The Best Laptops for UX Designers
What laptop should you buy if you’re going to be doing user experience design? Which features are most important? What brands offer the best UX laptops? Which laptops are good, but not the best? This article answers all of these questions and more. We’ll take a look at the major players in the industry, like Dell, HP, and Lenovo, and we’ll show you what their best models are so that you can figure out what to buy. Here are some of our top picks
For many designers, a laptop is an essential tool for getting work done. Dell’s XPS 13 (pictured above) has emerged as one of our favorites in recent years, as it’s thin and light enough to toss into a bag or tuck under your arm. The latest version has some nice tweaks: a 4K display option, brighter wide-angle viewing, and an InfinityEdge display that gets nearly nonexistent side bezels to keep visual distractions to a minimum.
The 2-in-1 design can also fold over into tablet mode with ease. Dell offers its laptops with plenty of customization options—so if you’re looking to save money (or upgrade), you can do so without compromising on features. To see more about what we like about these laptops, check out our full review here. If you want something a little different, take a look at Apple’s MacBook Pro line—they have large touchscreens now! And while they aren’t quite as powerful as their Windows counterparts, they are great machines for everyday tasks.
Microsoft also makes good laptops—like its Surface Book 2 models—and Google recently released its own premium laptop: Pixelbook. But remember that all laptops come with tradeoffs when it comes to size and portability; no laptop will ever be ideal for everyone. If portability isn’t high on your list of priorities but power is, check out HP’s ZBook x2 convertible laptop which packs in serious computing power thanks to Nvidia Quadro graphics chips and Intel Xeon processors.
One of our favorite laptops to use for design and development, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 has a high-resolution touchscreen that supports stylus input. The tablet can be used on its own or detached from its keyboard, making it easy to switch between sketching and prototyping. A standout feature is Windows Hello—it lets you log in with facial recognition or a PIN code instead of typing in a password.
You can also unlock your laptop using your fingerprint if you have a compatible Touch ID device like an iPhone. It was not cheap at $899, but it’s one of the best laptops for UX designers. If you’re looking for something cheaper, check out last year’s model (or wait until October when Microsoft releases its new Surface Pro). While we haven’t tried it yet, HP says their Spectre x360 laptop is also great for designers. We’ll test it out soon and let you know what we think!
One of our most popular and popular laptops for UX design is Apple’s MacBook Air. This laptop features a solid-state drive that helps reduce boot times and enhances performance. At only 2.75 pounds, it’s also incredibly light, which makes it a good choice if you’ll be taking your laptop with you on work or client visits. The 11-inch display has a native resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels and integrates Thunderbolt technology to allow you to connect up to two external monitors, while also acting as a SuperDrive for viewing DVDs or burning discs from your PC.
An estimated 9 hours of battery life lets you use this lightweight laptop all day without worrying about finding an outlet when you need power. The built-in FaceTime HD camera allows you to video chat with friends and family using software like Skype. It comes preloaded with OS X El Capitan, but can be upgraded to macOS Sierra for even more functionality. And at $999, it’s one of our Best Laptops for UX Designers because of its combination of portability, speed, and usability.
If you’re looking for a powerful laptop that’s a joy to use (and not a nightmare on your wallet), look no further than the Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW. A gorgeous 15-inch laptop with an awesome 4K display, Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GTX 960M graphics card, it’s got all you need to push boundaries and make truly amazing products.
The only major problem? It starts at $1,499—but that could be nothing compared to what you earn once you start working. We think it’s well worth every penny. And then some. This laptop is specifically designed for UX designers; providing ease of use, comfortability, and overall value. All components are upgradable making them more durable over time.
The MacBook Pro 15 Retina Display 2015 Model packs a powerful display, great sound system, and a sleek design that is sure to please any designer. It has 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage space, and an Intel Core i7 processor. The MacBook Pro also has two Thunderbolt 2 ports, four USB 3 ports, and an HDMI port. The laptop also comes with a multi-touch trackpad and 13-inch screen which make it perfect for designers. It runs on Mac OS X Yosemite and is only 5 pounds so it is easy to carry around everywhere you go.
The battery can last up to 9 hours so you can work all day long without worrying about charging. The Apple MacBook Pro 15 Retina Display 2015 Model has a sleek metal finish which adds to its durability. This laptop may be expensive but it is worth every penny.
You will get fast processing speed, high-quality graphics, and a beautiful display with crisp images. This laptop is perfect for graphic designers who need a lot of power to run their programs as well as a large screen size to view their designs in detail. If you are looking for one of the Best Laptops for UX Designers then look no further than Apple’s MacBook Pro 15 Retina Display 2015 Model.
The Lenovo ThinkPad T460s ($1,223 direct) is a mid-range business laptop that’s built to last. It has good all-around performance, great battery life, and strong security features. If you’re looking for something more portable, however, Dell’s XPS 13 is a better choice. Although it’s significantly less powerful than our top pick, it offers similar performance in a much thinner chassis with equally good battery life.
The bottom line: If your priority is productivity over portability, you can’t go wrong with either of these business laptops. However, if you need to carry your computer with you on an everyday basis and can get by without being able to play games on your laptop, we recommend Dell’s XPS 13 as our best overall Ultrabook. For more information about how we evaluated these laptops, please read How We Test Laptops.
The Microsoft Surface Book is unique in that it can be used as a laptop and a tablet. While some people may not like it, I think that having touch capabilities in a laptop gives you more options to do whatever you want with your computer—and there’s nothing wrong with that. I also love its detachable touchscreen, which allows me to work wherever I am most comfortable.
Plus, with its long battery life and lightweight design, it’s perfect for taking on the go! It even has an SD card slot so you can import photos from your camera easily. Overall, if you are looking for a laptop that will give you all of your favorite features in one device, then look no further than the Microsoft Surface Book. If you want to see my review of other great laptops for designers, check out my list here.
The Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display was just recently announced and is a new contender for Best Laptops for UX Designers. Like its predecessor, it boasts an ultra-sharp 2880 x 1800 resolution display and an amazingly thin form factor.
While it’s not quite as light as some of its competitors at just over 4 pounds, it still gets great battery life (about 10 hours) and is even easier to carry around than most other laptops thanks to a super-sharp Retina display that makes everything look so crisp and clean. And while they’re usually among the more expensive options, they also have some of the best build quality out there – you certainly get what you pay for. If you can afford it, go for it! You won’t regret it.