Guide to the best laptop brands

Best Laptop for Photo Editing

Best Laptop for Photo Editing


With all the laptop features thrown at you while deciding upon your new laptop it’s difficult to recognize what you need to be most concerned with as a photographer or photo editor.  We are here to help make that decision easier and get you ready to purchase the best laptop for photo editing.


The first thing any photographer or photo editor should look for when deciding on a laptop is making sure the laptop has enough processing power to run the tools and applications you need to accomplish your tasks.  All of our recommendations will run Photoshop with ease as well as many of the other popular photo editing software in use today.

The key features you should be focused on are:

  • CPU – The processor on the laptop will make a big difference in how powerful the laptop is and what it is capable of handling.  Think of the CPU as the brains of the laptop.  You won’t need the latest and greatest Intel processor but we recommend an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor.
  • RAM – If the CPU is the brains then the RAM should be considered the lungs.  The memory you have on board your laptop will directly contribute to how quickly you can speed from one application to the next.  In most laptops you will find at least 4GB.  You will be ok with 4GB but don’t hesitate to upgrade to 8GB or higher if your budget allows.


When it comes to spending hours in front of the laptop looking at specific pixels, it’s hard to argue the importance of the laptop display.  A poor screen size, resolution, viewing angle, or bad reflection can make the task of editing photos much more difficult.  You should look for a laptop which has a screen size of at least 15 inches and has a high resolution (1680 pixels).  Another consideration which should be taken into account is the glossiness of the screen and the type of back lighting the display uses.

Battery Life

As a photographer, you will look for the optimal brightness level to set your screen to in order to maximize your effectiveness and help you make your pictures look their absolute best.  Battery Life of a laptop is impacted when a laptop is set at its highest level so keep this in mind as you make your decision.

Every manufacture will mention the specifications regarding the life of the laptop battery.

Also keep in mind the setting in which you will be editing photos.  Many of the photographers we talk to do their editing in their home or office where a power outlet is readily available to plug into.  If you are someone who edits their photos on the go, consider a laptop with an above average battery life.

Apple MacBook Pro – 15.4 Inch with Retina Display

apple macbook retinaIn terms of multimedia and photo editing it is really tough to outrun Apple.  From the out of the box software and functionality provided to the tremendous retina display, if you are spending a lot of time editing photos then our laptop recommendation is the Apple MacBook Pro.

Yes, it is only a 15.4 inch display however with the attention to detail Apple places on its products it’s unlikely that you will be strained or frustrated by the sub 17 inch display.  With 512 GB of on board memory and an Intel Core-i7 processor the power certainly is found in the Apple MacBook Pro.


 Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P

Lenovo IdeaPad Y510PIf the Apple MacBook is a little outside of your price range then a good Windows alternative is the Lenovo IdeaPad Y510P.  With an Intel Core-i7 processor the Y510P can match the power of the MacBook Pro.  The beauty of the Lenovo is the 1TB hard drive along with the 8GB SSD.  This laptop will have you jumping from one application to another with quick speeds, keeping your productivity and efficiency at a high level.

The IdeaPad also comes with 1920 x 1080 screen resolution on a 15.6 inch screen.  As advertised this is a great multimedia laptop so if you are a photographer who does more than still photographs, you will find this laptop can handle all aspects of your multimedia needs.  Equipped with NVIDIA graphics and JBL speakers it also makes a great gaming machine and all purpose laptop.



HP Envy 17 – Touchsmart

hp-envy-17-touchsmartWe are big fans of the HP Envy 17 Inch Touchsmart laptop.  Like the other laptops mentioned here, this laptop comes with an Intel Core-i7 processor.  The advantage this laptop has over the competition is the 17.3 inch touchscreen with 1600 x 900 resolution with HD Intel graphics.  This laptop also comes with 12GB of RAM which will be plenty for you to accomplish your photo management needs.

The HP Envy also comes with an advertised 4.5 hours of battery life making it above average compared to the Lenovo Y510P.  Battery life always depends on the brightness settings however we have found the HP Envy does a good job of being accurate with its specs.  If you are looking for a bigger screen, at a lower price, and can still handle your photo editing needs, the HP Envy is a great option to go with.




There are a lot of great options out there but if you go with one of these 3 you won’t be disappointed.  We also encourage you to check out our list of the 2014 laptops where you can find other great options.  We’d love to hear from you photographers if you have a laptop you use that isn’t in this list.

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