The best laptops for video editing give you a vast array of options as they have a similar set of features to powerful laptops designed for lots of other creative tasks. Of course, this is excellent news but it does mean deciding between machines is tricky if you're not totally sure what you need in a laptop for it to edit well.
If you need a workstation to be portable, these laptops will absolutely do the job as they completely replace a desktop setup. They all have colour-accurate displays, high brightness levels and mega-powerful components, meaning they will easily handle system-sucking applications such as DaVinci Resolve and Adobe After Effects.
Whichever laptop you pick from our list, you can be sure they all run the best video editing software without any fuss, so you won't have to deal with endless lag or frustrating render times. This frees you up to focus on other vital details like size, budget and other features.
If it's not clear already, the very best video editing laptops will set you back a tidy sum. So while we've tried our best to find options to suit a range of price points, if you're on an especially small budget you might want to head to our list of the best student laptops for some cheap deals. If you already have a decent workstation then you can save yourself some cash by checking out the best monitors for video editing.
The picks below are based on our own reviews and time spent with these laptops, as well as our own expertise. For more information on how we evaluate laptops, see our how we test laptops page.
The best laptops for video editing available now
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The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) is certainly a long name to remember, but there are many reasons why we've been specific about which MacBook Pro model is our favourite of the bunch.
For one, it has a larger screen than its 14-inch sibling which is better for creatives, as well as the brightness of said display reaching 1,600 nits. For context, the Dell XPS 17 from the same year can achieve just 500, which is still considered to be over average for most laptops. The screen in question also happens to be a Liquid Retina XDR MiniLED that can achieve deep blacks and bright whites, ideal for video editing.
The M1 series of chips were given a boost upon its release, introducing the more powerful M1-Pro and M1-Max to the market, so while we adore the smaller 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, it can't compete against the 16-inch refresh on performance.
Apple also appeared to have realised it was neglecting the creative market as beloved ports such as the HDMI and a memory card slot were re-introduced on this laptop, alongside newer features such as ProMotion and HDR (High Dynamic Range). Not only is the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) one of the best laptops for editing video, it also just happens to be one of the most powerful laptops on the market.
Read our MacBook Pro 16-inch review to find out more about why we rate this laptop.
The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) is a more compact alternative if you loved the sound of the features available on the larger 16-inch model, but were put off by its generous size - after all, many of us prefer to have something ultraportable these days.
As the two devices are so similar, you're still getting a mini-LED screen that supports 1,600 nits of peak brightness and the P3 wide colour gamut, as well as a choice between either the M1 Pro or M1 Max Apple chip which provides an obscene amount of power for such a slim, fanless laptop. In fact, it barely made a murmur during any of our tests, so you can really put it through its paces.
Essentially you're getting all the same performance and ports, just in a smaller size which means you can still edit 8K videos in Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro all while not worrying about bringing a dongle or adapter as both of these models have built-in SD card slots, an HDMI port, and three Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Read our MacBook Pro 14-inch review for more info.
The Dell XPS 17 (2021) is the ideal choice for those of who that a large, powerful workstation laptop that runs Windows over MacOS. Euipped with an 17-inch 4K display, you're getting 3,840 x 2,400 pixels to play with, as well as a 16:10 aspect ratio that many claim offers better productivity benefits than the traditional 16:9 format.
It can't compete with either of the above MacBooks for brightness, but this beast does cover 100% Adobe RGB and 94% DCI-P3 colour gamuts, making this an ideal option for creatives that need precise colour-accuracy, such as video editors and photographers.
We don't use the word beast lightly here. The Dell XPS 17 can be configured up to a Core i9 CPU and 64GB of RAM in certain configurations, and while you don't necessarily need a dedicated GPU, you're getting up to an Nvidia RTX GeForce 3060 that should offer a boost in graphically demanding applications...heck, you can even install a game or two.
A laptop of this size might seem like it would be cumbersome, but in our tests (see our Dell XPS 17 review for more details) we found it was relatively easy to slip into a standard-sized backpack and was a manageable weight to carry around for several hours. If you value some display real-estate, don't sleep on this powerful, portable workstation.
The Dell XPS 15 (2021) offers a similar deal to the one we mentioned regarding both the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, in that it has most of the same qualities as the larger Dell XPS 17, only in a more compact package.
If you loved the idea of what the 17-inch model can offer, this smaller offering is more convenient for those who will need to cart it around, which is great for video editors or students who will need to travel frequently.
Not only that, but you can configure it to be equipped with an OLED InfinityEdge display for crisp blacks and vivid colours, and powerful 11th-generation Intel processors. You only get the choice between an Nvidia RTX 3050 or 3050 Ti graphics cards, though a dedicated GPU isn't always necessary for low-demand work, which also means that the base model with integrated Intel UHD is also an appealing alternative for those who have a tighter budget.
For more Dell options, see our best Dell laptops roundup.
The MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) may be less powerful than more recent releases within the MacBook Family, but it was still designed to be a powerful, portable workstation. If the 14-inch MacBook Pro is still a tad too large for your needs, this compact laptop is plenty capable of editing 4K or even 8K footage thanks to its well-optimised M1 chip.
It's worth noting that the base M1 chip inside the 13-inch MacBook Pro isn't as powerful as the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, but unless you absolutely need all that power there's no sense in getting a model equipped with one, making the 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro a relatively affordable alternative.
Not only is it ultra-portable, but we also found in our tests that the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) can last over 13 hours on a single charge, making it one of the best laptops for battery life that you can buy right now. Even if you don't need to lug it around to remote shooting locations, you can work without any need to anxiously keep an eye out for a free power outlet.
It's likely that the recently released M2-powered 13-inch MacBook will supersede this model, but we're hesitant to recommend a device we haven't been able to test ourselves so watch this space - and remember, even if the M2 does edge out its predecessor, this older model will still be relevant for a good while.
Read our full MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) review for more details.
The Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED might not be a name you've come across online, but as far as creative workstation laptops go, there are very few alternatives on the market that will offer you the same incredible features which makes it a niche, but well-optimized choice for video editors.
The OLED display is perfect for precise colour accuracy and brightness, and despite its size It's also surprisingly portable, measuring up at 109.2 x 264.1 x 20.3mm and weighing 2.5kg. During our tests we found it was easy enough to cart around in a standard-sized backpack too, so you shouldn't have any trouble taking it on the go (see our Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED review for more details).
Many Windows-based laptops for creatives are equipped with ultra-powerful components and the Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED is no different, rocking a few different options of Nvidia RTX graphics cards and AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors. There's also plenty of RAM provided across every configuration, so regardless of the model you choose, it'll run just about any application you throw at it.
The real selling point here though is the built-in 'Asus Dial' which offers an innovative way of using Adobe creative suite applications without needing a separate macro pad or graphics tablet. This feature, when mastered, can really optimise workflow and help boost your productivity and after a few days of use, it was hard to live without it on other workstation laptops.
The Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (2022) is yet another fantastic, quirky offering that's best utilised by creatives. Where most laptops required you to hook up to an additional display, the ZenBook Duo comes with a second screen just underneath the main one, providing some additional real-estate for taskbars and various windows in editing software.
Pair that with the OLED display technology and you've got yourself an ideal video editing laptop that provides rich black tones, alongside a 120Hz refresh rate and 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut. It's hard to imagine what a non-creative or editor would actually buy this laptop for, which makes it feel purposefully designed for a niche group of folks who will make use of its unusual features.
You don't need to worry about power either as this bad boy comes with the latest 12th-generation on Intel chips up to an ultra-powerful Core i9, as well as plenty of RAM and the option of a GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, so it'll handle any video application you need.
As we noted in our Asus Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED review, its only major fault is a lacklustre battery life compared to some of the other offerings on this list, but for those who stay near a power outlet and will make use of an additional built-in display, that doesn't overshadow how incredible this device really is.
The Razer Blade 17 (2022) is the laptop you should be looking to buy if you need some serious power as while many Windows-based models on this list offer middling components to appeal to a wider market, this packs more than enough raw power to be considered one of the very best laptops for video editing, especially in demanding professions.
To help non-tech-savvy folks select an appropriate device, this has been awarded an Nvidia Studio laptop badge, which identifies it as being a perfect choice for those in demanding creative industries and careers.
The trade-off is poor battery life as this thing needs a lot of juice to operate, but in exchange, you're getting a large 17.3-inch display and a wide selection of configurations to match individual needs. There are models running an RTX 3060 GPU with a 165Hz refresh rate and QHD resolution, as well as a seriously powerful flagship laptop equipped with an RTX 3080 Ti and a full 4K, 144Hz display.
In fact the top end configurations are so powerful that they come close to replacing a desktop setup. In our tests, we plugged in a mouse, keyboard and graphics drawing tablet and a host of other peripherals thanks to the healthy selection on ports on offer, which truly made it feel more like a portable desktop PC than a laptop. Find out more with our full Razer Blade 17 review.
The Dell XPS 13 is one of the smallest offerings in the Dell product family, but don't let its petite size fool you - this is a very capable laptop for video editing applications. Its small size is a delight to carry around, especially if you also have to transport heavy recording equipment, and it comes with the option of a 4K display.
There are numerous options available for configuration, just as you can with the larger 15-inch and 17-inch XPS models, which means the Dell XPS 13 is just as powerful as you need it to be, with the flagship offering of an 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and 32GB of RAM.
Our main criticism is that the pint-sized XPS 13 has no option for a dedicated GPU, limiting you to Integrated Intel graphics but if you need more of an everyday device thats capable of video editing then it's best to have some balance. It managed well enough for video editing in our tests, taking around 18 minutes to transcode a 10-minute 4K video to 1080p in Handbrake and about 7 minutes and 41 seconds to render and export a 10-minute-34-second 4K video in Premiere Pro. Read more with our Dell XPS 13 review.
The MacBook Air (M1 , 2020) isn't just one of the best laptops for video editing, its actually one of the best laptops you can buy regardless of your requirements thanks to its incredible performance, battery life and -suprisingly for an Apple product - affordability.
While this has since been superseded by the more recent M2-powered MacBook Air, we haven't had the chance to put that model through its paces. Watch this space to find out if it replaces the older model, but let it be known that even if that does happen, the original M1-powered variant is still an absolute powerhouse.
It can easily handle editing 4K video in Final Cut Pro, and its fanless design also means that it is pretty much completely silent while doing so which is a real novelty when using creative applications. This is also the first MacBook Air model to support the P3 colour gamut, an industry standard for video editing that was previously exclusive to Apple’s more powerful MacBook Pro range of laptops
That means you're getting many of the 'Pro' benefits without the pricetag, and for students especially this makes a fantastic all-rounder that's capable of handling just about any task or application without a fuss. Read our MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review for more details.
How should I choose the best laptop for video editing?
What makes a great laptop for video editing? First, you need to power. Video editing, especially when working with ultra-high-resolution footage, can be demanding, so you'll want a laptop with plenty of RAM (at least 8GB, though 16GB is advisable). You'll also want a modern processor, either from Intel or AMD, or if you're after a MacBook, Apple's own M1 chip has proved to be an awesome bit of hardware for video editing.
Video editors will also want a laptop with plenty of fast SSD storage because video files can be very large. Even if you're using external storage solutions, 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.
In some cases a dedicated graphics card can also help, especially when it comes to creating visual effects or using AI-boosted applications in the case of many Nvidia Studio laptop offerings.
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 its 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, though chances are you will want to.
Do I need a dedicated graphics card for video editing?
For regular video editing, a dedicated graphics card isn't strictly necessary, but if you're looking to do some ambitious video editing and rendering complex graphical effects, then buying a laptop with a dedicated 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.
Are laptops for video editing expensive?
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 I 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.
You can choose Windows for video editing, but many video editors use Apple computers. Apple MacBooks offer a fanless design for the current model of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, as well as native support for applications like Final Cut Pro. Apple's new 2021 MacBook Pro laptops come with boosted M1 chips (M1 Pro and M1 Max), and these offer exceptional video editing performance, even at ultra-high resolutions like 8K.