If you are a budding artist, not just any laptop will do. There are certain requirements that need to be met so that maximum productivity and creativity can be reached. What are some of those requirements which need attention? A high-resolution screen provides fine detail and having a high-quality graphics card assists with 3D artistry in particular.
You’ll also need a powerful processor as some programs used by artists can be quite demanding. Plus, it needs to be portable, of course. It can be difficult finding every requirement in one machine. That’s why we’ve decided to review the top laptops currently on the market to find the very Best Laptop for Art Students…
- 1 Review Of Top 8 Best Laptop for Art Students
- 1.1 1 HP Spectre X360 – Best HD Laptop for Art Students
- 1.2 2 ASUS Zenbook – Best Value Laptop for Art Students for the Money
- 1.3 3 HP Envy – Best Premium Laptop for Art Students
- 1.4 4 LG Gram – Most Secure Laptop for Art Students
- 1.5 5 Acer Spin 3 – Best Budget Laptop for Art Students
- 1.6 6 Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – Best Mid Range Laptop for Art Students
- 1.7 7 Lenovo Flex 5 – Best Rated Laptop for Art Students
- 1.8 8 Microsoft Surface Go – Best Portable Laptop for Art Students
- 2 Best Laptop for Art Students Buying Guide
- 3 So, What is the Best Laptop for Art Students?
Review Of Top 8 Best Laptop for Art Students
1 HP Spectre X360 – Best HD Laptop for Art Students
We are starting off with this powerful and modern laptop from HP. It boasts a huge range of useful features for artists. A great active stylus is included so you can begin drawing and creating almost immediately.
While this is primarily a high-performance laptop, it can also be converted into a tablet with a clever folding design. As you’re drawing on the flat display, enjoy some added inspiration by playing some music through the Bang & Olufsen dual speakers.
Filled with the latest tech…
HP’s Spectre X360 is powered by the smart and highly efficient 10th generation Intel i7 1065G7 processor. Using 4 cores and 8 threads, the chip runs at a power-efficient 1.3 GHz. When more power is needed, it can boost to an impressive 3.9 GHz.
Multitasking can be performed even between complex tasks using the 16 GB of DDR4 RAM. The Windows 10 OS starts up in seconds, and programs load quickly because of the lightning-fast 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD storage drive.
Detailed and crisp display…
Creating and viewing your artwork will be done using the beautiful 13.3 inch, Full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution touch screen. An IPS WLED backlit panel is used for increased accuracy in colors and wider viewing angles.
All the latest connectivity options are also included for adding accessories and networking. This includes a USB 3.1 port, two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort 1.3, an SD card reader, Bluetooth 5.0, and the latest Wi-Fi 6.
- Active stylus included with the laptop.
- Latest technology components.
- High-resolution WLED IPS panel touch screen display.
- Only a single full-sized USB port.
- No dedicated graphics card.
2 ASUS Zenbook – Best Value Laptop for Art Students for the Money
When traveling to classes, you need a laptop that is light and portable, but also strong and durable. There is no escaping the possibility of a few knocks and scratches when bringing your laptop with you. The all-aluminum body helps to avoid any of these issues.
The Acer Zenbook weighs only 2.62 pounds (1.19 kilos) and is incredibly thin at just 0.67 inches (16.9 millimeters). There’s also another awesome trick with what’s called the ScreenPad. The touchpad performs as a numeric pad, app switcher, and more.
Latest from Intel…
ASUS’ Zenbook packs the only recently released 11th generation Intel i7-1165G7 processor. Its 4 cores and 8 threads run at a highly productive 4.7 GHz. Even the most demanding artist programs are no match for this processor.
Switch between programs effortlessly using the 16 GB of onboard DDR4 RAM for advanced multitasking. Nvidia’s mobile graphics card, the MX450, helps project smooth and seamless images onto the laptop’s gorgeous display.
Bright and vivid images…
Featuring a 14 inch Full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution anti-glare IPS panel display, the images are detailed and vivid. With up to 400 nits of brightness, outdoor use is possible whenever inspiration strikes.
Ready whenever you are, a fully charged battery can offer up to 16 hours of use. The latest connectivity options are also available. These include a USB 3.2, two USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 4, an HDMI 2.0, a Micro SD card reader, an audio jack, and Wi-Fi 6.
- Lightweight and thin design for ultimate portability.
- Absolute latest components and connectivity options.
- Long battery life of up to 16 hours on a single charge.
- Screenpad is a bit of a gimmick.
- Keyboard isn’t comfortable after long typing sessions.
3 HP Envy – Best Premium Laptop for Art Students
We all know that students usually have a tight budget and need to save where they can. The HP Envy has some slightly older components but is still highly capable. For only a few minor sacrifices, this machine is both affordable and powerful.
Filled with all the necessities for any art-related applications, you can be ready to let your creativity loose, including a powerful processor, dedicated graphics card, and an impressive display, all wrapped in a thin and light aluminum-cased body.
Intel Core i7 processor
The brains behind this laptop is the 4 core and 8 thread Intel Core i7-8565U processor. It can run at a low and efficient speed of 1.8 GHz, boosting up to a powerful 4.6 GHz when required for more demanding tasks.
16 GB of DDR4 RAM allows for advanced multitasking, while the graphics are handled with a dedicated GPU. The Nvidia GeForce MX250 gives a great boost to any 3D applications taking some of the heat off the CPU.
Gorilla Glass 4K touch screen
Images are presented on a stunning 13.3 inch, 4K 3840 x 2160p resolution WLED backlit IPS display panel. Pictures are so detailed that they practically come to life through the protective Gorilla Glass coating.
Completing the package is all the latest connectivity options. These include two USB 3.1 ports, one USB Type-C 3.1 port, a Micro SD card reader, as well as a 3.5 mm audio jack. The internet can be accessed at fast speeds, too, with the inclusion of dual-band Wi-Fi.
- Affordable thin, and lightweight laptop.
- Everything necessary for any art student.
- Magnificent 4K resolution touch screen with Gorilla Glass.
- No HDMI output for using external monitors.
- Battery life not as long as other competitors.
4 LG Gram – Most Secure Laptop for Art Students
There’s a fine line that needs to be walked when selecting the best laptop for an art student. Having a large screen is hugely beneficial, allowing for more creativity. But the laptop also needs to be compact and light enough to bring along to classes.
LG’s Gram is the world’s lightest 17-inch laptop and is also incredibly thin, bringing you the best of both worlds. Weighing just under 3 pounds (1.4 kilos), you’ll only need a slightly bigger bag without having to worry about too much extra weight.
Plenty of power and space…
Using a 10th generation 4 core 8 thread Intel Core i7 processor, between 1.3 GHz and 3.9 GHz of power can be made. Save battery while completing basic tasks, and then the power kicks in when it is needed.
16 GB of DDR4 RAM provides advanced multitasking opportunities, even with demanding programs. Not only is the storage drive incredibly fast, but there are also two of them. Both are 512 GB NVMe SSD drives, which provide over 1 TB of space for all your illustrations.
That spectacular screen…
Not only is the screen large at 17 inches, but it is also spectacularly detailed, featuring WQXGA 2560 x 1600p resolution. Using an IPS panel with LED backlighting provides bright, accurate, and clear images from almost any angle.
Connectivity options included allow for a wide range of accessory and network options. Featuring three USB 3.1 ports, a single USB Type-C Thunderbolt port, HDMI output, Micro SD card reader, and built-in Wi-FI wireless networking.
- Large and spectacular WQXGA 17 inch screen.
- Huge and fast NVMe storage of over 1 TB.
- Plenty of useful connectivity options.
- No dedicated graphics card.
- Missing wireless Bluetooth.
5 Acer Spin 3 – Best Budget Laptop for Art Students
Next up in our Best Laptop for Art Students reviews, while it would be really nice to afford the latest technology and a premium laptop, that is only a dream for most of us. Luckily Acer has created the wonderful Spin 3 laptop that is perfect for art students with an extremely tight budget.
The Spin 3 is bursting with features that are well suited for art students, and anyone looking for the best value laptop. With a highly capable CPU, Full HD display, built-in active stylus, and a flexible hinge for both laptop and tablet mode.
Affordable and capable…
Powering Acer’s Spin 3 is Intel’s 4 core and 8 thread Core i5-8265U processor. Running between 1.6 GHz and 3.9 GHz, it can deliver the right amount of power when necessary. This is paired with 8 GB of DDR4 RAM for basic multifunction.
Loading the Windows 10 Home edition, along with other installed programs at lightning speed, is the SSD storage drive. There is 256 GB of space on the PCIe NVMe drive utilizing the latest in technology.
Touch, draw, and view…
By folding the screen around, you can easily convert this laptop into a drawing tablet using the included active stylus. Images can be viewed on the 14 inch, LED-backlit Full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution multi-touch IPS panel display.
The latest wireless Bluetooth 5.0 is supported, along with fast Wi-Fi capabilities. An external screen can easily be connected using the HDMI output. There’s also a USB 2.0 port, USB 3.1 port, SD card reader, and a dock for recharging your stylus.
- Highly affordable with useful features for artists.
- Included active stylus with an integrated recharging dock.
- Can convert from laptop to tablet mode.
- Less powerful processor and RAM.
- Only a single USB 3.1 port.
6 Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – Best Mid Range Laptop for Art Students
While we have already shown you some laptops that can convert into a tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a tablet that performs like a laptop. Squeezing all the latest technology into such a compact and portable device is incredible.
The Surface Pro combines everything an art student needs into one device. While the convenience of a tablet would be perfect for art students, most are not capable of running the programs and functions effectively. This is where things change.
Great things come in small packages…
Despite its size, the Surface Pro packs an Intel Core i7-1035G4 processor with 4 cores and 8 threads. Running between a battery-saving 1.1 GHz and a blazing 3.7 GHz for even the most demanding of applications.
Multitasking is made possible using the 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, allowing switching between some programs, but nothing too demanding. Storage is provided by a 128 GB NVMe SSD flash drive for super-fast access.
Amazingly accurate stylus…
Including the Surface Pen, it is one of the best performing styluses on the market. With features like pressure sensitivity, tilt recognition, and palm rejection, incredibly detailed and accurate creations can be made.
What makes the device switch between a tablet and laptop so easily is the Type Cover. It attaches easily and has a comfortable and highly functional keyboard built into the cover for added protection during transport.
- Highly portable tablet that performs like a laptop.
- Class-leading Surface-Pen stylus included.
- Type cover provides comfortable typing and device protection.
- Battery life is limited compared to full-sized laptops.
- Screen brightness loses to sunny days outdoors.
7 Lenovo Flex 5 – Best Rated Laptop for Art Students
Would you like a laptop that ticks all the boxes surrounding art student requirements at a fair and reasonable price? Of course, you do. High-resolution screen? Check. Integrated Radeon graphics? Check. Powerful processor? Check. Portable? Double check.
If this sounds appealing, you should really consider the Lenovo Flex 5. Not only does it cover all the essential requirements, but it also has some extra useful features. Things like laptop to tablet conversion and an included active stylus.
Ryzen above the rest…
Inside this thin and light 0.82 inch (2.1 centimeters) and 3.64 pounds (1.7 kilos) laptop, you’ll find an AMD Ryzen 5-4500U processor. This 6 core chip can run at speeds of between 2.3 GHz and a powerful 4.0 GHz.
16 GB of DDR4 RAM offers advanced multitasking, and the integrated GPU handles complex graphics. Fitted with AMD’s Radeon graphics capabilities, even demanding 3D illustrations are handled smoothly.
This way for screening…
Flex the 14 inch Full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution IPS 10-point touch screen panel around from laptop into tablet mode. Combined with the included active stylus, you have a drawing slate that provides magnificently clear and detailed images.
Up to ten hours of battery life, off a single complete charge, will keep you going throughout the day. Other useful features include a 720p HD webcam useful for any online classes and high-speed Wi-Fi 5 for streaming that is jitter and lag free.
- Thin and light laptop for easy portability.
- Powerful AMD Ryzen 5-4500U CPU.
- Flex between laptop and tablet mode with included active stylus.
- Plastic construction is not as durable as metal.
- RAM cannot be upgraded as no additional slots.
8 Microsoft Surface Go – Best Portable Laptop for Art Students
For our final product, we thought we would include another variation of the Microsoft Surface called “Go.” We really love the idea of a tablet with the power of a laptop, especially for students with their ease of portability.
This is a more budget orientated version, which again will appeal to most students. Even though the hardware isn’t quite as advanced as the other products, this can easily be forgiven. The Surface Go can still deliver all the requirements and more.
So what is powering this thing?
That all-important processor is an Intel Gold 4415Y running 4 cores at 1.6 GHz. This might seem a little underwhelming, but unless you’re running complex 3D software, it is more than sufficient for most applications.
There are three options with two drive sizes, with the larger also receiving a choice in RAM. This includes a 64 GB and 128 GB SSD with 4 GB of RAM. You can also select the 128 GB SSD version with 8 GB of RAM.
Taking full advantage…
While the hardware isn’t earth-shattering, it’s all the other features that make the Surface Go such a great competitor. The inclusion of that awesome Surface Pen allows for incredibly accurate and detailed sketches.
Detaching from the Type Cover also offers one of the best drawing experiences out of all the other hybrid laptops. We would recommend the entry-level option because if you start to spec up, you might as well start considering the Surface Pro.
- One of the convenient and portable options available.
- Includes the Surface Pen and Type Cover.
- Affordable option for students.
- Not suitable for highly demanding programs.
- Top-level model comes close in cost to the Surface Pro.
Best Laptop for Art Students Buying Guide
With so many laptops currently available on the market, that you’re really spoiled for choice, even with a niche market such as art students. As you can see, there really is something for everyone ranging in specifications and budget.
Even though we’ve narrowed it down for you, we would still like to give you even more confidence in making a decision. That’s why we include a buying guide and highlight some often less considered aspects.
A laptop that’s like a tablet…
Many of the products here are referred to as 2-in-1 devices due to having a swinging hinge on the screen. This allows users to swap between the laptop mode into a type of hybrid tablet mode. This can be particularly useful for artists.
The laptops that are capable of this function are as follows. The HP Spectre X360, Acer Spin 3, and Lenovo Flex 5. While this isn’t an essential function, it can definitely make drawing and sketching much easier.
Or a tablet that’s like a laptop…
Coming from the other direction, perhaps you’d prefer the convenience of a tablet, but worried that it will lack the required power. Well, worry no longer, as there is now a product that can achieve just that. The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and the Surface Go are both essentially high-powered tablets that can operate as a laptop.
This is thanks to the Surface Type cover that connects easily, giving the full Windows 10 experience when needed. We have given you a lot to consider with all these amazing products. If you are still feeling a bit overwhelmed, then check out our final section. We will reveal which product deserves the title of best art students laptop and why.
What are the best budget Laptops for artists?
If none of the above laptops fit your requirements, you can also check out our comprehensive reviews of the Best Laptops Under 400 dollars currently on the market.
And for more of the best products for artists, check out our reviews of the Best Backpacks For Artists, the Best Art Sets Painting Kits For Creative Artists, the Best Printers for Art Prints, and the Best Printer For Heat Transfers you can buy in 2021.
And we know you won’t want to miss our Best Standalone Tablets For Graphic Designers And Artists Review, our Best Scanner For Artwork Review, our Best Desk For Artists Review, our Best Smartphone Tripods Review, and our Best Chromebooks For Artists Review.
So, What is the Best Laptop for Art Students?
Normally the build and function would be the most important aspect we would consider when making our decision. While they still remain the main priority, on this occasion, due to being aimed towards students, value has been given more importance.
The product we decided takes the title is the…
With the reliability and build quality that Lenovo is renowned for, this machine will last throughout your art schooling. It has absolutely everything required by artists and more. It is also just at the rice price point for students, offering superb value.
So, get yourself a great new laptop and go be creative…