Help Me, Laptop: What's the Best Sub-$1,000 2-in-1 for Drawing?

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Drawing with a pen on paper simply isn't enough anymore; 2-in-1 laptops have flooded the market accompanied by styli with thousands upon thousands of points of pressure sensitivity.


But which 2-in-1 is really the best for aspiring artists? User dawn11180 took to the Tom's Guide forums with this very question.

"I am off to college in a month and I am looking for a budget friendly 2-in-1 laptop for drawing. It's a hobby, so I don't need a professional quality laptop. So I am looking for something that can run Photoshop and overall Windows 10. I am not very smart when it comes to specs, I am only a student so I guess keep in mind that my needs are not that high. I would really like it if the laptop supported the wacom pen cause I own one that I love a lot. My budget is $1,000 at the absolute most. Thanks in advance."

Don't worry, dawn11180; we've got you covered. We're going to take you through several choices of 2-in-1 laptops. But first, let's talk about your favorite Wacom pen. If you have a Bamboo Ink, you're ready to go. If not, check out Wacom's compatibility section here to see if the pen you use will work on the laptops we recommend.

If your pen isn't compatible, we recommend investing in a Bamboo Ink pen ($38.99), considering it works with many laptops and is cheaper than most pens that are sold separately. It also offers up to 4,098 levels of pressure sensitivity depending on the device.

Best 2-in-1s for Drawing

Let's start off with the Lenovo Yoga 720, a 15.6-inch 2-in-1 with an Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 2GB of VRAM, all for just $849. That translates to speedy performance, decent storage space and the ability to run some AAA titles, like Rise of the Tomb Raider. Additionally, the battery can last up to 9 hours, and the display is especially crisp and vibrant.


Something that might be more comfortable for drawing is a detachable like the Microsoft Surface Pro, which starts at $799 or $719 for students, parents, teachers and military personnel. It starts with a 7th Gen Intel Core m3 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and an Intel HD 615 graphics card.

MORE: Best Laptops for College Students

It's less powerful than the Yoga, and it can be more expensive, considering that the keyboard is a separate $159 purchase. The battery life is also a little shorter, at 7:30. However, the Surface Pro has a brighter and more colorful display, its 12.3-inch size makes it more portable and it has multiple configurations if you really want more speed. There's also the Surface Pro's kid brother, the Surface Go ($399), which is a smaller, cheaper and even less powerful version of the Surface.


If you decide to go all out, the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 will serve you well with its Intel Core i5-8305G CPU, 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD and Radeon RX Vega M GL GPU with 4GB of VRAM. It's the most powerful of the bunch, and boasts lovely, thin bezels accompanied by an even more colorful display than those on the Yoga and the Surface Pro. But it starts at $1,299, putting it out of your budget.

We hope this helps you on your artistic journey, dawn11180. Let us know what you decide to go with!

Credit: Laptop Mag

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