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Laptops for Photo Editing

Here's a great selection of laptops for photo editing.

Most run of the mill blogs and articles opining about “the best laptop for photo editing” give a cursory introduction to photo editing requirements and usually break these down by laptop specification.

At Choosist, whilst we love our products, what we’re about is you. What follows is an explanation of what you’ll need from your investment of time as well as money.

(If this all still seems daunting, you can take the stress and time away and still find the most suitable device via our laptop AI laptop finder service. You’ll get a specific recommendation, an explanation as to why it's the best option for you, where you can find it at the best price and best of all its totally free!)

1. Visual accuracy and clarity

At the risk of stating the obvious, these are paramount as you’ll be making fine detail judgements, often down to a pixel. If the rendering and colours are off, so will your hours of hard work be!

Therefore, look out for the following key items in a laptop screen.

Firstly the screen technology. Commonly the options are TN (twisted nematic) VA (vertically aligned), IPS (in-plane switching) and OLED. The latter two are the best, the OLED proving greater contrasts too, but the VA and TN (often not stated) are getting better and better. IPS and OLED offer the best colour accuracy and viewing angles. If you can afford the premium then go for it.

Resolution. Generally speaking the higher the better as it provides more detail in the same space. But bear in mind that the smaller the screen, the less difference that extra resolution can make, as the eye can only perceive so much at the same scale.

Similarly, size, arguably, also works on the “more is better” principle. The greater the screen ‘real estate’ the more you can see at any one time. This also means space to accommodate the image alongside the tools and palettes without a cramped and cluttered screen. But size comes at several costs - price, portability by dimension and weight but also requirement. The bigger the screen, the higher the resolution screen you’ll need to view at the same level of detail.

2. The ability to run demanding software

Whether you’re a photoshop fanatic or a GIMP user, working with image files, especially in RAW format, a laptop for photo editing requires some grunt under the hood. The following areas will need your attention

The processor sometimes referred to as the CPU, has to perform some serious computations to convert your thoughts and ideas into visual reality.

Whether you buy AMD or Intel, you’ll want to get 4 cores (a core is a processing unit) and above, the latest generation of processor. For example, an Intel i7 - 8550 which is 8th gen will be better than intel i7 - 7500 which is 7th gen. Thereafter its the speed, usually written as GHz, that you’ll want to maximize.

Don't forget to look out for the suffix. Processors that end in Y should be avoided, whilst U will indicate a lower powered version, although top end varieties of U processors will manage. Those ending in H or K will be high performers but will usually be bigger and bulkier affairs.

RAM is equally critical to ensuring a smooth uninterrupted experience when editing your prize-winning portraits or awesome action shots.

Your processor computes batches of data (image details, commands to alter the image etc) and the size it can work on at any one time is determined in large part by the RAM which is the space in which the work can be done. To do this RAM is very fast memory but this makes it expensive hence there's less of it than in your hard drive.

8GB will handle it, but if you want to ensure avoiding lag 16GB or above will be better.

Hard drive choice is not just about storage space. With excellent cloud storage and cheap external devices, long-term storage is cheap.

Graphics cards have hitherto been the first go to spec when searching for the best laptop for photographers. Graphics cards ensure that whatever the processor makes happen to the image is delivered quickly and accurately to the screen.

As such discrete or separate graphics cards, usually by NVIDIA or AMD, have been insisted upon, but modern integrated cards are catching up fast and can save you some serious pennies.

If you want a laptop for photo editing, the laptop’s operating system will need to be compatible with the software package you’re after.

We’ve mentioned photoshop, GIMP and Sketch but there are other software that may be important. From Affinity Photo to the oddly named Alien Skin Exposure, from Lightroom to Luminar 3, most are available on both Windows and Mac.

However, Apple’s more than basic ‘Photos’ is exclusively macOS and Microsoft’s Photo Editor 10 is Windows only.

And let’s not forget ChromeOS. Whilst these tend to be lighter weight laptops, we’re starting to see beefier models hit the market. Whilst these will not compare with MacBook Pros or Lenovo Thinkpad workstations, they can be great for lightweight work on the move. But, they won’t be running full Adobe Photo without laggy and complicated streaming / remote desktop set-ups. Can a Chromebook ever be the best laptop for photographers? One day maybe, but for now, if you’re serious and you can afford it, probably not.

3. Compatibility with your other devices

Nowadays there are wireless options available for nearly every type of peripheral. Wacom style tablets, multifunction mice as well as 3D mice are all available as wire-free. So the best laptop for photo editing on the market no longer needs to be the laptop with the most ports on it!

Where wireless options do not exist hubs and adapters abound aplenty which may be fine if your laptop will be parked permanently on your desk. However, if you might be using it more than one location or if you do not want to use an external hub, the number and speed of ports may be an issue. This is even more important as the number of ports on laptops seem to be reducing, with one of them often doubling as the power input.

So, to put it simply, when you’re looking for the best laptop for photo editing for ‘you’, you’ll need to establish your connectivity needs in advance.

Results 1 - 20 of 85
Just Right
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Just Right
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Just Right
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Imagine a gaming laptop that can fully immerse you into your fantasy worlds, with astounding graphics and power that are simply unbeatable. Head into battle with the exciting NVIDIA graphics providing your gameplay with a new dimension that you will fall in love with. With 1920 x 1080 pixels, it is impossible not to be impressed with the incredible clarity of this display, seeing your games in a whole new technicolor. With 1000 GB of storage, you will never run out of room to store your favorite games and enjoy the benefits of having all your favorite games accessible in the same place, ready to play when you want to. No gaming laptop would be victorious without a powerful processor, and the HP Pavilion has a thrilling 8th generation core which will never disappoint, supporting you in all your gaming feats throughout the day and night. Game in ultimate style.

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After a powerful and flexible convertible? Look no further. This nifty laptop is powerful and full of features while also looking amazing, too. Its ultra-thin design, together with 15.6 in screen and thin bezel edges, makes this ideal for those who want to get the maximum performance and style in one package. The 15.6 in touch screen is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and Intel HD graphics card. This allows you to take advantage of features such as Windows ink where you can turn your thoughts into pictures and actions. Flexibility is also at the heart of the Lenovo Yoga 720 with its 360-degree hinge. It's light enough at just 4.4 pounds to allow you to turn it into a large tablet device to use on your lap or on the train. If you like music while you work, then you'll also love the built-in JBL speakers with Dolby audio premium. These can deliver enhanced bass and volume without any distortion. Take your productivity to the next level with the Lenovo Yoga 720 laptop.

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If you long for your workdays to go faster, the HP Pavilion is installed with a Quad-core Intel Core i5 processor to ensure that you are free before you know it. This enables you to run multiple software applications at the same time so that you can juggle the tasks that are important to you. In addition to this, the combined HDD and SSD also mean that the HP Pavilion balances both speed and extra storage, ensuring all your professional needs are met. If you want to stay in touch with your colleagues at all times, even from the most remote locations, then this laptop is equipped with the latest Bluetooth and Ethernet connections, meaning that you can share documents quickly and easily between different devices. However, nothing says professional more than a crystal-clear display, and the AMD Radeon RX-560X discrete graphics give you a smooth and consistent visual performance. The Full HD and backlit screen not only has excellent clarity however, but its decent size and includes IPS also makes visual tasks easier on the eye.

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This ASUS might be a gaming laptop but it's also so much more. You'll find that this laptop is a remarkable demonstration of power and design in the same brutal casing. It comes with everything you'd hope for from a gaming laptop, and then throws in a few extras to sweeten the deal. And that deal is very sweet indeed, since it includes the latest Intel Core i7 processor, backed up and improved by the addition of the GeForce GTX graphics. Your games are going to look incredibly realistic, while the 8GB of RAM means that you're not going to be too limited on game choice either. The screen comes in the Full HD that you'd expect, but the LED backlight is a subtle surprise. The backlight on the full-size keyboard is a pleasure too, because it's not overwhelming and will ensure that you can fight your way through the hardest levels even at night. Perfect for some of the best games in the world, this is a monster on the inside and a work of art on the outside.

Very Good
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Best the competition with the Asus ROG Strix, the top of the competition when it comes to multiplayer gaming laptops that are installed with stunning visuals and power that can drive your gameplay. With 1060 graphics, you are sure to impress all your fellow warriors with your intensive display creating a seamless and thrilling experience that will drop you right into the heart of the action. Not only this, but the ROG Strix's quad core processor is simply out of this world, fully transporting you to the locations that you wish to escape to and having the technology to consistently power up your gameplay. If you want a laptop that is prepared for the future, your NVIDIA graphics card is VR-ready, allowing you to delve straight into the action of the latest releases and come out on top. What's more, you'll never miss a key stroke again with these custom and comfortable keys which are sure to improve your gameplay with lightning quick response times.

MSI GL62M

C$1,540.09
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Bring your laptop into battle with you. The HP Omen is the only sure-fire way of heading to victory battle after battle. Its stand-out design is sleek, mysterious and legendary. Sultry black and a deep, flaming red for the Omen emblem makes this one gorgeous laptop. However, this design encases an awe-inspiringly powerful piece of machinery, with its NVIDIA graphics card ensuring that you can have the thrill of seeing your favorite games in HD, immersing yourself within the adventures that your laptop can take you on. Not only this, but the i7 processor ensures that your laptop works consistently to produce the most spectacular images, streaming, and speed available, which can help you to play your games as if you are really battling dragons and raising armies. If your gaming sessions often go far into the night, the backlit keyboard will ensure that you never have to go to sleep again, finding the keys naturally even in the darkness.

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If your laptop is a gateway into different worlds, the HP Omen is as sleek as gaming laptops get. Whether you want to whittle away long train journeys or bash those keys in the comfort of your own home, the Omen is easy to stuff into a backpack along with your snacks. If you've always wanted to see each strand of your character's hair or each leaf fluttering in the wind, its top-of-the-range graphics keep you fully immersed within your fantasy world. The Omen also suits those who love to demand the most out of their games and take no prisoners, as the HP Omen can support even the most demanding games. Play your games from morning until night with the HP Omen's backlit keyboard, allowing you to secure victory at all times of the day, giving you the accuracy that you need to succeed. Not only this, but the Omen's anti-glare means that you can also play your favorite games without hindrance during those irritating days of sunshine.

Very Good
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Are you eager to become a gaming champion? If so, the Acer Predator Helios 300 has the power and style to crown you king or queen in whatever game you are playing. With its trademark Predator logo and style, this laptop is effortlessly cool with an intimidating aura, making it known that you are not to be messed with. The backlit keyboard makes it simple to play at night for that fully immersive experience, while the NVIDIA Pascal™ architecture makes even the most demanding game look flawless. With 15.6-inches of glorious screen in Full HD and a subtle backlight, the Helios is a mighty fine machine that will play most gaming titles seamlessly while making you look cool, too. What's more, the Intel® Turbo Boost Technology means that multitasking is no problem either, and you'll be able to livestream your gaming even as you wipe out an enemy base. There are plenty of ports to use and connectivity will never be an issue with Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or Bluetooth options. Devastatingly powerful and awesome, this is a mighty gaming machine for hardcore gamers.

DELL Inspiron 7559

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The DELL Inspiron 7559 is an absolute delight and considered a whole new era of performance and power. Designed with pleasure and performance in mind, the specs are perfect for gamers, creatives and hardworking professionals alike, but if you're in the gaming industry, this laptop is the bee's knees. The greatest and latest Xbox games are now at your fingertips, and because of the cross-device barriers being brought down, you can make a smooth transition from laptop to Xbox and continue playing. But what else does this laptop have to offer? You'll fall in love with the FHD anti-glare IPS wide angle display and beautifully optimal Truelife UHD (4K resolution) touch screen for amazing detail. When you're playing in the dark, enjoy a backlit keyboard, and when you're in the midst of the ultimate battle, the touchpad is responsive and accurate. That's not all, though. Immerse yourself in superior sound with thanks to the Waves MaxxAudio Pro, which is sure to enhance your listening experience.

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In need of a gaming laptop that will smash your expectations? Take control of your destiny with the Acer Nitro 5. The powerful 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 processor is capable of handling the most intense of sessions, whereas the 1TB hard drive provides ample storage space. The high-performance NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050Ti1 graphics card ensures smooth sailing for the best experience, while the full HD resolution makes for top-notch picture quality. From all angles, even the smallest details are clear on the 15.6-inch display for a dramatic and exhilarating visual experience. The Dolby Audio™ Premium adds a rich layer of texture to the stellar sound experience with perfectly tuned speakers. Elsewhere, the strategically placed 802.11ac wireless antenna means the Acer Nitro 5 maintains a strong, consistent signal at all times. Whether it's headphones or controllers, there are more than enough ports available so that you can enjoy gaming the way you want to. The advanced dual-cooling arms are meant to last those long gaming sessions without heat buildup, while the manual feature means you can take control when you feel the need to.

Just Right
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In need of a gaming laptop that will smash your expectations? Take control of your destiny with the Acer Nitro 5. The powerful 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 processor is capable of handling the most intense of sessions, whereas the 1TB hard drive provides ample storage space. The high-performance NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050Ti1 graphics card ensures smooth sailing for the best experience, while the full HD resolution makes for top-notch picture quality. From all angles, even the smallest details are clear on the 15.6-inch display for a dramatic and exhilarating visual experience. The Dolby Audio™ Premium adds a rich layer of texture to the stellar sound experience with perfectly tuned speakers. Elsewhere, the strategically placed 802.11ac wireless antenna means the Acer Nitro 5 maintains a strong, consistent signal at all times. Whether it's headphones or controllers, there are more than enough ports available so that you can enjoy gaming the way you want to. The advanced dual-cooling arms are meant to last those long gaming sessions without heat buildup, while the manual feature means you can take control when you feel the need to.

Very Good
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As sharp and dangerous as its namesake, this gaming laptop isn't messing around. It's hardcore, and packed with every feature and spec you'll ever need. The first thing you'll notice after lifting the lid is the Full HD 14-inch screen that explodes with color, and that's even before the backlight kicks in. What you won't be able to see until you're deep into some serious gameplay is the efficiency and power of the 7th gen Intel® Core™ i7, which will blow you away. With 16GB of RAM, even the most demanding games will be easily playable without a reduction of your settings, plus the SSD makes loading times nice and quick while providing ample storage space. This is a remarkable Ultrabook that's got gaming at the forefront, and the anti-ghosting keyboard is a pleasure to play on. It's easily one of the better gaming Ultrabooks available, and could be the gaming machine you've always dreamed of.