The best laptop for Cricut needn’t be the most expensive or the most powerful computer. But for good all-round functionality, it should have a number of features, such as a touchscreen or large display, at least 8GB of RAM and a fast up-to-date processor. The good news is you can get these features and more these days without costing you a lot of money.
From lightweight 2-in-1 devices to powerful gaming laptops, running Windows or macOS, there are suitable options to be found across a range of different laptops. A touchscreen is particularly beneficial and needn’t come at a significant price premium. After hands-on reviewing or extensive evaluation, we’ve carefully picked our favourites for this list. If you’d rather get a Chromebook for your crafting, see our best Chromebooks for Cricut guide.
If you don’t yet have a Cricut, see our guide to the best Cricut machines too, and take a look at the best Cricut alternatives for something different. The best laptops for Cricut below will work with all digital craft machines.
The Dell XPS 15 isn’t just ideal for Cricut users, it’s one of the best laptops on the market. The base model is enough for many crafting needs, but the higher spec model with touchscreen support makes for a truly spectacular choice.
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2. ASUS Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED
The ultra-lightweight Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED features a versatile 360° ErgoLift hinge, a long-lasting battery and superb connectivity. Then there’s the stunning 16:10 2.8K OLED touchscreen, which is PANTONE Validated for colour fidelity. It’s one heck a machine for the money.
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The 15-inch Surface Laptop 5 has a gorgeous touchscreen and is ideal for creating projects in Cricut Design Space, as well as working in other creative apps like Photoshop or Affinity Designer. The base model should be enough for crafters.
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4. MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
We think this is ideal for Cricut on the go. It’s whisper-quiet thanks to Apple’s M2 chip and fanless design and offers around 18 hours of battery life. The stunning screen provides up to 500 nits of brightness and P3 colour coverage.
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5. Microsoft Surface Pro 9
The Surface Pro 9 flips between laptop and tablet with ease, making it the best of both worlds. It fits nicely on top of the Cricut Maker 3 and Cricut Explore 3, too. Get the Intel i5 model and you’ll be running Design Space nicely.
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6. Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3
A competitively priced laptop that’s built to last, we found the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 offers up to 15 hour of battery life, a crisp 12.4-inch touchscreen, and decent performance for crafting in the base model.
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best macbook pro
7. MacBook Pro M3 14-inch
For the first time, the 14-inch MacBook Pro has been given the base M chip, making for a lower entry price with the benefits of a sleek pro chassis, including a fabulous screen. It’s still not exactly cheap. But it is a very solid long term investment.
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8. Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED
An Intel i9 processor, OLED display and an NVIDIA Geforce RTX 4060 GPU for around $1,200 / £1,000? What’s not to love. When it comes to mid-range laptops the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED is wonderfully specced.
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The Acer Aspire 3 Spin 14 isn’t the slickest laptop on the planet, but you get a lot for very little money. The 14-inch display supports touch and stylus input, folds 360 degrees into tablet mode and offers a decent 1,920 by 1,200 resolution. Performance is find for this price point.
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The best laptops for Cricut in full
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The best laptop for Cricut overall
The Dell XPS 15 isn’t just an ideal choice for Cricut users, its also one of the best laptops on the market period. It’s packed with some seriously powerful components, with configurations available that include the latest 13th Gen Intel processors and a choice of Intel Arc A370M up to Nvidia RTX 4070 graphics card for those of you that might want to play games or run 3D applications, though integrated Intel UHD graphics is also an option if you don’t have a lot of cash to drop on the top-spec model.
You can even choose to replace the standard LCD display with a gorgeous OLED panel if you really have the cash to burn, providing vivid colours and accurate black tones, and you can bump the storage up from 512GB to a whopping 4TB SSD to save all of your projects without needing to rely on external or cloud storage. Also remember that a touchscreen doesn’t come as standard on all models. So, you may have to option the OLED panel if you want that functionality.
Is all this slightly overkill for use with a Cricut machine? Yes, but it means you can manage every area of your business without being bogged down by underpowered tech, from creating designs for the Cricut to everyday admin such as running social media accounts or managing an online store.
It’s amazing what you get from a reasonably priced mid-tier laptop these days. The ASUS Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED packs a huge amount into its slick, magnesium frame.
Highlights include a 13.3-inch OLED touch display with 2,800 by 1,880 pixels, 550 nits, Pantone validation and 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut. Then there’s a powerful CPU, dual Thunderbolt 4 ports for super speedy connectivity, and an Asus Pen 2.0 with 4,096 pressure levels fro precise inking.
It’s also super long lasting, with up to 14 hours of battery life and has a 360-hunge, with support for alternative modes such as tent and tablet. Frankly, the things the ASUS Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED lacks, like using 12th Gen Intel CPUs and not being available with a dedicated graphics chip really don’t matter for Cricut and are only factors if you also want to use this laptop for much, much more demanding work or gaming.
If there is a catch, it’s that this very modern laptop lacks legacy USB-A and HDMI ports. So, you’ll need adapters if those connectivity types are critical for you.
The new Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 is a good option for Cricut users and digital crafters in general because it has a number of good plus points, for example you can get a 15-inch touchscreen model that is perfect for creating projects in Cricut Design Space.
Being a Windows 11 device it runs Cricut Design Space perfectly, and it means you can run Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, or another high-end graphics software like CorelDRAW or Affinity Designer. The base model is a little under-powered (8GB RAM these days is a little shy) and it can mean, as I found in my Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 review, that if you’re running multiple intensive apps this laptop can slow down.
But, as a crafter the chances of you maxing out this laptop’s power will be rare as Cricut Design Space is a low-intensity app. So for Cricut users the lower spec models will do perfectly fine. It’s that large touchscreen that impresses, however, and is the reason why it just pips above the excellent Apple MacBook Air (M2) below.
Best battery life
The MacBook Air was already a great laptop for Cricut makers, but it got even better in summer 2022 when Apple added the M2 chip. This increases the performance over the M1 predecessor, while still bringing the same incredible efficiency Apple’s laptops are now known for.
That efficiency translates into two things: whisper-quiet operation and long-lived battery performance. In fact, the MacBook Air doesn’t even need a fan, meaning it’s completely silent at all times. And with about 18 hours of battery life, you can work on your Cricut designs almost anywhere you want to, even if there are no power outlets nearby.
With such a good display built-in, you Cricut designs will always look their best. Apple has baked in support for the P3 color gamut and offers True Tone tech and up to 500 nits of brightness. That’ll help make designing for Cricut machines an absolute breeze.
Our only complaint is the lack of port variety. While the MacBook Air’s Thunderbolt 4 ports are incredibly speedy, you’ll need an adapter if your peripherals don’t use the USB-C connector. Still, that’s a small price to pay for what is otherwise a truly excellent laptop. See our MacBook Air (M2, 2022) review for more details.
The new Surface Pro 9 from Microsoft is an excellent option if you like Windows OS and are looking for a laptop that can do everything. The Surface Pro 9 can flip between tablet and laptop modes with ease, which makes it a nice option to have.
In my Surface Pro 9 review I found the clip-on keyboard to be excellent quality and highly responsive, and there’s some nice design notes too, such as the hidden stylus bay for keeping the pen safe. When in tablet mode the Surface Pro 9 is about the size of an iPad Pro in depth and the 13-inch screen is superb. It’s the perfect size to fit into the tablet slot on top of the Cricut Maker 3 and Cricut Explore 3.
You’ll likely use this in tablet mode more often than not for Cricut Design Space, as the stylus and touchscreen makes it easy to use. The Intel i5 and i7 model has enough power to run any full software too, such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW. The less powered ARM SQ3 build will struggle but runs Design Space just fine (the advantage here is the extra battery life and 5G connectivity) but if you’re working from home on Cricut projects, I’d suggest the Intel i5 model.
Best budget option
Competitively priced laptops tend to feel cheap and fragile. But not the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3. It’s very high quality and built to last.
Performance wise, the 12th Gen Intel i5-1235U isn’t exactly cutting edge, but it has plenty of grunt for Cricut and other daily tasks. The base model also comes with 8GB of RAM, which again is enough for mainstream applications.
The battery life of up to 15 hours is absolutely fantastic, too. So, the main downside is relatively small 12.4-inch screen. However, it is a good quality display and supports touch input. Connectivity is a little limited, too, with just one USB-C port, a USB-A, audio jack, and Microsoft’s Surface Connect interface. Think of it as being Microsoft’s alternative to the old but still available MacBook Air M1. Is it quite as good as the Apple alternative? Nope. But if you want a want a Windows device, this is a nice choice.
Best MacBook Pro
For 2023, Apple has introduced the new M3 chip family and with that comes a cheaper MacBook Pro 14 model than before. Where the previous 14-inch MacBook Pro models were only offered with the Pro and Max chips, the latest MacBook Pro 14 can be had with the base M3.
That allows for a cheaper entry point while offering more than enough performance for Cricut and other daily tasks. Even the base M3 chip is very powerful. But the good news is that the new base model offers nearly all of the other upsides you get with other MacBook Pro 14s.
For starters, that means the best build quality in the business. This thing is an absolute delight, physically. Then there’s the 14.2-inch, 3,024 by 1,964 pixel Liquid Retina XDR. With full array local local dimming and up to 1,600 nits of brightness, it’s one of the very best screens in any laptop. And, of course, you get ridiculously good battery life. In fact, this M3 MacBook Pro 14 might just be the best yet by that measure with 22 hours of claimed video playback.
As for downsides, well this new base model only has two rather than three Thunderbolt 4 ports. It’s also not cheap even with any options. Add anything to the base spec and it very quickly gets awfully expensive.
The Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED is a surprisingly powerful and adaptable laptop for its mid-range price point. Not only does that OLED screen impress with its superb colours and brightness, but it features an Intel i9 and NVIDIA Geforce RTX 4060 graphics card for under $1,500.
In our Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED review, writer Beth Nicholls was impressed: “It’s fast and reliable, but not the best if you need a premium workhorse laptop, sitting at the mid-range level of creative workstations.”
This laptop can handle 3D modelling run Adobe software, so you’re good if you like creating Cricut projects in Illustrator and importing to Design Space, and you can even finish off the day with a light gaming session too. Beth does note in her review this lacks some higher-end features, like a “fancy hinge”, but for the money it’s great value from a trusted brand.
Best basic option
If you’re looking for a budget laptop to use with Cricut’s Design Space software, may we suggest the Acer Aspire 3 Spin 14. It’s an eminently affordable portable PC but won’t leave you feeling horribly short changed.
Firstly, there’s a decent 14-inch display with 1,9020 by 1,200 resolution. Even better, it’s a touchscreen with a 360-degree hinge with tablet mode and stylus input support. That’s pretty trick at this price point.
You also get 8GB of RAM at a very competitive price point. The CPU is a modern 12th Gen Intel model with eight cores, albeit they are eight Efficient cores. This chip doesn’t have any Performance cores.
There isn’t a huge array of connectivity, either. But with USB-C, USB-A and HDMI, most bases are covered. Battery life is rated at six hours, which is likewise nothing special. But for a budget machine, this remains a pretty strong all-rounder.
Best dual screen
The Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 14 OLED might appear to be a gimmicky option, but hear us out on this one. That second display squeezed underneath the main screen can be used to boost productivity for those who run a business around their Cricut machines, so you can display customer orders, design work progress or even just your instant messages or music player.
And of course as the name suggests, you’re getting a beautiful OLED display that provides rich black tones, alongside a 120Hz refresh rate and 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut. This isn’t just a great laptop for Cricut users, but graphic designers and content creators in general thanks to it being seemingly designed for creative professionals.
That lovely screen will make your Cricut designs really pop, and it comes equipped with the latest 13th-generation on Intel processors, as well as plenty of RAM and the option of up to a GeForce RTX 4060 GPU, which makes it suitable for playing a few video games in your downtime.
Our only issue during tests (see our review of the original Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED with 12th Gen Intel processors for more details) was lacklustre battery life, but if you’re looking for a truly unique creative workstation laptop to help run a Cricut business, the Asus Zenbook Duo 14 OLED is a solid choice.
Best of the rest
HP’s Pavilion x360 laptop has one big advantage for Cricut makers: it can be flipped over into tablet mode, with the keyboard tucking behind the display. That’s perfect for when you want to gain a proper appreciation for your designs up close and focus entirely on the screen.
And with the included pen, you’ll be able to mark up your designs thanks to the build-in touchscreen. That brings a new angle to Cricut designing, letting you annotate your work in an app like Photoshop and then share with likeminded designers and get feedback.
Elsewhere, the HP Pavilion x360 is a fairly lightweight laptop, and certainly won’t be breaking any performance records. But that means it’s also very affordable, so means you don’t need to break the bank to get a good companion laptop for your Cricut machine.
How to choose the best laptop for Cricut
What’s the best laptop for Cricut Explore Air 2, Cricut Maker 3, Cricut Explore 3, and other Cricut machines? The good news is that the above requirements are met by a wide range of Windows laptops and MacBooks, including many budget models. If you’re really short of cash, be aware that you don’t actually need a laptop to run Cricut’s Design Space. You can use a smartphone or tablet instead.
However, there are two reasons why you might want to go for one of the more expensive laptops on the market instead. Firstly, because it’s going to provide a better computing experience in general. And secondly, because some of the more advanced Cricut features, such as Offset, are not supported with the minimum system requirements but require higher system specs, such as Windows 10 64-bit. Essentially, the more you spend, the better your experience will be; both when using Cricut machines and when doing general computing tasks.
What kind of laptop do you need for a Cricut?
All of the devices in our pick of the best laptops for Cricut meet the system requirements for the devices’ software and then some. However, if you choose a different laptop, make sure it meets the basic Cricut system requirements below. Note that if it’s a Windows laptop, it must be running a full version of Windows, as opposed to Windows S mode.
- Operating system: Windows 8 or later
- CPU: Intel Dual-Core or equivalent AMD processor
- RAM: 4GB
- Free disk space: 2 GB free disk space
- Connectivity: USB port or Bluetooth connection
- Display: 1024px x 768px screen resolution
- Operating system: macOS 10.15 or later
- CPU: 1.83 GHz
- RAM: 4GB
- Free disk space: 2GB
- Connectivity: USB port or Bluetooth connection
- Display: 1,024px x 768px screen resolution
How we test
Laptops are technologically complex and oh so varied in features and form factors. That means numerous capabilities that need to be tested, prodded and assessed. Cricut isn’t the most demanding application, but a good screen is still important, with brightness, contrast, colour coverage and pixel density all on the list.
Touch responsiveness including support for input pens is also key, with the number of pressure levels supported always an important factor. Next up we assess overall form factor, portability and build quality, which in this context means everything from conventional clamshell laptops to 2-in-1s and tablet convertibles with detachable keyboards and even foldable laptops.
You absolutely don’t need an epic 16-core CPU or powerful graphics chip for Cricut, but we test laptops to ensure a decent baseline of both GPU and processor performance.
Connectivity is another key element for any laptop, which means looking out for features like Thunderbolt tom ensure plnty of bandwidth, USB-C for univrsal connectivity and the specification of wireless interfaces. Good battery life is of course always desirable for any portable drawing device.
We also assess ergonomics, build and usability, including keyboard quality, chassis rigidity, trackpad response and more to build up a practical picture of how well a laptop performs in the real world rather than merely benchmarks.