Image: Gordon Mah Ung / IDG
Video editing can put a heavy burden on any computer. So, when shopping for a laptop for video editing, you’ll want to make sure you’re loading up with some heavy hardware firepower. While you might not need the absolute top of the line gear, simply buying a gaming laptop and calling it a day is probably not going to cut it. Serious video editors need to take into account a few things, including processor and graphics performance, the quality of the display, port selection, and other factors.
We’ve tested countless notebooks in our never-ending quest to find the best laptops. And through this we’ve developed a comprehensive view of the laptop landscape. This has allowed us to identify laptops that fit specific needs, such as video editing. We’ve taken note of the best laptops for video editing and curated a list to help you. Take a look at our top picks below, followed by buying advice and information on how we test our laptops for video editing purposes.
If you’re on a budget or just looking to save some money, you may also want to check out our daily roundup of the best laptop deals to scope out any discounts on content creation notebooks.
Dell XPS 17 (2022) – Best laptop for video editing
- Solid performance for the price
- Massive, bright, colorful display
- Offers four Thunderbolt 4 ports
- Long battery life
- Heavy and thick
- Mediocre keyboard
- Lacks USB-A, HDMI, or Ethernet
- RTX 3060 is the quickest available GPU
We consider the Dell XPS 17 the ultimate content creation laptop, so it’s no surprise to see this atop our list of the best laptops for video editing. The Intel 12th-gen Core i7-12700H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 inside deliver plenty of punch for intense edits, while a 1TB SSD delivers top-notch storage performance for moving big projects around.
The XPS 17 also includes crucial extras coveted by video editors, such as an SD card reader, Thunderbolt 4 ports aplenty, and a luscious 17-inch touchscreen panel with 3840×2400 resolution, and a more productive 16:10 aspect ratio. Dell even managed to cram all these niceties into a relatively portable-for-its-class 5.34-pound design that can run for 11 hours before needing a charge—improving upon the previous XPS 17 version by over one hour.
Read our full
Dell XPS 17 (2022) review
Dell XPS 15 9520 – Best 3.5K OLED option
- Stellar OLED display
- Chassis is rugged and gorgeous
- Booming audio
- Roomy keyboard and touchpad
- 15.6 < 16 inches
- Underwhelming battery life
- Webcam is behind the times
- Limited ports
The Dell XPS 15 9520 has a stunning OLED display, and with its Intel Core i7-12700H CPU and GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics, it has become one of our favorites for content creators and video editors. To add to an already impressive system, the rugged and beautiful all-metal enclosure is a cherry on the top of a premium-quality cake.
Of course, as a performance-oriented laptop, the Dell XPS 15 9520 isn’t the most portable, weighing a little over 4 pounds. But if you want a real workhorse with a screen that will do your video editing justice, you’ll find that the 3456X2160 resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, and ultra vivid and accurate colors are the ticket.
Read our full
Dell XPS 15 9520 review
Razer Blade 14 (2021) – Best ultra-portable laptop for video editing
- It performs capably in AAA games
- The QHD panel looks great
- It’s exceptionally quiet
- AC adapter is heavy at 1.7 pounds
- Razer products are pricey
- No Thunderbolt 4 support
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 then slip easily into your bag, the Blade 14 is worth considering.
Read our full
Razer Blade 14 (2021) review
Dell Inspiron 16 – Best for battery life
- Roomy 16-inch 16:10 display
- Long battery life
- Competitive application performance
- Comfortable keyboard and huge touchpad
- Quad speakers pump up the jams
- Lone GPU upgrade is lackluster
- Can’t go bigger than 512GB SSD
- Large screen can feel awkward in tablet mode
If it’s battery life that you’re concerned about, the Dell Inspiron 16 should cover you just fine. When we ran our battery benchmark, which cycles through a series of tasks and videos until the laptop dies, the Inspiron 16 lasted a marathon 16.5 hours on a single charge. That should allow you to edit to your heart’s content while out on the road. Due to the battery, it isn’t the most portable, however, weighing in at a substantial 4.7 pounds.
It’s rather inexpensive, but for the price you will have to make sacrifices. It sports a Intel Core i7-1260P CPU, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. While that should get the job done with most video-editing projects, it does lack storage capacity, so you will need an external drive if you’re saving video files. What really makes this laptop shine though, is the outstanding battery life which is an often overlooked aspect of mobile video editors. And as a bonus perk, it also comes with a surprisingly robust quad speaker system. For ports, you’re getting two USB Type-C, one USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, one HDMI, one SD card reader, and one 3.5mm audio jack.
Read our full
Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 review
MSI Titan GT77 HX 13V – Best high-end laptop for video editing
- Excellent mechanical keyboard
- Class-leading Mini-LED display
- Incredible CPU and GPU performance
- 2TB of solid state storage with PCIe Gen5 support
- Uninspired design
- Short battery life
When it comes to video editing, the MSI Titan GT77 HX 13V ticks off all the right boxes. This rig sports powerful components and a stunning 4K display, which is the perfect combination for a creator’s laptop. It’s rocking an Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU, an Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU, 64GB of RAM, and 2TB of PCIe SSD storage. That’s a massive amount of storage right there, which is perfect for offloading large files. The 17.3-inch IPS display has a resolution of 3840×2160, a refresh rate of 144Hz, and a peak brightness level of 585 nits. According to our reviewer, it’s the highest brightness on record for any laptop in SDR. IPS displays tend to have superb color accuracy as well as wide viewing angles, by the way. However, it does have one major shortcoming and that’s the astronomical price. If your budget knows no limits and you’re looking for an absolute beast of a laptop, then the MSI Titan is worth considering.
Read our full
MSI Titan GT77 HX 13V review
Apple MacBook Pro (2023) – Best MacBook for video editing
- Good performance boost over its predecessor
- HDMI upgrade expands external display options
- Equipped with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3
- 1080p camera without Center Stage
- Some will deem the notch unsightly
- Touch Bar fans will be disappointed
- No ethernet port
Price When Reviewed:
If you’re in a long and committed relationship with Apple’s ecosystem, you should check out the latest MacBook Pro (2023) laptop. Not only are you getting a 19-core GPU, but also 2TB of SSD storage. That’s a ton of space and graphics firepower right there, which is vital for video editing tasks. The laptop’s 12-core M2 Pro CPU chip is a solid boost over last year’s model, too. In fact, according to the Geekbench 5 benchmark, Apple’s 20 percent improvement claim falls right in line with our results. The 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display is also drop-dead gorgeous, with a maximum brightness level of over 1,000 nits and a crystal-clear resolution of 3456×2234. Editing on this screen should be a real delight.
Read our full Apple MacBook Pro (2023) review
What to look for in a laptop for video editing
The most important thing to look for in a laptop for video editing is its CPU and GPU. The faster your hardware, the faster your edits, essentially. In addition to subjecting all of the laptops above to our usual battery of benchmarks, we also ran the UL Procyon Video Editing Test on several high-powered laptops to see which hardware performs best for this sort of work. The benchmark tasks Adobe Premiere with importing two different video projects, applying visual effects such as color grading and transitions, and then exporting it using H.264, H.265 at both 1080p and 4K.
Gordon Mah Ung / IDG
The best performance came from big, heavy laptops running Intel’s 11th-generation processors, though notebooks with AMD’s beefy Ryzen 9 processors came in just behind, with 10th-gen Intel chips still putting up a respectable score. They’re not in the chart above, but newer Intel 12th-gen laptops run even faster still. The best-performing laptops all paired modern Intel CPUs with Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs, which isn’t surprising as both companies have invested a lot of time and resources into optimizing their Adobe performance.
The GPU matters more than CPU in Premiere Pro, though things reach a point of diminishing returns very quickly. Notebooks wielding top-tier RTX 3080 graphics are indeed faster at video editing than laptops with more modest RTX 3060 graphics, but not by that much. If you look at the scores from the Dell XPS 17 9710, its GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU is maybe 14 percent slower than the fastest RTX 3080 in the MSI GE76 Raider. That’s not a lot, especially when you consider how big and thick the GE76 Raider is compared to the Dell laptop.
In general, having any sort of discrete graphics is preferred, with at least an RTX 3060 recommended for serious video editing.
Video editing is very workflow dependent however. Your particular task and tool might be more CPU intensive, or lean more on the GPU than Premiere. If so, adjust your priorities accordingly. The selections above should all be great well-rounded options, however. Intel and Nvidia have spent years building up tools like Quick Sync and CUDA, respectively, and many video editing apps can see significant speed boosts because of it. AMD hardware does fine for video editing, but we recommend sticking to Intel and Nvidia unless you have a strong reason otherwise, especially if your workflow relies on their vendor-specific software optimizations.
Gordon Mah Ung/IDG
It’s not all about the internals though. PCWorld video director Adam Patrick Murray stresses that an ideal laptop for video editing includes an SD card reader for grabbing video off a camera. He also recommends opting for a notebook with a 4K, 60Hz panel over the ultra-fast 1080p panels often found on gaming laptops that would otherwise be ideal for video editing. You need a 4K panel to edit 4K videos well, and blazing-fast refresh rates don’t mean anything for video editing like they do for gaming. If color accuracy matters to you—it might not if you’re only creating casual videos for your personal YouTube channel, for example—then support for the full DCI-P3 color gamut is also a must, along with Delta E < 2 color accuracy.
You won’t often find those sorts of specs listed for (or supported by) gaming laptops, but dedicated content creation laptops should include that information. That said, if you want the fastest possible laptop for video editing that can also satisfy your gaming proclivities, you can always pair that burly gaming laptop with a color-accurate external monitor for creation tasks.
If you’re looking for a more general purpose notebook, be sure to check out our guide to the best laptops for picks for every budget. You may also find solid laptops for video editing for cheap in our roundup of the best laptop deals, which we update daily with the latest sales.
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