Of course, photographers need a camera to take pictures. But after taking photos, they need one of the best laptops for photo editing, not only to use these captured images on a more visible screen but also to edit the raw files and take the photos. That is why the laptop is the second most important thing in a photographer’s life after their beloved camera. And just as with cameras, buying the best laptop is also a difficult task.
We know that you all had the original idea to buy a desktop computer instead of a laptop to edit photos, and we also understand that many of you are still afraid to make the right decision. Well, if you have decided to buy a laptop for your photo editing work, we have compiled a list. All these laptops are most suitable for editing photos and other daily tasks.
List of the best laptops for photo editing
HP Spectre x360
The re’s no better laptop for photo editing than HP’s Spectre x360 15. The highlight of this machine is a 15.6-inch, 4K OLED display that is exceptionally vivid (256% of the sRGB color gamut) and blindingly bright (483 nits). That panel is the only thing that will keep your eyes off the elegant chassis of the Spectre x360 15, which looks like something only the rich and famous could afford. Photographers will also appreciate that the laptop’s discreet MX150 GPU offers enough graphics oomph to perform demanding photo editing tasks with some help from a Core i7-8565U CPU. And the Spectre x360 15’s keyboard is one of the best there is. Read more in our HP Spectre x360 Review
Apple MacBook Pro 16
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is just your type if you’ve been waiting for Apple to make a better keyboard. The Magic Keyboard on this premium laptop swallows up the Butterfly mechanism in favor of a scissor-switch, and the result is a much more comfortable typing experience. You’ll also get a crisp and sharp 16-inch display with slimmer edges, powerful performance from an available Core i9 CPU, and robust AMD Radeon 5300M or 5500M graphics.
You’ll also get up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of storage if you want to splash out. The 11 hours of battery life is another plus point of this laptop that doesn’t fall into the runtimes of its competitors. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is pricey, and Apple still doesn’t have full-size USB ports, but overall it’s a formidable workstation for creative professionals. Overall, this is one of the best laptops for photo editing. Check our complete MacBook Pro 16-inch Review
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
Lenovo took a chance with the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the first metal ThinkPad, and it paid off. While we still love the distinctive matte black carbon fiber found on most ThinkPads, the aluminum and magnesium ThinkPad X1 Yoga is a nice change of pace. Not only does it have a slim design, but this convertible 2-in-1 boasts a bright display that reaches 402 nits and covers 106% of the sRGB color gamut. Oh, and you get a best-in-class keyboard and long battery life. You’ll also get lots of extra goodies, like a built-in stylus slot and a webcam cover. This is one of the best laptops for photo editing that you can buy right now. Here is our Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Review
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 had to be practically perfect to dethrone HP’s excellent Spectre x360 13 — and it is. Dell’s latest flagship 2-in-1 offers strong performance thanks to the 10th generation Intel Ice Lake processors. Battery life, at nearly 11 hours, is also fantastic. Plus, you get a unique 13.4-inch (16:10 aspect ratio) display that’s bright and vibrant and a sleek, high-quality chassis. Overall, this is one of the best laptops for photo editing. This is our Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Review
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
Photographers who want the benefits of a business laptop should look no further than the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme. The 15.6-inch laptop takes everything we love about the ThinkPad series to the next level. It’s got an excellent keyboard, a host of security features, and a wide range of ports, all housed in a sleek, durable chassis. And while battery life can be improved, the X1 Extreme is one of the fastest laptops we’ve ever tested.
But the crown jewel of the ThinkPad X1 Extreme is the jaw-dropping 4K HDR display, which covers a top 186 percent of the sRGB color gamut. That’s the crowning glory of the Dell XPS 15, 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro and Asus ZenBook Pro 15 displays. The X1 Extreme’s panel also boasts a stable brightness of 366 nits that makes it one of the best laptops for photo editing. Read our Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Review
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) is another powerful photo editing laptop that features advanced components, including Intel processors and graphics cards from Nvidia, that you would normally find in a gaming laptop. Razer is best known for its gaming laptops, but its Studio Edition laptops are designed for creative professionals, and the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) includes not only a powerful Nvidia GPU, but also a beautiful 4K screen that is factory calibrated.
This means it’s a great laptop for working on high-resolution photos without the need to connect a separate monitor. A powerful CPU and pockets of RAM mean that this laptop can handle any photo editing app with ease, and you can easily edit multiple high-resolution photos at once if you wanted to. This is truly a multitasking monster. However, there is no denying that this is a very expensive laptop, so photographers may have to consider this an investment. However, it is very future proof, and you won’t have to upgrade for years.
HP Envy 13
The latest HP Envy 13 is an excellent all-round laptop with a sleek, stylish aluminum chassis, fast performance, and over 11 hours of battery life (on the 1080p model). At $799, Envy 13 is a cheaper alternative to the XPS 13 but does not offer some Dell laptop features, including a webcam murder switch and a unique raised hinge. Check out more about this laptop in our HP Envy 13 Review
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
Following up on one of our favorite laptops improves a winning formula in almost every way. The Surface Laptop 3 with Intel CPUs has a slim aluminum chassis, which gives the laptop a sleek, premium feel. For photographers, the new 15-inch, 2K display (3:2 aspect ratio) is vibrant, capable of reproducing an astonishing 105 percent of the sRGB color gamut. The Surface Laptop 2 also features long battery life, fast performance, and a convenient Surface magnetic connection. This is one of the best laptops for photo editing. Here is our Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Review
Dell XPS 15
You won’t have seen a good laptop display until you’ve put your eyes on the OLED panel that adorns the latest Dell XPS 15. With exceptional brightness and color reproduction, this expensive upgrade is a photographer’s dream. The 15.6-inch laptop also gives you tons of power to run even the most demanding photo editing software, all packaged in a chassis that can be easily transported from one photo to another. But our favorite thing about the latest version is that the webcam is back in the right position, above the screen. Overall, this is one of the best laptops for photo editing. Read more in our Dell XPS 15 Review
Asus ZenBook Pro Duo
The ZenBook Pro Duo from Asus can’t be compared to any laptop we’ve ever tested. Instead of just one display, the Duo shows off a primary 15.6-inch, 4K OLED display, along with a secondary 14-inch, 4K panel on deck. The dual displays are great for multitasking, and allow photographers to place their tools on another screen while keeping their headscarf free of all clutter. Combine these beautiful displays with fast performance and plenty of cooling, and it’s easy to see why the ZenBook Pro Duo is one of the best laptops for photo editing. This is our Asus ZenBook Pro Duo Review
Acer ConceptD 7
Acer is known for making gaming laptops, but with the ConceptD 7 it has used its experience of building thin, light and powerful laptops to build a fantastic laptop for photo editing. This is a laptop that is filled to the brim with powerful components that can run even the most demanding photo editing tools with ease, and it also has a beautiful 4K IPS screen that is Pantone-validated.
This means that this screen will instantly display your photos as they were intended, without you having to calibrate them yourself. The housing is smart and professional, and there are also plenty of ports, so you can easily connect your peripherals. It’s also easily portable, so you can take it with you if you travel a lot and edit photos on the go. It’s expensive, but the performance of this laptop means it’s well worth the high price tag. Overall, this is one of the best laptops for photo editing.