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Best Laptop For Drawing And Animation

The best laptop for drawing and animation or any other professional laptop differs a lot from a simple laptop for streaming or other simple tasks. A laptop used for animation, video editing, drawing, or any kind of content creation requires more powerful features and specifications.

In this article, we will help you understand the main features that will help you determine whether the laptop is good enough for drawing and graphic design or not.

Before we can get into the laptops, it is important to note that a laptop that you use to create your work, and one that a consumer uses to view or consume digital work such as animation or illustration are not the same.

For example, a good animation and drawing laptop must have a large screen, and high resolution for a clear display. Additionally, it should be equipped with a modern and powerful processor plus relatively large RAM to make sure it does not lag when working.

Finally, the laptop will need to have a reliable connectivity port if you want to boost storage space with an external hard drive or want to connect to a graphic tablet.

After comparing many laptops, we have finally come up with a list of the Best laptops for drawing, digital art, and animation that you can add to your workflow.

What are the Best Laptops for Drawing Animation?

  1. Asus ZenBook Duo Best Overall
  2. Apple MacBook Pro 14  Best Overall MACBook
  3. Apple MacBook Air Best Laptop for Drawing Editor’s Choice
  4. Lenovo Flex FHD Best budget laptop for drawing
  5. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 best laptop for drawing with stylus
  6. HP 17.3 Inches FHD Large screen laptop for drawing
  7. Asus ROG Strix G16 Powerful Laptop for Animation
  8. Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3cheap laptop for drawing
  9. Dell XPS 15 Good Portable Laptop for drawing and animation
  10. HP Spectre Best touch screen laptop for drawing
  11. Microsoft Surface Book 2 best 2 in 1 laptop on a budget
  12. Samsung Notebook 9 best laptop with a stylus

Asus ZenBook Duo – Best Overall

  1. Screen: 15.6 inches
  2. Resolution Options: 4K resolution
  3. Storage Space: 1 TB
  4. RAM: 16 GB
  5. Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H quad-core processor
  6. GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  7. Modern Nano Edge Bezels

The Asus Zenbook Pro comes in as the second best. For both beginner and pro artists, the Asus Zenbook gives the Apple MacBook Air especially when it comes to screen size and storage space.

First of all, it comes with a large 15.6-inch touch screen with crisp and clear 4K resolution. It doubles the RAM as the Apple MacBook Air at 16 GB. Additionally, the laptop comes with the most modern processor from Intel which is Intel Core i7-9750H quad-core processor, to ensure it does not lag and can multitask with ease.

For file storage, it comes with 1 TB storage space twice as much as the top pick. Unfortunately, just as its features almost double that of Apple laptops, the price too is almost twice the Apple MacBook Air. Although it is a top pick for an art laptop, you can get more economical picks that will be enough for all your work without overspending.

Apple MacBook Pro 14 – Best Laptop for Drawing

  • Screen : 14 inch screen size with 3024 x 1964 Pixel 4K Liquid Retina XDR resolution
  • Processor: Apple M1 Pro Chip with 8 and16 GB RAM options
  • Storage Space: 512 GB, 1 TB up to 2 TB SSD
  • Screen brightness: 1000 to 1600 nits
  • OS: MAC OS

Apple MacBook Pro 14 is a popular premium-level tablet for both professionals and beginners in the creative industry.

First of all the body and build of the laptop are sturdy and strong making it durable and difficult to damage. The design is sleek and classy featuring thin bezels around the front screen.

One thing that totally stands out is the mouse trackpad. This laptop has one of the best mice in the industry that is both comfortable and perfectly positioned on the laptop’s body.

The keyboard is ergonomically designed with enough space to place your hands. Additionally, it is backlit making it look classy and attractive.

Apart from gaming, this laptop has been greatly improved to handle any task that you might throw at it. First of all the screen is large at 14.2 inches in size with a unique 16:10 Aspect ratio and unmatched color accuracy.

Screen resolution is high crisp and clear at 3024 x 1964 resolution with brightness levels of 1000 to 1600 nits. This ensures that your screen is still clear and visible even in high-light surroundings.

The screen color accuracy is perfect and one of the best you can get. A 1080-pixel webcam basically speaks for itself not to mention the crisp clear speakers that are unmatched.

Graphic design and animation require a powerful processor and RAM to avoid lags while multitasking or rendering. This laptop matches up quite well with an M1 Pro chip and an 8‑core CPU. RAM comes at 16 GB which is perfect.

To add to the power, the Apple MacBook Pro 14 also comes with a 14 core Graphic Processing unit that is a welcome boost to the functionality of the laptop.

Although the laptop is relatively expensive, it is surely worth its price and will not disappoint.

Pros

  • Strong Durable body with thin classy Bezels around the screen
  • Powerful Processor and large RAM
  • Great High-resolution Display
  • Color Accurate Screen
  • Long Battery life
  • Nice and comfortable Ergonomic Design Keyboard
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Best Mouse in the industry
  • Good speakers and a webcam

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Accessories and upgrades do not come cheap

Apple MacBook Air – Powerful Laptop with very long battery life – Editors Choice

  1. Screen: 13 inches
  2. Resolution Options: 2560×1600 pixels
  3. Storage Space: 256 and 512 GB options
  4. RAM: 8 GB
  5. Processor: Apple M1 processor chip
  6. Battery life: up to 16 hours
  7. Backlit Keyboard, HD Camera and Touch ID for security

The Apple iPad Air is one of other most professional devices you will find in the market. Although the 13-inch size screen is smaller than most similar-priced laptops, it has a unique Retina display technology only found on Apple laptops. This unique technology makes the screen clear and vivid better than any other devices in this review.

Additionally, it has a very high 2560×1600 pixels screen resolution making the display near perfect. You will be able to see your art in true and vivid color making it ideal for professional level production.

Apart from the great display, the laptop applies modern Apple M1 processor chip technology that is 3 times faster than their previous processor which was also not at all bad. But the M1 is better. Add this to 8 GB RAM and you get a very fast laptop that does not lag even on multi-tasking.

You can choose between 256 GB storage and 512 GB which are both large enough for artists. Unfortunately, the Laptop does not come cheap compared to other brands. The laptop also lacks a memory card slot that would come in handy when transferring files or upgrading space.

Pros

  • Up to 16 hours Long battery life
  • Fast Processor
  • Portable
  • Best Display
  • Large Storage

Cons

  • No mem card slot
  • expensive

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – best laptop for drawing with stylus

  1. Screen: 12.3″ Touch-Screen
  2. Resolution Options: ‎‎2736 x 1824 pixels
  3. Storage Space: 256GB SSD
  4. Battery life: up to 10.5 hours,
  5. RAM: 8 / 16 GB
  6. Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i5

If you are not sure whether to go for a tablet or laptop, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a good alternative with both laptop and tablet mode. It even comes with a sensitive touch screen and stylus jus like most tablets.

The screen is large enough for comfortable use at 12.3 inches in size with Touch-Screen sensitivity plus 2736 x 1824 pixels HD resolution. Despite its size, this laptop is light weight and ergonomically design for easy portability.

Additionally, you will be able to run even powerful software for both drawing and animation with ease thanks to its powerful 10th Gen Intel Core i5 and large 8 and 16 GB RAM options.

This laptop has a long battery life of about 10hrs and a high resolution for clarity of your images. Although it doesn’t come with a stylus pen, you can get a surface pen separate and get a flawless drawing experience.

That’s not all, this drawing laptop has durable hardware to last you many years and it is also light so you can carry it wherever you go comfortably.

What we like

  • Highly responsive
  • Versatile 2 in 1 tablet laptop
  • Light and portable

What we don’t like

  • Pen comes separate
  • Expensive

Dell XPS 15 – Good Portable Laptop for drawing and animation

  1. Screen: 15.6 inches
  2. Screen Aspect Ratio: 16:10
  3. Resolution Options: 1920×1200 / 3840×2400 resolution – 4k
  4. Storage Space: 512 GB
  5. Battery life: up to8 hours
  6. RAM: 8 GB /16 GB / 32 GB / 64 GB
  7. GPU: NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti  GPU.
  8. Processor: Intel Core i5

Apple MacBook has for a while been the best laptop for most professional tasks including drawing and animation. However, if you are looking for the best MacBook alternative that packs similar power and features but runs on Windows, then the Dell XPS 15 is your best pick.

First, the laptop has a metallic combined with carbon fiber look that makes it both sturdy and sleek at the same time. This look is complemented by thin bezels around the large 15.6-inch screen.

When it comes to the screen, you can choose between 2 options in terms of resolution and whether you prefer a touch or non-touch option. You will have 1080 p resolution and a 4k alternative resolution.

The Dell XPS 15 does not only look great but also packs great firepower to get the job done. It comes with Core 15 and Core i7 processor options to choose from. You have 4GB up to 16 GB RAM options that are premium and good enough for most tasks. Additionally, you have an integrated NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti  GPU.

This is a premium laptop and has a premium price tag to match it. However, you will not regret getting this laptop thanks to its great look and powerful performance.

Pros

  • Powerful Performance
  • Strong body and build
  • Large screen
  • Touch Screen option available
  • Reduced bezels make it sleek and allow more space for the screen

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for heavy gaming

HP Spectre – ‎2-in-1 Laptop/tablet computer

  1. Screen: 13 inches
  2. Resolution Options: 1920×1200 / 3840×2400 resolution – 4k
  3. Storage Space: 256 GB
  4. Battery life: up to 12.75 hours
  5. RAM: 8 GB
  6. Processor: Intel Core i7
  7. Backlit Keyboard, Stylus Pen Fingerprint Reader

The HP Spectre ×360 leads in our review today because it doesn’t only have a gorgeous design, this drawing laptops possess every single thing you need as a digital artist. Its 2-in-1 design makes it easy to convert it into a tablet. The 360˚ screen also allows you to flip it to whichever angle you like offering you the best drawing position. 

The hardware design is an advantage to you because the backlit keyboard allows you to work even in the dark and it also has a touch screen which enables you to work on your projects even faster.

Another plus for HP Spectre ×360 is that it has Windows ink and it also comes with a stylus pen which is intuitive giving you a quality experience.

What we like

  • Comes with a stylus pen.
  • Has a high-quality audio system
  • Beautiful design
  • Long-life battery

What we don’t like

  • Hinges are weak
  • The keyboard structure is not appealing

Lenovo Flex FHD: Best touch screen laptop for drawing Alternative

The 2021 Lenovo Flex 14” 2-in-1 FHD Convertible Touchscreen Laptop has been identified as one of the best laptops for artists due to its clarity, great display, flexibility, and sharpness when it comes to precision in artistic works.

Some of this laptop’s fundamental features include; an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor with a base frequency that can go up to 3.7 GHz when used with the Intel Turbo Boost technology, AMD Integrated graphics, 20GB RAM, a fourteen-inch 2-in-1 convertible touchscreen screen FHD (1920*1080 – touch screen can flip over at a 360 degrees angle while adjusting resolution), an active pen that one can use to directly write notes or draw on the screen and a storage capacity of 512GB.

Artists can draw directly on the screen hence offering them an opportunity to feel as if they are working with a blank canvas. Furthermore, the Lenovo Flex 5 has a battery life of up to ten hours and can charge 80% of its full capacity in one hour With these features, the 2021 Lenovo Flex 14” 2-in-1 FHD Convertible Touchscreen Laptop offers artists services similar to the 16 MacBook Pro, only at a much cheaper price ($800).

Pros

  • It has a large storage capacity.
  • It has a clear display.
  •  The convertible touchscreen feature is a standout feature among laptops highly rated by artists.
  • Flex has stylus support.
  •  Highly rated among artists.
  • More battery life and faster charging.

Cons

  • It is only compatible with Windows 10. 

Microsoft Surface Book 2: best 2 in 1 laptop budget

Microsoft Surface Book 2 is another laptop that is good for digital art. This drawing laptop has a high resolution of 3140 ×2160 which is ideal for your artistic projects. If you’re looking for an upgrade, Microsoft Surface Book 2 might be the best drawing laptop for you.

This 2-in-1 beast has a multi-touch functionality that is highly responsive to help you create high-quality drawings and the good news is it comes with a Surface pen.

You can go wrong on many things but you can’t go wrong with a Core i7 processor that gives you room to run multiple programs at the same time. Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a good choice if all you’re looking for is nothing less than top-quality images.

What we like

  • High Speed
  • A large processor that can run any program
  • Large storage space
  • Good battery life
  • Wireless support

What we don’t like

  • The screen wobbles a bit when moved
  • Expensive if you want more space

HP 17.3 Inches FHD: Large screen art laptop

One of the HP 17.3 Inches FHD laptop highlights is that its large screen size allows artists to handle intricate and detailed work with ease.

Some of this laptop’s fundamental features include; the 17.3 inches screen with WLED-backlight display (1920 x 1080), a 10th Intel core generation processor with a processing speed that can go up to 3.6 GHz when used with the Intel Turbo Boost technology, a 20GB DDR4 RAM, a 1TB HDD+ 512 GB SSD storage capacity, and an array of smoothly functioning ports.

Pros

  • It has one of the best and biggest screens in the laptop market.
  • It is cheap.
  • It can comfortably run multiple programs at a go without buffering.
  • It has a huge storage capacity.

Cons

  • The laptop has a slower processor than other laptops in that price range. 

Acer Aspire 5

The Acer Aspire 5 laptop is regarded as one of the highly-rated cheapest laptops in the art world due to its ability to incorporate the most basic elements that an artist is interested in when purchasing a laptop.

It has an AMD Ryzen 3200U dual-core processor with a processing speed of 3.5 GHz, 4 GB DDR memory, a 128GB SSD, a 15.6 inches screen, a backlit keyboard, and Windows 10 in S mode with a maximum power supply of 65 Watts. With a $365 price tag, the Acer Aspire is a recommendable choice for more budget-sensitive artists.

Pros

  • It runs the desktop version of Windows, allowing artists to easily use high-end graphics editing software such as Illustrator and Photoshop.
  • Its widescreen allows artists to easily work on finely detailed projects.
  • It has been highly rated among artists

Cons

  • Poor screen resolution

How to choose the Best Laptop for Drawing

  1. Display
  2. Stylus Pen
  3. Performance
  4. Hard Drive Storage
  5. GPU/ Graphics Chip

Display

This is the most important thing to consider when shopping for your drawing laptop because the display shows you the progress of your work.

The key things to look into are: The resolution, Size and Panel type.

The resolution and size of your display determine how clear and sharp our images are going to look. Drawing laptops come with different sizes of screens ranging from 11 to 18 inches. The bigger the screens the heftier the price.

Your ideal drawing laptop can range between 13 to 15 inches and they often come at a good price. The resolution of many drawing laptops starts from 1366×768 pixels (HD)and goes up to 3840×2160(4k).

The secret to flawless work is a higher resolution. A display that has higher resolution displays even the tiniest objects. The panel type is responsible for color accuracy and how the image looks at an angle. There are two types of panels:

  • Twisted Nematic panel
  • Vertical Alignment panel

The twisted nematic panel comes at a cheaper price and they offer fast response time but they display a few colors and they also have poor viewing angles.

Vertical alignments of the side come at a higher price and they have high color accuracy, a good contrast ratio but low response time.

Touch Screen

You can choose to draw with a mouse or a stylus on a touchpad but have you thought about how fast you can complete your projects with a touchscreen? Touch screens offer more precision and you might want to consider trying out a drawing laptop with a touch screen.

Stylus Pen

You might think that this is a petty point but what’s the point of buying a drawing laptop that doesn’t support a stencil pen? A stylus pen helps you get more accurate drawings than your finger. Getting a laptop that is sold together with its pen is a good decision.

RAM/ Hard Drive

The size of RAM determines how your laptop can be able to multi-task and run without lags while the hard drive is the storage of your laptop. Both the RAM and hard drive play a role in the speed of your laptop.

8GB RAM  can be ideal for you as a graphic designer or artist but if you’re willing to spend more and have a smooth performance experience you can opt for 16GB-32GB. A higher RAM enables you to run multiple programs simultaneously without your laptop slowing down.

You can choose between HDD or SSD when it comes to hard drives. HDD has more storage space while SSD offers faster performance.

Performance

When purchasing a drawing laptop, you need to consider two things; the clock speed and the number of cores. There is no need for you to spend a fortune on a high-end CPU when you can get a good laptop with good performance at a fair price.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should buy low-end processors because they will frustrate you by interrupting your work with their many lags.

Operating System

The debate on which is the best operating system between Windows and Mac will not end soon. Some artists prefer Windows because it is supported by several brands, has great features, and is affordable. Others believe that Mac has a better display and a good performance even though it is expensive.

The difference between the two doesn’t matter because the two operating systems are highly compatible with digital art software.

The only thing that can make you choose Windows over MacOS is that Mac does not support touch screens.

Graphics Chip

If you want to use your laptop for 2D drawing, you can go for a dedicated GPU. If you want to use it for 3D, you will need to go for a dedicated high-end GPU so that you can get your work done efficiently and faster.

Final Verdict

There are many laptops with different prices and different power levels. However, it doesn’t mean that those with the highest prices or those which are powerful are the best drawing laptops than others. If you’re looking for a drawing laptop on a tight budget, you can simply go for a mid-level processor and a big RAM capacity.

Apple MacBook Pro 14 is our top pick for the Best Laptop for drawing. However, it runs on a complicated MAC OS and may not be preferred by most artists. If you are looking for the best laptop that is made with a digital artist in mind, we recommend the Asus ZenBook Duo Laptop.

Minimum hardware requirements for a drawing and animation laptop

You need to have a computer with a fast processor and large RAM. A fast processor ensures that the Laptop runs smoothly even when running complex apps. A large RAM from 8 GB minimum and 16 GB recommended, ensures your laptop can easily multitask and retrieve files faster.

Storage space from 256 GB is good but the more you have the better performance. This is where you will store your files and documents.

The screen display needs to be large enough 14 inches and more than 95% sRGB color gamut. Color gamut refers to the maximum range of colors your screen can display. A 4k screen is an added advantage, but not a must

  1. Which laptop is best for digital art: Windows or Mac?<br>

    The debate between Windows and Mac, comes down to personal preference. Personally i prefer a MAC system because of its power and unique screen. Additionally, there are some software that are specific for MAC and not Windows such as Procreate.

  2. Is 8 GB good enough RAM for digital artists?

    Yes, 8 GB RAM is perfect for digital artists. However, if you intend to use your laptop for animation, we recommend 16 GB and above for optimal performance.

  3. Which one should I go for? A tablet or a laptop for drawing?<br>

    A tablet offers an easily portable device for your work. However, a laptops pack more power and flexibility than tablets thanks to a trackpad, inbuilt keyboard and a perfect balance of power and portability.If you however find it hard to choose, we recommend the Microsoft Surface Book 2 which is the best 2 in 1 laptop, tablet on a budget.

  4. What are the best hardware requirements for a drawing and animation laptop?

    For the best user experience we recommend a minimum screen size of 14 inches and full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. For optimal performance, 16 to 17 inches screen size with 4k Resolution is the best. For the screen brightness, we recommend 300 nits and above plus over 95% sRGB color accuracy. 300 nits is bright enough to view your screen even in outdoor high light conditions.For processing power, we recommend 8 GB RAM as minimum and 16 GB and above as optimal. Intel Core i5 and i7 are good and powerful while M1 and M2 are good for MAC system.To install software and save files, we recommend 512 GB storage and above with 1 TB as optimal.