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Best Laptops for Animation (2024)

To view what you’re working on, the best laptops for animation will provide you with power and a great, large display. To save some desk space and make it more portable, you may pick a small, powerful, adaptable laptop instead of the clunky device or even desktop PC that was once required.

There are several contemporary laptops with large displays concealed behind a small and compact design that is more than capable of tackling animation work. Even 2-in-1 devices are available with the capability to handle all of your rendering and processing requirements. While this is a good thing, it does mean that with the wide range of goods available on the market, selecting the best laptop for animation may be challenging. The following laptops have been chosen by us either on our testing or on the excellent advice of industry insiders and our sister sites.

For more details, you may view our laptop testing methodology. At the bottom of this post, you can find our recommendation for the best laptop for animation. Here is the list of best Laptops for Animation is as follows.

Best Laptops for Animation For Professionals and Students

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)

The MacBook Pro is the ideal laptop for animation at about $3500. If you’re trying to get the finest performance and design, the all-new MacBook Pro (2023) is the only option. This massive 16.2-inch laptop, powered by Apple’s newest M2 Max CPU, can easily handle all your expensive animation software.

The robust 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display is ideal for finely detailed artwork with precise colors. The M2 chip, according to Apple, is 40% quicker than its predecessor and can easily manage a lot of demanding graphics work.

The battery life of the MacBook Pro (2023, M2) in our test was over 15 hours, which is fantastic for creatives who are on the road and may not always have access to a power outlet. Avoidance Factors are older M1 model still performs the same function and excessive pricing.

Check the Latest Price on Amazon for a Macbook Pro (2023)

Laptops for Animation

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021)

The best laptop for animation is more inexpensive. Looking for a somewhat less expensive choice? Check out the 2021 MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro can effortlessly handle even the most complicated animations thanks to its availability of either Apple’s M1 Pro or M1 Max processors.

In addition to having enormous power, it also features one of the most excellent laptop displays you’ll ever see, owing to mini-LED technology, which will make your animations appear stunning. To make it simple to connect extra peripherals like drawing tablets and external displays, Apple expanded the screen size somewhat from the earlier 2020 model and increased the number of connectors, adding HDMI and a memory card slot.

Although it is slightly massive, we found it to be comfortable for working at a desk. If you’re looking for something more portable, though, look at the 14-inch variant below. For additional information, see our complete MacBook Pro 16-inch review.

Check the latest price on Amazon for Macbook Pro M1 (2021)

Razer Blade 17 (2022)

A capable and fashionable laptop for animation. The Razer Blade 17 is a fantastic laptop for animators because it combines some of the most potent mobile components with Razer’s renowned build quality. This includes the cutting-edge Intel 12th generation CPUs and the most recent laptop GPU from Nvidia, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti.

Even the most intricate and sophisticated 3D animations operate flawlessly on this GPU, the most potent GPU a laptop can have without costing an absurdly high sum of money. Ray tracing allows you to generate realistic lighting effects, elevating your animations to a new level. Although it is incredibly pricey, you get some of the greatest mobile technology available for your money.

This is an excellent creative workstation for those who want a lot of power thanks to its superb build quality and a magnificent 17-inch screen. However, it could be unnecessary for those creating 2D animations online. For additional details, see our review of the Razer Blade 17.

Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 (2022)

It is the best of both worlds: dual screens and elite performance. Apart from the name being a mouthful, one thing is evident when you look at the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16: this is no average laptop. This is due to the device’s second touch-enabled screen, located just above the keyboard. However, this panel makes it a fantastic notebook for animators and is far from a novelty.

While working on an animation on the main display, you may drag applications and windows down to the bottom touchscreen. That is ideal for multitasking or just freeing up room in your programs and relocating tools and panels to the lower screen. It could permanently alter the way you animate.

Don’t let that, though, overwhelm the rest of the gadget. The 4K and mini-LED versions for the primary screen provide complete coverage of the P3 color spectrum. It may have a powerful AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX processor, an NVidia RTX 3080 Ti GPU, 32GB of memory, and 4TB of storage. Although it is pricey, you get a fantastic animation laptop for your money.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022)

Despite being yet another MacBook, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is a deserving addition to our list. It is a fantastic, easily transportable laptop for animation since it has Apple’s new M2 CPU and can be upgraded with up to 24GB of unified memory.

Thanks to the Touch Bar built into the keyboard, you can quickly access features and shortcuts, which may significantly speed up your work. The more recent 13-inch MacBook Pro likewise has an extraordinarily long battery life. We’ve tried it out for ourselves, and it works well. You can work all day and still have battery life. Although it is less potent than the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro versions, many animators will find it a terrific investment.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a fantastic Windows option if you want a sleek laptop with Apple-like build quality without using macOS. Although Microsoft may be better recognized as a software firm, it has also produced several excellent laptops, like this one, which is slim, light, and portable.

The PixelSense touchscreen is impressive, and depending on your chosen configuration, it has cutting-edge integrated graphics from either Intel or AMD. It also has a very respectable battery life; our tests revealed that it lasted for almost 13 hours.

ASUS RG Zephyrus G15 (2020), 15.6″

The features include:

  • Ultra Slim
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS
  • Graphics Card: RTX 2060 with 6 GB VRAM
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • SSD: 1TB NVMe SSD
  • Win 10 Pro
  • 15,6″ IPS Screen with a 2k Resolution

The Asus ROG Zephyrus Series is explicitly designed for both creative and gaming tasks, and it will keep you productive even when working on challenging animation projects. With its 4.2GHz Boost-Clock, the 8-Core AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS Processor keeps your Viewport responsive while rendering parts of your playblasts or even final scenes.

Since it is fairly strong, the Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU can render most scenes quickly on the GPU. This laptop is incredibly compact and thin, weighing less than 2KG (4.8 pounds). Although I don’t think it’s essential, you may modify this ASUS laptop to have the next higher Tier GPU, RAM Size, and SSD Size.

Gigabyte Aorus 15G, 15.6″

You should lean towards a better GPU, such as the RTX 2080, if you plan to utilize Maya (with its Viewport 2.0) or GPU Rendering the most. The Gigabyte Aorus 15G, computer 3D, software, rendering, tasks laptop, 15.6-inch laptop includes a numbers-pad in addition to other fantastic features that may be vital to certain people. The Gigabyte Aorus 15G, 15.6′′ Laptop is designed specifically for Content Creators and has all the features you want for productive Animation work.

The Features are:

  • CPU: i7-10875H
  • GPU: GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q with 8GB of VRAM
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • SSD: 1TB NVMe SSD
  • Win 10 Home
  • 15,6″ IPS OLED Screen with an FHD Resolution
  • Numbers-Pad

With the NVidia 2070 RTX’s 8 GB of VRAM and higher Tier Graphics Card, this Gigabyte laptop is a great choice for GPU Rendering and other GPU-demanding applications. It is around 2 kilograms (4 pounds) in weight.

Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

The M2 chip has been modified for Apple’s MacBook Air. Although just slightly better than the superb M1, the chip is now considerably more potent and effective.

One of the major benefits of the MacBook Air is the last benefit. This laptop is absolutely silent when in use since the M2 is so effective that it doesn’t even require a fan. You probably won’t miss the fan because the M2 can function so efficiently without becoming hot (although it could struggle a little on really high workloads).

Additionally, we adore how light and thin the MacBook Air is. When coupled with its fantastic battery life, it’s perfect for working while on the go. This is a wonderful laptop to carry with you if you need to do your animation job for the office while you’re gone.

Acer Spin 5 (2022)

The Acer Spin 5 is far less expensive than the majority of the other laptops on our list, but it can handle at least occasional animation work extremely well (complicated 3D animations will be difficult for it because it lacks a dedicated graphics card). It is a 2-in-1, which means that in addition to being a conventional laptop, its screen can fold back, transforming it into a gadget that resembles a tablet.

Given that you can use a pen to sketch on the touchscreen, we found that this can be a huge productivity boost. Since the screen is taller due to the aspect ratio of 3:2, we found it to be comfortable for drawing and other tasks. In contrast to most other laptops, the Acer Spin 5 also has a pen, which increases its value. You can benefit from this fully-featured pen while you create art and animation. This gadget should last you a day thanks to its 15-hour battery life.

Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro

Another strong creative laptop that makes a fantastic choice for animation is the Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro. It has top-notch Nvidia RTX graphics, which makes it a fantastic option for folks who want to create challenging 3D sequences. The Pantone-validated 4K IPS panel is also unquestionably the greatest laptop screen we’ve ever seen, and when we tested it, we discovered that animations looked spectacular.

We discovered that this laptop’s strength and performance also guarantee fluid rendering. If you’re looking for a true workhorse to animation on, this costly and not the smallest or lightest laptop on our list is worth the investment.

Microsoft Surface Book 3

For animators, the Surface Book 3 is a chic, expertly constructed laptop. It has one of the best portable screens available, so your animations will look exquisite. It also has a touchscreen, which works well with the Surface Pen pen, which is offered separately.

It is more than simply a pretty face. It has some really strong specifications and can even be set up to have a dedicated GPU to perform 3D animations. The most well-liked animation suites on the market are accessible thanks to Windows 11, and this laptop is slim and light enough to be carried around easily.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14S Yoga

An excellent option for animation is the Lenovo ThinkBook 14S Yoga, which is a reliable and reasonably priced convertible. Its internal components are rather strong, featuring an Intel Core 12th generation processor and Intel Iris Xe graphics, which can easily handle animation applications.

The touchscreen on this 2-in-1 device may be used for business, and the bundled pen makes drawing a delight. While the battery life isn’t the longest, at about 9 hours, it’s still very good and should get you through a workday before you need to plug it in to charge, making it lovely and reasonable in comparison to some of the more costly laptops on our list.

How should I pick the right laptop for animation?

Depending on your degree of experience, your budget, and how hard your job will be, you may choose the finest laptop for animation. You’ll generally want a gadget with a current processor and lots of RAM. We advise 8GB as a minimum, but you should strive for 16GB or more.

Given the rising popularity of GPU render engines like Redshift and Octane, you should consider using your GPU or CPU to render animations.

You especially want to search for a high clock speed for CPU rendering so the system can manage the intricate computations required to produce animations and be able to animate in real time.

We advise looking at laptops with a dedicated graphics card because you’re probably better off using your GPU for more complicated 3D animations, especially if you want to try rendering at final quality. While they will unavoidably cost more, the dramatic improvement in workflow speed makes the cost worthwhile.

However, the rising cost of living makes this commitment much more challenging to justify. For this reason, we made sure to include laptops in our recommendations at a range of price ranges that are still more than capable of meeting your animation demands.

Choose the proper hardware for rendering and multi-threaded applications

Hardware components for laptops come in many different varieties. Some influence performance more than others, some are soldered and inaccessible, and some are simple for you to change.

Let’s examine the most crucial elements first:

Fastest of Highest Core CPU for Animation Software?

What exactly makes a CPU fast? Does it depend on the amount of cores, clock speed, cache size, or even the manufacturer—Intel or AMD—in this case?

In a nutshell, The most crucial CPU component to consider for animation is clock speed. The CPU’s clock speed is more significant than the number of Cores or the brand.

Your Viewport will become extremely slow, and you won’t be able to animate in real-time if your CPU has a low clock speed. The Intel i7-10750H CPU has a Base Clock Speed of 2.6 GHz, and some of those Cores can be turbocharged to a higher Turbo-Boost Clock of 5.0 GHz.

Your CPU can be automatically overclocked using the CPU Boosting technology if

  • Not every Core is being used at once.
  • The CPU’s temperature is under a specific limit.
  • The CPU’s power consumption is below a certain level.

Due to how animation workloads use your hardware, just one or two CPU Cores are frequently utilised in animation.

This means that a high Boost-clock will significantly increase the snappiness of your Viewport when animating.

2023’s Best Processors for your laptop for Animation:

The CPUs are fantastic for animation because they have a strong base clock and a fantastic Boost Clock.

Of course, you’ll discover that the aforementioned CPUs are typically included in fairly mid-range to higher-end Laptops.

You could make do with a less expensive CPU if you don’t have the funds to invest so much money. Always try to get the most out of your base and enhance clocks.

How Much RAM is Ideal for the Best Laptop for Animation?

The RAM, or memory, is the second most crucial element in choosing the Best Laptop for Animation. When working on complicated sceneries, lengthy animations, several characters, high-resolution models, and textures, memory capacity is considerably more important than RAM speed.

If you don’t have real-time playback, the option to save preview Playblasts in your memory for comparison and verifying the current animation status is invaluable.

As a bare minimum, you should use 8GB, and for a far better experience, aim for 16 GB. 32 GB might be useful in various situations. Having more isn’t normally essential, but it might be beneficial for dynamics that aren’t key frame-driven but still need to be stored, excessively complicated sceneries, big textures, simulations of animation, and so on.

Or, of course, if you want to run many applications simultaneously. The issue with RAM is that unless you have too little, it doesn’t affect performance.

Without adequate RAM, your system will begin switching active working files to the disc, which will cause the performance to sputter to a halt. Avoid having too little RAM at all costs.

My suggestion for your animation laptop’s RAM capacity is:

  • For starters, 8GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of RAM for daily, medium-sized scenarios
  • For more complicated sceneries and/or several open applications, 32GB+ of RAM is recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.1 What laptops are used by animators?

To animation on a laptop, you don’t need any special features or an uncommon type of laptop. Some features will help you work more quickly and efficiently, but you can animate on pretty much any laptop as long as it satisfies the minimal requirements of the animation software you want to use.

Q.2 What type of computer is ideal for animation?

Read our detailed guide on what the Best PC for Animation looks like if you utilize a desktop computer for animation rather than a laptop.

Q.3 Can 8GB of RAM handle animation?

8GB of RAM, as we’ve covered in this article, might be sufficient for simple scene animation. However, you’ll be happier with 16GB (or even 32GB), especially if your Scenes contain a lot of geometry or want to run additional programs simultaneously.

Q.4 Gaming laptops – are they suitable for animation?

Absolutely, yes! Because the gaming target group is substantially larger than the animation or content creation target groups, many laptop makers target their marketing towards gamers. This does not imply you must use a “Gaming Laptop” to the game.

Q.5  On a laptop, how can animation be done?

There are several approaches to animation. Individual frames can be drawn by hand, 2D Keyframes can be digitally created, and the programs can interpolate between them, or 3D Keyframes can be created, allowing you to develop your animation logically in a 3D Viewport. These procedures may all be carried out on a laptop. All you need is the appropriate software, a laptop with enough power, and some imaginative creativity.

Q.6 Are gaming laptops good for animation?

Gaming laptops are among the most powerful computers on the market, and more and more creatives are buying one to handle their processing and rendering requirements. We’ve even included a laptop from Razer, known for its gaming hardware, in our list of the best laptops for animation above. The majority of the top gaming laptops are more than capable of satisfying the requirements of an animator.