10 Laptops for Photo Editing on a Budget to Choose in 2022

By Tati Taylor 15 days ago, Hardware

Is it real to find an efficient but affordable laptop for photo editing?

top 3 laptop for photo editing on a budget

When you are just beginning editing in Lightroom or Photoshop or are looking for a portable laptop to work on the go, you will immediately begin searching for the best laptop for photo editing on a budget. However, despite the price, it must have certain parameters such as a powerful processor, accurate color reproduction, integrated memory, graphics card, and proper screen resolution.

Top 10 Laptops for Photo Editing on a Budget List

  1. Asus Vivobook S 14 - The best laptop for photo editing on a budget
  2. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 - Includes a stylus
  3. Lenovo ThinkBook 15 Gen 2 - A lightweight device
  4. Acer Aspire 5 - Value for money
  5. Dell Inspiron 5000 (2-in-1) - A tablet mode for editing on the go
  6. Asus ZenBook Pro - Accurate color rendering
  7. Lenovo Yoga 730 (2-in-1) - Multitasking device
  8. Acer Spin 5 - Affordable device for photo editing
  9. HP Chromebook 14 FHD - Very pocket-friendly laptop for photo editing
  10. Lenovo Flex 5 - Works great for beginners

You won’t find here very cheap laptops for less than $300. For this money, you could get a decent laptop, but its characteristics wouldn’t be very convenient for image processing. So, the threshold of your budget should start from $300. If you aren’t confused by it, then choose one of these 10 cheap laptops for photo editing from this list.

1. Asus Vivobook S 14 – Our Choice

The best laptop for photo editing on a budget
asus vivobook s14 laptop for photo editing on a budget

Specs: 15.6 inches (1920 x 1080) | Processor: Intel Core i7-10510U | RAM: 8GB | Ports: USB Type-C, 2x USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, SD card reader

  • ✚ High-end performance
  • ✚ Port for the second disk
  • ✚ Great color reproduction
  • ✚ AI noise-reduction
  • Dim display
  • Weak battery
Rating

This large screen laptop looks like an obvious winner with its premium design, small weight and clear colorful display. It is a mid-range laptop with multiple drives. Vivobook features a 256 GB solid-state drive and it is possible to install a second disk, there is space for it in the body.

Unfortunately, this appealing laptop has a few annoying issues – short battery life and a not-so-comfortable touchpad. However, if you are looking for a powerful device capable of running photo editing software, this model is what you need.

2. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

Includes a stylus
lenovo chromebook flex 5 laptop for photo editing on a budget

Specs: 13.3 inches (1920 x 1080) | Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i3-10110U | RAM: 8GB | Ports: USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1, one USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 1, a combo audio jack, a microSD reader, and a Kensington lock.

  • ✚ Touch screen
  • ✚ Long battery life
  • ✚ Foldable into tablet
  • ✚ Low price
  • Inaccurate color reproduction
Rating

If you are starting with picture editing, this laptop under 500 dollars may be a good option to try. It keeps even the most powerful editing software running smoothly. Besides, the price is lower compared to the average laptops of the category. The device comes with a stylus to help you make edits or draw directly on the screen. Thus, it is a great laptop for artists.

You can fold the laptop lid to convert it into a tablet. However, it offers only 74% of the sRGB color gamut, resulting in a less accurate color reproduction. If you are a beginner, you need to improve colors carefully to get a satisfactory result.

3. Lenovo ThinkBook 15 Gen 2

A lightweight device
lenovo thinkbook 15 gen 2 laptop for photo editing on a budget

Specs: 15.6 inches (1920 x 1080) | Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 4600U | RAM: 8GB | Ports: Thunderbol 4, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, HDMI, USB 3.2 Gen 1

  • ✚ Numerous ports
  • ✚ Compact and lightweight
  • ✚ Full HD resolution
  • ✚ TN-based LCD
  • The price is constantly rising
Rating

If you want to get a compact and lightweight laptop, you should consider this model. Since it’s only 18.9mm thick and weighs 1.7kg, you can both take it to the office and work from home.

Since the model has multiple ports, it stands out from most competitors. Here you’ll see Thunderbolt 4, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 USB-A, the one for headphone/mic, LAN, HDMI, and even a full-size SD card reader. Due to the full HD screen, you can work comfortably with images, reaching high contrast and accurate colors. You should opt for the IPS screen option to get the most benefits. 

4. Acer Aspire 5

Value for money
acer aspire 5 laptop for photo editing on a budget

Specs: 15.6 inches (1920 x 1080 pixels) | Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U | RAM: 4 GB | Ports: 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports & 1 HDMI port with HDCP support

  • ✚ Appealing all-metal body
  • ✚ Long battery life
  • ✚ Satisfying NVIDIA graphic performance
  • ✚ Accurate colors with 95% sRGB
  • Difficult to update the configuration
  • Glossy screen
Rating

This high-performance laptop has a minimalistic design with an aluminum body, a metal gray cover with ring trim and polished edges on the sides. The large screen has 3840x2160 resolution UHD, which is more than enough for professional image retouchers who don’t feel like working with Apple (ZenBook copies their design almost completely).

I like the ultra-sharp detail of the images. The screen is capable of displaying up to 110% of the sRGB color gamut and has a brightness of 289 units. ZenBook Pro touchpad is quite responsive and lets you easily take advantage of multi-touch gestures, which makes it the best laptop for photo editing on a budget.

5. Dell Inspiron 5000 (2-in-1)

A tablet mode for editing on the go
dell inspiron 5000 2in1 laptop for photo editing on a budget

Specs: 15.6 inches (1920x1080 pixels) | Processor: Intel Whiskey Lake-U | RAM: 8GB | Ports: 2 x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 1) 1 x USB Type-A (USB 2.0)

  • ✚ Responsive touch screen with stylus support
  • ✚ Decent build even with the plastic body
  • ✚ Expandable memory and storage
  • ✚ Flip-over screen
  • A bit dim screen for outdoor use
Rating

Dell Inspiron 5000 2-in-1 is the best 14-inch laptop for improving images. The responsiveness of the touchscreen is impressive, but it lacks half the colors of the sRGB, and it is dimmer than you would expect from a multimedia device. This is disappointing because the battery life of this 14-inch laptop is fantastic.

You can flip back and around this 14-inch Full HD screen to convert it into a tablet PC, though not very thin. If you need a laptop for Photoshop, this device may not fully satisfy your need, as using Photoshop workspace on it is troublesome. Thanks to a sensitive touch-screen, you can use Dell Inspiron as a basic pen-enabled tablet for photo editing or an advanced laptop for graphic design.

6. Asus ZenBook Pro

Accurate color rendering
asus zenbook pro laptop for photo editing on a budget

Specs: 14 inches (3840 x110 pixels) | Processor: Intel Core i7-1165G7 | RAM: 32GB | Ports: two USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, and an HDMI port

  • ✚ Appealing all-metal body
  • ✚ Long battery life
  • ✚ Satisfying NVIDIA graphic performance
  • ✚ Accurate colors with 95% sRGB
  • Difficult to update the configuration
  • Glossy screen
Rating

This high-performance laptop has a minimalistic design with an aluminum body, a metal gray cover with ring trim and polished edges on the sides. The large screen has 3840x2160 resolution UHD, which is more than enough for professional image retouchers who don’t feel like working with Apple (ZenBook copies their design almost completely).

I like the ultra-sharp detail of the images. The screen is capable of displaying up to 110% of the sRGB color gamut and has a brightness of 289 units. ZenBook Pro touchpad is quite responsive and lets you easily take advantage of multi-touch gestures, which makes it the best laptop for photo editing on a budget.

7. Lenovo Yoga 730 (2-in-1)

Multitasking device
lenovo yoga 730 2in1 laptop for photo editing on a budget

Specs: 15.6 inches (3840 x 2160 pixels) | Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ | RAM: 8GB | Ports: USB Type-C with Thunderbolt, USB 3.1, 2 x USB 3.0

  • ✚ Range of 4K display settings
  • ✚ Amazing screen specs
  • ✚ Performance device
  • ✚ Sleek design
  • Poor screen brightness
Rating

If you take photos in high resolution, then this is the best cheap laptop for picture editing. You can easily convert this detachable laptop into a tablet, making it a device to work on the go. This hardware makes it easy to encode tons of images in RAW format.

The 2-in-1 feature allows removing the keyboard and zooming in on the screen to improve picture editing efficiency. Much can be said about the benefit of having a 4K display when dealing with photos and videos – they turn out better compared to FHD screens in terms of color and accuracy. Yoga 720 works about 8-9 hours before you need to charge it, and this should be enough.

Based on its parameters, Lenovo Yoga 730 is a worthy laptop for the money.

8. Acer Spin 5

Affordable device for photo editing
acer spin 5 laptop for photo editing on a budget

Specs: 13.3 inches (1920 x 1080) | Processor: Core i7-8550U Processor (Up to 4.0GHz) | RAM: 8 GB | Ports: Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth and it comes with 4 USB ports, HDMI Port, Multi Card Slot, Headphone and Mic Combo Jack, VGA Port, Mic In, RJ45 (LAN), RJ11

  • ✚ High-quality screen
  • ✚ Good performance
  • ✚ Universal 2-in-1 function
  • ✚ Decent, responsive keyboard
  • Little screen
Rating

If you’re looking for a laptop under 1000 dollars, Acer Spin 5 is your choice. Though it is a pocket-friendly model, it still offers powerful and fast performance suitable for running Adobe software. While it is one of the best portable laptops, it includes decent specs to serve as a desktop replacement laptop.

Though 13-inch screen is not very convenient due to its size, ths laptop features a built-in graphics processor from Intel with 256 GB flash memory which enables smooth image editing. The versatility of the 2-in-1 and 13-hour battery life make it an indispensable companion and the best travel laptop for photographers. I suggest installing an SSD drive for better RAW-format picture post-processing.

9. HP Chromebook 14 FHD

Budget-friendly laptop for photo editing
hp chromebook 14 fhd laptop for photo editing on a budget

Specs: 14 inches (1920 x 1080 pixels) | Processor: Dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 | RAM: 8GB | Ports: USB Type-C port, a USB 3.0 port and a lock slot

  • ✚ Portable
  • ✚ Long battery life
  • ✚ Basic functions on point
  • ✚ Budget-friendly
  • Not powerful enough for professional editing programs
  • Not optimized for Windows and macOS
Rating

If you’re looking for a editing laptop under 350 dollars, you should consider HP Chromebook 14 FHD. It is designed for Google ChromeOS. It’s pretty intuitive and allows running apps from Google Play Store similar to Android devices. Though you can’t use Photoshop, it is still possible to launch Photoshop alternatives, including Lightroom Mobile, and Snapseed.

This laptop with long battery life (up to 11 hours) has a 14-inch Full HD 1080p screen. Since there is an IPS panel, you don’t have to deal with limited viewing angles or poor contrast. Make sure you select the right version of the laptop since the market offers other models with smaller screens. When it comes to display quality, pay a bit more not to get a low-quality device.

10. Lenovo Flex 5

Works great for beginners
lenovo flex 5 laptop for photo editing on a budget

Specs: 14 inches (1920x1080) | Processor: Ryzen 5 5500U | RAM: 16GB | Ports: 2 USB-A ports, 1 USB-C with PD to support power charging, HDMI, a 4-in-1 card reader, and an audio jack

  • ✚ Strong computing performance
  • ✚ Great value
  • ✚ Soft-touch, long-lasting chassis
  • ✚ Touch input is supported
  • Could be lighter
  • Its display is a bit dim
Rating

This laptop is a great option for those who want to get amazing performance for little money. Thanks to its high specs and 2-in-1 ability, it outperforms its Windows competitors in terms of image editing capabilities. This device delivers smooth performance for Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrators and similar programs. The laptop has 6 Core CPU units and 16 GB of RAM for a great user experience. It also has a long battery life for extended use without recharging.

This model comes with a precise stylus. This means you don't need a separate drawing tablet to get ultra-accurate photo editing results. Keep in mind that the screen only supports 74% of the sRGB color gamut. Therefore, you should be more careful when correcting colors. The laptop has a high-precision touchscreen interface. It will make life easier for beginner editors.

IMAGE NAME FEATURES
asus vivobook s14 laptop for photo editing on a budget
Asus Vivobook S 14
OUR CHOICE
  • Fast performance
  • Clear screen
  • High-quality color reproduction
CHECK PRICE
lenovo thinkbook 15 gen 2
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 Gen 2
LIGHTWEIGHT
  • Compact design
  • LCD display
  • Several ports
CHECK PRICE
hp chromebook 14 fhd
HP Chromebook 14 FHD
CHEAP
  • Long battery life
  • Lightweight
  • High screen resolution
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose the Best Laptop for Photo Editing on a Budget?

Since photo editing apps become more and more modernized, for a normal operation you will need more powerful equipment, which most often is more expensive. Therefore, choosing affordable laptops for photo editing is not an easy task.

Processor. For faster picture post-production, you need a faster processor. Many newer budget laptops come with an i5 or i7 processor, and these are two of the best types of processors available. It is important to take into consideration the year when the processor was manufactured because it greatly affects the true speed of the processor.

Choosing between the i5 laptop of this year and the i7 laptop of past years, you should choose a newer one.

Graphics card. A modern cheap laptop for Photoshop typically has graphics cards built in the processor or located on the motherboard. The last generations of processors have built-in graphics cards sufficient to deal with photos of the primary and middle levels. If you need to edit very large photos, it is worth paying attention to a discrete graphics card (which isn’t built into the processor).

Random Access Memory (RAM). For most purposes, 8GB of memory should be enough, and that's good for large image editing projects. Nevertheless, if you plan on purchasing the best laptop for Photoshop, you might want to consider upgrading to 16GB RAM.

Storage. An affordable laptop for picture editing is supposed to have about 1TB of space. With a 1TB hard drive, you should have no problem storing a large number of images. However, if you don't want to spend money, you may consider using cloud storage for photos. There is also the possibility of buying an external drive, where you can store a huge number of pictures.

Screen. A resolution is very important because it lets you edit the smallest details of your pictures, so it is better to select 14-15-inch ones. 13-inch laptops are not very convenient for editing tasks. The display should be bright and accurate in color. I recommend choosing a display with Full HD resolution (1920x1080 pixels). But if you need to edit pictures of very high resolution, you will need a laptop with a 4K display (3840x2160) pixels.

F. A. Q.

  • • What specifications should I pay attention to when choosing a laptop for photo editing on a budget?

  • Intel I7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processor
  • 16Gb of Ram
  • 1080 (Full HD) Monitor
  • 500Gb SSD minimum
  • At least 2 USB ports

  • • Should I invest in a powerful laptop for photo editing?

If you need a laptop for image editing, you should choose the one with high processing power. As a rule, such laptops include multi-core processors and lots of RAM. When considering RAM, you should choose at least 16GB. However, the more RAM you get, the smoother and faster the performance will be.

  • • How much RAM do I need for Photoshop?

The minimum requirement for upgradeable laptops is 8GB of RAM.

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