When it comes to fashion design, laptop specs are almost as important as vital statistics.
We’ll reveal the features you should prioritise, and also introduce two of our favourite models for full-blown fashion design – plus one that’s more focused on style than substance for less demanding fashionistas.
The most important things to consider…
- Processing power – get the best from Adobe Illustrator and InDesign with an Intel Core i5 or 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 graphics card
- Screen resolution and colour – see more detail and work more accurately with a high-resolution screen.
- Touchscreen – scroll and zoom with your fingertips with a touchscreen Windows 10 laptop
Dell XPS 13
In a nutshell: Super powerful laptop portable enough for life on the go or in the studio
Designers demand the best when it comes to choosing a laptop and the Dell XPS 13 is one of the best around. Compact, well-engineered and easy on the eye.
It’s a premium Windows 10 laptop with many design-friendly features. Push Adobe InDesign and Illustrator to their limits and harness your boundless creativity with the Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM – an incredibly powerful set up.
Adobe CC will be fast to load and the laptop speedy to start and shut down with SSD storage that’s much faster, lighter and quieter than a traditional hard drive. The 13.3-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.
Switch between mouse and keyboard and touchscreen controls for working up quick ideas in the InDesign Touch Workspace.
The pin-sharp screen is packed into a smaller body thanks to the slim 5.2mm bezel surrounding the display. This makes it one of the smallest 13-inch laptops around.
Crafted from a single block of aluminium, the XPS 13 will catch the eye of fellow creatives while also being tough and light enough for travelling between meetings. And you can work all day with up to 18 hours’ battery life.
In a nutshell: Powerful and stylish tablet with a pen for designing on-screen – loved by creatives
The new and improved Surface Pro offers designers a powerful but incredibly portable studio.
Dubbed the tablet that can replace your laptop, it gets the best from Windows 10 and Adobe Creative Cloud by squeezing a high-powered PC into the body of a touchscreen tablet. Design directly on the 12.3-inch screen using the Surface Pen (sold separately). Or type laptop-style with the Microsoft-designed magnetic wireless keyboard (also sold separately).
‘Artists love Surface Pro,’ says Microsoft. Work in InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop with the powerful Intel Core i5 processor and fast-loading SSD storage.
And enjoy this power without sacrificing portability. Our featured Surface Pro sees an Intel Core i5 processor used in a lightweight fanless design for the first time. Powerful laptops normally depended upon a bulky, noisy fan to keep them cool.
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.
The screen is smaller than a traditional laptop. But designs will look detailed and vivid thanks to its better-than-HD (2736x1824) resolution and compatibility with Abode RGB.
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.
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