The Best Laptops for Photo Editing – Our Most Recommended Laptops for Photographers

Of Course, photographers need a camera to take pictures but after taking pictures they need a laptop using which they can see those captured images on bigger display, edit the raw files and finalize the shots. Therefore, the laptop is the second most important thing in a photographer’s life after their beloved cameras. And just like cameras, buying the best laptop for photographers is also no less than a herculean task. There are a lot of things to check in a laptop for photo editing and people often make mistakes in choosing the right one. So, what are the important things to check in a photographer’s laptop? And, what are the best laptops available in the market for photo editing? Let’s find them out…

Everyone has an initial thought of buying a desktop instead of the laptop for photo editing, and we also know that many of you are still confused in making the right choice between them. So, let us begin by discussing this in a little context, to help you decide whether desktops or laptops are good for photo editing.

Desktops vs Laptops: What is best for Photo Editing?

Both laptops and desktops have its own pros and cons. So, what’s best for you depends on your profession and your working style. –

  • If you’re a photographer then definitely the right choice for you would be the laptop because as a photographer you will travel to a lot of different places. Hence, you will need a laptop to view and edit your captured photos on the go.
  • Whereas, if you are a designer and have to work from a fixed place, then I would recommend you to buy the desktop for your photo editing works because desktops are cheaper, “more powerful” and also easy to upgrade than laptops.
Don't get me wrong,

Laptops are also powerful but the processors inside the laptops are mobile variants so they are clocked to work at lower speeds to deliver better battery backup. However, this isn’t a problem with laptops powered by newer generation processors because newer generation mobile processors significantly reduce that performance gap between desktops and laptops.

Even, the newer mobile GPUs are powerful enough to easily run intensive softwares like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for doing photo editing on laptops.

So, buying a laptop for photo editing isn’t a bad choice at all but the only thing you need to know is, you will trade in a little performance for the portability you get in the laptop. Whereas, desktops are best at delivering the raw performance.


Now it’s totally up to you as you know what’s good for you and what isn’t. So, if you opted for a desktop then probably we should say each other a goodbye because we ain’t gonna talk about desktops here.

Well, if you have decided to buy a laptop for your photo editing works, then there are a lot of important things to check in the laptop which will be specifically used for running intensive photo editing softwares like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

So, before we proceed with the list of best laptops for photo editing, let’s discuss all the important things to check in the laptop for photographers and photo editing works.

Important Things to Check in the Laptop for Photographers and Photo Editing

We do have our expert’s recommended best laptops for photo editing listed below, which will not require you to check anything but, if you opt to buy any laptop which is not in our list below then make sure to check these things in the laptop to make it a perfect buy for photo editing.

  • Intel i5 or i7 Processor – The CPU plays a vital role in deciding the overall performance of any computer. And, for running power demanding softwares like Photoshop you’ll need a powerful CPU. We recommend you to get the laptop with newer generation Intel i5 or i7 processor. The laptops powered by Intel Core i3 processor can also work well if you are a beginner in this field, but for future proofing it is better to invest in a laptop with Intel Core i5 processor. 
  • At least 8GB of RAM – As a professional photo editor or photographer, you’ll be working with multiple files and programs simultaneously. So, to make sure that your laptop always runs smoothly while editing photos, we recommend at least 8GB of RAM in the laptop for photo editing. Also, check for the extra RAM slots so that if required, you can increase the RAM of your laptop in future.
  • 256GB or more “SSD” Storage – As a photographer, you’ll click a lot of pictures from your DSLR camera and the average size of each image captured from DSLR cameras is about 15MB so you will need a lot of storage space to store all of them. You can buy a laptop with 1TB of hard drive and store all your photos on the laptop but we recommend you to buy a laptop with 256GB or 512GB of SSD and buy an external hard drive to keep the backup of the images you’ve completed editing. We recommend SSD because SSDs are faster than hard drives and it also improves the overall performance of the laptop.
  • 2GB or More Dedicated Graphics –  Actually, these days we don’t actually need the dedicated graphics card in a laptop for photo editing because integrated graphics on newer processors can also handle intensive softwares without any problems but we recommend to have at least 2GB of dedicated graphics because it will help while editing high-resolution photos. However, if you have to deal with extremely high resolution images then we would recommend you to get a better graphics backed laptop.
  • Full HD Display with Good Color Accuracy – Last yet most important thing, the display of the laptop for photo editing should be bright and color accurate (check sRGB rating). We recommend display with full HD resolution (i.e. 1920 x 1080) for normal editors but if you have to edit very high resolution resolution images then you’ll need a laptop with 4K display (i.e. 3840 x 2160) for editing such photos.
Editing photos using the trackpad on laptops or with the mouse might not be the best experience.

Most professionals use the graphics tablets with pens for drawing and photo editing works. Graphics tablets when connected with the laptops give a whole new experience for designers and professional photographers because those tablets come with pressure sensitivity which gives more precision and accuracy in photo editing softwares such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

So, in case if you’re looking for best graphics tablet for yourself then you can check out our guide to buy the best tablets for photo editing.

So, these were the important things which you should check to buy the best laptop for photo editing for yourselves. Now let us begin with the list of the best laptops for photographers recommended by our experts.

Best Laptops For Photo Editing – Top Picks

1. Asus Zenbook UX330UA-AH55 Ultrabook

Asus ZenBook UX330UA-AH55 - best portable laptop for photographers

Best Laptop for Photography Students – 2018

ASUS’s ZenBook series of laptops needs no introduction. Everyone now knows how capable the laptops are in terms of performance and power. Standing to the above expectations, the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA is the latest 13-inch ultra slim notebook from ASUS, which is one of the best laptops for photo editing you can buy right now. It has a 13.3-inch full HD display with the excellent gamut of color and wide 178° viewing angles. Speaking about the specifications of the laptop, it is powered by an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U quad-core processor paired with 8GB of RAM.

The laptop also comes with a fingerprint sensor and the audio on the laptop is bolstered by Harman Kardon, making it the top most laptop in almost every segment for the asking price. Graphics on the laptop are handled by powerful Intel UHD 620 graphics. All these powerful set of configurations make this laptop the top choice for students for multimedia usage such as photo editing, audio and video listening/editing and more.

The compact size and form factor of this laptop also gain it an added advantage over its rivals in terms of portability and battery backup. All in all the Asus ZenBook UX330UA-AH55 laptop is a worthy all-rounder and is a perfect machine if you’re a photographer and looking for a portable photo editing laptop. | Read Asus ZenBook UX330UA Laptop Full Review.

Hardware Specifications of Asus ZenBook UX330UA-AH55 Full HD Laptop
 Processor 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz Quad-Core Processor (Turbo to 3.4 GHz)
 Storage 256GB SSD
 Graphics Intel HD 620 Graphics
 Display 13.3-Inch Full HD Display with 1920×1080 pixels resolution
 Operating System Windows 10 64-bit
 Battery Life Up to 12 hours
 Weight 2.6 lbs

$749.00 | Buy at Amazon

2. Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK High Performance Laptop for Photo Editing

Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK - best laptop for photo editing

Dell Inspiron i5577 comes in a jet black plastic built chassis and comes integrated with a revolutionary thermal cooling technology. That means, the laptop can handle almost all the tasks you throw at it without getting heated.

Getting into the specifications and innards of this laptop, it is powered by latest 7th Gen Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.8GHz. For multitasking, it is provided with an 8GB of DDR4 RAM and for storage, it has 1TB of HDD and 128GB of SSD for faster file access. Stepping into the graphical abilities of the laptop, it comes with a massive 4GB of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 DDR5 graphics, which is almost the best you can get at this budget.

This powerful stacking of configuration in the Dell Inspiron i5577 makes it a powerful and a very efficient graphics performer. The laptop is idle for heavy graphics usage such as gaming, image editing, video editing, and photoshopping. Moreover, the spaciously arranged keyboard and wide trackpad make photo editing pleasure on this laptop.

This is our most recommended laptop for photoshop users because for around $800, Dell Inspiron i5577 is a very able laptop and it can handle high-resolution photo editing works on Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom without any problems.

Although, there are bad reviews of it on the internet because of the TN display that it comes equipped with, we found that tweaking the display settings a bit makes it a fairly good laptop for photo editing. Having said that, you even can’t just ignore the fact that it is the best-specced laptop you get for the price.

Well, if you still want to avoid buying this laptop because of its TN display then you can check out this Dell Inspiron i7577 laptop, another offering from Dell which comes with 15.6-Inch Full HD IPS Anti-Glare LED-backlit Display and powerful quad-core Intel i5 processor and GTX 1060 graphics.

Hardware Specifications of Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK Full HD Laptop
 Processor Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 3.8GHz)
 RAM 8 GB DDR4  2400MHz RAM
 Storage 1TB 5400 RPM Hard Drive + 128GB SSD
 Graphics Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display 15.6-Inch Full HD Anti-Glare LED Display (TN Panel) with 1920×1080 pixels resolution
 Operating System Windows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery Life Up to 8 hours
 Weight 5.6 lbs

$790.99 | Buy Now From Amazon

MORE: Top 10 Most Recommended Gaming Laptops Under $800 – Can also be used for Photo Editing

3. Acer Aspire E15 E5-576G-5762 Laptop Budget Laptop for Beginners in Photoshop

Acer Aspire E5-575G-57D4 - best laptop for photo editing on a budgetIsn’t it surprising to see a laptop, on almost every list we provide? Well, if a laptop is making into various lists, then it certainly means that it has got all the efficacy and power to be the best. The Acer Aspire E15, as we keep on saying is a perfect laptop under budget for all those who are looking for a powerful laptop along with a reliable battery life.

Taking a glance at its specifications, the laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5 quad-core processor paired with an 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD for storage. It sports a 15.6-inch Full HD LED display and runs on Windows 10 out of the box. If you’re looking for a laptop, which can handle heavy image editing, then Acer Aspire E 15 is a must consider laptop especially if you are tight on budget. That said, the graphics on this laptop are driven by NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics with 2GB of DDR5 memory.

The Acer Aspire E15 is specially designed for speed, mobility, and ease of usage. The laptop also comes with a lightweight fine chassis, not only giving it a premium like finish but also offering great ergonomics to carry along. Finally, you also get an exceptional battery life with this laptop, making the deal even sweeter.

This is our most recommended laptop to all beginners in photography and photo editing. As a beginner, you won’t have much money to spare on a laptop so you need a laptop which costs less and doesn’t compromise much in performance. Acer Aspire E15 offers just that. For under $600, this laptop offers dedicated GPU from NVidia and powerful 8th generation Intel processor. This laptop isn’t the lightest in the segment but it is the most powerful budget laptop you can buy for photo editing today.
Hardware Specifications of Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-57D4 Laptop
 Processor Intel Core i5-8250U Quad Core 1.6GHz Processor (Turbo up to 3.4GHz)
 Storage 256GB SSD
 Graphics NVidia GeForce MX150 2GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display 15.6-Inch Full HD ComfyView LED Display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
 Operating System Windows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery Life Upto 15 hours
 Weight 5.27 lbs

$599.99 | Buy at Amazon

4. HP Pavilion Power 15-inch Laptop Our Top Choice

HP Pavilion Power 15 - High performance laptop for photo editing under 1000 dollars

HP Pavilion Power 15 is an extremely powerful laptop for photo editing under $1000. It sports a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display, with anti-glare coating for better viewing experience. It comes with a sleek, black finish all over and offers very good design aesthetics, making it easy to hold and carry around.

The pleasing appearance isn’t all the laptop has got. It also comes with an equally tempting set of powerful configuration making it a very good laptop for photo editing. With its powerful Intel Core i7 hexa-core processor paired up with a massive 16GB of RAM, this HP Pavilion laptop can handle quite a lot of tasks with ease. The best part of the laptop is that it comes in various variants and is customizable in terms of RAM and GPU.

The one that’s priced under $1000 comes with a 4GB of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphic card, which not only makes it efficient in terms of gaming but is also perfect for handling multiple high-resolution images at once on heavy image editing software such as Photoshop and Lightroom.

Check out: Full review of HP Pavilion Power 15-cb079nr Laptop

Hardware Specifications of HP Pavilion Power 15 Laptop
 Processor Intel Core i7-8750H Hexa Core 2.2GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.1GHz)
 Storage 1TB 7200RPM HDD + 128GB PCIe SSD
 Graphics NVidia GeForce GTX1050Ti 4GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display 15.6-Inch Full HD IPS Anti Glare WLED Display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
 Operating System Windows 10 64-bit
 Battery Life Up to 10 hours
 Weight 4.7 lbs

$979.00 | Buy Now From HP

You may like to check out: Top 10 Best Laptops Under $1000

5. Apple MacBook Pro 13 Inch with Touchbar Best Mac for Photo Editing

Apple MacBook Pro 13 - Best Laptop for Professional Photographers

Best Compact and High-end Laptop for Professional Photographers

Have you ever been to a professional photographer or video producer’s studio? The chances of they using a Mac is way higher than using a Windows-based laptop. That said, Apple’s MacBooks and iMacs are traditionally used for handling high-end graphics tools and are extensively used for image and video processing. And here is a compact yet, very powerful MacBook Pro 13, which comes with a stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with 2560×1600 Resolution.

For the internals, it is powered by the latest 7th generation Intel Core i5 processor paired up with an 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. This not only provides seamless multitasking but also provides a very fast and reliable storage option. For the graphics, the laptop comes with Intel Iris Graphics 640 coprocessor, which boosts up the graphics handling performance of the laptop.

The laptop comes with an all-metal aluminum brushed finish chassis, which gives it a premium look and feel. Moreover, this MacBook comes with a powerful set of photo and video editing tools including huge trackpad and the touch bar above the keyboard which is really useful while editing photos in Photoshop on this laptop.

The only problem with the new MacBooks is, it comes with very limited ports. It has just 4 ports, 2 on either side and all of them are USB Type-C. So, to transfer photos from your camera to the laptop you will need a dongle which you have to buy separately. Otherwise, the new MacBook Pro is a very powerful and efficient laptop for photographers.

If you feel that you’ll need a larger display for editing photos, then do not worry. The MacBook Pro has got you covered as it also comes in a 15.4-inch variant, which is priced slightly higher than this but is surely worth every dollar you spend on it.
Hardware Specifications of Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2017)
 Processor Intel Core i5 Dual Core 2.3GHz Processor (Kaby Lake) Turbo Boost Up to 3.6GHz
 Storage 256GB SSD
 Graphics Intel Iris Graphics 640
 Display 13.3 Inch Retina Display with 2560 x 1600 Pixels Resolution
 Operating System macOS Sierra
 Battery Life Upto 12 hours
 Weight 3.02 lbs

$1,749.99 | Buy at BestBuy

6. ASUS VivoBook Pro 4K Laptop #1 Best Seller

Asus VivoBook Pro with 4K display - Best Laptop For Photo Editing 2018

The very first striking thing about the ASUS VivoBook Pro is undoubtedly its polished metal reflective chassis, which looks absolutely stunning. The laptop comes with an all-metal aluminum chassis, which gives it all the premium touch, one would expect from a laptop in this budget.

The laptop comes with a 15.6-inch UHD 4K touchscreen display with a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels, which is absolutely crisp and sharp. Speaking about the specifications of the laptop, it is powered by a 2.8 GHz quad-core Intel core i7 quad-core processor paired with a massive 16GB of RAM. Moreover, the laptop offers a 1TB of HDD and 256GB of SSD, which is fast, reliable, and efficient. In spite of its all metal built, the laptop just weights around 5 pounds, which is yet another interesting aspect for this laptop for photographers.

For the graphics, the laptop comes with a 4GB of Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics coprocessor. The laptop offers excellent viewing angles and this display is paired with the aforementioned power-packed performance to deliver the best you’d expect. The laptop is simply ideal for day-to-day performance, multimedia, gaming, graphics handling such as image editors and more. The laptop offers around 6 hours of battery backup, which is yet another striking feature for a laptop stuffed with such powerful innards.

Hardware Specifications of Asus VivoBook Pro – Best Laptop For Photo Editing/Photographers
 Processor Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core 2.8 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 3.8 GHz)
 Storage 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD
 Graphics NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display 15.6-Inch 4K IPS Touchscreen Display with 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution
 Operating System Windows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery Life Up to 6 hours
 Weight 5.1 lbs

$1,238.06 | Buy Now From Amazon

You may like to read – Top 10 Best Gaming Laptops under $1500 – Also Suitable for Photo Editing

7. Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 - best laptops for photoshop with pen

*Surface Pro Signature Type cover and Microsoft Surface Pen sold separately

The 2017 Microsoft Surface Pro is the most versatile convertible laptop till date. It comes with the flexibility of a tablet and offers the productivity of a laptop, which makes it ideal for all the photographers to view and edit photos on the go. It sports a 12.3-inch UHD PixelSense pressure sensitive (267PPI) display with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels. The Surface Pro offers great viewing angles and has very well-balanced color gamut.

The Surface Pro comes in various variants, with differed RAM, processor, and hard disk. Our current contender is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor paired with an 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD. You can buy a detachable keyboard, which is yet another added advantage for photographers, who don’t wanna miss out on traditional laptop experience.

The Surface Pro is built out of premium grade material and is a powerhouse in all aspects. The laptop does a commendable job in handling graphics, heavy applications, multimedia and more. The laptop runs Windows 10 out of the box, and it offers a lot of new features that everyone will love, especially if you’re into photo editing. The best part is that it offers a very good battery backup, and can deliver up to 13.5 hours of continuous usage. The bright display, powerful hardware, and able graphics on the Surface Pro make it a complete overall package for photo editing.

Hardware Specifications of Microsoft Surface Pro
 Processor Intel Core i5 7th Generation Processor (Kaby Lake)
 Storage 256GB SSD
 Graphics Intel HD graphics 620
 Display 12.3 Inch PixelSense 10 Point Multi-Touch (267PPI) Display with 2736 x 1824 Resolution
 Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
 Battery Life Up to 13 hours
 Weight 1.70 lbs

$1,053.00| Buy Now From Amazon

8. Dell XPS 15 With 4K Display

Dell XPS9560 15 Inch Laptop - best laptops for photoshop

Dell XPS 15 with 100% Adobe sRGB Color Rating

Dell Inspiron 15 is a very powerful all-purpose laptop which comes with a beautifully crafted design and form factor. It is the smallest 15-inch laptop you can buy right now. It has a display with smallest bezels, shrinking the overall size of the laptop and making it the smallest and most portable 15-inch laptop. The laptop comes with a silver color chassis, which gives it a premium look and feel. It comes with 15.6 inches of 4K UltraHD InfinityEdge touch display which offers very sharp and excellent viewing angles. The Dell XPS 15 is also the only laptop with 100% Adobe RGB color display which makes it the best laptop for photo editing, especially in Photoshop and other Adobe suite of applications.

Speaking about the configuration of the laptop, it is powered by the latest 7th gen Intel Core i5 quad-core processor with base clock frequency of 2.5GHz and turbo up to 3.5GHz. For multitasking, it has 8GB of RAM and storage compartment on this notebook is handled by a 256GB of solid state drive to provide the fast speed and efficient data storage space.

This laptop comes with dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050, which is yet another flagship graded Nvidia GPU. The laptop comes with very sturdy chassis, and looks stylish and premium by all means. Thanks to its efficient graphics and color accurate display, the laptop is yet another perfect laptop if you’re looking for the best laptop for photographers and photo editing.

Hardware Specifications of Dell XPS 15
 Processor Intel Core i5-7300HQ 7th Generation Processor (Turbo up to 3.5 GHz)
 Storage 256GB Solid State Drive
 Graphics Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 4GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD InfinityEdge Touch Display
 Operating System Windows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery Life Upto 8 hours
 Weight 3.9 lbs

$1,124.99 from Amazon

You may like to read: Top 10 Best Laptops Under $600

9. HP Spectre x360 with Active Stylus

HP Spectre X360 - best laptops for photo editing and photography

The recently launched HP Spectre X360 is another best laptop for photo editing which comes with Stylus supporting Windows ink inside the package. It is finished with a stylish matte dark ash grey color and has a faux-metal chassis. As far as the specifications of the laptop are concerned, it offers a strong set of specifications gaining it an upper hand over few other laptops in this list for using photoshop and other photo editing software.

The laptop is powered by a 1.8 GHz 8th Generation Intel core i7 quad core processor with the turbo clock frequency up to 4.0 GHz and it comes preloaded with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD for storage. The display on this HP X360 convertible laptop is another unique aspect which makes it an ideal choice for photo editing. It sports a 15.6-inch 4K touchscreen IPS WLED-backlit display with very thin bezels. The display supports all Windows Ink compatible stylus and lets user edit photos with precision. It gets enough bright in direct sunlight and it is also very color accurate panel. For the graphics, the device has powerful Nvidia GeForce MX150 dedicated graphics which adequately suffices all the graphics memory requirements to run Photo editing software smoothly on this laptop.

This laptop doesn’t miss out in any features and its hardware allows you to do almost any task so it is a perfect blend of work, play, and power and is thus, listed in our list of best laptops for photo editing. The latest 8th Generation Intel processor is one of the outstanding aspects of this laptop which makes it stand out in the segment. On a conclusive note, it also offers a reliable battery backup for prolonged photo editing sessions on this laptop.

Hardware Specifications of HP Spectre X360 15-Inch 4K Convertible Laptop with Active Stylus
 Processor Intel Core i7-8550U 8th Generation 1.8GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz)
 Storage 256GB SSD
 Graphics Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display 15.6 Inch 4K Touchscreen IPS WLED-backlit Display with 3840 x 2160 Resolution
 Operating System Windows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery Life Up to 11 hours
 Weight 4.4 lbs

$1,169.99 | Buy Now From HP

10. Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft Surface Book 2 - best laptop for photoshop and Adobe lightroom

Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a detachable laptop, which on detaching the keyboard functions as a tablet. The Surface Book 2 comes in two different sizes (13 and 15-inch). Both come with a PixelSense Pressure Sensitive (267PPI) Display which supports Surface Pen and new Surface Dial. Do note that, the Surface Pen and Surface Dial are sold separately and not included in the package.

As far as specifications are concerned, it comes with options to opt for newest 7th and 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. It comes pre-loaded with Windows 10 out of the box and as we all know, it delivers impeccable performance along with comprehensive security. The base models are housed with Intel integrated graphics but there’s also an option to opt for newer Nvidia Pascal based GPUs in higher variants. Hence, the Surface Book 2 is able enough to handle graphics intense photo editing applications like Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom with ease.

Speaking about the image editing abilities of this laptop, what makes it unique is not the specifications and form-factor the Surface Book offers. But, it is the provision of Surface Pen, which makes it a delight to edit images. Moreover, there is surface dial available for Surface Book, which provides an intuitive new way to edit photos like a pro on this laptop. All in all, this is a perfect laptop for photo editing professionals and is also an able all-purpose usage laptop.

Hardware Specifications of Microsoft Surface Book 2 (Base Model)
 Processor Intel Core i5 7th Generation (Kaby Lake) Processor
 Storage 256GB SSD
 Graphics Intel HD Integrated Graphics
 Display 13.5 Inch PixelSense Touchscreen 267 PPI Display with 3000 x 2000 Resolution
 Operating System Windows 10 Pro Creators Update 64-bit
 Battery Life Upto 17 hours of video playback
 Weight 3.38 lbs

$1,366.02 | Buy Now at Amazon

So, these are our top recommended laptops for photographers and these are the best ones available in the market for photo editing. Some of these laptops are recommended only for photographers because they are light in weight and are also efficient in terms of battery life whereas some are true performers which are most recommended for high-resolution photo editing and professional designing works.

Now, it’s your turn to choose between performance and portability.

We hope that this laptop buying guide helps all photographers in buying the best laptop for photo editing works.

55 thoughts on “The Best Laptops for Photo Editing – Our Most Recommended Laptops for Photographers”

  1. Nathan says:

    Do you think the i5 or i7 Surface laptop is a good choice for mainly Lightroom? It’s similar in specs to what you have up here. Latest gen processor, high res screen, 8GB or 16GB of RAM, and 620 and 640 graphics I believe. I know there are better options that offer the same if not more for much much much less of a price, but I’m hooked on their design.

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Nathan,
      Yes, the new Surface Laptop will be good choice for lightroom and photoshop. Just make sure you buy the one that has 8GB RAM because they are also selling 4GB RAM models in 2017 which I really hate about the new Surface Laptop but yes 8GB RAM with 7th Generation Intel i5 or i7 with integrated graphics should suffice your requirements.

  2. Sabrina says:

    Hi, I’m trying to decide between the Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-53VG (intel core i5 7th Gen) and the Lenovo ideapad 510 with these specifications: Intel Core i5 6th Gen 6200U (2.30 GHz), 8 GB Memory, 1 TB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX , 1920 x 1080 IPS FHD.
    I want to use it for photo and video editing as well as some very light gaming. Which one should I get? I’m drawn to the Lenovo because of the IPS display that the Acer does not have, but I don’t know if it would make such a big difference.

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Sabrina, I think you should go with the Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-57D4 Laptop. Although the Lenovo laptop has IPS panel, the LED display on Acer Aspire E15 is also very good. It is anti-glare and color accurate display which will be good for photo editing. Even it excels in offering better specs than Lenovo Ideapad 510 so I think Acer Aspire E15 would be better choice among both these laptops.

  3. Alejandro says:

    Hi, few month ago my macbook air died and since then it is hard to find a good enough display to edit my photos. Doesn’t matter notebook or desktop, any of them is capable to show colors, details and most important contrast of pictures of the same quality than the macbook does.
    Today I am looking for a new macbook more reliable than my previous air and the specs are not the most important part that I take into consideration to make the decision, but it does the display quality.
    What of the notebook of the reviewed here is at least close to the retina display of the macbook pro?
    Thank you.

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Alejandro,
      Of-course the new MacBook Pro will be the best choice but they are very costly. If budget is not a problem then I would recommend you to go with 2017 MacBook Pro, it has the best retina display yet.
      The other option is ASUS ZenBook Pro which also has really great display and it is one of the most ideal windows laptop for photo editing.
      Go with any of these laptop and you’ll never miss your MacBook Air.

  4. Sanjay Kar says:

    Is the Intel HD Graphics 620 good enough for editing still photos in lightroom?

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi sanjay,

      That depends upon the resolution of the pictures that you’re trying to edit. If they are super high resolution images then you might need a laptop with dedicated GPU. For normal resolution pictures, laptop with Intel’s integrated graphics should be fine.

  5. Jim says:

    Hi Mike, I’m an amateur Birder/Photographer looking to upgrade my crappy Dell Inspiron 15 3000 series laptop. I’ve been using Nikon editing software but want to upgrade to Lightroom and I want a computer that will handle it without frustration . My budget is low so it seems the Aspire E15 E5-575G-57D4 looks like the perfect choice. Would you agree?
    Thanks, Jim

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Jim,
      Yes, It’s a very good choice but if you can spend up to $600, then I would recommend you to buy the newer variant of the same laptop – Acer Aspire E15 E5-576G-5762 Laptop. It has newer 8th Gen Intel Core i5 quad-core processor. If you can spend more then go with this one otherwise older gen Aspire E15 is also a good choice.

      1. Jim says:

        Many thanks Mike! I’ll have a look at the newer one.

  6. A says:

    Hi Mike,
    I’m looking to replace my wife’s laptop. She mostly uses Lightroom and photoshop. Will an Inspiron 17 5000 series 5770 work? I would like to get her a MacBook Pro but don’t think it’s in the budget.


    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Yes, the model that’s priced at $999.99 with 8th Gen Intel Core i7 and AMD Radeon 530 graphics looks good. It will be able to handle photo editing on Photoshop and Lightroom without any problems. Go with it.

  7. Russ Euken says:

    What would be the main differences between the Asus Zenbook UX330UA AH55 and Acer Aspire E15 E5 576G 5762 for photo editing? High resolution photos using photoshop. Would you have a preference?

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Russ,
      Performance wise there won’t be any difference in both the models as both the laptop models have newest 8th Gen Intel i5, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage but as you will be using this laptop for photo editing, it’s important to check the display on both the models. However, both the laptop models you mentioned have pretty standard display. The one on Acer is IPS but it still isn’t good in terms of color accuracy and it is glossy too. While, the one on Asus is matte but it isn’t IPS so color accuracy and brightness levels are low. But, it does manage to provide good viewing angles.

      Overall, both the laptops are great for photo editing as far as performance is concerned but displays on both the models are quite average. If you want me to choose one for you then I would pick the Acer Aspire E15 E5-576G-5762 for three reasons. 1) Because of its IPS display which is slightly better in terms of color accuracy than ASUS. 2) Because of its dedicated GPU which will help while editing high resolution photos. 3) Because of its upgradability.

      You can upgrade the RAM and storage on Acer model while on ASUS it’s not possible as all the parts are completely soldered on motherboard.

      1. Russ Euken says:

        Thanks Mike
        I was thinking along the same lines. I will probably use another monitor.
        Any other suggestions in the $600-750 range with similar performance but better display?

        1. Mike Johnson says:

          Hi Russ,
          If you can spend up to $700 then Acer Swift 3 is an excellent option with similar specs and a good quality IPS display. However, display size is 14-inch, which is smaller than the Acer Aspire E15.

  8. Dolly Montgomery says:

    Acer aspire has no slot for sd card for camera! Just read that on review…. looking for laptop as mainly use desktop but taking class that requires laptop and need to download Lightroom etc Don’t need steep learning curve as early 60s but something that works well and not expensive as will mostly use desktop

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Dolly,
      The Acer Aspire E15 laptop listed above does have an SD card slot (it is located on the front of the computer in the left corner). If you are looking for a laptop to take to class then you can go with either this one or have a look at ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH55.

  9. Aiva says:

    Hi, trying to decide between the Asus Zenbook UX430UA and UX330UA, both with i5-8th Gen and HD 620 Graphics. Spec looks pretty similar so kinda confused. Will be using light Photoshop.

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Aiva,
      I would recommend you to go with ASUS ZenBook UX430UA because it has a slightly bigger display with tiny bezels. Other than that I don’t see any differences between these models.

  10. najah says:

    Hi, I am really clueless on when it comes to buying a new laptop, I need to buy one this weekend. I was looking at the HP Envy 15t touch for $699..below are the specs. Can you tell me your thoughts???

    Windows 10 Home 64
    Intel® Core™ i7-7500U (2.7 GHz, up to 3.5 GHz, 4 MB cache, 2 cores) + Intel® HD Graphics 620
    8GB DDR4-2133 SDRAM (1 x 8GB)
    15.6″ diagonal FHD IPS UWVA BrightView WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080) Touchscreen (for HD Camera)
    360 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
    3-cell 52 WHr Lithium-ion Battery
    No Internal ODD
    Full-size island-style backlit keyboard
    HP Wide Vision HD Webcam with Dual Digital Microphone (For Touch)
    Intel® 802.11ac (2×2) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 Combo

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      The laptop looks pretty impressive from the specs sheet. It will be able to handle all photo editing software without any problems. Just make sure to check the display properly (sRGB and NTSC color gamut).

  11. Marcell says:

    Hi Mike. Need your help..I want to know which laptop is the best for photoshop. ( color and performance wise). Budget is less than 1000 USD. Many Thanks!

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Marcell,
      I would recommend you to buy the HP Pavilion 15-cb079nr Laptop which is currently our most recommended laptop for photo editing in $1000 price range.

  12. Jennifer says:

    Hi Mike,
    I’m trying to decide between a laptop or a 2 in 1 for photo editing. I have Lightroom, PhotoShop, and Topaz, but am not opposed to other options. I like the idea of being able to edit with a pen on the touchscreen. Budget is about $600. What would you recommend?

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      If you’re into drawing then best laptop with stylus in your budget would be Lenovo Yoga Book. However, if you want a convertible laptop to edit Photos on Photoshop or Lightroom then the best option would be Acer Aspire R14 convertible laptop.

  13. Mothra says:

    I really want to get a Dell XPS 15 (expecially because I can get it from the Microsoft Store which supposedly comes sans bloatware). However, I have read many bad reviews mostly as a result of the “Killer” WiFi card which supposedly “kills” your network (and constantly drops the connection when used to its maximum capacity). Sounds like a lot of hassle to fix it so I was wondering if anyone has experienced that.

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Mothra,

      That was the problem with older XPS models. Newer (2018) XPS laptops don’t have that problem.

  14. Jose C. says:

    Hi Mike,
    I am in the market for a new laptop. Like your readers, my concern is performance with Lightroom and Photoshop. I would prefer a windows operating system. I came across this new model from Dell. Do you think this model will be good?
    Dell – 2-in-1 13.3″ Touch-Screen Laptop – AMD Ryzen 7 (2.2 ghz) – 12GB Memory – AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 – 256GB Solid State Drive.

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Jose,

      Yes, from specs it does look promising and it will be able to run those photo editing softwares without any problems. I would recommend you to go with it.

  15. Lori Nielsen says:

    I’m looking for a laptop to manage and edit photos & create photobooks. I have two questions – can you explain the difference between the Dell XPS 15 With 4K Display and the Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK? I am also looking to purchase the HP Pavilion 15-cb07nr Laptop but can’t seem to find this exact model. Do you know if there is another similar model? Even when I look on the HP Canada website it is not listed and I’m not sure what would be equivalent. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Lori,
      Not all laptop models available in US are available in Canada. I tried finding HP Pavilion 15-cb079nr laptop on and I think I found its sibling HP Pavilion 15-cb077nr which has slightly less powerful specs but will be good enough for photo editing.

      The major difference between Dell XPS 15 and Inspiron i5577 is, XPS 15 is lightweight and more portable laptop than the Inspiron i5577 otherwise, the specs of both the computers are almost similar. However, XPS 15 comes with 4K touchscreen display which is far better than the Inspiron i5577. Photo editing would be smooth on both the laptops but if you edit high resolution images then XPS 15 would be better option overall.

      1. Lori Nielsen says:

        Your advice is very helpful- thank you for taking time to reply. My last question is… if you could pick one, would you recommend the Dell XPS15 over the HP Pavilion 15 cb077nr? I know the HP Pavilion 15 cb079nr was your number one choice but as it is not available in Canada I guess I am wondering if you would still recommend its sibling (077nr) over the Dell XPS 15? I mainly use my computer to work with photos, create photo books, and do some work with Adobe creative suite programs. Thank you again,

        1. Mike Johnson says:

          Hi Lori,
          If budget is not a problem then my pick will be Dell XPS 15 because of its powerful hardware, 4K display and light form-factor. The HP Pavilion Power 15-cb079nr is our top pick under $1000 not the best laptop overall for photo editing.
          I am afraid, I can’t say that HP Pavilion 15-cb077nr is better than XPS 15. So, my pick would be XPS 15 but if I had to buy a laptop on budget then definitely my pick would be HP.

  16. Ali says:

    Hi mike,
    I am Looking for laptop for photo and video editing, I have laptop and monitor, but both of them have low resolution and problem in colors.
    My budget is 1200 usd and I prefer 17 inch laptops that show me true colors, black and white level and contrast.


    1. Mike Johnson says:

      I would recommend you to get the ASUS VivoBook Pro which has 17-inch full HD display with 72% NTSC color gamut. It has got enough power to get you through all sorts of photo editing works. And, if you want an even better display then you can buy the ASUS VivoBook Pro with 15-inch 4K display included above in our list.

  17. Rebecca says:

    Hi Mike!

    I’m looking for a laptop for both photo and video editing preferably under $2000 with accurate color display that is relatively light since I have to haul it across campus.

    What are your thoughts on the lenovo yoga 720? Do you have any other recs?

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Rebecca,
      Yes, Lenovo Yoga 720 is an excellent laptop for both photo & video editing but make sure to go with its top of the line variant which has UHD display and newest 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor.

  18. Angie says:

    Hello. I just purchased the Dell Inspiron 15 5570 series. I am a photographer and I use Lightroom to edit my photos. I am not computer savvy and was told this would be a great computer. I have not even loaded my programs in the computer yet because I am unsure on the screen quality. I was wanting a crisp and clear screen with vivid colors. So far all the colors seem washed out and light. I had a plasma screen before which was terrible so I dont know if I’m just not used to it or if it is truly a bad screen for editing photos. All the reviews are mixed. What is your opinion on this computer’s screen? Should I return and get one you have suggested. Maybe you know the comparisons. The screen is a huge priority since I pretty much only use it to edit. Thanks for your time.

    1. Mike Johnson says:


      I would recommend you to return it and get this Dell Inspiron 7577 laptop for yourself. It is a gaming laptop with powerful hardware so it will be able to run photo editing softwares without any problem and it has IPS display which is better than the laptop you purchased.

  19. Luke says:

    Hi Mike,

    I’ve been doing a ton of research and trying to find the best laptop for my budget. It’s been really confusing trying to find the best for my money. Budget is up to $1600. Main use will be editing high resolution images (shooting on Sony A7III) and doing lite video editing (no 4K editing, mainly 1080). Would like something that has decent portability as I will be traveling with it as well and will attach to external monitor when at home. Want something with good color accuracy. Based on my needs what would be your recommendations at that budget or under if possible. Thanks for taking the time.

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Luke,
      I would recommend you to get the last year’s Dell XPS 15 (8th in the list). It has 4K touchscreen display with excellent color accuracy and its powerful enough to handle photo and video editing. It is portable and provides decent battery life as well. It is currently on discount and available for just $1,099 on Amazon which I think is great value.

      But, as your budget is up to $1600, I would also recommend you to check out the 2018 Dell XPS 15 because new XPS laptops are significantly faster as they come with six-core 8th Gen Intel CPUs. However, you might have to extend your budget a bit to get the 2018 XPS 15 with 4K display.

  20. Craig says:

    Given the importance of RGB and potentially Adobe RGB coverage in doing imaging editing ,I find it odd that these numbers are not included in the spec box for every laptop listed. It is arguably one of the most important specs to consider, and its absence make comparing your suggestions less helpful than they might otherwise be.

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Thanks for the heads up! That’s definitely coming in the next update of this guide.

  21. Karmin says:

    Trying to decide if 512 storage is enough, with 8 RAM, on a ‘18 MacbookPro. I’m an amateur photographer with thousands of photos I’ll be transferring – many to delete – many to edit. And I’ll be taking many more photos in the future, as I’m an avid traveler. I plan to use photoshop, as well as the Apple software, but I’m a novice who plans to learn. My fear is not having enough space for my photos, or a slow computer – all about convenience.


    Thank you!

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      512GB should be enough as long as you don’t keep all the images you capture on your laptop. That can fill the storage drive very fast. We always recommend photographers and videographers to keep an external storage drives with them to store the projects they have already completed and only keep those images on the laptop that you’re currently working on.

  22. Dawn says:

    I had a Lenovo Flex 5 mainly using Photoshop for photo/video editing; the motherboard is fried. I liked the touchscreen feature but that isn’t a deal breaker. Looking for a replacement. Budget is about $600-700. Thanks.

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Dawn,
      I would recommend you to check out the Acer Swift 3. It has Intel core i5-8250U quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. It has 14-inch full HD screen which is decently colorful and also sports a dedicated Nvidia GPU for all heavy lifting.

  23. Robin Pichelmayer says:

    Budget is under $500 for photo editing laptop. Any suggestions? Thanks.

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Check out ASUS VivoBook F510UA. It is our most recommended laptop in $500 price-range right now. It has got the power to run photo editing software smoothly, but its display isn’t a great fit for editing work. It lacks color accuracy and has bad viewing angles. Also, it does not come with a dedicated GPU and runs on the integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics which is fine as long as you don’t have to edit a very high resolution image.

  24. Kristin Zabawa says:

    Hello Mike – your article is much appreciated. My 2009 Mac desktop finally truly bite the dust- manufacturing hardware issues with this model. I’m finally considering a laptop and budget sorta under a $1000. I’m a photographer and so used to working on a Mac, and not much of a tech person. I may have this wrong, but if I stay with a Mac won’t it be easier to transfer and “translate” my established apps, software, etc. to the laptop? So used to working with a mouse, etc. Can you tell I have some “Mac Anxiety”? Anyway, display is paramount in working with images of course, and the storage/speed. I’d appreciate your wisdom on this one. Thanks!

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Hi Kristin,
      If you’re used to Mac then switching to a new MacBook will be definitely less work. However, switching to Windows also isn’t that hard. If you use Photoshop then all the extensions and tools that you use in it on Mac are available for Windows as well. So, if you don’t mind spending a little time in learning and adapting the Windows shortcuts for Photoshop then there are a lot of great Windows laptops suitable for photo editing. You can check out Dell XPS 13 or the newly launched Surface Laptop 2 or Surface Pro 6 if you like convertibles.

  25. AG says:

    Thank you for such a detailed article. I found it so helpful. I just recently purchased a new MacBook Pro 15” fully loaded for top performance (photo editing, PS and Lightroom). I was loving it but quickly developed hand pain due to the design of the new keyboard and trackpad. I’m considering returning it and was wondering what laptop would you recommend. Budget is open… would like something fast with excellent display and able to handle photo editing. Hopefully something not too bulky. It would have to be a windows model… it appears that Mac no longer sells the older bodies with the keyboard that I loved, much more comfortable. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


    1. Mike Johnson says:

      I think you should check out the 2018 Dell XPS 15. It has one of the best displays available on the laptops right now and it is powerful enough to handle all sorts of photo editing requirements.

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