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Top 10 Laptops for Picture and Video Editing

Florian Schmitt, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 06/26/2017

November 2018 Update. Here you will find the best current notebooks for picture and video-editing on the go. Our list of top models is regularly updated, maintained and commented on and it should assist in purchasing decisions.

One of the most common usage scenarios for notebooks is the storing, viewing, sorting and editing of pictures as well as videos. A laptop for this purpose should have a very high-quality display to represent your collections as accurately as possible and obviously provide the necessary performance to ensure a productive workflow. We also use the weight as a criterion for this ranking, which should be an indicator for mobility. Other K.O. criteria are processors with a performance level compared to modern Intel Core i chips, a full-size SD reader as well as a display of at least 13-inches. You can also use the following top lists for further research:

The following table is an overview of the best notebooks for mobile picture and video-editing that we have reviewed over the last 12 months in terms of the rating criteria display, application performance and weight (equally weighted factors). The table can be sorted by clicking its headers and filtered by entering text in the text field above it (e.g. "matte").

Best Notebooks for Digital Content Editing

RankDateRating
mixed
Rating
total
ImageModellScreenWeightResolutionSurfaceContrast
(max.)
DeltaE
Color
% of
sRGB
% of
Adobe
RGB
Price
109/2018
New!
84%82%MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
Intel Core i7-8550U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
14"1.2 kg1920x1080matte921198.9163.82
202/201884%88%Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UNAsus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
13.3"1.1 kg1920x1080matte10974.078656
307/201884%85%Schenker XMG Neo 15Schenker XMG Neo 15
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
15.6"2 kg1920x1080matte9852.699460
404/201884%88%Gigabyte Aero 15X v8Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
15.6"2.1 kg1920x1080matte9481.299460
504/201883%88%Gigabyte Aero 14-K8Gigabyte Aero 14-K8
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop)
16 GB Memory, 525 GB SSD
14"1.9 kg2560x1440matte9141.219662
610/2018
New!
83%85%Schenker Slim 14 M18Schenker Slim 14 M18
Intel Core i7-8550U
Intel UHD Graphics 620
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
14"1.4 kg1920x1080matte11483.159862
709/2018
New!
83%92%Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UKLenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
Intel Core i5-8350U
Intel UHD Graphics 620
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
14"1.1 kg1920x1080matte14902.199562
883%84%Schenker Key 15 Coffee LakeSchenker Key 15 Coffee Lake
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
16 GB Memory, 500 GB SSD
15.6"2.2 kg1920x1080matte9972.969360
908/2018
New!
83%87%Asus GL504GSAsus GL504GS
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
32 GB Memory, 512 GB NVMe
15.6"2.5 kg1920x1080matte8472.619059
1011/201782%87%Microsoft Surface Book 2Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop)
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
13.5"1.6 kg3000x2000glossy18331.695.964

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Top 10 of the previous 12 months at the time of writing, current articles are listed first

Editors' Comments

More and more notebooks omit diverse ports; especially a full-fledged SD-card reader. The most prominent examples are the current MacBook Pros, which do not feature any other ports beyond Thunderbolt and headphone jacks. Many notebooks, including the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, only come with a microSD-card reader and therefore do not qualify for our list. However, there are also positive examples such as the Microsoft Surface Book, which brings a full-fledged SD reader.

1st - MSI Prestige PS42

MSI Prestige PS42
MSI Prestige PS42

MSI's Prestige PS42 is an attempt to establish a business device with slim bezels and a nice design, and it worked considering the place in this ranking. MSI also includes a full-fledged GPU (25W TPI), so even more demanding GPU tasks are no problem. The screen shows accurate colors and is has a matte surface. You also get long battery runtimes on this light and mobile device.

We do not like the low stability of the slim chassis and the missing Thunderbolt 3 port, which should have been included considering the comparatively high price of the MSI device. The MSI Prestige PS42 is still a compelling first try and deserves a recommendation.

Pricecompare

2nd – Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN

Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN

Have you been waiting for a slim, stylish subnotebook for a long time? Of so Asus might have the right notebook for you with the ZenBook 13 UX331UN. The 13-inch notebook features an IPS display and offers a very long battery life. It stayed comparatively cool but got pretty load under medium load already. The slim case is the GeForce GPU’s biggest nemesis, and accordingly Asus has opted to reduce clock speeds by default. You should thus not expect miracles, but apart from that the notebook is very powerful and portable.

Pricecompare

3rd - Schenker XMG Neo 15

Schenker XMG Neo 15
Schenker XMG Neo 15

You get a compact and very stable metal case when you buy the Schenker XMG Neo 15 with optional extras like high-refresh panels or rapid SSDs. Its components are configurable and the Turbo utilization of the CPU is good, but you have to live with warm temperatures and loud fans under high workloads. Both the processor and graphics card offer plenty of performance in return, even for more demanding video editing and the XMG Neo 15 also features a mechanical keyboard.

Pricecompare

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4th – Gigabyte Aero 15X v8

Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8

Light and thin gaming notebooks are not only ideal for gaming but also photo and video editing on the road thanks to their good displays, their high levels of performance, and their decent battery life. The only things that will possibly make creatives cringe are the high weight and the gaming-oriented design. The Gigabyte Aero 15X seems to fit all those descriptions: its matte FHD display covers almost the entire sRGB spectrum and AdobeRGB by 60 %. Maximum brightness is 300 nits and thus at the usual level. The only downside was the uneven brightness distribution and the halations at the bottom of the display.

A total of six cores promise plenty of oomph particularly for video rendering. Battery life was okay, and the design was somewhat low-key. Even its weight of slightly over 2 kg was acceptable. However, the Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 is anything but a quiet notebook once it gets going. This is where it shows its true colors – it is, after all, primarily made for gamers that tend to be less sensitive to noise and not photo and video editing professionals. Nevertheless, its high level of performance combined with its low weight alone warrant a closer look.

Pricecompare

5th – Gigabyte Aero 14 v8

Gigabyte Aero 14 v8
Gigabyte Aero 14 v8

The Gigabyte Aero 14 v8 is not quite as powerful as some mobile gaming laptops, but offers long battery runtimes and still acceptable emissions (noise, heat) in return. The Aero 14 is more of an all-rounder among these devices: It is comparatively light and mobile, but not as powerful.

Pricecompare

6th - Schenker Slim 14

Schenker Slim 14
Schenker Slim 14

The Schenker Slim 14 proves that a slim laptop can be equipped with a full-size card reader, even though it is also slightly heavier than the lightest systems in this ranking. You can configure it based on your requirements and is even available with an LTE modem. The design might not be spectacular, but the case is very sturdy and we like both the keyboard as well as the performance of our test unit. We only found minor issues like the quiet speakers and the slight performance throttling under sustained workloads.

The Slim 14 is a very solid device if you don't pay all that much attention on the design.

Pricecompare

7th – Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

You will definitely find the ThinkPad X1 Carbon if you are looking for an extremely mobile laptop. Thanks to a weight of just 1.1 kg and a height if just 1.6 cm, it easily fits in every bag. There are some small design changes, but we basically know the chassis from last year's model.

New features include the mechanical docking port on the left side, which consists of two USB-C ports and a proprietary network connector. Intel's current quad-core ULV processors are obviously available as well, and the performance utilization is decent considering the slim case, even though this results in warm surface temperatures under load.

Another highlight is the new HDR screen with WQHD resolution. It is extremely bright with wide color gamut, but there are also drawbacks. The panel is very glossy, for example, and the fan still tends to pulsate even during light workloads.

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8th - Schenker Key 15

Schenker Key 15
Schenker Key 15

Some throttling and warm temperatures are unfortunately not uncommon for compact gaming laptops, and the Schenker Key 15 is no exception. You can at least control the fans manually, so you get the full performance when you need it. There is definitely sufficient performance, you get a 144 Hz screen, and good input devices. The battery runtime is not great though.

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9th – Asus ROG Strix GL504

Asus ROG Strix GL504
Asus ROG Strix GL504

The ROG Strix GL504 from Asus is sitting right between the slim competition and classic desktop replacements in terms of weight and height. Depending on the SKU, you either get a GeForce GTX 1060 (GL504GM) or GeForce GTX 1070 (GL504GS), even though the latter does not support Nvidia's Optimus graphics switching, which affects the battery runtime significantly. There is no G-Sync, either, so we cannot understand the decision.

Otherwise, the 15-inch gamer leaves a good impression except for the high fan noise under 3D workloads as well as the missing Thunderbolt 3 port. We like the responsive 144 Hz panel in particular, which features slim bezels. The input devices as well as the sound are not bad, either. A comprehensive illumination is also included.

Pricecompare

10th - Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft Surface Book 2
Microsoft Surface Book 2

The Surface Book 2 is a very chic and powerful convertible, blessed with long battery life and equipped with very good input devices. However, Microsoft could have done better here and there. The charger, for example, is not nearly powerful enough and takes its sweet time to fully charge the battery. Why is there no Thunderbolt 3? And where is the Surface Pen that was included with the predecessor?

Nevertheless, the Surface Book 2 scores particularly well in the categories most important for photo- and video editing. The display covers almost the entire sRGB color space, AdobeRGB by 64%, and features a very high contrast ratio. Microsoft’s convertible is featherlight and highly portable at only 1.6 kg (~3.5 lb), and more than powerful enough despite its passive cooling. As long as it is plugged in, that is.

Pricecompare

Best Notebooks for Digital Content Editing in Comparison

Size Comparison

Measurement Results

Microsoft Surface Book 2Gigabyte Aero 15X v8Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UNSchenker XMG Neo 15Schenker Key 15 Coffee LakeGigabyte Aero 14-K8Schenker Slim 14 M18Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UKAsus GL504GSMSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
52.8 (25.2, 27.6)
16.8 (8.4, 8.4)
44 (22, 22)
16 (8.4, 7.6)
15.2 (7.6, 7.6)
47.2 (24, 23.2)
34 (16, 18)
40 (18, 22)
7.2 (3.8, 3.4)
34.4 (18, 16.4)
Response Time Black / White *
30 (16.4, 13.6)
11.2 (6, 5.2)
24 (13, 11)
9.6 (5.2, 4.4)
11.2 (6, 5.2)
34 (19.6, 14.4)
26 (14, 12)
25 (14, 11)
8.8 (4.4, 4.4)
24.8 (14.8, 10)
PWM Frequency
25000
25000 (22)
Screen
Brightness middle
385
313
329
325
309
256
379
298
271
285.4
Brightness
372
300
306
303
291
250
348
287
261
269
Brightness Distribution
89
78
86
90
91
90
84
91
86
86
Black Level *
0.21
0.33
0.3
0.33
0.31
0.28
0.33
0.2
0.32
0.31
Contrast
1833
948
1097
985
997
914
1148
1490
847
921
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.6
1.29
4.07
2.69
2.96
1.21
3.15
2.19
2.61
1
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
4.5
2.04
7.05
4.91
5.14
2.11
7.75
4.39
4.93
3.65
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.5
0.69
2.76
2.34
2.88
1.13
4.49
1.97
1.97
1.4
Gamma
2.22 99%
2.43 91%
2.56 86%
2.38 92%
2.33 94%
2.42 91%
2.42 91%
2.43 91%
2.4 92%
2.25 98%
CCT
6502 100%
6550 99%
6915 94%
6872 95%
6725 97%
6422 101%
7317 89%
6571 99%
6398 102%
6699 97%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
64
60
56
60
60
62
62
62
59
63.82
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
95.9
94
86
94
93
96
98
95
90
98.91
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.27
1.41
1.03
1.67
2.33
0.98
Noise
off / environment *
29.4
29
30.13
29
30
30
30.3
30.25
29
28.3
Idle Minimum *
29.4
30
30.13
29
31
31
30.3
30.25
32
28.7
Idle Average *
29.4
31
30.3
35
37
32
30.3
30.25
33
28.7
Idle Maximum *
29.4
35
30.3
40
43
37
30.3
30.25
40
28.7
Load Average *
31.4
49
39.2
50
45
50
37.3
31.3
49
33.4
Witcher 3 ultra *
49
51
53
46
46
51
38.2
Load Maximum *
49
54
41
58
46
53
37.3
31.3
53
45
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
40.8
53
39.3
56
57
53
37.9
40.7
55
47
Maximum Bottom *
43.7
65
36.5
68
65
59
45.4
41.6
55
63.4
Idle Upper Side *
25.4
26
30
28
33
24
28.3
28
36
23.4
Idle Bottom *
22.8
30
28.3
29
33
24
30
27.4
36
29.2
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
1469
762
1240
400
301
1057
1468
176
1010
WiFi v1.3
663
513
538
262
220
662
420
621
146
893
Witcher 3 ultra
230
Load
190
156
105
111
89
189
111
71
118
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
4.7
14
2.2
10
14
7
4
4.7
29
5.6
Idle Average *
10.6
18
5
13
17
10
7
7.3
32
6.5
Idle Maximum *
12.3
22
8
18
22
13
9.3
9.4
38
7.9
Load Average *
81
91
33
95
102
73
36.2
28
100
62.3
Load Maximum *
100.3
173
49.4
179
157
143
36.4
28.2
217
67
Witcher 3 ultra *
97
142
114
130
96
170
55.7

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
7645 (min: 7638, max: 7645) Points ∼24%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
15502 Points ∼50%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3779 Points ∼12%
Schenker XMG Neo 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD 970 Pro 1TB
13509 Points ∼43%
Schenker Key 15 Coffee Lake
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO 500GB
15324 Points ∼49%
Gigabyte Aero 14-K8
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Crucial MX300 CT525MX300SSD1
9109 Points ∼29%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
5021 Points ∼16%
Schenker Slim 14 M18
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD 970 Pro 1TB
2070 Points ∼7%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
2065 Points ∼7%
Asus GL504GS
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
17775 Points ∼57%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5293 Points ∼20%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
13281 Points ∼50%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
2582 Points ∼10%
Schenker XMG Neo 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD 970 Pro 1TB
10263 Points ∼38%
Schenker Key 15 Coffee Lake
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO 500GB
12497 Points ∼47%
Gigabyte Aero 14-K8
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Crucial MX300 CT525MX300SSD1
6856 Points ∼26%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
3312 Points ∼12%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
1141 Points ∼4%
Asus GL504GS
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
14394 Points ∼54%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
32414 Points ∼3%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
152533 Points ∼14%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3694 (min: 3691, max: 3696) Points ∼61%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
4504 Points ∼74%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3780 Points ∼62%
Schenker XMG Neo 15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD 970 Pro 1TB
4585 Points ∼75%
Schenker Key 15 Coffee Lake
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD 970 EVO 500GB
4510 Points ∼74%
Gigabyte Aero 14-K8
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8750H, Crucial MX300 CT525MX300SSD1
3894 Points ∼64%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Toshiba KSG60ZMV512G
3740 Points ∼61%
Schenker Slim 14 M18
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD 970 Pro 1TB
3764 Points ∼62%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
3690 Points ∼61%
Asus GL504GS
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5390 Points ∼88%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Top 10 Laptops for Picture and Video Editing
Florian Schmitt, 2017-06-26 (Update: 2018-11-19)