The best laptops for graphic design (2024)

By Erlingur Einarsson

Contributions from

Josephine Watson, Matt Hanson

last updated

Upgrade your process with one of the best laptops for graphic design.

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  • Quick list
  • 1. Best overall
  • 2. Best value
  • 3. Best budget
  • 4. Best Windows
  • 5. Premium 2-in-1
  • 6. Mid-range 2-in-1
  • 7. Best dual-screen
  • Also tested
  • How to choose
  • How we test

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The best laptops for graphic design (1)

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1. Best overall
2. Best value
3. Best budget
4. Best Windows
5. Best lightweight
6. Premium 2-in-1
7. Mid-range 2-in-1
8. Dual-screen
Also tested
How to choose
How we test

While few laptops perfect for graphic design come cheap, they do make for excellent and highly capable machines. However, shopping for them can be a minefield; that's where our expert testing and review process comes in.

If you're running the best graphic design software, you'll need ample power and an excellent display to render your creative works, and that's exactly what we look for when we test laptops for graphic design. We've tested every model included in this guide ourselves, running extensive benchmark tests, cross-referencing specs like the battery life and screen brightness against the manufacturer's claims and completing graphic design projects to see how well each device stacks up.

Right now, our top choice is the MacBook Pro (M3), as Apple's new M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chips set yet another benchmark for other laptop makers to follow, combined with a fantastic screen and familiar, easy-to-use ergonomics. However, there are other considerations beyond a traditional, powerful laptop – we think a 2-in-1 or touchscreen device is a great pick for graphic design, so we've provided a selection of those for different use cases. Whatever your needs, you should find an option for you in the list below. If you prefer to consider a desktop device, see our pick of the best computers for graphic design.

For full information on our process check out our guide to how we test laptops.

Quick list

Best overall

1. MacBook Pro 16-inch M3 (2023)

This lightning-fast, mega-powerful laptop has the hot new Apple M3 chip, boasting a big, vibrant screen and a whopping 22 hours of battery life to see you through all your graphic design needs. It's also got a wide range of ports, including an HDMI slot and an SD card reader.
Read more below

Best lightweight

2. MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

Thanks to the M2 chip, this laptop packs a superb combination of power and efficiency – and it's at a very reasonable price now it's been superseded by the M3. We think this combination makes it the best value.
Read more below

Best budget

3. Acer Chromebook Spin 714

If you're on a tight budget, and you're happy to go cloud-based for your apps, we think this Chromebook is the way forward. The base model's processor is powerful enough for the cloud and it has a glorious touchscreen – plus it's often on sale for around $550.
Read more below

Best Windows

4. ASUS ProArt Studiobook OLED (H7604)

Packed with high-end components designed to tackle all manner of demanding creative tasks without going into meltdown, this laptop has a bright and sharp OLED display with touchscreen functionality that hits 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. Plus, it even has a built-in dial.
Read more below

Best premium 2-in-1

5. Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2

The newly updated Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 has the same super-sharp 3:2 screen with support for MPP styluses. Its ergonomic design grants a range of viewing angles, and we were impressed by its battery life. It's a little bulky, but does offer the latest Intel 13th Gen CPUs and Nvidia RTX 40 and Ada graphics. It's not cheap, but it's worth it.
Read more below

Best 2-in-1

6. HP Spectre x360

The glorious OLED screen is part of what makes this a top pick. It has 16:10 aspect ratio, and glorious colour accuracy. It comes in a massive 16-inch version, brilliant for those who want a true 2-in-1 laptop with space to draw.
Read more below

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The best laptops for graphic design in full

Why you can trust Creative Bloq Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best laptop for graphic design overall

The best laptops for graphic design (8)The best laptops for graphic design (9)

01. MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3, 2023)

The best laptop for graphic design


CPU: M3 Pro/M3 Max, 12-core/16-core CPU

Graphics: M3 Pro, 18-core GPU / M3 Max, 40-core GPU

RAM: M3 Pro, 16GB, 32GB / M3 Max, 64GB, 96G

Screen: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display

Storage: 512GB - 8TB

Ports: SDXC card slot, HDMI, headphone jack, MagSafe 3, 3 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C)

Reasons to buy


Great battery life


Plenty of ports


Beautiful big screen


Powerful new M3 chips

Reasons to avoid


You pay for the M3 magic

When we reviewed the MacBook Pro 16-inch M3 (2023), we knew it would earn the top spot in this best laptop for graphic design guide because we were blown away by the power. With the brilliant new M3 Pro and M3 Max chips, it’s faster than ever and has a big, bright screen that delivers an impressive 1,600 nits when you’re consuming (or producing) HDR content. For context, the average is around 500 nits.

Apple calls the screen a Liquid Retina XDR display, and it uses mini-LED tech so the colours are intense and vivid. There’s also a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio – perfect for design work that requires flawless colour detail.

If you’re often working on the move, the incredible 22 hours of battery life will be more than enough. If, on the other hand, portability is your aim, then the 14-inch MacBook Pro might be your best bet (see our MacBook Pro 14-inch (M2) review for more). What’s more, the newest MacBook Pro retains a smattering of beloved ports, such as the HDMI slot and an SD card reader.

Read our review of the MacBook Pro 16-inch (M3) to find out more about why we rate this laptop so very highly.

Best value graphic design laptop

The best laptops for graphic design (10)The best laptops for graphic design (11)

02. MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

The best value graphic design laptop


CPU: Apple M2 with 8-core CPU

Graphics: 8-core GPU or 10-core GPU

RAM: 8GB, 16GB, 24GB

Screen: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina XDR display

Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB

Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), 3.5mm headphone jack, MagSafe

Reasons to buy


Larger screen


Excellent battery life


Very good performance


Great price

Reasons to avoid


Gets hot when under pressure

The M2 MacBook Air is still a frontrunner for designers, as we think it offers the perfect blend of power, portability and price. That's why we think it offers the best value.

One of the reasons we like it so much is the aforementioned M2 chip, which our testing found is ideal for graphic design work – if you don't need to go as heavy as the M3 option at the top of this guide (or the newer M3 Air, of course – though do see our MacBook Air M3 review to see if the latest iteration is a better pick for you – however, we reckon as you head up to that price point the M3 Pro might be a better option).

Our testing found it handles most graphic design workflows with ease, though if you're dabbling in the heavier end of 3D, or using stacks of Photoshop layers, this might not be punchy enough for you.

The screen is bright and clear, with rich and accurate colours, and the 15-inch version in particular is an amazing choice for graphic design work – if you don't need the full whack of power the Pro brings. If you'd rather have portability then the 13-inch version still packs a punch. Read our full MacBook Air M2 review for more insight.

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Best budget laptop

03. Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2023)

The best budget laptop for graphic design


CPU: Intel Core i7-13700H

Graphics: Intel Iris Xe


Screen: 14in 2880x1800 16:10 OLED, 90Hz non-touch

Storage: 1TB SSD

Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), USB 2.1

Reasons to buy


Full HD touchscreen


Excellent build quality


Powerful for a Chromebook

Reasons to avoid


Cloud-based workflow

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is our pick for budget laptop if you don't mind working in the cloud. Because it's a year old, there are some brilliant deals to be had – you can often find the base model on sale for around $550, which is about as low as you'll want to go for a truly capable graphic design laptop.

There are less drawbacks to using a Chromebook for creative workflows now Wi-Fi access is widespread, but we appreciate it isn't for everyone. However, if you can make that compromise, there's a lot to like here.

The display is gorgeous for the price point, a Full HD touchscreen, and it's a true 2-on-1 (hence the 'spin' part – it spins around to become a tablet). For graphic design, this is a plus and not a feature often found done well in the budget range.

There's an array of ports, wonderful build quality and a zippy workflow.

Read more in our Acer Chromebook Spin 714 review.

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Best Windows laptop

The best laptops for graphic design (12)The best laptops for graphic design (13)

04. ASUS ProArt Studiobook OLED (H7604)

The best Windows laptop for graphic design


CPU: Intel Core i9-13980HX

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 (8GB)

RAM: Up to 64GB

Screen: 16.0-inch, glasses-free 3D OLED display, 3.2K (3200 x 2000)

Storage: Up to 8TB (2x4TB SSD)

Ports: Thunderbolt 4, USB 3.2 Gen 2, SD Express reader, HDMI 2.1, 3.5mm headset jack, Ethernet

Reasons to buy


Dial above trackpad


High-end components


Bright display

Reasons to avoid


Low battery life

ASUShas managed something quite remarkable with its ProArt Studiobook OLED (H7604) laptop. It has crammed the device with a plethora of high-end components that are perfect for all manner of demanding creative tasks, yet the device manages to stay cool and composed almost at all times. If you want to be able to run your heavy workloads without worrying that your laptop is going to melt, we recommend the ASUS Studiobook over any other Windows device.

We loved its OLED display, which is bright and sharp, and is perhaps the greatest screen around for any graphic design or digital art purpose around on the market today. It packs in touchscreen functionality and hits 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, so it will handle colour-accurate work with ease.

Plus, there’s a built-in dial that sits above the trackpad, and this can be customised and change its role depending on which app you’re running, and we loved using it in our testing. You can use it to scrub through a timeline, for example, or tweak brush sizes in your image editor of choice. With all that going for it, the ProArt Studiobook OLED is the laptop to go for if you’re not a fan of Apple’s MacBooks.And maybe even if you are.

Read our full Asus ProArt Studiobook OLED review.

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Premium 2-in-1 laptop

The best laptops for graphic design (14)The best laptops for graphic design (15)

05. Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2

The best premium 2-in-1 laptop for graphic design


CPU: 13th Gen Intel Core H

Graphics: Intel Iris Xe / NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 and RTX 200 Ada  laptop GPU

RAM: 16GB - 64GB

Screen: PixelSense Flow 14.4in 2400 x 1600 120Hz touch display

Storage: 512GB – 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy


Great screen for drawing, with MPP stylus compatibility


Solid specs for graphics work

Reasons to avoid


A little heavy


Can get more power for the money elsewhere

If you need a drawing screen when you're designing, and you have a big budget, this could be the ideal choice. Boasting a sharp 3:2 screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and support for your choice of MPP stylus, and an ergonomic design that's specifically great for drawing – giving you far more potential angles for the screen than a simple L-shaped laptop – we see this as an excellent choice for graphic designers, digital artists or pen-based photo editors. It's a solid, premium option for a 2-in-1 (the highest specs can get pricey), so if you're on more of a budget, look below for other options such as the HP Spectre x360.

Our Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 review found that it's a great hybrid laptop, and we were impressed by the touchscreen in particular. While battery life doesn't quite live up to the lofty heights of the MacBook, it's still a great option for those who want the latest specs and a great touchscreen to work on.

This Gen 2 model gets the 13th Gen CPUs from Intel and a choice of either Intel Xe graphics or an Nvidia RTX 4060 and RTX 2000 Ada professional GPUs for added graphic oomph, so there's plenty of power here – though it does mean the build is a little bulky. Of course, if it's just the performance you want, you can get it for less from other laptops – but you'd have to give up the drawing abilities that make this a great pick for designers in the first place.

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Mid-range 2-in-1 laptop

The best laptops for graphic design (16)

06. HP Spectre x360 (2022)

The best mid-range 2-in-1 laptop for graphic design


CPU: Intel Core i7-1260P

Graphics: Intel Arc A370M


Screen: 16-inch, 3,840 by 2,400, OLED, 400 nits, 100% DCI-P3

Storage: 1TB, PCIe Gen 3

Ports: 2x USB4 / Thunderbolt 40Gbps, USB-A 10Gbps, headphone, HDMI 2.1. microSD

Reasons to buy


Amazing OLED screen


16-inch display


Great connectivity

Reasons to avoid



Our testing found the HP Spectre x360 is the top 2-in-1 16-inch laptop you can get at a mid-range price (it's cheaper than the Surface Studio 2 laptop above). The OLED screen is glorious, and the 16-inch size means you have got a massive canvas to work on. We thought the colour spectrum was accurate and vibrant, and the 16:10 aspect ratio gives you a bit more vertical space than the standard 16:9 – a welcome addition.

It has stellar battery life (we got an impressive 15 hours out of it), but that doesn't mean power is limited. The graphics card options range from the "interesting" Intel Arc card (entry level but it served us well in our tests), to options from Nvidia RTX 3050. The HP-native software is no replacement for Adobe's suite but might suit some with less intense workloads.

We also think it's great value for money, comparable to Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 for price, but with more going for it. Overall, we think this is a great pick for designers that want a true 2-in-1 machine with a 16-inch screen (of course, you can get smaller iterations). If you want something more portable, see the next pick on the list. See our full HP Spectre review here.

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Best dual-screen laptop

The best laptops for graphic design (17)

07. Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED

The best dual-screen laptop for graphic design


CPU: Intel Core Ultra 9 185H

Graphics: Intel Arc Graphics


Screen: 2x 14in 2880x1800 120Hz OLED

Storage: 2TB SSD

Ports: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI 2.1, 3.5mm combo jack

Reasons to buy


Fabulous dual screen tech


Excellent connectivity



Reasons to avoid


Unusual ergonomics

The upgraded second screen is an absolute blessing on the latest iteration of the Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED, and that's especially true for graphic designers. It's been enlarged to equal the 14 inches of the main display so you have a genuine second workspace you can draw on with a stylus. Alternatively, you can use that second screen for extra space, moving apps and tools down to free up vital space on the main screen.

It's geared for creative workflows, with inbuilt settings for Adobe apps, and it is extremely customisable. It has fantastic power, too, with our benchmarks showing it sits between the M1 and M1 Max chip, and about at the same level as an i9 Intel processor. There are very few graphic design tasks that will need more power than this.

Downsides are the battery life (the second screen really drains it, we only got about four and a half hours with it on, and six and a half with it turned off), and the uncomfortable ergonomics – if you're doing a lot of typing, or you're left handed, this may not be for you. It's also quite expensive, though our reviewer thinks it's worth every penny.

Read more in our Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED 2024 review.

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Also tested

While the laptops above get our ultimate nod of approval as fantastic laptops for graphic design, there are more laptops worthy of your attention. If none of the above quite tickle your fancy, we've also tested all of the below laptops and will happily recommend them as great laptops for graphic design, whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out.

The best laptops for graphic design (18)

<a href="" data-link-merchant="Amazon UK"" target="_blank">ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED
With a 14-core Intel i9 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card and 32GB of RAM, this ASUS model combines MacBook Pro-level power with a sub-£/$1,500 price tag. Bonus points for the gorgeous OLED screen, although battery life can't quite keep up with the leaders.
<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant="Amazon UK"">Read our 4-star review.

The best laptops for graphic design (19)

<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank">Dell Precision 5470
It may not have a large display, but this 14-inch parcel comes loaded still very powerful - our testingput its performance close to that of a 14-inch MacBook Pro M2 Pro. This portable powerhouse is comfortable to use, feels well-built, and exudes quality.
<a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant=""">Read our 4.5-star review.

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How to choose

How to choose a laptop for graphic design?

When choosing a laptop for graphic design, you’ll want a laptop with a lot of power. Graphic design work can be pretty intensive and so you’ll need a laptop that can properly support that and run your host of creative tools.

If you’re frequently on the go and do your work outside the home, you’ll want to strike that proper balance between power and portability. You may have to sacrifice some power to get a laptop that is thin and light enough to throw in your backpack. If you plan to rarely or never tote your computer then we recommend focusing on purchasing a heavier, more powerful laptop.

The next thing you’ll want to consider is what operating system you prefer. MacOS used to be the staple of creative professionals, but nowadays it really doesn’t matter if you use Mac or Windows - both can do the job for graphic designers just fine. It’s up to personal preference, and that shows among the Creative Bloq team, where some of us prefer Mac laptops, while others lean towards Windows.

Finally, budget can be a huge factor in laptop purchases. Many of the laptops in this guide can be quite expensive. If budget is no constraint we recommend the MacBook Pro (M3), but if you’re a student or just starting out, the the MacBook Air (M1) will give you the most bang for your buck.

What laptop specs do I need for graphic design?

When buying a laptop for graphic design, you’ll need to take into account the specifications of the models you’re researching. But what specs do you need in the first place?

For a good graphic design laptop, you’ll want a modern processor from either Intel or AMD. When it comes to MacBooks, Apple has its own chip – the M1 – which performs brilliantly as well. If you’re going for Intel or AMD, we recommend getting an 13th gen Intel or AMD Ryzen 7000 mobile processor if you want to future-proof the laptop. For Apple fans, look for the M2 series of chips.

When it comes to RAM, the more you have, the better, especially if you want to multitask. We suggest a minimum of 8GB RAM, but ideally 16-64GB if your budget can stretch to it.

A dedicated graphics card is also worth thinking about, especially for graphically intensive workloads. However, these can up the price of a laptop considerably, and modern integrated GPUs are good enough for day-to-day graphic design use. For any heavier usage, though, a discrete graphics card is a must.

How we test

When it comes to testing laptops for graphic design, we look for a good, high resolution screen, assessing pixel density, colour accuracy, contrast and more, to decide how well it performs for graphic design. We also test for both CPU core and graphics performance to make sure you'll get the performance you expect from the latest processors and GPUs.

We also run real projects on real graphic design software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Cinema 4D, Adobe Illustrator and more, depending on the reviewer, their specialism and the laptop's intended user base.

Storage is arguably a little less critical, as well-specified laptops now come with fast PCIe SSDs. But we still test sequential throughput and random access to make sure that nothing unusual is going on. We also assess ergonomics, build and usability, including keyboard quality, chassis rigidity, trackpad response and more to build up a practical picture of how well a laptop performs in the real world rather than merely benchmarks.

Finally, battery life is important for any laptop and it's also a metric by which different models can differ dramatically, both from each other and from the manufacturer claims.

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The best laptops for graphic design (20)

Erlingur Einarsson

Tech Reviews Editor

Erlingur is the Tech Reviews Editor on Creative Bloq. Having worked on magazines devoted to Photoshop, films, history, and science for over 15 years, as well as working on Digital Camera World and Top Ten Reviews in more recent times, Erlingur has developed a passion for finding tech that helps people do their job, whatever it may be. He loves putting things to the test and seeing if they're all hyped up to be, to make sure people are getting what they're promised. Still can't get his wifi-only printer to connect to his computer.

With contributions from

  • Josephine WatsonManaging Editor for Lifestyle
  • Matt Hanson

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