best laptop for beginner photographer

The best laptop for beginner photographer for photo editing is often one that has certain qualities missing from other laptops. And, since photo editing usually means working with higher resolution photos and applying advanced effects, a powerful processor alone is not enough to get the job done. There are a couple other things to look for as well.

Because photo editing is graphically intensive, a computer equipped with the best graphics cards to handle all the visuals is going to make a huge difference. You’ll also want the fastest RAM possible. Just as important though is an excellent screen – specifically, you’ll want one with accurate color reproduction and contrast so that everything is properly represented visually. It’s also important to pay attention to design features that can help or hinder your workflow, whether it’s having enough ports or having a keyboard and trackpad that help the creative process, not hinder it.

best laptop for beginner photographer– Top Picks

1. Asus ZenBook UX331FA-AS51 Ultrabook

Best Laptop for Photography Students

ASUS’s ZenBook series of laptops needs no introduction. Everyone knows about its superior build quality and how capable the laptops are in terms of performance. Standing to the above expectations, the ASUS ZenBook UX331FA is the latest 13-inch ultra slim notebook from ASUS, which is one of the best affordable laptops for photo editing you can buy right now. It has a 13.3-inch full HD display with the excellent gamut of color and wide 178° viewing angles. Speaking about the specifications of the laptop, it is powered by an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U quad-core processor paired with 8GB of RAM.

The laptop also comes with a fingerprint sensor and the audio on the laptop is bolstered by Harman Kardon, making it the top most laptop in almost every segment for the asking price. Graphics on the laptop are handled by integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics which outputs enough power for light to medium photo editing work. All these powerful set of configurations make this laptop the top choice for students for multimedia usage such as photo editing, audio and video listening/editing and more.

The compact form factor of this laptop gains it an added advantage over its rivals in terms of portability and its battery life can also last for a full day. All in all, the Asus ZenBook UX331UA laptop is a worthy all-rounder and is a perfect machine if you’re a photographer and looking for a portable photo editing laptop.

The ASUS VivoBook S15 is another excellent option for photographers who wants a laptop with a dedicated GPU for photo editing. It comes with the lightweight chassis but with much more capable internals, which includes quad-core Intel Core i5-8265U processor and Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. So, if you can spend up to $1000, then the ASUS VivoBook S15 is one of the excellent ultrabooks you can buy for photo editing right now. | Check Price on Amazon

Hardware Specifications of Asus ZenBook UX331UA-AS51 Full HD Laptop
 Processor8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U 1.6GHz Quad-Core Processor (Turbo to 3.9 GHz)
 Storage512GB SSD
 GraphicsIntel UHD 620 Graphics
 Display13.3-Inch Full HD Display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 15 hours
 Weight2.5 lbs

$618.23 | Buy at Amazon

2. Dell G5 (2019) High Performance Laptop for Photo Editing

Dell G5 - best laptop for photo editing under 1000 dollars

Dell G5 is currently the best laptop you can buy for photo editing under $1000 because it offers punchy performance and features that are meant to make photographer’s life easier. It comes in a space black plastic and metal built chassis and comes integrated with a revolutionary thermal cooling technology. That means, the laptop can handle almost all the tasks you throw at it without getting heated.

Getting into the specifications and innards of this laptop, it is powered by latest 9th Gen Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 2.3GHz. For multitasking, it is provided with an 8GB of DDR4 RAM and for storage, it has 1TB of HDD and 128GB of SSD for faster file access. Stepping into the graphical abilities of the laptop, it comes with an adept Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Max-Q) GPU with 6GB of DDR6 graphics memory, which is the best you can get at this price point.

This powerful stacking of configuration in the Dell G5 makes it a powerful and a very efficient graphics performer. The laptop is idle for heavy graphics usage such as image editing, video editing, and gaming. Moreover, the spaciously arranged keyboard and wide trackpad make photo editing pleasure on this laptop.This is our most recommended laptop for people who doesn’t want to spend much and still want a laptop which can handle intensive photo and video editing work. Although its display isn’t the brightest and most colorful one, its powerful hardware makes it a worthy contender for power users who are trying to stay under $1000 mark.

Hardware Specifications of Dell G5 15-inch High Performance Laptop
 ProcessorIntel Core i5-9300H 2.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.1GHz)
 Storage1TB 5400 RPM Hard Drive + 128GB SSD
 GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB DDR6 Graphics
 Display15.6-Inch Full HD IPS Anti-Glare LED Display with 1920×1080 pixels resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 6 hours
 Weight5.9 lbs

$967.99 | Buy Now From Dell

Lenovo Legion Y740

If you don’t mind spending a little more than $1000 for added features, then Lenovo Legion Y740 is also a great laptop for photo editing. It offers a six-core Intel i7 CPU and dedicated Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU inside the chassis that weighs just 4.8 pounds. It is a lot more portable laptop than the above mentioned Dell G5 15″ Gaming Laptop. Moreover, its 15.6-inch full HD display is slightly better in terms of color reproduction and brightness which photographers will definitely appreciate. If your budget allows, then we highly recommend you to get the Lenovo Legion Y740 because it offers better display, features and hardware in a more portable chassis than the Dell G5. | 

3. Acer Aspire 5 Laptop Budget Laptop for Beginners in Photoshop

Acer Aspire 5 - best laptop for photo editing on a budget

Isn’t it surprising to see a laptop, on almost every list we provide? Well, if a laptop is making into various lists, then it certainly means that it has got all the efficacy and power to be the best. The Acer Aspire 5, as we keep on saying is a perfect laptop under budget for all those who are looking for a powerful laptop along with a reliable battery life.

Taking a glance at its specifications, the laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5 quad-core processor paired with an 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD for storage. It sports a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display and runs on Windows 10 out of the box. If you’re looking for a laptop, which can handle heavy image editing, then Acer Aspire 5 is a must consider laptop especially if you are tight on budget. That said, the graphics on this laptop are driven by NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics with 2GB of DDR5 memory which is another excellent aspect of this budget notebook.

The Acer Aspire 5 is specially designed for speed, mobility, and ease of usage. The laptop comes with a fairly lightweight chassis to easily carry it in the backpack and it also manages to look premium although it is completely built from polycarbonate plastic. Apart from that, you also get an exceptional battery life with this laptop which makes the deal even sweeter.This is our most recommended budget laptop which will be great pick for all beginners in photography and photo editing. As a beginner, you won’t have much money to spare on a laptop so you need a laptop which costs less and doesn’t compromise much in performance. Acer Aspire 5 offers just that. For under $600, this laptop offers dedicated GPU from Nvidia and quad-core 10th generation Intel processor. Of-course, there are few drawbacks like its display isn’t the best in the segment when it comes to brightness and color gamut, but it is the best specced laptop you can buy for photo editing if your budget is around $500.

Hardware Specifications of Acer Aspire 5 (A515-54G-53H6) Laptop
 ProcessorIntel Core i5-10210U Quad Core 1.6GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.2GHz)
 Storage512GB SSD
 GraphicsNvidia GeForce MX250 2GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display15.6-Inch Full HD LED-backlit IPS Display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUpto 9 hours
 Weight3.97 lbs

$849.99 | Buy at Amazon

4. LG Gram 17 Best Large Screen Option

LG Gram 17 - best large screen laptop for photo editing

For those who don’t want to miss the standard PC feel, the LG Gram 17 is a perfect option. It comes with a large 17-inch IPS display with 114% of color gamut and powerful hardware which makes it the best 17-inch laptop for photo editing right now. Its chassis is made from the special metal alloy and it complies with the 810G Military Standard so it is perfect for photographers who travels a lot and has to edit pictures on-the-go. Moreover, it is the world’s lightest 17-inch laptop weighing in at just 2.9 pounds, so you won’t be lugging this laptop around like other 17-inch laptops.

The colorful display and portable chassis isn’t all the laptop has got. It also comes with an equally tempting set of powerful configuration making it a very good laptop for photoshop. With its powerful Intel Core i7 processor paired up with a massive 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD, the LG Gram 17 laptop can handle quite a lot of tasks with ease.

Now let’s talk about the price tag, the laptop costs around $1800 and for the price it offers an excellent package overall, but it comes with Intel’s integrated Iris Plus graphics. That said, it can still handle all sorts of photo editing work on Photoshop or Lightroom without any problems, but it would struggle if you would try to edit videos on it. So, if you are looking for a large screen laptop solely for photo editing only, then LG Gram 17 is probably the best option right now.

Hardware Specifications of LG Gram 17
 ProcessorIntel Core i7-1065G7 Quad Core 1.3 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 3.9 GHz)
 Storage1TB SSD
 GraphicsIntel Iris Plus Graphics
 Display17-Inch IPS WQXGA Display (114% sRGB) with 2560 x 1600 Resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 11 hours
 Weight2.9 lbs

$1,515.23 | Buy Now From Amazon

HP Envy 17t

If you are looking for a 17-inch laptop which can handle photo and video editing as well, then HP Envy 17t is the one you should go with. It also comes with the i7 processor, but it has 512GB of SSD for storage and dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU which will be able to handle intensive photo and video editing work a lot more efficiently. However, it isn’t as thin and light as the LG Gram 17, but it’s a well-built machine and also lightweight enough to carry around in a backpack easily. | 

5. Apple MacBook Pro 16 Best MacBook for Photo Editing

Best Compact and High-end Laptop for Professional Photographers

Have you ever been to a professional photographer or video producer’s studio? The chances of they using a Mac is way higher than using a Windows-based laptop. That said, Apple’s MacBooks and iMacs are widely used for handling high-end graphics tools for image and video processing. And here is a compact yet, very powerful MacBook Pro 15, which comes with a stunning 16-inch True Tone Retina display with 3072 x 1920 Resolution.

For the internals, it is powered by the latest generation six-core Intel Core i7 processor paired up with a 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. This not only provides seamless multitasking, but also provides a very fast and reliable storage option. For the graphics, the laptop comes with dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU, which boosts up the graphics handling performance of the laptop.

The laptop comes with an all-metal unibody chassis, which gives it a premium look and feel. Moreover, this MacBook comes with a powerful set of photo and video editing tools including huge trackpad and the touch bar above the keyboard which aids a lot while editing photos in Photoshop on this laptop.

However, not everything about the MacBook Pro is praiseworthy. It has just 4 ports, 2 on either side and all of them are Thunderbolt USB Type-C. So, to transfer photos from your camera to the laptop you will need a dongle which isn’t included in the box. Moreover, its price is also comparatively higher than the similarly specced Windows laptops. That said, the MacBook Pro 15 is still one of the most preferred laptop by professionals because of its performance and reliability.If you think you can make it with the small display, then MacBook Pro 13 is also an excellent pick for photo editing. While it doesn’t come with dedicated GPU, the integrated Intel Iris graphics 655 on it is also more than enough for photo editing. So, if you want to save a bit and think that you will be fine with a smaller display, then MacBook Pro 13 is also worth checking out. | Check price on Amazon

Hardware Specifications of Apple MacBook Pro 16
 ProcessorIntel Core i7 Six Core 2.6GHz Processor (Coffee Lake) Turbo Boost Up to 4.5GHz
 Storage512GB SSD
 GraphicsAMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU with 4GB DDR6 Memory
 Display15.4 Inch True Tone Retina Display with 3072 x 1920 Pixels Resolution
 Operating SystemmacOS Mojave
 Battery LifeUp to 11 hours
 Weight4.3 lbs

6. HP ENVY 13t 4K Laptop Best Value for Money

HP Envy 13t - best laptop for photoshop with 4K display under 1000

The HP Envy 13 is one of our most recommended laptops for photographers who have to edit pictures on the go. The reason behind that is it offers 4K display in a lightweight, streamlined chassis, that too, at an affordable price. While most of the models with 4K display cost more than $1500, with this HP Envy 13, you can get it for around $1000.

It comes with a 13.3-inch 4K touchscreen display which is vivid and crisp looking. Speaking about the specifications of the laptop, it comes with 8th Generation quad-core Intel Core i7 processor paired with a massive 16GB of RAM. Although the processor is slightly old, it is still a competent one. It also features a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU which makes it a very capable performer when it comes to intensive media creation and editing work. Moreover, the laptop comes with a 512GB of SSD, which we think is more than enough for a photographer’s needs.

However, the battery backup of this laptop isn’t that great. It can last up to 5 to 6 hours on a single charge which could fall short if you travel a lot. But on an overall note, this HP Envy 13 laptop still offers excellent value for its price, and it is a complete package for budget buyers who don’t want to compromise on features.

Hardware Specifications of HP Envy 13 – Best Laptop For Photo Editing/Photographers
 ProcessorIntel Core i7-8565U Quad-Core 1.8 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.6 GHz)
 Storage512GB SSD
 GraphicsNVidia GeForce MX250 2GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display13.3-Inch Diagonal 4K IPS WLED-backlit Touchscreen Display with 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 6 hours
 Weight5.1 lbs

$926.43 | Buy Now From Amazon

If you think that your workload doesn’t demand a 4K display and powerful specs with dedicated GPU, then you can get the HP Envy 13t with 13-inch full HD display and Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD for under $800. | Configure yours at HP

7. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Best for Photographers

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 - best laptops for photoshop with pen

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is one of the most versatile Windows laptop you can buy right now. It comes with the flexibility of a tablet and offers the productivity of a laptop, which makes it ideal for photographers to view and edit pictures on-the-go. It sports a 12.3-inch PixelSense pressure sensitive (267 PPI) display with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels. The display has excellent viewing angles as you would expect and it also covers a wide color gamut.

The Surface Pro 7 comes in various variants, with differed RAM, processor, and storage configurations. We think its variant with Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD would be perfect for most users. However, if you need more power then there’s also option of i7 processor, and up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD. Moreover, you can buy a detachable keyboard, which is yet another added advantage for photographers, who don’t want to miss out on traditional laptop experience.

The Surface Pro 7 is built out of premium grade material and is a powerhouse in all aspects. The laptop does a commendable job in handling graphics, heavy applications, multimedia and more. It runs bloat free Windows 10 out of the box, and it offers a lot of new features that everyone will love, especially if you’re into photo editing. The best part is, it can last up to 13.5 hours on a single charge, so you can travel with this laptop/tablet combo without worrying about charging it frequently. All in all, the beautiful display with powerful hardware in a versatile chassis make Surface Pro 6 a complete overall package for traveling photographers.

Hardware Specifications of Microsoft Surface Pro 7
 ProcessorIntel Core i5-1035G4 10th Generation quad-core Processor (Turbo up to 3.7 GHz)
 Storage256GB SSD
 GraphicsIntel Iris Plus Graphics
 Display12.3 Inch PixelSense 10 Point Multi-Touch (267PPI) Display with 2736 x 1824 Resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
 Weight1.7 lbs (without type cover)

$999.99 | Buy Now From Amazon

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

The Surface Laptop 3 is another excellent option for photo editing from the house of Microsoft, which now comes in two different sizes 13″ and bigger 15″. The 13-inch model comes with an Intel hardware, and it can be configured up to 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor. While the new 15-inch model comes with an AMD hardware and can be configured up to AMD Ryzen 7 processor. Doesn’t matter what size you go with, you are getting a pretty powerful machine to carry out all sorts of photo editing work. Moreover, both models are lightweight enough to easily carry and work on-the-go. So, if you prefer the standard clamshell laptop over the 2-in-1 Surface Pro 7, then the Surface Laptop 3 is the best option with a bigger touchscreen display and powerful hardware. |

8. Dell XPS 15 Our Top Pick

Dell XPS 15 7590 - Best Laptop For Photo Editing 2020

Dell XPS 15 is a beautifully crafted laptop with excellent build quality and high performance hardware inside a thin and light chassis that weighs just 4 pounds. It is one of the smallest 15-inch laptops you can buy right now, thanks to its beautiful 15-inch display with slim bezels. The display being one of the USP comes with a 4K resolution and covers the 100% of Adobe sRGB color spectrum making it one of the best laptops for professional photo editing work. Moreover, the display is also extremely bright to use it in the direct sunlight, and it is touchscreen panel so you can quickly edit pictures and do some rough touch ups while you are on-the-go.

Speaking about the configuration of the laptop, it packs in a power house inside in the form of Intel Core i7 hexa-core processor. The power of processor is paired with 16GB of RAM for efficient multitasking and 1TB of solid state drive to provide that extra oomph for quickly loading the bulky editing softwares. Moreover, it also comes with a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, which is yet another impressive aspect of this ultrabook.

The Dell XPS 15’s hardware can handle even the most intensive kind of photo editing and video editing work with ease. It offers beautiful 4K display which is probably the best you can get on any laptop right now and it is also superior in terms of build quality and overall look and feel. So, the Dell XPS 15 is yet another perfect laptop if you’re looking for the best laptop for photographers and photo editing.

Dell XPS 15 can be configured with a lot of other configurations and if you don’t want the 4K display, then Dell XPS 15 is also available with 15.6-inch full HD infinityedge display. While it isn’t touch enabled like the 4K panel, it can still produce 100% of the Adobe sRGB color gamut. | Check price on Dell

Hardware Specifications of Dell XPS 15
 ProcessorIntel Core i7-9750H 9th Generation Hexa-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.5 GHz)
 Storage1TB Solid State Drive
 GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD InfinityEdge Touchscreen Display with 100% sRGB 
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 9 hours
 Weight4.5 lbs

9. HP Spectre x360 (2020)

HP Spectre x360 2020 - best 2 in 1 laptop for photo editing

The recently refreshed HP Spectre X360 is another excellent laptop for editing photos which comes with Stylus supporting Windows ink inside the package. The 2020 HP Spectre laptops have a unique hexagonal shape which seems inspired by Lamborghini. It is finished in a stunning dark ash grey color and has an all-metal unibody chassis. As far as the specifications of the laptop are concerned, it offers a robust set of hardware gaining it an upper hand over a few other convertible laptops in this list.

It is powered by a six-core Intel i7 processor with the turbo clock frequency up to 4.5 GHz, and it comes preloaded with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD for storage. For the graphics, the device has powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 dedicated GPU which adequately suffices all the graphics requirements to run photo editing software smoothly on this laptop. The display on this HP X360 15 is a sure head turner. It is vivid 15.6-inch 4K IPS panel which produces beautiful colors, to be precise it covers whopping 157% of sRGB color gamut making it one of the best convertible laptops for photo editing right now. Moreover, the display is touch-enabled and supports all the Windows Ink compatible stylus to let user edit photos with precision.

All in all, this laptop doesn’t miss out on any features and its hardware allows you to do almost any task you throw at it be it the photo or video editing or light gaming, so it is a perfect blend of work, play, and power. The powerful hardware specifications and the unique hexagonal shape of the laptop are few of the outstanding aspects of this laptop which makes it stand out in the segment. Moreover, it also offers a reliable battery backup for uninterrupted photo editing sessions.

Hardware Specifications of HP Spectre X360 15-Inch 4K Convertible Laptop with Active Stylus
 ProcessorIntel Core i7-9750H 9th Generation 2.6GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.5 GHz)
 Storage256GB SSD
 GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 1650 (Max-Q) 4GB DDR5 Graphics
 Display15.6 Inch 4K Touchscreen IPS WLED-backlit Display with 3840 x 2160 Resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 9 hours
 Weight4.8 lbs

10. Microsoft Surface Book 2 For creative professionals

Microsoft Surface Book 2 - best laptop for photoshop and Adobe lightroom

Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a detachable laptop, which on detaching the keyboard functions as a tablet. It comes in two different sizes (13 and 15-inch). Both come with a PixelSense Pressure Sensitive (267 PPI) display which supports Surface Pen and Surface Dial accessories.

As far as specifications are concerned, it comes with options to opt for newest 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. It comes preloaded with Windows 10 out of the box, and it delivers impeccable performance along with comprehensive security. The base models are housed with Intel integrated graphics, but there’s also an option to opt for dedicated Nvidia GPU in higher variants. Hence, the Surface Book 2 is able enough to handle graphics-intensive photo editing applications like Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom with ease.

Speaking about the image editing abilities of this laptop, what makes it unique is not the specifications or form-factor that it offers, but the provision of Surface Pen, which makes it a delight to edit images. Moreover, there is surface dial available for Surface Book, which provides an intuitive new way to edit photos like a pro on this laptop. All in all, this is a perfect laptop for creative photo editing professionals who like to fancy their skills with the pen.

Hardware Specifications of Microsoft Surface Book 2 (Base Model)
 Processor8th Generation Intel Core i5-8350U Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 3.6GHz)
 Storage256GB SSD
 GraphicsIntel HD Integrated Graphics
 Display13.5 Inch PixelSense Touchscreen 267 PPI Display with 3000 x 2000 Resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro Creators Update 64-bit
 Battery LifeUpto 17 hours of video playback
 Weight3.38 lbs

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