When it comes to drawing equipment, plain old pen and paper come to mind. However, for artists, graphic designers, and architects, the best laptops or tablets are one of the best tools available! This post will come in handy if you're a digital artist looking to find the best tablet/laptop for drawing.
Touchscreen laptops and super-sensitive stylus pens are now available thanks to technological advancements. Below is a detailed guide to help you find the perfect laptop for you. It includes the best laptops for drawing and critical considerations and specs to look for smooth operation.
Which Laptop is Best for Digital Art?
The best laptops for drawing need high-definition screens to allow the user to try out the different art techniques. Thanks to the high-quality display screen, a laptop designed for drawing allows you significant control over contrast, resolution, color accuracy, and versatility while delivering exceptional precision.
The following drawing laptops are worth checking out if you're looking for the best laptop to manage the most demanding artistic and design work. All the laptops/tablets in this list have touchscreens that you can use with a pen to draw directly on the screen.
1. Lenovo Flex 5 14 2-in-1 Laptop
- Thin, light, and stylish – This 2-in-1 laptop weighs just 3.64 pounds and is...
- The 10-point, 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS touchscreen allows the Lenovo Flex 5...
- The 360⁰ hinge lets you use your 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop in whatever mode...
- Enjoy up to 10 hours of battery life, plus quick charge to 80% in just 1 hour
Lenovo offers the best combination of features and an ecosystem for working professionals. The Flex 5 offers remote working options, built-in security measures, a fingerprint reader, and a privacy shutter powered by a quad-core processor at a very affordable price.
The AMD Ryzen 5 4500U features six cores that run at a higher base frequency of 2.3GHz and a maximum clock speed of 4GHz, allowing it to run sketch and design softwares. In addition, the AMD Radeon Graphics processor has six cores to support image and video rendering.
The 16GB of high-speed RAM provides plenty of room for multitasking. The 14-inch FHD Touch screen is powered by an energy-efficient IPS panel and features 360-degree versatility to support numerous scenarios.
For this 2-in-1, a backlit keyboard without the numeric pad is the best option, as it allows enough room for the keys. Thanks to the energy-efficient chipset, the battery can last up to 10 hours. It provides the best processing power with six cores, speedier logins, adequate connectivity, and a good ecosystem for graphic designers and illustrators at a relatively affordable price.
2. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- Next-gen, best-in-class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet, so...
- Faster than Surface Pro 6, with a 10th Gen Intel Core Processor – redefining...
- More ways to connect, with both USB-C and USB-A ports for connecting to...
- Standout design that won’t weigh you down — ultra-slim and light Surface Pro...
This Microsoft surface laptop is ideal if you liked the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 but want an upgrade. It's identical to the Surface Pro 6 but with improved performance and features thanks to the powerful 10th generation Intel Core CPU.
With two different color options: platinum or matte black, the design, shape, and weight are similar to the Pro Surface 6. The display is unchanged from the Surface Pro 6, which may be disappointing for some, but it is compensated for by improved performance.
Image Source: Microsoft
It features the Windows Hello sign-in feature since it eliminates the need for a password. Like the Surface Pro 6, this tablet may be used with the responsive Surface Pen and the practical type cover to maximize the device in various settings. It has a battery life of up to 10.5 hours and can charge from 0% to 80% in under an hour.
3. Acer Spin 3 Convertible Laptop
- 10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G4 Processor (Up to 3 7GHz) | 8GB LPDDR4...
- 14" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS Multi-Touch Display | Intel...
- Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802 11ax | Backlit Keyboard | Fingerprint Reader |...
- 1 - USB 3 1 Type C port (up to 10 Gbps) DisplayPort over USB-C Thunderbolt 3 USB...
When purchasing a 2-in-1 laptop, a drawing enthusiast demands precision and endurance. You can have both on Acer's most powerful Acer Spin 3 Convertible laptop.
The Acer Spin 3's design makes it durable and physically resistant to falls. It has a stylish style because of the two-tone (black and grey) interiors around the bezels and deck. Its power and performance are the best with the 1.1GHz Intel Core i5-1035G4 CPU and the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620.
Image Source: Acer
In terms of memory and storage requirements, it has 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD internal storage. The 14-inch touchscreen has good color vibrancy but a limited brightness range. The Full HD display provides a decent viewing performance with a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution and IPS technology.
When it comes to the backlit keyboard, you get a strong, responsive deck with backlighting. The battery life is up to 12 hours, which keeps you running for a long time while you work on your projects, providing a smooth experience. Finally, the Spin 3 laptop comes with great accessories.
4. Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
- With a 1920 x 1080 full HD touch screen display and the powerful and efficient...
- Comprehensive, built-in, ongoing protection with Windows 10 helps protect you...
- Convenient true block privacy shutter allows you to physically close your PC's...
- With the included active pen, you can draw or take notes directly on the screen,...
The 2-in-1 Flex 14 is the definition of a budget laptop and one of the best laptops for drawing. This painting laptop comes with a surface pen for drawing. Its simple and subtle style, with a matte black finish and polished aluminum surfaces.
It is slightly larger than the other laptops on the list, measuring 12.91 x 9.02 x 0.7" and weighing 3.52 pounds, but it is still portable. A better option than the Lenovo Yoga C940, which lacks the active pen. While the 14-inch display produces excellent images and movies that are visible from all angles, the brightness levels are not the best.
Image Source: Lenovo
This 2-in-1 laptop can be used in laptop mode, tent mode, or flat mode, making it ideal for artists and graphic designers. Apart from this convertible laptop being one of the best laptops for drawing, the Flex 14 has a variety of interfaces including USB 3.0 Type-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, a 4-in-1 card reader, and an audio combo jack.
5. Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 2-in-1 Laptop
- TWEIGHT 2-in-1 DESIGN At just under 3 pounds, the Chromebook Plus is incredibly...
- BUILT-IN PEN Experience the power of the incredibly precise built-in pen that...
- DUAL CAMERA Fold your laptop into tablet mode to capture clear shots and even...
- CHROME OS AND GOOGLE PLAY STORE Create, explore and browse on a bigger screen...
This Chromebook, created for budding artists and students, offers a good blend of processing speed, a Full HD touch screen, and enough battery life to keep it operating throughout the day. Although the Intel Celeron 3965Y lacks multi-threading, it does have twin cores running at 1.5GHz.
The Chromebook's multitasking ability would be tested by the 4GB RAM, but it's well equipped to manage the optimized loads. The 12.2-inch Full High Definition (FHD) display has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. In addition, the touch screen display includes built-in pen support, which is essential for a smooth drawing experience.
The Chromebook has a flexible design and several operating modes, and it weighs less than 3 pounds, making it an ideal travel companion for artists. Although the Intel Celeron 3965Y lacks multi-threading, it does have twin cores running at 1.5GHz.
Types of Laptop for Drawing
1. 2 in 1 Laptop
A 2 in 1 computer is a portable computer that can be used as both a laptop and a tablet. These handy computers will include touchscreens and lovely, fully functional keyboards and touchpads.
They are meant to allow sketching and painting on the screen to provide a typical user experience with Windows 10 (or Chrome OS) and all of your software. Here are the two main categories of two in one laptop;
i. Convertible Laptop
This design features a keyboard that folds flat on the bottom and out of the way, allowing you to use the display screen as a touchscreen tablet.
ii. Detachable Laptop
A detachable laptop includes a keyboard that can be completely disconnected from the computer screen, allowing you to use the display screen as a touchscreen tablet.
Both designs include complete laptop capabilities as well as tablet functionality. The convertible acts more like a laptop, with a more robust base and sturdy keyboard, while the detachable acts more like a tablet and is usually lighter and has a very fine and useable keyboard.
So, if you prefer stability and do a lot of typing, you might prefer a convertible; however, if you plan to use your new laptop more like a tablet, or at least more on the go, you might prefer a detachable.
Chromebooks are laptop computers that run a new operating system and are primarily focused on Google Drive, Google Docs, and Gmail — in other words, cloud computing rather than installing software and storing files locally.
Chromebooks are small, affordable, and can now run most Android apps, including those found on Google Play. However, windows machines are still significantly more popular and frequently used since they provide computational power and a wide choice of high-quality software.
They are, however, more expensive, but they can provide excellent value for money. Both touchscreen computers running Windows 10 and Chromebooks are excellent for artists.
A full-sized laptop that strikes a balance between portability and functionality is a laptop or notebook. Processor speed, storage capacity, memory (RAM), and screen size vary significantly in overall size and specification.
They are available in a variety of price points, from low-cost budget versions to high-performance productivity and gaming devices.
Things to Consider When Picking the Best Tablet/Laptop for Drawing
1. Processing Power
A processor executes all of the basic instructions and orders on a computer. The intensity of your apps and how much you need to do will help determine the ideal processor for you, whether it's Intel or AMD.
Dual-core processors fulfill the needs of most regular users, whereas quad-core processors improve the processing abilities of your laptop computer.
2. Battery Life
Battery life can drastically alter your experience. The best feeling is if you can concentrate on your work without worrying about locating a nearby outlet, especially when you're on the go. So, consider getting a drawing laptop with long battery life.
The display is the most important thing to consider when looking for the ideal laptop because it shows how your work is progressing. Pay attention to the size, quality, and panel type while selecting the best laptop that will do justice to your drawings. Here are some features you should consider;
i. Dimensions and Resolution
The sharpness and clarity of the photos are determined by the size and resolution of the images. Screen sizes typically range from 11 to 18 inches.
Larger screens cost more money, but that's not something you should consider when choosing the best laptop for drawing. 13-15 inches displays are usually a solid bet for the money.
The screen resolution is the number of pixels on display. The resolutions range from 1366 x 768 pixels (HD) to 3840 x 2160 pixels (UHD) (4K). The more pixels you have, the more objects you can see and the easier it is to detect small things.
It's important to remember that the resolution is proportional to the screen size, so if you go for a larger screen, you'll need more pixels to cover the extra inches.
ii. Type of Panel
The panel type determines color accuracy and how well you can view your screen from any angle.
TN (Twisted Nematic) panels are less pricey and have a faster response time. However, they display fewer colors and have poor viewing angles.
On the other hand, VA (Vertical Alignment) panels provide better viewing angles, high color accuracy, and a high contrast ratio at the cost of a slow response time.
IPS (In-plane switching) panels provide many of the same advantages as VA panels but with a reaction time in the middle of the two. It is the greatest choice for artists since it excels at reproducing colors with high precision while consuming less of the screen's response time.
4. RAM Memory and Hard Drive
The RAM determines your laptop's ability to multitask and perform smoothly, whereas the hard drive is the permanent storage. Both of them determine the speed of your laptop.
Consider the RAM as your short-term memory and the hard drive as your long-term memory. RAM stores data when you run a program, open files, sketch, or display artwork on the screen. However, when you save your work, it is saved to the hard drive and is allowed to remain there indefinitely.
For most digital artworks, 8GB RAM will suffice, but if you can afford it, go for 16-32GB to work on many programs at once without experiencing any slowdowns or crashes.
You can pick between HHD (Hybrid Hard Drive) or SSD (Solid State Drive). The former usually provide larger storage space, while the latter provides speedier performance.
Although SSDs are more expensive per gigabyte, they are well worth the extra money because they significantly improve the laptop's speed. Furthermore, Cloud storage can always compensate for a lack of storage capacity. Thus when all factors are considered, SSD is the victor.
5. CPU and GPU
The CPU is the main factor that influences the price of your laptop and dictates its performance. Naturally, you don't want to waste your hard-earned money on something that won't perform. As a result, unless you're using your laptop for other tasks like video editing or transcoding, a high-end CPU is unnecessary.
Surprisingly, the graphics chip should be the last thing on your mind. A dedicated GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) isn't necessary for digital artists, and it can be a waste of money if your laptop is just used for 2D drawing.
However, a specialized high-end GPU would enable digital designers and people who work with 3D modeling to get their work done much faster.
6. Touch Screen
If you want to sketch on a laptop, it should have a touch screen; otherwise, the display will be damaged. A touch screen laptop allows you to sketch with a stylus just like you would with a pencil, maximizing your productivity.
7. Operating System
Some artists claim that Windows is the best operating system since it is more economical, has more features, and is sponsored by many manufacturers, giving purchasers more choices. However, despite its increased cost, others choose macOS for its superior display and smoother performance.
All of these differences are minor and have little impact on digital artists. The sole difference is that macOS doesn't enable touch screens, which is a deal-breaker for digital illustrators who prefer to draw directly on their screens.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Laptops for Drawing
1. Can you use a laptop for a drawing tablet?
Yes. The majority of them can be connected to a laptop via USB. Depending on your laptop, most do not, and you may need to update your drivers and possibly install some extra software to operate with the drawing tablet.
2. What is the difference between a graphic tablet and a drawing tablet?
The most significant distinction between these two is that one has a screen on which you can view your work while you work, while the other does not. To be used, you must connect graphics tablets to a computer. On the other hand, you can use drawing tablets independently because the screen displays what you're drawing as you draw.