Best Laptop for Photoshop: These Are The Minimum Requirements

best laptop for photoshop users

The search for the best laptop for photoshop users could be tricky.  You definitely need a few resources that tend towards high-end *computer features.  

*Desktop computers will not be considered in this buying guide.


Quick Comparison: Best Laptop for Adobe Photoshop

Two factors can influence the choice of a laptop at the expense of performance:

  • Budget - You need to make the best purchase you can get for your budget.
  • Portability - The screen must be a good compromise between size and portability. Weight is also a factor to consider.

Laptop Specs for Photoshop

According to, these are the minimum requirements to run Photoshop (*November 2019 release - version 21.0):

​For other versions of Photoshop, including the CC Creative Cloud version, visit the following pages:

Photoshop 20.x system requirements
Photoshop CC 19.x system requirements

Windows Laptops

  • OS - Windows 10 (version 1607 or later)
  • Processor - Photoshop is software that requires a lot of computing power, so we'll need an Intel or AMD 64-bit
  • Graphics card: NVidia GeForce GTX 1050, 1660 or Quadro T1000
  • Free Hard Disk Space: at least 5GB
  • CPU clock and core: 2GHz is the minimum required, better if you can afford 3.5GHz, 4 or 6 cores
  • RAM - 8 GB
  • 3.1 GB or more of available hard-disk space
  • Screen - 1280x800, both brightness and contrast settings, 16-bit color, 2GB of dedicated VRAM
  • Screen Size - 15.6 inch is a good compromise between portability and size.

Mac Laptops

As for Mac laptops, the specifications are the same, except for the operating system:

  • macOS version 10.13 (High Sierra)
  • macOS version 10.14 (Mojave)
  • macOS version 10.15 (Catalina)

Below is a selection of five of the best laptops to run Photoshop based on the above.

Best Laptop for Photoshop Users

1. New Apple MacBook Pro


With a 16" screen, this laptop by Apple is so thin and light, relatively speaking to notebooks of this size, that does not seem to have a screen that big.

The MacBook Pro 2019 is the dream machine the every creative have been hoping, the top-notch for editing of photography. So comfortable to carry around and perfect for studio use, its exceptional performances are completed with an extraordinary 6-speaker sound system and improved keyboard compared to the previous versions.

The battery has also improved, almost an entire working day with almost 11 hours of autonomy.

Main Specs

  • Brand: Apple Display: 16-inch Retina Display
  • Model: New Apple MacBook Pro
  • OS: macOS 10.15 (Catalina)
  • Display: 16" Retina True Tone technology
  • Resolution: 3072x1920
  • CPU: i7 2.6 GHz 6-core 
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M
  • RAM: 16 GB Hard Disk: 1 TB SSB
  • Storage: 1 TB SSD
  • Battery Life: Up to 11 hours
  • Thickness: 0.64" (16,2 mm)
  • Weight: 4.3 lb (2.0 Kg)


  • Stunning Retina display
  • Faster cpu
  • New keyboard
  • Extended battery life


  • Expensive

Video: Unboxing the New MacBook Pro 16-inch

2. Samsung Odyssey Notebook


Realised in early 2019, this Samsung laptop looks like a pretty ordinary laptop, if it weren't for the orange backlighting that contrasts the dark gray exterior color.

However, the performance of the Samsung Odyssey NP800G5M-X01US is by no means ordinary, because it is powered by a seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, clocked at 2.8 GHz and four physical cores.

The remarkable power is also certified by the large cooling system that Samsung had to design to dissipate the heat that this laptop produces.

The Samsung Odyssey notebook is equipped with an NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, whose performance is also improved by the excellent cooling system.

As for portability, this model is not among the lightest, and it is not even among the thinnest. Still, it is the price to pay because the high performance of these laptops needs space to accommodate all the components and the cooling system.

Also, as far as battery life is concerned, there is other good news: the Samsung Odissey allows almost 7 hours of use.

Main Specs

  • Brand: Samsung
  • Model: Odyssey Notebook NP800G5H-XS1US
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • Display: 15.6" FHD LED Display
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • CPU: i7 2.8 GHz 4-core
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 1 TB HDD + 128 GB SSD
  • Battery Life: up to 7 hours
  • Thickness: 0.94" (23.9 mm)
  • Weight: 5.5 lb (2.5 Kg)


  • Great performance
  • Excellent graphics
  • Good battery life


  • Priced
  • Design is not so eye catchy
  • A little heavy

Video: Samsung Odyssey 15 Laptops with GTX 1050 & i7

3. Asus ZenBook 15


The design, the overall performance, and the long battery life are the main strengths of the Asus ZenBook 15.

This notebook is actually up to the competition. For a 15.6-inch laptop, it is very light and looks good, the keyboard is well-made and works well with everyday use.

The i7 processor, the dedicated GTX 1050 graphics card, the discrete-sized battery are outstanding features in such a slim chassis, and all combined with a competitive price make this unit an attractive choice for those who need a compact and light 15-inch laptop.

Main Specs 

  • Brand: Asus
  • Model: ZenBook 15 UX533FD-DH74
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • Display: 15.6" LED-backlit FHD Display
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • CPU: i7 1.8 GHz 4-core and Turbo Boost (up to 4.6 GHz)
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Hard Disk: 512 GB SSD
  • Battery Life: up to 17 hours
  • Thickness: 0.70" (17.8 mm)
  • Weight: 3.7 lb (1.6 Kg)


  • Beautiful design
  • Great performance
  • GTX 1050 Max-Q version perfect for photo editing
  • Extended battery life
  • Slim and Light


  • Fan noise
  • No Thunderbolt 3 USB

Video: ZenBook 15 (UX533) Unboxing Video

4. Acer Nitro 5


After seeing some high-end computers, here is one of the best cheap laptops for photoshop: Acer Nitro 5 is one of the laptops with the best value for money on the market.


However, you shouldn't expect a super display in a laptop at this price, but it still has to live up to a certain standard required by a professional. The 15.6-inch screen should be much brighter, and if you work in well-lit rooms, you realize this limit. But the colors are decent, and this display in a $600 laptop does its job.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Regarding the keyboard, with red backlights, all the keys have the right spacing and are soft and comfortable when pressed. A negative note for the trackpad, precise, and functional, but whose off-center position is not convenient during use.


Acer Nitro 5 (AN515-51-56U0) works with an i5 quad-core and a GeForce GTX Ti 1050 GPU. While the i5 processor is certainly not as fast as other laptops, it is still capable of handling several applications simultaneously, including editing photos using Photoshop. For this reason, it is considered an excellent and economical alternative to Photoshop.

Main Specs

  • Brand: Acer
  • Model: Nitro 5 AN515-51-56U0
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • Display: 15.6" LCD Full HD IPS
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • CPU: i5 2.5 GHz 4-core
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • Battery Life: up to 7 hours
  • Thickness: 1.05" (26.7 mm)
  • Weight: 6 lb (2.7 Kg)


  • Good processor speed
  • Full HD IPS display
  • Decent battery life
  • Great speakers


  • Screen not very bright
  • Trackpad placement is not ideal
  • Not so nice design

Video: Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop Review GTX 1050

5. Dell XPS 15


The XPS 15 is made from a single block of aluminum, which makes it quite durable. It also has an elegant and refined look thanks to the rounded edges and the contrast between the gray and black colors that make it different from other laptops. Once the lid is opened, the impression is equally pleasing thanks to the carbon fiber color.


The display is one of the points that place the Dell XPS 15 on the same level as the Apple MacBook Pro. In addition to the extraordinary resolution (3840 x 2160),
the screen is distinguished by the remarkable Infinity Edge technology, practically without borders, which 15 "to fit into a 14-inch laptop chassis. Remarkable!
With 100% Adobe RGB technology, colors are real, vibrant, and saturated. One of the best displays, if not the best.

Keyboard and Trackpad

It must be said that the keyboard instead is not up to other components of the XPS 15, also given the absence of the number pad.
The trackpad, however, is exceptional, sensitive, but not too much (while typing) and precise thanks to Microsoft Precision Touchpad technology.


The impressive processing and graphics capabilities are ensured by the Intel i7 CPU (3.5 GHz) and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M card, but not a remarkable battery life (about 5 hours). Overall, a laptop that rivals Apple.

Main Specs

  • Brand: Dell
  • Model: XPS 15 9550
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • Display: 15.6" Infinity Edge Ultra HD Touch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • CPU: i7 3.5 GHz 4-core
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB SSD
  • Battery Life: up to 8 hours
  • Thickness: 0.66" (17 mm)
  • Weight: 3.9 lb (1.8 Kg)


  • Stunning Infinity Edge display
  • Bright and vivid colors
  • Overall graphics performance can handle intensive photo/video editing
  • Attractive design
  • Good thermals
  • Lots of USB ports including a Thunderbolt 3/Type C


  • The webcam is at the bottom of the screen (because of the thin edge)
  • Battery life is only 5 hours

Video: Dell XPS 15 9550 Review - The Macbook Pro Killer?

Other Factors To Remember When Buying A Laptop For Photo Editing

After citing the Adobe recommendations for choosing a laptop, let's go into detail to check the elements of our computer.

Laptop or Desktop: What should I Use?

As mentioned in the beginning, only laptops are considered in this article. However, let's try to answer the crucial question: laptop or desktop computer for photo editing? If your business requires frequent travel, the answer is obvious. 

But let's evaluate the summary differences:

Desktop Pros

  • For the same price, the desktop will always perform better.
  • It is easier to update a desktop.
  • It is much better to work on a large monitor than on a smaller laptop screen.
  • A laptop will always cost more than a desktop with the same specs.

Laptop Pros

  • The modern laptops have almost the same performance of desktop computers.
  • Laptops are portable.

So if it were just a matter of convenience, the desktop wins.

Tip: many users, not wanting to do without the advantages of a portable laptop, buy a monitor for use in the studio.

Intel i5 vs. i7 - What CPU is Better? 

laptop specs for photoshop - i5 vs. i7

Nowadays (December 2019), most new laptops come with Intel i5 or i7 processors. But which CPU is better for working with Photoshop? The question makes more sense when we consider that the differences between Core i5 and Core i7 seem so few, and prices are sometimes so close.

If you have done your research online, then you know that opinions are not all the same. The answer also depends on the tasks we ask our laptop to do (such as video editing or even work with 3D).

While trying not to digress, I would like to start by saying that if the laptop is intended to work exclusively with Photoshop, the i5 core will serve the purpose.

So, if you need average performance while achieving better battery life and less heat to dissipate, opt for the i5.

If, on the other hand, you have the priority to obtain exceptional graphics and CPU performance, choose the i7 or even the i9.

For the most part, a good laptop for Photoshop needs at least 2GB clock speed and 8GB or better 16GB of RAM to work well.

RAM – How much RAM is needed?

Among the factors to be considered for photo editing, RAM plays an important role. Adobe Photoshop is a demanding application that requires a lot of memory.

While Adobe recommends a minimum of 8 GB, the actual RAM you need will also depend on the size and number of images you will need to work on.

If you’re planning to edit several large images, the memory required by Photoshop may increase rapidly.

Hence, to have a sufficient margin so that the rest of the system runs stable, it would be advisable to have a minimum of 16 GB.

Resolution and Screen Size

Since we are choosing a laptop because it allows us to move around, it will be the screen size that determines the overall size of our device: 15-inches should be the ideal compromise.

The resolution, which must allow us to view and edit the finest details of your photos: 1280x800 (with 16-bit color) is the minimum recommended by Adobe.

Graphics Card

The graphics card is another of the key components to achieve the best performance with Photoshop:  NVidia GeForce GTX 1050, 1660 or Quadro T1000 are the best recommended.

Storage Capacity

A 1 TB hard drive would allow your laptop to store vast amounts of photos. Furthermore, if your computer is equipped with SSD drives, you will have a speed many times faster than a regular drive with moving parts (but they are also more expensive). SSDs are excellent for a wide range of activities, such as allocating the OS, applications, or as a virtual memory unit.

Is Mac Better for Photoshop than Windows?

Apple is known for its excellent computers and for its bright and realistic screens. When it comes to photo editing, many professionals prefer to rely on the quality of Macs. But, as we know, the problem lies in the price. Furthermore, even a modern Windows PC can achieve excellent performance.


If you are a professional photographer, consider that a mid to high-end range laptop will not need expensive future upgrades. For hobbyists, the best choice may be a low to mid-range laptop, although it should be considered that upgrading could be difficult and costly.


What is Photoshop used for?

Developed by Adobe for macOS and Windows, Photoshop is the most popular software that allows you to edit photos or create images.

What is the difference between Photoshop and Photoshop CC?

While Adobe Photoshop is a product that you purchase and becomes yours, Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) allows you to rent the software with a monthly subscription fee.

What else allows Adobe Photoshop to do?

Used by photographers, designers, and video professionals, the software also allows 3D image manipulation, video editing, and graphic design.

Does Photoshop use the GPU?

Also called a graphics card or video card, a Photoshop-compatible GPU allows you to get better performance as well as use its multiple features.

Is the number of cores important for Photoshop?

No, Photoshop operations are mostly single-threaded, so the performance will be the same whether the CPU has two or six cores.

Are 16 GB of RAM enough for Photoshop?

Photoshop is a program that uses a lot of RAM. However, to edit images up to 500GB, 8-16 GB of RAM is sufficient.

Conclusion and Best Offer

Deciding which laptop to buy depends entirely on your needs, whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, and on your budget. Based on the research documented in this post, the best laptop for photo editing is the Dell XPS 15.

Best Offer

Excellent editing capabilities combined with one of the best screens you can find, thanks to InfinityEdge technology. 

Elegant design and professional look, Dell  XPS 15 has better portability when compared to the other models, despite having a screen of the same size.

The Alternative

Apple MacBook Pro is also excellent for option for professionals (if money doesn't count).

It is one of the most versatile and beautifully designed laptops on the market, with super features suitable for photoshop.