Best laptops for photography 2021

Photography is a niche that requires the best possible equipment you can scrounge with your savings. Photographers spend a hefty sum for their Hassleblads, Nikons, Canons, but turn a blind eye when buying a laptop for their job. A good portable is the best companion for editing on the fly as well as an asset to your workstation. You can opt for a pc that can be your editing rig but it comes with many problems. The first is the portability factor that impedes your productivity on outdoor shoots. The second is the sheer amount of power that they draw to complete the work. All this is burdened with the fact when you have to purchase a competent display for photography.

LaptopsImageLaptops NameView On Amazon
#1AERO 17 HDR YC

#2Dell XPS 15

#3MacBook Pro

#4Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

#5Acer ConceptD 7

Laptops are better than ever and continue to manifest into powerful little beasts with desktop-grade components. With the release of the newest processors from Intel, AMD, and even Apple’s proprietary M1sillicon, laptops are becoming a favorite of photographers and video editors. New processors mean abundant options to choose from and abundant options to get confused with. Don’t fret! I’m here to relieve you of your computer woes and guide you to help purchase the best portable on the market. Before going to the selection part, let me elaborate on what factors make or break a laptop for photography.

A decent laptop for photography can be adjudged on the following features.

Display

The display makes or breaks a photography laptop. A good resolution display is essential for daily use. Nobody likes a defunct display with HD resolution that doesn’t do much in terms of visual fidelity. Even mid-range laptops come with a Full HD display or a 1440 pixels display which looks good and supports high-resolution output. For photography, 2K resolution or upwards is deemed the best resolution to edit photos with precision. 

A bigger resolution means more pixels and better details in images. It is what a photographer is after because quality matters in each image. It doesn’t matter if you want to stretch the image or not but having more information is always good for the client. Nobody likes to view blurry images that lack depth and if you have a great display with a large resolution, the job becomes a tad bit easy. Take note that the display of the laptop only displays image information captured from the camera. Any discrepancies in the image capture can be found out using a high resolution, factory calibrated display with a dense color gamut.

I’m sure the above-mentioned jargons mat have confused you but the major take away from that is high resolution means more information in each pixel and a display that can differentiate between minute color shades has a good color gamut. There are a few certifications that clearly indicate if a laptop is meant for photo editing work or not. Pantone certified display or DCI P3 displays are a few of the labels you should be looking out for while selecting a laptop for photography.

Processor

It is common for novice photography users to mistake the graphics card for the only relevant item for photo editing. In reality, the notion is reversed as photo editing demands a powerful processor, a newer generation, if possible. Images may appear just visual data to you but to interpret those colors there are a lot of numbers and complex calculations to be done. Think of it like navigating a dense, still stream of water. If you have more paddles the boat will cruise through the water easily. A multi-core processor has ample threads that it can allocate to each computation, and produce faster results. If you have a sluggish processor the changes that you continuously make to an image may take longer than usual to reflect on the screen.

Memory

Memory or RAM works side by side with the processor. It stores volatile data which the intermediary results that are stored and deleted after use. Having more memory helps you run multiple instances of photo editing with ease while presenting no lag whatsoever. I would recommend you to go for 16 gigs to be future proof for some years. An extra slot is an added benefit if you want to overhaul the RAM in the future.

GPU

GPU or the graphics processor is the main query of photography professionals who intend to buy the best laptop for their profession. The fact of the matter is that photo editing is not extremely reliant on the GPU unless you are into realistic 3-D objects and such. That being said, it is still imperative to have a decent GPU that can help you with graphics card acceleration while modifying the images.

Storage

Storage back in 2015 was deemed as the more the merrier. Nowadays, every program wants a faster storage component that can keep up with its pace. This is applicable for games, photo editors, IDEs, and pretty much everything else. Solid-state drives have faster read and write speeds and can fetch the data at lightning speed. The change is pretty obvious when you are applying changes to a complex image file and it is done in an instant.

Battery

For a resource-intensive application like photo editors, battery life matters but not as it would on a productivity laptop. I agree that a portable should have a good battery backup but when you have a power-hungry program it is better to lie in the proximity of a wall socket.

Adobe Photoshop

Here are the system requirements for Adobe Photoshop that will help you choose better among the listed best laptops for photography.

Windows System Requirements

 MinimumRecommended
ProcessorIntel or AMD processor with 64-bit support; 2 GHz or faster processor with SSE 4.2 or later
Operating systemWindows 10 (64-bit) version 1809 or later; LTSC versions are not supported
RAM8 GB16 GB or more
Graphics cardGPU with DirectX 12 support2 GB of GPU memoryGPU with DirectX 12 support4 GB of GPU memory for 4k displays and greater
Monitor resolution1280 x 800 display at 100% UI scaling1920 x 1080 display or greater at 100% UI scaling
Hard disk space4 GB of available hard-disk space; additional space is required for installation4 GB of available hard-disk space; additional space is required for installation Fast internal SSD for app installation
InternetInternet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services †

macOS System Requirements

 MinimumRecommended
ProcessorIntel processor with 64-bit support; 2 GHz or faster processor with SSE 4.2 or later
Operating systemmacOS Mojave (version 10.14) or latermacOS Big Sur (version 11)
macOS Catalina (version 10.15)
RAM8 GB16 GB or more
Graphics cardGPU with Metal support2 GB of GPU memoryGPU with Metal support4 GB of GPU memory for 4k displays and greater
Monitor resolution1280 x 800 display at 100% UI scaling1920 x 1080 display or greater at 100% UI scaling
Hard disk space4 GB of available hard-disk space; additional space is required for installation4 GB of available hard-disk space; additional space is required for installation Fast internal SSD for app installation
InternetInternet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, membership validation, and access to online services

Best laptop for photo editing at a glance

  • AERO 17 HDR YC
  • Dell XPS 15 (2020)
  • MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
  • Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020)
  • Acer ConceptD 7
  1. AERO 17 HDR YC

Specifications

Processor Name10th Gen Intel Core i9-10980HK (2.4GHz~5.3GHz)
SSD Yes
SSD Capacity 2x 1 TB M.2 SSD slots (Type 2280, supports 1x NVMe PCIe & SATA/ 1x NVMe PCIe)
RAM 64 GB DDR4
Graphics ProcessorMobile Intel HM470 Express Chipset Intel UHD Graphics 630 NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU 8GB GDDR6
Memory Slots 2 Slots
Expandable Memory Up to 64 GB
RAM Frequency 3200 MHz

Port and Slot Features

Mic In Yes
RJ45 Yes
VGA Port NO
USB Port 2 x USB 3.0 Type A, 1 x USB 2.0 Type A
HDMI Port 1 x HDMI 2.1 Port, 1x mini DP 1.4
Multi Card Slot1x UHS-II SD Card Reader
Hardware Interface SATA

Connectivity Features

Wireless LANIntel AX200 Wireless (802.11ax, a/b/g/n/ac/ax compatible)
BluetoothBluetooth V5.0 + LE
EthernetRJ45

Operating System

OS Architecture 64 bit
Operating System Windows 10 Home

Display and Audio

Screen Size43.9 cm (17.3 inch)
Screen Resolution 3840×2160 Pixels
Screen TypeThin Bezel UHD IPS-level Anti-glare Display LCD (VESA Display HDR 400, 100% Adobe RGB) X-Rite Pantone Certified, individually factory calibrated
Speakers2x 2 Watt Speaker
Internal Mic Built-in Microphone

AERO 17 HDR YC is overkill for anything. I’ll straight up own the comment because the laptop is so meticulously overcompensating in every aspect. It is highly unlikely for a manufacturer to hit all the right spots when designing a product. For a photographer, the AERO 17 HDR YC is nothing short of a miracle. One thing to note that despite being 2.5 kilograms in weight, which is a lot if you take the portability factor into account, is still less if you compare it with the other laptops in a similar form factor. The designers surely paid no attention to the uneven I/O ports layout or the top half bulge, but I’m sure it can be considered intentional. 

AERO 17 HDR YC
AERO 17 HDR YC
Editors Rating:

AERO 17 HDR YC is still a beautiful machine nonetheless. Its design scheme is playful with shapes as you can see on the lid and the slight hints of shapes on the speaker grill or the fan vents. Its display stands out from most laptops due to its edge-to-edge display with exceedingly thin bezels, which are as slim as 3mm. Achieving such slim bezels comes at a cost. The laptop lacks any webcam on the top bezel as you see on most laptops. It comes with a nose cam instead, that is, well not the best in terms of quality or the angle. It comes with a privacy shutter that is designed to keep snooping eyes out of the picture.

Coming back to the gorgeous 4K UHD display of the laptop, there are very few things that it lacks. One is the nose cam and the other is the absence of a high refresh rate display. It would have been great for gaming if it had the feature. Nevertheless, the 17.3-inch display produces alluring color combinations due to the 100 percent Adobe RGB color gamut, far more detailed than the sRGB gamut. The laptop is factory calibrated with Pantone technology to match the color accuracy and is one of the best for photo editing work. It is also VESA HDR 400 certified which means you can enjoy HDR content without any difficulty. The laptop is a delight for photography work, comes with the maximum possible resolution, and does not produce reflections due to its anti-glare display.

Unlike the MacBook, the laptop comes packed with all the input-output ports that you can possibly need in a portable. No need for dongles on this one as you have the thunderbolt port, HDMI ports, USB A and C ports, and an RJ-45 Ethernet port. For wireless connectivity, the laptop uses a Wi-Fi 6 card from Intel that can give you unparalleled speed over a network. It also comes with low-energy Bluetooth 5.0 and can connect to your Bluetooth peripherals. 

The keyboard on the AERO 17 HDR, is a full RBG backlit keyboard with all the bells and whistles. It has a good response, visible colors, and mappable macro key functions for individual keys. Along with the full-size keyboard, you get a large trackpad with a fingerprint scanner in the top right corner. You can easily log in to the laptop and prevent it from unauthorized access. There are two speakers but the sound is nothing exemplary to boast about.

Under the hood, the laptop packs a tenth-generation Intel core i9 processor that can help you achieve maximum multitasking without any issues. It is paired with 64 GB of RAM that is more than enough for photo editing. The laptop has the option of a 2 TB SSD that comes with blazing fast speed for the instant rendering of the project. It also comes with the latest generation NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, which is the maximum that you can get on a laptop. There is also an onboard Intel UHD 630 GPU that can be used in battery saver mode. The RTX GPU is responsible for running the UHD display that enables you to differentiate one pixel from another.

Being a 17-inch laptop, it comes with a large battery but does not last that much. You can expect a run-time of 5-7 hours on a single charge. I would advise you to use it plugged in as it can help you maximize the power output. It is the best available laptop on the market that can help you master the art of photo editing with the comfort of portability.

  1. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

Specifications

Processor Name10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H (12MB Cache, up to 5.0 GHz, 6 cores)
SSD Yes
SSD Capacity 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
RAM 64 GB DDR4
Graphics ProcessorNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6
Memory Slots 2 Slots
Expandable Memory16GB DDR4
RAM Frequency 2933MHz

Port and Slot Features

Mic In Yes
RJ45 Yes
VGA Port NO
USB Port 1x USB-C 3.1 with power delivery &        DisplayPort, 2x Thunderbolt 3 with power delivery & DisplayPort 
HDMI Port 1 x HDMI 2.1 Port, 1x mini DP 1.4
Multi Card Slot 1x UHS-II SD Card Reader
Hardware Interface SATA

Connectivity Features

Wireless LANKiller Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2×2)
BluetoothBluetooth V5.1

Operating System

OS Architecture 64 bit
Operating System Windows 10 Home

Display and Audio

Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6 inch)
Screen Resolution3840×2160 Pixels
Screen Type15.6″ UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display
Speakers 2x 2 Watt Speaker
Internal Mic Built-in Microphone

Dell XPS 15 9500 is another great option for photo editing that packs a great display and a competent set of internal components. I’m never impressed by the appearance of Dell laptops, especially in the 15 inches category, but it appears that the brand outdid itself in terms of aesthetics. You get a rugged chassis, made out of aluminum and slim bezels all around, both of which are only found in ultraportables like MacBook Air or Asus VivoBook, etc. 

Dell XPS 15
Dell XPS 15
Editors Rating:

The Dell XPS 15 9500 adopts a minimalistic design all throughout the laptop with no shimmer or glitter like the AERO 17 HDR. The laptop comes in two variants, a touch screen and a non-touchscreen one, but I will discuss the latter. A touch screen display is a boon for editors and creators that want to play with textures and layers using a digital pen. Dell XPS 15 9500 comes with a 4K UHD display that oozes colors with maximum precision. It supports HDR content and comes equipped with Dolby Vision for a better dynamic range. The display produces crisp images which are identical to what your camera interprets. It comes with a 100 percent Adobe and 94 percent DCI-P3 color gamut that is precision-tuned for photo editing work. With a larger color gamut, photo editors can easily differentiate between different shades and hues. It possesses a brightness of 500 nits and will not pose any hindrance to your work, both inside and outside the office. It also comes with an anti-reflective coating that minimizes reflections and the display is coated with Gorilla Glass 6 to protect it from scratches.

One more peculiar thing about the display of Dell XPS 15 9500 is the aspect ratio. It uses a 16:10 aspect ratio which is slightly taller than the 16:9. This gives you more height to work with the Photoshop application that has numerous menus and scroll bars.

The slim bezels have managed to retain a web cam, that too an IR one, meaning you can log in using windows hello, without typing in long passwords. Bearing the same bezels as AERO 17 HDR YC, it is impressive that you get a high-quality webcam with a laptop that can be used to video conference with your clients. The laptop has a fairly larger keyboard that is a full-size island-style one. It is not an RGB or even single color backlit and requires an additional light to work in the night. The trackpad is ginormous as compared to the other laptops in this segment as it covers more the 50 percent of the base area. You can easily hover your fingers without ever encountering a space issue. Most photo editors will still add an additional mouse as it gives better precision control.

The connectivity options are limited on the Dell XPS 15 9500, as it tries to copy the design of the MacBook Pro. It is however loaded with USB C ports but lacks an HDMI port or an Ethernet port. I would definitely want the HDMI port but you have to purchase an adaptor for the same. Dell is gracious enough to include a full-size SD card reader that can be used to transfer photos directly from your camera to the laptop. For wireless connectivity options, you get a Wi-Fi 6 card by Killer, although I would prefer Intel and a BlueTooth 5.1 chipset. Transferring photos from cloud storage is fast if you have a competent router.

Inside the Dell XPS 15 9500, rests a 6 core Intel i7 processor that takes produces stellar performance. You can run multiple sessions of the same software concurrently due to the 16 GB DDR3 RAM, which complements the processor. The laptop uses a 512 GB SSD which is fast but slightly smaller if you compare it with the AERO 17 HDR YC or any other laptop in the lineup. It comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GPU that can run your 3D objects and creations without stuttering and hanging every time. It is a reliable graphics card which is enough for photo editing software.

The battery life of the Dell XPS 15 9500 is also promising. It does not match the specification sheet range but lasts around 9-10 hours on average use, which means you can edit photos on the fly. It is a great addition for users that want a minimalistic design laptop that can outperform many monstrous-looking ones, like the AERO 17 HDR YC. Best suited for a user that cannot fit a 17.3-inch laptop into his/her gear backpack.

  1. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

Specifications

Processor Name2.6GHz 6‑core Intel Core i7, Turbo                                  Boost up to 4.5GHz, with 12MB shared L3 cache
SSD Yes
SSD Capacity 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
RAM 64 GB DDR4
Graphics Processor AMD Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB of GDDR6 memory and automatic graphics switchingIntel UHD Graphics 630  
Memory Slots 2 Slots
Expandable Memory 16GB DDR4
RAM Frequency 2666 MHz

Port and Slot Features

Mic In Yes
RJ45 No
VGA Port NO
USB PortFour Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports with support for: ChargingDisplayPortThunderbolt (up to 40 Gbps)USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)  
HDMI Port No
Multi Card Slot No
Hardware Interface SATA

Connectivity Features

Wireless LAN802.11ac Wi‑Fi wireless networking  
BluetoothBluetooth V5.0

Operating System

OS Architecture 64 bit
Operating System macOS

Display and Audio

Screen Size16 inch
Screen Resolution3072×1920 Pixels
Screen Type16.0‑inch (diagonal) LED‑backlit display with IPS technology; 3072×1920 native resolution at 226 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
Speakers High‑fidelity six‑speaker system with force‑cancelling woofers  
Internal MicStudio‑quality three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming  

There are two versions of the MacBook Pro a 13 inch and a sixteen-inch version. For photography editing and related tasks, a bigger high-resolution display is always a viable choice. So the MacBook Pro 16 inch is the third addition to our list of best laptops for photography and photo editing work. As you know, the MacBook products are a class apart from the competition and perform really well due to the power-packed internals and best-in-class software optimization. 

MacBook Pro
MacBook Pro
Editors Rating:

MacBook Pro 16 inch is an all-aluminum chassis with a retina display that produces sharp color combinations. The contrast is much better than most laptops although the resolution is close to a UHD one. Photo editing on a 13-inch laptop is slightly jarring on the eyes as you have to focus on the screen too much. The 16 inch MacBook Pro is a better option as it brings more pixels on a larger display that is easy to work with. Photography enthusiasts love Apple MacBooks because they feature top-notch specs with unmatched performance that remains consistent throughout the life of the device.

The 16-inch display is etched on a boxy frame with larger bezels that looks outdated for sure. Apple has never been good at the bezels game and this one also features identical but slightly slim bezels. The top bezel houses a 720-pixel webcam with average quality video output. The true tone display produces colors that are not visible on a 1080 pixel display. It also has a wide color P3 gamut which differentiates between colors and hues. The display comes touch-enabled and is coated with an anti-reflective material. It is a bright display and at 500 nits it is practically usable in bright lit surroundings such as in a park or during the commute.

The MacBook Pro 16 inch features a fingerprint scanner embedded into the power button that makes it easy to log in, as soon as you open the device. It has a larger key set because it does not have a separate numeric keypad. The keyboard also features a touch bar that can help you to assign shortcuts, navigate between apps and do much more. The keyboard is LED backlit and is bright enough to use during the night. The trackpad is much larger and supports force touch for better handling during scrolling and dragging tasks. It also has six speakers, one on each side, and four in the chassis. 

MacBook Pro 16 inches is a nightmare for connectivity options. As a photographer, you are already burdened with so many accessories. You have to buy additional dongles for the MacBook as it does not have anything but USB-type C ports. Even an SD Card slot is missing from the chassis despite a beefy design. The four Thunderbolt ports facilitate the charging, display output, and data transfer. You have to purchase additional dongles for USB C to USB A and for HDMI and SD Card readers. The wireless connectivity options are not too shabby with a WiFi 5 card and Bluetooth version 5.0 for data transfer and internet connectivity. You have to purchase an additional adaptor for ethernet connectivity.

Moving on to the internals, the MacBook Pro 16 inch features an eight-core Intel i9 processor that can be equipped with 64 GB of RAM. I would suggest you stick to 16 or 32 GB as it is enough computing power for photo and video editing. The laptop also comes with a 512 GB fast SSD that delivers fast boot-up and data transfer. The storage can be upped to a whopping 8 TB, should you need it in the future. There are two graphics card present on the laptop, which includes a Radeon Pro for high-end 3D editing and an integrated one for normal performance. 

The larger chassis helps in bringing larger battery sizes to the users. A fully charged MacBook Pro 16 inch can last up to 9 hours. It charges fast due to the thunderbolt ports which is better than old pin connectors. On 5he software side of things, you get to experience macOS in its full glory and use Adobe applications for photo editing. It is the best non-windows option on the market for a photo editor.

  • Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020)

Specifications

Processor Name10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H 8 Core (2.3GHz/5.1GHz)
SSD Yes
SSD Capacity 1TB SSD (M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4)
RAM 32 GB DDR4
Graphics ProcessorNVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition (16GB GDDR6 VRAM)
Memory Slots 2 Slots
Expandable Memory32GB DDR4
RAM Frequency 2933MHz

Port and Slot Features

Mic In Yes
RJ45 No
VGA Port NO
USB Port USB 3.2 Gen 2 (USB-A) x 3, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C)
HDMI Port 1 x HDMI Port
Multi Card Slot 1x UHS-II SD Card Reader
Hardware Interface SATA

Connectivity Features

Wireless LANIntel Wireless-AX201 (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax)
BluetoothBluetooth V5.1

Operating System

OS Architecture 64 bit
Operating System Windows 10 Pro

Display and Audio

Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6 inch)
Screen Resolution3840×2160 Pixels
Screen Type15.6″ OLED 4K Touch 60Hz, 100% DCI-P3, factory calibrated
SpeakersBuilt-in Stereo speakers
Internal Mic Built-in Microphone

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is the fourth entry on the list that is designed only for creators. Each component is handpicked to deliver the ultimate editing experience, be it the processor, the connectivity options, or the GPU. The laptop won’t disappoint you at any stage, at least not with its performance. Its price, however, can give you a shock of a lifetime. If you thought MacBook products expensive, wait till you step out to buy a full-blown Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition.

Razerblade 15
Razerblade 15
Editors Rating:

Keeping the price aside, it is still a very good laptop for everything except gaming. You can game on the laptop but the experience won’t be that fun. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is nowhere light as a portable workstation should be and sits around 2.2 kilograms. Even the 17-inch AERO 17 HDR YC is comparatively lighter, given the 17-inch display. For a fifteen-inch laptop, Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition should have been below the 2-kilogram mark.

Moving to the crux of the post, the display that makes the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition a lucrative choice for photo editing. The display of the laptop is an OLED panel which brings stark contrast. The colors are so vivid that it feels like a tiny OLED TV. The laptop comes with a 100 percent DCI-P3 color gamut and is factory calibrated to meet the standards of editing. I would advise against self-calibration until you fully understand the craft. The display bears a 4k resolution that is well enough for photo editing on the move. Being a creator-focused laptop, it comes with a touch screen display and supports digital pen input. It is also layered with the Gorilla Glass 6 that protects it from unintentional scratches. Its bezels are so slim that they provide an immersive video experience if you watch HDR content on it.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition offers one of the best keyboards on a laptop. The keys are large and tactile and have per-key RGB lighting, which is a bit much if you ask me. Its topmost bezel features an HD webcam that isn’t the most pleasant when it comes to quality. Being an IR webcam, it does support windows hello login. It does not have a fingerprint sensor which is common for laptops in this price range. The trackpad is positioned in the center and offers great response time. The only problem is that it is small and requires an external mouse for any real editing work.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is loaded with connectivity options. You have got all the ports that you need from a photo editing laptop. It offers USB A and C ports, HDMI port, supports charging via power bank, and has a full-size SD card reader. You don’t have to buy a dongle unless you want to hook up an ethernet cable to the laptop. For wireless connectivity, the laptop is equipped with a Wi-Fi 6 card and also a Bluetooth 5.1 for data transfer and internet connectivity. 

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is packed with powerful internals. You get a tenth-generation Intel i7 processor. The eight physical cores and 16 logical threads can put even mighty applications to shame. The processor is paired with 32 GB of ultra-fast DDR4 RAM that is future-proof for at least 5 years. For the storage side, you get a 1 TB NVMe SSD that provides fast uptime and data transfer speed. Razer had used a creator-grade GPU in the laptop. It comes with an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition with 16GB GDDR6 VRAM that is fit for heavy image and video editing. The massive amount of VRAM is overkill in my opinion and is the primary cause of the exorbitant price tag of the laptop.

High-end components in a laptop surely affect its battery life. The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition lasts a little north of 5 hours on basic editing and usage. If you crank up the tasks it will last 3-3.5 hours on average. Nevertheless, it charges real quick with the thunderbolt port and also supports PD charging. The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is a niche laptop, made for editors, and despite the hefty price tag, is a great addition to your editing gear.

  • Acer ConceptD 7

Specifications

Processor NameIntel Core i7-10875H Octa-core 2.30 GHz (2.3GHz/5.1GHz)
SSD Yes
SSD Capacity 2 * 1TB SSD (M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4)
RAM 32 GB DDR4
Graphics ProcessorNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER MAX-Q 8 GB
Memory Slots 2 Slots
Expandable Memory32GB DDR4
RAM Frequency 2933MHz

Port and Slot Features

Mic In Yes
Ethernet 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet
VGA Port NO
USB Port 1 x USB-C, 3 x USB 3.1 Type-A,
HDMI Port 1 x HDMI Port
Multi Card Slot No
Hardware Interface SATA

Connectivity Features

Wireless LANIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
BluetoothBluetooth V5.0

Operating System

OS Architecture 64 bit
Operating System Windows 10 Pro

Display and Audio

Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6 inch)
Screen Resolution3840×2160 Pixels
Screen Type15.6″ 4K UHD ComfyView (Matte), In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
SpeakersBuilt-in Stereo speakers
Internal Mic Built-in Microphone

Acer ConceptD 7 is also a creator-centric laptop. It is slightly different from the usual sleek ultraportables that the brand makes, but is certainly heavy than the 13-inch versions. Acer labels it as a mobile design station built with creator-grade components in mind. It is elegant with its pristine white color scheme but is equally boxy and heavy at 2.1 kilograms. Still lighter than the Dell XPS 15 9500 but not exactly under the 2-kilogram mark. 

Acer ConceptD 7
Acer ConceptD 7
Editors Rating:

The all-aluminum chassis lends some heft to the build and also provides protection from scratches on the surface with its ceramic shield. The laptop tries to follow in the footsteps of a MacBook Pro and does better in a few aspects, like the port layout and configuration. For a creator-centric laptop, especially photo editing, a high-resolution screen with a wide color gamut and Pantone validation is a must. The Acer ConceptD 7 comes with Pantone color validation and has an average of Delta E>2, which makes it suitable for color correction and photo editing. It also possesses a 100 percent Adobe RGB color gamut which is greater than an sRGB one.

Diagonal cut bezels give it a different aesthetic from the normal curved laptop designs. Acer ConceptD 7 has incredibly thin bezels on three sides with a beefy bezel in the bottom. The top bezel has an HD webcam that produces admissible video output, like most integrated webcams on laptops. It lacks a privacy shutter which would have been great for a creator laptop. The display has an 81 percent screen-to-body ratio with a 4K resolution that produces vibrant colors and noticeable contrast. The panel is glossy as compared to many laptops in the lineup but still manages to curb the reflections in bright light. 

The keyboard on the Acer ConceptD 7 a chiclet-style LED-backlit keyboard with white light. It looks phenomenal in the dark with golden shades and is comparatively bright than the MacBook keyboard. The tactile feedback is there but not immensely noticeable with a few keystrokes. Being a creator-focused laptop, the trackpad is too small to maneuver. You have to use an external mouse to effectively work with photo editing on the laptop. It lacks a fingerprint sensor which is imperative in a 2020 offering. 

Acer ConceptD 7 is loaded with connectivity options that can help a creator. It comes with all the possible USB type A and C ports, a full-size HDMI and mini display port, and a thunderbolt 3 port for fast data transfer. It also retains the ethernet port which is hard to find in creator-focused laptops. The only problem is that it doesn’t incorporate a much-needed SD card reader slot which forces you to purchase a dongle for the same. For wireless connectivity options, you get a Wi-Fi 6 card that can go faster than the usual Wi-Fi 5. It also uses a Bluetooth version 5.0 adaptor for file sharing and peripheral connectivity.

Creator-grade components vary from normal ones due to the sheer firepower that they carry. Acer ConceptD 7 uses an eight-core Intel i7 processor that can go as high as 5.1 GHz, should the need arise. It is paired with 32 GB of RAM in a dual-channel configuration that maximizes the performance in CPU-intensive applications. You also get 2 TB SSD storage, which is more than enough for storing raw image files and completed projects. The rendering times are considerably improved due to the SSD and the dual-channel RAM. The laptop also outshines in the Graphics department and features a desktop-grade NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU that can help you with your 2D and 3D object renderings. 

The chassis is kept cool by using two fans and side-mounted vents that ensure fresh airflow. It gets slightly warm on the lap but doesn’t burn your thigh. Its battery life takes a massive hit due to the desktop-grade components and sits around the 3-4 hour mark in CPU-intensive applications. One more quirk about the Acer ConceptD 7 is that is designed and checked to run creator applications from Adobe and Autodesk. It performs exceptionally well in these applications and is validated by the Independent software vendors.

Conclusion

These were the best laptops for photography 2021. I would recommend the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR YC as the best laptop for photo editing in 2021. It is big enough, has good pixel density, and comes with a crisp UHD display. If the Gigabyte Aero feels big, you can go for the Razer Blade 15 Studio edition with NVIDIA Quadro GPU, or the Acer ConceptD 7, both of which are slightly costly. If the operating system isn’t an issue, the MacBook Pro 16 inch is a lighter option for photo editing.

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