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The best laptops for Photoshop in 2021

Man using best laptop for Photoshop
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're looking for the best laptops for Photoshop, you've come to the right place. No matter if you're a budding hobbyist or a professional photographer, Adobe's Photoshop application is an essential tool, so you'll want a laptop that can run it well.

As well as being one of the best photo editing software applications around, Photoshop is also a demanding bit of software due to its complexity and amount of tools it offers. So, to get the best experience when using Photoshop, you'll want to make sure you have a laptop that can handle it - and the good news is that every laptop you find on this page can do just that.

We've hand picked the best Photoshop laptops that boast powerful components that can handle complex photo editing tasks with ease, while also featuring high-end screens that can display high resolutions and accurate colours along with large hard drives to store all your photos on. 

Because you'll be spending lots of time working on your laptop, you'll want to make sure that it's comfortable to use, so the trackpad and keyboard need to be well built, without adding too much bulk to the laptop. If you're going to need a laptop for Photoshop to edit photos while travelling, a thin and light laptop should be your priority.

If you're planning on hooking your machine up to a second screen, make sure you pick up one of the best monitors for photo editing too. And students should also check out the best student laptops.

Still need to sign up to Creative Cloud? Take a look at our guide to the best Adobe Creative Cloud discounts right now, to make sure you get the best price. 

The best laptops for Photoshop available now

MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

(Image credit: Apple)

01. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

The best laptop for Photoshop in 2021

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

Stunning 16-inch screen
New and improved keyboard
Expensive
Limited to four Thunderbolt 3 ports

If you're looking for the best laptop for Photoshop, and money is no object, then the new MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) is by far the top choice. Even though the 16-inch model is now a few years old, it still packs plenty of power which makes working on Photoshop a pleasure.

Not only does Photoshop run smoothly thanks to the powerful components Apple has included in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but the larger, higher resolution screen means you can edit your photos comfortably, and they'll look their very best as well.

Perhaps most impressively, despite the 16-inch MacBook Pro coming with a larger screen, the size and weight of the entire laptop isn't much larger than the older 15-inch models, so you're not sacrificing portability for extra screen space.

And that larger screen really does make a difference when you're editing photos in Photoshop. Apple also brought in a much improved keyboard with the 16-inch model, replacing the older keyboard which was prone to issues.

The new keyboard is more reliable and very comfortable to type on, and it's now been included in Apple's updated 13-inch MacBook Pro and new MacBook Air as well.

The only issues is that it is pricey, though you can configure the MacBook Pro to best suit your needs and budget, and it lacks ports such as USB and a card reader, so you need to rely on Thunderbolt 3 connections.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)

(Image credit: Apple)

02. MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)

The best 13-inch laptop for Photoshop

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU | Graphics: Integrated 8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory | Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 LED-backlit Retina display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56 cm

Huge battery life
Great performance
Can run iOS apps
Still lacks ports

The 16-inch MacBook Pro is a great laptop for Photoshop if you're after a large screen, but if you're looking to work on your photos on something more easy to carry around, then the new MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) is the ideal candidate.

It features a smaller screen that's such as bright and vibrant as its larger sibling, along with the Touch Bar that runs across the top of the keyboard, giving you additional shortcuts for when you use Photoshop.

Best of all, the 13-inch MacBook Pro now comes with Apple's very own M1 chip (rather than an Intel processor), and this allows the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) to provide some seriously impressive performance, and Photoshop runs brilliantly on it.

Adobe is working on bringing out a version of Photoshop that runs natively on the M1 MacBooks, but even when running the current version, which was built for Intel-based MacBooks, the MacBook Pro 13-inch offers an excellent Photoshop experience.

The MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) also boasts the longest battery life ever seen in a MacBook. We've tested it ourselves and it's seriously impressive, allowing you to work all day and still have battery life left.

Also read: MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) review

Dell XPS 15

(Image credit: Dell)

03. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

The best laptop for Photoshop running Windows 10

CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti | RAM: 8GB – 64GB | Screen: 15.6" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 15.6" UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

Amazing speakers
Beautiful display
Comfy keyboard
GTX 1650 Ti is a little weak

Dell has done it again with the 2020 model of the XPS 15 - this is easily the best Windows 10 laptop right now for running Photoshop. Packed with some gloriously powerful mobile components, and boasting a stunningly stylish thin and light design,  this is a laptop with plenty of wow factor - and it's no slouch when it comes to photo editing in Photoshop either.

So, if you're not too keen on using macOS, this is an ideal Windows 10 alternative to Apple's MacBooks.

Dell has proved that it can easily match Apple in the style stakes, but the svelte design of the XPS 15 isn't just about looking good - it means this is a laptop that can be easily carried around with you, which is an important consideration for photographers who want to do photo editing while travelling.

Its screen is bright and vibrant, and at 15.6-inches, it's large enough to comfortably edit photos on throughout the day. It's backed up by a comfortable keyboard and excellent speakers, plus Dell's famous build quality and support. It's expensive, but worth it.

The Dell XPS 15 also made our list of the best 2-in-1 laptops for creatives.

best laptops for Photoshop: microsoft surface book 2

(Image credit: Microsoft)

04. Microsoft Surface Book 3

A powerful laptop that doubles as a digital sketchbook

Processor: Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics-NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti | Screen: 13.5-inch 3000x2000 or 15-inch 3240x2160 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB-2TB | Memory: Up to 32GB RAM | Dimensions: 312(w)mm x 232(d)mm x 23(h)mm | Weight: 1.6kg (3.62lbs)

Excellent build quality and screen
Works well as a digital sketchbook
All that power
Needs a Surface Dock for true expansion

The Microsoft Surface Book 3 (13.5-Inch) shows that the company behind Windows 10 is just as good as creating hardware as it is at software. The Surface Book 3 is a brilliant Photoshop laptop, as it's a powerful device, with 10th generation Intel Core processors, and it can be configured to come with a graphics card by Nvidia as well.

Not only that, but you can choose between 13.5-inch and 15-inch screen sizes, and it has top-notch build quality as well.

It can also be used as a detachable tablet (by removing the keyboard) with a multi-touch display, which means you can use as a digital sketchbook - something traditional laptops like the MacBook Pro just can't do.

Bear in mind, though, that there's only one non-Thunderbolt USB-C port so you'll probably need the extra Surface Dock for plugging in all of your peripherals.

Read TechRadar's Microsoft Surface Book 3 review.

Dell XPS 17

(Image credit: Dell)

05. Dell XPS 17 (2020)

A great large screen laptop for Photoshop

CPU: Up to 10th Generation Intel Core i9-10885H | Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 with Max-Q | RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4-2933MHz | Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe | Size: 248.05 x 374.45 x 19.5 mm | Weight: 1.48kg | OS: 2.11 kg

Nice design
Great screen
Not the most portable
Lack of ports

If you want a big screen Windows 10 laptop for using Photoshop, then the Dell XPS 17 is a fantastic choice. Its large screen is bright and vibrant with a 16:10 aspect ratio screen that's ideal for photographers. It offers more vertical space than standard 16:9 widescreen displays, and it can be configured with a 4K Ultra HD+ resolution of 3,840 x 2,400. 

Perhaps most importantly, the screen supports 100% Adobe RGB and 94% DCI-P3 colour gamuts, which means this offers accurate colours as well. This is means it's an excellent choice for professional photographers, or anyone who wants their photos to look their very best when editing them in Photoshop. It's also packed with some of the best mobile components out there, and can even be fitted with a powerful graphics card as well. Plus, for a 17-inch laptop, as well as being impressively thin and light to boot.

MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

(Image credit: Apple)

06. Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

New and improved

CPU: Apple M1 | Graphics: Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61cm; W x D x H)

Silent to use
Amazing battery life
No new design
Fanless design could impact performance

The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is yet another Apple laptop that's excellent at Photoshop thanks to its powerful Apple-designed M1 chip - based on the same tech as the one powering the more expensive MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020). 

This means it's the first time ever the more affordable MacBook Air can go toe-to-toe with the MacBook Pro when it comes to Photoshop performance. You'll be able to open and edit high resolution photos and projects, and swap between apps, with ease, and its fanless design also means that it is pretty much completely silent when in use. As with previous MacBook Airs, it features a gorgeous thin and light design that makes it easy to carry around with you.

Also, for the first time in a MacBook Air, the latest model supports the P3 colour gamut, which means the screen can display accurate colors, a consideration that is incredibly important for photographers using Photoshop.

Also read: MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

(Image credit: Razer)

07. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020)

The best premium laptop for Photoshop

CPU: Intel Core i7-10875H | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 | RAM: 32GB DDR4-2933MHz | Screen: 15.6" OLED 4K Touch 60Hz, 100% DCI-P3, factory calibrated | Storage: 1TB SSD

Extremely powerful
Premium design
Stunning display
Very expensive
Overkill for many people

Razer's stunning Blade laptops have been doubling as brilliant Photoshop laptops for a while now, and this new model continues that fine tradition. Packing some of the most powerful components into a stunningly thin and light design, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition combines Razer's formidable experience in creating killer gaming laptops with a sleek and serious look that's ideal for digital creatives. 

This means it comes with a powerful Nvidia RTX graphics card, and a factory-calibrated 4K display, so loading up Photoshop and editing your photos is fast and smooth, and your projects will look absolutely incredible.

It is very expensive, though, so it won't be for everyone. But if you're looking for an incredibly powerful Photoshop laptop that will last you for years, this could be a very wise investment indeed. See our Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) review for more information.

Best laptop for graphic design: Lenovo ThinkPad P1

08. Lenovo ThinkPad P1

Expensive, but worth every penny

CPU: Intel i5, i7, i9 or Xeon | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro P1000 or P2000 | RAM: 8GB-64GB | Screen: Full HD or 4K display | Storage: 256-4TB SSD

Brilliant screen
100% AdobeRGB coverage
High performance
Pricey

If you're looking for a Windows workstation that can power through Photoshop tasks, the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 is an excellent choice. Rather than concentrating on being thin, light and stylish, like some of the other laptops on this list, the ThinkPad P1 is a pure productivity machine that puts performance above all else.

This means you can configure it with some seriously powerful professional components, such as Intel Xeon processors and Nvidia Quadro P2000 graphics, too, should you choose. You can also pair this with a high-quality 4K display giving you 100% AdobeRGB coverage. The design of this laptop is fairly standard Lenovo fare, but it's what's underneath that counts.

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