Best Laptop For Designers of 2018 & Buying Guide

When you are best at designing, you want your laptop to best in all aspects. The best laptop for designers allows designers to work effectively using software such as Photoshop, Maya, InDesign, Sketch or whatever the software you are using for designing. You do not want to have a heavy laptop with the thick screen; you want to work on a lightweight laptop which has a thin screen.

When you are using powerful applications such as Adobe or Autodesk, you want the laptop to have a good battery. You cannot afford to run after a charger after every hour. Previously we were using notebooks which need to be charged after some time, and it’s not suitable for big applications. Now you do not need to worry as there are many laptops of Apple, HP, and Dell which is sleek and stylish in design and have huge storage spaces (hard drives) for big applications. They also have good battery life and processors are strong enough unless like desktop laptops which are less powerful.

We are going to review the following best laptop for designers:

Ranking

Image

Product

Our Score

Price

Top Pick

Acer Chromebook, CB3-431-C0AK

99/100

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#2

Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A

98/100

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#3

Lenovo Laptop

96/100

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#4

Dell Inspiron 5000

93/100

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A buying guide- for best laptop for designers

You need to know your work demands before buying any. Being a designer, you must have a laptop with features like long battery life and processor should be very fast & efficient. The following buying guide can help you in getting a right laptop for your designing job.

What type of screen do you want?

The best is to go for HiDPI screen which is known as retina display by the famous apple company.  You have to choose this option as many laptops for graphic designing come with standard HD displays. The good thing about this screen is that they have pixels of high density.  It allows applications to increase the size in terms of pixels and you do not need to go for great precision. Thus you can see the details much bigger in size such as 3000 pixels can be seen with 100% other than 50%. You also have an option of either to go for touchscreen or a standard one. Some designers like touchscreen as they can scroll, click, zoom without pressing buttons just by hands they can handle things easily and quickly. On the other hand, some designers are not comfortable with it and use standard screens.

The other thing you need to evaluate for a screen is its capability to present colors when you can see the colors; you are surer of the results. For a good colored screen, there are two options: color accuracy and the other is color gamut. The different color shades that screen can give as an output is known as color gamut. The screen can give color standards either in small form or large form. In small form, they are called as sRGB, and in large they are called Adobe RGB. Most designers prefer Adobe RGB which is compatible with software like Photoshop, Indesign, and Illustrator.  A good laptop is the one which gives sRGB and Adobe RGB output of 100%.

Do you prefer a laptop with a pen?

As a designer, you prefer a laptop with a pen which allows you to draw just like a natural pen or pencil.  You can choose from Lenovo, Microsoft, and Apple if the pen is your preference as it comes with great precision. According to designers, the prefer apple as nothing can beat Apple’s pencil.

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What type of processor do you want?

You need a potent processor if your applications are creative, you can’t go for Intel processors which are weak.  The new 6th generation has come of these Intel and Xeon chips and is known as skylake which is strong and has better battery life.  The 5th generation chips are also on sale, but the skylake is making its mark.  They are expensive as compared to 4th and 5th generations.

If you need a moderate one, buy a laptop with Core i7 processor which is better in output but need battery power. You will observe 7th generation chips which are named as keylake. They are better than a 6th generation, but battery power will be stronger.

How much RAM do you want?

With 6th generation skylake ship, you can have a RAM up to 32GB which is stronger than old models.  If you do 3D work or some video work, buy a laptop that backs ECC RAM which is very precise and stable.  They are high in price that’s why most designers go for 26 GB RAM unless you are working with complex projects.  You also have a choice of buying a laptop with a single chip of 16GB or 2 chips of 8GB each. You can also upgrade the RAM later instead of just throwing it.

What type of graphic specifications do you want?

The laptop with basic Intel platform comes with graphic abilities but being a designer you need GPU with more power than that.  Even if you work in 2D, your design, editing gears, and art tools need strong graphic capabilities. Nowadays, most laptops come with GPU called as a workstation which is very consistent and adjusted for designers specifically. They are compatible with working with your systems such as 3D which needs software like Maya, solid works and Autodesk.

How much storage do you want?

As a designer, you need a drive known as a solid state which is very fast in starting the software and also in opening the files. Usually, a laptop comes with the hard drive which is very slow.

These SSD’s are available in three versions such as:

  • 256 GB
  • 512 GB
  • 1TB

They are highly priced and are better if you can work easily with 512 GB instead of 1 TB as in this way you can save much money.

What type of port do you want?

You must have seen that light weight and thin laptops do not have much space for ports around. However, that’s essential if you are using your laptop as a desktop and attaching a mouse, keyboard, network, speakers, storage and cell charger with it.

Among all other ports, USB port of 3.0 is very important for quick storage and transfer of files.  You also need HDMI if you have some project or work to show in meetings or conference.  SD card is also very essential for photos transfer.

What type of keyboard do you want?

Your keyboard is very important, and it should be receptive and accurate while you are using it. For a designer, the keyboard should be very comfortable as most of the work is through the keyboard, if keys are not in place or not working properly, all your work will be slow down.

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How much battery life you want?

Battery power is very important, and when buying a laptop for design or animation, the main concern is the battery. All the manufacturers are trying best to improve battery life.  You can’t afford to go out of battery if you are in meeting or middle of work.  A good laptop should have a good power battery to work for a long time.

Product review


1. Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A Silver

The new Apple MacBook Pro is very fast and great as compared to previous models. It is also very light in weight and thin to hold it. Among the entire Mac notebook, its display is very colorful and bright as well. The most amazing thing is its battery which can stay up to 10 hours. How amazing.  It very user-friendly and allow you to work as per your choice.  You can hold it and take it where ever you go. Its 6th generation processor is very fast and charming in handling day to day activities, enhanced graphic capabilities and a 2 USB port 3.0 are the main highlights of 13-inch Apple Mac book Pro.  It has outstanding color accuracy and color gamut. If you are buying it for the first time and especially for video and photo work, it’s the right choice.

Pros:

  • Aluminum construction is solid
  • Design is elegant and classic
  • Thunderbolt port is attractive
  • Lightweight and thin
  • Retina display is good

Cons:

  • Its touch system but before starting a laptop, you have to enter password
  • There is no HDMI

Its keyboard is of 2nd generation and has a touch screen which allows to type and works faster with gestures without pressing buttons. It has Wi-Fi networking of 802.11a/c, and Bluetooth has the capability of 4.2 wireless.  It has a solid drive of 256 GB and Ram of 8 GB. Even if you are on loaded websites in terms of content and graphics, it makes the scrolling and triangulation very fast.  Its speakers have a good volume of bass and give very strong and ironic sound.  Its design is very attractive as it looks very elegant and sleek.

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2. Acer Chromebook, CB3-431-C0AK

Acer Chrome is a good choice regarding price and is a good investment as its future is very bright. Its body is made up of aluminum chassis, and a metal body looks very sophisticated and countless. Its body is very comfortable to hold or touch and is very light in weight. It has IPS display of LED-backlit with 1920×1080 resolution. Moreover, it has a strong brightness of 236 nits and is screen is wide and crusty. It has a viewing angle of 170 degree means you can read it almost from every side. It has a coating of anti-glare which most designers want.

Pros:

  • Aluminum body looks nice
  • Speakers are good
  • Display is of high resolution

Cons:

  • Keyboard is made of hard plastic which is not comfortable in using

Its battery is good as it lasts for almost 8 hours. Other Acer laptops go up to 12 hours but still overall good power battery.  The speakers are outstanding as it comes with the dual set and gives impressive bass. For presenting some work, your speakers will speak up the work. It has a Bluetooth of 4.2 which is good in terms of performance.  Its Wi-Fi is also strong with a double band of 802.11ac/a/b/g/n. Its keys are of plastic and bit strict, but the click pad is large and works very well.  It comes with HDMI port and USB port of 3.0. It has a storage space of 32 GB and 4GB Ram how amazing. It’s good for web applications and to watch streaming videos.  You cannot use it for games and high graphic tasks.

Related Post:  Best Laptops for Photoshop of 2018 & Buying Guide

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3. Lenovo Laptop (Intel Celeron Processor ) – Black

Lenovo laptop is a good one in terms of personal use. It has a screen of 15.6 inches and processor of AMD FX7500 and with 8 GB Ram is a perfect fit for your work. Its weight is just 5.6 pounds and thus can easily be moved along from one place to another.  It is known to be a family computer and is best for school work if you have kids at home.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Reliable
  • Good for basic daily work
  • The display gives improved picture

Cons:

  • Keyboard is not comfortable in using

It’s good for watching online movies on a network such as Netflix, using social media such as Facebook or Twitter and connecting with family or some friends through Skype.  It huge space of 1024 GB allows you to store all work without any tension.  Writing a final paper or doing some office work, it’s a great choice with reasonable price. Its battery can stay up to 3 hours and comes with USB and HDMI ports as well.  It also comes with wireless, Bluetooth and web camera as well.

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4. Dell Inspiron 5000

Dell has its name on the market and for personal use; Dell Inspiron 5000 is a perfect one. It 17.3-inch screen gives you large and better display. It 6.2 pounds in weight and thus easy to move along. Its price is also reasonable and worth all the benefits.  It screen gives you good color contrast and has a good powerful battery.

Pros:

  • Comes with touch screen
  • Easy to maintain
  • Speakers are also good

Cons

  • USB ports are limited
  • There are no graphics card
  • Lid is quite bulky

It is very powerful with the efficient and fast processor and RAM.  It’s good for basic work, but you can use it more than that. You can play games on it, edit videos on it, do some advance work, watch online movies on a network such as Netflix, using Social Medias such as Facebook or Twitter and connecting with family or some friends through Skype.

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Conclusion:

As a designer, you want a reliable body, fast and efficient processing laptop. Among all laptops mentioned above, best laptop for designers is Apple MacBook Pro MD101LL/A Silver. As a designer, you need a laptop with good color contrast, color gamut, efficient processor, strong RAM, light in weight to carry around, sleek in design and it all comes with apple mac book. It is high in price but allows you to use different design software comfortably.