Laptops

Best Laptops For Interior Design: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

The interior design industry has drastically transformed over the past few decades. Design skills are not only dependent on how well you can pair colors, patterns, and textures, but also on which laptop you choose to invest in. 

Whether you’re an interior designer by trade or hobby, using the proper technology can have a significant impact on the success of your design projects.

There’s a lot to think about when deciding on the best laptop for interior design, like whether or not it’s compatible with your favorite design software and how accurately it displays colors.

We’ve done all the hard work for you by compiling this list of best laptops for interior designers that fit every budget.

Comparison Table - Laptops For Interior Design

Image

Product Name

Processor

RAM

Screen Size

Storage

Battery Life​​​​

Check Price

Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition Thin...

8th Gen Intel Core i7

8GB

13.9”

512GB

Up to 15 hours

New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM,...

9th Gen Intel Core i7 or i9

16GB

16”

512GB or 1TB

Up to 11 hours

NEW Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3'...

10th Generation Intel Core i7

16GB

12.3”

256GB

Up to 10.5 hours

HP Pavilion Power 15' IPS Display NVIDIA...

7th Generation Intel Core i7

8GB

15.6”

1TB

Up to 11.5 hours

Dell XPS 15 laptop 15.6', 4K UHD InfinityEdge...

9th Generation Intel Core i7

16GB

15.6”

1TB

Up to 7 hours

Acer Aspire R 15 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6' Full HD...

7th Generation Intel Core i7

12GB

15.6”

256GB

Up to 9 hours


Benefits of a Good Laptop for Interior Designers

Interior design is more complex than ever, but having the right laptop can turn that complexity into simplicity. Some laptops are more suited to design projects than others, and choosing the right one can make design tasks a whole lot easier.

Having the right laptop means that you have plenty of storage for design software, crisp display features, and ultimate portability for on-the-go designing.

The main benefit of choosing a design-friendly laptop is that you’ll have a tool that is compatible with the most recent design software on the market.

You’ll never be behind the times when it comes to graphic design programs like InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver.


Laptop Requirements For Interior Design

Laptop Specs & Features

All laptops come with a unique set of specifications, and if you're not familiar with basic laptop terminology, things can quickly become confusing.

This is especially true when the Genius Bar or Geek Squad employees start throwing around terms like Intel Processing, RAM, and SSD. To keep things simple, here’s a quick guide to all the important laptop specs for interior designers to pay attention to:

  • Operating Systems
    The two operating system options are Windows (PC) and Mac. In the past, Macs were always the go-to choice for designers, but Windows has majorly stepped up its game. You can’t go wrong with either choice, but the real determining factor when deciding between Mac vs. PCs is budget. 
  • Processor
    A laptop’s processor is the heart of the machine, and a bad processor leads to poor overall operation. It’s responsible for controlling all the design software you end up installing, so look for a multi-core i7 or i9 processor that is no less than 7th generation.
  • Memory/RAM
    RAM is short for random access memory, and any laptop for interior design should have at least 8GB RAM (16GB is even better). RAM refers to a laptop’s short term memory, and it helps to determine how fast your device will operate.
  • Monitor/Display Panel
    Every interior designer should be concerned with the display quality of his/her laptop. Look for a high-resolution screen with a high pixel count for crisp, clear, colorful graphics. The larger the screen size, the higher the resolution should be.
  • Storage Drives (HDD/SSD)
    RAM refers to a laptop’s short term storage, but you’ll also want to think about your device’s longterm storage capability. Hard disk drive (HDD) laptops are a thing of the past, so you’ll most likely go with SSD (solid state drive) storage. The highest capacity SSD in laptops is 4TB, but the highest you’ll need as an interior designer is 1TB.
  • Graphics Card
    Interior design is all about graphics quality, which is ultimately affected by the laptop’s integrated graphics card. Many of the models we’ll cover come with the Nvidia GeForce cards, which are considered the best for interior designers.
  • Connectivity Quality
    It doesn’t matter if you’re buying an interior design laptop or you plan on Netflix binging, connectivity quality should always be a consideration. Look into a laptop’s WiFi options and fast-connecting features.

Portability

For some, portability is more important than for others. If you travel a lot - or even if you just head to a local coffee shop to work on your designs - you’ll want to consider the weight of your device.

The best laptops for interior design vary in weight, ranging anywhere from 2.5 to 5 pounds. Just keep in mind that a lower weight often means a smaller screen and less storage space.

Screen Size & Display Quality

We’ve already touched on the importance of display quality, which is affected by things like resolution, pixel count, and screen size. The ideal screen size for an interior designer is no less than 15 inches, but you might want to go even larger with a 17-inch screen. It depends on whether or not portability is important to you.

Battery Reliability

Good laptops for interior design have reliable battery performance, sometimes even offering up to 17 hours of battery life on a full charge. Even though you can easily work with your laptop plugged into an outlet, the more convenient option is to choose a laptop with long battery life. This gives you the freedom to work without being connected to a power source.

Keyboard Typing Experience

So many interior designers fail to consider the quality of the keyboard, mainly because they assume it’s not an important feature for design. But the right keyboard can enhance your overall experience, so consider the touch, speed, and lighting features.

Extra Features

There are a lot of extra/optional features that you can include with your next laptop, like additional USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, a high-res screen, and extra RAM. Even if some extra features aren’t considered essential, they can help to make the design process much more enjoyable.

Price & Warranty

Establishing your budget before shopping around will help to narrow down your laptop options. There’s no point in browsing Macbooks if you know for a fact that you can’t afford a $2000+ laptop for your design tasks.

The good news is there’s a laptop for every budget, even if that means spending less than $1000. Whatever you do, always choose one that comes with a 1 year (or more) protection plan. In many cases, purchasing an extended warranty is also worth it. 


6 Best Laptops For Interior Design Reviewed

1. Huawei MateBook X Pro

On Sale Today
Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature Edition Thin...
  • World's First FullView Display: Immersive...
  • Powerful Inside: Windows 10 Home Signature...
  • Home Theater: 3K touchscreen with 3, 000 x 2,...
  • One Touch Power Button: Enabling users to...

Our Top Pick

Processor

8th Gen Intel Core i7

RAM

8GB

Screen Size

13.9”

Storage

512GB

Battery Life

Up to 15 hours

Warranty

1 year

Huawei isn't a major name among tech gurus, but it's one of the most-respected laptop brands among design professionals. The Huawei MateBook X Pro is not only the best laptop for interior designers, but it's also the one with the world's first full-view display.

It features an immersive 13.9-inch 3K touchscreen with a 91% screen-to-body ratio. Users get a nearly borderless display, and it's a truly revolutionary experience with a screen that captures the world.

The 3000 x 2000 resolution is the thing interior designers love best, but the 1500:1 contrast ratio comes in a close second. The laptop is just 0.57-inch thin and weighs under 3 pounds, perfect for at-home or on-the-go designing. The screen size is a bit small for some, but the nearly-borderless display makes up for this.

Huawei says that you’ll be able to “immerse yourself in vivid details when viewing high definition pictures or watching 4K videos.”

Another cool feature is the One Touch power button, allowing users to power up the device in a matter of seconds (8, to be exact). It's equipped with Bluetooth 4.1 capability and includes one full year of Office 365 on top of the manufacturer's warranty.

It also comes with a recessed camera design that sits discreetly on the keyboard and only pops up when you need the camera function.

The MateBook X Pro's internal features are just as impressive as its external ones. It runs on a Windows 10 operating system, it has the 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, and it's equipped with an NVIDIA GeForceMX150 graphics card.

All in all, this is a high-end laptop for serious interior designers who are looking for a powerful device that beautifully displays graphics.

Good
  • Recessed camera
  • Office 365 included
  • Borderless display
  • Lightweight
  • Amazing resolution and contrast
Bad
  • Small screen

2. Apple MacBook Pro 16

On Sale Today
New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM,...
  • Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7...
  • Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True...
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Amd Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6...

Top of the Range

Processor

9th Gen Intel Core i7 or i9

RAM

16GB

Screen Size

16”

Storage

512GB or 1TB

Battery Life

Up to 11 hours

Warranty

1 year

It comes as no surprise that an Apple product is our top of the range model. Apple has been setting high standards for design-friendly laptops for decades and is often called the best laptop brand for interior design, especially with the MacBook Pro 16.

This new device has powerful internal features, like a 9th generation Intel Core i7 (or i9) processor, 16GB RAM, and 512 GB (or 1T) storage.

The real draw of choosing a MacBook 16 for design projects is Apple’s signature Retina Display and TrueTone technology. 

The Verge says that "TrueTone allows Apple devices to measure the light in a room to strike the proper color balance and intensity on-screen. It's supposed to make displays less harsh and easier on the eyes."

This innovative feature has only been used for mobile devices in the past, but this has changed with the MacBook Pro 16. 

Retina Display is another loved feature among design enthusiasts. It refers to the device's high pixel count and resolution, which means that users experience nothing but the best when it comes to graphics and video footage. It comes with three Thunderbolt 3 ports, a Touch Bar and Touch ID, and a 6-speaker system with force-canceling subwoofers.

There is just one major drawback of the MacBook Pro 16 - its high price tag. But you can’t expect to get such accurate coloring and crisp imaging for anything less. Just remember that you get what you pay for, so if the lofty cost is within your budget, it’s 100% worth the investment.

Good
  • Ultrafast SSD
  • High RAM
  • Impressive speaker system
  • Retina Display/TrueTone
  • Advanced heat-dispersing
Bad
  • High cost

3. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

On Sale Today
NEW Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3"...
  • Next-gen, best-in-class laptop with the...
  • Faster than Surface Pro 6, with a 10th Gen...
  • More ways to connect, with both USB-C and...
  • Standout design that won’t weigh you down...

Best Windows Laptop for Interior Design

Processor

10th Generation Intel Core i7

RAM

16GB

Screen Size

12.3”

Storage

256GB

Battery Life

Up to 10.5 hours

Warranty

1 year

Apple and Microsoft have been neck-and-neck for over 4 decades, and it’s impossible to say which brand is better for interior designers. But, if you’re looking for a laptop/tablet combo, you’ll want to go with the Surface Pro 7 by Microsoft. This isn’t just the best Windows laptop for interior design, but also the best Windows tablet for design pros.

The versatility is just one thing we love about the Surface Pro 7. It's easy to switch from a laptop to a tablet and back again, allowing users to type, touch, draw, write, work, and play without a hitch.

This model is proven faster than the Surface Pro 6 thanks to the fact that it’s built with a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor. Who knew so much could be possible from such a small, thin, lightweight device?

It’s easy to get creative with the Surface Pro 7; it comes with a kickstand that allows you to work at a natural angle for writing and drawing while using the Surface Pen and touchscreen. 

Microsoft says that this is brilliant in every light since the “high-res 12.3-inch PixelSense Display touchscreen with ambient light sensing automatically adjusts to lighting conditions.”

The battery lasts up to 10.5 hours and comes with fast-charging capability so that you can go from empty to fully-charged within an hour.

The ultra-lightweight, sleek design is perfect for on-the-go designers who need a versatile solution with high RAM, decent storage, and amazing graphics. The 12.3” screen is a bit small for some users, but the advantage of the small screen is that the starting weight is just 1.7 pounds.

Good
  • Extreme versatility
  • Thin, ultra-lightweight
  • Fast-charging
  • Standout design
  • Iris Plus graphics
Bad
  • Low storage compared to some

4. HP Pavilion Power

HP Pavilion Power 15" IPS Display NVIDIA...
  • Processor: 7th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM)...
  • Video graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (2 GB...
  • Display: 15.6-inch diagonal Full HD...
  • Memory: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM; Designed to run more...

Best HP Laptop for Interior Designers

Processor

7th Generation Intel Core i7

RAM

8GB

Screen Size

15.6”

Storage

1TB

Battery Life

Up to 11.5 hours

Warranty

1 year

So far, we've covered a few high-end models, all of which come with high-end price tags. HPs are notoriously known for their affordable high-performance features, so if you're looking for a more budget-friendly design tool, you'll want to go with the best HP laptop for interior designers. This is without-a-doubt the Pavilion Power laptop.

Although this device is often marketed as a gaming laptop, it is a go-to choice among interior and graphic designers. It's built with 7th generation i7 processing, and this powerful internal performance can keep up with all of the multitasking demands of the design industry.

The video graphics of this device are more impressive than most thanks to the NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics card. 

The HP company says that you'll be able to "turn your laptop into a creative powerhouse for visually demanding apps... Enjoy vibrant, crystal-clear images with 178-degree wide-viewing angles."

The screen is a perfect size - 15.6", large enough to see the display but small enough for portability and on-the-go designing. 

Compared to other HPs, this laptop is specifically designed for enhanced efficiency and reliability. There’s no more waiting around for the device to boot up and no more frustration with short battery life.

At full charge, you can get nearly 12 hours of use (about 9 hours if you’re working with video playback). So ignore the fact that this has been dubbed a “gaming laptop” - it’s great for interior designers, too.

Good
  • Affordable
  • Fast-performing
  • Dedicated video graphics
  • Comfortable typing
Bad
  • Nearly 5 lbs
  • No upgradable memory


5. Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS 15 laptop 15.6", 4K UHD InfinityEdge...
  • 15. 6" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge...
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750h (12MB...
  • 16GB DDR4-2666MHz, 2x8G
  • 1TB PCIe SSD

Best Laptop for Interior Design Students

Processor

9th Generation Intel Core i7

RAM

16GB

Screen Size

15.6”

Storage

1TB

Battery Life

Up to 7 hours

Warranty

1 year

All of the devices mentioned here so far could serve as laptops for interior design students, but there’s one that stands above the rest.

The Dell XPS 15 is the best laptop for interior design students; it’s got tons of storage space for all your design programs, fast performance, and ultra-vivid picture. It’s not the most budget-friendly choice, but the mid-range price is completely fair for what you get.

The most-loved feature of the XPS 15 is its Killer Wireless that uses WiFi 6 technology for speeds up to 2.4 Gbps.

Dell says that “the Killer AX1650 is nearly 3 times as fast as the previous generation of 80MHz 2x2 AC products. The Killer 1650 automatically detects, classifies, and prioritizes streaming video, communication, and game traffic in your system for fast, smooth online experiences.”

Another great feature of the XPS 15 is the improved cinema experience. While editing videos or watching Netflix, users experience less buffering and brilliant sound clarity. It will feel like you’re in a  movie theater with surround sound thanks to the deeper bass, greater volume, and 3D sound technology. But the crisp, colorful graphics are the real draw of this device.

The only flaw of the XPS 15 is its heavy weight. It weighs over 5 pounds, which some students find annoying. The main reason for the heavy design is the high internal power (like the high storage capacity and Killer Wireless), so in our opinion, it’s worth it to lug around a few extra pounds.

Good
  • Killer Wireless
  • Lots of storage
  • Ultra-vivid picture
  • Improved cinema experience
Bad
  • Battery life could be better
  • Heavy design

6. Acer Aspire R 15

On Sale Today
Acer Aspire R 15 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD...
  • 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7500U Processor...
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Multi-touch...
  • NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB of dedicated...
  • 12GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD. Supports SDXC...

Best 2 in 1 Laptop for Architects and Interior Designers

Processor

7th Generation Intel Core i7

RAM

12GB

Screen Size

15.6”

Storage

256GB

Battery Life

Up to 9 hours

Warranty

1 year

Although interior design and architecture are different professions, they often go hand in hand. If you dabble in both design fields, you’ll love everything about the Acer Aspire R15. Both interior designers and architects recommend the R15, mainly because the convertible touch screen is excellent for drawing, editing, and taking notes on design projects and tasks.

The 360-degree convertible hinge is extremely durable, but the durability doesn't take away from the sleek design. It's built with a powerful 7th generation i7 processor and comes with an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card, 12GB RAM, and 256GB SSD storage.

Some users feel that 256GB isn't enough internal storage space, but if this is the case, you can always invest in an external hard drive.

The R15 operates on Windows 10, and the average battery runtime is just over 9 hours. Any interior designer or architect would be happy with the 1920 x 1080 screen resolution, and the same goes for the high-tech embedded fingerprint reader. This means that only you can access your important design projects, and all it takes is just one touch of a finger.

Acer placed a huge focus on crystal clarity when designing the R15. 

The company says that “breathtakingly beautiful images abound in rich Full HD on the 15.6 inch IPS touchscreen display,” and this isn’t an exaggeration.

The only complaints are that it’s slightly heavy (just under 5 pounds) and that the SSD storage is lower than some, but the price is right, and the graphics are crystal clear.

Good
  • Soft-closing hinge
  • Extreme versatility
  • Fully-convertible design
  • Great for any design profession
  • Bright colors, crisp clarity
Bad
  • Low storage compared to some
  • Bulky design

Essential Interior Design Applications & Programs

Investing in the best laptop for interior design programs means nothing without the programs themselves. There are dozens of design programs to choose from, some of which are better than others. Adobe design programs are always a good choice, but here’s a quick rundown of the most essential programs for any interior designer:

  • AutoCAD
    This software has been around since the 80s, allowing users to create 2D and 3D drawings. It's not only a useful tool for designers but also architects and engineers.
  • Revit
    Revit creates models of real-world buildings and structures. It’s mainly used for building information modeling (BIM), but designers also use it for commercial projects.
  • SketchUp
    This 3D design software is extremely easy to use - you don’t need to be a design pro. It creates 3D models of interior rooms and exterior buildings, but some designers say that it’s not ideal for more complex projects.
  • Illustrator
    Adobe Illustrator is more often used by graphic designers than interior designers, but it's still a great tool to install. It's a vector graphics editor that's ideal for creating mobile graphics, icons, book illustrations, billboards, and more. 

Cleaning, Maintenance & Troubleshooting

Just like any piece of tech gear, your laptop requires regular maintenance if you want to keep it working smoothly for as long as possible.

The most obvious maintenance step is to keep it clean, but try not to focus only on wiping smudges from the screen and crumbs from the keyboard. The more important aspect of laptop cleanliness is removing dust from the air vents.

When dust builds up over time, it can cause the laptop to overheat. Overheating is the most common reason for a computer to fail, so keeping the vents and ports clear is extremely important. It's recommended that you use a can of compressed air for dust removal every few months or so.

Another common issue aside from overheating is a lack of battery power. It's expected for a battery to lose some of its power over time, but if your battery is dying rapidly, it's probably time for a replacement. This can be pretty pricey, but there are a few things you can do to keep your laptop's battery healthy:

  • Keep your battery-saver mode activated
  • Keep external hard drives unplugged when the battery is charging
  • Try not to let the battery drain completely (keep it at 20% or higher whenever possible)
  • Avoid using/storing your laptop in hot/cold environments
  • Upgrade RAM (or buy a new laptop with adequate RAM)

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How much RAM do I need for interior design?

The answer to this depends on who you ask, but Bellevue College says that the computer requirements for interior design are between 8 and 16GB RAM. Some designers say that 8GB is plenty, while others recommend no less than 16GB. It's really up to you but never go below 8GB RAM. 

Are gaming laptops good for interior design projects?

There’s a lot of debate on this, but we say that yes, a gaming laptop can also be used for interior design projects. Gaming laptops like the HP Pavilion Power come with high-quality displays, great color accuracy and resolution, and a decent amount of RAM - and all of these things are required for a good interior design laptop.

Which is better to use for interior designing - desktop, laptop, or tablet?

Tablets can be handy for quick design tasks, but for major projects, it’s recommended that you go with a desktop or laptop. The one you choose depends on your need for portability, but most interior designers are opting for laptops these days. Modern laptops are just as capable as desktops, but they offer much more convenience.

What are the best laptop brands for interior designers?

Apple Macbooks are regularly ranked as the #1 choice among interior designers, but as long as you follow the recommended specs/features, you can’t go wrong with any of the models mentioned on this list of reviews.

The main features to look for are a high RAM (no less than 8GB), HD resolution, a high-quality graphics card, and something that falls within your budget.


Conclusion

Still wondering which laptop is best for interior design? The top recommendation is the Huawei MateBook because let's face it; you can't get any better 3000 x 2000 high-def resolution. However, if you're looking for a more versatile laptop-tablet combo, you'll be better off with the Microsoft Surface Pro 7. 


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