Best Laptop for Animation In 2021

DISCLOSURE: This blog post may contain affiliate links and any purchase(s) made through such links will result in a small commission to HUSTLR (at no cost for you).

Table of Contents

Introduction


The best laptop for animation is the one that is the synergy of several parameters – powerful processor, excellent hardware (build quality), and great mobility.

More than the looks, it is what’s underneath the hard shell that counts. The best laptop for animation is usually the one that handles both 3D and 2D animation applications well.

The most popular 2D applications are After Effects, Synfig Studio, ToonBoom, Harmony, and standard imaging applications like Photoshop.

Similarly, the most popular 3D applications are Blender, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, and of course Maya. The best laptops for animation should be able to handle these applications without issues. 

But before we dive right in and check the best laptops for animation, let’s quickly go through a few selection parameters.

Main features that the ideal laptop for animation must have:


CPU


Considering price and performance, the best CPU for 3D animation is the Intel Core i7 processor. Of course, you can always go higher and choose a processor with a lot more power (and price tag). But for all practical purposes, the Intel Core i7 processor is more than enough for all of the popular 3D and 2D animation applications.


RAM


The amount of RAM that your laptop for animation comes fitted with, plus the option to expand it in the future, has a major effect on your animation and graphic design jobs. You don’t want your computer to go slow when working with the most resource constraining animation tasks. Just like a gamer would find it extremely annoying when the game stops and lags during play, it is the same with an animator.

The minimum amount of memory you need is 8GB RAM. However, we highly recommend that you go for 16GB RAM for the best results.


GPU


If you need the best laptop for animation, then you also need the best graphics card that fits your budget and needs.

The role of the GPU is to quicken up the laptop’s performance when you are running 3D animation software. It takes care of tasks like rendering animation and graphic design.

The need for a powerful GPU is particularly felt when you are running advanced GPU render engines. Engines like Octane or FurryBall will utilize the GPU’s resources rather than the CPU. The result is a fast-rendering performance.

A powerful GPU like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX series can take the pressure off of your CPU by handling these resource hogging tasks. If you cannot afford an NVIDIA GeForce GTX series GPU, look for something good enough. On the other hand, if you want to splurge you can opt for a gaming laptop with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070.


Storage


Storage is a debatable subject. For some designers and graphic artists, storage is not that important. What they need is a basic amount of storage to copy the project files onto their laptop for work in progress assignments. Once the assignment is complete and the final deliverables are sent out, they can back-up their project files to an external hard drive for safe-keeping.

On the other hand, some users insist on a minimum of 1 TB of storage. We feel the ultimate decision is subjective and is best left with the individual designer/animator.

Look for an SSD drive as the primary hard drive of your laptop. Solid-State drives will quicken up the performance of your laptop by several notches.


Display


Finally, we come to the display. The basic requirement for a laptop for animation is full HD. Anything less than that will not do. The best display size as per the most popular choices is 15.6 inches. Anything less than 15.6 inches will not serve your purpose for animation. 

We have gone through several laptops and these, according to us, are the best laptops for animation:


Best Laptop for Animation


Apple 16 inch MacBook Pro

The Apple MacBook Pro has always been the go-to for creatives, and it’s no exception when it comes to animation. It’s robust build quality, performance, display and other perks makes it a great all round package as a laptop for animation.

  • Processor and GPU
    The Apple MacBook Pro is powered by a Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor. It is paired with an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory.
  • Internal Memory & Storage
    With a built-in 16 GB RAM (DDR4)and 512 GB SSD storage, this is one machine that can handle any resource-hogging 3D animation software you can think of.
  • Display
    The biggest USP of an Apple MacBook Pro is the fantastic resolution of the display. The 16” screen offers a resolution of a 3072 x 1920 Retina display.

    The LED technology used in the display is beautiful. Rendering the animation and playing back to check your work is going to be a dream come true experience on the MacBook Pro.
  • Battery backup
    Apple’s MacBooks are known for their class-leading battery life. The MacBook Pro does not disappoint in that regard. With an 11-hour battery life, the MacBook Pro offers one of the best battery performances.

    Needless to say, a lot of users consider the Apple MacBook Pro as the best laptop for animation.


Pros

  • The Apple MacBook Pro has the best display (Retina Display) among all the laptops that we have discussed here.
  • Superfast SSD storage makes sure applications launch faster and overall performance is also very fast.
  • A fast processor makes it very easy to work with resource-hogging animation software.
  • Excellent battery life with 11 hours of work time on a full charge.

Cons

  • Expensive


Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop G3-571-77QK

The most powerful CPUs and Graphics Cards are not surprisingly installed on the higher-end machines. And one of those machines is the Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop G3-571-77QK.

  • Processor and GPU
    At the heart of this laptop for animation is a 7th Generation Intel Core processor. Thanks to it the Acer is perfect for both 2D and 3D animations. It can run an array of animation software including After Effects, Cinema 4D, and Maya without any lag.

    Powering the graphics of this laptop is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It comes with 6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM. If you are using advanced GPU render engines for animation and graphic design then this will do.
  • Internal Memory & Storage
    The internal memory of this laptop for animation comprises 16 GB of RAM. Plus, you get a 256 GB SSD internal storage. SSD further enhances the operating speed of the laptop when you are rendering 3D animations.

    That said, internal storage is definitely on the lower side because large project files will quickly fill up the storage space. You have to think about using external storage very soon.

    But the internal memory is good enough for resource-hogging applications.

    In addition to that, the laptop also comes with a turbo-boost option. That increases the base clock-speed of the laptop to manage resource-hogging applications.
  • Display
    The 15.6-inch display offers a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (full HD) with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Higher refresh rates are thanks to the gaming pedigree of the laptop.
  • Battery backup
    The battery provided with the Acer Predator Helios 300 gives it a 7 hour work time. Therefore, it is suitable as a laptop for animation where work can often spill beyond 8 hours a day.


Pros

  • The laptop has an excellent battery life of 7 hours.
  • Cool design with a large display and slim bezel.
  • 7th Generation Intel Core processor with turbo boost offers impressive performance.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU ensures smooth performance working with 3D and 2d animation software with zero lag. 

Cons

  • SSD storage is only 256GB which might not be enough for creative assets.
  • The laptop is on the heavier side. Not the most portable of laptops in the market. 


Acer Aspire E5 15.6 inch

We love the Acer Aspire E5 15.6 inch. Why? Because we feel it is the right combination of specs and looks. It is a great piece of hardware.

  • Processor and GPU
    Under the hood, the Acer Aspire comes with an 8th Generation Intel Core i5 processor. Paired with it is an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 GPU.

    The base clock speed of the laptop is 3.69 GHz.

    Together the CPU and the GPU make for a formidable combination that can tackle any of your 3D animation requirements comfortably.
  • Internal Memory & Storage
    The internal memory on the Acer Aspire E5 is 8GB RAM. With that, you get 512 GB of storage.
  • Display
    Moving to the display section the laptop has a 15.6 inch display with a Full HD resolution. Acer has bundled their Color Intelligence technology in this laptop. This technology promises a better view with less strain on your eyes even after continuous usage.
  • Battery backup
    The battery life promised on the laptop is up to 9.5 hours. That’s an incredible amount of work time. If you are going in for a meeting or presentation or looking to collaborate with your colleagues, you don’t have to take your charger with you. Simply fold the laptop and you are ready.


Pros

  • Color Intelligence technology is a great addition to the laptop. It takes a lot of stress out of the equation.
  • Built-in finger-print sign-in feature saves you from having to enter your password every time you log-in to your computer.
  • Battery life is 9.5 hours and is therefore very good.
  • Backlit keyboard for greater usability and style.
  • Build quality is very good.

Cons

  • Users have complained about the Wi-Fi connectivity 


Microsoft Surface Book 3 15”

Microsoft hasn’t been a popular choice when it comes to hardware. Everyone remembers how their early laptops and tablets have faced the ire of the consumers for the less-than-expected build quality.

However, Microsoft seems to have upped their game. And the recent Surface Book 3 is a good example of that.

  • Processor and GPU
    Under the hood, the Microsoft Surface Book 3 is powered by a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor. It is paired with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q GPU with a 6GB GDDR6 VRAM. The company states that the new Surface Book 3 is up to 30% faster than the outgoing model.

    For optimum performance when running your heavy-duty animation software you will need this increased processing power of the CPU and the GPU.
  • Internal Memory & Storage
    The Surface Book 3 comes with 256 GB of storage and 16 GB RAM.
  • Display
    The 15 inch display is very thin and almost bezel-less. The display is bright and very contrasty. Perfect for working and rendering animations.
  • Battery backup
    The Microsoft Surface Book 2 has the largest battery capacity of all the laptops that are on this list. On a full charge, it lasts for up to 17.5 hours. However, the company stated numbers are for only playing back videos. For resource-hogging applications, this is bound to change.


Pros

  • Powered by an Intel Core i7 processor. The processor is very powerful and can tackle demanding tasks like rendering 3D animations.
  • A versatile design that operates like a tablet and a laptop interchangeably.
  • One of the lightest laptops available in the market. Easy to travel with.
  • Very bold back-lit keyboard design.
  • Super responsive touchscreen.
  • Battery life is a whopping 17.5 hours.

Cons

  • Product quality could have been better.
  • When working under direct light the display can be very glary.
  • OneDrive is susceptible to viruses and malware. 


Asus ROG Zephyrus S15

This is an out and out gaming laptop, designed for professional gamers, but also suitable for 3D animations and graphic design. As we have seen consistently, the best laptops for animation are the ones that are designed for gamers.

  • Processor and GPU
    The Asus ROG Zephyrus is powered by a powerful Intel Core i7-10875H Generation processor. It is paired with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU, which provides extremely powerful graphics performance.
  • Internal Memory & Storage
    Storage on the laptop is a meaty 1TB SSD. Plus, you get 32GB RAM. There is enough storage for large project files. The fact that the storage is entirely SSD means launching applications and opening project files is going to be fast, and the ample RAM capacity means that all of your heavy applications can be cached.
  • Display
    The bright 15.6 inch display offers a Full HD resolution, though having an incredible refresh rate of 300Hz means that it is buttery smooth.


Pros

  • Comes with two high-speed fans that provide ample cooling for the powerful hardware for prolonged use
  • CPU and GPU are both top of the line specs, making this by far the most powerful laptop in this list

Cons

  • Battery life is poor since the high performance components consume a lot of power

Final Words


As an animation expert, your requirement for a laptop would be different from what others might be looking for. You need a super-fast machine, runs advanced 3D and 2D applications well and comes with a bright, high-resolution display. You will also need a fast SSD drive that ensures faster loading of applications and project files. The options that we have listed here are all carefully selected based on the above parameters. If budget is not a constraint, we recommend the Macbook Pro 16”. It is the best when it comes to processing power, display, and usability.

1 thought on “Best Laptop for Animation In 2021”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Posts Like This

Vlogging

Best Camcorder for YouTube in 2021

YouTube has become the most effective platform where people showcase their talent to the world through posting videos. It claims the second-largest share after Facebook, recording an estimated total of 2.3 billion total users. Besides, YouTube records over a billion

Read More »
Vlogging

Best Mirrorless Cameras In 2021

Introduction If you are new into content creation, look for the best mirrorless camera within your price range. Mirrorless cameras are a better choice for beginners as they are compact, easy to use, and come with better video features.  Though

Read More »
Vlogging

A Guide to YouTube Marketing in 2021

YouTube was launched in the year 2005 – In 2021, it is now one of the biggest video streaming platforms in the world and is considered a major marketing tool by digital marketers and social media influencers. Since YouTube’s inception,

Read More »
Vlogging

Best DSLR for Vlogging In 2021

Introduction Nowadays, in this race of social media and vlogging, videography has become as important as photography. The DSLR cameras are considered the best option for shooting videos due to their compact size and a fantastic range of features. Whether

Read More »
Vlogging

Best Microphone for iPhone in 2021

Introduction If you have an iPhone, you probably don’t need a digital camera to record some stunning videos for a start. Whether you are a vlogger or use social media platforms for engaging with your live audience, an iPhone sure

Read More »
Vlogging

Best DSLR for Low Light Video In 2021

Introduction The ever-increasing trend of Tiktok, IG TV, and Facebook live has raised the demand for the gadgets that serve as a helping hand for you in creating content to capture viewers’ attention. Apart from the world of social media,

Read More »
Share
Pin
Tweet
Share
Reddit