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The best laptop for Cricut makers in 2022

The best laptop for Cricut: a Crivut Mini next to a laptop against an orange background
(Image credit: Amazon / Cricut)

The best laptop for Cricut likely comes with a lower price tag than you'd initially think, as, unlike many other creative hobbies that require a computer, Cricut related applications aren't very demanding, so you don't need especially powerful specifications to run them.

This is great news for anyone looking to jump into using a Cricut machine as you're not obligated to spend a small fortune on a luxury laptop, so those with tight budgets can also enjoy the hobby or turn it into a potential business.

All you really need is a good display, a recently released processor and sufficient RAM (we would recommend at least 8GB, though 4GB will work if your budget is especially limited). If you're especially creative and interested in making your own designs or marketing materials for a small business then instead opting for a more powerful system will allow you to explore digital illustration and vector software, or open up the potential to explore new hobbies alongside using your Cricut.

Gaming laptops also make a great choice as they typically have high-quality displays, the latest powerful hardware and a lot of ports to connect external storage, though these tend to be significantly more expensive than standard laptops. Still, if you also enjoy playing some games in your downtime, it makes complete sense to purchase one device that can do everything.

There's also good news if you have a preference of operating system as you'll find options for both Windows and macOS on this list, with a plethora of programs designed for either that can support creative applications like Adobe Suite, allowing you to create your own designs rather than seek out existing ones online. To see the full Cricut system requirements for Windows and Mac, keep scrolling for a full list.

In the roundup below, we offer our pick of the best laptops for Cricut makers for a range of budgets and outline the pros and cons of each. Of course, if you don't yet have a Cricut, see our guide to the best Cricut machines too, and make sure you also have the best Cricut accessories. You might also want to explore the best Cricut alternatives.

The best laptop for Cricut makers available now

The Dell XPS 15 against a solid white backdropCB

(Image credit: Dell)

01. Dell XPS 15

The best Windows laptop for Cricut makers overall

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 10 / Windows 11
CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5 - Intel Core i9
RAM: 8 - 64GB
Connectivity: 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB-C port, SD card reader, audio jack
Display: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 / 3,840 x 2,400

Reasons to buy

+
Fast performer
+
Amazing battery life
+
4K option

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB-A port

The Dell XPS 15  is often ranked as one of the best laptops you can buy in general even outside of the makers space, with a beautiful display, fantastic build quality and plenty of configurable components. This is a premium purchase, but this laptop will handle anything you throw at it, so if you run a business around your Cricut, you can manage every aspect of it, from graphic design to accounts on one beefy device.

Given the XPS line is one of Dell's most premium, it's no surprise that this isn't a cheap laptop, but you're getting some seriously powerful hardware for your money. You can configure it with up to an 11th-generation Intel processor and the latest Nvidia RTX 3050 or 3050 Ti graphics cards, though integrated Intel UHD graphics is also an option for anyone looking to save some cash.

You also have a choice of displays, including an 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 2TB SSD to save all of your projects without needing to rely on external or cloud storage.

The Asus Vivobook S14 against a white backgroundCB endorsed

(Image credit: Asus)

02. Asus Vivobook S14

The best value Windows laptop for Cricut makers

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 10 / Windows 11
CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5 - Intel Core i7
RAM: 8GB - 16GB
Connectivity: HDMI, 1 x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, 3 x USB-A , audio jack, microSD
Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 16:9 aspect ratio, IPS-level Panel

Reasons to buy

+
Reasonably priced
+
Large screen
+
Lots of storage

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the highest resolution

Keeping a more careful eye on cash? Don’t worry, you don’t necessarily need a premium laptop for Cricut use, so we’d recommend the Asus Vivobook S14 thanks to its affordability, and the fact it was designed with creatives in mind rather than typical office work.

In fact, the Asus VivoBook S14 is the ideal laptop for anyone looking for some creative hardware on a tight budget, offering lots of niche features to appeal to digital illustrators and graphic designers alike, all while being highly portable and lightweight so you can move it around with ease to clear your workstation.

The Vivobook range is one of the few relatively affordable lines designed with creatives in mind, but just because it's much cheaper than, say, a MacBook Pro 14-inch, doesn't mean it can't handle itself well if you need to run some demanding software.

You're getting three USB-A ports, allowing you to connect your Cricut machine and other devices simultaneously, as well as a Thunderbolt USB-C to hook up any other peripherals. All this, at an affordable price, makes the Vivobook S14 a great choice for any Cricut maker.

A Lenovo IdeaPad 3 against a white backdropCB endorsed

(Image credit: Lenovo)

03. Lenovo IdeaPad 3i

The cheapest laptop for Cricut makers

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 10
CPU: 11th gen Intel Core i3 / Intel Core i5
RAM: 4GB
Connectivity: HDMI, 3 x USB, audio jack, Novo Button, SD card
Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080

Reasons to buy

+
Very budget friendly
+
Meets Cricut system requirements

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the fastest
-
Limited battery life

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i is another cheap and cheerful option and one of the most affordable devices that will still work well with Cricut’s Design Space software...providing you're careful to buy the right version.

Before you buy, there are two important things to be aware of. Firstly, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i runs Windows 10 Home in S mode as default. You'll need to change this to the full version of Windows 10 to run Cricut’s Design Space software. Don't worry, this is free and easy to do: just follow this Microsoft guide (opens in new tab)

Secondly, you need to make sure you're buying the Windows version of the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i. Confusingly, there's a Chromebook on the market with the same name, but that definitely won't work with your Cricut machines. 

You can also choose between two sizes for this laptop, a portable 14-inch model (our top choice), or a larger 17-inch version. Both have a full 1080p display so regardless of size, you'll be able to watch content in HD so it's just down to personal taste. The larger display may appeal if you intend to use graphic design software to create your own designs.

The base model has an i3 processor and just 4GB RAM, so it won't be as smooth and fast as the more expensive laptops featured here, but it'll get the job done if you're on a tight budget. The battery life comes in at around seven and a half hours which is fairly respectable, but you'll need to keep a charger handy if you intend to do an entire day's work on it.

Acer Aspire 5 laptop on a desk

(Image credit: Future)
A cheap laptop for Cricut makers

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 11
CPU: 11th generation Intel Core i5 / Intel Core i7 OR AMD Ryzen 5
RAM: 8GB
Connectivity: USB-C, 3x USB-A, HDMI, audio jack
Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080

Reasons to buy

+
Nice 1080p display 
+
Affordable price for what you get

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB-C charging
-
Looks a little dated

The Acer Aspire 5 is a very affordable option – in fact, it's one of the cheapest laptops running Windows 11 that we can recommend. When we reviewed the laptop, we found that it’s perfectly capable of all the day-to-day computing tasks most people need, and that includes dealing with Cricut’s Design Space software. 

Choosing a laptop for Cricut machines thankfully means you have the option of being more frugal as there's almost no need to include expensive components like a beefy graphics card or a shedload of RAM, so while this won't be knocking anyone's socks off in regards to performance, it gets the job done, and well at that.

The base model is rocking an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, all of which provide a decent level of performance. You also have three USB-A ports to connect up your Cricut machines, and the 14-inch screen is a full HD IPS display, perfect for viewing and creating your designs.

See our full Acer Aspire 5 (2022) review for more details.

MacBook Pro 14-inch in the office

(Image credit: Future)
The best MacBook for Cricut makers overall

Specifications

Operating system: MacOS Big Sur
CPU: Apple M1 Pro / M1 Max
RAM: 8GB - 64GB
Connectivity: 3x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3 port
Display: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600

Reasons to buy

+
Top-of-the-line Apple hardware
+
Superior battery life 
+
Can run iOS apps

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB-A port
-
Incredibly expensive

The MacBook Pro 14-inch is arguably overkill when pairing with a Cricut machine, but all that extra juice will help in some surprising ways, and if you wanted the best macOS laptop on the market right now for running other applications then look no further.

Boasting Apple’s cutting-edge M1 SoC (system-on-a-chip), there are plenty of configurable options which means it’s capable of much more resource-intensive tasks, such as editing 8K video and it's currently sporting the best battery life we've ever seen on a MacBook, with Apple promising up to 17 hours of use on a single charge. 

In our own tests we found it was easy to use for an entire day without any concern for its battery life, so while the duration will vary depending on what you're using the device for, this is easily one of the best laptop battery lives we've personally had the pleasure of experiencing.

One notable con is that while the new MacBook Pro line reintroduced ports like the SD card reader and HDMI (allowing you to hook it up to an external display), there's no built-in USB-A port so you'll need to buy an Apple-supported dongle or adapter.

When it comes to laptops for Cricut makers, there’s no reason to specifically favour a Mac over a Windows device. Both work with Design Space software equally well, but if you already own a host of Apple products then it makes sense to stick with the existing ecosystem, especially if you can use all that power for other creative hobbies.

Also read: MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) review

The rear of the 2020 MacBook Air with M1 chip.

(Image credit: Future)
The best value MacBook for Cricut makers

Specifications

Operating system: MacOS Big Sur
CPU: Apple M1
RAM: 8GB
Connectivity: 2 x Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C ports
Display: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600

Reasons to buy

+
Silent, fanless design
+
Affordable price (for a Mac)
+
Run iOS apps

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB-A port

The MacBook Air Is another great laptop running macOS, only this won't cost you the same princely sum as the more powerful MacBook Pro line. This sleek and stylish ultrathin MacBook features the base Apple M1 processor, and the standard model features an eight-core CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, all of which are more than enough to run everyday applications and  Design Space efficiently.

The MacBook Air is not quite as highly specced as the MacBook Pro, but you don't really need it to be. You're still getting around 15 hours of battery life when wireless web browsing, or up to 18 hours watching video, as well as the design being fanless so you won't be distracted by a loud cooling system kicking in when more intensive applications are opened.

It was a joy to use in all of our tests, running silently and fast without any complaints. The battery life also lasted all day on a single charge for our review, so it's unlikely you'll need to keep an eye out for an outlet.

It has a beautiful 13.3-inch, high-res screen, on which your Cricut project will look fantastic. And again, you can run iOS apps if you wish. Be aware that, as with the MacBook Pro, listed above, there are no USB-A ports, so you’ll need a USB-C to USB-A connector to connect your Cricut machines. 

Most importantly, the MacBook Air is just as capable of working with Cricut’s Design Space software as the MacBook Pro. And so unless you have other specific computing needs, we’d say that given the lower price, this is a good buy to use with a Cricut.

See our MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review for more details.

An Asus Zenbook Duo 14 laptop on a white background

(Image credit: Asus)

7. Asus Zenbook Duo 14

The best laptop for Cricut makers with two screens

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 10 / Windows 11
CPU: 11th generation Intel Core i5 or i7
RAM: 8GB - 32GB
Connectivity: 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, USB-A port, microSD, HDMI, audio jack
Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 & 12.65-inch, 1920 x 515

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful, recently released hardware
+
Additional touchscreen display
+
Built-in USB-A ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive for a laptop
-
Could be considered gimmicky

The Asus Zenbook Duo 14 comes with a lovely 14-inch, full HD touchscreen display, but that’s only the start, as It also squeezes in a second 12.65-inch touchscreen display under the first one. 

That might seem like a bit of a gimmick, but it'll allow you to do other things on your laptop, such as taking part in an instant-messaging chat while keeping your Cricut designs open on the main screen. You could also use that second display to work on additional Cricut projects in other stages, so it offers a huge boost to productivity if you use it right. 

The hardware specifications are just as impressive, rocking a choice of an 11th generation i5 or i7 Intel processor, up to 32GB RAM and 1TB of storage, the Asus Zenbook Duo 14 is more than capable of running Design Space software for your Cricut machine, and a lot more besides.

Asus are well known for making some seriously impressive laptops that target the creative market, so if you're not restricted to a budget option, the Asus Zenbook Duo 14 is just one of many options that could suit your needs.

A Microsoft Surface Book 3 showing its detachable Tablet against a white background

(Image credit: Microsoft)

8. Microsoft Surface Book 3

The best hybrid laptop for Cricut makers

Specifications

Operating system: Windows 10
CPU: 10th generation Intel Core i5 to i7
RAM: 8GB - 32GB
Connectivity: 1 x USB-C, audio jack, 2 x Surface Connect ports, SDXC card reader
Display: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000

Reasons to buy

+
Hybrid functionality 
+
High-resolution screen 
+
USB-A ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Small trackpad
-
Older processor

The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is a great Windows-based hybrid device that doubles as a tablet, allowing you to create your own Cricut designs without using a secondary peripheral such as a graphics drawing tablet.

While 2-in-1 devices are often low-powered, that’s certainly not the case here. You can grab yourself a model equipped with a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, between 8 and 32GB RAM, and 256GB-1TB storage, this is a beast of a laptop that can deal with anything you throw at it, not least using Cricut's Design Space software. 

The processors used are far from outdated, but you might be tempted to hold off until Microsoft refreshes the surface range with the recently released 12th-gen offerings, though it's worth noting that you don't really need a bump in power to run Cricut software, and it will happily run applications like Adobe Photoshop with its current specifications.

The 13.5-inch screen offers a particularly high resolution of 3,000 x 2,000, and there are two USB-A ports for connecting your Cricut machines directly. The Surface Book 3 is quite expensive though, so if you don’t need the 2-in-1 functionality, you may prefer one of our other recommendations above.

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.

For Windows:

  • 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

For Mac:

  • 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 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 (opens in new tab), 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.

Read more:

Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.