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Best Laptops for Photo Editing in 2019

Best Laptops for Photo Editing in 2019

Photo by Andras Vas on Unsplash 

Finding a quality laptop is one of the many challenges photographers have when starting or learning to maintain a photography business.

They change so rapidly, and it can be difficult to keep up with information on the brand-new best laptop for photo editing, considering there’s a brand-new best laptop for photo editing every few months!

Plus, even just mentioning laptops for photo editing in the wrong circle can send anxiety through the whole group. Professional laptops are expensive and beginner photographers are usually just above their bottom line in their business.  

So, from the best budget laptop for Photoshop to the best professional-grade, professionally-priced photo editing laptop, here is our comprehensive list of laptops you need to know about in 2019. 

Table of Contents

Best Laptops for Photo Editing: Must-Have Features

While I don’t agree with all of Ben G Kaiser’s recommendations for best laptops for photo editing, I do completely agree with his criteria for picking the best laptop for photo editing.

In your search for a photo editing laptop, keep these must-have features in mind:

  • Intel i5 or i7 Processor
  • A minimum of 256GB of storage
  • Full HD resolution display
  • At least 2GB of dedicated graphics
  • 8GB of RAM or more 

Both the Intel i5 and i7 processors are powerful enough to run Photoshop without any problems. And the more money you spend up front on a good CPU, the less money you will need to spend down the line with upgrades.

All of my recommendations for 2019’s best laptop for photo editing also have at least 256GB of storage. You’re going to need somewhere for all of your beautifully edited photos to go and since your average DSLR produces individual pictures with 15MB of data, your average laptop will fill up pretty quickly.

I also recommend a full HD resolution display because you want your color accuracy to be as close as possible to how you took your photos and how you’ll print your photos (P.S., full HD resolution is 1920 x 1080).

Finally, remember the old days when you needed a dedicated graphics card? Well, this is 2019 and 2019’s best laptop for photo editing already has integrated graphics that can handle your high-res photos without any problems. It’s great, but this new technology doesn’t do you any good if you don’t go shopping with this specific requirement in mind. 

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Best Budget Laptop for PhotoShop: Acer Aspire EUX331UA-AS51 Ultrabook

ACER ASPIRE 1

I love me a laptop that is under $600, which this Acer Aspire is. 

I also love me a laptop that is under budget and over battery-life expectations. This Acer has a 15-hour battery life, which is perfect for a beginning photographer who may or may not be editing photos on and off between other jobs or classes for extended periods of time away from home.

For me, in order for a laptop to be the best laptop for photo editing, it needs to have the battery life (which this one does) and the graphics (which this one does).

It has Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics with 2GB of DDR5 memory. Plus, it looks like a much more expensive laptop despite the fact it is really made out of polycarbonate plastic. 

ACER ASPIRE 2

Acer Aspire EUX331UA-AS51 Ultrabook Specs:

  • 5.27 lbs
  • 15-hour battery life
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • 15.6-inch full HD ComfyView LED Display
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • 8GB RAM
  • Intel Core i5-8250OU Quad Core 1.6GHz Processor

Most Versatile Laptop for Photo Editing: Microsoft Surface Pro 6

surface pro 6 2

I have stuck by the Microsoft Surface Pros since practically the first edition, and I think it’s because I saw what Microsoft was trying to do: create the most versatile version of their product as possible. With this laptop, they’ve done it.

I own a Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and I bought it specifically because I travel quite frequently for work. I want something I can throw in my backpack and whip around on a plane, train or automobile.

It’s screen is small, though, so I don’t recommend it as your only photo editing laptop. 

Otherwise, I think I may well have named this laptop my overall best laptop for photo editing. 

This laptop runs Windows 10 out of the box and it lasts 13 hours on a single charge. It also has all the good features, like 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. 

Plus, if you really need it, you can buy an upgraded version which runs on an i7 processor as opposed to my i5, and comes with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. 

surface pro 6 1

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Specs:

  • 1.7 lbs
  • 13-hour battery life
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • 12.3-inch PixelSense 10 Point Multi-Touch display
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • 8GB RAM
  • Intel Core i5-8250U processor

Best Mid-Range Laptop for Photo Editing: Asus ZenBook UX331UA-AS51 Ultrabook

asus zenbook 1 

If you went to school for photography or graphic design, then you know about ASUS’s ZenBook series. I dropped my ASUS so many times I stopped counting and the thing just did not break. 

But, other than it’s awesome build, these laptops also perform with the big boys, despite being under $1,000.

It’s ultra-slim and lightweight, which I appreciate because I’m always on the go. But, it doesn’t lose out on any important qualities. It’s got 178 degree viewing angles and a 13.3-inch full HD display. 

Plus, it has a fingerprint sensor and audio by Harman Kardon, which means this would be a phenomenal laptop for videographers or anyone who is online frequently.

This is definitely my pick for 2019’s best laptop for photo editing under $1,000. 

asus zenbook 2

Acer Aspire EUX331UA-AS51 Ultrabook Specs:

  • 2.5 lbs
  • 12-hour battery life
  • Windows 10 64-bit operating system
  • 13.3-Inch Full HD Display
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • 8GB Ram
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz Quad-Core Processor

Learn More:

Best Laptop for Photo Editing Under $1,000: Dell G5

dell g5 1

Okay, okay I know I technically already named a “best laptop for photo editing under $1,000,” but Dell’s G5 is a serious contenderwith the Asus ZenBook.

But, Dell’s G5 works in the absolute opposite way. While the Asus ZenBook can really only handle light to medium photo editing, the Dell G5 can handle intense photo editing, it just can’t do it as beautifully.

The display on this Dell isn’t incredibly bright or colorful, but don’t judge a book by its cover.

This laptop is our best laptop for photo editing under $1,000 because of its incredibly powerful hardware. 

It’s got the newest Intel Core i5 processor. It’s got serious, serious storage capabilities and it features Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q GPU with 6GB of DDR5 graphics memory.  

All of these hardware pluses aside, it’s probably my favorite laptop for photo editing because of the way its keyboard is arranged. All of the keys are spread out and you get a huge trackpack which allows you to easily edit from anywhere (even a packed subway car). 

dell g5 2

Dell G5 Specs:

  • 6.2 lbs
  • 6-hour battery life
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit operating system
  • 15.6-inch full HD IPS Anti-Glare LED Display
  • 1TB RPM hard drive and 128GB SSD storage
  • 8GB RAM
  • Intel Core i5-8300H 2.3GHz Quad-Core Processor

Best Value Laptop for Photo Editing: ASUS VivoBook Pro 4K Laptop

asus vivobook 1

If I’m ever Googling “best laptop for photo editing,” you can bet I’ve added the words “best value” or “budget” into that search. 

I find people oftentimes spend more money than they need to on their photo editing laptops because they don’t put the proper research into their shopping process.

This ASUS VivoBook is getting my much-coveted “best value” laptop for photo editing award because of a few things, but mainly its 4K display and its price tag.

4K displays are hard to come by at under $1,000. 

This laptop also features a beautiful touchscreen display. I’ve been in multiple debates about whether a touchscreen display is worth the added price, but with this laptop you’re already getting a 4K display so I don’t feel like I’m being charged anything extra for the touchscreen display.

asus vivobook 2

ASUS VivoBook Pro 4K Specs:

  • 5.1 lbs
  • 6-hour battery life
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • 15.6-Inch 4K IPS Touchscreen display
  • 1TB HDD and 256 SSD storage
  • 16GB RAM
  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core 2.8 GHz processor

Best Windows Laptop for Photo Editing: HP Spectre x360

spectre 2

If you thought I wasn’t going to specify a Windows laptop to win a best laptop for photo editing award, you were dead wrong.

This laptop is also pretty great because it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than my Apple-specific award, but performs in essentially the same way as long as you weren’t indoctrinated into Apple too early on in your career. 

This laptop was just released this year and is already marked down nearly $200 from its original price,as well. 

It’s got 256GB of SSD for storage and 8GB of RAM, but what truly sets this laptop apart from the rest of the “best laptops for photo editing,” is it's brand new six-core Intel i7 processor with turbo clock frequency at up to 4.1 GHz and its incredibly gorgeous 4K IPS display.  

It also covers 157% of the sRGB color gamut. No other laptop on this list has this type of photo editing capabilities. 

spectre 1

HP Spectre x360 Specs:

  • 4.8 lbs
  • 9-hour battery life
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit operating system
  • 15.6-inch 4K touchscreen display
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • 8GB RAM
  • Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2GHz processor

Learn More:

Best Professional Laptop for Photo Editing: Microsoft Surface Book 2

surface 1

This Microsoft Surface Book 2This Microsoft Surface Book 2 is my best laptop for photo editing for professionals because of the price tag ($1,499 for all of the specs list, although you can upgrade to larger storage, larger RAM, and a better processor). 

I always appreciate a detachable laptop, which can also function as a tablet, especially when I can almost custom-build it. The basic Microsoft Surface Book 2 comes with a 13.5-inch touchscreen, which you can upgrade, 256GB of storage, which you can upgrade, 8GB of RAM, which you can upgrade, and the newest Gen Intel Core i5 processor, which you can upgrade.

The best part of this laptop for photo editing is the Surface Pen. If you’re one of those photo editors who started in art and enjoys the old-fashioned feeling of pen-on-paper, this is a great feature for you.

surface 2

Microsoft Surface Book 2 Specs:

  • 3.38 lbs
  • 17-hour battery life
  • Windows 10 Pro Creators Update 64-bit operating system
  • 13.5-inch PixelSense touchscreen display
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • 8GB RAM
  • Intel Core i5-8350U Quad-Core Processor

Best All-Around Laptop for Photo Editing: Dell XPS 15

dell 15 1

I personally believe that Dell never receives its due on best laptops for photo editing lists. 

If I had to pick one best laptop for photo editing on my list, this would be it. However, I understand that not everyone can afford the $1,619 price tag. 

This laptop comes with a crazy good amount of storage (512GB) and the newest 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor to run all of your best photo editing software.

The 4K display is gorgeous, bright and crisp and covers 100% of Adobe’s sRGB color spectrum.

It also has 16GB of RAM, so you can do multiple things at once without any shift in speed.  

The only disappointing aspect of this laptop is that it only has a 9-hour battery life, but with all of its capabilities, this doesn’t shock me.

dell 15 2

Dell XPS 15 Specs:

  • 4.5 lbs
  • 9-hour battery life
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit operating system
  • 16.6-inch 4K Ultra HD InfinityEdge touchscreen display
  • 512GB storage
  • 16GB RAM
  • Intel Core i7-8750H 8th Generation Hexa-Core processor

Best Big-Screen Laptop for Photo Editing: LG Gram 17

lg gram 1

If you’re one of those people who almost can’t stand editing photos on a laptop, then this is the best laptop for photo editing for you.

It’s huge, with a 17-inch screen. It’s also the world’s lightest 17-inch laptop. 

It also features a crazy good amount of storage (512GB SSD) and 16GB of RAM.  

The only downside to this laptop is that it isn’t for those who are editing videos frequently.

lg gram 2

LG Gram 17 Specs:

  • 2.9 lbs
  • 11-hour battery life
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit operating system
  • 17-inch IPS WQXGA display
  • 512GB SSD storage
  • 16GB RAM
  • Intel Core i7-8565U Quad Core 1.8 GHz processor

Best Apple Laptop for Photo Editing: Macbook Pro 15"

macbook 2

If you went to university for photography and didn’t own a Macbook you probably felt extremely left out.

Apple has a total monopoly on the graphic design and photography industries, and for good reason. Apple laptops basically manhandle high-end graphics tools. 

This, however, is my vote for Apple’s best laptop for photo editing.It features a True Tone Retina display with 2880 x 1800 resolution. It’s powered by the newest Intel Core i7 processor and features 16GB of RAM (yes, please).  

If I set out to create the best laptop for photo editing, the only way I could create a better one than this Macbook is by adding some ports that aren’t Thunderbolt USB Type-C. I mean, come on, Apple, you know one of your biggest markets is photographers. 

macbook 2 

Macbook Pro 15” Specs:

  • 4.02 lbs
  • 10-hour battery life
  • macOS Mojave operating system
  • 15.4-inch True Tone Retina display
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • 16GB RAM
  • Intel Core i7 Six Core 2.2GHz Processor

 



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Top 10 Cheap Laptops Under $500

Top 10 Cheap Laptops Under 500

Photo by Howard Bouchevereau on Unsplash

I had the pleasure of entering the stay-at-home order issued in my state with a failing laptop. Apple said it was a failing hard drive, but all I knew was that it was making horrific noises it probably shouldn’t have been.

Funnily enough, it’s pretty hard to find inexpensive laptops when nobody in your state is leaving their homes. And, since I run a photography website, having a laptop is pretty important. 

So, I started frantically searching Amazon for “cheap laptops,” “best laptops,” and “best budget laptop 2020.” Basically, I was thinking of every possible keyword I could find because I had little to no idea what I was really looking for. All I knew was that I couldn’t afford another MacBook. 

I eventually found a pretty good cheap laptop, and figured someone else could use my experience to get themselves set up with an inexpensive laptop too.  

So, without further ado, here is a list I compiled of good cheap laptops under $500. 

Table of Contents

HP Stream

inexpensive laptops 1

I had never heard of the HP Stream before I started doing research on inexpensive laptops. The HP Stream is a 14-inch laptop with 1TB of cloud storage that runs on Windows 10.  

It features a 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage. It also comes with free Office 365 for the first year you own the computer, which is a fun add-on. I’m assuming this is one of those cheap laptops with Windows 10 that manufacturers sell for students. 

It also features a rather impressive 14-hour battery life, which is good for travelers, although it isn’t especially light. 

It’s also important to note that, since this laptop comes in Windows 10 S Mode, you can only download applications from the Microsoft store onto it.  

Other HP Stream specs:

  • 14-inch screen
  • 2.6 GHz processor speed
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 64 GB storage
  • Windows 10
  • 1366 x 768 display resolution
  • 14-hour battery life
  • 4.4 lbs 

At $220, the HP Stream tops our list of cheap laptops under $500.  




Acer Aspire 5 Slim

laptops under 500 2 

The Acer Aspire 5 Slim is great if you need a slightly larger laptop than the HP Stream. The Acer Aspire features a 15.6” full HD screen, which is helpful if you’re going to be doing photo editing on your laptop

It comes with a backlit keyboard (for late night editing sprees), a 4 GB RAM, and 128 GB of storage. 

It’s battery life isn’t very impressive because of all of its features, though, at an average of 7.5 hours. 

It’s similar to the HP Stream in some other regards, though. It also comes with Windows 10 in S Mode.

Other Acer Aspire 5 Slim specs:

  • 15.6” Full HD screen
  • 3.5 GHz Ryzen 3 2200U processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Windows 10
  • 128 GB memory
  • 7.5-hour battery life
  • 3.97 lbs 

At $330, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim is also one of our best cheap laptops under $500. 

Learn More:




Acer Chromebook Convertible Laptop

cheap laptops amazon 3

If you need one of these cheap laptops under $500 to double as a tablet, then the Acer Chromebook Convertible Laptop is for you.

This laptop is run on chrome OS, which means you won’t need to buy any additional virus protection and it comes with all of the Google apps you probably use already (Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Docs). 

This laptop also comes with 100GB of Google Drive space so you can save your files both on your computer and in the cloud.

Lastly, it features a 11.6” touchscreen so you can use it as a laptop or a tablet.

Other Acer Chromebook Convertible Laptop Specs:

  • 11.6” Full HD touchscreen
  • 2.4 GHz Celeron N3060 processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Chrome OS
  • 32GB built-in memory (100GB memory on Google Drive)
  • 10-hour battery life
  • 2.8 lbs

The Acer Chromebook Convertible Laptop is available on Amazon for $265, making it one of the best cheap laptops around. In fact, the Acer Chromebook Convertible Laptop is actually one of the most sold cheap laptops on Amazon. 




Samsung Chromebook 11.6” 

best cheap laptops 4 

Next up, we have the Samsung Chromebook 11.6”

This Chromebook features a 11.6” 1366 x 768 HD screen and a 4GB RAM.

It runs on Chrome OS and is Bluetooth compatible. At just 2.4 lbs, this Chromebook works for on-the-go professionals (although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using it as your sole laptop). 

Other Samsung Chromebook 11.6” Specs:

  • 11.6” screen
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 1.6 GHz processor
  • 1366 x 758 display resolution
  • 32GB hard disk 
  • 2.4 lbs
  • 11-hour battery life

With a price tag of $195, the Samsung Chromebook 11.6” it should be on a cheap laptops under $200 list, instead of our cheap laptops under $500. However, despite the price, it is still one of the best performing inexpensive laptops on the market. 




Samsung Chromebook 3

best budget laptops under 500 3

If you’re looking for laptops under $500, then any and all Chromebooks are the place to start. The Samsung Chromebook 3 is pretty similar to the Samsung Chromebook 11.6” in that it runs on Chrome OS, features an 11.6” screen and has a 4GB RAM. 

However, it is also a little bit heavier (read: harder to break), and comes with an anti-reflective display so you can work wherever your job takes you.

Other Samsung Chromebook 3 Specs:

  • 11.6” Anti-Reflective screen
  • 1366 x 768 display resolution
  • 2.16 GHz Celeron 3865U processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 16GB hard drive
  • Chrome OS
  • 10-hour battery life
  • 3.6 lbs 

The Samsung Chromebook 3 is available on Amazon starting at $160.  

Learn More:




Acer Flagship Chromebook

best laptops 2020 5

The Acer Flagship Chromebook is yet another Chromebook that topped our cheap laptops under $500 list. 

It’s one of the best cheap laptops because it features a larger screen (15.6”), 16GB of storage, and an especially fast processor. 

Other Acer Flagship Chromebook Specs:

  • 15.6” screen
  • 1366 x 768 display resolution
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB hard drive
  • 7-hour battery life
  • 4.3 lbs

The Acer Flagship Chromebook is one of the best budget laptops under $500 because Amazon is no longer selling it new. However, it is available refurbished from Amazon and comes with a 90-day guarantee from Amazon as well. 

You can pick up an Acer Flagship Chromebook for $160. 




Lenovo IdeaPad

best budget laptop 2020 6

I used a Lenovo when I was starting my business, so I have a special place in my heart for them. Thankfully, Lenovo keeps cranking out cheap laptops for others just starting out.

The Lenovo IdeaPad came out in 2019, so it is still rather new. It features a 15.6” screen, a 4GB RAM, and an impressive 128GB hard drive. 

It runs on Windows 10, making it one of my favorite cheap laptops with Windows 10. 

Other Lenovo IdeaPad Specs:

  • 15.6” screen
  • 1366 x 768 display resolution
  • 2.5 GHz AMD A Series processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB hard drive
  • Windows 10
  • 6-hour battery life
  • 4.6 lbs 

The Lenovo IdeaPad is available on Amazon for $300. 




Asus VivoBook

inexpensive laptops 7

The Asus VivoBook is the thinnest laptop on our cheap laptops under $500 list, making it excellent for schoolwork and on-the-go office work because you can slip it into just about any backpack or messenger bag.

It comes with an 11.6” screen, a 4GB RAM, and one year of Microsoft Office 365 included.  

But, impressively, it is only .7” thick and weighs 2.2 lbs.  

Other Asus VivoBook Specs:

  • 11.6” screen
  • Intel celeron N4000 CPU processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • Windows 10 in S Mode
  • 10-hour battery life
  • 2.2 lbs 

For $240, the Asus VivoBookwill pay for itself in no time. Besides, you’d have to pay $70 for Microsoft 365 just by itself.




Acer C720-2844 11.6-inch Chromebook 

laptops under 500 8

This Acer 11.6-inch Chromebook is yet another Chromebook on our inexpensive laptops list. It’s small, it’s versatile, and it comes with just enough storage capacity to act as a secondary laptop for your business. 

This Chromebook will last all day on a single charge, is powerful enough to watch 4K videos, and feels rather sturdy for its small size. 

Other Acer 11.6-inch Chromebook Specs:

  • 11.6” screen
  • 1.4 GHz Celeron 2955U processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 16GB hard drive
  • Chrome OS
  • 8.5-hour battery life
  • 4 lbs

You can purchase a refurbished Acer 11.6-inch Chromebook for $120 on Amazon.  




Dell Inspiron 11 Convertible Chromebook

best budget laptops under 500 9 

Unfortunately, the Inspiron 11 is the only Dell to make our cheap laptops under $500 list. Lately, Dell has been releasing less equipment, but the cheap laptops they are releasing are of solid quality. 

This Chromebook features a rather small screen at 11.6 inches. It runs on Chrome OS, obviously, and weighs just 2.9 lbs. It features strong audio and is durable, so you won’t mind if your kids get their hands on it. 

Additionally, it features a 9-hour battery life so you won’t need to worry about having constant access to an outlet. 

Other Dell Inspiron 11 Convertible Chromebook Specs:

  • 11.6” screen
  • 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 16GB hard drive
  • Chrome OS
  • 10-hour battery life
  • 2.9 lbs

The Dell Inspiron 11 Convertible Chromebook is as cheap as it is because it’s a refurbished version resold with Amazon’s 90-day Renewed Guarantee. 

You can purchase the Dell Inspiron 11 Convertible Chromebook for $110. 

 



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