10 Best Laptop For Photography 2021 – Reviews & Guide

A few years back, I was (wrongly) convinced that because I had a nice camera, I didn’t need to worry about the tech responsible for editing my images. That’s not to say it was entirely bad advice, as even a really good mobile app will have a better screen than your everyday smartphone. But these days, there are some really powerful editing options available on any number of Chromebooks when you dig past the pack. And to help those of you in need of a better way to edit photos while moving between locations (or just saving room in your gadget bag), I’ve rounded up what I think are the best options for photo editing laptops.

1. Apple MacBook Pro 


Model Name Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB Storage) – Space Grey
Brand Apple
Specific Uses For Product Business, personal
Screen Size 16 Inches
Operating System Intel Core i9

As a graphic designer and photographer, I work on multiple files with large file sizes. I need the horsepower of a MacBook Pro. There are no two ways about it. However, I like to have my laptop as thin as possible (or as Apple would say – portable). This is why for a while, I’ve been weighing up the pros and cons of the 13-inch MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air.

2.Dell XPS 15

Series Dell XPS
Brand Dell
Screen Size 15.6 Inches
Operating System Windows 10
Human Interface Input Unknown

The Dell XPS 15 range can be confusing: there are lots of different spec configurations to choose from, and pricing can frequently fluctuate. We reckon the best config for photographers is one that includes Dell’s best 4K+ (3840 x 2400) 16:10 screen, which boasts 500-nit brightness and touches sensitivity. The only issue with that is few XPS 15 configs come with this display, and they’re often quite expensive – especially if you also want an 8th-generation processor and a powerful dedicated GPU like Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 or 1060.

3. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9


Series Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9
Brand Lenovo
Specific Uses For Product Business
Screen Size 14 Inches
Operating System Windows 10 Pro

As you’d expect, the various models also vary in terms of battery life. The base model (which we reviewed a couple of years ago) and the newest model offer ten hours of stamina, but there are two configurations with 12 and 14 hours — these are the ones we recommend if you plan to rely on this laptop for marathon photo editing sessions in the field. While battery life might not be as long as some 15-inch alternatives, what you lose in duration is gained in portability. Consisting of just one part made from carbon fiber, plus aluminum reinforcements, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 weighs around 1.13kgs and measures only 13mm at its thickest point — so it’s still incredibly compact.

4.Apple MacBook Air 


Model Name MacBook Air
Brand Apple
Specific Uses For Product Multimedia
Screen Size 13 Inches
Operating System MacOS 10.14 Mojave

The MacBook Air 13-in M1 is impressive in three main areas: first, its design, finish, and ergonomics; second, its sheer performance for a lightweight laptop; third, its value for money given those other two things. The M1 may not be as flat-out fast as a specced-up 16-inch MacBook Pro (above), but if you value outright portability more than ultimate performance, the M1 is a better bet.

5. Asus ZenBook Duo UX581


Series ZenBook Duo (2021)
Brand ASUS
Specific Uses For Product Multimedia, Personal, Business
Screen Size 14 Inches
Operating System Windows 10 Home

The big talking point with the ZenBook Duo is its huge touch-sensitive secondary screen above the keyboard. Asus calls it the ScreenPad Plus, and you can use it as a genuine secondary monitor to display another app to that on the main screen, or it can be split into two or three columns, each containing a different open app. There’s even a screen extension function that lets you spread a single-window across both screens for even greater multitasking possibilities.

6. Razer Blade 15


Series Blade 15
Brand Razer
Specific Uses For Product Multimedia, Personal, Gaming
Screen Size 15.6 Inches
Operating System Windows 10

The design of the Razer Blade 15 4K is rather restrained and inoffensive, particularly for a gaming machine. Although the chassis is made from (sadly) fairly thick plastic, and that makes it over 2kg with its power adapter attached, it’s all about the display on this device. The area surrounding the display – typically a big space for the logo – is textured with a micro-pattern that lends itself well to grip when you’re moving it around. The base of the unit is plain black plastic, which sits on small rubber feet, concealing some extra ventilation to aid in cooling. So how does the Blade 15 measure up in everyday use?

7. LG Gram 14″ 2021 (14Z90P)

Series 14Z90P-K.AAB8U1
Brand LG
Specific Uses For Product Personal, Business
Screen Size 14 Inches
Operating System Windows 10 Home

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t use Chromebooks enough to make a worthwhile comparison of the three size options offered. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate something like the recently released LG Gram 14-inch model (model number 2021, Indigo color option). It feels great in hand and very light at 2.05 pounds, which is where this gets interesting. Samsung has been pushing out really nice-looking convertible PCs in both 13-inch and 15-inch varieties, but that 2 pounds mark is fairly heavy for something you might want to use as a tablet.

8. HP Spectre x360 15 Convertible


Series HP Spectre x360
Brand HP
Screen Size 15.6 Inches
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Human Interface Input Touchscreen, Keyboard, Touchscreen with Stylus Support

The x360 moniker in the HP Spectre name refers to the touchscreen’s ability to flip around through 360 degrees so the laptop can convert to a tablet. Windows 10 automatically detects the screen’s position and adapts the interface to be more touch-friendly. It’s a useful feature if you regularly use your laptop on the go and can’t always find a surface to rest it on. However, while a 1.92kg weight is pretty good for a 15.6-inch laptop, it’s not as portable as you might think, due to its thickness when converted (33mm) and its weight means that it’s definitely not one for prolonged hand-held use; there’s also not much room for error.

9. Gigabyte Aero 17

Series AERO 17 HDR YB-9US4430SP
Specific Uses For Product Multimedia, Gaming, Business
Screen Size 17.3 Inches
Operating System Windows 10 Pro

Recent trends in the mobile device industry have seen a surge in the number of high-end devices. Computer manufacturers are pushing the boundaries for what’s possible with a, well, computer. And this has yielded what can be considered beasts, for computers: The Gigabyte Aero 17 replaces even the kaby lake refresh as our favorite gaming/workstation machine out now. Its performance is downright impressive given its size and capabilities. The display is also a sight to behold, with this being one of the first laptops I’ve tested that come with an Adobe RGB color gamut.

10. Acer ConceptD 7


Series CN715-71-71TE
Brand Acer
Specific Uses For Product Multimedia, Personal, Business
Screen Size 15.6 Inches
Operating System Windows 10 Pro

As soon as I investigated this powerful laptop, the Acer ConceptD 7, I knew it wouldn’t be your average portable workstation. Its design is sleek and sexier than your average matte black notebook. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to tell this machine didn’t come from Apple. Best of all? It was designed with creative professionals in mind. So what do we have here? A portable workstation that has the power and good looks of MacBook Pro? Sounds pretty good. Let’s dive in…