Best Laptops for Video Editing Windows Central 2020
Laptops come in a whole manner of shapes and sizes, but for video editing and other intensive workloads, it's all about the internals. Working with high definition (1080p) or even 4K content with gigabytes worth of data to process and effects to add and sample, you need a beefy machine with the best processor and discrete graphics, which is why the Razer Blade Pro 17 is a great option.
- Best Overall: Razer Blade Pro 17
- Runner-up: Dell XPS 15 (7590)
- Best Portable: Surface Book 2
- For Gamers: MSI GS65 Stealth
- Premium Notebook: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
- Best Budget: ASUS VivoBook S15
Best Overall: Razer Blade Pro 17
Razer's most powerful laptop is the Blade Pro 17, and it's quite the portable PC. Packing up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Max-Q GPU and a six-core 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor, it has enough power to smash through all the games you throw at it. These specs also make the Blade Pro 17 excellent for video editing.
If the raw internal power wasn't enough, Razer added in a gorgeous 17.3-inch Full HD 144Hz display but managed to fit it into a 15-inch chassis somehow, making it easier to take with you. Weighing in at around 6.06 lbs (2.75 kg), it's not the lightest laptop in this collection, but you really are getting one of the best portable machines available.
The only drawbacks to the Razer Blade Pro 17 are how pricey it gets when you configure it and the subpar battery life — but this is to be expected when you pack inside a notebook such capable internals.
- Amazing performance
- Powerful dedicated NVIDIA GPUs
- Gorgeous 17-inch display
- Sleek black design
- Subpar Battery life
Incredible portable PC performance
The 17-inch Blade Pro is a gorgeous-looking laptop with thin bezels, powerful NVIDIA RTX graphics, a supped-up Intel 9th Gen CPU, all in a slim package.
Runner-up: Dell XPS 15 (7590)
The Dell XPS 15 has been a firm favorite of ours over recent years, along with its smaller sibling, the XPS 13. This latest iteration of Dell's 15-inch notebook can be kitted out with a 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9980HK processor with eight cores, NVIDIA GTX 1650 GPU, 32GB of RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD, and a killer 4K display. In other words: it's almost perfect for video editing.
The design hasn't changed since the last few models, and that's not a bad thing as it still looks gorgeous and holds up well to what other manufacturers are rolling out. The only downside to the GTX 1650 is the performance in games compared to the Razer Blade Pro 17. This GPU will be slower for video editing as well but is still way more capable than integrated Intel graphics.
- Loads of configurations
- Stunning display
- Powerful internals
- Gorgeous design
- Slower in games
Dell's powerful 15-inch laptop now has 4K OLED
The latest Dell XPS 15 has a new option for a 4K OLED display and the latest Intel Core i9 processor inside, making it powerful for professional work.
Best Portable: Surface Book 2
Microsoft's second-generation Surface Book is still a ridiculous 2-in-1 PC. Windows Central Executive Editor Daniel Rubino is a big fan of the portable PC, noting how it sports excellent build quality and features, offering a true gaming PC with outstanding performance. This also covers video editing and other intensive tasks, thanks to the Intel Core i7 processor and up to GTX 1060 NVIDIA GPU.
Pricing for the Surface Book 2 starts at around $1,150, so it's not cheap, but it's also not unreasonable considering the form factor and specifications. Not only can you use it in a variety of configurations, but you'll be able to enjoy an excellent keyboard, awesome-looking punchy screen, and the Surface Book 2 will even last through the day.
Just be ready to live without Thunderbolt 3, and this thing can get really expensive once you configure it with all the top options.
- Serious performance
- Battery life
- Amazing display
- Great keyboard
- Incredibly versatile
- No Thunderbolt 3
Do anything and everything on the go
You can configure this notebook come tablet with a dedicated GPU and powerful Intel processors that even allow for some gaming.
For Gamers: MSI GS65 Stealth
The MSI GS65 Stealth is simply stunning to look at. It truly is a marvel of gaming laptops, not coming with an obnoxious design, but one you'd actually be proud of in front of people who don't quite understand RGB lighting and sporty aesthetics. It's also fairly powerful inside.
You can select up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPU (the same one found in the Razer Blade Pro 17), as well as an older but still capable 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor. Throw in 16GB of RAM, a 144Hz Full HD screen, and an excellent keyboard to type on, and you've got quite the notebook.
The only downside is a little chassis flex due to the thin laptop design.
- Powerful Intel CPU
- Up to an NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPU
- Responsive 144Hz display
- Thin, attractive design
- Chassis flex
Super-sleek RTX gaming laptop
The MSI GS65 Stealth sports arguably one of the best-looking designs for gaming laptops. You've got a compact form factor with a sleek black metal finish.
Premium Notebook: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
Lenovo refreshed its ThinkPad X1 Extreme laptop with some enticing new features. First up is the display, which includes a beautiful 4K OLED panel with HDR and touch support. That display also has X-Rite Pantone color calibration, making it perfect for creative work like video editing.
You can configure the Lenovo X1 Extreme with up to a 9th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (MaxQ with GB GDDR5), and a whopping 64GB of RAM. The keyboard is excellent, the laptop looks premium, and there are other handy features like Wi-Fi 6 compatibility along with Windows Hello infrared and ThinkShutter.
- Amazing keyboard
- Gorgeous design
- HDR support
- More RAM
- Dedicated NVIDIA GTX GPU
- No Intel Core i9 option yet
Ideal for both work and play
Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Extreme range may start at a higher price, but it's well worth the jump with better internals.
Best Budget: ASUS VivoBook S15
If you want to save some money or happen to just be starting out, the more affordable ASUS VivoBook S is a great choice. It's not the most powerful laptop in our collection, nor will it win any awards for the plastic (yet sturdy) build, but it houses a dedicated GPU at an affordable price.
The laptop looks more expensive than it really is. Inside is a quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, an NVIDIA MX250 GPU, and 8GB of RAM. It'll be just good enough to play some games and should be able to handle some video editing as well. It's let down by the dim display, and rather slow solid-state drive (SSD) write speeds.
You may want to pass on this laptop if you need one that will last for longer than a few hours, but it's challenging to find a notebook with similar specs for a better price.
- Premium style
- Solid build quality
- Plenty of ports including USB-C
- Up to Intel Core i7 CPU
- Dedicated NVIDIA graphics
- Dim display
- Battery life
- Slow SSD
Budget-friendly video editing
This VivoBook S from ASUS is affordable but comes equipped with a fairly powerful NVIDIA MX150 GPU and Intel Core i7 processor.
When you're looking for the best laptop to do some video editing on, you could do much worse than the excellent Razer Blade Pro 17, rocking plenty of power to get through even more demanding rendering workloads. The Dell XPS 15 is a worthy runner-up and can be configured to match what Razer offers in the Blade Pro.
Other laptops in our collection are great considerations for those who want to save a little money, need portability, or want a Surface device.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.
Daniel Rubino is the executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.
Cale Hunt is a full-time writer for Windows Central, focusing mainly on PC hardware and VR. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and when he has some free time, you can usually find him practicing guitar or reorganizing his ever-growing library. If you hear him say, "Sorry!" it's only because he's Canadian.
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