The best laptop for Cricut makers in 2023

Best laptop for Cricut; a laptop surrounded by crafting products
(Image credit: Getty Images / Rawpixel)

The best laptop for Cricut needn't be the most expensive or the most powerful computer, but it should have a number of ideal features, such as a touchscreen or large display, 4GB of RAM and a fast up-to-date processor processor.

While it might be tempting to scrape by with the cheapest machine you can get, that isn't necessarily the best idea. Spend a little bit more and you can get a device with loads more to offer beyond running low-demand applications. Choosing a more powerful laptop could help you create your own designs or explore other creative hobbies, as you may wish to run apps such as Adobe Illustrator. Read my guide to the best software for Cricut for more details.

From lightweight 2-in-1 devices to powerful gaming laptops, running Windows or macOS, there are suitable options to be found across a range of different laptops. We've carefully chosen the devices featured on our list, after hands-on reviewing or extensive evaluation (see how we test laptops for more on our process). Alternatively, take a look at my guide to the best Chromebooks for Cricut for alternatives to PC and Mac laptops.

If you don't yet have a Cricut, see my guide to the best Cricut machines too, and take a look at the best Cricut alternatives for something different. The best laptops for Cricut below will work with all digital craft machines (and the new range of laser cutters, such as Glowforge).

The best laptop for Cricut makers available now

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The Dell XPS 15 against a solid white backdropCB

(Image credit: Dell)

01. Dell XPS 15

The best Windows laptop for Cricut makers overall

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 11
CPU: 12th Gen Intel Core i5 - Intel Core i9
RAM: 16GB - 64GB
Connectivity: 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB-C port, SD card reader, audio jack
Display: 15.6-inch 1920x1080 / 3456x2160 OLED, 3840x2400

Reasons to buy

+
Fast performer
+
Amazing battery life
+
4K option

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB-A port

The Dell XPS 15 isn't just an ideal choice for Cricut users, its also one of the best laptops on the market period. It's packed with some seriously powerful components, with configurations available that include an 11th-generation Intel processor and a choice of Nvidia RTX 3050 or 3050 Ti graphics card for those of you that might want to play games or run 3D applications, though integrated Intel UHD graphics is also an option if you don't have a lot of cash to drop on the top-spec model.

You can even choose to replace the standard LCD display with a gorgeous OLED panel if you really have the cash to burn, providing vivid colours and accurate black tones, and you can bump the storage up from 512GB to a whopping 4TB SSD to save all of your projects without needing to rely on external or cloud storage.

Is all this slightly overkill for use with a Cricut machine? Yes, but it means you can manage every area of your business without being bogged down by underpowered tech, from creating designs for the Cricut to everyday admin such as running social media accounts or managing an online store.

The Asus Vivobook S14 against a white backgroundCB endorsed

(Image credit: Asus)

02. Asus Vivobook S14

The best value Windows laptop for Cricut makers

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 11
CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5 - Intel Core i7
RAM: 8GB - 16GB
Connectivity: 1x Thunderbolt 4, 3x USB-A, 1x HDMI 1.4, 1x microSD, 1x audio jack
Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 16:9 aspect ratio, IPS-level Panel

Reasons to buy

+
Reasonably priced
+
Large screen
+
Lots of storage

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the highest resolution

The Asus Vivobook S14 might be a better choice for you if you like the idea of having a machine designed with creative professionals in mind to help with running a business around your Cricut, especially given its more palatable price compared to the Dell XPS 15.

As this is designed with creatives in mind, getting three USB-A ports, which allows you to connect your Cricut machine and other devices simultaneously, as well as a Thunderbolt USB-C to hook up any other peripherals. The Vivobook S14 also has a large screen and well-optimized components to handle all of the applications you could use to create Cricut designs.

The screen quality is a little lacklustre, but this won't affect your ability to use it with a Cricut – though you might be tempted to go for something with a nicer display if you want a device that can also be used to watch Netflix in bed.

Surface Laptop 5 review; a silver chrome laptop on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)
Good all-rounder with a large touchscreen

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 11
CPU: Intel 12th Gen i5 or i7
RAM: 8GB - 32GB
Connectivity: USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, Surface Connect port
Display: 13.5 or 15 inch touchscreen, up to 2496 x 1664 resolution

Reasons to buy

+
Large and crisp touchscreen display
+
Solid all-round performance 
+
Windows 11 is excellent

Reasons to avoid

-
Design feels dated

The new Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 is a good option for Cricut users and digital crafters in general because it has a number of good plus points, for example you can get a 15-inch touchscreen model that is perfect for creating projects in Cricut Design Space.

Being a Windows 11 device it runs Cricut Design Space perfectly, and it means you can run Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, or another high-end graphics software like CorelDRAW or Affinity Designer. The base model is a little under-powered (8GB RAM these days is a little shy) and it can mean, as I found in my Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 review, that if you're running multiple intensive apps this laptop can slow down.

But, as a crafter the chances of you maxing out this laptop's power will be rare as Cricut Design Space is a low-intensity app. So for Cricut users the lower spec models will do perfectly fine. It's that large touchscreen that impresses, however, and is the reason why it just pips above the excellent Apple MacBook Air (M2) below.

MacBook Air laptop in an office on a black desk

(Image credit: Future)
Great portability and a superb display

Specifications

Operating system: macOS
CPU: 8‑core CPU (Apple M2 chip)
RAM: 8GB, 16GB, 24GB (unified memory)
Connectivity: 2x Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 ports
Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display with 2560x1664 resolution

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful display
+
Excellent M2 chip performance
+
Brilliant build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Only two ports

The MacBook Air was already a great laptop for Cricut makers, but it got even better in summer 2022 when Apple added the M2 chip. This increases the performance over the M1 predecessor, while still bringing the same incredible efficiency Apple’s laptops are now known for.

That efficiency translates into two things: whisper-quiet operation and long-lived battery performance. In fact, the MacBook Air doesn’t even need a fan, meaning it’s completely silent at all times. And with about 18 hours of battery life, you can work on your Cricut designs almost anywhere you want to, even if there are no power outlets nearby.

With such a good display built-in, you Cricut designs will always look their best. Apple has baked in support for the P3 color gamut and offers True Tone tech and up to 500 nits of brightness. That’ll help make designing for Cricut machines an absolute breeze.

Our only complaint is the lack of port variety. While the MacBook Air’s Thunderbolt 4 ports are incredibly speedy, you’ll need an adapter if your peripherals don’t use the USB-C connector. Still, that’s a small price to pay for what is otherwise a truly excellent laptop.

See our MacBook Air (M2, 2022) review for more details.

A Microsoft Surface Pro 9 sits on a table in the sun agains a window

(Image credit: Future)
The best Cricut makers for power and agility

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 11
CPU: Intel Core i5 and i7 / Arm SQ3
RAM: 32GB (Intel) / 16GB RAM (SQ3)
Connectivity: 1x USB-C, 2x USB-A, audio jack, 2x Surface Connect ports, SDXC card reader
Display: 13-inch, Full HD, 120Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent 2-in-1 laptop
+
Fantastic screen performance
+
Tablet mode is great for Design Space

Reasons to avoid

-
SQ3 model is less powerful
-
Expensive for the build

The new Surface Pro 9 from Microsoft is an excellent option if you like Windows OS and are looking for a laptop that can do everything. The Surface Pro 9 can flip between tablet and laptop modes with ease, which makes it a nice option to have.

In my Surface Pro 9 review I found the clip-on keyboard to be excellent quality and highly responsive, and there's some nice design notes too, such as the hidden stylus bay for keeping the pen safe. When in tablet mode the Surface Pro 9 is about the size of an iPad Pro in depth and the 13-inch screen is superb. It's the perfect size to fit into the tablet slot on top of the Cricut Maker 3 and Cricut Explore 3.

You'll likely use this in tablet mode more often than not for Cricut Design Space, as the stylus and touchscreen makes it easy to use. The Intel i5 and i7 model has enough power to run any full software too, such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW. The less powered ARM SQ3 build will struggle but runs Design Space just fine (the advantage here is the extra battery life and 5G connectivity) but if you're working from home on Cricut projects, I'd suggest the Intel i5 model.

Acer Aspire 5 laptop on a desk

(Image credit: Future)
A cheap laptop for Cricut makers

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 11
CPU: 12th generation Intel Core i5 / Intel Core i7 OR AMD Ryzen 5
RAM: 4GB, 8GB, 16GB
Connectivity: 1x USB-C, 3x USB-A, HDMI, audio jack
Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080

Reasons to buy

+
Nice 1080p display 
+
Affordable price for what you get

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB-C charging
-
Looks a little dated

The Acer Aspire 5 is another budget-friendly option that works well with Cricut’s Design Space software, and better yet, it runs the full version of Windows 11 so you're getting the very latest Windows operating system.

The base model is rocking a 14-inch full HD IPS display, as well as an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, all of which are plenty powerful enough for most everyday tasks on top of being able to run design applications such as Adobe Illustrator.

It's hardly the most glamorous laptop on the market, but if you can look past the slightly dated exterior then you'll find this is a budget-friendly jack-of-all-trades. It even has three USB-A ports to connect up your Cricut machine, as well as any other peripherals you want to hook up, such as a graphics drawing tablet for creating your own Cricut designs.

See our full Acer Aspire 5 (2022) review for more details.

MacBook Pro 14-inch in the office

(Image credit: Future)
The best MacBook for Cricut makers overall

Specifications

Operating system: macOS
CPU: Apple M1 Pro / M1 Max
RAM: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB (unified memory)
Connectivity: 3x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3 port
Display: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600

Reasons to buy

+
Top-of-the-line Apple hardware
+
Superior battery life 
+
Can run iOS apps

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB-A port
-
Incredibly expensive

The MacBook Pro 14-inch is one of the most powerful laptops on the market, and a fantastic choice if you're not interested in a budget buy. This is actually complete overkill for powering a Cricut machine, but if you wanted a portable workstation that can run every aspect of a small business, this will be one of the better options available to you.

Both macOS and Windows devices will run the Cricut Design Space software equally well, which makes this a great option if more comfortable using MacBooks, and if you use an iPad to create designs for your Cricut then you can build into the wider Apple ecosystem.

Plus, you're getting all of the other benefits of Apple's incredible silicon chips. The M1-powered MacBook Pro is capable of running up to 17 hours on a single charge, and its fanless design allows you to work in complete silence without any noisy fans or impact to performance. In our own tests we were blown away by its battery life and beautiful display, so we're happy to report that this isn;t just one of the best laptops to use with a Cricut machine - its one of the best laptops on the market period.

The only slight pain is that while the MacBook Pro line has reintroduced ports like the SD card reader and HDMI (allowing you to hook it up to an external display), you'll need to buy an Apple-supported dongle or adapter to actually hook up a Cricut machine due to the lack of built-in USB-A ports.

Also read: MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) review

A Lenovo IdeaPad 3 against a white backdropCB endorsed

(Image credit: Lenovo)

08. Lenovo IdeaPad 3i

The cheapest laptop for Cricut makers

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 11
CPU: 11th gen Intel Core i3 / Intel Core i5
RAM: 4GB
Connectivity: 3x USB-A, 1x HDMI 1.4b, 1x audio jack, Novo Button, 1x microSD
Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080

Reasons to buy

+
Very budget friendly
+
Meets Cricut system requirements

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the fastest
-
Limited battery life

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i is possibly the most affordable option on this list, but you need to be aware of a few things to select a model that will work with Cricut’s Design Space software. Firstly, make sure you're buying the Windows version as there's a Chromebook model with the same name. While Chromebooks are fantastic budget devices for getting folks online, they won't support the Cricut software.

The highly affordable base model can run for around 7 hours on a single charge and contains an i3 processor and just 4GB RAM so it's hardly a workhorse, but if you need the most affordable device possible to pair with your Cricut machine, this has the perfect balance for performance at a low cost. 

Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED on a white desk

(Image credit: Future)
Two screens are better than one

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 11
CPU: 12th-generation Intel Core i5 – i9
RAM: 8GB – 32GB
Connectivity: 2x Thunderbolt 4, 1x USB-A, 2x HDMI 2.1, 1x microSD, 1x audio jack
Display: 14.5-inch, 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED, 16:10 aspect ratio

Reasons to buy

+
Fabulous screen tech
+
Impressive build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Unusual ergonomics
-
Mediocre battery life

The Asus Zenbook Duo 14 OLED might appear to be a gimmicky option, but hear us out on this one. That second display squeezed underneath the main screen can be used to boost productivity for those who run a business around their Cricut machines, so you can display customer orders, design work progress or even just your instant messages or music player.

And of course as the name suggests, you're getting a beautiful OLED display that provides rich black tones, alongside a 120Hz refresh rate and 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut. This isn't just a great laptop for Cricut users, but graphic designers and content creators in general thanks to it being seemingly designed for creative professionals.

That lovely screen will make your Cricut designs really pop, and it comes equipped with the latest 12th-generation on Intel processors, as well as plenty of RAM and the option of a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU which makes it suitable for playing a few video games in your downtime.

Our only issue during tests (see our Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED review for more details) was lacklustre battery life, but if you're looking for a truly unique creative workstation laptop to help run a Cricut business, the Asus Zenbook Duo 14 OLED is a solid choice.

A Microsoft Surface Book 3 showing its detachable Tablet against a white background

(Image credit: Microsoft)

10. Microsoft Surface Book 3

The best hybrid laptop for Cricut makers

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 11
CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 to i7
RAM: 8GB - 32GB
Connectivity: 1x USB-C, 2x USB-A, audio jack, 2x Surface Connect ports, SDXC card reader
Display: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000

Reasons to buy

+
Hybrid functionality 
+
High-resolution screen 
+
USB-A ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Small trackpad
-
Older processor

The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is a great option if you want a 2-in-1 device to run Cricut software. Better yet, its tablet-like design means that you can create illustrations for your Cricut without needing to hook up a dedicated drawing tablet, so you can run every aspect of a business from design to operations from a single device. 

The 13.5-inch display is plenty large enough for daily use and unlike either of the MacBook options listed above, there are two built-in USB-A ports for connecting your Cricut machines without the need for an adapter. 

While it's compact, it's certainly no slog. Equipped with a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, between 8 and 32GB RAM, and 256GB-1TB storage, it'll have no issues running Cricut's Design Space software or Adobe Illustrator, and you'll still have plenty of power to listen to some music or browse the web.

There aren't many downsides to the Microsoft Surface Book 3, but it is on the pricey side and the processors are a few generations behind now that Intel has released its 12th-gen CPUs. That said, this is still very capable and will be for some time, so if you love the idea of using a tablet with your Cricut machine, this is one of the better options on the market.

HP Pavilion x360

(Image credit: HP)

11. HP Pavilion x360

A great touchscreen 2-in-1 laptop

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 11
CPU: Intel Pentium Gold / Intel Core i3 / Intel Core i5
RAM: 4GB, 8GB
Connectivity: 1x USB-C, 2x USB-A, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x headphone jack
Display: 14-inch touchscreen display with 1920x1080 resolution

Reasons to buy

+
Touchscreen functionality
+
Good port variety
+
Very affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most performant laptop

HP’s Pavilion x360 laptop has one big advantage for Cricut makers: it can be flipped over into tablet mode, with the keyboard tucking behind the display. That’s perfect for when you want to gain a proper appreciation for your designs up close and focus entirely on the screen.

And with the included pen, you’ll be able to mark up your designs thanks to the build-in touchscreen. That brings a new angle to Cricut designing, letting you annotate your work in an app like Photoshop and then share with likeminded designers and get feedback.

Elsewhere, the HP Pavilion x360 is a fairly lightweight laptop, and certainly won’t be breaking any performance records. But that means it’s also very affordable, so means you don’t need to break the bank to get a good companion laptop for your Cricut machine.

What kind of laptop 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 (opens in new tab), 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.

Read more:

Ian Dean

Ian Dean is Digital Arts & Design Editor at Creative Bloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his love to bring the latest news on NFTs, video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Corel Painter, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.

With contributions from