When it comes to laptops, there are a few key things you need to look for if you're planning on doing any graphic design work on it.
The screen is the most important factor - you'll want a laptop with a high-resolution display so you can see your work in fine detail.
You'll also want a laptop with a powerful processor and plenty of RAM to handle all the heavy lifting, and a solidified state drive will help to speed up load times.
Battery life is another important factor, as you'll likely be spending long hours working on your designs, so you'll want a laptop that won't need to be tethered to a power outlet.
With all that in mind, here are the top 7 best laptops for graphic design under $800:
At A Glance
- Acer Aspire 5
- ASUS VivoBook S15
- HP Pavilion 15
- Dell Inspiron 15 5593
- Acer Swift 3
- Lenovo Ideapad S340
- Acer Spin 3
- 【Processor】AMD Ryzen 3 3350U Quad-Core Processor (Base Frequency at 2.10GHz, Up to 3.50GHz at Maximum Boost Clock, 4 Cores, 4MB Cache, 4 Threads)| Radeon Vega 6 Graphics
- 【Display】15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED backlit IPS Display, enjoy your photos, movies, and games with the crisp quality.
- 【RAM and Storage】RAM is upgraded to 12GB high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once; Hard Drive is upgraded to 512 GB Solid State Drive allows to fast bootup and data transfe.
- 【Tech Specs】Windows 11 Home 64-bit, English | 1 - USB 3.1 (Type-C) Gen 1 port (up to 5 Gbps), 2 - USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port (one with Power-off Charging), 1 - USB 2.0 Port & 1 - HDMI Port with HDCP Support| HD Camera | Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 802.11ax | Backlit Keyboard | Fingerprint Reader | Up to 8 Hours Battery Life | Amazon Alexa
- 【Included in the package】Bundled with Microfiber Cloth
- 15.6 inch Full HD NanoEdge bezel display with stunning 86% screen-to-body ratio
- Latest 11th generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 Quad Core Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.70 GHz, with IPU)
- 8GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD and Windows 10 Home
- Metal chassis and 16mm z-height
- Ergonomic backlit keyboard along with a fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello
- 【Upgraded】RAM is upgraded to 16 GB high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once; Hard Drive is upgraded to 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive to allow faster bootup and data transfer. Original Seal is opened for upgrade ONLY. If the computer has modifications (listed above), then the manufacturer box is opened for it to be tested and inspected and to install the upgrades to achieve the specifications as advertised.
- 【Processor】AMD Ryzen 5 5500U 2.10GHz 6-Core Processor (11MB Cache, up to 4.00GHz)
- 【Display】15.6" diagonal, FHD (1920 x 1080), micro-edge, anti-glare, 250 nits, 45% NTSC
- 【Operating System】Windows 11 Home, 64-bit, English
- [Display] 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare LED Backlight Touch Narrow Border WVA Display. Natural finger-touch navigation makes the most of Windows 10. The 1920 x 1080 resolution boasts impressive color and clarity with wide viewing angles display. Energy-efficient LED backlight
- [Processor] Intel Core i5-1035G1 Quad-Core Processor (4 Cores, 6MB Cache, 8 Threads, Base Frequency at 1.0 GHz, up to 3.6 GHz at Maximum Turbo Speed), Intel UHD Graphics with Shared Graphics Memory
- [Upgrade Memory and Hard Drive]16GB DDR4 Memory for full-power multitasking; 1TB SSD flash memory: This ultracompact memory system is ideal for mobile devices and applications, providing enhanced storage capabilities, streamlined data management, quick boot-up times and support for high-definition video playback
- [Ports] 802.11ac 1x1 WiFi and Bluetooth, 1 x SD Card Reader, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x Wedge-shaped lock slot, 1 x Power, 1 x HDMI 1.4b, 1 x RJ-45, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x Headphone & Microphone Audio Jack. Comes with 32GB ES usb card for data transfer.
- [Premium Design]This Dell laptop is only 0.7 inch thin and 4 lb light. Every detail is crafted for comfort and style, with all the power you need to get things done. Windows 10 Pro 64-bit is ideal for Business and Education. 720p HD Webcam and Stereo speakers system ready for remote work, virtual meeting, and online class.
- Aspect Ratio:16:9
- AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core Mobile Processor (Up to 4.1 GHz) with Radeon Graphics; 8GB LPDDR4 Memory; 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- 14" Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit display (1920 x 1080 resolution; 16:9 aspect ratio)
- Intel wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX200 802.11ax; HD webcam (1280 x 720); Backlit keyboard; Fingerprint reader
- 1 - USB Type-C port USB 3. 2 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps) DisplayPort over USB Type-C and USB Charging, 1- USB 3. 2 Gen 1 port (featuring power-off charging), 1 - USB 2. 0 port and 1 - HDMI port
- 【Ports】2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Combination Audio Jack, 1 x Multi-format SD Media Card Reader, Wireless-AC Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth Combo
- 【14" FHD IPS Multi-Touch Display】14" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS Multi-Touch Display, boasts a 0.3" thin bezel to give you even more screen real-estate. Colors stay true from a viewing angle of up to 170°. Universally compatible with all touchscreen displays, the Acer Active Stylus with Wacom AES 1.0 features 4,096 different levels of pressure sensitivity to give you the real feeling of holding a pen to paper for more precise strokes and movements.
- 【10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G1】Base 1.0GHz, Up to 3.60GHz, 4 cores, 6MB Cache, 8 Threads with Intel UHD Graphics. Groundbreaking intelligent performance features adapt to you and the things you do, for a more personalized and responsive experience.
- 【Upgraded Powerful Storage】8GB LPDDR4 Memory, 512GB NVMe SSD.Smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs at the same time. Boot up in seconds, get to files faster, and have room for loads of files. Up to 11 hours battery life
- 【360°Dual-Torque Hinge Design】the Spin 3 features a 360° Dual-Torque Hinge design allowing you to flexibly rotate the screen to comfortably read, write, sketch, or watch anything you want while enjoying better airflow for improved cooling.
- 【Uninterrupted Connectivity】The Spin 3 comes packed with loads of connectivity options to ensure you’re never unconnected. With Dual-band Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), multiple fully-functional USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support, and 2x2 MU-MIMO technology, you’ll be able to handle multiple device connections at faster speeds all at once.
If you are in the market for a laptop to use for graphic design or illustration and have a budget of $800 or less, these are some great options to consider.
All of these laptops provide excellent performance and will be able to handle even the most demanding software used by designers and illustrators.
Ultimately, your choice will come down to factors such as which operating system you prefer, the size and weight of the laptop, and the specific features that are most important to you. However, all of these laptops offer great value for the price and will help you take your design or illustration work to the next level.
Below I have broken them down in more detail to help you decide. Any image will take you to the official product page with more details.
1. Acer Aspire 5
For people who need a laptop for simple editing tasks like photoshop, content creation, and basic video editing, the Acer Aspire 5 is very reasonably priced.
Even though it is a mid-range laptop, its main feature is that it can be upgraded. The upgradeability is excellent, with two SODIMM RAM slots and two M.2 PCIe x4 slots that can accommodate the entire 80 mm-sized drives.
|✅ Excellent battery life|
|✅ Solid single- and multi-core performance|
|✅ Decent 1080p display|
|✅ Runs cool|
|✅ Has free slot to add more HDD|
|❌ Subpar webcam|
|❌ Mediocre keyboard and trackpad|
|❌ Low sRGB coverage (54% of sRGB)|
|❌ Low mic quality|
2. ASUS VivoBook S15
The ASUS VivoBook S15 is an unconventional approach to everyday computing, with a distinctive color-blocking design that communicates to the world that you resist conventions. It includes the ground-breaking ASUS ScreenPadTM 2.0 to enhance multitasking and transform how you use your laptop. This laptop features a sleek design and is suitable for daily productivity needs. It effortlessly completes its tasks, and the cooling system performs an excellent job of keeping the laptop cool.
|✅ Improved Screenpad|
|✅ Excellent build quality|
|✅ Well-rounded audio|
|✅ Strong port selection|
|❌ Needs more RAM|
|❌ Fragile keyboard deck|
|❌ Dim and dull display|
|❌ Small battery capacity|
3. HP Pavilion 15
The primary use of this laptop is as a budget-friendly gaming laptop, but it can also be used for graphic design, of course! A reliable, attractive laptop with a great price is the HP Pavilion 15. On this laptop, even high-end games may be played with ease. Hence, doing basic video and photo editing is smooth. However, people who work on the go will be disappointed with the battery life.
4. Dell Inspiron 15 5593
This laptop has a good variety of ports and an excellent build quality. It most crucially provides storage and memory upgrades. It is capable of simple graphic creation and light gaming. Although it's suitable for work and school, the battery and GPU still have numerous drawbacks.
5. Acer Swift 3
This laptop is a competent standard model with integrated graphics from Intel's 10th generation that efficiently completes tasks. Although it is not a gaming laptop, it may be a productivity partner. The laptop can do relatively demanding activities without experiencing considerable strain.
|✅ Enormous touchpad|
|✅ Covers 98% sRGB|
|✅ Multitasking muscle|
|✅ Has a fingerprint sensor|
|❌ RAM not upgradeable|
|❌ Mediocre battery life|
|❌ No SD card reader|
|❌ Webcam is subpar|
6. Lenovo Ideapad S340
The Lenovo IdeaPad S340 is a lightweight notebook that is perfect for graphic design and illustration. It has a large 52.5Wh battery that provides 12 hours of online browsing time and more than 10 hours of movie playback.
The Intel Core U series processors are perfect for casual users who mainly browse, stream, and email. The 8GB of system RAM is comprised of a non-detachable 4GB DDR4 chip soldered to the motherboard and a removable 4GB DDR4 SODIMM card.
This limits upgrading options. However, the graphics and display quality are excellent for graphic design and illustration work. Overall, the Lenovo IdeaPad S340 is a great choice for graphic designers and illustrators who need a portable notebook with great battery life.
|✅ Good system performance|
|✅ Good battery life|
|✅ Keyboard has backlighting|
|✅ FHD Display|
|❌ Memory is not upgradeable|
|❌ Display covers just 54% sRGB|
|❌ Has thermal issues|
|❌ No LSN Port|
7. Acer Spin 3
If you're looking for an ultrabook that can double as a reliable for designing and drawing, the Acer Spin 3 is a great option to consider. This 2-in-1 laptop has a great stylus that gives you the freedom to explore different mediums for your creativity.
Whether you're interested in traditional painting or drawing, or you want to create digital art, the Acer Spin 3 can help you bring your visions to life.
The only downside is that the Acer Spin 3's battery life is shorter than average, so you'll need to keep it plugged in while you work. However, its overall performance is still excellent for its price range, making it a great value for anyone looking for an affordable convertible laptop.
|✅ Loud and clear audio|
|✅ Good cooling system|
|✅ Stylus included|
|✅ Full HD Touch Screen|
|❌ Lacks USB Type C|
|❌ Mediocre battery|
|❌ Build looks plastic and cheap|
|❌ Dim display|
What To Look For When Choosing A Budget Laptop For Graphic Design And Illustration
When it comes to narrowing down this list and choosing a budget laptop for graphic design and illustration, here are the important factors I considered:
- First, it is important to make sure that the laptop has a powerful processor and enough RAM to handle the demands of graphic design software.
- Additionally, the laptop should have a high-quality graphics card that can render complex graphics quickly and smoothly.
- Another important consideration is the size and resolution of the laptop's display. For graphic designers and illustrators who need to be able to see fine details, a higher resolution screen is essential.
- Finally, it is also important to make sure that the laptop has all the ports and connections that will be needed to use external monitors, printers, and other peripheral devices.
Last update on 2022-09-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API