Best Laptops For Photo Editing
We did the hard work for you and compared the best laptops for photo editing in 2017 (latest updated: October 2017).
Our Top Photography Laptop Picks:
Important Tech Specs …
… Photo Editing Notebooks Must Have:
- Speed and Memory
When it comes to serious photo editing work your laptop must have more than just decent computing speed and a good memory.
- Display Size & Color Gamut
Speed and memory are just the bare minimum, to begin with. With increasingly high-resolution cameras hitting the market, the ability to edit files in as large a display size as one can get is also a major requirement.
Note: Any serious/pro photography display should cover 90% or above of the Adobe RGB Color Gamut. Laptops in the price range under $1,000 can't achieve those color gamut values, so consider buying a laptop in the $1,500 range and to check the color gamut values.
Photographers tend to look for lightweight solutions – laptops that they can carry with them wherever they go.
What you need:
- A high resolution large sized screen,
- an extremely high powered configuration capable of handling multiple applications, as well as large-sized files
- and all this combined in a small, lightweight package;
These notebook tech specs raise a lot of opposites!
You need an off-road vehicle that handles like a sports car and gives the comfort of a luxury sedan.
Is there something out there that can even remotely match such a requirement for the perfect photo editing laptop?
Let’s find out!
12 BEST Laptops for Your Photo Editing Tasks
Best Photography Laptops (Oct. 2017)
A. Best Laptops for Photo Editing under $500
- ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 at Check on Amazon (225 Reviews)
- Acer Aspire F NX.GHRAA.001 F5-573-58VX 15.6″ at $498.40 (4 Reviews)
B. Laptops under $1,000
- Acer Aspire VX 15 Gaming Laptop at from $1,079.98 (4 Reviews)
- Dell Inspiron i5577–7342BLK PUS 15.6″ Gaming Laptop at from $629.99 (179 Reviews)
C. Laptops under $1,500
- Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop at $1,349.00 (7 Reviews)
- Apple 13.3″ MacBook Pro at from $1,269.00 (4 Reviews)
D. Best Photo Laptops for $1,500+
- Apple 15″ MacBook Pro Retina Display and Touch Bar at from $2,249.00 (49 Reviews)
- Acer Predator 17 Gaming Laptop Core i7 Gaming Laptop at $1,799.99 (27 Reviews)
- Alienware AW17R4-7345SLV-PUS 17″ Laptop at from $1,425.00 (57 Reviews)
- ASUS ROG G752VS-XB72K 17.3″ Gaming Laptop at $1,829.00 (152 Reviews)
- HP Omen 17-W151NR 17.3″ 4K UHD i7-6700 HQ Laptop at $2,299.95 (1 Reviews)
With all the advances in technology, the details can be confusing and many time over complicated.
To make things easier, we have put together a list of top laptops that will be excellent for photo editing, listed by price from low (under $500) to high ($1,500 and more).
Beginning with what you can afford is usually the best place to begin. Then, based on your budget you can review our picks and why we picked them. You can then easily determine the best laptop for you, your budget and your photos!
A. Best Laptops for Photography under $500
The ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 is a business standard laptop but also works fine for hobby photographers on a budget.
A 7th generation Intel Core i5 – 7200U dual core processor (2.5 GHz) powers the computing capability. The processor can be overclocked to a maximum of 3.1 GHz.
- Not to be overlooked: the display has a full HD resolution.
- 8 GB RAM takes care of the internal of the laptop.
- The storage capability is 1 TB 5400 RPM HDD. There is no SSD storage.
Also, the laptop comes with a total integrated memory of 8 GB and the memory can be further extended (which allows a smooth performance of the device when running image editing applications).
- The large 15.6″ display has a resolution of full HD.
- The average running time on a full charge of the battery is about 9 hours.
- Strong combination of design and business productivity. Incredible battery life with up to 9 hours* to keep you working and productive all day.
- Affordable price with the right amount of small business security and manageability. TPM security and fingerprint reader for additional security to keep files safe. Designed for the working professional with enterprise performance and superior reliability
- 7th Gen Intel Core i5 7200U dual core with 8GB of RAM and 1TB 5400RPM HDD. Designed to be powerful, durable, and portable to keep professionals on the go with the security features for peace of mind.
- 15.6-inch anti-glare FHD panel and upgradable memory door on bottom side for easy access.
- Total 4 USB ports. 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB2.0. 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA port. (Support dual outputs)
At a significantly lower budget than what you would have to fork out for a ‘high-end' professional laptop, the Acer Aspire F NX.GHRAA.001 F5-573-58VX is a budget laptop which is still capable of running a copy of Photoshop CC. A 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 – 7200U processor powers the Aspire. However, ideally you need at least a 2.7 GHz machine to run Photoshop with any degree of smoothness.
We can't complain because this is a budget machine but falls a bit short of being our choice for best laptop.
It has an 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM as the internal memory. A 1 TB Hard Drive constitutes the internal storage of the laptop. Needless to say, there is no SSD on the laptop. The laptop has a 15.6″ display with a resolution of full HD (1920 x 1080).
- 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7200U
- 8.0GB DDR4 SDRAM + 1.0TB Hard Drive
- 15.6in 1920 x 1080 Display
- Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
- Windows 10 home edition 64-bit
Best Laptops under $500 Compared
B. Best Laptops for Photo Editing under $1,000
The Acer Aspire VX is a 15.6″ laptop. A 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700 HQ processor powers the processing of the laptop.
- Also, the processor can be improved to a maximum of 3.8 GHz.
- A NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with integrated 4 GB of GDDR5 VRAM takes care of the graphics processing speed.
- Internal memory of the machine is 16 GB (DDR4) with 256 GB of SSD storage.
- The 15.6″ full HD (1920 x 1080) screen comes with LED backlit and IPS display technologies.
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor (Up to 3.8GHz)
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen IPS display
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- 16GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD
- HDD upgrade kit available (2.5" bracket with SATA and power cable). Contact Acer support for your complimentary kit.
The Dell Inspiron i5577 – 7342BLK PUS is a gaming laptop that is priced a shade under $1,000.
Even at that price, the laptop is loaded with features that should attract a lot of photo editors and photographers:
- The processor on the laptop is a 7th generation Intel Core i7 – 7700 HQ Quad Core one with a speed of 3.8 GHz.
- The internal memory on the laptop is a 16 GB 2400 MHz RAM. Note that the internal memory can be expanded to a maximum of 32 GB.
- A NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card powers the graphics processing unit of the device.
- Final item is that the internal memory of the GPU is 4 GB of VRAM.
Total storage available is 512 GB of Pie Solid State Drive. SSD units are four times faster than traditional SATA drives which gives superior speed and faster access of applications, plus faster workflow and better overall working experience.
Also, the display on the laptop is 15.6″ full HD (1920 x 1080) with anti-glare properties giving better view.
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core (6MB Cache, up to 3.8 GHz)
- 16GB, 2400MHz, DDR4; up to 32GB (additional memory sold separately) [16G2D]
- 512GB Pie Solid State Drive , No Optical Drive option
- 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Display
- Windows 10 Home 64-bit English
The Best Notebooks under $1,000 compared
Both the Acer Aspire and the Dell Inspiron are top rated laptops under $1,000 and can be used for your photo editing tasks.
C. Best Laptops for Photographers under $1,500
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a powerful laptop primarily designed for the gaming enthusiast. However, its technical specifications closely match what a professional photo editor look for when shopping for a laptop. No doubt, these features brings it in the list of best laptops for photo editing.
- A 7th generation Intel Core i7 – 7700 HQ processor powers the processing capabilities of the laptop. The processor can be clocked to a maximum of 3.8 GHz.
- In addition, the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU powers the graphics processing on the laptop with a dedicated GDDR5 VRAM of 6 GB.
- Overall, the memory on the laptop is 16 GB of DDR4.
- Storage on the device is SSD with a capacity of 256 GB. That greatly enhances the speed of the device and it performance.
Large Display & Cool Design
The display size of the laptop is 15.6″ and the resolution of the display s full HD (1920 x 1080).
Also, this beauty has a dual fan cooling system and up to 7 hours of battery backup.
Another point, the external design matches intended functionality with design: the laptop has back-lit keyboard and a metal chassis that completes the look.
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor (Up to 3.8GHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- 17.3" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen IPS display. Wireless LAN Standard : IEEE 802.11ac
- 16GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD & 1TB HDD
- Up to 7-hours of battery life
You can't ignore the MacBook Pro 13.3″, which is a fantastic notebook under $1,500 for photographers.
- It comes with a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Dual-core processor. The processor can be overclocked to a maximum of 3.1 GHz.
- There is also 8 Gigs of 1866 MHz RAM as internal memory.
- A 256 GB PCIe SSD constitutes the storage on this device.
- Graphics processing is handled by an integrated Intel Iris Graphics 540 processor.
- It is rated to be 30% faster than the older generation MacBook.
The display on the MacBook Pro's 13.3″ screen is a 2560 x 1600 (Retina) dots resolution. Also, you have the option to add an external 5K display (5120 x 2880) using one of the Thunderbolt 3 Ports. The machine also supports dual 4K (4096 x 2304).
- 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
- 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
- 256GB SSD storage
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
- Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
Best Photo Laptops under $1,500 compared
For best laptop for photo editing under $1,500 we picked the Apple 13.3″ MacBook Pro.
D. Best Laptops for Photo Editing: $1500+ Category
The Apple 15″ MacBook Pro is the sort of laptop that raises the bar for the best laptops for photo editing. It is also the ultimate photo editing machine. Also, at the heart of the laptop is a 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 Quad Core processor. The processor can be overclocked to a maximum of 3.9 GHz.
- Internal memory is constituted of a total of 16 GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3 RAM.
- A Radeon Pro 555 graphics card with internal RAM of 2 GB powers the graphic processing unit of the device.
- Additionally, the Internal storage of the laptop is constituted by a 256 GB SSD.
- Solid State Drives are perfect for the purpose of accessing the resource heavy photo editing applications and operating system. It greatly improves the overall smoothness of operation of the device.
- There is a 10-bit HEVC hardware acceleration feature that comes as a standard on the MacBook Pro.
The TouchBar is a functionally genius tool that greatly enhances the speed of the laptop and your workflow. It replaces the function keys and gives you something more useful and intuitive to work with. Especially when working with something like Photoshop.
Additionally, what sets the MacBook Pro apart is the 2500 x 1600 Retina Display. That is what sets the ball rolling for most photographers. Especially, the ones who prefer to see larger displays while editing their photos.
- 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
- 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
- 256GB SSD storage
- Radeon Pro 555 with 2GB memory
- Touch Bar and Touch ID
Designed for those with a need to speed, the Predator 17 G9-793078CM gaming laptop computer combines a powerful 6th Gen Intel Core processor with high-performance NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics driven by the new NVIDIA Pascal architecture that is VR Ready and a 17.3″ Full HD with NVIDIA G-Sync technology.
Also, advanced cooling and stellar audio capabilities support intense gaming sessions while the sporting red accents and black chassis with geometric lines adds to the drama.
- 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor (Up to 3.8GHz)
- 17.3" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen IPS display with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- 16GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD RAID 0, 1TB HDD
- Windows 10 Home
At the heart of the Alienware AW17R4-7345SLV-PUS is an Intel Core i7-7700 HQ (Quad-Core) processor. Additionally, the processor can be overclocked to a maximum of 3.8 GHz with Turbo Boost. Internal memory is a 16 GB DDR4 at 2400 MHz with maximum expandable memory of 32 GB. Total internal storage on the laptop is 1 TB. Unfortunately, there is no Solid State Drive, which is a shame.
Additionally, graphics processor on the laptop is a NVIDIA GTX 1070 unit. The display on the large 17.3 laptop screen is 1920 x 1080p.
- Intel Core i7-7700HQ (Quad-Core, 6MB Cache, up to 3.8GHz w/Turbo Boost)
- 16GB DDR4 at 2400MHz (2x8GB); 32GB Maximum
- 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s; No Optical Drive
- NVIDIA GTX 1070
- 17.3 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Anti-Glare 300-nits Display
The ASUS ROG G752VS-XB72K – OC is an out and out gaming laptop for the discerning gamer. But the configuration suits the needs of a photographer looking to make his own edits.
- The laptop comes with a 6th generation Intel Skylake i7 6820HK 2.7 GHz processor.
- Also, the processor is overclocked up to 64 GB of internal memory in the form of DDR4 RAM powers the laptop.
- Additionally, it's large 17.3″ display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 with G Sync display that gives smoother refresh rates and a 178 ˚viewing angle. Refresh rates, however, are not a primary requirement for photo editing though.
- Graphics processor is a NVIDIA GTX 1070 Graphics Card with integrated 8 GB of VRAM.
Storage on the ASUS ROG G752VS-XB72K – OC is a 256 GB NVMe PCIe SSD + 1 TB of HDD that spins at a speed of 7200 RPM. The attractive feature is the SSD storage that has a much superior storage speed (4x) compared to the traditional SATA drives. As a result, this increases the speed of your workflow by speeding up booting, opening editing applications etc.
Additionally, being a gaming machine, the ASUS ROG G752VS-XB72K – OC has superior heat management features. This comes in handy also when you are working on resource hogging photo editing applications like Photoshop. Battery backup on the laptop is a healthy 8 hours.
- Latest-generation NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card, Overclocked Intel Core i7-6820HK 2.7 GHz Processor
- Overclocked 32GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD + 1TB 7200RPM HDD
- 17.3" FHD 1920x1080 G-SYNC Display with 178-degree viewing angles. Powerful cooling with ROG 3D Mobile Vapor Chamber, up to 6% better GPU performance
- 1x HDMI 2.0 Port, 1x Displayport 1.2, 802.11ac WiFi 2x2, Bluetooth 4.1, 1x Thunderbolt III Over USB 3.1-Type C(Gen 2), 1x mini Display Port, 1x Headphone-out jack (S/PDIF), 1x Microphone-in Jack. Powerful battery rated 88WHrs, 8 cell Li-ion Battery Pack, Illuminated Chiclet Keyboard.
- NOTE:At present, most notebooks that use IPS panel will exist some variance of light leakage, this is due to the technology."KINDLY REFER USER MANUAL BEFORE USE"
The HP Omen 17-W151NR is a 17.3″ machine designed for the avid gamer. The specifications, however, matches the requirements of a photo editor as well. Making this one of the best laptops for photo editing.
Additionally, the HP Omen has an Intel i7-6700 HQ Quad Core 2.6 GHz processor beating at its heart. Also, the processor can be overclocked to a maximum of 3.5 GHz. Internal memory on the machine is a 16 GB DDR4 – 2133 SDRAM (2 sticks of 8 GB each).
Large Hard Drive
- A 512 GB Samsung NVMe SSD hard drive constitutes the internal storage on the device.
- With a large 512 GB SSD storage it works well for photographers and heavy photo editors. In addition, you can load your entire image library from a shoot and edit them in a much quicker time frame than if you had a standard SATA HDD.
- Graphics on the system is powered by a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 processor with 8 GB GDDR5 VRAM.
- Finally, the display on the laptop is a 17.3″ diagonal UHD 3840 x 2160.
- The WLED backlit screen comes with excellent anti-glare coating.
- Windows 10 Home, Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core Processor (6MB Cache, 2.6GHz-3.5GHz)
- 16GB DDR4-2133 SDRAM (2 x 8GB) | Hard Drive: 512GB Samsung NVMe SSD (Up to 1050 MB/s Read, Up to 560 MB/s Write)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5; 17.3" diagonal UHD IPS UWVA anti-glare WLED-backlit (3840 x 2160); VR Ready
- Full Size Red Backlit Keyboard; 3 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Data transfer only); 1 USB 2.0; 1 HDMI; 1 Mini DisplayPort; 1 RJ-45; 1 headphone/microphone combo
- Bang & Olufsen Quad speakers; HP TrueVision HD Webcam (front-facing) with integrated dual array digital microphone; 802.11ac (2x2) and Bluetooth® 4.0 combo
Comparison: Best Laptops for Photo Editing for $1,500+
Our pick among the best laptop for photo editing above $1,500 is the Apple 15″ MacBook Pro Retina Display and Touch Bar.
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He has been writing for over 7 years now, which unsurprisingly, revolve mostly around his two favorite pursuits.