Last updated on October 31st, 2023 at 10:26 am
If you’re an aspiring photographer on a budget, finding the best laptop for photo editing can seem overwhelming.
There are so many laptops to choose from, and it’s hard to know which ones will give you the performance you need without breaking your budget.
Luckily, we’ve done extensive research in order to put together this comprehensive guide specifically targeted towards photographers who need to find the best laptop that won’t break the bank. Keep reading to learn about our top picks and get all of your questions answered!
Table of Contents
Best Laptop for Photo Editing on a Budget In 2023 ( Recommended By Experts)
- Apple MacBook Air 2022 — The laptop for photo editing on a budget in 2023 Under 1200$ (Editor’s choice)
- Asus Vivobook 15 — The best affordable laptop for photo editing on a budget under 500$ & Highly rated
- Lenovo Ideapad 5i Pro — The best value laptop for photo editing under 600$
- Asus TUF F15 — The best performance laptop on a budget for photo editing in 1000$
- Dell Inspiron 13 5310 — The laptop with the best display for photo editing on a budget in 600$
- Microsoft Surface Pro 8 — The best 2-in-1 laptop for photo editing on a budget in 800$
- Acer Nitro 5 — The best laptop with a large display for photo editing on a budget under 800$
- Apple MacBook Air 2020 — The best macOS alternative laptop for photo editing on a budget under 1400$
- Acer Aspire 5 — The best laptop on a budget for basic photo editing highly rated under 500$
- MSI Modern 15A — The best portable laptop for photo editing on a budget under 900$
Our Top 5 Picks For YouInvalid table id.
1. Apple MacBook Air 2022 — The laptop for photo editing on a budget in 2023 Under 1200$ (Editor’s choice)
Display: 13.6-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology and 2560 x 1664 resolution | Graphics: 8-core/10-core Apple GPU | Processor: Apple M2 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/24GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB SSD
The MacBook Air has all the ingredients to make it one of the most efficient laptops that satisfy both photo and video editors alike. It has Apple’s top-of-the-line M2 chip, paired with 24GB of RAM and 2TB SSD storage, that ensures top performance and no compromises on speed.
The 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display featuring P3 wide color and True Tone technology allows you to edit images quickly and accurately. Plus, with 18-hour battery life, plenty of connectivity options, a sharp camera, a three-mic array, and a four-speaker audio system with Spatial Audio support, the Macbook Air offers everything you need for seamless photo editing. If you’re looking for a laptop for editing photos on a budget, then Macbook Air is overall best for you.
2. Asus Vivobook 15 — The best affordable laptop for photo editing on a budget under 500$ & Highly rated
Display: 15.6-inch Full HD | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | Processor: 10th/11th generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 | RAM: 4GB/8GB/12GB/20GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
The Asus Vivobook 15 provides the power of a studio laptop without overburdening your budget. It comes with up to 20GB of RAM, enough for all your photo editing needs, a powerful 11th gen i5 processor, 1TB of SSD storage and a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio for an immersive viewing experience.
Plus, it has great additional features like a fingerprint reader for added security and the latest Windows 11 operating system. All these features combine to make the Asus Vivobook 15 an ideal choice if you’re looking for an all-in-one, powerful laptop that won’t break the bank.
3. Lenovo Ideapad 5i Pro — The best value laptop for photo editing under 600$
Display: 16-inch 2.5K (2880 x 1800), IPS | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX450 | Processor: 11th generation Intel Core i5/i7 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 512GB/1TB SSD
With the Ideapad 5i Pro, you not only get an excellent laptop for photo editing, but you also get great value for your money. Its sixteen-inch 2.8K QHD display is of astounding quality, with color accuracy and no glare for outdoor use—and it covers a high percentage of the sRGB color space.
For further performance, the Intel Core i5 and GeForce MX450 come together to give more processing power than needed and the 8GB RAM ensures better multitasking possibilities. The Ideapad 5i Pro is one of those flexible laptops that can do more than what its price suggests; essentially, it’s perfect if you don’t want to overspend on your next laptop and get started with your passion project.
4. Asus TUF F15 — The best performance laptop on a budget for photo editing in 1000$
Display: 15.6‑inch Full HD IPS with a 144Hz refresh rate | Processor: 12th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD
If you’re in the market for a laptop that packs a powerful punch and has the fast performance there is, look no further than the Asus TUF F15. Boasting impressive specs like a 12th gen Intel i7 processor, 16GB of DDR5 RAM, and a dedicated GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card with 6GB of RAM, it’s no surprise that this unit beats out its competitors. It also features Adaptive-Sync technology that synchronizes the display.
Featuring Adaptive Sync, the display’s refresh rate will blend seamlessly with your GPU’s frame rate to provide a more immersive experience. Lag is reduced quickly and effortlessly while you explore photo editing or gaming enjoyment. So this is also great laptop for video editing on a budget.
5. Dell Inspiron 13 5310 — The laptop with the best display for picture editing on a budget in 600$
Display: 13.3-inch QHD | Processor: 11th generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX450 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD
The Dell Inspiron 13 5310 is a great choice for those who want a laptop for photo editing. It features a beautiful 13.3-inch 16:10 display panel that provides QHD resolution, excellent color and clarity, and wide viewing angles, so you can enjoy all your photos and videos in top quality.
Thanks to the 11th gen Intel Core i7 processor and high-end components such as 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB SSD, multitasking is smooth and responsive on this device. And with the NVIDIA GeForce MX450 boosted graphics performance, an optimized thermal design with dual fans and heat pipes for efficient cooling, plus HDMI, USB Type-C ports, WiFi 6 & Bluetooth connectivity, you get reliable performance no matter what tasks you need to accomplish. All in all, this laptop is perfect if you’re looking to prioritize aesthetics while still being able to edit photos effectively.
6. Microsoft Surface Pro 8 — The best 2-in-1 laptop for photo editing on a budget in 800$
Display: 13-inch PixelSense Flow touchscreen display with a 120Hz refresh rate | Processor: 11th-generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 | Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD (i3)/Intel Iris Xe (i5, i7) | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
A photographer’s dream come true is finally here in the Microsoft Surface Pro 8. With incredible power and versatility, it offers a combination of features that few other machines offer.
At its heart, its pen-on-paper feel and Windows 11 operating system allow you to draw, write, and edit your work directly on the display – it’s almost like using paper! An array of configuration choices are available, with options such as i5 or i7 processors, up to 32GB memory and 1TB storage. Not only that, but this device also boasts incredibly sleek design that will impress every viewer. If you love the best of both 2-in-1 laptops and dedicated graphic tablets then this should be your top pick.
7. Acer Nitro 5 — The best laptop with a large display for photo editing on a budget under 800$
Display: 17.3-inch Full HD with 144Hz refresh rate/QHD with 165Hz refresh rate | Processor: 5th gen Ryzen 5/6th gen Ryzen 7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650/NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070Ti | RAM: 8GB/32GB | Storage: 512GB/1TB SSD
If you want a laptop that’ll help ease the burden of heavy task workloads, the Acer Nitro 5 is an excellent choice. Not only does it have a 17.3-inch Full HD IPS display with an impressive 144Hz refresh rate for smooth visuals and text clarity, it also has plenty of raw power in the form of its Hexa-core AMD Ryzen processor and up to 32GB RAM.
Video editors and photographers will particularly appreciate the NVIDIA graphics card which gives them more than enough juice to work with without being limited by battery life. There’s no doubt that this powerful device offers exceptional performance and vivid imagery in one package.
8. Apple MacBook Air 2020 — The best macOS alternative laptop for picture editing on a budget under 1400$
Display: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Processor: Apple M1 | Graphics: Up to 7-core /8-core Apple GPU | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB SSD
If you are looking for an Apple laptop without breaking the bank, the iconic Apple MacBook Air 2020 is an excellent and reliable choice. Fitted with the ultra-efficient M1 processor, this innovative laptop can allow you to work on your projects quickly and easily.
It features a powerful GPU as well as an incredibly smooth Liquid Retina display, giving your visuals a crisp finish that’s on par with the latest models. Furthermore, it has been designed to give you maximum comfort when typing, not to mention its long 18-hour battery life that locks in productivity all day long! Moreover, this classic laptop is available in several distinct colors so you have the chance to create a seamless look for whatever type of environment or activity you are doing. The Apple MacBook Air 2020 may not be brand new but it packs plenty of punch under its light and stylish build!
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9. Acer Aspire 5 — The best laptop on a budget for basic photo editing highly rated under 500$
Display: 15.6-inch Full HD LED display | Graphics: Intel UHD | Processor: 11th generation Intel Core i3 | RAM: 8GB/12GB/20GB/36GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD, 128GB SSD+1TB HDD
The Acer Aspire 5 is a great laptop for any budding photographer who needs something that can keep up with basic photo editing tasks. It comes with 11th gen Intel i3 processor and up to 20GB of RAM which means it will run all your photo editing software without a problem.
You’ll also get a 15.6-inch display with narrow bezels, guaranteeing you an amazing viewing experience every time. The laptop is also equipped with abundant connectivity options as well, so you can connect all of your other devices without worry. On top of all this, the Acer Aspire 5 offers incredible value for money – it’s the perfect pick for anyone looking for a quality laptop for basic photo editing tasks!
10. MSI Modern 15A — The best portable laptop for photo editing on a budget under 900$
Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920×1080), IPS-Level | Processor: 11th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB SSD
The MSI Modern 15A is a versatile laptop that ensures your work is completed on the go. Whether you’re editing photos, streaming video or surfing the web, this computer will take care of it with ease. It has a light chassis of just 1.6kg and only 16.9mm wide, making it easy to carry as part of your daily routine.
With an 11th gen i7 processor and 8GB RAM, this mid-range laptop has plenty of power for all your computing needs, plus Intel Iris Xe graphics for an enhanced visual experience and 1TB SSD storage too! Plus with its robust keyboard and stylish look, you can be confident in its reliability – no matter whether you’re at home or out working. Ideal for creative projects or work that requires maximum portability, the MSI Modern 15A provides an excellent solution for those who love being able to work on the go without compromise.
Apple MacBook Air 2022, Asus Vivobook 15 & Lenovo Ideapad 5i Pro are the top 3 best laptops for photo editing.
With an increasing number of people taking up photography as a hobby or profession, having the right equipment is essential for achieving high-quality results. Accessing and editing photos with a laptop can make all the difference between amateur-looking photographs and professional-grade material. A good laptop used for photo editing requires ample RAM, plenty of storage, processor speed, and graphics capabilities as well as features like a backlit keyboard and high-resolution display. Investing in a good laptop that meets these specific technical requirements is necessary to get the best experience while working with images.
If you wish to master the craft of photo editing, we suggest 16GB RAM for your computer if it is running applications from Creative Cloud. In particular, Lightroom and Photoshop require a substantial amount of memory. Not only does RAM noticeably increase the number of tasks that can be handled by the CPU at once, but simply opening either Lightroom or Photoshop alone requires 1 GB RAM!
The amount of RAM needed for photo editing depends on the complexity and size of the images. A minimum of 8GB RAM is recommended, but for smoother performance and working with larger files, 16GB or more RAM is preferable.
The best specs for photo editing include a powerful processor (e.g., Intel Core i7 or equivalent), 16GB or more RAM, a dedicated graphics card with at least 4GB VRAM, a high-resolution display with good color accuracy, and sufficient storage (preferably SSD).
While a 4GB graphics card can handle basic photo editing tasks, for more demanding work involving high-resolution images, complex editing, or working with multiple layers and effects, a graphics card with more VRAM, such as 6GB or 8GB, would provide better performance and smoother editing workflows.
Editing photos is a process that has to be performed with care and attention. The best laptop for photo editing should have certain features like a large screen, a good processor, more RAM and so on. We hope you found our blog post helpful in finding the right laptop for your needs. If you liked this article, please share it on social media!
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