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The best laptops for video editing in 2020

Best laptops for video editing
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Welcome to our pick of the best laptops for video editing in 2020. Modern laptop technology is now powerful enough that you don't need a big old PC to do your video editing work on - the best laptops for video editing give you all that power in a small, light and portable package.

The best laptops for video editing that you'll find on this page all offer enough power to allow you to edit, view and encode 1080p and even 4K video.

Of course, all of these laptops are able to run the best video editing software, and that's because of the powerful hardware they contain. So, they'll have powerful multi-core processors, plenty of memory and lots of storage as well.

Many of the best laptops for video editing also have discrete graphics cards as well, since many of the popular high-end video editing software packages can take advantage of a computer’s graphics card to accelerate performance.

That's why we've included a few gaming laptops in this list of the best laptops for video editing, as they come with powerful graphics cards that can be used for video editing, as well as playing games. With lashings of CPU and graphics power, they’ll chew through the best digital art software and encode videos faster than any standard laptop.

Power at a price (you can afford)

A word of warning before we continue: 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.

In this guide, we'll help you pick the right video editing laptop for you, no matter your budget or skill level. As well as our pick of the best overall machines, we'll show you the best budget video editing laptops and our favourite mid-range options too. 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.

Read on for our pick of the best video-editing laptops out there...

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

Image: HP

Image: HP

02. 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

Image: Apple

03. 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.

Product shot of Dell Inspiron 14 5000

Image: Dell

04. 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)

05. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

A seriously powerful pro laptop

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q – NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch OLED 4K Touch 60Hz, factory calibrated | Storage: 1TB SSD

Beautiful screen

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.

Microsoft Surface Book 2

06. Microsoft Surface Book 2

One of the best is now even better

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15-inch PixelSense (3240x2160) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Detachable screen
So, so powerful
Exceptional battery life
Fulcrum hinge could cause problems

You don't need to be in the film industry to know that the sequel is rarely as good as the original. But quite unlike Jaws, Speed and The Exorcist, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a definite improvement on the first generation. 

In fact, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a mere whisker away from toppling the XPS 15 for best Windows laptop for video editing. But when it comes to 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrids, there are none finer. Give the 15-inch screen a tug and it satisfyingly detaches from the keyboard, enabling you to use it as a huge tablet. Handy if you have a work in progress that you want to pass around a table. But, coming with the Surface Pen stylus, it also means you can get more control using the touchscreen for seamless video edits. 

Study the Surface Book's spec sheet and it impresses at every line. The 3,240 x 2,160 resolution display is sharper than the majority of laptops on the market (including every MacBook in existence) and 4K footage will look just how you imagined it. The presence of the GPU and Nvidia GeForce chipset gives it yet a further boost in the graphics department, while the stacks of RAM and state-of-the-art Intel processor (all configurable) make it a processing monster.

If the words of praise keep getting drowned out by volume of the price tag, then the original Surface Book is still available and would still make a more than competent companion to any video editor. You have to settle for a 13.5-inch screen, but the savings can reach as much as a grand.

Read our full Microsoft Surface Book 2 review

Apple MacBook Air (2018)

07. Apple MacBook Air (2019)

A solid entry with an excellent new screen

CPU: 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56cm; W x D x H)

Lovely design
Screen is great
Fantastic battery life
New lower price
Lack of storage space

The MacBook Air used to just be known as Apple’s most affordable Mac, but only capable of basic video editing as it hadn’t been updated for years. That all has changed. The newest MacBook Air now has a high-resolution display, faster eight generation dual-core processor and more memory, all of which make a big difference to its video editing credentials. Unfortunately, it’s no longer the affordable option it once was, but it could still be called Apple’s most portable video editing laptop.

MSI Prestige P65 Creator

08. MSI Prestige P65 Creator

Super slim and super powerful

CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (Max-Q) | RAM: 8 - 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 Retina display | Storage: 128GB - 1.5TB SSD

Fast processor and graphics
Looks great
Screen wobbles a bit
144Hz screen more suited to gaming

MSI has delivered the goods here with the Prestige P65 Creator, a fantastically light laptop that looks as great as it performs. An optional six-core Intel processor, Nvidia GeForce graphics card (up to a GTX 1070) along with 16GB of memory will make your footage render at super fast speeds. It has some great visual touches, with chamfered edges around the chassis, and a lovely large trackpad. If you snag the limited edition version, you can get a 144Hz screen as well.

 HP Pavilion 15

09. HP Pavilion 15

Best laptop for video editing under £500/$500

CPU: AMD dual-core A9 APU – Intel Core i7 | Graphics: AMD Radeon R5 – Nvidia GTX 1050 | RAM: 6GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch HD (1366x768) – FHD (1920x1080); touch optional | Storage: 512GB SSD – 1TB HDD

Nice big screen
Sold in wide range of places
Well...the price
Keyboard isn't great

It isn't easy to find a decently specced laptop with a large screen and still get change from £500/$500. But that trusty stalwart HP has somehow managed to produce a cheap laptop that isn't a disaster zone: the HP Pavilion 15. This isn't one for the pros, but if you're a beginner or keen amateur learning the ropes of video editing, the Pavilion is a good choice. Even the entry-level models have loads of storage for rolls of footage, and a little extra cash can get you more RAM, a better Intel processor or a full HD display.

Lenovo Yoga 720

10. Lenovo Yoga 720

Best Windows laptop for video editing around £1,000/$1,000

CPU: Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1920x1080) – UHD (3840x2160) | Storage: 256GB-512GB SSD

2-in-1 versatility
Smooth trackpad and keyboard
Solid build

The Lenovo Yoga 720 hits a real sweet spot between price tag and capabilities. It may not quite have the power or street smarts of the premium machines from Apple, Microsoft or Dell, but there's much to like – including the smaller impact it will have on your bank balance.

It manages to offer a full HD 15-inch display for somewhere close to a grand, if not under. And with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card as standard, you'll have the ability to experiment with effects not alien to those more powerful machines. It lacks none of the elite finish either, with the aluminium casing and backlit keyboard common to more expensive laptops.

We do rather rue the lack of an HDMI out port. If you like to instantly transmit your work in progress to a bigger screen then you'll need to find another way of going about it. But as far as compromises go, it feels like a small one. You still get an accurate touchscreen for fingertip control of your footage and sufficient processing power for frustration-free use.

Read TechRadar's Yoga 720 review

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