Skip to main content

The best laptops for video editing in 2022: edit your footage easily, wherever you are

(Image credit: Future)

The best laptops for video editing mean that you'll never have to twiddle your thumbs waiting for a project to finish rendering again. But, with so many laptop variations out there, which ones are the best for your video editing needs? We've rounded up a selection of choices that include potent processor power, plenty of RAM memory and good quality, high-res screens. These important features are essential for choosing the best laptops for video editing, but be warned that the high performance you need won't come cheap.

Working with high resolution footage is both power- and memory-intensive, so you'll need to make sure that your machine is up to the task. While it might be tempting to opt for one of the best budget laptops (opens in new tab) instead, you'll likely find that this just won't be able to properly accommodate your needs – and you'll just find yourself wishing you'd plumped for one of these superior models anyway.

A large, beautiful screen and plenty of memory means that the best laptops for video editing tend to be larger than average. If you tend to work in one set place, then this shouldn't be an issue for you. However, if you're constantly on-the-go, you might want to opt for a scaled-down laptop. Just be aware that the power, battery life and viewing ergonomics will be severely compromised as the body of the laptop gets smaller.

If you're unsure on how to choose the right model for you, scroll down to the bottom of this article to read our top tips. Alternatively, check out our picks for best laptops for video editing in 2022 below.

• See also: Best monitors for MacBook Pro (opens in new tab)

Best laptops for video editing in 2022

(Image credit: Apple)
(opens in new tab)
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is a video editing dream machine

Specifications

CPU: Up to 10-core Apple M1 Max
Graphics: Up to 32-Core Apple M1 Max GPU
RAM: 16GB – 64GB
Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone
Storage: 1TB – 8TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Awesome M1 Pro and Max chips
+
Supports up to 64GB RAM
+
Sensational screen specs

Reasons to avoid

-
Hugely expensive
-
Some may miss the Touchbar

The latest 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro (opens in new tab) with its M2 hardware has dropped, but until we've had one in for review, it's the slightly older, but still awesome, 16-inch MacBook Pro which is our top choice for video editing. 

Spec one with Apple's M1 Max chip - which can be had with up to 64GB RAM - and it'll make light work of anything you can throw at it. You also get a 16-inch screen size, which is noticeably more comfortable for long editing sessions than a 13-inch panel. This incredible Liquid Retina XDR display boasts an insane 1,600-nit peak brightness, making HDR content come alive, and it can display a high DCI-P3 color space coverage for accurate video editing. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is also available with an M1 Pro chip (rather than M1 Max) if you want to save some cash, though RAM capacity is restricted to 16GB or 32GB, and its speed is lower.

Despite all this power, the supreme efficiency of the M1 chip architecture, combined with a large 100-watt-hour battery, means battery life is up to an incredible 21 hours.

The 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro is far from cheap no matter how you spec one, but your money is buying one of the most technically advanced laptops on the market right now. The smaller MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) (opens in new tab) is a less expensive alternative.

• See more Mac options in our Best Macbook for photo editing

(Image credit: Razer)
(opens in new tab)

2. Razer Blade 15

Best for showcasing 4K content

Specifications

CPU: Up to octa-core Intel Core i7
Graphics: up to GeForce RTX 3080
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 OLED/LCD
Storage: Up to 1TB SSD
SD card reader: Yes (Advanced model only)
Thunderbolt: Yes, version 4

Reasons to buy

+
4K OLED display is stunning
+
Sleek matte metal design

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive
-
Top-end GPU not essential for video editing

The Razer Blade 15 is special in that it features an optional OLED display rather than a traditional LCD. With deep, inky blacks and punchy, vibrant colors, it looks incredible, and with its 4K resolution equating to a pixel density of 282 ppi, it's super-sharp – perfect for editing your UHD content on.

With a hugely fast Nvidia GeForce graphics card under the hood, it’s up to the task when it comes to even the most demanding projects, and when you consider how many ports this thing has – three USB-A ports, two Thunderbolt/USB-C, one HDMI 2.1 port, and a headphone jack - it’s versatile too. If you opt for the base version, you even get an Ethernet port for fast, wired internet, while the Advanced models trades this for a useful SD card reader instead.

The Razer Blade 15 comes with a 512GB or 1TB SSD for storage, and the Advanced model can even be optioned with a 2TB SSD. A lightweight sub-2.2kg design and sleek finish set the Blade apart externally.

See also: the best Ultrabooks (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Asus)
(opens in new tab)

3. Asus ROG Zephyrus G15

Best for super-smooth video playback

Specifications

CPU: Up to octa-core AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
Graphics: Up to GeForce RTX 3080
RAM: Up to 48GB
Screen: 15.6-inch IPS, 2560 x 1440
Storage: 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
SD card reader: Yes, microSD
Thunderbolt: No

Reasons to buy

+
Power with portability
+
Super-fast screen refresh rate

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen not 4K
-
No USB 4/Thunderbolt 4

Want a super-powerful video-editing laptop without going down the MacBook route? We reckon this is the laptop PC if you want an all-out processing powerhouse. Available with blazing-fast oct-acore AMD Ryzen 7 or Ruyzen 9 processors, and up to a whopping 48GB of RAM, there won't be much this beast can't handle.

Designed with gaming firmly in mind, you also get a choice of Nvidia's uber-powerful GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards. Not only great for gaming, the added video acceleration is also very handy for GPU-accelerated video encoding.

Topping things off is a 15.6 inch WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS screen. OK, so it's not 4K, but it does boast a hugely impressive 100% coverage of the demanding DCI-P3 video color space, as well as Dolby Vision HDR support.

It's a pity the included memory card slot is microSD only, and the USB ports are USB 3.2 Gen 2, rather than the latest USB 4.0. But these are minor quibbles with what is otherwise one seriously potent video editing machine.

(Image credit: HP)
(opens in new tab)

4. HP Envy 17

Big-screen video editing and features galore

Specifications

CPU: 11th-gen quad-core Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 32GB
Screen: 17-inch, (3840 x 2160) IPS
Storage: 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD
SD card slot: Yes
Thunderbolt 4: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
large, comfortable screen size
+
4K and 100% Adobe RGB coverage
+
Powerful CPU options

Reasons to avoid

-
Physically large, inevitably

We love the portability of an ultra-compact laptop, but for longer video editing sessions, squinting at a small screen can soon become a real pain. By contrast, the HP Envy 17 with its larger than average 17-inch screen gives you appreciably more display real estate for video previews and timelines, as well as multi-tasking.

The Envy 17 is available in several different spec configurations, but we recon the '17-ch0020na' version makes the most sense for serious video editing, and it's also well priced for the power it offers.

The screen itself isn't just quantity over quality - far from it. The IPS LCD panel boasts a 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution, 400-nit max brightness, and it's capable of displaying 100% of the Adobe RGB color space - that's a remarkable achievement for a laptop display.

The extra screen size means there's more space in front for a full-size keyboard, and you even get a proper SD card reader built in - a real rarity on today's laptops.

Even 4K edits should be handled with ease thanks to the latest 11th-gen quad-core Intel Core i7 processors teamed with a very healthy 32GB RAM. A single Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 Type-C port ensures blazing-fast connectivity with external devices, plus there are 3 USB Type-A ports for easy backward compatibility with older peripherals.

See also: Best 17-inch laptops (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Dell)
(opens in new tab)

5. Dell XPS 15

Best for 4K edits

Specifications

CPU: Up to 11th-gen octa-core Intel Core i9
Graphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
RAM: Up to 64GB
Screen: Up to 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2400 touchscreen
Storage: Up to 2TB SSD
SD card reader: Yes
Thunderbolt: Yes, version 4

Reasons to buy

+
Jaw-dropping screen specs
+
SD card reader

Reasons to avoid

-
Not class-leading GPU for the price
-
Battery life not great

The Dell XPS 15 is the 4K OLED-screened laptop to go for if you're not into gaming. While it uses a similarly specced display to the Razer Blade 15, which is also in this roundup, its design and feature set are better suited to video editing.

For starters, it has an SD card slot, and up to Intel Core i9 power, not to mention up to a huge 64GB RAM – and with up to 2TB solid state storage it’s also an ideal machine to have when ingesting gigabytes of 4K content.

While its Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card isn’t going to stack up against some of the top-tier competition, thanks to Thunderbolt 4 connectivity you can supplement it with an external, desktop GPU for more demanding projects – and for quick edits on the fly, it'll be more than up to the task.

Should I buy a Dell XPS 15? (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Future)
(opens in new tab)
Best laptop for color grading

Specifications

CPU: Hexa-core Intel Core i7
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080
RAM: up to 32GB
Screen: 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 (UHD) IPS
Storage: 1TB SSD
SD card reader: No
Thunderbolt 3: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Beautifully calibrated screen
+
Not an RGB gaming light in sight
+
4K screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive
-
No SD card slot

If you’ve got a lot of cash to invest, the Acer ConceptD line is a series of laptops and desktops that have been fine-tuned for designers and editors. Specifically, the ConceptD 7-series laptop has gaming laptop power without any of the gaudy casing or attention-grabbing RGB lighting. It’s also quiet, staying cool without loud fans whirring/roaring away. 

Ideal for color grading, the Acer ConceptD 7’s 4K UHD display covers 100% of the Adobe RGB gamut - a hugely impressive feat few other monitor screens can match. The display is also Pantone validated, with a color accuracy of Delta E <2, ensuring you can rely on it for color-critical work.

With the latest hexa-core i7 internals from Intel, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card and up to 32GB RAM, whether you’re processing out Full HD or 4K footage, Acer’s ConceptD should make short work of it.

Read more: Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Future)
Best for affordable gaming as well as video editing

Specifications

CPU: Up to octa-core Intel Core i7
Graphics: Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
RAM: Up to 32GB
Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS
Storage: Up to 1TB SSD + 2TB HDD
SD card reader: No
Thunderbolt: Yes, version 4

Reasons to buy

+
Comparatively affordable
+
Great GPU options

Reasons to avoid

-
No SD card reader
-
Only FullHD screen res

Acer’s Helios line delivers gaming power at a comparatively affordable price when looking at the competition, especially given how much is crammed into these laptops. That also means video professionals can benefit from its clout without necessarily breaking the bank.

Available with Intel Core i7 power coupled with up to 32GB RAM in its top-of-the-line guise, it can rival some of the best laptops around, and thanks to ample storage – up to a 1TB SSD, or a SSD and hard drive double act, it’s a perfect option for 4K footage hoarders.

Like some other gaming laptops, there’s a Turbo button you can hit to overclock performance for intense editing bouts, and there’s also granular control over the fan, so you can ramp it up or down depending on whether you’re in the mood for a cool laptop or a quiet workspace.

• Check out the best portable monitors

(Image credit: Lenovo)
(opens in new tab)

8. Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2

Best for business

Specifications

CPU: Up to 11th Gen Intel Core i9
Graphics: Up to NVIDIA Quadro RTX A5000
RAM: Up to 128GB
Screen: Up to 15.6-inch UHD (3840x2160) OLED touch
Storage: Up to 6TB SSD (3x 2TB drives)
SD card slot: Yes
Thunderbolt 4 port: Yes, x2

Reasons to buy

+
Dolby Vision or OLED 4K screen options
+
Massively powerful when specced up
+
SD card slot

Reasons to avoid

-
Bulky
-
Uninspired design
-
Can get very expensive

If you’re running a business and your video editors don't need MacBooks (much as they might want them), the Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 is a traditional-looking laptop with incredibly capable internals. Even the 'entry-level' version would be a pro machine for most, with 16GB RAM and an 8-core Intel i7 processor, but you can spec up the p15 to the moon and get a supercharged version capable of tackling huge 4K masterpieces. The P15 Gen 2 really is as versatile as your business needs it to be.

One of the only laptops on our list with an Ethernet port, the latest version also features two Thunderbolt 4 ports and an optional Nano-SIM tray for fast 4G speeds on the go.

For editors working with HDR content the P15 Gen 2’s optional Dolby Vision 4K touch display is the screen of choice for reviewing HDR content. And with a huge choice of customization options (with up to 128GB of RAM is possible, along with an incredible 6TB storage space courtesy of three separate SSD drives!) this laptop will fly through edits and give you plenty of space to store them.

(Image credit: Microsoft)
(opens in new tab)

9. Microsoft Surface Book 3 (15-inch)

Best 2-in-1 laptop for video editing

Specifications

CPU: Quad-core 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 15.4-inch, 3240 x 2160 IPS
Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
SD card reader: Yes
Thunderbolt 3: No

Reasons to buy

+
Tablet and laptop in one
+
Stunning design

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
No Thunderbolt 3 port

The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is an incredible feat of engineering, with an electro-magnetic latch that securely connects the tablet section to the keyboard without a wiggle or a wobble in sight. 

The laptop can be specced up to become the ultimate editing device with Intel Core i7 graphics and up to 1TB SSD storage. It’s also got an SD card reader in the keyboard section, and supports pen input, whether you’re using it as a tablet or laptop. 

With Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics, the 15-inch Surface Book 3 can also handle advanced 3D gaming, video edits, and even take After Effects renders in its stride; and thanks to a stunningly sharp, vibrant, 15-inch 3240 x 2160 PixelSense display with a 1600:1 contrast ratio, everything it showcases looks stellar.

The overall experience is rounded off with great battery life of up to 17.5 hours and ultimate versatility; as a package, the Surface Book 3 is one of the most impressive bits of tech we’ve ever used.

How to choose the best laptop for video editing

Screen size is one of the first aspects you should consider when looking for the best laptop for video editing. The best video editing software (opens in new tab), such as Adobe Premiere Pro, will often result in your screen being split into quadrants (a preview window, timeline, effects tab and a bin for footage). Working with software like this on a small laptop will get old pretty quickly, so we'd recommend opting for at least a 15 inch laptop. However, the larger the screen size, the more comfortable you'll find the editing process. Don't forget you can also get an extra video editing monitor (opens in new tab) to help out as well.

The next thing to consider is your laptop's screen resolution. If you regularly color grade footage, then a color-accurate display is absolutely necessary to prevent any potential egg-on-face moments after your project has been exported (one of the best monitor calibrators (opens in new tab) will help too). It's also worth thinking about what resolution your footage will be. If you shoot with a 4K, 6K or 8K camera, then a Full HD screen just won't cut it.

Once you've decided what sort of screen you need, it's time to get technical and consider what sort of processor you'll need. Intel offers an excellent range of 4, 6 and 8-core mobile chips (entitled Core-i5, i7 and i9). Meanwhile, AMD's Ryzen processors are also worth considering, with the newest 3000 and 4000-series mobile processors proving to be very quick and pleasingly power-efficient.

It's also worth remembering that the more RAM you have, the better your laptop will run. If you're working with Full HD or higher res content, we'd recommend using 16GB of RAM as a minimum.

The final thing to consider is connections. For example, a Thunderbolt 3 port means that you can kit out your video editing laptop with an external graphics card. This means that you can attain desktop-grade rendering power, which will come in handy for more intensive edits.

Read more:

The best video editing monitor (opens in new tab)
Best 2-in-1 laptops (opens in new tab)
Best student laptops (opens in new tab)
Best video editing keyboard (opens in new tab)
Best mouse for editing (opens in new tab)
Best laptop docking stations (opens in new tab)
Best internal SSDs (opens in new tab)
Best 4K camera for filmmaking (opens in new tab)
The best  video editing software (opens in new tab)
The best free video editing software (opens in new tab)
The best photo editing tools (opens in new tab) and accessories  (opens in new tab)
The best camera for vlogging (opens in new tab)
Best laptop backpacks (opens in new tab)
Best laptop stands (opens in new tab)
Best USB-C hubs (opens in new tab)

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.