Video editing is a demanding task for a laptop. New formats like 4K come with very large file sizes and running through editing software needs a lot of power. If you don’t have the right laptop, you’ll run into a lot of technical issues. However, it isn’t just the specs you need to think about when choosing a laptop for video editing – you also need to consider things like the display and the user experience. Without a good display, you won’t be able to get a real sense of the finished product. A slow, frustrating laptop that is annoying to use will make the whole process take much longer.
So, picking the right laptop is essential for anybody that uses video editing software regularly. Unfortunately, a lot of people simply don’t know where to start because there are so many elements you need to get right. There is also a bigger range of laptops available than ever before, and the introduction of laptop tablets has made things even more confusing. However, don’t worry, this guide will help you make sense of it all. These are the key things to look out for when buying a laptop for video editing.
First up, processing power. Running high-resolution videos through complex video editing software takes a lot of power. If you have a budget laptop with a slow processor, it will crash as soon as you try to load a video into the editing program. You will need to look at the higher end of the spectrum where processing power is concerned. Laptops with an Intel Evo processor are some of the most powerful on the market right now and they are more than capable of handling these applications. The high-end AMD processors are also good for video editing.
As well as the processor, you need to check how much RAM the laptop has too, as this affects speed. A budget laptop will have 4GB of RAM, which is fine for basic tasks but not powerful enough for applications like design software or video editing programs. Look for at least 8GB of RAM if you want editing software to run smoothly.
You need good storage to save all of your edited videos and the associated files. If the laptop drive is full, it will slow it down considerably and make editing more difficult. Ideally, if you’re editing a lot of high-quality videos, you need 1TB of storage, preferably SSD instead of HDD. Anything less than this will put a strain on the laptop.
You don’t need a high-resolution screen to view your Instagram feed, but if you’re editing video, you need a high-end display. It’s important that you can see the small details and if you are editing a 4K video, you need to be able to watch it back in high-definition.
Some laptops are available with a 4K resolution, but these will be very expensive. If you regularly work with videos of this resolution, it’s worth the investment. However, if you are editing content for YouTube or social media, for example, it won’t display in such high resolution and you can go for something a bit cheaper. Either way, you should still go for at least 1600 x 900 (HD+) resolution if you are working with a lot of videos.
A tiny screen is a nightmare for editing video. You won’t be able to see any detail and the advanced controls on the software will be hard to make sense of. The average laptop screen is 15-17 inches, while compact options range from 11-14 inches. If you are using it for video editing, you should aim for the higher end of the average, at the very least.
However, it’s not just as simple as getting the biggest screen that you can because you have to consider portability too. If you only work at home at a desk, get the biggest screen you can. However, what if you like to work in cafes or you take your laptop back and forth between home and the office? In that case, having a giant laptop can be a bit inconvenient, and you may be better with a slightly smaller option.
Video Editing Software
Finally, consider what kind of video editing software you use. Some software will run easily on pretty much any laptop (provided it isn’t too old) while others will need a brand-new laptop to run the latest version. Usually, this isn’t a problem as long as you are using the latest version of the operating system. Adobe Premiere Pro, for example, will run on anything as far back as Windows 7. However, you should always double-check that your chosen software will run on your new laptop before you buy it.
Follow this checklist and you can pick out the perfect laptop for your video editing needs.