What Should I Look for in a Laptop for Photography?

  • on November 30, 2022
What Should I Look for in a Laptop for Photography?

Did you know that most people make at least one of these laptop-buying mistakes to meet their photography needs? This ends up either costing them money upfront or forcing them to spend more money because they have to upgrade too soon.

Over focused on the spec sheet

When people shop for laptops, the majority of the time, what they’re doing is simply comparing a list of specs, and this isn’t only true for online shoppers. The next time you are at a store, and you see someone looking at laptops, watch them, and you will see that they are basically going from one-to-one, taking a look at the display and then just reading the spec sheets.

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Try it before you buy it

They don’t type on the keyboard and don’t use the trackpad. They don’t play around with the brightness on a display and they don’t pick it up to see how heavy it is. And They are about to spend some serious cash on a device they plan on using for the next bunch of years, and they don’t even try it before they buy it.

A sense of the ergonomics

Now I know that not every person has access to every laptop that they are considering, but I’d recommend that if you can, try a similar model, maybe with the same keyboard and trackpad just to give yourself a sense of the ergonomics.


Speaking of spending money. Another mistake that people make is overpaying for a laptop. Look, this happens with every product, and if this isn’t the first video that you’ve watched on my channel, you know that I finish every video by saying, buy it nice or buy it twice. But that doesn’t mean that you need to buy the most expensive laptop that you’re considering.

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The next mistake that laptop buyers make has to do with storage. So first, I want you to think about how much internal storage you need, and you can look at your current laptop to see how much you’re using. Then I want you to consider whether the laptop you’re buying is upgradeable or not. I think the M1 MacBooks are a great buy, especially now, but they’re not upgradeable. So what you buy now is what you’ll have forever.


I get this question a lot, like can I do XYZ, whatever it is, video editing, photo editing, whatever it may be on whatever laptop? The issue is that most recent laptops can do all of those things. You can edit 4K videos, even on pretty basic laptops using proxies.

Think about time and money

But I want you to think about time and money. If it takes me twice as long to edit a video because I have to transcode all the footage or because I can’t smoothly scrub the timeline or it takes forever for effects to apply, how many hours am I wasting by saving a few hundred bucks upfront? Then multiply that by every video you’re ever going to edit on that laptop and you’ll see it add up quickly.

Size of the display

Now I want you to look specifically at the size of the display. Depending on what you’re using your laptop for, if you’ve got a laptop that’s too small, it may be so frustrating to use that even though you can bring it with you, you don’t end up working on it. So make sure that you get a display that works for what you need, and at the same time, try to minimize the weight by looking at thin and ultra-thin options if portability is a priority.

Blindly brand loyal

Another mistake that I see all the time is buyers that are blindly brand loyal. Now I completely understand that there’s some familiarity involved and assuming that you had a positive experience with a brand, there is some trust that’s built there, but this shouldn’t come at the cost of you doing your research. What if this brand made great laptops at great value five years ago, but now it’s overpriced? Or maybe there’s another brand that’s putting out some amazing products and you’re missing out because you’ve limited your research to one brand? Take your time, look at the pros and cons of different brands, and then get the one that works best for you.


The next couple of mistakes has to do with the displays. A nice 4K display looks amazing, but do you need one on a laptop? If you do, cool, get one, but otherwise, you’re paying a premium and your battery life will suffer.

What suits someone else might not suit your needs

The last mistake is one that I see all the time, and it just makes me shake my head. Now I am talking about people who buy a laptop based on other people’s needs. When you are either watching a review or accepting a recommendation from someone, make sure that they are addressing your specific needs. There are some amazingly powerful gaming laptops out there, but if you need portability more than you need power, then it’s not the right fit.

Just because a laptop has better features doesn’t mean that it’s a better value for your needs. What’s right for someone else might not be right for you. So please do your best to make an informed decision based on what you need. Hopefully, this article will help you pick the right laptop for photography.

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