eComputerTips is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small commission without any additional cost to you.
What are the best budget laptops for interior design? The use of a laptop today is inevitable and it is not just for style. It is an essential tool that provides a lot of comfort and convenience to the users allowing them to work on the go.
Therefore, whether you are a business owner, a content creator, or an interior designer, you will need to carry and use a laptop these days.
The primary job of the interior designers is to create beautiful and functional architectural designs for buildings or for rooms.
It can be for any individual or for any large business organization. However, it is not an easy job to make a space look more spacious and beautiful as well.
It is only the selection of the right laptop that will make the task much easier. If you have the right kind of notebook, it will enable you to run all that necessary and relevant computer software for your interior job.
Ideally, the system should help you in all the aspects of an interior job that involves planning, researching, coordinating, and managing the projects.
Therefore, this is a multifaceted profession for people who excel in conceptual development, site inspections, space planning, programming, communicating with the stakeholders, researching and analyzing a project, execution of a created design, and construction management.
All these works need a laptop with a good hardware configuration so that it runs smoothly with no lags during operation and even supports multi-tasking. These best laptops for interior designing will not disappoint you in any manner.
However, the problem is that the available options in the market seems to be unlimited, which makes selecting the right laptop for interior design so difficult.
In order to make your job a bit easier, check out these five top laptop options for interior designers. You will also get adequate help from the buying guide that follows the recommendations. Go through it to make the right choice in a breeze.
All these laptops come with powerful hardware configurations. If you only know the concept and your needs for interior design, you can match the hardware configurations with your style to find the most suitable laptop.
- Budget Interior Design Laptops Price
- The Different Aspects of Interior Design
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Interior Design
- 5 Best Budget Laptops for Interior Design 2021:
- Things to Look for Before Buying a Laptop for Interior Design
Budget Interior Design Laptops Price
The Different Aspects of Interior Design
Normally, for all professional interior designers, there are five major aspects of interior design to know.
Interior designing is certainly not about using different elements in a space to make it look good. This is just a miniscule of the broad church.
The other important aspects of it include balance, emphasis, movement, proportion, and unity. All these aspects should complement one another very well to make the interior look good, naturally.
Balance is the process in which the weight of the space is distributed proportionately. For example, if one particular side of the room has several objects and looks congested, it will surely make the room look off-balanced.
Traditionally, interior designing involves providing a symmetrical balance to the room.
However, now radial designs are also implemented wherein the center of the room is the main focal point. Asymmetrical designs are also being implemented nowadays by the interior designers, especially in the modern homes.
Emphasis, which is also known as the focal point and is very important in interior designing, is actually the process in which a specific point of the room is involved.
It is at this point that the eyes are normally drawn to and helps significantly in identifying the accent of the room. Depending on the purpose of the room, there can be more than one focal point in one particular room.
When it comes to movement, there are actually two different ways to look at it. One is the physical movement in the room. This involves placement of furniture in the room.
The other is the natural eye movement in the room. This involves the nice flow of the eyes due to the consistency and natural blending of the design with the space as well as the elements used in designing the room.
The design should also have proper proportion. This will ensure that people walking in the room will not feel like it is crowded.
This type of feeling is usually initiated when oversized furniture is used in a small space. A proper proportion will ensure smoother physical movement in the room.
Finally, unity is that aspect of interior design which actually ties the entire space together to give it a seamless look.
In order to achieve this, interior designers more often than not use repetitive colors and patterns in their design.
This provides semblance in the design, which otherwise, would have looked more chaotic. Using a lot of competing elements in one room will not only make it look messy but will also be distracting for the eyes.
In short, the most important factor for interior designing is functionality because even the best interior design will be of no good if it is restrictive to both forms of movement, physical as well as visual.
Therefore, to be a successful interior designer, you will need to do a lot of calculations and try out all possible and available options to create the best and most functional design. You will need to use several tools, apps and software for that matter.
A good laptop will enable you to use those tools most effectively and easily. You will find it much easier to identify the flaws in your design, manipulate it and improve it in quick time.
Therefore, one of these five laptops is essential for interior designers today, whether they are a pro or just a beginner.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Interior Design
Along with Windows 10 Home operating system with a 64-bit architecture, the minimum system requirement for a laptop for interior design would be any Intel Core i3 or i5 processor or even any AMD equivalent with SSE2 or SSE3 technology.
The memory should be of 8 GB DDR4 with high bandwidth, 5 GB of free disk space with 256 GB total capacity, DX 11 and OpenGL 3.1 complaint graphics with 1 GB of video memory and a 13 inches screen with 1,280 x 1,024 pixels resolution.
However, it is advised that you do not opt for the minimum specs in your laptop for interior design if you want your system to last through the college years and deal with the changing needs more efficiently.
You will be better off if you choose a device with the following recommended system requirements.
Minimum system requirements: Intel Dual Core m3 or 7th generation Intel Core i5 processor | 8 GB of RAM | 1 TB HDD or a better SSD | Integrated Intel HD Graphics 615 or better | 12 inches or larger screen | 1680 x 1050 pixels screen resolution with True Color DPI setting
Recommended system requirements: 8th generation Intel Quad Core i5 or higher Intel Core i7 processor| 16 GB of RAM or higher | 256 GB SSD or higher | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or higher | 15.6 inches screen | 1920 x 1080 pixels or higher screen resolution with True Color
5 Best Budget Laptops for Interior Design 2021:
1. Microsoft Surface Book 2 – Best Overall
Bottom Line: Every aspect of this laptop will provide the best overall performance to add to your productivity as well as user experience in interior designing. Compared to others in the list it comes with a powerful i7 processor and dedicated graphics and its detachable touchscreen makes it most versatile.
- Screen: 15 inches
- Storage: 256 GB
- RAM: 16 GB
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060
- The keyboard is incredibly good offering a more comfortable typing experience.
- The IPS LCD display offers better resolution, rich colors, proper brightness and contrast ratio.
- The screen is detachable to use it conveniently in the tablet mode.
- The laptop is quite expensive.
- The Surface Pen is not included in the package.
- The meagre storage may cause some problems while gaming.
First take a look at what you will get in this high performing laptop.
You will get an 8th generation i7 processor with four cores, 16 GB RAM with a bandwidth of 1866 MHz, 256 GB storage and a powerful battery that will support video playback of up to 17 long hours!
You also get an assurance of enhanced graphics performance from this device with its Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 discrete graphics card that comes with 6 GB GDDR5 memory which will help a lot to the interior designers.
All the features and hardware components make this the fastest Surface Book yet that will operate at four times the speed of other laptops.
The screen of this laptop is also worth mentioning with its vibrant PixelSense technology that delivers images at 3260 x 2160 pixels and a high contrast ratio of 1600:1.
The touchscreen feature allows you to use this system in four different modes making it most versatile.
The laptop mode is sleek, portable, and powerful. It allows using demanding apps and performing complex tasks on the go with its full-sized keyboard and large trackpad.
Detach the screen and you will get one of the most powerful and thin tablets to take and use anywhere.
You can fold the entire system to use it in Studio mode while drawing and sketching. The natural position provides more comfort and additional accessories such as a Surface Pen and Surface Dial will ensure more immersive experience.
In the View mode you can show the screen to others while sharing your content or presentation. Just push the button, turn the screen around, and reattach it.
The Windows 10 Pro operating system with its interactive Cortana allows easy operation of the system with voice commands.
All in all, this is the perfect laptop for interior designers both for their work as well as for entertainment such as gaming or watching movies in their free time. Check out Microsoft Surface Book 2 Review.
2. Acer Nitro 5 – Runner Up
Bottom Line: This laptop is the Runner up of this list only due to the Intel Core i5 processor. Otherwise, all other aspects of this device will support every need of interior design job such as the large enough full HD screen, upgradable memory, the fast SSD, dedicated GPU, and mixt ports and connectivity options.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i5 8300H
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
- The system allows expanding its memory up to 32 GB.
- The laptop comes with a backlit keyboard.
- There is a media card reader in the system.
- The laptop does not come with a DVD/CD drive built in it.
- The battery life of this system is very low at 5.5 hours only.
- The weight of the device is slightly more nearing 6 pounds.
There are lots of useful technologies in this system that makes the hardware components of this laptop work much better.
You can use this laptop for an immersive gaming experience or for using the most advanced software for your interior designing works with equal effectiveness.
The display comes with IPS technology and full HD feature that makes the images look better and sharper. The 4 GB Nvidia GTX graphics card is dedicated and produces images faster.
The 8th generation Intel Core i5 mobile processor with 8 MB cache is powerful enough to operate at a speed of 2.30 GHz which can go as high as 4.0 GHz to make the four cores work faster.
You will have adequate connectivity options with the HDMI port, two USB 2.0 ports, one each of USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Type C port included in the system.
When you connect the system to a wireless AC router you will get three times faster speed and transfer rate as compared to the wireless N standard.
The Gigabit Ethernet LAN port, on the other hand, also will allow you to plug it into different wired networks.
There is also a webcam built in the system and a media card reader that makes the system better than the others. This built-in media card reader has the unique ability to support all SD memory card formats.
The iron-red backlit spacious keyboard also allows comfortable typing in dimly lit settings. The laptop also comes with a built-in HD webcam that takes clear pictures and the two microphones built in it ensures clearer conversation.
The features and components of the system will allow you to take better control of the system and perform your tasks in a much effective way.
With the Nitro Sense technology, you will get enough help to monitor the performance of the CPU as well as the GPU in real time and regulate them to keep the entire system cool.
If you want to put the laptop to heavy use and keep it cool as well, you can enhance the performance and speed of the cooling fans by turning on the Cool Boost feature.
This will not only improve the performance of the system to its fullest potential but will also ensure that there are no frame drops.
To sum up, just like the sleek look and attractive design and feel of the laptop, the performance of the system is also the highlight of it. Check out Acer Nitro 5 Review.
3. Apple MacBook – Value for Money
Bottom Line: All the interior designers who are Apple fans can use this MacBook for interior design and get just the right value for their money with a better price-performance ratio. This fairly cheap laptop is light in weight and comes with quite good Retina display, sound quality, and durable keyboard.
- Screen: 12 inches
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM
- Processor: Intel Dual Core m3
- OS: Chrome OS
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics 615
- This is a lightweight and affordable laptop.
- The screen and sound quality of this laptop is quite good.
- The butterfly mechanism of the keyboard provides better typing experience.
- The screen is small and the thick bezel makes it look even smaller.
- The graphics card is integrated and not dedicated.
- The battery is slow to charge and low in power.
This 12-inch laptop is quite a good device for interior designing work. In spite of it being affordable, you will get an LCD Retina display for better viewing pleasure.
The images will be clearer, thanks to its maximum resolution of 2304 x 1440 pixels.
The 8 GB LPDDR3 memory in this system operates at 1866 MHz and the 256 GB SSD storage allows enough storage space for your files and faster boot up of the apps and accessibility of your files.
The operating system of this laptop will support all your computing jobs and the Intel HD Graphics 615 will produce better images at better frame rates.
You will get enough comfort while typing on the keyboard of this system that comes with the unique butterfly mechanism of the second generation.
This laptop weighs only 3.40 pounds and is pretty small in size making it much portable.
In short, if you are not looking for something that is expensive and with high-end specs, this is one of the best laptops that will prove to be useful for your interior design jobs, if you are okay with a battery that dies pretty quickly. Check out Apple MacBook Review.
4. Dell XPS 9560 – Beautiful 4K Touch Display
Bottom Line: A lot of help will be provided to the interior designers by this laptop with its specs but more so by its beautiful 4K touch display. This screen is quite large and the thin bezel adds to the real estate of it. The Ultra HD resolution and Infinity Edge display technology adds to the quality of images.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 256 GB PCIe Solid State Drive
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4
- Processor: 7th generation Intel Quad Core i5 7300HQ
- OS: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
- The 4K touch display is beautiful and comes with a narrow bezel all around.
- The carbon fiber chassis feels good while typing.
- The CPU is quite powerful.
- The system does not come with any optical drive built in it.
- The webcam placement is bad as it picks up the fingers when used while typing.
- The headphone jack switching is software based and needs running it to change volume.
If you are looking for a laptop that is a multimedia powerhouse for interior designing then this laptop is the one that you should surely try out.
This ultra-thin and light laptop comes with a 4K touch display that allows easy navigation.
The screen is of the ultra-HD nature that delivers images at 3840 x 2160 pixels and comes with Infinity Edge display technology.
The very thin bezel all around it provides more viewing space and better viewing angles.
The 7th generation processor is powerful enough to support all apps and software and produce results in quick time with its 6 MB cache, four cores and a Turbo speed of up to 3.5 GHz.
You can upgrade the memory up to 32 GB if you want. However, the 8 GB DDR4 memory of the machine operates at 2400 MHz and the SSD storage along with it both adds to the speed and performance of the system.
Higher bandwidth of the memory means you can access your content quicker. Moreover, the PCIe version of the SSD storage makes it faster adding to its high-performance level and responsiveness.
This allows you to access your files quickly and boot up and run the apps more smoothly and faster.
The durable system is made up of aluminum chassis and comes with one of the best gaming graphics cards of Nvidia GTX series that ensures a seamless visual experience.
It will allow you to do much more interior design jobs with less waiting.
The 64-bit architecture of the Windows 10 Home operating system makes it all the more productive and useful.
As for the connectivity of the system you can rely on the Killer 1535 wireless AC adapter.
This comes with a technology that will provide you with a strong and more reliable wi-fi connection.
The good thing about this technology is that it will detect, classify, and prioritize the network traffic automatically based on the congestion and interference of traffic.
This means that all of your most important data and files will have the topmost priority over the apps that are less urgent and these crucial packets will be delivered instantly.
This will therefore eliminate lags and latency that may delay the proceedings unnecessarily. Check out Dell XPS 9560 Laptop Review.
5. Asus VivoBook F510UA – Safety and Lot of Storage Space
Bottom Line: You will get a safer laptop to use for your interior designing work along with a lot of storage space in it if you work on larger, multiple files, thanks to its 1 TB HDD. The inclusion of a fingerprint reader in it will allow fast yet safe login keeping your files well protected from any unauthorized access.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 1 TB HDD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: Intel Core i5 7200U
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620
- The laptop comes with a fingerprint reader that ensures safer login.
- The system offers a lot of storage of 1 TB.
- The ergonomic chiclet design of the keyboard provides additional comfort while typing.
- The system does not come with a touch screen.
- The speakers of the laptop are located at the bottom which prevents clear sound output on flat surface.
- The keyboard is not backlit and there is no separate numeric keypad.
This thin and light laptop can be used for interior design work as well and comes with some of the best technologies such as full HD, Wide View, Nano Edge and more that ensures vivid images with vibrant colors, better contrast and brightness.
The narrow bezel provides as much as 80% body to screen ratio and the Asus Splendid software enhances the quality of the image.
The Intel Core i5 processor and the RAM ensures faster processing. The 1 TB HDD allows a lot of storage.
The laptop also comes with a fingerprint reader that ensures safety and faster login. The different USB ports, the Windows 10 Home operating system, and other components, all add to the performance of the system.
There are lots of ports and sockets in the laptop that allow more connectivity options. You will get USB 3.1 Type C Gen1 port, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports as well as an HDMI port.
You will also get lightning-fast wireless connectivity of 802.11ac standard in spite of congestion in traffic and possibilities of interference.
Add to that there is also a Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity in the laptop. Check out Asus VivoBook F510UA Review.
Things to Look for Before Buying a Laptop for Interior Design
Now, the question is what exactly should be the specs in your laptop that you want to use for your interior designing projects.
Well, to know about the right specs of your laptop, you do not need to be an expert in computer hardware and software.
However, it is very important for you to know and at least understand the specific parts of the computer that you should focus on more while choosing and investing your money.
Here are some of the most crucial factors to consider that will make your laptop a worthy investment and more productive for your interior design jobs, both from the creative as well as business point of view.
Hardware and operating system requirements
Ideally, all the computer users can be divided into two specific categories. One, the Windows laptop users, who are the major ones, and the second type of users are those who use Mac notebooks.
The hardware requirements for the two types of computers are mostly same for interior designing work, and these are mandatory.
For the Windows laptops, interior designers will need a multi-core processor of minimum i5 or i7 family, a decent 8 GB of DDR3 or DDR4 RAM and HDD storage of 256 GB at the minimum, at least Windows 7, 8, or 10 operating system, a dedicated graphics card of at least 512 MB if not more, and a full HD 1080p display.
As for the Mac notebooks, on the other hand, other things remaining the same, the only difference in the requirements is in the operating system. It will run on Mac OS, and you cannot do anything about it.
As for the other additional checks, start with the display size. Ideally, if you can afford, you should look for a laptop with a 17-inch screen.
Since the interior designers need a larger real estate on screen, this will provide you with more viewing space.
It will be much easier for you to look into and manipulate the images while trying out other different options.
You will need to use a lot of software of different kinds for your interior designing job.
Therefore, choose a laptop that has the ability to run and handle these specific types of software programs and applications.
The different types of software that you need to run for rendering or drafting include AutoCAD 3D, AutoCAD Architecture, Revit Architecture, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat X Pro, any other PDF Creator, Google Sketch Up Pro, Rhino, Podium, and 3DS Max as well.
Battery power of the laptop is also a very important thing to check while choosing one for interior design.
A laptop with long enough battery life will enable you to work on it on the go and away from the power source.
Ideally, it should last for at least 8 to 10 hours on a single charge. Also, it should come with quick charging ability.
Also check the connectivity options of the laptop. It should come with an adequate number of ports and slots to allow you to connect several external devices for interior design work such as an extra monitor with larger screen size, a printer, and others.
It should typically come with enough USB Type C and Type A ports, an HDMI port, and preferably with one or a couple of Thunderbolt ports.
A laptop should be portable, which is why it is preferred over a desktop. Moreover, you will often need to work on the go, in your client’s place and in different sites as well. Therefore, you will need to carry your laptop almost the whole day.
If it is heavy, it will be less portable and your laptop will be more of a burden than your ally, as well as a pain in the neck!
Ideally, any model of laptop weighing within 5 pounds is good enough to consider to be portable, though the lighter ones are preferred more.
At this point however, you should remember that the size of the laptop as well as the hardware components in it will determine its weight.
Also, if you go for those ultra-slim, ultra-light, and ultra-portable laptops, it will add to the price of the device.
Therefore, while choosing your laptop for interior designing, always consider your needs, the things you want to run and do on your laptop, and, of course, your affordability.
Is it necessary for the laptop for interior designers to be 3D ready?
It is better to have this feature in the laptop for interior designing. If the laptop allows 3D viewing of images in 360° angles, it will be better to see your creation in a more realistic manner. However, you will need special software as well as 3D viewing spectacles for that. Since most laptops are not real 3D, it is better that you look for alternative options.
How important is security for laptops for interior designers?
Security is one of the most important things for any laptop or connected devices such as mobile or a tablet. However, in the laptops for interior designers, it is all the more critical because their jobs need a lot of confidentiality. The better security features such as facial ID or fingerprint sensor will prevent unauthorized access to their unique interior designs.
Can I play videos on a laptop for interior designers?
Ideally, you can play videos on any type and brand of laptop. If you buy the latest models for your interior design work, you can even playback 4K videos, though there aren’t many videos recorded in 4K. In most of the cases, the laptop for interior designers will be capable of running videos but for the work as such there may be some additional requirements.
Are gaming laptops good for interior designing projects?
You can have a real debate on this but, yes, you can use a gaming laptop effectively and successfully for your interior designing projects. Ideally, the gaming laptops come with lots of power, better and faster processor and graphics cards, high-quality displays with great resolution and color accuracy, lots of storage and a decent amount of RAM, all of which are necessary for a good laptop for interior design.