Finding a new laptop for animation can be a very daunting task and here we have listed 5 of the best laptops for animators and animation in 2017. The animation industry is facing an all-time high influx from creators all across the globe. There are thousands of animators creating some fantastic work on their computers either sitting at home or working in professional studios. These are people creating 2D and 3D animations for film, TV, advertisements, YouTube channels and every other imaginable space where any animated video can be picturized. The animation industry is one completely driven by high-end computers. Lots of cores, lots of RAM, lots of storage, and lots of visual memory are a necessity rather than a luxury. The users are people using loaded software like Autodesk Maya, Blender, Pencil, etc. to create 2D and 3D animations. But the software alone can’t help anyone working on the animation to get great results. Creating animations requires a lot of time and patience and a good piece of hardware is imperative to keep up with the industry demands. A workstation desktop might be the ideal choice for animators but not everyone gets to work in the ideal situations. Lots of animators work in teams and have to move from place to place to get the scenes, the setting correctly in their images. Laptops then, become an ideal piece of kit to work with for such creativity.
It should be noted though individual demands can vary a lot even among animators based on the kind of work they create. For some, storage and portability might be the most important; for someone else processing power for fast and accurate rendering. A good laptop specifically catering to the needs of animators is an important purchase. Keeping that in mind, it is important to include a variety of laptops for different people’s needs. They all feature a good processor, a fair amount of RAM and external space. However, this should not be treated as an exhaustive list. Further, most of these laptops and other laptops in the market are fairly upgradable. They come with extra slots to increase RAM and storage space. It is advisable to invest some money into buying a solid state drive for running the system faster. If you are a beginner then it is suggested to invest in some lessons on the software you might plan to work on rather than spend all your cash on the software. Without further ado, here are our picks for the best laptops for animators and animation.
Our Top Picks for Best Laptops for Animation
1. ASUS ROG G752VS
This beast of a machine is a complete workstation. A 17-inch laptop with a Full HD display giving you enough space to work on the little pixels of your animation. It can handle pretty much any tough, intensive application you can throw at it with ease. The laptop is powered by an Intel i7 – 7820HK processor. This is a laptop with the Kaby Lake generation of processors featuring 14 nano meter transistors for better performance and less power consumption. It has 16GB of RAM, a 512GB solid state drive ensuring faster boot-up times and no visible lag in rendering. This particular unit features the latest NVIDIA GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of DDR5 memory. If you are looking to replace your desktop with something that handles anything you throw at it, this is the best choice. It comes with Windows 10 Pro which is great for professionals requiring enhanced encryption, Virtual Machines, and Remote Log-In. Nevertheless, the laptop comes with a fair share of issues to consider. Firstly, the size of the laptop and its weight will be big obstructions if you are looking for something portable. Secondly, the powerhouse does not have the best battery life and has a few heating issues.
- Intel Core i7-7820HK Processor
- NVIDIA GTX 1070 GPU
- 1 TB HDD
- 512 GB SSD
- 16 GB DDR4 RAM
2. Lenovo Legion Y520
The Lenovo Legion Y520 is the latest iteration of Lenovo’s on-the-go gaming laptops. This particular model features a 15.6 inch Full HD display. It comes with a mighty Intel i5-7300HQ processor running at 2.5 GHz. The laptop features 8GB of DDR4 RAM for faster performance with a 256 GB SSD. The GPU on this unit is the NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti with 4GB of DDR5 VRAM. This is a laptop made for portability and efficiency. Do not underestimate its i5 processor, the 7300HQ can run most of your rendering tasks and match the performance speeds of entry level i7 processors. The GPU and processor have been chosen such that the laptop offers a great battery life and is fairly portable at 5.3 pounds. The most defining feature of this laptop though has to be the incredible Harman and Dolby sound system. Lenovo has made this one for the user who wants great audio while working, playing games or watching any movie. This is a great laptop for those who work in post-production animation work editing and mixing sounds as well. There is a bit of a caveat though, the display isn’t one of the sharpest in its segment and the battery life is not great enough for working outdoors without any charging points. However, the laptop is a great buy if one is working in a studio or at home.
- Intel Core i5-7300HQ Processor
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
- 8 GB DDR4 RAM
- 256 GB SSD
3. Dell Inspiron 7559
The Dell Inspiron series is a famed line of laptops for multimedia usage. However, the higher end of the bracket features top of the line laptops with i7 processors, plenty of RAM and a good GPU for handling graphic intensive tasks. This particular generation, the 7559 laptops feature a sixth generation Intel i7-6700HQ processor with 8GB of RAM and a NVIDIA GTX 960M GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM. While a few people may have their concerns, this is an excellent rig for intermediate animators looking to work on something professional but not very high end. The laptop’s biggest selling point though is the 15.6-inch 4K display with touch. This is a laptop useful for artists and designers of all kinds as the wonderful display offers beautiful colors and detail. Dell has supplied a 74WHr battery and claims a battery life of up to 10 hours under normal usage. That makes this laptop excellent value for people who need something portable to work while traveling. Although there is no SSD provided, there is a slot to add one and make the OS even faster. The engineers at Dell know about intelligent design and have made this laptop such that you can upgrade to your professional needs if the stock performance isn’t enough for you. The laptop offers great value for money and can be used for a longer time by upgrading RAM and storage in the future if the need arises.
- Intel Core i7-6700HQ Processor
- 8 GB DDR3L RAM
- 1 TB HDD
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4. Acer Aspire E 15
For anyone looking for an entry level laptop to create very basic animation videos, there is no need to spend upwards of $1000 while you are learning. That is where Acer’s E15 comes as a life saver. It has a modest Intel i5-7200U processor with 8GB of RAM. It features a 256GB SSD so that your Windows 10 runs smooth and boots up really fast. Acer is making this laptop aimed at young professionals and amateurs who are just stepping into animation works and want something to get their hands dirty on initially. With a 3.1GHz Turbo Boost option, this dual core processor can offer high performance for rendering if needed. However, we would not recommend using this laptop for intensive 3D modeling and simulation as the rendering rate might be very low.
However, the laptop has its downsides too. It isn’t the best performing laptop in its price range. The outer chassis of the laptop seems fragile and cheap. We would only advise this purchase for people doing animation as a hobby or just starting to learn.
- Intel Core i5-7200U Processor
- 8 GB DDR4 RAM
- 256 GB SSD
- NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
5. MSI GE72MVR APACHE PRO-044
The MSI GE72MVR is a high-performance gaming laptop for intensive users who need all the performance a laptop might need. The performance gaming series of laptops features enough hardware for most animators needs. This is a laptop which can be burdened with creating animation, render 3D and 2D films and function seamlessly. It features a 7200 RPM hard disk drive and a 128 GB SSD for a large amount of storage and a faster performance of the OS. It features a 15.6-inch display with Full HD resolution to get excellent frame rates and a lag free interface. That display has been coupled with the latest NVIDIA GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of virtual memory to cater to any intensive graphic needs you might have. This is a complete workstation of a laptop. It has 16GB of Ram with an Intel i7-7700HQ processor clocked at 3.8 GHz for the ultimate performance. MSI has made this laptop with a full coloured keyboard. This is a laptop that means serious business for gamers and graphic professionals. Although it is quite heavy and not the most portable laptop out there in the market, it serves its purpose well when it comes to heavy usage. The only downfall in this laptop is the amount of bloatware MSI ships with it. But that is a minor flow which can be taken care of using a professional uninstaller. For high-end intensive animation rendering, this laptop is absolutely sublime.
- Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU
- 16 GB DDR4 RAM
- 128 GB SSD
- 1 TB HDD
These were the 5 best laptops for animators and animation we think will cover a range of needs that different animators have for their work. However, as mentioned before animators can look into other options as well. If you are working in a studio then it is advisable to go for a desktop setup as almost no laptop is geared towards high-end graphic rendering continuously for hours. Sooner or later, you will run out of power on your portable machine. Further, to truly transform your laptop into a workstation, buy one that is easily upgradeable so that you can increase the RAM and hard disk or SSD storage for your needs.