5 Best Laptops for Animation & Graphic Design in 2021 [Detailed Guide]

As an animator, all you want is to have a laptop with smoother frame rates, immersive graphics, and crisp visuals to bring it all together. However, with so many different brands of laptops available in the market, it isn’t surprising that people are confused about which configurations to opt for and which ones not to.

To be able to create transformative animation and suitable graphics imagery, you need to invest in a laptop that stands out to those expectations. From a powerful processor to ample RAM configuration, there are a lot of things that need to be considered.

And, to be honest, there is no single best device designed specifically for animation. You need to scour through the available options and then shortlist the one that best suffices your needs. We have taken care of that for you and listed our favorite picks in this article.

Best Laptops for Animation – Reviews

Unless you are a professional animator, you wouldn’t know the importance of using a high-end laptop. Animation requires the usage of a plethora of applications, including Adobe, Coral Draw, VFX Works, etc. And, all of these applications are graphics-intensive and memory-consuming.

So, not only do you need a highly responsive laptop with a good refresh rate in the display panel, you need to be mindful of the RAM configuration too. Nothing less than 8GB would suffice for a comfortable user experience.

Following extensive research, we managed to list out some of the best options:

1. Acer Predator Helios 300

When it comes to choosing a versatile gaming laptop with efficient and latest features, the Acer Predator Helios 300 makes it to the top of the list. Not only is it a heavy-duty and graphics-oriented laptop, but the device stands out in terms of the price range too. 

Features

The Predator 300 drops you right in the middle of the game scene that you are marveling in, that is how responsive the laptop is. Armed with a sleek and heavy-duty design with a responsive display, the laptop more or less takes care of all your gaming and animation streaks without rendering you any less.

The device is equipped with a responsive 15.6” FHD widescreen LED-backlit display with 144Hz and 3ms overdrive response for the ultimate user experience like no other. The device has undergone a range of upgrades over the years, making it an ultimate preference for every user that wants to dabble with online games, try out different animation apps or get into other creative workflows.

Also, the 4-zone RGB backlit keyboard enables you to maximize your work output any time of the day. The device’s wireless connectivity with Wi-Fi 6 further takes care of all your needs too. 

Performance

The combination of 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H processor with Overclockable NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU is for unmatched performance. The GPU offers the maximum value for money for the CUDA cores and vRAM specifications that enable you to deal with large-scale scenes.

Although the device does support 16GB DDR4 RAM support, the allocation isn’t the best, which is one of the reasons why it might cause delays in some cases, making it difficult for you to run multiple intensive background applications at once? However, the lag isn’t as bad as you deem it to be.

Also, the 6GB of dedicated graphics memory is more than enough to get you through the intensive animation applications that you work with. Moreover, compared to some of the other gaming and graphics laptops in the market, this one is affordable and value for money.

Why is it better?

From versatility to responsiveness, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is nothing short of a beast. Not only does it help you manage and tackle multiple applications, but the device is also effective in handling some of the intensive animations that you need to make the most use out of.

Who is it ideal for?

There is no doubt that the specifications of this device indicate that this device is ideal for advanced gamers and animators who want to make the most use out of the device, both in terms of versatility and efficiency.

Pros

  • High-end performance with latest CPU and GPU configuration
  • Integrated with the latest Killer Double Shot Pro
  • The crisp and immersive display panel
  • Improved thermal management system

Cons

  • RAM management and allocation isn’t the best

2. Acer Nitro 5

Moving on from the Predator series, Acer also stands out with its Nitro gaming laptop range. Not just for gaming, the Nitro 5 also stands out in terms of your animation needs, especially when it comes to handling responsiveness and higher frame rates in a device.

Features

The sleek and mobile design of this device is surely going to make some heads turn and pair that with a good-quality metal chassis construction and you have yourself a winner. The device is integrated with a range of gaming-rich features, all of which translate well with the amazing range of animators too.

The laptop is integrated with the one-of-a-kind Acer’s CoolBoost technology that ensures optimal thermal management for added boost and superior functions. The unique NitroSense key delivers optimal performance with the tactile feel of keys. 

Performance

Coming round to the performance, the device comes with all its glory. Powered by the 9th Generation Intel Core i5-9300H Processor with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics, you wouldn’t once have to compromise on the quality of user experience. 

The only downside to this device is likely the storage specifications. As an animator, you would need to deal with a range of graphics and images, all of which require optimal storage. So, there is no point arguing that the Nitro 5 lacks on that front. However, one good thing about this device is the fact that you can connect external storage devices to make up for the lack of it.

Also, the I/O ports in the device take care of a range of data transfer and connectivity options, further easing the user experience. 

Why is it better?

Compared to the standard mid-range gaming and animation laptops, this one matches up to the other requirements well. If you are looking for a device that will match up to your intrinsic animation applications, this is likely the best one around.

Who is it ideal for?

If you are an entry-level animator with little to no experience and a fixed budget, the Acer Nitro 5 is your ideal game-changing device. This handles moderately complex scenes and tasks with flair and without any lags and glitches, which is pretty amazing.

Pros

  • Superior performance with latest GPU architecture
  • Supports a range of I/O ports
  • Ideal for a range of data transfer and connectivity
  • Supports heavy-duty animation applications with flair

Cons

  • Storage is quite low

3. 2019 Newest HP Zbook 15V

If budget isn’t a constraint for you, we’d recommend going for the 2019 Newest HP Zbook 15V. Not only do you get the reliability of HP, but you also get to experience marvelous performance, especially when tackling multiple animation-related apps.

Features

HP stands out with their performance and discourse, so it isn’t surprising that they have a device specifically ideal for animators too. From sleek design to heavy-duty performance, the device takes care of a lot more than you’d expect. 

The vibrant and responsive 15.6” FHD glossy display comes with touchscreen responsiveness, something that you just can’t get enough of. But, that’s not all. The HP Zbook 15V also stands out with its security functions, stunning backlit keyboard, and the wide range of I/O ports it is integrated with.

The laptop also runs on the Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, offering unmatched performance without any complaints. Not just for animators, this laptop is ideal for business owners, professionals, and even students, if need be.

Performance

The HP Zbook 15V is powered by the 8th Gen. Intel i7-8750H processor with NVIDIA Quadro P600 GPU with 4GB dedicated graphics storage like no other. However, the best feature of this device that readily contributes to the performance has to be the storage and RAM configuration.

The device is integrated with a 2TB SSD of storage and 32GB RAM for superior and seamless performance without any unnecessary delays or lags. The best part is that despite coming with 2TB SSD storage, the users can further expand the storage with the additional 2TB HDD expandable storage option, which makes this a beast of a device, especially ideal for the animators.

Why is it better?

While the price point can be a little daunting, every single feature of the device makes up for what you pay. So, even when you are paying over $2000, you are paying for the quality performance and stunning construction of the device. It is a powerful and highly responsive laptop that you can use to execute all your animation projects with ease.

Who is it ideal for?

Given the price and the functions, we’d recommend this to professional animators only. If you handle a lot of intensive workloads in one go, this is your safest bet. Also, the storage of the device makes it a pretty impressive purchase too.

Pros

  • Optimal storage and RAM configuration
  • Comes with a fingerprint sensor for secure login
  • Ideal wireless connectivity options
  • Versatile functions and seamless performance

Cons

  • A little on the expensive end

4. MSI GP75 Leopard 10SFK

MSI is a leading tech brand with years of reliability and excellence. When seeking a ground-breaking device for the animators, it isn’t surprising that the MSI GP75 Leopard 10SFK makes the top five picks.

Features

Weighing in at 5.73 pounds, this is not your ideally portable and lightweight device. This means that you do need to be mindful of having it stationed in one place so you don’t end up struggling with the heavyweight of the device.

Aside from that, the MSI GP75 Leopard 10SFK also stands out with its stunning, fluid, and highly responsive display panel. The 15.6” FHD IPS thin-bezel display enables the users to make the most out of the device’s functions and performance.

Also, you can weigh in with all the I/O ports and wireless connectivity options like never before. The silver lining in this device is the 720p HD webcam for superior performance like no other. The 51Wh li-ion battery is also decent and lasts for up to 4-5 hours.

Performance

The MSI GP75 Leopard 10SFK is powered by the Intel Core i7-10750H processor with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, which might not be the latest processor but is one of the few that is user friendly and well-designed architecture for tackling some of the heavy-duty applications with ease.

The combination of 512GB SSD of storage with 16GB RAM further contributes to the efficiency of the device as well. Even without the CUDA cores and reduced clock speed, this gaming device manages to stand out with its efficient functions and performance. 

Why is it better?

While we wouldn’t regard this as the top pick in our list, this is still a favorable option that tends to the needs of every animator. From the vibrant display to the efficient and lag-free performance, you get to experience the best of both worlds.

Who is it ideal for?

This mid-range and high-end performance device are ideal for animators who are currently in the process of learning. The reason why we aren’t recommending this for professional or advanced-level animators is due to the lacking RAM and storage configuration, especially when it comes to handling heavy-duty animation apps.

Pros

  • Seamless AI rendering with GPU
  • Optimal storage and RAM configuration
  • Durable and heavy-duty metal construction
  • Narrow bezels display for optimal performance

Cons

  • Battery life is straight-up disappointing

5. ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 W700G3T

Forget about the price range, the ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 W700G3T is hands down the best laptop that you can consider buying for 3D animation, without any extra thoughts or issues.

Features

Just the name of the device should be enough of an indication that it is designed for animators and content creators. This is a workstation laptop that several of the professionals consistently chase after.

Not only do you get the stunning design of the standard ASUS laptops, but you also get to experience the beauty of the uninterrupted performance. The NumberPad on the trackpad comes in handy when you are looking for quick access. 

Aside from all the basic features, the standalone bestselling USP of this device is the display. The 17.0” WUXGA 16:10 ratio panel with nano edge matte display is nothing that you’d have to compromise on. Also, the Pantone validated display with 97% DCI-P3 wide color gamut accuracy takes your 3D animation experience to completely new levels of expertise.

Performance

As for the performance, ASUS is a brand of trust and rightful claims. The ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 W700G3T is powered by the Intel Xeon E-2276M processor with NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 with 6GB VRAM for superior graphics management like no other. 

However, the RAM configuration of the device is what steals the show. Not only do the users get the standard 32GB integrated DDR4 RAM, but you also get to have it upgraded to up to 64GB as per requirements and rising demands.

Also, the combination of 1TB + 1TB SSD offers faster storage functions, especially when you are working with high-resolution images and gifs for your animation project.

Why is it better?

If we had to pick and choose one, we’d ideally suggest every animator save up and buy this device. This is designed specially to cater to the needs of content creators and animators, so you know your money is going to the rightful place. The faster storage and upgradeable RAM configuration make it a worthy purchase.

Who is it ideal for?

From beginners to advanced and professional animators, this is a universal laptop that caters to the needs of every creator. However, since this has such high-end configurations, we’d ideally recommend it for users who are predominantly into 3D animation.

Pros

  • Optimal data transfer speeds with faster storage
  • Upgradeable memory options up to 64GB
  • Expansive and larger display panel to work with
  • Accommodates high-resolution animations with ease

Cons

  • Very expensive

The process to Filter out Best of Laptops for Animation While Making Decision

Animation is an extremely demanding stream of content creation. If you think that your high-end animation applications will run on staple and simple PCs, you are mistaken. You need sleek and high-performance devices to tackle the heavy-duty and intensive creative process.

We got into curating this article knowing that we’d have to be mindful of the specifications and pick the right ones. Here is how our filtering process looks like and the specifications we emphasized:

  • CPU and GPU

Both the CPU and GPU configurations needed to be high-end and responsive. We knew that we had to offer a variety of options that our readers would choose from.

However, when it came to the processors, we knew that choosing anything between the Intel Core i5 processor would be a complete waste of time and effort. However, for 3D animation, the Core i7 and i9 processors are considered optimal.

  • Display

This is a subjective opinion but we have kept the baseline at 15.6” to ensure that it accommodates the needs of every user. When you are working with animation, you need to have enough display to accommodate your movements, characters, and clarity of the final output.

  • RAM

We have mentioned it from the get-go but to run animation applications, it is a given that the user needs to be mindful of the RAM configuration. Anything less than 8GB RAM and you won’t be able to multitask or execute your programs. So, it is a given that 8GB RAM is a baseline. However, if you have the budget to spare, look for the 16GB or 32GB variants too.

  • Storage

Last is the storage of the device. When you are working as an animator, you are dealing with high-end and high-resolution graphics, images, gifs, and videos. So, it isn’t surprising that you need to be mindful of the storage as well. 512GB SSD is likely the minimum we’d suggest looking for and then go as high as 2TB SSD for optimal performance.

FAQs

1. Do all laptops work for animation projects?

No, not necessarily. Most animation software requires higher configuration to run effortlessly, so it is not a surprise that you need to find a high-performance laptop to execute your animation projects.

2. Are all animation laptops expensive?

If you are a professional animator who deals with some of the most extrinsic software, we’d recommend choosing a high-end laptop, which will cost you quite a lot. So, you need to be mindful of your needs, requirements, and budget before you end up investing in one.

3. What is the ideal RAM configuration for an animation laptop?

If we had to suggest, we’d recommend choosing one with at least an 8GB RAM configuration. However, even that is for entry-level animators. If you have the budget to spare, invest in 16GB or 32GB RAM configured laptops.

Conclusion

With so many different laptops available in the market, finding the ideal ones for animation becomes a tedious and challenging task. Amidst the top 5 picks we have sorted in this list, we’d recommend our readers to save up and invest in the ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 W700G3T if you are serious about animation.

However, we understand that budget is a constraint for some, so we have tried to keep the list versatile and include cheaper, and mid-range laptops for you to check out from as well.

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