When it comes to graphic design, the most important tool is your machine that'll run the software you want to use. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or talented student just starting out, having a laptop that can take on whatever you’re tasked with will make your workload feel a whole lot lighter.
To help you on your quest to find the ultimate graphic design laptop, we’ve put together a list of the top five laptops for graphic designers in NZ.
Quick List! Top 5 Laptops for Graphic Designers
1. Lenovo Thinkpad P1 Gen3
The Lenovo ThinkPad P1 is a fast and powerful laptop, that's a dream device for designers and business users. It's built to tear through the most demanding computing tasks. With the latest 10th gen Intel Core processing and the NVIDIA Quadro T1000 GPU, this laptop will keep all of your applications needed for your design work running as they should. Airflow and thermal saturation are optimised to keep your device running fast and efficiently. It’s perfect for power users who work as hard as it can.
Like all ThinkPads, the ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 mobile workstation undergoes some of the most stringent product testing in the industry, so you get the perfect blend of performance and mobile durability.
If you want a thin, lightweight laptop that still packs a tonne of power, then the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 could be for you.
2. MSI Stealth GS66 15.6" Laptop
The latest MSi series of GS66 laptops certainly pack a massive punch, so much so that it's considered to be gaming-grade. Yet again it comes fitted with a 10th Gen Intel i7, but this one is the mighty i7-10750H processor with 6 cores and 12 threads, it has a max turbo that can reach an incredibly fast 5.GHz making it the fastest in our list, with 16GB of RAM, and step up to the RTX series of graphics to an NVIDIA so you can be confident that it’ll run your design programs quickly and seamlessly.
As the only laptop on our list with RTX graphics, if you've been asked to get an Nvidia RTX Studio system - this one meets the required specifications.
This laptop design also includes a handy Thunderbolt 3 port which is great for those wanting to add a 4K+ display or some ultra-fast desktop storage.
3. HP Zbook Firefly G7
If you're after all-out power, take a good look at this mobile workstation which comes equipped with a 10th Gen Intel i7-10510 4 Core / 6 Thread Processor that can turbo boost to 4.9GHz when needed, 16GB of RAM, and NVIDIA’s Quadro P520 graphics card. The specifications on this laptop are great for graphic designers who need extra power for motion graphics, video editing, animation, and more.
A built-in card reader is a handy addition for those working with photo & video, and with twin USB Type-C (TB3) ports, backing up large files working files to a connected drive is quick and effortless.
The HP ZBook Firefly G7 has a screen resolution of 1920x1080 for a sharp and accurate display. Being a mobile workstation, you can expect this laptop to have a shorter battery life than its less powerful counterparts, but for what it offers in terms of power, re-charging more frequently is a reasonable compromise.
4. Microsoft Surface Book 3
A great choice for creatives who enjoy having both a tablet and laptop while on the go. Running on a 10th Gen Intel i7-1065G7 processor with speeds of up to 3.9 GHz, up to 32GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 discrete graphics card, the Surface Book 3 will power through any task smoothly and quickly. The laptop turns into a tablet once the screen is detached – useful for those who prefer to carry a digital portfolio around with them – and when paired with the Surface Pen, it can also become your digital sketchbook.
With a screen resolution of 3000x2000 (267 PPI), the visuals are incredibly crisp, really bringing out the details in your designs. The Microsoft Surface Book 3 packs up to 17 hours of battery life – ideal for designers who frequently work at coffee shops or on flights, where power sources can be hard to get to.
5. Apple MacBook Pro
Long been a go-to laptop for creative professionals known for its brilliant display and performance. Featuring a 9th Gen Intel i9 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a Radeon Pro 5500M graphics card, the MacBook Pro is easily capable of handling multiple design programs at the same time.
The laptop features a backlit display with a screen resolution of 1920x1200, with 500 nits of brightness, producing a beautiful display and great colour accuracy. It also has an impressive battery life, packing up to 10 hours of life in its sleek lightweight body, making it a great laptop for those who want to design on the go!
So there you have it – our top laptops for graphic designers in 2020. We'll continue to stay up-to-date with the latest and will update this list with the best options available here in New Zealand!