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Laptops for Drawing and Animation: Best Pick and Buying guide

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The world of digital art and animation is a fast-paced one, and to keep up with other artists you need one thing: the right tools. Having the best laptop for drawing and animation will seriously improve your performance and allow you to produce high-quality images without having to break the bank.

Laptops for Drawing and Animation

Drawing and animating on a computer (instead of paper) has many benefits such as easy image editing, saving images as reference material, sharing art online, etc. If you’re wanting to advance your skills in either drawing or animation then it’s very important that your laptop can keep up! Your main focus should be on how much RAM your computer has, as this is what allows the software to run smoothly. The bigger the amount of RAM you have, the more art files you’ll be able to open without your laptop slowing down. The other important factor is processing power. This is basically how quickly your machine can execute computer commands, which affects how fast it can process an action into an image. If you have a slow processor, then things will take much longer to render and could cause your work to be affected.

The best laptops for drawing are usually cheaper than high-end computers designed for gaming or video editing. It may seem counterintuitive at first if you’re used to buying expensive machines but let me explain why – the graphics card performs the same whether you’re playing games or drawing digitally, so spending hundreds of dollars on one component doesn’t make sense when there are other components that are more useful. If you want to get the least expensive laptop for drawing, look at buying one with an i5 processor and 4GB of RAM. Higher-end processors will give your computer more power but aren’t needed if you’re just doing art. I recommend that beginners go ahead and buy a faster machine though because it will affect how fast they can learn digital art skills.

Choosing The Right Laptop For Drawing and Animation

Processor (CPU)

The central processing unit or CPU is basically the brain of your computer. The higher-end processors are Intel Core i7, which are about 50% faster than the i5 series. If you’re on a tight budget then I recommend getting either an i3 or an AMD A6 processor as these will be enough to get the job done at a reasonable speed . For more information on choosing a laptop for animation and how this affects your overall cost, head over to my article:   Best Laptops for Animation 2013 – 2014

RAM (Memory)

This is what allows you to open up multiple files at once and switch between them quickly. 4GB should be all you need unless you’re planning on using large media files most of the time. If that’s the case then you should consider getting 6GB so you can switch between programs faster, otherwise they’ll take longer to open each time you switch to them .

Storage (Hard Disk)

This is where all your files are saved once they’ve been processed by your computer. You really don’t need to spend more than $500 on a hard disk because unless you’re using large media files for animation, 4TB drives shouldn’t be necessary. Lower-end laptops usually have 500GB drives but if you feel it’s not enough space for you then go ahead and get an external hard drive as well. It’ll save you having to delete stuff as often as it’ll allow you to keep things organized.

Graphics Card (GPU)

This is what shows your images on the screen. For drawing and animation, I would personally recommend an Nvidia GT series like the GT630M as they have a good balance of performance and price, especially around the $400 – $500 range. If you want to know more about choosing a laptop for animation, check out my article: Best Laptops for drawing and Animation. You may also want to consider getting a faster GPU if you plan on doing 3D animation as this will affect render times significantly.

Screen Resolution

You should go ahead and get a laptop with 1920×1080 resolution as it’s currently standard but some still have only 1366 x 768 isn’t really enough for that: the small text and interface buttons will be too small to work with so you might as well ignore their lower-resolution counterparts. On a 17″ screen this isn’t really an issue but on smaller screens such as 14″ it can be frustrating to scan and it will be a real pain to work with.

Operating System (OS)

You should definitely get Windows 7 as opposed to Vista or XP since it’s much faster, more stable, and just as easy to use as any other OS. All modern computers come with Windows pre-installed so the only thing you need to do is activate it once you turn your laptop on. If you’re not sure how to install programs then take a look at my article: How To Install Programs In Windows. It will take a little longer for you to learn how to use WPF software but they’ll take up less space on your hard disk, which translates into a speed boost. However, I would still recommend getting a decent-sized solid-state drive as well.

Aspect Ratio

You should get a laptop that has widescreen aspect ratio, which is 16:9 or 16:10 rather than 4:3. This is because if your later on decide to animate full-length feature films, then you’ll need the extra room for pan and scan (cropping the top and bottom of the frame). 

And check out complete guide at InnoTech Reviews.