Best Laptops for Illustrators in 2022 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

By: Nootan Kumar

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Drawing is one of the most beautiful things in this world, illustrators use it to represent their mind’s creativity. The illustration can simplify a complex object or concept that are difficult to describe with the text only.

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In the old days when the computer was not available, the drawing was very challenging. You did not have any “undo” option. But nowadays, all things have been digitized, you can draw, paint, or write in a much smarter way.

You don’t need to worry about different brushes, tools or color mixing process, you can do it all with few mouse clicks. There are lots of great software like Adobe Illustrator, Coral Paint, Coral Draw, and Autodesk SketchBook are available that provides tons of features.

Also, read: best tablets for Adobe Illustrator

But all software has certain requirements to run them properly in any computer-device, and this post is all about it. I have dedicated this post to find the best laptops for illustrators in 2022. Also, I’ll discuss all important requirements which should consider before choosing any laptop for digital artwork.

Before discussing the important factors, I would like to show my recommendations for the top-rated laptops for artists in 2022. If you like to read the buyer’s guide, it is right below the reviews section, you can scroll down.

So, without further ado, let’s jump into my hand-picked recommendations.


Top Rated Laptops for Illustrators in 2022

Acer Aspire E 15
  • i5-8250U @3.4 GHz
  • GeForce MX150 2GB
  • 8GB
  • 256 GB SSD
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Dell i5577-5335BLK-PUS
  • i5-7300HQ @3.5 GHz
  • GTX 1050 4GB
  • 8GB
  • 256 GB SSD
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Acer Predator Helios 300

Best in Mid-Range

  • i7-7700HQ @3.80 GHz
  • GTX 1060 6GB
  • 16GB
  • 256 GB SSD
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  • i7-8750H @4.10 GHz
  • GTX 1060 3GB
  • 16GB
  • 512 GB NVMe
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Apple MacBook Pro 15

Editor’s Choice

  • i7-8750H @4.10 GHz
  • Radeon Pro 555X 4GB
  • 16GB
  • 256GB – 1TB SSD
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Microsoft Surface Book 2

Editor’s Choice Windows

  • i7-8650U @4.2 GHz
  • GTX 1060 6GB
  • 16GB
  • 512 GB NVMe
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Best Laptops for Digital Artists in 2022 – Reviews

 1. Acer Aspire E 15 (Most Affordable Choice)

5.27 lbs | i5-8250U @3.4 GHz | GeForce MX150 2GB | 8 GB | 256 GB SSD | 15.6-inch | 1920 x 1080 | 15-hours | Win10 Home

As I said in the buyer’s guide, the Intel i3-8130U @3.4GHz processor is the only option that I would like to recommend in a budget laptop for illustrators below i5 series. But, until you’re not on a very tight budget, I don’t recommend an i3 processor also.

This model of Acer Aspire E 15 is powered by the Intel Core i5-8250U processor and MX150 dedicated graphics card, which is good for illustration work. However, you can also go with its Core i3 variant which is coming with the integrated graphics (HD 620 – supports OpenGL 4.0), which is also capable to run illustrator software, but you can face some lag sometimes. That’s why I have listed the core i5 variant here.

This Intel Core i5 model is offering a 15.6-inch full HD IPS display which is not the highest one but good for designing work. As you can see, it is an IPS screen, therefore, the color quality and view angle are going to be good.

When we talk about the performance, as you already know it is powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core i5 -8250U processor and Nvidia MX 150 graphics card, this combination is enough for seamless performance and graphics processing. Moreover, it is offering an SSD storage of 256 GB with the 8 GB of memory, which is pretty good for a budget laptop and provide a justified performance.

But here is an obnoxious thing about this laptop, it is somewhat bulky and might not suitable for carrying all day.

On the other hand, this laptop is offering a longer battery backup, it can last up to 15 hours with a single charge on web browsing while connected to the wireless network. It is just amazing for a budget laptop.

On the back side, there is a convenient compartment is provided, it’ll come in handy to upgrade the memory or storage in the future.

Overall, the Acer Aspire E 15 is probably the most inexpensive laptop for digital art which is offering fast performance, good graphics processing, longer battery life, and beautiful full HD IPS screen. If you don’t want to spend much on your laptop, it might be the best bet for you.

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  • Very affordable price
  • Good display quality with full HD resolution IPS panel
  • Justified performance and graphics processing
  • Longer battery life
  • Easily upgradable just need to remove a single back compartment


  • A bit heavy, not ideal for on-the-go users

 2. Dell i5577-5335BLK-PUS (Another Great Budget Laptop with Better Performance)

5.66 lbs | i5-7300HQ @3.5 GHz | GTX 1050 4GB | 8 GB |  256 GB SSD | 15.6-inch | 1920 x 1080 | 7-hours | Win10 Home

While Acer Aspire E 15 is the great laptop without any doubt for budget-oriented people, but it’s like playing close to the boundary line. If you’re want to shift toward the safe zone, you’ll need something better hardware configuration. The Dell i5577 is the perfect candidate for this position, it is offering a quad-core processor with a better Nvidia GTX 1050 4GB dedicated graphics card, which is really appreciable for a cheap price.

First of all, Dell i5577-5335BLK-PUS is offering a 15-inch full HD Anti-Glare LED-backlit screen, which provides something better visuals.

In the performance department, you’re getting a 3.5GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core processor, 256GB SSD drive and 8GB memory, this combination can deliver very good performance even with multitasking. Additionally, the Nvidia GTX 1050 is offering 4GB VRAM, which is far better than MX150 (used in the previous laptop), therefore, your graphics performance is going to be even smoother.

Aesthetically, this laptop looks very professional and beautiful than the previous laptop, there is no fancy kinds of stuff have imposed, however, it’s my personal opinion.

Because of the powerful performance, you might get some cut down in the battery life compared to the previous laptop. Moreover, it’s also not a lightweight laptop, and not good for portability lovers.

Overall, the Dell i5577 is one of the best laptops for digital art in 2022 which is offering a solid performance without being heavy on the pockets.

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  • Affordable price
  • Powerful performance with a quad-core processor and Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics card
  • Good full HD display with anti-glare finish
  • Professional and beautiful design
  • Good battery life
  • The efficient thermal system ensures good performance


  • TN panel – might cause some problem with view angles
  • Bulky construction not ideal for carrying

 3. Acer Predator Helios 300 (Overall Best Choice for Mid-Range)

5.95 lbs | i7-7700HQ @3.80 GHz | GTX 1060-6GB | 16 GB | 256 GB SSD | 15.6-inch |   1920 x 1080 | 7-hours | Win10

If you’re looking for a mid-range laptop for your illustration work, the Acer Predator Helios 300 might be a solid option. Actually, it one of the most popular gaming laptops from the Acer Predator series which has been liked by many professional gamers, therefore, it has powerful graphics performance. That’s why it could be a solid choice for designing work.

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is offering a 15.6-inch full HD IPS display, which can provide wider view angles with great color accuracy.

In terms of performance, as I said above it is a very powerful laptop. It is powered by Intel Core i7 7700HQ processor which support up to 3.8 GHz clock rate. For graphics processing, it is loaded with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, which has 6GB of VRAM capacity. These specs are just enough for a liquid-like performance, whether it’s about graphics related work or gaming this beast can handle without any hiccup.

Additionally, the Acer Predator 300 is coming with 256GB SSD storage and 16GB memory, and it is another certification of powerful performance, it’ll provide seamless multitasking capability. On the other hand, if you need more storage, the Acer is offering an extra 2.5″ HDD slot for future upgrade, so it won’t be a big problem.

As a powerful performance, most of the laptop just sucks in terms of battery life but this laptop isn’t, you’re getting around 7 hours of juice from a single charge, which is quite good.

But keep in mind, this laptop is even heavier than all laptop of our list, therefore, it is not recommended for you if you’re an on-the-go user.

As you know, this laptop is quite heavy but on the other hand, it provides a solid durable body with metal chassis. Moreover, as a gaming laptop, you’re getting a backlit keyboard which could be useful while working in the low light without disturbing anyone.

Despite a bulky construction, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is one of the best laptops for illustration work in 2022 which is offering very powerful performance without a premium price. 

However, if you’re looking for some lightweight laptops without any budget restrictions, then continue reading below.

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  • Best graphics processing with solid performance and multitasking capability
  • Sturdy build quality with metal chassis
  • Good battery life despite an intense performance
  • Full HD IPS display ensures good color accuracy with wider view angles
  • Extra slot for HDD upgrade in future
  • Backlit keyboard


  • Due to solid build quality, it is quite heavy
  • Price could be higher for some

 4. ASUS FX705GM (Another Gigantic Beast for Mid-Range)

5.73 lbs | i7-8750H @4.10 GHz | GTX 1060 3GB | 16 GB | 512 GB NVMe | 17.3-inch | 1920 x 1080 | 4 hours | Windows 10

Absolutely! calling “a gigantic beast” to this laptop won’t be an exaggeration, it has some different properties which are justifying that tag. It is offering a bigger 17-inch screen with one of the most powerful Intel Core i7 8th Gen processor with 4.1GHz. Wait, if you are expecting a good battery life, I am very sorry, you need to look elsewhere, it is a high-performance large laptop which is capable to replace your desktop.

As I said, the ASUS FX705GM is offering a 17.3-inch screen, which is an LED-backlit powered IPS panel with full HD resolution. Therefore, it can deliver a good quality image with a wide view angle. Moreover, with the big screen, you’ll get more room to work, also would be great for multitasking.

From the performance aspect, this laptop probably one of the best laptops for the highest processing which is equipped with a very powerful Intel i7-8750H processor along with 16GB memory and 512GB SSD. However, it has only 3GB VRM memory in for GTX 1060 graphics card, but it won’t be a problem at all for us, it is still pretty enough such tasks.

I also want to mention here, the storage capacity of this laptop isn’t a SATA based, it is offering PCI-e based storage which is significantly faster than that.

As I said in the starting, you can’t expect a good battery life from this beast at all, moreover, it’s not a small puppy as well to carry everywhere. However, if you have a stable setup, it might be a solid upgrade for your setup.

Overall, the Asus FX705GM is one of the biggest laptops for illustrators in 2022 which is offering brilliant performance along with a beautiful and gigantic screen. However, you have to compromise with the battery life and weight.

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  • Brilliant performance with one of the most powerful Intel 8th Gen Core i7 processors and NVM-e based SSD storage
  • Largest screen with beautiful picture quality
  • Powerful graphics processing
  • Solid build quality and backlit keyboard support


  • Poor battery life
  • Heavier due to the large size
  • Somewhat high price

 5. Apple MacBook Pro 15 (Overall Best Choice)

4.02 lbs | i7-8750H @4.1 GHz | Radeon Pro 555X 4GB | 16 GB | 256GB – 1TB SSD | 15-inch | 2880 x1800 | 10 hours | Mac OS X 10.13

Everyone knows about the MacBook Pro, it is the most expensive product from Apple, but it offers many premium features that’s why it worth investing. For illustrators, it is really the gem, because it provides the best performance along with the most color accurate Retia display.

The latest MacBook Pro is offering the latest Intel Core i7 and i9 processors, but for us the Intel Core i7 version is sufficient. This variant which I am talking about is powered by the i7-8750H and Radeon Pro 555X 4GB graphics chip, therefore, there will no any compromise in the performance or graphics processing. Additionally, the latest MacBook Pro is available in 256GB to 1TB storage capacity with 16GB memory, you can pick as per your requirements.

Compared the previous model of MacBook Pro, there is not too much improvement in the display quality, you’re getting 15-inch same Retina display with 2880 x1800 pixels of resolution. However, it is probably the best display in laptops on the current market, it offers industry level color accuracy with brilliant brightness and view angles.

If you’re aware of ThunderBolt technology, this MacBook is offering four ThunderBolt Ports. Basically, ThunderBolt 3 is the universal port, which supports display output, charging or data transfer simultaneously. It means, if you have connected you MacBook pro with the external display via ThunderBolt 3 Port, your device also will keep charging at the same time while the display signal is transmitting.

When it comes to the battery backup, this MacBook has also the same capacity as its previous model. It can last up to 10 hours with a single charge on web browsing on the wireless connection.

The Apple TouchBar is really a quite innovative thing in the MacBook Pro, you can do many things so easily with just a single touch. Moreover, you can also program the TouchBar according to your requirement. For instance, if you working with Adobe Illustrator, you can drop your favorite control over the TouchBar, and make adjustments with just sliding your fingers, it is really cool.

In terms of durability, Apple MacBook Pro is king without any doubt, it is offering a beautiful thin Metal body construction with the most efficient keyboard and touchpad.

Overall, the Latest MacBook is the Best Apple Laptop for Illustrator in 2022, which is offering the best performance, most color-rich display, highly durable slimmest body, gorgeous design, long battery life. 

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  • Most color accurate and vibrant Retina display
  • Best performance with latest Intel Core i7 processor
  • Large storage SSD with the fastest speed
  • Most beautiful design with TouchBar
  • Highest durable body with thinner construction
  • Long battery life
  • Fingerprint sensor for higher security


  • Very expensive price especially the 1TB variant

 6. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (Overall Best Choice for Windows)

4.2 lbs | i7-8650U @4.2 GHz | GTX 1060 6GB | 16 GB | 512 GB NVMe | 15-inch touch | 3260×2160 | 17-hours | Win10 Pro

We have different types of Windows laptop till yet, but all of them have somewhere lack of something. But the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is probably the best option for Windows laptop which is offering almost all features.

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a bit different device of our list. Basically, it is offering a detachable design with touch display, therefore, it can be also used as a powerful tablet. It’s really hard to believe, how Microsoft has managed to pack these powerful specifications into this beautiful and slim body.

Really, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is offering a very powerful Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Graphics (6GB VRAM), 16 GB of memory, and up to 1TB storage. Honestly! Can you believe it?

Despite such a powerful processing and graphics performance, this laptop has the longest battery life in our rundown. It can last up to 16 hours on video playback with just a single charge, which is not less than a miracle.

In terms of display quality, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is going to steal your heart, the 15-inch touch display is offering 3260×2160 pixels of resolution. This PixelSense display can deliver sharpest image quality with higher color accuracy, which is very good for color sensitivity or designing tasks.

Aesthetically, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a premium looking laptop which is very durable too. You can use this laptop with or without the keyboard, it’s a much efficient way to work directly on the laptop’s screen and playing with software presets.

If you’re looking for a compact and powerful laptop for your illustration work, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 could be a perfect option in 2022. Surface Book 2 is one of the rare laptops, which is offering tremendous performance and longest battery life in the compact body.

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  • Brilliant quality display with higher color accuracy and brightness level
  • Detachable design can be also used as a tablet
  • A top-notch performance with Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB memory, and NVMe SSD storage
  • Splendid design with compact body
  • Longest battery life of 16 hours


  • Very expensive

Best Laptops for Illustrators in 2022 – Buyer’s Guide

As I said above, this section will tell you, what are the important factors that you need to consider. But before going deeper, first we need to know the software requirements which mostly used by the illustrators and artists, and this process will make our work easier.

Nowadays, the Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw/Painter, Autodesk SketchBook are probably the most popular and powerful software out there, therefore, if we will choose any laptop while considering these programs, it would be a perfect laptop for us. It means, our laptop would be capable to run any other small software such as ArtRage, and Inkscape because they all fall below that requirements.

1. Minimum System Requirements for Illustrator CC:

For Windows

  • Processor: Multicore Intel or AMD with 32/64 bit support
  • Memory: 4GB, 16GB recommended
  • Storage: 2GB available storage, SSD recommended
  • Display: 1024 x 768, 1920 x 1080 recommended
  • GPU: OpenGL 4.0 or higher, and 1GB VRAM, 4GB VRAM recommended

For Mac

  • Processor: Multicore Intel with 64-bit support
  • Memory: 4GB, 16GB recommended
  • Storage: 2GB available storage, SSD recommended
  • Display: 1024 x 768, 1920 x 1080 recommended
  • GPU: OpenGL 4.0 or higher, and 1GB VRAM, 2GB VRAM recommended

2. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8: System Requirements:

  • Processor: Intel Core i3/5/7 or AMD Athlon 64
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Storage: 1GB available storage
  • Display: 1280 x 720 screen resolution at 100%, Multi-touch screen, mouse or tablet
  • GPU: OpenGL 4.0 or higher, and 1GB VRAM, 2GB VRAM recommended

3. Painter 2019: System Requirements:

For Windows:

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 or AMD Athlon 64 processor, 2 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 2GB, 8 GB RAM or higher (recommended)
  • Storage: 1GB available storage, SSD recommended
  • Display: 1280 x 800 screen, 1920 x 1080 (recommended)
  • GPU: OpenGL 4.0 or higher, and 1GB VRAM, 2GB VRAM recommended

For Mac:

  • Processor: Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support
  • Memory: 2GB, 8 GB RAM or higher (recommended)
  • Storage: 750 MB hard disk space, SSD recommended
  • Display: 1280 x 800 screen, 1920 x 1080 (recommended)
  • GPU: OpenGL 4.0 or higher, and 1GB VRAM, 2GB VRAM recommended

4. SketchBook System Requirements:

For Windows:

  • Processor: 2.5 – 2.9 GHz of Intel or AMD CPU
  • Memory: 4 GB of Memory
  • GPU: 256 MB Graphics card with OpenGL 2.0 support
  • Other: Pressure-sensitive tablet and pen for basic features

For Mac:

  • Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel or AMD CPU
  • Memory: 4 GB of Memory
  • GPU: 256 MB Graphics card with OpenGL 2.0 support
  • Other: Pressure-sensitive tablet and pen for basic features

With that out the way, what will be the final hardware requirements for the best laptop for Illustrators in 2022?

  • Processor: 2.9 GHz 64-bit Intel processor with multicore support
  • RAM: 8GB is fine, 16GB would be the best
  • Storage: 2GB available storage for the program installation, SSD is recommended
  • GPU: OpenGL 4.0 or higher, 1GB VRAM is fine, 4GB VRAM would be the best
  • Display: Full HD 1920×1080 recommended

Now let’s discuss in more detail to understand the importance of each hardware component to know where we should extra invest for better performance during work.


According to the software requirements, we need a 64-bit processor with the 2.9GHz clock rate and multi-cores. Remember, the clock rate defines how much faster data processing a processor can do in one second, higher frequency is better.

While an extra core means, an extra processor within the CPU. And obviously, a CPU with multi-core can process multiple processing at the same time, resulting in the processing would be faster. But also, keep in mind it also depends on the software which you’re using, if it is not compatible with multi-core processing you can’t take advantage of extra cores.

While considering all these specs you need to choose at least an Intel Core i5 processors such as:

i5-5350U @2.9GHz, i5-7200U @ 3.1Ghz, i5-8250U @3.4GHz, i5-7300HQ @3.5 GHz, and i5-8300H @3.9 GHz.

If you still looking for an i3 laptop, I would only recommend an 8th Gen processor like i3-8130U @3.4GHz.

On the other hand, if you can spend more, you can also go with some Intel i7 processors for best performance such as:

i7-7700HQ @3.80 GHz, i7-7820HQ @3.9 GHz, i7-8750H @4.10 GHz, i7-8650U @4.2 GHz.

Here is another tip, if you’re looking for better battery life, then always choose a Processor from the U or Y product lineup. In facts, the H product lineup is a much better choice for gamers.

computer memory RAM

First, we need to understand, what is the use of RAM in our system? Basically, RAM works as temporary storage which makes information available at the fastest speed for our computer processor. Yes, it is really very fast, for instance – a DDR3 RAM of 1600 MHz can deliver the peak transfer rate of 12800 MB/s, which is way much higher than a typical 7200RPS HDD (80-160 MB/s), even compared to a PCIe SSD (712 MB/s).

But, also keep in mind as the higher the RAM the faster the processing will be, it is simply not true. For example, if you’re working with software which only needs 2GB of memory, doesn’t matter you have installed 8 GB, 16GB or even 32GB memory, the performance will be the same. However, if you multitask a lot then higher RAM could be beneficial.

Finally, as per the software requirements, 8GB RAM is just enough, but it won’t be a big deal to go with 16GB memory because of our multitasking habit.

It is a very crucial requirement without any doubt because it is the only component that we stare all the time. Therefore, it should be enough color accurate and sharp for the best possible result.

But if you use an external monitor, it’s not a big deal either.

You might like this post for the best monitors for photographers.

Usually, a full HD resolution is pretty good for a 15.6-inch laptop, but make sure it is an IPS panel, always avoid from a TN panel for designing or color sensitive tasks.

Absolutely it is, most of the designing software requires at least 1GB dedicated VRAM for proper graphics processing without increase your CPU load. Therefore, it is recommended to go with more than that, I would like to recommend a dedicated graphics card with at least 2GB of RAM. Even if you can go with graphics with 4GB VRAM it would be the best. On the other hand, if you’re choosing a Mac machine then only 2GB VRAM would be fine.

Most of the designers and artists use graphics/drawing tablet because it provides the highest accuracy along with natural working style. If you’re still working with a mouse, it is the perfect time to upgrade your setup.

You might like these posts on the drawing tablets.

Battery life:

It is something that everyone wants in any digital device, and a laptop is not an exception. But don’t worry, I have tried my best to select the best laptops for you, which offer average 6+ hours of battery life. I think it is a decent battery life for a designing laptop.


If you’re an on-the-go user then you need to think about the weight as well. However, it won’t be a big deal to adopt a bit higher weight, that has been used in the metal frame or body for enhancing the laptop’s durability.

ThunderBolt 3 (USB Type-C):

Nowadays, it is a quite popular port if you’re getting it would be the best. It provides very fast data transfer speed along with charging simultaneously. You can connect your camera, display or storage drive with it.

Wrapping it up

Ok, you’ve gone through all of my laptop recommendations and buyer’s guide, and I hope you have already found your best laptop till yet. Still not decided which one would be good for you, here is the deal:

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly laptop, the Acer Aspire E 15 might be a great deal for you, while you can slide your budget a bit then Dell i5547 might be a better deal with some enhanced performance.

Acer Predator Helios 300 is the most recommended laptop for the mid-range price, seriously it is one of the most cost-effective laptops in 2022 that you need to check out. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a giant laptop the Asus FX705GM might seek your attention.

Overall the latest MacBook Pro is my best laptop for illustration work in 2022, it has everything that any professional illustrator will desire. While the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is my best choice in Windows device, which is also offering many top-notch features with the touch display and longest battery life.

Well, what do you think about these best laptops for digital art in 2022 or have you any questions regarding them? let me know in the comment below. I would love to help you.

Thank you very much! have a great day:)

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