The 9 Best Laptops For Graphic Design

video play icon

This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in December of 2018. Graphic design doesn't necessarily require a ton of processing power, but it does call for a high-quality display, and a touchscreen with precise and reliable pen support can make or break an artist's experience. Depending on your budget and use case, there's a wide variety of useful options, ranging from full-size clamshells to ultralight tablets, many of which are ideal for drawing. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel

2. Apple MacBook Air

3. HP Spectre X360

Editor's Notes

January 08, 2021:

The only fully traditional laptops on our list are the Apple MacBook Pro and Microsoft Surface Laptop 3m both of which are great, but lack the 2-in-1 or detachable tablet mode that anyone actually using their hands will need. The Lenovo ThinkPad T14 has a fold-flat hinge, while the renowned HP Spectre X360 and Lenovo Yoga C940 can rotate completely to turn into de facto tablets. It's also worth noting that they've been refined over the past few years to offer premium touchscreen and stylus technology.

But there are three that we really want to bring attention to. The Apple iPad Pro is one of the finest and most streamlined design-oriented devices on the market, and if you don't need a touchscreen or tablet mode, the Apple MacBook Air is an ARM-powered notebook PC that makes good use of its high-efficiency technology. Finally, the Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel is an impressive piece of equipment with a wide color gamut, great ergonomics, and just enough processing power to complete any 2D piece and many 3D tasks.

December 30, 2018:

In today's high-bandwidth, high-resolution world, Apple is actually starting to lose its footing somewhat among professionals. Their displays still look incredible, especially to the everyday user, and the MacBook Pro does have one of the most advanced Retina panels yet. But models like the HP ZBook (with its high-end DreamColor RGB backlight) and the Gigabyte Aero (with tons of processing power) look nearly as good, with superior hardware, and at a lower cost. The Asus ZenBook and Dell are both extremely portable, sleek devices that are great for traveling professionals, as is the Razer, which is also marketed strongly to gamers. If you'll be processing huge amounts of polygons in real time, the MSI and Lenovo workstations pack the power to keep you on deadline. The Surface Book is quite popular, although it's not ideal for photo or print material, because its Adobe RGB coverage isn't very good. Last year's Lenovo X1 Yoga is still an extremely viable choice, despite is slightly dated hardware, because no one has released a singled OLED laptop since its debut, and such a panel provides far better static contrast than the common LCD screen can.

4. Apple iPad Pro

5. Lenovo Yoga C940

6. Apple MacBook Pro

7. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

8. Lenovo ThinkPad T14

9. Microsoft Surface Book 3

Christopher Thomas
Last updated by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.