A question I get asked A LOT is what is the best computer for digital scrapbooking? People have been asking me this question since 2014 – and I still get asked this years later.
While there is no wrong or right answer for what kind of scrapbooking laptop is the best choice, I thought today I would talk about some geeky tech computer stuff to help you decide what type of computer is the best one to use for you and your needs!
If you are thinking about upgrading or maybe ready to take your digital scrapbooking and graphic design skills to a new level, hopefully this post will be helpful for you!
I’m also going to share what type of computer I personally use and why. This can be very useful for helping you make a decision on choosing the best computer for digital scrapbooking.
The Never Ending Debate: Laptop Vs. Desktop
This is the first decision to make when deciding on what computer makes the most sense for you – do you want to use a laptop or desktop?
Desktops are nice because they are a little more powerful and have more storage space and of course a larger screen size.
Laptops are nice because they are portable and you can take them with you if you travel or visit places other than home.
I personally like using a laptop most of the time. It’s portable – so I can take it with me, and I can do my digital scrapbooking almost from anywhere – at home, at a friend’s house, at a coffee shop, at the library, etc. etc.
But it’s important to remember that desktops are OK too.
If you plan to do a lot of work at home or don’t plan or creating scrapbook layouts and pages while anywhere except at your home – it makes perfect sense to get a desktop.
This is especially true if you’re looking for features like more storage space, better performance, and a larger screen size for viewing your layouts.
Mac Vs. PC for Digital Scrapbooking
Here’s the next popular question when trying to decide on what kind of computer to use – do you want to get a mac or a pc?
This is really up to your preference and what’s in your budgets. I have found I like Mac a lot better than PC, but that doesn’t mean I never use PCs either. It’s really a matter of personal choice here.
It takes awhile to get used to switching to Mac if you’re a PC user and vice versa but both are completely capable of running Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (as long as you make sure you have enough RAM and a good processor).
You can definitely make some nice layouts with either one!
One disadvantage with Macbooks is they generally don’t have a lot of storage space. Depending on how large your photograph and digital scrapbooking stash is, you may need to purchase an external hard drive for storing your photos and digital scrapbooking supplies.
This is typically not a big deal, especially when you consider you should already make backups of your digital scrapbooking supplies and layouts.
External hard drives are typically not too expensive – often times 1 TB of storage starts at around $65-$75 which isn’t too bad.
Buying an external hard drive is definitely a lot more economical than buying a computer with a larger hard drive, especially when you are shopping in the realm of Apple laptops.
Understanding System Requirements for Photo Editing
What I recommend to anyone who is planning on doing digital scrapbooking with their laptop or computer is to check the Adobe System Requirements page for Photoshop – it really nicely tells you exactly what you should look for in a new computer.
Whether you purchase a laptop or desktop or Mac or PC – that goes over exactly what their software needs to run smoothly.
There are a lot of different photo editing software programs and apps out there. Each has its own set of different requirements. It’s a good idea to make sure the software you use will work on the operating system you own. Some programs are only available for Windows or Mac and vice versa.
What I Personally Use for Digital Scrapbooking: 13″ Macbook Pro
My days of image editing on an Apple computer date all the way back to the dinosaur days of KidPix on an Apple Performa.
I still have a very fond nostalgic place in my heart for KidPix!
I’ve used all sorts of computers and laptops over the years. I’ve owned pretty much EVERY single PC brand you can think of: Dell, Lenovo, Asus, Toshiba, HP and every Windows operating system between XP and Windows 10.
I finally decided to make the plunge and buy my first Macbook Pro Laptop sometime in 2014. At the time, I went with the larger 15″ screen size.
I’m a chronic scrapbooker, so even though the image of it above isn’t the greatest, of course I documented it!
I eventually decided to sell it, only because I wanted a 13″ screen instead.
The 15″ screen was useful in some instances, but I wanted something smaller and lightweight for traveling.
I eventually decided to sell the laptop shown above and bought a 13″ early 2015 Macbook Pro. It’s still running great even now 4 years later, and I have no intentions or plans of getting a new one anytime soon.
When I compare this to all of the different Windows computers I’ve bought over the years, it’s pretty obvious to me that the Macbook seems to be a much better long-term investment.
Some of the PCs I bought were completely dead after 6 months due to battery failures, hard drive failures, and fan failures.
I thought for sure the Lenovo with an i7 processor could handle the kinds of things I wanted to do for graphics and image editing, but after about 10 months of using it I was very much burnt out by the ongoing issues with Windows.
Yes, it was an investment, but I can literally run Photoshop, 90 bazillion open tabs in Google chrome, my email, and sync with an iPad Pro & my iPhone all in one. This is super handy for editing images on the go, especially with so many great choices for mobile apps for scrapbooking.
I did have to custom order this laptop directly from the Apple website, because these are not necessarily the same specifications of computers in stock.
Processor Speed: 3.1 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory: 16 GB
Graphics: Intel Iris Graphics 6100 1536 MB
Hard Drive: 500 GB Flash Drive
Generally speaking, the better the processor, and the more memory you have, the better performance you will see. I recommend at the very least an i5 processor when using image editing programs like Photoshop and others.
Graphics cards can vary widely between PCs and Macbooks also. The Intel Iris Graphics card is not exactly desirable by serious gamers, but I’ve never had any issues with the graphics.
There really is no wrong or right computer for digital scrapbooking. If you set a budget, do your research, and make sure it meets the Adobe System requirements, you’ll be on the right track to making digital scrapbooking layouts in no time!
What kind of computer and software do you use for digital scrapbooking? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
3 thoughts on “What is the Best Computer for Digital Scrapbooking?”
Is the learning gap from PC to Mac difficult. I know you mentioned in your article and I have never worked on a Mac. I ask because I am the kind of person who likes to produce “something” shortly after I get home. Additionally, I am 73 but my brain, unlike things like bones and maybe a few other things,remains functional.
I have six identical scrapbooks to create so there will be, after designing one, repetition!
I sit here with a beautiful printer which accommodates 12 x 12 pages and larger, a PC that needs to be updated and cleaned up.
Also, can to take information from a PC and put in a Mac? That question right there most likely tells you how much I don’t know about switching.
I enjoyed your article, a lot of information but concise and in one place. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to hearing from you when you have a few (spare) minutes.
With indecision but respectfully,
I have been using a Dell Inspiron 7573 for the last four years. It died on me recently and I’m thinking about getting a new one. For the most part I was very happy with my Dell 15.6 inch touchscreen computer. I had Intel core I 7–8550 CPU, 16 GB of RAM and 256 SSD drive with NVIDIA GE Force MX130 Graphics card. I never had any trouble with speed or start up.
Thank you for sharing Wendy!