How to Choose the Right Laptop for Photo Editing in 2021



Photo editing isn’t just about software or even the skill of the editor. The computer used for editing makes a difference. If you’re on the market for a new laptop on which to edit images, you’ll want to read on. 

How to Choose the Right Laptop for Photo Editing in 2021

Assess your Needs

 Take an honest look at your needs by starting at the present and looking into the future. Here are a few questions to ask yourself; the answers can help determine which laptop to purchase:

Do you edit images because photography is a hobby, or are you a (very) serious or professional photographer?

Where do you see your work in two to three years? In other words, do you foresee an increase in volume, or do you see yourself moving from hobby to professional working with clients?

If you’re already a professional photographer, do you see a significant difference in the volume of images you’ll need to edit?

A hobby photographer who wants to remain that way doesn’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money on a high-capacity laptop better suited for a professional. A photographer ready to move up to the next level probably should invest in a quality computer to keep up with the professional demands. 

How to Choose the Right Laptop for Photo Editing in 2021

Critical Elements to Consider

Memory: You need a lot of memory if you’re going to be working with any high-quality editing software. The amount of RAM is important because it runs your computer’s processing unit (CPU) and affects the speed. Your device should have at least 8GB of RAM. Not surprisingly, increased RAM means an increase in the price. Trust us when we say it’s worth investing in more RAM if you’ll be working with any decent photo editing software! 

Storage: Besides speed, storage (specifically, lack of) is a common concern or complaint among photographers. The storage capacity of the Solid State Drive (SSD) and Hard Drive (HDD) matter, both to your work and your cost. The greater the storage capacity, the more you’ll pay. Given the size of some photo files, you’ll find that it’s easy and quick to use up storage. Purchase as much as your budget allows. 

Speed: As we said, RAM runs the CPU. Consequently, CPU speed matters as well. The “core” is the unit inside that handles the speed, while threads (typically two per core) manage tasks. We recommend working with no less than a minimum of a 2GHz 6-Core processor. Anything less, and you’re wasting time waiting on a sluggish program.  

Display: If you plan on working on a laptop connected to a bigger external monitor, the GPU (graphics processing unit, sometimes called video card) will matter significantly. The GPU affects the quality of the images you’ll see on the bigger display, particularly videos. If you’re not working with an external monitor, then a 15-inch or so display should be fine.

Color: Color accuracy is critical to the work of a photo editor. Do not undervalue a screen’s ability to reflect the full-color spectrum accurately. When you’re editing images, you’ll want to work with a screen that accurately reflects the color spectrum. Price typically reflects the quality. When you’re selecting a laptop, look for one where the sRGB is as close to 100% as you can afford to buy.   

The best photo-editing laptops in 2021

1. Apple MacBook Pro

How to Choose the Right Laptop for Photo Editing in 2021


About this item

Ninth-generation 8-Core Intel Core i9 Processor

Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone technology

Touch Bar and Touch ID

AMD Radeon Pro 5500M Graphics with GDDR6 memory

Ultrafast SSD

Intel UHD Graphics 630

Six-speaker system with force-canceling woofers

Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports

Up to 11 hours of battery life

802.11AC Wi-Fi


2. MSI Prestige 15 A11SCX-217

How to Choose the Right Laptop for Photo Editing in 2021


About this item

Striking Visuals: The 15.6” 4K UHD True Pixel Display delivers true-to-life images with a 100% AdobeRGB color gamut out of the box.

Exceed Your Imagination: The 10th Gen. Intel Core i7 processor delivers high performance with 8 cores boosting up to 5.1 GHz. Whether it’s graphic design, video editing, or 3D rendering, the Creator 15 brings your imagination into life.

Purpose Built: The MSI Creator 15 with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER is an RTX Studio high-performance laptop that contains the world’s most powerful GPU, precision-engineered into an ultra-thin profile laptop.

Creativity On the Go: With a 99.9 WHr battery, the Creator 15 supports non-stop creativity and keeps you focused on your creative workflow.

Uncompromised Productivity: MSI’s exclusive Cooler Boost Technology ensures optimal thermal dissipation. Featuring 3 fans, get up to 15% increased airflow with the new Cooler Boost Trinity+.

Versatile Connections: The Creator 15 features a wide range of I/O ports, sporting a Matrix Display function for you to expand visions across multiple displays via HDMI and Thunderbolt 3.


3. ASUS ProArt Studiobook

How to Choose the Right Laptop for Photo Editing in 2021


About this item

Perfect Mobile workstation for 3D Animation, Data Science, Product development, Architects

15.6” 4K UHD display (3840*2160); 100% Adobe RGB; Pantone validated color accuracy; Delta E<1 with Narrow Bezels

Intel Core i9-9980HK Processor (16M Cache, up to 5.0 GHz) with Windows 10 Pro

Unbeatable performance with NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 with 24GB GDDR6 VRAM – RTX Studio Ready

Fast storage and memory featuring 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD and 64GB DDR4 RAM


4. Dell Alienware M17

How to Choose the Right Laptop for Photo Editing in 2021


About this item

Dell Alienware M17 Laptop

Core i7-8750H



17.3″ UHD 4K NVIDIA RTX 2070

Red Color

Windows 10 Professional


5. ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

How to Choose the Right Laptop for Photo Editing in 2021


About this item

ScreenPad Plus: 14 inches 4K matte touchscreen, giving your endless way to optimize your multitasking experience by extending the screen or split windows and apps on both displays

15.6 inch 4K UHD NanoEdge touchscreen glossy main display

Latest 10th generation Intel Core i9-10980HK Octa-Core Processor (16M Cache, up to 5.3 GHz) with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

Detachable palm rest, Laptop stand, and ASUS active stylus pen included

Fast storage and memory featuring 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD with 32GB DDR4 RAM

Built-in IR camera for facial recognition sign-in with Windows Hello

Exclusive ErgoLift design for improved typing position, optimized cooling system, and enhanced audio performance

Extensive connectivity with HDMI, Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C, Gigabit-class Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) (*USB Transfer speed may vary. Learn more at ASUS website)

How to Choose the Right Laptop for Photo Editing in 2021


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