Gone are the days when laptops used to be entertainment pieces. Over the years they have become feature-rich and can take on the most difficult of tasks and yes, that includes hard-core video editing.
A laptop gives you the freedom to continue working from a beach, your home, your favorite coffee shop etc. But to enjoy such benefits finding the best laptop for video editing is key and in this article, we’ll tell you how based on a few questions we get asked quite often.
What kind of processor do I need for video editing?
Simply put, an i5 should be able to withstand a medium to low work-rate and won’t hurt the pocket as well. But for professionals wanting to edit movies etc. a 6-core laptop with hyper-threading should serve you well.
Another thing to keep in mind is the clock rate. 3.6Ghz is the highest available and will provide you with unmatched speed (because nobody likes it when it just freezes, right?). 2.5Ghz is the other option which is also quite good.
Do I need a Dedicated graphics card or not?
While a dedicated graphics card isn’t a must it can be handy to have one especially if you’re using FCP X (Final Cut Pro X). That is because you’ll get faster encoding and exporting (don’t tell me you do not love that). But that being said, a good enough graphics card is still a must.
Luckily, even entry-level and mid-level laptops costing as low as $200 offer dedicated graphics card (an offer you do not want to reject). Graphics cards like the NVIDIA GeForce MX130 are best starter’s pick. On the other hand, workstation grade laptops usually come with high-end gaming graphics cards like NVIDIA Quadro or AMD Radeon Pro.
Is 4k resolution screen a must?
You are probably thinking that to edit 4k videos a 4k screen is a must, isn’t it? While that would the ideal pairing, it is not particularly criminal to be editing 4k videos on a full-HD screen either. But anything below a full-HD is simply a big NO.
Next thing on your mind should be the screen size. If you are constantly hustling from place to place a 13-14-inch screen should be ideal as they are lighter and easily fit into any backpack. But anything more than that like a 15-inch or 17-inch screen is definitely worth the few extra bucks for professionals.
SSD or HDD?
Irrespective of the purpose, anyone would want a quick boot and for that, an SSD is a go-to choice. But SSD has got its set of benefits in terms of video editing as well. For example, it makes editing 4K videos a whole lot easier or even playing 2-3 clips simultaneously becomes smoother.
But the bigger the SSD drive the costlier will be your laptop. So unless you have the budget, you would better off with a laptop that comes with a Thunderbolt 3 connection. This will allow for quick transferring of large files to an external HDD freeing you up tons disk space.
Another ideal arrangement would be getting a laptop that offers both an HDD and also an SSD (yes, they exist). These laptops perfectly combine the best of both worlds (speed and space) and provide you with the ultimate workstation that offers the best value for money.
Will a 4 GB RAM Cut it?
Last but not the least, comes one of the most important factors that will determine the speed of your laptop, the RAM, and no, a 4GB RAM may not cut it because data exchange would be rather slow. The higher your RAM configuration the more intense work the laptop can take on.
So for a professional, a 12 GB or 16 GB should be perfect. For low to medium work-rate, an 8 GB RAM should do. Another factor to consider is whether the RAM is a DDR or SDRAM. Preferably, always go for a DDR as they are faster.
A final take
Your CPU and RAM are the two most important deciding factors and then comes the GPU, disk type and size and then the display resolution and size. Apart from that, also make sure the laptop has ample USB ports and the required audio jacks as well.
A lot of the buying decision will depend on your budget and needs. So have your goals set out first, save a few bucks and we are sure you will find the right match.
Image: Laptop for Video Editing from Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock