Best Laptop for Video & Photo Editing 2017

Nowadays, most of the existing smartphones are designed with a built-in capability to allow users to edit a simple video, exactly as they would do with most of the laptops. However, when more serious photo and video editing is needed, these devices require an upgrade. You probably observed that gaming, photo and video editing is an intensive task. Therefore, most laptops have become powerful and adaptable devices that are capable of handling this task. However, only a few laptops show good results for such job.

When you are trying to find such a laptop, there are a few things that you need to pay attention to, such as processing power, memory, hard drive space and graphics card. Parts such as the processor, storage, RAM and display have an important role in this equation. Generally, you should look for a laptop that contains a powerful processor, for example i5 or i7, high RAM, such as one of 8GB or 16GB, and a full HD screen resolution. Such a screen resolution offers a crystal-clear view that is required for media editing and for appealing movies.

Our main concern in here is on displays and we will focus on their size, panel type, resolution and calibration. We will also discuss about the performance perspective and we’ll evaluate your need for processing power, storage and memory.

Display

Resolution  A higher resolution offers a better looking picture and it provides you with more features. When choosing a notebook or laptop for photo editing, the minimum recommendation is a full HD or 1,920×1,080 pixels, otherwise known as 1080p. However, you would most likely prefer investing in a system with even higher resolution, as it will give you the opportunity to see as much detail as possible. It is preferable that you choose a minimum of full HD resolution of 1920x1080p, as this provides you with more than two million pixels to use. If you are able to get a more expensive laptop, then you would get even more pixels. For example, a MacBook Pro offers more than double the amount of pixels than a standard 1080P laptop does.

One of the ultra-high resolution laptop available on the market is Apple’s MacBook Pro, which features a resolution of 2,880×1,800. This is followed by the 13-inch MacBook Pro, with a resolution of 2,560×1,600. Windows offers devices with even higher resolutions, such as the 14-inch Razer Blade and Aorus A3 Plus v3, with 3,200×1,800 pixels, and the Dell XPS 15, with a resolution of 3,840×2,160, which is also known as 4K or quadruple 1080p. Since this assembly was announced in the press in June 2015, Toshiba has announced its first 4K convertible, which is the Satellite Radius 15 Ultra HD Edition.

Screen size: Conventional laptop display screen sizes are 13.3”, 14”, 15.6”and 17.3”. The larger the display screen, the more comfort it will provide for the user at a desktop or workstation for things like lengthy image editing. In general, if you decide to increase the size of your display screen, by changing one size up or one size down, it shouldn’t cause you much difficulty. However, if your considering move from a 15.6” screen to a 17.3” size, then it could have an effect on the life of your battery and also be heavier and bulkier to carry around.

Types of Displays:  The resolution of a display is just one specification. The LCD panel is the thing which dictates the quality of images displayed on a screen. TN (twisted nematic) panels are usually more common in the entry-level styles of laptop, but these should be avoided because of the limitations in their viewing angles. Colors can fade or change their appearance when viewed on these type of screens from the side rather than straight ahead.

A more popular choice is those with an IPS (in-plane switching) or rarer yet, the IGZO (indium-gallium zinc oxide) displays. These are commonly preferred for any photographic work. The IGZO technology can be found in laptops such as the (Lenovo) Y70 Touch or (Aorus) X3 Plus. Either of these have almost unlimited angles for viewing and also lack the color fade or shift of those with TN displays.

It is true that display colors can shift in time, but they can also be calibrated to show more accuracy in color. This is particularly vital when image editing or even when web-browsing. Calibration is achieved through using an external colorimeter. The Lenovo ThinkPad  W540 has an in-built X-Rite calibrator in the palm rest, which makes it fairly easy to fine-tune the display to match the Pantone color chart.

Accurate Color Reproduction: For getting accurate color reproduction, it is important to pay attention to the monitor’s panel. Most laptops use twisted nematic (TN) panel monitors. These types of monitors have 6 bits per RGB color and they don’t produce true color. Starting with 2014, more laptop options became available, and they include IPS panel monitor, which offer the needed 8-12 bits per RGB color, which can accurately reproduce 16.7 million colors.

Although these factors above are not very important for those who can connect a photo editing monitor to their laptop, they are essential for those who are spending a lot of time on the road and need to work solely on the laptop.

Is touchscreen good for Video & Photo Editing?

While it is a concern that many touch screens are not up to par with laptop performance in the video post production arena, this is largely due to touch screen tablet’s, and even laptop’s, inability to successfully run high-powered editing and compositing software. Traditionally, this type of software is not compatible with touch screen gestures, further complicating their usage.

Touch screen features do have some editing benefits. This includes the capability to quickly swipe through various media, to efficiently mark ins and outs, and build simple rough cuts. However, most editing features will still be easier to access using traditional means, including a keyboard and mouse. This does not negate the fact that other editing features, such as the rough cutting process, may be more suited to a touch screen experience.

Adobe’s most recent update, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Character Animator, all came with some level of touch screen compatibility and interactive interfaces. This reflects Adobe’s hope that more touch screen computers and tablets will be upgraded enough to successfully use their software as intended. In addition, Adobe seems to be preempting the fact that many devices are including touch screen capabilities.

PROCESSOR

Most of the intel-based notebooks or laptops come fully-equipped with dual-core processors, which are low-voltage and notably “U” class battery-friendly, like the i5-5200U. These are ideally suited for things like photo editing on a more casual basis, but the more juice-hungry editing creators require a quad-core processor CPU, similar to that of the Core i7-4720HQ which work muck quicker when working with or applying complicated Adobe Photoshop filters or when working with an HDR image.

RAM

When working with so many high resolution images at the same time, photo editing work has a way of getting a large part of the memory. As a matter of fact, we recommend a minimum of 8GB for your next notebook and if you will working with raw files, 16GB is better. Since laptop’s RAM is more expensive than that of a desktop, it is recommended to order for a laptop with considerable memory and you can then add to it. Those that sell laptop charge higher than what you spend on upgrading RAM.

STORAGE

Storage drive performance is not as important when it comes to photo editing, but if you are talking about video editing then that is a different story altogether. Having said that, it is still important to have a good SSD for your primary storage. “Scratch disks” can be used for editing photos in Photoshop or similar, as these benefit from the improved speeds for reading and writing which is offered from the SSD’s, that which is not necessarily offered from the more traditional hard drives.

Laptops in these instances are limited to 7200rpm drives (which remains standard on most desktops), they get way too hot and far too noisy for any standard laptop use. So, generally speaking it usually comes down to a choice of using a slow 5400rpm drive (which can bottleneck or stall when used for image editing), or an SSD (which is ideal, but doesn’t hold sufficient data). Optimally, you will get a system which has a fast SSD and a slower but larger hard drive together. A hybrid drive whereby you have an SSD cache combined with a standard drive would be the next best thing. This combo (SDD + HDD), in my view, would be the best choice, giving you two drives working at the same time. It would also be a great way to improve your I/O speed. You would have data on one drive, and Adobe docs would help you locate the caches on the other.

Graphics card

Generally speaking, when it comes to a graphics card, you really don’t need that much. Any low to mid-range AMD or NVIDIA 3D platform accelerator will do the job. Over the last 12 months, integrated graphics have come on in leaps and bounds, and for many, they no longer need a dedicated GPU. This is particularly true for the Intel fourth Generation, processors (i5 and i7) which have integrated IIG (Intel Iris Graphics). From a Photoshop perspective, it only uses 3D acceleration for a select number of operations, so you don’t really need to add video cards to gain any benefit from performance. Currently, Lightroom doesn’t use it much either, but they will definitely continue adding more ways to utilize it with GPU processing becoming more widespread in many things,

Based on your specific software requirements, it is possible you may still need a dedicated graphics card with a bit of power. If this particular specification is a priority for you, then we would recommend you check out our post which gives a list of the top gaming laptops based on their prices.

Our Recommendation of Best Laptop for Photo&Video Editing

There were still some clear leaders in the market when we last checked this out in 2016, but, since then we have updated our list and there are some clear champions in the mix who are returning with their updated versions. But, there are also a few newcomers who are pushing their way onto our list.

The comparison of Top five laptop for for Photo&Video Editing

  #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Models Dell XPS 15 Apple Macbook Pro Surface Book Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW MSI GE62 & GE72 Apache
Screen Size 15.6 inch (Touch screen, IPS) 15.6 inch (IPS) 13.5 inch(Touch screen, IPS) 15.6 inch (Touch screen, IPS) 15.6 inch/ 17.3 inch (IPS)
Display Resolution 3840 x 2160 (4K) 2880×1800 3000 x 2000 3840 x 2160 (4K) 1920 x 1080
Processor Intel Core i7-6700HQ Intel i7 2.2 or 2.5GHz 6th Intel i5/i7 Intel Core i7-6700HQ Intel Core i7-6700HQ
Graphic Card NVIDIA GTX 960M (2GB DDR5) Intel Iris Pro or AMD Radeon R9 M370X Intel HD graphics/ NVIDIA GeForce graphics NVIDIA GTX 960M (2GB DDR5) NVIDIA GTX 960M / 970M
Ram 32GB DDR4 16GB DDR3

8GB/16GBDDR3

16GB DDR4 8/12/16 GB DDR4
Hard Drive 1TB SSD 256GB/512GB SSD 256GB/512GB/
1TB SSD
512GB SSD 128GB SSD/1TB HDD
Keyboard Backlit Keyboard Backlit Keyboard Backlit Keyboard Backlit Keyboard Backlit Keyboard
Input/Output 2 x USB 3.0
1 x Thunderbolt3
Bluetooth 4.1
HDMI
2 x USB 3.0
2 x Thunderbolt 2
Bluetooth 4.0
HDMI
2 x USB3.0
Bluetooth 4.0
HDMI
3 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 3.1 Type C
1 x Thunderbolt3
Bluetooth 4.0
HDMI
2 x USB 3.0
1 x USB2.0
1 x USB3.1
Bluetooth 4.0
HDMI
Battery Life 6-cell
Up to 10 hours
Up to 9 hours Up to 12 hours Up to 6 hours 6 cell
Weight 4.5 lbs 4.49 lbs 3.34 lbs 5.0 lbs 5.29/5.95 lbs
Dimensions 14.06 x 9.27 x 0.45

14.13 x 9.73 x 0.71

12.30 x 9.14 x 0.51 15.10″ x 10.00″ x 0.80″ 15.07″ x 10.23″ x 1.06″/ 16.49″ x 11.02″ x 1.14″
More information on Amazon User Reviews on MicrosoftLimited time offer) | Amazon User Reviews on Amazon User Reviews on Amazon User Reviews on Amazon MSI GE62 | MSI GE72 (Amazon)

#1, Dell XPS 15

The models Dell has released have increasingly placed them in competition with Apple, and their XPS line is attractive to users who favor power and energy. The models themselves are of high-quality build, and cutting edge technology has enhanced their display units. It is the combination of these features that has enticed some Apple consumers to make the switch.

Dell XPS 15

Though 13″ ultrabooks have traditionally served my needs, I must admit I am a bit enamored with the Dell XPS 15. It’s premium build and quality graphics make it a top-notch choice for consumers.

This particular model excels in that it hosts a 4k touch screen that covers more than 100% of the Adobe RGB color spectrum. This places the Dell XPS 15 ahead with an innovative edge on the competition. Bezel is almost absent, allowing a smooth, high-quality screen experience that boasts vibrant graphics.

Dell XPS 15

Another benefit is its port availability. These come in the form of USB 3, full HDMI, and an SD card slot. In addition, there is a USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 port that is highly envied by many competitors. The inclusion of these ports have established the Dell XPS 15 as a solid competitor to Apple’s Macbook Pro line of products.

Last but not least, the Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core CPU,32GB of RAM, 1TB GB SSD and NVIDIA GTX 960m GPU allow this laptop to easily process all your photo and video editing projects, it also includes the 4k video rendering in programs like Adobe Premier. The latest games are found at your fingertips, with classics such as “Rise of the Tomb Raider” or “The Division.” However, these cannot be played at 4k with high or ultra settings.

The ample storage, speed, and quality graphics make the Dell XPS 15 a top-notch choice among professional photographers who work with large files. Filmmakers have also found this particular model attractive due to its unique ability to render 4k video files in Adobe Premier. However, if portability is more important for you, perhaps the Dell XPS 13 might better suit your needs.

>>More information and user reviews on Microsoft<< (Limited time offer)

#2, Apple Macbook Pro 15-inch with Retina Display

Professional photographers continue to choose the Apple Macbook Pro 15-inch with Retina Display time and time again, confirming it as our first choice for the year 2016.

Apple Macbook Pro 15-inch with Retina Display

One reason this is the first choice among professional photographers include Macbook’s consistent, high-quality display. Instead of creating hit-and-miss models, Apple has been relentless when it comes to improving color gamut and laptop display. The dedication to enhancing resolution puts Apple ahead of other suppliers, and has earned it the first choice laptop for the year. For photography enthusiasts worldwide, the Retina Display is indispensable for viewing and editing photographs.

This 15-inch model is packed with power, including the quad-core Intel Core i7. Hence, editing photographs is easily accomplished, and the integrated SSD accomplishes the same effect for the OS. The 2.2GHz i7 CPU model boasts a 256GB SSD, but serious photographers will find that a extra $500 will supply them with everything they need. For this amount, consumers will gain access to a 2.5GHz i7 CPU, 512GB SSD and dedicated Nvidia graphics. However, 512GB is the maximum storage available, highlighting the need to purchase external storage for large projects. It is not uncommon for professionals who utilize the MBP to have multiple Thunderbolt external hard drives, ensuring there is ample space for storing images and backing them up.

Frequent travelers may find that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is a more suitable and lighter-weight option. Though it is lightweight, it is still high quality, featuring a full 16GB of RAM. The most obvious drawback, however, is viewing and editing photographs on a smaller screen. In addition, it does not contain as many ports.

>>More information and user reviews on Amazon<<

#3, Surface Book

 Surface Book

As far as laptops have been considered, I’ve been a loyal Apple user for a long time. However, Microsoft’s new Surface Book contains some features making it to be a real monster for photo editing.

The first feature is a fabulous 13.5-inch IPS touch display, coming in a resolution of 3000×2000 and a PPI of 267. Not only does this put it up to par with the Retina Display MacBook, but gives it a leading edge. The Surface Book has also been equipped with Intel Skylake Core i5 and i7 processors, as well as high-end NVIDIA GPUs. Combined with a choice of 8GB or 16GB RAM, Microsoft has introduced a high-end option into the equation.

 Surface Book

With these factors in mind, let’s take a look at the price. The base model — with an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and no dedicated GPU — is sold at $1500. When you start calculating the addition of the higher-end hardware, such as i7 processors, dedicated GPUs, and greater memory, the price skyrockets, hitting up to $3200 for a version with 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, an i7 processor, and a dedicated GPU.

Surface Book

Perhaps what’s most important is how the Surface Book looks in terms of a viable option for professional photographers. Its performance levels are more than promising for those who need to view and edit photos and videos. The hardware and high-specs make it a premium option, complete with the ability to edit as many 4K videos as necessary. If you perform some light to medium compositing and color work, everything will be exported within a mannerly time frame. In short, the Surface Book is a high quality option, and its performance will not disappoint.

The most innovate feature of these laptops may be the wide color gamut display. In essence, this is arguably the most advanced display currently available to consumers. The outstanding resolution places this device in its own league, and it is highly impressive, especially for the machine’s size. However, to achieve the maximum desired effect one has to adjust the screen to the somewhat awkward aspect ratio of 3:2. On the other hand, this vertically oriented perspective may come in handy when considering specific applications.

There are many Windows-oriented touch screen options. However, the Surface Book distinguishes itself by its ability for professional video production. The high specifications and dedicated GPU enhance the overall performance of the Surface Book, making it a top choice for many consumers.

Thus, this Windows laptop/tablet has continued to make a splash on the market, and is one of the leading devices to date. The machine’s easy portability, along with its high specs, raise the price, but professionals will be well reimbursed by the machine’s high-quality performance.

>>More information and user reviews on Amazon<<

#4, Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW

It’s undeniable that some professionals, such as architects and directors, may find more use in the traditional PC. However, this does not mean that no benefit can be derived from a laptop, and you need to cost more than 2,000 dollars to get one. One such laptop is Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW. This captivating option features an Intel Core i7 CPU, 512GB SSD, 16GB DDR4 RAM and Nvidia 960M dedicated graphics. The price for this complete package is a mere $1499, saving the consumer at least $500 more than if a MacBook Pro or Dell XPS 15 was purchased. Even more ideal, its high-res UHD touch screen creates a sense of ease with which photos and videos can be edited. This device is made with a solid, aluminum unibody frame, and is an ideal option for many consumers.

Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW

The ZenBook Pro’s display is cutting edge, complete with a 15.6-inch 3840 x 2160 UHD touch screen. These qualities make it attractive to photo and video editors who are not completely enamored by Apple products. Minus a very slight blue tint, both videos and pictures look almost identical on the ZenBook Pro’s display as they do on my professionally calibrated NEC desktop monitor.

The ZenBook Pro’s color gamut came in at outstanding, and is able to reproduce 110 percent of the sRGB color gamut. Usually, anything  above 100 percent is ideal, but in this case the ZenBook Pro showed up the MacBook Pro by a full 86 percent. Despite this landmark accomplishment, the ZenBook Pro did not quite stand up to the vibrant displays on the Dell XPS 15, which came in at 191 percent. In addition, the Ativ Book 9 Pro was featured at 130 percent.

When compare the color accuracy of similar systems, the ZenBook Pro earned a Delta-E rating of 4.37. However, numbers closer to zero are deemed more desirable. Even though its color accuracy was not quite up to par with Dell’s XPS 15 (0.7) and Apple’s MacBook Pro (2.1), the ZenBook Pro did indeed outshine Samsung’s Ativ Book 9 Pro (9.5).

Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW

The Asus ZenBook UX501VW-DS71T is a very desirable option, giving other competitors a run for their money. In addition, it is hundreds of dollars less than similar devices offered by companies like Apple and Dell. For a $1,500 laptop, its performance and endurance is ultimately impeccable. If you need a professional but affordable laptop for photo & video editing, the UX501 will be your choice!

>>More information and user reviews on Amazon<<

#5, MSI GE62 & GE72 Apache

The GE62 comes in at a total of $1,100, and the starting price for the GE72 is $1,300. Both options include a quad core i7,  16GB of RAM, 128 GB SSD and NVIDIA GTX 960M graphics. To sweeten the deal, both feature a full HD 1920 x 1080 matte IPS display. However, they do not include touch screens. When considering it is a high-functioning gaming laptop that can handle demanding apps like Adobe Premiere Pro, this is a reasonable price. MSI laptops are specially designed for gaming purposes. The heat generated during intense gaming sessions is well managed, as is noise. For example, there’s no thermal throttling when gaming. Thus, the combination of gamer oriented tuning, an optical drive, on-board Ethernet, and generous port selections are features that set the Apache line apart from the XPS 15, 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display, as well as other slim and lightweight laptops similar to the Apache.

MSI GE62 & GE72 Apache

Each of these models has the Intel i7-6700HQ core processor giving it a speed of 2.6GHz, but with the additional Turbo Boost, it can reach 3.5GHz. For the user, this means it can cope with heavy-duty formulas in Excel, video exporting, large software compiles and pretty much most things that are CPU-intensive, without too much effort at all. Its dedicated graphics will support playing some of the high-demand 3D titles, with frame rates of 45-60 fps at a high setting. They have a NVIDIA GTX 960M and offer the user a powerful laptop choice. They are similar to that of the Asus ZenBook Pro UX501 and the Dell XPS15 Infinity, which are aimed at business users and the Pro apps market, centering on Adobe CC ms. The GTX 970M option however, is the more powerful laptop for those who are serious gamers.

MSI GE62 & GE72 Apache

Both of these models come with a 1920×1080 IPS non-touch matte display, the high pixel density gives the impression of a sharper screen view. The 15.6 inch GE62 model offered a brighter display measuring 290 nits (brightness) against the 17 inch GE72 version at 260 nits. The color gamut on both models was pretty good, which covers 73% Adobe RGB and 94% of the sRGB spectrum, It’s true that neither of these are full Adobe RGB gamut displays, unlike that of the pricier Dell XPS 15 which has a 4k Infinity screen. But, they do provide the sRGB spectrum for those professionals who work with graphics and video on the web. Read More: (Standard Gamut or Wide Gamut?) The default color calibration setting isn’t great (MSI has an app for color setting), but it can be calibrated near perfection easily. For professional work, such as video editing and photo editing, the display is more than adequate. Black levels were reasonable, but they were not outstanding at 0.4. Contrast was also acceptable at 550:1. The higher-priced XPS 15 from Dell has a full HD display, contrast ratios at 1200:1 and 0.34 black levels.

For those designers who need to work on video or photo editing, or you are an online gamer, MSI Apache Pro GE62 & GE72  would be an ideal choice.

>>More information and user reviews on Amazon: MSI GE62 | MSI GE72<<

2 Comments

  1. Peter

    I see the same laptops mentioned over and over again which is reassuring of course – if the Dell XPS 15 is considered good enough , what are your thoughts on the Dell Precision 4k 7710 and 4k7510 ?

    Reply
    1. juan

      suck my dick peter

      Reply

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