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What are the best laptops for video editing? Your job as a video editor will become much easier when you have the right type of laptop at your disposal. The device with its technological assistance will simplify your workflow, which by itself is very exhausting, and, yes, needs a lot of time and precision.
However, choosing the right laptop for video editing needs some research and focusing on the major criteria that distinguishes the best from the rest.
You must also know why some of the models are considered to be better than the others for video editing jobs.
It is all about the power, performance and portability, all combined together that will allow the video editors and producers to work on all types of projects no matter at what time or wherever they are.
Moreover, some specific types of software may run on a specific machine.
For example, the Final Cut Pro will run only on MacOS, and most of the other software programs such as DaVinci Resolve and Premiere Pro will run on both MacOS and Windows operating systems.
All modern laptops come with cutting-edge components, but to produce complex video effects, here are some of the best models that you can choose for video editing jobs.
Follow the list and the buying guide to find the most suitable laptop for you for your video editing jobs.
- Laptops for Video Editing – Price
- Ways to Choose the Right Video Editing Software to Install in a Laptop
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Video Editing
- 5 Best Laptops for Video Editing 2021:
- Things to Look for Before Buying Best Laptops for Video Editing
- What accessories do I need along with a laptop for video editing?
- Which is a better laptop for video editing – Mac or Windows?
- Should I get a laptop for video editing even if I have a desktop computer?
- Are there any specific software and apps to install in a laptop for video editing?
- Should I buy an expensive gaming or a VR ready laptop for video editing?
Laptops for Video Editing – Price
Ways to Choose the Right Video Editing Software to Install in a Laptop
Talking about the specific software, you will need to choose the right ones to install in your computer considering the symbiotic relationship between it and the chosen software.
For example, if you work mostly with videos with high resolution, you will need one or a lot of high-end editing software as well as a powerful laptop along with a lot of storage.
However, if you work on basic videos then you can choose to install a standard and lighter software and buy a mid-range laptop for editing purposes.
Therefore, choosing the right type of software is as important as choosing a laptop for video editing.
It will reduce the workload on your computer and help the hardware components perform just the way you want.
While choosing specific apps and software, start by thinking about your needs.
Then choose a software that will allow doing all types of video editing jobs, basic and advanced, such as cutting, trimming and editing the clips.
Choose to install a video editing software in your laptop that will also allow you to convert file sizes and types, add sound and video effects, and create branded intro or titles for each video clip.
You will also be better off if you consider the level of support you need as well as the resolution you want.
If you are a beginner, do not waste too much money on a laptop or software that is too complex to use and is sophisticated.
Choose the ones that will get the job done easily, because your video editing needs will be simple and your job will be limited to the basics.
You should choose a software program that comes with plenty of intuitive tutorials and native support.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Video Editing
The minimum system requirements for video editing offline include a four core, 2.3 GHz, Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor, a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 750M graphics card or an AMD equivalent, 8 GB of RAM, 500 GB hard drive preferably with 7200 rpm or 256 GB SSD storage, and a 14 inches screen with at least full HD resolution. For online editing you will need a laptop with much higher specs than that.
However, you will need to look into the future where 4K cameras and virtual reality will be a common thing. Therefore, your system should have more power and functionality to meet with the necessities of tomorrow which may seem to be a luxury today.
Here is the list of recommended system requirements for video editing which you should have in your laptop for sure.
Minimum system requirements: 9th generation Intel Core i7 or 4th generation AMD Ryzen 5 processor or higher | 16 GB of RAM | 256 GB PCIe SSD or a higher combo storage | Dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with Max Q design or AMD Radeon equivalent graphics card | 14 inches screen | 1920 x 1080 pixels screen resolution
Recommended system requirements: 10th generation Intel Core i7 or Intel Core i9 or AMD equivalent processor| 32 GB of RAM or higher | 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSD or larger storage | Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti or higher GeForce RTX graphics card | 15.6 inches screen or bigger | 1920 x 1080 pixels or higher screen resolution
5 Best Laptops for Video Editing 2021:
1. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 – Best Overall
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- Screen: 14 inches
- Storage: 4 TB PCIe NVMe SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 4800HS
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 featuring Max Q design
- The storage capacity of this system is huge.
- The screen comes with a thin bezel.
- The keyboard comes with backlights.
- There is no optical drive in the system.
- The keyboard does not have a distinct numeric keypad.
- There is no Thunderbolt 3 port.
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is a laptop for gaming, entertainment, and will even meet the needs for professional jobs such as video editing.
It is powered with an AMD Ryzen 9 processor that has 8 MB cache and 8 cores. It can perform at a base speed of 3.0 GHz and up to 4.30 GHz.
The Nvidia RTX graphics card, on the other hand, comes with a Max Q design and 6 GB GDDR6 memory that produces images at quite a faster rate.
On the right side there is a USB 3.2 Type C Gen 1 port and two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports.
The display of this laptop may look small but it is the high-resolution WQHD panel that makes it look so brilliant. It is Pantone Validated for its resolution and superior color accuracy.
This system with a good battery life comes with a precision, comfortable, backlit keyboard to allow typing accurately in darker corners of the room.
2. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme – Runner Up
Bottom Line: Powered by an Intel Core i9 processor of the 10th generation and an Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card, this system is the runner up in this list of laptops for video editing due to the lower amount of SSD storage in spite of a large amount of memory. The good quality 4K UHD screen adds to its utility.
- Screen: 15.4 inches
- Storage: 1 TB PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
- RAM: 64 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i9 10885H
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with Max Q design
- The storage and RAM are huge.
- The screen comes with a thin bezel and an anti-glare property.
- The backlit keyboard adds to the typing comfort and accuracy.
- There is no separate number keypad in the system.
- The battery life could have been better.
- There is no optical drive in the system.
Right from the processor to the quick start guide, everything included in the system design and the box is useful.
The processor belongs to the Intel Core i9 family and 10th generation. Along with that, it comes with features like a speed range of 2.40 GHz and 5.30 GHz with Turbo Boost, 16 MB cache, 8 cores, and 16 threads.
The Windows 10 Pro operating system, the huge DDR4 SDRAM with 2933 MHz bandwidth, the massive PCIe NVMe SSD storage, the 4 GB GeForce GTX graphics card with Max Q design, all enhance the performance of the system notably for video editing.
The large enough display of this unit comes with 4K UHD or 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution and an anti-glare property making it good and safe to look at it for longer time periods at a stretch.
It delivers images at 600-nits brightness and supports HDR 400 with Dolby Vision technology.
The backlit keyboard allows easy typing in the dark and the touch fingerprint reader allows safer and faster login.
It also comes with FIDO or Fast Identity Online authentication capabilities and d-TPM 2.0 security feature that makes it even safer to use at any setting and in any place.
The Think Shutter on the infrared 720p HD webcam protects your privacy with the cover on it when it is not in use.
The Kensington lock slot and the Windows Hello with facial recognition ability too makes this system one of the most secure ones to use.
The magnet speakers of the Dolby Atmos Audio System provide clear sound output.
The ports and slots in the unit include two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports with one always on, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C ports with Intel Thunderbolt 3 that supports DisplayPort, power delivery, and data transfer, 4-in-1 SD card reader, HDMI 2.0, and a headphone/microphone combo jack. Check out Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Laptop Review.
3. Dell G5 SE 5505 – Value for Money
Bottom Line: This is also a good laptop that will allow better and smoother multitasking, faster video editing, and a better user experience. The wired and wireless connectivity, the pretty fairly long battery life, comfortable keyboard and SD Card reader, apart from the basic specs, all adds value for the money.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512 GB PCIe SSD
- RAM: 32 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: AMD 4th generation Ryzen 5 4600H
- OS: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
- GPU: AMD Radeon RX 5600M
- The keyboard is backlit and therefore allows comfortable typing in darker settings.
- The screen is large and comes with anti-glare properties.
- The capacity of RAM and storage is pretty high.
- The system is quite heavy, weighing more than five-and-a-half pounds.
- The display is not a touch screen.
- There is no optical drive in the system.
You will get almost everything that you want in a good laptop in this system that will provide you with the maximum value for your money.
It comes with a large enough hard drive of 512 GB, and the PCIe SSD is quite fast in booting up the system. It also includes a 32 GB DDR4 SDRAM which allows superior multitasking while video editing.
The display of the device is quite good in quality and performance both. The large enough screen exhibits images at 1920 x 1080 pixels that are softer to the eyes due to its anti-glare property.
The processor of the system belongs to the 4th generation of AMD Ryzen 5 family. It comes with six cores and 8 MB cache and can operate within a speed range of 3.0 GHz and 4.0 GHz.
The AMD Radeon RX 5600M graphics chip of the system is also of quite good quality and is significantly powerful. Adding to its performance is the 64-bit Windows 10 Home operating system.
There is a micro SD card reader, one USB 3.1 Type C port, one USB 3.2 Type A port, two USB 2.0 ports, one mini DP, one HDMI, and one headphone line-in/microphone line-out jack in the system.
The backlit keyboard and the built-in HD webcam are useful additions to this 5.51-pound system design. The 51-watt-hour lithium ion battery comes with 3 cells and a good enough life.
4. MSI Creator 17M – A Good Screen in Quality and Performance
Bottom Line: A lot of help in video editing will be offered by this laptop that comes with a large and good screen. It is high quality and performance, both. It offers a larger viewing area due to the thin bezel and the images look stunning at full HD resolution with 45% NTSC on this IPS panel at a high refresh rate.
- Screen: 17.3 inches
- Storage: 512 GB NVMe SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4
- Processor: 9th generation Intel Core i7 9750H
- OS: Windows 10
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti
- The screen is large and its quality and performance are good.
- The backlit keyboard is good and the trackpad is large and responsive.
- It is extremely light in weight and high in performance.
- The system becomes hot and loud while gaming.
- There is no optical drive.
- The battery life could have been more.
The large screen of this laptop provides a greater viewing space due to the thin bezel on the three sides. It comes with useful features like a full HD resolution, a high refresh rate of 120 Hz, an IPS panel, 45% NTSC, and 16:9 aspect ratio.
The Nvidia GeForce graphics card comes with 6 GB GDDR6 dedicated memory and belongs to the GTX 1660Ti series.
It is powerful enough by itself and gets adequate support from the 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor with Intel PTT and an ability to operate within a speed range of 2.6 GHz and 4.5 GHz.
The NVMe SSD storage is adequate and fast enough to add to the performance of the system for video editing which also comes with a DDR4 memory of 2666 MHz bandwidth, which you can max up to 64 GB using the two sockets.
As for the connectivity options, the system offers USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C port, USB 3. 2 Gen 1 port, Intel 9560 Jefferson Peak 802.11AC, and Bluetooth 5.
You will also get a 720p HD webcam that takes clear pictures, and a keyboard with white backlights and anti-ghost keys with silver lining at the edges. The precision touchpad is quite responsive and large enough to allow easy navigation.
5. Razer Blade 15 Base – Strong and Durable Design
Bottom Line: This laptop also comes with all the necessary specs to support video editing but it is the strong and durable design of it that is worth noting. It is made from a premium and strong aluminum material. The CNC unibody made from this temper 6 aluminum metal provides a more rigid frame.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i7 10750H
- OS: Windows 10
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti
- The fairly large screen has a thin bezel.
- The system comes with Thunderbolt 3 port.
- The keyboard comes with Chroma lighting.
- The speakers are a bit weaker in performance.
- There is no optical drive in the system.
- There is no separate number pad on the keyboard.
If you want amazing power as well as portability in your laptop for video editing, then this is the right device for you.
It is due to the powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card coupled with the 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor with six cores that can operate at a high speed of 5.0 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost technology.
The large enough screen comes with a high refresh rate of 144 Hz and full HD resolution. This ensures an exceptionally fast and immersive visual experience.
Adding to its performance is the expandable dual-channel memory with 2933 MHz bandwidth as well as the PCIe SSD storage. You can even upgrade the storage using the M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 open slot.
The Razer Synapse software integrates the existing lighting seamlessly with the per-key RGB Razer Chroma lighting of the keyboard.
This creates a wonderful feeling when you use the system. The Chroma RGB lighting makes the keyboard look impressive and offers a comfortable and accurate typing experience even in poorly lit settings.
Being crafted from high quality temper 6 aluminum metal, the system is much more durable than others due to its CNC unibody and a more rigid frame.
This unit coms with adequate ports and slots that make it ready to connect.
You will find a Thunderbolt 3, an HDMI, a USB type A and USB Type C ports along with wi-fi 6 and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity options. Check out Razer Blade 15 Base Laptop Review.
Things to Look for Before Buying Best Laptops for Video Editing
As a good rule of thumb, you should always buy a laptop that is slightly above your day to day video editing requirements.
This system need not be expensive. However, it should not be inadequate.
More often than not, it is prudent to skip a high-end and expensive computer and invest in one that supports lightweight software and cloud storage instead.
At this point, you should also remember that video editing jobs are simply not restricted to basic YouTube videos. It is much more than that.
It is for this reason you should look for these specs in a laptop for video editing to make a well informed and educated purchase decision.
The processor of the laptop will determine how fast and how efficiently you can edit video clips on it. Therefore, your selection process should start with it.
A good laptop for video editing should have an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor belonging to the 10th generation and consist of at least six or eight cores.
However, if money is an issue for you, a quad core processor belonging to a lower generation, but preferably not lower than 7th, would be fine for most of your jobs.
Needless to say, complex video editing and encoding jobs will need a higher number of cores and threads to produce the desired results quickly, for years to come.
There are primarily two brands of processors that are available in the market namely, Intel and AMD.
If you choose an Intel processor, go with an H-series, and as for an AMD processor, go with the latest fourth generation AMD Ryzen series.
Laptops for professional video editing tasks should ideally have a minimum of 16 GB of memory in it.
This will make the computer more responsive and allow smoother multitasking when you use multiple and large video files, apps or browser tabs.
You will be better off if you prefer to choose a system with 32 GB of RAM, if you need it.
However, it is always best to choose a device that allows upgrading the memory easily.
Most of the laptops today are equipped with a mid range graphics card belonging to the Nvidia GeForce GTX or RTX series.
The high-end cards will enable you to do all types of video editing, simple or complex, but will add significantly to the cost and will also generate a lot of heat.
The Intel integrated graphics cards, that you usually find in any Ultrabook, is good and powerful enough and should only be opted for when you are seriously on a budget.
The AMD RX series graphics cards are equally good and powerful as well. Just make sure that whichever graphics card you choose, it comes with at least 4 GB of dedicated GDDR6 VRAM to get a smooth and desirable performance.
Any laptop that is powered with a fast PCI Express SSD or solid-state drive of 500 GB is good enough for video editing jobs.
It will work quietly and not heat up easily because it will not have any spinning disk in it like the old hard disk drives or HDDs.
Therefore, it will also fail less frequently needing less repairs. This makes an SSD more useful, beneficial, and will prove to be a worthy investment in the long run, in spite of it being more expensive than the traditional HDDs.
If you are on a budget, then there are a few alternative options available. You can choose a device with a low SSD but supports cloud storage.
You can even buy a low SSD laptop with an option to use an external hard drive for backup storage, provided it has the necessary port for it.
If you are not on a budget, you can choose a combo storage of a low SSD of 256 GB and high HDD of 1 TB or more.
This will provide you with a large storage space as well as an SSD-like performance. You can store the operating system and other software programs and apps in the SSD and all of your project files in the HDD.
Once again, a laptop that offers space for more than one drive is preferable as that will allow easy upgradability down the road, as and when required.
You should focus primarily on laptops that have 15-inch displays. This will offer a larger viewing area to see the images more clearly with all its inherent details to help in video editing.
A 13-inch screen will be too small and a 17-inch screen will add on to the cost and weight of the machine.
If it is a touchscreen, a 15-inch screen will offer you with a significantly larger usable space than a typical 13-inch screen to work on it directly. Just make sure it is highly responsive to touch.
Also, focus on other aspects of the display. For example, the resolution of the display should be at least full HD or 1920 x 1080 pixels.
However, a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels, more commonly known as 4K resolution, is preferred. This will deliver much clearer and sharper images so that you do not miss out on any detail.
It should also come with a narrow bezel all around to keep the weight between manageable limits and offer more screen real estate.
The display should be of In Plane Switching or IPS technology to offer a wider viewing angle to the extent of 178 degrees.
A screen with anti-glare property, a matte finish, greater contrast and aspect ratio, and a brightness of 400 nits at least, is good to view the images clearly, even outdoors, without causing any strain to the eyes and damaging the optical nerves when you view it for long hours.
As for the screen type, it is better to go for a laptop with an LED-backlit display. This will consume less energy and save battery life. If your budget permits, you can also go for an OLED or AMOLED display.
Finally, look at the color accuracy of the display. It should typically cover at least 99%, if not 100%, of the sRGB color gamut. Additionally, a support for the DCI-P3 color gamut will also be a nice thing to have in the display.
Keyboard and trackpad
If you need to do a fair amount of typing, then a solid keyboard with strong keys and decent key travel is necessary.
The spacing of the buttons and the tactile feedback should be adequate to provide a smoother and better typing experience.
A backlit keyboard with a better mechanism and a separate numeric keypad will also be a plus in this case.
Just like the keyboard, you will also need a responsive and accurate trackpad, preferably with Corning Gorilla Glass and Windows Precision technology.
It is required for a smoother navigation and comfort in use for long periods at a stretch for video editing.
Size and weight
You should, normally, not look at any laptop that weighs more than 5 pounds, though less is preferred. A laptop that weighs within 3 to 5 pounds is easy to carry anywhere along with you.
It should be smaller in size as well so that it slips inside and fits well in a standard laptop bag. This will not strain your back or shoulders while carrying it around all day with you.
However, the size and weight of the laptop on the whole will depend on the display size, the storage, as well as other hardware components and design.
Therefore, focusing precisely on the aspects of the laptop for video editing mentioned above will take care of this aspect.
Ideally, one or two USB Type A ports are good enough to connect almost all types of accessories.
However, to be better off and on the safer side, you may choose a laptop for video editing that is equipped with at least one Thunderbolt 3/USB Type C, HDMI or DisplayPort to connect an external monitor.
In addition to that, a couple of USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 ports, SD or micro SD card reader slot, and RJ 45 Ethernet LAN port may also come handy in a laptop for video editing.
A laptop with a fair enough battery life is good to have for the video editors. This will allow you to stay productive all day, even on the go or outdoors, away from a charging outlet.
You should go for a pro laptop rather than a gaming laptop with similar specs because that will last for a couple of hours more even if you put it under heavy use.
Ideally, the battery life of your laptop should last for at least six to seven hours to complete your day’s work on a single charge.
This is an underrated, and often ignored, aspect, even by the seasoned techies. However, the thermal performance of the laptop is very important and should be good enough to protect the internal components of it.
A good laptop with a good thermal performance will reduce chances of heat buildup and thermal throttling of the hardware components. This will affect the performance of the device significantly.
Choose a system that is equipped with at least dual exhaust fans, adequate vents for fresh air intake and hot air exhaust, and multiple heat sinks, to ensure optimal thermal management of the laptop for video editing.
What accessories do I need along with a laptop for video editing?
It all depends on your experience, comfort, ability, and personal preferences. If you are comfortable with the features of your laptop then you will hardly need any additional accessories. However, to enhance your productivity and the quality of the end product you may choose an external display and a good set of speakers.
Which is a better laptop for video editing – Mac or Windows?
Once again, it depends on your preference and budget, of course. If you can afford to buy an Apple laptop that runs on Mac OS, it will undoubtedly be the best. This is because these systems are heavily optimized for such professional jobs and content creation. Windows laptops are good enough for people on a limited budget.
Should I get a laptop for video editing even if I have a desktop computer?
Yes, you should, especially if you have to work on the go and mostly out of your office. This is not only because a laptop is a more portable machine and does not need to be plugged into an AC power outlet, but the hardware components are also different that affects the performance and efficacy positively.
Are there any specific software and apps to install in a laptop for video editing?
This entirely depends on the use case. If you are into hardcore professional video editing, you will need high-end software such as Adobe Premier Pro or Sony Vegas. On the other hand, if you are new in this field, then video editing software and apps such as Filmora will meet your needs and will be easy to use.
Should I buy an expensive gaming or a VR ready laptop for video editing?
It will majorly depend on the type of video content you want to edit and the ways in which you plan to edit them. If you work on feature-length videos with 8K resolution, you will need a high-end computer. An expensive gaming computer will be a worthy asset as all these systems come with high-ends specs.