Animating Inspiration: Top Laptops for Animators Today

Getting into animation is both challenging and rewarding. It combines creative and technical skills to produce amazing results. And whether you’re interested in animation as a hobby or a career, you’ll need a laptop that is up to the job.

Animators are in high demand, and it’s both an interesting and lucrative career path. Read my article on how to become an animator to find out more. 

 But it can be frustrating trying to learn animation with an underpowered device. 

The best computers for drawing and animation are powerful, robust machines. They need to have a lot of memory and storage, as well as a strong CPU and GPU.

But the wrong laptop could hold you back from advancing your animation skills. So, that’s why I’ve put together this complete guide to the best laptops. 

I’ve reviewed some of the best computers for animation students and professionals. So, scroll down to the reviews to find the right laptop for you. 

Plus, you’ll also find a detailed buying guide to the best laptops for 3D animation. These tips should ensure you choose a laptop that ticks all the right boxes. 

How to Choose the Best Laptop for Animation and Graphic Design? A Buying Guide

A lot of the factors will depend on whether you want a laptop for 2D or 3D animation. As 3D animation is much more demanding, you’ll need a more powerful model. But even for 2D animation, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Robust Processor 

A robust processor is essential for any laptop. You’ll need something sturdier than your everyday laptop, and even most gaming laptops won’t cut it. 

I would recommend going for a laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor, at the very least. But an i7 or i9 processor is much more preferable, as it will provide that boost of power you’ll need.

Powerful GPU

After the processor, the GPU is probably the second-most important factor there is. 3D animation especially is super demanding and intensive. And even for 2D animation, any old laptop won’t do. And that’s why you should go with a laptop that has a dedicated graphics card. 

With laptops that have integrated GPUs, it zaps power from the CPU. But in contrast, a dedicated graphics card won’t slow your computer down in the same way. 

If you’re a beginner or prefer 2D animation, you can get away with an integrated GPU. But for any more advanced work, you’ll soon see the limitations. 

So instead, I would recommend looking for a laptop with a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card. Ideally, it should also have at least 6 GB of VRAM. 

Large Memory (RAM)

The memory (or RAM) in a laptop is critical. It’s the memory that allows you to access your field and programs quickly and easily. So, it lets your laptop function smoothly and without delays. 

If you’re on a budget, you could go for a laptop with 8 GB. Then, you can always upgrade it down the line. 

But there are many reasonably priced laptops on the market with 16 GB. You can even find some excellent models with 32 GB of memory without breaking the bank. So, shop around before you make your choice!

Screen Size & Resolution

As an animator, you’ll probably spend hours upon hours at your laptop. So, for your sake, make sure that you go for the biggest screen possible. It can help to prevent eye strain and headaches from squinting at a small screen. 

You can find excellent laptops with 15.6-inch displays that are also very slim and portable. These laptops are the best of both worlds! Not only do you get a large screen to work on, but you can also take your laptop on the go. 

Even then, you may want an extra monitor on your workstation. When you’re dealing with tiny details, a large display is always beneficial. 

You also want a display with a high resolution. And don’t forget to look up the color coverage it has. The wider the color gamut, the more accurate and true to life your animations will look. 

Plenty of Storage Space

Finally, don’t skim over the storage size stats. Animations take up a lot of space – especially when you’re working with 3D animation. The files can be huge, so the more space you have, the better. 

You don’t want to keep transferring items to the cloud because you’ve maxed out the space on your laptop. So, look for a laptop that has at least 256 GB of SSD storage. (It’s much faster and more responsive than a hard disk drive). 

But the best size for animation is 512 GB, or 1 TB GB if your budget stretches to it. 

Best Laptops for Drawing and Animation

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

Best Laptop for 3D Animation

Acer Predator Helios 300

(Images credit: Acer)

Whether you’re brand new to animation or you’re already a pro, check out this Acer laptop. Although it’s a gaming laptop, that’s not all it’s good for. It’s ideal for any kind of animation, video editing, or graphic design. 

That’s thanks to the sturdy 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, with speeds up to 5 GHz. It also boats an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU. With 6 GB of dedicated VRAM, this machine can handle anything you throw at it. 

It has a large backlit display with a super-fast refresh rate of 144Hz. It also has decent brightness of 200 nits and wide viewing angles (all the better to showcase your work). As a result, your animations will look amazing on this screen. With a 15.6-inch display, you also get plenty of space to work on without straining your eyes. 

The Predator Helios 300 isn’t cheap, but it’s not the most expensive laptop on this list, either. It has a unique design that’s a little flashy rather than simple and professional. When it comes to the design, it comes down to personal preference. You’ll probably love it or hate it! 

Acer has used high-quality components in this laptop. They’re both sturdy and user-friendly. For example, the backlit keyboard with concave keys that feel great to type on. You also get good connectivity options, including Wifi and Ethernet. Plus, a range of HDMI and USB ports come in handy. 

And the 3D fan keeps the laptop cool, no matter what you’re doing. It’s also surprisingly quiet, even when you’re rending videos or doing other intensive tasks. As it has the new RTX architecture, it can even handle ray tracing and very advanced animation work. 

Where Acer has cut corners to keep the price down is with the build quality. The casing is all plastic, and there’s quite a lot of flex. It doesn’t feel like a premium laptop (even though it performs like one!) 

But overall, the Predator Helios 300 is an excellent laptop. It’s capable of 2D and 3D animation without any lags or overheating. And it’s also pretty reasonably priced as good laptops for animation go. So, it’s well worth taking a closer look. 


  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 5.0 GHz) 
  • RAM: 16 GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels


  • An excellent laptop for 2D and 3D animation
  • It has a robust CPU and a powerful dedicated graphics card 
  • It stays cool and functions quietly, even during the most demanding tasks
  • The large backlit screen with good brightness and contrast is ideal for animators


  • It looks like a gaming laptop – it’s very flashy, which might not be for everyone
  • It’s not cheap

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Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

Best Laptop for 2D Animation

Acer Nitro 5

(Images credit: Acer)

If you’re looking for the best computers for animation students, the Acer Nitro 5 will be of interest. It’s much more affordable than many animation laptops, with a very reasonable price for what you get. 

While the Nitro 5 may not pack enough power for very advanced work, it’s ideal if you’re just getting started. It’s also a fantastic option if you prefer to focus on 2D animation. That doesn’t require quite as advanced specs, so the Nitro 5 fits the bill. 

This model has 8 GB of RAM, which doesn’t sound like a lot. But it’s surprisingly fast and responsive, accessing your files with speed. Plus, you can upgrade it to 16 GB if you find you need a bit more power. 

The Acer Nitro 5 looks streamlined and minimalist, so it doubles up as a great work laptop. It has a great keyboard, with a nice separation between the number and letter keys. It feels very tactile to type on, and it’s backlit for working in low lighting. This laptop also has decent speakers, thanks to Waves MaxxAudio technology. 

When you’re doing demanding tasks, the Nitro 5 does start to heat up. Despite the Acer CoolBoost technology, it doesn’t have the best cooling system. The twin fans can also get a bit noisy at times. 

The storage space is also a little limited, and the battery life doesn’t last that long.

This affordable laptop is solid, durable, and reliable. While it’s a little underpowered compared to other options, it’s a safe choice for beginners or students. Don’t expect it to handle advanced 3D rending and animation. But you can have a lot of fun with 2D animation on the Acer Nitro 5! 


  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: 9th Generation Intel Core i5-9300H Processor (Up to 4.1 GHz)
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels


  • This laptop is a fantastic option for anyone on a budget
  • It provides all you need for 2D animation
  • It has a simple, professional design and a great keyboard
  • The backlit screen is bright, large, and provides superb visuals


  • It’s not the most powerful laptop on this list – not ideal for 3D animation
  • It can overheat and gets quite noisy when it’s working hard

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MSI GP65 Leopard 10SDK-433 15.6

Best Laptop Overall

MSI GP65 Leopard

(Images credit: MSI)

The MSI GP65 Leopard is another exceptional laptop. It provides all the power you could expect from a desktop computer, making animation a breeze. 

The MSI Leopard has a superb build quality – it’s durable, sturdy, and solid. Although the chassis is made of plastic, there’s very little flex, so it doesn’t feel flimsy.

But beyond the robust build, there’s a lot more this laptop has to offer to animators. It has impressive specs, including 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. Plus, there’s the super-fast IntelCore i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GPU. 

And that’s not all! It also has an amazing 15.6-in display with a 144 Hz refresh rate. This screen is very bright, with crisp, vibrant colors and great contrast. As for color accuracy, it’s exceptional, making it one of the best laptops for creative work. And the fast refresh rate means visuals look smooth and fresh, without any blurring. 

One minor drawback is the fans. They’re quite noisy and sometimes struggle to keep the laptop cool. It doesn’t have the best sound quality, either, which is a little disappointing. 

It can also heat up at times when you’re doing very intensive tasks. In that case, you could look into undervolting if it becomes an issue. 

But it does have an excellent range of ports. That includes a USB-C and three USB 3.2 ports, as well as an HDMI and mini display port. 

So, what do all these specs and features mean? Boiled down, the MSI GP65 Leopard is a superb laptop for creative work in general. It’s powerful 


  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-10750H 2.6 – 5.0GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB 
  • Internal Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels


  • Another superb laptop
  • It has a bright display with amazing visuals and flawless color accuracy
  • The build is high-quality, durable, and robust


  • The fans can get quite noisy
  • It can overheat at times

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Razer Blade 15 Advanced Gaming Laptop

Best Portable Laptop

Razer Blade 15

(Images credit: Razer)

Next up is the Razer Blade 15 Advanced gaming laptop. This laptop is a little controversial. There’s so much to like about it – but there are a few negatives, too.

The Razer Blade 15 comes in a base and an advanced model. For any kind of animation work, you’ll definitely want this advanced model. It has an excellent build and great hardware that can even rival the best MacBooks (in my opinion, anyway). 

For example, it has an NVIDIA GeForce GPU with RTX architecture and Max-Q Design. That includes an 8GB of dedicated VRAM, making it faster and more powerful than ever. 

As for the display, it’s superb. I doubt you’ll find a laptop with a faster refresh rate anywhere – it has an astounding 300 Hz refresh rate. So, the screen updates instantly without any lags. It also has 100% sRGB coverage for accurate, rich, and saturated colors. Meanwhile, the slim bezels make the screen look even larger. 

Despite all these factors, the Razer Blade 15 has a simple, professional design. So, it wouldn’t look out of place in the office, making it a great choice for your work laptop. 

As it’s built from anodized aluminum, it’s very sturdy and hardwearing. But it’s also incredibly slim, measuring just 0.7 mm thick. So, you can take this laptop anywhere, and you won’t’ even feel its weight. 

Finally, it has an innovative cooling system using vacuum-sealed vapor chambers. They ensure that this laptop stays cool, no matter what you’re doing. As a result, you get the best possible performance from this laptop at all times. 

But unfortunately, Razer Blade has built up a reputation for poor customer service. I’ve not experienced this myself, but it’s commonly heard among gamers and other Razer Blade users.

You can see many disappointed customers on Trustpilot, where Razer only gets a 1.6-star rating. Whether that’s a significant factor to consider is for you to decide. 

As for the battery, it has a pretty short life of around three hours. So, you’ll want to stay close to a power source when working on big projects. 

Overall, the Razer Blade 15 makes a fantastic laptop. It’s sturdy and powerful but also lightweight and portable. Admittedly, it looks quite unassuming. But its specs can match the best laptops for 3D animation out there.


  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor:  8-Core 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H (up to 5.1 GHz)
  • RAM: 16 GB 
  • Internal Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Display Resolution: Up to 4K (3840 x 2160)


  • This laptop is sleek, streamlined, and portable 
  • It has a gorgeous 4K display with 1005 sRGB color gamut
  • The smart cooling system keeps this laptop cool


  • The battery doesn’t last that long
  • The speakers are a little disappointing – you don’t get the best sound quality from them

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Apple MacBook Pro

Best Apple Laptop

Apple MacBook Pro

(Images credit: Apple)

If you’re an Apple fan, then this is the laptop you need (at least in my opinion!) It’s the best Apple has to offer, whether you’re a beginner or a professional animator. 

First of all, I have to mention the Liquid Retina XDR display. It’s simply stunning, with a super-high resolution and peak brightness of 1600 nits. It also has outstanding contrast and dynamic range, so animations will look gorgeous. 

It also has a 10-core CPU, a 16-core GPU, and Apple’s most powerful chip yet. So, as you can imagine, it’s ideal for animation and graphic-intensive tasks. 

The unified memory makes it sleek and fluid, so there’s no waiting around. And the good news is that many apps are optimized for Apple silicon, including the Adobe suite.

This laptop was designed to make those demanding tasks streamlined and effortless. It boots up instantly and is super-fast, with no lags at all. 

The MacBook Pro has a beautiful design. It’s both stylish and user-friendly, with every feature you could need. For example, it has a huge touchpad and an HD camera for video calls. Plus, the audio quality is also superb. 

The final selling point is the extremely long battery life. It can last for 21 hours on a full charge, making it ideal for working on the go. It also charges up very quickly, so you can get back out there. 

It’s hard to find any faults in the latest Apple MacBook Pro. If you’re looking for a laptop, this one is perfect for you. But as it is so expensive, it’s best suited to professionals who do animation for a living. 


  • Operating System: Mac OS
  • Processor: Apple M1 Pro Chip 10-core CPU
  • RAM: 16 GB 
  • Internal Storage: 1 TB SSD
  • Screen Size: 16 inches
  • Display Resolution: 3456 x 2234 pixels


  • This is the best Apple MacBook for animation and video editing
  • It’s super powerful, with a spectacular display
  • It’s fast and user-friendly, with impressive specs
  • It can handle 3D animation with ease


  • It’s very expensive

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Best laptop for 2d and 3d animation

The Wrap Up

The best laptop will open up all sorts of possibilities for you! It could be the tool you need to learn this exciting new skill or elevate your career. 

All these laptops were carefully selected for their performance, specs, and features. Plus, they come at a range of prices.

Let me know which one you choose in the comments. You can drop any questions below, too! 

Before you go, give me a quick follow on Pinterest. Then, I can keep you up to date on all the latest in the tech and creative world. I share only the best reviews, tips, and trends for creative professionals, so you don’t want to miss out. 

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


Outmane is the founder of Proactive Creative. He is an artist/designer.

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