists laptop won’t a bad move. Either way, it totally depends on your needs and usage.
2021’s Best Laptops for Artists and Designers
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – Perfect for Professional and Beginners
One of the most popular and software leading companies “Microsoft” recently launched Mircosoft Surface devices to bring more targeted customers under their umbrella. These devices are specifically designed to enhance productivity and built for professional users such as designers, artists, and architectures.
Surface Pro 4 is not only a touch-enabled tablet but also a great laptop for artists to bring life to your creative imaginations with the help of Microsoft Pen, Dial, and Mice, etc.
Its PixelSense screen provides excellent TrueLife colors and killer accuracy regarding touchscreen.
Surface Pro 4 is a 2-in-1 laptop that can be used as a tablet or standard laptop, but you will have to buy its keyboard separately. It shipped with a device only, and add-ons are not included in the box. Aesthetically, it looks awesome and feels premium in hand.
Luckily, there are multiple variants available to choose from including Intel Core M, Core i5 and Core i7 with different RAM, storage, and Type Cover.
Here I am talking about the Intel Core i5 version which packed with 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD storage. For more power and space, you can pick an upgraded model having massive storage capacity.
The 12.3″ screen with 2736×1824 (267 PPI) resolution is good enough to draw sketches and do drawing work flawlessly if you don’t mind having a small canvas. However, if your primary concern is portability and sufficient power to run drawing softwares on the Windows platform, then it’s a noteworthy option.
Plus, its thin body equipped with WiFi 802.11 a/b/g, integrated 4GB graphics memory, and a large battery to provide up to 9 hours of video playback. If you’re planning to buy it, I highly recommended buying “ProCase 12″ Sleeve Case“, with over 8400+ reviews, it’s an Amazon’s Choice handbag.
You should also check out the newer Microsoft Surface Pro 7 for more powerful specifications as it has the latest 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, 128GB SSD disk, Bluetooth 5.0, multiple USB ports, and a better uptime of 10.5 hours.
Acer Switch Alpha 12 – Best Budget Laptop for Digital Art
You might say why I have included too many tablets or two-in-one laptops for artists in this list, the reason in my experience is portability matters a lot for artists. And the working environment impacts significantly on productivity and drawing imaginary thoughts on the canvas that’s why easy to carry device is always better to go.
Anyhow, Acer Switch Alpha 12 is a tablet computer packed with an Intel Core i7 CPU that clocks at 2.5GHz and can be reached to 3.1GHz when turbo boost enabled.
There are different variants to choose from such as Core i5, with or without a stylus, and various memory options. You can pick the lower model which packs an Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, and 256GB solid state drive. The Core i7 model equipped with the same capacity 25GB SSD, DDR3 8GB RAM, and pre-installed Windows 10 Pro.
Its 12-inch quad HD touch display panel has 2160×1440 pixels resolution which is good enough to draw/sketch by using an included stylus. For immersive color accuracy, the laptop has Intel HD 500 graphics unit.
Acer went one step ahead and also included the Acer FineTip keyboard at no extra costs. When we talk about wireless and peripherals connectivity, you get a super fast MU-MIMO 802.11ac WiFi module, Bluetooth 4.0, USB Type-C 3.1, USB 3.0, and headphone combo jack.
Apart from work, True Harmony stereo speakers are in place to deliver great sound quality. Aesthetically, Alpha 12 looks stunning with brushed linings finish and silver color scheme.
HP Envy X2
HP Envy x360 is yet another multi-purpose 2 in 1 notebook that can be used in different modes like stand, tent, or standard notebook depending on your comfort.
You might know that Envy series by HP is a flagship product line where all models under this category come with high-end specs and of course costs a bit more compared to the HP Pavilion series.
However, each of your penny worth it because you get a performance optimized machine built for multitasking and running graphical applications like AutoCAD, Sketchup, Photoshop, etc.
Where most of the HP models shipped with Intel processors, this one has an AMD Ryzen 5 Quad-Core 2500U coupled with Radeon Vega 8, 8GB RAM, and 1TB HDD alongside SSD option. You can customize these specs as per desired requirements and choose RAM, HDD storage, and SSD.
This model supports multi-storage options or you can even pick a single drive. The wise thing you can do is go with a 128GB solid state drive and choose hard disk drive for huge data (it costs less money).
Your operating system and overall laptop on SSD (OS installation) will perform many times faster compared to a standard mechanical drive. With 128GB solid state drive, 8GB memory, and 1TB hard disk it costs around $800 which is not a bad deal.
Besides that, its CPU has 2.0 GHz base speed and 3.6GHz boost frequency and it holds up to 6MB cache. The AMD Radeon Vega 8 outputs stunning graphics on 15.6″ Full HD IPS WLED screen and can easily handle drawing tasks.
Furthermore, the display screen also has touch sensitivity feature so artists can draw with fingers or a touch pen. The extra-wide trackpad provides more space so to allow easy access to each corner of your screen.
If you frequently write (writer, freelancer, or blogger), then you will be happy to know that its keyboard is not only ergonomic but also has backlit. There is also a 10-key numeric pad available.
Microsoft Surface Book 2 – Ultimate 2-in-1 Notebook for Artists
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 mentioned above is a low-end and affordable laptop for artists but if you need something more powerful then here is Surface Book 2 which packed with Core i7 Intel processor and clocks at 4.2GHz.
It belongs to 8th Gen family which means you get more speed and battery life compared to previous models. Surprisingly, Surface Book 2 can stay up and running for up to 17 hours on video playback. On less demanding tasks, it can deliver more running time as well.
Its unique fold design permits various modes including stand, tent, laptop, and tablet. Instead of folding the display panel to 360 degrees, you can detach the screen which results in ultra portability and reduces the overall weight. That said, you won’t feel any significant weight while carrying it or traveling.
With Studio Mode, artists and designers can draw stunning graphics on PixelSense display and make use of Surface Dial, Pen as well as Precision Mouse. One thing to mention here is you can enhance your drawing experience with the help of Surface Dial as it allows various functionalities on the go.
The laptop packed an 8th Gen. CPU, dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, massive 16GB RAM, 15″ PixelSense display panel with 3260×2160 resolution, and 1TB hard disk.
Its discrete GPU has 6GB GDDR5 memory and capable enough to run hardcore games smoothly. On the other, it is also sufficient for 3d drawing and digital artwork as well.
Besides that, you can purchase the touch pen separately to improve your productivity and drawing skills further.
Unfortunately, it’s not included (Touch Pen) which is weird because the device itself cost a hefty amount of money. Overall, Surface Book 2 is the ultimate artist’s laptop with an abundance of processing power.
Apple MacBook Pro – Recommended for Professionals
If you don’t mind spending a few thousands of dollars on a laptop that can handle resource intensive tasks, run multiple applications simultaneously, and multitasking without any performance lag, then Apple MacBook 15 is the best option for you.
No doubt, it two or three times expensive than most of the laptops mentioned in this list but you get state of the art machine packed with cutting-edge hardware and world-class operating system. It is an all in one solution for all users besides hardcore gaming.
Designers and artists will surely enjoy Touch Bar which works with the corresponding to the software you actively use. For instance; when you work with Photoshop and choose the brush, on the Touch Bar, there will be different brushes strokes appear that you can select quickly and minimum hassle.
It varies from program to program hence provide a high level of convenience. The 15″ LED Retina display delivers a whopping 2880×1800 pixels resolution. You get breathtaking graphics and excellent precision when drawing regarding color quality, thanks to Radeon Pro 560X 4GB graphical chipset.
Apple MacBook Pro manufactured with Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor which also has turbo boost technology and clocks from 2.6GHz to 4.3GHz. Moreover, its CPU coupled with 16GB LPDDR3 RAM (2133MHz) and 512GB SSD storage making it a powerhouse.
On top of that, you get an incredible battery timing of around 10 hours. On the connectivity side, it has WiFi 802.11ac, 802.11a/b/g/n, 802.11 abg, and multiple ports including Type-C and thunderbolt. Plus, Touch ID also in place for quick OS access and easy hassle-free online payments.
Lenovo Yoga Book – The Cheapest Laptop for Artists
Yoga Book by Lenovo is the best option for artists who can’t afford expensive laptop as it costs only a few hundred dollars but comes with enough specs to handle moderate tasks. It’s a 2-in-1 device that also has the touch feature so it can be used for multiple purposes like a tablet and laptop.
No doubt, it can’t be used for resource hungry applications but sufficient enough to create notes, make sketches, and other tasks like a charm. With the help of a stylus pen, artists can easily draw decent looking drawings.
I would like to recommend other best laptops for artists mentioned in this list for heavy tasks, however, this one is still recommended for users having a low budget. Regarding technical specs, it packs with an Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB SSD storage.
So, this kind of hardware is quite enough for users who perform lightweight tasks on a daily basis, however, insufficient for those who use 3D softwares or do video rendering. The 10.1″ screen outputs 1920×1200 pixels resolutions and powered by an Intel HD Graphics 400 chipset.
With its unique 360 degree hinges, you can take benefits with four different modes such as Create, Browse, Watch, and Type Mode. On the other hand, you can say tent, stand, tablet, and regular laptop mode.
Its touchscreen has 2048 pressure levels so you can take advantage of those levels by using a real pen instead of a special pen like Microsoft Surface Pen.
Another thing to mention here is, there is no physical keyboard instead of a virtual layout that appears when you needed. Lenovo called it “Halo keyboard” and does have haptic feedback as well. At just 1.52lbs, it’s super easy to carry.
ASUS VivoBook Flip 14″
I am a big fan of gadgets and tech products especially laptops, and already shared many reviews about notebooks previously. After sharing many posts on the same topic, I acknowledged one thing that ASUS is one of the few brands which offer not only affordable but also beautiful looking machines in the market.
No doubt that they provide all range of solutions from low-end to high-end, but one can easily find the desired computer under their budget and required power without spending any extra penny. With that being said, the ASUS VivoBook Flip is a well-balanced best laptop for artists coming with a killer design and internal hardware.
Its 360-degree hinge design makes it a 2-in-1 machine so you can use it as per your choice as a notebook or tablet.
Furthermore, artists and designers can take the maximum out of it with Tent and Stand mode as well according to their comfort. With full HD 14″ wide view touch panel and 178-degree viewing angle and 0.3″ bezel provides an immersive graphics and realistic experience (NanoEdge Display) while drawing or watching movies.
On top of that, you also get a stylus pen at no extra costs which can detect pressure levels from 10g to 300g. So, designers can draw more versatile lines with precise accuracy.
Instead of a dedicated graphics chipset, it has an Intel HD 620 GPU which is quite enough to run all of your applications.
The aluminum made brushed chassis packed with an Intel Core i7-8500U processor from 8th generation family and coupled with 8GB RAM alongside 1TB HDD to store all of your drawings and raw files.
Its processor clocks at 1.8GHz and can be clocked to a maximum of 4.0GHz, thanks to turbo boost technology.
At just 0.7″ body thickness and 4.1 lbs weight, VivoBook Flip is a lightweight machine and brings a wide range of connectivity options including USB 3.0, USB 2.0, USB Type-C 3.1, SD card, HDMI, and combo headphone jack.
One I almost forget to mention is there is also a fingerprint sensor located in the trackpad area for quick logins.
Acer Aspire R15
Just like ASUS VivoBook Flip, Acer Aspire R 15 has a quite simile exterior and design with 360 hinges that allow various modes including Tent, Stand, Tablet, and Laptop. The notebook’s lid has crosshatch patterns all over the body (lid and palm rest) which looks elegant and feels premium with silver color.
I would highly recommend Aspire R15 if you’re looking for an artists laptop under $1000 budget packs with abundant power and lag-free performance.
The dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics chip has 2GB GDDR5 memory so artists can install and run their desired softwares seamlessly.
Besides GPU, the laptop has an Intel 7th Gen Core i7 7500U processor that clocks at upto 3.5GHz when turbo boost enabled. There is a 12GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB super-fast SSD, and powerful 4-cell battery under the hood making it a competitive contestant in this list.
The cutting-edge CPU and latest hardware work efficiently to deliver more than 9 hours of back up time which means you can complete all of your daily tasks with a single recharge.
However, battery timing also depends on usage like video playback consumes more energy.
When it comes to digital art or drawing, how one can forget to mention the screen size and its resolution? The crystal clear screen outputs stunning images and excellent color accuracy so artists can create more realistic arts. Well, this beast has 15.6″ FHD IPS ready display panel with multi-touch functionality.
Beyond that, its keyboard has fantastic key-to-key space as well as travel distance with backlit. It also has a fingerprint reader which is located at the top left corner of the trackpad and provides one-touch access to your computer (Windows Hello feature). There is much more to check, so click on the below button and read further reviews.
Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Gaming and Digital Art Laptop
What makes the Acer Predator Helios 300 one of the top artists’ laptops is its ultra-powerful processor, GeForce GTX 1060 graphics unit (6GB), 256GB SSD, and a whopping 16 GB DDR4 Ram. That specs are the best fit for hardcore gaming that’s why the company advertised it a gaming laptop.
However, because of killer hardware and potent GPU, you can operate graphical softwares like Photoshop, Illustrator, CC, and other applications sans performance lag. Of course, it costs a bit more but still cheaper than Apple MacBook Pro.
Users who also like to play heavy games apart from drawing work should consider this laptop for artists seriously. Featuring an IPS ready 15.6″ full HD display with a 144Hz refresh rate so smooth rendering is guaranteed.
Its 300 nits and 72% NTSC provides great image quality as well as an entertainment experience. The high refresh rate is something that gamers prefer to have on their laptops for a higher sync rate. It delivers ultimate gameplay and smooth graphics quality with every minor detail.
The Helios 300 by Acer featured an 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor, clocked at 2.2GHz and can go for up to 4.1GHz with turbo boost technology.
It holds 9MB SmartCache, ensuring faster request execution. It also supports VR technology as well, thanks to NVIDIA Pascal architecture.
With sturdy built quality, impressive refresh rate, PredatorSense cooling system, TrueHarmony/Dolby Audio, and keyboard backlit, it’s a powerhouse for both artists and gamers.
Dell Inspiron 15 G3
Do you like to play video games besides drawing and digital art projects? Do you prefer to have a dedicated graphics processor in your dream laptop? Or Do you find it interesting to have two storage drives, one for OS and the other one for data storage?
If any condition matches you, then here is a budget gaming laptop Dell Inspiron 15 that assembled with the latest processor, massive RAM, SSD, and HDD drives. All these high-end configurations make it one of the top-notch laptops for artists and graphics designers.
Its keyboard looks exceptional with a combination of blue and black colors. The trackpad surrounded by a blue colored border which also feels superlative to look. The laptop’s lid made of premium materials and company logo right in the center also delivers elegant feel.
Overall built quality and aesthetics are staggering. If I have to buy a notebook under $800, I would surely choose this one. Anyhow, it has an Intel 8th Generation Core i5 processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM 2666MHz, and 15.3″ FHD anti-glare IPS ready display panel.
On the storage side, there are two drives available under the hood; 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD rotates at 5400 RPM. A dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB memory also included which delivers spectacular graphics on the display screen.
It can also run many heavy-duty games with good frame rates. From a blogger and Photoshop user’s perspective, I can say this machine has enough processing power and performance to help artists draw 3d drawings and digital arts so that they can pick it without any hesitation.
Which One is the Best Artists Laptop?
The final decision solely depends on your needs and use case, however, it also depends on your budget.
I have included all range of artists notebooks, from low-end to high-end, a standard notebook to detachable notebooks, just to provide a more versatile option for you. And it’s your turn to decide which one will be right for you and brings the required processing power.
I would like to choose Acer Switch Alpha 12 as an under budget option if I have to buy one from the above options.
However, for ultimate performance and resource abundance, picking the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is the best decision you can make.
Besides that, you can consider other laptops for artists as well, each of them comes with unique features and price range.