The best laptop for Cricut makers in 2022
The best laptop for Cricut machines will be easy to pick up at an affordable price because unlike many other creative hobbies or professions, the hardware doesn’t need to be especially powerful. In fact, all you really need is a good display, a recently released processor and a minimum of 4GB of RAM to run Cricut software.
That doesn’t mean you should opt for the cheapest device you can find though, as modern laptops and portable workstations have plenty to offer besides simply running low-demand applications. A more powerful machine can help with creating your own designs or exploring other creative hobbies, as well as serving you better as a day-to-day system.
This gives you a lot more freedom than hardware for other ‘making’ hobbies such as 3D printing which might require robust graphics to manage software, so from lightweight 2-in-1 devices all the way to powerful gaming laptops that you can use to play a few games in your downtime, the market is full of great choices for every budget.
From Windows to macOS, there are suitable options to be found across a range of different laptops, and all of the ones featured on our list below will run the full Adobe Suite, allowing you to create your own designs rather than seek out existing ones online. We’ve also included the Cricut system requirements for Windows and Mac below should you need them.
The best laptop for Cricut makers available now
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 an 11th-generation Intel processor and a choice of Nvidia RTX 3050 or 3050 Ti 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 2TB SSD to save all of your projects without needing to rely on external or cloud storage.
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.
The Asus Vivobook S14 might be a better choice for you if you like the idea of having a machine designed with creative professionals in mind to help with running a business around your Cricut, especially given its more palatable price compared to the Dell XPS 15.
As this is designed with creatives in mind, getting three USB-A ports, which allows you to connect your Cricut machine and other devices simultaneously, as well as a Thunderbolt USB-C to hook up any other peripherals. The Vivobook S14 also has a large screen and well-optimized components to handle all of the applications you could use to create Cricut designs.
The screen quality is a little lacklustre, but this won’t affect your ability to use it with a Cricut – though you might be tempted to go for something with a nicer display if you want a device that can also be used to watch Netflix in bed.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i is possibly the most affordable option on this list, but you need to be aware of a few things to select a model that will work with Cricut’s Design Space software. Firstly, make sure you’re buying the Windows version as there’s a Chromebook model with the same name. While Chromebooks are fantastic budget devices for getting folks online, they won’t support the Cricut software.
Speaking of Windows, Lenovo IdeaPad 3i runs Windows 10 Home in S mode as default which won’t be able to run the application, but don’t worry – it’s easy to switch this to the full version of Windows 10 if you follow this handy Microsoft guide (opens in new tab).
The highly affordable base model can run for around 7 hours on a single charge and contains an i3 processor and just 4GB RAM so it’s hardly a workhorse, but if you need the most affordable device possible to pair with your Cricut machine, this has the perfect balance for performance at a low cost.
The Acer Aspire 5 is another budget-friendly option that works well with Cricut’s Design Space software, and better yet, it runs the full version of Windows 11 so you’re getting the very latest Windows operating system.
The base model is rocking a 14-inch full HD IPS display, as well as an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, all of which are plenty powerful enough for most everyday tasks on top of being able to run design applications such as Adobe Illustrator. I
It’s hardly the most glamorous laptop on the market, but if you can look past the slightly dated exterior then you’ll find this is a budget-friendly jack-of-all-trades. It even has three USB-A ports to connect up your Cricut machine, as well as any other peripherals you want to hook up, such as a graphics drawing tablet for creating your own Cricut designs.
See our full Acer Aspire 5 (2022) review for more details.
The MacBook Pro 14-inch is one of the most powerful laptops on the market, and a fantastic choice if you’re not interested in a budget buy. This is actually complete overkill for powering a Cricut machine, but if you wanted a portable workstation that can run every aspect of a small business, this will be one of the better options available to you.
Both MacOS and Windows devices will run the Cricut Design Space software equally well, which makes this a great option if more comfortable using Macbooks, and if you use an iPad to create designs for your Cricut then you can build into the wider Apple ecosystem.
Plus, you’re getting all of the other benefits of Apple’s incredible silicon chips. The M1-powered MacBook Pro is capable of running up to 17 hours on a single charge, and its fanless design allows you to work in complete silence without any noisy fans or impact to performance. In our own tests we were blown away by its battery life and beautiful display, so we’re happy to report that this isn;t just one of the best laptops to use with a Cricut machine – its one of the best laptops on the market period.
The only slight pain is that while the MacBook Pro line has reintroduced ports like the SD card reader and HDMI (allowing you to hook it up to an external display), you’ll need to buy an Apple-supported dongle or adapter to actually hook up a Cricut machine due to the lack of built-in USB-A ports.
Also read: MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) review
The MacBook Air is a solid choice if you have a preference for MacOS, but the price of the MacBook Pro line leaves a bad taste in your mouth. For a fraction of the price you’re getting up to 18 hours of battery life with the same fanless M1 chip, so you can create designs for your Cricut in blissful silence.
We loved its beautiful 13.3-inch high-res display in our tests, so we’re confident it’ll help to make your Cricut designs look their best, and the base Apple M1 chip features an eight-core CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD which is more than enough to run Design Space while ploughing through other applications.
Again, our only gripe is the lack of built-in USB-A ports, so you’ll either need a USB-C to USB-A connector or a separate adapter to connect your Cricut machines, but the decision to remove the port results in a much slimmer laptop that’s easy to throw into a bag for creating designs on the fly.
See our MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review for more details.
The Asus Zenbook 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 12th-generation on Intel processors, as well as plenty of RAM and the option of a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU which makes it suitable for playing a few video games in your downtime.
Our only issue during tests (see our Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED review 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.
The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is a great option if you want a 2-in-1 device to run Cricut software. Better yet, its tablet-like design means that you can create illustrations for your Cricut without needing to hook up a dedicated drawing tablet, so you can run every aspect of a business from design to operations from a single device.
The 13.5-inch display is plenty large enough for daily use and unlike either of the MacBook options listed above, there are two built-in USB-A ports for connecting your Cricut machines without the need for an adapter.
While it’s compact, it’s certainly no slog. Equipped with a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, between 8 and 32GB RAM, and 256GB-1TB storage, it’ll have no issues running Cricut’s Design Space software or Adobe Illustrator, and you’ll still have plenty of power to listen to some music or browse the web.
There aren’t many downsides to the Microsoft Surface Book 3, but it is on the pricey side and the processors are a few generations behind now that Intel has released its 12th-gen CPUs. That said, this is still very capable and will be for some time, so if you love the idea of using a tablet with your Cricut machine, this is one of the better options on the market.
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 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.