The Best Laptops for Video Editing [October 2019]
Finding the perfect laptop is no easy task. In fact most would agree it can be a downright impossible task regardless of the amount of money you’re willing to spend. Whether you’re interested in the latest Chromebook or the latest MacBook Pro, there are simply too many variables to consider and too many potential tasks that your new laptop needs to be able to carry out.
If you work primarily in a creative field, however, your life can be made at least a bit easier. Thanks to increasingly-powerful processors and memory allocations, it’s now possible to find a laptop that can carry out a wide range of specific creative tasks at the pro level—whereas before these types of workloads were reserved for desktop computers that would break the bank.
If you happen to work in the world of video editing (or in fact anything that has to do with high-level graphics rendering), there are even fewer laptops to choose from, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.
In fact, this kind of narrowing down can make it much easier to pick a machine that allows you to get your work done on the go (which any professional video editor will tell you is an absolute necessity in the modern age), and most high-end laptops that fall under this category offer a wide range of customizations that allow you to fine-tune your new computer in order to fit your creative needs and your budget.
When it comes to tasks that require an abnormal amount of processing power and RAM, few fields are as demanding as pro-level video editing, so you should be prepared to dish out a decent chunk of cash if you really want to find the right piece of gear for the job.
Still, there are several pro-level laptops that can be used for video editing that won’t necessarily cause you to go broke, and we’ve listed them here for your convenience.
This may be the first time we’ve ever started a computer list of any kind with a MacBook Pro. Although doubtlessly awesome in both style and function, these computers tend to simply be overkill for most people—especially for those who simply use their computers to browse the web and send emails.
But when it comes to video editing (especially at the pro level) there’s really no better laptop to get the job done.
With massively powerful Intel processors that range from four to six cores for ultimate threading and multitasking, the latest MacBook Pros can be customized to come to your door with up to 32GB of memory for running multiple pro-level apps at the same time, and the stunning Retina display is unparalleled when it comes to accurate representations of your videos.
Although we’re not the biggest fans of the Touch Bar, the world of video editing is one of the few places in which this added accessory can be of some use, especially when it comes to scanning long clips and zeroing in on specific segments quickly.
Although the 13-inch model is fantastic, upgrading to the 15-inch once you’re already in this price range seems like a no-brainer if you’re going to be working with any of the world’s most popular video editing apps, and you only add an extra pound of weight for the upgrade.
With processing speeds of up to 5GHz and SSD read speeds of over 3GB/second, there are very few processing tasks that these machines can’t handle, and you’ll notice these perks the first time you try to render video (especially off of your on-board hard drive as opposed to an external drive).
But perhaps most importantly, these laptops offer eye-popping graphics, thanks to a discrete Radeon Pro GPU that combines impressive power with remarkable power efficiency.
You also get P3 wide color (which offers more vibrant greens and reds than sRGB, and True Tone technology gives you an even more accurate representation of what you’re working on regardless of your environment.
We’re fully aware that despite the MacBook Pro’s incredible ability to conquer virtually any video editing tasks you can throw its way, it still may just be too expensive to be practical for some editors who need to stick to a budget.
And while this Dell XPS doesn’t necessarily have all of the processing power of the MacBook Pro, it certainly can get a lot done for a much more reasonable price.
With an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-Core Processor and 8GB of RAM that comes standard, this laptop packs a surprisingly large amount of processing power that can work wonders with some of the leading video editing platforms on the market.
Although you don’t get the same type of graphics perfection that the MacBook Pro screen offers, this can be mitigated by attaching to a superior external monitor, and some editors who actually prefer to do their work in an office may not even miss being able to see every perfect detail of their render on a laptop screen.
But don’t let us downplay the awesomeness of this screen—a 13.3-inch UltraSharp 4K UHD InfinityEdge touchscreen, to be exact—which features 10-finger multi-touch support and is powered in part by an Intel HD Graphics 620 chip.
You also get all the ports you could ask for, including two Thunderbolt 3 ports for super fast transfers, and powerful stereo speakers can help you pass the time with your favorite tunes while you work on your next great edit.
Alright, we know that this pick is more along the lines of a tablet with an external keyboard than a traditional laptop in its truest form, but we have to include it because it’s making waves in the creative world—and with good reason.
The Surface Pro has become one of the best ubiquitous and respected personal computers in the world of creative professionals in no small part due to its incredibly vibrant and vivid screen—which lends itself well to video editors—but you get so much more than that as well.
This model comes loaded with the latest and greatest 8th generation Intel Core processor, along with a new design that features an even slimmer body.
You also get an insane 13.5-hour battery life (making this machine ideal for frequent travelers who may find themselves away from power outlets on a regular basis), along with a “studio mode” configuration that allows you to lower the kickstand to achieve the perfect 15-degree writing and drawing angle that many artists crave.
Your order even comes with both a Surface Pen and a Surface Arc Mouse, the latter of which is designed to perfectly conform to your hand and snaps flat to fit easily in your bag. It’s also Bluetooth-enabled so you won’t have to worry about cumbersome and unsightly wires.
Your mind understandably may not turn to HP computers when it comes to video editing tasks, but you may not want to look past this incredibly capable and affordable Spectre machine, which boasts an 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U, a NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (2GB GDDR5 dedicated) graphics card, and Windows 10 Home 64.
More than capable of carrying out your go-to photo editing tasks, this computer comes standard with 16GB of onboard RAM along with 512GB of SSD storage, and there’s a dedicated IR camera along with an integrated dual array digital microphone.
You have all the ports you’ll need to connect your peripherals, and despite its relatively large size, this computer is still light and compact enough to take with you on the go at a moment’s notice.
Lenovo is another brand that may not come to mind when you think about virtually any creative tasks at all, but this is a misconception brought about my the infamous Lenovo ThinkPad being almost entirely associated with the commuting businessperson.
This laptop comes loaded with an 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8850H 6 core Processor that can be boosted to speeds of up to 2.6GHz, and a whopping 32GB of RAM is more than enough to take care of even the largest editing and rendering jobs with ease.
You also get a massive 1TB solid state drive (for those editors who hate having to rely on a string of external drives in order to store and transfer their work), and there are a series of ports that make it easy to take all of your editing gizmos with you at a moment’s notice.