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The best laptops for video editing in 2022

Best laptops for video editing: MacBook on a desk with video editing software open
(Image credit: Adam Sondel on Pexels)

The best laptops for video editing can be pretty demanding, but that doesn't mean you need to spend a fortune to get started. Powerful components are a bonus and will help to run demanding editing applications smoothly, but advancements in tech now mean that even those of us who are strapped for cash can find something within a suitable budget to start editing video footage.

Even just a few years ago, desktop computers were better suited to running top video editing applications like DaVinci Resolve and Adobe After Effects because they could house more powerful hardware, but technology has now progressed far enough that a slimline, lightweight workstation laptop is now a viable replacement for a bulky desktop tower (see the section at the bottom for tips on what to look for).

We've made our own pick of the best laptops for video editing based on our own reviews, in which we've put each machine through its paces. We've evaluated each laptop for screen specs and image quality, performance rendering video, feature set and price. 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). And 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

MacBook Pro 16CB

(Image credit: Future)
The best laptop for video editing overall

Specifications

CPU: Apple M1 Pro 10-core – M1 Max 10-core
Graphics: Integrated 16-core – 32-core GPU
RAM: Up to 64GB
Screen: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
Storage: Up to 8TB

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely long battery life
+
Plenty of ports

Reasons to avoid

-
On the bigger side

The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) isn't just our top choice laptops for video editors on the market, its popularity amongst creative professionals means that this is one of the most desirable machines for a variety of tasks and now thanks to Apple's M1 line of processors with the beefier M1 Pro or M1 Max, there's very little that the MacBook Pro can't do. 

The 13-inch MacBook Pro may have introduced the M1 SoC (system-on-a-chip) back in 2020, but this latest model has proved itself across all of our tests to be the new top-dog for macOS laptop workstations (and Apple didn't offer any improvement on it specifically in its latest batch of new products).

You're getting a 16.2-inch screen that features a whopping 1,600 nits peak brightness, which we were able to use outside in daylight without any issues. The new Liquid Retina XDR MiniLED display on the MacBook Pro delivers deep blacks and bright whites to provide incredibly rich and detailed video. 

And of course, ProMotion provides a great boost to 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.

Also read: MacBook Pro 16-inch review

MacBook Pro 14-inch in the officeCB endorsed

(Image credit: Future)
The best video editing laptop with a smaller screen.

Specifications

CPU: Apple M1 Pro 8-core – M1 Max 10-core
Graphics: Integrated 14-core – 32-core GPU
RAM: Up to 64GB
Screen: 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
Storage: Up to 8TB

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliant performance
+
Best screen on a laptop

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen may be a bit small for some

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) is ideal if you loved the sound of the 16-inch model above, but you need something a little smaller to carry around with you. 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. 

Best of all, it's completely fanless. We were able to run some pretty demanding tests on this bad boy and it never made a murmur, which makes it ideal for folks who like to work in silence (or at least don't want their laptop sounding like a jet engine).

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. As a result, 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. 

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

Dell XPS 17 9710 reviewCB endorsed

(Image credit: Michelle Rae Uy)
The best Windows-based laptop for video editng

Specifications

CPU: Up to 11th Generation Intel Core i9-11980HK
Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6
RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4-3200MHz
Screen: Screen: 17.0" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 17.0" UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit
Storage: Up to 4TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Gorgeous design

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of ports

The Dell XPS 17 (2021) can give either of the above MacBook pro laptops a run for their money, especially if you prefer the Windows operating system. That beautiful 17-inch display has a 4K Ultra HD+ resolution of 3,840 x 2,400, a 16:10 aspect ratio for enhanced productivity and solid build quality, resulting in a screen that's ideal for creative work of any kind, as it offers more vertical space than standard 16:9 widescreen displays.

You're also getting the benefit of all the very latest components, 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. 

Sure, it's a big laptop, but we didn't find it to be overly heavy for its size during our tests, and even at 17-inches, you'll be able to slide it into a standard backpack or large-sized satchel with no issues.

Also read: Dell XPS 17 review

The Dell XPS 15 against a solid white backdropCB endorsed

(Image credit: Dell)

04. Dell XPS 15 (2021)

Another brilliant Windows video editing laptop

Specifications

CPU: 11th gen Intel i5 – i9
Graphics: Intel UHD / NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 / GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
RAM: 8GB – 64GB
Screen: 15.6-inch 3.5K OLED
Storage: 256GB – 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Remarkably powerful performance
+
Stunning 3.5K OLED display
+
Three Thunderbolt 3 ports and SD card slot

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life is disappointing
-
No USB-A ports
-
Too expensive for most budgets

The Dell XPS 15 (2021) offers a similarly charming package as its larger counterpart, so if you can't get behind macOS and need something a little more compact, the Dell XPS 15 is one of the best rivals to the MacBook Pro line.

This is because 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. 

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.

MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020)

(Image credit: Future)
Another video editing winner from Apple

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Huge battery life
+
Great performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Still lacks ports

The MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) pretty much revolutionized the portable workstation market overnight when it was released back in 2020, thanks to the unbelievable performance of that M1 chip.

Many video editors love to work on a larger screen, but this compact workstation is a great option for anyone who needs to prioritize portability over raw power. It was easy for us to throw into a back and carry around, even if you're also lugging additional equipment for a shoot.

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 original M1 chip, and any video editing app runs fast and smoothly on this laptop. 

Best of all, we found in our tests that 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 Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED on a wooden table

(Image credit: Future)

06. Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED

Innovative design that actually works

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H / AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 - Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
RAM: 32GB
Screen: 16.0-inch, 4K (3840 x 2400) OLED 16:10 60Hz
Storage: 1TB – 2TB NVMe SSD

Reasons to buy

+
16-inch 4K OLED display
+
Unique Asus Dial for use in Adobe apps

Reasons to avoid

-
No stylus included

The new Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED might look quirky at first glance, but every design choice has been meticulously thought out to create the ultimate portable workstation for creatives. The inclusion of an OLED display is perfect for video and photo editors who want precise colour accuracy and brightness, while the 'Asus Dial' offers an innovative way of using Adobe creative suite applications without the need for additional peripherals. 

It's also surprisingly portable for such a large device, measuring up at 109.2 x 264.1 x 20.3MM and weighing 2.5KG, and that massive chassis is hiding some pretty impressive hardware.

Powered by the latest generation of Nvidia RTX graphics cards, this isn't just perfect for video editors, but also digital illustrators and photographers. It's also rocking AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors and plenty of RAM to run all of your favourite applications.

The dial can only be used on a handful of select Adobe Suite applications right now, but hopefully more support is added for additional apps at a later date. We can attest that the dial is a joy to use despite those restrictions, and the quality of the OLED display absolutely blew us away during our tests. We were sad to see it go back after completing our review, and if that isn't high praise then really, what is?

Also read: Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED review

Surface Laptop 4 on a wooden table in an office

(Image credit: Future)
One of Microsoft's best

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable keyboard
+
Beautiful screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks ports for peripherals

The Surface Laptop 4 isn't just a great choice for video editors, it's also one of the best laptops that Microsoft has ever released. It looks great, feels great and runs like a dream, making it another perfect rival for folks who don't want to buy a MacBook.

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 as best they can. 

We were frustrated by the lack of ports during our tests as this restricted us from using a display graphics tablet (over a standard drawing graphics tablet), but you can get a dongle if required for additional peripherals, and you're getting at least a single USB-C and USB-A.

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 life we've ever tested, 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. 

Also read: Surface Laptop 4 review.

A photograph of the Razer Blade 17 (2022) on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)
A supremely powerful video editing laptop

Specifications

CPU: 12th-generation Intel Core i7 / Intel Core i9
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 – 3080 Ti
RAM: 16GB – 32GB
Screen: 17.3-inch 1080p / 1440p / 2160p (variable refresh)
Storage: 1TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly powerful (Nvidia Studio)
+
Plenty of ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive
-
Battery life is disappointing

The Razer Blade 17 (2022) is a laptop of many talents thanks to its extremely powerful components and features. It’s little wonder then that this has been awarded the Nvidia Studio laptop badge, a motif created to help creatives find the best possible devices on the market to suit their needs even if they don’t have much technical knowledge.

There are several different display types to choose from depending on your profession or requirements that make it ideal for editing video, and it has enough ports for you to plug in all of your accessories and peripherals without requiring an additional dock. We managed to hook up an entire desktop setup including an additional display, keyboard, mouse and audio mixer with ports to spare during our tests, which is mindboggling for a modern laptop.

While you can't configure the Razer Blade 17, it has a handful of different versions that all scale in power and price, from an affordable model rocking an RTX 3060 GPU and a 17.3" 165Hz QHD display, to a seriously powerful RTX 3080 Ti and a full 4K 144Hz version that could replace most modern desktop computers with ease.

Sadly, battery life does suffer in exchange for all that power, but that's hardly an issue unique to the Razer Blade 17. Providing you can stay near a power outlet (or get your editing done in a few hours), this is easily one of the most powerful Windows laptops on the market right now.

Also read: Razer Blade 17 review

Dell XPS 13 review

(Image credit: Michelle Rae Uy)

09. Dell XPS 13 (Late 2020)

Dell's latest laptop is great for video editing

Specifications

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

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning design
+
Gorgeous 16:10 display

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive for the componants
-
No dedicated GPU

The Dell XPS 13 is another smaller device that is still a brilliant video editing laptop. Don't underestimate its petite frame as this pint-sized beast includes Intel's latest 11th generation processors and oodles of storage to save your edited video content.

Its small size is slim and lightweight, which we found easy to toss into a generously sized handbag if needed, and it comes with one of the best screens you'll find in a laptop. 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. It managed well enough for video editing in our tests, though this is better suited as an 'all rounder' for creatives or as a laptop used in addition to a full desktop setup.

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.

Also read: Dell XPS 13 review

MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

(Image credit: Future)
New and improved

Specifications

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)

Reasons to buy

+
Silent to use
+
Amazing battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
No new design

The MacBook Air has always been a firm favourite amongst students and Apple fans on a budget thanks to its relative affordability (for a Mac product at least), 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 colours, a consideration that is incredibly important for video editors.

Is it the most powerful device on the market? No, but it's an absolute joy to use, and given its proficiency in creative applications, this is one of our favourite laptops across everything we've ever tested. We were seriously impressed by how well it performed across our tests and benchmarks despite its lack of discrete GPU, and It's easy to chuck into a bag thanks to its slim design and low weight.

Also read: MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review

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.

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Jess is TechRadar's computing writer, covering hardware, PC gaming and peripherals, though she can be found freelancing for creative tech like 3D printers and graphics drawing tablets. She also likes to dabble in digital art and can often be found playing games of both the PC and Tabletop variety, occasionally streaming on Twitch to the disappointment of everyone.