5 Best Laptops for Photoshop 2021 – Price & Buyer’s Guide

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What are the best laptops for Photoshop? If you use one of the best laptops for your Photoshop jobs, you will be able to see your dream coming true and the images taking shape just the way you want.

This means that you will need a powerful laptop that comes with a better processor, user-friendly ports and the ability to support and run a lot of photo editing software and tools.

It must also come with a good enough storage to create a large library of photos and store a large number of files. In addition to that, you will also need a good enough and dedicated GPU to handle all those graphics intensive apps.

That is not all. You will also need a decent display that can reproduce a wide range of colors most accurately.

Covering all these aspects, even if price is not an issue to you, is not an easy task. You will need to spend hours researching on the internet looking for one of the best laptops that you can buy and use for your photoshop projects most effectively and conveniently.

However, it is important for you to know the benchmarks in the first place before you start sifting through a large number of websites. This will narrow down your search and reduce your time and labor as well.

Well, if you do not have time or patience to go through all these ‘hassles,’ here is an article that will help you to choose one of the best amongst the five most recommended laptops that can be effectively used for Photoshop jobs.

Choose one according to your need and preference and consider the aspects that you need to focus on while buying one by going through the buying guide and the frequently asked questions in the end.

The Different Uses of Photoshop

Uses of Photoshop today can be varied. Some of the best uses of it includes Image writing. This is the process when the designer makes a digital or scanned photo ready to be used in a website, in a packaging, in a brochure, or other.

Website designing is another area where Photoshop is required. This is ideally the process wherein the photo is styled before it moves on to the writing stage.

It involves pulling different components of the page, modifying the colors and even adding components that will make the later stages of website designing much easier.

It is also used to create the right layout for a publication. Using the Adobe inventive Suite, this is the process that is useful to create posters, business cards, flyers, and postcards.

The graphics writing capabilities of Photoshop is also used by the designers for graphics creation in a much better way.

Photoshop tools like custom paint brushes help in working with the images and add special effects such as drop shadows.

Photoshop can be most effectively used to neutralize or exaggerate the pattern and texture of an image. The tools make it easier for the designers who lack creative thinking.

Photoshop is widely used in politics and social media as well just to distort the pictures of politicians to make it funny or annoying and help a specific party in an election campaign to ‘smash the image’ of the opponent party.

Photoshop also helps to create a unique brand style by creating logos that are exceptional and unique. Using Adobe Photoshop, designers can reduce or enlarge the size and alter the pixels of the image.

It also helps in promoting business by designing attractive pictures with quotes.

Therefore, Adobe Photoshop is always in high demand creating lots of jobs and careers.

However, with the innovative and continuously improving Adobe Photoshop, you will need the right kind of a device to handle all its requirements. One of these laptops will do the needful for you.

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Photoshop

The minimum system requirement for a Windows laptop that you want to use for Photoshop includes an Intel or AMD processor with 2 GHz base clock speed and 64-bit support, 2 GB or RAM, 4 GB of available hard drive space with some more for installation, and a powerful integrated and a discrete graphics chip of at least 2 GB of video memory and DX 12 support.

The recommended system requirement for a laptop for Photoshop is however much more than that. This will ensure that you work on complex projects as and when they come up in the future.

Follow the system requirements mentioned below that most professionals find suitable and useful for such jobs along with others.

Minimum system requirements: 7th generation Intel Quad Core i5 processor | 8 GB of RAM | 256 GB SSD | Intel HD Graphics 620 or better | 13.5 inches screen or larger | 1280 x 720 pixels resolution

Recommended system requirements: 8th generation Intel Core i7 or higher processor| 16 GB of RAM or higher | 512 GB or larger SSD | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or higher | 15.6 inches screen or bigger | 1920 x 1080 pixels screen resolution

5 Best Laptops for Photoshop 2021:

1. LG Gram 17Z990 – Best Overall

LG Gram 17Z990 Laptop

Bottom Line: Equipped with a large 17-inch screen and a long battery life of 17 hours, this laptop is the one amongst the other four in this list to offer the best overall performance when you use it for Photoshop. The faster and better Intel i7 processor of 10th generation will enhance your coding and designing efforts.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 17 inches
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • RAM: 16 GB SDRAM
  • Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i7 1065G7
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro
  • GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics

Pros 

  • The screen of the system is very large allowing better viewing.
  • The system is quite light in weight and easy to carry.
  • The latest processor ensures a better and faster performance.

Cons 

  • The CPU may not Turbo Boost up to 4 GHz due to the thermal design.
  • Using two monitors makes the system slow and results in latency making it unfit for power users.
  • The SATA SSD included in the system is comparatively slow for an SSD.

This machine redefines every aspect of a laptop, right from the screen to the processor.

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This laptop is one of the most advanced and ultra-slim laptops that is extremely light in weight weighing less than 3 pounds, and portable. In comparison, it is even more portable than a 13-inch laptop.

The power of the latest 10th generation processor will allow you to perform different activities on it such as working on Photoshop, playing games, editing videos, designing and more. In fact, this is the perfect machine for the Photoshop users.

The memory of the system is quite impressive and the 80-watt-hour battery has a long life of up to 17 hours which will allow you to work on it all day and handle any type of work when you use this incredible laptop.

The LG gram is durable and will deliver results in quick time and will be the most convenient laptop to use on the go.

The Iris Plus graphics will not only add to the level of performance but will also prove to be power efficient offering you twice better results.

This laptop will help you to produce high-level 4K content, do some high-resolution video and photo editing, apply video filters much quickly and also in 1080p gaming.

The 17-inch display comes with WQXGA IPS technology that helps it to deliver images at 2560 x 1600 resolution which is twice better and higher than that of a full HD display.

The images are clearer and the colors are more vivid and it is the unique 16:10 aspect ratio that will allow you to see most of the image in detail without scrolling.

Therefore, if you want to boost your productivity irrespective of the task you perform, this is the laptop that you should go for to maximize your designing and coding efforts. Check out LG Gram 17Z990 Review.

2. Apple MacBook Pro – Runner Up 

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Apple MacBook Pro

Bottom Line: You will find a fast and efficient Intel Core processor of the 9th generation with six powerful cores that will provide accurate results. Add to that, the long enough battery life of 11 hours, a Retina display, the Touch Bar and Touch ID, and good audio system, makes it nothing short of a Runner up.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 16 inches
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Processor: 9th generation 6 Core Intel i7
  • OS: Mac OS 9
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630

Pros 

  • The battery life of this laptop is very long, lasting for about 11 hours.
  • The narrow bezel makes the large screen look larger.
  • The laptop also comes with a mobile discrete GPU.

Cons 

  • The system is quite heavy, weighing more than 6 pounds.
  • There is no numeric keypad in the system.
  • The Up and Down arrow keys are too small and very close together.

With a processor belonging to the 9th generation and having six cores, this laptop assures a great performance and faster processing.

Apart from this, the system also comes with an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GDDR6 graphics card.

This 7 nm mobile discrete GPU is especially useful for the professional users to handle some of the most graphics intensive jobs using this machine apart from Photoshop.

The Touch Bar and Touch ID of the system are highly responsive and adds to the performance and functionality of the unit.

Also, the superfast SSD and the 16 GB RAM of the system helps it to process the most complicated data in quick time.

You will have an exceptional audio experience with its six-speaker high fidelity audio system that comes with force-cancelling woofers.

Adding to your comfort in using this laptop is the Magic Keyboard that comes with a scissor mechanism that is redesigned for better performance, accuracy and key travel.

The laptop will not become hot easily even when you use it for long hours, thanks to the strategically designed and advanced thermal management system.

The best part of the system is the 16-inch display that comes with Retina Display and True Tone technology that shows clear and vivid pictures produced by the integrated Intel UHD graphics 630.

The performance of the 16-inch screen is much better with 3072 x 1920 resolution and an ability to show the images at 226 PPI and a brightness of 500 nits.

The screen also supports the P3 wide color gamut. This makes the images look even more vibrant with more vivid colors making it look true-to-life.

With the more realistic details in the pictures, it will be much easier for you to work on this laptop for graphic design, photo and video editing, color grading, and more.

The white balance is automatically adjusted by the technology of the screen to blend perfectly with the color temperature of the lights around it. Check out Apple Macbook Pro Review.

3. Asus VivoBook M580VD – Value for Money 

Asus VivoBook M580VD Laptop

Bottom Line:  This specific laptop will not only allow you to create some of the best creations using Adobe Photoshop with its decent set of specs but will also provide you with a high value for money. The price performance ratio is quite high and the features included ensure that you have a higher user experience.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 15.6 inches
  • Storage: 256 GB M.2 SATA 3 solid state drive
  • RAM: 8 GB GDDR4
  • Processor: 7th generation Intel Quad Core i5 7300HQ
  • OS: Windows 10
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

Pros 

  • The speakers of the system provide a better audio experience.
  • The TN panel screen is beautiful and comes with better viewing angles.
  • The keyboard and trackpad are good and provide a better typing experience.

Cons 

  • The fans can be noisy at times.
  • The system as well as the keys do get hot.
  • The battery life is not great.

The 7th generation Intel core i5 processor is powerful and efficient enough to handle all your computing needs including Photoshop.

The four cores of the processor will process data at a base clock speed of 2.5 GHz which can be even further enhanced up to 3.5 GHz.

The full HD screen is quite big enough to let you see every detail of an image or text more clearly. It comes with a TN panel and anti-glare property that will make the images softer to your eyes.

The 2 GB NVIDIA GeForce graphics of the GTX series is powerful enough to produce better and flawless visuals with no screen tears or lags at a more consistent frame rate. This will enrich your gaming experience on this laptop.

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The chassis of this laptop is thin yet durable. The keyboard is illuminated for comfortable typing in the dark and the DDR4 RAM and M.2 SATA 3 solid state storage allows enough storage to save your files.

The system also allows lightning-fast connectivity with the dual band 802.11ac wi-fi networking. Irrespective of any interference and congestion, you will get a strong and stable connectivity.

The good enough ports and slots of the laptop including a USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port, a USB 3.1 Type A port, a USB 2.0 port and an HDMI port will allow you to connect a lot of external devices.

Though the battery life of this system is not so great, the durable nature and feature of the lithium polymer battery enables it to recharge in quick time, up to 60% of its total capacity in just about 49 minutes. Check out Asus VivoBook M580VD Laptop Review.

4. Microsoft Surface Book 2 – Unique Detachable 2-in-1 Design

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Microsoft Surface Book 2

Bottom Line: You can use this device for Photoshop just as you like, whether as a laptop or in a tablet mode. The unique detachable 2-in1 design will allow you to remove the screen entirely and use this PixelSense touchscreen display most conveniently with the images displayed clearly with vivid colors.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 13.5 inches
  • Storage: 256 GB
  • RAM: 8 GB LPDDR3
  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

Pros

  • The touchscreen is good and can be detached when using the system in the tablet mode.
  • The battery life is very good and allows working on it all day.
  • The keyboard is good and has a nice feel, travel and feedback.

Cons 

  • The screen cannot be separated from the keyboard easily without charging to release the magnets.
  • The SD card will stick out of the side due to the full-size SD card slot.
  • Screen may flicker noticeably and can be annoying.

This is a two in one laptop that you should choose if you want high performance. The touchscreen works just the way you desire and you can even detach it while using it in the tablet mode.

However, you will need to charge the laptop so that it is easy to release the magnet and separate the screen.

This product comes with an Intel core i7 processor belonging to the 8th generation that can operate at a high speed of 4.2 GHz. It is quite fast to handle all the tools and software that you need to use for your Photoshop jobs.

It comes with 256 GB of storage which provides you with adequate storage space and the 8 GB RAM of the system operating at 1866 MHz also helps in the processing of data and enhancing the performance of the laptop on the whole.

The system will provide you with an all-day power of up to 17 hours, even while playing back videos.

The performance of the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU is also good and promises higher and better reproduction of images.

These images produced by the 2 GB GDDR5 graphics card are displayed on the PixelSense display that comes with touchscreen features more clearly and with vivid colors at 1920 x 1080 resolution.

The system is quite light in weight weighing just 3.38 pounds but is twice more powerful and faster as compared to other versions of laptops of similar kind and specs.

You can use this system in four different modes that makes it all the more versatile. Along with other useful ones, you will also get a new USB-C port for additional connectivity options and charging.

The system also supports 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g standard wireless network communication that promises a consistent and strong connection.

The Bluetooth technology will further enhance your connectivity options. Check out Microsoft Surface Book 2 Review.

5. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon – Useful Features

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Laptop

Bottom Line: Apart from an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor which is good enough, this laptop is one of the best devices for Photoshop due to the other useful features such as an anti-glare Full HD screen, fingerprint login, faster RAM and storage, adequate connectivity options, and a fairly long battery life.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 14 inches
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i7 8565U
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620

Pros 

  • The system comes with a BD-R type optical drive.
  • The backlit keyboard adds to the comfort and accuracy of typing.
  • The laptop provides safer and faster login with its fingerprint login feature.

Cons 

  • The speakers of this laptop produce annoying rattling sound.
  • The trackpad could have been better.
  • There is no microSD card slot on the system.

This is also a good laptop that you can use for your Photoshop needs. The 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor is good and strong enough to process all the required data and support all the tools and software that you need to use for your work.

Operating at a base clock frequency of 1.8 GHz, which can be enhanced up to 4.6 GHz Turbo Boost frequency, this quad core processor will meet all your needs with a guarantee of faster processing and high level of performance.

The anti-glare screen of the laptop, though only 14 inches, comes with LED backlit feature that ensures power efficiency and the IPS technology of the display delivers images at full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

The 16 GB LPDDR3 RAM operates at 2133 MHz to enhance the speed and performance of the system which is also supported by the 512 GB Solid State Drive adequately.

The backlit keyboard and the fingerprint reader feature allow faster and more accurate typing in dimly lit settings and a faster and safer login as well.

The Windows 10 Home operating system will allow you to make the most out of it with its innovative and useful features that you are already familiar with.

The 64-bit architecture of the operating system along with the integrated Intel 620 graphics allows faster performance and better production of images.

You can use the HDMI port along with other ports to connect all different types of external devices and accessories.

The 802. 11 wireless AC 2 x 2 connectivity option of the system also ensures a faster and better wireless connectivity.

Along with that you will also get a Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, a dual microphone audio system that comes with Dolby Premium Audio Processing technology and an integrated webcam to take clear and sharper pictures.

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There are also two USB 3.1 ports, two USB Type C Thunderbolt ports with Power Delivery feature, one HDMI port as well as one mini-RJ-45 connectivity.

You can use a combination audio jack in the system, which is extremely portable weighing just 2.65 pounds.

Finally, the four-cell, 51 watt-hour battery will provide you with enough power to work on this system almost all day. Check out Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review.

Things to Look for Before Buying a Laptop for Photoshop  

Obviously, for your Photoshop jobs you can use just about any laptop that you want.

However, there are a few specific types, specs, and brands of laptops that will allow you to do your job in a much better way than the other laptops.

It is for this reason it is extremely important that you pick the right and best one for your job.

For fun or for a living, ideally, when you look for a laptop for Photoshop you will have in mind the lots of drawings and photo editing works that you need to do on it.

Therefore, you should choose one that will allow you to perform these activities more comfortably.

Here are a few specific and most crucial things that you should consider while choosing a laptop for your work using Adobe Photoshop, an illustrator or any other similar software.

However, remember that these are all recommendations and will help you to do your job in a much better way.

Nothing of this is mandatory and the type of device you choose for your Photoshop work will largely depend on your affordability.

Screen

Since you will be looking at the screen almost throughout your work, this is one of the most crucial aspects to consider while buying a laptop for your Photoshop work.

It is preferable to have a larger screen of a size ranging typically between 15 and 17 inches. However, if the resolution and quality of the screen is good enough then a smaller screen size will also suffice.

It is also recommended that you choose a display with LED or WLED backlit and anti-glare technology as that will not only prove to be more energy efficient and thereby saving a lot of your battery life but will also not strain your eyes when you look at it the whole day.

Storage

The storage of the laptop is also a necessary aspect to consider if you want to do your Photoshop job in a better way using your laptop.

Ideally, you should not choose anything less than 256 GB. This will allow you to store enough files and projects that may be large and need a fair amount of storage.

You may also go for a laptop that comes with the specific feature that will allow you to store your larger files in the cloud.

At this point it is good to know that it is better to buy a 256 GB SSD storage than a 1 TB hard drive.

This is because, irrespective of the rotational speed of the hard drive, it is much slower in operation as compared to a Solid-State Drive.

This means that if your laptop comes with an SSD storage, it will be much easier and faster to access your files.

It will also enhance the speed and performance of the device on the whole and at the same time keep the temperature at a much lower level.

Graphics

You will not need those expensive and very high-end graphics cards in your laptop for your Photoshop jobs.

However, an integrated graphics card should be powerful enough to support all of your Photoshop needs.

You may choose a discrete graphics card rather than an integrated one.

Though a few specific integrated graphics cards of specific brands may perform at a very high level but it is nothing compared to a dedicated graphics card in terms of frame rates pers second of image production and reliability.

RAM

When it comes to the RAM of the laptop, in most of the cases it is either 8 GB or 16 GB. However, for Photoshop jobs, a minimum of 16 GB is required and that too for the basic Photoshop jobs.

An 8 GB of RAM will be enough for only those Photoshop jobs that involve a lot of layers and little icons.

On the other hand, a 16 GB of RAM will be much more useful for jobs that involve huge posters and infographics, but only at the initial stages of the job.

To be on the safe side and make your laptop for Photoshop futureproof, it will be wise to invest on a laptop that comes with 32 GB of RAM.

This will allow you to handle all your Photoshop projects, even those that need using intensive tools such as Light Room.

CPU

Choosing the processor is the easiest part of all. Ideally, the processor of your laptop should come with a higher clock speed if you want to use it for Photoshop, preferably an Intel Core i5 or higher.

This means that you will not have to focus too much on the names, brands, models, numbers of cores while selecting the processor for your laptop to do Photoshop jobs.

You will simply have to look at the base clock frequency of the processor. This is measured in GHz.

Other things to remember

There are also a few other things that you should remember apart from the specs of the laptop that you want to use for your Photoshop jobs.

This will save you from overpaying for something that you will not need often or at all.

The new Adobe programs will not run effectively if you buy a laptop with older GPUs.

Therefore, if you buy a refurbished laptop make sure that the video card is released in 2014 or later. This will ensure that the functionality of the laptop is not limited.

You will also need a lot of ports and slots in your laptop so that you can connect a lot of external devices that are required for your Photoshop jobs.

This will help you to work more conveniently with the images. These devices include a mouse, an HDD drive, a graphics tablet, a flash drive, and a few others.

You may also need an external monitor connected with your laptop for working on the images with more efficacy looking at them on the big screen.

FAQ:

Is a laptop with Core i5 processor good for Photoshop?

Ideally, Photoshop work is best done on a laptop that has a better clock speed rather than a large number of cores. The Intel Core i5, i7 and i9 processors usually come with a higher base clock speed and therefore are all suitable for Adobe Photoshop use and you can expect a very high level of performance.

Is 16 GB of RAM in my computer enough for Photoshop?

Ideally, 16 GB of RAM in a laptop is the bottom line for doing Photoshop work on it. However, this is not enough in any way. If you want more productivity and a better result, then you should ideally go for a laptop that comes with 32 GB of RAM. This is a must. Remember, lower the RAM, the slower will be the laptop in performance and opening the files.

Can I use a gaming laptop effectively for good Photoshop?

Yes, you can because all gaming laptops come with higher specs that will effectively and effortlessly meet with all the requirements of Adobe Photoshop. Typically, the gaming laptops come with an SSD storage, lots of RAM, a high-end processor and powerful graphics card that can handle all the needs of your Photoshop work. However, too much of anything can be an overkill.

Can I use an all-in-one computer for Photoshop instead of a conventional laptop?

Yes, you can. These systems are light in weight than some of the workstations and heavyweight laptops and therefore will be much easier to carry, if you really have to. There are lots of different brands and models of these smaller all-in-one PCs that you can choose from and easily use for your photoshop projects. If you can afford the cost, you will get a larger display and better ergonomics.