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

best laptops for photo editing and 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 a bigger display, color correct 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 on a photographer’s laptop? And, what are the best laptops available in the market for photo editing? Let’s find them out…

Most photographers have 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 about 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 their pros and cons. So, what’s best for you depends on your profession and your working style –

  • If you’re a traveling photographer then definitely the choice for you would be the laptop as traveling with the desktop is not possible. Hence, you will need a lightweight and powerful laptop to view and edit your captured photos on the go.
  • Whereas, if you are a designer or 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.

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 carry out intensive photo editing work on laptops using softwares like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

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 raw performance.

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

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Well, if you have decided to buy a laptop for your photo editing works, then there are a lot of crucial 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 the 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 which will allow you to save all your photos on the laptop, but we recommend you to buy a laptop with SSD. Get the laptop with a 256GB or if your budget allows 512GB 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 –  These days we don’t 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 and also some video editing work occasionally, then we would recommend you to get a better graphics backed laptop. Nvidia’s MX250 GPU is great for mediocre photo editing work, but for high-resolution photos and video editing, we recommend Nvidia’s GTX and RTX line of GPUs.

You may like to check out – Our Most Recommended Laptops for Video Editing – Offers More Powerful Components and Color-Accurate Display

  • Full HD Display with Good Color Accuracy – Last but not least, the display of the laptop for photo editing should be bright and the one that displays accurate colors (check sRGB rating). We recommend display with full HD resolution (i.e. 1920 x 1080) for normal editing work, but if you have to edit very high 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 on our sister site ‘Tablet Under Budget’.

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 our most recommended laptops for photographers which are handpicked by our team of experts.

Best Laptops For Photo Editing – Top Picks

1. Asus ZenBook UX331FA-AS51 Ultrabook

Asus ZenBook UX331UA-AS51 - best affordable ultrabook for photographers
Best Laptop for Photography Students

ASUS’s ZenBook series of laptops needs no introduction. Everyone knows about its superior build quality and how capable the laptops are in terms of performance. Standing to the above expectations, the ASUS ZenBook UX331FA is the latest 13-inch ultra slim notebook from ASUS, which is one of the best affordable 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 i5-8265U 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 integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics which outputs enough power for light to medium photo editing work. 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 form factor of this laptop gains it an added advantage over its rivals in terms of portability and its battery life can also last for a full day. All in all, the Asus ZenBook UX331UA laptop is a worthy all-rounder and is a perfect machine if you’re a photographer and looking for a portable photo editing laptop.

The ASUS VivoBook S15 is another excellent option for photographers who wants a laptop with a dedicated GPU for photo editing. It comes with the lightweight chassis but with much more capable internals, which includes quad-core Intel Core i5-8265U processor and Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. So, if you can spend up to $1000, then the ASUS VivoBook S15 is one of the excellent ultrabooks you can buy for photo editing right now. | Check Price on Amazon

Hardware Specifications of Asus ZenBook UX331UA-AS51 Full HD Laptop:

 Processor8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U 1.6GHz Quad-Core Processor (Turbo to 3.9 GHz)
 Storage512GB SSD
 GraphicsIntel UHD 620 Graphics
 Display13.3-Inch Full HD Display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 15 hours
 Weight2.5 lbs

2. Dell G5 (2019) High Performance Laptop for Photo Editing

Dell G5 - best laptop for photo editing under 1000 dollars

Dell G5 is currently the best laptop you can buy for photo editing under $1000 because it offers punchy performance and features that are meant to make photographer’s life easier. It comes in a space black plastic and metal 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 9th Gen Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 2.3GHz. 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 an adept Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Max-Q) GPU with 6GB of DDR6 graphics memory, which is the best you can get at this price point.

This powerful stacking of configuration in the Dell G5 makes it a powerful and a very efficient graphics performer. The laptop is idle for heavy graphics usage such as image editing, video editing, and gaming. Moreover, the spaciously arranged keyboard and wide trackpad make photo editing pleasure on this laptop.

This is our most recommended laptop for people who doesn’t want to spend much and still want a laptop which can handle intensive photo and video editing work. Although its display isn’t the brightest and most colorful one, its powerful hardware makes it a worthy contender for power users who are trying to stay under $1000 mark.

Hardware Specifications of Dell G5 15-inch High Performance Laptop:

 ProcessorIntel Core i5-9300H 2.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.1GHz)
 Storage1TB 5400 RPM Hard Drive + 128GB SSD
 GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB DDR6 Graphics
 Display15.6-Inch Full HD IPS Anti-Glare LED Display with 1920×1080 pixels resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 6 hours
 Weight5.9 lbs
Lenovo Legion Y740 - high performance laptop for photo editing
Lenovo Legion Y740

If you don’t mind spending a little more than $1000 for added features, then Lenovo Legion Y740 is also a great laptop for photo editing. It offers a six-core Intel i7 CPU and dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU inside the chassis that weighs just 4.8 pounds. It is a lot more portable laptop than the above mentioned Dell G5 15″ Gaming Laptop. Moreover, its 15.6-inch full HD display is slightly better in terms of color reproduction and brightness which photographers will definitely appreciate. If your budget allows, then we highly recommend you to get the Lenovo Legion Y740 because it offers better display, features and hardware in a more portable chassis than the Dell G5. | Check Price on Lenovo

MORE: Top 10 Most Recommended Gaming Laptops Under $1000 – Can also be used for Photo Editing

3. Acer Aspire 5 Laptop – Budget Laptop for Beginners in Photoshop

Acer Aspire 5 - best laptop for photo editing on a budget

Isn’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 5, 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 512GB of SSD for storage. It sports a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS 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 5 is a must consider laptop especially if you are tight on budget. That said, the graphics on this laptop are driven by NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics with 2GB of DDR5 memory which is another excellent aspect of this budget notebook.

The Acer Aspire 5 is specially designed for speed, mobility, and ease of usage. The laptop comes with a fairly lightweight chassis to easily carry it in the backpack and it also manages to look premium although it is completely built from polycarbonate plastic. Apart from that, you also get an exceptional battery life with this laptop which makes the deal even sweeter.

This is our most recommended budget laptop which will be great pick for 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 5 offers just that. For under $600, this laptop offers dedicated GPU from Nvidia and quad-core 10th generation Intel processor. Of-course, there are few drawbacks like its display isn’t the best in the segment when it comes to brightness and color gamut, but it is the best specced laptop you can buy for photo editing if your budget is around $500.

Hardware Specifications of Acer Aspire 5 (A515-54G-53H6) Laptop:

 ProcessorIntel Core i5-10210U Quad Core 1.6GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.2GHz)
 Storage512GB SSD
 GraphicsNvidia GeForce MX250 2GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display15.6-Inch Full HD LED-backlit IPS Display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUpto 9 hours
 Weight3.97 lbs

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

4. LG Gram 17 Best Large Screen Option

LG Gram 17 - best large screen laptop for photo editing

For those who don’t want to miss the standard PC feel, the LG Gram 17 is a perfect option. It comes with a large 17-inch IPS display with 114% of color gamut and powerful hardware which makes it the best 17-inch laptop for photo editing right now. Its chassis is made from the special metal alloy and it complies with the 810G Military Standard so it is perfect for photographers who travels a lot and has to edit pictures on-the-go. Moreover, it is the world’s lightest 17-inch laptop weighing in at just 2.9 pounds, so you won’t be lugging this laptop around like other 17-inch laptops.

The colorful display and portable chassis 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 photoshop. With its powerful Intel Core i7 processor paired up with a massive 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD, the LG Gram 17 laptop can handle quite a lot of tasks with ease.

Now let’s talk about the price tag, the laptop costs around $1800 and for the price it offers an excellent package overall, but it comes with Intel’s integrated Iris Plus graphics. That said, it can still handle all sorts of photo editing work on Photoshop or Lightroom without any problems, but it would struggle if you would try to edit videos on it. So, if you are looking for a large screen laptop solely for photo editing only, then LG Gram 17 is probably the best option right now.

Hardware Specifications of LG Gram 17:

 ProcessorIntel Core i7-1065G7 Quad Core 1.3 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 3.9 GHz)
 Storage1TB SSD
 GraphicsIntel Iris Plus Graphics
 Display17-Inch IPS WQXGA Display (114% sRGB) with 2560 x 1600 Resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 11 hours
 Weight2.9 lbs
HP Envy 17t - High Performance Large Screen Laptop for Photoshop
HP Envy 17t

If you are looking for a 17-inch laptop which can handle photo and video editing as well, then HP Envy 17t is the one you should go with. It also comes with the i7 processor, but it has 512GB of SSD for storage and dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU which will be able to handle intensive photo and video editing work a lot more efficiently. However, it isn’t as thin and light as the LG Gram 17, but it’s a well-built machine and also lightweight enough to carry around in a backpack easily. | Check Price on HP

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

5. Apple MacBook Pro 16 Best MacBook for Photo Editing

Apple MacBook Pro 16 - 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 widely used for handling high-end graphics tools for image and video processing. And here is a compact yet, very powerful MacBook Pro 15, which comes with a stunning 16-inch True Tone Retina display with 3072 x 1920 Resolution.

For the internals, it is powered by the latest generation six-core Intel Core i7 processor paired up with a 16GB of RAM and 512GB 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 dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU, which boosts up the graphics handling performance of the laptop.

The laptop comes with an all-metal unibody 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 aids a lot while editing photos in Photoshop on this laptop.

However, not everything about the MacBook Pro is praiseworthy. It has just 4 ports, 2 on either side and all of them are Thunderbolt USB Type-C. So, to transfer photos from your camera to the laptop you will need a dongle which isn’t included in the box. Moreover, its price is also comparatively higher than the similarly specced Windows laptops. That said, the MacBook Pro 15 is still one of the most preferred laptop by professionals because of its performance and reliability.

If you think you can make it with the small display, then MacBook Pro 13 is also an excellent pick for photo editing. While it doesn’t come with dedicated GPU, the integrated Intel Iris graphics 655 on it is also more than enough for photo editing. So, if you want to save a bit and think that you will be fine with a smaller display, then MacBook Pro 13 is also worth checking out. | Check price on Amazon

Hardware Specifications of Apple MacBook Pro 16:

 ProcessorIntel Core i7 Six Core 2.6GHz Processor (Coffee Lake) Turbo Boost Up to 4.5GHz
 Storage512GB SSD
 GraphicsAMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU with 4GB DDR6 Memory
 Display15.4 Inch True Tone Retina Display with 3072 x 1920 Pixels Resolution
 Operating SystemmacOS Mojave
 Battery LifeUp to 11 hours
 Weight4.3 lbs

6. HP ENVY 13t 4K Laptop Best Value for Money

HP Envy 13t - best laptop for photoshop with 4K display under 1000

The HP Envy 13 is one of our most recommended laptops for photographers who have to edit pictures on the go. The reason behind that is it offers 4K display in a lightweight, streamlined chassis, that too, at an affordable price. While most of the models with 4K display cost more than $1500, with this HP Envy 13, you can get it for around $1000.

It comes with a 13.3-inch 4K touchscreen display which is vivid and crisp looking. Speaking about the specifications of the laptop, it comes with 8th Generation quad-core Intel Core i7 processor paired with a massive 16GB of RAM. Although the processor is slightly old, it is still a competent one. It also features a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU which makes it a very capable performer when it comes to intensive media creation and editing work. Moreover, the laptop comes with a 512GB of SSD, which we think is more than enough for a photographer’s needs.

However, the battery backup of this laptop isn’t that great. It can last up to 5 to 6 hours on a single charge which could fall short if you travel a lot. But on an overall note, this HP Envy 13 laptop still offers excellent value for its price, and it is a complete package for budget buyers who don’t want to compromise on features.

Hardware Specifications of HP Envy 13 – Best Laptop For Photo Editing/Photographers:

 ProcessorIntel Core i7-8565U Quad-Core 1.8 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.6 GHz)
 Storage512GB SSD
 GraphicsNVidia GeForce MX250 2GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display13.3-Inch Diagonal 4K IPS WLED-backlit Touchscreen Display with 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 6 hours
 Weight5.1 lbs

If you think that your workload doesn’t demand a 4K display and powerful specs with dedicated GPU, then you can get the HP Envy 13t with 13-inch full HD display and Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD for under $800. | Configure yours at HP

7. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Best for Photographers

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 - best laptops for photoshop with pen

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is one of the most versatile Windows laptop you can buy right now. It comes with the flexibility of a tablet and offers the productivity of a laptop, which makes it ideal for photographers to view and edit pictures on-the-go. It sports a 12.3-inch PixelSense pressure sensitive (267 PPI) display with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels. The display has excellent viewing angles as you would expect and it also covers a wide color gamut.

The Surface Pro 7 comes in various variants, with differed RAM, processor, and storage configurations. We think its variant with Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD would be perfect for most users. However, if you need more power then there’s also option of i7 processor, and up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD. Moreover, you can buy a detachable keyboard, which is yet another added advantage for photographers, who don’t want to miss out on traditional laptop experience.

The Surface Pro 7 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. It runs bloat free 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, it can last up to 13.5 hours on a single charge, so you can travel with this laptop/tablet combo without worrying about charging it frequently. All in all, the beautiful display with powerful hardware in a versatile chassis make Surface Pro 6 a complete overall package for traveling photographers.

Hardware Specifications of Microsoft Surface Pro 7:

 ProcessorIntel Core i5-1035G4 10th Generation quad-core Processor (Turbo up to 3.7 GHz)
 Storage256GB SSD
 GraphicsIntel Iris Plus Graphics
 Display12.3 Inch PixelSense 10 Point Multi-Touch (267PPI) Display with 2736 x 1824 Resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
 Weight1.7 lbs (without type cover)
Surface Laptop 3
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

The Surface Laptop 3 is another excellent option for photo editing from the house of Microsoft, which now comes in two different sizes 13″ and bigger 15″. The 13-inch model comes with an Intel hardware, and it can be configured up to 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor. While the new 15-inch model comes with an AMD hardware and can be configured up to AMD Ryzen 7 processor. Doesn’t matter what size you go with, you are getting a pretty powerful machine to carry out all sorts of photo editing work. Moreover, both models are lightweight enough to easily carry and work on-the-go. So, if you prefer the standard clamshell laptop over the 2-in-1 Surface Pro 7, then the Surface Laptop 3 is the best option with a bigger touchscreen display and powerful hardware. | $798.88 from Amazon

You may like to check out – The Best 13-Inch Laptops – Our Most Recommended Portable Laptops Right Now

8. Dell XPS 15 Our Top Pick

Dell XPS 15 7590 - Best Laptop For Photo Editing 2020

Dell XPS 15 is a beautifully crafted laptop with excellent build quality and high performance hardware inside a thin and light chassis that weighs just 4 pounds. It is one of the smallest 15-inch laptops you can buy right now, thanks to its beautiful 15-inch display with slim bezels. The display being one of the USP comes with a 4K resolution and covers the 100% of Adobe sRGB color spectrum making it one of the best laptops for professional photo editing work. Moreover, the display is also extremely bright to use it in the direct sunlight, and it is touchscreen panel so you can quickly edit pictures and do some rough touch ups while you are on-the-go.

Speaking about the configuration of the laptop, it packs in a power house inside in the form of Intel Core i7 hexa-core processor. The power of processor is paired with 16GB of RAM for efficient multitasking and 1TB of solid state drive to provide that extra oomph for quickly loading the bulky editing softwares. Moreover, it also comes with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, which is yet another impressive aspect of this ultrabook.

The Dell XPS 15’s hardware can handle even the most intensive kind of photo editing and video editing work with ease. It offers beautiful 4K display which is probably the best you can get on any laptop right now and it is also superior in terms of build quality and overall look and feel. So, the Dell XPS 15 is yet another perfect laptop if you’re looking for the best laptop for photographers and photo editing.

Dell XPS 15 can be configured with a lot of other configurations and if you don’t want the 4K display, then Dell XPS 15 is also available with 15.6-inch full HD infinityedge display. While it isn’t touch enabled like the 4K panel, it can still produce 100% of the Adobe sRGB color gamut. | Check price on Dell

Hardware Specifications of Dell XPS 15:

 ProcessorIntel Core i7-9750H 9th Generation Hexa-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.5 GHz)
 Storage1TB Solid State Drive
 GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD InfinityEdge Touchscreen Display with 100% sRGB 
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 9 hours
 Weight4.5 lbs

9. HP Spectre x360 (2020)

HP Spectre x360 2020 - best 2 in 1 laptop for photo editing

The recently refreshed HP Spectre X360 is another excellent laptop for editing photos which comes with Stylus supporting Windows ink inside the package. The 2020 HP Spectre laptops have a unique hexagonal shape which seems inspired by Lamborghini. It is finished in a stunning dark ash grey color and has an all-metal unibody chassis. As far as the specifications of the laptop are concerned, it offers a robust set of hardware gaining it an upper hand over a few other convertible laptops in this list.

It is powered by a six-core Intel i7 processor with the turbo clock frequency up to 4.5 GHz, and it comes preloaded with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD for storage. For the graphics, the device has powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 dedicated GPU which adequately suffices all the graphics requirements to run photo editing software smoothly on this laptop. The display on this HP X360 15 is a sure head turner. It is vivid 15.6-inch 4K IPS panel which produces beautiful colors, to be precise it covers whopping 157% of sRGB color gamut making it one of the best convertible laptops for photo editing right now. Moreover, the display is touch-enabled and supports all the Windows Ink compatible stylus to let user edit photos with precision.

All in all, this laptop doesn’t miss out on any features and its hardware allows you to do almost any task you throw at it be it the photo or video editing or light gaming, so it is a perfect blend of work, play, and power. The powerful hardware specifications and the unique hexagonal shape of the laptop are few of the outstanding aspects of this laptop which makes it stand out in the segment. Moreover, it also offers a reliable battery backup for uninterrupted photo editing sessions.

Hardware Specifications of HP Spectre X360 15-Inch 4K Convertible Laptop:

 ProcessorIntel Core i7-9750H 9th Generation 2.6GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.5 GHz)
 Storage256GB SSD
 GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1650 (Max-Q) 4GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display15.6 Inch 4K Touchscreen IPS WLED-backlit Display with 3840 x 2160 Resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 9 hours
 Weight4.8 lbs

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

10. Microsoft Surface Book 2 For creative professionals

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. It comes in two different sizes (13 and 15-inch). Both come with a PixelSense Pressure Sensitive (267 PPI) display which supports Surface Pen and Surface Dial accessories.

As far as specifications are concerned, it comes with options to opt for newest 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. It comes preloaded with Windows 10 out of the box, and 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 dedicated Nvidia GPU in higher variants. Hence, the Surface Book 2 is able enough to handle graphics-intensive 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 or form-factor that it offers, but 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 creative photo editing professionals who like to fancy their skills with the pen.

Hardware Specifications of Microsoft Surface Book 2 (Base Model):

 Processor8th Generation Intel Core i5-8350U Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 3.6GHz)
 Storage256GB SSD
 GraphicsIntel HD Integrated Graphics
 Display13.5 Inch PixelSense Touchscreen 267 PPI Display with 3000 x 2000 Resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro Creators Update 64-bit
 Battery LifeUpto 17 hours of video playback
 Weight3.38 lbs

MORE: The Best 2-in-1 Laptops for Artists with Stylus Support

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 - best laptop for photo editing 2020

If you would like to splurge up, then you can get into the dual-screen laptops game with the recently launched ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo. It gets you all the latest specs paired with two 4K touchscreen displays which can do wonders with photo editing. It is powered by the latest Intel Core i7-9750H six-core processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU which are paired with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD. This set of hardware specification delivers enough thrust of power to run Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom or any other photo editor without any sight of lag or stutter. Moreover, the whole package has been kept slim and lightweight to carry it to different places in the backpack easily. All in all, if budget is not a problem for you, then ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo is the best laptop for photo editing you can buy right now. The dual screens on it give a whole new editing experience, and photographers can utilize the extra real-estate to make their photo editing process swifter. | Check Price on 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.

  1. Looking for “budget” laptop for “beginner” photo editing. One that can possibly grow as I learn. You recommend the HP Envy 17t in a prev post. Didn’t want a 17” but…it was budget friendly.

    1. Hi Lea, the HP ENVY Notebooks also come in 13″ and 15″ sizes. Do check them out. They are also great options for photo editing.

  2. Hello,

    I’m on the search for a decent amateur photographer laptop. I use Photos hop and Light room to the best of my abilities at the moment and my budge is around 900$. It seems like everything I find to match properly is too expensive for me or has bad reviews. Can I get some ideas to search into please? Also I prefer to stay away from Apple products.

    1. If 2 in 1 laptop design is okay for you, then HP ENVY x360 with AMD is an excellent option right now. It is a premium 2-in-1 device with excellent display, better performance than its Intel counterparts and a full day battery life. Costs considerably less as well. If you prefer the clamshell design, then Lenovo’s Ideapad 5 15 AMD is also excellent option with similar AMD hardware, 100% sRGB display and full day battery life. Reason I am recommending AMD hardware more than Intel is, the new AMD Ryzen 4000 series processors are more powerful and power efficient than Intel’s latest gen processors.

    1. Hi,
      Yes there is! Check out the LG Gram 17 in the list above. It has 17-inch IPS display with 114% Adobe sRGB color gamut.

  3. Hi,
    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. 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.

  4. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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. 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.

  6. 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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. 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.

  9. 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. Hi,

      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.

  10. 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. 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.

  11. 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. Hi,
      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.

  12. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  13. 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. 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.

  14. 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. Hi Mothra,

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

  15. 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. 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.

  16. 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. 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.

  17. 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. Hi,
      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).

  18. 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. 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.

  19. 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. 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.

  20. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  21. 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. 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.

  22. 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. 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. 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.

  23. 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. 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.

  24. 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. 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.

  25. 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. 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.

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