The best laptops for video editing have come on leaps and bounds in recent years, with modern laptops offering the same level of power and speed that could be found in full desktop computers only a few years ago, allowing you to take a truly-powerful editing machine with you on the go.
From the latest graphics cards and processors, to stunning new display technology, all of the laptops on this list have been chosen thanks to some incredible features that make them well-suited for the demands of video editing across a range of skill levels and budgets. There's also a choice of different operating systems and brands, with Apple MacBooks offering native support for applications like Final Cut Pro, and Windows laptops with AI-boosted graphics cards from Nvidia, you'll soon be editing 4K or even 8K video in no time without being tied down to a desktop system.
All of the laptops on this page can easily run the best video editing software, so you won't have to worry about any of them struggling. If you're studying a video editing course (or just want to do a bit of video editing for fun while at university, college or school, then check out our best student laptops rundown).
If you want to upgrade your workspace, don't miss our round-up of the best monitors for video editing. For now, let's jump into the best laptops for video editing available now.
The best laptops for video editing available now
The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) is easily the best laptop for professional-quality video editing that you can buy in 2021, having introduced the latest addition to Apple's M1 line of processors with the beefier M1 Pro or M1 Max. While we loved the 13-inch M1 model released back in 2020, this new kid on the block has proved itself to be the new top-dog for macOS laptop workstations.
For a start, it's got a brand-new design that offers a larger 16.2-inch screen that features 1,600 nits peak brightness, the new Liquid Retina XDR MiniLED display on the MacBook Pro delivers deep blacks and bright whites to provide incredibly rich and detailed video. Add in ProMotion for fast refresh rates, plus HDR (High Dynamic Range) and support for the P3 wide colour gamut, and you've got the best screen you can currently find on a laptop, making it a wonderful choice for video editors who want to see their footage at its very best.
Apple has also added a great selection of ports, including HDMI and a memory card slot, so you can plug in external monitors, or copy footage from a camera, without needing an adaptor. Add in the best battery life we've seen in a MacBook (or any laptop of this power, to be honest), and you've got the very best laptop for video editing you can buy.
Replacing the Intel-powered model from 2019, the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) comes with a choice of Apple's powerful M1 Pro or M1 Max chips, which can handle even the most complex video editing tasks, as well as rendering and previewing your footage almost instantly.
It is rather large, however, so if you're after something more portable, check out the 14-inch model below.
Also read: MacBook Pro 16-inch review
The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) may be more what you need if all of the benefits of the new M1 Pro appeal to you, but you need something a little smaller. Like the 16-inch model above, it offers an amazing mini-LED screen that supports 1,600 nits of peak brightness and the P3 wide colour gamut, making it easily one of the best laptops for video editing in the world, but with a smaller, more portable, design.
That said design is also fanless, so you can work in complete silence without and loud cooling systems, even when editing some seriously demanding footage or running several applications at once.
It's also powered by the new M1 Pro and M1 Max Apple chip, the same as the 16-inch model, which means it offers a similar level of performance to the bigger laptop. So, editing 8K videos in Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro (or any other video editing application for that matter) is quick and easy, and with that fantastic screen, your footage is going to look amazing. So, if you want a powerful laptop for editing and previewing your videos with, but want something that's easily portable, then the 14-inch model may be the best one for you.
The smaller size doesn't mean it misses out on the new design elements Apple added to the 16-inch model, as it comes with the same amount of ports, including an SD card slot, an HDMI port, and three Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Also read: MacBook Pro 14-inch review
The Dell XPS 17 (2021) is another ideal Windows 10 alternative to Apple's MacBooks for video editors looking for a large-screen laptop. You're getting the high standard of build quality we've come to expect from Dell over the years, with a 17-inch display, 16:10 aspect ratio screen that's ideal for creative work of any kind, as it offers more vertical space than standard 16:9 widescreen displays, and it can be configured with a 4K Ultra HD+ resolution of 3,840 x 2,400.
It comes with some of the best modern components money can buy right now, with up to an Intel Core i9 CPU and 64GB of RAM in certain configurations, and you can also kit it out with an Nvidia RTX GeForce 3060 dedicated graphics card. It's a fine modern GPU that will allow you to edit 4K videos without issue, and that UHD footage is going to look gorgeous on the Dell XPS 17's high-resolution 17-inch screen.
Perhaps most importantly, the screen supports 100% Adobe RGB and 94% DCI-P3 colour gamuts, which means this offers accurate colours as well, and that makes it an excellent choice for professional video editors who want to edit their content in the best possible conditions. If Windows 10 doesn't suit your needs, the Dell XPS 17 is also eligible for the free Windows 11 update so you can use the very latest Microsoft operating system without making any other adjustments to your hardware.
Despite its large screen, the Dell XPS 17 maintains the sleek design the XPS lineup is known for, so you're not having to lug around a big bulky laptop just to edit videos on a larger screen, and it remains a reasonable enough size to throw into a standard-sized backpack. It's certainly a costly investment, but a worthwhile one.
The Dell XPS 15 (2021) is one of the best laptops on the market for just about everybody, let alone video editors, especially if you're looking for other Windows-based options. If you don't want a Mac, and can't get to grips with macOS, then this is the laptop for you, running the familiar Windows 10 (or new Windows 11), you have access to all the best video editing applications around.
What's more, Dell has packed the XPS 15 with some of the most powerful mobile components you'll find in any laptop right now, so opening, editing and saving video footage is incredibly quick and smooth.
All this power is packed into a stylish body that's thin and light - making it ideal for photographers who are often working out and about. You can get an OLED InfinityEdge display for crisp blacks and vivid colours, 11th-generation Intel processors and the latest Nvidia RTX 3050 or 3050 Ti graphics cards, though Intel UHD is also an option for anyone looking to save some cash. While it's not a gaming laptop by any means, the Nvidia RTX graphics card is powerful enough to run older and less demanding titles, so you could even crack out a round of Fortnite or two on your lunch break.
It's backed up by a comfortable keyboard and excellent speakers, plus Dell's famous build quality and support. It's expensive, but worth it if you can afford to get one. For more Dell options, see our best Dell laptops roundup.
Apple's MacBook Pro 13-inch model, which was released at the end of 2020, now comes with Apple's very own M1 chip (rather than an Intel processor), and this allows the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) to provide some seriously impressive performance.
While many video editors feel most comfortable working on a large screen laptop, if you want something more portable, then a smaller laptop that can still offer enough power to run video editing apps, could be the perfect compromise.
Despite being less powerful than the M1 Pro or M1 Max, you can easily edit 4K - and even 8K - videos thanks to the power of the orignal M1 chip, and any video editing app runs fast and smoothly on this laptop. Best of all, the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) has an incredibly long battery life, allowing you to work all day without anxiously watching the battery percentage on your screen. For video editors who travel a lot, this still one of the best laptops you can buy, even with the refreshed MacBook Pro models considered in.
While the M1 chip inside the 13-inch MacBook Pro isn't as powerful as the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that come with the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, it still does a brilliant job for video editing, making the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) a more affordable choice for video editors that want a powerful MacBook, but don't want to spend a fortune.
Also read: MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) review
The MSI Creator 17 is an ideal choice for video editors that need accurate and true-to-life colours, especially if you're looking for something that can compete with a full desktop PC.
Its mini LED display, offers vivid colours and bright images, and the Nvidia RTX powered hardware inside can boost your video editing in certain applications using AI thanks to specialized Nvidia Studio drivers. In fact, this laptop carries an official Nvidia Studio laptop badge, meaning it's been signed off by Nvidia itself as one of the best laptops on the market made specifically for content creators and artists.
This means working on the MSI Creator 17 when editing videos is a joy. And, not only does it display your videos well, but it runs video editing apps incredibly smoothly thanks to the powerful components under the hood, including 10th generation Intel Core processors, and Nvidia's powerful RTX lineup of graphics card.
In short, 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 so if you can afford the hefty price tag, its a worthwhile investment.
The Surface Laptop 4 is a great laptop for video editing, as well as one of the best devices Microsoft has ever made. Consider this as Microsoft's own rival to the MacBook Air, complete with a gorgeous slimline design, a top-quality display and one of the nicest keyboards you'll ever use on a laptop device.
On top of that stunning design, it has plenty of power under the hood. It's thin and light, with a gorgeous design and top-notch build quality, and its large, high-resolution PixelSense touchscreen is perfect for editing videos on, especially 1080p and 4K footage, ensuring your shots look their very best. There aren't a lot of ports, but you can get a dongle if required for additional peripherals, and you're getting at least a single USB-C and USB-A, which should be enough for a graphic drawing tablet should you need to hook one up.
It's also packing some of the latest mobile tech from both Intel and AMD, and comes in a variety of specifications, so it can easily run video editing software. It runs Windows 10, so all of your favourite apps can be used.
Best of all, it has one of the longest battery lives we've seen in a laptop, and while you won't want to edit any epic movies on this thing when it's not plugged in, it does give you flexibility, as you can work out and about without worrying about being plugged into a wall socket.
The ConceptD 7 from Acer is a prime example of why the brand is one of the best at creative laptop workstations specifically with creative professionals in kind, providing plenty of ports, top-of-the-line specifications and a gorgeous design that can rival any MacBook.
Acer may be better known for making gaming laptops, but with the ConceptD 7, it's used its experience of building thin, light and powerful laptops to build a fantastic laptop for video editing.
This is a laptop packed to the brim with powerful components which can easily run even the most demanding photo editing tools, and it's also got a gorgeous 4K IPS display that is Pantone-validated. This means straight out of the box, this screen will show your photos as they are meant to be seen with little to no need to calibrate it yourself.
It also comes packed with some of the most powerful mobile components around, including cutting edge Intel processors and Nvidia RTX graphics, providing you with AI-boosted drivers in popular video editing applications along with plenty of RAM as well. Read our full Acer ConceptD 7 review for more.
This is another smaller device that is still a brilliant video editing laptop because, despite its small size, it comes packed with some seriously powerful components, including Intel's latest 11th generation processors and oodles of storage to save your edited video content.
Its thin and light design is utterly gorgeous, and it also means it's easy to carry around with you, and it comes with one of the best screens you'll find in a laptop - so your videos will look stunning. You can configure it to come with a 4K screen, so you can once again view your ultra high definition content the way it's supposed to be seen.
One of the only downsides other than how expensive it is (like most well-made Dell laptops) is that the XPS 13 lacks a dedicated GPU, so you won't be able to use any Nvidia Studio drivers or overly graphically demanding applications. Providing you're fine with the device being slower than a MacBook Pro in that regard though, this performs admirably.
Battery life is also excellent, so you'll be able to work on the new Dell XPS 13 for hours on end without needing to be plugged in. It's one of the more expensive laptops out there, but we think it's worth every penny for video editors that want the very best laptop for their work.
Apple radically overhauled its most affordable MacBook, the MacBook Air, at the end of 2020, and the upgrades have made it a worthy entry in our best laptops for video editing guide.
In the past we wouldn't necessarily recommend a MacBook Air, but the latest model comes with the same ARM-based Apple M1 chip as the more expensive MacBook Pro 13-inch.
So, it's got a tremendous amount of power under its hood, and can easily handle editing 4K video in Final Cut Pro without breaking a sweat. Its fanless design also means that it is pretty much completely silent when in use. And, as with previous MacBook Airs, it features a gorgeous thin and light design that makes it easy to carry around with you.
Also, for the first time in a MacBook Air, the latest model supports the P3 colour gamut, which means the screen can display accurate colors, a consideration that is incredibly important for video editors.
Also read: MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review
How to choose the best laptops for video editing
What makes a great laptop for video editing? First, they need to be powerful. Video editing, especially when working with ultra-high-resolution footage, can be demanding, so you'll want a laptop with plenty of RAM, and a modern processor, either from Intel or AMD, or if you're after a MacBook, then Apple's own M1 chip has proved to be an awesome bit of hardware for video editing. And Apple's new 2021 MacBook Pros come with boosted M1 chips, known as M1 Pro and M1 Max, and these offer exceptional video editing performance, even at ultra-high resolutions like 8K.
Video editors will also want a laptop with plenty of fast SSD storage space, as your video files can get pretty large, so you'll want something that can open up your files quickly, or allow you to move them between the laptop and a backup drive, for example.
You may also want to invest in a laptop with a dedicated graphics card. For regular video editing, this won't be necessary, but if you are looking to do some ambitious video editing and rendering complex graphical effects, then buying a laptop with a GPU could be a good investment. 'Investment' is a keyword here, as laptops with dedicated graphics cards are often far more expensive, so you'll want to make sure that you actually need that kind of power before you put down any money.
Some laptops containing Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics cards can run Nvidia Studio drivers, which are specialized drivers that use AI to boost performance across a wide range of different creative applications. These GPUs are typically on the pricey side, so any laptops with the latest Nvidia hardware is likely to be more expensive than something with an older GTX series card or those running with integrated graphics (meaning built into the processor).
When it comes to MacBooks, they no longer come with a dedicated GPU. Instead, the M1, M1 Pro or M1 Max chip have powerful integrated GPUs that work brilliantly and are more than capable or running all the popular video editing applications.
The best video editing laptops will also come with high-resolution screens so you can comfortably work on them, and they will display your footage with accurate colours. Some of the laptops on this list will actually come with professional-calibrated screens to ensure your footage looks it's very best.
High-quality built-in speakers are also a great bonus, as the soundtracks to your videos is just as important as the footage itself, so having great speakers lets you listen and edit your video's soundtrack without needing to invest in external speakers.
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.
Should you buy a MacBook or Windows laptop for video editing?
When looking to buy a laptop for video editing, one of the biggest choices you'll have to make is whether to get a MacBook, or a laptop that runs Windows 10 (or Windows 11).
Part of this is down to individual taste. If you're used to using Windows operating systems, you may find macOS, which is what MacBooks run on, is a bit confusing with how things are done - and vice-versa.
However, both Windows and macOS offer broadly the same video editing software packages. However, Final Cut Pro is a popular application, and that's only available for MacBooks.
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.
Windows laptops also benefit from being made by a large range of manufacturers, so if you don't like the design of a certain brand's laptop, you could always go for another. With MacBooks, only Apple makes them, so if you want a MacBook but don't like Apple's style, then you're out of luck.