If you're a creator of any kind, you're probably using Adobe Creative Cloud. Love Adobe or not, programs like Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere Pro have become industry standards for photography, digital art, and video production.

Creative Cloud made these apps more accessible to more people thanks to a subscription model that always gives access to the latest versions of the software, compared to a one-off cost of hundreds of dollars every few years. It's also nice that you can get per-app subscriptions, so if you only want Photoshop, for example, that's all you need to pay for and it starts around $10 a month.

A good Creative Cloud experience, and therefore a productive creating experience, needs a good PC to go with it. These are the ones we recommend.

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Best all-in-one

Microsoft Surface Studio

The Surface Studio isn't just an all-in-one PC. It's perhaps the most innovative desktop computer in recent memory. This powerful Windows 10 PC is packaged in a stunning, sleek, and slim form factor. Oh, and it also folds down flat like the biggest, most glorious sketch pad you've ever seen.

The Surface Studio is an amazing PC, but it comes alive when you're a creator. That massive display is all-touch with pen support, so it's an incredible digital canvas. Throw on the Surface Dial, and you've got a killer toolset at your fingertips. It isn't cheap, but at the upper levels you can get fairly capable dedicated graphics from NVIDIA that will even be OK for some modest gaming.

Bottom line: The Surface Studio is a category-changing all-in-one PC.

One more thing: It is pretty expensive, with prices starting at $3,000. But the best things often are.

Best laptop

Dell XPS 15

Photographers and videographers need to see what they're working with. In that case, the gorgeous 4K display on the Dell XPS 15 (starting at about $1,000) just makes sense.

The display is 15.6 inches and has full touch functionality for those of you who like to be hands-on. A seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core processor with up to a 3.8GHz clock speed and 32GB of DDR4 RAM is more than enough power to handle the software needed to work with high-res images, and an NVIDIA GTX 1050 with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM powers the beautiful 4K display. A handful of ports — including HDMI, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt 3 — round out this powerful laptop.

Bottom line: For a laptop with a beautiful 4K display — crucial for creative work — go with the Dell XPS 15.

One more thing: A 2-in-1 version of the XPS 15 (9575) was announced at CES 2018. Keep an eye out for its expected release sometime in spring 2018.

Best 2-in-1

Microsoft Surface Book 2

The Surface Book 2 is the ultimate 2-in-1 laptop with its detachable "clipboard" and full digital pen support.

Its modular design — the keyboard and touchpad can be completely removed — does not hinder its performance. In fact, it enhances it, bringing additional battery life and graphics power to the mix. This is the closest you'll get to true desktop performance from a 13- or 15-inch laptop. Choose an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and even a dedicated NVIDIA 1050 or 1060 graphics cards.

The 13.5-inch or 15-inch touchscreen with beautiful 3000 x 2000 resolution works in tandem with the included Surface Pen, and you can add the Surface Dial for additional functionality.

The premium build and high performance come at a price. Configurations start at $1,199 and go all the way above $3,000.

Best desktop

Dell XPS Tower 8920

Flexibility is important when buying a pre-built desktop PC for creative work. In this case, Dell's XPS Tower 8920 (starting at about $700) fits the bill and comes with an affordable starting price tag.

Get up to an Intel Core i7-7700 processor (CPU), 16GB of DDR4 RAM, an NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics card (GPU) with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and a 1TB, 7,200 RPM hard-disk drive (HDD) with 16GB of Intel Optane memory acceleration. This is all contained in an understated black case with plenty of ports and a room for upgrades such as additional SSD drives.

Bottom line: One of the best all-round desktop PCs and perfect for the creator who needs power and flexibility.

One more thing: The Dell XPS Tower Special Edition is also available for anyone who needs even more power, just in case you also like to game.

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