What’s the Best MacBook for Art Students?

Are you looking for a laptop that can help with your school workload and art needs? Well, we’ve researched the very best MacBooks on the market in order to give you the most helpful review here. Read on to find out which one is the best MacBook for art students.

Laptop Requirements For Art Students

There are tons of laptops on the market with each claiming to offer unrivaled performance. However, as an art student, there are more things you should consider before purchasing any laptop. For instance, when it comes to laptop display, you will need a screen with great resolution and is large enough to enhance precision designing. Also, you will need a good quality graphics card to ensure the image and video quality. Besides that, battery life and portability are other factors you should keep in mind. 

How much RAM/GPU a Laptop for Art students Should Have?

If you are an art student, then consider getting a laptop with at least 8GB RAM. This will make sure that your laptop can handle multi-task issues with ease. But, if you can afford one with 16GB RAM, it is still worth upgrading to higher RAM here!

Besides, you should consider buying a laptop that offers at least 2GB of dedicated video memory. However, if you are not into gaming or using any intensive apps, then a regular integrated GPU should do the job.

Does a laptop for art students should have a high-end CPU?

If you are planning to use your new laptop to run software like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe after effects, then it should have a high-end CPU. In fact, most of the photo editing tools depend on the CPU performance. That is why MacBooks appear like a perfect choice for art students here. And, yes, most of the software used by art students are available on macOS.

Can an art student use a regular laptop?

Well, art students can still use a regular laptop. But, the models that we have reviewed offer improved productivity due to the hardware and software present on them. So, consider one of these best MacBooks for art students below.

2020 16-inch MacBook Pro

2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB Storage, 2.3GHz Intel Core i9) - Space Gray

Best performance MacBook Pro for art students

Pros Cons
  • High performance
  • Long battery life
  • Big screen
  • Intel processors
  • Pricey
  • Quite heavy
  • Huge footprint

This 16-inch MacBook Pro still has Intel processors. So, when it comes to configuring higher-end processors and graphics, this one remains the fastest Mac laptop in most cases.

Students who need a bit more power, such as artists and designers, can easily find how useful this MacBook Pro is. Its 16-inch screen provides ample working space at a 3072-by-1920 native resolution, which is perfect for apps like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro. Plus, there is also an option to upgrade to a Core i9 processor for extra power.

Depending on what programs students will be using, they have several memory and graphics options available to them. For general use, the base 16GB of memory will be more than enough for most students. But, if you plan on doing extensive video editing or 3D modeling, then it’s not a bad idea to upgrade to higher RAM options. 

Besides, for students who want to do something creative, such as digital arts and design, we suggest upgrading storage to at least 1TB. Doing this will ensure that you won’t be butting up against storage caps during finals week. 

When it comes to graphics, the 16-inch MacBook Pro has a variety of options here. The base model features an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M card with 4GB of GDDR6 memory, which is sufficient for most users. However, some users may find that upgrading to the AMD Radeon Pro 5600M will give them better results when running apps like Maya or AutoCad.

Additionally, users who want an M1-series processor in the 16-inch MacBook Pro will have to wait a little longer.

2020 M1 MacBook Air

2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Space Gray

Best budget MacBook for students

Pros Cons
  • Low price
  • Lightweight
  • Small form factor
  • Only has 2 ports
  • Fanless design limits peak processing

The M1-based MacBook Air is the best budget-friendly laptop while still offering enough power for art students. This machine packs a serious processor that can even compete with Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro in single-core performance. 

Because it weighs only 2.8 pounds, moving around the campus with a laptop in your backpack isn’t pain anymore. Also, you can configure the Apple Silicon-based MacBook Air with 8GB or 16GB of RAM and between 256GB and 2TB of internal storage. On top of that, you can get a new base model of the MacBook Air for just $899 with a student discount. 

With a 13.3-inch Retina display, your notes and video are displayed in brilliant colors at a high 2560-by-1600 resolution. Also, there are two Thunderbolt 3 ports for connecting to an external drive or monitor if needed. Plus, the M1 processor can support a single external display up to 6K. In addition, it is worth mentioning that the MacBook Air has a fanless design. Despite that, the M1 MacBook Air still remains one of the best affordable MacBooks for students.

2020 M1 MacBook Pro

2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray

Best MacBook for college students

Apple is known for making durable products. So, whether what MacBook you choose, it should be in good shape even long after your graduation. So, which MacBook is your favorite here? Let us know about it in the comments!

Pros Cons
  • Smaller size
  • M1 runs without limits with a fan
  • Best combination of size and performance
  • High starting price when compared to MacBook Air
  • Only support one external monitor

Whether you’re a designer or new to art design, the new 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro is the best all-around choice. It combines portability with enough power for almost any project you will encounter. Also, having a small size means it fits easily into your backpacks. Not to mention its 2560-by-1600 native resolution allows for ample working space. All of that makes this MacBook ideal for writing or working in your college’s course management system. Plus, its gorgeous Retina display is perfect for streaming your favorite TV shows.

Like other Macs, this 13-inch MacBook Pro has several different storage options to choose from. And, we suggest that students should upgrade to the 1TB option. This allows you to store more projects and pictures without the fear of butting up against the storage capacity.

Unlike the MacBook Air, this Pro model still features a fan, which means the M1 can run longer at higher loads without throttling. This means you will be able to process larger projects faster over time than what the fanless MacBook Air can handle. So, if you are looking for the best MacBook for art students, then this is the one!

Related article: Best MacBooks for College Students in 2020

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