There’s a reason why there are over 100,000 professional photographers found in the United States. We rely on these professionals to capture life’s greatest moments, from weddings to family portraits. If you’re a photographer, then you know the importance that photo editing plays in the final product.
This type of editing can mean the difference between a perfect photo and a subpar product. As such, it’s important to purchase the best laptop for photo editing. But how do you find this type of product?
Simple: by reading this article! In it, we’ll break down everything that you should look for when shopping for a photo editing laptop. That way, your pictures turn out perfect every time. Let’s get started!
What are the Minimum Requirements Needed to Run Photoshop and Lightroom?
If you’re a photographer, then you’re likely familiar with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. These two photo editing programs are the gold standard when it comes to professional photos.
As such, you will want to make sure that whatever laptop you get will have the minimum processing power that’s required to operate these programs.
If you’re only using Lightroom, then you won’t need as strict requirements as Photoshop. Since this program is made for small edits and cataloging it doesn’t require the same processing power as Photoshop. Here are the minimum requirements that you will need to run Photoshop:
- Processor: A multi-core CPU with 64-bit support, as well as two GHz or faster for windows
- Operating system: Windows 10 64-bit (version 1909) or later; macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later
- RAM: eight gigabits or more
- Graphics card: one in a half GB of GPU memory
- Hard drive space: four gigabits of space is required for installation
- Monitor resolution: 1280 x 800 display with 100% UI scaling
- Internet: required for updates.
Keep in mind that these requirements are the minimum. As such, your editing programs might run slow if you’re just going off of these minimums. If you want to see what Photoshop recommends, then make sure to check out this link here.
The Display is Everything When It Comes to Photo Editing
With photo editing, you need high resolution and optimal color rendition if you want to see all of the details of the photos that you’re working on. First off, you will need a screen that’s at least thirteen inches.
This is the minimal amount that’s required to see the details. Just keep in mind that the larger the screen the heavier the laptop becomes. In terms of resolution, you want a minimum of 2560 x 1600 pixels, which you can find on most budget laptops.
However, we recommend that you try to find something better than this. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that your photos could turn out badly.
You’re Going to Need a Lot of Memory
Your RAM will determine how quickly applications like Photoshop run. At a minimum, you should be running eight gigabits of RAM. However, keep in mind that this will likely result in poor performance.
If you want to get the most out of your photo editing software, then try to find one with sixteen gigabits of RAM. Keep in mind that you will also need a lot of memory to store your files. You can choose between HDD and SSD. SSD is a little more expensive, but it’s also much faster.
However, regardless of which option you choose from, make sure that you have at least five hundred gigabits of memory. That way, you don’t need to worry about space when you save your projects.
Graphic Cards Aren’t As Important As You Might Think
Many people think that they need the best graphics possible to properly photo edit. However, the reality is that graphic cards aren’t that important. They’re not needed to run Photoshop.
As long as you have a good display, then you don’t have anything to worry about. However, with that being said, a good GPU can improve the performance of Photoshop.
As such, if you find a laptop with a dedicated GPU, then you should go for it. Also, if you plan to edit a video, then you will need a video card.
Are Macs Better for Photo Editing Than Windows?
In the past, Macs were without a doubt the best choice for photo editing. There’s a lot of reasons for this. However, it ultimately comes down to the incredible display, crystal clear screen resolution, easy-to-use design, stability, and security that Macs provide with their laptops.
These days, a MacBook remains a great choice for photo editors. However, it’s not the only option available. Windows 10 has closed the once large gap between the two operating systems.
Now, you can get a lot of the same features on a Windows laptop that you would have on a MacBook. For example, both of these types of laptops are powerful enough to handle Adobe editing programs.
Both come with Intel Core processors that allow them to handle the software requirements. And, they both have a wide selection of configurations. The only difference is that Windows is typically much more affordable than Apple products.
So, if you want to save money without compromising quality, then consider switching over to Windows.
What is the Best Laptop for Photo Editing?
Now that we know what to look for in a photo editing laptop we can dive into some of our favorite types. Keep in mind that the laptops in this section aren’t ranked. We don’t believe that one of them is better than the others.
Instead, we think they each have a place for some photographers’ budgets, needs, and wants. Let’s take a look.
1. MacBook Pro 16 Inch
As we mentioned before, there’s a reason why the MacBook has been the gold standard for photographers for years. The powerful Apple M1 Pro 10-core CPU allows it to run the editing programs you need quickly.
Plus, it comes with three Thunderbolt ports. So, you will have no shortage of ports to hook up your camera and whatever else you need to connect. On top of that, it also features an exceptional battery life.
So, you can work on the go right after you take the pictures. However, the MacBook Pro 16 Inch isn’t perfect. For one thing, it’s fairly large which can make it a challenge to transport around.
And, there’s the price tag. You’ll likely pay a lot more for a MacBook than you would for a Windows laptop. However, if you’re willing to bite the bullet, then you get an excellent machine in return.
2. ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9
If you want a more affordable option, then consider the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9. With its 11th Gen Intel Core i7 vPro processors, this laptop is more than capable of handling the processing requirements that Photoshop and Lightroom demand.
This is thanks to the new Intel Evo collaboration. If you want to learn more about it. On top of that, the laptop can also take a beating. This durability comes in handy if you plan on shooting in rough environments.
Plus, the Intel Iris Xe graphics are great at producing the clarity and color that’s needed from photo editing laptops. The only downside is that the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 is that the cooling system on the laptop isn’t very efficient.
As such, it’s easy for it to run hot. But, besides this is still a great choice.
3. Dell XPS 15
The Dell XPS 15 is great if you want a Window option that rivals the performance power of a MacBook. This is due to the variety of hardware options that you can add to the laptop. Plus, the tracking pad and keyboard are some of the best we’ve ever used.
And, anyone familiar with Photoshop knows that this type of precision is essential. Plus, it’s more affordable than a MacBook. As such, it’s enough to tempt even the most devoted Apple user.
The only drawback is that it’s not good for gaming. And, while this doesn’t affect your photo editing it might influence the decision of some users.
Want More Content? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you find the best laptop for photo editing. It’s important to not cut corners when shopping for these types of laptops. If you do go with the cheaper product to save some money, then your photos will suffer as a result.
As such, if a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Instead, stick to the advice on this list. That way, you get the best possible product for your photo needs.
Did you enjoy this article? If the answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Keep exploring to find more topics that you’re sure to love.