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10+ Best Budget Laptops for Graphic Design — Expert Picks 2024 (July)

10+ Best Budget Laptops for Graphic Design — Expert Picks 2024 (July)

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Generally, the more you pay, the better specs you get in a laptop. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a good laptop without spending an arm and a leg.

After diving into the depths of online marketing, finding the best laptops, and rigorously testing them, I have put together a list of the best budget laptops for graphic designing in 2024.

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In this post, I’ll unveil affordable options that don’t compromise performance when running your favorite graphic designing software. So, get ready to unlock a world of creativity without breaking the bank!

To further optimize your graphic design workspace, check out my top picks for the best graphic design monitors, printers, and more!

10 Best Budget Graphic Design Laptops 2024

Here’s a quick look at the affordable laptops for graphic design in 2024:

  1. Apple 2023 MacBook Air M2 chip — Best Overall (Editor’s Choice)
  2. HP Pavilion Business & Student Laptop — Best for Web Designing
  3. Microsoft Surface Pro X — Best Portable Option
  4. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 16″ — Best 2 in 1 Option
  5. LG gram 15.6″ — Best for Animation
  6. MSI Prestige 14 Evo — Best for Multitasking
  7. Acer Chromebook Spin 714 — Best for Illustrator
  8. ASUS Vivobook 16 — Best Value Option
  9. Acer Aspire 3 — Best Budget Option
  10. HP EliteBook 845 G8 — Best Battery Life

What is the best budget graphic design Laptop in 2024?

After rigorously running different graphic designing software and projects on it, I found the Apple 2023 MacBook Air M2 chip to be the best budget laptop for graphic design in 2024. Despite being affordable, this laptop doesn’t skimp on quality.

Editor's Choice
Apple 2023 MacBook Air
4.9
$1,299.00 $1,099.99

The MacBook Air with the M2 chip is the best budget laptop for graphic design, combining excellent performance, a stunning 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display, and long battery life in a sleek, silent, fanless design. Ideal for handling demanding tasks effortlessly, it’s perfect for creative professionals.

Pros:
  • Powerful M2 chip with 10-core GPU
  • Spacious and vibrant 15.3-inch display
  • Long battery life
Cons:
  • Limited ports
  • May run warm due to no built-in fan
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06/25/2024 09:05 am GMT

Top 3 Picks


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Editor's Choice
Best Value Option
Best Budget Option
Primary Rating:
4.9
Primary Rating:
4.8
Primary Rating:
4.7
$1,299.00$1,099.99
$549.99$472.00
$321.99$299.99
Graphic Card :
10-core integrated
Graphic Card :
Intel UHD Graphics
Graphic Card :
AMD Radeon Graphics
Processor:
M2 chip
Processor:
Intel Core i5-1235U
Processor:
AMD Ryzen 3 7320U
RAM:
8GB
RAM:
8GB
RAM:
8GB
Storage:
256GB SSD
Storage:
512GB SSD
Storage:
128GB SSD
Pros:
  • Long battery life
  • Spacious and vibrant display
  • Powerful M2 chip with 10-core GPU
Pros:
  • Fast-charging
  • AI Noise-Canceling Technology
  • Deliver fast and smooth performance
Pros:
  • Vibrant 15.6" Full HD IPS display
  • Adequate connectivity options
  • Lightweight and portable
Editor's Choice
Primary Rating:
4.9
$1,299.00$1,099.99
Graphic Card :
10-core integrated
Processor:
M2 chip
RAM:
8GB
Storage:
256GB SSD
Pros:
  • Long battery life
  • Spacious and vibrant display
  • Powerful M2 chip with 10-core GPU
Best Value Option
Primary Rating:
4.8
$549.99$472.00
Graphic Card :
Intel UHD Graphics
Processor:
Intel Core i5-1235U
RAM:
8GB
Storage:
512GB SSD
Pros:
  • Fast-charging
  • AI Noise-Canceling Technology
  • Deliver fast and smooth performance
Best Budget Option
Primary Rating:
4.7
$321.99$299.99
Graphic Card :
AMD Radeon Graphics
Processor:
AMD Ryzen 3 7320U
RAM:
8GB
Storage:
128GB SSD
Pros:
  • Vibrant 15.6" Full HD IPS display
  • Adequate connectivity options
  • Lightweight and portable
06/25/2024 09:05 am GMT

Detailed Review of the Best Budget Laptops for Graphic Designing

1. Apple 2023 MacBook Air M2 chip — Best Overall (Editor’s Choice)

Apple MacBook Air M2. Budget Laptops for Graphic Design
Apple MacBook Air M2. Image Credit: Amazon

Best Budget Macbook for Graphic Design

CPU: M2 chip | GPU: 10-core integrated | Hard Disk Size: 256GB SSD | RAM Memory Size: 8GB

MacBooks have always been my go-to for all things creative, especially graphic design. This feeling only grew stronger after I used the 2023 MacBook Air with the M2 chip. Its starlight-colored exterior and the spacious 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display were perfect for my detailed design projects.

When I worked on various graphic design tasks, the performance of this MacBook Air really stood out. The Apple M2 chip, with its 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU, handled everything smoothly. I was able to switch between demanding applications like Adobe Creative Cloud without any lag, thanks to the unified memory of up to 24GB. The integrated graphics made sure my designs looked sharp and vibrant.

Comfort was key for me during those long design sessions, and this MacBook didn’t disappoint. I loved how quiet it was the fanless design meant it ran silently, no matter the task. The Magic Keyboard was also a joy to use; it made typing comfortable and the Touch ID was a quick way to unlock the laptop and sign into various apps.

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Battery life was another big win. I could go nearly a full day without needing to charge, which was essential during my busy days. 

However, I did find the limited number of ports a bit restricting, so I had to use a USB hub to connect additional peripherals. Additionally, it got a bit warm at times due to the lack of a built-in fan, but these were minor issues compared to its overall performance. In summary, the MacBook Air is a reliable tool for design work, balancing performance with portability.

“It has a stunning design, a brilliant screen, and possibly the best speaker setup you’ll find in a laptop.” [Matt Hanson , techradar]

PROS CONS
➕ 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display ideal for design ➖ Limited ports
➕ Apple M2 chip supports smooth multitasking ➖ May run warm due to no built-in fan
➕ Silent fanless design  
➕ Comfortable Magic Keyboard with Touch ID  
➕ Long battery life  

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best Overall
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06/25/2024 09:05 am GMT

 

2. HP Pavilion Business & Student Laptop — Budget Laptop for UI/UX Designer

HP Pavilion Business & Student Laptop
HP Pavilion Business & Student Laptop. Image Credits: Amazon

Best Budget Laptop for Creators

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 5300U | GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics | Hard Disk Size: 1TB SSD | RAM Memory Size: 16GB

Back when I was using the HP Pavilion Business & Student Laptop, I found it to be a reliable device for my web design projects. This laptop really fit the bill for someone like me, who appreciates good value without sacrificing performance.

The 15.6″ HD display of the HP Pavilion was just right for my design work. It offered enough space to keep multiple applications open side-by-side. The laptop is powered by an AMD Ryzen 3 5300U processor, which might not sound impressive at first, but it held its own against more expensive models. I especially appreciated the 16GB of RAM—it made everything from browsing to designing feel seamless and quick.

Storage was never an issue either, thanks to the 1TB SSD, which meant fast load times and plenty of room for all my files and software. Although the AMD Radeon Graphics aren’t cut out for high-end graphic design, they were perfectly adequate for the kinds of designs I was creating.

The connectivity options, like WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, were reliable and fast, ensuring I was always connected when I needed to be. The array of ports, including USB Type-C and HDMI, was incredibly useful for connecting external devices.

However, there were a couple of drawbacks. The built-in speakers weren’t the best, which was a letdown during online meetings and while streaming music. Also, the keyboard, while functional, lacked backlighting, so I had to use an external keyboard for late-night sessions.

While this laptop struggles with graphically intense tasks, it is a solid performer for my everyday web design needs. For anyone looking for a budget-friendly laptop that can handle web design, this one is worth considering.

PROS CONS
➕ Affordable with solid performance for web design ➖ Weak speakers not ideal for multimedia
➕ 15.6″ HD display suitable for multitasking ➖ Struggles with graphically intensive software
➕ Upgraded 16GB of RAM for smooth multitasking ➖ Non-backlit keyboard challenging to use in low light conditions
➕ 1TB SSD for quick boot-up and ample storage  
➕ Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics adequate for basic design tasks  
➕ Long battery life up to 10 hours  
➕ Lightweight and portable

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best for Web Designing
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06/24/2024 10:04 am GMT

 

3. Microsoft Surface Pro X — Best Portable Option

Microsoft Surface Pro 9
Microsoft Surface Pro 9. Image Credits: Amazon

Best Laptop for Fashion Designers

CPU: Microsoft SQ® 1 | GPU: Integrated | Hard Disk Size: 256GB SSD | RAM Memory Size: 8GB DDR5

I generally lean towards using a tablet when I need to work on the go, but the Microsoft Surface Pro X caught my attention because it blends the best of both a laptop and a tablet. 

It features a versatile 13-inch touchscreen that made my designs pop with vivid clarity, powered by the Microsoft SQ® 1 processor and an integrated Adreno 685 graphics coprocessor that smoothly handled all my graphic-intensive apps.

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This model is equipped with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, providing enough space and speed to run various design software efficiently. Running on Windows 11 Home it offered me a fresh set of tools that made it easier to manage my files and multitask effectively. 

The Surface Pro X is also incredibly thin and light, weighing just 1.7 pounds, which was a huge plus for me as it meant I could easily carry it around without feeling weighed down.

It features a built-in Kickstand and the optional Surface Pro Signature Keyboard, which isn’t included but transforms it into a traditional laptop. This setup allowed me to type comfortably, thanks to the backlit keys and full function row. 

However, it’s not without its shortcomings. The lack of a headphone jack was a bit of a letdown which meant I had to use bluetooth headphones, and the battery life was just okay, not lasting as long as I hoped.

Overall, the Microsoft Surface Pro X is a portable solution that doesn’t sacrifice performance for design tasks. Its drawbacks are minimal, making it a solid choice for those who value flexibility and efficiency in their workflow.

PROS CONS
➕ Versatile 13-inch touchscreen; excellent for graphic design. ➖ No headphone jack.
➕ Equipped with Microsoft SQ® 1 processor and Adreno 685 graphics for smooth performance. ➖ Battery life is just okay; varies with usage.
➕ Features 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD for ample storage and speed.  
➕ Lightweight and portable at just 1.7 pounds.  
➕ Runs Windows 11 Home with new tools for efficiency.  
➕ Optional Surface Pro Signature Keyboard enhances typing experience.  

Latest Price on Amazon:

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 13"
$1,049.99 $950.99

Best Portable Option

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06/24/2024 10:09 am GMT

 

4. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 16″ — Best 2 in 1 Option

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5. Image Credits: Amazon.com

2 in 1 Laptop for Graphic Design

CPU: Intel Core i7-1255U | GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics | Hard Disk Size: 512 GB | RAM Memory Size: 16GB RAM

If you’re looking for something as versatile as the Microsoft Surface Pro X but need a bigger screen for multitasking, then the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a standout option. I was drawn to this model mainly for its large 16-inch display, which really makes a difference when you’re juggling multiple design projects at once.

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While I used the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5, its Intel Core i7-1255U processor, combined with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, handled all my graphic design software smoothly. The screen wasn’t just big; it was sharp, too, thanks to its 2560×1600 resolution and glossy finish, though I did notice it could be a bit dim in bright lighting. 

I appreciated the backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader for their ease of use during late-night sessions. The stylus pen that came with it was a real plus; not needing any charging or Bluetooth to get started—just uncap and go. 

To make up for the less impressive speakers, I often paired the laptop with my external speakers, which greatly improved the sound experience during presentations or while streaming videos.

In conclusion, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 fits well within budget, providing good performance and features that really support creative workflow.

PROS CONS
➕ Versatile 16-inch 2.5K touchscreen ideal for multitasking. ➖ Display can be dim in bright environments.
➕ Powerful Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. ➖ Onboard speakers lack depth; better experience with external Bluetooth speakers.
➕ Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics handle graphic design tasks efficiently.  
➕ Backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader for ease of use.  
➕ Stylus pen included; requires no charging or Bluetooth.  
➕ WiFi 6 ensures fast and reliable internet connectivity.

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best 2 in 1 Option
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06/24/2024 10:13 am GMT

 

5. LG gram 15.6″ — Best Laptops for Artists on a Budget

LG gram 15.6"
LG gram 15.6″. Image credit: Amazon

Best Laptop Graphic Design Under 1500

CPU: Intel 13th Gen Core i7 | GPU: Intel Iris|  Hard Disk Size: 512GB PCIe SSD | RAM Memory Size: 16GB

For those seeking a laptop that seamlessly connects to graphic tablets for animation projects, I opted for the LG Gram 15.6″ Lightweight Laptop. Its array of features and compatibility made it a staple in my animation projects.

The LG gram is powered by a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 and Intel Iris Xe graphics, which can handle demanding tasks like animating and editing without any slowdowns. It comes with 16GB of lightning-fast 6000 MHz LPDDR5 RAM, helping me stay productive and responsive

I especially enjoyed the vibrant 15.6″ Full HD IPS touchscreen display. The non-reflective, anti-glare screen and full sRGB color gamut brought my animations to life with bright, accurate colors.

Operating on Windows 11 Home, the laptop offered tools that enhanced productivity and creativity, making multitasking a breeze. Additionally, the Dolby Atmos audio was particularly impressive, providing immersive, cinematic sound quality

With its large 80Wh battery, I didn’t have to worry about staying near an outlet, which was perfect for my busy days. However, the laptop wasn’t perfect; it often ran hot when under heavy use, so I used a laptop stand for better airflow. Also, the shallow keyboard was less comfortable for long typing sessions.

This laptop also impressed me with its toughness. It’s certified with military-grade durability (MIL-STD-810H), so I never worried about taking it wherever I went. The variety of ports, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports, made connecting all my devices easy. 

Overall, while the LG Gram 15.6″ has a few downsides, like poor thermal management and a less-than-ideal keyboard, its performance, portability, and display quality are great for anyone using graphic tablets for animation.

“The LG Gram SuperSlim is the world’s thinnest laptop and manages to deliver rival-beating performance, great battery life, and a crisp, vivid display.” [Kimberly Gedeon, laptopmag]

PROS CONS
➕ 13th Gen Intel Core i7; smooth multitasking. ➖ Poor heat management.
➕ 16GB LPDDR5 RAM; high performance. ➖ Shallow keyboard.
➕ 15.6″ Full HD touchscreen; vivid colors.
➕ Dolby Atmos for superior sound.  
➕ MIL-STD-810H; durable.  
➕ Multiple ports including Thunderbolt 4.  

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best for Animation
LG 15.6" gram
$1,199.99
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06/24/2024 10:17 am GMT

 

6. MSI Prestige 14 Evo — Best for Multitasking

MSI Prestige 13
MSI Prestige 13. Image Credits: Amazon

Best Laptop for Coding and Graphic Design

CPU: Intel Core i7-13700H | GPU: Intel Iris Xe graphics | Hard Disk Size: 512GB SSD | RAM Memory Size: 32GB DDR5

My projects typically demanded that I operate with multiple tabs and software open simultaneously, and any lag in the process disrupts my workflow significantly. That’s why I opted for the MSI Prestige 14 Evo Laptop. Its specs were just what I needed: powered by an Intel Core i7-13700H processor and equipped with 32GB DDR5 RAM, the device ensured smooth multitasking without any hitches. 

The 14-inch FHD+ display, while offering a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, was less impressive under direct light due to its poor handling of reflections, but the clarity under normal lighting conditions was satisfactory for detailed design work.

The laptop’s 512GB NVMe SSD was ample for my design files, ensuring quick access and storage. Although the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics weren’t tailored for high-end gaming, it handled Adobe Creative Suite efficiently. I appreciated the modern connectivity options, such as WiFi 6E and Thunderbolt 4, which facilitated fast data transfers and efficient peripheral connectivity.

One downside was the webcam quality, which often produced soft images with slightly unnatural colors. As a workaround, I used an external webcam, which significantly improved video call quality during client meetings. 

Despite these minor issues, the MSI Prestige 14 Evo is a solid choice for multitaskers on a budget, balancing performance with affordability in a compact, urban silver package.

PROS CONS
➕ Intel Core i7-13700H ensures smooth multitasking. ➖ Display struggles with reflections, affecting visibility.
➕ 32GB DDR5 RAM facilitates efficient software operation. ➖ Poor Webcam
➕ 512GB NVMe SSD provides ample and quick storage.  
➕ WiFi 6E and Thunderbolt 4 for high-speed connectivity.  
➕ Lightweight at 6.51 pounds, enhancing portability.

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best for Multitasking
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06/24/2024 10:36 am GMT

 

7. Acer Chromebook Spin 714 — Best Budget Laptop for Illustrator

Acer Chromebook Spin 714
Acer Chromebook Spin 714. Image Credits: Amazon

Best Laptop for Graphic Design Under $800

CPU: Intel i5 12th Gen | GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics | Hard Disk Size: 512GB SSD | RAM Memory Size: 8GB

I have always cherished interacting with my work, and if you’re as passionate as I am about creating visually stunning work, then you’ll definitely appreciate the Acer 2023 Newest Chromebook Spin 714.

Equipped with a 14-inch touchscreen display that boasts a crisp WUXGA resolution of 1920 x 1200, this laptop made every project pop with clarity and vibrant colors. It runs on a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U processor and features 8GB of RAM along with a 512GB SSD. The Intel Iris Xe Graphics handled all my regular tasks—from designing to browsing and even some light gaming—with ease.

I particularly loved the versatility of its 360° hinge, allowing me to use the laptop in various modes—perfect for showcasing my work to clients or collaborating with colleagues. 

Despite its many strengths, I found it a bit heavy when using it as a tablet, which was a slight drawback during long design sessions. The small touchpad was also a limitation, leading me to often use a mouse for better control, especially when precision in design was crucial.

The backlit keyboard was another feature I appreciated, as it allowed me to work comfortably in lower light settings without straining my eyes. Connectivity was never an issue either, with its array of ports including WiFi6, Bluetooth, USB-C, and Thunderbolt 4 connections, enhancing its functionality.

In summary, the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is perfect for any graphic designer looking for a compact, versatile,  and budget-friendly laptop.

PROS CONS
➕ High-resolution 14-inch touchscreen display. ➖ Bulky in tablet mode.
➕ 12th Gen Intel i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD ensures smooth performance. ➖ Small touchpad.
➕ 360° hinge for versatile use.  
➕ Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics for multimedia tasks.  
➕ Comprehensive connectivity: WiFi6, Bluetooth, USB-C, Thunderbolt 4.  
➕ Backlit keyboard for low-light use.  

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best for Illustrator
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06/24/2024 10:38 am GMT

 

8. ASUS Vivobook 16 — Best Value Option

Best Budget Laptops for Photoshop and Graphic Design

CPU: Intel Core i5-1235U | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics | Hard Disk Size: 512GB SSD | RAM Memory Size: 8GB

The ASUS Vivobook 16 truly checks all the boxes when it comes to budget laptops for graphic design, which is why I added it to my list. My experience with this laptop was incredibly positive, especially because it met all my needs without breaking the bank. 

With a 16-inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200) display and an Intel Core i5-1235U CPU, it provided the fast and smooth performance I needed for my graphic design projects. The integrated Intel UHD Graphics and 512GB SSD supported my software seamlessly, making every task more efficient.

One of the features I appreciated the most was its fast-charging battery, which could recharge up to 50% in just about 30 minutes. This was perfect for those busy days when I needed to power up quickly and get back to work without long waits. The laptop’s cool performance under pressure was another standout, thanks to ASUS’s IceCool thermal technology, ensuring it never overheated even during intense use.

Typing on the ErgoSense keyboard was a breeze, significantly reducing strain on my hands and wrists—an essential factor for someone who spends hours on their laptop. The connectivity options with multiple ports, including USB A, USB C, and HDMI, along with the latest WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5, kept me connected smoothly and reliably.

However, not everything was perfect. The display could be quite dim, which was less than ideal in brightly lit rooms, and the lack of video output support on the USB-C port was a limitation for external presentations. 

Despite these drawbacks, the ASUS Vivobook 16, with features like a 180° lay-flat hinge and a webcam shield, still stands out as a great choice for graphic designers on a budget who need a dependable tool for everyday creativity.

PROS CONS
➕ 16-inch WUXGA display and Intel Core i5 processor deliver fast and smooth performance. ➖ Display is dim, making it hard to see in bright conditions.
➕ 512GB SSD supports efficient software operation. ➖ USB-C port does not support video output, limiting external display options.
➕ Fast-charging battery reaches 50% in 30 minutes.  
➕ ASUS IceCool technology keeps the laptop cool under heavy use.  
➕ ErgoSense keyboard reduces hand and wrist strain.  
➕ Multiple connectivity options including USB A, USB C, HDMI, WiFi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.  
➕ AI Noise-Canceling Technology for clear online communications.
➕ Features a 180° lay-flat hinge and a webcam shield for added functionality.

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best Value Option
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06/24/2024 10:43 am GMT

 

9. Acer Aspire 3 — Best Budget Option

Acer Aspire 5 2023
Acer 2023 Newest Aspire 5. Image Credits: Amazon

Best Laptop for Beginner Graphic Design

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 7320U | GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics | Hard Disk Size: 128GB SSD | RAM Memory Size: 8GB

If the ASUS Vivobook 16 is still out of your budget and you’re looking for a solid starting point in graphic design, then the Acer Aspire 3 A315-24P-R7VH Slim Laptop is a great alternative.

The laptop sports a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display that really makes colors pop and details sharp—something I found very useful when tweaking designs and working with different color palettes. The narrow bezels also give you a bit more screen space, which enhances the overall visual experience.

Powered by an AMD Ryzen 3 7320U Quad-Core Processor and AMD Radeon Graphics, the laptop handles basic graphic design tasks pretty well. It’s got 8GB of RAM and a 128GB NVMe SSD, which meant I could boot up quickly and switch between applications without much lag. However, I did notice it slows down with heavier software, so it’s best for those just starting out or with lighter workloads.

From my experience, the range of ports was adequate for connecting essentials like a drawing tablet and an external monitor—there’s a USB Type-C port, two USB 3.2 ports, and an HDMI port. The absence of a backlit keyboard was a downside for me, especially when I worked late into the night.

The build quality felt a bit cheap due to its plasticky feel, but considering the price, it’s an expected trade-off. On the plus side, the WiFi 6 capability was reliable for streaming tutorials and uploading work, and the laptop’s PurifiedVoice technology really helped during online meetings by cutting out background noise.

Overall, the Acer Aspire 3 is a decent performer for the price. It’s not suited for heavy-duty tasks but works well if you’re just starting out or need a secondary machine.

PROS CONS
➕ Affordable, good for beginners ➖ Not suitable for intensive software
➕ Clear and vibrant 15.6″ Full HD IPS display ➖ Plasticky build
➕ Adequate connectivity options including USB-C and HDMI ➖ No backlit keyboard
➕ WiFi 6 for reliable internet
➕ Lightweight and portable  

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best Budget Option
Acer Aspire 3
$321.99 $299.99
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06/24/2024 10:48 am GMT

 

10. HP EliteBook 845 G8 — Best Battery Life

HP EliteBook 845 G9
HP EliteBook 845 G9. Image Credits: Amazon

Mid Range Laptop for Graphic Design

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 5650U Hexa-core | GPU: AMD Radeon Graphics | Hard Disk Size: 256 GB SSD|  RAM Memory Size: 16 GB RAM

For someone like me, constantly juggling multiple graphic design projects, dealing with a laptop that needs to be charged multiple times a day is nothing short of a nightmare. Thankfully, my experience with the HP EliteBook 845 G8 was amazing because of its incredible battery life. It could easily last a full workday.

This laptop features a 14-inch Full HD screen that makes everything look crisp and vibrant—from detailed designs to color corrections. The anti-glare technology helped reduce the strain on my eyes during those long work hours. The AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 5650U processor paired with 16 GB of RAM allowed me to run several demanding software simultaneously without major lag.

The Miracast Technology was also a great help during client presentations, allowing me to easily share screen without the hassle of wires.

Security features on the HP EliteBook 845 G8, like HP Wolf Security, were top-notch, making me feel secure about the safety of my designs and personal information. The HP Sure Sense technology was particularly reassuring, as it kept my laptop safe from malware attacks, something that is increasingly important nowadays.

However, there were a couple of downsides. The laptop tended to heat up a bit when charging, which was a bit of an annoyance at times. Also, the 256 GB SSD storage was a bit limiting for storing all my large design files, so I had to invest in an external hard drive for additional space.

Despite these minor issues, the HP EliteBook 845 G8’s performance, security, and mobility genuinely enhanced my day-to-day productivity.

PROS CONS
➕ Outstanding battery life. ➖ Heats up when charging.
➕ Crisp 14-inch Full HD anti-glare screen. ➖ Limited 256 GB storage; extra external storage needed.
➕ Smooth multitasking with AMD Ryzen 5 and 16 GB RAM.
➕ Enhanced productivity with Windows 10 Pro.  
➕ Robust security from HP Wolf Security.  
➕ Easy wireless screen sharing with Miracast.  

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best Battery Life
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06/24/2024 11:07 am GMT

 

How I Selected and Tested the Best Budget Laptops for Graphic Designing

To find the ideal devices for professional graphic designers in 2024, I performed a detailed selection and testing process. My goal was to identify laptops that not only fit budgetary constraints but also perfectly meet the unique needs of graphic design professionals.

Selection Process

To ensure I picked the best budget laptops suited for graphic designers, I structured the process into clear steps:

  • Analyzing Tasks and Software Requirements: I started by listing the common tasks that graphic designers perform and identifying the software they typically use. This helped me understand the computing demands and guided my selection criteria toward those needs.
  • Processor Specifications: Next, I looked into the processor requirements essential for running graphic design software efficiently. I aimed to ensure that the laptops could handle intensive processing tasks without lag, thus supporting a seamless design experience.
  • Noise and Heat Sensitivity: Considering the long hours graphic designers spend on their laptops, I focused on models known for their quiet operation and effective heat management to enhance user comfort.
  • Color Accuracy and Display Quality: High-resolution displays with excellent color accuracy were my next focus. These features are critical as they directly affect the visual output and accuracy of design work.
  • Performance for Resource-Intensive Tasks: I checked each laptop’s ability to manage resource-heavy tasks, which is crucial for advanced graphic designing projects that involve complex layers and high-resolution images.
  • Meeting Professional Needs: I examined how each laptop’s features could improve a graphic designer’s workflow. This included looking at aspects such as keyboard comfort, screen size, and overall usability in a professional setting.

Testing Process

My testing approach was comprehensive, focusing on various critical factors:

  • Ensuring Optimal Workflow: I personally tested the processor performance of each laptop, making sure they efficiently handled the specific software used in graphic designing without affecting performance.
  • User Comfort and Productivity: I assessed each laptop’s noise and heat production, as these are significant discomfort factors for graphic designers who spend long hours on their devices.
  • Prioritizing Specifications: I carefully considered laptops that offer high color accuracy, ample storage, and superior connectivity options—key features that influence a graphic designer’s choice.
  • Addressing Pain Points: I identified common issues such as limited processing power, inadequate RAM, and insufficient storage and made sure the laptops I selected addressed these effectively.
  • Assessing Mobility: Understanding the need for mobility, I evaluated the weight, size, and battery life of the laptops, prioritizing those that offer the best portability without sacrificing performance.
  • Meeting Visual Demands: I placed a high priority on laptops with high-resolution displays that provide true-to-life color accuracy, a critical requirement for any graphic designer.
  • Connectivity and Expandability: I checked for essential connectivity features like USB-C and HDMI ports, which are vital for graphic designers who often use multiple external devices.
  • Incorporating User Reviews: I took into account the experiences and recommendations from other graphic designers to ensure the laptops selected were well-regarded within the community.

Buying Guide: Best Budget Laptops for Graphic Designing

Have trouble deciding on the perfect budget laptop for your graphic designing needs? Look at my comprehensive buying guide to help you make an informed choice.

🚀 Performance and Processing Power

Graphic designing involves working with complex software and large files, so choosing a laptop with sufficient processing power is crucial. Look for laptops like the Apple 2023 MacBook Air M2 chip or HP Pavilion Business & Student Laptop, which provide the necessary horsepower for graphic design tasks.

🔍 RAM (Memory)

Having ample RAM is essential for smooth multitasking and handling large graphic design files. Laptops such as the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 16″ and LG Gram 15.6″ offer configurations with 8GB or 16GB of RAM, ensuring smooth multitasking and handling of large graphic design files. 

🖥️ High-Resolution Display

A high-resolution display is critical for graphic designers to view and work on intricate details accurately. For a high-resolution display, options like the Apple 2023 MacBook Air M2 chip provide accurate and detailed visuals. Additionally, consider laptops with an IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel for wider viewing angles and accurate color representation.

🎨 Color Accuracy and Gamut

As a graphic designer, color accuracy is paramount in your work. Laptops such as the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 15 excel in color accuracy and ensure precise color representation for web design, print design, or illustrations. This ensures that the colors you see on your laptop screen match the final output.

💾 Storage Capacity and Speed

Graphic design files can quickly consume storage space, so it’s important to have ample storage capacity. ASUS Vivobook 16 and HP Pavilion Business & Student Laptop offer configurations with ample storage, ranging from 256GB to higher capacities, providing faster file access and reduced software loading times with their SSD storage.

🔗 Connectivity Options

Consider laptops like the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 16″, which provides multiple USB ports (USB 3.0 or higher), HDMI, or DisplayPort options for connecting external devices and monitors. 

🚶‍♂️ Portability and Battery Life

If you work on the go or require a portable setup, consider the weight and battery life of the laptop. If portability is a priority, options like the HP EliteBook 845 G8 and Microsoft Surface Pro X offer lightweight, slim designs with battery lives of at least 8 hours for uninterrupted productivity.

Basically, aim for a battery life of at least 8 hours to ensure uninterrupted productivity even when you’re away from a power source.

🛋️ Ergonomics and Comfort

Since you’ll be working long hours on your laptop, ergonomic features are crucial. Consider laptops like the Apple 2023 MacBook Air M2 chip and Microsoft Surface Pro X, which feature comfortable keyboards with good key travel and responsiveness, backlit keyboards for dimly lit environments, and responsive trackpads to enhance workflow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, I have answered frequently asked questions about the best laptops for graphic design on a budget.

Is an 8GB laptop enough for graphic design?

8GB of RAM can be sufficient for basic graphic design tasks, but it is recommended to have at least 16GB of RAM or higher for more complex projects and multitasking. This ensures smoother performance, faster rendering, and easy handling of larger files and resource-intensive tasks. Consider your specific needs and project requirements when deciding on the RAM capacity for your laptop.

Are gaming laptops good for graphic design?

Yes, gaming laptops can be suitable for graphic design due to their powerful hardware. However, it's essential to consider factors like color accuracy, display quality, and portability before deciding if a gaming laptop meets your specific needs.

How do I choose a laptop designer?

When choosing a laptop for graphic design, prioritize performance with a powerful processor and ample RAM, opt for a high-resolution display with good color accuracy, consider a dedicated graphics card, ensure sufficient storage and connectivity options, prioritize portability if needed, verify software compatibility, consider build quality, read user reviews, and set a budget that aligns with your needs and preferences.

Final Thoughts: Choosing the Best Affordable Laptop for Graphic Design

Through my rigorous testing process, I have found the Apple 2023 MacBook Air M2 chip to be the best budget laptop for graphic design in the current market. It’s an all-rounder– excelling in terms of processing power, convenience, capacity, and display quality. This makes it a perfect device for graphic designers on a budget.

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1 thought on “10+ Best Budget Laptops for Graphic Design — Expert Picks 2024 (July)”

  1. I am a designer and your blog very helpful to choice best laptop for my designing work. After reading this I know what feature am seeing at the time of buy laptop. Thanks For sharing this information with us.

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