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The 3 Best HP Computers for Graphic Design
May 17, 2019
When your work is complex and depends heavily on your PC, chances are you know that some tasks require serious processing power and specs.
Whether you’re a graphic designer or an engineer, a 3D animator or a hardcore data analyst, you depend on resource-heavy programs for your work and creative output.
To make shopping a little easier, we’ll explore a cross-section of HP®’s best performance PCs with a focus on the 3 best computers for graphic design and other more complex tasks.
Here are the devices we’ll be looking at in our guide:
- HP ZBook Studio x360 workstation laptop
- HP ENVY 34-inch curved all-in-one desktop
- HP Z8 workstation desktop
Now let’s look at what you should focus on when you’re shopping and comparing one model against another.
Important hardware specs to consider
Most professional graphic designers have probably hit a wall at some point in their career thanks to inadequate technology. Sometimes, it can just be a mere inconvenience, but it can also grow into a real obstacle. Long-term limitations are beyond inconvenient. They can potentially cost you both time and money by preventing you from tackling important business on your own.
For designers and professionals looking at hardware specs, you should consider opting for more power and speed when compared to the typical home computer or laptop. This also applies to the display you choose as well, whether it’s attached to your laptop, part of an all-in-one device, or a separate purchase altogether.
1. RAM Memory
For memory, 8GB to 16GB is a good starting point to accomplish your tasks, but you’ll find plenty of options to upgrade to more. The ability to expand RAM memory goes beyond what you may associate with most laptop or desktop PCs, too, with the HP ZBook Studio x360 mobile workstation featuring room for up to 64GB. The HP Z8 workstation goes even further. It has space for up to an impressive 1.5TB.
Although everyone’s needs are different, you don’t want to be saddled with an underperforming PC. If you’re a professional performing the most intensive jobs, you may want to consider upgrading to closer to that amount or at least beyond the base configuration.
2. Processor and graphics
You’ll also want an up-to-date, fast processor to keep up with more complicated software and processes, and you should also make sure computer display syncs up with your needs. Two of the models we’ll cover feature high-resolution displays with great brightness levels, anti-glare, and top color accuracy, while the HP Z8 workstation offers huge multi-core capacity.
By comparison, the importance of a graphics card depends on the nature of your work. Some graphic designers and illustrators may not need a more powerful option, but anyone involved in rendering, video editing, photo editing, or animation will want the most powerful option.
3. Desktop or laptop?
A lot can go into this question, but the importance of portability is key. Do you spend most of your time at a desk or is your routine elastic enough that a laptop may add value? However you answer that question, your decision may also be influenced by whether or not you can upgrade your computer later on.
Adding memory or storage means you can boost capacity as the need arises and save money on your initial purchase. For many, a separate desktop and laptop for work is still a necessity. But if you don’t need the portability of a laptop and you’re devoted to finding the absolute best long-term computer for graphic design and video editing, then a desktop is the better choice.
Finding the best computer for graphic design in 2019 may seem like a daunting prospect for anyone who hasn’t upgraded in a while. However, you should focus on supporting the most important aspects of your day-to-day routine, including what’s most comfortable for your workflow.
The 3 best HP computers for graphic design
To handle the most heavy-duty programs like CAD and 3D modeling, you need a computer that’s just as powerful. In this guide you’ll find the best HP PC for graphic design in varying form factors and price ranges so that anyone can get started in this field.
1. HP ZBook Studio x360 workstation laptop
As one of HP’s best touch screen computers for graphic design, the HP ZBook Studio x360 offers a great balance of portability and strong performance in addition to the functionality of its 2-in-1 convertible laptop chassis. When you switch to tablet mode, this HP ZBook easily outshines the competition as HP®’s best computer tablet for graphic design.
Not familiar with 2-in-1 laptops or HP®’s x360 variants? These laptops are built with strong hinges and materials to make it easy to switch from laptop mode to tablet mode by folding the display against the keyboard.
There are several other modes you can utilize, too, that are designed specifically for giving presentations and enjoying streaming video content. The primary goal of a convertible is to provide flexibility, so it can be a great way to open up your workflow, particularly when your needs are likely to change from one stage of a project to another.
You’ll find a long list of options to customize this laptop, with premium specs across the board. For the highest performance, you can choose the Intel® Xeon® processor, discrete NVIDIA® Quadro® P2000 graphics, up to 64GB of memory, and up to 5TB of combined storage.
It’s also highly portable. The maximum estimated battery life is 16 hours, and you can also use the HP Fast Charge feature to restore up to 50% battery power in only 45 minutes.
It’s loaded with accessories and perks like a fingerprint reader or facial recognition for more security, plenty of connectivity options (including dual Thunderbolt™ 3 ports), and a variety of displays to choose from including 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) DreamColor.
If you’re looking for something with a lower price point, the HP ZBook 15v mobile workstation is the series’ standout budget workstation. Its affordable price makes this an instant candidate for anyone’s list of the best computers for graphic design students.
There’s no sacrifice in reliability, either, because the entire line is produced in collaboration with designers and industry representatives. This approach helps to make sure working professionals can count on HP Z workstations during even the most rigorous projects.
2. HP ENVY 34-inch curved all-in-one desktop
This list of the best PCs for graphic design also includes the HP ENVY 34-inch curved all-in-one, which features a stunning widescreen display and convenient, space-saving design. While the HP ENVY 34’s streamlined design means there isn’t as much room for expansion or the same top specs as our first and third entries, it more than makes up for that in a couple of important ways.
The first is the incredible 34-inch Quad High Definition (QHD) display with a native resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels. With that size and resolution it’s an ideal hub for work and entertainment purposes, thanks also to a premium audio outlay with tuning by Bang & Olufsen.
It can also serve as a replacement for dual monitor setups if you’re looking for ways to save even more space. You won’t lose out with the replacement because the curved monitor provides a much wider field of view than with traditional monitors, a feature that’s particularly useful for those who spend a lot of their time working in design and editing programs.
The other major advantage is the space you’ll save when setting up this compact, AiO configuration. It’s only 12 inches deep while its width is defined by the aforementioned 34-inch display.
By condensing more features and cutting out the traditional PC tower, this computer can substantially reduce the amount of clutter and cord wrangling you would typically face when using older desktop models. That’s particularly true if you pair this HP AiO with accessories like a wireless keyboard and mouse combo.
The specs start with an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics. While the build is compact, there’s still room for up to 16GB of memory and a highly stable, hybrid HDD-SSD storage configuration with 2TB and 256GB, respectively.
If you want to learn more about what’s involved with a curved display and why some users prefer them over conventional setups or setups with multiple monitors, check out our Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Curved PC Monitor.
3. HP Z8 workstation desktop
For the most demanding routines, the HP Z8 workstation is easily the best desktop for graphic design.
There’s simply no denying its high-powered specs and deep potential for expansions and upgrades. It’s designed as a desktop platform for the most resource-heavy processes that complex design, video, and editing work require, making it a high-powered workstation with seriously impressive features.
It boasts a maximum capacity of 56 cores, 1.5TB of RAM, 40TB of storage, and up to three NVIDIA Quadro P6000 graphics cards. That’s enough hardware to back up any applications that would otherwise crush and wear out a less powerful configuration.
The HP Z8 also features an exterior design optimized for tool-free access so you can configure it for what you need now and then easily upgrade it whenever you want.
In addition to its deep storage and serious specs, this workstation ships with a 3-year limited warranty. That’s good for both parts and labor as well as any costs associated with on-site repair. For anyone concerned about defects or faults over the long term, it certainly helps to know you’re backed up by this PC warranty.
The HP Z is a full product line that encompasses a spectrum of powerful design tools and workstation PCs. As such, it features a variety of performance configurations and price points, including the more budget-friendly HP Z2 workstation. This line stands out not only for its affordability but also because of its impressive hardware.
There are more compact devices designed for easy storage and travel, too, including the HP Z2 mini desktop workstation. You’ll also find high-tech variants, like the HP Z VR backpack workstation. This unique wearable configuration takes the typically cumbersome approach to VR to the next level.
While the HP Z8 is the overall best computer for graphic design today, it’s clear that your options definitely don’t end there. If you’re committed to a desktop solution that’s truly tailored to the needs of your profession, the HP Z workstation is a great place to find a strong desktop PC configuration for graphic design.
Powerful solutions at a range of prices
Complex work requires a sophisticated device, from portable laptops for travel to robust desktop PCs for your most demanding work. That means you shop with a unique set of needs that can sometimes seem to restrict your options.
Whether you’re upgrading, replacing an older model, or buying your very first graphic design computer, HP® offers graphic designers a huge range of prices and computer styles.
There are space-saving standouts like the 34-inch HP ENVY AiO desktop, and then a number of super-powerful options from the diverse HP Z series. This variety of high-performance devices makes it easier than ever to find a good computer for graphic design or whatever your work requires.
About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.