10 Best Laptops for Graphic Design in 2022

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Arek Dvornechcuck
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Last updated:
September 6, 2022

Many people ask me what's the best laptop for graphic design, so I reviewed a range of brands to give you my recommendation as a designer.

Graphic design is a serious job that requires good hardware and software to get the job done.

With so many brand available on the market, there is not shortage of good laptops for graphic design these days.

When choosing a laptop, you need the right balance between performance and weight, large screen and portability, battery life and affordable price and so on.

Which laptop is best for graphic design?

What laptops most graphic designers use?—Most creatives I know use Apple products e.g. I work on my Macbook Pro (late 2019).

It’s no secret that most creatives love Apple products, but in case you’re not an Apple fan, in this article I cover a variety of other great laptops that will certainly do the job.

So without further ado, here’s my list of the 10 best laptops for graphic design.

Do you want to add your product to the list?—Find my address on the contact page and send your product for review.

10 Best Laptops for Designers

  1. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4—Best Microsoft
  2. Dell XPS 15 9500—Best for pros
  3. Apple MacBook Air 2021—Most popular
  4. MacBook Pro 14" 2021—best Apple laptop
  5. Acer Aspire 5 A515—budget option
  6. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14—best Asus laptop
  7. GIGABYTE AERO 17 HDR—Most powerful
  8. Razer Blade 14" 2021—Best for gaming
  9. Lenovo ThinkPad X1—Best 2-in-1 laptop
  10. Huawei MateBook X Pro—Most Apple-like

How to choose the best laptop for graphic design

What should a graphic designer consider when buying a laptop?

There are certain features you should look for in a laptop and things to consider before buying one.

10 Best Laptops for Designers

When it comes to choosing the best laptop for your specific graphic design needs, you should consider these 7 factors:

  1. Operating System (OS)
  2. Processor Power (CPU)
  3. RAM Memory
  4. Disk Storage
  5. Display
  6. Battery Life
  7. Price

Now let’s shortly describe each of them and what they mean when it comes to getting the graphic design work done.

Operating System (OS)

First things first, at the start you need to decide whether you like using Windows or you consider switching to MacOS or perhaps simple ChromeOS would be enough?

I started my graphic design career using Windows and then after a few years I made my transition to MacOS.

Processor Power (CPU)

Clearly, the most important thing when deciding on which laptop to choose is how powerful it is.

Any serious graphic design software will require a powerful processor (CPU) to run all your tasks smoothly.

Go on sites like Adobe and check out their CPU requirements for specific apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, Premiere Pro etc.

For example: to do heavy lifting like 3d rendering and video editing, you must go for the maximum performance—look for a quad-core.

RAM Memory

The next thing to consider is RAM, which basically allows you to run multiple apps simultaneously.

How much RAM do I need for graphic design?—Get at minimum 8 GB of RAM, recommended 16GB or as much as you can afford.

I would strongly recommend you to go for the maximum RAM.

As a graphic designer you will often have to switch between different apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and more—so you need that extra juice.

Disk Storage

Depending on what specific graphic design work you do, you will need some space to save those often heavy files.

Graphic design source files (PSD, AI, INDD, AEP etc.) tend to be very heavy so you need that extra disk space to save all of them.

Especially if you work in 3d graphic design or video editing, or just working with photos — these things require a lot of space on your disk.

Display

Obviously, a decent display choice is very important to any graphic designer.

This is because as a designer, you need optimal brightness, great color accuracy, and the bigger the screen the better.

When it comes to screen size: 13” screen is a bit too small, 15” is optimal, and 16 or 17” will be very appreciated.

Here, you can also think whether you want to have a touchscreen to be able to use it as a tablet (good for drawing illustrations)

Battery Life

Since you want to buy a laptop, then battery life must be important to you.

Especially if you’re living a nomadic life or just have to move your laptop frequently without having to plug it every single time.

Dying battery in the middle of your work can be a very frustrating thing.

Price

And of course, with all that being said, probably one of the most important factors is affordability as well, right?

Who wants to spend money only to find out later that there was a better deal?

You should set your budget first and then look for laptops within that budget range—affordable, but powerful enough to handle your creative work.

Take all of that into consideration and check out my list of the best laptops for graphic designers in 2022.

1. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

If you’re a fan of Microsoft and is looking for the best laptop among all those available, then the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is for you.

The best Microsoft laptop for designers in 2022.

This laptop from Microsoft is not only a great budget choice, but it also comes with a very beautiful design.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 graphic design laptop

In terms of design, it definitely resembles a Macbook and does so in many ways.

The apple-like aluminum body gives this laptop a familiar, premium feel and protects well what’s inside at the same time.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a great choice if you’re looking for the best overall graphic design laptop today.

Inside you will find a powerful processor that makes graphics render and it ensures minimal lag while using Adobe CC products.

What’s very interesting about this laptop is the new fast-charging feature that enables an 80% charge in less than an hour!

Still not sure which one should you buy: Microsoft Surface Laptop vs Apple MacBook Pro?—Check out this article.

Specifications

CPU: Intel 11th Generation Core i5
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB
Screen: 13.5 Inches
Storage: 256GB SSD, 512GB SSD, 1TB SSD

Pros

  • Eye-catching design
  • Speedy Processors
  • Fast-Charging Feature

Cons

  • Mediocre Battery Life

Buy Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 on Amazon

2. Dell XPS 15 9500

If you’re not an Apple fan, but don’t mind spending more on a quality laptop, then Dell XPS is your best choice.

The best laptop for professionals who value quality and design.

This Dell laptop is perfect for graphic design as it combines powerful components in a thin, light, and very stylish design making it a great choice for all creatives.

Dell XPS 15 9500 graphic design laptop

This Dell checks-off everything a designer would look for in a laptop.

With a 15-6-inch display and a discrete Nvidia graphics card, it is a perfect choice for graphic designers who do intensive creative work.

The latest tech from Intel makes this laptop skillful at images, video editing software, and some gaming as well.

As they say “You get what you pay for” and it couldn’t be further from the truth in this case.

Dell XPS 15 9500 is a great choice for graphic designers that want the best dell laptop available today.

Solid performance in a beautiful design for those who don’t mind spending over $2k a quality machine.

Overall, Dell XPS 15 9500 is a powerful device that is both affordable and efficient when it comes to running graphic design software.

Specifications

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics - Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
RAM: 8GB – 64GB
Screen: 15.6" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS - UHD+ (3840 x 2400)
Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Pros

  • Fast performance
  • Eye-catching design

Cons

  • GTX 1650 Ti is a little weak

Buy Dell XPS 15 9500 on Amazon

3. Apple MacBook Air 2021

MacBook Air 2021 is a budget version of Apple products and it might be a good option for those designers who don’t need super powerful Macbook Pro.

The most popular laptop for regular graphic design work.

Previous versions of MacBook Air weren’t powerful enough to handle advanced graphic design software like Adobe CC.

Apple MacBook Air 2021 graphic design laptop

Having the same M1 chip means this Apple MacBook Air 2021 is as powerful as the MacBook Pro, but much much cheaper.

Plus, it has a fan-less design, ensuring complete silence in use, without overheating.

This Macbook has also a wider palette of colors on display, up to 25% more colors than sRGB, which really matters for graphic designers.

However, don’t expect it to be a good choice if you’re into some heavy design work like video editing or 3d rendering.

Apple MacBook Air 2021 is an excellent option for those who do some simple graphic design work, like branding, logo or web design.

Moreover it comes with a whole bunch of features that Apple is known for: Touch ID, True tone technology, Force Touch trackpad, WI-FI 6, USB 4 and many more.

Specifications

CPU: Apple M1 chip
Graphics: Integrated
RAM: 4gb, 8gb
Screen: 13.3 Inches
Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

Pros

  • Powerful M1 chip
  • Silent in use
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Can get hot (no fan)

Buy Apple MacBook Air 2021 on Amazon

4. Apple MacBook Pro 14" 2021

It may come as no surprise that MacBook Pro 14" 2021 is my top pick as it is still considered as the best laptop for designers.

The best Apple laptop for every graphic design work.

This specific MacBook is my favorite as it comes with a larger screen than its previous models, giving you more space to work with.

Apple MacBook Pro 14" 2021 graphic design laptop

Moreover, Apple managed to keep the iconic light and slim design while increasing screen size.

As Apple says in its press release “...designed for developers, photographers, filmmakers, scientists, music producers and anyone who relies on a Mac to create their life’s best work.”

This MacBook is blazing-fast, has bigger battery, awesome speakers and massive amounts of storage.

If wasn’t always an Apple fan, but I remember when I got my first Macbook Pro about a decade ago—and I never looked back ever since.

Do you need a touch screen for graphic design?—I don't prefer a touchscreen display over a regular one for graphic design

Apple MacBook Pro 14" 2021 is also an excellent choice for anyone looking to run Adobe CC apps like Photoshop or Illustrator.

It is a very powerful laptop thanks to the perfect combination of Core i9 processor and a ton of RAM to run your graphic designer software smoothly.

Specifications

CPU: Apple M1 pro max
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 14 Inches
Storage: 512GB

Pros

  • Stunning 16-inch screen
  • New, improved keyboard

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited to 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports

Buy Apple MacBook Pro 14" 2021 on Amazon

5. Acer Aspire 5 A515

If you’re looking for the most affordable graphic design laptop to buy this 2022, look no further, because the  Acer Aspire 5 A515 is for you.

A budget option graphic design laptop for creatives.

Its narrow-bezel design offers more real estate for amazing images and true-to-life colors come alive on a 15.6" Full HD IPS display with Acer Color Intelligence.

Acer Aspire 5 A515

It also delivers desktop-class performance with the AMD Ryzen 7 3700U Mobile Processor with Radeon RX Vega 10 Graphics-enabling powerful performance and amazing battery life.

You can now travel with ease and look great while working with the Aspire 5 A515’s thin, light design and aluminum top cover.

It is the best Acer laptop for all types of creatives, especially graphic designers and photo editors.

The Acer Aspire 5 A515 is a great choice if you’re looking for the best graphic design laptop available.

Additionally, it allows you to work comfortably in any environment with the convenience of a backlit keyboard.

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
Graphics: Integrated
RAM: ‎4 GB DDR4
Screen: 15.6 Inches
Storage: 128 GB Flash Memory Solid State

Pros

  1. Powerful processor
  2. Great sound
  3. Extensive connectivity

Cons

  1. Poor build

Buy Acer Aspire 5 A515 on Amazon

6. ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

If you’re a fan of Asus and is looking for the best graphic design laptop from the brand, then the ROG Zephyrus G14 is for you.

The best Asus laptop for designers, editors, and gamers.

This laptop for graphic designers is one of the best mid-range laptops available today.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is perfect for both beginner and professional in graphic design.

It can provide you an amazing performance and functions that you need to be able to work comfortably and seamlessly.

This is a best-buy laptop not only for graphic designers but also for photo or video editors and gamers.

ROG Zephyrus G14 comes with a 16GB system memory for intense multitasking and gaming.

So if you’re looking for the best graphic design laptop from Asus, then this is a must-buy for you.

Specifications

CPU: ‎2.3 GHz AMD R series
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
RAM: 16 GB
Screen: ‎14 Inches
Storage: 1 TB SSD

Pros

  1. Demanding games are playable
  2. Decent I/O options
  3. Low-glare, High-quality display

Cons

  1. No wired Ethernet
  2. No Thunderbolt 3 connection

Buy ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 on Amazon

7. GIGABYTE AERO 17 HDR

If you’re looking for one of the latest pieces of tech with a powerful engine and excellent display, then consider the new GIGABYTE AERO 17 HDR.

The most powerful laptop for 3d designers and video editors.


This laptop brings you everything you need from portability and great performance which is ideal for every kind of designer.

GIGABYTE AERO 17 HDR

The notebook is ultra-light yet gives you the optimized power and speed for high resolution rendering of your creative projects.

It also offers outstanding refresh rates for playing your favorite AAA games.

GIGABYTE AERO 17 HDR is a great choice for creatives looking for the best graphic design laptop for everyday use.

This laptop with zero compromise, it’s a versatile workhorse designed for modern on the go pros.

You can get up 16 TB disk storage, which definitely comes in handy for heavy video or 3d model renderings.

The best thing?—Average battery life of 10.5 hours is extremely attractive for graphic designers who need a mobile version of their powerful desktop computer.

And the 17.3 inches of space you can use, what else would a designer wish for in a laptop?

Specifications

CPU: 4.6 GHz Intel_Mobile_CPU
Graphics: ‎NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
RAM:‎ 16 GB DDR4
Screen: ‎17.3 Inches
Storage: 1 TB SSD

Pros

  • Great display
  • Abundance of ports
  • Very powerful

Cons

  • Runs hot
  • Looks cheap

Buy GIGABYTE AERO 17 HDR on Amazon

8. Razer Blade 14" 2021

If you’re a designer who also likes gaming as well, Razer Blade 14" is a wonderful choice.

The best laptop for gamers and designers in 2022.

This is a well built, sleek and compact laptop with great performance and for affordable price.

Razer Blade 14" 2021

You will be able to game or create with the colorful and accurate visuals of the thin bezel, factory calibrated 15.6” display, with support for up to 100% sRGB color!

Probably the only downside to Razer Blade 14" 2021 is its low battery life of 5-6 hours.

However, it has exceptionally better hardware than the much more expensive Macbook Pro.

And hardware optimization is a very important element to keep in mind when choosing a laptop for your graphic design work.

Besides, this laptop is fully loaded with Wi-Fi 6, Gigabit Ethernet, Thunderbolt 3, USB type-A and type-C ports, and HDMI—all of which gives you a desktop-class like experience.

And an interesting feature is that you can customize the backlight color of the keyboard, making the Razer Blade 14" 2021 uniquely yours.

Razer Blade 14" 2021 is a great choice for graphic designers that wants the best gaming laptop available today.

Specifications

CPU: ‎3.3 GHz Ryzen 9
Graphics: ‎NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
RAM: ‎16 GB DDR4
Screen: 14 Inches

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low battery life

Buy Razer Blade 14" 2021 on Amazon

9. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is another excellent laptop for high-level graphic designers who need a powerful yet portable machine.

The best 2-in-1 graphic design laptop for beginners and pros.

If you prefer Windows, then this laptop is a stylish choice: powerful processors and great battery life in a unique, sophisticated design.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6

The combination of a pro-grade graphics, up to 64GB of RAM, and options for Intel Xeon processors make this ThinkPad from Lenovo an extremely powerful laptop.

And yet, despite its eye-catching looks and impressive performance, it’s still affordable and represents real value to any demanding graphic designer.

In fact, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 provides the same kind of performance you’d expect from a powerful desktop workstation.

But unlike a desktop computer—it’s portable, allowing you to work on the road or travel with it.

And best of all, this laptop is designed to withstand almost anything you can throw at it—even water.

It’s proven to work in nearly any environment from freezing cold to a dry hot.

So that any even accidental knocks, drops, and spills won’t stop it from running.

Moreover, it also offers a range of ports so that you don’t have to buy any additional accessories to connect your other devices like hard drives, cameras etc.

Overall, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 is perfect for working with multimedia.

Is Lenovo good for graphic design?—it certainly is and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 serves as a great example.

Go with the FHD low-power display option for enhanced battery life.

Specifications

CPU: ‎2.8 GHz Core i7
RAM: ‎8 GB SDRAM
Screen: ‎14 Inches
Storage: 256 GB

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Slim design
  • Antiglare display

Cons

  • Pretty expensive
  • Color accuracy (51% of sRGB)

Buy Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 6 on Amazon

10. Huawei MateBook X Pro

While Huawei is probably best known for its smartphones, but it has also been offering really good laptops in recent years.

The most Apple-like laptop for those who use Windows.

As might have already noticed that the name sounds very familiar: Is it MateBook or MacBook?

Huawei MateBook X Pro

In fact, the similarities don’t end there and span beyond just naming.

We can clearly see that this laptop tries hard to imitate Macbook Pro in its look as well.

But its not just name and looks either, when it comes to performance and durability, Huawei MateBook X Pro can proudly stand next to more established brands.

For that reason, this laptop is a valid option if you like Apple’s product design, but don’t want to break up with your beloved Windows.

For much less money than its competitors like Apple or Dell laptops, Huawei MateBook X Pro offers you a sleek looking laptop and solid performance.

You also get pretty decent screen and overall specs, so that all your creative and graphic design softwares will run perfectly on.

Again, Huawei MateBook X Pro is a great choice for designers who like how sleek Apple products look, but want to keep running on Windows.

I would even so far to say that this is probably the best windows laptop ever.

Specifications

CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620, Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5
RAM: 8GB – 16GB
Screen: 13.9-inch 3K (3,000 x 2,080)
Storage: 512GB SSD

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Fantastic display
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • No SD card slot
  • Not a great webcam

Buy Huawei MateBook X Pro on Amazon

Conclusions

So which laptop should you buy for graphic design?—MacBook Pro 14" 2021 is a trusted choice of many designers.

If you're not an Apple fan, then any other item from my list of top laptops for graphic design will surely do the job.

This was my general buying advice on how to choose the perfect laptop for your specific graphic design needs.

Because graphic design is a very broad term and your design software will dictate a specific list of hardware requirements.

Combine it with your own preferences and inclinations—and you can spend hours trying to find the great features combination.

Again, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 remains the #1 option for many graphic designers due to its minimalist look and excellent performance.

However, there are other great brands who make good looking, great performing laptops that cost less than Apple products.

What’s the laptop of your choice as a graphic designer?—Leave a comment below.

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