Notebookcheck

Top 10 Laptops for Picture and Video Editing

Staff (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 06/26/2017

Update April 2018. 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
104/2018
neu!
84%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
202/2018
neu!
84%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
303/2018
neu!
83%83%Asus Zenbook UX430UNAsus Zenbook UX430UN
Intel Core i7-8550U
NVIDIA GeForce MX150
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
14"1.3 kg1920x1080matte10014.0784.655.3
403/2018
neu!
83%88%Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LES01W00Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LES01W00
Intel Core i7-8550U
Intel UHD Graphics 620
16 GB Memory, 512 GB NVMe
14"1.4 kg2560x1440glossy18732.810088.9
505/201783%87%Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
Intel Core i7-7600U
Intel HD Graphics 620
16 GB Memory, 1024 GB SSD
14"1.4 kg2560x1440matte13086.194.8861.56
611/201782%87%Microsoft Surface Book 2Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
13.5"1.6 kg3000x2000glossy18331.695.964
706/201782%89%Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GELenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
NVIDIA Quadro M2200
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
15.6"2.6 kg3840x2160matte8812.799.587.6
805/201782%82%Aorus x3 Plus v7Aorus x3 Plus v7
Intel Core i7-7820HK
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
16 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
13.9"1.8 kg3200x1800matte12002.49662
904/2018
neu!
81%89%HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EAHP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel UHD Graphics 620
8 GB Memory, 256 GB SSD
14"1.5 kg1920x1080matte16565.588.156.9
1004/2018
neu!
81%86%Asus Zephyrus M GM501Asus Zephyrus M GM501
Intel Core i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
32 GB Memory, 512 GB SSD
15.6"2.5 kg1920x1080matte12285.749360

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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 – 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

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 – Asus ZenBook UX430UN

Asus Zenbook UX430UN
Asus Zenbook UX430UN

It may be hard to believe but Asus is really equipping its slim subnotebooks with a full-sized SD card reader. However, cards inserted into the slow are going to protrude from the Asus ZenBook UX430UN.

Its low weight and moderate price render the notebook ideal for penny pinchers. In return, the display was neither particularly bright nor particularly color accurate. At least performance was more than adequate, and topped battery life was more than decent to boot.

Pricecompare

4th – Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

If you don’t mind the reflective display and are willing to spend more than $2,000 for a notebook the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga might be worth a closer look. In addition to its highly accurate and high-contrast display it features amazing input devices and a multitude of ports. In addition, it remained quiet and cool while delivering decent performance at the same time. The only thing in need of improvement is battery life, but in return the device can be purchased with a 3-year limited on-site warranty. All things considered a very decent offer.

Pricecompare

5th - Lenovo ThinkPad T470s

Lenovo ThinkPad T470s
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s

The ThinkPad T460s predecessor was already in a top place in this ranking, and its successor, the ThinkPad T470s, has also secured a top place. It performs well enough for almost taking the lead; however, the lead is significantly smaller than last year. Not much has changed at a first glance, since Lenovo uses the same case and has even incorporated a modern USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port, which is very unfavorably placed on the right side.

Further problems exist in terms of performance, since the fast Core i7 processor is rather too much for the cooling system. Hence, the potential performance gain compared to a Core i5 chip can only be utilized to some extent and the surface temperatures are high under load. Another problem is the performance on battery, since the processor cannot even keep up its base clock in this scenario.

But enough of complaints. The ThinkPad T470s is still a light notebook in a very high-end case with excellent input devices. The connectivity is also good. However, Lenovo should put more effort into the next edition of its business champion. Otherwise, it might lose its high position.

Pricecompare

6th - 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

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7th - Lenovo ThinkPad P51

Lenovo ThinkPad P51
Lenovo ThinkPad P51

At 2.6 kg (~5.7 lb), the Lenovo ThinkPad P51 is not lightweight and also not cheap. In return, you will get a real mobile workstation with a great display, high performance, and a good case. Those who professionally edit photos will also appreciate the security features. The fan often stands still under low load, but it has problems providing sufficient cooling under load. The device is quite future-proof, thanks to a 36-month warranty and many upgrade options. Maintenance is slightly complicated, however, and the speakers sound quite modest. 

Pricecompare

8th - Aorus X3 Plus v7

Aorus X3 Plus v7
Aorus X3 Plus v7

Strictly speaking, the Aorus X3 Plus v7 is a mobile gaming notebook, which can still be easily transported with its weight of 1.8 kg (~4 lb). The high-resolution display with high color coverage makes it a good choice for photo-editing; even more so as the maximum contrast is also quite high. If the performance with Core i7 and GeForce GTX 1060 is too low for you, you can overclock both components. However, you should be careful, since the fans already work at their limit without any additional load. In addition, the device gets very hot under load. On top of that, you should always have a mouse at hand, since the touchpad is lousy.

Pricecompare

9th – HP EliteBook 840 G5

HP EliteBook 840 G5
HP EliteBook 840 G5

At just 1.5 kg the HP EliteBook 840 G5 is a very light business notebook that offers plenty of performance, a well-made case, useful security features for road warriors, a bright and matte high-contrast display, and a high level of system performance. As expected of a business notebook the case is rather dull and plain, but this understatement does not necessarily have to be a disadvantage. We should also note that the CPU was incapable of utilizing its full performance potential during our tests and battery life was fairly disappointing. If you don’t mind these two the EliteBook 840 G5 is a very decent offer.

Pricecompare

10th – Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501

Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501
Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501

The Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501 packs a lot of punch into a small case. The low-key design is not entirely without frills, and it might not fit into every person’s work environment. The hardware is more than decent though, and it offers a high-contrast display with decent color-space coverage. The notebook’s input devices were very accurate, but at 2.5 kg it was pretty hefty. Please note that it tended to get fairly load under load.

Pricecompare

Best Notebooks for Digital Content Editing in Comparison

Size Comparison

Measurement Results

Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00Aorus x3 Plus v7Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GEMicrosoft Surface Book 2Gigabyte Aero 15X v8Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UNAsus Zenbook UX430UNLenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LES01W00HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EAAsus Zephyrus M GM501
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
46.4 (20.4, 26)
38 (19.6, 18.4)
40.8 (20.8, 20)
52.8 (25.2, 27.6)
16.8 (8.4, 8.4)
44 (22, 22)
43.6 (24.4, 19.2)
56.8 (21.2, 35.6)
42.4 (19.6, 22.8)
6.6 (3.4, 3.2)
Response Time Black / White *
28.8 (16.4, 12.4)
24.4 (11.2, 13.2)
25.2 (14, 11.2)
30 (16.4, 13.6)
11.2 (6, 5.2)
24 (13, 11)
39.2 (22.8, 16.4)
24 (6.8, 17.2)
31.6 (18, 13.6)
10.4 (5.2, 5.2)
PWM Frequency
201.6 (50)
200 (99)
Screen
Brightness middle
327
348
317
385
313
329
310.4
562
414
307
Brightness
311
359
309
372
300
306
303
522
387
296
Brightness Distribution
88
73
89
89
78
86
89
86
87
89
Black Level *
0.25
0.29
0.36
0.21
0.33
0.3
0.31
0.3
0.25
0.25
Contrast
1308
1200
881
1833
948
1097
1001
1873
1656
1228
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.1
2.4
2.7
1.6
1.29
4.07
4.07
2.8
5.5
5.74
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
12.2
5.1
4.1
4.5
2.04
7.05
8.33
5.8
9.9
11.32
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
8.8
2.3
3
1.5
0.69
2.76
2.8
4.5
6.4
6.44
Gamma
2.18 110%
2.21 109%
2.27 106%
2.22 108%
2.43 99%
2.56 94%
2.217 108%
2.16 111%
2.31 104%
2.48 97%
CCT
6172 105%
6206 105%
6077 107%
6502 100%
6550 99%
6915 94%
7033 92%
7205 90%
7811 83%
8395 77%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
61.56
62
87.6
64
60
56
55.3
88.9
56.9
60
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
94.88
96
99.5
95.9
94
86
84.6
100
88.1
93
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.07
2.3
1.94
Noise
off / environment *
28.9
29.1
29.6
29.4
29
30.13
28.3
29.1
28.8
29
Idle Minimum *
28.9
31.4
29.6
29.4
30
30.13
28.9
29.1
28.8
30
Idle Average *
28.9
37
29.6
29.4
31
30.3
30
29.1
28.8
31
Idle Maximum *
30.1
40.8
29.6
29.4
35
30.3
30.2
31.3
33.1
33
Load Average *
39.2
50
32.2
31.4
49
39.2
41.8
37.6
35.2
49
Load Maximum *
39.2
53.6
36.6
49
54
41
42
37.6
35.2
52
Witcher 3 ultra *
53.6
49
51
42
50
Heat
Maximum Upper Side *
43.5
46.8
43
40.8
53
39.3
43.6
43.4
36.6
52
Maximum Bottom *
46.1
55.2
52.2
43.7
65
36.5
44
42.1
39.5
49
Idle Upper Side *
24.7
28.4
27.1
25.4
26
30
23
22.4
23.8
31
Idle Bottom *
24.3
28.2
27.9
22.8
30
28.3
26.2
22.6
24.7
31
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle
787
477
981
1469
762
1240
1039
1203
1138
237
WiFi v1.3
417
293
413
663
513
538
560
517
447
164
Load
93
100
95
190
156
105
98
91
156
70
Witcher 3 ultra
230
Power Consumption
Idle Minimum *
4.64
15.1
8.6
4.7
14
2.2
3
3.4
3.2
16
Idle Average *
8.93
15.8
15.9
10.6
18
5
5.8
8.8
6.6
19
Idle Maximum *
9.12
16.7
22.1
12.3
22
8
6.2
11.9
9.5
26
Load Average *
42.2
110.9
84.4
81
91
33
54.1
50.4
36.2
103
Load Maximum *
47.3
170.4
130.6
100.3
173
49.4
56.4
71.2
65.6
223
Witcher 3 ultra *
135
97
142
45.9
164

* ... smaller is better

Benchmarks

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
1970 Points ∼7%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
7709 Points ∼26%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
7645 (min: 7638, max: 7645) Points ∼25%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
15502 Points ∼52%
Asus ZenBook 13 UX331UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
3779 Points ∼13%
Asus Zenbook UX430UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
4160 Points ∼14%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LES01W00
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ-000L7
2081 Points ∼7%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
1791 Points ∼6%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
18278 Points ∼61%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
1078 Points ∼4%
Aorus x3 Plus v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
10361 Points ∼39%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5275 Points ∼20%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 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%
Asus Zenbook UX430UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
2874 Points ∼11%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LES01W00
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ-000L7
1178 Points ∼4%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
941 Points ∼4%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
14945 Points ∼56%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
69591 Points ∼6%
Aorus x3 Plus v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
33625 Points ∼3%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
32414 Points ∼3%
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
152533 Points ∼14%
Asus Zenbook UX430UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
44383 Points ∼4%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
61742 Points ∼6%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s-20HGS00V00
HD Graphics 620, 7600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
3968 Points ∼65%
Aorus x3 Plus v7
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
3266 Points ∼54%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3641 Points ∼60%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 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%
Asus Zenbook UX430UN
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SanDisk SD8SN8U512G1002
3792 Points ∼62%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2018-20LES01W00
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ-000L7
3824 Points ∼63%
HP EliteBook 840 G5-3JX66EA
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3652 Points ∼60%
Asus Zephyrus M GM501
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4627 Points ∼76%
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Top 10 Laptops for Picture and Video Editing
Staff, 2017-06-26 (Update: 2018-06-22)