The best laptops for graphic design in 2024: top picks for every budget

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The best laptops for graphic design help you create, design, and inspire seamlessly - whatever software you're running. 

Our teal of expert reviewers have tested all the best laptops, including the best laptops for photo editing and graphic design - so we know what you need to look out for when choosing your next machine. In our experience, a good graphic design laptop needs a minimum Intel i5, AMD Ryzen 5, or M1 processor. We recommend at least 512GB SSD and 16GB RAM—though 32GB is preferable for flawless performance on complex projects. Check your screen offers at least 1080p resolution, and a good color coverage across sRGB and Adobe RGB. This makes sure your designs are color accurate on-screen and in print. 

As part of our review process, we compared specs, benchmarked performance, and assessed build quality and dimensions for on-the-go creativity. 

The quick list

Best laptops for graphic design: FAQs

AsusBR1402F 2-in-1 Laptop

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)

What is the best laptop requirements for graphic design?

Depending on the kind of tools you are using, your GPU and CPU hardware requirements may vary, but there's one thing that all laptops for graphic design must have: memory.

Media files can be quite large, and if you're working with a design that features a lot of layers or effects added into the mix, these are all going to fill up your app's RAM memory allocation very quickly. You'll need at least 16GB, but 32GB RAM is ideal.

Are Macs really better for graphic design?

There are some things that Macs do better than Windows laptops when it comes to graphic design work, with font rendering being one of the biggest. But overall, Windows laptops have come a very long way in the past several years to closing that gap. Now, it really is a matter of preference for the OS ecosystem, since all major graphic design software appears on both platforms and display quality (as well as color gamut coverage) for the best Windows laptops can even exceed what you'd get on the best MacBook.

How to choose the best laptops for graphic design for you

MacBook Pro 14-inch (M3, 2023)

(Image credit: Future)

When choosing which laptop is best for graphic design, there’s no one answer. With so many makes and models on the market, the trick is to first identify how you’re planning to use the device.

There's no one graphic design laptop - it all depends on the work you'll be doing. As a baseline, however, we recommend minimum specs of 16GB RAM and 1TB of SSD storage - paired with one of the best photo cloud storage services for backups. Ideally, choose a display that features DCI-P3 for the most accurate on-screen colors. 

Alternatively, a screen with a very high-percentage sRGB coverage will suffice. A machine with this power will keep you in the zone.   

Professionals and power-users will want to opt for portables that ramp up the power and performance as high and as hard as they go. Graphic design apps like Adobe Illustrator can take their toll on hardware, so it’s important to select one that can manage running them smoothly without any lag. 

Look for the best RAM, best CPU, and best GPU specs that your budget allows- and consider a device that offers plenty of storage space, too. You can really spend out on the very best graphic design laptops, but it’s not always necessary - especially if you’re more of a casual user or you’re designing using less resource-intensive tools like the best logo makers and best free logo makers or online design apps like Canva. 

Check the screen specs. As a graphic designer, particularly if you’re working with print assets, what you create on the screen should be as accurate to the finished article as possible. Look for those with a wide color gamut, ideally hitting 100% DCI-P3, although a high-percentage sRGB coverage will be fine for more general use. 

As the recommended specs are similar, it’s also worth exploring the best monitors for graphic design and the best monitors for photo editing if you need a second display.

How we test the best laptops for graphic design

We test hardware built for a range of industries and professions, including the best laptops for writers, best laptops for engineering, and best video editing PCs.

When it comes to best laptops for designers, we rigorously test each device against a list of features, with special focus on screen quality and performance. These are two of the most important assets when running creative apps like graphic design software, photo editors, and graphics-hungry apps like the best VFX software, and best 3D modeling software. In our tests, we frequently use Photoshop and Lightroom, as generally any of the best Photoshop alternatives and the best Lightroom alternatives should be good if Adobe products run well.

Generally, we opt for laptops with at least 16GB of RAM - although 32GB is preferred - with internal SSD storage of 1TB and above. They also feature the latest-generation CPUs from AMD, Intel and Apple

Some of the devices we’ve assessed are often marketed as the best business laptops or best gaming laptops - perhaps that’s no surprise, since these also need to be able to handle hardware-hogging applications without missing a beat.

The best laptop for graphic design in 2024: Top picks

The best laptop for graphic design in 2024

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Below you'll find full write-ups for each candidate for the best laptop for graphic design. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

Best laptop for graphic design overall

The best premium MacBook Pro overall, the MacBook Pro 16-inch with M3 Max chip

(Image credit: Future)
The best laptop for graphic design overall

Specifications

Processor: Apple M3 Pro - M3 Max
Screen size: 16-inch
RAM: 18GB - 128GB
Storage: 512GB - 8TB

Reasons to buy

+
New M3 Pro and M3 Max chips
+
Over 24 hours battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3 Pro/M3 Max) is unparalleled in its suitability for graphic design, offering unmatched power with Apple's latest chips. 

It excels in handling intensive design tasks, including 4K and 8K video editing, without faltering, marking a significant advancement in performance over previous models. Its design remains consistent, with a new Space Black option that resists fingerprints, keeping the device looking pristine. 

Benchmark tests reveal a substantial performance boost, particularly in graphics-intensive applications, streamlining creative workflows. With up to 24 hours of battery life, it supports prolonged creative sessions on a single charge. 

Although priced at a premium, its formidable capabilities justify the investment for graphic designers seeking a top-tier laptop that combines efficiency, durability, and aesthetic appeal.

Read the full Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3 Max) review

Best graphic design laptop on a budget

A Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook on a wooden table

(Image credit: Future)
The best affordable laptop for graphic design

Specifications

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen2
Screen size: 13.3-inch
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous display on a Chromebook
+
Phenomenal battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult kickstand
-
Stylus not included

For graphic designers relying on cloud-based applications, the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook 5 stands out as an exceptionally affordable option without compromising on quality. 

Its detachable keyboard and tablet functionality, coupled with a stunning 1080p OLED display, make it perfect for designers who need portability, flexibility, and vibrant image clarity for their creative projects. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen2 processor and equipped with 8GB RAM, it ensures smooth operation across web-based graphic design tools. 

With an impressive 16-hour battery life, significantly longer than average Chromebooks, it supports extended design sessions. Although its price was initially higher than its predecessor, its value has increased over time due to price reductions, positioning it as an unrivaled choice for designers seeking a cost-effective, versatile device for cloud-based graphic design work.

Read the full Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook review

Best Windows laptop for graphic design

A Dell XPS 14 on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
The best Windows laptop for graphic design

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core Ultra 7 155H
RAM: Up to 64GB DDR5
Screen: Up to 14.5-inch 3.2K OLED touchscreen
Storage: Up to 4TB

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful new processor
+
Stunning 3.2k OLED
+
Holds its own against the MacBook Pro 14-inch

Reasons to avoid

-
Gets expensive quickly
-
Touchbar and trackpad are accessibility challenges

The Dell XPS 14 positions itself as a prime choice for graphic design, boasting an elegant design with a cutting-edge processor and an optional 3.2K OLED display that sets a new standard in visual clarity and color accuracy within the XPS series. 

Starting at $1,499, the laptop may require additional investment in upgrades like the Nvidia RTX 4050 GPU to fully unleash its potential, making it a worthy investment of nearly $2,400 for professionals seeking longevity and performance. 

It features notable design enhancements including superior top-mounted speakers for improved audio quality and slim bezels around a 1080p webcam. Despite its slim profile, the XPS 14, powered by an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H and Nvidia RTX 4050, efficiently manages a wide range of tasks from basic computing to complex content creation, marking it as an essential device for graphic designers who prioritize power, durability, and aesthetics.

Read the full Dell XPS 14 review

Best 2-in-1 laptop for graphic design

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 8 on a desk in a studio

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)
Best of both worlds

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5 - i7
Graphics: Intel Xe Plus
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 14-inch, 1920 x 1200
Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Yoga flexibility (2-in-1)
+
Gorgeous display and great speakers
+
Outstanding keyboard
+
16:10 aspect ratio 

Reasons to avoid

-
Very high price for a high-quality item
-
No-frills business laptop

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 8 might be pricey but the high-quality makes it worth every penny - especially if you're looking for a performance-driven laptop for professional use. 

It may not be centered on content creators and designers - this is, after all, a business laptop. But that heritage means it's built for power and efficiency. 

We found the form factor to be great. The Aluminum casing gives this a real robustness, with a responsive trackpad and a comfortable keyboard.  There's something about those ThinkPad keyboards. They offer the perfect amount of feedback without making typing overly taxing. However, it's also pretty no-frills. You won't find any fancy bells and whistles, no flagship features , outside of the 2-in-1 nature of the device. But that's part of its charm. This is no-nonsense stuff. 

The laptop's screen is gorgeous, made better by the 16:10 golden ratio screen which when we used it, felt far larger than it really was. If you're looking for a well-sized canvas in a small form, this is just ideal.  

Port selection is excellent - we like to see so many connectivity options especially in a laptop of this size. You'll find a HDMI port, two USB-A and two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, and a headphone jack. Overall, we found the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 8 an excellent laptop for core design. The power is impressive, the looks are stunning.

Read the full Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 8 review

The best dual-screen laptop for graphic design

A Lenovo Yoga Book 9i on a desk in an office

(Image credit: Future)
The best dual-screen laptop for graphic design

Specifications

Processor: Intel Core i7
Screen size: 2 x 13.3-inch
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB - 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive dual displays
+
Multiple modes, plenty of features

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes a while to get used to
-
Expensive

The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is a top-tier laptop for graphic designers, boasting an innovative dual-screen feature that expands creative possibilities and enhances multitasking without compromising portability. 

This versatile design simulates a dual-monitor setup, ideal for comprehensive design projects, allowing graphic professionals to optimize their workspace for tasks like sketching, image editing, and managing design software simultaneously. 

Equipped with an Intel Core i7-1355U processor, the Yoga Book 9i delivers powerful performance while maintaining efficiency, crucial for intensive design sessions without the risk of overheating. 

Its dual OLED screens not only offer vivid colors and deep blacks essential for accurate graphic work but also provide up to 9.5 hours of battery life, extendable with strategic screen use. 

Despite its premium price, the Yoga Book 9i's innovative features, including its unique design, mobility, and endurance, make it a worthy investment for graphic designers seeking a laptop that matches their dynamic and creative workflow demands.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga Book 9i

Find the best deals on Lenovo products with our Lenovo coupon codes.

The best laptop for graphic design for battery life

New MacBook Air 13-inch with M3 being used in a cafe

(Image credit: Future)
The best laptop for graphic designers who need longevity

Specifications

CPU: Apple M3 chip
RAM: 8GB – 24GB unified memory
Screen: 13.6-inch Retina display
Storage: up to 2TB

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Very good value
+
Stellar battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Base specs are somewhat outdated
-
Not a lot of ports

The Apple MacBook Air (M3, 2024) stands out as an exceptional laptop for graphic designers, offering a modern, sleek design that's both light and portable—ideal for professionals on the go. 

Its expansive, vibrant display, with minimized bezels, provides an immersive experience for detailed design work without sacrificing the laptop's compactness. Performance-wise, the MacBook Air excels with fast boot times and smooth application handling, crucial for managing complex design projects. 

The comfortable, redesigned keyboard facilitates prolonged design sessions, enhancing productivity. 

Additionally, its impressive battery life of up to 16 hours supports extended creative endeavors without the need for frequent recharging, making it perfect for designers working on long projects or while traveling.

Read the full Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (M3) review

Today's top deals on laptops for graphic design

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).

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