Laptops are portable and powerful computers that make completing tasks more convenient, easier, and faster. These compact machines are not only capable of basic work but are excellent workstations for photographers. Also, they seem to get better and better every year! As such, photographers are always on the lookout for the best laptop for photo editing.
To edit photos, a laptop must have a fast processor (CPU) and graphics (GPU) to handle visually intensive software. It should also be equipped with considerable RAM for seamless processing without any hiccups, and ample storage space for all of your raw photos.
Furthermore, having a display that brings out the best in your images, with sharp colors, highlights and shadows, is essential if you are not going to be attaching an external display to your laptop for color-correct work. Other features such as the number of ports you need will depend on your workflow, while battery life depends on your budget.
Now, without further ado, we will take a look at the best laptop for photo editing!
Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
The Apple MacBook Pro is a great choice if you want speed and power. This new(er) version of the laptop has an improved Magic Keyboard that uses scissor switches for comfort and quick typing speeds.
This laptop boasts a Retina display with 3072 x 1920 resolution that provides crisp and sharp image viewing for photographers. The True Tone technology automatically adjusts the screen color under ambient lighting, if you often work in various different lighing conditions and want a good approximation of “correct color” in all conditions, although of course, we do recommend a fixed, constant calibration using an external calibration device.
- Processor: Intel Core i7/ i9
- RAM: 16/32/64 GB
- Storage: 512 GB/1 TB/2TB/4TB/8TB
- Display: 16-inch IPS LCD (3072 x 1920)
- GPU: Radeon Pro 5300M/5500M
- Rated as one of the best laptops because of its performance and efficiency
- Immersive display with slim bezels
- Magic keyboard with a touch bar (ideal for Photoshop)
- Display is not 4K
- Priced higher than most (Windows) competitors
The Dell XPS 15 is an all-rounder and is considered one of the best Windows laptop for photo editing due to its use of the unparalleled 4k OLED display which makes color reproduction and brightness levels unmatched by other laptops in general.
The Dell XPS 15 is an exceptional laptop with a striking design and powerful features. One of the most useful would be its selection of ports, which includes Thunderbolt 4, USB C, HDMI and USB A; for photographers, it even has an SD slot which is a feature that has unfortunately become rare on certain competitors.
- Processor: Intel Core i5/i7/i9
- GPU: Intel UHD 630/ GeForce GTX 1650
- RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB
- Storage: 256 GB/512 GB/1 TB
- Display: 15.6-inch (1080P or 4K)
- Among the top-rated Windows laptops for speed and performance
- Rich and sharp display from 4K OLED display
- Slim, heavy-duty chassis
- Webcam placement is optimal
- Battery life is mediocre
HP’s Spectre X360 15 laptop is perfect for photographers who desire a more hands-on approach to image post-processing without having to use two different devices. It has many great features, but its main selling point is the 4K AMOLED multi-touch display that produces 483 nits of brightness and 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. (98% Adobe RGB) The Corning Gorilla Glass adds extra protection from scratches, too.
The premium look of the HP Spectre X360 15 comes from its sleek and elegant chassis and no-holds-barred heavy-duty build quality.
- Processor: 11th gen Intel Core i7
- RAM: 16GB
- Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB
- Display: 15.6 inch, 4K AMOLED display (touchscreen)
- Pen input for easy and convenient graphic editing
- Stunning design and impressive build quality
- Quick and easy tablet conversion
- Comfortable typing experience on the keyboard
- Heavy and bulky when used as tablet
- Limited port slot
- Thick display bezels
There are instances where one screen is not enough to make the magic happen. However, carrying two laptops on the go is not a practical solution and this is where Asus comes into play. They introduced the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo for photographers who like to multitask or keep their primary canvas free from clutter.
The highlight of this laptop is its touch-sensitive secondary screen (located above the keyboard) that Asus calls “ScreenPad Plus.” This unique secondary display can be split into two or three columns, allowing you to access different applications within each partition.
- Processor: Intel Core i9
- GPU: GeForce RTX 2060
- RAM: 32 GB
- Storage: 1 TB
- Display: 15.6 inch, 4K Display
- Sharp dual 4K displays
- Useful ScreenPad Plus
- Powerful device
- Mediocre battery life
- Heavy and chunky build
For photographers who rely heavily on keyboard use for shortcuts and photo editing functions, having a device with a responsive and comfortable keyboard is a must. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga is an excellent choice for photographers looking for one of the best laptops for photo editing not only because of its speed and performance but for its built-in accessories too.
This device features a 4K display that provides 488 nits of brightness and a 100% RGB color gamut.
- Processor: Intel Core i7
- GPU: Intel UHD
- RAM: 16 GB
- Storage: 256 GB/512 GB
- Display 14-inch, 4K
- Slim yet durable aluminum chassis
- Amazing keyboard
- Long battery life
- Crisp and bright display
- Mediocre audio quality
We hope that our list of the top five best laptops for photo editing narrows down your choices and eventually leads you to the most suitable device for your workflow! If you have comments or would like to share what laptop you are using for photo editing, write it down in the comments below.
Or, if you would like us to write an article about the difficult choice of, laptop VS desktop for photo editing, let us know!