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Last updated on July 27th, 2020 at 08:42 am

6 Best Laptops For [2D & 3D] Animation and Animators (Cinema4D, Adobe Animate, etc)

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Last updated on July 4th, 2020 at 04:46 am

Depending on whether you want to animate in 2D or 3D, you need a capable laptop.

In this article, we list the best laptops for animation and animators.


Position
First Place
Runner Up
Best Budget
Snapshot
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15 Inch 1TB i7 16GB RAM Bundle (1.9GHz i7 Up to 4.2GHz, 3240 x 2160 Resolution, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060)
New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Silver
ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra Thin and Light Laptop, 4-Way NanoEdge 14” FHD, Intel Core i7-10510U, 8GB RAM, 512GB PCIE SSD, NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Windows 10 Home, Utopia Blue, UX431FL-EH74
What You Need To Know About The Laptop

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 makes creating animations very easy due to its versatile nature.

The Apple MacBook Pro is a content creator’s favourite laptop. Powerful hardware and an excellent display.

The ASUS ZenBook 14 is one of the best budget laptops for animation. It has an affordable price tag and solid performance.

Prime
-
-
Rating
-
-
Position
First Place
Snapshot
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15 Inch 1TB i7 16GB RAM Bundle (1.9GHz i7 Up to 4.2GHz, 3240 x 2160 Resolution, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060)
What You Need To Know About The Laptop

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 makes creating animations very easy due to its versatile nature.

Prime
-
Rating
Position
Runner Up
Snapshot
New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Silver
What You Need To Know About The Laptop

The Apple MacBook Pro is a content creator’s favourite laptop. Powerful hardware and an excellent display.

Prime
Rating
-
Position
Best Budget
Snapshot
ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra Thin and Light Laptop, 4-Way NanoEdge 14” FHD, Intel Core i7-10510U, 8GB RAM, 512GB PCIE SSD, NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Windows 10 Home, Utopia Blue, UX431FL-EH74
What You Need To Know About The Laptop

The ASUS ZenBook 14 is one of the best budget laptops for animation. It has an affordable price tag and solid performance.

Prime
-
Rating
-

Last update on 2020-08-09 at 13:05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Preview
Name
Rating
Processor, GPU & RAM
 
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15 Inch 1TB i7 16GB RAM Bundle (1.9GHz i7 Up to 4.2GHz, 3240 x 2160 Resolution, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060)

Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GTX 1050, 16GB
New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) - Silver

Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M, 16GB
2019 Dell XPS 15 7590 Laptop 15.6' Intel i7-9750H NVIDIA GTX 1650 512GB SSD 16GB RAM FHD 1920x1080 500-Nits Windows 10 PRO (Renewed)

Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GTX 1650, 16GB
MSI P65 Creator-1084 15.6' 4K UHD Display, Ultra-Thin and Light, RTX Studio Laptop, Intel Core i7-9750H, GeForce RTX 2060, 32GB DDR4, 1TB Teton Glacier SSD, Win10PRO, VR Ready

Intel Core i7, NVIDIA RTX 2060, 32GB
Gigabyte AERO 15 Classic-SA-U73ADW 15' Thin Bezel UHD Auo IPS Adobe RGB 100%, i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, Samsung 16GB RAM, M.2 PCIe 256GB Intel SSD, W10 Home, 94Wh Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop

Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti, 16GB
ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra Thin and Light Laptop, 4-Way NanoEdge 14” FHD, Intel Core i7-10510U, 8GB RAM, 512GB PCIE SSD, NVIDIA GeForce MX250, Windows 10 Home, Utopia Blue, UX431FL-EH74

Intel Core i7, NVIDIA MX250, 8GB

Here Are The Best Laptops For Animators and Animation


Pros

  • Solid Performance
  • Excellent Display
  • Insane Battery Life
  • A True 2-in-1 Laptop

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Doesn’t come with a stylus

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1060 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6″ PixelSense (3000 x 2000) | Storage: 512GB SSD 

The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is one of the best and most recommended for animators. And a solid laptop for graphic design. Why? Microsoft really went all out in making a laptop for creators. This 2-in-1 laptop is a true convertible that has a superb display and great hardware.

A true convertible in the sense that you can detach the display from the keyboard. Allowing you to use it as a normal tablet. Whereas, other 2-in-1 laptops require you to turn it 360 degrees.

When it comes to computing power, you have enough processing power for 2D and 3D animation. Thanks to its Intel quad-core i7 and 16GB RAM, you won’t have any problems running demanding software or multitasking. You can even game on it because of the GTX 1060.

Battery life on this is insane. You are looking at 12 hours or more. 12 hours if you use the tablet or display by itself. 12 hours and more if the display is attached to the keyboard.

Overall, Microsoft Surface Book 2 is one of the best laptops for animators and animation. Great benefits and hardware that makes it a solid option.


Pros

  • Well-made construction
  • Great performance
  • Great battery life
  • Beautiful display

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not all animation software will be fully functional
  • Only Thunderbolt ports

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 16″ Retina (3072×1920) Display | Storage: 512GB SSD 

The Apple MacBook Pro is one of the top choices when looking for the best laptop for animation. However, keep in mind that the Apple MacBook Pro cannot run all animation software only the most popular and most used, so you have to check yourself.

The MacBook Pro is also a pricey device that is understandable because of the benefits.

Apple has made the Apple MacBook Pro faster, better, and stronger. The keyboard has been changed and it’s better than before, and the Apple MacBook Pro is more powerful and runs cooler. You will easily be able to multitask, render, animate, and run demanding applications without any issues.

When it comes to the display, the Apple MacBook Pro maintains its retina display and we all know how it looks like. Sharp, bright, great viewing angles, and high colour accuracy. It’s known that Retina displays are one of the best displays.

Battery life is above average. You are looking at 10-11 hours under normal usage, and that’s a lot all made possible because of its large battery. The build quality is exceptional, thanks to its aluminum unibody design. A strong laptop that you can use for years on end.

If you are going to use the most popular animation software, then the Apple MacBook Pro is best workstation laptop for animation and rendering. Highly-recommended because it has the hardware to do so.

One more thing, the Apple MacBook Pro has only Thunderbolt ports, so you need a dock to use the normal USB ports.


Where To Buy

$1,492.16

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • Long battery life
  • Great performance
  • Beautiful display
  • Sold build quality

Cons

  • Runs hot

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1650 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS | Storage: 512GB SSD 

The Dell XPS 15 is the best workstation laptop for 3D animation. However, due to its thin and light chassis, it runs hot. Undervolting and applying thermal paste is a necessary action to take if you want the best performance.

This is packed with an Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, and a GTX 1650 card. More than enough power for Adobe Animate, VFX, Cinema4D, Blender, Maya, etc. This will handle them easily. And if it fits your fancy, you can use it to play games.

The Dell XPS 15 is a well-built laptop that is thin and light, and the display is excellent. A very bright full HD display that is sharp and colour accurate.

To be honest, Dell XPS 15 displays do not disappoint. Hence the main reason why they are the top choice of most content creators.

Dell XPS 15 has an impressive battery life. Enough battery power to last you 10 hours under consistent use.

Overall, the only flaw of the Dell XPS 15 is the tendency to run hot and thermal throttle. However, applying thermal paste and undervolting will solve the problem and a much more stable system.

Highly-recommended laptop for animation. 


Where To Buy

$1,899.00

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Great display
  • Thin and light
  • Excellent performance
  • Good keyboard

Cons

  • Runs hot
  • 4-5 hour battery life

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA RTX 2060 | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 15.6″ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 144Hz | Storage: 1TB SSD 

The MSI P65 is a powerful laptop meant for creators and gaming, a simple looking laptop that houses powerful hardware.

This is packed with an Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM, and an RTX 2060, enough processing power for not only animation but also running demanding games. This laptop can handle anything you throw at it. It will get the job done.

The build quality is also top-notch, an aluminium chassis that has been painted white.

The 15.6, 4K-UHD display that has great colour accuracy, reproduction, and contrast levels, which the display quality isn’t a problem because it is high quality.

Battery life is not impressive. All that powerful hardware and high-resolution display negatively impact battery life. At best, it can last 4-5 hours which is still impressive than most high-performance laptops.

MSI P65 also runs hot just like most thin and light laptops. Undervolting and thermal paste application is a must.

If you are looking for a powerhouse for animation, then the MSI P65 Creator is a solid option. To be honest, nothing can wrong with an i7 processor, 32GB, and an RTX 2060 card.

Overall, one of the best laptops for animation and animators.


Where To Buy

$1,699.00

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • Great performance
  • Beautiful display
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Runs hot
  • Low storage space

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6″ UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS | Storage: 256GB SSD 

If you are an animation student, the Gigabyte Aero 15 Classic is the best animation laptop you can get. Plus, it can play most games.

This gaming laptop has powerful hardware that can handle almost everything you throw at it. And if you are tired of animating, you can switch to playing games on high graphic settings.

Just look at the hardware – Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, and GTX 1660 Ti. You won’t have any problems running animation software. The only problems are overheating which can cause CPU throttling.

Thin and light laptops like the Gigabyte Aero 15 are susceptible to overheating, so you need to apply thermal paste and undervolt. Also, 256GB is not enough in today’s world. Fortunately, you can easily swap it out for larger storage.

At 100 percent Adobe RGB and 4K resolution, this is the best colour accurate display for animation and graphic design, even better than the Apple MacBook Pro. It is sharp, bright and has great viewing angles. To be honest, this is the type of display you find on high-end and expensive laptops.

For battery life, it is decent. You can get 6-7 hours of power under normal use. Not impressive but still good enough.

To sum it all up, the Gigabyte Aero 15 Classis is the best laptop for animation students. It has an excellent display and powerful hardware to run demanding applications.


Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great price-to-performance ratio
  • Thin and light
  • Good display
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Ergo lift makes it unstable on most surfaces
  • Bloatware

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA MX250 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) | Storage: 512GB SSD 

Affordable, solid performance and good battery life. The ASUS ZenBook 14 is the best budget laptop for animation. This is also one of the best option if you are an animation student looking for something affordable.

The ASUS ZenBook has a 14 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) almost bezel-less display. The almost bezel-less design gives the ZenBook a great aesthetic appeal. It’s also bright, sharp and has good colour accuracy. The laptop has a smooth and shiny finish making it look and feel professional.

Performance is also not lacking. It has an Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM and NVIDIA MX250, enough performance to handle 2D and 3D animation.

Apart from performance, it is also very light and slim. Battery life is about 7-8 hours which is good. Depending on how you use it, it can get you throughout a day of work.

Overall, the ASUS ZenBook 14 is one of the best budget laptops for animation because of its performance, good battery life and lightweight. It is a rigid and robust ultrabook that will last a very long time and still be able to perform.

This is highly-recommended if you require an affordable laptop for animation.


Things To Look Out For When Getting A Laptop For Animation or Graphics Design

CPU

Having a powerful CPU is important. Intel i5 processors and higher are strongly recommended. For AMD, go with Ryzen 5 and 7s.

These are also comparable in performance to Intel i5 and i7 processors respectively.

To know the meanings in the Intel letters you can read this guide. You can also read this guide to better understand AMD Ryzen processors.

Graphics Card

Autodesk Maya, Blender, Cinema4D, VFX, Adobe Premiere Pro etc. have their requirements on which graphics cards to use.

To be on the safer side, NVIDIA GTX 1060 or higher is recommended. That is for 3D animation.

For 2D animation and graphic design, you can get away with integrated graphics card or cards lower than GTX 1060.

Display

Another important thing to look out for is the display since you will be working with colours all the time. You need a display that is able to show and reproduce colours well. That means you should get a display with a high colour gamut.

One trick to quickly identify displays with high colour accuracy and reproduction is the resolution. Laptops that have high-resolution displays always have high colour accuracy and reproduction.

But keep in mind that there are also laptops with full HD (1920 x 1080) displays that also have high colour gamut.

RAM

The minimum is 8GB RAM. Recommended RAM is 16GB and for best results 32GB RAM. You need enough RAM for the program to run and to multitask. Insufficient RAM will just cause problems for you.

Final Thoughts

Depending on what animation – 2D or 3D – you might need a laptop with good hardware and a display.

Fortunately, our list of laptops covers all the system requirements found in animation software, so you don’t have a problem here.

That’s it for the best laptops for animation and animators.

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