Last updated on March 7th, 2020 at 01:59 am
Photo editing requires a lot of resources that we may not always have on the go. With the exponential development of technology, more powerful laptops are emerging. Laptops are now sufficiently powerful to run programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and other photo editing software with ease. If you’re springing for a powerful machine that can run graphic design software without hiccups, we wrote this article about 10 best laptops for photoshop.
Whether you’re a freelancer, in-home designer or work in a design company, you must know that laptops have become a paramount part of our corporate life. Certainly, it’s nice to keep track of your work on a powerful desktop computer with a large screen, but laptops allow us to do it from anywhere we want, giving us an advantage over people who work on a desktop.
Thanks to powerful processors, scalable graphics processors, more memory resources and swifter storage options, laptops have become nearly as powerful as most desktop configurations and promise great working performance.
With all that in mind, without further ado, we’re going to highlight 10 best laptops for photoshop. We, however, had an emphasis on three models we found fit to the following criteria:
- Best Overall
- Best Value
- Best Budget
If you’re not fond of the three models we highlighted as our personal favorite, there are seven more laptops that may catch your attention.
- 1. Best Overall: MacBook Pro 16-inch, 2019
- 2. Best Value: LG Gram 17
- 3. Best Budget: HP Envy 13
- 4. DELL XPS 15
- 5. Lenovo Yoga 730 2-in-1
- 6. Asus ZenBook 13
- 7. Asus ZenBook 14
- 8. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
- 9. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- 10. HP Spectre x360
- Finding the Best Laptop for Photoshop: Things to consider when buying
- 11. Lenovo ThinkPad X1
- 12. Microsoft Surface Pro
- 13. Apple MacBook Pro 15
- 14. Dell XPS 15 Touch
- 15. HP ZBook X2
- 16. Apple MacBook Pro 15-Inch
- 17. Lenovo ThinkPad L540
- 18. Acer Aspire S7-392-6832 Ultrabook
- 19. ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH71
- 20. HP Envy TouchSmart
1. Best Overall: MacBook Pro 16-inch, 2019
Apple’s MacBooks have set a standard for sleek and stylish design a long time ago and MacBook Pro 16 is no exception. It’s portable, thin, stylish and has a larger screen than the average of 15-inch laptops. It’s perfect to carry everywhere. You can work on vacation, in a café, in a library, pretty much anywhere. Its large screen boasts a 16-inch diagonal and True Tone technology for more vibrant colors and detailed pictures, making it ideal to edit photos in software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.
It features an improved speaker quality, new and majorly improved keyboard over previous models and breathtaking specs. It is equipped with a 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor. If you cash a little more, you will be able to run a long-expected i9 processor with Intel UHD Graphics 630. It also has a dedicated graphics card – AMD Radeon Pro 5300M for faster graphics rendering and processing.
As about memory and storage, you can choose between 16GB and 64GB as well as between 512GB and 8TB of RAM and SSD storage respectively. The solid-state drive makes for faster access and transfer speed, making it ideal for rendering software such as Photoshop. Although the MacBook Pro 16 has a room for up to 64GB of RAM, you won’t need more than 16GB.
It’s worth noting it’s more expensive than other Windows-running notebooks. Nevertheless, it’s built with durability and reliability in mind. Another minor drawback is that it only has four Thunderbolt 3 ports and no other ports like USB. In our opinion, despite the flaws, it’s the best laptop for photoshop thanks to its colorful and detailed screen and a combination of specs that can handle massive performance and rendering.
- Beautiful and vivid display
- Top-notch performance
- Large screen
- Stylish design
- Large SSD storage
- Fairly expensive
- There are only Thunderbolt 3 ports
2. Best Value: LG Gram 17
Whether you use photoshop to add more detail to your photographs, make logos and design new things, you know that the screen size is an essential part of its design. That’s why the best value laptop in our opinion is a 17-inch LG Gram 17, also considered one of the lightest laptops on the market, weighing only three pounds. You won’t have to worry about transporting the laptop, it weighs less than most of the 15-inch machines.
As mentioned above, it’s equipped with a 17-inch screen with 2560 x 1600-pixel resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio, producing a crisp and detailed picture with accurate and vivid colors. It’s one of the best laptops for photoshop because its screen size offers the tiniest details crucial for the quality of a picture.
When it comes to performance, it exceeds all our expectations. It offers a respectable 8th generation i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD which should be more than enough for your regular work. The only downside is that it only comes with Intel UHD graphics, instead of a dedicated graphics card in addition to the Intel UHD 620. Another minor flaw of this model is its loud keyboard, but unless you type too much and too fast, you probably won’t even notice it.
- Large, bright and vibrant display
- Lasting battery life
- High-end performance
- Stylish and portable design
- No dedicated graphics card
- Loud keyboard
3. Best Budget: HP Envy 13
If you’re restricted on a budget, but also like ergonomic models that can easily fit in your bag, HP Envy 13 is worth checking out. It is portable at 2.8 pounds and has an attractive chassis that makes it featherweight. It is equipped with a 13.3-inch screen.
Depending on which option you pick, you may either choose the 1080p version or 4K option, which is better if you do some advanced editing.
Smaller screens may not be everyone’s cup of tea. After all, we highlighted above how important it is for a laptop suited for photo editing to have a large screen that shows the smallest details. Nevertheless, HP Envy 13 has a bright and very detailed panel perfectly suitable for photoshop despite the size. If you aren’t on the go often, you can easily connect it to TV or another monitor to see a better picture of what you’re doing.
Other highlights of Envy 13 include a powerful 8th generation i5-8265U which can reach the speeds of 3.9 GHz in Turbo Boost, 8GB of RAM which is easily expandable to 16GB and 256GB SSD. Additionally, you can squeeze 512GB or 1TB SSD storage for a little higher price. It’s equipped with Intel UHD 620 graphics and Nvidia GeForce MX250. Lastly, the FHD model has a great battery life, reaching nearly 11 hours of use, while the stronger 4K squeezes fewer hours.
- Lightweight and attractive
- Vivid display
- Great battery life
- Strong performance
- Small display
- A tad weaker battery life on the 4K model
4. DELL XPS 15
The OLED technology from phones didn’t take too long to move to laptops. Dell XPS 15 is living proof. It has a 1080p model and 4K resolution with an OLED panel. It looks stylish and boasts a screen panel sufficiently big and detailed to support consistent photoshop work. The keyboard is also backlit so you won’t have problems working in the dark.
It is equipped with the 9th generation of variations of i5, i7 and i9 chipsets. The laptop can be also suitable for gaming as it’s equipped with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, variations of 8GB, 16GB and 32GB and a plethora of storage options. The laptop may be a little heavier compared to other models we feature, but it’s still sized sufficiently to carry in a backpack without breaking your back.
Given it boasts a powerful graphics card, it’s understandable that it won’t run for longer than three hours, hence its battery life is a drawback but definitely not a deal-breaker. It’s also unreasonably expensive with respect to specs of other laptops we featured.
- A great variety of spec variations.
- Stylish design
- Vivid and bright screen
- Short battery life
- Not the lightest model
5. Lenovo Yoga 730 2-in-1
Lenovo Yoga laptops have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years because they are adjustable and customizable. For photo editing, designers are often looking for a combination of both. Lenovo Yoga 730 isn’t just any 2-in-1 laptop you’ll have to take extra care of not to damage. It’s a mix of stylish, durable, high-end performance and not overly priced.
It’s compact and weighs only 2.5 pounds. It has an IPS touch-screen display with good brightness and vivid enough color specter to meet any of your demands. Its performance will, not only provide great photoshop experience but serve well in the day-to-day use, coding, writing and more, thanks to a powerful trackpad and comfortable keyboard. It folds well and has an 8-hour battery life which should be enough to complete all your daily activities.
In terms of performance, it’s equipped with a 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. There are no discrete graphics, but Intel HD 620 should be more than enough to handle most of your graphics workload. Lenovo Yoga 730 may not be the best choice for advanced photoshop performance, but it’s great for those who are after 2-in-1 experience and sturdy design.
- Stylish, customizable and flexible
- Bright display
- Decent performance
- No discrete graphics card
6. Asus ZenBook 13
Asus ZenBook laptops gained huge popularity over the last few years thanks to top-notch performance, ergonomic and sleek design. One of the best assets for every designer who is looking for the best laptops for photoshop is that despite the screen is smaller, it boasts a 1920 x 1080 display with near-perfect viewing angles via IPS technology.
It weighs 2.6 pounds which makes it enough thin to fit in a backpack and carry wherever you want. It has an all-aluminum body which makes it more portable and durable in the process. It has various accessories, like Micro HDMI, built-in fingerprint readers and more.
When it comes to performance, it runs with Intel Core i5-8250U, 8th generation chipset with 3.4GHz speed at Turbo performance. It runs 8GB of RAM and 256GB SATA 3 M.2 SSD for faster access and transfer speed. It also lasts a long time and can run the whole day thanks to 12 hours-long battery life.
Although it could boast a larger screen and dedicated graphic card like most of the models we highlighted, we still find Asus ZenBook 13 to exceed all our expectations in terms of finding a dedicated and reliable machine.
- Sleek and stylish design
- Strong performance
- Various accessories
- Long battery life
- Smaller screen
- No dedicated graphics
7. Asus ZenBook 14
The larger sibling of ZenBook 13 has much more to offer. First, it boasts an innovative design with a numeric dual-function trackpad which is something we aren’t used to seeing, as well as a sleek chassis and much more flexible use.
It has a 14-inch screen with wide viewing angles and full HD resolution. It also boasts the NanoEdge bezels which offer more screen size. The keyboard also saw various enhancement like improved typed position which is great for extended times of use. It also boasts a better cooling system for more reliable and extended use and a new audio system.
When it comes to performance, it boasts Core i7-8565 quad-core processor with speed up to 4.6GHz with Turbo Mode. It is equipped with 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD which offers spacious and swift performance. The screen is bright and colorful, while performance is powerful and ideal for designers and photographers who regularly use photoshop. It has a powerful battery life and offers a respectable performance of 12 and a half hours.
- Stylish and sturdy chassis
- Beautifully-designed display
- Powerful performance
- Uses outdated ports
8. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Microsoft surface notebooks are ideal for photographers and designers, and one of the best laptops for photoshop. They are ultra-thin and slim and perfect if you’re changing locations. Surface Laptop 2 weighs only 2.76 so it’s extremely light and fits anywhere.
Its screen is a masterpiece, boasting beautiful color variations, vibrancy, and bright tones. It is great for editing photos in photoshop, drawing in illustrator and other photo-editing software thanks to the unprecedented details. Its variations include both i5 and i7 processors of 8th generation, 8GB of RAM and 128GB. Its storage isn’t the strongest side, and will mostly require you to get either an external hard-drive or upgrade.
Its performance, nevertheless, is backed by a 13 hours battery life which allows you to work without interruptions the whole day. If you’re using photoshop more for drawing and creating digital art than editing photographs, this laptop is the right one for you.
- Slim and compact
- Sharp and precise display
- Long battery life
- Integrated graphics
- Not many storage options
9. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Another Microsoft Surface model offers the versatility of a powerful photoshop workstation and a tablet, with a little more powerful specs. It weighs only 1.70 pounds, being among the lightest laptops we reviewed in this article. Just like its sibling, it is equipped with a vibrant and bright display, ideal for drawing and photo-editing.
It runs 8th Generation Intel Core i7, 8GB of RAM and runs 256GB of SSD storage, which is a tad better than the model we highlighted above. The only drawback that they share is the lack of a discrete graphics card. You can work on it the whole day, given it runs with an all-day battery which can last up to 13 hours, regardless of workload.
- Sleek and flexible design
- Long battery life
- Respectable performance
- No graphics card
10. HP Spectre x360
HP Spectre x360 takes HP’s laptop performance to the next level as a result of ultra-thin design, powerhouse specs, and sharp resolution. Despite being only 13.3-inches, it offers full HD resolution, as well as UHD resolution depending on a model. Touchscreen also makes a lot of things easier.
Specs-wise, it runs i7-8550U chipset and 16GB of RAM. Depending on which option you choose, you can choose between 256GB and 2TB of SSD, although that will affect the price. Its long battery life in combination with the killer performance is ideal for photographers, but it’s fairly expensive.
- Sleek design
- Sharp and vivid screen
- Great performance
Finding the Best Laptop for Photoshop: Things to consider when buying
When on the look for a laptop you’ll use for drawing or editing photos via photoshop, illustrator or similar software there are important factors to consider. We pin-pointed those we found the most crucial.
- It’s important to look for a larger screen, preferably 15-17-inch, although smaller screens will suffice with the right resolution.
- Storage is an important factor to consider. However, it’s better to have a 256GB SSD than 1TB hard-drive at low speeds.
- Preferred graphics should always be a discrete graphics card. Intel’s integrated graphics have reached peak performance over the last years, but they still aren’t as reliable as discrete graphics processors.
Professionals who love doing all sorts of stuff with Photoshop appreciate the importance of owning or using the right laptop. To this end, most experts – including beginners too – do everything in their powers to find the best laptop for Photoshop. Obviously, you can use just about any laptop to Photoshop any photo of your choice. Nevertheless, some laptops do a much better job than others. For this reason, it is crucial that you find the best one. The choice of the laptop also depends on whether you edit photos using Photoshop for fun or for a living.
Know what to look for in a laptop for photo editing first before spending your money on it. Here are reviews of some of the best laptops to buy and use with Photoshop.
Other Possible Choices (Older Models)
11. Lenovo ThinkPad X1
The 14-inch screen laptop is perfect for any Photoshop work you have for various reasons. It is the ideal laptop because if supports the use of Stylus Pen. The laptop is also capable of folding back on itself. It is eligible for labeling as an Ultrabook. It is a lightweight laptop too. With 1TB SSD and 16GB of RAM, it has enough room to store every photo you edit. Furthermore, the laptop is also called the Corporate Notebook. It’s one of the most flexible laptops today. It has some of the most modern, state-of-the-art features you could ever imagine.
- Long battery life
- Amazing keyboard
- Vibrant screen colors
- Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Epic endurance
- Usable in tablet, laptop, or tent modes
- Slow SSD
- Highly reflective panel
- Stiffer hinge featuring a noisy mechanism
12. Microsoft Surface Pro
Professionals with a penchant for using tablets or stylus pens while editing photos will find this laptop a great choice. It is amazing that such a small laptop can also be quite powerful. It has outstanding features that make it a worthy choice compared to the rest. An example of these features includes the pressure-sensitive stylus and reasonably impressive keyboard. The laptop’s 12.3-inch screen guarantees you a sharp display. The high-resolution display augurs well for the photos you wish to edit, especially if you are doing such work for clients.
- Thin and light design that supports full PC performance
- Discrete GPU offered through the Iris Plus GPU
- Perfect replacement or substitute for tablet and notebook
- MicroSD Card Slot offers room for expanding storage space
- Impressive battery life
- Kickstand is capable of folding back
- Great Surface Pen
- New keyboard is available as a separate accessory
- Does not come with Surface Pen, which costs $99 separately
- LTE Option yet to be standardized
13. Apple MacBook Pro 15
Photographers and graphic designers have loved Apple MacBook Pro for years. One of the reasons for this popularity is the fact the laptop runs on the same MacOS many photographers and designers use on their PCs. Apart from the stylishness of the laptop, it also stands out for many other reasons. It offers raw optimal performance. It now has faster SSDs. It comes with a fingerprint reader too. The laptop’s battery life keeps improving all the time. In fact, the battery lasts longer than ever before.
- Retina display
- Beautiful, high-quality display
- Thin and lightweight
- Dual graphic processors
- Upgradable internal storage
- Excellent battery life
- Two USB 3.0 ports
- SDXC Card Reader
- RAM is impossible to upgrade as it’s soldered in place
- End-users cannot upgrade internal storage
- Lacks internal optical drive
14. Dell XPS 15 Touch
Fewer laptops are as perfect for photo editing as Dell XPS 15 Touch. You will fall in love with it from the first minute of using it. The fact it has a 4K display as an optional feature already makes it a winner in the eyes of many Photoshop lovers. With 32GB of RAM and 1TB SSD, nothing stops you from storing as many photos as you want on this laptop. Weighing 4 pounds, it is a fairly weighty laptop compared to the competition. Despite the heavy weight, the laptop is smaller and sleeker than its previous versions.
- Speedy performance
- Impeccable build quality
- Excellent IPS display regardless of the version you use
- Available in two versions – UHF and FHD
- Offers a good selection of ports for HDMI, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.0
- SD Card Slot
- Battery life needs improvements
- GPU is capable of throttling at exceedingly high loads
15. HP ZBook X2
What you will notice upon laying your eyes on this laptop is the fact HP has spared no costs in producing a juggernaut fit for all the Photoshop work you wish to do. Its CPU is not only one of the latest but also the most powerful in the industry today. Its GPU is correctly labeled workstation class. It offers a 4K display that ensures your edited photos come out clear for all to see. This high-end laptop deserves whatever you pay for it. The keyboard is removable thus allowing you to convert the laptop into a more convenient to use a tablet.
- 4K 10-bit color display
- Detachable/removable keyboard
- Two-in-one, as a laptop or tablet
- Workstation certified graphics
- 32GB of RAM
- Bulkier than many of the other detachable laptops
16. Apple MacBook Pro 15-Inch
Without any shadow of a doubt, this laptop was built specifically for editing videos and photos. Its ultra-high-resolution display – 2880 x 1800 – allows you to show all the fine details your photo boasts of. It has more than adequate workspace you need for all the editing tools and large files. It guarantees super-fast performance through its 256GB SSD. However, you’re free to add an external hard drive in case you need more storage space. The 16GB of RAM allows you to open multiple files all at once without slowing the laptop down.
- More than 16 hours of battery life
- Ultra-high resolution display
- Two USB 3.0 ports
- Two Thunderbolt ports
- One HDMI port
- SDXC Card Reader
- Thin and lightweight
- Slow integrated graphics that struggle driving the ultra-high resolution display
- RAM is impossible to upgrade since it is soldered in place
- End users cannot upgrade internal storage
- Difficult to replace the battery, which is glued in place
- Internal optical drive is not available
17. Lenovo ThinkPad L540
Lenovo ThinkPad L540 provides you with value for money. It guarantees good performance every time you switch it on and begin using it to edit your photos. Its color reproduction needs more work, however. Despite that, the low-glare matte screen is excellent addition when working under direct sunlight or in brightly lit spaces. The laptop’s 500GB hard drive ensures you have enough space to store all the software and photos you need. The laptop has a few pros and cons as you will see below.
- Conveniently quiet
- Long battery life
- Superb performance
- Easy to upgrade hardware
- Customization is possible while ordering
- Plenty of accessories
- Excellent processing speed
- Windows 7 Operating System
- DVD drive never stops spinning the moment you insert a DVD
- Poor viewing angles
- Poor color accuracy
- Non-illuminated keyboard
18. Acer Aspire S7-392-6832 Ultrabook
Fewer laptops will serve your photo-editing needs better while on the road than Acer Aspire S7-392-6832 Ultrabook. Weighing a mere 2.9 pounds, there is no way the laptop will load you down while traveling. The battery is designed to last around 12 hours, which should offer you plenty of time to edit your photos without recharging or plugging it into the power source. It is the ideal laptop to use when you need to edit photos – and videos – superfast. The laptop’s Intel Core i5 processor allows it to perform exceptionally well all the time.
- Super battery life
- Strong graphics
- Stunning 1080p touchscreen display
- Great design
- Battery-friendly Intel Haswell CPU
- Too costly
- Hidden power button
- Slow SSD
- Several undersized keys
- Performance glitches
- TouchPad and keyboard need more improvements
19. ASUS ROG GL552VW-DH71
ASUS is renowned for making some of the best gaming laptops in the world. However, what many users might not realize is its laptops are equally suitable for editing photos. The Intel Core i7 Quad-Core processor in this laptop makes it capable of performing at the top level every time. The graphics card works discreetly too. The laptop’s SSD guarantees superior load times in addition to faster transfer times. The 16GB of RAM ensures the laptop allows you to multitask with relative ease too. Check the pros and cons below to confirm whether the laptop is for you.
- Powerful performance
- Exceptional screen display
- Operates cool and quiet
- Easily upgradable
- Excellent value for money
- Trackpad requires further improvements
- Speakers do not provide the required level of sound output
- Slightly heavier
20. HP Envy TouchSmart
The HP Envy TouchSmart is one of the most effective laptops for photo editing. You can install any photo-editing tool or software in this laptop and use it to do some stunning jobs. In many circles, the laptop is considered the most worthy replacement for a photo-editing desktop. The laptop is costlier for many reasons. It possesses excellent specs that make it better than most of its competition too. Nevertheless, this rock-solid laptop will require more effort on your part to tug along since its mostly made of metals and not plastic.
- Slim thus does not take too much space
- Stylish body made of aluminum
- Responsive touchscreen
- Superfast performance
- Backlit keyboard
- Absence of SSD slows the envy down when switching it off and on
- Isn’t configurable
- Too heavy for an Ultrabook
- TouchPad is too jumpy when at default settings
As we reach the end of the best laptops for the Photoshop list, we made sure to highlight the best performing models and showcase their capabilities. When choosing the right laptop for Photoshop, it’s understandable that some important features may be lacking compared to other features. It’s okay to sacrifice specs for the sake of some other feature, like lower storage for a better screen. In the end, the final decision comes to individual consumers and demands they want to meet with a certain laptop.
Therefore, you now possess all the bits of information needed to make an excellent choice. With this information, you should no longer feel confused trying to select and buy the best laptop for Photoshop. As shown above, you have access to a wide array of products you can buy at affordable rates. You could also stop worrying about money and spend all you have on the laptop of your choice if you consider it a must-have for your work. With these laptops, you now have the main tool needed for installing and using Photoshop to impress your family, friends and clients alike.