Best Laptops for Photoshop

Have you ever tried to run software on a PC or laptop that’s just not up to the job?

Believe me, it’s a nightmare. The app keeps freezing all the time right when you’re in the middle of doing something.

And worse yet, it often stays frozen. And no amount of restarting the computer or turning it off and back on again can fix it.

The solution is obvious. If you know you’re going to be using a particular app, make sure that you buy a PC or laptop that is up to the task of properly running the software or app.

The good news is that when it comes to laptops for photoshop, the more affordable machines are usually up to the job. And better yet, we’re going to show you our favorite laptops on the market today, that we know can run Photoshop without any issues.

But that’s not all we’ve got here for you. Following some quick reviews of our favorite laptops for photoshop, we’ve also got a buying guide for you which will walk you through some key things to think about before you buy. You can use it as a quick checklist.

In the buying guide we have an FAQ section where we cover the specs required for running Photoshop.

Let’s get straight to it.

OUR TOP PICK

2021 Flagship HP 17 Laptop Computer 17.3' HD+ Anti-Glare Display 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 (Beats i5-7200U) 16GB RAM 1TB SSD DVD RW WiFi HDMI Webcam Win 10 + Wireless Mouse

What we love about this laptop is the sheer size of it - what a way to do your photo editing - right up close and personal - even with all of your Photoshop panels in place.

The screen is a whopping 17.3 inches wide, significantly larger than the usual 15.6 inches tablet you get.

And better yet, it will display all your images in HD+, thanks to the screen resolution of a very nice 1600 x 900, which is above the minimum you need for Photoshop. And it’s an anti-glare display, so you can still see your images in direct sunlight.

It has a speedy 10th Generation Intel Dual-Core CPU, so you get plenty of power and processing speeds up to a whopping 3.4 GHz, which is well above what you need to run photoshop.

And it comes with 16 GB of RAM, which is double the minimum requirements for running Photoshop. And having such a large amount of RAM available means that the app is never going to freeze on you, and should keep running no matter what.

There’s huge amounts of storage available too, so you can save all your original photos and your Photoshopped ones right on the hard drive, thanks to a whole terabyte of SSD storage.

For those who don’t know a terabyte is 1000 megabytes, which means you have way more than ample space for photoshop files and you can save lots of other files there besides and you won’t need to buy an external hard drive.

But if you prefer, you can take advantage of the DVD writer to store all your images on DVD disks, and take them on the road.

It also comes with a good integrated graphics card, the Intel UHD GPU, and an integrated webcam and microphone, and plenty of ports to hook up accessories.

And it has a generous battery life to boot, going up to 7.5 hours on a full charge.

Now for the drawbacks. Being such a big laptop, it’s not as lightweight or portable than it’s 15.6 inch counterparts.

It’s operating system is Windows 10 Home in S mode, but don’t worry, you can take it out of S mode in just a few easy steps.

Pros

  • Huge 17.3 inch wide screen
  • Double the necessary RAM to prevent freezing
  • A whole terabyte of SSD storage space for files
  • Speedy 10th Generation Intel Dual-Core CPU
  • Exceeds requirements for running Photoshop

Cons

  • Not so lightweight & portable
  • Features Windows 10 Home in S mode

EDITORS CHOICE

Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop, 15.6' FHD (1920x1080) IPS Screen, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Processor, 16GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti, Windows 10, 82B1000AUS, Phantom Black

For those who don’t know, gaming laptops such as this one really outperform their counterparts. Let’s run through the specs.

First off, it has a powerful CPU, namely the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H, able to process speeds up to a very fast 4.2 GHz, exceeding requirements for Photoshop.

The screen is a standard 15.6 inches wide, but it has excellent Full High Definition at 1920 x 1080, so you get amazingly crisp and clear images. Better yet it’s an IPS display, which basically means you’ll be able to see your images clearly at all sorts of angles.

It runs off the Windows 10 operating system, which is ideal. And you don’t have to worry about the app freezing on you, because there’s a very generous amount of RAM at your disposal. 16 GB to be exact, which is double the minimum required for running Photoshop.

The laptop also features SSD files storage (more than that in our buying guide later). You get 512 GB of storage space in total, which is half a terabyte. You’re never going to be short of storage space for your photos.

And of course, being a gaming laptop, it comes equipped with a top quality graphics card, which is more than capable of handling all of your Photoshop graphics.

The battery life is good, giving you an average of 5 hours after a full charge.

This is the most expensive laptop that made our shortlist. And while it is expensive for a home laptop, it’s relatively cheap for a gaming laptop.

Pros

  • Full high definition IPS screen for crisp images
  • Ready to go on Windows 10 operating system
  • Great CPU - plenty of power & speed
  • Exceeds Photoshop requirements
  • Excellent graphics card

Cons

  • Premium product at a premium price

BEST VALUE

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full HD Screen, AMD Ryzen 3 3350U Processor, 20GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, Wi-Fi 6, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, Windows 10 Home, Silver, KKE Mousepad

This laptop can go above and beyond what you need to run Photoshop, and it’s available at an excellent price too.

Let’s go through the specs. First off it has a nice screen size, the traditional 15.6 inches. But better yet is the screen resolution.

At 1920 x 1080, it will display all your photoshop images clearly in full high definition. Well above the minimum requirement.

And it’s an anti-glare display too, which means you can still see your images even with the sunlight directly on the screen.

It also has a really good CPU, with processing speeds up to 3.5 GHz, again above the minimum required.

And it has double the requirement of RAM, which means that you can do all the multitasking that you want, and have plenty of apps open besides Photoshop, and you still won’t get the app freezing on you.

The laptops storage space is solid state drive, which is way better than the hard disk drive that laptops always used to have.

You get a nice 256 GB of SSD storage space for all of your files, while Photoshop itself only really requires 6.5 GB, and that’s including the storage required for installation.

You’ll also be blessed with a AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics, which can easily accommodate all your Photoshop graphics.

It comes with the Windows 10 Home operating system, which is perfect. And we like the backlit keyboard which is a nice touch. There’s an integrated webcam too.

It’s also very lightweight at just 4 pounds, and has a generous battery life, often exceeding over 6 hours. So it’s a great laptop for taking on the go.

The parts all come with a manufacturer’s warranty, which is good to know.

Pros

  • Available at an excellent price
  • Excellent anti-glare screen - full high definition
  • Exceeds all of Photoshops minimum requirements
  • Windows 10 Home operating system
  • A great laptop for taking on the go

Cons

  • Just a quarter of a terabyte of storage space

RUNNER UP

Here’s another great laptop that ticks all the boxes, and offers gamer level performance.

It has a 9th Generation Intel Core i5 CPU, able to process your data at speeds of up to 4.1 GHz. There’s 16 GB of RAM for your multitasking, and for the prevention of any pesky freezing.

And there’s plenty of storage, half a terabyte to be exact at 512 GB. And all on SSD rather than hard disk drive. (More on that in our buying guide.)

The screen is a traditional 15.6 inches in size. The display is anti-glare and at 1920 x 1080 gives you crisp and clear images thanks to its full high definition resolution.

Being a gaming laptop, the graphics card is more than capable of running Photoshop graphics.

It runs off Windows 10 Home, which is just what you’re looking for, and it features a webcam and a nice backlit keyboard too.

Pros

  • Gaming laptop performance
  • Excellent screen with crisp images
  • Exceeds requirements for Photoshop
  • Windows 10 operating system

Cons

  • Premium product at a premium price

RUNNER UP

HP 15 Laptop, 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD Storage, 15.6” Full HD IPS Display, Windows 10 Home, HP Fast Charge, Lightweight Design (15-dy2021nr, 2020)

Here’s another laptop that’s definitely worthy of your consideration.

It has an excellent screen, 15.6 inches in size, with a 1920 x 1080 full high definition resolution. And it’s an IPS display too, which means you can see all your images clearly from any angle.

And it’s anti-glare so you can still see the screen in direct sunlight. Stunning visuals

It has a very modern CPU, the 11th Generation Intel Core i5 Processor, no less. It’s able to process all your data at speeds of up to 4.2 GHz, well over what’s required for Photoshop.

There’s also plenty of storage space for your files, coming in at 256 GB of SSD.

It has an excellent battery life, which features a fast charge. After which it will last for over 7 hours. And it’s lightweight too, so great for taking on your commute.

It comes with the Windows 10 Home operating system already installed, and is backed by HP’s one year warranty.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular laptop. Why not click on “Check Price” to see if there’s a deal on now?

Pros

  • Available at fair and reasonable price
  • Great Full HD anti-glare IPS display
  • Meets all the requirements for Photoshop

Cons

  • Only just meets the criteria for RAM

Best Laptops for Photoshop Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide. We’re going to go through each element in turn, in no particular order, and later in our FAQ section we’re going to lay out the specific system requirements to run Photoshop.

Type of Laptop

2-in-1 laptops, i.e. laptops that can be converted from a laptop to a tablet by having a detachable keyboard, can only run Photoshop when set up as a laptop.

This is because Photoshop is not compatible with touch screens just yet, which is a shame.

Operating System

You can work with Photoshop either on a Microsoft Windows operating system, specifically on Windows 10. Or on an Apple operating system, namely macOS Mojave.

In our top 5 picks we showed you earlier, we only showed you Windows laptops because Windows is still the most popular overall, and Windows laptops are significantly more affordable than their Apple counterparts.

Screen Size

When using photoshop, you can opt to have several panels open in the Photoshop window, including the display panel, a control panel and a tools panel.

So to be able to comfortably have all of these panels open, we would argue that the bigger your screen is the better.

So to that end, a small 14 inch laptop is not going to cut it. And we would recommend going for a laptop with at least a 15.6 inch screen or bigger.

Moreover, the bigger you blow up your Photoshop images, the more intricately you can perfect and change them.

Display Resolution

Now, more important than screen size is screen resolution. The higher your laptop screen resolution, the clearer and crisper the images displayed.

Technically you only need a screen resolution of 1280 x 800 to run Photoshop. But we recommend going for a resolution of at least 1920 x 1080, since this is the resolution for full high definition (Full HD).

CPU

The type of CPU a laptop has determines its power and processing speed.

You will need an Intel® or AMD processor with 64-bit support, that is able to process data at speeds of at least 2 GHz or more. Luckily most modern laptops reach or surpass this standard.

RAM

If you’re a multi-tasker like me, and you like to have several apps running at the same time, then you’ll need your laptop to have plenty of RAM (random access memory).

You will need at least 8 GB of RAM minimum to run Photoshop, but 16 GB is recommended.

It is usually a lack of adequate RAM that causes Photoshop to freeze. So we tried to aim for laptops for our shortlist that have the recommended 16 GB of RAM, rather than the minimum 8 GB.

Graphics Card

To run Photoshop, you will need your laptop to have a Graphics card (GPU) with DirectX 12 support. But there’s no need to worry.

You don’t have to buy a separate graphics card because most already integrated graphics cards feature DirectX 12 support.

And you will need a minimum 2 GB of GPU memory, but 4 GB of GPU memory is recommended.

Storage

You will need somewhere to store all your Photoshop work. Some people like to save their work in cloud storage, but if you haven’t got that set up, then you will need to save your work onto your laptop.

In which case you will need 2.5 GB free to install the app, and at least 4 GB to store your photos.

We also recommend that you look for a laptop with a solid state drive (SSD) rather than on a hard disk drive (HDD) which can be slow and clunky.

Battery Life

Most modern laptops these days have a battery life that will last a good 4 hours on a full charge. And there are some that will offer more battery life.

We would argue that battery life isn’t too important for Photoshop. But that’s down to you.

Cost

The good news is that you don’t need a super expensive laptop to run Photoshop. And, lucky for you, when choosing our top 5 picks we deliberately picked out laptops that were good value for money.

All of the laptops that made our top 5 picks are available at under $1000, even the high performance gaming laptops.

FAQ's

What are the system requirements to run Photoshop?

The system requirements to run Photoshop are as follows:

  • Processor: Intel® or AMD processor with 64-bit support; 2 GHz or faster processor 
  • Operating System: Windows 10 (64-bit) version 1809 or later, or macOS Mojave
  • RAM: Minimum 8 GB, Recommended 16 GB
  • Graphics Card: GPU with DirectX 12 support, Minimum 2 GB of GPU memory, 4 GB recommended GPU memory
  • Monitor Resolution: Minimum 1280 x 800 display at 100% UI scaling, Recommended 1920 x 1080 display or greater at 100% UI scaling
  • Hard Disk Space: Minimum 6.5 GB , Recommended 6.5 GB SSD storage
  • Internet Connection: For online services

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