Best Laptops For Photo Editing Under $500 : The last decade has seen a significant increase in the affordability and accessibility of laptops. In the past, purchasing a budget device and editing photos on it would have been impossible. Today you can get a machine for $500 that performs a wide range of tasks in addition to photo editing.
At a Glance:
Also worth mentioning is that popular photo-editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop and GIMP have optimized their software suites to work on low-configuration laptops. You won’t have any problem finding a laptop for under $500 that fulfills your photo editing needs, thanks to all of this.
When it comes to photo editing laptops, there are so many options that it can be confusing for anyone who is planning to purchase one. The processor, graphics, storage, memory, and resolution of a laptop are crucial factors that enhance its performance for photo editing.
Best Laptops For Photo Editing Under $500 (Our Top Picks)
In the event that you plan to purchase all of these features at once, you are likely to have to spend a lot of money. Our list includes some laptops that are under the budget of $500, to free you from the zone of doubt as to what you can expect from a laptop that best matches your requirements.
1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3Best Pick
In case you want to buy a laptop under $500 for photo editing, the Lenovo IdeaPad might be a good option. Despite that, I can say that this device has the capability to handle an extended period of editing photography or video. Processor power at the heart of the device makes this possible. Laptop comes with Intel’s 10th generation Core i3-1005G1 processor, which clocks at 3.40 GHz. The performance of this product is excellent. The laptop works best for photo and video editing as it has 8GB of DDR4 RAM that operates at a 2666 MHz speed. Thus, you will no longer have any trouble when it comes to editing photos due to the fact that you can run multiple programs and browser tabs simultaneously.
When it comes to video editing, I am certain it can compete with other laptops with 16GB or more of ram. With Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, you won’t experience any lag. For those looking for something special for illustrator, this is the best laptop. The reviews for this laptop have been overwhelmingly positive, from gamers to businesspeople. 15-inch high definition display capable of native 1080p at 1920 x 1080 resolution measures 15.6 inches. Playing HD movies and games with impressive colors and clarity will be possible with this.
You will enjoy viewing the display without straining your eyes. It has eight GB of DDR4 RAM and 256GB of solid state drive storage where you can you can store all your photos and even other files. Since the laptop includes an Intel UHD Graphics card, its graphics capabilities are good. You can connect via Bluetooth, USB, or HDMI. As well, the laptop’s screen responds to multiple touches at the same time and is very responsive.
- Fast i3 Gen 10 processor
- Storage and RAM which are good
- Displays in HD
- Connectivity options include Bluetooth, HDMI, and USB
- Performance of high quality
- A Full HD display is possible
2. Acer Aspire 5Staff Pick
In our list of top photo editing laptops under $500, we choose the Acer Aspire 5. It may be necessary to pay a little more for this machine since it has better hardware. Nevertheless, it is a very good long-term investment. For those who do not want to go outside their budget limits, the machine’s lower-end variant, costing less than $400, is also an option. Among those machines, the Acer Aspire 5 is a newer-generation Intel processor powered machine. In terms of its base and turbo Boost speeds, the Intel Core i5-1035G1 runs at 1 GHz and 3.6 GHz, respectively. Your preferred photo-editing suite will run smoothly with the processor, RAM, and GPU.
A multitasking overclock won’t even cause any problems. A computer with a lot of RAM can store a lot of photos, and an SSD can also store them quickly. As the device packs 8GB of NVMe SSD storage and 256GB of DDR4 RAM, this shouldn’t be an issue. Together, they enable the i5 chip to multitask efficiently. The Acer installation of Windows 10 does not include any bloatware, unlike some manufacturers.
Acer’s Aspire 5 sports a 15.6-inch full HD panel that is excellent for the price. RAW files can be handled with maximum accuracy and color reproduction due to the 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution. Although the top and bottom of the screen have large bezels, Acer has managed to keep the side bezels to a minimum. You will not regret your decision in this department.
Despite the Acer Aspire 5’s price tag of less than $500, it looks like a premium machine thanks to its backlit keyboard and dedicated Numpad. Backlighting gets brighter throughout the day, making typing more comfortable. As part of the package, the manufacturer includes a decent fingerprint scanner and HD camera. The software isn’t as feature-rich as Windows Hello, however.
However, the machine’s design philosophy keeps it sleek regardless of the larger display. Weight and thickness are both 3.97 pounds and 0.71 inches respectively. Aside from the extensive connectivity choices, you’ll appreciate the two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one USB 2.0 Type-A port, one USB 3.1 Type-C port, one HDMI port, and one RJ45 port. You can also take advantage of Wi-Fi 6 since it’s powered by a 10th-generation processor.
According to Acer, the battery can provide a battery backup of up to eight hours, which isn’t too bad. In contrast, if you plan on using the device at top speed the number will go down. Ultimately, if you’re searching for a laptop under $500, this is the machine you can’t go wrong with.
- Intel 10th-generation processors
- RAM and SSD storage are sufficient
- Broad connectivity with Wi-Fi 6
- Panel with full HD resolution and good accuracy
- Reader for fingerprints
- Design without bloatware
- The bezels are too big
- Keyboard could be better
3. Microsoft Surface GoBudget Pick
Try hands-on Windows home-made Microsoft Surface Go if you are looking for a machine that is fast and offers superior processing. This tablet-laptop has an attached keyboard, which can be easily detached when necessary. It is an ultraportable laptop designed for single users, rather than professionals. It is especially suited for students, for example, medical students or PA students. Engineers who specialize in electrical, civil, and networking systems. It has good specs when it comes to basic photo editing. A Pentium Gold processor is found inside this laptop, which is nearly as powerful as a Core i3 processor.
You can edit photos on the laptop using Photoshop and other software. The use of 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage makes installing and operating photo editing apps easier and faster. Having 8GB of RAM on the computer, you can almost do whatever you want. Not to mention, it has SSD storage, so be sure to notice that. It has a 10-inch touchscreen display with Pixel Sense technology. High-resolution display and a pen-driven keyboard are among features of this display.
Besides digital arts, it allows you to draw on the screen and take notes. This convertible laptop would be more suitable for a photographer. Connecting to external monitors is simple thanks to the USB Type-C port. The keyboard must be purchased separately; it is not included. Additionally, the keyboard is good for typing on a type-cover, not as good as the Thinkpad, but it is good for the price and meets the needs of regular typing.
In addition to having an 8-9-hour battery backup, this laptop makes an ideal on-the-go solution. Even though its performance is not as powerful as most of the laptops added, its portability, productivity, and comfort are impressive for basic editing tasks.
- Touchscreen display with PixelSense technology
- Support for USB Type-C
- RAM of 8GB
- Long battery life
- Portability is impressive
- Not a powerful machine for editing photos
4. ASUS VivoBook F512
When I buy a photo editing laptop, I make sure the RAM and the CPU are both up to the task. A special feature of the Asus Vivobook 15 is its small size. As a result of its impressive specifications and performance, it is among the best laptops on a budget for editing photos. There’s more to it than that!The versatility of this laptop has been praised by many users. You can share your data with a host of options on the laptop along with allowing further editing and transferring. Designed especially for comfortable typing positions, it comes with an Ergo Lift.
The combination of RAM and storage on the laptop is my favorite feature. Regarding the interior hardware, I was impressed with its quality. As well as 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2, this laptop’s large storage space helps accelerate video and photo editing. You can even use it for professional photo editing since it removes it with ease.
There are four AMD Ryzen 5 3500U CPU cores (20M Cache, 3.6GHz) and AMD Radeon Vega 8 discrete graphics with this system. The laptop has a 15.6-inch FHD 4 way NanoEdge bezel display with an 88% screen-to-body ratio. The picture quality on your screen is improved with this feature. If you’re wondering what it does to your work, let us explain. This is also a great choice as one of the top photo editing laptops under $500, like our previous pick.
- Processor with high speed
- Graphics are excellent
- There are many ways to connect
- Storage and RAM which are good
- High Definition
- Design of the Ergo Lift
- With NanoEdge bezels
- The price could have included a Thunderbolt 3 port
5. Dell Inspiron 14
The Dell Inspiron 14 does not appear to be a very good laptop at first glance. When it comes to overall photo editing experience, this device offers a smooth experience. It is necessary either to reduce power consumption, or to consider hardware upgrades, in order to deal with low-system hardware. Under $500, this machine is probably best suited for those who want an Intel Core i3-1035G1. One of its best speeds is one GHz, but it can go as high as 3.4 GHz if needed. This device can run Photoshop, but you shouldn’t attempt to multitask like a madman. To handle the majority of your graphics needs, you can rely on Intel integrated graphics.
We now turn our attention to the display compartment, a part of the package we don’t really rave about. Despite being aesthetically pleasing, the 14-inch panel sports an old-generation, inferior HD Ready panel. The department cannot produce fancy-superb visual art. Although it will consume relatively little power, the 1366 x 768 panel allows your batteries to run longer.
We were surprised by how well the keyboard and trackpad on this machine worked. Dell’s price point might be one of the reasons to choose them rather than other manufacturers. An all-day typing experience is assured with the backlit keyboard. Both sides of the trackpad have matted padding that offers a comfortable place to rest the palms while typing.
Dell Inspiron 14 is exceptionally plain-looking compared with other laptops in this price range. There are 3.66 pounds in weight and 0.8 inches in thickness. Compared to other designs, it’s a bit clunky, but after a few practices you’ll get used to it. Additionally to several USB 3.0 Type-A ports, the machine has an HDMI port, 1 Ethernet port, and a multi-card reader. The device does not have a USB Type-C port.
With a battery life of up to six hours, this laptop is a good choice when it comes to battery backup. Most people can cope with this amount, even though it isn’t high. The cost of this sub-$500 laptop is high and many compromises have to be made along the way. Those compromises can either be accepted or the hardware can be upgraded to suit your needs.
- Provides legacy connectivity
- A high-quality keyboard
- The 10th generation of Intel processors
- Fully SSD-based storage
- It is necessary to upgrade
- Displays with HD Ready capabilities
6. HP 15 Laptop
There is no laptop that has so much power as this one that is perfect for every type of computing activity from regular to professional. Although this laptop costs 600 dollars, if you spend 100 dollars more you will have a completely different photo editing experience. Here’s what makes this laptop stand out. Your new processor is an 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7. In my opinion, one must not overlook the fact that it is a quad-core processor with a price under 600 dollars. The 11th Gen is hard to get for 500 prices, but you can get the 8th Gen for a lower price.
In the row, you can install multiple video editing programs, such as GoPro’s video editing app, DaVinci Resolve, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Photoshop, lightroom, and after effects. In my experience, this laptop is the best video and photo editing laptop within a reasonable price bracket.
There are 8GB of memory in this computer. For even basic editing of photos, you need adequate RAM. Even though I am not claiming that the RAM mentioned is enough to perform 4K editing and rendering, it is capable of handling basic photo edits with high-resolution images for many of us. An SSD with 256GB of storage will suit most people’s basic storage needs. Both the storage and RAM can be expanded. You can increase storage as well as memory, since there is an unoccupied slot available.
In addition, the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics are part of the 11th Gen processor. Despite its lack of dedicated graphics, the power of its performance and image handling makes editing videos and images smoother and more pleasant.
The laptop is one of the best in the market if you are looking for a laptop to edit photos or videos. This tablet comes with an FHD IPS display with thin bezels and anti-glare panels. The high-resolution, high-quality display makes the viewing experience so much more crisp and clear. You can view everything produced in detail with the 1600:1 contrast ratio. This awesome laptop is high-performing and easy to handle in any environment, thanks to the backlit keyboard and dedicated Numpad.
Additionally, it has a great battery life. It’ll take you about 10-12 hours to complete the computing tasks on a single charge. I’m amazed that the laptop can charge up to 50% in under 45 minutes with the fast charging mechanism. You can therefore charge your laptop quickly, even if it runs out of juice. This laptop seems like a steal at 600 dollars for its specifications. Regardless of your computing needs, you cannot beat this price.
- Processors of the 11th generation
- Battery life is long
- SSD with 256GB of storage
- Keyboard with backlit
- Bright and colorful FHD IPS display
- We can improve the quality of the build
7. Acer Aspire E 15
If you want to make photo edits on a cheap laptop and you do not have more than 400 dollars to spare, this is your best bet. This laptop features an Intel Core i3-7100U 7th generation processor. Computing tasks are handled by the processor’s base clock speed of 3.4 GHz. Powered by an i3 processor, it is from the 7th generation. I wouldn’t call it a professional photo editing laptop because it doesn’t have a fast processor. In addition to running Photoshop and Lightroom, it can be used for personal photo editing.
Powered by 4GB of RAM, it provides great performance. For photo editing applications such as Light Room and Photoshop, that’s the minimum requirement for installation. The laptop might crash when handling Photoshop, but basic photo editing is possible.
SSD storage is not included. SSD storage isn’t something you can expect at a 400-dollar price. There is a lot of storage available on the HDD, which makes organizing files convenient. You can easily store large images on it since it has a large storage capacity.
This laptop has a Full HD display, which I find quite amazing. The laptop has a 15.6-inch IPS display that can produce good images thanks to its FHD resolution. Despite not having as bright a display as some of the other models, the FHD IPS display is better than expected considering the price. Although it is of plastic construction, it is durable and runs for a long time. Among these laptops, it is our top pick.
In fact, this laptop by Acer has received more than 5300 reviews, making it one of the most trusted laptops in its class. As a result, you can refer to this ASUS laptop as a one of the cheapest yet most reliable laptops of its kind for home users, web browsers, picture editors, and school students.
- LCD screen with full HD resolution
- Processor with high performance
- The highest rated model
- Storage of a great deal
- Laptops for cheap
- There is a runtime of 6-8 hours
- SSD storage is not available
8. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5
It might not be obvious to you, but Chromebooks make a great choice when you need to edit photos on an extremely fast computer. The platform does not yet support Adobe Photoshop, so you can use other applications such as Snapseed, Pixlr E, Polarr, or the good old GIMP. This is all perfectly compatible with the Chromebook Flex 5, which is one of Chrome OS’s most popular choices. This machine has an Intel Core i3-10110U processor in spite of Chrome OS’ low power requirements. With a base clock speed of 2.1 GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of 4.1 GHz, this dual-core processor from the 10th generation series excels in performance.
In other words, this machine can run multiple Chrome OS applications simultaneously. Basic hardware acceleration is handled by the chip’s integrated graphics. There is 4GB of RAM on board, which is plenty for something like Chrome OS. The same number of RAM would have been a problem on a Windows PC, but on Chrome OS it works just fine. It may seem overly small at first, but 64GB of flash storage is going to be plenty. Due to your constant interaction with the cloud, you can live well with 64GB of local storage.
One of the best features of the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is its display, which is one of its best features. The display is 13.3 inches with full HD resolution and thinner bezels. In addition to an innovative way to navigate, this multitouch-enabled touchscreen display can also be used to input data, and Chrome OS has been upgraded to support touch input as well.
Lenovo did provide top-of-the-line keyboards and trackpads despite the machine’s touch screen. Its keys provide a fantastic typing experience, and gestures are not necessary. The touch screen is available whenever you need it. It is also important to point out that the flexible design enhances the usability of the laptop.
Lightweight and extremely thin, it is extremely portable. Students and professionals who travel often will find this backpack to be a great companion, as its weight and thickness are both just over three pounds. An audio jack, two USB 3.1 Type-C ports, and one Type-A port are featured on the I/O panel. Using an external monitor with a laptop requires an adapter.
Chromebooks should always be connected, so this design meets that requirement. Additionally to the standard connectivity, the unit includes Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5. This Chromebook Flex 5 still offers an impressive battery life of up to 10 hours, even with such a powerful performance inside.
- A price that is affordable
- Web apps and Chrome OS apps in abundance
- Various options for modern connectivity
- 360-degree flexibility
- Battery life is incredible
- There is no Adobe Photoshop
- Always requires an internet connection
9. ASUS VivoBook 15
ASUS VivoBook 15 is a great laptop for photo editing under 500 dollars. It lets you edit high-resolution images and checks most of the boxes right. The GoPro Video app, Photoshop, and Lightroom are all supported, and the price is reasonable especially when you consider the specs. The Ryzen 5 4500U is the processor powering this device. The laptop shares the same processor as a Core i5 computer from the 10th generation. Six cores are present, it has hyper-threading capabilities, and its turbo boost clock speed reaches up to 4 GHz.
So you can accomplish any computing task besides Adobe Photoshop or other top video or image editing programs using this amount of processing power. The RAM is 8 GB. The open slot can be used to increase the RAM size once you get the money. It’s rare to find so much storage at such a low price for image editing, especially one with 512GB SSD storage. You can further increase storage size by plugging in another M2 slot, which facilitates additional expansion.
Asus laptops have an IPS FHD display which is ideal for photo editing. Due to the display’s small edges, it has an 85 percent screen-to-body ratio. You can expect sharper images and videos so you can enjoy your viewing experience to the fullest extent possible.
Despite any environment, you can type using the Backlight feature. Although the keys seem small, larger-handed individuals may encounter difficulties. If you use a dedicated Numpad to handle numerical streams, you will be able to increase your productivity. In the budget price range, this laptop is worth considering, as it has the added benefit of USB Type-C, along with many other components and connectivity.
- Processor Ryzen 5
- SSD with 512GB of storage
- IPS display with FHD resolution
- RAM and storage can be upgraded
- Ratio of screen to body improved to 85 percent
- A port for USB Type-C
- It would have been better if the brightness had been increased
- There is only a 5-6 hour battery life
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How much RAM do you recommend for editing photos?
For the latest software offerings from Creative Cloud, such as Photoshop CC and Lightroom Classic, 16GB RAM is recommended. It is important to have memory available because it allows the CPU to handle more tasks simultaneously. A simple Lightroom or Photoshop opening consumes approximately 1 GB of memory each.
Q. Does photo editing require graphics cards?
A graphics card is more important to render 3D graphics and models. A graphics card and monitor that can handle HD or DVI video is all you really need for photography and editing.
Q. Can Photoshop be run on an i7?
Since the i7 has higher stock clocks and hyperthreading, it should be better for Photoshop. The cost of these CPUs is higher, though, than that of core i5.
The skill of photo editing requires both time and talent. You can edit high-quality photos in the least amount of time if you use one of the best laptops for photo editing under $500. In our guide to the best laptops for photo editing under $500, we review the top ten models. A laptop that helps with 4K image editing or a professional scale editing is difficult to find for a price under 500 dollars. However, you can get a laptop that can run programs like Photoshop and Lightroom for that price.
Spending a little more up to a thousand dollars can get you a professional laptop that will also be able to edit videos at high resolution. Workstation-scale performance is required for advanced editing tools, such as DaVinci. Hope you’re able to find a laptop that meets all your editing and computing requirements on a tight budget.