Game development and design are time-consuming yet rewarding tasks that require a powerful machine that could withstand its rigors. This makes video game development and graphic designing all the more in demand nowadays.
An entry-level programmer earns about $55,000 annually or about $4,500 a month. This is considered competitive pay in the U.S. considering that there is a lot of growth and opportunities in this field. Meanwhile, graphic design is a lucrative work-from-home opportunity for anyone who has the interest and talent.
It is expected that the public interest in gaming will remain significant in the coming months even after COVID-19. A study published in June 2020 showed that video games became a significant tool for social connectedness and psychological healing among older adults during the COVID-19 quarantine periods.
Students and professionals know that the challenge of video game development is finding the right hardware that can withstand the rigors of the task. Laptops provide both the power and convenience you need to render output while on-the-go.
The ideal candidate is packed with the latest processor that can handle heavy multitasking and system requirements. A huge RAM and a dedicated powerful graphics card are must-haves for rendering. Decent battery life and extra cooling fans make life easier especially when you are on the road and working in a less ideal setup.
Here is a quick rundown of the best laptops for designers and game developers in 2021.
Gigabyte AERO 15
Gigabyte may be a newcomer in the line of branded laptops but certainly a performer in terms of the technical specs. The AERO 15 is a mid-range gaming laptop known for its sleek and thin design with its 5-millimeter bezel display.
It is powered with the latest 7th generation Intel Core i7 chip that is 10 times faster and 3 times more battery efficient than its predecessor. Its 1920 by 1080 pixel display boasts the best-replicated color possible as the first to be given the X-Rite Pantone certification.
The display is compatible with 4K UHD and can render videos at 60 fps or connect two additional displays at the same time. What’s more? Here’s the best part of the Gigabyte Aero 15; it sports an anti-glare display of the likes of 5K monitors. This feature makes Gigabyte Aero 15 stand out from other gaming and graphic design laptops. The body made out of compressed aluminum constructions gives a thin yet premium and sturdy feel to the overall aesthetics.
Like most gaming laptops, the AERO 15 falls behind in the camera department. However, if you are into design and gaming, a picture-perfect selfie is not a priority.
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ
- 15.6-inch X-Rite Pantone (1920 x 1080) anti-glare display
- 8GB / 16GB DDR4 2400 RAM
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
Dell G3 Gaming Laptop
You might be wondering why an entry-level model like the 15-inch Dell G3 would compete with the top-of-the-line variants. Surprisingly, the G3 build is perfect for game developers and designers on a budget.
Its 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor supported by a 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost can play and develop 3D games. It has a longer battery life of at least 6 hours and 37 minutes running on continuous Wi-Fi and 150 nits of brightness.
This laptop is on point as there is nothing extravagant with the audio or display. On the downside, Dell scrimped on the storage with only 256 GB of Solid State Drive. Overall, the Dell G3 is a good investment for newbie designers and game developers.
- 8th Generation Intel i5 processor
- 8GB RAM with 3.9GHz Turbo Boost
- 256GB SSD
- 6 hours battery life
ASUS Zenbook Pro 15
The latest release of ASUS Zenbook Pro 15 promises supreme performance to match your gaming and design requirements. This laptop is available with an 8th generation Intel Core i9-8950HK Hexa-core processor of up to 4.5 GHz frequency.
It is 1.29 times faster than its i7 processor released in 2019. It is packed with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. The graphics card remains a good choice for playing mid-range games such as 30 fps in normal to low settings.
The graphics card can seamlessly deliver a 4K UHD video playback ideal and 3D rendering – definitely a top choice among gamers, developers, and designers.
The 4-hour battery life may not be attractive but a dual-fan cooling system should help optimize its performance up to the last bit.
- 15.6-inch 4K (3820 x 2160) display
- Intel Core i7=7700HQ
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- 512GB SSD
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
- 6.2 hours of battery life
- 5 lbs
Our advice? Wait for our ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo review that will drop this month – it might end up on the pole position as far as laptops for graphic design go!
Microsoft Surface Book 3
The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is a 2-in-1 compact computer ideal for traveling designers. The 13-inch and 15-inch variants were built with the 10th generation i5 or i7 Intel Core processors respectively. The NVIDIA GeForce 1660 Ti is the most powerful graphics card compared to other similar models.
Designers will enjoy the versatility of this device as the display can be detached from the keyboard. Programs like Microsoft Visual Studio, CAD, and Unity run with ease even with just 16GB RAM.
As expected, there are bugs when going to integrations or when switching from PC to tablet and vice versa. Designers can also benefit from the device’s 7-hour battery life especially when you enable the energy saver mode.
- 9th Generation Intel Core i5/i7
- 13.5-inch / 15-inch PixelSense display
- 8GB/16GB/32GB 3733MHz LPDDR4 RAM
- NVIDIA GeForce 1660 Ti
- 256GB / 512GB / 1TB SSD
- 7-hour battery life
Dell XPS 15
Dell is trimming down on size with the Dell XPS 15 – the smallest 15-inch performance laptop with a powerful combination of processor, graphics, and intuitive interface.
The latest in the XPS line is built with the latest 9th generation Intel Core processor with 16GB of RAM (expandable to 32GB) and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics capability. If you are looking for a supercharge machine that can render 60 fps of video editing and game development, Dell XPS 15 does not disappoint.
The Corning Gorilla Glass 4 is an added value point that is not present in other competing products. The palm rest is made from carbon fiber, which gives a lighter and thinner feel but sturdy enough to withstand everyday use.
Battery life is a common pitfall in most gaming laptops and XPS 15 is not an exception. You can stretch it to at least 7 hours for light to moderate tasks.
- 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H
- 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM
- 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 15.6-inch display
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
- 512 SSD
What’s your favorite? Or have you already bought one of these babies? Let us know what you think!