In today’s hustle and bustle world, every last second counts. And that is why it’s important to maximize every moment you can get. As a video editor (either a professional or a hobbyist), times when your workstation is not functioning properly or is not up to speed can be very costly for your bottom-line. That is why you need to buy yourself the best laptop for video editing on the market that you can afford. You’ll be surprised at how affordable some of these powerful machines actually are once you do your research.
But before we delve into the world of the best laptops for video editing, let’s take a look at what you need to keep an eye out for as you hunt for your new mobile studio.
When it comes to video editing, not any old laptop will do. There are some minimum requirements that you will have to look for to get optimum processing power, including:
This is one of the biggest points you shouldn’t compromise on. Inadequate processing power will not only frustrate you, it will cripple your work efforts. Video editing software is processor and memory intensive, and that is why you need to get a very good processor, especially if you are working with HD or 4K videos.
What is a good processor? Good question. A good processor has to be fast and have as many cores as possible. If you can get an octa-core i7 processor that would be best, but an i5 with 2 (dual) cores will still be good enough for most work.
Remember how I said video editing software is processor intensive? Well, it is also memory intensive. You will need a lot of RAM to store all the temporary files your computer creates as it processes the multiple tasks involved in editing video.
For real-time playback without the frustration of dropped frames, you will need a healthy 8GB RAM.
Media calls for plenty of memory, and not just in quantity but in quality. Simply put, get solid state drive (SSD) as it not only stores more but also works faster than conventional hard disk drives.
It may be more expensive than HDD, but the expense is well worth it (and it’s better than getting an external drive for storage).
Good Graphics Card
A graphics card is a processor that is dedicated to processing graphics. It transitions the footage you are working with from data into pixels. This means having a lightning-fast graphics card is incredibly important for video editing as it will make the transitions faster, reducing lag in the process. A GTX 1050, for example, is sufficient for your video editing needs.
Good Battery Life
Because video editing is demanding, it requires a lot of battery power. Especially if you will be doing the video editing away from a reliable power source, you will need a very good battery life – otherwise, you won’t get much done.
Video editing is intensive work, not just for your laptop, but for you as well. Because you are going to be spending a lot of time on the laptop, get one that is designed to keep you from tiring your fingers and hands.
It is also advisable to get a good ergonomic mouse as the touchpad can be quite demanding on your hands - the wrist especially.
Armed with this knowledge, you can safely start looking for the best video editing laptop. Hopefully, you will find a great machine that will tick all the boxes and make life easier without breaking your bank.
Let’s go ahead and look at a few laptops.
The Best Laptop for Video Editing – The Top 5 Contenders
With 5 contenders jostling for the spot of best video editing laptop, the race is on – and tight. The question is, who will emerge victorious and get the honor of riding in your coveted laptop bag. Let’s get to it, shall we?
When it comes to multimedia production, most professionals swear by the MacBook. And with the new MacBook Pro with the innovative touch bar, Mac has just secured its place as the king of the video editing hill.
The Touch Bar makes it super easy for you to intuitively access commands and go through your videos timeline without even touching the mouse. The Touch Bar is pure magic – especially if you are using Apple’s Final Cut Pro to do your editing.
MacBook’s display is one of the best displays you can get on a laptop, with the ability to bright up to an amazing 500 nits.
The MacBook Pro is powered by a Kaby Lake Intel i7 2.8 GHz processor coupled to 16GB of RAM and a discrete AMD Radeon Pro 555 graphics card. This is a potent enough combination to help you edit high-resolution videos. Unfortunately, the MacBook comes with a mere 256GB of SSD, not really enough if you do a lot of video work. The upside is that you can upgrade it to better suit your needs.
The only major drawback the MacBook Pro has is the ports - 4 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. That’s it! If you do a lot of data transfers between different devices, you will just have to buy a dongle or 2.
That being said, for what it is meant to be doing, video editing, the MacBook Pro does it superbly. But you will have to part with a minimum of $$$.
When Microsoft unveiled the Surface Book, no one expected to shake the world of computers the way it did. This relatively new kid on the block is actually able to go toe-to-toe with most of the veterans when it comes to power and performance, especially when it comes to video editing.
With a massive 15-inch screen that you can remove and use as a tablet, this is one laptop that will allow you to truly do your editing on the go. As for the Stylus, video editing has never been easier, as it gives you more control over your project.
For video editors, the deal sealer on this laptop could be the powerful, crisp, sharp display with an unchallenged 3,240 x 2,160 resolution display. Even Apple can’t measure up to the Surface Book 2’s 4K display. The future is now as long as the Surface Book is concerned.
When it comes to muscle, the Microsoft has enough to get even the toughest jobs done easily, what with an i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 chipset that further boost its video editing capabilities.
At a price of $$$, this monster video editing machine is quite a steal.
A line-up of top performing laptops can never be complete without a Dell. Especially of late, Dell has upped their game when it comes to building laptops that are reliable, fast, and use- friendly.
In the video editing category, Dell’s XPS 15 is the challenger. Let’s take a look at what this laptop is really made of.
If you are tired of squinting your eyes and putting your nose right next to the screen to see something in your video, then you need to get the Dell XPS 15. Packed with a 3840 x 2160 4k resolution display, a screen can’t get any clearer than this – especially with the nearly bezel-less 15-inch screen.
Top it off with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card with 4GB RAM dedicated to video and you probably have the best video editing laptop, especially at the amazing base price of $849. So very tempting indeed.
When Lenovo launched their ThinkPad series, they established themselves as a force to reckon with – they graduated from the little league to the major league of computing.
One of the biggest pros of the ThinkPad P70 is its excellent keyboard. You can work all day long without your hands feeling the pinch, thanks to the clever design and placement of the keys.
With an Intel i7 processor, 8GB RAM, and Nvidia Quadro M600M 2GB graphics card, the ThinkPad P70 lives up to its label of being a workstation. And if you want to upgrade it, you can easily do so as it has 4 memory modules that are free and it also has the ability to have 4 storage drives.
As for battery life, rest easy, the Lenovo ThinkPad P70 has one of the best batteries on the market, with an estimated battery life of more than 8 hours. That’s very impressive considering it comes with a 17-inch screen and a lot of power intensive components.
For just over $$$, your video editing frustrations and limitations will be eliminated.
When it comes to photo editing, the Asus VivoBook Pro has won many accolades. It’s not surprising then that it does well when it comes to video editing. Not only does it look good on the outside, but a peek at its internals will prove that its beauty is definitely not just skin deep.
The Asus VivoBook Pro 15 comes with a powerful Intel i7 quad-core processor, a massive 16 GB RAM, and a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1050 discrete graphics card. With so much power, you can do anything to you want with your videos, and that with great ease.
As for storage, the VivoBook is loaded with a humongous 1TB of hard drive and 256GB of solid state drive storage. That’s more than enough to save your projects on without worrying about carrying an external hard drive around.
The Asus VivoBook also comes with an awesome 4k display for those crispy images that all videographers love to create for their consumers.
With a battery life of 8 hours and a price tag of $$$, the Asus VivoBook Pro sure sounds like the best video editing laptop.
The Best Laptop for Video Editing Is
As you can well see, crowning the best video editing laptop is no easy feat. They all have their strong and weak points. But they all share one thing in common – they are all darn good machines.
And that is why it is difficult to pick a clear winner. But if I were to be “forced” to pick one, I’d definitely go with the tried, tested, and proven king of the multimedia production hill – the MacBook Pro. With the Touch Bar of course.
Whichever laptop you choose from this list, I know it will serve you and your video projects well for many years to come.