The most recent M2 MacBooks are undeniably powerful, establishing themselves as formidable contenders. But the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, which come with the advanced M2 Pro and M2 Max hardware, are still the best MacBook for photo editing. These models can be customized with an amazing 96GB of RAM, and their stunning Liquid Retina XDR displays offer a visual experience that can’t be beat.
The 16-inch version stands out because it has a bigger screen that makes it easier to use, but it also costs more. The sleek and elegant design of Apple’s best MacBooks for photo editing is not only pleasing to the eye, but also makes sure they work very well. People who choose MacBooks are likely to talk about how great the user experience is, with large trackpads and high-quality Retina displays. Below we have mentioned the best MacBook for photo editing.
Best MacBook for photo editing Comparison Table
|Model||MacBook Air 13″||MacBook Pro 13″||MacBook Pro 14″ (M2 Pro)||MacBook Pro 14″ (M2 Max)||MacBook Pro 16″ (M2 Pro)|
|Processor||Apple M1||Apple M1||Apple M2||Apple M2||Apple M2|
|RAM||Up to 16GB||Up to 16GB||Up to 32GB||Up to 32GB||Up to 64GB|
|Storage||Up to 2TB SSD||Up to 2TB SSD||Up to 4TB SSD||Up to 8TB SSD||Up to 8TB SSD|
|Battery Life||Up to 20 hours||Up to 20 hours||Up to 20 hours||Up to 20 hours||Up to 11 hours|
|Weight||2.8 pounds||3.0 pounds||3.2 pounds||3.2 pounds||4.3 pounds|
Apple MacBook Air 13″
|Processor||Apple M1 chip|
|Battery Life||Up to 18 hours|
The Apple MacBook Air 13″ is a great choice if you want something smaller, lighter, and cheaper than the above MacBook Pros. In the past, Air models haven’t had as much processing power as other models and have been better for general tasks like streaming. But that’s not how this model works. Overall, this is one of the best MacBook for photo editing that you can buy right now.
This is the first MacBook Air with a next-generation processor. It has the M2 chip, which gives you an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU with unified memory. So, it should be able to work with pretty much any photo editing software, even more powerful ones like Lightroom Classic and Capture One Pro. The basic model starts with 8 GB of unified memory, but you can go as high as 24 GB, which will really help your editing software run well.
With Liquid Retina technology and 500 nits of brightness, the screen is, of course, great. It will give you a clear view of your photos so you can edit them correctly. If you want to bring this laptop with you on trips or to photo shoots, it isn’t too heavy and shouldn’t make your bag too heavy. Even though it’s not exactly a cheap laptop for editing, the price is not too high.
- Lightweight and portable design
- Impressive battery life
- High-resolution Retina display
- Powerful Apple M1 chip
- Limited storage options compared to other models
- Integrated graphics may not be sufficient for heavy gaming or video editing tasks
Apple MacBook Pro 13″
|Processor||Intel Core i5/i7|
|Battery Life||Up to 10 hours|
I know that not everyone needs or wants to edit photos on a super-expensive laptop. You might only take pictures as a hobby or need to edit the occasional vacation photo. If that’s the case, the Apple MacBook Pro 13″ strikes a great balance between price and performance. It’s a good all-around model that can run most photo-editing software and is also solid enough for everyday use.
Now, this laptop only has 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB hard drive, so some high-end programs like ON1 Photo RAW 2023 may feel a little slow. Also, with a smaller HDD, you won’t be able to store as many photos. But for hobbyists and people who are just starting out with photo editing, these specs are more than enough. Thus, this is one of the best MacBook for photo editing that you can buy right now.
It does have the new M2 chip, which has a CPU with 8 cores and a GPU with 10 cores. This helps make up for the small amount of RAM, so editing images in real time and changing their parameters should be smooth. With an improved battery that can last up to 20 hours, you can also use this MacBook for long editing and streaming sessions.
- High-quality Retina display
- Powerful Intel Core processor options
- Flexible storage choices
- Sleek and professional design
- Relatively shorter battery life compared to MacBook Air
- Heavier than MacBook Air
- Integrated graphics may not meet the demands of intense graphical applications
Apple MacBook Pro 14″ (M2 Pro)
|Processor||Apple M2 Pro chip|
|Graphics||Apple M2 Pro GPU|
|Battery Life||Up to 16 hours|
The Apple MacBook Pro 14″ (M2 Pro) has similar specs to the model above, but it has the M2 Pro chip instead of the Intel Core i7 chip. Its 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU will still give you high-end editing performance. Aside from the number of cores, the main difference is the speed of the memory, which is 200 GB/s for the M2 Max and 400 GB/s for the M2. With most software for editing photos, you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
This version has 16 GB of memory, which works with the processor chip to make it run faster. So, even though some editing software suggests 16 GB of RAM, there shouldn’t be any problems with performance, and programs like Capture One Pro shouldn’t feel slow. Still, this is one of the best MacBook for photo editing that you can buy right now.
You can store all of your photos on a 1 TB SSD. Keep in mind that SSD drives are much faster and are great for editing photos because they are easy to get to and load quickly. Even if you are working with big RAW files, you can load whole galleries and folders at once.
- Larger and high-resolution Retina display
- Advanced Apple M2 Pro chip for enhanced performance
- Ample memory and storage options
- Improved battery life
- Slightly heavier than the MacBook Pro 13″
- Limited availability of the M2 Pro model might make it harder to purchase initially
Apple MacBook Pro 14″ (M2 Max)
|Processor||Apple M2 Max chip|
|Graphics||Apple M2 Max GPU|
|Battery Life||Up to 16 hours|
The great Apple MacBook Pro 14” (M2 Max) is the next one. This makes it easier to carry around, and it doesn’t skimp on specs, either. It might be a better choice if you need something smaller that can be used on-site or at photoshoots. For now, this is one of the best MacBook for photo editing that you can buy right now.
The 14-inch screen still gives you a lot of room to work, so your editing shouldn’t be too affected. It has technology called XDR (Extreme Dynamic Range) and a brightness of 1000 nits that stays the same. So, any photo you edit will look bright, clear, and have great detail in both the highlights and the shadows.
This model has the latest M2 Max chip, which makes it very powerful. You’ll be able to quickly move through your photo folders, make changes, and see the results quickly. This is because the chip has a powerful CPU with 12 cores and a GPU with 398 cores. This MacBook has unified memory that can go up to 96 GB, but the model shown here only has 32 GB.
- Cutting-edge Apple M2 Max chip for maximum performance
- Expansive memory and storage options
- Enhanced battery life for extended usage
- Similar weight to the M2 Pro model, may not suit users looking for a lighter device
- Higher specifications may come with a higher price tag
Apple MacBook Pro 16″ (M2 Pro)
|RAM||(Specify RAM size)|
|Storage||(Specify storage size)|
|Operating System||(Specify OS version)|
The Apple MacBook Pro 16′‘ (M2 Pro) is a good choice if you need a good laptop but can’t quite afford the M2 Max version. The M2 Pro chip has a CPU with up to 12 cores and a GPU with up to 19 cores. Because of this, you shouldn’t have any problems using photo editing and management software on a Mac. With 32 GB of memory, you’ll be able to move quickly through tasks and enjoy smooth editing sessions. Overall, this is one of the best MacBook for photo editing that you can buy right now.
The longer battery life should help a lot if you plan to use your MacBook for long periods of time or while traveling. It can run for up to 22 hours on a single charge and won’t get too hot because it has an active cooling system built in. The 16-inch screen also has Liquid Retina quality. The same technology is used as in the M2 Max version, and the quality of the screen is great. Lastly, it has a secure fingerprint unlocking feature called Tough ID.
- Powerful M2 Pro processor for enhanced performance
- Large 16-inch display for immersive viewing experience
- Ample RAM and storage options for smooth multitasking
- High-quality graphics for seamless gaming and video editing
- Reliable and user-friendly macOS operating system
- Expensive price point
- Limited upgrade options
- Heavier and bulkier than some competitors
As far as I know, as of September 2021, the MacBook Pro with its powerful hardware and high-resolution Retina display is the best choice for editing photos. But Apple often makes changes to its MacBook line, so it’s a good idea to check out the newest models and features.
Most of the time, the best MacBook Pro models for editing photos are the ones with bigger screens and better hardware. As far as I know, professionals often choose the 16-inch MacBook Pro over the 13-inch models because of its larger screen and more powerful processor. But before making a choice, it’s important to think about the needs of your photo editing workflow and your budget.
Even though the MacBook Air is light and easy to carry, it might not be as fast as the MacBook Pro when it comes to editing photos in a lot of detail. The MacBook Air is made for everyday use and less demanding tasks. If you want to do a lot of work with high-resolution photos, complicated edits, or applications that use a lot of resources, the MacBook Pro is a better choice.