The best laptops for video editing in 2023: edit your footage easily, wherever you are

Best laptops for video editing
(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 instead, you'll likely find that this just won't be able to accommodate your needs adequately – 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 mean 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 how to choose the right model, scroll down to the bottom of this article to read our top tips. Alternatively, check out our picks for the best laptops for video editing in 2022 below.

Best laptops for video editing for 2023

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

Editor's Choice

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

1. MacBook Pro 16 (M2 Max, 2023)

The best laptop for video editing

Specifications

CPU: Up to 12-core CPU
Graphics: Up to 38-core GPU
RAM: 16GB – 96GB
Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone
Storage: 1TB – 8TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
M2 Max is astonishing fast
+
Some of the best speakers on a laptop
+
Big beautiful color. Accurate screen
+
SD card slot is a very welcome edition

Reasons to avoid

-
Very very expensive
-
Notch isn't needed 
-
Chunkier shape feels bigger than previous Intel 16-inch design

The MacBook Pro 16 with M2 Max is an absolute beast of a laptop, it will tear through any video editing you can throw at it and still be ready for more. Unfortunately, it also comes with a monstrous price that is truly quite hard to recommend spending. 

What the M2 Max gives you in terms of raw power for content creation is amazing, You can also get great results with a MacBook Pro 16 with Apple's M2 Pro chip, so only users who need the absolute most power for their workflow will use the M2 Max to its full potential.

Processor aside, the MacBook Pro 16 is a fantastic laptop, with a lot going for it from the beautiful color-accurate screen, booming speakers, sharp webcams, and excellent keyboard and trackpad, it is a very worthy upgrade for anyone using Intel-based MacBooks.

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)
The best portable laptop for video editing

Specifications

CPU: 10-Core CPU, up to 12-core
Graphics: 19-core GPU, up to 38-Core
RAM: 16GB – 96GB
Screen: 14-inch Liquid Crystal XDR
Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
M2 Pro is unbelievably fast
+
Speakers are excellent
+
One of the best laptop screens around for color work
+
SD card slot!

Reasons to avoid

-
Notch still feels unnecessary 
-
Boxy shape feels big
-
Black keys on black keyboard not for everyone

Apple’s silicon keeps getting better and better, with the M2 Pro and M2 Max possibly the most power you can get right now in a 14-inch laptop, offering more portability than its big brother. The MacBook Pro 14 with M2 Pro is unbelievably quick, it can open apps in a flash, powers through productivity work, and can export huge image and video files in no time. 

With the continued return of the SD card slot, HDMI, and three Thunderbolt 4 USB-C slots, it has all the ports a videographer will need. It also has super fast 6E WiFi for uploading and downloading large files, and improved speakers and webcam. Also, design choices such as the much-maligned touch bar have gone. This might just be the MacBook near perfected. 

Read our full MacBook Pro 14 M2 Pro (2023) review.

(Image credit: Razer)

2. Razer Blade 15

The best video editing laptop for a 4K screen

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 our guide to the best OLED laptops

(Image credit: Asus)

3. Asus ROG Zephyrus G15

Best for video editing laptop for raw power

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: Future)
Best affordable video-editing MacBook

Specifications

Processor: Up to 8-core Apple M2
Graphics: Up to 10-Core Apple M2 GPU
RAM: 8GB – 24GB
Screen: 13.6-inch Retina display with True Tone
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish and sturdy design
+
Fast processing speeds
+
Utterly silent and cool
+
Magsafe & 3.5mm headphone jack standard

Reasons to avoid

-
Midnight black color loves fingerprints
-
No SD card slot
-
Costly to spec up
-
Not user-upgradable in the future

The Macbook Air released in 2022 is the direct replacement to the Macbook Air of 2020. While it looks incredibly similar to its predecessor, it has been redesigned and is now powered by a more powerful M2 chip (rather than 2020’s M1).

The base M2 chip packs an 8‑core CPU and 8‑core GPU, which can be upgraded to a 10-core GPU for an additional cost. You also get 8GB RAM and 256GB of SSD storage as standard, but photographers and other creatives will almost certainly want to get at least 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage.

With our 16GB test machine, we were astounded at how this little laptop could keep up with our most demanding processing requests and not break a sweat. There are no fans to whir and it doesn’t seem to heat up under pressure. A crystal clear display and comfortable trackpad and keyboard are complemented by a Magsafe power connector and two USB-C ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack for a minimal but utilitarian finish.

All in all, this is an incredible machine for on-the-go image or video editing. We'd still go for the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021) model for its more comfortable screen size, but the new M2 Air is still an awesome machine.

Read our full MacBook Air M2 full review.

(Image credit: Dell)

5. Dell XPS 15

The best Windows video editing laptop with a smart design

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.

(Image credit: Andrew Williams/Digital Camera World)
Best hybrid laptop for video editing

Specifications

CPU: Up to quad-core 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11370H
Graphics: Up to GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
RAM: Up to 32GB
Screen: 14.4-inch, 2400 x 1600 IPS
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
SD card reader: No
Thunderbolt 4: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek hybrid hinge design
+
Quality keyboard and haptic touchpad
+
Smartly designed, quiet cooling

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 2 USB/Thunderbolt ports
-
High-spec models are expensive
-
Performance ceiling is not that high

Want a video editing laptop and tablet in one? The Surface Laptop Studio could be the answer. Where most 'hybrid' laptops like this use a 360-degree hinge to achieve the transformation, the Surface Laptop Studio has a dual hinge. It can open up like a normal laptop, but a secondary hinge around the centre of the display lets you pull the screen forwards so the bottom locks in place magnetically just above touchpad. Or it can sit flat where the lid would usually be. This gets you the “fat tablet” style of a 360-degree hinge, without leaving the keyboard sitting awkwardly underneath.

Editing power comes from fairly potent 11th-gen Intel H-series processors, while big spenders have the option of Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti graphics for hardware video acceleration. Max out the option list and you can be rewarded with 32GB RAM and 2TB of SSD storage.

A great display, a clever cooling system, good stylus support and decent performance make this an unusually versatile laptop - one that can do things a MacBook Pro simply can’t. Just don't get too carried away with speccing this up, as the price can escalate far faster than any potential performance increase.

Read our full Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio full review.

(Image credit: Future)
Best for affordable video editing laptop

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.

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

8. Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Best for video editing while on the move

Specifications

CPU: 12th gen Intel iCore i5 or i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe graphics
RAM: 16 GB, 32 GB (LPDDR5)
Screen: 13.3-inch Pixel Sense, 2880 x 1920, 267 PPI, 120hz
Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB SSD
SD card reader: No
Thunderbolt 4: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile laptop/tablet detachable hybrid
+
Very light and portable
+
Deceptively powerful for its form factor
+
Surface Pen is excellent

Reasons to avoid

-
Power might not be enough for demanding tasks
-
Keyboard not for heavy typers
-
Lacking in ports

The Surface Pro 9 is still a device that is hard to pin into any category. It is not the most powerful device for video editing, so don't expect to edit a whole movie masterpiece, but it is the perfect device for editing while on the move, or for setting up quickly on shoots.

The Surface Pro 9 is deceptively powerful from its compact form factor. A very well-built and beautiful device with a kickstand and hinge that still reigns supreme in the 2-in-1 world. If you choose to buy the Surface Type Cover and Surface Slim Pen (which you really should) then this is a fantastic productivity device for on the go.

Read our full Surface Pro 9 review.

(Image credit: Future)
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 our full Acer ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro full review.

(Image credit: HP)

10. 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.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

11. 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.


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, 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 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 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.

Ben Andrews

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.