Due to its digital nature, graphic design requires a computer to make your designs happen. Aspiring graphic designers may wonder if they can cut costs by using a Chromebook to still achieve good results. Chromebooks are lightweight and low-cost, meaning many people use them for a variety of functions.
A Chromebook is not the ideal choice for graphic design due to its low storage space and incompatibility with certain mainstream graphic design programs such as the Adobe suite. However, many people still use Chromebooks for web design graphic design, like using websites like Placeit.net. It can also be a good option for those just getting started in the graphic design field.
Although your success as a graphic designer will depend on many factors beyond the technology you use, it is crucial to have the right computer for your projects. Keep reading to learn more about the limitations and capabilities of Chromebooks, and some factors you can keep in mind if you do wish to use a Chromebook for graphic design projects.
Can You Use a Chromebook for Graphic Design?
The short answer to this question is that it depends. Chromebooks are a pared-down laptop experience that allows users to access essential features without the high sticker cost of more high-tech laptops. Due to this, graphic designers may run into some limitations when they try to use a Chromebook for their graphic design project.
Whether you are considering buying a Chromebook for your graphic design career, or if you can use the one you have on hand to complete a project, you should consider the following factors:
- What type of design are you trying to do? In general, a graphic design that is being produced for print may be almost impossible to do on a Chromebook. This type of design work requires advanced software such as the Adobe Suite that is simply not compatible with a Chromebook. On the other hand, digital or mobile designs may be possible depending on the tools you are using.
- How much storage space do you need? Design work can take up a lot of space on your laptop, and Chromebooks just do not have the storage capacity to save all your projects. If you have an extensive portfolio of things you are working on or projects that will need a lot of storage, it is best to go with a more traditional laptop choice.
- What’s your budget? If you are just starting in design and need a laptop for simple projects that will not break the bank, a Chromebook may be a good choice. Chromebooks are often very reasonably priced and won’t put a dent in your savings. However, if you are planning to ramp up your design portfolio in the future, it may be worth saving for a different option.
Determining if you can use a Chromebook for graphic design will ultimately come down to those key factors. It is up to you to decide what can best fit your design needs.
What Can Chromebooks be Used For in Graphic Design?
The main thing to keep in mind is that Chromebooks are limited by the software you hope to use. Chromebooks are usually not compatible with advanced software, and you will need to stick to web-based tools that you can easily use with your Chromebook.
Web-based tools such as Placeit.net or other popular services that make graphic design that much easier should still function properly on your Chromebook. For this reason, if you are looking to do primarily digital designs, or if you are just doing graphic design as a hobby or for smaller projects, you should be able to do this just fine on your Chromebook because Placeit.net is internet based.
Before agreeing to a project, though, it is worth running a compatibility check with whatever app or tool you would like to use. Especially if you are completing a project for a client, it is essential to make sure you know the limitations of your Chromebook before you agree to any work.
Which Chromebooks Are Best for Graphic Design?
Due to their many benefits, Chromebooks have become very popular across the laptop market. With all of the options out there, it can be hard to know which ones are ideal for graphic designers.
These Chromebooks are a good fit for designers who are looking to use their laptops to create digital design projects:
- Google Pixelbook Go (high performance)
- Acer Chromebook 15 (mid grade)
- Lenovo Chromebook (mid grade)
- HP Chromebook (budget friendly)
Each of these brands and styles will have different options for customization, and each has different advantages when it comes to battery life and storage capacity. It is worth researching your options before choosing a Chromebook.
You may also wish to speak to an experienced graphic designer or a knowledgeable employee at a technology store who can give you some insight on whether a Chromebook will be compatible with your projects. Research return policies to make sure you can bring a Chromebook back if things don’t work out the way you need them to.
Technology can be expensive, and aspiring or current graphic designers may look to Chromebooks as an option to produce graphic design work at a lower cost. While Chromebooks can be suitable for some design projects, especially if the tools you use are web-based, they may run into limitations with more advanced software. For this reason, many people choose different options than Chromebooks.
However, if you will be working in digital design rather than print, and only need it for lower-storage projects, you may still be able to make a Chromebook work for you. Take some time to think about what projects you hope to complete, and then research your Chromebook of choice to see if this will be possible on the provided software.
Choosing technology for graphic design may seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing your needs and goals and having a clear view of what particular laptops can and cannot do will help you make an informed choice when choosing a design computer.