The Best Laptops for Graphic Design

As a graphic designer, your laptop is your most important tool. That’s true whether you’re a professional or still a student. Without a quality laptop, you’ll struggle to get your work done and use the programs you need.

The best laptop for graphic design will have specific features that kit it out for the job. For example, it should have a powerful processor and plenty of storage space. A gorgeous, high-resolution display is another crucial factor. 

A regular laptop for light, everyday use won’t cut it. And even if you start with one, you’ll soon want to upgrade to a good laptop for graphic design. 

But that brings us to the question, what is the best laptop for graphic design? That’s what I’ll answer for you in this guide to the best laptops for creatives.

There are some amazing laptops out there for graphic design. When you have all the tools and features you need, you’ll find it easier to get your work done. (Not to mention, your work will be much more enjoyable than with an underpowered laptop). 

And just because you need a laptop for design, it doesn’t mean you have to pay a premium. When you know what to look for, you can find some great affordable laptops for graphic design.

I’ve used a few different laptops over the years I’ve worked as a graphic designer. And I’ve had even more conversations with colleagues to see what they prefer, too. 

With all that in mind, I’ve put together this detailed guide to the best laptops for designers. You’ll also find a buying guide of the key factors to look out for when shopping around. 

Best Laptops for Graphic Design: The Reviews

Let’s take a look at the top graphic design laptops on the market right now! Each of these laptops has been carefully chosen for features, performance, and more. 

But I’ve tried to find the best laptops at every price point, so don’t worry if you’re on a tighter budget. There’s something for you, too. 

These laptops are specifically suited for graphic designers. So, you can feel confident buying any of these suggestions! 

Top 3 Laptops for Graphic Design: Quick Comparison

TL;DR: The best laptop for graphic design overall is the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo. I can’t praise this laptop enough! It provides everything you need, from the display to the specs, performance, and more. It certainly isn’t cheap, and its price makes it a better option for professional designers. But if you go for the ZenBook Pro Duo, you won’t regret it! 

The runner-up is the Apple MacBook Pro, also winning the title of best Mac for designers. This 13-inch model is powerful yet compact with gorgeous visuals. These factors combine to make it an excellent choice for graphic design. 

And last but not least is the Lenovo Flex 5. This excellent laptop comes out as the best budget laptop for graphic design. Whether you’re studying, starting out, or watching your cash, it’s ideal. You can draw right on the screen and flip it into tablet mode. So, it provides the utmost versatility for your design work. And for this price, you get superb specs, features, and value for money. 

Product NameOverall Best Laptop for Graphic Design: Asus ZenBook Pro DuoBest Mac for Graphic Design: Apple MacBook ProBest Budget Laptop for Graphic Design: Lenovo Flex 5
Operating SystemWindows 10 ProMac OSWindows 10
ProcessorIntel Core i9-10980HKApple M1 ChipAMD Ryzen 5 4500U
RAM32 GB8 GB 16 GB 
Internal Storage1 TB SSD256 GB SSD256 GB SSD
Screen Size15.6 inches13.3 inches14 inches
Display Resolution3840 x 2160 1560 x 1600 1920 x 1080

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

Best Computer for Graphic Design: Overall Winner

Best Computer for Graphic Design: Overall Winner. Best Computer for Graphic Design: Overall Winner

(Images credit: Asus)

If money is no object, consider going for the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo. This powerful laptop wows with performance, features, and portability. That’s not always an easy combination to find. 

The ZenBook Pro Duo can even rival a desktop computer for its power and performance. But it’s much more compact and versatile. 

This laptop is ideal for graphic design as you get an extra screen, thanks to the ScreenPad Plus. So not only do you have the amazing 4K 15.6-inch OLED touchscreen. But it also comes with an extra 14-inch screen above the keyboard. 

Having two screens allows you to create your unique workflow. You can have more apps open simultaneously and arrange them any way you like. It created a streamlined system so you can focus and get more done quicker. 

The screens themselves are spectacular – vivid, bright, and crisp. And the ScreenPad plus even lifts up to tilt towards you. So, you get an even better angle for working in comfort than with a flat screen. But, despite this, it feels sturdy and durable.

In bright light, you do get some reflections on the glossy screen. So, keep in mind that it’s not the best laptop for using outside. But that’s not a massive factor when you’re looking for a laptop for graphic design. 

With 1 TB of storage space, you won’t risk running out of space – no matter how prolific you are. And the Intel Core i9 processor packs a punch, so Photoshop and other apps run like clockwork. You won’t need to handle delays and crashes with this beast. 

All these factors make the ZenBook Pro Duo one of the best laptops for designers. It’s responsive, powerful, and versatile. And the dual screens set it apart from its competitors. 

If the price doesn’t put you off, you won’t regret investing in the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo. This exceptional laptop will streamline your work and allow you to reach the next level. 

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
  • Processor:  Intel Core i9-10980HK
  • RAM: 32 GB
  • Internal Storage: 1 TB SSD
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Display Resolution: 3840 x 2160 
  • An outstanding laptop is very powerful with an Intel Core i9 CPU
  • It has two screens so you can multitask and streamline your workflow
  • The 15.6-inch touchscreen is gorgeous, bright, and has great contrast
  • It has loads of storage space and memory
  • It’s a little bulky and very pricey

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Apple MacBook Pro

Best Mac Laptop for Graphic Design

Best Mac Laptop for Graphic Design. Apple MacBook Pro

(Images credit: Apple)

Apple fans should check out the MacBook Pro. Without a doubt, it’s the best Mac for designers out there! This 13-inch model provides portability and power. It’s a popular choice for creatives.

With this MacBook Pro, you can produce professional design work no matter where you are. It’s slim, sleek, and lightweight at just 1.4 kg, so you can carry it on your commute or travels.

It has a beautiful high-resolution Retina display. So, your designs will look bright and accurate. 

The Apple M1 Chip can handle Photoshop and other demanding apps with ease. And now that it runs natively on Apple, Photoshop boots faster than ever. If you get fed up waiting for Photoshop to load or dealing with lags, you should go for the MacBook Pro. 

The Pro also packs a super-long battery life. So, you can work all day without worrying about needing to stop to charge it. That provides even more flexibility and is very convenient.

One thing to think about is the storage space, which is a little lacking. You only get 256 GB on this model. That can fill up fast, especially with high-resolution images. You could opt for the larger 512 GB model or make sure that you frequently move files to the cloud. 

The Apple MacBook Pro is ideal for anyone on the move a lot (or even if you’re not!). Without a doubt, it’s the best Mac for designers out there! 

  • Operating System: Mac OS
  • Processor: Apple M1 Chip
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Internal Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 13.3 inches
  • Display Resolution: 2560 x 1600
  • It’s robust and responsive, with great graphics
  • It has a beautiful Retina display & sleek design
  • Photoshop runs smoothly without lags 
  • It’s not a touchscreen laptop
  • There isn’t that much storage space 

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Lenovo Flex 5

Best Laptop for Digital Art

Best Laptop for Digital Art. novo Flex 5

(Images credit: Lenovo)

Not all graphic designers can afford to spend thousands on a new laptop. And you don’t have to if you know where to look. That’s where the Lenovo Flex 5 comes in. It’s one of the best laptops for graphic design when you’re on a budget. 

This smart laptop is very reasonably priced. It even comes with a digital pen, so you don’t need to spend anything else. 

As it’s a touchscreen laptop, it lends itself to graphic design. You can draw right onto the screen, giving you more control and precision than using a mouse.

But the best part is that you can flip this 2-in-1 laptop into tablet, tent, and stand mode. So, you can find the perfect ergonomic position for your graphic design work. That makes it easier to work for longer and get up close. The option to switch between the pen and mouse allows you to set up a customized workflow that suits you best.

An AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor powers the Lenovo Flex 5. It can easily compare against Intel Core i7 CPUs, so there’s no doubt it’s up to the job. 

And at 14 inches, this is the perfect size for a graphic design laptop. The display is large enough for detailed work without needing to zoom in too much. But, it’s still compact enough to pack in a bag and carry with you. 

It’s the best laptop for graphic design students or anyone on a budget. It provides you with all the tools and features you need at an affordable price. You can run Photoshop or other design apps and produce quality work – all without breaking the bank. 

  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Internal Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 14 inches
  • Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080 
  • It offers excellent value for money
  • The HD 14-inch touchscreen looks great
  • It comes with a digital pen for drawing and design
  • It has a powerful AMD Ryzen 5 CPU and 16 GB RAM
  • The storage space is quite small
  • You’ll notice a difference between it and the premium laptops out there

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HP Envy x360 2-in-1

Best Windows Laptop for Graphic Design

Best Windows Laptop for Graphic Design. HP Envy x360 2-in-1

(Images credit: HP)

The HP Envy is another mid-range model, and it’s also one of the best Windows laptops for graphic design. 

This one is very reasonably priced, making it more accessible if you’re on a budget. But as you’d expect for this price, the resolution isn’t as impressive as some premium models. Nor is the RAM at just 8 GB.

Despite this, there is a lot to say for the HP Envy x360. It’s a large touchscreen laptop with multitouch capacity. That makes it great for working right on the screen. That comes in handy when you want more accuracy or if you prefer to use a stylus. 

It also flips through 360 degrees so you can choose the perfect angle. It’s possible to get up close and work on detailed areas, making it versatile for graphic designers. You can use it in the way that suits you best. 

The battery life is impressive, lasting up to 14.5 hours. And you also get a lot of storage on this model, so you won’t have trouble storing all your files. 

With the crisp screen and outstanding speakers, it’s also perfect for entertainment. The extra features like the camera shutter and mute mic buttons aren’t essential, but they come in handy. 

There are a few drawbacks to mention, though. It’s a little heavy and bulky, which is what you get for the larger screen size. It doesn’t come with a digital pen either, so you’ll need to buy one separately.


Overall, the positives outweigh the negatives on this speedy and responsive laptop. It provides reliable performance even when running the most demanding programs. That makes it ideal for graphic designers. 

  • Operating System: Windows 10 (upgradable to Windows 11)
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Internal Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • A great touchscreen laptop for graphic design
  • It has tons of storage space 
  • You can flip it to tablet or stand mode 
  • Perfect for graphic design and work tasks as well as streaming movies
  • It doesn’t have a USB-C port for faster charging and file transfers
  • You need to buy a stylus separately – it’s not included

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ASUS Chromebook Flip

Best Touchscreen Chromebook for Graphic Design

Best Touchscreen Chromebook for Graphic Design. ASUS Chromebook Flip

(Images credit: Asus)

Just because your budget is tight, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a good laptop for graphic design. Check out the ASUS Chromebook Flip instead! It’s the cheapest laptop on this list, but it still works well for Photoshop and other design software.

Despite the affordable price, the Chromebook Flip is user-friendly with some great features. As it’s a 2-in-1 model, it doubles up as a laptop and a tablet – so you get the best of both worlds. 

That means you can use the Chromebook Flip in laptop, tablet, stand, or tent mode. So, you can sit in an ergonomic position and work right on the screen.

You will notice a few differences compared with more expensive models, though. First of all, the Intel CPU doesn’t pack as much power as Intel Core i3 or i5 models. Secondly, it comes with eMMC storage rather than speedier SSD storage. (Find out more about the difference here). 

Also, you only get 4 GB of RAM, so don’t expect to multitask or flip between apps with ease. You’ll need plenty of patience to deal with any lags or delays. 

The Chromebook Flip looks sleek and stylish with tiny bezels. So, it really maximizes the screen size. But I found that the small bezels make it hard to get a good grip when working in tablet mode. It doesn’t have any special pen support, either. 

The ASUS Chromebook Flip is one of the best laptops for graphic design in this price range. So long as you’re aware of the downsides of a cheaper laptop, then you shouldn’t be disappointed. Overall, it’s a good, sturdy, low-cost option.

  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Processor: Intel Core M3-8100Y
  • RAM: 4 GB 
  • Internal Storage: 64 GB eMMC 
  • Screen Size: 14 inches
  • Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • One of the best cheap laptops for graphic design
  • The specs are good – but don’t compare to premium models
  • It has a good-sized touchscreen
  • It’s versatile – you can choose which mode to use it in (tablet, stand, tent, laptop)
  • It doesn’t have the best RAM, storage, or CPU

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Asus ROG Strix SCAR II

Best High-Performance Gaming Laptop for Graphic Design

Best High-Performance Gaming Laptop for Graphic Design. Asus ROG Strix SCAR II

(Images credit: Asus)

It’s not only gamers who look for high-performance, powerful laptops. Graphic designers need robust CPUs and GPUs too, as well as great displays and fast refresh rates. And you get all that in the ROG Strix Scar II. 

This high-end gaming laptop is sure to impress. It has an eye-catching, striking design with a customizable backlit keyboard. Although the bright colors won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, of course.

The Hexa-core i7 CPU can handle intensive programs, so you won’t have problems with the Adobe suite. (It can get quite noisy when you’re working it hard, though). And the NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics are gorgeous! 

While many regular laptops only refresh at a rate of 60Hz, the Strix knocks it out of the ballpark. This laptop has an incredible 144Hz refresh rate, so you see changes instantly. That makes it super responsive as you work on your graphic design projects. 

What are the downsides? Besides the hefty price tag, it’s bulky and not very portable at all. The laptop itself is heavy, and the charger takes up even more space. As a result, this laptop isn’t a good option for anyone who travels or commutes regularly.

So, who is it for? It’s ideal for replacing a desktop PC without losing any power or high-quality graphics. It’s solid and hard-wearing with a beautiful display and huge amounts of storage space. 

The Strix Scar II is also upgradable and can continue to grow with you. So, if you like to tinker with your gadgets, this one is right up your street. 

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H Hexa-Core
  • RAM: 16 GB 
  • Internal Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Display Resolution:1920 x 1080
  • Amazing gaming laptop works well for graphic designers, too
  • Fantastic high-resolution display with 144Hz refresh rate
  • It’s upgradeable so you can add extra storage or RAM
  • It’s heavy and bulky – not ideal for travel
  • Very expensive compared to other models 
  • The design is a little flashy and shows fingerprints

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Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Best Microsoft Laptop for Graphic Design

Best Microsoft Laptop for Graphic Design. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

(Images credit: Microsoft)

Next up is another high-end laptop, this time from Microsoft. And it’s well worth your attention! 

The Surface Laptop 4 gets the balance just right between performance and portability. What you get is a slim, lightweight model that looks stylish. But despite this, it’s powerful enough to handle graphic design work seamlessly. 

If you want the freedom to work from anywhere, I recommend snatching up the 13.5-inch model. It has a superfast 11th Gen Intel Core i7, plenty of memory, and loads of storage. And the aluminum build makes it sturdy, even given its thin size.

But most importantly, it feels flawless to use. The keyboard is robust and comfortable thanks to the Alcantara design, and it doesn’t flex too much as you type. However, it does show up dirt and marks sooner than on a metal body.

The touchscreen display has stellar visuals that are crisp and accurate. It’s hard to find something that will rival its 2256 x 1504-pixel screen and 3:2 aspect ratio. It lends itself both to graphic design and entertainment.

One thing that could be improved upon is those chunky bezels, though. I’d love to see Microsoft reduce their size, making the screen look even larger. 

But if you’re tempted by the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4, you won’t regret your decision. It’s an excellent investment for a graphic designer and should last you for years.

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor:11th Gen Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 16 GB RAM
  • Internal Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 13.5 inches
  • Display Resolution: 2256 x 1504
  • The best Microsoft laptop for graphic design
  • The touchscreen display looks amazing with crisp details and vibrant colors
  • It has a sturdy, durable build
  • The Alcantara keyboard improves the typing experience (although not everyone loves it) 
  • It’s very expensive, and the bezels are still quite thick

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Buying Guide to the Best Laptops for Graphic Designers

Now, you’ve seen some of the top laptops around for graphic design. While you’re comparing models, these are the factors to keep in mind. They will help you choose the best laptop for a graphic artist

Operating System

One of the first things to decide is what operating system you need for your laptop. Then, everything else will come after that. 

The most common operating systems are Windows, ChromeOS, and macOS. Chromebooks run on Chrome OS and tend to have less power – although they have improved in recent years.

Windows and Mac are both excellent options. What you should go for will depend on your personal preference and what other devices you have. For example, if you have an iPhone, a Mac laptop will sync and pair up with it better as you’ll have the same apps. 

You can find out more about each operating system here

Processor

The processor is the heart of your laptop – it provides all the power to do whatever you want to do. It’s also known as the CPU (central processing unit). 

It’s always a good idea to go for the best processor you can afford. The more powerful it is, the faster and smoother your laptop will run. 

You can read up more on which processor to go for in this article


RAM

RAM is short for random-access memory. It sounds a little confusing, but it’s quite simple. It refers to the part in your laptop that stores all the short-term memory. That basically means all the programs and files you’re using or have used recently.

The more RAM you have, the faster your laptop can access these files. But if you have too many windows or programs open, you can run out of memory and slow down your device.

So, plenty of RAM makes it easier to multitask or run intensive programs and processes.

Graphics card

Another crucial component is the graphics card. It’s responsible for creating and rendering images on your laptop. So, you’ll need a great graphics card for graphic design.

There are two main types of graphic cards – either integrated or dedicated. When you have a dedicated graphics card, that means it has its own memory. So, it doesn’t sap power and memory from your laptop’s CPU. 

As a result, it should run more smoothly and prevent your laptop from slowing down too much. It’s less pressure on the CPU and RAM, so you won’t have to wait as long for it to catch up. 

But dedicated graphics cards can be quite noisy and heat up with heavy use. 

In contrast, an integrated graphics card doesn’t pack as much power. Instead, it will rely on the RAM and CPU of your laptop, so you may encounter lags. 

The benefit of an integrated GPU is that it’s much cheaper. So, if you’re on a budget, that’s something to keep in mind. If you’re not doing any heavy design tasks, an integrated graphics card might be all you need.

But for those intensive tasks, you’ll appreciate the power of a dedicated graphics card. If you want performance and productivity, then look for a laptop with a separate GPU.

Internal Storage

As a graphic designer, you probably produce a lot of files. And those high-quality images can take up tons of space. So, you don’t want to skimp on the storage space. 

Most modern laptops have at least 128 GB of storage space. But although that sounds like loads, it can fill up faster than you’d imagine. That’s why I recommend going for at least 256 GB, but 512 GB is preferable for graphic design.

Display

As a designer, visuals are one of the most essential factors. That means you need a large, high-resolution display with sharp details. It should also have a wide range of accurate colors, so your work looks true to life. 

Versatility (Is it a 2-in-1 laptop?)

Having a touchscreen laptop is a real bonus as a graphic designer. It’s very useful as you’ll be able to draw on the screen for increased control and precision. 

Even better, with most 2-in-1 laptops, you can flip them to tablet mode. That allows you to find an ergonomic position and get up close with your designs. 

You get all the power and functionality of a laptop. But, it works just like a tablet for a versatile experience, so you can choose the way that suits you best. 

Price

Finally, the laptop needs to fit into your budget. Once you’ve got specific on how much you can spend, you can look through all these other factors. 

Then, pick out your non-negotiables and start looking at the specs. That way, you’ll find the best laptop to meets these needs in your price range. 

The best laptops for graphic design

The Wrap Up

Now, you know everything there is to know about laptops for graphic design. And you should be well on your way to choosing the best laptop for your needs and budget! 

I’d love to know which one you go for – let me know in the comments below! You can drop any questions there, too. 

No matter where you are in your graphic design career, the right laptop will take you to the next level. It’s essential to have a laptop with the right features and specs, so you can do your best work. 

Follow me on Pinterest for more guides, tips, and resources for creative professionals! 

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

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