Best computers for design! – Tech for Designers

Best computers for design! – Tech for Designers

Talking you through the computer hardware I own to use for design. Subscribe for more design chats!

These are the devices I work on! If you’re wondering what computer to buy for design or what computers are best for design I hope this video helps, but please remember you don’t need all or even ANY of the computers I mention in this video to do design! Go with whatever you can afford and I promise you that will be fine.

That said, if you’ve been thinking about purchasing any other the devices i mentioned in this video, here’s some links (They’re all affiiliate links) I’ve linked to the latest version of each device since some of mine are very old and not sold any more!


iMac pro



12″ Macbook (latest version)

15″ Macbook Pro (latest version)

iPad Pro

Apple Pencil

Pink folio cover

Folio keyboard cover

Stuff comes in and out of stock in the refurbished store all the time so check it for deals:



My videos no longer have pre-roll ads because I think ads are annoying. That means you don’t have to sit through ads, and it also means I don’t earn anything from the content I put on YouTube. If you want to support me and my channel the best thing you can do is join my Patreon!

You’ll get tons of extra content and ways to learn, like behind-the-scenes process info, downloadable assets or even a monthly group Google Hangout! Choose your tier and sign up here:



Hello there! I’m Charli and I’m a web and graphic designer from New Zealand currently living in London and posting design videos every Saturday about tools, projects, and concepts and vlogs every Tuesday about my life as a designer. Please subscribe and say hi in the comments so we can be friends 🙂



Online apparel store:
Design portfolio:



My sister SmayJay’s channel:



Music: Epidemic Sound

My gorgeous intro animation was created by hand lettering animator Austin Saylor, you should hire him to do yours too:


  1. Ryan Johnson on May 29, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    My main is a 15" MacBook Pro (2016 model w/ touchbar, 16GB RAM, 250GB SDD). The only thing I’m not super happy about is the keyboard, which is why I periodically I dock it in my home office so that I can use my mechanical keyboard along with my 4K monitor.

  2. Teddy on May 29, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    You should wait for the October event by Apple. They might introduce new MacBook, and the prices may go down for the current MacBook ! The current one is a BEAST !!

  3. Arthur Vincent Simon on May 29, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    "Teach Everything You Know"

    Yup, that is the best way to learn. Win-win for both teacher and student.

  4. iamtimchung on May 29, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    So much great apple goodness in the video!
    Video on workflow

  5. Matthew Davis on May 29, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Just curious if you’ve heard the rumors that Apple is developing a 16-16.5 inch MacBook Pro for this year, and if so, would you consider replacing your 15 inch with that? From experience, design work on anything less than 15 inches is frustrating, which is why I hated Apple discontinued their 17 inch MacBook Pro. A 16-16.5 inch model with smaller bezels (to make it physically similar to the current 15 inch) would be a good fix for that situation. Also, to answer your question about equipment used, I currently have a desktop Windows PC and a Windows 17 inch laptop at home, and a 2012 iMac 27 inch at work. I’ve worked that way for many years–Macs at work and Windows at home (I grew up playing with both simultaneously, which helped me become ambidextrous).

  6. Katie Lynn Sears on May 29, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Yes – I got so used to designing with the trackpad on my MacBook and now I hate normal mouses.

  7. Bryan Zavestoski on May 29, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Yeah, another trackpad only person! I’m the same in that I got so used to using my laptop trackpad that it feels weird to use a mouse.

  8. Maria Strong on May 29, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    I work on my macbook air
    – a new design student

  9. missvd on May 29, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Ok Charlie…I haven’t been to your channel in a few months and I come back you have a new haircut, now a new MacBook Pro (seen on your it) new iPad Pro and a new iMac lol wow amazing upgrades! Kudos to u💕💕

    And how about a update design work with your iPad Pro. I’m still debating if I should upgrade to 11 inch from 10.5

  10. Nathanael Luttrell on May 29, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    I prefer using a trackpad as well. Especially with Figma!

  11. Whitney Titus on May 29, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    I hear a lot of people hating on apple users. I pay for the ecosystem. I pay to be able to use my cellphone on my computer and answer text messages when it’s in the other room charging. I pay to be able to keep my messages and voicemail handy when I’m working or at school and have my cellphone in my locker. I pay to be able to listen to music while I do my work without needing my phone around. The apple ecosystem is just the best imo and it’s so streamlined and sleek. Sure I could pay less than half to DIY a system with android devices, but when I can buy a whole system of products that work seamlessly together right out of the box….I’d happily save up to do so. I’d choose my imac, ipad pro, macbook pro, apple watch and iphone combo over any android system any day.

  12. Maria Strong on May 29, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Love your videos 💛

  13. Smish on May 29, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Step 1: Sell kidney.

  14. Erica Cotten on May 29, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    I use a macbook pro with a monitor for design/normal things and then I have a PC for gaming–I love em both!

  15. Kathy Azada on May 29, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    I work on a 15 inch 2014 Macbook Pro paired with an even older Mac Cinema display. All are starting to show their age. WORKHORSES. Funny work story: I was presenting to a client and they had an effing huge 86 inch 4K (they produce films) that they were trying to wirelessly hook to my computer–something wasn’t interfacing correctly with their apple tv and I had to say after apologizing: "It’s not the tools, it’s the artist." We have a good informal relationship so I said it semi-comically, but hey–it’s TRUE. Also? Refurbished FTW!!

  16. EclecticRenaissanceFrank Mooradian on May 29, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Macbook needs to ditch those butterfly keys for a mechanical key with travel.

  17. Souris on May 29, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    i love imac a lot, i use it at my company, can’t buy for personal use tho, too expensive and I play game.

  18. Arthur Vincent Simon on May 29, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    Anyone know what the software is being used at 8:10?

  19. Dragon Whimsy on May 29, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    Always fun to see what toys… err… I mean equipment everyone uses. And yes I’d love to see the video on how you sync your computers up using Dropbox.

  20. soakedbootcuts on May 29, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Yes please do the file synching video

  21. Yassine BOUKLAL on May 29, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    *Your hair colour is perfectly matching your brand colour palette*

  22. mahreeoh on May 29, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    If you’re replacing them, get the 13" MacBook Pro with TouchBar. Those are fast and still super portable, and the TouchBar version has two fans in there and not only one as the non-TouchBar MacBook Pros.

  23. Melanie Delgado on May 29, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    I’m looking into getting an iMac Pro 🖥, but I would like to know if I can connect my MacBook Pro 15” to it (and use it as a second monitor) and how all my file syncing would work. I do like to take my laptop away from my desk sometimes and work wherever I want. Would love to see a video on this 🙂

  24. sijil o on May 29, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Yes 700 is saving

  25. Jorge Alberto Benavides Ojinaga on May 29, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    How do you not use the numpad? Are you one of those designers that dont measure stuff? wHY!

  26. Lg4242 on May 29, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    I have the same MacBook Pro as you, and when I feel like working at a desk I have a generic monitor I plug into…I also have the first iPad Pro and apple pencil

  27. MyVideoMix on May 29, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    Does anyone know if you could exclusively use an iPad Pro for Print on Demand design. Using Affinity & Procreate.
    It’s just easier for me to pay off an iPad through my mobile carrier than get a loan for an iMac.

  28. Rachel Mermon on May 29, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    MacBook Pro 15” 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

  29. Mohamad Zakaria on May 29, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    just curious, is there something you can do in macbook pro, but you can’t do in macbook 12 in design? or is it just slower?

  30. Ian Krigla on May 29, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Use a hp envy 13. The 8th gen core i5 and nvidia mx150 is the best combo (Adobe xd, AI, Ps and the usual ram killer chrome)

  31. endesign on May 29, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    thanks for keeping an old chook like me up-to-date with the latest.

  32. Computer-Boy on May 29, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    I work on laptop on a Apple MacBook Pro 2015 with a monitor and keyboard and mouse.

  33. Marissa on May 29, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    I work at a startup and then do some freelance on the side so I needed a computer that would be powerful but portable to take to and from work. I recently just bought a new MacBook Pro 15" as my old 2015 13" MacBook Pro was on its death bed and I’m loving it. Getting an iMac would be a good investment as well, but I currently utilise my iPad (2018) as a second monitor when I’m at home if I need it and I have an external monitor at work. 🙂

  34. Suren Balayan on May 29, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    Love your videos! Greetings from Russia! I am really waiting you in 4k!

  35. Petr Stepanov on May 29, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    I use same MacBook Pro 2104 with a Debian Linux on it and work in Figma. Gave up on MacOS because it started randomly freezing the laptop.

  36. ESLfungus9 on May 29, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks for the tip! I also think figma is not the best option to share designs (because of the same reasons you mentioned) so since I already have Dropbox Business, I started using Dropbox Paper for sharing screens and write system documentation about the project. But I just found out that you can embed inVision files and screens to Dropbox Paper, so I can have the perfect combo for sharing designs and write documentation.

  37. Gem Witters on May 29, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    I’ve got an old, ooold 2010 macbook with an 11inch-ish screen and no memory available. I’m thinking of just buying a monitor to hook up to to do work on. I’ve only just started studying coding online. I was studying through Yoobee in nz but they don’t offer the courses i want online anymore so I was searching for alternatives and saw your vid talking about teamtreehouse so I’m going to have a trial of it. Also, I just love your vids. I’ve been playing them all day while I’ve been pottering around the house. You’re so succinct and interesting to listen to!

  38. missvd on May 29, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    I’m a die hard apple. So my work flow is MacBook 15 (2015) iPad Pro 10.5 and MacBook 12 inch (2016),
    Beats wireless and my ipod(lol yes I still use an iPod)
    I do design work,
    And video editing

    Did you design your iPad wallpaper it’s cute

    How a video with your work flow on the iPad. I still haven’t gotten use to the Smart Keyboard but I do want to use it instead of it collecting dust lol

  39. Kevin Cafferty on May 29, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Interesting content in your videos, answering a question I’ve been wondering about lately due to the release of "Concept D" laptops.

    I’m studying design and was wondering if there are any applications for note taking during classes.
    I’ve been writing everything down on paper, which is something I don’t really like as it consumes a lot of resources.

    Hope that there’s a good application.

    I’m hesitant to just use an application from the internet chosen by myself because I don’t want to risk choosing the wrong one.

  40. Kevin Daby on May 29, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Hey Charli, I was just wondering what kind of tech you use. I found an old interview with EasySpace and the link to your gear was broken. I came on YT and here is this vid to the rescue. I use a MacBook Pro 15” which I love but I was really eying the iMac 2019. Bit the bullet and just got it. Keep up the great work.

  41. Hanzo Bomb on May 29, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    Apple fan all products Apple good but really expensive and in my damm country spend doubled price and features are didn’t work because I’m in Damm country

  42. Subash Matheswaran on May 29, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    I do everything using my Lenovo 330 15" laptop ✌

  43. Yer Lee on May 29, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Can I have your mouse and keyboard? 😂😂

  44. Muhammad Umar on May 29, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    How do you manage to get work? I mean where do you find clients for whom you work. I tried freelancing but it’s all luck, some months are amazing and some are very depressing. Kindly answer this because I read on your laptop "TEACH EVERYTHING YOU KNOW" 🙂

  45. Steph H on May 29, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Great video Charli! Similar to you I am a Mac Geek and use a 27” iMac, a 13” MacBook Pro and the 2018 12.9” iPad Pro. When I travel I take both the MacBook Pro & the iPad with me as they’re both pretty much equal size. I love the new Apple Pencil too (even though I was gutted to be forced into upgrading), but I wonder how you go with keeping it secure with your cases? I have the folio case too and am concerned the Pencil will get damaged without it being protected (I usually travel with it in a separate pouch).

  46. Dian Melody on May 29, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Can you add eng sub ad indo sub in all your video? Please..

  47. Marie Designz on May 29, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    A MacBook Pro with a monitor attached to it. Logo designer, writer, shirt designer

  48. Dylan Bystedt on May 29, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    Studying computer science has meant that I’ve had to jump around between many different machines and operating systems. I’m now bothered by all of them… But I have found that I really do like a dual monitor setup. In development, you have to have so many windows of different tools and processes open sometimes, that it’s just nice to spread them out so you can watch logs as things run, instead of clicking through your 12 windows in the command line. I also like a full sized keyboard. And I mainly stay on the keyboard, so mouse vs trackpad doesn’t bother me until I’m on the Mac without a "magic" device. There is no gesture support and it sucks!

  49. Eddie Jaoude on May 29, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    The iMac Pro is the best computer I have ever had 👍 and it easily powers my 3 other 5k screens at the same time 🤓. I miss it when I have to leave my home office 😔😂. Waiting for the rumoured 16” MacBook Pro hopefully later this year 😎

  50. Shawna Stephens on May 29, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Good content! I’m the same way when it comes to trying to get as much life as I can out of my I just updated to a mid-2015 MBP (almost new/mint condition) from eBay and I’m lovin’ it! Just wasn’t ready to invest into the newer models just I work on my MBP with an external 25" monitor. I also have the magic trackpad and I do find myself using it over a mouse. My goal is to land a role were I can work remotely as well. Once I land that role, I’ll then invest into an iMac Pro desktop..😉

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