The 5 Best Laptops for Photo Editing under $1000

In today’s article, we’ll be discussing the Best Laptops For Photo Editing Under $1000. The main purpose of creating this article is to make the decision-making process of our readers as easy as possible.

To create this article, we dedicated over 30 hours to ensure everything is fact-checked and perfect. We spent the majority of the above-mentioned time behind writing and researching the relevant information for this article.

We based our research on expert opinion and user feedback. So to make a clear concept of how to pick a laptop for photo editing under $1000, we put together a bunch of selection criteria. We graded each of our recommended products with a score of 1-10 on each criterion

Upon finalizing the selection criteria, we talked about various relevant use cases that the readers may find helpful. We included cases such as the best laptop overall or the cheapest laptop for photo editing. The use case suggestions will make the decision-making process much easier.

How To Choose The Best Laptop For Photo Editing

Since photo editing requires a fast CPU along with decent processing power, we’ve only included the factors that will play a major part in deciding your laptop for photo editing. We’ve left out any unnecessary information for the selection criteria section.

To edit photos, you’d need a laptop that preferably has a powerful processor with loads of speed boosting components. While things such as battery life isn’t a major thing, a long battery life will add more value to a photo editing laptop.

CPU

The CPU is better known as the Central Processing Unit. One can also call it the heart of a computer. The CPU performs all of the tasks that your computer is instructed to do at any given moment.

While photo editing, the CPU performance is considered as one of the most important parts of photo editing. A minimum number of cores and clock speed is required to perform photo editing decently. The best laptops for photo editing have one thing in common, a powerful processor.

So For a photo editing laptop, you’d want to ensure that the CPU portion is powerful. Most of the time, a gaming laptop would be enough since they are some of the best laptops around. But since we’re looking for laptops for photo editing under $1000, we’ll have to dig deeper.

So today, we’ll be discussing what core and Clock Speed refers to in terms of a CPU and what are the ideal numbers for these factors regarding photo editing.

Cores

The core is a fascinating thing. It’s a smaller processor that is built into a bigger circuit system. Cores are practically task managers that read and execute commands as quickly as possible.

For getting decent performance out of your laptop, we recommend having a minimum of 6 core processors in your laptop. Having a minimum of 6 cores will ensure stellar performance while using applications such as Lightroom and photoshop.

The laptops that have more core tend to draw more battery life from the laptop. While drawing the battery life isn’t a big deal in this case, it does cause over heating which you should keep an eye out for.

In today’s article, we’ll be discussing laptops that have core counts from 4 to 8.

Clock Speed

Clock Speed Refers to the frequency of a processor in which it completes its assigned tasks. You can associate this with car speeds as it’s similar to how we measure car speed by MPH. A minimum clock speed is required by most applications to perform properly.

Most of the photo editing software requires processors in the 2.5 to 3.5 GHz range or higher. So a 2.5 GHz or more clock speed processor is perfect for any photo editing software. You can do photo editing fast and get a lot of work done in a short time.

A good clock speed will not only benefit you in photo editing, but it’ll also be valuable in case you ever want to invest yourself in video editing. It’s also one of the primary photo editing requirements.

In today’s article, we’ll be discussing laptops that have clock speeds of 3.2 to 4.8 GHz.

RAM

RAM is a computer’s short-term data storage where data is stored as the processor needs it. It is important for increasing the number of tasks the CPU can handle at a time. A high amount of ram increases your computer’s speed and ability to multitask while photo editing.

16 GB RAM is recommended for running photo editing software such as Photoshop or Illustrator. However, a minimum of .8 GB RAM is needed for most of the photo editing software. While 8 GB will work fine, the more RAM you can add to your system the better.

In today’s article, we’ll be discussing laptops that have RAM counts between 8-16 GB.

GPU

GPU stands for Graphics-processing unit. It is designed to accelerate graphics rendering. As GPU can process many pieces of data simultaneously, it is a much-needed component for photo editing.

It’s very hard to pinpoint a recommended GPU as there are so many out there, to begin with. The price fluctuation plays a role here too. However, we recommend any kind of medium-range GPU with 4GB VRAM. This amount of VRAM and a moderate GPU will be enough for professional photo editing.

While GPU is inferior compared to CPU in terms of photo editing, you’re likely to use your laptop for other purposes too on top of photo editing, so a decent GPU is good to have as it boosts the overall performance of your laptop.

In today’s article, we’ll be featuring GPUs such as the Nvidia RTX 3050Ti and integrated GPUs such as the RX Vega 7.

Storage

Storage plays a massive role in photo editing, in particular, you need to know what type of storage your laptop is offering. Your laptop needs to have any kind of SSD storage. SSD storages boost your computer’s speed and performance significantly.

SSD stands for a solid-state drive that uses a flash-based memory. A flash-based memory is much faster than the traditional ones. It uses an integrated circuit to store data.SSD provides superior performance and durability and can store data persistently. Transferring images and loading photoshop is much faster with an SSD. It gives a massive performance boost while photo editing.

Your SSD drive should be a minimum of 256GB. But we recommend 512GB SSD as storage tends to get filled up pretty quickly. If you have the option of adding an HDD then it’s best to have that. It’ll allow you to store more data without thinking about replacing or getting new storage soon.

In today’s article, we’ll be discussing laptops that have SSD ranging from 256GB up to 512 GB.

Price

The Final selection criteria are the Price of your desired laptop. It’s tough to predict what price will be perfect for a laptop since they seem to go up and down a lot. What we can do, however, is provide the price range based on how the laptops perform.

Based on the current market values, we can divide the price of laptops under $1000 for photo editing into two sections, they are

  • Affordable Options – Less than $600
  • Performance Options – Between $600 and $1000.

Based on all of the selection criteria and how these laptops perform under specific circumstances, we believe that the Lenovo Legion 5 is the best laptop for photo editing under $1000. It’s fast, powerful, and has good battery life and selection criteria scores in our selection criteria.

Our Product Recommendations

  1. Best Photo Editing Laptop Overall – Lenovo Legion 5
  2. Best Laptop For Apple Users – Apple Macbook Air 2020
  3. Most Durable Laptop For Photo Editing – ASUS TUF Dash 15
  4. Best Laptop For Graphic Designers – HP Envy x360
  5. Cheapest Laptop For Photo Editing – Lenovo IdeaPad 3

#1. Best Photo Editing Laptop Overall – Lenovo Legion 5

Lenovo Legion 5 15 Gaming Laptop

  • CPU – AMD Ryzen 7 5800H (8 core and upto 4.4 GHz) – Our Score – 9.5/10
  • RAM – 16 GB DDR4 – Our Score – 9.5/10
  • GPU – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (4GB Vram) – Our Score – 9/10
  • Storage – 512 GB NVMe SSD Our Score – 9.5/10
  • Price – $1,040 – Our Score – 9/10

About the Lenovo Legion 5

Lenovo Legion 5 comes in at a reasonable price and is capable of giving the best editing experience. With its Powerful processor. While it goes above our mentioned budget of $1000, anyone can spare the $40 extra for a great laptop. It’s the best laptops for photo editing at the moment.

RAM and SSD go up to the mark here giving you a good amount of storage to work with while editing larger and more complex photos. While this is the most expensive laptop on today’s list, it justifies the price tag because of the high-end components. On top of these, it’s a gaming laptop so it won’t be facing shortage in terms the raw power require for photo editing.

I want to praise the CPU of this laptop in particular, it comes with one of the latest processors and has a massive 4.4 GHz clock speed if you boost it. The GPU is one of the latest and powerful too so video editing can also be a part of your routine if you’re looking forward to it.

The display is quite large (15”+) and has a very color-accurate performance to it. The slim bezel design makes it stand out quite easily. It also has a good battery life so if you’re a frequent traveler, you’d love this laptop. Because of all this, there’s no doubt about this being the best photo editing laptop at the moment.

Pros

  • It comes with one of the best processors at the moment.
  • The Backlit keyboard is very helpful for working in the dark.
  • The RAM and SSD provide a massive speed boost while multitasking.
  • Good battery life.

Cons

  • Slightly bulky so it’s hard to carry around.

#2. Best Laptop For Apple Users – Apple Macbook Air 2020

2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop for Photo Editing

  • CPU – Apple M1 (8-Cores and 3.2GHz) – Our Score – 9/10
  • RAM – 8GB DDR4 – Ours Score – 8.5/10
  • GPU – Integrated Apple GPU (7-Core) – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • SSD – 256 GB SSD – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • Price – $1000 – Our Score – 8/10

About the Apple Macbook Air 2020

For the lovers of the Apple ecosystem, it’s hard to shift into any other type of computer or device as they’re so invested in an Apple Device. So good news folks! There’s an apple laptop for you for under $1000, it’s the MacBook Air 2020.

As always, Apple focuses on its quality over quantity. So you won’t notice many bigger numbers floating around. However, the components that a MacBook air comprises can easily handle any kind of photo editing with ease.

The Retina display is very popular for their outstanding display quality. It provides a full HD display at all times. Some Mac users even claim a mac to be better than a windows laptop just because of the retina display.

The MacBook Air comes with the widely renowned Apple M1 chip. It has the architecture that revolutionized modern Apple Macbooks. It’s very powerful and it can easily handle any sort of photo editing tasks thrown at it.

While the screen resolution is somewhat debatable, mac users would prefer this over gaming laptops any day. The battery life is incredible as it goes up to 18 hours. So you can work or travel with it for a long time without charging

Pros

  • The Retina Display is very beautiful and vibrant, so the pictures can be viewed in a full HD screen.
  • Comes with the revolutionary Apple M1 chip.
  • It’s light and compact making it a perfect option for those who are traveling a lot.
  • Light and compact User Interface.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • More Ram would’ve been better.

#3. Most Durable Laptop For Photo Editing – ASUS TUF Dash 15

ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2021) Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop

  • CPU – Intel Core i7-11370H processor (4 cores and up to 4.8GHz) – 9/10
  • RAM:- 8GB DDR4 RAM – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • GPU – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (4GB GDDR6) – Our Score – 9/10
  • SSD – 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD- Our Score – 9.5/10
  • Price – $949 – Our Score – 8.5/10

About the ASUS TUF Dash 15

If durability and long-lasting is your main objective while finding a laptop for you then the one to go for is the Asus Tuf Dash 15. It’s a military-grade laptop and it’s also very stylish. Because of this and its power, it also has high scores on our selection criteria. It’s one of the most durable photo editing laptops at the moment.

The Asus TUF 15 has one of the most recent processors on the market. Though the i7-11370H has 4 cores, it makes up for that by having an insane clock speed of 4.8GHz. So it’s no wonder that this laptop can do any kind of editing task without any issues.

This laptop has a good amount of RAM and storage, because of this, it doesn’t lag or bug out while performing complex edits. The cooling system, in particular, surprised me the most about this laptop, it has an 83 blade cooling system that keeps the laptop cool at all times.

Pros

  • Very durable and military-grade build.
  • Impressive 83 blade cooling fan system.
  • Very powerful processor with high clock speed.
  • Impressive battery life that lasts throughout the day.

Cons

  • Lacks Webcam and biometric features.

4. Best Laptop For Graphic Designers – HP Envy x360

2020 HP Envy x360 2-in-1

  • CPU- Intel Core i7-1165G7 (4 cores and up to 4.7GHz clock speed) – Our Score – 9/10
  • RAM:- 8GB DDR4 RAM – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • GPU – Intel Iris Xe Graphic (Integrated) – Our Score – 8/10
  • SSD – 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD- Our Score – 9.5/10
  • Price – $880 – Our Score – 8.5/10

About the HP Envy x360

For aesthetic lovers, the HP Envy x360 would be a perfect choice. It has the capability of performing greatly due to the powerful processor it possesses. It has good scores on the selection criteria chart and it also costs less than $1000!

This laptop doesn’t play around while ensuring it has proper processing power as it has a massive clock speed. It’s particularly good for being bent up to get up to 178-degree wide-viewing angles.  Most photo editing tools such as photoshop require massive processing powers. Despite being a laptop for photo editing under $1000, this laptop has the capability to provide that power

The battery life of this laptop is a much less thing talked of. While photo editing laptops aren’t really known for being a perfect laptop, the HP envy X360 is also proficient at video editing. This makes it the best laptop for photo and graphic designers in my eyes.

RAM and SSD storage is up to the mark. It comes with 8GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. Due to the availability of SSD storage, it’s much faster to edit pictures as both the processor and RAM complement each other perfectly. As it’s not that heavy and easy to carry, you can have it with you anywhere you go. It’s safe to say that this is one of the best HP laptop at the moment.

Pros

  • It’s LIghtweight, so it’s very easy to carry around.
  • A good amount of SSD storage ensures a fast and smooth UI.
  • It can be used even at 178-degree angles.
  • The battery life is enough for professional photo editing purposes.

Cons

  • No dedicated GPU

#5. Cheapest Laptop For Photo Editing – Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 Laptop

  • CPU – AMD Ryzen 5 5500U ( 6 cores and 4 GHz clock speed) – Our Score – 9/10
  • RAM:- 8GB DDR4 RAM – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • GPU – Rx Vega 7 (512Mb + Allocated ram) – Our Score – 8.5/10
  • SSD – 256GB NVMe TLC SSD Storage- Our Score – 9/10
  • Price – $510 – Our Score – 9.5/10

While this whole article is a laptop about budget options, we have a laptop that you can spend the least on. It’s the Lenovo IdeaPad 3. While it’s not the most powerful laptop on this list, it certainly is one of the best budget laptops you can get for the price. It’s one of the best photo editing laptop on a budget.

The Best thing about the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is its robust processor. It has the latest APU from Ryzen and the processing power is very good (It can generate up to 4GHz clock speed). It also has a very good cooling system which doesn’t let the laptop heat up even under an intense workload.

Though the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a budget laptop, it’s still a gaming laptop. I was surprised to see it having a long battery life. While it doesn’t have fancy laptop features such as a tablet mode, it’s compatible with all sorts of photo editing tools.

The display quality of this laptop is quite decent to work on. On top of this, it’s a budget-friendly laptop and can be used by beginners. The battery life is amazing. You can work for a very long time and work while traveling.

Pros

  • Excellent Long-lasting battery life.
  • Very affordable price as well as value for money.
  • An excellent Cooling System.
  • It comes with one of the latest and best APU Ryzen has put out in recent years.

Cons

  • No USB-C port.
  • Sluggish KeyBoard

Conclusion

This marks the end of our guide regarding the best laptop for photo editing under $1000. While we made sure we didn’t cross the $1000 mark, we also made sure to not include any scrappy laptop or something that wouldn’t provide the best value.

For this, we created selection criteria first. In that section, we prioritized proven facts and expert opinion above everything else. We explained there why things such as CPU, GPU, RAM clock Speed, and others matter while picking a laptop for photo editing. We also added recommended ranges and graded these criteria on a scale of 1-10.

After that, we gave out product recommendations based on real-life use cases. These use cases are very helpful for a person while picking a laptop because they can then relate themselves to what they need and make their decision accordingly.

We hope our suggestions help you fetch the best product possible!

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