The 4 Best Laptops For Video Editing - Winter 2023

Gadget EDZE
Best Video Editing Laptops

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 95 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 (M2, 2023). This premium model provides an amazing user experience and packs plenty of processing power to handle even the most complex work. Its Mini LED display has full DCI P3 coverage, and it's well-calibrated out of the box, so you can get straight to work without needing further calibration. You get a spacious, tactile keyboard, a gigantic, easy-to-use haptic touchpad, and an outstanding port selection, including three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI, and a full-size SD card reader. If you want more screen space and don't mind paying more, you can get the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023); it has better-sounding speakers and a slightly longer battery life.

    Apple has released new MacBook Pros equipped with its M3 chip only nine months after the release of the M2 models. The M3 Pro/Max SoCs are faster, particularly the GPU, and they also bring ray tracing support. The external design remains the same, though there's a new Space Black color with a more smudge-resistant finish. Apple no longer sells the M2 model, so get the M3 unless you can find a good deal on the older model. See the M3 MacBook Pro on Amazon or Best Buy.

    For Windows users, we recommend the Dell XPS 15 (2023), a 15.6-inch premium mobile workstation. It's available with Intel 13th Gen H-series CPUs and various NVIDIA discrete GPUs, up to an RTX 4070. Like the MacBook Pro 14, it provides a premium user experience with a nice display, a comfortable keyboard, and a large touchpad. Its port selection is more limited, though, as you only get three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports and an SD card reader. Also, its webcam is quite bad, especially for such an expensive device. The main advantage it has over the MacBook Pro is that its RAM and SSD are user-replaceable. You can get this laptop directly through Dell if you have trouble finding it elsewhere.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Laptop For Video Editing

    Our best mid-range pick is the Dell Alienware m16 R1 (2023), a 16-inch gaming laptop. This model is available with powerful AMD or Intel CPUs and various discrete GPUs, up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090, giving you plenty of processing power to complete your tasks quickly. Of the three display options, we recommend the QHD+ panel with DCI P3 coverage, though you can also go with the 100% sRGB panel if you only work in SDR. The displays only get up to 300 cd/m² of brightness, which is fine for most indoor settings but definitely a step down from the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M2, 2023)'s 1600 cd/m² brightness in HDR.

    While the build quality is inferior to the MacBook Pro, this laptop still feels very well-built. It just doesn't feel as premium and isn't as portable. The keyboard has tons of travel and tactility, and the touchpad is small but responsive. You get plenty of ports to connect peripherals and external displays, including two USB-As, two USB-Cs, an HDMI, and a full-size SD card reader. Unfortunately, its battery life is terrible at only two and a half hours of light use, and the fans get pretty loud under load. This laptop starts at $1699 USD (MSRP), and like most Dell laptops, it's easier to get through Dell.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Laptop For Video Editing

    The best budget laptop for video editing we've tested is the ASUS TUF Dash F15 (2022), which is also a gaming laptop. It's more portable than the Dell above, as it's a smaller model with a more compact design; however, it's an older model from 2022 with Intel 12th Gen CPUs and NVIDIA 30-series GPUs. Don't worry; these last-generation CPUs and GPUs are still more than adequate for video editing. If you work in HDR, you'd be happy to know that there's a QHD+ IPS panel with full DCI P3 coverage. Two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4s and an HDMI allow you to quickly transfer files and connect up to two 4k displays with a single cable. The RAM and storage drive are user-replaceable, so if you're on a limited budget, you can get a cheaper model to start and upgrade later. Thermal throttling is minimal, but the fans get pretty loud.

    See our review

  4. Best Ultraportable For Video Editing

    The Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022) is a great option if you only edit videos as a hobby. Its M2 chip has media encoders and decoders that significantly boost performance in tasks like video editing. There are also media engines for Apple's own ProRes format. It has a sharp and bright display with full DCI P3 coverage, and its factory calibration is superb out of the box. Port selection is its main weak point; it only has two USB-Cs and can only support one external display.

    The battery lasts around 11 hours of light use or a little less than three hours when performing intensive tasks like video editing. You can get up to 24GB of memory and 2TB of storage; just remember that these components aren't user-replaceable. Also, the base 256GB storage option has slower read and write speeds, so if you often transfer files, it's worth upgrading to one of the larger-capacity options.

    If you want a larger screen to work more comfortably, you'll love the newly-released Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023). It's the same device as the 13-inch M2 MacBook Air but with a 15.3-inch display and better speakers. Unlike its smaller sibling, you don't need to upgrade to the more expensive model to get an M2 SoC with ten GPU cores, giving you slightly better graphical performance than the base 13-inch model, which has eight GPU cores. Besides the $200 USD price increase over the 13-inch model, the other tradeoff is the battery life. It lasts around eight to nine hours of light use, about two hours shorter.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Dell Alienware m18 (2023): The Dell Alienware m18 (2023) is a good alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M2, 2023) if you don't plan on using an external monitor and want the biggest display possible. It's available with various discrete GPUs, 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. See our review
  • Lenovo Slim Pro 7 14 (2023): The Lenovo Slim Pro 14 (2023) is cheaper than the Dell Alienware m16 R1 (2023). It's more portable, and its battery lasts much longer; however, you can only get it with 16GB of soldered RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 GPU. See our review

Recent Updates

  1.  Nov 28, 2023: Minor text changes to add information about the new M3 Apple MacBook Pros. Replaced the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) with the Dell Alienware m16 R1 (2023) because the Dell is available with faster processors and easier to find. Replaced the HP Victus 15 (2022) with the ASUS TUF Dash F15 (2022) because the ASUS is available with a DCI P3 display and supports Thunderbolt 4.

  2.  Nov 01, 2023: Small text changes to add the Dell XPS 15 (2023) as an alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023). Added the Dell Alienware m18 (2023) as a Notable Mention. No change in recommendations.

  3.  Sep 06, 2023: Replaced the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2021) with the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023) because the M1 models are no longer available. Added the Lenovo Slim Pro 7 14 (2023) as a Notable Mention.

  4.  Aug 10, 2023: Small text changes to include the Dell Precision 5570 (2022) as an alternative to the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2022). No change in recommendations.

  5.  Jul 14, 2023: Minor text changes to improve clarity and provide more information about the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023). No change in recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best laptops to buy for video editing. 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.


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