Having a powerful laptop is the most significant requirement in modern technology-driven industries. Skills combined with technology are creating wonders but finding the right mix of technology is still a challenge.
Every professional aspires to own the best hardware for ease of work and productivity. But finding out the best laptop for artists like you, can be a challenge especially considering the numerous options available even from leading manufacturers.
Leading laptops are built to deliver specific performance and utility, sporting relative features to help towards the task at hand.
You need to choose a laptop that fulfills your school requirements. For better accuracy and ease of drawing to necessary performance for graphics rendering, important features could be key to better productivity.
Laptops with a sensitive touch screen and a stylus have become a thundering hit among creative professionals. Drawing on a laptop has become easier with new software supporting complex drawing and content creation. Some people even use tablets for drawing to showcase their artistic talents.
However, Laptops offer better agility to work and share on-the-go. Apart from a touchscreen and superior design, there are a lot of must-have features and specifications.
Specs to Consider Before Buying The Best Drawing Laptop
Investing in a laptop that fulfils your specific needs is the most important factor. It becomes vital to understand the basic specifications that you need to consider before buying one.
Here are some pointers you should consider –
For 2D images, integrated graphics are sufficient, but you will require a dedicated graphics card for 3D images. There will be a significant difference in the cost of devices offering a chipset integrated video card and or a dedicated/discrete graphics card from the likes of NVIDIA or AMD.
To run drawing software apps, it is imperative that you get a laptop with at least an Intel i5 or AMD R5 processor. A minimum capacity above 2GHz base clock is required to run most graphics designing software apps like Adobe Creative Cloud.
If you need to carry your device to your workplace or school, portability will be an important factor for you. Drawing laptops could easily weigh from 2 to 7 pounds.
Screen Size and Display
Although laptops for artists will offer varied screen sizes, anything above 12 inches can be considered suitable for drawing or graphics designing. When it comes to display outputs and screen size, consider whether you need more than FHD resolutions. Higher than FHD resolutions on a 13-inch screen may be overkill unless you are a graphics designer and need per-pixel accuracy for scalable results.
RAM and Storage
These are variable factors and would totally depend upon your usage requirements. More than 4GB RAM can only necessary if you need to run high-end apps which demand substantial graphics rendering, e.g. – Maya. But for faster boot speeds, you should consider getting a laptop with SSD storage over HDD.
So, keep these pointers in mind and check out the best laptops for drawing or graphics designing!
7 Best Laptops for Drawing in 2020
1. ACER ASPIRE 5
The Aspire 5 series from Acer is one of the best budget drawing laptops for beginners. Aspire 5 comes with 4GB of DDR4 RAM with 128GB of SSD for a faster reboot. The device offers both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, LED backlit keyboard.
This device offers all modern features that would be needed for drawing. Powered by AMD Ryzen’s 3rd generation dual-core processor with integrated Vega 3 graphics. Ryzen 3 processor comes with a base clock of 2.6 GHz with a maximum boost clock capacity of 3.6 GHz.
Processing capacity coupled with integrated graphics is sufficient for smooth 2D drawing tasks. Although the device might feel slow while drawing 3D images. The main advantage of this device is the high battery backup of 7.5 hours.
Its narrow bezel design with 15.6” FHD display comes with Acer color intelligence. Acer has also used its BlueLightShield technology to reduce eye strain while working for long hauls.
Aspire 5 is Alexa-enabled and capable of multitasking with ease and offers a range of connectivity options including 1 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0 ports along with HDMI support. Even though the lack of a touchscreen is disappointing, considering the price tag of around $450, few would complain.
Dimensions: 14.31 x 9.74 x 0.71 inches | Screen Type: IPS LED backlit | Screen Size: 15.6 Inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels, FHD | Processor Speed: 2.6 GHz (Overclockable to 3.6 GHz) | RAM: 4GB | Operating System: Windows 10S | Storage: 128GB SSD | Weight: 3.97 pounds | Battery backup: 7.5 hours | Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- Thin and lightweight
- Fingerprint Reader
- Exceptional battery life
- Lacks touchscreen
- Lacks dedicated graphics
2. Lenovo Flex 14
Lenovo’s Flex 14 is one of the best 2 in 1 laptop for drawing. It comes with a 14-inch FHD touchscreen display and a highly-sensitive stylus pen. With 12 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 256GB of SSD, this device offers both performance and adaptive utility. The Flex 14 can easily stream 4K movies when connected to a 4K television.
Powered by a quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor, it has a base clock speed of 2.1 GHz with a maximum capacity of 3.7 GHz. Flex 14 comes with integrated Vega graphics for smooth 2D image rendering. The webcam comes with a shutter allowing you to physically close it. The battery backup is highest among other laptops in this price range.
The lack of discrete graphics does hamper the scope of 3D graphics rendering but it is compensated by exceptional performance in 2D graphics or content creation. Overall, this device is capable of handling low graphics games, editing, drawing with huge scope for multitasking.
It is available for around $650 and this is one of the best laptops with a drawing pen around, perfect if you are on a budget.
Dimensions: 12.91 x 9.02 x 0.7 inches | Screen Type: IPS LED backlit | Screen Size: 14” Inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels, FHD | Processor speed: 2.1 GHz (Overclockable to 3.7 GHz) | Operating System: Windows 10 | RAM – 12GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Weight: 3.52 pounds | Battery backup: 10 hours | Connectivity: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- Premium Design
- Fast charging support
- High Battery life
- CPU turbo boost unavailable on battery mode
- Lower screen resolution
3. LENOVO YOGA C740
Launched recently, Lenovo’s Yoga series C370 laptop is a powerful touch screen laptop for drawing. It comes with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage, sufficient to support most drawing software.
Yoga C740 is powered by intel’s 10th generation quad-core i5 processor. It offers a base processing speed of 1.6 GHz to save power but can be overclocked to 4.2 GHz. The processor also comes with Intel Ultra HD graphics supporting 2D drawings with ease.
You will find the 10-point multi-touch 14” FHD display more than meeting your standards. The display offers sufficient brightness for daylight tasks measured at 300nits and also comes with anti-glare features. With an LED keyboard and a fingerprint reader, Yoga C740 does offer a lot for personalization including a webcam with shutter!
Yoga C740 offers the latest connectivity options such as Bluetooth 5.0 and USB 3.0 ports as well as a DisplayPort. It has only one USB 2.0 port with a similarly styled power button as the Flex 14.
Priced at around $850, this is a quite a powerful touchscreen laptop to buy.
Dimensions: 12.67 x 8.45 x 0.67 inches | Screen Type: IPS | Screen Size: 14 Inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels, FHD | Processor speed: 1.6-4.2 GHz | Operating System: Windows 10 | RAM – 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Weight: 3.09 pounds | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- 300 nits display with HDR support
- Numeric Keypads
- USB 3.0 charging
- Lack of dedicated graphics
- No Ethernet connectivity option
4. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is undoubtedly one of the best laptops for artists. It comes in 4 different specifications and color options allowing buyers to get a Surface 3 best meeting their unique requirements.
The base configuration for the Surface 3 starts with the 10th gen Core i5 processor while higher configuration includes a 10th gen i7. All Surface 3 comes with Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics. Storage capacities range between 256GB and 1TB SSDs, perfectly suited for swift multitasking.
This laptop is perfectly suited for individuals who type and swipe a lot. An immediately impressive keyboard and a comfortable trackpad make fundamental work functions much more enjoyable. Adding that to the brilliant PixelSense display, the Surface 3 scores high on utility and ergonomics.
It claims a standby power backup of more than 10 hours, sufficient considering the ultra-lightweight design and components. At only 2.79 pounds, it is one of the lightest touchscreen laptops available in 2020. On the connectivity front, the Surface Laptop 3 offers only one USB Type-A and Type-C port, a noteworthy improvement of the previous generation.
Microsoft has most certainly done a great job to upgrade its 13-inch segment offering, also available as 15-inc versions. With prices starting from around $799 for the base configuration, this is definitely one of the best laptops for artists for fundamental content creation or basic computing tasks.
Screen Size: 13.5 Inches/ 15 inches | Resolution: 2256 x 1504 pixels | Processor: i5/i7 | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | RAM – 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | Weight: 2.79 pounds (13.5 inch) | Battery life: 10 hours+ | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6/5, Bluetooth
- Premium design
- USB Type-C support
- Fast charging of 80% in an hour
- Great utility
- Thick display bezel
- Lacks fingerprint reader
- Limited number of ports
5. HP ENVY X360
Envy X360, the flagship touchscreen model from HP, has a low bezel anti-glare WLED backlit display. X360 comes with 12GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. The storage is further backed by 32GB of Intel Optane Memory. It is meant to complement the RAM and provide lightning-fast boot speeds.
Powered by Intel’s 10th generation i7 processor. It runs on a base speed of 1.3 GHz to save power. The i7 can easily provide a max speed of up to 3.9 GHz. The processor is complemented with Intel’s latest Iris Plus Graphics. This powerful combination enables X360 to support both 2D and 3D drawing software.
On the connectivity front, X360 is loaded with options. It provides 2 USB 3.1 ports, 1 USB Type-C port, HDMI, SD Card slot, and audio jack.
At a base price of $1049, HP’s ENVY X360 is fairly priced, and given the load of features it offers, this is one best laptop for artists, balancing perfectly between performance and price.
Dimensions: 14.1 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches | Screen Type: IPS Backlit | Screen Size: 15.6” Inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels, FHD | Processor speed: 1.3-3.9 GHz | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | RAM – 12GB | Storage: 512GB SSD with 32GB of Intel Optane Memory | Weight: 4.34 pounds | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- Above average performance
- Automatic shutter camera
- Numeric keypad
- Multiple ports
- Small touchpad
- Low battery life
- No HDMI port
6. DELL XPS 13 7390
Dell XPS 7390 is a perfect laptop, particularly for digital art. It comes with the new-gen 13.4-inch anti-reflective screen infinity-edge touch screen, best suited for a stylus. Its display features combined with 500 nits of brightness makes XPS usable even under peak daylight conditions. You also get Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
32GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD makes it an unbeatable beast in the touchscreen domain. Powered by a powerful 10th generation i7-1065G7. XPS 7390 comes with integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics. The combined package of these features makes the XPS 7390 capable of handling multiple drawing software at once.
The presence of a high-power CPU and integrated graphics offers great performance. But this performance comes at the cost of increased weight. Priced at the upper band of $1729, XPS might feel expensive but the features it offers are close to the best in the segment.
Dimensions: 18.5 x 11.75 x 3.25 inches | Screen Type: Anti-reflective IPS | Screen Size: 13.4 Inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1200 pixels, FHD | Processor speed: Up to 3.9 GHz | Graphics processor: Intel Iris Plus | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | RAM – 32GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Weight: 5.99 pounds | | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth
- Dedicated GPU
- Dolby and HDR support
- 16:10 aspect ratio
- Lacks WAN, NFC
- No USB A
7. Apple MacBook Pro
We have saved the best for the last.
Apple MacBook Pro 2019 is our second non-touchscreen entrant. But this device is capable of handling challenging graphics rendering tasks smoothly, including 3D rendering software.
The MacBook Pro 2019 comes with a 226 PPI LED-backlit IPS display with a luminance of 500 nits. Under the workhorse keyboard and very utilitarian trackpad, it hides 16 GB of onboard RAM with 512GB of storage.
MacBook is powered by Intel’s 10th generation i7 processor with a clock speed of 2.67-4.5 GHz. Coupled with AMD Radeon Pro 5300M graphics with DDR6 memory, this device comes completely capable of handling 3D drawings very easily.
Add-on features on the MacBook Pro also include a 6-speaker system with force canceling woofers. The touch bar is located on the keyboard making logging into the device a simple task.
MacBook Pro comes with 4 thunderbolts 3 (USB type-C ports) for charging and display. It offers the latest generation Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Switching back to the earlier Apple Magic keyboard version and a physical Esc key is a noteworthy upgrade to this device. Although the price hits the upper band of $2150, this MacBook Pro is popularly rated as one of the best Mac laptops “EVER”. 😉
Dimensions: 14.09 x 9.68 x 0.64 inches | Screen Type: LED backlit retina with IPS | Screen Size: 16” Inches | Resolution: 3072 x 1920 pixels, FHD | Processor speed: 2.67-4.5GHz | Operating System: Windows 10 | RAM:16 GB | Storage: 512 GB SSD | Weight: 4.3 pounds | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
- Agile and consistent performance
- Excellent Retina display
- Apple Magic keyboard
- Better Audio with dual channel woofers
- High price
- Lacks touchscreen
- Heavy weight
There is a tonne of laptops in the market offering all kinds of modern features. But it all comes down to buying the one best fulfilling your requirements while sticking to your budget.
You already know that the recommended requirements for 2D and 3D graphics are significantly different. For 3D drawing, having a laptop with dedicated graphics is a necessary boost. Although when it comes to 2D drawing, any touchscreen laptop with sufficient RAM would be enough.
Hence, buyers should mostly focus on getting a laptop with decent power backup and higher RAM. It would enable you to install and use more software. 2 in 1 laptop offer more convenience for drawing and writing over normal laptops.
If you prefer using a mouse and keyboard you can go for a powerful laptop without a touchscreen. But if you’re among those interested in drawing with a stylus you must get a touchscreen.