You'll need one of the best video editing laptops to work with raw HD or 4K video or to create special effects. While you can trim small clips with a cheap laptop, they won't boast a fast processor, strong discrete graphics or a high-resolution display.
For it to be the best video editing laptop, you'll want something with a discrete graphics card. The cheapest on our list, which boasts Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, starts at around $1,099. For something with a more powerful card like a high-end Quadro or RTX 3070+, as well as features like a high-end 4K display, you may pay around $2,500 or more.
If you're wondering if one of the best gaming laptops (opens in new tab) can edit video, it probably can, but a dedicated media creation system is more likely to get perfect renders every time. The best video editing laptops are often among the best workstations (opens in new tab), so if you need a great laptop for handling more graphics-intensive apps beyond video editing, you may want to go with the stronger alternative.
If you're looking for a beast with a 30-series GPU, see our beginner's guide to Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series mobile GPUs.
The best video editing laptops you can buy today
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The XPS 15 OLED is a better version of the laptop we've consistently praised over the past several years. It fixes past problems (remember the nosecam?) while refining every inch of the package. The highlight of this particular configuration is the stunning 3.5K OLED display with its jaw-dropping colors, contrast and brightness. It's a panel befitting of the XPS 15's stylish and portable design that blends a machined aluminum exterior with a woven pattern on the inside. On the deck are a gargantuan touchpad, spacious keyboard and powerful speakers.
But just as we saw with the XPS 13 OLED, opting for the high-end panel means trading in hours of battery life. It'd be tough to say goodbye to this display, but we'd ultimately go with the FHD+ screen for the extra endurance and lower price. And upgrading to this new model would mean losing a USB-A port and relying on the included adapter, a compromise many are justifiably unwilling to make. Shortcomings aside, the XPS 15 OLED is one of the best video editing laptops around and worth its steep price.
See our full Dell XPS 15 OLED (2021) review.
Acer is known for making quality laptops at affordable prices, but its gaming laptops can get a little pricey and don’t offer all of the bells and whistles that other brands do. However, the Acer Predator Triton 300 SE sits in that cozy spot where the company offers its best quality components packed into a relatively affordable package.
For $1,099 right now, you get a powerful Intel Core i7-11375H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, decent battery life and a colorful 14-inch, 144Hz display wrapped up in a sleek and thin chassis. The only real downsides are the quiet audio and the keyboard and touchpad experience could be a little better.
For the price alone, the Predator Triton 300 SE is easily one of the best video editing laptops that you can buy.
See our full Acer Predator Triton 300 SE review.
Apple recently released its 2023 14-inch MacBook Pros featuring the maker's M2 Pro and Max series chipsets, and with pricing mainly remaining the same, it's a significant win. The newest MacBook Pros are hard to beat for content creators with funds in the budget in need of leveling up.
The M2 Pro chipset offers a 10-Core CPU and 16-Core GPU for improved performance. The Base model 14-inch remains $1,999 with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. If you want to get it with the M2 Max chipset, which comes with a 12-Core CPU and 19-Core GPU, it also bumps you up to 32GB of RAM with the same 512Gb SSD, but it will cost you $2,899. You also have the option with the Max chipset to bump up your RAM to a whopping 96GB.
When Apple first released its new silicon on the world with the M1, it took the world by storm back in 2020. And the climb seems even steeper this time. There's no flashy design update or extra ports to get excited about. That means, once again, everything is riding on the new M2 SOC, and as per usual, Apple rises and surpasses the challenge.
The next chapter in Apple computing continues, and the company's bet on custom silicon continues to hit the jackpot. According to Apple, the M2 Pro and Max boost performance by over 30% more powerful than its ancestor. Although Apple has made the laptop chipsets more powerful, Apple remains power efficient, claiming to have 18 hours of battery life. We will know more in a few weeks when we get our review units, but if we've learned anything from history, Apple battery life is usually a significant win for the company.
See our full Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, M2, 2022) review (opens in new tab).
Alienware continues to raise the bar of what a gaming laptop can and should be. The latest addition to the family is the X17, a beautiful bruiser of a desktop replacement that’s only 0.8-inches thick. The ultra-premium system comes with all the fixings including an Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU and dual SSDs. Need more? How’s a 17.3-inch, 4K display, powerful speakers and a Cherry MX keyboard sound?
Of course, something this pretty and powerful is also seriously expensive at $3,679 ($2,199 starting), so it’s not for the faint of heart or small of bank account. But if you can afford it, the Alienware X17 is a hell of a powerhouse that easily makes its way onto our best workstation laptops page.
See our full Alienware X17 review.
The Surface Book 3 is the only product where you get a full tablet and laptop in a single package. For that reason, the Surface Book 3 ($2,299 starting, reviewed at $2,799) is a compelling device, even though not much has changed in the 2.5 years since the release of the Surface Book 2.
The 15-inch Surface Book 3 starts at $2,229 and goes well beyond $3,000 once you've configured it to your liking. On top of that, the unique form factor has its limitations; The Surface Book 3 is thick and heavy and its performance is outclassed by other systems.
But if budget isn't an issue and you want a laptop and tablet in one, then the Surface Book 3 is unrivaled. It's a capable machine with a gorgeous display, premium design and very comfortable keyboard. Battery life is also a bright spot as long as you're in laptop mode. And while it isn't the quickest, the Surface Book 3's discrete Nvidia GPU gives a boost to content creators and gamers.
See our full Microsoft Surface Book 3 (15-inch) review.
This year’s HP ZBook Studio G8 holds on to the award-winning G7 series styling but bumps up the power to help content creators with their creative projects either in the studio or in the field. The $4,727 system is gorgeous, powerful, MIL-SPEC tough, and is one of the best content creator laptops on the market. Oh, I forgot to mention, its OLED 4K touchscreen is bright, vivid and positively stunning.
This salacious attention grabber comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, 32GB of RAM, 2TB of SSD storage, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 GPU that will more than handle all your Adobe Creative Suite power-hungry needs and then some. It's easily one of the best video editing laptops that we've tested, even if it's priced at a whopping $4,727 as reviewed.
See our full HP ZBook Studio G8 review.
The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15 is a unique dual-screen laptop with a 15-inch, 4K OLED panel up top and a smaller OLED screen above the keyboard. Asus’s take on dual-screen laptops has evolved since the first iteration of the Asus ZenBook Duo (UX481), with improvements in build quality and ergonomics addressing some of the original problems. Has it grown enough to make Asus’s vision of a dual-screen laptop something consumers clamor for? In some regards, yes, but it still feels like a niche device for a subsection of content creators (who have large budgets).
The ZenBook Duo Pro 15 UX582L brings a lot to the table with powerful specs for those who need them, and a second screen not only adds a wow factor but functionality. Some may not be fond of the keyboard and touchpad location, and the price is a serious deterrent, but the ZenBook Duo Pro 15 should be considered by content creators who need more screen real estate while on the go. While it's not technically a workstation, its performance and utility has earned its way on our best workstation laptops page.
See our full Asus ZenBook Pro Duo (UX582L) review.
Lenovo couldn’t have picked a better name for the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 — extreme is the operative word here. When I think of “extreme,” phrases like “to the max,” “out of hand” and “exorbitant” come to mind, which perfectly describe this 16-inch monster. The price tag is definitely extreme with a shocking starting price of $2,951. Whew! This 16-inch laptop, packed with extreme internals such as a top-of-the-line 11th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and powerful Nvidia 30-series graphics, was built to make its rivals sweat. Someone check on the Dell XPS 15!
This Lenovo laptop is a major improvement from the last ThinkPad X1 Extreme we reviewed (Gen 2). It’s got more battery life, a brighter display and zippier chips. But of course, every monster has its kryptonite. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 is no different, especially since it’s up against some fierce competitors.
Still, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 is ideal for handling extreme workloads for professionals, whether you’re a creator, architect or engineer. As a cherry on top, they can relax and play their favorite graphics-intensive games after a long day of productivity.
See our full Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 review.
Is the HP ZBook Fury 17 G8 the best workstation on the market? I suppose that depends on your budget and configuration, but if your pockets are deep enough for an Intel Xeon processor and Nvidia RTX A5000 graphics (boy howdy!), this is about as future-proof as laptops get right now.
In terms of raw power, this notebook is tough to beat, and even if it runs out of battery when you’re on the go, it’s still heavy enough to fight crime with. Granted, the $6K configuration we tested is overkill for most laptop users; it’s nigh impossible for this kind of mobile muscle to fail too hard on our standard benchmarks. And that’s partially the point, in my opinion. The world of mobile tech continues to march forward at an exponential rate, and if you don’t have the right laptop for your respective career, opportunity might very well pass you by.
But that’s hardly a concern with the ZBook Fury 17 G8 thanks to a stunning 17.3-inch touchscreen, intimidating specs under the hood, and plenty of ports to power your pertinent peripherals.
See our full HP ZBook Fury 17 G8 review.
MSI’s Creator Z16P is a prodigiously potent powerhouse of content creating perfection that will cost you a pretty penny. Equipped with a 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU with 16GB VRAM, a 16:10 golden ratio display with QHD+ (2560 x 1600) resolution, a 165Hz refresh rate touch screen, and a stylus, I’m shocked it didn’t just manage to drive to my home and deliver itself.
The Z16P is a portable content creator workstation that easily handles Adobe Creative Suite’s power-hungry needs, enjoys editing and color grading in DaVinci Resolve, and lets you enjoy some gaming, too. This sleek, elegant beauty is always ready to be powered up and put to work — but it comes at a high price. Read on to find out if the MSI Creator Z16P is actually worth taking out a loan for, and why it makes our list of best video editing laptops.
See our full MSI Creator Z16P review.
How to choose the best video editing laptops for you
Choosing the best video editing laptop for you depends on a couple of things. One is your budget -- how much are you willing to spend? And another is what you’ll be using it for -- of course you’re video editing, but are you simply trimming small clips in 720p? Or are you editing massive projects in 4K? Your answer will determine what kind of system you need.
If you want to get into video editing as a hobby, we recommend starting out with a cheap gaming laptop. It’ll offer you a decent amount of power and you’ll get a feel if you want to stick with video editing for the future. If you’re a professional that needs a top-of-the-line video editing laptop, you’re going to need a sharper and brighter display to get your work done, which will cost a pretty penny. So when you’re buying a video editing laptop, ask yourself -- how much do you actually need it?
How we test the best video editing laptops
There’s a number of tests that we run on video editing laptops to make sure they’re up to par with our standards, such as Geekbench, which measures the overall performance of the CPU, and the HandBrake video editing test, which determines how long a laptop takes to transcode a video from 4K to 1080p. To test the GPU, we use synthetic benchmarks like 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited and 3DMark Fire Strike.
Performance isn’t the only thing you have to worry about when you’re looking to buy a video editing laptop. We also take into account the display, specifically the resolution, the sRGB color gamut coverage and average number of nits that its panel can produce. Considering that content is frequently consumed on phones with OLED screens or giant colorful TVs, you need to make sure you’re able to see what your users will be seeing when you’re editing videos.