The 16 Best Laptops for Designers
by Andrew Lisa
Although they use their computers for different tasks, designers value many of the same features as gamers when it comes to purchasing the right laptop. To work efficiently, designers require speed, power, memory and, of course, the best display possible.
The team at SpecOut selected the top laptops built for designers, many of which also double as excellent gaming platforms. Our methodology required every machine on the list to have a screen that measures at least 15 inches diagonally. All entries offer at least 1080p resolution and have 8 GB or more of RAM, 256 GB or more of storage and at least a quad-core processor. We've ranked them from lowest to highest Smart Rating, which factors in expert ratings, specs, display and dimensions.
16. ASUS GL551JM-DH71
Smart Rating: 82.48
Designers will be able to run several advanced programs simultaneously thanks to the powerful Intel Core i7 processor. It comes with 16 GB of memory — enough to handle even the most demanding applications — and a full terabyte of storage.
15. Acer Aspire V Nitro VN7-591G-74LK
Smart Rating: 85.37
Loved by gamers as well as designers, this laptop features a large, 15.6-inch screen and full 1080p HD. It ships with Windows 8.1 and offers a pixel density of 141 PPI.
14. Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-591G-70JY
Smart Rating: 85.82
Powered by the Intel Core i7 Haswell processor, the Acer Aspire V15 is more expensive than its little brother, V Nitro. It comes with 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB solid-state drive (SSD).
13. Origin EON15-X
Smart Rating: 88.59
The Origin EON15-X comes with a 15.6-inch LED display. It has a clock speed of 4.0 GHz and a large, 8MB cache.
12. Alienware 17 R2 (2015)
Smart Rating: 88.67
The futuristic design and extraterrestrial logo associated with the entire Alienware line graces the 17R2. Its full 1080p HD looks amazing on its huge 17-inch screen, and the expanded keyboard contains a full numerical pad.
11. ASUS ROG G752VT
Smart Rating: 88.9
Although the 17.3-inch screen and full 1080p HD give this laptop a brilliant display, the big screen does result in a less-than-optimal battery life. Designers can upgrade the stock 16 GB RAM all the way to 64 GB if they choose.
10. HP Omen Pro
Smart Rating: 90.71
The 15.6-inch screen feels bigger thanks to full HD, it runs cool and at 4.7 pounds, it's thin and light. It's reasonably priced for its class and is as stylish as it is fast.
9. Toshiba Satellite P50t B-11D
Smart Rating: 90.79
With a built-in Blu-ray drive, this Toshiba is perfect for entertainment when the designer's work day is done. It doesn't run silent and the battery life leaves plenty to be desired, but it's reliable and it boasts fantastic screen quality.
8. Origin EON17-X
Smart Rating: 90.86
Incredibly powerful with a wildly fast boot-up speed, this laptop has enough muscle to double as a gaming platform. Although it is unlikely to win any design awards, it features a multi-colored backlit keyboard and four USB 3.0 ports.
7. MSI GE62 Apache
Smart Rating: 91.21
With a surplus of ports and strong viewing angles, the Apache has a beautifully backlit keyboard. Its battery life is underwhelming, as is the fact that it comes with a hard drive instead of an SSD drive.
6. Gigabyte P37X
Smart Rating: 91.31
For a 17-inch screen, the P37X has a slender, sleek frame. It features a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM.
5. Gigabyte P35K v3
Smart Rating: 91.36
Light and thin, the P35K v3 has a 15-inch screen and a decent battery life. It features powerful simulated surround sound and a versatile expansion slot.
4. MSI GS60 Ghost Pro-002
Smart Rating: 91.86
Not only does this laptop come equipped with a top-of-the-line SSD, but it has a traditional hard drive, as well. Although its fans can occasionally be noisy and its battery life is slightly lacking, it performs well and has amazing graphics.
3. MSI GT80 Titan SLI
Smart Rating: 92.52
Equipped with an actual, genuine mechanical keyboard, this beast has a huge 18-inch screen. Its stock 16 GB RAM can be upgraded to 24 GB. With incredible performance and speed, it is faster than many gaming desktops.
2. ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501
Smart Rating: 92.82
An updated version of the NX500, the UX501 features better graphics and a faster processor. It boasts an IPS display with 4K resolution that more than makes up for its tendency to run slightly warm.
1. Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display 2015 Flagship
Smart Rating: 100
With one of the fastest hard drives on the market, AMD graphics, a smart trackpad and a full nine hours of battery life, the Flagship MacBook has earned its 100 Smart Rating.
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