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When it comes to editing photos on a professional level, Adobe Lightroom is one of the best applications that is used daily by professionals.
Finding a handful of best laptops for Adobe Lightroom is not an easy task. With hundreds of notebooks out there in the wild, you have to either get an expert opinion or spend hours and hours in front of your current computer to zero in on that one laptop.
In a hurry?
Here’s our Editor’s choice:
Dell XPS 15
But fortunately, you don’t have to do any of it because we have done all of that for you.
We have scoured through hundreds of laptops and have come with a select few laptops that are great for Adobe Lightroom.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at them.
Best Laptop For Adobe Lightroom – Editor’s Choice
The best laptop for Adobe Lightroom is the Dell XPS 15.
The Dell XPS 15 is a well-rounded laptop when it comes to photo editing. It is a high-end laptop that meets every expectation even a complex Adobe Lightroom user could have.
One of the best things about this laptop is its display. We all know that the display is very important when it comes to using software like Adobe Lightroom and the Dell XPS 15 knocks it out of the park.
We have a 15.6-inch display that comes with 4K resolution. With extremely thin bezels, this display is determined to give you the best visual experience you have had with laptops.
This is one of the brightest displays we’ve seen on a laptop. With a maximum brightness of 500 nits, you will be able to use this laptop even under the bright sun. The laptop covers 100% percent of the RGB color gamut which is great for color accuracy and you can be sure that this laptop is perfect when it comes to photo editing.
Dell has somehow managed to include that WebCam in the top bezel. The previous Dell XPS models used to have a weird placement which kind of spoiled video calls for its users. It’s pretty nice to know that it is not the case this time.
When it comes to video quality, this display is probably the best you’re going to find on a Windows laptop. It comes with an impressive contrast ratio and you can see deep blacks and bright whites with an excellent greyscale performance.
The IPS panel underneath does a very impressive job when it comes to colors. The viewing angles on this laptop also very good making this an excellent display for a multitude of things besides photo editing.
In addition to all these, this laptop display also doubles up as a touchscreen. If you are an Adobe Lightroom user, we don’t know how we are going to make use of the touchscreen but I am sure it will come handy for some.
The processor that powers this Dell XPS 15 is an Intel Core i7 processor. This is a 9th gen processor from Intel and comes with six physical cores and 12 logical cores. If you’re looking for a powerful processor to handle your Adobe Lightroom needs, then look no further.
The processor can clock to a maximum of 4.5 GHz, with the help of a Turbo boost. The 16 GB of DDR4 RAM in the memory department works closely with the processor to give you the absolute best photo editing experience there is.
The Dell XPS comes with a dedicated graphics card in the form of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. This is an upper mid-range graphics card and it comes with a dedicated memory of 4 GB that is of the GDDR5 type. This graphics card is great for running Adobe Lightroom and makes the experience much better.
These are the things you should be concerned with if you’re planning to run Adobe Lightroom. The laptop brings so much else to the table as well. A brilliant keyboard with backlighting, a secure fingerprint reader, a superfast PCIe solid state drive, and Bluetooth 5.0 or just a few features to gloat about.
Overall, the Dell XPS 15 is an amazing laptop that brings all the bells and whistles you need which makes it the best laptop for running Adobe Lightroom regardless of your experience level.
Best Mac For Adobe Lightroom
The best Apple laptop for running Adobe Lightroom is the MacBook Pro 16”.
The MacBook Pro is an exceptional laptop in a number of ways. The model we are talking about is Apple’s flagship laptop and it brings all the bells and whistles it can along with a hefty price tag.
The display on the MacBook Pro is just fantastic. This is a 16” display that comes with a resolution that Apple touts as retina resolution. With more than 4 million pixels crammed into this display, this is one of the most pixel-dense laptop displays you will see.
The laptop comes with bright whites and deep blacks, thanks to the precise photo alignment of liquid crystal molecules. This result is also due to the contrast ratio which is very impressive on this MacBook Pro.
With a maximum brightness of 500 nits, the MacBook Pro matches the Dell XPS 15 when it comes to outdoor visibility. The only difference here is that we have a glossy display here while the Dell XPS model comes with an anti-reflective display.
The display offers full support for the P3 wide color gamut which results in brilliant, true to life images and video. if you are a professional photo editor, then you will know what this means and how important this is for Adobe Lightroom.
The true tone technology in this display makes a mark when it comes to the quality of the pictures. The text on the display is super sharp and will make for an amazing reading experience. Unlike the Dell XPS 15, there is no touchscreen here which is something we have seen on apple laptops.
The MacBook Pro 16” is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor that comes with six cores and has a maximum clock speed of 4.5 GHz. It gets ample support from the 16 GB of DDR4 RAM in the memory department and the combo does well when it comes to your everyday routine.
The graphics card that we have a MacBook Pro is an AMD Radeon Pro M5300 graphics card. This is a high-end graphics card from AMD and it comes with 6 GB of dedicated video memory that is of GDDR6 type.
With this graphics card in place, we should be able to do some amazing work when it comes to Adobe Lightroom. It also reduces the stress on the processor and makes things a bit more pleasant.
The touch bar on the MacBook Pro gives you contextual menus depending on the app you are using. When using Adobe Lightroom, you get excellent features that will make your workflow much easier.
We do agree that it is difficult when your memory muscle is being tested in the beginning. But as time passes, you should get more comfortable with this without any issues.
When it comes to connectivity, the MacBook Pro comes with four high-speed Thunderbolt 3.0 ports. These are very versatile in nature and can be used for data transfer, connecting external monitors, connecting eGPUs, and also to charge the laptop.
But the problem we have here is that there are no other ports on this laptop. If you do not have USB type C devices with you, then you are forced to buy adapters which not only destroy the look of the laptop but also increase the number of things you should carefully carry along with the laptop.
Having Touch ID on this laptop is very convenient. It allows you to log into your user profile with just a touch of the button. Not only that, if you have multiple user profiles, but a simple tap will also log you into the right user profile that belongs to you.
You can also use touch ID for online shopping with the help of Apple Pay. It will also provide you an option to encrypt your files and other data on this laptop if you’re serious about privacy and other issues.
MacBooks are known for their battery life and this one is no different. Even with heavy use, this laptop should easily last for about six hours which is very impressive. With light years, you should be able to drag this laptop to about 10 hours which is very good.
Though the laptop is a bit expensive, it comes with some amazing features that make it the laptop it is. The processor, display and every other hardware you see on this MacBook Pro make it the best Apple laptop for Adobe Lightroom.
Best 2-in-1 Laptop For Adobe Lightroom
The best convertible laptop for running Adobe Lightroom is the Surface Book 2.
The Surface Book 2 is the only 15-inch laptop that can be converted into a tablet with convincing features. You can easily detach the keyboard and make this into a pure tablet without having to fold the entire body.
Like the other two laptops we discussed, the display is once again the most important feature of this laptop when we talk about Adobe Lightroom.
We have a 15“ display that comes with a resolution of 3240 x 2160 pixels. Microsoft calls this the pixel sense resolution and it gives you a pixel density of 260 PPI which is just brilliant for a laptop.
As this display is full of pixels, you’re not going to be able to find any individual pixel from a normal sitting position which is perfect for photo editing. The color output of the display is also very good, thanks to the contrast ratio of 1500:1. You get deep blacks and bright whites with a decent greyscale performance.
Being a tablet, the laptop comes with a touchscreen display that is very responsive to touch. When you detach the keyboard completely, you have a tablet on which you can draw and take notes. The display supports external styluses which can come in handy for making illustrations as well.
The graphics card we have here is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with a dedicated video memory of 6 GB. This memory is of the GDDR6 type. With this graphics card in place, you can be assured that the performance of Adobe Lightroom will be top-notch.
The processor that runs this powerhouse is an Intel Core i7 processor. This processor is from the eighth generation of Intel chips and it comes with a maximum clock speed of 4.2 GHz which should be enough power for most users.
The processor is well complemented by 16 GB of LPDDR3 RAM in the memory slots. Though we’re not a fan of the LPDDR3 type memory, we do have a lot of memory in play to make the compromise worth it.
The storage we have here is made up of 512 GB of solid state drive storage. This storage is very fast and it comes with super impressive reading and writing speeds. It gives you ample space for all your library of files and also plays an important role in enhancing the performance of this laptop.
Battery life is not that important for a laptop that is primarily used for photo editing. But you cannot ignore the battery life of this Surface Book 2 model. with light use, this laptop will last for about 15 hours which is just bat shit crazy as this is a high-performance laptop.
There is no doubt that this number will go down when you start doing something heavy but you will still be able to get 6 to 8 hours of battery life which is quite good, in our opinion.
As powerful as this laptop is, it is also very portable. Microsoft has taken design very seriously with this laptop and as a result, this one weighs just 4.2 lbs including the keyboard. You can easily fly this laptop and your backpack and move along as if nothing has happened.
Overall, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is an excellent laptop that can also double up as a tablet. The hardware on the laptop is the main reason this model is on this list. If you’re looking for a premium convertible laptop experience, then this one is a very good choice.
What To Look For In The Best Laptop For Adobe Lightroom?
Adobe Lightroom can be both be a simple and a complex depending on the person using it.
If you’re a beginner who is just starting on the world of photo editing, then you won’t be utilizing the higher features of Lightroom. In this case, you won’t need a powerful machine.
On the other hand, if you’re a seasoned pro who is used to complex projects, then you won’t do well with a simple laptop. You need a beast that comes with all the bells and whistles.
Whether you’re a beginner or a Lightroom veteran, here are some factors you must take into account before you take your credit card out for your next laptop.
This is probably the most important of all the factors in this list.
Having a good processor is paramount in getting work done with Adobe Lightroom. With a good processor, you can do so much in less time making your experience a pleasant one.
But if you’re stuck with a sub-par chip on your laptop, then you’re going to luck your hair very soon especially if you plan to work on some complex projects.
So what processors should you go for?
If you’re a fan of Intel, go for an Intel Core i5 or an i7 processor. Make sure that these processors are at least 7th generation and up. If possible, pick processors that belong to the 9th or 10th generation as they are the latest ones.
If you plan on working simple projects, then dual-core processors will do okay.
Always go for quad-core processors if you want to work on complex projects with multiple layers in them. An i7 processor with 4 cores will be a good choice.
You can also go for a processor with 6 cores. The more cores you have on your chip, the better will be your laptop’s processing power.
Also, keep an eye on the base clock speed of your processor. Do not settle for anything less than 1.8GHz. Your processor should also be able to clock more than 4.5GHz with the help of Turbo Boost functionality if you need more power.
Having sufficient memory is necessary for a smooth experience with Adobe Lightroom.
The absolute minimum we’d suggest going with is 8GB of DDR4 type RAM. This memory is enough to give you a decent experience when it comes to handling multithreaded applications.
If you’re a pro, then we suggest going for nothing less then 16 gigs of DDR4 type RAM. This is the perfect amount of memory and should come in handy in keeping the performance of the laptop optimum.
Make sure that the RAM comes with a bandwidth of 2666MHz as it might be super handy when running Adobe Lightroom.
Do not go for older memory like DDR3 or LPDDR3 RAM as they are slower and are a generation old. Going for DDR4 memory future proofs your laptop but DDR3 is taking a step back.
The display is yet another super important component when it comes to running Adobe Lightroom.
You need to take into account multiple things like size, resolution, and so on. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Let’s talk about the size first.
You need at least a 15.6″ laptop, period. Ultrabooks are great for portability, but they come with a 13.3″ screen and it is not good for photo editing and Adobe Lightroom.
A 15.6″ strikes the chord when it comes to photo editing and is a perfect size. It gives you the real estate you need which is great for photo editing.
If you can go for a 17.3″ screen, you can go for that as well.
If you plan on using an external display, then you can go for ultrabooks with a 13.3″ screen. Whenever you want to edit photos, you can hook your laptop to your external display on work on it instead.
Time to talk about the resolution.
For a laptop that you will primarily edit photos on, you will need the best resolution you can get.
Ideally, a laptop with a 4K resolution display is a great choice. This will fill the display with millions and pixels and will give you a good pixel density. Our Editor’s Choice, the Dell XPS 15, comes with such a screen and is a pleasure to work with.
You can also settle for QHD displays. The pixel density is low when compared with a 4K display but is still is a lot to give you excellent viewing experience. The MacBook Pro comes with a similar resolution and produces amazing output.
If you can’t afford these high-end displays, then go for a good full HD display. Most mid-range laptops come with a full HD display. Just be sure to check the quality of the display before you sign the dotted lines.
Another important thing to note is to get a display with an IPS panel. If you’re serious about photo editing then nothing else will be good enough for you.
An IPS panel will good you good color accuracy and truly impressive viewing angles. Both TN and VA panels might sound like a good idea to your wallet, but they’ll not be one for your photo editing projects.
Simply put, you should be fine with 512GB of storage space on your laptop. This is neither too big nor too small for your photo editing machine.
But it is a bit more complicated than that. The type of storage you have on your laptop is more important than the capacity of the drive.
Always go for a solid state drive when hunting for storage. The old and slow hard disk drives are mechanical and will make things slow and sluggish.
SSDs are fast as they come with excellent reading and writing speeds. Good quality SSDs even come with reading and writing speeds above 1Gb/s which is just brilliant.
But the catch here is that SSDs are a lot more expensive than HDDs. So getting huge SSDs will significantly increase the cost of your laptop. If you’re on a tight budget, go for small size SSD like a 128GB one.
The setup we recommend is a 256GB solid state drive coupled with a 512GB or a 1TB hard disk drive. This combo is called a hybrid drive and it gives you both space and also the speed you need.
Your laptop must have excellent connectivity options.
If you’re a photographer, then your laptop needs to have an SD card slot to transfer all the photos you’ve taken on to your laptop. The MacBook Pro is notorious for not having this port, but you can manage there with an adapter.
The laptop should also come with a USB Type C port as they are super speedy when it comes to transferring data in and out of your laptop. You will also need an HDMI port on your laptop so that you can connect it to a better external display.
A high-speed internet connection is super important these days so make sure your laptop comes with 802.11ac or 802.11ax WiFi built-in. This way, you can get very high internet speeds without the need for an Ethernet cable.
The presence of Bluetooth is also an essential one. If your laptop has Bluetooth 5.0, then you will enjoy excellent range and can connect more devices at the same time.
If you’re a beginner who will work on simple projects for the time being, then you will be fine with an integrated graphics card.
Having a dedicated graphics card is essential if you are a professional who works on huge Adobe Lightroom projects. The ‘Develop’ module makes use of the GPU and reduces the strain on the CPU in some other areas as well.
A good graphics card is also needed when you’re dealing with a high-resolution display. You can’t run a 4K display and run Adobe Lightroom with a complex project with just a mediocre graphics card.
As a minimum, go with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card. If you want better results you can go with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 or better.
If you’re taking the AMD route, go with an AMD Radeon Pro M5000 graphics card or the latest VEGA series GPU.
This is a matter of personal preference.
Adobe Lightroom is available in both Windows and macOS. If you’re a Linux user, then you might want to switch to any of the other operating systems.
This is another important criteria that will decide the laptop you’re going to get.
If you don’t have any budget constraints, then you can go with the best laptop for Adobe Lightroom there is.
But if you are in a tight budget, then we suggest checking out our budget option.
There is no reason why you can’t edit photos on a budget laptop. There will be some difficulties, but you can do it if you have the patience and determination to make it as a photo editor.
That brings us to the end of this post.
We listed the best laptops for Adobe Lightroom and told you why we like them. We truly hope they were of some help to you.
If you have any doubts or questions, do get in touch with us using the contact page.
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