How to choose a video editing laptop
Your budget will obviously determine your choice when it comes to selecting a laptop for the best video editing purposes. However, don't forget to choose a device that (a) is expandable (so that you can add more memory or an additional SSD if necessary), (b) one that comes with next business day warranty (or at least offers it as an option) and (c) features ample connectivity as users are likely to transfer files either via a cloud storage option or via an external storage (most likely to be a portable SSD).
If you’re looking to get some editing done while moving around, choosing one of the best laptops for video editing is absolutely essential. Luckily, we’re here to help you find the perfect device.
With this guide, we’ll dive into all the latest and greatest video editing laptops, both in high definition and Ultra HD (4K) resoutions, for all budgets. It’s not going to be easy, especially considering how hard video editing is on PC components, and this is especially true if you’re using a laptop.
However, we’ve employed our tech expertise to help you find the best laptop (or workstation) for editing, so you can be sure you’re getting your money and time’s worth.
We also included our exclusive price comparison tools, so you can spend less time shopping around and more time getting some work done. So, read on to find out what we think are the only video editing laptops worth considering in 2019.
PS: Bear in mind that prices and configurations change all the time. So if you see any discrepancy, feel free to get in touch with us.
- Check out our list of best video editing software
|Editing resolution||1080p (1920 x 1080)||4K (3840 x 2160)||4K (3840 x 2160)|
|Processor||8th Generation Core i5 or equivalent AMD Ryzen||8-core Intel CPU or equivalent AMD||Intel Xeon or better|
|Storage||256GB SSD||256GB NVMe PCIe SSD||1TB NVMe PCIe SSD (RAID-0)|
|Video card||Integrated||Discrete||Nvidia RTX or AMD Radeon Pro|
1. Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)
Best for Mac aficionados
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics, AMD Radeon Pro 555X - 560X | RAM: 16GB - 32GB | Screen: 15.4-inch, (2,880 x 1,800) IPS | Storage: 512GB – 4TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
The 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro is hands-down the best Mac laptop ever designed for editors. Apple has packed loads of upgrades into this version, offering you the latest generation of Intel Core i7 and i9 processors with six cores, and it now supports up to 32GB of RAM, making this a very adept laptop for cutting and chopping. Discrete graphics are provided by a choice of AMD Radeon Pro GPUs, making this the best laptop for editing.
The innovative Touch Bar makes it easier for videographers to intuitively access commands, while the Retina display on the 15-inch model offers more than enough pixels should you want to edit at native resolution in Full HD on the move. However, if you are editing 4K, then you'll be disappointed by the limited resolution.
2. Huawei MateBook X Pro
A brilliant MacBook Pro competitor
CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 , Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.9-inch 3K (3,000 x 2,080) | Storage: 512GB SSD
While Huawei might not be the first company you think of when it comes to laptops, especially laptops you can use for editing, that should change with the company's phenomenal MateBook X Pro. It is a gorgeously-designed laptop with a stunning screen (albeit with a rather odd aspect ratio), and it comes packed with cutting edge components, and a battery life that runs rings around many of its rivals. It has plenty of horse power for editing videos, and it's price is very competitive, making it a great alternative to the MacBook Pro if your budget doesn't stretch that far.
Read the full review: Huawei MateBook X Pro
3. Dell XPS 15
A great 15-inch laptop for video editing
CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ - i7-7700HQ | Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB DDR4 | Screen: Up to 15.6-inch Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge touchscreen | Storage: 1TB HDD - 512GB SSD
The Dell XPS 15 is a brilliant laptop it its own right, and it really excels when it comes to video editing. It comes with a gorgeous 15-inch InfinityEdge screen, and the very top end version has a 4K color-accurate display which makes it perfect for video editing. It's also got plenty of processing power as well, making it a dab hand at rendering video files, which is important when looking for a laptop for video editing.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 15
4. HP ZBook Studio G3
A winning combination of brains and beauty
CPU: 2.8GHz (3.7GHz) Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5 | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro M1000M | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels | Storage: 512GB SSD
The HP ZBook Studio G3 laptop easily fits in the Ultrabook category with a weight of a tad under 2kg and a thickness of only 18mm, slightly heavier and a smidge thicker than the Precision 15 5000 but more portable and svelte than Lenovo's laptop. Where HP manages to score highly is when it comes to sheer value for money when it comes to powerful components, with a high performance processor and gorgeous 4K screen, which makes it one of the best laptops for video editing.
5. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch)
The most powerful 2-in-1 laptop in the world
CPU: Intel Core i5-7300U - Intel Core i7-8650U 1.9GHz | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB GDDR5 VRAM) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 3,000 x 2,000 (267 ppi) PixelSense display, 3:2 aspect ratio | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
The Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch) is one of the most powerful 2-in-1 laptops in the world. While 2-in-1 laptops may not be the first choice for video editors, the Surface Book 2 has some powerful enough components to handle video editing if you go for a model with a dedicated graphics card. Brilliant build quality and excellent battery life makes this a wonderful device for using as either a laptop, or as a powerful Windows 10 tablet. The tablet mode is convenient if you want to shoot footage and edit it while out and about.
6. Apple MacBook 12-inch (2017)
Last year's MacBook is still a great laptop for editing
CPU: Intel Core M3 1.2GHz - Intel Core i7 1.4GHz | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 12-inch, (2,304 x 1,440) IPS 16:10 | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
Apple's laptops are great choices for editing, and if you want to save a bit of cash, then last year's MacBook remains a brilliant option, that's a fair bit cheaper than this year's MacBook Pro. You get an Intel 7th-generation Kaby Lake CPU, which brings improved performance and longer battery life while keeping the body thin and light. The Mac App Store has a large number of programs that play to the MacBook's strengths, and you should be able to get a decent deal now that it's been out for a while.
Read the full review: Apple MacBook
7. Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Plenty of options to build your dream rig
CPU: 2.8GHz Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5 | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro M5000M 8GB | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 17.3-inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels | Storage: 512GB SSD + 500GB HDD
Lenovo’s ThinkPad P70 was one of the first notebooks featuring Intel's Skylake processor, which should give it a boost in performance compared to Broadwell or Haswell chips. Equipped with ample storage and plenty of RAM, an excellent keyboard and a wide selection of ports for connectivity, Lenovo is positioning the ThinkPad P70 as the ultimate workstation that you can take on the go without missing your desktop. Also worth mentioning is the X-Rite Pantone calibration tool, available as an option, which is great to keep your screen accurate for production work, as well as the Quadro GPU that comes with all the P70 SKUs.
8. MSI GS65 Stealth
Brilliant for gaming...and video editing
CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM, Max-Q) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 144Hz panel | Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD
OK, so the MSI GS65 Stealth is primarily a high-end gaming laptop - with a price tag to match - but it also doubles as an absolutely brilliant laptop. This is because it comes with an excellent array of cutting edge components, which includes an 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8750H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU. This means multi tasking and editing is handled with aplomb - and if you also want to do a bit of gaming on the side, then it's a no-brainer.
Buying a laptop? Here's what experts say
We reached out to Michel Yavercovski, Senior Director of Product Management for Corel video products, to get his expert opinions about choosing a creative computer.
"There are a few key things to look for when buying a video editing laptop and of course, when you’re talking about video, the better the hardware, the smoother and more responsive your editing experience will be. Whether you’re talking about our Pinnacle Studio or VideoStudio products, both have been designed to take full benefit of your hardware to make video editing as fast and efficient as possible." Michel said.
"First, you’ll want to look for a system with a powerful multicore processor -- the Intel Core i7 product line is a good choice to get started with -- and our software has been optimized to take advantage of multithreading so you can get the most out of these impressive chips. A powerful processor will also give you a seamless experience when working with today’s popular formats and creative features like multi-camera and 360° video support. 4K video can create huge file sizes, so you’ll also want to make sure the device has a large and fast SSD storage drive that can read and write large video files without any hang-ups."
"Video editing takes up a lot of memory, so shop for a system that has between 16GB and 32GB of RAM to keep things running smoothly. And, of course, a 64-bit version of Windows 10 is a must. " he added.
"Then, when considering graphics cards, look for the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX or GTX series as well as Intel Iris or HD Graphics for overall faster processing and editing. Most advanced graphics cards will also have HEVC support, enabling the use of this advanced video format in your productions."
"Since you’ll be working primarily on one screen when you’re on the go, make sure the laptop's built-in monitor produces crisp images and has accurate color rendering. It’s also ideal to have a system that will support multiple screens for when you’re back in your main work space. Lastly, I always advise users to either plug in their laptops or adjust the power settings for high performance since many notebooks default to power-saving features when they’re running on battery which can impact performance. You may have to accept a shorter battery life, but it will ensure faster processing for a great editing experience."
Watch the video below for the top 7 things to consider when buying a laptop.