Top 5 Best Laptops For Drawing 2020:
As a graphic designer, student of art, or a creative individual who likes to draw, you may think that your way to go is a graphics tablet that you can connect to your laptop or PC.
But why not buy a versatile laptop that will enable you to work and draw at the same time, while having all the benefits and functions of a laptop?
What you need is the best laptop for drawing, and this article is the beginning of your journey to finding one.
Generally speaking, laptops for drawing are adaptable 2-in-1 hybrids that allow you to convert your creativity and skills into pixels. You just flip it; screen up, keyboard down, and you’re ready to draw!
How is it possible?
Simply put, drawing laptops are equipped with the best touchscreen systems and color-accurate displays that will neatly translate your drawings into a sketch that will be previewed on the screen.
If you’re not a fan of the pen or the stylos, you can also use your mouse for drawing.
Do you enjoy creating in Draw.io, Vision, or CorelDRAW?
Or you are more of an Adobe-Family kind of person?
Whatever software you prefer, you’ll be able to create thousands of new designs with your new laptop for drawing!
Laptop makers continue to push the limits of the devices they put out, and there are options today that are fitted with some of the most incredible features ever, and it seems complicated to find the one that stands out.
To that end, we’ve compiled a list of the five options that have risen to the top of the design and tech market, after performing rigorous tests.
We’ve also thrown a little section on the factors that you should get acquainted with before you decide which laptop is the best for your needs.
Related: The Best Drawing Tablets
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Factors To Consider When Buying A Laptop For Drawing
Here are some characteristics you should consider to get the best of both worlds: drawing and technology.
It is pretty evident that a good display is one of the crucial requirements of the best laptop for drawing.
But what precisely should you pay attention to when it comes to the display?
A lot of things, but we’ll try and keep it short.
With this factor, it all ultimately comes down to pixels.
Resolution is the formula of the vertical and horizontal axis of pixels.
That was boring; let us try again.
- Resolution is what crosses the boundaries of virtual reality and real life, making your drawings become non-fictional and palpable.
- At the current stage of technological development, the highest number of pixels that you can get is 4K (3840 x 2160). There are many resolutions, and we’re not going to get them all covered, but we just want to mention the old, good Full HD, nicknamed “1080p” (1920 x 1080).
- To sum it up, a higher resolution equals more colors and sharpness, which also allows you to create more details, and that’s what we’ll strive toward in our reviews.
- A large resolution must be accompanied by a screen big enough to give you a rich and detailed view.
- Not only that, but you also want to have a surface big enough so that you can draw multiple figures at once or a large sketch that you will later fill in.
- The usual screen sizes of the drawing laptop range from 11-14’’, and this factor usually affects the price of the laptop, so we’ll make sure to find the best deal possible. And of course, go beyond average.
3. Color Accuracy
- It goes without saying that you want your drawing to be presented accurately, and it mostly depends on the ability of your screen to present the colors.
- With the right tool, you’ll be able to completely control the greyscale (i.e., shadows that you see on the screen will be perfectly adjusted to the specific settings and lightning).
- PixelSense technology was developed with the purpose of achieving the best color accuracy, the maximum control of grey, and the excellent view of the picture from all angles.
- Finally, all the displays of today’s laptops are touch-screen, but there are also some things to be considered.
- Namely, we’ll be looking for a screen that has fast response time so that your experience is the same as if you’re drawing directly on a piece of paper.
- We’ll also aim at the highest possible index of multitouch features (meaning that you can simultaneously touch multiple points on the screen) and the highest possible pressure sensitivity.
See Also: The Best Chromebox
In addition to the main point of your interest, the screen, a perfect laptop for drawing needs to have a quality build and components to back it up, or you won’t be able to run your software, or you’d run it at an extremely frustrating pace.
1. Processor (CPU)
This is the heart of your laptop.
It will enable you to run all of your most advanced graphic design software smoothly, do multiple tasks at a time, and we consider it the most important factor when it comes to hardware.
To be able to choose the best processor, you need to pay attention to:
- The number of cores
- The clock speed (measured in MHz or GHz)
- The on-die cache
- Heat control (one of the worst things that can happen to your laptop is overheated processor)
No worries, you don’t need to calculate and measure up all these characteristics of a processor – we’ll provide you with a short description of a processor and its performance for each of the laptops.
There are two popular manufacturers:
- AMD processors – the company is constantly working to put out significantly improved models. AMD processors are far more popular amongst gamers, especially the Ryzen series.
- Intel Core processors – the OG kings of the CP units, characterized by the utmost reliability and quality. The best options are i5 and i7, and these are our favorites.
2. Graphic Card (GPU)
Apart from the quality CPU, you will need a quality GPU to back you up with high frames and picture quality while you’re creating.
Again, you will need to consider:
- GPU Clock Rate
- Memory types
- The size of the video memory
But we’ll spare you the trouble and choose those graphics cards that have the perfect balance of these.
Again, we’ve opted for the traditional quality and reliability of top-notch Intel models (with one exception).
3. Additional Features
- Last but not least, we’ll pay attention to some extra features that you can get with your laptop, such as the OS, battery life, RAM, accessories that you get, storage memory, etc.
- For instance, you want to get a laptop that has an SSD instead of HDD, as it will make your laptop turn on in 2 seconds and be ready for work in 3!
- NB: Some parts, like RAM, can be customized beforehand, but we’re going to write about the configurations that we’ve tried.
See Also: The Best Mechanical Pencil For Drawing
5 Best Laptops For Drawing In 2020: Detailed Reviews
Beginning with a laptop that has an eye-catching design and incorporates excellent components, we want to present the Spectre x360 to you.
It has a 13.3’’ touchscreen multi-touch screen with corning Gorilla Glass, which equals durability and quality.
The resolution is 1920 x 1080 – the standard Full HD.
You can choose between 8 and 16 GB of RAM depending on your needs, but our little tip here is that 8 GB is just enough for most users, except if you’re not into doing three projects at a time.
Its strongest feature is the latest generation Intel Core i7 processor, with the turbo-boost of up to 4 GHz and 6 cores. Combined with the amazing 512 GB SSD, this laptop will deliver incredible speed.
As for the GPU, it features the famous Intel Ultra HD Graphics 620, which will surely be enough for all of your creative endeavors.
It has an “island-style” keyboard (with the smaller space between the keys), which you either like or you don’t. We do.
- You get a pen with the purchase (HP Active Stylus)
- The fingerprint reader is a nice touch
- International warranty
- Some laptops offer a stronger GPU for the same price
- The island-style keyboard might be inconvenient for some users
Microsoft has produced top-tier laptops for drawing, and we simply had to include two of those in our top five.
First up is the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, the next-generation laptop that features stunning built and performance.
What earned it such a description?
It has the same GPU as the previous laptop – the Intel Ultra HD Graphics 620+, but this model has the right price tag to accompany the specs, which makes it the better deal.
In addition, it is powered by the latest version of the Intel Core i5 processor.
Now, you may say, “but the previous laptop had i7, which is newer and faster”, but everyone who knows something about technology will tell you that i5 remains to be the most stable and reliable processor out there, with the maximum speed of 3.8 GHz.
What distinguishes this laptop from many other choices is the fact that it has a detachable keyboard (which is, by the way, sleek and very comfortable for your fingers).
We tested out the version that has 256 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM, but you can customize yours. We found those perfect.
Finally, it has a 12,3-inch PixelSense display with a resolution of 2736×1824 pixels and probably the best color accuracy we’ve ever seen.
- Elegant and classy Alcantara design
- Slim and lightweight (1.7 lbs)
- The best display
- The best value for the price
- Long-life battery
- 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity
- You don’t get the pen with the purchase
Microsoft produces laptops for drawing that are so good we had trouble deciding which two to put on the list, and we decided to go for a slightly different option to the previous one.
Namely, the Surface Book 2 offers everything that the Surface Pro does and more: the bigger screen (13.5’’), faster processor (i7), and 3000×2000 (close to 4K) resolution powered by the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050.
As for the other features, it has 8GB RAM and 256 SSD (although you can upgrade it up to 1T).
Of course, all these features come at a high price to match these high-performance specs.
Is it worth the extra money?
Yes, it is – if you need boosted graphics performance, work on multiple projects at once, and want to do some gaming with your laptop.
If not, we suggest that you stick with the previous Microsoft product.
- Suitable for the most demanding professionals
- Windows 10 Pro (our favorite OS)
- Has a dedicated graphics card
- Ultra HD resolution
- We didn’t like the touchpad (but you probably won’t even be using it)
Dell is another familiar name when it comes to laptops, and they’ve made sure to put out their representative in the field of laptops for drawing, as well.
The XPS 13’s dashboard looks like this: Intel Core i7, 13.3’’, 3840 x 2160 resolution, Intel Graphics 620, 256 GB SSD.
Again, for this price, we wish that there was a dedicated graphics card included, but this is just because we’re passionate gamers in addition to graphic designers – Intel Graphics 620 remains the most popular and efficient option for the drawing and design software.
Did we mention InfinityEdge touch display technology? It will allow you to draw precisely and from one edge of the screen to the other.
Another interesting feature is the integrated fingerprint system.
Overall, this laptop performs well, but it needed just a little bit better specs and a little bit lower price tag to be crowned the best one.
- One of the two laptops on our list with full 4K resolution
- Excellent view from all the angles
- Sleek design
- Lightweight (approximately 2.6 lbs)
- There are some less expensive models that feature the same GPU and CPU
- Only 2048 levels of pressure (Microsoft laptops have twice as many)
The final laptop for today, Lenovo Yoga 920, is not the most sophisticated option when it comes to its design, but certainly one of the most powerful and reliable laptops for drawing.
As you can assume, the “Yoga” part of the name stands for its flexibility and the fact that you can adapt it to various positions when drawing.
While this laptop is a bit expensive, it offers specs that are quite impressive.
Its strongest attribute is the full 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution.
Besides that, it is equipped with the Intel Core i7, the standard Intel Ultra HD 620 graphics, 512 GB of SSD storage, and 16 GB of RAM.
Though the average battery life (9.5 hours) is shorter than with the other laptops, it has some features that are better – webcam and microphone are really good.
And we were happy to see that Lenovo returned the webcam to the normal position above the screen – they experimented with 910 and put it beyond the screen.
All in all, considering the performance and its specs, the price is justified, and Lenovo Yoga 920 is a great choice for your digital art projects.
- 4K resolution
- 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity
- Biggest Solid State Drive capacity for a lower price
- Comes with the Active Pen 2
- Excellent touchpad
- It takes some time to adjust to the keyboard layout
- Heavier than other laptops (3 lbs)
- It doesn’t have an HDMI port or an ethernet port
Our Recommendation – The Best Display In A Slim Frame
Whether you create designs for your work, college, or pure pleasure, look no further than the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and its flawless display and hardware that are bound to translate your works of art into digital masterpieces.
Packing a high-class design, the Intel Core i5 processor, and Intel UHD 620 Graphics, this laptop will run all of your software and projects smoothly, and you’ll notice the frame skyrocket for sure.
You’ll get the same precision and as if drawing on a piece of paper.
Above all, it will also be useful as your everyday laptop and a creative enabler when you’re traveling.