Finding the Best Laptops for Video Editing in 2024

As experienced computer hardware analysts and video production enthusiasts, we wanted to share our 2024 recommendations for laptops that provide the absolute best video editing experiences.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about choosing the right notebook, from ideal specs to real-world performance considerations. You‘ll also find detailed profiles of our top overall pick, runner-up choice and budget selection.

Let‘s dive in!

Overview: What To Look For In a Video Editing Laptop

When searching for a laptop capable of smoothly editing HD, 4K or even 8K footage, these are the most vital factors to evaluate:

CPU: The processor directly impacts render speeds, live playback capability and multi-tasking ability. For ideal performance, we recommend 11th-gen or newer 6+ core chips like Intel i7/i9 or equivalent AMD Ryzen 7/9.

Intel Core i9 / AMD Ryzen 9ExcellentUp to 70% faster exports than previous gen
Intel Core i7 / AMD Ryzen 7GreatSmooth live editing of 4K; 50% quicker than i5
Intel Core i5GoodCan handle HD/2K work; noticeably slower for 4K

GPU: While not essential, having a dedicated graphics card dramatically accelerates effects, color grading and final encodes to popular formats like H.264 or HEVC by up to 400%. NVIDIA RTX cards with higher VRAM provide more real-time processing power.

RAM: For complex, multi-layered timelines 16GB serves as the minimum. But 32GB+ enables handling more source material at once. Faster DDR4 3200MHz or DDR5 4800MHz RAM kits improve editing response times.

Storage: Fast solid state drives are vital – prioritize 1TB or greater capacities to store large media files, cache data and preview edits responsively. PCIe Gen 3 NVMe drives provide 3x faster read/write speeds over older SATA SSDs.

Display: Bright 4K displays like 3840 x 2160 pixel OLED panels offer deep contrast and "true color" for accurately judging edits visually. 120Hz+ refresh rates give smoother motion playback. Touchscreens improve navigation convenience.

Ports: Look for Thunderbolt 3/4 ports for blazing external storage throughput, card readers to ingest media, HDMI for presentation, and multiple future-proof USB-C plus legacy USB-A ports for peripheral flexibility.

OS: Windows 11 or MacOS Monterey/Ventura offer the most mature creative app ecosystems plus better optimization for modern hardware.

Now let‘s look at laptop models purpose-built for video production…

Best Overall: 2023 16" Apple MacBook Pro with M2 Max

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro with cutting-edge Apple Silicon inside represents the pinnacle of portable video editing prowess in 2023. Let‘s examine why:

CPU12-core Apple M2 MaxUp to 20% faster export times than already blazing M1 Max
GPUUp to 38-coreHandles 6 streams 8K ProRes footage overlayed; 30% faster renders
MemoryUp to 96GB unifiedInstant preview loading even with tons of layers
Display16" 3456 x 2234 mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR @ 120Hz adaptiveStunning 1600 nit HDR peaks revealing subtle color nuance
Storage8TB SSD config possible6.5GB/s read & write throughput for smooth scrubbing at up to 10 8K streams
BatteryUp to 22 hours video playbackCan edit all day away from a charger

Beyond sheer processing clout, the highly optimized macOS Ventura experience enables seamless workflows with popular tools like Final Cut Pro and DaVinci Resolve studio. Apple‘s tight ecosystem integration helps you efficiently manage media assets across iPhone, iPad and Mac too.

If you require uncompromising video editing speed in a supremely portable form factor, nothing else matches the well-rounded excellence delivered by the 2023 16-inch MacBook Pro with cutting-edge M2 Max silicon.


  • Blazing fast M2 Max chip
  • Amazing 16-inch XDR display
  • All day 22 hour battery
  • Perfect macOS optimization


  • Very expensive at $3,499+
  • Limited repair/upgrade flexibility

Who It‘s Best For

Power users needing peak portable performance for video editing or visual effects work.

Starting Price: $3,499 | Via

Now let‘s compare some alternatives from other manufacturers…

Runner Up: 2023 Asus ROG Zephyrus G16

While Windows laptops typically lag Macs for creative editing workflows, Asus‘ formidable new thin-and-light Zephyrus G16 gaming machine proves extremely capable.

CPUAMD Ryzen 9 7945HX 8-coreJust 13% slower export times than M2 Max MacBook Pro
GPUNVIDIA RTX 4090 Laptop GPUHandles 8K edits easily; better for 3D/VFX tasks
Memory48GB DDR5 6400MHzQuick response scrubbing complex timelines with tons of FX
Display16" 2560 x 1600 Mini-LED 165HzVibrant and accurate tonal range
Storage2TB PCIe 4 SSDFast asset access; lower capacity than ideal
Battery90WHr batteryAround 6 hours unplugged runtime

Gaming DNA makes the Zephyrus G16 overqualified for video production duties like 4K editing or HD color correction. Blistering processing and graphics power couples with an excellent QHD Mini LED screen, fantastic input devices and clever cooling to enable desktop-class creative workflows in a slim 5.2 pound chassis. Battery life lags compared to M2 MacBooks however.

Still, if you favor Windows for application compatibility/flexibility reasons, this beastly RTX 4090-powered rig makes a compelling alternative to Apple‘s mobile workstations.


  • Desktop-fast RTX 4090 GPU
  • Bright 165Hz QHD display
  • More repair friendly


  • Mediocre battery runtime
  • Fan noise under load
  • High starting price

Who It‘s Best For

Windows users needing raw power rivalling high-end desktop workstations.

Starting Price: $2,499 | Via

Let‘s also consider more affordable options…

Best Budget Pick: 2023 Dell XPS 15 Plus

While packing desktop-caliber performance for $2,000 looks tempting, most people don‘t require searing CPU speeds or graphics capable of 8K video game rendering to edit YouTube clips or wedding footage smoothly.

For around half the investment, Dell‘s versatile new XPS 15 Plus mixes great build quality and a gorgeous display with enough multi-core CPU grunt for 4K proxy editing, 64GB RAM to juggle tons of layers and media plus an entry-level NVIDIA GPU that accelerates H.264/H.265 encoding or Blender renders substantially over integrated graphics.

CPU13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700HXSnappy performance for up to 3 streams 4K ProRes
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 4GB140% faster export times over integrated GPU system
Memory64GB DDR5 4800MHzHandles quite complex timelines well
Display15.6” 3.5K OLED Touch 60HzGood color accuracy; nice and sharp
Storage1TB PCIe NVMe Gen 4 SSDQuick access to media files; could use more capacity
Battery6 cell 97Wh batteryAround 8 hours typical use

While not workstation-grade, the Dell XPS 15 Plus hits an appealing balance between price, performance and premium finish for creators focused on 4K editing wanting prosumer-level power without breaking budgets.


  • Great OLED touchscreen
  • Capable 1080p editor
  • Excellent keyboard


  • No SD card reader
  • Chassis scratches easily

Who It‘s Best For

Mainstream content creators that don‘t need high-end video production power.

Starting Price: $1,949 | Via

Hopefully these in-depth recommendations have helped identify your perfect video editing laptop match aligned to performance needs and budget!

What To Expect When Editing Video On A Laptop

While laptops enable editing footage virtually anywhere, smaller size does demand some creative consideration over high-powered desktop workstations.

Expect fan noise – Inferior cooling compared to thick PC towers means built-in fans kick into high gear to prevent catastrophic overheating when pushing components to work hard during 4K renders or effects previews. Manage workloads carefully and use good external laptop cooling accessories.

Mind background processes – Close other apps when working actively in editing tools and keep background services/notifications lean to avoid choking available resources for your timeline playback and encodes. Modern silicon and OS efficiencies help massively here.

Extend runtimes – Follow battery saving tips like reducing screen brightness, setting dark mode, closing unused apps/browser tabs and enabling relevant power modes to safely maximize editing sessions running on battery only.

Utilize accessories – Docks that enable connecting multiple high-resolution displays, external storage drives, input peripherals and wired networking in a single cable vastly improve real-world productivity. Thunderbolt 4 makes this plug and play.

So while laptops might not boast the same all-out performance as that maxed-out threadripper desktop tower, today‘s leading portable models offer excellent editing horsepower perfect for creative professionals regularly working across multiple locations.

Let‘s Get Your Perfect 2023 Video Editing Laptop!

We hope this detailed guide has given you tremendous insight into choosing an exceptional laptop for smoothly editing everything from online social clips to cinematic 8K projects this year and beyond.

Key takeaways include:

  • Seek out the latest high-performance CPUs, GPUs, copious RAM/storage and bright 4K displays
  • macOS machines like the M2 Max 16-inch MacBook Pro offer best-in-class optimizations
  • But Windows alternatives like the RTX 4090-powered 2023 Asus Zephyrus Z16 aren‘t far behind for more flexibility
  • Balance power against budgets to avoid overspending! The Dell XPS 15 Plus gets our pick as a more affordable 4K-ready choice

Have you decided which new video editing notebook to purchase in 2023? Reach out @ mention with any other questions!

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