The Best Budget Laptop for Photo Editing

You know you don’t want to compromise on the quality of your photos when editing. Fair enough, but then if you are on a budget, it can be a tough balancing act.

Whether you are a professional photographer or just a photography enthusiast, a good laptop for photo editing is a key piece of gear to your arsenal.

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Finding one, if you do not know what to look out for can, however, be a tall order.

Fortunately, we are here to help. We’ve put together a list of the best photo editing laptops you can get without breaking a bank.

Browsing through our top choices should make your decision-making process markedly easier.

Our Best Picks on Best Budget Laptop for Photo Editing 

Getting a good editing laptop on a budget boils down to a focus on a good graphics card, ample storage, and a good viewing experience.

The good news is that you can still find the best laptops for photo editing even on a budget. Out top picks include:

  • Lenovo Yoga 910 Laptop
  • Asus Vivobook S 14 – Asus
  • Acer Aspire 5

These stand out for their affordability, power, and portability. We take a look at 14 great laptops for photo editing, ranked by performance and affordability. 

1.     Lenovo Yoga 910 Laptop

Before delving into the budget-conscious laptops for photo editing, our top pick is the Lenovo Yoga 910. It offers an impressive range of features for a laptop that is under $1200.

First, it has a very powerful graphics card. The NVIDIA GeForce MX150 will ensure that you get great performance when editing your photos.

It also has a very large storage capacity, with a 1 TB hard drive. This is important for photo editing, as you will want to have plenty of space to store your photos and the software needed to edit them.

Finally, it has a high-resolution screen that makes viewing your photos an enjoyable experience.

What we like:

·        Its 2-in-1 design makes it very versatile

·        Offers a great graphics card for photo editing

·        Has a large storage capacity

·        Snappy keyboard

·        7th Gen Intel CPU

What we don’t like:

·        No touchscreen

·        Webcam location a little inconvenient

2.     Asus Vivobook S 14 – Asus

If you are looking for a laptop that is a little less expensive than the Yoga 910, the Asus Vivobook S 14 is a great option.

It has many of the same features as the Yoga, including a powerful graphics card and ample storage. It also has a high-resolution screen. 

Its 256 GB solid-state drive is fast, and this makes editing your photos a much faster process. At only .8 inches thin, it’s ultra-portable–ideal for students or professionals on the go.

What we like:

·        Compact and lightweight

·        A dedicated memory card reader/USB port, along with an additional USB 3.0 port

·        Very stylish design

·        High-resolution screen

·        Nice port selection

·        AI noise reduction

What we don’t like:

·        Keyboard is a little cramped

·        No USB 3.1 Type c port, just USB 3.0 ports

3.     Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is a good option for starters in photo editing, thanks to its low price, convertible form factor, and a decent set of features.

The AMD Dual-Core A4-9120 Processor and 4 GB of RAM make sure that you can get some good work done, including photo editing. 

You also get a respectable 32 GB of eMMC storage for photos, videos, and other files. The Chromebook Flex 5 also has a 1366×768 resolution display, perfect for viewing photos.

What we like:

·        Low price

·        Foldable into tablet

·        Touchscreen

·        Powerful battery

What we don’t like:

·        It doesn’t have the most powerful graphics card

4.     Acer Aspire 5

If you are looking for a laptop with a bit more power than the Chromebook Flex 5, the Acer Aspire 5 is worth checking out.

It has an Intel Core i5-8265U Processor and 4 GB of RAM, making it perfect for more intensive photo editing tasks.

You also get a generous 128 GB of SSD storage, which is great for storing photos. Its 15.6-inch Full HD display is perfect for viewing high-resolution photos.

What we like:

·        Large screen

·        Fast storage

·        High-resolution display

·        Powerful CPU

·        Ample storage space

·        USB 3.1 Type c port

·        Solid battery life

·        Backlit keyboard

What we don’t like:

·        No dedicated graphics card but can still handle most photo editing task

·        Configuration update a little challenging but only for those not too tech-savvy

5.     HP Pavilion 15 Gaming Laptop

If you are looking for a gaming laptop that can also handle photo editing tasks, the HP Pavilion 15 Gaming Laptop is a great option.

It has an AMD Radeon RX 550 Graphics card and 8 GB of RAM, making it perfect for playing games and editing photos. 

Enjoy a large 256 GB hard drive for storing photos and other files. Plus, its red-backlit keyboard looks cool and is perfect for gaming or working in low-light conditions.

What we like:

·        Variety of configuration options

·        Dedicated graphics card

·        Bright screen

What we don’t like:

·        Loud fans that can’t be switched off

·        Screen brightness could be improved

6.     ASUS VivoBook S15

The ASUS VivoBook S15 is a great option for photo editing.

It has an Intel Core i7-8565U Processor and 8 GB of RAM, making it perfect for handling any type of photo editing, as well as playing games if you want to take a break from photo editing for a bit. 

Its fast 512 GB solid-state drive and 15.6-inch Full HD display are perfect for viewing photos and other high-resolution images.

You will love its full HD IPS screen that has 178-degree wide-viewing angles.

What we like:

·        Adequate memory

·        Fast SSD storage

·        Gorgeous screen with a matte finish

·        Features USB Type c port and an SD card slot

·        Stylish design with red accents

·        Powerful processor for photo editing tasks

What we don’t like:

·        No backlit keyboard

·        No Numpad

7.     Dell Inspiron 14 5000 2-in-1

Talk of responsiveness and Dell Inspiron 14 5000 2-in-1 is a convertible laptop that will offer you just that.

The device uses an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor and 32 GB DDR4 Memory ideal for handling some of the most resource-demanding software out there.

Combined with Intel UHD 620 Graphics, the device can run photo editing software without a hitch.

It has a fast 256GB solid-state drive and also comes with two memory slots for further expanding its storage capacity.

You can save thousands of dollars on this versatile laptop if you don’t mind it being refurbished.

What we like:

·        Versatile design perfect for all types of users

·        Memory can be expanded

·        Intel Iris Xe graphics for handling photo editing software

·        360° flip-and-fold design means it can be used as a tablet

·        Windows Hello with fingerprint reader

What we don’t like:

·        Refurbished unit could have some problems

·        A little too dim for the outdoors

8.     Asus Vivobook S 14 

The Asus Vivobook S 14 is a mid-range laptop ideal for photo editing, with a processor that is just as good as the one on the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 2-in-1.

It has an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-10510U Processor and 8GB of RAM, making it perfect for running photo editing software.

You also get a fast 512 GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch HD display. It’s not as sharp as some of the other laptops mentioned here, but it is still perfect for photo and video editing.

What we like:

·        Good memory and processing power

·        Solid battery life

·        AI noise reduction

·        Unique color reproduction

What we don’t like:

·        No USB Type c port

·        Screen could be brighter

9.     HP Pavilion 15

If you are looking for a multitasking laptop that can handle photo editing and some light gaming, the HP Pavilion 15 is a great option.

It stands out with its AMD Ryzen 7 8-core Processor and up to 16GB of RAM, making it perfect for running multiple programs at once. 

This laptop stands out with its 512 GB solid-state drive for storing photos and other files. Enjoy its bright 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display with crisp, clear visuals.

What we like:

·        Beautiful design with a silver finish

·        Stylish backlit keyboard

·        Decent hardware for multitasking

·        Fast SSD with lots of storage space

What we don’t like:

·        Loud fan that cannot be turned off

·        No USB Type-C port

10.       Lenovo Yoga 730 (2-in-1)

If you are into high-resolution photos, then the Lenovo Yoga 730 (2-in-1) is a great laptop for you. It has a stunning 4K UHD Touchscreen display with 3840 x 2160 pixels.

Combined with an Intel Core i7-8565U Processor and 8GB of RAM, the device can handle just about any photo editing software in a breeze. 

This model’s fast 512 GB solid-state drive and 15.6-inch Full HD display are perfect for viewing photos and other high-resolution images.

You will love its full HD IPS screen that has 178-degree wide-viewing angles.

What we like:

·        Adequate memory

·        Fast SSD storage

·        Gorgeous screen with a matte finish

·        Features USB Type c port and an SD card slot

·        Stylish design with red accents

·        Powerful processor for photo editing tasks

·        The 2-in-1 feature means you’ll get a laptop and tablet in one

·        Convertible design means you can rotate the screen to use it as a tablet

What we don’t like:

·        Screen brightness could be improved

·        No Numpad

11.       HP Chromebook 14 FHD 

Designed to work with Google Chrome OS, this Chromebook by HP features a 14-inch FHD touchscreen for viewing photos and other high-resolution images.

It is powered by an Intel Celeron Dual Core N3350 Processor and 4 GB of RAM, making it perfect for photo editing and other everyday tasks.

The model also features a 128GB solid-state drive, making it a great choice if you are looking for a laptop with plenty of storage space.

Enjoy convenience with its 32GB eMMC storage space and a battery that will last for up to 12 hours on a single charge.

What we like:

·        Large and clear touchscreen display

·        32GB storage is good for photos, music, and other files

·        Very long battery life

·        Light and easy to carry around

What we don’t like:

·        Not as fast as some other Chromebooks

·        Speaker quality is sub par

12.       Acer Spin 3 (2-in-1)

The Acer Spin 3 is a good option if you are looking for a 2-in-1 laptop. Priced at under $500, it features an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U Processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD. 

Its rotating touchscreen display allows you to use it as a tablet or flip it inside out for an ergonomic laptop mode.

Enjoy its full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution on the 14-inch screen with accurate color reproduction and 178-degree wide viewing angles.

What we like:

·        Powerful processor and ample memory

·        High-res touchscreen display

·        Fast Intel UHD Graphics 620

·        Large enough storage for photos and other files

·        Stylish metallic finish with a geometric pattern

·        Dual speakers produce decent sound quality

·        Lightweight design at 3.7 pounds

What we don’t like:

·        No USB Type-C port

·        Screen resolution is not as high as some other laptops

13.       Lenovo ThinkBook 15 Gen 2

If you are a constant traveler, this compact and lightweight laptop by Lenovo is a great option.

It is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 4600U Processor and 8GB of RAM, making it perfect for running multiple programs at once. 

This Lenovo model features a large 512 GB solid-state drive for storing photos and other files. Enjoy its bright 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display with crisp, accurate color reproduction.

What’s more? You get a backlit keyboard that makes it easier to use in low-light conditions.

What we like:

·        Speedy AMD Ryzen 5 processor

·        Long battery life

·        Lightweight and highly portable

·        Solid-state drive offers fast speeds for loading files

·        Bright IPS touchscreen display

·        Multiple ports

What we don’t like:

·        Not a good choice for gaming or graphic-intensive tasks

14.       Dell Inspiron G5 

Get all the basic editing settings and tools with this powerful Dell laptop. With its 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8300H processor and 8GB of memory, the device can handle your photo editing tasks with ease.

You will love its fast 512GB solid-state drive and the large 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display perfect for editing photos and other high-resolution images.

What’s more? Its powerful graphics card ensures that you get the best out of your photos.

What we like:

·        Great price for the level of performance

·        Fast processor and ample memory for photo editing tasks

·        Larger hard drive than other laptops in its category

·        Plenty of ports including USB Type C, HDMI, and SD card reader

·        Light enough to be used as a work laptop or taken on the go

What we don’t like:

·        The battery might not last for more than 5 hours

·        Trackpad a little inconvenient

How to Choose the Best Laptop for Photo Editing on a Budget?

Photo editing can be a tedious endeavor. However, this hassle can be neutralized drastically if you get the right editing laptop.

When it comes to editing laptops, it’s not just about the specs.

There are several other factors that need to be considered as well, which can make or break the entire experience.

The following are some tips on how to choose the best laptop for photo editing on a budget.

1. Processor

The processor is the heart of the laptop and is responsible for its performance.

When it comes to photo editing, you need a powerful processor that can handle multiple tasks simultaneously. In general, you want a processor that has at least 4 cores.

Since photo editing software can be quite resource-intensive, you also want a processor that has a high clock speed.

Some of the best processors for photo editing include the Intel Core i7-8750H and the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X.

2. Graphics Card

A good graphics card is essential for any laptop that is going to be used for photo editing.

The graphics card needs to have a high amount of video memory since photo editing applications usually have large files that have to be processed.

You want to avoid graphics cards that use shared video memory since this can cause a decrease in performance.

Some of the best graphics cards for photo editing include the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 and the AMD Radeon RX 580.

3. Display

When it comes to photo editing, you want as much screen real estate as possible.

Aim for a display with at least a 15-inch display. This resolution helps balance screen real estate and performance.

Remember to also look for a laptop with an IPS display since this will give you more accurate colors.

4. Memory

The amount of memory in the laptop is important, but not as important as it used to be. That being said, photo editors still have greater image processing demands than most users.

Photo editing software like Photoshop can eat up the entire 8 GB of RAM. If you’re looking for a laptop that can handle multiple tasks while editing photos, we recommend 16GB of ram.

5. Storage

When it comes to storage, you want a laptop with a fast solid-state drive (SSD). This will help reduce the time it takes to load your photos.

In addition, you want a lot of storage space, especially if you’re working with high-resolution images.

A good rule of thumb is to get a laptop with at least 512 GB of storage.

6. Battery Life

A laptop with good battery life is essential for photo editing.

You don’t want the battery to die in the middle of a work session. Look for a laptop that has a battery life of at least 6 hours.

7. Operating System

The best laptop for photo editing is one that runs a 64-bit operating system. This will give you the most flexibility when it comes to installing software.

The most popular operating systems for photo editing are Windows 10 and macOS.

FAQs

Are photo editing laptops the same as gaming laptops?

No. The two generally don’t share components like graphics cards and processors. However, you can find gaming laptops with the right specifications for photo editing.

What is the best laptop for photoshop?

Photoshop really doesn’t utilize a lot of processing power. What it does require is a good graphics card and large amounts of RAM.

So, you might even want to consider looking into some thin and light laptops that have great battery lives. 

Generally, thin and light laptops will be more expensive than your average laptop.

Does a laptop with a touchscreen work for photo editing?

It depends on the software you’re using. Some software, like Photoshop, does not have touch capabilities yet. However, some newer software does support touch capabilities. 

So, it really comes down to what you plan on using the laptop for. If you’re only going to be using it for photo editing, you can probably save some money and go with a non-touch version.

How much hard drive space does a laptop for photo editing need?

It’s hard to say exactly how much you will need, but a good rule of thumb is at least 500 GB. That should be more than enough if you’re only running one or two programs at a time. 

If the applications take up less storage, then your available storage will increase.

Final Thoughts

Getting a good laptop that will strike the balance between performance and affordability can be a daunting task.

Nevertheless, the reviews and the seven criteria we’ve laid out will help you purchase a laptop that can handle photo editing whether it’s for business or pleasure.

This should help put you on the right track to finding the best laptop for photo editing on a budget. Take your photo editing a notch higher and get yourself the best laptop for photo editing today.