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Best Budget Laptop For Photoshop

By May 10, 2022No Comments

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Best Budget Laptop For Photoshop

Have you ever tried to use Photoshop on an old laptop that’s not up to the job?

Don’t bother. The screen really doesn’t give your photos justice. And, worse yet, it freezes when you try to make changes, and it just can’t keep up with everything you’re trying to do.

And when you’ve gone to the trouble of buying expensive camera equipment, you really don’t want to be let down by the laptop.

The solution, of course, is to buy yourself a brand-new laptop that has all the specs you need to run Photoshop like a dream.

And the good news is that not only are such laptops easy to come by, but they’re also available in budget ranges, too.

We’ve been checking out the best budget laptops on the market today, and we have handpicked a few which are great for use with Photoshop. Our reviews on these are coming up very shortly.

But, we totally get that choosing one can be tricky, so we’ve also put together a handy buying guide for you that will walk you through all the key things to think about before you buy.

And then we’re going to top that off with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.

And a quick heads-up, for the purposes of this article we’re going to class the term “budget laptop” as any laptop that comes under the $700 mark.

Laptops that cost much less than this simply do not have enough RAM to run Photoshop.

So, without further ado, let’s get straight to it.

In a hurry? Why not check out our number one pick?

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop

This is an excellent laptop that ticks all the boxes for photoshop, and happens to be available at a very affordable price, and is excellent value for money.

This is a laptop of traditional size at 15.6 inches, so the screen is nice and big if you ever wanted to view your Photoshop images side by side as you work on them.

But better yet is the screen resolution. At 1920 x 1080 pixels, you get a Full High Definition picture, which means that your photo images will be crisp and clear, and you will see every detail.

Perfect for visual work.

It features a 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor, that can process data at speeds of up to 3.4 GHz which is better than necessary to run Photoshop.

And it meets the minimum requirements for RAM. And it has plenty of on-board storage to save your files directly onto the laptop if you wish to. 

It comes with the Windows 10 operating system, which is one of the few operating systems that can run Photoshop, as well as being a familiar favorite.

It’s a great laptop for taking out and about because it’s very lightweight at under 4 pounds, and has an excellent battery life.

It has some other nice features too, such as a fingerprint scanner for security and a very ergonomic backlit keyboard.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular laptop – simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros:

  • Large screen, coming in at 15.6 inches
  • Excellent display resolution at 1920×1080
  • Fast 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor
  • Meets requirements for RAM & plenty of storage
  • Lightweight and perfect for taking on the go
Check Current Price

Cons:

  • Drawing Tablet – Must be connected to a computer.

HP 15 Laptop

Now, this is an excellent laptop for working on Photoshop. And for several reasons…

First off, there’s the screen. It’s nice and large at 15.6 inches, and offers a Full High Definition display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. So your photo images will be there in crisp and clear detail.

It also happens to be an IPS display, which means you can still view the screen from just about any angle. And it’s anti-glare, which means that you can still see the display in direct sunlight. 

But what really impressed us was the graphics card – it comes with the Intel Iris Xe Graphics GPU which can produce stunning visuals, and which we can confirm works perfectly with Photoshop. 

It has lots of other great features besides. Including an 11th generation Intel Core i5 processor, which can process data at speeds of up to a whopping 4.2 GHz, which is more than double what you need to run Photoshop.

It has a full 8 GB of RAM, again meeting the needs for Photoshop and handling lots of visual data at once.

Then there’s a staggering amount of on-board SSD storage, coming in at 256 GB, so you can safely store all of your edited photos on there and have plenty of room besides for other things.

It runs on the Windows 10 operating system, which is one of the few that can run Photoshop. 

It’s also very lightweight at just 3.75 pounds, and has an excellent battery life that can stretch to over 7 hours on a full charge. 

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular laptop – simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros:

  • Stunning Full High Definition Display
  • Screen can remain visible in direct sunlight
  • Screen features a very wide viewing angle
  • Features the Intel Iris Xe Graphics GPU
  • Outstanding specs for CPU, RAM & storage
Check Current Price

Cons:

  • I guess it’s fairly expensive for a budget laptop

Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop

Here’s another great laptop from a top brand and with some great features that make it a great choice for running Photoshop.

Let’s start with the screen. It features a Full High Definition display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. So your photo images will be there in crisp and clear detail.

And it also happens to be an IPS display, which means you can still view the screen from just about any angle. 

The only drawback to the screen is that it’s slightly smaller than that of a traditional laptop at 14 inches rather than the usual 15.6 inches.

But there’s not much in it, and it’s significantly larger than a tablet screen. 

It has a powerful processor, the AMD Ryzen Octa-Core CPU, which can process data at speeds of up to 4.1 GHz, which is more than double what you need for Photoshop.

It also meets Photoshops requirements for RAM at 8 GB, and substantially exceeds its requirements for on-board storage, with an impressive 512 GB at hand. 

We were also blown away by the laptop’s battery life, which has an impressive runtime of 11 and a half hours on a full charge.

And that combined with its incredibly light weight of just 2.65 pounds make it perfect for taking on the go. 

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular laptop – simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros:

  • Features a Full High Definition display 
  • IPS display for a wide viewing angle
  • Speedy AMD Ryzen Octa-Core CPU
  • Meets Photoshops’ requirements for RAM
  • Impressive levels of on-board storage
  • Very impressive long-lasting battery life
Check Current Price

Cons:

  • The screen is slightly smaller than that of a traditional laptop, coming in at just 14 inches wide

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

If you like the Acer brand of laptops but don’t want to make do with a 14-inch laptop, then this is a great option for you. It doesn’t have the same lightweight as the Acer Swift or the same battery.

But it does have a lot of other great features besides that make it an excellent choice for using with Photoshop.

Let’s start with the screen. It features a Full High Definition display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. So your photo images will be there in crisp and clear detail.

And it also happens to be an IPS display, which means you can still view the screen from just about any angle. 

It features a powerful CPU, an AMD Ryzen 7 dual-core jobbie, that can process data at speeds of up to 4 GHz, which is double what’s required for Photoshop.

It also meets Photoshops requirements for RAM at 8 GB, and substantially exceeds its requirements for on-board storage, with an impressive 512 GB at hand. 

But perhaps one of its better features is the AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 graphics card, which is such a good graphics card that some people even use it for video editing, so your Photoshop editing will be a breeze.

It runs on the Windows 10 operating system, which is one of the few that can run Photoshop. 

It also has some other nice features, including a backlit keyboard, and a battery life with a runtime of 7 and a half hours on a full charge. 

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular laptop – simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros:

  • Large Full HD screen with IPS display
  • Speedy AMD Ryzen 7 dual-core processor
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 graphics card
  • Meets Photoshops’ requirements for RAM
  • Impressive levels of on-board storage
Check Current Price

Cons:

  • I guess it’s fairly expensive for a budget laptop

HP Pavilion x360 14” Touchscreen Laptop

Now, this is a laptop with a difference – it’s a touchscreen laptop that can run Photoshop, and that makes Photoshop more intuitive to use, and you don’t have to bother with a mouse.

The keyboard folds away behind the screen, so you can use it like you would a tablet.

Better yet, having a touch screen laptop means that you can use apps that let you sketch your designs if you like to draw.

The biggest difference between this laptop and a regular tablet, however, is that it runs on Windows 10, so it can run all the apps you’re already familiar with, including, of course, Adobe Photoshop. 

Being a touch screen laptop, the screen is ever so slightly smaller than a traditional laptop at 14 inches, but it’s still a very high quality screen. It has a Full High

Definition resolution of 1920 x 1080, so your images will be very crisp and clear and detailed. And it’s an IPS display which means that you can view your images at just about any angle.

It also features a great integrated GPU, the Intel Iris Xe Graphics, which is a great graphics card that will really help with your Photoshop editing.

And the Pavilion x360 also offers highly accurate color reproduction.

It has an 11th generation Intel Core i5 processor that can process data at speeds of up to a whopping 4.2 GHz, more than double what’s required for Photoshop.

It also boasts 8 GB of RAM, which meets the requirements for Photoshop. And it features 256 GB of SSD on-board storage, which is substantially more than what you need to run Photoshop.

It’s fast charging, and on a full charge it has a runtime in excess of 8 hours.

It’s also Energy Star Certified, which means it’s energy efficient

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular laptop – simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros:

  • Touchscreen laptop – doubles as a tablet
  • Full High Definition screen with IPS display
  • Speedy 11th generation Intel Core i5 CPU
  • Features Intel Iris Xe Graphics graphics card
  • Meets Photoshops’ requirements for RAM
  • High levels of on-board storage
Check Current Price

Cons:

  • Screen is slightly smaller than a traditional laptop
  • This is a relatively expensive laptop if you don’t manage to catch a deal

Buyer’s Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide. It will walk you through some of the key things to consider when buying a budget laptop for Photoshop.

Operating System

The most affordable budget laptops around at the moment are Chromebooks, but unfortunately these laptops run on the Chrome operating system, which does not support Photoshop.

The only operating systems that do support Photoshop are Microsoft Windows and Apple’s macOS.

However, the laptops that run macOS are very expensive, usually costing about $900 or sometimes more. So that leaves Windows 10 laptops as your only feasible option if you are working with a budget.

Screen Size

While there’s no minimum requirements for screen size for Photoshop, we would argue that the bigger your screen is the better.

Not only does it enable a better close up view of your photos and images, but it also allows room for panels and menus surrounding the image.

Screen Resolution

More important than screen size is screen resolution. Technically, you can make do with a display resolution of 1280 horizontal pixels by 800 vertical pixels for Photoshop, but we strongly advise that you get a better screen resolution than that.

Ideally, you should go for a laptop with a resolution of at least 1920 x 1080, which is Full High Definition for really crisp and clear images to do your photos and photo alterations justice. 

CPU / Processor

The CPU is the brain of the computer. You will need either an Intel or an AMD brand CPU that can support Windows 10 64-bit. And it will need to be able to work to processing speeds of at least 2 GHz

Graphics Card

If you rely on an integrated (already built-in) graphics card to run Photoshop, this will really eat up your RAM, and it will mean that you will have to buy a laptop with higher RAM to make up for it.

If you decide to buy a dedicated graphics card to build in, make sure that it’s a GPU with DirectX 12 support, and has at least 2 GB of GPU memory, if not 4 GB or more. 

RAM

The higher the RAM, the more data the laptop is able to process at the same time. And since photo editing is pretty graphics intensive, Photoshop requires a lot of it.

At the absolute bare minimum, you will need 8 GB of RAM. However, 16 GB of RAM is recommended, especially if you’re going to make do with an integrated graphics card as we mentioned earlier.

Storage

You will need a minimum of 4 GB of hard disk space, plus additional storage for the installation. Then add on storage space for all your saved images.

SSD on-board storage is preferred over traditional hard disc drive storage.

Battery Life

Battery life is not important for Photoshop unless you want to unplug the laptop and take it on the go. Most new laptops these days have a battery life of at least 3 to 4 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Hardware Requirements To Run Photoshop?

In the interest of brevity, we’re just going to cover the requirements for Windows laptops, since Mac laptops would be out of budget anyway.

  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel or AMD that has a speed of at least 2 GHz
  • RAM: Minimum of 8 GB, but 16 GB is recommended
  • Graphics Card: GPU with Direct X 12 support
  • GPU Memory: Minimum of 2 GB, but 4 GB is recommended
  • Monitor Resolution: Minimum of 1280 x 800, but 1920 x 1080 is recommended
  • On-Board Storage: 4 GB, preferably SSD
Camden Taylor

Author Camden Taylor

Camden is ARTURTH's Chief Editor, Senior Graphic Designer, and artist from the Pacific Northwest.

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