Best Laptops for Video Editing

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Gone are the days of movies being made by large production companies with million dollar equipment setups. As we all know, these days anyone with a phone/digital camera, a computer, and video editing software can create top quality videos. Many Hollywood-level videos are now being made in bedrooms (or anywhere) all around the world, and at a very low cost. 

You also no longer need a 50 page contract with a production company or television station to get your creations viewed throughout the world. For example, it is estimated that over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and about 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day. That is totally mind blowing! 

Are you wanting to produce/edit videos and are looking for a laptop computer with video editing capabilities? If so, then hopefully this article will help you make some informed decisions about what laptop to purchase.

In this article we walk you through our suggestions for the best laptops for video editing.  There are plenty of options on the market and the laptop you choose will always depend on your budget. Therefore our list of laptops range from higher-end options to lower-end options. Whilst there are some amazing laptops over $3000 that would be exceptional for video editing, we decided to make our selection more affordable with an upper limit of ~$2800, therefore leaving out some of the more expensive laptops in the series of Razer Blade, Acer ConceptD Pro, Lenovo ThinkPad, and HP Spectre.

Here is the list of our suggested video editing laptops.

Higher Budget Laptops ($1200 – $2800)

  • ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 Mobile Workstation 
  • ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 
  • MSI Creator 15 A10SFS-014 
  • Acer ConceptD 5 Pro CN515-71P 
  • Dell XPS 15 7590 
  • Gigabyte Aero 15 

Lower Budget Laptops ($500 – $1000)

  • ASUS F512DA-EB51 VivoBook 

#1 ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17

ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 Mobile Workstation, 17” WUXGA NanoEdge Bezel Display, Intel Xeon E-2276M, 32GB ECC DDR4, 2TB PCIe SSD RAID 0, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000, Win10 Pro, Star Gray, W700G3T-XS99

We start our recommendations of high-end laptops with the ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 Mobile Workstation.  The reason this laptop is at the top of our list is because it can be considered a true workstation and would be an excellent choice for video editing professionals. 

As the name suggests, the ProArt Series of laptops from ASUS was designed for professionals with a strong focus on graphics – such as video production, content creation, graphic arts, 3D animators, and architects, just to name a few.  The Asus ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 is built to be a complete portable workstation and it will not disappoint among the creatives.

So let’s dig in and take a closer look at this fine well-crafted machine.

Design and Display

The ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 is very well designed with an impressive modern sleek appeal. It comes with a magnesium-alloy chassis of only 1.8cm thickness and a weight of 2.4kg, making it one of the thinnest quadro laptops on the market. The classy looking laptop comes in a matte finish in either Star Gray or Turquoise Gray and although it is slim the alloy frame provides decent sturdiness. Whether this is good or bad, the lid has a bit of wobble when slightly twisted from each side and therefore feels less rigid. 

The screen is a nice 17 inches wide which is about as big as you can get in laptops these days. Therefore you will have the optimal display size with immersive visuals while editing videos. It has a NanoEdge display which provides a 84% screen-to-body ratio and the bezels are ultra thin which provides the maximum amount of screen real estate. 

The aspect ratio is 16:10 with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels which although may not be the highest resolution, it still provides picture-perfect clarity for an excellent viewing experience. 

Regarding the color range it covers up to 97% of the DCI-P3 wide color gamut giving crisp vivid visualisations. The screen is anti-glare and can be angled back 180 degrees for easy screen sharing. On that note, the screen is an IPS which allows for excellent viewing angles without image washout.

One very cool feature of the ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 is the newly designed touchpad which has a switchable LED-illuminated numeric keypad. This innovative design saves space on the keyboard area and gives a personal feel for data entry when required. 

Processing, Graphics and Storage

The ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 is powered by the latest Intel Xeon E-2276M hexa-core Processor with 32GB of RAM which is beyond enough processing power to handle all your large video editing projects.

The graphics card is the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 Max-Q with 6GB of VRAM, which makes any graphics related tasks seamless with unmatched clarity and very little hassle

Adding to the great power this device has, it also comes with 2TB  NVMe M.2 SSDs for all your storage requirements with super fast transfer rates. 

For this beast of a machine the battery life is something to keep an eye on. Given the processing power required for any memory-intensive work the battery will not last 8 hours, however this would be expected with any laptop performing video editing tasks. 

For ventilation ithas vents on the back and sides and generally the fans are quiet but like any laptop will have to work hard in order to keep it cool during the more intense workflows.

Connectivity

For connectivity you won’t be disappointed as it comes with all the ports you need. It comes with 1 x Thunderbolt 3 (DisplayPort 1.4 support), 3 x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x SD card reader, and 1 x Combo audio jack. 

There are some reviews out there stating that there should be more ports, particularly a second Thunderbolt 3, which by the way is great for connecting the laptop to displays and it gives super fast file transfer. This comment most likely stems from the psychological cost of this laptop where people want more for their buck. We feel that the ports provided on the ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 are sufficient for your daily video editing tasks.

Bottom Line

This is the number one choice on our list because we cannot fault this beautifully crafted laptop. The standout features are the processing power, graphics, the large volume of SSD storage, and the 17 inch anti-glare screen. If your budget allows for a laptop at this price, then we recommend it as one of your potential choices. Having said that, with all its amazing capabilities at the high price, this laptop is more well-suited for professionals (or semi-professionals) than amatuer video makers.

Specs for the ASUS ProArt StudioBook Pro 17 can be found HERE

CPUIntel Xeon E-2276M hexa-core Processor 2.8GHz (up to 4.7GHz)
GPUNVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 Max-Q with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM – RTX Studio Ready
RAM32GB ECC DRR4 RAM
Storage2TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD in RAID 0
Display17 inch WUXGA 16:10 ratio panel (1920 x 1200 pixels) NanoEdge matte display; 97% DCI-P3 wide color gamut; Pantone validated color accuracy; Delta E<2, 8-bits color depth
KeyboardFull-size backlit keyboard with 1.4mm key travel and privacy hotkeys
I/O Ports1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x USB-C Thunderbolt 3, 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x SD 4.0 / UHS-II Card reader, 1 x Audio combo jack 
Battery57Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer
OSWindows 10 Professional
Weight2.4 kg
Height1.8 cm

#2 ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo

ASUS ZenBook Duo UX481 14” FHD NanoEdge Bezel Touch Display, Intel Core i7-10510U CPU, 8GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, Innovative ScreenPad Plus, Windows 10 Home, Celestial Blue, UX481FA-DB71T

Coming in at a very close second place on our list is the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo. This innovative laptop has set the bar for the dual screen setup which is ultimately designed to optimize workflows by seamless gliding between two screens. 

Boasting two 4K touch screens the multitasking opportunities with this laptop are endless and make it an excellent choice for graphic content creators searching for fluid workflows with their video editing. 

Although the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is not a dedicated gaming laptop, if you’re a gamer (and a content creator) there is nothing stopping you playing AAA games on this device.

As we take a closer look at the features of the ZenBook Pro Duo you too will see the beautiful combination of power and workflow capability in this futuristic laptop.

Design and Display

The design and display of the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo are the major selling points. The laptop comes in 15 inch and 14 inch versions. The 15 inch is equipped with two 4K displays and the 14 inch has two HD displays. Let’s focus on the 15 inch model.

The main screen is 15.6 inches 4K with a 3840 x 2160 resolution touch screen, and the lower screen, which is located at the top of the keyboard real estate, is a 14 inch 4K 3840 x 1100 resolution screen. The main screen is OLED which allows for rich vibrant colors and it has a 89% screen-to-body ratio with 178 degrees wide-view technology, and 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. 

The second screen has a matte display so you don’t get glare reflections from different angles. Given the exceptional brightness and crispness of the main screen, the second screen may come across as a bit dull, but this is a very minor compromise that you most likely won’t even notice.

Both screens are touchpads and ASUS provides a battery-driven touch pen/stylus which has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity. Although other high-end laptops come with pens up to 4000 levels of pressure sensitivity, the pen provided by ASUS still performs well enough for the everyday pen-related tasks. You can, however, use any brand touch pen/stylus on the ZenBook Pro Duo.

You can start to see the endless array of multitasking opportunities, in fact it’s no different to using multiple monitors when working on a desktop. For example, while editing videos you could have the timeline on the bottom screen while positioning the effects panels on the top screen. The dual screens are literally a dream come true when using software such as Premiere Pro because of the multiple panels simultaneously viewed while working in the software. Or you may consider splitting the bottom screen in half to show multiple websites simultaneously (or emails, chats) while working on the main screen above. Just think like you would if you have two monitors!

The keyboard is a full size backlit keyboard that is positioned all the way to the bottom edge of the chassis, which was needed in order to provide  extra space for the second screen located directly above the keyboard. Therefore, the trackpad has been placed on the right side of the keyboard. Although this may seem odd at first, it is actually more ergonomically natural for your right hand to be in this position – many gamers are familiar with this position and would adapt easily. 

Similar to the ASUS ProArt StudioBook, the trackpad has a switchable LED-illuminated numeric keypad, which is super cool.

This laptop also comes with a hand/palm rest which slots into the lower end of the chassis. This provides more ergonomic support for your hands to be in a natural position rather than hovering above the keyboard. In addition to this, the lid has tilt keyboard hinges that leverage the body of the laptop upwards as the lid is opened. This also adds to the positive ergonomic feel.

Because of the space required to house the second screen you will find that the ZenBook Pro Duo is a little more thicker (2.4 cm) than other laptops, and therefore a little on the heavy side (2.5kg).  Considering the amazing features this laptop packs the slight bulkiness of this laptop shouldn’t deter you.

Processing, Graphics and Storage

The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is powered by the Intel Core i7-10510U processor with 4 cores. The more expensive model also comes with an Intel Core i9-9980HK processor with 8 cores. The graphics are powered by NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB VRAM). The RAM in this laptop can be up to 32GB. The RAM is soldered into the motherboard and you can’t upgrade it once you have selected a particular model. The standard model comes with a 512GB SSD and it can be upgraded if you need more storage if needed.

These specs under the hood of the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo provide absolute power that will easily handle all your video editing tasks with 4K video and render your content to perfection.

For high-end laptops we want batteries that last for 6 hours or more, unfortunately the battery life is only around 5 hours. However, keep in mind that this device is working hard to provide power for two 4K screens and simultaneous tasks, therefore a compromise is always to be expected. Furthermore, for the large majority of your editing work on a laptop like the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo you will most likely be plugged in. 

Another compromise is the cooling system. At base level the cooling system does well, and this is helped by the generous ventilation layout which dissipates some of the heat, as well as the ErgoLife tilt hinges when lifting the body. But once the workload gets a little heavy then the laptop generates some heat no matter what work is being performed. 

Connectivity

For connectivity it comes with almost all the same ports as the ASUS ProArt StudioBook. It comes with 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x USB-C Thunderbolt 3, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, and 1 x Audio combo jack.

Surprisingly, it does not come with a SD card slot. This may not be an issue for some, but given that this laptop is geared towards creators it does seem like an important feature to leave out.

Bottom Line

The future of dual screen laptops is slowly growing and this innovative design will eventually become a household feature. ASUS has done a great job combining the features of the dual screen to create a potential video editing powerhouse laptop. What we like most about this laptop is the two 4K screens and the engine firepower. If you’re keen to have two screens while editing videos then this laptop is for you. The ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo is not cheap so first assess how much your productivity would be enhanced by using this laptop versus the compromises such as bulkiness and low battery life.

Specs for the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo can be found HERE

CPUIntel Core i7-10510U processor, 1.8GHz base processor speed, 4 cores
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB VRAM)
RAMUp to 32GB RAM (8GB / 16GB / 32GB)
Storage512GB SSD
DisplayMain display 15.6 inch OLED 4K (3840 x 2160) 16:9 touchscreen; ScreenPad Plus 14 inch touch FHD (1920×1080) touchscreen
KeyboardFull-size backlit with 1.4mm key travel
I/O Ports1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x USB-C Thunderbolt 3, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, 1 x Audio combo jack 
Battery71 Wh Lithium ion
OSWindows 10 Professional
Weight2.5 kg
Height2.4cm

#3 MSI Creator 15 A10SFS-014

MSI Creator 15 A10SFS-014 15.6″ UHD 4K Ultra Thin Bezel Adobe 100% Thin and Light Professional Laptop Intel Core i7-10875H RTX2070Super 32GB DDR4 1TB NVMe SSD TB3 Win10PRO VR Ready

Keeping with the theme of “content creator” marketed laptops, the next on our list of video editing devices is the MSI Creator 15 A10SFS-014.

The MSI Creator 15 comes from a line of laptops designed for content creators marketed to be designed and tested specifically for creative workflows – for performing tasks such as video editing, 3D animation, photography, and graphic design. The MSI Creator 15 systems are tested and optimized to run Adobe software such as Photoshop, Premier Pro, Illustrator, and more.

Although it is marketed to the creatives, the MSI Creator 15 is also a perfect allround system for everyday users. 

Sounds like the perfect laptop for editing videos, so let’s take a closer look.

Design and Display

The design of the MSI Creator 15 is basic yet stylish. It is a high-quality device with a compact design. In its simplicity, the MSI Creator 15 has a professional gray finish of low-profile sandblasted carbon, giving it a clean-cut look. It has a solid aluminum chassis with a weight of 2.1kg which you could say is mid-range when it comes to weight.

The lid opens easily with one hand to reveal the IPS (anti-glare) panel that is 15.6 inches wide with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and screen ratio of 16:9. Regarding visualisations for creative work, the device has 4K resolution, covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut, has factory-calibrated Delta-E accuracy, True Color Technology, and CalMan-verified. 

The thin bezel display opens up to 180 degrees making it easy to share your latest creations with colleagues on the desk, and the IPS screen allows for excellent viewing angles.

You can easily work in environments with less light as the stylish and compact white backlit keyboard allows for a comfortable typing experience. The keys have 1.5mm travel which allows for quick typing. It also has a glass trackpad (with a fingerprint reader) that is a little larger than most laptops which is great for people with larger hands.

Processing, Graphics and Storage

The MSI Creator 15 has powerful hardware for the money. It is powered by the Intel Core i7 processor (6 or 8 core up to 10th Generation). The dedicated graphics card is a NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 GPU supporting 8GB of VRAM.  The RAM is 32GB and upgradable up to 64GB, and storage capability is a 1TB NVMe SSD.

These powerhouse specs will easily provide high performance on the most demanding tasks for video editing and will bring your art to life with great productivity.

A major selling point for the MSI Creator 15 is the huge 99.9Wh battery which allows more on-the-go productivity. By the way, the largest battery you’re allowed to take on commercial flights is 100Wh, so MSI have thought of their clients’ needs and provided the largest battery below the maximum threshold. You will get approximately 10.5 hours out of the battery for basic tasks such as web browsing and video playback. 

Keep in mind though any image-intense processes will use up the battery life quicker. Like we have mentioned previously, if you’re working on large video editing projects it is likely that you will be plugged in. You can however charge the MSI Creator 15 using a USB port so if you have portable battery packs it will allow more time on-the-go.

The MSI Creator 15 employs the Cooler Boost Trinity system which has three dedicated fans, multiple heatsinks, and seven heat pipes to keep the CPU and GPU cool during the workload. Like any laptop that is performing energy-intensive tasks it is going to generate some heat. One cool thing (mind the pun!) is that MSI provides software to fine-tune your computing resources as needed. The Creator Center app allows you to prioritize the performance of different tasks to help preserve battery life.

Connectivity

The MSI Creator 15 comes with the standard port selection – it has 1 x HDMI port, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 port, 1 x USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 2) port, 1 x USB Type-C 3.2 (Gen. 2) port, 1 x SD card reader, and a standard RJ-45 connector (ethernet). The HDMI and Thunderbolt port allow for visual expansion to other screens, while the Thunderbolt and SD card reader provide fast data exchange. One limitation is that there is only one USB Type-A port, which may be a little frustrating for some. 

Bottom Line

There is no doubt that the MSI Creator 15 laptop is primarily designed for content creators, and just on that alone we feel MSI have got it right. The MSI Creator series of laptops are an excellent choice for video editing laptops that will provide you with the capabilities to produce amazing creations. The main selling points are the powerhouse specs you get for the price, and the long battery life.

Specs for the MSI Creator 15 A10SFS-014 can be found HERE

CPUIntel Core i7-10875H 2.3 – 5.1GHz
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 Super Max-Q 8GB GDDR6
RAM32GB (16GB x 2) DDR4 2666MHz
Storage1TB NVMe SSD
Display15.6″ UHD, Anti-Glare Wide View Angle 4K Thin Bezel, Adobe 100%
KeyboardWhite backlight keyboard (84 Key) 
I/O Ports1 x USB 3.2 Gen2, 1 x 3.2 Gen1, 1 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB-C Gen1,  1 x HDMI (supports 4K @ 60Hz), 1 x SD card reader UHS-III
Battery4 cell (99.9Whr) 
OSWindows 10 Professional
Weight2.1kg
Height2.0cm

#4 Acer ConceptD 5 Pro CN515-71P

Acer ConceptD 5 Pro CN515-71P-72PQ Creator Laptop, Intel i7-9750H, NVIDIA Quadro T1000, NVIDIA Studio, 15.6″ 4K Ultra HD IPS, 100% Adobe RGB, Pantone Validated, Delta E<2, 32GB DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD

The Acer marketing catch phrase for the ConceptD 5 Pro is “The Power to Create” and that is exactly what this excellent laptop does. It is specifically designed for photographers, graphic designers, 3D animators, and video editors for on-the-go work.

We are excited to have this laptop on our list, so let’s dive right in and see what this beauty can deliver.

Design and Display

Because this is marketed as a device for professionals the design is neutral yet elegant with an all-round business-like feel to it. Therefore it doesn’t scream out “I am a gamer”. The suave design is great for those important boardroom meetings! Overall, the ConceptD is an intelligent looking laptop.

The chassis is well-crafted out of aluminium with a matte black finish. Although not the slimmest laptop on the creator laptop market, it is still reasonably thin at 2.4cm with a weight of 2.5kg, which is a little on the heavy side. With portability in mind, this laptop certainly packs a punch for its size. 

For the display you have a choice of a 15.6 or 17 inch screen with a 4K UHD (PANTONE Validated display) IPS display with 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution. The gorgeous display easily reaches the boundaries of high-quality graphics that are required for competitive creators. The color accuracy is Delta E approved with 100% AdobeRGB color gamut delivering pinpoint color accuracy with beautiful depth, vivid crispness, and contrast in the visuals, perfect for editing 4K videos. 

The screen has 400 nit brightness, which is up there with the best. The matte finish screen is IPS which provides excellent protection against glare without image washout at various viewing angles. This allows the work to be performed in multiple environments without any frustration from reflections.

The screen doesn’t have an InfinityEdge feel as the bezels are not super thin and therefore the screen-to-body ratio is a bit smaller than other laptops in the creator market.

The base of the laptop is rigid with a sturdy keyboard deck and the lid feels strong with only a slight flex. An attractive feature is the backlit amber keyboard which is a nice change from the typical white backlit keys. The amber lighting has a relaxing feel to it and the brightness can be modified to four levels. The keys are comfortable and responsive for reasonable typing speed. The smooth plastic trackpad is positioned off-center to the left of the deck – implying that the bulk of the trackpad work is to be performed by the left hand, which some may find frustrating at first.

Processing, Graphics and Storage

The performance of the ConceptD 5 is certainly engineered towards graphic designers, 3D animators, data visualists, and video editors. For example, the ConceptD 5 Pro is powered by a 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor with 6 cores and 12 threads. This is paired with a NVIDIA Quadro T1000 dedication GPU with 4GB VRAM. There is 32GB of RAM and 512GB SSD for lightning fast start-ups. 

These specs will easily complete any 3D graphic design project or rendering of 4K videos. While the GPU setup is at the base-level, the higher tier models will set you up with NVIDIA GPUs such as the T2000 and the RTX Quadro 3000, that’s if you’re still wanting a more powerful GPU.

Regarding the battery, for a laptop with performance in mind there’s only a 58Wh battery, which is a bit on the smaller size when paired with a 4k HD screen and powerful CPU. Therefore the battery life is far shorter (~3-4hrs) than the competitor laptops that house similar specs (but with larger batteries).

The overall thermals are designed for quiet cooling with 4th Gen AeroBlade 3d fans. However, although it is quiet compared to the Acer Nitro 7, which uses a similar thermal set up, the cooling is not as good. Also, with the ventilation slots positioned under the laptop you may want to consider lifting the base to allow for more ventilation.

Connectivity

Without paying through the roof, is there such a thing as a perfect creator laptop that doesn’t have any limitations? Well, the ConceptD’s limitation is the basic port setup which lacks a Thunderbolt 3 port, a DisplayPort, and an SD card slot. These ports are important for creators who want fast dock transfers and to have their digital camera cards slot directly into the machine for easy transfer. Acer could have made this the perfect creator laptop with a better port setup.

The ConceptD comes with 1 x USB 3.1 Type C port, 2 x USB 3.1 Ports (One with Power-off Charging), 1 x USB 2.0 port, and 1 x HDMI 2.0 Port.  

Bottom Line

The Acer ConceptD Pro 5 is marketed as a creator laptop for the professionals. It has excellent processing power to house the graphics required for video editing, and the overall build is solid. For those reasons alone it is certainly worth a look when researching your next creator laptop. This laptop is not cheap, and for the price it is a little on the heavy side compared to its competitors, and it could do with some minor improvements such as modern connectivity options and longer battery life.

Specs for the Acer ConceptD 5 Pro CN515-71P can be found HERE

CPU9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4. 5GHz)
GPUNVIDIA Quadro T1000 with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM. NVIDIA Studio Laptop
RAM32GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
Storage512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display15.6″ 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display, PANTONE Validated, Delta E <2, 400nit Brightness, 100% Adobe RGB Color Gamut
KeyboardAmber Colored Backlit Keyboard
Ports1 x USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port (up to 5 Gbps), 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports (One with Power-off Charging), 1 x USB 2.0 port, 1 x HDMI 2.0 Port 
BatteryLithium-Ion Battery (4 cells)
OSWindows 10 Professional
Weight2.5kg
Height2.3cm

#5 Dell XPS 15 7590

Dell XPS 15 7590 Laptop 15.6 inch, 4K UHD OLED InfinityEdge, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM, Windows 10 Home, XPS7590-7572SLV-PUS, 15-15.99 inches

The marketing catch phrase for the Dell XPS 15 is “less wait, more create…greater performance and faster speed in video editing, graphic design, photography, and game broadcasting”, and with its powerhouse performance this laptop has gained a reputation that parallels its own marketing catch phrase.

Lets jump straight in and take a look at the Dell XPS 15 as a video editing laptop.

Design and Display

Dell has produced the XPS 15 series for several years now with very little change in the overall structural design. Where it has changed is in the performance and screen quality, even though it was doing quite well in these areas already.

The Dell XPS 15 overall design could be described in several words – sleek, classy, and business-like. This design has been a winner for Dell and as the saying goes “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, hence why it hasn’t changed over the years.  The chassis is aluminium with a silver metal lid, and the interior deck is black carbon fibre composite which provides a very soft-comfortable rubberized feel. If you’re looking for different colors then you will be disappointed as Dell doesn’t offer any variations of this overall design for the XPS 15. 

The overall body is very rigid and the lid has little flex, which is a good thing, however, the lid cannot be opened with one hand – that shouldn’t bother most people. 

A strong selling point for the Dell XPS 15 is the amazing crystal clear screen display which content creators will absolutely love. It is available in three options – matte HD, 4k glossy LCD, and 4k glossy OLED (with or without touch screen). The 15.6 inch InfinityEdge display allows for maximum viewing space with thin bezels. 

The visuals in the XPS 15 are more true to life with a wider color range, making it great for content creators. For example, the screens cover 100% sRGB color gamut and 98% of AdobeRGB with 500-Nits for brightness – you can’t get much better than that!

If you’re wondering what the difference is between the LCD and OLED, not a great deal  really; however the OLED has deeper contrast and is overall more vivid, whereas the LCD is focused more on color accuracy. It comes down to personal choice, but for us the OLED is the leader with dramatic colors and extremely rich, deep, and vibrant contrast.  

The XPS 15 display is anti-glare IPS (great for different viewing angles), however the glossy finishes tend to be a little more reflective in a well-lit room.

One thing to consider, if battery life is more important than having a high-resolution screen then go for the matte HD version as it won’t use as much energy, and the HD version is the more affordable option. 

Dell laptop keyboards have gained a reputation for giving a good typing experience and were considered the leaders for many years. The Chiclet-style keyboard hasn’t really changed over the years. The keys are supported with a two-stage backlighting and the key travel is 1.3mm providing smooth typing. The keyboard has almost no flex and that is a sign of a well-built laptop.

The XPS 15 laptop doesn’t come with a numpad. If you need to enter lots of numbers then this may be an issue. This is one area where the ASUS notebooks with switchable LED-illuminated numeric keypad are a step ahead. 

The glass trackpad is of good size and quality as it uses Microsoft Precision drivers that offer consistent, smooth, and accurate pointing experience.

Other laptops provide a fingerprint scanner on the trackpad, whereas Dell had different thoughts and embedded the fingerprint scanner into the power button that is located in the top right corner of the deck. This makes total sense to have it part of the startup process.  

It may seem old news to some, but it is worth mentioning in case you’re not aware – after receiving many complaints Dell finally moved the webcam from the bottom of the screen area to the top (where most webcams are located). People were not happy with the angle of the camera when it was located in the lower position due to the odd image of looking up at your face.

Processing, Graphics and Storage

Powerhouse performance! Nothing else needs to be said!

Underneath the hood of this device is an Intel Core i7-9750h (9th generation with 6 Cores) processor and dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB of VRAM. Needless to say, the performance of this combination of CPU and GPU is impressive and will allow you to stretch your creative work to new boundaries.

For memory it comes with 16GB of RAM, which is fine for most people’s video editing requirements, however you can easily upgrade to 32GB of RAM if you need it for larger projects. You also get 512GB of storage with a PCIe NVMe SSD.

The very latest Dell XPS 15 comes with an Intel Core i9 processor and the RAM is upgradable to 64GB and the SSD is also upgradable up to a staggering 2TB. So you now have the option of an Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7,  and Intel Core i9 processor in the Dell XPS 15. If you’re wanting the cheapest option then go for the Intel Core i5 processor with the HD matte finish screen. If you don’t mind spending a bit more then go for the  Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM and the OLED glossy screen, and this will certainly be a fantastic workhorse for a busy creative. If you want even more power then consider the Core i9 processor, however for the extra $500 you most likely won’t notice too much of a difference in the overall performance and therefore ask yourself if you really need to step it up a notch for that amount of money. 

As for battery life when you’re on-the-go, when using the laptop for everyday tasks such as web browsing, MS Office, emails, or watching YouTube videos you will get around 6-7 hours of quality life. When you’re editing/rendering your latest videos and pushing the CPU/GPU workload you will get around 4-5 hours of battery life, and this comes at a compromise to the amazing graphics it provides for you. As stated before, if you go for the option of the HD matte finish screen with the Intel Core i5 processor you will get added battery life.

It’s almost becoming a little too cliche to talk about heating issues in these high performance creator laptops. Laptops designed for gaming or content creating need higher CPU/GPU power and therefore the design takes into account the extra cooling features required. The XPS 15 lacks a bit in this area with only two internal heat pipes and two small fans to keep it cool during heavy processing times. Although the fans are quiet the XPS 15 does have a reputation for getting a bit hot when rendering long videos.

Connectivity

The combination of ports should cover all your daily work requirements. The XPS 15 comes with 1 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x Type-A (Gen 1, USB 3.1), 1 x Type-C (Thunderbolt 3, x4 PCIe), and 1 x SD card reader, which is always an added bonus for photographers and videographers. This kind of portal setup is standard these days.

Bottom Line

The Dell XPS 15 has been around for a while and gained a solid reputation for being a great laptop. It is super fast and responsive and therefore an excellent choice for content creators. The main selling points are the powerhouse performance, the mind-blowing graphics display, and its beautiful classy business-like design. And, for all of that, it is reasonably priced for the semi-professional creative. If your budget is a bit stretched then Dell offers many variations on this model so you can choose what is best for you at your price.

If you want to be impressed some more, check the Dell Cinema experience below –

Specs for the Dell XPS 15 7590 can be found HERE

CPU9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750h (12MB Cache, up to 4. 5 GHz, 6 Cores)
GPUDedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
RAM16 GB, 2 x 8 GB, DDR4, 2666 MHz (upgradable)
Storage512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Display15. 6 inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160), OLED InfinityEdge anti-reflective, Non-Touch, 100% DCI-P3, 400-Nits Display
KeyboardBacklit Keyboard (US/International) with Fingerprint Reader
Ports1 x HDMI v2.0 port, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 with Power Delivery and DisplayPort, 2 x USB 3.1, 1 x Universal audio jack, 1 x SD-card reader, 1 x Wedge-shaped lock slot
Battery6-Cell 97Whr integrated
OSWindows 10 Home
Weight2.0kg
Height1.7cm

#6 Gigabyte Aero 15

Gigabyte AERO 15 OLED SA-7US5130SH Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6″ Thin Bezel Samsung UHD AMOLED Panel, i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1660Ti,16GB RAM, M.2 PCIe 512GB SSD, Win 10, 94Wh Battery

Many gamers are content creators (or vice versa) and therefore as we go down our list of content creator laptops (based on price) we wanted to include the Gigabyte Aero 15, which has been marketed as the perfect laptop for gamers, designers, and content creators. 

But really, is there much difference between a good gaming laptop and laptop with exceptional video editing capabilities? The main ingredient for both of these laptops is a combination of power and graphics and the Gigabyte Aero 15 meets both of these criteria. 

The Gigabyte Aero 15 is essentially a creators laptop that has the potential for gaming. So let’s take a closer look to see what all the hype is about.

Design and Display

Based on stereotypes you could say that the aesthetic design of the gaming laptops tends to be more along the lines of the futuristic “viper killer” look, versus work laptops having more of a professional business-like design. Well, the Gigabyte Aero 15 certainly fits somewhere in between these stereotypes with a conservative modern look.

The chassis is CNC-machined aluminum and only available in a black color. Its weight is 2kg with a height of 2cm, which makes it a very slim laptop that packs a big punch for its size. The body of the laptop is rigid with very little flex in the main keyboard deck and only a small amount of wobble in the lid.

One of the major selling points of this laptop is the crystal clear visual displays with the Samsung AMOLED 4K  15.6 inch display (3840 x 2160 pixel resolution). AMOLED stands for “Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diodes”, which is a type of OLED display used in smartphones. Briefly, AMOLED has an integrated touch function and provides bright colors and a strong contrast ratio. 

For the purposes of quality visuals in a video editing laptop there is an element of “gimmickness” to the AMOLED. Although both the AMOLED and OLED screens are better than LCD screens in terms of brightness and color contrast, the OLED screen alone will provide you with all the perfect visuals you need for video editing. Nevertheless, the visual display on this laptop is absolutely stunning and difficult to beat.

The screen supports 100% DCI-P3 color gamut (25% more colors than sRGB) and 96% AdobeRGB with a brightness of 403 Nits. Those color specs certainly cover all your needs when editing videos. For those with sensitive eyes be aware that when the OLED screen is below 80% brightness it tends to flicker somewhat.

If you’re wanting the maximum viewing space on a 15.6 inch screen then you will be excited to know that the Gigabyte Aero 15 is the world’s first laptop with 3mm bezels, giving you an amazing 89% screen-to-body ratio. You can’t get much better than that when it comes to viewing space.

The keyboard is a colorful RGB backlit keyboard. The lighting is individual for each key and therefore you can create different keyboard color effects for the background lighting. For example you can create rainbow effects, rolling effects, sweeping effects with the full gamut of colors – it’s totally left to your imagination. Without sounding too stereotypical, this is where the design is more related to gamers than content creators as the colorful effects may be distracting when concentrating on a detailed editing project – but hey it’s purely optional so if you don’t like it then don’t have it on. It’s a cool feature nevertheless!

Overall the keyboard is above average and does the job, but not as responsive as other keyboards on the competitor laptops (e.g. Dell XPS 15). Some people may find the keys a bit soft and shallow. The keyboard includes a numpad and therefore takes up some of the deck’s real estate, thus the keyboard may feel a bit compact – but in the end it is what you get used to!  

The trackpad is average in size and relatively smooth and responsive regarding gliding and pressure to click, and the trackpad houses a fingerprint scanner. The trackpad is also driven by Windows Precision Drivers, allowing for more precision.

Before moving on to talk about the processing power of this machine, let’s talk about a major downfall, but let’s hope it isn’t a breaking point for you. Given that the screen has 3mm bezels it doesn’t leave much space for a webcam, so Gigabyte located the webcam on the main deck just below the bottom of the screen. To avoid the webcam being a “nosecam” you need to position the laptop away from you considerably, to the point where your face is not the main focus. This is one of the compromises of having thin bezels and increased viewing space.

Processing, Graphics and Storage

The engine in this machine is well suited for all video editing tasks (or gaming). The Gigabyte Aero 15 is built with an Intel Core i7-9750H (9th Gen) 6 core processor (2.6 – 4.5 GHz) with other variations available up to the 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10980 (2.4 – 5.3 GHz). For a slim laptop this is certainly packing a big punch.

The life-like stunning visuals coming from the AMOLED screen are supported with a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Max-Q Design dedicated graphics card (GDDR6 8GB VRAM), providing you with high-performance visual capabilities for working on up to 8K videos. There is nothing holding you back from producing your best video creations with this laptop. Oh, and don’t forget some gaming for relaxation!

 The RAM comes in various configurations with two DDR4 slots to house anywhere from 8GB to 64GB – we recommend starting with the 16GB or 32GB as generally you don’t need more than that. Similar for the storage which provides two M.2 SSD slots for storage between 512GB to 1TB SSD. With these combinations you’re all set with enough RAM and storage for all video editing projects.

An excellent feature of the Gigabyte Aero 15 is the fantastic cooling system, particularly for such a slim laptop. The Windforce Infinity system is used and it has five heat pipes and two 71 blade fans, which increases the heat dissipation by 30% compared to earlier models. Of course there is heat generated with any intensive CPU/GPU actions, but the cooling solution for this laptop is one feature that is ahead of its competitors. The fans may get a little noisy but this is a slight compromise to keep the powerhouse machine cool.

The Aero 15 is run on a 94.2Wh battery which is a very good size and it provides you with about 5 hours of on-the-go work, which as we have seen so far, is a standard amount of battery life for these laptops.

Connectivity

So far there are not many faults to report in the Gigabyte Aero 15, and the number of ports provided also won’t disappoint you. There are HDMI and mini DisplayPort video outputs along with 3 x USB 3.2 Type-A ports, 1 x  Thunderbolt 3 port, 1 x SD card reader, 1 x RJ-45 ethernet jack, and an audio jack. This is certainly enough ports for connecting to all kinds of equipment for video editing without the need for dongles.

Bottom Line

The Gigabyte Aero 15 has amazing life-like visuals that are difficult to beat. The stunning imagery is driven by the powerful CPU and GPU components for precision high-performance, and it could easily be the workhorse required for creative content creators to produce the next award winning video. Although the laptop is still on the expensive side it certainly packs a big punch for the price and the slim size. The main downfall was the location of the webcam, but if you feel that wouldn’t bother you then there is nothing stopping you from having the Gigabyte Aero 15 on your list of potential laptops for video editing.

Specs for the Gigabyte Aero 15 can be found HERE

CPUIntel Core i7-9750H (9th Gen) 6 core processor w/ 2.6 GHz/4.5 GHz
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Max-Q Design GDDR6 8GB
RAM2‎x DDR4 2666MHz/ DDR4 2933MHz slots (8GB/ 16GB/ 32GB, Max 64GB)
Storage2‎x M.2 SSD slots (Type 2280, supports 1x NVMe PCIe & SATA/ 1x NVMe PCIe)
Display1‎5.6″ Thin Bezel UHD 3840×2160 Samsung AMOLED Display (VESA DisplayHDR 400 True Black, 100% DCI-P3)
KeyboardGIGABYTE Fusion RGB Per-Key Backlit Keyboard
Ports3‎ x USB 3.2 Gen1 (Type-A), 1 x Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C), 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1x mini DP 1.4, 1 x 3.5mm Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack, 1 x UHS-II SD Card Reader, 1 x DC-in Jack, 1 x RJ-45
BatteryLi Polymer 94.2Wh
OSWindows 10 Home or Professional
Weight2.0kg
Height2.0cm

#7 ASUS F512DA-EB51 VivoBook

ASUS F512DA-EB51 VivoBook 15 Thin And Light Laptop, 15.6” Full HD, AMD Quad Core R5-3500U CPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, Windows 10 Home,Slate Gray

The ASUS VivoBook comes in as our most affordable laptop for editing videos. Apart from being a beautiful looking device, this lightweight and sleek machine has many modern features for a smaller price than many of its competitors on the market.

Let’s take a closer look at the very modern looking ASUS VIvoBook.

Design and Display

The ASUS VivoBook has a 15.6 inch display with a high viewing angle of 178 degrees, which means you can angle the screen and the text and images still look sharp and crystal clear. The screen is large with an amazing 88% screen-to-body ratio for supremely immersive visuals.

Another plus for this well-made laptop is that it also comes with an anti-glare screen so you can be working at your favorite cafe or on the beach and it won’t impact your productivity. However, one downside to the anti-glare screen is that the colors may not be as bright as expected because the screen reproduces only 68% of the sRGB color spectrum. Therefore there is a trade-off between working without glare on your screen versus having all the colors of the spectrum be visible with total clarity, which might be an important factor when editing videos.

Another cool feature of the ASUS VivoBook is the new ErgoLift hinge design which tilts the keyboard up as you open the screen, and this makes typing far more comfortable and provides a great keyboard experience. To add to that, the keyboard is a backlit keyboard so it is great for working in dim environments.

Processing, Graphics and Storage

The VivoBook 15 is powered by the latest AMD Ryzen 5 processor with 8GB of RAM for a moderate performance. For the price of this device the AMD Ryzen 5 processor alone makes it a great choice but keep in mind it won’t give you the power of a high-end creator/gaming computer. 

For the graphics it comes with an AMD Radeon Vega 8 discrete graphics card which is integrated. Although you will have no major issues editing smaller videos with these graphics, the integrated card will use energy from the CPU.  The 8GB of RAM is fine for everyday productivity and will be sufficient for basic video editing and working/gaming online. However, depending on your video editing setup the 8GB may struggle a little if you’re wanting a more powerful robust experience. 

You may consider upgrading the RAM to 16GB.  The laptop comes with only one DIMM slot that holds 4GB of RAM and the remaining 4BG of RAM is soldered in. Therefore to upgrade you would replace the 4GB of RAM in the DIMM slot with an 8GB stick to give you a total of 12GB of RAM. 

For a lower priced laptop it houses a 256GB SSD which will give you much faster load speeds compared to the more traditional HDD. Depending on where you save your media files, the 256GB should be enough for all your routine working tasks, but if you have many very large-sized media files then you may need to consider alternative storage options.

The 37Wh battery is small and should last for around 6 hours for your everyday tasks such as web browsing, MS Office, and emails. For more intensive tasks the 37Wh battery should give you around 3 hours of video editing. So for this affordable price you may want to consider being plugged in when working on larger video editing projects.

Connectivity

The ASUS VivoBook comes with all the ports you need with 1 x HDMI, 1 x Type-A USB 3.0, 1 x Type-C USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x micro SD card, and 1 x COMBO audio jack. For the affordable price of this laptop you obviously miss out on some of the better portal options such as more USB Type-A ports, and a Thunderbolt 3 port. But these ports will certainly suit the needs of those on a lower budget.

Bottom Line

The main selling point for this lower-budget laptop is the AMD Ryzen 5 processor. With its powerful specs and ultra thin design the ASUSVivoBook is an excellent lower-budget choice laptop for editing videos. You also have four beautiful finishes of black, silver, blue, and red to choose from.

Specs for the ASUS F512DA-EB51 VivoBook can be found HERE

CPUAMD Quad Core Ryzen 5 3500U Processor (2M Cache, up to 3.6 GHz)
GPUAMD Radeon Vega 8 discrete graphics
RAM8GB DDR4 RAM
Storage256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Display15.6 inch FHD 4 way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
KeyboardErgonomic backlit keyboard 
Ports1 x COMBO audio jack, 1 x Type-A USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen 1), 1 x Type-C USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen 1), 2 x USB 2.0 port(s), 1 x HDMI, 1 x micro SD card
Battery2 -Cell 37 Wh Battery
OSWindows 10 Home
Weight1.7kg
Height?

What to consider when purchasing a laptop for video editing

Some will argue that using a desktop computer for editing videos is the only option because of the power of the computer and larger display screens for optimal visualizations. They may well be correct, which then begs the question “why choose a laptop over a desktop for video editing?” 

The answer is simple, just like all other work performed on laptops, we choose a laptop for its portability and compactness. A powerful desktop would no doubt meet your video editing requirements, however, with the wide range of laptops on the market you can easily find one that suits your video editing needs, while also giving you the desired portability and flexibility of where you work. 

With this in mind, we assume you are interested in a laptop for video editing to work on-the-go, or you just want more flexibility in your work options.  

Here are the main specs you need to consider when purchasing a laptop for video editing.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

You may have heard the CPU called names such as “the brain”, “the heart”, “the engine”, and “the king” of the computer. In a nutshell, the CPU is the workhorse of the computer and does the thinking that runs all the tasks on the computer. 

Therefore, the CPU is the number one consideration when purchasing a laptop for video editing, particularly for heavy editing tasks and rendering large media files with many visual effects. Also, even if the video is compressed the CPU still has some hard work to do when putting together (rendering) all the different components of the video file.

Depending on your budget, get the fastest processor you can afford as it will make your worklife far easier and less stressful. Having said that, you don’t need to blow your entire budget and get the most powerful CPUs on the market in order to get the job done. Just don’t go for the cheapest options for a CPU as they will give you much slower rendering times, poor frame resolutions, slower live playback, and slower encoding.

The main factors to look for in the CPU are the clock speed and number of cores. The more cores and the faster the clock speed the better! However, keep in mind that while most video editing software uses multiple cores in its processing tasks, it may not be set up to utilize all cores to the fullest capacity. So first make sure there is a fast clock speed followed by the number of cores.

Usually a CPU clock speed of 3.5 GHz and 2-4 cores will be sufficient for most video editing tasks. Taking it up a notch,  going for a CPU clock speed of 4 GHz and 4-6 cores would be better.

Dedicated Graphics Card (Graphics Processing Unit – GPU)

The next most important feature to consider when researching a laptop for video editing is the graphics card.  In basic terms, the graphics card works closely with the CPU by receiving all the information required for visual display and then sending it to the monitor/s for you to view.

It is best to choose a laptop with a dedicated graphics card because it has its own CPU (often referred to as the GPU), which means it is not using the resources of the computer’s RAM and it doesn’t zap the CPU of all its capabilities. However, these graphics cards are the more expensive option. 

The less expensive option is an integrated graphics card, which does not have its own CPU and hence draws upon the computer’s RAM to perform all tasks. This may slow down the computer while editing videos.

If you’re doing any memory-intensive tasks such as rendering videos, or other graphics related editing, then the dedicated graphics card is always the better option. 

Similar to the CPU, you want a GPU that has fast VRAM. The minimal amount of VRAM for video editing should be 3GB, while up to 8GB of VRAM will suffice, particularly if you’re editing 4k videos or higher. If possible avoid graphics cards with less than 2GB of VRAM.

Memory (Random Access Memory – RAM)

RAM is the next most important feature to consider when researching a laptop for video editing. As the name suggests, RAM is the computer’s short-term memory. It is where all the “current” information is stored temporarily so it is easily accessible during that session. Without RAM your computer would constantly be going back-and-forth through the device’s storage everytime a new task is requested (no matter how simple). So you get the jist of why RAM is important!

For video editing the main task of the RAM is to cache the media files for faster and smoother playback when editing.  Obviously the required amount of RAM varies per project size, however, in general the faster and larger the RAM the better.

The big question is how much RAM do you need?  Well, in general you want to get a laptop with an absolute minimum of 8GB of RAM, and we say that cautiously. Realistically you want the minimum amount of RAM to be at least 16GB which will allow for editing of HD videos and up to 4K. But if you can afford it, we recommend 32GB as the optimal amount of RAM to get you through all your video editing tasks with no issues or stress, particularly for 4K videos. 

You could venture further and get 64GB of RAM for projects with 8K videos, but to be honest this is getting a bit extreme for most people who do video editing (try 32GB of RAM before spending more money, unless  your budget allows for it!).

In summary, if you aim for between 16GB and 32GB of RAM then all your video editing requirements will be taken care of.

Storage

“How much storage do I need?” has been the age-old question since personal computers entered our homes. The common answer to this question is “…it depends on how big your files are and what you want to do on the computer”.

The storage system of your computer houses the operating system, software, programs, miscellaneous files, and cache and virtual memory etc. The two current options are hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD).  The HDD is the older option and although it is cheaper it is also much slower and less reliable than an SSD, particularly if you’re working with larger files such as 4K videos.  Keep in mind that even if your computer is generally fast, a slow HDD will also slow down your editing (as it needs a spin speed of at least 7200 RPM).

Therefore our recommendation is to go with the SSD option. The SSD uses flash memory technology with almost instantaneous seek times which makes it much faster than the HDD.  The speed of the SSD makes it an excellent option for editing videos without issues such as lag times and stutter. 

The current trade-off, however, is that the HDD can hold a lot more storage space compared to the SSD, and for only a third of the price. So you will need to decide what is more important for your needs – speed or space, or somewhere in between.  This trade-off is slowly changing as 1 TB SSDs are getting cheaper and more laptops on the market today come with SSDs by default. 

The best alternative is to source a laptop that has both a HDD and SSD so you can store all your large files on the SSD and your software runs on the SSD.

Display

One feature that is often overlooked when purchasing a laptop is the quality of the display. You don’t want to spend hours in editing mode without being able to see the true color quality and crispness of your rendered creations as they come to life. Therefore, it is important to source a laptop with a high-quality display panel.

The main features to consider when researching a laptop’s display panel is the resolution, the size, color accuracy, and anti-glare options (particularly if you’re working outdoors).

Type of screen: A detailed discussion about computer display panels is quite complex and far beyond the scope of this article. So here is a very brief overview. There are three types of screens, the TN (twisted nematic), the IPS (in-panel switching), and the VA (vertical alignment). In this article we will focus on the TN and IPS panels. 

The TN screen is viewed as being the fastest and cheapest as it has high refresh rates and low input lag. The downside of the TN is that the viewing angles and color quality are poor, or not as good as the IPS. Conversely, the IPS has slower response times but far better viewing angles and color quality. 

Neither the IPS or TN are the “all out winner” here, it simply comes down to what you’re wanting and the importance you place on visual display while you’re editing videos. For example, gamers may prefer the TN panel because of the fast response times, whereas graphic designers and video editors may prefer the IPS panel because of the deeper quality in colors and better angle views.

Given that we are looking at laptops for editing videos, an important feature for us is the viewing angle because the laptop screen needs to be adjusted depending on your ergonomic set up (the flexibility of using a laptop anywhere!). The IPS screen has a viewing angle of 178 degrees where you can look at it from any direction and still have excellent clarity and crispness in the images. On the other hand, you always need to look at the TN screen “front-on” or else the images get washed out.

Screen size and resolution: Regarding the display  we need to think about how big we want the laptop screen (small is 11-13 inches, traditional is 13-15 inches, and largest is 17 inches) versus how compact we want the laptop. The choice is purely yours. But one additional factor to think about is the screen-to-body ratio, which is how much of the laptop lid space is taken up by the screen. We say the bigger the screen-to-body ratio the better as it allows for more viewing area.

The resolution of the screen is also important as it is the main quality of the video the computer can create. This can range anywhere from 1920 x 1080 to 3840 x 2160 pixels. If you are looking for a good display, you would want a minimum of 1920 x 1080. This is the base resolution for a HD display. Anything above this is fantastic however it might increase the cost of the laptop by quite a lot. 

Depending on the type of display as well as the resolution, your colour accuracy and overall video quality could be immaculate. This is an incredibly crucial factor to consider when making this important purchase. 

Color gamut and accuracy: In simple terms, the color gamut refers to the range of colors that can be displayed within an application. The most common color gamuts in computer screens are sRGB, AdobeRGB and DCI-P3. 

The sRGB stands for “standard Red Blue Green” and it is the most common in electronic devices.  AdobeRGB was developed by Adobe mostly for printing purposes and it covers more the cyan-green hues compared to sRGB.  DCI-P3 is more video-oriented with a wide range of colors expanding more into reds and yellows.

The wider the color gamut the more colors displayed, which then provides more vibrant life-like images. Therefore, when it comes to laptop screens you need to pay attention to statements about what percentage of the color gamut is covered in the screen display. The higher the percentage the better – in a realistic world it should be as close to 100% as possible.

Color accuracy is based on Delta E, which is a measure of color difference that can be perceived by the human eye. For example, a Delta E of 1 means that two colors can be differentiated and a value of 0 means the colors cannot be differentiated. With display screens, the lower the Delta E number, the closer the display matches the input color to the display’s reproduced color. Therefore a Delta E <2 is considered good.

Screen Brightness: Brightness is measured by Nits – a Nit is the unit of luminance used to describe sources of light. Without getting technical, the higher the Nits the better. For laptops a value of 300 Nits is good, a value of 400 nits is very good, and a value of 500 or more is extremely good. Most good laptops will have a value between 300-400, and anything else is a bonus.

Other factors (body construction, battery life, connections/ports)

Although somewhat less important than the features listed above, other features to consider in a laptop for video editing (or any laptop) are body build, battery life, and connections/ports. Although all factors are important when choosing a laptop, we have put less emphasis on these features when selecting our list of video editing laptops.

Body construction: Most laptops these days are designed to be reasonably rigid. Although metal chassis are stronger, in general there is very little difference in robustness between plastic and metal bodies. These factors are all personal choice (aesthetics, weight/materials, and overall design). You want to look for a laptop that has a sturdy body with little flex/wobble in the lid, and less flex in the keyboard when pressing down. Other factors such as the design of the keyboard and the type of trackpad are all personal choices.

Battery life: We all want laptop batteries to last for 10+ hours! Good luck with that! To put it simply, the more software you have running on the laptop the less life you get from the battery. CPU intensive tasks like editing videos will use up more of the battery than everyday tasks such using microsoft applications,web browsing, and watching YouTube videos. The size of the battery is based on the Watt-hour (Wh) and the largest size is 99.9Wh (because you can’t take a 100Wh battery on a commercial flight). Laptop batteries average anywhere between 50Wh to 80Wh – the larger the Wh the better.

Connections/Ports: The main ports to look out for in a video editing laptop are USB Type-A and Type-C, DisplayPort, HDMI, SD Card Reader, and a Thunderbolt. 

The USB Type-A is the standard connection and it is better to have USB gen 3.0 or higher (USB gen 2 are being used less and less). The laptop should have at least 2 Type-A USB connections, but 3 ports would be great. 

USB Type-C is a newer and slimmer version of the Type-A USB connector. With mostly the same capabilities, the USB-C connector allows for you to plug in hard drives, accessories and even external displays. However, in order to connect external displays, a Thunderbolt port is required.

Thunderbolt 3 is a hardware interface that utilizes the reversible USB Type-C connector. The connector also transmits data via USB 3.1 at up to 10 Gb/s, and dual-bandwidth DisplayPort 1.2 allows you to connect up to two 4K displays simultaneously. Thunderbolt 3 technology brings speed and versatility to the most advanced USB Type-C, offering a fast and simple level of connection for work and home. It enables lightning-fast data transfer up to 40Gbps. Additionally, you can daisy chain up to six devices from a single Thunderbolt 3 port.

SD card readers aren’t as important as USB connections. However, when travelling, an SD card can be a great device to use to store just about anything. An SD card and SD card reader come in many sizes, the most common is a standard SD. An SD card utilises transportable storage in one of the smallest forms ever seen. With a maximum capacity of 2TB, a single care can fit all of the needed programs and files when editing.