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What Is the Best Laptop for Photo Editing

If you thank that laptop is better for photo editing than a desktop computer, look though these top 10 recommended laptops for Photoshop and Lightroom. Today you need maximum mobility combined with maximum productivity. Many of today’s laptops easily compete with PCs in terms of speed and are great even for editing large raw files in Photoshop.

A photographer’s laptop must meet certain parameters because Adobe Photoshop CC is a program that is quite demanding on the characteristics of your computer/laptop.

My recommendations for choosing the best laptop for photo editing are:

Display: The minimum resolution is 1920 × 1080 with a size of 15.6 inches. Only IPS matrix, preferably matte screen.

CPU: A 4-core processor with a clock frequency of at least 2 Hz.

RAM: From 8GB for normal operation.

GPU: The best option is a discrete graphics card with 1GB of memory or more. The recommended bit width of the memory bus (affects the throughput and speed of loading textures) is 256 bits.

Memory capacity: The best choice is the presence of an SSD for installing programs and a system along with an HDD for storing files. In total, you must have a minimum of 750GB.

To make the choice as simple as possible, I have put together the list of the best laptops for photo editing on a budget. It takes into account all the aforementioned recommendations and characteristics.

1. Dell XPS 15

If you’re looking for a larger and more powerful laptop for editing photos, then Dell XPS 15 may be for you. Featuring the same InfinityEdge technology as the smaller XPS 13, the screen comes close to the edges, meaning that it is as small as possible for a 15-inch laptop.

It costs about $1800, which is quite expensive, though, depending on which version you get. Its best version has a 4K-color display, making it one of the best laptops for photographers.

While working in Photoshop, you can see your pictures in the smallest detail and the impressive technical characteristics mean that it will quickly process changes.

Check out more models of the best laptops for photo editing

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  • 15.6-inch (3840×2160)
  • Intel Core i7-8750H
  • 16 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • 512 GB SSD

2. HP ZBook Studio G4

The high-end model has a stunning 15.6-inch 4K DreamColor screen that can be easily calibrated to provide the most accurate color reproduction. It is extremely important for photo editing in Photoshop.

Specifications of the laptop’s model mean that it’s incredibly fast. The keyboard is not the best, but otherwise, it’s just a great device and, perhaps, the best laptop for photographers for Windows that I have seen on the market today. 

  • 15.6-inch (1920×1080)
  • Intel Core I7-7820HQ
  • 16 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA Quadro M1200
  • 512 GB SSD
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3. Apple MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Do you need an Apple laptop? Then the 15-inch MacBook Pro with touchpad is a great choice if you’re looking for the best laptop for the money. This is the best MacBook for photographers Apple Co. has ever made and it adds new characteristics to the classic design.

The main feature is the touch panel – a thin OLED display at the top of the keyboard. It can be used to simplify many tasks, such as the ability to quickly select colors or change the opacity of a layer by swiping a finger across the touch bar.

  • 15.4-inch (2880×1800)
  • 2.2GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 256 GB SSD

4. Microsoft Surface Book 2

The laptop is a continuation of the popular 2-in-1 series of devices. It remains one of the best laptops for photographers, as it has the full Windows 10 version.

The screen should be mentioned separately. Microsoft provides an excellent resolution of 3000×2000 and an ideal aspect ratio. The screen is touch-sensitive but its real highlight is that it can be disconnected from the rest of the laptop and turned into a tablet.

It is a pity that the Surface Pen stylus is not included. Anyway, it is definitely worth purchasing to make the most of this great laptop for editing photos.

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  • 13.5-inch (3000×2000)
  • Intel Core i7-8650U
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
  • 512 GB SSD

5. Dell Precision 7720

As with most Dell laptops, you can improve your device any time according to your needs. So I recommend this model as a true working machine for many years.

The 17-inch screen (which can be upgraded to 4K) is great for editing photos, and its processor is simply ultra-fast. But it’s a little bigger and heavier than the other devices on this list of laptops for photographers.

  • 17.3-inch (1920×1080)
  • Intel Core i7-6820HQ
  • 8 GB RAM
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 4130
  • 500 GB SSD

6. ASUS ZenBook Flip S UX370 

The laptop has a new 8th generation Kaby Lake R processor responsible for device performance, a large supply of RAM and very fast PCIe SSD in some configurations. These features make the device absolutely amazing. It has an additional function – tablet mode.

As a photographers’ laptop, it is simply perfect: record-thin, record-breaking lightweight, very stylish, very quiet (almost silent), with long battery life.

  • 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080)
  • Intel Core i7-8550U
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Intel HD Graphics 620
  • 512 GB SSD

7. Huawei MateBook X Pro

This is a great laptop with a stunning screen (but with a weird aspect ratio). It comes with advanced components that provide brilliant performance, as well as long battery life, which is better than most competitors have.

It is also priced competitively, providing you with features, design and performance for less money. The model is the best travel laptop for photographers but unfortunately, it is not available everywhere. So if you do not find it in the stores in your city, take a look at the Dell XPS 13 as a worthy alternative.

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  • 13.9-inch (3000×2000)
  • Intel Core i7-8550U
  • 16 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  • 512 GB SSD

8. ASUS ZenBook 14 UX433

It is very compact while having a full keyboard with a NumPad and a 14-inch screen. Such compactness is achieved by the fact that ZenBook 14 UX433 has an ultra-thin display frame. The screen occupies 92% of the surface (against 84% of Dell XPS 15). It is one of the best features in the ultrabook class.

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All this is combined with high-quality assembly and a very stylish design. For all its elegance, ZenBook meets the military standards of MIL-STD 810G protection. The device is not afraid of shaking and changes in temperature and humidity. In general, it will feel great both in your backpack and on the table while you are working.

  • 14-inch (1920×1080)
  • Intel Core i7-8565U
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • 512 GB SSD

9. HP Spectre x360 15

This is a great 15-inch transformer with an impressive list of benefits. Thanks to balanced components, it’s the best laptop for photographers. A device is quite productive and is not even afraid of working with demanding programs.

Moreover, you can connect an external video card if the installed system is not enough for you. The solid state drive provides good read / write speed.

The display is mostly decent: wide viewing angles, good color reproduction and gamut. In general, Spectre x360 15 has impressed me a lot, and it is really good in many aspects.

  • 15.6-inch (3840×2160)
  • Intel Core i7-8565U
  • 16 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce MX150
  • 1 TB SSD

10. Dell Inspiron 15 i7577

If you need the best travel laptop for photographers, then this model is worth your attention. It has a 7th generation Core i7 processor (a quad-core processor of the older generation). The clock frequency is 2.8 GHz.

Besides, the device has the latest Max Q architecture from NVIDIA. As a result, heat is dispelled and overall GPU performance is controlled.

Shooters will like this laptop due to excellent balancing between high temperature and impressive performance.

128 GB SSD provides fast loading and the work of both the system and image editing software. The display is of 15.6-inch, features IPS technology and Full HD resolution.

  • 15.6-inch (1920×1080)
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ
  • 16 GB RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • 128 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD


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