Best Laptop for Drawing in 2022

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: May 24, 2022 •  Guides

If you are looking for the best laptop for drawing on the market today I’ve got you covered. In this article, I share my recommendations for the best portable laptops for any artist that provide the very best on-screen drawing, painting, editing, and retouching experience possible.

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If you’re in a hurry and want to cut right to the chase, here’s my top pick for the best drawing laptop

Best 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing
Microsoft Surface Book 3

13.5" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i7 - 32GB Memory - 512GB SSD


Buy Now on Amazon
For Surface Tablets
Microsoft Surface Pen

For Surface Pro 8, 7, 6 Surface Laptop 3 Surface Book 2 Laptop 2 Surface Go Studio 2 Pro 5 Pro 4 | 4096 Pressure Points | Different colors


Buy Now on Amazon

Table of Contents

I have been writing quite a bit lately about drawing tablets and how great they are for artists.

Having the ability to work on the go – and not just work but work at a very high level, and see your work on a beautiful high resolution screen, anywhere and anytime – is absolutely fabulous, and the best art tablets are understandably popular.

But some people find tablets somewhat limiting. They either don’t do everything a full-fledged computer will do, or they aren’t really designed and optimized for normal, routine tasks. And yes, sometimes even artists need to at least act like they are normal and have a routine.

And some artists can’t really afford to buy a laptop, a tablet and maybe also a desktop computer, and would love to have a single drawing laptop computer which they know will really do it all.

Some of my friends and colleagues want, in fact, the best budget laptop for artwork they can find, with a full range of abilities for a very low price, and others don’t mind spending a little more (or even a lot more) to get the best machine they can afford, knowing they are only making the one investment and wanting to really make it count.

What is a 2 in 1 Laptop for Drawing?

2 in 1 simply refers to a portable computer that acts as both a normal laptop and a tablet computer.

These nifty machines will offer touchscreen capabilities as well as nice, fully capable keyboards and touchpads, and are designed not just to allow drawing and painting on the screen, but normal user interface with operating system Windows 10 (or Chrome OS) and all of your software as well.

Since they work so well for artists, all of the recommendations on my list of best laptops for drawing are 2 in 1 touchscreen laptops.

If you’ve already been doing some research about the best portable computer for artists, you may have seen questions on the internet like:

What’s the best laptop for drawing, but also:

But what’s the difference between these different types? There are two basic types of 2 in 1 drawing laptops:

A Convertible Laptop for Drawing

This design has a keyboard that will open up all the way – really, all the way – so that it folds flat on the bottom and out of the way and lets you use just the display screen as a touchscreen tablet.

A Detachable Laptop for Drawing

A detachable laptop for drawing has a keyboard which can be fully detached from the computer screen, getting it even more out of the way and again letting you use just the display screen as a touchscreen tablet.

Both types offer full and normal laptop functionality as well as full tablet use.

The convertible does act a little more like a laptop, often with a more stable base and sturdy keyboard, while the detachable is more tablet-like, perhaps, and usually is lighter, and still has a very nice and usable keyboard.

So, if you are more into stability and do a lot more typing, you may like a convertible, but if you plan to use your new laptop more as a tablet, or at least more on the go, you might prefer a detachable – just remember that a detachable only becomes an “attachable” if you don’t forget your keyboard on the desk at home!

What is the Best Laptop for Drawing

I should say right away that, though it breaks my poor heart, we aren’t including any Apple laptops here. 

While they naturally appear again and again in my various buyer’s guides for the best artist computers and tablets, and get plenty of props there, Apple has not yet embraced the 2 in 1 idea, and doesn’t offer a real laptop convertible in either a detachable or convertible design.

This leaves us with two main choices for best 2 in 1 drawing laptops for artists, then – operating system Windows 10 or Chromebook. And while Chromebook has been out for quite a while, many are still unfamiliar with what that even means.

What is a Chromebook, and Are They Good for Artists?

Chromebooks are portable laptop computers which use a new (sort of) operating system, and are really focused on Google Drive, Google Docs, Gmail – so, cloud based computing rather than using apps on your computer and storing files locally. 

Chromebooks are light, often surprisingly inexpensive, and now run most Android apps, like those available on Google Play. This leaves you with at least a few quite nice art applications, like:

Windows computers are still far, far more popular and widely used, and offer computing power and a range of top-notch applications (and not just for artists) which Chromebooks can’t come close to. 

They do, though, tend to be more expensive, but they can offer significant value for the money – especially with those featured on our buyer’s guide for best 2 in 1 laptop for artists.

Anyway, many commercial and fine artists feel an operating system Windows 10 2 in 1 laptop is the default and necessary choice, especially as it allows you to use the best art programs, like:

So at the end of the day both operating system Windows 10 based touchscreen laptops and Chromebooks are great for artists. Most people still prefer Windows, and the software is better, but a Chromebook can be an inexpensive, light and easy to use alternative which offers both good art software and full computer functionality.

Budget does become a main issue here, especially if you are looking for an ultra-inexpensive 2 in 1 laptop for artists.

You see, I haven’t found any Windows based convertible or detachable laptops would recommend for anything less than 500 dollars, while there are excellent and highly usable Chromebook 2 in 1s in that lower price range.

As such, the Chromebooks I am recommending here are all lower priced models, but there are definitely some wonderful top-tier Chromebooks as well – if you’d like to see a wider range of Chromebooks that are great for artists, please check out my recent article: The Best Chromebook with Stylus for Artists: A Detailed Guide to the Best Chromebooks for Drawing.

How can You Find the Best 2 in 1 Laptop for Drawing?

But whichever platform you opt for – Windows or Chromebook – you will find the best unit for your needs and budget right here.

To be included on my list of the best two in one laptops for artists on the market today, a computer has to have serious game, including:

We will feature the four best 2-in-1 Windows laptops for artists, listed from most to least expensive, and two great Chromebooks as well, and you can choose any one of them – based on your needs and budget – and feel totally confident that you are getting everything you need for creative work and normal computing as well. 

I am not going to boggle you with tons of choices, but only those convertible and detachable laptops which I know to be not just suitable for an artist, but offer the best performance, reliability, fit and finish and – mostly – the very best creative experience.

Overview: The Best Laptops for Drawing in 2022

  1. Microsoft Surface Book 3
  2. Microsoft Surface Book 3

    13.5" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i7 - 32GB Memory - 512GB SSD


    Buy Now on Amazon
  3. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 2 in 1 Laptop
  4. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 2 in 1 Laptop

    15" FHD Touchscreen, 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i7-8550U, 2GB AMD Radeon 540 Backlit KB USB-C Pen Win 10 + CUE Accessories (16GB RAM I 256GB SSD)


    Get it on Amazon
  5. HP Pavilion x360 14 Convertible 2-in-1 Laptop
  6. HP Pavilion x360 14 Convertible 2-in-1 Laptop

    14” Full HD Touchscreen Display, Intel Core i5, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 512 GB SSD Storage, Windows 10 Home, Backlit Keyboard


    Get it on Amazon
  7. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
  8. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

    12.3" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 256GB SSD (Latest Model) – Matte Black with Black Type Cover

    Get it on Amazon
  9. Lenovo Chromebook Duet, 2-in-1, 10.1"
  10. Lenovo Chromebook Duet, 2-in-1, 10.1"

    WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Display, MediaTek Helio P60T, 4GB LPDDR4X RAM, 64GB eMCP SSD, Integrated ARM G72 MP3 Graphics, Chrome OS


    Get it on Amazon
  11. Acer Chromebook Spin 11 Convertible Laptop
  12. Acer Chromebook Spin 11 Convertible Laptop

    Intel Celeron N3350, 11.6" HD Touch Display, 4GB DDR4, 32GB eMMC, 802.11ac WiFi,

    Includes Wacom EMR Pen and Sleeve


    Buy Now on Amazon

Microsoft Surface Book 3 Detachable Laptop with 13.5-Inch Touchscreen

Best 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing
Microsoft Surface Book 3

13.5" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i7 - 32GB Memory - 512GB SSD


Buy Now on Amazon
For Surface Tablets
Microsoft Surface Pen

For Surface Pro 8, 7, 6 Surface Laptop 3 Surface Book 2 Laptop 2 Surface Go Studio 2 Pro 5 Pro 4 | 4096 Pressure Points | Different colors


Buy Now on Amazon

With enormous memory, an ultra-fast Intel i7 processor, an extremely powerful graphics processor and a superb high resolution display optimized for pen-to-screen interface, the newest Microsoft Surface Book 3 is without question the very best convertible laptop for artists on the market today.

Performance, design and interface, reliability and material quality, look and feel, user experience – the Surface Book 3 laptop has it all.

Yes, this is an expensive computer, but if you are a serious commercial or fine artist, animator, illustrator or photographer, or somebody who simply wants the best performance, the highest quality of materials and construction, the best user experience and a machine that will handle any level of work, anywhere and anytime, the Surface Book 3 is it.

My absolute choice for the best 2 in 1 computer on the market today, Microsoft Surface Book 3 is not just the best detachable laptop for artists available today, it may be the best overall computer for artists.

And while it is nominally a detachable 2 in 1, the Book 3’s keyboard will fold completely away, making it a perfect convertible 2 in 1 as well. However I used it, though, I absolutely loved it, and the Surface Book 3 is the only computer which makes me kind of, sort of, maybe just a little, be tempted to switch from Apple to Windows.

I won’t, of course, but if I did, or if anybody wanted the best of the best, and wanted their work and their working experience to be as good as it can possibly be, there is no choice but the Microsoft Surface 3 13.5 inch laptop with detachable touchscreen.

If it is in your budget, or if you want the very best, don’t hesitate!

The Microsoft Surface 3 comes with a brilliant keyboard, but for the full experience you will also need a stylus, and the best choice is the superb new Microsoft Surface Pen.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go apologize to my MacBook…

Features of Microsoft Surface Book 3 Detachable Laptop

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop

Affordable
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 2 in 1 Laptop

15" FHD Touchscreen, 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i7-8550U, 2GB AMD Radeon 540 Backlit KB USB-C Pen Win 10 + CUE Accessories (16GB RAM I 256GB SSD)


Get it on Amazon

If you don’t have over two grand to spend on a machine, but still want an absolutely incredible 2-in-1 laptop for drawing, animation, illustration or any kind of digital art or graphic work, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 2 is the best I have found.

And it has a bigger screen than the Microsoft Surface Book 3 above, for really high detail work and intense impact when displaying your digital art pieces.

Notebook 9 Pro is a convertible laptop, again meaning that the keyboard doesn’t detach but swings around completely out of the way, so that you can use the Samsung Notebook 9 as a tablet, offering a wonderful pen-to-screen experience and an absolutely brilliant full HD display, with deeply saturated and highly accurate colors and amazing life and realism.

And with the size and quality of the display everything you do is just easier, more precise and more effective.

Compared to the Microsoft Surface above, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro has half the RAM memory, a less powerful graphics processor, a slower main processor and lower resolution, but it should be clearly stated that this is nonetheless a top-level computer, one of the best performers available today and superb in every way.

I’m comparing it here to the best of the best, the Surface 3, but it is half the price of the Microsoft and an unbelievable computer for the money.

In fact, in terms of fit and finish, design and user interface, screen-to-pen interaction and overall creative experience the Samsung is really the equal of the Microsoft Surface, and it’s hard to imagine many work or situations where the Surface’s increased specifications would even be noticeable.

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is, in fact, the best pure convertible 2-in-1 laptop I’ve ever used, and without a doubt the best bargain in a top-tier 2-in-1 laptop computer for any artist at any level. And it includes the wonderful, great feeling Samsung Active Pro Pen, so you have an entire professional mobile digital art studio in one go!

Features of Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop

New HP Pavilion 2 in 1 14-Inch Full HD Touchscreen Convertible Laptop

Powerful
HP Pavilion x360 14 Convertible 2-in-1 Laptop

14” Full HD Touchscreen Display, Intel Core i5, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 512 GB SSD Storage, Windows 10 Home, Backlit Keyboard


Get it on Amazon
HP Pen Stylus

Compatible with HP 2-in-1 laptops

Get it on Amazon

I have to say that my overall experience with the HP Pavilion convertible laptop was pleasantly surprising. It’s surprising, for instance, to enjoy such fast and trouble-free performance at this price point, even with the most advanced graphics software and large, complex files – nothing seemed to slow the Pavilion down.

It is also surprising to find a computer that comes in at not much more than 700 dollars with this premium level of fit, finish and overall quality. And, given its big 14 inch display, the HP Pavilion is surprisingly light and totable.

The HP Pavilion is a really nice computer to use, and seems to have been designed with artists in mind. It has a beautiful display, rich, bright and contrasty, a great feel to the screen’s surface and extremely precise and controllable pen interaction, and a solid, workhorse feel which is (again) surprising from a 2-in-1 laptop with such a beautiful and subtle design.

The Pavilion does not include a pen, which you will need, and the HP Digital Pen is the best available for the Pavilion.

With enough memory and processing power for any digital art software and any kind of work, a huge solid state hard drive and a beautiful 14 inch display, this is a truly functional and high level artist’s studio in a beautiful, premium feeling portable package, and one that feels like it will serve you well for many years.

The HP Pavilion 15.6 inch convertible laptop computer is my choice for best mid-range 2-in-1 laptop for an artist, and is highly recommended.

Features of New HP Pavilion 2 in 1 1Convertible Laptop

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 12.3 Inch Detachable 2 in 1 Laptop

Small but Powerful
Microsoft Surface Pro 7

12.3" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 256GB SSD (Latest Model) – Matte Black with Black Type Cover

Get it on Amazon
For Surface Tablets
Microsoft Surface Pen

For Surface Pro 8, 7, 6 Surface Laptop 3 Surface Book 2 Laptop 2 Surface Go Studio 2 Pro 5 Pro 4 | 4096 Pressure Points | Different colors


Buy Now on Amazon

Microsoft is the only company to be featured twice on my list of best laptop computers for drawing, and it is easy to see why if you’ve used either of these brilliant 2-in-1s.

The Microsoft Surface 3 is clearly the best detachable laptop on the market today, and this Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is, in my book, the best value computer for artists on the market today.

With all of the brilliant design and user experience that Surface computers are known for, and with the same incredible fit and finish and premium feel, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 comes in at around 500 dollars – a quarter of the price of their flagship, and still a great performing unit and a powerful and wonderful artist’s tool.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 beautiful, high resolution screen not only looks stunning, it is optimized for stylus use, making even the most precise and detailed work possible and allowing all work to flow smoothly and naturally. And the powerful Pentium Gold processor makes sure that flow is not interrupted with lags, processing delays or other interruptions.

The best artist tools simply get out of the way of the artist, and the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, even at its relatively low price, is a flawless machine in this respect, and the equal of many 2-in-1s that are far more expensive.

Please note that the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 base price is just for the tablet itself, and to make it into a complete detachable 2-in-1 mobile artist studio you will need to also purchase the Microsoft Type Cover and the Microsoft Surface Pen – you can find less expensive options, but once you try the genuine Microsoft products you probably wouldn’t even consider any others.

A great choice for a somewhat budget-conscious artist who wants a reliable and extremely usable 2-in-1 laptop for digital art and everything else, and a gadget with an undeniably high coolness factor, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is an amazing value and an amazing computer, and receives my highest recommendation.

Features of Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Detachable Laptop

Acer Spin 11 Convertible 2 in 1 Chromebook Laptop with 11.6″ HD Touchscreen

Small and Powerful
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 Convertible Laptop

Intel Celeron N3350, 11.6" HD Touch Display, 4GB DDR4, 32GB eMMC, 802.11ac WiFi,

Includes Wacom EMR Pen and Sleeve


Buy Now on Amazon
Also Great
Penoval USI Chromebook Stylus Pen

Wide compatibility :: 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity :: Palm rejection :: Including AAAA battery & spare tip

Get it on Amazon

A nice, small convertible laptop, the Acer Spin 11 Chromebook is an amazing machine for the money – it is, for its low price, somewhat of a premium machine, with great material quality and look and feel, a fast processor and an absolutely brilliant screen.

It is possible to find slightly better specifications for the money, but not to find a computer offering a better creative experience, or one that feels so solid and durable and inspires so much carefree confidence when you throw it into your knapsack.

The Acer Spin 11 is a remarkably usable and smartly designed machine which offers a transparent and intuitive interface, and it’s easy to get into a real flow with the Spin 11. The pen-to-screen interaction is great – predictable and controllable and with nice flow, and it includes the fantastic Wacom digital pen.

The HD screen offers really good brightness, contrast and colors, is plenty large enough for most people and yet still keeps the Spin 11 small and light. All of the programs work flawlessly, without interruptions or delays, and never once will you be jarred out of your creative space or distracted with performance problems.

Chromebooks are getting better and better, and now even run almost all of the Android apps for even higher levels of utility, but they have always been known as great values and great, inexpensive computers. The Acer Spin 11 is an amazing example of this, one of the best budget laptops of any type for drawing, and the best mid-priced 2-in-1 Chromebook computer for artists on the market today.

Features of Acer Spin 11 Convertible Chromebook Laptop

Lenovo Duet 2 in 1 Convertible Chromebook with 10.1 Inch HD Touchscreen

Small and Powerful
Lenovo Chromebook Duet, 2-in-1, 10.1"

WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Display, MediaTek Helio P60T, 4GB LPDDR4X RAM, 64GB eMCP SSD, Integrated ARM G72 MP3 Graphics, Chrome OS


Get it on Amazon
Also Great
Penoval USI Chromebook Stylus Pen

Wide compatibility :: 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity :: Palm rejection :: Including AAAA battery & spare tip

Get it on Amazon

The Lenovo Duet 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook perfectly demonstrates what all the fuss is about when it comes to Chromebooks – a whole lot of computer for a very low price.

The 10.1 inch display has wonderful high definition graphics that look great and display colors accurately and with excellent contrast and brightness, making drawing and painting a real joy.

The surface of the screen is nicely finished and works very well with a pen, with good feedback and control, a natural feel and real flow. The Duet doesn’t come with a pen, but it is fully USI compatible, and I would recommend the Penoval USI Stylus, which has great control and feels great in the hand as well.

Chromebook specifications are not really directly comparable to the numbers for Windows machines. As they are cloud-based systems they don’t have nearly as much on-board storage, their RAM memory is generally lower and their processors less powerful, being optimized to work perfectly with Chrome OS and Android software.

And indeed, the Lenovo Flex 3 runs fast and reliably, starts and saves quickly, and I never had any issues with delays or lags when I was working – I had, in fact, a really nice and very focused creative experience with the Flex 3, which allowed me to get lost in my work without distractions, and this is, to me, about the most important thing in any artist’s tool.

Solid feeling, nicely designed, with a beautiful screen and a great stylus interaction, light and easy to take with, the Lenovo Duet is an ideal budget Chromebook for any artist, designer or art student.

If you can’t afford more, don’t feel like you are going to have to compromise – the Lenovo Duet 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook will do everything you need, and is an absolute delight to use.

Features of Lenovo Duet 2-in-1 Convertible Chromebook

Final Thoughts: Is a 2 in 1 a Good Choice for a Drawing Tablet?

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If you are wondering if a 2-in-1 is good laptop for artists, either a Windows based machine or a Chromebook, I would say yes, it can really make sense for lots of different artists.

In fact, as I mentioned earlier, in my buyer’s guide for best laptops for drawing I didn’t even include any of the nice normal laptops with touch screens.

Many of these have great touch control and stunning displays, but can be quite awkward for drawing, painting and illustration work, and even worse for very precise and detailed work.

A convertible or detachable 2-in-1 laptop, though, offers a real tablet-like experience, with nothing in your way or distracting you, and the best of them are truly superb creative tools as well as excellent computers in every other way.

I would go as far as to say that if you are buying any new Windows laptop or Chromebook – even if you don’t have plans to use it for artwork – you should strongly consider getting a 2-in-1 anyway. That way, should the inspiration hit you, you can simply move the keyboard out of the way and get to creating – the best of both worlds!

Thanks so much for reading my latest article – The Best Laptops for Drawing: A Detailed Buyer’s Guide for 2-1 Artist’s Laptops – and I encourage you to visit my blog – Art Side of Life – for other buyer’s guides, online courses, articles and lots of other resources.

Other articles in the Laptops for Artists and Designers series:

Lis cet article en français 🇫🇷 Le meilleur ordinateur portable pour le dessin en 2022

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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