Buying a computer is always a major investment. So, you don’t want to invest in low-quality computers that won’t last long or won’t serve your desired purposes. And when you want to invest in laptops rather than desktops, you need to make a better investment. That is even truer when you are an animator or willing to use your laptop for 2D and 3D animations. We’ve reviewed the best laptops for animation.
If you already are an expert animator you already know what kinds of laptops are great for animation. But if you are completely new, you need assistance in picking the best laptops for animation before finally choosing the best one as per your budget.
In this article, I review some of the best laptops for animation to help animators. I hope after reading this post, you will be able to pick the best laptop for animation as per your own budget.
If you are in a hurry to get animating, here’s a summary table of the top 5 laptops for animation. The full review continues further down.
Top 5 Laptops For Animation
You need to understand that no particular laptop or desktop computer is made only for animation purposes. If there were something like that, it would have been called something like “animation machine” or something.
It would help if you had the laptops with a decent configuration so that you can use all the animation software and work effortlessly without any issues.
So, we have done our research and tested a wide variety of laptops available in the market to find the best laptops perfect for high-quality animation works.
10 Best Animation Laptops In 2020
This laptop has incredible features and specifications. It offers quite a performance when you are doing some 3D animation work with it, thanks to its excellent graphics power.
Key Features Of The MacBook Pro
An excellent 15.4-inch screen lit with LED technology, a widescreen display with a resolution of 2880 by 1800 pixels. The retina display has more than 5 million pixels.
Intel HD Graphics processor 4000, third-generation quad-core Intel processor Core i7 with NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M as the coprocessor, Bluetooth 4.0, user-facing web camera, and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi make this computer a sound investment for any 2D or 3D animator.
Apple MacBook Pro ME665LL/A has a RAM 16GB accompanied by 1600 MHz for ram speed. It has 2, 3.0 USB ports, a hard drive of 512 GB (flash memory solid-state), Mac OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion operating the system; battery can last 7 hours of use.
While all these features make it perfect for so many intricate computer tasks, it has to be one of the best laptops for animation and animators.
Pros Of The MacBook Pro
- High resolution, the large retina display, is suitable for watching Internet-streamed movies.
- Fast performing SSD as compared to the old, slow-performing HDDs
- Quiet operation thanks to the SSD technology as opposed to HDDs, which are noisier
- Significant processing power keeps the machine running even when you have many tabs running.
- Massive 512 GB storage means more files and videos for you.
- The aluminum frame makes it more durable as compared to most of the plastic frame laptops.
- Thin and light for portability
Cons Of The MacBook Pro
- It is not upgradeable.
- Has no optical drive
The silver-colored HP Zbook is a workhorse with features and specifications that make a dream come true for any animator out there. There are many reasons to buy the HP Zbook 15u G4. This laptop has to be one of the best laptops for amination you can buy right now.
Key Features Of The HP Zbook
Adobe RGB & sRGB fully factory calibrated the color display. The color-rich display is made even better by the 304 nits for brightness, which puts this laptop ahead of many more others in its league.
The screen is 15.6 inches, and the maximum display resolution is 1920 by 1080 pixels backed by LED-lit display technology that makes color pop right out of the pictures.
It has 802.11abg for wireless compatibility, the memory size is 16 GB, the processor is Intel Core i7, and the storage size is 512 GB Samsung SM96. It has a powerful processor Intel Xeon 1535M 2.7 GHz 8032, that can enable you to run heavy applications on the computer.
The operating system is Windows 10. It has USB 3.1 generation and 3.0, micro card slot, Ethernet cable port, and SIM slot.
Pros Of The HP Zbook
- Sold with a Lithium polymer battery which can last 6 hours
- 3-year warranty from HP for labor and parts
- Powerful speakers with a nice base
- The nice antiglare display, even when using in the sunshine
- The widescreen display makes viewing internet movies a delight
Cons Of The HP Zbook
- Battery life could be better
- No optical drive
Dell is known for its solid workhorses, and the M5510 does not disappoint. It is rugged in build, sleek in design, and streamlined in performance. This laptop is made for professionals and heavy users like artists and animators whose work requires many computer resources.
It might be a little too expensive, like the last two options, but it must be one of the best laptops for animation right now.
Key Features Of The Dell Precision
6th generation core i7 from Intel, Windows 10 pro 64 bit, Nvidia’s M1000M Quadro, which works very well with professional applications, and Intel Xeon E3-1505M processor.
RAM is 2, 8 GB DDR4 memory making a total of 16 GB of RAM, 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 with IGZO LED technology, glossy, and touchscreen-enabled. There is ample storage for your files with 256 GB SSD.
40 GB/s Thunderbolt 3 port has a faster connection speed than the 3.1 USB, has HDMI for connection to a more prominent display, a PCle micro card reader, two regular 3.0 USB ports for connectivity, Bluetooth, and a webcam keep you connected for communication.
Pros Of The Dell Precision
- Antiglare screen
- Thunderbolt 3 ports that are four times faster in data transfer than ordinary USB ports
- HDMI connectivity allows you to connect to a more prominent display
- Has an excellent glass touchpad
- The matte screen offers excellent viewing from all angles.
- The battery can last a full 6 to 7 hours.
- Suitable as a travel laptop as it is light
Cons Of The Dell Precision
- Has 2 USB ports only
- The screen will flicker when you set to a low level of brightness.
Built with gaming in mind, the Acer Aspire VX 15 is an incredible investment for animators and artists, and graphic designers. It is affordable, and it packs quite useful features.
Key Features Of The Acer Aspire
The display size is 15.6 inches, and the resolution is 1920 by 1080.
15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 display. This is enough to give you an incredible video viewing experience, gaming as well as streaming movies from the internet in crisp, clear quality. The processor is an Intel Core i7; speed can be up to 3.8GHz.
The storage is 256 GB SSD, RAM is an impressive 16 GB DDR4, with dedicated GDDR5 video memory of 4 GB for NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti. This alone makes this laptop great for gaming, graphic design, and many more heavy art projects.
You will get a great sound experience from the Acer TrueHarmony system and the Dolby Audio Premium Sound. The keyboard is backlit, and for cooling, there are two fans.
The OS is Windows 10.
Pros Of The Acer Aspire
- Fastest graphics on a computer – useful for gaming
- Best quality for sound
- Excellent cooling, no overheating
- The keyboard is adorably silent.
- Has 11ac for Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO technology
- Bluetooth 4.0 connection
- Has two USB ports 3.0, one 2.0 USB port, and an HDMI port for connecting to a more prominent display
Cons Of The Acer Aspire
- Short battery life – just six hours
- No cable and HDD bracket to add a hard drive
Key Features Of The Lenovo ThinkPad
You will get a full 15.6-inch screen with the Lenovo ThinkPad P50, wide enough for streaming movies from the internet. The resolution is 1920 by 1080, and the display is IPS.
The Core i7 processor – 6700HQ Quad Core and a processor speed of 2.60GHz to 3.5GHz make this a very powerful computer.
It is powered by a RAM of 16GB DDR4 RAM, and the storage is 500 GB hard drive that works at 7200 RPM. It is sold preinstalled with a Windows 7 Pro operating system. Graphics power is from a 2 GB memory NVIDIA Quadro M1000M.
Other features include a webcam, microphone, and Intel Dual Band AC 8260 Wireless with an M.2 card. All these fantastic features make it one of the best laptops for amination.
Pros Of The Lenovo ThinkPad
- Comes ready to use, preinstalled with Windows 7 Pro operating system
- Spill-resistant keyboard
- Excellent connectivity from four 3.0 USB ports, Type C USB port Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, Dock connector, and Mini DisplayPort.
- Has fingerprint reader
- Sold with three year Lenovo warranty
- Excellent quality for pictures, videos, and other content
- Very powerful
- Decent battery life from the six-cell Li-ion battery
Cons Of The Lenovo ThinkPad
- Heavy – 5.7 pounds
- It does not have a card reader
You can buy this powerful laptop for animation, heavy graphics, and artwork. It has a powerful CPU with Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6-GHz.
Key Features Of The ASUS ZenBook
A wide display of 15.6 inches that is excellent for viewing streamed content. It has a resolution of 3840 by 2160, which gives excellent clarity even when you are using the computer outdoors. The 4K resolution makes for a superior color display.
It has a RAM of 16 GB DDR4 and 2GB video memory. For storage, the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71 comes with 512 GB SSD.
For connectivity, there are features like the 802.11ac Wi-Fi, One Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C, 3 USB ports 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0, one HDMI port, and an SDXC reader.
It is a Windows 10 Home computer.
Pros Of The ASUS ZenBook
- One year of international warranty coverage
- Fast, Thunderbolt transfer at speeds of 20 GB per second
- Great graphics ensure high performance even in a high-resolution setting.
- Excellent sound experience from the SonicMaster and Olufsen speakers
- Touch screen with ten touch points for more control
- Factory color calibration for Photoshop and other design programs
- Good heat management
Cons Of The ASUS ZenBook
- No optical drive
- A bit heavy, slightly more than two kgs
- User does not access things like battery, SSD, or graphics card.
If you like the name Predator, you will find that this Acer laptop pretty much lives to that name. It is made by gamers, graphic designers, and artists in mind, thus packing many game-centric features.
Key Features Of The Helios
Has a Core i7, 7700HQ quad-core processor, GeForce GTX 1060 graphics from NVIDIA, a 16 GB RAM/ddr4, which can do a speed of 2.4 MHz, and for storage, there is a 256 GB SSD.
The widescreen measuring 15.6 inches and a resolution of 1920 by 1080 is great for art and design projects, animation included.
It has a metal cover that ensures protection; then, there are the dual fans for cooling the processor and other internal components.
For connectivity and communication, there are the Acer TrueHarmony speakers, SD card reader, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB ports 2.0, one USB port 3.0, one HDMI port, an HD webcam(1280 by 720), and 802.11ac Wi-Fi with 2 MIMO technology.
The operating system is Windows 10 Home, and the size of the graphics card is 6 GB.
Pros Of The Helios
- The four-cell Lithium-Ion battery can last more than 7 hours of use.
- Does not overheat even when gaming
- High-quality exterior build – metal
- The matt screen is antiglare even when using it outdoors.
- Reasonable price considering its specifications
- Predator sense app works great and turns the fans on promptly.
- Easy to upgrade the SSD, for example
Cons Of The Helios
- Does not come with a cable for extension HDD
- Weighing 2.7 kg, that is too heavy
This obsidian black machine packs quite good features for its price and size. It is a good family laptop, but more so, its features support artwork like animation and graphic design.
Key Features Of The Acer Aspire E
LED-lit display technology in 1920 by 1080 resolution for the widescreen measuring 15.6 inches. This is coupled with the Acer BrightField technology that ensures the display is antiglare.
The processor is Core i5, Intel, and can do speeds of up to 3.1GHz. RAM is 8 GB/DDR4 and 2 GB of Video RAM. The storage size is 256 GB SSD.
For connectivity and communication, there are two 3.0 USB ports, one 3.1 Type C USB port that can allow transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps, one HDMI port that is also HDCP enabled, an Ethernet port, and VGA connectivity too.
DVD drive, SD card reader, a headphone jack – 3.5mm and one 2.0 USB port complete the number of ports, but do not forget the Acer TrueHarmony sound system as well as the 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Mu-MIMO technology. For more wireless connectivity, there is Bluetooth 4.1.
The operating system is Windows Home.
Pros Of The Acer Aspire E
- Long battery life about 11 hours when new
- Many ports offer convenient connectivity.
- Decently spaced keys on the keyboard for a good typing experience
- Excellent heat containment threshold even when playing videos.
- Good audio experience
- Good touchpad, very responsive
- High-speed data transfer through the Type C 3.1 port
- Charge devices with the 3.0 port even when the laptop is off
- Has a DVD drive
Cons Of The Acer Aspire E
- Could do with a bigger SSD
- Lots of unnecessary software that you will never need to use
They say this stylish and sleek laptop was designed as an alternative to college students who did not want to use Apple’s MacBook Air, and indeed, it is as slim as sleek and as light.
Key Features Of The Surface
It weighs a paltry 2.75 lbs and measures 12.1 x 8.8 x 0.57 inches. This laptop has a 13.5-inch wide monitor that is enabled with the PixelSense display with a high resolution of 2256 x 1504 so that you can watch videos and see your photos to the excellent level of detail.
It is Bluetooth enabled and will connect with Bluetooth enabled devices like mouse, keyboard, smartphone, and Surface Pen.
Further connectivity is ensured by the presence of a 3.0 USB port, a small DisplayPort, a jack for the headset, and on the adapter, they have provided a USB port that you can use to charge your smartphone. For Wi-Fi connectivity, there is 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0.
It runs on Windows 10 s which boots faster than Windows 10 Pro. It has a processor speed of 2.5GHz, Core i5 – 7200U, and 620 Intel HD graphics.
Pros Of The Surface
- Excellent battery life – can run for more than 12 hours of use
- Crisp, clear display, high resolution
- Omnisonic speakers give good sound
- Great to use thanks outdoors to the PixelSense 10 point touch screen and 365 lumens
- Thin, sleek, and portable
- 8 GB of RAM is enough to power any animation project
- Ample storage of 256 GB
Cons Of The Surface
- Does not work with the most-used browsers like Chrome
- Very few ports
- No slot for microSD card
This is a more advanced version of the Microsoft Surface with more advanced features. It offers a great experience for animators and artists, large RAM, and other incredible features.
Key Features Of The Surface Pro
It is a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor. The RAM is 16 GB, and the storage is 512 GB SSD. It runs on Windows 10 Pro.
For communication, it has two cameras. The rear-facing camera is 8MP, and the front-facing one is 5MP. Connectivity-wise, the laptop packs Bluetooth 4.1, microSD slot, headphone jack, Wi-Fi capability as well as USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, and TPM.
The screen measures 12.3 inches and has a resolution of 2736 by 1824, and the screen is touch-enabled. The battery can do an impressive 13 hours, 50 minutes running.
This is a two-in-one machine; it can work as a laptop or as a tablet. This laptop is deemed a useful tool for graphic designers thanks to its incredible power, but it is also great for college students. It comes with a kickstand for support.
Pros Of This Surface Pro
- The keyboard is compatible with other Microsoft Surface computers.
- Long battery life
- Incredible rear and front cameras
- It supports Microsoft Surface Dial.
- Cools without the use of vents
- Large storage which is still expandable with a microSD card slot
- Has a USB port
Cons Of This Surface Pro
- It gets hot
These are some high-configuration, multi-purpose laptops perfect for animators. While most of these laptops might be costly, the quality is guaranteed. By the way, do you know how long do laptops last?
Also, check the best gaming laptops under 300 dollars if you are looking for quality but cheap gaming laptops. If you have a higher budget, you can also check these best gaming laptops under 600 dollars.
Finally, you might also want to read these guides about laptops:
- The best laptops for drawing and graphic designers (this is similar to animation in some ways, and the features you’ll need in the laptop are certainly similar!)
- Have a look at the best portable monitors because if you’re an animator, sometimes you need to take your designs on the road with you!
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