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What to Look for in a Laptop for Digital Artists?

What to Look for in a Laptop for Digital Artists? Cartoon, Featured, by Saman Torabi

What to Look for in a Laptop for Digital Artists?

What a digital artist needs to draw will vary, depending on which sector they are involved in and their current projects. However, what should not have to change too often is their primary laptop. In this post, we are going to look at crucial aspects of an artist’s laptop that they should expect from their next purchase.

Touchscreen with Pressure Sensitivity

A touchscreen alone would not do because we are discussing a display that must allow professional artists to sketch, paint, and design in any way that they may need to. A pressure-sensitive touchscreen uses technology that recognises and responds to the amount of pressure being applied on it by a compatible stylus.

Dedicated drawing tablets and touchscreen laptops designed for artists should be capable of recognising at least 1,024 – 2,048 different levels of pressure. 2-in-1 Lenovo artists laptops like the Yoga 9i and the ThinkPad X1 Yoga come with pressure-sensitive displays that can recognize 4,096 different levels of pressure from the included digital pen or any other recognized digital pen.

This is one of the key factors that makes the touchscreen on any laptop ideal for artists. For example, if you are shading a model that you just outlined on a pressure-sensitive display, it should be able to pick up on the amount of pressure being applied by each of your individual strokes and reflect it on the display accordingly. Very similar to what we see on paper, more pressure should produce deeper, broader, and darker strokes, while less pressure should have the exact opposing effect.

Digital Pen Support

Since the ability to draw on the screen is an important requirement here, the touchscreen should:

  1. Have complete support for third-party digital pens.
  2. Come with a pressure-sensitive digital pen.
  3. Both 1 and 2.

It would be a big bonus if the laptop comes bundled with a digital pen that matches the pressure-sensitive display’s pressure-level recognition rating. If it does not though, the screen should at least be compatible with professional-grade digital artist’s pens from the likes of Wacom and Huion with minimal lag.

Processing Power

As a digital artist, it is expected that you will need to do more than just sketch and paint from your laptop. You may also need to edit media just as regularly for personal and professional needs. Look for a laptop that is powered by at least an Intel Core-i5/AMD Ryzen 5 CPU. If you opt for a QHD or 4K display though, an Intel Core-i7/AMD Ryzen 7 is recommended. processing power is crucial when it comes to media editing. It will also help you have a smoother experience while drawing on your laptop’s display.

Why are MacBooks not Ideal for Digital Artists?

Contrary to what some on the internet may suggest, none of the MacBooks released to date is ideal for digital artists. They are superb devices in their own right, and Pro editions are amazing for high-resolution video editing/rendering.  However, since there is no MacBook with a touchscreen released as of mid-2022, you cannot “directly” draw on any of the Apple laptops.

One may argue that we can just use a Wacom slate with MacBooks like digital artists used to. The issue with that is you will have to constantly look at two different surfaces. It is a jarring experience to draw in one place and look at another to see what you are drawing. In fact, that can limit an artist’s capability to unleash his/her true capabilities.

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Written by Anto Mario

I am a staff correspondent of Toons Mag international. Mostly I write about the cartoon and comic related news. Keep reading.

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