Having a laptop that matches your creative workflow can be critical to saving you time so you can make more content and spend less time complaining about your equipment. Fortunately, there is an incredible variety of laptop systems powered by Intel® 11th generation processors that can fit almost any professional style, ranging from in-studio photo shoots to editing videos on location and capturing your masterful moves during a livestream.
In addition to their versatility, these laptops can be the perfect companion because they’re certified to meet the Intel® Evo™ design standard, which includes a long-lasting battery, super-slim screen bezels, and Wi-Fi 6 compatibility so that you can quickly upload and share your work. Perhaps most importantly, Intel® Evo™ systems support Thunderbolt™ 4 technology. Not only can you transfer power and up to 40 Gb/s with compatible devices such as external storage drives through a single port, adding a compatible dock may significantly boost your workflow efficiency with multiple 4K monitors, high-speed Ethernet connections, and more.
Now, let’s check out the systems that might best suit your creative needs.
Taking on the Outdoors
Whether you’re hiking up mountainous trails to catch the perfect light of the sunrise, roaming the streets under towering city skyscrapers, or capturing every crowd-cheering moment at an event, you need a laptop that won’t weigh you down. At the same time, a fast processor and SSD are must-haves as you sift through dozens of high-resolution RAW photo files. Power outlets might be hard to come by while you’re on location, so a long-lasting battery is also a must.
That might sound like a tall order, but the ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 checks off all the boxes. Available with either an 11th gen 2.4 GHz Intel® Core™ i5 or 2.8 GHz i7 quad-core processor, this compact yet powerful laptop features a 14" PANTONE validated 1920 x 1080 FHD resolution touchscreen that supports 100% of the sRGB spectrum. What makes the ZenBook Duo 14 stand out is the 12.65" ScreenPad Plus touchscreen, which is located right below the main screen. Not only can you use the second screen to expand your viewable space, but it can also significantly boost your creative workflow with a variety of built-in apps. Models come equipped with 8GB of memory, a fast 512GB solid-state drive, and integrated Intel® Iris™ Xe Graphics to multitask applications. It also includes a stylus for detailed editing, and let’s not forget about the convenient UHS-II microSD card reader, which saves you from the hassle of connecting your digital camera or drone to your laptop using cables while freeing your 10 Gb/s USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A and 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt™ 4 ports for other peripherals.
If you’re hesitant about not having a discrete graphics card to help you process your content, then don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Although the integrated Intel® Iris™ Xe Graphics is capable of handling a large variety of tasks, the 14" HP ENVY 14-eb0010nr Laptop complements its 2.4 GHz Intel® Core™ i5 CPU with dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q graphics that’s backed by 16GB of RAM and a 256GB M.2 SSD that work together to help accelerate a variety of creative applications. Similar to the ZenBook, the HP ENVY weighs less than 3.5 pounds and its 1920 x 1200 resolution touchscreen also supports 100% of the sRGB gamut. It doesn’t include a stylus, but it does have a handy microSD card slot and a fingerprint reader that lets you quickly log into Windows without having to type in a password while out in public.
Those who want uncompromising performance from a compact 14.4" laptop should check out the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio. This deceptively small system is packed with power, with configurations that range from 3.1 GHz Intel® Core™ i5 quad-core processors with 16GB of memory and a 256GB SSD, to high-end 3.3 GHz Intel® Core™ i7-11370H quad-core models outfitted with 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage. Topping it off is a 2400 x 1600 resolution and 120 Hz PixelSense Flow touchscreen that’s backed by either Intel® Iris™ Xe or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics, depending on your needs. The screen can also tilt outward on a 180-degree hinge for an up-close view or flat tablet configuration. Picking up a Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2 stylus helps to complete the experience when sketching and editing photos.
Crushing Video Render Times
A discrete graphics card can make all the difference when it comes to working with digital video. Whether you’re making a handful of 10-minute shorts or cutting together an hour+ long feature at 4K resolution, accelerating rendering speeds with a dedicated GPU, a powerful CPU, plenty of memory, and a large storage drive help you to produce more content in less time. The same principle goes for 3D modeling and game design, which is when you need a high-performance mobile workstation.
The 15.6" HP ZBook Firefly 15 G8 can be outfitted with an 11th generation Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7 processor, up to 32GB of memory, a 512GB SSD, and professional-grade NVIDIA Quadro T500 graphics to run demanding applications and large projects. If you need more performance, then check out the HP ZBook Studio G8. Equipping it with a 2.6 GHz Intel® Core™ i9 eight-core processor, 32GB of memory, a 1TB M.2 PCIe SSD, and NVIDIA Quadro RTX A2000 GPU makes short work of almost any task you throw at it. Its 15.6" display supports a 3840 x 2160 resolution PANTONE validated screen that delivers 100% of the DCI-P3 gamut for stunning color accuracy.
The 15.6" Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Mobile Workstation also offers much of the same performance and security features as a ZBook Studio G8 that’s outfitted with a 2.5 GHz Core™ i7-11850H eight-core processor, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and NVIDIA Quadro RTX A2000 graphics. Its 3840 x 2160 resolution display also provides 100% of the Adobe RGB gamut. However, the Lenovo ThinkPad P15 outweighs the ZBook Studio G8 by more than two pounds, so deciding between the two systems depends mostly on personal taste and how much traveling you intend to do with it.
Power and Flexibility
Content creators who usually work from a studio or home may want to go for bigger screen sizes, but if you occasionally cover on-location events, then you can check out 16" laptops such as the MSI Creator Z16, with high-end models that can be configured with Core i9 processors. The Calman verified 2560 x 1600 touchscreen covers 100% of the DCI-P3 gamut with a 120 Hz refresh rate, backed by NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics.
Similar specs may be found in the ASUS ProArt StudioBook laptop, which has a stunning PANTONE validated 3840 x 2400 OLED display and a Core™ i7 eight-core CPU. Alternatively, you might lose some screen space with Razer's 15.6" Razer Blade 15 Advanced Model, but what’s inside the slim laptop makes up for it. This laptop can be fully configured with an i9 processor, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, a 4K OLED touchscreen, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics while weighing a bit more than four pounds. With it, you can capture videos from your favorite games and edit them for social media from almost anywhere.
If portability isn’t much of a concern, then 17.3" systems such as the MSI Creator 17 might be more your style. Designed for creative professionals, this desktop replacement laptop can take on 8K HDR raw video editing and large 3D models. You take in every detail during your tethered photo shoots on the 3840 x 2160, 120 Hz display, which covers 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut for precise color accuracy. Inside is a 2.5 GHz i9-11900H processor, 32GB of RAM, and 2TB of fast storage. Once you’re finished editing, you can connect to compatible high-speed networks through the 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port to upload your content quickly.
With the wide diversity of sizes and features, these Intel® 11th generation laptops can match almost any creative workflow. Which system best suits your needs? Let us know in the Comments section, below.