Laptops for digital art

These are based my experience doing on doing 2D illustration using Krita and Clip Studio Paint.

  • Memory


    • OK: 8GB

    • GOOD: 16GB


  • I/O Ports

    • If you want to connect a modern pen display with a USB-C cable should have a USB-C port that supports DP-Alt mode and that is available for use to connect with your pen display.

      • All Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 4 ports support DP alt mode.

      • Remember: Your USB-C cable ALSO needs to support DP alt mode.

Connecting to a pen display

Before you buy a laptop, please ensure that you are clear how you intend to connect it to your pen display. More here: Connecting a pen display

Notes on power consumption

  • If your pen display is going to draw power from the laptop it is going to limit the time your laptop can work on battery power.

  • So in these cases

    • (1) the laptop should be connected to a power from the wall.

    • (2) or the pen display should be getting power from another source.

Specific laptops I recommend


  • Surface Laptop Studio

  • Surface Laptop 5

  • Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360

  • Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro 360


  • I'm sure Macs are fine, but I only on December 2023 did I start playing with a MacBook Pro. So I haven't really used on enough to have an opinion yet. But many people have great experiences with them.


What I use

I've been using a Surface Pro 8 with 32GB of RAM and 500GB of storage for two years now.

I connect it the Microsoft Surface Dock 2 for power and network connectivity.

I use two Thunderbolt 3 cables from the Surface Pro 9 to connect two 4K 60Hz displays (one of those will be the a 4K pen display)

Even though the Surface Pro can be used for drawing with it's own pen, I prefer to use attached drawing tablets.

Connected tablets

Most often, I use these tablets with my Surface Pro 9:

  • Wacom Intuos Pro (PTH-860)

  • Wacom Cintiq Pro 27 (DTH-271)

  • Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 (DTH-167)

Though I've used every kind successfully: Huion, XP-Pen, and Xencelabs.



Places to find other suggestions

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