Most photo editing software, like Photoshop or Lightroom, demands power from the computer on which it is used. To meet users’ on-the-go demands, many laptops trade power for portability. We recommend getting a laptop with an i7 Intel Core Processor for the most power.
Graphics cards with lots of memory are key to photo editing operations. We recommend a minimum of 4MB of RAM in a graphics card, which will enable the graphics processor unit to carry some of the work.
When you run several windows or programs at once, such as what you do when photo editing, you tend to drain your laptop’s battery pretty quickly, as the tasks are quite demanding of power. As a result, most laptops capable of handling photo editing don’t have the best battery lives. To overcome battery challenges, look for batteries that have more cells (which keep the device charged longer). Alternatively, you can look for a laptop with a removable battery, and purchase a spare battery as a backup when you’re on the go.
Although manufacturers are quickly and increasingly shrinking the size and weight of most laptops, those with the power to handle tasks like photo editing will generally be a bit more on the bulkier and heavier side. Obviously, if you’re editing photos while traveling or in the field, you will want to get the lightest laptop you can find. However, you may find yourself having to compromise on other specs to get a lightweight system.
You will also want to pay close attention to the number of input ports the device has, such as SD card reader slots and USB slots. Keep in mind that transferring files and photos from your camera or other device to your laptop will be accomplished much faster and easier if you use a USB 3.0 port as opposed to a 2.0 port. Systems with multiple USB 3.0 ports, card reader slots, and HDMI ports will be most beneficial to the photo editing process.
Generally speaking, laptops that feature all of the various above-listed factors tend to be on the slightly more expensive side. However, some experts says that you can get one with “considerable power, a good amount of RAM, a good screen, and a sizeable hard drive” for less than $600. If you’re really going to be spending a lot of time editing photos (or any more-daunting tasks), you may want to go with something that’s top-of-the-line. Below we review the top five laptops for photo editing, ranging in price from $1,099 to $2,499. It’s also a good idea to invest in an extended warranty on the pricier devices, so long as it costs less than 15 percent of the total purchase price of the laptop itself.
You’ll be sure to love this laptop’s sleek and attractive design. The Apple MacBook Pro MJLT2LL/A has an impressive 15.4-inch screen with retina display, Intel Iris Pro Graphics, and a 2880x1800 resolution. The device operates on OS X Yosemite and has 512GB of storage space, 16GB of memory, a 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 Processor (with turbo boost up to 3.7GHz), and a built-in battery with a nine-hour battery life. The Apple MacBook Pro MJLT2LL/A is a little heavier at 7.2 pounds, but packs a lot of power.
People who purchased this product were highly impressed by its speed, both when booting and in terms of general performance. Reviewers also admired its “well-made” design. Many people were specifically pleased with the Force Touch trackpad. Numerous consumers were thrilled with the incredible clarity of the screen and loved the retina display. Some customers were disappointed by the storage size, saying they expected more for the price they paid. Others said that the computer’s battery life leaves something to be desired and that, although the laptop itself is very up-to-date, some of its hardware isn’t.
The ASUS ROG G751JY-DH71 has been championed as one of the most powerful laptops on the market. It’s fitted with an Intel Core i7-4710HQ 2.5GHz Processor (with turbo boost up to 3.5GHz), 24GB of memory, and a 1TB/256GB SSD hard drive. You’ll be blown away by the 17.3-inch, Full HD, IPS screen with 1920x1080p resolution and 178-degree viewing angles. This device has an average battery life of about four hours, a backlit keyboard, customizable macro and quick access keys, and TurboMaster for graphics boost.
People who have purchased the ASUS ROG G751 rave about its unbelievably clear and rich display, sturdy build, and sleek design. Many were impressed by its speed, power, and performance, saying that it handles multi-tasking like a champ. Some consumers even said that they would replace their desktop computers with this device, as it is so powerful and capable. The bulky size and weight (8.4 pounds), the quality of the speakers, and the large size of the power brick seem to be the most common complaints about this item. Some people were also frustrated by the location of the Blu-Ray writer drive and the macro keys.
Photo editing will never be as clear on a screen as it is on the Dell XPS 1508949sLV. The laptop features a 15.6-inch display with NVIDIA GeForce GT, 3200x1800p resolution (five times the resolution of a standard Hi-Def display), and 160-degree viewing angles, making it perfect for editing photos and graphic design. The Dell XPS 15-8949sLV is fitted with an i7-4712 HQ Intel Core Processor, 16GB of memory, and a 512GB Solid State Drive (for storage), and it operates on Windows 8.1. Its thin, sleek design includes machined aluminum construction for durability. Dell says this computer is the “most powerful XPS laptop ever.”
Consumers who purchased this product raved about its clear, sharp, and extremely vibrant display, as well as its speed and performance. Many people added that the system remains quiet. Others were thrilled with the unit’s touchscreen. Some customers complained that the fan is loud and that the trackpad is not so great. One of the biggest complaints about the Dell XPS 15 was that it runs hot, but several consumers said they were able to easily overcome this problem by purchasing a cooling pad to use with it.
The MSI GE Series GE70 Apache Pro-681 has specs that, some say, rival a mid-range desktop. It features a 3.6GHz i7 Intel Core Processor, 12GB of memory, a 1TB hard drive, and 2000MB Graphics Card RAM. Enjoy the 17.3-inch anti-glare screen with a 1920x1080p resolution, Full HD, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 M. It also has a full-color, backlit keyboard, SoundBlaster audio, and a DVD optical drive. It will connect to as many as two external monitors, transforming your notebook into a multimedia center – all of this in just 6.6 pounds.
Consumers who’ve purchased this product report that it’s fast, powerful, and well-built, and that it performs well. Many raved about its incredibly clear display. Several people reported that this laptop does not come with much pre-installed bloatware (or “junkware”). Probably the biggest complaints from customers who purchased this product have been that the trackpad is located in an awkward place and that the system tends to run hot. Several consumers said they easily overcame the latter issue by purchasing a cooling pad to accompany their new laptop.
If power and excellent graphics are important to you, you will love the Alienware 17. It features a 17.3-inch anti-glare screen with NVIDIA GeForce, a 1920x1080p resolution, and IPS-based LED technology (designed to decrease lag). This device also has an i7 Intel Core Processor, 8GB of memory, and a 1000GB, 5400RPM hard drive. It operates on Windows 8.1, has a 2.0 MP, Full HD webcam, weighs 8.3 pounds, and is crafted for sturdiness and durability with carbon fiber-filled surfaces.
Consumers raved about how well the Alienware 17 handles gaming, saying that it is “portability at a desktop level.” Many reviewers raved about the numerous customizable features in this computer, from the numerous backlit keyboard options to the macro keys and more. They also commented on the excellent trackpad and comfortable keyboard. Several people mentioned how well this system performs during gaming. Most satisfied customers were thrilled with the unbelievable clarity, depth, and brilliance of the display. A few were disappointed that it lacks an optical drive, while others said the laptop runs hot. Some also said the laptop is quite bulky and heavy, limiting its portability.
To sum everything up, if you’re looking for a new laptop on which you can edit your photos from home, while traveling, or in the field, you need to know which specifications this work will require. After determining the minimum requirements for what you need to do, you can better examine and understand the options available to you. Avoid compromising on screen size, quality, color, power, storage, and memory to ensure that you will be able to make the best photo edits possible.