Buying a laptop is often quite a challenge. If you’re a photographer, though, the challenge can escalate into a full-on headache. Just consider all the laptops available to you. Each one comes with different technical features. Their prices are scattered across a wide spectrum. And that’s just the start… Getting that headache yet? If so, keep reading. Like Tylenol, this article will take the headache away as you search for a photography laptop. Read on for our guide to the ten best laptops every photographer should consider.
Loyal to Apple? Here’s the best mac laptop to meet your photography needs – the Apple Macbook Air MJVG2LL/A. Or is a PC more to your liking? In that case, the best PC laptop would be – the Acer Aspire E 15.
How to Choose a Great Photography Laptop
Before we list the ten best photography laptops, you should know how these laptops were chosen. After all, you’re probably wondering what exactly qualified these models as the “best”? Overall, the laptops listed below were chosen because they offer you the smoothest possible work experience, as a photographer. Put another way, each laptop allows you to concentrate on the craft of photography, rather than the cr*p of photography (i.e. technical issues). Going deeper, the “best” laptops were chosen based on specific criteria including:
Storage space matters because the photos you take will require space. Plain and simple. Storage space should therefore be at the top of your agenda when choosing a laptop. Ideally, you can get a machine having between one and two TB (terrabytes) of space.
Nothing kills the fun of editing photos like a slow laptop. Avoid that problem by ensuring your laptop has a high-speed processor (Intel works great!) and between fourteen to sixteen GB (gigabytes) of RAM.
Your laptop’s battery can be another kill-joy. You don’t want to be in the middle of editing photos or out on assignment, only to find yourself scrambling to locate a power outlet. Save yourself the trouble by ensuring your laptop has a long-lasting battery.
With all the discussion of processors and tech, it’s easy to overlook something as immediate as a laptop’s screen. The screen, however, is among the most important considerations when selecting a laptop. The reason is that, in general, a larger screen with a high resolution will enable you to fully grasp your photos and do your best work editing them.
As you consider laptops, make sure to think about weight too. Weight is an important criteria because it affects the portability of your laptop. The lighter it is, the easier a time you’ll have when bringing your laptop on assignments and other outings. Weight also matters if you’ll be flying and must keep your baggage within an acceptable weight range. Now, as promised, here’s our list of the Top 10 photography laptops.
Our Top Picks of Perfect Laptops for Photography and Editing
The elephant in the room. That’s probably the best way to describe Apple’s MacBook Pro MJLQ2LL/A. For starters, its by Apple, a company renowned for making high-quality laptops. This one’s no exception either with features like a retina display, a massive 15.4 inch monitor, and a 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor. These features mean you can see your photos in all of their splendor, while running the most demanding photo editing programs without your computer breaking a sweat.
If our first pick is out of your budget, here’s another of the Top Ranked photography laptops. Acer’s Aspire E15. Compared to #1 above, the E15 is a much cheaper. That price tag gets you eight gigabytes of RAM, a one TB hard drive, and a high-speed Intel i5 processor. You’ll also get a 15.6 inch screen – ample size for editing your photos with nearly any program. On top of all that, the E15 weighs just five pounds. That makes it light, both for carrying and for your wallet.
In response, perhaps, to price concerns; Apple does have a lower-priced Macbook. You won’t have to work part-time to pay for this one, as you might with the previous one. More importantly, you’ll get a light-weight laptop with a refreshingly clear screen on which to edit photos. Not to mention added perks like an insanely long battery life and a blazing-fast processor (1.6 GHz dual-core Intel i5).
As a photographer, you’ll appreciate the ASUS ROG. This laptop provides you with 16 GB of RAM to run your photo editing software. Then, after you’ve polished your photos to perfection, you can store them on a hard drive with one TB of space (that’s a lot of space!). In addition, you’ll be able to see every detail on your photos – before and after – on a screen that’s 15 inches and has a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels.
The inspiron is sure to inspire you. It’s got a beautiful design (often rare among non-Apple laptops) and a fast graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M) to support your own design efforts. Like other top photography laptops, Dell’s Inspiron i7559-2512BLK comes with an excellent processor too (Intel i7). And its screen is big enough to reveal your photos, in all their glorious detail, thereby inspiring you to do your best work.
Passionate about photography? As “hot” as your passion for it may be, there’s one thing that can be hotter – your laptop, if over-used. Fortunately, MSI’s GE72 Apache Pro doesn’t have that issue. Despite having a “fiery” i7 core and being a “gaming” laptop, in terms of its powerful graphics card (NVIDIA Geforce GTX 960M); this laptop doesn’t overheat. So the heat of your own passion will never reflect on the laptop, causing it to suffer a kind of “heatstroke”.
The sky’s the limit for you, as a photographer, with Toshiba’s Satellite C55-C5241. With this stellar laptop, you’re bound to create work so good it seems “out of this world”. (Ok, that’s enough with the outer space puns!). Seriously, though, the Satellite doesn’t disappoint with a reliable one TB of storage, an i5 processor, and a 15.6 inch screen. Its RAM is less than others at just 8GB, yet the price of the Satellite is an affordable yet functional option.
This laptop, also from ASUS, has what it takes to get you in a state of zen. From the start, you’ll relax at the sight of a screen at 4k resolution. Such crystal clarity and precision puts this screen in competition with the acclaimed retina display of Apple’s Macbooks. The ZenBook Pro UX501VW also employs superior cooling systems, causing it to rival the Apache Pro in that respect. One downside, though, is the limited storage space (512 GB).
In considering your options for “photographer-friendly” laptops, don’t overlook Samsung’s ATIV Book 9. It’s a capable beast with a mighty i7 processor and a screen displaying stunning 3200×1800 resolution. Like the ZenBook before it, however, it’s also a bit surprisingly priced for the features offered. Samsung’s ATIV Book 9 has a mere 8 GB of RAM. Its hard drive is also just 256 GB. So while the ATIV Book 9 performs quite well, the limited storage calls the price into question.
Coming a bit out of left field is Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4. It’s a laptop that’s also a tablet. The device accomplishes this feat with a keyboard dock (sold separately). Get the dock and you can then freely transform between laptop and tablet. This flexibility makes the Surface Pro 4 great for photographers and anyone creative. Moreover, it easily fits in bags and comes with a pen for writing directly on the screen. For best results, choose a model of the Surface Pro 4 with an i5 or i7 processor.
Actually, there are two winners. No really, there are; and it makes perfect sense when you think about it. We live in a world of polar opposites. On and Off. Coke and Pepsi. Male and female. And so on. Computers, in turn, are divided between Mac’s and PC’s. In fairness to both sides and their raging zombie loyalists, we’ve prepared two recommendations. One for photographers who love their mac. And one for photographers who like their PC just fine, thank you very much.
On the Mac side, the Top Rated photography laptop we recommend is Apple’s MacBook Air MJVG2LL/A. This laptop is the best of Apple’s laptops for you as a photographer because it puts the killer features of a Macbook at prices anyone can handle. If you’re a professional photographer and obsessive over Apple, then by all means get the MacBook Pro.
But if you’re income comes a bit less from photography (or not at all!), the Air is a perfect and no less respectable alternative. As for PC’s, our pick here for best photography laptop is Acer’s Aspire E15. We chose this laptop on account of its excellent hard drive (one TB), large screen size (15.6 inches), and fast Intel i5 processor.
These kind of features are normally what you’d expect in pricier models from Apple or ASUS. Yet as Acer’s Aspire delivers them and for that, we believe again – that this laptop is a steal, your best value as a photography for features and price.