The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Purchasing a Laptop (3 things to consider)
Over the years, graphic designing has moved from being an unknown career by many to being among the most popular ones. Graphic design as a career has been fueled by the rise of social media. The use of visual designs in businesses to attract clients has also fueled career growth.
As a graphic designer, the tool of work that matters most, other than your brain, is the device you use to design. For most graphic designers, having a full-spec PC does the task, but some graphic designers need laptops if they are not working at home.
Laptops for graphic design allow designers to work on the go and be easily mobile. While it may sound like an easy task, getting the right one can be tough. This is due to the many factors that accumulate to make up a good laptop and the factors that make up a good graphic design laptop.
Balancing these two types of factors is what makes it hard to choose the best laptop for graphic design. But don’t worry! This article discusses the 3 main things that graphic designers should consider when choosing a laptop.
Best Laptop for Graphic Design: What to Consider
The central processing unit (CPU) is simply called the brain of the computer. The CPU handles all the processing functions that happen in a computer. This means that using a laptop with a poor CPU will execute graphic design tasks slowly.
The best laptop for graphic design will always feature high-end processors that can easily handle running design tools. When buying a laptop for graphic design, the CPU factors to check are the clock speed and the number of cores.
The CPU’s clock speed dictates the number of processing cycles the processor can handle in a second. A CPU’s clock speed is stated using gigahertz (GHz). This can be checked on the laptop’s box or spec list.
When choosing the best laptop for graphic design, pick one with a CPU that has a clock speed of 3GHz and above. The CPU should have a clock speed of 5GHz when on boost technology. A CPU with a clock speed of 3GHz can handle 3 billion processing cycles in a second.
The number of cores that the CPU has is also vital, especially if you run a lot of graphic design software together. CPU cores are the basic processing units on processors. For graphic design tasks, a multicore processor with 8 or more cores will handle functions such as 3D rendering.
As a guide when buying a laptop for graphic designers, choose one with a 12th gen i7 processor for intel laptops. For AMD laptops, the AMD 6000 or 7000 processors will handle design tasks seamlessly.
2. Display Type & Color Accuracy
The display on a graphic design laptop greatly dictates the accuracy of the resultant design when the designer opts to print it. In the past, it was common to find that design printouts looked different when compared to digital designs.
This problem often occurs due to using a low color accuracy display. The color accuracy of a display is often affected by the laptop’s display technology.
Before looking into the display technology or color accuracy of a laptop display, graphic designers should ensure that the laptop does not have a blue light filter. This is because blue light filters compromise the color accuracy of a display.
As a graphic designer, the factor you should be keen on checking when buying a laptop is its supported color gamut. The color gamut of a laptop defines the range or spectrum of colors a display can reproduce. As a graphic designer, buying a laptop that supports at least 99% of the Adobe RGB gamut.
99% support of the Adobe RGB gamut ensures that digital designs made on design software made by adobe will have accurate printouts. Because most designers use adobe software, the 99% color gamut support works well for many designers.
It is also vital to check the display’s grayscale performance. This is because designers switch images to grayscale to alter the light distribution in the design. Having a monitor with good grayscale performance will ensure all shades of gray shown when calibrating exposure and brilliance are visible.
3. Laptop Display Resolution
The resolution of a display is measured in terms of pixels per inch (PPI). Graphic designers should buy laptops with a high PPI if they intend to use the laptops for graphic design. This is because having a high pixel count per inch ensures that the image is still crystal clear even when one zooms in.
When using a low-resolution display, the image will become blurry when a designer zooms in to see and make some changes to the design.
As a guideline, graphic designers have two display resolution types available for them. These two types are the only ones that can be used by graphic designers looking to produce high-quality work. The two resolution types are UHD and WQHD.
Ultra-high definition (UHD) displays have the highest pixel count of any display available. UDH displays have a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. This high pixel count allows designers to zoom into images without losing image clarity. This is why such displays are vital for designers doing 3D designs or highly intrinsic designs that have a lot of detail.
Wide quad HD (WQHD) displays have the second highest resolution of currently available displays on laptops. WQHD displays have a resolution of 2560 by 1440 pixels. This display resolution type is often referred to as 1440p.
Graphic designers face the difficult challenge of choosing either a UHD or WQHD display. The choice between either largely depends on one’s set budget for the graphic design laptop. Some graphic designers also opt to buy WQHD over UHD displays to get better battery life. This is because UHD displays have high power consumption.
Depending on your budget, you might have to compromise on some of the above-listed features of your expected graphic design laptop. This is because some features come at a high cost. It is therefore important to identify the factors that you cannot compromise on and those that you can compromise on.