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Best laptop for graphic design in 2024 – the top laptops for graphic designers

The ultimate guide to finding the best laptop for graphic design.
Last Updated on January 16, 2024
Best laptop for graphic design

If you’re on the hunt for the best laptop for graphic design, we’ve got you covered.

For graphic design, you don’t need to invest in a laptop that features a powerful GPU like some of the best gaming laptops. Instead, you’d want to go with one that features a powerful CPU and around 16GB or more RAM. This is because graphic design software rely more on the CPU and RAM than the GPU.

These days, you can find laptops for graphic design that come equipped with Intel 13th-gen processors and DDR5 RAM. For storage, you can find SSD drives, which are more durable, reliable, and faster than a regular HDD. On top of that, premium laptops often feature mini-LED or OLED displays boasting a maximum brightness exceeding 500 nits.

With countless laptops saturating the market, selecting the ideal one can be a daunting task. To simplify your search, we’ve curated a selection of what we believe to be the best laptops for graphic design.

Products at a Glance

How we picked

We looked at several laptops from different manufacturers, compared them, and then used our expertise to select the ones we thought were the best laptops for graphic design. We selected these laptops based on their specs like processor, display, battery, and more. Also, we’re constantly looking for new products to add to our guides, so check back here soon to explore more options.

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

  • Powerful M2 pro chip
  • Bright display
  • 22 hours of battery life
  • Expensive

If you want a laptop that not only comes packed with powerful components but also boasts a big, bright display? You’d want to check out the Apple MacBook Pro 2023 with the M2 Pro chip, which we think is the best laptop for graphic design. 

Powering the laptop is the M2 Pro chip, which has a 12-core CPU and a 19-core GPU. The chip is powerful enough to handle whatever you throw at it, so you can expect it to run almost every demanding graphic design software easily. For the display, it features a 16.2-inch gorgeous Liquid Retina XDR display with up to 1000 nits of brightness. It is a mini-LED, so you can expect to see vivid colors. On top of that, it has a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. 

When it comes to battery, the laptop does not disappoint. It can last up to 22 hours after a full charge, which makes it a strong contender for one of the best battery-life laptops. This, however, will depend on how you will use it. But you can expect it to help you push through the entire day without worrying about plugging the charger in. 

Overall, the MacBook Pro 2023 is an excellent laptop. It comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, which will be more than sufficient for most users.

  • Powerful CPU and GPU
  • 16GB RAM
  • 16-inch 3.2K OLED display
  • Expensive

We think that the Asus ProArt StudioBook 16 is the best Windows laptop for graphic design. It serves as a home to some of the most powerful components you can find in a laptop, including an OLED display.

The StudioBook 16 comes equipped with the Intel Core i9-13980HX processor, which delivers exceptional performance in CPU-intensive tasks. No matter how demanding the software is, this processor won’t let you down. There’s also an RTX 4060 resting inside the laptop, which can be used for gaming or productivity tasks that require a powerful GPU. For the RAM, we have 16GB of DDR5 RAM, which can be taken up to 32GB by throwing in some extra bucks. There’s also a 1TB SSD for storage, which will be more than enough. 

The display of this laptop is what makes it shine among the crowd, as it comes in the form of a 16-inch 3.2K OLED screen. It features a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut and Pantone-validated color accuracy, making it ideal for graphics designers. Another notable aspect of the laptop is the dial that is located above the trackpad, which can prove to be extremely useful while using graphic design software, like increasing or decreasing the size of a brush. 

Overall, the Asus ProArt Studio 16 is an excellent choice for those who want to get a Windows laptop for their work. In fact, we think it is one of the best laptops for video editing too, due to its powerful GPU and CPU.  

  • Budget laptop
  • 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display
  • M2 chip
  • Storage may be low for some users

If you’re tight on a budget and are looking for something that won’t make a big dent in your bank account, we’d recommend the Apple MacBook Air 2023. While it may not feature some of the most powerful components, it can still serve as a great laptop for graphic design.

To help you run graphic design software smoothly, the laptop comes with the M2 chip with an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU. On top of that, there’s an 8GB of RAM paired with a 256GB SSD for faster speeds. As for the display, it is a 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display. It features support for one billion colors, thanks to which it delivers clear, vibrant visuals. If you’re someone who loves to create content while sitting outdoors, you’ll benefit a lot from the display’s maximum brightness of 500 nits. 

The battery life on this laptop is also excellent, as you won’t have to charge it for around 18 hours. Overall, the Macbook Air 2023 is the best budget laptop for graphic design that gets the job done, and it is even one of the best laptops for photo editing

  • 2-in-1
  • 14.4-inch 2K display
  • 16GB RAM
  • Storage may be low for some users

2-in-1 laptops can prove to be an excellent tool for graphic designing as they can quickly transform into a tablet, thanks to their design. If you’re looking for something similar, you’d want to go for the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2.

Laptops that feature a 2-in-1 design are generally not that powerful, but the Surface Studio 2 packs a punch in terms of performance. It is powered by the Intel Core i5-1235U processor, which, when paired with 16GB of DDR5 RAM, can deliver great performance in CPU-intensive graphic design software. 

For storage, there’s a 515GB SSD in the variant we selected. However, the laptop also has two other variants, with one offering 32GB of RAM paired with a 1TB SSD and the other having 64GB of RAM paired with a 2TB SSD. So, you can choose the one that suits your needs and budget. 

On the outside, the Surface Studio 2 has a 14.4-inch 2K screen. It also happens to be a touchscreen, which can help you greatly while designing something. You can also expect the screen to be visible under direct sunlight or other well-lit settings, as its brightness peaks at 500 nits. Overall, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 is the best 2-in-1 laptop for graphic design. 

  • Small design
  • Lightweight
  • 12.4-inch screen
  • RAM could've been more

If traveling is a big part of your life and you have to take your laptop with you wherever you go, you’d want to go for a smaller laptop. For this, we recommend the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3, which we think is the best small laptop for graphic design.

This laptop may seem like a basic laptop due to its small design, but it can run graphics software smoothly. Its performance may not be on par with some of the other laptops on our list, but it still gets the job done. Powering the laptop is the Intel Core i5-1235U processor, which is paired with 8GB RAM for decent processing speeds. For storage, there’s a 1TB SSD, but you can also downgrade to a variant with less storage if you want to save some money.

As far as the display is concerned, the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 sports a 12.4-inch screen with a 1536 x 1024 resolution. The display has a peak brightness of 300 nits, which makes it somewhat usable outdoors. Like some of the best lightweight laptops, this one weighs only 2.49 pounds, which makes it portable. It can also serve as one of the best graphic design laptops for students due to its price and portability.  

How to choose the best graphic design laptop

When picking the best graphic design laptop, you should factor in a few things. Let’s take a look at what we think are the most important considerations to make.


When it comes to laptops for graphic design, nothing is worth scrutinizing more than the display. As a visual field, graphic design depends on workstations and laptops that reproduce colors accurately and offer highly detailed resolutions, so the finished design appears more or less the same for all, regardless of the device.

The gold standard for graphic design laptops is a 15-inch display, although 17-inch models do exist. This ultimately comes down to preference and how much on-screen real estate you might need.

As for resolution, go as high as your budget allows. The trickle-down effect from the most cutting-edge laptops means 4K displays are more affordable than ever, although they cost more than FHD or FHD+ options. There is some leeway here, and cutting down on resolution can save costs, but of course, this depends on the type of work you plan to undertake.

For beginners or those who want a reliable out-of-the-box device, we suggest pre-calibrated displays. Self-calibration is best left to veterans with the right eye for correct color reproduction who know what they are doing. In case you want to explore laptops with a big display, check out our top picks for the best 18-inch laptops and the best 17-inch laptops.


As a general rule, we’d urge you to choose a laptop with a powerful processor and as much RAM as your budget allows. Put simply, RAM count determines how responsive and smooth a device feels. Software, in particular, benefits from CPU and RAM the most. It allows a smoother in-program experience where projects, tools, effects, and the like load faster, which contributes to an uninterrupted workflow.


If your work involves more resource-heavy and graphically-intensive types of work such as animation, game design, CGI, or 3D modeling, don’t skimp on a good graphics processing unit or GPU. Laptops don’t perform as well as their desktop or workstation counterparts, it has to be said, but this is the trade-off you make for portability and a comparatively smaller form factor.


This one is simple: always opt for a nippy and roomy SSD. Most modern laptops won’t include HDD, so the decision is often made on your behalf, but if you have the choice, go SSD. The two types of storage are worlds apart in speed and efficiency

Program requirements

All our recommendations are great all-around laptops for graphic design work. However, these are general picks, and some may be more suited to particular software or applications than others. The way these applications are used matters, too, making it difficult to assign a specific ‘best’ model. We recommend buying according to your needs and requirements rather than simply opting for a cover-all-bases, pricey option.

In that sense, we suggest researching the system requirements for your software of choice, be that Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or CorelDraw, and matching the specs of your graphic design laptop accordingly. Leading manufacturers list these on their websites, and they can often be found accompanying listings in app stores and the like.

Doing so will ensure you get the most out of the laptop and that it delivers where it matters most in your particular situation. This is particularly relevant if you must stick to a strict, delimited budget and want to know which specifications to compromise on without sacrificing overall in-program performance.

What is the best size for a graphic design laptop?

We’d say the bigger the better in most cases. However, it is worth considering smaller options if you’re on the move. If you do go for a smaller laptop, you can always pair it with one of the best graphic design monitors.

How much RAM do I need for graphic design?

We would suggest around 16GB, but this can be rare if you’re sticking to a tighter budget. While you’d be fine with 8GB of RAM in some cases, you’d need at least 16GB for a smooth experience.

Our Verdict

We think that the Apple MacBook Pro 2023 with the M2 Pro chip is the best laptop for graphic design. Not only does the laptop feature some powerful components like the M2 chip and 16GB of RAM, but it also sports a gorgeous 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. On top of that, the laptop offers a battery life of up to 22 hours, which makes it worth every single penny.