If you are an Animator or Graphic designer, or someone who is learning in these fields, you would know the importance of a powerful laptop in your work. So we bring you some of the industry best laptops for animators.
Every day you work with advanced software such as Adobe animate, Unity, Blender, etc. These are the software that demands the most out of your laptop. It is just not possible to use such software if you have a low-end system. But what exactly do you need in a laptop to best suit your needs? We will here tell you just that and recommend the Best Laptop for animators while doing so.
My Recommendations for Best Laptops for Animators
Editors choice Laptop for Animators – MSI GS65 Stealth THIN-050 15.6″ Laptop Review
This Ultra-thin machine will be the go-to option for most animators. Because of its specs, this laptop covers pretty much all that we need from an animation laptop. You can look at everything we have discussed so far, and this beast has covered it all. Look at the specs down below, and you would know for yourself why it’s one of the most preferred laptop for animators.
- CPU- i7-8750H (6 cores)
- GPU – GTX 1060 with 6 GB VRAM
- RAM – 16 GB (Suitable for most animators)
- SSD – 512G NVMe SSD (Top Notch)
It’s a very lightweight laptop making it super easy to carry anywhere. When it comes to mobility, there are many laptops out there that just can’t be called LAP-tops, but this isn’t one of them. It has the mobility you should expect from a Laptop.
It has a powerful graphics card that is advertised for gaming but is equally great for animation too. The next great thing about it is that it supports expandability. You can upgrade your GPU, RAM, SSD if anything new comes out, or you just feel like taking it to the next level.
HP Zbook 15u Notebook Review – Best Laptop for Animation Work
The Zbook is unique because of it’s touch screen capability. So if you get comfortable, it can significantly boost up your speed. Now we believe mobility is relatively essential in a laptop; otherwise, you can just buy yourself a desktop. Now the HP Zbook is super lightweight and has a great battery life of 6 hours. So you can take it anywhere with you and work for long hours without feeling a thing.
- CPU: Intel Core i7 2.7 GHz
- GPU: 2GB FirePro WW4190M
- RAM: DDR4 16GB
- SSD: 512GB
Other great features of this laptop are 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1920×1080 pixels resolution, a display size of 15.6 inches. The AMD chipset, 128GB solid-state, and high connectivity ports give it an added advantage.
Gigabyte Aero 15X – The Ultra-slim animators laptop
Now, if you have to deal with more graphic demanding software such as the Maya, you would like to get yourself this sleek beast. Gigabyte Aero features a GeForce GTX 1070 with a whopping 8 GB of VRAM. You definitely can’t go wrong with this one.
- CPU: i7-8750H
- GPU: GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB of VRAM
- RAM: 16GB RAM
- SSD: 512GB PCIe SSD
It has a 15.6″ IPS Screen with a FullHD Display and weights just over 2KG. If you want other options with similar hardware checkout the Asus GX531GS (Zephyrus S) and the Razer Blade 15.
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 Laptop
The Lenovo ThinkPad is genuinely one of the best when it comes to hardware, power, and speed. What makes this possible is its i7 generation processor,
16 GB RAM and a 500GB SSD, giving you everything you need for your animation projects. The latest-gen processor and huge ensures that your laptop can deal with all your animation software, and you can maintain a speedy workflow. This makes it a very suitable choice for animators.
- CPU: Intel i7-7700HQ Quad Core
- GPU: NVIDIA Quadro M1200M
- RAM: 16GB DDR4
- SSD: 500GB SSD
Thinkpad is a great choice when it comes to any work that demands power. The ThinkPad is an absolute beast because of its high-quality hardware. Also, you can depend on this one with its 8-hour long battery life. The 4K display, excellent cooling, and sound system are just some added benefits.
Acer Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop
This laptop comes with the latest generation i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti making it great not only for gaming but also for animation works too. The hardware for heavy tasks such as gaming or animation. The 15″ display gives you an excellent viewport to work. The 256 GB SSD and 16 GB DDR4 RAM are excellent for working on any animation project.
- CPU: Intel Core i7-2.8 GHz
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
- RAM: 16GB RAM
- SSD: 256 GB Solid State
The looks on the Acer Aspire VX 15 are absolutely killer. If you are interested in the looks, you should know that it features an Iron-Red backlit keyboard and a hard-edged design. The cooling system of this laptop is excellent; you can work for hours and no heating issues whatsoever.
How to choose the Best laptop for Animation?
To decide on your best animation laptop, you will need optimum hardware and mobility. Let’s go in a little depth about these and see what specific parts you would need to get that.
If you want to understand what parts are necessary for your animation work, you would need to realize how animation utilizes the hardware of your machine.
Let’s see when animating we work with KeyFrames and rigs—basically, a raw unfinished 3D or 2D model where we are adjusting certain parts and objects. We are not usually looking at a final finished product but rather just a rough preview like a Wireframe.
What does that tell us? You don’t need a heavy Graphics hardware for animation as there isn’t much graphical calculation happening. What you would need is a processor or CPU powerful enough to support your tools.
It is the CPU that does the heavy work of calculating the scene objects, rigs, simulations, hair splines, soft body dynamics, etc. The GPU will display you the result after the CPU has done all the heavy lifting. Feels strange, but true!
This in no way means you shouldn’t have a strong enough GPU but just not one that’s far superior to other hardware components. Now we have that cleared, let us look at what hardware components that are required in Animation.
We will be looking at the following components:
- CPU (Most Crucial)
- RAM(Size Matters!)
Choose the Best Hardware Components in an Animators Laptop
Okay, so CPU has a lot of features to look at, such as the number of revs, clock speed, cache size, etc. but what is more important in a laptop for Animators?
The most important thing to look for in a CPU for video editors or animators or is the clock speed. The clock speed is more important than having a lot of cores or the cache size.
It is important because the clock speed lets you animate in real-time. A slower clock speed would lead to a slower viewer and hence disrupting the animation experience. An Intel i7 8750H usually has a base clock speed of 2.2GHz and a higher in Turbo-Boost Clock that clocks the CPU up to 4.1 GHz.
If all your cores are not in use, currently, the Turbo Boost can overclock your CPU automatically. During the animation, we can observe that all the cores are not in use most of the time. The unused cores give us a chance to utilize the Turbo Boost Clock of our CPU in speeding up the viewport.
So basically, when looking for the Best Laptop to use for Animation work, you would like a CPU with high Base-Clock speed and a good Turbo Boost Clock.
Our Recommendation for that will be –
- Intel i7 8750H
- Intel i7 8850H
The size(Memory) of your RAM will be the second most significant factor in determining your Best Laptop for Animation.
The memory size of your RAM means you can have more information stored on what you are working on. This is very useful for keeping preview Playblasts in your memory for comparison or for checking the state of the current animation. A bigger RAM means you can multitask, and your processor will also get a boost up. Overall speeding up
Then what should be the recommended size for your RAM?
Well, we would recommend going for an 8GB for a minimum and a 16 GB if you have much heavy work to do. Anything higher than that won’t make any significant difference.
In my opinion, you should go for the 16GB DDR4 RAM.
As we have discussed earlier GPU isn’t the most critical factor in an Animators or graphic designers Laptop. But still, a GPU makes stuff visible on your screen, displays textures, shaders and many more graphical effects such as ambient Occlusion, Realtime Shadows, Anti-Aliasing, etc. Thus giving you a feel of how the final image would look.
Now our recommendation for the GPU will be NVIDIA GTX 1060.
Okay, so currently in the market, you will see laptops with three types of storage memory. The conventional HDDs, SSDs and the new PCIe M.2 NVMe SSDs. SSDs are much more secure, faster, and doesn’t age as fast as an HDD. They are faster in all aspects, from reading, writing to the storage, and making your programs run more quickly.
For Animators, it’s an absolute must to get an SSD for their work. My recommendation would be a 500GB+ SATA SSD. The size depends on your workload.Now, if you are someone that demands even higher speeds, you can look at the PCIe M.2 NVMe SSDs.
Though they cost almost twice as much, you can expect a speed increase of nearly 5 or 6 times. Apart from you can still get yourself an external HDD to backup your data. Doing this will give you more working space on your SSD and make your work safe for a long time.
Okay, so Expandibility is important in a laptop for animation. Let me explain. As you know, technology is progressing fast, so you won’t always be using the hardware components you are using now. At some point, you would want a new RAM or a new SSD. You can be buying a new Laptop whenever a new component comes out. So, do keep in mind that the laptops should support the expandability of such components.
Now for a GPU/CPU, Consult with your manufacturer as these are not easily replaceable.
Sometimes when working in video editing cost can become an issue with quality. To get you one that fits your budget we reviewed some video editing laptops. Be sure to check them out too.
Choosing a laptop for Animation is not only about the laptops but also the accessories. These make you way more productive and your job way easier.
Add-ons for Animators
Well, you can always use the touchpad, but it’s a well-known fact that touchpad users can never match the speed of External users. So if you’re genuinely interested in Speeding up your workflow and get things done faster, get yourself the right external mouse. Here are some of my recommendations.
Okay if your work involves using external devices too with your laptop then we recommend getting the right connectors. For external monitors, consider getting an HDMI, Display Port Connector. Some older monitors support DVI or VGA Plugs, and you can always get adaptors for that. For LAN (Always faster than Wireless connections) – RJ45 LAN Port. Other than that, I would recommend using USB 3.0 for any external backup or storage devices.