As a professional creative, you need a laptop that can keep up with your demanding workload. Whether you’re a graphic designer, video editor, or 3D modeler, having a reliable laptop is essential for producing quality work.
With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this article, we’ll go over what to look for when buying a laptop for professional creative work, and provide you with 3 recommendations at 3 different price points that will help you make an informed decision.
What to Look for in a Laptop for Creative Work?
When shopping for a laptop for professional creative work, there are a few key features to keep in mind.
First and foremost, you’ll want a laptop with a powerful processor, as this will allow you to run resource-intensive programs without lag or slowdown. Ideally the laptop should have at least a six core processor.
Additionally, you’ll want plenty of RAM, as this will help you multitask and run multiple programmes simultaneously. We recommend at least 16GB, and up to 32GB for more intensive programmes such as 3D modelling software.
Storage is also important, as you’ll need enough space to store your files and projects. While 512GB is sufficient provided you have external storage as backup, ideally you should have 1TB with room to expand the storage further.
Furthermore, you should have a discreet GPU. Integrated GPUs are fine for lighter tasks such as photo editing, but a discreet GPU from Nvidia or AMD is preferred for heavier tasks such as video editing.
Finally, you’ll want a high-quality display, as color accuracy and resolution are essential for tasks like photo editing and graphic design.
Best Entry Level: ASUS Vivobook 15X OLED (M1503-AMA161WS)
The Asus Vivobook 15X OLED (M1503-AMA161WS) is a decent budget option for aspiring creative professionals. It sports a decently powerful Ryzen 5 5600H processor with integrated Radeon graphics. While it is in no way a powerhouse, it is a reliable budget workhorse as Radeon graphics is powerful enough to handle most creative apps such as Photoshop and Illustrator.
However, I would recommend upgrading it to 16GB DDR4 RAM for better overall performance. The standout feature of this laptop is the 15.6-inch 2.8K OLED display with a 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut. It is also Pantone validated, great for creative and professional work.
Best Mid Range: ASUS Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (N7601)
The ASUS Vivobook Pro 16X OLED is a laptop purpose-built for serious creative professional work. It is powered by a blazing fast 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor with 16GB + 16GB of DDR5 RAM. On the GPU front, it is equipped with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 with 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM, great for heavy creative work such as video editing.
The display is also upgraded to a 3.2K OLED display that is not only Pantone validated, but also has a DisplayHDR True Black 500 rating and Dolby Vision. Most importantly, it is colour accurate, with a Delta E of less than 2.
Best High End: Apple MacBook Pro 14-Inch (M2 Pro Chip)
When you think of a creative professional, you would likely think of a Mac user. The MacBook Pro has long been a favorite among creatives, and the M2-powered ones are no exception.
Our pick would be the 14-inch model with the M2 Max chip for the perfect balance between performance and portability. It features a 12-Core CPU, 30-Core GPU, and 32GB of unified memory. This trim also offers 1TB of storage, but you can always add more storage via portable NVME solutions thanks to lightning quick Thunderbolt 4 ports.
If you want something more portable, do consider the MacBook Pro 13-inch. On the flipside, if you want the most powerful MacBook you can buy, look no further than the MacBook Pro 16-inch.
Where to buy: Apple Official Store
For more buyer’s guides such as this one, do check out our full list here.