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When you’re using a laptop for fashion design, you want to spend as much time as possible in the creative zone, experimenting with colors and designs. You don’t want to be slowed down by a laptop that freezes or one that doesn’t adequately show off your creations.

Worse yet, you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a laptop only to find that it won’t even run your fashion design software.

But don’t worry, we can solve this issue here today. We’ve been checking out some of the best laptops out there for fashion design, and after much deliberation, we were able to put together a shortlist of our top 5 favorites to review for you here.

Please go through them carefully because they each have something very different to offer.

And if you don’t really know your way around laptops because fashion design is more your thing, there’s no need to panic. We’re also providing you with a buying guide that will walk you through some of the key things to think about when you buy.

Let’s get straight to it!


Review of Laptops For Fashion Designers

HP Envy x360 15-inch Convertible Laptop

It just doesn’t get much better than this! 

This laptop is one where the laptop can fold underneath the screen, and the screen is touch sensitive, so you can use it like you would a tablet. And this is perfect for those who like to sketch designs with a digital pen rather than with a mouse.

But better yet, whereas most 2-in-1 laptops usually have screens that are 14 inches wide at the most, this beauty has a 15.6-inch screen, comparable with a traditional laptop. 

And it’s a great screen at that, able to display all your images in crisp Full High Definition (in other words 1920 x 1080 pixels). And to boost this further still, it’s also blessed with an integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics card (which by the way is compatible with Adobe Illustrator).

It also features a multicore CPU, the speedy 11th Generation Intel Core i7, and has plenty of RAM, coming in at 8 GB, to see over all your multitasking. And there’s more onboard storage than you’d probably ever need, coming in at 512 GB (and it’s all SSD, too).

It also boasts an excellent battery, able to last well over 9 hours on a full charge.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular laptop, simply click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros:

  • Touch screen for sketching designs
  • Has a large 15.6-inch Full HD screen
  • Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics card
  • Speedy multi core 11th gen processor
  • More than ample RAM & SSD storage
  • Excellent 9-hour plus battery life

Cons:

  • Premium product at a premium price

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Laptop

Lenovo Flex 5 14' 2-in-1 Laptop, 14.0' FHD (1920 x 1080) Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor, 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon Graphics, Digital Pen Included, Win 10, 81X20005US, Graphite Grey

Lenovo has also produced a 2-in-1 laptop with some really great features and specs.

This 2-in-1 laptop comes with a special digital pen included in the box, and you can use it to sketch away on the laptop’s screen to your heart’s content.

And it’s an excellent screen, too. With a resolution of 1920 x 1080, it’s a Full High Definition screen that will display all your images crisp and clear with all the detail you could want. And to boost this further still, you’ve also got an Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics card.

The screen is 14 inches in size, which is ever so slightly smaller than that of a traditional laptop, which is normally about 15.6 inches. But it’s a larger screen than many other 2-in-1 laptops that are often just 11 inches.

It also has a speedy multicore processor, namely the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U, and comes with a staggering amount of RAM, coming in at a whopping 16 GB, which is double what you need for most fashion design apps like Adobe Illustrator. And there’s more than ample on-board storage, with 256 GB of SSD storage to hand. 

It has an impressively long battery life, coming in at a whopping 10 hours on a full charge. This means you can take it out anywhere you go and sketch the same moment an idea comes to you.

Pros:

  • Touch screen for sketching designs
  • 14-inch Full High Definition screen
  • Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics card
  • Speedy multi core AMD Ryzen processor
  • Amazing levels of RAM and SSD storage
  • Excellent 10-hour battery life

Cons:

  • Screen is slightly smaller than that of a traditional laptop

Lenovo Flex 5 14' 2-in-1 Laptop, 14.0' FHD (1920 x 1080) Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor, 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon Graphics, Digital Pen Included, Win 10, 81X20005US, Graphite Grey

Lenovo Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 Laptop, 14.0″ FHD (1920 x 1080) Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor, 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon Graphics, Digital Pen Included, Win 10, 81X20005US, Graphite Grey

  • Thin, light, and stylish – This 2-in-1 laptop weighs just 3.64 pounds and is only 0.82″ thick. It’s soft and comfortable to the touch, with a durable paint that creates a better user experience. Digital pen included
  • The 10-point, 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS touchscreen allows the Lenovo Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 laptop to be comfortable, fun, and easy to use. It’s also great to look at, with 4-side narrow bezels
  • The 360⁰ hinge lets you use your 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop in whatever mode works best for you; Use it in ‘Laptop’ mode for everyday computing, ‘Tent’ mode for sharing things, ‘Stand’ mode for binge-watching, or ‘Tablet’ mode for more intuitive interaction
  • Enjoy up to 10 hours of battery life, plus quick charge to 80% in just 1 hour
  • Powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U mobile processor with Radeon graphics, you have the performance to do more, from anywhere. With more cores, you’ll experience responsiveness that leaps into action for productivity, gaming, and content creation


Dell Inspiron 14 5406 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop

Dell Inspiron 14 5406 2 in 1 Convertible Laptop, 14-inch FHD Touchscreen Laptop - Intel Core i7-1165G7, 12GB 3200MHz DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, Iris Xe Graphics, Windows 10 Home - Titan Grey (Latest Model)

What we love about this laptop is that whenever you want to, you can simply fold the keyboard behind the screen, and sketch on it with a digital pen in the same way you’d draw on a sketch pad. Exactly what you want for fashion design.

And the screen isn’t too small like it is with most other 2-in-1 laptops, coming in at 14 inches rather than 11. Which is only slightly smaller than that of a traditional laptop screen, which is 15.6 inches.

And it’s a really high quality screen, too. It offers Full High Definition image clarity, thanks to its high resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. And the crispness of your images will be further boosted by the integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics (which by the way is compatible with Adobe Illustrator).

It has some great specs, including an 11th generation multi core Intel Core i7 CPU which can process data at speeds of up to a whopping 4.7 GHz.

We were also impressed by the amount of RAM in there, coming in at 12 GB, this is more than the recommended amount needed to run fashion design apps like Adobe Illustrator. 

And if you prefer to save your designs on the hardware rather than in the cloud, there’s a whopping 521 GB of SSD file storage to hand.

Pros:

  • Touch screen for sketching designs
  • 14-inch Full High Definition screen
  • Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics card
  • 11th generation multi core processor
  • Impressive levels of RAM & storage

Cons:

  • Screen is slightly smaller than that of a traditional laptop

HP Pavilion x360 14” Touchscreen Laptop

HP Pavilion x360 14” Touchscreen Laptop, 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD Storage, Full HD IPS Display, Windows 10 Home OS, Long Battery Life, Work & Streaming (14-dw1024nr, 2021)

Now, this is a perfect laptop for fashion designers. It’s a 2-in-1 laptop, which basically means that you can fold the keyboard underneath and use the screen like you would a tablet, because it’s a touchscreen, which makes it perfect for sketching your designs with a stylus, or special pen.

And it’s an excellent screen, too. It will display your images in Full High Definition (which is 1920 x 1080 pixels) so you get crisp and clear images and plenty of detail. Plus, you get really eye-catching graphics, thanks to the integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics card (which by the way is compatible with Adobe Illustrator).

Of course, with a 2-in-1 laptop you don’t usually get as big a screen as with traditional laptops, but this is only slightly smaller at 14 inches, and is larger than many other 2-in-1s that are often just 11 inches.

It features the 11th generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, which is a multicore processor that can process data at great speeds. Moreover, there’s also 8 GB of RAM, which together with the speedy CPU means there’s no lag between what you’re trying to do and what the laptop does.

It also has a generous amount of on-board storage, coming in at 256 GB, and better yet, it’s all SSD rather than HDD. 

The battery life is really good, coming in at over 10 hours on a full charge, so it’s perfect for sketching a design on the go whenever inspiration hits.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular laptop, simply click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros:

  • Touch screen for sketching designs
  • 14-inch Full High Definition screen
  • Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics card
  • Multicore processor & 8 GB of RAM
  • Plenty of on-board SSD storage
  • Excellent 10-hour battery life

Cons:

  • Screen is slightly smaller than that of a traditional laptop

Sale

HP Pavilion x360 14” Touchscreen Laptop, 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD Storage, Full HD IPS Display, Windows 10 Home OS, Long Battery Life, Work & Streaming (14-dw1024nr, 2021)

HP Pavilion x360 14” Touchscreen Laptop, 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD Storage, Full HD IPS Display, Windows 10 Home OS, Long Battery Life, Work & Streaming (14-dw1024nr, 2021)

  • FREE UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 11 (13) (when available, see below)
  • VIBRANT DISPLAY – Your creations are brought to life with the 14-inch diagonal Full HD (1920 x 1080) multitouch enabled, edge-to-edge glass display
  • STELLAR PERFORMANCE – The 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 (1) processor lets you get work done more efficiently
  • EYE-CATCHING GRAPHICS – Marvel at crystal-clear imagery thanks to Intel Iris Xe Graphics (2)
  • MEMORY & STORAGE – HP Envy brings you even more bandwidth with 8 GB of RAM and increased hard drive space with 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage (3)


2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop

2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Space Gray

To this day, Apple still produces the best and most wished for computers. And this goes for their laptops, too, such as the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro.

This is because they outperform generic Windows laptops in many ways. Not only do they have excellent CPUs that can process all your data super quick, and never freeze, but it also features a special neural engine in its M1 chip. Though how useful that might be for fashion design is yet to be discovered. 

And, we’re pleased to confirm that Apple laptops such as this one can run apps like (and including) Adobe Illustrator.

It has an amazingly beautiful screen, with a knockout resolution of 2560 x 1600. That’s even better than Full High Definition. And to really make the most of it, there’s also an amazing integrated graphics card.

It has 8 GB of RAM for all your multitasking, and you can choose between 256 or 512 GB of on-board storage space (either are ample for most people). And it has a very impressive battery life, coming in at a staggering 18 hours.

The usual drawback to Apple laptops however is that they generally come at a higher cost. But we would argue that it’s reasonably priced for what you get.

But for fashion design, the other drawbacks are that the screen is just 13.3 inches (small but not too small) and that it’s not a touch screen, so you can’t sketch with a digital pen.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular laptop, simply click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros:

  • Amazing screen resolution
  • Unparalleled performance
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Exceeds all requirements for Adobe Illustrator

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a touchscreen for sketching
  • Screen is just 13.3 inches

Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide. Let’s walk you through some of the key considerations.


Software

By far, the most popular software for fashion design is Adobe Illustrator. Textures can be applied to clothing sketches seamlessly, with very clear detailing of matters such as pattern direction and color transitions.

Touchscreen Vs Regular Laptop

Many fashion designers these days still like to sketch their drawings by hand. And if that sounds like you, then you may be interested in a 2-in-1 laptop that doubles as a tablet. Such laptops feature a touch screen and a stylus, so you can draw straight onto the app without the need for a mouse.

There is a drawback to such 2-in-1 laptops, however – they don’t have as big a screen as a more traditional laptop. (More on screen size shortly.)

Operating System

There are apps for fashion design available across a range of operating systems. However, the most popular app for fashion design, Adobe Illustrator, will only work on Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS operating systems. Which is why we only included Windows and Apple laptops in our shortlist.

Screen Size & Resolution

If you go for a touch screen 2-in-1 laptop, you will have a screen between 11 and 14 inches wide. But, if you‘re just as happy sketching with a mouse as with a stylus (pen) then you could go for a traditional laptop which typically has a screen that’s 15.6 inches wide.

More important than screen size, however, is screen resolution. This is basically how many pixels are in the display, and it determines how crisp and clear your images are. You will need a display resolution of at least 1024 x 768 at the minimum, but 1920 x 1080 is recommended – That would take you to Full High Definition.

CPU and RAM

The CPU is the brain of the laptop, and the RAM is how much data it can hold temporarily. The better the CPU and RAM, the less likely the laptop is to freeze.

For fashion design, you will need either a dual-core or a multicore CPU, and you will need at least 8 GB of RAM or more.

Graphics Card

Thankfully, fashion design software such as Adobe Illustrator will often work with the already integrated graphics card present in most brand-new laptops. To find a full list of what graphics cards are accepted, please head over to https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/system-requirements.html. 

On-Board Storage

On-board storage is not a big deal for fashion design, but you will need some, and SSD storage is preferable over traditional hard disk drive (HDD) storage.

Battery Life

If you like to sketch designs on the go, then you may be interested in a laptop with good battery life. Most laptops will have at least 3-4 hours battery life in them, but some can have more still.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Hardware Requirements For Adobe Illustrator?

For the hardware requirements for Adobe Illustrator, please head over to https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/system-requirements.html. 

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