Video editing is one of the most strenuous tasks you can put your PC through, so when you’re shopping for the best laptop for video editing, you’ll want to make sure you’re loading up with some heavy hardware firepower. You don’t necessarily need the absolute highest-end gear, and the processor and graphics inside the notebook are just part of the equation. Simply buying a gaming laptop and calling it a day might be enough if you’re just casually streaming or creating videos, but serious video editors will also want to take into account the quality of the display and port selection, among other factors.
A lot of notebooks have come through our test labs in our quest to find the best laptops. This has give us a comprehensive view of the laptop landscape and helps us identify laptops that fit the unique needs of video editing. Take a look at our recommendations below followed by buying advice and information on how we test our laptops for video editing purposes. You may also want to check out our roundup of the best laptop deals to scout for discounts on content creation notebooks. We update it daily with the most recent sales.
1. Dell XPS 17 9710 – Best laptop for video editing
Huge 17-inch screen in a relatively compact laptop
Intel’s newest 11th gen CPU and Nvidia RTX graphics
No USB-A port and no Gigabit Ethernet
Hybrid charging likely sacrifices a little performance
We called the Dell XPS 17 “the ultimate content creation laptop,” so it’s no surprise to see this atop our list of the best laptops for video editing. The 8-core Intel 11th-gen Core i7-11800H processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 inside deliver plenty of punch for intense edits, while a 1TB Samsung PCIe 4.0 SSD delivers top-notch storage performance for moving big projects around.
The XPS 17 also includes crucial extras coveted by video editors, such as an SD card reader, Thunderbolt 4 ports a-plenty, and a luscious 17-inch panel with 10-bit color depth, 3840×2400 resolution, and a more productive 16:10 aspect ratio. Dell even managed to cram all these niceties into a relatively portable-for-this-class 5-pound design that can run for 10 hours before needing a charge. Well, when you’re not editing videos at least.
Now for something completely different. The Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED UX582 packs abundant firepower, including a high-end overclockable Core i9 chip, GeForce RTX 3070 graphics, 32GB of DDR4 memory, and a fast 1TB NVMe SSD. It also has a 15.6-inch 4K OLED panel that shines at a bright 440 nits while covering 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut—a serious screen for serious content creators. But the truly interesting part is the secondary 14-inch 3840×1100 OLED screen situated above the keyboard. Windows counts it as a second monitor and you can use bundled Asus software to put it to all kinds of helpful tasks, such as using it as a trackpad or summoning a panel of touch controls for some Adobe apps.
The Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED is basically a portable high-end PC workstation, though the lack of an SD card reader may prove irksome. You can always buy an external SD reader and slap it into one of the laptops dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, though. You should also strongly consider a cheaper version than our review model on sale for $2,400 at Amazon. It switches out the high-end overclockable Core i9 chip for a Core i7 chip, and drops the memory down to 16GB. It should still be plenty speedy for video editing but costs significantly less.
3. Razer Blade 14 (2021) – Best ultra-portable laptop for video editing
It performs capably in AAA games
The QHD panel looks great
It’s exceptionally quiet
AC adapter is heavy at 1.7 pounds
Razer products are pricey
No Thunderbolt 4 support
If pure portability is essential, consider the Razer Blade 14. This ultra-thin laptop measures just 0.66-inch thick and tips the scales at a mere 3.9 pounds, making it significantly smaller than most laptops with video editing chops. But Razer didn’t skimp on the firepower, loading the Blade 14 with AMD’s 8-core Ryzen 9 5900HX flagship CPU, Nvidia’s 8GB GeForce RTX 3080, a 1TB NVMe SSD, and 16GB of memory.
You’ll give up some perks in exchange for the Blade’s portability though: The 14-inch IPS-grade screen comes factory calibrated, but tops out at 2560×1440 resolution. 4K video editing is off the table, though the laptop supports the full DCI-P3 color gamut. Razer’s notebook also lacks an SD card slot. But if you need a fierce rig that can chew through edits and renders then slip easily into your bag, the Blade 14 is worth considering.
4. MSI GE76 Raider – Best gaming laptop for video editing
12th-gen Core i9-12900HK simply sings
New “AI” performance mode greatly moderates fan noise.
1080p webcam and good mic and audio makes for decent video conferencing PC
Third iteration in the same body
MSI Center is confusing and cluttered UI
If you’re looking for the most raw firepower possible, on the other hand, nothing burns through video edits faster than a big, heavy gaming laptop. The MSI GE76 Raider chewed through the Adobe Premiere test in UL’s Procyon benchmark faster than any other notebook thanks to its burly 14-core Intel Core i9-12900HK chip, an Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti tuned for a blistering 175 watts, and ample interior cooling. It even has an SD Express card reader hooked into the PCIe bus for high-speed card transfers. One downside to using last year’s model was its gamer-focused 360Hz 1080p display, but the higher-end version of this year’s 12UHS added a 4K, 120Hz panel that, while not tuned for content creation, should satisfy video editors much more, especially with its spacious 17.3-inch screen size. You sure pay for all that firepower, though.
5. HP Envy 14 14t-eb000 (2021) – Best budget laptop for video editing
Good value for the money
Fantastic battery life
Quiet fan, with no detectable performance throttling
Thunderbolt 4 support
Slightly quirky keyboard layout
Webcam’s signature feature is ineffective
You’ll need to spend up for heftier hardware if you want the fastest possible video edits and renders, but not everyone can afford to. If you want a solid, basic content creation laptop that won’t break the bank, check out the HP Envy 14. The entry-level GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU and Core i5-1135G7 processor aren’t barnburners, but they’ll get the job done, and at roughly $1,000 the price is certainly right. The 14-inch 1900×1200 display features a 16:10 aspect ratio for improved productivity, along with factory color calibration and 100-percent sRGB support (though not DCI-P3). Better yet, the HP Envy 14 includes crucial SD card and Thunderbolt ports, and it runs surprisingly quiet too.
6. Asus ROG Zephyrus S17 – Another gaming laptop that’s great for content creation
Excellent CPU and GPU performance
Robust and innovative design
Comfortable and customizable keyboard
Trackpad requires some pressure
Very high price
The Asus ROG Zephyrus S17 is a video editor’s ultimate dream. This laptop features lightning-fast GPU and CPU performance plus a stunning 17.3-inch 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The rugged all-metal chassis, six speaker sound system, and customizable keyboard really adds to the premium experience as well. Better yet for video editors, it also includes an SD card slot and Thunderbolt ports galore. However, you’re going to pay out the nose for it. If you’ve got a flexible budget and you won’t settle for anything other than the best of the best, the Zephyrus S17 is truly the bees knees.
7. XPG Xenia 15 KC – Powerful portability, with minor caveats
(relatively) very fast
Just barely adequate audio
SD card reader barely adequate
When it comes to powerful laptops, many, if not most, of them are pretty bulky and heavy, often tipping the scales at five or six pounds. Well, that’s not the case with the XPG Xenia 15 KC. It weighs a little over four pounds, which is fairly lightweight for a laptop that’s capable of delivering zippy performance across the board. Plus, it runs very quiet. According to our review, it “rarely makes noise under normal use.” That’s impressive, as most gaming laptops tend to sound like a rocket blasting off. If you’re looking for something that’s both quiet and portable, the Xenia 15 KC is an excellent choice, though its 1440p display and relatively slow SD card reader performance may make some content creators balk.
The most important thing to look for in a laptop for video editing is its CPU and GPU. The faster your hardware, the faster your edits, essentially. In addition to subjecting all of the laptops above to our usual battery of benchmarks, we also ran the UL Procyon Video Editing Test on several high-powered laptops to see which hardware performs best for this sort of work. The benchmark tasks Adobe Premiere with importing two different video projects, applying visual effects such as color grading and transitions, and then exporting it using H.264, H.265 at both 1080p and 4K.
Gordon Mah Ung / IDG
The best performance came from big, heavy laptops running Intel’s 11th-generation processors, though notebooks with AMD’s beefy Ryzen 9 processors came in just behind, with 10th-gen Intel chips still putting up a respectable score. They’re not in the chart above, but newer Intel 12th-gen laptops run even faster still. The best-performing laptops all paired modern Intel CPUs with Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs, which isn’t surprising as both companies have invested a lot of time and resources into optimizing their Adobe performance.
The GPU matters more than CPU in Premiere Pro, though things reach a point of diminishing returns very quickly. Notebooks wielding top-tier RTX 3080 graphics are indeed faster at video editing than laptops with more modest RTX 3060 graphics, but not by that much. If you look at the scores from the Dell XPS 17 9710, its GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU is maybe 14 percent slower than the fastest RTX 3080 in the MSI GE76 Raider. That’s not a lot, especially when you consider how big and thick the GE76 Raider is compared to the Dell laptop.
In general, having any sort of discrete graphics is preferred, with at least an RTX 3060 recommended for serious video editing.
Video editing is very workflow dependent however. Your particular task and tool might be more CPU intensive, or lean more on the GPU than Premiere. If so, adjust your priorities accordingly. The selections above should all be great well-rounded options, however. Intel and Nvidia have spent years building up tools like Quick Sync and CUDA, respectively, and many video editing apps can see significant speed boosts because of it. AMD hardware does fine for video editing, but we recommend sticking to Intel and Nvidia unless you have a strong reason otherwise, especially if your workflow relies on their vendor-specific software optimizations.
Gordon Mah Ung/IDG
It’s not all about the internals though. PCWorld video director Adam Patrick Murray stresses that an ideal laptop for video editing includes an SD card reader for grabbing video off a camera. He also recommends opting for a notebook with a 4K, 60Hz panel over the ultra-fast 1080p panels often found on gaming laptops that would otherwise be ideal for video editing. You need a 4K panel to edit 4K videos well, and blazing-fast refresh rates don’t mean anything for video editing like they do for gaming. If color accuracy matters to you—it might not if you’re only creating casual videos for your personal YouTube channel, for example—then support for the full DCI-P3 color gamut is also a must, along with Delta E < 2 color accuracy.
You won’t often find those sorts of specs listed for (or supported by) gaming laptops, but dedicated content creation laptops should include that information. That said, if you want the fastest possible laptop for video editing that can also satisfy your gaming proclivities, you can always pair that burly gaming laptop with a color-accurate external monitor for creation tasks.
If you’re looking for a more general purpose notebook, be sure to check out our guide to the best laptops for picks for every budget. You may also find solid laptops for video editing for cheap in our roundup of the best laptop deals, which we update daily with the latest sales.
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