Wallpaper* wants… five creative laptops that go above and beyond

Five of the best laptops for creatives now – devices that pack power and functionality

Apple MacBook Pro 16"
Apple MacBook Pro 16in
(Image credit: press)

We’re not that far away from folding laptop screens, a technology that promises to shake up the longstanding form factor of these must-have machines. In the meantime, here are five of the best laptops for creatives now – devices that pack the most power and functionality into the familiar laptop format.

Five of the best laptops for creators

1. Apple MacBook M1 Pro Max

Apple MacBook M1 Pro Max, one of five best laptops

(Image credit: courtesy of Apple)

With the recent announcement of the latest M1 silicon, Apple’s flagship MacBook M1 Pro has taken another step forwards into the realm of true portable supercomputers. As well as blazing speeds, there’s a 1080p forward-facing camera, six-speaker on-board sound, the welcome return of the MagSafe charge cable and up to a 16.2in display (capable of showing 7.7 million pixels). The tech specs reach for the skies as well, with up to 64GB of memory and 1TB of solid-state storage. Whether your tools are Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, or Photoshop, the M1 Pro Max is a laptop that will serve you well.

MacBook Pro 16-inch, from £2,399, apple.com

2. Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, one of five best laptops

(Image credit: courtesy of Microsoft)

The latest flagship in Microsoft’s increasingly admired Surface series, the Laptop Studio takes a powerhouse computer and blends it with the flexible screen functionality of a tablet. Capable of running a couple of secondary monitors thanks to the advanced graphics processor, the Laptop Studio has a host of optional extras that include the Surface Dock 2 and the Surface Slim Pen 2, which docks magnetically with the case, stowed away neatly beneath the keypad. The angled screen can be moved into tablet and pen mode, or set at a halfway point, making it a perfect viewing platform with easy access to the touchpad. A removable solid-state hard drive adds a welcome layer of security and the whole device exudes class and solidity. 

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, from £1,449, microsoft.com

3. Dell XPS 13 Plus

Dell XPS 13 Plus

(Image credit: courtesy of Dell)

Dell’s XPS series has been a mainstay of performance, functionality, and reliability for many years. The latest model in the series, the XPS 13 Plus, strips back the chassis to a minimal core, with a haptic glass touchpad that blends into the case, and an edge-to-edge keyboard design. Capacitive touch keys replace the function buttons on the top row, and the case itself is available in light or dark grey. The aluminium components are made using hydro-power renewable energy sources, taking a slight edge off the environmental cost of upgrading. 

Dell XPS 13 Plus, from £1,300, dell.com

4. Asus ZenBook Duo

ASUS ZenBook Duo

(Image credit: courtesy of Asus)

The ZenBook Duo is one of a new breed of notebooks with maxed-out screen real estate. In the case of the Duo, that means an additional touchscreen set beneath the 15.6in 4K main display. Intended as a place for icons, toolbars, shortcuts, thumbnails, handwriting input, digital controls for audio workstations, palettes for artists or even video conferencing. The machine comes with a bundled stylus to make the most of the additional space, and there’s integrated audio from Harmon/Kardon and up to 1TB of onboard storage. 

ASUS ZenBook Duo, from £2,500, asus.com

5. Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 laptop

(Image credit: courtesy of Asus)

Lenovo’s ThinkBook Plus takes a slighter more restrained approach to dual screens, combining a 17in main display with a tablet-sized 8in touchscreen set alongside the keyboard. The laptop has an unusual 21:10 aspect ratio on the primary screen, a first for the industry, creating a device that’s long and slim. Up to 2TB of storage is available, with 12th Gen Intel Core H-Series processors doing the legwork of powering the various displays.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3, price tbc, lenovo.com

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.