Have you just started out your art degree?
You now need a laptop. Luckily for you, there are thousands of laptops out there, giving you a very wide variety of choices.
But that can also make it very overwhelming and confusing to find yourself a new laptop in 2020 as an artist, or upcoming animator!
You want this laptop to unleash your creativity at Art college, or you are just an artist looking to add extra tools to your arsenal of tools.
Whichever of the above you are, I found exactly what you need.
Through Hours of research and talking to many artists in the field, and reading as many blogs as I could get my hands on, I found exactly what you need.
And I also know a lot about Computer Specs, so Il Guide you to the best specs too, if you will be requiring it for Intense programs or more Simple programs.
Prefer to watch a video?
What do you need to know when buying your first laptop as an artist?
When buying your first laptop for art and Digital creativity there are many things to consider.
We will cover everything you need to know when getting your graphical design laptop below.
First of all What type of art programs are you intending to use?
There are so many programs for artists today. I'm gonna give you a few examples.
Adobe Photoshop CS6, Rebelle, Affinity Designer, ProCreate, Clip Studio Paint Pro, Art Weaver 7, Artrage, Krita, Corel Draw, Twisted Brush Pro Studio, and MediBang Paint Pro, And Many others...
Those are all considered not too Spec Needy, or Spec intensive.
However, keep into consideration. Art Apps usually use a lot of memory, so 8GBs or More is recommended in the ones mentioned above.
They won't need High Specs
If you are going to be using 3D Design programs and software, like 3Ds Max, Blender, Maya, Mudbox, and Auto Cad programs. You are going to need As high Specs as you can get your hands on.
These are known to require the best computer specs.
You will need a Dedicated-graphics card, Lots of ram, and as many CPU Cores as possible.
How much are you willing to pay?
I'm afraid to say, the old saying that says "You get what you pay for" is still valid to this day.
So if you are looking for a laptop with a touch screen that is pretty accurate and works with a stylus pen then you are going to be spending some money.
There are cheap options out there and they will definitely work out fine if your budget doesn't allow you to get the more expensive ones, but be aware.
As an artist you usually want an accurate stylus pen to make sure you get the quality you deserve, You don't want your equipment hindering your abilities.
It is very frustrating for artists to have to deal with In-Accuracy problems and hindrances. You want a seamless experience making sure you sky-rocket your creativity.
I'm not saying the budget options are really bad, but I'm saying you might end up regretting not buying a higher-end option.
And If later on, in the line you decide you want a good Art-Printer to print out your creative artwork, then check our blog about the best printers for artists!
How Much resolution do you need as an artist?
Don't settle for less than 720P, As an artist you need as many pixels as possible, which will increase the drawing accuracy, thanks to the increased amount of pixels you can draw on.
1080P would be preferred.
4K would be the best Luxury Option. It is not needed, but if you can get it, you will fall in love with it. And it will give you the best details and precision.
Which Stylus pen is Best Graphical Art?
There are three main types of Stylus pens that would work with a touch screen.
This one is generally the worst type of stylus pens.
However its the cheapest.
It mimics the way your finger works, so basically when it touches the screen it distorts the screen's electrostatic field when it touches it.
- Very Cheap
- No Battery Needed
- Works with any touch screen
- No pressure sensitivity: meaning most artists who need pressure-sensitive styluses won't be happy with it.
- No Palm-Rejection: Meaning if you rest your hand on the screen it will detect that as drawing, so it will be very annoying if you are used to resting your palm on the surface.
- No Extra functions: It's just like your finger, so it won't click or have an eraser or anything.
2. Wacom Digitizer
Wacom is a well-known company that makes Drawing tablets for artists.
They are also now developing their Pens to work with Consumer devices such as laptops and tablets!
For example, Microsoft's Surface Pro laptop uses a Wacom Digitizer layer in its touch screen, allowing the laptop screen to work as a drawing tablet!
By integrating special hardware into the screen, and designing the stylus pen to work with it, you get a variety of new features.
- Palm rejection: When you are using your stylus to draw on your screen, it won't matter if your palm touches the screen, or if you rest on the screen. It will ignore it.
- Pressure-sensitive: The best feature about the Wacom-Digitizer pens, is they offer the ability to detect different levels of pressure.
- Extra Features: You will usually have more buttons and options with this type of pen, like an eraser, and buttons on the pen. And you can also hover over the screen
- No Battery Needed: The stylus doesn't need a battery to work.
- Only works with specific devices
- Add's cost to the device or laptop that uses its technology.
3. Bluetooth Stylus Pen option
This is the Middle-way option. More advanced than a finger-based stylus, thanks to the bluetooth. It talks to your device and tells it how much pressure you are applying, and functions very closely to a Capacitive stylus.
They also work with any touch screens!
- Pressure sensitivity
- Palm Rejection
- Works with many devices
- Shortcut buttons It will have additional buttons that you can usually program to do things, like copy-paste, or select a certain tool, or combine a certain shortcut.
- Battery charging required
- Pairing to the device required, so you will need a bluetooth connection
- Pretty expensive as they contain electronics, Bluetooth, pressure sensitivity sensors, and buttons.
Should I get a laptop, tablet, or a Drawing Tablet for digital art?
This question doesn't have a very simple answer.
It depends on your preferences, your budget, and where you are planning to use each one.
A Wacom Drawing tablet, or most Drawing tablets designed specifically for digital art, will be the best option.
They are the most accurate and will provide you with the best, close-to-reality feel.
- Very accurate
- True Paper-like feel
- Needs a device to connect to
- Budget options don't have a screen
- Not very portable
- Doesn't have any other functions other than being a drawing tablet
So if you are looking for Maximum portability, your best option will be a tablet, thanks to it's very light-weight and small design.
You can use it everywhere, and as an artist or Graphical designer, It's just like carrying art paper with you.
The downsides in having a tablet for artwork is they usually don't have the best specs, You may still need a laptop for other things like typing.
- Very portable
- Has many functions thanks to apps
- Has a screen
- Won't function as a laptop
- Aren't very big
- Don't have very good specs compared to laptops
- Not Upgradable
- Limited space
This will be your best bet, It has many functions and will work as your daily laptop while being your best buddy as an artist.
It will have much better specs then most tablets, making it a better option for programs that need a lot of processing power and ram.
Laptops usually have some upgradability options, like upgrading RAM, and upgrading Storage making them a better art option long term, and for the future.
- Much better specs than tablets
- More storage, and RAM
- Keyboard for other work
- More features
- Many are made especially for artists and have precise stylus pens included
- Better for intensive programs
- Heavier than tablets
- Big chargers
And finally Color Accuracy.
When designing graphical art you want to make sure all your colors are perfect, You don't want a screen that will fool you and show you the wrong colors.
Because when viewed on a screen with good colors, it will look different to how you thought it would look after it was complete.
Usually, IPS Display panels will have the best colors.
TN Panels are the type you should avoid, they have very bad viewing angles and their colors aren't very good.
What are the best laptops for artists?
1. HP Spectre x360 15t
- Best stylus
- Dedicated GPU
- 4K IPS Screen
- 10th Gen CPU
- Not Detachable screen.
|HP Spectre x360 15T Specs|
|CPU||10th Generation Intel I7-10510U (4.9GHz)|
|GPU||GTX 250 or better|
|RAM||16GB + 32GB Intel Optane memory|
|DISPLAY||4K - Fully Touch IPS Display|
A Solid Laptop from hp that looks stunning.
This laptop has a wonderful design, and a beautiful 4K IPS Display.
So not only is it a 4K Display but it also has an IPS Panel, which is known to have very accurate colors.
It has 16GB of Memory, and 512 GBs of Storage.
What makes it one of the best laptops you could possibly get, is the fact it uses an Intel 10th Generation CPU which is the newest CPU Technology as of 2020
It uses an I7-10510U CPU With an outstanding speed of 1.8Ghz up to 4.9GHz!!
Not only does it have an amazing CPU, But it also has a dedicated GPU The NVIDIA GeForce MX250.
There are many other options with different GPUs If you are into 3D Design get the best GPU possible. Otherwise, this is more than enough.
It has all the Latest connectivity options, has a camera Kill switch for privacy, and has a fingerprint reader.
This laptop literally has anything you would ever want in a laptop.
It uses the latest Wi-Fi 6 Technology of 2020, and Bluetooth 5. These features are not easy to find, and most companies haven't introduced them to their laptops.
To be honest, if you want to get the best device you could possibly get, then this is the way to go.
You will never regret this Laptop as an artist. It literally has so much to talk about that I could fill up another 20 paragraphs.
2.Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- Good Specs
- Improved Pen Sensitivity
- USB-C Support
- Very good Display
- Pen and keyboard Sold Separately
- Pen and Keyboard aren't cheap
|Microsoft Surface Pro 7|
|CPU||10th Generation Intel I7- 1065G7 or I5 Option|
|GPU||Iris Plus graphics|
|RAM||16GB or 8GB Option|
|DISPLAY||2736 x 1824 Pixel Sense Display with an IPS Panel|
An improvement of Microsoft's highly successful Surface Pro 6, Without any compromise.
A great overall laptop from Microsoft using Intel's 10th Generation CPUs which have Intel's new Iris Plus Graphics architecture.
Iris Plus Graphics on the 10th gen allows users to do much heavier GPU Tasks then what could be done with previous integrated graphics.
So even though it has no Dedicated GPU, that won't affect its performance too much thanks to the Intel Iris Plus, meaning you could even play games on this laptop without any problems.
It is a very powerful laptop that doubles as an Art laptop, thanks to the touch display and Very sensitive Microsoft pen.
The only downside to this laptop, it that the keyboard and Pen are sold separately and can be pretty expensive.
Thanks to powerful CPU you can expect it to handle Content Creation, and light Games.
It also pushes out 10.5 Hours of battery life, meaning it should last a good amount of time without any charging required.
The Surface Pen retails around a Hefty $100, making it less desirable despite the fact of its superb performance. For digital artists, it's certainly a worthy addition.
If you are looking for an extremely portable and Convenient laptop that does anything, then this will be your best option.
Pricing on this laptop varies depending on which processor and how much RAM you go for.
If the programs you will be using don't need very high specs, a lower-spec version will definitely do its job.
3. Microsoft Surface Book 2
2-In-1 Laptop Beast Mode
- Very Powerful for 2-in-1
- Detachable screen
- Superb Screen
- Can even play AAA games at High Settings
- Pen Not included, and sold separately
- Speakers are not the best
|Microsoft Surface Book 2|
|CPU||8Th Generation Intel I7- 8650U or I5 Option|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB|
|RAM||16GB or 8GB Option|
|STORAGE||512GB or 1TB|
|DISPLAY||3260x2160P Pixel Sense Display with an IPS Panel|
If you want a laptop that has a very good laptop-like keyboard that also functions as an artist drawing pad then this will be the best option for you.
Thanks to Microsoft's innovation, they came up with the amazing concept of the SurfaceBook 2.
The screen detaches from the keyboard, and somehow they stuffed it with very good specs while keeping it light-weight
The display is another thing that makes this great. a 15-Inch 3,240 x 2160 Pixel Sense display
Storage is a 512GB PCIe 3.0SSD Which is considered very new technology as of 2020.
Weighing at 4.2 Pounds(1.9KG) Makes it a very versatile and portable machine.
Here is what makes this laptop so amazing. The Specs. If you are looking to do video editing, rendering, Or playing AAA Games, and you want something that can do Everything, this is the one.
It packs an NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1060 Graphics card with 6GB GDDR5 Memory.
As for connectivity, it has the USB-C Which is the future's standard. This is a Beast of a 2-in-1 Laptop and can handle almost anything you throw at it.
And the detachable screen works perfectly well with no compromise.
The only downside is that you will have to buy the Microsoft Pen Separately.
If the price is not a problem and you want the fastest 2-In-1 device you can get your hands on, then this is probably the one.
What I love most about it, is that it looks like a normal laptop. Until you click the detach button, then you have a tablet.
Inside a GeekBench CPU Multi-Core Benchmark of 13,376 and an OpenCL Rating of 123,942 says that the hardware on this beast can literally chew up anything you throw at it.
So, Intense Video editing? Gaming? 3D Design? This will do it all.
4. Lenovo Flex 14
Best Budget-Artist laptop
- Not Expensive
- 360 Rotation Display
- IPS Display Panel
- 4096 Pressure levels Stylus pen
- No Cons at this price
|Lenovo Flex 14|
|CPU||8Th Generation Intel I5- 8265U or Ryzen 5 3500U|
|GPU||UHD Graphics 615 or Other|
|STORAGE||128GB or 256GB|
|DISPLAY||1080P Full HD IPS Touch Panel|
An overall Outstanding laptop for the price.
If you want the best laptop for art projects and drawing on a budget then this is the way to go.
The price is insane compared to other laptops that are good for artists, this is like half their price.
It's not like the specs in it are bad either!
It has an 8th Gen I5 Processor, 8GBs of RAM and 128 GB of Nvme SSD
If you think storage is not enough, don't worry you can always buy an external SSD, they come very cheap these days.
The Pen is Extremely accurate and has an outstanding 4096 Levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing you to have the best drawing quality possible.
There are 2 pens that work with this laptop from Lenovo. The one I recommend is the Lenovo Active Pen 2, as it provides a very natural feeling of writing, sketching and drawing.
It also has Configurable buttons speeding up your work-flow improving your overall productivity.
If you trust AMD, then definitely go for the AMD Option!
This laptop has an Intel I3, or I5, or Ryzen 5 3500U With 12 GBs of RAM. Definitely Go for the Ryzen 5 if you can, as it has better overall speed, with more RAM, at almost the same price!
The specs on this laptop for this price are honestly quite impressive. It seems like there is a catch, But there isn't!
I haven't seen so many positive reviews on a laptop like this in a while.
Definitely go for this option if you don't have a big budget to spare on your laptop. It has Very good Medium-Specs and will do the most simple tasks with ease.
You can expect to Use PhotoShop, Illustrator, and others with ease.
However, If you are looking for something for AAA Games and Video editing, then you should look into the more expensive options.
Lenovo also has a Newer Version with a 4K Display if you are interested!
5. Acer Spin 3 Convertible Laptop
Amazing Affordable option
- Not Expensive
- 360 Degrees Rotatable
- IPS Full HD Display Panel
- Stylus Storage slot in the Laptop
- 12 Hour Battery-Life
- No USB-C port
|Acer Spin 3 Convertible Laptop|
|CPU||8Th Generation Intel I7- 8565U|
|GPU||UHD Graphics 615|
|DISPLAY||1080P Full HD IPS Touch Panel|
As a Photographer, Videographer, or artist this piece of equipment will chew through most tasks thrown at it.
A very good laptop built by Acer with a very good stylus at an affordable price.
The only downside I can find about this laptop is the fact it's not updated with the latest USB-C Ports.
However, Despite its Disadvantages, it remains powerful enough to work on the go. It features an amazing touch screen, a good trackpad, an SD Card reader, and a keyboard that feels very good.
So if you want to do some video editing, light gaming, and maybe some 3d projects this will definitely be a good entry-level option.
For artists wanting to draw, it has an accurate screen with a pen that slots into the side of the laptop, making it very convenient and making sure you don't always lose it.
Another cool feature on this laptop is the fingerprint reader. If you hate passwords or want an extra level of security, then you have the Fingerprint reader safeguarding you from unauthorized PC Access.
Unleashing your creativity as an artist has never been easier these days, thanks to being able to do Everything you would ever want to do by carrying a little device as small as a book.
These little devices can do anything: animation, painting, sketching, drawing, spray painting, And anything you could ever imagine.
And you don't even need to bring your brushes, all you need is a Device, and a magical pen to go with it.
What a nice day, and age to live in. You can Create, Polish, and share your arts without needing anything but a small laptop.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it Useful.
And if you need as much Accuracy as possible, then the best route would to Buy a Drawing Pad, and carry that around with you, and connect it to your laptop.
Wacom Tablets or Drawing pads made specifically for graphical art, and digital art will be more accurate than most laptops.
But Laptops have caught up very well and are not far-Off.
Don't forget to share it with your friends!
Have a nice day :)