Display Size And Type
Because graphic design is a visual medium, you want the best monitor you can afford. Generally, a 13-inch monitor is too small for graphic design work. You should try for at least 15 inches. 17 inches is better for working, but could be cumbersome to carry. You’ll also want a HiDPI screen. These screens have a higher density of pixels, allowing you to see more detail. The lowest end screen for effective designing would be 1920×1080 pixels.
Many laptops now come with an option to use the monitor as a touchscreen. Some of these can also be used as a tablet, as well. If you want to use your laptop as a tablet, you’ll have to get a touchscreen. If not, some people can find the touchscreen problematic, especially with fingerprints.
Laptops that convert to tablets are more and more common. Using a tablet can be effective if you want to draw or otherwise use a different input device for your designs. If you don’t ever need to do that, however, the extra expense might not be worth it.
If you do choose to use a pen as an alternate input device, look around at the one you like the best. That might dictate the laptop you buy.
The Best Desktop For Graphic Design: Conclusions
There you have the complete guide to the best desktops for graphic design.
I compared all the specs and weighed up the different factors, and picked only the top computers.
Buying the right desktop computer will set you up for years. So, which one will you go for? Let me know in the comments!
Then, sign up for the Proactive Creative newsletter. Its the top resource for tips, reviews, and guides for creative professionals.
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Laptop Screens For Photo Editing
The OLED displays we frequently see as an option are as color-accurate as they’re reputed to be — as long as you calibrate them yourself. For instance, even the most broadly calibrated model — the Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XA — which came with profiles for several white points, still may still require some tweaking. And they still have weak areas: They’re not as accurate at the supersaturated areas of the gamut, which may affect you if you do game design or CGI work, for example, but they’re still quite something to look at.
I’m not a huge fan of OLED for photo editing, however, even though a most of the people I’ve spoken with are fine with it. There just doesn’t seem to be any tonal range in the shadow areas below 30% gray , and between black and about 30% gray, the native white is completely different than in the rest of the tonal range. Trying to bring up shadow areas visually is painful. Also, since all the rules of thumb about calibrating for photography are based on monitors with completely different characteristics, such as smaller color spaces, dissimilar tonal response curves and even different math, you’re really on the bleeding edge when trying to match for print or sRGB.
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Mac Vs Pc The Eternal Debate
Youve probably heard that Macs are built for free-spirited artists, and PCs are more suited for office drones. You might also note that this impression was created by an ad campaign from a company that stands to profit from this image.
The fact is, there was a time when it was true that Apple had pretty much cornered the market on graphic design computers. Digital typography was born on a Mac. Photoshop was built for Macs.
Apple was the only game in town for decades, which is why older more experienced graphic designers view it as the only real option. Its the system they learned and excelled at, and theyre not about to change.
But today, this is nothing more than an outdated bias. Most graphic design software runs equally well on Windows and OS X. Windows PCs are much more affordable, and more customizable. Plus, outside of creative industries like design and film, most companies prefer Windows it might be helpful if your operating system was compatible with your clients.
That being said, the most important factor in choosing a Mac or a PC is, what are you comfortable with? Do you like the look and feel of a Mac? Do you know all the Windows shortcuts by heart? Do you want to do anything else with your computer? What can you afford ?
In the end, dont worry about which computer seems cool. Choose the one that feels right to you.
Still, that 1984 ad is pretty sweet
What Causes Such A High Price For Apple Laptops
This coin has two sides. Firstly, Apple laptops are really beautiful, productive, and well-assembled machines with specific software, which sometimes can do something that competitors cannot do. Well, and secondly, a bitten apple on the lid of the laptop alone costs a lot of money: the brand overpayment at Apple is probably the largest among all computer manufacturers, and indeed any electronics.
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Best Laptops For Graphic Designers And Creatives
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If you are a creative or graphic designer and you are looking for a new laptop it might be difficult to choose the best one and which laptop suits better for your graphic design ideas and budget, that is why I made this list with the 11 best laptops you can find right now for graphic design and help you choose the best one for you!
Best Microsoft Surface Laptop For Graphic Design
Alright. Moving on to what we believe to be the best Microsoft Surface laptop if you want to use it for graphic design work. In this case, you will need a high-end laptop with good specs.
Graphic designers use tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. These tools are very heavy for the GPU of your laptop. Youll probably have a few of these tools open and maybe a few other applications like mail or a browser as well. This requires a high-performance laptop.
The main spec both of the following laptops have is a strong dedicated GPU. Lets take a look!
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Whats My Processing Unit
Yeah, before I start from the generation point, let us first figure out the difference between a CPU and a GPU. Dont worry, you wont end up in the ICU after this.
In case you dont know what they mean literally: CPU stands for central processing unit, and a GPU is graphical processing unit. GPU helps in rendering high resolution videos and images much faster, while a CPU is good at handling multiple tasks but not the ones that are graphically heavy.
When buying a laptop for graphic designing, make sure you have a graphics card installed in it. Most laptops have two gigabytes but if you can manage to spend more then go with the four gigabytes one. I wont go into which brand is better because this depends on your preference.
Takeaway: Dont buy a laptop that doesnt have a graphics card, and make sure you pick the right brand.
Huawei Matebook X Pro
Design and performance to rival the mighty MacBook Pro
Reasons to avoid
The Huawei MateBook X Pro is an excellent graphic design laptop from a brand you may not usually consider. Huawei is perhaps best known for smartphones in the West, but the Chinese company has also been making some brilliant laptops recently which can go toe-to-toe with more established brands like Dell and Apple.
For less money than its competitors, you get a gorgeously designed laptop with an excellent screen that puts many more expensive laptops to shame. Huawei has also fitted this entry into our list of best laptops for graphic design with some excellent mobile components, which means Windows 10, and any creative apps you rely on, will run brilliantly.
For more info, read our sister site TechRadars Huawei MateBook X Pro review
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Q: What Laptop Specifications Do I Need For Graphic Design
If you’re going to work with graphic design software, here are the recommended specifications you should have:
- Processor: At least Intel Core i5 or Apple M1
- Memory: At least 8GB, preferably 16GB
- Storage: At least a 256GB SSD, preferably 1TB
- Graphics Card: Preferably with a discrete video card
- Display: Minimum Full HD resolution, with a preferable display size of 15 inches
These specifications will run the most common graphic design software, like Adobe Photoshop. If you prefer the portability of small-screen laptops, you can choose to have an external monitor in your main work area instead.
Is The Macbook Air Good For Designers
For everyday 2D design work, a current MacBook Air will be good enough. The new M1 processors are faster than previous chips, and they offer good graphical performance too. However, the fanless design of the MacBook Air is a problem if you work long hours. If thats the case, you should look at a MacBook Pro instead.
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Which Is Better Nvidia Or Amd
Checkout this video to get a better pick if you are confused between the 2 video cards.
If you watched this video, you would be clear of the fact that you can choose any of them, it does not really matter. The only thing that matters is that your laptop should have a video card at the end of the day!
Best Design Laptop Buying Guide
Graphic design requires the right tools for the job. This field can rely heavily on the kind of equipment available. So it is really important that you have the right laptop to get the job done properly. As there are so many different factors that go into buying technology, choosing the best device can be confusing. Here are some important factors to consider when choosing between the best laptops for graphic design.
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Best M1 Macbook For Graphic Design
If you dont need the biggest MacBook screen, then you can get one of Apples newer MacBooks with their fast M1 processors. Then it comes down to either the new MacBook Pro or the new MacBook Air, both of which have eight-core M1 processors and 13-inch 2560×1600 IPS displays.
The MacBook Air weighs just 1.29kg, while the MacBook Pro is 1.4kg. If thats the most important factor to you, the MacBook Air is a good choice. Otherwise, we recommend the MacBook Pro. It has eight GPU cores compared to the MacBook Airs seven its screen is brighter, at 500 nits instead of 400 and it has active, fan-based cooling instead of passive cooling a big deal if you plan to work long hours on your MacBook.
Bear in mind, though, theres a big difference in price. The cheapest M1 MacBook Pro is $1,299, while you can get a MacBook Air for $999. A powerful Intel version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro is available too, for $1,799.
|13-inch M1 MacBook Specs|
Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
Best Overall: Apple Macbook Pro
Not user upgradable
Creative professionals know that Apple laptops dominate the market when it comes to graphic design capabilities, and the new 16-inch MacBook Pro is no exception. This model features an improved Retina display with P3 color gamut calibration for more accurate colors, making it perfect for illustrators and animators. It also has four Thunderbolt 3 ports, allowing you to quickly transfer data between computers and storage devices, use wired peripherals, or connect up to two 6K displays for when you need to multitask or prefer a multi-monitor setup. The keyboard sports a touch bar for setting up custom shortcuts as well as a fingerprint reader for password-free log-ins and extra security for purchases.
The MacBook Pro is built with either an Intel Core i7 or i9 processors and up to 64GB of RAM to give you all the processing power you need to edit videos, render 3D images, or create digital paintings and drawings with up to 8TB of storage in an ultra-fast solid state drive, you’ll never have to worry about running out of space for your raw files and finished pieces. With built-in security and encryption, you can rest assured that your work and personal information will be safe from unauthorized access and theft. The battery gives you up to 11 hours of use on a single charge so you can work all day without needing to plug into a wall outlet.
Not many inputs
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Lenovo Ideapad 3 Pocket
Lenovo IdeaPad comes with the Intel 10th Gen Dual-Core i3-1005G1 CPU and is not as fast as the other alternatives on the list. Even though it doesnât offer an ultra-high-speed processor, itâs armed with 8GB DDR4 RAM.
You can store your designs on the 256GB PCI-e SSD, which is on the lower end of the storage capacity. However, it is enough for someone who doesnât work daily with Adobe programs that might create enormous data files.
Its 15.6 display is not powered by IPS technology, but it offers a touch screen feature. It comes in handy for choosing different program tools and adds up to work productivity.
Letâs not forget the looks of the Lenovo IdeaPad. Although it is the cheapest option on the list, it looks remarkably modern.
Now that we covered the selection of inexpensive laptops, letâs compare them side by side.
Large Capacity Storage To Store Massive Projects
Laptops usually come built with two types of storage – hard disk drives and solid state drives .Hard drives are more affordable, but slower than solid state drives. SSDs are way more expensive and come in limited sizes. If youre working on massive 3D and video editing projects, look at the capacity first. Most laptops come with 500GB or 1TB hard drives.Choosing a laptop with 1TB HDD should be enough for installing all the designing software and storing projects. The advantage of using an SSD is its speed which means rendering and loading of projects happens in seconds.
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Acer Aspire : Models For Amateurs
RAM Acer Aspire 5 can be increased up to 20 GB, but there is only one slot, so in order to increase the volume, you need to change the standard plate to a new one.
This is a great model for those new to graphics. The body of the device is made of metal and plastic, the design is ordinary and does not cause admiration. The screen has a diagonal of 17.3 inches and a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels with a density of 127.3 PPI and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. The screen covering is glossy. With such a display, you can work with complete comfort in various photo editors.
There is a powerful Intel Core i7 processor with four cores with a frequency of 1.8 GHz and 8 threads. The frequency can be automatically increased up to 4 GHz.
In stock there are 6 GB of DDR4 RAM. For graphics, a GeForce MX150 with 2 GB of video memory is used, as well as an integrated Graphics 620.
The SSD has a capacity of 128 GB, and the hard drive has a capacity of half a terabyte.
Of the connectors there are two USB 2.0, one 3.x, video output and mini jack.
The 3 220 mAh battery, according to the manufacturers, can last up to 7 hours in autonomous mode. You may also like Laptop Vs Tablet Pros And Cons.
How Much Ram Do I Need For Graphic Design
When it comes to graphic design, its the CPU that does most of the heavy lifting. However, in case you are working with applications like Photoshop and Illustrator at the same time, the complexity of multitasking could consume the memory of the system. Therefore, additional RAM is always recommended for a more professional setup, just to make sure the system doesnt lag or freeze.
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Cuk Continuum Gamer Pc
- Expensive upgrade for more memory
- Integrated graphics card
This is Mac Mini in the same small desktop form-factor. However, now it has an optional Intel six-core processor, which will undoubtedly provide outstanding performance in Photoshop and Lightroom.
Unlike the multifunction devices on this list, you need to connect an external display via an HDMI or Thunderbolt 3 connector. Higher level storage options are expensive, but you can reduce costs by choosing a small internal storage capacity .
You can also use a fast external USB or Thunderbolt to store the largest media files. This makes iMac the best computer for graphic design, powerful for photo editing, roomy for storing thousands of images and portable for use on the go with other components of Mac computer.
- Read more about the .
Gigabyte Aero 17 Laptop For Graphic Designers
If youre looking for one of the latest pieces of high configuration laptops for graphic designers with a powerful engine and a great display, consider the new Gigabyte Aero 17 just released in 2021.
The most powerful laptop for 3D designers and video editors. This laptop offers you everything you need when it comes to portable computing.
Gigabyte Aero 17 is the most powerful laptop for 3D designers and video editors. This laptop has ultra-light but offers you the power and speed optimized for high-resolution playback of your creative projects.
It also offers excellent refresh rates for playing your favorite AAA games. This uncompromising laptop is a versatile workhorse designed for modern professionals on the go.
You can get up to 1TB of disk storage, which is useful for heavy video or 3D model renderings. And the 17.3 inches of space it can use, what more would a graphic designer need in a laptop?
This laptop comes with Average battery life of 10.5 hours is extremely attractive to graphic designers who need a mobile version of their powerful desktop computer.
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