Best Laptop for Animation & Graphics [2020]

If you’re just getting started in animation, or you’ve been involved with the industry for a while, then you’ll know that the one thing that you need is a high powered laptop. Whilst you might be able to get away with an 8GB laptop with 2D animation, it’s definitely going to struggle when you’re trying to render 3D graphics.

So, we know that you need a powerful laptop. But what else do you need from an animation laptop? Well, we’re going to take a closer look at both what you need, but also the best animation laptops out there right now too.

Best Laptop for Animation

ProductImageScreen SizeSpecsGet More Info
HP OMEN 17-cb1003naHP OMEN 17-cb1003na 17.3 Inch Full HD, 144 Hz Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i7-10750H, 16 GB RAM, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super (8 GB Dedicated) Graphics, Windows 10 Home - Black17.3 inch16GB RAMFind Best Price
ASUS TUF FX505DVASUS TUF FX505DV 144 Hz 15.6 Inch Full HD Gaming Laptop (AMD Ryzen 7 3750H, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB NMVe PCI-e SSD, Windows 10)15.6 inch16GB RAMFind Best Price
Apple MacBook ProNew Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Storage, Magic Keyboard) - Space Grey16 Inch16GB RAMFind Best Price
ASUS ZenBook UM431DAASUS ZenBook UM431DA 14 Inch IPS Full HD Thin Laptop (AMD Ryzen 7 3700U, 16GB RAM, 512 GB PCI-e SSD, NumberPad, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10)14 inch16GB RAMFind Best Price

HP OMEN 17-cb1003na

HP OMEN 17-cb1003na 17.3 Inch Full HD, 144 Hz Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i7-10750H, 16 GB RAM, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super (8 GB Dedicated) Graphics, Windows 10 Home - Black

Operating System: Windows OS | Screen size: 15.6 Inch | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Processor: Intel i7 | Average Battery Life: 13 hours

If you want to render in real time, then make sure that you get a laptop with a good GPU. This is one of the reasons why gaming laptops come highly recommended, as you also need a good GPU for gaming.

One of the best options for this is the HP OMEN 17-cb1003na, which comes with a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card. This new Gen GPU will be ideal for animating, and it’s the main reason to opt for this laptop. This will allow your laptop to produce some excellent graphics.

There’s more to this laptop than just the GPU, and it comes with 16GB of RAM and a Intel Core i7-10750H processor. This processor has 6 cores, 2 threads and has a max clock frequency of 5.0GHz. Whilst a high quality processor like this isn’t a necessity for animation, it’s definitely nice to have.

Another very impressive part of this laptop is it’s display, which has a 144Hz refresh rate. Most people won’t be working with fast animations like this, but it could be useful to have. Overall, this is one of the best animation laptops out there if you’re looking to get started.

ASUS TUF FX505DV

ASUS TUF FX505DV 144 Hz 15.6 Inch Full HD Gaming Laptop (AMD Ryzen 7 3750H, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB NMVe PCI-e SSD, Windows 10)

Operating System: Windows OS | Screen size: 15.6 Inch | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 | Average Battery Life: 9 hours

Another good option for those looking for a gaming laptop for animation is this ASUS TUF FX505DV. It’s very reasonably priced when you consider it’s power and it’s specs, which is much better than other laptops within the same price range.

This model has 16GB of RAM partnered with a quad-core processor, and a good Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU perfect for your needs. The standard model comes with a AMD Ryzen 7-3750H processor, which only has four cores. But for not much more, you can upgrade to the Intel i7-10750H, which has 6 cores and 12 threads. The cores just represent the multitasking ability to the laptop, and how many things it can process at once.

In addition to the good internal hardware the device has, it’s also has a good quality screen with a 144Hz refresh rate and produces a very bright image. For it’s price, it’s actually surprising how good the quality of the screen is on this TUF model.

The only area where this laptop is lacking a little bit is with it’s storage. Though 256GB is fine for the most part, there may come a point later down the line where you’ll want to get some external storage. But aside from this, it’s a great laptop that offers excellent value for money.

Apple MacBook Pro

New Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD Storage, Magic Keyboard) - Space Grey

Operating System: Mac OS | Screen size: 16 Inch | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Processor: Intel i5 | Average Battery Life: 11 hours

Although the Mac OS wouldn’t be my first choice for an animation laptop, I do know many people who use them for this purpose. You can run the same programs that you can on a Windows laptop, and the Mac OS is very easy to use for multitasking, which you’ll likely be doing a lot of.

One of the main reasons people opt to use a Macbook is for it’s excellent user experience, and it’s hard to argue against that with the Macbook Pro. It’s beautiful 16 inch screen is the perfect platform for you to use your animation software, and whilst a great display isn’t a necessity for animation, it does make for a great experience.

This Macbook has tons of storage space, and enough power for all of your needs too – you can upgrade to a 1TB version of the laptop if you think you’ll need the space. It has a relatively decent battery life, and the i5 processor that comes with it is quad-core, which should be suitable for all your needs too.

If you’ve used a Macbook before and you like the Mac OS more than you like Windows, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t opt for a Macbook. It might be the perfect accompaniment for animating.

ASUS ZenBook UM431DA

Alienware m15 R2 15.6 Inch FHD 144Hz with Tobii Eye Tracker Gaming Laptop - (Lunar Light) Intel Core i7-9750H, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q with 8 GB GDDR6, Windows 10 Home

Operating System: Windows OS | Screen size: 14 Inch | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 | Average Battery Life: 10 hours

Though having a high end laptop is great for those that can afford it, it isn”t always possible to spend thousands on a new laptop. If you’re looking for something more affordable, then the ASUS UM431DA is the perfect choice for those looking for a cheap 16GB laptop.

Having 16GB of RAM is a definite plus for this laptop, and you’d be much better of with this as opposed to the base model of the Macbook Air, which is more expensive, with only 8GB of RAM and comes with an i3 processor. I mean, this model comes with an AMD Ryzen 7 Quad-core processor, which should be sufficient for your animation needs.

Another good thing about this laptop is the built in numberpad, which makes up part of the touchpad. It makes it very easy for you to enter numbers, and it’s quite handy to have this option. The super thin bezel design of the laptop’s display is great too, and for a 14 inch screen, it feels pretty comfortable in size.

So, for those looking for a reasonably priced laptop with a good amount of storage, this Zenbook might prove to be the perfect fit for your needs.

Common Questions about Animation Laptops

Is a gaming laptop good for animation?

If you’re wondering why I’ve mentioned a few gaming laptops here, it’s because typically they have the right criteria for a good animation laptop, as well as obviously being good for gaming. A gaming laptop has exactly what we need for animation – a powerful laptop with a good graphics card. So, this is why you’ll probably see gaming laptops commonly recommended as animation solutions.

Can you animate on a laptop?

Some people wonder whether a laptop will be enough for animation, and whether they should actually be looking at a computer instead. The truth is that a laptop will be perfectly fine for animation, and there’s no need to get a computer, unless you’d prefer that. Obviously, the laptop has the benefits of being portable, which many people need.

Is 8GB RAM enough for 3D animation?

In my opinion, an 8GB laptop is going to be the bare minimum amount of power that you need for 3D animation. However, if you can afford a 16GB laptop, this is going to be a much better choice.

Is i5 good for animation?

Yes, an i5 processor should be fine for animation, but obviously you’d prefer to have an i7 processor instead. Just check the amount of cores your the processor has – we want at least a quad-core processor for animation.

Is 32GB RAM overkill?

Actually, no I don’t think that 32GB of RAM will be overkill for animation. For software like Maya, 16GB is the recommended amount, but your laptop would be better of with 32GB of RAM instead. In 5 years time, it’s likely that 16GB will be the near average, and 8GB laptops won’t be powerful enough for a lot of new software being released.

Conclusion

In conclusion, finding a good animation laptop isn’t too hard. The main thing that you’re going to want to focus on is ensuring that your laptop is powerful enough. If you don’t have a massive budget, then look towards the cheaper brands with more RAM, as opposed to expensive brands with less RAM. For example, I’d rather have an ASUS laptop with 16GB of RAM than a Dell with 8GB of RAM, as power is the most important thing here.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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