5 best editing laptops
These portable computers can keep up with the demands of editing software.
Find a portable computer that can keep up with your editing needs.
BIGGER SENSORS, more megapixels, larger file sizes – these are just a few of the challenges your editing setup will come up against. It can be bad news for your home computer, taxing it well beyond its limits and resulting in horrendous slow-down. However, fear not, help is at hand.
This month we’re taking a look at five laptops guaranteed to give you the ability to run a wide range of editing software, such as Photoshop, Capture One and Affinity. While the prices may seem a bit daunting at first, this is one area where heavy users can’t afford to skimp, and these CPU powerhouses provide excellent bang for their buck. Whether you’re Mac or PC, laptop or tablet, there’s going to be something here to suit your needs.
HP Pavilion Pro 14-bf154sa 14in £750
Although it comes in cheaper than the competition, the HP Pavilion Pro has a ton of powerful features. You get an Intel Core i7-8550U processor and 8GB of RAM that allows a solid 1.8GHz of performance, or up to 4GHz with Turbo Boost. There’s also an on-board 256GB SSD and NVIDIA GeForce MX130 2GB graphics card, which should make light work of any intensive editing software.
The 14in Full HD 1920x1080 WLED backlit screen is a touch larger than others in test, which is great for those who like to work close up. While it’s not the sleekest offering here, it does house one USB Type-C and two USB 3.1 connections, as well as an HDMI port, ideal for hooking up external drives, or screen mirroring on your home television setup. It also boasts a decent ten-hour battery life, which is essential for keeping you going on those long journeys. Not bad for the price. currys.co.uk SPEC Processor: 8th Generation i7 Screen size: 14in | Storage: 256GB SSD
Microsoft Surface Pro i5 8GB RAM £979
Slightly out there, the Surface Pro is half-tablet, half-laptop. This i5 version features a 7th generation Intel Core i5, 8GB of internal RAM and a 128GB SSD, perfect for a lightning fast workflow. It boasts a 13.3in PixelSense touch display, with a stunning 2736x1824 resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio, that supports ten-point multi-touch as well as the Bluetooth Surface Pen (£100). Using the Surface Pen essentially turns your screen into a graphic tablet, just like the Lenovo, supporting 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support – a must-have for perfectionists.
The major selling point here is the portability, weighing in at a respectable 770g. There is an on-screen keyboard, though you can also buy an additional Bluetooth keyboard (£90). For the price, mobility and excellent 13.5-hour battery life, this is definitely one to consider. microsoft.com SPEC Processor: 7th Generation i5 Screen size: 13.3in | Storage: 128GB SSD
Lenovo Yoga 920 13in £1199
This convertible 2-in-1 touchscreen offers something a bit different. Packing an Intel Core i5-8250U processor and 8GB of internal RAM, like the Dell, it’s easily got the chops to handle Photoshop. This Windows machine can be used as a traditional laptop, or flipped over to appear more like a tablet. It boasts a touchscreen that’s compatible with the included Active Pen, meaning you can use it like a graphic tablet with up to 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity – very impressive.
The 13.9in IPS touch display measures 1920x1080 Full HD, though you can upgrade to a UHD 4K screen at extra cost. You also get a 256GB SSD, and a nifty fingerprint scanner, perfect for extra security. Despite the stellar performance, the battery really shines, promising 15.5 hours of continuous usage, ideal for those long, demanding nights of editing. lenovo.com SPEC Processor: 8th Generation i5 Screen size: 13.9in | Storage: 128GB SSD
Dell New XPS 13 From £1199
Dell’s ultra-portable Windows offering, which claims to be the smallest in class, features an 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor, which offers up to 3.4HGz of performance. As standard, it packs 8GB of internal RAM and a 256GB SSD, which is more than the MacBook Pro. It has an Intel UHD Graphics card and 13.3in Full HD 1920x1080 InfinityEdge display, which isn’t quite as high-res as others in test, but will easily manage to do your photos justice when reviewing them.
If you prefer to edit on the move, the battery is rated to last just a touch under 20 hours, which is extremely impressive. Just like the MacBook, you have access to two Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports, which allow you to connect to multiple displays, ideal if you have an external monitor. For the price, this laptop boasts a stunning design and equally impressive performance. dell.com SPEC Processor: 8th Generation i5 Screen size: 13.3in | Storage: 256GB SSD
Apple MacBook Pro 13in 2018 From £1249
This mini-marvel from Apple features a compact 13in screen, and packs an impressive punch in the power stakes. You get a 2.3GHz dual-core 7th generation Intel Core i5 processor, which can utilise the Turbo Boost to return up to 3.6GHz – easily enough to handle Photoshop. The base model, which costs £1249, also includes 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD memory. While SSD is extremely quick, this will fill up instantly, so we highly recommend investing in external storage from the off.
The 13.3in LED-backlit Retina display features IPS technology and supports a high native resolution of 2560x1600 pixels, which supports over a million colours – ideal for perfecting your tones. It also claims a ten-hour battery life – though this is impressive, in real-world usage you may experience differing results, especially if you’re running intensive editing software. apple.co.uk SPEC Processor: 7th Generation i5 Screen size: 13.3in | Storage: 128GB SSD