The 5 Best Laptops For Photoshop Under $500 (October)

Best Overall

Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Best laptop for Photoshop under $500, featuring Ryzen 5 5500U processor, Rx Vega 7 GPU, and 256GB NVMe SSD. Pros: Powerful processor, good cooling, lightweight. Cons: No anti-glare.
Best For Intel

ASUS VivoBook 15

Top choice for Intel users under $400, with Core i3-1005G1 processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD. Pros: Big display, smooth UI. Cons: Average battery life.
Best For Freelancers

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

Ideal for freelancers, offering budget-friendly options, Gemini Lake processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. Pros: Nearly invisible bezels, quick Photoshop performance. Cons: No USB-C ports, slightly weak GPU.

The Best Laptops For Photoshop Under $500

Photoshop is one of the most used applications by graphic designers across the globe. Due to the high-performance level of the application, it needs the highest possible performance that can be offered by a computer. However, not everyone has a large budget and some people want to spend as little money as possible.

For the people that are on a tight budget, we’ll be discussing the best Laptops For Photoshop under$500. We created an informative article that will educate our readers on what to look for in a laptop while having a low budget.

While on our quest to find laptops under $500, we’ve spent over 26 hours researching, writing, and editing the relevant information that would help our readers to buy a good laptop for less than $500. We also left recommendations regarding laptops based on use cases.

In the recommendation section, we gave out recommendations based on real-life use cases. So for example, we have cases such as the best laptop for Intel users or the best laptop for freelancers, and so on. These recommendations will help the reader pick out a laptop if they have any specific use case in mind.


How To Choose the Best Laptops For Photoshop Under $500

For an optimal decision-making process, we’ve decided that the following selection criteria are the best when it comes to picking the best laptops for Photoshop under $500.


The CPU is popularly known as the central processing unit. It is a bunch of electronic circuitry which executes various user commands instantly. It’s important to know what parts of the CPU we need to know most about while picking a Laptop for Photoshop

That’s why we will now be discussing everything regarding clock speed and cores. We’ll discuss these criteria in depth while also letting the users know what to expect in each of the criteria.


Cores are the heart of a processor and are where a command is executed. Multiple tasks can be performed at once if a processor has multiple cores. Older gen processors tend to have a lower core count

Since we’re looking for budget laptops, you’d want processors that at least have Quad cores. Processors with at least quad cores will be able to handle CPU tasks easily and the computer won’t lag out.

In today’s article, we’ll be taking a look at processors that have core counts between quad cores and Hexa cores.

Clock Speed

The number of cycles a processor can perform under a minute is called clock speed. So for example, if a processor has a 4GHz clock speed that means that the processor performs 4 billion cycles every minute.

Clock Speed is measured using GHz (GigaHertz). To run Photoshop, a minimum of 3 GHz clock speed is recommended. Though Adobe recommends having a processor with 2GHz clock speed, we played it safe and recommended a processor with 3GHz speed.

Today we’ve presented you with processors that have clock speeds ranging from as low as 3GHz to as high as 4GHz


RAM is the short form of Random Access Memory. It’s a temporary data storage that serves data upon request. The RAM ensures that data is given access to in a minimal amount of time and thus it’s a very important criterion for Photoshop.

RAM is measured using the term Gigabyte (GB). Adobe recommends having at least 8GB RAM for using photoshop. With Photoshop, the user needs to complete multiple tasks at once, so the more RAM a laptop will have, the faster it will operate.

In today’s article, the number of RAMs will be ranging from 4GB to 8GB. We only have one 4GB laptop mentioned here, that laptop can barely run Photoshop despite having a lower RAM count than the recommendation.


The full form of GPU is Graphics Processing Unit. It’s a collective set of chipsets that produce graphics on the screen. A potent graphics card is massively important to run Photoshop as the user will need to edit different pictures from time to time.

The way to know if a GPU is good is to check for its model and the amount of VRAM available. VRAM refers to video RAM and it works to fetch data on-screen on demand. Ideally, you’d want your GPU to have at least 2GB VRAM and it should be able to run Directx 12.

In today’s article, we’ll be having a look at a bunch of different GPUs. All of these GPUs are stock GPUs. We’ll be discussing Intel UHD GPUs and AMD RX Vega series GPUs.


Storage is a technology that records and keeps data intact upon being brought to the computer. Storages can be divided into two sections, the HDD and the SSD. In terms of running photoshop, an SSD is essential for laptops.

SSD is a storage option that a laptop must have to run Photoshop. All laptops generally come with an HDD, but the inclusion of an SSD provides a speed boost to the laptop. HDDs are mainly used as data storage whereas SSD is used as a platform to run applications in order to give them a speed boost.

In today’s article, we’ll be discussing laptops that have SSD storage options such as anywhere from 128 or 256GB.

Display Resolution

Display resolution refers to the number of pixels that can be displayed in a horizontal and vertical line. Display resolution is very important to run Photoshop as Adobe mentions that a bare minimum resolution is needed to run Photoshop properly.

It’s recommended that a laptop has a minimum of 1280 x 800 because this is the minimum resolution to which the UI can be scaled to a 100%. Any resolution below that will result in the application glitching out and not working entirely.

In today’s article, we’ll be discussing laptops that have resolutions ranging from 1366 x 768 Pixels and 1920 x 1080 Pixels.

Considering all of the selection criteria points, it’s best to say that the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is the best laptop under $500. Amazingly, this laptop provides good performance despite being so low priced. This laptop also matches all of our selection criteria recommended scores.


1. Best Laptop Overall- Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Lenovo IdeaPad 3

  • CPU – Ryzen 5 5500U (6 cores and Up to 4GHz clock speed) – Our Score – 9.5/10
  • RAM – 8GB DDR4 – Our Score – 9/10
  • GPU – Rx Vega 7 (512 MB + System RAM) – Our Score – 9/10
  • Storage – 256GB NVMe TlC SSD – Our Score – 9/10
  • Display Resolution – 1920 x 1080 (FHD) – Our score – 9/10

Undoubtedly the best laptop for photoshop under $500 is the Lenovo IdeaPad 3. This is a newer version of the IdeaPad 3 series and has all the latest components. It also has very good scores across our selection criteria scoresheet.

The Lenovo IdeaPad uses the latest Ryzen 5 5500U APU. This means that this processor also has an integrated processor. It’s quite powerful on its own as you can see from the CPU configuration of this processor.

Apart from the processor, the integrated GPU is quite powerful too. It’s equivalent to the Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU. It was one of the flagship GPUs from a few years back and still is a viable GPU to this day. However, please note that the GPU uses RAM from the laptop’s system as VRAM as it only has a base of 512MB VRAM.

The other aspects of this laptop are suited for Photoshop too. I love the fact that this laptop doesn’t crack under any kind of pressure as it has a very good cooling system and thermal control. The display and resolution are very helpful for Photoshop too.


  • The processor is very powerful and helpful for Photoshop.
  • The 256GB NVMe SSD speeds up the UI while using Photoshop.
  • An excellent cooling system doesn’t let the laptop heat up.
  • It’s very lightweight thus great for mobility


  • The display doesn’t have anti-glare active, so it can be harmful while working for too long.


2. Best Laptop For Intel Users – ASUS VivoBook 15

ASUS VivoBook 15

  • CPU – Intel Core i3-1005G1 (Quad cores and Up to 3.4GHz clock speed) – Our Score – 9/10
  • RAM – 8GB DDR4 – Our Score – 9/10
  • GPU – Intel UHD 630 (System RAM) – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • Storage – 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • Display Resolution – 1920 x 1080 (FHD) – Our score – 9/10

If you’re a lover of the Intel ecosystem then the laptop for you is the Asus VivoBook 15. It’s the best Intel laptop out there under $500. The performance of this laptop is fascinating and it costs much less than $400.

The Asus Vivobook has the latest 10th gen processor as a mainstay. That’s why the core count and clock speed are up to point. Though I’d have liked the GPU to be a bit better as it uses internal RAM to process graphics, we could say very little about it because of the overall price of the laptop.

I loved the fact that such a 15” display laptop was available for much less. The display also had Full HD resolution to accompany the large display. It also has a fingerprint sensor and backlit keyboard which is great if you want to keep your lights out while working.


  • Comes equipped with the latest Intel processor.
  • It has the biggest display among all of the laptops on this list.
  • Very fast RAM and SSD combination provides a smooth UI


  • The battery life isn’t that great.


3. Best Laptop For Freelancers – Dell Inspiron 15 3000

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

  • CPU – Intel Core i3-1005G1 (Quad cores and Up to 3 GHz clock speed) – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • RAM – 8GB DDR4 – Our Score – 9/10
  • GPU – Intel UHD 600 (System RAM) – Our Score – 8/10
  • Storage – 256 GB SSD – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • Display Resolution – 1366 x 768 Pixels – Our score – 8.5/10

If you’re a freelancer or someone who earns their bread by doing professional Photoshop Tasks then the laptop for you is the Dell Inspiron 15 3000. This laptop comes in quite a few variations on top of the one we’re going to talk about. It has good selection criteria scores too.

The Dell Inspiron comes with one of the most budget-friendly laptop configurations available currently. The Gemini Lake processor used on this laptop is proof of that. The display is just a pinch shy of 15” too. The display seems even bigger thanks to the nearly invisible bezels.

The RAM and the storage unit is by far the best thing about this laptop. As both of these components meet the recommended range set by us, users can also get upgraded versions of this laptop. However, the prices will go up substantially too.


  • The display has nearly invisible bezels.
  • Photoshop boots up and runs smoothly in no time thanks to the 256GB SSD onboard.
  • The keyboard feels good to type and has a separate number pad.


  • No USB-C ports
  • The GPU portion is slightly weak.


4. Best Laptop for students – Acer Aspire 5

Acer Aspire 5

  • CPU – AMD Ryzen 3 3350U (Quad cores and Up to 3.5 GHz clock speed) – Our Score – 9/10
  • RAM – 4GB DDR4 – Our Score – 8/10
  • GPU – rx VEGA 3 (System RAM) – Our Score – 8/10
  • Storage – 128GB NVMe SSD – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • Display Resolution – 1920 x 1080 (FHD) – Our score – 9/10

The best laptop under $500 for students is the Acer Aspire 5. This laptop has some good configurations and components for running Photoshop. Though the selection criteria scores aren’t necessarily the best, they’re far from being bad.

The AMD fanbase is going to love this laptop as it has the latest Ryzen 3 3350U processor. While the processor also has an integrated GPU, it’s not that good. But then again, for a laptop that costs $330 what more can we ask?

The display portion of the laptop is ideal for Photoshop too due to it being an FHD display. It also has a high screen-to-body ratio so the visuals look spectacular. It also has an SSD, though it’s just 128GB,


  • Very affordable price.
  • It comes with the latest Ryzen 3 processor.
  • UI is very comfortable to use due to an SSD being present.


  • The battery life is poor.


5. Best Laptop For Multitasking – HP Pavilion 15

HP Pavilion 15

  • CPU – AMD Ryzen(TM) 7 3700U (Quad cores and Up to 4 GHz clock speed) – Our Score – 9.5/10
  • RAM – 8GB DDR4 – Our Score – 9/10
  • GPU – rx VEGA 10 (System RAM) – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • Storage – 256GB SSD – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • Display Resolution – 1366 x 768 – Our score – 8.5/10

If you’re a person who likes to do more than a task at once then you might be intrigued to have a look at the HP Pavilion laptop. Though it’s a late 2020 model, it’s still viable as it has good components. It also has good selection criteria scores.

The best part about this laptop is the CPU. The HP Pavillion 15 has the latest Ryzen 7 APU as the processor. So it’s understandable that the laptop has good processing capabilities. The storage also meets the minimum range of laptops for Photoshop.

While we would’ve liked the laptop to have a bit more resolution, the lack of bezels covers that. The laptop has an almost 82.3% screen-to-body ratio making visuals look exceptionally stunning. The data flow in high bandwidth and its fast bootup are possible thanks to the high RAM count.


  • It has the strongest RYZEN 7 APU at the moment as the processor.
  • Fast bootup and data flow thanks to the SSD storage and fast RAM.
  • An excellent cooling system doesn’t let the laptop heat up during intense work sessions.


  • The keyboards don’t feel comfortable while typing.


Wrapping Up

This is the end of our guide to the best laptops for photoshop under $500. In this article, we’ve discussed how you can identify a good device and we’ve also left our recommendation that covers various use case scenarios.

In the first portion, we discussed how someone can pick a laptop under $500 by mentioning the selection criteria. We explained why things such as CPU, GPU, RAM, Core, clock speed, and other factors mattered so much while picking a laptop for Photoshop.

After mentioning the selection criteria we gave recommendations for various relevant use cases. Due to the availability of these recommendation cases, users can relate with and make the best choice for themselves while buying a laptop for Photoshop under $500.

Thanks for reading, We hope our suggestion helps you fetch your desired product.