Photo editing is an extensively explored creative domain, with Adobe Photoshop being at the crux of the same. If you are a photographer who wants editing software that offers truckloads of options to edit, manipulate, create images, then nothing works better than the latest version of PhotoShop. However, as a creative professional, you can only run it smoothly, if you have an adequately powered laptop.
If you are looking for a good quality laptop to run PhotoShop on, it is necessary to be well aware of the existing computing specifications and their impact on the quality of reproduced images. For starters, Adobe Photoshop, as a Raster Graphics editing tool relies heavily on a CPU with a massive clock speed potential.
Majority of Adobe Photoshop processes, including Lightroom usage and Panorama editing, rely on excellent single-core performances, it is necessary to keep a close eye on the turbo clock speed of the chipset. Also, you also need to get hold of a sizable chunk of RAM to speed up CPU processes and ensure simultaneous editing.
Although it shouldn’t be the determining factor, it allows you to future-proof your gadget in the wake of Adobe’s inclination towards incorporating GPU acceleration in the near future. Not only that, having a dedicated GPU on your machine makes it compatible with other apps in the Adobe CC, including Illustrator and Premiere Pro.
Furthermore, a laptop with SSD support is also expected to be a handful for quicker file and application access. However, as inferred by our experts, creatives dig into the display quality and resolution while selecting laptops for Adobe Photoshop. While anything above or equal to 1080p resolution can do the job, we would recommend you to look for a glossy panel and at least 86 percent sRGB color gamut for better color accuracy.
Nonetheless, if you are a seasoned professional, external displays can be the most effective resource, provided you have high-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports to rely on. Besides, if you are serious about using Photoshop for color modeling, alpha compositing, mask inlays, and image layering, it is recommended to use the Adobe Photoshop CC or the Creative Cloud version instead of the on-precise CS6.
Without a shred of doubt, the CC subscription variant offers a wider-range of options including CMYK and CIELAB support, Duo-Tone, and even faster upgrades. Regardless, you must have a powerful laptop at your disposal for making the best use of every feature supported by Adobe Photoshop.
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- Best Laptops for Adobe Photoshop in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Apple MacBook Pro
- 2. Best Runner Up: Dell XPS 15
- 3. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: HP Spectre x360
- 4. Best Value for Money: Asus ZenBook 15
- 5. Best Under Budget: Acer Aspire 7
- 6. Best 17-inch Laptop: LG Gram 17
- 7. Best for Beginners: Acer Aspire 5
- 8. Best with Stylus Pen: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- 9. Best for Color Accuracy: Asus VivoBook S15
- 10. Cheap Laptop For Photoshop: HP Envy 13
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What kind of processor is required for running Photoshop?
- Why should you prioritize Adobe Photoshop CC over Photoshop CS6?
- Why is RAM the determining factor towards Photoshop usage?
- What is the preferred type of display for accurate photo editing results?
- What are the GPU-dependent features when Photoshop is concerned?
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
The minimum set of specifications will allow you to achieve optimal Photoshop performances, including basic editing, raster compositing, cropping, image manipulation, document navigation, and more. However, if you want to explore features like Airboards, Lens Blur, Select Focus, Flick Panning, and even Scrubby Zoom, you must aim for a machine with features comparable or higher than the recommended system requirements.
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||9th Gen Intel Core i5||9th Gen Intel Core i7|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Display||15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||Integrated Intel UHD 620||4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650|
|Battery||Up to 4 hours||Up to 8 hours|
Best Laptops for Adobe Photoshop in 2021
|Apple MacBook Pro|
|Dell XPS 15|
|HP Spectre x360|
|Asus ZenBook 15|
|Acer Aspire 7|
|LG Gram 17|
|Acer Aspire 5|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 6|
|Asus VivoBook S15|
|HP Envy 13|
Photographers, image editors, and art students are more likely to rely on Adobe Photoshop, more than any other raster editing resource. However, not every machine is appropriate enough to run Photoshop on as you wouldn’t want to overspend on overkill specifications. Therefore, we reviewed more than 40 insanely powerful notebooks, whilst testing displays, graphics accelerated credibility, processing firepower, and other computing resources on each.
Finally, after 4 weeks of extensive research, we have concocted a list of 10 Photoshop-relevant notebooks for you, catering to diverse price brackets. Besides, our experts have listed gadgets based on your professional requirements, skill level, and other forms of content creating indulgences.
1. Best Overall: Apple MacBook Pro
Frankly speaking, no gadget comes close to the MacBook Pro 16 if you are seeking power, efficiency, and professional productivity. This variant, featuring an extensive specs sheet and an adequately powered battery is certainly one of your best bets if photo editing is one of your primary preferences.
Powering this MacBook is the Intel Core i7-9750H chipset, boasting of an excellent turbo clock speed limit of up to 4.5GHz. Adobe PhotoShop, primarily being a single-threaded application, benefits immensely from the exceptional clock speed potential.
Supporting the hexa-core CPU is the professional-grade AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU. The featured graphics processing unit empowers you to handle GPU-accelerated features of Adobe Photoshop including Select & Mask, Smart Sharpen, and more with seamless ease and utmost precision.
As far as system memory is concerned, you get 16GB of high-speed RAM, which comes in handy if you are into extensive image layering and GPU-accelerated processes. Besides, the sizable chunk of RAM also enables you to extrapolate your professional indulgences in the form of music production, video editing, drawing, gaming, etc.
The high-speed solid-state drive offers a storage space of almost 512GB, which is adequate enough for mid-level photo editing professionals. However, the insane speed of the SSD facilitates faster boot-ups, image retrieval, app access, and loading of the macOS Catalina. Besides, if and when you run out of system memory due to a massive accumulation of images and files, the ultrafast SSD doubles down as a resourceful scratch disk, a concept seasoned Photoshop users will know about.
Coming to the display, the MacBook Pro is all about sharper viewing angles and unmatched color clarity, courtesy of the Retina Display technology, and an overall resolution of 3072 x 1920 pixels. What works best for the creatives though is the P3 wide color gamut, furthering the color accuracy of the IPS screen in play. Therefore, with this device at your end, you wouldn’t have to worry about the quality of the edits, retouches, mockup color, and even the sharpness of the compositions.
Besides rendering true-to-life images, the MacBook Pro 16 also boasts of the excellent Magic keyboard, which is a reliable highly suitable for writers. Besides that, you also get access to an advanced thermal architecture for keeping overheating to the minimum. Nonetheless, Apple keeps sweetening the pot for the creatives with the secured Touch ID (fingerprint scanning) followed by the responsive trackpad, amplified speakers, and the floating Touch Bar for improved accessibility.
Furthermore, if you are still worried about the cyber threats lingering around, the T2 security chip is expected to take care of the same. However, what pleased our experts the most is the inclusion of 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, allowing you to set up external displays and workflows at will.
At 4.3 pounds, the heft is quite manageable. Adding to the portability quotient is the 11-hour battery backup and the USB charging functionality on offer. Overall, you wouldn’t find a better machine in the retail space to run Adobe Photoshop CC or even some of the other popular alternatives like Luminar.
- 9th gen processor
- Professional-grade GPU
- Ultrafast RAM
- Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Stellar display
- Restricted storage space for high-end professionals
- Predictable design
2. Best Runner Up: Dell XPS 15
If you are strictly into aesthetics and display quality, the XPS 15 from Dell is easily one of the better options to invest in. Besides featuring an exhaustive specs sheet, Dell also ensures unmatched visual clarity, catering specifically to the photographers and professional editors.
Under the hood, you get the Intel Core i7-9750H CPU that can reach turbo clock speeds of up to 4.5GHz. The 9th gen H-series chipset ensures that the gadget can handle almost anything you throw at it, when photo editing, retouching, and compositing are concerned. Lending assistance to the processor is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, working in tandem with 4GB VRAM.
The GPU is capable of playing games like PUBG, Fortnite, League of Legends, Overwatch, SIMS 4, etc and is also capable of editing 4K videos, 3D modeling, Game Development, Compiling Large programs, machine learning, setting VMs etc.
The mid-range and ever-reliable NVIDIA GTX 16-series graphics card exhibits the Turing Architecture and ensures that a majority of mid-range games and graphics-accelerated Photoshop processes are handled with considerable ease. However, it is the 16GB RAM that lends adequate multitasking support to the creative professional courtesy of the higher processing speed of 2666MHz. Not just that, you can always upgrade the system memory at will as Dell flaunts a dual-channel module for added functionality.
As far as storage is concerned, Dell offers a standard, 1TB solid-state drive with NVMe compatibility. Besides, you also get access to the Windows 10 operating system, a platform that works best with the Adobe Photoshop CC. You get access to a 15.6-inch display with 4K resolution. However, the device is a lot more than the accrued pixels as the InfinityEdge panel readily enhances the screen-to-chassis ratio.
Professional photo editors can also benefit from the anti-reflective touchscreen panel which adds to the sunlight legibility. Besides, the laptop also makes room for a 100 percent sRGB color gamut, a trait that enhances the overall color accuracy of the existing screen. Dell also fits in quite a few productivity-centric specs in the form of a backlit keyboard, responsive trackpad, integrated fingerprint scanner, powerful speakers, and a 4-element webcam for added functionality.
Not to mention the sleekness of profile that renders the Dell XPS 15 feathery than usual, at 1.8 pounds. However, the slimness of form doesn’t impact the connectivity and port arrangement with Dell featuring USB 3.0, Wi-Fi AC, and Thunderbolt 3 support. Regardless of the usage patterns and the best-in-class specs sheet, the pre-existing battery module offers an 8-hour backup.
Overall, if you are a professional Adobe Photoshop user with inclinations towards Oil Paints, image manipulation, and other GPU-accelerated processes like Smart Sharpen at utmost clarity, the Dell XPS 15 is powerful machine with a long-lasting battery to consider.
- Powerful processor
- Mid-range, consumer-grade GPU
- Thunderbolt 3 support
- Brilliant 4K panel with touch support
- Long-lasting battery backup
- No Wi-Fi 6 support
- Shallow keyboard with middling actuation
3. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: HP Spectre x360
For creatives looking to spend on convertibles, the HP Spectre x360 comes across as one of the more reliable computing options. While this isn’t the highest-end variant on display courtesy of the low-power, U-series processor, it still gets the job done rather perfectly when extensive graphic design work and PhotoShop usage comes into the picture.
What works well for the creatives is the moderately powered, Intel Core i7 9750H processor. As Photoshop is primarily a single-core intensive task, the turbo clock speed of up to 4GHz is expected to be advantageous for the concerned professionals. Assisting the concerned processor is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU that works in unison with 4GB of video RAM.
Despite being a middling graphics processing conglomerate, it can handle GPU-accelerated photo editing tasks with ease. The dual-channel 16GB RAM is a comforting multitasking resource for video and photo editors alike. However, if you are into storing on-premise applications, files, and intensively manipulated images, the 512GB of storage space can really come in handy.
Most importantly, the PCIe NVMe solid-state storage module is insanely quick to load apps, Adobe Photoshop, and the pre-existing Windows 10 Home OS. As far as the display is concerned, this 2-in-1 device flaunts a 15.6-inch Ultra HD touch panel, boasting of an overall 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels.) Besides the embedded Display technology, the WLED-backlit enhancement further improves the visual clarity and sharpness of the viewing angles.
However, the display-centric perks do not end here with the IPS panel ensuring micro-edge and stylus support. In terms of productivity, the Spectre x360 makes room for Bang and Olufsen speakers, snappy ImagePad, 1080p webcam for high-quality video conferencing on the platforms like Zoom or Skype. Just like most of the HP Laptops, it also boasts Thunderbolt 3 support, DisplayPort 1.2 port, USB 3.1 Type-C, and other relevant data transfer and display pairing resources.
At close to 4.81 pounds, this convertible feels chunkier compared to standard 2-in-1s, hence, you can use this laptop as a desktop replacement too. Besides, you also get access to a dependable battery unit, capable of lasting anywhere close to 15 hours, on general usage. To sum it up, this variant of the much-anticipated Spectre x360 is one of our personal favorites, precisely for the ease of usage and the alluring display.
- Exceptional form factor
- Ultrafast RAM module
- Upgradeable system memory
- The processor supports Turbo Boost Technology
- Long-lasting battery
- Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support
4. Best Value for Money: Asus ZenBook 15
In case you are willing to compromise on a bit of gaming firepower to accommodate some of the more creativity-focused resources, the Asus ZenBook 15 certainly deserves your immediate attention.
For starters, Asus stacks in the power-efficient, Intel Core i7-10510U processor that can clock at speeds of up to 4.9GHz, for attending to some of the more demanding necessities. Besides, if you are a photo editing professional with a penchant for Adobe Photoshop, this resourceful, quad-core chipset can be quite a handful for speeding up raster graphics editing and image manipulation.
Moreover, Asus puts forth an entry-level, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU which is ably assisted by 4GB of video RAM. Despite being a basic dedicated graphics card, the GTX 1650 has enough firepower to handle games and allow you to indulge in relevant Photoshop activities including Lens Blur addition, Smart Sharpening, and more.
Next in line is the 16GB LPDDR3 RAM that isn’t the fastest but gets the job done when image retrieval and disk caching are concerned. Moreover, if you are spent on Lightroom usage and almost 100 strains of image layering, the sizable chunk of system memory can be quite a handful. In terms of storage, there is a 512GB storage unit, exhibiting NVMe support.
The 15.6-inch display is a refreshing break from the monotony of 15.6-inch panels. However, the screen doesn’t look all that small courtesy of the slimmer, NanoEdge bezels to rely on. Furthermore, the 1080p matte panel further improves the sunlight visibility, provided you are more reliant on carrying the laptop around.
However, it is the unmatched productivity on offer that subtly complements the creative inclinations. These include a backlit keyboard, innovative ErgoLift design with optimal air dissipation support, integrated IR webcam, powerful speakers, and the out-of-the-box ScreenPad 2.0.
While the features galore, the intuitive ScreenPad 2.0 comes across as a ground-breaking addition, owing to its ability to work as a 5.65-inch secondary display, bolstered further by a dedicated Numpad, Slide Xpert, app switcher, and touch support. When it comes to portability, this laptop weighs a mere 3.60 lbs and still manages to house a beefed-up battery module, offering more than 7 hours of steady backup.
Besides, Asus also boasts of a pretty component port arrangement, featuring Type-C, HDMI, and more. In case you want to get a quick online update, internet speed and stability shall not be an issue with the Gig-class WiFi AC standard in play. Overall, the Asus ZenBook 14 is an all-inclusive machine that strikes the perfect balance between power and portability for avid Photoshop CC users.
- Supports GPU-accelerated processes
- Flaunts the sought-after ErgoLift design
- Ultrafast storage support
- Innovative touchpad in ScreenPad 2.0
- Dependable battery module
- Slower RAM module
- Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support
5. Best Under Budget: Acer Aspire 7
Despite Photoshop being a moderately demanding creative application, it is always better to have a decent laptop for managing the graphics-centric workload, text overlays, image manipulations, and other processes with ease. This is why we wanted to mention the sub-$800 laptop, the Acer Aspire 7 as we feel it strikes the perfect balance between price and performance— something that is pertinent for standard Photoshop users.
Firstly, it is the Intel Core i5-9300H processor that hogs the limelight. At 2.4GHz, the base clock speed is more than adequate for text overlays, image cropping, and other standard editing processes. The turbo clock speed of 4.1GHz further empowers the device for handling complex image manipulations. Not to mention the quad-core processor and HyperThreading technology that furthers the processing power of the aforementioned mobile SoC.
As Photoshop works well with GPU acceleration, the GTX 1650 graphics card seems more than adequate, especially for the given price. With 4GB VRAM and a decent chunk of CUDA cores to work with, the discrete GPU allows you to manage certain graphics-centric processes like color grading, blurring, and more with considerable ease.
In terms of system memory, you get access to 8GB RAM, which handles a majority of Photoshop processes without slowing the system. However, we would advise against free-willed multitasking while handling edits, and that too for obvious reasons. Storage-wise, you get hold of a 512GB SSD, which can easily store RAW and edited images without putting pressure on the system. Furthermore, the storage module is also capable of loading the Windows 10 Home OS in no time.
The 15.6-inch display is also worth mentioning, owing to the narrow bezels and ExaColor technology. If you are a creative professional, Acer ensures that you get to experience the truest possible colors, courtesy of the proprietary Color Intelligence technology. Besides, the overall resolution of 1920x x 1080 pixels furthers the color reproduction qualities of the IPS panel.
Productivity-wise, Acer stacks in a standard backlit keyboard followed by a smooth trackpad, 180-degree hinge, and clear speakers. You also get access to an HD webcam and standard microphones for online learning. Design-wise, the gadget weighs close to 4.7 pounds, which adds to the portability quotient. In case you are interested in the connectivity suite, there are USB 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI, Type-C, and other relevant ports to rely on, followed by Wi-Fi AC standard.
Lastly, the 8.5-hour battery backup easily qualifies the Acer Aspire 7 as a steady and autonomous creative notebook. In conclusion, if you are seeking a cost-effective notebook for running Photoshop on, this is the perfect computing resource to invest in.
- High-speed RAM
- 9th gen Processor
- Mid-range GPU with 4GB VRAM
- Sizable storage support
- Gig Ethernet speeds
- Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support
- Slows down a fair bit with heavy multitasking
6. Best 17-inch Laptop: LG Gram 17
Whether you are a college student or a professional who spends the majority of their time editing photos, creating graphics, this 17-inch laptop with huge 19.5-hour battery life comes with decent specs is one of the top-rated options you shouldn’t avoid.
The 17-inch LG Gram is a strange yet extremely resourceful professional masterpiece, best characterized by a beefed-up screen and an even beefier battery module.
If you are a professional photo editor, interested in raster graphics editing, image cropping, and color modeling, the Intel Core i7-8565U comes across as quite a handy CPU. As mentioned previously, it is the turbo clock speed of up to 4.6GHz that qualifies the featured processor as one of the better bets for Adobe Photoshop CC. The chipset, however, is perfectly complemented by the UHD graphics module, which restricts certain GPU-accelerated functions.
The existing RAM module can hold its own during heavy multitasking, web browsing, movie streaming, Lightroom access, and heavy image scaling courtesy of the decent size of 16GB. Supporting the system memory is the 512GB solid-state storage drive that is both fast and adequate for mid-level Adobe professionals. Besides, LG offers the Windows 10 Home edition OS straight out of the closet.
Moving on, it is the 17-inch screen that attracts a majority of user attention. While the WQXGA panel is sufficiently vibrant, exhibiting a display resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, it is the balancing 16:10 aspect ratio that helps maintain the visual balance. Furthermore, if you are invested in unchained productivity, the LG Gram throws in a backlit keyboard, responsive trackpad, high-fidelity speakers for music, and the one-touch fingerprint scanner.
Not just that, despite being a colossal gadget to carry around, the metal-clad LG Gram is surprisingly light at a mere 2.95 pounds. Besides, if you have a liking for innovatively structured laptops, the military-grade, Nano-carbon layout is expected to put a smile on your face. The port arrangement is worth mentioning as LG stacks in a Thunderbolt 3 slot for faster data transfer, setting up external connections, and charging the device. Other resourceful units include Type-C, USB 3.1, HDMI, and other slots.
However, we did save the best for the last as the massive, 72Wh battery module associated with the LG Gram 17 offers almost 20 hours of battery backup. This feature, along with the rest of the specs sheet qualifies this notebook as one of the better gadgets for indulging in photo editing on the go.
- Exceptional display
- Thunderbolt 3 support
- Massive battery
- Surprisingly light and portable
- Comes with an integrated fingerprint scanner
- Lacks a dedicated GPU
- 8th gen processor might underwhelm the new Photoshop versions
7. Best for Beginners: Acer Aspire 5
If you are not looking to overspend despite your myriad photoshop indulgences, then, the Acer Aspire 5 is a perfect laptop to buy under $700. It is too popular among teachers, business users, and travelers.
Carrying the burden of processing performances is the 10th gen i5. The Intel Core i5-1035G1 chipset is all about exceptional speeds and the turbo boost technology that can take the clock speed up to 3.6GHz.
Moreover, despite the competitive price point, Acer throws in an NVIDIA GeForce MX350 with 2GB VRAM. This feature empowers you to handle a majority of elusive, GPU-accelerated Photoshop segments, including Airboards, Lens Blur, and more.
The 8GB RAM is more than adequate when it comes to working with intricate images, project layouts, textures, patterns, and raster graphics. Besides, there is also an enviously fast NVMe-compatible, 512GB solid-state storage drive in play, capable of loading the apps and Windows 10 Home OS, at lightning speeds.
Next in line is the 15.6-inch 1080p screen, exhibiting In-Plane Switching technology for the sharpest possible viewing angles. However, it is the LED-backlit technology that steals the show, courtesy of bumped up power-efficiency. Sitting underneath the Widescreen display is the BlueLightShield enhancement for keeping glaring ocular strains to a minimum.
If you are a creative professional, the Acer Color Intelligence feature ensures true-to-life images for better understanding and analysis of the edits.
It is surprising to get a responsive backlit keyboard for the given price bracket but the Aspire 5 certainly comes across as a surprise. However, Acer also throws in powerful speakers, a responsive trackpad, and a handy webcam into the mix, for amplifying productivity.
In case you are worried about the portability compromises, this notebook makes none, at 3.97 pounds. When it comes to connectivity, you get access to USB Type-C, USB 3.1, HDMI, Gig Ethernet, and Wi-Fi 6 support. The battery backup is more than average with the Aspire 5 capable of lasting for more than 8 hours, on standard usage.
In conclusion, this is one of the more budget-friendly, Photoshop-compatible notebooks on our list, best characterized by a decent processing conglomerate.
- 10th gen processor
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Competitive pricing
- Vibrant display with glare-reduction feature
- Light and portable
- Not meant for heavy gaming
- Runs hot if stretched to the brink
8. Best with Stylus Pen: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Photo editors are known to have a special inclination towards detachables. Therefore, if you also share similar preferences, the Surface Pro 6 from Microsoft is the gadget to consider.
For starters, this 2-in-1 is powered at the core by the Intel Core i7-8650U chipset. Despite being a low-power i7 CPU, it can still reach turbo clock speeds of up to 4.2GHz, courtesy of the Turbo Boost technology. As far as graphics support is concerned, you get a respectable UHD graphics 620 tagged alongside the processor. The existing conglomerate, however, is more than adequate for moderately demanding image compositing, color modeling, and editing.
In terms of RAM support, Microsoft offers a 16GB RAM module to work with. While you can always opt for the 8GB variant for minimal indulgences, 16GB can easily take care of simultaneous editing requirements. When storage support is concerned, the 512GB SSD unit is more than adequate for PSD/PSB files and the Windows 10 Home edition OS.
Photoshop lovers can dig into the featured PixelSense display, with the Surface Pro 6 flaunting a resolution of 2736 x 1824 pixels. While the 12.3-inch touch screen might seem a bit restrictive for the voluminous tasks, it is still a reliable asset for editing images on the move. Coming to the productivity-quotient, this detachable flaunts a dual-camera setup, stereo speakers, dual mics, and an optional keyboard with decent travel.
Besides, the stylus-compatible is enviously light at 1.7 pounds but features a wide range of connectivity specs, including USB 3.0, one Surface Connect slot, Mini DC, and other legacy slots. Not just that, if you are a security freak, the existing TPM 2.0 security chipset comes in handy (must-have for lawyers and data scientists), eventually assisting with safer boot-ups.
The battery module is a topic for another day but is capable of churning out more than 13 hours if pushed to the brink. Overall, the Surface Pro 6 might not be a photo editing powerhouse but it certainly surpasses expectations, in terms of portability.
- Miraculously sleek
- The processor supports Turbo Boost Technology
- Light and portable
- Comes with a long-lasting battery
- A decent chunk of RAM
- No Thunderbolt 3 support
- Smaller screen size might not cater to professionals
9. Best for Color Accuracy: Asus VivoBook S15
The VivoBook S15 S532 from Asus is a budget-centric laptop that relies primarily on added productivity specs and a near-perfect display.
Asus helms the moderately-powerful, Intel Core i5-10210U CPU, which can reach clock speeds of up to 4.2GHz, if and when necessary. The clock speed limit is more than adequate for handling basic levels of image manipulation and graphics creation using Photoshop CC or even CS6. Despite missing out a dedicated graphics card, the integrated UHD GPU allows you to use enhancements like healing brushes, background filling, and wet brushes sans lags.
Multitasking juice is offered by the 8GB, built-in RAM module. As far as storage support is concerned, the 512GB SSD module is adequate enough for storing and loading PSD files, app data, and the pre-existing Windows 10 Home edition OS. Asus also takes pride in offering a vibrant, 15.6-inch screen that takes productivity to a whole new level.
While the NanoEdge bezels play an important role in expanding the screen-to-chassis ratio, the overall display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels takes care of the viewing angles and color accuracy. Besides, Asus also accommodates a handy backlit keyboard, IR webcam with facial login support, and the much-anticipated ErgoLift design that improves typing performances and heat dissipation levels.
However, Asus’s proprietary ScreenPad 2.0 is something that adds to the credibility of this gadget, offering Mode Switching, app switching, Slide Xpert, and other resourceful tools to the photo editors. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that the ScreenPad 2.0 is more like a secondary 5.65-inch display, bolstered further by touch-based abilities.
As far as structural innovation is concerned, the VivoBook S15 S532 flaunts a sturdy chassis that weighs close to 4 pounds. In addition to the manageable heft, Asus also features a decent port arrangement, boasting of HDMI, USB 3.1, reversible Type-C, and more. What stands out though is the inclusion of Gig+ Wi-Fi AX support for establishing the fastest possible connections.
Battery backup, as inferred by our experts, is disappointing, to say the least as Asus only offers 6 hours of autonomy on a single charge. Nonetheless, if you are willing to compromise a bit in this segment, the Asus VivoBook S15 S532 can be quite a rewarding investment to make.
- Ergonomic keyboard
- 10th gen processor with Turbo Boost
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Innovative ScreenPad 2.0
- Vibrant display
- Innovative ErgoLift design
- Sub-par battery
- Lacks Thunderbolt 3 port
10. Cheap Laptop For Photoshop: HP Envy 13
The minimally resourceful HP Envy 13 is all about a dependable specs sheet, stacked inside a compact chassis. Despite the higher price bracket, this notebook from HP is one of the better gadgets for running Photoshop CC on.
Under the hood, HP houses the Intel Core i5-8265U CPU, featuring quad-core architecture. However, while the number of cores does not matter a lot for photo editing tasks, it is the turbo clock speed of up to 3.9GHz that speeds up the performances. As expected, HP doesn’t bring in a dedicated graphics card and instead stacks in a UHD 620 integrated co-processor.
In terms of multitasking support, you get access to an 8GB RAM module, with a processing speed of 2400MHz. Following up, it comes with a 256GB solid-state drive, featuring NVMe support for faster boot-ups. HP also offers Windows 10 OS, straight out of the box.
As far as the display is concerned, the 13.3-inch full HD IPS panel is enough for the photo editors, boasting of utmost color accuracy levels and visual clarity. The 1080p screen boasts BrightView technology and the Wide-angle LED-backlit functionality for more power-efficient usage.
HP also makes room for a backlit keyboard, a decent set of speakers, and the entire professional conglomerate featuring webcam, microphones, and more. Not to mention, this is one of the lightest notebooks on the list with the heft tagged slightly north of the 2.5-pound mark. Besides, you also get hold of almost every legacy port, including Type-C, DisplayPort support, Type-A, Wi-Fi AC, Bluetooth 5.0, and more.
Lastly, the battery unit on offer churns out almost 11 hours of extended backup, on moderate usage. Overall, if you are into smaller screens and portability, the HP Envy 13 is the perfect addition to your electronic repertoire.
- Bright display
- Long-lasting battery
- Top-of-the-line aesthetics
- Durable keyboard
- Loud and amplified speakers
- Restricted storage space
- Not meant for power users
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of processor is required for running Photoshop?
Almost every Photoshop process takes advantage of single-core performances and, therefore, you need not lose sleep over getting the Octa-Core processors. Even a quad-core chipset is more than adequate, provided it has higher single-core turbo clock speeds to show for. Based on our inferences, any processor with a turbo clock speed of 3.9GHz or more can be considered for running Photoshop.
Why should you prioritize Adobe Photoshop CC over Photoshop CS6?
Photoshop CC is a subscription-based service that is rendered as a part of the Creative Cloud offering. Therefore, when compared to the on-premise solution i.e. Photoshop CS6, you can expect newer features, faster updates, and a smaller learning curve. Moreover, you can discontinue your subscription, as and when desired.
Why is RAM the determining factor towards Photoshop usage?
RAM is the factor that determines the smoothness of the Photoshop application. As the RAM fetches information for the processor, it needs to be prioritized when diverse editing requirements are concerned. While basic usage can be sorted with 8GB RAM, you might have to go with 16GB for including more GPU-accelerated tasks, additional layering, and simultaneous editing requirements.
What is the preferred type of display for accurate photo editing results?
As a rule of thumb, you would require a color-accurate display, preferably one with 72 percent NTSC or at least 86 percent sRGB color gamut. Moreover, it is advisable to invest in at least a 1080p screen for better clarity and viewing angles.
What are the GPU-dependent features when Photoshop is concerned?
There are certain aligned or additional processes for which Photoshop bypasses the CPU and opts for GPU-acceleration. These include Camera RAW format usage, Select Focus, OpenCL accelerated Select & Mask, Noise reduction in images, and more.
Needless to say, Photoshop is one of the most sought-after photo-editing applications to be used by professional and even enthusiastic photo editors. However, the choice of machine for running Photoshop on depends on a host of factors, including professional preferences, budget, portability quotient, and more.
- If the budget or even the operating platform isn’t a cause for concern, nothing works better than the Apple MacBook Pro 16.
- If you seek a smallish screen but a resourceful secondary display as the ScreenPad 2.0, the Asus ZenBook 15 is quite a reliable machine to invest in.
- If you are not much of a power user but interested in longish battery life and a humongous screen, the LG Gram 17 is one laptop worth considering.
- Lastly, for small screen lovers, the detachable, Surface Pro 6 from Microsoft is a pretty good choice, considering the unmatched portability and stylus support for photo editing on the move.
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