Best Budget Photo Editing Laptops (Photoshop & Lightroom)
Are you in search of the BEST BUDGET PHOTO EDITING LAPTOP but don’t know where to begin?
It can be perplexing to choose from so many options like the MacBook Pro, MacBook air, Dell XPS, Acer Aspire, Surface book, Dell inspiron, Lenovo ideapad, Microsoft Surface pro, Surface laptop, HP spectre, Asus vivobook, HP pavilion, pple m1, Acer swift, LG gram, and Windows laptop. It can be confusing, but we have selected the top 5 to save you time looking around.
In today’s article, we will discuss the most affordable laptop for photo editing.
Here is our Top 3 Picks
Looking to learn about photo editing? See these articles How to Split a Clip in Premiere Pro? and How to Unlink Audio and Video in Premiere?
Editing Features and Highlights for Best Laptop
One important factor to consider is the processor. Intel Core and AMD Radeon processors are both excellent options for a photo editing laptop. Additionally, 8GB Ram or 16GB DDR4 RAM and a 512GB SSD storage are perfect to keep up with photo editors needs.
If you are a professional photo editor or need to do video editing, then you should consider Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro. They are demanding software, so a graphics card is necessary to work efficiently. Also, Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB are the color spaces you should check.
Performance and Budget to consider.
The apple macbook pro, macbook air, and m1 max are all great options for a photo editing laptop, with a retina display to showcase your artwork. The Microsoft Surface Book, Surface Pro, and Surface Laptop are fantastic options with a touch screen and stylus for creative users.
On a budget, the Dell XPS, Acer Aspire, HP Pavilion, and Asus VivoBook are great options that come with everything you need at a lower price. However, the budget laptop may not come with high specifications, so you may have to compromise on certain features.
5 BEST BUDGET PHOTO EDITING LAPTOP
Any photographer, whether professional or amateur, need a laptop. Eventually, the excellent content you’ve just extracted will require editing. You may possess editing skills and a laptop, but the question is whether the laptop can run the editing software.
5. LENOVO IDEAPAD 3I – BEST VALUE
- The slim and light Lenovo IdeaPad 3i laptop packs powerful 12th generation Intel Core i5 U series processors and Intel Iris Xe graphics card
- At an exceptionally slim 19.9 mm (just 0.78 inch), the IdeaPad 3i is lightweight and easy to carry everywhere you travel
- The 15.6" FHD IPS display gives you wider viewing angles for a better experience with higher color accuracy and contrast so you can see more and do more daily; the screen's 4-sided narrow bezels give you more available viewing screen
What I Like
- Excellent Value For Money
- Simple To Use
- Excellent Features For The Cost
What I Do Not Enjoy
- The Keyboard Is Not Visible In Low-Light Conditions.
Lenovo’s Ideapad 3i is one of the best photo editing laptop. It is a newly-introduced laptop currently dominating the budget and mid-range categories. The new IdeaPad 3 continues Lenovo’s tradition of producing attractive laptops regardless of cost.
With its brushed aluminum lid and keyboard surround, this laptop is not inexpensive. However, it is easy to transport with a weight of just 2 kilograms.
In addition to the unique up and down arrows, the sleek keyboard is well-spaced, has a function row at the top, and the keys are of a reasonable size. The display has a standard FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution. There is nothing remarkable to see on this page.
It comes equipped with an Intel Core i5-10210U Processor (4-Core, 1.6 GHz) with a maximum turbo frequency of 4.2 GHz. This CPU provides quick connectivity and extends battery life. The GPU is an integrated Intel UHD Graphics component.
RAM is, without a doubt, the star of this show. It comes equipped with 20GB of DDR4 SDRAM. Alternatively, the storage is excellent, with a 512GB SSD.
However, performance-wise, it will satisfy when it comes to editing on a budget. The battery life could be better, but it’s also not terrible. It is adequate and, in some ways, price-appropriate.
4. ACER ASPIRE 5 – LEAST EXPENSIVE
- Aspect Ratio:16:9
- AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor (Up to 3.5GHz); 4GB DDR4 Memory; 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- 15.6 inches full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED backlit IPS display; AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics
What I Like
- Extremely low-cost
- Great For Beginners
- Good Exhibit
What I Do Not Enjoy
- Duration of Battery Life
If you’re looking for a laptop that will meet your needs on a budget, stop what you’re doing, don’t waste any time, and purchase the Acer Aspire 5 immediately.
The Aspire 5 is a budget-friendly laptop with performance comparable to that of a mid-range computer. Simply put, this laptop is a boon for college photographers or those needing a light editing laptop.
The Aspire 5 exemplifies minimalism. The fact that it is neither flashy nor flamboyant is one of the reasons I adore it. It weighs 3.97 pounds and is silver with an aluminum finish, making it an ideal travel companion.
It features a 15.6-inch display with a maximum resolution of 1920x1080p, vivid colors, and crisp, clear borders. I could not embellish or lie about it. The display is partially on par with the competition’s high-end models but still an excellent value.
The Asper 5 features a powerful processor, the AMD Ryzen 3 3350U Quad-Core, and excellent graphics capabilities, despite being designed primarily for students and mobile productivity. However, having only 4 GB of RAM is its most significant flaw, preventing it from being the ideal laptop.
Fortunately, it is upgradeable, and I recommend you to do so because photo editing requires a great deal of RAM. It includes a 128 GB NVME SSD for storage, which may be sufficient for many users, but I recommend expanding it as it offers the option to do so.
3. APPLE MACBOOK AIR – BEST FOR MAC USERS
- All-Day Battery Life – Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life.
- Powerful Performance – Take on everything from professional-quality editing to action-packed gaming with ease. The Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance than the previous generation while using way less power.
- Superfast Memory – 8GB of unified memory makes your entire system speedy and responsive. That way it can support tasks like memory-hogging multitab browsing and opening a huge graphic file quickly and easily.
What I Like
- Excellent Display
- Superior Keyboard
- Excellent battery life
- Quiet & Durable
What I Do Not Enjoy
- The webcam is mediocre.
I will then introduce the MacBook Air to Apple enthusiasts. As expected from Apple, the Air is a stylish laptop that screams minimalism and premium quality, and it comes in three colors: gold, silver, and gray.
It weighs merely 2.80 pounds. Do not be deceived by the screen’s small size and lightweight; it is made of high-quality materials that are incredibly durable and long-lasting. On the other hand, the keyboard is very relaxing to use, and it is a pleasure to press its buttons.
The 13-inch display on the MacBook Air has a resolution of 2500 1600 pixels. In addition, it possesses Apple’s renowned retina display. This best budget laptop has a Retina display, a high-pixel-density IPS LCD, and an OLED display. This laptop stands out from the crowd due to its stunning display.
Apple M1 is yet another self-made component that touches the world of CPUs. The Apple M1 CPU has eight cores and is three-and-a-half times faster than its predecessors. As a result, it can easily handle anything you throw at it, including editing, simple tasks, and even gaming.
It comes standard with 8GB of RAM, it can be easily upgraded to 16GB Ram and a 256GB SSD, but you can upgrade to a 512GB SSD for an additional cost. Nonetheless, 256GB is adequate. In addition, I had the opportunity to test a MacBook Air, and it ran intensive editing software for 8–10 hours without issue.
2. LENOVO LEGION 5 – BEST RUNNER-UP
- Escalate your game with up to 8 high-performance cores in the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and 512GB NVMe SSD storage
- Includes free 3-month trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate - Play over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows PC; includes iconic Bethesda games, new day one titles, and the EA Play on PC catalog
- With NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics, enjoy the depth and visual fidelity of real-time ray-tracing; the 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS display on the Legion 5 gaming laptop delivers speed and color clarity for full-fidelity gaming
What I Like
- Also suitable for gaming
- Colorful Screen
- Includes an AMD Ryzen processor
What I Do Not Enjoy
- Gaming Look
Lenovo appears on the list once more, but this time with the Legion 5, a prominent gaming laptops. As a result of their robust components, gaming laptops typically perform best with editing software, and a little gaming never hurts anyone, right?
As usual, the design is exceptional. It has thin bezels, and a phantom-blue hood complements the colorful Legion emblem on the upper-left side. It also includes a keyboard with RGB colors that flow together.
The 15.6-inch full HD IPS display has a 165Hz refresh rate, a 3 ms response time, and an sRGB color accuracy of 100 percent. Additionally, Dolby Vision® and AMD FreeSyncTM Premium are supported.
An AMD Ryzen 7 5800H processor with eight cores, a base clock speed of 3.3 GHz, and a maximum clock speed of 4.4 GHz powers the laptop. Legion combines this powerful CPU with a dedicated Nvidia RTX 3050Ti GPU, a 512GB NVMe SSD, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM.
I will not lie and cannot embellish the battery life. It could be better, but neither is the price when considering this laptop’s powerful performance. It should last approximately 5 to 6 hours. This is understandable, given that it is a gaming laptop rather than a productivity laptop.
1. ACER PREDATOR HELIOS 300 IS THE BEST ALL-AROUND LAPTOP.
- Aspect Ratio:16:9
- Extreme Performance: Crush the competition with the impressive power and speed of the 11th Generation Intel Core i7-11800H processor, featuring 8 cores and 16 threads to divide and conquer any task or run your most intensive games
- RTX, It's On: The latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM) is powered by award-winning Ampere architecture with new Ray Tracing Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors supporting DirectX 12 Ultimate for the ultimate gaming performance
What I Like
- 144Hz Rate of Refresh
- Excellent IPS Display
- Clean & Beautiful Design
- Amazing Keyboard
What I Do Not Enjoy
- None At All
Last, we have the Acer Helios, one of my all-time favorite laptop series. A highly effective laptop with a beautiful design! This laptop is black and made of extremely durable materials, indicating that it will last a long time in graphics card.
Despite its “heavy” and aggressive appearance, this video editing laptop weighs 2 kg and is classified as portable. The 15-inch screen’s Full HD display has a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution and a refresh rate of 144Hz.
In contrast, the keyboard is a highly comfortable full-size plus model with RGB lighting that will illuminate your world. Thanks to the Intel Core i7-11800H processor and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060, you’ll have a powerful editing session for whatever you desire.
In addition, it comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. However, due to the demanding nature of the components, this Helios can only last 6 hours, which is quite acceptable for a gaming laptop.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN PURCHASING AN EDITING LAPTOP?
Although the quality of the laptop should be considered, when it comes to editing, certain features are more important than others.
First and foremost, your laptop’s display should be of the highest quality. The display screen is irrelevant, no matter how visually appealing your content may be. Instead, it would help if you acquired a display that displays colors in the correct order and with the appropriate brightness, vibrancy, etc.
The higher the screen resolution, the better it is, but this is hardly revolutionary. Also, if you’re into video editing, the smoother the video, the better the editing process.
The central processing unit (CPU) is the component that keeps the computer running. As a photo editor, you must be able to run demanding applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
You will require a powerful processor to operate these photo editing programs without hiccups. However, you want them to avoid constantly crashing or lagging.
CPU is difficult to comprehend, at least for me. Before purchasing a laptop, consult a computer-savvy friend or conduct research. Buying a windows laptop with a weak CPU that cannot run the required software will necessitate an upgrade, resulting in a good use of money.
Regarding photo editing, the amount of RAM available is another crucial factor. If your computer has more RAM, you can edit images more quickly. In addition, because a computer with more RAM has access to more resources, it can perform more demanding tasks.
You’ll need at least 8 GB of free space for photo editing software to function correctly. However, greater than 16 GB is preferred. You will observe that everything operates more efficiently as a result. In addition, it permits the application of a more significant number of layers.
Even though they appear small, photographs can consume a great deal of storage space. Photographers should be aware of this, particularly those with limited storage space, which frequently remove and replace SD cards.
The storage on your laptop will either be an SSD or an HDD. Both of these have advantages. An SSD will significantly increase your laptop’s overall speed while limiting its storage capacity.
The HDD, on the other hand, is significantly slower but provides many storage options, such as 1 TB. This is a personal preference, but a 256GB SSD should suffice.
when searching for the best budget photo editing laptop, you must consider the processor, RAM, storage, graphics card, and software requirements. The options range from high-end devices like the apple macbook pro to more affordable laptops like the acer aspire.
All the laptops on my list offer an excellent price-to-value ratio and are highly recommended. Even though there are more expensive options that provide better overall performance, the laptops listed above are still a steal for budget-conscious photographers.
But sometimes, even with the proper resources, you may need more inspiration. Alternatively, it would help if you were as inventive as possible. If you don’t nurture your creativity, even the newest flagship won’t do the trick; it’s all about creativity.
What are some of the best photo editing programs?
Gimp is, in my estimation, a “killer alternative” to Photoshop, with Photoshop and Gimp following closely behind.
What features should a laptop for photo editing have?
A laptop should have a CPU capable of running the editing chrome os software, a decent GPU, integrated or dedicated, sufficient RAM, and some storage space.
What computer does the majority of photographers utilize?
I can’t give you a direct answer because every photographer has their preferences and would only buy a laptop if another photographer has one. Photographers use each of the laptops listed above, but if none appeal to you, you should seek a laptop from a prominent manufacturer.