How to Choose a Laptop for Graphic Design

Please Note: As an Amazon Associate we earn a small commission for qualifying purchases from our site. Learn more about our editorial policies.

Picking the laptop for graphic design is a tricky task that requires meticulous background work. Besides battery life, high portability, and power, you need to pay close attention to various specs to ensure your purchase meets your graphic design needs. 

See, the most challenging thing about hunting the laptop for design is that you should balance the device’s characteristics. And the reason is pretty apparent – you don’t want your machine to lag or turn as hot as a frying pan, which is, to be honest, typical for many people who misuse their laptops and delve into tasks those same devices can hardly handle.

So, what’s the way out? How do you choose a laptop for graphic design? We’ve compiled a brief and practical guide to help you find the machine best suited for your purposes.

What are your design purposes?

By the way, speaking of purposes – what are they? Answering this question is vital because it predetermines the specs that will meet your requirements. You can easily go with middle and even low specifications if you plan to create visuals, like posters, banners, and stuff. Not only will you save plenty of wherewithal, but you will also manage to compensate for this loss of performance by using vista create. After all, if the latter can execute most tasks, why would you need to push the boat out and purchase a flagship? 

Another thing is complex tasks. Looking for powerful devices is unavoidable if you plan to do complicated work, like 3D graphic design. Therefore, make sure you know your aims; it will help you narrow down the list of laptops that can perform the tasks. 

Set the budget

Defining the budget is another essential aspect that must be estimated rigidly. Many people fall into the same trap of miscalculating the resources they can invest in a laptop. You need to be thoughtful when creating a budget, as buying a laptop isn’t circumscribed by the device per se only. Graphic design involves using various accessories, including but not limited to external hard drives, additional displays, a mouse and paid software. 

If you aspire to kick-start your graphic design routine right after buying the laptop, keeping the mentioned elements in mind is a must. Of course, this can influence your purchase of a laptop and make you opt for a less powerful device to save resources for essential tools. But you can spend more cash on the laptop itself if you are about to embark on the graphic design journey. You will manage to collect some money and purchase the necessary accessories as you advance.

Focus on the right specs

The Internet is oversaturated with specs people striving to become graphic design gurus need to go for. Most of them are experience-based and can come in handy, so there is no reason for reinventing the wheel and writing what laptop is best and why. Every device has its pros and cons, and choosing one over another may often be a matter of taste. Instead, let’s take a brief look at the specs you want your laptop to have to perform every design-related task.

Storage drive

Were we to boil down this subtopic to several words, we would encourage you to stay away from HDD. Hard disk drives are a thing of the past, primarily if you are devoted to graphic design. They’re vulnerable and slow. SDD is your go-to. The more storage it has, the better. 


Aim at a multi-core processor to be able to execute design tasks. The processor accelerates the laptop and allows it to perform quickly. Traditionally, the later generation, the more complex tasks it will handle. To find the golden mean, try looking for an i7 Intel generation.


You don’t have plenty of options when it comes to GPU. You either lean toward RTX 2060 8GB or RTX 3080 10GB. If you want to work in 2D graphics, RTX 2060 8GB is your best option and will suffice. In turn, purchasing 3080 for such a task equals buying a Lambo and cruising down the parking lot.


The last thing you want is to have insufficient memory, especially if you work with multiple tabs and apps opened. Look for at least 16GB of memory to be on the safe side. It will allow you to switch between tools without any lag.

Display size

Graphic design highly relies on visuals, so the quality of a display and its size are paramount. We recommend going with a 15 or 17-inch monitor. If you target an Apple product, we advise looking for a Retina display. 

Extra ports and slots

This one may be odd in light of the previous elements, but having an extra port or two can sometimes be life-changing. Indubitably, the question of whether to choose a laptop with a more powerful GPU or additional slot doesn’t stand, as the former is much more critical. Still, if there are two similar laptops but one has an extra SD card slot, we would go with the latter one.

Bottom Line

And that’s it. Provided elements are essential to performing graphic design tasks, so make sure you focus on them in the first place and move to other things afterward. Graphic design is a vast field full of various branches requiring different hardware. The better you know your design area and future tasks, the more solid laptop you will be able to buy. Good luck!

By LaptopNinja Editorial Team

The LaptopNinja editorial team is dedicated to helping you choose the right laptop for your needs and spreading knowledge about everything tech. Founded in 2012, the LaptopNinja team of motley tech specialists spend countless hours every week scouring the best deals across the web to help save you time and money based on more than half a decade of experience researching and recommended the top value for money and high performing laptops on the planet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *