Best Laptop for Drawing in 2023

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Jan 14, 2023 •  Guides

Artists, illustrators, and graphic designers looking for a Windows laptop to facilitate their drawing and working needs will enjoy getting a 2-in-1 drawing laptop with a touch screen.

2-in-1 laptops have gone through remarkable advances in touch screen and pen technology, which benefits artists in a significant way. In addition, some hybrid laptops are strong enough to perform more demanding tasks like 3D work, animation, and video editing. This makes them an excellent investment.

But getting the right pen-enabled convertible laptop is not easy! It can be frustrating and sometimes confusing because, except for one, they are all advertised for more general use rather than drawing.

To save you hours of research, in this article, you will discover what I think are the best 2-in-1 laptops for drawing, based on my research, tests, and what I’ve heard from my designer friends. You will also understand what Wacom EMR, AES, and MPP mean and why they are essential for touch screen laptops. So keep on reading!

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Top 4 Drawing Laptops Compared

This is a quick comparison of my favorite 2-in-1 laptops for drawing. These all run Windows and have touch screens and pens with Wacom EMR or MPP technology, emulating this natural feeling of drawing on paper. There are more picks in the overview below, such as budget and alternative picks.

My Pick
Also Great
Affordable Pick
Professional Pick
Description:

For artists, illustrators, and designers who want the best drawing experience on a 2-in-1 laptop

Description:

For artists, illustrators, and designers who want the best drawing experience on a 2-in-1 laptop with a more of a tablet feel

Description:

For artists, illustrators, and designers who want the best drawing experience on a 2-in-1 laptop and are on a budget

Description:

For professional artists, illustrators, and designers who want the best drawing experience on a 2-in-1 laptop and performance for 3d work, animation, and video editing

Stylus pen:
Included S Pen
Uses Wacom EMR technology
Stylus pen:
Not included
Uses MPP 3.0 technology (comparable with Wacom EMR)
Get Surface Slim Pen 2 for the best drawing experience
Stylus pen:
Not included
Uses Wacom EMR technology
Compatible with S Pen
Stylus pen:
Included Acer pen
Uses Wacom EMR technology
Two nibs for gloss & matte surface
Screen/Display:
Touch screen 15.6″ Full HD AMOLED Display
Resolution: 1920x1080px (16:9)
Max refresh rate: 60Hz
Brightness: 400 nit
Color gamut: 100% sRGB / 98% Adobe RGB
High gloss
Screen/Display:
Touch screen 14.4″ QHD PixelSense Flow Display
Resolution: 2400x1600px
Max refresh rate: 120Hz
Brightness: 500 nit
Color gamut: 100% sRGB / 81% Adobe RGB
High gloss
Screen/Display:
Touch screen 13.3″ Full HD QLED Display
Resolution: 1920x1080px
Max refresh rate: 60Hz
Brightness: 400 nit (600 nit outdoor mode)
Color gamut:100% sRGB
High gloss
Screen/Display:
Touch screen 15.6″ 4K UHD IPS LED Display
Resolution: 3860x2160px
Max refresh rate: 60Hz
Brightness: 500 nit
Color gamut: 100% Adobe RGB - Pantone validated
Anti-glare
Processor (CPU):
12-core 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P
Processor (CPU):
Quad-core 11th Gen Intel Core H35 i7-11370H
Processor (CPU):
Quad-core 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor
Processor (CPU):
8-core 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H
Graphics (GPU):
Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Graphics (GPU):
Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti  laptop GPU with 4GB GDDR6 GPU memory
Graphics (GPU):
Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Graphics (GPU):
Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 with 6GB GDDR6 GPU memory
Operating System:
Windows 11
Operating System:
Windows 11
Operating System:
Windows 11
Operating System:
Windows 11
Battery life when drawing:
±5 hours (Photoshop)
Battery life when drawing:
±3 hours (Photoshop)
Battery life when drawing:
±5 hours (Photoshop)
Battery life when drawing:
±2 hours (Photoshop)
Hinges:
Sturdy, but not strong enough to hold comfortable drawing angle. Should use with drawing stand
Hinges:
Sturdy, but not strong enough to hold comfortable drawing angle. Should use with drawing stand
Hinges:
Sturdy, but not strong enough to hold comfortable drawing angle. Should use with drawing stand
Hinges:
Two available. Both strong enough to hold a comfortable drawing angle
Weight:
3.1lbs (1.4kg)
Weight:
4lbs (1.8kg)
Weight:
2.6lbs (1.2kg)
Weight:
5.6lbs (2.5kg)
My Pick
Description:

For artists, illustrators, and designers who want the best drawing experience on a 2-in-1 laptop

Stylus pen:
Included S Pen
Uses Wacom EMR technology
Screen/Display:
Touch screen 15.6″ Full HD AMOLED Display
Resolution: 1920x1080px (16:9)
Max refresh rate: 60Hz
Brightness: 400 nit
Color gamut: 100% sRGB / 98% Adobe RGB
High gloss
Processor (CPU):
12-core 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P
Graphics (GPU):
Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Operating System:
Windows 11
Battery life when drawing:
±5 hours (Photoshop)
Hinges:
Sturdy, but not strong enough to hold comfortable drawing angle. Should use with drawing stand
Weight:
3.1lbs (1.4kg)
Also Great
Description:

For artists, illustrators, and designers who want the best drawing experience on a 2-in-1 laptop with a more of a tablet feel

Stylus pen:
Not included
Uses MPP 3.0 technology (comparable with Wacom EMR)
Get Surface Slim Pen 2 for the best drawing experience
Screen/Display:
Touch screen 14.4″ QHD PixelSense Flow Display
Resolution: 2400x1600px
Max refresh rate: 120Hz
Brightness: 500 nit
Color gamut: 100% sRGB / 81% Adobe RGB
High gloss
Processor (CPU):
Quad-core 11th Gen Intel Core H35 i7-11370H
Graphics (GPU):
Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti  laptop GPU with 4GB GDDR6 GPU memory
Operating System:
Windows 11
Battery life when drawing:
±3 hours (Photoshop)
Hinges:
Sturdy, but not strong enough to hold comfortable drawing angle. Should use with drawing stand
Weight:
4lbs (1.8kg)
Affordable Pick
Description:

For artists, illustrators, and designers who want the best drawing experience on a 2-in-1 laptop and are on a budget

Stylus pen:
Not included
Uses Wacom EMR technology
Compatible with S Pen
Screen/Display:
Touch screen 13.3″ Full HD QLED Display
Resolution: 1920x1080px
Max refresh rate: 60Hz
Brightness: 400 nit (600 nit outdoor mode)
Color gamut:100% sRGB
High gloss
Processor (CPU):
Quad-core 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor
Graphics (GPU):
Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Operating System:
Windows 11
Battery life when drawing:
±5 hours (Photoshop)
Hinges:
Sturdy, but not strong enough to hold comfortable drawing angle. Should use with drawing stand
Weight:
2.6lbs (1.2kg)
Professional Pick
Description:

For professional artists, illustrators, and designers who want the best drawing experience on a 2-in-1 laptop and performance for 3d work, animation, and video editing

Stylus pen:
Included Acer pen
Uses Wacom EMR technology
Two nibs for gloss & matte surface
Screen/Display:
Touch screen 15.6″ 4K UHD IPS LED Display
Resolution: 3860x2160px
Max refresh rate: 60Hz
Brightness: 500 nit
Color gamut: 100% Adobe RGB - Pantone validated
Anti-glare
Processor (CPU):
8-core 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H
Graphics (GPU):
Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 with 6GB GDDR6 GPU memory
Operating System:
Windows 11
Battery life when drawing:
±2 hours (Photoshop)
Hinges:
Two available. Both strong enough to hold a comfortable drawing angle
Weight:
5.6lbs (2.5kg)

Table of Contents

Overview: 7 Best Laptops That You Can Draw On in 2022

My Pick: Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360

My Pick
Recommended
Description:

Best 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing

15.6-inch AMOLED FHD Touch screen with 1920x1080 Resolution :: Intel Core i7 :: Intel Iris Xe Graphics :: S Pen (Wacom EMR) included :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: Hybrid Laptop/Tablet Design :: Windows 11 :: Mid 2022 model

Description:

For Wacom One Creative Pen Display and Wacom EMR enabled tablets and laptops (e.g. those which use Samsung S Pen)

My Pick
Description:

Best 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing

15.6-inch AMOLED FHD Touch screen with 1920x1080 Resolution :: Intel Core i7 :: Intel Iris Xe Graphics :: S Pen (Wacom EMR) included :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: Hybrid Laptop/Tablet Design :: Windows 11 :: Mid 2022 model

Recommended
Description:

For Wacom One Creative Pen Display and Wacom EMR enabled tablets and laptops (e.g. those which use Samsung S Pen)

Why it’s my pick – The newest Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 is my pick for the best laptop for drawing because it includes S Pen, which supports Wacom EMR technology and provides a natural drawing experience.

Drawing-on-Galaxy-Book2-Pro-360
Photo: Drawing on Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 – Source: Samsung.com

Pros & Cons of Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 as a Drawing Laptop

ProsCons
➕ Newest 2022 technology➖ Price
➕ Includes S Pen with Wacom EMR technology for a smooth and natural drawing experience➖ Integrated graphics card may not be powerful enough for comfortable 3D work, animation, and video editing
➕ 100% sRGB and almost 100% Adobe RGB color gamut makes it color accurate for digital art and printing
➕ Excellent battery life when using Adobe Photoshop
➕ Lightweight and portable

Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 Specifications

Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 is an excellent successor to the popular first-generation Book Pro 360. It comes with all the newest technology essential for digital art. 

Most importantly, it includes the highly accurate S Pen, which uses Wacom EMR technology to emulate the feeling of drawing on paper.

The 15.6″ version, which I prefer because of the bigger screen, is a bit more expensive than the 13.3″ version. But overall, the price value ratio is impressive for both models.

Outstanding 2-in-1 laptop for drawing and light 3D, animation, and video editing work!

Also Great: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Also Great
Recommended
Description:

Best Alternative 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing

14.4-inch PixelSense Flow Touchscreen with 2400x1600 Resolution :: Intel Core i7 :: Nvidia GeForce Graphics :: Compatible with Surface Slim Pen 2 (MPP 3.0) :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: Hybrid Laptop/Tablet Design :: Windows 11 :: Late 2021 model

Please note: Surface Slim Pen 2 is sold separately

Description:

Pressure sensitivity (4,096 Levels) and Tilt recognition :: Perfect weight and balance for drawing :: Haptic support :: Digital eraser :: Compatible with a wide range of Surface models

Also Great
Description:

Best Alternative 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing

14.4-inch PixelSense Flow Touchscreen with 2400x1600 Resolution :: Intel Core i7 :: Nvidia GeForce Graphics :: Compatible with Surface Slim Pen 2 (MPP 3.0) :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: Hybrid Laptop/Tablet Design :: Windows 11 :: Late 2021 model

Please note: Surface Slim Pen 2 is sold separately

Recommended
Description:

Pressure sensitivity (4,096 Levels) and Tilt recognition :: Perfect weight and balance for drawing :: Haptic support :: Digital eraser :: Compatible with a wide range of Surface models

Why I like it – I like Surface Laptop Studio because it comes with a great resolution screen with a better aspect ratio than Book 2 above. It is also compatible with the extensively improved Surface Slim Pen 2 for a natural drawing experience.

Surface-Slim-Pen-2
Photo: Surface Slim Pen 2 – Source: Microsoft.com

Pros & Cons of Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio as a Drawing Laptop

ProsCons
➕ Beautiful design (I am a MacBook fan, and Microsoft is stepping on Apple’s heels with this one!!)➖ Price
➕ Great resolution and aspect ratio display➖ Doesn’t include a stylus pen. Compatible with greatly improved Surface Slim Pen 2
➕ Bright screen with excellent color reproduction➖ When drawing in Photoshop, battery life is a bit disappointing. All that processing power and refresh rate take their toll. You can switch the refresh rate to 60Hz, but it comes at the cost of smoothness in drawing
➕ Dedicated graphics card allows for more demanding work like 3D, animation, and video editing
➕ Lightweight and portable

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio Specifications

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio comes with immensely improved Surface Slim Pen 2 using MPP 3.0 technology comparable with Wacom EMR. 

I love my MacBook Pro because I am a Mac fangirl, but this 2-in-1 laptop comes very close to replacing it!! I love the design, the screen, the pen, and the drawing experience. 

The dedicated graphics card makes the work in Adobe creative suite and other creative software such as Blender and Unity very smooth, so I can entirely focus on my work rather than computer issues.

If I could find one hiccup, it would be the battery life. 

It is relatively short when working with CPU and GPU-intensive software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Overall, this is a fantastic option among the 2-in-1 laptops for drawing!

Affordable Pick: Samsung Galaxy Book Flex2 Alpha

Affordable Pick
Recommended
Description:

Great Value 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing

13.3-inch QLED FHD Touch screen with 1920x1080 px Resolution :: Intel Core i7 :: Intel Iris Xe Graphics :: S Pen (Wacom EMR) compatible :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: microSD expandable :: Windows 11 :: Mid 2021 model

Please note: Samsung S Pen is sold separately

Description:

For Wacom One Creative Pen Display and Wacom EMR enabled tablets and laptops (e.g. those which use Samsung S Pen)

Affordable Pick
Description:

Great Value 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing

13.3-inch QLED FHD Touch screen with 1920x1080 px Resolution :: Intel Core i7 :: Intel Iris Xe Graphics :: S Pen (Wacom EMR) compatible :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: microSD expandable :: Windows 11 :: Mid 2021 model

Please note: Samsung S Pen is sold separately

Recommended
Description:

For Wacom One Creative Pen Display and Wacom EMR enabled tablets and laptops (e.g. those which use Samsung S Pen)

Why I like it – I like Galaxy Book Flex2 Alpha because of its price, weight, and portability. In the latter two, it reminds me the most of my iPad Pro 12.9″. It is also compatible with S Pen and other Wacom EMR pens, which makes drawing on it quite enjoyable.

Pros & Cons of Samsung Galaxy Book Flex2 Alpha as a Drawing Laptop

ProsCons
➕ Price➖ Doesn’t include a stylus pen. Compatible with S Pen (Wacom EMR)
➕ Bright screen with a wide color gamut➖ Integrated graphics card is not powerful enough for more demanding tasks
➕ Long battery life when drawing in Photoshop➖ Uses a custom charger instead of a USB-C charger (!)
➕ Very lightweight and portable

Samsung Galaxy Book Flex2 Alpha Specifications

Galaxy Book Flex2 Alpha is the only 2-in-1 laptop I found at a price below $1,000 that supports Wacom EMR technology and provides an enjoyable drawing experience.

It is a very light laptop, making it even more enjoyable with the outdoor brightness mode of 600 nits.

A great choice if you are on a tighter budget.

Professional Pick: Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel

Professional Pick
Recommended
Description:

Professional 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing

15.6-inch IPS LED UHD 100% Adobe RGB Pantone validate Touch screen with 3860x2160 px resolution :: Intel Core i7 :: Nvidia GeForce graphics :: Acer pen (Wacom EMR) included :: 32GB RAM :: 2TB SSD :: Windows 11 :: Mid 2020 model

Description:

For Wacom One Creative Pen Display and Wacom EMR enabled tablets and laptops (e.g. those which use Samsung S Pen)

Professional Pick
Description:

Professional 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing

15.6-inch IPS LED UHD 100% Adobe RGB Pantone validate Touch screen with 3860x2160 px resolution :: Intel Core i7 :: Nvidia GeForce graphics :: Acer pen (Wacom EMR) included :: 32GB RAM :: 2TB SSD :: Windows 11 :: Mid 2020 model

Recommended
Description:

For Wacom One Creative Pen Display and Wacom EMR enabled tablets and laptops (e.g. those which use Samsung S Pen)

Why I like it – I like ConceptD 7 Ezel because it’s truly made with artists, illustrators, graphic designers, 3D artists, animators, and video editors in mind. In addition, its two hinges allow for a lot of flexibility in drawing angles, and you are not entirely losing keyboard shortcuts like with the other 360 laptops.

Pros & Cons of Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel as a Drawing Laptop

ProsCons
➕ This laptop is genuinely made for creative professionals➖ Price – this is a powerful machine with a lot of features
➕ 4K UHD bright monitor➖ Size and weight make it more of a desktop than a portable laptop
➕ 100% Adobe RGB Pantone validated color gamut makes it highly suitable for design work – digital assets and printing➖ When drawing in Photoshop, battery life is disappointing. All that processing power takes its toll 
➕ Dedicated graphics card allows for more demanding work like 3D, animation, and video editing
➕ The two hinges are fantastic for accommodating a comfortable drawing angle
➕ The included Acer pen uses Wacom EMR technology, and it is a joy to draw with

Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel Specifications

Acer ConceptD 7 is just “wow” in a perfect sense! I said positive “wow” three times. When I tried drawing on it, when I saw its specs and when I saw its price! 🙂 OK, not the third one, but you get what I mean.

This is your perfect 2-in-1 laptop for drawing, 3D work, animation, video editing, and rendering. 

If you have an unlimited budget and don’t mind that it’s on the heavier side with somewhat limited battery life and doesn’t provide this “drawing in your lap” experience, go for it!

It will prove to be an excellent investment.

Alternative Pick: Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Alternative Pick
Recommended
Recommended
Description:

Best Alternative 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing

13-inch PixelSense Flow Touchscreen with 2880x1920 Resolution :: Intel Core i7 :: Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics :: Compatible with Surface Slim Pen 2 (MPP 3.0) :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: Hybrid Laptop/Tablet Design :: Windows 11 :: Late 2021 model

Please note: Surface Slim Pen 2 is sold separately

Description:

Compatible with Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and Surface Pro X

78 keys, backlit with trackpad

Description:

Pressure sensitivity (4,096 Levels) and Tilt recognition :: Perfect weight and balance for drawing :: Haptic support :: Digital eraser :: Compatible with a wide range of Surface models

Alternative Pick
Description:

Best Alternative 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing

13-inch PixelSense Flow Touchscreen with 2880x1920 Resolution :: Intel Core i7 :: Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics :: Compatible with Surface Slim Pen 2 (MPP 3.0) :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: Hybrid Laptop/Tablet Design :: Windows 11 :: Late 2021 model

Please note: Surface Slim Pen 2 is sold separately

Recommended
Description:

Compatible with Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and Surface Pro X

78 keys, backlit with trackpad

Recommended
Description:

Pressure sensitivity (4,096 Levels) and Tilt recognition :: Perfect weight and balance for drawing :: Haptic support :: Digital eraser :: Compatible with a wide range of Surface models

Why I like it – This is a smaller tablet version of the Surface Laptop Studio mentioned above. The detachable keyboard and the newest Surface Slim Pen 2 make it a fantastic 2-in-1 laptop/tablet combo.

Pros & Cons of Microsoft Surface Pro 8 as a Drawing Laptop

ProsCons
➕ Great resolution and aspect ratio display➖ Price
➕ Bright screen with excellent color reproduction➖ Doesn’t include a stylus pen and keyboard. Compatible with greatly improved Surface Slim Pen 2 and Surface Pro Keyboard
➕ The detachable Surface Pro Keyboard rests at a comfortable drawing angle➖ Integrated graphics card may not be powerful enough for demanding tasks like 3D, animation, and video editing
➕ Great battery life when using Adobe Photoshop
➕ Very lightweight and portable
➕ The included Acer pen uses Wacom EMR technology, and it is a joy to draw with

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 Specifications

I included the Surface Pro 8 as an alternative pick for artists who are not 100% sure they want a proper 2-in-1 laptop. 

Surface Pro 8 is mainly a tablet. To transform it into a laptop, you must buy the pen and keyboard separately. However, compared to, let’s say, iPad Pro 12.9, it’s a fully-fledged Windows computer. This means you can easily run all software, including Adobe creative suite. 

So, if you want a great drawing experience and are looking for the best drawing performance combined with portability, the Surface Pro 8 is for you!

Budget Pick I: HP Envy x360

Budget Pick I
Recommended
Description:

Budget 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing

15.6″ FHD OLED Touch screen display with 1920x1080px Resolution :: AMD Ryzen 7 :: AMD Radeon Graphics :: Compatible with HP Rechargeable MPP 2.0 Tilt Pen :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: Hybrid Laptop/Tablet Design :: Windows 11 :: Early 2021 model

Description:

For Touch Screen Devices | Customizable and Compact Design with Magnetic Barrel

Budget Pick I
Description:

Budget 2-in-1 Laptop for Drawing

15.6″ FHD OLED Touch screen display with 1920x1080px Resolution :: AMD Ryzen 7 :: AMD Radeon Graphics :: Compatible with HP Rechargeable MPP 2.0 Tilt Pen :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: Hybrid Laptop/Tablet Design :: Windows 11 :: Early 2021 model

Recommended
Description:

For Touch Screen Devices | Customizable and Compact Design with Magnetic Barrel

Why I like it – This is a neat HP 2-in-1 laptop with a lot of good technology and features for hobby digital artists. It requires tweaking to reach optimal drawing experience, but it is a good trade-off at that price.

Pros & Cons of HP Envy x360 as a Drawing Laptop

ProsCons
➕ Price➖ Only supports older MPP (Microsoft Pen Protocol) technology
➕ Bright screen with beautiful colors reproduction➖ Dimensions and weight are on the higher side 
➕ 100% DCI-PR color gamut (higher than 100% Adobe RGB)➖ Integrated graphics card may not be powerful enough for demanding tasks like 3D, animation, and video editing
➕ Good battery life when using Adobe Photoshop

HP Envy x360 Specifications

I wouldn’t choose a laptop you could draw on if it didn’t use Wacom EMR or the newest MPP technology. 

But HP Envy x360 could be perfect for you if you are an HP fan or do digital art as a hobby.

It has enough power to run creative software smoothly and can even help with light 3D, animation, and video editing work. 

The color accuracy is impressive, and the laptop has solid battery life when drawing in Adobe Photoshop. Overall, a great 2-in-1 laptop for drawing on a budget!

Budget Pick II: Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5

Budget Pick II
Recommended
Description:

Best Value Windows 2-in-1 laptop/tablet hybrid for digital art

Windows 11 :: 15.6 Inch Full HD Touchscreen Display :: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U Processor :: AMD Radeon Graphics :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: Foldable Laptop/Tablet Hybrid Design

Description:

4096 Levels of Pressure Sensitivity, Customized Shortcut Buttons

Budget Pick II
Description:

Best Value Windows 2-in-1 laptop/tablet hybrid for digital art

Windows 11 :: 15.6 Inch Full HD Touchscreen Display :: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U Processor :: AMD Radeon Graphics :: 16GB RAM :: 512GB SSD :: Foldable Laptop/Tablet Hybrid Design

Recommended
Description:

4096 Levels of Pressure Sensitivity, Customized Shortcut Buttons

Why I like it – I included IdeaPad Flex 5 to provide an option for Lenovo fans and hobby artists. Like HP Envy above, it requires some tweaks to achieve optimal drawing experience, but at this price, it’s a good trade-off. 

Pros & Cons of Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 as a Drawing Laptop

ProsCons
➕ Price➖ Only supports Wacom AES technology which is not as good as Wacom EMR. Install Wacom Feel driver to improve the drawing experience
➕ Bright screen with an excellent aspect ratio of 16:10➖ Only 60% sRGB color gamut, which is not ideal for digital art
➕ Long battery life when using Adobe Photoshop➖ Dimensions and weight are on the higher side 

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Specifications

Like HP Envy above, I wouldn’t choose a drawing laptop that doesn’t use the newest Wacom EMR or MPP technology.

However, I used to work with many IBM and Lenovo laptops, and I greatly respect them. They are powerful, reliable, and lightweight.

Besides the affordable price of this IdeaPad Flex 5, it is also powerful enough for light 3D, animation, and video editing work. For the price, you are getting the newest 2022 technology!

A great pick if you are a Lenovo fan or a hobby digital artist. 

Get a Drawing Stand, too

As you have learned, all 2-in-1 laptops above, except one, don’t have strong enough hinges to support your hand while drawing at different angles.

That’s why I recommend you get a drawing stand. For example, one from the below:

My Pick
Value Pick
Also Great
Description:

For drawing tablets, 2-in-1 laptops, and regular laptops up to 16″. Aluminum finish, anti-skidding rubber pads. Adjustable viewing angle from 10° to 65° in 1° increments.

Description:

For Drawing Tablets, Monitors, Compatible with iPad, Microsoft Surface Pro Series, and Laptops from 10″ to 16″. The tilt angle can be easily adjusted from 15° to 90°.

Description:

For 9.7 to 12.9-inch Tablets, Adjustable 4 Level Angles, Slip Resistance Pads Attached

My Pick
Description:

For drawing tablets, 2-in-1 laptops, and regular laptops up to 16″. Aluminum finish, anti-skidding rubber pads. Adjustable viewing angle from 10° to 65° in 1° increments.

Value Pick
Description:

For Drawing Tablets, Monitors, Compatible with iPad, Microsoft Surface Pro Series, and Laptops from 10″ to 16″. The tilt angle can be easily adjusted from 15° to 90°.

Also Great
Description:

For 9.7 to 12.9-inch Tablets, Adjustable 4 Level Angles, Slip Resistance Pads Attached

Main Criteria for Choosing a Drawing Laptop

Your Drawing Needs

I think you will enjoy drawing on a good 2-in-1 laptop in the following scenarios:

I. You are looking for a natural drawing experience 

For example, you have been using a pen tablet and feel it would be nice to draw on a screen directly rather than drawing on the pen tablet and looking at the screen. That is quite unnatural and takes quite some time to get used to.

II. You tried drawing on the standalone tablets but found them limiting

Let’s face it, despite the newest iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy S8 being excellent drawing tablets, they don’t do everything a Windows computer can. 

Because their operating systems (iOS and Android) aren’t designed for everyday, routine tasks such as writing emails, notes, proposals, invoices, spreadsheets, documents, etc. 

And what is more, despite the latest advances in Adobe and other creative programs on iOS, the experience is just not the same as on Windows. Did I mention Adobe creative suite is not even available on Android yet? 

Sure, for routine tasks, you could argue that you just need to buy a detachable keyboard with a trackpad to emulate laptop behavior. 

But I have tried that, and it just doesn’t replace this natural feeling of working in folders, dragging and dropping multiple files, etc. What is more, iOS and Android don’t have this functionality. 

Working on routine and business tasks is just easier on a laptop! And if it supports a natural drawing experience, it’s a win-win. 

III. You just want one device that does it “all”

There are certainly a few benefits to bundling all of your creative devices in one – a drawing tablet (standalone, tablet with screen, or pen tablet) and a laptop or desktop computer.

You get to carry one device instead of more, you could save money, and you could run more creative programs on just one computer. 

A good Windows-based 2-in-1 drawing laptop will easily replace your standard laptop and drawing tablet. Windows will allow it to run all creative software, business software, and whatever necessary software you need. 

And at the same time, it comes with technology supporting your drawing needs and natural experience.

It will also be powerful enough to run those programs smoothly and without lagging, aiding you in your creative process immensely!

Stylus Pen Technology (Drawing Experience)

The stylus pen technology and pen-to-screen experience are the most important criteria when selecting the best drawing laptop. 

You could get any 2-in-1 laptop from well-known brands such as Lenovo, HP, and DELL. 

They will perform amazingly for most of your computer needs. But unfortunately, they will not provide you with a natural drawing experience comparable to drawing on paper. 

They will not provide you with enough (at least 4,096) pressure sensitivity levels. In addition, they may not support tilt sensitivity, which is essential for shading. And the lines may be very wobbly, and you will have to use software smoothening which introduces the lag.

Why is that?

Well, it comes down to what technology they use to provide you with drawing and writing experience.

A quick disclaimer – I didn’t study engineering, so I am not on top of these technologies. As a result, you may find discrepancies in my descriptions below if you are an engineer. 

That’s OK, though, because I tried to understand it as much as possible. And frankly, I judge based on my drawing experience. And that’s the most important, in the end.

So, if you are into digital art, you know that Wacom is the most recognized brand for drawing tablets, from pen tablets to pen displays to pen computers. They are at the top of their class. Yes, I know. Huion and XP-Pen are good, too, because they have significantly improved their tablets, which pressures Wacom to improve theirs. Good for us, artists, right!?

So, Wacom implemented these two technologies into the screens of their drawing tablet and their stylus pens – Wacom AES and EMR.

AES stands for Active Electrostatic, and EMR stands for Electro Magnetic Resonance.

I understand that Wacom licenses AES and EMR to other manufacturers.

And for the best drawing experience, the one you want to get in your 2-in-1 laptop is EMR. It’s superior to AES with 4,096 pressure sensitivity levels, tilt sensitivity, and Bluetooth support for more precise drawings.

Wacom EMR is comparable to proprietary Apple technology used in Apple Pencil and to the MPP (Microsoft Pen Protocol) used in Surface Slim Pen 2 (make sure you get this one and not the previous Surface Pen). 

As a rule of thumb, AES pens require an AAAA battery, and AES-enabled laptops tend to be cheaper.

All 2-in-1 laptops on my list, except the budget picks, use either Wacom EMR or the newest MPP technology, so you get the best drawing experience possible.

💡Pro tip I: For Windows drawing laptops supporting Wacom pen technologies, install Wacom Feel Driver, which depending on your device, can improve your drawing experience even more!

💡Pro tip II: When using the stylus pen, don’t forget always to check the Windows setting “Ignore touch when I am using my pen.” Ensure it’s toggled “on” to avoid getting annoyed by malfunctioning palm rejection.

Screen Display

For digital art, 3D, animation, and video editing, I recommend you ideally get the 15″ screen with 4K resolution and 100% sRGB color gamut. At a minimum, aim for a 13″ screen with FHD or QHD resolution and 100% sRGB color gamut.

Unfortunately, 4K is not that common with 2-in- drawing laptops. I think it has something to do with keeping the models’ prices reasonable. 

On the plus side, even if not 4K, all the drawing laptops on my list come with beautiful screens, FHD or QHD resolution, and bright and responsive touch screens. 

Moreover, except for one of the budget picks, they all come with at least 100% sRGB color gamut, which is vital for color accuracy in digital assets. 

And some even have 100% Adobe RGB and 100% DCI-P3 color gamuts that are important for color accuracy for printing and video editing. 

Processor and Graphics

I am not going into all the details comparing different processors. That would require a whole new article. However, if you are into technical details, you can have a look here: i5 vs. i7 performance comparison.

From my own experience and the experience of my artist and designer friends, I know that the newest Intel i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 processors are much better when using creative software such as Adobe creative suite. 

They simply make it run smooth, so I can entirely focus on my work instead of grumping about lags in performance.

So if it’s Windows, I’d always get a laptop or computer with an i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processor.

Regarding the graphic cards, the 2-in-1 laptops usually compromise on this aspect because of the size and weight. 

Generally, they always have integrated graphic cards such as Intel Iris Xe or AMD Radeon Graphics. Only some (usually more expensive) come with dedicated NVIDIA GeForce graphic cards. 

The good news is that the newest generation of integrated graphics cards is powerful enough to run the Adobe software smoothly. So, in some cases, you can do some work in Blender and ZBrush. Tread gently, though!

💡Pro tip: Always try to get the newest generation of i7 processors to take advantage of the advancements.

RAM and Storage

I think 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage are the golden standard for digital art and lighter 3D, animation, and video editing work.

You can also do it with 8GB and 256GB, but then you have to compromise smoothness in the creative software and use microSD cards or portable hard drives to expand your storage.

You could also argue that Windows computers have always been customizable, and you could expand RAM and storage. Not so with the hybrid laptop tablets. 

Most of the 2-in-1 laptops on my list are not customizable after purchase, so I chose the ones with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage or more.

Hinges

All drawing laptops on my list are of excellent built quality. 

They feel great in the hands and are easy to carry around and draw on.

This quality also applies to the hinges, which transform the laptops from a laptop mode to a tablet mode. As a result, they are sturdy, reliable, and last a long time.

BTW, the manufacturers call this transformation functionality different names, for example, a “flex” for flexing, “flip” and “360” for 360° flip, and “ezel” for easel you can paint on.

So the hinges are great and all, but they were not made for drawing, which is normal, considering these laptops are marketed to the general public.

For example, I like to draw at about 20° to 30° angle, which feels natural to me and other artists.

Except for the Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel and partially for the Microsoft Surface Pro 8, none of the laptops had hinges that allowed me to set it up at such an angle.

That’s OK, though, because I can always use a drawing stand. 

And when I am on the go, I hold the laptop as I’d hold a notebook, which makes adjusting the drawing angles quite easy.

💡Pro tip: When you turn the 2-in-1 laptop into tablet mode, you will, unfortunately, lose access to the keyboard, which will be on the other side. You know what that means if you work with software such as Adobe Photoshop – you will lose your keyboard shortcuts. It’s not ideal, and I recommend you get the remote control.

Battery Life

The battery life is crucial if you want to draw on your laptop on the go, on your sofa, or on public transport. 

Compared to iPad or Android tablets, Windows computers have always had issues with battery life. 

Especially when using intensive tasks such as Adobe Photoshop, 3D programs like Blender, and video editing in Adobe Premiere or After Effects.

It comes with the territory. Intel and AMD processors consume a lot of power. When you combine them with intensive graphics tasks, the consumption only increases.

Fortunately, almost all of the 2-in-1 laptops in my list above will allow you to draw in Adobe Photoshop for at least 4-5 hours, which should be plenty. 

This also means that programs such as Krita or Clip Studio Paint can push this limit even higher because they are not as power-hungry as Adobe software. 

And suppose you are going for a whole day drawing session without a readily available power outlet. In that case, you can always get a power bank or a solar charger to help with your power needs.

💡Pro tip: Try to optimize your laptop’s power settings to prolong the battery life. For example, you can decrease the refresh rate. Or, if your laptop has a dedicated graphics card, set it to perform only extensive tasks such as drawing in Adobe photoshop instead of browsing the internet.

Weight

Weight, similarly to battery life, is important for portability and comfort of use in different situations. 

First, you don’t want to carry “pounds” of computer in your backpack. It gets heavy and tiring after a while. And forget when you travel by plane, want to save on check-in luggage, and have to pack in a heavy laptop, compromising on your undies and cosmetics!! 🙂 That get’s annoying quite fast.

And second, heavy 2-in-1 laptops are pretty uncomfortable when you want to draw on your sofa, on public transport, or even on a plane, as I mentioned in the previous paragraph. 

That’s why all the drawing laptops in my list above are around 3lbs on average (1.5kg). And only one is 5.5lbs (2.5kg). But that’s because it’s a powerhouse with many valuable features for drawing and creative work. 

FAQs about Drawing Laptops

Are 2-in-1 laptops good for artists?

Yes, I think the newest 2-in-1 laptops are good enough for artists. However, ensure you get a 2-in-1 laptop that supports Wacom EMR or MPP 3.0 technology, such as Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 or Surface Laptop Studio.

Can you draw on any laptop?

No, you can’t draw on any laptop. You need a laptop with a touchscreen that supports a stylus pen. For the optimal drawing experience, get a laptop that supports at minimum Wacom EMR or MPP 3.0 technology, such as Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 or Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio.

How do I choose the best laptop for drawing?

Aim for 2-in-1 hybrid laptops with touchscreens supporting stylus pens to get the best laptop for drawing. For example, Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360, which supports Wacom EMR, or Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, which supports MPP 3.0 technology for the natural feeling of drawing on paper.

Which laptop is best for drawing?

I think the best laptop for drawing is Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel which combines a fantastic drawing experience, superb performance, and great design. However, it is pretty pricey, so get either Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 or Surface Laptop Studio if your budget doesn’t cover it.

Which Surface is best for drawing?

Based on my tests, Surface Laptop Studio is the best for drawing if you want a 2-in-1 laptop. If you want a drawing tablet, go for the Surface Pro 8. Don’t forget to get the newest Surface Slim Pen 2 for the best drawing experience.

Can you draw on a Lenovo laptop?

Yes, there are plenty of Lenovo 2-in-1 laptops that you can draw on. However, I’d recommend the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 with Lenovo Digital Pen 2 for the optimal drawing experience. 

Conclusion

To sum up, here are my recommendations for the best drawing laptops on the market today:

These drawing laptops are amazing creative tools and excellent computers in every other way!

They perform as well as any other standard laptop out there. 

And when drawing on them, they perform as naturally as when drawing on my iPad Pro, which, I must admit, is something to say! And, of course, you get a super added value in the Windows ecosystem, which can run almost any creative software out there!

I hope my research has made it easier for you to get a new drawing laptop, and you will have a lot of fun with your digital art projects. 

Visit my blog – Art Side of Life, for other buyer’s guides, online courses, articles, and other resources.

Sources

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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