Best Laptop for Adobe Photoshop 2021

Adobe Photoshop 2021

As an avid Photoshop user, I understand the importance of finding the best laptop for Adobe Photoshop 2021. Working with high-resolution images and complex layers demands a powerful machine that can keep up with your creativity. In this guide, I'll share my insights on what to look for in a laptop to ensure a smooth and efficient Photoshop experience.

When seeking the best laptop for Photoshop, it's crucial to consider the processor, graphics card, memory (RAM), and storage. Photoshop is known for being resource-intensive, and a laptop with inadequate specs will result in a sluggish and frustrating workflow. I've reviewed an extensive laptop spreadsheet of recent releases, comparing specs and reviews from both professionals and everyday users. Based on this research, I've narrowed down the top laptops that meet the specific requirements for running Adobe Photoshop 2021, while also considering various price ranges.

Keep in mind that Photoshop users often rely on other Adobe Creative Cloud applications, such as Illustrator and Lightroom. Additionally, many Photoshop enthusiasts are active on platforms like Behance, Dribbble, and Adobe Creative Cloud community forums to share their work and learn from others. By choosing the best laptop for your needs, you'll be able to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant Photoshop community and elevate your creative projects to new heights. Stay tuned for my top picks and practical advice on selecting the perfect laptop for Adobe Photoshop 2021.

Deciding on a processor

CPU blue

The power of a processor is more important for some programs than others. Photoshop is one of those programs that doesn't require a powerful CPU.


We should be looking for an affordable laptop with at least an Intel Core i5-10300H or AMD Ryzen 5 3500U. Those processors have a good single-core performance and enough power to handle the Adobe Creative Cloud app. The most important specs for a laptop for Photoshop are its graphics card and storage capacity. A dedicated graphics card will allow Photoshop to utilize the GPU instead of the CPU to accelerate photo editing tasks. A faster SSD is better for faster loading times, so get one if you can afford it.


The first thing I recommend is not overpaying for the wrong laptop just because it has "i7" or "Ryzen 7" written on its cover. That's because we don't need that power for just photoshop alone and they're usually more expensive than similar configurations with lesser processors and graphics cards.

So which laptop would be best? Since we don't need anything more than single-core performance, any H-series i5 would be sufficient: i5-10300H, i5-1035G1, i5-1035G2 or even cheaper i3-10100H or i3-1030G4 that cost less than $500 at the time of writing this article!

My graphics card recommendations for Adobe Photoshop 2021

Entry-level: MX450

graphics card blue

This graphics card is for entry-level laptops, not recommended for professionals.

Mid-range: RTX 2060

This graphics card is a mid-range card, has been tested to work with Adobe Photoshop 2021.

If you're on a tight budget and have other priorities – get a laptop under $2000 with this graphics card.

High-end: RTX 2070

This graphics card is for high-end laptops and recommended for professionals.

Deciding on a memory

Minimum (8 GB)

PC RAM blue

I'm not sure how Photoshop 2021 would perform on an 8 GB machine. The way I see it, there are three things you need to keep in mind when choosing RAM for Photoshop 2021: the type of laptop, the power of the CPU, and the speed of the storage.

On a budget laptop with an average CPU and slow storage, it might be wiser to choose 8 GB over 16 GB. It's better to spend more on your CPU or storage than on RAM.

In fact, there's been a trend towards budget laptops that have lower RAM capacities – they're still around, but their market share has been shrinking steadily over the years. That's why I'm not sure how well Photoshop 2021 would run on 8 GB of RAM.

If you're getting a laptop with a good CPU and a fast SSD drive – go for 16GB at least.

Recommended (16 GB)

For me, 16 GB is a sweet spot for most laptops under $2k – work, gaming, everything in-between. But if you want to future-proof your laptop with Adobe Photoshop 2021 – I recommend 32 GB. It's been enough for me for many years now and I'm guessing it will do just fine in 2021 as well.

The thing is – RAM capacity can't be upgraded easily like graphics cards or CPUs can. So when buying a new laptop – it's wise to invest in components that can be upgraded later down the line. A 32 GB upgrade might seem expensive now but in five years when 32 GB is the standard it will be affordable enough without sacrificing too much from your initial investment in a higher-end laptop with a good CPU and a fast SSD drive.

Best (32 GB)

The best option for professionals is always 32 GB, since Adobe Photoshop 2021 is such an intensive application and it needs plenty of RAM to operate properly. If you don't want to future-proof your new laptop and get something that will get outdated quickly – then 16GB should suffice just fine.

  • get 16 GB if you want your laptop to last for many years and if you're willing to spend extra money on your laptop in order to get more RAM in the future
  • buy 32 GB if you can afford it


HDDs vs. SSDs

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It's worth pointing out that an HDD is an entirely different storage device than an SSD. So, while HDDs are often associated with cheaper prices, SSDs are the preferred storage medium for Photoshop. As for performance, this is where HDDs fall behind. You'll want to go with a laptop with an SSD if you plan on doing heavy-duty work in Photoshop 2021.

The importance of size

I wouldn't be surprised if you came across laptops with capacities up to 4 TB. But for most professionals, 1 TB will be more than enough space. However, for Adobe Photoshop 2021, it's best to go with at least 256 GB or 512 GB – preferably the latter. If you're buying a laptop for this application, you should be able to find one at any price point with either capacity option available.


for Photoshop 2021, it's best to go with at least 256 GB or 512 GB – preferably the latter

Display for Adobe Photoshop 2021

The right screen is indispensable for any graphic designer. The two most important features are contrast and brightness. Without them, it's hard to see your image clearly.

Display specs for Photoshop 2021

For a good display, you need a high contrast ratio and a high brightness. For most monitors, these specs are usually measured in nits or cd/sq. m. But not all displays measure the same way, so it's best to compare their values directly by looking at the numbers on their product pages. In this case, look for a contrast ratio of 3000:1 or higher and a brightness of 250-300 cd/sq. m or higher.

Laptop display recommendations for Photoshop 2021

For most photographers, there are only two main requirements:

  • an IPS panel with decent color accuracy – preferably with Adobe RGB coverage – and high contrast – preferably greater than 3000:1 – and a bright screen with an average brightness of 300 cd/sq. m or more
    The best laptop display for Photoshop 2021 should have all three requirements met as well as a wide color gamut for those RGB purists out there who want to have as many colors as possible without dithering down from 16 million colors to 8 million colors (aka sRGB).
  • look for a high contrast ratio and a high brightness
  • avoid monitors with poor color accuracy and limited gamut
  • look for an IPS panel with good color accuracy and wide gamut


Table of Best Laptops for {topic}

LaptopPrice (approx)

5 Best Laptops for Adobe Photoshop 2021

Ryzen 9 6900HX | RTX 3070 Ti | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 16″; 2560x1600 |

1.Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 16

Adobe Photoshop 2021 laptop
  • Very good processor (Ryzen 9 6900HX)
  • Awesome graphics card (RTX 3070 Ti)
  • Awesome display (16)
  • First-class memory amount (64GB)
  • No IPS Panel (limited viewing angles)
ASUS Zenbook
  • Excellent battery life
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Soldered RAM
  • Annoying fan behavior
i7-1280P | Iris Xe | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 13.4″ IPS Touch; 1920x1200 |

2.MSI Summit E13

MSI Summit E13 is a sleek and luxurious laptop that offers respectable performance and battery life.
  • Large battery, respectable runtimes
  • Great CPU and GPU performance
  • Bright display with high contrast
  • PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD support
  • Slow display response times, noticeable ghosting
  • Servicing requires breaking a factory seal sticker
  • Slightly larger and heavier than XPS 13 2-in-1
  • High core temperatures when under load

MSI Summit E13 is a visually striking laptop that delivers impressive CPU and GPU performance, along with a large battery and bright display. However, it has slow display response times and servicing requires breaking a factory seal sticker.

HP Omen 16
  • Up to the mark processor (Ryzen 7 6800H)
  • Fair graphics card (RTX 3060)
    Ryzen 7 6800H | RTX 3060 | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 16″ IPS HDR G-Sync; 2560x1600 |

    3.Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

    Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a great choice for Adobe Photoshop 2021, with powerful specs and an impressive display.
    • High-quality 165 Hz 16:10 IPS display
    • Relatively easy serviceability
    • Integrated numpad
    • Very fast charging
    • Low-resolution webcam with no IR or privacy shutter
    • Very warm CPUGPU temperatures when gaming
    • Moderate-heavy uneven backlight bleeding
    • Only average battery life

    The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is an upgraded version of the previous model, with a faster AMD Zen 3+ CPU and a 150 W TGP GPU. It has a high-quality 165 Hz 16:10 IPS display and is relatively easy to service.

    Lenovo ThinkPad P17
    • First-class graphics card (RTX A5000)
    • Awesome display (17.3 IPS HDR Touch)
    • Not the best processor (i9-11950H)
    Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS-level G-Sync; 1920x1080 |

    4.ASUS ROG Strix Scar

    ASUS ROG Strix Scar delivers excellent gaming performance but is let down by poor thermals and battery life.
    • Sturdy construction
    • Fast Wi-Fi 6E
    • Excellent response times and no PWM
    • Wide color gamut coverage with Dolby Vision support
    • Limited display angle
    • No biometric login
    • Heavy SSD thrott

    The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533 offers impressive gaming performance with its Intel Alder Lake Core i9-12900H and a 150 W Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti. However, its limited display angle, lack of biometric login, and high heat and noise emissions under load make it less than ideal for non-gaming use. Additionally, the SSD throttles during continuous reads and battery life could be better.

    Dell XPS 17 9720
    • Excellent 4K display with AdobeRGB
    • Thunderbolt 4 PCIe 4.0
    • Lower graphics performance than the predecessor
    • Performance not completely stable under combined load
    i7-13700HX | RTX 4090 | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 17.3″ IPS; 2560x1440 |

    5.HP Omen 17

    HP Omen 17: A Powerful QHD Laptop for Gamers and Creative Professionals.
    • QHD display with 165 Hz
    • Advanced Optimus
    • Expandable working memory
    • High noise level
    • Clattery case
    • Meager battery life

    The HP Omen 17 is a powerful high-end QHD laptop that works great for gamers and creative professionals. Its advanced Optimus technology and expandable working memory make it a great choice for those who need high-performance computing.

    ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo
    • Impressively thin and elegant design despite having dual displays and sheer power
    • Refined two-screen layout
    • Eye-watering cost, especially as configured
    • Awkward keyboard and touchpad layout

    Table of the Best Laptops for Adobe Photoshop 2021

    LaptopPrice (approx)
    Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 16$700
    MSI Summit E13$1,140
    Lenovo Legion 5 Pro$1,500
    ASUS ROG Strix Scar$2,310
    HP Omen 17$3,470
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    John Winstler
    With over a decade of experience in the tech industry, combined with a degree in computer science, I have developed an in-depth knowledge of laptops, PC games, software, 3D modeling, video editing, and photo editing. My detailed and unbiased laptop reviews have helped many people make informed decisions about their technology purchases.

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