10 Best Laptops For Photo Editing (2022)

Best Laptops for Photo Editing – Overview

Photo editing is one of the main aspects of any photographer’s workflow. However, it can be frustrating because the programs used for photo editing are resource-intensive.

As a result, you need to identify the right machine for the job.

Although a top-spec desktop is often the perfect tool for editing, it won’t work for everyone.

This is especially the case for photographers who travel a lot or just want a machine to take to a coffee shop and edit while having breakfast.

As a result, a high-powered laptop is an obvious solution. However, the top laptops for photo editing need more than just the best processors, graphics cards, and RAM sticks.

They also need to have a good battery life so that power outages don’t interrupt the workflow.

What’s more, the best laptops for photo editing must have displays that accurately reproduce colors and contrast so that the images are well represented when being edited.

While most photographers will get the latest MacBook for photo editing, you’ll also find that Windows OS laptops can handle photo editing without lagging.

That said, let’s look at the best photo editing laptops running Mac and Windows OS.

What Should You Consider When Buying a Laptop for Photo Editing?

Photo editing requires a top-spec laptop, especially if you’re shooting in RAW. So, it’s vital that you know which components are crucial for enhancing the editing speeds.

That said, some of the features you need to check when buying a photo editing laptop include:

Display Resolution

The laptop’s display should be bright and capable of displaying colors accurately.

Get a laptop that has at least Full HD (1080p) resolution for basic editing work. However, you’ll need a laptop with a 4K (2160p) resolution for high-res photo editing.

Graphics Card

A laptop’s graphics card is responsible for what is shown on the screen. There are two types of graphics cards; discrete and integrated.

Discrete graphics cards handle all the graphical work, whereas integrated graphics cards leave all the work to the CPU.

Thus, if you can buy a laptop with a discrete graphics card such as those by NVidia go for it.

If you have to buy a laptop with an integrated graphics card, ensure that the processor on the laptop is very powerful such as an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 or i9.

Processor

The processor plays a crucial role in deciding the overall performance of your laptop, especially when you’re running high-performance editing programs such as Photoshop.

You should get a laptop with an M1 processor for MacBooks or Intel core i7 and i9 for Windows laptops.

Laptops with Core i3 and i5 will also work well if you’re a beginner in photography, but the more you advance, the more you will need a better-speed PC.

RAM

As a pro photographer, you will be multitasking a lot when editing your stills.

To ensure that your laptop runs smoothly without lag during editing, it’s recommended that it has at least 8 GB of RAM. If that’s not enough, you can check to see if your laptop has extra RAM slots.

Storage

To store many photos on a laptop, you need one with at least a 512GB storage drive. However, to get better overall performance, the storage drive on the PC should be an SSD.

Some of The Top Laptops for Photo Editing Are as Follows

Best Laptops for Photo EditingProcessorGPURAMDisplayStorageBattery LifeWeight
Acer Concept D7 Ezel10th Gen Intel Core i7NVIDIA GeForce RTX 206016GB DDR4 15.6" 4K Touchscreen1TB SSDAt least 7 hours5.51 pounds
Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 1510th Gen Intel Core i9NVIDIA GeForce RTX 307032GB DDR4 15.6" FHD Touchscreen (primary) & 14" FHD Touchscreen (secondary)1TB SSDAt least 7 hours5.16 pounds
Dell XPS 1510th Gen Intel Core i7NVIDIA GTX 1650Ti 32GB DDR4 15.6" 4K+ Touchscreen1TB SSDAt least 12 hours4.05 pounds
Gigabyte Aero 1711th Gen Intel Core i9NVIDIA GeForce RTX 308032GB DDR4 17.3" 4K Touchscreen1TB SSDAt least 6 hours5.8 pounds
HP Spectre x360 11th Gen Intel Core i7Intel Iris Xe Graphics16GB DDR413.3" 4K OLED Touchscreen1TB SSDAt least 11 hours2.8 pounds
HP ZBook Studio11th Gen Intel Core i7NVIDIA GeForce RTX 307032GB DDR4 15.6" 4K OLED Touchscreen1TB SSDAt least 7 hours3.95 pounds
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 11th Gen Intel Core i7Intel Iris Xe Graphics32GB DDR4 14" FHD+ IPS Anti-glare panel512B SSDAt least 15 hours2.5 pounds
2020 MacBook Air M1 Apple M1 chip7 Core GPU16 GB13.3" Retina IPS display512B SSDAt least 14 hours2.8 pounds
2021 MacBook Pro M1 Apple M1 Pro chip16 Core GPU16 GB16" Liquid Retina XDR display1TB SSDAt least 21 hours4.7 pounds
Microsoft Surface Laptop 411th Gen Intel Core i7 Intel Iris Xe Graphics32 GB DDR415" PixelSense Touchscreen 1TB SSDAt least 12 hours3.4 pounds

1. Acer Concept D7

Best Laptops for Photo Editing
Best Laptops for Photo Editing – Acer Concept D7

Acer is known for making powerful gaming laptops; however, with the Concept D7, a lot of experience has gone into designing a thin and powerful laptop ideal for photo editing.

This laptop’s body has a lot of ports so that you can plug in your camera or SD card to transfer stills and footage with ease.

It’s also not very heavy, so you can move around with it if you edit on the go most of the time.

Key features include:

  • Processor:  10th Gen Intel Core i7
  • GPU: NVidia GeForce RTX 2060
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4
  • Display: 15.6″ 4K Touchscreen
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery Life: At least 7 hours
  • Weight: 4.63 pounds

2. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15

Best Laptops for Photo Editing
Best Laptops for Photo Editing – Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15

The main selling point of the Asus ZenBook Duo is its massive secondary touch display. Asus calls it the ScreenPad Plus, and you can utilize it as a secondary screen to display a different app from what’s on the main screen.

You can also split it into two or three columns, each having a different app. This will come in handy when editing photos because you can open the main app you’re using, for instance, Photoshop and folders on the secondary display.

The ZenBook Duo even has a screen extension feature that allows you to display one app on both screens.

Key features include:

  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i9
  • GPU: NVidia GeForce RTX 3070
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR4
  • Display: 15.6″ FHD Touchscreen (primary) & 14″ FHD Touchscreen (secondary)
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery Life: At least 7 hours
  • Weight: 5.16 pounds

3. Dell XPS 15

Best Laptops for Photo Editing
Best Laptops for Photo Editing – Dell XPS 15

With the XPS 15, Dell has once again proved that they are the brand to beat when it comes to making sleek and stylish Windows 10 laptops.

In addition, Dell has designed the XPS 15 so well that it might be the best Windows laptop for photo editing.

If you can’t get the hang of Mac OS or simply don’t want a MacBook, this might be the laptop for you.

The XPS runs on Windows 10, soon to be Windows 11, meaning you have access to some of the top photo editing apps, such as Photoshop.

What’s more, Dell has outfitted the XPS 15 with some of the best components you can find in any laptop right now, such as a 4K+ touch display and a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor.

Key features include:

  • Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i7
  • GPU: NVidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR4
  • Display: 15.6″ 4K+ Touchscreen
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery Life: At least 12 hours
  • Weight: 4.05 pounds

4. Gigabyte Aero 17

Best Laptops for Photo Editing
Best Laptops for Photo Editing – Gigabyte Aero 17

The Aero 17 is one of the most potent laptops ideal for editing that you’ll find out there thanks to its jaw-dropping 11th Gen Intel Core i9 processor alongside an RTX 3080 graphics card from NVidia and 32GB of DDR4 RAM.

What makes the Aero 17 perfect for editing is its 17.3-inch 4K touch display that is Pantone-certified and with 100% sRGB coverage.

This ensures that any photos you edit on this machine will look good, and the color accuracy will also be superb.

Key features include:

  • Processor:  11th Gen Intel Core i9
  • GPU: NVidia GeForce RTX 3080
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR4
  • Display: 17.3″ 4K Touchscreen
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery Life: At least 6 hours
  • Weight: 5.8 pounds

5. HP Spectre x360 

Best Laptops for Photo Editing
Best Laptops for Photo Editing – HP Spectre x360 

The ‘x360’ portion of this laptop’s name means that its display can flip up to 360 degrees so that this machine can convert into a tablet.

This makes the Spectre x360 an excellent device for photo editing, especially when using the provided smartpen.

Windows 10 will automatically detect when you flip the screen and adapt the UI to make it more touch-friendly.

What’s more, at 2.8 pounds, the Spectre x360 is lightweight considering it’s a 15.6-inch machine, meaning that you can carry it around without getting tired.

Key features include:

  • Processor:  11th Gen Intel Core i7
  • GPU:  Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • Display: 13.3″ 4K OLED Touchscreen
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery Life: At least 11 hours
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds

6. HP ZBook Studio

Best Laptops for Photo Editing
Best Laptops for Photo Editing – HP ZBook Studio

The HP ZBook Studio has an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and one of NVidia’s best GPUs. This means that this workstation is more than capable of handling any photo editing software you throw at it.

The only downside of this machine is its less than impressive battery life maxing out at around 7 hours.

However, if you’re willing to overlook the battery life, you will be getting one of HP’s best laptops to travel with and use at home.

Key features include:

  • Processor:  11th Gen Intel Core i7
  • GPU:  ‎NVidia GeForce RTX 3070
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR4
  • Display: 15.6″ 4K OLED Touchscreen
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery Life: At least 7 hours
  • Weight: 3.95 pounds

7. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 

Best Laptops for Photo Editing
Best Laptops for Photo Editing – Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon has long been an excellent laptop for photo editing, and the latest generation of this machine is no different.

What you’re getting is a blend of top specifications and style in a compact and lightweight body.

This laptop features several 14-inch display options, with each one of them having at least a Full HD (1080p) resolution, 400 nits of max brightness, and 100% sRGB color exposure.

You also get an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and 32GB of DDR4 RAM.

Key features include:

  • Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i7
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR4
  • Display: 14″ FHD+ IPS Anti-glare panel
  • Storage: 512B SSD
  • Battery Life: At least 15 hours
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds

8. 2020 MacBook Air M1 

Best Laptops for Photo Editing
Best Laptops for Photo Editing – 2020 MacBook Air M1 

The 2020 MacBook Air M1 is another laptop from Apple that excels in photo editing. It has a sleek design, ergonomics, and outstanding performance for a lightweight laptop.

The 2020 MacBook might not have the same level of capability as its bigger brother, the 2021 MacBook Pro M1, but if you value portability as opposed to sheer performance, then this is the MacBook for you.

Overall it’s a great machine that can handle photo editing well, even if you’re dealing with RAW images that usually require top speeds.

Key features include:

  • Processor: Apple M1 chip
  • GPU: 7‑Core GPU
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Display: 13.3″ Retina IPS display
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Battery Life: At least 14 hours
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds

9. 2021 MacBook Pro M1 

Best Laptops for Photo Editing
Best Laptops for Photo Editing – 2021 MacBook Pro M1 

The 2021 MacBook Pro M1 is perhaps the best all-around notebook for photo editing.

Last year Apple abandoned Intel chips in favor of their M1 chips to the delight of many. As a result, this year’s MacBook Pro M1 has taken performance to the next level.

The M1 Pro chip on the MacBook Pro is so powerful that it rivals Apple’s desktops when it comes to running editing apps such as Final Cut Pro and Photoshop.

However, do remember that Apple desktops have much better specs, so this is very impressive. What’s more, the 2021 MacBook Pro now has the best battery life ever seen in a MacBook.

Key features include:

  • Processor:  Apple M1 Pro chip
  • GPU: 16‑Core GPU
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Display: 16″ Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery Life: At least 21 hours
  • Weight: 4.7 pounds

10. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 

Best Laptops for Photo Editing
Best Laptops for Photo Editing – Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 

The Surface Laptop 4 is impressive when it comes to photo editing, and it’s easily one of the best laptops that Microsoft has ever made.

It has a sleek design with a lot of power under the hood thanks to its 11th Gen Intel Core i7 and Iris Xe graphics.

You also get a high-res PixelSense touch display that delivers impressive colors when editing photos.

Microsoft has outfitted this laptop with some of the best components out there; any photo editing apps you want to use will run superbly. 

Best of all, it has good battery life and should last a full day before you need to plug it in, which allows you to edit without worrying regardless of where you are.

Key features include:

  • Processor:  11th Gen Intel Core i7
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR4
  • Display: 15″ PixelSense Touchscreen
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery Life: At least 12 hours
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds

Final Thought

To sum it all up, you’ll come across various laptops in the market, but not all of them can edit photos or even videos.

You need a machine that excels in processing speed, GPU performance, battery life, among other things.

The best laptop for photo editing is the 2021 MacBook Pro M1, but if you want a Windows laptop go for the Dell XPS 15.

HP Laptop for Video Editing

Best HP Laptop for Gaming

External Monitor for Laptop

Best Chromebook for Kids

4k 144hz Monitor