Having the best laptop for Cricut projects can help improve both your user experience and the end result of your work. Luckily, as Cricut Design Space isn’t a demanding application, you don’t need an incredibly powerful or expensive laptop – even basic models with 4GB RAM are suitable for Cricut projects.
So, the laptop for Cricut that’s best for you ultimately depends on your own preferences.
The Acer Aspire 5 is likely to be the best laptop for Cricut projects for most users because it is incredible value for money. You get a full HD 15.6-inch screen and all the processing power you need for Cricut for under $500 in a super portable package.
If you want to get a little more “hands-on” may opt for the 2-in-1 touchscreen HP Pavilion x360 for a more intuitive experience. Or if you prioritize speed the Lenovo Ideapad is a great choice for professional multitasking across demanding applications.
Best Laptops for Cricut – Full Round-Up
- Acer Aspire 5: Best Budget Laptop for Cricut Under $500
- HP Pavilion x360: Affordable Touchscreen Laptop
- Lenovo Ideapad 3i: High Performance at a Low Price
- Apple M1 Macbook Air: Excellent Design Laptop for Maximum Portability
- Microsoft Surface Book 3: Powerful Dual Screen Laptop
- Apple M1/M2 Macbook Pro: Apple’s Best Computer to Use with Cricut Maker
- Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482: Powerful Dual Touchscreen
- Dell XPS 15: Sleek & Powerful Windows Laptop for Cricut
In this guide, I’ll compare my hands-on experiences with the best laptops for Cricut across all the important factors, so you can choose a device that will cover your needs without overspending on unnecessary features.
So let’s work out which is right for you.
Cricut Laptop Reviews
Acer Aspire 5 – Best Budget Laptop for Cricut Under $500
One of the most affordable laptops for Cricut
Full HD 15.6” screen
Good display for the price
Useful photo editing & design features
Highly rated among users
Doesn’t support USB-C charging
If you’re looking for an affordable laptop for a Cricut vinyl cutter, the Acer Aspire 5 is a good choice.
This is one of the cheapest Windows 11 laptops and the base model comes with an AMZ Ryzen 3 processor and 8GB RAM. These provide a decent though not amazing level of performance, but more than enough for Cricut applications.
If you’re looking for more power, there is a version of the Aspire 5 that has an Intel i7 processor and an NVIDIA graphics card for improved performance and graphics, but the model we’re focusing on is still a great choice if you’re looking to keep the cost down.
At 15.6”, this is a medium size laptop with a full HD IPS (1920×1080) screen, but its slim build means it’s easily portable. And with an 81.18% screen-to-body ratio, you get good value for your money and a generous screen space for creating your Cricut project designs.
This laptop uses Acer Color Intelligence for real-time dynamic gamma and saturation optimization, so photos appear incredibly vibrant. This is ideal if you want to base Cricut designs on photos by using features like Print then Cut – check out our guide on the best printers for Cricut if you’re a fan of this feature.
Another nice feature is the dual fan system and air intel keyboard that expels up to 10% more heat than other laptops in the price range, keeping the Aspire 5 cool and therefore extending performance. The BlueLightShield helps to prevent wear to your eyes, ideal if you’re spending long sessions working on your projects.
This is a very highly rated laptop among users, with an impressive 4.5 rating on Amazon from more than 400 reviews.
Finally, the Aspire 5 is also impressive when it comes to connectivity, with WiFi 6 for high speed file sharing, Bluetooth 5.2, and a Thunderbolt 4 port, although the lack of a USB-C port is a downside.
HP Pavilion x360 – Affordable Touchscreen Laptop
2-in-1 touchscreen laptop
Choice of sizes with a super small option
Upgrade to WiFi 6 for faster working
Choose between three CPUs
The non-detachable screen isn’t as user-friendly as the detachable models
Another of the best computers for Cricut, the HP Pavilion x360 is a budget laptop that’s useful for Cricut projects. The main selling point of this laptop is that it’s a two-in-one model with an HD touchscreen.
The two-in-one screen means the Pavilion x360 doubles up as both a laptop and a tablet, and it comes with a style that allows you to draw your designs freehand, which makes it super easy to get started with digital designing.
Another nice feature is the various folding options of this laptop. You can fold it completely to get the laptop out of the way and hold it just like you would a tablet, or you can fold it into the “tent” position where the screen is upright and supported by the keyboard.
The touchscreen is really intuitive and allows you to easily navigate and zoom. It has a micro edge display which means you get more screen for your buck. The 1920×1080 resolution is fairly standard for a laptop in this price range.
You can choose a super compact 11.6” display for maximum portability or a larger 14” screen. You also have control over the laptop’s fundamental components, with the ability to choose between i3, i5, and i7 processors and the chance to add extended battery life and WiFi 6 for 3x faster speeds.
This laptop has 4GB RAM, which means it may perform slower than 8GB RAM laptops like the Aspire 5 when multi-tasking or running demanding applications, but it’s still suitable for Cricut projects.
Lenovo Ideapad 3i – High Performance at a Low Price
8GB RAM for fast and reliable performance
Powerful Intel Xe graphics card
Windows 11 Pro
Available in two sizes
The smallest size is 14”
The Lenovo Ideapad 3i is another popular option among Cricut users who prefer touchscreen laptops.
This laptop has a medium-size 15.6” display. With full HD (1920×1080) quality, you have plenty of room to ensure every aspect of your design is perfect before sending it to your Cricut vinyl cutter.
One of the main things that sets the Ideapad 3 apart from the laptops we’ve covered so far is its powerful processor. It uses an Intel Core i5 processor which is one of the best processors for mainstream users of budget laptops and can handle most tasks.
Like the Aspire 5, the Ideapad 3 has 8GB of RAM which is plenty of Cricut Design projects and most other tasks. However, if you’re looking for more power, you can go for an upgraded version with 20GB RAM for $200 extra.
While you don’t need this much RAM for running Cricut applications, it means that users who want to multitask and run demanding operations alongside their Cricut work will have no issues doing so.
Then there’s the Intel Xe graphics card, which is another impressive component. This allows you to design intricate projects in stunning 4k detail, while the card’s low energy architecture means it doesn’t slow your laptop down, making this an ideal choice for serious hobbyist and small business designers.
The Ideapad 3 uses the latest Windows Pro 11 operating system which has some really smart features designed for hybrid working, such as pre-configured layouts for organizing your apps and boosting productivity.
At just 19.9mm wide, the Ideapad 3i is super slim and has a decent battery life of 8-9 hours on mixed usage, so it’s great for designing on the go.
I also like the smart features Lenovo incorporates, such as reduced blue light emission and distance and posture reminders, that can help you manage long work sessions better.
Apple M1 Macbook Air – Excellent Design Laptop Ideal for Creative Cricut Projects
One of the best small and slim laptops in terms of power
Very long battery life
Extremely powerful and reliable
Not as upgradable as Windows laptops
The Macbook Air needs little introduction, being one of the most popular consumer laptops on the market. I personally have an M1 Macbook, and it’s fantastic (I just wish it had more USB ports!).
As with most laptops, the Macbook Air is available in different configurations. The price we’ve quoted is for the M1 version that uses the M1 chip, Apple’s first chip designed specifically for MacOS. It’s similar to the chips used in the latest iPhone and iPad models and results in stunningly powerful, fast and reliable performance.
So, you’ll have absolutely no problem running the Cricut Design Space vinyl cutter software and similar applications seamlessly, even if you’re performing demanding multitasking. The chip’s 7-core GPU delivers integrated graphics at rapid speed, making it ideal for creating professional-level designs and edits on the stunning 2560×1600 Retina screen.
One of the best things about the Macbook Air is its incredibly long battery life, capable of lasting up to 18 hours, far longer than many similarly priced Windows laptops. I can vouch for this: it’s my first laptop that if charged, I don’t even need to bring a charger into the office – it’ll comfortably last through a 9-5 work day.
Apple computers are also renowned for their durability, so while pricey, many people find themselves using their Macs for well over 5 years, making them a solid long-term investment.
The Macbook Air is one of the sleekest laptops out there and is designed for the modern worker who uses it on the go. The 13.3” screen and super lightweight design makes it perfect if you’re regularly traveling or hotdesking. It’s also silent with a fanless design, unlike many less quality models.
Choosing an Apple laptop also opens up access to thousands of quality MacOS apps, many of which are on iOS for seamless integration with your mobile devices. Apps like Photo AI even use machine learning to automatically retouch photos to a professional standard, which you can then import into Cricut Design Space.
If you’re a serious designer using your Cricut as a commercial vinyl cutter for a small business, or if you just want a super high-performance laptop you can use for Cricut alongside other tasks, Apple has just released the Macbook Air M2. It’s up to 20% faster and boasts even better graphics, but the additional price won’t be worth it for most Cricut users.
Microsoft Surface Book 3 – Powerful Dual Screen Laptop
Full detachable screen for tablet working
Fantastic high-resolution display
Intuitive and precise style
Made for designers
13” is not available with the same configurations as 15”
One of the most unique laptops on our list is Microsoft Surface Book 3, which doubles up as two devices in one – a laptop and a tablet. It opens and folds just like a regular laptop but the screen detaches to serve as a tablet, which is a great asset if you want to get creative with your designs using the high-precision SurfacePen stylus.
In fact, the Surface Book 3 is specifically targeted for digital designers, making it one of the best laptops for Cricut. The fact that the screen is detachable means the Surface Book 3 is much easier to use in tablet format than cheaper two-in-one laptops like the HP Pavilion x360.
This model comes in two different forms – a 13” with an Intel i5 processor, and a 15” with a more powerful Intel i7 processor. The price we’ve listed is for the 13” model, with a 15” Surface Book 3 costing around $400 more. Both have really impressive resolutions – 3000×2000 for the 13” and 3240×2160 for the 15”, so you can enjoy your designs in stunning clarity.
As a Microsoft laptop the Surface Book 3 is perfect for using applications like Microsoft Visual Studio, VS Code, and Adobe Photoshop alongside Cricut Design Space. It comes with Windows 10 Home but can be upgraded to Windows 11 for free, and you can also switch to Windows 10 Pro which is useful if you use your Cricut for business projects.
The 13” is slightly less powerful, with the option of i5 and i7 processors, 6GB or 8BG RAM, and up to 15.5-hour battery life, while the 15” has an i7 processor, 16GB or 32GB RAM, and up to 17 hours battery. Both are still super impressive models, and the more affordable 13” provides more than enough power for Cricut projects. Powerful NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards are also available with both versions.
Apple M1/M2 Macbook Pro – Apple’s Best Computer to Use with Cricut Maker
Incredible Liquid Retina display
Available in three sizes
One of the best battery lifes on the market
Excellent for design applications
The most expensive entry on our list, Apple’s Macbook Pro is one of the most impressive consumer laptops money can buy. If you prefer Apple’s operating system to Microsoft’s, the Macbook Pro is certainly the best printer for Cricut you can get.
The Macbook Pro comes in three different sizes – 13”, 14”, and 16” – so you can choose the size that suits you best. As is the case with all laptops, the price sharply increases if you choose a bigger screen size.
The 13” is actually a new version and uses Apple’s brand new M2 chip, which is more powerful than the M1 chip featured in the 14” and 16” models. However, the 13” Macbook Pro has up to 10-core GPU (graphics processing unit) and a 2560×1600 Retina display, whereas the larger models have 32-GPU and 2880×1800 Liquid Retina XDR display, which means graphics do appear crisper and more vibrant.
The stunning display and speed of the Macbook Pro means you can view and edit your Cricut designs in glorious detail. While it isn’t touchscreen, the highly intuitive touchpad alongside a Magic Keyboard that brings a full-height function key row and many useful shortcuts make it a favorite of both amateur and professional designers.
In terms of battery life, the 13” Macbook Pro lasts up to 20 hours, longer than the 14 hours of the 14” model but less than the 16” Macbook Pro’s 21 hours. Despite the subtle differences between the models, each is an exceptional laptop for graphic designers and Cricut users, so your choice ultimately comes down to budget and personal preference.
Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482 – Powerful Dual Touchscreen
Unique dual screen laptop with many useful design applications
i7 processor and 16GB RAM for fast and reliable performance
Complimentary Adobe Creative Cloud subscription
Extremely intuitive with user-experience-enhancing features
Highly rated among users
Resolution is lower than some cheaper models
Another of the best laptops for Cricut Maker and Air is the Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482 – a more premium option for those looking for a good printer for Cricut work.
The ‘Duo’ in the name comes from the fact that this laptop has two different screens (that fold up for optimum portability). The main screen is 14” with a glossy 2560×1080 display, while the second ‘ScreenPad Plus’ screen is a 12.6” matte screen – both are touchscreen.
This provides great flexibility when it comes to creating and editing your designs. For example, you can easily extend the screen and split windows and apps on both displays to optimize multitasking.
A stylus comes with a laptop, so you can work on designs just as if you were drawing with a pen and paper.
The Zenbook Duo 14 UX482 uses an Intel Core i7 processor, which is a very powerful chip that is the standard for laptops in this price range. We’ve quoted the price for the 16GB RAM model, so you’ll enjoy super speedy and reliable performance along with stunning, vibrant graphics on the impressive FHD display.
A nice bonus of going for the Zenbook Duo 14 UX482 is that it comes with a complimentary three-month Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. This is great if you want to try out creating designs in apps like Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and InDesign that you can then import into Cricut Design Space.
This Windows 11 laptop has great performance and user-experience enhancing features as you’d expect from a model in this price range. For example, the ErgoLift design is intended to improve typing position and tilts by up to 7-degree angles so you can find the most comfortable position.
The battery life is also impressive – on average mixed usage it typically lasts around 10 hours on a full charge, and this can be boosted to as high as 12 hours if you turn the secondary screen off.
Overall, this is a fantastic laptop for Cricut that certainly justifies its impressive 4.5-star rating on Amazon.
Dell XPS 15 – Sleek & Powerful Windows Laptop for Cricut
Very powerful and reliable
Extremely configurable purchase options
Available in three sizes
Up to 3840×2400 resolution – one of the highest one of the market
One of highest battery life for Windows laptops
Expensive and low resolution for cheaper versions
The Dell XPS 15 is one of the most popular all-around laptops on the market and is also a great choice for Cricut owners. It simply ticks all the boxes – a fantastic display, super sleek design, and plenty of power. So while it’s one of the more expensive laptops for Cricut, it definitely provides good value for advanced designers.
The XPS itself offers more than enough power to handle Cricut Design Space and other digital design programs, so it’s best for people that are looking for a laptop that’s good for Cricut projects in addition to other everyday tasks.
The Dell XPS also comes in two other sizes – 13”, which is cheaper and built for maximum lightness and portability, and the most expensive 17” model.
Whenever you buy an XPS, there are many options to choose from that will determine the price and power of your laptop. Dell allows you to choose the operating system, processor, graphics card, memory, and display.
So, for example, the cheapest XPS 15 has Windows 11, an i5 processor, an Intel XE graphics card, and an FHS 1920×1200 display. The most expensive option has Windows 11 Pro, an i9 processor, an NVIDIA graphics card, and a UHD 3840×2400.
The cheapest option is more than enough for most Cricut makers, but the premium version is an absolutely top-class machine. Whatever configurations you go for, you’ll have a very impressive and reliable laptop for Cricut projects.
Overall, the Dell XPS is a strong contender for the title of best laptop for Cricut Maker and Air if you prefer Windows over Mac.
How to Choose A Laptop for Your Cricut Maker & Air
Choosing a laptop is never easy – if you’re still not sure which is the best laptop for Cricut Maker and Design Space, these are the five key factors to consider when making a purchase.
Power & Speed
A laptop’s power and speed is largely determined by its RAM and CPU (central processing unit). As Cricut Design Space isn’t a particularly demanding application, Cricut users can use budget laptops with 4GB RAM and less powerful processors like a Ryzden chip with no issue.
However, if you want to use more advanced programs for your Cricut Designs, or if you’re a professional multitasking a lot alongside Cricut Designs, splashing out an an 8GB RAM+ model with a powerful chip like an Intel i7 will mean your laptop runs much faster and more efficiently.
You should also consider the GPU (commonly known as a graphics card) when looking at Cricut-compatible laptops. This is especially important for Cricut users as it affects the quality with which images display on your screen. NVIDIA graphics cards are the gold standard but also very expensive.
Frankly, I’m happy to pay a premium for blazing fast speeds, and the ability to not only work with SVGs and other vinyl cutter design files, but also be working in Illustrator or Photoshop, or with other applications open concurrently.
|Acer Aspire 5||8GB||i7|
|HP Pavilion x360||4GB||i3, i5, or i7|
|Lenovo Ideapad 3i||Up to 8GB||i5|
|Apple M1 Macbook Air||Up to 16GB||M1 chip|
|Microsoft Surface Book 3||Up to 32GB||i5 or i7|
|Apple M1/M2 Macbook Pro||Up to 24GB||M1/M2 chip|
|Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482||Up to 16GB||i7|
|Dell XPS 15||16GB||i7|
For the vast majority of users, it’s a straight shootout between Apple’s MacOS and Microsoft’s Windows when it comes to choosing a laptop. Both have their pros and cons.
Windows laptops are more affordable, very reliable, and there are hundreds to choose from. Macs are more expensive, have a small selection of models, and are less upgradable, but are also extremely powerful, intuitive, secure, and stylish.
You’ll find that almost all software is available on Windows, and the vast majority of the important stuff is available on Mac too – with some niche exceptions. It’s usually just the very obscure tools (or old programs) that you might struggle to run on a Mac.
I personally have the M1 Macbook Pro and it works great for all my vinyl-cutting projects. I can connect with Lightburn for laser projects, Cura for 3D printing, and my CNC software if I’m carving wood.
|Acer Aspire 5||Windows|
|HP Pavilion x360||Windows|
|Lenovo Ideapad 3i||Windows|
|Apple M1 Macbook Air||Mac OS|
|Microsoft Surface Book 3||Windows|
|Apple M1/M2 Macbook Pro||Mac OS|
|Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482||Windows|
|Dell XPS 15||Windows|
Screen & Display
Screen size is one of the most important factors when browsing laptops compatible with Cricut Design Space, with screens typically ranging from 12” to 17”. Smaller laptops are easier and lighter to carry, while some people like larger screens as it provides a wider display for your Cricut designs.
Then there’s screen quality. Different laptop screens have different resolutions; the higher the resolution, the crisper, clearer, and more vibrant your designs will be, but sharper resolutions increase price by a fair bit.
|Acer Aspire 5||15.6″|
|HP Pavilion x360||14″|
|Lenovo Ideapad 3i||15.6″|
|Apple M1 Macbook Air||13.3″|
|Microsoft Surface Book 3||13.5″ or 15.5″|
|Apple M1/M2 Macbook Pro||13”, 14”, and 16”|
|Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482||12.65″|
|Dell XPS 15||15.6″|
Battery life is always important when picking any gadget, but it’s especially important if you’re going to be designing a lot while on the move.
If you’re working from home mostly you can save money by going for a laptop with a shorter battery life, but if you’re designing while traveling a lot you may prefer a premium laptop with a longer, more reliable battery life.
I can personally confirm that the new M1 and M2 Macbooks have fantastic battery life.
|Acer Aspire 5||11 Hours|
|HP Pavilion x360||7 – 8 Hours|
|Lenovo Ideapad 3i||8 – 9 Hours|
|Apple M1 Macbook Air||Up to 18 Hours|
|Microsoft Surface Book 3||15.5 – 17.5 Hours|
|Apple M1/M2 Macbook Pro||Up to 20 Hours|
|Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482||10 Hours|
|Dell XPS 15||10 Hours|
Price & Value
The key to avoiding paying over the odds is to be clear on what you need and don’t need in terms of RAM, CPU, display resolution, battery life, and so on.
Beyond just vinyl cutting or editing designs, think about what else you’re planning to use your laptop for.
Are you looking for a cheap and cheerful laptop under $500, or a premium model with more power that’s ideal for multitasking and more advanced designing? Maybe you’re looking for a touchscreen laptop or a super lightweight and slim model for maximum portability.
Do you want to do a lot of video editing and rendering? Because that’s some of the most resource-intensive stuff around. Plan on using VS Code and hosting servers? Equip yourself accordingly.
|Acer Aspire 5||$399.99|
|HP Pavilion x360||$489|
|Lenovo Ideapad 3i||$649|
|Apple M1 Macbook Air||$1,199|
|Microsoft Surface Book 3||$693.95|
|Apple M1/M2 Macbook Pro||$2,699|
|Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482||$1,499|
|Dell XPS 15||$1,789|
- Best Printers for Cricut Projects
- Best Laptops for CNC Programming
- What are the Best Laptops for CAD/CAM & AutoCAD
- 8 Best Vinyl Cutters (In Every Price Range!)
- The Differences Between Cricut and Laser Cutters
- Glowforge vs Cricut – Which is Best For You? [Compared]
- Glowforge vs Snapmaker: Is 3 Better Than 1? (CNC & Laser)