Best laptop for photo editing in 2024

Our pick for the greatest laptop for photo editors

Put your weak laptops off of your misery. For Photoshop, you need a powerful CPU, plenty of RAM to handle all your brushstrokes, and enough storage to hold all your photo libraries. A specialized graphics processing unit (GPU) handles graphics-intensive activities with ease, and a clear, colorful display shows off your color magic. Money limited? Affordable photo-editing behemoths with a speedy central processing unit and integrated graphics are available, and AI PCs are just around the corner. Get ready to edit, creatives, because the future is looking good.

If you’re into photo editing, you’ll want a screen that can handle a wide color gamut. Here at Laptop Mag, we have tested a wide range of laptops, so we know which ones are ideal for photographers and video editors. We also check graphics performance, sRGB gamut volume, and Delta-E scores, all of which are crucial for picture editors. We have created a list of the top laptops for picture editors using these metrics.

As we approach the season when manufacturers begin releasing new goods for us to test and misuse, this list is going to be blown to smithereens. With the release of Apple’s M3 series in the fall of 2023 and a deluge of AI-enhanced laptops from PC companies promising top-notch performance and long battery lives, the issue of which laptop will be named greatest photo editing machine is a valid one. How accurate or false is the hoopla around these content-creation beasts? We will soon find out.

Please have a look at our top laptops for video editing if you are also interested in this medium. For additional specific recommendations, check out our sections on the best 2-in-1 laptops and best touch screens for photo editing with a pen or your finger.

Which laptops are ideal for editing photos?

1. Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio

The ideal laptop for editing photos


  • Price: $1,599 (starting); $2,699 (as reviewed)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11370H
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti (4GB of VRAM)
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 14.4-inch, 2400 x 1600-pixel (3:2) at 120Hz
  • Size: 12.7 x 9 x 0.75 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds


  • Ingenious hinge allows for additional modes
  • Gorgeous 14.4-inch, 120Hz screen
  • Long battery life
  • Great speakers


  • Overly thick chassis
  • Inadequate port spacing

The Surface Laptop Studio ditches the detachable lid and attachable keyboard found on the Surface Book and Surface Pro 8 in favor of a novel hinge that lets you turn and position the display in various ways. The idea is brilliant. You can turn your Surface Laptop Studio into a digital sketchpad without sacrificing the laptop mode’s usual functionality.

The Surface Laptop Studio is an attractive choice for creative professionals due to its adaptability, long battery life, and great performance. When you consider the Surface Laptop Studio’s top-notch speakers, 1080p webcam, amazing keyboard/touchpad combo, and other features, it becomes clear why it’s a top-tier laptop.

2. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 6, 2021)

The best laptop for photo editors who need business features


  • Price: $1,304 (starting); $2,339 (reviewed at)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU
  • GPU: Iris Xe
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel IPS (16:10)
  • Size: 12 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds


  • Sturdy construction
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Quick processing time
  • Extended runtime


  • Heavier compared to some of the competition
  • Discontinued support for SD cards

In 2021, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga made a triumphant return, this time sporting upgraded internals such Intel vPro 11th Gen processors. An further selling point is the Gen 6 model’s longer battery life—nearly 15 hours on a single charge. One of the best 2-in-1 laptops for professionals, the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, is still a great pick for anyone who edit photos.

Both the full HD and the model with the breathtaking 4K display are available to you. The second option is better for altering photos. An astounding 133% of the sRGB color spectrum is covered by the display on the 4K model. Plus, it has a dazzling 488 nits of brightness, so you won’t have any trouble seeing your screen even on really sunny days when editing.

3. Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch) M2

A top-tier Apple laptop for graphic designers


  • Price: $1,299 (starting); $1,899 (reviewed at)
  • CPU: M2
  • GPU: M2
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB
  • Storage: 512GB/1TB/2TB
  • Display: 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel
  • Size: 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds


  • Outstanding general and gaming performance
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Superb solid-state drive (SSD)
  • Excellent webcam


  • Inadequate port selection
  • Excessive bezel thickness

Computers and Apple’s computing have entered a new era with the release of the MacBook Pro 13. Then why has there been such a dramatic shift? Much anticipation surrounds Apple’s new M2 CPU, which many believe heralds the tech giant’s departure from Intel and adoption of proprietary silicon.

With each passing day, Apple’s wager on bespoke silicon is paying off, and the company’s computer future seems bright. The 8-core CPU in M2 makes it 18% more powerful than its predecessor. A new 10-core GPU, which is 35% quicker than the previous model, is also coming with M2. Also, M2’s Windows PC is clearly still going strong. Plus, Apple has improved the laptop’s power efficiency, which means you can expect more than 18 hours of battery life. Keep reading to find out all about Apple’s most recent smash hit. Among the best laptops for editing photos.

4. HP ZBook Studio G8

The best workstation for photo editors


  • Price: $2,479 starting ($4,727 as reviewed)
  • CPU: Intel Core i9-11950H
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 2TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch, OLED 4K (3840 x 2160)
  • Size: 14.13 x 10.08 x 0.64 inches
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds

The following are some of the reasons to buy this product:

  • a beautiful 4K OLED screen
  • strong general and gaming performance
  • a nice keyboard, and decent sound.

DON’T BUY IT Because:

  • It gets hot
  • The battery life is terrible (on the 4K OLED version).

With an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU, 32 GB of RAM, 2 TB of SSD storage, and an 11th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, this seductive attention grabber can handle all of your Adobe Creative Suite power-hungry needs and more.

Having said that, I would have preferred a longer battery life and lower operating temperature given the pricing. An extremely affordable alternative would be the $2,999 MSI Creator Z16, which offers somewhat more power and a longer battery life. On the other hand, the HP ZBook Studio G8 is an excellent choice if you need a powerful, portable laptop.

5. Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

The best 2-in-1 laptop for photo editors


  • Price: $1,617
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Display: 13.4-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixels (touch)
  • Size: 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds


  • Slim, attractive design
  • Top-rate build quality
  • Bright 13.4-inch display
  • Long battery life


  • Shallow keyboard isn’t for everyone-
  • Display could be more colorful

The new XPS 13 2-in-1 is without question among the best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Dell smartly used the XPS 13 as a blueprint for the XPS 13 2-in-1, an almost identical laptop, but with the ability to transform into a tablet. 

Largely unchanged from the previous model, the 2020 XPS 13 2-in-1 benefits from 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake CPUs and accompanying Iris Xe graphics. The updated components result in class-leading performance for ultrathin laptops. Along with fast speeds, you get a bright 13.4-inch FHD+ display, long battery life and useful security features, including a fingerprint sensor and new IR camera. 

6. Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The best detachable laptop for photo editors


  • Price: $1,099 (starting); $1,879 (as tested)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-1185G7
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 13-inch, 120Hz (2880×1920)
  • Size: 11.3 x 8.2 x 0.37 inches
  • Weight: 1.96 pounds


  • Stunning screen
  • Reliable hardware
  • Two Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Top-notch webcam


  • The battery life could be better
  • Toys (keyboard and pen) not included.

Keeping true to its signature style, the Pro 8 refines the Surface Pro in small ways, making it a better tablet and laptop. A much-needed internal overhaul is part of the package, along with a bigger screen and an improved design that makes using it more pleasant. The system requirements include a minimum of 32 GB of RAM and an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, which enable the use of some of Windows 11’s new features.

Some may find the price increase difficult to bear, and additional battery life would have been fantastic. If you’re in the market for a new laptop to switch to Windows 11, though, the Surface Pro 8 is a great addition to the Surface series and a tempting choice.


7. HP Spectre x360 15 (2020)

The best laptop for photo editors with 4K OLED display


  • Price: $1,849
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160-pixel, 4K, AMOLED
  • Size: 14.17 x 8.91 x 0.79 inches
  • Weight: 4.2 pounds


  • Sleek and fashionable chassis
  • Stunning 4K screen with incredible DCI-P3 coverage
  • Quick and easy file transfers


  • Unsatisfactory performance
  • Long battery life

With its black and gold design, the Spectre x360 15 exudes an air of opulence. It’s the kind of laptop that affluent Millennials with private jets would own. Wearing such a sleek and contemporary piece will make you the center of attention and the object of jealous envy.

The HP 2-in-1 is perfect for photographers, digital artists, and video editors who want a fast, color-accurate laptop with a 4K display that will amaze them. It has a six-core Intel Core i7 H-series CPU and a discrete Nvidia GPU.

8. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (15-inch, AMD)

The best portable laptop for photo editors


  • Price: $1,699
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4980U
  • GPU: AMD Radeon
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Display: 15-inch, 2256 x 1504-pixel
  • Size: 13.4 x 9.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.4 pounds


  • Sleek, sturdy chassis
  • Speedy performance
  • Long battery life
  • Great 15-inch display


  • Short on ports
  • No discrete graphics option

The Surface Laptop 4 addresses the major flaws we found in the Surface Laptop 3 by delivering faster performance and longer battery life. With the right CPU, the Surface Laptop 4 has all of a sudden become a laptop with very few downsides. The sleek, sturdy design is as stylish as ever, the 15-inch panel is bright and vivid, and the keyboard and trackpad are darn-near class-leading.

If only Microsoft hadn’t stubbornly ignored some of the smaller problems plaguing the Surface Laptop series. There is only one USB Type-C port (without Thunderbolt support), the proprietary Surface Connect input is, well, proprietary, and the display bezels are long overdue for a buzzcut. But if you can overlook these flaws, the Surface Laptop 4 is an excellent option for photo editors.

9. HP Spectre x360 14

The best HP 2-in-1 laptop


  • CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5/Core i7
  • GPU: Intel Iris Xe
  • RAM: 8GB/16GB
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB
  • Display: 13.5-inch, 1920 x 1280-pixels IPS or 3K2K OLED
  • Size: 11.8 x 8.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds


  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Stunning OLED and FHD display options
  • Attractive design

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Expensive
  • Not as convenient as a tablet

No other 2-in-1 laptop has ever compared to the Spectre x360 14. In 2021, a new 13.5-inch model was introduced, improving upon earlier models while adding important new features including a 3:2 aspect ratio display and 11th Gen Intel CPUs with Iris Xe graphics. Impressive design, rapid speed, long battery life (12+ hours), and vibrant displays with 1920 x 1280 pixels or 3K2K OLED choices are some of this laptop’s standout features.

To top it all off, this laptop has a fair assortment of connectors, a large and smooth touchpad, a comfortable (albeit shallow) keyboard, and great security features (facial recognition and fingerprint sensor).

If you’re looking for a versatile design and have the budget for it, the Spectre x360 14 is a better choice than the Envy 13. If you’re looking for a convertible laptop, the Spectre x360 14 is actually the top HP model. There are a few issues, to be sure, but they will fade into the background the moment you hold this stunning item.

10. Dell XPS 15 OLED (2021)

The best 15-inch laptop for photo editors


  • Price: $1,299 ($2,401 as reviewed)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch, 3456 x 2160 (3.5K) OLED
  • Size: 13.6 x 9.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 4.3 pounds


  • Breathtaking 3.5K OLED display
  • Supercharged performance
  • Slim, premium chassis
  • Massive touchpad and spacious keyboard


  • Below-average battery life
  • Heavier than some competitors

The XPS 15 OLED is a better version of the laptop I’ve consistently praised over the past several years. It fixes past problems (remember the nosecam?) while refining every inch of the package. The highlight of this particular configuration is the stunning 3.5K OLED display with its jaw-dropping colors, contrast and brightness. 

It’s a panel befitting of the XPS 15’s stylish and portable design that blends a machined aluminum exterior with a woven pattern on the inside. On the deck are a gargantuan touchpad, spacious keyboard and powerful speakers. 

11. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo (UX582L)

The best dual-screen laptop for photo editors


  • Price: $2,299.99 starting; $3,019.99 as reviewed
  • CPU: Intel Core i9-10980HK
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3070 8GB vRAM
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch, 4K UHD 14.1-inch, 4K
  • Size: 14.7 x 9.8 x 0.85 inches
  • Weight: 5.3 pounds


  • High-quality construction
  • Attractive design
  • Powerful performance
  • A second screen that serves a purpose


  • Expensive

An unusual dual-screen laptop, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15 features a tiny OLED screen above the keyboard in addition to a larger 15-inch 4K display on top. Since the initial Asus ZenBook Duo (UX481), the company’s approach to dual-screen laptops has progressed, with enhancements to the ergonomics and build quality resolving some of the initial issues.

Has it progressed to the point where Asus’s dual-screen laptop concept becomes a hot commodity? Yes, in some ways; yet, it remains a specialized tool for a select group of content creators (with deep pockets). The ZenBook Duo Pro 15 is worth considering for content makers who require greater screen real estate on the fly, while some may not like the placement of the keyboard and touchpad and the price is a major turnoff.

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