I got an Acer Aspire V Nitro laptop last year for my wife to game on and it has been fantastic. It didn't come with a lot of bloatware, if we're doing normal internet/video/etc it will last 5 or more hours on a charge, it's screen has deliciously vibrant colors, and it runs all our games smooth and fast. I understand you don't necessarily need the ability to play games, but reaching that far means it should handle photoshop for years to come, right?
$1300 option: This model I think hits all your checkmarks plus a few of mine. Comparison Notes:
- 1TB hard drive + 256GB SSD. Windows and programs will install on the SSD so that you get really fantastic start speeds. If you haven't yet seen photoshop start on a PC with an SSD, you're in for a treat. 1TB is about as big as you're going to get stock in a laptop.
- 5.7lbs, a little bit heavier than the $850 option below. Probably still won't feel heavy though. Mine is 5lbs and it doesn't feel like a gaming laptop. It could easily masquerade as a cheap walmart special.
$850 option: This one's a refurbished previous generation model for considerably less. Comparison Notes:
- This model lacks the SSD, which means it will take a little longer to boot and to open Photoshop. Still, it should do well enough.
- The processor is the same i7, just 1 generation previous. Means that the $1300 option will have maybe 10% more cpu power. You won't notice it.
- The GPU is considerably less powerful than the $1300's. If you were playing games, you'd have to tune some of them back from ultimate settings. But, you aren't playing games and this will already be overkill for photoshop and illustrator. So that doesn't really matter.
Honestly, you'd probably be just as happy with the $850 option. In fact, if it had the dual SSD/HDD configuration, I wouldn't even mention the more expensive option.