best laptop for video editing

Best Laptops for Video Editing in 2022

Video editing is one of the most strenuous tasks you can put your PC through, so when you’re shopping for the best laptops for video editing, you’ll want to make sure you’re loading up with some heavy hardware firepower. You don’t necessarily need the absolute highest-end gear, and the processor and graphics inside the notebook are just part of the equation.

Simply buying a gaming laptop and calling it a day might be enough if you’re just casually streaming or creating videos, but serious video editors will also want to take into account the quality of the display and port selection, among other factors.

A lot of notebooks have come through our test labs in our quest to find the best laptops. This has given us a comprehensive view of the laptop landscape and helped us identify laptops that fit the unique needs of editing videos.

Take a look at our recommendations below followed by buying advice and information on how we test our laptops for video editing purposes. You may also want to check out our roundup of the best laptop deals to scout for discounts on content creation notebooks. We update it daily with the most recent sales.

The best video editing laptops are the ones that are powerful enough to handle big edit jobs and light enough to carry all day, with a screen bright and accurate enough to let you do your best work. It helps to have enough battery life that you don’t need to lug a charger around, either.

Luckily, you have more options than ever thanks to recent advances in the state of CPU development. Intel, AMD, and now Apple have met consumer demand for smaller, more powerful laptops with some beefy laptop CPUs (or SoCs, in the case of Apple’s remarkable M1 chip), so if you’re chiefly interested in doing recreational video editing and plan to stick to 1080p resolution, there are lots of thin and light laptops powerful enough to get the job done. Just make sure you’re using the best laptops for video editing software for your needs.

However, if you plan to be working in 4K and/or editing video files with high bitrates, you’ll want a beefy laptop with a performant CPU, speedy hard drive, lots of RAM, and a discrete graphics card. The best gaming laptops often satisfy these requirements, though they tend to eat up battery when working at full capacity. You will find the best laptops for video editing in 2022.

What Are The Best Laptops for Video Editing?

If you’re willing to spend a decent chunk of change, and you’re looking for the top video editing laptops, the Dell XPS 15 and the 16-inch MacBook Pro are your best bets. They offer gorgeous, high-res displays powered by some intense CPUs and GPUs that’ll power through most video editing projects that you can throw at them. Both laptops also sport slim aluminum chassis, making them incredibly portable.

If you’re looking for a video editing laptop under $1,000, your best bet would be to look at cheap gaming laptops. Something like the Dell G5 15 SE (2020), which sports an AMD Radeon RX 5600M GPU and a decent display, will be good enough for you to get through some of your rigorous tasks. However, when money is no object and you’re a gamer, the best video editing laptop you can buy is the Alienware Area-51m, as it boasts super powerful components, lightning-fast SSDs, and is entirely upgradable.

But if you’re not a gamer and you want to focus exclusively on video editing no matter the cost, consider picking up a workstation, like the MSI WS65 9TM, which is one of the best workstations you can buy overall. It’s Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 GPU is optimized for tasks such as video editing, and thanks to its super colorful 4K display, you’ll be able to see all of your creative work come to life before your eyes.

At a Glance:

Our Recommendations For Best Laptops for Video Editing

DesignLaptopsRetailer
Best PickBest Value for Money: 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro 2021
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Best Budget Laptop: Dell G5 15 SE
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Staff PickBest 15 inches, 4K OLED: Alienware m15 R4
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Budget PickBest Video Editing: Asus Zenbook 13 OLED
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Best Editing Laptop: Apple MacBook Air with M1
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Best 15-inch Video Editing Laptop: Dell XPS 15 (2020)
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Razer Blade 14 (2021) – Best Ultra-Portable Laptop for Video Editing
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HP Envy 14 14t-eb000 (2021) – Best Budget Laptop for Video Editing
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Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2
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XPG Xenia 15 KC – Powerful Portability, with Minor Caveats
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Best Value for Money: 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro 2021

Best Pick
16-inch MacBook Pro 2021

Want it all? Then you may be looking for the beastly 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro, which is optimized for video editing and sports either M1 Pro or M1 Max chips that deliver shocking amounts of performance. An upgrade over the previous Intel-based model, this model features thinner bezels to give more space to the gorgeous mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR displays. Once you get over the notch, you’ll be wowed by its contrast and smoothness, especially with its 120Hz refresh rate.

On top of that, you get the return of the ports that pros demand. That’s not just the safety-focused MagSafe 3 charging port, but HDMI-out for connecting to displays and an SD memory reader for connecting memory cards for real-deal cameras. Oh, and don’t think MagSafe will take USB-C charging out of the picture: the MacBook Pro’s trio of Thunderbolt 4/USB4 ports also draw power. On top of that, you’ve got a 1080p webcam, a trio of improved microphones, and a stellar six-point speaker system.

16-inch Apple MacBook Pro 2021 Specifications

  • Display: 16.2 inches; 3456×2244 pixels
  • CPU: M1 Pro (10-core CPU) | M1 Max (10-core CPU)
  • GPU: 16-core to 32-core integrated
  • GPU RAM: 16GB to 64GB
  • Storage: 512GB – 8TB
  • Weight: 4.7 pounds (M1 Pro) | 4.8 pounds (M1 Max)

Pros

  • Beautiful Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Incredible performance trounces the competition
  • Outstanding battery life

Cons

  • The display still isn’t 4K
  • Expensive with M1 Max

Best Budget Laptop: Dell G5 15 SE

Dell G5 15 SE (5505)

If you’re after an affordable but powerful gaming laptop that can handle some serious video editing, the Dell G5 15 SE 2020 is well worth your consideration. The remarkably forgettable name belies the fact that this is a very capable machine clad in a neat, unassuming chassis for less than $1,000. And despite its price, it can keep up with some of the more expensive gaming laptops, especially at 1080p.

Dell has opted to go with an all-AMD configuration, so the G5 15 SE sports a Ryzen 5 4000-series CPU and a Radeon RX 5600M GPU to deliver some graphical muscle. With up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD space, the Dell G5 15 SE 2020 is a very capable video editing laptop — it actually completed our Handbrake editing videos test a smidge faster than any other laptop on this list.

You’ll have to pay $1,049 for the best specs, but that price also gets you a colorful display with a 144Hz refresh rate. The G5 15 SE’s plastic build might not scream ‘premium’, but it still looks pretty sharp on a desk. More importantly, it’s got it where it counts.

Dell G5 15 SE Specifications

  • Display: 15.6 inches, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz/144Hz
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H/Ryzen 5 4800H
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 5600MRAM: 8-16GB
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Handbrake 4K-1080p video transcode time: 6:43

Pros

  • Great overall performance
  • Impressive battery life
  • Colorful display

Cons

  • So-so speakers
  • Keyboard can get cramped

Best 15 inches, 4K OLED: Alienware m15 R4

Staff Pick
Alienware m15 R4

The Alienware m15 R4 is a sleek and functional gaming laptop that’s plenty powerful enough for 4K video editing, thanks (in part) to its impressive Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU. While this machine can easily run you $2,500 (or more), in return, you’ll get a streamlined and relatively lightweight device with a slick white chassis that looks good on a desk. With a fast CPU, lots of hard drive space, and a beautiful 4K display, the m15 R4 is a surprisingly great laptop for video editing.

Of course, like most Alienware laptops (and gaming laptops in general), the m15 R4 has a pretty meager battery life, managing barely 4 hours of web surfing on a full battery. The fans get remarkably loud under heavy workloads too, but if you’re editing video with headphones on you’ll barely notice.

Alienware m15 R4 Specifications

  • Display: 15 inches, 4K OLED
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10870H
  • CPU @ 2.20GHz, 2.21 GHz
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
  • RAM: 16 GB Storage: 1 TB SSD
  • Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Handbrake 4K-1080p video transcode time: 7:07

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Strong performance
  • Decent keyboard and touchpad

Cons

  • Fan gets very loud
  • Short battery life

Best Video Editing: Asus Zenbook 13 OLED

Budget Pick
Asus Zenbook 13 OLED (UM325U)

The AMD-equipped Asus Zenbook 13 OLED is a capable laptop for video editing that offers excellent value, delivering an eye-catching 1080p OLED display and exceptional battery life in a slim, lightweight package for less than a thousand bucks.

Sure, the speakers aren’t amazing, the webcam leaves something to be desired, and there’s no headphone jack, but these are stumbling blocks you can workaround. The AMD Ryzen 7 5000-series CPU and 8 GB of RAM give you enough power to handle simple video editing, especially if you keep it to 1080p, and the OLED display is a joy to look at.

The 15-hour battery life is pretty nice to have, too, especially on those long days. If you need a small, portable laptop with a great screen that can handle video editing and last you all day long, you can’t do better than the OLED-equipped Asus Zenbook 13 at this price.

Asus Zenbook 13 OLED Specifications

  • Display: 13.3-inch 1080p OLED
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U
  • GPU: Integrated Radeon graphics
  • RAM: 8 GB Storage: 512 GB
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Handbrake 4K-1080p video transcode time: 8:22

Pros

  • Stellar battery life
  • Beautiful 1080p OLED display
  • Great performance

Cons

  • Middling sound quality
  • Inconsistent webcam
  • No headphone jack

Best Editing Laptop: Apple MacBook Air with M1

Apple MacBook Air with M1

Apple’s powerful M1 chips punch above their weight, rendering the 13-inch MacBook Air with M1 a remarkably effective lightweight laptop for video editing. Yes, we’re living in a world where you could do serious creative work on a MacBook Air. We’re as surprised as you are.

It’s not quite as effective as the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1, or the 16-inch MacBook Pros, but the M1-equipped MacBook Air can still get most video editing jobs done — and it’s lighter and cheaper than a Pro.

On top of that, you get stronger sound than you’d expect from a laptop this small since it supports Dolby Atmos audio. And the bright, vibrant 2,560 x 1600-pixel Retina display should be easy on the eyes during those long editing sessions.

Apple MacBook Air with Specifications

  • Display: 13.3 inches; 2560×1600
  • CPU: Apple M1
  • GPU: Integrated 8-core GPU
  • RAM: 8GB-16GB
  • Storage: 256GB-2TB SSD
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Handbrake 4K-1080p video transcode time: 9:15

Pros

  • Remarkably fast performance
  • Strong legacy app support
  • Amazingly long battery life

Cons

  • Still has thick bezels
  • Light on ports

Best 15-inch Video Editing Laptop: Dell XPS 15 (2020)

Dell XPS 15 2020 2

Don’t let its slim and stylish design fool you — the Dell XPS 15 2020 is an absolute workhorse, and its immersive 15.6-inch InfinityEdge 4K display is a joy to work on. It’s powerful enough to handle some pretty serious video editing work too, thanks to its 10th Gen Intel Core processors and the optional Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU you can configure it with.

Factor in a pair of impressive loudspeakers and solid battery life for a 4K laptop, and the new XPS 15 is one of the best 15-inch laptops you can buy for video editing. You can get similar performance, value, and screen quality out of its siblings, the pint-sized Dell XPS 13 and the big XPS 17, but we think the XPS 15 delivers the perfect balance of screen size and portability for video editors on the go.

Dell XPS 15 (2020) Specifications

  • Display: 15.6 inches; 1080p or 4K
  • CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5 / i7
  • GPU: Intel UHD / Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti
  • RAM: 8GB / 16GB / 32GB / 64GB
  • Storage: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB SSD
  • Weight: 4-4.5 pounds
  • Handbrake 4K-1080p video transcode time: 10:06

Pros

  • Gorgeous, immersive display
  • Great overall performance
  • Comfortable keyboard and touchpad

Cons

  • So-so battery life
  • Gets loud under pressure

Razer Blade 14 (2021) – Best Ultra-Portable Laptop for Video Editing

Razer Blade 14 (2021)

If pure portability is essential, consider the Razer Blade 14. This ultra-thin laptop measures just 0.66-inch thick and tips the scales at a mere 3.9 pounds, making it significantly smaller than most laptops with video editing chops.

But Razer didn’t skimp on the firepower, loading the Blade 14 with AMD’s 8-core Ryzen 9 5900HX flagship CPU, Nvidia’s 8GB GeForce RTX 3080, a 1TB NVMe SSD, and 16GB of memory.

You’ll give up some perks in exchange for the Blade’s portability though: The 14-inch IPS-grade screen comes factory calibrated, but tops out at 2560×1440 resolution. 4K video editing is off the table, though the laptop supports the full DCI-P3 color gamut.

Razer’s notebook also lacks an SD card slot. But if you need a fierce rig that can chew through edits and renders and then slip easily into your bag, the Blade 14 is worth considering.

Razer Blade 14 (2021) Specifications

  • Brand: Razer
  • Series: Razer Blade 14
  • Screen Size: 14 Inches
  • Color: Black
  • Hard Disk Size: 1 TB
  • CPU Model: Ryzen 9
  • Ram Memory Installed Size: 16 GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Card Description: Dedicated
  • Graphics Coprocessor: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060

Pros

  • It performs capably in AAA games
  • The QHD panel looks great
  • It’s exceptionally quiet

Cons

  • AC adapter is heavy at 1.7 pounds
  • Razer products are pricey
  • No Thunderbolt 4 support

HP Envy 14 14t-eb000 (2021) – Best Budget Laptop for Video Editing

HP Envy 14 14t-eb000 (2021) – Best budget laptop for video editing

You’ll need to spend up for heftier hardware if you want the fastest possible video edits and renders, but not everyone can afford to. If you want a solid, basic content creation laptop that won’t break the bank, check out the HP Envy 14.

The entry-level GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU and Core i5-1135G7 processor aren’t barnburners, but they’ll get the job done, and at roughly $1,000 the price is certainly right. The 14-inch 1900×1200 display features a 16:10 aspect ratio for improved productivity, along with factory color calibration and 100-percent sRGB support (though not DCI-P3). Better yet, the HP Envy 14 includes crucial SD cards and Thunderbolt ports, and it runs surprisingly quiet too.

HP Envy 14 14t-eb000 (2021) Specifications

  • Brand: HP
  • Series: 14-dw1024nr
  • Screen Size: 14 Inches
  • Color: Natural Silver
  • Hard Disk Size: 0.01 GB
  • CPU Model: Core i5
  • Ram Memory Installed Size: 8 GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Card Description: Integrated
  • Graphics Coprocessor: Intel Iris Xe Graphics

Pros

  • Good value for the money
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Quiet fan, with no detectable performance throttling
  • Thunderbolt 4 support

Cons

  • Slightly quirky keyboard layout
  • Webcam’s signature feature is ineffective

Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2

Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2

When it comes to powerful laptops, many, if not most, of them are pretty bulky and heavy, often tipping the scales at five or six pounds. Well, that’s not the case with the XPG Xenia 15 KC.

It weighs a little over four pounds, which is fairly lightweight for a laptop that’s capable of delivering zippy performance across the board. Plus, it runs very quietly. According to our review, it “rarely makes noise under normal use.” That’s impressive, as most gaming laptops tend to sound like a rocket blasting off.

If you’re looking for something that’s both quiet and portable, the Xenia 15 KC is an excellent choice, though its 1440p display and relatively slow SD card reader performance may make some content creators balk.

XPG & Intel Design Collaboration Intel 11th Gen TGL i7 11800H with GeForce RTX 3070 Mobile Liquid Metal Thermal Interface Solution Pre-installed Award Winning 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD 2x16GB High-Performance XPG DDR4-3200MHz Memory Light Weight 1.94kg Magnesium Alloy Chassis Optical Mechanical Per-key RGB Silent Keyboard High-Quality QHD 165Hz IPS Display 4.9mm Narrow Bezel with 85% Screen-to-body Ratio High-Speed Connectivity with Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6 Large 94WHr Battery HD IR Camera With Windows Hello Support Xbox Game Pass 1-Month Free-Trial

Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 Specifications

  • Brand: Lenovo
  • Series: Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches
  • Color: Black
  • Hard Disk Size: 2 TB
  • CPU Model: Core i7 Family
  • Ram Memory Installed Size: 4 GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
  • Card Description: Integrated
  • Graphics Coprocessor: NVIDIA T1200 4GB GDDR6

Pros

  • Dolby Vision or OLED 4K screen options
  • Massively powerful when specced up
  • SD card slot

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Uninspired design
  • Can get very expensive

XPG Xenia 15 KC – Powerful Portability, with Minor Caveats

XPG Xenia 15 KC – Powerful Portability, with Minor Caveats

When it comes to powerful laptops, many, if not most, of them are pretty bulky and heavy, often tipping the scales at five or six pounds. Well, that’s not the case with the XPG Xenia 15 KC.

It weighs a little over four pounds, which is fairly lightweight for a laptop that’s capable of delivering zippy performance across the board. Plus, it runs very quietly. According to our review, it “rarely makes noise under normal use.” That’s impressive, as most gaming laptops tend to sound like a rocket blasting off.

If you’re looking for something that’s both quiet and portable, the Xenia 15 KC is an excellent choice, though its 1440p display and relatively slow SD card reader performance may make some content creators balk.

XPG & Intel Design Collaboration Intel 11th Gen TGL i7 11800H with GeForce RTX 3070 Mobile Liquid Metal Thermal Interface Solution Pre-installed Award Winning 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD 2x16GB High-Performance XPG DDR4-3200MHz Memory Light Weight 1.94kg Magnesium Alloy Chassis Optical Mechanical Per-key RGB Silent Keyboard High-Quality QHD 165Hz IPS Display 4.9mm Narrow Bezel with 85% Screen-to-body Ratio High-Speed Connectivity with Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6 Large 94WHr Battery HD IR Camera With Windows Hello Support Xbox Game Pass 1-Month Free-Trial

XPG Xenia 15 KC Specifications

  • Brand: XPG
  • Series: XENIA 15 KC
  • Screen Size: 15.6 Inches
  • Color: Black
  • Hard Disk Size: 1 TB
  • CPU Model: Core i7
  • Ram Memory Installed Size: 32 GB
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Card Description: GeForce RTX 3070
  • Graphics Coprocessor: NVIDIA

Pros

  • Very light
  • Very quiet
  • (relatively) very fast

Cons

  • Subpar RGB
  • Just barely adequate audio
  • SD card reader is barely adequate

How We Tested the Best Laptops for Video Editing

We took into account the recommended hardware requirements from popular non-linear video editors and published benchmarks like Puget Systems’ Premiere Pro benchmark. Given the above requirements and information, we selected laptops with 16GB of RAM or more -32GB preferred- with 1TB or more of fast internal SSD storage and the latest-generation CPUs from AMD, Intel, and Apple. We had to make an exception in the rugged category as an Intel i7 is the fastest at the time of writing.

As a result, a laptop chosen from this list will be as suitable for the task at hand a year down the line as it is today. Offerings from Apple, Dell, Asus, Lenovo, HP, and Razer all provide suitable options for video editing, including a rugged laptop for working outdoors.

It is no surprise that some entries are business laptops while others are marketed as gaming laptops: modern games are resource-intensive in terms of CPU, RAM, and GPU, so gaming laptops are exceptionally well suited for pro video editing. Unless otherwise noted all systems feature an SD card reader slot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Laptop is Needed for Video Editing?

Memory/RAM: 8-32 GB RAM or as much as you can afford (ideally at least 16GB) Processor: Multi-core Intel i5/i7/i9 models (i9 is best). Preferably 4 or more processor cores. Storage: At least 256 GB hard drive, 7200 RPM, preferably SSD (fastest), HDD

Can i3 Edit the Video?

An i3 would be extremely slow for video editing, but if you really can’t afford anything better, just get the i3–6100. It’s based on the LGA 1151 socket, which would allow you to upgrade to better CPUs for some time.

Are MacBooks Good for Video Editing?

MacBooks are very popular amongst video editors thanks to their powerful performance and stylish designs, but in recent years Windows laptops, such as the Dell XPS line, can easily match Apple’s laptops in both style and substance.

Which Processor is Best for Video Editing?

The AMD Threadripper 3970X is the currently best-performing CPU for Video Editing. It does cost a lot though and its overall value is lower than some of the competing CPUs. If you are looking for a great CPU for Video Editing that costs less than 550$ the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is the best choice.

What Computer do YouTubers Use for Editing?

Adobe Premiere Pro has been the standard for Hollywood filmmakers for years and is trusted by many of the world’s most famous YouTubers. Premiere Pro has a vast number of capabilities that, after some practice, can help editors produce stunning video content.

Is a Graphics Card Necessary for Video Editing on a laptop?

A powerful video editing PC is built around a powerful CPU. Having a graphics card is also very helpful, but it is not necessary to get a powerhouse of a GPU. Make sure not to skimp on RAM, either, but 8 to 16 GB should be plenty for most projects.

Does Processor Matter for Video Editing?

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of your computer. For video editing, this will have an impact on how your video editing software performs. The CPU also will determine your rendering performance. Making sure you have a high-speed processor in your editing workstation is critical!

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