The 5 Best Laptops For Photographers: 15″ and Up (Mid 2017)

We recently shared our picks for the top laptops for photographers with screens under 14-inches: a very common size for photographers who travel often. In today’s post we are going to take a look at laptops with screens 15-inches and up. These laptops are not limited to dual core processors and integrated graphics like the 14-inch and below models are (the Surface Book being the one exception in the GPU category), which means you can get quite a bit more performance out of these machines.

The catch is, the more processing power you want, the more weight you will have to carry around and the less time you will be able to use your laptop on battery power. So it is all about finding that nice happy medium between performance and portability, render time vs battery time. We have gone through and chosen our top 5 picks for photographers based on criteria we feel is important for image processing including; screen resolution, color accuracy, processor (count/speed), and ram.

*This list is not in any particular order, each of the options has advantages and disadvantages that may mean more to some of you than others.*

Asus Zenbook Pro UX501VW

 

Taking its design queues from its smaller 13″ Zenbook brethren, this Asus Zenbook Pro feature a 15.6″ screen, a quad core Intel i7 processor, 16GB of ram, a 4K display and plenty of ports for connecting external devices. This is completely subjective, but we like the simple, clean, and minimal look of the Zenbook Pro.

Our Recommended Configuration

  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
  • 15.6″ 4k UHD Touchscreen Display
  • Nvidia GTX 960M w/ 4GB Ram
[amazon_textlink asin=’B01CZ1J3QI’ text=’Buy on Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’dfacf46f-5509-11e7-87ee-2de3a9253f23′] (Currently Listed at [amazon_textlink asin=’B01CZ1J3QI’ text=’ Asus ZENBOOK Pro UX501VW-XS74T’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’dfacf46f-5509-11e7-87ee-2de3a9253f23′])

Dell XPS 9560

Also a bigger brother to one of the 13″ models we mentioned in our previous post, the Dell XPS 15 is a workhorse for content creators (including photographers) thanks to its high quality display, excellent battery life, dedicated GPU and quad core processor. This does also come with a full size SD card slot, which is getting to be more rare these days for some reason, but is a feature most photographers still want in their laptops.

Our Recommended Configuration

  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad Core
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
  • 15.6″ 4k  Touchscreen Display
  • Nvidia GTX 1050 w/ 4GB Ram
[amazon_textlink asin=’B01N1Q0M4O’ text=’Buy on Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’614b9ad1-550d-11e7-8e6e-b315500ac0e8′] (Currently Listed at [amazon_textlink asin=’B01N1Q0M4O’ text=’Dell XPS 15 9650′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’614b9ad1-550d-11e7-8e6e-b315500ac0e8′])

Apple Macbook Pro 15

Similarly to the Dell XPS 15, the Apple Macbook Pro 15″  is a powerhouse on the MacOS side of the arena. If you are invested in the Apple ecosystem already, then it makes sense to heavily consider these as your upgrade path. The jury is still out on if the new touch bar is useful for a photographer, but its hard to deny the potential of the feature.

Our Recommended Configuration

  • 2.8GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
  • 16GB RAM
  • 1TB PCIe-based Flash Storage
  • AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB GDDR5 memory
[amazon_textlink asin=’B00YQA96RI’ text=’Buy on Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d38a191d564074f6590317efd3d9e2ca’] (Currently Listed at [amazon_textlink asin=’B00YQA96RI’ text=’Buy on Amazon’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d38a191d564074f6590317efd3d9e2ca’])

LG Gram 15

If you are just a fan of larger laptop screens, but still want to keep things light and portable with excellent battery life, then the LG Gram should be near the top of your list for consideration. This thin and light 15″ laptop is one of the most affordable on the list, as well as the lightest, but it also has excellent build quality all around – with a few notable caveats. This laptop only features a 1080p display, and though it looks great, it is a big shortfall compared to the others on the list. As well, it also does not feature a GPU, nor a quad core CPU – basically, this is one of those ultrabooks from our 14″ and below post scaled up into the 15″ form factor. Not a bad thing – but definitely something to note compared to the other options.

Our Recommended Configuration

  • Intel Core i5
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Insane Battery Life
[amazon_textlink asin=’B01N22876J’ text=’Buy on Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’16a3299d246804a53071a3a1cb155e11′] (Currently Listed at [amazon_textlink asin=’B01N22876J’ text=’Buy on Amazon’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’16a3299d246804a53071a3a1cb155e11′])

Razer Blade Pro

The largest of the laptops that we will be talking about today, the Razor Blade Pro is primarily meant to be a mobile gaming laptop, but that means it comes with specs that likely rival that of your desktop computer. It features a huge 17″ 4K display, as well as a full Nvidia GTX 1080 with 6GB of video RAM. We feel like this is honestly a bit overkill from a strictly photographer perspective, but if you also process video or like to game, then this laptop is a marvel of modern technological capability. That said – it’s gonna cost you…. a lot.

Our Recommended Configuration

  • Intel Core i7
  • 32GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • Nvidia GTX 1080 w/ 6GB RAM
[amazon_textlink asin=’B01NC071UV’ text=’Buy on Amazon’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b5d8d8b4fdcb606b5c433fd54889c994′] (Currently Listed at [amazon_textlink asin=’B01NC071UV’ text=’Buy on Amazon’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b5d8d8b4fdcb606b5c433fd54889c994′])

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, our 5 selections for the top laptops currently available for photographers. There are, of course, other options out there, but these 5 models stood out the most to us after taking a look at specs we felt make the most difference to photographers, namely the screen (resolution and color accuracy), processor, ram, and storage (type and capacity).

Please don’t just take our word for it though, do some research of your own and make sure to select a model that fits your particular needs (which may differ from our general photographer needs in some way).

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.