In this article, we’ll highlight our picks for the best video editing laptops on the market today, then go over the main points a potential buyer will want to consider in choosing the right mobile workstation.
The Editors’ Choice award recognizes exceptional video production equipment, software and services. These products must help videographers be more effective storytellers while being affordable, easy to use and dependable. The products must also deliver a superior user experience.
Best budget laptop
HP 15.6″ ProBook G7 Laptop
The HP 15.6″ ProBook G7 Laptop houses a 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7-10510U quad-core processor and has a 15.6″ IPS Display and 256GB PCIe M.2 SSD. It’s able to run multiple applications simultaneously and lasts up to 13.5 hours on a single charge. If you’re looking for an affordable laptop to perform basic video editing, the HP 15.6″ ProBook G7 Laptop is a great option.
Best portable laptop
MSI Creator 15
Design specifically for creators, the MSI Creator 15 features a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7-10875H eight-core processor, a 15.6″ Full HD IPS Display and 512GB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD. In total, the laptop weighs just 4.19 lb. Despite its small size, the MSI Creator 15 can handle demanding creative workflows. It’s also fitted with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards, so it works as a gaming laptop as well. Additionally, the MSI Creator 15’s 99.9 Whr battery lasts up to nine hours on a single charge.
Overall, the MSI Creator 15 is a well-rounded, portable laptop perfect for creators working on the go.
Best performance laptop
HP Zbook Studio 15.6” G8
You would be hard-pressed to find a more powerful laptop than the HP Zbook Studio 15.6″ G8 Mobile Workstation. Not only does it house the Powered by the 2.3 GHz Intel Core i&-11800H Eight-Core CPU, it also features the NVIDIA Quadro T1200 graphics card and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. As for its display, the laptop has a 15.6″ 3840 x 2160 DreamColor HDR IPS display that covers 100% of DCI-P3 color gamut, delivering detailed color accuracy. The HP Zbook Studio 15.6″ G8 is a clear powerhouse and an excellent tool for on-the-go video editors.
Best laptop for editors who also love to game
Acer Predator Triton 500
The Acer Predator Triton 500 is a 15.6-inch Full HD laptop built with an all-metal chassis and narrow bezels that measuring in at just 6.3mm. Its battery life can last up to 8 hours. The laptop features up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU with Max-Q design, up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, NVMe PCIe RAID 0 SSDs and up to 32GB DDR4 memory. Also, its 15.6-inch 300-nit IPS display offers a 144Hz refresh rate in overdrive at 3ms.
The Predator Triton 500 sports Acer’s cooling system, which includes 4th Gen AeroBlade and Acer Coolboost tech. Acer claims the 3D metal fans will increase airflow by 45 percent. That should keep them cool during long gaming sessions and while playing more demanding titles. Later this year, Acer will release the PredatorSense mobile app, allowing users to control the notebooks with a smartphone. Users will be able to control settings for overclocking, fan speeds, lighting and audio modes.
How do you choose?
Some features will be important for any workstation: processing power, graphics processing, memory, and storage. But choosing a portable computer differs from picking a desktop model in a number of ways. Mobile workstations are generally more limited in potential hardware upgrades than their desktop counterparts, so you’ll want to make sure your mobile build will meet your needs right out of the box.
The first choice you’ll need to make is what operating system you want to use. Windows and MacOS are both great choices, however, Apple offers the option of using Final Cut Pro (FCP), which might be important if you are currently using a Mac with FCP to edit your videos.
Screen size and screen resolution are also important factors in your purchase decision. A 15-inch workstation is an ideal size because it is large enough to see everything you need to but compact enough to fit in a backpack. However, a 13-inch model is an option if you need something smaller and slightly more cost-effective. A 17-inch screen will be quite large — good for workspace real estate but bad for travel. Resolution-wise if you are shooting in 4K, editing on a 4K display is ideal.
As for battery life; the more the better. The editor-on-the-go will want enough power to keep working through a long flight or those hours tucked away in a remote location. Video editing suites use a lot of processing power and as such use a lot of battery power when not plugged in.
The editor-on-the-go will want enough power to keep working through a long flight or those hours tucked away in a remote location.
Mobile workstations are also frequently used with a wide range of peripheral devices, from external hard drives to secondary monitors, so input/output ports are important to think about as well. Another key point to assess is portability; if you’re lugging the computer around, weight shouldn’t be overlooked. Weight-wise something that weighs around six pounds or less is a good choice for portability. These are all factors to consider in determining the right mobile workstation for you.
Look for a machine with a quality CPU, enough RAM, a solid GPU and enough storage when shopping for your next laptop. Your machine needs to work around your workflow and should meet your specific needs. Research your options and pick what works best for you.
Contributors to this article include Odin Lindblom, Erik Fritts, Chris Settineri and the Videomaker Editorial Staff.
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