No matter your skill level, you’ll probably notice that a powerful laptop is a must for video editing. You need a crisp display and premium internals to process videos properly. However, it can be tricky to break down the laptop jargon and figure out which model is right for you. We’re here to simplify things and offer our picks for the best laptops for video editing and graphic design you should consider getting.
See also: The best laptops you can buy in 2021
Some users may prefer Macs while others go for Windows machines, so we’ve done our best to cover all of the bases. You won’t find any Chromebooks on the list, as they don’t often pack the right punch. Ready to get rendering? Let’s jump in.
Best laptops for video editing:
Editor’s note: We’ll update this list of the best laptops for video editing as new options launch.
Dell XPS 15
It only makes sense that one of the best laptops in the world is also a great pick for video editing. Dell’s refreshed XPS 15 packs all of the punch you need, and the bezels are so slim you may never take your eyes off of your content. You won’t have the most ports to choose from with just three USB-C options, but a handy hub is affordable enough to get functionality back.
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Under the hood, you’ll find more than enough power to keep you running smoothly. Dell opted for a 10th-generation Intel Core i7-10750H processor along with 16GB of RAM and a full 1TB of storage. Better yet, this Content Creator Edition packs a stunning UHD Plus touchscreen, advanced thermal controls, and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics.
The manufacturer has also announced plans to release upgraded 11th-gen XPS 15 and XPS 17 models this summer, so it may be worth your money to wait a few months.
MacBook Pro 16
While Dell’s XPS 15 may hold down much of the Windows crowd, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is the most powerful video editing macOS laptop ever made. It’s available with up to 8TB of memory and 64GB of RAM, which is more than you would need for just about any project. If that’s not enough, Apple went for a six studio-quality microphone setup so that you can record dialogue with confidence.
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It doesn’t hurt that the 16-inch Retina display looks brilliant, either. AMD Radeon Pro 5000M graphics keep it all running smoothly, no matter what Adobe program you aim to jump into. You can find the 16-inch MacBook Pro with up to a 10th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, and yes, it features the well-loved Magic Keyboard. Apple also packed in four Thunderbolt 3 ports, so you may need an adapter or two.
We’ve also heard rumors that Apple is gearing up to launch its next generation of 16-inch MacBooks, complete with a new M2 processor. However, we’ll have to wait for official word on that front.
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Let’s be honest — any laptop on this list is probably capable of some level of gaming. You combine the right internals with a brilliant screen, and it’s hard not to want to try a game or two. However, not many others have quite the same gaming pedigree as Razer. The Blade 15 Studio Edition features a familiar ultraportable design and all of the Chroma RGB lighting you could ask for.
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Of course, the Blade 15 Studio Edition is more than just a beautiful face. It’s fully stocked with an eight-core Intel Core i7-10875H processor and Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 graphics. The 4K OLED touchscreen also has some of Razer’s thinnest bezels yet, so you can focus on video editing and getting the perfect result. Overall, the Blade 15 Studio Edition is a top laptop for gaming and video editing alike.
Acer ConceptD 7
Acer’s ConceptD series is its premium, creator-focused series that packs unique features that should make life easier. While you can go for the fancy Ezel version, we’ve decided to stick with the traditional clamshell and its powerful specs. This beast comes in a vibrant white finish that will make you want to keep working.
Keeping it all going, you can choose either a ninth or 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor with 32GB of RAM and up to 2TB of storage. Acer chose a brilliant 15.6-inch 4K display that’s Pantone validated for color accuracy. After all, you want to make sure you get perfect color results when you’re video editing. Battery life isn’t great at only up to seven hours, but the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics should be plenty powerful enough.
Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED
You may be least familiar with the Gigabyte brand of all of the options on this list, but it’s absolutely worth your consideration. The Aero 15 OLED is a thin, light laptop that’s great for video editing yet packs plenty of ports and gaming style. Its most stand-out feature is the gorgeous 15.6-inch OLED display from none other than the king of screens — Samsung.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Aero 15 is the three-sided ultra-slim bezels. They keep your eyes on the mentioned 15.6-inch display, and you can choose from more than a dozen configurations for the best mix of budget and performance. Our chosen configuration packs an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, a 10th-generation Intel Core i7-10870H CPU, and 16GB of RAM to keep you on the move.
Alienware Area 51-m R2
If there’s one machine on this list that can rival the Razer Blade 15 on gaming and video editing, it has to be the Alienware Area 51-m R2. It’s even larger with a 17.3-inch display, and it drops the laptop-sized internals in favor of full desktop-scale hardware. Unfortunately, that also means that the Area 51-m R2 is on the heavier side, and you likely won’t be toting it around with you.
See also: The best Alienware laptops you can buy
As for the desktop-grade internals, Alienware packed a 10th-generation Intel Core i9-10900K processor and incredible Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics. However, the graphics card alone weighs in at more than two pounds — to give you an idea of how heavy the laptop gets. The Area 51-m R2 offers per-key RGB lighting, and the large body is rich with ports and offers plenty of space for cooling technology.
MSI Creator 15
Last on today’s list of the best laptops for video editing is the MSI Creator 15. As the name suggests, it packs a comfortable 15.6-inch display that offers plenty of real estate for your hard work. It’s up to par in memory and storage with 16GB and 512GB, respectively. Better yet, you can choose from a few different graphics cards to save yourself some cash.
See also: The best MSI laptops to buy
You should have no problem with either video editing or gaming, though the Creator name tells you just what this beast is built for. It’s even tuned for Nvidia Studio, which boosts just the right mix of specs for the best possible editing experience. The Creator 17 is good for around seven hours of battery life, and the slim, aluminum design is both light and stylish for work on the go.