Best Laptops for Programming and Graphic Design

Best laptops for Programming and Graphic Design

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Finding the Best Laptops for Programming and Graphic Design might feel daunting.

You might be an avid programmer who lets their creativity out every once in a while on Photoshop, or you are a professional video editor with a passion project that includes programming and making your software. 

It might be hard for you to find a laptop that doesn’t stutter when playing back a Premiere Pro video with a timeline filled with effects and edits or a laptop that takes ages to compile code.

So to make things easy for you, we got our top picks for the Best Laptops for Programming and Graphic Design that would allow you to edit big projects on Premiere Pro while compiling code in no time.


Asus TUF Dash 15 – Best laptop with great value for money

Asus TUF Dash 15

Pros & Cons

  • Great I/O
  • MUX switch
  • Great performance
  • Great battery life for normal use
  • Thin and light design
  • Bad display For productivity
  • Non-RGB keyboard

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The Asus Dash TUF 15 is a minimal beast that packs in a Core i9 12th gen Processor and an RTX 3060 GPU that can help crunch through any video rendering and code compiling workload.

This laptop also has 1TB of SSD storage and the new 16GB DDR5 RAM that is ample enough for you to work on complex Premiere Pro projects.

Asus also improved from last year’s model by increasing the battery capacity to 76Wh, allowing this laptop to last around 8 hours on casual use.

The display on this laptop is a 1080p 144hz panel that is not the best for color grading but does the job just fine. The keyboard also compliments the minimal metallic black look of the TUF 15 with its white backlit.

It offers an excellent typing experience with medium travel and tactile feedback, making it ideal for long coding sessions.

Though the Asus Dash TUF 15 does not have the most outstanding display for color grading, it still proves to be an excellent option for someone looking for a laptop with a good keyboard, decent battery life, and great performance, making it one of the Best Laptops for Programmers and Graphic Design.

Learn more about the Asus Dash TUF 15 by checking out our review.


Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6 – Best Powerful Laptop for Graphic Designing on a budget

Acer Swift X

Pros & Cons

  • Good display for productivity
  • Good performance
  • Amazing battery life
  • White Keyboard is harder to read with a backlight.
  • Lacks an SD card reader
  • Lacks upgradable RAM

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If you want a laptop under $1000 with reasonably good color accuracy and performance, then the Acer Swift X is something you should consider checking out.

When it comes to finding the best laptops for Programming and Graphic design, the Asus Swift X stood out to us as a solid contender for this list with its 14-inch 1080p IPS display that confidently covers 96.1% of the sRGB color gamut along with 66.2% in Adobe RGB and 68.2% in DCI-P3 respectively.

This makes the Swift X a suitable machine for someone who prioritizes color accuracy on a budget.

To power the rest of the experience, the Swift X comes with Ryzen 5800u, a capable 6-core CPU that can come in handy when compiling code. Accompanied by the RTX 3050, that would contribute significantly to video rendering workloads.

The Acer Swift X also has impressive battery life easily lasting around 8-10 hours in casual use. Its 59Wh battery allows you to travel comfortably without worrying about being near a power outlet.

But despite having a reasonably color-accurate display, the Swift X falls behind when it comes to expandability. Its no doubt that the onboard 8GB DDR4 RAM would struggle to keep up if you plan to work on more extensive video editing projects. Similarly, its 256GB PCIe SSD would fill up in no time if you plan to store large high res files.

And the Acer Swift X also lacks an SD card reader, which would be essential for our fellow photographers who want to edit photos from their camera in Lightroom.

Both the RAM and Storage are soldered on board, and Acer gives you no ability to expand these, making it one of the worst laptops regarding expandability. 

The Swift X may also be a wrong choice for long programming sessions with its keyboard lacking a dedicated Caps lock, keys that feel mushier while typing, and a cramped pg up and down button that you may hit accidentally while typing in the flow. The keyboard legend is written in silver color that can be hard to read with the keyboard’s white backlight.

If a color-accurate display is a must-have for you, then only we would recommend this laptop to you; however, for the most part, we won’t recommend this laptop for anything else as it may cause you issues in the long term with its lack of expandability.


Lenovo Ideapad 3 – Best laptop for Programming on a budget

Lenovo Ideapad 3

Pros & Cons

  • Very capable CPU
  • Great expandability
  • Great battery life
  • Average display, not suitable for Graphic Design
  • Insufficent storage

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If you are a programmer on a tight budget looking for performance without breaking the bank, you can not go wrong with the Lenovo Ideapad 3.

The Ryzen 5500u is a 6-core processor that may not be a flagship processor, but it’s still capable and can easily crunch through demanding code compiling workloads.

The lack of integrated graphics on this laptop may be a turn-off for Graphic designers, but the integrated Radeon Graphics can still help with video rendering workloads.

The Ideapad 3 also makes it easier to upgrade its 8GB RAM with its extra slot along with the 256GB SSD that can be upgraded with the extra M.2 slot or with a 2.5 inch SATA drive such as a 2TB storage for mass storage at a low price. This makes Ideapad 3 one of the Best Laptops for Programming and Graphic Design with great expandability.

The keyboard also provides a great typing experience for long coding sessions and is excellent for someone who is always on the move with its 9-10 hours battery backup.

Still, this laptop falls behind in terms of its display quality with poor color accuracy. But overall, the Lenovo Ideapad 3 is an excellent package with great value for money.

You can read our detailed review of the Lenovo Ideapad 3 to learn more.


2021 Apple MacBook Pro – Best Laptop for Multi-threaded Workloads

Apple Macbook Pro 2021

Pros & Cons

  • Beautiful and color accurate display
  • Insane battery life
  • Extremely fast processor
  • Nice keyboard
  • Really good webcam
  • Really expensive
  • RAM is not upgradable
  • SSD is not upgradable
  • HDMI port is not 2.1

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Apple shifted the game with the 2021 Macbook Pro by introducing the new powerful M1 Pro chip.

This productivity beast shreds through any demanding workload and brings back the ports they removed, such as the HDMI port, SD card slot, and the snappy Magsafe charging port.

The Macbook Pro proves itself to be a beast. Be it a demanding programming project or a Premiere Pro project with many effects. The M1 Pro takes on these tasks with no issues. This makes the Macbook Pro one of the best laptops for Programming and Graphic Design.

Its beautiful 16-inch 120Hz MiniLED display is excellent for color grading and other creative tasks. The M1 Pro also shines with its incredible efficiency, allowing it to give a staggering 15 hours of battery backup, which is unheard of from a performance laptop.

The configuration we looked at had 16GB RAM and 1TB storage. Both of which are not upgradeable. Considering this device’s $2050 price tag, the price of this laptop is a tough pill to swallow. But if you are willing to pay the premium, you would be more than satisfied by the performance you will get from this laptop.


Lenovo Flex 5 – Best Laptop for Programming and Sketching on a Budget

Lenovo Flex 5 Windows laptop

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful CPU for the price
  • 2 in 1 convertible
  • Nice keyboard
  • RAM is not upgrdable
  • Display is not color accurate

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The Flex 5 is a budget 2-in-1 offering by Lenovo that has a Ryzen 5500u under the hood. Though it’s a budget processor, the six core of the Ryzen 5500u shines in multi-threaded workloads, making it a suitable candidate for CPU-demanding workloads such as code compiling and video rendering.

Coupled with its 16GB RAM, the Flex 5 is perfect for a creator working on a demanding After Affects project. Unlike the RAM, its 256GB SSD can be upgraded easily, allowing you to store larger projects.

Illustrators may find its 14-inch IPS 1080p display attractive with its touch and stylus support, but the poor color accuracy and the dim brightness may turn away potential artists.

But still, there’s a lot to like about this laptop. The backlit keyboard has short travel that results in quicker actuation allowing you to type pretty quickly on this keyboard. The trackpad does a fine job, too, with reasonable accuracy. And the 52.5Wh battery lasts around 10 hours with ease on casual use.

The Lenovo Flex 5 is one of the Best Laptops for Programming and Graphic Design that offers decent specs with a convertible form factor for those who occasionally sketch and draw.


Acer Swift 3 – Best laptop for Graphic Designing on a budget

Acer Swift 3

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful CPU for the price
  • Color accurate display
  • Great battery life
  • Ample storage
  • RAM is not upgradable
  • Screen is dim

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For $600, The Acer Swift 3 is for the colorist on a budget with its 14-inch 1080p IPS display that boasts 99% sRGB coverage and 78% of DCI P3 and Adobe RGB, making the Swift 3 one of the best laptops for Graphic Design.

Powering this laptop is a Ryzen 5700u which is a great processor for multi-threaded workloads, allowing it to rip through code compiling and video rendering with ease with the help of its eight cores and 16 threads.

Sadly what holds back the entire performance of this laptop is its 8GB RAM which is not upgradeable. This might be fine for smaller projects but may be limiting for bigger projects, holding back the Swift 3 true potential.

Unlike the RAM, you can still upgrade the 512GB SSD if it starts to fill up down the line. Moreover, the Swift 3 also does not disappoint with its battery life, lasting comfortably around 11 hours on casual use, making it quite viable for the creator on the go.

Programmers may also enjoy its excellent keyboard, which provides a great typing experience with its medium travel and tactile feedback—making it great for long programming sessions.

Overall the Swift 3 is one of the Best Laptops for Graphic Designers and colorists on a budget that is held back by its poor RAM configuration. If you don’t plan to work on massive projects, we can safely recommend the Acer Swift 3.

Learn more in our Acer Swift 3 review.


ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 (2022) – Best Powerful laptop for Programming and Graphic Design

Asus ROG Scar Strix 15

Pros & Cons

  • Insane raw power
  • Thunderbolt 4
  • Good display with low latency
  • Good speakers
  • Lacks webcam
  • Poor battery life
  • Excessive RGB

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If you value raw performance over anything, then the Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 is just for you.

The Scar 15 is a powerful monster with a Core i9 12900h and an RTX 3070ti that can take on even the most demanding workload like child play. It simply does not shy away from anything that could push it to its limits.

It comes with the new 16GB DDR5 RAM, which is ample and fast for most workloads, and a 1TB NVME SSD large enough for most people. And if that isn’t enough for you, you can fuel the Scar 15 raw power by increasing its RAM and Storage with the upgrade slots, pushing this monster to its full potential.

The display on the Scar 15 is no joke either. The 1440p 365Hz panel covers 95.2% sRGB, 66.3% of Adobe RGB, and 68.3% of DCI P3, allowing it to be a decent display for colorists while also being buttery smooth.

Though it lacks a mechanical keyboard from last year’s model, its chiclet keyboard gets the job done for your average programmer with its quick actuation and tactile feedback.

What this laptop lacks is impressive battery life. Due to its power-hungry components, the 90Wh battery barely manages to make it through the day by lasting only 4-5hrs. This laptop also lacks a webcam, so if you are someone who takes regular zoom calls, you might want to buy an external webcam.

The Scar 15 is for someone who demands performance over anything, and it’s safe to say that the Asus Scar 15 delivers that perfectly. Making it one of the Best Laptops for Programming and Graphic design in raw compute power.

You can read our detailed review of the Asus ROG Scar 15 if you want to learn more.

ASUS VivoBook Pro 16X OLED – Best All Rounder laptop for Graphic Design

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X

Pros & Cons

  • Extremely powerful processor
  • Crispy and accurate display
  • Touchpad dial is a great tool
  • Excellent battery life
  • RTX 3050 is not enough for big workloads
  • Keyboard feels mushier
  • Average webcam

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For those whose main priority is graphic designing, the Vivobook Pro 16X is made especially for you.

The Vivobook 16X is a champion for color-conscious creators with its gorgeous 4K OLED display that covers 98% of Adobe RGB and 100% of sRGB and DCI P3. The display gets bright at 550 nits while also being PANTONE Certified. Making the Vivobook stand out for its stellar color accuracy.

Professional artists would also fall in love with its touchpad, which features a built-in capacitive touch dial that can be programmed for multiple things such as zooming in/out, changing volume, or scrubbing the timeline. Making it a complete delight to use in Premiere Pro and Illustrator.

And though this laptop is made for graphic designers, programmers would not be disappointed by its keyboard with accent keys and a great typing experience.

Under the hood, this laptop has a Ryzen 9 5900HX and an RTX 3050, which is a disappointment since we can find laptops with better GPUs at the same price. It comes with 32GB RAM, which is more than enough, and a 1TB SSD that can be replaced with something even bigger.

And for the graphic designer on the go, the 96Wh battery would serve them well with its 12 hours of battery backup on casual use. Overall, the Vivobook 16X is one of the Best Laptops for Programming and Graphic Designing in terms of providing a complete package for creative individuals.


ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 – Best laptop for Graphic Design and Multitasking

Asus Zenbook Duo 14

Pros & Cons

  • Secondnary display great for productivity
  • Slimmer and light profile
  • Excellent battery life
  • Excellent overall performance
  • Keyboard is too cramped
  • Trackpad is small and not practical
  • Dual screen design may not be for everyone

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The Asus ZenBook Duo 14 is for someone who loves to have more screen real estate or someone who loves multitasking. The Secondary 12.6-inch touchscreen is perfect for a secondary browser window, Spotify, or even your Premiere Pro Timeline.

And the leading 14-inch 1080p display does not disappoint either with its PANTONE certification and 114.7% sRGB and 65% of Adobe RGB, which makes the ZenBook Duo 14 one of the best colors accurate laptops.

It comes with 16GB RAM, which is soldered, unlike the 1TB SSD, which can be replaced. And though the ZenBook Duo 14 has the last year’s Core i7 1195G7 and an Nvidia MX450, which may not be the most powerful components on the market.

It still holds up quite well in every productivity task we throw at it. This means that aside from creative workloads, it would do the job fine in code compiling workloads with ease.

Speaking of coding, the keyboard is the most disappointing thing about the Zenbook Duo to accommodate the secondary screen, Asus moved down the keyboard, which puts it in a very cramped and awkward position, making it very unpleasant to type on it, and the same could be said for its small trackpad.

Overall, the Asus ZenBook Duo 14 is one of the Best Laptops for Programming and Graphic design with its incredible screen real estate and beautiful display.


ASUS ZenBook Flip 13 OLED – Best laptop for Sketching and Graphic Design

Asus ZenBook Flip13

Pros & Cons

  • Great display
  • Capable CPU
  • Decent battery life
  • Stylus support
  • RAM is not upgradable
  • Lacks a headphone jack
  • Keyboard is a bit cramped

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The Zenbook Flip 13 is Asus 2 in 1 offering for creatives. It has a beautiful OLED 1080p display that gets bright up to 350 nits and covers the entire DCI P3. Making this laptop great for illustrations and sketching with Asus included stylus.

The Zenbook Flip 13 is not the greatest when it comes to specs, but still quite capable. It’s powered by Core i7 1165G7 and lacks dedicated graphics; instead, it uses Intel Iris Xe graphics. This is why we won’t recommend the Zenbook Flip 13 for GPU-demanding workloads such as working on complex Premiere Pro. However, the Iris Xe Graphics would do the job on occasional small video editing workloads.

Coming to the rest of the specs, it has a 1TB SSD that can be upgraded down the line. Unlike its 16GB RAM, that’s soldered. The Zenbook Flip 13 provides a good battery life on casual use at around 10 hours with its 67Wh battery.

Though the keyboard typing experience is decent with its grippy keys that have short travel and give a very mushy feeling while typing on them, that still feels fine. The keyboard still feels quite cramped. So if you plan to code for long sessions, you should consider that.

Another weird thing is that Asus removed the headphone jack on this laptop, although the brushed metal chassis has enough space for one.

And if you know Bluetooth on windows, it’s not the greatest experience to use Bluetooth headphones on it.

So the Asus Zenbook Duo 14 is an excellent laptop for primarily creative work that can be used for coding sessions on the side. Though it comes with minor inconveniences, such as the lack of a headphone jack, we can still safely recommend it.


What specs should I look for in a laptop for Programming and Graphic Design?

When buying the best laptop for Programming and Graphic Design, you need to look for four core components. CPU, GPU, RAM, and Display.


Since both Programming and Graphic Design rely heavily on the CPU, this workload is multi-threaded, so that you would want a CPU with as many cores and threads as possible.

On the high-end side, we recommend getting a CPU that is Core i9 or a Ryzen 9 Processor with at least eight cores and sixteen threads.

For someone on the budget/midrange side, you would want to look at a core i5/i7 or a Ryzen 5 or 7 with at least four cores and threads.



As for the GPU, when it comes to programming, you wouldn’t need a GPU unless you do game development or work on developing a GUI. As for the creative side of things, a GPU is recommended.

Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, After Affects, and Premiere Pro would benefit significantly from a dedicated GPU.

On the high end, we would recommend an RTX 3070 or RTX 3080. Or, if you are on a budget, look for a laptop with an RTX 3050ti or RTX 3060.

Remember that the RTX 3000 series card’s performance depends on the power budget they have in that laptop. So an RTX 3070 with a higher power budget can outperform an RTX 3080 with a lower power budget.



As for the RAM, getting as much as possible is better. If you work on small and light projects, 8GB RAM should suffice.

However, we recommend 16GB RAM as it is the perfect sweet spot and allows for more breathing room. And if you work on bigger and more complex projects, then 32GB RAM should be ample.

And if you don’t need or can’t afford more than 8GB RAM, we recommend getting a laptop with upgradeable RAM.



For programming, you can get away with any display at least 15 inches or more, as a bigger display makes code readable.

But if you prioritize creative work more, then you at least need a display that is color accurate with at least 96% of sRGB coverage or 98% of Adobe RGB coverage.

You also need a display that can output at least 350nits of brightness.


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