MacMusic  |  PcMusic  |  440 Software  |  440 Forums  |  440TV  |  Zicos

Best laptops for graphic design 2023: Top picks and buying advice

Sunday March 26, 2023. 02:00 PM , from PC World
Whether you’re creating a sleek new logo for your company or a magazine cover that’s popping with bright colors and interesting shapes, graphic designers need the right kind of laptop to get the job done. The most important thing is powerful hardware. For tasks like 3D modeling, you’re going to need a powerful CPU and a good amount of RAM. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, you may need a processor with multiple cores. Another essential piece of hardware is the graphics card. This is important if you’re working with massive textures.

If you’re not sure where to begin your search, don’t worry. We’ve assembled a list of top picks. Not only are these machines graphically powerful, but they’ve also got awesome screens for those times when detail and color accuracy are paramount. We’ve also included options at different price points. So, whatever your budget may be, we’ve got something for every type of graphic designer. If you’re looking for something different, be sure to check out our comprehensive roundup of the best laptops for all purposes.

Updated 05/31/2023 To include the Asus ROG Strix G18 as our new pick for best laptop for video game designers. Scroll down to learn more about this new pick and why we love it for content creation.

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra – Best overall


Solid performance and great battery life

Gorgeous, powerful OLED screen

A 1080p webcam with Windows Studio Effects

Good interaction with Galaxy device ecosystem and apps


Average keyboard, trackpad

Audio needs some tweaking

Samsung’s latest Galaxy Book3 Ultra takes on all comers in content creation and stands out as the best. It’s a sleek 16-inch laptop with a stunning 2,880×1,880p 120Hz OLED display and the latest hardware. This includes a 13th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU. It also comes with outstanding battery life, fast and versatile Thunderbolt 4 ports, and a 1080p webcam. That’s a lot to like and Samsung has pulled out all of the stops to make this ideal for content creators.

The RTX 4050 in the Book3 Ultra might not be the highest performing gaming GPU, but for content creation, the new GPU’s video encoders are a huge boon. The new video codecs such as AV1 should save significant time and disk space while rendering video. The crisp OLED will also appeal to content creators as anything you’re doing on screen, such as photo and video editing, will look great, too. All of these features mean that for now, the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra is the content-creation notebook to beat.

Read our full

Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra review

MSI GF76 Katana – Best value


Decent CPU performance

Interesting design with plenty of flair

Comfortable keyboard and trackpad


Lackluster GPU performance

The display lacks brightness

Audio produces less-than-stellar bass

If you’re working with an inflexible budget, the MSI GF76 Katana is the best bang for your buck. It comes with an Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050Ti GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of PCle 4 SSD storage. In other words, this machine should be able to handle most design tasks with relative ease as well as everyday workloads. The GPU is a little underwhelming when running newer games, but MSI offers up to seven different configurations, so you can always chose a more powerful option. The display is also dimmer than we like, but it’s 17.3-inches and that’s a lot of screen real estate to work on. So, if you’re a beginner graphic designer looking to save some money, you should definitely consider the GF76 Katana.

Read our full

MSI Katana GF76 review

Asus ROG Strix G18 – Best for video game designers


The CPU and GPU produce impressive power

The 18-inch QHD+ display is large and brilliantly colorful

Aura Sync RGB light bars lighten things up


Battery life is just average

The trackpad is too firm for all-day use

A 1080p webcam would have made it more suitable for creators

Best Prices Today:

3899.99 at Asus

The Asus ROG Strix G18 is our top pick for video game designers. It’s got what it takes for graphically intensive projects thanks to its Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, 1TB of PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD storage, and beastly GeForce RTX 4090 GPU that renders 3D scenes in a flash. The giant 18-inch QHD+ display is beautiful, too. Not only does it have an impressive 240Hz refresh rate, but the 2650×1600 resolution makes for a crisp and colorful picture. If you’re a video game designer and you’re looking for a powerful laptop that can act as a true desktop replacement then the ROG Strix G18 is more than capable. It’ll cost a pretty penny, but if you’re in a position to spend the money, it’s an awesome buy. Also, if you’re looking for more options for both work and play, be sure to check out our roundup of the best gaming laptops for even more options.

Read our full

Asus ROG Strix G18 review

ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) – Most portable


Powerful CPU and GPU performance in a very compact design

AniMe Matrix screams unique

It has a webcam


Half-permanent RAM

Keyboard backlighting is subpar

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is something of a rarity because of its compact form factor and powerful internals. It weighs just a little over three pounds, which makes it a capable traveling companion. It’ll also deliver reasonably fast performance thanks to the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU, the AMD Radeon RX6800S GPU, the 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and the 1TB of PCIe 4.0 SSD storage. These components are a phenomenal combination for heavy-duty design work. The keyboard isn’t the best, though, as it feels a bit soft and the backlighting is subpar. That said, when it comes to a combination of portability and fast performance, the Zephyrus G14 is a fantastic pick.

Read our full

ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) review

Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED – Best dual display


Stunning primary display and easy to see secondary display

Excellent I/O options and wireless connectivity

CPU / GPU power meets the needs of content creators


The battery life is lacking for a productivity laptop

The trackpad is small and awkwardly placed

Rear orientated ports can be hard to reach

Why have one display when you could have two? The Asus Zenbook Pro 14 makes this possible, with a 14.5-inch 4K touch OLED panel that outputs an ultra-bright 547 nits while covering 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut. The main display is worthy enough for even the most serious designers, but the truly unique feature is the secondary 12.7-inch 2880×864 screen located just above the keyboard. Since Windows counts it as a second monitor you can use it for all sorts of things such as a second trackpad or for displaying a panel of touch controls for certain Adobe apps. It’s not just pretty screens either; the Zenbook Pro 14 packs solid performance thanks to a Core i7 processor, GeForce RTX 3050 graphics, 16GB of DDR5 memory, and a 1TB NVMe SSD.

Due to its high-powered features, it suffers from mediocre battery life, which means you may need to carry around a charging cable if you plan to do any work on the go. Still, the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED is a great option for graphic designers or any other content creator, and the latest version of Asus’ dual-screen laptop is the best yet.

Read our full

Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED review

Asus ROG Flow Z13 – Best folio-style laptop


Big performance in a small package

Bright, crisp display

Compatible with XG Mobile for GPU boost


Versatility doesn’t come cheap

Detachable keyboard poor fit for gamers

Price When Reviewed:

1 999,99 €

Best Prices Today:

€1999.99 at Materiel.Net

The Asus ROG Flow Z13 is one of the more unusual entries on this roundup. Simply put, it’s a folio-style gaming machine. You can pop open the kickstand on the back and voila! You’ve got a clamshell laptop. You can also remove the keyboard and use it as a touch-enabled tablet. The versatility here makes it a cool pick for creative work. As for the components, it’s rocking an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage. It’s powerful, that’s for sure. The 1200p IPS touch display also produces sharp, vibrant images. This kind of versatility costs a premium though, so it’s not the most budget-friendly option. That said, if you’re looking for something truly unique, the Flow Z13 is well worth it.

How we tested

The PCWorld team puts each and every Windows laptop through a series of benchmarks that test GPU and CPU performance, battery life, and so on. The idea is to push the laptop to its limits and then compare it against others we’ve tested. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of each test and the reasons why we run them.

Windows laptops

PCMark 10: PCMark 10 is how we determine how well the laptop handles lighter tasks like web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, and so on. Essentially, it’s how we simulate everyday use.HandBrake: HandBrake is more intensive than PCMark 10. It basically measures how long a laptop’s CPU takes to encode a beefy 30GB file. Cinebench: Cinebench is a brief stress test of the CPU cores. It does this by rendering a 2D scene over a short period of time. A CPU with multiple cores better divides the workload.3DMark: 3DMark checks if 3D performance remains consistent over time by running graphic-intensive clips. We check for things like lag, screen tearing, and so on.Video rundown test: To gauge battery life, we loop a 4K video using Windows 10’s Movies & TV app until the laptop dies. If you travel a bunch, you’ll want something that’ll last more than a full work day.

How much processing power will I need?

If you’re just beginning a career in graphic design, go for an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. If you work in video editing or motion design, we’d recommend an Intel Core i9. However, the number of cores is important for design work. That’s because the processor has to divide the workload when running a 3D-rendering program. A processor with four cores is the minimum requirement (in our book at least), but the more cores the better. As for AMD processors, the Ryzen 5 series is powerful enough for basic graphic design work. For more oomph, shoot for a Ryzen 9.

Do I really need a GPU?

For graphically intensive projects like 3D design, you’re going to want a dedicated graphics card. Fortunately, most gaming laptops have dedicated graphics and should be able chew right through those projects. If you’re looking to save some money, go for an Nvidia RTX 3060 or 3050 Ti. For a serious boost in graphics performance, we’d suggest springing for an Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti or an AMD Radeon RX6800S.

What about memory?

Graphic designers are constantly juggling a bunch of files, so you’re going to want at least 8GB of RAM to keep things relatively speedy. That’s the bare minimum, though. For bigger projects, 16GB of RAM should be plenty.

Should I spring for a hard disk drive or an SSD?

For those massive video editing projects, you’re definitely going to need a high-capacity SSD. 256GB is the minimum amount we’d recommend, but 512GB is obviously better. If you work with large files, you may want to even go for a 1TB+ SSD. Again, the right amount of storage really depends on the size and complexity of your project.

How big should my display be?

Ah, the display. It may be one of the most important aspects of a laptop, especially for design work. The size and resolution really depends on the complexity of your project, though. First, let’s talk about the size. Do you regularly commute into the office? If so, you’ll want a 13- or 14-inch display, as it’s smaller and more portable. If you’re working on high-resolution files or something that requires a lot of screen real estate, you’re going to want a 17-inch. However, the bigger the screen, the heavier the laptop will be. As for the resolution, don’t settle for anything less than 1080p. That’s the baseline you want to go for. If you can stretch your budget, a 4K display is lovely and the ideal option for creative work.

How long should my laptop last on a single charge?

If you plan on carrying around your laptop, you’ll want something that can last 10 to 12 hours on a single charge. That’s more than a full work day. However, battery size directly impacts the portability of the machine. The bigger the battery, the heavier the laptop.

How diverse should my port selection be?

A wide array of ports is always a good thing, as it eliminates the need for an adapter. You should get a laptop that has both USB-C and USB-A. An HDMI port is good, too. This is useful for hooking up to an external monitor, especially if the laptop’s display is dim or not as clear.

News copyright owned by their original publishers | Copyright © 2004 - 2023 Zicos / 440Network
Current Date
Sep, Mon 25 - 01:48 CEST