Every graphic designer knows the importance of having a powerful laptop, benefiting from color accuracy and a large enough screen for the purpose of doing intricate work. Power and smooth functioning are also essential. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, you know this is the one piece of hardware that you simply cannot make a compromise with.
Computer technologies become more powerful all the time, giving graphic designers and other visual professionals a chance to do better work than ever before. If you’re considering the purchase of a new graphic design laptop in 2018, you’ve come to the right place. The following guide will acquaint you with some of the best opportunities on the market. The entries in the list address the needs of those looking for a premium laptop, those in need of a budget-friendly option and the graphic designers that want an optimum price to quality ratio.
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro
Acer has two excellent laptops for graphic designers. Acer Predator is seen as predominantly a gaming laptop but the smoothness of graphics also makes it ideal for designers. The other stellar possibility is Acer Aspire V17 Nitro.
With a large 17.3” screen and a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, Acer Aspire is obviously a great choice for those who have to stare at colors, lines and other graphic details all day. The computer is very quick and the smooth functioning is ensured via the use of an Intel i7 processor.
Several other great characteristics worth mentioning include 16GB of RAM, a hard drive with a capacity of one terabyte, a very comfortable keyboard, a compact design and a thickness of solely 25 millimeters (0.98 inches).
On the downside, Acer Aspire V17 Nitro is a bit pricey. A newcomer may want to look for another, more budget-friendly possibility. Several buyers have complained about the smaller than average touchscreen and the matte screen choices.
Microsoft Surface Book
Both artists and graphic designers will love this laptop because it comes with a stylus. Because of this characteristic, the creation of drawings, illustrations and sketches has become easier than ever without the need for purchasing additional equipment.
The stylus makes it very easy to navigate through different screens and to use the laptop sans a mouse.
While this laptop is a high-end product that will be seen as too expensive by starting professionals, it brings many benefits to the table.
Microsoft Surface Book has a 13.5” screen (a 15” version is also available) and it is a lightweight machine. The resolution of 3000 by 2000 pixels allows for a lot of crispness. This laptop also doubles as a tablet whenever presentations have to be made and for the purpose of better portability. A few other noteworthy characteristics include an Intel Dual Core i5 processor, eight to 16GB of RAM, Intel HD graphic-integrated CPU, PixelSense Display and USB-C port.
The only downsides that deserve to be mentioned are the cost of the laptop and the fact that it is heavier than other laptops out there (when not being used as a tablet).
Asus P-Series P2540UA-AB51
If the first two graphic design laptops mentioned in the review seem to be way too expensive for you, this option will be just right. The Asus P-Series P2540UA-AB51 tops the budget niche in the world of graphic design hardware.
This laptop comes with an excellent price to quality ratio because of several key integrated characteristics.
The Asus P-Series laptop is equipped with an Intel Dual Core i5 processor, eight GB of RAM and a hard drive of one terabyte. On top of that, the laptop comers with a powerful battery that has a life of up to nine hours (great for work in cafés and out of one’s home or office).
Several other characteristics that rank the laptop among the best include an anti-glare FHD panel, four USB ports, upgradeable memory door, fingerprint scanning for data access and a very streamlined design.
The lack of SSD storage and poor audio quality are the only two shortcomings worth mentioning about this affordable yet powerful piece of equipment.
HP Zbook Studio G4 DreamColor
Anyone who believes that power is the most important characteristic in a graphic design laptop should consider the HP Zbook Studio G4. The newest in the HP mobile workstation range, this laptop has a 15.6” screen, a 4K color display and Core Intel Xeon CPU. The picture is completed with 32GB of RAM and 4GB VRAM.
While the laptop isn’t the most affordable one, it packs a powerful punch for visual professionals.
Need more positive characteristics? Here they are – a maximum resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels, NVIDIA Quadro M1200, 512GB of SSD storage, two USB ports, one HDMI port and a weight of solely 2.09 kilograms (4.6 pounds).
On the downside, this laptop is expensive. Some users have also complained about a relatively short battery life.
Dell XPS 15
The final entry in the list is a reasonably priced, high-end laptop that ensures excellent graphics and a lot of creative freedom.
Dell XPS 15 features an amazing screen – a characteristic that graphic designers are sure to appreciate. The 15.6” InfiniteEdge display is borderless and easy on the eye. There’s also a more expensive version on the market that comes with a 4K display and multi-touch.
As far as technical specs go, here are the more important ones: Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, one terabyte of hard drive storage, GeForce graphics, and a weight of solely 1.8 kilograms. If you are looking for even more portability from your laptop, the Dell XPS 13 would be an even more appropriate pick for you.
Dell XPS 15 is probably one of the best entries on the market as far as a price to quality ratio is concerned. The only downsides include a subpar battery life and the lack of security features that some professionals consider essential in their computers.
Native 4k Resolution Laptops
Due to popular request, we have researched and included a few 4k high-resolution laptop options in the list. If 1080p (Regular High Definition) is not making the cut for you, check out one of these laptops for your needs.
ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71
Out of all 4K laptops, this one is probably the best choice for graphic designers. There are several reasons why ASUS ZenBook Pro beats the competition. For a start, it’s equipped with a 3840 by 2160-pixel touchscreen IPS 4K UHD display. These parameters are ideal for designers who need vividness of colors and clarity. The laptop allows for 74 percent Adobe RGB color reproduction and it also comes with color calibration from the factory for ultimate accuracy.
In addition, this laptop has an upgraded processor from its predecessor and the battery lifespan is increased by seven hours. If you like working outdoors or in cafés, this laptop will come in handy.
A few other noteworthy characteristics include Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 10 operating system, a 15.6-inch screen, a weight of five pounds and compact dimensions (0.8 by 10 by 15.1 inches).
The shortcomings aren’t that many but they have to be mentioned for the sake of balance. A few of the prominent cons include a screen that’s glossier than others and bloatware.
Lenovo ThinkPad P-Series P50 15.6-Inch Laptop
Lenovo’s P-Series features some pretty great laptops for graphic designers. The P50 20EN0013US 15.6-inch is a 4K laptop that comes at an excellent price.
The 16:9 display with IPS technology brags very bright colors and a viewing angle of up to nearly 180 degrees. Professionals will be pleased to learn that the ThinkPad P50 comes with X-Rite Pantone color calibration.
This laptop also features Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, a redesigned touchpad on the keyboard, Dolby Home Theater for audio quality and a fingerprint reader. Lenovo ThinkPad P-50 is also characterized by excellent battery life.
The screen is a bit dimmer than the average for such a laptop. The P-50 is also heavier than some of its competitors, which is probably one of the biggest shortcomings.
Apple MacBook Pro 15-Inch with Touch Bar
If you can afford it, the 15-Inch Apple MacBook Pro is the Rolls-Royce of 4K laptops for graphic designers. The brightness and the colors of the display are unsurpassed. In addition, the laptop features a faster processor and more power than its predecessors.
Taking a look at some of the key characteristics, the Apple MacBook Pro is very sleek and very lightweight. Traveling professionals will definitely enjoy the four-pound laptop with its dimensions of 13.75 by 9.48 by 0.61 inches.
Other noteworthy characteristics include Intel Core i7 processor, turbo boost, AMD Radeon Pro 450 GPU, Mac OS Sierra, a functional touch bar and touch ID, Intel Iris Graphics 550, a backlit keyboard, almost 11 hours of battery life, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB hard drive.
The biggest downside is the price of this 4K laptop. A few other potential shortcomings to keep in mind before investing in an Apple MacBook Pro include the lack of major upgrades from the previous versions and the fact that the laptop will get warm pretty fast.
Are you looking for a new graphic design laptop? Don’t hesitate to explore your options today. If you don’t know how to pick a good laptop for your work needs, please take a look at our Free Guide to Choosing the Perfect Computer. All that you have to do is complete a simple form in order to download the detailed manual.