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If you’re an artist tired of the clutter traditional operating systems like Windows and macOS provide, then ChromeOS will be the fresh breeze you deserve.
In a hurry?
Here’s our Editor’s choice:
Chromebooks have been growing a lot in popularity and people are using them in every way possible while making their own in their fields. If you’re an artist who mostly works with web-based applications, then Chromebooks are a great fit for you as well.
Finding the best Chromebook for artists can be a very challenging task as you have many options on the market.
We have done all the research so that you don’t have to. Based on several factors (discussed later), we’ve come up with a handful of Chromebooks that are perfect for artists.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Best Chromebook For Artists – Editor’s Choice
Our Editor’s Choice for the best Chromebook for artists is Google Pixelbook. The Google Pixelbook model is miles ahead of every other Chromebook model there is and we’ll try to explain why that’s the case.
The first good thing about Google Pixelbook is that it is a high-performance Chromebook. This is not like the other models that are cheap and made for simple users.
You have the Google Assistant built-in which improves over time. You can press the dedicated Google Assistant button or just say “Ok Google” to wake her up and give your command.
Before we go into the nitty-gritty details of this model, let’s talk about battery life. With simple use, you can get around 10 to 11 hours of battery life without any issues. Even with some heavy processing, you should get at least 6 to 7 hours which is very impressive.
The Google Pixelbook comes with support for fast charging. With just 15 minutes of charging, you can easily get around 2 hours of use time which is great for charging on the run.
The design of the device deserves a special mention. This is easily one of the best-constructed Chromebooks to date. The unibody metal body screams premium but it weighs only 2.45lbs making it one of the lightest mobile devices out there. It is also one of the thinnest devices with just 10.3mm thickness at its sides.
The keyboard on this laptop is a pretty good one. It comes with an easy to use layout and gives you good feedback on typing. The keyboard is also backlit which means you can work on this laptop even in dark places. The trackpad is decent and gets the job done without any fuss.
For the display, we have a 12.3″ screen that comes with a resolution of 2400 x 1600 pixels. This is a lot of pixels for a screen this small and that results in an excellent pixel density. The image quality is brilliant and the sharp texts make this a great companion for reading books.
The IPS panel helps in giving your good colors while also presenting excellent viewing angles. The touchscreen is very responsive and you won’t be able to notice any lag when using a stylus on the screen. This makes this Chromebook a good one for creating logos and other illustrations.
How good is the processing power in the Google Pixelbook? We have an Intel Core i5 processor from the 7th generation of Intel Chips taking charge of the situation. This is a powerful processor and it allows you to run pretty much any web-based applications without any hiccups.
The 8GB DDR4 RAM in the memory department gives you all freedom you need for multitasking. You can open a ton of tabs in Chrome or any other browser of your choice and still not face any performance lag. Even when you have to work with a lot of layers on Photoshop or Illustrator, this memory has your back and helps in keeping the performance on point.
For local storage, you get 128GB of flash storage. This is a lot more than what you’ll receive with other models. This allows you to have certain data on the local storage which is always nice to have.
Overall, Google Pixelbook is the best Chromebook for artists without any doubt. It comes with the best in class hardware and offers the best ChromeOS experience there is. It can be slightly expensive but that’s the cost you pay for not getting any compromises.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 is the runner up and it came very close to the Pixelbook in every area regarding the overall performance.
The portability factor of the laptop plays a big role when it comes to artists. This Samsung laptop comes with a weight of 3 pounds and should be easy to carry around. Though it weighs a lot less, you can see that the build is pretty good and does well when it comes to durability.
The display we have here is a 12.2″ display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Even though this is just full HD, the smaller screen size gives us sharper images and texts making this display a good one for media consumption and other everyday tasks.
The touchscreen is responsive and the included pen does work well with the Chromebook. The pen does not need charging and that reminds of the Galaxy tablet pens Samsung used to make. Even with this pen, you can make some amazing illustrations on the device which is nice.
The Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 is powered by an Intel Celeron 3965Y processor. This is a dual-core processor that comes with a maximum clock speed of 1.50GHz. The processor does well when it comes to handling your everyday applications. Even apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, and other design apps run fine without any hiccups.
With 4 gigs of RAM in the memory department, the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 does well when it comes to multitasking. You will able to run apps side by side without any issues. You can also have multiple tabs open and they won’t refresh often, resulting in better user experience.
There is a 64GB flash memory for local storage which should come in handy for most people. As the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 comes with an SD card slot, you can add up to 400 gigs of local storage which almost brings this to the level of regular laptops.
The keyboard on the laptop is also good for typing. The keys have enough space between them so that you won’t mistype much. The only issue here is the lack of backlighting which is a bit disappointing in an otherwise superior Chromebook.
There are a couple of USB type C ports and a USB 3.0 gen 1 type A port that takes care of your data transfer. The device also comes with built-in Bluetooth and WiFi.
Overall, the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 is an excellent Chromebook for creative people like artists. It has an amazing touchscreen and gives you a pen to work on your illustrations. With adequate processing power and excellent battery life, this is easily one of the best Chromebooks for artists.
Best Budget Chromebook For Artists
If you’re on a budget, then going with the Dell Inspiron 11 Convertible Chromebook would be a good choice for artists.
This Chromebook comes with an 11.6″ screen that makes it super portable as it weighs just around 3 pounds. This laptop from Dell does have a few compromises here and there but is the only Chromebook that offers you a neat 2-in-1 performance at this price point.
We do not get a full HD display as it is a budget device. The display comes only with an HD display and that is pretty good considering the smaller screen size. The pixel density doesn’t take that much of a hit which is neat.
The touchscreen is quite responsive and allows you to have some quality pen time. There will be a bit of a lag when you’re illustrating with an external stylus but it is not a dealbreaker in any way.
The processor that powers this Dell Inspiron 11 Convertible Chromebook is an Intel Celeron processor. This Celeron N3060 is a dual-core processor that comes with a base frequency of 1.50GHz and a burst frequency of 2.48GHz.
This is an entry-level processor from Intel but it manages to take good care of your everyday needs, thanks to its compatibility with ChromeOS. You will be able to run all your apps without any lag or drag down.
The memory department comes with 4 gigs of RAM. This is enough memory for most artists in a Chromebook. You will be able to run design apps without any issues whatsoever. For local storage, you get 32 gigs of eMMC storage which should give you some space to play with.
When it comes to connectivity, the Dell Inspiron 11 Convertible Chromebook gives you several options. You get an HDMI port that allows you to hook this laptop up with external monitors and other high-end displays.
There is also a couple of USB 3.1 gen 1 ports that are perfect for high-speed data transfer. The lack of a USB type C is a bit disappointing but being a budget device, you can’t expect that. There is also an SD card slot, you can use this to add more to your local storage if that’s something you’d prefer.
The battery life of this Chromebook is not that bad. With light use, you should be able to get around 5 to 7 hours out of this laptop which is great considering this is a budget device.
Overall, the Dell Inspiron 11 Convertible Chromebook is a very good budget Chromebook and it does what it says. If you’re an artist who’s looking for a ChromeOS device on a budget, then this is the one for you.
What To Look For In The Best Chromebook for Artists?
There are several things you should consider before getting yourself a Chromebook for creative purposes.
Some factors are absolutely crucial while others depend on the user’s need or preference. Let’s discuss them in detail.
If you’ve used Windows or macOS all these years, then jumping ship to ChromeOS is not a simple cosmetic change.
In ChromeOS, everything is web-based and you won’t have some luxuries you’ve enjoyed in other operating systems like local storage and full-size applications.
If you can manage your workflow with web-centric applications, then you won’t have any problem with ChromeOS. If you don’t think you can, then stop reading this and find the right Laptop for your artistry needs.
The display is the single most important component in a Chromebook for an artist.
Without question, you need to have a touchscreen so that you can use a stylus for making illustrations on the device. Yes, some people prefer using apps that don’t need a touchscreen but trust us, this is way better.
The touchscreen needs to be super responsive and should not come with a considerable lag. When you are working your stylus on the display, you don’t want to see a lag when making illustrations.
Most high-end Chromebooks deal with this and prevent any lag whatsoever. But if you’re going for a cheap Chromebook, then you may not be able to do much here.
In terms of resolution, go for a minimum of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Anything more than this is perfectly fine but anything less than this might become a problem later.
A full HD display gives you the right amount of sharpness when it comes to your designs and illustrations. Lower resolution screen will not give you the same results no matter what.
Also, make sure you get an IPS display. An IPS display gives you an excellent contrast ratio and will give you excellent viewing angles as well.
When it comes to Chromebooks, you don’t need powerful processors.
Usually, Chromebooks come with an Intel Celeron or Pentium chips. You might also get some from the M series chips from Intel.
Only a few Chromebooks come with an Intel Core i3 or an i5 processor. These devices are high-end ones and they will be more expensive than the other ones.
If you’re an artist, you may not want to go with an Intel Pentium or Celeron processor. Go for an M series processor or an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor.
These processors are more powerful and help you get seamless user experience. You will be able to even complex ChromeOS applications without any issues.
Most Chromebooks come with 4 gigs of RAM in the memory department. This memory should be more than enough for most artists. If you’re going to work with more than 30 to 40 layers, then get a Chromebook that comes with at least 8 gigs of DDR4 RAM.
You’re not going to get a lot of local storage in a Chromebook.
As a minimum, you’ll get 32GB eMMC storage and it can go up to 128GB at best. Chromebooks don’t rely on local storage to get things done. Almost all the operations happen with the help of cloud storage providers.
You can connect any cloud provider to be your main choice. By default, Google Drive is your option for storage. Some laptops come with 100GB of Google Drive storage free for one year. If you want, you can make use of that offer while picking up your Chromebook.
Since you won’t have any local storage, you can get yourself a cheap external storage device to have a backup that is off the cloud servers.
Battery life is easily one of the most important things you need when you’re an artist.
Ideally, you need a Chromebook that will last you an entire day. This way you can go out and start working on a project on a park bench. Even when you’re drawing the entire day, your Chromebook must have the legs to support your work.
Even if your device can’t last an entire day, make sure it has decent battery life. Anywhere from 5 to 8 hours of battery life will be more than enough for most artists.
Most Chromebooks rely on the integrated graphics card for handling their graphics needs. The ChromeOS applications are also not that graphically intensive.
So you will be fine with pretty much any Chromebook. If you feel like you need more power, then go with a Chromebook that has an Intel Core i5 processor as it comes with an Intel HD graphics card that is miles better than the other GPUs on Chromebooks.
The design of your laptop is more of personal preference.
Whether you’re okay with a plastic laptop or an all-metal laptop depends on you and your needs. If you’re going for a durable laptop, make sure it comes with a nice industrial build.
The portability of your Chromebook is also very important. If you are on the lookout for a portable Chromebook, then you should go for a 13.3″ or an 11.6″ device. These weigh under 3 lbs and are easy to carry around without any problem.
If you’re going to work on applications that don’t need input from styluses, then you will be fine with a simple Chromebook. But if you’re going to use a stylus to make illustrations, then you need a Chromebook that also doubles up as a tablet.
Even though you will be dealing with the cloud, for the most part, having the essential ports do give a hand when it comes to importing external data to your Chromebook.
You might want to have the latest and the greatest USB 3.1 Type-C port on your device as it offers the best speeds for data transfer. If not, the best bet is to go for a USB 3.0 port. The availability of an HDMI port will also come in handy as you can connect your Chromebook to a bigger display while working on your projects or while making presentations.
Your device should have built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity as well. For WiFi, you should have at least 802.11ac as it gives you fast internet access. Any version of Bluetooth above 4.0 will do a good job in terms of connectivity.
That’s all we have for this post.
We hope you found this useful and were able to find the right Chromebook for your needs.
If you’re still not able to narrow it down to one model, do let us know and we’ll help you out.
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