Best laptops for photo editing of 2024

When it comes to the best laptops for photo editing, it's about balancing perfect portability with powerful performance that will stay cool and speedy throughout the day. 

For photographers, artists, and designers, no two days are the same - bouncing from home to the studio to on-the-go. A great laptop for photo editing will keep you creating and innovating wherever you are, whenever inspiration strikes. But what makes a good photo editing laptop? It's all about smooth running that won't disrupt your design flow. Aim for at least 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, and an 11th Gen Intel i5/i7 CPU or AMD Ryzen 5/7 at minimum, as apps like Photoshop are processor-intensive. 

Having reviewed all the best photo editing PCs, our team of experts turned their attention to the best PC laptop for photo editing. As part of our review process, we’ve compared CPU, GPU, and RAM specs and benchmarked performance. Weight and dimensions, cooling and thermal handling, screen quality, and overall portability are also put under the microscope to identify the photography editing laptops lightweight and fast enough for any assignment.

Quick list

Best laptop for photo editing of 2024 in full:

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Best laptop for photo editing overall

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio

(Image credit: Future)
An Apple for all

Specifications

CPU: Apple M2 Pro (12-core) - Apple M2 Max (12-core)
Graphics: Integrated 19-core GPU - Integrated 38-core GPU
RAM: Up to 32GB
Screen: 16-inch, 3456 x 2234 Liquid Retina XDR display (mini-LED, 1,000 nits sustained brightness, wide color P3 gamut, ProMotion technology)
Storage: Up to 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
New M2 Pro and M2 Max chips
+
Over 20 hours battery life
+
Still the best screen on a laptop

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Bulky

If you’re looking for the best laptop for photo editing, the MacBook Pro 16in M2 model offers outstanding performance, wrapped up in that always-sleek Apple aesthetic 

We don’t hesitate in calling this “the best screen on a laptop” in our review. Its gorgeous 16in, 3456 x 2234 Liquid Retina XDR display providing a broad canvas for any photo editing project. 

Driving the Apple Macbook Pro is the powerful M2 chip that we found more than capable of handling hardware-intensive creative apps. Benchmarking the machine, it hit a PugentBench Photoshop score of 1,060; Premier Pro scored 1,095; Blender, 123.97. The base configuration comes with 10-core CPU, a 16-core GPU, 16GB memory, and 512GB SSD storage. However, photographers and editors will be better off with the 32GB RAM and 1TB storage configuration.

It’s not the lightest photo editing laptop, and its larger screen makes it less portable. But the Macbook Pro is a great choice if you’re on the go, working at home, in the office, the studio, the coffee shop. Whether running plugged in or off the battery, there were next to no differences in performance during our tests. 

Read our full Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) review .

Best laptop for photography professionals

A Dell XPS 17 (2022) on a table

(Image credit: Future)

2. Dell XPS 17 (2022)

A powerhouse for photography professionals

Specifications

CPU: 12th Gen i7 - 13th Gen i9
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 - RTX 4080
RAM: Up to 64GB
Screen: 17in FHD / UHD 4K InfinityEdge Touch, 500-nit display
Storage: Up to 4TB

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous design and build quality
+
Excellent CPU performance
+
Remarkably good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Not exactly cheap
-
Not the most portable laptop around

Dell XPS 17 is one of, if not the slickest and sleekest laptops around. If it looks familiar, that’s because it’s an upgrade on the 2021 model - an equally good laptop for photo editing if you're a photographer, designer, or content creator. 

The 17in panel is a stunner of a screen rated at a punchy 500 nits, with 100 percent coverage of the Adobe RGB gamut. CPU performance will meet even the most demanding users. Our testing showed it effectively has everything you could ask for, tearing through everything from video encodes to 3D renders with ease. It’s a speedy machine, too. You’ll have no difficulty running image editors like Photoshop and Lightroom. 

For working on the go, we found battery life surprisingly good for a photography laptop of this size. In the TechRadar movie test, it lasted an impressive 10.14 hours. On the other hand, it’s not the most portable laptop for photo editing. If you’re looking for a Dell laptop you can place in a bag and take to multiple locations, the XPS 13 is the better option. 

Read our full Dell XPS 17 (2022) review .

Best photo editing laptop designed for creatives

(Image credit: Collin Probst // Future)
Built for creatives and creators

Specifications

CPU: 13th Gen Intel Core i9
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTXTM 4070 Laptop GPU 8GB GDDR6
RAM: Up to 64GB
Screen: 16-inch, 4K UHD+ 3840x2400, OLED, 16:10
Storage: Up to 4TB