How to Choose the Best Laptop for Graphic Design?

by Mr Vilen
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How to Choose the Best Laptop for Graphic Design: Choosing the right laptop for graphic designing is a tedious task in today’s competitive laptop market. Graphic design laptops have their technical specifications in respect to other general laptops or those used in office or high-end gaming and development machines.

Ideally, laptops used for graphic design should have a powerful processor, fast enough RAM, be easy to carry around i.e., lightweight and their screen should have a refined true colors display.

There are a couple of most important parameters that should be considered while choosing the best laptop for graphic design. Among those, the first one is your target useability and of course your budget.

Other parameters include true colors screen, portability, rotatability, good enough processor, a standalone graphics card, fast & good enough RAM, the size, and the kind of the display.

How to Select Best Laptop for Graphic Design?

How to Choose the Best Laptop for Graphic Design?

An appropriate graphic design laptop is something more than a decent laptop. Speed of the most appropriate graphic design laptop is of prime importance. It is annoying if the user waits longer for its workspace to respond.

It is also important to have the proper size of the screen otherwise your creation can not have those curves and views which you would see as a whole in one piece. It is also important to view the color of the graphics. This is important for late visualization on other machines. 

Sometimes people make a mistake in buying the most appropriate laptop for graphic design. Of course, they know their needs, but they don’t know what today’s tech is offering to ease creative work.

This is mostly because of a lack of research on the specs and techs of graphic design laptops. Many of us do not have time to do this. One should do enough research on the spec and tech of graphic design laptops before buying them. 

For this all, the purpose of graphic design laptop should be defined while selecting either PC or Mac and size of its display screen. Processor speed and storage of the RAM should be enough to serve the purpose.

One must have a dedicated graphics card with fast enough RAM and cache. For this, there is a variable price range available depending on its required features. One should at first know and decide the usage of the graphic design laptop.

It means, either you are using it for personal or business purposes? Either graphic design laptop is used for 3D graphics or 2D? This will then make it easy to decide the price range of the laptop which you want to use for your creative work as a graphic designer.

Using Laptop for Graphic Design

As mentioned earlier, Laptops for graphic designing can be used for both personal and business purposes. There are pros and cons of using a laptop for graphic design rather than a desktop. 

The best pro is that the laptop can be easily converted into a desktop only by connecting to or even more than one big display screen along with a wireless keyboard and mouse. The con is that laptops have limited battery time.

This then has to be taken into consideration if your work is not fixed to one desk rather you have to perform a rotating place work type and/or have multiple nodes to perform your designing work. For example, if you have clients in multiple places or you are a teacher and a mentor. 

Laptops work best when you keep your work with you even when traveling because laptops are portable. On the other hand, laptop RAM, processors (CPUs), and graphic cards (GPUs) are less efficient than desktops if you go for a cheaper and affordable designer Notebook.

For this all it is also important to make sure that your files are compatible with the operating system you are using and the software which you can run on a given graphics designing laptop. For this every software has its own needs and requirements of space on the hard drive, a requirement of the space on RAM and the speed and the operating system you are using.

To consider all this, my selection will be a laptop that gives my creativity ease to put on the canvas of the laptop. Therefore, it is of course also important to have a precision of the work of the pen and/or mouse we use.

I prefer the pen on the mouse to draw because it has a good reaction time, and it feels like you are drawing in real life. From many other professionals, it is also recommended to have a laptop with a pen with very less possible latency. Luckily in the current market, you can easily get such designer laptops.

Maybe there are some extra bugs which you have to save and then you can invest in them, but after all this, your speed of creativity will have a real boost. This is of course the reason why you will invest in such Notebooks.

Branded Laptop for Graphic Design

  • Apple: Macs in general are easy to use and preferred by the designers due to high image quality, color accuracy along with additional features of high-end Retina display. At this point the 16’’ MacBook Pro is the best laptop for graphic design.
  • Dell: If you are not an apple fan, then go for Dell XPS having a powerful, affordable and efficient machine system ideal to run graphic design software. Otherwise, Dell laptops are also a good replacement if you need a Windows and Linux Laptop.
  • ThinkPad: 15.6‘’ Full High Definition (FHD) display with a combination of perfect brightness and details introduces ThinkPad X1 in the world of graphic design:
  • HP: Top budget-friendly HP Envy X 360 is the best laptop for graphic design. It is a 15” bright and wide touch screen that feels really premium.

Important Factors for Choosing Best Laptop for Graphic Design

Which Processor is top for best designers laptop?

The processor is the brain of the laptop. Graphic design laptops need a high-speed processor which executes complex tasks without any interruption. Quad-core and extreme series processors are the best options for graphic design.

AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS, AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, Intel Core i9-9900K and AMD Ryzen 7 5800H are the top processors in the current market. If you see the current development AMD is hitting the market of the fast and top processors for laptops which are being manufactured and assembled for design purposes.

Which Graphics Card is the best selection for a designer’s laptop? 

Graphics card or Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) is either integrated into the CPU or available as a separate unit. It converts the computational message of the CPU into the image on a monitor. As we know NVIDIA is a leader in the market of Graphics cards and yes, it is still leading in the category.

AMD is also very competitive in this area, and it is making high-end Graphics Cards for designers laptops. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, and AMD Radeon 6900 XT are the top three runners at this point.

Which Hard Disk to Consider?

It should be, if possible, SSD which gives a much better speed while saving the graphics or retrieving the saved graphics on the hard drive. On the other hand, HDDs are very slow and will make your speed of work and creativity very slow.

At this point Samsung SSD 860 EVO 2.5″ SATA III, Western Digital Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD, SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD, Crucial MX500 SSD, and Kingston A400 SSD are used for designers’ laptops.

What types and kinds of RAM for the designer’s laptop are there?

The memory of the laptop is estimated in terms of RAM. If a laptop has not had much-inbuilt RAM, then memory can be installed or bought. For graphic design a laptop with 8GB RAM is also OK but 16GB is the best if affordable.

Here are some top RAMs available at this point for creating a good graphics designer’s laptop: Corsair Vengeance Performance Memory kit 32GB, Kingston Technology HyperX Impact, Crucial Ballistix Sport LT, and Samsung 32GB DDR4 3200MHz PC4-25600.

What should be the Size and kind of display for graphic design laptop?

A laptop used for graphic design has a big size for a clear view and to refine the display. 15’’ size is ok but bigger is recommended to get a clear idea of graphics. These days touchscreen laptops come in the market which have a dual function of laptop and tablet.

It has an additional feature of a pen which makes graphics even easier. The use of touch screen laptops and pens all depend on the comfortability of the user.

Use of a Pen on TouchPads and/or directly on the Designer Laptop:

To make this possible either one has to go for touch laptops or buy extra digital writing and Drawing board/tablet. It is recommended to go for even a low-price laptop but manage a drawing board. This will make your life easy.

  • Color Accuracy What should be the color accuracy of a graphic design laptop?
  • Color accuracy is among the most important parameters in top graphic design laptops and should have a minimum of 100% Adobe© RGB. 

Conclusion

To sum up, what is important in choosing a laptop for graphic designs: your taste of laptop model, affordability of your pocket and nature of the job you are going to perform does matter. Laptops are emerging like mushroom growth, so choose wisely what you want for your needs. Later we will give you a brief list of top graphic laptops available in the market.

FAQs

What laptop specs do you need for graphic design?

Important laptop specs should be a right balance among its target useability, affordable price, large colors screen, weight, mobility, performance and of course RAM. According to our professional recommendations: You should have a 500 GB Hard drive, 12 GB RAM, external GPU with a minimum of 6 GB RAM onboard, a 15’’ screen and at least 8 hours battery life of the graphic designing laptop. Furthermore, it should have a Full HD screen that is 1920×1080 pixels as a minimum, of course 4K is better so that you are ready for the innovation coming in next year’s plans from windows, Mac, and Adobe. It is preferred to have a better screen than more Hard drives because you can save your data to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and even Adobe Creative Cloud.

How much RAM do graphic designers need?

Random Access Memory (DRAM) stores data in the computer. RAM depends on the amount of work or tasks you are doing simultaneously. If you want to work continuously without delay, you should look for more RAM laptops. There are options to increase RAM by installing and purchasing memory. If you are not sure, then go for a minimum of 12 MB RAM to produce a good enough work environment for your creative workload.

What operating system is best for graphic design?

Both Windows and Mac are working best for graphic design. The choice between the two depends on the target job operated by the graphic designer. If you are using Adobe it works on both operating systems. If you want to go with convention, then go for Mac on Windows.

Is i5 good for graphic design?

Yes, the i5 is a good laptop for graphics designing. It’s affordable and has 6 cores, around 4.8 GHz clock speed, and 12 MB of cache. As the benchmark of the i5 shown processors have a rapid performance rate it holds the steady workload of the multiprocessing and multithreading up to a good limit. Intel Core i5 comes in a variety of offers which makes it sometimes hard to decide. For this one should see the speed and benchmark of every model when it comes to decisions. At this point, core i5 11600K 4,6 GHz – 6c/12t, 2× DDR4-2933 (G1) is a 6-core processor which is the best out of Intel i5.

Is 6 cores enough for graphic design?

Yes, to run graphic design apps like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign; 6 cores are more than enough for a graphic designer’s laptop. If you also use Premiere Pro as video editing, then it will be best to go for 8 cores but also at least 12 GB RAM and external GPU with at least 8 GB cache possibility. Some designers use Adobe Rush which needs less specs than Adobe Premiere Pro, but it comes with lesser tools which of course depends upon your professional needs.

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