With everything going towards digitization, it has become necessary for artists to move on from traditional tools.
What I want to say is that they should look out for compact and portable computers that could help them pursue their passion conveniently.
Normally, I’d suggest you to get a typical laptop, but the tricky thing is that not every machine is meant for artists or art students.
For a computer to become one of the best laptops for artists, it must have a powerful CPU, advanced graphics, high resolution, and sufficient ram.
Keeping all these things in mind, I’ve compiled a list of some top-notch artist laptops that will amuse you.
Have a look at it and make your decision accordingly:
- 7 of the Best Laptops for Artists and Art Students in 2021 – A Comparison
- 1. ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo – Top-Rated Laptop for Artists in 2021:
- 2. Apple MacBook Pro – Best Macbook for Artists in 2021
- 3. HP ENVY x360 – Best Touchscreen Laptop for Artists 2021
- 4. Lenovo Flex 5 – Best Cheap Laptop for Artists:
- 5. Microsoft Surface Laptop Go – Best Touchscreen Laptop for Artists
- 6. Acer Spin 3 – With Fingerprint Reader
- 7. Apple MacBook Air – Cheap MacBook for Art Students:
- Key Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Laptop for Practicing Art: A Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions:
7 of the Best Laptops for Artists and Art Students in 2021 – A Comparison
|Laptop Name||Processor||Graphics Card|
|1. ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo||Core i7, 10th gen.||Nvidia RTX 2060|
|2. Apple MacBook Pro||M1 chipset||8-core GPU|
|3. HP ENVY x360||AMD Ryzen 5 (Mobile)||Radeon Graphics|
|4. Lenovo Flex 5||AMD Ryzen 5 (Mobile)||Radeon Graphics|
|5. Microsoft Surface Laptop Go||Core i5, 10th gen.||Intel Integrated|
|6. Acer Spin 3||Core i7, 10th gen.||Intel Iris Plus|
|7. Apple MacBook Air||M1 chipset||8-core GPU|
1. ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo – Top-Rated Laptop for Artists in 2021:
Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is our winner, without a single doubt. You can trust this beast of a laptop when it comes to running different apps related to digital art. Moreover, it’s a great fit for those who want to enhance their multitasking capabilities. Asus being a champion in introducing high-end laptops has literally aced it with the ZenBook Pro Duo.
To start with;
ZenBook Pro Duo comes with an updated core i7, 10th gen. processor that works like a charm and increases overall speed. Thus, you can enjoy fast surfing on the laptop as an artist.
Adding to that, the RTX 2060 from Nvidia has really lit up whole scenario for art students. Intense graphics combined with a 4K UHD screen help digital artists make different art pieces with accuracy and precision.
Not to forget, the laptop offers a full-touch ScreenPad with a 14” size. You can customize it using an ASUS pen according to your preferences and enjoy creating various illustrations without any hurdle.
Talking of the memory in this beast, Asus ZenBook Duo comes with a 16GB DDR4 ram to enhance multitasking experience. Cherry on top is that it also offers a 1TB SSD storage option so that you can store anything you want in it.
Last but not the least, a detachable palm rest is also included within the package. You can attach it to the laptop to keep your hands away from instant fatigue perfectly. ZenBook Duo is the Jack of All Trades, however, it’s a bit expensive and could cost you a fortune.
Ultra HD 4K screen with NanoEdge bezels.
Powerful Core i7, 10th gen. processor.
Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics for an extensive graphical experience.
Slim and sleek design.
Backlit keyboard positioned ergonomically.
16GB ram with 1TB SSD option.
Not meant for beginners.
ZenBook Duo is ultimately a top priority for professional artists. I’ve got impressed with the qualities and features it offers for digital painters. So, I recommend it, especially if you’ve got a good budget to spend on one of the best laptops for digital art.
2. Apple MacBook Pro – Best Macbook for Artists in 2021
How could I ignore Apple while talking about digital art and artists? The MacBook Pro summed up in a sentence goes as, “A Powerful beast confined in a sleek and slim body.” Be it the processing speed, graphics, display, or overall interface, professionals do know that they could rely on MacBook Pro with closed eyes.
To begin with;
MacBook Pro features an Ultra HD Retina display with a 13” size. It’s a fact that you won’t find a better display than what Apple offers in its laptops.
Apple, on the other hand, uses its patented M1 chip that comes with 8 cores running with a multiple of 2.8x. To sum it up, the processing speed is so fast that you can open thousands of applications and programs on it without any lagging issues.
Well, keeping these things aside, the special 8-core GPU installed in MacBook Pro offers one heck of a performance. You can expect it to render different illustration projects with a speed of light. (I’m not kidding around)
With so many updates, Apple has also improved the Mac operating system as now it supports multitasking and has enhanced the performance of M1 chip respectively. Mac OS Big Sur really is revolutionary.
Finally, the presence of 8GB DDR4 ram combined with 256GB SSD makes it one of the best multitasking laptops for artists. Although it lags in some aspects from the ZenBook Duo Pro, MacBook is something you can never take your eyes off.
Apple’s patented M1 chip for exceptional performance.
8-core GPU for enhanced rendering speed and better graphics.
Extremely slim and compact.
Perfect portable machine for artists.
13” retina display shows everything clearly.
Secure and Protected with Apple’s latest security updates.
Pricey as usual.
Using Mac OS is a bit time-taking compared to Windows OS.
2020’s latest Apple MacBook Pro showcases outrageously perfect qualities to help artists make different designs without any lags or crashes. Check it out if you want a laptop that could last for many years to come.
3. HP ENVY x360 – Best Touchscreen Laptop for Artists 2021
Comparatively cheaper than ZenBook Duo and MacBook Pro, Envy x360 surely is a blessing in disguise for beginner artists. HP has made sure that users can enjoy an impeccable speed without compromising on the design of the laptop. X360, therefore, offers blazing speed, immersed graphics, and sufficient storage space with an attractive touchscreen design.
Exploring some of its features;
The best 2 in 1 laptop for artists is completely convertible. You can use it as a full-fledged tablet as well as a properly functioning laptop in a single go. On top of that, the touchscreen is highly responsive.
Talking of the processor and graphics, x360 will entertain you with AMD Ryzen 5 mobile processor. Keeping that in mind, it has paired up with Radeon graphics to help digital artists use their favorite apps conveniently.
In terms of display, you’ll get a 15.6” Full HD IPS display with an anti-glare interface and narrow bezels. Anti-glare option is quite helpful for art students as it helps them stay on the screen for a long time without straining their eyes.
The presence of 8GB DDR4 ram combined with 256GB SSD also makes a big difference. With these two peripherals, multitasking becomes as easy as eating a piece of cake.
Some extra options do include a high-quality webcam for meetings, a backlit keyboard for working anywhere you want, Audio Boost 2.0 for an immersive musical experience, and Windows 10 Home operating system.
With that being said, HP Envy x360 surely is a laptop that beginners must check out as it falls in budget category and offers exceptional features with blazing speed.
Convertible touchscreen laptop.
Suitable for newbie artists.
Comes with an anti-glare display.
Radeon graphics with AMD Ryzen 5 processor.
Weighs only 4.41 pounds.
Compact and portable machine.
Keyboard doesn’t give premium vibes.
Overheating might be common.
Not as powerful as ZenBook or MacBook Pro.
The Envy x360 has hooked many beginner digital artists who want to polish their skills anywhere and anytime they want. Consider it as a priority if you don’t have enough budget.
4. Lenovo Flex 5 – Best Cheap Laptop for Artists:
With a convertible design, touchscreen, and almost same specs, Lenovo Flex 5 has an uncanny resemblance with HP Envy x360. However, on a good note, it costs less than the laptop we discussed above. Plus, it comes with a digital pen, which is quite helpful for digital artists.
Anyways, some of the features include;
The presence of AMD Ryzen 5 mobile processor for fast processing speed. Compared to that, Radeon graphics also maintain a vivid display and keeps the rendering time as short as possible.
Furthermore, digital pen that comes within the package is of prime importance. It’s quite responsive and can help the artists make their favorite portraits, designs, and illustrations just like they do it traditionally.
Good thing about Flex 5 is that it’s also convertible. The best tablet laptop could be used without the keyboard as a full-fledged touch device. Thus, it can empower digital artists in a better way.
Talking of the display, it comes with a 1920×1080 pixel ratio. Moreover, the size is 14” and you’d get to enjoy a full HD interface. However, the panel ain’t IPS or anti-glare, unlike HP X360.
Battery timing is quite impressive and could actually become more beneficial for art students. That said, Flex 5 offers 10 hours of continuous working and surfing and that’s something quite amazing at such an affordable budget.
Finally, the best budget laptop for artists does come with 16GB DDR4 memory to enhance the multitasking experience. 256GB SSD storage is also there to store large art projects without any hurdle.
360° hinge for converting laptop into a tablet.
Full HD display with responsive touchscreen.
Digital pen makes painting and sketching easier.
Perfect option for beginners.
AMD Ryzen 5 enhances the processing speed.
Slim and sleek shape.
No anti-glare display.
Heating issues are common with Lenovo laptops.
Not a big fan of its keyboard.
Flex 5 with an extremely slim body, powerful processor, and immersive graphics experience, ensures a perfect working experience. It should be a top priority in case you can’t afford the laptops I’ve mentioned above.
5. Microsoft Surface Laptop Go – Best Touchscreen Laptop for Artists
You might’ve noticed that laptops don’t perform better when it comes to touchscreen aspects. If you suffer from frequent lags, unresponsive touchscreen, and stuttering while using a laptop for making art, then it’s better to try the newest Surface Laptop Go. Microsoft has really killed it with this version as it comes with a powerful processor, integrated graphics, and impeccable ram.
One of the best laptops for artists comes with a 10th gen. core i5 processor that enhances the speed of the machine drastically. You can thus run as many apps and programs on it as you want.
Every got your laptop breached for security reasons? Well, if that’s the case then you can rely on the security measures of Surface Go. With fingerprint security, no one could breach this laptop except you.
In terms of display, you’ll get to work on a 12.6” full HD interface along with a touchscreen experience. The touch is as responsive as a full-fledged smartphone and that’s the reason digital artists love this machine.
Closing up with the fact that you can use this laptop for surfing, creating arts, and illustrations for 13 hours straight. Yeah, the battery timing is surely amazing and that’s what makes it one of the best choices for art students.
Powerful core i5, 10th gen. processor.
Intel HD graphics card for enhanced rendering speed.
One of the slimmest laptops in the market.
Up to 13-hour battery timing.
Affordable as compared to MacBook Pro.
No convertible option.
Bang average keyboard.
Microsoft Surface Go offers a smooth working experience and it can run almost all programs without lagging. Quite a perfect option for artists who want to improve their skills.
6. Acer Spin 3 – With Fingerprint Reader
The Spin 3 laptop from Acer is meant for digital artists or art students as it comes with a lightweight design and features some powerful specs. Best thing about this machine is that you can convert it the way you want. Besides, its slim body with a light shape makes it a perfect portable laptop for artists.
Some of the most important specs include;
The presence of core i7, 10th gen. processor that helps run almost every program or app artists want without facing any problem. Intel Iris Plus graphics also play a crucial role in improving the overall graphical interface.
Other than that, I’m a big fan of Spin 3’s display. It has a full HD IPS 1920×1080 interface with an IPS capacitive panel. Art students could thus utilize the display in a more enhanced way.
Battery timing is well up to the mark. The manufacturer claims that this machine could run smoothly for 12 hours straight even if you don’t plug it in a socket.
To end up the specs section, you’d love a multitasking interface as the laptop comes with 8GB DDR4 ram along with a 512GB SSD display option. Both these peripherals could help digital artists make the designs they want without facing any problem.
Convertible laptop for artists.
14” Full HD IPS display.
12 hours battery timing.
Powerful core i7, 10th gen. processor.
A bit expensive compared to Flex 5.
No other major issues experienced.
Acer Spin 3 could become a perfect partner for those who crave specs like full HD display and powerful performance. Check it out before it’s too late.
7. Apple MacBook Air – Cheap MacBook for Art Students:
Can’t afford the MacBook Pro I mentioned above? MacBook Air has your back as it’s available in an under $1000 budget. Apple’s this model is getting quite popular among digital artists as it relatively costs less than the Pro version and has almost similar specs respectively.
Some of the features that this laptop offers include:
The presence of Apple’s patented M1 chip makes the real difference in performance of MacBook Air compared to other manufacturers. It features 8 processing cores with blazing speed per core.
On the other hand, the 8-core GPU also paves the way for running graphics intensive apps and programs in a blink of an eye.
Apple’s Retina display along with TrueColor technology ensures an immersive viewing experience, thus allowing artists to do their work vigilantly.
Last but not the least, the 8GB ram along with 256GB SSD storage option really improves the overall speed and provides a delightful multitasking experience.
Affordable and efficient.
Up to 18 hours battery timing.
Apple M1 processing chip.
8-cores GPU installed.
One of the lightest laptops for artists.
No major issues. MacBook Air is Phenomenal!
Well, the last laptop for artists on our list is a hidden gem for sure. Check it out and go for it in case you have the budget.
Top 3 Picks:
Based on my experience, positive customer feedback, and expert recommendations, the top 3 list goes as follows:
Asus ZenBook Pro Duo – as it’s no doubt the best laptop for artists in 2021.
Apple MacBook Pro – if you want to polish your artistic skills with one of the slimmest yet powerful laptops.
Lenovo Flex 5 – as it’s the cheapest option available on our list right now.
Key Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Laptop for Practicing Art: A Buying Guide
Choosing a laptop that can help digital artists is no piece of cake.
You have to prioritize some of the specs and ignore others. In all this scenario, making the right choice becomes a little daunting.
This is where I become your guide to selecting one of the best laptops for artists in 2021.
Some of the key factors that you should never overlook while deciding on an art laptop are as follows:
1. Processing Speed:
The processing speed should be more than enough to run high-end apps and programs without any hassle.
That said, many machines these days come with either a core i7, 10th gen. or a core i5, 10th gen. processors. Both these chipsets are capable of bearing high-end programs without any hassle.
In terms of Apple, the M1 chip is highly rated for graphics and art related work.
Last but not the least, laptops with AMD Ryzen 5 processors are affordable. However, the processing speed is above average and you can run apps easily. But multitasking won’t be effective enough.
2. Graphics Card:
You should never get a laptop with a low-end graphics card or else you will regret your decision.
GPU plays an important role in running graphics intensive apps. On top of that, it can improve the display properties along with rendering speed.
So, professional artists who have to deal with intensive work should look out for machines that offer RTX graphics, i.e. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo.
Similarly, professionals could also rely on the graphics card installed in MacBook Pro as it has got 8 cores.
For beginners, I suggest getting a laptop with Radeon or Iris Plus graphics. Such machines are cheap and can offer an enhanced graphical interface at the same time.
Display matters a lot when we talk about laptops meant for artistic purposes only.
Make sure that you get a machine that offers an immersive display so that you can keep your focus on different designs for a long time.
You can get a laptop with ultra HD 4K screen or Retina display with a good enough budget.
However, if you don’t have enough amount to spend on such machines, then look out for laptops with full HD IPS displays.
4. RAM and Storage:
For running illustration and painting apps smoothly, you need to get a laptop with at least 8GB DDR4 memory. You can also use such machines for an enhanced multitasking experience.
In terms of storage, the more it is, the better. A laptop with 1TB space will allow you to save anything you want.
You can also opt for 256GB or 512GB storage options if budget is a problem for you.
5. Operating System:
Microsoft Windows 10 Home is a must in a laptop, especially if you have to deal with graphical work every day in and out.
However, if you want to enjoy limitless features of Mac operating system, then it’s better to get yourself either a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What laptop do artists use?
Digital artists prefer using Apple MacBook Pro as it’s slim, provides 18 hours battery timing, and has superb specs at the same time. I’ve also seen many professionals using Asus ZenBook Pro Duo due to its ScreenPad feature along with the inclusion of Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU. Beginners mostly get either HP Envy x360 or MacBook Air as per their budget.
2. What laptop is best for graphics artist?
Graphics artists have to deal with graphic intensive apps almost all the time. Plus, they also require a machine with high rendering speed. So, keeping these requirements in mind, I’d suggest getting Asus ZenBook Pro Duo as it comes with a Core i7, 10th gen. processor along with Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card.
3. Are MacBooks good for art students?
Of course! MacBooks are first preference for art students as these machines offer long-lasting battery, splendid display, and powerful performance. More than that, MacBooks are light in weight and extremely portable. So, using them can help art students polish their skills perfectly.
4. What should I look for in a laptop for digital art?
Make sure that it comes with a powerful processing chip along with an updated graphics card. Besides, keep the display in mind as it must offer an immersive experience. Along with that, 8GB ram and sufficient SSD storage are some other peripherals to look out for in an art laptop.
5. Is 8GB ram enough for digital art?
Yeah, it’s more than enough. However, if you want more speed, then make sure that you invest in a laptop that comes with at least 16GB of ram. This way you’d enjoy blazing fast speed with a quick multitasking interface.
Some Last Words:
Digital artists these days simply cannot survive without a laptop.
Be it freelance work, graphical work, or other tasks, getting a reliable portable machine is a must to carry on with these tasks.
The laptops I’ve mentioned are used by professional artists. So, go through them one by one and make your decision accordingly.