Do you love animation, or is it your job to design animated characters? In addition to passion and skill, you also need a supportive buddy and a compatible laptop. The market is full of different devices, so finding what suits you most is not an easy task. Before discussing further, let me tell you what the basic requirements are.
Compatibility with all animation designing software must be your main priority to check. Best laptops are those that can easily run your 2D and 3D animation software without any hindrance.
Whether you are a beginner or professional, you need a laptop with a powerful processor, GPU, and enough storage to save big projects. Furthermore, a cooling system is also necessary for proper functioning, less noise, and durability. In addition, they need to be cost-effective also.
Keeping in mind all these requirements, I enlisted the 8 best and cheap laptops for an animation to make your decision easy. The buyer’s guide will also help you manually check what you need in a laptop for 3d or 2d animation.
In AffordAble Budget Minimum Specification for Cheap Animation Laptops Are.
- CPU: Intel core i5
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4
- Storage: 128 GB SSD
- Display: 15.6 inches 1366 x 768 HD
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics
- Battery: 5 to 6 Hours
This Specification for Animation for a newbie is good, after a time when you need more storage and speed you can easily upgrade your laptop ram and hard drive for the best performance.
1. Acer A515-43-R19L – Best in Budget
- CPU: 3.5GHz AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Processor
- RAM: 4 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Storage: 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Display: 15.6 inches IPS FHD(1920 x 1080)
- GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 3
- Battery: 7.5 Hours
I put the Acer Aspire 5 slim laptop in the number one position. In addition to all the amazing features and solid performance for mainstream computing tasks, It is also budget-friendly among its competitors.
It’s AMD Ryzen 7 3700U Dual-Core Mobile Processor with a 3.5GHz memory speed that can easily perform complex tasks without any trouble. In addition, Radeon RX Vega 10 Graphics card offers powerful performance and greatly enhances your animation experience.
Its narrow-bezel design offers more display areas for amazing images for your animation work. Its 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display with Acer Color Intelligence, that big screen shows crisp, true-to-life colors, making your animation designs true to life. Animation demands your complete focus of eyes on designing.
This laptop also offers the Acer BlueLightShield feature. With its help, you can flexibly adjust the right amount of harmful blue light emitted from your Aspire 5 screen. Thus, it protects your eyes from strain and pressure while working long-term.
Its backlit keyboard helps you to do your task in darkness. Moreover, the innovative Acer TrueHarmony speaker design brings deeper bass and more volume so that you can enjoy real music. HDMI, USB 3.1 & USB 2.0. ports and 802.11ac Wi-Fi greatly fulfill your connectivity and wireless needs.
The feature that I like the most is its lesser weight, as its thin, light design and aluminum top cover make it easy to hold. If you are an employee and travel a lot, you need a portable laptop with amazing battery life. So, this laptop will fulfill your needs by becoming a lightweight and good companion.
Also Reviewed: Best Laptops for Photoshop Under $500
The only con I encounter in this laptop is its 128 GB storage. You need at least 256 GB of storage to store great animation projects. But having amazing features with 128 GB storage at this low price is pretty good enough.
- 15.6 inches Full HD IPS best for animation
- The backlit keyboard provides convenient visibility in darkness
- Deeper bass and more volume
- It’s lightweight and portable
- Storage is 128GB
2. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Gaming Laptop, 15.6″ FHD
- CPU: 3.3 AMD Ryzen 5000 H-Series
- RAM: 8GB 3200 MHz DDR4 SDRAM
- Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD
- Display: 15.6 inches IPS FHD(1920 x 1080)
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
- Battery: 8 Hours
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Gaming Laptop got the second position on my list. It also gives its best in animation work, not only for high-end gaming. Its latest generation AMD Ryzen 5000 H-Series with 3.3 GHz processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics makes it best for 2D and especially 3D animation.
With 8GB DDR4 memory and 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage, the IdeaPad 3 can easily run all animation software. Plus, it can store all sizes of your files and projects and still performs faster than many other laptops.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 has 15.6 inches 120Hz FHD (1920×1080) IPS display, which offers ultrafine detailed visuals. Thus it enhances the user experience in both gaming and designing animations.
The IdeaPad 3 Gaming has a 30% larger one-piece smooth touchpad and white backlit keyboard, offering reliability, ease, and accuracy. Furthermore, 2 x 2W speakers with Nahimic Audio offer a real sound to gamers.
Its raised thermal ceiling dissipates 41% more heat, letting the laptop cool while running 2d,3d software, or high-end games. In addition, it does not produce too much noise, making your experience more real.
RJ45 Ethernet, 2×2 WiFi 802.11 ax, and Bluetooth 5.0 make this laptop totally compatible with any connectivity. Plus, it offers a privacy shutter webcam and microphone array, which provides protection.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 has 8 hours of battery life on normal usage. If you are working on some great 3D software, then for optimal performance, always plugin the charger.
- Amazing graphics
- Comfortable keyboard
- Good battery life
- It’s a little heavier
3. Dell Inspiron i3583 15.6″ HD Touch-Screen Laptop
- CPU: Intel i5-8265U, Quad-core, eight-way, Intel Turbo Boost
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Storage: 256 GB flash_memory_solid_state
- Display: 15.6 inches touch screen, 1366 x 768 HD
- GPU: UHD Graphics 620
- Battery: 4 Hours
Dell is famous for its exceptional performing laptops. New! Dell Inspiron i3583 is our third number choice for its amazing qualities like its functionality and price. This laptop has Intel i5-8265U, Quad-core, eight-way with Synchronous dynamic RAM of 8GB ddr4 offers faster processing and multitasking.
Its 15.6 inches display is best to show the cool big pictures. Although the HD resolution of this laptop is 1366 x 768, a little bit less than others, its touch screen is a plus point. This screen is quite responsive for animation and gaming.
A thing that is a little bit off for me is its Intel UHD Graphics 620 because it can handle basic animation software easily but not professional 3d software.
You can store your big-size animation files or gaming software as this laptop has 256 GB of Storage. It has a built-in HD webcam and digital microphone that performs its function faster with great quality.
The HDMI port on the left side enhances your productivity on a dual-screen system. Built-in SD memory card, USB 2.0, and two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports help you transfer your data without any hassle. Wireless-AC and Ethernet offer easy internet access.
It is lightweight, only 4.4 lbs, so you can easily carry it along with you everywhere you want. Its battery life is 4 to 6 hours, which can help you work with small software, but for a professional one, you need to plug in the charger.
- The processor provides powerful performance
- Built-in SD memory card offers better performance
- Fast booting device
- No DVD/CD drive
4. ASUS VivoBook F512 Thin and Lightweight Laptop
- CPU: 3.6 GHz AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 5 3500U
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Storage: 128 GB SSD + 1TB HDD
- Display: 15.6 inch FHD(1920 x 1080) 4 way NanoEdge bezel
- GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 8 discrete graphics
- Battery: 6-8 Hours
The ASUS VivoBook F512 Laptop got the fourth position on my list. This laptop has an AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 5 3500U with a 2M Cache and a clock speed of 3.6 GHz. Moreover, it offers AMD Radeon Vega 8 discrete graphics for beginner’s animation practice.
This laptop offers 8GB DDR4 memory. Although a 128 GB SSD is not enough, it has a 1TB HDD, it offers solid performance, and it’s easy to do your projects with great ease and save them many in your hard disk drive.
The reason I like this laptop is its display feature. It has a 15.6-inch diagonal display along with FHD (1920 x 1080) makes your watching experience the best.
As a Plus point, ASUS adds a 4-way NanoEdge bezel that is a novel feature, and you hardly get this in such pocket-friendly laptops. So you can enjoy an 88% screen-to-body ratio while designing graphics and playing games.
This laptop offers comprehensive HDMI, USB 3.2 Type-C, USB 3.2, USB 2.0, and Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) connections. Its Ergonomic backlit keyboard has a dedicated numeric pad and a fingerprint sensor, so it will help you to work without distraction.
The super cool and quiet ASUS VivoBook F512 is a thin (only 0.7 inch) and lightweight laptop. It puts only 3.7 lbs of pressure on your back, so you can easily take it along with you. Its 4-6 hours of battery life is a plus point in its portability.
- Better performance of same-priced competitors
- Number of 2.0 & 3.0 ports
- 6-8 hour battery life
- Better keyboard than most notebooks
- Storage is 128GB
5. Samsung Electronics Galaxy Chromebook
- CPU: 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5-10210U Processor
- RAM: 8 GB LPDDR3
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- Display: 13.3 Inches 3840 x 2160 pixels
- GPU: Intel UHD Graphics
- Battery: 8 Hours
I put the Galaxy Chromebook in 5th position. This laptop has an Intel Core i5-10210U with a clock speed of 1.6 GHz. Moreover, it offers Intel UHD Graphics, not recommended for huge animation projects, but with the help of its 256 GB SSD storage, it is quite perfect for your designing tasks.
This laptop offers 8 GB LPDDR3 memory so that you can run many applications at a time without any hassle. Galaxy Chromebook display screen is 13.3 Inches with 3840 x 2160 pixels which means double the horizontal and vertical resolution of FHD.
I like its 4K AMOLED touchscreen with superior picture quality that will provide crystal clear and vivid colors and take your experience to the next level. Moreover, its built-in sensitive pen is a great buddy to sketch something amazing that you have in your mind.
Another amazing feature is its ultra-slim 2-in-1 convertible design with a fingerprint sensor. For animation, it will be helpful to convert the Chromebook into a tablet and use it for drawing designs.
2 USB 3.0 Ports along with Bluetooth, 802.11 ax 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 (Gig-plus) are perfect for your smooth transferring of data and using the Internet. Galaxy Chromebook has 8 hours of battery life on normal usage. An ultra-slim, lightweight, cool and quiet with good battery life under $700, Galaxy Chromebook is perfect to buy and use on the go.
- Built-in sensitive pen
- Fingerprint sensor
- AMOLED 4K display offers cinema-quality screen
- Thin and lightweight so easily portable
- Low-resolution webcam
- Gets a bit warm
6. Samsung Chromebook Plus V2, 2-in-1
- CPU: 1.5 GHz Intel Celeron 3965Y
- RAM: 4 GB LPDDR3
- Storage: 32 GB flash memory solid state
- Display: 12.2 Inches FHD (1920 x 1200)
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics 615
- Battery: 4 Hours
Let’s discuss the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 as another feature-full laptop. This laptop has an Intel Celeron 3965Y with a clock speed of 1.5 GHz. Furthermore, it offers Intel HD Graphics 615, good enough to perform simple animation tasks.
This laptop offers 4 GB LPDDR3 memory and 32 GB flash memory solid-state, so helpful in running multiple programs smoothly. Its display screen is 12.2 Inches FHD (1920 x 1200), quite good for an amazing user experience.
The best things about Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 are many; let’s discuss them. It is lightweight at just 2.98 lbs plus a 2-in-1 design. You can easily convert it into a tablet form that helps you browse and do other stuff.
Moreover, it has a dual-camera so that you can capture some clear photos in tablet form. With the help of a revolutionary 13MP world-facing camera, you can zoom at some specific point with autofocus.
Its built-in pen feature is a cherry on the cake. It will make sketching tasks easy for you because using a touchpad or mouse to draw and animate is not an easy task.
2.0 and 3.0 ports with 802.11ac wireless will further assist you and enhance your Internet experience.
Although its battery is not so good, lasting only for 4 hours, it is still best for animation by using 2d, and 3d software. A thin, lightweight, 2-in-1, and pocket-friendly Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 is perfect for boosting your animation work to the next level.
- Foldable into tablet
- Built-in pen
- 2 cameras
- Lightweight & portable
- Less Battery life
- Little issue with Sound Quality
7. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (14″ AMD) Laptop
- CPU: 2.1 GHz AMD Ryzen 5 5500U
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- Display: 14.0 Inches FHD (1920 x 1080)
- GPU: AMD Radeon 7 Graphics
- Battery: 6-7 Hours
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (14″ AMD) laptop is another one of my favorites because of its powerful performance and amazing qualities. This laptop is perfect for animation and gaming and offers the best user experience for $600. So, you can call it worth buying.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 has AMD Ryzen 5000 H-Series with 2.1 GHz processors and AMD Radeon 7 Graphics provides better performance in routine work and in small 2D, 3D animation projects.
With 8GB DDR4 memory and 256GB SSD storage, the IdeaPad 3 (14″ AMD) laptop has 14.0 Inches FHD (1920×1080) IPS display with a brightness level of 300 nits. Furthermore, its anti-glare technology is helpful enough to use it outside without any hassle. Thus the screen provides a 67% sRGB color gamut.
The feature that I personally like about this laptop is its safety-providing measures. By reducing harmful low blue light, it protects your eyes, and blocking background noises by Noise Cancelation makes it perfect to use in crowded areas also.
In addition, it offers a built-in privacy shutter that protects your privacy from a hacker while on a video call either automatically or allows you to physically block your webcam lens.
HDMI, USB, USB-C ports plus 2×2 802.11 ax WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 offers great connectivity.
While running powerful software this laptop stays cool and quiet because of the mechanical airflow enhancements and also intelligent thermal system.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (14″ AMD) has 6-7 hours of battery life while normal working. For working on big projects with powerful software, I recommend plugging in the charger for better performance.
- Integrated fingerprint scanner
- Quiet laptop
- Highly responsive
- Little heavy but not too much
8. Acer Nitro 5 AN515-55-53E5 Gaming Laptop
- CPU: 4.5 GHz Intel Core i5-10300H
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4
- Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD
- Display: 15.6 Inches IPS (1920 x 1080)
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 (4GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM)
- Battery: 11 Hours
The Acer Nitro 5 AN515 laptop is also on my favorite laptop list. This laptop has Intel Core i5-10300H processors with a 4.5 GHz clock speed, a good one for animation. Plus, having NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 (4GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM) provides better performance from simple to bigger 2D and 3D animation tasks.
With 8GB DDR4 memory and 256GB NVMe SSD storage, the Acer Nitro 5 AN515 laptop has 15.6 Inches FHD (1920×1080) LED-backlit IPS display. Furthermore, it offers a 144Hz refresh rate with narrow bezels and 80% screen-to-body; thus, this widescreen is good enough to make your experience the best.
Two built-in stereo speakers offer a realistic listening experience. A red-backlit keyboard with highlighted WASD and arrow keys provide convenience in dim lights. Plus the feature of having NitroSense UI keys to instantly visualize the laptop’s components and control temperature, fan speed, laptop loading performance, power plan, etc.
HDMI 2.0 with Gen 1 and 2 supportive newest 4 USB ports offer great connectivity. Plus, Ethernet E2600 and Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 make it possible to use the Internet 24/7 hours.
Acer CoolBoost technology with dual fans in this laptop increases fan speed by 10%, making it cool and quiet. It offers 9% cooling of CPU and GPU on working heavy software, thus increasing overall thermal performance by 25%.
The Acer Nitro 5 AN515 has 11 hours of battery life, which is pretty good, but it is a little heavier. If you can handle 5.7lbs easily, then this best and cheap laptop will become your best buddy while traveling.
- Expandable storage
- Cool and quiet laptop
- Wi-Fi 6 AX201 support
- Amazing battery life
- Thick display bezel
If you are looking for the best animation laptop on the market, the following user buying guide will help you a lot.
A CPU with a boosted clock speed can only work for you. Instead of checking how many cores are there, more important is to check the clock speed of the processor. A low clock speed will make the viewport very slow. From 3.6GHz 9th Gen Intel Core i5 to 4.5GHz 10th Gen Intel Core i7, nothing is more suitable than them.
Moreover, Intel’s amazing Turbo-Core feature overclocks the extra cores, which are unnecessary while animating. So, for animating, you have to focus on clock speed.
For better and more efficient animating work, RAM is most important. A low RAM will swap all your active working files to disk and badly affect your laptop’s performance.
For 2D animation software, 8GB RAM is fairly enough, but for 3D software, you need at least 16 GB RAM. This GB is good for handling the heavier viewport scenes and added geometry.
Having 32GB RAM is a good idea for further assistance but not a necessary one.
People believe that the GPU is not the main game-changer in animating but needs to be good. I think the GPU is the most vital thing. So, you cannot ignore Graphics Card’s importance on the whole. Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA are all good, but I prefer the NVIDIA RTX 2060 with 6GB RAM. Because NVIDIA cards’ performance in 3D animations is good enough to make it number one.
For animation, you need a large storage area to store all your animation projects. Although these days, SSD is highly preferable by users and manufacturers as it is 5 times faster than HDD. Moreover, quick starting of programs, loading, and saving updates will become easy tasks with SSD.
512GB SSD is best for beginners or small projects. For professional animators who need to do high projects and save big files, only an SSD will fulfill their needs.
High screen resolution and the size of the laptop’s screen are basic needs to check before buying a laptop. FHD display with 1920×1080 resolution and 15.6-inch screen size can easily fulfill both your needs.
Some laptops also offer 4K higher resolution, which shows more clear and more realistic images on the screen. But if the screen size is not compatible, pixels become smaller. Consequently, seeing smaller individual elements and Window/Menu Texts put pressure on your eyes.
If you need a laptop that works with you everywhere, like a buddy. You have to choose a portable one. Although PCs are best for animation, the only issue is their portability. So, it’s best to buy a portable laptop with 3 to 4 lbs, as it does not put much pressure on your back.
Portable laptops with a long battery life will resolve your many issues. But mostly, big software can digest battery life faster. So, a laptop with at least a 5-hour battery life is good. If you succeed in finding one with a 10-hour battery life, then you got a perfect one for animation.
With the advancement in technology, every device needs to be upgraded. Just like software needs to update, laptop components also do. The updated version enhances your laptop’s performance. SO, with the time, update the parts that you can on your own and CPU and GPU from the manufacturers.
Make a list of your desired software, then decide which laptop for animation 3d, or 2d you actually need. If you want to work with only 2D animation software (which needs less power and less memory), buy a laptop that meets the minimum system requirements. Don’t try to buy fewer memory laptops, as it causes hindrance in the working of 2D lighter software programs.
You can buy the best laptops for 3D animation as they can run both 2D and 3D software. But if you have a 2D animation laptop, and now you want to use 3D software, it will not work. You have to buy another laptop. So, it will be better to buy a 3D animation laptop if you occasionally jump between both 2D and 3D software.
Highly demanding 2D animation software is
- Blender 2D
- CelAction 2D
- Moho Pro
- Toon Boom Harmony
- Synfig Studio
- Adobe Animate
- CrazyTalk Cartoon Animator
3D animation requires high power and is more efficient as it provides 3-dimensional animation. Powerful laptops with good CPU, memory, and high resolution are a basic need for 3D animation. That is the reason they are more expensive than others. Highly demanding 3D animation software is
- Art of Illusion
- Autodesk Maya
- Autodesk 3ds Max
- Cinema 4D
- Seamless 3D
- 3D Movie Maker
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a dedicated GPU necessary for animation?
In order to enhance visual performance, a dedicated Graphic card is necessary. GPU is vital, especially for 3D animation. It makes modeling, mapping, and 3D animation work more stable, smooth, well-performed, and easy.
Are Dell laptops best for animation?
Yes, Dell laptops are best not only for gaming but also for animation. They have the ability to run heavy software and handle media editing. Moreover, they provide a great graphics card like the NVIDIA RTX 2060 which makes them perfect for animation.
Do I need SSD storage?
For animation, SSD storage is necessary. It offers better reading and writing speeds which means better rendering times. It will increase real-world performance.