Best Laptops for Illustrators 2024

A foldable black laptop with two screens above a small keyboard sat on a brown wooden desk.
Credit: ASUS

A foldable black laptop with two screens above a small keyboard sat on a brown wooden desk.
Credit: ASUS

The best laptop for illustrators can help you stay creative on the go, and can really help with work too.

You'll likely need a lot more oomph than you'd expect when looking for a laptop for illustrators, much like with the best graphic design monitors or the best video editing monitors. It can be tempting to just get one with a touchscreen or stylus and call it a day, but you need something with more versatility than the best graphics tablets for photo editing here.

As a result, we’ve selected the best laptop for illustrators based on our research into their specs, features, and general reviews that we think are great for illustrating. Plus, we’ve answered some of your most frequently asked questions so you can pick the best ones for you.

Best laptops for illustrators

  1. MacBook Pro - best option from Apple
  2. ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo OLED - top pick from ASUS
  3. Dell XPS 13 OLED - best Dell laptop for illustrating
  4. HP Envy x360 - a great choice from HP
  5. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 - Lenovo's best offering
MacBook Pro (2023) product image of a thin dark grey laptop with a 3D black and grey curved pattern on the display.
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Credit: Apple

1. MacBook Pro (2023)

Best Apple laptop for illustrators

Processor: Apple M3 Pro - RAM: 36GB - Storage: 512GB SSD - Display Size: 16.2 inches - Display Resolution: 3456x2234 - Weight: 2.1kg

MacBooks have long been the realm of creative types, so it makes perfect sense that a MacBook Pro would be at the top of our list. Plus, there's really no competition if you do want an Apple laptop.

Alongside being compatible with just about every piece of creative software, it has full access to the Apple App Store, meaning you can intertwine using this and your phone or tablet easily. It's also got a beautiful 16.2" screen, with not only a good brightness rating but also incredible HDR capabilities, making editing images or videos far easier.

It's also more powerful than previous models and even manages to have a battery life of up to 22 hours. Plus, you get better security than before, and it is built to last while also remaining lightweight.

It's essentially the complete package for illustrators, hence its inclusion at the top of our list.

Reasons to buy:

  • It's an ideal fit if you prefer the Apple ecosystem
  • You get a bright and beautiful 16.2" screen
  • The M3 Pro chip is incredibly powerful

Read More: Best budget lightweight laptops

ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo product image of a foldable black laptop with a purple, blue, and red pattern on the display.
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Credit: ASUS

2. ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo OLED

Best ASUS laptop for illustrators

Processor: Intel Core i9-11900H - RAM: 32GB - Storage: 1TB SSD - Display Size: 15.6 inches - Display Resolution: 3840x2160 - Weight: 2.34kg

If one screen isn't enough, and you want the power of two, then the ASUS should be a marvelous choice. 

As the name suggests, you're going to be getting the power of an OLED panel at the top with a 15.6-inch display, complete with 4K resolution that should offer up some incredible contrast and highly detailed images.

Inside, the ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo OLED packs an eleventh-gen Intel Core i9-11900H, complete with eight cores for some proper multi-threaded power, and a discrete Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU, which should be great for handling any intense workloads. 

There's also a 1TB Samsung 970 EVO SSD packed inside, which should offer you some speedy read and writes, and up to 32GB of RAM gives you loads of headroom for running any particularly difficult-to-run programs.

Reasons to buy:

  • Two screens for the price of one
  • Boasts a powerful Intel Core i9 processor
  • It's packed with RAM and storage

Read More: Best laptop stands

Dell XPS 13 product image of a thin gray and silver laptop with an orange line running in waves across the screen.
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Credit: Dell

3. Dell XPS 13 OLED

Best Dell laptop illustrators

Processor: Intel Core i7-1185G7 - RAM: 32GB - Storage: 2TB SSD - Display Size: 13.4 inches - Display Resolution: 3840x2160 - Weight: 1.27kg

The Dell XPS 13 OLED represents an incredible purchase for anyone hunting for a compact ultrabook with an awful lot of power, especially illustrators. 

You'll be getting a 13.4 inch 4K OLED panel to offer you some perfect blacks with immense contrast, and some nicely detailed images, complete with 500 nits of brightness to ensure images are vibrant. In addition, the panel is also a touchscreen and features very thin bezels, so you'll be able to maximize screen real estate.

Inside, the Dell XPS 13 OLED packs a quad-core Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor which should offer you some rather beefy performance, especially with a clock speed of up to 4.8GHz when this chip turbos.

Including a powerful Intel processor also means you'll be able to take advantage of Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics that should offer you some good performance for both day-to-day working and more intensive tasks. 

You'll also be getting oodles of storage with a 2TB SSD, which should not only give you plenty of headroom but also allow you to get your files on and off the drive rather quickly. Speaking of speed, 32GB of DDR4 RAM should also be rather quick, and there's a fair capacity to work with for some large-scale multitasking.

Reasons to buy:

  • You get a beautiful 4K OLED screen
  • One huge 2TB SSD
  • It comes with 32GB of RAM

Read More: Best gaming laptops under 300

HP Envy x360 product image of a black foldable laptop with moss-covered rocks and running water on the display.
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Credit: HP

4. HP Envy x360

Best HP laptop for illustrators

Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U - RAM: 16GB - Storage: 512GB SSD - Display Size: 15.6 inches - Display Resolution: 1920x1080 - Weight: 1.84kg

If having a 2-in-1 laptop is of paramount importance, then the HP Envy x360 should be an excellent option to consider.

 A 2-in-1 laptop allows you to flip the screen over and use it as a tablet, which is particularly handy if you're using a stylus for maximum accuracy. The display on offer here is a 15.6-inch FHD IPS panel with edge-to-edge glass, giving you plenty of screen real estate to work with, as well as some rather good viewing angles, which is handy.

Inside, the HP Envy x360 packs an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor with six cores to allow for some brilliant multi-threaded performance, and 16GB of RAM will allow you to run more intense programs with plenty of capacity to multi-task and get on with any other work with no fuss. 

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There's also a great selection of ports on offer including a couple of USB-As, HDMI out, an SD card reader, and a USB-C. As for wireless connectivity, you'll find WiFi 6 on offer which should offer you some rather quick speeds with very little in the way of latency.

Reasons to buy:

  • A laptop and tablet in one small package
  • Comes with plenty of ports and supports Wi-Fi 6 technology
  • It has a decent amount of RAM

Read More: Best laptops stand for MacBook Pro 

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 product image of a black laptop with white backlit keys and Windows on display.
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Credit: Lenovo

5. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5

Best Lenovo laptop for illustrators

Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U - RAM: 16GB - Storage: 256GB SSD - Display Size: 14 inches - Display Resolution: 1920×1080 - Weight: 1.6kg

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 looks like a fantastic choice for illustrators on a budget, and we'd go as far as to say it's one of the best budget laptops around today. 

You'll find a 14-inch FHD panel which offers you a nice middle-ground for being portable whilst still offering you a good amount of screen real estate, and the fact it's a 2-in-1 with the screen able to be flipped over is rather useful for designers. 

There's an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor inside, offering you some beefy performance for those more intense tasks. That's reflected with its six cores and twelve threads that should be plenty for both day-to-day working and running creative programs such as Photoshop or Illustrator. 

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 also features a rather generous port selection with USB-C, USB-A, HDMI out, and an SD card reader all represented, which should give you plenty of options for connectivity to add any other devices.

Reasons to buy:

  • It's pretty compact and easy to travel with
  • Lots of ports, including HDMI
  • 16GB of RAM

Read More: Best gaming PCs under 500

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

No need to panic if you've got any questions. We've answered some of the most frequently asked queries below.

Is a laptop for illustrators worth it?

In short, yes. Getting a laptop for illustration work is likely to be a fantastic investment given the power that high-end laptops have, alongside the crisp, high-res display with incredible color accuracy so your pictures will be true to life.

In addition, a laptop for illustrative purposes should have a good port selection for any expansion, such as if you want to plug a graphics tablet in and use that alongside the laptop.

How much should I spend on a laptop for design work?

As a general rule, spending between $1000 and $2500 will get you an incredibly capable laptop, complete with a bright and vibrant display with a high resolution, plenty of power from internal components, and a good selection of ports, too. 

What should I look for in a laptop for illustrators? 

In essence, a good display is going to be key, so make sure you've first got an adequate amount of screen real estate for the work you'll be doing. We'd say to head for something between 13 and 17 inches in size, just depending on what space you have. 

In addition, getting a powerful multi-core processor will allow you to run design programs without issue, and Intel or AMD chips should be able to do it rather well.

Having multiple cores is especially useful in fields like illustration and video editing, which can more readily use multithreading for rendering.

With modern CPU advances also comes the rise of powerful integrated graphics, so if you don't want or need a discrete GPU, then modern integrated graphics in CPUs these days will definitely suffice for intense design work. 

In addition, you'll want to look for a good amount of RAM to ensure multitasking and running those intense tasks is possible. As a general rule, we'd say that 16GB is a good starting point, although some laptops can provide you with more if you do need it. 

Is a Mac or PC better for graphic design?

Truth be told, this is all down to personal preference, but both platforms have their merits.

Macs are popular due to the simplicity of macOS and the benefits that can bring, whilst Windows laptops can offer benefits such as a touchscreen display, which no MacBook currently offers, as well as the general familiarity of Windows. 

How much RAM do you need to run Adobe Creative Suite?

As a bare minimum, Adobe recommends that you have 8GB of RAM on your PC to run the likes of Photoshop or Illustrator, given it's a more intense program.

The laptops we've listed above should have more than enough capacity to run Adobe's Creative Suite, given they feature 16GB (Adobe's recommended RAM capacity), or even more.

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