10 Best Laptops for Animation in 2021

January 19, 2021 by No Comments

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Animation, whether it’s 2D or 3D, AR or VR, is one of the most hardware- and software-driven tasks you can do on a computer, let alone a laptop, because you need performance, reliability and portability in equal measure.

First of all, your laptop needs to be light enough to carry everywhere, but it also needs to work well so you can work on complex projects, render quickly, and not crash often.

With all these requirements, it can be difficult to choose the best laptop for animation, even with all the portable workstations and gaming laptops available on the market. To help you out, here’s a guide to evaluating and buying modern laptops that will give you the most value for money.

Animation Workbook Minimum Requirements

Good laptops for entertainment should include better hardware, better infrastructure and better performance. To give you an idea of what you need, here is a list of minimum and recommended requirements for an animated laptop:

Category Minimum requirements Recommended requirements
Processor Intel Core i7 Anything better than an Intel Core i7.
Graphics card integrated GPU Dedicated graphics processor with at least 2 GB VRAM
Storage capacity 256 GB SOLID STATE DRIVE 512 GB SSD
Operating system Windows 8 or MacOS X Mojave Windows 10 or MacOS X Mojave
Battery life Five hours. 8 hours or more
show 14 Full HD (1920 x 1080) 15-inch 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution
Weight Not more than 10 pounds 6 pounds or less.

We’ll explain in more detail later why these specs are important and what the alternatives are, but for now let’s look at the best 2021 laptops for entertainment.

Keep in mind that better notebook specs provide smoother, more reliable performance, especially when performing complex and demanding tasks. Moreover, you can enjoy your laptop for a longer period of time, as the software allows you to use newer and larger animations. So you can keep using your laptop instead of replacing it with a more powerful one.

Top 10 animated notebooks

Here’s a roundup of the best animated books we found in 2021. We’ve included a wide range of options, so you can find the one that meets your ideal performance criteria while also fitting into your price range.

Acer Nitro 5 Game Book

Our first choice for the best laptop for animation is the Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop, a fairly powerful laptop that can handle complex animation scenes with lots of light, shadow and texture thanks to its powerful graphics card. And that too at a relatively low price.

You heard me right: The Acer Nitro GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card performs just as well as the entry-level MX250 notebook, so you’ll definitely get much more out of this notebook. In fact, in terms of net performance, it’s comparable to the 1060GTX and 2060RTX models, which are significantly more expensive than today’s high-performance notebooks.

In addition to the GPU, the Acer Nitro 5 has many other amazing features and specifications, including a Core i5 processor, 15-inch Full HD display, eight gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes of SSD, and much more. In other words: This is one of the best laptops you can find.

  • 15 Full HD 1080p IPS Display
  • Intel Core i5 9300H CPU
  • GeForce GTX 1650
  • 8 GB RAM, 256 GB PCIe SSD
  • Light profile 5.07 lbs.
  • 5 hours battery life

Microsoft Surface Book 2

The next one shouldn’t really surprise you, with all its unique features that make it a laptop suitable for drawing and animating. The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is by far the best device in the two-in-one notebook category, thanks to its removable screen.

This means that not only can you rotate and fold the screen 360 degrees, but you can also completely detach it from the keyboard if you want to use the screen as a tablet. It also comes with innovative accessories like the Surface Pen and Surface Dial.

We really like this feature because it allows you to get much more hands-on experience by drawing, illustrating, adding textures, etc. The surface pointer also allows you to use your shortcuts, such as B. Optimize measurements and color palettes with a few turns and clicks.

  • Versatile 2-in-1 design
  • Display 15 PixelSense
  • Intel Quad Core i7 CPU
  • GeForce GTX 1060 GPU
  • 16 GB RAM, 256 GB storage
  • Housing quality and aesthetics

Aspire 5

One of the best laptops for 2D animation that can also handle 3D animation is the Acer Aspire 5. It can easily handle any 2D animation software thanks to its superior processing power and dedicated MX250 GPU that can handle many simple 3D tasks.

It offers four times the performance of a built-in Intel HD GPU, which means it’s enough for many 3D animation programs if you don’t work too hard with lighting, shadows, diffusion, physics and post-processing.

While this laptop can still technically handle these tasks, it saves time when rendering. The processing steps also don’t take too long to seriously hinder your workflow, and it can easily process small scenes at a decent frame rate. For a student facilitator, it’s a great budget book that doesn’t get left behind.

  • 15 Full HD 1080p Display
  • Intel Core i5 8265U CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX250 Graphics Processor
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB PCIe SSDs
  • Relatively light profile 5.8
  • 7 hours battery life

Aker Predator Helios 300

If you’re looking for a high-end laptop with excellent graphics and unmatched speed, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is for you, thanks to a top-notch graphics card and an extremely powerful processor, and many other great features.

This notebook is equipped with an eighth generation processor with the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card that can support any animation or virtual reality application. It is even equipped with dual fans to maintain the optimum temperature while you are working on intensive projects.

Not to mention that the high-resolution 15.6-inch screen proudly displays millions of pixels with vivid colors and a sharper, wider viewing angle. In other words: You can work longer and add finer details to your animation without tiring your eyes.

  • 15.6 IPS display with 144Hz Full HD resolution
  • Intel Core i7-8750H CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Graphics Processor
  • Find a keyboard for long trips
  • Robust and durable overall quality

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Ultra Slim

Another excellent 3D notebook is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Ultra Slim, which has exceptional power and performance thanks to an eighth-generation processor that can handle almost any animation task.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 combines brilliantly with the Max-Q design for unlimited animation and gaming performance, while the dust-free channels and 12-volt fans ensure your notebook stays cool and performs at its best. The laptop even automatically adjusts the fan speed based on how much you use your CPU and GPU.

Again, there’s not much to say except good things about the 15.6-inch high-definition screen with a maximum refresh rate of 144 Hz, a response time of three milliseconds, and a slim, elegant bezel that measures just over an inch and a half. The construction is also very sturdy and is made of military grade materials.

  • 15.6-inch Full HD display
  • 0,62 Aluminium enclosure
  • Intel Core i7-8750H CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Graphics Processor
  • Powerful and light construction
  • Excellent thermal and cooling performance

Want it in a fancy notebook? Explore the ASUS ROG Strix Scar Thin & Light Gamer Notebook

Gigabyte Aero Ultra Slim Gaming Notebook

We have a few more Acer and Asus laptops on the list, but for now let’s talk about the Gigabyte Aero Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop, which has an incredibly slim design that doesn’t compromise on performance, making it ideal for entertainers on the go.

This notebook features a 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 with turbo, a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD, and innovative fan and airflow controls that effectively prevent the notebook from overheating.

All of this means that you have a capable laptop that can handle most animation tasks with excellent speed. And thanks to the 15.6-inch Full HD display with 144GHz refresh rate and slim bezels, you’ll enjoy programs and games no matter how graphics-intensive they are.

  • 15.6 Full HD display with glare control
  • Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2GHz CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Graphics Processor
  • 16GBM, 512GB SSD, 8GB VRAM
  • Extremely light profile £4.41
  • 10 hours battery life

MSI GS65 Stealth

MSI is one of the many leading brands in powerful notebooks, and you’re sure to see the brand promise and quality performance with the MSI GS65 Stealth, a great gaming notebook that is portable but offers high performance for 3D modeling and animation.

Among its many features are a 3.9 GHz Intel Core i7 processor that lets you work without interruption, 16 gigabytes of DDR4 memory that lets you multitask, and 512 gigabytes of solid-state storage that gives you so much space that you can save projects directly to the notebook, while making everything much faster and more lively.

The notebook’s most impressive feature is its 15.6-inch high-definition screen, which offers a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a refresh rate of 144 Hz, allowing for animation work that requires color sensitivity. And the latest video card with 6 gigabytes of vRAM isn’t bad either, capable of delivering sharp and subtle images.

  • 15.6 Full HD display
  • Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2GHz processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Graphics Processor
  • 16 G IEM. DRUM, 512 G SSD
  • Extremely light profile £4.14
  • 6 hours battery life

Do you want a thinner package? Discover the MSI GS65 Stealth Ultra Thin gaming laptop.

ASUS VivoBook Pro

If you’re looking for the most portable laptop for animation that still offers solid performance, we recommend the ASUS VivoBook Pro, which is popular among animators for many good reasons.

First, the Intel Core i7 processor offers exceptional performance, clocked from 1.8 GHz to 4.6 GHz, allowing for more demanding animations. The storage aspect of this notebook is also commendable, with 16 gigabytes of RAM, 256 gigabytes of SSD and an impressive 1 terabyte of hard drive storage.

So whether you’re installing animations, playing games, downloading shared data or saving projects in progress, you’ll never run out of memory. The screen is also excellent, with a high-resolution 17.3-inch display complemented by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, which really enhances the look of the notebook.

  • 17.3-inch wide-screen, high-definition display
  • Intel Core i7-8565U CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Graphics Processor
  • 16 GBB, 256 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
  • Light profile 4,85 pounds
  • 7 hours battery life

Acer Aspire VX 15

It’s not for nothing that gaming laptops are often the preferred choice for entertainment. Take the Acer Aspire VX 15, for example. It is based on the right material, such as. B. An Intel Core i7 processor that can run from 2.8 GHz to 3.8 GHz, giving you unmatched performance in a mobile workstation at a great price.

Memory and RAM are also excellent: 16 gigabytes of RAM, optimized for multitasking and hardware tasks, and a 256 gigabyte SSD drive that provides ample storage for a variety of data and can be easily expanded with a hard drive expansion kit that allows another SATA drive to be connected.

In addition, the 15.6-inch screen offers a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, ensuring high visual clarity and a high level of detail. It works well for a variety of animation tasks, with the exception of slightly lower graphics quality on some of the more complex projects, mainly because the GPU only offers 4 gigabytes of vRAM (which is actually more than can be said for some laptops).

  • 15.6 Full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz processor
  • 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPUs
  • 16GB RAM, 256GB expandable SSD.
  • Relatively light profile £5.51
  • 6 hours battery life

You need more space, but you don’t want to laboriously expand your memory? How about an external hard drive, for example. B. a portable external hard drive from WD with 4 TB?

Acer Aspire E 15

Finally, the Acer Aspire E 15 is probably the most affordable 3D animation laptop you can find on the market today. It’s not the most high-end laptop, but the Acer Aspire E 15 can certainly keep pace with the other laptops we tested in this list.

This is made possible by a 4.0 GHz Intel Core i7 supercharged processor, a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card, 8 gigabytes of RAM and 256 gigabytes of solid-state storage. For animated programs and simple to moderately complex games, this is more than enough.

The memory can easily store the operations that occupy the processor. You can save money on your laptop with a hard drive. And the graphics card offers decent performance that doesn’t lag far behind. The design and construction is also very nice, with a plastic body and a matte finish on the lid.

  • 15.6 Full HD display
  • Intel Core i7-8550U CPU
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX150 Graphics Processor
  • 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
  • Exceptional keyboard and trackpad

Make it perfect and avoid overheating with the Harbor laptop cooler.

How to find the best notebook for the animation

When you buy a laptop for animation, it is important to do some thorough research because you need to make sure that the laptop you buy can actually handle the type of animation you want to do. Remember that there are different types of animations and hundreds of other animated programs. The type and size of the model or scene you need to process will also affect your equipment needs.

For example, a 2D animator can work with any modern laptop with a modern processor, 8 gigabytes of memory and a Windows operating system. This is a significant savings because you can buy a cheap laptop with excellent hardware specifications and display capabilities.

Take for example the Hp gaming laptop with touch screen. It features a touch screen, a long-lasting battery and an SSD.

But a 3D animator needs a more powerful laptop, where processing power, graphics card, RAM and storage space are important.

Animation software

The first thing you need to determine is if you’re going to do mostly 2D animation, or if you want to get more into 3D animation software, because this will tell you if you need to buy a laptop to render, or if a modern laptop will do.

2D Animation

Prior to that, of course, any decent laptop for 3D animation can also manage and run all the programs for 2D animation, even the most advanced hardware and graphics programs, so they are generally considered the preferred option.

If you have a limited budget and you really only want to create 2D animations, a cheap laptop can support all 2D animation software, including the most popular ones like Adobe After Effects and Pencil2D. For a complete list of 2D animation software, click here.

Stop the traffic: Most, if not all, modern laptops are also capable of running stop motion animation software, as these programs use roughly the same hardware as general 2D software, which means, among other things, that you can. Start StopMotion Pro Eclipse, Stop Motion Studio, Animator HD, DragonFrame, qStopMotion and IkITMovie.

3D Animation

While 2D animation software is mostly hardware, 3D animation software is a different story because it is much more demanding in terms of processing power, graphics performance, memory and RAM. Below are two of the most popular 3D animation software:

AutoDesk Maya: This software is by far the most popular among animators because it offers many features, from visual effects to modeling, customization, simulation, rendering and compositing, which means you can use it for a variety of applications, including film and television, architecture and even car design.

In recent years it has been used in canonical films and games such as the Harry Potter, Kung Fu Panda and Transformers franchises, as well as the Prince of Persia and FIFA 09 games.

Autodesk 3DS Max: One of the best 3D modeling and animation software is Autodesk 3DS Max, which is crucial in the entertainment and design industry. It is widely used in the development of television, film and games, but also in architectural research.

It is the basis for games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, but also for films like X-Men, Transformers, Avatar and Tomb Raider (Lara Croft).

For a detailed overview of Autodesk 3DS Max, see this article or visit Autodesk.com.

Notebook Computer Specifications

Choosing the right laptop means making a decision based on your specific needs, requirements and lifestyle. For example, how and where do you plan to use your laptop? Will it be a permanent companion on your home or office desk, or will you take it to meetings? What software are you planning to use? How ambitious are your animation projects?

These are just a few of the many questions you should ask yourself before buying a laptop or animation computer (or any other type of laptop).

Think about it: If you want a mobile workplace that allows you to be productive wherever you are, you need a mid-range laptop that delivers reliable performance in a portable package. But if you want the best in performance and productivity, you need a top-of-the-line laptop with hardware that really packs a punch.

To give you a better idea of what you need, here’s a quick guide to choosing a laptop that meets the minimum hardware requirements for a 2D or 3D laptop:

  • Processor – Whether you’re still training to become an animator or working full-time in this field, you’ll need at least an Intel Core i7 processor to handle 2D and 3D projects. Intel’s Core i9 is even better if you can afford it, as it offers smooth, lag-free 3D rendering and animation performance.
  • GPU – If an integrated graphics card allows you to perform certain animation and simulation tasks, you should even invest in a dedicated entry-level GPU for better visual reality. With a more powerful GPU, you can handle 3D rendering and complex scenes at a consistent frame rate.
  • Storage – The hard drive has had its day and the SSD is in vogue because it offers high performance, fast access to programs and files, and shorter boot times. This will also extend the life of the laptop.
  • RAM – 2D animation software can suffice with 8 GB of RAM, but for most 3D programs like Autodesk Maya and other professional programs, you’ll need 16 GB of RAM if your laptop needs to support the extra geometry and heavier scenes in the viewport.
  • Connectivity – It’s always good to have a variety of connectivity options, such as HDMI, USB, mini-screen ports and Thunderbolt 3, because as animation technology advances, you’ll be able to expand it.

Tip: You can also use Maxwell plug-ins to make your CAD and 3D animation software run more comfortably, no matter what type of laptop you have.

Animated booklets FAQ

Is a dedicated graphics card really necessary for animation?

In short, the answer is as follows: Yes. While an integrated GPU can handle the demands of 2D animation software, a dedicated GPU can allocate more resources and deliver better graphics and visual performance.

What is the advantage of a 144 Hz display for presenters?

The higher frame rate results in a faster and better image, which is very useful when working with a complex interface. This means you can enjoy a more enjoyable experience. The 144 Hz screen also allows you to develop and test much better games.

Should I invest in SSD?

A solid state drive or SSD is not only useful for animators. It enables faster and easier workflows for any laptop user with fast boot times, program loading times in milliseconds, improved read and write speeds and of course faster render times.

Should I spend more than $1,000 on an animated notebook?

Again: Purchasing a laptop should be based on your specific needs. If you do mostly 2D animation, you don’t need to buy the latest gaming laptops available, but if you do 3D modeling and rendering, you’ll definitely want to invest in a better hardware configuration that can effectively meet your needs, and these laptops aren’t cheap.

Can I use Microsoft Surface Pro for animation?

Yes! This laptop may be expensive, but it is a worthwhile investment because it offers the best performance and portability. For example, the latest version of Microsoft Surface Pro is equipped with a 10th generation processor. Intel Iris Plus GPU, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. Basically, it’s a great mobile workstation. A more detailed review of Microsoft Surface Pro 7 can be found here.

Can I use my MacBook Pro for animation?

Also yes. MacBooks are known for their exceptional performance and sophistication, making them a popular choice for anyone working in art, design, architecture or engineering. There are also many animation apps that can run on Mac OS, such as Autodesk Maya, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Animate, Harmony, Blender, Poser Pro, and iClone.

These are the same reasons why it is one of the best laptops for Autocad.


Did you find the best animation book? Even if the laptops we tested are not to your liking, as long as you meet the specifications and recommended requirements for laptops and you arm yourself with the right knowledge, you can find the right laptop with the right specifications for the type of entertainment you do.

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