Best laptops for photo editing 2023
The right laptop can turn your photo editing woe into a photo editing "Woah!"
The best laptops for photo editing all have strong, modern processors, plenty of RAM, and a high-res screen that can accurately display the photos you're working on. That cuts out a lot of even the most popular PCs on the market, making it harder to choose properly. We've rounded up a bunch of the best photo editing laptops right here to help you get the right device.
Microsoft's Surface Laptop Studio has a 14.4-inch touch display with 2400x1600 resolution, 3:2 aspect ratio, Dolby Vision, 100% sRGB, 81% AdobeRGB, and 88% DCI-P3 color. This makes it great for editing photos, plus the display can fold forward to act as a sort of studio tablet. Intel's 11th Gen H-Series CPUs and NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti GPUs are on board, and you can get up to 32GB of RAM.
Lenovo's Yoga 9i (Gen 7) is arguably the best 14-inch convertible on the market today. Its incredible design, complete with soundbar hinge, comfy keyboard, and enormous touchpad, is accompanied by up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P CPU, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and a UHD+ OLED touch display with Dolby Vision, HDR 500, and 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction.
The XPS 17 (9720) offers a huge display with 16:10 aspect ratio, and up to UHD+ resolution with 94% DCI-P3 color, 500 nits brightness, HDR400, and Dolby Vision support. It's a premium laptop built to a high standard, with tons of great features like Thunderbolt 4 and a massive battery. It's powered by 12th Gen Intel Core H-Series CPUs, up to 4TB of M.2 PCIe SSD storage space, 64GB of DDR5 RAM, and an NVIDIA RTX 3060 Laptop GPU.
The lightest business Ultrabook (2.13 pounds or 966.5g) brings a 13-inch display with 2160x1350 resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, 100% sRGB color, Dolby Vision, and up to 450 nits brightness. With plenty of security options, 12th Gen Intel Core performance, and one of the best keyboards around, this is a great option for professionals who need a laptop that fits the boardroom look.
The Razer Blade 15 is our top pick when it comes to the best gaming laptops, but its high-end hardware and display options also excel at photo editing. The 15.6-inch displays go up to a UHD resolution, with 100% DCI-P3 and sRGB color, HDR support, and plenty of brightness. If you want to game and edit photos, the Blade 15 has the right hardware to accommodate your needs.
The Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 sort of sits alone in that it's an extremely thin and light 15-inch convertible. It has good battery life, strong performance, comfy keyboard and large touchpad, and top-end inking. The 15.6-inch AMOLED display is gorgeous, with 100% sRGB, 85% AdobeRGB, and 96% DCI-P3 color with HDR 500 and about 300 nits brightness. This is a great pick if you like traveling light with the convenience of a convertible.
Choosing a laptop for photo editing
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The best Windows photo editing apps and the best Photoshop alternatives on the market today all run best on a laptop with modern Intel or AMD CPUs, plenty of RAM, fast storage, and a color-accurate display with high resolution.
Try to go with an 11th or 12th Gen Intel Core mobile CPU or AMD Ryzen 5000 or 6000 mobile CPU, as well as at least 16GB of RAM and speedy M.2 PCIe NVMe storage. You also want a screen with a high resolution (1080p will do but higher is always better), accurate color reproduction, and enough brightness to work in well-lit spaces. A discrete GPU isn't absolutely necessary, but it can help in some applications. These are similar requirements as for our best laptops for video editing.
The Surface Laptop Studio is a great pick if you have artistic ambitions and want to explore beyond just regular photo editing. Its unique fold-out design, high-res touch display, and high-end specs make it ideal for creators who need added versatility beyond a regular notebook laptop. In the same vein, the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 is a high-end media machine that has the right stuff to handle editing.
If you're thinking a 14-inch display isn't big enough, the Dell XPS 17 (9720) might just be what you need. It has a massive high-res display with accurate color reproduction, flawless XPS design, and plenty of powerful performance hardware options.
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Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.