Which is the Best Laptop for Drawing in 2021?

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In my opinion, the best laptop for drawing is the Microsoft Surface Book 3, as it is usable as a laptop and comes with a detachable tablet.

But if the high price is too much for you, then the best cheap laptop for drawing is the Lenovo Flex 5, which offers the best performance to price ratio.

I know from personal experience that finding the best computer for drawing can be a minefield with so many models on offer, all with wildly different specifications ranging from cheap laptops for drawing up to devices costing several thousand dollars.

So that you don’t have to read through tens of reviews, in this article I have been incredible strict, and cover only a small number of the very best laptops for drawing. You can be assured that they all meet the key criteria, which are described further down this article.

All of these laptops are specifically touch screen laptops, which are ideal if you are looking for the best laptop for drawing or animation alone, but if you will also use your laptop for word processing, gaming, or other uses, then a regular laptop, plus a drawing tablet with screen might be a better choice.



My Pick for the Best Laptop for Drawing is …

Overall Best Drawing Laptop

  • Screen can detach to be used as a separate drawing tablet, or use as a laptop
  • High resolution 3K touch screen with 100% sRGB color accuracy
  • 10th Gen i7 Processor, 32 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD for super-fast performance in all drawing programs
  • Long battery life for use away from a desk
  • Suitable for pretty much any type of artist, from those drawing up to video editors
With a detachable screen that can be used as a separate tablet for drawing, and a premium aluminum case with a high-end processor and plenty of RAM, the Surface Book 3 is an excellent laptop that can fulfill pretty much anyone’s wish list.
You get long battery life, so it is suitable for use away from a desk, as well as a high res 3K touch screen with excellent color accuracy, in a 3:2 ratio for ease of use.
The versatility of the Surface Book makes it essentially flawless, if you can stomach the relatively high price tag.

Take a look at this video review of the Surface Book for more …


But What If You Want a Cheap Laptop for Drawing?

Best Budget Drawing Laptop

  • 2 in 1 laptop where the screen folds over to form a tablet
  • Powerful 6-core processor for strong performance in hardware-intensive tasks (eg. animation)
  • Includes digital pen so usable for drawing straight out of the box
  • An excellent budget choice that can still run the same programs as more high-end laptops
  • Long battery life and relatively light, so can be used away from a desk
The Lenovo Flex 5 sits comfortably in the higher end of the budget laptop range, with excellent specifications for the price, and a screen that folds over to form a tablet – perfect for drawing on the go.
Unless you are gaming, the Flex 5 can do pretty much anything you want, including running all of the more hardware-intensive programs, so you aren’t just limited to drawing with this.
If you are looking for a budget laptop for art students, then this is a very strong choice, including an accurate digital pen, meaning that you can start drawing straight out of the box.

And if You Don’t Want to Compromise …

Although touch screen devices are excellent for drawing, they come with some limitations in terms of screen glossiness and surface material, and tend to have a much higher price tag than non-touch laptops.

For the ultimate best drawing laptop, getting you a premium drawing experience without the price tag of the Surface Book, think about a non-touch screen model, plus a separate drawing tablet. The only negatives to this setup are weight and less portability, but if you can live with both of those, this setup is practically unbeatable for drawing and for artists.

Best Laptop Under $1000

  • Powerful AMD Ryzen 7 4800H 8-core processor
  • 16 GB of RAM & 512 GB SSD
  • 15.6″, Full HD screen with 100% of the sRGB gamut in the 144Hz model
  • 6GB, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card
  • Long, 9 hour battery life
The Lenovo Legion 5 is an outstanding machine and the best laptop for drawing and gaming, with the latest, lightning fast components that is a joy to edit photos, videos and to use any of the more complex drawing programs.
You get a color accurate display with 100% of the sRGB gamut on the 15.6″, full HD IPS panel, and the 8-core processor makes even the most hardware-intensive tasks breeze by.
With 9 hours of battery life, the laptop is easily portable and has almost nothing to not recommend it. As it has a non-touch screen, you should also buy a separate drawing tablet with screen to get an unbeatable drawing setup.
Note: there are various versions of the Legion 5 available, all with different specs. For photo editing, the only non-negotiable part is that it must have a screen with a 144 Hz refresh rate. This rate itself is not important, but this screen has 100% sRGB colors. The 120 Hz screen has only around 60% sRGB colors.
  • 8192 Levels of Pressure Sensitivity
  • 15.6″ Full HD Display
  • 72% of all NTSC Colors for very high color accuracy
  • Fantastic Accuracy and tilt recognition in the pen
  • Also available as a 22 inch model
The Wacom Cintiq models have very high pen pressure sensitivity and accuracy, and with the addition of the screen, make the user experience feel like you are using pen and paper, not a graphics tablet.
Plugging this into a laptop, you can copy the laptop display to the Cintiq, or use it as a secondary screen, extending your display to give you loads of screen real-estate.
This is what the professionals use, and if you want a drawing setup that will last you for years to come, then the Wacom Cintiq is it.

Quick Comparison of Computers for Drawing

You can quickly compare all of the good computers for drawing in the table below. Full reviews of each laptop and its ideal use case are shown later in this article.

Laptop

Screen

Memory

Pros / Cons

Check Price

Microsoft Surface Book 3

[Overall Best Laptop for Drawing]

13.5" or 15";
3K (3000 x 2000);
100% sRGB

32GB RAM;
512GB SSD

Pros: Detachable screen; Premium build quality; Long battery life

Cons: Expensive

Asus Zenbook Pro Duo

[Highly Recommended]

15.6" + 14", or 14" + 12.6" (dual screen);
4K;
100% sRGB

16GB RAM;
1TB SSD

Pros: Dual screens; Excellent color accuracy;
Innovative design

Cons: Battery life & Price

15.6";
Full HD;
100% sRGB

16GB RAM;
512GB SSD

Pros: Screen folds over to form a tablet; Excellent Samsung pen included

Cons: Less crisp screen (cheaper panel type)

Lenovo Flex 5

[Best Budget Laptop for Drawing]

14";
Full HD;
74% sRGB

16GB RAM;
256GB SSD

Pros: Value for money; Pen included;
Well-balanced for most tasks

Cons: Small SSD

14" or 15.6";
Full HD;
50% sRGB

8GB RAM;
512GB SSD

Pros: One of the best budget 2 in 1 laptops; Well-suited to be carried

Cons: Poorer color accuracy

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

[Best Chromebook for Drawing]

13.3";
Full HD;
57% sRGB

4GB RAM;
64GB SSD

Pros: Very cheap; Screen folds over to form a tablet; Simple to use

Cons: Less fully featured

Read Related Articles:
Read about the top tablet computers for drawing and photo editing
Do you want a different stylus for your laptop?
Consider a high color accuracy monitor for desktop drawing work

Key Requirements for Good Laptops for Drawing

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, a good alternative to the best laptop for drawing, the Surface Book 3

All of the good laptops for drawing share some common characteristics, which are covered in the list below. There are a lot of items here, and how you weight these criteria will depend on your specific use cases.

Therefore, you might find it easier to read through the questions below this list, which should help you think about what laptop features matter to you.

  • Know Your Drawing Style & Budget. Drawing is a broad area from animation to digital art, and so you might weight the following requirements differently depending on what you value for your art, as well as your overall budget.
  • Touch Screen. In my experience, drawing is significantly easier using a touch screen laptop, but there are other options. This also includes thinking about:
    • Pen Accuracy. Does the line you are drawing appear directly underneath the pen nib?
    • Pen Lag. Does your drawing appear immediately as you move the pen?
    • Pressure Sensitivity. Can you make a line bigger by pressing harder? Does the screen handle pen tilt in the same way as pen and paper?
  • Minimum Hardware Specs. Your drawing software program will require some minimum specifications in:
    • Processor (CPU). This is particularly relevant for animation and using programs like Photoshop, but is less relevant for simple line art.
    • Memory (RAM). More RAM means less slowdown in performance as your work in progress files get larger.
    • Hard Drive (HDD / SSD). SSDs are faster than HDDs, but typically have less storage.
    • Display. Can be broken down into:
      • Panel Type. IPS panel technology offers the best image quality.
      • Color Accuracy. Colors should be as lifelike as possible, aiming for 100% of the sRGB gamut, or more.
      • Screen Size. Larger screens are easier to draw on, but at added cost and weight.
      • Resolution. High res screens (4K or 1080p) offer greater detail when you are working.
    • [Optional] Graphics Card (GPU). Some programs work more efficiently (ie. are quicker) when using a dedicated GPU, but this is rarely needed for drawing.
    • Operating System. A Windows laptop tends to offer greater flexibility in the software that you use, but many creatives prefer a Mac, and it is also possible to use a Chromebook.
  • Battery Life. You probably don’t want to be stuck at a desk, so long battery life is a must.
  • Portability (Size & Weight). This might be more important to you if you are carrying your laptop for long periods.

Are You Looking for the Best Laptop for Drawing and Animation, or the Best Laptop for Digital Art?

Are you looking for a laptop for drawing or a laptop for digital art?

Style and the kinds of drawing that you do is an important determinant of the kind of laptop that you get.

For example, if you are looking for the best laptop for art students, you need not just the ability to draw, but also a strong laptop for word processing, web browsing, and many other little day-to-day tasks. In this case, you might want a regular laptop, plus a drawing tablet to connect when you are wanting to do your art.

Whereas, if you are looking for the best laptop for illustration to indulge in a hobby in your free time from work, you probably don’t need to consider other uses, as you will likely already have other devices for these, so a touch screen laptop purely focused on the drawing experience is ideal.

Also, some types of drawing are more resource heavy, so that the best animation laptops have more hefty processors and larger amounts of RAM than good laptops for digital art, which only need to deal with single static images.

Broadly speaking, more expensive laptops for artists tend to offer faster performance and extra features that make it easier to get from scratch to your completed artwork.

But, cheaper laptops for drawing can generally get you to the same end result, it might just take longer and / or cause you a bit more frustration.

So, don’t assume that you need a more expensive computer – if you save money on a laptop, then you could put it towards a printer, for example, or just keep the savings.

The only time that I would recommend a top-end model is if you are making money from your drawings, particularly through client work, when doing something to a high standard quickly is a necessity.


Should I Get a Touch Screen Laptop You Can Draw On?

A touch screen laptop that you can draw on

I would strongly recommend laptops that you can draw on directly, as drawing on a touch screen laptop offers a far more natural drawing process, very similar to drawing with pen on paper.

All laptops reviewed here are touch screen laptops with pen support, although not all of the drawing laptops come with a pen – it must be purchased separately. So if you want to get going quickly, it might pay for you to look at only laptops with a stylus, of which there are several in the list below, including the best touch screen laptop for drawing.

When thinking about the computers with pens that you can get for drawing, there are a few stylus-specific characteristics that it is worth investigating:

  • Pen accuracy
  • Pen lag
  • Pen pressure sensitivity

Not every PC with stylus is created equally. You ideally want to look for models where the line that appears on the touch screen accurately tracks the nib of the stylus – some laptops can show a small variation which increases with longer drawing strokes. This parallax effect is generally smaller on higher priced computers, but none of the models in this article show parallax to any appreciable degree.

You also will want a screen that can process the input from your pen quickly, and display the drawn line as close to real time as possible. Laptops with less high-end hardware, or screens with slower refresh rates, might struggle with this.

Most laptops come with a pressure sensitive stylus, which is a must if you want your drawings to most accurately mimic pen and paper. Pressure sensitivity is shown in levels, usually measured in the range of two to eight thousand. Even the lower level is suitable for home use, but professional users might want to look at the higher range, which enables much more careful drawing control.

Related to this is tilt ability, where angling the stylus changes the apparent nib size, just as if you were using a real pencil. This feature is often left off of cheaper laptops, but is always present in the higher end models.

There is a trade-off with touch screen laptops of course, and that tends to be price. If you want a higher specification computer that is suitable for drawing, then consider a cheap laptop, plus a cheap drawing tablet (with or without screen), which will likely save you money, and give you a more powerful setup, that is suitable for all round use.


What are the Minimum Specifications for Art Computers?

The Samsung Flex Book, one of the top art computers

he minimum specifications for Photoshop, which is one of the more popular drawing programs for art computers are shown below. If you haven’t tried Photoshop, then I highly recommend you try out the very competitively priced package from Adobe. It’s what I use to create my photos.

I haven’t included operating system in the list, as most people would be better off going for a Windows laptop for drawing, although there are some excellent (and cheap) Chromebooks for drawing. Macs do not have touchscreens in laptop form, so are less well suited to drawing.

Adobe Photoshop Requirements

Windows & Mac Min. Requirements Recommended Requirements
Processor Multicore with 64-bit support; 2 Ghz or faster on Windows As minimum requirements
Operating System Windows 10 Version 1809 (64-bit); macOS 10.14 Any more recent Windows version; macOS 10.15 or later
RAM 8 GB 16 GB
Graphics Card GPU with DirectX12 support and 2GB GPU memory – nVidia GeForce GTX 1050 or equivalent 4GB GPU memory – nVidia GeForce GTX 1660 or Quadro T1000 is recommended
Hard Drive Space 4 GB or more of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system) SSD and separate scratch disk recommended
Monitor Resolution 1280 x 800 display at 100% UI scaling 1920 x 1080 display at 100% UI scaling
Internet Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation As minimum requirements

Processor (CPU)

A faster CPU, and/or with more cores, has the effect of speeding up your art laptop in general, and allows basic actions (eg. opening a file) to be performed quicker in your drawing programs.

But generally you don’t need to worry about the processor speed too much – a slow processor means you wait a few more seconds for a labor intensive operation to complete, but it will still get there in the end.

You are much better off to sacrifice processor speed for more RAM. There is little difference between Intel’s latest processors and AMD’s Ryzen range, so manufacturer shouldn’t be a consideration.


Memory (RAM)

As you work on a drawing, RAM is used to store incremental changes and any code that the program needs temporarily. Accessing and using RAM is very fast, but once it is full, then the program will use your hard drive as ‘extra’ RAM, and this is much slower.

Therefore, you are better getting as much RAM as possible, particularly if you are into animation. I wouldn’t worry about RAM clock speed, only overall amount.


Hard Drive (HDD / SSD)

Hard drives used to be standard in laptops, but as they have moving parts, also tend to be quite slow when starting your computer or accessing files.

Nowadays, most laptops have solid state drives (SSDs), which are not far off RAM in terms of speed. All laptops in this article have SSDs, as it dramatically improves laptop usability.

In terms of capacity, 512GB or above is ideal, but 256GB is acceptable, particularly if you get an external hard drive alongside the laptop.


Display

In addition to having a touchscreen, you will want to look for displays that have an IPS panel, which offers better viewing angles and a much more color accurate laptop than the older and cheaper TN panel types. Some laptops, like the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo, now offer OLED screens, which offer even better image quality than IPS panels, with much richer, deeper blacks.

Color Accuracy

Color accuracy in terms of true-to-life colors is generally controlled by a separate color calibration device (get a cheap hardware device like this one, then use open source software like DisplayCAL), but the total range of colors that a screen can display is measured in percentage terms of a color gamut, usually sRGB.

A screen that shows 100% of all sRGB colors is ideal, as this is the Internet standard, and the most widely used in everyday life. A display with less than 100% sRGB coverage will have limitations in color transitions and some shades of color, usually in the greens.


Screen Size

The size of a display is a trade-off between how heavy and bulky the laptop is versus how easy the drawing experience is. Personally, I prefer slightly smaller screens when looking for the best laptop for digital art, as the extra ease of portability wins out for me, but others prefer a much larger screen – this really comes down to personal preference.

Most models of laptop, including those here, come in a variety of screen sizes with otherwise identical specs, so you can find your ideal laptop first, then worry about screen size later.


Resolution

It’s usually a waste to look for a 4K screen in a laptop, as the relatively small screen size means that you just don’t see any real benefit. I prefer Full HD, or 1080p, resolution at up to 15.6 inches. You only might want to think about increasing resolution at screen sizes above this.


Are You Looking for a Desktop Replacement Computer for Drawing, or a Laptop You Can Carry Around?

The Asus Zenbook due, the best laptop for artists

Portability and battery life are big deals when looking for the best laptop for digital artists. If you think that you will be carrying your laptop everywhere, and using it in a wide variety of environments, then small, light 2 in 1 laptops for artists are ideal, like the HP x360 series or the Microsoft Surface Book, which is the best laptop tablet combo.

But the trade-off is reduced computing power, and often a smaller screen. If you intend for your computer to do a lot of heavy lifting, such as by creating animation, then you may want to look more for a desktop replacement laptop, that doesn’t have to be touch screen, along with a separate graphics tablet with screen.


Reviews of the Best Computers for Drawing

Take a look at the full reviews of the best laptops for drawing below. When marked according to the criteria in this article, they come out in the order:

  1. Microsoft Surface Book 3 [Overall Best Laptop for Drawing]
  2. Asus Zenbook Duo [The Best Laptop for Artists]
  3. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex
  4. Lenovo Flex 5 [The Best Cheap Laptop for Drawing]
  5. HP Pavilion x360
  6. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 [The Best Chromebook for Drawing]

1. Microsoft Surface Book 3 [Overall Best Laptop for Drawing]

Specifications:
  • CPU: Intel i7-1065G7 4-core @ 1.3 – 3.9 GHz
  • RAM: 32 GB
  • SSD: 512 GB
  • Screen Size: 13.5″; 15″
  • Max Resolution: 3K (3000 x 2000)
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • sRGB Color Space: 100%
  • Battery Life: ~ 11 hours
  • Weight: 3.60 lbs (1.64 kg)

As a true 2 in 1 laptop, with a screen that is detachable from the keyboard to form a separate tablet computer, the Surface Book 3 is the best laptop with tablet for drawing.

Despite the high price tag, you get a remarkable machine that covers pretty much all use cases – for general computing you can use it as a laptop, then with the press of a button, detach the screen to draw.

Resolution and color accuracy are both very high, and the 3:2 aspect ratio means that the otherwise small 13.5 inch screen is actually very usable.

As a convertible laptop with dedicated graphics in the base, you are very well setup for intensive drawing and animation tasks when in laptop form, although you will of course lose some of this ability (as well as a few hours of battery life) when in use as a tablet.

The only thing that could be a problem for some is the high price tag, but if you can stomach that, then the Surface Book 3 is probably the best PC for drawing, and is certainly the best laptop with tablet that can fulfill both use cases as a laptop and a standalone tablet.

The Surface Book 3 can also be found in a 15 inch model if you have the money. Or, if you want another Microsoft laptop that turns into a tablet, but in a smaller form factor, then the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is very similar to the Surface Book, and also comes with a lower price tag.

  • Pros:

  • Screen can detach to be used as a tablet, or attach to the keyboard to use as a standard laptop
  • The screen is slightly taller than usual – this 3:2 aspect ratio makes using a 13.5″ screen much easier
  • 3K resolution with a very high contrast ratio and very accurate colors
  • Dedicated graphics card in the laptop base for powerful Photoshop and 3D rendering performance
  • Incredibly versatile and one of the most powerful 2 in 1 laptops
  • Manufactured from premium materials and feels great to use
  • Drawing with the Surface pen on the tablet feels very similar to pen and paper
  • Easily portable, with long battery life in laptop mode
  • Cons:

  • One of the most expensive drawing laptops
  • Pen does not come with the laptop as standard
  • Shortage of ports to connect external devices

2. Asus Zenbook Pro Duo [The Best Laptop for Artists]

Specifications:
  • CPU: Intel i7-10750H 6-cores @ 2.6 – 5.0 GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB; 32 GB
  • SSD: 1 TB
  • Screen Size: 14″ & 12.6″; 15.6″ & 14″
  • Max Resolution: 4K (3840 x 2160) Main Display & 3840 x 1100 Secondary Display
  • Panel Type: OLED & IPS (Secondary)
  • sRGB Color Space: 100% (Main) & 100% (Secondary)
  • Battery Life: ~ 5 hours
  • Weight: 5.51 lbs (2.50 kg)

With the Asus Zenbook Duo (and Pro Duo) you get something that you don’t see in any other laptops – dual screens. In addition to the main 14 inch touch display on the standard model, there is a secondary 12.6 inch touch screen sitting just above the keyboard that can be used to extend the content on the main display, or act as a secondary screen. The Pro Duo model has a 15.6 inch 4K primary screen, plus a 14 inch secondary display.

This is pretty incredible in use, and allows you to draw naturally on the secondary display, or at a more upright angle, as if using an easel, on the main display. There are some issues with palm rejection on the secondary display, as well as the keyboard occasionally getting in the way, so it is not perfect, but is a new kind of touch screen laptop for drawing that really grows on you.

This laptop also comes with a stylus for drawing, making it very easy to use straight out of the box as a digital art laptop. In fact, setup and use is very easy and straightforward, and the secondary display helps to increase screen real-estate for basic word processing or Internet browsing. To me, this makes the Zenbook Duo the best laptop for art students, as it really covers all your bases.

The powerful processor and separate graphics card suit the Zenbook for more labor intensive tasks, and together with the 16GB of RAM put it among the best laptops for drawing and animation.

The Zenbook Duo is also available as a Pro model with a 15.6 inch 4K OLED screen (plus 14 inch secondary display), if you can afford the extra cost. Take a look at the 15.6″ Pro version with 16GB of RAM, or with 32GB of RAM. These also have the advantage of slightly larger keyboards, making typing just that bit easier, and are probably the best laptop to draw on if you can ignore the price tag.

  • Pros:

  • Both main screen and secondary display are touch screens in this model (beware older models where only the secondary screen is touch enabled)
  • Comes with Asus stylus so you can get started with drawing straight out of the box
  • Very high color accuracy on the Pantone-validated main display, perfect for color critical work
  • Discrete GeForce RTX2060 graphics card makes this well-suited for resource intensive tasks, like animation, 3D modeling or photography
  • Strong all-round performance, for those looking for one computer to handle all their tasks
  • The larger 15.6″ screen model offers a 4K display and OLED screen, which is one of the best screens for general graphics work
  • Innovative model that really stands out in a crowded market
  • Plenty of ports for easy connection to peripherals
  • Cons:

  • Shallow viewing angle of the secondary display means there is noticeable dimming unless viewed from top down
  • Cramped keyboard in the 14″ model (less so in the 15.6″ model)
  • Ergonomics make this more suited to desk use, than use on your lap
  • Battery life decreases dramatically when using both screens and a heavy workload, so again this is more suited to desk use

3. Samsung Galaxy Book Flex

Specifications:
  • CPU: Intel i7-1065G7 4-core @ 1.3 – 3.9 GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • SSD: 512 GB
  • Screen Size: 15.6″
  • Max Resolution: Full HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Panel Type: VA
  • sRGB Color Space: 100%
  • Battery Life: ~ 11 hours
  • Weight: 3.35 lbs (1.52 kg)

With good hardware specs, the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex is obviously a solid performer when it comes to everyday computing use.

And with the ability to fold the touch screen over to use the laptop in tablet mode, you also have a very effective drawing laptop.

The display is bright, with plenty of deep, rich colors, although the full HD resolution at the larger 15.6 inch screen size, and the use of a VA panel, means that there isn’t quite the clarity and sharpness of competitor’s models.

The Bluetooth S-Pen, which is the same as found on the Galaxy Note series, is excellent, and allows you to use gestures, accompanied with button clicks on the pen, to control your laptop without touching it.

There is enough RAM and hard drive space to run every popular drawing program, and you are unlikely to notice much slow-down, if any, when performing labor intensive tasks.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Book Flex is a really solid all-rounder, suitable for someone looking for a mid-range 2 in 1 laptop that can handle anything you can throw at it, excluding high-end gaming.

  • Pros:

  • Screen folds over to create a tablet mode
  • Good hardware specifications and performance for the price
  • Easily runs any drawing programs
  • Aluminum case feels and looks like a premium product
  • Lovely color reproduction, using a VA panel with a filter to boost colors
  • Long battery life, and very well-suited to using away from the desk
  • Comes with Samsung pen (same as used on the Galaxy Note) built into the device
  • Good number of ports for external devices
  • Cons:

  • Screen is less crisp than models that use an IPS panel
  • Full HD resolution feels a little outdated on a 15.6 inch screen
  • Not the cheapest laptop in this article

4. Lenovo Flex 5 [The Best Cheap Laptop for Drawing]

Specifications:
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 6-cores @ 2.3 – 4.0 GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • SSD: 256 GB
  • Screen Size: 14″
  • Max Resolution: Full HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • sRGB Color Space: 74%
  • Battery Life: ~ 10 hours
  • Weight: 3.64 lbs (1.65 kg)

As one of the cheaper laptops you can write on, the Lenovo Flex 5 is pretty popular, and is often out of stock, or re-sold at a much higher price than it’s original price tag. This should give you an idea of the general positive reaction towards it.

Of all the laptops seen in this article, the Flex 5 is the only one with a 6-core processor that also runs at a higher base frequency that other similar models. This means that more intensive tasks, like opening large files, in Photoshop or other programs should be a little faster, although this is only likely to be measured in seconds when compared to other laptops.

Screen color accuracy is the only real negative of this laptop, as the 74% of the sRGB spectrum cannot really be used for professional level work that requires accurate colors, but this is not a problem for general, everyday hobbyist use.

Having the ability to fold the screen back on itself to form a tablet means that it is suited to being used on the lap for drawing, just like a sketchbook, or you can transform into laptop mode for everyday tasks, which the Flex 5 is more than capable of.

  • Pros:

  • 2 in 1 use as a laptop and tablet with the screen folded back over the base
  • Well-balanced device for word processing, web surfing, drawing and most other tasks (excluding gaming)
  • Fast 6 core processor offers superior performance in hardware intensive tasks
  • Digital pen included, so usable straight out of the box for drawing
  • Long battery life, so suitable for use away from a desk
  • Capable of easily running Photoshop, Illustrator and other drawing programs
  • Cons:

  • Only 74% of the sRGB color gamut which means a less color accurate display
  • Smaller SSD, but should be sufficient for most users

5. HP Pavilion x360 [The Best 2 in 1 Laptop for Drawing]

Specifications:
  • CPU: Intel i5-1035G1 4-core @ 1.0 – 3.6 GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB; 16GB
  • SSD: 512 GB
  • Screen Size: 14″; 15.6″
  • Max Resolution: Full HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • sRGB Color Space: 50%
  • Battery Life: ~ 4 hours
  • Weight: 3.50 lbs (1.59 kg)

As the best convertible laptop, the HP x360 can be used as a regular laptop or a tablet with the screen folded right over the back. This makes drawing a very natural experience, as you can comfortably sit the laptop on your lap, and don’t need to use a desk.

The hardware specifications are good for the price, and the laptop will have no problems running Photoshop, Illustrator, or any sketching programs, but will be noticeably slower than a more fully-featured device like the Asus Zenbook when opening files or performing complex operations.

This is not a laptop well suited to photography or graphical use that requires accurate colors, as the screen only displays about 50% of the sRGB gamut, losing some of the gradations in the reds and greens, but the HP x360 remains the best laptop for sketching when used in tablet mode.

The Pavilion x360 is a 14 inch model, but if you want essentially the same HP drawing tablet with a 15.6 inch screen, then this HP Envy x360 is it. And if you are looking for a 15.6″ screen that is 4K resolution, and a much faster processor, then I would recommend the HP Spectre x360 here. There are many versions of the HP x360, but I would consider these three to be the best, depending on your specific requirements.

  • Pros:

  • Excellent value for money and one of the best budget 2 in 1 laptops
  • Can be used in laptop, tent or tablet modes
  • Drawing on the screen is a very natural experience
  • Good sized keyboard and touch pad, useful for non-drawing uses
  • Touch screen is very accurate and responsive
  • Quiet and cool in most situations
  • Well-suited to use on your lap or being carried around
  • All-round great features and performance for the relatively budget price
  • Cons:

  • Only 50% sRGB coverage, with the most saturated reds and greens not showing subtle gradations of color
  • No stylus included
  • Slower than more expensive models at labor intensive computing tasks
  • Glossy screen that is not as bright as competitor’s models

6. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 [The Best Chromebook for Drawing]

Specifications:
  • CPU: Intel i3-10110U 2-core @ 2.10 – 4.10 GHz
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • SSD: 64 GB
  • Screen Size: 13.3″
  • Max Resolution: Full HD (1920 x 1080)
  • Panel Type: IPS
  • sRGB Color Space: 57%
  • Battery Life: ~ 10 hours
  • Weight: 2.98 lbs (1.35 kg)

As the best Chromebook for drawing, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is very similar to the Windows version of this laptop, although with a smaller price tag and lower specs.

This is really only suitable for those looking for a cheap laptop for drawing, as the 4GB RAM and 64GB SSD mean that you are very limited in what you can do with this laptop in terms of more complex tasks.

But for simple web browsing, word processing and basic line drawing, the Flex 5 Chromebook is actually a very good deal. Just make sure that you don’t want to use any programs that require higher specs, like Photoshop.

And if you can make do with a smaller, 11.6 inch screen, then the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is one of the cheapest laptops for drawing that still offers good drawing performance for its price.

  • Pros:

  • Screen folds back to create a tablet, or use as a laptop
  • Very cheap budget laptop for drawing
  • Chromebooks offer a very simple interface, so are ideal for those new to computing
  • A good deal for those with only simple requirements
  • Long battery life
  • Light weight so very easy to use on your lap or to carry around
  • Good number of ports for connecting external devices
  • Well-designed keyboard makes typing a pleasure
  • Cons:

  • Slower processor and less RAM / smaller SSD, so performance is definitely impaired
  • Suitable for basic drawing programs only (in addition to regular day-to-day tasks)
  • Low color accuracy of the screen

Read Related Articles:
Read about the top tablet computers for drawing and photo editing
Do you want a different stylus for your laptop?
Consider a high color accuracy monitor for desktop drawing work
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Hi, I'm Tim Daniels, photographer and photo trainer, founder of Lapse of the Shutter and creator of the totally free Lightroom Develop System. I've travelled to (probably) 30 countries over the last few years, taking photos and licensing them around the world, and creating lots of free photography learning resources. Read More ...

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  1. Study of Products
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    thanks for this amazing guide for the best touch screen laptops for drawing

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