9 Best Laptops For Animation You Can Buy

Are you interested in creating your animation masterpiece or rendering 3D video game levels? Learning to use applications like Autodesk Maya is only possible by considering whether your computer meets the minimum system requirements. 

If you intend to use your new laptop for animation-related tasks, you should exercise extreme caution when purchasing it to get the most for your money. 

Not all portable computers are created equally, and many less expensive options lack the necessary capabilities to operate animation programs. 

Let’s not waste more time speculating; we’ve researched and identified the best laptops for animation in 2023; take a look! 

Not all laptops can process massive amounts of artwork and animation. If you’re looking for a decent energy-efficient laptop, you should read this guide. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of the top laptops for artists, including a description of each device’s features and a link to its online retailer. 

Our Top Picks

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What are the minimum hardware requirements to get started with Animation? 

One of the first steps in acquiring a laptop is to become acquainted with the device’s fundamental specifications. 

A laptop with a slow processor and limited RAM lacks the processing power to run graphically intensive programs smoothly. 

The following are some of the most fundamental necessities that your computer must possess: 

  • A faster processor will provide more consistent and enjoyable performance. 
  • Each Intel processor has four cores and eight threads. 
  • RAM with six cores and six threads, as provided by AMD processors, is designed to enhance both stability and multitasking performance. 
  • Minimum 8 GB and preferably 16 GB of storage capacity. Constantly having more is advantageous. 
  • 256 GB minimum storage capacity using NVMe or SSD. Other requirements 
  • Greater than 95% coverage of the sRGB color space (color accuracy) 
  • The screen must be brighter than 300 nits at 2k resolution and 60 Hz for output on external monitors. 
  • My Advice as a Digital Artist and 3D Sculptor: 8 gigabytes of random-access memory (RAM), with 16 to 32 gigabytes being the recommended amount (I recommend 32GB for 3D artists and animators). The minimum recommended capacity for a solid-state drive (SSD) is 512 GB, and the maximum capacity is 1 terabyte. 
  • High-Definition Display, especially in Full HD or 4K resolution. (All Apple laptops have QHD resolution or higher) A quick and powerful CPU from the most recent generation and a graphics coprocessor is both excellent and fast. 

10 Best Laptops For Animation You Can Buy 2023

All of the laptops on this page can run the best animation software, including After Effects, Blender, and Maya, but they vary in price, screen size, and other essential features. Check out our recommendations for the best drawing tablets for animation if you need a solution for your drawing needs. Expand your creative horizons with one of the best laptops for graphic design or the best laptops for music production. 

1. The best laptop for animation overall: Apple MacBook Pro 16 Inch Display

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Although the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch has received mixed reviews, primarily due to its high price, it is unquestionably an excellent performer in every way. The Pro is a powerful, stylish, high-performing, and user-friendly laptop that satisfies every conceivable need. 

The MacBook Pro 16-inch is, without a doubt, the most suitable portable device for Adobe Creative Suite for people who work with a substantial amount of software and a significant number of computers. 

It is equipped with a powerful graphics card. 

This device is ideal for professionals in the fields of photography and videography due to its many valuable features, including its high-quality screen, built-in speakers, and speaker docking support. 

Specifications 
  • RAM: 16GB  
  • Display: 16-inch Retina Display  
  • Storage: 512GB  
  • Processor: 9 Gen 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor  
PROS
  • Magic Keyboard feels great
  • Larger 16" display with slimmer bezels
  • Up to 8-core Core i9 CPU and 64GB RAM
  • Decent audio upgrade
CONS
  • Display not 4K
  • Heavier than 15" MacBook Pro
  • Lacks full-size USB port or SD card
  • Starts expensive and goes up from there

2. The best portable laptop for animators: MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021)

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The supercharged MacBook Pro from Apple is undoubtedly one of the best laptops for animation. This MacBook Pro features Apple’s M1 Pro or M1 Max processor, which enables it to deliver awe-inspiring performance while retaining its thin and (relatively) light design. 

As we mentioned in our Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch review, it’s difficult to overstate the power of this machine, so let’s say that it can handle your creative animation workflow with ease and will do so virtually in silence. Additionally, its battery life is the longest ever seen in a MacBook. We’ve tested it ourselves and found it imposing, allowing you to work all day without recharging. This makes it an excellent option for animators who travel frequently. The 16-inch model shown above is an excellent alternative if you prefer a larger workspace. 

Specifications 
  • CPU: Apple M1 Pro chip with 8‑core CPU 
  • Graphics: Integrated 14-core GPU 
  • RAM: 16GB – 64GB (unified memory) 
  • Screen: 14.2-inch 3024 x 1964 Liquid Retina XDR display 
  • Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD 
PROS
  • SD Card reader and HDMI
  • Brilliant performance
  • Solid battery life
  • 1080p webcam
  • Gorgeous mini-LED display
  • MagSafe 3 charging is fast
CONS
  • Pricier than the competition
  • No memory or storage expansion
  • Entry-level doesn't include the faster-charging plug
  • Camera notch may be obtrusive for some users or applications
  • No Face ID
  • Direct Competitors and Related Products

3. Best Budget Chromebook Alternative: ASUS VivoBook 15 Business Laptop

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When searching for a cheap laptop, the first consideration should be the maximum amount of money you are willing to spend. Consider purchasing the Asus Vivobook 15 if you are in the market for a laptop that costs less than $500. 

The basic specifications are noticeably superior to most Chromebooks sold at this price point. Including a Nano-edge display and the option to utilize Intel Optane memory can facilitate the seamless operation of your applications. 

You have access to some premium features at this price point, and the 15.6-inch display looks great. 

Specifications 
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 
  • GPU: Intel UHD 
  • RAM: 16GB 
  • Storage: 512GB SSD 
  • Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 
  • Battery: 5:20 
  • Size: 14.1 x 9.2 x 0.8 inches 
  • Weight: 2.66 kg 
PROS
  • Affordable
  • Full keyboard layout
  • Extremely light
  • Ample port selection
CONS
  • Poor battery life
  • Dull display

4. Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop

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Razer has enhanced the performance of its most popular gaming laptop, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition, transforming it into a mobile creative workstation capable of delivering results that exceed the expectations of videographers, photographers, and graphic designers. 

In addition, the touchscreen model features a stunning, manufacturer-calibrated 4K display. 

This provides video editors with content that is not only incredibly crisp but also offers ample room for editing. 

Specifications 
  • RAM: 32GB  
  • Screen: 15.6-inch OLED 4K Touch 60Hz  
  • Storage: 1TB SSD  
  • CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H  
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q – NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition  
PROS
  • Good gaming performance
  • Varied port selection
  • 1080p webcam
  • Top-notch touchpad
CONS
  • Mixed productivity performance
  • Competitors offer brighter screens
  • Average battery life undercuts portability appeal

5. 360 Deg Rotate: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 Laptop

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Not only is it conceivable for a product to be competent and well-designed, but it can be affordable. 

This item has superior construction quality and a hinge that can rotate 360 degrees. The Flex 3 has an SD card reader that can expand the 64GB of internal storage. 

This product is not of exceptionally high quality despite having a touchscreen and being available at a price that makes it accessible to many customers. 

Specifications 
  • RAM: 4GB  
  • Screen Size: 11.6″ HD (1366×768) IPS, 10-point Multi-touch  
  • Storage Capacity: 64GB eMMC  
  • CPU: Intel Celeron N4020  
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 600 
PROS
  • Excellent build quality
  • Unusual almond-colored exterior
  • SD card reader
  • USB-C charging
  • Affordable
CONS
  • Lackluster 11-inch screen

6. GIGABYTE AERO 17 HDR XD

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The Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR is an excellent laptop for content creation, but it has flaws that may cause potential buyers to look elsewhere. 

The Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC is a competent and potent creative laptop with cutting-edge Nvidia RTX 3000 GPUs, powerful Intel processors, and one of the best screens on the market. 

This is an excellent laptop for creative types if you have the money. 

Specifications 
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H 4.6GHz Tiger Lake H45  
  • CPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB  
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4 2 x 8GB upgradable to 32GB  
  • Display: 17.3-inch 16:9 3840×2160 UHD IPS panel / 60Hz  
  • Storage: 1TB SSD 
PROS
  • Bright and accurate HDR display
  • Very good gaming and content creation performance
  • Great battery life
  • Understated design
CONS
  • Below-average speaker quality
  • Poorly positioned webcam
  • A bit too heavy

7. ASUS ROG Strix G15

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To create high-end video games, you need a powerful laptop with a powerful processor and graphics card. Both of these features are present on the Asus ROG Strix G15. 

The laptop features an Intel Core i7-10750H processor with a turbo clock speed of 5GHz. 

The 15.6-inch screen of the laptop has a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels and fully utilizes the sRGB color space. 

The 240 Hz refresh rate of the laptop reduces motion blur and responsiveness issues. 

In addition, the laptop has ultra-slim bezels measuring 6.2 mm. The laptop has multiple USB 3.1 Gen 1 and Gen 2 ports for optimal connectivity. 

Specifications 
  • Graphics: 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 
  • RAM: 16GB  
  • Storage: 512GB SSD  
  • Display: 15.6 Inches  
  • Processor: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-10750H  
PROS
  • Plenty of power for AAA gaming
  • Superb 300Hz screen
  • PWM-free
  • There are two M.2 PCIe slots, two RAM SODIMM slots (up to 64GB of RAM in total) + it supports Wi-Fi 6
CONS
  • USB speeds limited to 5Gbits/sec
  • No SD card slot and Thunderbolt support
  • Lacks an integrated webcam

8. ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

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If you’re a creative professional looking for a powerful 2-in-1 laptop, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is an excellent piece of equipment. This laptop features a second touchscreen below the display for enhanced productivity—professional artists and architects who use demanding graphics applications while multitasking should select this option. 

This laptop will satisfy the needs of most creative individuals. This laptop can help you accomplish your goals, whether you are a photographer, graphic designer, or anyone else. 

The ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo is still easily transportable at just over five pounds. The laptop includes a palm rest and stylus for enhanced comfort and precision when creating. If you are not interested in the palm rest, it is detachable. 

Specifications 
  • Processor: 8-core Intel Core i9-9980HK, 2.4GHz, 16 MB cache, or 6-core Intel Core i7-9750H, 2.6GHz, 12 MB cache 
  • Memory: 8 GB, or up to 32 GB 2666MHz DDR4 
  • Storage: Up to 512 GB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x2 M.2 SSD, or 1 TB PCIe NVMe Gen3 x4 SSD 
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, 6 GB GDDR6 
  • Display: 15.6″ (16:9) 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)  with 14.0” 4K (3840 x 1100) Screen Pad Plus touch display 
PROS
  • Excellent screen quality
  • Thumbs up for computing power
  • Quite operations
  • Good keyboard
CONS
  • Cramped trackpad
  • No additional storage slot
  • Heavy
  • Costly

9. ASUS ROG Zephyrus

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It features a 1440p display suitable for animators and artists. With a battery life of nearly nine hours and a design that makes it easy to carry in a backpack, this laptop is ideal for everyday use. 

The Zephyrus G14 offers comparable performance to many of its larger rivals. While moderately demanding games such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider will push the display’s maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, resource-intensive games such as Cyberpunk 2077 will not be able to surpass 60 frames per second with nearly complete visual settings. 

Specifications 
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS  
  • Memory: 32GB 4800MHz DDR5 RAM  
  • Operating System: Windows 11 Pro
  • Storage: 1TB SSD  
  • Display: 120Hz @ 2560 x 1440p display  
PROS
  • Lots of ports and IO
  • Portable design
  • Good display
  • Surprisingly good webcam
  • Bigger touchpad
CONS
  • Wish the SSD was faster
  • Unfortunately expensive
  • Gets warm
  • Not outperforming cheaper systems
  • Display could be brighter
  • Some keyboard touchpoints run uncomfortably warm
  • Price premium

10. Best for 3D Modeling & Animation: Acer Spin 5 Intel Evo Convertible Laptop

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The battery life of the Acer Spin 5 could be improved. The Acer convertible outperformed its competitors on our performance and graphics benchmarks. It also has a vivid, high-definition display that makes Netflix and YouTube viewing enjoyable. 

In contrast, the Spin 5’s battery life is not particularly impressive. Despite its flaw in battery life, the Spin 5 may be worth the price due to its slick-operating Active Pen and convenient port selection. 

Specifications 
  • RAM 8GB  
  • Graphics CardIntel HD Graphics 620  
  • Hard Drive Size256GB SSD  
  • Highest Available Resolution1920 x 1080  
  • Resolution1920x1080  
  • Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 
PROS
  • Bright, colorful 2.5K touch screen
  • Onboard stylus
  • Good array of ports
  • Nice webcam
CONS
  • Costs more than some attractive competitors
  • Awkward keyboard layout
  • No LTE mobile broadband
  • Some bloatware

How to Choose the Best Laptop for Animation

Before purchasing your next laptop for animation, you should carefully consider the following technical details. Here are a few examples: 

Display 

The display will determine the clarity of your animations. It is one of the most critical factors for animators, as they must create visually appealing animations that are incredibly detailed and color accurate. Smaller 13-inch laptops and much more extensive but less portable 17-inch laptops are available. The most common laptop size is 15.6 inches, but 13-inch and 17-inch laptops are also available. 

Full HD is the bare minimum in terms of resolution for an animator. Still, premium laptops offer 2K and 4K resolution, which professionals prefer because it provides images with greater clarity and vibrancy. If your laptop’s display is inadequate, you can always connect an external monitor with a higher resolution. 

A refresh rate is also an option. It indicates how often the display can render a new image per second. Most laptops have a refresh rate of 60Hz by default, but high-end laptops can have refresh rates of up to 360Hz. A higher refresh rate is helpful for more than just gaming, as it will make the display considerably more responsive and speedier when animating. 

Processor 

Creating and rendering animations requires a great deal of processing power; having a CPU with a lower specification will result in a laggy animation experience and increased rendering time. 

You will require a laptop with a four-core, eight-thread multicore processor. For optimal performance, it is recommended to have the newest processors, whether Intel or AMD. For animations, a 10th- or 11th-generation Intel i5/i7/i9 processor or a 4th- or 5th-generation AMD Ryzen 5/7/9 processor will suffice. 

RAM 

RAM is temporary storage that stores the data of the application you are currently using. Animation software requires a large amount of RAM to function correctly, and if you enjoy multitasking, you must focus on RAM. 

8GB of RAM should be sufficient for 2D animations, but 16GB of RAM is highly recommended for both 2D and 3D animations, as it will guarantee that animations can be rendered without crashing. You will not need to upgrade your RAM shortly. 

Storage 

Drawing animations generates large files, so having a storage device with a high transfer rate can significantly improve your workflow. It is recommended to have at least 512GB or 1TB of internal SSD or HDD storage, as 3D files from applications such as 3DS Max and Maya can quickly fill up a 256GB disk. 

A hard disk drive (HDD) is a slower but more affordable storage solution, while a solid-state drive (SSD) is the opposite. Hybrid options that combine SSD and HDD are also available, and if you ever run out of storage on your laptop, you can purchase an external disk or upgrade its storage. 

GPU 

An integrated or entry-level GPU can handle most tasks, but investing in a good GPU is wiser. A more powerful GPU will allow you to create and render complex 3D animations at a high frame rate without experiencing any lag. 

How do I select a laptop suitable for animation? 

Choosing the best laptop for animation will depend on your level of expertise, budget, and the level of difficulty of your work. You will need a device with a modern processor and ample RAM. We recommend a minimum of 8GB, but you should aim for 16GB or higher. 

With the increasing popularity of GPU render engines such as Redshift and Octane, you should also consider whether you will render animations using your GPU or CPU. 

For CPU rendering, you should seek a high clock speed so that the machine can animate in real-time and perform the complex calculations required to render animations. 

Consider a laptop with a dedicated graphics card if you attempt final-quality rendering for more complex 3D animations; this is especially true if you are using the GPU. Even though these will inevitably be more expensive, the dramatic effect they will have on the speed of your workflow justifies the cost. 

However, the current increase in the cost of living makes this kind of investment a lot more difficult to stomach, which is why we have included laptops at various price points that are more than capable of handling your animation needs. 

Are gaming laptops good for animation? 

Gaming laptops are some of the most powerful machines on the market, and an increasing number of creatives are investing in an RGB-clad gaming laptop to handle their processing and rendering needs – we’ve even included a Razer gaming laptop in our list of the best laptops for animation. Most of the best gaming laptops are perfectly capable of meeting the needs of animators. 

FAQs

Razer Blade 15, Asus Zenbook Pro Duo, Apple MacBook Pro 2021 are some of the best laptops for animations.

ASUS TUF Dash 15 is the best budget-friendly laptop.

There are many great laptops out there that can handle 2D and 3D animation with ease but is also quite expensive. This laptop is the perfect choice not only because of its characteristics but because you don’t need to break your bank to get it.

Hardware
Processor (CPU)64-bit Intel Core i5 minimum, recommended i7 or Xeon
Graphics (GPU)Intel 4000 minimum NVIDIA Geforce GTX 780 medium performance NVIDIA Geforce GTX 970 recommended
Memory (RAM)8GB of RAM (16GB or more recommended)

Quad-Core Processor

This type of processor can handle the demands of 3D animation without breaking a sweat. If you’re on a tight budget, a dual-core processor will suffice. But for best results and if you can afford it, go with a quad-core processor!

  • Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition (Editor’s Choice)
  • ASUS VivoBook 15.
  • ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2021)
  • Asus Zenbook Pro Duo.
  • GIGABYTE AERO 17 HDR XD.
  • Apple MacBook Pro 2021.
  • Acer Spin 5.
  • ASUS TUF Gaming F17.

Graphic design and animation can require some serious specs. Not just any laptop will do. Gaming laptops tend to have the horsepower necessary for both gaming, art, and animation projects. But there’s more to finding a good laptop than just raw power, especially if you have an artistic bent.

Conclusion

Creating animations is creatively rewarding and allows you to tell a story through digital art. Animation combines narrative, visual art, movement, music, and sound to create a unique work of art. It can be difficult to draw digitally if your laptop is not powerful enough to run animation software without lag. Read our blog post on the 10 Best Laptops for Video Editing, Motion Graphics, and Animation if you are also interested in laptops for video editing and motion graphics. 

To assist you in locating the most cost-effective laptops for creating animations, we have compiled a list of the ten best laptops we could identify. Whether 2D or 3D, AR or VR, these laptops are sturdy, dependable, and portable, making them an excellent option for animators. 

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The above article was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which consists of some of the most knowledgeable technical experts in the United States. Our team consists of highly regarded writers with vast experience in smartphones, computer components, technology apps, security, and photography, among other fields.

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