Notebookcheck

Top 10 Laptops for Picture and Video Editing

April 2020 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.
Florian Schmitt, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Andreas Osthoff),

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

Rank
Date
Rating
mixed
Image
Modell
Screen
Weight
Resolution
Oberfläche
Kontrast
DeltaE
Color
% of
sRGB
% of
Adobe
RGB
Price
1
10/2019
84 %Razer Blade Stealth i7-1065G7 Iris PlusRazer Blade Stealth i7-1065G7 Iris Plus
Intel Core i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
16 GB Memory, 256 GB NVMe
13.3"1.4 kg1920x1080matte1207:11.0297.1 %62.1 %
2
03/2020
neu!
83 %Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
16 GB Memory,  NVMe
13.4"1.2 kg1920x1200glossy1519:13.2397.5 %63 %
3
09/2019
83 %Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QES01L00Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QES01L00
Intel Core i7-8565U
Intel UHD Graphics 620
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
14"1.1 kg1920x1080matte1588:14.695.7 %60.7 %
4
10/2019
83 %Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Intel Core i5-8279U
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
8 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
13.3"1.4 kg2560x1600glossy1524:11.599.9 %78.4 %
5
02/2020
neu!
83 %Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
13.5"1.2 kg2256x1504glossy1634:12.38100 %65 %
6
12/2019
82 %Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Intel Core i7-1065G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU)
16 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
15"1.5 kg2496x1664glossy1178:11.0498.4 %62.4 %
7
03/2019
81 %Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Intel Core i9-8950HK
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
64 GB Memory, 2048 GB NVMe
15.6"2.1 kg3840x2160matte1207:10.93100 %88 %
8
12/2019
81 %Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500MApple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Intel Core i9-9880H
AMD Radeon Pro 5500M
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
16"2 kg3072x1920glossy1331:12.2878 %
9
11/2019
81 %MSI Prestige 15 A10SCMSI Prestige 15 A10SC
Intel Core i7-10710U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
32 GB Memory, 1024 GB NVMe
15.6"1.7 kg3840x2160matte929:13.3698.3 %84.8 %
10
07/2018
81 %Schenker XMG Neo 15Schenker XMG Neo 15
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
15.6"2 kg1920x1080matte985:12.6994 %60 %

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

Editors' Comments

Last October we made the decision to remove the limitation that in order for a notebook to qualify for this particular list it would need an internal SD card reader due to the fact that many good notebooks disqualified simply because of this. In addition, acquiring and connecting an external reader is cheap and easy. We will continue to mention if a device lacks the card reader or comes with just a microSD card reader instead of a full-sized one and will also continue to emphasize devices that come with a full-sized reader.

1st – Razer Blade Stealth

Razer Blade Stealth
Razer Blade Stealth

The Razer Blade Stealth offers a very accurate color representation with full sRGB coverage out of the box already. The case can easily keep up with the MacBook Pro 13. Its bezels are narrow, and you get a lot of display considering the device’s footprint. Long battery life, fast Wi-Fi, upgradeable RAM, and quiet and cool operation are additional benefits.

Drawbacks include the low-contrast key caps that are hard to decipher and easier to use for touch typists than everybody else. The device also lacks a card reader.

Pricecompare

2nd – Dell XPS 13 9300

Dell XPS 13 9300
Dell XPS 13 9300

Dell’s Dell XPS 13 9300 offers a 16:10 display and an up-to-date Intel Ice Lake CPU including Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 GPU. As such, the compact convertible is a true jack of all trades, although gaming should definitely not be at the top of your list. The Dell XPS 13 9300 became much more attractive this year, particularly thanks to its design and the 16:10 display.

If you don’t depend on macOS the XPS 13 9300 can be a very tempting alternative as it offers a multitude of qualities, such as its low noise emissions, its small footprint, its flexible charging options, its long battery life and its bright display. Not all that glitters is gold, though, and the flip side are missing HDMI and USB-A ports, and an overall worse selection of ports than on previous models. Professionals might not be particularly impressed by the limited connectivity, but at least Dell continues to equip its XPS 13 with a microSD card reader.

Pricecompare

3rd – ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2019) remains a great laptop for mobile media creation. Its lightweight and perfectly made case, its excellent input devices, its high performance, and its long battery life are some of its main selling points. Compared to last year’s model the 2019 edition supports optional WWAN. Another pro is the new low-power display that performed very well in our tests. Unfortunately, the 2019 edition lacks a card reader and requires an external solution.

Our main gripe is the fact that the case can get very warm, and that the fan is running most of the time. It also offers very limited repairability and maintainability, and it comes at a very high price to boot.

Pricecompare

4th – Apple MacBook Pro 13

Apple MacBook Pro 13
Apple MacBook Pro 13

Apple updated its MacBook Pros. The updates on the outside are negligible, and the 13-inch model continues to feature Intel’s 8th generation quad-core processors. However, the processor now runs faster even if the cooler is at its max. The power supply remains barely sufficient, the Touch Bar has now been extended to the low-end models as well, and battery life was improved somewhat.

The well-known Retina display running at a native resolution of 2560 x 1600 (227 DPI) remains an excellent choice. It supports the same TrueTone technology that Apple first introduced on the iPhone and iPad. TrueTone adjusts color temperature based on ambient light and time of day in order to create a warmer or cooler overall image. The MacBook Pro 13 continues to lack a card reader and requires an external solution.

Pricecompare

5th – Acer Swift 3 SF313

Acer Swift 3 SF313
Acer Swift 3 SF313

Acer’s Swift 3 SF313 is an almost all-around well-made 13.5-inch notebook. It is very light yet manages to maintain a very robust base. We also liked its very bright 3:2 display, which turned out to have good color space coverage to boot. The small 13.5-inch device features the latest technology: Ice Lake CPU, NVMe SSD, DDR4 RAM, and an IPS panel. It is thus well-suited for photo editing purposes.

Upgradeability is fairly limited, though. RAM is soldered onto the motherboard, and the devices does not support a second storage device. Wi-Fi performance was comparatively poor., and the device lacked a card reader and requires an external solution.

Acer’s Swift 3 SF313 offers good performance, long battery life, and a great display without putting too much strain on your budget.

Pricecompare

6th – Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 offers a lot of power that is not restricted on battery. Its long battery life and low noise emissions are a big plus, and its DPC latencies were very low. The display’s maximum brightness is average, and it manages to cover sRGB almost entirely.

On the flip side are its poor connectivity that can only be rectified with a fairly expensive Surface Dock. A card reader is not available.

Pricecompare

7th – Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9

Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9

Light and slim gaming notebooks are not only good for gaming on the go, but thanks to their good screens, the high performance, and the long battery runtime, thy are also well-suited for picture and video editing when you travel. Only the weight and the often aggressive design could scare off digital artists. At just over 2 kg, the Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9 is not the lightest system, but it is not heavy enough to be bothering. Gigabyte uses a pretty restrained design, so you can also use it in non-gaming environments.

The extremely powerful processor with six cores is a blessing for video editing and obviously rendering, but you can save some money in terms of the GPU. According to our tests, the most powerful GPU option does not offer many advantages. Saving money might be a good idea in genera, because this is an expensive machine at about 2800 Euros.

Pricecompare

8th – Apple MacBook Pro 16

Apple MacBook Pro 16
Apple MacBook Pro 16

The MacBook Pro 16 is Apple’s ultimate portable high-performance powerhouse. It offers either six or eight-core Intel processors and pairs them with a dedicated GPU made by AMD. The Radeon Pro 5300M and 5500M offer mid-range performance that should suffice for running somewhat less demanding games smoothly in FHD. It should also be more than fast enough for video editing if your expectations aren’t too high.

The device starts at $2,200 and comes with 16 GB of RAM as well as 512 GB of SSD storage. With every single box ticked it can go up to $5,500. In return, you get high-quality materials, a great touchpad, a good keyboard, and the well-known great Retina display with 100 % sRGB and 88.8 % AdobeRGB coverage.

Connectivity is limited to just four Thunderbolt 3 ports as well as a headphone jack. Luckily, third-party accessories are plentiful.

Pricecompare

9th – MSI Prestige 15

MSI Prestige 15
MSI Prestige 15

A great display, a thin case, decent battery life, plenty of power, and an included USB-C docking station make this slim and thin laptop a great laptop for everybody looking for high performance in a small package.

That said the MSI Prestige 15 is not all glitter and gold. Its keyboard is pretty soft and mushy, its clickpad mediocre at best, its card reader is of the smaller microSD variety, and HDMI 2.0 is not supported either. The latter might be a deal breaker for video editors.

Nevertheless, MSI managed to create a thin good-looking high-performance notebook with good connectivity. If you don’t mind the compromises the Prestige 15 might be a great device for you.

Pricecompare

10th - 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

Best Notebooks for Digital Content Editing in Comparison

Size Comparison

366 mm / 14.4 inch 234 mm / 9.21 inch 16 mm / 0.63 inch 1.7 kg3.64 lbs359 mm / 14.1 inch 243 mm / 9.57 inch 22 mm / 0.866 inch 2 kg4.32 lbs356 mm / 14 inch 250 mm / 9.84 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 2.1 kg4.67 lbs358 mm / 14.1 inch 246 mm / 9.69 inch 16.2 mm / 0.638 inch 2 kg4.41 lbs339.5 mm / 13.4 inch 244 mm / 9.61 inch 14.7 mm / 0.579 inch 1.5 kg3.4 lbs323.5 mm / 12.7 inch 217.1 mm / 8.55 inch 14.9 mm / 0.587 inch 1.1 kg2.45 lbs304.6 mm / 12 inch 210 mm / 8.27 inch 15.3 mm / 0.602 inch 1.4 kg2.98 lbs304.1 mm / 12 inch 212.4 mm / 8.36 inch 14.9 mm / 0.587 inch 1.4 kg3.02 lbs302 mm / 11.9 inch 234 mm / 9.21 inch 16.6 mm / 0.654 inch 1.2 kg2.56 lbs296 mm / 11.7 inch 199 mm / 7.83 inch 14.8 mm / 0.583 inch 1.2 kg2.62 lbs

Test Results

Schenker XMG Neo 15Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9Razer Blade Stealth i7-1065G7 Iris PlusLenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QES01L00Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500MMSI Prestige 15 A10SCMicrosoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
16 (8.4, 7.6)
60 (29.2, 30.8)
45.2 (22.4, 22.8)
44.8 (21.2, 23.6)
43.2 (22, 21.2)
52.4 (23.9, 28.5)
60 (29.2, 30.8)
56 (27.6, 28.4)
55 (25, 30)
50 (22, 28)
Response Time Black / White *
9.6 (5.2, 4.4)
28.8 (13.2, 15.6)
33.2 (17.6, 15.6)
27.6 (15.6, 12)
29.6 (15.6, 14)
34.9 (17.8, 17.1)
41.2 (22.8, 18.4)
38 (21.2, 16.8)
31 (17, 14)
33.2 (16, 17.2)
PWM Frequency
22730 (24)
131700
26040 (24)
21370 (51)
208 (90)
2500 (25)
Screen
Brightness middle
325
350
422.6
381
518
519
464.5
412.4
474
607.6
Brightness
303
337
404
375
480
477
451
374
426
595
Brightness Distribution
90
92
87
94
87
86
92
78
82
96
Black Level *
0.33
0.29
0.35
0.24
0.34
0.39
0.5
0.35
0.29
0.4
Contrast
985
1207
1207
1588
1524
1331
929
1178
1634
1519
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.69
0.93
1.02
4.6
1.5
2.28
3.36
1.04
2.38
3.23
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
4.91
1.43
3.06
8.5
2.8
6.54
7.06
2.83
5.88
8.67
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.27
0.62
0.95
1.2
2.6
0.86
3.42
0.74
2.69
1.01
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.34
1.21
1
5.1
2
0.9
1.3
1.3
3.75
5.5
Gamma
2.38 92%
2.2 100%
2.21 100%
2.52 87%
2.22 99%
2145 0%
2.14 103%
2.07 106%
2.37 93%
2.12 104%
CCT
6872 95%
6672 97%
6502 100%
7052 92%
6898 94%
6572 99%
6596 99%
6634 98%
6466 101%
6413 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60
88
62.1
60.7
78.4
78
84.8
62.4
65
63
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
94
100
97.1
95.7
99.9
98.3
98.4
100
97.5
Noise
off / environment *
29
29
28.3
29
29.8
29.3
28.5
30.3
28.3
Idle Minimum *
29
31
28.3
29
29.9
30.1
28.5
30.3
28.3
Idle Average *
35
33
28.3
29
29.9
30.2
28.5
30.3
28.3
Idle Maximum *
40
36
28.3
29
29.9
30.2
28.7
30.3
28.3
Load Average *
50
44
33.5
33.9
43
31.5
30
31.7
32.5
Witcher 3 ultra *
53
43
34.5
45.4
37
39.2
39.3
Load Maximum *
58
45
49.4
41.8
46.1
47
41.2
32.7
39.3
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
56
64
32
45.7
42
56
41.8
33.5
46.6
Maximum Bottom *
68
69
33.4
44.2
38
60.6
45.6
35.6
44.8
Idle Upper Side *
28
29
26.8
28.7
25
29.6
23
24.9
29.8
Idle Bottom *
29
29
29.6
28.7
25
31.2
27
25.4
29.8
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
400
561
1147
2100
1281
WiFi v1.3
262
354
583
562
687
718
456
490
620
763
Load
111
147
76
58
125
112
139
Witcher 3 ultra
54
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
10
17
5.9
2.2
3.7
6.1
4.4
1.8
4.2
Idle Average *
13
21
8.1
7.2
12.1
13.2
8.3
4.6
6.9
Idle Maximum *
18
27
11.2
8.2
17
19.2
8.6
6.1
7.5
Load Average *
95
111
44.3
54
91.5
75
43.6
27.4
33.3
Witcher 3 ultra *
114
130
41.9
103
74
41.5
37.1
Load Maximum *
179
183
50.2
63.9
102.3
89.7
64.4
27
48.4

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Schenker XMG Neo 15
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD 970 Pro 1TB
13509 Points ∼35%
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i9-8950HK, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW020T8
19220 Points ∼50%
Razer Blade Stealth i7-1065G7 Iris Plus
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4581 Points ∼12%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171
14097 Points ∼37%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
4932 Points ∼13%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
4308 Points ∼11%
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSDPEMKF512G8 NVMe SSD
4866 Points ∼13%
MSI Prestige 15 A10SC
GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, i7-10710U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
11613 Points ∼30%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Schenker XMG Neo 15
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD 970 Pro 1TB
10263 Points ∼35%
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i9-8950HK, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW020T8
16020 Points ∼54%
Razer Blade Stealth i7-1065G7 Iris Plus
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
2883 Points ∼10%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i5-8279U, Apple SSD AP0512
1903 Points ∼6%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171
9196 Points ∼31%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
2865 Points ∼10%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
2508 Points ∼8%
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSDPEMKF512G8 NVMe SSD
2753 Points ∼9%
MSI Prestige 15 A10SC
GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, i7-10710U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
7103 Points ∼24%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i9-8950HK, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW020T8
66387 Points ∼6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i5-8279U, Apple SSD AP0512
57033 Points ∼5%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
67987 Points ∼6%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
63796 Points ∼6%
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSDPEMKF512G8 NVMe SSD
67829 Points ∼6%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Schenker XMG Neo 15
GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, i7-8750H, Samsung SSD 970 Pro 1TB
4585 Points ∼75%
Gigabyte Aero 15-Y9
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, i9-8950HK, Intel SSD 760p SSDPEKKW020T8
3944 Points ∼65%
Razer Blade Stealth i7-1065G7 Iris Plus
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4030 Points ∼66%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2019 i5 4TB3
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i5-8279U, Apple SSD AP0512
4056 Points ∼67%
Apple MacBook Pro 16 2019 i9 5500M
Radeon Pro 5500M, i9-9880H, Apple SSD AP1024 7171
4900 Points ∼80%
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe
3783 Points ∼62%
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-71Y7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSD 660p 1TB SSDPEKNW010T8
3759 Points ∼62%
Dell XPS 13 9300 Core i7-1065G7
Iris Plus Graphics G7 (Ice Lake 64 EU), i7-1065G7, Intel SSDPEMKF512G8 NVMe SSD
3825 Points ∼63%
MSI Prestige 15 A10SC
GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, i7-10710U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB1T0HALR
3546 Points ∼58%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Top 10 Laptops for Picture and Video Editing
Florian Schmitt, 2017-06-26 (Update: 2020-04-25)