Best laptop for graphic design 2022: Get creative

Best laptop for graphic design 2022: Get creative

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Apple's nonrecreational users -- particularly those moving successful the originative industries -- person welcomed the company's renewed absorption connected its nonrecreational Mac products, pursuing the long-awaited instauration of the 2019 Mac Pro desktop, and the 16-inch revamp of its flagship MacBook Pro laptop. But there's nary uncertainty that Apple took its oculus disconnected the shot successful the Mac marketplace portion it spent years concentrating connected the iPhone, and that has fixed rival PC manufacturers a existent accidental to seizure a portion of Apple's originative pie.

Intel got the shot rolling backmost successful 2018 with its Creator PC initiative, which was further boosted by Nvdia's Studio run the pursuing year, which aimed to widen the company's graphics technologies beyond its accepted gaming assemblage and into the originative industries.
 
As a result, each the main PC manufacturers, including marketplace leaders specified arsenic Dell, HP and Lenovo, present connection extended portfolios of laptops and desktop PCs that are specifically aimed astatine originative users successful fields specified arsenic graphic design, photography, video editing and animation. The engagement of Nvidia, with its RTX ray-tracing graphics exertion has besides attracted gaming specialists specified arsenic Razer and Gigabyte, whose expertise with high-end gaming graphics has allowed them to plan immoderate impressively almighty laptops for nonrecreational users.

So originative users are present spoilt for choice, with dozens of laptop and desktop systems present vying for their attention. Here, we're focusing connected 'creator' laptops. Check retired our companion database of the best desktops for this usage case.

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (Late 2020)

Best overall

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Images: Apple

CPU: apple M1 | GPU: M1 integrated graphics | RAM: 8GB | Storage: Up to 512GB SSD | Display: 13-inch Retina 

Externally, the 13-inch MacBook Pro launched successful November 2020 didn't disagree overmuch from erstwhile generations. But connected the inside, it was an wholly caller beast. The archetypal 'pro' Mac based connected the Apple Silicon M1 system-on-chip delivered awesome show -- including, crucially for creators, GPU show -- and artillery life, with ZDNet's Jason Cipriani claiming it was "the fastest Mac I've ever used".

But portion Apple's Rosetta 2 exertion provided compatibility with existing bundle and apps, which were written for Intel processors, developers inactive needed to update their bundle successful bid to summation the afloat show benefits of Apple's caller processors.

Since then, Microsoft has announced autochthonal M1 enactment for Office 365, and Adobe has conscionable released the M1 mentation of Photoshop, which it claims provides 50% show summation implicit the MacBook Pro's Intel-based predecessor. Support from these cardinal developers should boost acceptance of the caller Apple Silicon Macs, and the rumours of Apple's next-generation M1X spot person Mac users eagerly awaiting the adjacent updates for the MacBook Pro and iMac ranges.

Pros:

  • Excellent display
  • Great CPU performance
  • Great artillery life

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Some programs whitethorn not beryllium compatible with macOS

HP ZBook Fury 17 G8

Customisable large-screen laptop with plentifulness of CPU and GPU options

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HP

CPU: Up to 11th gen Intel Core i9 | GPU: Up to Nvidia RTX A4000 | RAM: Up to 64GB | Storage: Up to 1TB SSD | Display: FHD oregon 4K 

The ZBook is HP's mobile workstation range, but determination are respective models wrong the scope that are specifically designed for peculiar tasks and applications. The ZBook Fury - precocious updated with this 8th procreation (G8) exemplary - is precise overmuch a top-of-the-range option, suitable for 3D graphics and visualization, crippled improvement and 4K video editing.

 HP's web tract provides an astir dazzlingly wide scope of customization options, including some 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch displays, but if you're aiming for no-compromise show past it makes consciousness to opt for the 17-inch exemplary that we reappraisal here. It's a spot of a beast, measuring 27mm thick, and near-as-dammit 3Kg successful weight, but it packs each the powerfulness of a high-end desktop graphics workstation.

 There's an entry-level exemplary with i5 processor, integrated graphics and 1080p show for astir $2300, but superior graphics and video enactment volition necessitate a fewer upgrades. You tin expect to measurement up to $4164.00 for a much almighty exemplary with an 11th gen i7-11800H, nVidia RTX A2000, afloat 4K display, 16GB representation and 256GB solid-state storage. And, arsenic mentioned, there's a wide scope of further upgrades besides available, including i9 and Xeon processors, and up to RTX A5000 graphics. The high-quality show doesn't chopped immoderate corners either, providing HDR400, 120Hz refresh complaint for clear, crisp graphics for crippled developers, and DCI-P3 colour for video-editing.

Pros:

  • 4K show option
  • Tons of customization options
  • Workstation performance
  • Good connectivity

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Only 720p webcam

Dell Precision 5760

Great mid-range workstation

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Dell

CPU: Intel Core i7-11850H | GPU: Nvidia RTX A2000 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 17-inch 3840x2400

Dell made rather an interaction with its 17-inch Precision 5750 past year, combining awesome workstation levels of show with a slim and (relatively) lightweight plan that could spell head-to-head with Apple's revamped 16-inch MacBook Pro. As you mightiness expect, the caller Precision 5760 is this year's follow-up, bringing caller CPU and GPU upgrades, whilst inactive retaining the slimline illustration of its predecessor - conscionable 13.2mm heavy - and a starting value (depending connected configuration) of conscionable 2.2kg.

 There are 3 modular configurations connected Dell's web site, though each 3 supply a wide scope of customization options, truthful you tin efficaciously physique your ain laptop to suit your needs. The entry-level exemplary lone costs astir $2000, but relies connected an i5 processor with integrated graphics and comparatively humble 1080p display. Creative users volition truthful astir apt similar the i7 model, which steps up to an 11th gen, 8-core i7 processor, nVidia RTX A2000 graphics, 16GB representation and 256GB solid-state drive. That costs $3085.75 with UHD touch-screen show with 3840x2400 solution (266.4dpi), which supports HDR400, Adobe RGB and 99% of the DCI-P3 colour modular for professional-level video editing work. There are besides further options for representation and retention upgrades, arsenic good arsenic a prime of i9 and Xeon processors, and RTX A300 graphics.

If you privation to work a much in-depth investigation of the Dell Precision 5760, you tin cheque retired our afloat review

Pros:

  • Slimline, lightweight design
  • Good connectivity
  • Lots of customization
  • Great 17-inch display

Cons:

  • No audio line-in
  • Heavy powerfulness supply
  • Upgrades adhd weight

Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED

Best show for graphic design

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Gigabyte

CPU: INtel Core i7-11800H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch 4K OLED

Gigabyte is champion known for its Aorus scope of gaming laptops and components, but its Aero scope besides provides immoderate charismatic options for nonrecreational contented creators too. The institution precocious updated the fashionable Aero 15 OLED, which, arsenic the sanction implies, provides a high-quality 15.6-inch OLED show that is suitable for a wide scope of originative and plan tasks. It's not the lightest laptop of this size, weighing 2.3Kg, but it surely packs plentifulness of powerfulness for high-end graphics and video work.

 It has to beryllium said, though, that Gigabyte's web tract is little than helpful. It lists a wide scope of options for the CPU, GPU and different components, but you can't bargain straight from Gigabyte truthful you'll request to hunt astir online to find the configuration that you require.

 It's worthy buying around, though, arsenic the Aero is competitively priced, with the astir commonly disposable configuration costing $1599.00 with an 1th procreation i7-11800H processor, nVidia GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU, 16GB representation and 1TB solid-state drive. That operation volition supply plentifulness of powerfulness for nonrecreational users, but Aero's crowning glory is the Samsung OLED display, which provides 4K resolution, with enactment for HDR400 and the DCI-P3 colour modular for nonrecreational video-editing. It's good connected too, with 1 Thunderbolt 4 port, 3 USB-A (3.2), HDMI and mini-DisplayPort for connecting outer displays, a combo 3.5mm audio input/output, SD paper scholar and Ethernet port.

Pros:

  • 4K OLED display
  • Powerful GPU
  • Good connectivity
  • Competitive price

Cons:

  • Limited upgrade options
  • On the dense side

HP ZBook Power G8

High-end show with a terms to match

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HP

CPU: Intel Core i5-11400H | GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch 4K

The ZBook Fury is HP's top-of-the-range laptop for 3D graphics and 4K video, but if your needs are a small much humble past the ZBook Power G8 provides a bully alternate with a lightweight plan and show that is aimed astatine 2D graphics, arsenic good arsenic elemental 3D and video-editing work.

 Measuring 22.8mm thick, the 15.6-inch Power G8 weighs a humble 1.9Kg, truthful it's airy capable to transportation astir successful a container oregon backpack. The Power G8 is designed for some nonrecreational and acquisition use, with a sturdy aluminium casing that meets the MIL-STD modular for durability, truthful it's a bully enactment for outdoor use. It adjacent includes a built-in Tile locator tag to assistance you find it successful lawsuit of nonaccomplishment oregon theft. HP besides says that the surface tin withstand being wiped 1000 times with household anti-bacterial wipes.

 Prices commencement astatine $1766.10 for a exemplary with a 6-core Intel i5 processor, 16GB representation and 512GB storage. That exemplary relies connected integrated graphics, and lone offers a show with 1080p resolution, but that should inactive beryllium perfectly capable for 2D graphics and plan work, and 1080p video-editing. You tin upgrade to a 4K show for $298, and if you request a small much powerfulness past HP offers a 'build your own' enactment that allows you to prime i7 oregon i9 processors on with a assortment of discrete Nvidia GPU options.

Pros:

  • Sturdy, lightweight design
  • Lots of customization options
  • Built-in Tile tracking

Cons:

  • Only 720p webcam
  • Lower-end models lone person integrated graphics

Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2

Great for students

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Lenovo

CPU: Intel Core i5-11500H | GPU: Nvidia T1200 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display:  15.6-inch 1080p

Lenovo's updated ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 isn't arsenic airy arsenic erstwhile models successful the range, but it provides an affordable mobile workstation for students and nonrecreational users successful fields specified arsenic engineering and CAD.

The p15 Gen 2 measures 31mm astatine its thickest point, and weights successful astatine 2.87kg, truthful it's astir apt much suited for indoor usage connected the desktop alternatively than outdoors. However, the debased terms and Lenovo's wide scope of customization options volition inactive entreaty to galore users. There's a twelve "ready to ship" models disposable connected Lenovo's website, with prices starting astatine $1709 with a 6-core, 11th procreation Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia T1200 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. That terms includes a 15.6-inch show with 1080p resolution, which should beryllium capable for 2D graphics and elemental video editing. But you tin upgrade to a 4K show for a small implicit $300 if you request it. Lenovo besides provides a "Build your ain ThinkPad" enactment which allows you to commencement with a cleanable slate and prime each the halfway components yourself, including: Intel Core i7, i9, and Xeon processors and a assortment of Nvidia graphics cards. There is besides a high-end show option, which volition acceptable you backmost different $500 oregon so, which supports Dolby Vision and HDR500 and sports a 17-inch screen.

Pros:

  • Competitive price
  • Wide scope of customization options
  • Good connectivity

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Entry-level exemplary lone has 1080p display

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Best prime for mobile professionals

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Microsoft

CPU: Intel halfway i7-11370H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 14.4-inch 1600p

The Surface Book was Microsoft's archetypal effort to lure originative users distant from Apple, but the caller Surface Laptop Studio for Business goes all-out to absorption connected graphics and plan work.

Like different Surface models, the Laptop Studio has a convertible, 2-in-1 plan that allows you to fold the surface level truthful that you tin usage it either arsenic a tablet oregon a accepted laptop. However, the surface besides has an further hinge that lets you tilt the surface similar an easel; this is cleanable for usage with Microsoft's Surface pen for illustration work.

The built prime is excellent, and the Laptop Studio feels precise sturdy, contempt its lightweight plan and slimline profile. The 14.4-inch, touch-sensitive show is agleam and crisp with 1600p resolution, and it is simply a delight to enactment with. However, Microsoft makes nary notation of Adobe RGB oregon DCI-PE support, truthful you'll astir apt inactive request an outer show for high-end graphics oregon video work. And, to beryllium fair, the Laptop Studio isn't meant to enactment arsenic a mobile workstation successful the aforesaid league arsenic immoderate of its rivals, focusing connected portability and easiness of usage alternatively than high-end performance.

Prices commencement astatine $1700 for a exemplary with an i5 processor and integrated Iris graphics. However, you'll request to treble that terms for the top-of-the-range exemplary that we tested which costs $3399.99. Our investigating exemplary was outfitted with an 11th gen i7 CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 TI graphics card, 32GB of RAM, and 1TB SSD. Connectivity is simply a small disappointing, though, with conscionable 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports and a headphone socket. So Microsoft is intelligibly hoping you'll wage different $260 for the further ports provided by its Surface Dock 2.

Pros:

  • Slim, lightweight design
  • Adjustable easel display
  • Solid build
  • 1600p display

Cons:

  • Limited customization options
  • Limited connectivity
  • Less suited for video editing

MSI Creator Z17

Great Apple alternative

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MSI

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti | RAM: 32 GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 17-inch 1600p

Last year's Creator 17 exemplary with 10th gen Intel processors is inactive disposable connected MSI's web site, and a fewer online retailers, but if you privation to get bang up to day past the caller Creator Z17 provides a almighty mobile workstation with a stylish plan that MSI describes arsenic "tech meets aesthetics".

 Like Apple's MacBook range, the Creator Z17 has a 'unibody' plan carved retired of metal. It measures conscionable 19mm thick, and its 'lunar grey' colouring is besides designed to shimmer and alteration hue arsenic the ambient airy astir it changes during the day. However, its 3.0Kg value reminds you that this is simply a mobile workstation, alternatively than a stylish ultrabook.

 There's plentifulness of powerfulness hidden wrong that stylish plan too. Prices for the Creator Z17 commencement astatine $3050 for a exemplary with a 14-core, 12th gen i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Laptop GPU, 32GB representation and 1TB memory. There are besides upgrade options for an i9 processor and RTX 3080 graphics, but it's a shame that each Z17 models stock the aforesaid 2560x1600 display. To beryllium fair, it's an attractive, touch-sensitive display, with 16:10 facet ratio, creaseless 165Hz refresh rate, and enactment for DCI-P3 for video editing work. It's a shame, though, that there's nary enactment to upgrade to a 4K display, truthful high-end graphics and video enactment volition necessitate an outer display.

Pros:

  • Attractive, slim design
  • Nvidia RTX 30 Series GPU
  • High prime display

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Limited upgrade options

Razer Blade 15

Best for contented creators

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Razer

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900H | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch 4K

Razer is well-known for its scope of gaming cogwheel and its fashionable Blade gaming laptops, but the caller determination towards hybrid and distant moving has encouraged it to determination into the concern and nonrecreational marketplace too. Its caller Razer Book laptops are an charismatic convertible rival for Microsoft's Surface range, though their integrated graphics are much suited for wide bureau enactment alternatively than contented creation. However, determination are respective models successful the precocious updated Blade scope that volition entreaty to originative users. Screen sizes alteration from 14.0-17.0 inches, but the saccharine spot for originative users is astir apt the 15.6-inch Blade 15 (which replaces past year's Blade 15 Studio Edition).

 Described arsenic "the world' thinnest gaming laptop", the Blade 15 measures conscionable 17mm heavy and weighs a highly portable 2Kg. Prices commencement astatine $1799.99 for a exemplary with an i7 processor and 1080p display, portion a QHD show (2560x1440) steps up to £2299.99. However, the caller top-of-the-range Blade 15 exemplary pulls retired each the stops, offering a 4K show with super-smooth 144Hz refresh complaint and DCI-P3 enactment for high-end video editing. That bumps the terms up to a hefty $3999.99, but the Blade 15 volition gain its keep, powered by the latest 12th gen, 14-core Intel i9 processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti, on with 32GB representation and 1TB solid-state drive. The lone disappointment is that Razer doesn't supply galore customization options, truthful you simply person to prime the fistful of pre-configured models listed connected its web site. 

Pros:

  • 4K display
  • Slim, lightweight design
  • Powerful, 14-core i9 processor

Cons:

  • Limited customization options
  • Only 1 Thunderbolt port

How did we take these graphic plan laptops?

A laptop designed for originative users has to supply acold much powerfulness than a laptop that is designed for general-purpose productivity software, specified arsenic Microsoft Office. We truthful focused connected laptops that supply a discrete graphics paper successful bid to supply other powerfulness for graphics, plan and video-editing work. A high-resolution show is besides essential, successful bid to presumption your enactment successful detail, and galore users volition importune connected a afloat 4K show for high-end video-editing. Support for circumstantial colour standards is besides indispensable for immoderate industries - Adobe RGB for people and publishing, oregon DCI-P3 for video and broadcast.

Which graphic plan laptop is close for you?

Creative laptops person to header with a wide scope of tasks. Video-editing oregon 3D animation volition necessitate a batch much powerfulness than elemental 2D graphics oregon illustration work, truthful you should beryllium precise wide astir your requirements earlier buying a caller laptop oregon mobile workstation.

 Battery beingness varies enormously too, truthful you request to determine if you request a high-end laptop that tin tally astatine full-speed for conscionable a fewer hours, oregon a little almighty laptop that tin past done a full day. And, of course, a laptop with 16-inch oregon 17-inch show volition beryllium a batch bigger and heavier than a 13-inch oregon 14-inch model, truthful regular concern travellers whitethorn similar to opt for a much compact laptop erstwhile they're connected the road, with the enactment of utilizing a larger, outer show erstwhile they get backmost to the office.

Product

Price

CPU

GPU

Apple MacBook Pro 13

$1299

M1

M1

HP ZBook Fury 17 G8

$1449

Up to i9

Up to Nvidia RTX A4000

Dell Precision 5760

$2499

Intel Core i7

Nvidia RTX A3000

Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED

$1709

Intel Core i7

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060

HP ZBook Power G8

$1766

Intel Core i5

Intel UHD

What astir artillery life?

Battery beingness is ever important for laptops - but possibly little truthful for immoderate of these originative laptops. High-end 3D graphics and video enactment tin drain adjacent the astir almighty artillery successful conscionable a fewer hours, and galore 'mobile workstations' are chiefly intended to beryllium utilized arsenic a desktop replacement PC that is chiefly utilized indoors - and adjacent to a powerfulness socket. 

What astir connectivity?

Many laptops sacrifice connectivity successful bid to trim their size and value (Apple and Microsoft, we're looking astatine you). However, originative users enactment with a wide assortment of devices and peripherals - possibly connecting their laptop to aggregate outer displays, audio equipment, oregon cameras with representation cards - truthful bully connectivity isn't conscionable an optional extra.

 And, bizarrely, galore of these powerful, costly laptops inactive look to deliberation they tin get distant with a specified 720p webcam, which simply isn't acceptable successful these days of hybrid and distant working.