The best laptops for graphic design, according to experts from Mashable


When most of us are looking for a laptop, our lists of requirements isn’t extensive. As long as we can get online, write in a word doc, and stream music and shows, we’re happy. But graphic designers have a bigger task, since running Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator will slow down the wrong computer.

And we’re not talking about us amateur designers working on Canva. Professionals need to be able to swiftly and efficiently use programs like Adobe Suite and Procreate. That’s why we turned to professional graphic designers who have years of experience for recommendations. We spoke over email with Johnny Selman, founder and Executive Creative Director at Selman Agency, alongside René Ramos, a designer at Mashable’s parent company, Ziff Davis.

While the MacBook Pro is a clear favorite laptop among graphic designers, there’s also no wrong answer. “My hot take is that I don’t think there’s any one machine that’s objectively ‘the best’ out there,” says Ramos.

No matter your expertise level or your preference for Mac vs. Windows, there’s a laptop here to suit your needs and budget.

What makes a laptop “good” for graphic design?

When speaking with our experts, two features stood out as the most important things to consider when choosing a graphic design laptop: Memory and displays.

RAM is the star of the show here. As a starting point, Selman says, “16 GB should be fine for most designers.” However, more memory should always be a priority, especially if you’re working with animated or video graphics. In that case, you should kick your RAM requirement up to 32 GB.

“One of my beliefs regarding computers for art production is that one should max memory out wherever possible,” Ramos says. “Most computers are capable of managing memory more efficiently than they were previously able to. However, I still like to know I can have a large amount of things open and my computer won’t crash.”

In addition to RAM, displays matter for graphic design, since you are working in a visual field. Resolution has a little bit to do with personal preference. “As long as the display is high resolution and crisp, I’m perfectly fine with it,” says Ramos who prefers HD quality over the 4k their monitor offers.

Meanwhile, Selman says, “You are 100% going to want something over 4k for display resolution.”

Either way, don’t go below a 1920 x 1080 display and strive for 4k. However, it’s worth it to go and take a look at different laptops with varying resolutions, to get a sense of your own visual needs and preferences.

What are the best laptops for graphic design?

The consensus across our expert sources — and the internet alike — is that MacBook Pros are the go-to for most graphic designers. “MacBook Pros have been the gold standard for graphic design since I started in the industry 20 years ago,” Selman says. And it’s for good reason too. With the latest M3 chip, the display and processing capabilities are hard to beat.

But choosing a Macbook means jumping into the Apple ecosystem, which isn’t appealing to everyone. “Windows and macOS computers are generally comparable in this modern day and can go toe to toe, so it’s just up to your personal preference,” says Ramos.

So while the Macbook Pro takes the top spot, Windows options like the Microsoft Studio 2 and ASUS Zenbook Duo are phenomenal choices. Check out our picks, based on expert advice and hands-on testing from the Mashable staff.

The post The best laptops for graphic design, according to experts from Mashable appeared first on Tom Bettenhausen’s.

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