10 Best Laptops for Photoshop for Every Budget in 2022

Adobe Photoshop requires a powerful processor, multitasking power, and a good graphics card and we’ve listed down our top 5 choices for the best laptop for Photoshop today. 

This list includes both our choices for macOS, Windows OS, and budget options for the best laptop for Photoshop, as well as a detailed FAQ segment to help you with some common questions you might have before making a purchase.

Detailed Reviews of Laptops for Photoshop

#1: 16″ MacBook Pro 2021

The new MacBook is so fast, it feels like an extension of your hand. Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max have blown off all competition in terms of sheer power alongside efficiency, and it is comical how far ahead Apple is in their engineering.

2021 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, Apple M1 Pro chip with 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) - Silver
  • Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max chip for a massive leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance
  • Up to 10-core CPU delivers up to 2x faster performance to fly through pro workflows quicker than ever
  • Up to 32-core GPU with up to 4x faster performance for graphics-intensive apps and games
  • 16-core Neural Engine for up to 5x faster machine learning performance
  • Longer battery life, up to 21 hours

Firstly, ports are back in the newest MacBook Pro! Apple has reverted to MagSafe charging and provided the pros with features like an SD card reader and an HDMI port. This means that photographers can finally plug their SD cards without a dongle. Sadly, we still have only Type-C thunderbolt 3.0 ports for general connectivity.

Apple has always created beautiful displays, but the 2021 MacBook Pro has knocked any previous benchmarks out of the park. MacBooks are famous for their color-accurate, ultra-sharp displays, and this year, they’ve given them an all-new Liquid Retina XDR display. This, alongside the new 120 Hz ProMotion technology makes the display beautifully adept for Photoshop.

Packed with the M1 Pro chip with a 10‑core CPU and 16‑core GPU, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD, the MacBook Pro M1 is beating top-of-the-line windows laptops at half the energy efficiency, and significantly reduced cost. It just doesn’t get better than this in terms of processing power, which photoshop requires a lot of. 

Also, the trackpad on MacBook Pro is calibrated amazingly in terms of feedback and responsiveness. Even using it to make precise selections using the infamous knife tool on photoshop feels like an effortless and natural task. That’s just how well-calibrated the trackpad is for photo editors.

The MacBook Pro is an amalgamation of a fantastic display, great hardware, and a highly optimized Operating System. It gives you the smoothest and most visually aesthetic experience of using Photoshop. 

Overall, the new M1 MacBook Pro is arguably one of the best productivity laptops you can find. If working with MacOS can fit well with your workflow, the M1 MacBook Pro is the perfect pick for you.

Pros

  • Industry leading CPU
  • Full day Battery life
  • Better connectivity
  • 120 Hz ProMotion display
  • Updated Magic Keyboard

Cons

  • Notched Display
  • Low upgradability

View Current Price

#2: ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

ASUS has created a new direction for the laptop industry to explore with this one-of-a-kind product. Their Zenbook Pro Duo is one of the most functional, feature-heavy laptops in the market with not just one, but two displays for you to work on.

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ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 Laptop, 15.6” 4K UHD NanoEdge Touch Display, Intel Core i7-10750H, 16GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, GeForce RTX 2060, ScreenPad™ Plus, Windows 10 Pro, Celestial Blue, UX581LV-XS74T
  • ScreenPad Plus: 14 inch 4K matte touchscreen, giving your endless way to optimize your multitasking experience by extending the screen or split windows and apps on both displays
  • 15.6 inch 4K UHD NanoEdge touchscreen glossy main display
  • Latest 10th generation Intel Core i7-10750H Processor (12M Cache, up to 5.0 GHz) with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • Detachable palm rest and ASUS active stylus pen included. Military Grade : US MIL-STD 810G military-grade standard
  • Fast storage and memory featuring 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD with 16GB DDR4 RAM

The keyboard and touchpad are shifted to the bottom to make room for the new 4K touch-screen called the ScreenPad Plus that sits right below the main screen. You can use this display to categorize brushes while drawing, tweak the graphs while looking at the image on the screen, or perhaps look at some relaxing music video while waiting for effects to render.

The laptop introduces a new Ergolift Tilting design that makes the keyboard slant as you open the laptop to ensure proper visibility on the second screen. ASUS has also provided a palm rest in the box for the user’s comfort. What else? A stylus for the second screen, of course. Another explosion of possibilities with support for the best styluses in the market as well.

Another highlighting feature of this laptop is the Thunderbolt 3.0 ports on this laptop that can reach speeds of up to 40 GB/s, making your pre-editing file transfers happen instantaneously.

Also, to add the cherry on top of the cake, the display on the ZenBook Pro Duo is a stunning 4K OLED panel. To run two 4K displays, this machine needs some serious computing power, and they’ve achieved this by putting together a combo of a whopping 5.3 GHz i9 processor, an RTX 2060, and 16 GB of RAM.

ZenBook is a feature-packed option with inbuilt Alexa support, IR face unlock, and but the most unique feature stands to be the dual-screen, which creates thousands of new avenues to explore. The ZenBook Pro Duo is simply a godsend for professional photographers or graphic designers who will need high power to meet their photoshop needs.

Pros

  • Dual-screen configuration
  • Included stylus and palm-rest
  • Intel i9 processor
  • 4K UHD display
  • Inbuilt Alexa support

Cons

  • No palm rest
  • Awkward touchpad position

View Current Price

#3: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

Thoughtful and functional engineering, a great screen in a lightweight and mobile chassis with the performance to drive the point home, the Surface Laptop Studio is where it’s at. This is the device for people who live on the go and will benefit from this laptop’s various usage modes it offers, like a tablet, stage, and laptop mode.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio - 14.4" Touchscreen - Intel® Core™ i5 - 16GB Memory - 512GB SSD - Platinum
  • The most powerful Surface Laptop. Quad-core powered 11th Gen Intel Core H Series processors handle your most complex workloads.
  • Boundary-pushing design with sleek 14.4“ (5) touchscreen makes seamless transitions from laptop to entertainment-ready stage to portable creative canvas.
  • Pair with Surface Slim Pen 2 for the best digital pen experience yet, featuring the feeling of pen on paper(7). Magnetically attach, store, and charge under the front of the keyboard.
  • Enjoy uniform, true-to-life color and contrast on the beautiful 14.4”(5) PixelSense Flow touch display. Experience smoother scrolling with a refresh rate up to 120Hz.
  • See remarkable colors, brighter brights, darker darks, and subtle details with Dolby Vision and Dolby Vision IQ 6 that dynamically adjusts to the changing light conditions around you

The Microsoft Surface comes with a 14.4” screen and has a resolution of 2400×1600 pixels. It’s even better than a Full-HD display and refreshes at 120 Hz for a buttery smooth experience. To add to the fun, it also supports a proprietary Microsoft stylus, which comes with the laptop. You can use this stylus to make better selections or outlines or draw what you want on a blank canvas.

It has a marvelous battery life of 18 hours at medium usage. That is crazy long for a device with this much power, given that it also comes equipped with an Intel i5 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and an Nvidia RTX 3050Ti to handle the graphical requirements that crush photo editing. 

You also get a pre-loaded Windows 11, two Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, one headphone jack, and one surface connect the port to charge the device. Surface Laptop Studio has shown solid capability on various benchmark tests and those performance levels translate into general snappiness of use as well. 

We recommend using the stylus with the Surface Studio in tablet mode. The pencil-like input feels natural for creating accurate strokes, and navigation of the menus is also made very straightforward. The mobility combined with the power it packs makes it the ultimate compact laptop.

Pros

  • Different usage modes (Tablet mode, Stage mode)
  • Pre installed Windows 11
  • 120 Hz display
  • Ray Tracing GPU
  • Thunderbolt 4 support

Cons

  • Average Battery life
  • Limited port selection

View Current Price

#4: HP Spectre x360

The HP Spectre x360 brings together power and mobility and delivers it in a sturdy body. Made with keeping compactness in mind, the laptop has the ability to turn into a tablet as well. The Spectre’s design is not only functional but is also arguably one of the best-looking laptop designs in the market.

2022 HP Spectre x360 15.6inch 4K Ultra HD Touch-Screen Laptop (Intel i7-1165G7 4-Core, 16GB RAM, 2TB PCIe SSD, Intel Iris Xe, Backlit KB, FP Reader, Webcam, WiFi 6, BT 5.2, Active Pen, Win11H) RAM|
  • ?Upgraded? Seal is opened for Hardware/Software upgrade only to enhance performance. 15.6 inch 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) 60Hz Touchscreen AMOLED Display; Wi-Fi 6 AX201 Wifi, Bluetooth 5.2, 720p HD Webcam, Fingerprint Security System, Backlit Keyboard, Active Pen.
  • ?Powerful Performance with Intel Core i7-1165G7 Quad Core? 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 2.80GHz Processor (upto 4.7 GHz, 12MB Cache, 4-Cores) ; Intel Iris Xe Integrated Graphics, .
  • ?High Speed and Multitasking? 16GB OnBoard RAM; 135W Power Supply, 6-Cell 73 WHr Battery; Nightfall Black Color, .
  • ?Enormous Storage? 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD; 1 HDMI, 2 Thunderbolt 4 (Type-C), Micro SD Reader, No Optical Drive, Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack., Windows 11 Home-64., 1 Year Manufacturer from GreatPriceTech (Professionally upgraded by GreatPriceTech)
  • Includes Dockztorm USB Hub(Special Edition Portable Docztorm Data Hub;Super Speedy Data Syn Rate upto 5Gbps)

HP has also achieved an intel EVO badge for the Thinkpad X1, which is a certification of trust by intel in the laptop’s premium status. The 11th generation Intel i7 processors inside make sure the device is quick in performing everyday tasks and does well under heavy loads as well.

Considering how long it can take to edit or animate on photoshop, a hassle-free experience with your computer could contribute to your productivity. Keeping this in mind, the Spectre comes fitted with an impressive battery life that will last you all day.

The display is a 15.6 inch 4K UHD panel, which guarantees bright and vibrant colors and sharp details. Right above the screen is a 720p webcam that has a physical shutter too, an essential feature for people concerned about their privacy. 

Inside the box, you also get a stylus that works with the touchscreen and can be used to operate various tools on photoshop, take notes or draw. Although the HP Spectre x360 is a fairly expensive device, it has a plethora of features, and definitely delivers on the premium it asks.

Pros

  • Slim and lightweight
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Exceptional Battery
  • Intel EVO badge
  • Webcam shutter

Cons

  • No dedicated GPU
  • Limited port selection

View Current Price

#5: Budget Pick: HP Envy

The HP Envy is our budget choice for graphic designers and artists who are looking for a laptop that can run the primary features of Adobe, without compromising their finances. This laptop still has the hardware to run Adobe and is a great addition to an artist’s arsenal. 

The HP Envy has an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, which can turbo clock up to speeds of 3.9GHz. This quadcore processor should offer enough power to run Photoshop without too many issues. 

This laptop comes equipped with about 8GB of RAM, to give you enough multitasking space to run a few programs alongside Photoshop, though we recommend not doing that to allot more power for Adobe. 

It has a 256GB solid-state drive, which should easily store Adobe Photoshop without any difficulty, as well as a couple of your files. You might want to purchase an additional drive to store your work on as 256GB of space may go by quite quickly.

While you can’t upgrade the RAM configuration on the HP Envy, you should be able to upgrade the solid-state drive to a larger capacity if you need to. As long as you purchase an M.2 slot solid-state drive, you shouldn’t have much difficulty upgrading. 

This laptop comes with the Intel UHD Graphics 620. While this is an integrated graphics card, this still should let you get through some of the main, basic processes of Adobe Photoshop, and is still a great choice for budget-minded creatives. 

The HP Envy is considerably smaller, with a 13.3-inch display. That doesn’t mean this display isn’t good, as it’s in full HD, with a maximum screen resolution of 1920x1080p. 

This is an extremely easy laptop to carry around with you, so if you need to take your job with you on the go, it’s a great option. It weighs in at around 2.8lbs. The battery life lasts quite a while, so it should be great for taking around with you. 

Downsides

The biggest drawback we’ve found with the HP Envy is that you can’t upgrade the memory configuration. You’ll be stuck with the 8GB this laptop comes with, which might not be enough for some users who are looking to run more programs alongside Photoshop. 

The other drawback to this laptop is that it has an integrated graphics card. You won’t get any additional VRAM from this, so you’ll have lesser graphics power. 

Pros

  • More affordable specs
  • Upgradeable storage
  • Very portable

Cons

  • Non-upgradeable RAM
  • Integrated GPU


#6: Windows Laptop for Photoshop: Dell XPS 15

The Dell XPS 15 is the Windows equivalent to the MacBook Pro. Just like its competitor, it’s got fantastic specs for Photoshop work, an amazing display, and great hardware, this laptop is a sure hit for any graphic designer who prefers Windows OS. 

This laptop comes with a 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, which can turbo clock up to speeds of 4.5GHz, which is more than enough power to run Photoshop without a hitch. 

The Dell XPS 15 has 16GB of memory, which gives you tons of room to multitask. You won’t have any difficulty running Photoshop alongside other Adobe programs or your browser with this much memory available. 

There’s more than enough room on the Dell XPS 15 to store Photoshop, as well as your other files, with a 256GB solid-state drive. You can also expect your programs to launch smoothly and efficiently. 

You can make the most out of the XPS if you’re considering upgrading. Whether it’s right upon purchase or much further down the line, you can upgrade its memory, as well as replace the existing drive with a newer, larger one, to suit your needs.  

This laptop comes with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, which is a dedicated GPU that offers 4GB of additional VRAM. This is a recommended graphics card for Adobe Photoshop and is sure to let you maximize your software.  

One of the strengths of the Dell XPS 15 is its fantastic display. You won’t go wrong with a 4K display for Adobe Photoshop, which will give you extremely clear and crisp images. It has a maximum display resolution of 3840x20160p and is sure to be a great tool and asset to Photoshop users. 

This laptop is also extremely portable, weighing in at around 4.5lbs, and has good battery life. This makes it ideal for graphic artists who need to take their work laptops to and from their studios or offices. 

Downsides

There isn’t much we can say against the Dell XPS, as it’s a fantastic laptop for graphic designers. The only real issue that we could find with this laptop is that it can get quite hot, but that only happens under heavy load. 

Pros

  • Powerful specs for creatives
  • Upgradeable memory and storage
  • GPU is compatible with Photoshop
  • 4K display

Cons

  • Tends to get hot when under heavy load

#7: Laptop with Dual Display: ASUS ZenBook 13

If you’re looking for a great ultrabook to do some casual Photoshop work, the ASUS ZenBook 13 is another viable option for most  

The ZenBook 13 comes with a very powerful 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, which can turbo clock up to speeds of 4.9GHz. 

It comes with 16GB of storage, which should give you more than enough room to multitask and run other software alongside Photoshop without a hitch. 

This laptop has 512GB of storage space on a solid-state drive as well, giving you enough room for your Adobe software, as well as your files. We’ve mentioned numerous times that a solid-state drive is much more ideal, as they’re much more stable, and a lot faster. 

Those of you looking to upgrade this laptop right off the bat or further down the line, you can easily upgrade the storage capacity of this device by swapping out the solid-state drive, but you’re going to be stuck with the 16GB RAM configuration. 

The NVIDIA GeForce MX250 is a dedicated graphics card, which is great for Photoshop users, though it doesn’t offer as much VRAM as the other laptops here, it still does significantly improve this laptop’s render performance. 

You have a great 13.3-inch display on the ASUS ZenBook 13, which has a 1920x1080p resolution and is perfect for photoshop thanks to its fantastic color replication. The IPS panel also helps with viewing angles, so you won’t need to constantly adjust the display while working.

The ASUS ZenBook 13 is also very light, weighing around 2.6lbs, so it’s easy to carry around with you. The battery also lasts quite a bit, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty working on the go. 

Downsides

One of the most disappointing issues with the ASUS ZenBook 13 is that you can’t upgrade its RAM configuration. While 16GB is more than enough for your everyday Photoshop needs, some users do want the option to upgrade further down the line. 

Pros

  • Powerful specs
  • Upgradeable storage
  • Sturdy build
  • Portable and lightweight

Cons

  • Non-upgradable memory configuration

#8: Most Lightweight: Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is another top-tier choice for Photoshop users. It’s extremely versatile and can be used as a tablet, as well as a laptop. 

This convertible laptop comes with a 10th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, which has a maximum clock speed of 4.2GHz. 

It comes with 8GB of RAM which is enough for using Adobe Photoshop and with ease, as well as running a couple of other software or keeping a few browser tabs open simultaneously. 

You also have 128GB of storage on the solid-state drive of the Surface Pro, which is enough space for storing Photoshop’s program files. If this isn’t enough storage for you, then you can always insert a MicroSD card to store your files in its designated slot or work with an external drive. 

The Intel Iris Plus Graphics card is an integrated GPU that still easily handles Adobe Photoshop. While it isn’t as impressive as the other laptops listed here, it still handles Adobe software quite well, with the only setback being with your render times. 

Despite having a very small display, the Surface Pro 6 was meant for graphic designers who are looking for a great two-in-one laptop. The screen quality is fantastic. The colors are replicated very well, and its maximum display resolution is 2736x1824p. 

Finally, the Surface Pro 6 is an extremely compact and portable laptop. It weighs in at just about 1.1lbs, which feels virtually non-existent when you keep it in your bag. The battery lasts quite a bit as well, at around 8 hours or so, so you can easily work while on the go. 

Downsides

You can’t upgrade the memory and storage of the Microsoft Surface Pro, which means you’re going to have to use an external drive or an SD card. 

Unfortunately, to make the most of your Surface Pro, you’ll have to buy both the Pen and Keyboard attachments, as they’re sold separately. These are going to become an additional expense for you, especially because these accessories don’t come cheap. 

Pros

  • Geared towards creatives
  • Powerful mid-range specs
  • MicroSD slot to add more storage
  • High pixel density on display

Cons

  • Accessories sold separately
  • Non-upgradable memory or storage


#9: Lenovo Legion 5 – Best Windows Workstation

The Legion series laptops are famous for their chunky yet modern builds with powerful hardware mix and effective cooling systems, and the Legion 5 is no exception.

Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD IPS 300Nits 144Hz, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6, Windows 10, with Woov High Speed 6FT HDMI Cable Bundle (16GB RAM | 512GB PCIe SSD)
  • This laptop has been professionally upgraded to 16GB RAM | 512GB PCIe SSD. Original Seal is opened for upgrade ONLY. We do provide a 1-year standard warranty on upgraded RAM/SSD.
  • 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) IPS 300nits Anti-glare, 144Hz, 100% sRGB, Dolby Vision Display. Bundled with a 6ft Woov High Speed HDMI Cable that supports 4K content.
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Processor (8C / 16T, 2.9 / 4.2GHz, 4MB L2 / 8MB L3), NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 Graphics, Windows 10 Home 64 Operating System
  • High Definition (HD) Audio, 2W x2 Stereo speakers, 100/1000M Ethernet, Wi-fi 6 (11ax, 2x2), Bluetooth 5.0, 720p Camera with Privacy Shutter, Integrated 60Wh Battery, Max Battery Life 4.2 hr, White Backlit Keyboard
  • 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Always On), 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 (support data transfer and DisplayPort 1.2), 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x Ethernet (RJ-45), 1x headphone / microphone combo jack (3.5mm)

It looks sleek, modern, and stylish with an angled straight-line design and bold engravings that make it stand out. The look of the laptop is a statement in itself.

The display is no slouch to look at either. The 144 Hz version of the Legion delivers a 1920x1080p resolution on a 100% sRGB display.

That provides deep and punchier colors because it can reproduce every color the human eye can perceive. Now that is something a color-grading photoshop user would appreciate in their display.

Also, this laptop does a great job when it comes to performing as well, all while being a cost-effective laptop. You work with an 8-core Ryzen 7 processor along with a GTX 1660Ti that comes with a 6 GB VRAM.

It can easily crush even the most powerful multitasking and intensive photoshop usage you can whip up, thanks to its 16 GB RAM. 

You also get a vast selection of four USB 3.1 ports, HDMI, Ethernet connectivity, one Type-C port, and a headphone jack. The keyboard is also exceptional, given Lenovo’s TrueStrike Keyboard technology which makes for soft-landing keys with a travel distance of 1.5 mm, giving you deeper presses for a more responsive typing experience. 

Even though the components in this laptop are very power-hungry, the Legion 5 has a solid 9-hour long battery. This is because of the efficient cooling Lenovo has provided, which keeps heat to a minimum.

The Legion ColdFront 2.0 software gives you complete thermal tuning control of your laptop and has an automatic mode that optimizes the best performance for you automatically.  

Pros

  • Aesthetic Design
  • Very good performance
  • Value for money
  • Excellent Screen
  • User Upgradable RAM and storage

Cons

  • Heavy build
  • Poor microphone and speakers

#10: Bonus: MSI GF75 Thin

You can get your hands on this functional and aesthetic laptop without tugging your pockets too tight. Sporting a red theme, the MSI GF75 Thin’s design looks distinct and makes it stands out.

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MSI Modern 14 Professional Laptop: 14" IPS-Level Thin Bezel Display, Intel Core i7-1165G7, NVIDIA GeForce MX450, 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD, Win10 PRO, Beige Mousse (B11SB-290)
  • Refreshing Visuals: The 14” IPS-Level display delivers true-to-life images with a high refresh rate so you can see every frame you are editing.
  • Exceed Your Imagination: The 11th Gen. Intel Core i7 processor, delivers high performance. Whether it’s graphic design, video editing or 3D rendering, the Modern 14 brings your imagination into life.
  • Purpose Built: The MSI Modern 14 with NVIDIA GeForce MX450 is a portable laptop built for your creative needs and precision engineered into a thin profile laptop.
  • Designed for the Future: Crafted in an ultra-thin and light aluminum chassis, the Modern 15 is made to be both portable and stylish. The 180 degree hinge makes it easy to share your content and ideas with others.
  • Versatile Connections: The Modern 14 features a wide range of I/O ports, sporting a Matrix Display function for you to expand visions across multiple displays via HDMI.

Considering the features it is packed with and its fair pricing, it is the perfect entry point into the world of workstation laptops that can run Photoshop smoothly. 

It comes with a massive 17.3” display, that has a 144 Hz refresh rate. This screen definitely makes up for a snappy experience scrolling through the OS. It gives you a 1080p IPS display, on which you can do all your experimenting and photo editing without missing a shade. 

All this is backed by a robust Intel i5-10300H processor, an NVIDIA GTX 1650, and 8 GB of RAM, which is upgradable to 32 GB. While this setup may hiccup is very intense photoshop workloads, the entire editing workflow from Lightroom to Photoshop should work smoothly on basic to moderate workloads. 

The MSI GF75 is thin and lightweight, making it very easy to carry weighing in at just 4.8lbs. It has a sturdy build and that can be seen in the high-quality metal body which is resistant to wear and tear.

It comes with a 512 GB NVMe SSD, giving you super-fast boot times, quick file imports and exports on Photoshop and Lightroom, and shorter load times on all software. 

The MSI GF75 is an entry-level workstation laptop with interesting features like the Cooler Boost 5 that optimizes cooling using 4 copper pipes.

The keyboard has a red backlight that matches the theme of the laptop. You also get access to many MSI software that gives you more control over the laptop and also helps you optimize various apps and hardware. 

While there are not a lot of flashy features, the laptop has reliable performance and a large screen, both of which combine to make an excellent Photoshop experience.

Pros

  • Thin bezels
  • 17.3 inch, 144 Hz display
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Value for Money
  • Catchy design

Cons

  • Weak battery
  • Heats up under heavy loads

What To Consider When Choosing A Laptop

CPU

Photoshop can become a very CPU-intensive application, as you may be working with many layers, and complex shapes and elements. The various effects and filters that need to be rendered need significant processing power from the CPU.

The rule of thumb with Intel and AMD processors is the bigger numbers you see, the better the processor is going to be. With the current suite of features in photoshop, a 9th gen Intel i5 processor would be a good place to start. A comparable AMD processor would be a 1st gen Ryzen 5 processor.

Photoshop can only utilize eight cores at a time, though, so it will not make much sense to go higher than that if your main aim is just photoshop use.

GPU

If you are not going to work on complex 3D shapes on your photoshop workflows, your GPU performance will not majorly impact your experience. Generally, 4GBs of VRAM should be enough for smooth functioning, and above that, you won’t find any noticeable difference unless you have multiple monitors running at 4K resolution.

RAM

While the precise amount of RAM required may vary depending on the size and quantity of photos you’ll be working with, we recommend a minimum of 16GB for all of our systems. However, because Photoshop uses a lot of memory, you should make sure you have enough system RAM.

The exact amount you need will depend on exactly what you are doing, but based on your document size, we recommend a minimum of 16GB of RAM for 500MB documents or smaller, 32GB for 500MB-1GB, and 64GB+ for even larger documents. Although it is hard to come by documents that need more than 32 GBs of RAM, even 16GBs should be enough for most users.

Display

The display is very important to have a pleasant experience with photoshop. A major part of photo editing is evaluating colors and shades, and hence it is important that your display have a wide color gamut, be reasonably bright, and represent colors accurately. You should also be

looking for a high resolution and high refresh rate display, which will make the experience much smoother, and the screen will look way better.

The least you should go for is a 1920 x 1080p display. However, anything above it is going to be an improvement. You should also look for features like HDR, 100% sRGB coverage, OLED display. These are all supposed to make the colors appear brighter, more accurate, and vibrant. This proves to be majorly helpful while color grading adjusting tones and curves on photoshop.

Storage

Photoshop may not be the most storage-heavy application out there, but it is still important to have fast and reliable storage to keep up with the rest of your system.

For a Photoshop workstation, you may choose from three different types of drives: SSD, NVMe, or a classic platter drive. Of these three, traditional platter drives are the slowest but are extremely affordable and available in much larger capacities than SSD or NVMe drives. They make good long-term storage devices as a result of this, but depending on the quantity and resolution of your files, they may not be suitable for direct use.

SATA SSDs are far quicker than platter drives, but they are also much more costly. These drives are ideal for a variety of tasks, including storing your operating system and applications as well as active projects.

NVMe drives are available in two varieties (M.2 and U.2), although both are much quicker than SSD drives. They can cost more than a SATA SSD, but they can be up to twelve times quicker! Because a modern standard SSD is already fast enough to rarely be a performance bottleneck, you won’t notice much of a performance boost from an NVMe drive in most cases, but as the price of these drives continues to fall, they can be used as an OS and application drive to make your system boot and launch programs a little faster.

Battery Life

Workstation laptops have the capability to provide long-lasting battery lives. If you need to go out, click pictures and possibly edit them on the go. Having a long-lasting battery life is essential.

The MacBook Pro leads this domain, as it provides the best combination with a long battery life and lightning-fast performance. In the Windows segment, laptops like the HP Spectre, Microsoft surface studio also provide extremely long battery life, which will last you all day.

Ports

Ports are extremely important when you plan to edit photos on your laptop. You will need to transfer photos from your camera or your phone to the laptop, which means you would need fast ports if you deal with large-sized files.

You should look for an SD card reader, Type-C Thunderbolt 3.0 ports, USB 3.0+ ports as these are the fastest and most convenient ports that will work with most modern cameras and phones. If you are connecting external displays as well, then you should make sure that you either have an abundance of thunderbolt 3.0 ports or have HDMI ports at your disposal.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Are onboard graphics good for photoshop?

Most onboard graphics cards should be able to take Photoshop, however, they’re not perfect for it. You’re much better off purchasing a laptop with a dedicated graphics card, as they’ll give you more power to work with, especially when rendering large files. 

Q2. How much VRAM does Photoshop need?

Your video card on your laptop should at least have an additional 4GB of VRAM to give you good graphics performance from your laptop. There are several features on Adobe Photoshop, like 3D modeling, perspective warping, rendering, etc., that wouldn’t work well, or at all with less than 2GB of VRAM. 

Q3. Can I work directly from an external storage device?

Absolutely! There’s no reason for you to not be able to do this, though we wouldn’t entirely recommend it, because any accidental slips wherein you pull the cord out of the drive or the laptop might make you lose all your progress.  

Q4. What is the best storage configuration for Photoshop?

You should have a solid-state drive as the primary drive. This is where you’d install and store Photoshop and having an SSD means that the software will run much faster and much smoother.

A secondary drive should be where you store your work, and you might prefer to have another SSD rather than an HDD because they’re considerably quicker. A third drive is completely optional but will add a bit more power if you’re looking for the best configuration possible. 

Conclusion

There are our top 5 choices for the best laptop for Adobe Photoshop. We’ve said in our introduction that Photoshop does require some fairly good hardware to use, but that doesn’t mean you’re too limited with your choices. This list should help you get an idea of what kind of laptop you’d need to get. 

We also have an added FAQ segment. We know that when buying a laptop for a particular purpose, you’re going to ask quite a few questions, so we’ve got you covered there. Let us know down below if this list is a success for you, we love hearing from our readers. 

Good luck! 

Written By Callum Wright

With a background as a business owner for a company wokring with 3D animation and Visual Effects, Callum is just the person you need when you need help regarding laptops for professional use like graphics designing, photo editing, and general business administration.