5 Best Laptops for Graphic Design

If you want to get into graphic design or need a newer machine to crunch through your workflow, you should get the best laptops for graphic design. You see, graphic designing can tax a laptop’s CPU and GPU to the fullest. At the same time, the process warrants a high-caliber and color-accurate display for editing. 

Best Laptops for Graphic Design

Needless to say, it can be difficult to shortlist the best laptop for the trade. Well, fret not. We’ve scoured the interwebs and have aggregated the best laptops for creatives under one roof. But first, you might also want to read about- 

Now, let’s take a closer look at the laptops.

1. ASUS Zenbook 15 OLED

  • Processor: Ryzen 7 7735U | Screen Resolution: 2.8K OLED display
  • GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics | On-board Storage: 1TB SSD
  • On-board RAM: 32GB DDR5
ASUS ZenBook 15 OLED

The Zenbook 15 OLED is the most affordable laptop on the list. But, don’t let its price tag fool you – in fact, the laptop is backed by superb specs that make it a great addition to a creative’s arsenal. For starters, the unit comes with AMD’s Ryzen 7 7735U processor.

For the uninitiated, the 7735U is an octa-core processor with a base clock of 2.7GHz and a boost clock of up to 4.75GHz. The processor works alongside 32GB of DDR5 memory clocked at 6,400MHz and a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD. Needless to say, the laptop offers oodles of storage and should be able to store a truckload of photos and video files seamlessly. Additionally, the laptop’s 7735U processor can hold its own for demanding workloads, too, as noted by folks over at TrustedReviews.

Moving on, the laptop is the latest Zenbook to use an OLED display. Spec-wise, the laptop is outfitted with a 15.6-inch, 2.8K OLED panel that refreshes at 120Hz. Additionally, ASUS has ensured the display can adhere to a creative’s demands. To that end, the display is PANTONE validated and covers 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut. 

What’s more, the screen is also compliant with the VESA Display HDR True Black 600 standard and offers a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Moreover, the laptop comes with a range of connectors, including one USB 4.0 Gen 3 port, an HDMI 2.1 TMDS slot, and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port. All things considered, the Zenbook 15 OLED is right up there with the best laptops for graphic design. 

What We Like

  • Slim and portable
  • Crisp OLED display
  • Competent CPU
  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like

  • Not cut out for graphics-driven workloads

2. Dell XPS 15

  • Processor: Core i7-13700H | Screen Resolution: 3.5K OLED display
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 4060 | On-board Storage: 1TB SSD
  • On-board RAM: 16GB DDR5
Dell XPS 15

The Dell XPS 15 is, quite possibly, the most configurable laptop on the list. In fact, from the laptop’s processor to its GPU and even its display, you can outfit the device as you deem fit. For the purpose of this article, we have opted for the model with an OLED display, which packs in a lot more pixels.

That said, buyers looking to save a buck can also pick up the variant with the Full HD LCD display. More to the point, the laptop gets Intel’s Core i7-13700H processor, which comprises six performance and eight efficiency cores. The P-cores can turbo up to 5.00GHz, so you should get an instant boost the minute you run a CPU-bound app like Photoshop on the laptop. 

And, as noted by folks over at PCWorld, the laptop isn’t just backed by a competent CPU that performs well, but can also be configured with a beefy GPU. In fact, while you can spec the machine with an Intel Arc A370M GPU, buyers looking for a bit more grunt under the hood should opt for trims with Nvidia’s RTX 4060 or 4070 graphics card. 

The GPU shouldn’t just hold its own for demanding workloads comprising animations but should run modern AAA games at competent graphics settings, too. As for the display, the laptop features a 15.6-inch, 3.5K OLED touchscreen display. The panel can get reasonably bright at 400 nits and is bordered by extremely thin bezels too, which is excellent. 

What We Like

  • Sleek and portable
  • Can be configured with an OLED display
  • Competent CPU
  • Bezel-less design

What We Don’t Like

  • Can be quite expensive

3. Apple MacBook Pro

  • Processor: M2 Max | Screen Resolution: Liquid Retina XDR (3,025 x 1,964 pixels)
  • GPU: 30-core GPU | On-board Storage: 1TB SSD
  • On-board RAM: 32GB unified memory
Apple MacBook Pro 14 inch

Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup needs no introduction, and the company’s 14-inch and 16-inch models are a godsend for creatives looking for robust, high-end machines. We’ve listed the 14-inch variant, which should suffice for most users’ needs.

At the same time, the device is also more portable, so it won’t weigh your shoulders down when commuting to work. Having said that, while you can outfit the machine with Apple’s M2 Max chipset, note that you can only get a 38-core GPU with the 16-inch trim. Having said that, the model we’ve listed is no slouch in the performance department either. To wit, the laptop gets a 12-core M2 Max CPU and a 30-core GPU that works alongside 32GB of unified memory and a 1TB SSD.

Needless to say, you will be able to run demanding software and breeze through high-res footage on the laptop. Additionally, the laptop gets a full-sized HDMI slot, along with three Thunderbolt 4 connectors and an SDXC card slot. As such, you will be able to connect a handful of peripherals to the machine, too. Since we’re on the subject, you should note that the laptop comes with Apple’s 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, which can get superbly bright. 

In fact, the company claims the panel offers 1,600 nits peak brightness for HDR content. Additionally, the display refreshes at 120Hz and covers a wide color gamut, thereby making it a good option for color-grading photos and videos. If anything, the price of the laptop is not for the faint of heart. However, if you specialize in Apple’s editing software and want a no-nonsense work machine, you’ll find plenty to like about the company’s MacBook Pro.

What We Like

  • 14-inch variant is quite portable
  • 120Hz Retina XDR display
  • Powerful M2 Max SoC
  • Premium design

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Display has a notch

4. ASUS ProArt Studiobook 16

  • Processor: Core i9-13980HX | Screen Resolution: 3.2K OLED display
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 4070 | On-board Storage: 1TB SSD
  • On-board RAM: 32GB DDR5
ASUS ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED 2

ASUS’ ProArt range has taken the market by storm and for a good reason. Take the company’s StudioBook 16, for instance, which is backed by extremely powerful specs. On that note, the laptop makes use of Intel’s Core i9-13980HX processor that comes with 24 cores!

The core layout comprises eight P-cores and 16 E-cores. Notably, the performance cores can turbo up to 5.6GHz, which is mind-boggling, to say the least. What’s more, the laptop also gets a beefy RTX 4070 GPU to tackle demanding 3D renders. In fact, the GPU comes specced with Nvidia’s Studio drivers and offers a maximum graphics power of 130W. Needless to say, the laptop will crunch through your editing workflow without breaking a sweat. Additionally, the device can be configured with up to 64GB of RAM.

That said, the model we’ve shortlisted comes with 32GB of DDR5 memory and a 1TB SSD. Now, while you can plug in a laptop to a dedicated monitor at work or your home, you will need to contend with its display when you’re on the go. Thankfully, ASUS has outfitted the StudioBook 16 with a resoundingly sharp 3.2K OLED panel. 

The display offers 550 nits of peak brightness and inky blacks, thanks to its OLED technology. What’s more, the screen is PANTONE validated and covers 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut as well. Additionally, the touchscreen display can be used in tandem with the company’s stylus to doodle sketches on the fly. You will also get a healthy assortment of connectors with the machine, including a handful of Type-A and Type-C connectors, along with an SD Express 7.0 card reader.

What We Like

  • Superb OLED display
  • PANTONE validated screen that covers a wide color gamut
  • Powerful processor and GPU
  • ASUS Dial and Touchscreen interface can come in handy for creatives

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive

5. MSI Creator Z16 HX Studio Laptop

  • Processor: Core i9-13980HX | Screen Resolution: QHD+ display
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 4070 | On-board Storage: 2TB SSD
  • On-board RAM: 64GB DDR5
MSI Creator Z16 HX Studio

MSI’s Creator Z16 HX Studio Laptop draws a lot of parallels to ASUS’ StudioBook. To that end, both laptops ship with Intel’s Core i9-13980HX processor, which comes with 24 cores. The core layout has been segregated between eight performance and 16 efficiency cores. What’s more, much like the StudioBook 16, the Creator Z16 HX also gets an RTX 4070 GPU. 

However, the laptop’s GPU is capped at a much lower TGP of 90W. Be that as it may, the device will be able to handle everything you throw at it with ease. Notably, the laptop comes with double the memory and offers 64GB of DDR5 RAM from the get-go. For those unaware, RAM plays an important role in creative workflows, including video editing. Additionally, the laptop also comes with a 2TB NVMe SSD, so you should be able to import data from your memory cards to your laptop without running into any storage woes.

Moving on, the laptop comes outfitted with a handful of connectors, including a Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A connector, an SD card reader, and an HDMI slot. You’ll also get to feast your eyes on a stunning 16-inch QHD+ display. Notably, the panel covers 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut, is Calman Verified, and offers a Delta E < 2. Needless to say, the display is resoundingly color-accurate, which is ideal for folks vested in creative workflows.

What We Like

  • Pixel-dense display
  • Oodles of RAM and storage
  • Powerful processor and GPU
  • Calman Verified display

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t ship with too many ports

FAQs About Laptops for Graphic Design

1 – How much RAM do graphic designers need?

If you’re looking to futureproof your investment, we’d recommend opting for a laptop with at least 32GB RAM. That said, you should get by with 16GB RAM for the most part too.

2 – What type of processor do I need for graphic design?

We’d recommend opting for a laptop with a beefy processor comprising at least eight cores.

Unleash Your Creativity

And, that wraps up our list of the best laptops for graphics design. Off the lot, you can opt for the ZenBook 15 OLED if you’re looking for a powerful and affordable laptop with a crisp display. Alternatively, you can also spec an XPS 15 to your liking. Buyers looking to splurge on a high-performance machine, however, will find plenty to like about the ASUS ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED and the MacBook Pro with M2 Max chip. 

Last updated on 30 August, 2023

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