Looking for the best laptop for video editing on a budget may not be easy since most of the popular laptop models for editing videos come with a hefty price tag. But if you search hard enough, you’ll be surprised to know that there are actually lots of affordable laptops that come with powerful specs.
If you spend enough time looking for affordable laptops online, you’ll find several options with varying specifications. Of course, not all of them are reliable and decent enough for video editing. That’s why you need to know each of their specs and decide if it’s capable of performing the tasks involved in video editing.
To help make things easier for you, we’ve created this guide to help you choose the best laptop for video editing and included reviews in the end for some affordable laptop models that we can recommend.
Things to Consider When Shopping for the Best Laptop for Video Editing
Since you need a laptop that can edit videos, you should not limit yourself to the basic models even if you’re on a budget. These models will struggle in getting things done efficiently because they don’t have enough processing power and their graphics card or storage can’t handle the tasks involved in editing HD videos.
So, how do you choose the right laptop to buy for your video editing needs?
Here are the most important factors to consider:
When it comes to the graphics card, you can choose between AMD and NVIDIA Graphics. Both are great. And when it comes to deciding which of the two you should go for, consider the setting that the video editing software you plan on using recommends. That way, you can be certain that you’re meeting the requirements needed to edit videos using the software.
When it comes to the processor, more is definitely better. If you are doubtful of the speed of your processor, test it using Cinebench. This website will show you how fast your computer’s processor is, especially when rendering 3D images.
Although getting a higher score is good when doing the test, remember that getting a score of more than 700 does not necessarily mean that your laptop is already well capable of handling video editing tasks. You might have to upgrade to a higher processor to be efficient with video editing.
When editing videos, you need to have enough memory on your laptop. This is because video editing requires you to save multiple clips that you’ll use later on. If your laptop doesn’t have enough RAM, aside from the fact that you can’t save some video snippets, your computer will encounter issues with speed and storage.
When looking for the best PC laptop for video editing, you should consider models that have at least 8GB of memory. Although you have the option to upgrade memory at a later time, you could save money if you start with a powerful memory from the start, such as at least 16GB.
Screen resolution is an extremely important factor to consider when it comes to laptops for video editing. You definitely want to clearly see the images that you’re editing so having a good screen resolution is important.
A laptop that comes with a 4K screen is highly recommended. But if you find it expensive, you can opt for a lower resolution. Just make sure it’s sharp enough to let you carry out certain tasks such as shading and color corrections.
Similar to memory, storage is another important aspect to think about for your laptop. Of course, the more storage the laptop has, the better. And just like memory, there’s a certain threshold that you should consider if you want a laptop that you can rely on for video editing.
In this case, you should opt for at least 256 GB. But if you find that it’s beyond your budget, then you can go for one with a lower storage. Besides, you always have the option to use an external hard drive if you need more storage.
When editing videos, the last thing you want is to be interrupted with your work because you have run out of battery. Always go for a laptop that has a long battery life.
Although you will most definitely plug it in when working for a long time, it’s not all the time that you will have easy access to an outlet. So, you better buy a laptop that has a long battery life so your video editing tasks will not get interrupted.
Portability is the reason why most people choose to get a laptop instead of relying on desktop computers. The laptop allows you to work anywhere you want instead of being tied up in one place.
But when it comes to portability, think about the weight of the laptop. You definitely don’t want to carry an extremely heavy laptop that it feels like you’re bringing an entire desktop computer with you.
It’s important to remember that most laptops weighing less than 3 pounds have smaller displays, which is not a good idea if you’re going to use it for video editing work. The key is to choose a model that’s not too heavy and has a display that’s large enough for you to be able to see clearly the videos that you are working on.
SSD vs. Hard Drive
When it comes to video editing, you definitely want a laptop with a fast boot drive. In most instances, this would require configuring your laptop with an SSD or Solid State Drive, which is capable of accessing data faster than the older spinning drives.
When used for everyday computing tasks, the difference in the speed between the SSD and a Hard Drive that’s spinning-platter is vast. It’s because the main feature of the SSD is to minimize boot times and improve the loading speed of some apps.
But these things will not matter that much when using your laptop for video editing. However, the SSD can still provide a noticeable gain when performing certain tasks, such as playing several video clips at once or working on 4K video footage.
When it comes to video editing, you will normally need a spacious hard drive as well as a speedy SSD. However, since built-in SSDs cost a lot of money, especially those with a capacity of more than 1 TB, it might be more cost-efficient to get a laptop that’s equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 connection that will connect to a speedy external drive where you can save most of your video footage.
Most laptops used for gaming and heavy-duty work are equipped with two drives. One is an SSD boot and another spacious hard drive. If you’re looking for powerful machines for video editing, this is the setup that you need to achieve. We recommend you get both speeds and with massive storage, so you won’t have to use external hard drives.
When evaluating SSD capacities, the midrange and high-end ones use the PCI express bus. These days, PCI Express SSDs are integrated on laptops through the M.2 interface. In some designs, however, for instance, the Mac laptops from Apple, the SSD is welded down and can’t be upgraded after buying the laptop.
10 Best Laptops for Video Editing on a Budget
After learning about the most important aspects to take into consideration when buying your laptop, it’s time to take a look at the best laptop for video editing on a budget. The laptops on this list are rated the best when it comes to video editing and won’t cost you a lot of money.
We love the premium design of MateBook X Pro Signature Edition, which is so much better than its predecessor. It has a sleek aluminum body and diamond-cut edges that look very stylish. But aside from the elegant design, this powerful laptop is a great device for video editing tasks.
The MateBook X Pro from Huawei has a 13.9-inch In-Plane Switching Screen that’s incredibly thin, making it a great choice for those who need a portable but powerful laptop. It also has a 4.4 mm bezel surrounding it. Thus, it has an overall screen size of less than 12 inches.
According to Huawei, this laptop is the first-ever Full View notebook in the world and has a screen to body ratio of 91%. Given the specs above, it’s clear to see why we believe that this laptop is the best cheap laptop video editing. Furthermore, this model features an Intel Processor that’s 40% faster compared to the previous model.
It is equipped with Nvidia MX 150 graphics, this laptop is definitely well capable of accomplishing all those tasks required for video editing and image rendering in a 4K media. This particular laptop from Huawei competes well with the XPS 13 from Dell especially in terms of speed, but at a cheaper price.
16GB of RAM
512GB SSD drive
Can work for up to 15 hours in a single charge
8th Generation Intel Core Processor
High-quality 3,000×2,000 screen resolution
Some customers complained that they got a defective laptop, only buy a brand-new unit
The MSI GS75 Stealth-093 Razor Thin Bezel Laptop is an upgraded version of the previous 15-inch model. It’s not too flashy, and although it’s being marketed as a gaming laptop, it can certainly work well for editing videos and it’s a great choice for those who need a laptop with a simple design.
The top portion of the device is just solid and it comes with a smooth black panel that’s accented with the MSI logo. The MSI GS75 Stealth is equipped with a cutting-edge 6 Core Intel Processor, which is what you can find in most gaming laptops. Its CPU is extremely powerful, especially since it comes with 32 GB of RAM.
It’s not really surprising to know that this laptop offers excellent performance in terms of graphics quality. For instance, it has the RTX 2080 Max-Q, which is considered a powerful graphics card for mobile. So, if you’re looking for the best laptop for video editing, this unit is what we would strongly recommend.
32 GB of RAM
512 GB SSD
Equipped with 3 cooling fans
Keyboard is customizable
Thin bezel laptop for gaming and video editing
Another excellent laptop for video editing is the Asus ZenBook 15 Ultra Slim Compact Laptop. This device has a beautiful design that’s suitable for office or personal use. It allows you to do your video editing work with ease. This is because behind its well-constructed chassis is a powerful processor, the Intel Core i7. Furthermore, it comes with a graphics card that’s rated for gaming.
This laptop also features an impressive 4K 15.6-inch display screen that has a wide range of color that’s 72% NTSC, 74% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB. Plus, it offers consistent colors and comes with a wide viewing angle of 178-degree. It’s also worth noting that the display is equipped with a precise touch layer that supports up to 10-point touch.
Indeed, the ZenBook range of laptops from Asus marks excellent craftsmanship without any compromise. It certainly lives up to its promise of providing excellent devices by integrating the SonicMaster sound-enhancement technology. It comes with Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, Thunderbolt 2.0, as well as two 20 Gbps bi-directional channels that offer impressive connectivity features.
16GB of DDR4 RAM
Built-in IR camera
Durable and reliable
Full HD frameless design
If you’re in need of the best laptop for video editing under 1000, the Dell Inspiron 14 500 Series is one of the laptops that we would recommend. This device is often confused with the 2-in-1 laptop of the Dell Inspiron range, but this one features a standard laptop design equipped with the 8th Generation Intel Quad processor.
Plus, it has a decent graphics card along with a display of 1,920×1,080 IPS, which is capable of offering the best performance in video editing. Despite the powerful specs, it’s amazing that this unit has a starting price of less than seven hundred dollars.
This is such a reasonable price for video editing laptop devices. Furthermore, it has SSD storage options, Core i7 processor, as well as an additional hard disk. The system memory of this device is 8 GB and is more than enough capacity for advanced multitasking jobs, such as video editing.
Its RAM has high bandwidth, which is why it runs very smoothly when performing video and photo editing tasks. Another great feature of this laptop is the touchscreen LED Backlit. It allows you to easily scroll through the video footage, zoom in and pause the clips when needed.
128GB of SSD storage
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Quad-Core Processor
Covered by a 1-year warranty
Full HD Touchscreen display
When it comes to the best laptop for video editing 4K resolution, take a look at this Lenovo Flex 11 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop. This compact laptop measures 12×8 inches and is only around 1.5 inches thick.
It weighs just 2.75 pounds, so carrying this device with you is definitely a breeze. Coming at an affordable price, this device is definitely recommended for those who are on a budget. Despite the affordable price, this laptop comes with excellent features, such as a Pentium Silver N5000 CPU, 64 SSD, and 4GB of RAM.
This laptop definitely performs well when used in video editing. It boots up very fast and is efficient enough when performing basic tasks like surfing the net and word processing. Even when you open several applications, the device can stream videos very smoothly and allows you to carry out your video editing tasks very efficiently.
Although the browser is optimized for lower-end machines, such as Flex 11, the Google Chrome Browser is more capable of loading web pages faster with this computer. However, it’s worth noting that the CPU of this laptop has limitations.
It has the tendency to stutter occasionally as you shift in between windows. Also, you can’t expect a lot from the speakers of this device, which is usually the case for laptop computers in this price range.
4GB of DDR4 memory
64GB SSD drive
Comfortable to use for video editing
Features a 4-in-1 card reader
Some customers think that this device is not worth the price
Should You Go for Dedicated Graphics Card?
Most of the laptops that are not used for gaming are equipped with graphics-acceleration silicon, which is a component of the CPU, and is known as the “Intel HD Graphics.” Sometimes, it’s also referred to as the “UHD Graphics” instead of a separate GPU or Graphics Processing Unit.
Such an arrangement can result in weak performance if you are playing the latest video games. Nevertheless, this setup should be okay for most video editing tasks. As previously mentioned, most video editing tools are designed to rely on powerful processors but still have the ability to leverage those powerful graphic processors.
But there are exceptions to this. For instance, laptops with discrete GPUs are capable of speeding up the process of video encoding through the Final Cut Pro X or the video editing suite Blackmagic’s Davinci Resolve. Furthermore, the latest version of this editing tool comes with a new video playback engine that has been fully optimized to work with powerful GPUs.
As a matter of fact, the Linux version of Davinci provides support for up to 8 GPUs. Of all the graphics processors we’ve seen for laptops, the highest number is 2. Even that is rare and is only present on the elite and heavy-duty gaming machines that cost more than $5,000. Nevertheless, it is best to save all those video-editing tasks that are GPU accelerated for when you need to go back to studio work.
With that in mind, if you are thinking of getting a laptop with a discrete GPU that costs around $200, you should definitely go for it and take advantage of the extra boost on speed, which is necessary for when you are exporting videos. This is usually the case for the mainstream and non-gaming computers.
This 14″ Laptop from HP is what we would recommend for those who are looking for the best laptop for video editing under 500. Coming with the Windows 10 operating system installed and new features such as the edge browser that allows you to markup websites on your screen and powered by the latest 8th-generation Intel core processor, this laptop computer is truly a powerful tool for video editing.
It comes with a smart dual-core processor and a 4-way processing performance, which is what you need for high-definition video editing tasks. Furthermore, its 14-inch video screen display allows you to have a full view of your work while maintaining vivid colors in the videos that you are editing.
It has a great resolution of 1366×768 HD and comes with a WLED backlight. This laptop from HP has a 1TB hard drive, which offers ample storage space for your video editing needs.
Windows 10 OS
Latest 8th generation Intel Core Processor
14-inch bright display
8 GB system memory
1 TB hard drive
Featuring the 8th Generation of Intel Core i7 Processor, the Lenovo S145 FHD Premium Laptop Computer can certainly carry out all the tasks needed for video editing. This device is also equipped with different storage options, which includes the hybrid SSD that comes with a hard disc drive. This storage option helps to ensure a fast response time.
At a starting weight of only 1.85 kg, you’ll be able to easily carry this laptop with you anywhere you want to. Furthermore, it’s equipped with a narrow bezel that results in a cleaner and sleeker design, not to mention a larger display screen. With this laptop model, you get to choose from a wide array of glossy finishes that are sure to impress!
Whether you are editing or streaming video, you will certainly love the laptop’s Dolby Audio system that produces crystal clear sound quality. Featuring an anti-glare display both in HD and FHD format, you can certainly view video footage clearly.
12GB of DDR4
8th generation Intel Core i7
Lightweight and portable
Editing videos will be much easier and faster with this Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Series Laptop. Dell is one of the world’s leading brands of computers and the Inspiron is among its popular range of products. The 2018 Inspiron 5000 is well built and is packed with excellent specs and features that make it a good choice for editing videos.
Featuring the 8th Generation Intel Core Processor, video editing with this laptop has never been easier. It allows you to multitask with ease, thanks to the 16GB of DDR4 RAM. The unit is also equipped with a 256 GB SSD.
The AMD Radeon 530 graphics card of the device provides power to its 17-inch display screen that has a resolution of 1920×1080. Its touchscreen display is very useful when scrolling through the timeline as you edit your videos.
With this laptop device, you’ll also get an SD card reader and as an added bonus, it comes with a backlit and wireless keyboard as well as a set of powerful speakers.
16GB of RAM memory
Full high definition screen
Works extremely fast
The Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop is both stylish and affordable and is definitely reliable when it comes to video editing. With a width of 0.7 inches, this slim laptop is definitely portable. The bottom part features a wedge design, which makes it appear thinner and much easier to carry around.
Plus, the Onyx black shade on its exterior does an excellent job of hiding fingerprints. Furthermore, the computer’s chassis is made mainly of polycarbonate, which is impressive enough given its affordable price.
This laptop from Lenovo has a generous selection of port. Thus, you won’t have any issues with connecting it to most accessories. It makes use of the barrel style charger, which you’ll find on the left part of the device and is accompanied by USB-C, HDMI, as well as an audio jack.
The laptop’s power button is placed within the chassis, which effectively prevents accidental presses, especially when the computer is on tablet mode. Equipped with dual hinges that rotate to different positions, including tent, stand, and tablet modes, you certainly won’t have a hard time using this device.
8GB of DDR4 memory
Battery life is 8 hours
Comes with a pen
TrueBlock privacy shutter
May have issues connecting to the Wi-Fi
10 – HP 17.3″ HD+ SVA WLED-Backlit Notebook Laptop
HP is a popular brand of computers and the HP 17.3″ HD+ SVA WLED-Backlit Notebook Laptop is known for its smooth responsiveness and fast loading time, which makes it ideal for editing videos. The laptop’s Intel HD 620 Graphics Processor offers excellent image quality, which is useful for photo and video editing.
You’ll achieve near SSD performance with this device without having to sacrifice the hard drive’s storage space. This device is equipped with the smart system accelerator that will take note of your everyday tasks and make your performance responsive, smooth, and quick.
The 8GB of DDR4 RAM is very useful for advanced multitasking, such as when producing and editing videos. In addition, the extremely high bandwidth of RAM allows the laptop to run smoothly, which is very useful with video and photo editing software.
8GB of DD4 RAM
The battery lasts for up to 9 hours
Next-gen wireless technology
The battery lifespan might not last that long based on care and usage
Mac vs. Windows
A lot of video editors prefer to use Mac, and so do other professionals who are into video editing. They find Mac more reliable than PC. But this is actually more of a stereotype and will depend upon the user’s preferences. If you already have a preferred choice of a computer then you better stick to it.
But if you are not a Mac fan, you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to the hardware. What’s great about choosing Windows 10 is the ability to find a laptop that’s “workstation-ready” and comes complete with Intel Xeon Processor. This is something that’s not available to Mac computers. Perhaps, the closest one is a 6-core i7 or i9, which can work for the highest-end MacBook Pro computers.
Another important consideration when it comes to deciding between Mac and Windows is the video editing software that you plan on using. For instance, Final Cut Pro can only be used with Mac computers.
However, most video editing platforms, including Avid Media Composer and Premiere Pro can work on various platforms. If you have a particular preference for the video-editing program you use, then you definitely should consider this when deciding whether to go for Mac or Windows.
When looking for the best laptop for video editing on a budget, you need to consider several factors, not just the price. Just because you’re on a limited budget doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the quality and the performance.
This is why we would highly recommend the Lenovo Flex 11 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop. Coming at a very affordable price, you’ll get a powerful laptop that’s equipped with great features to help you with your video editing tasks.
It has a powerful Intel Pentium Processing, 4 GB DDRA memory, as well as 64 GB of eMMC SSD storage. Above all, it weighs only 2.75 pounds so you can easily carry this device with you wherever you go.
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