It shouldn’t be too hard to choose the right laptop for photo editing purposes. All you need is one that’s powerful enough to allow you to work with all the software you need for arranging and editing photos.
Once you buy one of these laptops, it will most certainly serve you for many years as they top of the line in quality and durability.
To help you choose the best for your needs, we’re highlighting the best laptops for photography according to function, brand, and budget.
Apple 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display
Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS 4K
Our best choice comes down to the MacBook Pro 15” or the Dell XPS 15! Both are incredible machines, so the choice is up to you, depending on your preferred operating system.
Top Notebooks for Photographers
How to Choose the Perfect Laptop for Your Needs?
These are the most important features that you should look at if you’re looking for a professional laptop.
A minimum resolution that a laptop should have for this type of work is 2880 x 1800. The MacBook Pro 15” models have this resolution, so they’ll do well for photography. However, creative professionals usually prefer laptops with a higher resolution – 4K (3840 x 2160) if possible – for editing photos and videos.
That’s why we recommend going for laptops with a wider color gamut and those with more accurate colors. That means that you should never go for a TN laptop, but rather a laptop with an IPS panel. This will allow you to have much better color reproduction and viewing angles.
Some key features to look for are whether the laptop you’re considering support the full gamut of sRGB and Adobe RGB color accuracy. Having both is especially important if you use Adobe products.
The minimum requirement for any creative task is a dual-core processor. However, it’s recommended that you buy a laptop with at least a quad-core processor. This will allow you to handle more multitasking, 3D modeling work, and rendering 4K videos.
If you’d like to have a very smooth performance while you’re multitasking, we recommend getting a laptop with at least 16 GB of RAM. Keep this in mind, especially if you plan to use software like Photoshop, which is a very RAM-hungry program.
Some of the creative individuals that work with 3D modeling and 4K video editing usually render large scenes. Some of them prefer to have even 32 GB of RAM. You can also find models with this much memory if you want to take your work to the next level.
You should always try to find a laptop that has an SSD. SSDs are able to write and read data a lot faster than traditional hard drives. If you want to speed up almost all tasks that require accessing data, such as rendering a video, saving and loading files, or even booting up your laptop, you should definitely get an SSD.
These drives also don’t vibrate, put out less heat, and use a lot less power than hard drives. Another benefit is that they’re less prone to mechanical failures. And, of course, the more storage space you have, the better. The most cost-effective option is a 512 GB SSD if you have a very large media collection.
You’ll certainly want to have a good graphics card if you’re serious about your business. A good card has its own memory and processor that handles graphics processing and allows your laptop’s memory and processor to manage other concurrent workloads.
A good graphics card is also very important if you’re working with animations, 3D rendering, or 4K video editing.
Usually, you will see that professionals and experts use 15” or larger laptops. A larger screen gives you more room to see detail and also generally come with higher resolutions.
We also recommend you to buy laptops that are around 5 pounds in weight. A 15” screen size and that low weight will provide you with the best portability and balance.
Current laptops will normally have enough battery life to get you through an eight-hour shift. However, professionals usually keep their laptops plugged in because they work at a single location, and they don’t have to think about battery life. If you work on the go, ensure that your battery will last on location.
Our Top Photography Laptop Reviews by Category
Let’s take a look at a few laptops that especially shine in certain areas.
Best Photo Editing Laptop
MacBook Pro 15”
The MacBook Pro 15” is one of the best laptops you can get for photo editing at the moment.
If you land on Apple in the PC vs MAC debate, you’ll enjoy smooth multitasking, fast file access, and quick-running programs without any lag thanks to the 16 GB of RAM included in this model.
This experience is further improved thanks to an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor and 512 GB SSD.
Comparable to an IPS panel in quality, the MacBook Pro features Retina Display, providing a resolution of 2880 x 1800. The technology works by doubling the number of pixels in each location.
On the downside, you’ll probably need to use a dongle as this laptop only has two Thunderbolt 3 USB ports, and this may not be enough for your equipment. On a positive note, the ports that are there the best quality you’ll find.
Best IPS Laptop
Lenovo ThinkPad P51
If you’re looking for a laptop with an IPS panel and LOTS of RAM, this ThinkPad is definitely for you.
Photo editing requires a lot of RAM, and this laptop has a solution for this. It gives you more RAM than you can even ask for and an IPS panel that will give you wider viewing angles.
The whole ThinkPad series is known for being very well constructed and durable. This insanely powerful laptop is has an Intel Core i7 processor and 64 GB of RAM! This will provide you with enough power and speed to keep your productivity and creativity levels at the top for a number of years.
The ThinkPad series also has a unique keyboard, which will make navigating through your photo editing software a piece of cake.
This model supports 4K resolution. This will allow you to view a clearer and more detailed picture, which is definitely crucial when it comes to photo editing, video editing, or even enjoying your favorite TV series.
Overall, this laptop provides you with everything you need for your business. It’s very well reviewed. It’s very durable. Its long-lasting battery, multiple port choices, and high speed are all packed into a well-built laptop.
Best 17 Inch Laptop
Dell Precision 7720
We recommend that you configure this laptop to meet your needs as the base specifications might not meet your requirements for Photoshop or other photo editing software programs.
You can do this as this Dell Precision laptop is able to be customized like other Dell products.
By boosting the GPU, screen, and the processor of this laptop, you will get the best 17-incher out there for editing photos and even doing some video edits.
Thanks to the amazing 17-inch screen size, editing photos will never be easier. You can also upgrade your screen to 4K resolution.
Even though it’s a bit larger in screen size, this laptop is still compact and doesn’t weigh too much. It also has very good specifications, including 8 GB of RAM and Intel Core i5 processor.
You will also get a 500 GB HDD and Radeon graphics card. Overall, these are decent specifications, but you can always upgrade and customize the laptop to make it even better.
Best 15 Inch Laptop
Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS 4K
This Dell XPS 15 is definitely one of the best laptops you will find overall, and that’s why we consider it to be the best 15 inch laptop too.
It has 512 GB of SSD, 16 GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i7 processor. You can always upgrade your RAM up to 32 GB if you want to.
Also, you will get a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 included in this laptop.
The laptop has a very comfortable keyboard with a touchpad that’s very accurate and smooth. It also has all the necessary connections and ports, such as a USB 3.0, SD card slot, Thunderbolt 3, and HDMI.
The screen itself is obviously 15 inches, but it has a very compact body and a display of 3840 x 2160 with a bezel that’s only 5.7mm thick.
The one downside is that the laptop’s camera is positioned below the screen, more to the left side. This can lead to some unflattering angles while you’re on a video call.
Best Budget Laptop
Dell Inspiron 13 7000 13.3"
This Dell Inspiron is actually designed specifically for gaming. However, this machine is budget-friendly and you can definitely use it for any photo editing software. It has a decent processor that lets all your programs run quickly and smoothly.
You will be getting a quad-core processor that runs on 3.8 GHz. That’s quite impressive considering it’s less than $750 price. Depending on the model, you will be getting either 8 or 16GB of RAM, but you can upgrade this up to 32GB if you’d like to.
You will get an HDD of 1TB 5400RPM, but SSD is not incorporated.
Another great thing about this laptop is that it has specially designed vents that will protect the laptop from getting too hot and either slowing it down or damaging its components.
Remember, as a gaming computer, this is meant to run fast programs, so your editing program shouldn’t ever lag on this one.
With its specs and speed, it’s a great choice if you need to save a little on your purchase. Note, though, that the screen, though, IPS, is only 13”. That’s a bit smaller than the recommended 15” for professional use.
Best Photo Editing Laptop Brands
If you enjoy a certain brand, these are the best photography models from 5 of the top companies.
Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS 4K
This Dell XPS 15 model is one of the best in quality, and one of the best in appearance 15-inchers you can buy for editing photos at the moment. It has 4K resolution with full Adobe RGB support.
You are going to love its strong, premium build. Its slimness, pretty borderless display, and touch desk all make it a beautiful laptop.
As for performance, there are a few different models you can choose from, but it all depends on your budget. You will usually end up paying more for a Dell laptop than for some other brands in the same system category, but that’s because of the build and component quality that you’re getting.
This model will cost you a little less than $1500 and it includes an Intel Core i7 processor. There are less expensive options – such as a model with an i3 processor that will cost you around $1,000 and a model with an i5 processor for a little less than $,1,350.
You should always go for the first option, though, if it fits your budget. That way, you’ll get the highest processing power and longest service life before the processor becomes too slow to run newer programs.
The less expensive models include an HDD 7200RPM. You could definitely make this work for photo editing, but if you want something fast, you’ll be happy to know that the slightly more expensive model comes with an SSD included.
RAM should never be a problem with the XPS 15 as you can always upgrade it up to 32 GB, which is more than enough for photo editing. There are a lot of ports and the connectivity should never be an issue for you either.
This is a solid laptop that has a great design and a nice, big display. It’s incredibly powerful and the more expensive models have great graphics cards that will be helpful to you if you want to do some video editing, media binging (for inspiration), or gaming.
MacBook Pro 15” with Retina Display and Touchbar
If you want to get serious with your photo editing business, you want to avoid MacBook Air and MacBook 12” models.
A 12-incher will only help you slightly with your work. Instead, you want to make sure to buy a MacBook Pro 15” model as it’s more powerful and can handle any photo editing software.
The price of this model is around $2,400. Some people will find this expensive, but it is actually a fair price compared to other laptops with these specifications – and you have to remember that this is a Mac product. What you’re getting is the Mac Retina Display with 2880 x 1800 resolution and a more accurate color gamut than sRGB.
Your photo editing software will most likely require a lot of RAM and processing power, and this laptop is able to provide both. It has an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor and 16 GB of RAM. This is more than enough to run multiple windows of any photo editing software.
You already know that some high-resolution pictures take a lot of space on your computer. However, this model will help you with this as it has 512GB of SSD incorporated, and you can upgrade HDD whenever you need to. With these specs, you’ll never have problems with picture freezes while you’re adjusting the brightness or performing any other photo editing functions.
Acer Predator Helios 300
This Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop is simply powerful. Acer is doing a great job with combing all the features you’ll need for any application. You will get a very good graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 for a decent price.
The display is dimmer than other laptops, but if you’re okay with that, you will get an awesome laptop for editing photos, videos, and gaming.
Built to support colorful games, it has an IPS panel and full sRGB functionality.
The overall design is not much different from other Acer gaming laptops. It has a Predator logo, a metal lid with two red stripes, and it’s black.
Under the lid, there’s a 15.6-inch display that works in 1080p. It is surrounded by a bezel that also has a Predator logo on it. The keyboard has red WASD keys, a metal deck, and a number pat utilizing red backlighting.
The laptop has an Intel Core i7 processor that works on a 2.8 GHz. It includes 256 GB SSD and 16 GB of RAM. This is more than enough for photo editing and you shouldn’t have any problems even if you’re very serious with your business. You can test its speed by opening as many tabs as you can in a browser and seeing that you won’t experience any lag.
Asus Vivobook F510UA
This Asus Vivobook F510UA combines powerful internals with the latest premium class aesthetics. If you’re looking for something that is fairly powerful and yet chic, this laptop is for you. You will get an 8th gen processor from Intel and FHD screen. This laptop is also very lightweight and you will be able to use it up to 8 hours if you’re not plugged in.
The display includes Asus’ Eye Care technology that will allow you to work for long periods without stressing your eyes. It also has Vivid Mode to make your colors more visible
The power consumption is very low as the graphics card is built in, and compatibility issues with shifting from discrete to integrated are removed. You will also get a preinstalled Windows 10 OS if you buy this laptop.
The laptop is very portable thanks to its light weight and small bezel. You will get 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, which is great for multitasking, and of course, photo editing. It also has fingerprint scanning technology to increase your security. You will be getting 1 TB of HDD, but no SSD.
You should definitely get this laptop if you’re looking for something that’s affordable but offers decent specifications. You will get everything from extended hours of use to lightweight portability. The latest quad-core processor will allow you to edit photos, make music, and do some video editing very smoothly.
This laptop will cost you a little less than $510.
HP Zbook Studio G4
If you are looking for a laptop that uses the Windows OS for photo editing, then this HP Zbook Studio G4 is definitely something to consider.
This model includes an awesome 15.6-inch screen that is able to support 4K resolution.
The screen can also be calibrated very easily if you want to get the most accurate colors – which is essential for photo editing.
The laptop includes an Intel Xeon processor, 512 GB OF SSD, 32 GB of RAM, and NVidia Quadro M1200 graphics card with 4GB of VRAM. This means that this laptop is incredibly fast and will work very smoothly. The machine is brilliant overall.
The only downfall is that the keyboard is not the best. However, if you want to use Photoshop and that’s the main reason why you’re buying a laptop, you can’t go wrong with this one.
This laptop will cost you a little less than $1,200.
Photography Laptop Reviews By Price/Budget
If you’re looking for where your spending threshold is, take a look at these models. They start as low as about $300 and go up to $1,500. For a little more, you can complete your rig with upgrades or your photo editing software of choice.
HP Flyer Red
The HP Flyer Red is an inexpensive laptop that you can get for less than $300.
Of course, it won’t give you the specs of a higher-end model, but it will still serve you quite well.
It has 500GB of HDD, 4GB of RAM, and an Intel Core Pentium quad-core processor. You can’t ask for more in this price range.
It even has a 15-inch display with 1366 x 760 resolution, which, while not the ideal, will still give you a large, clear picture.
Apple MacBook Pro MC226LL/A
If you can’t go for the most expensive option, then this Apple MacBook Pro MC226LL/A could be a very good option for you. It has an incredible 17-inch screen, but the tradeoff is that the resolution is only 1920 x 1200, not the 2880 x 1800 of the MacBook Pro 15”.
Considering the price, this laptop runs very fast and has a decent design. You will be getting a battery that can last up to 7 hours when you’re not connected.
An Intel dual-core processor that runs on 2.8GHZ is included in this machine.
It might not be the fastest, but it will run a lot of photo editing software. You will also be getting a decent graphics card, which will allow you to enjoy some games and do some video editing if you want.
Acer Aspire 7
This is definitely the right spot for the Acer Aspire Aspire 7. For an affordable price, you will be getting everything you need to do some photo editing.
This laptop has enough power to run everything smoothly thanks to an 8th generation i7 processor with 6 cores and ample storage.
The base model has 8GB of RAM, which is fine for photography purposes, but you might want to upgrade if you do much more demanding tasks such as video editing.
If you can, we always recommend upgrading it to 16GB, which will be more than enough to run everything smoothly.
This laptop has an NVIDIA GeForce 1050 TI for the graphics card. This is an excellent card which will allow you to do some basic video editing and play some of the newer frame rate games if you want to take a break from your work.
It’s an IPS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution that covers 89% of the sRGB color gamut. The price is about $950.
Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS 4K
The Dell XPS 15 simply has to be mentioned whenever there’s an opportunity to do so. It’s beautiful, powerful, durable, and portable.
It has everything that you can ask for from a laptop that you’ll use for editing photos as well as anything else.
Let’s go over its specs again: 4K, 15” screen, IPS panel, i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, great graphics card. $1,500.
Best Laptop for Photography
Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS 4K
The Dell XPS 15 is definitely the best product on our list. It has everything that a photo editing laptop should have.
We won’t list all of its features again as we’ve already discussed this model numerous times above.
Suffice it to say that It has very good specifications that will support all of your software, and its premium build will make sure that you can enjoy for it quite a long time.
The laptop has everything that you need to take your photography to the next level.
Even experts and professionals recommend this laptop if you want to go with a Windows OS.
At a price of $1,500, it’s also rather affordable for professional photographers and editors. Our advice: Order it today to get the best photography laptop available.