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November 12, 2021

The Top 10 Laptops for Video Editing in 2021

You need to consider certain features when buying a video editing laptop. This detailed guide will help you choose one that suits your needs best.

Nowadays, you can use just about any laptop to edit your vacation or Christmas videos. However, if you're a professional video editor or a student looking to hone your video editing skills, you may be interested to know what laptop is perfect for video editing. 

Video editing is a demanding task that requires not only the best video editing software but also robust computing power. We should point out that the best video editing laptops do not come cheap, but we suspect you already know that. The good news is, Black Friday is just around the corner. It's the best time of the year to shop for electronics and take advantage of crazy deals.

Before we get started, there are certain specs you need to consider when buying a video editing laptop.

How to Choose the Best Video Editing Laptop

Keep in mind that laptop manufacturers do not make laptops specifically for video editing. You’ll have to pick the necessary features and specifications from the standard laptops, including gaming laptops, mobile workstations, and ultraportables.

Here’s what to look for:

  • CPU. You need a powerful processor to handle the demanding tasks of producing professional quality content. Imagine editing 4K, 6K, or 8K footage on a slow machine. It will take forever! Therefore, a fast processor should be a priority. The leading brands include AMD and Intel, or you can opt for Apple’s M1 chip if you prefer a MacBook.
  • RAM. You’ll also need plenty of RAM to ensure fast editing of high-resolution footage. The minimum RAM is 8GB, although 16GB of RAM works well with heavyweight video editors like Adobe Premiere. 32GB of RAM is preferrable.
  • Storage. Video footage takes lots of space, and a laptop with at least 256GB of SSD storage is recommended. When it comes to editing, the more storage space you have, the better.
  • Graphics card. A dedicated graphics card is more capable of rendering complex graphical effects. Thus, it should be one of the topmost factors to consider when buying a video editing laptop. However, laptops with dedicated graphics cards can be quite expensive. So, you’ll want to make sure that you really need such a machine.
  • Screen size and resolution. Of course, screen resolution should be factored in when shopping for a video editing computer. If you work with 4K videos a lot, ask yourself, what laptop is best for 4K video editing? Generally, a higher resolution is preferable. That’s why you need to aim for laptops with QHD and UHD. This will allow you to edit your 2K and 4K videos, as well as FHD and 1080p footage. 
  • High-quality speakers. When working with videos, you’ll want to ensure the soundtracks are great. That’s where excellent speakers come in. However, this is not a prerequisite since you can connect your device to external speakers.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a recommendation for choosing the best video editing laptop for your needs. 

What Are the Best Laptops for Video Editing in 2021?

1. Apple MacBook Pro 16-Inch (2019)

Top Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 - i9, 9th-Generation
  • RAM: 16GB to 64GB
  • Storage: 512GB, 1TB SSD
  • Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Native Display Resolution: 3072 x 1920
  • Graphics Processor: AMD Radeon Pro 5500M
  • Operating System: Apple macOS Catalina

We kick off our list with one of the most powerful laptops today. The MacBook Pro 16-Inch comes equipped with up to 64GB RAM and expandable SSD storage depending on your configurations. That’s pure computing power that’s guaranteed to make your video editing smooth, fast, and seamless.

The MacBook Pro is not new in the market, but it still sports a stylish modern design that makes it so iconic. It's thin and lightweight as well, meaning you can take it with you anywhere you go.

The big 16-inch screen gives you plenty of room to work. The powerful processor, combined with the robust memory and graphics options, makes it a performance powerhouse.

The MacBook isn’t short on connectivity, offering up to four USB-C ports. Remember we mentioned checking out the speakers? Well, the MacBook Pro 16-inch emits high-quality sound thanks to its upward-firing six-speaker system.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Supports SSD storage of up to 8TB
  • Superb sound quality
  • Powerful processor and AMD Radeon graphics cards
  • Excellent battery power
  • Impressive 16-inch Retina display

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Expensive
  • No touch screen
  • Lacks USB type-A ports and microSD slot

2. Apple MacBook Pro 13 (M1, 2020)

Top Specs:

  • Processor: Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU
  • RAM: 8GB to 16GB unified memory
  • Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD
  • Screen: 13.3-inch, LED-backlit Retina display
  • Native Display Resolution: 2560 x 1600
  • Graphics Processor: Integrated 8-core GPU

If you thought Apple knocked it out of the park with the MacBook Pro, wait until you lay your hands on its M1 Pro or M1 Max-powered laptops. They are twice as fast as the Intel i9 MacBook Pro 16-inch, making them a great choice for professional videographers.

The new MacBook Pro 13-Inch laptop is slim, sleek, and attractive. However, it features limited ports, offering just two Thunderbolt 4 ports.

The 13-inch LED display gives crisp and accurate color reproduction, with up to 500 nits of full-screen brightness. It’s integrated with True Tone technology, which adjusts brightness to make it suit your environment.

When it comes to battery life, the MacBook Pro 13-inch M1 can go for up to 20 hours on a single charge, which, according to Apple, is "the longest in any Mac to date." Of course, the battery life will be less in real-world usage, based on how much work you throw at it.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Excellent 13.3-inch LED Retina display
  • Stunning battery life
  • Stellar performance

Reasons to Avoid:

  • High price tag

3. Dell XPS 17 (2021)

Top Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5/i7/i9, 11th-gen
  • RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4-3200MHz
  • Storage: Up to 8TB PCIe NVMe, SSD
  • Screen: 17-inch FHD+, 17-inch UHD+ display
  • Native Display Resolution: 1920 x 1200, 3,840 x 2,400
  • Graphics Processor: Intel UHD Graphics, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050/3060 GPU, 4GB/6GB GDDR6

Are you an avid YouTuber? If so, you may be wondering what laptop YouTubers use to edit their videos. Well, you can't go wrong with the Dell XPS 17. It packs a ton of power and a massive 17-inch UHD+ display into a surprisingly small chassis and delivers a UHD+ display, which is a must if you work with 4K videos.

This rig has been a favorite workhorse for both professional video editors and novices for a while now. It sports an attractive design complemented by an aluminum chassis and carbon fiber keyboard deck, which makes it comfortable to use.

Its Intel 11th Generation processor, combined with up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB (2 x 4TB) of SSD storage, can handle anything you throw at it without a hint of lag. There are various configuration options, and you pay for what you want. For instance, you can order one with either an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 or RTX 3060 GPU for lightning-fast rendering.

The XPS 17 comes with four Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, which also supply power. The connections allow you to transfer your workload faster to an external SSD if the need arises. Or, you can do so wirelessly to the cloud via its Killer Wi-Fi 6.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Gigantic 17-inch UHD+ display
  • Sleek design
  • Four Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics card
  • Fast 8-core CPU

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Thunderbolt ports only
  • Pricey
  • Battery life is not as great

4. Alienware Area-51m R2

Top Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core 17/i9, 10th-Generation
  • RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4 2933MHz memory type
  • Storage: 256GBNVMe M.2 PCIe SSD
  • Screen: 17.3-inch display
  • Native Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080, 144Hz
  • Graphics Processor: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB GDDR6

The Alienware Area-51m R2 is an upgraded version of the Area-51m first-generation laptop. It now features an Intel Core i9 10th-gen processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER GPU. It comes packed with up to 64GB of fast DDR4-2933MHz RAM and the option to install 4TB of RAID with two 2TB SSDs. These configurations make the Alienware Area-51m R2 one of the best video editing laptops of 2021.

Its huge 17.3-inch display delivers 500 nits of brightness and supports a 100 percent Adobe RGB color gamut, which lets you produce high-quality videos. The most interesting thing about the Alienware Area-51m R2 is its upgradability options. You can swap out the CPU and GPU, meaning you can start with lower configurations and upgrade them as you hone your editing skills.

The one downside of this video editing machine is that it's not exactly portable. It weighs over nine pounds and is as thick as 1.7 inches. But that doesn’t mean you can't carry it with you – just be ready for a little workout.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Wide selection of ports, including media card reader, USB-A 3.2 Gen, USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, and HDMI 2.0 ports
  • Swappable GPU and CPU give you room for growth
  • Stunning 17.3-inch display
  • Superfast SSDs
  • Excellent graphics and performance

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Pricey
  • Huge and heavy

5. Acer ConceptD 7

Top Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7, 10th-Generation
  • RAM: Up to 32GB DDR4 2666MHz
  • Storage: Up to 1TB NVMe SSD
  • Screen: 15.6-inch 4K UHD display
  • Native Display Resolution: 3840 x 2160
  • Graphics Processor: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER

You don’t often come across powerful gaming laptops like the Acer ConceptD 7 rig. It's integrated with robust components, including a cutting-edge Intel processor that ensures speedy encoding.

On top of that, you get powerful VR-ready Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics and tons of storage, not to mention plenty of RAM to support seamless editing.

The unit also features a striking Pantone-validated 4K IPS display that ensures your videos have accurate – and vibrant – colors. The PC offers six different display modes, depending on the type of content you're editing.

The Acer ConceptD 7 comes with the Wacom EMR pen, which gives the natural and intuitive feeling of drawing on paper. In terms of connectivity, you get plenty:

  • One Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port
  • Three USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports
  • One HDMI 2.0
  • Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • Headphone/microphone combo jack

Reasons to Buy:

  • Powerful machine with Intel 10th-Generation processor
  • Brilliant 4K display
  • Wide selection of ports
  • Powerful Nvidia GeForce graphics

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Pricey

6. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4

Top Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i9, 11th-Generation 
  • RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4 3200MHz
  • Storage: Up to 2TB NVMe SSD
  • Screen: 16-inch WQXGA display
  • Native Display Resolution: 2560 x 1600, 3840 x 2400
  • Graphics Processor: Integrated Intel UHD graphics, Nvidia RTX 3060-3080 with Max-Q 16GB

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 laptop boasts raw processing power thanks to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics. Videographers will benefit from the extended battery life of up to 10 hours and rapid charging technology that boosts power to 80 percent in just one hour.

You can opt for the 4K display or the FHD monitor that comes with Dolby Vision, which is anti-glare and offers 400 nits of brightness. It’s the perfect video editing laptop for digital content makers. Even the base model packs an 8-core 11th-Generation Intel Core i7 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics.

It features a military-grade build, and like most ThinkPads, its aluminum alloy bottom and carbon-fiber top excel when tested for shock, vibration, and environmental extremes. The unit houses multiple ports, including two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, one HDMI 2.1 port, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, and an SD card reader slot.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Massive 16-inch screen
  • Above-par performance
  • Multiple ports
  • Great quality keyboard

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Pricey
  • Battery life could be better

7. Dell XPS 15 (9510)

Top Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5/i7/i9, 11th-Generation
  • RAM: Up to 64GB, DDR4 3200MHz
  • Storage: Up to 2TB SSD
  • Screen: 15.6-inch OLED display
  • Native Display Resolution: 3456 x 2160
  • Graphics Processor: Intel UHD Graphics, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti

The Dell XPS 15 9510 is one of the best choices for professional video editors. It comes with an FHD+ touchscreen that supports a 100 percent Adobe RGB and 94 percent DCI-P3 color gamut.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 series graphics, along with the new Tiger Lake-H Intel processor, means the machine delivers when you need it to. Even the base configuration offers an 11th-generation 6-core Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. In other words, this is a game-ready PC that can make for an excellent video editing laptop.

The XPS 15 9510 doesn't just excel in performance. It sports a sleek design and has a premium feel. You’ll be awed by how thin this model is (although it comes at the expense of leaving out ports). At 4.3 pounds, it's light – but not the lightest of laptops.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Beautifully designed
  • Superb OLED screen option
  • Long battery life

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Limited ports
  • Costly compared to other laptops with similar configurations

8. HP Envy x360

Top Specs:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5/ Ryzen 7
  • RAM: 8GB / 16GB DDr4-3200MHz
  • Storage: Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Screen: 15.6-inch diagonal FHD WLED-backlit touch display
  • Native Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Graphics Processor: Radeon Graphics

The HP Envy x360 is the best 2-in-1 video editing laptop for those looking for an affordable option. The touchscreen model allows you to use it as a tablet and is designed to switch swiftly from tablet mode to laptop mode.

Its 15.6-inch FHD 1080p WLED display looks gorgeous and ensures your videos look professional. It supports connecting to a second display if you want to work on a larger screen like a TV via HDMI or DisplayPort via USB-C. It also offers one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 type, two USB-A 3.2 ports, a MicroSD card slot, and a headphone jack.

It packs a powerful 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 processor with Radeon graphics to give you a super-fast CPU that can handle all the heavy tasks of video editing. The big storage SSD ensures you have enough space for all your high-quality videos.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Easily portable
  • Great battery life
  • Powerful processor
  • Multiple ports

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Non-upgradable RAM

9. Dell Latitude 7424

Top Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5/i7, 8th Gen, 4 Cores
  • RAM: 8GB-2400MHz, DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Screen: 14-inch, FHD WVA, embedded touch display
  • Native Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Graphics Processor: Radeon RX540, Integrated Intel UHD 620 Graphics

Do you work outdoors most of the time? The Dell Latitude 7427 is the best rugged laptop that's more suitable for editing videos outdoors. It lets you work under any condition – dusty, wet, or hot – thanks to its thick and strong enclosure on top of the military-grade construction.

It has an IP-65 rating, meaning it's water-resistant against “low-pressure water jets, water spray, and water condensation." However, you can't use it underwater. The multi-touch FHD display delivers up to 1,000 nits of brightness, letting you work under direct sunlight with ease.

It comes with a 14-inch display but offers options to connect to an external monitor using HDMI, VGA, or DisplayPort connectors. Alternatively, you can use USB-C connectors. This unit supports up to three swappable M.2 SSDs to expand storage to up to 3TB.

Reasons to Buy:

  • IP-65 rating for water resistance
  • Can be used in extreme environments
  • Supports expandable storage
  • Armored casing

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Heavy
  • Small screen
  • Limited GPU

10. MSI Creator 17

Top Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i9 processor, 10th-Generation, 8 Cores
  • RAM: Up to 64GB, DDR4 3200 memory type
  • Storage: Up to 2TB NVMe SSD
  • Screen: 17.3-inch, UHD display, 17.3-inch FHD, 144Hz17.3-inch MiniLED, HDR 1000, 60Hz
  • Native Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080, 3840 x 2160
  • Graphics Processor: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060/2070/2080 SUPER with Max-Q

What makes the MSI Creator 17 one of the top laptops for video editing in 2021 is the true-to-life colors it offers. Thanks to the miniLED display, you can enjoy working with bright, colorful videos and images. The True Pixel Mini LED display offers 1000 nits of brightness and a 100 percent DCI-P3 color gamut.

It comes equipped with a powerful Intel Core i9 processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics under the hood to ensure fast rendering. You no longer have to worry about lagging or freezing when editing high-resolution videos. The unit delivers deep bass and clean, crisp octaves for the best audio clarity.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Slim, portable design
  • Supports connection with up to three monitors
  • Wide array of connectivity ports
  • Powerful processors and graphics card

Reasons to Avoid:

  • Costly

Transfer Large Videos Online the Hassle-Free Way

Once you're done working on your high-resolution videos, the next step is probably to share them with coworkers, family, or friends. Given their large size, you may be scratching your head, wondering what online file sharing service is the best.

We recommend FileWhopper not only for speedy transfers but also for your data protection. The software has a neat, user-friendly interface that’s straightforward to use. You’ll like the fact that you don’t need to commit to costly monthly subscriptions. It’s a pay-as-you-go service, and you’re charged based on the size of the file/folder you’re sending.

With FileWhopper, you don’t have to worry about file size limits. You can send 10TB or even larger files and folders. What’s more, your files and folders are protected with zero-knowledge encryption, meaning only you and your recipient(s) have access to the data. Once a file/folder has been downloaded, it is automatically deleted from the servers, further protecting your data from future access.

If you haven’t checked out FileWhopper yet, the time has come. And you get to share your first 5GB absolutely for free!

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