Best Laptop For Graphic Design – The Ultimate Guide For Creatives

best laptop for graphic design

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Graphic design demands a unique combination of power and efficiency, and finding the perfect laptop to handle this creative workload can be daunting. But don’t worry; we’ve scoured the tech world to bring you the ultimate guide to the best laptops for graphic designers, ensuring you have the power to bring your artistic visions to life.

Whether you’re a professional looking for a powerhouse machine or a student searching for a budget-friendly option, our guide covers a range of laptops to suit every need and budget, ensuring you can focus on creativity without technological limitations.

Unveiling The Best Laptop For Graphic Design

Below is a comparison table outlining the key specifications of each recommended product:

Laptop ModelCPURAMStorageDisplayGraphicsPorts
16-inch MacBook Pro (M3, 2023)Apple M3Up to 64GB DDR5Up to 8TB SSD16-inch Retina display (ProMotion)AMD Radeon Pro or Apple GPUThunderbolt 4, USB-C, SDXC, HDMI, MagSafe 3
ASUS ProArt Studiobook OLED (H7604)Intel Core i9 or XeonUp to 64GB DDR4Up to 4TB SSD17-inch OLED 4K UHD displayNVIDIA RTX A2000HDMI, Thunderbolt 4, USB-A, SD card slot, Ethernet
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2Intel Core i5/i7/i9Up to 32GB DDR4Up to 2TB SSD14.4-inch PixelSense Flow displayNVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti or GTX 1650 TiThunderbolt 4, USB-C, USB-A, SD card slot
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 8Intel Core i5/i7/i9Up to 32GB DDR4Up to 2TB SSD14-inch 4K OLED or IPS displayIntel UHD or Iris XeThunderbolt 4, USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, Ethernet, SD card slot
Dell Precision 5470Intel Core i5/i7/i9 or XeonUp to 64GB DDR4Up to 4TB SSD14-inch UHD or FHD displayNVIDIA RTX A2000 or A5000HDMI, Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, USB-A, SD card slot, Ethernet
Gigabyte Aero 17Intel Core i7/i9 or AMD Ryzen 9Up to 64GB DDR4Up to 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD17.3-inch IPS displayNVIDIA RTX 3080HDMI, Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, USB-A, SD card slot, Ethernet
MacBook Air (M2, 2022)Apple M2Up to 16GB DDR5Up to 2TB SSD13.3-inch Retina displayApple GPUThunderbolt 4, USB-C
MacBook Air (M1, 2020)Apple M1Up to 16GB DDR4Up to 2TB SSD13.3-inch Retina displayApple GPUThunderbolt 3, USB-C
ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLEDIntel Core i5/i7/i9Up to 32GB DDR4Up to 1TB SSD14-inch OLED displayNVIDIA GTX 1650 TiThunderbolt 3, USB-C, USB-A, HDMI
Razer Blade 14AMD Ryzen 9 or Intel Core i7/i9Up to 32GB DDR4Up to 1TB SSD14-inch QHD or FHD displayNVIDIA RTX 3060 or 3070HDMI, Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, USB-A
HP Zbook Fury 17 G8Intel Core i5/i7/i9 or XeonUp to 128GB DDR4Up to 4TB SSD17.3-inch UHD or FHD displayNVIDIA RTX A5000 or A5500HDMI, Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, USB-A, SD card slot, Ethernet
Gigabyte Aero 16Intel Core i7/i9 or AMD Ryzen 9Up to 64GB DDR4Up to 2TB SSD + 2TB HDD16-inch IPS displayNVIDIA RTX 3070 or 3080HDMI, Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, USB-A, SD card slot, Ethernet

1. 16-inch MacBook Pro (M3, 2023)

For creative professionals who demand the best, the 16-inch MacBook Pro (M3, 2023) stands out with its impressive specs. Its powerful Intel i9 processor and discrete graphics give it the muscle to handle complex graphic design tasks with ease.


The latest 16-inch MacBook Pro is a marvel of technology, featuring a vivid liquid retina XDR display. It includes 3 x Thunderbolt 4 ports for fast data transfer and connectivity and a headphone jack for audio precision. This laptop can accommodate the needs of the most demanding graphic design projects.


  • Excellent display screen
  • Lightning-fast connectivity
  • Powerful graphics card


  • It may be costly for some
  • It is not portable due to its size and weight

2. ASUS ProArt Studiobook OLED (H7604)

The ASUS ProArt Studiobook OLED is not just a graphic designer’s dream but also doubles as a gaming laptop. It has a high-performance NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 and an i9 processor, supported by a massive 64GB RAM.


This laptop’s specifications are a testament to its capabilities, with a stunning OLED display and a complement of x Thunderbolt 4 ports. It also includes a headphone jack for private listening and critiquing audio tracks.


  • Impressive graphics
  • Ample memory
  • High-level screen technology and color accuracy


  • It may be expensive for some
  • Limited ports
  • Not suitable for complex 3D rendering

3. Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 stands out with its fluid 120hz refresh rate and versatile design capabilities.


The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 has a vibrant 14.4-inch PixelSense Flow touch display, boasting a 120hz refresh rate that ensures smooth visuals. Powering this device is the latest 13th-generation Intel processor, paired with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU, which offers substantial graphics performance in a portable form. 

The laptop also features the Intel Iris Xe for efficient power usage. With various storage and memory configurations, this laptop can easily handle demanding graphic design tasks.


  • Creates silky animation and video playback
  • It has the power to multitask
  • Has versatility for laptop, tablet, and studio mode


  • Premium pricing is expensive for some
  • Weight and size unsuitable ultra-portability
  • Unreliable battery life under heavy loads 

4. Dell Precision 5470

The Dell Precision 5470 packs a punch for video editing and graphic design, all within a compact build.


Designed for professionals requiring mobility without sacrificing power, the Dell Precision 5470 has a Core i5 processor that handles video editing and other intensive tasks competently. 

This small form-factor marvel boasts a 14-inch display, balancing usability and portability. Despite its diminutive size, the laptop doesn’t skimp on performance, making it an excellent choice for creatives who need to work from anywhere.


  • Its lightweight design is suitable for portability
  • It has a powerful Core i5 processor 
  • It can handle demanding video editing tasks


  • Its compact size means fewer ports
  • High performance in a small package can come with a higher price tag
  • Battery life varies based on usage

5. Gigabyte Aero 17

The Gigabyte Aero 17 is an exceptional choice for those needing a balance between affordability and robust performance. It’s budget-friendly without skimping on the capabilities needed for demanding graphic design work.


This laptop boasts a 17.3-inch UHD 4K display, factory calibrated for superb color accuracy, making it suitable for professional design work. It’s powered by an Intel 13th Gen Core i7 CPU, paired with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics, and comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The Aero 17 has a comprehensive port selection, including four ports for all your peripherals.


  • Has a large screen 
  • It has a dedicated graphics card 
  • Its color accuracy is top-notch
  • Has a robust processor and GPU for running complex graphic design software


  • It lacks a long-lasting battery
  • Its large size and weight hinders portability

6. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 8

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 8 offers flexibility and power for the demanding graphic designer on the move.


The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 8 is a versatile 2-in-1 laptop boasting a dedicated GPU for graphic-heavy tasks. It includes multiple USB 3 ports for connecting various devices and an HDMI port for external displays. 

The 14-inch screen with its 360-degree hinge allows for a seamless transition between laptop and tablet modes, perfect for presentations and design work. The machine is engineered with the latest Intel processors, ensuring snappy performance for all your design software needs.


  • Smooth handling of graphic-intensive applications
  • Great connectivity options
  • Flexibility to switch between a laptop and a tablet caters to various working styles and environments
  • The keyboard provides a comfortable typing experience 


  • Some may find it pricey
  • Unsuitable for top-end graphics performance
  • The form factor can add bulk, impacting portability

7. MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

For those of us juggling multiple graphic design projects, the 13-inch MacBook Air with the M2 chip from 2022 is a sleek powerhouse. Its compact form marries portability with performance, making it an alluring choice for creatives on the move.


The MacBook Air (M2, 2022) dazzles with its stunning 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display, boasting a 2560 x 1664 resolution. Under the hood, it features an 8-core CPU and up to a 10-core GPU, paired with up to 24GB of unified memory and up to 2TB of SSD storage. 

It also has a spacious Force Touch trackpad, a high-fidelity six-speaker sound system, and a 1080p FaceTime HD camera for crystal-clear video calls.


  • Powerful M2 chip and up to 10-core GPU handles graphic design tasks with ease
  • It’s perfect for creatives who need a portable laptop 
  • Has a long battery life
  • It has silent operation due to its fanless design
  • It supports a wide P3 color gamut, ensuring color accuracy for design work


  • It is not the best choice for those requiring extensive port selection
  • Might not satisfy the demands of the most complex graphic design projects

8. MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) remains a formidable contender, delivering a performance that belies its price. It’s a go-to for graphic design projects, offering a harmonious blend of efficiency and power in a budget-friendly package.


Equipped with the revolutionary Apple M1 chip, this MacBook Air features an 8-core CPU and up to an 8-core GPU. It offers up to 16GB of memory and 2TB of SSD storage. The 13.3-inch Retina display with 2560 x 1600 resolution covers a wide P3 color space and boasts incredible sRGB coverage. It also comes with two Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 ports and boasts up to 18 hours of battery life.


  • It provides ample power for most graphic design tasks 
  • Affordable, given its capabilities
  • It has an exceptional battery life 
  • Its screen offers excellent color fidelity, critical for graphic design


  • It might falter with extremely heavy workloads due to its integrated graphics
  • The lack of an active cooling system means it might throttle performance under prolonged intensive use
  • Might be unreliable with only two USB-C ports

9. ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED 

The ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED is a beacon of innovation with its dual-screen setup. The primary OLED display dazzles with vibrant colors and deep blacks, while the secondary ScreenPad Plus offers a new level of multitasking for creative professionals. 

Coupled with a high-performance graphics card, this Zenbook Pro Duo ushers in a new wave of creativity and productivity.


The ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo features a primary 14-inch 4K OLED touchscreen, complemented by a 12.6-inch ScreenPad Plus. It’s powered by the latest Intel processors. 

It also boasts a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card. The laptop includes up to 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD, with an array of ports for connectivity, ensuring that it doesn’t just look good but performs exceptionally.


  • The OLED display ensures precise color accuracy for design work
  • The secondary display streamlines workflows
  • It’s a powerhouse that marries form with function, making it an ideal tool for the creative process


  • It has a hefty price tag 
  • It has an unconventional form factor 
  • The dual-screen design may contribute to a steeper learning curve 
  • Portability might be challenging due to the dual-screen design
  • Has a short battery life

10. Razer Blade 14 

The Razer Blade 14 stands as a testament to the fusion of high-end design capabilities with gaming prowess. It’s a go-to choice for those who need a laptop that can keep up with their creative spark and gaming passion.


The Razer Blade 14 is a powerhouse equipped with the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070, ensuring that designers and gamers experience top-tier graphics performance. 

It also features a 12th gen Intel Core processor, a crisp display, ample SSD storage, and a MicroSD card reader for additional storage options. The inclusion of an HDMI port allows for easy connection to external displays, which is fundamental for video editing and presentations.


  • It has a color-accurate display and robust build
  • It has a high refresh rate screen 
  • Its compact form factor makes it a versatile partner for both work and play


  • It may be on the pricey side
  • Its powerful components can lead to a shorter battery life
  • The fan noise can become noticeable during heavy use

11. HP Zbook Fury 17 G8 

The HP Zbook Fury 17 G8 is a titan in the realm of mobile workstations, tailored for creative professionals who demand peak performance on the go. The large screen and powerful internals make it ideal for video editing and other intensive design tasks.


Equipped with a 12th-generation Intel processor and high-end graphics options, the HP Zbook Fury 17 G8 excels in tasks like video editing. It features multiple ports, including an HDMI port, essential for connecting to various displays, and a robust security suite to keep your work safe.


  • It offers desktop-like performance in a portable form
  • Its large, color-accurate display is perfect for detailed work
  • The variety of ports, including an HDMI port, ensures maximum connectivity


  • Its size and weight may not be ideal for those frequently on the move
  • The high cost might be beyond the reach of budget-conscious designers

12. Gigabyte Aero 16 

Meet the Gigabyte Aero 16, a mobile workstation that combines sleek design with serious performance for creative professionals. Its impressive specs make it a formidable tool for graphic design and video editing.


This workstation boasts a 12th-generation Intel processor paired with professional-grade graphics, a vibrant display for precise color work, and an HDMI port for external monitors. It can handle intensive tasks such as video editing, ensuring smooth and efficient workflows.


  • It has a top-tier graphics card and a 13th-generation Intel chip for unparalleled performance
  • 8GB RAM ensures smooth multitasking
  • Discrete graphics offer precision and clarity
  • It offers modern computing for design work


  • It has a steep price tag
  • Its compact screen nature might be restrictive

Our Standards For Graphic Design Laptops

When it comes to graphic design, our laptops need to pack a punch in performance and visual clarity. We look for high-resolution displays with accurate color representation to make your designs pop. 

Processing power is a must – we want CPUs that can handle multitasking and complex design software with ease. It’s all about a combination of power and efficiency.

Graphics are non-negotiable. We expect top-tier graphics cards to bring your creations to life without a hitch. Connectivity also plays a key role; various ports, including USB-C and Thunderbolt, are essential for transferring large design files and connecting to external displays. 

Here’s a list of desirable features we seek out:

  • High-resolution, color-accurate displays
  • Powerful CPUs and Nvidia graphics
  • Ample RAM and fast SSD storage
  • Long battery life for on-the-go design work
  • Robust build quality and sleek design

Lastly, ergonomics matters. A comfortable keyboard and responsive touchpad can make all the difference during those long design sessions. With these standards in place, we ensure that every laptop we recommend is up to the task of bringing your creative visions to life.

Navigating The Specs: What To Look For In A Design Laptop

Any worthy laptop must have a high-quality screen, ideally an OLED, for its superior color range and contrast. A graphics card with ample VRAM is imperative for handling graphic-intensive tasks, while a chip with multiple cores will ensure your software runs without a hiccup. 

RAM is another critical factor, with 8GB being the bare minimum; however, 16GB or more is recommended for heavy design work. Storage is another spec to consider; solid-state drives (SSD) offer speed and reliability, which are essential when you’re working with large design files.

 Lastly, connectivity options like USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports allow for fast data transfer and the ability to connect to multiple high-resolution displays, which is often necessary for graphic designers.

Essential Laptop Features for Graphic Designers

The arsenal of a graphic designer is not complete without a laptop equipped with the right features. A high-resolution display, preferably 4K OLED, is vital for the intricate details and color accuracy required in graphic designs. 

Performance-wise, a robust chip capable of running creative tools smoothly, coupled with a hefty amount of RAM—16GB or more—is essential to keep those creativity juices flowing without interruption.

For graphic designers, the importance of a dedicated graphics card cannot be overstated—it’s the workhorse that drives all the visual tasks. Additionally, a laptop’s build quality, keyboard comfort, and trackpad responsiveness can greatly influence the design process.

Mac vs PC for Graphic Design: The Eternal Debate

The Mac vs. PC debate for graphic design is as old as the disciplines themselves. Creatives have long favored Mac laptops for their sleek design, high-quality displays, and seamless integration of software and hardware. They are considered more intuitive and stable for design work, with a strong suite of creative tools tailored for Mac OS.

On the other hand, PCs offer a broader range of hardware options and better customization. They tend to be more affordable and are compatible with a wider variety of software. 

Windows-based machines offer more control over the system’s inner workings, which can be a deciding factor for tech-savvy designers who prefer to fine-tune their machines.

Budgeting for Quality: How Much to Spend on a Graphic Design Laptop

Setting a budget for a graphic design laptop can be tricky, but it’s all about finding the sweet spot between performance and price. Entry-level models can be tempting with their lower prices, but investing in a laptop with at least 16GB of RAM, a powerful chip, and a high-quality display will pay off in the long run with increased productivity and fewer frustrations.

However, not all budgets can stretch to the high-end models. It’s possible to find mid-range laptops that strike a balance, offering decent performance for graphic design tasks without breaking the bank. 

Methodology: Our Process For Testing Graphic Design Laptops

Our approach to testing graphic design laptops is methodical and user-focused. We simulate real-world scenarios that designers face daily, putting the machines through their paces with a range of creative tools and graphic designs. 

We assess how well laptops handle high-resolution 4K OLED displays, noting any lag or stutter during intensive tasks. The performance, color accuracy, and rendering speed are all scrutinized to ensure we recommend only the best.

Besides performance, we also consider the overall user experience. How well does the laptop hold up during long design sessions? Are the inputs responsive and comfortable for extended use? 

These factors are crucial for designers who spend hours at a time on their machines, and thus, they play a significant role in our evaluation process.

Real-World Performance Tests for Design Applications

In our real-world performance tests, laptops like the MacBook Pro 16-inch are subjected to a battery of design tasks. We open up complex projects on Adobe Creative Suite and observe the system’s responsiveness. 

The Apple MacBook Pro 16, with its advanced chip and ample RAM, typically showcases its prowess here, handling multiple high-resolution files and effects with ease.

These tests are not just about raw power; we also assess the laptop’s ability to efficiently use its resources. How hot does it get under load? Is the fan noise intrusive? Can it maintain its performance without throttling? 

All these aspects contribute to the usability of the laptop in a professional design environment.

Battery Life and Mobility: Essential for the On-the-Go Designer

For graphic designers always on the move, battery life and mobility are non-negotiable. We look for laptops that can last through a day of design work without needing a charge, ensuring that you can work from anywhere without being tethered to an outlet. 

The balance between battery longevity and performance is delicate, and we prioritize laptops that don’t sacrifice power for portability.



1. What are the most important specs for a graphic design laptop?

For graphic design, prioritize a laptop with a high-resolution OLED screen, a powerful graphics card, and a multi-core chip. RAM is also important, with 16GB or more being ideal for handling large files and running multiple applications smoothly. Additionally, look for ample storage, preferably SSD, and a good range of connectivity options.

2. Is a touchscreen important for graphic design work?

While not essential, a touchscreen can enhance the graphic design process, offering a more intuitive way to interact with your designs. It’s particularly useful when combined with a stylus, allowing for precise control over brush strokes and other fine details in your work.

3. How do Mac laptops and PCs differ in graphic design? 

Mac laptops are often chosen for their reliable performance and integration of hardware and software, which is optimized for creative tasks. PCs, on the other hand, offer more flexibility in terms of hardware configurations and tend to be more budget-friendly. Ultimately, the choice depends on your personal preference and the software you use.

The Last Word On Graphic Design Laptops

Finding the best laptop for graphic design means balancing performance, display quality, and budget. A machine with a robust graphics card, high RAM, and an OLED screen will serve you well. 

Remember, investing in a laptop is investing in your creative potential, so choose a partner who is able to keep up with your imagination and workload.

Ultimately, the perfect laptop for graphic design aligns with your specific needs and professional demands. Whether you’re a Mac enthusiast or a PC proponent, there’s a machine out there that will feel like it was made just for you. Consider your options, test drive a few, and get ready to create with power and precision at your fingertips.

Before we let you go, here are 11 of the best waterproof laptop backpack options for remote work. These backpacks will be a helpful addition to you during your remote work move-around. Good luck!

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