A convertible 2-in-1 laptop is an excellent device particularly for the creative mind. It offers you the best of performance as well as portability.
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.
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.
List of Best 2 in 1 Laptops for Graphic Design in 2020
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
- Lenovo 14 81SS000DUS – Affordable Option
- HP – Spectre x360 – Compact 13.3″ Convertible Laptop
- Acer Spin 5 SP513-54N-74V2 – High Performance 13.3″ Option
- ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 – Chromebook
1. Lenovo Flex 5 81X20005US – Recommended 2 in 1 Laptop for Graphic Design
First up we have a highly recommended mid range option for those looking for a fairly powerful machine at a good value.
Lenovo Flex 5 is a 14″ convertible laptop that features a good range of specs suitable for most intermediate level designers.
For starters this laptop features the latest AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor. The 4th Gen Ryzen processors have just recently hit the market and they 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.
Hence as far as the performance goes, this has the best value for the price.
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. Lenovo Flex 14 81SS000DUS – Affordable Option
Next we have another laptop from Lenovo. This laptop is a generation older compared to the previous laptop mentioned here.
However, if you have a tight budget and you want to maximize the performance value at a reasonable price tag, then we recommend this as the best 2 in 1 laptop for graphic designing.
This laptop features the previous gen Ryzen 5 3500U processor. We already established above that it is much weaker than the latest Ryzen 5 4500U. However, for the price its performance is highly justifiable.
Other than that, it offers a decent 12 GB of RAM and a 256 GB of SSD.
This also comes with a Digital Pen which you can use on its Full HD 14″ Touchscreen.
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.
3. HP – Spectre x360 – Compact 13.3″ Convertible Laptop
When it comes to premium craftsmanship, Spectre X360 is the flagship model from HP. From its thin bezels, aluminum finish to razor thin profile, the looks are the first thing that grab the attention.
This is a compact 13.3″ ultrabook that is excellent not just for those who like to roll in style, but also for graphic designers who need something manageable in their hands.
If you find 14″ laptops to be too heavy to hold, a 13.3″ laptop can certain help with portability.
As far as the processor goes, this laptop features the latest Intel Core i5-1035G4.
In terms of performance, this processor is weaker compared to the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U but much more powerful than the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor.
The Intel Core i5 in this laptop is a throttled version which is purposefully designed to stay cool in a small chassis. As far as designing work goes, it should give you no trouble.
One of the best attraction of this laptop is the screen. It features a 4K screen with a very bright display. The higher resolution would result in crisp details on your designs.
The 8 GB RAM is on the lower side of the spectrum but sufficient for intermediate design work.
All in all, if you are looking for a premium 13.3″ option then this is the best 2 in 1 laptop for graphic design in our opinion.
4. Acer Spin 5 SP513-54N-74V2 – High Performance 13.3″ Option
Next up here we have Acer Spin 5. It is the most expensive laptop in this list, but value wise, this is one of the best high performance convertible laptop in the market.
For starters, this is a compact laptop with a 13.5″ screen. It features a 2K resolution NOT 4K. 2K resolution may make sense for many as 4K can be an overkill for most users on a 13.3″ screen.
Like most premium laptops, the display on this is bright and 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.
Besides that, it also offers a large 16 GB of DDR 4 RAM. Again, this is sufficient enough for expert levels of work.
It features a large 512 GB of SSD. The highest in this list. Furthermore, it also comes with a rechargeable Active Stylus for your design work.
In the end, if you are looking for a high performance model, then this is the best 2 in 1 laptop for graphic design.
5. ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 – Chromebook
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, 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.
The laptops 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.
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.
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.
Larger and more complex projects would require more powerful CPUs. On top of that, you will also benefit from a processor with multiple cores particularly if the software supports that too.
Adobe Photoshop supports multicore processing.
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.
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.
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.