What are the best laptops for artists using ZBrush to create memorable digital art?
I get it:
You’ve read other boring comparison articles about laptops.
You just want to know WHAT the BEST laptop for artists is, and specifically, the best ones for using ZBrush. This is a different sort of review post.
We’ve actually put in the research (fuelled by lots of coffee), and this list is actually useful. So settle in, get yourself a hot drink, and we’ll get started.
ZBrush brings the concept of art and creative sculpting to a new level. It comes with the integration of new technology: Tessimation, which enables you to add and remove polygons on the fly. Combined with brushes, it becomes Sculptris Pro.
Here’s some of the AWESOME digital art you could be creating on one of these laptops…
What kind of hardware does Zbrush require?
The graphic design industry has always been on the demanding side hardware-wise. Designing all those graphic representations of beauty, strength, and/or other qualities isn’t only a tedious job for graphic designers. It may also fall heavy on your desktop PC or your laptop. So, you must ensure that you have the right hardware to make the job go more smoothly.
Are there any pre-built laptops that can run ZBrush?
Luckily, there ARE pre-built machines on the market sporting the required hardware to make ZBrush and other design software run smoothly.
Great news, right?
Keep in mind that there is no predefined standard for performance when dealing with graphic design, animation, sculpting, and developing. Some developers may have higher standards, which might affect performance.
What pre-built machines are you looking for?
Well, that depends on personal preference. Some find it more comfortable to work on a desktop PC. It certainly has its positives, considering the lower price of hardware, but at the cost of mobility.
Laptops, on the other hand, have all the mobility. But the hardware producing similar performance, as their desktop cousins, is a bit more expensive. This one is more expensive but has greater mobility.
The purpose of this list is to give you insight into what laptops have the necessary, or rather NEEDED hardware for a smoother experience when using ZBrush.
Best laptops for artists using ZBrush
As I said, this isn’t in any particular order.
These are the BEST laptops we’ve found after a LOT of research and coffee. The links should open in new tabs, and you can see a snapshot comparison of the laptops at the bottom.
You’re an artist, and you don’t really want to be reading boring lists and articles about laptops, do you?
You just want to GET a laptop (or improve your current one), so you can keep designing awesome things. We get it, so let’s start:
This is a relatively lightweight laptop, considering that is MEANT for gaming. It weighs only 4.8 pounds, which is pretty lightweight for a laptop with so much power “under the hood.”
With its 3.9 GHz Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, and 16 GB of SDRAM, this 15.5″ laptop should run your ZBrush with no problems. The GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card cuts through any serious video or photo editing, gaming, or any hardcore graphic design work.
As we said, you should have no complaints when it comes to power/mobility ratio, since this laptop is easy to carry around. The lid, as well as the hinges, are stiff and durable. The keyboard is backlit, really friendly to the touch, and the touchpad is very responsive.
The cooling system is excellent since the CPU and GPU have separate cooling systems. The air intake is pretty big, located underneath. The CPU is certified fast enough to run Zbrush by their official forum and website.
There are four exhaust vents, two of which are located on the back, and there is one on each side. This helps it to avoid overheating, which can be a problem with some of the smaller laptops.Check Price On Amazon
- Great cooling system
- Good keyboard
- Easy to carry around
- Subpar battery life
Alienware has always been amongst the top-performing machines. Built with premium materials, and having an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 H-Series CPU, beating at 3.9GHz, this laptop is an evolutionary step towards top performance.
The design of this one is fantastic. Alienware uses materials like magnesium alloy, and copper, anodized aluminum for protection, and steel for tactile comfort. It looks and feels like it performs – on the top of the scale.
The screen is 17″, with an anti-glare finish and wide viewing angles. On graphics processing duty we have NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, powered by ultra-fast NVIDIA Pascal GP architecture.
Though 8GB of DDR4 RAM may be small for graphic design, it’s easily upgradeable up to 32GB. This laptop is on the heavier side. It weighs 9.7 pounds, and battery life may feel short. That’s probably due to all the cool materials and hardware on this laptop.Check Price On Amazon
- Great for multimedia
- Great for gaming
- Good audio output
- Weighs nearly 10 pounds
The ROG Strix brings even more power and style to the table. Inside the belly of this beast lies the 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, a heart beating at 2.2GHz, and GeForce GTX 1060 Graphics. 16GB DDR4 RAM should satisfy all of your graphic design tasks.
This laptop is attractive. It has two different brushed finishes that meet to create a slash line running diagonally across the lid. It also features an ultra-smooth 144Hz narrow-bezel display with a 3ms response time.
The computer is very solid, with barely any noticeable flex. The keyboard feels very nice, while 20 million keystroke durability extends durability. It has four additional keys for system controls, and it also has a controllable RGB light.
Thanks to its weight of 5.3 pounds, Strix Hero II is a compelling balance of mobility and performance. With its power and storage capabilities, combined with the ease of maintenance, this laptop truly is great value for money.Check Price On Amazon
- Stylish design
- Powerful performance
- Above-average battery life
- Bottom runs hot
Said to be a PERFECT combination of beauty and performance, Asus Vivobook S510 is a high-performance laptop. Perfect for demanding jobs, including creative projects using Zbrush and other digital artist software.
It has powerful and efficient 7th Generation Intel Core i7 running at 2.7GHz, which can be boosted up to 3.5GHz.
The laptop is really slim and light. It’s 14.2″ wide, 0.7″ slim. Thanks to the 0.3″ NanoEdge bezel, this laptop fits a full size 15.6″ display into a 14.2″ frame. That gives an incredible 80% screen-to-body ratio. The 15.6″ display has a 178° viewing angle.
The ASUS VivoBook S510 comes equipped with an ergonomic backlit keyboard. It’s perfect for low-light conditions. Plus, accessing your laptop has never been easier and more secure. No need to type in your password since there’s a built-in fingerprint sensor in the touchpad.
Building such a light and slim laptop has some compromises involved. Intel HD Graphics 620 may be enough for some, but it’s, unfortunately, not upgradeable. Also, 8GB RAM might not be enough for 3D modeling or video and photo editing jobs. Luckily, those are upgradeable.Check Price On Amazon
- Sturdy build
- Good performance
- Reasonable price
- Mediocre battery life
The Acer Aspire V is truly is an exclusive combination of visual design, innovative features, and performance.
Aspire V’s sharp design, defined angles, only complement the aluminum casing. The keyboard is spacious and comfortable, and backlit with red light, completing Aspire’s modern look, while helping users in low-light settings.
Precision Touchpad makes navigation simple. It has a fingerprint sensor embedded in the top left corner, providing an extra level of security.
Acer Aspire V is an ideal laptop for those seeking a high-quality and high-performance device. The 7th Generation, Intel Core i7 at 2.8GHz (with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.8GHz), allows you to enjoy more power and more battery life on the go.
With one of the most advanced graphics ever created GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5 Video Memory, experience a new quality of performance and power efficiency.
The RAM on this laptop is 16GB DDR4, which is more than enough to make this beast of a laptop power through all your graphic design tasks, ESPECIALLY ZBrush. It will not disappoint.Check Price On Amazon
- Light and thin
- Quality built
- Illuminated keyboard
- The battery is hard to access
With GE73 Raider, MSI offered us a great-performing notebook, of pretty thin design. It has a fast quad-core 3.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, with its 8GB GDDR5 VRAM, offers more than enough performance for all the gaming, 3D modeling, and photo editing tasks.
It’s beautifully designed with dominating black and red colors. The aluminum lid is decorated with an illuminated MSI logo, and red stripes, which are inserted into the structure of the display cover.
The top of the base also has an aluminum finish, while the rest of the base is made from plastic. That made reductions in weight to 6.6 pounds, making the laptop easier to move. Hinges hold the display very well, but they are tight. It means you probably won’t be able to open it with just one hand.
The keyboard on this laptop is great. Nothing rattles or wobbles, and the keys are sufficiently large. The background illumination of the keyboard can be adjusted, thanks to the RGB illumination. It even has presets for various types of color changes.Check Price On Amazon
- Attractive design
- Easy to upgrade
- RGB illuminated keyboard
- Low battery life
If you are looking for the strength of a desktop, packed tightly in a case of a laptop, look no further. Boldly designed and engineered with a 15.6″ frame, it will keep up with you.
It has a 7th Generation 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 processor. And with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, which is meant for gaming, it should handle any digital design task.
On top of that, it has 16GB of RAM and 128GB SSD making this one more than able multitasker. With such powerful hardware inside must come a powerful cooling as well. And it does. A uniquely ventilated base allows for great cooling during the most intense tasks.
The screen is excellent, with an impressive viewing angle. Its keyboard feels good featuring illuminated WASD keys for easier and happier gaming. It also has a touchpad that’s responsive and easy to work with.Check Price On Amazon
- Good productivity
- Great for multitasking
- Good cooling
- Feels overpriced
The Aero 15 breaks through technological standards, with an ultra-thin bezel, giving you a great screen to body ratio.
Inside of a thin chassis, there’s a 7th Generation 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 processor. This processor has three times smaller battery consumption in 4K resolutions, allowing professionals to release their creativity.
The graphics are GeForce GTX 1060, which is a standard part of many serious laptops in this price range.
This one’s really good for digital artists actually…
It has proven itself to manage VERY well for a great number of design tasks.
And with a 94Wh battery, one that is much larger than most of those of competitors, there is no complaint in terms of battery life.
The laptop itself is pretty thin and light, being that it’s only 4.6 pounds. It’s more than easy to carry, providing enough mobility. The screen is nice, with accurate colors, and an anti-glare finish. The keyboard is more than satisfactory as it feels nice to the touch and is backlit.
This laptop is convenient for those looking to do serious work like graphic design, 3D modeling, video editing. It’s excellent for gaming, too. This one is high on the list of laptops for artists who use ZBrush.Check Price On Amazon
- Slim design
- Better than expected battery life
- Good performance
This one is considered to be a true masterpiece in the world of laptops. If you’re looking for one that can do a little bit of everything, consider the power of the i7-8750H processor, and the beauty of GeForce GTX 1070.
The 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor works on 2.2GHz up to 4.1GHz for top performance. And GTX 1070 has 8GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory. With those two, you’ve got the power to go.
All of that is backed with 32GB SDRAM and a 512GB solid-state drive for storage. Another great feature is single-panel access to the HDD, SSD, and RAM, which helps make upgrades easier.
The laptop looks mean and lean, but it’s NOT a trend breaker for this type of machine. The keyboard is RGB illuminated, but if you’re not that kind of person, you can just turn it off.Check Price On Amazon
- Thin and lightweight
- Good value
- Solid performance
- Interior surface gets a little warm
This is the world’s first THX Certified Mobile Device.
It means it pleases all the rigorous standards for audio and video reproduction. With its 17.3″ 4K Touch Display, it delivers a supreme experience with a thin design.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX, a desktop-class performing graphic in a mobile form offers 3x more performance and power efficiency than previous-gen GPUs.
This one is perfect for playing videogames at ultra-setting. These graphics could only be coupled with a deserving CPU, the 7th Generation 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 processor, and 32Gb of RAM.
The keyboard of this laptop is the world’s first genuinely mechanical keyboard, powered by Razer Chroma.
It’s an ultra-low-profile keyboard that offers a desktop-grade experience. It feels very nice and responsive for both work and play. Individually backlit keys and touchpad offer endless personalization.
The Razer Blade Pro is the ultimate desktop replacement you can carry, from both a power and comfort perspective.Check Price On Amazon
- 4K touch display
- Fantastic low-profile mechanical keyboard
- GeForce GTX 1080
- Runs hot
So what’s the best laptop for artists?
Well, it’s hard to say which specific laptop is the best.
It really depends on a few things:
- The TYPE of digital art you’re going to be creating
- How detailed and complicated your drawing software is
- What your BUDGET for the laptop is
- How heavy or BIG you want the laptop! (Lots of artists are digital nomads)
That being said, we have to say that overall, the most effective laptop for digital artists is the Razer! It’s such a fast machine, and it’s really good for all sorts of digital art tasks like ZBrush, Maya, 3Ds Max, etc..
Other laptops for digital art
There are also other types of digital art or rendering, which might appeal to you.
Here’s the thing:
A lot of these laptops work AS well for other drawing software as they do for Zbrush and Maya, but there are also some others on these posts that you’ve not seen here.