Best Laptop for Drawing in 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Drawing laptops are made with artists in mind and offer some of the best specs and features on the market. The best drawing laptops also have high-definition screens which will be perfect for trying out new art techniques or displaying your work online.

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If you’re looking for the best laptop for artists in 2021 that is designed to handle the most demanding artistic & design tasks, it’s worth checking out the latest drawing laptops.

However, if you want a laptop for artwork, designing using software programs such as Photoshop, or drawing anime characters like I do; then this article will help guide your decision process – along with some top-rated laptops for drawing that come highly recommended.

A laptop made specifically for drawing gives you great control over contrast, resolution, color accuracy, and versatility while also providing excellent precision thanks to its high-quality display screen capable of handling delicate digital media input without sacrificing rendering quality.

After hours of rigorous research, we went away and compiled a list of the best laptops for drawing that will help narrow down your search – so you can decide which one to go for and get back to creating!

Top Rated Laptops for Artists – Drawing, Animation & Digital Art

Editor’s Choice
MS Surface Book 2 13.5"
MS Surface Book 2 13.5″
  • Dynamic fulcrum hinge
  • Excellent Surface Pen and Dial (not included)
  • Excellent processor, storage, and RAM
Top Pick
Microsoft  Surface Pro 6
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
  • A best in class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet
  • More power now with the new 8th generation intel core processor
  • Ultra slim and light, starting at just 1.7 pounds. sensors : ambient light sensor, accelerometer
  • All day battery life, with upto 13.5 hours of video playback
Best Value
Acer Chromebook R11
Acer Chromebook R11
  • Dual-torque technology
  • Google Play Store and Google Drive
  • Attractive and sturdy design

Laptops for Drawing – Reviews

Regardless of your budget, style, or preferences, there is a drawing laptop out there for everyone. Let’s review the seven laptops that we found most beneficial for artists in detail, including the most notable features (drawing laptops with pen included!), advantages, and disadvantages. We hope you manage to find your best laptop for drawing from the following top 7 that made the cut!


1. Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5″ – The Best Laptop for Artists

ProcessorIntel Core i7-8650U Quad-Core – 1.9GHz
RAM8GB LPDDR3
Graphics CardNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
Storage256GB SSD
Display13.5″ (3000×2000), PixelSense IPS panel
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro
Battery Life17 hours
Weight3.62 lbs
UPC889842248852

Top 3 Features


PerformanceBattery LifeDisplay
Thanks to the 1.9GHz Intel Core i7 processor (The i7-8650U CPU is an improvement on the intel core i7 8565U), 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and Nvidia GTX 1050, this device can handle some serious work.
There aren’t many devices that can rival 17 hours of battery life.

The Surface Book 2 wows us with a 13.5” display with a 3000 x 2000 resolution and a 3:2 ratio. The display is bright and crisp, and the colors are vivid just as an artist would want them.
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Fans of the Microsoft Surface series will appreciate this one. The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is more targeted towards professionals with high-end specs and insane battery life.

While the design hasn’t changed dramatically from its Surface Book predecessor, the silvery metallic device feels lighter at 3.62 pounds; it is also thinner and more compact at 12.30 x 9.14 x 0.90”.

Also, the dynamic fulcrum hinge gives you control in how you angle the screen.

The touchscreen is responsive to the touch, while the shallow keyboard is satisfying to use. It is also compatible with the Surface Pen, which we highly recommend for artists. With an SSD storage capacity of 256GB, you’ll have plenty of room for your drawings and artwork.

Before you ask, the Windows Hello face sign-in is present for your protection.

Finally, the laptop has two USB 3.0-A ports, one USB-C port, two Surface Connect ports, one full-size SD card, and one headphone jack. This could be a great choice as a laptop for gaming and drawing too.

Pros
  • Superior battery life
  • Dynamic fulcrum hinge
  • Excellent Surface Pen and Dial (not included)
  • Excellent processor, storage, and RAM
  • Vibrant and bright display
Cons
  • Expensive without accessories
  • Still no Thunderbolt 3
Check Price on Amazon


2. Lenovo Flex 14 – Best Drawing Laptop

ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 3500U – 2.1GHz
RAM12GB DDR4
Graphics CardAMD Radeon Vega 8
Storage256GB SSD
Display14” FHD (1440×900), LED-backlit IPS panel
Operating SystemWindows 10
Battery Life10 hours
Weight2.76 lbs
UPC193268734234

Top 3 Features


Battery LifeTrueBlock Privacy ShutterActive Pen
The laptop has a battery life of up to 10 hours, which is impressive with a touchscreen. Thanks to the Rapid Charge technology, 15 minutes of charging gives you 2 additional hours of use and up to 80% in just one hour.
Privacy seekers will love the TrueBlock Privacy Shutter that allows you to shut your webcam whenever you want
You can fill all of your sketching and painting needs with the Active Pen that comes with the laptop. It has impressive responsiveness and accuracy, along with the touchscreen.
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The 2-in-1 Flex 14 is the embodiment of a hidden gem among affordable counterparts, and one of the best laptops for drawing. This drawing laptop with pen included is a bonus.

Its design is simple with a matte black finish and polished aluminum surfaces for an understated look. With 12.91 x 9.02 x 0.7” dimensions and a weight of 3.52 pounds, it is a tiny bit bulkier than other laptops on the list but is still very portable. A superior choice vs the Lenovo Yoga C940, which does not come with the active pen.

While the 14-inch display provides impressively sharp pictures and videos that look good from all angles, we wish the display was brighter.

This 2-in-1 laptop can be used in laptop mode, tent-style or flat, which is perfect for artists.

The Flex 14 offers an array of ports that always keep you connected with no need for adapters: a USB 3.0 Type-C, 2 USB 3.0, HDMI, 4-in-1 card reader, and an audio combo jack.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • TrueBlock Privacy Shutter
  • Rapid Charge technology
  • Active pen included
  • 12 GB RAM
  • Contender for best laptop with stylus pen for drawing
Cons
  • Unideal pen holder placement
  • Not the brightest display
Check Price on Amazon


3. Acer Chromebook R11 – Best 2-in-1 Laptop for Artists & Drawing

ProcessorIntel Celeron N3150 Quad-Core – 1.6GHz
RAM4GB DDR3L
Graphics CardIntel HD Graphics
Storage32GB eMMC
Display11.6” HD (1366×768), LED-backlit IPS panel
Operating SystemChrome OS
Battery Life10 hours
Weight2.76 lbs
UPC888863475520

Top 3 Features


Dual-Torque technologyFull-Size PortsDesign
The 360-degree hinge features a dual-torque technology, which allows you to use the laptop in ways that you never could before, such as bending it backward. Thanks to the unmatchable flexibility, you can use the laptop in four modes: notebook, tent, tablet, and display.
The Acer Chromebook R11 has full-size ports: one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, one HDMI port, an SD card slot, one 3.5mm audio jack, a charging port, and a lock slot.
It has an all-white exterior, matte finish, and a black chiclet-style keyboard. The aluminum and plastic body feels sturdy and solid, as it costs much more than it does. It only weighs 2.76 pounds. Also, its dimensions are small at 8.03 x 11.57 x 0.76”.
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The Acer Chromebook R11 stands out among Chromebooks with the 360-degree hinge, excellent battery life, and attractive design. We believe it to be the best Chromebook for artists, read on to see why…

The Chromebook R11 has an 11.6-inch touchscreen display with useful In-Plane Switching technology, high-quality colors, and a decent contrast ratio. That said, the display could use a little bit more brightness, especially when you use it outside.

Unlike the Chromebook flip, this hybrid device has a 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3150 processor and 4GB of RAM, which isn’t groundbreaking, but it wasn’t targeted at hardcore gamers in the first place. These specs are more than enough for artists.

Also, the 32GB of storage isn’t the highest, but it’s alright when you think about the additional 100GB of Google Drive space and the extra SD card slot. So, you’ll have more than enough storage for your art.

Touchscreen laptops are excellent, and the keyboard is comfortable for long hours of work. However, the trackpad suffers from inconsistency in how it reacts to each press. That said, thanks to the 360-degree hinge, you can pick and choose from four different modes.

This Chromebook lives up to its claims in terms of battery life, as it lasts for 10 hours on a single charge. In our view, this makes it one of the best 2 in 1 laptops for artists. So, this is a truly portable laptop that is meant to be reliable on the go.

Pros
  • Dual-torque technology
  • Google Play Store and Google Drive
  • Attractive and sturdy design
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Full-size ports
  • One of the best 2 in 1 laptops for drawing & graphic design
Cons
  • Trackpad could be better
  • Display isn’t the brightest
Check Price on Amazon


4. Microsoft Surface Pro 6 – Best Cheap Laptop for Artists

ProcessorIntel Core i5-8250U Quad Core – 1.6GHz
RAM8GB DDR3
Graphics CardIntel UHD Graphics 620
Storage128GB SSD
Display12.3” LCD (2736×1824), PixelSense
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Battery Life13.5 hours
Weight1.71 lbs (not including type cover)
UPC889842369373

Top 3 Features


Battery LifeDisplayAccessories
It has up to 13.5 hours of video playback. The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 proves reliable to take with you wherever you want without being restricted by the need to charge too often.
It has a 12.3” PixelSense display with a 2736×1824 resolution and contrast ratio of 1,500:1. The colors are accurate and vibrant, while the blacks are deeper. Finally, the display is bright and comfortable for outdoor use.
With precision ink and rubber end, Microsoft’s Surface Pen is what an artist’s dreams are made of. Also, the Surface Dial is a must-have for artists who want to maximize the Windows Ink Workspace. Finally, the type cover is essential to have a full laptop feel.
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The Microsoft Surface Pro 6’s stunning display, outstanding long battery life, and the accessories that you can purchase all make it the ideal companion of an artist.

Starting with the design, the Surface Pro 6 has a magnesium body and rounded edges. It comes in two elegant platinum and black colors.

Weighing only 1.71 pounds, this device is one of the most lightweight on the market. It is incredibly compact with dimensions at 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.33”; you won’t have any trouble fitting it in your bag.

The Intel Core i5-8250U quad-core processor and 8GB of RAM are more than enough for business and content making. A microSD card accompanies the 128GB of storage in the base version of the device for extra storage for your work. With all this in mind, this could easily be the best laptop for artists.

Since the Surface Pro 6 is a tablet, it had to have such a responsive and sensitive touchscreen. We have to mention the facial-recognition Windows Hello sign-in, which allows you to log in password-free.

This hybrid device falls short in terms of connectivity; while it has one USB 3.0, one mini DisplayPort, one microSD card reader, and one audio jack, it lacks any USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Pros
  • Excellent battery life
  • Best laptop for art students
  • 2 sleek color options
  • 2736 x 1824 resolution
  • Windows Hello sign-in
  • Top-notch accessories (not included)
Cons
  • Pricey even without type cover and Surface Pen
  • No USB-C or Thunderbolt 3
Check Price on Amazon


5. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro – Best Touch Screen Laptop for Drawing

ProcessorIntel i7-8550U Quad-Core – 1.8GHz
RAM16GB DDR4
Graphics CardAMD Radeon RX 540
Storage256GB SSD
Display15” FHD (1920×1080), LED-backlit
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Battery Life12.5 hours
Weight3.79 lbs
UPC887276244266

Top 3 Features


Battery LifeDisplayS Pen
This 2-in-1 laptop has up to 13.5 hours of battery life. The reliability of long battery life makes you less dependent on your charger. In addition, it charges fast with a portable charger. Finally, its power efficiency earned it an ENERGY STAR certification.
The bright and color-rich 15” FHD IPS LED touchscreen display gives you full control and accurate perception of your art. The 1920×1080 resolution is sharp and crisp. Moreover, the display is bright enough to use the laptop comfortably outside.
Many tablets and laptops have their own pens, but none can rival the Samsung S Pen. It is precise, delicate, and accurate. Also, it can work without a charge. Finally, Samsung Notebook 9 Pro offers pen-friendly apps that help artists and writers.
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As far as laptops you can draw on go, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is a premium choice for fast performance, sleek design, stunning display, and an included pen for all your doodling needs. Finding the best laptop for drawing and animation no longer has to be a chore. The wait is over… the best laptop for rendering animation is here!

A premium laptop knows how to catch your eye. This one has curved edges for a comfortable grip and a matte-aluminum chassis that puts the “Pro” in “professional.”

It weighs 3.79 pounds. Also, it has 13.70×9.40×0.70” dimensions. So, it is not the most compact laptop on our list, but it will feel lightweight and comfortable to carry.

Art enthusiasts will appreciate the 16GB RAM and AMD Radeon 540 GPU that is perfect for all kinds of light laptop gaming and video editing. Moreover, the 8th generation intel core 1.8GHz Intel i7-8550U quad-core processor promises and delivers a lag-free performance, while the 256GB of internal storage is all that an artist needs.

The high-resolution touch screen laptop and the trackpad are highly responsive, while the laptop’s backlit keyboard is comfortable and spacious. Furthermore, the 360-degree tablet mode enables you to maximize the touchscreen if the keyboard becomes unnecessary.

Finally, this 2-in-1 laptop is generous in its connectivity, as it has two USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type C, one full HDMI port, one combo headphone/microphone jack, and one MicroSD card slot.

Pros
  • Responsive S Pen (included)
  • Excellent battery life and fast charging
  • ENERGY STAR certified
  • Tablet mode
  • Bright and colorful 15-inch display
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Speaker is underwhelming at best
Check Price on Amazon


6.  Acer Chromebook Spin 13 CP713-1WN-53NF

ProcessorIntel i5 8250U Quad-Core – 1.6GHz
RAM8GB LPDDR3
Graphics CardIntel UHD Graphics 620
Storage128GB eMMC
Display13.5” LCD (2256×1504), LED-backlit
Operating SystemChrome OS
Battery Life10 hours
Weight3.5 lbs
UPC191114863022

Top 3 Features


ConstructionDisplayWacom Stylus
The aluminum chassis and the Corning Gorilla Glass NBT touchscreen make the convertible device almost indestructible.
This Chromebook has a 13.5” LCD in a new roomy 3:2 aspect ratio and a 2256×1504 resolution. The crispiness and roominess of the display rival most Chromebooks and benefits artists.
The included Wacom stylus is comfortable and natural, like drawing with pen and paper.
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The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 CP713-1WN-53NF impresses with a roomy display, rugged construction, and an included stylus; which is an important feature as far as laptops with stylus for drawing included go.

It weighs 3.5 pounds, which is a bit weighty for a Chromebook. Of course, it is lightweight enough to carry around with ease, but holding it in one hand is different from other Chromebooks.

Its 9.68 x 12.19 x 0.67” dimensions aren’t the smallest either, but that makes sense with the roomy display.

Artists will appreciate the Intel i5 8250U Quad-Core and Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU. With 8GB of RAM and 128GB eMMC of storage, there is a lot that you can do.

Moreover, the versatility in modes that we can achieve is impressive, thanks to the 360-degree hinge.

You probably won’t need an adapter with two USB Type-C ports, one Type-A USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack, and a MicroSD card slot.

Pros
  • Wacom stylus (included)
  • One of the best laptops for illustrators
  • 3:2 aspect ratio display
  • Corning Gorilla Glass NBT multi-touchscreen
  • 2256×1504 resolution
  • Durable aluminum casing
Cons
  • Not the most lightweight
  • Fan gets loud during intensive work
Check Price on Amazon


7. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – Best Laptop for Digital Art

ProcessorIntel Core i5-1035 Quad-Core – 1.1GHz
RAM16GB LPDDR4x
GraphicsIntel Iris Plus Graphics
Storage256GB SSD
Display12.3″ (2736×1824), PixelSense
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Battery Life10.5 hours
Weight1.70 lbs (not including type cover)
UPC889842512267

Top 3 Features


PortsPerformanceStorage
As an upgrade from the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, the Surface Pro 7 has one USB 3.0 port, one USB-C 3.1 port, one microSDXC card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone/mic jack.
The well-deserved high-end price offers the 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035 quad-core processor, 16GB RAM, and Intel Iris Plus Graphics. The Surface Pro 7 offers much faster and smoother performance.
Not many tablets will offer you 256GB SSD worth of storage. Artists will be able to keep their art with them at all times.
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If you like the Microsoft Surface Pro 6, but feel like it needs an upgrade, you will love the Surface Pro 7; it is very similar but is far better in performance and specs due to the powerful 10th gen intel core CPU.

The design, shape, and weight are roughly the same as Pro Surface 6, with 2 elegant color options: platinum or matte black.

There is no upgrade from the Surface Pro 6 in terms of display, which can be a disappointment for some, but it is compensated for with superior performance. We still love the Windows Hello sign-in that allows you to sign without a password.

Like the Surface Pro 6, this device is compatible with the highly responsive Surface Pen and the practical type cover; they enable you to maximize the device in different modes. In our estimation, this is the best surface pro for drawing you can buy today.

The Surface Pro 7 has a battery life of up to 10.5 hours, which isn’t much for a late model; however, it can go from 0% to 80% in just over an hour.

Pros
  • Different color options
  • Windows Hello sign-in
  • Excellent processor, storage, and RAM for a tablet
  • USB-C and USB-A ports
  • Top-notch accessories
  • The best laptop for digital art
Cons
  • Expensive without accessories
  • Still no Thunderbolt 3
Check Price on Amazon


Honorable mentions that didn’t make the list of top laptops for artists – HP Spectre x360, Lenovo Yoga C940, HP Zbook Studio, Dell XPS 15, Macbook Pro.

Buyer’s Guide to Picking The Perfect Drawing Laptop

Laptop drawing is a creative process that requires you to look at a blank page and fill it with something.  That something could be a portrait, a landscape, a still life, a story, or whatever else you might want to draw.  If you want to draw on a laptop, you need one that’s one of the best laptops for artists and drawing. Whether you’re an art and design student or a professional artist – our buyer’s guide will help!

As this guide pertains to laptops it will probably help you if you’re looking for the best computer for drawing for your design or art career or hobbies. Good laptops for drawing are hard to find so we hope this best laptop for creatives guide makes the process easier!

You can get your artistic juices flowing with some pretty amazing laptops that you can draw on. I am a huge fan of stylus input, there are quite a few options that still allow you to draw, paint, and sketch your heart out so you can find your best laptop for digital drawing!

Display, Graphics, and Resolution

Display or screen size is more essential for laptops for artists than any other type of user because it decides whether you see everything you’re doing or drawing blindly. A larger screen size is like a larger painting easel for your digital art but with more perks than just having more space.

We recommend a display size of 12” and higher for maximum comfort. A GPU of 4 to 8GB is excellent. Concerning resolution, shoot for an HD resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels or higher.

Processor

A processor does all the basic instructions and commands in a computer.

Whether it is Intel or AMD, which has its own heated debate, what decides the best processor for you is your applications’ intensity and how much you need to do simultaneously.

A good rule of thumb is that dual-core processors meet the needs of most everyday users, while quad-core processors enhance your laptop computer’s processing abilities.

RAM

Memory plays a huge part in art. RAM or Random Access Memory refers to the storage of data being actively used. It can be easily retrieved, but it can also be easily lost, like a power outage. 

Any artist looking for a laptop should shoot for 8 up to 16GB of RAM. Technically, you can use less, but using a bit more than your famous drawing software’s minimum requirements will make a huge difference that digital artists swear by.

Design

Many people can’t choose between getting a laptop or a tablet when it comes to designing and drawing. Sometimes a keyboard is a necessity; other times, it is an inconvenience. Fortunately, manufacturers became aware of the struggle, and that is where hybrid laptops come in.

Hybrid laptops are 2-in-1 touch-optimized, convertible laptops for artists that enable you to switch between using them as laptops or tablets in seconds.

Battery Life

Battery life can change your experience dramatically. If you can focus on your work without fretting about finding a nearby socket, especially when you’re on the go, you made it.

We have another, more in-depth article titled 7 things to consider before buying a drawing laptop, which offers more helpful advice so you can feel confident with your buying decision and, above all – avoid making any mistakes.

I sincerely hope this guide has been fun to read while helping make an informed decision in your search for the best laptop for drawing in 2021!


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need a 2-in-1 Laptop for Graphics or Drawing?

2-in-1 laptops offer the performance of a laptop and the convenience of tablets in one device that can be detached and reattached in mere seconds. This idea caters to artists who need a keyboard and need to detach the touch screen for more freedom and focus.

Desktops vs. Laptops – Which Is Best for Drawing?

It depends on your lifestyle. If portability is essential in your work, a laptop is a no-brainer. Desktops, on the other hand, offer higher specs than laptops.

Do I Really Need a Touchscreen Laptop for Drawing?

Touchscreen sensitivity is an excellent feature that gives you full control that you would otherwise have only with a pen and paper. Touchscreens make every stroke and application matter, which makes the final artwork really yours. 

However, many artists prefer to do without touchscreens as a personal preference.

Conclusion

No matter which laptop you opt for, we hope that the list and the guide above have guided you towards the best laptops for drawing. Hopefully, this article has helped you make a decision on the best art laptop for your requirements.

In our opinion, the best laptops with a stylus are the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro and Acer Chromebook Spin 13.

If you’re looking for fast and lag-free performance, we recommend the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 or the Microsoft Surface Book 2 13.5″ – they truly are the best laptops for a digital artist.