Best Laptop For Video Editing – Complete Buying Guide 2021

Last Updated on February 12, 2021

Video editing is a very resource-intensive task that requires a good combination of CPUs and GPUs to handle the workload. Getting a CPU with 6 or even 8 cores is very important as the performance can be ignorantly improved over a 4 core CPU. Talking of GPUs, although a decent GPU is crucial, spending too much on a top of the line GPU might not give you the best performance gain for your money as programs like Photoshop and Adobe Premiere do not really hugely benefit from a very powerful GPU. Hence, choosing a middle ground would be ideal. Also, additional RAM is getting more important than ever. With bigger projects and recordings even in 4k resolutions, 16GB RAM, although fully usable, cannot provide the much smoother experience that can be had with 32GB of RAM

Another important factor to be taken into consideration is your software of choice. If you are a Final Cut Pro user, getting a Macbook is your only choice. However, if you prefer the Adobe Suite of applications, you are opened to options from both the macOS and Windows worlds.

List of Best Laptop For Video Editing

1. MacBook Pro 16-Inch 

If editing power is all you need, there is no need to look any further than the Macbook Pro 16-inch. The laptop sports up to a 9th gen core i9 processor, and up to an AMD Radeon Pro 5600M with 8GB video memory. Moreover, the RAM can be configured with up to 64GB of super-fast DDR4 dims. All the specifications, however, are not the most appealing part of the Macbook, instead, it is the operating system and the access to certain software that cannot be accessed from Windows. The Macbook Pro 16 inch runs the latest version of macOS Catalina which supports Apple’s Final Cut Pro video editing software. For a lot of professional editors, the preferred software of choice is Final Cut Pro which eliminates the choice of any laptop running Windows. Furthermore, even for Adobe users, the Macbook performs incredibly well. Moreover, the 16-inch Retina display provides accurate color quality that makes color grading and accurate editing possible.

The Macbook does, however, lack in ports with only 4 USB-C ports and no SD card reader. These problems, although can be removed by using a dongle, maybe an inconvenience for some. Furthermore, being a 16-inch machine, the laptop is on the bulkier side and might cause some portability issues. Finally, the price of the Macbook Pro 16-inch is the biggest factor, coming in at $2400 for the base variant and going upward of $6000 for the maxed out variant, it is an expensive machine.

Our recommendation would be to max out the RAM and CPU, and to choose the Radeon 5500M but not to expand on the internal SSD as video storage can be done on an external hard drive or SSD at a much lower cost.

Pros:

  • Excellent Display
  • Great Performance
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Touchbar

Cons:

  • Big in Size
  • No SD Card slot
  • Expensive
  • Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
  • Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone technology
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory
  • Ultrafast SSD

2. Dell XPS 15

The Dell XPS 15 is one of the best looking laptops on the market. With an almost bezel-less display (infinity edge), it seems as if the screen encompasses the whole body of the laptop. The 4k resolution of the screen allows for a better and more accurate video editing experience with touch options available. Furthermore, the XPS 15 provides great performance options too. CPU options are available up to a 9th gen core i9 whereas an NVIDIA Geforce 1650 with 4GB of video memory is available. RAM options, however, are limited to 32GB as there is no 64GB model available. The availability of ports on the XPS 15 is superb too, with ample USB 3.1 ports and an SD card reader, there is no need to take along dongles wherever you go.

For an accustomed Windows Laptop user, the XPS 15 is great, it looks good, has an incredible display and keyboard, and provides ample performance for tasks at hand. Although it might perform a little slower than some competitors on the most demanding tasks under video editing, the difference in speed would not be deal-breaking. 

Another plus is that the XPS 15 starts at just $1299, however, for video editing purposes, we would recommend upgrading your RAM, GPU, and CPU options a little to get better performance.

Pros:

  • Beautiful 4k Display
  • Good selection of ports
  • Good performance
  • Great Design

Cons:

  • Runs Hot
  • Comparatively low Battery life
  • 15.6" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge anti-reflective touch IPS 100% a do be RGB 500-nits display
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750h (12MB Cache, up to 4. 5 GHz, 6 Cores)
  • 16GB DDR4-2666MHz, 2x8G
  • 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
  • 6-Cell 97Whr integrated
  • Backlit English keyboard with fingerprint reader. Bluetooth 5.0
  • Sd card reader, thunderbolt, USB 3.0
  • System Ram type: Ddr4 Sdram

3. Razer Blade 15

The Razer Blade 15, although advertised as a gaming laptop, is great for video editing too. The 10th generation intel core i7 processor and up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super in the “Advanced” model are up to the mark in terms of video editing performance. Furthermore, the Razer Blade 15 has an amazing 4K OLED display with a 100% DCI-P3 Colour Space and HDR400% True Black meaning that accurate video editing and color grading will be no problem at all. Also, a 240 Hz display is also available which is a very nice touch. The keyboard of the Razer Blade has RGB backlighting which gives a cool touch to the overall quality of the build. 

Although the Razer Blade 15 is a solid performer, it comes at a very steep price. The base model starts at $2000, and the maxed-out version goes upwards of $4000. This seems overpriced for a laptop that does not even have a core i9 processor option. In the Razer Blade, a majority of the price is affected by the variety of display options available. Our recommendation would be to sacrifice on a lower refresh rate display for more performance in the CPU and GPU departments. 

Pros:

  • 4K OLED Display
  • Decent Performance
  • Decent port selection
  • RGB Keyboard

Cons:

  • Very Expensive
  • No Core i9 Model
  • 15. 6” 60Hz Full HD edge-to-edge display (4. 9mm bezels), color calibrated
  • Thin and compact, durable CNC aluminum anybody (0. 68” x 9. 25” x 13. 98”)
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H 6 core Processor
  • NVidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q design VR Ready Graphics
  • Innovative vapor chamber cooling System with gaming Mode power boost

4. MSI WS75 

The MSI WS75 is the workstation laptop on our list. What mainly distinguishes this laptop from all the others is the choice of graphics card on it. Instead of the more conventional Nvidia Geforce or Radeon Graphics cards that are used for better gaming performance, the MSI WS75 features the Nvidia Quadro line of GPUs. These GPUs are focused towards productivity tasks and perform much better in professional applications such as the adobe suite. The laptop features the 9th generation of intel core i7 and i9 CPUs with the Quadro T2000 GPU on the base model and the Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q with 16GB of video memory on the top of the line model. RAM options are available upto 32GB and the laptop sports a beautiful 4K display for an accurate and pleasant video editing experience. The port selection is also decent with a combination of USB 3.1 and USB c-ports along with HDMI, however, there is no SD card reader.

For a productivity setup solely based on applications such as the adobe suite with little to no gaming, the MSI WS75 is a great purchase. Although it is expensive, we would recommend going for the maxed out variant to get the most performance but to skip out on the SSD upgrade as that can be alternatively arranged considerably cheaply through external storage.

Pros:

  • Workstation Grade Specifications
  • Great Display
  • Decent port selection
  • Portable Design

Cons:

  • No SD card reader
  • Expensive
  • 17.3" Fhd (1920*1080), IPS-Level 60Hz 72%NTSC thin Bezel, 100%srgb1920x1080 16: 9NVIDIA Quadro RTX 40008GB GDDR5
  • Nvidia Quadro RTX 40008GB GDDR5 HDMI-Out 4K @ 60Hz
  • Hdd 1TB NVMe SSD 32GB (16G*2) DDR4 2666MHz 2 Sockets; Max Memory 64GB
  • Cpu Core i9-9880h 2.3 - 4.8GHz Infineon SLB 9665
  • Thunderbolt 3*1 USB-C gen1*1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 x 3 Wireless Intel 9560 Jefferson Peak (2x2 802.11 AC) bt 5 720P HD Webcam

5. Acer ConceptD 7 

The Acer ConceptD 7 is a very powerful machine. Checking all the top of the line specification checkboxes. The laptop has a 9th generation intel core i7, NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2080 with 8GB of dedicated graphics memory, and 32GB of DDR4 RAM. Adding onto all this, the laptop has a beautiful 15.6″ 4K UHD with 100 percent Adobe RGB gamut, Pantone validated color fidelity, and color accuracy of Delta E <2 which all mean that it is a great display for accurate video editing. 

Coming in at over $3000, the concept is very expensive compared to its competitors. We would recommend you to buy it only if there is a genuine need for that amazing display. For the rest of the performance and features, the alternative options would be a much better option.

Pros:

  • Great Specifications
  • Excellent Display
  • Good Selection of Ports

Cons:

  • Very Expensive
  • A little hefty
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4. 5GHz) with Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM | RTX Studio Laptop
  • 15. 6" 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display | PANTONE Validated | Delta E <2 | 400nit Brightness | 100% Adobe RGB Color Gamut
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory | 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Amber Colored Backlit Keyboard | LAN: Killer Ethernet E3000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (Up to 2. 5 Gbps) | Wireless: Killer DoubleShot Pro Wireless-AC 1550 802. 11ac
  • System Ram Type: Ddr4 Sdram

6. MacBook Pro 13-inch

The Macbook Pro 13 inch can be thought of as a comparatively lower-powered portable machine to the 16-inch Macbook Pro which makes it ideal for Video Editing on the go. The Macbook boasts excellent build quality. The laptop comes in 2 variants, the two Thunderbolt 3 ports variant with 8th generation processors and the four thunderbolts 3 port variant with 10th generation processors. For the purpose of video editing, we would recommend the 10th generation variant. The Macbook supports up to a 10th generation core i7 processor, however, there are no dedicated graphics, instead, the graphics performance relies on intel’s iris plus graphics. This might portray the MacBook pro 13 inches as slower than its competitors, however, video editing is totally possible on the machine. The argument of Final Cut Pro comes in here too. The software is very well optimized and runs very well on the Macbook. If you are a final cut pro user but do not have the budget to buy the 16-inch Macbook Pro, the 13-inch Macbook Pro is your best bet. Additionally, the retina display of the MacBook Pro is very color accurate and provides a great experience for video editing and color grading.

We would recommend upgrading the ram from the base 16GB to 32GB for a smoother experience in video editing. Skipping on the SSD upgrade would, however, be better as for mass storage, better deals can be obtained in terms of external storage devices.

Pros:

  • Improved Keyboard
  • Retina Display
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Touchbar
  • Long Battery Life

Cons:

  • No SD card slot
  • Expensive
  • Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology
  • Backlit Magic Keyboard and Touch ID
  • Tenth-generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • Fast SSD storage
  • 8GB of memory
  • Stereo speakers with wider stereo sound
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
  • Up to 11 hours of battery life
  • Force Touch trackpad

7. Alienware Area 51M

The Alienware Area 51M is a powerhouse. Featuring up to a desktop-grade intel core i9 9900K and up to an NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2070 8GB graphic card. These specifications combined with RAM options of up to 32GB with user upgradability give the Alienware Area 51M an edge over almost any other laptop on the market in terms of raw performance. The laptop also sports a 17.3 inch 1080p IPS display with a 144Hz refresh rate. All this, however, comes at a cost: and this cost is not only the monetary cost. The Area 51M is very heavy and requires 2 power adapters to charge. Furthermore, the desktop-grade CPU runs very hotly which requires the fans to be turned on at maximum speed creating noise. 

Furthermore, although the base model costs $2600, the top of the line variant comes in at $3300 which is quite steep. However, if you do not want portability and are ready to live with the sound of a comparatively loud fan, the Alienware Area 51M is such a powerhouse that almost no other laptop offers power equal to it.

Pros:

  • Great performance
  • Great Futuristic Design
  • Desktop Grade Processor
  • User Upgradability

Cons:

  • Very heavy
  • Expensive
  • Runs Hot
  • 2 power bricks

8. Gigabyte Aero 15 

The Gigabyte Aero 15 combines together great performance with an amazing OLED display, creating an ideal workspace for a video editor. The laptop features a 10th generation core i9 processor and Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Super Max graphics card with 8GB of Video memory. The RAM options offered are up to 32GB. The main advantage of getting an Aero 15 is its OLED display with true blacks and a very accurate panel with a 100 percent sRGB coverage and 96 percent AdobeRGB coverage. The port selection is great too, with a decent addition of both USB 3.2 type A and USB type c along with a SD card reader. The design of the laptop, although different from a traditional laptop looks appealing to some while it might be unlikeable for others. 

The laptop can get loud sometimes but that can be expected from almost every laptop that can be used for video editing due to the great performance that is required out of these machines. Also, the screen of the laptop is not the brightest among its competitors and might be a little tricky to use in outdoor situations. Finally, although the Gigabyte Aero 15 starts at $2000, it goes upwards of $3400 for the top of the line configuration. Although the OLED display might not be essential for a regular user, for a video editor, it would make a significant difference. We would recommend to opt for the mid-high range models to get better performance not only for today but for the future few years too.

Pros:

  • Powerful Specifications
  • Beautiful OLED display
  • Great port selection

Cons:

  • Different Design
  • Expensive

9. Microsoft Surface Book 3 (15 inch) 

The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is one of the most versatile laptops on our list. It does not only focus on the performance but on the daily use scenarios as well. The laptop features a touchscreen that can be detached from the keyboard. This allows for a tablet experience when needed and might even be helpful in making thumbnails for videos. On the performance front, the Surface Book 3 also has a lot to offer. Although the CPU option might be minimized to a 10th generation core Core i7-1065G7 which has a lower wattage and fewer cores compared to its competitors, the Surface Book 3 offers diverse options on the GPU front. A Geforce GTX 1660Ti MaxQ or even a Quadro RTX 3000 option is available. The Quadro series card would hugely benefit performance in productivity tasks such as video editing. The 3:2 aspect ratio screen is also something that would come in as an advantage to creators as it allows better video playback and editing options. The Surface Book 3 also offers a great selection of I/O with USB 3.1 Type A and Type C ports along with an SD card reader.

Although the fans on the Surface Book 3 might become noticeable at heavier loads, that is noticeable in almost any laptop. Overall, the Surface Book 3 offers a stylish design, up to par performance, and a versatile usability that does not only focus on the video editing tasks but provides a great experience to the user in all spheres. The surface book starts at $229, however, we would recommend opting for the greater capacity RAM to get a smoother video editing performance.

Pros:

  • Detachable touchscreen
  • Performance
  • 3:2 Almost 4k display
  • Good design
  • Good port selection

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No core i9 option

10. HP Spectre x360 (15 inch)

The HP Spectre x360 is a beautiful laptop. It has an amazing design that looks effortless yet elegant at the same time. The Spectre x360 has a 10th gen Core i7 processor with intel iris graphics or an Nvidia graphics card. The beautiful 4k OLED display of the laptop provides accurate colors that aid in the process of video editing.  It has a good combination of thunderbolt 3 and types A USB ports while also having a microSD card slot. Although a full SD slot would have been better, it can be argued that this something is better than nothing. On a general scale, the laptop is more of a daily use machine than a fully featured video editing laptop, however, it is totally ideal for editing some videos especially on the go. Overall, the laptop is great to look at, very comfortable to use, and comes in at a size and weight that is easily portable. The laptop starts at $1599 but can get quite expensive if you keep upgrading the options. We would recommend taking the heavy price for the upgrades but keeping off the storage upgrades as they cost too much for little added benefit.

Pros:

  • 4k OLED Display
  • Great Design
  • Good selection of ports

Cons:

  • Expensive

Conclusion

All the laptops mentioned in the list above are great machines. They are capable of heavy workloads and offer a very pleasant user experience. Although some might be more expensive than others, your users can easily dictate your decision. If video editing is part of your work but not the only thing you work on, a 13-inch Macbook Pro or the Dell XPS might be the best option as they provide great performance with portability to not create hindrance for any other work. However, if your workflow is majorly dependent on video editing, you might want to look towards the 16-inch Macbook pro or some of the workstation machines mentioned above that sacrifice on portability to provide you with the greatest performance. Just be sure to not save a few bucks by compromising on a very important upgrade that might hinder your performance in the long run. Happy Buying! 

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