Photoshop is a very powerful tool. It has everything you could possibly need in order to make your photos look like…well, perfection!
Photoshop is a beastly program that will chew up and spit out your laptop if it’s not powerful enough. I’ve tested the 12 best budget laptops for Photoshop and I’m ready to share.
If you are looking for a laptop for Photoshop, you should consider two main things: the processor and the graphics card.
Let’s talk first about the processor since this factor is more important than the graphics card in most cases when it comes to choosing the right model.
The processor (CPU) is the most important component in your laptop. It’s responsible for running all your programs and does so by processing information in tiny chunks called “instructions.”
The more instructions the CPU can handle at once, and the faster it can handle them, the faster your system will run. In general, Intel and AMD make processors for desktops and laptops, respectively.
With budget laptops, you’ll likely find a Celeron or Pentium processor. These chips are slower than their Core i3, i5 or i7 counterparts but are fine for basic tasks like web browsing and word processing. Most budget laptops come with an Intel Pentium N3540 or Intel Celeron N3060 processor, though some go as high as an Intel Core i3-6100U.
If you want something more powerful than what comes standard with most budget laptops, look for a Skylake Core i5-6200U or Core i7-6500U processor.
Not all computer graphics cards are created equal. In fact, some budget laptops use integrated graphics chips instead of discrete ones — which means they’re not powerful enough to run demanding applications such as Photoshop or Lightroom CC.
Fortunately, most modern computers come with at least one dedicated graphics card that’s built directly into the motherboard (rather than being added later via an expansion slot).
This allows them to handle basic photo editing tasks with no problems, but if you want to do more complex work or play games on your laptop, then you’ll need something better than integrated graphics alone.
Having more RAM and faster RAM speeds can significantly improve the performance of Photoshop.
Photoshop is a resource-intensive program, and having more RAM allows it to store more temporary data in memory, allowing for faster processing.
Faster RAM speeds also improve performance, as the processor can access data stored in memory more quicker. This can be especially helpful when editing large files or working with multiple applications simultaneously.
The Acer Aspire 5 A515-45-R74Z is the best budget laptop for Photoshop. It has a 15.6-inch display, an Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y processor, and 8GB of RAM, which is plenty for most photo editing tasks.
The laptop also comes with a 256GB solid-state drive, which means it will boot up fast and load your files quickly.
You can get the same specs for less if you use the version without a touchscreen or a lower-resolution display.
If you want more screen real estate when editing photos and videos on your laptop, then you should consider the Samsung Galaxy Book S 13.3 (NP767XCM-K01US).
It’s got a 13.3-inch Super AMOLED display with touch sensitivity, which makes it easy to edit photos on this laptop — whether you’re using a stylus or mouse.
This laptop is designed for power users who need a lot of horsepower for demanding tasks like video editing, photo editing and gaming.
It has an Intel Core i7-7700HQ quad-core processor and 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 1TB hard drive.
The 15.6-inch touchscreen display has a 1080p resolution and it comes with an Nvidia GeForce GT 1030 graphics card with 4GB of VRAM.
The HP 14 offers an AMD Ryzen 5 processor that’s perfect for home users who want to do some light work on their laptops while they’re away from their desktops or tablets. The machine has an 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive and AMD Radeon 540 graphics card with 2GB VRAM.
It comes with Windows 10 Home operating system installed so you can get started right away without worrying about compatibility issues with software or hardware setups.
The HP 15.6-inch Laptop (15-dy2024nr) is a budget laptop that is suitable for light photo editing and basic video editing tasks.
The laptop features an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB solid state drive. It also comes with Windows 11 installed, one of the best operating systems for laptops.
The display has a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, which is perfect for watching videos or viewing photos. You can also use this laptop for gaming if you wish, although it won’t be able to run games with high graphics settings due to its low-end graphics card.
The ASUS VivoBook 15 F515EA-AH34 is another solid choice for photo editing as it has a powerful Intel Core i7 processor along with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for storage.
As well as being able to run Photoshop smoothly, it’s also got enough power to be used as a general purpose computer, which makes it great value for money. This model also comes with both Windows 10 Home 64-bit and Windows 10 Pro 64-bit installed.
The HP 14 2022 is another budget laptop that comes with an AMD processor and 8GB of RAM. It has a 14-inch screen, which is slightly smaller than the average laptop.
It also has a 1TB hard drive, which is enough space for your photos, but it’s not ideal for editing large files.
The HP 14 2022 also doesn’t have an SSD, so you may notice some lag when working on Photoshop documents or other files that require quick access to data.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is a powerful laptop that can run Photoshop and other professional software. The laptop has an Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, which should be enough to handle most photo editing tasks. It also has a 128GB SSD, which means there will be no lag when opening or closing files.
The downside to this laptop is that it only comes in one size (11-inches), so if you’re looking for something bigger than 13 inches then this isn’t the best option for you.
The Asus VivoBook 14 has a lot going for it. It’s one of the more affordable laptops on this list, but still includes an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor and an Nvidia MX150 graphics card. There are also four colors to choose from, including blue, purple, white and black.
However, the display is a little dim and the battery life isn’t great. It also doesn’t include a touchscreen, so if that’s important to you then you should look elsewhere.
Still, this is a solid choice for those looking for a budget laptop that can handle photo editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is powered by an Intel Pentium Gold processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage that can be expanded via microSD card slot.
The laptop’s 12-inch display has a resolution of 1,800 x 1,200 pixels, which makes it suitable for editing photos without having to scale them down too much when you’re on the go.
The laptop weighs just 0.7 pounds and measures 0.3 inches thick, making it super easy to carry around with you wherever you go.
If you’re looking for a laptop that can handle Photoshop and other photo editing software, the Lenovo Ideapad 5i Pro is an excellent choice.
It comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 2TB hard drive. It also has a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics card that’s great for gaming as well as working on photos.
The HP 17-cn0025nr is another great choice for those looking for a budget laptop with Photoshop capabilities.
It has an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD storage. The laptop also has a 17.3-inch display that offers Full HD resolution.
We hope that after reading through this guide you will have a better idea of what to look for in a laptop for Photoshop. We’ve taken into account the most important features and focused on recommending laptops from reputable brands.
Our list comprises only the most effective laptops for Photoshop and nothing else, resulting in a well-rounded list which is guaranteed to make your next task as easy as possible.