We are going to teach you everything you need to know to buy the best laptop. We will show you all the information you need to make a decision.
We will give you our top three choices, each of which will be covered in detail.
By the end of this article, we hope that you have all the information you need, and if you don’t, feel free to leave a comment.
Let’s hop in.
What You Need From A Photo Editing Laptop
It is important to understand what you need from the laptop you buy.
There are specific things you need to take into account that common consumers don’t.
First: Understand What You’re Doing
It is important to ask what you are doing.
The obvious use case is image editing, so we will be more specific. Are you using video? Are there other productivity tasks on your laptop unrelated to photo editing?
Do you have personal needs unrelated to work?
Buying decisions can’t be made in a vacuum. You need to be aware of the options available to you and the things you will be doing with your computer.
A bare-minimum system with weak internals and low memory will get in the way if you are a professional who works on the web.
As we progress into the article, keep in mind these thoughts.
Recommended Tech Specs
According to the current requirements page for Adobe, what you need to run the program is not too much.
A processor running at 2 GHz? Over a decade ago, there was a standard for OpenGL.
Every modern PC is capable of meeting these requirements. Just about any laptop will do the job here.
Not at all. These are not recommended. A lot that will have a heavy impact on your experience is being left out.
The modern CPUs are made of multiple cores. Prior to the advent of dual-core processors in the early 2000s, a processing unit with a single core and thread attached to that core was understood to be aCPU.
The operating system sees corresponding threads in the additional cores.
Not every core has a single thread The number of effectiveprocessors seen by the operating system can be doubled with the use of two threads tied to a single core.
It is easy to program around a single thread. This is how many applications are built to function.
Productivity-centered applications are built to use multiple threads.
Productivity applications will function faster when you use a multi-core or multi-threadedCPU. If the individual cores are weak, you will experience a much faster process.
You may find yourself doing a lot of heavy multitasking if you use a multi-thread processor.
You will need RAM. There is a lot of RAM and a good speed.
8 gigabytes of ram is enough for ideal performance in most scenarios.
In summation, you’ll really need:
- A multi-core processor with fast individual core numbers.
More than 8 gigabytes or more of memory will do.
Keep going for system requirements. They will need their own sections.
When people talk about screens, they usually talk about size and resolution. These are important, but they are not your top concern as a professional.
Accuracy is what you need the most. It is color accuracy best gaming laptop under 1000. Many laptops have screens for media consumers.
They want to provide vivid, saturated color and lightning-fast responsiveness, but not the accuracy that a professional needs from their system.
In order of importance, here are the four specs you need to be worried about.
- Color Accuracy
- Screen Resolution
- Screen Size
- Viewing Angles
Screen resolution and screen size are determined independently of other specifications.
Panel type is pretty self-explanatory. Major differences between the three types of panels are less self-explanatory.
We’ll list them below:
The cheapest and most common type of panel. Very fast responsiveness, but poor color reproduction. It’s terrible for professional color work for budget users.
The most common panel type. Very fast responsiveness, but poor color reproduction. It’s terrible for professional color work. The most expensive panel type is also the most accurate. If you want to do professional color work, viewing angles and color reproduction are what you want. Light bleed, which can make dark scenes look bad, is most relevant in this context.
The most expensive panel type is also the most accurate. If you want to do professional color work, viewing angles and color reproduction are what you want. Light bleed, which can make dark scenes look bad, is most relevant in this context. The main appeal of VA over something likeIPS would be an improvement in dark scenes, since the backlight bleed is not a concern with this panel type. The viewing angles and color accuracy will suffer. VA can only be used as a secondary display for viewing completed content or for those who work with dark scenes.
You will want to aim for anIPS panel with a high color accuracy rating of at minimum 100% sRGB coverage, and ideally 90% or more, though these are harder to come by.
If you’re confused, we’ll list the standards of color accuracy below.
- Most electronics use sRGB color space.
Most electronics use a standard color space. Standard color space is used by TVs.
TVs use standard color space. AdobeRGB is used for printed materials. If you want to print out your content, you need a high Adobe color rating.
Color space is used for printed materials. If you want to print out your content, you need a high Adobe color rating. The next frontier for future PCs, smartphones, and other digital devices will be a high-end color space standard.
The better the screen resolution, the simpler it is. Fine detail is important for any kind of image work.
It is mostly personal with screen size. There are three screen sizes for laptops. 17-inch will give you the best screen real estate for professional use.
Storage Needs: Size and Speed
There are two main types of storage in the PC.
There is a spinning disk inside the enclosure of a hard disk drive. Data is written to and read from this disk, and the overall speed is limited. In the case of laptops, the desktop standard of 7200rpm is usually used instead of 5400rpm.
Solid state drives are named because they lack moving parts. There is no spinning disk or moving parts in this picture.
The data is written to and read from the flash memory on the drive, which makes the drive much faster than a hard drive.
The gap between the speeds of an HDD and an SSDs can be even larger if the SSD is using aPCI Express or NVMe connection.
Hard drives are less expensive per gigabyte than solid state drives. For most users it becomes a question of quality or quantity.
So, which is better for photo editing?
You might think that an HDD is enough for editing photos. Even though single images are not so large, opening and editing them will take more time than with anSSD.
The rest of the PC can be considered as well. How long it takes to load your assets, and your startup time. For PC boot times, anSSD is faster than an HDD.
You can still get a decent amount of storage at a fair price, because the price discrepancy is less egregious than it used to be.
If it’s possible, we recommend that you use an SSD for your laptop. Any productivity machine? The responsiveness and speed of anSSD is very useful.
If you need more storage space, you can use external or cloud storage. For the best of both worlds, you can opt for a laptop that uses a hybrid storage solution.
In this scenario, keep your OS and apps on your flash drive, and use the hard drive to store your files.
Build Quality and Portability
The best way to describe build quality is the feel of your components. Something built with steel or glass is going to feel better to the touch than something made with plastic and will be more durable in case of an impact or bend.
The Macbooks they take inspiration from are built from sturdy, high-quality materials that give them a better feel than a cheap, mostly-plastic laptop.
Some keyboards may feel squishy and unresponsive, while others may feel clicky and pleasurable.
It’s difficult to assess build quality without the machine. It is important for professionals that our selections have good build quality.
Machines with poor build quality can be less enjoyable to use.
We have to consult the laws of space and thermodynamics in order to be able to move quickly.
Do not run away! You think it is simpler.
When it comes to laptops, you have to balance performance and size. It may be difficult to find space for larger and heavier laptops in your workplace.
You will need a larger bag for carrying them.
On the other side of the spectrum, a 13-inch laptop is ideal for a professional on the go, but unless you have truly 20/20 vision, the screen real estate simply won’t be enough for serious working sessions.
Reduced performance is one of the issues you will come across.
Electronics heat up. They will fail if the space they generate heat in is small. The hotter a component is the more heat it will generate.
It’s not possible to make machines that are small and have the best performance on the market, because the cooling required for that performance is not possible with some form factors.
Ultra-thin laptops have some drawbacks. If you want to cram an Intel Core i7 into that little box, you need to make sure the cooling is good.
When PC components get too hot, they “throttle” their own performance in order to protect themselves, which causes issues with ultrathin laptops.
Here is our advice for an ideal balance.
- If you want the best performance and productivity, you should get a 17-inch laptop with high-end components and reasonable thickness.
You can get a 17-inch laptop with high-end components and reasonable thickness. If you want the best portable that doesn’t impact performance or productivity, go for a 15-inch laptop with a mid-range spec.
Photo editing isn’t as demanding as you might think.
If you want to prolong the life of your laptop, you should invest in a laptop cooling pad.
Even if the system cooler keeps the heat at a healthy level, it is always better for performance.
Extra Hardware Features
Let’s talk about extra hardware features.
Specifically relevant to image editing and on-the-go professionals, we feel are convertible form factors.
A convertible laptop is a laptop that can be used as a device. For those who prefer doing image editing with a stylus or their fingertips, these laptops are particularly useful.
It’s self-explanatory. If you get a laptop that has a multi-touch screen, you want to make sure that you get the best possible control.
Multi-touch is better for things like pinch-to-zoom and gesture controls than single-touch.
We can’t find a photography- capable camera on any laptop
For the most part, if you need to use a camera, get a proper camera.
There is no substitute for professional use. Laptops can do a lot of things at the same time, but not pro-level photography.
Our Picks: Best Laptops for Photo Editing
We are going to show you our three top picks for different budgets. We will give you a detailed explanation so you can make a decision.
The budget pick is Dell Inspiron 13 7000.
If you are still serious about photo editing, the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 is the first choice.
This is a 13.3-inch 2-in-1 laptop with a decent quad-core Ryzen 5 2500U processor embedded, as well as a few other things.
The 2-in-1 form factor makes this a particularly compelling pick for on-the-go work since it is a touchscreen.
The screen isn’t the best in the market, but it is a solid panel with good color accuracy and viewing angles.
If you work with a lot of bright and vivid imagery, you may want to save up for a higher end pick. Calibration is recommended before you get to work because the display is good for the price range.
The form factor and specifications of the laptop shine for its price range. If you are willing to do extra work calibrating the display and are a beginner/freelancer who can’t afford a higher-end model, this is a great choice.
This is a great beginner’s machine because of the form factor and the 8GB of RAM. Aim higher if you are a professional.
The value pick is Gigabyte AERO 15 Classic.
The value pick is where things get better.
This is the AERO 15 Classic. Superb color accuracy and wide color gamut support are some of the benefits of the 15-inch laptop.
You don’t get a foldable form factor or a touch screen, but you do get a display that is good enough for professional photo editing. The X-Rite Pantone certification speaks for itself.
You are also getting some solid tech specifications for the money you are spending. You get an Intel Core i7-9750H which has 6 cores and 12 threads.
You also get a full 16 gigabytes of memory and a graphics card for free. You are already well beyond the basic photo or image editing you may need. You could start rendering and editing video with these specs.
There are a lot of extra ports and per-key lighting on the keyboard. The Intel AC wi-fi is our favorite extra feature because it gives us better speeds and reception on compatible wireless networks.
You get a 512 gigabyte flash drive. This will make your PC feel as responsive as a lightning bolt.
There aren’t a lot of downsides worth mentioning. Unless you want a 2-in-1 screen for your image work, there is nothing to complain about with this laptop. Take a look at our Value Pick or Top Performance Pick if you want the 2-in-1 form factor.
Do you want a 2-in-1 form factor in the price range?
The Performance Pick is the Predator 900.
The machine will come at a price.
The Triton 900 is a 17.3 inch laptop that is a desktop replacement. If you want to leave behind the world of mid-range graphics and high definition displays, then the Acer Predator Triton is for you.
Let’s discuss the screen first. It has a multi-touch display. It is possible to turn this laptop into a 2-in-1 because it is on a hinge that allows it to be flipped forward and back as much as you like.
If you prefer a touch interface for image editing but don’t want to sacrifice anything in terms of tech spec or display fidelity, this is the laptop for you.
This isn’t just a 17.3 inch display. This is a full 4K display which makes it great for picking out details in photographs and images without needing to zoom in.
It has full coverage of the AdobeRGB color gamut, which is more than adequate for the image work you will be doing with it.
The screen and form factor are all that is left. The laptop is from superb to ridiculous.
The Intel Core i7-9750H is the same chip used in the laptop above.
It is now in a laptop with a more powerful cooling system. If you want to supplement this beast with a cooling pad, it should be able to reach its 4.5 GHz maximum.
The laptop has the RTX 2080 in it. This is a full-fat graphics card, or as close as you can get with a laptop, and it isn’t a cut-down Max-Q version of the RTX 2080
The laptop should be 67 percent more powerful if everything scales properly. This is a true powerhouse for video editing and other tasks.
If you took the Gigabyte Aero 15 and decided it should have twice the capacity, this would be what it would look like. You will be hard-pressed to use the full capacity of the RAM available to you.
If you are a professional and you want the best, then the Predator 900 is our top choice. The form factor and display fidelity are all present.
We are sure that for some of you, the lack of restraint is irrelevant.
That is what the earlier two picks were for.
Is it still hard to pick the right computer? To help you in the comments!