In This Article
Creative professionals require powerful computers to do their best work. Unfortunately, this means their set-up costs can run notoriously high.
But fear not! If you’re creative you can still get yourself a new computer that delivers exceptional performance at an affordable price. The solution? An i7 Windows laptop!
Ranking among the finest laptop CPUs on the market, Core i7 processors surpass Core i3 and Core i5 chips in performance and are more cost-effective and cooler than Core i9 models, making them highly sought-after by graphic designers, video editors, animators, motion graphic designers, and more.
Luckily, these days, Core i7 laptops are widely available, so you’ll definitely be able to find one that suits your needs.
To help your search, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best Core i7 Windows laptops currently on the market. But before we dive into it, let’s quickly go over what specs you should be considering when buying a Windows i7 laptop.
What to Look for in a Laptop for Creatives
Processor: Demanding creative applications like Adobe Premiere or Photoshop require powerful processors, which is why we recommend you pick a laptop that is equipped with a Core i7.
Graphics: Computers with dedicated graphics cards can greatly enhance performance for graphic designers, animators, and motion graphics professionals.
RAM: At a minimum, you’re going to want to buy a laptop with 16GB of RAM. This will ensure you experience smooth multitasking even when using resource-intensive applications.
Display: If you work with visual content, a high-resolution display with accurate colour reproduction is a must.
Storage: If you are routinely storing large project files we recommend you get a laptop with a minimum of 512GB of SSD storage.
Dell XPS 13 Plus (CAD $$1,849.00 on Dell Canada)
The recently released Dell XPS 13 Plus is an exceptional all-around Core i7 laptop. This fan-favourite computer comes equipped with the ultra-powerful 12th Gen i7-1270P processor and boasts a slew of noteworthy specs. These include a slick new chassis, an upgraded 4K UHD display, and Intel’s impressive Xe graphics card. What’s more, this laptop is highly customizable; you can opt for storage of up to 2TB as well as an upgrade to DDR5 RAM.
HP Spectre x360 (CAD $2,099.99 on HP.com)
The HP Spectre x360 is a versatile two-in-one laptop that combines an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with an integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics card. In addition, it features a 13.3″ Full HD touch display, making it particularly useful for designers who prefer digital drawing.
What sets the Spectre apart from its competitors, is its top-notch battery life and lightweight design. Because of this, it’s the perfect option for creatives who find themselves regularly working while on the move.
MSI Creator M16 Laptop (CAD $1,471.00 on Amazon)
Purpose-built for content creators, the MSI Creator M16 Laptop can easily support the multitasking needs of both video editors and graphic designers. This compact yet powerful laptop features a 12th gen Intel Core i7-12650H CPU and 32 GB DDR4 SDRAM – an amazing combo capable of supporting the demands of intensive media creation. Other notable features include a 16-inch 2K, 60Hz DCI-P3 screen, and 1TB of SSD storage.
Acer Swift 3 (CAD $859.99 on Amazon)
Don’t let the Acer Swift 3’s highly affordable price tag fool you. This compact, student-friendly laptop packs enough power to support most kinds of creative work. For starters, it’s equipped with the exceptionally fast Intel EVO 11th Gen processor and comes with Windows 10 Home preinstalled.
As a result, you can expect lightning-fast start-up times and fairly smooth multitasking capabilities. The downside of the Acer Swift is that it only features 8GB of RAM and comes with a somewhat mediocre display.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (CAD $1,299.99 on Amazon)
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 is a stylish, high-performing option that’s perfect for creatives who want a two-in-one laptop-tablet solution. This laptop builds on the highly popular Surface 5, which was released in 2021. This time around, the Surface 5 comes with an upgraded 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U processor.
According to Microsoft, the addition of this new processor gives the computer a 50% performance boost over its predecessor as well as a longer battery life!
Alternatives to i7 Windows Laptops
AMD: Lenovo Legion 5 (AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, 15.6″ FHD display, CAD $1,499.99 on Amazon)
One standout alternative to the Windows i7 laptops listed above is the Lenovo Legion 5. This sleek laptop features an equally powerful AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor as well as a 5.6″ Full HD display. In addition, it comes with a top-of-the-line NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. Because of this, the Lenovo Legion 5 is quite on par with Dell XPS 13 Plus or MSI M16 Creator Laptop.
Mac: MacBook Pro 16-inch (Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max, 16.2″ Liquid Retina XDR display, starting at CAD $3,199.00 on Apple Store)
Of course, many designers prefer macOS and are willing to pay a premium for Mac products. In this case, in 2023, we’d recommend you go all in with the MacBook Pro 16-inch.
This powerhouse laptop comes outfitted with Apple’s M1 Pro or M1 Max chip, both of which deliver blazing-fast performance. Moreover, the laptop features Apple’s stunning 16.2″ Liquid Retina XDR display and can be bought to include 32GB of unified memory.
Ultimately, if you’re a creative professional in search of a high-performing laptop, a Windows Intel i7 is undoubtedly a reliable choice. But when you’re shopping, remember to consider factors beyond the computer’s processor, including its graphics, RAM, display, and storage capacity.
While opting for an Intel i7 certainly narrows down your options, there are still countless choices available to you. Rest assured, the laptops featured in this list all deliver the exceptional performance required to produce high-quality creative work.
So, take your pick!
P.S. If you’re interested in breaking into Canada’s creative industry then sign up for Toronto Film School’s free industry-focused newsletter, Insider Advantage.
Packed with exclusive content and useful industry insights, Insider Advantage is essential reading for anyone looking to make their mark as a creative.