Best Laptops for Graphic Designers 2011-2012
So you find yourself needing a better performing laptop for graphic design? You should look into top notch laptops from respectable companies such as Dell or Apple, since these incorporate a lot of new tech and include a lot of support and warranty if you ever run into trouble. But all things fair, it doesn’t matter which company you choose as long as you know a bit about the inner workings of such systems.
When you do get to finally choose the laptop you’ll use for graphic design, the most important aspect you’ll want to focus on is the Resolution.
Screen Resolution, that is, which is not the same as screen size. Resolutions of about 1680 x 1050 are great for graphic designers since you can fit in all the toolbars and still have enough room for the actual image.
Most gaming laptops carry a dedicated video card to save up on precious RAM. This is generally a good idea for graphic design laptops as well, since you will want all the RAM you can get.
If the laptop has an integrated graphics card, chances are that about up to a quarter of your available system memory will be used by the GPU, and that can seriously impact system performance during design sessions.
One thing is for sure, an integrated graphics card will run much slower if it has to draw available system memory using the same path as the system uses. In the case of laptops for graphic design, you could probably use a decent dedicated video card with about 128-256MB of VRAM.
Don’t settle for incorporated GPUs if you’re serious about the work you intend to do. It’s just not worth the trouble. You need every bit of performance your system can provide.
How about RAM amount? This is a tricky question. If you’re purchasing a new laptop specifically for graphic design and have a limited budget, the best deal you can possibly get is to purchase a laptop with the minimum amount and purchase separate RAM modules to install them yourself. This is much cheaper than large companies charge for simple RAM upgrades.
A good amount of RAM for graphic design is somewhere in the 2GB range, but why stop there? With 4GB you’ll probably zoom right through applications and get the work much faster.
Just remember to make a smarter choice and get a cheap laptop which you can upgrade later.
On the processor side of things, you shouldn’t get a crappy single core laptop. These do fine in everyday applications, but are seriously outperformed by dual-cores and quad cores. Look into models which are both affordable and carry a powerful central processing unit, since you might regret it if you don’t.
To sum things up a bit, you’ll need to keep an eye out for the following things:
Screen resolution – the greater the better. Also, screen size should not be under 15.4 inches.
Dedicated video card – you know you need the extra RAM, why waste it on a GPU?
Medium to large RAM amount – multitasking and switching between more programs is easier when your system can handle the stress.
CPU – the processor is your systems heart. Don’t think you’ll get away with a low-end processor if you focus on everything else besides the CPU.
Invest in a second monitor! – a second monitor can help even more in graphic design, since you can stuff all the toolbars on one monitor and leave room for the actual image on the other.