Are you a graphic designer and searching for the best laptop for graphic design. As a graphic design professional, you want equipment that allows you to create and organize your work efficiently, efficiently and with mobility for a reasonable price. The importance of a reliable laptop is undeniable because it allows you to work as easily during your trips as in the comfort of your home.

Today’s modern laptops are faster, more flexible, can hold more information, have more accurate visual displays, and work much faster than anything we’ve seen before.

However, not all laptops are equal. Given the price of such an investment, it’s imperative to make sure you make the right choice. With so many variables, it may be hard for you to decide which laptop to choose to best meet your personal graphic design needs.

This is the goal of this guide: to help you make the best choice based on your expectations.

That is why it will be structured in two parts: a first part in which I will present you the various criteria to know to choose his laptop dedicated to the graphic design, the drawing or the illustration and a second part where I present you Laptop models that lend themselves to this use.

Graphic Designer/Illustrator Laptop Requirements


The fundamental function that any laptop suitable for graphics must be able to satisfy is to launch any software or program that you use to create your works.

This is, for example, the Adobe Creative Suite which consists of flagship software such as Photoshop, Illustrator or Design but also software like Sketch, Corel Paint or Autodesk software suites such as 3ds Max or Sketchbook.

The idea is to have a laptop capable of running most software used in graphic design. The main criteria for determining the power of a pc are the computing power of the processor, the graphics card, the amount of RAM.

For the recommended specifications for each software, refer to the software recommendation sheet. For convenience, we will take Photoshop as a reference for the rest of the article.

1 – The Processor

The processor, or CPU, is the brain of your computer.

It’s the small chip at the heart of everything that is authoritative for almost every application you use, and Photoshop is no exception. It is also one of the most expensive components of a machine.

For example, Adobe recommends using a 2 GHz processor or faster, but if you can afford to do better, it’s worth it.

Photoshop uses the processor for the majority of its tasks, so aim for 2.5 GHz or higher for better results.

For those interested in 3D modeling, this is one of the most important components for this task.

2 – The RAM

If the processor is the brain of your computer, RAM is short-term memory. RAM (or Random Access Memory) is the storage space in which files are loaded when you work on them.

As you can probably imagine, Photoshop uses it a lot when you edit your images. Modern laptops usually start at 4 GB. But that’s not enough.

Ideally, it is better to have a little more.

Even though Adobe claims that 2GB is the minimum, they recognize that 8GB is the recommended amount.

The more there is, however, keep in mind that going beyond 16 GB is superfluous for most users.

3 – The Graphic Card

The graphics card also called GPU is a luxury compared to the processor and the RAM. You do not necessarily need it because most input and mid-range processors come with a built-in graphics processor that can power your monitor.

If you want to use a 4k display, you will need a dedicated graphics card. In addition, Photoshop takes advantage of the extra power the GPU brings to make certain tools work.

Unfortunately, it is not solicited for many tools in Photoshop, so if you do not have a dedicated GPU, it’s not a problem in itself. It’s good to have one, so if you decide to choose one, go for at least 2 GB of VRAM (preferably 4 GB).

Even if you do not need it for Photoshop, having a GPU is useful for video editing.

4 – The screen

I do not teach you anything if I tell you that the quality of the screen is essential in terms of graphics.

One of the biggest concerns during the graphic design process is to make sure your end result is well-read, which could be a little tricky if your laptop’s display rivals a 2000s-style flip phone. ?

If you compare two screens of the same size but different resolutions, the screen with the highest resolution (that is, the one with more pixels) will be able to show you more details.

Because this screen has more pixels, the picture will be sharper. However, a higher resolution also means that the elements on the screen – such as icons and text – will be smaller.

Many laptops today embark a touch screen – either optional or standard. Opinions are divided as to whether they are good or bad.

Some creatives love them, others hate them because they drain the battery much faster than a traditional screen.

Other important physical aspects include size, portability, and general usability. Is the keyboard practical? How is the battery life? Does it take a lot of time to load? These are all small things that we sometimes neglect, but it is best to consider before buying equipment that we will probably use for a long time.

Another important aspect of a high-end screen is its ability to display colors. The more colors are faithfully represented on your screen, the better you can judge your results.

5 – Battery

Both component manufacturers like Intel and Nvidia, and the laptop vendors themselves, have made an honorable effort to improve the battery life of their products.

It is now possible to find computers that hold up to 11 hours without recharging. For graphic designers, designers and other designers, it can be interesting to have computers that last.

Longer battery life is naturally equivalent to a longer working time when traveling, which is a plus anyway non-negligible.


1 – Dell Inspiron 17: For 17 Inch Lovers

Best Laptop For Graphic Design


CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U | GPU: Nvidia MX 150 2 Go VRAM | RAM: 16 Go | Ecran : 17″ FHD (1920 x 1080) | Stockage : 1 To + 16 Go Optane

If you are one of those artists who swear by the 17 inches then you should consider the Dell Inspiron 17-7786.

This computer embeds a balanced configuration and cuts for productivity thanks to its core i7-8565U, its 16 GB Ram and its GPU Nvidia MX 150 for tasks requiring graphics resources. Its diagonal 17-inch screen brings in addition to that a significant comfort of work.

The screen is fully touched and the hinge is flexible, allowing to place the computer in multiple positions according to the use that one wishes to make of it.

If you work exclusively on your laptop and you do not have an external monitor, it is certainly the best choice of the moment especially as it is offered at a really competitive price.

The screen is fully touched and the hinge is flexible, allowing to place the computer in multiple positions according to the use that one wishes to make of it.

If you work exclusively on your laptop and you do not have an external monitor, it is certainly the best choice of the moment especially as it is offered at a really competitive price.

We will also appreciate the autonomy, rather good, especially for a 17-inch model.

Ps: Also available in 15-inch versions.

  • Elegant case of a high build quality
  • Good CPU performance
  • Low energy demand
  • Fingerprint sensor (Windows Hello)
  • Robust, comfortable keyboard
  • SSD + HDD
  • USB Type-C only for the Core i7 variant
  • No LAN in GBit range
  • Clearly visible cloudin


2 – Lenovo Y530: Performance at a low price

Best Laptop For Graphic Design


CPU: Intel Core i5-8750H | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050 4 Go VRAM | RAM: 8 Go | Ecran : 15″ FHD (1920 x 1080) | Stockage : 1 To HDD + 128 Go SSD

This computer is a small power monster at a reduced price.

Add to that a particularly successful aesthetic, its good 15-inch anti-reflective FHD screen and especially a good battery life thanks to its 63.3 Whr battery that can hold 5 hours in web browsing make it a particularly interesting pc for mobile users.

It has a powerful core i5 8th generation processor coupled with a good Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics card with 4 GB of video memory and 8 GB of Ram, making this pc a good power concentrate all at an affordable price.

The 2D edition will not pose any problem, as well as 3D modeling or video editing.

In short, if you are looking for a pc suitable for graphic designers, elegant and powerful below the 1000 euros, then the Lenovo Y530 should delight you.

  • Premium look and feel
  • Ultra thin bezels on three sides
  • Excellent cooling and audio
  • Webcam angle isn’t very flattering


3 – Msi P65 Creator: For Creatives

Best Laptop For Graphic Design


CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | GPU:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q8 Go | RAM: 16Go | Ecran : 15 FHD (1920×1080) | Stockage : 512 Go SSD

As the name suggests, the MSI P65 Creator a pc for creative. Its configuration is balanced on almost all levels. This computer is a compendium of all that is best for running graphics software. And it is felt in its price.

Equipped with 16 GB ram, the latest core processor i7-8750H six cores and NVIDIA Geforce 1070 graphics card in its version Max-Q (slightly less powerful than the standard version but less energy consuming) with 8 GB of video memory, this computer is simply a beast of power.

His screen is excellent and working on it is a real pleasure. The battery is also very good considering the embedded configuration.

We will also appreciate the small feat of design, the pc is really very elegant. This pc objectively has very few defects. It can be blamed for its price but in itself, the price/quality ratio is quite correct. However, we can objectively criticize the lack of a keypad.

You’ll understand, for me, the MSI P65 Creator is one of the best laptops for graphic designers of the moment.

Ps: The P65 is also available in a version with a Geforce 1050 Max-Q, less expensive.

  • Dependable performance
  • Dedicated graphics
  • Stays cool
  • Impressive connectivity
  • Boxy design
  • Not quite XPS standards
  • Some usability issues


4 – Asus Zenbook Pro UX580

Best Laptop For Graphic Design


CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 4 Go VRAM | RAM: 16 Go | Ecran: 15″ FHD (1920×1080 pixels) | Stockage: 512Go SSD

The latest Asus Zenbook is a pretty unique computer.

It’s been a while since there’s really no real evolution on the side of laptops, but with the Zenbook Pro UX580, Asus starts a small revolution. This one is at the touchpad, here replaced by a “screenplay”.

It’s an interactive screen with smart features that adapt to your activities to increase productivity while simplifying the use of your laptop. In addition, you have the option to create your own shortcuts.

Well used, it can be particularly useful for certain tasks. The screenplay allows for example to overcome the absence of the numeric keypad which is for me an unconditional in terms of productivity.

Asus also promises to implement new features as they go. Here we have a new standard. The screenplay may sound with this Asus Zenbook, the death knell of the classic touchpad.

  • Sturdy design
  • ScreenPad has innovative uses
  • Decent specifications
  • Average keyboard
  • Inconsistent performance
  • No SD card reader


5 – Apple MacBook Pro 15

Best Laptop For Graphic Design


CPU: Intel Core i7 six 2.5 GHz | GPU: AMD Radeon 560 | RAM: 16 Go | Ecran : 15″ (2880 x 1800) | Stockage : 256 Go SSD

Talking about a laptop dedicated to graphics not to mention the MacBook Pro would probably be of the order of heresy.

MacBooks remain and remain highly appreciated in the field of graphic design. This can be explained by several factors: reliability; excellent applications specific to Macs and are generally much more beautiful than the majority of PCs.

The MacBook Pro is capable of running all major creative applications, as well as the most popular video editing applications. This lightweight laptop weighs less than 2.5 kg, so you can carry it wherever you want, from meetings to presentations.

It is fine and can provide between 9 to 10 hours of battery life, depending on whether you choose the size of 13.3 or 15.4 inches.

For artists, I recommend the 15-inch model, with its Retina 2880 x 1800 screen.

Note that the embedded processor is powerful enough to allow you to do 3D modeling.

If you’re a designer in constant motion, but still need a fast computer, then the MacBook Pro 15 is for you. Web and graphic designers will appreciate the precision and pixel-by-pixel density of the Retina display.

  • Fantastic design
  • True Tone works well when you want it
  • Touch Bar is improving
  • Very good performance
  • Expensive
  • Lack of ports
  • Keyboard still feels a little flat


6 – Lenovo Yoga 720 = The Flexible

Best Laptop For Graphic Design


CPU: Intel Core i7-8850U | GPU: Intel HD | RAM: 8 Go | Ecran : 13″ (2880 x 1800) | Stockage : 256 Go SSD

The Lenovo Yoga 720 is a bit of everything most creators and artists would like from a computer, which is an easily portable PC that’s powerful enough to run most of the usual creative software – from Photoshop and InDesign to After Effects or 3Ds Max for 3D.

It is also a tablet on which you can draw.

To switch from one mode to another, you flip the screen of the laptop around the hinge and, voila, you have a tablet on which you can draw with the stylus.

The Yoga 720 combines lightness and power. However, in terms of power, it does not compete with standard laptops.

If you are looking for a hybrid tablet/laptop for your graphic designs, then this Lenovo Yoga is a great choice.

  • Sturdy hinge
  • Crisp display
  • Responsive keyboard and touchpad
  • The cooling fans run a lot
  • Only one standard USB port
  • No memory card reader


7 –Microsoft Surface Book 2 = The Very High Range

Best Laptop For Graphic Design


CPU: Intel Core i7-8650U | GPU: Nvidia Geforce 1060 | RAM: 16 Go | Ecran : 15″ (3000 x 2000) | Stockage : 256 Go SSD

Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 is without a doubt the best hybrid laptops/tablets of the moment.

It is easier to carry than the Lenovo Yoga 720 and much more aesthetically as well.

Why the Microsoft Surface Book and not the Surface Pro 4? Simply because the Surface Book offers better performance, a better resolution screen, and a much more ergonomic keyboard than the Surface Pro 4.

The Surface Book is essentially a tablet with an attachable keyboard that turns it into a laptop.

The keyboard portion embeds the graphics card, so you will have much higher performance when you are in computer mode.

The only drawback is that you will have to be in computer mode to run the most greedy software. You will not be able to return the keyboard as is possible with Lenovo Yoga.

These small imperfections aside, the Surface Book 2 remains an excellent companion for artists, illustrators, and other designers.

  • Crazy long battery life
  • Massively powerful
  • Lightweight yet large tablet
  • Excellent cooling
  • No up-firing base speakers
  • Small trackpad
  • Very pricey
  • No Surface Pen included


8 – Dell XPS 15 = The Nec Plus Ultra

Best Laptop For Graphic Design


CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H | GPU: Geforce 1050Ti 4 Go | RAM: 16 Go | Ecran : 15″ FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Stockage : 512 Go SSD

The Dell XPS 15 incorporates a 15-inch display for a weight of 1.75 Kg, making it a compact and lightweight computer.

The XPS 15 does, however, have enough power to allow you to turn most of your drawing or animation software.

Equipped with a very ergonomic keyboard, a precise touchpad, a wide range of configurations, an unmatched design, a good screen and a battery life of almost 11 hours, the Dell XPS is a real gem.

  • Excellent performance
  • Decent price
  • Great port selection
  • Fantastic display
  • Poor webcam placement
  • Middling audio output


9. Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro

Best Laptop For Graphic Design


CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U | GPU: MX 150 2 Go VRAM | RAM: 16 Go | Ecran : 15″ FHD (1,920 x 1,080) | Stockage :256 Go SSD

Xiaomi Brand, known for its smartphone with excellent value for money, launched two years ago in the design of laptops.

Their latest jewel to date is the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro. Have you ever wondered what a MacBook Pro would look like if it was running Windows 10? Well, that would give the Mi Notebook Pro.

The Mi Notebook has it all: it’s designed and built to last, and you get top-notch performance with eight-hour battery life. It is equipped with an Intel Core i7-8850U processor, an MX 150 graphics card with 2GB of video memory, a 256GB SSD and a 16GB Ram, all below the bar 1000 euros. The price/quality ratio is just unsurpassed.

The only disadvantage, the Mi Notebook is limited to China and it seems that it will not change anytime soon. If you want to get the Mi Notebook Pro, your best option is to order through reseller sites such as Gearbest.

This option has its own drawbacks because you will have to pay customs duties. Rights vary from one region to another. You will need to consult the local guidelines in your country for importing electronic products. Consider this in your purchase decision.

If you are skeptics of the import, know that it is nevertheless offered on French sites such as Cdiscount.

It is important to note that the keyboard is basic in QWERTY. However, stickers are provided to pass in AZERTY.

It still remains a great work computer and can run the graphics software without any problem while being sober, elegant and easy to lug around.

  • Exceptional performance
  • Great value for money
  • Stunning design
  • Great battery life
  • US keyboard
  • Chinese Windows installation
  • No touchscreen display
  • Noisy under load

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