Top 10 Best Laptops for Video Editing 2019

Making videos that truly stand out

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 multimedia editing machine. 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.

best laptop for video editing

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 10 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.

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 tradeoff if you are on a tight budget.

This is because video editing remains highly multithreaded, 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.

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.

CPU

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 i9-9980HK or an Intel i9-9880H CPU (at 2.3GHz). The level of performance you can expect is desktop-grade (read super smooth and up to the mark for professional endeavors). 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 i9-9980HK model).

Intel Core i9-9880H Benchmark
Intel Core i9-9880H Benchmark
Image-Source: cpubenchmark.net

A slightly more budget-friendly option is the Intel i7-9750H. 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.

Intel Core i7-9750H Benchmark
Intel Core i7-9750H Benchmark
Image-Source: cpubenchmark.net

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 3750H 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.

Note: Getting an AMD processor might seem like a bit of a gamble, considering it is relatively new in this space and still has miles to go to match up to the deeply entrenched expectations from an Intel component. However, AMD CPUs offer an edge in terms of future compatibility and let you experience high performance with a significantly smaller monetary investment.

GPU

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 GTX 1660 Ti. 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 RTX2060 or RTX2070 (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 2070 GPU gets a score of 885.5—only a tad lower than the highest score of 920.5 obtained by Titan RTX—as per a study conducted by Puget Systems, a custom computer business.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 GPU Benchmark
Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019 GPU Benchmark
Image-Source: pugetsystems.com
Note: Remember that if it comes to choosing between a better CPU and a high-end GPU, you would be better off prioritizing the former. Also, for editing requirements that are essentially home-based, a fancy and pricey GPU might be overkill.

RAM

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.

Note: If you are not a professional editor and seek a laptop primarily for personal purposes, you might be able to get along with no complaint on 16GB of RAM. This configuration is sound for editing up to 4K projects (1080p), but you might be able to use background programs to a lesser extent than you can with 32GB of RAM.​

Storage

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.

HDD vs SATA vs NVMe

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.

Display

This realm comprises three main buckets you need to evaluate.

Screen Size

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.

Tip: It is a good idea to double check the robustness of the display to guarantee that it can withstand transit. For instance, many laptops now come with Corning Gorilla Glass protection for the screen.

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.

IPS Panel vs. TN Panel
Image-Source: gamersnexus.net

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.

Note: Some IPS panels might possess a glitch called the “IPS glow”— a sort of glow on the panel that is especially visible in lowly lit surroundings. However, you are unlikely to encounter this as long as you get a good quality monitor (and yes, one that is priced in the mid to high range, as opposed to the budget end of the spectrum).

Resolution

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.

Battery Life

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.

Audio

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.

Tip: Do not rely only on the laptop’s external sound; many editors find it misrepresentative of minute details and lackluster when it comes to detailed, multilayered video projects.

Connectivity

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.

Traits of a Brilliant Video Editing Laptop

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 MX130 or MX150, 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).

best laptop for video editing [infographics]

Our Pick: Best Laptop for Video Editing 2019

Okay, that is enough of a preamble for video editing machines; 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 video editing laptops 2019 that encompass all the essential features while catering to different budgets and priorities.

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1. MSI GS65 Stealth-483 Laptop for Video Editing with 240Hz Display​

msi gs65 stealth-483Highlight: A brilliant refresh rate of 240Hz, large touchpad with multi-gesture support

While a 144Hz-display has long been considered optimal, the 15.6″ MSI GS65 Stealth-483 betters it with a monitor that renders your videos with ultra-fine detail even during the sharpest movements. The glass touchpad is also incredibly useful for editors since it supports over ten gestures and is 35% larger to keep your fingers feeling snug.

At just under $2000, this is one of the dearer machines on this list. However, it earns its steep price tag on several frontiers. Inside the CPU compartment is a ninth-gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor (up to i9), complemented by up to 64GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.

The latest-gen CPU promises performance gains up to 10% over the previous generation, while the efficient cooling system (Cooler Boost Trinity) improves sustainability.

Interestingly, this laptop manages to provide a terrific battery backup of over eight hours. Not just that, but it also comes with a slim power adapter that is easy to carry.

Evidently, MSI has endeavored to keep this machine portable. The lightweight build of 4.19lbs, a slim profile that measures 0.7”, and an assortment of USB ports (including a Thunderbolt 3 port) are a testimony to this commitment.

The fantastic refresh rate isn’t the only thing going for the display. An NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 card (up to RTX 2080) lets you enjoy phenomenal advantages such as real-time ray tracing and graphics enhanced by artificial intelligence.

If you are a professional editor, these features will come in handy for any content involving shadows, special effects, etc. Plus, since the FHD monitor (1920 x 1080) employs a thin-bezel design (4.9mm or 0.19”), the screen-to-body ratio is as high as 82%.

Other perks: an anti-glare feature to protect your eyes from strain, a wide-angle view, and Dynaudio sound system. A special mention for all that gold: this computer boasts of the quintessential golden dragon logo, gold-trimmed hinges, and even a golden exhaust. Amazingly eye-catching!
 MSI GS65 Stealth-483 Specs
Display15.6-inch FHD 240Hz 8ms 1920x1080
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce RTX2060 6G GDDR6
ProcessorIntel Core i7-9750H (up to 4.5GHz)
Memory16GB DDR4 2666MHz
Storage512GB NVMe SSD
Weight4.2 lbs
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro (64-Bit)
PriceCheck on Amazon

2. Apple MacBook Pro (Latest Model)​

apple macbook pro may 2019Highlight: Retina display (with True Tone) for brilliant imagery, convenient Touch Bar and Touch ID for quicker editing

Apple has ruled the roost since times immemorial when it comes to laptops with a creative edge.

The 13” or 15” Apple MacBook Pro is an excellent choice for video editing whether you are a professional or a student (and can afford that almost obnoxious price tag of under $2,700).

It easily wins hearts with its vivid retina display, powered by Radeon Pro 560X graphics, the innovative True Tone technology, and 500 nits brightness. (Note that the 13” model uses integrated graphics.)

The Touch Bar (and ID) is a powerful addition to the mix, lending a whole new degree of convenience and speed to your editing projects. It replaces the conventional function keys and updates automatically with relevant tools based on how you interact with your laptop.

This is paired well with the redesigned keyboard that features a spacious trackpad and uses a butterfly mechanism for key presses. Editing just got quicker but quieter!

The new MacBook Pro is fueled by a ninth-gen Intel Core I9 processor, up to 32GB RAM, and up to a 4TB SSD (2TGB for the 13” model). The battery can last for ten hours on a single charge—again, a triumph that has us trumped.

Perhaps, the most charming feature of this laptop is how mobile it manages to be despite all that power. While the 13” model weighs 3lbs and measures 0.58”, the 15” model is only a tad heavier at 4lbs.

It continues to have a lean profile too (0.61”). A Thunderbolt-3 port lets you plug in any devices you need when editing content on the go, without sorely missing your stationary workstation. So, if you have your eyes set on a portable video editor that can travel well, you know where to look.

 Apple MacBook Pro 9th Gen. Specs
Processor9th Gen. Intel Core i9 Quad-Core
Graphics4GB Radeon Pro 560x
Memory16GB DDR4
StorageUp to 512GB SSD
Display15.4" (2880 x 1800) 220ppi 500nits
Weight4.02 lbs
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
PriceCheck on Amazon

3. Dell XPS 15 7590 Video Editing Laptop with OLED Display

dell xps 15 7590 video editing laptopPowered by a ninth-gen Intel Core processor, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, the 15.6” Dell XPS 15 7590 is a great choice for a video editing laptop. It offers a stunning OLED display (3840 x 2160) that is excellent if you need professional-grade imagery for your multimedia projects.

The screen has narrow borders for minimal external interference as well as an IPS panel for viewing comfort across different angles. Colors render accurately on the display, thanks to the 100% sRGB color gamut.

It helps that the brightness is as high as 500 nits, as you experience greater clarity during editing. The acoustics match up too, with stereo speakers and dual-array microphones complementing the Waves MaxxAudio sound.

Perhaps the most promising aspect of this laptop is how portable and lightweight it is. At 4lbs and a thickness of 0.45–0.66”, this computer can be a good option for mobile professionals.

The build is also designed for travel, with a chassis made of CNC-machined aluminum, a fingerprint reader for security and accessibility while on the run, and a backlit keyboard with a comfortable key-travel distance of 1.3mm.

You can safely opt for this laptop whether you are starting out with video editing or are a seasoned professional. The price tag is just a tad over $1000 and hence very compelling.

 Dell XPS 15 7590 Specs
ProcessorIntel Core i5-9300H (up to 4.1 GHz)
Intel Core i7-9750H (up to 4.5 GHz)
Intel Core i9-9980HK (up to 5.0 GHz)
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 630
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
MemoryUp to 64GB DDR4 2666MHz
StorageUp to 2TB PCIe SSD
Display15.6-inch OLED 4K (3840 x 2160)
15.6-inch UltraSharp 4K (3840x2160)
15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
WeightStarting at 4 lbs
Battery LifeUp to 20 hours
PriceCheck on Amazon

4. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (2nd Gen) with 4K OLED Touchscreen Display ​

lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme (2nd gen)Highlight: 4K OLED touchscreen for high-res video editing, Glance eye-tracking

ThinkPads have always had an edge in the realm of productivity and function. This translates into superior video editing prowess for the new 15.6” Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (2nd Gen).

The option of a 4K OLED display with touch makes this a wonderful choice for editing multimedia that has been shot in 4K or demands extra finesse.

With this device, you can get up to a ninth-gen Intel Core i9-9880H processor with up to 64GB RAM and two SSDs of 2TB each. The battery can last for almost fourteen hours on a single charge (phenomenal!).

This is a configuration that helps you complete your video editing projects with gusto and speed, guaranteeing that the system doesn’t turn into a snail when faced with intensive tasks.

While the 4K OLED takes the cake on the display front, we also love how Lenovo has infused even lesser models with satisfying specs: an IPS panel, 500 nits brightness, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU.

Plus, this ThinkPad supports multiple monitors, which means you can enjoy the flexibility of multi-screen display while you are at work as well as project content to peers and colleagues.

If you get the optional IR camera, you can also exploit the many merits of the Glance technology. Imagine being able to shift multimedia content across screens only with your eyes!

As the name suggests, this is indeed an “extreme” device even when it comes to build and construction. The top cover uses carbon fiber, while the keyboard is both backlit (white) and spill-resistant.

Multiple USB ports and a card reader (SD) keep you well provided for even outside of your regular working spot. But most notably, this computer weighs only 3.76lbs and is 0.7” thick. This adds significantly to the overall portability.

 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (2nd Gen) Specs
ProcessorUp to 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9880H Octa-Core
Graphics4GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
MemoryUp to 64GB DDR4
StorageUp to 4TB SSD
DisplayUp to 15.6" (3840 x 2160) 4K OLED
WeightStarts at 3.76 lbs
Battery LifeUp to 14 hours
PriceComing Soon!

5. Acer ConceptD 7 with 4K Display and 100% Adobe RGB Color Gamut​

acer conceptd 7Highlight: Pantone color validation, 4K UHD display for highly meticulous editing projects

Something that many video editors struggle with is detail. This is what the Acer ConceptD 7 attempts to fix with its 4K UHD display that comes with a 100% Adobe RGB color gamut and color accuracy of Delta E<2.

The Pantone validation makes sure that even the minutest nuances of your content get translated onto the screen. External interference is limited to a bare minimum, thanks to the narrow bezel design and a screen-to-body ratio of 81%. Clearly, here is a video editing laptop that even grumpy professionals should find free of fault.

Of course, all that A/V glory will be put to dust if the processing power doesn’t match up. Thankfully, Acer is well up to speed in this department. The laptop is powered by a ninth-gen Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 32GB RAM, up to a 1TB SSD, and an Aeroblade cooling system that maintains noise levels at under 40db.

A dedicated GPU—an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080, no less—opens up the world of dazzling multimedia, complete with programmable shading. The resulting experience is not only fluid but also powerful enough for 6K video files. As for pursuits like creating YouTube videos or home movies, they are a total cinch.

The Acer ConceptD 7 is designed to be a mobile workstation, which is why it has a full array of USB ports and weighs a manageable 4.6lbs.

It has a remarkably low thickness too—only 0.7”. One of the reasons it succeeds at being so lean is the NVIDIA GeForce Max-Q design. The metal chassis, which radiates a sophisticated aura, is another contributor to the element of style.

The keyboard comes with glorious backlighting (warm amber). And no wonder; when a laptop hosts as much power as this one does, why not look the part?

 Acer ConceptD 7 Specs
Processor9th Gen. Intel Core i7
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
MemoryUp to 32GB DDR4
StorageUp to 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display15.6" (3840 x 2160) 4K UHD
Weight4.6 lbs
PriceCheck on Acer Official

6. HP ZBOOK STUDIO x360 2-in-1 Laptop for Video Editing​

hp zbook studio x360Highlight: Flexible hinge-based design for multiple modes, brilliantly bright 4K UHD display

One of the finest video editing laptops on this list is the 15.6” HP ZBOOK STUDIO x360—a cult favorite, especially for its bright 4K UHD touchscreen display that is brighter even than the Apple MacBook Pro or the Dell XPS. (HP claims that the brightness levels are 20% and 50% higher respectively.)

The 600 nits display pairs up with a 100% Adobe RGB color gamut to bring you a world of one billion colors. Goes without saying, this enables you to edit with unparalleled attention to detail.

Notably, the anti-glare display has a matte-like finish to enhance your comfort while using the touchscreen.

This HP convertible also benefits majorly from its 360-degree hinge-based design that lets you operate it in multiple modes, including tablet, tent, stand and docked.

The stand and tent modes are ideal for collaborating with peers or colleagues and sharing/displaying your work. The tablet mode, on the other hand, allows you to enjoy the ease of editing with a Wacom AES pen.

If you need some quick work done, this convenient mode lets you do it, thanks to the highly precise pen with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and three customizable buttons. Finally, the docked mode is useful to connect to multiple monitors and get the complete studio-like experience.

On the processing front, this HP laptop employs an Intel Core i9 CPU (or an Intel Xeon one), up to 16 hours of battery life, and up to 4TB of storage space. It also has a dedicated NVIDIA Quadro P2000 graphics coprocessor.

Although this is a nuanced video editing machine, wielding both expertise and strength, it retains a lightweight and slim build: 4.9lbs and 0.8”. A Thunderbolt-3 port, rapid charging (50% in 45 minutes), and an IR camera for facial recognition further boost its fitment to a travel-intensive lifestyle.

 HP ZBOOK STUDIO x360 2-in-1 Specs
ProcessorUp to Hexa-Core Intel Core i9
GraphicsUp to 4GB NVIDIA Quadro P2000
MemoryUp to 64GB
StorageUp to 4TB NVMe SSD
DisplayUp to 15.6" 4K UHD
Weight4.9 lbs
Battery LifeUp to 16 hours
PriceCheck on HP

7. Dell G7 15 7590 Laptop​

dell g7 15 7590 gaming laptop​Highlight: Slim and sleek design for convenient portability, quick-charging and powerful battery

Dell has come of age when it comes to multimedia and gaming laptops. The 15” Dell G7 15 7590 is one of the slimmest machines on this list at 0.78” (and 5.5lbs), but it does not cut corners on the processing front.

It is essentially a gaming laptop with premium features like the Alienware Command Center for customizing hardware and software settings, but is well-fitted to the needs of both editors and contemporary gaming enthusiasts.

The premium metal finish adds a brilliant dash of panache to this machine.

Driving this device is a ninth-gen Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, up to 16GB RAM, a dual-fan cooling system, and a 512GB SSD for storage. That is ample capacity to keep several of your current editing projects on your laptop.

You get a fair amount of battery backup too; the 60Whr battery also charges up quickly. Note: Dell has an optional 90Whr battery with this laptop. If unplugged editing is something that floats your boat, you know what to do.

A narrow-bezel display helps to keep the imagery absorbing and free from external reflections. But the highlight on the A/V frontier is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card with 8GB of dedicated memory.

It employs the Max-Q design which helps it retain leanness while radiating extraordinary power for high-res multimedia editing. This is perfect for gaming enthusiasts too—aficionados of shooter games and titles with abundant special effects, in particular—which makes this a sound investment if you want a multi-purpose machine.

What about device connectivity? You get a great deal: a Thunderbolt 3 port for breakneck-speed data transfer as well as a display port that can support even a 5K display (or two 4K displays).

 Dell G7 15 7590 Gaming Laptop Specs
Processor9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
Memory8GB DDR4
Storage128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
Weight5.5 lbs
PriceCheck on Dell

8. Razer Blade 15 with 240Hz Display​

razer blade 15 2019Highlight: High refresh rate of 240Hz, vapor chamber cooling, support for memory upgrades

The 15.6″ Razer Blade 15 is one of the few multimedia/gaming laptops that match the MSI GS65 Stealth-483 (#1) in refresh-rate specs. The FHD or OLED 4K touch monitor (matte) offers a 100% sRGB color gamut for brilliant colors.

Infused with the dazzle of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics (with Max-Q) and support for external GPU enclosures, this is one heck of a powerful editing laptop.

Let us inspect the CPU chamber. The Intel Core i7-9750H processor offers multiple cores (six) to fuel speedy and efficient work, ably bolstered by 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD. The SSD can be upgraded, thereby expanding your available storage space by leaps and bounds (hello new projects!).

As for the RTX graphics card, you know you can expect nothing but splendor whether you are busy gaming or occupied with an editing assignment.

Since this is essentially a gaming and creativity-focused machine, it offers several crème de la crème features. What stands out is the per-key backlighting on the keyboard (Chroma RGB) and the facial unlock through Windows Hello for secure operations in shared environments.

The vapor-based cooling is another victory; it uses a copper chamber (vacuum sealed) to help dissipate the heat generated as you work and keep the machine working at its optimum.

Razer has also invested significant effort in the construction of this machine. The CNC aluminum body is not only pleasing to behold but also flexible and easy to lug along.

Build-wise, the profile measures a slim 0.7”, while the chassis weighs only 4.74lbs. The black anodized finish with the classic snake pattern is hard not to gape at, especially considering the green accents.

Note: This Razer laptop supports a complete array of connections such as USB 3.1 ports, Thunderbolt 3, a display port, and an HDMI.
 Razer Blade 15 RZ09-03017E02-R3U1 Specs
Processor9th Gen Intel Core i7 9750H (up to 4.5GHz)
Graphics8GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Memory16GB 2667MHz RAM
Storage512GB Solid-State Drive
Display15.6-inch FHD 240Hz
Weight4.74 lbs
Operating SystemWindows 10
Where to buySee Price at Amazon

9. ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW Laptop​

asus rog zephyrus s gx531gwHighlight: Superior cooling system for long-lasting performance, military-grade construction for durability

The 15.6” ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW benefits from an aerodynamic heat dissipation mechanism that comprises 12V fans, a ground-breaking anti-dust technology, and the provision to toggle among three modes through a function shortcut.

The result is improved sustainability and optimum performance even after hours of work—something that driven video editors (and demanding bosses!) will cherish. This ASUS laptop is also incredibly powerful with an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. It can satisfactorily fuel video editing ventures that suit the requirements of professionals.

With time, the Zephyrus series has become synonymous with portability. This laptop lives up to the lineage with its slim profile (0.62”), low body weight (4.6lbs), and military-grade construction. ASUS has used a magnesium alloy for the chassis, and this lends élan to the overall look and feel.

Display-wise, you should be quite sorted with the FHD monitor, the IPS panel, the color gamut of 100% sRGB, and the wide-angle view of 178 degrees. Bonus: This laptop offers a 144Hz refresh rate, and the response time is also excellent at 3ms.

While this shouldn’t affect you too much unless your focus is going to be gaming, it does contribute toward making the overall editing experience smoother.

A particularly delightful feature of this laptop is the alluring keyboard with its customizable backlighting (4-zone), n-key rollover, and torture-testing for up to 20 million key-presses.

Besides gamers, video editors are the ones that don’t extend much mercy to their keyboards, coming down harshly on those keys several times in quick succession during a project. Here is one keyboard that won’t complain while you are at it.

 ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW-AB76 Specs
ProcessorIntel Core i7-9750H Hexa-Core
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB DDR6
Memory16GB 2666Hz DDR4
Storage512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display15.6-inch 144Hz 3ms (1920x1080)
Weight4.6 lbs
PriceCheck on Amazon

10. MSI GV62 8RD-276 Laptop for Video Editing Under $1000​

msi gv62 8rd-276 gaming laptopHighlight: Virtual surround sound with tremendous clarity, lightweight build

This one is for the audio enthusiasts out there. The 15.6″ MSI GV62 8RD-276 combines the strength of an Intel Core i7-8750H processor and an NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti GPU with the delight that is immersive surround sound.

The Nahimic 3 Digital 7.1 audio enhancer helps to suppress extraneous noise while upping clarity and detail. This is a blessing both for gaming (during which you can also use the sound tracker to spot your in-game target) and multimedia content editing.

The processing chamber is quite a powerhouse with 16GB RAM, which should help you breeze through everyday editing tasks.

On the flip side: the storage space is somewhat low at 128GB (SSD). But you do get an additional 1TB HDD that you can use for storing project-related files. Heat dissipation, fortunately, is efficient with a system that utilizes two fans, two exhausts, and six copper heat pipes.

You can view your multimedia content vividly on the FHD screen with an IPS panel and support for 45% NTSC. The specs are not bad at all when you consider the price point of this device—it comes in at under $1000.

While this computer does not weigh much (only 4.41lbs), it is thicker than many others on this list at 1.16”. This can make it slightly awkward to fit it into backpacks. But it does support editing on the go; several USB ports ensure that you can plug into any devices you might need to get the job done.

Bonus: The responsive, backlit (red) keyboard! MSI has designed it to be more tactile and offer unique features such as a WASD zone and multi-key support.  It makes editing significantly more agreeable for tired fingers.
 MSI GV62 8RD-276 Specs
ProcessorIntel Core i7-8750H (6 cores)
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX1050TI 4GB GDDR5
Memory16GB DDR4 2400MHz
Storage128GB NVMe SSD + 1TB (5400Rpm)
Display15.6-inch Full HD IPS-Level
Weight4.8 lbs
Battery LifeUp to 4 hours
PriceCheck on Amazon

Bonus: Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop for Video Editing Under $500​

acer aspire e 15 e5-576g-5762Highlight: Too-good-to-be-true price tag, impressive battery backup

Yes, this is the eleventh laptop in a list of ten, but who could help including the 15.6″ Acer Aspire E 15 that offers decent editing performance at under $500? Powered by an eighth-gen Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB of storage capacity (SSD), and almost 15 hours of battery backup, this computer comes with basic specs but proves to be a good option for all those seeking a casual editing laptop. Plus, it comes with a compartment door that permits you to upgrade the hard drive and memory depending on your requirements for your work.

The display is satisfactory for a machine in this price bucket: an FHD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and an In-Plane-Switching panel for distortion-free viewing across different angles and positions.

At its budget price point, this laptop manages to offer a dedicated GPU—an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card. This substantially boosts its fitment as a multimedia editing machine.

Another aspect worth applauding in this computer is the sound system. It is uncommon for cheap laptops to boast of good acoustics, but Acer intelligently uses its True Harmony technology to reduce distortion, improve bass and volume, and finally realize an absorbing playback for accurate editing.

The one downside of this laptop is that it weighs 5.27lbs and has a profile that measures 1.19”. The lowered portability might be a limitation if you were intending to use this machine as your go-to device for meetings and working on the run.

In terms of device connectivity, though, you should experience little hindrance. Not only does this laptop support 802.11ac Wi-Fi (with MU-MIMO) but it also has an inbuilt HD webcam, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, USB 3.0 ports, and even an HDMI for connecting to external displays.

 Acer Aspire E 15 E5-576G-5762 Specs
ProcessorIntel Core i5-8250U (Up to 3.4GHz)
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce MX150
Memory8GB RAM
Storage256GB SSD
Display15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
Battery LifeUp to 15-hours
Weight5.27 lbs
PriceCheck on Amazon

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.

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