Choosing a new best laptop for photo editing in Photoshop and storing photos, but can’t choose among numerous identical (from the first glance) models? I’ve prepared a full review of 18 different laptops for photographers from $350 to $1700 that differ in prices, screen, RAM, CPU, GPU, and storage settings. Let’s find your best laptop for Photoshop together!
If the photographer’s weapon is his/her camera and lenses, then the photo retoucher’s weapon is the best laptop or best computer for photo editing . This is a device for viewing, editing photos, and other work connected with pictures that all photo retouchers need. Since the most frequently-used photo editing programs are Lightroom and Photoshop (view more about how to download Photoshop free), I chose the laptops based on their system requirements, namely:
Your laptop must meet these requirements if you want to edit images in Lightroom and Photoshop like a pro. For you not to spend days and nights looking for a perfect model, I have compiled a list of the best laptops for photo editing.
Price: about $900
Specs: 15.6" Full HD, Intel Core i7-7700HQ, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD+1TB HDD
Vivobook M580VD is produced as a gaming laptop, and this means that the configuration, the speed and display, will be quite good. The 15.6-inch display has a resolution of Full HD. ASUS VivoBook M580VD has a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port with a USB Type-C connector that supports data transfer rate up to 5 Gbps and UHD output for external displays. Video card with 4 GB of memory can easily cope with a resolution of 4K Ultra HD. The internal memory of the laptop is 16 GB of DDR4 RAM. For storage, the laptop comes with a 256 GB SSD, and a 1 TB hard drive. SSD - provides quick loading of the OS and applications for photo editing. The gaming laptop has its own advantages, as there're some extra features. One of them is a backlit keyboard. Another feature is the design with two fans. They dissipate more heat, and so when you run heavy apps, the laptop stays cool. Connectivity options include standard USB and Wi-Fi. So, it's one of the best laptops on the market in the category of the best windows laptop for photo editing.
Price: about $1600
Specs: 15.6" FullHD, Intel Core i7-8750H, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
Most people don't need a laptop, such as this one. The regular person hardly uses half of its capacity for a price of more than $1500. And even if they had this amount of money in their budget, most of them simply don't need a discrete video card, a six-core processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a larger 15-inch screen. But what if it's necessary for you? What if you're a professional photo retoucher who edit too high resolution photos for advertising and printing? You need the best laptop for photo editing photography that can deal with heavy workload every day. The decision is obvious. It's a very powerful laptop for professionals. There's a processor i7-8750H 6-cores with a 1050Ti 4GB RAM video card, 16 GB of RAM with augmented 512 GB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe. 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 FHD anti-glare, IPS matrix 100% sRGB, brightness margin at a good level. In addition, the dimensions of a 14-inch laptop with a screen of 15.6 inches that is enough for all work tasks.
Price: about $1100
Specs: 15.6" Full HD, Intel Core i7-7700HQ, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD
It's a gaming laptop that is powered by a 7th generation Core i7 processor. This is a quad-core processor of the older generation. Its clock frequency is 2.8 GHz. However, with the increase, you can get a clock speed of 3.8 GHz. Graphics coprocessor NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB internal memory (GDDR5) is connected with the processor. The system includes the latest Max Q architecture from NVIDIA. This technology is created to dissipate heat and control overall GPU performance. For photographers, this is the best laptop for photography due to its balancing between high temperature and maximum performance. The presence of 128 GB SSD is needed for faster loading and for work of both the system and your photo editing software. The laptop’s display is of 15.6-inch with IPS technology and Full HD resolution. The maximum refresh rate is 60 Hz. Although the last features are a little irrelevant, as if you're a photographer, you'll use the laptop first of all for editing images and for viewing them, and for these purposes, a high refresh rate isn't a necessity.
Price: about $1300
Specs: 13.3" Full HD, Intel i7-8550U, 16GB RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
It is an acceptable laptop for the photographers, if you put the priority on the mobility and weight, with the laptop power at the proper level. It is considered to be the best PC laptop for photo editing if you regularly use it during the photo shootings. It is equipped with i7-8550U (1.8 GHz base frequency, up to 4 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 4 cores) + Intel UHD Graphics 620, 16GB RAM. The disk also pleases with 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD. The 13.3-inch screen is good for portability, but this leads to a restrictive workspace in Photoshop. Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) on a screen of this size makes it extremely clear. Overall brightness, uniformity, and 81% coverage of Adobe RGB are average. The same can be said about performance, but the Intel i7-8550U processor is focused on energy efficiency in comparison with the direct speed. We also recommend upgrading to 16 GB of RAM to ensure smooth work process in Photoshop. There is only one regular USB port, as well as two USB-C ports and a Micro SD slot. This is certainly not the best laptop for photo editing photography if to talk about the performance, but it is quite a worthy product due to its mobility and versatility.
Price: about $378
Specs: 15.6" Full HD, Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD
Among the laptops we are considering, this is one of the most inexpensive one with a large display. This gives Acer a slight advantage when comparing the best laptop for photo editing on a budget. You will certainly be pleased with the resolution, especially when editing RAW images.
The operating frequency of the laptop is 2.2 GHz. Acer internal memory is the dual-channel memory with a capacity of 6 GB, and internal memory - 1 TB HDD. The system comes preloaded with Windows 10 Home Editon. In addition, for this price class, it is the best laptop for photo editing under 500 that has long battery life (up to 13.5 hours), good sound quality and connectivity (Wi-Fi, USB3 and USB-C).
Price: about $1300
Specs: 17.3" Full HD, Intel Core i7-8550U, 16GB DDR4, 1TB + 256GB NVMe SSD
This HP laptop has a 17.3-inch Full HD IPS display with good viewing angles and quality anti-reflective coating. It also has sensory functions. It's not just that it has a wonderful design, but it also has the powerful software, which gives it the right to be the best laptop for photo editing produced by HP. With the latest Intel Core i7-8550U processor on the 8th generation, it works with a clock frequency of up to 4 GHz. Together with 16 GB of RAM, this laptop can easily cope with heavy multitasking. The combined storage space for this laptop has 1 TB of hard disk + 256 GB SSD for faster loading. The video card of this HP laptop comes with a 4 GB of NVIDIA GeForce MX150 video card, which is enough for working in such programs as Photoshop, and Lightroom. This makes it the best 17 inch laptop for photo editing.
Price: about $1100
Specs: 15.6" Full HD, Intel Core i7-8750H, 12GB RAM, 1TB HDD
Are you still wondering what is the best laptop for photo editing? Consider about this one. The HP Omen series of laptops is very well known on the market due to their flawless and uninterrupted performance. This Omen 15, released in 2018, comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display, which is great for post-processing the photos in graphics editors. You should take into account that the laptop does not support the touch-sensitive screen. The laptop is equipped with the latest six-core Intel Core i7 processor with a clock speed of up to 4.1 GHz, and the processor power is paired with 12 GB of DDR4 RAM for efficient multitasking. Storage on the laptop is provided by a fast 1TB 7200 RPM drive and an even faster 128 GB NVMe SSD. As for graphics, it has a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 GB of graphics memory. However, the laptop is equipped with not the largest battery. However, taking into consideration that it features the best laptop display for photo editing (the screen resolution and screen size), this should be a minor problem for all users.
Price: about $1100
Specs: 15.6" Ultra HD, Intel Quad-Core i7-6700HQ, 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD
Dell Inspiron 7000 i7559 is a 15.6 "high resolution display laptop (UHD) 3840 x 2160. For professional photo editors, the possibility to edit still images on a high resolution screen is very important, so this means that you will definitely like Dell. In addition, the screen belongs to the touchscreen type. Personally, I think that touchscreens aren’t the best laptop screens for photo editing, as they usually work as fingerprint magnets. Dell power is Intel Quad Core i7-6700 HQ processor with a clock frequency of 2.6 GHz, which makes it one of the best laptops for photo editing. There are four cores with eight maximal flows. The processor can be accelerated to 3.5 GHz. The graphics are equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M unit with 4GB of GDDR5 integrated memory. Laptop storage is 1TB HDD of a drive plus 128GB SSD. Internal memory on a computer is16GB DDR3L. One of the characteristic features of the laptop is that it comes with a service hatch.
Price: about $900
Specs: 13.5” Full HD, Intel Core i5-7200U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
It is the first time Surface Microsoft appeared in this line. This laptop has Intel Core i5-7200U 7th generation processor, which works with a clock frequency of 3.1 GHz. The internal storage of the laptop is 256GB SSD. There is no traditional hard disk. The internal laptop memory is 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM. You can additionally upgrade memory up to 16GB. However, there is only one slot. The graphics core is Intel HD 620 processor (some variants come with Intel Iris Plus graphics). The laptop has 13.5-inches display with a resolution of 2256 x 1504. Besides, there is a touchscreen. Is this the best laptop for photo editing? A small 13.5-inch screen is not the diagonal that is convenient to constantly use for image editing. Although, you can always connect an additional display (monitor) for convenient work. What about ports? The laptop comes with USB 3.1 (without USB 2.0), a mini-port display, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There are optional: Surface Dial, Surface Pen, Surface Dock.
Price: about $990
Specs: 15.6" Full HD, Intel Core i7- 7700HQ, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD
Dell Inspiron is rated as a gaming laptop. It is equipped with a quad-core Intel Core -i7 - 7700HQ. The increased clock frequency is 3.8 GHz, while the laptop base clock frequency of is 2.8 GHz. Laptop memory is 8GB (2400 MHz DDR4), although you can add up to 32GB. The system is interfaced with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics processor and 4GB dedicated graphics RAM. Laptop storage comprises dual SSD + HDD solution. 12 GB SSD provides faster boot time and faster loading of main applications and 1TB of hard disk (5400 rpm). The 15.6 "laptop display with full resolution FULL HD. Besides, the laptop has a monitor with anti-reflective coating and LED backlighting, which allows you to use it even in bright light. Though it was initially positioned as a gaming device, we can also call it the best laptop for video and photo editing.
Price: about $700
Specs: 15.6" Full HD, Intel Core i5-7300HQ, 8GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD
Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-51-55WL) works on i5 7th generation Intel Core - 7300 HQ (quad-core processor) and together with a GeForce GTX Ti 1050 GPU. The processor can work with a frequency of up to 2.5 GHz. Core i5 processors are not as fast to handle processor tasks as Core i7 are. You can do several tasks at once, as well as edit photos using Lightroom and Photoshop. That’s why some retouchers call it the best laptop for photo editing on a budget. The integrated GPU memory is 4GB GDDR5 VRAM, and the laptop total internal memory is 8GB DDR4. Internal storage is 256GB SSD. Thanks to the SSD, the boot time, as well as the apps loading time, is increased. There is no standard HDD, so 256GB may not be enough for you. Laptop screen size is 15.6 "and screen resolution is Full HD with IPS technology.
Price: about $1000
Specs: 13.3” Full HD, 8th gen Intel i5-8250U Processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB M.2 SSD
ASUS Zenbook UX330UA-AH55 is advertised as an ultra-thin laptop. The display is only 13.3 inches. The laptop has Full HD screen resolution (1920 x 1080). The anti-glare display promises convenient work under bright light. This best laptop for photography has the 8th generation Intel i5-8250U 1.6 GHz processor. Max Turbo Frequency of the processor can be up to 3.4 GHz. The laptop internal storage is 256GB SATA 3 M.2 SSD, and the internal memory is 8GB LPDDR3. There is no traditional hard disk. ZenBook UX330UA-AH55 uses an older SATA connection compared to a more modern PCI Express type, which means that performance will be slower than other laptops with modern connector standard have. One of the aesthetic features of ZenBook UX330UA-AH55 is the metal case, which is typical of this series.
Price: about $600
Specs: 15.6" Full HD, Intel Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM Memory, 256GB SSD
Acer Aspire E 15 has a 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5 - 8250U 8th generation processor. The laptop processor is interfaced with a GeForce MX150 graphics processor. This processor is a mobile version of the desktop GPU GT 1030. Relatively, the clock frequency and performance of the mobile version is much better than the desktop version, so Acer Aspire E 15 can’t be called the best PC laptop for photo editing. GRAM on GPU is 2GB. The internal laptop memory is 8GB of DDR3L RAM, and the memory is 256GB. You can additionally upgrade the internal memory, adding another memory card. There is no hard disk (HDD) in the laptop. A good 15.6-inch display on a laptop monitor has Full HD resolution.
Price: about $500
Specs: 17.3" HD, Intel Core i5-8250U, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD
Lenovo has several laptops with unsurpassed characteristics in almost all price segments. This model with a 17.3-inch display and very attractive features is called the best laptop for photo editing under 1000. Speaking of exteriors and build quality, the laptop is entirely made of plastic but is still strong and reliable. This laptop has a 17.3-inch display, which is mostly glossy and isn’t produced with a matte finish. The laptop has HD resolution of 1600 × 900 pixels, which is a small drawback if we take into account a large screen size of 17.3 inches. The laptop is equipped with the latest Intel Core i5 processor of the 8th generation and 8GB of RAM. Concerning storage, it has 1TB hard drive, in terms of graphics, the device is equipped with Intel UHD 620 integrated graphics. In general, this 17-inch laptop is one of the best laptops for video and photo editing because of its large display and powerful hardware specifications.
Price: about $500
Specs: 15.6” Full HD, Intel Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD
ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51 is a budgetary laptop that costs a little bit more than $ 500. Although it was presented as a laptop to $500, in fact, it is more efficient compared to some other laptops that we have listed here. And the price is not much higher. All in all, this is the best laptop for photo editing under 500.
It is based on Intel Core i5-8250U processor, which is synchronized with a frequency of 1.6 GHz when it isn’t increased, and 3.4 GHz when it is activated with turbocharging. The internal memory of the laptop is 8GB DDR4, and the internal memory is 1TB (5400 rpm). DDR4 RAM consumes much less power and is faster than DDR3 RAM of the previous generation. Being best budget laptop for photo editing, ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51doesn’t have a backlit keyboard. But it doesn’t make me too disappointed. There is no SSD drive, considering the price of the laptop. Without an SSD, you will have some delay while turning on the laptop and loading applications, especially while editing photos. The display of the laptop is 15.6 FULL HD (1920 x 1080). The screen is anti-glare, which means that you can use it under bright light (although, in practice, it is not 100% efficient).
Price: about $380
Specs: 15.6" Full HD, Intel Core i7-7700HQ, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD+1TB HDD
This laptop is equipped with an AMD chip, which is the 7th generation AMD A12-9720P quad-core processor with a clock frequency of 2.7 GHz. The performance of this processor is very similar to the competing Intel Skylake Core i3 model. Together with the processor, the integrated Radeon-graphics R7 features better and smoother graphics. Built-in laptop memory is 8GB DDR4. Laptop storage is 1TB (5400 rpm). Small budget laptops with an AMD processor come predominantly with a sub-full HD display. There are no exceptions since Lenovo also comes with 1366 x 768screen resolution. In addition to USB and Wi-Fi, you also have a Bluetooth connection. This is a good device, but with such a screen resolution it can’t be called the best laptop for photo editing 2018.
Price: about $380
Specs: 15.6" HD, Intel Core i3-7100U, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD
Dell is an efficient laptop manufacturer, which we can rely on. Besides, Inspiron series is already a well-known Dell laptop line. Inspiron i3567 budget laptop does not look cheap and comes with a stylish textured finish. Speaking of the internal components of the laptop, it is powered by 2.4 GHz Intel Core i3-7100U paired with 8GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics. The laptop is produced with 1TB hard drive capacity, which is the standard for the best laptops for photo editing. The laptop has 15.6-inch HD LED display with 1366x768resolution. Concerning performance, Inspiron i3567 provides satisfactory daily work. Although, the laptop is a bit heavy. This Dell Inspiron laptop is the best budget model with all the latest hardware you can buy for less than $500. All in all, it can be called the best laptop for photo editing under 500.
Price: about $470
Specs: 15.6" HD Touchscreen, AMD A12 3.6GHz, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD
AMD always seems to find its way into the low-cost laptop segment. This means that you’ll probably find lots of AMD product for less than $500. This laptop has 8GB of DDR4 SDRAM and 1TB of HDD storage. It also has AMD Radeon R7 graphics and comes with Windows 10 preloaded.
The laptop has 15.6-inch HD SVA display with WLED backlight of 1366 x 768 resolution. Moreover, the display supports touch functions. Overall, it is a good laptop for basic image editing work. I dislike the fact that the display is not full HD. This approach limits the possibility to view images in large sizes and with high resolution while editing. That’s why I can’t say that it is the best cheap laptop for photo editing.
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At first glance, it may seem that a laptop that will satisfy you with all its characteristics should cost thousands of dollars. In fact, you need to chase not the price, but those characteristics that really matter if you need to use retouching programs. Here are my recommendations:
Choosing the best laptop screens for photo editing, you should pay attention to the type and resolution of the matrix. Only IPS matrix and a matte finish can provide ultra-accurate color rendering. In total, they provide an increased viewing angle up to 180 ° with high contrast and bright colors; correspondence to sRGB color scheme; realistic color reproduction in 16.7 million colors. For maximum detail, it is better to work with screens that have Full HD resolution or higher.
The RAM size is also very important. Especially if you want to work with large projects, any Adobe program will require a lot of RAM. Minimum you need 4 GB of RAM installed in a laptop, and preferably 8GB or even more.
The third important component is the processor. Since it is responsible for all computational processes, and often for graphics displaying, you should not skimp on it. With new Intel Core i5 or i7 models from, you will feel really confident.
A capacious graphics processor allows you to work better with Photoshop and Lightroom and use more features.
The speed of work is very important in the modern world. Work based on HDD drives become irrelevant due to low speed. There are SSD drives with the increased speed of work. The recommended amount of SSD to edit photos in graphics programs is 256 GB or more.
Older laptops may have GPUs, which aren’t supported by the latest Adobe software and significantly limit the functionality. The video card must be released in 2014 or later.
The following map series is no longer officially supported in Photoshop:
For convenient work with images, you need to use a variety of external devices – a mouse, a graphics tablet, a portable drive (HDD drive, flash drive) and some additional ones. To do this, you need to be able to connect a USB hub either to the USB connector or type-C/Thunderbold.
Since you will not always work on the road, and you just may need to view photos on the big screen, you need at least one connector to do this, both independently and using an adapter.
A small amount of RAM while working with a large number of layers and/or a high resolution photo may cause the program crash. It will close without saving your actions, and you’ll simply waste your time.
You may have some problems working with files in Adobe programs if your laptop doesn’t have SSD drives. Standard HDDs are by today's standards very slow and are often used to store backups. Using SSD, you can significantly speed up your work.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.