The best laptops for Cricut makerschines share a variety of overlapping features, since Cricut cutters and heat presses require the right software to properly run their hardware. At the end of the day, though, Cricut machines aren’t that demanding in terms of laptop system requirements; a good display, decent processor, and sufficient RAM are really all you need to get started.
But for diehard creators with some extra cash to spend, why not upgrade your workstation to future-proof that inner muse? After all, if you’re already into Cricut crafts, you may as well own a laptop that can easily edit photos, videos, and handle simultaneous tasks with aplomb, whenever your artistic journey takes you.
Whether you’re into macOS or Windows machines – sorry, Chromebook power users, compatibility is limited for now – we’ve rounded up some of the best laptops for Cricut machines. Read on for our top picks.
What are the best laptops for Cricut machines?
Powered by an 11th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor and integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, the 1080p OLED edition of the Dell XPS 13 is perfect for work, play and – most importantly – snazzy content creation. The bright, vivid display is great for watching Netflix videos in between creating iron-on t-shirts for your company softball team, and the super-slim design makes it an ideal laptop for mobile professionals.
Looking for a nifty notebook that’s as convertible as your creative lifestyle? The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is already one of our favorite laptops for students and on-the-go jet-setters, so Cricut fanatics will find a lot to like in terms of creative mobility.
Thanks to a fantastic keyboard/touchpad combo, powerful speakers, and a 1080p webcam, the Surface Laptop Studio finds its place as one of the best laptops for creatives – and anyone else searching for an extra-versatile hybrid notebook. It’ll even last a full day on just one charge.
The best laptop overall for Cricut makers
The Dell XPS 13 OLED is what happens when the best laptop meets the latest display technology. Combining the two creates something close to magic — an ultra-portable device capable of running most tasks while providing a cinema-like viewing experience. The whole setup is downright ideal for Cricut Design Space, the central hub for any Cricut machine.
Choosing the 13.4-inch, 3456 x 2160-pixel (3.5K) OLED touchscreen gets you colors as vibrant as a lush forest after a fresh rainfall. Icons burst with saturated tones, web images come to life, and 4K videos are beyond cinema quality. It helps that the edge-to-edge screen and 16:10 aspect ratio draws your eyes in, providing an immersive viewing experience.
You can edit photos or video and stream 4K content without any sluggishness, but don’t expect to run demanding simulations or play recent games at high graphics settings. Overall, the XPS 13 OLED brings an excellent upgrade to what was already our favorite laptop, and it does so without too many sacrifices.
See our full Dell XPS 13 OLED (late 2021) review.
The best 2-in-1 laptop for Cricut makers
Do you like the XPS 13 but prefer convertible laptops over traditional clamshells? Good news: the latest XPS 13 2-in-1 is without question among the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, of course. Dell smartly used the XPS 13 as a blueprint for the XPS 13 2-in-1, an almost identical laptop, but with the ability to transform into a tablet.
Cricut projects require some design savvy ahead of time, which means you’ll want a top-notch touchpad at your disposal. The massive 4.4 x 2.6-inch touchpad is one of the best we’ve used, and the silky surface is superb for Windows 10 gestures (eg, three-finger swipes to switch apps, two-finger scrolling).
The main advantage the XPS 13 2-in-1 has over its clamshell sibling, of course, is the ability to convert into a tablet. You can also position the laptop in tent mode or fold the keyboard away when you’re watching shows and movies. In our testing, the hinge had just the right amount of resistance; the screen doesn’t wobble when tapped, and rotating the display back doesn’t take much effort. In short, there are very few laptops with such a sleek yet premium chassis as the XPS 13 2-in-1, a Cricut-capable convertible that’s as adaptable as you are.
See our full Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2020) review.
The best hybrid laptop for Cricut makers
Not only can the Surface Laptop Studio be transformed into a digital drawing board, but it does so without compromising the standard laptop mode. This flexibility, along with excellent performance and long battery life, makes the Surface Laptop Studio a compelling option for Cricut-crazy creative professionals. Add in a fantastic keyboard/touchpad combo, powerful speakers, and a 1080p webcam, and the Surface Laptop Studio finds its place as one of the best laptops, one that should be considered by anyone with a large enough budget.
In Stage mode, the bottom of the screen sits in a groove between the touchpad and the keyboard. Move the screen forward even further and the laptop will go into Studio mode, or the closest thing to converting it into a tablet. This mode is great for artists or designers who need a stable surface for e-inking.
The Studio’s 14.4-inch display has its own standout feature: a 120Hz refresh rate. Windows 11 supports variable refresh rates, meaning the screen will switch from 60Hz to 120Hz depending on what is being displayed to provide the best viewing experience without sacrificing endurance. What’s more, the Laptop Studio is compatible with the company’s Slim Pen 2, which supports haptic feedback, or what Microsoft calls “tactic signals” to imitate the feeling of drawing on paper. (It costs $129 for the pen and $39 for the accompanying charging cradle.)
The touchpad uses special haptic engines to send a vibration to your finger when it feels extra pressure. It works as advertised, and you can even change the intensity of the feedback (or turn it off) from within the touchpad settings menu. Whether you’re Cricutting custom t-shirts, mugs, hats, or wine bags – yes, those are a thing – this is the hybrid laptop to beat in terms of power, portability, and usability.
See our full Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio review.
The best thin-and-light laptop for Cricut makers
The Acer Swift 3 is an ultra-thin, sleek, silver, peppy performer meant to make multimedia multitasking much smoother. The 4.2 x 2.7-inch touchpad is responsive when navigating websites or documents; the smooth surface is adept at performing Windows 10 gestures, such as two-finger swipes and three-finger taps. The bottom corners give firm feedback and are very responsive when using right or left clicks.
The Swift 3 brings all-day battery life and more to the plate. This means you can Cricut to your heart’s content without ever having to search for an outlet. When we ran the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the Acer Swift 3 lasted for 14 hours and 48 minutes, which crushed the ultraportable average (12:45).
Starting at less than $800, this budget-friendly ultra-thin laptop and travel partner won’t slow you down. Which is a good thing, because the more Cricut cutting and heat press accessories you buy, the more room you’ll need in your backpack whenever you take your creativity on the road.
See our full Acer Swift 3 review.
The best MacBook for Cricut makers
This MacBook marks a new chapter in both Apple computing and computers as a whole. What’s behind the monumental change? Apple’s new M1 processor, which promises 3.5x the CPU performance, 6x faster GPU performance and the ability to outperform 98% of PC laptops on the market. That’ll put some extra pep in the step of any Cricut creator for sure.
Apple’s Retina Display continues to add innovative technologies such as TrueTone to the mix. This feature intelligently and almost imperceptibly adjusts the display’s color temperature based on how well or poorly lit the environment is, creating an optimal viewing experience at all times. The display also features P3 wide color gamut, which is a wider color spectrum than sRGB. The end result? More vibrant colors, which is always a good thing when it comes to digital arts and crafts.
At 5.1 x 3.2 inches, the MacBook’s massive Force trackpad takes up most of the actual palm rest. And thanks to stellar palm rejection, the cursor is never affected by inadvertent palm contact.
But wait, there’s more! The new macOS Big Sur update signals to what some are calling the “iPadification of the MacBook.” The fancy term simply refers to the Universal apps that will run natively on all Macs running Apple silicon as well as several new design features. For instance, Big Sur gives users a Control Panel, which is kind of ironic since Microsoft is talking about ditching the feature. The macOS version gives instant access to key utilities such as volume, Bluetooth, keyboard brightness and AirDrop to name a few.
See our full Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020) review.
The best MacBook Air for Cricut makers
The new MacBook Air is an improvement over the previous model in every way, bringing monumental performance and battery life enhancements. Those bold claims Apple made about the M1? They weren’t exaggerations. This MacBook Air out-muscles every laptop in its class while lasting a full day on a charge. And it does so with a fanless design, meaning the Air is pin-drop silent.
An important but overlooked change made to the MacBook Air with Apple Silicon is the addition of P3 color gamut support. What does that mean? The 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina display on the MacBook Air with M1 is more vivid this time around. The 4.7 x 3.2-inch trackpad is massive, taking up a good portion of the deck below the keyboard. You can easily fit four fingers on the surface to execute certain macOS gestures, like switching between full-screen apps (four-finger swipes left or right) or opening the “Mission Control” interface with a four-finger swipe up.
Delivering unrivaled performance, the M1 transforms the MacBook Air from an underpowered entry-level Mac recommended for running lightweight day-to-day tasks to the fastest ultrathin laptop ever. Thanks to the ARM-based chip, the Air is now capable of powering demanding apps needed by professional users, and we’ve got the benchmarks to prove it. With a score of 653 on the Photoshop benchmark, the MacBook Air squeezed out the win against the XPS 13 (588) while topping the category average (613) and demolishing the previous model (459). It also lasted 14 hours and 41 minutes on our battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. If you want the fastest, longest-lasting ultrathin laptop, the MacBook Air sets a new standard — and the competition is far behind.
See our full Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review.
How to choose the best laptop for Cricut machines
We feel pretty confident in our list of best laptops for Cricut makers, but there are myriad other Windows and Mac systems that fill the bill in terms of minimum software requirements. As you shop for a new laptop to complement your Cricut machine/s of choice, here’s what you’ll want under the hood.
OS: Windows 10 or later
CPU: Intel Dual-Core or equivalent AMD processor
Free Disk Space: 2GB
Connectivity: USB port or Bluetooth connection
Display: 1024 x 768 screen resolution
OS: macOS 11 or later
CPU: 1.83 GHz
Free Disk Space: 2GB
Connectivity: USB port or Bluetooth connection
Display: 1024 x 768 screen resolution
Note: These specs may change over time, but Cricut updates these specs on their website.
iOS 14 or later
Android 9.0 or higher
Mobile devices and tablets only
Chromebooks not supported
Don’t have the extra coin for a new laptop? No worries. You can still run Cricut’s Design Space right from your phone or tablet if your current laptop doesn’t meet the minimum specs. But for creators of any medium, the art you’re capable of is only as good as the tools at your disposal, so the more serious you become about your new hobby, the more sense it makes to upgrade your workstation every now and again.