7 Best Laptops For Photo Editing on a Budget | Tried and Tested

When you start looking for the best laptop for photo editing on a budget, you will be confronted with an extensive list of pricey models. And while they deliver value for their expensive costs, they are out of reach for many photographers, particularly beginners.

Contrary to common assumptions, high-end picture editing software does not require an expensive high-spec laptop. And you don’t have to spend your real-life money on a laptop that will suffice. You can easily acquire the best photo editing laptop on a low budget.

However, as time goes on, businesses are releasing more and more models specialized in photo editing and graphics work at a lower cost. These may not have the most aesthetically pleasing designs, but they are filled with high-quality specs that allow for the most precise alterations.

7 Best Photo Editing Laptops on a Budget – Top Picks for 2022

Lenovo ThinkBook 15 G2
Lenovo ThinkBook 15 G2
10
  • Heavy-duty performance with advanced 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors enhanced by AI technology.
  • Do intensive work with 256GB SSD and up to 8GB RAM.
HP Chromebook 14
HP Chromebook 14
10
  • Intel® Celeron® N4000 processor provides the responsive performance you’re looking for with ample storage. 
  • 8 hours or above battery life to get everything done.
ASUS VivoBook 15
ASUS VivoBook 15
10
  • 15.6-inch FHD 4-way Nano-Edge bezel display. 
  • Stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
10
  • Next-generation, best-in-class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet, allowing you to naturally type, touch, draw, write, work, and play. 
  • More connectivity options, including sd card reader, USB c, and USB ports for connecting to screens, docking stations, and other devices, as well as accessory charging.
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13.3
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13.3
10
  • 10th generation Intel core CPUs deliver an exceptional combination of performance, connection, and entertainment. 
  • Fast performance features adapt to your work, providing a customized, intuitive, and responsive experience for photo editing.
Latest Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 5000 14.0″
Latest Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 5000 14.0″
10
  • 14-inch 4K matte touchscreen with infinite ways to maximize your multitasking experience by stretching the screen or splitting windows and apps over both screens.
  • The main screen size is 15.6-inch with a 4K UHD NanoEdge touchscreen and a glossy finish.
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 15.6”
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 15.6”
10
  • The main display is a 15.6-inch 4K UHD Nano-Edge touchscreen with a glossy finish.
  • Intel Core i7-9750H Quad-Core Processor features the newest gaming-grade NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics and lightning-fast storage.

Let’s dig a bit deeper to know their specs and why they are worth buying; Let’s begin!

Best Flagship Budget Photo Editing Laptop

Lenovo Think Book 15 Gen 2

Lenovo Think Book 15

Highlights

  • Heavy-duty performance with advanced 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors enhanced by AI technology.
  • Do intensive work with 256GB SSD and up to 8GB RAM.
  • Intelligent Cooling system.
  • FHD resolution and 100% sRGB color gamut with accurate color and contrast for lifelike visuals. 
  • Elegant and professional dual-tone design with sleek bezels delivers an 88% screen-to-body ratio.
  • High portability due to lightweight.
  • Enables faster downloads, enhanced bandwidth, lower latency, and seamless conferencing with Speedy Wi-Fi 6.

Key Features:

The ThinkBook 15 Gen 2 is a slim yet powerful laptop with a discreet and corporate exterior style, making it an excellent laptop for use for photo editing at home or in business.

In an age when physical connection ports are few, Lenovo has provided the Think-Book 15 with a refreshingly well-stocked array of connectors. The screen specifications are remarkable, with most versions including a Full HD 1920×1080 display. 

Choose an IPS screen for superior viewing angles and consistent color and contrast. An entry-level TN-based LCD panel, likewise in Full HD, is available, but it’s best avoided since color and contrast accuracy will be poor. It has features like whisper voice, microphone “Mode switch,” intelligent cooling, and it instantly flips to boot. 

Pros
  • Latest connectivity options.
  • Flexible design for photo editing.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Crystal-clear screen display
  • A vast library of Chrome OS and web apps.
  • Long battery life.
Cons
  • Adobe Photoshop is not available.
  • Inaccurate color display.

Our Best Overall Laptop for Photo Editing

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

Highlights:

  • Intel® Celeron® N4000 processor provides the responsive performance you’re looking for with ample storage. 
  • 8 hours or above battery life to get everything done.
  • 14’’ HD display with touch screen for editing photos.
  • 128GB Storage for multitasking processes.
  • Intel® UHD Graphics 600 can surely convince with low figures of consumption.

Key Features:

If you’re looking for the best budget laptops for photo editing, the HP Chromebook 14 FHD is a good option. It is powered by Chrome OS and features automatic software upgrades to ensure you have the most up-to-date virus protection. 

It’s simple to use and, like Android devices, lets you run programs from the Google Play Store. Although Photoshop cannot be used, Photoshop equivalents such as Lightroom Mobile and Snapseed may be launched.

This is the best cheap laptop on our list that boasts a screen size of 14-inch with full HD 1080p screen quality and good battery life. You won’t suffer from limited viewing angles or low contrast because of the IPS panel. Make sure you choose the laptop model because the market has various versions with smaller displays. 

When it comes to displaying quality, spend a little more to avoid getting a low-quality gadget. The trackpad works excellent for photo editing tasks, and the model is also quite stylish. 

Pros
  • Fast charging support.
  • No fan sound.
  • Long battery life.
  • Attractive chassis.
  • Comfortable keyboard.
Cons
  • Limited storage space.
  • Below-average performance.
  • The display could be more vibrant.

Best Convertible Budget Laptop for Photo Editing

ASUS VivoBook 15

ASUS VivoBook 15

Highlights:

  • 15.6-inch FHD 4-way Nano-Edge bezel display. 
  • Stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio.
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel core i3-1005G1 CPU.
  • Provides high performance with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD storage.
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard with a fingerprint sensor.
  • Enjoy improved typing position with exclusive Ergolift design for editing photos.
  • Comprehensive connections include USB 3.2 Type-C, Type-A, USB 2.0, and HDMI.

Key Features:

ASUS VivoBook 15 offers the same fantastic performance as the ASUS VivoBook 14 but with more premium features. It is the best photo editing laptop on a budget. The Intel UHD integrated video graphics on the GPU front will outperform any AMD competitor. 

The machine appears to meet industry standards in terms of RAM and memory, and it is plenty to hold your programs and documents for lightning-fast access.

ASUS offers one of the most outstanding display panels available at this pricing point. The 15.6-inch display employs the company’s NanoEdge Bezel technology, which means that bezels are kept to a minimum, and visual quality is not compromised. The gadget may be used for up to 6 hours on a single charge for editing photos and gaming. Therefore, you have to keep the charger at a reachable distance.

Pros
  • Lightweight and sleek styling.
  • Ergonomic Backlit keyboard.
  • Full HD Display (Bezel free).
  • Excellent performance for photo editing tasks.
  • Built-in card reader.
Cons
  • Not all S15 models have an IPS screen.
  • Average audio output.

Best Laptop for Photo Editing Under $500

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Highlights:

  • Next-generation, best-in-class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet, allowing you to naturally type, touch, draw, write, work, and play. 
  • More connectivity options, including sd card reader, USB c, and USB ports for connecting to screens, docking stations, and other devices, as well as accessory charging.
  • A more powerful pro – more than twice as fast as the Surface Pro 6 — with a laptop-class Intel core processor and enhanced graphics for photo editing.
  • All-day battery life as well as the ability to get from empty to complete in less than an hour.
  • Innovative design that won’t burden you down – the ultra-slim and light Surface Pro 7 begin at only 1.70 pounds.
  • Upgradeable to windows 11.

Key Features:

The Surface Pro 7 has a basic clock speed of 1.2GHz. When running heavy-duty applications such as Photoshop or Lightroom, the CPU can overclock to 3.4GHz, which is a respectable amount. 

The allotment of RAM and SSD storage is where the Surface Pro 7 excels. Even though it is an older model, it comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. Because the Surface Pro 7 is built on Intel’s architecture, you won’t have any problem installing traditional apps as it got positive reviews for a budget laptop for photo editing.

It’s also fragile, nearly to the point where you forget it’s in your backpack. Microsoft has made things easy by including two full-sized USB ports, HD resolution, and a Mini DisplayPort on the gadget.

 The laptop has two cameras, one on the front and one on the rear. The stand also does an excellent job of offering an ergonomic working angle to edit photos easily. The machine’s battery, which complements its compact form, can run the system for up to 10.5 hours, which is outstanding.

You may improve it even more by altering the brightness and the applications you use on it.

Pros
  • Portable and lightweight.
  • Touch and surface pen input.
  • Ergonomic design option for photo editing.
  • Faster Intel 10th Gen CPU.
  • More than 10.5 hours of battery life.
  • Dual far-field mics.
  • Now enabled with Wi-Fi 6.
  • Dedicated Graphics card for professional photo editors.
  • Solid build design.
Cons
  • The laptop screen could have been more prominent.
  • The keyboard and Surface pen still cost extra.
  • Still no Thunderbolt 3.
  • Performance drops over time due to fan-less design.

Best Budget Performance Laptop for Photo Editing

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13.3″

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13.3"

Highlights:

  • 10th generation Intel core CPUs deliver an exceptional combination of performance, connection, and entertainment. 
  • Fast performance features adapt to your work, providing a customized, intuitive, and responsive experience for photo editing.
  • This 2-in-1 laptop combines a keyboard with a touchscreen, making it simple to interact with everything on your screen. 
  • It comes with a stylus (a digital pen) available separately to quickly scribble, click, and drag files on the screen.
  • FHD display provides stunning images, while low bezels reduce distractions. 
  • Two front-facing stereo speakers immerse you in the experience.
  • It has recent Intel Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 for a quick, dependable connection.

Key Features:

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is a cheap laptop with all the high-end features that ensure that even the most sophisticated photo editing software runs smoothly. Chromebooks are a terrific alternative for picture editing when you require a super-fast computer. Owing to this reason, Adobe Photoshop isn’t currently available on the platform, you’ll have to rely on third-party apps such as Polarr, plain old GIMP, Snapseed, or Pixlr. These are compatible with the Chromebook Flex 5, a popular Chrome OS device.

Furthermore, the price is reduced compared to the typical laptop in the category. You can get all the features you are looking for at a cheap laptop price. This budget photo editing laptop also has more features to go!

What’s more? A 13.3-inch screen size with full HD display with a standard 1920 x 1080 resolution and smaller bezels is included. Chrome OS is now well-optimized for touch-based input, and this multitouch-enabled touch laptop screen provides a unique manner of navigation. 

The gadget has a pen that may adjust or draw straight on the screen to edit photos conveniently. As a result, it is an excellent laptop for artists.

The laptop lid may be folded down to make it into a tablet. However, it only covers 74% of the sRGB color spectrum, resulting in less accurate color reproduction. If you are a newbie, you must carefully enhance colors to achieve a suitable effect.

Pros
  • Latest connectivity options.
  • Flexible design for photo editing.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Crystal-clear screen display.
  • A vast library of Chrome OS and web apps.
  • Long battery life.
Cons
  • Adobe Photoshop is not available.
  • Inaccurate color display.

Best Budget Windows Laptop for Photo Editing

Latest Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 5000 14.0″

Latest Dell Inspiron 2-in-1 5000 14.0"

Highlights:

  • 14-inch 4K matte touchscreen with infinite ways to maximize your multitasking experience by stretching the screen or splitting windows and apps over both screens.
  • The main screen size is 15.6-inch with a 4K UHD NanoEdge touchscreen and a glossy finish.
  • Intel Core i7-9750H Quad-Core Processor (9th Generation, 12M Cache, up to 4.5 GHz) with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • Included are a detachable palm rest and an ASUS active stylus pen.
  • Rapid storage and memory, including a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD and 16GB DDR4 Random Access Memory.
  • With NVIDIA® GeForce® discrete Intel UHD Graphics, it’s simple to manage intensive photo- or video-editing without affecting performance.
  • With long battery life, you can go longer between charges.
  • With the big precision touchpad, you can swiftly zoom, point, and navigate across content.
  •  When you update to a backlit keyboard for enhanced typing accuracy in low light, you can keep going even when it’s dark.

Key Features:

This laptop by Dell is the best 14-inch professional laptop for image editing is the best choice for those with a restricted budget. The touchscreen is snappy, although it misses half of the colors in sRGB and is dimmer than you’d expect from a multimedia tablet. This is unfortunate because the 14-inch laptop’s battery life is excellent. You can flip this 14-inch Full HD screen back and forth to transform it into a tablet PC; however, it is not very slim. 

If you need a laptop for photoshop, this device may not be ideal. Thanks to its sensitive touchscreen, the Dell Inspiron can be used as a basic pen-enabled tablet for picture editing or an advanced computer for graphic creation.

You can use this laptop for producing aesthetic illustrations through adobe software. Of course, photoshop will run on it, but you will feel a bit inconvenienced working with it. Plus, it’s not the only software that offers photo editing features. There are various applications out there to opt from. 

With the 16GB ram, we find this laptop effective during multitasking. 

Pros
  • Super responsive touch screen
  • Expandable storage and memory
  • Flip-over screen
  • Sleek design.
  • Supports stylus input.
  • High performance.
  • Full-size USB Type-A, USB Type-C, and HDMI ports.
Cons
  • The screen is a bit dim for the outdoors.
  • Battery life is just okay.
  • No Thunderbolt 3 port.

  Best All-rounder Laptop For on-the-go Image Editing

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 15.6”

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 15.6”

Highlights:

  • 14-inch 4K matte touchscreen with infinite ways to maximize your multitasking experience by stretching the screen or splitting windows and apps over both screens.
  • The main display is a 15.6-inch 4K UHD Nano-Edge touchscreen with a glossy finish.
  • Intel Core i7-9750H Quad-Core Processor features the newest gaming-grade NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics and lightning-fast storage.
  • ASUS active stylus pen provides you with limitless opportunities to improve and customize your creativity flow. 
  • Rapid storage and memory, including a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD and 16GB DDR4 RAM.

Key Features:

This high-performance portable laptop has a simple look with an aluminum body, a grey metal cover with ring trim, and polished sides. Supplementary palm rest is included in the package, which complements the ErgoLift tilting keyboard design to provide the most comfortable typing experience ever.

The vast screen offers a UHD resolution of 3840×2160, more than enough for professional image retouchers who don’t want to use Apple’s software (ZenBook copies their design almost entirely).

The photographs’ ultra-sharp detail is quite appealing. The screen has a brightness of 289 units and can display up to 110% of the sRGB color gamut. Its display effectively illuminates light and dark parts during video streaming or photo editing. The touchpad on the ZenBook Pro is snappy and allows you to effortlessly use multi-touch gestures, making it the ideal laptop for photo editing on a budget.

With a core i7 processor and NVIDIA graphics card, you can efficiently run heavy games and applications on it to obtain desired results. 

16GB ram allows you to open several applications simultaneously without causing any FPS issue. 1TB SSD storage is perfect for enhancing speed. Plus, you can save large files conveniently with this large storage area. 

Pros
  • Long battery life.
  • Decent Graphics card for photo editing needs.
  • Attractive look and appealing all-metal body.
  • Satisfying NVIDIA graphic performance.
Cons
  • Glossy Screen.
  • Difficult to update the configuration.

How to Choose the Best Photo Editing Laptop on Budget?

There is a wide selection of photo-editing laptops available, each with its own set of features. Performance is ultimately determined by several factors, including the processor and storage, but the graphics card is crucially utilized. 

Our top picks not only feature powerful CPUs and graphics, but they also offer adaptable connections, compatible photo editing software, and huge LCD wide-view screens explicitly designed for professionals. They are also fashionable, flexible, feature backlit keyboards, and provide webcam security. The best thing is that they are very reasonable and affordable!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Which laptop should I buy for photo editing?

Finding a robust computer Image processing necessitates a significant amount of computing power; hence powerful computers with multi-core processors and loads of RAM are required. 

The best budget photo editing laptop will be determined primarily by your budget and personal preferences. We recommend you buy HP Chromebook 14 if you are serious about professional image editing, investing in a high-end laptop that can withstand significant CPU usage is only acceptable. To guarantee a good editing experience, the laptop should also have a screen with a broad color spectrum. 

How much RAM do I need for Lightroom and Photoshop?

For most photo editors performing regular chores in Lightroom, 16GB of RAM is sufficient to ensure that it functions appropriately while still leaving enough capacity to run other applications concurrently, such as Photoshop and a browser. But 32GB or even 64GB would help image editing software function smoothly and accomplish tasks considerably faster.

Which laptop is best on a low budget? 13 inches or 15 inches?

A 13-inch laptop with a high resolution and vibrant display are much better than a 15-inch or more with a dim display and low resolution. You can buy Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 at an affordable price. 

Which is the cheapest laptop to run photoshop?

In general, all Mac OS laptops and Windows 10 laptops can run Adobe Creative Suite seamlessly. It’s slightly more difficult on Chromebooks like the ASUS and laptops configured to Windows 10 in “S” mode. There are many picture editing choices for Chrome OS and Linux, but they may require a little more technical know-how to set up. You can find Microsoft Surface Pro 7 as the cheapest laptop on our list. 

What are the minimum requirements for a photo editing laptop?

Go for a laptop with a full HD display and 99-100% SRB coverage to achieve high performance. Pay close attention to its RAM and storage capacity to guarantee a lag-free image editing session. 8GB RAM and 1TB storage are suggested for consistent performance.

Though the requirements depend on your preferences, the bare minimum requirements for a photo editing laptop are here.

  • At least 2 USB ports 
  • Intel I7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • 1080(Full HD) 
  • 500GB SSD monitor  

Final Words

Everyone runs out of budget at some point in their lives. However, this should not deter you from pursuing your dreams. Choosing an affordable laptop can be difficult, especially if you don’t want to waste your money on a faulty low-cost gadget. 

The aforementioned compiled list of best laptops for photo editing on a Budget may differ depending on the user’s preferences. Still, one thing is sure: all of them can run photo and video editing software. So, don’t let a limited budget hold you back from getting a laptop and getting started with the editing world!

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