Of course, a powerful desktop computer designated for video editing is a perfect tool for filmmakers. However, if you have plenty of business trips it’s always better to keep all your materials and projects with you. In such case, a decent laptop for video editing is a great alternative.
Last update on 2023-09-17 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
How to Choose the Best Laptop for Video Editing
The choice of the best laptop for video editing can be tricky. No one wants to experience pixilated images or get annoyed by the crashing program. We’ll try to help you select a top-notch laptop that will make your video editing a sheer pleasure.
Obviously, screen quality is important. When possible, go for a 4k. Good laptop for video editing should have a screen that is sharp enough for tasks like color correction and shading.
Another important feature to take into consideration is memory. Editing or work with motion graphics always requires space to save plenty of temporary files. Thus, if your laptop has enough RAM you won’t have problems with storage or speed.
As 4K footage becomes more and more common, you should focus on it when choosing a laptop for video editing. So, the best option is to pick up a laptop with no less than 8GB of memory. Anyway, you can always upgrade it as most of the laptops allow this. Still, if your budget isn’t restricted and you can afford something more powerful then choose a laptop with 16GB of RAM.
Storage is the next thing to consider after RAM. The principle of choice is the same here – the more storage you have the better. Start with not less than 256GB but try to get as much as you can afford. If you have 500GB storage, for example, or higher you will be able to edit small projects even without an external hard drive.
When it comes to a graphics card there are two brands to choose from: NVIDIA and AMD Graphics. Both of them have made quite a name and offer products of great quality. Thus, it’s impossible to say which one is better. The choice here depends on the laptop model and your own preferences.
Nevertheless, there are some basic points you should know about GPU of your future laptop. It’s always important to pay attention at the recommendations from the chosen NLE software concerning a graphics card.
Generally, you’d want to go for GTX 1050 and higher.
In most cases, the more cores your CPU has the better. Nowadays, even those processors which are designed to use less power, such as Intel’s mobile Core U-series, have four cores.
By the way, you can always test your processor using Cinebench benchmark, a test which shows how fast your laptop is when rendering a 3D image. Note that all results above 700 mean that a laptop will cope with video-editing tasks.
It’s not a secret that video editing consumes lots of power. Thus, it’s good to have a laptop with a long battery life. Still, it isn’t the most crucial feature you should be looking for. There’s a high chance that you will keep your laptop plugged-in almost all the time during the video-editing process.
One of the reasons we buy a laptop instead of a desktop computer is portability. But not every portable thing is easy to carry. Sure, an ideal laptop is lightweight and it can be a reality. The only thing you should remember is that laptops which weigh less than 3 pounds won’t have a discrete GPU and their displays won’t be larger than 14 inches.
Another thing which should be taken into account is size. Of course, a thin laptop looks very stylish. But don’t forget to check whether it has all the necessary ports.
Finally, just check whether the best laptop for video editing you have found is comfortable in use namely for you. Does its keyboard is convenient in use? Is its display big enough for your editing tasks? Though this may sound not as serious as processor or GPU characteristics but it does affect the whole process of editing.
7 Best Laptops for Video Editing
HP ZBOOK STUDIO
The Best Laptop for Video Editing
The HP ZBOOK Studio is a very interesting laptop for video editing, boasting one of the best displays in the industry. And yes, since we’re talking video editing, the display is one of the most important features in a laptop, and yes, the Zbook Studio comes with a breathtaking HP DreamColor display with 600 nits of brightness.
What does it mean? Well, that’s 20 percent brighter than a Macbook Pro (!) and 50 percent brighter compared to a Dell XPS2. Mic drop. Seriously now, the Zbook Studio’s anti-glare 4K display is something out of this world, and the laptop itself is faster, smaller and brighter (pun intended) than ever.
Besides world’s brightest UHD display, the Zbook Studio also comes loaded with pro-grade performance components, being the ideal choice for creators, architects, engineers, what have you. Just to give you a little taste, you can configure your HP-demon with ultra-fast processing power and certified 3D graphics; think along the lines of Nvidia Quadro and Intel Core I9 (8th gen), up to 64 GB of RAM etc.
Basically, if you can afford the price tag, you can configure the HP Zbook Studio to take you to the moon and back, without having to refuel. Because, yes, of course, this baby comes with a beefy battery that offers up to 16 hours of autonomy. Are you impressed yet? We definitely are.
- Best display in the industry
- Tons of config options
- Excellent connectivity
- Bang and Olufsen audio
- Mil-spec build quality
- Up to 4 TB storage
- Doesn’t cook for you
Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch
Great Laptop for Both Photo And Video Editing
As usual, the latest Apple MacBook Pro is the best machine to date arriving from the Cupertino based company. This particular model runs on a 9th gen Intel Core i7 CPU with UHD graphics 630. On top of top-notch processing power, you’ll get the now-familiar (love it or hate it) Touch Bar and Touch ID thing, an awesome Retina display with True Tone technology, one of the best calibrated/overall best displays in the industry, 16 GB of RAM and a beefy 512 GB SSD.
Even the price asked for this high-end video-editing machine is pretty decent, all things considered, and here’s why you should buy one, even if you’re not an Apple fan-boy: first, Apple became the world’s first publicly-traded company to reach $2 trillion market cap. Besides that, the 500 nits display is absolutely perfectly calibrated out of the box, the sound system and the mics are amazing, and battery life is on par with the rest.
Moreover, you’ll be amazed by the fantastic keyboard and the powerful AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series, which takes care of the “muscle” in video-intensive applications. The bottom line, this MacBook Pro is the best to date in terms of sheer power and brings desktop-class GPU power to mobile computing. As usual, we might add.
- Top-notch hardware
- 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports
- 6 speaker system
- 11 hours of autonomy
- Stunning Retina display
- Studio quality mics
- We don’t dare name one
Microsoft Surface Book 3
High-End Hybrid For Video Editing
If you’re a fan of Bill Gates’ aging beauty, and by that we mean the new Surface Book, now at its 3rd gen, the best way to describe it is a flagship lost in time. To make it really easy for our readers, the new Surface Book 3 is an uber-premium piece of gear, boasting one of the best display-keyboard duo currently available on the market.
On top of that, you’ll get a high-end Intel Core i7 CPU, 10th gen mind you, 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD. What does it mean, you asked? Well, the Surface Book 3 is the most powerful laptop of its kind, i.e. it’s 50 percent faster compared to the previous generation.
Since we’re looking for the best laptop for video editing, we must mention that the Surface 3 is a true workhorse, due to its high-powered NVIDIA GTX GeForce GPU. Design-wise, this tablet/laptop hybrid is beautiful from any angle, feels and looks premium, and offers a wide range of ports: 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 USB-C port, a Surface Connect port, a 3.5 mm jack, and even a full-sized SDXC card reader.
The display looks fantastic and sports a resolution of 3,240 x 2,160 pixels and an average screen brightness of 402 nits, being a solid competitor to Apple’s MacBook Pro. Battery life is respectable, standing at approximately 8-9 hours of continuous use in real life if the tablet is connected to the keyboard, which also has a stand-alone battery.
- Premium look and feel
- Solid hardware
- Clean Windows 10 on-board
- Excellent keyboard
- Stellar display
- Tiny trackpad
- Mediocre speakers
Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop
Razer is a big name in the gaming racket (just kidding), and the Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop is a very expensive piece of gear that is aimed at making gaming great again. Seriously now, this laptop is just shy of three grand, and it comes packed with an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU (6-cores), an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, 16 GB of RAM and a blazing fast 512GB SSD.
Since the Blade 15 is a gaming machine, you will appreciate NVIDIA’s 2nd gen RTX, with new RT Cores, Tensor Cores and streaming multiprocessors, for improved performance and realistic ray traced graphics. The 10th gen Intel I7 CPU will provide you with the ultimate level of performance due to its up to 5.0GHz Max Turbo and 6 cores, while the 15.6″ QHD 165Hz display is factory calibrated to deliver a wide color range covering 100% of the DCI-P3 space for gaming and content creation as well.
Design wise, the laptop sports a black aluminum chassis accompanied by the glossy green Razer logo on its lid, and needless to say, it looks as cool as it gets. And best of all, it stays cool, even under heavy load, due to its well-designed cooling system.
The keyboard is amazing for typing, the touchpad is responsive, you get all the ports you’ll ever need, including USB Type C and HDMI, and the speaker system is, let’s say decent.
Overall, we would recommend the Razer Blade 15 Base to anyone looking for a product that they plan on using for workstation or gaming purposes.
- Fantastic performance
- Amazing QHD display
- Excellent build quality
- Impressive keyboard and touchpad
Acer Predator Helios 300
Solid Features for the Money
The Acer Predator Helios 300 (2021) is an affordable gaming machine with a controversial design. Truth be told, the design is arguably the worst thing about the Predator Helios 300, and if you can live with that, stop reading the review and just go buy it.
Other than that, the Helios 300 stands its ground in all departments: it comes with a solid Intel i7-11800H CPU, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD, and, the cherry on top, an excellent 15.6″ Full HD low latency-high refresh 144Hz 3ms IPS display.
Just a quick glance at the specs reveals that the Acer Predator Helios 300 is an incredibly capable gaming machine that offers a lot of bang for the proverbial buck asked. More precisely, this laptop is very capable of AAA gaming at high settings, the high-refresh rate display looks great and has good viewing angles, the CPU is efficient and powerful, and considering the fact that this particular CPU alone retails for more than $400, there’s a lot of value about this ~$1300 gaming machine.
Finally, we must mention that the Predator Helios 300 comes with built-in GPU overclocking via a turbo button, which gives the GPU an 8 percent jump in performance, and battery life is rated at approximately 7-8 hours in a real-life scenario, which is not bad for a gaming centric laptop.
- Solid hardware
- Smooth display
- Quiet cooling
- Built-in GPU OC
- Good connectivity
- Amazing value for money
- Dull design
DELL XPS 15 9500
The Gold Standard for Video Editing
Brace yourselves for the new DELL XPS 15 9500, the ultimate laptop for productivity tasks, or so we’re told. The XPS series from Dell has already achieved legendary status among corporatists and business people, being easily one of the best (if not the best) 15-inch laptop in the industry, and, if you ask us, arguably the best all-round laptop period.
The XPS 15 is highly configurable, i.e. you can build the ultimate video editing tool running on a 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i9-10885H, with a NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 1650 Ti 4GB GDDR6, up to 32 GB of RAM, up to 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive and so on and so forth. The sky’s the limit, or, if we’re talking about regular folks, it all depends on how much money are you ready to spend.
Touchscreens are available as an option, obviously, hence if you’re shopping for best of the best, the XPS 15 makes for a stylish, well balanced, powerful and light enough productivity beast to carry anywhere. The speakers are top-notch, the display runs with the best in the industry (3,840 x 2,400 resolution, hits 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut and boasts 500 nits of brightness), the keyboard will delight avid typists, and the trackpad is big enough to be relevant, i.e. you won’t require a mouse actually.
- Solid performance
- Highly versatile
- Thin and light
- Up to 10 hours autonomy
- 4K touchscreen available
- Great speakers
- Nothing really
Lenovo Legion 5
The Best Ryzen Gaming Laptop
The Lenovo Legion 5 is a Ryzen based gaming laptop, whereas it comes equipped with a AMD Ryzen 7 5800H Processor, 16 GB of RAM (DDR4), a 512 GB SSD, and it’s powered by a solid NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti GPU.
Basically, the Legion 5 is part of the highly competitive mid-price gaming segment, as it retails for approximately $1000, give or take. Needless to say, for the money asked, the Legion 5 is an absolute steal, as it comes with a powerful CPU, a decent GPU for gaming and content creation alike, and a pretty good/accurate full HD 1080p display, i.e. this laptop is solid for the price.
Build quality is great, as the Legion 5 feels solid as a rock, yet not too heavy (goes to portability), battery life is ok-ish, on the shorter side actually, which is to be expected for a gaming laptop, the screen is absolutely gorgeous for the price, the keyboard is comfy and great for typing, and, the most important part, the RTX 3050Ti GPU can run pretty much every major modern game with the exception of super high video memory titles, in which case you lower your settings a bit and you’re there.
Sound quality on both speakers and headphones is surprisingly good, and as a workstation, this thing is a total beast. Bottom line, if you’re looking for a rock solid gaming laptop/workhorse, it doesn’t get any better for one thousand bucks!
- Impressive build quality
- Good keyboard
- Solid gaming performance
- Nice screen
- Competitively priced
- Nothing at this price
The rule of successful laptop purchase is simple – write the list of options and features you need first and foremost taking into account our pieces of advice. Your next step isn’t difficult too, – find the best laptop for your video editing among the items given on the list above.