Photoshop is the industry standard when it comes to photo editing and graphic design, and for good reasons. If you are a professional photographer, graphic designer, or a digital arts student and looking for an affordable budget laptop for Photoshop, you are in the right place.

Photoshop is a resource hungry program, especially in terms of ram and processor and when it comes to budget laptops, these are some of the main components that usually make up the price of any laptop. In this guide we will try to answer some of the questions about the specs that a laptop must have in order to properly run Photoshop (or any similar graphic design program), and we have also compiled a list of some of the best budget laptops for Photoshop you can find in 2019.

What  important Specs to check for in a design laptop? Budget laptop for photoshop

Before we proceed, let’s take a look at what Adobe says about Photoshop’s system requirements for windows: For running Photoshop CC , Adobe recommends at least an Intel® Core 2 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor; 2 GHz or faster, 2 GB of RAM (8 GB ideally), free disk space, 1024 x 768 display (1280×800 recommended), and 512 MB of dedicated VRAM.  We will look to each component individually to see why it should be your primary focus, and also why you shouldn’t really spend money on other components.

Processor speed: It’s the engine of your laptop and undeniably the most important component. For Photoshop or any other similar design program, consider at least a laptop with an Intel Core i3, and the faster processor you can get the better. For basic use, such as browsing or typing text, you don’t need a super powerful processor, in fact for typing and browsing even a cheap chromebook can be sufficient. However, once things get more demanding, such as applying an effect to an image, you’ll need a more capable processor.

RAM:  Photoshop is pretty demanding when it comes to RAM. In general, you should always get as much memory as you can afford in a laptop, since more RAM is one of the simplest ways to improve overall performance, and in particular your Photoshop experience.  It is not uncommon that Photoshop eats up upwards of 2-3GB RAM while it is running, and that’s why you should choose a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM or more. If you are going to regularly process large files (over 500MB) and/or work on complex documents with multiple layers and effects, consider a system with even more than 8GB RAM. In most laptops, RAM is upgradable, and you can add more memory to your system if needed. However, more and more models come with RAM soldered to the motherboard, or with no free RAM slots. So choose wisely!

Storage type/ Capacity: Your drive provides access to the operating system and installed programs, it’s where your image files and documents will be stored, and for programs like Photoshop it gives extra memory resources (called virtual memory or scratch disks) when is installed RAM is not sufficient. So getting the fastest hard drive you can get is very important. A solid state drive provides the fastest speed, but they are very expensive. Traditional mechanical hard drives offer more space and are more affordable, but they are considerably slower than SSDs. You can read our article to know more about the advantages of SSDs.

So if you need a large storage capacity and/or you have a limited budget, go for a traditional hard drive, you can always upgrade the hard drive for an SSD later. However, if you need a more responsive system and if you need to open documents instantly choose a laptop with SSD.

Display: Your laptop’s display is very important, it’s where you will actually “see” the project you are working on, and preview all the changes that you make.  For photo editing, it is recommended that you go with 15 inch laptop, because unless connected to an external screen, using Photoshop on a small display is just not going a good experience. Screen resolution is also another factor you should take in consideration, and it’s recommended that you buy a laptop with A Full HD screen at least.  Newer laptops also come with IPS panels- In-Plane Switching – which provides a better user experience because of its wider viewing angles and superior color quality.

Do you need a dedicated graphics card for Photoshop?

A lot of users wonder if they can run Photoshop on a budget laptop and if Photoshop requires a dedicated graphics card, so here is the answer to that question. While Photoshop does utilize the graphics card to improve performance and 3D enhancements, it should be noted that most of the time the onboard card is more than enough and can handle Photoshop just fine. So unless you’re editing videos or doing advanced photo editing with Photoshop, don’t make it a priority to get a laptop with dedicated graphics.

So, now that you have an idea what to look for when buying a new laptop for Photoshop and lightroom; let’s check some of the best budget laptops for photoshop we selected for you! All of them are priced under $700, and we’ll be updating this list on a continuous basis, so if you have a laptop that you think we should add to the list, talk to us in the comments 🙂

Best budget laptops for Photoshop and graphic design, under $700

Now that you have general idea about Photoshop’s system requirements and the important factors that you should take into account when looking for a budget laptop for Photoshop, let’s take a look at our list of some of the best affordable laptops you can use for graphic design, all being less than 700$.

  • Acer Aspire 5 A515-54-51DJ

The new Acer Aspire 5 come with a lot of improvements compared to the old generation; it’s packed with an 8th gen Intel Core i5-8265U Processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCIe SSD. It’s a great backlit keyboard laptop for everyday use, for school, and of course for it’s a great budget laptop for Photoshop and Lightroom!

The Aspire 5 also comes with a good amount of ports and the chassis is considerably thinner than the E15. The Aspire 5 definitely feels more premium despite its lower price. Battery life is also great, and you can easily get 8 hours of use from a single charge.

Processor Intel i5-8265U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB, PCIe SSD
Graphics Integrated, Intel UHD 620
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080
Connectivity and Ports 1- USB Type C

2 – USB 3.0 port

1- USB 2.0 port

1 – HDMI port,

Card reader, Bluetooth, backlit keyboard

Battery up to 9,5 hours battery life
  • Lenovo Yoga 730

The Lenovo Yoga 730 is definitely one of the best budget laptops for Photoshop you can get at this price range. This laptop comes with Intel’s latest 8th generation core i5-8250U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a PCIe 256 GB solid state drive.

According to Guru Verdict, the Yoga 730 is  a perfect choice if you’re looking for a laptop for everyday use, photo and video editing, and is also a perfect choice if you’re on the hunt for a an affordable laptop for notetaking, since it’s also a 2 in 1 laptop.

The 15.6-inch screen has a native resolution of 1920X1080 pixels, it’s an IPS display, and viewing angles are excellent. In terms of color accuracy, the Yoga 730 can produce 84% of the sRGB and 61% of the AdobeRGB color spaces. This is very respectable at this price range, but if you want a laptop with 100 per cent AdobeRGB, you’re gonna have to spend a little more. The display is also touch capable and compatible with most pen styluses.

Processor Intel Core i5-8250U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Integrated, Intel UHD Graphics 620
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB 3.1 (Type C) port // thunderbolt 3

2 – USB 3.0 ports

1 – HDMI port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 9 hours battery life

 

  • ASUS Vivobook S15 S530FA-DB51

Thanks to its slim design and smooth performance, the ASUS Vivobook S15 S530FA-DB51 offers great value for money. The Vivobook S15 comes with an 8th generation  Intel core i5 8265U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a fast 256GB solid state drive. This laptop is perfectly capable of running Photo editing softwae such as Photoshop, Gimp, or Inkscape.

The Vivobook S15 also sports a Full HD IPS screen that produces sharp and color accurate images. It is not the brightest display out there on the other hand.

If you’re a student or simply  looking for a versatile laptop that you can use for photo editing, then the Asus Vivobook S15  is a very good option.

Processor Intel Core i5- 8262U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Integrated, Intel HD Graphics 630
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB 3.1 Type C

1 – USB 3.1

2- USB 2.0 port

1 – HDMI port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 8 hours battery life
  • HP Pavilion X360

The HP Pavilion X360 is an affordable 2 in 1 laptop that offers a lot of value for the money.  It comes with a 7th gen core i5- 7200U processor, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD. The Pavilion  X360 is very responsive, and thanks to a dedicated AMD Radeon 530 graphics card, you can even use it for light gaming.

The HP Pavilion X360 also comes with a stylus pen, which is a very useful feature for taking notes or drawing. However, a lot of users reported that the pen pressure does not work with photoshop.

The screen had a full HD resolution, and thanks to the IPS panel, the Pavilion x360 is capable of displaying accurate and sharp colors.

Processor Intel Core i5-7200U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 128GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, AMD Radeon 530
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports -1x HDMI 1.4a
-2x USB 3.1
-1x USB Type C
-1x SD card reader,
Battery up to 8 hours battery life
  • Lenovo Flex 5 15

With its stunning Full HD display, 8th generation Intel processor, and fast 256GB PCIe Solid state drive, the Lenovo Flex 5 is a very convincing 2 in 1 laptop. There are three main reasons we put the flex 5 first in our list: it’s relatively affordable, has the latest Intel processors and SSD PCIe technology, and most of all a 15 inch IPS display. It is a touch screen, and you can also purchase an active pen separately if you’re a fan of doodling or note taking. While the Flex 5 has a 360 degree hinge, using it in tablet mode is not very comfortable, being a 15 inch notebook, and relatively heavy at 4.4 lbs. Read our detailed Lenovo Flex 5 15 review here.

Processor Intel Core i5-8250U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Integrated, Intel UHD Graphics 620
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports -1x Headphone / Microphone combo
-1x HDMI 1.4a
-2x USB 3.0
-1x USB Type C
-1x SD card reader, Fingerprint reader
Battery up to 8 hours battery life

 

Asus VivoBook S S510UA-DS51

The Asus VivoBook S S510UA-DS51 made it to our list thanks to its decent specs and slim design; the laptop comes with a powerful 8th generation Core i5-8250U dual-core Processor clocked at 1.8 GHz (Turbo up to 4.0 GHz) , 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid state drive.

The Asus VivoBook S S510UA-DS51has a Full HD IPS screen that provides very good viewing angles and sharp vibrant colors; this is one of the few budget laptops that come with an IPS panel.

One of the best aspects about the VivoBook S S510UA-DS51 is definitely its slim design.  This laptop is only 0.7″ thin, and the screen has almost no bezels on the sides.

Processor Intel Core i5-8250U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Integrated, Intel UHD Graphics 620
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080,
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB 3.1 port Type C

1 – USB 3.0 port

2- USB 2.0 ports

1 – DVD+RW

1 – HDMI port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 8 hours battery life

 

  • Dell G3579-5965BLK-PUS

Packing a 8th gen Quad-Core i5-8300H processor, the Dell G3579-5965BLK-PUS is a solid mid range gaming laptop that combines an impressive feature set and a budget friendly price. What makes the Dell G3579 a good laptop for Photoshop and graphic design is its incredible performance, thanks to a quad core processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB Solid state druve and a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics card, the Dell G3579 is not only capable of running demanding titles at medium settings but can also tackle other intensive tasks, such as video editing. The Dell G3579 is also a great choice if you’re a student and need a budget laptop for AutoCAD.

While it’s not the brightest screen out there, the Dell G3579 has a stunning Full HD 15,6 inch IPS display, which provides decent color accuracy, good contrast, and good viewing angles.

Processor Intel Core i5-8300H Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce 1050 with 4GB of VRAM
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080
Connectivity and Ports 2 – USB 3.1 ports

1 – USB 2.0 port

1 – HDMI port, Ethernet

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.2

Battery up to 6 hours battery life
  • ASUS VivoBook 15 F512DA-EB51

The ASUS VivoBook 15 F512DA-EB51 is a budget-friendly business laptop with a professional sleek design. Powered by an AMD Quad Core R5-3500U  processor  and 8GB of RAM (upgradable up to 16GB), there is enough power to run all your resource hungry applications without lag. It also comes with a fast 256GB PCIe solid State drive.

The 15.6-inch adisplay is awesome and offers good color accuracy for photo editing work. The screen is also scratch resistant and has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

As for the connectivity, the ASUS VivoBook 15 F512DA-EB51 has plenty, including 4 USB ports and  HDMI port. Battery life is good, Asus claims up to 9 hours of use, but expect about 6-7 hours in real-life use.

Processor AMD Quad Core R5-3500U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics,
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB 3.1 Type C port

2 – USB 3.1 Ports

1- USB 2.0 port

1- HDMI Port
Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1, Fingerprint Scanner

Battery up to 9 hours battery life

 

  • Acer Swift 3 SF314-54-56L8

With its attractive slim and compact design,  the Acer Swift 3 SF314-54-56L8 is a great 14 inch laptop if you’re looking for a laptop to edit psd files on the go. For a price tag under 700$, you’ll get a 8th generation I5-8250U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB Solid State  drive. This is a pretty standard configuration at this price range, but what makes the Acer Swift 3 a good laptop for photo processing and graphic design is its beautiful 14 inch IPS screen, and its build quality and premium design.

The Acer Swift 3 SF314-54-56L8  comes in an all aluminum chassis, and definitely looks and feels more expensive than it actually is. The 14 inch screen offers great color accuracy for Photoshop, and it also has a matte finish. Battery life can go up to 12 hours ,according to Acer.

Processor Intel Core i7-7500U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Integrated, Intel UHD Graphics 620
Screen 14 inch, 1920X1080, IPS
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C

2 – USB 3.0 ports

1- USB 2.0 port

1 – HDMI port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 12 hours battery life
  • Lenovo Ideapad 330S

The Lenovo Ideapad 330 is a stylish multimedia oriented laptop that doesn’t disappoint. Powered by a 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U clocked at 1.6 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256GB Solid State drive. As you can see from the specs, this laptop is clearly designed for home use, and web browsing ; but it can also run graphic design software such as Photoshop just fine.

The 15,6 inch IPS display has a resolution of 1920X1080 and provides good color accuracy and viewing angles for its price. The included battery, on the other hand, has a capacity of 30WHr only, battery life is below average. So if you need a laptop for outdoor use, this isn’t going to be the best choice.

Processor Intel Core i5-8250U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB 3.1 port Type C

2- USB 3.0 port

1 – HDMI port, VGA

1 – DVD+RW

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1,

Battery up to 5 hours battery life
  • ASUS F556UA-AB54 NB

Powered by a 7th-Gen Intel Core i5 Processor, 8GB of RAM and a solid state drive, the ASUS F556UA-AB54 is a powerful all-purpose laptop with a premium feel. The included dual core i5-5287U processor (clocked at 2.5 GHz) is not only power efficient, but  delivers enough computing power for routine use and even demanding applications or multitasking. This model comes with intel’s Iris Graphics 6100, which is a slightly more powerful version of the HD 6000. This is obviously not a laptop intended for gaming, but you will certainly be able to run older and less demanding titles on this.

The ASUS F556UA-AB54 also comes with a solid state drive, which means a more responsive system and an almost instant access to your files and applications, which is particularly helpful if you will be using this laptop for Photoshop. You can also upgrade the RAM memory to 16GB if necessary.

Also note that this model comes with a full HD display and a wide range of other options including USB type C, and also an optical drive.

Processor Intel Core i5-5287U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256 SSD
Graphics Integrated, Intel Iris Graphics 6100,
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB Type C port

1 – USB 3.0 Ports

1 – USB 2.0 port

1 – DVD+RW

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 7 hours battery life

 

  • Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Series

The Inspiron 15 is a mid-priced laptop that offers great value for the money. This laptop comes with integrated HD Graphics 5500, and thus is not intended for video editing or 3D work, but with an Intel Core i7- 5500U CPU, 8GB of RAM and 1TB SATA hard drive, the Inspiron 15 5000 is capable of handling all your normal computing tasks, and especially Photoshop. The display is a 15,6 inch full HD TN  LED panel,  which offer good colors and is also matte. Also note that it’s a touch screen.

Although the case is mostly made of plastic, the machine doesn’t seem cheap at all but rather classic and professional. As for the connectivity, the Inspiron 15 comes with 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, HDMI, and an Ethernet port.

Processor Intel Core i7- 5500U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 1TB
Graphics Integrated, Intel HD 5500
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080, Touch Screen
Connectivity and Ports 2 – USB 3.0 Ports

1 – USB 2.0 port

1 – DVD+RW

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 8 hours battery life

 

  • Acer Aspire F 15 F5-573G-56CG :

The Aspire F5-573G-56CG combines an ULV i5 processor with 8GB of RAM, and a dedicated NVIDIA 940MX graphics card for the very appealing price of $650.00.  It is a perfect multimedia device for graphic designers; the included Intel Core i5-6200U processor can easily handle demanding applications, and with 8GB of ram, there is enough memory for programs like Photoshop. And while 8GB is more than enough for most users, it should be noted that this model comes with two 4GB modules that are not soldered to the motherboard, thus making it possible to upgrade if necessary (up to 32GB).

The laptop comes with Intel HD Graphics 520 and Nvidia GeForce 940MX with 4 GB of dedicated DDR5 VRAM, integrated graphics are used in normal mode, and when running a demanding 3D program, the 940M kicks in.

As for the storage, the Aspire F15 comes with a 1TB hard drive which offers enough capacity if you have large files.  Needless to say that this is a traditional hard drive and that even if you get a model with a 7200RPM drive it won’t match up to the performance of an SSD drive. You can however upgrade to an SSD later, if you want a more responsive system.

The build quality is great; the aluminum finish on the lid and the chrome frame surrounding the touchpad give a premium feel to the machine. The Aspire F5-573G-56CG also comes with a mat full HD screen, which gives it an advantage for outdoor use.

Processor Intel Core i5-6200U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 1TB HDD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 4 GB memory
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB 3.1 (Type C) port

2 – USB 3.0 Ports (One with Power-off Charging)

1 – USB 2.0 port

1 – HDMI port with HDCP support

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 7 hours battery life

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