I have curated this list of Best Laptop for Photoshop and Illustrator 2018 by keeping in mind the system requirements of Adobe Photoshop and other photo editing tools in the market. Photo Editing has turned into a major career path for many from just a mere hobby. It is absolutely important to have a laptop which is capable of running Photoshop, Illustrator and other editing tools smoothly. A good laptop not only runs things smoothly but also improves the productivity of the user.
If you’re heavily involved in video editing please check out our post: Best Laptop for Video Editing.
Some common questions that come to the mind while picking best laptop for Photoshop and Illustrator. (Please click on the questions to see my answers and explanation.)
- What is the required system specs to run Photoshop and Illustrator?
- Dual Core or Quad Core processor for Photoshop and Illustrator?
- How much RAM is enough for Photoshop and Illustrator? Is 8GB enough?
- Do photoshop and illustrator need a graphics card?
My list includes some of the best high-end laptops for photoshop along with budget-friendly options.
Best Laptop for Photoshop and Illustrator 2018
|Lenovo ThinkPad P51 ( Editor's Choice)||Check Price|
|Dell XPS9560-7001SLV-PUS||Check Price|
|Apple 15" MacBook Pro (Editor's choice for Best MacBook for Photoshop 2018)||Check Price|
|HP Pavilion 17.3" inches Full-HD (Best Laptop for Photoshop 2018 under 1500)||Check Price|
|Lenovo Ideapad 700 - 17.3" (Best Laptop for Photoshop 2018 under 1000)||Check Price|
|MSI GL62M 7RD-058 (Best Laptop for Photoshop 2018 under 800)||Check Price|
With Intel Quad Core i7-7700HQ Processor, NVIDIA Quadro M1200M (4GB Memory) Graphics card, ThinkPad P51 is capable of handling all that you throw at it. The 15 inch, P51 offered vibrant colors and sharp images in my tests. Fine details are easy to make out, and colors are rich. The keyboard is Lenovo characteristic a great one. In comparison to most other Notebook keyboards, it’s really a joy to type on it.
It features 32GB RAM and 1TB Solid State Drive which makes the reading-writing speed exceptional and Lenovo Thinkpad P51 is the swiftest laptop of its kind. The performance is great, even with multiple programs open. The system feels snappy and responsive.
Buying the Best Laptop for Photoshop 2018 is not easy. I have analyzed multiple different high-end machines and all have seen their ups and downsides. With the ThinkPad P51, Lenovo got a lot of things right. I would recommend it as the Best Laptop for Photoshop and Illustrator 2018.
Dell XPS9560 is the Smallest 15.6″ Laptop. The only 15-inch InfinityEdge display. The virtually borderless display maximizes screen space by accommodating a 15.6″ display inside a laptop closer to the size of a 14″, thanks to a bezel measuring just 5.7mm, 59% thinner than the MacBook Pro.
Dell XPS9560 is built with the latest 7th Gen Intel Quad Core processors and a 4GB GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card. Storage of 512 GB solid state drive (SSD), provides plenty of storage room and high-performance responsiveness to access and run your applications quickly. The XPS 15 boots and resumes in seconds with a solid state drive, so you can do more without waiting.
It has a phenomenal display technology with the UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) touch display and with 6 million more pixels than Full HD and 3 million more than the MacBook Pro.
With XPS 15 you get a true representation of Adobe color that’s rich, vivid and bold. It is ideal for Photoshopping and I believe it totally deserved to be a part of the Best Laptop for Photoshop and Illustrator 2018.
Apple’s notebook for power users still packs a gorgeous 15-inch Retina display and innovative Touch Bar controls into an impossibly slim design. And thanks to Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors, the MacBook Pro has gotten even faster. The 15-inch Pro gets the Force Touch trackpad, and a 512GB SSD storage, plus updated graphics in the form of an AMD Radeon R9 M370X GPU.
The display in the MacBook Pro is the best ever in a Mac notebook. It features bright LED backlighting and a high contrast ratio, delivering deep blacks and bright whites. Its large pixel aperture and variable refresh rate make it power efficient. It supports wide color for even more vibrant greens and reds than with sRGB. This makes for more true-to-life pictures with realistically vivid details — essential for graphic design, color grading, and editing.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro remains Apple’s biggest and most powerful laptop, and a great all day, everyday productivity machine, especially if you need the extra GPU power for photos or video work. MacBook Pro is built on groundbreaking ideas and is my perfect choice for Best MacBook for Photoshop and Illustrator 2018.
HP Pavilion 17 is an affordable and powerful 17-inch laptop that can challenge other, more expensive laptops. With its spacious touchscreen and powerful features, the HP Pavilion 17 is ready to turn your big ideas into reality. Its 17.3-inch Full HD display offers a roomy canvas for getting hands-on with work and play.
Packed with a large 17.3 Inches display and a powerful Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.6GHz CPU processor, this HP PAVILION 17 laptop is a powerful computer that can be used for Photoshop work. It comes equipped with 12GBRAM and 128GB SSD with high response rate.
With Full HD IPS touchscreen (1920 x 1080) and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, HP Pavilion is nicely equipped and affordable. I, therefore, place it as the Best Laptop for Photoshop and Illustrator2018 under 1500.
With 6th Generation Intel Core i7 CPU, and NVIDIA GeForce 940M graphics with 2GB GDDR3 memory, Lenovo Ideapad 700 is capable of delivering next-generation performance. The IdeaPad 700 doesn’t compromise on display resolution with a standard 17.3 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display. Everything appears brighter, sharper, and more vivid – from images and videos to movies and photos.
The IdeaPad 700 17 inch comes with expanded storage – with 1TB HDD plus a 128GB PCIe SSD drive – which enables faster boot up and quicker software launches. Backed by plenty of RAM, it can handle multiple applications with ease.
With so much packed at so affordable price, Lenovo IdeaPad 700 is assuringly the Best Laptop for Photoshop and Illustrator 2018 under 1000.
The MSI GL62M 7RD laptop is a high-end laptop with great battery backup. The dedicated GPU presents crisp clear images and gives great viewing experience. The MSI GL62M 7RD laptop has a 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) LED-backlit display.
It is driven by a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ (7th Gen) processor coupled with an 8GB of DDR4 RAM. As far storage is concerned, there is 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD which can run multiple applications.
The graphics department features a dedicated GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card which is great for Photoshop, Illustrations, and similar applications. It is a powerful laptop on a low budget, deserving its position as the Best Laptop for Photoshop and Illustrator 2018 under 800.
What is the required system specs to run Photoshop and Illustrator?
Adobe recommends following system requirement for 2017 release of Photoshop CC
- 2 GHz or faster processor
- 8GB System RAM
- 2GB Graphics Memory
- OpenGL 2.0-capable system
These specifications are sufficient if you’re running only photoshop. However, as you know, a modern day designer has 40-50 browsing windows open at any given time. Additionally, designers don’t work with single editing tool nowadays. For this reason, the Adobe recommended system requirements are not ideal in most of the cases.
Therefore, I recommend following specs for the best laptop for photoshop:
- Quad-Core Intel i7 Processor ( Quad-Core i5 processor if on tight budget)
- 16GB RAM ( 8GB if on tight budget)
- SSD Storage for faster read/write speed.
- Graphics Memory 4 GB
Dual Core or Quad Core processor for Photoshop and Illustrator?
I recommend quad-core processor when it comes to photoshop, illustrator. They rely on higher processing power for tasks like applying complex filters or opening too many large RAW files. Also, if you’re multitasking and using many applications simultaneously, the quad-core hyperthreading technology comes to your rescue. In terms of CPU benchmark, quad-core processors are way ahead than dual-core processors.
How much RAM is enough for Photoshop and Illustrator 2018? Is 8GB enough?
Adobe recommends 8GB RAM for photoshop, illustrator and it’s enough to run it efficiently. However, if you can shed few bucks more, I would recommend going with 16GB+ RAM.
Do photoshop and illustrator 2018 need a graphics card?
Yes, Photoshop and Illustrator do utilize the graphics processing unit for enhanced performance. Some features use the video card for acceleration. Few features stop working in case a graphics card is not present. You can check the list of features that would stop working without a graphics card here.