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The best laptops for video editing in 2020

Best laptops for video editing
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The best laptops for video editing in 2020 combine power, performance and portability, allowing video producers and editors to work on their projects no matter where they are.

Modern video editing laptops feature cutting-edge mobile components, including desktop-class graphics cards, so you can edit projects that contain multiple high resolution sources and make use of complex video effects without having to use a big and bulky PC – they really can handle the best video editing software with ease. 

Combining powerful components and slimline designs, the best laptops for video editing are quite expensive (more so than a desktop PC offering similar specs), but that extra portability is a wise investment for anyone who works a lot on the road, or moves from studio to studio.

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are here, you can find big discounts on the best laptops for video editing. If you're looking for the ideal audio while you work, check out our pick of the best headphones for video editing

Laptops for video editing: Top Black Friday deals

MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019): $2,399 $2,099 at B&H Photo
Save $300:
The best laptop for photo editing is now $300 off. In addition to the stunning 16-inch Retina display, this build also features an Intel i7 6-core CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and
AMD Radeon Pro 5300M 4GB GPU.
View Deal

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3: £1,699 £1,449 at Amazon
Save £220:
Microsoft's best laptop is an excellent choice for video editors. Specs on this discounted build include an AMD R5 quad-core CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and 15-inch PixelSense display.
View Deal

The best laptops for video editing available now

MacBook Pro 16-inch

(Image credit: Apple)

01. 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

The MacBook Pro 16-inch is the best laptop for video editing in 2020. Apple's range of MacBook Pro laptops have always been beloved by creatives and graphic designers - in fact, you'll find the (slightly) smaller 15-inch MacBook Pro is also included lower down in our list of best laptops for video editing. 

However, the MacBook Pro 16-inch is by far the best laptop Apple has made yet, and it's ideal for video editing. It comes with a gorgeous thin and light design coupled with powerful hardware - all the things you need for video editing. What's more, you get a larger screen with a higher resolution, making it ideal for video editing.

Apple has also updated the hardware within the new MacBook, so there's some seriously powerful components in there, including professional graphics cards from AMD - again, essential for video editing. You won't find a better laptop for video editing in 2020.

Also read: MacBook Pro 16-inch review

Dell XPS 15

(Image credit: Dell)

02. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

A brilliant Windows video editing laptop

CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics - Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti | RAM: 8GB – 64GB | Screen: 15.6" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS - UHD+ (3840 x 2400) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Fast performance
Eye-catching design
May struggle with 4K video editing
15-inch screen might be too large for some

Dell has done it again and created a brilliant laptop for video editing with its new XPS 15. Inside the thin and light design is nestled some very impressive tech, including Intel's latest 10th generation processors, and a discrete GPU, which is ideal for video editing. 

As with other Dell laptops, you can configure this to suit your needs, and it can be kitted out with a 4K screen and a huge 1TB SSD, which offers plenty of space to store your videos, as well as speedy data transfer rates - again, ideal for video editing. Its 15-inch screen gives you plenty of space to work on, and its battery life is incredibly impressive as well. 

Sure, it's expensive, and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card may struggle with editing super-high definition stuff, but overall this is one of the best laptops you can buy in 2020 regardless of whether or not you want to do some video editing. For more Dell options, see our best Dell laptops roundup.

MSI Creator 17

(Image credit: MSI)

03. MSI Creator 17

Staggering power under the hood

CPU: up to 10th-generation Intel Core i9 Processor | Graphics: up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER with Max-Q | RAM: up to 64GB | Screen: 17.3" UHD (3840x2160), IPS-Level – 17.3" UHD (3840x2160), MiniLED, HDR 1000, 60Hz, IPS-Level | Storage: 512GB – 2TB NVMe SSD

Lots of power under the hood
Beautiful screen

The best laptops for video editors offer accurate and true-to-life colours, which makes the MSI Creator 17 an ideal choice. This is because it is the first laptop to feature a mini LED display, offering incredibly vivid and bright image quality that will make anyone's videos look their best.

It also packs new 10th generation Intel Core processors and Nvidia's incredibly powerful RTX line of graphics cards. This means that no matter how complex the videos you're editing are, or if you're working with ultra high definition content, the MSI Creator 17 can handle it with ease.

Image: Apple

04. 15-inch MacBook Pro (2019)

The 15-inch MacBook Pro is now available with 8 processor cores.

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 9750H (six cores) / 2.3 GHz Intel Core i9 9980HK (eight cores) | Graphics: Radeon Pro 555X / 560X / Vega 16 / Vega 20 | RAM: 16-32GB | Screen: 15.4-inch Retina display (2880x1800) | Storage: 256GB SSD - 4TB SSD

Thin and light
8-core processor
Very expensive
No NVIDIA graphics option

One of the most powerful and flexible video editing software packages is Apple’s Final Cut Pro, but it only works on Macs, and it runs brilliantly on the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

In 2019, Apple upgraded its entire range of MacBook Pros with faster Intel processors, packing even more video editing performance into what is a very compact design, weighing just 1.83kg and measuring 1.55cm thick.

The 15-inch model is now equipped with either a six or eight-core Intel Core i9 processor running at up to 5GHz Turbo, certain to chomp through even 4K video.

The upgrade options include AMD Vega 20 graphics with 4GB of HBM2 memory, which is significantly faster than the Radeon Pro 560X graphics in the base model, along with up to 4TB of storage and up to 32GB of memory. It’s also worth mentioning the TrueTone Retina display on the 15-inch MacBook Pro looks really good, and is great for any kind of visual design work. 

While Apple has since released a more powerful 16-inch version (included in this list as well), the 15-inch model is a good compromise if your budget doesn't quite stretch to what Apple is charging for the larger model.

Acer ConceptD 7

(Image credit: Acer)

05. Acer ConceptD 7

A supremely powerful video editing laptop

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

Very powerful
Cheaper than MacBook Pro
Good selection of ports
Plain design
Not as thin and light as MacBook Pro

The Acer ConceptD 7 is a powerful video editing laptop that features some of the best, and most recent, mobile components money can buy right now. It's easily one of the best laptops for video editing thanks to its Nvidia RTX graphics cards, which brings the kind of firepower you'd usually find in a gaming laptop, but to a device aimed at video editors. 

Add in cutting edge Intel processors and bags of RAM, and you've got a seriously powerful laptop. It's also a fantastic video editing laptop due to its gorgeous Pantone-validated 4K IPS display, which ensures your videos look their best with vibrant - and accurate - colours. It's a fantastic Windows 10 alternative to a MacBook Pro, and it comes with a better selection of ports as well. It's expensive, but well worth the investment. Read our full Acer ConceptD 7 review for more.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

(Image credit: Microsoft)

06. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

The best laptop by Microsoft

CPU: Intel Core i5 - i7 / AMD Ryzen 5 / AMD Ryzen 7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics / AMD Radeon Vega 9 / AMD Radeon RX Vega 11 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch PixelSense (2,256 x 1,504) / 15-inch PixelSense (2,496 x 1,664) | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD

Excellent battery life
Choice of Intel or AMD CPU
No Thunderbolt 3 option
Too few ports for its size

Microsoft's third attempt at a laptop is a brilliant choice for video editors, with the Surface Laptop 3 offering an excellent array of features that are ideal for video editing.

So, you get powerful components from Intel (or AMD, with the Surface Laptop 3 now offering you a choice when it comes to the processor), and you can configure it to come with a discrete GPU as well - an essential tool for editing high definition footage.

It's also got a fantastic 15-inch screen, and its design and build quality are top-notch. This really is a beautiful device that feels solid and robust. Plus, as you'd expect from a Microsoft device, Windows 10 runs perfectly on it. 

Want to know more? Check out our in-depth Surface Laptop 3 review.

Image: HP

Image: HP

07. HP Envy 13 (2019)

Great performance at a brilliant price

CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620, Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 256-512GB SSD

No six-core processors
No 4K display

The current HP Envy 13 deserves its title as the one of the best all-round video editing laptop. It has an elegant, lightweight design, weighing just 1.3kg, with a great keyboard and a FullHD screen. 

And it’s also cracking value for money, with even the more affordable variant packing plenty of performance, with a quad-core processor, full HD display, discrete graphics and enough storage and memory to handle video editing.

Bump up the spec and you get more memory, a bigger SSD and a faster 4GHz Intel Core i7 processor. Although it’s probably not up to the job of editing 4K video, it will certainly handle 1080p footage without complaining, and without breaking the bank. Don't miss our full HP Envy 13 review for more on what this powerful laptop can do.

Product shot of Dell Inspiron 14 5000

Image: Dell

08. Dell Inspiron 14 5000

A fantastic mid-range video editing laptop

CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U (quad core, 3.9GHz Max Turbo Boost) | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForceR MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14-inch FHD (1920x1080) | Storage: 256GB SSD

Great price
IPS display
Low-end graphics
Not great for 4K video editing

Not to be confused with the 2-in-1 Inspiron laptops, the brand new 14-inch 5000 series is a standard laptop design that offers an eight-generation Intel quad-core processor and discrete graphics card together with a 1,920x1,080 IPS display, to offer some excellent video editing performance.

Best of all, the price for the entry level configurations starts at $649.99, which is more than reasonable for a video editing rig. SSD storage options, a Core i7 processor and an additional hard disk are among the available upgrades, making this laptop even better for video editing.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition has been designed with video editors in mind. (Image credit: Razer)

09. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020)

The best premium laptop for video editing

CPU: Intel Core i7-10875H | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 | RAM: 32GB DDR4-2933MHz | Screen: 15.6" OLED 4K Touch 60Hz, 100% DCI-P3, factory calibrated | Storage: 1TB SSD

Extremely powerful
Premium design
Stunning display
Very expensive
Overkill for many people

Razer is a well-known name in gaming laptops, and it's used its expertise in creating powerful and mobile gaming laptops to create the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition, a powerful mobile workstation that has been designed with video editors in mind.

This means it comes with a powerful Nvidia RTX graphics card, and a factory-calibrated 4K display, giving video editors incredibly sharp content but also lots of space to work on while they’re editing on the go. 

It is very expensive, though. See our Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) review for more information.

Apple MacBook Air (2018)

10. MacBook Air (2020)

New and improved for 2020

CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Storage: 256GB – 2TB PCIe-based SSD | Dimensions: 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61 cm

Lower price of entry
New 10th generation processors
Improved keyboard
Screen colors a little muted
Battery life only OK
Webcam still just 720p

The MacBook Air used to just be known as Apple’s most affordable Mac, but only capable of basic video editing. That all has changed. The newest MacBook Air now has a high-resolution display, faster 10th generation Intel Core processors and more memory, all of which make a big difference to its video editing credentials.

It's all wrapped up in a lightweight design that Apple has perfected, making it an ideal video editing laptop for people who travel a lot. 

Best laptops for video editing: Power at a price you can afford

Because of their combination of powerful hardware and slimline designs, many of the best laptops for video editing can also be pretty expensive. However, because prices of high-end hardware are getting more affordable, it means you can find a great video editing laptop without breaking the bank. You might be confined to just editing 1080p footage, but for many people that will be absolutely fine.

You may notice from the list above that quite a few companies that specialise in gaming laptops, like Acer and Razer, also make laptops designed for creative professionals. These laptops use the same powerful hardware you'd find in a high-end gaming device, but without some of the game centric features (and garish designs). Most importantly of all, they include powerful graphics cards that can drastically cut the time it takes to edit and render videos.

With lashings of CPU and graphics power, they’ll chew through the best digital art software and encode videos faster than any standard laptop, and you'll find them included in this list as well. Whether you're a Mac fan or a Windows wizard, we've got you covered. If you're looking for a device specifically for coding, be sure to check out our round up of the best laptops for programming.

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