Are you looking for the best laptop and desktop for drawing? In today’s world, it can be a challenging task to choose which laptop or desktop is the best one as there is a wide array of options available in the market. Pencils, pens, brushes, and paints are the traditional equipment of an artist. But these days, it is significant for an artist to have a high-performing laptop or desktop. However, not all laptops or desktops have the capacity to deal with extensive artwork. This is the reason why you have to be careful while choosing yours.
Especially if you are a professional artist, you cannot just go for any laptop. You will need a powerful laptop that can handle graphics programs. Here is a guide to the best laptop and desktop for drawing.
Can you draw on a laptop or computer?
With the introduction of computers in the modern world, it is now possible to draw without any restriction. There is also no need to spend huge amounts of money on drawing materials. Digital drawing and painting are increasingly used by amateurs and experts with the help of laptops and desktops.
If you already have a desktop, you can keep using it. There is no need to get a new one. You can also use a laptop to draw digitally if the device comes with a good system. In case your computer regularly lags or freezes, you should go ahead and add extra memory or get a new one.
What hardware do you need to draw on a computer or laptop?
When it comes to hardware, there is no need to buy a new display if you are confident with the present one.
But, if you are thinking of purchasing a new monitor, make sure to get a bigger one as it will lessen the stress on your eyes. You can opt for a 20 inches monitor or more.
There is absolutely no requirement to purchase a new mouse or keyboard if there is already one that works fine. However, you can buy a new mouse or keyboard as you begin to use many shortcut keys. You can use the stylus pen to draw digitally if you have a touchscreen laptop.
A mouse would do the job but if you wish to enhance your skills, investing in computer-aided drawing tools is a must. Using such tools would allow you to draw more precisely and faster than a mouse.
What software do you need?
Most artists today take the help of computers and software to create their art pieces. There are various graphic editing software tools that come with a complete set of drawing equipment that lets users draw on a computer just like they do by hand. These programs go from free to expensive.
Photoshop, GIMP, ArtRage are a few such drawing software. Photoshop is certainly one of the most commonly used software and can be quite expensive. GIMP is also a drawing program that is similar to Photoshop. It is a free software for both Mac and PC users. ArtRage has a set of art equipment that comes with mimic pens, pencils, paintbrushes, oil, and watercolor.
Why not a tablet for drawing?
Undoubtedly, there are many options present to the user who wishes to start digital painting on a laptop or desktop. But the artist will soon feel that a graphics tablet is significant as it makes the work faster and accurate, especially if they are a professional artist and want to make drawings on a regular basis. However, one can still continue to draw without a tablet if one does not wish to spend money on a graphic palette. But, the process might come with a lot of hassle.
The artist will have to prepare his art with a pencil and then scan it by using a quality scanner. This will transfer the art to the computer. There is specific software like Inkscape where the artist can convert their drawing into a vectorial image and then work on their art directly on the software.
Yet, one might face some disadvantages in this process as the quality of the scan can get hampered by parasites. Moreover, one might get annoyed working with a mouse due to the lack of preciseness and the long period of time needed as compared to the pen.
These are some of the reasons why investing in a drawing tablet might be worth your money and time.
How do you draw on your computer screen?
Numerous graphic designing software comes loaded with so many drawing tools that let users create their masterpieces on a computer just like they can by hand. One can also use mouse pens to draw more naturally. However, one might take time to get used to it.
You can start by selecting graphic software, which comes with a whole package of drawing and artistic tools.
You can also make yourself comfortable with a few of the automatic drawing tools. Most of the software comes with already-defined lines and shapes so that you can draw basic parts of your art absolutely straight. If you don’t want to use predefined shapes, you are free to choose the freehand tool.
Can you draw with a touchscreen laptop?
The answer is yes! Thanks to the various options present out there, drawing on a touch screen laptop has become very easy without much hassle. All you can do here is make the right choice and use the right program that fits you the best.
You can use Windows Ink Workspace to draw on your touchscreen laptop. It is a set of apps that are made especially for touchscreen devices that have Windows 10 installed.
Getting a sleek stylus or pen along with your touch screen laptop can be the best combination to draw quickly and accurately.
Another software that is very common among touchscreen laptop users is the SketchPad app. It is simple to use and is perfect for beginners.
How to choose the best computer for drawing?
Choosing a laptop or desktop for drawing can be quite challenging and different from buying a laptop for normal use. You have to look for a computer which is light and easy to carry but has to be powerful enough to perform difficult tasks. Before you move ahead in making the decision to buy the computer, keep in mind the type of work you do and the budget.
If your art includes complex 3D work, you will need a high-performing computer with top specifications. If most of your work is 2D, the range of your computer can go from mid to low. It also greatly depends on which applications you choose to run.
There are many specifications that you should look for, which include budget, processor, hard disk drive, graphics, and others. Here are all the factors:
Laptops and computers are appliances that don’t come in cheap. They are one-time investments; hence you should be very careful while purchasing them. Budget undoubtedly plays a crucial role in that. Unless your budget is very high, you have to choose a computer which falls in your budget as well as meets your needs.
Talking about budget, the other question that comes to mind is whether you want to work with a Mac or a PC. Both of these computers have different pricing. There are many graphic design software that is developed for both iOS and Microsoft Windows platforms. You will definitely want to ensure that your artworks are supportive of the software and operating system that is being used by the company you work with. Since Macs have been ruling the world of graphics for a long span, there is some specific design software that is specially made only for iOS.
Processors are an extremely crucial part, as they act as the brains of a computer. Those who do their artwork on the computer should ensure that their device has some features that will allow seamless workflow and proper time management.
The CPU, or processor, is one of those features. For graphics, you should have a fast and powerful processor for the smooth running of complex software. Graphic designers usually need a quad-core or top series processor for designing.
The most difficult part of selecting a processor is choosing the right brand: Intel or AMD. Both the brands provide great options for various needs and budgets but also vary in a few significant ways. Intel comes with a higher clock speed; on the other hand, AMD is relatively cheaper and delivers more cores.
Hard Disk Drive
Most of the artists work with bigger files hence a hard drive that has more capacity would be preferable. One should get a laptop with a total of 500 GB of disk capacity, at minimum. Using Solid State Drive (SSD) storage for design work is also a great choice.
Earlier, the integrated graphics chips provided were very simple. They were not able to do a lot of complicated work other than display spreadsheets and web pages. However, in the coming few years, there has been tremendous improvement in the integrated graphics chips. Unless you are working on many 3D designs, an integrated chip should be sufficient to run on most design software. But if you work on complex software frequently and also have the budget, then look at the graphics card.
Color accuracy is crucial for artists as the color should match what is being displayed on the screen with exact precision similar to the printout. This is why there is a need for a monitor that holds perfect precision of the colors that are being used. This is the reason why color accuracy and consistency should be kept in mind.
Features you need to focus on:
Even though portability is significant, if the size of the laptop is too small, it can be difficult to work due to the small screen size. Your screen size should be big enough for you to be able to view your whole workspace and easily use the equipment you need.
Screen size and resolution
Since drawing artwork is a visual medium, you need to have the best monitor that fits your budget. Usually, a 13-inch monitor is very small for artwork and drawings. It is better to try for at least 15 inches or more. Owning a 17 inches screen can be great for working but could be difficult to carry.
You can also go for a HiDPI screen. These screens come with a bigger density of pixels, which lets you see more clearly. The lowest resolution screen that you can get for effective artwork would be 1920×1080 pixels.
Laptop or Desktop for drawing. Which one?
You can use either a laptop or a desktop for drawing. Both of these devices come with their respective advantages and disadvantages. The most convenient thing about laptops is that they are portable as well as powerful to perform a lot of work. However, a good laptop might cost you some money, and the options for upgrades are limited. When it comes to desktops, they are comparatively cheaper and can be easily customized with upgrade options.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING A LAPTOP
The biggest advantage of using a laptop, as compared to a desktop, is its mobility. They are light in weight and compact size, which allows the laptop to simply move from one place to another. Thus, you can continue drawing even while you travel.
The laptop doesn’t have any additional devices, which makes it a finished product. Unlike a desktop, you don’t have to worry about an extra keyboard, mouse, etc.
Upgrading the laptops can be quite difficult because of their integrated design. The only parts of the device that can be upgraded are memory and hard disc, as they are the ones that can be accessed by the user.
The laptops are expensive as compared to desktops because the small parts needed in the laptop are costly.
Challenge in Customization
The laptop doesn’t give a choice for personalization as per individuals’ needs. One can only access some parts of the laptop, which includes memory and disk drive. However, the other important parts such as processors, graphics cards, and cooling systems cannot be accessed.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING A DESKTOP SETUP
Desktops have the advantage of quick access to their internal parts. This is the reason why upgrading a desktop is not as complicated as laptops.
A laptop usually restricts the limit to access specifications. But when it comes to a desktop, one can easily modify a desktop’s RAM, storage, the graphics chip, monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.
Since a desktop requires much more extra equipment than a laptop, people might feel that it is more expensive. However, that’s not the case.
Need More Space
Desktops tend to take more space than laptops as they come with additional parts. Moreover, they can’t be carried from one place to another, which is the reason they need a dedicated space.
There is no doubt that desktops are heavier than laptops. Since they come with joined parts, moving them is impossible.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for drawing
No matter which computer you own, it should support your software without any hassle. Here are the minimum and recommended system requirements.
Minimum System Requirements
- Operating System- Windows 10, 64 bits
- CPU- Intel i5/ i7/ Ryzen 7
- GPU- compatible with OpenGL 3.2. (integrated graphics cards Intel HD 4000 or more).
- Memory for smaller projects- less than 100 images at 14 MP: 4 GB RAM, 10 GB HDD Free Space.
- Memory for medium-sized projects- (range between 100 and 500 images at 14 MP): 8 GB RAM, 20 GB HDD Free Space.
- Memory for Big projects- (range between 500 and 1000 images at 14 MP): 16 GB RAM, 40 GB HDD Free Space.
- Very Big projects- (1000 -2000 images at 14 MP): 32 GB RAM, 80 GB HDD Free Space.
Recommended System Requirements
- Operating System- Windows 10, 64 bits.
- CPU- quad-core or hexa-core Intel i9/Threadripper/Ryzen 9/
- GeForce GTX GPU- compatible with OpenGL 3.2 and 2 GB RAM.
- Hard disk- SSD
- Memory for smaller projects- (less than 100 images at 14 MP): 8 GB RAM, 15 GB SSD Free Space.
- Memory for medium-sized projects- (between 100 and 500 images at 14 MP): 16GB RAM, 30 GB SSD Free Space.
- Memory for big projects- (more than 500- 1000 images at 14 MP): 32 GB RAM, 60 GB SSD Free Space.
- Memory for very big projects- (1000 – 2000 images at 14 MP): 64 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD Free Space.
Best Laptop for drawing
|Microsoft Surface Book 3||Check On Amazon|
|Dell Chromebook 11||Check On Amazon|
|Lenovo Flex 5||Check On Amazon|
|Google Pixelbook Go||Check On Amazon|
|HP Elite Dragonfly||Check On Amazon|
1- Microsoft Surface Book 3 – Best Overall
Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU
Ram: 32 GB DDR4
Storage: 512 GB SSD
GPU: Intel integrated HD 5000 in i7
Display: 13.5″ Touchscreen (3000 x 2000)
The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is the best laptop-tablet for drawing. It can deal with all your biggest demands. The touch screen monitor can be removed from the Laptop and can be used as a tablet. Moreover, the Surface Book 3 comes with support for the great Surface Pen. This is undoubtedly the best laptop for drawing and animation available in the market. You can enjoy all your artwork on this device without much problem.
- It is quite reliable
- It comes with dynamic features
- Usability is easy
- Great battery life
- Vibrant screen for drawing
- It is expensive
- It is not very portable
2- Dell Chromebook 11 – Budget option
Processor: Intel Celeron N2955U
Ram: 4 GB DDR3 SD RAM
Storage: 16GB SSD
GPU: Intel HD
Display: 11.6″ HD SVA, (1366×768)
Dell Chromebook 11 is popular among artists as the most budget-friendly laptop. It comes with a huge display and the best picture quality. At a very average price, this laptop does exactly what Chromebooks were made to be: an easy-to-use laptop at an affordable rate. It is the best Chromebook for drawing.
This pocket-friendly laptop is made with an Intel Celeron N2955U processor, combined with an Intel HD Graphics card to have a better experience as a user. This also helps in speeding up your work.
- It is a budget-friendly option
- It gives good performance
- It is easy to use
- It is compact
- It is portable
- It is not very versatile
3- Lenovo Flex 5 – Cheapest Option
Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
Ram: 16 GB
Storage: 256 GB SSD
GPU:Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics Card
Display: 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080)
The IdeaPad Flex 5 provides you better options for creativity by giving good performance and affordability. It is the best notebook for digital drawing. It has a slim design and looks stylish. The display comes at a perfect size which is 14 inches. The Flex 5 is a high-quality laptop at an amazing price which makes it one of the cheapest laptops for performing artwork.
It is a 2-in-1 convertible device coming from Lenovo. This laptop offers you powerful performance. If you go to buy such a laptop from other brands, it would cost a lot more money. The keyboard of the Lenovo Flex is very comfortable to use. It is often called the best laptop for digital drawing.
- It is the cheapest
- It is the best 2 in 1 laptop for drawing
- Easy to use
- It doesn’t have many features
4- Google Pixelbook Go – Best Touchscreen
Processor: Intel Core m3 – Intel Core i7
Ram: 8GB – 16GB
Storage: 128GB – 256GB
GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 615
Display: 13.3″ Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
Google is one of the top manufacturers of Chromebooks in the market. They have proved it once again by manufacturing the Pixelbook Go. This laptop comes with good battery life, and you can use it for a whole day by charging it just once. The keyboard is the best thing that Pixelbook offers as it is super comfortable to use. The screen of the laptop is extremely responsive, which makes it a top choice for the best touchscreen laptop for drawing.
- Great battery life
- Incredible quiet keyboard
- Responsive touch screen
- It can be slightly expensive
5- HP Elite Dragonfly – Best 2-in-1
Processor: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7
Ram: 8GB – 16GB
Storage: 256 GB SSD
GPU: Intel UHD 620
Display: 13.3″ diagonal Full HD touch display
HP has maintained its reputation and quality with the HP Elite Dragonfly. It is a thin and stylish 2-in-1 laptop which is light in weight. The laptop comes with powerful speakers and a clear display that is quite impressive. The best part about this laptop is the keyboard which makes it perfect for those who are looking for a portable 2-in-1 laptop. Battery life is also great and has good performance. It is worth the price because of the quality it offers. This is undoubtedly the best 2 in 1 for drawing and animation.
- Superb design
- Excellent battery life
- Vivid 4k display
- It is quite expensive
Best Desktop Computer for drawing
|iMac||Check On Amazon|
|Dell G5 Gaming Desktop||Check On Amazon|
|HP Pavilion 590||Check On Amazon|
|Apple iMac 21.5||Check On Amazon|
|Microsoft Surface Studio 2||Check On Amazon|
1- iMac – Best Overall
Processor: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i9
Ram: 8GB – 128GB
Storage: 256 GB SSD
GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5300 – Radeon Pro 5700 XTRAM
Display: 27″ (diagonal) 5120 x 2880 Retina 5K display
It is the largest desktop that comes with 10th generation Intel Core processors, which makes it extremely powerful.
The AMD Radeon Pro 5000 graphics card makes it one of the best desktops for graphics. This makes a huge difference for all the artists who want to work on an iMac.
iMacs have become very popular among all the artists due to their great performance. It provides you with all the tools that are needed to draw or paint digitally.
- Better internal capacity
- It can be configured to make it very powerful
- Design is quite old
- Very expensive
2- Dell G5 Gaming Desktop – Best Budget Option
Processor: 9th Gen Intel Core i3
Ram: 8GB – 64GB
Storage: 1TBSSD – 1TB SSD + 2TB HDD
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 – RTX 2070
Display: 34″ curved monitor with WQHD resolution
This is a budget yet powerful computer for performing drawings. It provides great performance and is a better value proposition as compared to desktops of other brands.
The features it provides at this price are simply unmatchable. This is why the Dell G5 is a very competitive model in the market. You get the option to choose graphics cards that will greatly help you in all your graphics-related tasks.
If you are looking for a desktop that performs graphic work smoothly but is not very expensive, this is the one.
- It is very affordable
- It is very powerful
- The look and the design is not up to the mark
- More preferred for gamers
3- HP Pavilion 590 – Cheapest Option
Processor: 4-8 cores AMD Ryzen 3 / 5 / 7, 4-6 cores Intel Core i3 / i7
Ram: 8GB – 16GB
Storage: 128-256GB SSD, 16GB Intel Optane, 1-2TB HDD
GPU: Intel UHD / AMD Vega Pro / Radeon RX550 / Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti / 1060
Display: 23.8″ diagonal FHD VA ZBD anti-glare
The HP Pavilion 590 is a perfect graphic design computer that will create a hole in your pocket.
It is undoubtedly the best computer you can buy with this amount of money. This laptop shows that there is no need to spend a lot of money to get a solid computer to perform drawings.
It has either Intel or AMD processors, and you get a range of configurations that lets you choose a Pavilion 590 that fits your needs and budgets the best.
- It is highly affordable
- Incredible performance for the money you pay
- The look of the computer is slightly bland
- It doesn’t come with an 8-core Intel processor option
4- Apple iMac 21.5 – Best Features
Processor: 2.3GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5
Ram: 8 GB DDR4
Storage: 256 GB SSD / 512 GB SSD
GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
Display: 21.5“ (1920×1080) FHD LED
This is a smaller version of the iMac that comes with many similar features to the larger iMac. The only dissimilarity is the size of the screen and the price. It is way cheaper as compared to the larger version, which is a great advantage. Everything else is the same, from the build quality to the same OS, keyboard, and mouse. If your workload doesn’t demand a lot of work, then go for this desktop. It is worth the money.
- It is affordable
- The specs are quite practical
- Lack of dedicated graphics card
- Less storage size
5- Microsoft Surface Studio 2 – Best all-in-one
Processor: Intel Core i7-7820HQ
Ram: 16GB – 32GB
Storage: 1TB – 2TB SSD
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB -GTX 1070
Display: 28″ display (4,500 x 3,000)
The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is the best PC for drawing. If you wish to stick with Windows 10, go for this desktop. Microsoft’s Surface Studio 2 is a perfect all-in-one option for those looking for an alternative to Apple’s computers. The design that it offers is sleek and stylish.
This desktop comes with some of the top features like its display, a high-resolution 28-inch display, and is touch-sensitive. The best part is it can turn into a graphics tablet if you lay it down.
- The touch is very sensitive
- It provides powerful graphics
- There is no option for updating the Intel processor
- It can be very expensive
FAQS – What do people ask?
What to consider when getting a drawing laptop?
Laptops that are used for drawing usually need to fulfill some of the specifications. Some of the features such as display quality, touchscreen feature, stylus support, RAM and storage, operating systems, etc., need to be considered.
What laptop do digital artists use?
There are plenty of different laptops available in the market for drawing. It depends on your preference and budget.
What PC specs do I need for drawing?
Some of the basic specs needed for drawing on a PC are 4GB of RAM and should support light graphics work. In general, 8GB RAM is preferred to perform artwork.
There is a wide variety of drawing laptops and desktops available in the market. You should consider a few factors to buy the best laptop or desktop for professional artists and amateur drawing lovers.
Some of these factors include a fast and robust CPU, a well-performing GPU, good RAM and storage, long battery life, and clear display quality.
The laptops and desktops mentioned above are some of the leading computers that can be used for drawing, painting, doodling, etc. Going carefully through the descriptions of all the laptops and desktops will help you make an intelligent decision while buying your computer for drawing.