The best laptops for video editing in 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

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The right laptop can make a world of difference. This applies to everyone, whether an everyday user or a professional video editor. Powerful laptops can greatly help video editors because their hardware allows them to handle demanding workloads. They can improve the quality of your video and save you a ton of time.

Also: Best laptops of 2024

What is the best laptop for video editing right now?

We performed extensive research and hands-on testing when looking for the top video editing laptops you can buy today. We looked for models that excelled in processing power, display, and price, among other metrics. Our pick for the best laptop for video editing overall is the 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro (2023), due to its M3 Pro chipset, gorgeous Liquid Retina XDR display, and long-lasting battery life. It is rather expensive. But the MacBook Pro isn’t the only option out there. Below, we compare the top models from the best brands like ASUS and Dell.

Best laptops for video editing in 2024

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Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023)

Best laptop for video editing overall

Our pick for the best video editing laptop should come as no surprise: The 2023 release of the MacBook Pro 16. It really can’t be understated just how good Apple’s hardware is for creative endeavors. The company puts so much effort into ensuring its products meet users’ needs.

The laptop comes equipped with an M3 SoC (system on a chip). The technology behind it is rather complicated, but all you need to know is that it is 60% faster than the old M1 hardware. This is partly thanks to the new neural engine allowing the MacBook Pro to enable on-device machine learning. It also has a better media engine for HEVC and H.264 hardware acceleration, plus support for ProRes RAW files. The MacBook Pro even has an AV1 decode engine to handle content from YouTube and Netflix.

Also: M3 MacBook Pro buying advice: Who it’s really for (and who should stick with M2 MacBook Air)

Of course, we can’t forget about the stunning Liquid Retina XDR display outputting a resolution of 3,024 x 1,964 pixels (or 3K for short). Screens sporting this tech have a high contrast ratio and brightness level for top-tier image fidelity. Other notable features include a 1080p webcam and a 22-hour battery life. We recommend opting for the model with the M3 Pro chip as it offers great performance while not being eye-watering expensive. If you can afford it, the MacBook with M3 Max chip may be more your style.

Don’t just take our word for it. The for the MacBook Pro are overwhelmingly positive. Customers said they enjoyed many of the same things we did, like the battery, the build quality, and the crystal-clear video.

Apple MacBook Pro 16 specs: Processor: Apple M3 Pro | Display size: 16 inches | Operating system: Mac OS | Dimensions: 14 x 9.77 x 0.66 inches

Space Black MacBook Pro (M3 Max) running MacOS Sonoma wallpaper

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Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED

Best video editing laptop display

When shopping for a video editing laptop, you must be aware of the display you’ll receive. After all, if you plan to spend hours staring at a screen, it should be pleasant to look at. For this reason and several others, we recommend the Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED. As the name suggests, this device has a 16-inch OLED display outputting 3.2K (3,200 x 2,000 pixels) resolution. So, right off the bat, you can tell the ProArt Studiobook can show off stunning imagery. But wait, there’s more because the screen is supported by several imaging features, further improving its quality.

For starters, it covers the entire DCI-P3 gamut, ensuring bright and vivid colors, plus it has a refresh rate of 120Hz. A high refresh rate means velvety smooth footage even when the video playback runs at a high speed. Having this present ensures all of the finer details can be seen. Under the hood, the ProArt Studiobook can house an Intel Core I9-13980HX CPU alongside an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU to process and handle heavy workloads. 

There are a few other features worth mentioning: Most notably, there is a dial underneath the keyboard for controlling app tools or zooming in. The hinge allows the laptop to open a full 180 degrees so you can interact directly with the touchscreen. 

Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED: Processor: Intel Core i9-13980HX | Display size: 16 inches | Operating system: Windows 11 | Dimensions: 14.02 x 10.67 x 0.80 inches

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Apple MacBook Air M3

Best lightweight video editing laptop

The M2 MacBook Air impressed us so much that we gave it our Product of the Year award for 2022. We were left wondering how will Apple one-up such a great laptop? What would the M3 MacBook Air bring to the table? Well, there are a lot of things, but I will primarily focus on two significant aspects. First off, it performs significantly better than the previous model. Its neural engine “offers a 60 percent improvement in performance” over the old model. Jason Hiner, Editor in Chief at ZDNET, believes this component could pave the way for a future generative AI.

Besides the neural engine, the MacBook’s M3 chip allows the computer to be as powerful as the fastest pro laptops from a few years ago. Benchmark tests showed it’s on par with the M1 MacBook Pro. 

Review: M3 MacBook Air review: Apple’s AI computer for the masses has arrived

The second most impactful feature is the laptop’s ability to connect up to two monitors when closed. That may seem very specific to focus on, but it’s a considerable upgrade. We’ve already established the M3 MacBook Air competes on the same level as some high-end devices. Connected to two monitors, a Magic Keyboard, and a Magic Trackpad, you essentially have a desktop computer setup. One that you can take with you on the go. It’s ultraportable. The MacBook can slip into almost any size bag with ease. 

Apple MacBook Air M3 specs: Processor: Apple M3 Chip | Display size: 13.6 inches | Operating system: Mac OS | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches

M3 MacBook Air on desk

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Dell XPS 16

Best Windows video editing laptop

Dell’s XPS 16 is a fantastic laptop. We labeled it one of the best Windows laptops we’ve tested so far, for good reason. Its thin bezels enhance the ultra-high-quality 4K resolution display, giving the illusion of a bigger screen than it actually is. It’s a small trick, but it’s pretty effective. 

Internally, the device runs on the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H, which is part of the recently released Meteor Lake series. This processor was subjected to benchmarking tests to learn how well it performed under heavy workloads. It did exceptionally well on the tests, earning a score of 12,972 on Cinebench R23, which puts it among the upper echelon of CPUs. 

Additionally, the Intel Core Ultra 7 is paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070, which is great for video rendering. Editors should strive to purchase computers with strong graphics cards that handle visually intensive content. And you can’t get better than something from the GeForce 40 series.

Review: Dell XPS 16 (2024) review: Best Windows laptop I’ve tested so far this year

Things didn’t stop there, as the XPS 16 continued to impress us. The device has room-filling speakers supported by Dolby Atmos and a stylish yet energy-efficient design. 

There is a catch to the XPS 16. Having this much solid hardware makes the laptop expensive. Higher-end builds cost over $3,000, which is around the range of the MacBook Pro. Fortunately, you can customize it, so you won’t have to pay as much.

Dell XPS 16 (2024) specs: Processor: Intel Core Ultra 7 155H | Display size: 16.3 inches | Operating system: Windows 11 | Dimensions: 14.10 x 9.50 x 0.74 inches

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HP Spectre x360

Best 2-in-1 laptop for video editing

2-in-1 laptops lend themselves very well to video editing. You can interact directly with their touchscreens for precise actions, and when you’re done, you can turn the screen around and use the machine like any old laptop. There are many great choices on the market, but we have to give the crown to the 2024 Spectre x360 from HP. 

Like earlier entries, the laptop has a solid display. This one sports a 2.8K OLED that I called “eye candy” in my hands-on review. The moment you lift the screen, you are greeted by vibrant shades of color, deep shadows, and high-level on-screen detail.

Review: HP’s new Spectre x360 is already one of my favorite laptops of the year. Here’s why

It’s not just the visual fidelity, mind you. The quality is undoubtedly nice, but it would be remiss of us not to mention the IMAX-enhanced sound system. HP’s Spectre x360 houses a pair of woofers next to some tweeters, which allows it to cover a wide array of sounds.

You won’t be experiencing tinny-sounding music here, no sir. Another interesting aspect is the 9MP webcam. Due to the lens, the Spectre x360 can shoot video with a 3,488 x 2,616 pixels resolution. That’s almost 4K resolution. It’s not quite there, but it’s still high quality nonetheless.

It’s a solid laptop for anyone and is decently priced to boot.

HP Spectre x360 specs: Processor: Intel Core Ultra 7 155H | Display size: 14-inch 2.8K OLED touchscreen | Operating system: Windows 11 | Dimensions: 12.35 x 8.68 x 0.67 inches

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Lenovo Yoga Book 9i

Best dual-screen laptop

Like Apple and the MacBook Air, Lenovo impressed us last year with the Yoga Book 9i. For the 2024 version, the company didn’t change its overall design. Lenovo knew they knocked it out of the park in this respect. Instead, the brand upgraded its hardware components, introduced some new features, and called it a day. It was a series of minor updates that were enough to make the Yoga Book 9i an excellent video editing laptop.

The device houses an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor “that’s [been] optimized for AI tasks,” according to ZDNET expert Max Buondonno. It gets paired with an Intel Irus Xe graphics card and up to 32 GB of memory, making this machine quite speedy. We should also mention the Yoga Book 9i comes with a solid sound system installed. Max called it “some of the best speakers I’ve ever heard on a laptop.” If audio plays a vital role in your video project and you don’t have a good soundbar on hand, Lenovo’s machine can come in handy.

Review: I tested Lenovo’s dual-screen laptop, and it improved my productivity in profound ways

Saving the best for last, the Yoga 9i’s dual-screen is very nice. You’ll receive a pair of 13.3-inch OLED displays sitting on each other, outputting vibrant colors and deep blacks. Each one has a brightness level of 400 nits, which is excellent for most situations.

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i specs: Processor: Intel Core Ultra 7 155U | Display size: 13.3 inches 2.8K OLED | Operating system: Windows 11 | Dimensions: 11.78 x 8.03 x 0.63 inches

Lenovo Yoga Book 9i (2024) default wallpaper.

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Acer Aspire 5

Best budget video editing laptop

One of the first things you’ll notice when shopping for a video editing laptop is that many of them are really expensive. We have a few on this list over $3,000. This should come as no surprise, as a good video editing laptop must have high-performing hardware, and that comes at a cost. Luckily, there are some solid budget options, too, like the Acer Aspire 5. 

I chose this model because of its solid hardware pairing: a 13th-Gen Intel Core i7-13620H processor with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050 graphics card. This configuration is not the greatest in the world, but still respectable. Rest assured, this machine can handle video editing workload, although you may experience some performance issues. You could opt for the Iris Xe GPU to drop the price tag even lower to around $500, but we don’t recommend doing this. You would be better off spending more money on superior hardware.

Also: The best cheap laptops, starting at $350

The screen outputs a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels with a refresh rate of 60Hz. It’s no 4K monster; however, at least it’s better than 1080p. Plus, it comes with various ports, including two USB-A inputs, HDMI, and an ethernet port.

Acer Aspire 5 specs: Processor: Intel Core i7-13620H | Display size: 14 inches | Operating system: Windows 11 | Dimensions: 9.30 x 14.21 x 0.70 inches

Acer Aspire 5

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Alienware m16 R2

Best gaming laptop for video editing

As previously established, gaming laptops lend themselves very well to video editing. These machines typically have some of the best hardware configurations on the market, making a desktop green with envy. But the main problem with gaming laptops is that you can’t really take them into the office. Their bright RGB lighting can be very distracting. Seeing an opportunity, Dell made a gaming laptop with the office worker in mind: the Alienware m16 R2.

In our review for this laptop, we point out how the device strikes a good design balance between being aesthetically pleasing and practical. It’s slim, lacking a bulky thermal shelf on the back, and is covered in a predominantly dark grey color scheme. However, the device’s most important design feature is its Stealth Mode, which can be activated by pressing F2. Doing so causes the RGB lights to turn white instantly. It’s a simple yet handy feature “for when you’re in a public setting.”

Review: Dell’s latest gaming laptop is an ultraportable machine I wouldn’t mind bringing to work

There is more to the m16 R2 besides its looks. It’s a powerful machine with an Intel Core Ultra 9 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070, and 32GB of RAM. This configuration is excellent for handling all kinds of workloads, from video editing during the day to gaming during the evening. It’s a highly flexible laptop, one that comes highly recommended. If that’s not enough, it sports a 2K resolution display with a fast refresh rate of 240Hz.

Alienware m16 R2 specs: Processor: Intel Core Ultra 9  | Display size: 16 inches | Operating system: Windows 11 | Dimensions: 14.33 x 9.81 x 0.93 inches

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Due to its powerful hardware and crystal-clear display, the Apple MacBook Pro 16 from 2023 is the best laptop for video editing. Below is a list comparing it to the rest of our picks.

Best laptop for video editing Price Processor Display size
Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) $2,499 Apple M3 Pro 16 inches
Asus ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED $1,899 Intel Core i9-13980HX 16 inches
Apple MacBook Air M3 $1,099 Apple M3 13.6 inches
Dell XPS 16 $1,899 Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 16.3 inches
HP Spectre x360 $1,099 Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 14 inches
Lenovo Yoga Book 9i $1,980 Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 13.3 inches
Acer Aspire 5 $849 Intel Core i7-13620H 14 inches
Alienware m16 R2 $1,499 Intel Core Ultra 9 185H 16 inches

Finding the right laptop can take a lot of work. You’re dealing with many numbers being thrown your way, specifications can get confusing, and several of the models have similar if not outright the same, features. It can be tricky to differentiate between laptops. 

Below is a table briefly explaining each recommendation and why you should get them. They can help you find the right one to meet your needs.

Choose this laptop for video editing… If you want…
Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) The best video editing laptop, with its beautiful Liquid Retina display and lightning-fast M3 chipset powering it.
ASUS ProArt Studiobook 16 OLED One of the best displays. Colors jump from its vibrant 3.2K OLED screen plus it sports a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth footage
Apple MacBook Air M3 The best lightweight laptop for video editing. It’s an ultraportable laptop that performs just as well, if not better, than current pro-level laptops. Plus it can output an image up to two different external monitors.
Dell XPS 16 The best Windows laptop for video editing laptop. It’s a monster coming equipped with a Meteor CPU and a GeForce RTX 40-series GPU
HP Spectre x360 The best 2-in-1 video editing laptop. It comes with its very own pen for directly drawing on the 2.8K OLED screen
Lenovo Yoga Book 9i The best dual screen video editing laptop. Using the Yoga Book 9i can feel like you have a full desktop setup thanks to its twin OLED displays and speedy hardware.
Acer Aspire 5 The best budget laptop for video editing. The Aspire 5 offers a lot of bang for its buck with its GeForce RTX GPU, Full HD Plus screen, and wide array of ports.
Alienware m16 R2 The best gaming laptop for video editing. It houses powerful hardware and fits right at the office thanks to Stealth Mode.

When picking out the best laptop for video editing, there are multiple factors to consider. The selections we made on the list were made with them in mind. For our evaluation, we weighed the following aspects:

  • Processor: A CPU directly determines how fast a laptop can process and finish tasks. This includes actions like opening apps to run complex workloads. We specifically looked for advanced and multi-core processors capable of handling video editing programs.

  • RAM: This refers to the amount of memory present on a laptop. It is essential to buy a device with a decent amount of memory installed, at least 16 G. Of course, it’s even better if you can get more. Ideally, you should opt for 32GB. Having a lot of RAM is crucial for a laptop to handle video editing apps, which can be quite resource-hungry.

  • Graphics: When shopping for a laptop, it is recommended that you choose a model with a dedicated graphics card rather than an integrated one. The former can better handle tough workloads because it won’t be sharing power with the CPU. It has its power supply, allowing it to direct its resources to its processes.

  • Display: You will need a high-quality display for video editing. Professionals have to be able to tell how good (or bad) the footage looks, its color output, and the finer details. Sizes can vary from model to model. Some, like the Strix SCAR 17, have a 17-inch screen, while others are a bit smaller at 14 inches. Big screens are ideal for showing off details, while small screens make the laptop easier to carry around.

ZDNET receives a lot of laptops to review, and honestly, many of them could’ve made the list. To separate the best from the rest, we follow the criteria mentioned in the previous question: which ones have the nicest displays, the best performance, et cetera. At first, the laptop is tested casually: surf the internet, watch videos, download apps, and work on them just to get a feel for them. From there, we run more labor-intensive apps and perform benchmark tests to see what the hardware is capable of.

Once all the testing is complete, the best of the best are sorted and placed on the list. It can be tricky picking the premiere options. Some, like the Strix SCAR 17, are a no-brainer because they’re so good.

No, not really, which is why the Acer Aspire 5 made the list. It’s less powerful than many other entries, although it can still hold its own. However, buying a high-end model is recommended because video editing is a type of work that benefits from more powerful hardware.

Many different brands develop their own video-editing laptops. Apple is, by far, the best manufacturer for reasons that we’ve already covered: the M3 chipset, long battery life, Liquid Retina display, and so on. ASUS is also another great brand because it models its machines with top-tier hardware. It’s so good that we included two of them on the list. 

Dell is also a great pick, specifically their XPS series of laptops. These laptops always impress.

It’s hard to say for sure what kind of hardware YouTubers prefer. It ultimately comes down to their personal preference. But if we had to guess, they most likely use MacBooks or a type of Mac computer. To reiterate what we’ve already said, they’re smooth, stable, powerful, and easy to use. 

Video editing laptops tend to be expensive. This is because they tend to house the industry’s best hardware. If you look at the list in detail, all entries cost over $1,000 except for the Aspire 5 — that’s the budget option. 

Be prepared to shell out a significant amount of cash for one. The most expensive model on the list is the Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17, which costs nearly $3,000, followed by the MacBook Pro 16, which costs $2,500. Before you run off, make sure the laptop suits your needs. You don’t want a device that’ll disappoint you or buy something with features you don’t want.

We recommend the laptops listed above, but the devices below are also worth a second look.

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