Laptops no more come only in the traditional clamshell design. One can get laptops that are 2-in-1 with a touchscreen display, a tablet as a laptop, an ultraportable with a touchscreen display, and more. These versatile design in the modern laptops makes it easy for designers and artists to draw directly on the display when they want using pen or touch input.
The hardware along with the good software and clean interface makes it easy for drawing on the laptop easier. There is a huge market for buying a laptop for drawing and knowing this, laptop manufacturers make a variety of laptop models specifically for drawing.
One also has to look for various factors when buying the best touchscreen laptop for drawing and it makes it difficult to choose the right model for new buyers. In this post, I have listed the top five laptops for drawing along with a detailed buying guide.
My Choices for Best TouchScreen Laptop for Drawing
Best Overall Laptop – HP Spectre x360 2-in-1
The HP Spectre is probably the best-looking Windows touchscreen laptop ever built. This 2-in-1 laptop is available in multiple configurations in three different screen sizes but the most popular one is the 13-inch screen size. It comes with up to Intel i7 10th generation of CPU and Intel Iris plus GPU to give it the horsepower to run demanding drawing software.
The six-core processor that is present in this laptop is more than capable of handling all the demanding workload that you put on it. Along with the powerful CPU + GPU combination, you also get up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory to keep up with the demand. For fast read and write operation, this laptop offers SSD storage of up to 1 TB.
Being a 2-in-1 touch input laptop, the display is one of the essential aspects of the laptop. It features a 13.3-inch diagonal 4k display with a UWVA BrightView micro-edge AMOLED screen. The screen is edge-to-edge glass with anti-reflection corning glass of up to 400 nits of brightness.
It offers pen touch along with hand input for working on it. One can draw with the pen input or hand-touch input to draw or take notes using the required software. Apart from the brilliant display, there is also a great B&O speaker with HP Audio Boost 2.0. It delivers a great sound experience. The inclusion of a precision touchpad, full-sized backlit keyboard, HP Truevision HD IR camera, etc makes it much worth it.
- Being a 2-in-1, this laptop has a solid and compact design. It weighs only around one kg.
- It delivers a long-lasting battery as it has power-efficient hardware.
- With the inclusion of HP fast charge, it quickly charges from 0 to 50% in under 30 minutes.
- The corning gorilla display makes it scratch-resistant.
- The inclusion of a fingerprint reader makes login easier.
HP delivers some of the best laptops in the market and the Spectre brand of laptop is known for its premium 2-in-1 design. This laptop will not give much to disappoint for drawing and note-taking purposes with touch input.
Best Premium Drawing Laptop – Microsoft Surface Pro 7
If you want the best premium laptop for drawing, then the Surface Pro 7 from Microsoft is the way to go. It combines the versatility of a studio and tablet to give the functionality of type, touch, draw, write, work, and more.
Updated with the latest 10th generation of Intel processor with improved graphics, this tablet will be enough to perform work for casual users. The design is the standout factor of this laptop. It has a built-in kickstand to fix the display up to 180 degrees. If you want to type or do other heavy work, you can attach a keyboard with this display to make it a full-fledged laptop. Coming in under 800 grams, this tablet is one of the lightest in the market.
This tablet also features Type-C and Type-A ports to satisfy all the connectivity needs. A studio-quality microphone, front-facing 5-megapixel camera, and a decent speaker make it a great tablet for entertainment purposes. The 13inch display is compatible with surface pen and hand-touch input to make it great for drawing purposes. This lightweight tablet also has an all-day battery life of up to 10.5 hours with fast charging capability.
- It has a compact form factor that can be expanded to a full-fledged laptop by attaching a keyboard.
- This tablet can be used in studio mode with the help of a kickstand.
- It has an all-day battery life to make it perfect for travelers.
- Though the specifications are not powerful, it is enough for handling drawing and touch-based software.
The surface products are always considered as the Macbooks of the Windows world and this tablet from Microsoft is one of the best in the market for drawing purposes.
Best Budget Drawing Laptop – Lenovo Flex 14
Lenovo is one of the reputed brands when it comes to laptops and the Flex 14 2-in-1 from them is a great drawing machine for a decent price. It is a 360-degree convertible laptop with a 14inch touch screen display for a great drawing experience.
This laptop features a powerful and efficient AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor with Radeon Vega 8 GPU. This combination of hardware is good for any task from drawing, video editing, and even light gaming. The 12GB of included RAM will be enough to handle all the tasks of a casual user.
The HD display is bright and colorful for drawing and note-taking purposes. There is also an included active pen with this laptop that can be used to draw or take notes directly on the screen.
The battery life is also excellent with this laptop as it will easily give you up to 10 hours of usage with fast charging capability. For connectivity, you get two USB 3, a type-C, HDMI, an SD card reader, and an audio jack.
The inclusion of a webcam shutter makes it great for privacy as it physically closes the PC’s camera whenever needed. The audio is powered by a 2 x 2W speaker with Dolby audio that gives powerful sound. Weighing at just 1.6 kilograms, this is one of the lightest laptops to handle all the tasks.
- It has versatile connectivity options.
- The inclusion of a touch pen makes it worth the price.
- This laptop has a powerful combination of CPU and GPU to handle a heavy workload.
- The battery life of this laptop is excellent.
Coming at a budget price with great specifications, the Lenovo Flex 2-in-1 is a good choice for drawers and artists to sketch on it.
Best Windows Alternative Touchscreen Laptop – Acer Chromebook R11
If all you do is work on the web, then you do not necessarily need a Windows machine to get the best possible experience. The Acer Chromebook R11 is a 360-degree convertible machine that features dual-torque technology. This technology makes the display panel lock in place at any angle without any wobble while working on it.
The display is 11.6 inches in size with 1366 x 768 in resolution. It supports 10-finger multi-touch support and is made of an IPS energy-efficient LED backlight. The premium aluminum design of this notebook makes it even more attractive with its unique engraving pattern. This texture gives a good grip along with a good feel to hold.
When it comes to the internals, it features Intel dual-core CPU along with 4GB DDR3 RAM and 16GB emmc storage. Though it is not the fastest processor, it is more than capable of handling workloads on the Chrome OS. With the latest MIMO 802.11 ac wireless technology, this Chromebook provides very fast connection speeds and a longer range.
There is also an SD card reader, HD webcam, and two USB ports with this laptop. The HDMI port present in this laptop provides the connection to the external display. Coming in thin form factors at just 1.6 kilograms, this notebook will make it easy for you to carry in the bag.
- It is a lightweight notebook with an incredible design.
- The dual-torque technology helps to fix the panel at any position without any wobble.
- It has an energy-efficient IPS LED screen.
- It provides fast wireless connection speeds.
With good software and hardware, the Acer Chromebook R11 is a good device for drawing and notetaking. If you want a good alternative to Windows, then this Chromebook R11 is the one to get.
Best Powerful Laptop for Drawing – Lenovo Yoga C940
The Yoga C940 is a premium and powerful offering from Lenovo that has a touchscreen display for drawing and touch-based input. The 14-inch display panel present in this model is a 4k one with narrow-edged bezels and offers up to 500 nits of brightness.
It provides excellent color accuracy and finer resolution for optimized pixel size. With the inclusion of the 10th generation of Intel processor and up to 16GB in RAM, this laptop is capable of handling all the loads. It is even capable of handling 1080p gaming at smooth frame rates.
The hinge is where the powerful dobby atoms speaker is present with this computer and it delivers a powerful sound experience. This touchscreen laptop also features an in-body digital pen to take notes whenever needed and charge it the rest of the time.
This sleek and powerful touchscreen laptop also delivers up to 15 hours of battery life and can charge rapidly when needed. The weight is also light with this laptop. Coming at 1.25 kilograms in weight, it is one of the light and thin laptop to carry it in the backpack. There are also two type-C ports, a type-A port, and a headphone/mic combo with this laptop for connectivity purposes.
- It has a thin and light form factor.
- The display of this laptop is one of the best in the market.
- It has excellent battery life.
- It has a powerful processor with high RAM for handling powerful applications.
- The connectivity options are good with this laptop.
This laptop from Lenovo is one of the best premium 2-in-1 devices to get for drawing and note-taking purposes. The lightweight design and high battery life also make it a must for people who like to draw on the go.
Buying Guide for Touchscreen Laptops
Most of the buying guide factors are the same when buying a touchscreen or a normal clamshell laptop. But one should look for some important specs of the laptop specifically when buying a touchscreen model for drawing. These factors that I have listed below in the touchscreen laptop will help you to get the best one in the market.
The quality of the display is the important factor when buying a touchscreen laptop as one will work directly on the display panel with a touchscreen model. Consider getting at least a full HD display laptop as it will have a good resolution that will not degrade your work.
Anything below full HD on a touch screen laptop will give an unpleasant viewing experience. Likewise, LED IPS or OLED panels should be preferred for touchscreen laptops rather than a TN panel. Though the TN panel in a laptop costs is lower than an IPS panel, it will provide for poor touch and viewing experience.
The display present in the laptop should support touch input and it should have multipoint touch input support. Multi-touch technology in a display enables the surface to recognize the presence of more than one point of contact for a better drawing experience.
Some laptops only support stylus for input rather than both the hand and stylus. It is better to get a touchscreen laptop that has both the support for stylus and hand touch. It will give you better control and experience when drawing or note-taking. The screen size of a touchscreen laptop is also an important buying factor.
For a traditional laptop, any screen size will do fine based on the user’s preference. But for drawing and notetaking purposes, a laptop with a screen size of 13-inch will give the best possible experience. A 15 or 17-inch laptop will be too big to handle for drawing and note-taking purposes.
When it comes to the specification of a touchscreen laptop, the CPU and GPU configuration becomes significant. A drawing-oriented touchscreen laptop should have a good GPU processor to handle the demanding software. If you’re a music artist, you should check out my guide on the Best Laptop for Ableton made with keeping music Production software in mind.
Modern Intel and AMD laptops have good integrated GPU that is more than capable of handling the drawing software. So, you should not look for a laptop with a dedicated GPU if you are buying the latest one. In terms of the CPU, a laptop with Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 will do perfectly fine for handling drawing software.
There will be no lag when running Adobe suite or Illustrator software. The RAM should be equal to or more than 8GB on the laptop that you buy as it the default now for any kind of laptop. The battery life is also an important factor to consider as it will be the most that get affected when drawing in the touchscreen display panel. I recommend getting a laptop that provides at least 8 hours of battery life. It will provide sufficient juice for handling drawing and other note-taking tasks for a good amount of time.
There are mainly three platforms available in the laptop market – Windows, Chrome OS, and Mac. In these three platforms, the Mac OS does not have support for a touchscreen unless you pair it with an iPad. So you only have two choices to choose the touchscreen laptop from – Windows and Chrome OS.
Windows is the most flexible OS that has support for numerous drawing and note-taking software. There are software present on Windows that is made specifically for touchscreen display as Windows has support for the tablet mode. I’d suggest getting a Windows laptop with the Windows 10 version as it the modern one with great software support.
Chrome OS is also a good choice if all you need is to work on the web and do not have much to spend. Chrome OS is a simple and secure one that has the support for the touch display. But the software selection is limited compared to Windows as it is still new.
Chromebooks are also available in budget prices with good performance for what it does. If you feel comfortable with the software selection available in Chrome OS, then definitely go for it. But I would still recommend a Windows-based touchscreen laptop as it better for drawing.
This could be the most important factor when buying a touchscreen laptop. Most of the touchscreen laptops come in a 2-in-1 form factor that can be bent to be used as a tablet. There are a lot of moving parts in a touchscreen laptop and it is prone to break more often than a traditional laptop.
The hinge also gets affected when bending the display often so the hinge part should be strong on the laptop that you buy. The material of the laptop should also be metal rather than plastic. A plastic body laptop is more prone to breaking, so get a laptop that is fully made of aluminum or magnesium material. These materials will ensure that the laptop will work without any physical problems for a long time.
The physical size and weight of the laptop too should be compact and portable. A compact laptop makes it easy to carry and draw on it. One can even take the laptop on the go to draw or take notes if it is compact in shape and size.
Connectivity and Ports
Most of the touchscreen laptops are thin and do not necessarily have a good port selection. They mainly have type-C and type-A ports to connect to all the external peripherals through an adapter. If you want to connect to multiple displays or other accessories without any adapters, then choose a touchscreen laptop that has all the ports that you require.
Normally, a Type-C port with thunderbolt functionality will be compatible with all the peripherals through adapters, so that port is enough for all. But you cannot carry adapters everywhere, so check for all other ports in the laptop that you buy.
A type-A 3.0 port is still common now that is used to connect to pen drives and external hard disks. An SD card reader in a laptop will be good for photographers who want to readily access their stills from the camera. An HDMI or display port helps to connect the laptop to external displays.
Apart from these ports, look for an ethernet jack, if you want to have a high-speed broadband connection to the laptop. For wireless connectivity, a WiFi card and Bluetooth will be available on all the laptops. There must be a headphone jack too for connecting your headphones.
When buying a touchscreen laptop, always try to get from a reputable brand like Lenovo, HP, or Dell. These touchscreen laptops are still new to the market when compared to traditional ones and are more prone to break.
Buying them from a reputable brand makes it much less susceptible to breakage as they will be made from quality parts. They will also have a good warranty period so you will have nothing to worry about.
Buying a touchscreen laptop for drawing and other purposes may be difficult as there are many models available in the market. But I hope this post along with the buying guide helps you in choosing a good model for your needs.
If you are still confused as to what to buy, then I would recommend getting the Spectre x360 model from HP as it the best overall. There is nothing to think about when buying the Spectre model is it covers everything that I have listed in the buying guide.
It has a great build quality with an excellent display and touch support. The specs are too good with the laptop for drawing purposes and it is one of the reputed models when it comes to touchscreen laptops. You will not find any fault with it for drawing and other touch-related purposes.