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1. Top: Surface Laptop Studio 2
2. Runner up: Surface Pro 9
3. Budget: Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3
4. Last-gen: Surface Pro 8
5. Versatile: ZenBook Pro 14
6. Best portable: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
7. Best foldable: HP Spectre Fold
8. Best design: Spectre x360
9. All rounder: Surface Laptop 5
The best laptop for drawing comes with a touchscreen that lets you draw directly on the screen with a digital stylus. In other words, you won’t need a separate graphics tablet to see your work come to life with these laptops.
However, many laptops now offer 360 degree hinges that enable tablet-like functionality, while others are effectively tablets with detachable keyboards, theoretically offering you the best of all worlds.
In recent years, we’ve seen stylus support improve significantly, so even on a laptop, it's now possible to enjoy a natural and easy drawing experience. To help you pick the best for you, we've gathered together the best of the bunch.
When picking the best laptops for drawing we don't just look at specs and run benchmark tests; we live and work with each laptop for an extended period of time, at least a couple of weeks, to get a real feel for how the product is used on an everyday basis - because that's what you'll be doing. We've paid particular attention to the responsiveness of the screens when using a stylus, as well as the battery life each laptop has to offer. The laptops below are all brilliant for drawing, but are all great in their own right too - this is why some of them also appear in our guides to the best laptops for animation and the best 2-in-1 laptops for creatives.
Below you'll find out wuickfire picks for the best laptop for drawing. You can get a quick overview of each machine here, and also jump down to more detailed information on those that catch your eye.
Basically the best laptop that Microsoft makes, the Surface Laptop Studio 2 is our top pick for the best laptop for drawing because of its brilliant screen, wonderful resolution, strong battery life, and the performance it offers, especially when teamed with a Surface Slim Pen 2.
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More of a tablet than a laptop, strictly speaking, the Surface Pro 9 still offers a fully-fledged Windows 11 experience. It works with all the accessories, old and new, has a beautiful screen and keyboard, and sports a brilliant design and level of build quality.
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Offering extremely good value for money for a laptop for drawing the Chromebook Duet 3 from Lenovo is a real wallet buster, that sports excellent battery life, a great screen, and decent grunt for a Chromebook too. It'll also support digital pens and is a compact beauty for drawing on.
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It's an investment, sure, but you get what you pay with the Surface Pro 8 - exceptional performance, a gorgeous design, great portability, and a lovely 120Hz screen. Perfect for anyone looking at the premium end of the spectrum.
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The most unique of our picks on this list, the ZenBook Duo is perfect for anyone looking for ultimate flexibility and versatility from their laptop. It adds a whole new layer of use to a portable machine, but also offers excellent specs, OLED displays, and a robust build quality you can have confidence in.
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It absolutely ain't cheap. But the HP Spectre Fold is absolutely stunning. Claimed to be the worlds smallest and thinnest foldable PC, it's a new take on 2-in-1 computing that arguably elevates functionality to 3-in-1. It also comes with wirelessly charging stylus and keyboard and folds out to a full 17 inches in tablet mode. Incredible.
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A brilliant hybrid laptop that's often in the top echelons of such lists, the Spectre x360 2-in-1 has one of the best designs on the market. It'll also bag you top specs and performance, as well as great battery life, and can be bought in a 14-inch 3K OLED variant that'll also play lovely with styluses.
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The Surface Laptop 5 is still so good that it really does show that the older ones can still punch with the rest. Offering all-round performance that won't break the bank, the Laptop 5's stand-out features are its sturdy design, the lovely, responsive touchscreen, and a couple of size options. Not the newest, but still a great option.
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The best laptops for drawing in full
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The best laptop for drawing overall
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 isn't just the best laptop for drawing. It's pretty much the best laptop Microsoft has made to date. It boasts a beautiful, premium design and a stunning screen, with a very nice mechanism for converting its form from tablet to laptop.
On many hybrids, the screen folds back to convert the laptop into a tablet. But the Surface Laptop Studio works in a different way, with a split hinge design that allows the screen to be slid over the keyboard for use as a tablet. It can also be propped up in an easel-like position, which is great for drawing and eliminates the need to buy a stand or use the screen flat, if you want to use it hands-free.
The 3:2 screen size is convenient for drawing, and a zippy 120Hz refresh rate and supports the Surface Slim Pen 2 stylus (sold separately) for a responsive experience. We measured 505 nits of brightness when we reviewed the laptop.
We were impressed with the performance upgrades with this second gen model thanks to powerful Intel 13th Gen processors and up to Nvidia RTX 4060 graphics. Memory support has also been boosted to a hefty 64GB. Battery life, which consistently gives around 12 hours of use, is another highlight. It could do with more ports, but overall this is a gorgeous laptop for drawing and other creative work.
The next best laptop for drawing
Yes, strictly speaking, the Surface Pro 9 isn't actually a laptop. It's a tablet, but one that runs Windows 11, allowing you to use fully fledged desktop software on a compact little device. Attach the optional keyboard (known as the Type Cover), however, and you've basically got a fantastic thin and light laptop.
You may be wondering, then, why we haven't included any iPads on this list, because you can team most of them with an Apple keyboard and get a laptop-like experience too. The reason, basically, is that Apple see the iPad Pro is a tablet first and foremost; it won't, for example, run macOS. IN contrast, Microsoft sees the Surface Pro as a laptop and tablet.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 9, even more so than its predecessor, the still-impressive Surface Pro 8 (number 4 on our list), is very stylish. The new model comes in four colours – the new Graphite, Sapphire, Forest and the original Platinum – and each one looks good. And the accessories, including the excellent keyboard, come in the same array of colours.
The old keyboard and style will work with the Surface Pro 9 too, so there's no extra expense, unless you want your keyboard to match your new tablet. Like its predecessor, it runs Windows 11, which is nice and speedy, and the screen offers an excellent drawing experience, even more satisfying than in the 8. Read our full Surface Pro 9 review for more info.
The best budget laptop for drawing
Looking for a good laptop for drawing but on a budget? Then the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is a great choice. This hybrid tablet is way more affordable than the Microsoft Laptop Studio 2, our number one pick, but still pretty capable.
As a Chromebook, you won't be able to run Windows or macOS software, so not all of the usual desktop drawing applications will be available. However, it can run Android apps, which gives you access to quite a lot of good drawing and digital art applications, including a slimmed-down version of Photoshop.
Chromebooks tend to be cheap while offering great battery life thanks to their low power needs, and this fits that bill, with Lenovo claiming all-day battery life on a single charge. (Find out more in our buying guide for the best Chromebooks.)
It's actually very powerful for a Chromebook too. The Lenovo IdeaPad Duet supports the Universal Stylus Initiative 2.0, so digital pens from any company using that standard should work. Just note the screen size though, because 10.9 inches is a little smaller than most of the other laptops on this list.
The best last-gen laptop for drawing
The Surface Pro 8 may have been overshadowed by its successor, the Pro 9 (number 2 on our list). But it's still got a lot to offer thanks to its excellent stylus support and its super convenient size and portability.
Most hybrid laptops (which includes most of the laptops for drawing in our list) also offer this best-of-both-worlds usefulness, but they're bulkier. The Surface Pro, since it's more tablet than laptop, is small and light enough to use for drawing anywhere – even on the bus or in bed. (Of course, Apple's iPads are also very nice for drawing, but they don't give you the ability to run desktop software as this does.)
The Surface Pro 8 packs some of the latest mobile tech, so Windows 11 and any digital art app will run perfectly. And it has a stunning screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. This makes drawing on it smooth and enjoyable – although you'll need to also invest in the Surface Pen stylus, which is also sold separately. Read more in our full Surface Pro 8 review.
The best dual-screen laptop for drawing
The ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 is a brilliantly unique laptop for drawing on thanks to its dual-screen design. Along with a gorgeous OLED touchscreen with 550 nits peak brightnes, it has a second screen, which ASUS calls ScreenPadPlus.
This 12.7-inch touchscreen offers a 2,880 x 864 resolution and supports styluses. It can display apps and shortcuts, giving you more room on the main display, or you can use a stylus to draw on the ScreenPadPlus. It even lifts up at an angle when you open the laptop to make it more comfortable to draw on. It's been updated for 2023 from its already excellent 2022 edition, so ASUS is going from strength to strength here.
It may look a little unusual, and it won't be for everyone, but when we reviewed it, we found the two touch screens with stylus support allowed for some versatile uses. And as well as the unique design, the laptop comes with powerful internals and solid build quality. If you want the ultimate premium laptop for drawing, this is a great choice. See our full ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED review for more details.
The best portable laptop for drawing
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is another premium device with a stunning touchscreen that makes it an excellent device for drawing on. It's thin and lightweight and offers long battery life. The slim aluminium shell and outstanding build quality make it the most stylish portable option for drawing in our eyes.
The new tablet convertible Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 model sports a stunning 13-inch IPS display with 3K resolution and 500 nits of brightness, which is brighter than most laptop displays and offers plenty of pixels for rendering sharp, smooth images, which is particularly important for digital drawing. The 16:10 aspect gives you that little bit extra space vertically too and the Gorilla glass cover should prove very durable.
The screen also supports 4,096 levels of pressure for a natural inking and drawing experience. The stylus also mmagnetically snaps to the edge of the chassis for storage and charging and lasts for 50 days. Nice.
You'll probably want one of the higher configurations if you're looking to do other creative work like video or photo editing as well as drawing. Also note that Dell produces several versions of the XPS 13 and that they're not all 2-in-1s to check the version you're considering before you buy.
The best foldable laptop for drawing
Foldable OLED panels have already revolutionised smartphones. Now they're coming for laptops. The HP Spectre Fold is one of the first of this brave new generation and with that comes an extremely high price.
For your money you get what at first seems like a 17-inch OLED tablet, but then magically folds in half to create a sort of dual-screen laptop. The HP Spectre Fold also comes with a wireless (including charging) keyboard that can either be used separately from the tablet or clipped on top of the bottom half of the OLED panel when folded to create what looks like a conventional 12.3-inch laptop at a glance. Clever.
It also comes bundled with an HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen with full pressure sensitivity support. Thre's just one catch. The screen only supports 1,024 pressure levels, which may limit its performance for true pro-level drawing and inking.
Overall, the HP Spectre Fold is certainly something of an early-adopter option, especially with the super-high price. But it's still a very exciting device that might just exactly what you're looking for.
The best designed laptop for drawing
The HP Spectre x360 14 is a close contender with the XPS 13 above as the best laptop for drawing when it comes to looks. It offers a sleek brushed-metal design that comes in several colour combinations, and the 360-degree hinge that allows the screen to flip back into a tablet format feels solid and dependable. The screen is a a stunning 3K OLED offering, with sharp colours, strong brightness and excellent responsiveness.
It also comes bundled with an HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen for drawing and inking support as standard. Performance wise, it gets the latest 13th Gen Intel CPUs, a beefy 1TB SSD and 16GB of fast LPDDR5 memory. HP pegs battery life at an impressive 13.5 hours, making this a true all-day device.
As for connectivity, along with Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 and a microSD card reader, you also a pair of fast 40Gbps Thunderbolt 4 ports. It's beautifully built and engineered, too, and HP even claims it's sustainable thanks to ocean-bound plastics, recycled aluminum and post-consumer recycled plastics.
The best all-round laptop for drawing
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 arguably isn't the most successful update in the history of Microsoft's Surface line of portable PCs. But it remains an absolutely excellent all-round device.
Physically, little has changed, but that means you get the same super-high-quality chassis as before along with a reasonable price for the entry-level 13.5 model, which comes with a workable 8GB of RAM. The bigger 15-inch option is a little more expensive. And you can double the price by maxing out the options.
Both have a very responsive 10-point touch with a high 201 PPI pixel density, and although this is not a true hybrid, as you can't flip the screen into tablet mode, the taller 3:2 aspect ratio still makes it a very comfortable screen to draw on.
The only catch in a. drawing content is that it doesn't come as standard with a stylus. You'll have to add that as an optional extra. Read our our full Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 review for more details.
How do I choose the best laptop for drawing?
Ive done a lot of the legwork for you in my top picks, but there are a few things that are up to you to make the final call on. The most obvious one is budget; which is why we’ve included products at a variety of price points. For instance, the powerful Surface Pro 8 is obviously a very different price point to the more affordable but less powerful Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook.
Stylish design might be of less importance for you, too, so the plain-looking Microsoft Laptop Studio might win out over the more slick HP Spectre x360. Also consider will you use this for more than drawing, if so take a look at our buying guide to the best laptops for graphic design, as these are a bit more powerful.
If you’re more prone to drawing at home rather than while you’re on the move, you might not need the fantastic battery life the Acer Spin 5 (2020) offers. So, before you make any choices, list out your own personal needs into pros and cons and pick whichever laptop is the closest to your dream drawing device.
Why should I use a touchscreen laptop for drawing?
Generally speaking, when it comes to digital drawing, your options are using a graphics tablet with a laptop or PC, a tablet with a stylus or pen display, or using a touch screen laptop.
Some artists may prefer the feeling of graphics tablets, but the technology isn’t perfect. The need to coordinate your hand separately from your screen can be very disruptive when you’re in the flow of things, and they’re not as portable as all-in-one devices. They are, however, very affordable, and purpose-built to deliver precision.
The best tablets and pen displays with a stylus are generally the easiest for drawing, and are supremely portable - but they can get pretty pricey if you want something durable and robust. If you opt for a tablet like the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (M1, 2021), you get a high-ticket piece of kit that can offer a lot more than just drawing, but you might not need that.
Touch screen laptops, on the other hand, are easily the most versatile for their price point. Some of the laptops on this list cost a fraction of the price of a tablet, and offer far more functionality - although, some of our favourites can be a lot more expensive. If you need a new laptop outside of drawing anyway, it’s a no-brainer.
Do I need a hybrid laptop for drawing?
No, you don’t need a hybrid laptop for drawing - but it can certainly help. 2-in-1 laptops are growing in popularity thanks to how versatile they can be, and with touch screen technology improving year on year, you’ll be hard-pressed to find such flexibility at such a low price point in any other kind of device. Take a look at our guide to the best 2-in-1 laptops for creatives for more details.
There are, of course, cons to hybrid laptops. Although software is becoming more accessible and popular for drawing, you won’t get the same experience as you would on a pen display or tablet. They can also be a little expensive if you go for a model with all of the bells and whistles.
If you specifically want a laptop for drawing, hybrid laptops are generally the way to go, though. Drawing on a regular touchscreen laptop can be a little awkward and uncomfortable due to the obstructive lower clamshell, which can make fine detail harder to draw.
How do we test?
Modern laptops are marvels of technology. But that means numerous features and capabilities that need to be assessed. For digital drawing, screen quality is obviously important, including brightness, contrast, colour coverage and pixel density.
Touch responsiveness including support for input pens is also key, with the number of pressure levels supported always an important factor. Next up we assess overall form factor, portability and build quality, which in this context means everything from conventional clamshell laptops to 2-in-1s and tablet convertibles with detachable keyboards and even foldable laptops. Keyboard quality, chassis rigidity, trackpad response—it's all in the mix.
Overall performance matters, but you won't need an absolutely bleeding edge CPU. A core i5 or i7 12th Gen or newer Intel chip will get the job done and our testing confirms that a given laptop performs up to expectations. The same goes for graphics. A discrete GPU isn't a must, but a low-end graphics chip is nice to have.
Connectivity is also vital for any laptop, which means looking out for features like Thunderbolt and the specification of wireless interfaces. Finally, decent battery life is critical for any portable drawing device.