Photoshop is an exciting and highly functional program used by many graphic artists and designers. When choosing a laptop to use with Photoshop, there are many elements to consider to make sure you get the most out of your device.
After much deliberation, we decided that the Apple MacBook Pro is the best laptop for photoshop.
Table of Contents
- 1 How we chose the best laptop for Photoshop
- 2 The five best laptops for Photoshop
- 3 The most important consideration when choosing the best laptop for Photoshop
- 4 Other considerations when choosing the best laptop for Photoshop
- 5 The best laptop for Photoshop
- 6 The four other laptops for Photoshop we tested
- 7 The bottom line
How we chose the best laptop for Photoshop
We combed through reviews, gathered feedback from users, and honed in on manufacturer documents to find you the best laptops on the market for Photoshop. We narrowed the list down to the Top 5, with the MacBook Pro coming in at number one.
The MacBook Pro hit the top of the list due to its impressive CPU, generous RAM, color accuracy, and portability.
When we compared laptops we were looking for the features that are most important to those who use Photoshop. The user feedback we gathered indicated a wide range of laptop features that might be considered.
Based on this feedback, we narrowed down the criteria for a winning laptop to the five most important for Photoshop:
Using these five criteria, we compared many laptops until we determined the Top 5 laptops for Photoshop.
The five best laptops for Photoshop
Here’s a list of the Best Laptops for Photoshop;
|Apple Macbook Pro MJLT2LL/A 15-inch...||from $1,498.89||Read Amazon Reviews »|
|Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition...||$1,889.99||Read Amazon Reviews »|
|ASUS ROG STRIX 15.6-inch G-SYNC VR...||from $1,457.12||Read Amazon Reviews »|
|MSI GE72 Apache Pro-029 17.3" GAMING...||Currently not available||Read Amazon Reviews »|
|Lenovo Z70 17.3-Inch Laptop (Core...||$899.99||Read Amazon Reviews »|
The most important consideration when choosing the best laptop for Photoshop
We reviewed feedback from tech experts and graphic artists to uncover the most important consideration for a laptop. We found that having the right CPU was at the top of the list.
Photoshop users ask a lot of their devices, making processing power an important factor in deciding which laptop to buy. Photoshop itself takes a fair amount of processing power. Adobe recommends using a fast CPU to optimize Photoshop’s functionality. Additionally, graphic artists may have many other processes running at the same time as they juggle file management, documentation, project instructions, web research, communication, supplemental graphics programs, etc.
Considering the demands placed on a Photoshop user’s laptop, it’s easy to see why processing power is a big deal.
The speed and clarity with which you are able to create your work can be helped or hindered by the speed of your CPU. Having a laptop that doesn’t lag or freeze up when you’re in the middle of a project will save you time and frustration in the long run.
Ultimately, if you are using Photoshop regularly on your laptop you can’t afford the lost time, and potentially lost work, that results from a CPU that just won’t keep up. It’s well worth spending some extra money on this feature.
Other considerations when choosing the best laptop for Photoshop
RAM was a close contender for the most important consideration in choosing a laptop. Like the CPU, the kind of RAM you have will play a vital part in how well your laptop can keep up with your needs.
Photoshop specifies a 2 GB minimum with 8 GB recommended. RAM is not something you want to skimp on, especially if you’ll be using other programs at the same time as Photoshop. We recommend at least 16 GB of RAM to keep things running smoothly.
Color quality is another important consideration for those who wish to use Photoshop on a laptop.
Laptops have historically had difficulty displaying colors with perfect accuracy. However, some laptops minimize the difference better than others. Look out for laptops with IPS displays as these provide enhanced color accuracy and better display from different angles.
Not all laptops come in all screen sizes, so it’s important to consider whether the laptop you want comes in the size you need.
Smaller laptop screens can make it difficult to view graphics from the perspective a designer needs. The need to zoom in and out in order to accommodate the design task to the screen size can be frustrating and disruptive.
Based on the feedback we gathered, most recommendations suggest that a screen size of 15 inches or larger is best for use with Photoshop.
Today’s world is increasingly mobile. It’s not unusual for Photoshop users to need to take their laptops with them to meet with clients, work on site, or just move between the home and office.
Laptops are far more lightweight and portable than they once were, but there are still significant differences from one model to the next. Size, weight, and battery life all play an important role in how well a laptop fits in to a mobile lifestyle.
The best laptop for Photoshop
After a close analysis of our Top 5 laptops, the Apple MacBook Pro takes the top spot as our #1 Pick.
The argument over whether a Mac or a PC is better for graphic design shows no sign of ending anytime soon. We feel that both types of device are suitable for Photoshop, but the MacBook Pro edged into first place on our list for a number of reasons.
This laptop comes with an Intel i7 CPU, one of the best processors on the market. Four cores, an impressive Turbo Boost, and hyper-threading all contribute to the overall speed and performance of the MacBook Pro. The i7 will be more than sufficient for most Photoshop users.
The MacBook Pro also comes with up to 16GB of RAM, twice the recommended amount specified by Photoshop and four times the minimum.
Color accuracy can be a problem for Photoshop users, but the MacBook Pro’s retina display uses IPS technology to provide a richer, more accurate color experience from all angles. The retina display also offers a pixel density of 220 pixels per inch for a better viewing experience.
This laptop comes with a screen size of up to 15.4”. This size meets our minimum size recommendations for Photoshop, however we don’t recommend choosing the smaller 13” display.
An advantage of a 15.4 ” display over a larger screen size such as the common 17.3” is that it’s more comfortable on the move. In terms of portability the MacBook has a lot to offer with a thickness of just 0.71” and a battery life lasting up to 9 hours. And at just 4.5 pounds this laptop won’t weigh you down on the go.
Given the high rankings that the MacBook Pro received for each of our five criteria, we couldn’t help but choose this laptop as our best pick for Photoshop. The MacBook Pro is a fantastic choice whether you use Photoshop for work, school, or personal projects.
The four other laptops for Photoshop we tested
While the MacBook Pro has definitely earned its spot as our #1 pick, the other four laptops on our Top 5 list are also excellent solutions for Photoshop users. Let’s take a quick look at what they have to offer.
The Acer Aspire V17 Nitro came in as a close second to the MacBook Pro.
With an i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and an IPS display, this laptop is comparable to the MacBook Pro on some of our most important criteria.
The screen is available in both 15.6” and 17.3”, giving you more choices for screen sizes in the recommended range.
Like the MacBook Pro, this laptop is also highly portable. It’s a slim one inch thick from front to back. The battery can last for up to seven hours, which is not too shabby for a larger laptop. It weighs in at 6.83 pounds, making it heavier than the MacBook Pro but still manageable.
Ultimately, the Acer Aspire V17 Nitro came in second because of the MacBook Pro’s outstanding portability profile. Although the Acer is highly portable compared to many laptops, it doesn’t quite beat out our #1 Pick. But even with slightly less portability, the Acer Aspire V17 Nitro is a fantastic option for Photoshop.
- Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (6MB Cache)
- 16GB DDR4 Dual-Channel Memory
- 1TB 5400RPM Hard Drive plus 256 GB SSD
Marketed as a gaming laptop, the ASUS Rog has everything you need to fully utilize your Photoshop skills.
This laptop is more portable than the Acer Aspire V17 Nitro. At just 4.8 pounds it’s not much heavier than the MacBook Pro. The Rog’s battery life is shorter than both our number one and number two picks, but still lasts a good six hours. You’ll need to recharge if you use it all day but you’ll get in a good amount of work before you need to plug it in.
This laptop also offers two screen sizes in our recommended range, 15.6” and 17.3”.
The Rog has an impressive i7 CPU and 8 to 16 GB of RAM. However it dropped to third place because it doesn’t use IPS panels.
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- Immersive Virtual Reality Ready and Stutter-Free Gameplay with GeForce GTX 1060...
- Boost your Gaming Experience with 16GB DDR4 Memory (supports up to 24GB with...
The Apache Pro is another gaming laptop that is well suited to use with Photoshop.
Once again processing power rules with an i7 CPU and 16 GB of RAM. This laptop will stay up to speed through heavy projects and multitasking.
Aside from the processing power, one of the top selling points for the Apache Pro is its color display. This laptop uses MSI’s True Color Technology to maximize color accuracy and ensure that the display is giving you its best. Pre-set True Color Profiles allow you to choose how you want to experience colors depending on your use case.
The Apache Pro also offers a large 17.3” screen size, comparable to most of the laptops on our list.
The Apache Pro is a great laptop for Photoshop in most respects. It came in fourth on our list because it has a much shorter battery life than we’d like to see.
In a high-use context the battery only lasts about three hours, which isn’t great for portability. Even so, power is readily available in most contexts so the need to recharge more often isn’t enough to knock this powerful machine off the list. If battery life is a prime consideration for you, stick with one of the other laptops in our Top 5 or check out this list.
In spite of its shorter battery life, the MSI GE72 Apache Pro is a high quality laptop and a great choice for Photoshop users.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core Processor (2.6-3.5GHz)
- RAM: 16GB (8GB x2) DDR4 2133MHz | Hard Drive: 128GB M.2 SATA + 1TB (7200RPM)
- Optical Drive: SuperMulti DVD | Operating System: Windows 10
In order to make it into our Top 5 list, each laptop had to have some impressive processing power and the Lenovo Z70 is no exception.
Like the others, this laptop’s i7 CPU and 16GB of RAM will keep you running smoothly through a variety of multitasking scenarios.
However, for those on a budget looking for a cheaper laptop, the Z70 is a great choice. With this laptop you will get the processing power you need at a relatively lower cost.
The Z70 made the list due to its processing capacity and recommendations from the feedback we gathered, but it came in fifth because it doesn’t use IPS panels and has a relatively low battery life of four hours.
- Intel Core i7-5500U 2.2 GHz Processor
- 16 GB DDR3L SDRAM
- 1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive, 8 GB Solid-State Drive;DVDRW
The MacBook Pro laptop is all-around the best choice for Photoshop.
With its powerful CPU, plenty of RAM, and Photoshop-friendly screen size, the MacBook Pro is ready to help make your Photoshop dreams a reality. The color quality is nothing to laugh at either, with a beautiful IPS retina display at 220 pixels per inch.
While we stand by our pick for best laptop for Photoshop, it was a close race in many ways. The other four laptops on our list are also excellent choices and shouldn’t be disregarded. Any of these laptops would of benefit to most Photoshop users. Depending on your needs the other picks may even provide a better solution than the MacBook Pro, especially if you want a larger screen size or have budget constraints.
Whether you choose our #1 Pick or one of the other outstanding devices on our list, you won’t be disappointed with how these machines handle your Photoshop needs.