Best Laptops For Photo Editing [2020 Guide]

CG Director Author Christopher Harper  by Christopher Harper   ⋮   ⋮   29 comments
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Best Laptops For Photo Editing [2020 Guide]

Today, we’re going to teach you all you need to know to buy the best laptop for photo editing. First, we’ll go over all the information you need to know, so you can make an informed buying decision.

Afterward, we’ll give you our top three selections (each in different budget ranges), each of which will be covered in detail.

By the end of this article, we hope that you’ll have all the information you need- and if you don’t, feel free to leave a comment with any questions left.

Let’s hop in.

What You Need From A Photo Editing Laptop

Whether you’re editing photographs you took yourself or working with graphics/images from other sources, it’s important to understand exactly what you need from the laptop you buy.

This goes beyond basic tech specs like your screen resolution and CPU cores- there are specific things you need to take into account that common consumers do not.

First: Understand What You’re Doing

Before we dive too deep, it’s important to ask: what are you doing?

Image editing is the obvious use case here, so we’ll be more specific: what else are you doing? Are you also working with video? If you’re a remote worker, are you also doing other productivity tasks on your laptop, unrelated to photo editing?

adobe app icons


Do you have personal needs unrelated to your work tasks, like gaming and media consumption?

No informed buying decision can be made in a vacuum. You need to be aware of both the options available to you and the other things that you’ll be doing with your PC.

The required processing power for sufficient image editing isn’t really that high, for instance – but if you’re also a professional whose work involves heavy web usage, then a bare-minimum system with weak internals and low memory will get in the way.

Keep these thoughts in mind as we progress further into the article.

Recommended Tech Specs

According to the current Adobe Photoshop requirements page, what you need to run Photoshop is extremely tame.

A 64-bit CPU running at 2 GHz or faster? A 1024 x 768 resolution display? OpenGL 2.0 compatibility? OpenGL 2.0 is a standard from 2004, over a decade ago!

Pretty much every modern PC meets and exceeds these requirements, especially modern laptops. So, just about any laptop will do the job here, right?

No. Absolutely not. These are minimum, not recommended, requirements. And even with Adobe’s official recommended requirements, there’s a lot being left out: a lot that will have a heavy impact on your experience.

For instance: modern CPUs are comprised of multiple cores. Before the advent of dual-core processors in the early 2000s, a CPU was understood to be a processing unit with a single core, and a thread attached to that core.

Additional cores essentially serve as additional processors in their own right, with corresponding threads seen by the operating system.

Quad Core CPU - Best Laptop for Photo Editing

Image-Source: Microsoft Windows

However, not every core has only one thread. With CPUs that use SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading), you can have two threads tied to a single core, which effectively doubles the number of effective “processors” seen by the operating system.

When programming an application, it’s easiest to optimize around a single thread. Many applications, especially legacy applications, are built to function in this way.

More modern applications, though, especially productivity-centered applications, are built to utilize multiple threads.

Put together, all of this means that productivity applications will function faster when you’re using a multi-core or multi-threaded CPU. Unless the individual cores are pathetically weak, you’ll experience a much faster workflow when using processors like these.

Multi-threaded processors are also more well-suited for heavy multitasking, which you may find yourself doing often as a professional user.

Another thing you’ll need is RAM. Plenty of RAM, and at a good speed, too. For ideal performance in most scenarios, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM will do the job. But for particularly intense productivity scenarios, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM may be necessary.

In summation, you’ll really need:

For other tech specs and system requirements, keep going. These will require their own sections.

Screen Requirements

When people talk about screens, the most common specs tossed around are size and resolution. While these are certainly important, these are not actually your top concern as a professional working with images.



What you need above all else is accuracy. Specifically, color accuracy. Many laptops ship with screens oriented at gamers and media consumers.

They’re focused on providing vivid, saturated color and lightning-fast responsiveness…but not the accuracy that you, a professional, need from your system.

Here are the four specs you need to be concerned about, in order of importance:

  • Color Accuracy
  • Screen Resolution
  • Screen Size
  • Viewing Angles

Color Accuracy and Viewing Angles are most heavily impacted by panel type, while screen resolution and screen size are generally determined independently of other specifications.

Panel type refers to…well, it’s pretty self-explanatory. What is less self-explanatory are the prominent panel types on the market, and the major differences between the three.

We’ll list them below:

  • TN panel – The cheapest and most common panel type. Very fast responsiveness, but fairly poor color reproduction and viewing angles. Well-suited for budget users and competitive gamers, but dreadful for professional color work.
  • IPS panel – The most expensive panel type, but also the most color-accurate one. Viewing angles and color reproduction are best on IPS panels above all others, and generally an IPS panel is what you’ll want if you’re doing professional color work. IPS does come with a few downsides of its own, though- most relevant in this context being “backlight bleed”, which can make dark scenes look bad.
  • VA panel – An in-between standard. The main appeal of VA over something like IPS would be a great improvement in dark scenes, since backlight bleed isn’t a concern with this panel type. Viewing angles will suffer, though, as will color accuracy in most scenarios. As a professional, VA is only recommended as a secondary display for viewing completed content, or those who work near-exclusively with dark scenes.

Generally, you’ll want to aim for an IPS panel with a high color accuracy rating of at minimum 100% sRGB coverage, and ideally 90% or more DCI-P3 coverage, though these are harder to come by.

Color Gamut - Best Laptop for Photo Editing

Image-Source: Viewsonic

We’ll list the common standards of color accuracy below and what they’re used for, in case you’re confused:

  • sRGB – Standard RGB color space used by most electronics.
  • NTSC – Standard color space used by televisions.
  • Adobe RGB – Expanded color space used for printed materials. Make sure you have a high Adobe RGB color rating if you’re producing content that you intend to print out.
  • DCI-P3 – A high-end color space standard- essentially, the next frontier for future PCs, smartphones, and other digital devices.

Screen resolution is fairly straightforward: the higher, the better. Higher resolution displays and images to match them will have more fine detail, which is important for any kind of image work.

With screen size, it’s mostly personal preference and vision. The standard screen sizes for laptops are 13-inch, 15-inch, and 17-inch. For professional use and multi-tasking in particular, though, 17-inch will give you the best screen real estate.

Storage Needs: Size and Speed

In PC storage, there are two main types of storage drives: HDDs and SSDs.

An HDD, or hard disk drive, is named for the spinning disk inside its enclosure. Data is written to and read from this disk, and the overall speed is limited by RPM (rotations per minute). Smaller HDDs tend to have lower RPM- in the case of laptops, usually 5400 RPM instead of the desktop standard of 7200 RPM.

An SSD, or solid state drive, is named for its lack of moving parts. It’s “solid” in the sense that there is no spinning disk or moving parts.

All data is written to and read from flash memory on the drive, which enables far faster speeds than anything a mere hard drive would be capable of.

Even SSDs using the same SATA connection standard as an HDD will reach multiple times higher speeds, and this gap can widen even more if the SSD is using a PCI Express or NVMe connection.

Hard drives are generally much less expensive per gigabyte, while SSDs are much more expensive per gigabyte. It becomes a question of quality or quantity, for most users.

Best Laptop for Photo Editing - SSD vs NVMe

So, which is better for photo editing?

You may think an HDD is enough for photo editing…and you’d be right. Single images, even uncompressed images, aren’t so large that opening and editing them will take any longer than with an SSD.

But…there’s the rest of the PC to consider, too. Things like your startup time, how long it takes to launch your applications, or load your assets. Especially for PC boot times, an SSD is massively faster than an HDD.

The aforementioned price discrepancy is also much less egregious than it used to be, meaning you can still get a pretty decent amount of storage at a fair price.

If at all possible, we recommend using an SSD for your photo editing laptop. Or, really, any productivity machine. The speed and responsiveness of an SSD is extremely useful for these scenarios.

If you find that you need more storage space, opt for external or cloud storage. You can also opt for laptops that use a hybrid storage solution– a small SSD and a large HDD, for the best of both worlds.

Keep your OS and apps on your SSD in this scenario, and use the HDD for storing your image and project files.

Build Quality and Portability

Build quality refers to a few different things, but the best way to describe it is the “sturdiness” and feel of your components. For instance, something built with steel or glass is going to feel a lot better to the touch than something built with plastic, and also enjoy more durability in case of an impact or bend.

Devices like Ultrabooks (and the Macbooks they take inspiration from) are built from sturdy, high-quality materials, which gives them a better feel than a cheap, mostly-plastic laptop, despite usually being smaller and thinner.

Best Laptop for Photo Editing - Build Quality

Aluminium Ultrabook

This can also apply to things like keyboards- some keyboards may feel squishy and unresponsive, while others may feel clicky and tactile.

Unfortunately, build quality and feel are difficult to assess without having the machine in your hands. We’ll be picking our selections carefully to ensure that they have acceptable build quality, which is especially important for professionals.

Machines with poor build quality have higher failure rates, and are just generally less enjoyable to use, especially for extended periods.

Portability is another question entirely, and one that requires us to consult the laws of space and thermodynamics.

Wait, don’t run away! It’s simpler than you think!

Simply-put, you have to find a balance between performance and size when it comes to laptops. Larger and heavier 17-inch laptops may be particularly compelling for productivity, but it may be harder to find space for them in your working environment of choice.

You’ll likely need a larger bag for carrying them around, too.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, a 13-inch laptop seems to have ideal portability for a professional on the go…but unless you have truly 20/20 vision, chances are the screen real estate simply won’t be enough for serious working sessions.

You’ll also come across the issue of reduced performance, and that’s where thermodynamics comes into this…

Electronics generate heat. The smaller the space they generate heat in, the sooner they will fail. The faster a given component at a certain efficiency level, the more heat it will generate.

This makes machines that are small and have the best performance on the market pretty much impossible to make, because the cooling required for that performance is simply not possible with some form factors.

Laptop insides cooling

This is where a downside creeps in for ultra-thin laptops. You can cram an Intel Core i7 into that little chassis if you want, but if it isn’t getting the cooling it needs, it will thermal throttle.

When PC components get too hot, they “throttle” their own performance in order to protect themselves, and this causes issues with ultrathin laptops in particular.


So, here is our advice for an ideal portability/performance balance:

  • If you want the best performance and productivity, get a 17-inch laptop with high-end components and reasonable thickness for keeping those components cool.
  • If you want the best portability without majorly impacting performance or productivity, opt for a thinner 15-inch laptop with mid-range specs that can get the job done.

Photo Editing, fortunately, isn’t all that demanding on the hardware.

If you want to extend the life of any laptop you buy, you should also consider investing in a laptop cooling pad in order to protect your components.

Heat inevitably degrades components over time, even if it’s kept at healthy levels by the system- cooler is always better for performance and longevity!

Extra Hardware Features

Last but not necessarily least, let’s talk…extra hardware features!

Specifically relevant to image editing and on-the-go professionals, we feel, are “convertible” form factors and touchscreen support.

A convertible laptop is a laptop that you can fold in on itself and use as a tablet. These are almost always touchscreen laptops as well, and for those who prefer doing image editing with a stylus or their fingertips will find this particularly useful.

Touchscreens are…fairly self-explanatory. If you do get a laptop with a touchscreen, though, you’ll want to make sure that it’s a multi-touch screen, that way you get the finest control possible.

Single-touch touchscreens aren’t good for much more than very basic stylus or tap functionality, but multi-touch allows for things like pinch-to-zoom and gesture controls.

As far as laptop cameras go…frankly, we can’t find a photography-capable camera on any laptop.

Some would debate about smartphone photography capabilities, especially high-end smartphones, but for the most part…if you need to use a camera, get a proper camera.

For professional use, there’s no replacement. Laptops can do a lot of things at once, but provide truly pro-level photography is not one of those things.

Our Picks: Best Laptops for Photo Editing

Below, we’re going to go over our three top picks, each for a different budget range. We’ll provide each pick with a detailed explanation, so you can decide which is right for you.

Budget Pick – Dell Inspiron 13 7000 13.3 Inch

Dell Inspiron 13 7000

Image-Source: Dell

If your price range is around $500 or so but you’re still serious about photo editing, our first pick would be the Dell Inspiron 13 7000.

This is a 13.3-inch 2-in-1 laptop with a fairly decent AMD’s quad-core Ryzen 5 2500U CPU embedded, which also includes AMD Vega 8 graphics.

All the raw CPU and GPU power you need for basic image and photo editing is present here, and the 2-in-1 form factor makes this a particularly compelling pick for on-the-go work, especially since it’s a touchscreen.

This screen isn’t the best in the market or anything, but it is a solid IPS panel with decent color accuracy and viewing angles.

While the color accuracy is decent, the color gamut is a bit limited- if you work with a lot of bright and vivid imagery, you may want to save up for a higher-end pick. As good as the display is for the price range, we recommend some calibration before you get to work.

Where this laptop shines for its price range is in its form factor and its specs. While we wouldn’t recommend this laptop if you’re a seasoned industry professional, this is a great pick if you’re willing to do extra work calibrating the display and are a beginner/freelancer who simply can’t afford a higher-end model.

The CPU/GPU specs, combined with the 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD, and the form factor, make this a great beginner’s machine. But if you’re a professional, we recommend aiming a little higher.

Value Pick – Gigabyte AERO 15 Classic 15 Inch

Gigabyte Aero Laptop 15 Classic

Image-Source: Gigabyte

Now for the value pick, where things start getting pretty good.

This is the Gigabyte AERO 15 Classic. It’s a standard 15-inch laptop with an excellent 1080p IPS display, boasting both superb color accuracy and wide color gamut support.

While you don’t get a foldable form factor or a touch screen, you get a display that’s good enough out-of-the-box for professional photo editing. That X-Rite Pantone certification speaks for itself.

In addition to the great display, you’re also getting some fairly solid tech specs for the money you’re spending. You get an Intel Core i7-9750H, which runs 6 cores and 12 threads at up to 4.5 GHz.

You also get a full 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and an Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. From a tech specs standpoint, you’re already well beyond anything you may need for basic photo or image editing. With these specs, you could start rendering and editing video!

There are some nice extras here, too- mainly a wide assortment of extra ports and per-key RGB backlighting on the keyboard. Our favorite extra feature would have to be the Intel AC Wi-Fi, which translates to far better speeds and reception on compatible wireless networks.

On top of it all, you get a 512 GB NVMe SSD. This is faster than a standard SATA-based SSD, and should make your PC feel as responsive as a lightning bolt.

There aren’t really many downsides worth noting here. Unless you specifically want a 2-in-1 touchscreen for your image work, there’s nothing to complain about with this laptop. If you demand the 2-in-1 form factor, take a look at our alternative Value Pick or our Top Performance Pick.

Don’t care about specs and want a 2-in-1 form factor in this price range? Get the Lenovo Yoga 720 instead

Performance Pick – Acer Predator Triton 900 17.3 Inch

Acer Predator Triton 9000

Image-Source: Acer

This is the real no compromises machine, but it will come at a price.

The Acer Predator Triton 900 is a 17.3 inch behemoth of a laptop, and is essentially a desktop replacement machine. If you’re eager to leave behind the world of 1080p displays and mid-range graphics specs, then the Acer Predator Triton is there for you.

Let’s talk about the screen first. It’s a multi-touch IPS display with superb color accuracy. It’s on a hinge that allows it to be rotated forward and back as much as you like…enough, in fact, that you’re even able to turn this laptop into a 2-in-1 in all but name.

If you prefer a touch interface for image editing but don’t want to sacrifice anything in terms of tech specs or display fidelity, this is the laptop for you.

Also, we almost forgot to mention: this isn’t just a 17.3 inch IPS display. This is also a full 4K display, which makes it superb for picking out finer details in photographs and images without needing to zoom in.

It has full 100% coverage of the Adobe RGB color gamut, which means it’s more than well-equipped for the image work that you’ll be doing with it.

All of that is just the screen and the form factor. The specs take this laptop from superb to ridiculous.

The Intel Core i7-9750H is the same 6-core, 12-thread chip featured in the Laptop above.

However, it is now in a much larger laptop with a more powerful cooling system. This means it should be able to reach its turbo frequency of 4.5 GHz more often, especially if you choose to supplement this beast with a cooling pad.

The RTX 2080 inside this laptop is where things get real. As far as we can tell, this isn’t a cut-down Max-Q version of the RTX 2080- this is a full-fat graphics card, or as close as you can get with a laptop.

If everything scales properly, that should give this laptop approximately 67 percent more raw graphical horsepower than our Value pick. This is sheer overkill for still image editing, and a true powerhouse for video editing and other GPU-accelerated tasks.

Finally…you have a 1TB NVMe SSD, and 32 GB of DDR4 RAM. Aside from the CPU, this is pretty much what would happen if you took the Gigabyte Aero 15 and decided it should have twice the capacity. You’re going to be hard-pressed especially to use the full capacity of the RAM available to you.

If you’re a professional and you just want the best, then the Acer Predator Triton 900 is our top pick. The raw horsepower, the form factor, and the display fidelity are all there.

The utter lack of restraint corresponds to the price point as well, but we’re sure that for some of you…that doesn’t matter.

If it does, that’s what the earlier two picks are for.


That’s about it! Still having trouble picking the right Laptop? Happy to help you in the comments!

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Christopher Harper - post author

I have been a passionate devotee to technology since the age of 3, and to writing since before I even finished high school.

These passions have since combined into a living in my adulthood, and has made writing about myself very satisfying.

If you need any assistance, leave a comment below: it’s what I’m here for.

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Hi, thank you so much for this lovely article.
I need your help finding the best laptop for my needs. Im planning to use it for photo editing. Mostly lightroom and some photoshop. Im looking for a 15 inch laptop ideally(wouldn’t mind going for something different). My budget is around 1500 top.

Hi Valentino,

Thanks for asking!

With your budget, I suggest you take a look at the MSI GF65 Thin Gaming Laptop. It’s currently available at around $1,369.99 and below are its specs:

CPU Intel Core i7-9750H 2.60GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB
Memory(RAM) 32GB DDR4-2666
SSD 512GB NVMe Solid State Drive
Weight ~4.10 pounds
Display 15.6″, 1920×1080

As mentioned, the MSI GF65 Thin Gaming Laptop is priced at around $1,369.99 and comes with an i7-9750H CPU and 32GB of RAM. This combination is expected to deliver task responsiveness when you’re actively working inside the software while the RTX 2060 graphics card takes care of your GPU rendering tasks. All in all, this is a pretty solid laptop for your use case scenario.



Thanks a lot Alex,
But do i really need the GPU rendering in this case. I thought all the power i need for photo editing comes from the CPU. Pls correct me if im wrong

Alex Glawion

Hey Valentino,
Jep you are absolutely right. Though many Content Creators do lots of different tasks, so gpu rendering is often a requirement. If you just do Photo Editing, then you’ll need a strong CPU and not necessarily such a strong gpu.

The recommendation above is still an excellent pick, even if you don’t utilize the gpu as much.



I happened on your blog post while searching for “best laptops for photo editing/photography.” Thanks so much for providing clear and concise information on a laptop build one should look at for photo editing. I’m currently working on a 2008 MBP that is surprisingly still working, but I know I am definitely on borrowed time.

I definitely need a new laptop now, but given the current world circumstances, I can’t dedicate the type of budget that I would like to at the moment. Although I currently using the MBP, I’m partial to PCs and AMD processors. The PC would need to hold the Adobe Creative Suite and Capture One.

Would the Dell budget pick you recommend work? Are there other recommendations?


Hey Sabrina,

Thanks for dropping a line!

To answer your question, the budget Dell Inspiron 13 7000 13.3 Inch will definitely work. It has a Ryzen 5 2500U CPU and 8GB of RAM and that combination will deliver a decent performance for its brand new price of $579.99. However, you might find it lacking when you start working on bigger projects and more complex scenes. In cases such as these, the recommended amount of RAM should be 16GB, and more will be better for that matter. Also, Capture One requires at least 16GB of RAM if you are working with high-resolution images and calculation-heavy adjustments so you might want to take that into consideration.

If I may ask, how much is the maximum you are willing to spend?

Alternatively, you can check out the site’s PC Builder Tool. Just input your budget and the most appropriate use case and the tool will give you the best recommendations based on that. You can find the tool here:



Thanks for responding. Under other world circumstances, my budget would be more flexible, but at the moment what I can handle is 850USD and can probably bump up to just under 1000. I own a Capture One license, but haven’t been able to use it. I do have other “live/remote” view shooting options (Canon live view and LR) but I would really like to use my license.

Hey Sabrina,

The cheapest laptop I can recommend is priced at around $789 but it only has 8GB of RAM which may not cut it as I mentioned in my previous response. If you are willing to spend $999, I have the perfect laptop for you – the 2019 model of the Dell G5 Gaming Laptop and it’s perfect for what you need it for. Below are the specs:

CPU Intel Core i7-8750H 2.20GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
Memory(RAM) 24GB DDR4-2666
SSD 512GB Solid State Drive
HDD 1TB Hard Disk Drive
Weight 2.3 kg (~5.06pounds)
Display 15.6″, 1920×1080

Yes, it is a gaming laptop but it has great specs for it’s price this laptop is a steal when you come to think of it. It’s i7-8750H CPU is paired with a whopping 24GB of RAM and that should be more than enough unless you work on really complex and very complicated scenes. In addition to that, it has two storage options – a 512GB SSD where you can install your OS and commonly-used programs for faster boot times and faster application load times AND a 1TB HDD for your other files.

If I have a limited budget but need a laptop that will deliver the performance I need, the 2019 Dell G5 Gaming Laptop will be my only option.



Thanks so much for the recommendation!


Hello, thanks for your valuable information; I am a newbie and would like to know which laptop is on the market today to work ideally with this software (not only today, but at least the next three years!):

Thank you for your helps, and have a nice time

Cheers Sergio

Hey Sergio,

Thanks for dropping a line!

If I may ask, how much are you willing to spend for the laptop?

If you want something that could support Pix4D for the next three years, you may want to look at high-end laptops and these do not come cheap. You want the absolute best possible components under the laptop’s hood to ensure that your laptop could still run Pix4D with minimal hiccups three years from now.

If money is no object, one laptop you may want to look at is the Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED YA-9US5750SP priced at $4,099.00. Below are its specs:

CPU Intel Core i9-9980HK 2.40GHz 8-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q 8GB
Memory(RAM) 64GB DDR4-2666
SSD 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe Solid State Drive
Weight 1.9 kg (~4.18pounds)
Display 15.6″, 3840×2160

The components of the Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED YA-9US5750SP are all high-end parts and you can expect this laptop to handle whatever Pix4D task you throw at it.



Thank you Alex, money is everytime an object ;-))
I repete, I don’t have enough competence to discuss, so I’m asking to professionals… From another source they offered me a Lenovo ThinkPad P53s 20N6001MMZ and a Dell Precision 7000 7540.

What do you know about it? What are the noticeable differences (price apart?)



Hi Sergio,

Both the Lenovo ThinkPad P53s 20N6001MMZ and the Dell Precision 7000 7540 are actually good options. However, both these laptops come with Quadro GPUs and I don’t tend to recommend the use of these Quadro GPUs unless the software you use specifically requires a Quadro GPU for that matter. Not only that, laptops that use these Quadro GPUs tend to be a little more expensive than conventional laptops with RTX GPUs.

Now, if $4,099.00 is a bit too much for you, you may want to take a look at the GIGABYTE Aero 15W v8-BK4 priced at around $1,498.12. Below are its specs:

CPU Intel Core i7-8750H 2.20GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB
Memory(RAM) 16GB DDR4-2666
SSD 512GB M.2 Solid State Drive
Weight 2 kg (~4.4pounds)
Display 15.6″, 1920×1080

Of course, this is not as powerful as the more expensive Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED YA-9US5750SP I recommended earlier but this version of the GIGABYTE Aero 15 is still powerful enough for what you need it for.



Hi! Thank you so much for the excellent and detailed information above, it’s quite helpful since I’m looking for a new laptop right now.

And I would like to ask for your suggestions! My current budget is around $800 and I’m looking for:
– The highest color accuracy in this price range (around 89% and up for AdobeRGB)
– Smoothly handle both photo and video editing, designing (mostly Adobe programs)
– Preferably sturdy since I move around for work/life quite a bit.

Thanks again for the article and hope to hear back soon.

Hey Eddie,

Thanks for asking and thank you for the kind words!

To be perfectly honest, $800 is a little low for a laptop with a colour accuracy of around 89% and up AdobeRGB coverage. In fact, laptops in this price range only have about around 50% to 60% AdobeRGB coverage.

If you’re willing to add a little to your budget, you can get the 2019 ASUS TUF 17.3″ FHD Gaming Laptop Computer which is on sale and can be had at around $808.00. Below are the specs of the laptop:

CPU AMD Ryzen 7 3750H Quad-Core up to 4.0GHz
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB
Memory(RAM) 8GB DDR4 RAM
Weight ~5.73 lbs
Display 17.3″, 1920×1080

The 2019 ASUS TUF 17.3″ FHD Gaming Laptop comes with a Ryzen 7 3750H CPU with 8GB of RAM and this is a decent enough combination for your photo and video editing tasks. While the laptop will perform nicely, don’t expect its performance to be at the same level as of more expensive and higher-specced laptops. But since this laptop is part of TUF series of Asus laptops, you can expect it to be sturdier than your average run of the mill laptop.

By the way, this laptop is on sale so you might want to decide as soon as possible before it goes back to its regular price of $1,359.00.



Hello, i noticed in your reviews (which i must say are excellent and very easy to understand), you are yet to pick any Alienware model. Are they not good enough or its because of their prices? From their specs i suppose the Alienware M17 could easily rival the MSI GS75. or maybe not?

Hi Victor,

Thanks for asking and thank you for the kind words.

Alienware laptops are actually good enough not just for gaming, but for productivity tasks as well. But you’re right – the price point of Alienware laptops is slightly higher that offerings from Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI are able to offer laptops with similar specs found in Alienware laptops at slightly cheaper prices.



I am just getting started with photo editing and i want a laptop i can use for this
I have a limited budget but I would like to hear your thoughts on this laptop
Will that be good enough? Do you have other recommendations?

Alex Glawion

Hey Briane,
The Gigabyte AORUS 5 NA-7US1121SH will perform nicely in Photo Editing tasks, especially given the very moderate pricing and higher-end specs.

Can recommend!



Hi, thanks for this useful article, I need your help to buy the best laptop for graphic design and digital painting. My budget is around 1,500.

Hi Mona,

Thanks for asking!

Given what you need a laptop for, you want to invest in a laptop with a high clocking CPU and lots of RAM as this will ensure a smooth workflow when you’re working on your designs. With your budget, your best option at the moment is the MSI GF63 Thin Gamer Notebook and its specs are below:

CPU Intel Core i7-9750H 2.60GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB
Memory(RAM) 32GB DDR4-2666
SSD 2TB NVMe Solid State Drive
HDD 2TB 5400rpm Hard Disk Drive
Weight 1.8 kg (~3.96pounds)
Display 15.6″, 1920×1080

Priced at around $1,399.99, the MSI GF63 Thin Gamer Notebook comes with an i7-9750H CPU and a whopping 32GB of RAM. This CPU-RAM combination in the laptop will work together to ensure that your software and applications will function faster. In addition to that, you have two storage options with this laptop – a 2TB NVMe SSD where your OS and commonly used programs will be installed and a 2TB HDD for your other files. In fact, the 2TB NVMe SSD is big enough in such a way that you can put the files you need to work on in this particular drive for a faster and smoother workflow. All in all, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GF63 Thin Gamer Notebook!



Could you help me build a PC for photo editing?
I have a budget of around $2.5K. What parts do you suggest I get?

Hey Tristan,

Thanks for dropping a line!

You need not spend all your $2,500 for a powerful photo editing workstation. In fact, I was able to put together a build for you that costs roughly around $1756.81. Please see below for the parts list:

Parts List:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8GHz 12-Core Processor ($499.99)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock 4 AM4 ($74.90)
Motherboard: ASUS Prime X570-P ATX AM4 ($149.99)
GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2070 SUPER 8GB – MSI Gaming X ($549.99)
Memory: 32GB (2 x 16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($139.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 1TB M.2 Solid State Drive ($199.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($59.99)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 275Q ATX Mid Tower Case ($81.97)

As mentioned earlier, the total price of the build comes to around $1756.81 and you already have the top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen CPU (at least for now), the Ryzen 9 3900X, at the heart of your system. This snappy CPU is working alongside 32GB of RAM to ensure task responsiveness when you’re actively working inside the software. In addition to that, the build comes with an RTX 2070 Super GPU that packs support for CUDA core acceleration in case you need to use the GPU render engines.

By the way, you have the option of dropping the be quiet! Dark Rock 4 AM4 CPU Cooler as the stock Wraith Prism cooler included with the 3900X is more than capable in handling the CPU cooling tasks. The money you save from this including the remainder from your budget can then be invested in additional storage, more RAM, or a nice monitor (if don’t have one yet.)

You may also want to check the site’s PC Builder Tool at for more recommendations based on budget and use case.



Thanks for writing this article – it’s very informative!
I want to buy a laptop for photo editing. My budget is $3000. What’s the best laptop I can get for that amount of money?

Hey Angelo,

Thanks for asking!

Actually, your budget of $3,000 is a little too much for a photo editing laptop. In fact, my recommendation is the Gigabyte AERO 15-X9-9RT5 which only costs around $2,102.13. Below are the specs of the AERO 15-X9-9RT5:

CPU Intel Core i9-8950HK 2.90GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB
Memory(RAM) 16GB DDR4-2666
SSD 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe Solid State Drive
Weight 2.1 kg (~4.62pounds)
Display 15.6″, 1920×1080

For roughly $2,102.13, you get to have a laptop with a great i9-8950HK CPU which will work with the 16GB or RAM to give you task responsiveness when you’re working actively inside the software. Not only that, the AERO 15-X9-9RT5 comes with an RTX 2070 GPU which, at the moment, boasts of the best price to performance ratio among graphic cards. Also, the RTX 2070 supports CUDA core acceleration that helps bring about better render performance in case you need to use the GPU render engines.

All in all, the Gigabyte AERO 15-X9-9RT5 with it’s price of around $2,102.13 can’t be beat and this is exactly why you should make this laptop your first choice!

By the way, you might want to check the site’s PC Builder Tool. It’s a web-based tool that gives you the best recommendations while letting you play around with your budget and use case scenario. You can check it out at




I want to learn photo editing and have set my eyes on this laptop:

Do you think that laptop will work for me?

Hey Scot,

Thanks for dropping a line!

The MSI Gaming GF75 Thin 9SC-409IN is a good choice for a laptop if you want to learn photo editing. For its ₹ 94,990.00 price, you get a relatively snappy i7-9750H CPU that will give you task responsiveness when you’re actively working inside the software. In addition to that, the GF75 comes with a 17.3-inch IPS display which delivers better colour accuracy and viewing angles. All in all, the MSI Gaming GF75 Thin 9SC-409IN will definitely deliver what you need from it in terms of photo editing.

If you are open to other options, you may want to take a look at the 2019 model of the Lenovo Legion Y540 which is available for around $1309 (around ₹ 92,840.17) and a little cheaper than the MSI Gaming GF75 Thin 9SC-409IN.

Below are the specs of the Legion Y540:

CPU Intel Core i7-9750H 2.60GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB
Memory(RAM) 32GB DDR4-2400
SSD 512GB PCIe Solid State Drive
HDD 1TB Hard Disk Drive
Weight 3.1 kg (~6.82pounds)
Display 17.3″, 1920×1080

Though it’s a bit cheaper, the 2019 Lenovo Legion Y540 also comes with the same i7-9750H CPU and 17.3-inch IPS display BUT it does come with 32GB of RAM compared to the 16GB RAM of the MSI Gaming GF75. Furthermore, the Legion Y540 also comes with a 1TB 7200RPM HDD in addition to its 512GB PCIE SSD for extra storage while the GF75 only has a 512GB NVMe SSD.

Lastly, you may want to check the site’s PC Builder Tool at for other laptop recommendations depending on your budget and use case scenario.