Back to school time doesn't mean college students are the only ones trolling the internet for the best video editing laptop. Since the advent of YouTube and technology in general, video has dominated the culture. And consumers from college students to professionals are looking for reliable equipment they can count on.
Some creations are great takes on popular movies and culture. Some are complex socio-political critiques. And others are a guy jumping into a cactus.
But no matter what you wish to create, the right piece of hardware is out there for you!
Tips for Choosing Laptops
Choosing the best video editing laptop can be a vexing decision. No matter what you choose, it's important to remember that the choice is going to stick with you for several years.
For example, my first laptop lasted me seven years. With that kind of longevity, it's worth asking yourself exactly what you're getting. After all, the laptop will be with you long after you make your decision.
It can also be a good idea to think about how your needs might evolve over time. A poor choice can leave you with a laptop that was great when you bought it, but no longer serves your purposes.
But when it comes to the best video editing laptop, there are options all over the board — for the amateur who wants to dip their feet in and for the professional who needs a knock-down, drag-out piece of hardware.
If your head is spinning from all the choices in front of you, here are some tips to make it easier!
Know what you’re willing to sacrifice
It is impossible to choose the best video editing laptop without sacrificing something. A larger laptop might be better for watching films, but you'll sacrifice portability.
A non-solid state disk drive might be cheaper, but more prone to causing computer errors if your computer travels a lot. And of course, a computer might be absolutely perfect but just too expensive.
Going into the store with a clear idea of what you want and what you're willing to sacrifice can ease a lot of burden on customers because it narrows down your choices. Suddenly, you're not evaluating every computer in the store — you're starting by only examining the ones that fit your requirements.
If you're having trouble nailing it down exactly, write it down! Make a list of computer qualities and rank them from one to three — important, ambivalent, and not important. The time you spend on this step will reduce the time you spend at every other one. And it will help you zero in on the best video editing laptop with ease!
Know the sales
We live in a consumerist culture. We are daily bombarded with advertisements for everything from the latest refrigerators to magazines to luxury automobiles. With all that going on, it's easy to feel like sales are happening all the time. But here's the thing -- they're not.
While working at an electronics store, I saw many a customer come in excited about a sale, only to be disappointed to find that it ended last week.
If that's not a big deal for you, just wait until the next one rolls around. But if you're looking to get the best video editing laptop at a specific time, a delay can really set you back. Keeping abreast of sales provides some key benefits.
Many stores, real and virtual, use the same wholesale distributors. This makes for the terrifying possibility that when a computer is out at one store, it's out at all of them.
Being vigilant about sales will help you avoid making unenviable choices (like buying a computer that doesn't fit what you want or paying more than you have to).
Improving your price
The most obvious reason for keeping a close eye on sales is to get the best deal you can. For example, if you snatch a computer at back-to-school time, you can get lower prices or even bundles that include mouses, webcams, and other accessories.
Many stores have a price match policy, but they're also out to make a profit. So they're unlikely to volunteer information about equivalent models elsewhere that you can leverage for a better deal. But if you do your research, you can sometimes knock a considerable chunk of change off your buying price.
Know what you need (and what you don’t)
Keeping up with the Joneses is a poor excuse for blowing tons of money on an expensive piece of hardware. If your main activities are confined to checking Facebook, you won't need a superpowered motherboard or a 4K screen.
Having a rock-solid understanding of what you need aids you in a number of ways, including:
Tips for Choosing Video Editing Laptops
If you're looking for the best video editing laptop, your shopping criteria are going to be a bit more specific. Once you've decided this is the kind of laptop you want, it's helpful to forget your regular standards. Most average consumers just won't need what you will. Here are some things you'll want to keep in mind.
This is the number one concern if you use your computer for editing. Especially if you intend to edit offline, you'll need a computer that can store large quantities of data. This one is pretty much non-negotiable — either you pay for the storage you need in the computer, or you will pay for it later in the form of external hard drives.
As video quality improves, plenty of editors are interested in editing 4K video. Besides the space needed to do this, it takes a tremendous toll on your computer. If this is one of your interests, think about getting a computer that won't freeze every time you want to edit a 4K video.
Some computers can pick up unwanted sound, like from the motherboard of your computer. You'll want to keep this in mind to make your videos as clean as possible!
Best Video Editing Laptop
Now that you're armed with the tools to help you choose the best video editing laptop, here are some of the best on the market today!
Apple MacBook Pro
Maybe you've never heard of Apple. But you probably have.
Though the company can be hit or miss on phone technology, computers are this company's bread and butter. With full control over the hardware and software of their computers, Apple provides a seamless and immersive experience.
For video editing, a Macbook Pro offers a high-performance experience. Its i9 processor and Radeon Pro 555X or 560X graphics are sure to render exquisite video, along with its Intel UHD Graphics 630 and solid-state drive.
Other features of this computer include 10 hours of battery life, 4 Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, and a Force Touch trackpad. Unfortunately, if you know anything about Apple, you'll know that this piece of hardware is a pretty penny. However, that cost can be offset by treating your computer well and making it last at least 10 years or more.
This product currently holds an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars Amazon, and the reviews run the full gamut of the customer experience, from delighted to a lot less than delighted.
Among the positive notes on this computer is that many customers agree that it's worth the money. This is significant because most customers actually don't mind spending more — they just want some bang for their buck.
Since the ports on this computer are USB-C, you'll need other products if you want to connect legacy USBs. Given the high price of the product, it rankles a lot of customers to buy anything else for the smooth functioning of their computer. For some customers, this isn't a big deal, but think before you buy!
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Microsoft's hit tablet can be the best video editing laptop while remaining a great choice for portability. With its fluid transition between laptop and tablet, this won't make you choose between a high-octane experience and living life on-the-go. The computer sports the current 8th generation of Intel processor and a battery life of over 13 hours.
The computer only features one USB port. This can be a drag if you want more than one connection at a time. Its tablet capabilities mean that you can use a Surface Pen, so this can be especially helpful for photo and video editing.
This product currently holds an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. It nets a high degree of satisfaction from its users. Many are repeat users trying an upgrade to their current devices, but just as many are trying the Microsoft Surface 6 for the first time and falling in love.
One user claimed that the audio on the device nixed the necessity for Bluetooth speakers. Another claimed that the computer was great for those who don't need a full computer and prefer the portability of a device like the Surface 6. On the whole, customers agree that the device is sleek, elegant, and worth the purchase.
CUK MSI P65 Creator 8RE Laptop
If you're looking for a good amount of storage space and processing power, this could be the best video editing laptop for you. With an i7 processor and 512 GB of storage (with even higher selections available), you might even find it a challenge to fill it up too quickly.
What's more, this computer is a solid-state, meaning that disk drive is essentially one motor component. This reduces the amount of moving parts in your computer's disk drive, and therefore reduces the risk of malfunction. And if you enjoy gaming, users agree that it's a fine piece of hardware on which to do it.
This computer also features 16 GB of RAM dedicated ram and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 card (Max-Q Design).
This product currently holds an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon. That rating shouldn't necessarily be taken for gospel, given that there are only 13 reviews available on the website.
Of the available reviews, customers like processing speed, the wireless speed, and the computer's display. What they don't like about it is the sound.
Updating the software can help with this issue, but this can be a dealbreaker for video editing, or if you want the computer to come near-perfect for use from day one.
HP Zbook X2-G4 Laptop
While searching for the best video editing laptop, you can't go wrong with a computer specifically designed with creatives in mind. This device features a detachable Bluetooth keyboard and a touch screen that you can use with a stylus.
The hard drive is 256 GB, with 8 GB of ram. For those who need an even more portable device than a 15-inch, this device is only 14. That makes it easy to shove into a backpack or even to hold in your arm for an extended period of time.
One notable departure from the pack is its Adobe RGB-accurate DreamColor matte screen. This offers much more functionality than a typical glossy screen.
This product currently holds an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Whereas most of the computers on this list are also sold to a mass market, this product is unique in that it is specifically created and designed for creatives, so that's a plus.
Reviews on Amazon are too low to glean meaningful insights about where customers stand on it, but the product receives an 8.2 out of 10 from CNET as well.
Dell XPS 15
Dell is keeping up with the times with this 4K display gaming computer. It features a quad-core, 8th Generation i5 Intel processor, as well as an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB GDDR5 SDRAM graphics card.
The device has 8 GB of DDR4 memory and 512 GB of storage space, more than enough to handle some high-powered video editing. On top of all this, this computer features a touchscreen as well.
There are no reviews available for this product on Amazon. If you're looking to get a feel for what people are saying about it, it received a glowing write-up in CNET. The website described it as offering "extreme performance."
If you're looking for a computer to offer more than your standard fare, check this one out!
HP Envy 13
This device is full of all the goodies you could want. It includes a Corning Gorilla Glass screen to protect its beautiful 4K display. It has a solid-state drive and a battery life of up to 12 hours. So this could be the best video editing laptop for you.
The Envy also features a fingerprint reader for your security, as well as a Webcam Kill Switch to allow you to safeguard your privacy.
One sore spot for this one is that the 16 GB of SDRAM is not upgradable.
This product currently holds an average rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon and is even listed as an "Amazon's Choice" model. Most of the complaints about this model don't have a throughline — and are instead individual complaints.
One repeated complaint is malfunctioning fingerprint readers. It is a small detail but can be annoying after you've spent a lot on a device.
One user describes their work in freelance design and considers the computer fully capable of handling many high-powered applications at once.
2019 Acer Predator Helios 300
This computer is the most competitive gaming computer on the list. It features an 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H Processor and a 128 GB solid-state drive. The device also boasts NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 graphics card and a fully backlit keyboard.
There are currently no reviews available for this product on Amazon. The technology review site UltraBookReview gives the computer 4.2 out of 5. Though it's hard to gauge customer reaction without reviews, it is easy to say tell that this is far from a junk laptop.
Some of the positives are the matte screen, the durability, and ease of upgrade. And some things that detract from this model are its lack of a card reader, lack of Thunderbolt 3, and loud fans.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Business Notebook
Coming equipped with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, 32GB of RAM, and an anti-glare screen, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Business Notebook is a serious contender for best video editing laptop.
The computer also sports a solid-state drive and Intel 8th Gen i7-8750H processor.
This computer currently holds an average rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon — but there's only one review. According to CNET, if Lenovo's future iterations can manage to increase its battery power while only minimally scaling back on its options, the computer could be truly unstoppable. They rate the device 8.2 out of 10.
ASUS ZenBook Pro 15
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This computer brings a little flash with it, starting with a glossy touchscreen. It features 512 GB of storage space, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB GDDR5 graphics card.
When you combine these elements with its 8th Gen Intel Coffee Lake Core i7-8750H Six-Core processor and its 4K display, it's easy to see that this computer is no slouch. It's certainly a strong contender for the best video editing laptop for you.
One truly unique feature is a second keypad located on the trackpad of the laptop. It serves as a mini-screen from which you can run most computer functions you like.
Like the previous entry, there is only one Amazon customer review on this product — 5.0 out of 5 stars. CNET reviewed the item, calling it a "powerful machine." CNET notes that the trackpad screen's functionality is quite clunky at the moment. However, it could represent big changes in how computers get made in the future. Overall, they rate this computer 7.8 out of 10.
How to Play the Game and Win
When making a high-dollar purchase like the best video editing laptop, remember to return to the basics. The only way to win the is not by getting a fancy computer you don't like. Also, you should not be saddled with an insufficient one due to poor research.
The only way to truly win is to unbox your purchase, set it up, and know you made the right decision.
Do you have experience shopping for excellent video editing laptops? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!
Last update on 2021-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API