The best laptop for photo editing does not necessarily needs to be the most expensive model on the market. Basic editing of photos such as cropping, resizing and applying filters will not slow down any modern laptop. Also, making small changes to images captured with one of the best cameras does not require a powerful laptop.
However, if you want to take your editing to next level then powerful laptops will be very handy. In addition, using complex functions and advance plugins such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud Suite, low-end laptops will not be very effective. Therefore, working with extreme file size and uncompressed images at ultra-high resolutions will require high power.
Best Laptops for Photo Editing 2020
|Microsoft Surface Book 2||15″ (3260 x 2160)|
|Huawei MateBook X Pro||13.9″ (3000 x 2000)|
|New Microsoft Surface Go||10″ (1800 x 1200)|
|Razer Blade Stealth 12.5″||12.5″ (3840 x 2160)|
|HP Zbook Studio X360||15.6″ (3840 x 2160)|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X1||15.6″ (1920 x 1080)|
|LG Gram 14″||14″ (1920 x 1080)|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 6||12.3″ (2736 x 1824)|
|Lenovo Legion Y7000||15.6″ (1920 x 1080)|
|Dell Inspiron 7559||15.6″ (1920 x 1080)|
Also Read: Best Laptop for Graphics Design
Which one is Best for Photo Editing: Desktop OR Laptop?
Most of the people are confused and can’t decide whether to go for a desktop or laptop so, let’s discuss it here that which will be the right choice for you.
- If you are a travelling photographer then definitely laptop is the best option because it is very portable and travelling with desktop is not possible.
- On the other hand, if you are working from a fixed place then desktop is more advantageous because it is cheap, powerful and easy to upgrade.
Don’t get me wrong, laptops are also very powerful but their processors are mobile variants hence, they work at lower speeds to deliver a better battery backup. But if the processor of your laptop is of newer generation then this won’t be a problem at all.
Now knowing your profession and work, decision making will be a lot easier for you. So, if you have finally decided and looking for the best laptop for photo editing then our list of top ten photo editing laptops will solve this problem too.
Best Laptop for Photo Editing 2020 Reviews
1. Microsoft Surface Book 2
When Surface Book was first launched no one predicted that it would surpass MacBook Pro but it did. The Surface Book 2 also comes with the original design having only slight changes as the Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge is more solid with it. Along with this screen size is 15-inch and weight is just 4.2 pounds with keyboard base. Typing with Surface Book 2 is phenomenal due to the brightly backlit keyboard. As it is 2 in 1 laptop so if you detach the screen from the base, Surface Book 2 is the lightest tablet you would ever see.
Going towards the display, the resolution offered by the best laptop for video and photo editing is 3240 x 2160 (4k), due to which text, photos and videos look sharp. In addition, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU gives you tear free screen which makes editing process more convenient. On top of that 4.2 GHz Intel Core i7 processor provides as much power as you need for editing ultra-high resolution images. Moreover, 16GB LPDDR3 RAM prevents lagging no matter how intensive the tasks are.
256GB SSD will make responses even faster along with providing huge storage space for your data. If you are thinking about the secondary connectivity options, it has 2 USB 3.1 ports, one USB 3.1 type-C, 2 surface connect, SD card reader and 3.5mm audio jack. For casual photography you can have 8MP rear and 5MP front camera. The only thing which will disappoint you is that it does not include Surface Pen in its accessory. Apart from this, this laptop gives maximum performance and will certainly improve your work. Hence, professional photographers for whom budget is not an issue, Microsoft Surface Book 2 is the best laptop for photo editing 2020.
2. Huawei MateBook X Pro Signature
Huawei is not famous for making laptops but its 13.9-inch MateBook X Pro will change your mindset. The aluminum MateBook is similar in design to MacBook because it is slim, silver wedge and the lid is easy to open with a single hand. Along with this, 2.9 lbs weight and 0.6 inches thickness makes it similar in size to the 3 pounds Apple MacBook Pro. The only difference between the design is that MateBook comes with a shiny tilt edge around keyboard deck whereas MacBooks don’t.
The 3000 x 2000 pixels display provides plenty of details and brightness. Screen produces 124 percent sRGB spectrum which overtakes the 113 percent premium laptop average. The display emits up to 458 nits making it one of the brightest laptops you have ever seen. Moreover, this best laptop for photo and video editing is powered by core i7-8550U processor and smooth multitasking is made possible by 16GB of RAM. For storing data, you will have 256GB SSD which provides even faster response.
On the left side you will find Thunderbolt 3 port, USB type C port and an audio jack, on the right side USB 3.0 type-A port is present. Certainly, the combination of reversible type C and traditional type A is a blessing. Going towards the battery life, the system can last up to 9 hours 55 minutes which is impressive. On top of that, it has an Intel UHD 620 graphics and operating system is Windows 10. For any photographer who has no budget constraints, MateBook X Pro is the best choice.
3. New Microsoft Surface Go
The latest tablet from Microsoft, Surface Go is smaller and more reachable. With it Microsoft is showing everyone that the best laptop for photography on a budget also exists. 1.15 pounds weight and 10 inches screen size makes it extremely portable. Due to 180° hinge bending, Surface Go is ideal for digital drawing and note taking. On top of that it comes with full size keys having more sound curves. Also, the screen is detachable if you prefer working in tablet mode.
At 1800 x 1200 pixels the display is beautiful in everyday use. Movies and photos look outstanding due to extreme color accuracy. Although the bezels around the screen are large but it is for excellent grip and to prevent any accidental activation on the screen. Surface Go is powered by Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor, and to prevent lag an 8GB LPDDR3 RAM will be in action. Along with this, 128GB SSD provides acceptable storage space and faster responses.
As you know that it is very small but still managed to feature USB-C port, SD card reader, and a headset jack. In addition, up to 9 hours battery life enable you working all day with unplug power. To avoid screen tearing Surface Go has integrated Intel HD 615 graphics. Let’s cut to the chase Surface Go is a machine that brings next level Windows 10 experience in a 10 inches tablet. Thus, students and professional photographers in search of best laptop for photo editing under 500, will find it amazing.
4. Razer Blade Stealth 12.5″
Discrete graphics card and powerful processor make Razer Blade outstanding machine for both work and play. The 12.5-inch screen is surrounded in a slim bezel and the tri-snake logo draw your attention to admire its magnificent beauty. If on the off chance you flip the laptop over, you will see a pair of rubber feet, with a pair of vents that provide a view of twin fans. In addition, 0.6-inch thickness and 2.9 pounds weight makes it pretty portable.
Display is bright and vibrant with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and reproduction of 120 percent sRGB spectrum. Along with this, the anti-glare coating on the screen enables you to sit for a long time whether you play or work, without any eye strain. This machine is powered by Whiskey Lake Intel Core i7-8565U processor which is 5 times faster than Intel’s old processors. For lag free multitasking 16GB of RAM is present. On top of that 256GB SSD has a transfer rate of 254 megabytes per second.
Due to slim chassis it has only few ports, USB 3.1 port, Thunderbolt 3 port on either side and the audio jack is on the left. Moreover, it comes with discrete graphics along with integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics. If you are thinking about audio, four speakers and a smart amplifier will give you an ear pleasing sound. The biggest flaw of Razer laptops is battery life, but this model can last up to 8 hours and 5 minutes. Thus, with Blade Stealth 12.5, Razer has finally stepped in premium and ultraportable market.
5. HP Zbook Studio X360
Zbook is an outstanding 2-in-1 laptop from HP with excellent display and comfortable keyboard. The solid aluminum hood is silky gray in color and the keyboard is 50 times darker. Screen size is 15.6 inches, side bezels are thin but the top and bottom bezels are a bit thicker. As Zbook is 2-in-1, so it can be fold and used in a tablet mode as well. Due to 4.9 pounds weight and o.8 inches thickness portability is in the middle range, but it is very durable and can withstand a drop up to 2.5 feet.
Due to touch sensitive nature and 3840 x 2160 (4k) resolution, the display looks astonishing. Also, coverage of 135 percent sRGB color gamut gives additional pleasure. This best laptop for photo and video editing is powered by 2.9 GHz Intel Xeon E-2186M processor and 32GB of RAM provides lag free multitasking. So, however intensive the task is, this machine won’t get slow. What will please you the most is 1TB SSD, which along with huge storage space offers faster responses. For Intense gaming you will have Nvidia Quadro P1000 graphics card with 4GB of VRAM.
Going towards the secondary connectivity options, on the left side it has 2 USB 3.0 ports, a sim card slot and a security lock slot. Simultaneously, on the right side two USB type-C ports, an HDMI port, SD card reader and an audio jack is present. Furthermore, four Bang & Olufsen speakers provide next level sound quality. On top of that up to 9 hours battery life is impressive for such a mighty machine. In the nut shell, if you can afford the price, no one can beat this powerful beast.
6. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
FHD display, powerful processor and discrete graphics, X1 certainly lives up to the name “extreme”. It is a sleek, thin and business laptop having matte black carbon-fiber chassis with a soft-touch finish. If you lift the lid, the same smooth material will be found on the black deck. When you rest your wrist on such a soft surface while typing, it will feel very comfortable. 15.6 inches screen size and the thin bezels around it reduce laptop’s overall footstep. In addition, 3.8 pounds weight and 0.7 inches thickness makes X1 portable compared to its direct competitors.
Display is touch sensitive and comes with a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. Along with this the panel covers 186 percent sRGB spectrum. Performance of the best laptop for photo editing 2020 is extremely fast due to Intel Core i7-8750H processor. Moreover, 32GB of RAM enables you to load up to 15 Google tabs and run multiple 1080P videos on YouTube without any hesitation. For storing data, you will have 1TB SSD, which is not only mighty but faster as well.
Many slim laptops screw on ports but not X1 Extreme because it offers a wide range of connections. As you can see on the right side two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a Kensington lock, optional Smart Card reader and an SD card reader. Meanwhile, on the left side, 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI port and a headset jack are present. Its battery lasts over 6 hours which is impressive. So, if price is not a concern for you, then this laptop is an amazing choice.
7. LG Gram 14″
LG Gram is a 2 in 1 laptop, providing excellent performance and solid battery in lightweight and lasting chassis. It weighs only 2.5 pounds and thickness is 0.7 inches. Due to such lightweight you will barely feel it in your backpack while carrying. As the body is made up of magnesium alloy, so it can withstand drop, shocks and extreme temperature. Being 2 in 1, the twin 360-degree hinges enable you to shift between laptop and tablet mode with minimal effort.
Gram’s 14 inches touch screen display offers beautiful color and crisp details, but it is not as bright as one would expect. Also, the panel is capable of covering 117 percent sRGB spectrum. Moreover, due to Whiskey Lake 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7-8565U processor and 16GB of RAM performance is outstanding. So, during video editing it can transcode a 4k video to 1080P in 21 minutes and 17 seconds. Along with this 512GB SSD comes with a transfer rate of 391 megabytes per second.
For taking clean notes and detailed sketching you will need a pen, fortunately LG Gram comes with its Stylus Pen, enabling you to handle finer details. Going towards secondary connections, you will have a USB 3.1 port, audio jack and an SD card slot on the right side. On the left side you can have another USB 3.1 port, a USB type-C port and a full HDMI port. On top of that up to 11 hours and 28 minutes battery life is more than enough for whole working day. Hence, battery life powerful performance and lightweight makes it the best laptop for photo editing.
8. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Longer battery life and fast 8th-gen processor makes Pro 6 the best laptop for photo editing under 1000. This laptop can be used in three primary modes that is tablet, laptop and studio with the kickstand extended up to 165 degrees. The only complaint about the design is that the bezels around the screen are a bit thicker. In tablet mode it weighs only 1.7 pounds and along with keyboard weight is still very light that is just 2.4 pounds. In addition, the black exterior does a nice job in resisting fingerprints and providing excellent grip.
The 12.3 inches PixelSense display of Pro 6 is one of the best you will find in any 2 in 1 laptop. The display is not only sharp but also extremely colorful. Powerful quad-core Core i5-8250U processor and 8GB of RAM make it suitable for editing ultra-resolution photos. For storing data, SSD is available which you can choose in a range from 128GB to 1TB. Along with this you will have 8MP rear and 5 MP front cameras. On top of that Intel UHD 620 graphics can handle casual games.
Although Surface Pro 6 is very slim but still it offers acceptable secondary connections. You can have a USB 3.0 port, display port, SD card reader, Surface connect and an audio jack. In addition, two front speakers give loud and clear sound quality. Microsoft Surface Pen has a price of $99 but if you go for Surface Pro 6, you will get it free. The best part of pro 6 is the battery life, as it can last up to 9 hours and 20 minutes. Hence, professional photographers who travel constantly will benefit from this 2-in-1 laptop the most.
9. Lenovo Legion Y7000
Lenovo Legion comes with an outstanding design, robust performance and super colorful display. It features sleek, Iron Gray aluminum hood and the white Legion logo glow in the middle. The ABS plastic interior is black leather and the standard keyboard illuminates the keys with white backlighting. Bezels are slim and the hinge is attached in the center by a solid piece. Although weight is 5.3 pounds and thickness is 0.9 inches, but still lighter and thinner than other laptops in such a price range.
15.6 inches screen size and 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, panel is vivid and razor-sharp. Y7000 covers 153 percent of sRGB color gamut which is more than 111 percent of the mainstream gaming laptops. The real power of it is due 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8750H processor with 16GB of RAM. So, at a time you can load 40 Google tabs, multiple 1080P YouTube videos without any stuttering. On top of that 256GB SSD can copy up to 4.97GB data in just 8 seconds, having a transfer rate of 636 megabytes per second.
It comes with a good selection of ports, you can have a USB 3.1 port on either side. Rest of the ports like USB type-C, a Mini DisplayPort 1.4, an HDMI 2.0 port, a USB 3.1 port and an Ethernet RJ45 port are located on the back of the Legion Y7000. Equipped with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, it won’t miss a step in extensive games due to the 35 frames per second. Sound quality and battery life are disappointing as it can last only for 4 hours and 28 minutes. Apart from this, Y7000 is the best laptop for photography.
10. Dell Inspiron 7559
Inspiron 7559 offers outstanding performance at a reasonable price. The system is also powerful enough to provide smooth gaming experience. 15.6 inches screen size and 5.9 pounds weight, one can’t call it portable, but it is extremely durable. The exterior is made up of plastic, meanwhile, the keyboard and top lid is rubberized which is an excellent addition. Keyboard is backlit with white light but the key travel is short which is a bit disappointing, while the touchpad is creamy and rugged.
The display is amazing for such an affordable laptop, as it comes with 1920 x 1080 resolutions and has an anti-glare coating. This best budget laptop for photo editing sports Intel Core i5-6300HQ processor and 8GB of RAM. In addition, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU can handle daily work, media tasks and games efficiently. For storage, Inspiron 7559 has 1TB hard drive which in turn has 5400rpm. Along with this, the speakers also provide good sound quality but it is not acceptable at maximum volume.
On the right side the laptop holds a USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, SD card reader and an Ethernet port. While on the left side 2 USB 3.0 ports and an audio jack is present. Plus, battery life is acceptable, as the best laptop for photo editing can lasts up to 7 hours. So, if you are looking for a laptop which is on a budget, powerful and durable, you should go for Inspiron 7559.
How to Choose Best the Laptop for Photo Editing 2020
Professional photographers and designers know that when a picture is clicked only half work is done. To complete it you will definitely do some editing, only then your picture will be the best. In doing so, you will need a laptop. Here a question comes in your mind that which laptop will suit you the most?
Although choosing a laptop is a difficult task for many people but if you keep some important factors in mind then selection process will become very easy. Hence, if you have made your mind, consider the following factors before making final decision.
Mac OSX or Windows 10
Until now Mac OSX was considered the best operating system for photo editing. Professional photographers were paying a premium for higher resolution, stability and security. Although Mac is still preferred for sophisticated editing but now Windows 10 is offering all these in a much low price. Also, both Mac and PCs can run major applications such as Adobe Creative Suite and offer a wide range of configuration. Keeping your budget and needs in mind, chose operating system accordingly.
Screen Size and Resolution
The recommended size and resolutions are at least 15.6 inches and 1920 x 1080p respectively. Also, make sure that the screen is coated with anti-glare layer in order to reduce eye strain. Moreover, touch screen is not necessary, though it is usual for those who prefer to work with a Stylus Pen.
In terms of resolution 1920 x 1080p is the starting point. The higher the resolution, more better you can edit photos. So, demanding photographers should opt for 2560 x 1440p or higher resolutions like 4k.
Photo editing process requires a powerful processor because the software can’t run without a sufficient horsepower. You can know the power of a processor either by the number of cores or by the frequency in GHz. Both are important but number of cores is the best way to calculate power. Thus, a greater number of cores mean more power, so if you want best quality pictures go for the best performing processor.
Frequency or clock speed should also not be ignored because the higher will be frequency, the better the chip will perform. So, the best frequency range of a processor for photo editing is from 2.5GHz to 3.5GHz or higher.
Graphics Card or GPU
If you are doing casual editing than integrated graphics card will do the work, but if you are a demanding photographer then the graphics card should be such that it offers 60 FPS or more.
But, what is the need of a GPU in photo editing? GPU minimizes the load of main CPU, provides faster performance and better display. Also, it enables you to move objects faster around the editing workspace. Some of the famous GPUs for photo editing are GTX 960M, GT840 and GTX 980M.
For photo editing the RAM should be at least 8GB. If the RAM is above 8GB then the editing process will become further smooth and efficient. Higher memory enables you to run powerful programs with adequate speed. Also, photo files can run quickly and multitasking can be performed without any lag. On top of that it will prevent accidental shutdown.
For storage a laptop has either HDD, SSD or hybrid SSD. So, if the laptop has HDD, it should be 1TB with 7200RPM. If SSD than it should be 512GB and in case of hybrid, SSD should be 128GB.
If storage is insufficient it will slow down editing process and image uploads. Similarly, for storing thousands of high-resolution images, you will need larger storage capacity.
Between HDD and SSD you should go for SSD because along with storage it offers faster responses. But you should know that SSD does not offer as huge storage space as HDD. So, make sure that the storage offered by it is enough for you, otherwise opt for HDD or hybrid SSD.
The last thing that you should consider before making final decision is the secondary connectivity options. So, a laptop should have SD card reader, 2 or 3 USB 3.0 or 3.1 ports, a display port, an HDMI port and an Ethernet slot.
Simple is that, you should prefer such laptop which offer as many input and output as possible. In this way it will allow you to move photos easily in to your laptop, also you can store them in an external hard drive. In addition, you can connect external large monitor, tablet, ergonomic keyboard and mouse. Thus, the editing process will become a lot more convenient and comfortable.
This article will guide you in right direction in order to choose the best laptop for photo editing. Our list includes wide range of laptops, both on the basis of budget as well as performance. Thus, whether you are a professional photographer or casual, you can benefit from it equally. On top of that we shall be updating our list, so keep visiting for future updates.