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The 4 Best Laptops For Video Editing - Spring 2024 Reviews

Updated Jun 04, 2024 at 01:31 pm
Best Video Editing Laptops

Whether you're a professional video editor working for a company or an amateur editing videos for social media, having a laptop with good performance is crucial, as video editing is a demanding task that requires a fair amount of processing power. A powerful laptop will provide a smoother experience when manipulating footage, play high-resolution videos smoothly with fewer frame drops, and render videos in less time. You'll also want to look for a laptop with a sharp, accurate display, preferably one that can reproduce all the colors in the color space in which you work. For the best user experience, you'll also want to consider the quality of the keyboard and touchpad, the port selection, SSD speed, and even the fan noise.

To help you with buying decisions, we've compiled a list of laptops suitable for video editing. This list includes mobile workstations and gaming laptops (yes, gaming laptops are just as good for video editing). However, it won't contain any Chromebooks because most video editing applications don't work on Chrome OS, and Chromebooks usually lack a dedicated GPU.

We've bought and tested over 115 laptops. Below are our recommendations for the best video editing laptops you can buy. You can also see our recommendations for the best laptops, the best business laptops, and the best laptops for graphic design.

  1. Best Laptop For Editing Videos

    The best laptop for editing videos we've tested is the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3, 2023). This top-tier model delivers an outstanding user experience and has ample processing power to handle even the most demanding workloads. It's an exceptionally well-built device with a full-aluminum chassis. Its Mini LED display's high brightness lets you see your work clearly, even in well-lit settings, and it has full coverage of the DCI P3 color space. Plus, the superb factory calibration means you can get straight to work without needing further tweaks. You get a spacious keyboard, an easy-to-use haptic touchpad, and a wide port selection for peripherals and external displays.

    Regarding the configuration, we recommend a model with an M3 Pro or Max SoC (the M3 Pro model starts at $1,999 USD). The base M3 chip can get the job done, but it'll quickly hit its limits in highly demanding workloads. Like all MacBooks, the biggest downside is that the RAM and storage aren't user-replaceable, and the upgrades aren't exactly cheap, so the laptop's total price can quickly get to an eye-watering level. If you want more screen space and don't mind a bulkier, heavier device, get the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (M3, 2023). It has better-sounding speakers but costs more.

    For Windows users, we recommend the Dell XPS 16 (2024), a premium 16-inch mobile workstation. It's available with Intel Core Ultra 7 or 9 CPUs, up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 GPU, and user-replaceable RAM and storage. There's an excellent 4K+ OLED display option with full DCI P3 coverage that's sharper but dimmer than the MacBook Pro's display. The port selection is more limited, though, as it only has three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports and a microSD card reader. The keyboard and touchpad provide an inconsistent user experience; unfortunately, the edge-to-edge keycap design results in accidental touches, and the edges of the touchpad are invisible as the front deck is made from a single piece of glass.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Laptop For Video Editing

    Our best mid-range pick is the HP OMEN Transcend 14 (2024), a 14-inch laptop for gaming and workstation applications. This model is available with an Intel Core Ultra 7 or Core Ultra 9 CPU and up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 discrete GPU, all capable hardware for video editing and rendering tasks. The OMEN comes with an excellent 2.8K OLED display that offers complete sRGB and DCI P3 coverage, making it a fantastic choice for producing SDR and HDR content. While the display is fine for most indoor settings, its glossy finish makes it difficult to see if there's light shining directly on it, and it isn't nearly as bright as the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3, 2023)'s 1600 cd/m² brightness in HDR.

    While the build quality is inferior to the MacBook Pro, this laptop still feels well-built. Its mixture of plastic and metal just doesn't feel as premium. The keyboard has good travel and tactility, and the touchpad is a good size and responsive. You get plenty of ports to connect peripherals and external displays, including two USB-As, two USB-Cs (one with Thunderbolt 4 support), and a full HDMI 2.1 port. Battery life falls far short of the MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 16 (2024) recommended above, at just over six hours for light productivity tasks, and the laptop gets hotter as well (although not to the point of being uncomfortable to use).

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Laptop For Video Editing

    The best budget laptop for video editing we've tested is the ASUS TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition (2023). When configured with a Ryzen 7 7735HS or Ryzen 9 7940HS CPU and paired with an AMD Radeon RX 6700S or Radeon RX 7700S, it has plenty of processing power for intensive video editing tasks. RAM and storage max out at 32GB and 1TB, respectively—you can upgrade or add more later, as both are user-replaceable. As for the display, you can choose between an FHD+ or a QHD+ panel. We recommend the latter, as its increased sharpness will allow you to see finer details more clearly. It also has a higher peak brightness to combat glare and full DCI P3 coverage, whereas the FHD+ display only has 100% sRGB.

    This laptop feels very well built for the price. It isn't overly bulky for a 16-inch device, but it's a 16-inch device nonetheless, so you'll need a fairly big bag to carry it. Port selection is great; you get two USB-As, two USB-Cs, an Ethernet, and a true HDMI 2.1 port. Unfortunately, there's no Thunderbolt 4 or USB4 support. Also, this laptop gets hot and loud under load, and there are no biometrics, like a fingerprint sensor or facial recognition camera.

    See our review

  4. Best Ultraportable For Video Editing

    The Apple MacBook Air 15 (2024) is a great option if you prefer an ultraportable for the occasional video editing. It offers a premium user experience with an all-aluminum chassis, fantastic up-firing speakers, and a great haptic touchpad. It has a sharp, bright IPS display with full DCI P3 coverage (although not as bright as the Mini LED on the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3, 2023)), and like all Apple products, its factory calibration is superb. Its base M3 SoC performs well and has media encoders and decoders that further boost performance when editing videos. Plus, it doesn't even have cooling fans, so you'll never have to worry about noise.

    Port selection is its main weak point; it only has two USB-C ports, and while there's support for two external displays, this is only possible by closing the laptop. You can get up to 24GB of memory and 2TB of storage, which is fine for the occasional intensive workload but might not be enough for the power users out there. Also, these components aren't user-replaceable, and the price quickly adds up for additional RAM and storage. If you want to save money, you can probably find a good deal on the older, albeit discontinued, M2 Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) through a marketplace, third-party seller, or Apple's refurbished section. The M3 version only offers marginally better performance, faster Wi-Fi 6e connectivity, and support for two external monitors.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Dell Alienware m18 R2 (2024): If you don't plan on using an external monitor and want the biggest display possible, the Dell Alienware m18 R2 (2024) is a good alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3, 2023). It's available with various discrete GPUs and up to an RTX 4090, and unlike the MacBook Pro, its RAM and storage drive are user-replaceable. However, its top-end QHD+ display isn't as sharp or bright as the MacBook Pro's Mini LED screen, and its battery life is terrible. It also gets much hotter and louder under load. See our review
  • Dell Alienware m16 R2 (2024): If you want a more powerful laptop, the Dell Alienware m16 R2 (2024) is a good alternative to the HP OMEN Transcend 14 (2024). While these laptops are available with the same hardware, the Alienware model's GPU runs at a higher wattage, providing additional performance. However, the display only has full sRGB coverage, so it's only suitable for people working with SDR content. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jun 04, 2024: We've made some major changes due to product availability, replacing the Dell XPS 15 (2023) with the Dell XPS 16 (2024), the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) with the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2024), and the Dell Alienware m16 R1 (2023) with the HP OMEN Transcend 14 (2024). The Dell Alienware m16 R2 (2024) was added to the Notable Mentions. Minor text edits were made for clarity.

  2. May 06, 2024: Removed the Dell Alienware m18 (2023) from the Notable Mentions and replaced it with the Dell Alienware m18 R2 (2024) because the newer version supports Thunderbolt 4. Added the HP OMEN Transcend 14 (2024) as a Notable Mention.

  3. Apr 08, 2024: Replaced the Lenovo Slim Pro 7 14 (2023) with the ASUS TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition (2023) because the Lenovo is discontinued and hard to find.

  4. Mar 07, 2024: Minor text changes to provide information regarding the new M3 Apple MacBook Airs and to add the ASUS TUF Gaming A16 Advantage Edition (2023) as an alternative to the Lenovo Slim Pro 7 14 (2023).

  5. Feb 07, 2024: Replaced the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M2, 2023) with the M3 model since the M2 is discontinued. Replaced the ASUS TUF Dash F15 (2022) with the Lenovo Slim Pro 7 14 (2023) because the ASUS is getting hard to find, and the only configurations available have a poor-quality display with a narrow color gamut.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best video editing laptops to buy. We factor in the price (a cheaper laptop wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no laptops that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you prefer to make your own decision, here's the list of all of our laptop reviews, sorted by price from low to high. Keep in mind that most laptops are available in various configurations, and the table only shows the results of the model we tested, so it's best to see the full review for information about other variants.