A convertible 2-in-1 laptop is an excellent device particularly for the creative mind. The fact that you can turn a laptop into a tablet, pull out your stylus and start designing on a powerful device is an exceptional tool to have.
Standalone tablets are convenient but week in terms of performance for graphic designers. Standalone laptops, on the other hand, offer performance but no drawing capability.
A 2-in-1 laptop bridges that gap conveniently. A 2 in 1 laptop is essentially a powerhouse device capable of delivering enough juice for you to work on complex projects.
It should be noted, however, that a convertible laptop is generally more expensive than a regular laptop and rarely would you find one featuring a powerful dedicated graphics card. Hence if you are a gaming and a designer, this may not be the right device for you.
In this article we will have a look at some of the best 2 in 1 laptops for graphic design that are particularly great for creatives and have stylus support.
Hybrid Laptop for Graphic Design Compared
|Lenovo Flex 5 |
|16 GB||256 GB|
|8 GB||128 GB|
|Acer Spin 5 |
|16 GB||512 GB|
|Lenovo IdeaPad |
|16 GB||512 TB|
Chromebook Flip C434
|4 GB||64 GB|| |
List of Best 2 in 1 Laptops for Graphic Design in 2021
The following laptops, in our opinion, have the best value, and reviews. They also have a capable hardware configuration.
- Lenovo Flex 5 81X20005US – Recommended 2 in 1 Laptop for Graphic Design
- HP Pavilion X360 – Affordable Covertible Laptop for Graphic Designing
- HP Envy x360 – High Performance Large 15.6″ Option
- Acer Spin 5 SP513-54N-74V2 – High Performance 13.3″ Option with 2K Display
- Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 – High Performance 4K 2 in 1 Laptop
- ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 – Chromebook
1. Lenovo Flex 5 81X20005US – Recommended 2 in 1 Laptop for Graphic Design
An all rounder laptop with a mainstream processor and a great Performance / Dollar Value.
First up we have a highly recommended mid range option for those looking for a fairly powerful machine at a good value. The central attraction of this laptop is the processor. More on this below.
Lenovo Flex 5 is a 14″ convertible laptop that features a good range of specs suitable for most intermediate level designers. 14″ screen is the middle of the road between a 13.3″ and a large 15.6″ screen. Therefore, it offers a balance between portability and working comfort.
For starters this laptop features the latest AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor. The 4th Gen Ryzen processors offer huge improvement over their predecessor AMD Ryzen 3500U.
As you can see here, the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U is 50% better than the previous gen 3500U. No other generation improves so much on their predecessor as this.
In addition to that, compared to both the newer 10th and 11th gen Intel processors, this is much more capable.
Hence as far as the performance goes, this has the best value for the price in our opinion.
Other than that, it offers a decent FHD resolution touchscreen. It comes with a Digital Pen that you can use for designing work.
Another beautiful aspect of this laptop is that it offers a large 16 GB of RAM. This is more than enough for most expert level graphic designing work.
The storage amount of 256 GB is on the lower end of the spectrum, but at this price range you can’t really ask for more.
All in all, if you want to go straight for the most recommended option, then this is the best 2 in 1 laptop for graphic design in our opinion.
2. HP Pavilion X360 – Affordable Covertible Laptop for Graphic Designing
Here we have a 2 in 1 laptop for those who are student graphic designers or for those who do not have a sophisticated requirement for graphic designing.
If you are simply learning the ropes of designing and work on lighter projects perhaps on web apps like Canva or small sized projects on Photoshop, then this is something that you can look into.
The laptop features a basic Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor and according to benchmarks, it is only half as powerful as the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor. As such, this isn’t going to beat any speed records.
But in short, if you have a limited budget, then you can keep this option into consideration. However, if you can squeeze a little more budget, then we recommend the laptop above.
The laptop offers 14″ Touchscreen with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of SSD. It should be noted that a Digital Pen must be procured separately and does come with the package.
3. HP Envy x360 – High Performance Large 15.6″ Option
When it comes to premium craftsmanship, Envy X360’s reputation precedes itself. But besides its look, we have selected this for those who want a high performance machine.
Essentially this a workhorse. While 15.6″ may be too large for many digital artists, those who like to have large workspace and screen real estate to work on would appreciate the size.
But besides a large screen, we have selected this laptop because it also packs a powerful AMD Ryzen 7 4700U octa core processor at a very decent price tag.
While according to benchmarks this is only marginally more powerful than the hexacore AMD Ryzen 5 4500U, in tasks like rendering, working on several software at once, compression etc, the Ryzen 7 4700U would truly shine thanks to its higher core count.
In addition to that it offers 16 GB of RAM – which is what you would expect from a high performance machine. The only downside is that it only offers 256 GB of SSD.
Fortunately, there are various configurations for RAM and SSD storage available.
We personally believe that 16 GB of RAM and 256/512 GB of SSD should hit the sweet spot for most digital graphic designers.
Also like most 2 in 1 laptops, this does not come with a Digital Pen. You’ll have to procure one separately.
So if you are looking for a performance based machine that is capable of handling complex projects, then this, in our opinion is the best 2 in 1 laptop for graphic design for the price.
4. Acer Spin 5 SP513-54N-74V2 – High Performance 13.3″ Option with 2K Display
A compact 13.3″ premium 2 in 1 laptop with 2K display.
Next up here we have Acer Spin 5. If you are looking for compact and a popular option with a beautiful screen and fairly powerful hardware configuration then you are seriously in luck with this piece.
For starters, this is a compact laptop with a 13.5″ screen. It features a 2K resolution NOT Full HD as seen in the laptop above.
2K resolution essentially give you twice as much pixel real estate. The resolution, as such, for this laptop is 2256×1504. 2K resolution may make sense for many as 4K can be an overkill for most users on a 13.5″ screen.
Like most premium laptops, the display on this is bright and vibrant thanks to the IPS panel has very slim bezels.
Performance wise, this laptop harbors the Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor. This is a slightly less powerful than the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U, however, for ultra mobile laptops such as this, it is one of the most powerful processors out there.
In short, from intermediate to advanced levels of graphic designing, you should have no issues in terms of performance lag here.
Besides that, it also offers a large 16 GB of DDR 4 RAM. Again, this is sufficient enough for expert levels of work. But on top of that, it also features an ample 512 GB of SSD.
The cherry on cake here is that it does come with a Digital Pen / Stylus.
In the end, if you are looking for a high performance compact model, then this is the best 2 in 1 laptop for graphic design in our opinion.
5. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 – High Performance 4K 2 in 1 Laptop
Finally, here we have the most expensive monitor in this list mostly owing to the fact that this is only option with a 4K touchscreen display.
If you want to have tremendous pixel control on your digital art, then you may enjoy using a 4K display. In addition to that, the display is large measuring at 15.6″ and also feature the vibrant IPS panel.
Having a good display is equal as important to graphic designer as the internal hardware.
Now there are many 4K 2 in 1 laptops in the price bracket of this model. The reason we have selected this particular model by Lenovo is because it features a rather powerful entry level dedicated graphics card i.e the NVIDIA MX 330. You can watch its gaming benchmark video below.
But in terms of work, if you work with effects and filters that use GPU acceleration, then you will find this more capable compared to the rest of the pack.
Other than that, the laptop features 16 GB of RAM and offers storage ranging from 512 – 2 TB of SSD depending upon the model you choose.
NVIDIA Geforce MX 330 gaming benchmark
6. ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 – Chromebook
Perhaps Chromebook is more suited for your light graphic designing endeavors?
Finally, if the windows operating system does not suit you or if you highly rely on online and cloud based software for your design work, then there is nothing better than a Chromebook.
A Chromebook, if you are not aware off already, works in a different fashion as compared to a Windows based laptop.
The main bulk of the work done on Chromebook is done by the online applications. The advantage here is that the laptop itself does not need to have a high end hardware.
This is because, the processing work is performed by the server side not by the your laptop.
You do, however, need to have a strong and stable internet connection to reap the most benefit out of the online platforms.
Basically, from processing power to storage, your work will be done by the servers of the online application.
Hence, you will notice that this laptop only features a weak Intel Core M3-8100Y processor, a low 4 GB of RAM and meager 64 GB of eMMC storage.
It features a 14 inch screen with touchscreen and very slim bezels.
One of biggest attraction with Chromebooks is that they are very cheap. This laptop is the cheapest in this list.
Therefore, if you are sold by the idea of having a Chromebook, then this is the best 2 in 1 laptop for graphic design in our opinion.
Can You Stylus for Graphic Designing on Convertible Laptop?
Most certainly you can. If you have a capacitive digital pen/stylus, you can certainly use it for your graphic designing work.
However, there is an important point to note here. Capacitive styluses have a large tip since they work on the similar basis as a normal finger tip i.e they have to be large enough to induce a voltage break on the capacitive touchscreens of the laptops.
The fine tip stylus, however, would not work on these laptop since they require a display with active digitizers.
What to Look for in a Convertible Laptop for Graphic Designing?
Graphic designing in itself is not a highly demanding task. The hardware that you need would largely depend upon how complex your project is.
The type of system or hardware that you need for graphic designing can be summarized by looking at the hardware requirements for popular software like Photoshop.
What is the Suitable CPU for Graphic Designing?
When it comes to performance and the actual handling of the work, the most important consideration is the processor.
The more powerful a processor, the better would be the overall graphic designing experience.
Generally most of the work that you perform on the graphic designing software will be single core based. However, some tasks like 3D rendering and certain filters can certainly eat up as many cores as possible.
The first step is to generally choose the best possible single core performance (refer to the Cinebench and passmark benchmarks for this).
If you have a higher budget still, go for a higher core count. However, going beyond 8 cores would not give you much of a performance due to the nature of how limited most designing software are in terms of scaling with a higher core count.
Do You Need a Powerful Graphics Card?
GPU is only important if you are working on 3D graphics. In fact, it is not just important, it is a critical component for rendering 3D graphic designs.
However, if you are working on 2D graphics, the integrated graphics in the processor would more than suffice. You WILL see SOME benefit from having a dedicated GPU, but a top of the line GPU would rarely provide a huge performance gain as compared to low end ones.
How Much Ram is Good for Designing?
RAM is another critical component that can certainly help with graphic designing. RAM helps in many cases from previewing to rendering.
The higher the RAM the higher the design resolution you would be able to create comfortably.
Generally we recommend 16 GB for anything related to professional work. 16 GB should allow you to multitask as well as allow you to work on large files.
When it comes to storage, you have three options. First you can go for a budget based system with a large capacity hard disk drive. Second, you can choose to go for expensive, high capacity, and sheer performance based system with only SSDs.
Third you can go for the middle ground. You can have a reasonable amount of SSD for the system OS and for installing and storing critical software and projects, at the same time, you can have a second large capacity HDD for storing large multimedia files.
In this article we looked at some of the best 2 in 1 laptops for graphic design. We generally looked at midrange to high end convertible laptops and ditched the lower end options.
We do not recommend that you go for Intel Pentium or Celeron based systems as they would be lacking in performance particularly for work like graphic designing.
All in all, we hope that this article would at least point you to the right direction.