Best Budget Photo Editing Laptop – 7 Options To Consider

Photography and photo editing are now more accessible and popular than ever before in the digital age. Having the perfect laptop for photo editing is vital whether you’re a professional photographer, a hobbyist, or someone who simply enjoys enhancing their images. However, not everyone can afford high-end laptop computers with exorbitant price tags. This post will walk you through seven fantastic budget-friendly picture editing laptop solutions that will not break the bank.

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A good picture editing laptop is essential in this age of visual storytelling. However, you don’t have to pay a boatload to have an outstanding photo editing performance. This post will look at the finest low-cost solutions for picture editing laptops that provide excellent value for money.

Understanding the Requirements for Photo Editing Laptops

Best Budget Photo Editing Laptop
Best Budget Photo Editing Laptop

Before getting into our choices for low-cost picture editing laptops, it’s important to understand the basic characteristics that make a laptop suited for this creative endeavor. To offer a smooth and effective editing experience, photo editing requires specific hardware features. Here are the main points to consider:

Display with High Resolution:

The display on a laptop is your window into the digital world of photography. Choose a laptop with a high-quality display, preferably one with Full HD (1920×1080) or better resolution. A high-resolution screen allows you to view tiny details and precisely evaluate color reproduction.

Strong Processor:

The processor is at the core of your laptop and is essential for picture editing operations. Search for laptops with Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processors. These processors provide the processing capacity required to execute editing instructions quickly and apply filters without lag.

An abundance of RAM (Random Access Memory):

RAM is the space on your laptop where data is temporarily stored for processing. When editing high-resolution photographs, having adequate RAM to retain several layers and modifications in memory is critical. A minimum of 8GB of RAM is suggested, but for smoother multitasking, choose laptops with 16GB or more.

Graphics Dedicated:

While integrated graphics can handle simple photo editing activities, specialized graphics cards offer a significant performance gain. Look for laptops that have NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon graphics cards. These cards speed up image rendering and overall editing speed.

Enough storage:

Photo files can be rather huge, particularly when working with RAW photographs. Choose a laptop with Solid State Drive (SSD) storage to ensure smooth editing and speedy file access. SSDs are noticeably faster than traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) for loading and saving photos.

Key Features to Look for in a Budget Photo Editing Laptop

When you’re on a tight budget but still want a laptop that can handle picture editing chores well, it’s critical to prioritize features that will ensure a smooth and fun editing experience. The following are the key elements to consider:

Display with High Resolution:

For photo editing, a high-resolution display is essential. Look for a laptop with a screen that is Full HD (1920×1080) or greater in resolution. This allows you to examine your photographs in great detail and make precise modifications while measuring color and contrast.

Strong Processor:

The CPU is your laptop’s engine, responsible for quickly completing complex editing tasks. Aim for an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor in a low-cost laptop. These processors achieve an excellent mix between price and speed, ensuring that your editing software operates seamlessly.

Sufficient RAM (Random Access Memory):

RAM is essential for multitasking and dealing with huge image files. While 8GB of RAM is the bare minimum for photo editing, computers with 16GB or more offer considerably better performance. More RAM enables you to work on several images and applications at the same time without slowing down.

Graphics Card Dedicated:

While integrated graphics may handle basic photo editing, a standalone graphics card can dramatically improve the speed of your laptop. Look for NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon graphics cards in laptops. These cards improve the overall editing experience by speeding up image rendering.

Rapid and Reliable Storage (SSD):

When working with huge image files, storage speed is critical. Choose a laptop with a Solid State Drive (SSD). SSDs are faster and more responsive than standard HDDs, resulting in faster file access, faster boot times, and overall smoother performance.

Color Precision and Display Quality:

Note color accuracy and display quality. A laptop with an IPS (In-Plane Switching) panel produces more accurate colors and has wider viewing angles. For accurate picture editing, ensure that the laptop’s display covers a considerable amount of the sRGB color space.

Ports and connectivity:

Consider the number of USB ports available, including USB-C, HDMI, and SD card readers. These ports provide the connection of external devices such as cameras and monitors, allowing for a more adaptable workflow.

Construction Quality and Portability:

While not directly related to performance, the laptop’s build quality and portability are important. A well-made laptop with an ergonomic keyboard and trackpad can improve your overall user experience. Additionally, if you intend to edit images on the road, consider the weight and battery life of the laptop.

Top 7 Budget Photo Editing Laptops

When looking for a low-cost laptop for photo editing, it’s critical to do your research thoroughly. We’ve produced a list of the top 7 budget photo editing laptops that provide excellent performance while being affordable. Let us begin with the first three:

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series

Best Budget Photo Editing Laptop
Best Budget Photo Editing Laptop
  1. Intel Core i5 processor
  2. RAM: 8GB
  3. Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
  4. SSD storage of 256GB

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series achieves a good mix of price and performance. It comes equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD for instant access to your photographic files. This laptop’s Full HD display makes it a good choice for photo editing.

Acer Aspire 5

  1. AMD Ryzen 5
  2. RAM: 8GB
  3. Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8
  4. Storage: 256GB SSD

The Acer Aspire is snappy AMD Ryzen processor and Radeon Vega 8 graphics distinguishes 5. It has 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, so you can edit photos without breaking the bank.

HP Pavilion 15

  1. Processor: Intel Core i5
  2. RAM: 12GB
  3. Intel UHD Graphics
  4. Storage: 256GB SSD

The HP Pavilion 15 goes a step further with 12GB of RAM, allowing for more multitasking. Its Intel Core i5 processor and Full HD display make it an appealing option for budget-conscious photographers and editors.

Lenovo Ideapad L340

  • Processor: Intel Core i5
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Storage: 512GB SSD

The Lenovo Ideapad L340 distinguishes out among inexpensive options because of its dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. This makes it a dependable choice for more difficult photo editing tasks. It also has 8GB of RAM and a large 512GB SSD for seamless operation.

Asus VivoBook 15

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8
  • SSD storage of 512GB

The AMD Ryzen 5 processor and AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics on the Asus VivoBook 15 are impressive. It has 8GB of RAM for multitasking and a large 512GB SSD for quick storage access, making it a reliable choice for picture editing enthusiasts.

Microsoft Surface Go 2

  • Intel Pentium Gold processor
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
  • SSD storage of 128GB

The Microsoft Surface Go 2 is a lightweight solution that includes a detachable keyboard and a touch screen. While it has an Intel Pentium Gold processor, its tiny size makes it ideal for on-the-go photo editing. It has 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD for fast performance.

LG Gram 14

  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
  • SSD storage of 256GB

The LG Gram 14 stands out for its lightweight design and long battery life. It has an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, making it a brilliant choice for mobile picture editing. Because of its portability and battery longevity, it is ideal for photographers who are constantly on the move.

Comparing the Options

When selecting the best budget laptop for your picture editing needs, it’s critical to analyze the benefits and disadvantages of each option. Let’s compare these laptops based on the following criteria:

Display Resolution:

  • Full HD displays are available on the Dell Inspiron, HP Pavilion, and LG Gram 14, delivering clear and vibrant visuals.
  • Dedicated graphics cards are available in the Lenovo Ideapad and Asus VivoBook for enhanced visual rendering.
  • The Microsoft Surface Go 2 has a touch screen display, which is great for mobile creative work.

Processing Capacity:

  • AMD Ryzen CPUs, which excel at multitasking and performance, are found in the Acer Aspire, Lenovo Ideapad, and Asus VivoBook.
  • Intel Core powers Dell Inspiron and HP i5 CPUs, which provide dependable computing capability.
  • The Microsoft Surface Go 2 and LG Gram 14 offer a wonderful blend of portability and computational capability.
  1. The Microsoft Surface Go 2 and LG Gram 14 are both extremely portable alternatives that are ideal for on-the-go editing.
  2. The Acer Aspire and Lenovo Ideapad provide a good balance of performance and portability.
  3. Dell Inspiron and HP Pavilion offer a conventional laptop form size with a performance focus.
Capabilities in Graphics:
  1. The Lenovo Ideapad and Asus VivoBook have specialized graphics cards (NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon) that improve picture editing performance.
  2. Dell Inspiron and HP Pavilion use integrated Intel UHD Graphics, which are adequate for basic editing operations.
  3. For lightweight and mobile use, the Microsoft Surface Go 2 and LG Gram 14 include integrated graphics.

Storage Space:

  • Lenovo Ideapad, Asus VivoBook, and LG Gram 14 all have 512GB SSDs for plenty of capacity.
  • Dell Inspiron, Acer Aspire, and HP Pavilion all include a 256GB SSD, which provides adequate storage capacity.
  • The Microsoft Surface Go 2 has a small 128GB SSD that is appropriate for light editing work.

Additional features include:

  1. The detachable keyboard and touch screen of the Microsoft Surface Go 2 add to its versatility.
  2. LG Gram 14 has a strong battery life for extended use away from power sources.

Pros and Cons of Each Laptop

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series


Price point is reasonable.
With an Intel Core i5 processor, performance is adequate.
Full HD resolution for precise image editing.
Quick file access with a 256GB SSD.


Intel UHD graphical 620 has limited graphical capabilities.
8GB of RAM may be insufficient for heavy multitasking.

Acer Aspire 5


Budget-friendly alternative with AMD Ryzen processor.
AMD Radeon Vega 8 visuals that are responsive.
For seamless performance, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD are used.
Full HD monitor for precise editing.


There are no dedicated visuals for sophisticated editing tasks.
Large image files have a limited storage capacity.

HP Pavilion 15


12GB of RAM for multitasking.
Intel Core i5 CPU for dependable performance.
Full HD display with rich colors.
256GB SSD for quick storage access.


It has inbuilt Intel UHD Graphics.
Slightly heavier than some competitors.

Lenovo Ideapad L340


Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics for sophisticated editing.
The Intel Core i5 processor delivers excellent performance.
Storage capacity of 512GB SSD.
Full HD monitor with good color accuracy.


Costlier than some other cheap options.
The battery life may not be as lengthy as that of other laptops.

Asus VivoBook 15


AMD Ryzen processor for multitasking.
AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPUs for improved image rendering.
A 512GB SSD provides plenty of storage space.
Full HD display for fine editing operations.


It may be slightly heavier than some competitors.
There is a lack of dedicated graphics for complex tasks.

Microsoft Surface Go 2


With a detachable keyboard, it is extremely portable.
Touch screen display for creative versatility.
Excellent performance for on-the-go editing.
The design is compact and lightweight.


Intel Pentium Gold processor.
Smaller storage capacity (128GB SSD).
It may not be ideal for resource-intensive editing operations.

LG Gram 14


Extremely light and portable.
Extended battery life for extended usage.
The Intel Core i5 processor delivers consistent performance.
256GB SSD for quick storage access.


The integrated Intel UHD Graphics may hinder sophisticated editing capabilities.
RAM is limited (8GB) for multitasking.

Each laptop on our list has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, and the best option relies on your unique requirements, whether it’s performance, portability, or price constraints. Weigh your priorities while choosing the laptop that best meets your photo editing needs.

Factors to Consider When Making Your Choice

Editing Needs and Style:

Consider the difficulty of your photo editing chores. If you primarily work with basic adjustments and small image files, a laptop with integrated graphics may be sufficient. Choose a laptop with dedicated graphics for more advanced editing, including as retouching and 3D rendering.

Budgetary Constraints:

Set a budget and stick to it. These budget laptops come in a variety of price ranges, so pick one that fits your budget while fulfilling your performance requirements.

Performance vs. portability:

Determine the importance of portability in your operation. If you’re constantly on the go and need a lightweight and compact laptop, the Microsoft Surface Go 2 and LG Gram 14 are intriguing possibilities. If performance is critical, machines such as the Lenovo Ideapad L340 and the Asus VivoBook 15 include dedicated graphics for superior visual rendering.

Display Resolution:

The display quality of the laptop is critical for proper photo editing. Check that the laptop has a high-resolution (Full HD or greater) display with good color accuracy. A brighter screen with a wider color spectrum is excellent.

Storage necessities:

Examine your storage requirements. If you work with a lot of high-resolution photographs, get a laptop with a huge SSD. However, if you’re used to using external storage, a smaller SSD may be sufficient.

Requirements for multitasking:

Think about your multitasking tendencies. Choose a laptop with plenty of RAMs (16GB or more) if you frequently have many applications open while editing.

Ergonomics and build quality:

Consider the build quality, keyboard comfort, and trackpad responsiveness of the laptop. A comfortable and well-built laptop can enhance your editing experience.

Life of the battery:

If you frequently work on the go, battery life is critical. Models like as the LG Gram 14 have a longer battery life, which reduces the need for regular charging.


Think about how long you plan to use the laptop for photo editing. If you want a laptop that will endure for years, go for one with high-end features that can handle future software updates and growing editing demands.

Expert Recommendations and User Reviews:

Read user evaluations and get expert advice to determine real-world performance and dependability. Users’ experiences can provide useful information about how these laptops work in real-world scenarios.

You may confidently choose the best budget picture editing laptop for you by carefully examining these variables and aligning them with your specific needs and tastes. Whether you value performance, mobility, or price, there’s a laptop on this list that will improve your photo editing efforts without breaking the bank.

Setting Up Your Budget Photo Editing Laptop

It is critical to set up your budget photo editing laptop appropriately in order for it to work smoothly and efficiently. Here are the actions to take:

Inspection and unboxing:

Unbox your new laptop with care and inspect it for physical damage. Make certain that all accessories and components are present.

Initial Start-Up:

Connect your laptop and turn it on. To complete the initial setup procedure, which involves selecting your language, region, and connecting to Wi-Fi, follow the on-screen directions.

Updates to the operating system:

Check for any operating system updates once the initial setup is complete. Updating your operating system is critical for improved security and performance.

Updates to Drivers:

Check the laptop manufacturer’s website for driver upgrades. Installing the most recent drivers for your laptop’s components, including graphics, audio, and touchpad, can improve performance and functionality.

Security and antivirus software:

To safeguard your laptop from malware and online risks, use trusted antivirus and security software. Maintain up-to-date antivirus software for real-time protection.

Installation of Software:

Install your favorite photo editing software, whether it’s Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, GIMP, or anything else. Check for updates within the application to ensure that your software is likewise up to date.

Calibration of Your Display:

Consider calibrating your laptop’s display with a color calibration kit or software to obtain accurate color representation. This phase is critical for ensuring that the image on the screen corresponds to the final printed or displayed image.

Backup Plan:

Create a backup plan to protect your work. Backup your modified images on a regular basis to an external device or cloud storage to avoid data loss.

Configure Preferences:

Customize your photo editing software’s choices and settings to meet your workflow. Setting up keyboard shortcuts, altering workspace layouts, and defining color profiles are some examples.

Boost Performance:

Consider the following to improve your laptop’s photo editing performance:

  • When plugged in, change the power settings to “High-Performance.”
  • While editing, keep any superfluous background applications closed.
  • To free up memory, keep an eye on RAM consumption and close unnecessary applications.
  • Perform disk maintenance and clean up temporary files on a regular basis.
  • Consider using an external monitor to expand your screen space.
Maintenance on a regular basis:

Perform routine maintenance chores like as software, driver, and operating system updates. Maintain the physical cleanliness of your laptop by cleaning dust and debris from the keyboard and vents.

Make a Workflow:

Create a well-organized process for your photo editing duties. Organize your files, design a file naming and storage structure, and establish a consistent editing procedure.

By following these procedures and correctly maintaining your budget picture editing laptop, you can ensure that it continues to function ideally and efficiently satisfy your editing demands. Keep in mind that a well-maintained laptop will not only increase your productivity but will also increase the longevity of your equipment.

Tips for Efficient Photo Editing on a Budget Laptop

Organize Your Workspace:

Optimize the workspace of your photo editing software. Customize toolbars, arrange panels, and create keyboard shortcuts for frequently used functions.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts:

Learn and use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your editing process. This eliminates dependency on resource-intensive mouse actions.

Smart File Management:

Organize your image files into well-organized folders. Create a uniform naming system for your files to make it easier to find and manage them.

Use Proxy Images:

When working with large image files, make smaller proxy images for first editing and modifications. This lessens the pressure on your laptop’s resources.

Intelligent Preview Mode:

When making first modifications, use “Smart Preview” or “Draft Mode” in photo editing software. This mode displays a lower-resolution version of your image, which speeds up editing.

Processing in batches:

Use batch processing to apply the same adjustments to numerous photos at the same time. This saves time and lessens the strain on your laptop.

Image Size Optimization:

When sharing photographs online or when high resolution isn’t required, resize them to lesser proportions. This minimizes the computational strain on your laptop.

Non-Destroy Editing:

When feasible, use non-destructive editing procedures. Non-destructive adjustments can be made and undone without harming the source image.

Save your work on a regular basis:

Save your progress on a frequent basis to avoid data loss in the event of an unexpected crash or power interruption.

Layer Administration:

Keep the amount of layers in your editing project to a minimal. Reduce RAM utilization by merging or rasterizing unneeded layers.

Use GPU Acceleration:

If your budget laptop has a dedicated graphics card, select GPU acceleration in your editing software settings to outsource some processing duties to the GPU, enhancing performance.

Limit Background Processes:

Close unneeded background processes and applications to free up system resources for your editing software.

Keep track of resource usage:

While editing, keep an eye on the resources being used by your laptop. Task Manager (Windows) and Activity Monitor (Mac) can assist you in identifying resource-intensive apps.

Clean Your Laptop on a Regular Basis:

Clean your laptop’s cooling system, including vents and fans, to avoid overheating, which can cause performance throttling.

Back Up Your Work:

Implement a solid backup strategy to avoid data loss. Backup your altered photos on a regular basis to external disks or cloud storage.

Maintain Your Patience and practice:

Editing efficiently on a low-cost laptop may necessitate a bit more patience. With practice and familiarity with your software, you can streamline your workflow and easily reach your editing goals.

Remember that when used properly, even low-cost computers can function wonderfully. You can achieve excellent results in your photo editing pursuits without the need for high-end hardware by adopting these strategies and improving your workflow.

Best Budget Photo Editing Laptop
Best Budget Photo Editing Laptop


To summarize, finding the best budget laptop for picture editing is achievable, and it is a cost-effective approach to pursue your creative interests. You can choose a laptop that meets your individual needs by taking into account elements such as your editing needs, budget, and portability requirements.

The laptops we’ve talked about, such as the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series, Acer Aspire 5, HP Pavilion 15, Lenovo Ideapad L340, Asus VivoBook 15, Microsoft Surface Go 2, and LG Gram 14, provide a variety of options to suit a variety of editing styles and budgets. Each laptop has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it is critical to select the one that best meets your requirements.

To get the most out of your budget laptop’s capabilities, remember to set it up appropriately, optimize your workflow, and use efficient editing habits. With dedication, practice, and the correct laptop, you may accomplish remarkable results in your picture editing tasks.


1. Can low-cost laptops be used for professional picture editing?
Depending on the complexity of your job, low-cost computers can be adequate for professional photo editing. Many low-cost computers are adequate for basic to intermediate editing work. Consider investing in a high-end laptop with dedicated graphics for advanced and resource-intensive work.

2. What should I look for in a low-cost laptop for photo editing?
Consider high-resolution displays, strong processors (Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5), enough RAM (8GB or more), dedicated graphics (NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon), and fast SSD storage. These factors contribute to a more enjoyable editing experience.

3. How can I boost the photo editing capability of my low-cost laptop?
Optimize your workflow, use keyboard shortcuts, manage files efficiently, and keep background activities to a minimum to increase efficiency. Also, make sure your laptop’s operating system, drivers, and photo editing software are all up to date.

4. Is a laptop with a touch screen useful for photo editing?
Touch screens can be useful for certain editing activities, since they allow for exact adjustments and creative interactions. However, it is not required for all photo editing operations, and it is a matter of personal preference.

5. Should I buy a picture editing laptop with a color-accurate display?
Color accuracy is essential for photo editing. Look for laptops with displays that cover a large amount of the sRGB color space and strong color calibration options. They also recommended that you calibrate your laptop’s display for proper editing.

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