Top 6 Best Laptops for Artists – 2020

The creation is on the basis of our nature. And an artist drowns in the unearthly world of art and color when they paint their soul out of the creation. But these are not confined over the physical pen-paper mode anymore. Technology is holding the digital brush of this era, and it has broadened the space. The below-mentioned best laptops for artists can bring out the same peace and precision in your work, what you feel with the physical canvas in front of you.

Although most digital artists prefer to sketch on the drawing tablets, new-age laptop manufacturers are sworn to combine the paper-esque sensation with mind-blowing processing power and a variety of features for different modes, sizes, and component supports.

Whether you draw a new portrait or render 3D models, the color-accuracy of the high-resolution displays on tablet modes in portable PCs are attracting your eyes for a better and compact studio-accommodation. Also, you can’t deny the luring of the high-tech pressure-sensitive digital pens accompanying those devices.

But sorting out the perfect rig from such a versatile variation with graphics-intensive hardware can kill your time for a long jaw-dropping moment, also snatching out your peace of mind. So, before feeling exhausted already, let us help you with some of our handpicked choices studied under expert guidance. The top five devices placed on our list of the best laptops for artists should navigate you to an optimized decision.

Let’s dig.

Top 6 Best Laptops for Artists to Buy in 2020

ModelCheck Latest PriceScreen SizeProcessorRAM
Microsoft Surface Pro 712.3”10th Gen Intel Core i58 GB
ASUS ZenBook Flip S13.3” FHDIntel Core i7-8550U16 GB
Acer Spin 314" FHDIntel Core i7 8565U16 GB
Lenovo Flex 1414" FHDIntel Core i5-8265U8GB
HP Envy X36015.6" FHDAMD Ryzen 5 2500U8 GB
Dell Inspiron 2-in-113.3" UHDIntel Core i7-8565U16 GB
#1
best laptops for artists

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Recommended Laptop for Artists

  • 12.3” Touchscreen
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5
  • Battery life up to 10.5 hours

Think of an ultra-portable laptop encased in a tablet PC, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a perfect amalgamation of stylish Platinum-colored design and spectacular performance.

The brain makes out with Intel 10th-gen Core i5 Processor and 8GB RAM including 256 GB of SSD. Talking about our important aspect of graphics, the Surface Pro 7 houses Intel Iris Plus GPU integrated into the system. You can’t expect deep-gaming or high-demanding graphics designing, but it works well for painters. WiFi 6 and USB-C are the added advantages. Good news for the artists. Enjoy laptop, tablet, and a portable studio mode all packed in one device.

The 12.3-inch PixelSense multitouch display produces well-balanced colors and brightness. But the chunky bezel is its pitfall. A Dolby audio speaker ensures a better multimedia experience.

Coming to the ports, it has USB Type-A and Type-C ports for connecting dockable devices and external display, one headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. A Signature black Type Cover keyboard is included with it. 

Windows Hello face authentication and standard webcam are the other gems in this device. Hardly 8-9 hours of battery life is not expected under such a maxed-out price bracket.

Pros

  • Noteworthy performance
  • Lightweight
  • Wi-Fi 6.
  • Three modes

Cons

  • Lots of heat-dissipation
  • No anti-glare
  • No Thunderbolt 3
  • High-priced
#2

ASUS ZenBook Flip S Laptop

  • Intel Core i7-8550U
  • 512 GB Solid State Drive
  • 13.3” Full HD Display

The 13.3-inch Royal Blue-colored ASUS ZenBook Flip S Convertible laptop is another ultra-thin competitor of our first contender. The 8th Gen Intel Core i7 8550U processor with 16 GB LPDDR3 RAM can handle almost anything you throw at it up to 4 GHz Turbo speed. Also, it offers the latest gen 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD for flash memory. Windows Ink and ASUS Pen support work seamlessly on Windows 10 Pro environment.

But its HD Graphics 620 can’t overrun the performance of Iris series GPUs. Yet, in the case of light-gaming, digital painting, and even 3D modeling, you are good to go. Besides, the convenience of a 360-degree flippable FHD touchscreen display (1920x1080p) is designer-worthy. Although the screen produces incredibly sharp imagery, the fingerprints paint noticeable dirty stains on the monitor sometimes.

The solid aluminum-built yet light-weight machine looks stunning with its diamond-cut highlighted edges. But only 4-5 hrs of life-juice on moderate usage is really a far cry from the marketing claim. Cinema-quality surround-sound, full-size backlit-keyboard, Windows Hello, and fingerprint sensor makes the laptop more appealing. Along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, HDMI, USB 3.1, and Type-C ports extend the connectivity towards your expectations.

Pros

  • Powerful hardware
  • Sleek design
  • 360degree flip

Cons

  • Noisy fan.
  • Thermal-throttling
#3

Acer Spin 3 - Best Artist Laptop

  • Intel Core i7 8565U
  • Thin 0.38 inches Bezel
  • 14" FHD LED IPS Display

Acer Spin 3 Convertible laptop speaks for the perfect balance between budget and performance to push it into our list of the best laptops for artists. 8th-gen Core i7-8565U processor speeds up to 4.6GHz Turbo frequency in the company of 16GB DDR4 SDRAM and 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD. 

Along with these spectacular hardware specs, Intel UHD graphics 620 GPU-unit can perform insanely well on 2D and even 3D ground on designing and sketching. The terrific performance closely matches our Surface Pro member, even outperforming it due to the CPU-advancement. The 360degree hinge and rechargeable MPP-compatible (Microsoft Pen Protocol) stylus welcome you as well after unlocking the device with a fingerprint reader. 

The thin-bezel 14inch FHD LED-backlit touch-happy display (1920x1080p) is IPS technology-empowered. Dual front-facing speakers ensure solid audio output. Open the lid, and you are rewarded with an island-style backlit keyboard and a responsive trackpad. 

Users can expect about 6-7 hours of battery usage, while the dual-band MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wifi 5 network stays connected. The headphone/microphone combo jack, Stylus-holder charging dock, USB 2.0 and 3.1 ports with HDMI and sd card reader can’t make it up for the absence of USB-C port.

Pros

  • IPS touchscreen
  • Standard audio
  • Heat-management

Cons

  • Lacks USB-C
  • Audible fan


Editor's Choice: The Best Laptops Under $700

#4
Lenovo Flex 14

Lenovo Flex 14 Laptop

  • Intel Core i5-8265U
  • 8GB RAM
  • 14 Inch Full HD

The Lenovo Flex 14 bring ideas to life, with its convertible design and all-day battery life. One can use it as a laptop, tablet, or in stand mode for drawing and more. With the digital pen (sold separately) you can practice all your art and skills on it. Using the pen you can easily write, draw sketches, cartoons, etc directly onto the touchscreen.

The 14 inches Full HD touchscreen is ideal for working and provides crystal clear visuals. Lenovo Flex 14 comes with the Intel Core i5-8265U processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB SSD for fast and responsive performance. Along with the amazing specifications, the laptop also presents many security features, including the webcam shutter.

Battery life is just something that draws our attention when reviewing the Lenovo Flex 14. With up to 8 hours of battery life, you can work, play all day long. Also with Rapid Charge technology, you can recharge the battery to 80% in just an hour.

Well, it's a great laptop overall and an ideal one for artists. As far as the portability is concerned the chassis of the Lenovo Flex measures out to be 12.91 x 9.02 x 0.7 inches weighing at 3.52 pounds. 

Pros

  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Backlit keyboard

Cons

  • Active Pen sold separately


#5

HP Envy X360 Touchscreen Laptop for Artist

  • 15.6" FHD IPS Touchscreen
  • Ryzen 5 2500U
  • 256GB PCle Solid State Drive

If you are looking for a power-packed notebook under a reasonable price, the 15.6-inch HP Envy X360 Convertible 2-in-1 laptop can end your search. AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor (3.6 GHz Turbo) and 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM is escorted with 256 GB PCle SSD. The shared graphics solution of AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 can delve deeper into complex graphics designing than Intel’s HD or UHD GPU-units.

The Dark Ash-finished lid opens up an FHD IPS WLED-backlit multi-touch display to flash out a clean and crisp visual experience. The backlit keyboard ushers you to enjoy a stellar typing-sensation. Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2 play their roles perfectly well. Then again, like any other portable notebooks, 4-5 hours of battery-backup doesn’t suffice. Also, it brews enough heat in CPU-intensive tasks.

Port-collection of two USB 3.1, one USB-C, headphone/microphone jack, HDMI, and one microSD Media card-reader adequately serve your connectivity grade. Windows Ink smoothes your note-taking experience in the Windows 10 Home ambiance.

Pros

  • Sharp and bright display
  • Quality sound solution
  • Ryzen 5 CPU
  • Radeon Vega 8 iGPU

Cons

  • Run pretty warm
  • No Stylus-support yet
  • Not superior in memory-hogging applications


#6
Dell-Inspiron-2-in-1 laptop for artist

Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 Best Value Laptop

  • Intel Quad-Core i7-8565U
  • 256 GB PCIe SSD
  • 16 GB DDR4

Let’s face it. Dell is the deal. Incredible 4K resolution (3840 x 2160p) display and power-boasted hardware rigs bring it on the top-ranking beasts to compete for the title of the best laptop for artists. Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 laptop has boxed a UHD IPS LED-backlit touch-happy experience on the compact 13.3-inch display frame. The backlit keyboard and the fingerprint-reader build a perfect companionship with that.

Inside the casing, this laptop has a solid hardware combination of Intel Quad-Core i7-8565U Processor (Turbo 4.6 GHz), 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, and an integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics solution. The graphics choice may not be the best possible option here, but the CPU escorts it to its better-self. Of course, you have the stylus-support on this 360-degree convertible mean device, and it does a stellar job in Windows 10 environment after you buy it separately.

A standard USB 3.0 port, one USB Type-C, an audio jack, one HDMI port, and a micro SD card slot neatly serve the purpose of data transfer and connecting external devices. Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 technology manage the network communication pretty well. Battery-life and heat-management are as expected not great.

Pros

  • Amazing 4K resolution screen
  • Powerful hardware
  • light-weight

Cons

  • 4K settings can’t maintain the trend unabated in resource-intensive climate.
  • Battery life doesn’t match the expectation.

Points to Consider before buying a Laptop for an Artist

There are lots of factors to consider before buying a laptop suitable for any platform. But the real consideration is what you know about your needs. Here, we have talked on behalf of every artist, hope it covers the sections of your search.

Processor

Admittedly, the creativity of artists always thrives with some good processing power, even if it’s just the vector or digital painting culture. Therefore, it’s better to start with at least 7th or 8th gen Intel i5 or 2nd gen Ryzen in case of AMD. You may not need even that much speed for your daily workflow, but a creator always delves into multitasking. 

Buying a laptop with four cores won’t cost you much these days. Not that all the cores are utilized every time, but modern software and OSs chew on some speed. 

When we deal with the world of 3D rendering, or comics and animation jobs, you must consider even better. You may still opt for an i5, but it should come from the 8-10th gen versions, the latest the better. They are almost similar in performance with 7-8th gen i7. 10th generation Comet or Ice Lake chips provide raw performance even with heavy graphics works.

Again, i7 produces more heat than i5. But that depends on your type of work too. No matter what you choose, the regular or stock speed of the CPU should be around 2Ghz to start with.

If you prefer AMD, there are already 3rd gen and advanced Ryzen in the market. For resource-intensive work, Ryzen 5 is a noteworthy choice or a similar powerful one from the AMD family. Just check out the speed and cores before picking up one.

RAM

No matter what you heard, but RAM matters folks. And 4GB is really not enough these days. Only Windows 10 eats up 3GB already. Every OS, even MacOS does the same, if not that much. Chrome Browser occupies 2GB, even Outlook eats 200MB too. Hence, regular work starts with around 5GB RAM. Now, for the best laptop for artists, you shouldn’t settle down any less than 8GB.

Actually, RAM saves your work on the screen temporarily, even before you save it. So, the more RAM you have, the more art or any work you can put on the screen at once.

The best budget recommendation is 16GB of DDR4 memory, and it’s even better to have an expandable option for future upgrades. Basic photo-editing in Photoshop Lightroom CC requires 8GB, whereas Creative Cloud technology demands at least 16GB. 32GB is the best option for 4K editing. And 8k file edit jobs require 64GB if you don’t want the unexpected nightmarish lagging in your device.

Generally, more than the computer, the software decides how much RAM to use. Moreover, the better resolution also gulps on the RAM. 

Internal Memory

The internal memory is the permanent space you have in the computer for file and data storage. And for a designer, you must have a lot of heavy-weight files and videos to save, right?

Now, most modern computers come equipped with a solid-state drive (SSD). SSDs are 15 times quicker than HDDs, and the failure rate is the bare minimum of 0.5% in their case, whereas HDDs have it around 5%. SSDs even outrun the HDDs on accessing and processing a section of memory at an outstanding rate. Also, power-requirement and hence the heat-dissipation rate is much lower in the case of SSDs.

The latest SSD standard is SATA 3 with 6GBps whooping speed for data transfer. The most efficient one is the NVMe PCIe standard, but the price goes the same way too. 

Having a 256GB SSD is better than acquiring 1TB of HDD. Some laptops offer a hybrid of SSD and HDD both. That’s ok, but try to stick with 128-256GB SSD for the least, and your device will thank you later.

You may still live with HDDs, but at least check out the rotation speed of a minimum of 7200RPM. 

You may even consider external hard drives. Of course, they are no match with internal ones, but they are also good for extra backup on a rainy day.

Graphics

We already know how important graphics are for artworkers. But 2D tasks like digital painting can be done efficiently with the integrated GPU in the laptop without a sweat. It’s for 3D modeling or similar stuff that you must spend some bucks on a good quality dedicated graphics card. The main reason is their dedicated RAM and also some other components essential for professional editing works. 

Video cards with 2GB RAM are ok with digital stuff. But for GPU-intensive professional jobs, graphics chips with 4GB memory is the linchpin. NVIDIA and AMD are the leading manufacturers for graphics cards. 

Notably, you can’t upgrade the GPU after the purchase, unless you are familiar with assembling a laptop from scratch. Hence, select wisely what you really need without splurging extra savings.

Screen

No wonder, the display unit is the most crucial segment in a laptop for an artist. Here, nothing less than a full HD screen with 1920x1080p resolution would suffice. The IPS technology will be the perfect combination with that. Because, better clarification, viewing angles, and color-variation is always appreciable to reveal your best creation on the digital screen. Also, an LED backlight can help you with a darker ambiance. 

However, you may not need a 4K UHD screen with a 3840x2160 pixel resolution, but a little better than the minimum won’t hurt much in your pocket. Anything between the range of 2880x1800p to 3840x2160p can serve your purpose well.

Coming to the size, if you are a drawing artist, even a small canvas with a 12.3inch screen can give you the physical paper-like feeling. Again for 3D professionals, the smallest option is a 15inch display. But these laptops and bigger sizes weigh too much. If traveling is a part of your job, you must settle for a portable and power-efficient option with 14inch or less. 

Another important factor is the brightness. If you paint more in daylight, a matte finish clear screen is your deal. For a studio-dweller, an LED-backlit glossy display does a greater job, if the reflection is controlled enough not to hurt your vision in the long run.

Convertibility

For drawing artists, this feature is not optional. A convertible notebook with a minimum of two modes can give them a paper-like experience.

There are so many modes available in different models such as a tablet, tent, studio, including the laptop mode. But the combination of laptop and tablet modes are the most common and popular 2-in-1 hybrid convenience around here. 

With a tablet mode, it is expected to provide touch-sensation. Without that, there is no similarity between a digital canvas with a physical one. But that shouldn’t be the only option, as you may prefer to use the mouse or trackpad as well. So, seek out a collaboration like that. Note that, when you go for a touch-enabled screen, read through the feedback about how clean it remains against the fingerprints all over it. Gorilla-glass is worth your hard-earned money. 

Besides, a touch-happy convertible notebook doesn’t really come with a giant screen to make it impossible for lugging around. So, that’s another added advantage to be attached to your studio anywhere your talent hits. 

Now, when we talk about the paper-feeling, why leave the pen and pencil? An artist’s finger always craves to hold one. So, digital pen support can only bring forth the adequacy in the best laptop for artists. 

Generally, you may not have one shipped with your notebook, but you can buy it separately from the same manufacturers (or even from others) when you are offered a stylus-support. Examine the reviews carefully for the touch-sensitivity, smoothness, and pressure-measurement of the stylus. The perfection of your art can only come out with a suitable touch-sensitive pencil.

Software

Undeniably, an artist attends various software to perfect out the creation using digital media. There are tons of premium paid services luring your attention. Some laptops even offer free software subscriptions to brew out better sales rates. But it’s hardly any art software that you can find in such deals.

When it’s about your profession, don’t compromise the quality over money. If cash is the painstaking issue for you right now, considering open-source web versions isn’t that bad. Instead, some of the free online software is giving a hard fight to premium choices. Take the example of Photoshop, you can replace it with GIMP. 

Even if you have no other choice but to purchase, read throughout the descriptions of two licenses. Most of the software comes with education and commercial subscriptions. The first one is abated to some extent for encouraging students. Commercial licenses are allotted for professional artists. 

Besides, you need to check out the required specs to run the new software, because this section is pretty divergent. Photoshop, Sketchbook, or Illustrators can manage on rigs, in which 3D software like Maya may not scratch a point. 

Ports

The port specification on art rigs is pretty-much the same as gaming devices. The reason is simple, both crave for extra display or sometimes video or audio ports. For external screens, HDMI is a critical option. DisplayPort is a rare case. USB-C serves with almost everything, hence in such demand. For digital photography, you may feel the need for a built-in or external card reader.

For art-dwellers, the typical demand can go round the three more ports mostly. USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 and 2, and the precious Thunderbolt 3 port. They may look alike, but the technology differs on bandwidth. Thunderbolt 3 transfer data at a whooping 40GBps rate, whereas the same is only 10GBps for USB-C Gen 2. And it slows down to 5GBps in the case of USB-C Gen 1.

More bandwidth indicates more ability to hook up extra displays. Hence Thunderbolt 3 offers dual 4K or single 5K display connection, whereas both the USB-C ports can tackle only one 4K display. Moreover, Thunderbolt 3 can even attach extra eGPUs, which isn’t possible for other ports.

Battery Life

Hardware-demanding high-end graphics programs easily chomp out the battery juice. So it will never be able to quench your expectations up to the mark. But it’s better to go for a good battery-backup always. Though it shouldn’t cloud your judgment on an overall basis. Because you’re gonna hit the power supply sooner or later.

Only if you move so often and want to accompany your portable studio-accommodation, you should decide on the basis of the laptop’s life-essence.

Price

These days, we see such a variety of choices in different departments and price brackets, that not being able to find a suitable laptop under your budget is really difficult. 

Just play some simple tricks and you’re the winner. For instance, reach out for the basic rig in a specific series, or go for an older version. If possible, wait a bit until a seasonal deal comes out. 

Try expandable choices in RAM and internal memory sections so that you don’t need to pay a lot at once. You may save plenty of bucks on software if you use some of your precious time on researching open source alternatives.

Assembling a laptop from scratch can save you a buck load of money. But it’s risky without proper experience or guidance. Also if time is your essence, the assembled set is your only option. Just think for a while what you really need, so that your hard-earned money won’t go in vain for some unused features.

Conclusion

Well, the last scene ends with the decision. It’s not easy to excel out only one as the best laptop for artists from the top-listed products since they all have the claim for the title in different departments. But as we have to pick one, Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 laptop is the winner of this day. Don’t hesitate to tell which one caught your favor.

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