12 Best Laptops for Video Editing in 2017
If you enjoy blockbuster movies or those catchy commercials that assault us at every turn, you may have an interest in video editing and graphic design. It’s a booming industry that won’t shrink anytime soon, which means you need a great PC to handle the load. Not everyone wants to be tethered to a desk.
While most consumers know you’ll need much power to handle heavy video editing, sometimes powerful things come in small packages. In this case, that would be laptops as we went on a search to find the best laptop for video editing.
Whether you are looking to edit your first feature length film or your cat video for YouTube, we have included a little something for everyone. You may also be surprised by some of the brands that made the cut.
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Top 12 Laptops for Video Editing Comparison Chart
|Design||Name||Multiple Configurations||QHD or 4K display||Rating (1-5)|
|1. Apple MacBook Pro MLL42LL/A 13.3-inch Laptop||Yes||Yes||4.4|
|2. Microsoft Surface Book||Yes||Yes||4.4|
|3. Gigabyte P57Xv7-KL3 17.3″ Notebook||Yes||No||4.4|
|4. Microsoft Surface Pro 4||Yes||Yes||4.3|
|5. MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro 4K-228 15.6″||Yes||Yes||4.1|
|6. Dell XPS 15 9550 Touch 15.6″ 4K Ultra HD||No||Yes||4.0|
|7. Dell Inspiron i7559-7512GRY 15.6 Inch UHD Touchscreen Laptop||Yes||Yes||4.0|
|8. Razer Blade Pro Gaming Laptop – 17″ 4K Touchscreen Gaming Laptop||Yes||Yes||3.9|
|9. Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition VN7-792G-709L 17.3-inch Ultra HD Notebook||Yes||Yes||3.8|
|10. ASUS GL753VE-DS74 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop||Yes||No||3.8|
|11. Lenovo Z70 17.3-Inch Laptop||Yes||No||3.8|
|12. ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW 15.6-Inch 4K Touchscreen Laptop||Yes||No||3.8|
- When it comes to finding a great laptop for video editing, you will first want to consider your needs. Films, rendering and 3D modeling will require a lot of power whereas simple editing won’t be quite as intensive. That said, the faster processor and more RAM you have, the quicker you’ll get the job done.
For most consumers looking for the best laptop for video editing, time is of the essence. That means we won’t waste yours so let’s take a quick look at some tips to help you make an informed decision.
- Display and Color Accuracy – As we’re dealing with the visual arts, this will be the most important factor for many consumers. It also put some brands on our list you normally wouldn’t see as gaming laptops tend to have better color gamut than most.
The resolution may be just as important, but only depending on your usage. If you are doing cuts an editing HQ video, you obviously want a display that can handle the extra pixels. There is no shortage of QHD or 2K displays on the market, but true 4K panels are still widely considered exotic in laptops and can jack up the price significantly.
- Horsepower and Graphics – NVIDIA is the name you’ll hear most in this department. If you see “integrated graphics” or the Intel HD tag appears, you’ll want to probably look for a different PC if you need high-powered graphics. Some laptops will actually allow you to upgrade your graphics card, but those are rare and usually only found in gaming PCs. Cheaper laptops or ones built for general use will have Intel “Pro” graphics or an HD graphic package.
The same applies for horsepower. Editing any type of video quickly will take a lot of power, so you will want to look for a fast processor and lots of RAM. Memory has gotten cheaper, so it’s not going to be difficult to find a laptop with a Core i7 and 16GB of RAM. That would have been a dream five years ago, but some smartphones can handle 8GB now while we’ve seen laptops with 32GB.
If you are using a certain video editing software like Photoshop, Final Cut, Pinnacle or Corel, you will want to check the recommended software requirements for those programs. Not the “minimum” as you’ll want to make sure your machine can perform above their requirements.
- Storage – When you have decided how much RAM you need and what your chip of choice will be, it’s time to turn your attention to the storage. There will be two options to choose from with SSD aka Solid State Drives and the classic HDD or Hard Disk Drive. Both are fine choices, but each has its distinct drawbacks and advantages.
HDD drives are still what you’ll find in most common laptops. They are cheaper, which means you’ll also get more bang for your buck in most cases with 1TB for the cost of an SSD half the size. SDD drives are considerably faster and work in a similar way to flash memory with no moving parts; this leads to quicker access times and transfer speeds. Some laptops offer up the best of both worlds, so a hybrid setup may be your best option if you need fast loading times and plenty of space.
Either way, you go, video will eat up a large chunk of your storage… far more than most people consider until they start converting a file or film. In other words, you can never have too much space and if nothing else, make sure you have fast USB ports if you need to turn to an external hard drive down the line.
Top 5 Best Laptop for Video Editing Reviews
Number one is a no-brainer as we’ve seen this one in commercials praising its video editing prowess. You’ve also seen plenty of content made from the MacBook Pro as well. Pedigrees aside, the Pro model is Apple’s flagship laptop, and while it is pricey, it’s a top-notch performer when it comes to video and graphics. You will fly through Photoshop on this one.
Apple upgrades their laptop lineup years, and the MacBook Pro is always available with several different options. The top model offers up things like the Touch Bar, a Retina display along with a couple of configurations in size and storage. It should meet most consumer’s needs with light to normal usage. That said, the battery life is not the best, so you’ll want to have a charger handy at all times if you are doing heavy editing on the go.
The Apple MacBook Pro may be expensive, but the combination of performance and its rich set of features make it a winner across the board. It also doesn’t hurt that Mac has some of the best editing tools and software available.
Do not be fooled by this one’s name. Despite the “Surface” moniker, this laptop is a bit different from the Pro model tablet. The Microsoft Surface Book with Performance Base can do some things its tablet-based brother cannot.
Graphically, the Microsoft Surface Book with Performance Base is a big step up with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M which has 2GB of dedicated RAM. By comparison, the surface uses Intel HD or Iris graphics. The power driving the devices is largely the same on the top-tier option, but the Book has a better display with a resolution of 3,000 x 2,000. That will make a difference.
While you can’t detach the display on the Surface Book, you can still use it like a slate thanks to the unique hinge. It has power, a solid battery, and a great display, but the downside is that it will set you back almost as much as the MacBook Pro. It is not cheap, and you can’t buy the “base” separately, so a full upgrade is required if you own the regular Surface book.
Gamers have understood the power laptops can have for years. While a gaming laptop might be the first thought on your mind when looking for the best laptop for video editing, the Gigabyte P57Xv7-KL3 is well worth a look.
What you get out of the Gigabyte P57Xv7-KL3 depends on what you want to spend. The laptop is available in four configurations, each with NVIDIA GTX graphics. The top variant sports the GTX 1080 with 8GB of RAM – more than enough to edit your family videos or something a little more lengthy. Other features to note include the speedy KabyLake i7 processor, a swappable HDD/ODD slot and HDMI 2.0.
The Gigabyte P57Xv7-KL3 does not have a 4K panel, however, which is a bit of a downer although you will get a matte display with wide viewing angles. You’ll also get plenty of space as the laptop is available with 1TB of storage to ensure you don’t have to store your edited masterpieces in the cloud.
Apple and the Chrome OS may currently dominate the laptop space, but the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is hard to keep off any top tablet list. The convertible slate has become a fan favorite due to its multiple configurations (at multiple price points) as well as its convertible sensibilities.
The Surface Pro 4 fits a wide variety of uses including video editing on the fly. The small, but spacious touchscreen display allows you to edit with your digits while the Intel Core i7 ensures you will have ample power out of the gate. Like most laptops on our list, how much power you want depends on your budget as you can go all the way up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.
The ability to use the Surface Pen is also a plus. Whether you need to take a quick notation during editing or just prefer to use a stylus, it is included, and there is a slew of accessories that can further extend the laptop hybrids capabilities.
MSI is another name that gamers and hardcore techies will surely recognize. They have been producing high-powered laptops for years, and the MSI GS63VR is one of their best systems to date. While built for gaming, it makes for a very nice video editing machine.
MSI offers up this particular laptop in several different hardware configurations although the style stays the same. That is a good thing considering the slick design and Steel Series color backlight keyboard. The Stealth Pro can handle any game you throw its way with high-powered innards, which also means it can deal with video editing easily.
The MSI GS63VR is available to purchase in two sizes with a 14.3-inch and 15.6-inch model. Both offer up several different options when it comes to storage and memory, but all have the GTX 1060. The belle of the ball also offers up a 4K display and 2TB of storage while still keeping the price competitive against the rest of the laptops on our list.
It doesn’t matter if you are a video pro or someone just getting started, choosing the right laptop for your budget is the first step. Unlike laptops for travel or college, a good video editing laptop can cost a few thousand dollars or more. That said, you may not need the best of the bunch, so keep your needs in mind along with the price tag.