Finding a new laptop for animation can be a challenging task. To save you time, we have reviewed 5 of the best laptops for animators and animation. 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 published.
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.
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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 Zephyrus
This beast of a machine is a great all-round laptop. A 15.6-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 i7–8750H processor with a speed of up to 3.8 GHz. This processors is the Kaby Lake generation of processors featuring 14 nano meter transistors for better performance and less power consumption.
It has 16GB of RAM and a 512GB solid state drive ensuring faster boot-up times and no visible lag in rendering. This particular unit features the NVIDIA GTX 1080 GPU with 8GB of DDR5 memory.
The laptop is thin and relatively lightweight at under 5 pounds, which is impressive for a laptop with these features.
Nevertheless, the laptop comes with a fair share of issues to consider. The battery life is not the best, but that's expected given the power-hungry CPU and display. Although it's subjective, you may be a bit disappointed in the audio quality if that's important to you.
Overall, if you are looking to replace your desktop with something that handles anything you throw at it, this could be a wise choice.
2. Lenovo Legion Y7000
The Lenovo Legion Y7000 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 i7-8750H processor running at up to 4.1 GHz.
The laptop features 16GB of DDR4 RAM. It also features a hybrid 1 TB HDD for great storage with a 128 GB SSD for fast boot times and application loading. The GPU on this unit is the NVIDIA GTX 1060 which will handle animations and graphics design well.
Do not underestimate its i7 processor, the 8750H can easily run your rendering tasks. The GPU and processor have been chosen such that the laptop offers above average battery life and is relatively portable at 5.2 pounds. This is a laptop made for portability and efficiency.
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 for a long time without recharging. However, the laptop is a great buy if one is mostly working in a studio or at home.
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.
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.
4. Acer Aspire 5
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 Aspire 5 comes as a life saver. It has a powerful Intel i5-8565U processor with 12GB of RAM. It features a 512 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 an entry-level laptop. With a 4.6GHz Turbo Boost option, this quad core processor can offer high performance for rendering if needed.
The laptop uses a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics processing. Combined with a 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) display, this should be sufficient for most uses.
This laptop model is very popular and has a good combination of processing power, long battery life and portability. It's also quite affordable, so if you have a tight budget the Aspire 5 should get your serious consideration.
5. MSI GP73 Leopard
The MSI GP73 Leopard is a a top-of-the-line high-performance laptop focused on the gaming market. However, this high-end laptop has enough computing, storage and display capabilities for all of your animators needs.
This is a laptop which can easily handle creating animations, rendering 3D and 2D films. It features a generous 256GB SSD for fast boot times and application loading and an equally impressive 1TB HDD for archiving large files.
It features a 17.3-inch display with Full HD resolution to get excellent 120 Hz frame rates and a lag free interface. That display has been coupled with the latest NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU to satisfy any intensive graphic needs you might have.
This is a complete workstation in a laptop form. It has 16GB of RAM with an Intel i7-8750H processor clocked at up to 4.1 GHz for great performance. MSI has made this laptop with a full colored keyboard sporting full color LEDs for each key.
This is a laptop that means serious business for gamers and graphic professionals. Although it is bit heavier than some of our other picks., 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 good uninstaller program. For high-end intensive animation rendering, this laptop is absolutely sublime.
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.
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