5 Best Laptops for Artists in 2021

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Pen, paper, brush, and paint are the traditional tools of an artist. But these days, it’s essential that an artist has a great laptop.

Here’s my guide to the best laptop for artists, as well as the best desktop replacement laptop. First, I’ll go over the vital factors that the best laptop for digital art should offer.

Then, we’ll get onto my recommendations of the best laptops out there right now! 

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What to Look for When Choosing the Best Laptop for Artist?

If you’re an artist, not just any laptop will do. You need a powerful laptop that can handle graphics programs.

But it also needs to provide you with advanced editing capability. It’s essential to create high-quality, detailed art

Narrowing down all the options on the market can be overwhelming. That’s why I’ve created this guide to help you find the best laptop for your needs.

Here are the factors to look out for when choosing an excellent laptop!

Best Laptop for Artist

Large, High-Resolution Screen

For drawing, you need as big a screen as possible to see your full designs. The resolution and contrast are also important. That’s so that the colors and details are as vibrant and crisp as possible.

Powerful Graphics Card

A powerful graphics card is essential for artists. Don’t skimp on the graphics, or you’ll regret it.

Performance

You want a system that can run several programs without lagging or crashing. That’s why it’s important to focus on a powerful processor that can keep up with you.

It’s no fun to keep waiting when you’re trying to channel your creativity.

Portable

If you like to travel often or work from anywhere, go for a lightweight, portable laptop. Think about whether you want a laptop that has a rotatable screen so that it can double up as a drawing tablet.

Long Battery Life

When you’re on the go, you don’t want to keep looking for outlets to charge your laptop. Double-check the battery life of the model you choose, so you know it can last at least 10 hours on a full charge.

The Top 3 Laptops for Artists

Before we dive in the reviews, here’s a quick summary of the top three laptops for artists in 2021!

Product name
Asus ZenBook Pro Duo
Best High-Range Laptop for Artists

Lenovo Flex 6
Best Cheap 2 in 1 Laptop
for Artists

Apple MacBook Pro
Best High-Resolution Laptop for Artists
Operating SystemWindows 10 ProWindows 10Mac OS
ProcessorLatest 9th generation
Intel Core i7-9750H Quad Core
8th Generation
Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz (up to 3.4GHz)
Tenth-generation Intel Core i5 processor
RAM16 GB8 GB SDRAM8 GB to 16 GB
Internal Storage1 TB128 GB256GB or 512GB
Screen Size14-inch / 15.6 inch 4K14 Inches13.3-inch
Display Resolution3840 x 2160‎1920 x 10802560 x 1600

Best Laptops for Artists: My Recommendations

Here’s my roundup of the top laptops for beginner and professional artists, as well as the best laptops for art students!

  1. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo
  2. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
  3. Lenovo Flex 6 2-in-1 Laptop
  4. Apple MacBook Pro
  5. Newest HP Spectre

Asus ZenBook Pro Duo

Best High-Range Laptop for Artists

Best laptop for artists

(Image credit: Asus)

The Asus ZenBook Pro is a top-of-the-range laptop for artists. It doesn’t come cheap, which may put you off if you don’t have the biggest budget.

But for professional artists, this laptop will be a dream, and it can be considered as the best touch screen laptop for artists. You get a 15.6 inch 4K screen as well as a 14-inch matte touchscreen pad.

This additional screen allows you to open up more windows, or spread your work out further. The only limit is your creativity!

Also included with the ZenBook Pro is the Asus Stylus so that you can draw directly on the screen. The graphics are incredible.

This laptop can cope with the most demanding programs around. With the ZenBook, you won’t be able to resist getting creative at every chance you get! 

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
  • Processor: Latest 9th generation Intel Core i7-9750H Quad Core
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Internal Storage: 1 TB
  • Screen Size: 14-inch / 15.6 inch 4K
  • Display Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Screenpad Plus gives you even more space to work
  • The multi-touch screen and stylus make the perfect combination for drawing
  • High premium price for this advanced laptop

Check price on

Amazon

Microsoft Surface Pro

Best Laptop with Pen (Stylus) for Artists

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Microsoft Surface Pro packs all the specs you need. This laptop is lightning-fast, thanks to 16 GB RAM. It also offers an incredible amount of storage space. It comes with a Surface Pen included for all your creative purposes.

You’ll love drawing on the touchscreen, which can be angled for the perfect setup. The screen was designed to have the highest contrast and low glare, allowing you to work anywhere.

The Surface Pro is where tablet meets laptop. It offers all the power and capability of a computer, thanks to the multiple fast processors.

But you also get the ease of use and portability of a tablet!

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Professional
  • Processor: Intel Core i7, i5 and m3
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Internal Storage: 1TB or 512 GB or 256 GB or 128 GB
  • Screen Size: 12.3 inches
  • Display Resolution: ‎2736 x 1824
  • Responsive laptop with touchscreen
  • You can fix the angle to suit you or use it on the go
  • Expensive

Check price on

Amazon

Lenovo Flex 6

Best Cheap 2 in 1 Laptop for Artists

(Image credit: Lenovo)

So, you’re on a tighter budget, but you still want a great laptop. Then, snap the Lenovo Flex up! In my opinion, it’s the best cheap laptop for artists.

But you won’t lose out on any functionality with a jaw-dropping RAM capacity.

The main selling point of the Flex is the screen, which can rotate 360 degrees. You can use it in laptop or tablet-style.

Ths screen is also anti-glare and backlit so you can use it any time, in the brightest sunlight or at night. The 10-point multi-touch feature is essential for artists. 

What else do you need to know? It boots up quickly and has excellent graphics thanks to the AMD Radeon Vega 8. It’s also lightweight and comes with a pen for drawing.

  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz (up to 3.4GHz)
  • RAM: 8 GB SDRAM
  • Internal Storage: 128 GB
  • Screen Size: 14 Inches
  • Display Resolution: ‎1920 x 1080
  • Best 2 in 1 laptop for artists
  • Fantastic touchscreen and pen combo
  • The battery life isn’t the longest

Check price on

Amazon

Apple MacBook Pro

Best High-Resolution Laptop for Artists

Best laptop for artists - New Apple MacBook Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

If you’re willing to splash out, a MacBook Pro is about as good as you can get. This powerful laptop is perfect for professional artists who run heavy software. It has 8GB to 16GB RAM, so it will be able to keep up with you. 

Plus, your artworks will look stunning on the Retina screen with True Tone technology. Colors are displayed in all their vibrancy!

With 128 MB of embedded DRAM, you won’t be left waiting for this laptop to catch up. It’s capable of the most demanding tasks!

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is compact and easy to carry. Yet, it’s still a big enough screen to work on. You can choose from 128, 256, or 512 GB of storage space.

If you’re prolific in your designs, go for the highest capacity, so you don’t run out of space.

  • Operating System: Mac OS
  • Processor: Tenth-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • RAM: 8 GB to 16 GB
  • Internal Storage: 256GB or 512GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 13.3-inch
  • Display Resolution: 2560 x 1600
  • Excellent graphics capacity
  • New Touch Bar is very user-friendly
  • You might need more space than this laptop provides

Check price on

Amazon

Newest HP Spectre

Best Lightweight Laptop for Artists

Best laptop for artist - Newest HP Spectre x360-13t Quad Core

(Image credit: HP)

The HP Spectre is a reasonably priced laptop that ticks the right boxes for artists. As far as the specs, it has 16GB RAM and 512 GB of storage space.

The 8th Gen i7 Intel core makes it super speedy, so it can handle everything you task it with. You can use it tablet-style or laptop-style. 

The Spectre is very lightweight, making it easy to take anywhere with you. But it’s also durable and should last you for years.

When you’re working, it’s virtually silent, allowing you to focus on your art. These factors make the HP Spectre a fantastic choice for artists.

  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: 4.6 GHz core_i7
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Internal Storage: 512 GB
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Display Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Sleek and portable laptop
  • Very powerful and responsive with a touchscreen
  • A shorter battery life of around 5 hours

Check price on

Amazon
https://youtu.be/9eGpXOZCBCQ

The Wrap Up

There you have the best laptops around right now for artists. You can pick out the model that best fits your needs and budget.

Any of these laptops would be perfect for an artist who likes to draw and create digital art! If you have any questions or comments, drop them below, and I’ll reply ASAP!

So, invest in a laptop for yourself today. It will open up lots of new creative opportunities for you!

Don’t forget to sign up for the Proactive Creative Newsletter. I’ll keep you updated with the best articles for creative professionals!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, Proactive Creative may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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My name is Outmane, I am a designer and artist.

12 thoughts on “5 Best Laptops for Artists in 2021”

  1. Hello, I was wondering if you had to choose one of laptops you have featured. Which would you choose. My daughters are looking to pursue a career in animation. I want to buy them something they can use to draw, animate and be creative. I also, want them to be able to use it for school as they will enter college next year. I’m not worried about price. I want something they can grow with and enjoy. Thank you again.

  2. Hello,
    I really appreciate your article, explanation and suggestion for artists. I am looking into transitioning from hands on to electronic for display and remote sharing and receiving art work to then encorperate to glass. I personally do not do most detail drawing but would need to see clean lines, and have conference at Sametime views of artists wors and colors. I never had a computer and am looking at laptops touch may be helpful? . Yet need abilities to see flip and curve views. Can you suggest weather it be touch or not a simple yet capable device . Preferably not apple😉. SINCERELY V

  3. Hello, I am after the best laptop or tablet for digitising my artwork, I currently still hand draw everything but having trouble getting my artwork into prints, only been taking photos so far. Someone suggested scanning my artwork into a computer and going from there. This is all new to me so any advice much appreciated. Thanks lucy.

  4. Hi!

    Thank you for your reviews. I am an illustrator and am considering getting the Zenbook Duo Pro. However, I saw in another review that it’s hard to draw straight lines and that they get wobbly.
    Another thing that makes me doubt is drawing on the 2nd screen. It seems a bit uncomfortable to draw while trying to avoid touching the keyboard. The double screen seems great to put the Photoshop toolbox or reference images, but might be a bit uncomfortable to draw on for a few hours straight.

    I tried to google if it’s possible to attach the ZenBook Duo Pro to a Wacom tablet in case I would want to take a break from drawing on the 2nd screen and rather use my Wacom tablet. Do you know if that’s possible? I can’t find the answer anywhere.

    Thank you in advance!
    Tamara

  5. Hi!
    Thanks for this great article! It really narrows down my choices. I have a few questions. One is about the MS Surface Pro 4. Is there a reason you recommend this version rather than the one with I7 technology?

    With your top choice being the Asus Zenbook, I’m assuming that it can easily produce documents as well?

    Also, the other laptop I’m considering is the Mac Airbook Pro with MI chip technology. Would this only be a mediocre selection?

    I’m looking to get back into artwork after years of a break but I also need to be able to produce documentation for a possible book I’m considering writing.

    Thank you so much!
    Esthere

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