The best laptops for drawing

Want a touchscreen on which you can use a pen to draw? This is where you can find the best laptop for drawing.
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The best laptops for drawing - W3Tekno

The best laptops for sketching can be a great choice for anyone who doesn't want to have to buy separate digital art hardware. Thanks to advances in touchscreen technology, many laptops now feature removable screens or 360-degree hinges. Add a digital pen and you have a great drawing tool that can also perform all the everyday computing activities you could want (if you want a dedicated tablet, check out our article on the best iPad for drawing).

We tested and reviewed some of the best hybrid laptops specifically for drawing. In addition to benchmark testing, we also investigated the actual drawing experience on each device using various drawing apps. To determine which laptops would be ideal for different demands and price ranges, we focused on the color accuracy, resolution and responsiveness of the displays, especially when using a pen. We also considered performance, battery life and affordability.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (2022) - The perfect tablet-laptop combination for digital drawing on the go

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (2022)

The perfect tablet-laptop combination for digital drawing on the go
Specifications
  • CPU: Up to 12th Gen Intel® Core i7-1265U
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • RAM: Up to 32GB LPDDR5
  • Screen: 13-inch 3: 13-inch 3:2 PixelSense Flow Display
  • Storage: Up to 1TB
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Good screen
  • Excellent design and quality
  • Runs full Windows software despite tablet format
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Avoid the SQ3 model
  • In fact, the Surface Pro 9 is more accurately classified as a tablet than a laptop, as it runs Windows 11, which lets you use desktop apps on a small screen. On the other hand, if you attach the optional Type Cover keyboard, you actually have a great thin and light laptop. Of course an iPad can achieve this too, but we didn't include them in this article because they can't run desktop apps.

    We found that Windows 11 runs quickly and the screen provides a great drawing experience when using the Surface Slim Pen 2. Whether you choose to use the Type Cover or not, the sturdy stand offers enough support to keep the device upright when drawing at a desk. You can also use this handheld device for drawing on your lap. We recommend the optional keyboard as we find it difficult to use Windows by touch alone.

    Graphite, Sapphire, Forest and original Platinum are among the colors offered, and the keyboard matches these colors. Note that the stylus is available separately, as with the Surface Laptop Studio 2 mentioned above.

    Acer Chromebook Spin 514 - The best budget laptop for drawing

    Acer Chromebook Spin 514

    The best budget laptop for drawing
    Specifications
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor quad-core 3.7 GHz
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Graphics shared memory
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Screen: 35.6 cm (14
  • Storage: 128 GB Flash Memory
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Fast performance
  • Multi-stylus compatibility
  • Incredible Full HD screen
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Flash memory
  • We believe the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 is an excellent choice for sketching if you have a Chromebook. More importantly for sketching, it has a beautiful screen. It's fast enough to run light to medium-weight apps in the cloud without a problem; people with more demanding workflows will need a bigger hitter.

    The 14-inch Full HD touchscreen was great, and we especially appreciated the 16:10 aspect ratio, which gives you more space for drawing. It was also much easier to plug in a pen thanks to the USB-C port, compared to portless Chromebooks.

    In addition, the laptop can be fully flipped into tablet mode, making it an ideal surface for sketching. Due to the superior build quality, this Chromebook is reasonably priced but with many high-end features.

    Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2023) - A compact laptop perfect for artistic endeavors such as painting

    Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2023)

    A compact laptop perfect for artistic endeavors such as painting
    Specifications
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-1250U processor
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
  • RAM: 16GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x
  • Screen: 13in 3k (2880 x 1920) IPS touch display 500 nits
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Great display
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Expensive
  • Another high-end touchscreen device that we've found offers a great drawing experience is the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. It has a long battery life and is incredibly light and small.

    The detachable screen was our favorite feature; it provided good color and brightness, and the edge-to-edge display is great for drawing, especially with its 3:2 aspect ratio, which offers a little more vertical space than other ratios. Its dimensions, weight and size make it ideal for on-the-go use; it's among the thinnest devices on our list and weighs about the same as the Surface Pro 9.

    Overall, we thought the Surface Pro provided the best experience, but this one had a longer battery life. We didn't like the keyboard though - we thought it was too flat - but sometimes compromises have to be made to be portable. Please note that a stylus is not included and must be purchased separately.

    Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 - The best laptop for drawing overall

    Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2

    The best laptop for drawing overall
    Specifications
  • CPU: 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700H
  • Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 8GB GPU
  • RAM: Up to 64GB
  • Screen: 14.4in 2400 x 1600p 3: 14.4in 2400 x 1600p 3:2
  • Storage: Up to 1TB
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Great battery life
  • Lovely build quality
  • Fantastic 16:10 display
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • More ports would be nice
  • After extensive testing, we concluded that this is the best laptop Microsoft has ever produced. Its beautiful 3:2 touchscreen and excellent mechanism for placing it like an easel make it a great choice for artists.

    The screen of many hybrids can be folded back to turn the laptop into a tablet. However, the Surface Laptop Studio works differently because of its split hinge that allows the screen to slide over the keyboard. If you want to use it hands-free, you can also lift it up in an easel-like posture, which we found great for drawing and eliminates the need to get a prop or use the screen flat.

    When evaluating the laptop, we tested the screen brightness at 505 nits and found that the 3:2 aspect ratio made it easy to draw. Plus, the fast 120Hz frame rate eliminated annoying delays when applying digital ink, making pen support extremely fast. Note that the Surface Slim Pen 2 stylus requires a separate purchase.

    Overall, the powerful 13th Gen Intel CPUs and graphics up to the Nvidia RTX 4060 in this second-gen model delighted us with performance improvements. Memory support has also been significantly increased to 64 GB. Another plus was the 12-hour battery life seen by us. While it could do with more ports, it's an excellent laptop for creative work such as drawing.

    Asus Zenbook Duo OLED (2024) - The best dual-screen laptop for drawing

    Asus Zenbook Duo OLED (2024)

    The best dual-screen laptop for drawing
    Specifications
  • CPU: Intel Core Ultra 9 185H
  • Graphics: Intel Arc Graphics
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Screen: 2x 14in 2880x1800 120Hz OLED touch
  • Storage: 2TB SSD
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Lots of workspace
  • Quality stylus included
  • Two full-size touchscreens
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • Dual-screen setting drains battery
  • No magnetic attachment for stylus
  • The ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 is a different kind of laptop for drawing, thanks to a dual-display design that's been upgraded to the extreme in the latest iteration. The latest Zenbook Duo features two full-size 14-inch displays, one artfully hidden behind the detachable keyboard. This is in contrast to the previous version, which had only one screen or a larger screen with a smaller display.

    After evaluation, we discovered that the two touchscreens supporting a stylus allow for extremely flexible use with a variety of editing possibilities that make it well-suited to a variety of drawing tasks. The laptop has a distinctive look as well as strong build quality and strong internals.

    HP Spectre x360 16 OLED - A stylish hybrid laptop for drawing with a big 4K+ OLED screen

    HP Spectre x360 16 OLED

    A stylish hybrid laptop for drawing with a big 4K+ OLED screen
    Specifications
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 1355U
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xᵉ Graphics
  • RAM: Up to 32 GB
  • Screen: 16-inch, 3,840 x 2,400, OLED, 400 nits
  • Storage: Up to 1TB SSD
  • Reasons To Buy
  • Sleek design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Fabulous OLED display with 4K+ resolution
  • Reasons To Avoid
  • A little pricey
  • Larger and heavier than our other picks
  • The HP Spectre x360 16 is an aesthetically pleasing and versatile PC, thanks to a 360-degree hinge that allows the display to return to tablet mode. In tablet mode, we found it stable and reliable for drawing, and we were impressed by the 4K+ OLED display's excellent color coverage and respectable brightness of 400 nits.

    We found that the Intel Core i7-1260P setup with 16GB of RAM and 1TB SSD more than handled light content creation tasks like painting. Additionally, battery life was impressive; we were able to spin a 1080p movie on the screen at half brightness for 12 hours. As for network connectivity, it has two Thunderbolt 6 ports capable of transferring data at 40 Gbps, in addition to Wi-Fi 4E, Bluetooth 5.3 and a microSD card reader.

    For drawing, the notebook is pre-loaded with the HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Slant Pen for sketching and inking assistance. When not in use, the pen is held in place by magnets on the right side of the display. Although the 60Hz refresh rate of the OLED panel makes it less fast than panels with higher refresh rates, we believe we can get used to it. Also, sensitivity at light forces is a bit on the low side of the touch scale.

    HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST LAPTOP FOR DRAWING

    With our top picks, we've covered a lot of ground for you, though you'll have the final say on a few things. Budget is the most obvious, so we've selected products in a variety of price ranges. For example, the more expensive but less powerful Acer Spin Chromebook 514 is priced much differently than the powerful Surface Laptop Studio.

    How often you use your laptop for sketching compared to other tasks and how portable you want it to be will probably determine which is the best option for you. The HP Spectre x360 is physically larger than most of the laptops on our list, but it offers a gorgeous, massive 16-inch OLED display with excellent quality for sketching.

    When choosing a laptop for sketching, it's clear that a touchscreen is essential for drawing on the screen. We especially like laptops that can be completely transformed into a tablet just by rotating or swiping.

    FAQS

    Basically, you can use a graphics tablet with a laptop or PC, a tablet with a pen display or stylus, or a laptop with a touchscreen for digital sketching. While some artists find graphics tablets more tactile, the technology is not foolproof and having to coordinate your hand and screen independently while working in a creative flow can be uncomfortable. Compared to all-in-ones, they are not as portable. However, they are really reasonably priced and designed to be responsive.

    The best tablets and pen displays are often the most convenient and portable tools for drawing on, but if you want something rugged and long-lasting, they can be a bit expensive and often lack the adaptability to be used for other purposes.

    In contrast, when you consider the capabilities that touchscreen laptops offer, they are arguably the most adaptable for their price range.

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