Saturday, February 4, 2023

What’s The Best Laptop For Photography

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Apple Macbook Pro New 16

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  • 9th-Generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
  • 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone Technology
  • Touch ID and Touch Bar
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • $$$

The 16-Inch MacBook Pro is, hands-down, the best MacBook Pro to date. The new addition to the famous brands line, for starters, is the new larger screen that offers a spectacular display of graphics.

Apple has refined the MacBook Pro in a number of other ways. The new edition has switched its keyboard from Butterfly switches for Scissor switches found in the Magic Keyboard. With this in mind, it keeps the laptops shape unbelievably slim.

This ultra-thin design 16-inch model uses the next generation of AMD graphics and gives this model a performance edge alongside Intel core i7 and i9 automatic graphics switching. This makes a real difference in speed when editing the most complex visual edits and plug-ins using high-resolution imagery.

This turns the MacBook Pro 16-inch into a serious video editing powerhouse. If you have the budget for it, this is one of the best laptops on the market that you can buy.

Who This Guide Is For

With the rise of cellphone photography, the hardware requirements for casual photo editing have dropped significantly.

Smartphones shoot RAW, cheap sensors have amazing high-ISO performance, and adaptive algorithms have streamlined workflows that used to be tedious, all while consumer screens continue to use the same undemanding colorspaces.

A lot of what well cover in this guide can be generalized to image manipulation and digital painting workflows, but its definitely biased towards photographers with high-fidelity print production workflows.

This guide is aimed at professionals, or at least professional budgets, and it wont follow the mold of our more generalized build guides.

If photography isnt a large part of your creative wheelhouse, some of the things covered in this guide wont apply to you.

This guide assumes that you work with large volumes of data, are editing and proofing print resolution images in high bit-depth formats, and that you care about precise color matching things you genuinely need a workstation for.

If youre a hobbyist, or even a new professional, dont let the advice youre about to read upstage your core priorities.

Well get into pixel-sniffing territory in a few places, but Ill do my best to flag the stuff that only applies to those with studio-tier budgets.

Which Budget Laptop Is Right For You

We hope you have found this guide on the best laptop for photo editing on a budget useful. An affordable but powerful laptop could be a great alternative if you cannot afford an expensive laptop or desktop computer or want a low-cost on-the-go device.

But which laptop is suitable for you? If you want the highest specs and power for RAW editing, laptops like the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series 16GB, and HP Pavilion 2021 make great choices with their 16GB of memory and fast multi-core processors.

Alternatively, if you want a cheap laptop that can easily be used for basic photo editing, something like the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series 8GB is an excellent affordable option.

If you want a more versatile and portable laptop to take with you to different photoshoot locations, compact budget laptops like the Microsoft Surface Go 2, and ASUS VivoBook 2021 are fine options.

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Best Budget Laptop For Photoshop: Acer Aspire Eux331ua

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I love me a laptop that is under $600, which this Acer Aspire is.

I also love me a laptop that is under budget and over battery-life expectations. This Acer has a 15-hour battery life, which is perfect for a beginning photographer who may or may not be editing photos on and off between other jobs or classes for extended periods of time away from home.

For me, in order for a laptop to be the best laptop for photo editing, it needs to have the battery life and the graphics .

It has Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics with 2GB of DDR5 memory. Plus, it looks like a much more expensive laptop despite the fact it is really made out of polycarbonate plastic.

Acer Aspire EUX331UA-AS51 Ultrabook Specs:

  • 5.27 lbs
  • 15.6-inch full HD ComfyView LED Display
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • Intel Core i5-8250OU Quad Core 1.6GHz Processor

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The Best Laptop Deals This Week*

*Deals are selected by our partner, TechBargains

Increasing your budget to around $1,000 will unlock access to nearly all of the cutting-edge features modern laptops offer. These include slim, sturdy aluminum chassis, brilliant touch-enabled 4K displays, powerful processors and graphics chips, and batteries that will last all day and well into the night. The major caveat in this price range is that youll have to pick and choose which features are most important. You might be able to land a laptop with a beautiful 4K display or a cavernous terabyte of solid-state storage at this price, but probably not one with both.

If your piggybank has $2,000 or more, you can choose almost any combination of features you want. Even the most powerful laptop that money can buy, though, must still obey the laws of physics. Powerful hardware generates heat, and the cooling mechanisms that such components require take up space. Hardcore gamers who want a 17-inch display and a screaming-fast graphics processor that requires bulky cooling pipes and fans cant expect to find it in a thin, light laptop.

Lg Gram 17 Best Large Screen Option

For those who dont 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 worlds lightest 17-inch laptop weighing in at just 2.9 pounds, so you wont be lugging this laptop around like other 17-inch laptops.

The colorful display and portable chassis isnt 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 lets talk about the price tag, the laptop costs around $1800 and for the price it offers an excellent package overall, but it comes with Intels 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

HP Envy 17t

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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.

Best Apple Laptop For Photo Editing: Macbook Pro 15

Best Laptops For Photo Editing

If you went to university for photography and didnt own a Macbook you probably felt extremely left out.

Apple has a total monopoly on the graphic design and photography industries, and for good reason. Apple laptops basically manhandle high-end graphics tools.

This, however, is my vote for Apples best laptop for photo editing. It features a True Tone Retina display with 2880 x 1800 resolution. Its powered by the newest Intel Core i7 processor and features 16GB of RAM .

If I set out to create the best laptop for photo editing, the only way I could create a better one than this Macbook is by adding some ports that arent Thunderbolt USB Type-C. I mean, come on, Apple, you know one of your biggest markets is photographers.

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How To Choose A Laptop For Photo Editing

Well, this is where the complications start. Editing RAW photos requires a relatively powerful computer as you stack on effects or perform advanced merging. And, in general, choosing the best laptop for photography isnt about weighing the price to performance ratio, then picking the most powerful. Theres a lot of major manufacturers making high-end well-configured laptops right now. And unless youre computer savvy, you may not easily understand the difference between a multimedia laptop and a one, especially if theyre the same price.

So, when it comes to a laptop for editing photos, specifically, youll want to weigh the factors differently. Below, we will cover which components are most crucial in order. This will give you a better understanding of what will satisfy your needs without making sacrifices or spending unnecessarily.

But first things first.

Assess Your Budget: How Much Do I Need To Spend

Dont care about cutting-edge design and powerful components? You might be satisfied with a cheap laptop. Todays market is flooded with basic but full-featured models with list prices under $500. Shopping holidays like Prime Day and Black Friday, and actual holidays like Presidents Day, bring frequent sales, discounting some of these models even further. Most of them will handle word processing and e-mail checking just fine, but theyll struggle with other tasks, such as keeping many web browser tabs open at once.

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Why Choose A Laptop For Photo Editing Laptop Vs Desktop Which Is Best

Many assume that power-hungry applications such as Photoshop, Luminar, and Exposure require a dedicated desktop PC. But these days, the gaps between notebooks and PCs are relatively marginal, particularly when photography is concerned. Even so, there are pros and cons to choosing a laptop over a desktop.

The main reason to opt for a laptop, ultimately, is if you value portability and versatility. Many current laptops feature convertible designs, which flip, rotate, or transform into tablets. And considering they weigh less than 4.5 lbs, theyre more portable and versatile than any desktop. However, the con is that desktops will always offer more power and better raw performance for the same price. Theyre also easy to upgrade if you want a different configuration, which isnt always possible with laptops. So, comparing a notebook to a desktop at the same price, the desktop will always provide a better hardware configuration. Nevertheless, having the freedom to work wherever you prefer is an enormous advantage in practical applications.

In short, youll comprise a small amount of processing power for the added portability. Though as a whole, laptops are advantageous to photographers. But, how advantageous depends on your working style.

Intel Hades Canyon Nuc

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Dont let its size fool you

Reasons to avoid

If youre looking for a great desktop experience for photo editing, but dont have a lot of space, look no further than the Intel Hades Canyon NUC. In this tiny bare-bones PC, you have an insanely powerful 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, and discrete-class Radeon graphics once you throw in some RAM and storage, you’ve got a small and easily portable PC that can handle photo editing with ease. If you often travel around and want a powerful and dependable PC for photo editing, then this is definitely worth considering.

Below is an excerpt of The Digital Darkroom: The Definitive Guide to Photo Editing by James Abbott, published by Ilex Press . James talks briefly about the differences between Apple and Windows-based devices when it comes to photo editing.

“With two major systems available in Apple and Windows computers, which one is truly better for photo editing? All professional photographers use Macs, dont they? And arent Macs simply much better at running photo editing software than Windows PCs? When Photoshop 1.0 was launched back in 1990 it was Mac-only software, and it wasnt until 1993 with version 2.5 that it became available for Windows computers. Macs remained the favorite option for graphic designers, and this, alongside the fact that digital typography began on Macs, helped to create the idea that Macs were best for running .

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What To Look Forward To

Microsoft has announced the Surface Studio Laptop, a successor to the Surface Book priced similarly and available in October 2021. Instead of a detachable screen, it has a two part folding hinge that allows the laptop to function in a laptop, tablet, or a hybrid mode that sets the display at an angle in front of a larger, haptic driven trackpad. Microsoft also announced the $130 Surface Slim Pen 2, which offers haptic feedback and greater responsiveness. This new stylus uses its haptics to simulate the “drag” of physical implements on physical media, like a paint brush across canvas or a pencil across paper. We’ll update this guide with new impressions as soon as we can, but in the meantime, we don’t think you should buy the older Surface Book 3 at this point, given the imminent, better hardware, unless you absolutely need a detachable screen and don’t want a Surface or Surface Pro.

If youre not sure youre choosing a Windows laptop, then youll need to consider Apples new M1 Pro- and M1 Max-powered MacBook Pros, available in 14 and 16 inch versions starting at $1999 and $2499 respectively. These are aimed at audio and video professionals, engineers, and creatives, and based on the performance of last years first M1-based MacBooks, we expect very competitive performance and excellent battery life compared against similarly equipped PC laptops. Well have more information about them soon.

Final Thoughts On The Best Laptops For Photo Editing

Editing photos is one of the essential parts of any photographer or artists workflow. It can be one of the more frustrating parts when using old and outdated hardware. Therefore, finding the right laptop for photo editing is vital.

In the market today, the clear winner is the latest MacBook Pro. Its the best all-arounder laptop for photo editors with Apples astounding true tone light monitoring retina display.

If its a big-screen youre looking for, the LG Gram 17 is ideal. Not to mention the Asus Zenbook Pro gives you versatility like no other. So there you have it, our top recommended laptops available on the market for photo editors and photographers.

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Our Pick: Dell Xps 15 9500

Storage: 512 GB SSD

Weve included various versions of Dells XPS 15 in this guide for years, and the XPS 15 9500 improves on its predecessors by adding a taller screen with more vertical pixels so that you can see more of your stuff at once. Powerful six- and eight-core Intel processors and a decent Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics processor provide plenty of performance for editing photos and videos and handling 3D rendering work, and the system can even play games in a pinch. Its keyboard and trackpad are great, and the XPS 15 9500s battery lasted a couple of hours more than those in most of the other systems we tested. That big battery does make the XPS 15 9500 relatively heavy, and we wish it had USB Type-A or HDMI ports to go along with its Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports and card reader. But we can overlook those flaws for a screen thats this nice to look at.

The XPS 15 9500s keyboard has a good layout and spacing, and its keys feel firm but produce a satisfying amount of travel as you press on them. We generally like ThinkPad keyboards just a bit more, but the XPS 15 9500s keyboard was comfortable enough in our tests that using it all day didnt make me pine for a mechanical keyboard. And this laptops large Precision Touchpad was accurate and comfortable to use. Some 15-inch laptops include integrated number pads, but the XPS 15 9500 goes without one to save space if you want one, you need to get an external number pad.

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