I need a laptop for graphic design under 900$ (can go up to 1000$)

MUST HAVE 1. NOT ASUS 2. must run photoshop, illustrator, indesign, ect. fast and smooth. 3. 14" screen with viable resolution

added value, but not must: 1. light weight 2. ssd

If "must have" can't be satisfied under 900$, please give the lowest price that does satisfy those requirements


2 Answers 2


Because you are requesting graphic design, I selected laptops that can take more graphics load over cpu load. I've avoided anything that relies on an integrated graphics card. I would recommend a SSD so that Adobe programs and files can load up quicker but that is just an added plus.

The cheapest option is an Acer Laptop Aspire: enter image description here

It goes for 487$, has a NVIDIA 940MX and a i5 62000U. If you're not familiar with the intel letter system, the U means that it is a power saving core and, thus; it will have much less power that it's HQ, K, X, etc. counterparts. If you're looking for max savings this should do it, however, it comes with 8 GB of RAM so you may not be able to run too many adobe programs simultaneously without seeing a performance hit and the hard drive will likely be a bottleneck for laptop speed. If you go with this laptop you might want to consider buying a complimentary SSD to go along with it.

$487 at Newegg

The next is HP Pavilion (I've had great success with the Pavilions in the past):

enter image description here

It comes with a GTX 960 and a i5 6300HQ, and is a solid laptop although again, the hard drive might be a bottle neck (most laptop manufactures put nice components and a crappy hard drive in the laptop to bring down price but wow you with components). On the upside it is touchscreen, which might be a plus for art (probably not since you probably have a pressure sensitive drawing tablet if you do extensive graphic design) and the most amount of RAM of all the options at 12 GB. Be aware that the laptop is made of some crappy plastic, so the laptop may not be able to take the beating of an on the go active lifestyle banging around in a thin backpack and are notorious for splitting and cosmetic breakage. A solid option otherwise.

$780 at newegg MSRP $900

My personal favorite among the choices is the Dell Inspiron:

enter image description here

It comes with a i5 7300HQ and features 8GB of DDR4 RAM for faster "natural" operating speed (applications are loaded into memory). This laptop also comes with a 256 SSD which will make boot times, startup speed, and application startup absolutely glorious. Again the 8GB of RAM may get filled up if you open a lot of applications, but your SSD will be able to act as SWAP memory without slowing down your laptop extensively.

$784 at newegg MSRP $1,100

Additional notes:

If you go with the Acer or the HP, I would recommend turning on NTFS compression so that you can shift the laptop's operating load away from the hard drive and on to the CPU since both have decent processors (especially the HP). You should not turn compression on for the Dell option, because it has an SSD (In the interest of space, I won't go into detail about that reason here).

  • Thank you for the very detailed answer! I must ask - are you 100% sure all of those are enough for the computer to run photoshop/illustrator smoothly? Is it true that the graphics card is so much ore important than the processor? Thanks
    – Gulzar
    May 31, 2017 at 9:37
  • It's not that one is more important than the other. It's that you have to balance the components in a computer system. In your case, I recommended a dedicated graphics card because all computers come with what's called an integrated graphics card. Having a dedicated graphics processor means the crappy integrated graphics card updates the screen, while the dedicated gpu handles the graphics load from the application. Jun 1, 2017 at 7:14
  • As for quality assurance, all the laptops should be able to run adobe products smoothly, it's just that some other things (like not having an SSD with options 1/2 could hold the computer back from peak performance). Option 3 is the most powerful laptop of the bunch and as such will have snappiness that most computer geeks would be jealous of. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 in that thing could power the latest triple A games at 4k at 40+ fps combined with that cpu. I doubt adobe products will come close to that load. Jun 1, 2017 at 7:21
  • One more side note: if you get a laptop with a dedicated graphics card you will have to right click the application and then select 'run with graphics processor >' to tell the computer to choose the gpu to run the application with if it doesn't do that itself. Jun 1, 2017 at 7:28
  • thank you for the detailed answers! Some of those computers aren't available here. I found this one for a nice price: dell inspiron, intel i7 7500u, 8gb ddr4, 256gb ssd, and a geforce 940mx. Do you think that's enough to carry all od adobe's programs, or I need something more?
    – Gulzar
    Jun 1, 2017 at 7:41

If you need the best specs under $900 than i will recommend you this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MR82G0W?ie=UTF8 Acer VX 15 i5-7300HQ processor 16GB DDR4 RAM 256GB SSD Windows 10 OS 15.6 inch FHD IPS display 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU.. you can easily upgrade its storage but you have to Acer support for HDD upgrade complimentary kit so they can send you.... The second one which i like the most is Dell Inspiron 7567 but if you are going to buy this one than i suggest you to buy it with IPS panel display instead of TN one that's what makes the laptop best graphic design laptop ........

  • Did you write that blog post? If so, please disclose that. Also, can you break this up into two answers please. That way the community can vote on which product they think fits the requirements better. When you write the second answer, please add more detail into the Dell answer, as it doesn't describe how it fits in with the requirements.
    – Cfinley
    Jun 28, 2017 at 4:53

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