Looking for a 13" non-Mac laptop to run PL6

Currently, I am using a 15" laptop with an HD Graphics 630, i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD and am finding it increasingly sluggish.

I’m looking to upgrade my laptop and most importantly downsize my laptop for travel so am seeking a 13" Windows machine to run PL6 that is powerful enough to deal with the denoising step of editing and conversion from RAW==>JPEG. I won’t be doing large batches of files.

The problem I’ve found is that all of the 13" laptops I’ve seen have the Intel Iris XE graphics card, which I assume from what I’ve read is a poor choice though the rest of the specs seem adequate (the particular laptop of interest, a Dell XPS plus has13th gen i7-1360P 12 core, 32G RAM, 1TB SSD). Am I missing any 13" laptops that have better graphic cards? Maybe I need to rule out the purchase of a 13" Windows machine for my photo editing?

Thanks in advance for any comments provided.

I have a MSI 16" which works very well as a desktop replacement and is great for travel. Has a RTX GPU and is slim and relatively light. MSI Creator Z16 –A12U – Tech meets Aesthetic

HP and Lenovo make good laptops too.

Hi Keith. Thx for the reply.
Nice machine but it’s not a 13" laptop AND is much heavier than what I’m looking for (4.9lb vs 2.7lb for an XPS 13 Plus). The good news is that I can find many nicely spec’d machines if willing to go the route of a 15, 16 or 17" machine. The problem is with 13" and getting away from the Intel Iris XE graphic card (which should be quite limiting performance-wise)…I’m starting to think that Mac is my only option.

Costco has plenty, lenovo, and others, with 12/13 gen intel processors and nvidia 30xx and 40xx graphics cards…

All cost under $1500. Just pick your ram and ssd sizes.

I have this exact same puzzle to solve. The closest I got was to get the Dell Inspiron 14 Plus, which I ended up purchasing.

It has all the specs I was looking for except for the size and weight being greater than my ‘ideal’.

I could not find any 13" laptops with anything other than Intel XE graphics :frowning:

Overall it is a great laptop, but the trackpad becomes unresponsive at random moments and because of its size and weight I don’t take it in my camera bag as much as I did my older 13" machine.

something like this https://www.amazon.com/Razer-Stealth-Ultrabook-Gaming-Laptop/dp/B08JSLM9K5/


GZ301ZE-XS94-B = “…NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3050 Ti Laptop GPU…”

Great leads. Much thanks. Bizarre that I don’t see the Razer Blade Stealth 13.3 Inch on their web site yet (only the 14"). Must be new? Both the Razor and Asus are nicely configured. I’ll look into both. Again, thanks!

Much thanks. Yes, saw the Inspiron 14 Plus and like you, was looking for something a little bit lighter as like your situation, it will travel with my camera gear. Also, was hoping for a more powerful graphics card than the RTX 3050, mainly to future proof (next gen software will only increase the need for powerful computers) and because of interest in expanding efforts into video.

Bummer that you are having issues with the trackpad. Overall, I’ve had great success with my Dell purchases. My laptop is 7 years old and to date no issues. The shocker is that I also own a Dell desktop ~18 years old and used weekly for internet and music-related activities. I’m stunned that both continue to function given how frequently I’ve used them!

Much thanks to everyone for the suggestions. After considerable review, I decided to buy an Alienware X14 (NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 8GB GDDR6, 2TB SSD and 13th Generation Intel i7- 13620H (24MB Cache, 10 Cores, 16 threads, up to 4.90 GHz Turbo).

I had also considered two other computers, the Asus ROG G14 and Razer Blade 14. I relatively quickly ruled out the Razer due to concerns about heat (they were running pretty hot just sitting in a stre not being used), QC, cramped keyboard and the stupidity of offering 16GB of soldered RAM with no second slot for an upgrade. The Asus was tempting but felt the build somewhat cheap in feel and materials, all ports being on the side of the machine up front (vs the rear for the Alienware), that the animi matrix cover is really silly (well, probably not for teenagers) and that most important, I would have needed to add RAM and upgrade the SSD. Neither of the latter 2 issues were a deal breakers, I’d just rather set up my machine not modified (by me) in case there are issues…no post build variables.

One computer that looks interesting (but will await reviews) is the new Lenovo: https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/p/laptops/lenovo/lenovo_slim_series/lenovo-slim-pro-9i-gen-8-(14-inch-intel)/83bv0002us

Looking forward to receiving the new Dell Alienware machine and finally upgrading to DxO PL6. Cheers.

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Please post back with some stats on that laptop’s performance with PL6 and DeepPRIME.

I typically process few hundreds of photos at a time and am looking for a similar laptop solution. I would be very interested in the performance of this hardware.


Please be aware that any figures given are completely useless without the information about file sizes, DPL settings etc.

@Richard1 , you might like to check out (and add your data to) this:

Alternatively, you could post a sample image and corresponding .dop sidecar file.

Yea, that is an interesting doc (processing times) with serious caveats. My current machine “chokes” on the files generated by my A7RIV, even if only converting from RAW to JPEG with no noise reduction steps so little doubt, I’ll be happier. You are right ==>processing times…the devil is in the details. Files sizes and settings are a very important component of the analysis.

Even an entry level rtx3050 works outstanding for PL6. And they all have SSDs these days.

Just make sure it has at least 16gb of ram. (Often that’s the max too, but i haven’t had troubles with it ).

The onboard GPUs of amd 6000 series is also very capable in gaming , but i have no experience if it works ok in PL. In my experience , for tools like this , I’d rather have a slow gpu but with its own memory than a fast integrated one. Might not make sense, it’s my gut feeling :).

Anyway, if i search for max 14" here with a max weight of 1.5kg and having a 3050/3050ti/4060 in ,

I see Asus VivoBooks Pro 14 (even oled models) , MSI prestige , Lenovo IdeaPad pro 5i, Asus flow z13 and flow x13 and an HP Envy model.

Depending on specs quite a lot of choice under EUR 1300 too (which includes 21% sales tax if you start to compare ).

I have a Asus flow z13 . And I’m NOT recommending it . I’m very happy with it :), but it’s a device with some quirks and makes some trade offs that are not for everyone (battery life being one ). The flow x13 is the more normal laptop , and i think that’s a very, very good choice. It’s a 13" gaming one, but very tame on the gaming looks (if not completely absent ). A colleague of mine has an older model with a gtx1650 gpu in it.

Anything that has a core i5/i7/i9 in the 12 or 13 series is awesome , and everything that has an AMD Ryzen 5/7/9 in the 6000/7000 series is awesome (5000 series also still quite good ! But it would not go Intel 11th gen or lower ).

I would personally not overlook the 14" crowd, because they are thin and lights as well.

A light 15" is often around 2kg. A thin&Light is often around 1.3/1.4kg.

The Asus zephyrus 14 is a 14" that’s more gaming oriented but sits right in between with 1.6/1.7kg. so more beef for more comfortable cooling and trackpad and such. Actually a very good comprise and a very good allrounder. But if you want lightness , go for something under 1.5kg.

For reference , my flow z13 without the keyboard cover (so tablet mode) is 1.2kg and noticable lighter compared to modern macbook pros at work (lift one, lift my Asus, you feel it immediately even if it’s only 100grams).
But add the keyboard cover and it ends up around 1.5kg and then its noticable heavier. Not just the numbers , but in feel really .

As a closing point. I’m a windows guy myself , and can’t be forced to work on macOS again (tried it 2 years ago when joining a Mac only company… I started a windows trend there now ).
But that being said , the lastest macbooks with m1 or m2 chips ARE awesome in their performance . Not only just speed , but that speed at those low fan noises and long battery life, with good screens , large trackpad etc…
I’d you spec one out with a minimal 1tb, 16gb of ram and a model without touchbar you DO directly go into heavy costs… But i dont think they are expensive for what you get .
I just don’t want to work with macOS ever again , and Apple’s process to make opensource development harder and harder is pushing me away.

Totally agree. Specs don’t tell the full story. These are the numbers from my two computers:

M1 Mac Mini, 8Gb memory, 512Gb SSD
Single core: 2325
Multi core: 7949
Open CL: 19889

Dell Inspiron 14 Plus, Intel Core i7-12700H, 16Gb memory, 512Gb SSD, NVidia GeForce RTW 3050
Single core: 1255
Multi core: 5762
Open CL: 30582

But the Mac also has the Neural Engine, which on my machine is a lot faster with DeepPrime than the M1 GPU. And that results in this difference between the two computers (export is of the same set of images and edits (on the Mac I selected two fewer images, but the time difference is still huge)).



My Dell and a Macbook Air M1 would have cost about the same. The Macbook Air is lighter and the battery life is twice as good. The Dell trackpad isn’t great. Screen quality of both is very good. Unfortunately I rely heavily on one piece of event photo software that is Windows only so I need my portable computer to run Windows (and should anyone kindly think to suggest I use Parallels on a Macbook Air, sadly the event software does not work when run via Windows emulation).

I also at one point worked at a “Mac” company…but we needed Windows computers for some of our efforts (drug discovery). So, I was issued both Mac and Windows machines…and was given Android and Apple phones as well. A personal preference, no way I’d have Mac computers or phones for personal use. Agree with you and CHPhoto that the latest macbooks are awesome. Likewise, they make good phones and “best in class” smart watches. However, I really dislike their ecosystem, pricing and how they have built some products. Most important, I’ve been using Window machines for decades for photography. Am very concerned about the ramifications of making a switch.

Do feel that 1TB drive, >16MB RAM and particularly important, a reasonably powerful graphics card a must. Particularly important is future proofing the machine as system requirements will only become more demanding as AI processes develop…especially shown as a problem when batch processing.

All of this is mute if buying a large laptop or a desktop, the computers can be appropriately configured. The problem is with small laptops and the solution (besides machines advertised for gaming) is one that the industry is hustling to embrace.