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The best laptops for video editing in 2020

Mark Coppock
·8 min read

Video editing is a task that requires you to have access to a high-quality display and enough computing power to process large video files. Whether you’re a creative who works on professional-quality videos or you want to launch a YouTube channel, investing in the right laptop will make video editing much easier.

It’s easy to feel confused if you’re not familiar with performance specs. We’ve compared different laptops to select the best computers you can use for video editing. We’ve put together a few recommendations to help you find the right laptop for your video editing needs.

The best video editing laptops at a glance

  • The best video-editing laptop: Dell XPS 15 (2020)

  • The best MacBook for video editing: Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch

  • The best gaming laptop for video editing: Razer Blade 2020

  • The best video-editing laptop under $1,000: Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop (2020)

  • Best video-editing laptop for color accuracy: Acer ConceptD 7

The best video editing laptop: Dell XPS 15 (2020)

Why you should buy this: The Dell XPS 15 looks great, is built incredibly well, and can be configured with some of the most powerful components around.

$1080 from Dell

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a fast Windows 10 laptop for video editing — and everything else.

What we thought of the Dell XPS 15:

Dell’s XPS 15 clamshell laptop has been one of our favorite portable workhorses for a couple of years. It’s incredibly well-built, sporting a solid aluminum chassis and a carbon-fiber keyboard deck that makes for comfortable long working sessions. The XPS 15 also provides some serious power, with up to Intel’s 10th-gen Core i9-10885H CPU. This superfast, full-power (45-watt) processor is the ultimate CPU for demanding tasks like encoding video and real-time editing. That chip is featured in other laptops, but according to our tests, it’s by far the fastest in Dell’s system. The XPS 15 is also available with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU that should help considerably with live editing and encoding performance.

You can configure the XPS 15 all the way from a base model with an entry-level i5-10300H CPU up to the aforementioned Core i9-10885H, up to 32GB of fast DDR4-2933MHz RAM, up to 1TB of very fast PCI-e solid-state drive (SSD) storage, and up to a gorgeous 4K OLED display that offers remarkable contrast and vibrant colors to show off your video projects with real grandeur. You’ll get a machine that also provides tons of high-speed connectivity, including a USB-C with full-speed 40 GBps Thunderbolt 3 support (USB-C dominates this laptop, which forgoes older USB-A connections), along with a solid keyboard and touchpad with the option of a fingerprint scanner for secure login via Windows 10 Hello.

The best video-editing Macbook: Apple MacBook Pro 16

Why you should buy this: You’ve bought into the Apple ecosystem, you love MacBooks, and you want one of the best video editing laptops money can buy.

$2099 from Amazon

Who’s it for: Any Apple user who needs a powerful video editing workstation they can take anywhere.

What we thought of the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch:

While Adobe’s Premiere line of video editing applications has become an industry standard, Apple’s Final Cut Pro X is on the rise again. That means that the Mac retains its place in the hearts of many creative professionals — and videographers are no different. For high-end users, the latest 16-inch MacBook Pro is exactly what they’ve been waiting for.

The new Pro features even thinner bezels and a larger, 16-inch display with a 3,072 x 1,920 resolution that squeezes in every beautiful pixel that it can. While there are two primary model options, the more affordable version offers a 9th-gen, 2.6Ghz Intel Core i7 processor and an AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU, with 6GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB SSD. You can improve all these options if you want, but this is still a great starting place for video editing.

We also really like the four Thunderbolt 3 ports for connecting cameras, external storage drives, and monitors while you work. The 2020 model really puts the “Pro” in MacBook Pro, making it an easy recommendation for all video professionals.

The best gaming laptop for video editing: Razer Blade 15 2020

Why you should buy this: This laptop provides the fastest GPU you can get to speed up video encoding and live editing.

$1800 from Adorama

Who’s it for: Anybody who wants the fastest possible workflow without investing in a boring portable workstation.

What we thought of the Razer Blade 15 2020:

The previous 2019 Razer Blade was our favorite gaming laptop by a country mile. It was gorgeous, as well built as any laptop on the market, and it could be configured for very fast gaming. The 2020 model provides valuable updates and a welcome variety of customization options for GPU and storage. And there’s an interesting relationship between gaming and video editing — the GPU can speed up both tasks!

This particular model offers a 10-gen Intel i7-10750H processor, and your choice of processors includes the RTX 2070 Max-Q, available either in a 144Hz version or a 4k OLED version, depending on what’s more comfortable for you. The 4k OLED option may be superior if you’re doing lots of detailed editing, but keep in mind this laptop also excels at video connections to larger monitors when necessary. The design, meanwhile, still offers a compact aluminum frame that’s surprisingly thin for its power, and includes customizable backlighting for your keyboard.

Ports on the Razer 15 2020 include Thunderbolt 3, USB-C and USB-A, and HDMI. It’s also ready for Wi-Fi 6 when you are ready to upgrade your router.

The best video-editing laptop under $1,000: Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop (2020)

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fortnite dell g3

Why you should buy this: It provides a lot of power at a low cost.

$756 from Dell

Who’s it for: Anyone who needs fast components to churn through their video projects but has little money to spend.

What we thought of the Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop:

Not everyone has the money for a high-powered machine like the ones listed above. For those people, there’s an option that may not be the first that comes to mind: A budget gaming laptop. Yes, that’s right, manufacturers often pack some surprisingly powerful components into gaming laptops at surprisingly low rates — because not every gamer has tons of money to spend.

One of our favorites is the Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop. It’s not the most powerful laptop around, but it still packs up to a fast six-core 10th-generation Intel Core i7-10750H CPU and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU. Those are fast parts that will keep all but the most demanding video projects running at full speed. It also includes 8GB of RAM, along with 256GB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage.

Ports on this model include USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, as well as a DisplayPort alt mode. Dell walks a narrow line here to deliver as many up-to-date specs as possible while still keeping the price in the $700 range, and the end result is very effective.

Best video-editing laptop for color accuracy: Acer ConceptD 7

Why you should buy this: Acer has built a laptop from the ground up for editing perfectionists.

$4296 from Amazon

Who’s it for: Video editors, designers, and photographers who have plenty of demands for 2D or 3D creation and high expectations for color quality.

What we thought of the Acer ConceptD 7:

The ConceptD 7 is a laptop made specifically for creators who have high expectations and specific demands for their portable creation machines. It offers a 9th-gen Intel 6-core processor with up to 4.5GHz, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with 8G of dedicated VRAM. The 15.6-inch screen offers a 4K resolution for designers who like to get really close to their videos, and up to a 400 nit brightness level. There’s also up to 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCI-e NVMe SSD to store all your greedy video files.

But it’s the color quality where this laptop shines even brighter: It has a 100% Adobe color gamut, color accuracy of Delta E<2, and integrated color correction, plus Pantone color validation. Oh, and if you like working in low-light conditions, the keyboard has soft, gentle backlighting that won’t distract from your work. You won’t have any problems with a noisy cooling fan, either. The ConceptD 7’s cooling fan is quiet and discreet so that you can focus on the work at hand. It’s a laptop made for demanding 2D and 3D creation, and it doesn’t get much better than that… for a price. It doesn’t matter if you’re a photographer, a graphic designer, or a digital artist — the ConceptD 7 is perfect for creators on the go.

There’s also an advanced model on the way with the ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro that offers a highly portable 2-in-1 design for those who are even more on the move than usual. Regardless of the model, it’s no surprise why so many creators rely on the ConceptD 7.