Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

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Trout Bum
Trout Bum Forum Member • Posts: 54
Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

Before I get going, I scrolled through about four pages worth of this forum and couldn’t find a pertinent thread; if there is a recent one please provide a link and I’ll see what I can do to delete this

Looking for a PC laptop and am wondering what any of you would recommend who’ve recently made a purchase .  My budget would preferably be $1500 or less but if there’s something insanely good I’d go up to $2K.  Screen quality, speed and memory are the three biggest needs.  I’ll be editing RAW images with Lightroom & Photoshop and am a fan of large size, panoramic stitches  I’ve researched some of the articles out there but amreally hoping for firsthand feedback from fellow photographers.  It seems like those articles regurgitate the same models. Maybe some gaming computers would be awesome?  Not the most tech savvy guy out there.... I know the MacBook Pro is the bees knees but I’m leery considering the price, a foreign (to me) operating system and the potential that not all of my files may be compatible.

Any advice would be appreciated!

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Austinian
Austinian Veteran Member • Posts: 8,479
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019
1

Trout Bum wrote:

I know the MacBook Pro is the bees knees but I’m leery considering the price, a foreign (to me) operating system and the potential that not all of my files may be compatible.

Any advice would be appreciated!

If you admire the Mac, but don't want to deal with its costs or differences, here's a list of alternatives from a website that does a lot of serious laptop testing. That might be a place to start looking, though by now there are probably newer versions of many models:

https://www.notebookcheck.net/The-best-alternatives-to-the-Apple-MacBook-Pro-15.281958.0.html

They don't test every version of every laptop, so in most cases there will be a choice of several configurations and prices.

Also, if you're in a place where you can get hands-on with some laptops, I find it's a good idea to see which manufacturers use keyboards, touchpads, etc. that work well for you. Those are factors that don't always come across in reviews but can be very important for long-term user satisfaction.

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SushiEater
SushiEater Veteran Member • Posts: 9,732
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019
2

Trout Bum wrote:

Before I get going, I scrolled through about four pages worth of this forum and couldn’t find a pertinent thread; if there is a recent one please provide a link and I’ll see what I can do to delete this

Looking for a PC laptop and am wondering what any of you would recommend who’ve recently made a purchase . My budget would preferably be $1500 or less but if there’s something insanely good I’d go up to $2K. Screen quality, speed and memory are the three biggest needs. I’ll be editing RAW images with Lightroom & Photoshop and am a fan of large size, panoramic stitches I’ve researched some of the articles out there but amreally hoping for firsthand feedback from fellow photographers. It seems like those articles regurgitate the same models. Maybe some gaming computers would be awesome? Not the most tech savvy guy out there.... I know the MacBook Pro is the bees knees but I’m leery considering the price, a foreign (to me) operating system and the potential that not all of my files may be compatible.

Any advice would be appreciated!

I just bought Dell Alienware M15. It is relatively light compared to other M15 models but powerful. I bought it on sale but it still may be on sale. What I do is I go to Techbargains.com and they have posts what is on sale and include coupons. This particular one came from Outlet but it has the same warranty as new.

Also, my new laptop has 4K (non-touch) screen and 90W battery. Keyboard spans edge to edge so it is large.

Specs are:

8750H 6 core up to 4.1Ghz.

8GB of memory came with but I upgraded to 32GB

It came with 256GB SSD NVMe type 40. Because of the large battery that covers the spot for 2.5" SSD I had to buy two more SSDs NVMe type. One was Intel 2TB 660. and the other is 1TB. Plus I got a heat shield for both. So in total I have 3TB.

Total cost about $1800. But if you go with less like 1080 screen (regular screen on most laptops) and 60w battery with 2.5" SSD it would cost yo less than $1500.

Plugged in it processes Nikon D5 RAW file in 3.2 seconds which I consider pretty fast.

And Techbargains has a post for Acer Predator Gaming laptop (gaming is what you want for photo editing) with even faster CPU for $999. Check it out.

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Trout Bum
OP Trout Bum Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

Austinian wrote:

If you admire the Mac, but don't want to deal with its costs or differences, here's a list of alternatives from a website that does a lot of serious laptop testing. That might be a place to start looking, though by now there are probably newer versions of many models:

https://www.notebookcheck.net/The-best-alternatives-to-the-Apple-MacBook-Pro-15.281958.0.html

They don't test every version of every laptop, so in most cases there will be a choice of several configurations and prices.

Also, if you're in a place where you can get hands-on with some laptops, I find it's a good idea to see which manufacturers use keyboards, touchpads, etc. that work well for you. Those are factors that don't always come across in reviews but can be very important for long-term user satisfaction.

Much appreciation for the response!  I’ll be digging into that link for sure

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Trout Bum
OP Trout Bum Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

SushiEater wrote:

I just bought Dell Alienware M15. It is relatively light compared to other M15 models but powerful. I bought it on sale but it still may be on sale. What I do is I go to Techbargains.com and they have posts what is on sale and include coupons. This particular one came from Outlet but it has the same warranty as new.

Also, my new laptop has 4K (non-touch) screen and 90W battery. Keyboard spans edge to edge so it is large.

Specs are:

8750H 6 core up to 4.1Ghz.

8GB of memory came with but I upgraded to 32GB

It came with 256GB SSD NVMe type 40. Because of the large battery that covers the spot for 2.5" SSD I had to buy two more SSDs NVMe type. One was Intel 2TB 660. and the other is 1TB. Plus I got a heat shield for both. So in total I have 3TB.

Total cost about $1800. But if you go with less like 1080 screen (regular screen on most laptops) and 60w battery with 2.5" SSD it would cost yo less than $1500.

Plugged in it processes Nikon D5 RAW file in 3.2 seconds which I consider pretty fast.

And Techbargains has a post for Acer Predator Gaming laptop (gaming is what you want for photo editing) with even faster CPU for $999. Check it out.

Great info - thank you!!!  Did you install the SSD’s yourself or was that an upgrade at the time of ordering?  Same question for the memory if you don’t mind.  I have a Lenovo Y510 Idea Pad that is long in the tooth by technology standards and it only has a 1TB drive.  The benefit to that is I’m forced to cull images I’ll never use but I also have to do that more frequently than I’d like to.  3-4 TB is what I’d prefer.

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SushiEater
SushiEater Veteran Member • Posts: 9,732
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

Trout Bum wrote:

SushiEater wrote:

I just bought Dell Alienware M15. It is relatively light compared to other M15 models but powerful. I bought it on sale but it still may be on sale. What I do is I go to Techbargains.com and they have posts what is on sale and include coupons. This particular one came from Outlet but it has the same warranty as new.

Also, my new laptop has 4K (non-touch) screen and 90W battery. Keyboard spans edge to edge so it is large.

Specs are:

8750H 6 core up to 4.1Ghz.

8GB of memory came with but I upgraded to 32GB

It came with 256GB SSD NVMe type 40. Because of the large battery that covers the spot for 2.5" SSD I had to buy two more SSDs NVMe type. One was Intel 2TB 660. and the other is 1TB. Plus I got a heat shield for both. So in total I have 3TB.

Total cost about $1800. But if you go with less like 1080 screen (regular screen on most laptops) and 60w battery with 2.5" SSD it would cost yo less than $1500.

Plugged in it processes Nikon D5 RAW file in 3.2 seconds which I consider pretty fast.

And Techbargains has a post for Acer Predator Gaming laptop (gaming is what you want for photo editing) with even faster CPU for $999. Check it out.

Great info - thank you!!! Did you install the SSD’s yourself or was that an upgrade at the time of ordering? Same question for the memory if you don’t mind. I have a Lenovo Y510 Idea Pad that is long in the tooth by technology standards and it only has a 1TB drive. The benefit to that is I’m forced to cull images I’ll never use but I also have to do that more frequently than I’d like to. 3-4 TB is what I’d prefer.

All of the upgrades I installed myself and that is very easy. All components are keyed so you can't install wrong. The only tedious part would be putting OS on the drive. Buying upgrades from Dell would cost you twice as much. What you want is to buy minimum configuration and upgrade. M15 technically has 3 HD possibilities. But my M15 2.5" position is blocked by the larger battery. Still has 2 M.2 slots right next to each other so the dual heat sink covers them both. Each slot supports 2TB so technically you can have 6TB (2+2+2) with the smaller 60w battery. 4TB (2+2) with largest battery.

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CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 13,705
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

Thanks SushiEater for the info about the M15. Prior Alienware models looked kind of clunky, as does the Alienware 17 R5 still, at 9.74 lbs.

HP has an Omen line where the 17" model is more streamlined. Dell has some Precision models with 17" screen, but no XPS 17.

I agree that gaming machines, provided they have a good screen with close to 100% sRGB gamut, make the most cost effective photo editing laptops.

SushiEater
SushiEater Veteran Member • Posts: 9,732
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

CAcreeks wrote:

Thanks SushiEater for the info about the M15. Prior Alienware models looked kind of clunky, as does the Alienware 17 R5 still, at 9.74 lbs.

HP has an Omen line where the 17" model is more streamlined. Dell has some Precision models with 17" screen, but no XPS 17.

I agree that gaming machines, provided they have a good screen with close to 100% sRGB gamut, make the most cost effective photo editing laptops.

There is only one screen on Dell laptops that provides 100% gamut and that is 4K. All others are 72%. To be honest for my purpose I see no difference. My backup laptop also Dell with 6700HQ (8750H is 70% faster on the same RAW conversion) with the regular screen. The only difference is that 4K screen is way sharper but also text is smaller so you better have a good vision. But more of the stuff fits on the screen.

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Austinian
Austinian Veteran Member • Posts: 8,479
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

SushiEater wrote:

CAcreeks wrote:

Thanks SushiEater for the info about the M15. Prior Alienware models looked kind of clunky, as does the Alienware 17 R5 still, at 9.74 lbs.

HP has an Omen line where the 17" model is more streamlined. Dell has some Precision models with 17" screen, but no XPS 17.

I agree that gaming machines, provided they have a good screen with close to 100% sRGB gamut, make the most cost effective photo editing laptops.

There is only one screen on Dell laptops that provides 100% gamut and that is 4K. All others are 72%.

Not necessarily so. A couple of examples, the FHD screen on the XPS 15 is 96% of sRGB, the G7 is 89%. It's wise to check every model individually.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-XPS-15-2018-9570-8300H-GTX-1050-97Wh-Laptop-Review.308420.0.html

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-G7-17-7790-i7-8750H-RTX-2070-Max-Q-Laptop-Review.423934.0.html

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CAcreeks
CAcreeks Forum Pro • Posts: 13,705
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019
2

SushiEater wrote:

There is only one screen on Dell laptops that provides 100% gamut and that is 4K. All others are 72%. To be honest for my purpose I see no difference.

I have FHD 15" HP Envy with sRGB gamut in the 70% range, and UHD 17" HP Omen with close to 100% sRGB gamut. It's easy to see the difference, especially in red saturation.

My backup laptop also Dell with 6700HQ (8750H is 70% faster on the same RAW conversion) with the regular screen. The only difference is that 4K screen is way sharper but also text is smaller so you better have a good vision. But more of the stuff fits on the screen.

I really like UHD because good photo programs, such as GIMP editor and Geeqie viewer, show much more of an image at 100% actual pixels. Firefox and xviewer show at 200%, and I'm not sure how to change that.

True about text sharpness.

P.S. there are good reasons to buy a laptop, including portability and battery to guard against power failures. Most new laptops can easily run Photoshop (with 16GB memory or more) and Lightroom (with fast CPU and Adobe supported GPU). More efficient software is available. If you connect an ultra wide-screen monitor, you'll have a good setup for panorama creation.

bmoag Senior Member • Posts: 2,050
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019
1

There are lots of notebooks out there that are well under $1000 that have high performance parts and mediocre screens.

Highest performance means adequate cooling and that imposes a heft penalty. Apple and MBP owners, happen to be one, pretend that physics does not apply to the MBP. My personal taste is that the MBP has the best laptop screen available but it is not what it is not and neither is the laptop to which the screen is attached.

My experience is that optimal processing of raw images  can not be done on any laptop because the screen is too small. There are many other reasons but 13-17 inches is the gorilla in the room. I fail to understand why anyone would invest thousands of dollars in cameras and lenses and the effort to capture and process quality images on suboptimal monitors.

You might do your images a favor and and plan on getting a real image processing monitor and calibration device to use with whatever laptop strikes your fancy.

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SushiEater
SushiEater Veteran Member • Posts: 9,732
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

Austinian wrote:

SushiEater wrote:

CAcreeks wrote:

Thanks SushiEater for the info about the M15. Prior Alienware models looked kind of clunky, as does the Alienware 17 R5 still, at 9.74 lbs.

HP has an Omen line where the 17" model is more streamlined. Dell has some Precision models with 17" screen, but no XPS 17.

I agree that gaming machines, provided they have a good screen with close to 100% sRGB gamut, make the most cost effective photo editing laptops.

There is only one screen on Dell laptops that provides 100% gamut and that is 4K. All others are 72%.

Not necessarily so. A couple of examples, the FHD screen on the XPS 15 is 96% of sRGB, the G7 is 89%. It's wise to check every model individually.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-XPS-15-2018-9570-8300H-GTX-1050-97Wh-Laptop-Review.308420.0.html

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Dell-G7-17-7790-i7-8750H-RTX-2070-Max-Q-Laptop-Review.423934.0.html

I think they change them this year. The ones I looked at in Outlet did not. That is why I bought 4K.

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SushiEater
SushiEater Veteran Member • Posts: 9,732
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

CAcreeks wrote:

SushiEater wrote:

There is only one screen on Dell laptops that provides 100% gamut and that is 4K. All others are 72%. To be honest for my purpose I see no difference.

I have FHD 15" HP Envy with sRGB gamut in the 70% range, and UHD 17" HP Omen with close to 100% sRGB gamut. It's easy to see the difference, especially in red saturation.

My backup laptop also Dell with 6700HQ (8750H is 70% faster on the same RAW conversion) with the regular screen. The only difference is that 4K screen is way sharper but also text is smaller so you better have a good vision. But more of the stuff fits on the screen.

I really like UHD because good photo programs, such as GIMP editor and Geeqie viewer, show much more of an image at 100% actual pixels. Firefox and xviewer show at 200%, and I'm not sure how to change that.

True about text sharpness.

P.S. there are good reasons to buy a laptop, including portability and battery to guard against power failures. Most new laptops can easily run Photoshop (with 16GB memory or more) and Lightroom (with fast CPU and Adobe supported GPU). More efficient software is available. If you connect an ultra wide-screen monitor, you'll have a good setup for panorama creation.

To change in Firefox try holding Ctrl button while using scroll wheel on your mouse.

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SushiEater
SushiEater Veteran Member • Posts: 9,732
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

bmoag wrote:

There are lots of notebooks out there that are well under $1000 that have high performance parts and mediocre screens.

Highest performance means adequate cooling and that imposes a heft penalty. Apple and MBP owners, happen to be one, pretend that physics does not apply to the MBP. My personal taste is that the MBP has the best laptop screen available but it is not what it is not and neither is the laptop to which the screen is attached.

Here is what I do. If I am just doing any work that does not require high speed processing I click on the battery icon and select Better battery. During RAW processing I change to Better Performance. Since I process in the batch it is easy to do.

My experience is that optimal processing of raw images can not be done on any laptop because the screen is too small.

Really?

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Charles2
Charles2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,837
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

bmoag wrote:

My experience is that optimal processing of raw images can not be done on any laptop because the screen is too small. There are many other reasons but 13-17 inches is the gorilla in the room. I fail to understand why anyone would invest thousands of dollars in cameras and lenses and the effort to capture and process quality images on suboptimal monitors.

... and laptop screens are often not uniformly lit ... and most laptops do not calibrate and keep calibration as well as standalone monitors ... and if you ever want near-Adobe RGB colors, good luck.

The OP did not state whether he really needs the portability of laptops. In that case, better to sort photos, build preliminary edits if necessary to show clients, but keep the serious photo editing on a desktop system.

XiaoDeer Forum Member • Posts: 82
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

CAcreeks wrote:

Thanks SushiEater for the info about the M15. Prior Alienware models looked kind of clunky, as does the Alienware 17 R5 still, at 9.74 lbs.

HP has an Omen line where the 17" model is more streamlined. Dell has some Precision models with 17" screen, but no XPS 17.

I agree that gaming machines, provided they have a good screen with close to 100% sRGB gamut, make the most cost effective photo editing laptops.

Not sure I'd choose the Alienware m15 for photo work.

I did order one a few days ago; this for my college age kid who cares quite a bit more about gaming than photography So display quality/gamut and storage were not such a big factor.

Anyway, if you like the m15, goto to SlickDeals.net and search for the m15. There was a really good promo which I think is still active.

Trout Bum
OP Trout Bum Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

bmoag wrote:

There are lots of notebooks out there that are well under $1000 that have high performance parts and mediocre screens.

Highest performance means adequate cooling and that imposes a heft penalty. Apple and MBP owners, happen to be one, pretend that physics does not apply to the MBP. My personal taste is that the MBP has the best laptop screen available but it is not what it is not and neither is the laptop to which the screen is attached.

My experience is that optimal processing of raw images can not be done on any laptop because the screen is too small. There are many other reasons but 13-17 inches is the gorilla in the room. I fail to understand why anyone would invest thousands of dollars in cameras and lenses and the effort to capture and process quality images on suboptimal monitors.

You might do your images a favor and and plan on getting a real image processing monitor and calibration device to use with whatever laptop strikes your fancy.

That’s a great point with regards to the monitor.  I work remotely two weeks on and two weeks off so transporting an external monitor isn’t an option  I suppose the edits I do at work could be revisited at home on a proper monitor.

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Trout Bum
OP Trout Bum Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019
1

Here’s an example of the fun stuff I get to see on Alaska’s north slope.    Both were edited on my Lenovo Y510 IdeaPad.  I’m pretty happy with the output.  That being said, would an external monitor truly help make for a better edit?  It’s a little off topic but could be influential with regards to choosing a laptop with more expensive monitor quality.

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SushiEater
SushiEater Veteran Member • Posts: 9,732
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

Trout Bum wrote:

Here’s an example of the fun stuff I get to see on Alaska’s north slope. Both were edited on my Lenovo Y510 IdeaPad. I’m pretty happy with the output. That being said, would an external monitor truly help make for a better edit? It’s a little off topic but could be influential with regards to choosing a laptop with more expensive monitor quality.

1. I shoot properly so I don't have to edit.

2. If I do edit is because something weird happened with the light.

This one was edited on my new laptop. I don't see anything wrong with it at all.

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Trout Bum
OP Trout Bum Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Best Photo Editing Laptop 2019

SushiEater wrote:

1. I shoot properly so I don't have to edit.

2. If I do edit is because something weird happened with the light.

This one was edited on my new laptop. I don't see anything wrong with it at all.

That’s a wonderful shot, Sushi Eater!  Unfortunately for me I’m a long exposure junkie and editing is a necessity.

Like a good ginger with a camera, chasing the souls of moments.

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