You might be new to video production and filmmaking, or you may be more established. Either way, every now and then, you have to find a new laptop for video editing. It’s at this point that you might wonder: what is the best laptop for video editing?
For the longest time, when someone thought of editing video digitally, images of immense machines chock full of the industry’s most pricey mechanisms sprang to mind. There has always been good reason for these thoughts.
For decades, musty and gloomy rooms were filled to the rafters with thousands of dollars of equipment in the world of superior editing. With today’s technological advancements streamlining and boosting the power of laptops, all of that is changing.
The biggest benefit to using a laptop for editing is being able to edit while on the run, as opposed to being chained to a desk.
The Best Laptops for Video Editing
Without further ado, here’s our guide to the best video editing laptops that money can buy:
This is by far the best Mac laptop for video editing, potentially the best laptop for video editing period, and it is totally drool worthy. It has outstanding Retina displays and has both 15-inch and 13-inch configurations.
Both have editing capabilities in 1080p. The larger model sports a screen that has 220 ppi (2880 x 1800), and the smaller one has 227 ppi (2560 x 1600). Whether you choose the large or the small, the editing suites’ user interface remains on the screen while plug away at editing.
The display is impressive, but other aspects are even more so. In the 15-inch, it features 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM, a 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, a distinct AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPU containing 4GB of GDDR5, and a remarkable 2TB of flash storage. It weighs in at around only four pounds, including the aluminum case housing.
The newest upgrades done to the Mac are debated, with some loving the new features, and others missing what is familiar. The Touch Bar replaces the keyboard’s top row, but for scouring through material it is highly effective.
Four Thunderbolt 3 ports replace everything apart from the headphone jack. This is beneficial when it comes to accessories since they have so much bandwidth, but anything without a built-in USB-C port will require specialty cables.
OS X and Windows can handle Premiere Pro CC from Adobe, but any of the editing products from Apple work only on OS X. For those who are looking to work with Compressor, Motion, or Final Cut Pro X, then this model is the best Mac laptop for video editing.
Both power and adaptability come with a high price tag. Totally maxed out you are looking at a fairly hefty price tag.
Lenovo has proven that they are still very much in the game with this superior laptop. Put in competition with any other laptop for editing video and this one may just come out the winner. The base price starts at around $1,900, but with all the bells and whistles you can expect to pay closer to $4,300.
What you get for all that coin is a list of features that is truly spectacular. Included with the ThinkPad is an ultra HD 17.3” display (3840 x 2160), a 512GB solid state drive, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Xeon Processor E3-1505M v5 CPU, and an impressive 8GB of GDDR5 in the Nvidia Quadro M5000M graphics card. The only potential downside is the weight. At almost eight pounds it is a tad heavy but all the extras are well worth it.
As if you possibly needed more, this laptop still has more to give. It comes with an ethernet port, an HDMI 1.4 port, a 34mm ExpressCard slot, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, a dock connector, a MiniDisplayPort 1.2, and a headphone jack.
For video editors looking to replace their desktops completely, HP delivers with one of the best laptops for video editing. It has enormous power, featuring 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512 GB solid-state drive, a Nvidia Quadro p4000 with 8GB of GDDR5, a 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6 processor, and a gigantic 17.3-inch 1080p screen.
This is the maxed-out version and it comes with a hefty price tag of around $3300. However, it is important to note that this is one big laptop probably not best suited for heavy traveling. At almost 7 pounds, working in crowded or close quarters may be a challenge.
What makes this one of the best video editing laptops is the sheer number of ports HP thought to include. Along with a headphone jack and ethernet port, it also features three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports.
The starting price for the base model is around $1,400, but there are plenty of options for exporting and importing thanks to the built-in SD card reader.
Maybe because they are tired of losing market share to Apple, Dell applied focus that upped their game considerably – earning them a spot on the list of best laptops for editing video. This is also a solid entry as one of the best pc video editing laptops. With a starting price point of around $1,000, this is a great option where cost is a factor.
The price may be less, but there is no compromise to quality in this high-resolution laptop. At 15.6 inches, Dell remains a strong competitor for the best laptop for video editing. The maxed-out version has a price point around $2,100 but it comes with a lot of bang for that buck.
It features 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a spectacular ultra high-def 3840 x 2160 display, a 512GB solid-state drive, 4 GB of GDDR5 in the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, and a 2.80GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor.
The XPS 15 is quite sturdy and durable, being constructed from premium materials like Gorilla Glass from Corning, carbon fiber, and machined aluminum. There is only one Thunderbolt 3 port, but several others are offered, such as an HDMI port, USB 3.0 port, SD card reader, and a headphone jack.
Although a gaming laptop by design, the ASUS is one of the best laptops for video editing you can find. The base price starts at around $950, while the tricked-out version runs about $1,150.
With a screen size of 15.6 inches, the ASUS’ top line model features a Matte IPS FHD display, 128GM M.2 SSD and 1 TB 7200RPM storage, 16GB RAM, a commanding Intel Core i7 6700HQ 2.6GHz processor, one of the greatest gaming graphics cards on the market, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB VRAM.
There are excellent connectivity options from the USB 3.1 port and there is 1.8mm of key travel on the one-piece keyboard. The upgrade panel simply slides off for easy access to upgrading memory or installing a bigger hard drive.
Of particular interest is the IPS matte panel, promoting excellent visibility with no glare whatever the environment may be. With accurate and vivid color presentation, creative work is limitless with this best laptop for video editing option.
Not everyone has unlimited funds, and with that in mind we have included the Inspiron as one of the best laptops for video editing under $500. With a price point of around $390, there is no compromise in quality just because of the low price.
This could be the best cheap laptop for video editing.
The newest version of the Intel Core i3 7100U Processor provides responsive and fast performance at 2.4GHz. It runs on Windows 10, and includes features such as a 15.6-inch touchscreen with HD resolution of 1366 x 768, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3 port, 1TB HDD 5400RPM, good image quality from the Intel HD 620 Graphics card, 6GB DDR4 system for multitasking, built in stereo speakers, a combo audio jack for microphone or headphones, an HDMI port, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, ethernet LAN, and an HD web cam built in.
Weighing in at just over 5 pounds, the Inspiron is highly portable for editing on the run and easy to carry with you everywhere. For the price, this is definitely a contender for the best laptop for video editing under $500.
A final word on the best laptop for video editing
If you are a newbie to video editing, the choices available for purchase can be confusing for sure. One thing to remember is that there will never be one single best laptop for video editing that perfectly fits the needs of every editor.
Editing video is supply intensive and laptops have finally stepped up to the plate by becoming strong and supple enough to stand up to the task. Sure, they are way pricier than your basic laptop, but when you want the best laptop for editing video, any of the above will do a commendable job for you.
The most important reason for using a laptop for video editing has always been that you can easily edit on the go. Whether you’re at client’s workplace, on a flight or working out of a hotel – with a light weight laptop you go edit on the move.
Sure, you’ll want a bigger, more robust machine like the 27inch iMac at home for video editing. But if you’re after something that’s great for on-the-go editing, then the laptops listed here are great.
Huge CPUs are no longer the be all and end all for video editors. What should you be looking for to find the best laptop for video editing? A vital portion of the comparison will be the display, RAM, processor, and storage. However, the most critical part of shopping for a video editing laptop is that it is specialized enough to fit the needs specific to your working conditions.
Other considerations in a final decision which video editing laptop you choose:
- the requirements of your clients or co-workers,
- the amount of workflow you have, and of course,
- your budget.
All of these are important factors in the final decision. There is no one single best laptop for editing video, but I hope this guide has given your more confidence in choosing the one that is right for you.
Did I miss one? Which laptop do you use to edit video? Let us know in the comments below.