Is MacBook Air Good for Graphic Design? – By Pro Designers

MacBook Airs (old releases) used to be good for those mid-range (casual type) graphic design apps i.e. Photoshop, Illustrator, Affinity, etc. The latest MacBook Air (with beast M1 chip) is also undoubtedly ideal for all those programs. But, this one is one finest pick for “Final Cut Pro” too, devouring and demoing some unbelievable video renderings.

Macs have always been the ultimate way-outs for designers and an ideal solution to their kind of needs. It’s no secret that Macs have some classiest displays, matchless colors accuracy, and precision-level corrected images. 

That’s why they are just nonpareil at getting you immersed in each of your screen moments. That said, their constructs too let the graphics virtuosos fall in love with them.

Best MacBooks for Graphics Design in 2021

Our Top Pick
Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch with Apple M1 Chip
Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch with Apple M1 Chip
  • 13.3″ Retina Display
  • Up to 18 Hours of Battery Life
  • Apple M1 Chip with an 8-core CPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • FaceTime HD Camera
Editor’s Choice
Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch with Apple M1 Chip
Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch with Apple M1 Chip
  • 13.3″ Retina Display
  • Up to 18 Hours of Battery Life
  • Apple M1 Chip with an 8-core CPU
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • FaceTime HD Camera
Best Value
Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch with Apple M1 Chip
Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch with Apple M1 Chip
  • 10 Gen Intel Core i5 processor
  • Brilliant Retina display
  • Backlit Magic Keyboard
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • 1TB SSD Storage
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life

So, again, a Mac is often seemed to be the ultimate gadget choice by graphic designers. 

But the question is, do every Mac device have the guts to go the vole? What about Apple’s laptop line? About the latest – the M1-chip-packed MacBook? Is MacBook Air good for graphic design things?

Let’s find out the answers.

MacBook Air and Hardware Requirements of Different Graphics Design Software

MacBook Air with M1 Chip

Regardless of any previous releases in the Mac Air’s line, I would here be talking about the current beast release. 

The M1 Chip MacBook Air has, across the board, taken things to a next level. It’s been powered by not that typical Intel processor but by Apple’s own ARM-based – whole system on a chip, setup.

It features 8 cores for system processing, 8 cores for graphics processing, 8GB of unified memory, a classy fan-less design, etc., etc. The MacBook comes in two (SSD) variants i.e. 256GB and 512GB.

Various Design Software’ Spec Requirements

Hardware requirements for designing applications mean memory and storage requirements, mostly and majorly. Because it’s one known thing that the designing software is the most RAM-hungry things on your computer. And yeah, they need an adequate space too, thus add SSD as well to the list.

So, the hardware requirements (RAM and SSD) vary based on the kind of programs you deal with. Some typical vector designing and photo editing software stay happy with those fair, mid-range specs.

Whereas those extremely pro-level animations, video-editing, complex modeling, etc. demand some tall figures.

So, here are those figures suggested by the begetters of these apps.

  • For those photo editing, illustrating, and simple designing software i.e. Illustrator, Indesign, Photoshop, Lightroom, etc., you need at least 8GB of RAM and 256GB or (+) SSD. Whereas 16GB and 512GB is the recommended duo.
  • And for those videography-related i.e. Animate, After Effects, Premiere Pro, etc. it’s 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD you need at worst. Recommended is 32GB RAM and on.

Is MacBook Air Good for Graphic Design?

Tallying all these quick things i.e. mac’s specs and the hardware requirement’ details, here is my touch on it. 

On, if MacBook Air can be a good option for graphic designers? If yes, for what type of designers? What are its pros and cons? And finally, my verdict, being a MacBook Air junkie.

MacBook Air is Good For

I am so much confident to say that this laptop has got all the guts and can stay finely smooth with the likes of these:

  • Photo editors, manipulators, and all other Photoshop geeks
  • Sketch artists, vector artists, logos, and UX/UI designers
  • Print (media) designers, and all types of digital/web designers
  • And finally, for Final Cut Pro freaks – it can easily and smoothly render a video of approx. 10 minutes just within 3 to 4 minutes.

Considered that, the mac is hands down one best option for and quite easily meets the demands of lots of Adobe’s mid-range apps. Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Affinity Photo & Design, Lightroom, plus other apps like CorelDraw, etc. are just a whole lot of fun to play with on this machine.

And yeah, it’s unbeatable in performance when it comes to Final Cut Pro – Apple’s series of non-linear video editing software programs.

MacBook Air is (Absolutely Not) Good For

This Mac cannot run any of those other heavy video editing and motion graphics-related applications. Although MacBook Air 2020 has one beast of a processor, the primary requirement i.e. memory majorly is not in any way capable to run such programs.

If you are into such kind of graphic designing and more into Premiere Pro, After Effects, Adobe Animate, or Blender-like applications, this laptop is just not for you. In short, if you are;

  • A pro-level video editor
  • Motion Graphics designer and animations expert
  • Any other type of 3D designing and modeling, etc. maestro

Go consider some other option. Fritter a little more bucks and get some machine for yourself. 

Some Noteworthy Pros and Cons of M1 Chip MacBook Air

All said and done, here are a few most notable things about this mac. Some matchless goods and some little beads. So, let’s have a closer look at some of its (added) striking details.

Pros – Why is it Worth for the Price

As mentioned earlier, this laptop nonetheless has an exceptionally fine interior for its price tag. So, the pros you get here include.

  1. Apple’s M1 chip (ARM-based system on a chip) Processor, is far more puissant than previous Intel processors. This 8-cored CPU has 4 performance cores whereas 4 are dedicated for the system’s efficiency.
  2. This setup’s each component finely communicates with each other. A single core here is much more powerful than a single core of an Intel CPU.
  3. MacBook Air displays an unmatched battery performance. Its 17+ hours one-charge standing battery is just insane.
  4. The Mac has got a fan-less construct. Hence, no noise, no clamors, but just calm and soothing experience throughout.

Cons

  1. No dedicated GPU here. 

Although I have found not a single pixel any less than perfect, still, that`s what you must know about this mac. GPU setup here is integrated on the same CPU (M1 chip)

  1. Inbuilt RAM is although unified, well communicated by M1 chip setup, and excellently beast. But it still is quite insufficient when heavily laden. So some harsh multitasking can be debatable.

Conclusion

To put it in a nutshell, MacBook Air is good for those casual graphic designers whereas not for some pro ones. It is good for those who at times need to edit their photos or play with vector arts or some likewise things. It is good for average video editing and yeah, it’s way much ideal for Final Cut Pro things.

Otherwise, for those maestro graphic designers, those doing everything that comes under the graphic designing umbrella, I won’t suggest this one. 

Other specs being extremely ideal, the RAM and SSD of this MacBook Air don’t support that mighty videography and 3D modeling/designing applications.

So, for such high-ledge GD nerds, I would suggest going and kicking upstairs. Consider MacBook Pro or any other high-end machine having an all-right memory, storage, and a dedicated GPU. And, that’s it for all your queries regarding, “is MacBook Air good for graphic design?”.