Creating animation is a wonderful thing to do, but that doesn’t change the fact that it requires a lot. Apart from needing skill, knowledge, and talent — it also needs good software, as well as strong hardware. With that in mind, if you need a new laptop for this purpose — we have created an entire list of best laptops for animation in 2020. Check it out, and you will surely find at least one solution that will fit your needs.
1. Acer Predator Helios 300
Our top pick for the best solution in the world of animation is Acer Predator Helios 300. This is an excellent model which you can get for slightly less than $1000, and while this is not exactly the budget solution — it is worth the money. Especially when you consider what it is that you are getting in return.
Acer Predator Helios 300 comes with the 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H 6-core CPU, which can go up to 4.1GHz. Not only that, but it also comes with the 64-bit Home version of Windows 10 pre-installed. Not only that, but you also get 16GB DDR4 2666MHz DRAM memory, as well as 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD. If that is not enough for you, you will also get an extra slot where you can fit a 2.5-inch HDD or SSD, with SSD, obviously, being a better choice for multitasking and faster performance.
In terms of display, you get a 15.6-inch Ful HD display, with 1920×1080 in terms of resolution. The display is also LED-backlit, and it has a refresh rate of 144Hz. It is also very bright, with excellent picture quality, which is always important for work which requires attention to detail, such as animation.
In terms of its graphics card, it uses Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060, with 6GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM. Not only that, but it is also quite overclockable. We believe that 1060 GPU is good enough, and still budget-friendly. Considering the GPU and the amount of RAM, this model can be considered budget-friendly, after all.
We also liked all of its extra features, such as Gigabit Wi-Fi, a backlit keyboard, Dual All-Metal AeroBlade 3D Fan Cooling, USB 3.1 Type-C, as well as up to 7 hours of battery life, which is pretty average for this kind of laptop. All in all, this is a pretty powerful solution that comes at a low price, at least in regard to what it has to offer, so do check it out. It is quite possible that this will turn out to be your ideal laptop for animation, especially since we don’t really have anything to criticize about it.
2. HP Zbook 15u Notebook
Next, we have HP, with its Zbook 15u Notebook. This laptop is packed with some rather powerful components, including Intel Core i7 CPO, 16GB RAM, and more, all of which will work together to deliver the ultimate experience during any animation-related work.
HP Zbook is a laptop designed to look stylish and provide efficiency and convenience at the same time. It is very lightweight, which makes it very portable and easy to handle. It is a perfect solution if you are constantly on the go, and need to carry your work with you. It is even easier to work on it thanks to its touchscreen capability.
It has a display of 15.6 inches, with a max resolution bein 1920×1080, which is pretty much the same as our first entry. In terms of RAM, you get 16GB DDR4 SDRAM, accompanies with a 128GB Solid State HDD. Luckily, however, it also features a 512GB SSD, which will improve its performance, and you will have a much more enjoyable experience.
We have already mentioned a fast processor, which is a necessity for animation applications, but it also has quite strong built-in speakers, which is a nice bonus. It also has a graphics coprocessor FirePro W4190M, with a graphics card ram size being 2GB. Finally, its battery will last you for about six hours, which is not ideal, but it is still decent, considering the heavy work that comes with animation. All of this also comes at a budget-friendly price, which is good for those who want to get the best they can for as little as possible.
All in all, it is a good laptop, and it should serve you well for your work. And, thanks to the fact that it is so easy to carry around — you can continue working whenever you have some spare time, regardless of where you are.
3. Lenovo ThinkPad P71
For our third pick, we chose Lenovo ThinkPad P71, which is an excellent choice for a workstation that will be able to handle 3D animation software without getting bested by it.
This model features Intel’s 7th Gen Quad-Core i7-7700HQ PCU, with 2.80GHz, and 6M Cache. It is capable of going all the way up to 3.80GHZ, too, which is a good thing for those who like to push the limits further than normal. As for its GPU, it features Nvidia’s Quadro M620M, with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM.
Its RAM is really impressive, coming in at 32GB, while the storage is also excellent, with 2TB HDD and 1TB SSD, in addition. When it comes to its display — it is 17.3 inches large, Full HD, with 1920×1080. It will provide you with excellent picture quality, it is clear, and quite enjoyable to look at.
The model also comes with a 64-bit Windows 10 Pro installed, and it has some excellent connectivity, including 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one docking connector, one Mini Display Port 1.2, and one HDMI 1.4.
It also features a backlit keyboard, with a number pad, a fingerprint reader, and a very comfortable touchpad. We like this laptop a lot, although it does have two downsides. These are not really deal-breakers, considering the type of work that you are going to do, but they should be mentioned and kept in mind. The first one is that the laptop is a bit heavy, being at around 7.3 pounds. The other is that its battery is not known for long hours of work. It will only last you for about five hours, meaning that you can’t afford to forget your charger at home.
But, that is the price to pay for an otherwise excellent laptop that truly has a lot to offer. And, speaking of price — it is definitely not for everyone. This is not a budget solution, so keep that in mind as well.
4. Microsoft Surface Pro
Then, there is Microsoft Surface Pro, whose latest version is quite a powerful solution, unlike the first Microsoft Surface computers in their time.
The first thing to notice is its iPad-like form factor, although it does come with a significantly better screen. It also has a kickstand, which makes it pleasant to use. Not only that, but it also comes with one of the best integrated keyboards in the entire industry. In other words, there are already plenty of reasons why this model deserves its place on the list, and we did not even get to look under the hood.
Naturally, it also features Windows’ latest version, Windows 10. However, the software is secondary here, and it is actually the hardware that makes all the difference and makes this model stand out.
To start off, let’s talk about its incredibly responsive touchscreen. It comes with Surface Pen, and it might make this model one of the best touchscreen-based devices you will ever find. Next, it also uses the Intel Core i7 processor, and it features 8GB RAM, which is pretty standard. In terms of storage, it offers only 256GB of storage, however, which might be considered a bit too small.
However, its battery life is truly impressive, and it will last you for over 13 hours, even if you set it on high performance. In other words, you can easily carry it around, and use it for an entire day before plugging it in to charge during the night. As such, this model is one of the best ones for work and portability. Its only real downside is the small storage, meaning that you might have to also purchase an external drive in order to be able to carry large animation files around with you, and keep them close at hand.
5. ASUS FX504
Next, we have another quite affordable solution — perhaps the most affordable on this list, at the time of writing. It comes in the form of ASUS FX504, and it is an excellent budget laptop that can still allow you to do all the complex things that come with animating.
This is not a monster solution, but rather a cheap but capable one. It features the 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor, which goes up to 3.9GHz. The processor is accompanied by GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB graphics card, and this is likely one of the best combinations that you will be able to find for this kind of money.
Still, this GPU has a decent reputation, and it is more than good enough for great gaming, so it will definitely do the trick when it comes to animating, as well. The laptop is also quite durable, featuring anti-dust technology and dual fans, which are great when it comes to handling cooling. We also like the red-backlit keyboard, which should last you for around 20 million keystrokes, likely even more.
You also get 8GB RAM DDR4, as well as 256GB SSD M.2 SATA III, which is a bit below what you might need, just like our previous entry. In other words, it would pay to upgrade it, or get an extra storage that would let you keep animation files close at hand.
In terms of display, it features a 15-inch Full HD display, which is very clear, and provides excellent color, with resolution sitting at 1920×1080 pixels. However, a cheap solution like this had to cut corners somewhere, and there are three things that we did not really like about this model.
The first of them is already mentioned small storage, although the fact that it is an SSD instead of an HDD is a big plus. The second one is weight — this laptop weighs around 5.1 pounds, which is not as bad as some other models, but it still might be a bit bothersome to carry around. However, its biggest con is the fact that its battery only lasts for about 4 hours. In other words, this is not a laptop that you will be able to work on an entire day without having to think about charging it.
Still, if you don’t mind that, it is an excellent solution for its price, and it will definitely serve you quite well. Only keep in mind that you can’t afford to take it to work and forget your charger at home.
6. Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe Ultraportable Laptop
Then, we have an ultraportable laptop by Asus — ZenBook 3 Deluxe. This model doesn’t only have everything you need to ensure that your animations and designs would run smoothly, but it also offers an unmatched battery life, and portability that will allow you to keep it with you at all times. In addition to all of that, it is quite a high-performance solution. So, what’s the catch? Easy. A bit higher price. This is far from being the most expensive laptop on our list, though, but it is still pricy enough not to be available for everyone.
The laptop features a rather beautiful design, and it was made from premium aerospace-grade aluminum, which makes its body less than half an inch thick, and only weighs around 2.4 pounds, in total. Its battery life is also impressive, and it will provide you with up to 9 hours of uninterrupted work. Not only that, but it also charges extremely fast, needing only around 49 minutes to reach 60% of the battery.
In terms of cooling, it features a copper-alloy heat pipe, as well as its liquid-crystal-polymer fan. It also has a very comfortable and responsive keyboard, and an excellent 14-inch Full HD display, with 178-degree viewing angles encased in Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Oh, and with ultra-slim bezel, at that (7.46mm).
Now, when it comes to its processor, it uses the 8th Gen Kabylake Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, which only goes up to 1.8 GHz, and offers 8M Cache. However, you can push it up to 4.0GHz, which is where the true power lies.
As for RAM, you get 16GB, which is more than enough for any kind of work, although not the maximum that you can find, obviously. The storage is also pretty decent, with 512GB NVMe SSD, which should be enough even for animations.
In terms of connectivity, it features Thunderbolt 3 port, USB 3.1 TypeC, and two dongles for USB 3.1 to USB 3.0+USB 3.1 to HDMI. Not to mention 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1.
All in all, ZenBook 3 Deluxe is an excellent laptop that offers pretty great performance and top quality. The price is a bit higher, although it might still be considered in mid-range, as there are definitely more expensive laptops — even as part of this list. The display is great, with stunning colors and unlimited contrast, and it also has a rather powerful quad-speaker audio system, meaning that this laptop gives a lot for only a slightly higher price, and as such — it definitely deserves its place on this list.
With that, we will end this list, and hopefully, give you a model or two that has captured your interest. There are some excellent laptops listed here, some of which are quite powerful, and all of which are capable of handling any animation-related challenge that you can throw at it. Obviously, animation can be a demanding job, which is why you should not underestimate its requirements.
Getting a good, strong, durable laptop, that is also easy to carry around and work on for long periods of time without interruption is crucial. Do not make a mistake of purchasing the wrong model and regret that choice. Instead, simply check out the ones offered on this list, and take your pick.