What are the best laptops for video editing?

Kimmy Jo By Kimmy Jo - updated January 12th, 2023
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When it comes to video editing, not just any laptop is going to cut it. You’ll need one of the best video editing laptops if you’re serious about your craft. While you can get away with editing basic videos with most modern laptops (and even then, it might require the patience of a saint), you’re going to need a whole lot more power to work with larger amounts of footage, 4K video, or special effects.

Most video editing software, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Final Cut Pro to name a few, are fairly hardware-intensive and you’ll need a high-spec machine to keep up. Otherwise, you might find yourself groaning in frustration as your previews lag, applications crash or rendering crawls along. Here are some things to look out for when shopping for the best video editing laptop.

  • Strong CPU – Look for one with multiple cores. The more cores, the faster your machine will run.
  • Discrete GPU - Generally speaking, it should have a dedicated graphics card and ideally one on the higher end of the Nvidia GTX 3000-series. That being said, there are some top-tier options (like the MacBook Pro) that are highly capable regardless.
  • RAM – Look for at least 16 GB of RAM. If you’re working with 4K footage, shoot for 32 GB or more.
  • Storage – Look for 512GB or larger SSD. If you’re working with 4K footage, shoot for more.
  • Ports – It’s also worth checking that the laptop has high-speed ports for fast transferring of files and/or connecting to other devices such as monitors.

Now that you have a general idea of what’s needed for the best laptops for video editing, lets jump into some of our top picks!

Best Laptops for Video Editing

Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro M1 Pro

Apple’s MacBook Pro has long been a laptop of choice for creatives and their newer Pro laptops featuring the blazing-fast M1 Pro chip really pack a punch. Powered by a 10-Core CPU (eight performance cores and two efficiency cores), the MacBook Pro 16-inch offers just about as much performance as you could ask for in a laptop. This means it’s perfectly capable of handling and rendering 4K (and even 8K) video editing with ease.

The GPU and storage on this laptop are certainly sufficient to handle large video files too. You can get up to 32-cores handling your graphics and up to 2TB of SSD storage (it can go up to 8TB if upgraded and ordered directly through Apple). Editing on this laptop will be a feast for your eyes thanks to a Liquid Retina XDR display that has incredible dynamic range and contrast ratio. This will give you unbelievable detail in shadows, deeper blacks, and vibrant colours. The display also features HDR (High Dynamic Range) and ProMotion technology for adaptive refresh rates of up to 120Hz.

A variety of ports have made a comeback in newer MacBook Pro models which we’re sure is greatly appreciated by the creative community. The ports include SDXC, HDMI, Thunderbolt 4, a headphone jack, and a memory card slot. While this laptop already packs fantastic power and performance, if you have greater needs and your budget allows, the 16-inch MacBook Pro M1 Max is the next step up.

MSI Creator Z16 A12U Mobile Workstation

MSI’s Creator Z16 A12U, as the name suggests, was made for creators and is capable of handling just about any video editing task you throw at it. If you’re not a Mac user and prefer Windows, this is a great alternative to the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The Creator Z16 features a powerful 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor that is ready to satisfy your creative needs and pro-level tasks with 14 cores of processing. Powered by an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, editing up to 8K RAW video and working with large 3D models comes easy.

The Creator Z16 brings accurate colour right out of the box. It features a vibrant True Pixel Display with QHD+, 100% DCI-P3 colour gamut, and factory-calibrated Delta-E < 2 out of the box accuracy, and true colour technology. A 16:10 aspect ratio provides 11% extra room than the usual 16:9, and is great for checking workspace and timeline in Adobe applications. It’s even equipped with a touch screen so you can intuitively interact with the screen and your work, and a 120hz refresh rate.

Equipped with 32GB of RAM and a speedy 1TB SSD, the Z16 is really well-specced for your video editing needs. Plus, at just 2.2kg, it’s light enough to take with you on the go! It offers a full set of high-performance I/O ports, including 2x USB-A, 2x Thunderbolt 4, a microSD card reader, and an audio jack.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 Gaming Laptop

Gaming laptops often work out to be great for video editing thanks to their high specs. ASUS’s ROG Zephyrus G15 is an all-out processing powerhouse so we thought we’d better include it on this list! It features ultra-fast octacore AMD Ryzen 7 or Ryzen 9 processors and up to 32GB of DDR5 RAM, ready to take on just about anything you throw at it, whether that’s creating effects in After Effects or editing large video files in Premiere Pro.

This laptop was designed with gaming in mind, so of course it comes with a super powerful graphics card. It features NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX30-series, with your choice of 3060, 3070 Ti, and 3080. This will come in super handy for GPU-accelerated video encoding! It also offers up to 1TB of SSD capacity which is especially ideal for those who’ll be working with RAW files.

It is topped with a 15.6-inch WQHD (2560x1440) anti-glare IPS display that has a 165Hz refresh rate, Pantone® validation, Dolby Vision support, and 100% DCI-P3 colour accuracy, along with super-narrow bezels. All of this power and performance is packed into a sleek and streamlined design, with the laptop weighing just 1.9kg – perfect to take with you anywhere! It features a full set of I/O ports including 2x USB-A, 2x USB-C, 1x HDMI, 1x RJ45 LAN, 1x 3.5mm audio jack, and 1x microSD card slot.

Surface Laptop Studio (i7)

If you’re after some additional creative flex, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop Studio could be your answer. It’s the most powerful laptop from the Surface range and was built for performance, while offering the flexibility of a laptop and tablet in one. It boasts a quad-core powered 11th Gen Intel H-series processor and a blazing NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU (on the Intel Core i7 version), making it totally capable of editing videos and rendering animations without breaking a sweat.

With up to 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD capacity gives you plenty of power and storage for large video files. All to be enjoyed on a vibrant 14.4-inch PixelSense™ Flow touch display with a refresh rate up to 120Hz and Dolby Vision. When it comes to video editing, the display is about the smallest you’d want to go, but at this size, the Laptop Studio is fantastic for video editing on the go. With the 10-point multi-touch display too, it’s bound to add a whole lot of ease and convenience to your flow.

The Laptop Studio features 2x new USB 4.0 ports with Thunderbolt™ 4 support, 1x 3.5mm audio jack, and 1x Surface Connect Port. To get the most out of this laptop, a Surface Slim Pen 2 can be purchased separately so you can write, sketch, and navigate with exceptional accuracy.

There you have it – these are some of the best laptops for video editing. With devices of this caliber, you’ll be able to edit and render videos with ultimate ease and efficiency, allowing you to take your work to the next level! If you want to take our minimum criteria and shop around for more options, head over to our Laptops department to browse NZ’s biggest range of laptops.

Written By

Kimmy Jo

Waiting for the day I can download food.

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