Choosing the right laptop for Photoshop is like selecting the perfect brush for a masterpiece—it’s all about precision and capability. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast, graphic designer, or just someone keen on enhancing snapshots, having a laptop that can seamlessly handle the demands of Photoshop is crucial. In a world flooded with options, understanding the key features becomes essential. Look for a modern processor, ample RAM (16GB as a baseline), and consider a discrete GPU for added graphics power. A high-resolution display, beyond the standard 1080p, enhances the visual editing experience. Portability matters, especially for those on the move, so finding the balance between power and weight is key. Here, we demystify the world of the best Photoshop laptops…
MacBook Pro 16 (M3 , 2023) – Best Overall
Meet the MacBook Pro (M3 Pro/Max, 2023), Apple’s powerhouse tailored for Photoshop and creative tasks. Donning a sleek Space Black color, it retains the premium design while adding sophistication and resisting fingerprints. The 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, boasting 3024 x 1964 pixels, delivers vibrant visuals—perfect for Photoshop projects.
Under the hood, the M3 Max chipset ensures blazing speeds with configurations offering up to a 40-core GPU. Despite its hefty performance, the MacBook Pro faces a trade-off with its price tag, potentially deterring budget-conscious buyers. If you’re already on an Apple Silicon MacBook, the upgrade might not be a game-changer. While it falls slightly short of the MacBook Air’s battery life, the MacBook Pro compensates with a quick-charging 96W USB-C power adapter.
In essence, the MacBook Pro (M3 Pro/Max, 2023) stands as a top pick for creatives seeking a seamless blend of style and high-performance capabilities, especially in the realm of Photoshop and content creation.
2. Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 – Best Windows Laptop for Photoshop
The Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 stands out as a top contender among laptops tailored for creative professionals, particularly those engaged in Photoshop and content creation. This laptop packs a punch with a 16-inch OLED screen boasting 4K resolution, an AMD Ryzen 9 processor, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics. The laptop’s unique keyboard dial, known as the Asus Dial, enhances user experience with contextual tool commands for Adobe creative apps.
The build is robust, with a compact design measuring 0.77 by 14.3 by 10.4 inches and weighing 5.29 pounds. The OLED display, factory-calibrated for color accuracy, offers vibrant visuals, meeting Pantone Validated standards. The Asus Dial proves particularly handy for Adobe Creative Suite applications, providing a unique menu for efficient workflow, though it may take some adjustment.
While the laptop excels in performance, its storage throughput raises concerns, potentially attributed to the RAID array. This anomaly aside, the ProArt Studiobook 16 emerges as a powerful and well-crafted choice for creative professionals seeking a versatile and efficient laptop for Photoshop and multimedia tasks.
3. Acer Swift Go 14 – Best Budget Laptop for Photoshop
Meet the Acer Swift Go 14, your new go-to for budget-friendly yet powerful Photoshop work. This surprise package boasts a dazzling 14-inch OLED display with a crystal-clear 2,880-by-1,800-pixel resolution—perfect for detailed photo editing. The laptop’s sturdy metal build ensures durability, although the keyboard design, with its slightly awkward convex keys, might take some getting used to.
Powered by a robust 13th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and 16GB RAM, the Swift Go 14 outshines competitors like the Dell XPS 13 in productivity tests. Graphics, handled by integrated Iris Xe Graphics, impress in gaming simulations. However, the laptop falls a bit short in battery life, lasting just under nine hours in video playback.
Despite minor quirks, the Acer Swift Go 14’s competitive price, stellar display, and powerful performance make it the best budget laptop for Photoshop enthusiasts. It’s a clear winner in the budget-friendly ultraportable category.
4. Dell Precision 5480 – Best Portable Laptop for Photoshop
The Dell Precision 5480 stands out as a formidable contender for on-the-go creatives, blending robust power with commendable portability. It features an Intel Core i9 CPU and Nvidia RTX 3000 Ada graphics—ideal for intensive tasks in design, 3D rendering, and engineering. Despite lacking the graphical might of bulkier workstations, its 14-inch frame impressively combines power and mobility.
The laptop’s configurations vary, with the tested model boasting a robust Intel Core i9-13900H processor, 64GB DDR5 memory, and an 8GB RTX 3000 Ada GPU, ensuring a seamless Photoshop experience. The sleek Titan Gray aluminum chassis, enduring MIL-STD 810H tests, exudes durability. However, the 720p webcam feels outdated, and the absence of ECC memory and limited storage options may deter some users.
While not the powerhouse for all workstation tasks, the Dell Precision 5480 emerges as an enticing choice for professionals seeking a compact, high-performance solution for Photoshop and design endeavors.
5. Dell XPS 17 (2023) – Best Large-screen Laptop for Photoshop
The Dell XPS 17 (2023) emerges as the unrivaled 17-inch laptop champion, excelling in both performance and display finesse. Fueled by a 13th-gen Intel Core i9 CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU, this laptop caters to creative tasks like video editing with ease. Its 4K UHD+ display, though lacking an OLED variant, dazzles with 100% sRGB, 99% NTSC, 100% Adobe RGB, and 98% P3 color accuracy.
Despite its prowess, the XPS 17 bears limitations. Even at that, the laptop positions itself in the premium market. The battery life, hovering between four to six hours, may not suffice for prolonged usage on the go. The retention of a 720p webcam seems out of sync with current standards. Notwithstanding these considerations, the Dell XPS 17 beckons to those seeking top-tier performance, unmatched display quality, and the expansive canvas of a 17-inch laptop.
In the realm of photo editing, where every detail counts, the choice of a laptop becomes pivotal. Balancing performance and portability, the best laptops for Photoshop emerge as reliable companions for photographers, artists, and designers navigating a dynamic creative landscape. These laptops harmonize robust internal specifications—CPU, GPU, and RAM—with considerations like weight, screen quality, and overall performance. From the budget-friendly to the top-tier, our exploration of these devices ensures that whether you’re in a studio or chasing inspiration on the go, your laptop can keep pace with your artistic vision. As technology continues to evolve, these laptops stand as the artist’s toolkit, offering the power to transform ideas into captivating visual stories. We hope you