DailyTechCentral is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.
Finding the best laptops for Adobe Illustrator is essential if you’re a graphic designer. Whether you are a cartoonist, logo creator, or any kind of creative person, Adobe Illustrator is an excellent tool for you.
But Illustrator is also one of the best and most demanding applications in the entire Adobe creative suite. No doubt that it is a great app for working on vectors but you’re going to need a solid laptop to get a good illustrating performance.
Selecting the right laptop for you here might be a bit more challenging than you imagined. You need a laptop that comes with excellent hardware and not some entry-level one. Even then, there are a ton of laptops to choose from.
We have saved you hours of research work by doing the research ourselves. Here’s a list of the best mobile devices for Adobe Illustrator that are categorized for different users.
|ASUS ROG Strix G15|
|Macbook Pro 16|
|Microsoft Surface Book 2|
|Acer Aspire 5|
(Best Budget Pick)
Best Laptops For Adobe Illustrator
Here are our top picks
Best Laptop For Adobe Illustrator (Editor’s Choice) – ASUS ROG Strix G15
Our Editor’s choice for the best laptop for Adobe Illustrator is the ASUS ROG Strix G15 laptop.
This laptop from the house of ASUS is an excellent gaming laptop that comes with incredible specifications and a surprisingly low price tag. This laptop really opens up the horizon for anyone who wants to game on a budget and also is the best gift for graphic designers who want to primarily work on Adobe apps like Illustrator.
Screen And Processor
The laptop comes with a 15.6 inch screen that has a resolution of 1080p. This LED-backlit display has an IPS panel underneath it which directly improves the overall color and clarity of the output. The screen is perfect for Adobe Illustrator as it is a widescreen that gives you more real estate and the color accuracy is also on point. For the price, the screen kicks ass.
The processor that powers this ASUS laptop is an Intel Core i7 processor. This is a 9th generation Intel core processor that comes with 6-core architecture and 12 threads to give you amazing performance. The processor comes with a maximum clock speed of 4.5 GHz. What interests us more is that it has a base frequency of 2.60 GHz which is fantastic and allows you to get more work done without generating a lot of heat.
Memory and Graphics
There are 16 gigs of RAM that will come in very handy when you’re working with big projects. The more layers you have the more RAM you can use to make your experience more fluid. The RAM also comes with a clock speed of 2666 MHz which is awesome for better multitasking. For storage, we have a 1TB SSD.
The GPU we have here is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070. This GPU comes with a dedicated video RAM of 8 GB that is of GDDR5 type. This GPU is a fast one and you can call it an upper mainstream GPU as it does well with most modern games without any issues. This GPU is also perfect for running Adobe Illustrator and improves your overall experience.
Overall, the ASUS ROG laptop is an excellent gaming laptop that also gets the title of the best laptop for running Adobe Illustrator. With an excellent processor and a solid RAM, this laptop manages to give pro users a device that is perfect for working on vectors and other designs. Without doubt, this best laptop is a solid choice for most Illustrator users.
Best MacBook For Illustrator – Apple MacBook Pro 16
If you are a fan of Apple, and if you want to make awesome graphic design with the help of a MacBook, then the Apple MacBook Pro 16 is the best Apple laptop for you.
Classic Apple Design and Battery Life
This 16 inch MacBook is a new design from Apple that comes with smaller bezels and improved performance with a redesigned body. In classic Apple fashion, this laptop is super light and is one of the best laptops and the most portable one out there even for its size.
The MacBook Pro also nails it when it comes to battery. Most graphic designers use the laptop while they are plugged into a power outlet. But this laptop gives you the option to use your laptop whenever you want as this one can last for about 10 hours with simple use. When you’re working on something heavy in adobe Illustrator, expect the laptop to last for about 5 to 6 hours.
The processor that powers the MacBook Pro is an Intel Core i7 processor. This processor comes with six physical cores and has a maximum clock speed of 4.50GHz which is awesome for a laptop that you will use to run Adobe Illustrator. The processor also comes with an Intel Smart cache memory of 12 MB which is excellent for daily simple tasks.
The Intel Core processor does a fantastic job when it comes to running Adobe Illustrator. The software is optimized for macOS and you will get a smooth experience on this MacBook Pro. The 16 gigs of RAM in the RAM department compliments the processor very well and offers the user a solid experience even when you are working with a ton of layers.
The screen on this laptop is probably the best you’ll get on a 16″ laptop. The screen resolution is top notch and gets you more than 4 million pixels. If you’re looking for a solid display, then this one takes an easy win.
Storage, Gaming, and More
Solid-state drive on the MacBook Pro comes with a capacity of 512 GB. Apple makes the best solid-state drives out there. This storage comes with reading and writing speeds and upwards of 2.5GB/s which is just insane. This is probably the fastest SSD you will get your hands on.
The SSD storage opens adobe Illustrator in a few seconds which is fantastic. You can move even huge files from one place to another within a snap of a finger which is not something we can say for other solid-state drives.
The graphics card we have on the MacBook Pro is an AMD Radeon pro 5300M. This graphics card comes with a dedicated video RAM of 6 GB and is a pretty high-end GPU from AMD. It helps in accelerating the overall performance of Adobe Illustrator and does a pretty good job when it comes to gaming as well.
The MacBook Pro comes with an excellent keyboard that Apple calls a magic keyboard. This keyboard comes with a redesigned scissor mechanism that helps you get a better typing experience. it does not compromise your speed or accuracy when it comes to typing and allows you to work in the dark, thanks to the backlit keyboard. As far as the typing experience goes, this is one of the best laptops out there.
The trackpad on this MacBook Pro is the best touchpad you will ever get on any laptop. Having a trackpad this is good absolutely condemns the need to have a mouse for Illustrator. This trackpad is perfect and catches all your hits without missing any. macOS is full of beautiful gestures and this one is perfect for all of them.
Overall, the MacBook Pro 16 is a flagship laptop from Apple and it behaves like one. It brings you excellent hardware and gives you an impressive performance regardless of the amount of complexity involved. Without a doubt, the MacBook Pro 16 is one of the best laptops for Adobe Illustrator.
Best Laptop For Adobe Illustrator (2-in-1 Pick) – Surface Book 2
When you’re trying hard to the best laptop for Adobe Illustrator, you might also want to explore the option of getting convertible laptops. If you want a convertible laptop, then the best one out there is the Surface Book 2.
Surface Book 2 is an excellent convertible laptop as it comes with some of the heaviest specifications in the industry. We have an Intel Core i7 processor that comes with six physical cores and 12 threads. With a maximum clock speed of 4.50 GHz, this processor can absolutely nail it when it comes to Illustrator. It also has a smart cache memory of 12 MB that should come in handy when dealing with everyday applications like web browsers and social media apps.
The laptop also comes with 16 GB of RAM that is of DDR4 type. This RAM is very fast and can help you improve your productivity by bringing efficient multitasking to the table. You will be able to run other applications in the Adobe ecosystem which is the trademark for the best laptop for Adobe users. Also, this RAM allows you to play with projects that have more than 50 layers which are nice.
The solid-state drive on the Surface Book 2 comes with a storage capacity of 512 GB. This solid-state drive is at least 15 times faster than the fastest mechanical hard drive which is pretty impressive. The solid-state drive loads the Windows operating system in a few seconds and launches Adobe Illustrator without a long waiting time. You will be able to move even gigabytes of data in a very short time which talks about the SSD’s quality.
One of the best things about this Surface Book 2 laptop is that you can completely detach the keyboard from the laptop giving you an unadulterated tablet experience. This is not something you get with all the convertible laptops so you can say that this device is unique that way.
The battery life of the laptop is another major selling point. With simple stuff, you will be able to get around 17 hours of battery life which is just batshit crazy. Even with some heavy work on Adobe apps, the laptop should give you at least 5 to 6 hours and that’s quite impressive. The screen performance is also equally awesome.
Overall, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a fantastic two in one laptop that is perfect for Illustrator. It is one of the best laptops purely from a performance point of view but also shines in other departments as well.
Best Laptop For Adobe Illustrator (Budget Pick) – Acer Aspire 5
The Acer Aspire 5 is an affordable laptop that comes with decent specifications and offers you a good Adobe Illustrator experience. This is, without a doubt, the best laptop for Adobe Illustrator if you are on a budget.
This best laptop from Acer comes with a 15.6-inch display that has a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This screen is a pretty decent one but still manages to give you an impressive output for the price. The blacks on the screen are okay but the whites are quite bright which is something. The refresh rate is normal and the overall viewing experience of the screen is also pretty good, thanks to the IPS panel underneath it.
The processor that runs the Acer Aspire 5 is an Intel Core i5 processor. This Intel Core processor is from the 10th generation of Intel core chips which is nice. You get the latest generation Intel core processor that has a maximum clock speed of 3.5 GHz. This processor can handle Adobe Illustrator without any issues as it has four physical cores and eight threads. The chip also comes with 8 MB of Intel smart cache memory to make your life better.
With 8 GB of RAM in the RAM department, this laptop is at its best when it comes to handling Adobe Illustrator. You can work with medium-sized projects without any issues on this laptop. The RAM also does well when it comes to multitasking. You will be able to run several applications together apart from Adobe Illustrator and still not have any hiccups in performance. Most light and mid-range users will be happy with this RAM.
We are very happy with the fact that Acer has included a solid-state drive on this budget laptop. We have 256GB SSD that is way faster than your average mechanical hard drive. This solid-state drive gives you solid storage, very good performance, and boots up the Windows operating system in just a few seconds. Getting this performance out of a budget laptop is an excellent performance per dollar.
Even though the Acer Aspire 5 is a budget laptop, it comes with incredible battery life. The laptop can last for about 9.5 hours with light use. If we are going to be doing Some video streaming, web browsing, and a little bit of Adobe Illustrator, then you can expect the laptop to last for about 6 to 7 hours which is fantastic.
You will not find a dedicated graphics card in the Acer aspire 5. It comes with an integrated Intel UHD graphics card which is more than enough for beginners and hobbyists. This graphics card does a pretty good job in handling Adobe Illustrator and when it cannot handle the load, the processor takes over and helps in elevating the overall performance.
Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 is an excellent budget laptop for Adobe Illustrator. It comes with a nice processor, adequate RAM, and gives you impressive performance. More than everything, this laptop provides the best avenue for people on a budget to make some great designs which is why this is easily one of the best laptops for running Adobe Illustrator.
What To Look For In The Best Laptop For Adobe Illustrator?
Adobe Illustrator is a hard nut to crack when it comes to getting a smooth performance. It is one of the most demanding applications in the Adobe creative suite, and its needs only increase over complexity.
If you’re going to find the best laptop for Adobe Illustrator, then you need to make sure that you know the right criteria for picking one of the best laptops for this Adobe application.
Ideal Display For The Best Laptop For Adobe Illustrator
Having the best screen for Adobe Illustrator is very important. We are talking about software that is purely designed for making illustrations and vector work. With a bad display, you might as well not do any graphics design at all.
When selecting display specifications, there are a few factors to take into consideration the size of the display, the resolution, type of screen, and other ones as well.
Let’s talk about the size of the screen. If you are someone who likes to be mobile and travel a lot, then you will be fine with a 13.3-inch screen as it is more portable. However, there is a trade-off as you will be dealing with a smaller screen, and working on fine details might or might not become a problem for you.
If you are a professional, then we would recommend going for a 15.6-inch screen. The screen size is perfect as in most cases you will get a widescreen display that gives you a lot of real estate to work with. You can also have the entire tools on the screen all the time instead of getting them only when you need them.
There is also an option to go with a 17.3-inch display, but we do not recommend that as it is way too big for the average user. If you are going to work on leave from your home office or office and you don’t need to be mobile, then you can consider it. In all other cases, this is just too big and we would ignore it.
What is the Best Resolution?
The resolution of the laptop display is what is the most important feature of your display. It decides how good the output is going to be and also the efficiency of your work as an Illustrator.
As a minimum, we would go with a 1920 x 1080p display. This is what we got a full HD resolution, and it is perfect for most users. The picture quality with full HD resolution on a 15.6-inch screen is very good. The pixel density is also impressive giving you sharp images and texts. Whether you are an artist or a logo creator, this resolution is a pretty good one to work with.
You can absolutely go with a QHD display or even a 4K display if you can afford one. The higher the screen resolution is the more you can fit into the screen at a given time. This will give you more ability to zoom in which means you can work on the most intricate details without making the image blurry.
Type of Display Ideal For Adobe Illustrator
When it comes to the screen, there are two different types of displays you can choose from. You can either have a glossy display or a matte anti-reflective display.
When it comes to this adobe software, it is better to go for a glossy display as it gives you more color accuracy. Yes, you are going to have to deal with a lot of reflections on your screen but you cannot compromise on color accuracy as your work depends on it.
Getting a matte display would have a thin film on the screen that suppresses reflections the best. This displays great to avoid distracting reflections but it is not that good when it comes to color accuracy. So we would avoid getting a matte display if you value the accuracy of your output.
In order to reduce the distractions on your glossy display, make sure that the laptop display comes with good maximum brightness. We prefer a maximum brightness of at least 400 nits so that you can work even in the brightest of rooms without any reflecting distractions.
Processor – What’s Good For Adobe Illustrator?
If you’re looking to have one of the best laptop computers for Adobe Illustrator, then that machine should have an awesome processor at its helm. The processor is one of the most important specifications for an Adobe focused notebook.
First, let us see which processor we should not get at any cost. You should avoid entry-level processors like the Intel Pentium, Celeron, and Atom processors. A processor like the once mentioned here is made for simple devices like chrome books and will not work well with professional laptops.
If you want to have a decent Adobe Illustrator experience, then you should go for a minimum of an Intel Core i5 processor. In this case, a dual-core processor might get the job done but we would recommend going for a quad-core one if you want to have the best and smoothest experience. Any Intel Core i5 chip from the eighth generation and above is a pretty good choice to go with.
If you want to have an excellent Adobe graphic design experience, then going for an Intel Core i7 or an Intel Core i9 processor would be a much better option. These processors start with four physical cores and can go up to 8 physical cores which is a lot of power. Sadly, the Illustrator application cannot make use of more than one crore at a time which is really a shame.
For the above-mentioned reason, the number of cores on your processor makes very little impact. You could get the same amount of work done from a dual-core processor as you would from a quad-core processor.
The clock speed of your processor is more important than the number of cores you have. Having a good clock speed can help the Illustrator application in doing more computations at a given time. we will suggest a starting clock speed of around 2.0 GHz. This clock speed can give you very good performance without bringing turbo boost into the picture.
The processor should also make use of the turbo boost functionality to go to much higher clock speeds for improved performance. This is necessary when you are working on a more complex project that needs a lot of computations to be done.
Ideal RAM For Design-focused Laptops
Having enough RAM on your laptop has a direct effect on Adobe Illustrator‘s performance. If you are stuck with a laptop that has only 4 GB of RAM, then you are going to take days to finish a decent-sized project.
This is why we recommend going with a minimum of 8 GB of RAM. This RAM is pretty decent and handles small and medium-sized projects without any issues. You can work with several layers and there will not be any notable issues when it comes to performance.
If you are a professional and if you are going to work on complex work, then you’re going to need a minimum of 16 GB of RAM. This RAM will give you a lot of freedom and will also enable you to multitask so that you can increase your productivity will get things done.
Make sure that the RAM you get is of the DDR4 type. This is the latest RAM and it is much better than the previous DDR3 version. You get higher clock speeds with improved performance which is best for modeling laptops. Most laptops come with LPDDR3 RAM which is a low powered version and offers similar or better performance as the DDR3 with less energy.
Also, the RAM should come with a decent clock speed to give you a seamless performance. If you’re going with the DDR4 RAM, make sure you get a minimum clock speed of 2400 MHz which is quite good. Following the above specifications can guarantee a good memory performance.
The storage on your laptop is very important for all your. One might think that all you need is a lot of storage and you’re good to go. You could not be any more wrong in this regard. When it comes to a modern laptop, getting the right storage is more important than getting the right amount of storage.
If you’re coming from a laptop that is a few years old, then chances are you might have a mechanical hard drive unit for storage. These mechanical hard drives have moving parts in them and are more traditional storage devices. They are painfully slow and can bring the performance of your laptop down if you don’t have a high-end processor and adequate RAM on your laptop.
Most current laptops come with a solid-state drive for storage. This solid-state drives do not have any moving parts and are extremely fast when it comes to performance. Some solid-state drives even come with reading and writing speeds in upwards of 3GB/s which is life-changing if you are dealing with a huge library of data.
Most SSDs are 13 to 17 times faster than most mechanical hard drives. If you are coming from a mechanical hard drive to a solid-state drive, you would feel a world of difference when it comes to everyday performance. There is no way you’re going back to a mechanical drive once you use a solid-state drive storage.
Now that we’ve established that you should always go for a solid-state drive, let’s talk about the amount of storage you need. If you are a beginner, then you should be fine with a 128GB solid-state drive for storage purposes. if you are a professional, then you can start from 256 GB of SSD storage. The higher the storage gets, the faster the drive will be. This means you can get the best performance from 512 GB SSD storage when compared to a 256 GB SSD.
Be warned that SSDs are very expensive. This is exactly why we recommend beginners to go with 128 GB SSD as they are the least expensive of the lot. You can always upgrade your storage, provided your laptop allows it, or replace it with a bigger one.
Graphics card (For Gamer-focused Laptops)
Having a dedicated graphics card with good video RAM will definitely come in handy when you have to deal with complex projects. The most recent version of Adobe Illustrator makes use of the GPU in the name of hardware acceleration and gives you better performance by reducing the stress on the processor.
You will be fine with any graphics cards from the 10xx generation or the 20xx generation of Nvidia GPUs. You can go with a mid-range graphics card or high-end graphics card depending upon the performance you require or your budget. You also need to make sure that the GPU comes with a good dedicated video RAM.
If you’re not going to work on files that have more than 50 layers, then you may not need a dedicated graphics card at all. Most modern integrated graphics cards like the Intel UHD graphics cards are way better than the predecessors. They can handle much more graphics requirements and produce a better result. You will be fine with them if you’re a beginner or if you don’t have complex needs.
Portability is one thing that most graphic designers don’t think about. They usually come to the conclusion that they should go for the biggest laptop out there and sit at home or office and getting things done.
With modern laptops, you can get a lot of power from such a small machine which makes it possible to work on the go. If you value your portability, you can always go for a 13.3-inch laptop that comes with impressive hardware. This will enable you to work while you are traveling which is a dream for a lot of people.
If portability is not a big deal for you, then you could probably go with a 15.6-inch laptop. This is pretty much the size every graphic designer goes for and you will be fine with it.
Make sure the laptop comes with all the best connectivity options you need. If you are a cartoonist, then you might want to plug in a tablet where you can draw your basic layers that can be improved on Illustrator later. Make sure that you have a USB type C port or at least a USB type a port from gen 3.2.
If you decide to go with a small size laptop, then you need an HDMI port on it so that you can connect your laptop to a bigger external display when you’re working in your office. Having a bigger external display will change the way you work as it will give you a bigger canvas to work on, all with a small size laptop on your lap. Most modern laptops will come with all essential stuff packed in so you won’t have to worry much.