Graphic designers need to have a reliable laptop for their work. Unfortunately, finding budget laptops for graphic design is often tricky, but we found seven options under $1000 for you!
These budget laptops are perfect for any graphic designer who needs a computer that will last them through the day and allow them to do what they need once they’re home. We took into consideration three crucial factors when deciding on budget laptops: price, weight, and graphics card size.
Why Offer Budget Laptop Recommendations?
All right, so you need a laptop for your graphic design business side hustle whatever it is, and you can’t afford to ball out and go buy a two, three thousand dollar laptop. Well, good news you found this article because I have a list for you of the seven best budget laptops for graphic design that you can get for your business as a freelance designer, and I put this all together for you. Every single one of these is less than a thousand dollars, and so these are the laptops that I would personally buy if I were on a very, very tight budget. And I’m talking about prices as low as under 200 dollars.
If I had a limited budget, these are the laptops I would consider. Of course, they’ll have their highs and lows; I won’t have time to go into detail about that. But I’m going to tell you which laptops I would highly suggest if you’re trying to stay under a thousand dollars. Since around 1997, I’ve been actively using a computer, and I know a lot about them. I’ve built computers, but I’m not an expert, so I just wanted to begin by stating that you might have a different viewpoint. You may be an Apple person or a PC person, but I’m going to provide you with some excellent alternatives on both sides.
What Are the Criteria?
As always, when I make product recommendations and include affiliate links for easier purchasing, I want to share the criteria I used when building the list. Transparency is very important to me. The following are three factors I considered when deciding on the best laptops for graphic design:
The first consideration was clearly budget and price, which is an important element if you’re trying to stay under a thousand dollars. We limited the budget to a range of $200 to $1000 dollars. Let me start by stating that you won’t find anything less than $200 that will actually do what you need. We start at about $200, all the way up to about $900 on the list. There are some decent computers available in that range, and that’s where I came up with the list. The budget was the first issue to consider.
Ease of Use
The second consideration, and this is very important, is the ease of use and the experience of that computer. There are some computers out there that I would never recommend just because of their brands; I just feel like they have a terrible user experience in terms of the quality, the keyboard, and the overall design of these computers. So, I would never recommend them. So, for the ones I’m putting in this list, I took ease of use into consideration as well.”
The last piece is the technology itself, which is what’s coming in the computer. The CPU, RAM, graphics cards, and all of those other things I mentioned won’t be covered in depth here because this isn’t a long article. You’ll have to conduct your own research on that, but I can tell you that you want enough RAM, a fast enough processor, and a good graphics card so that the computer doesn’t become too sluggish and hold you back from running your tasks at their maximum efficiency. Admittedly, one of these computers falls into the lower end of the performance spectrum; however, it is an option if you must have something.
Budget Laptops for Graphic Design: Lenovo Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 Laptop
The Lenovo Flex 5 is a 14-inch laptop with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels and IPS touchscreen technology. I placed it on the list because not only is it less than $700, but it also includes the two-in-one functionality, which is fantastic for a graphic designer to have the pen and be able to draw sketch things on their laptop. In addition, these items are really quick; this one was an excellent computer at a reasonable price with some great features that you can see by clicking on the link above.
Budget Laptops for Graphic Design: 2020 Apple MacBook Air
Of course, I had to include it. You may still purchase a 2020 Apple Macbook Air laptop for less than $1000. To get an Apple laptop for less than $1000, you’ll need to acquire a year-old version, and you can find this one on Amazon with the link above. However, the 2020 Apple Macbook Air laptop is more than capable. It’s going to be difficult to run several applications at once, but if you’re only using one program like Photoshop or Canva, or Affinity Designer, you’ll be just fine with this machine.
Budget Laptops for Graphic Design: Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop
Acer’s Swift Three is the third laptop on this list. It’s thin and light, with a good display. You may actually purchase this puppy for less than $800, which is an excellent bargain. I previously owned an Acer laptop; it was one of the first ones I ever used for graphic design, and it was very dependable. It was clean, simple to use, and fantastic until I dropped it getting out of the car one day.
Budget Laptops for Graphic Design: Lenovo Chromebook Duet, 2-in-1
This is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet, which is a two-in-one. Although this is something like a bare minimum just to get you started if you only need something to design on, this is an excellent choice. I opted for Lenovo instead of any other brand because I simply like Lenovo laptops and have previously had previously owned Lenovos. The Lenovo laptops are fantastic computers; they’re a great brand, and this laptop is affordable, too.
Budget Laptops for Graphic Design: Dell Inspiron 11 3195 2-in-1
The next is the Inspiron 11 3195. This one is a 2-in-1 as well. If you want to do graphic design, you’ll want to consider buying something that allows you to sketch and draw, which can include actual artwork rather than merely using stock images or anything like that. This feature is really outstanding because it allows you to buy laptops for less than $400. Anytime I see an exceptional laptop for less than $500, it’s a great deal.
Budget Laptops for Graphic Design: ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light
Okay, so let’s go to laptop number six, the Asus. This is the last laptop I ever had from Asus; it’s a 15-inch thin and light laptop that you can get for less than 500 dollars. It’s clean, simple, and elegant in Asus’ hands. They’re a fantastic quality brand with good software support. Hence I included them in the list. The 15-inch screen is nice since you have enough area to view what you’re working on while also being small enough to fit in a backpack or briefcase.
Budget Laptops for Graphic Design: Acer Aspire 5
Acer’s Aspire 5 is the seventh pick, and it’s a great graphic design laptop at an affordable price. It has decent specs that can be seen on Amazon if you click on the link, and this one is about $900. Another excellent choice for you if you’re looking to stay under $1,000.
Why Should You Consider These Laptops?
The best laptops will be expensive, but there are a handful of models on this list that I would personally select. The Mac computer or the Acer aspire are excellent alternatives, and if you want a two-in-one system, the Lenovo flex is a fantastic computer. So whether you buy a cheap or expensive laptop, it will work for you; it will get the task done and get you started. Then hopefully, from there, you’ll be able to upgrade to something more legitimate like a boss-level laptop with some strong, dedicated video memory, a really great processor, and more RAM, right?
This is a short list because it’s not a long-term laptop. This is just something that’ll get you started so you can get money flowing, and I’m curious to know what item on the list you’d want to buy, which one would pique your interest the most, which one would you want to be able to buy for less than a thousand dollars. So, the last thing I’d want to leave you with is that because you are on a budget doesn’t make you a bad designer or company owner. You’re a beginner; every beginner has to start somewhere. They have to start at zero. Right?
I’ve been doing this every single day for the past 15 years, working 16-hour days. I’ve been able to build up to where I am now. Don’t compare yourself to others when it comes to your first chapter. Do not compare your first chapter to someone else’s tenth or twentieth chapter. You must know that you are on a budget right now because you are just getting started in your business career. It’s critical not to compare oneself with others. You’re a beginner graphic designer, and it’s okay to get a laptop on a budget. It’s fine not to spend two or three thousand dollars on your first laptop; there’s nothing wrong with that. So don’t feel bad about it; I was there too, and I couldn’t even afford to buy a new 300-dollar laptop because the screen shattered, so I was using external displays.
So, something I wanted to leave you with is to consider that you need to achieve progress, not perfection. Perfection may be overrated; getting a laptop that works for your trade and getting off of only using your phone or a desktop computer so you can be mobile will be a significant step forward for you. So that is what progress is, and it’s simple. Just keep making progress every day, and you’ll be able to buy the greatest laptop ever as I showed in some of my previous video articles, and you won’t have to use your cheap budget laptop anymore. That’s simply how it works, so hopefully, this list was useful for you. I’m Adrian Boysel, and as always, keep looking up.