Whether you’re independent, a student or work in-house, here’s our pick of the best laptops for Photoshop.
What’s the best laptop for using Photoshop CC? All things considered, there are a couple of factors to consider before purchasing a new machine: at first, consider where you will do the majority of your work. In the event that you need a laptop for Photoshop that you can take out on the town frequently, at that point portability will be a need.
If you simply move from studio to studio – as a freelancer perhaps – you can escape with a heavier, more performance-orientated machine. On the off chance that you need a mixture of both, there are options for you also. But, don’t expect them to be cheap.
We’ve gathered together five of the best laptops for running Photoshop that cover all of these bases – so read on to make your choice.
01. HP ZBook Studio G4 DreamColor
Power meets portability – a fantastic laptop for Photoshop
Processor: Intel Xeon CPU | Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro M1200 | Screen: 15.6-inch 3840×2160 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Memory: 32GB RAM | Ports: 2 x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort), 1 x HDMI, 1 x USB 3.0 | Dimensions: 375(w) x 255(d) x 18(h)mm | Weight: 2.09kg (4.6lbs)
If you’re looking for all-out power and price isn’t too much of a consideration, check out the rip-roaring HP ZBook Studio G4 – the latest in HP’s line of mobile workstations.
The top-end model isn’t cheap, but it packs incredible specs including a 15.6-inch 4K DreamColor display that can easily be colour calibrated, a blazing-fast Core Intel Xeon CPU, 32GB RAM, a 512GB SSD and NVIDIA Quadro M1200 dedicated graphics with 4GB VRAM. There’s also a healthy range of ports for peripherals and Bang & Olufsen speakers.
At just over 2kg (4.6lbs), it won’t break your back carrying it around, and it’s pretty thin at 18mm.
02. MacBook Pro (2018) with Touch Bar
Great build quality with excellent Touch Bar functionality
Processor: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB memory | Screen: 15-inch 2880×1800 | Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB or 4TB SSD | Memory: 16GB or 32GB RAM | Ports: 4 x Thunderbolt 3 | Dimensions: 34.93 (w) x 24.07 (d) x 1.55cm (h) | Weight: 1.83kg (4.02lb)
We couldn’t forget the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar in our list of the best laptops for Photoshop. It’s a remarkable machine for running amazing programs for a wide range of creative work. The 15-inch display is our best pick, coming with a 2.6GHz i7 processor, 16GB RAM or 32G, a 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB or 4TB SSD, and four ThunderBolt 3 ports.
The Touch Bar – while maybe not exactly as cool as having a multi-touch display – is exceptionally useful with Photoshop, enabling you to perform quick activities, for example, choosing a clour or changing the opacity of a layer, by swiping your finger along the bar.
It’s costly, however build quality is immaculate and the MacBook Pro is very portable.
03. Razer Blade 14
A gaming laptop that packs power for creative pros
Processor: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 6GB VRAM | Screen: 14-inch UHD screen | Storage: 1TB SSD | Memory: 16GB RAM | Ports: 1 x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), 1 x HDMI, 4 x USB 3.0 | Dimensions: Starting at 345(w) x 235(d) x 17.9(h) mm | Weight: 1.95kg (4.3lbs)
The Razer Blade may be a laptop built for gamers, but it’s an incredible machine for creative professionals as well. As well as seriously looking the part and being light and slim, it packs a huge punch, with a 4K multi-touch display, up to 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM and the latest Core i7 quad-core processor.
You also get Thunderbolt 3 connectivity (through USB-C), USB 3.0 and HDMI output. The GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB VRAM makes this machine sing for any kind of graphics work.
Oh, and we love the Razer keyboard – which has individually backlit keys, meaning you can create your own lighting effects (we’re sure you could do something creative with your most-used keyboard shortcuts).
04. Microsoft Surface Book
A powerful laptop that doubles as a digital sketchbook
Processor: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce | Screen: 13.5-inch 1920×1200 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Memory: 16GB RAM | Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Mini DisplayPort | Dimensions: 312(w)mm x 232(d)mm x 22.8(h)mm | Weight: 1.52kg (115lbs)
The Surface Book is at the top of Microsoft’s Surface range of products, and you get a load of power, with the convenience of a detachable tablet with multi-touch display that you can use as a digital sketchbook.
The 512GB SSD, Core i7, 16GB RAM, GeForce version is our favourite of the laptop models. And although it’s pretty expensive, it’s stonkingly fast and has fantastic build quality.
Bear in mind, though, that you’re only getting a 13.5-inch screen – a fantastic 3000×2000, 267ppi screen – so factor in the cost for a monitor when you’re back at your desk (and indeed the extra Surface Dock for plugging in all of your peripherals).
05. Dell Precision 7720
Spec it up for a ton of 17-inch power
Processor: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro M1200 | Screen: 17-inch 3840×2160 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Memory: 16GB RAM | Ports: 1 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x HDMI, 4 x USB 3.0 | Dimensions: Starting at 417(w) x 281(d) x 28.5(h)mm | Weight: 3.4kg (7.5lbs)
In its most basic spec, the Dell Precision 7720 is a little underwhelming – it hasn’t even got a full HD display. But, if you’re prepared to spend a little more and get into the customisation options, you can build a dream Photoshop laptop.
For instance, we specced up the 17-inch mobile beast to have a UHD display, a 512GB SSD and a rapid Core i7 for a shade under £3,000 (or $3,130 on Dell’s US site).
Sure, it’s a lot of money, but remember you’re getting a 17-inch portable workstation here. Of course with that comes the weight: 3.4kg (7.5lbs) to be precise.