If you’re looking for the best laptops for graphic design, we’ve put together a list of incredible gadgets that will help you power your creative work no matter where you are. If you’re a professional graphic designer, investing in a powerful but portable laptop to work on can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
The laptops on this list have the processing power to run creative programs quickly, reducing the time it takes to complete complicated tasks and accelerating your production.
This allows you to work on more projects and potentially attract more clients, justifying the graphic design laptops’ sometimes astronomical prices.
The laptops on this page are not only powerful, but they also have beautiful screens that will make your creative work stand out, as well as thin and light designs and extended battery lives that will allow you to be creative no matter where you are.
1. 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021)
The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) is Apple’s most significant computer statement yet. We mean that both literally and metaphorically.
This larger version of the new MacBook Pro models includes all of the same features as the new MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021), such as the option of extremely powerful M1 Pro and M1 Max processors, up to 64GB of memory, up to 8TB of storage, a wider range of ports than its predecessor, and a mini-LED true HDR display.
The 16-inch variant, on the other hand, comes with a larger display and a larger battery, making it the hardworking workhorse of the current MacBook Pro lineup.
One of the biggest benefits of Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips is that they still put out enough power to challenge Nvidia’s highest-end cards even when running on battery, implying that if you need to work without compromising on a long journey, this is unquestionably the best laptop for creatives in the world right now.
You receive a big performance boost in almost every area compared to the 16-inch Intel-based MacBook Pro it replaces, as well as a larger (16.2 inches up from exactly 16 inches) screen with a better resolution and 1,600-nit peak brightness for HDR movies/apps. It’s also the same size, however, the new design lacks the curved sides that help hide the thickness.
However, it is 20 percent heavier than the 14-inch MacBook Pro and is somewhat heavier than its predecessor. Having more strength used to mean carrying more weight…
However, you can have the same power in either size of these devices. So let’s see what it can achieve in general and whether the extra weight is worth it. We tested the M1 Pro edition of the computer for this review, which has 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.
With a starting price of $2,399, this laptop is unquestionably an investment. The M1 Pro processor comes with 10 CPU cores, 16 GPU cores, 16GB unified memory, and 512GB of storage for that low price.
For the same price, you can obtain a 14-inch MacBook Pro with the same hardware but 1TB of storage – upgrading this model to 1TB will set you back $200, effectively covering the cost of the larger screen and battery. You can also have 2TB, 4TB, or 8TB of storage, with the latter costing $2,400 as an upgrade, more than tripling the cost of the laptop alone.
The upgrade to 32GB of RAM from the base 16GB model costs $400, which sounds excessive (as it has always been with Apple RAM upgrades). However, it does serve as a big cache of GPU memory as well as RAM, so depending on your demands, it may feel like a breeze.
Switching to any version of the M1 Max processor automatically includes the 32GB RAM increase, so while the M1 Max with 24-core GPU (for roughly a 50% performance boost over the M1 Pro) appears to cost $200, it costs $600. Then it’s simply another $100 to upgrade to 32 cores of GPU power – why wouldn’t you at that point?
Plus, if you want the full 64GB of unified memory, you’ll have to pay an extra $400 on top of everything else. It’s difficult to assess the worth of the 64GB of memory on its terms: it costs a lot more than basic DDR5 RAM sticks of the same size, but it doesn’t work like regular RAM.
The fact that the GPU is also available at high rates makes this laptop truly unique, allowing for 3D tasks that aren’t achievable on any other computer. It’s priceless in that context. Doesn’t the $600 Apple will charge you look like a steal now?
So $3,699 gets you a MacBook Pro 16-inch with M1 Max 32-core 64GB and 1TB of storage. $4,168 gets you a 17-inch Dell mobile workstation with an eight-core Intel processor, 32GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and Nvidia A3000 6GB.
So, at the very high end, the new MacBook Pros make a compelling case for their total value. This computer is powered by the M1 Pro chip, which is a beast. The moment you start using it because apps open almost instantly (you can probably guess which company’s pro apps required a time of bouncing during our testing).
It’s an Apple-designed chip with a 10-core CPU (8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores), 32GB of RAM, and a 16-core GPU in the version we examined. This is the M1 Pro’s maximum specification; to go higher, you’ll need the M1 Max.
The fascinating thing about the M1 Pro isn’t just how powerful it is; it also has some excellent hardware accelerations built-in, all at astonishingly low power draw rates – to the point where, unlike a power-hungry discrete CPU and GPU combo, you can run intensive apps to push the CPU/GPU capabilities on battery and not see performance drop significantly.
I edited an 8K video in Final Cut Pro while running on battery in a project with color correction and up to five videos playing at once, and I’m not sure if a single frame was dropped for live playback, and there’s no jerky skipping when scrubbing either.
This is due in part to the chip’s new ProRes acceleration and in part to its overall power. Even so, the machine didn’t get particularly hot. It took roughly 20 seconds for a Logic Pro project with 1500 instruments to load — after that, scrolling through the entire thing was completely seamless. The project was quickly and flawlessly replayed.
Moving across a scene in Cinema 4D was a little slow, but there was no stuttering. Altering the time of day has the same effect as changing the time of day.
All of this was possible whether on batteries or plugged in. In any case, my scenario (which took up roughly 6GB of RAM) didn’t cause the fans to turn on. We didn’t hear the fans spin up once during writing this review (as in, the actual process of writing it), and that took some time.
The back of the screen, as well as the center-rear of the base, grew slightly heated as a result of regular use. However, when we say warm, we’re referring to a temperature that’s just above body temperature.
Writing in a CMS isn’t the most difficult endeavor, but we had several research tabs open, and while we all know that web browsers will use up all resources they can over time, nothing made it feel the need to spin.
Run Handbrake, as the adage goes, if you want to see how hot a laptop can get. We finally got some air moving and a temperature on the body that could be described as “very hot” with the CPU operating at 880 percent and encoding a 4K video to 1080p (at a rate of 44fps, if you’re curious).
However, any other noise in the room would have drowned out the fans, so we had to get completely silent to hear them. We couldn’t feel much air coming out either, which could be a cause for concern, but none of our tests revealed any evident evidence of thermal throttling.
The M1 Max offers even more memory, memory bandwidth, and GPU power – up to twice as much in all circumstances. However, the M1 Max’s greater memory bandwidth doesn’t appear to boost the CPU, so don’t expect server-like performance from it — according to Anandtech’s tests, if you’re CPU bound by the M1 Pro, the Max won’t help much and will consume more power.
Choose it only if you require 64GB of memory, GPU power, or are confident that you can flood the memory sufficiently to necessitate the additional bandwidth.
The 16-core Neural Engine, which you can apply to machine learning models for big, massive speed increases – and apps may potentially make use of that capability as well – as the other hardware acceleration that’s worth noting. Gaming is one area where we observe the MacBook Pro’s limitations, not in terms of hardware, but terms of software.
It will run everything on macOS flawlessly, but what’s on macOS isn’t all that diverse, and at the top end, it doesn’t run at anywhere near the speed or resolution it should given this kind of raw GPU power if things were better optimized.
We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention that software compatibility for all M1 Macs is still an issue. Many important apps now operate natively on M1 Macs, however, they don’t always have all of their capabilities — double-check before making the switch.
Non-native apps run through a translation layer called Rosetta 2, which has a performance penalty (said to be in the range of 20%), but the MacBook Pro is so quick that the performance decrease isn’t noticeable. It still outperforms the rest of the field.
Running via Rosetta, on the other hand, can cause unanticipated compatibility issues, and if your process includes plugins, this adds a second layer of possible compatibility pitfalls. The M1 Macs work OK for the vast majority of people but double-check your software to be sure you’re not one of the outliers, especially since there’s no Intel version available right now.
One of the 16-inch MacBook Pro’s main advantages is that it has the longest battery life of any Mac laptop to date. According to Apple, a charge should last about 14 hours of web browsing, but we’ve seen more like 17 hours for simple internetwork.
Pushing it will naturally drain it faster, and when working in Final Cut Pro, the battery life looked to drop twice as quickly… But that would still give it a good 8 hours or more of battery life, something you wouldn’t anticipate from a device of this power.
Of course, don’t take that figure as a guarantee from us; there are a million reasons why different jobs put varying loads on the battery. However, we are confident that no other machine can match this if you need to operate at maximum capacity for an extended period.
The new mini-LED display is one of the crown jewels of the new MacBook Pro. The pixel density of 254ppi corresponds to a resolution of 3456×2234, which is sharp enough for regular viewing distance to produce completely clear results. It would be lovely to be able to see Ultra HD video in its native definition, but what we have now is excellent for all other purposes.
Of course, the 16-inch model has a larger display than the 14-inch model, but they both have the same pixel density, so you’re just getting a broader canvas, which may be handy depending on your tools and scaling preferences. Aside from the added land, they’re identical.
You’ve probably heard that the new MacBook Pro includes a camera notch that splits the Menu bar in half. This isn’t a problem at all when everything is working properly. You can put 10 or 11 Menu items to the left of the notch in the usual scaling setting, which is enough for the great majority of apps.
Only one software required additional features, and that was Cinema 4D, which has so many options that it’s a problem with or without a notch.
When there are too many, or when the interface is scaled larger, the algorithm divides them neatly, shifting strays over the notch. The mouse moves under the notch, making everything feel fluid and unimportant, even if it’s not everyone’s first choice for how it should be constructed.
However, there have been instances of custom Menu bar tools damaging it, particularly if you fill it with icons and widgets from the right side – so if that’s your thing, keep that in mind. The screen itself is stunning, with 1,600 nits of peak HDR brightness (in a small window) and 1,000 nits of fullscreen brightness with HDR content when employing the new lighting technology.
HDR content isn’t just limited to movies on iTunes or elsewhere (though these do look wonderful), as you can view scenes in HDR in real-time in programs like Premiere Pro and Cinema 4D. The screen can boost up to show a broader dynamic range as long as the program supports it.
Apart from brightness, blackness is the second most important feature of mini-LEDs. We’ve been pretty impressed with how well the denser layer of lights can regulate local dimming, and we haven’t caught it out yet with any substantial blooming from light to dark. Nothing jumps out more than general viewing artifacts caused by things like reflections, smudges, and the imperfection of human vision.
The new MacBook Pros have a 1080p webcam with image processing handled by the M1 Pro CPU, which means good results. They’re always crisp and clear, with genuine tones. We didn’t anticipate much from a laptop camera, therefore we weren’t expecting much. It works well and is an improvement over prior MacBook Pro models.
In terms of stereo spatial positioning and basic grunt, the speakers are hilariously good for laptop speakers. Sound appears to emanate from beyond your left and right hands, rather than from beneath them. And the balance is excellent — unlike many laptop speakers, it doesn’t feel like any section of the music is hobbling along.
However, the overall clarity and detail aren’t that great, which serves as a reminder that, while it’s nice to watch a movie with this kind of audio, if sound quality is crucial to your business, you’ll be utilizing monitor headphones or speakers.
The MacBook Pro has an extended variety of connectors on the sides. On the left, there’s a return of MagSafe (which works just like before), two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and an improved headphone connector for higher impedance headphones.
It’s great that Apple has made it possible to utilize planar magnetic headphones to their full potential, but we can’t imagine too many people who purchase these headphones who wouldn’t also like to use their DAC/amp. However, the choice is available, and we will not turn it down.
An HDMI 2.0 port, a Thunderbolt 4 port, and an SDXC card reader is located on the right side. The new keyboard has a fantastic feel to it, with sharp feedback and a small amount of travel. The trackpad is a good size and still responsive.
The Touch Bar has been removed from this keyboard, and in its place is a regular row of function keys with media controls, brightness controls, and other standard features. It does, however, keep the fingerprint sensor from its predecessor, which can be used to swiftly unlock and switch accounts. Wi-Fi 802.11ax (also known as Wi-Fi 6) and Bluetooth 5.0 are both included.
Finally, there’s the issue of size and weight. This device is a lot bigger than the MacBook Pro 14-inch, and while it has roughly the same proportions as the model it’s replacing, it’s either 100g or 200g heavier, depending on whether you get the M1 Pro or Max.
It has the sense of a battlestation as well as a workstation, and one of the important innovations of these new computers is that you might be able to stick with the smaller one and receive the same amount of power while weighing less… However, if you’ll be using the M1 Max chip frequently away from power, the 16-inch will be the better choice, as that chip appears to require more energy in almost all operations.
Yes, this is an incredible tool for creatives – but it comes with the proviso that you need to make sure your workflow is supported, and you might want to go with the 14-inch instead.
It’s not that the 14-inch is superior in any way – in fact, for many people, the larger screen and longer battery life will make it the better choice – but this is the first time the 14-inch has the same processing power as the larger model, and the weight and size savings should not be overlooked if you’ll be traveling with the laptop frequently.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is a bit as revolutionary as the M1 MacBook Air was when it first launched, blowing away anything else available in the same shape and power envelope. It’s also a reasonable price.
So far, we’re not even in a position to say, “Wait for version 2.” This is version two in many ways, with the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro laying the groundwork. With this, more programs will operate with the M1-class processor, and you’ll have more ports… The notch and the software behavior surrounding it are the only apparent flaws, although we don’t consider them to be deal breakers.
2. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
The Surface Laptop 4 demonstrates that Microsoft isn’t simply about software. While Microsoft was originally recognized mostly for its software, such as Windows and Office, it has recently established a strong reputation as a creator of attractive and quality gadgets, and the Surface Laptop 4 is an excellent illustration of this.
The Surface Laptop 3 was released in 2019, so Microsoft’s laptop was long overdue for an update, especially since Dell and HP have been introducing increasingly stunning laptops for creatives with improved components every year.
The Surface Laptop 4 will have its job cut out for it competing with Apple’s redesigned MacBook Air (M1, 2020) and MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020), but based on Microsoft’s prior Surface products, we’re convinced it will succeed.
Except for the affordable Surface Go, Microsoft’s Surface family of devices are premium affairs, which frequently implies high prices, as the Surface Laptop 4 demonstrates, with the 13.5-inch model with an AMD Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD starting at $999.
This puts it up against the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), which starts at $999 and has similar features (though a slightly smaller screen).
Depending on whether you favor Windows 10 or Apple’s macOS, this leaves you with a very stark decision. Both operating systems support a wide range of creative apps, such as Photoshop, so it’ll come down to personal preference in terms of software and price.
Unlike the MacBook Air, the Surface Laptop 4 is available in two sizes, with a bigger 15-inch variant costing $1,299 and featuring an AMD Ryzen 7 engine, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The 15-inch variant may be the better option for creatives.
It features a larger, higher-resolution display, which makes working on projects more pleasant, and the increased CPU capacity (it’s an 8-core chip instead of a 6-core in the 13.5-inch model) means it can handle more sophisticated applications.
You can customize the Surface Laptop 4 to fit your needs and budget, just like you can with other Surface devices. For $2,399, you can have a 15-inch model with an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD.
The model we have in for review is the 13.5-inch variant, which costs $1,269 and comes with an Intel Core i5-1145G7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. That’s getting into really costly territory in terms of computers.
Even in its most basic configuration, the Surface Notebook 4 is a capable laptop that can easily handle day-to-day chores. As you might expect, Windows 10 runs smoothly on this system, and because it’s a Microsoft device, it’ll most likely be one of the first to receive Windows 11.
While the model we reviewed has a quad-core Intel Core i5-1145G7 processor, which is one of Intel’s newest processors, it’s fine for day-to-day use. If you want to do more multitasking, such as running multiple apps at the same time, you’ll want to get a model with a CPU with a higher core count and more RAM.
Even if you stick with the model we’ve tested here, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. We had many browser tabs open, music playing, and Photoshop files open, and the Surface Laptop 4 performed admirably.
This model’s 512GB SSD storage performed admirably. It’s big enough to store images, videos, and other huge items, and accessing them (or moving them to and from a USB drive) was very instantaneous. However, none of the Surface Laptop 4 models include discrete graphics cards; instead, depending on the CPU model, integrated graphics from Intel or AMD are used.
This means that while the Surface Laptop 4 is adequate for photo and video editing, you may want to consider something with a dedicated GPU for graphically intense jobs like 3D animation and game development (such as the Surface Book 3).
Overall, the Surface Laptop 4 delivers exceptional performance, supported by some of the most cutting-edge mobile technology available. The best part is that, in addition to being a powerful laptop, it also boasts a long battery life. While Microsoft promises that the AMD version can last 19 hours and the Intel model can last 17 hours, we found that it only lasted around 13 hours in our tests.
That’s still excellent for a thin and light laptop like this, and it means you won’t have to charge it for an entire workday. We discovered that we could work on the Surface Laptop 4 while out and about without having to worry about locating a plug socket.
We also conducted the PCMark 10 Home Office battery test, which lasted over 13 and a half hours and mimicked moderate use, including online surfing and video chats. This is a significant increase over the Surface Laptop 3, which only lasted six and a half hours in similar tests.
The Surface Laptop 4 achieves such an improvement in battery performance thanks to updated components that are not only faster but also more power-efficient, resulting in longer battery life. The inbuilt webcam is 720p, which is good, but 1080p webcams are becoming more common in laptops, and they provide much more information.
A good webcam is crucial these days, especially for those of us who work from home. Even at 720p, the Surface Laptop 4’s webcam is enough for video calls, and it is quick and responsive. Windows Hello facial authentication is also supported. This enables you to safely log into Windows 10 by simply staring at the webcam.
The built-in speakers and dual microphones do a fantastic job of picking up your voice and minimizing background noise, but if your creative work relies on high-fidelity audio, such as music creation or video editing, you’ll still want to invest in some separate speakers (or use any that you already have, of course).
The Surface Laptop 4 comes with Windows 10 preloaded and is thankfully free of the pre-installed programs (dismissively referred to as “bloatware”) that other laptops frequently include. When Windows 11 is released, Microsoft says that the Surface Laptop 4 will receive a free upgrade to the new operating system.
The Surface Laptop 4 has two display options, but regardless of whatever you choose, the image quality should be impressive. The PixelSense display on the 13.5-inch variant we tested has a resolution of 2,256 x 1,504. The 15-inch model, on the other hand, has a resolution of 2,496 x 1,664.
Because of the increased resolution of the larger display, both screens have the same pixel density of 201 PPI (Pixels Per Inch). This means that going with the larger screen has no effect on clarity or sharpness, so you may choose the screen that best suits your demands and budget without fear of sacrificing image quality, which is a great touch.
The screen is multi-touch and has been set up to operate with styluses, particularly the Surface Pen. This is a separate item, but it’s one of the best styluses we’ve tried, and it works well with the Surface Laptop 4’s touch screen, making sketching and annotating simple and enjoyable.
However, the screen does not rotate 180 degrees; instead, it rotates a little more than 90 degrees, making drawing on the Surface Laptop 4 difficult. The Surface Laptop 4’s screen has a 3:2 aspect ratio, which is taller than the common 16:9 aspect ratio found on many laptops. Working on documents becomes much more comfortable as a result of the greater height, as there is less need to scroll.
Overall, the display on the Surface Laptop 4 does a fantastic job of showing your creative work, with a high definition image that outperforms many competitors. It can’t match, though, with OLED displays, which are available in high-end creative computers and provide outstanding contrast and vibrancy. Nonetheless, the display on the Surface Laptop 4 will be perfectly adequate for the vast majority of users.
The design of the Surface Laptop 4 is one of its most appealing features. This is an extremely elegant piece of equipment, and anyone who has been a long-time Apple lover would approve. It’s available in four colors, including Black, which he received for review, and it’s sleek and attractive, with the chrome Microsoft logo on the rear contributing to the laptop’s overall premium vibe.
With dimensions of 308 x 223 x 14.5 mm and a weight of just 1.27kg, it’s also astonishingly thin and light. This makes it both thinner and lighter than the MacBook Air, which is quite an achievement. While the aluminum shell is lightweight, it seems solid enough that you won’t have to worry about harming it while carrying it around.
The Surface Laptop 4’s keyboard is another highlight, and it’s one of the finest we’ve seen on a laptop. The keys are large and easy to press, with a good amount of travel and comfortable spacing. It means that typing on this laptop is a breeze, and you’ll be able to pound away for hours. The Surface Laptop 4’s keyboard is a miracle when compared to earlier MacBooks.
However, the ports are regrettably limited, with only one USB-C and one USB-A port, as well as a headphone jack. While the USB-A port is a good addition that allows you to use older USB devices, the lack of ports means that if you use a lot of USB devices at work, you’ll probably need to invest in a hub to boost the number of ports, which is a shame.
The Surface Laptop 4 may now be connected to the Surface Dock thanks to Microsoft’s unique Surface Connector. This increases the number of ports on the Surface Laptop 4, but it’s a more expensive option than a dongle. The Surface Connector port is a waste of space if you aren’t interested in acquiring the Surface Dock.
3. Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC
The Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC is the most recent iteration of the Taiwanese company’s excellent digital creative workstation. It has a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor and, most excitingly, Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card (there’s also the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR YC, which has a 10th generation Intel Core i9 processor and RTX 3080 8GB graphics card).
Nvidia’s new RTX 3000 series laptop graphics cards are easily among the best we’ve seen in laptops, bringing not only more horsepower for rendering complex 3D scenes, but also extra features like Resizable BAR and Optimus Technology that could have a significant impact on the workflows of people who work with high-definition and life-like 3D scenes.
If you’re a power user who demands the best mobile hardware, the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC or YC might be right for you. It’s on par with the most powerful laptops on the market.
A laptop with Nvidia’s latest and finest mobile graphics, a stunning screen, and some of Intel’s most powerful CPUs was never going to be cheap, but at $2,699, the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC will be a significant investment for many people.
The good news is that you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. As previously said, the RTX 3070 is one of the best GPUs available in a laptop, and the 8-core Intel Core i7 processor is capable of handling numerous tasks at once. You get an extraordinarily powerful mobile creative workstation with 32GB of RAM, a 4K 17.3-inch screen, and 1TB of fast SSD storage capacity.
Furthermore, when compared to the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which has an outdated 8-core Intel processor, half the RAM, and a smaller, lower-resolution screen yet costs more at $2,799, the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC appears to be a far better deal.
If you need even more power, the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR YC costs $4,300 and comes with an RTX 3080 8GB laptop GPU, 64GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i9 processor. Many people will find this to be far too much, therefore the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC becomes far more enticing.
While Nvidia’s RTX 3000 Ampere graphics cards for desktop PCs were much praised when they were released late last year, the mobile versions of the GPUs didn’t arrive until the first quarter of 2021.
Even though the RTX 3070 laptop GPU featured within the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC has the same name as the desktop RTX 3070, it has fewer shaders, lower memory bandwidth, and lower power consumption.
While this may seem discouraging, there’s a valid reason for it. Because laptops are narrower and hence have more restrictions in terms of ventilation and keeping components cool, the RTX 3070 laptop GPU doesn’t get as hot as the desktop version and thus requires less cooling.
This means it can perform well in a compact chassis. That lower power usage keeps it cool while also ensuring that the battery isn’t drained too quickly (desktop GPUs don’t have to worry about battery life).
While the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC and its RTX 3070 laptop GPU don’t quite match the RTX 3070 desktop GPU in terms of speed, it’s still one of the best GPUs you’ll find in a laptop, and the performance improvement over laptops utilizing previous RTX 2000 series mobile GPUs is significant.
This implies that the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC excels at editing ultra-high-definition videos, creating 3D models and animations, applying intricate lighting effects like ray tracing, and working on detailed CAD projects, to mention a few.
The Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC also has an 8-core Intel Core i7-10870H processor, which, along with 32GB of DDR4 RAM, allows the laptop to perform numerous apps, online browser pages, and other tasks at the same time.
This laptop is excellent for multitasking and can significantly speed up your workflow. Meanwhile, Windows 10 starts up quickly and runs without a hitch.
The 1TB SSD provides enough storage for your creative work, and while it isn’t the quickest SSD we’ve seen in a laptop when combined with the RAM and processor, the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC provides a good overall user experience.
This laptop is well worth considering if you desire a laptop that can perform intense graphical work as well as many apps operating at the same time.
It provides performance comparable to what you’d get from a desktop PC. However, for many individuals, the level of power on offer here will be overkill, so if you don’t require this level of performance, you’re better off opting for a more cheap laptop.
Meanwhile, considering the amount of power on offer, the laptop’s battery life is quite good, lasting over five hours in our tests, which included web browsing, document creation, and video chats.
That’s not bad, though if you’re doing more demanding work, the battery will drain more quickly. While Apple’s MacBooks are still popular among creatives, the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC outperforms even the powerful 16-inch MacBook Pro in several areas, including the display.
Not only is it larger (17.3 inches versus 16 inches on the MacBook Pro), but it also has a higher resolution, with a UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160 versus the Retina resolution of 3072×1920 on the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
This produces a sharper and cleaner image than the MacBook Pros. Because of the greater resolution, the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC can display more information on a larger screen without losing clarity or detail.
This is because of the screen’s pixel density. The sharper an image is, the more pixels per inch (PPI) it possesses. The screen of the 16-inch MacBook Pro has a pixel density of 226 PPI. The pixel density on the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC, on the other hand, is 255. That’s a big leap. Of course, image quality isn’t solely determined by resolution, screen size, or pixel density, but the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC’s screen has a few extra tricks up its sleeve.
To begin, the display supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), which can result in more colorful and compelling images as well as more realistic colors in some cases. These days, all high-end TVs support HDR, so if you’re a video editor, this laptop lets you watch your material in HDR to get a sense of how your finished projects will look.
The screen also supports the Adobe RGB color gamut in its whole, which is vital for anyone who wants color accuracy in their work, and it has been Pantone calibrated, so you can be confident that the screen of the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC will look its best right out of the box.
And we have to say, it looks stunning, with one of the greatest laptop screens we’ve ever seen. The Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC’s RTX 3070 GPU is responsible for several of the laptop’s outstanding features. Nvidia’s latest graphics cards for laptops pack a punch, offering you the kind of performance you’d expect from a large, hefty desktop computer.
While ray tracing and DLSS technology are commonly linked with gaming, they also have creative uses, particularly ray tracing’s superior lighting effects, which can make 3D-produced scenes look even more spectacular and lifelike.
With Nvidia Studio Drivers installed, this laptop’s GPU becomes even more capable of creative work, and by utilizing certain clever artificial intelligence (AI) features, you may significantly speed up your productivity by eliminating the pain of repetitive activities.
With three USB 3.2 ports, a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, HDMI 2.1, mini DisplayPort, an Ethernet port for wired internet, and an SD card reader, the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC is well-equipped in terms of ports. That final feature is very beneficial for photographers, as it allows you to insert a memory card without the need for an adaptor.
Because of the variety of ports, you can connect almost any accessory without difficulty. However, because the USB 3.2 ports are Gen 1, you won’t get the best transfer speeds, which could be an issue if you frequently transfer huge files to and from external hard drives, for example. The Thunderbolt 3 connector is substantially quicker, however, it isn’t the most recent version of the interface; Thunderbolt 4-equipped laptops are currently available.
The Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC is a powerful laptop with cutting-edge components and useful capabilities for digital artists and designers. The screen is stunning, and the fact that it is Pantone calibrated and supports Adobe RGB means you won’t need to buy a monitor to work on it. It’s easily one of the best laptops we’ve seen. The RTX 3070 laptop GPU also packs a punch, and when combined with a 10th-generation Intel Core i9 or i7 processor, you’ve got a laptop that’s ideal for creative work.
Many people may find it overkill for their requirements. While the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC is unquestionably powerful and well-built, it’s also quite pricey, so you should think about your needs before purchasing. If your requirements are more moderate, there are more economical laptops available, including those from Gigabyte.
However, if you want a powerful creative laptop that can handle just about everything you throw at it while also showcasing your work in the best possible light, this is a laptop that could be well worth the money.
If you’re looking for a laptop to utilize for graphic design, you’ve probably looked at some models and recommendations before, which is understandable. Choosing the ideal one is difficult because purchasing a laptop for graphic design is different than purchasing one for gaming or general use.
Naturally, your money will play the most essential part in determining the best option, but you should be aware of where you can and cannot sacrifice. We’ve compiled a list of suggestions to assist you in making an informed decision.
1. Operating system
When it comes to operating systems, you must decide whether to get a Mac or a PC. Fortunately, most graphic design software is accessible for both iOS and Microsoft Windows, making your decision easier. Color accuracy and good display quality are hallmarks of Mac monitors, but PC monitors are swiftly catching up.
We’d like to point out that a PC has the advantage of being able to run more broad applications, which is vital if you’re using the laptop for both business and personal enjoyment.
While Macs are sleeker because they have deleted numerous ports from their machines, plugging in various peripherals might be a hassle. Furthermore, PCs are more upgradeable, allowing you to replace merely an out-of-date or failing component rather than the entire laptop.
To operate complex and demanding design tools, you’ll want your CPU, or processor, to be fast and powerful for graphic design. In general, you should look for CPUs with as many cores as possible, such as the hexacore processors found in the G5 5500 series of Dell laptops sold by the reputed Shoppster platform (six cores). Consider the graphics capability of the laptop as well.
The graphics chip can either be built into the processor or purchased separately. Integrated graphics chips used to be limited to displaying online pages, however, that is no longer the case.
You should be fine with an integrated graphics chip unless you produce a lot of 3D drawings, in which case you will save money. If your budget allows it and you work with demanding apps, though, get a laptop with a dedicated graphics card.
If you work with numerous applications open at once, you’ll need as much RAM as possible to switch between them and scroll through large files. RAM stores the data that your laptop needs to access on the fly, such as all of the information in the file you’re now working on.
That’s why you should obtain as much RAM as possible; however, if you find a good offer, you might settle for a setup that doesn’t have enough RAM for your needs and then add memory later.
4. Size and type of display
You want the greatest display you can afford, once again. You should not settle for anything less than 15 inches for graphic design. A 17-inch screen is ideal, but it can be difficult to transport. You’ll also need a HiDPI (Apple calls it Retina HD) screen, which has a higher pixel density and allows you to see more detail.
The smallest screen that may be used for successful design is 1920 x 1080 pixels. A variety of laptops now include the ability to utilize the monitor as a touchscreen, and some can even be used as a tablet. When you wish to draw or use a different input device for your designs, a tablet can be useful.
This is self-evident. Opt for a solid-state drive instead of a regular hard disk drive (HDD) (SSD). You’ll have to pay a little extra, but you’ll get a hard disk that’s lighter, faster, and more durable. Although most new laptops come with solid-state drives, if the one you can afford doesn’t, you may easily upgrade it with one later.
6. Color accuracy
Color accuracy and a wide color gamut are also essential features of a monitor. In general, you should check to see if the display you’re looking at has at least 100% Adobe RGB. If color isn’t important to you, a monitor with 100 percent sRGB will suffice.
Color accuracy is commonly assessed in Delta-E, which is a measure of how distant the monitor is from perfect accuracy; a lower number indicates higher color accuracy. Obtain a monitor with a Delta-E score of less than 5. Delta-E, of course, cannot be regarded in isolation; it must be compared to the color gamut. Because there are fewer colors to get right, a monitor with a smaller color gamut will have a better (lower) Delta-E score.
Which laptop is ideal for graphic design is determined by the type of work you perform, your budget, and the apps you use. There are many decent laptops for graphic design out there; it’s simply a matter of selecting the appropriate one for you.