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2022's Best Laptop for Video Editing: 9 Factors To Help You Pick

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Upasna from InVideo
February 20, 2020
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Editing videos on the go, especially for heavier files and 4k footage can be a massive challenge if you don’t have the right system. Thankfully in the past few years, laptops have increased in power and function substantially, making it easier for videographers and creators to edit videos from anywhere. And with a cloud-based video editor like InVideo, you can edit videos on the fly with any laptop!

In this article, we’ll take an in depth look at how to choose the best laptop for video editing. We will go over the different factors you need to consider, the specifications you should choose for your video editing laptop and if you stick around till the end, we also have a bonus list of our recommendations for the best video editing laptops in 2022. 

Let’s dive in!

What factors should you consider before choosing a laptop for video editing?

When thinking about how to choose the best laptop for video editing, you need to factor in a few important parameters in order to make an informed decision. Let’s look at these in detail:

A. What kind of video content do you create? 

Are you a YouTuber making travel films or a professional videographer creating corporate films? Perhaps you’re an independent filmmaker creating projects for OTTs? Your laptop requirements for video editing will differ vastly on the basis of the kind of editor you are and the kind of content you create. 

For instance if you’re someone who edits a lot on the move, you require a machine that is not only robust in terms of its specifications but also has great battery life and is light to carry at the same time so that you don’t always have to rely on having a power connection and a desk in order to edit your videos. 

On the other hand, if you’re someone who creates independent films, chances are that you already have a desktop-based editing setup and you require a laptop to supplement your current setup or something you can use when you’re away from your main setup. In this case, you’re looking at something that is robust enough to handle heavy footage, supports higher encoding and has an advanced processor but isn’t necessarily lightweight because you don’t have to carry it around as often. If you are asking how to choose the best laptop for video editing, you first need to figure out whether you are going to create more on the move or not. 

For instance, check out this list of best laptops for video editing in 2022 for those on the move. 

B. What software do you use for editing your videos

Unless you’re using a cloud-based editor like InVideo that can work on pretty much any system, the choice of or laptop will also be influenced by the software you use. 

For instance, if you work with Adobe Premiere Pro, you will need a laptop that can support the latest version of the software. For Apple computers at this time, that’s macOS X 10.9 or later and for Windows users it is Windows 7 or later.

When you ask how to choose the best laptop for video editing, you need to look at not just the operating system, but also the RAM, CPU (central processing unit) and GPU (graphics processing unit) on your machine. Premiere Pro for instance puts a lot of load on the CPU while in order to operate a software like DaVinci Resolve, you want to focus on having a robust GPU because it has heavy graphics usage. Check out the note on system requirements shortlisted by Adobe on their official website for Premier Pro users. 

note on system requirements shortlisted by Adobe

C. What resolution will you mostly be editing in?

Do you mostly create HD videos (1080p) or do you edit in 4k or 8k? This is important because generally the higher the resolution of your videos, the more space and RAM they require. So if you create films primarily in 4k, you will need a laptop that doesn’t lag while working with 4k footage. 

laptop resolution for video editing

The resolution you work with while editing videos also influences the kind of storage you’ll need on your laptop. When you are considering what specs to look for in a laptop for video editing, you therefore need to make sure that you also have sufficient storage. 

Pro tip on laptop for video editing

Now that we have a list of factors to consider, let us see how these translate into hardware and software specifications so that you know what to look for in a laptop for video editing. 

What specifications should you choose for your video editing laptop?

When you ask how to choose the best laptop for video editing, you need to look at the storage, processor, graphics card and RAM or memory in-depth because these are the specifications that will ensure whether you have a smooth edit or not. Let’s look at these factors in detail:

1. How much storage do you need? 

While you have various external storage options to store your video files, footage and output, as a video editor, you do need sufficient SSD (solid state drive) space on your laptop. SSD is a newer and faster version of a hard disk drive (HDD). 

It is recommended to have at least 1TB space on your SSD, just so you can have proxy files as well as render files on your device itself. This makes video editing much smoother and faster. 

If budget is a concern though, a 512GB SSD might even be enough in terms of internal storage since external SSD storage is an affordable and easy way to enhance your laptop’s performance.

Infographic on storage for video editing laptop

2. How much memory do you need?

Your laptop uses RAM or random access memory to temporarily store information. So when you start an application or edit a video, your edits and changes are temporarily stored in your RAM, not your SSD or HDD (hard disk, internal storage). The more memory intensive tasks you work on, the more RAM you need.

So when editing a video, especially a 4K video, you naturally need more RAM. It is recommended that you need a laptop with at least 32 to 64 gigs of RAM when editing 4K. The latest RAM configuration you’ll need to look at is DDR4, which allows for much higher bandwidth.

Infographic on recommended memory for video editing laptop

3. What processor should you use? (CPU)

Your laptop CPU is like the heart of your laptop. The CPU (central processing unit) in a computer or laptop contains a number of cores with which it processes instructions. The more cores your machine has, the faster it will run. For example, a quad core processor will be faster and smoother compared to a dual core processor and so on. Some processors you’ll come across when buying a laptop in 2022:

- The 2 most common processors you can look at today include the Intel and Ryzen processors. The Intel core i5 or i7 processors are sufficient for various creative tasks in Windows laptops.
- An i9 processor (in the MacBook Pro series) is always a great option for video editing needs. Some laptops also come with a Turbo Boost feature that allows the processor to speed up when required (for tasks like gaming or video editing). 
- There is also the Apple M1 processor that allows you to buy Apple devices at a relatively lower cost and is reportedly more efficient than Intel core processors for Mac systems – making it an ideal choice for video editing if you’re planning to invest in an Apple laptop. 
- The AMD Threadripper 3970X, meanwhile, is currently the best performing CPU for video editing. If you are looking for a great CPU for video editing that costs less than 550$ the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is the best choice.

No matter what processor you choose, a laptop with at least 4 cores, and upwards of 8 gigs of RAM is recommended for video editing.

4. What kind of graphics card (GPU) should you have?

Laptops come kitted with 2 types of graphics card - integrated graphics or discrete graphics. Integrated graphic cards share resources like memory and storage with the CPU on the laptop. 

Most powerful laptops used for gaming or project/ video creation boast a ‘discrete GPU’ with its own memory for powerful imagery processing (VRAM, or video random access memory). If you can, aim for a laptop with four to eight gigabytes of dedicated VRAM for as a laptop requirement for video editing.

Difference between CPU and GPU

You’ve probably heard of the Nvidia graphics card in various gaming laptops. The company also creates the advanced graphics that come pre-installed in several laptops from companies like Asus, Acer, Dell, and Microsoft. Some examples include the Nvidia GeForce GTX and Nvidia Quadro RTX. The AMD Radeon Pro is another GPU featured in high-powered machines, such as the MacBook Pro.

When it comes to actual laptop graphics card performance, the GPU itself is arguably the most important component. But just as having a top of the line CPU, but very little RAM, your computer won’t produce great results, you also need the right amount of memory (VRAM) for your GPU. 

Infographic on recommended GPU for video editing laptop

In case you are using a laptop without a dedicated GPU, you can also invest in an eGPU or an external graphics card. 

5. What display and resolution should you choose?

Resolution for videos refers to the number of pixels contained within each frame of your video. When editing a video, editors need to consider how their video will be viewed. So screen quality and display resolution is something that video editors need to keep in mind when choosing a laptop. 

Whether you are creating HD quality videos or 4K videos, you need your laptop display to show accurate colors, otherwise you could end up with severely distorted colours when viewing on other devices. There’s different types of displays and screen resolutions you get access to when buying a new laptop. 

Example of Four resolution compared

Most laptops come with LCD screens that use the RGB (backlit red green and blue hues) to display colors. If you are planning to use an external monitor along with your laptop for video editing, this can serve you well. In fact, you can use cheaper monitors with FHD (full HD) display or less (meaning these monitors display 1080 pixels per column) as a secondary monitor.

However, a UHD (Ultra High-Definition) display, as found on many premium laptops, offers crisper video resolution and is a good tool for video editors. UHD is the equivalent of roughly 4,000 pixels in a column and is sometimes referred to as 4K UHD. 

Slightly more high-definition than 4K, Apple’s trademarked Retina display is named for the fact that it claims to make pixels undetectable to the human eye.

If you’re looking for an HD monitor with a bright display that can be seen from all angles, a 4K OLED display will do the trick. OLED technology is an advanced way to light up vibrant colors and keep images vivid, even when you’re standing to the side of the screen.

A more affordable way to increase your viewing angles than an OLED screen is to look for an LED monitor with IPS (in-plane switching) screen technology. The liquid crystals used in an IPS LCD monitor can shift horizontally, which helps increase the screen’s color accuracy when viewed from an angle.

Here’s a list of the different types of screen resolutions and display you have access to in a laptop ideal for video editing:

Infographic on different types of screen resolutions for video editing laptop

6. What kind of sound cards and audio drivers should your laptop have?

Sound is one of the most important components of video editing, making it imperative for you to invest in a laptop that not only has the requisite audio hardware but also has a sound card or a sound chip with the latest build. 

Infographic on recommended audio drivers for video editing laptop

Audio drivers enable the process of sending and receiving as well as mixing audio from various interfaces on your laptop to ensure you get true sound. The most popular audio drivers you may have come across are the Realtek HD Audio drivers. Most laptops come pre-installed with sound cards and drivers. 

It’s good to know the sound card and audio options when buying a new laptop for video editing. You can also buy an external or discrete sound card if you are working with audio related programs. 

Now that you know what specifications to look for when choosing the best laptop for video editing as per your needs, let us take you through our recommendations for the best video editing laptops in 2022:

BONUS: Our recommendations for the best video editing laptops in 2022

Based on the various building blocks of a laptop seen above, we recommend some of the best laptops for video editing in 2022.

1. MacBook Pro 16 Inch (M1 Pro, M1 Max 2021)

Many editors and professionals swear by Apple’s devices when it comes to video editing. With its stunning 16-inch screen and powerful M1 Pro or M1 Max chip, the new MacBook Pro 16-inch released in October 2021 is the best laptop, period, for all sorts of video editing needs.

MacBook Pro

Specifications:

Processor: Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max (10 Core CPU)
Storage: 512GB, 1TB, 2Tb, 4TB, 8TB SSD 
Memory: 32 GB Unified Memory (Also available in 16GB and 64GB variants)
Display: 16-Inch Liquid Retina XDR Display
Graphics: 32 Core GPU

Pros of this laptop for video editing:

- It's at least twice as fast as the 2020 MacBook Pro (twice as fast again if you opt for the M1 Max). What’s more, both chips can support editing multiple streams of 8K video in real-time without rendering. 
- They feature a ProRes accelerator in the media engine (two in the Pro Max's case), which has been designed to speed up pro-video workflows while making video processing more efficient, so editing video shouldn't punish the battery life as heavily. 
- You can also configure storage on this device upto a whopping 8TB, so you don’t have to worry about storage. 

Cons of this laptop for video editing:

- Like all Apple offerings, this device is going to burn a hole in your pocket at $3499.
- It is also heavier compared to older versions of the MacBook Pro, so portability is that much tougher with this machine.  

Note: If you want a MacBook but need to use it on the go, you can also opt for the 14-inch MacBook Pro. It offers similar performance to the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but is lighter and more portable. 

2. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

While meant to be a gaming laptop, this is also hailed as the best all around Windows laptop for video editing. With a 14-inch display and long battery life, this laptop can be used on the go for power consuming tasks. This is also the best budget laptop for video editing on this list.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Specifications:

Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS CPU (8 Core processor)
Storage: 1TB SSD
Memory: 32GB DDR4 SDRAM
Display: 120Hz gaming Display/ WQHD Panel/ AniMe Matrix LED
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU

Pros of this laptop for video editing:

- This laptop has a whopping 11 hour battery life according to user reviews.
- It’s a 14-inch laptop that’s packed with strong specifications but also is very portable and light compared to other gaming laptops. 
- It also has a great display and audio.
- At $1299, this laptop gives you more bang for your buck and can be considered one of the best budget laptops for video editing.

Cons of this laptop for video editing:

- This laptop comes without a webcam, so if you want to use it for benign office purposes and Zoom calls, you’ll have to invest in an external webcam. 
- The keyboard has some backlight issues that might distract users.

3. Dell XPS 17

The Dell XPS 17, one of the newest offerings from the Dell XPS series, another power pack laptop that works great for video editing. This sleek and stylish machine offers customizable display, memory, storage and GPU, thus fulfilling all your needs.

Dell XPS 17

Specifications:

Processor: 11th Generation Intel Core i9-11980HK (i5 and i7 variants also available)
Storage: 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB (PCIe NVMe SSD)
Memory: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB DDR4 RAM
Display: 17.0-inch FHD+/ UHD+InfinitiveEdge Non Touch Anti Glare (reflective) Display
Graphics: Intel UHD, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 (4GB) GPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB) GPU

Pros of this laptop for video editing:

- This sleek laptop is great for multitaskers.
- The larger screen (17.0-inch) really helps with video editing. 
- If you customize it with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB) GPU, you can also easily edit 4K videos.
- The UHD footage makes it possible to see colors and resolution very clearly.
- At $1499, this laptop can be a great investment for video editors.

Cons of this laptop for video editing:

- This laptop lacks HDMI and other mainstream ports. It only has 4 thunderbolt ports and a universal audio jack. So you might need an external port dock.

4. Alienware X15 Gaming Laptop

One of the coolest gaming machines out there, this Alienware laptop from Dell is also extremely suited to video editing. This beast of a machine comes with an 8 core processor and a killer display. You can see a large range of color on this machine, a must need for video editors.

Alienware X15 Gaming Laptop

Specifications:

Processor: 11th Generation Intel Core i9-119ooH (8 core)
Storage: 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Memory: 32GB DDR4
Display: 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 360Hz 1ms with ComfortView Plus, NVIDIA G-SYNC and Advanced Optimus
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (8GB) GPU

Pros of this laptop for video editing:

- This powerful laptop has a 11th Gen i9 Core with the latest RTX GPU that makes editing smoother and easier.
- Along with its immense, upgradable power, you get the machine's gorgeous design and an SSD with a 1,272 MBps transfer rate.

Cons of this laptop for video editing:

- At $3029, this laptop doesn’t come cheap.

Bonus: Try out online video editor for Chromebook

5. Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482

Asus Zenbooks are laptops designed for creators. The Zenbook Duo 14 is one of the latest offerings from Asus with a secondary touch screen that allows seamless editing. Whether you are looking at specs for video editing, or ergonomic design, this machine has it all. Users of Premiere Pro and After Effects will find it especially handsy to work on their timelines with the secondary touch screen.

Asus Zenbook Duo 14 UX482

Specifications:

Processor: 11th Generation Intel Core i7
Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
Memory: Upto 32GB DDR4
Display: 4 sided frameless Nano Edge FHD Display
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX450 GPU

Pros of this laptop for video editing:

- This laptop has a secondary screen/ control pad that can be used by video editors.
- It also comes with the ErgoLift Hinge mechanism that allows the screen pad on the laptop to tilt as needed for a better viewing angle.
- The screen pad doubles up as a control panel, a touch pad, a touch screen and more.
- You can use a stylus pen to draw, write and edit on this laptop. It’s made for multitasking.

Cons of this laptop for video editing:

- At $2099, this laptop isn’t really cheap. But if you are looking for a Windows laptop that’s tailored to creator and video editor needs, this one might be right for you. 

Here’s a brief comparison of all these laptops.

brief comparison of all these laptops

So, to recap, if you are wondering how to choose the best laptop for video editing, you need a machine that will match your needs, your skills, your budget, and the softwares you use. If you invest in high-caliber software, you’ll need a high-powered laptop to accommodate it. For professional video editors who work with a lot of editing programs, that makes sense.

However, if you’re a new user, budget-conscious, or creating fairly short content, then you’re better off keeping your current laptop and using web-based video editing apps like InVideo that are affordable and offer a host of features without taking up any space on your hard drive. 

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Wrapping Up

Now that you know how to choose the best laptop for video editing, make sure to check out to understand all your needs before investing in a machine. If you want to know more about video editing softwares, check out this guide

If you have any questions on video editing, or want to continue the conversation, hop over to the InVideo community and learn from 25K other marketers and video creators just like you! 

And if you're looking to create gold-standard videos in minutes, sign up for InVideo today!

FAQs

1. Can I use a Gaming Laptop for Video Editing?

Gaming laptops usually boast fast processors and discrete graphics cards, which means you can use a gaming laptop or PC for video editing to quite an extent. Find a list of laptops (including gaming machines) suitable for video editors in this detailed guide.

2. Is a Ryzen processor good for video editing?

The AMD Threadripper 3970X is currently the best performing CPU for video editing. If you are looking for a great CPU for video editing that costs less than 550$ the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X is the best choice. Check out what different processors can be used for video editing in this guide.

 

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