Best laptop for photo editing in 2023
It’s here – our guide to the best laptop for photo editing in 2023.
If you’re a creative professional, you’ll know the value of a good laptop. However, within that bracket, there are definitely some which are more suited to certain uses. This is especially true when it comes to managing graphics and images. A bright, clear display and good processing power can make all the difference if you work in photography or film. If you’re on the hunt for the best laptop for photo editing, we are here to help.
Whether you want to prioritize a big, easy-to-see display or a super-portable smaller set-up, there are plenty of options to choose from. We’ve rounded up some of the very best, so you don’t have to trawl the internet searching.
Read on for our take on the best laptop for photo editing in 2023.
Products at a Glance
How we picked the best laptop for photo editing in 2023
When we were compiling this guide, there were a few things we took into consideration. Firstly, we made sure all the laptops mentioned had a high-functioning internal processor, as well as plenty of storage. This is key for storing images and videos, especially high-quality ones which take up a lot of space. Furthermore, we looked for screens with high resolution and clear, vibrant colors, so you can clearly see what you’re doing.
Laptops with a good selection of ports were prioritized, as were ones with a generally high-quality design that would last. Finally, we aimed to highlight laptops with a nice aesthetic. Although not a number one priority, this is still desirable for many creative professionals.
Now, without further ado, here are our best laptops for photo editing.
Best laptop for photo editing in 2023
- Good storage options
- Super powerful
- Gorgeous OLED screen
- Battery life leaves a lot to be desired.
The Dell XPS 15 is a great all-rounder option which can take pretty much any task you throw at it – and then some.
It comes with great storage options, starting at 16GB of RAM and ranging up to 64GB. Hard disk space ranges from a respectable 1 TB to a mega 4 TB. No matter your photo storage requirements, you’ll be fine with this laptop. Plus, the incredible i9 processor option and capable Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU mean tasks are completed quickly and efficiently.
In terms of display, options vary. However, our favourite, the striking OLED screen, is bright and vibrant enough to clearly show off any image, with a slim bezel-free chassis and generally attractive and lightweight frame. The 4K technology means this laptop can handle video editing too.
In terms of color reproduction, the OLED XPS 15 hits 239% of the sRGB gamut, while the non-OLED version reaches 210%. Plus, the PremierColor software lets you modify color options to your heart’s content.
The SD card reader ticks all the boxes too. However, the battery life isn’t great and the laptop does run pretty hot, especially with the more powerful CPU options.
- Impressive color gamut coverage
- Vibrant, large display
- Good storage
If you’re an Apple fan and budget is not a massive concern, the MacBook Pro M2 Max is a great premium choice, especially for creative professionals. Hefty storage and a stellar display make storing and editing even large image files a breeze. However, before you get excited, be aware this is a pricey piece of kit – although if you are a creative professional with a lot of clients, it might just be worth it.
The larger 16” screen makes viewing photos that much easier than the smaller 13” version. The display boasts 3456 x 2234 resolution with 254 pixels per inch. True Tone color technology enables flawless color, no matter the images you are working with.
Storage starts at 16GB and ranges up to 96GB, giving yo photo editors loads of legroom.
- Low brightness
The Lenovo IdeaPad is a great budget option for those of you looking to photo edit without completely breaking the bank.
It comes with a 4k (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) display, giving users plenty of clarity. However, unfortunately, it is rated at a modest 250 nits of brightness, which may be too dim for some users. White backgrounds don’t necessarily, therefore, get as much attention as they should, and colors, though rich, can often look soft. However, luckily the contrast is solid, though reflections from the touch panel block wide viewing angles.
In regard to its design, the Flex 5 is a nifty touchscreen laptop, however, it doesn’t come with a stylus as some convertibles do. Regardless, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook is an appealing touch-screen 2-in-1, with above-average performance and a comfortable keyboard – overall making it a great budget/beginner option for those of you looking to get into photo editing.
Whilst the Razer Blade Pro 17 is a leading gaming laptop, and may not be the most obvious choice for photo editing, it is more than equipped to do so, and to an incredibly high standard. The Razer Blade Pro 17 packs some of the most powerful mobile hardware currently on the market, including a new Nvidia RTX 3080 laptop GPU and an eight-core Intel 10th-generation processor.
In regard to its screen, the Razer Blade Pro 17 is capable of 120Hz 4K on a 17.3-inch screen. This is paired with a 10th-generation intel processor and 32GB of RAM meaning that even some of the most demanding editing tasks can easily be handled. The 4K screen also offers 100% Adobe RGB coverage, which is definitely worth mentioning. Whilst the Razer Blade Pro 17 is possibly overkill, and is unfortunately incredibly expensive, it still makes it onto our list of the best laptops for photo editing in 2023.
Features and Considerations
What should you look for when deciding on a laptop for photo editing? There are a few things to bear in mind.
A higher number of cores and threads translates to better multitasking capabilities and a smoother editing experience, especially when working with large, high-resolution images. Additionally, the clock speed of the CPU plays a significant role in determining how quickly it can process tasks. A faster clock speed will lead to quicker response times and better overall performance.
A good quality screen is essential to the photo editing process Consider getting high-resolution screens such as one capable of 1080p and 4k content. Solid colour reproduction is also important. So consider models that are capable of replicating the true image colours.
Screes are important. But so are other small necessities that make editing more straight forward. for example, you may want to consider models with in built SD card slots to let you transfer your images more freely. Similarly, you may consider a laptop with solid battery life, so you can edit on the go. Depending on how and where you like to edit your photos, consider your priorities.
How much RAM should a laptop have for photo editing?
Ideally, a laptop should have a minimum of 16GB RAM if you are using it for photo editing. Any less and you probably won’t have the space necessary for the various programs you’ll need to edit your images. Plus, you’ll need lots of space to store the photos themselves.
Is 32GB RAM overkill for photo editing?
If you are a creative professional, 32GB of RAM will not be overkill for photo editing. In fact, it’s a minimum requirement for many photo editors and designers, especially if they have a lot of clients or use more heavy duty programs.
However, if you are just a hobbyist, you probably don’t need 32GB of RAM.