Top 20 Pro & Budget Video Editing Laptops for 2021

Post Production 07/04/2021 7 min read

Choosing a new computer system can be daunting; your spending a lot of money and want to be sure your device can handle your work. Understanding how to edit in a program and how the program works are two different things, so if you’ve no idea what GPU, CPU, and SSD mean, don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Not only have we explained the tricky computer jargon for you, but we’ve also created a list of the 20 best laptops for editing to help you narrow down your choices.

Part 1: How to Choose the Best Video Editing Laptop

As a video editor with a good understanding of editing programs, you may not have an in-depth knowledge of computer systems themselves. All devices will have ‘specs’ or specifications; what the machine comes within its processing. 

Similarly, editing software will have ‘Device Specs,’ the minimum requirements to use the device’s software. Each editing software will have a different set of minimum specifications, which you can find out through their websites. Let’s look at what each of the specifications means;

Hard Drive or an SSD  

Traditional HDD (hard disk drives) operate as a spinning magnetic disk, read by a needle arm – like a record player. They are constantly moving in operation and will also add weight to the overall unit. SSD (solid-state drives) are like flash drives / USB Sticks: there are no mechanical moving parts, so they weigh less and have fewer potential mechanical failures. The cost of SSDs is still relatively high compared to the volume of storage offered. SSDs offer better performance, HDDs provide more capacity at cost.

Storage is how much overall information an HDD/SSD can hold. If budget is a concern, it is best to have more RAM than storage because you can always use external drives, as should be encouraged anyway for video editing. 

Dedicated GPU

Graphics Processing Unit (more commonly known as Graphics Cards) is designed to process video imagery. Dedicated GPUs will increase your rendering speeds and make previewing effects easier before renders. Computers without separate GPUs will have integrated graphics processing, so complex motion graphics, animation, and effects work will take significantly longer. The minimum GPU requirement to run Adobe Premiere Pro is 2GB VRAM. 

Central Processing Unit 

The CPU refers to the chips that coordinate and execute computing tasks. i5 is a basic CPU and is incredibly cost-effective. Core i7 and i9 processors are more advanced and definitely better for multitasking and high-demand workloads, such as media creation and editing.


While not a computer spec, you should consider  your workflow and lifestyle when purchasing a new machine. Think about how you work and what could make your workflow easier. If you work remotely, you will need a good battery; if you travel a lot, you may need a lightweight machine; if you are working on short social videos, you won’t need as much RAM as for a feature film. Finding your perfect editing device will depend on how you want to use it as much as the power inside of it.

Part 2: Top 10 Pro Laptops for Video Editing

Now we’ve discussed the specs we need to consider before choosing a new laptop, let’s jump straight into some of our top choices.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition$3,799.99Intel Core i7-10875H32GB DDR4-2933MHz1TB SSD15.6inchNVIDIA GeForceQuadro RTX 5000
Microsoft Surface Book 3$2,999.99Intel Core i732GB512GB or 1TB SSD15-inch PixelSense (2,496 x 1,664)NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
HP ZBook Create G7$2,868.00Intel Core i516GB256GB SSD15.6-inch (4K)NVIDIA RTX 2070 Max-Q
Apple MacBook Pro$2,799.00Intel Core i916GB1TB SSD16-inchAMD Radeon Pro 5500M 
Alienware Area-51M$1,989.89Intel Core i7 1070016GB512GB SSD 17.3-inchNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 
Gigabyte Aero$1,799.00Intel Core i7-10750H8GB512GB SSD15-inchNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
HP Spectre x360$1,699.99Intel Core i7-10750H16GB1TB SSD15.6-inch (4K)NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme$1,660.99Intel Core i716GB 512GB SSD 15.6-inch (1080p/4K)NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
Dell XPS 15$1,439.99Intel Core i78GB256GB SSD15.6-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200)NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB
Asus ZenBook Pro 15$1,299.98Intel Core i716GB512GB15.6-inch (4K)NVIDIA GeForceGTX 1650 Max Q 

1. Alienware Area-51M

Price: $1,989.89
Display: 17.3-inch (1080p/4K)
CPU: Intel Core i7 10700
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
RAM: 16GB 
Storage: 512GB SSD

Pros: All major components upgradeable and super-fast with stunning visuals
Cons: Heavy, bulky, and no MicroSD card slot

The Alienware Area-51m is an extraordinary machine with massive amounts of power, superfast rendering, excellent visual display, and the latest RTX 2080 GPU. As you might expect, the powerful device comes with one of the highest price tags on our list. The Alienware is upgradable, however, making it ideal for editors who want a laptop for life.

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2. Apple MacBook Pro 16

Price: $2,799.00
Display: 16-inch (3072 x 1920)
CPU: Intel Core i9 
GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5500M
RAM: 16GB 
Storage: 1TB SSD

Pros: Amazing overall performance and improved magic keyboard functions
Cons: No 4K display, no full-size USB or SD card slot, and high-end cost

The MacBook Pro is the go-to device for many editors, and with good reason, Apple laptops are safe, secure, and durable. With a tremendous amount of power inside, processing video is smooth, even while running multiple applications. The display does not come in 4K, but the HD screen offers spectacular definition and color.

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3. Asus ZenBook Pro 15

Price: $1,299.98
Display: 15.6-inch (4K)
CPU: Intel Core i7
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
Storage: 512GB SSD 

Pros: Fast Transfer Speeds. Screen Pad as the second monitor.
Cons: Below-average Battery life

The Asus ZenBook Pro 15 boasts a beautifully designed screen touchpad, which doubles as a second display. Ideal for creatives and gamers alike, the secondary display touchpad gives you numerous shortcuts to your favorite tools.

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4. Dell XPS 15

Price: $1,439.99
Display: 15.6-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200)
CPU: Intel Core i7
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB 
Storage: 256GB SSD 

Pros: Amazing Visuals and super-fast processing
Cons: Webcam location

The Dell XPS is the perfect solution for editors on the go; despite its incredible lightweight, it is a durable and secure feeling device with a carbon-fiber chassis. The screen offers terrific colors, with its vivid and bright 4K screen.

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5. Gigabyte Aero 15

Price: $1,799.00
Display: 15.6″ FHD 1920×1080
CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 
Storage: 512GB SSD

Pros: Full array of ports. Awesome back-lit keyboard.
Cons: Noisy cooling fans. Small RAM and Storage Capacity.

The Gigabyte Aero 17 is a dynamic machine, ideal for editors creating short videos on the go. The small RAM and Storage capacity might cause a problem on long-form content, but for social media content creators and influencers, this could be a powerful machine to choose from.

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6. HP Spectre x360

Price: $1699.99
Display: 15.6-inch diagonal 4K Touch
CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 
RAM: 16GB 
Storage: 1TB SSD 

Pros: Solid performance with fantastic battery life.
Cons: Speakers are poor, and the display is a little dark.

The HP Spectre x360 is a powerful machine with a vast amount of functionality. The device comes with the HP Active Pen, allowing you to use the screen as a graphics tablet. Despite the functionality benefits, the system suffers from a dim screen and poor speakers. The HP Spectre is best suited to animators and designers who may not be affected by the sound quality and will find tremendous benefit in the pen tool.

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7. HP ZBook Create G7

Price: $2,868.00
Display: 15.6-inch diagonal FHD
CPU: Intel Core i5
Storage: 256GB SSD 

Pros: Excellent Stylus and Shortcut Management
Cons: Expensive

The HP ZBook Create G7 is the ideal machine for designers and Motion Graphics artists. The Matte screen gives the feel of drawing on paper, and while the display could be brighter, the colors are vivid. The customizable Shortcut keys are easy to manage, allowing for fast switching between applications.

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8. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Price: $1,660.99
Display: 15.6-inch (1080p/4K)
CPU: Intel Core i7 
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 
Storage: 512GB

Pros: Super fast with phenomenal visual display.
Cons: Runs warm with below-average battery life.

The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme is a superfast machine with a lot of power behind it. The durable design has been tested against all the elements, so if you’re editing in the wind, snow, rain, or sand, this might be the device for you. However, the super-speed comes with some heat as the machine runs warm and eats up battery power.

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9. Microsoft Surface Book 3

Price: $2,999.99
Display: 15-inch PixelSense
CPU: Intel Core i7
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
RAM: 32GB  
Storage: 1TB SSD

Pros: Excellent Battery
Cons: Not enough ports / No Thunderbolt 3

The Microsoft Surface Book 3 is an excellent machine at a substantial cost. The PixelSense screen is a joy to edit on, offering clear and vibrant colors. Being a Windows computer, your software is sure to run smoothly, though you may need to buy a multiport extender.

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10. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition

Price: $3,799.99
Display: 15.6-inch OLED 4K Touch
CPU: Intel Core i7-10875H 8 Core 
GPU: NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 
RAM: 32GB DDR4-2933MHz 
Storage: 1TB SSD

Pros: Everything
Cons: The most expensive

The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is a dream machine for any editor. It quite literally has it all; storage, speed, 4K display. The beautifully designed laptop was designed for Creatives, offering a vast amount of power in a mobile creative suite. The price tag will be out of many editors’ budgets, and while you do get a lot of bang for your bucks, do your projects require that much power?

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Part 3: Top 10 Budget Laptops Under $1000

Even if you have a reasonable budget for your machine, you might want to consider these budget options.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000$683.99Intel Core i5-8265U (quad-core, 3.9GHz Max Turbo Boost) 8GB256GB SSD14-inch FHDNVIDIA GeForce MX 150 2GB GDDR5
HP Pavilion 15$699.9911th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor16GB512GB SSD Storage15.6-inch diagonal HDIntel Iris
Samsung Galaxy Book Flex Alpha$799.99Intel® Core™ i7-10510U Processor8GB512GB13.3-inchNVIDIA GeForce MX 150
Lenovo Ideapad S340$814.99Intel Core i7-10750H8GB DDR41 TB HDD15.6-inchNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
HP Envy x360$849.00Intel Core i5-1135G78GB DDR4256GB SSD15.6-inch diagonal FHDIntel Iris Xe Graphics
MSI GF65 Thin$857.00Core i5-9300H8GB1TB NVMe SSD15.6-inch FHDNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
ASUS ZenBook 14$899.00Core i7-1165G78GB512GB PCIe SSD14-inchNVIDIA GeForce MX350
Acer Nitro 5$899.99Intel Core i5-8300H8GB1 TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive15.6-inch (ultra HD)NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
Apple MacBook Air$999.00Apple M18 GB256GB SSD13.3-inch Retina Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU
Lenovo Legion 5$999.99AMD Ryzen 5 4600H Processor16 GB DDR4 1 TB 7200 RPM HDD15.6-inch FHDGTX 1650 4GB

1. Acer Nitro 5

Price: $899.99
Display: 15.6-inch display with ultra HD resolution
CPU: Intel Core i5-8300H
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
Storage:  1 TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive

Pros: Awesome visuals and a good battery life
Cons: Poor sound quality

Originally built as a cost-effective gaming laptop, the power behind the Acer Nitro 5 has made it a stand-out budget editing system. The gaming display offers bright and vivid colors, while the AMD Radeon RX 560x Graphics Card provides superfast rendering.

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2. Apple MacBook Air

Price: $999.00
Display: 13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone
CPU: Apple M1
GPU: Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU 
Storage: 256GB

Pros: Amazing Battery Life
Cons: Fanless design could cause performance issues.

The Apple MacBook Air is a lightweight and robust system, perfect for editors on the move. The fanless design makes this one of the quietest machines available, and while small in size, the display offers bright and accurate colors.

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3. ASUS ZenBook 14

Price: $899.00
Display: 14-inch
CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7
Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD

Pros: All the ports
Cons: Battery life can be problematic

The ASUS ZenBook 14 is an innovative and beautifully designed laptop, ideal for traveling editors and content creators. While slim and lightweight, the beautiful design has still found room for a range of ports vital for editing; HDMI, Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, USB Type-A, and MicroSD card reader.

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4. Dell Inspiron 14 5000

Price: $683.99
Display: 14-inch FHD (1920×1080) 
CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U
Storage: 256GB SSD

Pros: Great mid-range price.
Cons: Low-end graphics; not great for 4K editing.

The Dell Inspiron 14 5000 is an ideal editing solution for beginners, hobbyists, and YouTubers. The basic system is a stable and fast editing system, while the configurable parts allow you to upgrade as necessary. For the price, Inspiron is one of the best editing systems available.

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5. HP Envy x360

Price: $849.00
Display: 15.6-inch diagonal FHD
CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7
GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics