Laptop Buyer's Guide

Top 5 best laptops for programming and graphic design

Top 5 best laptops for programming and graphic design

If you want to buy the best laptop for programming and graphic design and can’t seem to find one. Well, in this article you will be looking at the top 5 best laptops for programming and graphic design.

But before that, let’s look at some of the basic factors that should be kept in mind when buying the best laptops for programming and graphic design.

As a programmer, one would want a laptop with a big screen and great performance supported by a battery with good timing. Other than that, a good keyboard for typing, as the keyboard is mostly used while programming. If your keyboard isn’t giving you a good feeling while typing and it is difficult to type, then it will decrease your productivity.

And for graphic designers, the most important factors include a good screen, good performance, and a good graphics card. As mostly, graphic designers are freelancers, so the laptop should be light and easy to carry. So you can work anywhere, anytime. Battery life should be good also so that you don’t have to worry about battery life all the time.

So, whether if you are a professional or just getting started for programming or graphic designing, here are the top 5 laptops that would help you in your journey.

List of the top 5 best laptops for programming and graphic designing

  • Acer Swift 3
  • Dell XPS 13
  • HP Elite Dragonfly
  • MacBook Air 2020
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Editor's Choice

The editor’s choice for the best laptop for programming and graphic designing is the MacBook Air 2020. I think this is the best laptop for programming and graphic design. Why? Because it has got everything for both programmers and graphic designers. Good battery life, big screen, good keyboard, and large trackpad. There are all the elements of a good laptop in MacBook Air 2020. You should check it out before going for any other laptop.

Acer Swift 3

Specifications:

  • 14-inches IPS FHD display
  • Intel Core i5-1035G1 3.6 GHz processor
  • Intel UHD graphics
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD

Acer Swift 3 is a perfect laptop for both beginner programmers and graphic designers. It is a budget laptop with excellent performance, design, and battery life. The overall design of Acer Swift 3 is minimalistic. It is a thin, lightweight laptop, thanks to its aluminum made chassis. The performance of this laptop is excellent, as it is a budget laptop.

The keyboard has an excellent design and it feels nice to type on. It has a fingerprint scanner powered by Windows Hello so that others can’t open your laptop without your permission. The trackpad is large enough and is excellent for daily use. But I recommend using a separate mouse for graphic design.

The Acer Swift 3 has 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution screen with antiglare. It is not the best but certainly can do your job. The color accuracy and screen brightness are good with here are the different values it covers so that you can be assured that you are looking at the true colors.

  • SRGB – 100%
  • Adobe RGB – 78%
  • P3 – 79%
  • Nits – 437

The ports include power connect, full-size HDMI, USB 3.2, USB 2.0, USB Type-C (Thunderbolt), and an audio jack.

There are 2 speakers equipped under the laptop. The quality of the audio is great but it’s not that much loud.

The camera quality is also ok. And can be used for video calls. But again, the quality isn’t that much good as compared to other laptops.

The battery life is great and it averages about 7 hours while watching movies. And of course, it can handle your programming tasks and graphic designing quite easily.

And in my opinion, it is the best laptop for beginner programmers and graphic designers.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Portable
Cons
  • Audio output is low

Dell XPS 13

Specifications:

  • 13.3-inch, FHD display
  • Intel Core i5 4.20 GHz processor
  • Intel IrisXe graphics
  • 16GB of DDR4 RAM
  • 512GB NVMe SSD

Dell XPS 13 is another brilliant laptop that is compact, portable, and lightweight that weighs about 1.2 kg as the chassis is made of aluminum. The overall design is very simple and classy, with a minimalistic design. It comes in white and black colors. There is also a carbon finish design which looks fantastic.

The keyboard is excellent and is quite nice to type on. The keyboards of the latest models have been revamped, making it more comfy and easy to use. There is a fingerprint sensor on the upper side of the keyboard for security purposes. The trackpad is also big and smooth, yet easy to use with Windows precision drivers.

The display is 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1200) with an aspect ratio of 16-10, which means it is easy to browse websites. 16-10 aspect ratio means there is more vertical screen space than the 16-9 aspect ratio. The screen is 60 Hz, anti-glare, non-touch, InfinityEdge, sRGB 100% typical, 500 nits, and a wide-viewing angle. Which is awesome.

There aren’t that many ports in Dell XPS 13 as it has only 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports and a headset port, which is disappointing for users who connect many devices to laptops. The quick solution for that will be to buy an adapter.

The sound quality has also been improved a lot from previous models. The sound is now more clear and loud.

The camera quality is 720p HD. It will be enough for your video calls and meetings etc.

 Battery life averages around 10 hours after full charge, so you don’t have to worry about it that much.

Pros
  • Good screen
  • Good design
  • Micro SD slot
Cons
  • Only 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports

HP Elite Dragonfly

Specifications:
  • 13.3-inch IPS FHD display
  • Intel Core i7 4.6 GHz processor
  • Intel UHD graphics
  • 16GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • 512GB PCIe SSD

HP Elite Dragonfly is a 2-in-1 laptop made for business professionals and is a premium laptop. It is expensive but it has some excellent features that make it worth that much price.

Looking at its outer design, it is crafted with excellence and has a beautiful, classy look. Thanks to its magnesium chassis, it weighs about 0.99 kg which is mind-blowing. It is so lightweight that you can carry it almost anywhere. The screen has 86% screen-to-body which is excellent considering it is a 2-in-1 laptop.

You can get a 1080p resolution display with 1000 nits or an optional 4K resolution display with 550 nits. If you choose the 4K display, it’ll be great, but 1080p is also fine as it is great for graphic design. The model I got has a 13.3-inch IPS FHD display.

The keyboard is fantastic and no matter how fast or how hard you type, it hardly makes any noise and the typing feel is just great. And the touchpad is big and excellent as always.

Another outstanding feature is the Nano sim card feature. You can insert a mobile or data sim and you can enjoy 4G anywhere anytime. That is fantastic if you are traveling to another city or staying at a place without Wi-Fi.

HP has always an improved sound system. The audio quality is excellent, easy to hear with crystal clear quality.

There are 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports (Type C), 1 USB 3.1, HDMI, headset, and an external Nano sim.

The webcam is 720p widescreen as you’d expect. Again, can help you with video calls.

Battery life averages about 6-8 hours after fully charging. Enough to complete your tasks.

Overall, the best laptop if you got some extra money to spend.

Pros
  • Eye-catching design
  • Good battery life
  • 360-degree hinge design
  • External Nano-sim port
Cons
  • Expensive

MacBook Air 2020

Specifications:
  • 13.3-inch Retina display
  • Intel Core i5 Turbo boost 3.5GHz processor
  • Intel Iris Plus graphics
  • 8GB LPDDR4x RAM
  • 256GB PCIe SSD

MacBook Air 2020 is a thin, lightweight laptop and is now powerful than ever. The outer design of this MacBook is of course like the other MacBooks. It looks classy, thin, and portable. It weighs about 1.29kg. So, there won’t be problems carrying it around. And the chassis is made of recycled aluminum, and this Mac is considered the greenest Mac by Apple.

The 13.3-inch Retina display is excellent with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. And that means crisp and clean images. Great for graphic design. And the True Tone matches the white point of your screen with your surrounding environment. The displays of the MacBook are incredible as always so what can we say more about that.

The performance tab is also excellent with 3 models featuring Core i3, i5, and i7 processors. Of course, the higher the specs, the greater the performance. This MacBook is perfect for both programmers and graphics designers.

The MacBook Air 2020 features a Magic keyboard which was introduced first in the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The keyboard is excellent with a key travel of 1mm. Apple’s Magic keyboard is just fantastic. And the keyboard is equipped with backlit keys, easy for use in low light.

The trackpad is bigger and better, no matter where you touch, it will feel like you are controlling your cursor right from the middle of the trackpad.

The ports include 2x Thunderbolt 3, and a 3.5 headphone port. So, not that many ports which is astonishing.

For security purposes, Touch ID has got your back. So that no one can sneak into your laptops.

Speakers are on the right and left sides of the keyboard. And they face upward, which ensures that you get the best sound quality.

The FaceTime HD camera is 720p, and honestly, it is good, if not great. 1080p would have been the cherry on top.

The battery life is somewhere between 11 to 9 hours. Which is not that bad.

Overall, the best laptop for both programmers and graphic designers.

Pros
  • Retina display
  • Touch ID
  • Large trackpad
Cons
  • 720p webcam

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Specifications:

  • 15-inch PixelSense display
  • 10th Ice Lake Intel Core i5 processor
  • Intel Iris graphics
  • 16GB LPDDR4x RAM
  • 512GB SSD

This laptop is stylish, thin, and it’s a 2-in-1 laptop. There are 2 versions of this laptop on basis of display, the 13.5-inch model and the 15-inch model. Both models have Vibrant PixelSense touch screens as you’d know. Which comes in handy for graphics designers. And especially those who know how to draw.

The 13.5-inch model is powered by 10th Generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors. Backed up by Intel Iris graphics.  The screen resolution is 2256 x 1504.

The 15-inch model, with a resolution of 2496 x 1664 however is powered by AMD Ryzen 5 Mobile Processor with Radeon Vega 9 Graphics Microsoft Surface edition and AMD Ryzen 7 Mobile Processor with Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics Microsoft Surface edition. And backed up by AMD Radeon Vega 9 graphics Microsoft Surface edition and AMD Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics Microsoft Surface edition.

The keyboard is excellent to type on and is comfortable. The trackpad is also smooth and big to use.

The ports in this laptop are a USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm headphones jack, and a Surface Connect port.

The audio quality is good too, thanks to the Omnisonic speakers with Dolby Audio. The front-facing webcam is 720p HD and is enough for video calls and other stuff.

The battery life is up to 11 hours after a full charge. Which is great for a 2-in-1 laptop. With fast charging feature, it can go from 0% to 80% in under an hour.

Overall, great for graphic designers.

Conclusion

If you are a programmer or graphics designer, these are some of the best laptops that are trending in the market. Buying a new laptop would be good instead of a used one because you never know what could happen after you buy a used one.

I hope you loved my guide for the top 5 best laptops for programming and graphic designing. And I would be happy if you have decided which laptop you’ll be going to buy. 

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