If you’re looking for a laptop for graphic design, video editing or other power intensive applications and you’re not sure what to get, here you will find our picks of top laptops for graphic design and a short buying guide if you’re unfamiliar with computer terms.
But what exactly should we expect from graphic design laptops?
First of all, we want a high resolution display with an adequate size to reproduce vivid colors and give us a high level of detail and texture for an outstanding picture quality. Currently, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display is at the top with a resolution of 2880×1800 pixels and the highest pixel density that you can find on a laptop these days. If the price for a MacBook Pro with Retina Display is not within your budget, the best alternatives to it are laptops with a full HD resolution 1920×1080 pixels.
Second, we need a good configuration for multitasking that would allow us to run multiple applications simultaneously without any freezes or slow processing. For this, I recommend an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and a discrete graphics card to help with 3D or video rendering. A faster storage disk drive like a SSD is always a plus.
With these in mind, below are what we consider to be the best laptops for graphic design and video editing.
Apple MacBook Pro 15.4-Inch Laptop with Retina Display
This version of the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display (model ME294LL/A) features a 2.3 GHz Core i7 quad-core processor, 512 GB of flash storage, and 16 GB of onboard RAM. It also offers a combination of Intel Iris Pro integrated graphics and the NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M discrete graphics processor with 2 GB of video memory.
This thing is a solid performing development powerhouse, for example a project that used to take a few minutes to build on my old 2010 macbook pro, now builds in seconds. The screen is brilliant and provides plenty of desktop space for actually using serious software like XCode or Photoshop to their full. On the flip side install windows on a boot camp partition and you have one of, if not the most powerful portable steam boxes in the market.
ASUS N550JK-DS71T 15.6-Inch Touchscreen Laptop
Featuring a 4th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, the N550JK lets you multitask with a seamless experience. Browse the internet, download music and play your latest games simultaneously without the faintest hint of lag. Not only will your experience be sooth, but beautiful. Powered by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M graphics, the N550JK boasts enhanced graphics capabilities and double the power efficiency of previous generations. The only thing faster is ASUS’s Super Hybrid Engine II, which wakes the computer from sleep mode in a mere 2 seconds. Now you can stop and start your work instantly right where you left off.
I’ve researched all the latest notebooks in this price range for high performance computing power, low weight, and sleek design to do engineering work. This notebook is by far the superior in its class. The fast quad core tackles computational heavy loads easily and the latest NVIDIA 850M provides beautiful visualizations. I can’t wait to utilize all those graphics cores (640) to do some extreme parallel processing. The touchscreen is proving to be quite useful and productive for some applications. The only critique I have is to immediately get rid of the McAfee antivirus tool; it slows everything down and is cumbersome. Once removed, this notebook is lightning fast and smooth.
Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p 15.6-Inch Laptop
Plays Like An Athlete, Works Like A Pro. If you’re looking for a feature-rich laptop that’s good for high-performance multimedia, extreme gaming, and other graphics, audio and processor intensive applications, look no further than the IdeaPad Y510p. It’s the high-performance notebook with looks to match. Sporting a brushed metal exterior and interior, including a backlit keyboard, the IdeaPad Y510p combines an impressive design with the latest 4th Gen Intel Core processor, discrete NVIDIA graphics and premium JBL designed speakers making this a true multimedia powerhouse.
Nothing comes close to this laptop in terms of performance and build quality at this price point. Like others have said the track pad is awful. I was able to tweak the sensitivity a bit which helped but its still terrible. It plays pretty much any game on high settings, runs quiet and has a great screen. The keyboard is great; very solid and well lit just a bit on the cramped side.