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Best Video Editing Laptops

Few tasks require more horsepower than video editing. While you can trim small clips with even an inexpensive laptop, to work with raw HD or 4K video or to create special effects, you need a fast processor, strong discrete graphics and a high-resolution display. Here are five laptops that are powerful enough to handle even your most demanding video-editing projects.

If you're looking for the most portable video editing rig on the market, you  may want to wait for the Surface Book 2. Due out in November 2017, the 13.5-inch version of the Surface Book 2 will feature Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics and an 8th Gen Core i7 CPU in a detachable, 3.6 pounds chassis. And if you're wondering if your gaming laptop can edit video, it probably can, but a dedicated media creation system is more likely to get perfect renders every time.

15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

CPU: Intel Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 555X/560X | RAM: 16GB/32GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB SSD | Display: 15.4-inch (2880 x 1800) | Size: 13.8 x 9.5 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 4 pounds 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar Review

Light weight for the size
Sharp Retina display
Long battery life
Has only Thunderbolt 3 ports

If you prefer editing on an Apple machine, the new 15-inch Macbook Pro with Touch Bar is hard to top. It comes with a faster Intel Core i7 CPU, a more powerful Radeon Pro 460 GPU and a brighter and more colorful display. The Touch Bar can even adapt depending on what app you're using, so you can apply filters or scrub through a clip without ever leaving fullscreen mode. Weighing just 4 pounds and 14.9mm thick, the new MacBook is even thinner and lighter than last year's model. The15-inch MacBook Pro is easily the best video editing laptop around.

Dell XPS 15 (2019)

Dell XPS 15 (2019)

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: Intel UHD 630/Nvidia GTX 1650 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 1TB HDD or 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch (1080p/4K/4K OLED) | Size: 14.1 x 9.3 x 0.7~0.5 inches | Weight: 4.5 pounds Dell XPS 15 (2019) Review

Striking 4K OLED display
Great overall and graphics performance
Webcam in the right place
Slim, attractive design
Below-average battery life

This baby’s 4K OLED screen will take your eyes on a journey of color, covering239 percent of the sRGB color gamut and blasting626 nits of brightness. Those sharp visuals are matched by even sharper performance, with the XPS 15’s 9th Gen Core i9 CPU and Nvidia GTX 1650 GPU. The carbon-fiber beauty fixed its one biggest problem and finally moved the webcam from the bottom bezel to the top. Not to mention that the XPS 15 is still light as ever,weighing only 4.5 pounds, making this a lean, portable killing machine.

Alienware Area-51m

Alienware Area-51m

CPU: Intel 8th Gen Core i7/9th Gen Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: Nvidia RTX 2060/2070/2080 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB | Storage: 1TB HDD or 512GB/1TB/2TB SSD | Display: 17.3-inch (1080p/4K) | Size: 16.1 x 15.9 x 1.1~1.7 inches | Weight: 8.5 pounds Alienware Area-51m Review

Stunning space station aesthetic
Excellent graphics and overall performance
Lightning fast SSDs
All major components upgradable
Exorbitantly expensive

Meet one of the best video editing laptops:The Alienware Area-51m. This baby is powered by an overclockable9th Gen Core i9desktopprocessor combined with the latestRTX 2080 GPU. It completely crushed the HandBrake benchmark,transcoding a 4K video to 1080p in just 6 minutes flat. Along with its immense, upgradable power, you get the machine's gorgeous design,an SSD with a1,272 MBps transfer rate and a solid 17.3-inch panel.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch)

Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch)

CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1060 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | Display: 15-inch (3240 x 2160) | Size: 13.5 x 9.9 x 0.9 inches | Weight: 4.2 pounds Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch) Review

Detachable screen
Great pen experience
Long battery life
Very expensive
No Thunderbolt 3 port

Both a powerful laptop and a portable tablet, the Surface Book 2 is the most versatile notebook you can use to edit video. It comes with a powerful 8th Gen Core i7 CPU and discrete Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU, as well as an incredibly vibrant 3240 x 2160 display. It lasted over 12 hours on our battery test, so you can edit all day without fear of losing a charge. If the 15-inch version is too big or too expensive for you, there's also a 13.5-inch option, but that steps down to either integrated or GTX 1050 graphics.

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2019)

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2019)

CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: Nvidia MX150/GTX 1050 Ti | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch (4K) | Size: 14.2 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 4.6 pounds HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2019) Review

Sexy design
Colorful panel
Comfortable keyboard
Solid performance
Excellent battery life
Display could be brighter
Muddy speakers

The HP Spectre x360 is an elegant machine capable of completing the HandBrake benchmark in10 minutes and 45 seconds. Its 15.6-inch, 4K display is a little dim (247 nits), but it will blow you away with 157 percent of thesRGB spectrum. To top it all off, the Spectre x360 features a super comfortable keyboard and a battery that can last up to 8 hours and 9 minutes on a charge.The includedHP Active Penhas two programmable buttons and 2,048 pressure sensitivity levels.

HP ZBook x2

HP ZBook x2

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Intel HD 620 or Nvidia Quadro M620 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB SSD | Display: 14-inch (4K) | Size: 14.4 x 8.9 x 0.8 inches (0.6 tablet) | Weight: 4.9 pounds HP ZBook x2 Review

Great stylus
Excellent shortcut management
Comfortable keyboard
Very expensive
Could have stronger graphics performance
Middling battery life

The HP ZBook x2 is pricey, but it gets you an adaptable tool for creative work. The matte, 14-inch 4K display lets you edit at any resolution, and, if you prefer a stylus, you can use the shortcut keys for quick actions or keep the Bluetooth keyboard nearby. The Quadro GPU could be stronger, but there are few devices that cater so directly to creatives.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7 | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch (1080p/4K) | Size: 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 4 pounds Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Review

Phenomenal 4K HDR display
Blazing-fast performance
Luxurious design
Thin and lightweight
Comfortable keyboard
Below-average battery life
Runs warm
Expensive

Lenovo propelled its X-series line straight into the future when it revealed that theThinkPad X1 Extreme(starting at S1,673) would be its first 15-inch and the first to have a discrete graphics card. It comes with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB GPU and can be outfitted with an 8th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU as well as 64GB of RAM, which makes it a monster for video editing. It only took 10 minutes and 3 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p on the HandBrake benchmark, which is twice as fast as the 20:30 category average. The ThinkPad X1 Extreme met12 MIL-STD-810G standards, which means it can survive high humidity, exposure to sand and dust, extreme temperatures and repeated drops. It also supports dTPM encryption, Intel vPro, a fingerprint reader and an optional Smart Card reader, making it ideal for business use. Additionally, it has an optional IR camera so you can sign into your laptop with Windows Hello facial recognition.

HP ZBook Studio x360 G5

HP ZBook Studio x360 G5

CPU: Intel Core i5/Core i7/Core i9/Xeon | GPU: Intel UHD 630 or Nvidia Quadro P1000/P2000 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: single or dual 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch (1080p/4K) | Size: 14.2 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 4.9 pounds HP ZBook Studio x360 G5 Review

Premium design
Gorgeous 4K display
Military grade durability
Great keyboard and stylus
Excellent performance and graphics
Long battery life
Lid flexes
Lackluster webcam
Expensive

The HP ZBook Studio x360 is beyond powerful. It's ready to kill with its Intel Xeon processor and Nvidia Quadro graphics all packed into its aluminum, military-durable chassis. It took10 minutes and40 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p, which blows past the 16:44 workstation average, making it an ideal candidate for editing.On top of its power, it has a stunning4K display, bouncy keyboard and long battery lifeall ina 2-in-1! It was so great that we awarded it our Editor's Choice award.

Best Gaming: Alienware m15

Best Gaming: Alienware m15

CPU: Intel Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1060 or RTX 2060/2070/2080 | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB | Storage: 1TB HDD/256GB SSD 1TB HDD/512GB 1TB HDD/1TB SSD/2TB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch (1080p/4K) | Size: 14.3 x 10.8 x 0.8~0.7 inches | Weight: 4.8 pounds Alienware m15 Review

Sleek, lightweight design
Great overall and gaming performance
Stunning display
Comfortable keyboard
Long battery life for gaming laptop
Audio could be better
Bottom gets warm
Expensive as configured

If you plan on editing some gameplay videos, you'll need an actual gaming machine first. The Alienware m15 (starting at $1,352) comes with a speedy 8th Gen Core i7 and up to a GTX 1070 Max-Q that blazed through our HandBrake benchmark (transcoding a 4K video to 1080p)in 9 minutes and 51 seconds. You can not only game but video edit on a displaycapable of reproducing 150 percent of the sRGB color gamut and emitting a solid 284 nits of brightness. On top of that, this baby will last 6 hours and 25 minutes on a full charge, which is impressive for a gaming laptop of this caliber. Even more a gaming laptop, it's one of the best laptops for video editing.

Asus ZenBook Pro 15

Asus ZenBook Pro 15

CPU: Intel Core i7/Core i9 | GPU: Intel UHD 630or Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch (4K) | Size: 14.4 x 9.9 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 4.2 pounds Asus ZenBook Pro 15 Review

Elegant, sophisticated design
Powerful overall and graphics performance
ScreenPad complements productivity tasks
Lightning-fast transfer speeds
Supervivid, 4K touch screen
Below-average battery life
Low-res webcam

This 4K speed demon packs an Intel Core i9 processor and a Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti GPU in a lightweight, sexy chassis accompanied by Asus' most interesting feature:the ScreenPad. Essentially a second display, ScreenPad is built into the touchpad to enhance your multitasking. There are several apps built into the ScreenPad that can transform the secondary display according to use case including a numpad, calculator or a music player. It comes in handy when you want to game on your main display and watch a game guide on the second. When you're not fawning over the awesome ScreenPad, you get to take-in that sexy design and enjoy that eye-popping 141 percent of sRGB color gamut on the 4K display while you're bouncing around its comfortable keyboard.

Best Value: Lenovo Legion Y7000

Best Value: Lenovo Legion Y7000

CPU: Intel Core i7 | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1060 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD 1TB HDD | Display: 15.6-inch (1080p) | Size: 14.2 x 10.5 x 1.1 - 0.9 inches | Weight: 5.3 pounds Lenovo Legion Y7000 Review

Sleek, sports car design
Colorful display
Comfortable keyboard
Strong overall performance and graphics
Decent battery life
Poor audio
Nose cam

If you're looking for the most bang for your buck then look no further than theLegion Y7000. For$1,099, you get a speedy 8th Gen Core i7 processor and a GTX 1060 GPU that completed the HandBrake benchmark in just9 minutes and 24 seconds. And for the price, you also get a gorgeous 15.6-inch, 1080p display, as it covered 153 percent of the sRGB color spectrum and emitted 277 nits of brightness. Despite being a gaming laptop, its battery life isn't too bad either, lasting 4 hours and 28 minutes on a charge. Even for an affordable price, it makes its mark as one of the best video editing laptops.

Laptop Guide

The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.