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5 Best Laptops for Adobe Illustrator

After working as a graphic designer for close to 8 years now, I have worked with some of the Best Laptops for Adobe Illustrator available in the market. Of all of them, the 14-inch Macbook Pro stood out for me and most of my peers in the field as the best pick.

The simple but sturdy build on the MacBook Pro 14, plus a crisp and clear screen with a liquid retina display were some of the top things I liked about this laptop.

You will be able to view your work in accurate and rich colors on the large 14-inch screen. Most graphic designers prefer a larger 17-inch screen size but I found 14 inches to be comfortable and still easily portable.

If you prefer a Windows system, I have compiled for you a list of the best ones in this buying guide. I have also explained the factors to consider when choosing the best one for Adobe Illustrator plus a description of what stands out for each.

Best laptop for Adobe Illustrator

Best Budget

  • Screen Size: 16 inches
  • Resolution: 1920×1080 Pixels
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card
  • Processor: 9th Generation Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home

Best Overall

  • Screen Size: 14 inch
  • Resolution: 3024 x 1964 Pixel 4K Liquid Retina XDR
  • GPU: 14/16 core
  • Processor: Apple M1 Pro Chip
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage Space: 512 GB and 1 TB SSD
  • OS: MAC OS

Best Windows

  • Screen Size: 15.6-inch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160 Pixels 4K UHD display
  • RAM: 16 GB of RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card
  • Storage: 1 TB SSD
  • Processor:9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750h processor
  • 11 hours of battery life
  1. MacBook Pro 14-inch – Best Overall
  2. Dell XPS 17 (2021)Best 17-inch Laptop for Adobe Illustrator
  3. Lenovo IdeaPad L340 – Best Budget
  4. MacBook Pro 16-inch – Best Large Screen MAC for Illustrator
  5. Dell XPS 15 – Best Windows Laptop for Illustrator

MacBook Pro 14-inch – Best laptop for illustrator

  1. Screen Size: 14 inch
  2. Resolution: 3024 x 1964 Pixel 4K Liquid Retina XDR
  3. GPU: 14/16 core
  4. Processor: Apple M1 Pro Chip
  5. RAM: 16 GB
  6. Storage Space: 512 GB and 1 TB SSD
  7. OS: MAC OS

MacBook Pro 14-inch is the best overall laptop for Illustrator. It packs powerful hardware and a high-resolution display. The Apple M1 Pro Chip and 14 or 16-core GPU provide fast performance for running complex Illustrator tasks, such as working with large files and multiple layers.

This MacBook laptop comes with a 3024 x 1964 Pixel Liquid Retina XDR 4K display resolution that provides excellent color accuracy. This makes it ideal for graphic design and illustration work. The display offers a high dynamic range, allowing more vibrant and detailed images.

The large 16 GB RAM ensures that the laptop can handle multiple applications and large files without slowing down. Additionally, the 512 GB with a 1TB SSD option storage provides plenty of space for storing large Illustrator files and other design assets.

MacBook Pro 14-inch runs on the Mac OS operating system which is optimized for use with Adobe Illustrator and other creative software, providing a smooth and seamless experience for users.

Overall, the MacBook Pro 14-inch’s powerful hardware, high-resolution display, and optimized operating system make it a great choice for Illustrator users who demand high performance and require a display that can show their work in the best way possible.

Pros

  • High-performance hardware
  • High-resolution Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Ample storage space
  • Optimized for use with Adobe Illustrator and other creative software

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Mac OS operating system may not be suitable for everyone.

Dell XPS 17 (2021) – Good laptop for illustrator

  1. Screen Size: 17 inches
  2. Resolution: 1920×1200/ 3840 x 2400 Pixels
  3. Graphics: Intel/NVIDIA GeForce RTX Graphics
  4. Processor: Intel Core i7 / i9
  5. RAM: 16 GB
  6. Storage: 512 GB SSD
  7. Operating System: Windows 11 Home

Dell XPS 17 (2021) is a high-performance laptop that offers powerful hardware and a high-resolution display, making it a great option for Illustrator users. It Features a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card, and up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, it can handle complex Illustrator tasks with ease.

The 17-inch has a 1920×1200 Full HD resolution, and a 4K UHD+ (3840 x 2400) Infinity Edge touch display option that offers excellent color accuracy and high resolution, which is suitable for any graphic design work.

Additionally, it has ample storage space with up to 2TB SSD storage. However, it may not be the best option for those who prioritize portability and cost-effectiveness.

Pros

  • High-performance hardware
  • High-resolution 4K UHD+ display
  • Ample storage space
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i7/i9 processor

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy and bulky
  • Not optimized for MacOS, may need to adjust to Windows or Linux.

Lenovo IdeaPad L340: Best Budget

  1. Screen Size: 16 inches
  2. Resolution: 1920×1080 Pixels
  3. Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card
  4. Processor: 9th Generation Intel Core i7
  5. RAM: 8 GB
  6. Storage: 512 GB SSD
  7. Operating System: Windows 11 Home

The Lenovo IdeaPad L340 is a great budget-friendly option for Illustrator users. It is equipped with an Intel Core i5 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, and 8 GB of RAM, which can handle basic Illustrator tasks with ease. The 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels) IPS display provides a clear and sharp image, suitable for graphic design and illustration work.

Lenovo IdeaPad L340 comes with 512 GB of storage space which provides ample space for storing Illustrator files and other design assets. The 9 hours of battery life makes it suitable for on-the-go use, and it’s lightweight and portable.

However, it may not handle heavy and complex Illustrator tasks as well as more expensive models, and the GPU may not be suitable for more demanding tasks.

Pros

  • Long Battery life
  • Large Screen
  • Affordable Pricing
  • Good Processor and Large RAM
  • Lightweight and Portable

Cons

  • Not the latest Processor

Dell XPS 15 – Best Windows Option

  • Screen Size: 15.6-inch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160 Pixels 4K UHD display
  • RAM: 16 GB of RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card
  • Storage: 1 TB SSD
  • Processor:9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750h processor
  • 11 hours of battery life

Dell XPS 15 is a great Windows laptop option for Illustrator users. It is powered by a 9th generation Intel Core i7-9750h processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, making it suitable for even the most demanding Illustrator tasks. The 16 GB of RAM ensures smooth multitasking and quick access to frequently used files.

The 15.6-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) display provides a clear, sharp image, perfect for graphic design and illustration work. The 1 TB SSD provides ample storage space for large Illustrator files and other design assets.

Additionally, 11 hours of battery life allows for extended work sessions without needing to be plugged in. However, it is a bit expensive and may not be suitable for those on a budget.

Pros

  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750h processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card
  • 16 GB of RAM
  • 15.6-inch 4K UHD display
  • 1 TB SSD
  • 11 hours of battery life

Cons

  • Expensive
  • It may not be suitable for those on a budget

How to choose the Best laptop for Adobe Illustrator

Best Laptops for Adobe Illustrator

If you are not sure what to look for in a laptop for Illustrator, here is a breakdown of what to consider and why. In the end, try to compare your specification requirements to your budget to see which one is best for you.

Operating System

You can either choose a Windows PC operating system or a MAC. Each of the two systems uses different configurations of Illustrator so you need to choose an operating system whose Illustrator version is available to you.

Illustrator made for MAC will not install on PC and vice versa. If you choose PC over MAC, make sure to check whether your operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit and compare it with your Illustrator program.

Illustrator for a 64-bit Windows OS will not work on a 32-bit OS. Illustrator made for 32-bit will work on both 64 and 32-bit Windows OS.

Generally, the kind of Operating system you choose is a matter of personal preference. I prefer MAC OS over PC.

Processing Power

You need to choose a laptop that is both fast and able to multitask. Check the RAM and Processor or CPU version on the laptop. RAM or Random Access Memory, saves files as you work in a partial memory where your laptop retrieves it faster without having to search in the laptop’s entire memory. This will speed up your workflow.

For the best user experience, we recommend a modern processor such as an Intel Core i7 or i9. For the RAM, Adobe Illustrator will work smoothly with 4 GB RAM and above.

GPU: Graphic Processing Unit

Laptops with a dedicated GPU or Graphics Processing Unit will be faster and more preferred over one without. The GPU will also affect the quality of the image that is displayed on your screen as you work on Illustrator.

Choose a laptop with a high-end graphics card from a respected brand. NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon are perfect examples.

Storage Space

Storage space is the space you will install your software and save your files. You need a minimum of 256 GB of space but you can expand the size using an external hard drive.

Illustrator files are not too big but the more elements or links you include in your designs, the larger the file will be.

Screen Size and Resolution

The screen one of the most important specifications on the laptop. It is the plce where you will view all you work as you design.

Choose a large screen with high display resolution. I prefer a 14-inch screen size with Full HD 1920×1080 pixels resolution and above. However, a larger screen is more prefered by most artists and grephic designers.

If you prefer a tablet for graphic design, it is possible to combine it with your laptop and use it for the view. I recommend you choose one with an inbuilt screen.

Budget and Battery life

A laptop that saves charge for a long time will allow you to work out of the office without depending on a power connection. 8 to 10 hours of battery life is ideal for most graphic designers. However, this is not a must because you can still use your laptop on a direct power connection.

The budget is dependent on how much you intend to spend on the laptop. There are premium, cheap, and budget options included in my list. Check it out below.

Top 5 best laptops for Adobe Illustrator

  1. MacBook Pro 14-inch – Best Overall
  2. Dell XPS 17 (2021) – Good laptop for illustrator
  3. Lenovo IdeaPad L340 – Best Budget
  4. MacBook Pro 16-inch – Best Large Screen MAC for Illustrator
  5. Dell XPS 15 – Best Windows Laptop for Illustrator

Related:

1. Best laptop for Adobe photoshop

  1. How much RAM do you need for Adobe Illustrator? 

    When using Adobe Illustrator, 8 GB RAM is good for regular use on posters, flyers, and other simple documents. If you are a heavy illustrator user then 16 GB is recommended.

  2. Are gaming laptops good for Illustrator?

    Yes, you can use gaming laptops good for Illustrator. Gaming laptops are built with powerful CPUs designed to run heavy games and programs.

  3. Must I have a graphics card to use Illustrator?

    A graphics card is good and will give you a better user experience. However, it is not a must-have for Illustrator.