Written by Jan

Which laptop do you need for photo editing?

You edit holiday photos as a hobby or you are a graphic designer and you edit photos for your work. In both situations, you need a laptop that is powerful enough to run Photoshop. In this article, we give you advice about which laptop you can buy when you do photo editing.

Working with Photoshop: what do you need?

Photoshop is the most popular program for editing photos. When you edit photos for work, school, or as a hobby, it's important to buy a laptop that can run Photoshop smoothly. If you want to edit photos without problems in Photoshop, choose a laptop with the following specifications:

If you want to edit photos easily, using programs like Photoshop, choose a laptop with the following specifications:

  • Processor: at least Intel Core i5 or AMD A12
  • RAM: at least 8GB
  • Screen: at least Full HD (1920x1080)

Processor, RAM, and screen

Photo with essential components of a laptop in a circle.

Photoshop is a demanding program and requires a lot of computing power from your laptop's processor. If your laptop has an Intel Core i5 or AMD A12 processor, it's powerful enough to start your photo projects.

Your laptop temporarily stores information that is needed to keep a process running on the RAM. Photoshop stores a lot of information, so a minimum of 8GB is recommended.

Simple image editing

Woman is editing photo on laptop behind desk.

If you only want to add a color filter or effect to your photos, you don't always need an expensive and powerful laptop. With a slower laptop there are enough options. You then only do not use heavy editing programs such as Photoshop. With these laptops you use a program like Microsoft Photos. Or if you buy a Chromebook: the Pixlr application. For example, you can already use a laptop with an Intel Celeron processor to make an album of your holiday photos.

Professional photo editing

Person edits a photo on a laptop using a drawing tablet.

Do you work on large graphic projects, often have multiple RAW or TIFF images open at the same time, or edit videos occasionally? Your laptop could use some extra computing power, or even a dedicated video card. If you're a professional, you want to be sure your laptop can handle any task, no matter how big. In that case, a laptop in a slightly higher class is the best choice for you.

Other programs and graphic design

Different types of photo editing programs side by side.

In addition to Photoshop, there are plenty of other programs you can use to turn your photos into works of art. Similar programs include: Lightroom, Capture One Pro, and Optics Pro 11.

If you're in graphic design or desktop publishing, you'll need a certain laptop to do your work well. Programs many graphic designers use are similar to Photoshop when it comes to requirements. Examples are Illustrator, InDesign, and CorelDraw. If you're looking for the best laptop for you, keep our recommendation for photo editing in mind.


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