Are you frustrated in your search for the best laptop for drawing? Are you tired of trying to balance the cost factor and performance considerations?
Well, look no further! This article delves into all nitty-gritty and practical aspects of the best laptops and tablets for drawing.
It addresses the relevant concerns for professional digital artists, art students, and those looking for something within a pocket-friendly budget.
While cost considerations are a key factor in selecting a suitable device, the begging question is whether it would be wise to sacrifice performance on the altar of cost.
- 1 8 Best Laptops for Drawing Reviewed
- 1.1 1. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 2 in 1 Laptop for Drawing
- 1.2 2. HP Chromebook X360 – Best Laptop For Drawing Under 500
- 1.3 3. Asus Zenbook Pro Duo – Dual Screen Laptop
- 1.4 4. HP Spectre x360
- 1.5 5. Acer Spin 3 Convertible – For Art Students
- 1.6 6. Microsoft Surface Book 3
- 1.7 7. Dell XPS 13 – Best Display
- 1.8 8. Lenovo Yoga 730 – Best for Drawing and Gaming
- 1.9 FAQ
8 Best Laptops for Drawing Reviewed
1. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 2 in 1 Laptop for Drawing
If tablet-laptop hybrid suits you, then the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is what you should spend your money on. This high spec device is a top-notch 2 in 1 laptop tailor-made for drawing and here’s why.
To begin with, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is ultra-slim, light and the epitome of versatility. Its unique design entails thin bezels with well-rounded corners which simply make the device stand out.
Moreover, the device comes with a built-in kickstand that effectively transforms the device from a laptop into a tablet and vice versa.
The keyboard (comes separately) has an excellent key feel and is kind on the fingers. The touchpad on it is small but smooth and highly responsive, a definite plus for any artist.
Although purchased separately, any artist would agree that the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 pen is an excellent accessory.
Powered by an AAAA battery and achieving pressure levels of 4096, this pen, which also attaches magnetically to the side of the tablet, is an awesome tool for an artist in drawing and sketching designs.
In terms of tech specs, the Microsoft comes with a quadcore 10th generation Intel Core i7-1065G processor. It is also available in Core i5 and Core i3 variants although the Core i7 is the best. It’s 16GB RAM, alleviates the fears of a slowed-down system. Consequently, it opens a broad window for multi-tasking.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is also available in 4GB and 8GB RAM. In terms of storage capacity, this device utilizes the solid-state drive (SSD). It comes in 128 GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB. Depending on what an artist requires, this is ample storage space to save all kinds of drawings and other artistic impressions and projects.
As the tablet’s screen would be a digital artist’s work surface, it goes without saying that it is a fundamental aspect of any gadget. With a 12.3” PixelSense display, a 2736×1824 (267 PPI), a 3:2 aspect ratio, and a 10 point multi-touch, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 scores well in this one. Any artist would work perfectly on it.
The tablet, in its built-in kickstand and removable type cover, joined with the keyboard transforms the device into the best touch screen laptop for drawing!
It graces the artist with a full laptop experience plus a wide range of apps and tools which work brilliantly such as Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Fresco, Concepts, Sketchbook and Sketchable.
Other important specs include the type A and C USB ports, the capability to connect to multiple displays and docking stations, and Wi-Fi6 compatibility. Furthermore, its 1.74lbs weight and 10.5-hour battery life speak volumes on the portability aspect.
The major issues revolve around the color gamut and accuracy. Secondly, the more RAM and SSD capacity one requires, the deeper into the pocket one has to dig.
The Surface pen and Keyboard are also sold separately. It would have been a big relief if they were all part of the package.
- Ultra-slim, light and versatile
- High-end processor
- 2 in 1 laptop
- Reliable accessories
- Multiple display capability.
- Extremely light and portable
- Keyboard and Surface Pen sold separately
- Smaller display size
2. HP Chromebook X360 – Best Laptop For Drawing Under 500
The visual presentation of this stylish, premium-looking laptop is eye-catching, to say the least. It comes in a sleek design with a grayish matte ceramic finish. The icing on the cake must be its 14” convertible screen.
This budget-friendly gadget comes with the 10th Gen, i3-10110U processor. Its processing rate is further enhanced by its ability to turbo boost to a whopping 4.10 GHz (something you wouldn’t hear with Chromebooks often). So far as drawing is concerned, this device performs so well in comparison to others within its price range.
Its 8GB RAM and 64GB isn’t mindblowing but if you are a hobbyists that doesn’t want to spend the big bucks, this should work just fine. While that’s a bit of a bummer, what ww really like is the 1920×1080 display that adds more sauce to its specs sheet. This is an amazing resolution for such a pocket-friendly price.
Moreover, at 1080 pixels, the screen depicts superbly sharp and colorful images. It is also noteworthy that the device makes use of the Intel UHD Graphics unlike many Chromebooks in the this price range that have a lower graphics unit.
Further, the backlit keyboard comes in handy when working through the night or in dark environments. Other useful features include a pair of USB type C ports, an audio jack, a volume button, a 5MP front camera and a remarkable 11-hour battery life.
The screen brightness leaves much to be desired. It would also have been better if the gadget came with one of the most important accessories for drawing, the digital pen.
- Convertible laptop
- Built-in media reader
- Easy to use and lightweight
- Backlit keyboard
- Fingerprint reader for easy and quick access
- Screen brightness should be improved
- The pen has to be sourced separately
3. Asus Zenbook Pro Duo – Dual Screen Laptop
This is a must-have device for professional artists and illustrators. The powerful laptop comes with a pair of color-accurate 4K displays which neutralize all kinds of creative restrictions thus allowing artists to work anywhere, anytime.
The primary display features a glossy 4K screen. This rich screen comes in handy when picking colors from swatches and during artwork oversight. The 14” ScreenPad Plus offers an exquisite 3840×1100 pixels and features a paper-like surface which is just perfect for drawing.
This laptop comes with a keyboard lock feature. This is especially helpful during drawing as it ensures that the keyboard does not come in the way of the artist’s workflow.
There’s no room for unfortunate keyboard accidents so to say. The Asus pen is also an excellent accessory to use in making artistic impressions.
All the peripherals any artist may find in a real-life studio are incorporated in the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo making it a buy worthy of its high price tag
The device is highly-priced. The battery life still requires some work. Notwithstanding, this device will amaze you in every way.
- Excellent 4k display
- ScreenPad Plus improves productivity
- Powerful Processor and RAM
- Dedicated GPU unit for smoother functioning
- Asus pen for easy navigation and drawing
- Built in IR Camera
- 1TB of storage space
- Priced on the higher side
- Battery life is low
4. HP Spectre x360
HP has done it again! The Spectre x360 is a 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop which comes with 1024 pressure levels pen that makes and drawing navigation smoother.
Fitted with an AMOLED display, it comes across as one of the most attractive laptops ever made. Equipped with 16 GB RAM and an i7-1065G7, 10th Gen processor, this machine can seamlessly run sophisticated drawing and design software.
Plus the 13.3’’ screen with 4k resolution in tandem with the Intel Iris Plus graphics card, gives an artist ample speed and eye-popping visuals to make an outstanding sketch for their designs.
The HP Spectre X360 also comes in a beautiful, sleek design with smooth edges. Its 12-hour battery life makes it convenient for the artist to carry along.
Users of this device can also enjoy simple games like Solitaire. And then there is also a USB Type-A port and an HDMI port for quick and easy media file transfer and presentation.
Lastly, the laptop weighs a mere 2.88 lbs making it one of the most portable laptops on the list. So if you like to travel around for inspiration, you just found your new travel buddy.
The laptop is on the expensive side and thus more suitable for professionals
- 4k Resolution gives amazin colors and contrast
- Powerful processor
- Light and portable
- Comes with a Stylus pen.
- Ample storage with 1 TB SSD
- Comes with fingerprint reader
- Thunderbolt port available
- Smaller display
5. Acer Spin 3 Convertible – For Art Students
One of the most spectacular aspects of the Acer Spin 3 Convertible lies in the way it achieves seamless congruence between performance and cost.
The manufacturer provides the user with a high-performance laptop with a saturated color display and 1080p resolution. Its 14’’ 1080p screen display is perfect for drawing and painting.
With the presence of the fingerprint reader, your designs, drawings and sketches can be safely locked in the machine.
There is also a charging slot for the stylus pen despite it not being sold together with the machine. It’s also easy to carry and has an SD card reader, two USB ports, a Thunderbolt 3 and an HDMI port.
Conclusively, Acer Spin 3 is an incredibly capable device for artists. With the price and performance taken into account, the device performs better than its peers at the same price range.
The major downside of Spin 3 is battery life. It’s very inconvenient to use for notes taking since the battery life can be cut short in approximately 4 hours of usage.
- Saturated color display and high resolution.
- Powerful processor for CPU
- Very affordable
- Thunderbolt 3 present.
- Can charge the Stylus pen.
- Lacks USB type C port
- Battery life is undesirable.
- The stylus pen is sold separately.
6. Microsoft Surface Book 3
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is undoubtedly an exceptional 2-in 1 laptop with an exquisite look. Digital artists are always desirous of obtaining a well performing machine for drawing, doodling and painting without lagging or stuttering. The specs on the Microsoft Surface Book 2 make it fit for that very purpose.
The 1TB SSD is just but a tip of the iceberg since it’s equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. Additionally, it is equipped with a built-in Xbox wireless controller thus giving a worthwhile gaming experience to its users.
The gadget has very strong and flexible hinges that hold the detachable clipboard. Once detached, the tablet becomes a self-sustaining device. It can be charged separately since it has its battery. Imagine, sketching on a 15’’ inch tablet that can simultaneously run multiple drawing software with ease and for an extended period!
The pixel sense display is highly sensitive and employs either a surface pen, touch or a surface dial thus making state-of-the-art pieces. The Microsoft surface book 2 is lightweight, as such; one can run other errands with it on their back without breaking a sweat.
Moreover, Surface Book 2 has two USB 3.1 ports, a USB- C port, an SD card slot, an HDMI port and a magnetic charge port. The device also boasts of remarkably long battery life of up to 17 hours. Very few laptops come close.
With all its exceptional qualities, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is not perfect. It’s priced on the higher side. The surface pen also comes separately.
- A long-lasting power battery of up to 17 hours long.
- Portable when detached
- Powerful GPU and exceptional display quality
- Convenient and versatile since it can be used as a tablet.
- Ideal laptop for professional artists.
- Also used for gaming.
- Surface pen and surface dial are sold separately.
- 1 TB SSD sold separately.
7. Dell XPS 13 – Best Display
This 13.4’’, 2–in-1 laptop comes fitted with 16GB RAM and Quad-core Intel Core i7-8550U processor. Both the keyboard and screen have been stretched utilizing all the space. Additionally, it comes with an active stylus pen with 4096 pressure levels.
The XPS 13, has 16 GB RAM enabling the seamless running of multiple software on the laptop. The machine can do much more! The RAM can be expanded up to 32GB completely transforming it into a faster, super killer machine. The 13.4” screen coupled with its 4K capability makes for realistic and detailed images.
Further, the machine is lightweight and the battery life is above average. Another reason why we love it is because it doesn’t have any issues lodging the most complex drawing software. It is also fitted with two thunderbolt 3 ports, a micro SD card slot and a USB Type- C port.
Overall, Dell XPS 13 is a fast performing laptop. Hitting targets and deadlines has never been more achievable.
For a laptop priced on the higher side, one would expect a larger screen size.
- Comes with an active pen.
- Highly portable.
- Elegant and exquisite look.
- Battery life is impressive.
- Ample storage solid space.
- The size of the screen is smaller than its competitors.
8. Lenovo Yoga 730 – Best for Drawing and Gaming
It would feel sort of odd closing the list without mentioning the Lenovo Yoga 730 (15). This device gives you an insight into its designers’ thought process. Simply genius!
As can be discerned from its presentation to performance, the Yoga 730 (15) was intended to be a staple device for artists, painters, illustrators, and animators among others.
With the Lenovo Yoga 730 (15), it is love at first sight. Clad in a full metal frame with 360-degree hinges for a seamless notebook-tablet transition, this sleek, modern-looking machine that comes in warm sophisticated platinum color is just so endearing to the eye.
Considering tech specs packed in this beauty, it ranks so high, which is a good thing. Its dimensions of 14.2”x 9.8”x 0.67” and the 4.2lbs weight simply means that you won’t be leaving this laptop behind. The high capacity battery provides you with a solid 11-hour service. Why would anyone choose anything else?
That is not all. The CPU runs on an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U processor. It comes with 8GB RAM. However, the more there is the better. You are guaranteed running multiple programs and multitasking on your device with unparalleled ease.
Equally enthralling is the 15.6” Ultra HD touch screen display and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB VRAM GPU. Together with the Lenovo Active Pen 2 offering 4096 pressure levels, this device graces artists with the much desired, much elusive natural pen-on-paper feeling to explore the furthest reaches of their artistic imagination.
By now you might be wondering; what’s its storage capacity? The Yoga 730 offers up 512GB PCle SSD. It is also available in 256GB and 1TB so you’re essentially spoilt for choice. There’s plenty of room for storing your much-cherished designs and artwork. This device is meant for you!
Many other features make this device an artist’s darling. The instant log-in with a fingerprint reader for instance is one of such. It also boasts of a thunderbolt3 port, a couple USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI, an audio jack, and high-quality sound are always at your disposal.
With low key travel, whether the keyboard is ‘good at yoga’ so to say, is pretty much debatable. Nevertheless, it is an outstanding machine worthy of its price tag.
- Powerful processor
- Ample storage
- Exquisite display
- Utilitarian design
- Superb battery life
- Lenovo Active Pen sold separately
- No SD card slot
- Low keyboard travel
Q1: What is a good laptop for art students?
The ideal laptops for art students would be a high-performance laptop which is pocket friendly at the same time. A portable laptop that is convenient to carry along with other materials throughout tuition. Acer Spin 3 convertible for instance is a good example.
Q2: How much RAM do I need for digital drawing?
Ideally, an 8GB RAM can be used. However, higher RAM such as 16GB and 32 GB is recommendable for faster performance.
Q3: What is a 2-in-1 laptop computer?
A 2-in-1 laptop is a convertible machine. It’s made with strong hinges that allow it to be used in different modes such as a tablet, studio, and laptop mode. Most 2-in-1 laptops are touch-screen and can be laid flat, folded or detached. For instance, Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a detachable machine with a self-sustaining tablet and keyboard.
Q4: Can you draw with a touch screen laptop?
Thanks to technological advancements, drawing on touch screen laptops is possible. A stylus pen that is compatible with the machine is available for this purpose. However, not all touch screens can be used for drawing but only those that have compatible stylus pens. Besides the stylus pen, a compatible surface dial can also be used.