Which is the Best Laptop for Photoshop?
The best laptop for Photoshop is a combination of many factors.
- a great processor
- a great graphics processor
- SSD storage and heavy-duty RAM
- plus: the laptop display is also a major factor
The most important thing to note when you sit down to make your final selection of computing hardware is that you need as much computing power as you can afford in your budget. It is like the lens. You can get away with an inexpensive camera. But you cannot get away with a cheap and therefore poor performing lens.
The same even an older Intel i3 laptop would be able to handle your editing requirements. But if you are short tempered and cannot wait for several seconds your laptop to render each change you need a faster, much more powerful processor.
It's simply not about the quantity when it comes to storage. But also about how quickly you can access any data or application housed within that storage. So, a reasonably sized HDD with an extra SSD storage is what you need for your work. The SSD could house the operating system as well as the photo editing applications such as Photoshop.
12 BEST Laptops for Photoshop Power Users
- MSI WT72 2OL – 1246 17.3″ at Out of stock (Our Pick: Best Laptop for Photoshop)
- MSI GE72 APACHE – 235 17.3″ Gaming Laptop
- Lenovo 17.3″ ThinkPad P71 Mobile Workstation
- Dell 15.6″ Precision M5510 Multi-Touch Mobile Workstation
- Dell Inspiron 15.6″ full HD Gaming Laptop at $849.99 (Best Value for Money)
- Asus M580VD-EB76 VivoBook 15.6″ FHD
- Apple MacBook Pro MJLQ2LL/A 15″ with Retina Display
- Apple MacBook Pro 15.4″ 1 TB Touch Bar Silver (3 Year AppleCare 2.9 GHz i7)
- Dell Gaming Inspiron 17.3″ FHD Laptop
- Lenovo ThinkPad P50 Mobile Workstation
- HP 15.6″ Zbook 15 G3 Mobile Workstation
- Lenovo 15.6″ Legion Y520 Notebook
This MSI WT72 2OL is powered by a 3.6 GHz Intel Core i7 – 4720HQ processor with a total of 16 GB DDR3L SDRAM. A dedicated NVIDIA Quadro K4100M processor ensures that the laptop has all the processing power it needs to handle even the most complicated of processes. This graphics processor is tested and recommended by Adobe for suitability to run Photoshop.
The display of the laptop is full HD (1920 x 1080). With a screen size of 17.3″, you have a pretty good view of what you are editing on your laptop. You may argue that it does not have a higher resolution and that you may not be able to have a full-screen view of larger resolution files. The thing is camera resolution changes every few months. Monitor resolutions don’t change that often.
Even if you have a higher resolution monitor, you won't be able to get a full-screen view of images shot on even the cheapest DSLR. So, unless you migrate to a larger external high-resolution monitor, this objection isn’t a dealbreaker.
- Intel Core i7-4720HQ 3.6GHz
- 16 GB DDR3L SDRAM
- 1024 GB 7200 rpm Hard Drive, 128 GB Solid-State Drive
- 17.3-Inch Screen
- Windows 7 Professional
Powered by an Intel Core i7-5700HQ 2.6 – 3.5 GHz (the laptop comes in several processor combinations).
The one we are concerned about is the 3.5 GHz version.
The MSI GE72 APACHE-235 laptop comes with a 17.3″ display size and a display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. There is a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX960M graphics card with a 2 GB GDDR5 VRAM. Dedicated memory on the laptop is 16 GB in 2 slots of 8 GB of type DDR3L 1600 GHz RAM. The main hard drive of the laptop is a 1024 GB (1TB) HDD with 7200 rpm.
There is, however, no SSD drive which means you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the speed and performance of those super-fast drives.
The laptop comes pre-loaded with Windows 10 operating system.
Size and bulk wise, the 11.5 lb laptop has a dimension of 23.4 x 3.9 x 15″. It is not the smallest by any stretch of the imagination and wouldn’t fit in any standard laptop bag.
- Intel Core i7-5700HQ 2.6-3.5GHz
- 16 GB (8 GB x2) DDR3L 1600 GHz RAM
- 1024 GB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
- 17.3-Inch Screen; NVIDIA Geforce GTX960M Graphics with 2 GB GDDR5 VRAM
- DVD SuperMulti; Windows 10
The 3.1 GHz Intel Xeon E3-1535 M processor-powered Lenovo 17.3″ is a mix of several good features. Apart from the fact that this laptop has a large 17.3″ display, the resolution of the laptop is UHD 3840 x 2160 IPS which gives you triple the screen resolution when compared to the standard full HD resolution of the previous laptops that we discussed here. Higher resolution ensures that you can check your images in at least 50% size to what would be the full size of the image.
The internal memory of the laptop is 16 GB ECC with DDR4 RAM.
A NVIDIA Quadro P4000M graphics card with 8 GB internal memory powers the graphics department. Total storage of the laptop is 512 GB. But all of it is SSD, thus enhancing your access speed of RAW images and Photoshop.
There is an Intel version of this laptop as well. That one is powered by a Core 17 – 7820 HQ processor with a total of 16 GB RAM and 1 TB of internal storage. However, the display is of full HD only.
I don’t mind the smaller SSD storage as the speed outweighs the benefits of storage volume. And in any case, I don’t store all my images locally. I prefer an elaborate backup plan.
Attaching an external storage device is a breeze, thanks to the fact that the device comes with a Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.0 and HDMI ports. The laptop comes preloaded with Windows 10. One of the best laptop for Photoshop.
Best Laptops for Photoshop: MSI vs. DELL
This Dell 15.6″ Precision M5510 multi-touch mobile workstation comes with a 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7-6820 HQ Quad-core processor. Internal memory is a hefty 8 GB of 2133 MHz DDR4. The 15.6″ UltraSharp multi-touch display has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. This gives you an incredible amount of detail which comes in handy when editing your RAW files in Photoshop.
A dedicated graphics processor ensures smoother performance when editing graphics. It is a NVIDIA Quadro M1000M graphics card with a dedicated 2 GB RAM. Internal storage of the laptop is 512 GB of the SSD variety. As has been detailed above already, SSD storage drives are much faster compared to traditional HDD storage units. This improves Photoshop and general computing performance. Together, all these make the Dell qualify as one of the best laptops for Photoshop and image editing.
The Dell Inspiron 15.6″ full HD is a laptop designed for the discerning photographer who uses Photoshop as his main image editing application. The device comes with a 7th Generation Intel Quad Core i7 processor. Internal memory is 8 GB plus, the laptop also has 1 TB of primary internal storage (a 5400 rpm hard drive). It is possible to extend the internal memory to a maximum of 32 GB.
There is also a secondary SSD storage of total 128 GB. Interestingly the laptop does not come with an optical drive. If you host your operating system in the SSD storage, your system works extremely quickly. The same way hosting your Photoshop application in the same drive improves the quality of the photo editing processes.
A dedicated graphics processing unit in the form of a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Graphics card ensure that the laptop has everything that you need for a smooth editing workflow. The 15.6″ display comes with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (full HD). The laptop comes preloaded with Windows 10.
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core (6MB Cache, up to 3.8 GHz)
- 8GB 2400MHz DDR4 up to 32GB (additional memory sold separately)
- Dual drives with 128GB Solid State Drive + 1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive, No Optical Drive option
- 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Display
- Windows 10 Home 64-bit English
The Asus M580VD-EB76 VivoBook is a 15.6″ laptop powered by a 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700 HQ quad-core 2.8 GHz (turbo up to 3.8 GHz) processor. A NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB graphics card powers the graphics processing on the laptop. 1 TB HDD and a 256 GB M.2 SATA3 SSD.
The internal memory of the laptop is 16 GB DDR4. The system comes preloaded with Windows 10 which gives it a greater degree of flexibility. All you need to do is download the latest version of Photoshop CC, and then you are ready to edit some images.
The 15.6″ processor comes with a resolution of full HD (1920 x 1080). It supports 100% of the sRGB color gamut. The anti-glare display ensures you can work with the laptop even in brightly illuminated conditions, without any issues.
- Powerful 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core 2.8GHz (Turbo up to 3.8GHz), standard voltage for full performance
- 15.6" Full HD color rich, anti-glare display and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4GB graphics for flawless visuals and portable gaming
- 15" wide and 0.8" ultra thin chassis for a portable & slim footprint; Illuminated keyboard; Harman/Kardon certified audio; Dual-fan thermal design
- Lightning-fast dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi keeps you connected through any congestion or interference
- 16GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB M.2 SATA3 SSD + 1TB HDD combo for balanced speed and storage capacity; Windows 10; Comprehensive connections with USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen1), USB 3.1 Type-A, USB 2.0, & HDMI
Can't keep an Apple out of any discussion to do with laptops or smartphones. This is the 15″ Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display. A 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 processor powers the laptop. You can overclock the processor to a maximum of 3.4 GHz. 16 GB of DDR3L RAM forms the internal memory ensuring lightning fast performance. And to top it all 256 GB SSD memory gives an additional boost regarding operating and editing performance.
That being said, the 256 GB storage is nowhere near to what you would need to store all your RAW files and clips. You will need an external backup to regularly backup your work. There are no standard HDD or optical drives. Graphics processor on the laptop is the integrated Intel Iris Pro Graphics.
The highlight of the laptop is undoubtedly its retina display. It offers a resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels. Higher than most of the other laptops that we have discussed here.
A 2.9 GHz quad-core i7 processor powers this MacBook Pro. You can overclock it up to 3.9 GHz. The 15.4″ Retina Display has a resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels. For editing RAW files in larger size, we need a high-resolution display. But just because you have a large screen it does not mean that the screen supports a larger resolution. With the Apple MacBook Pro and its Retina Display you, however, get the perfect combination.
The internal memory of the laptop is 16 GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3 RAM. 1 TB of PCIe based SSD drive. This is the biggest SSD drive we have on this list so far. The touch bar on the MacBook Pro is an innovative tool for inputting commands, without having to memorize a complex set of keyboard shortcuts and such other things.
Also, the Touch ID sensor on the MacBook Pro greatly enhances the speed of access of your laptop and also the many areas of authentication. Touching the power button signs you in which makes workflow a bit faster than normal computers. Arguably, this is the best laptop for Photoshop.
- Brand New, Factory Sealed Z0UE00006 (Manufacturer Upgraded MPTV2LL/A), 2.9GHz Quad-Core i7 (Up to 3.9GHz)
- Silver, Touch Bar and Touch ID, 15.4 Inch Retina Display (2880 x 1800 Resolution)
- 16GB RAM, 1TB Flash Storage, Larger Force Touch Trackpad
- AMD Radeon Pro 560 Graphics with 4GB VRAM, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports, 3.5mm Headphone Jack | Stereo Speakers
- Mac OS X Sierra, 10 Hour Battery Life, 3 Year AppleCare+ Included (Until 7/7/2020); AppleCare+ for Mac extends your coverage to three years and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of $99 for screen damage or external enclosure damage, or $299 for other damage, plus applicable tax.1 In addition, you'll get 24/7 priority access to Apple experts by chat or phone.
The Dell Gaming Inspiron is a 17.3″ laptop with full HD display. The anti-glare LED-backlit display is perfect to work with even when you are using it under bright light. Comes in handy such as when shooting tethered under the sun. A 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U up to 3.5 GHz processor powers the laptop.
There is a 16 GB SDRAM internal memory (2400 MHz) and a total storage of 2 TB of HDD. Which means you can simply unbox it and start working right away. Graphics processor is an AMD Radeon R7 M445 Graphics card with a 4 GB of GDDR5 memory. The system comes preloaded with Windows 10.
- 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U up to 3.5 GHz Processor
- 16GB DDR4 2400Mhz included; 16GB maximum
- 2TB HDD storage; tray load DVD Drive (reads and writes to DVD/CD) included
- 17.3-Inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-backlit Display
- Windows 10 operating system; Gray
There are some major USPs for this laptop. To start off, the device comes with a 4 TB SSD storage. The processing power comes from an Intel Core i7-6820HQ (up to 3.6 GHz) processor. Internal storage of the laptop is an 8 GB PC4 – 17000 DDR4 SDRAM. The 15.6″ display has a resolution of 4K/ UHD (3840 x 2160) with IPS display.
The screen has an anti-glare coating as well which facilitates working in bright ambient lighting environments. The graphics processor is a NVIDIA Quadro M2000M discrete graphic that has 4 GB internal memory. The device comes preloaded with Windows 8.1.
An Intel Xeon E3 – 1505M v5 Quad-core processor powers the 2.8 GHz version of this laptop. The internal memory of the HP ZBook is 16 GB of 2133 MHz DDR4 ECC RAM.
There are four available memory slots, and this just fills one of them. Therefore, technically, you can use up to 64 GB of memory. The display of the laptop is a 15.6″ UWVA IPS anti-glare one with a full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080.
For those who prefer to have the luxury of a larger display when editing their videos and images, the laptop can output a video at a resolution of 5120 x 2880 on to a larger display via the HDMI output and take advantage of it. A NVIDIA Quadro M2000M graphics card with 4 GB memory powers the graphics on the laptop.
Storage on the 2.8 GHz version is a 512 GB Z Turbo Drive PCIe SSD. Needless to say, SSD drives are much faster than their HDD counterparts. They last longer too because internally there is no moving parts and therefore no wear and tear like traditional HDD units. Access speeds are faster, and applications like Photoshop loads up quicker giving you a quicker start off the block.
The Lenovo 15.6″ Legion Y520 is a surprisingly good combination of speed, performance, and affordability. A 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7-7700 HQ Quad-Core processor powers the laptop. The internal memory of the device is an 8 GB DDR4 RAM.
A 128 GB SSD and a 1 TB traditional HDD forms the storage of the device. Ideally, if your operating system and image editing applications are hosted on the SSD, you will have a much faster performance than when you keep these in the traditional HDD.
Graphics is powered by a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card. This series is optimized to work at a speed up to 40% faster than the previous generation graphics card.
The display on the device is a decent 15.6″ and 1920 x 1080 pixels. It comes with anti-glare IPS technology. It means you have a far better display range compared to other laptops.
Our Picks for Best Photoshop Laptops
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Wanderlust at heart and a shutterbug who loves to document his travels via his lenses; his two passions compliment each other perfectly.
He has been writing for over 7 years now, which unsurprisingly, revolve mostly around his two favorite pursuits.
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