If you are an artist or art lover, you may love a laptop that you can easily carry along your journey. Some artists like me prefer to use a laptop with active pen functionality that can help designers like us without our illustrations in Adobe Illustrator or for branding a product in Photoshop.
I compiled a list of the 7 best laptops for artists, which I created by interviewing beginners to expert designers. The list I am sharing will be worthwhile if you are looking for a laptop that can provide pro assistance while all your design projects.
I understand that every designer has a specific requirement, and everyone has their budget. So, I compiled a list keeping in view all the aspects. Suppose you are a Professional designer looking for a highly user-friendly laptop for designing, or you are an art student looking for a budget-friendly laptop for your artwork. In that case, you will find the most appropriate model for yourself.
Read also: Top Wide Screen Laptops Under $1000
- 1 Best Laptops for Arts Students
- 1.1 1. Best Overall Laptop – HP Spectre x360 15T
- 1.2 2. Best MacBook For Art Students: Apple MacBook Air
- 1.3 3. Best Budget 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop: Acer Spin 5
- 1.4 4. Best Slim Laptop: ASUS ZenBook 14
- 1.5 5. Budget Friendly: Dell Inspiron 15 5502
- 1.6 6. Best Battery Life: Microsoft Surface Pro
- 1.7 7. Budget HP Laptop – HP Pavilion x360 14
- 1.8 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Laptop for Art Students in 2023
- 1.9 Verdict
Best Laptops for Arts Students
1. Best Overall Laptop – HP Spectre x360 15T
First, HP Spectre x360 comes with the 10th Gen Core i7 Processor. In the speed test the clock speed reached up to 4.9GHZ, which is massive. This powerful processor is highly suitable for heavy software like Blender3d, Revit, etc.
The laptop has 8GM of RAM with a high processing speed of 3200MHZ. It provides us with a smoother experience while using multiple graphics software. Moreover, the Intel Xe Graphics gives us the best quality visual experience.
Display & Storage
When I tested the Display Quality of the laptop using multiple colorful graphics applications, it impressed me with its amusing anti-glare display.
My Spectre came with a 512GB SSD. As nowadays, we can access most of our data directly from the internet, so 512GB is more than enough for Windows, Software, and Backups.
If you ask me what I like the most in the Spectre, I’ll say its smooth sensitive touchscreen and backlit keyboard. I didn’t test transfer ports, but the company claims that we integrated the laptop with high-speed USB ports. The webcam quality is also satisfying. Like other popular HP models, this laptop also has a fingerprint sensor to unlock the device, which makes it more secure to use or carry along with traveling.
Design & Weight
The root cause of its attractive design is its lightweight. The laptop has only 3.64 pounds weight. The battery timing I got from the notebook was approximately 6.5 hours under stress which I think is not bad. But I believe there is a little margin to improve.
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- Highly efficient Processor
- Amusing Display
- Sleek & Light Weight
- Smooth Touchscreen
- Latest Fingerprint Sensor to unlock
- Good for Casual Gaming only
2. Best MacBook For Art Students: Apple MacBook Air
If you are a mac lover and aren’t satisfied with any other device, I suggest you go for an Apple MacBook Air. If you were a software engineer, I’d not recommend you for the Apple Macbook Air, but as far as our subject art is concerned, this laptop is again worth sharing.
This laptop is suitable for many professionals; whether they are associated with digital marketing or with Graphic designing, the MacBook Air will not disappoint them. The only thing to check is its compatibility with different software. My M1 laptop didn’t disappoint me at any time; it is compatible with all the software I installed on my computer. For your satisfaction, you can check the MacBook Air’s compatibility with your required software before purchasing.
The apple Macbook Air is integrated with the latest 5nm architecture M1 processor chipset. When we tried to explore the best of it, the laptop clock speed reached up to 3.2Ghz.
Most famous designers use this laptop for their art projects and software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, and other professional tools. The quality of the GPU is relatively better, I’ll not suggest this laptop for heavy gaming, but if you are a designer and like to play casual games, you can go for this laptop.
MacBook is ideal for multitasking as it comes with a high-speed 8GM RAM, well according to exposure, the laptop’s RAM is faster than the other laptops with 8GM RAM. I put the laptop under pressure by loading different software, but it didn’t disappoint me by slowing down.
The laptop is equipped with a 512GB SSD, which is also a performance booster. It helped to load software quickly and minimized the booting time.
As a graphic designer, everyone prefers a laptop with an IPS Display to have the best quality colorful display. The good thing is the Macbook Air comes with a 13.3″ IPS Display, due to which this laptop has become a hot choice for many art lovers like me. The resolution of the laptop is 2560 x 1600 pixels.
The other more attractive feature includes the magic keyboard, which is excellent for people who love to type or content creators/writers. The sensitivity of the touch ID of the laptop is perfect. The quality of the webcam and a sensitive microphone adds more value.
The battery timing of the laptop is impressive. I used the laptop for 18-20 hours within one charge. Hence if you are a student or a Businessman, you can rely on this laptop for your essential work. The weight of the Macbook Air is 2.8 pounds.
- Beautiful IPS Display
- Sleek Design
- Great Battery Life
- Popular Magic Keyboard
- Not Suitable for heavy Gaming
3. Best Budget 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop: Acer Spin 5
The Acer Spin 5 has an IPS display and offers excellent streaming
quality. The screen size is 13.5,” and the touchscreen’s sensitivity
is incredible. This powerful laptop feature makes it an ideal device for
Acer Spin 5 is equipped with a quad-core 10th Gen Core i7 processor, considered a powerful processor for heavy and multi-tasks. The laptop provides an efficient performance that the designers and art students can expect from a device.
The Intel Iris Plus GPU can utilize the installed RAM, increasing the display’s performance and quality.
The laptop comes with high-speed 16GB RAM, which is excellent for art students and all professional users. The computer has built-in capability to handle the stress, I tried to put the laptop under pressure by heavy multitasking, but I failed. It is equipped with a 512GB SSD in which Windows 10 is installed. Due to such insane RAM and powerful SSD, the laptop does not take time to boot. When I turned it on, it hardly took 7-10sec to load the windows completely.
The only thing I didn’t like about the laptop was its weight. The weight of the laptop is 2.6 pounds which makes it a bit heavy compared to other models. But in different aspects, if we compare the features of the computer, we will end up with the result that this laptop offers us the same feature as other laptops offered at almost double the price. So if you ask my suggestion, we can compromise on weight, but we should not compromise on the features and specifications as they will hurt us in our daily tasks.
- Sensitive & Precise Touchscreen
- Highly Efficient
- Durable Battery Time
- High-end Features in Affordable Range
- Slightly heavy in weight
- Dedicated Graphic Card is missing
4. Best Slim Laptop: ASUS ZenBook 14
If we create a list of slim and compact laptops, Asus Zenbook will be in the top category. The laptop comes with a 14-inch screen with a sleek design. Most web creators, artists, and animators like to have a portable laptop they carry anywhere; the Asus Zenbook 14 is there to fulfill their demands.
The laptop has a 1920 x 1080 pixel display with a 14″ screen size. The laptop screen produces a high-quality bright display.
The performance of the laptop is quite impressive. It comes with a quad-core 11th Gen Core i7 processor. The base speed of the processor is 2.8GHZ, while in a turbo boost, it reaches up to 4.7GHZ, which is incredible. The laptop is equipped with NVIDIA GeForce MX450 with 2GB shared RAM if we talk about GPU. If you like to play heavy games besides art designing, this laptop may not be worthful, but if you are a casual gamer, then this laptop can be a choice for you.
Speed & Space
The laptop is integrated with 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD. The combination of both is excellent. I used multiple Graphic software and made illustrations and animations. By doing this, I cannot put the laptop under pressure.
The laptop comes with a good-quality keyboard. The placement of the keys is good for reducing the distance to increase the typing speed. The laptop’s touchscreen enables art students to make illustrations and notes in a convenient way.
The weight of the laptop is only 2.62 pounds. It comes with an IR Camera with a face unlock feature. We need to open the laptop lid, the IR camera will automatically detect our faces, and we will be logged in by entering the password.
The battery Life of the laptop is impressive. It gives me a backup of approximately 21 hours after a complete charge. After the battery drainage, when I recharged the laptop, it only took one and a half hours to charge it completely.
The Slim notebook is excellent for the bachelor of arts. The laptop will provide high-end performance in a compact and sleek design. If you want to use your computer solely for designing, this machine is worthwhile. But if you are looking laptop for heaving gaming, then I’ll not suggest you go for this machine. There are a lot better options available in the market. You can consider MSI GT77 for a high-end gaming experience
- Highly Portable Design
- Impressive Battery Backup
- Quality Keyboard
- Comes with IR Camera
- No of the Ports are Limited
- Not suitable for heavy Games
5. Budget Friendly: Dell Inspiron 15 5502
Well sometime people like me always try to explore high end products in a specific budget range. If you are also doing the same then the Dell Inspiron 15 will complete your research. The laptop is equipped with high-end features but in a friendly budget range.
The Laptop comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, which can reach clock speed up to 4.2GHZ. The 11th Gen is the most powerful processor. You can expect everything from them. Whether you are a developer or a top-rated graphic designer, this Laptop will fill all your requirements on a limited budget.
The Dell Inspiron 15 comes with 8GB RAM with a processing speed of 3200MHZ. It allows one to perform multiple tasks without putting the Laptop under pressure. Moreover, the Intel Xe graphics offer a satisfying visual experience.
Display & Storage Capacity
The Laptop has an IPS display, again the primary requirement of most art students and teachers. The laptop screen bloom with its colorful IPS display, which provides an entertaining, colorful experience. The company installed the 512GB SSD in the Laptop, which helps to load the operating system at a significantly higher speed.
The Inspiron 15 has an attractive backlit keyboard, which is great for content creators. The fingerprint sensor of the Laptop is susceptible and accurate. The webcam quality is pretty average, but we cannot say it is terrible. If we compare the cam quality with other laptops, you will be amused to see the quality of the Inspiron 15.
Weight & Battery Life
The weight of the Laptop is 3.64 pounds, again a bit heavy but good in specifications. So I think we can compromise on weight over specifications. The company claims the battery timing of the Laptop is 10 hours, but I got approximately 6.5 hours from the Laptop under stress.
- High-Speed 11th Gen Processor
- Sensitive Fingerprint sensor
- Budget Friendly
- A bit heavy
- IPS Display is not much satisfying
6. Best Battery Life: Microsoft Surface Pro
As far as the Operating System is concerned the, Microsoft is a leading brand in the market. After the success of Operating Systems Microsoft launched its custom gadgets to beat the competition. Microsoft Surface Pro is one of them. Microsoft Surface Pro is a machine that is highly suitable for artistic needs. This laptop can be a treat if you are an artist or an art student.
The Surface Pro has a compact size of 12.3″ with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels. The laptop has a much higher pixel rate than other 14″ models or laptops with a 2K display.
The Microsoft integrated Core i5 processor has a speed of 3.5GHZ. If we talk about graphics, it is suitable for designing works, but if you are looking for a laptop from a gaming perspective, you may face dissappointment because the laptop is equipped with Intel UHD 620 GPU. It provides us with basic graphics.
Speed and Storage
The laptop has 8GB RAM, which is not bad for designing tasks. I asked most designers about RAM, and most said that the 8GB RAM is sufficient for almost all our jobs. The drawback of the Surface Pro is that we cannot upgrade its RAM.
The Microsoft Surface Pro has a 256GB SSD, and the speed of the SSD is too good, but in terms of capacity, I think it should be 512GB. The USB ports are 3.0, which helps teachers and students to transfer their data immediately.
Battery Life and Weight
Well, I was surprised with the battery timing of Surface Pro. I was expecting 8-9 hours of backup time from the battery in one complete charge, but it lasted for 13 hours, which is impressive. Moreover, the laptop charger can fast charge the machine.
If we talk about the machine’s weight, I can safely say the device is one of the lightest available machines on the market. The weight of the laptop is only 1.69 pounds.
Hence, if you are an artist looking for a sleek, lightweight notebook with a touchscreen, then you should consider the Microsoft Surface Pro 5th Gen laptop.
7. Budget HP Laptop – HP Pavilion x360 14
Again this laptop is a delight for art professionals due to its convertible feature. If you are a student or teacher of art, you cannot ignore this machine for your digital skills, illustrations, photo editing, and other graphic design tasks. HP x360 comes with impressive specs and reliable features.
The laptop’s performance is suitable for all kinds of graphic design works. The laptop is integrated with G series Core i5 processor. Many art students favor this laptop. The base speed of the processor is 1GHZ, which does not look impressive, but we can overclock up to 3.6GHZ for our heavy tasks.
The company installed 8GB RAM in the machine, while it can handle more pressure because it has a processing speed of 3200MHZ. The drawback of the RAM is that it is non-upgradable. It means if we expect something heavy in the future and think we will upgrade it, we can face disappointment.
The laptop has a beautiful IPS display with a 14″ Screen. The screen resolution of the laptop is 1080p. It has a 512GB SSD drive to fasten the operating system and load applications.
Ideal for Online Classes
The keyboard of the Pavilion x360 is user-friendly for writers and students. If you are a student or a teacher and have to zoom session, this laptop will be worthful for you because of its user-friendly keyboard and high-quality webcam, which will assist you in your online session/classes.
The laptop comes with an HDMI port and multiple high-speed USB ports. The machine’s battery life is approximately 9-10 hours while using graphic designing software.
Hence HP x360 14″ is an excellent treat for art students. Its convertible feature creates more fascination with the machine. The only drawback of the device is its RAM module is non-upgradeable.
- Battery Life is Good
- User-friendly Keyboard
- IPS Display with 1080p
- Camera is reliable for Online Classes
- We cannot upgrade RAM
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Laptop for Art Students in 2023
- Size and resolution: A larger display size can be beneficial for art students as it provides more space to work on digital art projects and allows for more detailed viewing of their creations. A resolution of 1080p or higher is recommended for crisp and clear images.
- Color accuracy and gamut: Color accuracy is important for art students as it ensures that the colors they see on their screen are true to life. A wide color gamut is also important as it allows for more colors to be displayed, giving art students a wider range of colors to work with.
- Touchscreen capability: A touchscreen display is useful for art students as it allows for more natural and precise input when using programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
It’s worth noting that some of the latest laptops have 4k resolution screens, which can be great for visual arts students that want to work with high-resolution images, videos or 3D models.
- Processor and graphics card: A powerful processor and graphics card are necessary for running resource-intensive art software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and 3D modeling programs. A processor with a high core count and a dedicated graphics card will allow for faster rendering and smoother performance.
- RAM and storage: Art students will likely be working with large files, so a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM is recommended to ensure smooth multitasking and performance. A solid-state drive (SSD) is also recommended for faster file transfer and boot times, as well as larger storage capacity.
- Battery life and portability: Art students may need to work on their projects in different locations, so a laptop with a long battery life and lightweight design is ideal for portability. A laptop with a battery life of at least 8 hours is recommended for a full day’s work without needing to plug in.
It’s worth noting that some of the latest laptops have the option of having a dedicated graphics card on a separate module called an eGPU, which can be a great option for students that want to work with high-end software, but also need a portable device.
- Operating system and compatibility: Art students will likely be using industry-standard software such as Adobe Creative Suite, which requires a specific operating system. It’s important to check that the laptop you are considering is compatible with the software you will be using. Windows and macOS are the most common operating systems used by art students.
- Pre-installed programs and software options: Some laptops come pre-installed with art and design software, which can be convenient for art students. It’s also important to check that the laptop has the capability to run other software options, such as open-source alternatives, in case you need them in the future.
Additionally, students should look for laptops that can handle high-demand software and have the capacity to run multiple programs at the same time, as well as support the latest software versions.
4. Price and value for money
When considering the price of a laptop, it’s important to consider the value for money it offers. The best laptop for an art student will offer a balance of powerful hardware and software capabilities at an affordable price.
It’s important to look for laptops with the necessary specifications for running art and design software, such as a powerful processor, dedicated graphics card, and high-resolution display. Additionally, laptops with long battery life, a lightweight design, and a solid build quality are also important factors to consider when evaluating value for money.
5. Additional features
- Stylus support: A stylus, also known as a digital pen, can be a useful tool for art students as it allows for more natural and precise input when working on digital art projects. Many laptops now offer stylus support, which can be a valuable feature for art students.
- Keyboard quality: A good keyboard is essential for comfortable and efficient typing. Art students may spend a lot of time typing up project proposals or taking notes, so it’s important to consider the keyboard quality when choosing a laptop. Features such as backlit keys and a comfortable layout can be useful.
- Audio quality: Art students may also use their laptops to play sound and music, so good audio quality can be a valuable feature when choosing a laptop.
- Additional ports: Art students may also need to connect external devices such as a drawing tablet, scanner, or camera to their laptops. Having multiple USB ports, Thunderbolt ports, HDMI ports, or SD card reader can be convenient for this purpose.
It’s worth noting that there are other additional features that can be useful for art students such as a fingerprint reader for security, a web-cam for online communication and video conferencing, or a durable case for protection.
After long research, I compiled a list of laptops for artistic students and teachers. For an Artist, I believe the touch screen display is essential. It can make our work easy. Whether we are designing a logo or creating an illustration touchscreen laptop will assist us. The active pen support also lets us sketch our designs quickly and accurately.
As a designer, if you ask me to choose one from the list, I’ll select the HP Spectre x360 15T because of its premium features and higher efficiency.
I love the sleek design and am brand conscious, so I suggest you go for Apple MacBook Air.
My third recommendation will be for art students who have a limited budget and want to buy a new machine. I think they should go for Acer Spin 5.