10 Best Laptops for Digital Art & Artists in 2021 (Ultimate Guide)

10 Best Laptops for Digital Art & Artists in 2021 (Ultimate Guide)

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Choosing the right laptop can be an arduous task, and it can be even more of a challenge to find the best laptops for digital art.

Given the rate at which companies manufacture laptops for specific user categories, hundreds of products with few dissimilarities are flooding the gadget world. And that is why you need the right purchase guide to help you along in this endeavor.

Many questions may arise about what type of device one should go for to create digital art.

  • Does a device allow drawing on the screen?
  • How much would a design software cost?
  • What software to install for a particular device?
  • What should be the ideal RAM and processor?

But fret not, for we have covered all the questions you will need to have answered before buying your first laptop for digital art.

And we’ve included all the reviews of the best laptops for digital art and artists. Read on!

What are the 10 best laptops for digital art?

  1. Apple MacBook Pro with M1 — The best laptop for digital art overall (Editor’s Choice) — 14″
  2. Microsoft Surface Book 2 — The most powerful digital art laptop — 13.5″/15″
  3. Dell XPS 15 — The best all-round digital art laptop — 15″
  4. HP Envy X360 — The best digital art laptop for performance — 15.6″
  5. Asus Zenbook Duo UX 481 — The best digital art laptop for aesthetics — 14″
  6. Apple Macbook Air — The best laptop for digital art for battery performance — 13.3″
  7. Dell XPS 17 — The fastest digital art laptop — 17″
  8. Lenovo Flex 5 Touchscreen — The best 2-in-1 convertible digital art laptop — 15.6″
  9. Microsoft Surface Go — The most portable digital art laptop — 10″
  10. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 — The best big-screen laptop for digital art — 13.5″/15″

 

What is the best laptop for digital art?

The best laptop for digital art is the Apple MacBook Pro with M1 and we’ve listed some of the other great alternatives below.

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Best Overall
2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray
Best for Digital Art
Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5"(Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256 GB), silver
Best All Round Digital Art Laptop
Dell XPS 15 - 15 Inch FHD+, Intel Core i7 10th Gen, 16GB Memory, 512GB Solid State Drive, Nvidia...
Best for Performance
HP - Envy x360 2-in-1 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD - Natural...
Fastest Art Laptop
New Dell XPS 17 9700 17 inch UHD Plus Laptop, Intel i9-10885H 10th Gen, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD,...
Most Portable Digital Art Laptop
Microsoft Surface Go (Intel Pentium Gold, 4GB RAM, 128GB)
Title
2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray
Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5"(Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256 GB), silver
Dell XPS 15 - 15 Inch FHD+, Intel Core i7 10th Gen, 16GB Memory, 512GB Solid State Drive, Nvidia...
HP - Envy x360 2-in-1 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD - Natural...
New Dell XPS 17 9700 17 inch UHD Plus Laptop, Intel i9-10885H 10th Gen, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD,...
Microsoft Surface Go (Intel Pentium Gold, 4GB RAM, 128GB)
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Reviews
4,916 Reviews
958 Reviews
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Star Rating
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CPU
8-core CPU with 4
Intel Dual-core / Quad-core processor
Core i5-2410M
Intel Core i7
10th Generation Intel® Core™
Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
Screen
14-inches
13.5” / 15”
15"
15.6” 1920 x 1080 pixels display
17"
10” PixelSense™ Display, 1800 x 1200 resolution
Graphics
Apple 8-core GPU
Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
‎NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
AMD Radeon R7 M265
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6
Intel Integrated HD 615
RAM
Up to 16GB
8GB or 16GB
8 GB /16 GB / 32 GB / 64 GB DDR4
8 GB
16 GB
4 GB / 8 GB
Storage
Up to 4TB SSD
256 GB / 512 GB SSD, 1 TB PCIe SSD
512 GB
256GB HDD
1 TB
64 GB
Battery Life
Up to 16 hours
Up to 17 hours
8 hours
Up to 12 hours
Up to 11 hrs
Up to 9 hours
Price
$1,299.00
$1,394.00
$1,828.88
$878.60
$3,399.00
$499.44
Best Overall
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2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray
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2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray
Prime Status
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Reviews
4,916 Reviews
Star Rating
CPU
8-core CPU with 4
Screen
14-inches
Graphics
Apple 8-core GPU
RAM
Up to 16GB
Storage
Up to 4TB SSD
Battery Life
Up to 16 hours
Price
$1,299.00
Buy Now
Best for Digital Art
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Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5"(Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256 GB), silver
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Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5"(Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256 GB), silver
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Reviews
958 Reviews
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CPU
Intel Dual-core / Quad-core processor
Screen
13.5” / 15”
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
RAM
8GB or 16GB
Storage
256 GB / 512 GB SSD, 1 TB PCIe SSD
Battery Life
Up to 17 hours
Price
$1,394.00
Buy Now
Best All Round Digital Art Laptop
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Dell XPS 15 - 15 Inch FHD+, Intel Core i7 10th Gen, 16GB Memory, 512GB Solid State Drive, Nvidia...
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Dell XPS 15 - 15 Inch FHD+, Intel Core i7 10th Gen, 16GB Memory, 512GB Solid State Drive, Nvidia...
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Reviews
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Star Rating
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CPU
Core i5-2410M
Screen
15"
Graphics
‎NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
RAM
8 GB /16 GB / 32 GB / 64 GB DDR4
Storage
512 GB
Battery Life
8 hours
Price
$1,828.88
Buy Now
Best for Performance
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HP - Envy x360 2-in-1 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD - Natural...
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HP - Envy x360 2-in-1 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD - Natural...
Prime Status
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Reviews
-
Star Rating
-
CPU
Intel Core i7
Screen
15.6” 1920 x 1080 pixels display
Graphics
AMD Radeon R7 M265
RAM
8 GB
Storage
256GB HDD
Battery Life
Up to 12 hours
Price
$878.60
Buy Now
Fastest Art Laptop
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New Dell XPS 17 9700 17 inch UHD Plus Laptop, Intel i9-10885H 10th Gen, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD,...
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New Dell XPS 17 9700 17 inch UHD Plus Laptop, Intel i9-10885H 10th Gen, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD,...
Prime Status
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Reviews
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Star Rating
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CPU
10th Generation Intel® Core™
Screen
17"
Graphics
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6
RAM
16 GB
Storage
1 TB
Battery Life
Up to 11 hrs
Price
$3,399.00
Buy Now
Most Portable Digital Art Laptop
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Microsoft Surface Go (Intel Pentium Gold, 4GB RAM, 128GB)
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Microsoft Surface Go (Intel Pentium Gold, 4GB RAM, 128GB)
Prime Status
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Reviews
-
Star Rating
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CPU
Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
Screen
10” PixelSense™ Display, 1800 x 1200 resolution
Graphics
Intel Integrated HD 615
RAM
4 GB / 8 GB
Storage
64 GB
Battery Life
Up to 9 hours
Price
$499.44
Buy Now

If you’re interested in the best laptops for digital art, you might be interested in the Best Laptop Stands for Graphic Designers or the Best Software for Digital Artists as well as our compilation of Procreate brushes.

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How to Choose The Best Laptop for Digital Art

You have to be very careful when choosing a digital art laptop as you’re making a sizable investment and, of course, don’t want to end up buying something you regret.

Before we discuss what to look for in a digital art laptop, first have your art goals set right, which essentially means you’ve penned down the tasks you intend to get out of your art lappy.

Following are a few things you need to consider before buying a digital art laptop.

1. Screen

If you can afford it, your first choice screen should be a 4K screen. Most laptops come with either an HD or a 4K screen. A 4K screen will allow you to view artworks in more detail than in high-definition work.

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These days, most design applications provide interfaces for higher-than-HD screen resolutions. So using these applications on an HD screen would shortchange the use of the interface and your work, eventually.

Another reason why you should go for a 4K screen laptop is the color reproduction. Some 4K screens can reproduce 100% of Adobe RGB color space while HD screens, on the other hand, can only output 75% of Adobe RGB.

Also, some 4K models come with a touchscreen, which makes it easier to draw when you are short on elbow room and can barely use the trackpad. So we prefer a 4K touchscreen to any other.

2. RAM

RAM typically means the amount of information a computer’s short-term memory can store at a given time. The higher the RAM, the more the app information it can deal with at once, without the interference of the permanent memory. As a bare minimum, it is recommended to go for a digital laptop with 8GB RAM if you have a small budget.

Most drawing and design applications, however, run more efficiently on 16GB laptops. Furthermore, if you use heavy RAM usage apps like After Effects and Adobe CC, you might want to get your hands on a 32GB digital art laptop.

The bottom line here is, it depends more on your application usage. Go for a higher RAM laptop if you are someone who uses professional drawing apps requiring huge memory. Otherwise, an 8GB or 16GB RAM will do the job for you.

3. Processor

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Picking the processor for your drawing needs can be tricky. While the Intel Core chips are ruling the processors market, other players like AMD and other specialist processor builders have seen a resurgence in recent times in performance and popularity.

Additionally, within the Core range, you get to choose from Core i3, i5, i7, and i9 models. The i5 and i7, however, are further split among models ending with U and H or HQ or HK. Most current-generation processors are 8th gen, which can be 0.5X faster than their 7th gen counterparts.

What you want to look for in a laptop processor speed is whether it has turbo speed. Simply put, turbo speed is the speed the cores achieve. If the functionalities your applications are performing are not utilizing all the core power, the computer tends to speed up the cores in use.

Look further if the vendor sells you a product noted as turbo speed rather than base speed. Be wary if the vendor sells you a product noted as turbo speed rather than base speed.

Also, you can tell what generation and type a processor is just by looking at the code name of the processor. For instance, a Core i9-8950HQ processor is an 8th gen (the first digit after the hyphen), H series (last two digits in the code) processor.

4. Storage

Most 15-inch laptops come with 1 TB storage. However, some of them offer 2 TB, which is quite pricey and unnecessary at the same time. Considering the kind of applications you can use for digital drawing, a 15-inch laptop with 512 GB is just the right option for you. Leave alone the 256 GB version as it is too small to work with.

Laptops come with either PCIe drives or SATA SSD drives which can be either striped together on one device or just two PCIe drives as in 4K video and animation laptops. Apple MacBook Pro offers 4 TB storage, possible only through the two drives striped together configuration.

5. Graphics

If you work predominantly on 2D drawing software like Photoshop, Sketchbook, Illustrator, InDesign, or Sketch, you can go for a laptop with an Intel UHD graphics card. For instance, if your job includes encoding videos and animation, and layering documents, a robust Intel graphics chip is all you need.

Alternatively, you can choose one with an AMD or Nvidia graphics card for more complex 3D tasks. Working on a 3D suite of apps like Houdini, Cinema 4D, and Autodesk 3DS Max requires the most powerful graphics card one can afford.

Also, you can opt for an eGPU to enhance your laptop’s 3D performance, as long as you are not using a powerful PC.

The 10 Best Laptops for Digital Art in 2021

1. Apple MacBook Pro with M1 (Editor’s Choice)

Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Chip - Best digital art laptop in graphics
Apple MacBook Pro with M1 Chip. Image credit: Apple / Amazon

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The best digital art laptop overall 

CPU: 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores| Graphics: Apple 8-core GPU | RAM: Up to 16GB super-fast unified memory |  Screen: 14″ LED-backlit display | Storage: Up to 4TB SSD Storage | Battery life: Up to 16 hours of battery life

Configured with Apple’s most powerful M1 chip, the Apple MacBook Pro can run your favorite digital art software, dozens of tabs on the browser, stream Spotify, and have endless conversations on Slack without seeing one bit of stuttering.

It works amazingly fast when compared to the older MacBook Pro. It has the prowess to load the heftiest of templates within seconds, saving you a ton of time. Not just for photo editing and designing, it can quickly transcode a 4K video to 1080p, smoking all the competitors by a huge margin.

Even with continuous web surfing and 150 nits of brightness, the MacBook M1 can last for over 16 hours. Most competitors aren’t even close.

You may want to wait for the buzzed-about MacBook Pro 14-inch rumored to be released late this year. It would reportedly feature a 14-inch mini LED display with a more powerful Apple M2 chip. And it’s also bringing back the SD card slot and HDMI port.

Overall, it’s an excellent choice for power users, and why we highly recommend the MacBook Pro with M1 if you’re looking for the most powerful digital art laptop.

Pros Cons
➕ Lighting fast graphics performance ➖ 720p webcam
➕ Up to 4 TB SSD upgrade ➖ Lacks base models
➕ Touch Bar and Touch ID

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray
4,916 Reviews
2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray
  • Apple-designed M1 chip for a giant leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance
  • Get more done with up to 20 hours of battery life, the longest ever in a Mac
  • 8-core CPU delivers up to 2.8x faster performance to fly through workflows quicker than ever
  • 8-core GPU with up to 5x faster graphics for graphics-intensive apps and games
  • 16-core Neural Engine for advanced machine learning

 

2. Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft Surface Book 2 - Best digital art laptop in graphics
Microsoft Surface Book 2. Image credit: Microsoft / Amazon

The most powerful digital art laptop

CPU: Intel Dual-core / Quad-core processor | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Surface Book 2 13.5”), Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Surface Book 2 15”)   | RAM: 8GB or 16GB (Surface Book 2 13.5”), 16 GB (Surface Book 2 15”) | Screen: PixelSenseTM display 3:2 AR, 3240 x 2160 resolution | Storage: 256 GB / 512 GB SSD, 1 TB PCIe SSD | Dimensions: 13.5” / 15” | Battery life: Up to 17 hours of local video playback


Honestly speaking, the Surface Book 2 is quite expensive compared to its competitors with a similar feature-set. But is this high price worth it? Let’s find out.

The Surface Book 2 looks more or less the same as its predecessor, Surface Book. It sports a huge trackpad with a stylish keyboard and sleek magnesium finishing in silver. The laptop is a beast as it is heavier and a little bigger than an average ultrabook with promising performance.

Color reproduction, viewing angles, and 4K resolution are some of the key features that stand out. Microsoft made sure that when the Surface Book 2 laptop is closed, it has the same gap at the fulcrum hinge, just like the Surface Book.

The downside is that the Surface Book 2 lacks the Thunderbolt-3 to connect external GPUs and other peripherals, a feature most Surface fans were waiting for. However, the laptop supports a USB-C connection for charging–something which the Surface Book didn’t allow.

Pros Cons
➕ Awesome trackpad and keyboard ➖ Wobbly display
➕ Powerful NVIDIA graphics ➖ Thunderbolt 3 not supported
➕ USB-C connection for charging

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5'(Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256 GB), silver
958 Reviews
Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5"(Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256 GB), silver
  • Microsoft Surface Book 2 Features a 7th generation Intel Dual Core i5 Processor, 256 GB of storage, 8 GB RAM, and up to 17 hours of video playback
  • Includes an Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU; Full size SDXC card reader
  • The fastest Surface Book yet, with 2x more power. Aspect ratio: 3:2, contrast ratio: 1600:1
  • Vibrant PixelSense Display: now available with an improved 13.5" touchscreen
  • Four versatile modes of use and new USB C port

 

3. Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS 15 - Best all-round digital art laptop
Dell XPS 15. Image credit: Dell / Amazon

The best all-round digital art laptop

CPU: Core i5-2410M | Graphics: ‎NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8 GB /16 GB / 32 GB / 64 GB DDR4 | Screen: 4-sided InfinityEdge  display, 16:10 AR, 1920×1200 / 3840×2400 resolution | Storage: 512GB| Dimensions: 15” | Battery life: 8 hours and 27 minutes of streaming on a 4K+ panel with 86WHr battery

Popularly known as the Creator Edition laptop, Dell XPS 15’s NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1650 Ti graphics is something to die for. The laptop’s stunning 4K display is equipped with 100% Adobe RGB, 94% CI-P3 color gamut with more than 16 million ultra-vivid colors, and all this with Dolby Vision’s HDR imaging technology.

Dell XPS 15 sports a 15.6 inches FHD InfinityEdge non-touch, anti-glare display to reduce eye fatigue. Its sleek design and blazing-fast performance make it our choice for one of the best laptops for digital art.

Pros Cons
➕ All-round performance ➖ USB-C-only support doesn’t fit for all
➕ GPU configuration available ➖ Quite heavy for its size
➕ Supports 3 USB-C ports, with 2 Thunderbolt 3
➕ Large touchpad

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Dell XPS 15 - 15 Inch FHD+, Intel Core i7 10th Gen, 16GB Memory, 512GB Solid State Drive, Nvidia...
  • 62% larger touchpad, 5% larger screen, and 5.6% smaller footprint
  • 16:10 FHD+ edge to edge display equipped with DisplayHDR 400 and Dolby Vision
  • Integrated Eyesafe display technology
  • Quad speaker design with Waves Nx audio
  • High-polished diamond-cut sidewalls

 

4. HP Envy X360

HP Envy X360 - Best digital art laptop for performance
HP Envy X360. Image credit: HP / Amazon

The best digital art laptop for performance

CPU: Intel Core i7| Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 M265 | RAM: 8 GB | Screen: 15.6” 1920 x 1080 pixels display | Storage: 256GB HDD storage | Battery life: Up to 12 hours


HP Envy X360’s looks could make any gadget lover crave its minimalist and clean design. The aluminum body looks sublime, weighing 2.9 pounds. A notable improvement made in this model, in comparison to the 2019 model, is the bezel around the screen. With a near-bezel-less display, HP Envy X360’s keyboard almost runs from edge to edge, thereby making enough room for the mousepad as well.

One of the highlights of the HP Envy X360 is AMD’s integrated Radeon graphics. It promises amazingly high performance for not just movies and games but even for some of the most complex digital art software.

Another feature that stood out to us is the convertible screen that allows you to use it as a tablet. The downside, though, is that the laptop doesn’t come with a pen and a 4K screen 一 something every artist looks for in a digital art laptop.

Overall, HP Envy X360 is a decent presentation-friendly desktop replacement laptop and should be your first-choice big-screen convertible laptop.

Pros Cons
➕ Super-fast 8-core Ryzen 7 CPU ➖ Does not come with a stylus
➕ Function-packed keyboard ➖ Does not support Thunderbolt 3
➕ Amazing build quality

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
HP - Envy x360 2-in-1 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD - Natural...
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 mobile processor
  • 8GB system memory for advanced multitasking
  • 256 GB Solid State Drive (PCI-e)
  • 360° flip-and-fold design
  • 15.6" Full HD multitouch screen

 

5. Asus Zenbook Duo UX 481

Asus Zenbook Duo UX481 - Best digital art laptop in aesthetics
Asus Zenbook Duo UX481. Image credit: Asus / Amazon

The best digital art laptop in aesthetics

CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U Processor | Graphics: Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX250 | RAM: 8GB  | Screen: 14” LED-backlit FHD (1920 x 1080) touchscreen | Storage: 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD upgradeable up to 1TB capacity | Battery life: Up to 9 hours 44 minutes with ScreenPad Plus on and up to 11 hours 50 minutes with ScreenPad Plus off

Asus has finally started making dual-screen laptops available to the masses with the release of the Zenbook Duo UX 481. Zenbook Duo is one of a kind, and you will absolutely love showing it off, thanks to its beautiful teal aluminum matte build and its second display. The ScreenPad Plus is an exceptional add-on for creatives and artists, maximizing the screen functionality and real estate.

With Zenbook Duo’s 15W Intel Core i7 processor, you can rest assured that you can keep up with the complex drawing software while running dozens of Chrome tabs and streaming music all at once. You might suspect the Zenbook Duo’s battery life, given the need to power dual displays. Surprisingly, it lasts for close to 12 hours when the secondary display is off and around 9 hours 44 minutes when the second screen is powered.

The bottom line is that the Zenbook Duo is the right fit for your needs if you’re looking for more real estate on your laptop without having to buy an extra monitor. Fast performance, amazing battery life, and a fully functional second display make this laptop the perfect choice for an artist’s digital needs.

Pros Cons
➕ Impressive 14” matte display ➖ Heftier than rivals
➕ Amazing battery life ➖ Lean trackpad
➕ Functional second screen ➖ No Thunderbolt 3 support

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481 14” FHD NanoEdge Bezel Touch, Intel Core i7-10510U, 8GB RAM, 512GB PCIe...
  • ScreenPad Plus: 12.6 inch matte touchscreen, giving your endless way to optimize your multitasking experience by extending the screen or split windows and apps on both displays
  • 14 inch Full HD NanoEdge touchscreen glossy main display
  • Latest 10th generation Intel Core i7-10510U Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.9 GHz)
  • Fast storage and memory featuring 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD with 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • Built-in IR camera for facial recognition sign in with Windows Hello

 

6. Apple MacBook Air

Apple MAcBook Air - Best laptop for digital art for battery performance
Apple MacBook Air. Image credit: Apple / Amazon

The best laptop for digital art for battery performance

CPU: Apple M1 Chip Processor  | Graphics: 8 core GPU|  RAM: 8 GB | Storage: Up to 2TB SSD storage | Screen dimension: 13.3 inch (diagonal) | Battery life: Up to 18 hours

The Apple MacBook Air is by far the lightest and thinnest laptop from Apple. Introduced in 2018, it eclipsed the market share of the 11” MacBook Air and now leads the thin laptops market.

Made with 100% recycled aluminum, MacBook Air is also the greenest Apple laptop ever. This laptop offers other striking features, including a brilliant retina display, Touch ID, force touch trackpad, latest-gen keyboard, and superb battery life.

The Macbook Air is a good buy for college goers and professionals who are more into sleek design and vivid colors. If your work involves simple 2D illustrations and arts, this laptop should be first on your list. Otherwise, you might need a high-end laptop to handle your complicated 3D software.

Pros Cons
➕ Environment-friendly, made with 100% recycled aluminum ➖ Non-upgradeable RAM
➕ Impressive retina display ➖ Slow performance during intensive tasks
➕ Extremely lightweight ➖ Limited hardware upgradeability
➕ Excellent battery life
➕ Additional security with Touch ID
➕ Thunderbolt-3 support

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Apple MacBook Air 13.3' with Retina Display, 1.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5, 8GB Memory, 256GB SSD,...
53 Reviews
Apple MacBook Air 13.3" with Retina Display, 1.1GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5, 8GB Memory, 256GB SSD,...
  • MacBook Air 13.3" with Retina Display (Gold) - 30W USB Type-C Power Adapter - USB Type-C Charging Cable (6.56' / 2m) - Apple 1 Year Limited Warranty
  • Retina display with True Tone
  • 1.1GHz quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
  • 8GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory
  • 256GB SSD storage

 

7. Dell XPS 17 9700

Dell XPS 17 9700 - Fastest digital art laptop
Dell XPS 17 9700. Image credit: Dell / Amazon

The fastest digital art laptop

CPU: 10th Generation Intel® Core™ | Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1 TB | Display: UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display | Screen dimension: 17.0″ | Battery life: Up to 11 hrs

Just when Apple Macbook Pro was gaining traction in the big-screen power laptops market, Dell launched the 17-inch Dell XPS 17 9700. Making the latest entry to the high-end XPS series, the XPS 17 9700 offers some serious competition to the MacBook Pro and rivals. It targets professionals willing to spend colossally on demanding requirements.

The combination of 10th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics makes the XPS 17 9700 one of the best high-end, desktop-replacement laptops available on the market. Its exceptional build quality, performance, and large 17-inch display give the feel of MacBook Pro and its 15-inch predecessor XPS 15.

We highly recommend this ultra-sleek, big-screen, desktop-replacement laptop powerful enough to handle your design chores, intense 3D games, streaming movies, and doing a lot more with almost a day-long battery life.

Pros Cons
➕ Sleek aluminum build with diamond-cut edges ➖ Expensive for the given configuration
➕ Thunderbolt-3 support and SD card reader ➖ Noisy operation at times
➕ Excellent touchpad and keyboard ➖ Poor webcam
➕ Superfast performance

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

New Dell XPS 17 9700 17 inch UHD Plus Laptop, Intel i9-10885H 10th Gen, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD,...
  • Desktop-caliber creativity in a laptop:Packed with staggering performance typically only available from desktops, 10th Gen Intel Core processors bring desktop-caliber creativity to your laptop
  • More creating, less waiting:GeForce RTX 2060 laptops are built with the breakthrough graphics performance of the award-winning GeForce GPUs. Dedicated GPU power accelerates the creative apps you use...
  • The XPS 17 delivers unprecedented performance in an incredibly thin form factor. discrete graphics feature unique dual opposite outlet fans, that increase fan airflow by approximately 30%
  • Model number: XPS9700-9415SLV-PUS

 

8. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Touchscreen

Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5 - Best 2-in-1 convertible digital art laptop
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5. Image credit: Lenovo / Amazon

The best 2-in-1 convertible digital art laptop

CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz (up to 3.4GHz) | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX130 | RAM: 8 GB | Storage: 256GB | Display: 2-in1 FHD LED-backlit IPS Display | Screen dimension: 15.6’’ | Battery life: Up to 9 hours

You can hardly get a high-end laptop these days for less than $1000. But with the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 selling for just $600, this 2-in-1 convertible laptop humiliates the competition by offering much better performance at nearly half the price.

One feature I absolutely loved in this laptop is its 360-degree flexible hinge. You can rest the laptop on its keyboard by folding past 180-degrees or use it as a tablet by folding it a full circle ー a digital artist’s delight, isn’t it?

The Flex 5 isn’t the first 360-degree flexible laptop from Lenovo, which has earlier launched 2-in-1 convertibles with similar flexibility at a range of prices. Nevertheless, the Flex 5 stands out from all, given its unexpectedly sleek design for a laptop with a 360-degree hinge.

Besides its look and feel, its flexibility, blazing-fast speed, and battery life are other pluses to consider when buying this laptop. The Flex 5 doesn’t have much to flaunt in terms of graphics and processor, but its Ryzen 5 processor makes up for the cons and ensures a decent performance while working with lighter design and drawing applications.

If you’re looking for a mid-range, 2-in-1 convertible laptop with decent performance, then Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is the right fit for you.

Pros Cons
➕ Separate GeForce MX130 graphics ➖ Hefty for an ultraportable 14” laptop
➕ Comes with Lenovo Active Pen ➖ Dim 250-nit display
➕ Good battery life
➕ High-speed SSD

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Latest Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 15IIL05 2 in 1 Laptop 15.6' FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Touchscreen Intel...
27 Reviews
Latest Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 15IIL05 2 in 1 Laptop 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Touchscreen Intel...
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i7 Processors, Intel Quad-Core i7-1065G7 (1.30 GHz, Up to 3.90 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 8 MB Intel Smart Cache, 8 Threads)
  • 15.6" diagonal Full HD(1920 x 1080) Touch screen WVA 250nits Glossy Display I Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • 16GB RAM | 1TB PCIe SSD | Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit), Pen Sold Separate
  • 1 USB 3.1 Type-C, 2 USB 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 4-in-1 multi-format SD media card reader, 1 Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
  • Backlit Keyboard, 11ax, 2x2 and Bluetooth 5, 720p HD Webcam, Fingerprint Reader, Dolby Audio, 65W Power Supply, 3-Cell 52.5 Whr Battery:

 

9. Microsoft Surface Go

Microsoft Surface Go - Most portable digital art laptop
Microsoft Surface Go. Image credit: Microsoft / Amazon

The most portable digital art laptop

CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y | Graphics: Intel Integrated HD 615 | RAM: 4 GB / 8 GB | Storage: 64 GB | Screen: 10” PixelSense™ Display, 1800 x 1200 resolution, 3:2 Aspect Ratio | Battery life: Up to 9 hours

Microsoft Surface Go nails it on small tablets with power-packed features. You might wonder why a tablet is on the list of the best digital laptops for artists. Well, it’s because the Surface Go puts together the Windows 10 interface in a 10-inch tablet.

Equipped with a 10-inch 1800 x 1200 pixel touchscreen display and just an Intel Pentium processor, it can do an amazing job covering your basic design needs. No one expects to find every high-end feature in such a compact design laptop that you can toss inside your bag and take anywhere.

If a small-sized, budget-friendly, low-power laptop is all you desire for running your basic design apps, then Surface Go is worth a shot.

Pros Cons
➕ Extremely lightweight and portable ➖ USB-A not supported
➕ Decent battery life with quick charging ➖ Poor repairability
➕ Spacious trackpad and smooth keyboard

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Microsoft Surface Go (Intel Pentium Gold, 4GB RAM, 128GB)
  • High res 10 inch PixelSense Display designed to be viewed, touched, and written on
  • Lightest Surface yet, starting at just 1.15 pounds
  • All day battery life, with up to 9 hours of unplugged power
  • Comes with Windows 10 in S mode, to do the things you want with performance that lasts, including Microsoft verified security, Windows Defender, parental controls, and world class support
  • Includes multi tasking USB C, fast charging Surface Connect, and headphone jack.Bluetooth Wireless 4.1 technology.Aspect ratio: 3:2 (Keyboard and pen sold separately)

 

10. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 - Best big-screen laptop for digital art
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. Image credit: Microsoft / Amazon

The best big-screen laptop for digital art

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 / AMD Ryzen 7 / Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Radeon™ Graphics | RAM: 8 GB / 16 GB| Storage: 8GB, 16GB or 32GB LPDDR4x RAM | Screen: 13.5” / 15” PixelSense™ Display, 2256 x 1504 / 2496 x 1664 resolution, 3:2 AR, 10-point multi touch  | Battery life: Up to 17 hours

Next on our list of the best laptops for digital art is yet another Surface laptop. The 15-inch Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 offers a top-notch computing experience on a big screen. This laptop is available in only two colors, gray and black, which might be disappointing for those that expected Sandstone and ice blue liveries as in the 13-inch model.

The special Microsoft edition 4th-gen Ryzen chip is powerful enough to run the complex design software with ease. It is on a par with intricate machines like the MacBook Pro and the XPS 15 in terms of handling intense workloads like rendering images and editing 4K videos.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is one of our favorite picks for the best laptops for digital art, and we highly recommend you consider it.

Pros Cons
➕ Amazing performance ➖ Doesn’t support discrete GPU
➕ Sleek and sturdy body ➖ No Thunderbolt support
➕ Excellent battery life ➖ Low-speed SSD

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5” Touch-Screen – Intel Core i5 - 8GB - 512GB Solid State...
189 Reviews
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5” Touch-Screen – Intel Core i5 - 8GB - 512GB Solid State...
  • Power to do what you want with up to 70% more speed than before and an 11th Gen Intel Core processor.
  • Thin, light, elegant design in choice of two sizes: light, portable 13.5” or larger 15” that’s perfect for split-screen multitasking.
  • Show your best side on video calls with sharp video and image quality, even in low light, thanks to a front-facing 720p HD camera.
  • Enjoy theater-like sound for movies and shows with Omnisonic Speakers backed by immersive Dolby Atmos6.
  • Be heard loud and clear on calls with dual far-field Studio Mics that capture your voice and reduce background noise.

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Which laptop is better for digital art: Windows or Mac?

There’s no direct answer to this question. Both Windows and Macintosh can have incredibly fast performance, vivid colors, high-resolution screens, and can run from simple to most advanced design software. If you have prior experience using Mac, it’s better to go with a Mac as most design software are available on Mac as well. However, some applications are specific to either Mac or Windows, like the Procreate software is available for Mac and not for Windows. If such restrictions exist, purchase the laptop which supports the software. Otherwise, the right computer, be it Mac or Windows, can help you take your art game to the next level.

Should I get a tablet or a laptop for digital art?

Generally, most professional artists have both a tablet and a laptop computer. Most budding artists love to try a tablet or phablet for their art needs, like drawing and retouching, without considering other tasks they might end up doing on it. Another advantage of using a laptop is that you can enjoy your artwork in its full glory on brightly lit big screens.

What is the optimal RAM for a digital art laptop?

A laptop for digital art should sport at least 8 GB RAM, preferably 16-32 GB, and a storage of 256 GB, preferably 512 GB or 1TB.

Which is the best Mac for art students?

Apple MacBook Air is the best Mac for art students and budding artists. Its impressive graphics, excellent color rendering, powerful performance, and 17-hours battery life makes it the first choice digital art laptop.

10 Best Laptops for Digital Art in 2021 

Finding the right laptop can be difficult, but what is more difficult is finding the perfect digital art laptop. With lots of options available on the market with varied feature sets for each laptop, you need a sure-shot guide to help you through your digital laptop purchase.

We hope this list of amazing devices helped in your endeavor to find the right one that fits your needs.

Do you have a digital art laptop suggestion that you think is amazing but is not on our list? Let us know in the comments below!

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