Best Laptops For Photo Editing In 2022
When you think about a photo editing laptop, what comes to your mind? Let me make a guess!
For me, the best laptop for photo editing should come with a powerful processor, high-resolution screen, dedicated graphics card, and SSD storage. Only then can I create a photo that will break the internet! I know you want it too!
Therefore, Ive gathered the top ten laptops that will take your editing skill to a whole new level, and Instagram will be your territory! So if you want to find out more, just keep scrolling!
Best Laptops For Photo Editing: What To Consider
The best photo editing laptops will offer plenty of speedy storage. Ideally an SSD with 512GB or 1TB storage. This gives you fast data transfer rates , while also offering plenty of space to hold those large files.
Getting a decent laptop for photo editing doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive thing out there. As you’ll realise, basic photo editing like cropping, resizing and applying straightforward filters, can be performed on most devices. But we’ve prioritised graphically-capable laptops in this list because if you’re looking for a photo-editing laptop specifically it’s likely you’ll want to do at least some advanced stuff.
As we mentioned earlier, we’ve prioritised graphical power above other elements but a pixel-perfect screen is also a must.
Many laptops now have IPS displays so you get brighter, bolder images, wider viewing angles and better colour reproduction. And resolutions are now higher than ever with Full HD now a minimum but even higher resolutions are standard on many. 4K is also a more regular option though it is still expensive.
Some laptops aimed at photographers have screens that support AdobeRGB and sRGB colour spaces, so it’s worth looking out for those.
Best Laptops For Photo Editing Under $400
Laptops under $400 will typically be pretty limited in performance. A lot of them will have below the recommended processing power for photo editing, and will mostly be good for making minor adjustments or viewing your pictures on a larger display. Some will still be functional for more in-depth tasks, and weve done our best to find them for you here.
The table below will give you a quick look at our selections for the three best laptops for photo editing under $400 currently available on the market. To read a full review, simply click on review> > in the respective row.
- Poor battery life
Our Rating: 9.6/10
We saw a version of the VivoBook earlier on this list, so it was only common sense to consider a cheaper version for our extreme budget lineup. The biggest drawback for this one is going to be the memory, but it still has a surprising amount of processing power.
Like its more expensive sibling, this version of the VivoBook Flip is a 2-in-1 with a 14-inch touchscreen. Its still an FHD IPS panel display, so youre not losing any of the image quality, even with the downgrade in price.
The processor is an Intel Pentium Silver N5030, which is a couple of years old and even then not as fast as a lot of the other processors in its generation. It does have 4 cores, which means youll still get a solid amount of work capacity, and the max clock rate is 3.1GHz which isnt bad. The thing thats more likely to slow you down is the 4GB of RAM.
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How Much Processing Power Will I Need
For most photo editing work, an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor is fine. Need more oomph? Go for an Intel Core i9. The most important thing is the number of cores. The more cores, the better your CPU can divide the workload. For AMD options, the Ryzen 5 series is zippy enough for basic photo editing work. If you need faster response times, shoot for a Ryzen 9.
What Computer Do Most Photographers Use
I cant directly answer that since every photographer has their own taste and wont buy a laptop specifically just because another photographer has it. All of the above laptops are used by photographers, but if they dont appeal to you, just try to get a laptop that comes from a prominent manufacturer.
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Best Laptop For Photo Editing In 2022 + How To Choose
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Editing photos is one of the key parts of any photographers workflow. But it can also be one of the more frustrating parts, because photo editing software tends to be resource hungry. This means you need the right tool for the job, and picking the right laptop for photo editing is important.
Whilst a high-powered desktop is often the tool of choice, this isnt going to work for everyone. This is especially the case if you travel a lot like I do, or just want something that you can take to a coffee shop for some work.
With this in mind, I wanted to put together a guide to the best laptops for photo editing. I will cover a range of laptops with a variety of capabilities suitable for a wide range of budgets.
There are a number of factors to consider when picking a laptop for editing photos, and Ill cover each of these factors in detail. Then Ill provide a list of the best laptops for photo editing across a variety of budgets. This is based on my personal experience with photo editing on a range of laptops, as well as my background in computer technology.
How Will You Use This Laptop
Laptops for photo editing can mean various things, from viewing photos to performing complex AI-assisted photo manipulations. But luckily, most of the photography-related tasks require similar hardware capabilities.
So, the next question here is, what else are you doing? Do you also film and produce videos? Do you also want a general productivity-based computer that would double in 3D design, rendering, or other mediums? Or do you have different needs such as gaming or media consumption requiring high-end graphics and sound capabilities?
These are the kinds of questions to consider beforehand, as finding the right computer across all the mediums will vary based on these questions.
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What Is The Best Laptop For Photo Editing
The best laptop for photo editing is the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio. That is as much for its beautiful display as it is for the unique hinge design that lets you transform from laptop to studio to tablet mode. This way, you can bring the screen toward you and make edits with a stylus or your fingers on the 14.4-inch, 2400 x 1600-pixel touchscreen.
And whatever photo edits you’re making, be it removing stray hairs or adjusting the contrast, feel smooth because of the powerful 11th Gen Intel performance as well as the 120Hz refresh rate screen.
Those who prefer macOS and its photo editing software options should splurge on the MacBook Pro, which features the ultra-fast M1 processors in a compact chassis. Its battery life is exceptional and the fans inside will ensure the laptop doesn’t throttle during long photo editing sessions, unlike the MacBook Air.
Covering such a wide spectrum of the color wheel, imagine the heart-stopping visuals we’ve seen on the Dell XPS 15 and HP Spectre x360 15 when they came through our lab. The 4K OLED displays on these laptops are absolutely stunning. Photo editing on the HP Spectre x360 15 and Dell XPS 15 will be an absolute treat with the laptops’ discreet graphics card, which will help you run some of the most demanding photo-editing software on the market.
What You Need In A Photo Editing Laptop
While it sounds simple, photo editing cant be done on any computer. Because image editing and graphic design can take up a lot of resources, you need a powerful computer to match that demand for power usually more power than what a budget laptop offers.
Most laptops internal parts cannot be modified or replaced, so you need to make sure that the computer you buy fits your needs perfectly. In this section, well break down the key requirements for your photo editing laptop.
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Before Considering Cost Think About How You Plan To Use The Laptop:
Where will you use the device?
What software functionality do you require?
What makes editing sessions most comfortable and productive for you?
What type and size of images do you normally work with?
Find a laptop that allows you to realize the full potential of your photo editing software.1
Find a laptop that allows you to realize the full potential of your photo editing software.1
Skilled photographers and professional graphic designers know that only part of their work is completed when a picture is taken creating compelling images inevitably requires at least some time at a computer with photo-editing software. Hardly anyone, including amateur shutterbugs using their smartphones, presents their images to the world completely unadorned. But its really in the hands of upper-echelon creative professionals that editing software sings. Imperfections that strip images of their power and reality can be corrected. Unique elements can be added that provide otherworldly qualities that change the way people react to an image of a person, place or thing.
Desktops Edge Over Laptops DisappearEven people who have been using photo editing software for a relatively short time probably remember a time when desktop computers were the only option for serious craftspeople. Today, however, new laptop models boast speed and storage that rival high-end desktops, suiting those whose editing work must be done in the field, at multiple locations, or taken to clients or colleagues.
Graphics Acceleration: Dedicated Gpu Or Not
Most non-gaming laptops come with graphics-acceleration silicon that’s part of the CPU, not a separate graphics processing chip . This arrangement offers weak performance if you’re playing richly detailed, AAA-grade video games, but it’s actually fine for many video-editing scenarios. Nearly all video-editing suites are designed to take advantage of more powerful processors, but the ability to leverage powerful graphics-processing hardware isn’t as common.
There are a few exceptions. For example, a discrete GPU can speed up the video-encoding process in Final Cut Pro X, and Blackmagic’s Davinci Resolve editing suite has a video-playback engine that’s optimized for powerful GPUs. Still, it’s best to save GPU-accelerated editing tasks for when you get back to the studio.
That said, if the laptop you’re considering offers an entry-level discrete GPU for a reasonable premium , there’s little reason not to spring for it and enjoy the added speed boost when you’re exporting video. You can get a comparative idea of a laptop’s graphics performance by glancing at its scores on our 3DMark benchmark tests.
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Hard Drive Type And Capacity
The hard drive inside your laptop, also referred to as a hard disk or disk drive, is where all the data is stored. Normally this data is referred to as individual files. For example, a photo would be a file on the hard drive.
Other types of files include word processing documents, program files , and music files.
There are two main types of hard drive, solid state drives and mechanical hard drives, which are usually just referred to as hard drives or hard disk drives .
Mechanical hard drives are an older technology that involves fast spinning disk platters that are read by magnets. They have the advantage of being able to offer very high capacities for relatively low prices, and the disadvantage of being slower and more prone to failure.
Solid state hard drives are more like flash memory cards. There are no moving parts, and so they are far less likely to fail. They are also much faster when it comes to reading and writing data. They are however more expensive.
Hard drive capacity is measured in terms of bytes. The bigger the number, the more you can store on the drive. The numbers these days have gotten very large, so the number of bytes is often referred to in terms of Megabytes , Gigabytes and Terabytes .
To give you an idea of what these mean, an average RAW image file is between 20 and 50 MB. So if you have 10,000 image files, you would need between 200 GB and 500 GB of storage space.
Lenovo Zenbook Duo 14
Released in 2021, The ZenBook Duo 14 joins the dual-screen niche and shows the companies vested in the concept. The Duo lineup already had several dual-screen models, but this latest 14-inch variant stands as the smallest of the group.
Even so, it delivers and refines this concept quite considerably. Namely, it has an updated ultra-light design thats now 3mm thinner and nearly 1 lb lighter than its original sibling. Yet, it still manages to meet the ultra-demanding MIL-STD 810H test for durability. It also brings dual 1080p equivalent touchscreens with 400 nits of brightness and 100% sRGB coverage. The smaller display here, called the ScreenPad Plus, also tilts, angling away from the keyboard for an easier view and offers better air circulation for cooling.
And its ideal when used as a secondary display, handy for, say, Spotify, reference images, or customizable shortcuts for Photoshop and Lightroom. And this functionality delivers a desktop-like feel, which is rare amongst the competition. Otherwise, the laptop itself features an 11th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GBs RAM, and a 512 GB SSD. But you can configure this model with up to 32 GB RAM, a 1 TB SSD, and an optional Nvidia GeForce MX450 GPU. Other features include a USB 3.2 port, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, a microSD slot, an IR camera, a stylus, and a headphone jack. Lenovo also rates the laptop for 17 hours of battery life.
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Best Laptops For Photo Editing And Photography In 2021
The pandemic led us to question not just our need to secure an income but also if its possible to convert hobbies and side hustles into full-time jobs. For this very reason, its not surprising to find people looking for the best laptops for photo editing as the investment can be little, and your passion can easily become profitable with the right set of tools. We previously covered the best laptops for photographers in the market. As technology quickly changes, we want to cover in detail whats relevant for 2021, while also keeping in mind two factors:
B) Multiple uses for the selected equipment
Without any further ado, lets get started.
- Compact design for a 17-inch laptop
- You can plug an external 4K monitor
- Excellent audio quality
- Can be expensive in some markets
- Somewhat noisy during intense sessions
- Lacks numeric keyboard
- 4K HDR OLED display with touch screen
- Robust keyboard
- One of the most powerful laptops in the market
- Nvidia RTX graphics
- It requires to be plugged most of the time
- Max RAM limited to 32GB
- Perfect budget option for users
- Many configurations with alternatives for graphics
- 3x USB-C ports
- No USB-A or HDMI
- Graphics are low-tier options
- 4K LED IPS Adobe sRGB 100% Display
- Asus ScreenPad
- Improved webcam in comparison with previous versions
How To Choose The Best Photo Editing Laptop For You
The best photo editing laptop is well stocked on ports, has excellent color reproduction, can handle demanding photo editing software and more. Here’s what you should look for when choosing the best photo editing laptop for you.
The sRGB gamut coverage: The sRGB gamut coverage tells you how well a laptop can reproduce all colors on the color wheel.This is what separates a lackluster viewing experience from a captivating, can’t-take-your-eyes-off the-screen moments. At Laptop Mag, we use the sRGB color gamut to measure color quality, with 100% being our accepted minimum. All the best photo editing laptops in our buying guide surpass this benchmark.
Delta-E score: TheDelta-E is a single number that represents the ‘distance’ between two colors. A score of 0 is ideal and represents high color accuracy.
Ports: Photo editors need SD card readers, Thunderbolt 3 ports and other artist-friendly ports that are helpful for transferring files or optimizing the photo editing experience. Keep an eye out for the ports you’ll need and figure out whether your laptop of choice has everything you need. You can always get an adapter if the laptop you really want doesn’t have a port you desire.
High-performing graphics card: Keep a look out for discreet graphics cards as opposed to integrated GPUs as they will be able to handle the most demanding photo editing platforms on the market.
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Asus Vivobook S 14 Our Choice
Specs: 15.6 inches | Processor: Intel Core i7-10510U | RAM: 8GB | Ports: USB Type-C, 2x USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI, SD card reader
- High-end performance
This large screen laptop looks like an obvious winner with its premium design, small weight and clear colorful display. It is a mid-range laptop with multiple drives. Vivobook features a 256 GB solid-state drive and it is possible to install a second disk, there is space for it in the body.
Unfortunately, this appealing laptop has a few annoying issues short battery life and a not-so-comfortable touchpad. However, if you are looking for a powerful device capable of running , this model is what you need.