How to choose a video editing laptop
Your budget will obviously determine your choice when it comes to selecting a laptop for the best video editing purposes. However, don’t forget to choose a device that (a) is expandable (so that you can add more memory or an additional SSD if necessary), (b) one that comes with next business day warranty (or at least offers it as an option) and (c) features ample connectivity as users are likely to transfer files either via a cloud storage option or via an external storage (most likely to be a portable SSD).
Choosing the best video editing laptop takes a bit of work. It’s just not about getting the highest specced or the most expensive laptop on the market. More importantly, you’ll need portability, power, the ideal graphics card, and an excellent display that boasts high resolution and delivers great color accuracy. You’ll also need to ensure compatibility with any video converter software and DVD burning software you use.
Whether you’re looking to get some editing done while being mobile or needing to do screen recording, we’re here to help you find the perfect device. Using our tech expertise, we rounded up the best laptop (or workstation) for editing and put together a guide. We’ll dive into all the best video editing laptops, both in high definition and Ultra HD (4K) resoutions, for all budgets.
Even better, we’ve included our exclusive price comparison tool, so you can get your choice of the best video editing laptops at the best price available. Bear in mind that prices and configurations change all the time. So if you see any discrepancy, feel free to get in touch with us.
|Editing resolution||1080p (1920 x 1080)||4K (3840 x 2160)||4K (3840 x 2160)|
|Processor||8th Generation Core i5 or equivalent AMD Ryzen||8-core Intel CPU or equivalent AMD||Intel Xeon or better|
|Storage||256GB SSD||256GB NVMe PCIe SSD||1TB NVMe PCIe SSD (RAID-0)|
|Video card||Integrated||Discrete||Nvidia RTX or AMD Radeon Pro|
Best video editing laptops at a glance:
- MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
- Huawei MateBook X Pro
- Dell XPS 15 (2019)
- Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
- Acer ConceptD 7
- Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)
- Lenovo ThinkPad P70
- MSI GS65 Stealth
1. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
The best laptop for video editing
CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD
Stunning 16-inch screen
New and improved keyboard
Limited to four Thunderbolt 3 ports
As thin, light and sleek as ever, the MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) doesn’t actually feel like a 16-inch behemoth. If you’re worried that this was going to be bulky and awkward to use, don’t be. This laptop will feel just as compact as the 15-inch MacBook Pros that preceded it and more than any other 16-inch laptops out there. So that in situations when you need to take it with you at your shooting locations, you won’t have to worry about it being a pain. And, you’re also getting that extra real estate on that stunning display – not to mention that 9th-generation Intel Core chip and AMD Radeon Pro 5300M or 5500M graphics card, which should get your through your intensive video editing workflow without fuss. The incredible speakers and much improved keyboard are just cherries on top.
Read the full review: MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
2. MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
Apple’s productivity machine gets the latest Intel tech
CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: Radeon Pro 555X – Radeon Pro Vega 20 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 256GB – 4TB SSD
Decent configuration options
Decent configuration options
Lack of ports
There’s no productivity powerhouse more appealing that Apple’s MacBook Pros when it comes to power, design and display. And, Apple takes that to a new level with 2019’s MacBook Pro whose 9th-generation Intel Core processors, Retina display and amount of RAM make it one of the best video editing laptops on the market. Get the souped up configuration – though granted, expect it to break the bank – and you’ve got an unstoppable laptop for all your content creation needs. Just be prepared to shell out more cash to invest in a port hub, as there’s not much to work with here… only four Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Read the full review: MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
3. Huawei MateBook X Pro
A brilliant MacBook Pro competitor
CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 , Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.9-inch 3K (3,000 x 2,080) | Storage: 512GB SSD
Terrific battery life
No SD card slot
Webcam not great
While Huawei might not be the first company you think of when it comes to laptops, especially laptops you can use for editing, that should change with the company’s phenomenal MateBook X Pro. It is a gorgeously-designed laptop with a stunning screen (albeit with a rather odd aspect ratio), and it comes packed with cutting edge components, and a battery life that runs rings around many of its rivals. It has plenty of horse power for editing videos, and it’s price is very competitive, making it a great alternative to the MacBook Pro if your budget doesn’t stretch that far.
Read the full review: Huawei MateBook X Pro
4. Dell XPS 15 (2019)
CPU: 9th Generation Intel Core i5-9300H – i9-9980HK | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630 – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB – 64GB | Screen: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge Anti-Glare Non-touch IPS – 15.6-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) Anti-Reflective InfinityEdge Touch IPS | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
Webcam has finally moved
Core i9 power
No major redesign
Without shelling out a ton of cash, getting the Dell XPS 15 (2019) is a great investment if you’re a content creator with lots of photo and video editing in your day-to-day workload. Get the souped up configuration of this stunning laptop, complete with a 9th-generation i9 chip, 4K display, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics and 32GB, and you’re still spending a lot less than a MacBook Pro equivalent. And, for the cherry on top, you’re getting a lot more options for ports, including an SD card reader slot. If you’re looking to invest in one of the best video editing laptops, this is definitely an affordable one to consider.
Read the hands-on review: Dell XPS 15
5. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
A seriously powerful pro laptop
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q – NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch OLED 4K Touch 60Hz, factory calibrated | Storage: 1TB SSD
If you think the Razer Blade is only best for gaming, then you’d be wrong. Especially now that Razer has redesigned its best gaming laptop to turn it into a mobile creative workstation touting a jaw-dropping performance. The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition has been designed with videographers, as well as photographers and designers in mind, packing powerful components starting with its graphics card. It also rocks a stunning, factory-calibrated 4K display, giving video editings not just incredibly sharp content but also lots of space to work on while they’re editing on the go. Unexpectedly, the price tag on this is pretty steep, but if a fast and seamless workflow is of utmost importance in your day to day, it’s a price you’ll be willing to pay.
Read the full review: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
6. Acer ConceptD 7
A mobile workstation for creatives
CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6″ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 16:9 IPS | Storage: 1TB
Cheaper than MacBook Pro
Good selection of ports
Not as thin and light as MacBook Pro
The formidable Acer ConceptD 7 is capable of handling complex and demanding tasks such as intensive video editing, thanks in large part to its Nvidia RTX graphics. Clearly designed specifically with creative professionals in mind, including filmmakers and videographers, it boasts that sheer power you’ll find in gaming laptops. Beyond that excellent performance it delivers, it also offers decent port selection, a minimalist solid white design and that stunning Pantone-validated 4K IPS display. Obviously, it’s still pretty pricey, but no professional’s tool comes cheap. If you’re looking for a Windows-powered MacBook alternative for video editing, it’s certainly among the best video editing laptops.
Read the full review: Acer ConceptD 7
7. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)
The most powerful 2-in-1 laptop in the world
CPU: Intel Core i5-7300U – Intel Core i7-8650U 1.9GHz | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB GDDR5 VRAM) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 3,000 x 2,000 (267 ppi) PixelSense display, 3:2 aspect ratio | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Very good battery life
No Surface Pen included
The Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch) is one of the most powerful 2-in-1 laptops in the world. While 2-in-1 laptops may not be the first choice for video editors, the Surface Book 2 has some powerful enough components to handle video editing if you go for a model with a dedicated graphics card. Brilliant build quality and excellent battery life makes this a wonderful device for using as either a laptop, or as a powerful Windows 10 tablet. The tablet mode is convenient if you want to shoot footage and edit it while out and about.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)
8. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)
Worth the upgrade at the highest configuration
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – 10th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 | RAM: up to 32GB | Screen: 13-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 256GB – 4TB SSD
Improved specs (on some models)
Larger capacity SSD for starting model
New keyboard is great
Entry-level model still has 8th gen Intel CPU
You still only get Thunderbolt 3 ports
The MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)’s entry-level model may miss out on some of the lineup’s new toys. However, going for the higher-end configurations will get you new (and powerful) Intel processors and improved RAM speeds for better performance, all packed in the 13-inch incredibly svelte body. Apple rounds it all out with that incredible Magic Keyboard from the new 16-inch, finally getting rid of that problematic keyboard and making this one of the most comfortable laptops to do video editing on. Even if you don’t go for the 10th-generation Intel Core configurations, you might still appreciate the fact that all models come with more storage capacity for the same price as their predecessors.
Read the full review: MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)
9. Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Plenty of options to build your dream rig
CPU: 2.8GHz Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5 | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro M5000M 8GB | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 17.3-inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels | Storage: 512GB SSD + 500GB HDD
Non-user replaceable battery
Lenovo’s ThinkPad P70 was one of the first notebooks featuring Intel’s Skylake processor, which should give it a boost in performance compared to Broadwell or Haswell chips. Equipped with ample storage and plenty of RAM, an excellent keyboard and a wide selection of ports for connectivity, Lenovo is positioning the ThinkPad P70 as the ultimate workstation that you can take on the go without missing your desktop. Also worth mentioning is the X-Rite Pantone calibration tool, available as an option, which is great to keep your screen accurate for production work, as well as the Quadro GPU that comes with all the P70 SKUs.
Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad P70
10. MSI GS65 Stealth
Brilliant for gaming…and video editing
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM, Max-Q) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 144Hz panel | Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
Beautiful, subtle design
Underside gets very hot
OK, so the MSI GS65 Stealth is primarily a high-end gaming laptop – with a price tag to match – but it also doubles as an absolutely brilliant laptop. This is because it comes with an excellent array of cutting edge components, which includes an 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8750H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU. This means multi tasking and editing is handled with aplomb – and if you also want to do a bit of gaming on the side, then it’s a no-brainer.
Read the full review: MSI GS65 Stealth
Buying a laptop? Here’s what experts say
We reached out to Michel Yavercovski, Senior Director of Product Management for Corel video products, to get his expert opinions about choosing a creative computer.
“There are a few key things to look for when buying a video editing laptop and of course, when you’re talking about video, the better the hardware, the smoother and more responsive your editing experience will be. Whether you’re talking about our Pinnacle Studio or VideoStudio products, both have been designed to take full benefit of your hardware to make video editing as fast and efficient as possible.” Michel said.
“First, you’ll want to look for a system with a powerful multicore processor — the Intel Core i7 product line is a good choice to get started with — and our software has been optimized to take advantage of multithreading so you can get the most out of these impressive chips. A powerful processor will also give you a seamless experience when working with today’s popular formats and creative features like multi-camera and 360° video support. 4K video can create huge file sizes, so you’ll also want to make sure the device has a large and fast SSD storage drive that can read and write large video files without any hang-ups.”
“Video editing takes up a lot of memory, so shop for a system that has between 16GB and 32GB of RAM to keep things running smoothly. And, of course, a 64-bit version of Windows 10 is a must. ” he added.
“Then, when considering graphics cards, look for the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX or GTX series as well as Intel Iris or HD Graphics for overall faster processing and editing. Most advanced graphics cards will also have HEVC support, enabling the use of this advanced video format in your productions.”
“Since you’ll be working primarily on one screen when you’re on the go, make sure the laptop’s built-in monitor produces crisp images and has accurate color rendering. It’s also ideal to have a system that will support multiple screens for when you’re back in your main work space. Lastly, I always advise users to either plug in their laptops or adjust the power settings for high performance since many notebooks default to power-saving features when they’re running on battery which can impact performance. You may have to accept a shorter battery life, but it will ensure faster processing for a great editing experience.”
Watch the video below for the top 7 things to consider when buying a laptop.