When you shoot video, whether it is home movies, a social media post or a documentary you’ve been wanting to make for forever, being able to edit that footage quickly and easily can make all of the difference.
These days, technology has reached a point where you can edit your videos on your laptop right after you shot it making the turnaround time astronomical. We wondered though, what is the best laptop out there for editing video? Below we’ve compiled the best video editing laptops on the market today. (If you were after something a bit more permanent and powerful, see our post on the best video editing computers.)
Before you hand over your cash though, you should know what to look for so you have a good place to start from. Let’s start there shall we?
*Update*: See our brand new post with the best laptops for video editing in 2020.
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What to Consider When Buying A Laptop for Video Editing
When you go shopping for a laptop to edit videos on, a basic laptop will struggle to get the job done efficiently, because many base laptops just do not have the processing power, storage space or graphics card to handle editing high-quality video and if they do, the results may not be what you were hoping for, especially if video editing is part of your livelihood.
That’s why we feel that when you start looking around at a new laptop for video editing, you should consider the following factors:
We don’t really have to tell you how important a screen on a laptop is but for editing video, choosing a laptop with a 4K screen is the best option to go with if you can afford it. A good screen should be sharp enough to handle jobs like shading as well as color corrections.
There are typically two names in the graphics card world that are primarily available and that is NVIDIA and AMD Graphics. Both companies offer high-quality products and have become household names in this market.
Instead of suggesting which is better, which can come down to the laptop or your personal preference, what you want to pay attention to is the recommended system setting of the editing software that you intend to use so that you know you are meeting at least those requirements.
When you edit video, you may not just edit one video straight through and have multiple clips that you may need later saved on your laptop. Without a laptop that has enough RAM in it, those video snippets might not get saved and you may start to run into issues with storage or the speed of the laptop.
With the advent of 4K resolution though, it should be a primary aspect you look at when considering a laptop. You should never look at those that start with less than 8GB of memory. While there are many choices where you can upgrade the memory later on, if spending more on a quality laptop isn’t a concern, you may want to focus on those that start with at least 16GB of RAM.
Just like memory, storage is a very real thing to consider when shopping for a laptop to edit videos. A good rule of thumb is that the more storage, the better. Like memory, there is a level that you shouldn’t consider anything below. In this case, any laptop with less than 256GB shouldn’t be considered, unless that’s what you can afford with your budget. If you can only afford a smaller amount of storage, you can always use an external hard drive for additional storage of your videos
The old saying more is better definitely applies to the processor in your laptop in many cases these days. Many CPU cores are designed to use less power, like the Core U-series from Intel but still comes with four cores in it.
If you’re concerned that your processor isn’t fast enough, you can test it using Cinebench benchmark test which shows how fast your laptop is when you are rendering a 3D image. While a higher score is better, results over 700 don’t necessarily mean that your laptop can handle video-editing jobs.
If you were after something a bit more permanent and powerful, see our post on the best video editing computers.
Doing any kind of video editing is going to consume a lot of your battery’s juice. Having a laptop with long battery life is a good option to have. Although you will likely keep it plugged in most of the time, it is good to consider the life of the battery so you aren’t caught off guard in those moments it isn’t plugged in.
Portability was the number one reason why laptops were created in the first place. A laptop gives you the option to work just about anywhere you want and not stay tied to a desktop PC. Being portable, you don’t want your laptop to feel so heavy that it feels as though your carrying around a brick. Keep in mind though that a laptop that weighs less than three pounds will not have a display larger than 14 inches and won’t have a discrete GPU in it.
The Best Laptops for Video Editing, Motion Graphics & Animation In 2020
We have to be completely honest, there are a lot of laptops out there for a consumer to choose from. This can make choosing the best laptop for video editing a very confusing process and we are all about making it easy for you to choose the best option for you to get started right away.
Below is our list of The Best Laptops for Video Editing in 2020. Each link below will take you where you can get more information on the laptop, but if you want to know more about each one, we cordially invite you to keep reading below.
*Update*: See our brand new post with the best laptops for video editing in 2020.
- Acer Predator Helios 500 – $1899
- Dell XPS 15 – $979
- HP ZBook X2 – $2526
- MacBook Pro 15 w/ Touch Bar – $2499
- Huawei MateBook X Pro – $1127
- Microsoft Surface Book 2 – $2330
- Razer Blade 15 RTX – $2799
- Lenovo Yoga 720 – $715
- HP Pavilion 15 – $439
- MSI Prestige P65 Creator – $1999
- Asus Zenbook 15 – $1281
The above prices are approximate – the live prices are shown below each item.
Top Video Laptops Laptops Compared
Our top 6 picks.
Top Laptops for Video Editing in 2020
Choosing the best laptop for video editing can come down to a large number of factors that you should consider but if you notice above, the one area we didn’t focus on was price. While on our list, we do feature an affordable laptop that can be a great option for those who are just starting to do some video editing, the majority of the options on our list can be expensive
Choosing an inexpensive laptop may not give you the same specifications that the others might. If your budget is a concern, we do invite you to check out the budget-friendly option below.
For those who are looking for the Best Laptop for Video Editing in 2020, please read on…
The fastest video editing laptop out there
Screen: 17.3-inch 1080p | CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | RAM: 8 – 16GB | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5); Intel UHD Graphics 630 | Storage: 512GB SSD; 2TB HDD
When a laptop is described as the fastest out there, you know that has to bring it in order to earn that credential and the Predator Helios 500 from Acer definitely does that. With a built-in 2TB hard drive, you will have enough space for all of your clips and other media files and also includes a 512GB SSD and 16GB of memory. To accelerate visual effects, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is under the hood.
While it is a pricey laptop, you can order the Helios 500 with either a six-core Intel Core i9 or with an eight-core AMD Ryzen processor inside. While eight cores is better, as it can outperform six cores and in this instance, also puts the AMD Ryzen ahead of it’s Intel counterpart for editing video.Learn More
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4.1GHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Overclockable Graphics with 8GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- 17.3" Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit IPS display with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology (144Hz Refresh Rate, 300nit Brightness & 72% NTSC )
- 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD & 1TB 5400RPM HDD
- Backlit four-zoned RGB Keyboard |Killer DoubleShot Pro Wireless-AC | 2 - Thunderbolt 3 (Full USB 3.1 Type C) Port | Dual All-Metal Aero Blade 3D Fans
The Best Windows Video Editing Laptop
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD – 4K Ultra HD | CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD or 1TB HDD
With an InfinityEdge display, the Windows 10-based Dell XPS 15 provides you with a sharp, crystal clear image thanks in large part to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 card, powered by 4GB of video RAM will make your videos shine through every edit you make.
A Kaby Lake processor along with 8GB of RAM comes standard with the laptop, but can also be upgradable to give you 16GB of RAM to store all of your files. While we should mention that Dell will be releasing an update to this laptop, it doesn’t take away from the power this laptop has and might mean the price will drop once the new one is released.Learn More
The Best 4k Video Editing Laptop
Screen: 14-inch 4K resolution | CPU: Intel Core i7-8650U | RAM: 32GB | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro M620 (2GB) | Storage: 512GB
The ZBook 2 from HP comes with a detachable, full-size Bluetooth keyboard and can also easily be used as a tablet for any work you may do in Adobe apps thanks to the inclusion of HP Quick Keys which give you the option to change the brush size and hardness. Connecting is easy as well with three Thunderbolt ports.
Working outside on sunny days is more comfortable with the ZBook due to its 4K multi-touch display that comes with an anti-glare effect. The Nvidia graphics card gets protection for overheating with a built-in dual fan system to also help keep the Intel quad-core processor cool.Learn More
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The Best Laptop for Photo and Video Editing
Screen: 15.4-inch Retina display | CPU: 2.2 – 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 / Core i9 | RAM: 16-32GB | Graphics: Radeon Pro 555 with 4GB memory – 560 with 4GB memory | Storage: 256GB SSD – 4TB SSD
The top of the line laptop from Apple Macbook Pro is an amazing laptop for video editing. Available in two different screen sizes, the larger of the two is a 15-inch screen that has a six-core, 8th generation Intel Core-i7 processor that comes with up to 32GB of memory which, if you’re rendering and exporting video can be a game changer.
The display looks brilliant with its true-tone Retina design and the included Touch Bar can be very useful during editing. While it doesn’t have the largest storage capacity, the Thunderbolt 3 ports let you easily hook up and external hard drive for extra storage space.Learn More
- Brilliant Retina Display with True Tone technology
- Touch Bar and Touch ID
- Radeon Pro 560x Graphics with 4GB of video Memory
- Ultrafast SSD
- Intel UHD Graphics 630
The Best Overall Laptop Available
Screen: 13.9-inch 3K | CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 | Storage: 512GB SSD
While in the United States laptop sales are mostly divided between Apple, Dell, and Microsoft, in other parts of the world, Huawei has been trying to break into the US market by designing high-quality laptops such as the MateBook X Pro and before long will be a huge name in this country as well.
While the design is gorgeous, the specs of the laptop are what make it stand out. With an 8th generation Intel chip along with 512GB SSD and up to 16GB of RAM it is easy to see the power contained within the case and with a great price. The impressive 13.9-inch display touts a resolution of 3,000 x 2,080 and an impressive battery life when compared to other high-end laptops have made this one of the best laptops in the world right now.Learn More
- Watch your favorite shows in HD detail with the MateBook X Pro’s 3K display that features a stunning 3000 x 2000 resolution. Plus, the ultra-thin Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen features an...
- With a performance boost of 40 percent generation over generation, 8th Gen Intel Core processors deliver the power and responsiveness to make your productivity soar. Edit photos and videos faster than...
- Go about your day sans charger—the MateBook X Pro delivers an impressive 15 hours per charge, helping it last through a full workday and beyond
- The MateBook X Pro is as portable as it is professional. Its slim and light build weighs in at just 2.9 pounds, so you can throw it in your bag and go
- Windows 10 Home delivers faster start-ups, your favorite applications, and great new ways to get stuff done across multiple devices
The Best Laptop for the Money
Screen: 15-inch PixelSense | CPU: Intel Core i7 | RAM: 16GB | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Getting a good value for your money when buying a laptop can be a challenge and sometimes finding a good, affordable laptop that is great for video editing can be tough, unless you look at the Surface Book 2 which comes with a 7th generation Intel Dual Core i5 Processor and 256GB of storage is enough for just about all of your files.
While the standard 8GB of RAM isn’t a great starting point, it is upgradeable to 16GB but is still good enough for video editing. With an amazing touch screen that comes with a vibrant PixelSense as well as four modes of use, the Surface Book 2 is a great option for those looking for a good combination of money and value.Learn More
- Microsoft Surface Book 2 Features a 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 Processor, 512 GB of storage, 16 GB RAM, and up to 17 hours of video playback
- Enhanced Graphics performance with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU w/6GB GDDR5 Graphics Memory
- The fastest Surface Book yet, with 4x more power
- Vibrant PixelSense Display: now available with a new 15" touchscreen. Weight : Starting at 4.2 pounds including keyboard
- Four versatile modes of use and new USB-C port
The Best Gaming Laptop for Video Editing
Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920×1080) | CPU: 8TH Gen Intel Core i7-8750h | RAM: 16GB | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2060 | Storage: 512GB SSD
Many times, some of the best laptops for gaming also have some of the best hardware for editing video as is the case with the Razer Blade 15 RTX, designed for gamers, but has enough high-quality hardware to be a quality video editing laptop. Right away, the first thing that stands out is the graphics card. The Nvidia GTX 2060 is an impressive card along with having 6GB of GDDR6 memory, along with 16GB of RAM as well as a 512GB solid-state drive. This powerhouse can easily handle editing 4K videos and stay cool with its vapor chamber cooling system.
The 15.6-inch display comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750Hx and a refresh rate of 144Hz, the images will explode off the screen although the resolution is capped at FHD and color calibrated at the factory. While it’s not technically designed for videographers, it is definitely worth a look.Learn More
- Zero-compromise powerhouse: Built for gaming and creative work in a 0.7" thin CNC aluminum unibody with high-performance, vapor chamber cooling
- Futureproof design: Thunderbolt 3 capable, compatible with Razer Core external GPU enclosures for additional power; supports dual-channel memory and SSD upgradability
- Perfect display for work or play: An edge-to-edge, 100% sRGB, factory-calibrated matte screen with a 240Hz refresh rate offers the best experience for intense gaming sessions or content creation
- Biometric security: Supports Windows Hello instant facial unlock with integrated webcam and IR sensor
- Customizable RGB individual key lighting: Includes 16.8 million colors available with multiple preset profiles
The Best Touchscreen Laptop/Tablet Combination Without Breaking The Bank
Screen: 15.6-inch FullHD | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | CPU: Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 | Storage: 256GB-512GB SSD
When you first look at the Yoga 720 from Lenovo, you might think it’s a laptop having an identity crisis. Both a laptop and a foldover tablet, the Yoga has found a sweet spot in the crowded jungle of laptops controlled by Apple, Microsoft and Dell – to-notch capabilities at an affordable price.
Offering a full HD experience on its 15-inch screen along with graphics being powered by the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 the effects you will be able to play around with won’t be much different than those found on some higher priced machines. If the hybrid has one flaw with it, it would have to be the lack of an HDMI port.
This can be cumbersome if you plan on playing your work on a larger screen, but it’s only a minor gripe as there are solutions out there. The combination of an accurate touchscreen and adequate processing power for a reasonable price gives this a spot on our list.Learn More
- 13.3-inch Full HD IPS 10-point multitouch screen, 1920 x 1080 resolution Widescreen LED
- 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Dual-Core Processor 1.6 GHz (max boost speed up to 3.4GHz) 3MB Cache, Intel HD Graphics 620
- 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM 2133 MHz, 256GB Solid State Drive, Backlit keyboard
The Best Budget Laptop for Video Editing
Screen: 15.6-inch HD (1366×768) – FHD (1920×1080); touch optional | RAM: 6GB – 16GB | CPU: AMD dual-core A9 APU – Intel Core i7 | Graphics: AMD Radeon R5 – Nvidia GTX 1050 | Storage: 512GB SSD – 1TB HDD
When you start looking around at laptops for video editing, it can cause a lot of sticker shock and panic, especially if you are on a pretty tight budget. Thankfully, HP released the Pavilion 15 to help those out who may not have a lot of money for some of the higher priced options.
For many, seeing a laptop so affordably priced could throw up some red flags, but not here. With a nice, large 15.6-inch screen along with a good amount of storage right out of the box, if you’re just starting out, it is a very good laptop to begin your career with. The onLearn More
- Excellent multitasking power with a 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U; 2.40 GHz
- 8GB DDR4 SDRAM memory, and a spacious 1TB 5400 RPM SATA
- 15.6 in diagonal HD SVA WLED backlit touchscreen (1366 x 768), 10 finger multi touch support
- Multi format digital media card reader and a built in DVD drive
- Full sized island style keyboard with an integrated numeric pad and 1.5mm key travel
The Best Light & Thin Laptop for Video-Editing on the Go
Screen: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 Retina display | RAM: 8 – 16GB | CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (Max-Q) | Storage: 128GB – 1.5TB SSD
MSI is a laptop company that not many people may have heard of, thinking that they are one of the numerous brands out there putting out bare-bones laptops but with the Prestige P65 Creator, they have shown they are much more than that, creating a light and thin laptop that is perfect for video editing on the go.
With an optional six-core Intel processor and an Nvidia GeForce graphics card, which can be upgraded to a GTX 1070 and 16 GB of memory, the P65 will render your video at amazing speeds while the large trackpad gives you precise control. A limited edition is also available with a 144Hz screen, but that may be more suited for gamers.Learn More
- Display: 15.6 144Hz 7ms, IPS-Level FHD,Anti-Glare 1920x1080
- Processor: Core i7-8750H 2.2 - 4.1GHz | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070 8G GDDR5
- System Memory: 32GB (16G*2) DDR4 2400MHz 2 Sockets; Max Memory 32GB | Storage: 512GB NVME SSD
- Special Features: Designer White Edition | Ultra Thin 4.9mm Bezel | 144Hz 7ms Display | TPM Security | Thunderbolt 3
- Warranty: 1 year Limited warranty (Include 1 Year Global)
The Most Durable Video Editing Laptop
Screen: 15.6-inch FullHD | RAM: 16GB | CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050(Max-Q) | Storage: 512GB SSD
Let’s face it, we’re clumsy. This can be especially true when we have a lot of things going on or if we are carrying a lot of things during the day. With the Asus Zenbook 15, which has a MIL-STD-810G certification meaning that it can handle rain, sand, vibrations as well as drops that would possibly destroy other laptops.
The gear under the hood is just as impressive as what’s protecting it. The screen has a 92% screen-to-body ratio and at 15.6-inches, is big enough for all your editing needs. The graphics are powered by a GTX 1060 Max-Q while a Core i7-8565U, 512GB SSD, and 16GB DDR4 let you do multiple things at once.Learn More
- 15.6 inch IPS-Level full HD two-sided frameless NanoEdge bezel Display that brings up to 92% screen to body ratio for immersive visuals
- Latest 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565u Quad Core Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.6 GHz)
- Fast storage and memory featuring 512GB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD with 16GB DDR4 RAM and a GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q for gaming level performance
- Exclusive ErgoLift design for improved typing position, optimized cooling System and enhanced audio performance
- Built-in IR camera for facial recognition sign in with Windows
Choosing the Best Laptop for Video Editing to Fit Your Needs
Choosing the right laptop for editing video takes more than going to the store and choosing the first laptop that you see. There can be many things that you need to consider beforehand and as our list of the Best Laptops for Video Editing, Animation, in 2020 has shown, there are a lot of options out there for you to choose from.
We hope our choices gave you a better idea of what to look for as well as some options for you to consider. If you have a go-to laptop for your video editing that isn’t on our list, let us know in the comments below!!