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What are the best laptops for Cricut Explore Air and Maker? The Cricut Explore Air and Maker are among the top-rated machines for electronic cutting. These machines are extensively used by people and businesses dealing with arts and crafts.
It can cut paper on a special adhesive mat, vinyl, leather, foam paper, and other materials and fabrics for crafting purposes. You can also use these machines as a printer as well to print different designs.
You will need a laptop to run these machines more effectively and conveniently. Apart from Cricut Explore Air and Maker, most of the modern laptops today are able to work with the Air 2 and Joy without any issues whatsoever.
If the laptop that you own currently is unable to work properly with the Cricut Explore Air or Maker even after you have tried out all of the possible troubleshooting steps, it is time to buy a new laptop.
It is always more prudent to buy a laptop that is more than just enough to run these machines but also provides high performance without costing a fortune. Remember, compatibility may not always equate to the best possible performance.
Here is a list of a few laptops that are favorites of an expert and a beginner as well that will ensure precision crafting.
- Laptops for Cricut Explore Air & Maker – Price
- Tips to Connect Cricut Explore Air and Maker to a Laptop
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements Cricut Explore Air and Maker
- 5 Best Laptops for Cricut Explore Air & Maker:
- How to Choose Best Laptops for Cricut Explore Air and Maker?
- Can I use a Chromebook for running Cricut Explore Air and Maker?
- Do I need strong internet access to run Cricut Explore Air and Maker?
- Is Cricut Explore Air and Maker compatible with Mac?
- Can I use the beta app right from my laptop to run Cricut Explore Air and Maker?
- Are gaming laptops any good to run Cricut Explore Air and Maker?
Laptops for Cricut Explore Air & Maker – Price
Tips to Connect Cricut Explore Air and Maker to a Laptop
It is important to ensure that you connect your laptop to these machines properly to get the desired results. If you are wondering how exactly you can do that, then here are the easy steps to do it.
First, you should know that it is much better to connect the Cricut Explore Air and Maker to your laptop through a USB cable, though these come with Bluetooth capabilities, for the initial setup.
The first step of the setup process is to connect the machine to the wall outlet using the power cord included in the machine.
The next step is to connect the machine to your laptop through the included USB cable.
Make sure that the square end of the cable is inserted to the port next to the power port of the Cricut Explore Air. The other end of the USB cable should be connected to the laptop.
Now, make sure that the laptop is connected to the internet and if it is, enter the URL https://design.cricut.com/#/setup in the browser.
Here you will be asked to create your Cricut account. Once done, you should now download the Cricut plugin and then set up the software.
This setting will ensure that your laptop recognizes the Cricut Explore Air or Maker. All you have to do now is download and use the Cricut Design Space software.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements Cricut Explore Air and Maker
If you want to use a laptop for Cricut Explore Air and Maker then you will need to first check whether or not your device comes with at least the minimum system configuration. It must have an Intel Dual Core processor of the i3 family or an equivalent AMD processor.
The RAM amounts should be 4 GB and the available free hard drive space should be 2 GB. An Integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics chip and a 13-inch screen with a 1024 x 768 pixels screen resolution will suffice your basic needs.
However, if you use such a system for more complex jobs, you will not get the desired level of performance and user experience. In that case, you will be better off using a laptop that comes with the recommended specs as follows. This will ensure that the system does not hang up or crash when you put it to heavy use.
Minimum system requirements: 8th generation Intel Core i3 processor or higher| 8 GB of RAM | 256 GB SSD or 1 TB HDD storage | Integrated Intel UHD 620 or better graphics chip | 13.5 inches screen | 1366 x 768 pixels screen resolution
Recommended system requirements: 8th generation Intel Core i5 or higher processor| 16 GB of RAM | 512 GB SSD or larger combo storage | Dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 or higher graphics card | 15.6 inches screen | 1920 x 1080 pixels or higher screen resolution
5 Best Laptops for Cricut Explore Air & Maker:
1. LG Gram 15Z90N – Best Overall
Bottom Line: With a promise to offer the best overall performance than the other laptops in this list, this is one of the best systems that will support all the needs for using Cricut Explore Air or Maker on it. It is due to the efficient handling of the complex data sets by the 10the generation Intel i7 processor.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 256 GB M.2 NVMe SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i7 1065G7
- OS: Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
- GPU: Integrated Iris Plus graphics
- The battery life of the system is very good.
- The screen supports touch.
- There is a Thunderbolt 3 port included.
- The graphics card is integrated.
- The brightness of the screen needs to be more.
- There is no optical drive.
Everything in this laptop seems to be redefined for optimal performance and functionality. The specs and hardware will provide you with all the power you need to run Cricut Explore Air and Maker.
This portable system is a perfect device for working, designing, gaming, and video editing.
It is equipped with a cutting-edge Intel Core i7 processor of the 10th generation that provides adequate power to the integrated Intel Iris plus graphics chip. It also has a strong 80-watt-hour battery with a long life of 17 hours.
The DDR4 SDRAM is adequate and the M.2 NVMe SSD storage is fast to ensure smoother multitasking and faster boot up. In short, this LG gram is a powerful machine in a lightweight yet durable body.
The display is good enough and it delivers images at full HD resolution to see the content with full detail, vivid color and much more clearly.
This fairly large IPS LCD touchscreen will add to your convenience in using it with simple taps, swipes or scrolls and see the images clearly from a wider viewing angle.
The Thunderbolt 3 port included in the system is most versatile. It will support transferring data at a high speed of 40 Gbps, charge your system faster, and display 5K content most smoothly, all at once.
The system is pretty strong to endure daily rigors of usage. The MIL-STD-810G standard certificate validates its endurance for shocks, vibrations, high and low temperature differences, high and low pressure, dust, and salt fog.
You will experience cinematic and rich sound due to the DTS X Ultra feature of the speakers that ensures an immersive 3D Audio Rendering.
With or without your headphones you will hear a loud and rich sound with more bass and less distortion.
You can log into the system instantly without having to type in the password every time you want to boot up. A single touch at the power button will make things simple.
You will have an optimal typing experience with a high level of accuracy due to the backlit keyboard, thanks to its better key travel and feedback.
Whether it is in the day or night, you will be able to see the large keys and the separate 10-key numeric keypad as well very clearly.
2. Microsoft Surface Book 2 – Runner Up
Bottom Line: This runner up laptop comes with an 8th generation Intel quad core processor but 1 TB of storage, an adequate amount of RAM but a smaller screen. These aspects make it the runner up of this list of laptops for Cricut Explore Air or Maker. However, that does not affect its performance adversely.
- Screen: 13.5 inches
- Storage: 1 TB
- RAM: 16 GB
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
- The screen supports touch and Surface Pen.
- The storage of the system is huge.
- The battery life is pretty long.
- The keyboard is small and does not come with a separate numeric keypad.
- The port selection and number are limited.
- There is no optical drive included.
This is another good laptop for Cricut Explore Air and Maker. This system comes with the latest 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 processor which will produce results faster no matter how complex the set of instructions is.
The internal storage of the system is huge which will allow storing a lot of files and folders in it. The amount of RAM operating at a bandwidth of 1866 MHz is also adequate enough to support multitasking.
You will get enough power for 17 long hours even during video playback due to the powerful lithium polymer battery.
The dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card ensures an enhanced performance and faster reproduction of images. It ensures more color accuracy due to its 2 GB dedicated GDDR5 video memory.
This is one of the fastest Surface Book yet, which comes with two times more power in comparison to the previous models.
Whether it is the wireless communication standard of 802.11abg or Bluetooth 4.1 or the new USB Type C port, you can rely on its performance in all aspects.
The PixelSense display exhibits more vibrant images at 3000 x 2000 pixels.
The touch support of this small screen as well as the versatile design of the system allows you to use it in four different modes according to your need and liking.
As a laptop, you will get one of the most powerful, portable and sleek devices to use. You can run all complex software and demanding apps to deal with the intensive tasks you want to perform on it.
The backlit keyboard with its adjustable three levels of brightness will allow you to type comfortably in darker settings with a high level of accuracy.
You can use the large and sensitive trackpad or the interactive touchscreen for better navigation while using the Windows 10 professional operating system.
You can use the Surface Pen to use this system as a standalone tablet by simply detaching the screen from the base to get rid of the keyboard.
You can take this lightweight and powerful Core i7 tablet with PixelSense display anywhere.
As in the Studio mode, you will have to fold the device and use the Surface Pen to draw and sketch directly on the screen in a more comfortable and natural position.
To use it in the view mode, you can detach the screen using the push button, turn it around, and reattach it.
This will help you to share your content while making a presentation.
You can keep your hands free and watch a movie by interacting with your personal assistant Cortana to take on your voice commands. Check out Microsoft Surface Book 2 Review.
3. Asus VivoBook F512FA – Value for Money
Bottom Line: The users who want a steady performance while using Cricut Explore Air or Maker will get it from this laptop in addition to the higher value for money offered by it. The fingerprint sensor, extensive connectivity options, better design, good screen, keyboard, battery, and portability adds to its value.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 128 GB M.2 SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i3 8145U
- OS: Windows 10 in S mode
- GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
- The backlit keyboard is large and comes with a separate 10-key number pad.
- The fingerprint sensor ensures safer and faster login.
- The system offers extensive connectivity options.
- The amount of RAM and SSD is low.
- The graphics card is integrated.
- The trackpad is relatively small and is off-center.
You will see and work more and carry less when you use this laptop. The 15.6-inch screen is large enough and the Nano Edge design makes it look larger with a stunning 88% body to screen ratio.
The webcam is still located at the narrow top bezel. The chassis is thin, light, and compact which makes it most portable, weighing just 3.5 pounds.
The design of this laptop is equally attractive and useful for using it to run Cricut Explore Air and Maker.
For example, the ergo lift hinge is strong and flexible which lifts the keyboard by 2 degrees to provide a better typing position as well as hold the screen firmly into its position at the same time.
This full-size backlit chiclet keyboard comes with large keys with 1.4 mm travel distance and better tactility to provide a smoother typing experience.
The separate 10-key numeric keypad ensures faster data entry and the backlit keys ensure accurate typing even in darker environments.
The trackpad is fairly large, though located a bit on the left side of the palm rest, and is quite sensitive. The fingerprint reader at its top right corner ensures safer and faster login with its Windows Hello support and activation.
The system offers a lot of connecting possibilities in the form of a reversible USB Type C port, an HDMI port, USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 ports, and a Micro SD card reader slot, apart from an audio jack.
You can also connect several other Bluetooth enabled devices with its Bluetooth 4.1 support.
You can also make the best use of its 802.11b, 802.11n, and 802.11ac wireless communication standard for transferring data and to have a strong and reliable internet connection.
The high-quality lithium polymer battery offers enough power to work on this system all day.
It also comes with a fast-charging ability to regain 60% of its total charge in just 49 minutes. However, the life of the battery may vary according to the usage, settings and circumstances.
You will also get powerful and immersive audio output, thanks to the Asus Sonic Master technology, which ensures that the sound is loud, clear, and has deeper bass.
As for the performance of the system, you can rely on its 8th generation Intel core i3 processor which comes with 4 MB cache and can operate at a high speed of up to 3.9 GHz.
The RAM and M.2 SSD storage, both being significantly low, will support its performance just as the Windows 10 operating system.
Though this operating system comes in S mode, you can easily switch out of it and change it to Windows 10 Home. Check out Asus VivoBook F512FA Laptop Review.
4. Dell Inspiron 5570 – A Good Touchscreen and Better Audio
Bottom Line: This laptop for Cricut Explore Air or Maker comes with a good quality touchscreen that enhances both visual and user experience. The visual pleasure is further enhanced by the good quality audio system of this device. The Waves MaxxAudio feature of it produces sound with more bass and clarity.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512 GB M.2 SSD plus 1 TB HDD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Quad Core i5 8250U
- OS: Windows 10
- GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
- The fairly large screen comes with a touch feature.
- The audio quality is quite good.
- The storage space offered is huge.
- The system comes with an integrated graphics chip.
- The bezel all around the screen is thick.
- The trackpad is located a bit on the left of the chassis.
This is another good 15.6-inch laptop to use for Cricut Explore Air and Maker. It has all the specs to run these machines smoothly.
The 16 GB of DDR4 RAM will allow using different apps and browser tabs at the same time.
The huge storage combo of 512 GB M.2 SSD and 1 TB HDD ensures that you save a lot of large files in the system and also get faster accessibility and boot up.
The 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor is one of the most powerful processors. It comes with four cores, eight threads, a base frequency of 1.6 GHz, a Boost frequency of 3.4 GHz, and a huge 6 MB smart cache.
The screen is not only large enough and of good quality but it also supports 10-finger multi-touch feature.
This makes it all more convenient and easier to use the system. The images displayed on this full HD screen are clearer and sharper.
The Intel UHD Graphics 620, though integrated, is also powerful enough and can support a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2304 pixels at 60 Hz.
As for the sound, you will have an immersive listening experience due to the good quality stereo speakers.
It comes with Waves MaxxAudio technology to deliver sound that is deeper in bass and has better tone clarity.
The ports and slots included in this system are adequate. You will get an HDMI port to connect an external display to the device, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A port, and a Gigabit Ethernet LAN port.
You will also get 802.11ac wi-fi communication and Bluetooth support.
The backlit keyboard is large and comes with a separate numeric keypad for faster data entry and comfortable typing experience in poorly lit settings.
5. Lenovo IdeaPad 330S – A Comprehensive Connectivity Option
Bottom Line: This laptop for Cricut Explore Air or Maker offers a comprehensive connectivity option to the users. The ports allow faster data transfer, power-off charging, adding external display, and more. It also comes with a 4-in-1 media card reader that supports multimedia card, SD, SDHC, and SDXC.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 1 TB HDD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM plus 16 GB Intel Optane
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i5 8250U
- OS: Windows 10 Home 64 bit
- GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Both RAM and storage of the system are huge.
- The keyboard is large and comes with a separate numeric keypad.
- There is a 4-in-1 multimedia card reader slot.
- The storage is HDD and not SSD.
- The graphics card is integrated.
- There is no optical drive built in the system.
Right from the operating system to the battery life, everything in this laptop seems to be perfect for running Cricut Explore Air and Maker.
The Windows 10 Home operating system comes with all those familiar and useful features along with a 64-bit architecture that makes it easy to use.
The 15.6-inch display enables you to see clear and crisp images at 1366 x 768 pixels. This HD LED-backlit display is energy efficient as well.
The Intel Core i5 processor is no mean performer in any ways.
Belonging to the 8th generation, this quad core processor that has a 6 MB cache is powerful enough to deal with any given data strings at a speed of 1.6 GHz.
It also supports the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 adequately to ensure that the images are produced seamlessly with higher color accuracy.
It makes up for the huge storage which is HDD with its better and much faster read and write speeds.
The keyboard, though not backlit, is large and includes a 10-key numeric keypad for faster typing and data entry.
You need not worry about the connectivity options offered by the system as you will get adequate use of it.
It includes one USB 3.1 Type C port, two USB 3.0 ports of which one is always on for charging, one HDMI 2.0 port, and one microphone/headphone 2-in-1 combination jack.
There is also a 4-in-1 media card reader slot that supports SD, multimedia card, SDHC, and SDXC. The device also offers Intel 802.11ac wireless wi-fi and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity.
The life of the 30-watt-hour, 2-cell battery is also good enough to provide adequate power for a significantly long time.
How to Choose Best Laptops for Cricut Explore Air and Maker?
In order to make sure that you choose a laptop to run Cricut Explore Air and Maker which will also provide you with the best value in return, here are the things that you should look into in particular.
As you may know, the processor is the most important component, in fact the ‘brain’ of a computer.
This is one component that cannot be replaced in most situations, laptops in particular. Therefore, you must make the best choice so that it meets all your requirements.
If you plan to use your laptop only for running Cricut Explore Air and Maker along with a few other basic computing tasks, you can surely go with those budget range i3 processors and expect to do well.
These processors will provide you with a fairly decent performance for your designing and cutting work.
On the other hand, if you want to use other programs on your laptop and multitask with several of them open at the same time, you will need to choose a higher range of processor, probably an i5, to be better off.
An i5 processor of 6th generation or above will not only perform better and more smoothly but will also be able to handle the software updates in the future.
This does not mean an Intel Core i3 processor will not be able to run powerful designing software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Corel Draw, but you may experience poor performance sometimes.
However, it is not necessary to go with the Intel Core i7 processors because these CPUs will consume more battery life and will also be expensive, unnecessarily.
The memory or RAM of the laptop will also play a significant role in your choice.
This is due to the fact that most of the internet browsers today depend a lot on memory when it comes to speed and performance. Therefore, you will need to have a significant amount of it in your laptop.
Moreover, if you want to multitask with many programs simultaneously, you will also need a lot of RAM in your laptop.
If you go by the official recommendations, you must choose a laptop with at least 4 GB of memory.
However, to be better off while using Cricut Explore Air and Maker and do some serious multitasking, choosing one with 8 GB of RAM will be a more prudent decision.
Moreover, always buy a device that will allow upgrading the memory in the future.
Choosing the right display for your laptop to run Cricut Explore Air and Maker will not be very difficult.
This is because most of the laptops today come with a display that will have more than the recommended resolution and other display requirements.
Ideally, you should go with a full HD display that will deliver images with 1920 pixels in width and 1080 pixels in height, which means it will have 2073600 pixels.
The higher the number of pixels of a screen, the sharper the image produced.
Such types of displays are ideal for those who work with very complicated designs. Yes, you can always go for higher resolutions than full HD, if your budget permits.
The storage capacity of your laptop is more of a personal choice and will depend mostly on your requirements.
For example, if you need to store a large number of files that are huge in size individually, you will then need to have a drive of larger storage capacity to store the data.
However, there is no particular storage need for running Cricut Explore Air and Maker on a laptop.
Still, to be on the safe side and to meet your future storage needs, you should go with a laptop with at least 256 GB of storage.
Irrespective of the size of the storage, make sure that you always go with an SSD, though these are costlier than the conventional HDDs.
An SSD will provide better performance, faster file accessing and system booting.
In addition to that, the other advantages of an SSD storage include being lighter, less prone to damages, low generation of heat and low consumption of energy.
You can also choose a laptop with a combo storage of a small SSD and large HDD to take advantage of both speed and space, but at a lower price.
Since you will need to connect a lot of devices externally with your laptop, make sure that it comes with a lot of ports and slots.
A few essential ports that it should have are a standard USB Type A port to connect Cricut, a couple of latest versions of other types of USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 ports.
It must also have an HDMI port to connect an external display to your laptop, a DisplayPort, and preferably a Thunderbolt 3 port.
It is also good to have an additional Ethernet port, which most thin and portable laptops of today do not come with, if you do not have a wireless network in your workplace or home.
Finally, if you do not want to sit with your laptop all day plugged into an electrical outlet, look for one that comes with a fairly decent battery life.
Ideally, a battery life of 8 to 10 hours on a single charge is desirable in a laptop to run Cricut Explore Air and Maker.
However, do not believe blindly on whatever is advertised by the manufacturers regarding battery life.
This is because they do so while testing the battery under controlled settings which may be much different from your workplace or the real world.
Also, the battery life may vary according to the system settings and environment as well. Read quite a lot of reviews to get a fair idea.
Can I use a Chromebook for running Cricut Explore Air and Maker?
Well, in short, no. Ideally, Cricut Design Space software will need a Windows or Mac operating system. Since the Chromebooks run on the operating system of Google, it will not be compatible with these programs.
Do I need strong internet access to run Cricut Explore Air and Maker?
Yes, and in fact you will need quite a strong internet connection if you intend to run Cricut Design Space on your laptop, which is mainly an online program.
Is Cricut Explore Air and Maker compatible with Mac?
Yes, it is. The Cricut Design Space software is not compatible only with Unix or Linux based computers, and of course with Chromebooks, as mentioned earlier.
Can I use the beta app right from my laptop to run Cricut Explore Air and Maker?
Yes, you can. With the offline version of Cricut, you can install the beta app right from your computer without needing to visit their official site design.cricut.com and enjoy the unique features.
Are gaming laptops any good to run Cricut Explore Air and Maker?
Yes, they are. Most of the gaming laptops have the specs to meet the minimum requirements of Cricut Explore Air and Maker, and even exceed them in most of the cases while using Design Space.