5 Best Laptops for Photo Editing 2020

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Are you a professional photo editor or an enthusiast looking for a portable yet powerful laptop so you are not stuck at your desk all day long and can work even as you travel for holiday or business purposes?

Well, the biggest problem for any photo editor is deciding on what kind of features do you need. Will 8GB RAM be enough? What kind of display do I need so each pixel is clearly visible?

Thankfully, we have the answers for you. Whether you are a freelancer, working for corporate, or just a student, here are the best laptop for photo editing for every need and budget in 2020.

Best Laptops for Photo Editing Compared

Best Laptops for Photo Editing Reviewed

#1: New Apple MacBook Pro

There is no denying Apple creates an impression and that is exactly what is needed when you meet your clients for the first time. But the MacBook Air is more than just a stylish laptop, it is packed with features tailor-made for photo editors as well. More about them below.

New Apple MacBook Pro (16-Inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage) - Space Gray
  • Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
  • Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone technology
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Amd Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory
  • Ultrafast SSD


Whether you are a pro or a beginner but I am sure you are using photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom right?

Well, the New MacBook Pro comes with ample features to run them smoothly so your business continues to flourish without a hitch.

This mainly because of its Intel Core i7 processor with a capability to turbo boost at 3.5GHz. Furthermore,  there is the 16GB RAM that ensures easy multitasking (now run all your software and multiple browsing windows without your laptop hanging).

Then there is also the 512GB SSD. In case you didn’t know SSDs not only add to boot speed so it takes a mere 10 seconds to start your laptop but also lasts longer than HDDs as they have lesser running parts. That means you won’t have to worry about repairs for quite some time.

And considering repairs on any MacBook can be expensive, that is a real bonus.


If there is one thing, MacBooks are known for is their portability (at least it is a major reason why I use them) and the new model does not disappoint either as it weighs a mere 4 pounds.

Furthermore, it has a height of 0.64 inches and a width of 14.09 inches which means you can easily carry it around in any laptop bag and use even when cramped for space like on a flight, in the train, etc.

Display and TouchBar

Since the MacBook comes with a retina display that has an excellent resolution of 3072×1920, the display is crisp and clear. This is not only great news for trading but also brings movies to life (because once in a while, we all deserve a break).

Plus, staring at the screen looking at the stocks fall and rise won’t give you red, tired eyes as Retina Display is known to have a lesser strain on the eyes compared to other screen types. To top it all, this is the first MacBook with a 16-inch screen which makes viewing even more convenient and clear

The TouchBar shows you custom options depending on the program you are using that allows you to perform various activities with a simple touch. For example, if you are using the ProTrader trading software, it will give you options to complete or set up trades in seconds.

Battery Life

Your laptop is only good enough to be carried around if it has a good battery life and MacBook delivers just that. It gives a battery backup of about 12 hours making it easier to work from the beach, the cafe, etc. (no charging point around? No problem).

Other Benefits

Backing up important data with the MacBook takes mere seconds to minutes thanks to the Thunderbolts which supports transfer speeds of up to 40 Gbps.


Well, Apple products are for premium users so if you have a budget of $2000+ only then this is worth the consideration. Also, though the laptop won’t give you any trouble for years, when it does, repairs are comparatively expensive as well.

Lastly, not all trading software runs on Apple so make sure the one you use is compatible with it before making a purchase.


  • It delivers an excellent 12 hours of battery life
  • It is light and compact which makes it easy to carry around and trade from anywhere you want
  • Powerful i7 processor along with SSD and 16GB RAM allows you to run multiple programs and browse without the laptop hanging
  • TouchBar shows custom options based on the software you use
  • Data transfer can be done at superfast speeds (up to 40 Gbps) with Thunderbolt ports
  • Retina Display gives you excellent colors, shadows, and brightness and puts less strain on the eye


  • This laptop will cost you $2000+
  • Repair cost with MacBooks are higher
  • Not all trading platforms support Apple

View Current Price

#2: Dell XPS 15

When you are looking for a laptop for movies, there is one thing you simply cannot compromise on and that is the display. But the Dell XPS 15 doesn’t just have an eye-popping display, there’s more to this beast than meets the eye.

Latest_Dell XPS 15 7590 15.6-inch FHD Anti-Glare IPS Display Laptop, 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H Processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, Wireless+Bluetooth, HDMI,Window 10
  • 15. 6" FHD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge Anti-Glare Non-touch IPS 100% sRGB 500-Nits display
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H (12MB Cache, up to 4. 5 GHz, 6 cores)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
  • 256GB M. 2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
  • 16GB DDR4-2666MHz, 2x8G, Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, English

Best Features

If you thought you could not enjoy quality like your HD TV on your laptop, your world is about to change.

The Dell XPS will 2x those eye-grabbing colors and details as it is equipped with a large 15.6”, 4K display. With 6 million more pixels than Full-HD screens, 4K ensures you never have to worry about blurred pictures or jagged lines ever again.

But that’s just the beginning.

Furthermore, the display is OLED. And in case you didn’t know, OLED delivers more life-like images as it is able to achieve full blackness and whiteness where needed, a contrast range not many laptop screens can achieve.

The anti-reflective screen in tandem with the 500-nit brightness means you can watch movies in sunlight as well. Plus, it has a wider viewing panel so you get a clear picture from pretty much any angle (watching movies with your bae just got a whole lot more comfortable).

It also features InfinityEdge Technology which makes the laptop almost borderless. Yup, the bezel measures just 6.04mm on the sides and 7.08mm on the top. Furthermore, there are features like the CinemaColor that help add more vibrancy and depth making the pictures more realistic.

But what is a jaw-dropping display without awesome sound, right?

This is why the Dell XPS is equipped with the Waves MaxxAudio® Pro which ensures each and every dialogue is crystal clear and you get to hear every beat on those songs you so love (no earphones? No problem).

You have great sound and display, now the one thing you do not want is for slow internet speed to kill the stream, right?

To counter this, the laptop comes with a CinemaStream that allows users to channel bandwidth to the particular stream (say goodbye to trouble of buffer).

And you can carry the laptop around with you anywhere and everywhere as it weighs just 5lbs.

Lastly, the laptop has an i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card which is powerful enough for professional work like programming, graphics designing and even a few games like Overwatch.


One of the few drawbacks here is that the laptop comes with just a 256GB SSD. While that makes the laptop fast, you will need to upgrade memory if you happen to store a lot of data on your laptop.

Also, it costs over $1000 but if you are a movie fanatic, its display and performance are worth every penny.


  • Comes with a 4K display
  • OLED screen ensure better colors and more details compared to an LCD
  • The display is almost borderless giving you more viewing area
  • Get crystal clear images in bright sunlight and from almost every angle
  • Waves MaxxAudio® Pro deliver excellent music and dialogues
  • CinemaStream allows you to adjust bandwidth for a smoother stream
  • It is lightweight
  • Powerful enough to be also used for programming, graphics designing, etc.


  • Costs more than $1000
  • It has less space

View Current Price

3. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

If you are looking for something even more portable and sleeker than the MacBook, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is just what you need, and here’s why.

Microsoft  Surface Pro 6 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB)
  • A best in class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet
  • More power now with the new 8th Generation Intel Core processor
  • Ultra slim and light, starting at just 1.7 pounds. Sensors : Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope
  • All day battery life, with upto 13.5 hours of video playback
  • Pair with our signature type cover in luxurious Alcantara material and rich colors for a full keyboard experience

Best Features

If we had to rate the Microsoft Surface Pro on versatility, it would get a big 10. After all, it is one of the lightest laptops on the list with a weight of a mere 1.73lbs (it is almost like carrying a tablet or smartphone).

But that’s not all.

It is also convertible. This allows you to turn it into a tablet or use it in studio mode other than a traditional laptop. For watching movies while relaxing at the lounge, the studio is perfect whereas when your FarmTown needs attention or you want to crush it at CandyCrush, the tablet mode will best suit you.

Apart from being versatile, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 also packs a punch in the performance department, and here’s why.

And to run any software you have been using to make edits or to easily handle the numerous tabs you work with, the laptop is equipped with an i5 processor and 8GB RAM.

If you want something even more powerful, you can go with the i7 variant but then again you will have to pay the big bucks.

Another awesome feature of the Surface Pro is its PixelSense Display. The 12.3-inch Full-HD display will give you colors and contrast that are sure to leave you in awe of it (movie night just a got a lot better).

You also get a 256GB SSD. And as you probably already know an SSD is way faster than a hard drive so your laptop boots in a flash and the apps load much faster.

The battery life of the laptop is another mention worthy feature as it can run for a whopping 10-11 hours on a single charge.

And lastly, with the USB 3.0 port, you can easily have your data backed up within a matter of minutes.

The Downsides

Firstly, the graphics card is a bit of a letdown. While the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 can handle a few games like Fortnite or PUBG and other on lower graphics setting, playing the latest games can be an issue.

Also, you do not need any of the accessories like the 360 Surface Dial or the mouse but in case you intend on getting them, they are charged separately and thus increase the overall cost.

Lastly, the 256GB of space won’t be enough for people with lots of videos and images to store so make sure you take regular backups to maintain the high speed an SSD promises.


  • It can be used as a laptop, tablet or even in tent mode offering you excellent versatility
  • It is both lightweight and compact and thus easy to carry
  • 3-inch PixelDisplay delivers great colors and contrast
  • The i5 processor and 8GB RAM can handle various software and multiple tabs
  • Comes with a USB 3.0 port for high transfer speeds
  • The 256GB SSD is really quick
  • The battery lasts for about 6-8 hours which is a good runtime


  • Low-powered graphics card
  • Buying the accessories can increase the purchase cost
  • Disk space is low

View Current Price

#4: HP Spectre x360

ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 2-In-1 Laptop- 14" Full HD 4-Way NanoEdge Touchscreen, Intel Core M3-8100Y Processor, 8GB RAM, 64GB eMMC Storage, Backlit KB, Chrome OS- C434TA-DS384T Silver
  • 14" Touchscreen Full HD 1920x1080 4-way NanoEdge display featuring ultra-narrow bezels (5mm thin) around each side of the display that allows for a 14" screen to fit in the body of a 13" laptop footprint
  • The Full HD display has a durable 360 degree hinge that can be used to flip the touchscreen display to tent, stand, and tablet mode
  • Powered by the Intel Core m3-8100Y Processor (up to 3. 4 GHz) for super-fast and snappy performance. If you use a ton of tabs or run lots of apps, this has the power to get it all done with ease. Bluetooth 4.0
  • 8GB LPDDR3 RAM; 64GB eMMC storage and 2x USB Type-C (Gen 1) and 1x Type-A (Gen 1) ports plus a backlit keyboard (USB Transfer speed may vary. Learn more at ASUS website)
  • The lightweight (3 lbs) all-aluminum metal body makes the C434 both durable and beautiful for a timeless look that will never go out of style

The Spectre x360 could have made the top spot because of its innovative nature and all-around supportive features. However, this convertible laptop lacks in only two aspects (in relation to other models on this list), it’s storage capacity, and system memory (RAM).

The laptop comes packaged with eight gigabytes of system memory, adequate enough to run large editing programs such as Photoshop without issue.

However, other models on our list have double the processing capacity. The same can be said for its adequate two-hundred and fifty-six gigabytes of storage space. Other models that come in with the 1TB storage space range are much handier if you process photos and save files regularly.

The casing is made of faux-metal, giving it a slick and elegant look. To add to the look, you also get a beautifully crisp 15.6-inch touchscreen display featuring 4k resolution and a stylus for supreme photo editing work.

You can rest assured things will run smoothly with its I7 quad-core processor and don’t need to worry about the thing dying out on you with its eleven our battery life.

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My name is Eric Smith and I've been working within the tech space for over 10 years, both at one of the largest computer manufacturers (for which I have no affiliation with anymore) but also in the retail sector where I gained a lot of experience in helping people finding suitable tech products.

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