Laptop for photo editing

My wife and I are downsizing to a smaller house. We may consider a laptopto replace our old desktop to save space. Does anyone have any recommendations? I am definitely no professional so I don’t need the top of the line, just something that will work well.
Thanks, Brian

Hey, Brian. I’m sure you’ve already considered this, but when I was ready for a new laptop I just did a Google search for the five best laptops for photo editing, and went from there. Once I had some ideas, I went to a couple of computer repair places in town and talked to them. It’s at least a place to start.

I can’t speak to brand since I’ve used many (current = Lenovo, past = Dell, HP & Compaq), but in terms of what you’ll want to spend money on is memory, graphics card & screen resolution/size. For me that’s what’s kept my current laptop working out as I add more software and bigger file sizes. I have 32gb RAM and a 17" screen. For my next purchase I’ll bump the graphics card a little, too. I think I have less than 1gb RAM on it right now.

I am also going to look into screens - Apple makes the best, but I’m afraid for my external hard drive and my Lightroom catalog - I’d have to change from a Windows to a Mac format. So nerve-wracking.

You might want to look at gaming laptops, Brian. They usually have good amounts of RAM and graphics. My last computer was an ASUS gaming laptop and it held up well. I did couple it with an external monitor. If you have the money, check out Puget Systems. They build custom machines and understand photographer’s needs.

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@Brian_Murphy Agreed, gaming laptops are using the best bet. As long as you aren’t editing video and have no plans to edit video in the near future you can get away with going on the cheaper side of a laptop. Still expect to pay $800 +.

Costco and Bestbuy deals seem to have the best prices on computers.

Agree that gaming laptops are the way to go. There are multiple brands out there but beware. I had a Dell XPS 15 with 64 GB of RAM and graphics card with 4 GB. I purchased this from Costco and it was in the neighborhood of $2500. However, I couldn’t get it to work with Adobe Lightroom Classic, latest version. I spent an hour with Costco concierge services and three or four hours with Dell support and was unable to get this to work. When it did work after multiple reboots, it was exceedingly slow. More than likely this was a graphics card software issue or firmware issue.
So my recommendation if you use lightroom or other Adobe products is that you be sure to get a laptop with a warranty and the ability to return.
The other place to look would be B and H and check their computer laptop offers. They appear to have quite a few with 32 to 64 GB and reasonable graphics cards. Hope this is helpful.

Thank you everyone for your help.

If the size of your system is your concern you could also consider getting a Mac Mini M1 16 GB. Although it appears to have too little RAM, the way the Silicon chip is configured makes this an ample amount. It works on a completely different principle, there is no graphics card either. The benchmarks far outperform a 64 GB Intel Mac or 64 GB PC. And it is half the price of the Dell mentioned above. I use it with Photoshop 2021 and Lightroom Classic and it is blindingly fast. Even the Topaz AI plugins run easily. Add a nice 24" Eizo CS 2420 and you have the best system imaginable for editing for a relatively modest price and with a small footprint. Stay away from Apple screens. They are not really suitable for editing. Stick with Eizo CS or CG, Nec Spectraview or BenQ Photovue for your primary (or only) screen.

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I use an old HP ProBook, its slow and struggles with photoshop, but it redeeming feature is I can drop it into a docking station and have a desktop.
Good luck on your search.

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