If you are a professional photo editor or someone who is just casually into photoshop, you are well aware of the demanding process that comes with it. It requires an impeccable, performance-intensive computer system.

Would you give up on photo editing just because of that? You shouldn’t!  Not every up-to-date, tech specs forward computer has to be high-level and hard to afford for the average consumer. That is why we are here, we are here to help you select one computer, from our list of affordable entry-level computers that are not only going to be affordable but will also meet all your requirements for a smooth photo editing experience.

#1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14-Inches Laptop – Budget Laptop for Photo Editing Under $500

Like we mentioned before, all of our laptops are entry-level. They are easily affordable, and their performance is up there with the high-level laptops. So, keeping that in mind, let us go straight into the first laptop on our list, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 powered by an AMD processor that can support up to 2.1 GHz CPU speed. Although it comes with its own set of drawbacks, it generally is good enough for photo editing.

The price of this laptop is entry-level. No doubt about that. But initially, if you are just getting into photo editing, this may just be your next choice. It has enough power to allow you to do most of the photo editing work with complete ease.

It comes with an 8GB DDR4 RAM, and a storage capacity of 256GB (256GB NVMe SSD). This may not be massive, but it balances it out by upping the performance drastically. It blazes through editing tasks, such a cutting, rendering, color correcting, and enhancing, etc.

But in case you think that the storage is not enough for you, you can add some external SSD/HDD because it does include USB 3.0 ports.

Now here is the feature that will seal the deal for you. This specific Lenovo laptop is powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Mobile Processors with Radeon Graphics which is enough for you to have performance that meets your photo editing needs. It can easily handle 1080p editing and can set you up for a perfect starting option.

For the rest of the technical specifications, the laptop comes with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 on a 14-inch display. Which is perfect for not only photo editing but also for basic day to day use such as watching movies or streaming. It may even be compatible with a little bit of light gaming.

In terms of connectivity, the laptop comes with Bluetooth 4.1, up to 2×2 Wi-Fi 5 (5 GHz 802.11ac), three USB ports, and HDMI.

However, with all this, comes a little drawback of short battery life. Even in battery saving mode, it gets work done only up to 4 hours. Which is not that great.

Other than that, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a solid contender in this list of budget-friendly photo editing laptops.

  • Great price to performance ratio
  • Has a relatively poor battery life.

#2. Acer Aspire 5 15-Inches Laptop – Editor’s Choice

The second laptop on our list is another entry-level one that has been on Acer’s bestseller list for a considerable number of times. And why would it not be? For its affordable price, the laptop offers everything a photo editor would dream of when it comes to editing and maybe even more.

The Acer Aspire 5 15-Inches Laptop is powered by AMD 3 3200U, this comes with a core count of 2. With a CPU base speed of 2.50 GHz that can be boosted up to 3.50 GHz. This maxes out the laptop’s performance massively.

For this laptop, the memory specifications go a little like this. The RAM is a whopping 12GB DDR4 memory. Which can easily run and allow outperformance by many RAM hogging photo editing software (and techniques of course).

Just like the laptop before this one, this laptop also comes with a storage capacity of 256GB SSD (which is divided into two separate SSDs of 128GB each). The storage may not be massive, but you can always add external memory storage if you want.

The display is an FHD (full high definition) display of 1080p on a pretty decent sized screen of 15.6 inches. And unlike the laptop before, the Acer Aspire 5 comes with an IPS plane for wide angles, perfect for photo editing. You usually do not get this on a budget-friendly laptop.

The overall looks and aesthetics of the laptop are pretty modern as well. It has a modest design with a very slim, sleek-looking body. The lid is made of aluminum which adds to the laptop’s simple yet stylish idea. The bezels are thin, and the display, if compared to other laptops of the same price point, is large. The keyboard is also backlit. So aesthetically, this laptop takes the top position.

The laptop also comes with some other technical specifications such as a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port, 2 USB 2.0 Ports & an HDMI Port, and a Wi-Fi connection of 802.11ac.

All in all, the laptop is a really good deal, especially for its striking look and its performance that comes with its massive 12GB RAM.

If we had to nitpick a drawback, it would be the same as the one before, having a not as strong battery life. Although its working hours can be pushed to 7 hours if the battery consumption is properly planned.

  • Massive RAM of 12GB
  • Great Performance
  • The battery life could have been better.

#3. HP 14-Inch Touchscreen Slim Laptop for Photo Editing

The HP 14-Inch Touchscreen is another laptop that we deem an all-rounder on our list. This laptop is very similar in specifications to the other laptops. it also comes with a touchscreen, that just adds to its portability and on-the-go performance.

Let us kick off this review by stating that just like the previous laptops, this laptop also comes with an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U. dual-core processor. The base CPU clock speed is 2.60 GHz which can be boosted up to 3.50 GHz. The laptop itself is high performing for very high-quality performance.

Like the first laptop on our list, this laptop has 8GB DDR4 2400 MHz RAM. This amount of RAM is more than enough for your daily image editing-related tasks. In addition to being very photo editing friendly, this laptop can be surprising with its performance respective to other slightly more power-consuming tasks, such as photoshop for large files and extensive video editing as well. You can even get away with light gaming as well.

The storage capacity of this laptop is slightly less than the ones we have seen before. It comes with a 128GB SSD, which on one hand is faster than your average hard disk drive but can be seen as a low storage amongst some photo editors that deal with large files. You can, however, buy a cheap hard disk, or another external solid-state drive. So, unless storage is not your main priority. This laptop goes a long way.

The laptop comes with an HD resolution of 1366 x 768, and the screen itself has touch technology. The low screen resolution may help with limiting the power consumption, which may in turn help with the battery life. The display size is a moderate 14-inch. So, the performance that comes with the lower screen resolution does make up for it.

If we talk about its connectivity, the laptop comes with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2. It also has an HDMI port, a USB C, and 2x USB 3 slots.

  • Is light and can be carried anywhere.
  • A relatively better battery life.
  • Resolution is comparatively low.

#4. ASUS F5 VivoBook 15 – Best Budget Laptop for Photoshop

ASUS F5 VivoBook 15 is another entry-level laptop that does the job for you. It comes with personalized features that give it not only a good performance but also a very sleek, modern style as well.

The Asus F5 VivoBook is equipped with the all-time powerful AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 5 3500U Processor. It has a processor count of 4 and is pre-issued with a windows 10 home. The CPU clock speed can easily be boosted to 3.60 GHz.

The laptop has an 8GB DDR4 RAM, that will allow you to breeze through your everyday photo editing tasks. These tasks can easily be done in 1080p resolution, without any lagging or stuttering. Even high-resolution video editing is going to be completely smooth.

The storage capacity on this one is your usual 256GB, with an SSD. This adds to its already fast performance drastically. The really good thing about this laptop is its relatively better battery life. It can easily get away with an 8-hour limit through constant use. Which is much better than the other laptops on this list.

Coming to the laptop’s resolution and display. It has a full high definition (1080p) and a screen display size of 15.6-inch. Ideal for a photo editor. All in all, the screen quality is good, can easily deliver sharp and bright colors. And the screen to body ratio is very impressive as well.

Physically, the laptop is attractive. It comes with a sleek design and is available in a range of different colors. The lid is of aluminum, and the bezels are almost non-existent. And here is the catch, this laptop comes with a personalized keyboard design as well. A backlit keyboard that has the ErgoLift technology. The bottom line here is, the laptop is a beast, and it does it in style.

It has a vast connectivity system with USB 3.2 Type-C, USB 3.2, USB 2.0, HDMI, and Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac).

  • Sleek, modern design
  • Good battery life
  • None, really

#5. Asus X5 15.6″ Full HD Laptop – Runner Up

We have another Asus VivoBook on our hands here. Being of the same series that the one before this was. The laptop has been equipped with many of the same Asus signature features. All in addition to a very attractive low-end price point.

The laptop is equipped with an AMD Radeon Vega 8 processor. Comes with a processor count of 2, and a CPU clock speed of 2.1 GHz. And in terms of performance, the laptop is solid. It does not have any lag, slows, or stutters, even when doing some high-power consuming tasks. So, photo editing is going to be a breeze.

The RAM is a DDR2 SDRAM of 8GB which does allow a little bit of light gaming as well. The best part about this laptop is its large storage capacity of 512 GB (SSD). This large storage capacity in addition to the solid-state drive shoots up the laptop’s performance massively. You do not even need an external HDD/ SSD. The SSD reduces loading time and allows a high level of multitasking, efficiently and effortlessly.

The display and resolution of the laptop are your average 1920 x 1080 pixels in a 15.6-inch screen. It comes with impressive colors and clarity. In addition to that, the laptop comes with ultrathin bezels that allow more screen for more interactive viewing. The full HD comes with wide viewing angles, that follow better color contrast, bold and sharp angles. Perfect for high-level photo editing.

The laptop itself is aesthetically competent, it comes in a different range of unique colors. The thin bezels give it a very elegant yet professional look, although the body is completely plastic. There is a high gloss finish that rounds everything off to perfection.

In terms of connectivity, it has the usual dual-band 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi for superfast internet, A USB 3.1 port with a reversible USB Type-C, an HDMI port.

And to top all of this off, we have the generous battery life associated with this series of ASUS laptops. it can easily run for a formidable 8-hour time.

  • Amazing price to performance ratio
  • Good battery life
  • A plastic body might not be for everyone

#6. HP 17.3-Inches 10 Gen Photo Editing Laptop Under Budget

Let us now introduce you to our first intel-based laptop on this list. Over here we have the HP 17.3-Inches 10 Gen Laptop.

The laptop is a 10th generation intel core i5 quad-core processor with a CPU clock speed of 1GHz, which can be boosted up to 3.60 GHz. It is also integrated with Intel UHD graphics.

The memory comes with an 8GB DDR4 SDRAM. Which allows smooth running of high RAM demanding photo editing apps such as photoshop, illustrator, and lightroom. You can run multiple tabs on your browsers without any lags or slows.

This specific HP laptop also comes with the standard 256GB SSD and can be equipped with more space through external SSD/ HDD. This can easily meet up with your storage and performance demands. This also allows fast bootup and quick data transfer.

With its exceptional 17.3-inch display and its HD+ screen of 1600 x 900 pixels, you get a crisp and bold range of colors. The slight downside could be the massive display and the relatively lower resolution, which may account for a relatively lower quality visual performance in the form of faded pictures. The large screen also has an impact on the weight of the laptop.

Physically, the laptop is bigger than the other laptops on this list. It has a basic full keyboard that does not come with a backlight.

The laptop also comes with 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x USB 2.0, and an HDMI. There is a wireless-AC and a Bluetooth connection for internet connection and wireless communication.

  • Large Screen
  • Low visual performance
  • No keyboard backlight

#7. Dell Inspiron 15.6″ Laptop

Let us end our guide with a bang here. The last on our list of budget-friendly photo editing laptops is the Newest Dell Inspiron 15.6″ HD Business Laptop.

This fine model of a laptop is powered by the latest and powerful Intel Celeron Processor 4205U. With dual-core, eight-way processing, this laptop is efficient and high powered. In addition to this core processor, this laptop also comes with an integrated Radeon R4 Graphics with shared graphics memory for everyday basic use.

It comes with a speedy 8GB DDR4 SDRAM. This allows fast processing and elaborate multitasking, which is crucial for heavy photo editing apps and processes.

The hard drive is upgraded to a 128GB SSD, which allows quick bootup and data transfer, SSDs being faster than hard disks. The storage space can be upgraded by adding an external HDD/ SSD.

The laptop comes with a 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) display, that also offers anti-glare LED, the screen however does not include the option of touch. The visual performance is pretty good, it delivers a clean, bright image that comes with color immersion technology.

It has a very sturdy quality to it, although the overall look of the body is sleek and slim. The strong body is easily portable and can be moved around without any damage to it.

For wireless connections, it comes with a Wireless-802.11, Wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.1. For ports, we have an HDMI port, 2 x USB 3.1, 1 x USB 2.0.

  • Decent build quality
  • Visual performance is mediocre.


Whew! Looks like we’re finally done. After a vast research session, we have finally come up with this very thought-out list. All of the laptops we have mentioned above are budget and editing-friendly. They have a great price to performance ratio, excellent display quality, and incredible processors. All you have to do now is pick one, buy it from your nearest electronics store, and do what you need to do. Do let us know how our guide helped you in your final decision.


About the author

Lisa Scholfield

Lisa Scholfield is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of "The Digital World". Her books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist.

Lisa lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, a medium-sized dog, and an attack cat. Before she started writing "The Digital World", she experimented with various occupations including, Computer Programming, Dog-Training, Scientificating, & Traveling.