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Best video editing laptops of 2020: Top notebooks for NLE and more

best video editing laptops
We’ve employed our tech expertise to help you find the best video editing laptops
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How to choose a video editing laptop

Your budget will obviously determine your choice when it comes to selecting a laptop for the best video editing purposes. However, don't forget to choose a device that (a) is expandable (so that you can add more memory or an additional SSD if necessary), (b) one that comes with next business day warranty (or at least offers it as an option) and (c) features ample connectivity as users are likely to transfer files either via a cloud storage option or via an external storage (most likely to be a portable SSD).

Choosing the best video editing laptop takes a bit of work. It’s just not about getting the highest specced or the most expensive laptop on the market. More importantly, you’ll need portability, power, the ideal graphics card, and an excellent display that boasts high resolution and delivers great color accuracy. You'll also need to ensure compatibility with any video converter software and DVD burning software you use.

Whether you’re looking to get some editing done while being mobile or needing to do screen recording, we’re here to help you find the perfect device. Using our tech expertise, we rounded up the best laptop (or workstation) for editing and put together a guide. We’ll dive into all the best video editing laptops, both in high definition and Ultra HD (4K) resolutions, for all budgets. But every one has the capabilities of running the most demanding video editors.

Even better, we’ve included our exclusive price comparison tool, so you can get your choice of the best video editing laptops at the best price available. Bear in mind that prices and configurations change all the time. So if you see any discrepancy, feel free to get in touch with us.

SpecsMinimumRecommendedIdeal
Editing resolution1080p (1920 x 1080)4K (3840 x 2160)4K (3840 x 2160)
Processor8th Generation Core i5 or equivalent AMD Ryzen8-core Intel CPU or equivalent AMDIntel Xeon or better
Memory16GB32GB64GB
Storage256GB SSD256GB NVMe PCIe SSD1TB NVMe PCIe SSD (RAID-0)
ScreenFull HD4K8K
Video cardIntegratedDiscreteNvidia RTX or AMD Radeon Pro

Best video editing laptops at a glance:

  1. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
  2. MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
  3. MSI Creator 17
  4. Dell XPS 15 (2020)
  5. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020)
  6. Acer ConceptD 7
  7. Microsoft Surface Book 3
  8. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)
  9. Lenovo ThinkPad P70
  10. MSI GS65 Stealth

MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

Its AMD Radeon Pro 5300M or 5500M graphics card should get your through your intensive video editing workflow without fuss. (Image credit: Apple)

1. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

The best laptop for video editing

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

Stunning 16-inch screen
New and improved keyboard
Expensive
Limited to four Thunderbolt 3 ports

As thin, light and sleek as ever, the MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) doesn’t actually feel like a 16-inch behemoth. If you’re worried that this was going to be bulky and awkward to use, don’t be. This laptop will feel just as compact as the 15-inch MacBook Pros that preceded it and more than any other 16-inch laptops out there. So that in situations when you need to take it with you at your shooting locations, you won’t have to worry about it being a pain. And, you’re also getting that extra real estate on that stunning display – not to mention that 9th-generation Intel Core chip and AMD Radeon Pro 5300M or 5500M graphics card, which should get your through your intensive video editing workflow without fuss. The incredible speakers and much improved keyboard are just cherries on top.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

Get the MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)'s souped up configuration and you’ve got an unstoppable laptop for all your content creation needs. (Image credit: Apple)

2. MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

Apple’s productivity machine gets the latest Intel tech

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: Radeon Pro 555X – Radeon Pro Vega 20 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 256GB – 4TB SSD

Powerful
Decent configuration options
Powerful
Decent configuration options
Lack of ports

There’s no productivity powerhouse more appealing that Apple’s MacBook Pros when it comes to power, design and display. And, Apple takes that to a new level with 2019’s MacBook Pro whose 9th-generation Intel Core processors, Retina display and amount of RAM make it one of the best video editing laptops on the market. Get the souped up configuration – though granted, expect it to break the bank – and you’ve got an unstoppable laptop for all your content creation needs. Just be prepared to shell out more cash to invest in a port hub, as there’s not much to work with here… only four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)

MSI Creator 17

(Image credit: MSI)

3. MSI Creator 17

Staggering power under the hood

CPU: up to 10th-generation Intel Core i9 Processor | Graphics: up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER with Max-Q | RAM: up to 64GB | Screen: 17.3" UHD (3840x2160), IPS-Level – 17.3" UHD (3840x2160), MiniLED, HDR 1000, 60Hz, IPS-Level | Storage: 512GB – 2TB NVMe SSD

Lots of power under the hood
Beautiful screen
Pricey

The MSI Creator 17’s main claim to fame is that it’s the first laptop with mini LED display, giving its users a display with brilliant colors, true-to-life visuals and 1000 nits of brightness. But that’s not all it offers. More importantly to content creators, this laptop touts plenty of power under the hood starting with its 10th-generation Intel Core processors and Nvidia RTX graphics cards. And it’s just the ticket, whether you’re video editing, doing graphic design or editing your high-res images.

Dell XPS 15

(Image credit: Dell)

4. Dell XPS 15 (2020)

The best mid-range video editing laptop

CPU: up to 10th Generation Intel Core i9 | Graphics: up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti | RAM: 8GB – 32GB DDR4-2933MHz | Screen: 15.6" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) – 15.6" UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit Display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB M.2 PCIe

Fast performance
Amazing speakers
Beautiful display
Comfy keyboard
GTX 1650 Ti is a little weak

The Dell XPS line is no stranger to our best laptops lists, including this one where it gets our mid-range crown. That Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti isn’t as powerful as all the others here, but if you’re only doing a fair amount of video editing and don’t need something quite as powerful, then this one’s saving you a pretty penny considering. You’re also getting an impressive piece of kit, as the Dell XPS is revered for its gorgeous design, comfortable keyboard and trackpad, and bright, vibrant display.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15 (2020)

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020)

(Image credit: Razer)

5. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020)

The best premium video editing laptop

CPU: Intel Core i7-10875H | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 | RAM: 32GB DDR4-2933MHz | Screen: 15.6" OLED 4K Touch 60Hz, 100% DCI-P3, factory calibrated | Storage: 1TB SSD

Extremely powerful
Premium design
Stunning display
Very expensive
Overkill for many people

If you want the most powerful laptop ever made and money is no object, then the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020) might just be the best video editing laptop for you. This gorgeous, smart-looking mobile workstation will give some of the most powerful desktop PCs a good workout, running for their money, showcasing prowess in complex tasks like 3D animation and video rendering. That’s while delivering a delicious 4K touchscreen display with 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, perfect for creative pros and accomplished multi-taskers. Of course, it’ll also set you back a hefty sum. But, if you’ve got the dough, this has all the serious firepower you need.

Read the full review: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (2020)

Acer ConceptD 7

Acer ConceptD 7 is clearly designed with creative professionals in mind. (Image credit: Acer)

6. Acer ConceptD 7

A mobile workstation for creatives

CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 16:9 IPS | Storage: 1TB

Very powerful
Cheaper than MacBook Pro
Good selection of ports
Expensive
Plain design
Not as thin and light as MacBook Pro

The formidable Acer ConceptD 7 is capable of handling complex and demanding tasks such as intensive video editing, thanks in large part to its Nvidia RTX graphics. Clearly designed specifically with creative professionals in mind, including filmmakers and videographers, it boasts that sheer power you’ll find in gaming laptops. Beyond that excellent performance it delivers, it also offers decent port selection, a minimalist solid white design and that stunning Pantone-validated 4K IPS display. Obviously, it’s still pretty pricey, but no professional’s tool comes cheap. If you’re looking for a Windows-powered MacBook alternative for video editing, it’s certainly among the best video editing laptops.

 Read the full review: Acer ConceptD 7 

Microsoft Surface Book 3

(Image credit: Microsoft)

7. Microsoft Surface Book 3

An extremely premium piece of kit

CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G7 – i7-1065G7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti with Max-Q Design | RAM: 8GB – 32GB 3733Mhz LPDDR4x | Screen: 13.5-inch 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI) – 15-inch 3240 x 2160 (260 PPI) PixelSense Display | Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB PCIe SSD

Beautiful design
Comfortable keyboard
Gorgeous screen
Weak U-series processor
Tiny trackpad
Lackluster speakers

In many ways, the Surface Book 3 is an example of just how far the best laptops have come in just a few short years. It has an extremely premium piece of kit – with one of the best displays we’ve used in a laptop, a keyboard that will put the MacBook Pro’s new Magic Keyboards to shame, and a hybrid design that’s great for creative tasks. More specifically for what you’re looking for, this follow up to the outstanding Surface Book 2 has configurations with a discrete GPU and more RAM than everyday consumers will ever need. That makes the Surface Book 3 an amazing choice for content creators and one of the best video editing laptops 2020 has to offer.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 3

MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)

(Image credit: Apple)

8. MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)

Worth the upgrade at the highest configuration

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – 10th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 | RAM: up to 32GB | Screen: 13-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 256GB – 4TB SSD

Improved specs (on some models)
Larger capacity SSD for starting model
New keyboard is great
Entry-level model still has 8th gen Intel CPU
You still only get Thunderbolt 3 ports

The MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)’s entry-level model may miss out on some of the lineup’s new toys. However, going for the higher-end configurations will get you new (and powerful) Intel processors and improved RAM speeds for better performance, all packed in the 13-inch incredibly svelte body. Apple rounds it all out with that incredible Magic Keyboard from the new 16-inch, finally getting rid of that problematic keyboard and making this one of the most comfortable laptops to do video editing on. Even if you don’t go for the 10th-generation Intel Core configurations, you might still appreciate the fact that all models come with more storage capacity for the same price as their predecessors.

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020)

Lenovo ThinkPad P70

The Lenovo ThinkPad P70 is the ultimate workstation that you can take on the go without missing your desktop. (Image credit: Lenovo)

9. Lenovo ThinkPad P70

Plenty of options to build your dream rig

CPU: 2.8GHz Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5 | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro M5000M 8GB | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 17.3-inch, 3840 x 2160 pixels | Storage: 512GB SSD + 500GB HDD

Expansion capabilities
Massive battery
Non-user replaceable battery
ExpressCard 34!

Lenovo’s ThinkPad P70 was one of the first notebooks featuring Intel's Skylake processor, which should give it a boost in performance compared to Broadwell or Haswell chips.  Equipped with ample storage and plenty of RAM, an excellent keyboard and a wide selection of ports for connectivity, Lenovo is positioning the ThinkPad P70 as the ultimate workstation that you can take on the go without missing your desktop. Also worth mentioning is the X-Rite Pantone calibration tool, available as an option, which is great to keep your screen accurate for production work, as well as the Quadro GPU that comes with all the P70 SKUs. 

Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad P70

MSI GS65 Stealth

The MSI GS65 Stealth is an absolutely brilliant laptop. (Image credit: MSI)

10. MSI GS65 Stealth

Brilliant for gaming...and video editing

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB GDDR5X VRAM, Max-Q) | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) anti-glare, wide-view 144Hz panel | Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD

Beautiful, subtle design 
Excellent performance 
Underside gets very hot 

OK, so the MSI GS65 Stealth is primarily a high-end gaming laptop - with a price tag to match - but it also doubles as an absolutely brilliant laptop. This is because it comes with an excellent array of cutting edge components, which includes an 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8750H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 GPU. This means multi tasking and editing is handled with aplomb - and if you also want to do a bit of gaming on the side, then it's a no-brainer.

Read the full review: MSI GS65 Stealth

Buying a laptop? Here's what experts say

We reached out to Michel Yavercovski, Senior Director of Product Management for Corel video products, to get his expert opinions about choosing a creative computer.

"There are a few key things to look for when buying a video editing laptop and of course, when you’re talking about video, the better the hardware, the smoother and more responsive your editing experience will be. Whether you’re talking about our Pinnacle Studio or VideoStudio products, both have been designed to take full benefit of your hardware to make video editing as fast and efficient as possible." Michel said.

"First, you’ll want to look for a system with a powerful multicore processor -- the Intel Core i7 product line is a good choice to get started with -- and our software has been optimized to take advantage of multithreading so you can get the most out of these impressive chips. A powerful processor will also give you a seamless experience when working with today’s popular formats and creative features like multi-camera and 360° video support. 4K video can create huge file sizes, so you’ll also want to make sure the device has a large and fast SSD storage drive that can read and write large video files without any hang-ups."

"Video editing takes up a lot of memory, so shop for a system that has between 16GB and 32GB of RAM to keep things running smoothly. And, of course, a 64-bit version of Windows 10 is a must. " he added.

"Then, when considering graphics cards, look for the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX or GTX series as well as Intel Iris or HD Graphics for overall faster processing and editing. Most advanced graphics cards will also have HEVC support, enabling the use of this advanced video format in your productions."

"Since you’ll be working primarily on one screen when you’re on the go, make sure the laptop's built-in monitor produces crisp images and has accurate color rendering. It’s also ideal to have a system that will support multiple screens for when you’re back in your main work space. Lastly, I always advise users to either plug in their laptops or adjust the power settings for high performance since many notebooks default to power-saving features when they’re running on battery which can impact performance. You may have to accept a shorter battery life, but it will ensure faster processing for a great editing experience."

Watch the video below for the top 7 things to consider when buying a laptop.