Top 10 Best Laptops For Graphic Design Students [reviews] buying guide 2020

Best Laptops For Graphic Design Students: The field of Graphic design is one of the most satisfying fields in the digital world. If you do well, you will always be rewarded. But, if you do not do well you might not be able to survive in this field for long. So, in order to succeed in this field, you need to use the right tools and platform to become a pro-level designer. This is precisely the reason you need a quality laptop to meet all the gruesome demands of this field. You would need a responsive laptop that makes your job a whole lot easier. 

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Keeping all that in mind, we have compiled a list of the top 10 best laptops for graphic designers so that you could spend less time searching for new laptops. Here are some of our best laptop picks for Graphic design professionals.

Contents

List Of Top 10 Best Laptops For Graphic Design Students Product Reviews in 2020

1)Lenovo Y540 – 15.6″ FHD Gaming Laptop Computer, 9th Gen Intel Hexa-Core i7-9750H Up to 4.5GHz, 24GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD

Lenovo Y540 - 15.6" FHD Gaming Laptop Computer, 9th Gen Intel Hexa-Core i7-9750H Up to 4.5GHz, 24GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD

Review

Lenovo’s Legion, a sub-brand, is a well-known name in the world of gaming. It manufactures some of the best equipment that provides its users with a great gaming experience.

This latest Lenovo Y540 is in line with the Legion series. It is a beast when it comes to the power. To give you a bit of an idea, it can easily run High-power games like PUB-G without any fuss.

The Lenovo Legion Y540 has a simple design. It has stuck with the same design from the last year. It is not as flashy as some of the premium laptops in the market. The chassis looks exactly the same as Legion Y 530 which is made from polycarbonate. From the outside it does not look like a gaming laptop, Instead, it looks like a powerful robust laptop that has great in-built features. However, the laptop does not have RGB lighting which might be a bit of turn off for graphic designers.

With this laptop, you get the powerful Intel Core i7-9750H chipset. The chipset is armored with HyperThreading technology. However, the processor is not a quad-core processor. This single-core processor has a boost up the speed of up to 4.50GHz. The speed is enough to handle any graphic design work without much of a problem. Hyper Threading makes this laptop a remarkable choice during multi-core rendering.

The processor is further backed by The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU and 4GB Video RAM. The graphic card allows you to play any game that is demanding. The card also allows you to handle intricate 2D and 3D designs with accuracy.

With the Lenovo Legion series laptop, there is one thing you can be assured of and that is you can do multitasking with ease. This laptop is equipped with 24GB RAM which is huge so that you don’t face any hitch while drawing, design models, doing some 3D architecture work.

As for the storage, 24GbOf RAM is combined with 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD to provide you a deadly combo. This combination will ensure the smooth running of demanding applications like Photoshop and Illustrator. The 1TB hard disk will give your laptop enough capacity to save store and access as many files as you can.

The latest Lenovo Y540 has a 15.6 inch with1080 pixel resolution display that offers decent color light and coverage. The colors produced are true and natural which allows you to watch your favorite movies, play high-range games, and executive design tasks. Moreover, the laptop is capable of run 3D drawing software but without any hiccups.

 The gadget weighs only 5.1 pounds. It also provides you an array of connectivity options: USB 3.1, HDMI, Type-C, Mini DisplayPort, with 5-hour battery life.

Pros
  • Great CPU performance
  • High-performance features
  • Excellent design
  • Durable
Cons
  • A Bit heavy

2)Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 2 20QT0016US 15.6″ Mobile Workstation

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 2 20QT0016US 15.6" Mobile Workstation

Review

We have added another sensational laptop from Lenovo to our top 10 list. This Lenovo ThinkPad P1 is a great laptop in terms of graphic design tasks. It offers superb performance, easy work, and high-class features.

With respect to design, it seems that ThinkPad P1 has taken a leaf out of ThinkPad Extreme XI’s book. It is pretty much similar to it as it has a light chassis and thin shape. The 15-inch ThinkPad P1 boasts of matte-black finish with an extremely soft touch on the lid and deck. 

Moreover, its carbon fiber case gives this laptop a stealthy appearance. In addition to it, The red color of the rubber stick, and touchPad clicker also look beautiful. There are narrow bezels on the display which aren’t really thin.

The ThinkPad P1’s 15.6-inch has a 4K display that is not as bright as we would have liked it to be. However, its exceptional picture detail and sharp colors offer a great viewing experience. 

The ThinkPad P1 has 179 percent of the sRGB color gamut which is excellent in terms of performance. As mentioned above the maximum brightness level is not that high with 285 nits. It would have been better if it had more brightness.

The ThinkPad P1 Equipped with an Intel Xeon E-2176M CPU and 32GB of RAM, that is quite impressive. Intel Xeon E-2176M CPU is the main reason that this laptop is considered one of the best in the business. The computer can easily load more than 20 tabs without any stutter. You can also play two 1080p YouTube videos. 

The laptop has Nvidia Quadro P2000 GPU, which offers plenty of graphics power for game lovers and graphics design students.

As for the audio, The speakers are loud enough to let you hear online lectures without much of a problem. Moreover, the quality of the audio is also solid, you can get completely immersed in your favorite music.

The 720p webcam, which is located at the top of the display offers decent photo graphics. Moreover, the backlit keyboard is really comfortable and responsive. Your fingers will absolutely love it when you touch the buttons. comfortable keys live up to expectations of the lofty standards maintained by Lenovo.

Pros
  • Thin and lightweight
  • Responsive Keyboard
  • Gorgeous display
  • Lovely design
Cons
  • The cooling system not good

3)Razor Blade 15 –  Intel Core i7-9750H 6 Core – GeForce GTX 1660Ti – 15.6″ FHD 1080p 144Hz – 16GB RAM – 256GB SSD

Razor Blade 15 -  Intel Core i7-9750H 6 Core - GeForce GTX 1660Ti - 15.6" FHD 1080p 144Hz - 16GB RAM - 256GB SSD

Review

The Razor Blade 15 is a perfect choice for anyone who is looking for something super cool and crazy machine. Its powerful processor and strong internal components make this laptop one of the most amazing laptops for graphic designers. With this machine, you will face no problem in making personal layouts, logos, and illustrations.

The laptop is paired with the Intel Core i7-9750H processor that has a maximum speed of 4.5GHz. As a graphic designer, you need to keep one thing in mind and that is in order to run applications related to design such as Illustrator, or the entire Adobe system, you need a highly strong processor and this processor Intel Core i7-9750H has the capacity to run these types of applications without much of a problem.

What we most like about this laptop is that it has a memory speed of approximately 12gbp. This memory speed along with H-series Chipset and 6 cores/12 threads makes this laptop really fast.

There is a 6GB VRAM that is really necessary from a professional design point of view. It will allow you to handle intricate 3D design.

The 16GB RAM allows you to do multitasking with ease. Rest assured, there would be no stuttering even if you load heavy software and load 20 tabs at once. 

With 256GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, you can install applications that require a lot of storage such as some of the more demanding application programs such as Illustrator, and CorelDraw Suite.

The 15.6-inch display panel is backed by a 144-refresh rate, which should help in preventing any blur and jagged images. The display is able to reproduce an excellent 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut which helps to introduce clear and bright images. 

As for design, Razer’s laptops are a treat to watch. With black aluminum chassis, you will get a great exterior. The overall weight distribution is also good. The laptop weighs only 4.63 pounds. Thus, it is portable.

The keyboard and touchpad are good in terms of how they respond when pushed to their limits. Loudspeakers are also powerful enough to cover a medium-level room. As for connectivity, you will get Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, and the elusive Thunderbolt 3 slot.

Pros
  • Well built
  • Smooth finish
  • High power graphicAnother Hard Disk connection option card
  • 144Hz Refresh Rate
Cons
  • A bit Expensive from our liking.

4)Dell Inspiron 14 5482 –  FHD 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Intel Core i7-8565U up to 4.6 GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Bluetooth

Dell Inspiron 14 5482 -  FHD 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop Intel Core i7-8565U up to 4.6 GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Bluetooth

Review

There are times when you want a machine that is easier on the wallet and this Dell Inspiron 14 5482 2-in-1 laptop also belongs to the same category. It will not cause you a lot of dollars. It is an entry-level business laptop that is precisely made for businessmen and graphic designers like you. It is thin, lightweight, and affordable.

Dell Inspiron 14 5482 2-in-1, a convertible machine, hasn’t got a flashy design and it has nothing new to offer. It has a simple design, very much similar to almost every Inspiron device. However, the material used in other Inspiron items, and in this one is quite different,. This laptop has a full aluminum body, except for the base and it also has a glass cover above the display. Thus, this excellent material gives this laptop a premium vibe.

With a weight of around 1.7kg, the Dell Inspiron 14 (5482) might not be a light laptop but it is light enough to be carried around easily in one hand. Moreover, the keyboard is good enough to easily type on it. However, it does not have the ultra responsiveness factor that you will see on other Dell laptops.

This laptop presents you with a Full HD touchscreen IPS display. The display is a diagonal one that has a size of 14-inch with a screen of 16:9 and the resolution is 1920 x 1080p The pixel density is 157 PPI. 

The system utilizes Intel Whiskey Lake-U CPU  Core i7-8565U. The processor has enough power to satisfy your design needs. However, the laptop has got no dedicated GPU options.

The battery life is decent with 7 hours of power on one go. However, if you stream powerful videos, the battery may not last up o 7 hours. As for ports, it has  2x USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB Type-C (FF), USB 2.0, HDMI 1.4b, 3.5mm headphone jack, SD card reader.  

Pros
  • Great CPU performance
  • High-performance features
  • Excellent design
  • Durable
Cons
  • Average battery life

5)Dell XPS 15 9500 – FHD+, Intel Core i7 10th Gen, 16GB Memory, 512GB Solid State Drive, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6

Dell XPS 15 9500 - FHD+, Intel Core i7 10th Gen, 16GB Memory, 512GB Solid State Drive, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6

Review

If you have the buying power, you should not miss out on this Dell XPS 15 9500 laptop. This beautifully crafted laptop is specially designed for pro-level graphic designers who are in search of something unorthodox and out of the box.

The system utilizes the 10th gen Intel Core i7-10750H processor. The processor has the capability to reach the speed of 5.0GHz which is pretty awesome. This shows that the laptop can overcome any hardcore graphic design task with ease. You can run Photoshop CC and do creative work as well as you can even edit the videos and photos and do some coding with this fast processor.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti GPU is paired with 4GB VRAM, you can play as many games as you want, but they need to be mid-range games. As for high-range games, you will notice slight stuttering and image falling back in fast-paced games.

You will get 16GB of RAM on this machine. This 16Gb RAM should be enough for you to overcome multiple workflows without any hitch. In terms of storage, it has 512GB SSD storage. This much storage will minimize any kind of boot-up time. The Windows 10 OS will also help you run high demanding graphic design applications.

The display quality is amazing. The screen is incredibly sharp and vibrant and it is considered for HDR 400. The screen has a maximum brightness of  500 nits which s superb. The screen covers 100 percent of the Adobe RGB spectrum.

As for the design, it is quite sleek, in fact very sleek. It comes in at 4.5 pounds, the laptop is portable. Now, from the connectivity point of view, you get USB Type-C units in which there are 2 Thunderbolt 3 port eligible. It also has legacy slots.

Pros
  • Latest processor
  • Fast RAM
  • Excellent display
  • Dependable GPU
Cons
  • Not good for high-range games

6)HP Spectre x15t – Touch 4K UHD,i7- i7 9750H Hexacore,NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (4GB),512GB NVMe SSD,16GB RAM

HP Spectre x15t - Touch 4K UHD,i7- i7 9750H Hexacore,NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (4GB),512GB NVMe SSD,16GB RAM

Review

When buying a laptop that offers a whole package in terms of performance, display, design, ports, connectivity options, and internal components, there is no better option than this HP Spectre x15t. It offers you a large portion of everything. In short, the laptop is a powerhouse for graphic designers.

HP Spectre x15t has a superior design that only a few laptops have got. Its modern matte blue chassis decorated by gold edging looks quite awesome. The aluminum-made chassis is solid and elegant looking with  Gorilla Glass for the screen and Bang & Olufsen speakers also make this laptop worth buying. However, it is a bit heavier but still portable because of its 0.76 inches thickness. The weight is so well distributed that you will hardly feel any burden while carrying it.

The system utilizes the Intel Core i7-9750H CPU which has a maximum speed of 4.5GHz which has enough juice in its pocket to let you install and run each and every graphic design app, and that includes Adobe Photoshop, and Illustrator too. For 3D modeling, most laptops are not good enough but this gadget’s high single-core performance lets you do 3D modeling with ease. 

Although HP Spectre is not technically a  hardcore gaming laptop, you have Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti and 16GB RAM, which will help you run most of the  AAA games at modest settings. However, the laptop struggles to play these games at high settings.

As for the 4K display, the screen provides you fine details with rich and natural colors that are quite nicely saturated. However, the brightness level is not up to the mark. With a 50% battery left, you might feel the screen is a bit dark. The touch panel is as sharp as a laptop display can be, because of its 4K resolution. 

The 15-hour battery with countless ports in the form of USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support, and HDMI 2.0 make this laptop worth buying.

Pros
  • Longlasting battery
  • Lovely touch display
  • Elegant design
  • Excellent performance
Cons
  • Bulky

7)The Apple MacBook Pro – 16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage

The Apple MacBook Pro - 16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage

Review

The Apple MacBook Pro is a go-to choice for every graphic designer. It has great in-built qualities and high-power features. It is excellent for those who desire to buy a laptop that has immense raw power.

Apple is packed with the Intel Core i7-9750H processor that has a maximum speed of up to 4.5GHz. This is a mighty processor that has extraordinary power to let you open multiple graphic design applications and software all at once including LibreCad and AutoCad. 

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is pretty much similar to the 15-inch model. It has the same shape, same look, and almost identical body. Thus, there is nothing new about its shape. However, the display is larger and bezels are thinner than previous models. Therefore, the overall size has been increased. And the way it has been designed, it looks classy and attractive. The iconic wedge shape is supported by the Apple logo on the back. 

It is also equipped with Radeon Pro 5300M dedicated GPU and the Intel UHD 630 iGPU. The couple gives the laptop seriously impressive graphics. And, what amazes us the most is that the laptop can be configured with the 64GB of RAM  and 8TB of SSD storage.

You will also be in charge of a 16-inch screen that has an overall resolution of 3072 x 1920 pixels. which is amazing considering the fact that it is close to 4K resolution.

The responsive keyboard with a lovely trackpad and the integrated TouchID makes it easy for professional graphic designers to use this laptop. It also has a six-speaker system that is wonderful in terms of listening to your favorite music. There is also an excellent webcam that is great for video calling webcam.

Pros
  • Mighty processor
  • Dedicated and integrated GPU
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Touch Id
Cons
  • Nothing new in terms of design

8)The MSI GF63 – 15.6″ Gaming Laptop, Thin Bezel, Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650, 16GB, 512GB NVMe SSD

The MSI GF63 - 15.6" Gaming Laptop, Thin Bezel, Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650, 16GB, 512GB NVMe SSD

Review

The MSI GF63 is specially designed for fellows who love to play high-power games. Keep in mind that those laptops which support high power games are also good for graphic design. The laptop would provide you a solid performance due to its Corei7 processor and Nvidea Graphics.

The laptop is loaded with some pressing power. The main reason for its excellent performance is an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU and 16GB of RAM and 512 SSD. We are sure that it won’t even break a sweat when you do 3D modeling and run applications like photoshop and illustrator.

The Nvidia GeForce 1050 Ti GPU can let you play all kinds of games but at low settings. You might run into interruptions if you up the settings. It maintains around 23 frames per second, which is a little bit low.

The laptop has dual bottom-firing audio speakers. These aren’t really powerful. It will hardly cover your mid-size room. 

 GF63’s 15.6-inch has 1080p resolution display. The display is detailed but a little bit dim. However, the colors are sharp and crisp. It covers only 73 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is a little bit on the lower side.

 It has a standard backlit keyboard, responsive integrated touchpad, balanced HD webcam, excellent cooling system, 8 hours of battery life, 4.10-pound weight, and port featuring USB 3.2 Gen 1, Type-C, and a few additional slots.

Pros
  • A fast Processor
  • Powerful Graphics
  • Good weight distribution
  • Strong body
Cons
  • You won’t get a thunderbolt 3 port

9)Microsoft  Surface Book 3 -13.5″ Touch-Screen – 10th Gen Intel Core i7 – 16GB Memory – 256GB SSD 

Microsoft  Surface Book 3 -13.5" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 256GB SSD

Review

If you love traveling and you are a freelance graphic designer then this Microsoft  Surface Book 3 is the one for you. It has everything you need as a graphic designer: a powerful processor, great portability factor, and a lovely design.

Microsoft  Surface Book 3 has the Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor which has a speed of up to 3.9GHz that is enough as far as vector graphic design is concerned. The processor may look outdated but remain assured this device is powerful enough to let you open 20 tabs at a time with four YouTube videos streaming at 1080p. There would be no stuttering or interruption. Plus, the 4GB of memory helps quite a bit in making this laptop faster. It has Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 that allows you to do video editing or photo editing at a higher response rate.

The 13.5-inch display looks very lovely. The colors on display are vivid, bright, and vibrant due to a resolution of 3000×2000 pixels. Moreover, brightness is also something to cherish about. Your eyes won’t get stored even if you use them for many hours.

Its lovely backlit keyboard and smooth touchpad are something that is pleasing to the eye. When you touch the keyboard you would want to type for hours and hours. It has also got excellent speakers and a dual-camera setup with a durable metallic chassis. 

It weighs only 3.62 pounds and it is ultra-thin and therefore, it is highly portable. It has a battery life of 15 hours.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Decent shape
  • Better battery life than previous its predecessors
  • Keyword works perfectly well
Cons
  • Thick bezels

10)Lenovo Z70 – Intel Core i7, 16 GB, 1TB HDD, Black

Lenovo Z70 - Intel Core i7, 16 GB, 1TB HDD, Black

Review

If you are looking for a laptop that has a large display that provides the videos and pictures a new life then this Lenovo Z70  is the one for you. It will provide you with the ultimate viewing experience. This machine is equipped with respectable specs that are sufficient enough to satisfy all your graphic design needs. 

The Lenovo Z70 is equipped with an5 th generation Intel Core i7-5500U processor, and 8 GB of RAM, and it has a hard disk storage of 1 TB. The processor has a maximum speed of 2.7GHz which is more than enough to run most of the software.  

The processor is backed by NVIDIA GeForce GT840M graphics and 2GB of video memory. With these features, you can run almost any modern game. However, you will run into lag if your game is demanding and if you have set up high graphics for the game. But, for the mid-range game, it is a perfect laptop.

 As for the ports, you will get Wi-Fi 802.11 ac plus it has 2 USB ports, a VGA port, HDMI port, and Mic in the ports.  As for the weight it only weighs 2.99 kg. As for the battery, it is quite mediocre. It only has 4-hour battery life. The laptop has JBL speakers to provide you clear sound.

The laptop has 17.3-inch wide-screen display and it supports Full HD (1,920-by-1,080) resolutions. However, you won’t get any touch support. The picture quality along with the color rendition is satisfying, you will get some crisp and sharp details and natural colors. It also has great wide viewing angles. 

Pros
  • Thin
  • Portable
  • Decent picture quality
  • Lovely shape
Cons
  • Poor battery life

A Laptop Buying Guide For Graphic Designers

Buying a laptop for graphic design can be a gruesome process. It is a great challenge to buy a laptop for this purpose because buying a laptop for graphic design is quite different from buying a general laptop that is made for gaming or business purpose. They need to be light, portable, and at the same time, they need to be powerful. So, read our buying guide to know what you really need in your laptop to do graphic design.

CPU

After reading the whole article, you would know that the processor is the most important part of your hardware device. It controls all the duties of your laptop. As a graphic designer, you require a CPU that is fast and powerful enough to let you handle complex 2D and 3D work. You would need your processor to run the whole Adobe CC suite if you want to be a pro-level worker.  So remember that Intel i-series processors work best and the AMD processors are also good.

RAM

As a Graphic designer, you would need enough juice in your processor that it can easily allow your software to run swiftly without any hassle. But, you know that by raising the RAM power, you would need to increase the overall cost which you wouldn’t want to do in the initial days of your career. So we recommend, as a minimum requirement, that your laptop should have a laptop at least 8GB of RAM to provide enough boost to the processor to run any software easily.

Storage Drive

You would know that laptops come with two types of storage drives. One is a hard disk drive and the other is a Solid State Drive. You might get any of those depending upon your laptop specs. The hard disk drive is a more affordable one with more capacity but they are not good enough for your design purpose. On the other hand, there is Solid Stae Drive, which is much faster but expensive. The latter is more suitable for graphic designers.

Display Size

For graphic design, you wouldn’t want a smaller display. You need a big widescreen that allows you to do your work easily. Your screen should be at least 15-inch wide.  Moreover, try using a screen that has at least 1080p resolution so that you can enjoy your favorite movies and songs in your leisure time. It will also give you visual clarity, and a great user experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What amount of RAM is needed for exceptional graphic design?

As far as graphic design goes, it is the processor that does most of the work. But memory comes into play when you run like Photoshop and Illustrator. Therefore, you would need at least 8Gb of RAM. However, 16 GB of RAM would be great.

What to choose between Windows or macOS for Graphic design related tasks?

You would know that macOS is great as far as demanding and high-power applications are concerned But we think that Windows 10 OS is still better than the former only due to sole reason: Its extraordinary adaptability as far as different software is concerned.

Do you need an SSD for graphic design?

As mentioned above, SSD makes your processor life pretty easy. It is fast and much better than traditional Hard Drive. If you are a graphic designer, you should always prefer SSD over the latter.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have gone through our list and buying guide about Best Laptops For Graphic Design Students, you would have gathered all the information related to this topic. We are sure that by now, you would have chosen the right laptop that is tailor-made for your field. 

With lots of laptops available in the market and each having different features, you would know that purchasing a laptop can often be a difficult task. So, the aim of our list was to make things easy for you to decide on what suits you best.

Key Reference

  1. Computer Specifications | Hixson-Lied College of Fine Link
  2. How to Choose the Best Laptop for Graphic Design Link
  3. Recommended Graphic Design Computer Requirements | Update for 2020 Link

Watch this video “Windows VS Mac for graphic designers – What computer should you buy” (10 mins 50 seconds)

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