Hey there UX designers! Choosing the right laptop for your profession can be hard – not to mention the countless models out there on the market. Some are better for some tasks, some for others. For instance, you don't want to buy a gaming laptop for design work since it'll be too hot, loud and expensive. That's why this guide will help you to find the best laptop for UX designer at the best possible price.
The goal of this post is to help you get the most out of your purchase by providing an in-depth description of all specs. I'll explain what's good and what's bad in each aspect of the laptop. And, to make sure that you get the most optimal laptop, I've come up with a few laptop recommendations tailored to your specific needs as a UX designer. Let's begin!
Picking a good processor
Choosing the right laptop processor for a UX designer isn't always an easy task. The laptop processor market is constantly changing, with Intel and Apple both releasing new system-on-chip modules with their own hybrid performance/efficiency core designs. AMD has also managed to take up 20% of the market with their 6th generation Ryzen processors.
If you're looking for a MacBook, you can skip the rest of this section – they are well-known for their excellent battery life and performance. However, if you're looking for a Windows laptop, there are a few things to consider.
The processor is one of the most important parts of a laptop for a UX designer, as we need to run multiple applications at once without any lag. I'd recommend going for an H-series processor if you need the best performance possible; these processors offer better performance but shorter battery life than U-series and P-series chips. To help me decide which processor is best for me, I use Cinebench R23 to compare different processors, since it's a popular benchmark for 3D modeling applications, which are popular among UX designers.
If you're on a budget and don't need the best performance possible, then look for a mid-range CPU that doesn't have an "H" in its model name. Meanwhile, if you're not worried about your battery life – go ahead and get an H-series chip – but don't expect outstanding battery life.
To summarize, here is a table of recommended processors, grouped by price bracket:
The right graphics
Graphics cards are the soul of any laptop, and the difference between an average laptop and a gaming powerhouse depends on its GPU. In recent years, Nvidia has dominated the laptop graphics market with its RTX series GPUs. While they've recently released a few RTX 40 series cards, these are not yet available on laptops, and the RTX 30 series is currently the best available option.
So, what does this mean for UX designers who need a laptop with a dedicated GPU? The good news is that for most UI design tasks, a dedicated graphics card isn't required. Even basic animations can be done without one. However, if you're working with 3D models and plan to use ray tracing or DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling), then a dedicated GPU will give you a better experience.
Fortunately, there are several options available in the market at different price points, so you don't have to break the bank to get a decent graphics card. To help you decide, I've created a table of recommended GPUs and their average laptop prices.
|GeForce RTX 3050||$400-$800|
|GeForce RTX 2060||$800-$1,400|
|GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q||$1,400-$2,000|
For the minimum requirement, I would recommend going with the GeForce RTX 3050, which can be found in laptops ranging from $400-$800. If you want a bit more power and performance, then the GeForce RTX 2060 (found in laptops costing $800-$1,400) should suffice. Finally, for those looking for a high-end laptop with a powerful GPU, the GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q (found in laptops costing $1,400-$2,000) is the best option.
It's important to note that Nvidia has discontinued the Max-Q label for its RTX graphics cards. That means that exact GPU wattage is determined by a laptop manufacturer (OEM), which may result in varying performance even in laptops with the same GPU chipset. To make sure you're getting the most out of your laptop, I recommend you compare GPUs using benchmarks such as 3DMark and real-world tests like Cinebench and Unigine Heaven/Valley. Additionally, make sure that your laptop has enough power delivery and cooling capacity to avoid throttling the GPU's performance due to thermal limitations.
Finally, if you're looking for a MacBook, you can skip this section entirely since Apple's integrated graphics are more than enough for UI design.
Choosing a memory
When it comes to choosing a laptop for UX design, RAM is a crucial factor to consider. In late 2022, most mid-range laptops will come with 16 GB of RAM as standard, while high-end laptops might offer up to 32 GB or more. Intel and AMD CPUs will also likely support both DDR4 and DDR5, though DDR5 is still an expensive technology and may take some time to mature in the market.
When it comes to making a decision, 8 GB of RAM is the bare minimum for any laptop intended for UX design, though we'd recommend 16 GB for the best experience. For anyone who regularly works with large files, such as 4K video, or for those who use several resource-intensive applications alongside their design tools, 32 GB of RAM should be the target.
It's worth noting that DDR5 isn't worth paying extra for, as the performance gain is minimal. For upgradability, look for a laptop with an upgradable RAM module (or two).
What does a UX designer do?
A UX designer creates user experiences and interfaces that are both intuitive and efficient. They conduct user research, analyze the results, create prototypes, and test the designs with users to ensure their usability.
What skills do you need to be a UX designer?
In order to be a successful UX designer, you need skills in user research, interface design, prototyping, usability testing, project management, and communication.
How to become a UX designer?
Becoming a UX designer typically requires having a degree in a related field such as graphic design, psychology, or computer science. You can also build your portfolio with projects, attend workshops, and join a professional organization to increase your chances of success.
What qualifications do you need to be a UX designer?
Most UX designers have a degree in a related field such as graphic design, psychology, or computer science. Additionally, it's important to have an understanding of user research and interface design, as well as the ability to communicate effectively.
What does a UX designer salary look like?
The salary for a UX designer can vary depending on location and experience. According to Glassdoor, the average base salary for a UX designer in the United States is $79,481 per year.
What is the job outlook for UX designers?
The job outlook for UX designers is strong, with a projected growth rate of 13% over the next decade. This is due to the increasing demand for user-friendly products and digital experiences.
How to find a UX design job?
To find a UX design job, you can look on job boards, attend job fairs and career events, or join a professional organization that connects UX professionals to potential employers. Additionally, you can build your portfolio and create connections with other UX designers and recruiters.
How to choose a UX design course?
When choosing a UX design course, it's important to make sure the program covers topics such as user research, interface design, prototyping, usability testing, and project management. Additionally, you should look for a course with instructors who have experience in the field.
What type of laptop do UX designers need?
UX designers need laptops that are powerful enough to handle the design software and tools they use. Generally speaking, you'll need at least an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a GeForce RTX 2060 or better for graphics.
What is the best laptop for UX designers?
The best laptop for UX designers depends on your budget and specific needs. In general, we recommend laptops such as the Lenovo ThinkPad P15 ($6,050), GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4 ($2,400), or ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 ($1,460) for maximum performance. For budget-friendly options, you can try the Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Pro ($600) or GIGABYTE A5 K1 ($790).
6 Best Laptops for UX designer
Pros and cons
- Featherweight (2.64 lbs)
- Very good battery life (560min)
- Unremarkable processor (i7-1165G7)
- Ordinary memory amount (8GB)
- First-class processor (Ryzen 5 5600H)
- First-class display (16 IPS)
- Ordinary graphics card (Radeon RX Vega 6 (Ryzen 40005000))
- Middle-of-the-road memory amount (8GB)
Pros and cons
- Terrific display (14 IPS)
- Featherweight (2.86 lbs)
- Substandard processor (i7-1195G7)
- Middle-of-the-road graphics card (Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs)
- Exceptional processor (Ryzen 5 5600H)
- Superb graphics card (RTX 3060)
- Run-of-the-mill memory amount (16GB)
- Weighty (4.73 lbs)
Pros and cons
- Adequate processor (Ryzen 9 5900HS)
- Good graphics card (RTX 3060)
- No IPS Panel (worse viewing angles)
- Excellent processor (i7-12700H)
- Superb graphics card (RTX 3070 Ti)
- Mediocre memory amount (16GB)
- Not the best battery life (334min)
Pros and cons
- First-class processor (i7-12700H)
- Excellent graphics card (RTX 3070 Ti)
- Unremarkable battery life (305min)
- Weighty (5.28 lbs)
- Solid display (16 mini-LED)
- Featherweight (3.52 lbs)
- Run-of-the-mill processor (Apple M1 Pro 10 core)
- Garden-variety graphics card (Apple M1 Pro GPU)
Pros and cons
- Good processor (i9-12900H)
- First-class display (15.6 OLED Touch)
- Not the best graphics card (RTX 3060)
- Underwhelming memory amount (32GB)
- Splendid display (15.6 OLED Touch)
- Splendid memory amount (128GB)
- Unremarkable processor (Xeon W-10855M)
- Not the best graphics card (Quadro RTX 5000)
Pros and cons
- First-class processor (i9-12900HK)
- Exceptional display (15.6 OLED Touch)
- Unremarkable graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti)
- Awesome display (15.6 OLED Touch)
- First-class memory amount (128GB)
- So-so processor (Xeon W-10855M)
Table of the Best Laptops for UX designer
|Acer Swift 3 SF314-59-75QC||$580|
|Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 9i||$960|
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14||$1460|
|GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4||$1750|
|ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo||$4410|
|Dell XPS 15 9520||$5800|