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Finding the right laptop for an art student is not an easy task by any means.
Art students have a varying degree of needs depending on their discipline and there are no turnkey solutions to their requirements.
In a hurry?
Here’s our Editor’s choice:
Dell XPS 15
If you’re looking for the best laptops from students in 2020, then you have landed at the right place since we’ve taken up on that mission and come up with a handful of Amazing laptops for art students.
Without beating around the bush, let’s take a look at some of the best notebooks for art students.
Best Laptop For Art Students (Editor’s Choice)
Our Editor’s Choice for the best laptop for art students is the Dell XPS 15″ laptop.
The Dell XPS 15 is a perfect laptop for our students as it comes with all the necessary hardware that they require forgetting a seamless computing experience. The laptop, for what it does, is not as expensive as some other models in the market.
One thing to note about this 15.6-inch laptop is that it is a lot smaller and that’s because of the intricate design of the device. The bezels surrounding the screen are very thin and that allows Dell to fit a 15.6-inch laptop into a footprint of a 14-inch laptop. Dell calls it the infinity edge display and it does look like one.
The display here comes with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. This is called ultra HD resolution and airports at a ton of pixels on your screen so that you won’t be able to see even a single pixel from a decent sitting distance.
The laptop comes with a maximum brightness of 500 nits which is brilliant. This maximum brightness allows you to use the laptop even in play in sunlight.
The display covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut which is pretty good. The color accuracy of the display makes it perfectly fine for tasks like graphic design, web design, and other color-related pro tasks.
The display is perfect for media consumption as well. You will enjoy watching movies and TV shows on this display, thanks to the almost invisible bezels surrounding the display.
The display also doubles up as a touchscreen which is a nice surprise. Though the laptop is not that great to use a pencil on, the touchscreen does give you some options and expand your horizon in a good way.
The speaker setup on this laptop is pretty good. The laptop gets really loud and you don’t need external speakers if you aren’t very picky.
Let’s talk about the processing power of the Dell XPS 15. We have to becomes fully packed with an Intel Core i7 processor. This i7 processor comes with four physical cores and eight logical cores and is one of the most powerful processors on the market right now.
The processor belongs to the 10th generation of Intel chips and it is one of the most efficient chips you will find. You can run pretty much any application with this CPU and it will handle it without any hiccups whatsoever.
There are 16 GB of RAM and they should be more than enough for most art students without any issues. These 16 GB will allow you to perform multitasking to your heart’s content. And you will need more memory if you are going to be doing complex modeling or designing, but at the college level, this should be more than enough for most students.
The storage in the Dell XPS 15 is made up of a one TB solid-state drive. The solid state drive is both spacious and is also one of the fastest SSD you will get. In terms of storage, the Dell XPS 15 hit the right spot and we have no complaints here.
The GPU in the Dell XPS 15 is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. This is a very good graphics card and comes with a dedicated memory of 4 GB and which is pretty good when it comes to handling art students’ requirements.
If you are someone who likes to game, then this graphics card will also serve you well.
Let’s talk about the connectivity On this laptop. You get all the popular sports like USB 3.1 type C port, USB 3.1 gen A port, HDMI port, SD card slot, and a headphone jack. The laptop also comes with support for Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.1a AC Wi-Fi.
Overall, the Dell XPS 15 is an excellent laptop and is easily the best laptop for art students. With heavy graphics needs, art students will love this laptop to bits and pieces and why we recommend it with all our hearts.
Best Mac For Art Students
The best Mac for our students in 2020 is the Apple MacBook Pro 16″.
This latest MacBook Pro from Apple comes with all the bills are vessels your need for a very satisfying art school computer experience. The laptop will also come in handy even after school as it can support all your software needs.
Though we are talking about a 16-inch laptop, the MacBook Bro weighs at 4.4 lbs making it one of the lightest laptops in this size category. You can easily take this laptop with you without feeling an ounce of extra weight.
When it comes to art school, you are going to need a few things in a laptop that are completely necessary like having a gorgeous display, adequate computing power, and so on. The MacBook Pro ticks all the boxes in a very compelling way.
The display here is a 16-inch one and it comes with what Apple calls the Retina resolution. This resolution puts literally millions and millions of pixels on your screen so that you get the best visual experience there is.
For an art student who is going to have a career in graphic design or web design, this display is probably the best you can have in a laptop. The display is also a white screen meaning you can work on two or more windows at the same time without making it look super small.
The display covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut. You will be better off working on color-related applications on this laptop than anything else. The display comes with a maximum brightness of 500 nits which makes the laptop suitable for use even under the sun.
Another nice touch here is that Apple has reduced the bezels surrounding the screen which makes up for an uninterrupted viewing experience. This design enhancement has also helped in reducing the footprint of the laptop and thereby reducing the weight of the device.
MacBook Pro 16 inches is powered by an Intel core i7 processor. This i7 processor is a 10th gen chip that comes with six physical cores and 12 logical cores. This is easily one of the top three laptop processors available at the moment.
The maximum clocking frequency of 4.5 GHz, this laptop processor can do a ton of work without breaking a sweat. This processor is perfect for some heavy art school work like 3-D modeling, graphic design, interactive design, and so on.
The laptop is equipped with 16 GB of RAM. This is Ram as of the DDR4 type and comes with excellent clocking frequency. In this memory should be able to handle multitasking means as an art student. If you’re going to need more memory, then be sure to go for the 32 GB model as you can’t upgrade your ram later in Macs.
The graphics card in the laptop is an AMD Radeon pro 5000M GPU. This is a high-end graphics card and comes with a dedicated video memory of 6 GB. Though this is not an Nvidia GPU, this GB you can also handle a lot of graphics-heavy work without any issues.
Where the GPU fails is at gaming. If you are a serious gamer who wants to play games, then this GPU May not be the best choice for it. You will be able to play games but the experience is nowhere near as good as playing on a Windows machine.
The 512 GB solid-state drive is perfect both in terms of speed and in terms of storage capacity for an art student. This solid-state drive is one of the fastest solid-state drives you can get your hands on. It comes with reading and writing speeds in the order of gigabytes and Apple just kills it when it comes to SSDs.
if there is one issue with this MacBook Pro model, we have to say it is the lack of different types of ports. The MacBook Pro comes with four Thunderbolts 3.0 ports. These are excellent ports and are very versatile in nature but the lack of other ports means that users should get themselves at least a couple of adapters which is far less than ideal.
Battery life is one of the better features of this laptop and with regular use, you should be able to squeeze out at least 8 to 10 hours of battery life which is amazing for a high-performance laptop like this one. If we are going to be using a lot of high-performance software, then be warned that this number might come down.
Overall, the MacBook Pro 16 inches is an amazing laptop and without doubt, is the best Apple laptop for our students.
Best Budget Laptop For Art Students
When we say budget laptops, we usually talk about laptops that cost around $300 to $500. But in this case, art students need a lot of power to play with and budget laptops for them are around the $1000 range.
The best budget laptop for art students is the MSI GF65 laptop.
This is a gaming laptop from MSI and it comes with excellent hardware that will allow you to handle arts school without any issues whatsoever.
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of this laptop.
This display is one of the most impressive features of the MSI GF65. We have a 15.6″ display that comes with FHD resolution. But the killer feature is the 120Hz refresh rate and that makes your user experience to the next level.
The color quality of the display is pretty good. You can do stuff like graphics design, illustrations, and web design on this display as it is accurate enough for most color gamuts.
The MSI GF65 is run by an Intel Core i7 9750H processor. This is a quad-core processor and has a maximum clock speed of 4.5GHz. With a powerful processor like this, art students can easily handle all their school work without any problems.
The laptop comes with two memory slots filled with 8GB DDR4 memory leading to a total of 16GB. This memory is more than enough for most art students and the fact that you’re getting all this for a decent price is pretty satisfying.
The graphics card here is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti GPU and it comes with a dedicated memory of 6GB of GDDR6 type. This is a solid graphics card and it comes with an impressive graphics performance. You will be able to handle all your art school needs with this GPU in place.
There is a 512GB SSD in place for storage. The solid-state drive is a good choice and it gives you a quick performance boost wherever you need them. Whether it is booting up the OS or loading up an application this SSD does all of them well.
Overall, the MSI GF65 is an excellent gaming laptop and for about $1000, this is the best budget laptop for art students. We know it still costs a lot, but that’s how good a laptop you need for art students.
What To Look For In The Best Laptops For Art Students?
Finding the perfect laptop for art students is not going to be easy as you need hardware rich machines that can handle a lot of Computations.
A student who is starting in an Arts College, depending upon his discipline, should be able To perform tasks like graphic design, web design, visual effects, illustrations and drawings, programming for designers and artists, 3-D modeling, and much more.
An entry-level or a mid-range laptop will not be able to meet all these requirements. So you need to go for a laptop, though expensive, that brings all the bells and whistles to the table.
To perform operations like graphic design and visual effects, you’re going to need able processors.
An Intel Core i5 processor or an i7 processor would be a good choice when it comes to handling heavy tasks. If you want to take the AMD truth, then go with one of the latest Ryzen processors.
Avoid dual-core processors as they may not bring that much power to the table. Try to go for quad-core or hexa-core processors as they come with excellent multi-core performance.
Pick a processor that comes with a decent base frequency. Even though the processor can have a very high maximum clock speed, having a decent base frequency could help you tackle issues like thermal throttling.
Let’s talk about memory. As a bare minimum, you should not get a laptop that has less than 8 GB of DDR4 type RAM. Even if your curriculum doesn’t have any heavy works right now, you will need more memory in the future and even 8GB won’t be sufficient at that time.
Our recommended memory is 16GB of RAM or more. This memory will come in handy when you need to run complex, multithreaded applications for purposes like 3-D modeling and graphic design. If you can afford, go for a laptop that comes with 32 GB of RAM.
Storage and Backup
Most colleges and universities will require a minimum storage capacity of 512GB on your laptop.
The question here is if you are going to go for a solid state drive or a hard drive. At any cost, we recommend using a solid state drives our hard drives.
SSDs are much faster than traditional hard drives and bring excellent performance enhancements across the board. Right from booting up the operating system to opening complex applications, you will note the SSD at work.
Next, you need a good backup solution. A reliable cloud storage provider is a good way to back up your work on. If you will be dealing with huge files, cloud storage might not be that effective in which case you can get a cheap external hard drive as a backup solution.
The size of the display of your laptop depends upon your course.
Going with a 15-inch screen will be a good choice as most schools ask the students to get a laptop with a bigger screen.
Make sure that the display comes with a resolution of at least 1920 x 1080 pixels. Any resolution that is below that is not going to make the cut. Getting a laptop screen with a QHD resolution or more will definitely be an advantage.
Since we are talking about art students here, you need to display that covers maximum color gamut’s much as possible. Popular color gamuts like sRGB or NTSC have to be covered so that you have a reliable display for your college work.
Also, make sure that the laptop comes with an IPS panel. Having an IPS panel means that you will be getting a superior display output and excellent viewing angles as well. It is important that you don’t get a laptop display with a TN panel or VA panel.
Since most of our students are going to be doing a lot of graphics-intensive work, a laptop without a dedicated graphics card is useless.
Make sure the laptop comes with a powerful Nvidia GeForce graphics card or an equal AMD Radeon graphics card.
Most integrated graphics cards will be able to handle your everyday work but when things get specific, like 3-D modeling or graphic design, you need a discrete graphics card at your disposal.
Battery Life and Portability
Since you’re going to need a high-performance laptop for your art school, you cannot expect good battery life for portability from your laptop.
Your laptop will be needed for heavy computations and serious graphics work which means battery life is not going to be great regardless of how big of a battery your laptop comes with.
However, you can go with a laptop that promises all-day battery life so that you’ll get at least a decent battery life which might come in handy at the time of lectures.
The portability of your laptop is more or less the same. Getting a 15.6-inch laptop is almost a necessity which means it is not going to be that portable. If you want a portable laptop, then you have to go with a 13.3-inch laptop or smaller but we are not sure if it’s going to be powerful enough to meet your future college demands.
That brings this article to its end.
We really hope that we are able to give you some insight regarding this topic.
The recommendations we have provided truly some of the best laptops for art students and in 2020 we are sure you’re not going to find better alternatives.
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