Laptop for Graphic Design (Adobe Creative Suite)

unregistered user

Jan 3, 2015
My wife is looking for a computer to do graphic design. A laptop would obviously be more portable, but an external monitor would be required. She has worked with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Quark Xpress. She hasn't worked with any of them in 8 years.

I'd like to stay under $600 (excluding external monitor). If this isn't possible to do with a quality rig, then I can certainly build a desktop. Her laptops tend to get abused by both her and the kids, so a desktop is absolutely an option.

Gaming is absolutely non-important, but it seems logical that the same processing power and graphics requirements would probably be similar. To be clear, it will not be used for gaming. The other uses will be Pinterist, Facebook, and other such things.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Any external monitor suggestions would also be appreciated.


Jan 15, 2015
For Adobe CC, even though it's subscription based it's still the same, full download full application software, so check the specs on Adobe's website to see what she'll need to run. (Keep in mind that there's huge discounts if either of you are a teacher or student.)

That said, the applications do consume a fair amount of drive space for the installations, so you'll want a laptop with a big drive, especially when considering created content.

You're right that gaming machine specs and editing machine specs have a lot in common. Gaming machines tend to not be as RAM intensive, though. Given how much the OS consumes, plus applications themselves, look for a laptop that offers as much RAM as you can get, or at least can be upgraded (many these days are fixed). Depending on how much Adobe is used, and how heavily into its capabilities you go, starting with 8GB may be fine but shoot for 12 or 16.

$600 will net you a decent machine, especially if you get it online or from a warehouse seller like Costco. Don't expect mind-blowing, but certainly not mediocre.