Best Budget Laptop for Photoshop in 2023

A laptop that can smoothly run Photoshop without problems requires powerful features. This therefore means that most of these laptops are expensive and not easy to acquire. However, there are some cheap little known but powerful options that you can get even on a budget. If you are looking for the Best Budget Laptop for Photoshop then this is the article for you.

In this review, we have compiled some of the best laptops for photoshop that you can purchase under a tight budget and still get the most out of it. We also have a buyer’s guide section that will help you make an informed decision before buying your ideal laptop for photoshop.

What is the Best Budget Laptop For Photoshop

  1. Lenovo 2022 IdeaPad 3i Best Value for money
  2. Acer Aspire 5 Best Laptop For Photoshop under 500$
  3. HP Pavilion Best Budget Laptop For Photoshop under 800$
  4. Lenovo Flex 14.2 Inch Convertible Laptop
  5. Apple MacBook Air Laptop Best for MAC users
  6. Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Best Laptop for Freelancers
  7. HP 15.6” Touchscreen Premium Laptop

Best Budget Laptop For Photoshop

Lenovo 2022 IdeaPad 3i Best Value for money

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  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Resolution: 1920×1080 Pixels HD IPS display
  • CPU: Core i5
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage Space: 512 GB SSD

Lenovo 2022 IdeaPad 3i takes the spot for the Best Value for money laptop. This laptop packs up great features for a very fair price and yes, it will run Photoshop without problems.  

Body and Build

First of all the laptop has a slim and sleek smooth metallic finish body and is only 14.14 x 9.31 x 0.78 inches in size. This small size combined with 7 to 12 hours battery life depending on usage, makes this laptop easily portable if you like working outside the office.

  However it is important to note that this laptop is slightly heavier than an average modern 15 inch laptop. It weighs in at 1.7 kg which does not take away from its portability.  

The lower side features a plastic finish like most standard laptops and a fan action almost in the middle for cooling. You will have 2 speakers from either bottom side of the laptop which is ok by me.

Mouse and Keyboard

Although a hands on mouse is preferable over the mouse pad when using Photoshop, we can not forget to complement Lenovo for the large and comfortable area to place your hands provided on the front of the laptop.

One problem however the mouse pad is so far off center to the left instead of the spot on center. But it is still a nice sensitive trackpad that will not give you lots of problems.

The ergonomic keyboard design is great. First it is a full keyboard with NumPad section which is great if you deal with lots of numbers.

Just like previous Lenovo laptops it is well set up with comfortable space in between keys making for a great user experience.

Screen and Display

The screen size is large enough at 15.6 inches larger than the recommended 13 inches, plus Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution makes it a perfect pick for Photoshop users.  

The technology used to develop the display also matters when it comes to clarity. You can either have an IPS display or LCD backlit screen. IPS screens are better and offer a more crisp and clear display.  

Despite the traditional rigid approach on the overall Laptop, the screen is very classy looking with thin bezels around the large screen. This gives the illusion of an even larger screen than it actually is.  

The thin Bezels are however not even the top being larger as a provision for the webcam. One note on the Webcam however is that they could have improved it to a better one as it is still the old and outdated 720 pixel camera.  

You have the option of choosing a Matte or Gloss finish type of screen with the Matte being non touch.   It is however important to note that the screen has a low 51% sRGB color gamut which may make colors appear blurry and faded out.  

Performance

This laptop comes with a core i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM. This means that multitasking on normal day to day tasks will not be a problem.

These features make it possible to perform Photoshop editing tasks and can even perform basic 4K video editing. It will easily run some basic games but will have problems running more CPU intensive and complex games.      

Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity, Lenovo have maintained port quality as per their earlier laptops devices despite upgrades on other similarly priced laptops.

You have a USB C port but not Thunderbolt 4.   You will have 2 USB ports on the right and left plus a Card Reader slot on one side and HDMI port on the other. An audio Jack is also featured on the side.  

Acer Aspire 5 Best Laptop For Photoshop under 500$

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  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Resolution: 1920×1080 Pixels HD
  • Brightness: 267 nits
  • Color Gamut: 57% sRgb
  • CPU: Core i5
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage Space: 128 GB SSD
  • Battery Life: 5 to 7.5 hours

The Acer Aspire 5 is the Best Laptop for Photoshop under 500$. This is a great deal because you are able to get features found in premium laptops for just a fraction of the price.

Screen and Display

This laptop features a 15.6 inch IPS screen display size with 1920 x 1080 Pixels HD display. Screen Brightness stands at 267 nits which is good for indoors but may be problematic outside.

The display is relatively average with low 57 % sRGB color Gamut. This is however slightly higher compared to the more expensive  Lenovo 2022 IdeaPad 3i.

Performance

For its price range it is the best option you can get first because of its fast processor. Most laptops at this price range feature a  dual core processor meaning they have 2 processors. They are fast but are a joke compared to the Acer Aspire 5.

This is because, instead of 2 processors, it features quad core processors meaning it has 4 processors. This makes it fast and reliable even with heavy programs.

Although its 4 GB of RAM may seem lower than most laptops, it makes this up with a top quality AMD Radeon graphics card. This makes it even possible to easily run some games.

4GB RAM is however still good for Photoshop and illustrators. One card up its sleeve is that this laptop comes with an empty RAM slot on its motherboard making it upgradable to up to 8 GB of RAM.

The Laptops body is sturdy and durable with a sleek aluminum finished top and hard plastic bottom. Acer Aspire 5 offers a great user experience with a large space provided on the surface to place your arms when typing.

Additionally the ergonomic keyboard is very similar to one on a Macbook Pro. The design makes it super comfortable to use with keys well spaced out and back lit. It also has a NumPad if you use numbers a lot.

Storage Space

One downside on this laptop is that the 128 GB hard drive space is low and may not be enough. However, this laptop’s upgradability is one of the things that have got it to this review. It has an extra slot where you can upgrade to 1 TB volume.

HP Pavilion Best Budget Laptop For Photoshop

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Features:

  • Hard Disk Size 256 GB
  • CPU Model Core i5
  • Ram Memory Installed Size 8 GB
  • Operating System Windows 10 Home
  • Graphics Coprocessor: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050

e know you aren’t looking for a gaming laptop but this one here is a great one for graphic designers and also photographers. Just like gamers, most graphic designers and photographers love high-performance laptops with fast speed and high-quality screens.

HP Pavilion takes the lead in our list because of its speed. With a speed of 2.4GHz, an Intel Core i5 processor, and a massive 8GB of RAM, this laptop is just a perfect match for your photoshop projects.

When it comes to storage, this HP Pavilion has SSD storage of 256GB fast enough to run any photoshop software. However, if you feel the storage is low you can add an external high storage capacity.

Another upside of this laptop is its screen specifications. It has a high-quality 15.6-inch full HD IPS screen that displays your images at their best.

Pros

  • High performance
  • Top-quality display
  • Comes with a dedicated graphics card

Cons

  • Storage is a bit low

Lenovo Flex 14.2 Inch Convertible Laptop

Lenovo Flex 14.2 inch is an ultra-thin lightweight laptop that is ideal for you if you like moving around a lot. You don’t have to miss your deadlines anymore, work from anywhere with this portable convertible laptop without stress.

One feature that drew us to love this laptop more is the TrueBlock Privacy shutter that prevents stalkers from getting your information by covering the webcam. When it comes to battery life, this laptop has a 10-hour battery life and it takes only 1 hour and 15 minutes for the battery to get fully charged.

Another amazing feature for artists is the AMD Ryzen processing and an active digital pen that allows you to draw and do all you desire as an artist. It has a 14-inch screen and 1920 ×1080 allows you to explore your artistic prowess without straining because the working area is just ideal.

Pros

  • Has a good keyboard deck
  • The webcam has a slider shutter
  • Has a long battery life
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The fun gets too loud sometimes
  • Overheats on the underside after long hours

2020 HP 15.6” Touch Screen Premium Laptop

If you are looking for a laptop with a big screen then this HP Touchscreen Premium laptop is ideal for you. The laptop has many features that enable you to work and store all your projects without stress.

Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor and a storage of 512GB SSD, you can now edit your images effortlessly. The only downside is its 1.0 GHz speed. However, you can boost the speed to 3.6 GHz using Turbo Boost technology.

What we love the most about this laptop is that it generates clear and bright images all thanks to the Intel UHD Graphics and the 1366×768 resolutions.

As an artist/graphic designer, you need a big working area and this HP display of 15.6 inches is just the perfect match for your artistic needs. It also has a touchscreen and finger multi-touch support for a better experience.

When it comes to connectivity, this laptop comes with several USB connection ports and you can connect it to multiple cloud services and mobile devices.

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Lightweight
  • Good display for graphics
  • Compatible with multiple devices

Cons

  • Average battery life

Acer Aspire 5 15.6”

If what you are looking for is a laptop with a large storage capacity then this Acer Aspire 5 laptop might be ideal for you. With a 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD, your storage problem is solved.

The massive storage capacity of this laptop is not only ideal for storage of your projects, but it also enables the laptop to hold major programs you need for photoshop.

What we loved about this laptop is the superb color rendition display and the Full HD IPS display. One downside though, Acer Aspire 5 doesn’t come with a graphics card but that doesn’t mean you can’t handle your photoshop projects.

If you are on a tight budget, then you can go for other lower versions.

How To Choose The Best Budget Laptop For Photoshop?

After going through the review, you probably want to know how you can choose the best laptop for photoshop. In this section, we highlight the important things you need to put into consideration when choosing your laptop.

Processing Speed

For running Photoshop you need a fast laptop that has the ability to multitask. This will ensure that the laptop can run the program without unnecessary lags.

To find out whether your laptop will be fast enough, you will need to check the RAM, Processor and whether it comes with a dedicated graphics card.

For the RAM anywhere from 4 GB and above is good for Photoshop. If you are however on a tight budget, you can go for a minimum of 2GB but it will almost surely not work on the latest versions of Photoshop such as Photoshop cc.

Laptops with Core processors are recommended for Photoshop. However this is not the only factor to consider. You need to check how fast your processor performs calculations or clock speed.

Although 2 GHZ is the minimum requirement for Photoshop, 3 GHZ and above is better for optimal performance.

The GPU refers to the method or chipsets that help display graphics on screen. A graphics card adds more power that enables certain tools to function. Some laptops come with inbuilt graphics processors.

 NVIDIA and AMD are trusted brands when it comes to Graphics Cards. However, a basic graphics card will work well and you do not have to go for a complex one especially if on a budget..

Internal Storage

This is the space within the laptop where your files will be saved. Sometimes when using Photos and files in Photoshop, you will have very large file sizes. We recommend 256 GB memory space and above to both install the software and save your files.

As time goes on however, you might need to upgrade by using an external Hard Drive that you can buy separately.

One more factor to consider is the type of Hard Drive. There are 2 types of Hard Drives you can choose from HDD or SSD. SSD is better. We have clearly explained the difference and why in our review for the Best Graphic Design Computers.

If you missed it however, here is an infographic that explains the difference.

best budget laptop for photoshop
best budget laptop for photoshop

Display

The kind of display on a Laptop can really influence the overall user experience. You do not need to have a 4k kind of display to produce great work on Photoshop. However it would not hurt if you get one.

For optimal performance anywhere from 1366 x 768  to 1920 x 1080 Pixels display is recommended. However the minimum resolution we recommend is not lower than 1280 x 800 pixels display.

Another important factor to consider is the screen. A small size screen is difficult or even sometimes impossible to use with Photoshop. We recommend 13 inches and above for a great experience with Photoshop.

Operating System

Mac and Windows systems are the most preferred operating systems. However, Mac devices are a bit expensive compared to Windows and there are so many reasons why you would like to choose Windows over Mac.

which is the best OS for Photoshop between MAC and PC

For the longest time debate has been going on on which one between the 2 is best for Photoshop and Graphic Design in general.

This article does not finally put this discussion to rest. This is because ultimately which is the best between the 2 is a matter of personal preference for Graphic Designers and artists. So this is up to you. Personally I prefer PC over MAC

What is the Best Budget Laptop For Photoshop

  1. Lenovo 2022 IdeaPad 3i Best Value for money
  2. Acer Aspire 5 Best Laptop For Photoshop under 500$
  3. HP Pavilion Best Budget Laptop For Photoshop under 800$
  4. Lenovo Flex 14.2 Inch Convertible Laptop
  5. Apple MacBook Air Laptop Best for MAC users
  6. Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Best Laptop for Freelancers
  7. HP 15.6” Touchscreen Premium Laptop

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