This is for all the design students who are having hard time finalizing which laptop to buy to begin with their design journey of upcoming academic years. The intent here is to not just recommend a machine but also to encourage the students to be informed decision makers when it comes to buying a laptop. These recommendations are based on my experience of over 10 years of building systems specifically for visual communication design workflow.
Scroll all the way till the bottom for Recommendation Links.
Questions to ask yourself before buying a new laptop
For what purpose are you going to use it?
Please note, while writing this I have in mind the need vs cost effectiveness best suited for an undergraduate design student.
How much your pocket allows?
A combo of right components works like a charm. Just investing in a costly processor and ignoring other components assuming that it will do all the heavy lifting is not going to work. The key is to strike the balance between these components: Processor | RAM | HDD | SSD | Graphic Card
The market is cut throat competitive nowadays. Every brand has something to offer not only price wise but also in terms of additional warranty and EMI schemes. The matter of the fact is regardless of the brand you would choose almost 90% of the components will be from the same manufacturers. The brands only assemble the system’s hardware and make the casing.
While finalizing on a brand you must consider below mentioned points:
I hope after reading the above, you have become an informed buyer and have some confidence in making the right choice. I am listing down a few of the laptops which can be purchased from the links given along. I have categorized them into price brackets.
This category has budget laptops. They are humble in performance backed up with i5/Ryzen 5 Processors. They will get the job done for sure most of the time but might lag slightly in video encoding and 3d rendering. Photoshop/ Illustrator/ InDesign will run smooth unless you are pushing it too hard.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX505DT
15.6″ FHD 120Hz Laptop GTX 1650 4GB Graphics (Ryzen 5-3550H/8GB RAM/1TB HDD + 256GB PCIe SSD/Windows 10/Stealth Black/2.20 Kg)
Lenovo Legion Y540
9th Gen Core Intel I5 15.6 inch FHD Gaming Laptop (8GB RAM/ 1TB HDD + 256 GB SSD / Windows 10 Home / 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1650 Graphics / Black / 2.3 Kg)
Link : https://amzn.to/36a8Y3R
MSI Gaming GL63 9RCX-220IN
Intel Core i7-9750H 9th Gen 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop (8GB/512GB NVMe SSD/Windows 10 Home/GTX 1050 Ti, 4GB Graphics/Black/2.22Kg)
Link : https://amzn.to/2tytspH
These are promising in performance backed up with i7/Ryzen 7 Processors. Apart from basic design software these will let you explore the domain of 3D with ease.
ASUS TUF Gaming FX505DV
15.6″ FHD 120Hz Laptop RTX 2060 6GB Graphics (Ryzen 7-3750H/16GB RAM/512GB NVMe SSD/Windows 10/Gun Metal/2.20 Kg)
Link : https://amzn.to/2Rb9Vor
SI Gaming GL65 9SCK-009IN
Intel Core i7-9750H 9th Gen 15.6-inch Laptop (8GB/512GB NVMe SSD/Windows 10 Home/GTX 1650, 4GB Graphics/Black/2.3Kg)
Link : https://amzn.to/38rwACH
HP Pavilion 15-dk0049TX 2019
15.6-inch Gaming Laptop (9th Gen Core i7-9750H/8GB/1TB HDD + 256GB SSD/Windows 10/4GB NVIDIA GTX 1650 Graphics), Shadow Black
Link : https://amzn.to/2NExvaM
These laptops let you fly a little higher compared to previous ones in the list. The combo of 16GB ram (not in case of the third one from MSI) with i7 9th gen processor and assisted by at least 256 GB SSD creates a sure winner. Having this is not necessarily a luxury but an indication that you are serious about your work. If you intend to do a lot of video encoding/ 3d rendering this is for you.
Core i7 9th Gen 15.6-inch FHD Gaming Laptop (16GB/1TB HDD + 512GB SSD/Windows 10/NVIDIA GTX 1650 4GB Graphics/Shadow Black) Link :
Lenovo Legion Y540
9th Gen Core Intel i7 15.6 inch FHD Gaming Laptop (16GB RAM/1TB HDD + 256 GB SSD/Windows 10 Home/6GB NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti Graphics/Black/2.3 Kg)
SI Gaming GL63 9SD-1044IN
Intel Core i7-9750H 15.6-inch Laptop (8GB/1TB HDD + 256GB NVMe SSD/Windows 10 Home/GTX 1660 Ti, 6GB Graphics/Black/2.22Kg) Link:
* The prices may vary from time to time
Rajeev Kumar, Assistant Professor, School of Communication Design, Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID)
Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.