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The best laptop for Cricut makers in 2021

best laptop for Cricut: laptop showing Cricut's Design Space software
(Image credit: Cricut)

Looking for the best laptop for Cricut makers? If you cut a lot of material for any kind of crafts, a Cricut Maker is likely to be an essential part of your process. It's natural that you'd want to ensure you have the best laptop to pair with the machine.

At the most basic level, your laptop needs to meet the system requirements for Cricut's Design Space software. That means you'll need a Windows laptop or a MacBook. Chromebooks – or indeed any other kind of Unix/Linux laptops – are incompatible. To see the full Cricut system requirements for Windows and Mac, skip down to What kind of computer do you need for a Cricut?

The good news is that you don't need the very latest and most expensive laptops to use a Cricut maker, however newer devices can allow you to get more out of your machine. In the roundup below, we offer our pick the best laptops for Cricut makers for a range of budgets and outline the pros and cons of each. Of course, if you don't yet have a Cricut, see our guide to the best Cricut machines too.

The best laptop for Cricut makers: our top picks

best laptop for Cricut makers: Dell XPS 15CB

(Image credit: Dell)

01. Dell XPS 15

The best Windows laptop for Cricut makers overall

Operating system: Windows 10 | CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-i9 | RAM: 8-64GB | Connectivity: 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB-C port, SD card reader, audio jack | Display: 15.6-inch, 1,024px x 768px or 3,840 x 2,400

Fast performer
Amazing battery life
4K option
No USB-A port

The Dell XPS 15 is our top pick as the best Windows laptop for Cricut makers available today. It more than exceeds the system requirements for using Cricut's Design Space, and as it’s 64-bit, you’ll be able to enjoy all the most advanced features of the software. 

Running Windows 10, this laptop's Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD means it’s a fast, smooth and consistent performer. Its 15.6-inch touchscreen offers a resolution of either Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 4K (3,840 x 2,400), which is the highest on this list. 

Thunderbolt 4 ports provide a speedy connection to your Cricut machine via the included USB-C to USB-A 3.0 adapter. And with up to 24 hours of battery life, you’ll be able to do a lot of work, even when you're away from a power outlet. None of this comes cheap: this is one of the most expensive laptops on the market right now. But if you can afford it, this fabulous laptop offers a premium experience that you're sure to love.

best laptop for Cricut makers: Asus Vivobook S15CB endorsed

(Image credit: Asus)

02. Asus Vivobook S15

The best value Windows laptop for Cricut makers

Operating system: Windows 10 | CPU: Intel Core i5-i7 | RAM: 8GB | Connectivity: HDMI, Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, 3 x USB-A ports, audio jack, microSD | Display: 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080

Reasonably priced
Large screen
Lots of storage
Not the highest resolution

Keeping a more careful eye on cash? Don’t worry, you don’t necessarily need a premium laptop for Cricut use. A mid-range device will be fine for most people. In this category, we’d recommend the Asus Vivobook 15. This lovely laptop comes with a nice-sized 15.6 inch, 1,920 x 1,080 screen, allowing you to view your Cricut designs in a huge amount of detail. It comes with the latest Intel processors, plus 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD hard drive, ensuring great performance. 

There’s also a range of ports, including three USB-As, allowing you to connect your Cricut machine and other devices simultaneously. All this, at an affordable price, makes the Vivobook 15 a great choice for any Cricut maker.

best laptop for Cricut makers: Lenovo IdeaPad 3CB endorsed

(Image credit: Lenovo)

03. Lenovo IdeaPad 3i

The cheapest laptop for Cricut makers

Operating system: Windows 10 | CPU: Intel Core i3 | RAM: 4GB | Connectivity: HDMI, 3 x USB, audio jack, Novo Button, SD card | Display: 14-inch, 1,920 x 1,080

Low price
Meets Cricut system requirements
Not the fastest
Limited battery life

Want to spend as little as possible on a laptop for Cricut makers? The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i comes at a low price, yet still offers high enough specifications to work nicely with Cricut’s Design Space software. Like the laptops we’ve already mentioned, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 runs Windows 10, although in this case on less powerful hardware. 

The base model has an i3 processor and just 4GB RAM, so it won't be as smooth and fast as the more expensive laptops featured here. Battery life of up to seven and a half hours of battery life is decidedly average too. That said, this laptop is certainly powerful enough to work with Cricut machines. The screen is a decent-sized 14-inch in diameter, with a resolution of 1,920 x 1080 or 1,366 x 768. And unless you need a laptop for other, more resource-intensive purposes, such as gaming or video editing, there’s no need to spend more.

Before you buy, there are two important things to be aware of. Firstly, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i runs Windows 10 Home in S mode as default. You'll need to change this to the full version of Windows 10 to run Cricut’s Design Space software. Don't worry, this is free and easy to do: just follow this Microsoft guide. Secondly, you need to make sure you're buying the Windows version of the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i. Confusingly, there's a Chromebook on the market with the same name, but that definitely won't work with your Cricut machines. 

best laptop for Cricut makers: Acer Aspire 5

(Image credit: Acer)

04. Acer Aspire 5

Cheap laptop for Cricut makers with great battery life

Operating system: Windows 10 | CPU: Intel Core i5 | RAM: 8GB | Connectivity: USB-C, 3x USB-A, HDMI, audio jack | Display: 14-inch, 1,920 x 1,080

Nice screen
Long battery life
Affordable price
Not the cheapest

If you want to stay on the economical side but would prefer a nicer screen and better battery life than the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i (above), you might prefer the Acer Aspire 5. It costs a little more but the battery life is a more impressive 12.5 hours.

Other than that, in most respects, this laptop is pretty similar to the Lenovo Ideapad 3i, and it isn’t the most attractive looking of laptops. However, it’s perfectly capable of all the day-to-day computing tasks most people need, and that includes dealing with Cricut’s Design Space software. 

The Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage provide a decent level of performance. You also have three USB-A ports to connect up your Cricut machines. And the 14-inch screen has a 1,920 x 1,080 IPS display that makes it a pleasant experience viewing and editing your Cricut designs.

best laptop for Cricut makers: MacBook Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

5. MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)

The best MacBook for Cricut makers overall

Operating system: MacOS Big Sur | CPU: Apple M1 | RAM: 8GB | Connectivity: 2x Thunderbolt / USB-C ports | Display: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600

Powerful processor 
Superior battery life 
Run iOS apps
No USB-A port

When it comes to laptops for Cricut makers, there’s no reason to specifically favour a Mac over a Windows device. Both work with Design Space software equally well. But maybe you just prefer Apple's stylish and efficient tech (you wouldn’t be alone in that respect), and are willing to pay for it. Which Apple laptop works best with Cricut? The answer right now is the MacBook Pro. 

Boasting Apple’s cutting-edge M1 chip, with an 8core CPU, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, this is a very high-specification laptop. It’s certainly more than powerful enough to run Cricut’s software quickly and efficiently. In fact, it’s capable of much more resource-intensive tasks, such as editing 8K video. You can even use it to run iOS apps. It’s also the best-ever MacBook for battery life, promising 17 hours of wireless web browsing, and up to 20 hours of video playback.

With a high screen resolution of 2,560 x 1,600, your Cricut designs are going to look stunning. We’d recommend going for the model with the 13-inch screen since it’s relatively affordable compared with the expensive 16-inch one. Just note that, as with many ultrathin laptops today, there are no USB-A ports, so you’ll need a USB-C to USB-A connector to connect your Cricut machines. 

Overall, though, this is the best premium MacBook you can buy today. And if you can afford it, it’s going to give you a fantastic experience, whether you’re working with Cricut, or on anything else.

best laptop for Cricut makers: MacBook Air

(Image credit: Apple)

6. MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

The best value MacBook for Cricut makers

Operating system: MacOS Big Sur | CPU: Apple M1 | RAM: 8GB | Connectivity: 2 x Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C ports | Display: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600

Impressive specs 
Affordable price 
Run iOS apps
No USB-A port

Looking for a MacBook at a more affordable price than the premium model above? Then the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is a great choice. This sleek and stylish ultrathin MacBook also features Apple’s latest M1 processor, and the standard model features an eight-core CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. Like the MacBook Pro, it’s going to have more than enough power to run Design Space efficiently and enjoyably, not to mention the everyday computing tasks you’ll be using it for too. 

It has a beautiful 13.3-inch, high-res screen, on which your Cricut project will look fantastic. And again, you can run iOS apps if you wish. Be aware that, as with the MacBook Pro, listed above, there are no USB-A ports, so you’ll need a USB-C to USB-A connector to connect your Cricut machines. 

Also, note that the MacBook Air is not quite as highly specced as the MacBook Pro. The latter has a more powerful GPU and a better fan, allowing it to run faster without getting hot; and offers better battery life too. That said, this model still promises 15 hours of battery life when wireless web browsing, or up to 18 hours watching video, which is certainly not to be sneezed at.

Most importantly, the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is just as capable at working with Cricut’s Design Space software as the MacBook Pro. And so unless you have other specific computing needs, we’d say that given the lower price, this is a good buy to use with a Cricut maker.

best laptop for Cricut makers: Asus Zenbook Duo 14 laptop

(Image credit: Asus)

7. Asus Zenbook Duo 14

The best laptop for Cricut makers with two screens

Operating system: Windows 10 | CPU: Intel Core i5 or i7 | RAM: 32GB | Connectivity: 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, USB-A port, microSD, HDMI, audio jack | Display: 14-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 & 12.65-inch, 1,920 x 515

Fast processor 
2nd screen 
USB-A port
Do you need a 2nd screen?

The question of what laptop works best with Cricut partly depends on how you tend to work with Cricut personally. This is a great example in point. The Asus Zenbook Duo 14 comes with a lovely 14-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 pixel touchscreen display. But that’s only the start. It also squeezes in a second touchscreen, which is 12.65-inch in diameter and comes with a 1,920 x 515 pixel display.

That might seem like a bit of a gimmick. But if you want to do other things on your laptop, such as taking part in an instant-messaging chat, for example, while keeping your Cricut designs open and interrupted on the main screen, it’s something you might find very useful. Working on two screens at once is very much a personal thing, so if you’re not going ‘wow’ at this prospect, this probably isn’t for you. But if you are attracted by dual-screening, then it’s worth knowing that this laptop is also pretty impressive all round.

Running Windows 10 with an i5 or i7 Intel processor, 32GB RAM and 1TB of storage, the Asus Zenbook Duo 14 is more than capable of running Design Space software for your Cricut machine, and a lot more besides.

best laptop for Cricut makers: Microsoft Surface Book 4

(Image credit: Microsoft)

8. Microsoft Surface Book 3

The best hybrid laptop for Cricut makers

Operating system: Windows 10 | CPU: Intel Core i7 | RAM: 8-32GB | Connectivity: 1 x USB-C, audio jack, 2 x Surface Connect ports, SDXC card reader | Display: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000

Hybrid functionality 
High-res screen 
USB-A ports
Do you need a hybrid?

Looking for a laptop that doubles up as a tablet? Then you'll want a 2-in-1 laptop that allows you to detach and reattach the keyboard depending on your needs. Our favourite at the moment is the Microsoft Surface Book 3. While 2-in-1 devices are often low-powered, that’s certainly not the case here. With the latest Intel Core i7 processor, between 8 and 32GB RAM, and 256GB-1TB storage, this is a beast of a laptop that can deal with anything you throw at it, not least using Cricut's Design Space software. 

The 13.5-inch screen offers a particularly high resolution of 3,000 x 2,000. And there are two USB-A ports for connecting your Cricut machines directly. The Surface Book 3 is quite expensive, though. So if you don’t need the 2-in-1 functionality, you may prefer one of our other recommendations above.

What kind of computer do you need for a Cricut?

All of the devices in our pick of the best laptops for Cricut meet the system requirements for the devices' software and then some. However, if you choose a different laptop, make sure it meets the basic Cricut system requirements below. Note that if it’s a Windows laptop, it must be running a full version of Windows, as opposed to Windows S mode.

For Windows :

  • Operating system: Windows 8 or later 
  • CPU: Intel Dual-Core or equivalent AMD processor 
  • RAM: 4GB 
  • Free disk space: 2 GB free disk space 
  • Connectivity: USB port or Bluetooth connection 
  • Display: 1024px x 768px screen resolution

For Mac:

  • Operating system: macOS 10.15 or later 
  • CPU: 1.83 GHz 
  • RAM: 4GB 
  • Free disk space: 2GB 
  • Connectivity: USB port or Bluetooth connection 
  • Display: 1,024px x 768px screen resolution

How to choose the best laptop for Cricut?

What's the best laptop for Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker 3, Cricut Explore 3, and other Cricut machines? The good news is that the above requirements are met by a wide range of Windows laptops and MacBooks, including many budget models. If you're really short of cash, be aware that you don't actually need a laptop to run Cricut's Design Space. You can use a smartphone or tablet instead.

However, there are two reasons why you might want to go for one of the more expensive laptops on the market instead. Firstly, because it’s going to provide a better computing experience in general. And secondly, because some of the more advanced Cricut features, such as Offset, are not supported with the minimum system requirements but require higher system specs, such as Windows 10 64-bit. Essentially, the more you spend, the better your experience will be; both when using Cricut machines and when doing general computing tasks.

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Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design, photography and tech. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He has previously been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. 

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