You cannot be a professional graphic designer without a powerful laptop. Most people think that finding the best laptop for graphic design is easier than finding one for gaming purposes. It is mostly true since your main consideration should be on the hardware instead of the software. In the advertisement, Dell and Apple ensure that their product will not make you regret your decision. Years of experience in engineering laptop for specific purposes allows those manufacturers to meet the need of its customers.
Things to Consider
However, before you decided what brand or series is suitable for your graphic design need, you need to consider the following aspects. By considering those aspects, you will be able to find the key to obtain the recommended laptop for your needs.
Actual Screen Resolution
You need to know exactly the actual resolution of your laptop screen before purchasing it. The actual screen resolution means the how many pixels the laptop can display on its screen. The screen resolution is not entirely related to the screen size itself. For instance, you can get the screen resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels for a 13-inch screen. Given this standard resolution, choosing a laptop with a small screen is not advisable if you want to use it for visual design. Opt for a laptop with 15.4 inches of screen size or more. Finding it should be easy since laptops these days fit more pixels in less screen size.
It is a good idea to test the screen resolution with your tasks beforehand. Run your favorite designing software on the laptop. See if the toolbars on the screen are actually fit. Make sure you have ample space for editing. Observing the sharpness of the actual image on selected screen resolution is important as well. After few testing, you should be able to find the best screen resolution that fit your need.
In some case, you probably run into a specific laptop with smaller screen size or smaller screen resolution. If you are in this situation, you might want to purchase the secondary monitor for the laptop. This method allows you to fit the entire toolbars of your editing software as well as get sufficient working space from the same laptop.
Regardless the reason why people need a laptop, the RAM specification is always the main consideration. The editing programs are mostly consuming plenty of RAM space. It means that you will be able to run your editing program flawlessly if you have more RAM in the laptop. You can process any graphic design faster with bigger RAM space.
The common program used by professional designers is Photoshop. They might also use other programs when designing vector graphics. During graphic editing, visual designers often run few programs at the same time. Therefore, they will need a significant amount of RAM to complete the task. If you want to do the same thing, you also need bigger RAM space as well. The minimum RAM space recommended for this purposes is 4 GB. Keep in mind that you probably need more than that to run multiple graphic editing programs.
As mentioned before, multitasking by running few graphic editing programs is common practice in the world of designing. In order to get effective multitasking, it is recommended for you to get a laptop that has 8 GB of RAM space or preferably bigger. The biggest RAM specification on a modern laptop these days is 16 GB. Laptop with 8 GB of RAM space should be more than enough to accommodate your favorite graphic programs.
Laptop vendors often come with RAM upgrade feature. This feature requires you to pay more than the actual cost of the laptop. In this case, it is advisable to purchase the laptop with standard RAM specification, and then purchasing the additional upgrade module separately. You do not have to spend more money if you are able to upgrade the RAM on your own.
Aside from RAM specification, the specification of the processor inside a certain laptop series is often becoming one of the considerations people normally do before purchasing a laptop. Unlike finding suitable RAM for the laptop, finding the best processor requires more calculations. For those of you who are often working with vector design, more processing is performed during the process. It means that you will need strong processor specification for the laptop. It is advisable to opt for processor bearing multiple cores instead of single core. Fortunately, most laptops these days already includes over one core to process the tasks. Such laptop is highly recommended for your need.
To put it simply, you will have faster processing if the processor on your laptop includes more cores inside it.
The next thing in line you need to consider is the graphics card. During the process of selecting the laptop for this particular purpose, it is recommended to avoid purchasing a laptop with the graphics card that consumes plenty of RAM spaces. The built in graphics card on a laptop might consume over 512 megs of the RAM space in the same laptop, especially when the laptop do not include video card intended for it.
With such laptop specification, the program you use for editing will mostly run slower than it should since the RAM is not only used for actually running the program, but also for processing in the graphics card. In this case, it is important to make sure that the graphics card used already includes video card as well. Opt for laptop specification with such graphics card design.
In terms of visual designing, getting a laptop with latest graphics card specification does not actually matter. It becomes a big deal if you need the laptop for 3D modeling or gaming purposes. A laptop with graphics card specification that includes a memory of 64 up to 256 MB should be able to accommodate your needs.
In a case of gaming and 3D modeling, you will need the best graphics card you can get from the market. It allows you to install multiple games and render faster on 3D modeling. In general, it is safe to say that the best device for the graphic is a laptop that includes graphics card with separate memory to process the designing tasks.
Top 5 Best Laptops for Graphic Design
If you have no idea on what laptop series with such specification, you can use the following list as a reference. The list contains the greatest laptops recommended for graphics designers that will help the designer to complete their designing tasks flawlessly.
Acer Aspire Nitro V17
Acer Aspire V17 is often referred as the beast among other laptops with the same purposes. This particular laptop series offers great performance for speed, productivity, and power. The screen size of this series is 17.3 inch. As for the processor, the laptop relies on Core i7 series. Meanwhile, the RAM and hard drive specification are respectively 16 GB of DDR3 memory and 1 TB of HDD. The GTX 960M graphics card on this product ensures that you will get a magnificent display.
Professional designers choose this particular series since it allows them to do any visual design tasks easily. With this laptop in hand, visual designing turns into an exciting activity. It manages to climb all the way to the first list due to its superior features. The superior feature of this laptop is including Full HD IPS panel added to its 17.3 inches of display. When it comes to vibrant color reproduction, you can always rely on IPS panel technology. It creates wonderful color tones that can be viewed at any angle on all sides. It should not be something surprising that numerous experienced designers always recommend Acer Aspire V17.
Apple MacBook Pro 15.4 inch
The list continues with 15.4 inch of Apple MacBook Pro. The Apple’s flagship product is the best laptop for graphic design students. You can go this post to see the highest-rated laptops for college students by major. The reputation of Apple product is well known for a long time. It should come as no surprise that this particular series is used for any purposes.
One good reason that makes this series popular among designers is the existence of Max OSX. This feature allows you to take advantage of designing tools belong to Apple. The tools are including Affinity Designer and Sketch 3.
Aside from those tools, the hardware specification of this product is worth considering as well. It comes with 2.5 GHz of Core i7 processor. AMD R9M370X GPU chips support the core. This component is considered as the best GPU chips you can find.
The RAM comes at 16 GB along with flash storage. This RAM specification allows you to process your tasks faster. Meanwhile, the Retina display on the screen has 2880 x 1880 pixels of resolution.
It is listed after Acer V17 Nitro since the screen size is smaller yet the price is higher.
Asus G751JL 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop
Asus G751JL 17-inch is originally intended for gaming purposes. Being a gaming laptop, it already includes powerful hardware. Given the specification it has, the laptop is able to perform greatly for visual designing and programming purposes. The processor relies on Intel Core i7 4720HQ that runs at 2.6 GHz. This processor specification allows you to run multiple programs simultaneously. Moreover, its 16 GB of RAM will not let you disappointed. The best part about the hardware lies on its storage memory that comes at 1,024 GB.
This notebook comes with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels compacted inside 17.3-inch screen resourceful. It is supported with a GTX965M graphics card that includes 2 GB of GDDR5 technology. Even though the battery is only last for 3 hours, the Windows 8.1 operating system used allows you to get the decent performance.
For those of you who prefer a laptop with long lasting battery life, Dell XPS3 is the best product recommended for your need. The battery last for over 15 hours. It is good if you often work for the longer time. The IPS display is covered in the entirely aluminum body. In order to support the mobility aspect, it comes at 2.61 lbs.
The superior features included in the laptop are type C of USB 3.1, USB 3.0, backlit keyboard, Bluetooth 4.1, webcam, Waves MaxxAudio 3, as well as a 3in1 card reader. As for the processor, it uses Intel Core i5 6200U. The processor is coupled with Intel HD graphics card. The hardware and RAM specification are respectively 128 GB of SSD and 8 GB. The display is featuring IPS Infinity. This configuration allows you to achieve the best performance and vibrant color. It’s also a perfect laptop for video editing.
Microsoft’s Surface Book
If your preference is laptop/tablet hybrid, Microsoft’s Surface Book could be the best pick. In comparison to Lenovo’s P40 Yoga, it is more portable yet has better looks. The best part about it is the impressive performance. The high screen resolution of this hybrid product offers more than comfortable viewing. In terms of keyboard performance, the keyboard on this product is more comfortable to use than Surface Pro 4. You can perform any shortcut easier with the build in keyboard included.
Since the base of this device is a tablet, it includes a plug-in keyboard that makes it into unique laptop design. The keyboard itself includes graphics chip. You will find this feature resourceful when you are using this hybrid product. Unfortunately, being the product with tablet base, it does not allow you to draw on the screen as it goes with conventional tablet comfortably. In comparison to Lenovo’s P40 Yoga, the plug-in keyboard cannot be flipped on the back as well. That being said, this laptop/tablet hybrid remains as one of the best laptops for graphic design.