Is it possible to find a good laptop for video and photo editing, 2 in 1? Nowadays, even professionals who need powerful equipment, opt for mobility – the ability to work in any convenient place. Not being tied to one working place but having the capabilities of a stationary PC is the main goal of a modern laptop.
I don’t think there are many tasks that require more processing power than video and photo editing. While basic photo editing can be performed even using an inexpensive laptop, rendering of edited HD/4K video or multiple hours of deep photo post production in Photoshop will require really powerful laptop functions.
I will review top 7 best laptops for video and photo editing that are powerful to cope with even the most demanding tasks and at the same time, can easily fit into your backpack.
How To Choose Laptop for Video and Photo Editing?
Working with graphics requires a lot of computing power which applies not only to the processor but to everything including display, cooling, and additional functions.
Photoshop CC requires a minimum of 4 cores from the processor and there is even more demanding software than Photoshop, for example, Premiere Pro or Vegas Pro. It’s especially important if you work with videos. Therefore, variants with 2 cores are not suitable. Pay attention to models with 4 cores. As for clock frequency, 2.1 GHz and higher are suitable options.
Among Intel processors, pay attention to those of the seventh and eighth generation. The number at the end of the processor name is also important. Powerful processors are marked with letters M, Q, K and X while weaker ones – with U.
In the AMD family, you should consider only Ryzen 7 processors.
To select the best laptop for video and photo editing, you should also take into consideration the display matrix. There are three types of matrix: TN, VA and IPS.
For our task, IPS will work the best as it has better color reproduction and viewing angles. However, the IPS matrix can’t guarantee color gamut so you need to figure out what percentage of the Adobe RGB color field can be shown by a particular display.
To work with graphics, you need to have a screen with a maximum resolution. It has to be at least Full HD, which is 1920х1080 pixels.
As for the RAM amount, good laptops for video and photo editing have no maximum there. If the model offers 32GB of RAM, it is good. However, there is a minimum RAM, which is currently 8GB.
That’s why the optimal variant of a good laptop will be something like 16GB.
Oddly enough, but neither for video nor photo editing, a video card is not as important as a processor. Modern Intel processors offer decent hardware acceleration, so a discrete video card is not necessary here.
However, if you have a possibility, it’s better to buy a laptop with a discrete video card.
It’s better to select a dual storage system, install the operating system on an SSD drive and save video files on a separate HDD. They are very cheap, even with a huge amount of memory. For SSD, 256GB is enough. For HDD, it’s better to take the maximum – 1-2 TB if it’s possible.
Top 7 Recommended Laptops for Photo or Video editing
Now you will see one of the best laptops for video and photo editing that are suitable practically for any task, requiring high-performance programs for working with graphics, design, video editing, etc.
#1. Dell XPS 15
The first laptop for photo and video editing is XPS 15 9575. It is one of the leaders among Dell laptops.
This is a beautiful, lightweight and, at the same time, very powerful and portable workstation for quite serious tasks, including video editing and work with computer graphics.
The 15-inch Dell XPS has a practically frameless InfinityEdge FullHD/UltraHD display to choose from. On the left, right and top, the indents from the edges of the body don’t even reach 5 mm in width.
The indent from the bottom is bigger because the webcam is placed here. In the UltraHD version, the screen covers more than 70% of the color range of Adobe RGB.
This laptop is equipped with quad-core Intel Core i7-8705G processors with the support of 8 threads of execution and in-built Radeon graphics.
It has 16GB of RAM and Radeon RX Vega M GL video card with 4GB of RAM. 512 GB SSD is provided for storage.
A full battery charge is enough for one 8-hour working day or even a bit more providing that you greatly reduce the brightness of the display. But it is about regular tasks, such as surfing the Web and working with files.
If you work with more powerful programs on the full brightness, it will last about 5 hours.
- Great InfinityEdge display
- Lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum body
- Impressive battery life
- A possibility to choose different configurations
- A web camera is placed at the bottom
#2. Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GD
The next laptop for video and photo editing has a 15.6-inch screen and impressive Ultra HD resolution, which means very high pixel density. A large diagonal of the screen makes it easier to work in Photoshop but this also adds more weight to ZenBook (it is 5 lbs).
The main feature of this laptop is a new generation touchpad called ScreenPad. It combines the clickpad function and an additional screen.
Of course, the use of a six-core Core i9-8950HK processor paired with NVMe SSD drive and discrete (albeit far from the top-end) video card make Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GD very productive.
It can replace even a desktop PC that is capable of handling any demanding tasks. You can find its more detailed characteristics at FixThePhoto, where you will also see more budget laptops for image editing.
Undeniable advantages of this laptop are the relatively long battery life, convenient keyboard, light weight (for a 15-inch model), thin and stylish look and a good set of connectors. Besides, it has a great sensor screen.
- 4K high-coverage sRGB screen
- New ScreenPad technology
- Powerful features
- Rather weak battery
#3. Apple MacBook Pro 15 with Retina Display Mid 2018
You can talk about too high prices of Apple devices all you want. But I must admit that every professional either wants to get it or has it already.
New MacBook Pro has a renewed processor, screen as well as SSD, RAM and even keyboard. It’s ideal for video editing in graphic programs.
That’s why I can safely say that it’s the best laptop for photo and video editing by Apple.
As for maximum configuration, this laptop has a six-core Intel Core i9-8950HK processor, with a basic clock frequency of 2.9GHz. In the Turbo Boost mode, the frequency can increase to 4.8GHz.
The processor includes an Intel HD Graphics 630 graphics core. However, along with it, the laptop uses AMD Radeon Pro 560Х discrete graphics. The laptop comes with 32GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The capacity of a single SSD drive is 4TB!
If you save on storage and get the remaining components to the maximum, MacBook Pro will cost you $3499.
- TouchBar is especially useful in working with Adobe programs
- Great screen with high resolution and narrow frames
- Ideal keyboard for work
- Too expensive
- A small number of connectors
#4. HP Spectre x360
Before Specterx360 came out, HP had been the only manufacturer without a thin and light flagship laptop. Now, this gap has been filled with the release of HP Specter Pro 13 G1. This laptop for video and photo editing combines luxurious design and powerful components.
The model comes with a display that can be opened up to 360°. Firstly, this is a good feature as it allows you to adjust the angle of the screen, and secondly, you can turn the device into a tablet if it is necessary.
Taking into account the stylus support, this laptop can be convenient for work in Photoshop and Premiere Pro.
Despite its thickness of over 10mm and the weight of over 1.16 kg, it manages to accommodate a powerful processor with a 4-core Intel Core i7-8565U processor that runs at 1.8 GHz (4.6 GHz) in Turbo Boost mode).
Besides, it has integrated Intel HD Graphics 620. I saw a more detailed review of this laptop at WeeditPhotos.com and there you can also find more professional laptops for photo editing.
RAM in the test version of the laptop was 16GB of dual-channel DDR4-2400. Samsung SSD of 512GB was used as the drive, providing high speed of both reading and recording.
- Quality display with 100% RGB coverage
- HP Tilt stylus included
- Long battery life
- The fingerprint scanner
- High price
- Only one-color housing option
#5. Lenovo Yoga 720
Lenovo Yoga 720 can be the perfect laptop for most users, especially for beginners, as its price lower than $800 will be pleasant for everyone. It boasts a high-quality Full HD touchscreen created in collaboration with Wacom.
The quad-core Inteli5-7300HQ processor and the discrete graphics card NVIDIA GeForceGTX 1050 are enough to work with photos, video, and even 3D. All these features make this model one of the best laptops for video and photo editing.
You will also like the opportunity to flip the screen back 270° and edit the clips in the tablet or “stand” mode. Multi-touch supports 10 touches simultaneously. For more convenient operation, you can purchase Lenovo Active Pen 2 stylus.
It recognizes 4096 pressure levels, and the screen responds to the approaching of the stylus up to 5mm. The delay in response time is minimal, although you can notice it. However, this should not be a problem when working in graphic programs.
When using the pen, the screen will not respond to your hand touching. The battery life of this laptop was 9 hours during our test. This will be an additional argument in favor of this laptop.
- Low price
- Touch screen and thin frames around it
- The fingerprint scanner
- Fast SSD
- Pretty good battery life
- Low maximum brightness when running on battery
- Loud cooling fan
#6. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Recently, the ThinkPad line has been gaining leading positions at the laptop market that are used for work. The sixth-generation Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon can have several display options, including only 14-inch models.
The basic version has a display with a resolution of 2560x1440, and 100% coverage of Adobe RGB.
This laptop for photo and video editing may have one of the top processors. It can be the eighth-generation Intel Core and Core vPro, and there are options with the Intel Core i7-8550U and Intel Core i5-8250U.
There are no variants with discrete graphics. The laptop has 8 or 16GB of LPDDR3 memory; to store files you can choose a 128GB SSD or OPAL2 PCIe TLC drives with 256/512GB and 1TB.
The manufacturer claims that the battery of this laptop provides up to 15 hours of autonomous work. However, the average working time in photo editors is about 6-7 hours.
- High-quality bright screen with good color reproduction
- Compact and light
- Good battery life and quick charge function
- Resistant to drops, shock, and moisture
- Can get dirty easily: traces remain almost over the entire surface and they are quite difficult to remove
- Heats under load
#7. Razer Blade 15 4K
Razer focuses on the gaming market, but the design of Blade 15 4K does not prove this not mentioning its filling. The 15.6-inch 4K screen makes Blade 15 one of the best laptops for video and photo editing.
The screen has 100% Adobe RGB coverage and factory color calibration. This gorgeous display is very similar to the one used in the high-end versions of Dell XPS 15.
This option has also an incredibly fast GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card. It is great for rendering video in 4K resolution. However, programs such as Photoshop do not use all of these features.
Fortunately, Core i7 CPU is fast enough. We also appreciated the high build quality, excellent thought-out ventilation system, three regular USB ports (although the lack of an SD card slot is unpleasant).
- Impressive performance
- High image quality
- Slim display frame
- Multi-touch display
- A fast graphics card is not very useful for photographers
- Heats up during long work
- No Ethernet port and SD card slots
Additional Must-Have Items and Accessories for Laptops
The desire of manufacturers to create the thinnest and lightest laptops often leads to some problems, such as a lack of ports, internal memory or cooling issues. Thus, you have to get special accessories to use the laptop at full power, without inconvenience.
I recommend purchasing everything that will be mentioned below if you want work really comfortably on your device.
A thin laptop with a large internal memory is quite an expensive thing, so most models have about 256 SSD memory. To work with photos and videos you need to have at least 1TB of space.
To get the necessary amount of memory, you just need to purchase an external hard drive in addition to your laptop for photo and video editing. Their price has recently been very low. You can purchase a great 1TB option for just $40.
Modern laptop models most often do not have classic USB ports. However, you still need them. Instead, you will have 3-4 USB-C ports. The best choice for you is to purchase a USB-C Hub, which you connect to a single USB-C port. As a result, you will have 3-10 USB 3.0 ports.
Even older versions of top laptops have nothing except USB or Thunderbolt ports. Sometimes you may be lucky to have HDMI or SD Card Reader. If you need more ports, such as DVI, Ethernet, a couple more HDMI ports, then you have to thinks about purchasing a docking station.
There are some convenient models that can be connected to the laptop from below, like a case. They usually cost more but have a built-in battery to extend the life of your laptop.
Under heavy loads in Photoshop, Premiere Pro, or After Effects, your laptop won’t work for many hours if it is not plugged in. In this case, the battery life is about 4-7 depending on the model.
You can purchase a Portable Charger of large capacity (about 20,000 mAh) which should be enough to charge your laptop 2-3 times from 0% to 100%. It will cost less than a spare laptop battery.
I am sure that you often encountered the problem of strong heating of the laptop while processing large files. To cope with this problem, you can use the stand with built-in fans that improve the cooling of your laptop for photo and video editing.
There are cheaper models without fans. They also prevent the accumulation of warm air under the laptop but do not help with cooling.
We hope the above comprehensive review provides you enough information to take your photo and video editing skills to the next level. As always, let us know which one of the above models, you decided to go for in the comments below.
All the laptops in our list are ideal for photo and video editing.
If we are to make a pick today, we recommend the Apple MacBook 15 Pro with a Retina display.
The laptop is best for photo and video editing though it comes at a higher price than most of its competitors. With a 2.9GHz Intel Core processor, the laptop is fit to rip through various high-definition images and offer you a smooth-running experience, ideal for photo editing.
Additionally, the laptop features 32GB RAM, which significantly enhances your speed and smooth working. It also features an Intel HD 630 graphics core and the AMD Radeon Pro 560X discrete graphics. The thin design enhances its portability and also gives it an elegant design. It is ideal for working with Adobe programs, and it features a high-resolution screen.