There’s nothing more frustrating than buying a laptop only to find that it doesn’t have the specs you so desperately need. Whether it’s a limited RAM size or a slow processor speed, the fundamental features of a laptop ultimately dictate its potential to users.
When it comes to using laptops for drawing, this is no different. The interest in laptops made specifically for drawing and design has soared in recent years, with illustrators, painters and graphic designers all investing in digital drawing platforms.
With the right software, they provide artists with the scope and flexibility to use a variety of different drawing techniques, tools and colors.
Digital art is a very forgiving medium. It allows users to make mistakes that can easily be rectified by a simple touch of a button.
Therefore, laptops designed for drawing are equally valuable for beginner artists looking to develop their confidence and experiment with their skills.
However, in an ever-growing digital market, there are a vast range of laptops available that can create beautiful and precise digital drawings.
Therefore, picking the right one to suit your individual needs is a difficult task and can become a little overwhelming. So, to make things easier for you, I’ve done some of the hard work.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of five of the best laptops on the market that are packed with features designed exclusively for those looking to create high-quality digital art.
I’ve also put together a handy buyer’s guide to help remove any confusion when selecting the best product for you.
OUR TOP PICK
The first laptop on the list is the Surface Pro 7 from Microsoft. This incredibly versatile 2-in-1 device instantly transforms from laptop to tablet to portable studio, so you can type, write and draw pretty much anywhere.
The laptop comes equipped with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and Intel Iris Plus, which improves the performance of the device, making it easier and quicker to draw with accuracy.
In addition to its high GPU and CPU capacity, the Surface Pro 7 is powered by an impressive battery life, lasting up to 10 and a half hours.
In terms of display, this laptop has a 12.3” touchscreen display with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels.
The brightness and color of the screen is well-balanced, with the device also providing ambient sensing which automatically adjusts the screen based on the surrounding light.
Other notable features of the Surface Pro 7 include 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. This ensures that you’ll be able to draw and multitask on the device without delay or interruption.
As for ports, users can easily connect additional devices such as headphones using the USB-C and USB-A ports.
- Super-slim, sleek design with great portability.
- Extensive battery life, lasting up to 10.5 hours.
- High GPU and CPU capacity, so excellent performance.
- Extremely versatile, with quick transformation between laptop, tablet and studio modes.
- Precise and well-balanced display.
- The keyboard and stylus need to be purchased separately.
The lightweight Chromebook Plus from Samsung is another great option for those looking to create high-quality digital art. The device comes equipped with a built-in pen which provides precise strokes and doesn’t need to be charged.
In terms of power and performance, the Chromebook Plus has an extensive battery life and an Intel Core processor. This processor is supported by an Intel HD Graphics 615 GPU to efficiently render images and videos.
A 4GB RAM isn’t the best, so the multitasking ability of the device will be tested and the 64GB eMMC flash memory for storage is limited compared to other laptops on the market.
Despite the slightly underwhelming RAM and storage, the eMMC does however, offer faster boot-ups and quicker loading times for apps in the Chrome OS ecosystem.
The 12.2” display of the Chromebook Plus delivers visuals at a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels.
The laptop also has a dual camera which can capture clear shots and even zoom in for a more detailed look due to its 13MP world-facing camera with impressive autofocus.
- Lightweight, sleek design is easily foldable and portable.
- Dual camera with 13MP world-facing camera with autofocus.
- Built-in pen, which doesn’t need charging, is ready to write, draw and edit with precision.
- Long-lasting battery life to serve you throughout the day.
- Several users have reported that the screen display is dim and yellowish.
- No HDMI or Ethernet port.
One of the highest-performing and affordable options on the market, the Acer Spin 3 is a fantastic laptop for producing digital art. With a battery life of up to 12 hours, you can take your time and fully immerse yourself in your drawings.
The device is super versatile, with a functional design and 360° dual-torque hinge which allows you to quickly transform the laptop into three other modes: display, tent or tablet.
At 14”, the LED-backlit touchscreen provides a good platform to work on, while the 1920 x 1080 resolution offers a reasonable display performance.
In terms of power and performance, the Spin 3 is exceptional. With the combination of an Intel Core i5 processing system and Intel UHD Graphics 620, artists can draw on a lightning-quick, smooth-performing device.
It also outperforms most of its rivals when it comes to RAM and storage, with 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 512GB SSD internal storage specification.
Finally, the Acer Spin 3 comes with a rechargeable stylus that will facilitate your authentic drawing and sketching. This docks straight into the laptop - with just 15 seconds of charge giving up to 90 minutes use.
- Good CPU specification for smooth and efficient performance.
- Impressive, long-lasting battery life.
- SSD storage is powerful and speedy enough to allow you to use Photoshop and Premiere Pro for your drawing and editing needs without glitches.
- Functional design enables you to quickly change mode.
- Rechargeable stylus pen allows you to be precise and creative with your drawings.
- Display specification isn’t top-end.
With the Spectre x360, HP have created a laptop that’ll serve all your drawing needs. The stylish convertible comes equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor which elevates the laptop’s performance to the very top end of the scale.
This is further enhanced when you take into account the power of the NVIDIA GeForce MX330 with 2GB VRAM.
The sharp 4K UHD display with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels is another superb quality of this laptop, enabling you to draw with impressive color and clarity on the 15.6” Ultra HD touchscreen.
You won’t struggle with storage on this laptop either as the 16GB system memory is more than enough for multitasking, as well as storing all your drawings and designs.
Adding to these high-quality specifications is a significant battery life of up to 13 and a half hours. Not quite as impressive however, is the device’s touchpad which is wider than most, and can be a little problematic to operate.
- Super fast Intel Core i7 processor allows you to create and edit your drawings with ease.
- Powerful display provides excellent color and clarity.
- Large storage offers plenty of space to store drawings and designs.
- Efficient, long-lasting battery life up to 13.5 hours.
- Much more expensive than the majority of other laptops on the market.
- Wider than usual touchpad has been reported as problematic by a number of users.
The final laptop on this list is the Flex 5 from Lenovo. This laptop is thin, light, stylish, and perfect for working professionals.
Some of its stand-out features include a fingerprint reader, digital pen, privacy shutter, quad-core processor, and a host of inbuilt security features.
A high-speed 16GB RAM enables you to multitask whilst you draw, whether that’s listening to music or streaming videos.
In addition to this, the IPS-powered 14” touchscreen has 360° flexibility to accommodate different modes and provide a comfortable and easy user experience.
The energy-efficient processor of the Flex 5 enables you to get up to 10 hours of usage from the device. Despite the lack of multi-threading, this laptop offers impressive processing power with faster logins, six cores and ample connectivity.
- Thin, light and stylish design offers great portability.
- 360-degree flexibility to accommodate different modes.
- High-speed RAM facilitates multitasking whilst you draw on the device.
- Solid battery life of up to 10 hours.
- Lots of useful features such as fingerprint reader, webcam shutter and digital pen.
- Laptop has a lack of multi-threading.
When it comes to finding the best laptop for drawing, there are a number of factors that you need to take into consideration to ensure you get the best product for your individual needs.
Below, I’ll take a look at some of these important areas to focus on when scouring the market for the ideal device. Giving a little extra thought to these will help steer you towards the perfect option, saving you both time and effort in the long run.
Firstly, it’s important to make sure you invest in a laptop that has a good display quality. Compromising on this front will lead to unsatisfactory, lower-quality digital art. Therefore, aim for a device that has a high-resolution and color-accurate display.
In addition to a high-resolution screen, it’s also worth getting a laptop with a full HD display. This will ensure that you get a clear and accurate view of your drawings and the different colors you’ve used, as well as a sharper overall image quality.
Perhaps the most significant specification you need to look for in a drawing-specific laptop is the graphics configuration. As mentioned above, the best laptops for drawing will have excellent color vividness and display sharpness.
To ensure your digital artwork is not only accurate, but also impactful, the graphics of the laptop should be considered a key priority.
Power and Performance
Processing power is essential if you want a fast and efficient drawing laptop. There’s nothing worse than being halfway through a drawing only for your laptop to lag and interrupt your flow.
An Intel Core i5 or higher processor is ideally what you should be looking for. This will ensure speedy performance and allow you to run software such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro with different tabs and windows open simultaneously.
Having the ability to smoothly operate and flick between programs to design and edit your drawings will only enhance your output and performance.
Needless to say, picking a lightweight portable device is recommended. This will enable you to easily travel with it, as well as creating and editing your artwork on the go.
For example, choosing a laptop which you can quickly transform into tablet mode is great if you have a busy and active lifestyle which requires you to work whilst you're commuting or travelling.
It’s definitely worth investing in a laptop with a long-lasting battery life. You’ll want a device that offers several hours of continued use so you don’t have to continually worry about being near a power source.
Ideally, it’s best to get a drawing laptop that can last at least 6-7 hours. It’s not worth setting your standards too much lower than this when searching through the available options.
It’s important to note that battery life can vary significantly between different models and brands, so make sure you research all information thoroughly in order to get the best product for your individual needs.
RAM and Storage
RAM stands for Random Access Memory, and without it, your laptop wouldn’t be able to run any of the software or programs needed for creating and editing artwork.
A sizable RAM is pretty essential, so you’ll need at least 6-8GB. Devices in the range of 16-32GB are even better as you won’t have to worry about deleting files or software to create space.
Storage is equally important for keeping your artwork safe, so don’t compromise on this when picking a laptop. You should aim for 512GB SSD of storage to give you plenty of space for your various drawings and designs.
The majority of convertible laptops come equipped with a stylus or surface pen which can be used to enhance the drawing experience and provide greater flexibility in your artwork.
If the laptop you’ve chosen doesn’t come with one, there are a wide range of options available online. Just make sure it’s pressure sensitive, has a good grip, and most importantly, is compatible with your laptop.
Frequently Asked Questions
What qualities should I look for when buying a laptop for drawing?
Ideally, you’ll want to find a laptop that’s easy to use, portable, versatile and high-performing. Some of the key qualities to look out for in terms of performance are listed below:
- High-resolution display to facilitate sharp colors and consistent clarity.
- Sufficient levels of storage to ensure you have enough space to store all your drawings, designs and other artwork.
- High processing power to enable drawing and design software to run simultaneously whilst you work.
- Compatibility with a stylus/pen to provide you with a natural and familiar drawing experience.
- Long-lasting battery life to withstand several hours of heavy use.
Are touchscreen laptops good for drawing?
Yes, touchscreen laptops are great for artists, graphic designers and architects looking to create complex, high-quality drawings. They’re equally useful for beginner artists looking to experiment, due to the ease in which mistakes can be rectified.
It’s worth bearing in mind however, that not all touchscreen laptops come with a stylus included.
There are some touchscreen devices that aren’t designed for drawing, especially some of the older models - so make sure you carefully check the laptop’s specifications before purchasing.
Are 2-in-1 laptops good for drawing?
While a large number of 2-in-1 laptops are perfect for drawing and digital art, some aren’t designed for this exact purpose. Many are made to be flipped to be more effective for browsing the internet or watching video.
Again, it’s worth checking the exact specifications of the laptop to make sure you’re buying a 2-in-1 device that’s designed to facilitate drawing.
Which is the best processor for drawing laptops to have?
If you’re serious about drawing and creating good art, you’ll need to choose a laptop with Intel i5 or i7 CPU configuration. These processors are top-quality, ensuring optimal levels of speed, power and performance.
This in turn, will provide you with smooth and stress-free drawing conditions, boosting the quality of your output.