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As the popularity of TV and movies only increases, video editing is an important skill to have these days, especially if you work in the entertainment industry. While desktop computers are an obvious choice for video editors, they don’t provide you the freedom that laptops do.
Despite being more expensive than their cumbersome cousins, laptops are a popular choice for creatives who enjoy traveling or collaborating with others, and many have powerful hardware perfect for video editing.
With so many different laptop models available on the market, it can be difficult finding the perfect model for you. Narrowing down the best options at various price points can be time-consuming.
For that reason, PC Mecca is here to assist you with reviews of the top laptop models available. In this article you’ll learn about the 12 best budget laptops for video editing in 2021 over different price ranges.
Best Laptops for Video Editing Under $1000
Video editing requires powerful hardware in order to properly render and process video file information during the editing process. Therefore, highly powerful, more expensive laptops within a higher price range for computers will be the most adequate for working with large video projects.
While the downside of expensive laptops is obviously the price tag, they have the most powerful hardware components for video editing, and they will last the longest if you are not looking to upgrade every year or two, so they can be the most cost effective despite being very expensive up front.
The table below will give you a quick look at our selections for the 3 best laptops for video editing currently available on the market for under $1000. To read a full review, simply click on ‘review>>’ in respective row.
1. Lenovo Legion 5
Display: 15.6” IPS | Screen Resolution: FullHD (1920 x 1080) | CPU:
AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
| GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Battery Life: 5 Hours | Weight: 5.5 lbs / 2.5 kg
Lenovo’s gaming laptops are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to video editing on a budget. The Legion 5 offers a combination of power and efficiency to provide a performance that video editors can rely on for heavy projects for years to come.
An AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor is at the heart of this computer and runs pretty close to full power regardless of what you use the Legion 5 for. Of course, this is dependent on your performance settings, but for the most part this laptop runs at a fairly even speed and provides very consistent performance, so you’ll get pretty even performance across a variety of video editing programs.
The 4800H processor is more than capable of handling video playback while you’re editing videos without lagging or creating rendering issues. In fact, in terms of speed and power, the Ryzen 7 4800H outperforms many of the latest Intel i7 processors. It does get pretty hot when running demanding programs though, so you may want to invest in a cooling pad for the laptop in order to keep it from overheating.
Another win for the Legion 5 is its RAM. The laptop sports 16 GB of DDR4 memory, which will be enough for you if you plan on editing 4k videos. It’s also enough for memory-heavy programs, newest games, and for general productivity. 16 GB is enough memory to run programs like Adobe After Effects and Sony Vegas Pro without lagging much or using up an unnecessary amount of power if you have smaller projects.
That being said, for bigger video projects with 8K video and more productivity, more RAM will be needed, and in that case, the Legion 5 can be upgraded to 32 GB of RAM, which only enhances the performance of this already powerful PC.
The Legion 5’s 512 GB SSD will provide you with enough speed to import and export videos quickly and ample storage space for various editing programs and storing video files, but if you’re working with higher video resolutions, 512 GB won’t nearly be enough storage for all your files. Luckily, the Legion 5 is equipped with four USB 3.1 ports for external SSDs, plus an HDMI cable for connecting your additional screens to the laptop.
The display on the Legion 5 is a 15.6 inch FHD IPS display (1920 x 1080 pixels), and is characterized by superb clarity and bright, vivid colors with a color accuracy rating of 100% (sRGB). Plus, it has a 144hz refresh rate, meaning games and videos will be much more smoother–another feature that’s rare for laptops costing less than $1000.
The display’s color accuracy is great for exposing color issues with your recordings so you know what needs to be changed, as you can be sure that the colors you are seeing are the same as what was recorded and correct them appropriately.
Graphics-wise, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card is easily the best graphics card you can get at this price point with a budget laptop. It’s a mid range card as far as performance goes, but it handles games and demanding graphics very well, so video playback or automating animation cues in your editing suite will go smoothly.
The GPU sits at a more comfortable temperature than the CPU, coming in at 70 degrees Celsius during sessions where graphics heavy activities like color grading, so there isn’t as much of an overheating issue from the GPU as the CPU.
One big con is the battery life. It isn’t a strong point for the Legion 5, clocking in at only 5 hours, so you’ll want to keep it charging pretty frequently.
Overall though, the Legion 5 is no doubt the most powerful laptop for video editing that you can get on a budget at this price point. It doesn’t have many flashy features, but if you have a $1000 budget and looking for the most performance to get you projects done quickly and efficiently, you won’t find anything better.
2. Dell G5 15 SE
Display: 15.6” IPS | Screen Resolution: FullHD (1920 x 1080) | CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4600H
| GPU: AMD Radeon RX 5600M | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Battery Life: 7 Hours | Weight: 5.5 lbs / 2.5 kg
Dell’s computers are known for being fast and reliable, and are some of the best value products in the top tier price range.
The G5 15 SE is a more affordable alternative to Alienware computers if you don’t want to shell out that much money for a high performing laptop for video editing. For the price, you get a powerful GPU and CPU pairing that combines a Ryzen processor with Radeon graphics.
The Dell G5 15 SE fantastic computer for those who want a lot of productivity. Thanks to its Ryzen 5 4600H processor, you can effortlessly run multiple video editing programs at the same time without experiencing interruptions.
For those who work with large video productions, a lightning fast processor can make such a difference during the editing process. The Ryzen 5 4600H outperforms the Intel Core i7-9750H processor and even the i5-9300H, making it a top contender among popular processors for video editing.
As far as the GPU goes, you’ll find that the G5 15 SE has an adequate amount of memory (4 GB) to smoothly play through your high quality video projects without taking hours to do so. The graphics card is an AMD Radeon RX 5600M and performs very closely to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, with the former coming in at a better performance value at its price.
The GPU is a bit slow for playing games running at the highest quality graphics settings, but for video editing it doesn’t cause as much lag unless you’re utilizing a software that uses mainly GPU for rendering.
Now, some people find the 15.6 inch FHD IPS display to be more dull than they’d like, while others find it to have an adequate amount of brightness for their needs. The display is anti glare but still doesn’t do that well outside in a lot of light, so you should stick to using this laptop indoors for best viewing results.
As far as display accuracy, the screen has a bit more of a limited color gamut (63% sRGB), so you may want to utilize an additional screen with the G5 15 SE. Colors are still vivid, but the overall range of color is less accurate than with other displays.
That being said, if you don’t want to spend money on a seperate display and you’re willing to slightly cross the $1000 mark, you can purchase the 144hz display version. The screen is much better (108% of sRGB) and you also get a better performing processor (Ryzen 7 4800H) and extra 256GB of memory. The only downside is that you will still be stuck with 8GB of RAM.
Now back to the cheaper version. As with most gaming laptops that can be used for video editing on a budget, the baseline specifications for storage and memory tend to be lower than what is ideal for video editing.
With this model of the G5 15 SE, you get a 256 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM. Both the storage and memory can be upgraded and expanded to meet your needs. 8GB of RAM is adequate for editing 1080p videos, but upgrading to 16GB is necessary if you want to edit in 4k resolution–and for general productivity as well.
Other features that make this computer a worthy addition to your video editing studio include backlit keys, a durable chassis, and plenty of connections for additional storage devices, displays, and a respectable 7 hour battery life.
All-in-all, the Dell G5 15 SE is another great laptop to consider in this price range. It is not as powerful as the Legion 5, but it is notably cheaper. With the money you save on the laptop itself, you can look to purchase additional RAM or memory. However, if you mostly edit 1080p videos, you will find it beyond satisfying for your needs.
3. MSI GL62M 7RD
Display: 15.6” IPS | Screen Resolution: FullHD (1920 x 1080) | CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ
| GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Battery Life: 4 Hours | Weight: 4.9 lbs / 2.2 kg
Another laptop that provides a combination of value and decent performance for video editors within a reasonable budget is the MSI GL62M.
The GL62M is a portable gaming laptop that does well with handling high quality graphics and is more than suitable for video editing wherever you go. With a slightly more modest set of hardware and graphics designed with color accuracy in mind, the GL62M provides a lot of value for beginner to intermediate video editors looking for a suitable laptop upgrade.
An Intel Core i5-7300HQ processor provides the majority of the performance you get from the GL62M, and is comparable in speed and performance consistency as its i7 HQ sibling. Its single core performance is also good, but regardless, you will be able to get very fast speeds when rendering videos and utilizing 3D graphics despite the processor being a few years old already.
With most newer processors, laptops can become prone to overheating, and this also rings true for the MSI GL62M, with it being reported that it does overheat every so often. Consequently, the cooling fan gets pretty loud to help get rid of the heat, and the plastic chassis of the GL62M still warms up quite a bit. Despite its innovative cooling system, this heat issue could eventually take a toll on the longevity of the chassis.
Graphics-wise, the GL62M is equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card with 2 GB of graphics RAM. Although this isn’t a lot of VRAM, in combination with the CPU, the GPU allows you to utilize and process images and video clips with minimal lag, which is especially helpful when editing large video files.
Details in video that may not have been apparent on other models of laptops will stand out with this model thanks to its display.
It is a 15.6 inch FHD eDP Vivid Color display that covers 94% of the NTSC and 100% of the sRGB gamut, making it ideal for video and photo editing because of the high color display accuracy.
True to the name, the colors are bright and vivid without being overly saturated, and screen brightness is vivid enough that you can see the screen outside in the light without much difficulty. This display won’t need any calibration or color correction out of the box, as its accuracy is evident right away.
Unfortunately, the battery life of the MSI GL62M is not that great, coming in at an average of 4 hours of battery life with consistent everyday use. After a few months of heavy use, the battery life does decrease considerably, but if you often have access to charging ports, it shouldn’t be too noticeable of a problem.
The baseline storage and RAM specifications of the GL62M may leave you desiring more space and memory. A 256 GB SSD stores your files and allows you to write and read them quickly, and the RAM for the GL62M comes in at only 8 GB. Luckily, the RAM and SSD are both expandable and additional components can be swapped out or added with ease.
Overall, the MSI GL62M is a decent laptop that sits within the budget. We do recommend it for light to intermediate projects, where quality and accurate display plays a big role. Though, keep in mind that for the same price you can have a 144hz display with the same color accuracy, plus much more power under the hood with the Legion 5.
Best Budget Laptops for Video Editing Under $800
At this price point, you will find laptops that have slightly less generous specifications for the processor, GPU, memory, and display, but for the most part are still able to handle editing and rendering high quality video projects and more.
Smaller to medium sized video projects will run the most easily on laptops within this range, with some exceptions in models that have better specifications as far as CPU and GPU go.
The table below will give you a quick look at our selections for the 3 best laptops for video editing currently available on the market for under $800. To read a full review, simply click on ‘review>>’ in respective row.
1. Dell Gaming G3 15 3500
Display: 15.6” IPS | Screen Resolution: FullHD (1920 x 1080) | CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10300H
| GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti | RAM: 8GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Battery Life: Around 7 hours | Weight: 5.6 lbs / 2.5 kg
The number once choice when it comes to powerful laptops under $800 is easily the Dell G3 15 3500–a laptop that packs more punch than any other laptop in this price range. It ticks almost all the boxes, making it a superb choice for you if you’re looking for a laptop for video editing and gaming that will last for years to come.
The processor in the Dell G3 is a 10
Generation Intel Core i5-10300H, which beats the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor in performance and speed. This processor is very fast, allowing you to perform editing tasks like adding transitions, importing new clips, and rendering video files at lightning speeds without interruptions.
In addition to this, 3D graphics programs like Blender will also run well with this processor, and animating 3D objects is a breeze with the speed and power that the 10300H has. If you need an extra boost, Dell includes a button on the laptop that activates high performance mode.
Disappointingly, you only get 8 GB of RAM here, which is more ideal for video editing with smaller files and lower resolutions, but luckily there is another slot for more memory to be added, and the maximum amount of memory you can have on it is 32 GB, which is perfect for 4K editing videos with lots of animations and effects.
The flexibility of this laptop makes it a top choice for those with specific needs, as you can save money by simply buying another RAM stick instead of buying a more expensive laptop if you need the extra RAM.
The GPU in the Dell Gaming G3 15 is an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti with 4 GB of VRAM, which is definitely suitable for video editing. You’ll have no problem working with graphics heavy applications and high resolution video files.
Storage-wise, the 512 GB SSD will allow you to save and access your files very quickly. This also benefits overall processor speed because an SSD is more efficient than an HDD. 512 GB of storage will be a good amount of space for you if your video files don’t take up much space, but since it can add up quickly, there are two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports for connecting external storage drives.
Now for the worst part of this laptop, the display. You get a 15.6 inch FHD WVA display on the Gaming G3 15, but there is a slight sacrifice in terms of quality. The display is not especially bright, scoring around average for budget gaming laptops in terms of display brightness.
Besides that, it only reaches around 63% of the sRGB color gamut and 45% of NTSC and this is where you need to reconsider if spending an extra couple hunder dollars on of the laptops from the sub-1000 category isn’t worth it for you. That being said, the display isn’t terrible, but for artists who need accurate color reproduction, it is simply not good enough.XXX
While this trade-off might not bother some, video editors rely on accurate displays, so if you end up finding that this computer is the one for you, you may want to purchase an additional display in order to get a more accurate representation of color. On the upside, the Gaming G3’s screen is anti-glare, so you won’t have to worry about serious sun reflection in bright environments.
Battery life of the G3 15 lasts slightly longer than the average gaming computer, coming in at around 6.5 hours while running graphics-heavy programs and the CPU working hard. This may be enough for you if you don’t work on long projects or work for long periods at a time, but otherwise, you’ll need to keep a charger handy.
Overall, the Dell Gaming G3 15 laptop is an excellent choice for a video editing laptop on a budget without sacrificing very many features. For HD video editing of small to mid-sized projects, the G3 is an ideal choice thanks to its power and performance. There are some drawbacks, as we mentioned earlier, but you will be hard-pressed to find a better laptop for video editing (and gaming) for under $800.
2. HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2
Display: 13.3″ IPS | Screen Resolution: FullHD (1920 x 1080) | CPU: Intel Core i7-7600U
| GPU: None (Intel HD Graphics 620) | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Battery Life: Around 12 hours | Weight: 2.8 lbs / 1.3 kg
The HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2 is another great budget workhorse laptop that is ideal for those who want to combine efficiency with performance power. Its specifications provide more than ample power, storage, and display quality for the beginner video editor to the experienced professional.
The CPU featured in the HP EliteBook is a 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7600U processor. For a mid tier priced laptop, this CPU is suitable for intermediate to advanced graphics editing programs and bigger video projects. While there are a few high end CPUs that currently beat the performance of this one, the 7600U is one of the better ones you can get in a laptop for this price.
Graphics-wise, the integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics makes video run smoothly. Unfortunately, the GPU does take a hit in performance at this price point, especially if you are looking for a high-performing CPU but it will be just enough for typical video editing, unless you’re running a software that uses your graphics card for rendering–in that case, stay away from this laptop.
Also featured is a 16 GB DDR4 RAM stick, which will give you enough memory to make video editing programs playback video and run processes snappily even with the slightly lower quality graphics card. For playing back videos without lag, having a large amount of RAM is the most ideal scenario.
For storage in the HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2, you get a 512 GB SSD. The reading and writing speeds of SSDs are much faster than that of HDDs, and because of this, accessing video files on an SSD is effortless and doesn’t slow down your workflow.
A 13.3 inch FHD IPS display is one of the most notable features of the HP EliteBook x360 as it is quite accurate in terms of color, coming in at around 88%. The screen brightness is about average, so this laptop won’t do that well outside in the sun unless you’re in the shade. On the bright side, it has a touch screen display with stylus compatibility, so if you prefer a very quick, productive workflow and like to use your hands when editing videos, this display will help speed up your workflow.
In addition to all this, the battery life you’ll get out of the HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2 is an average of 12 hours, but as is standard with video editing on laptops, for best results you will likely want to keep the laptop plugged into an outlet so that the battery life doesn’t have an effect on performance as it decreases.
Overall, the HP EliteBook x360 1030 G2 is another great choice that will meet your video editing needs. The only real downside is the lack of a descrete graphics card, which will restrict you from certain activities. But, with an i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage and a great display, it is an absolute gem in the sub $800 category.
3. Lenovo Ideapad S540
Display: 13.3″ WVA | Screen Resolution: QHD (2560 x 1600) | CPU: 10th Gen Intel core i5-10210U
| GPU: None (Integrated Intel UHD Graphics) | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Storage: 512GB SSD | Battery Life: Up to 18 hours | Weight: 3 lbs / 1.4 kg
Lenovo has been a staple with the majority of their laptops released over the years being gaming, business, and professional laptops, but within the past few years they have come out with quite a few laptop models that are perfect for creatives, from graphic design to video editing and more.
The Lenovo Ideapad S540 is a business laptop with specifications that make it ideal for video editing at a higher to mid tier budget without compromising performance.
The 2021 Lenovo Ideapad S540 features a 10th Generation Intel Quad Core i5-10210U processor, which will provide you plenty of power. You will have no problems running several video editing programs at once without degrading the performance of each program.
On the downside of this, the Ideapad S540 does get quite hot when the CPU is under a heavy load, so you will want to either use a cooling pad underneath it or set it on a desk.
If you are interested in editing 4K video, you will be pleased to know that the Ideapad S540 has 16 GB of DDR4 RAM. This amount of RAM is ideal for editing higher resolution video and will allow you to edit and playback video without interruptions or lagging. Conveniently, the RAM is expandable up to 32 GB, but there is only one slot so you’ll have to get a 32 GB stick of RAM.
The storage of this laptop is quite generous considering the S540’s pretty affordable price. The 512 GB SSD of the Ideapad S540 will give you enough space to store video files and other assets on your computer without the need for an external drive.
For those who create smaller sized video projects and files, this may be suitable for you, but if you often create large project files, you will benefit from an external drive. If you find that you do need more storage space, there are 2 USB C ports and a USB A port for connecting an external storage drive.
When it comes to video editing, the display this Ideapad boasts is fantastic for a laptop at this price point. The bright, glossy 13.3 inch QHD (2560 x 1600 pixels) WVA display allows for a higher refresh rate and has a decent color accuracy level of 80%, which is slightly above the average level of color accuracy for budget laptops.
Lastly, the battery life of Ideapad S540 laptop is stated as lasting up to 18 hours, but users have reported the battery lasting for only 6 hours and having to keep the laptop plugged into the charger while running CPU-heavy programs.
Again, the lack of a discrete graphics card makes this laptop not suitable for gaming and other content creation activities, but if you’re going to use it solely for video editing and office work, it is a great choice. And even more so if you look at the price tag.
Best Budget Laptops for Video Editing Under $600
Under $600, this is where you really start to see the quality go down in laptops if you want one for video editing. While there are a decent amount of laptops in this range that can perform small to medium video editing tasks, finding models with specifications that make video editing pain-free is difficult.
With the decrease in processor performance, GPU quality, memory, and display quality, consequently there is more room for error when editing videos with a laptop within this range. Be mindful of this when looking for a laptop within this budget.
The table below will give you a quick look at our selections for the 3 best laptops for video editing currently available on the market for under $600. To read a full review, simply click on ‘review>>’ in respective row.
1. Acer Swift 3
Display: 14″ IPS | Screen Resolution: FullHD (1920 x 1080) | CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U
| GPU: None (Radeon Graphics) | RAM: 8GB LPDDR4 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Battery Life: Up to 11.5 hours | Weight: 2.7 lbs / 1.2 kg
Acer is a brand that has a good spread of both business and professional laptops as well as gaming laptops, and at this price point, the Acer Swift 3 is a pretty reliable laptop that you can use for light to medium video editing without suffering from too much lag. If you are looking for a laptop that is portable and fast while remaining pretty cheap, this one is worth checking out.
The Swift 3’s processor is a higher end AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Hexa-Core processor that can boost up to 4.0 GHz from 2.3 GHz. The 4500U processor has really good quad and hexa-core performance, making it ideal for multitasking and rendering large projects.
With 8 GB of RAM on the Swift 3, you’ll likely find that you’ll need more memory for anything more than light video editing, but there are two memory card slots in which you can put up to 16 GB of RAM each.
For storage, this model of the Swift 3 has a 256 GB SSD. For small videos or those of you who don’t edit videos too often, this size might be okay, but it is not nearly enough for the storing of large video files, so an external drive will be needed, and therefore can be plugged into one of the Swift 3’s several USB ports.
The SSD featured here is very fast and will add to your workflow speed because you won’t have to wait as long for files to open or save. Luckily, the SSD is also upgradeable in the Swift 3, but there is only one slot.
The integrated AMD Radeon Graphics processor can handle running a decent amount of frames per second, surpassing average benchmarks, but with 4K video, this is where you’ll start running into problems because the GPU can’t handle the higher resolution. Unfortunately it is not possible to upgrade the GPU here, which is why this laptop is better for lighter video editing work.
Lastly, the Swift 3 sports a 14 inch FHD display, but it is not especially bright and the color accuracy is not that high, so while the other components of this laptop can handle video editing fine, you’ll definitely want to get an additional display with this laptop if you want accurate colors.
Overall, for a laptop at this price point, the Acer Swift 3 makes for a competitive option between its incredibly fast processor, 11 hour battery life, and expandable RAM and storage. For light video editing, this laptop is one of the best models you can choose from.
ASUS VivoBook 15
Display: 15.6” TN | Screen Resolution: FullHD (1920 x 1080) | CPU: Intel Core i5-1035G1
| GPU: Intel UHD Graphics G1 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Battery Life: Up to 6 hours | Weight: 3.9 lbs / 1.8 kg
The Asus VivoBook 15 is another pretty affordable laptop that is powerful enough for video editing if you stay under 4K in terms of video resolution. For light to medium editing, the VivoBook 15 is sure to surprise you with its performance despite its lower specifications.
To start things off, it features an Intel Quad-Core i5-1035G1 processor, which is a decently performing CPU for a laptop at this price range
. It doesn’t beat the Ryzen 5 4500U that comes with the Acer Swift 3 in general performance, but it has more than enough juice to power through large editing projects.
GPU-wise, the VivoBook 15 features an Intel UHD Graphics G1 processor, which doesn’t have that much power, making this the reason for the VivoBook being limited with graphics-heavy aplications. 4K video easily overloads the GPU, causing a lot of lag and ultimately slowing down your workflow, which is why we don’t recommend trying to edit 4K video on this laptop.
The amount of RAM on this laptop is actually decent considering we’re in the under $600 budget. Although it’s on the lower side of the scale for higher-end video editing, the 8 GB of RAM is enough to power through projects that aren’t extremely intricate.
Storage on this laptop is a 512GB SSD, which again, at this price point is a pleasant surprise. As you may already know, at the day and age 512GB isn’t enough, especially for modern video editors. Fortunetaly, the VivoBook 15 does have multiple USB ports for connecting an external storage drive.
Getting down to the display, the VivoBook 15 features a 15.6” FullHD display and this is where things get a bit tricky. It utilizes a TN panel, which is an outdated technology–if you’re not familiar with different display panels, feel free to check out our guide covering different panel technologies.
But for now, all you need to know that if offers the worst viewing experience with poor viewing angles and only covers 55% of sRGB. If you’re someone who relies on accurate colors and quality display, we advise you to take a look at our recommendations in the sub $800 category.
All-in-all, the Asus VivoBook 15 represents great value despite being a low budget laptop. It will provide you enough performance for daily video editing, plenty of connectivity and a nice, sleek design. If the display isn’t a deal-breaker for you, you will love what this laptop can do for you.
3. ASUS VivoBook F510QA
Display: 15.6″ IPS | Screen Resolution: FullHD (1920 x 1080) | CPU: AMD Quad-Core A12-9720P
| GPU: AMD Radeon R7 | RAM: 12GB DDR4 | Storage: 1TB HDD | Battery Life: Up to 6 hours | Weight: 3.7 lbs / 1.7 kg
The 2019 flagship model of the ASUS VivoBook 15 is a surprising choice for video editing on a lower budget. While this laptop sacrifices some features for a lower price tag, it makes up for that with storage capabilities, and still provides a good amount of performance compared to other laptops in this price range. For light to medium video editing, you’ll find that this model will sufficiently meet your performance requirements.
Featured as the CPU of the ASUS VivoBook 15 is an AMD Quad-Core A12-9720P processor, which is comparable in performance to Intel’s Core i3 CPUs. While this is a much less powerful processor than more expensive laptop models, it is sufficient enough to run any video editing software efficiently. For light to medium video editing, the VivoBook 15 may experience a very small amount of lag, especially if you are using multiple editing programs at the same time.
Following the AMD trend here, the graphics card in the VivoBook 15 is an AMD Radeon R7 card, which is decent for video editing, but it doesn’t handle intricate 3D graphics very well, so using 3D modeling programs or 3D assets in videos may be a challenge without causing some interruptions during playback. As long as you stick to lighter editing, you should face fewer problems with this.
This model of the VivoBook 15 features 12 GB of RAM, which is a good medium if you don’t want to settle with 8 GB but don’t want to spend the money on 16 GB. This much RAM will aid in improving stuttering or lag issues in your video editing programs during playback, however, it’s not a large enough amount to work with 4K video. If you think you’ll need 16 GB of RAM, you can swap out the 12 GB stick pretty easily.
As for the storage, in this model you’ll find a 1 TB HDD, which has its pros and cons. The large amount of storage space is perfect for those who edit lots of videos or create large video project files, but HDDs are generally slower to read and write, making accessing your files take a bit more time.
There’s nothing wrong with HDDs – there is just a difference in speed, and for or some, this doesn’t make that much of a difference, but if you are working with large video files, you’ll likely prefer an SSD because they read and write files much faster.
The weakest point of this laptop is its display, so you’ll want to purchase an additional display with better specifications to meet your needs. The VivoBook’s display is a 15.6 inch FHD IPS anti-glare display, which is helpful in environments with a lot of light, but on the other hand, the display’s color is not that accurate, which can cause problems during color correction sessions and translate to poor-looking videos.
A solid beginner video editor’s computer, the ASUS VivoBook 15 makes lighter video editing easy without compromising too much in terms of power and other important specifications while remaining within quite an affordable price range. While its battery life is only around 6 hours, the VivoBook 15 proves to be a decent laptop that video editors will find to be surprisingly satisfying.
Best Budget Laptops for Video Editing Under $400
At the $400 and under price point, this is where you’ll find that good quality laptops for video editing are very rare. Because the price of laptops at this range is so low, you will be sacrificing quality on all components that make high quality video editing fast, easy, and pain-free.
However, there are a few business type laptops that can be used for very light video editing if you are willing to deal with slower speeds, more interruptions and lagging, and less accurate color displays.
If you can find a cheaper model with a processor that has decent speeds, you can sacrifice RAM, storage, and the display and buy them separately to install and use instead of the featured components. Depending on what you choose, you may or may not save money.
$400 budget is also where you need to start looking for used laptops to get the power you will need for your video editing projects.
The table below will give you a quick look at our selections for the 3 best laptops for video editing currently available on the market for under $400. To read a full review, simply click on ‘review>>’ in respective row.
1. Acer Aspire 5
Display: 15.6″ IPS | Screen Resolution: FullHD (1920 x 1080) | CPU: AMD Ryzen 3-3200U
| GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 3 | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Storage: 128GB SSD | Battery Life: Up to 7.5 hours | Weight: 4 lbs / 1.8 kg
One of the most popular laptops out there is the Acer Aspire 5 Slim for its price and all around consistency in performance across a variety of light activities. While this is a business oriented laptop, its features are good enough for light video editing in programs that aren’t overly heavy on CPU.
The Aspire 5 Slim features a Ryzen 3 DualCore-3200U Mobile Processor, which is one of the best processor you can get in this price range. Being a lower to mid-range processor, it is slower than a lot of popular processors available on the market, but it’s not at the bottom of the barrel. As far as video editing goes, you’ll only want to use this processor for light video editing.
With this laptop, RAM is where the quality starts to go down due to there only being 4 GB of memory on the Aspire 5 Slim. Fortunately the RAM is expandable up to 16 GB, thus making the laptop largely more suitable for video editing by providing more speed to your workflow and storing more temporary data.
Upgrading the RAM is highly recommended, as it provides more speed and power to the Aspire 5 Slim, allowing you to employ more effects, animations, and other elements to your video projects. On top of this, by buying a cheaper model with a decent processor and lower RAM, you save money by buying RAM sticks separately and installing them yourself.
Storage is also very limited on this laptop, with only a 128 GB SSD for your files. This is absolutely not enough for video files, but the storage is also expandable and has a capacity of up to 2 TB if you need an SSD of that size. SSDs included in laptops can be pricey when they’ve got a large storage capacity, so it’s a wiser decision to buy your storage drives separately as well.
The GPU of the Aspire 5 Slim is an integrated AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics unit, which is an entry level GPU that performs similarly to the NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics card but does not pass it in performance. As with the processor, this again confirms that the Aspire 5 Slim is better for light video editing as opposed to heavily editing 4K video files.
The Aspire’s 15.6 inch FHD IPS display is only slightly muted compared to many of the other laptops at this price point, so if you don’t have the money to spend on a separate display, you can get away with using the laptop’s display.
Color accuracy is around 63% (sRGB), which is pretty close to the average level for low budget laptops. Purchasing an additional display will solve this slight accuracy issue if it’s something that is high on your priority list.
In general, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim is a very portable, decent laptop for light video editing regardless of skill level. An adequate battery life of 7.5 hours, a satisfactory level of processing power at this price point, customizable RAM and storage, and good value for the price make it an option you and your wallet will appreciate.
2. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5
Display: 14″ IPS Touch Display | Screen Resolution: FullHD (1920 x 1080) | CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 4300U
| GPU: Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Storage: 128GB SSD | Battery Life: Up to 12 hours | Weight: 3.3 lbs / 1.5 kg
The Lenovo IdeaPad series of laptops has proven to be a reliable series of laptops over a variety of price ranges. Coming in at the lowest price of these laptops, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a laptop that provides users with a comfortable video editing experience with a lower to mid tier processor and slightly more limited storage, GPU, and RAM.
An AMD Quad Core Ryzen 3 4300U processor provides the Flex 5 14 with ample power for light video editing with a boost speed up to 3.70 GHz. This CPU offers surprisingly good balance of performance power and speed for a laptop of this price, giving it some incredible value.
Tasks like rendering videos don’t take too much time with this processor, but it may struggle to run several video programs at the same time depending on the programs you use and how large your video files are.
Only 4 GB of RAM come with this model of the Flex, but it can be upgraded to 8 GB, which is the absolute lowest amount of RAM that is recommended for video editing. This upgrade is highly recommended, as 4 GB of RAM is going to cause lag, interruptions, and decrease the speed of your video editing process if your videos are in HD.
Advantageously, the 128 GB SSD does slightly help with exporting speeds but in the long run is not enough storage for a large amount of video files, so like usual with these cheap laptops, you should get an external drive if there is no option to upgrade the storage component. For this model, the storage is able to be upgraded to however much space you need.
The Lenovo Flex 5 14’s GPU is pretty modest, an integrated AMD Radeon Graphics chip that does a decent job. While it’s not the best GPU out there, it’ll be okay for light editing, perhaps for beginners who are still learning about the editing process.
As for the display, since the Flex is a 2 in 1 laptop, it has a 360 degree hinge that allows you to position the display in the most accurate orientation for your editing workflow. The display is a 14 inch FHD IPS touch screen display that doesn’t have a very bright backlight or that wide of a color gamut.
This affects the color accuracy level to some degree, but an HDMI port is available for you to connect an external display to the laptop for more accurate color replication. The lower quality screen is the biggest disadvantage of this laptop when it comes to video editing.
Overall, the Lenovo Flex 5 is a pretty good low budget laptop for video editing if you want a 2 in 1 that can be used for light video editing and would be a good option for beginner video editors who plan to upgrade to a better laptop in the future. If you don’t mind the poor battery life despite its claims of lasting 12 hours and are willing to spend some extra money on upgrading it, the Flex 5 14 can handle more editing processes than you may expect.
3. ASUS Chromebook Flip C434
Display: 14″ NanoEdge Touchscreen | Screen Resolution: FullHD (1920 x 1080) | CPU: Intel Core m3-8100Y
| GPU: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 4GB LPDDR3 | Storage: 32GB eMMC | Battery Life: Up to 10 hours | Weight: 3.2 lbs / 1.5 kg
Another ultra portable option for video editing from ASUS, the Chromebook Flip C434 is a 2 in 1 laptop that is ideal for light editing of smaller videos on the go.
As this laptop runs on the Chrome OS, take note that video editing applications from the Google Play Store are the only programs that you’ll be able to download, but Android and Google have a wide variety of very good quality video editing apps that are both easy and intuitive to use to speed up your workflow.
The Chromebook Flip C434 features an Intel Core m3-8100Y processor, which performs at around half the speed of the Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, but it has a Turbo Boost of up to 3.4 GHz to improve the performance.
With this processor, you’ll only be able to do light video editing, but considering you’ll be working with applications rather than large programs, the speed and performance is good and you will be able to run a couple of apps at the same time without a decrease in performance.
As far as RAM goes, there is only 4 GB of RAM, which could pose a problem when working with higher quality video resolutions. Unfortunately the RAM is soldered on, making it impossible for you to upgrade it.
Later models of the Chromebook Flip C434 have 8 GB of RAM, but if you need to stay under this budget, this is what you’re stuck with. It’s not the absolute worst, but it will definitely slow down your editing process with large video projects and multiple apps open at one time.
The storage aspect of this laptop is slightly disappointing, but considering you’re saving a bit of money, it makes up for it. This is budget laptop model that uses an eMMC storage card. Unfortunately, this card only allows for 32 GB of storage, so you’ll need an additional storage drive, which can be connected to one of the three USB ports.
Transfer speed can be slow at times, especially with big files, so you’ll want to get a very fast storage drive in order to save time during the reading and writing process of your video files. Chromebooks have integrated cloud storage, so this is an added benefit if you use Google Drive to store your files. Additionally, the SD card reader allows for an extra 256 GB of storage to be accessed.
It’s a shame that the processing power isn’t better because the 14 inch touch screen with FHD resolution has excellent color accuracy, covering 93% of the sRGB color gamut, making it perfect for color correcting video footage as well as photos. As it is a touch screen and you’ll be using apps, this speeds up the workflow a lot because the apps are geared towards both mouse users and those who prefer to use their fingers or a stylus on the display.
The GPU is an integrated Intel HD 615, which is one of the weakest graphics chips on the market. Again, with apps in mind, you won’t necessarily need to have a crazily high-performing GPU when doing light video editing.
In addition to this, the C434 has a 360 hinge, allowing you to use it in different orientations, and a mediocre battery life, especially when video is involved. Overall, although being the weakest link out of the three in this price point, if you care mainly about portability and don’t mind using apps to edit your videos, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C434 can be worthwhile to use.
While there are a multitude of laptops out there, the laptop models reviewed here are the best on the market for video editing on a budget in 2021. While the quality, performance, graphics, and other aspects may vary depending on your final specifications, overall, all of these models can be used to edit videos.
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