Help Me, Laptop: My 12-Year-Old Wants a Laptop That Runs Photoshop

Choosing a laptop for your child can be difficult, especially if your kid is a creative genius. Forum member maruxadumont's 12-year-old daughter is an artist who likes using Photoshop for its layering feature.

Maruxadumont writes:

"I need a laptop for my girl for school but that will also be good for her digital art, which she loves. She wants to be able to work with Photoshop, because it can do layers. I was recommended and bought a Lenovo Yoga 730 (i5 Intel 8th Gen, 8GB RAM, 256 SSD) today, but we have not opened it, because I first wanted to make sure this is a good choice."

First things first: Is the Lenovo Yoga 730 a good option? Sadly, no. This year's model was a letdown. We gave the laptop 2.5 stars, and the problems we came across, like an inaccurate display and short battery life, make it a poor choice for artists. Your best bet is to return the Yoga 730 and look elsewhere.

MORE: Our Favorite Tablets for Work and Play

As a student who creates digital art, your daughter should have a laptop with an excellent display, enough power to run demanding software and long battery life. A touch-screen panel with stylus support and a 2-in-1 design for drafting in tablet mode are also useful features. These requirements can get pricey, but don't worry, there are plenty of great options for less than $1,000.

If battery life isn't a major concern, the new Microsoft Surface Go is a wonderful option for your daughter. The $400 detachable laptop has a gorgeous, 10-inch, 1800 x 1200-pixel display; a premium magnesium chassis; and facial recognition login for improved security. This lightweight machine weighs just 1.1 pounds, so your child won't have any problems carrying the tablet to class. The Surface Go has a responsive touch screen, and the optional $100 stylus is a must for artists.

If you think your daughter will need something more powerful, then consider the Surface Pro. Selling for $800, the detachable 2-in-1 comes with a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.

We also recommend the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA. It runs Chrome OS, the operating system of choice for schools because of its easy-to-use interface. At just $499, the Flip C302CA gives you a bright, 1080p display and nearly 9 hours of battery life in a lightweight, aluminum design.

MORE: Best Chromebooks Available Now

Keeping with Google software, the new $600 Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is an intriguing device for artists. This Android 8.1 Oreo device has the most colorful display of any laptop we've ever seen, and an excellent S Pen stylus comes included. Note, only the Adobe Photoshop Express app is available on Chrome OS and Android devices, not the full Adobe program. The app is easier to use than full Adobe Photoshop, but it comes with limited photo-editing features.

For other suggestions, read our 10 Best Laptops for Photographers guide.

Credit: Laptop Mag

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.