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The best laptops for video editing in 2021

Best laptops for video editing
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you're looking for the best laptops for video editing in 2021, then we can help, as on this page we've picked some truly excellent modern notebooks that are perfect for a range of budgets.

When looking for a laptop for video editing on, you want something that has enough power to run intensive video editing applications, so a modern Intel or AMD processor is a must, along with a decent amount of RAM (we'd suggest 8GB at a minimum, but ideally 16GB) and plenty of storage space. After all, video files, especially high-resolution ones, take up a lot of space.

If you're doing some ambitious video editing and rendering, then a dedicated graphics card is also advisable, and we've included a number of laptops on this page that come with them. Bear in mind, however, that this adds to the overall price of the laptop, and modern integrated graphics are more than good enough for video editing, especially for beginners and hobbyists.

Every laptop on this list will be able to run best video editing software with ease, so you can buy with confidence knowing you're getting a brilliant video editing laptop. (If you're studying, check out our best student laptops rundown).

The best laptops for video editing should also have fantastic 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.

If you're looking for the ideal audio while you work, check out our pick of the best headphones for video editing. And if you want something even smaller, see our best tablets for video editing guide.

The best laptops for video editing available now

best laptops for video editing: 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

Even in 2021, two years after it released, the MacBook Pro 16-inch is still, in our view, the best laptop for video editing. Creatives love Apple's MacBook devices, and when it brought out the 16-inch MacBook Pro, packed with high-end components and a new, larger screen, creative professionals were once again bowled over.

It's a brilliant laptop for video editing, combining incredibly powerful components that still hold up today, with a gorgeous thin and light design. That larger 16-inch screen (up from the 15-inches Apple used to offer) and higher resolution means editing video on this laptop is a joy.

As for performance, with a powerful Intel processor and professional graphics card from AMD, the MacBook Pro 16-inch can handle any video editing app with ease.

You won't find a better laptop for video editing in 2021.

Also read: MacBook Pro 16-inch review

best laptops for video editing: 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

If you'd rather stick with Windows 10 than go with macOS, then the Dell XPS 15 (2020) is another brilliant laptop for video editing. Dell has packed it with 10th generation Intel processors, and it can also be configured to come with a discrete graphics card, which is ideal for video editing.

Speaking of configuration, the XPS 15, like pretty much all of Dell's laptops, can be configured when you buy it, so you can add upgrades like a 4K screen and large (and fast) 1TB SSD. This means you can build a Dell XPS 15 that suits both your needs and budget.

If you can afford it, we do recommend going for the 4K option and as large an SSD as you can. The ultra high definition screen means you can preview your 4K footage natively, and the larger the storage, the more space you'll have to store your videos and projects. Believe us, if you're a video editor, you'll find your hard drive fills up fast.

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.

best laptops for video editing: MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)

(Image credit: Apple)

03. MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)

Another video editing winner from Apple

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU | Graphics: Integrated 8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory | Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 LED-backlit Retina display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56 cm

Huge battery life
Great performance
Can run iOS apps
Still lacks ports

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.

Apple's new MacBook Pro 13-inch model 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.

So, you can easily edit 4K - and even 8K - videos thanks to the power of the M1 chip, and any video editing app runs fast and smoothly on this laptop. Best of all, the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) boasts the longest battery life ever seen in a MacBook. We've tested it ourselves and it's seriously impressive, allowing you to work all day and still have battery life left. For video editors who travel a lot, this is easily the best laptop money can buy.

Also read: MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) review

best laptops for video editing: MSI Creator 17

(Image credit: MSI)

04. 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. Your videos will have never looked better than when being played on this laptop thanks to its mini LED display, which offers vivid colours and bright images.

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.

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.

Surface Laptop 4 with desktop wallpaper and white background

(Image credit: Microsoft)

05. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

One of Microsoft's best

CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 /AMD Ryzen 5 - 7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Xe / AMD Radeon | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Screen: 13.5-inch PixelSense (2,256 x 1,504) touch | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Comfortable keyboard
Beautiful screen
Not enough ports
Alcantara fabric might get gross over time

The Surface Laptop 4 is, like its predecessor, one of the best laptops for video editing you can buy right now. 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.

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.

best laptops for video editing: Acer ConceptD 7

(Image credit: Acer)

06. 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 quite possibly the best example of a company using its expertise in making powerful gaming laptops, and using it to make a brilliant video editing laptop.

It comes packed with some of the most powerful mobile components around, including cutting edge Intel processors and Nvidia RTX graphics, along with plenty of RAM as well.

Not only does this make it one of the best video editing laptops we've ever used, but it also comes with a 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.

best laptops for video editing: Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)

(Image credit: Dell)

07. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)

Dell's latest laptop is great for video editing

CPU: Up to 11th Generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 | Graphics: Up to Intel Iris Xe Graphics | RAM: Up to 32GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x | Screen: 13.4" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 13.4" UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display | Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

Stunning design
Gorgeous 16:10 display
Excellent battery life
Sound quality is just OK

This is another smaller device that is still a brilliant video editing laptop. That's because despite its small size, it comes packed with some seriously powerful components, including Intel's latest 11th generation processors.

It's thin and light design is drop dead 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.

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.

best laptops for video editing: 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

If you're after a solid and dependable laptop for video editing, but you don't have the budget to spend huge amounts on some of the flagship devices we've listed here, then the Dell Inspiron 5000 series is a great choice.

Not only is it a lot cheaper than many of the other best video editing laptops, but it doesn't compromise in power, with a quad-core Intel processor, discrete graphics card and full 1080p IPS screen, which means it can handle video editing very well.

Its base model is a very competitive price, and means it's the perfect laptop for beginners and hobbyists. And, if you want a bit more power, you can configure it with upgraded components to make it even better at video editing - but without breaking the bank.

best laptops for video editing: MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

(Image credit: Apple)

09. Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

New and improved

CPU: Apple M1 | Graphics: Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61cm; W x D x H)

Silent to use
Amazing battery life
No new design
Fanless design could impact performance

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

best laptops for video editing: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

(Image credit: Razer)

10. 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 forging a formidable reputation for itself for creating brilliantly powerful laptops for creatives, and the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is yet another example of this. It's an incredibly powerful mobile workstation that has been designed with video editors in mind, and uses some of the most powerful mobile components you'll find in a laptop.

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. However, if you're after the absolute high end video editing laptop, then this is a very wise investment, and you won't be disappointed. See our Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) review for more information.

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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