best laptops for graphic design

If you’re, looking for the best graphic design laptop in 2021, then you’re in the right place, this is our top pick. So, first and foremost, we’re going to see the laptops in ascending order from the lowest price to most expensive, we’re going to see the best fit for each app and capabilities they’re going to support. Here we are going to talk about the best laptops for graphic design.

How to select the right graphic design laptop?

We are also going to talk through the specs, so what does it take to purchase the right graphic design laptop? So we are going to take you through the ram, the GPU, this CPU, and the storage, as well as the color gamut range. We’re going to explain some of that, so you know how to pick the right graphic design laptop for your needs.

So, let’s dive right in first and foremost, we are trying a little bit different structure here to see. If you guys, like this, we are going to show you guys all the laptops from this lineup right off the bat, then we’re going to talk through the specs. Then we are going to go back through each laptop and explain why we picked them and what we liked about them. So right off the bat, we have the Lenovo IdeaPad 3: the Acer, swift, 3, the MSI modern 15, the Asus Zenbook duo, and the Acer spin 5. We also have the hp omen: the MacBook pro m1, the Acer concept, the d3 easel, the gigabyte arrow 15, and the razer blade 15 OLED 4k.

best laptops for graphic design

We also have the MSI crater 15 and the MacBook pro-like. Let’s dive into the photoshop laptop scores, as you can see, one of the highest-rated laptops in photoshop on our benchmark test is the MacBook pro 16., followed up closely by The gigabyte 17 hdr the razer blade 15, the Dell XPS 15 Acers concept d series here and then moving down the line. We have a few gaming laptops, but then we have the HP Spectre X360. This laptop did not make our lineup. We still think it’s a great laptop. It performs very well, it just is not one of our personal favorites for graphic design from there moving down the list. We have the Asus tuff a15, the Acer, predator helios 300, and then it kind of continues down from their MSI prestige 15.

We have the apple MacBook pro m1, and so you can kind of just get a feel for where each of these laptops sits on the chart and where you will be making. If you make a purchase, what performance your laptop is compared to other ones. On the market, next up, let’s talk about the Splex specs, so we’re going to jump into the CPU, then we’ll get into the GPU ram and storage. Let’S dive right in first and foremost, the central processing unit, so budget laptops have more long lines like a mobile processor, but the cool thing is for graphic design. You don’t need crazy.

High performance like you, would need for 3d modeling or video editing or motion design. Now the reason We would encourage people to move towards what’s considered series processor, so and classification is if you’re going to be getting into motion design. If you’re going to be getting into video editing, then that’s something you want to kind of future proof yourself against, but if you’re not, then you’ll be fine with a g series or u series processor, but then you’ll also be fine and get even better performance. Out of an h series for graphic design, for instance, if you buy the MacBook Pro 16, that comes with an i7 9750h, and as you saw on the photoshop benchmark charts, it performs almost as good as a big desktop workstation. So that’s kind of some give and take that you can make a decision on your own all right, moving forward.

Let’s talk about how we kind of unpack these. So let’s say you have a Ryzen, 7 5800h versus a Ryzen, 7 5700u. Make sure you identify the h if you’re going to be making a purchase and you want to kind of future proof yourself for video, editing, or motion design. If you think that your career is heading that way, then you want a future proof and grab that h. If not you’ll be totally fine with the? U series processor, especially for graphic design. Now we will say that a lot of the? U series processors are going to be more on the budget side of laptop cost, and the thing is when you get down to the budget side of laptop cost. What happens? Are they also put a lower quality screen on that computer and what happens sometimes is you’ll?

Have a lower color gamut range, which means you’ll, have less color accuracy we’ll get into color accuracy in just a few minutes here, but do note that if you get a more expensive laptop, naturally it ends up coming with a more powerful processor. So just keep that in mind all right. Let’s see moving forward here next up for the processor mobile processors are often seen in business laptops and the like. Whereas h series processors are often seen in gaming, laptops, and high-performing professional workstations, mobile processors can often boost up to the same or similar speeds as their h-series counterparts, but they are unable to hold those speeds for as long as they will begin thermal throttling. At some point, which is which will end up causing a loss in performance if you’re curious about really really in-depth walkthroughs on CPU and GPU and all the different tech terms, we film dedicated videos we are trying to give like a very high-level overview.

Next up is random access, memory or better known as ram or memory. Don’t use all those words together, you’ll get in trouble by the super techy people. I’ve got in trouble a lot just so you know so you’re.

Okay, if you do it every time you open an application, it is going to pull away from your ram memory. See we just did it, we just did it right there don’t do that they’ll get mad at you. Your ram, for instance, with web browsing two gigs to five gigs of ram, will be used for photoshop three gigs to six gigs will be used and maybe for InDesign, two to four gigs will be used, etc. So that’s why, if you’re a graphic designer who does a lot of multitasking, let’s say you use photoshop and InDesign at the same time, while also doing some like google inspirational research for your project, then you’re going to be using 8 to 10 gigs of ram Easily and so that’s why we recommend getting 16 because it’ll really help improve your multitasking and create a smoother experience in your computer. You can totally get away with eight.

You just may have to have fewer programs open to having your computer run faster, but if you get that 16, you can run more programs at one time. 

We have the graphics processing unit. The biggest question we get do we need a GPU for graphic design and the simple answer is no GPU is for video editing motion design, 3d modeling. It supports the CPU, so it also helps run. You know a couple of external monitors in a more smooth way, but we are talking like three to four like if you have like three or four external monitors, it’ll help that process. If you have like one or two, you know it’s not gonna make that big of a difference.

Okay, so it supports the CPU. So basically what happens is if you’re doing some GPU-heavy tasks like video editing, motion design, so you have graphics in motion. So video or motion graphics, you. What will happen is the CPU will say: hey, I’m struggling with that. That’s not really what I was built for.

So it’ll push off the graphical. You know mathematical computations, to the GPU and the GPU is built to handle those. So the GPU then takes over and just does a very, very smooth job, an efficient job of processing, the graphics, okay. we really feel like these cards should be named, like VPUs, like video processing units, because graphics is often confusing. You know like when you think about it, we are graphic designers should don’t.

We need a graphics processing unit. No, it’s just it’s the name. It doesn’t quite communicate exactly what it does. We said if you want more in-depth videos. Now it is important if you want to get an emotion design or you want to get into video editing or 3d modeling. Yes, it then becomes important. So if you want to future proof yourself, then get a laptop with a good GPU.

Next, up, storage, SSD, and HDD. Think of SSD, like a big thumb, drive so there’s no spinning, disc or arm or eye. That’s reading the information off of this disc. So with the HDD hard disk drive, it has a disk arm and eye that spins. Hence the different rpm rates.

So that’s why you’ll see hard to disk drives with like 5400 rpm or 7200 rpm. That means this disc is spinning faster, which makes the drive a faster read and write speed, whereas with the SSD there’s, there are no spinning parts. So it’s just as fast as the specific cell so to speak, is reading and writing that information okay example of how they work. So we have always said.

So if we want to know what the word ambiguity means, we can go over to say my bookshelf over on the wall. We can pick up a thesaurus. We can find the word ambiguity and say: okay, there’s an ambiguity means all right versus ou. Going hey. What’S ambiguity mean – and we pick up our phone and we google ambiguity definition or ambiguity thesaurus whatever it might be and then bam right there that’s the answer, so it’s like going and just picking the answer really quick versus physically walking over to our bookshelf pulling our Book off and searching for it so hard disk drive versus SSD.

We hope that helps with understanding the difference in their color accuracy, this is something that we are really excited to talk about.  If you want to get even deeper but first and foremost, and for an overview, the color gamut is the amount of color your screen can produce. Delta e is a certification that clarifies the level of accuracy at which your screen produces that range.

So a lot of times, you’ll see like delta e, less than 2, for example. So the lower the number of the delta e, the more color accurate, your screen, is going to be now RGB versus CMYK. These are two different color spaces, so you cannot reproduce screen colors on a print device. Okay. So what we mean by that is the colors that you see on your screen.

What do you know that is that exact color that we seeing on our screen is a different profile, so red green, blue versus cyan magenta and black those colors mix differently, which means when we send something – that’s visually green, the green on our screen and then we  Sent it to the printer, it’s gonna look different because there are different colors that are mixing to create those colors, so RGB is screen sort of screen classification and that’s the way that screens produce color and CMYK is the way that prints a printer produces color. All right next up, adobe RGB versus sRGB versus DCI, ip3 sRGB, covers the smallest spectrum. Okay, so it’s gonna, be the smallest amount, the smallest size, as you can see it on the screen. This is sRGB. It’s quite a small range versus the adobe RGB, which covers the largest spectrum for this standard, laptop screen, which is going to be right around this range.

.That’s it right there, it’s kind of hidden behind the black one, and then we have dcip3, which is also popular but covers a slightly smaller but slightly different range. So, as you see, the adobe RGB leans more towards the greens and the blues. Okay, here this, like gray and purple line or black line, and then the DCI p3, is this blue line and leans more towards the yellows and the reds. So it’s kind of the differences there between the color game.

It ranges. So for us personally, adobe RGB is my go-to, and recommending laptops for creative professionals covers a larger range and it’s a more common certification and benchmark that people are using a lot. More people are using dc ip3 now, but it’s just not as popular as adobe RGB has historically been. sRGB is good, but it definitely is a smaller range and it will turn out to be less color, accurate, you’re going to have softer colors. You have less vivid colors, so it’s just it’s less of a really great benchmark, all right, let’s get into the dedicated laptop lineup.

Best Laptops for Graphic Design 2021

 Lenovo IdeaPad 3

We picked this laptop because it has the Ryzen 5 3500u, which is a great processor, if you’re just getting into graphic design if you need a budget-friendly laptop at under 500. This is our top pick, so it has eight gigs of ram 256 gig SSD. The only issue is like we mentioned earlier with those more affordable laptops. Is it has a low color gamut range see here it has a 56 sRGB and a 36 adobe RGB. So what you could do is snag, like a color, accurate monitor to complement your graphic designing, the monitor is what produces the color. So, even if you have a non really strong color-accurate screen so, like low color accuracy, color gamut range on your screen and you push your designs to that. On another screen, you’ll be able to see the color gamut. That’s reproduced on that screen, so it doesn’t dictate the color that it can push out because it has a low color, accurate screen. We hope that makes sense.

 Acer Swift 3

This is one of our favorite on the go. The laptop has an all-aluminum chassis, it’s thin! It’s light. We use this laptop as one of our as our daily drivers. Whenever we are you know out of the office needing the right scripts and work on things, it’s fantastic. It comes with the Ryzen 7 4700u great processor.

Around 650 laptop has the AMD seven, graphics, eight cores eight threads, eight gigs of ram 512 SSD. But again it has a lower color gaming range. So We don’t do color grading. We don’t do much designing on this laptop,  maybe do some like initial concept, but this is not like our finalization type of laptop. It could work well for 1080p video editing if you get into that sort of thing, but it is by no means a powerhouse of video editing capabilities but great for graphic design.

MSI Modern 15

All right, so this is a laptop we’re starting to see some better color gamut range here. 99 sRGB, 60 adobe RGB make sure if you want this color gamut range on this laptop, you get the i710 510u. We were talking about MSI trying to figure out the different color gamut ranges, because we had an i5 version when we were reviewing it in our studio, and they said yes only. The i7 has this color gamut range. So if you want that color gamut range make sure you get it, the i7 model comes with the mx330 eight gigs of ram 512 SSD great laptop, really good on the go good, build quality really enjoy it.

Asus ZenBook Duo UX481

This laptop is, so cool.  It’s just it’s a great laptop. It takes a little bit of getting used to the trackpad on the right side, but these dual screens are really really fun. It helps with workflow a lot and it’s a great on-the-go laptop, because of that it just helps so much with giving you more space to do your work. This laptop comes with the i7 1051 0u. It’s just under a thousand dollars.

The MX 250 GPU has a pretty solid color accuracy at 99, sRGB, and 63 adobe RGB. Now there is a 4k version. If you want even more performance um out of this laptop, you can get the. We think it’s it’s a little bit larger and it’s got better color accuracy and more performance. So if you want to be like somebody who’s getting into 4k video editing, eventually, you can get that more expensive model.

HP Omen 15

This is a great laptop for somebody who loves to like games but also wants a good laptop for graphic design, because one of the only laptops that are that’s around this 1200 budget range has great performance and is great and has great color accuracy. So it’s just it’s a real win, so you can do 4k, video editing! You can do gaming, it’s just the best price for the performance that you can get. We wouldn’t pick it as our number one straight graphic design laptop, but if you’re somebody who wants a really good hybrid laptop, it looks great it’s not too flashy. Like most gaming laptops, it’s just a really good pick-neck up.

 MacBook Pro 13 M1

This would probably be like our award for the best overall graphic design laptop. It’s thin. It’s light. And it’s well built it’s a decent price point: it’s not an insane powerhouse. It’s not blowing power out of the water, but it is still very, very good in performance, as you saw on our benchmark scores earlier for photoshop, it landed like mid to low end of the charts, which is still great. We mean it beat out our 2015 MacBook pro, which we still do design on and it’s it’s a wonderful laptop. So this is a great laptop. It’s color, accurate good for 1080p, and maybe some light 4k video editing if you’re gonna get into that.

But if you’re not don’t even worry about it, this has 100 sRGB and 81 dc ip3. So we could say a lot way more about this laptop. But you know mac products are quality. It’s going to run well, so it’s one of our top recommendations.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel

Now, this laptop along with what you know, we didn’t include in the list, but we’ll mention it here. So this laptop along with the specter x360 and the hp envy x360, are great laptops. This one is just way more unique. We would say it’s a really really great use case. It’s a really great offering and the price point isn’t crazy.

So this pen actually fits into the keyboard deck. It’s got good performance, great color accuracy and it’s just the functionality is very nice. What we are not fond of a lot of times about two-in-one laptops is how, like it turns over into tablet, and you just kind of like lay it on your desk, but this can do that as well. This can lay flat here. Let us show you it’s like this can lay flat like that, but then it can also pull it up.

Real quick. It can also, you know, sit up like that. There we go right there yep, so this is a really really great offering and, like we said, for the price point: it’s not crazy! It’s just about thirteen hundred dollars, which, for most average two-in-one laptops with really good performance at or about this price point.

This comes with the i710 750h great processor. There’s that h, series processor, GTX, 16, GTX, 1650, GPU 16 gigs of ram 99 sRGB, 79 adobe RGB. So it’s a really solid, offering from Acer.

 Gigabyte Arrow 15

This is going to be like the ultimate gaming. Video editing, meets graphic design, laptop and here’s, Why? Okay, the color gamut range is 100 sRGB, 100 adobe RGB. The GPU is the RTX 2070 max q, beast for gaming and video editing got about 16 gigs of ram, and it has the i710 750h, which is a very, very, like historically solid CPU, so best bang for the buck on the upper end of the price point.

 MSI Creator 15

Now, this laptop again is 100 sRGB, 100 adobe RGB has even more power than the gigabyte aero 15, but it is also a little bit more expensive, but because of that being more expensive, it comes with a beast GPU and a beast CPU. So this i7 10875 is eight cores and 16 threads versus the gigabyte arrow, which is six cores and 12 threads, so this is just a more uh higher performing laptop for about an extra.

What do we get here about an extra 100 or so dollars? You know. Obviously, these are, these are estimated prices. This is a 4k display versus the gigabyte aeros full HD display. So that’s how you’re getting you to know, bang for the buck.

 Apple MacBook Pro 16

What we have here, of course, is historically apple’s. Creator works. You know on the go workstation.

This is still a great laptop. We know everybody’s raving about the new m1 chip. This laptop still kicks the pants off of the m1 inside of photoshop. This got like an 812 versus the new MacBook m1, with like a 565., so yeah, the new m1 chip is great, but when you combine all of these specs together, the AMD Radeon pro 53m GPU, the intel i7 9750h, and 100 sRGB 100 adobe RGB.

This laptop still is awesome, so great recommendation but, as we said, if you’re going to be getting into 4k video editing motion design, then you would want to go towards this, and if you want a bigger screen, you would go towards this model if you’re just going to be sticking with graphic design or photo editing then stay with the m1. It’s a great laptop.

By Sameer

I'm Sameer Bille, a blogger from Mumbai, India. I started MuchTech as a passion.Here at Much Tech I write about Tech Tips,Tricks and how to guide.

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