This software can be used to create logos, icons, and the like.
The requirement for this laptop: its specs must meet or exceed Adobe’s list of recommended computer systems for Illustrator.
Let’s move on to the next laptop for designers: Adobe Illustrator. Although Photoshop might be considered a graphic designer’s main application, it doesn’t mean that Illustrator is an afterthought. A lot of designers still swear by this software for designing logo-style work and more basic graphics such as icons and illustrations.
This program requires some raw processing power to be able to handle all the multiple layers and vector elements of the file at once. This might be something even more important than RAM and CPU cores for work of this nature. Still, we’ll get into the details of how powerful a laptop needs to be with Adobe Illustrator further down in this article.
But first, let’s start with the basics of what you need from your laptop before investing in one for your favorite graphic design program – whether it’s Adobe Illustrator or something else – with common software recommendations you might need in mind.
Finally, there’s nothing better than a visual aid to wrap things up nicely, so here are the 10 best laptops for Adobe Illustrator based on our previous findings. Here we go!
- what you need from your laptop: processing power, RAM, and graphics card
- recommendations you might need in mind: processing power, RAM, and graphics card
Requirements for a Adobe Illustrator CC 2021 laptop
Major The best graphics card for playing Adobe Illustrator in 2021
Minimum (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile)
- We need a GPU with at least the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile GPU in order to use Illustrator without experiencing performance issues. These graphics cards are usually found in less expensive laptops which typically do not come with the highest performing processors.
- If you’re on a tight budget, these graphics cards are acceptable for basic work with simple shapes. However, you may see some lag when opening more complex files with numerous layers or an increased number of objects. This is because integrated graphics are shared between tasks, meaning that any one task will take longer to complete if it’s running alongside another task. For example, if you’re opening a file while browsing the internet, both tasks will take longer to complete due to the limitations of the shared integrated graphics chip.
- If you can’t afford a laptop with certified Quadro/FirePro chips or want higher performance – it’s worth looking into buying a high-end consumer card (RTX 2070). This should be able to handle more complex files at acceptable speeds for most work environments.
Recommended (NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Laptop GPU
- The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Laptop GPU is better than other consumer grade options because it offers an increased speed for rendering without sacrificing stability or other features. This makes it suitable for more demanding tasks such as 3D design or working with large assemblies of multiple parts in 3D space – without needing to sacrifice speed or accuracy. It also means that this card should have no problem handling more complex files such as those containing many layers and objects – with improved speeds and stability.
- To put this into perspective: most entry-level models come with integrated Intel HD Graphics 620/630 which offer worse performance than NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Mobile GPUs (especially in terms of stability). However, this card would outperform these CPUs and might even be comparable to high-end models such as RTX 2080 MaxQ Mobile and A5000 chips (see below).
Best (NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile GPU)
- The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile GPU offers even better performance than the previous model mentioned by delivering improvements in rendering time and making it perfect for those who use Adobe Illustrator on a regular basis – such as designers or illustrators who need accurate representations of their work as well as those who deal with large assemblies of different parts in 3D space such as engineers and architects.
- Additionally, if you do not need speed improvements
- when it comes to Illustrator, the more expensive the graphics card, the better the performance
- when choosing a graphics card, look for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super Laptop GPUs
Major My memory recommendations for Adobe Illustrator
Minimum (8 GB)
A laptop with 8 GB RAM is suitable for Adobe Illustrator, but it will be sluggish and less responsive.
If you’re looking for a budget laptop that does the job, then 8 GB is the way to go. The sweet spot for cost-effective laptops is $600 – $1200, which means that you’ll have enough money left over to invest in other components like CPU or SSD.
Otherwise, I recommend investing in a laptop with 16 GB of RAM – especially if you can’t go above that price range. It’ll cost around $650 – $2200, which is more than an 8 GB laptop, but not by much.
8 GB laptops are getting rarer these days as the industry moves towards higher RAM capacities. And since laptops are continuously getting cheaper (although not as cheap as they used to be), investing in a 16GB RAM capacity will save you money in the long run.
Recommended (16 GB)
If you’re looking for a professional workstation for your business, I recommend investing in a 16 GB laptop. The benefits are clear: 16 GB falls within the best price range for professional laptops at around $650 – $2200 and will also come with future-proofing potential because it’s not likely to bottleneck your machine anytime soon.
However, if you want to game on your laptop too and can’t afford 32 GB of RAM – it’s probably not worth upgrading just for Adobe Illustrator. Games typically use less than 4GB of RAM even when running on ultra-high settings so there’s no need to upgrade just for that purpose.
It’s worth noting that if you’re considering a bulkier laptop that can be easily upgraded, then there’s no need to sweat about getting 16GB because those laptops often come with more than one slot for extra RAM upgrades later on down the line. In those cases, there’s nothing stopping you from upgrading from 16GB to 32GB later on down the line without having to buy a whole new computer.
Best (32 GB)
I highly recommend going for 32 GB of RAM if you’re going over $2000 and want a professional workstation with a future-proof potential and/or don’t want to worry about upgrading down the line because there’s always an upgrade option at any time without having to buy a whole new computer.
In 2021, most high-end laptops have been moving towards 32GB as standard with prices
- a laptop with 8 GB RAM is suitable for Adobe Illustrator, but it will be sluggish and less responsive
- a 16 GB RAM capacity is recommended for a professional workstation with a future-proof potential and/or don’t want to worry about upgrading down the line because there’s always an upgrade option at any time without having to buy a whole new computer. In 2021, most high-end laptops have been moving towards 32GB as standard with prices
Major Picking a good processor
It’s not just about speed – CPU is crucial for CPU-intensive tasks such as photo editing, Adobe Illustrator, and video encoding. And if you’re anything like me, you’re looking for the perfect balance of price and performance.
First things first: Adobe Illustrator needs a powerful processor to do its job. And we’re talking about a strong one – Ryzen 7 5800H. That said, we can’t be too picky with Adobe Illustrator as it’s not an overly demanding application (by today’s standards). But still, some might find the new Intel processors (i7-8559U) better suited for their budget.
If you want to squeeze out every last drop of performance from your laptop, go for the newest AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS or Intel Core i9-9900KH (or higher).
Ryzen 7 4800HS and Ryzen 7 5800H are best laptops for those who want to stay within their budget and prioritize performance over cost. For those who care less about price and more about power, Ryzen 9 5900HS or Intel Core i9-9900KH are a good match.
Intel Core i7-8559U is my go-to recommendation for those who have an underpowered laptop but would like to extend its lifespan with a newer CPU from Intel.
- when it comes to Illustrator, CPU is important
- AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS and AMD Ryzen 7 5800H are best laptops for those who want to stay within their budget and prioritize performance over cost
- AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS or Intel Core i9-9900KH are a good match for those who care less about price and more about power
- Intel Core i7-8559U is my go-to recommendation for those who have an underpowered laptop but would like to extend its lifespan with a newer CPU from Intel.
Optional requirements for a Adobe Illustrator CC 2021 laptop
Optional Deciding on a storage
Different types of SSDs
The laptop industry has seen a lot of changes in the past few years. We’ve gone from HDD to SSD, now even to PCIe storage devices (that’s an article for another day). And that’s not all – manufacturers also offer different types of SSDs. There are the more common SATA SSDs, which are slower but cheaper. NVMe SSDs are faster and pricier.
And then there’s the PCIe NVMe, which is even faster than NVMe and has better performance with high queue depths (for example, with databases). PCIe NVMe is the way to go if you’re doing video editing or any other application that demands tons of throughput. It’s worth noting that some laptops come with both SATA and PCIe drives – so you can just pick your needs accordingly.
Getting the right size
We need enough space for Adobe Illustrator to run on our laptop, so that means it should be at least 1 TB**. But if you’re not sure what size to get, 256 GB should be more than enough for any casual Adobe Illustrator user**. If you do need more space though, 512 GB would be a good balance between price and capacity – it’ll cost you anywhere between $650-2,340. You can also get a laptop with both SATA and PCIe drives – which is best for those looking for more performance while keeping costs low on the storage side of things.
- get a laptop with PCIe NVMe storage for video editing or high performance applications
- SSDs are faster and pricier than HDDs
- SATA SSDs are slower but cheaper than NVMe SSDs
Optional The best display for Adobe Illustrator in 2021
With Adobe Illustrator, there are a few display qualities that matter. The first one is contrast. A good screen for drawing should have a high contrast ratio of 1,000:1 or more. This means that the blacks should be black and the whites should be white.
Key display qualities for Adobe Illustrator
Next, you need to pay attention to viewing angles and brightness. A good laptop screen should have a wide viewing angle and a decent brightness level. You can compare these by using a site like Laptop Mag’s Best Laptops for Designers list.
Important things to consider when buying the best laptop for Adobe Illustrator
The next step is to consider color accuracy. Adobe Illustrator does not need to cover a wide color gamut, but it needs accurate colors nonetheless. Fortunately, this is pretty easy – just check if the screen has an sRGB color space coverage of at least 90%. Finally, do not forget about the resolution. The minimum resolution for a modern day design laptop is Full HD (1920×1080). But if you’re going with something smaller than 15″, then I would recommend going with FHD+ (2560×1440).
5 Best Laptops for Adobe Illustrator CC 2021
Pros and cons
- Sufficient processor (i5-10200H)
- Terrific graphics card (RTX 3050)
- Ordinary memory amount (8GB)
- Splendid display (15.6 IPS HDR Touch)
- Up to scratch memory amount (16GB)
- So-so processor (i7-9850H)
- Substandard graphics card (Quadro T2000)
- Adequate processor (Ryzen 5 4600H)
- Light (4.4 lbs)
- Garden-variety graphics card (GTX 1650)
- Run-of-the-mill memory amount (8GB)
Pros and cons
- Awesome processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
- Competent graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
- No IPS Panel (inferior color reproduction)
- Up to the mark graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
- Fair display (15.6 144Hz IPS)
- Unremarkable processor (i7-11370H)
- Garden-variety memory amount (32GB)
- First-class processor (Ryzen 7 5800H)
- Very good memory amount (128GB)
- Bulky (5.4 lbs)
- No IPS Panel (worse contrast)
Pros and cons
- Awesome processor (i7-11800H)
- Fair graphics card (RTX 3060)
- Weighty (5.1 lbs)
- Very good display (15.6 240Hz IPS)
- Solid memory amount (64GB)
- Not the best processor (i7-12700H)
- Ordinary graphics card (RTX 3060)
- Splendid display (17.3 240Hz IPS)
- Very good memory amount (64GB)
- Run-of-the-mill graphics card (RTX 3060)
Pros and cons
- Exceptional processor (i9-11950H)
- Awesome graphics card (RTX 3080)
Pros and cons
- Solid graphics card (RTX 3080 Ti)
- Great display (15.6 120Hz IPS)
Table of Best Laptops for Adobe Illustrator CC 2021
|Dell XPS 9710||$1140|
|Acer Predator Helios 300||$1840|
|Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen||$3650|
|MSI Raider GE66-15||$5910|