The 5 Best Laptops for Animation in 2022

Best Laptops for Animation

Animation, whether it’s 2D, 3D, is a demanding career. Animators have it though, it’s already pretty challenging to become an animator, not only the creative side but the technical skills, the costs of software, and the unsteady industry are enough weight for animators to carry.

Having the right tools is a decisive matter when building our portfolios, looking for new jobs, or even working on personal projects. But, what would be the best tool for us?

Each animation style has its requirements, going from medium demands to top-performing demands.

The standard recommendation would be to get a well-equipped desktop PC, however, it’s very limiting regarding portability and even though it’s not possible to animate on the go with a laptop, when traveling for sure you can’t carry your desktop PC with you, and sometimes the software we use is so customized with tools, hotkeys, and plugins that it’s a hassle to have two identical versions both in the office/school and at home.

The ideal solution would be a laptop, but which one?

How to Choose the Best Laptop for Animation?

How to know what exactly we need to run software like Animate or After Effects with ease?

And for 3D animation? For MAYA and Blender? What laptop could ever render quickly? and which one can handle all the frames per second we want without dying on the spot?

And if we want to multitask?

Most 2D animation software can run on normal laptops, however, for professional software and 3D animation software there are some things we should look for:

CPU

One would think that since animation relies mostly on graphics, the most important component to look for would be the GPU, but the truth is that without a good CPU, the GPU will be pretty much useless.

Always make sure to look for the highest clock speed (4 to 5GHz) and 3D animation, as many cores as you can get.

These are the ideals you should look for when buying a laptop for animation.

For 2D animation: Intel Core i5 or i7 from 8th generation in advance. // AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 last generation. H series recommended.

For 3D animation: Intel Core i7 or i9 from 10th or 11th generation. // AMD Ryzen 7 or 9, last generation series H.

GPU

For 2D animation, the GPU might not be completely necessary, there is software that runs even with integrated graphics, however for 3D animation, especially for 3D rendering, you will need a very powerful graphic card.

For 2D animation: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti or AMD Radeon 560 would do. Any other card with +4GB of VRAM will also be enough.

For 3D animation: Nvidia RTX 2050 to 3050Ti. Nvidia Quadro is also an option but it won’t make much difference. Going for any other card with +8GB of VRAM will also do.

RAM

Most animation software will eat up your RAM, limiting you enormously if by any chance you got too little RAM, so always make sure to look for:

For 2D animation: +8GB of DDR4 RAM is good enough,

For 3D animation: 16 to 32GB of DDR4 RAM will be enough.

Screen Size and Resolution

When looking for a laptop, the screen size you choose also depends on the level of portability that you want your device to have and the use you’re going to give it. If you want a very portable 13” or 14” laptop, then the screen resolution would need to be at least FHD 1920 x 1080 px. Going for a higher resolution would be a good option, however, it will also add quite a lot to the price.

Storage

For 2D animation: The recommendation for 2D animation would be going for +256GB of SSD storage.

For 3D animation: 512GB of SSD storage will be enough, but it’s advisable to add one or two extra TB of HDD storage if you can’t afford more SSD storage.

Battery

Since the key point of getting a laptop for animation is portability, unless you want to have your device always plugged in, then looking for 5+ hours of battery under high-performance tasks would be enough.

Not many laptops offer long-lasting batteries without affecting or lowering the performance, however the ones that do, usually are on the expensive side of the list.

Now it would be completely up to you to decide how to better invest your budget.

The Best Laptops for Animation on the Market Today

After a deep analysis and research, we’ve found and gathered the best laptops for 2D and 3D animation, keep reading to find which one is the best for you!

#1 Best Laptop for Animation Overall – Asus ROG Strix G15

ASUS ROG Strix G15 - 15.6 inches

Selection Criteria:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen R9 – 5900HX.
    • Our score: 10/10
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
    • Our score: 9/10
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 (Upgradable)
    • Our score: 9/10
  • Screen Size and Resolution: 15.6” FHD 1920 x 1080
    • Our score: 8/10
  • Storage:  1TB SSD
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Battery: 7 to 8 hours
    • Our score: 9/10
  • Price: $1799
    • Our score: 9/10

About the ASUS ROG Strix G15

The ASUS ROG Strix G15 might seem like just another gaming laptop, however, it couldn’t be further from the truth. The amazing 8 core AMD processor along with the latest generation Nvidia RTX GPU make this laptop not only great for gaming but also amazing for 2D and 3D animation. The display is not only Full HD but also 100% sRGB and 300 GHz which is amazing, especially for animation.

The 1TB SSD storage is also a great addition for this mid-range priced laptop, taking away the need to buy extra SDD or HDD storage in the future.

Its cooling optimized system will also guarantee better performance, but even without that, this laptop is already amazing.

The decisive winner factor would be the price. There are many great laptops out there that can handle 2D and 3D animation with ease but is also quite expensive. This laptop is the perfect choice not only because of its characteristics but because you don’t need to break your bank to get it.

 Pros

  • Has a great processor and GPU
  • Has full sRGB coverage

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a number pad or a webcam.

#2 Best Professional Laptop for 3D Animation – Razer Blade 15 Advanced

Razer Blade 15 - 32 GB RAM

Selection Criteria:

  • CPU: Intel Core i9 11900H.
    • Our score: 10/10
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
    • Our score: 10/10
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR4 (Upgradable up to 64GB)
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Screen Size and Resolution: 15.6” UHD 4K 3840 x 2160 OLED
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Storage:  1TB SSD
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Battery: 6 hours
    • Our score: 7/10
  • Price: $3349
    • Our score: 8/10

About the Razer Blade 15 Advanced

This beast of a laptop is everything a 3D animator could wish. Not only has the most powerful processor but also 32 GB of RAM, one of the best GPUs, and a gorgeous 4K OLED Display. It’s very portable and even though it’s marketed towards a gaming audience the design is beautiful and not as flashy as other gaming laptops. Great for pretty much anything besides animation, this laptop is not on the top of this list only because of the price.

 Pros

  • Very powerful
  • Upgradeable 32 GB of RAM
  • Amazing display

Cons

  • It is quite expensive.

Looking for advice on growing your Animation career? Check out our guide on How to Become an Animator.

#3 Best Apple Macbook for 2D and 3D animation – Apple Macbook Pro 16″

2021 Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

Selection Criteria:

  • CPU: Apple M1 Pro 10 cores.
    • Our score: 9/10
  • GPU: M1 Pro Graphics16 Cores.
    • Our score: 9/10
  • RAM: 32 GB
    • Our score: 9/10
  • Screen Size and Resolution: 16” Liquid Retina XDR Display
    • Our score: 9/10
  • Storage:  512 GB SSD
    • Our score: 8/10
  • Battery: 17 hours
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Price: $2898
    • Our score: 9/10

About the Apple Macbook Pro 16

The M1 Macbook Pro has proved to be an amazing laptop since its release. It has the characteristics any top-performing PC can have, the design is amazing and now it has extra ports that support Thunderbolt 4, making it even easier to transfer files or even connect external units. The deciding factor that made us include it in the list is not only that it can handle 2D and 3D animation without breaking a sweat, but that its battery lasts 17 hours under high-performing tasks. That’s simply astounding. So if what you’re looking for are portability, power, and a long-lasting battery, then the Macbook Pro M1 16 is what would suit you best.

 Pros

  • Long-lasting battery
  • Great display and processor
  • Hass full sRGB coverage

Cons

  • It is a bit expensive
  • Some animation software is not fully available for the M1 chip (beta)

#4 Best Budget-Friendly Laptop for 2D Animation – Acer Aspire 5

Acer A515-55-56VK - 15.6 inches

Selection Criteria:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 1035G1
    • Our score: 7/10
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics
    • Our score: 9/10
  • RAM: 20 GB DDR4
    • Our score:8/10
  • Screen Size and Resolution: 15.6” FHD 1920 x 1080
    • Our score: 8/10
  • Storage:  512 GB SSD
    • Our score: 8/10
  • Battery: 7 to 8 hours
    • Our score: 9/10
  • Price: $799
    • Our score: 10/10

About the Acer Aspire 5

This very budget-friendly device is more than enough to run most 2D animation software. With one of the latest generation Intel Core processors and 20 GB of RAM, this simple yet powerful laptop is worth more than its price. The storage volume is also quite nice for the price and the battery is even better than more expensive models. If you’re on a budget this device is perfect for you!

 Pros

  • Great processor and high RAM volume
  • Very complete and budget-friendly

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a dedicated GPU.

#5 Best Budget-Friendly Laptop for 3D Animation – Acer Helios Predator 300

Acer Predator Helios 300

Selection Criteria:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 11800H
    • Our score: 9/10
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
    • Our score: 9/10
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 (Upgradable)
    • Our score: 9/10
  • Screen Size and Resolution: 15.6” FHD 1920 x 1080
    • Our score: 8/10
  • Storage:  512 GB SSD
    • Our score: 10/10
  • Battery: 5 to 6 hours
    • Our score:7/10
  • Price: $1279
    • Our score: 9/10

About the Acer Predator Helios 300

This laptop has everything you need to get started not only with 2D animation but with 3D modeling and animation without emptying your pockets. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a “bare minimum” laptop but a powerful tool with great characteristics. The RAM is upgradable giving you options to fully go pro in the future since the CPU and GPU are amazing. Though the display isn’t particularly great, it is good enough to be used with most animation software. If you’re into 3D animation but you’re on a budget, this laptop is for you!

 Pros

  • Not expensive
  • Great GPU and processor

Cons

  • Average battery life

Conclusions

There are many laptops in the market, but when looking for devices we are going to use for our careers, getting the right one is sometimes more important than getting a good deal.

To be fully honest, the animation is quite an expensive career, from the software prices to the education and tools we need. It can be a bit stressful to invest in a laptop for study or work and get only disappointments. That’s why I hope this article made your life as an animator a bit easier. You can fully trust our laptops selection to perform well and last long!

Thank you for reading this article, until next time!