Whether you’re an industry professional or an avid YouTuber, you know how important it is to produce quality videos consistently.
The quality of the videos you create will depend on your creativity, the editing software you use, and the hardware that software is installed on. And as you probably know, it can be tough to work fast and get good results when your hardware or laptop isn’t strong enough to power your software properly and allow you to work at the pace you want.
The best laptops for video editing in 2018 have three things in common. First, they have top-of-the-line display technology for color accuracy, color depth, and clarity. Next, they have discrete (dedicated) Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) with accompanying RAM to enable them to handle video processing fast without compromising other system functions. And finally, they have Intel core i7 CPU processors and Solid-State Drives (SSD) for faster overall performance.
THE TOP 3 LAPTOPS FOR EDITING VIDEO IN 2018
The top 3 laptops below are quite impressive. They have the right mix of power and function that video editing requires.
GRAPHICS: Radeon Pro 555 with 2GB memory – 560 with 4GB memory
SCREEN: 15.4” Retina Display
RES: 2880 x 1800px
STORAGE: 128 – 256GB SSD
OLED Touch Bar
Thunderbolt 3 ports
No other input ports available besides Thunderbolt 3
The MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is the best video editing laptop produced by Apple. It has a wide 15.4” screen with thin bezels, and its proprietary OLED Touch bar amps up its flexibility and functionality considerably. The Touch Bar is set-up to show different shortcuts for different apps. It works quite well with Photoshop and will show thumbnails, filter options, a color picker, and more while you’re editing videos or stills.
Working with large 4K video files is much easier with the MacBook Pro. It’s fitted with Thunderbolt 3 Ports which have the highest data and video bandwidth available for USB-C connections. With these Thunderbolt ports, you can also use high-speed and high-power peripherals without a hitch. This laptop also has an extra-wide touchpad or Trackpad (as Apple calls it) which expands your physical working surface while also making it easier to do detailed video editing.
Unfortunately, if you need a variety of ports like most videographers, working with the MacBook Pro could be a challenge as it only has Thunderbolt 3 ports. If this is the laptop you prefer, you’ll need to buy additional connection hardware to work with different input devices. And while this laptop impresses in many ways, it’s also quite expensive. There are certainly other laptops on the market which can give you similar performance at a lower cost.
2. DELL XPS 15
PRICE: $999 - $1300
CPU: Intel Core i7 Processor
GRAPHICS: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
RAM: 8 - 16GB
RES: FHD - 4k UHD 3840 x 2160px
STORAGE: 256GB – 1TB SSD
4k InfinityEdge display
Good battery life
Has multiple input ports
Webcam is oddly positioned
The Dell XPS 15 is one laptop that hits the sweet spot for many videographers. It’s considered the closest competitor to the MacBook Pro reviewed above. In fact, many would argue that it tops the MacBook Pro when it comes to speed, color accuracy, and color depth. Its 15.6” screen has very thin bezels for minimal distraction and immersive work experience. At 4K resolution and displaying a wide range of the sRGB gamut, video editing with the Dell XPS 15 promises to be both smooth and enjoyable.
The Dell XPS 15 is certainly more affordable, while still delivering excellent graphics performance. It features an Intel i7 processor and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics processor. This makes it remarkably fast for video editing, as well as energy-efficient. People who work with different input devices will also like that this laptop has legacy adapters (USB, HDMI, ethernet) alongside a USB type C port.
The biggest downside to the Dell XPS 15 laptop is its oddly positioned webcam. It feels awkward and can be an inconvenience to use since you’ll have to adjust your position significantly while making video calls or recording for your YouTube channel.
3. MICROSOFT SURFACE BOOK 2
PRICE: $1499 - $2499
CPU: Intel Core i7 Processor
GRAPHICS: Intel HD 620 or Nvidia GTX 1050 / GTX 1060
RES: 3240 x 2160px
STORAGE: 256GB, 512GB – 1TB SSD
Has multiple input ports (USB Type-A, USB Type-C, SD card reader)
Works with a Stylus
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a laptop and a tablet thanks to its detachable screen. At a resolution of 3240 x 2160px, its screen is nearly 4k and can handle Full HD and HD footage with ease. Add to this its capacity to show a considerable portion of the sRGB gamut and its easy-to-use stylus and you can see why this 2-in-1 combo from Microsoft is one of the top 3 laptops for video editing in 2018.
Surface Book 2 also has the right combination of power and storage capacity that video editing requires. It boasts a state-of-the-art NVIDIA graphics processor and an Intel i7 processor for a smooth workflow no matter the size or level of detail involved in your video editing project.
On the downside, this laptop is undoubtedly very expensive. Compared to the function and power you can get from the DELL XPS 15, it’s hard to justify paying nearly $2500 for the Surface Book 2. Its detachable screen, supported by a fulcrum hinge, also comes at a price. It makes the laptop a bit bulky at one end when it’s folded. This in turn can make day-to-day handling a bit more tricky than it has to be.
If you’re searching for a good laptop to help you improve the quality of your videos in 2018, look no further than these 3. They have all the power, function, and storage capacity you need to handle any project with ease. Just be mindful of your budget and consider which extras are worth the expense. Go for the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar if customizing your workflow is a priority. Opt for the Dell XPS 15 if you want the best combination of display quality and graphics processing. Finally, consider the Surface Book 2 if you need the flexibility of a 2-in-1 device.
What do you think is the best laptop for video editing?
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Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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