This is a guide to the best laptops for video editing of the year so far.
I regularly use Premiere Pro on my 13″ Macbook Pro to edit small videos and it doesn’t miss a beat.
However, for larger multi-track 4k videos, it all slows down – that’s why I decided to research more powerful video editing laptops.
Editing video on a laptop a few years ago was close to impossible.
However, thanks to the powerful laptops available today, you can edit, export and share movies on the go.
Obviously, a desktop computer is best for video editing, but it’s obviously not as versatile as a laptop.
Here are my recommendations if you have the budget to invest in a laptop that can handle any video editing task you throw at it.
Table of Contents
What is the Best Laptop for Video Editing in 2023?
|Apple MacBook Pro 16||Check AMAZON Price → Check B&H Price →|
|Lenovo Legion 5||Check AMAZON Price → Check B&H Price →|
|HP Victus 15||Check AMAZON Price →|
|ROG Zephyrus G15 Ultra Slim||Check AMAZON Price →|
|Alienware X14 R1||Check AMAZON Price →|
|MSI Katana GF76||Check AMAZON Price →|
|Apple MacBook Air 13||Check AMAZON Price → Check B&H Price →|
|Razer Blade 14||Check AMAZON Price →|
Apple MacBook Pro 16″ (Best Overall Laptop for Video Editing)
- ProMotion technology
- The industry standard
- Powerful processor
- High-quality graphics
- Can get pricey with upgrades
MacBooks were made with the modern creative in mind, so these devices are always going to be in the mix when considering the best video editing laptops.
The Apple MacBook Pro 16” comes with Apple’s M1 processor (or can be upgraded to M1 Max).
Compared to the previous processors, this offers a huge increase in CPU and GPU processing times. This basically allows you to use processing-power-hungry applications (such as video editing software) without any glitching or fall-off in performance.
It also means you can run several programmes at the same time with no issues at all.
The MacBook is also known for its high-quality graphics. And the Liquid Retina XDR display gives you a high dynamic range and deep, vibrant colours.
The design of the laptop also means that, whether you are plugged in or operating on battery, there is no difference in performance. That’s seriously great news for video editors who work on the go.
With this model, Apple also incorporates their ProMotion technology. With this, your display’s refresh rate can be optimised to your footage up to a maximum of 120Hz.
This gives you responsive, powerful performance, smoothing both your workflow and the look of your footage on-screen.
As with all MacBooks, you can max out your specifications to push performance well above that of the base model.
The 10-core GPU is standard, but GPU can be bumped to 32-core, unified memory to 64 GB, and you can have up to 8 terabytes of storage!
Lenovo Legion 5 (Best Mid-Range Laptop for Video Editing)
- High refresh rate
- High-quality audio
- Adjustable fan speed
- 165 Hz refresh rate
- Max 1TB storage
- Internal memory is not as high as Mac’s
Technically, this is a gaming laptop. But, as gaming laptops prioritize graphics and processing power – both features video editors need – they can also make great video editing laptops.
The Lenovo Legion 5 has a 15.6” full HD IPS screen, with crisp, vibrant colours.
Its refresh rate is high, too, higher than the 16″ MacBook Pro. At 165 Hz, your video editing is going to be as smooth as silk. There’ll be no stuttering, no glitches, allowing you to just get on with the job.
As the computer is optimized for long sessions of playing visually demanding games, the design allows you to adjust the fan speed.
This a great feature to help you keep your computer cool while it’s processing heavy video editing tasks such as rendering.
Add to this its surround sound audio capabilities (and we all know how important audio tracks are in video), and you have a lot of bang for your buck.
HP Victus 15 (Best Budget Laptop for Editing Video)
- Made for hard visual work
- High-end processor
- Good cooling system
- Lower internal memory and storage than competitors
The HP Victus 15 is another gaming laptop that would work well as a video editing laptop.
It doesn’t have the largest amount of storage or internal memory – at 512 GB and 8 GB respectively – but it will go easy on your wallet.
Its graphics and processing specifications are made to make playing some of the most computer-power-hungry games on the market fluid and responsive.
And if it can handle Call of Duty, it can handle your video footage!
The processor itself, a 12th Generation Intel Core i5-12500H, is made with multitasking in mind, and moves processing power around the machine, depending on where it’s most needed.
Like the Lenovo Legion 5, it’s also designed with long sessions of crunching visuals in mind. This means HP has developed a cooling system that will stop your computer from overheating when you’re involved in complex video editing tasks.
ROG Zephyrus G15 Ultra Slim
- Sleek and sturdy
- High refresh rate
- Highly portable
- 8-core processor
- Kind of a ‘bare bones’ laptop in style and structure
- High-level users might need more RAM
The ROG Zephyrus G15 Ultra Slim is a good value video editing laptop for those who want something portable.
Though its 16.6” screen is an excellent size for anyone working with video, the laptop is less than an inch in depth, so you can easily fit this skinny guy in your bag.
But this svelteness doesn’t mean a lack of power. In fact, compared to many other similar laptops at this price point, it has a faster CPU speed (4.6 GHz).
The core of 8 AMD Ryzen 9 processors and a 165 Hz refresh rate will also have you blazing through footage and easily able to handle the layered multi-tasking workflow essential for efficient video editing.
Alienware X14 R1
- Lightweight and slim
- Vibrant display colours
- High-end processor
- Screen might be a little small for some video editors
- Noisy fan
Although video editors will need external storage to get the most out of this machine, with its Intel Core i7 processor, it boasts high performance and great multitasking capabilities.
All this, too, in a package that is pushing the envelope in terms of how slim and lightweight a laptop can be. It’s 0.6″ thick (or thin) and weighs less than 4 lbs.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card and refresh rate of 144 Hz will also have even your highest resolution video popping and loading smoothly, with no stuttering or any of that other ugly stuff that plagues less powerful devices.
MSI Katana GF76
- Large screen
- High refresh rate
- Sharp, colourful graphics
- Can suffer from overheating
- 16GB of RAM might not be enough for some users
For any editors looking for one of the best video editing laptops with a bigger screen, look no further than the 17.3-inch MSI Katana GF76. Perfect for really cranking out that footage.
It has a refresh rate of 144 Hz, so everything is going to load and play back smoothly, and with the GTX 30 Series GPUs, the graphic quality is stunning.
The incorporation of Intel’s 12th Generation series of processors, the i7, also means you’ll get blazing-fast load times for your video editing software. You’ll also be able to use multiple programs at the same time with zero issues.
Apple MacBook Air 13
- Slim and lightweight
- M2 chip
- Small screen
- Low storage
Many of the videographers (and photographers) I know are switching from MacBook Pros to Airs for their editing, especially if they want to do that on the move.
The processor in this new MacBook Air is Apple’s latest, the M2. It’s 1.4 times faster than the previous chip, the M1.
That means that even on such a small, slim device as this, multitasking with resource-hungry software is a breeze.
It also has a silent, fan-less design, and won’t overheat when you’re working it hard. Nor should it run out of battery – you can expect 18 hours of that
Graphics are great, too, with Apple’s bright, high-resolution Liquid Retina display.
The only thing lacking is storage, at 256 GB on the base model. But, you can upgrade for a cost to 2 terabytes.
Razer Blade 14
- Fast processor
- Bright colourful display
- 165 Hz refresh rate
- Thin, compact, and durable
- Fan noisy in operation
The Razer Blade 14 has a core of eight AMD Ryzen 9 processors at its heart. Plus, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card.
So, it’s fast, and the graphics are furious.
Like the Lenovo Legion 5, it also has a zippity-quick refresh rate of 165 Hz, for buttery smooth, seamless loading of footage.
It also boasts advanced 7.1 surround sound, which is a great feature for listening back to those audio tracks.
However, you might need to use this laptop not quite at full capacity for that, to lessen the noise from the fan.
What Specs Does a Video Editing Laptop Need?
A video editing laptop needs to have robust specifications to handle the demands of video editing software and processes.
Choosing the right laptop to handle large movie files involves considering several key factors:
- Processor (CPU): Video editing is a processor-intensive task. Look for a laptop with a powerful CPU – ideally a multi-core processor such as an Intel i7 or i9, or an AMD Ryzen 7 or 9.
- RAM: Video editing software can use a lot of memory, especially when working with high-resolution footage. Aim for at least 16GB of RAM, but 32GB would be more ideal for smoother performance.
- Storage: Video files can be large, so ample storage is important. A solid-state drive (SSD) is recommended for faster read/write speeds. Consider a laptop with at least 512GB SSD, or 1TB if your budget allows.
- Graphics Card (GPU): A dedicated graphics card can accelerate rendering and playback. Look for laptops with cards like the NVIDIA GeForce RTX series or AMD Radeon Pro.
- Display: A high-resolution display (Full HD minimum, but 4K is better) with accurate colors is important for video editing. IPS panels generally offer the best color accuracy and wide viewing angles.
- Ports: Ensure the laptop has the necessary ports for your equipment, such as HDMI for an external monitor, USB-C or Thunderbolt for fast data transfer, and an SD card slot if you’ll be importing footage directly from a camera.
- Battery Life: If you plan to edit on the go, consider the laptop’s battery life. Video editing can drain battery quickly, so a laptop with a long battery life is beneficial.
- Build Quality: Video editing can put a strain on a laptop, so a well-built machine that can handle the heat and workload is important.
FAQs: Best Laptops for Video Editing
Do you need high-end laptop for video editing?
No, you don’t. You just need to make sure you have the right specifications to do the job.
As I’ve been over in more detail in the section above. There are certain essential specs you’ll need to have, whatever end of the market your machine is at.
The best laptops for video editing have a good GPU, an SSD drive, a powerful CPU, a high-resolution display, and a solid build.
Are Chromebooks good for video editing?
It’s possible to use higher-end Chromebooks for video editing, as they might have specifications that will make it possible.
But, they’re not considered as the best laptops for video editing as they’re not made for such heavy work. Other laptops are better for this.
Also, while there are video editing programs made specifically for Chromebooks, many of the best video editing software, such as Final Cut Pro, isn’t available on Chromebooks.
What laptop do YouTubers use to edit?
YouTubers, as modern creatives, often want something powerful, portable, and with high-resolution displays. I would bet good money on most of them using a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air as a video editing laptop.
Which laptop is best for 4K video editing?
4K editing uses a lot of juice, so if you’re going to do it well, you need a powerful machine that isn’t going to glitch or stutter while you do your work.
Both MacBooks mentioned in this guide have the processing power to let you do this. And, the MacBook Pro 16”, despite having the M1 processor, has all the specs to make you a video editing beast.
If you prefer using Windows, the Lenovo Legion 5 could be a good choice. It has a powerful processor, elevated refresh rate, high-resolution display, and good cooling capabilities.
Do I need a 4K laptop for video editing?
Your video editing laptop doesn’t have to be 4K, even if you’re editing 4K footage.
If you do a lot of your video editing on the go, or if you’re on a budget, you might choose not to have a 4K screen.
They’re more expensive and they eat into your battery life.
But, 4K resolution is vastly superior to 1080p. If you’re serious about video editing, serious enough to buy a machine with all the other specs that are made to handle high-resolution graphics, it might be worth saving up the extra money.
How can I speed up my video editing?
Speedy video editing relies on high-performance, high-spec machines that allow you to use multiple resource-heavy software at the same time.
Video editing is a computing task that needs a huge amount of power. If your video editing is slow, it means you are limited by your current specs.
The best way is to invest in one of the best laptops for video editing from this guide.