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Top 6 Laptops for Photographers

After a new portable workstation to edit your images? We round up a selection of six laptops

1. MACBOOK PRO (15in) £1599

MACBOOK-PRO-15in-300x187 Top 6 Laptops for PhotographersThe champion laptop for just about all creative types is the MacBook Pro. These models offer perfect portability, decent power and, since the introduction of retina displays, superb screen quality. While MacBook Pros do not have touchscreens, the 2880 x 1800 resolution offers the type of crisp and clear viewing that’s essential for photo editing. The MacBook Pro 15 also supplies fantastic colour gamut coverage, with 93% of Adobe sRGB; and Mac OS X offers profiles to tweak the calibration of the screen with a few clicks. Add to this an eight-hour battery life, fast SSD storage as well as reliability, and it’s clear the MacBook Pro’s skillset is strong. There are a few holes – the glossy display is fairly reflective for outdoor use; getting more storage is expensive; and two USBs can be limiting.

Specifications

  • PROCESSOR 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • OPERATING SYSTEM OS X Yosemite
  • DIMENSIONS 350 x 240 x 18mm
  • WEIGHT 2.02kg
  • URL https://www.apple.com/uk/

PROS

  • Superb screen quality
  • Intuitive operating system
  • An excellent portable solution for those on the go

CONS

  • Screen is fairly reflective when used outdoors
  • Some users will find two USB ports limiting

2. DELL XPS (15in) £1250

DELL-XPS-15in-300x228 Top 6 Laptops for PhotographersThe Dell XPS 15 is about as close as you can get to a MacBook Pro rival and uses the Windows 8.1 operating system. It’s portable, armoured with aluminium and offers quad-core Intel Core i7 power. In some respects, the Dell XPS even beats the mighty MacBook Pro. It has more pixels on screen, with a wider-aspect 3200 x 1800 pixel display. It’s not an IPS display, but a PPS one. The two technologies are similar, offering wide viewing angles. A bit more work is needed to get the most out of the XPS 15 screen, as colours are a little overcooked fresh out of the box. Postcalibration, though, screen performance is excellent. The Dell XPS also offers the (cheaper) option of a 1TB hard drive rather than a 512GB SSD, making it a good choice for those after a good level of baseline storage before buying an external drive.

Specifications

  • PROCESSOR 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • OPERATING SYSTEM Windows 8.1
  • DIMENSIONS 372 x 254 x 18mm
  • WEIGHT 2.01kg
  • URL http://www.dell.co.uk/

PROS

  • Excellent value for money
  • Wide-aspect, high-resolution display
  • 512GB SSD available

CONS

  • Colours can appear a bit overcooked straight out of the box compared to its closest rivals

3. CHILLBLAST PHOTO OC MOBILE £1199

CHILLBLAST-PHOTO-OC-MOBILE-300x228 Top 6 Laptops for PhotographersChillblast makes a laptop designed specifically for photo editors, and as it’s not a name that charges a premium for its brand, you get an awful lot for your money. The Chillblast Photo OC Mobile has a 15.6in IPS LCD screen calibrated for photo editing – for accuracy, in other words. It’s only a 1920 x 1080 pixel display, but this is a laptop that focuses on all areas a photographer needs, not just the screen. It has four USB ports and a 9-in-1 card reader rather than the common SD-only type. It also offers excellent storage. There’s a 120GB SSD built in for speed, plus a 1TB hybrid SSD/HDD for when speed isn’t paramount. The last unusual part is the Blu-ray writer – relatively few laptops use optical drives these days. At £1,200, it represents a good deal. However, it’s not the perfect road warrior as it weighs 2.4kg.

Specifications

  • PROCESSOR 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • OPERATING SYSTEM Windows 8.1
  • DIMENSIONS 374 x 252 x 31mm
  • WEIGHT 2.4kg
  • URL http://www.chillblast.com/

PROS

  • Four USB ports
  • 120GB SSD hard drive built in
  • Blu-ray writer built in

CONS

  • Battery life only lasts for around four hours
  • Rather heavy to carry around when on the move

4. ASUS TRANSFORMER T200 £350

ASUS-TRANSFORMER-T200-300x252 Top 6 Laptops for PhotographersAsus is a master of convertible tabletlaptop hybrids, and its latest is the Transformer T200. What it offers for just £350 is quite amazing. The tablet has an 11.6in IPS display (most laptops at the same price still have TN panels) and as well as the Asus’s 32GB memory, the keyboard base has a 500GB hard drive. While this style means the Transformer T200 isn’t as light and thin as some 11.6in laptops, it’s a big win for versatility and value. It’s still light and small enough to carry around in a bag all day, and it lasts for up to 11 hours off a charge. It also has two USB sockets, enabling connection to an external hard drive and a mouse at the same time. As it uses an Intel Atom CPU it’s best-suited to light editing though, and the 1366 x 768-pixel screen isn’t as sharp or as colour-accurate as our other picks here.

Specifications

  • PROCESSOR 1.6GHz Intel Bay Trail-T Quad Core
  • OPERATING SYSTEM Windows 8.1
  • DIMENSIONS 305 x 194 x 11.95mm (tablet)
  • WEIGHT 0.78kg
  • URL http://www.asus.com/

PROS

  • Superb value for the price
  • Impressive 11-hour battery life
  • Excellent versatility

CONS

  • Some users will want more than two USB ports
  • Not as sharp or colouraccurate as its rivals

5. HP ZBOOK (17in) £2066

HP-ZBOOK-17in-300x222 Top 6 Laptops for PhotographersWhile 17in laptops are no longer in vogue, for serious photo editing a bigger screen is better – as long as it has the display quality to match. The resolution of the 17in screen is only Full HD, where several smaller options exceed that, but the DreamColor display is exceptional in terms of colour performance. It’s one of the few laptops that can actually exceed the Adobe RGB colour space, and there are easy-switching modes to keep the display in line with all the major professional standards. It also has a pro-grade graphics card that’ll appeal to some users. Where you pay for such amazing capabilities is the size, and the cost. It weighs 3.46kg and is certainly not cheap at just over £2k, but it offers scope for more RAM, more storage and more raw power than any other laptop in this group.

Specifications

PROS

  • Displays exceptional colours
  • Offers scope for adding more RAM

CONS

  • Big screen can make it harder to transport
  • Heavy compared to rivals
  • Expensive

6. LENOVO YOGA 2 (13.3in) £600

LENOVO-YOGA-2-13.3in-300x195 Top 6 Laptops for PhotographersHybrid tablet-laptops often offer quite low-power internals because all the brains have to exist in the screen part, but there is a third style of laptop. The Lenovo Yoga 2 13.3in is not a conventional hybrid, but it does have a screen that tilts 360°. It means the Yoga 2 can provide a tablet-like experience as well as a laptop one, and the keyboard can double as a stand, turning it into a super-powered picture frame – perfect for presenting photos. As the brains and battery can be shared between the screen and keyboard, the Yoga 2 is able to offer significantly more power than most convertible laptops. The 13in Full HD touchscreen offers decent colour accuracy, and if power and portability are paramount, the Yoga 2 is a great choice. It offers up to eight hours of battery life and it’s easy on the shoulder.

Specifications

  • PROCESSOR 1.7GHz Intel Core i3 processor
  • OPERATING SYSTEM Windows 8.1
  • DIMENSIONS 330 x 221 x 17mm
  • WEIGHT 1.66kg
  • URL http://lenovo.com/us/en/

PROS

  • Screen has a unique tilting mechanism
  • Powerful for the size
  • Decent colour accuracy

CONS

  • 13in displays are on the small side for photo editing
  • Some users will find two USB ports limiting

One thought on “Top 6 Laptops for Photographers

  1. Adelewilkie says:

    Wonderful article! This is the type of information that are supposed to be shared across the web. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this put up higher!
    Thanks =)

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