Best Laptops for Photo Editing in 2022

A good laptop for photo editing should have a decent amount of RAM, fast SSD storage, and be able to support professional-grade color gamuts. Additional convenience features should include ports for attached hard drives and other accessories and dedicated graphics cards.

Ultimately, you’ll want something fast that can handle the needs of powerful photo editing programs. This buying guide will introduce you to some of the best laptops for photo editing this year.

— Best Overall: 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro
— Best Dell: Dell XPS 15 9510
— Best two-in-one: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio
– Best under $1,000: MacBook Air 2020
— Best budget: HP Chromebook 14

How We Picked the Best Laptops for Photo Editing

The laptops in this buying guide were selected based on a mix of hands-on experience, editorial reviews, and user feedback. When selecting the products that appear in this guide, we considered options from a variety of brands that would suit a few different budgets. It was also important to select products with enough processing power to run popular photo editing software.

You will need to take the photos before editing them. Be sure to check out some of the best Digital camerascameras for wildlife photographyand the best choices for wedding photography.

Best laptops for photo editing: reviews and recommendations

Best Overall: 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro

Made to edit. Apple

Why he made the cut: With its large display and high-capacity RAM capabilities, the new MacBook Pro is our top pick for the best overall laptop for photo editing.

Processor: 10-core Apple M1 Max GPU
RAM: 16 GB to 64 GB
Storage: 1TB to 8TB SSD

— Massive RAM capacities
— Beautiful display screen
— M1 Pro chip

The inconvenients:
– Dear

The Macbook Pro The large screen and powerful processing system make it our top choice for photo editing. The latest version of the MacBook Pro also benefits from Apple’s heat reduction technology, so you don’t have to worry about the computer heating up and slowing down while you edit images. The keyboard has also been redesigned, making it much more comfortable for quickly editing images using shortcuts or rating and sorting images after a shot. It’s one of the most expensive laptops currently on the market, but its massive screen and processing capabilities make it an ideal choice for photo editing.

Best Dell: Dell XPS 15 9510

Seamless photo editing. Dell

Why he made the cut: The Dell XPS 15 has plenty of ports, a dedicated SD card reader, and a nice screen.

Processor: 11th Generation Intel Core i9
RAM: 8 GB to 64 GB
Storage: 512GB to 2TB SSD

— Fast performance
— Has an SD slot for reading maps
— Lots of ports

The inconvenients:
– Dear

One of our favorite Windows laptops for photo editing is the Dell XPS system, thanks to its large screen, powerful processing system and numerous ports. This particular model has a 4K display, 500 nits brightness capabilities, and a touchscreen. Along with the dedicated SD card reader, you’ll find Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, USB-A, and HDMI ports, making it easy to plug in various photo editing accessories while using the Dell XPS.

Best two in one: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Edit on the go. Microsoft

Why he made the cut: This portable hybrid tablet is a great lightweight tool for editing photos on the go.

Processor: 11th Generation Intel Core i7
RAM: 8 GB to 32 GB
Storage: 256 GB to 2 TB SSD

– Lightweight
— Responsive touchscreen
– Unique design

The inconvenients:
— No ports

The Microsoft Surface features an intuitive touchscreen designed for use by visual creatives and can be used as a laptop or tablet, thanks to its unique dual-hinged design. Although it lacks ports, if you’re someone who stores most of their files in the cloud, this might be a good choice for you. The 11th generation Intel processor and its RAM capacity make it a great tool for editing photos on the go.

Best under $1,000: MacBook Air 2020

Undeniable power. Apple

Why he made the cut: The M1 chip, lightweight design, and reasonable price make the MacBook Air one of our favorite budget editing machines.

– Processor : Apple M1
– RAM: 8 GB to 16 GB
– Storage: 256 GB to 2 TB

— Lightweight design
— Excellent battery life
— Cheaper than MacBook Pro

The inconvenients:
— Ports limited

Look for models manufactured in 2020 or later from Macbook Air take advantage of the powerful Apple M1 chip, rather than the older Intel CPU chip. The new chip makes the Air almost three times faster than previous models. The new chip also means longer battery life, as the new MacBook Airs can run for almost 18 hours on a single charge. This model features the same scissor-switch keyboard found in the MacBook Pro. It has a 13-inch screen and weighs just 2.8 pounds, making it one of the best lightweight laptops out there. This combination of features costs just under $1,000, and considering its photo-editing capabilities, it’s a steal.

Best budget: HP Chromebook 14

Low cost, high performance. HP

Why he made the cut: This ultra-budget laptop runs on Google’s ChromeOS and costs just a few hundred dollars, making it one of the cheapest photo-editing tools on the market.

Processor: Celeron 1.1 GHz
RAM: 64 GB
Storage: 64 GB

– Low cost
— Good battery life
— Compatible with Google Play apps

The inconvenients:
Limited RAM
— Unable to use Windows software

The very economical Chromebook runs on Google’s ChromeOS, which makes it compatible with apps from the Google Play Store that you typically download on your Android phone. Although it can’t run Windows software – like Photoshop – apps like Lightroom Mobile or Google’s Snapseed are compatible and will allow you to edit images. Despite its bargain price, the Chromebook has a stunning 14-inch Full HD 1080p display and up to 11 hours of battery life on a single charge. While it lacks the high-capacity storage and RAM of some of the other laptops in this buying guide, you just can’t argue the price. It is a good budget choice for image editing.

Things to consider before buying a laptop for photo editing

RAM and storage

RAM and storage are two of the most important specs to consider when buying a laptop for photo editing. RAM determines how fast the computer can process data, which affects the speed photo editing programs will run. A laptop with more RAM will be more efficient at running powerful programs like Adobe Photoshop, especially if you take advantage of some of the advanced AI-powered features. Storage refers to the space a laptop has to store files. We recommend storing files on an external drive and in the cloud rather than taking up valuable storage space on your laptop, but you’ll also want to make sure you have a laptop with enough storage so you can store photo editing programs and folders in progress.

Battery life

Laptops are designed to be portable machines and if you’re editing on the go, it’s important to have something that will continue to work even when you’re not near a power outlet. We recommend looking for something with at least eight hours of battery life, although with today’s advanced processors it’s not uncommon to find laptops that can run for nearly 18 hours on a charge. complete.


Q: What laptop do most photographers use?

The majority of professional photographers use an Apple laptop for photo editing, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t photographers who prefer editing on a Windows laptop. Apple is generally most photographers’ laptop of choice as it’s been the industry standard in the creative world for a number of years and it’s probably the system most professionals have learned in school or early in their career.

Q: Which laptop is best for Photoshop and Lightroom?

Laptops with at least 16GB of RAM are the best choices for running programs like Photoshop and Lightroom, but the more RAM your computer has, the more efficiently the program will be able to run. This is especially true if you are looking to take advantage of the advanced features of the program that uses AI technology.

Q: Do I need a 4K laptop for photo editing?

You absolutely don’t need a laptop with a 4K screen for photo editing. In most cases, a laptop with 1080p and 99-100% sRGB should suffice for editing images. If you want a 4K display to zoom in on small details in an image while editing, we recommend connecting your laptop to a separate 4K monitor rather than splurging on a laptop with a 4K display .

Final Thoughts on Laptops for Photo Editing

The best laptops for photo editing will have plenty of RAM, fast processing speeds, a decent amount of storage, and a big screen, but for that mix of features you’ll probably end up paying $1,000-$2,000. . While budget options certainly exist, they’ll likely have less internal storage and less RAM, meaning they won’t be ideal for running programs like Adobe Photoshop.

This post was created by a non-specialist editorial team at Recurrent Media, owner of Futurism. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked in this post.

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