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Good Laptops for Graphic Design and Video Editing 2014

Updated on January 9, 2014

Reviews of Graphic Design for Computers

Laptop computers come in many shapes, sizes, capabilities, and price ranges. Laptops allow you to take your computing on the road or they can be space saving replacements for larger desktop computers.

And chances are that if you have a specific task in mind there is a laptop to fit your need. From entertainment to schoolwork to video editing and graphics, there are laptops designed with your needs in mind.

This brings us to the point of this article; which laptops are best for graphic design? Graphic design on a computer can mean more than just creating artwork or producing company logos, although those things are certainly included.

Anything from CAD design to creating and editing video can fall into this category and the laptops that are best suited to all of these tasks have the many of the same qualifications and specifications – specifications needed to run the most processing-intensive programs.

When looking for a laptop, the list of specifications can seem a bit overwhelming. So what are the most important ones to look at when considering buying a laptop for graphic design?

The most important specifications to consider are the processor or CPU, the amount of system RAM, the screen resolution, the size of the hard drive, and, most importantly, the graphics card. Any laptop to be used for graphic design needs to have a dedicated graphics card as the programs being used need the extra processing power to run efficiently.

Let’s break this down a little bit. Laptops that are the best for graphic design should have at least a quad-core CPU such as an Intel Core i5 or Core i7, or an AMD Quad Core CPU. A minimum of 8GB of system RAM will let you run the most demanding applications without slowing down.

Hard drives let you store all your files, no matter the size, and should be 500GB or larger. The combination of screen resolution and a dedicated graphics card are what give these types of laptops their power.

A resolution of 1920 x 1080 will give you crisp detail while a 1GB or higher dedicated graphics card will give you the power to muscle through those Photoshop or Illustrator sessions with ease.

Laptops that fall within the realm of being suited to graphic design share many of the exact same components and specifications. In some cases it comes down to only one or two differences, besides the manufacturer, that set them apart.

Choosing between them all might be quite a challenge, however, some of the footwork has been done, and here are some of the best laptops for graphic design.

5 stars for MacBook Pro 17 Inch

MacBook Pro 17 Inch

Apple has been the leader in the graphic design world for a long time. The MacBook Pro series laptops are especially suited to running graphics intensive applications and are used extensively for photo and video editing. The Apple system architecture is different from a PC based laptop but many of the features and specifications are similar.

For graphic design, the 17” MacBook Pro gives you enough screen “real estate” to work on the most demanding projects. The 1920 x 1200 Hi-Res display is crystal clear. With an Intel Core i7 2.2GHz processor and 8GB of system RAM, the MacBook Pro can handle any task you throw at it with grace.

The 500GB 7200 RPM hard drive gives enough space to store all your files. The MacBook Pro 17” utilizes an AMD Radeon HD 6750M dedicated graphics card with 1GB GDDR5 of video RAM to handle your graphics intensive programs. The MacBook Pro runs on the latest version of Mac’s OSX operating system.

While the MacBook Pro 17” is higher priced than other comparable laptops the outstanding support and Apple warranty as well as the build quality of the laptop ensures that the MacBook Pro 17” will give you the power and longevity to accomplish any design task for years to come.

Toshiba Qosmio X875-Q7390 17.3-Inch 3D Laptop

Toshiba has long been a leader among laptop manufacturers and the Qosmio X875 continues the tradition of making quality devices. This Windows-based laptop has enough power to blast through the toughest of design sessions and is portable enough to take with you when meeting clients.

The Toshiba Qosmio X875 has an Intel Core i7-2630QM 2.00GHz processor and comes equipped with 8GB of system RAM. Graphics are clear and powerful with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M graphics card with 1.5GB GDDR5 video memory and a 17.3” screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution.

The graphics card also offers 3D Vision and the laptop comes bundled with the NVIDIA 3D VISION kit which includes NVIDIA 3D VISION active shutter glasses, and integrated 3D Vision IR emitter and USB 2.0 mini USB cable for viewing the screen in 3D.

The Qosmio X875 has a unique hybrid hard disk configuration that uses a 7200 RPM 500GB hybrid 4GB Serial ATA hard drive in combination with a 5400 RPM 750GB disk drive for unmatched storage and performance.

The included Blu-Ray Burner, Gigabit LAN, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, as well as many other ports offer unparalleled connectivity between this laptop and other devices. The Qosmio X775 runs the Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit operating system. At a competitive price point, the Toshiba Qosimo X775-3DV78 is a great choice for a laptop for graphic design.

What computer brand makes the best graphic design laptop?

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ASUS G750JW-DB71 17.3-Inch Laptop

ASUS has built yet another high quality, high performance 17.3” laptop that is well suited for graphic design applications. Sometimes seen as a “gamers” laptop, the G750JW-DB71 has all the right stuff to make it a powerful graphics laptop as well.

The ASUS G750JW-DB71 uses and Intel Core i7-2630QM 2.00GHz processor and gives you plenty of capability with 12GB of system RAM. The graphics card in the G750 is a robust NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M with a staggering 3GB of GDDR5 video RAM. At a native resolution of 1920 x 1080, the 17.3” screen offers a bright, clean picture. The G750 has a massive amount of storage space with its’ 1.5TB 7200 RPM hard drive.

To top off the amazing list of features of the ASUS G750JW-DB71, the Blu-Ray Combo drive, Gigabit LAN, 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN, Bluetooth, USB 3.0, and HDMI ports allow you the flexibility to connect to the latest electronics and peripherals. The G750 ships with the Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit operating system.

MSI GT683DXR-423US 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop

The laptops discussed here are certainly not the only systems up to the task of graphic design. Some other systems to consider are the MSI G Series GT683DXR-423US and the DELL Alienware M18x. Both of these laptops offer similar system components and specifications to the laptops discussed in this article and are worth taking a look at.

A few years ago graphic design on the computer was relegated to the desktop PC, but with today’s advances in laptop computers, the power exists to break away from the desktop and design with mobility.

These laptops are not the cheapest systems out there and you can plan on spending between $1,200 and $3,000 depending on the exact system specifications. If you design on the go, however, these laptops are the tools you need to get the job done.

© 2013 Jackie Jacobs

How much are you willing to spend on a graphic design laptop?

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      Nathan 4 years ago

      I bought a Qosmio about 3 years ago and had to have it repaired 4 times. Not only did it slow down quite a bit, but has had heating issue and has now had it's 3rd display issue. Will never purchase again.

    • toptengamer profile image

      Brandon Hart 4 years ago from The Game

      I have a Qosmio and it is surprisingly good.