3 stellar laptops for fashion designers and enthusiasts

Designers and design students ask a lot from their laptops – here are the key features and some top picks…

fashion students

When it comes to fashion design, laptop specs are almost as important as vital statistics.

You’ll need something that’s powerful, portable and good-looking.

  • Screen size – see enough of your project on-screen with a larger 15-inch laptop
  • Portability – thin, lightweight durable design for carrying from meeting to meeting
  • Processing power – get the best from Adobe Illustrator and InDesign with an Intel Core i7 processor
  • RAM – Adobe design software uses your computer’s internal memory. 16GB RAM is a good option 
  • SSD (solid-state drives) – thin, lightweight hard drives make software and projects launch faster. Look for 256GB or above
  • Graphics – look for a minimum of built-in Intel Iris graphics or NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card
  • Screen resolution and colour – see more detail and work more accurately with a high-resolution screen. Colour accuracy is key too 
  • Touchscreen – scroll and zoom with your fingertips with a touchscreen Windows 10 laptop


Dell XPS 15

In a nutshell: Sleek, powerful laptop with an incredibly sharp and colourful screen  

Designers demand the best when it comes to choosing a laptop and the Dell XPS 15 is one of the best around. It’s a premium Windows 10 laptop with many design-friendly features. Get the best from Adobe InDesign and Illustrator with the Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics. Work efficiently across your projects with 16GB RAM and 512 GB SSD storage.

The 15.6-inch screen has Full HD resolution – get more of your project on screen in greater detail. Colours are bright and vivid and blacks deep. Colours look more accurate too with the screen’s LED backlighting.

The larger screen is packed into a smaller body thanks to the narrow 5.7mm bezel surrounding the display. This makes it more like a 14-inch laptop – perfect for slipping in your bag. It won’t take up much space at 17mm thick. Its stylish aluminium and carbon-fibre design will catch the eye of fellow creatives while also being tough enough for travelling between meetings. And you can work all day with 15 hours’ battery life.

Check out the Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS 15

Surface Pro 4

In a nutshell: Super-powerful, stylish tablet with a pen for designing on-screen and a legion of design fans

The Surface Pro 4 offers designers a powerful portable studio. Microsoft calls it ‘the tablet that can replace your laptop’. It gets the best from Windows 10 by adapting a high powered PC to fit in a tablet’s body

Use it as a conventional laptop by adding a Microsoft-designed magnetic wireless keyboard. As a design tool it has already built a solid reputation. ‘Artists love Surface Pro,’ says Microsoft. Work in InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop with the powerful Intel Core i7 processor. Apps and files will launch speedily with 256 GB SSD. 

The screen is smaller than a traditional laptop at 12.3 inches. But designs will look detailed and vivid thanks to its better-than-HD (2736x1824) resolution and Intel Iris graphics. Creative professionals use the Adobe RGB colour standard, and some reviewers have suggested Surface Pro 4 can achieve close to 70% of Adobe RGB.

But the best bit for designers is the screen you can draw and sketch on (with the Surface Pen stylus – included). The Adobe Illustrator app includes a workspace designed specifically for touch control. Draw directly onto the screen and you’ll find it is much more fluid than using a mouse. You can change the tips on the pen to suit your artistic style. 

Find out more about Illustrator and Surface Pro

Check out the Surface Pro 4


What about a laptop that just looks good?

Not all people with an interest in fashion are designers or creative professionals. 

Fashionistas and online shopping addicts require different things from their laptop. They don’t need the most powerful processor, stacks of RAM and powerful graphics.

One of the best-looking laptops around is the ASUS UX360

Crafted from solid aluminium, this laptop owes its slender design to its Intel Core M processor – which doesn’t need a fan to keep it cool. It also switches between laptop and tablet on a funky hinge, perfect for browsing your favourite celeb fashion blogs and shopping sites. It has a Full HD screen too.

Find your perfect laptop