If you are a professional video editor, a film-school student, or just someone passionate about A/V, you can derive immense pleasure from owning a best laptop for video editing.
A laptop that understands the needs of a video editor goes a long way in keeping you from harrowing post-production sessions.
It is all very well to tell yourself that any video editing you require can be done on a regular laptop; it is just about tying in small clips together, right?
But it is when you stare at distorted imagery, fiddle with an uncooperative touchpad, and tear your hair apart over an unresponsive processor that you begin to lose faith. The footage you shot in the first place seems to be without any potential whatsoever.
For satisfying and productive video editing, THE most important thing does not come as a surprise: a mighty processor. But along with a persevering CPU, you also need a display that does justice to your content.
A user-friendly operating system is essential too. It is true that video editing has conventionally been associated with a Mac laptop that lets you use software like Final Cut Pro.
But, unless you are a hardcore loyalist, you can also opt for Windows 11 or Linux. Some other important considerations include a specially designed keyboard. Video editing involves precise, repetitive movements, and a keyboard that gets this is going to be vital.
When purchasing a multimedia-focused laptop, it is a good idea to enlist your priorities and choose from various form factors that offer a veritable mix. For instance, many 14” and 15” machines prove adequate for video editing; they manage to expand the available screen space by thinning out the bezel.
You can also explore convertibles, devices with 17” screens (if mobility isn’t a priority), and desktop-replacement laptops.
Table of Contents
- Our Picks: 10 Best Laptops for Video Editing in 2023
- 1. Apple MacBook Pro 16 Inch Laptop for Video Editing
- 2. New Dell XPS 15 9520 Laptop
- 3. Video Editing and Gaming: Acer Predator Triton 500 SE
- 4. 4K OLED Laptop for Video Editing: ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED
- 5. High Performance: Razer Blade 14
- Reasons to avoid
- 6. 360Hz Video Editing: MSI Stealth GS66 Ultra-Thin and Light Laptop
- 7. Budget laptop for video editing: ASUS VivoBook S15 OLED
- 8. 4K Touch Video Editing Laptop: ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED UX582
- 9. 100% DCI-P3: MSI Creator M16 16″ Content Creation Laptop
- 10. Cheapest laptop for video editing: ASUS VivoBook 16X
- Video Editing on a Laptop? Is it Possible?
- Comparing Video Editing: Laptops vs. Desktops
- Features of the Best Video Editing Laptops
- Hardware Requirements for Video Editing
- Do You Need a Dedicated Video Editing Laptop?
- Putting it all Together
Our Picks: 10 Best Laptops for Video Editing in 2023
Video Editing Laptop – Recommended Specs
|Processor||12th Gen. Intel Core i7 (Up to 4.7 GHz)|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce GTX/RTX|
|Memory||16GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM|
|Storage||512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Display||15.6″ Full HD (1920×1080)
100% DCI-P3 Color Gamut
|Weight||Under 5 lbs.|
|Battery||Up to 12 Hours|
|OS||Windows 11 Home|
Okay, that is enough of a preamble for video editing laptops; it is time to dive right in and select a companion that will help you achieve the visual brilliance you so dearly covet.
We have put together a list of ten best laptop for video editing 2023 that encompass all the essential features while catering to different budgets and priorities.
1. Apple MacBook Pro 16 Inch Laptop for Video Editing
A powerful Apple M1 Pro chip, 32-core GPU, and a liquid Retina Display with mini-LED technology set the 16” Apple MacBook Pro apart.
A competent video editing computer, it is equipped with up to 64GB RAM, as much as 8TB SSD, and a redesigned cooling mechanism.
This MacBook believes in connectivity through USB-C ports (four) and 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6—a blessing for editors who need access to storage devices, external screens, etc.
In fact, you can easily plug in up to two 8K displays. The sound system of this laptop is especially praiseworthy, thanks to the six-speaker system, force-cancelling woofers, and three-mic array.
Bonus: You get as much as 21 hours of battery life—not a common merit to boot for powerful multimedia machines. It is easy to work on your editing projects even on the go.
2. New Dell XPS 15 9520 Laptop
Video editing and content creation are extremely demanding tasks, one that involves heavy-duty applications and RAM space. So, having access to an equally responsive device is crucial. The new Dell XPS 15 9520 is a perfect fit for those requirements.
Fuelled by the latest 12th Gen. Intel Core i7-12700H processor and up to RTX 3050 Ti GPU configuration, the device renders a perfect balance between size and performance. Backed with AI-features, creators can now render their editing files and data within seconds without any interruptions.
Accessible in four modes – quiet, performance, cool and optimized, users can now choose the tailor-made mode that renders maximum productivity for them. With over 13 hours of battery life, video editing is a breeze without needing to worry about finding a power outlet every few hours.
Dell has equipped the XPS 15 9520 with a responsive 15.6” FHD display panel with 1080p screen resolution with additional 4K streaming support. So, if you are editing 4K videos on the laptop, be assured that your performance won’t be compromised.
Editors can seamlessly store more date with 512GB SSD fast storage and 16GB RAM configuration for tackling some of the most intensive editing applications. It is available with Windows 11 Home OS.
- Lightweight and portable design
- Backed with the latest thermal solutions
- Supports 4K streaming
- Fast SSD storage configuration
- Pre-installed with Windows 11 OS
- Graphics configuration is a little weak
3. Video Editing and Gaming: Acer Predator Triton 500 SE
Ideal for students, content creators, video editors and advanced gamers, the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE is a versatile device that caters to a variety of productivity and workflow.
Powered by the latest 12th Generation Intel Core i7-12700H processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU with streaming multiprocessors for the ultimate gameplay and editing performance.
The 16” WQXGA display panel with 1600p screen resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio renders stunning and crisp visuals without any lags and stutters. The performance is further elevated with the combination of 1TB SSD storage with up to 32GB RAM configuration for running some of the most intensive applications.
The Triton 500 SE is also integrated with optimal thermal solutions, especially with the custom-engineered 5th Gen AeroBlade 3D Fan Technology for optimal airflow guidance. It runs on Windows 11 OS.
Reasons to buy
- Powerful processing power
- Optimal RAM management
- Amazing thermal solutions
Reasons to avoid
- A little pricey
- Storage isn’t upgradeable
4. 4K OLED Laptop for Video Editing: ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X OLED
When you are editing professional videos, rendering the final result in optimal colors and crisp visuals is key and the ASUS Zenbook Pro 16X takes care of that with its stunning 16” 4K OLED touch display with 16:10 aspect ratio and narrow bezels that support expansive viewing experience.
The model is powered by the Intel i7-12700H CPU and GeForce RTX 3060 Graphics for smooth, crisp and clear visuals without any distortions. Also, the processing power of this laptop allows you to run some of the most intensive editing apps like butter.
It is integrated with 1TB SSD storage with 16GB RAM configuration for smoother and efficient performance like no other. Also, it runs on the Windows 11 Home, providing the users access to all the latest Microsoft apps and advancements.
Reasons to buy
- Stunning 4K OLED display
- High processing power
- Optimal and faster storage configuration
Reasons to avoid
- RAM configuration could be better
- Thermal solution is average
5. High Performance: Razer Blade 14
Compact and high performance is what defines the bestselling Razer Blade 14. It is a one-of-a-kind model with the sleek yet responsive 14” QHD display panel with 165Hz refresh rate for stunning color reproduction and visual experience like no other.
The model is powered by the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX CPU and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti GPU, both of which support multitasking, high-end productivity and tackling all the heavy-duty applications without any glitch in the process.
Featuring a CNC aluminum body, the body stands out with its durable construction as well. It is integrated with 1TB SSD storage and 16GB RAM for faster and responsive performance all throughout. Also, it comes preinstalled with Windows 11.
Reasons to buy
- High end performance
- CNC aluminum body
- Responsive QHD display
Reasons to avoid
- Display size is small for gaming
- Steep pricing
6. 360Hz Video Editing: MSI Stealth GS66 Ultra-Thin and Light Laptop
Smooth-like butter is a phrase that’s written for MSI Stealth GS66 and its performance. Besides the reliability of the brand, the model is integrated with all the advanced configuration that render peak video editing performance without any delays or glitches in the process.
It is powered by the Intel Core i7-12700H processor with RTX 3070 Ti GPU configuration for responsive performance, both while editing and content creation and during gaming as well. The 15.6” FHD display panel is backed with 360Hz refresh rate, which allows users to have a premium user experience.
Not just that, MSI also integrates the model with 512GB SSD storage for faster boot-up of the applications along with 16GB RAM that supports superior multitasking experience. It comes pre-installed with Windows 10 Pro OS but is upgradeable.
Reasons to buy
- Sleek and lightweight
- Optimal refresh rate
- SSD storage configuration
Reasons to avoid
- Doesn’t come with Windows 11
- Battery life is average
7. Budget laptop for video editing: ASUS VivoBook S15 OLED
Video editing is quite an expensive profession to get into, especially with the equipment. So, if you are looking for a budget-friendly laptop, the ASUS VivoBook S15 is a steal.
Besides the stunning 15.6” OLED display, the model is built on the Intel Evo Platform, so you won’t have to compromise on performance, responsiveness and battery life.
The model is powered by the Intel Core i7-12700H CPU with Intel Iris Xe graphics for smoother rendering of all the extensive video editing applications that you likely indulge in. It runs on the Windows 11 OS and is backed with 512GB SSD storage and 16GB RAM for the ultimate editing experience.
Overall, the VivoBook S 15 is capable of handling the extensive applications but what stands out is the lightweight yet durable design. Its perfect for users who are continually on the go.
Reasons to buy
- Sleek and lightweight design
- Built on Intel Evo platform
- OLED display
Reasons to avoid
- Battery life could be better
- Port selection is average
8. 4K Touch Video Editing Laptop: ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED UX582
For the users looking for the best of both worlds with a responsive 4K display with touch support, we’d recommend looking into the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15.
This one works like a dream with the Intel Core i9-12900H processor and GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU.
The combination of the dual-display settings further elevates the user’s performance, especially while editing extensive videos in 4K. The primary display is equipped with a 15.6” OLED 4K touch display and the secondary 14” ScreenPad Plus support.
Additionally, the combination of 1TB SSD storage with 32GB RAM renders some of the most extensive editing applications like a breeze and without any buffers in the process. It runs on Windows 11 Pro OS.
Reasons to buy
- Stunning OLED touch display
- Comes with ScreenPad Plus
- Optimal RAM configuration
Reasons to avoid
- Can be a little complicated to operate
- Audio output is average
9. 100% DCI-P3: MSI Creator M16 16″ Content Creation Laptop
Video editing is heavily reliant on the display configuration, especially with the 100% DCI-P3 support and true color reproduction.
The MSI Creator M16 serves both the factors, especially with the powerful Intel Core i7-12650H processor with RTX 3060 GPU that supports all your content creation needs without any roadblocks.
As for the display, the model is equipped with a 16” QHD+ display panel with 16:10 aspect ratio and 60Hz refresh rate. When it comes to the thermal solutions, the Cooler Boost Trinity+ takes the lead, ensuring that the device isn’t overheated after extensive usage.
The flexible 180-degree hinge comes in handy too. Also, the model is backed with 1TB SSD storage with 32GB RAM that supports optimal performance and productivity throughout. It comes pre-installed with Windows 11.
Reasons to buy
- Accurate color reproduction
- QHD+ display panel
- Responsive performance
Reasons to avoid
- Steep price point
- Refresh rate could be better
10. Cheapest laptop for video editing: ASUS VivoBook 16X
The ASUS VivoBook 16X is another expansive but affordable video editing laptop that is equipped with a larger 16” WUXGA display with 1200p screen resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio.
It is powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H CPU with Radeon Vega 7 graphics for rendering all the intensive editing applications like a pro.
Overall, the model does come with a sleek and lightweight design, especially with the responsive Fingerprint sensor for a secure login functionality. It is available in a unique Quiet Blue, which stands out from the regular models that you see in the market.
The device is backed with 512GB SSD storage with 8GB RAM, which is justified for the kind of price that you pay. It runs on the Windows 11 Home OS.
Reasons to buy
- Stunning and responsive display
- Available in a unique Quiet Blue design
- Faster storage configuration
Reasons to avoid
- RAM configuration isn’t the best
- Audio output is subpar
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Video Editing on a Laptop? Is it Possible?
Let’s face it: video editing might sound glamorous and cool, but it is really quite exhausting. Whether you need to fine-tune personal movies or work as a professional video editor, you typically need a machine that is both speedy and dependable.
It needs to be competent at running editing software like Photoshop and Premiere Pro—applications that are heavy and loaded, on a good day.
Given this home truth, how practical is video editing on a laptop? As it turns out, many leading laptop manufacturers have now come up with devices that are not only capable of supporting editing pursuits but are also quite good at it!
To use your laptop as your editing partner, you need the best hardware specs that your budget will allow. For starters, this covers the CPU, RAM and storage. You will need a speedy and efficient processor, ample RAM, and plenty of storage for your multimedia files.
You also need a stellar display, several connectivity options, and a lightweight but sturdy build. That last bit becomes particularly indispensable if you are also likely to be shooting the video you will eventually edit.
When you already have a heavy bag packed to the brim with camera equipment, you really do not want a heavy laptop weighing things down further. But what you also don’t want is a flimsy device that takes up more babysitting than it is worth.
All that jazz in a laptop? Seems like a tall order, no? Of course, if your prime pursuit is going to be home-based or personal footage, you should be good with lower specifications.
But give or take some specs, you will have to navigate through some important decisions to land the perfect machine.
For example: How should you pick between an SSD and good old HDD for storage space? The read and write speeds that an SSD provides are much higher than older interfaces; however, it also comes at a premium.
Likewise, should or shouldn’t you opt for a GPU? While a dedicated GPU has features that can translate into benefits for your work (especially if your film consists of several special effects, shadows, etc.), you might have to make the CPU vs. GPU trade-off if you are on a tight budget.
This is because video editing remains highly multi-threaded, and this is something that a powerful CPU is equipped to deal with.
That said, the bottom line is evident: video editing on a laptop is definitely possible. All you need to do is make the right decisions tailored to your requirements. Also, let it be understood that finding a budget machine that can rival a desktop in performance might be stretching it too far.
However, as the demand for multimedia-editing laptops goes up, and more players enter the market, it is reasonable to expect price cuts in the near future.
Comparing Video Editing: Laptops vs. Desktops
Not too long back, it was unthinkable that a task as complicated and resource-intensive as video editing could be performed on a laptop. But the technological world changes every so often, and this scenario is now a reality. However, while laptops are capable of this task, how competent are they? Can they match up to the power of a desktop when it comes to a job well done? Let us examine this.
- Overall Performance: Typically, desktops offer better overall performance than laptops at a similar price point. Their build allows them to provide greater processing strength and more RAM and storage space, all of which come in handy for rapid editing work. This becomes even more significant if your work involves several transitions, text overlays, etc. Another bonus with desktops is their easy upgradability—something that not many laptops offer.
- Longevity: Since desktops have more efficient cooling systems than laptops, they will be able to support you for longer durations. Many laptops tend to get heated up quickly when working on CPU-intensive tasks, and this seriously limits their sustainability.
- Portability: If you are planning on working on your editing projects from your desk, you may not find much use from a portable, lightweight laptop that travels well. In this case, a desktop might be a smarter choice for you as it will give you greater CPU power and overall efficiencies.
- Working on Multiple Screens: Video editors frequently need to consult multiple screens to get a comprehensive picture of their work. A desktop is better equipped to work with multiple screens, thereby simplifying your tasks. To derive a similar performance from a laptop, you would need to find one with abundant connectivity options.
- Quick Editing On The Go: Professionals need to be prepared to handle last-minute edits for that particularly discerning client. They may also need to create rough edits for presentations and samples, without getting the luxury of a workstation. Laptops are Godsends for such scenarios.
- Ergonomics: Video editing projects tend to be long and cumbersome, requiring you to sit in front of your computer for several hours. As far as ergonomics and comfort go, a desktop is a better choice. Laptops, on the other hand, are well-suited to getting things done on the move. If you are primarily going to be working on stationary projects at home or your office, getting a desktop will help you avoid occupational hazards like backaches.
Ultimately, both laptops and desktops have their highs and lows when it comes to multimedia editing. While the former score brownie points for mobility, the latter offer a premium in power and longevity.
When choosing between them, you would be well advised to weigh your day-to-day needs, requirements for travel, and budget.
Depending on the specifications that your budget allows, many contemporary laptops can be as commendable as desktops at providing a smooth editing experience.
Features of the Best Video Editing Laptops
Here are the essential features you must look for in a competent multimedia editing laptop:
- A powerful CPU: Look for at least an Intel Core i7, preferably with multiple cores. The ideal RAM support would be upwards of 16GB, although many affordable laptops now also offer up to 32GB.
- Integrated/dedicated graphics: While integrated graphics might be too weak for many AAA games, they work reasonably well for video editing. Of course, if you can get a lucrative deal on a starter GPU like an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, it makes sense to go right ahead.
- Ample storage space: It would be smart to splurge on a laptop with an SSD as the speed gains during video editing are tremendous. Since high-capacity SSDs are still pricey, you can get additional storage through an external hard drive.
- Lightweight construction: If you plan to move about with your laptop, settle for something that weighs in the range of 4–5lbs. But remember not to compromise on the USB ports or display ports to achieve this. A USB Type-C port (or regular USB 3.1 or 3.0 ports), an SD card reader, and an audio port are essential for any video editing machine.
- A vivid display: An FHD screen is the bare minimum here, although you might need to get a 4K display if you shoot in a high resolution.
- An intuitive keyboard: Aim to get a laptop that offers a backlit keyboard with thoughtful shortcuts and ergonomic key placement (and handy travel distance).
Hardware Requirements for Video Editing
So, what are the things you need to look out for when purchasing a laptop for video editing? While an efficient processing compartment is a no-brainer, you would also want to handpick a device with a reasonably vivid display, clear sound, and plentiful options for connectivity so that you can collaborate with peers and colleagues.
We have put together a ready reckoner of essential hardware requirements that will ensure you can create and edit multimedia content smoothly. The decision to pick your end of the spectrum vis-à-vis these requirements, of course, will be dictated by your needs and budgets.
The single most important consideration while purchasing a video editing laptop is the strength of its processing compartment. To perform a CPU draining task like multimedia editing satisfactorily, the laptop needs to be equipped with a powerful processor that can handle complexities like supporting heavy duty software, facilitating transitions and special effects, etc.
The best pick for high performance is an Intel i9-12900H CPU (at 5.1GHz). The level of performance you can expect is desktop-grade (read super smooth and up to the mark for professional endeavors).
Check out the 10 Best Intel Core i9 Laptops for Higher Video Editing Performance.
These CPUs can execute as many as 16 parallel threads with the hyper-threading technology. They also come with the advantage of turbo boosting (up to 5GHz in the i9-12900H model).
A slightly more budget-friendly option is the Intel i7-12700H. It suits both personal and professional pursuits while coming in considerably cheaper than its pricier sibling. Many multimedia-friendly laptops now come with Intel i9 or i7 processors, and so fluid is their performance that you might forget you are working on a laptop.
Another alternative you can explore is getting an AMD processor. Typically, these CPUs are much more cost effective than their Intel counterparts. But they still manage to support multitasking pursuits.
We would recommend an AMD Ryzen 7 6800H CPU as a well-rounded processor for working with multimedia content..
It is exemplary when it comes to tackling multiple threads without drilling a hole in your pocket.
A video editing laptop can reap considerable dividends from a dedicated GPU (graphics processing unit). With a GPU, you can enjoy smoother performance vis-à-vis 3D modeling, editing on various premiere applications, creating after effects, etc.
A budget-friendly GPU we highly recommend is the NVIDIA RTX 3050. Based on the NVIDIA Turing architecture, this is an all-rounder GPU that will delight both professionals and hobbyists.
If you are looking for true blue excellence and have a higher budget, you can look at getting an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 or RTX 3070 (with 6GB and 8GB dedicated memory respectively).
The RTX graphics card comes with several topnotch additions such as real-time ray tracing (where in-game light mimics the behavior of light in real life) and graphics enhanced by artificial intelligence.
On Premiere Pro, for instance, an RTX 3080Ti GPU gets a score of 109—only a tad lower than the highest score of 112.8 obtained by RTX 3090Ti—as per a study conducted by Puget Systems, a custom computer business.
The amount of RAM your laptop possesses becomes a major factor in video editing as it determines the kind of speeds and overall performance you can expect from the machine.
If you are on a budget, aim to get a laptop with at least 16GB RAM. This will help you accomplish your multimedia editing tasks comfortably (without bringing up occasions when the system comes to a standstill).
However, if your priority is performance and you have some leeway with the budget, try to fit in about 32GB of RAM. That is the gold standard when it comes to memory and turns out to be a solid investment in the long run. The difference is palpable when you are working on projects that involve several details and nuggets of tasks that can drain the processor.
Video editing is a high-memory job; you are going to need considerable space on your system to stock your work in progress films and finished edits. It can be a challenge to get high-speed storage that is capacious enough to meet such requirements. This is why it is a solid idea to look for good old HDD (hard disk drive) as far as capacity is concerned.
For better performance, you can seek an SSD (solid state drive). Many laptops offer a mix of the two, allowing you to use an HDD to store your data and an SSD for documents you need frequently or files related to the operating system. Such a combination results in greater speeds overall, thus making your video editing experience faster and more efficient.
Another option to consider for exemplary performance is an NVME SSD (non-volatile memory express).
While these drives are expensive, the jump they offer is magnificent: up to 2500MB/s and 1000MB/s for sequential read and write respectively, as opposed to around 550MB/s offered by a SATA and 130–150MB/s in case of an HDD.
It will not be an overstatement to claim that an NVME SSD is among the highest-speed storage interface you can avail of for your laptop in the present times.
This realm comprises three main buckets you need to evaluate.
The screen size is an important consideration in video editing laptops as you will be spending long hours staring at the display, scouting for fine details.
As a thumb rule, a 17” laptop works best for home-based use. It will provide ample real estate to render your content accurately and allow for ample space to showcase details in varied film formats. Also, a laptop with this screen size closely mimics the desktop experience, thereby increasing your comfort of usage.
However, if you intend to use your computer outside your home or office, we would recommend getting one with a 15” display.
This form factor is better suited to travel and working outside a stationary workstation. Suffice it to say, this dimension hits the sweet spot between portability and usability.
How about more mobile laptops with more compact displays? Well, anything smaller than 15” (say, a 14” or 13” laptop) is unlikely to have the kind of powerful components that you require for editing projects. They might also feel too cramped to allow you to work comfortably.
IPS Panel vs. TN Panel
Getting the right paneling is another crucial lookout in your video editing laptop. Let us first consider TN (Twisted Nematic) panels.
Their claim to fame is their rapid response time, which makes them best buddies with gamers. But while gamers might enjoy TN panels for the assistance they provide in minimizing ghosting and blurring, you are likely to experience a major downside as a video editor: poor viewing angles. With TN panels, the content tends to alter in appearance (color, contrast, etc.) with changing viewing angles. This can seriously affect your editing work.
This brings us to our recommendation for paneling: IPS (In Plane Switching).
With this option, you can edit from multiple viewing angles without experiencing distortion in your content. Further, some editors find that IPS panels also offer better color reproduction than TN panels. This is a huge help in ensuring that your work can be meticulous as well as precise.
This consideration is fairly straightforward: aim to get a laptop with a screen resolution of 1920 × 1080 (2K) to extract the best overall performance. Not only is 2K compatible with various content formats, but it is also an excellent resolution to facilitate video editing projects without resulting in either eye strain or loss of detail.
But wait. Wouldn’t a 4K resolution be better suited for multimedia projects? Well, while you can opt for a laptop that offers a 3840 × 2160 resolution (4K), it might not turn out to be comfortable for everyday usage.
This is essentially because the 4K resolution tends to come with small fonts that are not well matched to popular video editing software. This font size limitation can strain your eyes—something you would want to avoid when you have truckloads of editing work to complete.
Another drawback of editing on a 4K screen is that it results in huge file sizes. You will find it a challenge to host these gigantic files online. Even if you only want to playback, you would need to have a monitor that supports 4K. A large number of video editors continue to prefer a 2K monitor for these reasons.
Weight and Portability
This is undoubtedly THE USP when it comes to video editing laptops: you get a lightweight chassis that is highly mobile, doing away with the bulk of a desktop and the difficulties of transporting it from point A to B.
Aim to get a laptop with a maximum weight of 4–5 lbs. This will not burden your shoulders and leave you with a body ache by the end of the day. It will also be sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of travel.
Remember that the while the overall weight will depend on the form factor you choose (especially the screen size), many laptop makers have prioritized cutting down on the bulk to fit more in more compact frames.
Other than being picky about the weight, also try to get a laptop that has a robust build with additional features built to enhance portability.
For instance, a backlit keyboard with a comfortable key-travel distance will let you work even in poorly lit environments or rickety public transport.
Most video editing laptops worth their salt are extensively tested to withstand extreme conditions such as high temperatures, varying altitudes, falls and vibrations, etc.
Given how powerful video editing laptops are, few are high on battery backup. It can be a challenge to sneak in a mighty battery in a small frame since all the other high-end processing components also take up considerable space.
However, one of the top considerations while purchasing a video editing laptop is to be able to edit on the run. As a rule of thumb, you need a machine that supports unplugged usage for at least three hours or more.
You will require this to be able to complete continuous video editing for movies, short films, and other forms of multimedia content. Also, this will liberate you from the need to stay tethered to a power station, which will, otherwise, defeat the purpose of acquiring a portable editor.
Look for a laptop with a powerful, energy-efficient battery that doesn’t drain out within minutes when you run heavy-duty editing software. It will be a bonus if you can find one that also supports quick charging; you can power up rapidly during, say, a stopover for your flight.
Some laptops now also offer upgradable or additional batteries that you can seamlessly switch between when you do run out of juice. This lets you build an editing bridge of sorts and helps you complete your project even when you are away from your workstation.
A portable laptop with a competent audio system continues to be a rarity. But solid acoustics are mandatory in a device that needs to perform video editing; how else can you capture the auditory nuances in your films? Look for a laptop with a headphone jack so that you can plug into the fine details of your content. If you have a preference for a certain headphone, double check the dimensions of the jack to make sure it will fit.
Some trustable sound systems to look out for in a video editing laptop include Waves MaxxAudio Pro, Dolby Sound, Bang & Olufsen, and Dell Cinema.
Your prime lookout is a sound output that is clear, free of distortion and loud enough. Make sure to check the delivery of the speakers and microphones during different pursuits, such as video calling and A/V playback. While your main priority might be editing, you will require reliable sound when liaising with clients or colleagues or looking through stock footage.
Conventionally, desktops have boasted of an edge when it comes to connectivity options. With a full-purpose desktop, it is straightforward to plug into any peripherals you may need, including external displays and USB drives.
Fortunately, modern-age video editing laptops also offer features that match up. When scouting for one, aim to get at least 3–4 USB ports.
Preferably, the assortment of ports should include a Thunderbolt Type-C port for high-speed data transfer (this can provide speeds as high as 5Gbps). You will need this to share heavy video files with peers or across computers.
Also, look for an HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) or display port. Since video editing involves meticulous work, you are likely to find yourself wanting several screens and external displays both for editing and presenting your work to others. Ideally, the laptop should support 2–3 displays of a reasonable resolution.
Finally, as we discussed in the audio standards, make sure the laptop of your choice has a headphone jack. You would be in a tricky spot if you had to rely only on the external sound as that would expose you to the risk of missing out on the details in your films.
Do You Need a Dedicated Video Editing Laptop?
A widespread belief in the computing world is that a gaming laptop is adequate for video editing.
After all, gaming computers usually offer powerful processors, dedicated graphics cards, and displays with high specs—everything you need to edit multimedia content. While this is true, a dedicated video editing system has some distinct advantages.
For starters, it is likelier to render your content with perfection, without fail. It will also be better suited to running graphics-intensive apps and providing you with a studio-like experience for the finest editing. An out-and-out multimedia laptop can be the closest thing you get to a workstation, which will be especially crucial if you are a professional.
That said, you need to go about selecting one of these devices with considerable caution. For instance, some gaming laptops might prioritize battery backup and a touchscreen display for gameplay on the go.
But guess which two things you probably do NOT need to worry about in a video editor? Yes, exactly those two. Video editing is extremely CPU-intensive, and it would be too much to expect substantial unplugged usage from any laptop in this league.
As for the display, few video editors find much use from a touchscreen, preferring instead to use a full-purpose keyboard and other peripherals for accurate work.
So, whether you ultimately decide to get a dedicated video editor or go with a gaming laptop, you have to be mindful of three core things: your budget (of course!), the level of precision and magnitude of power you need, and features you cannot do without.
Putting it all Together
In recent times, multimedia content generation and editing have emerged as a popular choice of profession. However, the marketplace is still limited in options that address these fields exclusively.
Apple has, of course, been around for a long time in this domain and continues to impress with the latest line of MacBooks that let you perform accurate and enviable editing. But competing brands like ASUS, Dell, HP, MSI, Lenovo and Razer have also come up with worthy offerings that help you achieve the creative glories you seek at (considerably) lower prices.
When you are out looking for a video editing laptop, keeping your priorities sorted in a mental checklist (or a paper one, for that matter) is your best bet.
So, you might want the cheapest deal if your laptop is going to be used primarily for school assignments and personal editing work (read vacation footage and home movies).
However, if your boss has an eagle’s eye for detail, you will want a laptop that supports the latest design and editing software, has a high-res display, and offers plenty of connectivity options for a workstation-like experience.
Whatever you choose, remember that when it comes to computing, your laptop can both restrict and liberate you. And, in the creative space, the freedom to maneuver is everything.
Mac or Windows laptop for video editing?
Both Mac and Windows are now popular with video editors. Traditionally, Macs have had an edge with creative professionals. They are stable, highly secure and stylish computers that offer good resale value. Many editing programs/software are designed especially for Mac OS. However, Windows laptops have become good competitors and are much cheaper.
What is a good cheap laptop for video editing?
The 16” ASUS VivoBook 16X, priced at under $700, is a cheap pick for video editors. It runs on an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor, 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD, offering a narrow-bezel display that is compatible with IPS. This 4.12lbs device also delivers long-lasting battery backup, Wi-Fi 6 and good-quality sound.
What laptops do YouTubers use?
YouTubers churn out a lot of video content regularly. Their laptops must have a powerful processor to generate and edit multimedia, ample RAM (over 8GB) and storage, external ports, an engaging display, and a user-friendly keyboard. These devices must be lightweight and offer good battery backup. MacBooks, ThinkPads and Microsoft Surface laptops are some good picks for YouTubers.
Is 8GB RAM enough for video editing?
Yes, it is possible to perform video editing with 8GB RAM provided one is working with projects under 1080p and doesn’t require many background programs. Otherwise, 16GB and above is better suited for multimedia editing. For professionals who must handle heavy-duty multimedia, it is recommended to look for 32GB and above.