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5 Best Laptops For Graphic Design in 2022 (RTX A3000)

Graphic Designers require a lot of computing power to handle the extremely complicated workload, they face on a daily basis. Previously, these were only possible with high-end desktop computers, but with the rise of modern mobile hardware that can give their full-fat desktop counterparts a run for their money, there are a bunch of laptops available right now, that can handle demanding graphics tasks with a breeze. So, if you’re looking for the best laptop for graphic design that can your every workload requirement, stick around.

Best Laptops For Graphics Design

What Makes A Great Laptop For Graphic Design?

When designing graphics on a laptop, you need to keep a few things in mind. Firstly, you’ll need a lot of raw graphics power, so the laptop needs to have a powerful GPU. However, you also need to make sure that you have a powerful CPU, preferably with a high core count to go with it. The device also needs to have super fast storage to handle extreme workloads.

However, the one very important aspect that some often forget, is the Display. You need a color-accurate display to produce error-free visuals. Otherwise, your work is going to look way off when someone else views them on their displays. If your laptop doesn’t have an accurate display, you should connect an external monitor with good color accuracy.

Here are some basic pointers to get you up to speed,

  • Get a laptop that has a powerful GPU with a lot of execution units and also supports all the modern GPU technologies. High-end GPUs from NVIDIA or top-of-the-line AMD GPUs are recommended. Apple users will have to use Apple’s powerful integrated GPUs.
  •  Make sure the CPU has a high core count. Both Intel and AMD currently provide a wide range of CPUs with a lot of cores to work with, but if you’re in the Apple Ecosystem, you can choose one of Apple’s M-series chips instead.
  • The display should have great color accuracy. With modern standers mainstreaming DCI-P3, you should try and get as close to 100% DCI-P3 as you can and try to keep the Adobe RGB value 97% or above. If you use Rec.  2020 color space, it’s better to go with external monitors that support it properly.
  • To make sure you don’t run into a storage bottleneck, decide on how much storage you need, beforehand. I’ll suggest at least 1TB, but if you require more, get it upfront (necessary for Macbooks) or check if you have storage upgradability options on your laptop. Preferably PCIe Gen 4 or at least Gen 3 is recommended. If you can find fast enough external SSDs, they should do the job as well.

Do keep in mind though that lightweight graphic design doesn’t require as much power. You can get away with less powerful hardware for less complicated workloads. Below, I’ve listed the best options available for both power users and those who have lighter workflows.

Best Laptops For Graphics Design – The Elite Selection

With the basics out of the way, let’s first look at the elite options out there. These devices are capable of extremely complicated graphics design and depending on the specification you opt for, can handle almost anything you throw at them.

ASUS ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED

When it comes to being the best graphic design laptop out there, ASUS pretty much takes the crown in the Windows camp. The ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED has a great display, multiple high-power configurations, and it offers versatility like no other creator-focused laptop out there right now.

Best Laptops For Graphics Design

Available Configurations

The ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED comes with Intel’s latest 12th gen i9-12900H and i7-12700H CPU options and for graphics, you get NVIDIA’s RTX A3000 professional workstation grade GPU with NVIDIA Studio Drivers. It can be combined with 32GB or 64GB of DDR5 RAM alongside 1TB and 2TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD or faster 2TB (1TB+1TB) and 4TB (2TB+2TB) PCIe Gen 4 SSD in RAID0.

If you want even more graphics power, there is an RTX A5000 GPU option, but you’ll have to go for the Xeon W-11955M CPU and it’s going to cost you a fortune. However, the A3000 here does have 12GB GDDR6 memory while the A5000 has 16GB, so if you need that extra memory, you still have the option.

The Display and The ASUS Dial

ASUS is using a 4K (3840 x 2400) OLED display on the Studiobook Pro 16 OLED. It peaks at 600 nits, has Dolby Vision & HDR10 support, and is also Pantone validated. There is 100% DCI-P3 coverage and the Delta E value is less than 2. All of these factors contribute toward a highly color-accurate display which is excellent for graphics work.

The big 16-inch size and wider 16:10 aspect ratio eliminate the usual bottlenecks that come with using a smaller 13-14-inch device.

There is also the mechanical ASUS Dial which makes precise adjustments possible. it also works with the full Adobe suite seamlessly, out of the box. The mechanical dial is currently exclusive to ASUS and the Studiobook series has the best implementation of it.

My only issue is that the display has a 60 Hz refresh rate, but that seems to be a common theme for most of the 4K OLED displays right now, so I can’t complain much about the same. Other than that, it’s an excellent display for creators.

Ports and Connectivity

As far as ports are concerned, you get every single one you can probably ask for on a creator-focused laptop. Here’s a complete list of all the ports on the Studiobook Pro 16 OLED,

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  • 2x Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C
  • 2x USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 2
  • 1x HDMI 2.1
  • 1x SD card slot (SD Express 7.0 supported)
  • 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
  • 1x RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet (LAN)
  • 1x DC-in (lower wattage USB-C charging also supported)

For connectivity, you get Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 ax) and Bluetooth 5.0.

Battery and Charging

ASUS has included a 90Wh Battery with the Studiobook Pro 16 OLED which is pretty big for a Windows workstation but to get the full performance on any Windows laptop, you need to plug it in any way. You also get a 240W power adapter which charges using the circular DC-in port on the laptop. USB-C charging is available, but it’s limited to 100W.

Pricing

The ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED is the top-of-the-line product from ASUS’ creator lineup of laptops and you’ll be paying a good amount of money for it. The Intel Core i9-12900H (12th gen) variant with 32GB RAM, 2TB SSD, and an RTX A3000 workstation GPU costs $2999.99 while the Xeon variant with a Xeon-11995M (11th gen), 64GB RAM, 4TB SSD, and a more powerful RTX A5000 GPU costs a whopping $4999.99.

Buy Intel Core i9-12900H Version

Buy Intel Xeon W-11955M Version

Get the ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED for,

  • The 16-inch professional-grade 4K OLED display with excellent color accuracy
  • Workstation GPUs for better graphics handling
  • Availability of a ton of ports
  • A physical dial for precise control

Don’t get the ProArt Studiobook Pro 16 OLED if,

  • You don’t want a 60 Hz screen

Apple Macbook Pro 16

For users in the Apple ecosystem, the Macbook Pro 16 is a no-brainer when it comes to doing professional graphic design. It comes with the most powerful laptop hardware that Apple currently makes, and you have a lot of customization options to get things dialed in exactly how you need’em.

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Best Laptops For Graphics Design

Available Configurations

You can configure the Macbook Pro 16 with Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max SOCs. For M1 Pro, you get a 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine while the M1 Max comes in two variants. The base M1 Max comes with a 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine while the maxed-out variant comes with a 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine.

If you choose the M1 Pro, you can get either 16GB or 32GB RAM while the M1 Max lets you choose between 32GB or 64GB RAM. Do remember that the M1 Max requires that extra RAM for the extra GPU power and has a higher 400GB/sec Memory bandwidth on the 32-core GPU variant.

For storage, Apple offers 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB SSD options. You can’t upgrade any of this later, so you need to decide how much RAM and Storage you’ll need while placing your order.

The Display

Apple went to a different route and adapted Mini-LED display technology. This allows the panel to get much brighter with around 500 nits in SDR, 1600 nits in HDR, and 1000 nits (sustained) in XDR. It’s also listed under their professional XDR lineup, so it has exceptional color accuracy for graphic design. It also gets OLED-like contrast and blooming is a non-issue.

The 16.2-inch display has a resolution of 3456 x 2234 which is pretty close to 4K and has an edge-to-edge design for a better viewing experience. It also has a 120 Hz refresh rate which adds that extra smoothness for faster operations and more instantaneous controls (for digital dials, sliders, etc.). Overall, this is one of the best displays you can get on any laptop.

Ports and Connectivity

Apple hasn’t been kind about providing its users with a wide variety of ports since the 2016 MacBook Pro came out. This situation has improved a lot with the new Apple Silicon Macbook Pros (14″ and 16″). You get,

  • 3x USB 4.0 Type-C with Thunderbolt 4
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
  • 1x SD Card Slot (SDXC)
  • 1x magnetic Magsafe 3 Connector

The connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 ax) and Bluetooth 5.0.

Pricing

The Macbook Pro 16 starts at $2499 for the M1 Pro variant (16GB, 512GB), $3099 for the M1 Max with a 24-core GPU (32GB, 512GB), and $3299 for the M1 Max with a 32-core GPU. Maxing everything out costs $6099.

View at Amazon

Buying Guides: 13-inch Laptops | 14-inch Laptops | 15-inch Laptops | 16-inch Laptops | 17-inch Laptops

View at Apple Official

Battery and Charging

Apple has stuck a 100 Wh battery inside the 16-inch Macbook Pro. That’s the biggest capacity allowed on an airplane, so the company has gone all the way here.  The included 140W power brick charges the laptop using the latest Magsafe 3 connector which comes off easily if you trip on the cable. Apple Silicon laptops don’t lose performance when not plugged in, so you get a better experience on the go.

Get the Macbook Pro 16 for,

  • Having a portable Apple workstation
  • The excellent 16.2-inch Mini-LED display
  • No compromise in performance while on battery power

Don’t get the Macbook Pro 16 if,

  •  Future upgradability is a major concern

Best Laptops For Graphic Design –  The Professional Mainstream Selection

Looking for more mainstream options for multipurpose workflows? Then instead of considering the elite choices, check out the devices below.

ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED

If you need a more subtle creator-focused laptop with slightly more effort towards aesthetics while still being excellent in performance, the Zenbook Pro 16X OLED is the one you should be looking at. Alongside the pretty nifty elevated keyboard, which is both a convenience and a cooling solution, you also get a slightly muted version of the ASUS Dial with powerful hardware to handle complicated graphic design tasks.

Best Laptops For Graphics Design

Available Configurations

You can get the Zenbook Pro 16X OLED in two configurations. The base variant comes with an Intel Core i7-12700H alongside 16GB LPDDR5 RAM, 1TB PCIe Gen 4 Performance SSD, and the NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU. The higher-end variant comes with the i9-12900H, 32GB LPDDR5 RAM, 2TB PCIe Gen 4 Performance SSD, and NVIDIA RTX 3060 GPU. There is a 512GB SSD variant, but you’ll likely not find it in the US.

The Display and The ASUS Dial

Just like its ProArt counterpart, the Zenbook Pro 16X OLED comes with a 16-inch 4K (3840 x 2400), 16:10 OLED display. It also peaks at 600 nits and has support for Dolby Vision HDR. Color accuracy is excellent with 100% DCI-P3 coverage alongside Pantone validation. So, you can produce accurate graphics and with the extra pop of that OLED contrast, things are going to look great.

Compared to the Studiobook, you get a more immersive experience as the display has a 90% screen-to-body ratio. That means when you’re not working this is going to look a little better as a content consumption display. If you’re taking this outside, this laptop is going to blend a bit better because of the more mainstream approach.

The company has included an ASUS Dial on this model as well, but it’s not a fully mechanical part like its more professional sibling. Instead, the dial is a touch-sensitive circular area where you need to move your finger to make the adjustments. There is also a button in the middle for clicks. This solution works well and although it’s not as precise as the mechanical dial, it’s still pretty accurate.

Ports and Connectivity

You still have a pretty comprehensive set of inputs on the Zenbook Pro 16X OLED. Here’s everything you’re getting,

  • 2x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 (lower wattage USB-C charging also supported)
  • 1x USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 2
  • 1x HDMI 2.1
  • 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
  • 1x SD card slot (SD Express 7.0 supported)
  • 1x DC-in

For connectivity, you get Wi-Fi 6E (802.11 ax) and Bluetooth 5.0.

Battery and Charging

One area where the Zenbook is slightly ahead is the Battery capacity. It has a massive 96Wh Battery and the supplied power adapter is 200W. You can use one of the USB Type-C ports to charge, but you’ll be limited to 100W that way. This is still a power-hungry system, so the battery life isn’t going to be anything to write home about. But again, this is a Windows system, so you need to plug it in to get the full performance.

Pricing

The Zenbook Pro 16X OLED starts at $2599.99 for the i7-12700H variant (16GB, 1TB) and goes up to $2999.99 for the i9-12900H variant (32GB, 2TB). It’s certainly not a cheap device, but again it’s a very unique laptop and its more mainstream approach makes it a great choice for a wide variety of users.

View at Amazon

Get the Zenbook Pro 16X OLED for,

  • The 4K OLED panel with excellent color accuracy
  • Elevated keyboard and ASUS Dial
  • A great selection of ports

Don’t get the Zenbook Pro 16X OLED if,

  • You need a fully mechanical dial instead of a touch-sensitive one

Dell XPS 15 (9520)

In case you’re looking for something even more muted that can deliver great performance while keeping a low profile from the outside, the Dell XPS 15 is the one to get. It maintains Dell’s industrial XPS design while delivering enough power to handle graphic design with ease.

Best Laptops For Graphics Design

Available Configurations

The Dell XPS 15 comes in multiple configurations, but I’m going to disregard the integrated GPU options as those aren’t going to be enough for working with graphics. That being said, you can configure the Dell XPS 15 with either an i7-12700H or the higher-end i9-12900HK. These can be configured with 16GB/32GB/64GB of DDR5 RAM and 512GB/1TB/2TB/4TB of PCIe Gen 4 SSD storage.

For the GPU, you can get either the RTX 3050 or the amped-up 3050 Ti. These aren’t as powerful as the 3060, so if you need that kind of performance, you’ll have to look at the Zenbook instead.

The Display

Dell provides three different display options for the XPS 15. There are Full HD (1920 x 1200) and 4K (3840 x 2400) IPS LCD options, both of which are 60 Hz, and peak at 500 nits, but the 4K option also supports Touch input. You can also get a 3.5K (3456 x 2160) 60Hz OLED panel that peaks at a slightly lower 400 nits and it also supports Touch.

I recommend the 3.5K OLED panel, but if you prefer IPS, you can get the 4K panel. The 1080P panel doesn’t make much sense for graphic design. All of these are 15.6-inch panels, so the size isn’t going to be an issue. If you still need a bigger display, you can pick up the XPS 17 instead, as it has similar internals and the RTX 3060.

Ports and Connectivity

Dell skipped on quite a few important inputs on the XPS 15. You do get most of what you need, but there is no USB-A port or HDMI port.

  • 2x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4
  • 1x USB 3.2 Type-C Gen 2
  • 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
  • 1x SD card slot (SD Express 7.0 supported)

For connectivity, it has Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 ax) and Bluetooth 5.2.

Battery and Charging

There is an 86Wh battery and somehow Dell has managed to outperform most of the other 12th gen H-series laptops with similar battery capacities. so, expect better battery life when unplugged. You’ll be using one of the USB-C ports to charge, so you don’t get to go as high as the Zenbooks when it comes to DC wattage, but it’s still good enough.

Pricing

The Dell XPS 15 (9520) starts at $1499 for the i7-12700H variant with the RTX 3050, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and the FHD IPS panel. You can spec this up with more RAM and Storage alongside the more powerful RTX 3050 Ti. The same can be done with the i9-12900HK variant, but that one comes with the 3050 Ti by default and starts at $2099.

View at Dell Official

Get the XPS 15 for,

  • The variety of hardware configuration options
  • Comparatively better battery life
  • Ability to choose between a great 4K IPS panel and a great but slightly lower resolution OLED panel

Don’t get the XPS 15 if,

  • You need more performance than what the RTX 3050 Ti can provide

 

Best Laptop for Light-workload Graphic Design

For users who have lighter workflows and for those trying to save some money without giving up on good performance, I recommend the laptop below,

MSI Creator 15 (A11UE-491)

The MSI Creator 15 is quite an exceptional laptop as it has similar specifications to the pricier competition but by cutting a few corners here and there, the company managed to keep the price down. So, it is a great value for the money as well as a great laptop for graphic design.

Best Laptops For Graphics Design

Available Configurations

The MSI Creator 15 is available in a few configurations, but I am specifically talking about the A11UE-491 variant because this one is providing the best value for money. You’re getting the last gen i7-11800H which has a much lower core count (8 cores instead of 14 on the i7-12700H), but you’re getting an RTX 3060 which is more important as the GPU is the most important hardware for graphic design. So, you’re gonna get great graphics performance out of this thing.

Alongside those, it has 16GB of DDR4 RAM with 512GB of PCIe Gen 3 SSD. These aren’t necessarily the bleeding edge either, but they’ll get the job done just fine.

The Display

The display is the biggest plus point of this laptop as the company went with a 4K OLED panel which is unexpected at this price point. It is still 16:9 at 3840 x 2160, but MSI also claims 100% DCI-P3 coverage which is great for color-accurate work. You’re also getting that rich contrast and extra pop you get from the self-emissive OLED tech.

Of course, it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as some of its premium competition, and it’s a bulkier system overall. However, for the money, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Ports and Connectivity

When it comes to inputs, there’s surprisingly a good collection of those here. Here’s a list of all the ports you’re getting on the Creator 15.

  • 1x Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C
  • 1x USB 3.2 Type-C Gen 2
  • 3x USB 3.2 Type-A Gen 2
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
  • 1x RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet (LAN)
  • 1x DC-in (lower wattage USB-C charging also supported)

For connectivity, the selection is also interesting. You’re getting Wi-Fi 6E (802.11 ax) alongside Bluetooth 5.2.

Battery and Charging

It even has a big battery and that’s a humongous 99.9Wh I’m talking about. That means when you’re not plugged in, you’ll get a respectable amount of power backup out of it. But, just like any other laptop with an H-series CPU and a dedicated GPU, don’t expect all-day battery life during light days when you’re not working. The included power adapter is a 230W unit.

Pricing

I’ve mentioned in the beginning that you get a lot of value from this laptop and the pricing is a big part of it. The MSI Creator 15 usually sells for $1649.99 (MRP: $1849.99), but because it’s carrying a last-gen CPU, you can easily find it for $1350.00 or less. at that price, there aren’t more creator-focused laptops that can compete, at least right now.

View at Amazon

Get the Creator 15 for,

  • The 4K OLED Display
  • Being an excellent value for money
  • The wide availability of ports

Don’t get the Creator 15 if,

  • You don’t want a 16:9 display

Also Read: Best Intel 12th Gen Ultrabooks For Professionals

Best Laptops For Graphic Design – My Takeaway

If you’re looking for a new laptop for designing graphics, you need a powerful system, but even if you’re running a little low on budget, you can still get nice options.

Even if the laptops mentioned below don’t appeal to you or you’re just short on cash, get a powerful gaming laptop with a lousy display and get a color-accurate external monitor, which should end up saving you some cash.

I hope I was able to help you find the best graphic designing laptop suited to your workflow. If you have any lingering questions or comments, feel free to leave them below.

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Ronit Roy

Ronit Roy is a Tech Reviewer, Writer, and Science Nerd from India. He specializes in Smartphones, Laptops, Televisions, Audio, and AI. Ronit has worked with Multi-national Tech OEMs and has a first-person understanding of how Modern Technology is shaping the world.

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