Best Computer For Video Editing:Definitive Buyer’s Guide(2018)
There are tons of products that were released this particular year, 2018, than any year before then as long as I can remember. And, each one of those was either based on ultra portability or highest performance that can be crammed into a laptop. For the Best Computer For Video Editing, we have compiled a list of the most power-packed and highest configured models. This gives an edge over entry-level products that are meant for just entry-level tasks.
How much does a video editing computer cost?
Now, if you are really getting into content creation as a beginner, and you have a tight budget, any entry-level gaming laptop is also quite suitable for it, except that you will need to bump up the RAM a bit. An entry level laptop would cost you $800 and that will come with NVIDIA GTX 1050 with up to 8 GB RAM or a weaker 940 MX with a 16 GB RAM. But, in this case, you will need a better screen nevertheless for good color calibration. So, considering all these, another $100 would be a good investment.
5 Best Computer For Video Editing: Comparison table, list, top picks
There are certain things like the raw specifications that can be read out of the box itself. Does it give the preliminary idea of how good in multitasking the computer is? A 4 core CPU or even 6 cores is great at multitasking and, this great for video editing laptop also. Then, comes performance and user experience, e.g. thermals, convenience of the keyboard and other things. These affect the end user always.
How we picked & tested?
Thus, we picked up the below models for 2018. So, have a look at them.
- Microsoft Surface Studio.
- Apple MacBook Pro 13.
- Apple 21.5″ iMac Retina Desktop.
- Microsoft Surface Book 2.
- Apple MacBook Pro 15.4.
So, these are picked using the best in class display cards, graphics memory, and the screen that are available in the market. The cost is not considered here.
Best video editing laptop: Which one you should choose
In order to make a list of potential candidates for the best video editing laptop 2018 guide, we have to consider, as mentioned above, sheer raw multitasking power. For simple video editing, even 940 MX or Intel HD is ok, but for 3D CAD and other rendering stuff, you need a desktop and a lot of cooling.
Top 1 Apple iMac Pro 27″ Reviews – sheer power
As a general tip, the most expensive laptop in the market is the best for video editing because it will come with the best screen, high RAM, powerful CPU for multitasking, higher clock speeds and everything more than a lower-priced desktop and laptop. Else, go for your best budget.
This is simply the best and the beast in the market. It comes with an 8 Core CPU, nothing but the Intel Xeon. That means you are going to get a huge boost in multitasking. If this can’t handle, then nothing else will. It is also available with quad-core.
The features include one of the best graphics cards in the market, the AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56 with 8 GB HBM2 memory that is complemented with 32 GB of 2666MHz RAM. This comes with a 1 Terabyte of SSD, not SATA hard disk drive in all, a great video editing laptop.
- A large, high-calibrated 27″ screen
- It is a Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display
- 8 core CPU with 3.2 GHz each
- 1TB SSD storage, simply humongous
- The most powerful Radeon Pro Vega 56 with 8GB HBM2 memory
- Extremely high cost, for initial level and beginners
- You need high cooling and power requirements
- It is a desktop, not a laptop
Why it is a top pick?
This is the top pick in our guide to best video editing laptops because of the specs. These are simply monstrous and you cannot find a commercial desktop that is better than this. But, it is not for all only for big organizations, senior video editors, and graphic designers only.
Top 2 Microsoft Surface Studio reviews – the most complete
It is one of the most complete video editing laptops on the market, even more than Apple, because, it gives you the flexibility, versatility, and portability. You can use it as a desktop or a drawing tablet with Surface Pen; carry it easily to your office and more. It has monster power too.
The Surface Studio comes with all wireless accessories. The screen is a 28-inch monitor with 5K resolution and NVIDIA GeForce cards that are great for 3D simulations, CAD, and video editing. This makes it a beast with plenty of customizable options. It folds into a touch screen tablet too.
- 28 inch 4500 x 3000 Pixel Sense monitor
- 7 GHz, i7 CPU
- 32 GB RAM DDR5
- 4 GB of NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980M
- It has 2 TB of hybrid SSD and SATA
- Windows 10 Pro out of the box
- The GPU 980 M is a high-end offering, but dated, released in 2014
- It is A+ for the price point, but not the best
This is one of the best video editing laptop in the market for the price point. NVIDIA is a better option for gaming and 3D CAD stuff, so great for video editing. It can be used as a touch screen laptop laying it straight on the table. No one does that, I bet.
Top 3 MacBook PRO 13 reviews – best smallest laptop
This is the Mac Book Pro, 13-inch model that made the comeback with the Touchbar. This was a nice innovation to make something more convenient, but you will need to get used to it. The specs are fine, good for entry-level video editing work. The build quality is great.
It comes with 8 GB of RAM and core i5 clocked at 2.9 GHz. Now, this particular configuration with integrated graphics from Intel is great for computing, but not so much for graphics work. Though, for entry-level video editing, it is great. And, if you are switching from an $800 model, you will love it.
- 16 GB of onboard RAM is great
- i5 at 2.9 GHz is not so much, but fine
- 256 GB SSD is also quite a downside, but SSD is still better than SATA
- A great build, a fantastic screen, but pricey
- 4 core CPU and integrated graphics, not so great
One of the best things about this is the form factor. You get a lot of good things into a small form factor and no one can do that so well. You can carry a beast inside your backpack and do all the video editing you want.
Top 4 Apple 21.5” iMac reviews – hassle free laptop
This is the Retina 4K panel on the desktop, simply the best-calibrated monitor for graphic design and video editing, especially if color reproduction matters to you. If you can spend more, than this is a great office desktop for your junior graphics guy.
It is core i5, though at 3.1 GHz. The graphics options are not much and you have to stick to the integrated card. So, there is a great combination and you don’t have to worry about software issues with cards not syncing properly and all.
- 4 core i5 at 3.1 GHz, higher than any other in the market
- 4 K Retina Screen
- 5″ monitor
- 8 GB RAM is not much, but okay for entry-level work
- RAM is on the low end, must upgrade if possible to 32 GB
- i5 is again not apt, i7 should be fine
A great build quality and the hassle-free combination of components. It is apt for your junior graphic designer and video editor in the office. There are certainly better options at his price range. However, it has one of the best screens in the market, like no other.
Top 5 Microsoft Surface Book 2 reviews – makes life simpler
This is the 2nd version of the Surface Book. A portable multitasking and video editing laptop that offers a lot for the price point compared to an iMac or Mac Book. If you are hooked to Windows and don’t want to switch to Mac, go for it.
This was a 16 GB and i7 combination that was much more powerful than the Mac Book Pro. So, for Windows users, this was the choice. Again, you could undock it and use as a tablet, which was an added bonus. It also had discrete GPU, an edge higher than a MacBook.
- 8th gen 4 core i7 CPU, best in class
- 17 hours of battery life
- 6 GB of NVIDIA GTX 1060 discrete GPU
- PixelSense Display 15″ screen
- A touch screen tablet, when un-docked from the hinges
- Windows, not a Mac, so not for Mac users
- Slightly smaller track pad than MacBook
This is the best alternative to the MacBook, if you are used to Windows. While being more powerful in every segment than the MacBook at the same price segment, it delivers a tablet with Surface Pen. These make the life of a video editor and graphic designer much easier.
Top 6 Apple MacBook 15.4 Retina Display reviews – best midranger Mac
This is the 15.4-inch Retina display, MacBook that comes with all the goodness like Force Touch, i7 processor and more. In all, this is a great mid-range for video editing laptops. It does a great job with 3D CAD work too. The price is heavy on the pocket too.
With 16 GB RAM and a dedicated AMD Radeon R9, this MacBook offers more for gamers too. You can do all the games, latest titles on it at high frame rates. But, with the great calibrated screen, video editing is fun too. It is a portable powerhouse.
- 16 GB RAM DDR3
- 1 TB flash storage
- 4 220 PPI, less than Surface Book
- Both Intel Iris graphics, integrated
- AMD Radeon R9 2GB DDR5
- 8 GHz, i7 4 core CPU, can be overclocked to 4 GHz
- Less discrete graphics, but automatic switching between integrated and discrete
- Quite expensive for the raw specs
It is quite expensive for the raw specs, but has all the goodness of a Mac. It is the high precision touchpad, great screen; great build quality, the latest OS X and more. It is great to carry around and quite portable for a powerful mid-range video editing laptop, if you can afford.
Top 7 HP Spectre x360 reviews – surface book competitor
It is great value for money combination under the hood. A very fast processor, mid-range, but discrete graphics card better than the integrated ones, and overall a great deal. For the price point, you have a good video editing laptop. It is comparable to Surface Book, much better than the MacBook on paper.
A lot of novelties such as 4 separate Sang Olufsen speakers, 4K Gorilla Glass IPS touch screen panel, 1 TB of SSD NVMe and paired with 4 GB of Vega Class AMD GPUs, it is a beast in the segment. Very much comparable to Surface Book and must buy for Windows lovers.
- HP Active Stylus, HP Image pad
- 2x8GB SDRAM
- 2 Thunderbolt 3
- 4 GB Radeon™ RX Vega M Graphics
- Core™ i7-8705G 3.1 GHz, 8th Gen
- HP TrueVision FHD IR Camera
- Fast charge, 7 hours battery life
- A mid-range graphics card, still better than MacBook and Surface Book
- Not removable touch screen, unlike Surface Book
- Low battery life
This is one of the best affordable laptops in the market that offers more than Mac and Surface. It is definitely A+ for the price point, though, has a bit of shavings here and there, but if you are a Windows person, it’s the mid-range best video editing laptop.
Top 8 HP Spectre x360 reviews – toned down of above model
This is a toned down version of the above model. Again, A+ for the price point and more than any Mac or Surface can offer to you. Of course, it runs Windows 10. The graphics is same as the UHD integrated graphics in low-end Surface laptops.
Equipped with 16 GB RAM and NVIDIA GTX MX150, this time it offers more battery life and entry-level video editing at $1000. Only a few laptops at $800 have a more capable NVIDIA 1050. But, this has more for video editing and graphic designers e.g. the HP Active Stylus.
- Core™ i7-8550U 1.8 GHz, overclocked to 4GHz, 8th gen
- 512 SSD (1 TB above)
- HP Wide Vision FHD IR Camera
- HP Stylus Pen
- Bang & Olufsen 2 chamber speakers
- 6″ 4K IPS eDP micro-edge, supports Microsoft Ink
- Lacks a powerful graphics card, 1050 or 1060 GTX would be better
- Unremovable screen for stylus work
This is focused on portability, improved battery life, and versatility. At $1000, it offers more to the end-user in terms of video editing convenience. The latest 4 core processors with 16 GB of RAM is great for an ultra-portable video editing laptop. The gaming experience suffers with MX150, though.
Top 9 Apple iMac 27” Latest Version reviews – mid range iMac
It is the fastest out-of-the-box processor from the iMac, at this price segment, even compared to Windows counterparts like Spectre and Surface. Though, it is 4 core i5 CPU, which might be a letdown for some. The video graphics are mid-end, and so is the RAM.
It comes with 2 TB Fusion Drive, a combination of SSD and SATA. It helps to faster read-write. The performance on gaming is comparable to NVIDIA 1060. But, the memory of both graphics and RAM is 8 GB, which is a plus side for the video editing fans and gamers alike.
- 27″ 5K color-calibrated panel
- 8 GB DDR4 RAM
- 8 GB Radeon Pro 580 from AMD
- 8 GHz, Core i5
- 2 TB of Fusion Drive, 1 TB SSD, 1 TB SATA
- Unparalleled build quality
- Latest Mac OS
- At this price point, you can get better graphics power
- Also, i7 or i9 would be great, i5 still rocks with 3.8 GHz base clock speed
It is one of the most affordable iMac, in my opinion. It is great at everything. So, for junior and newcomers in your graphic design agency, get them the desktop computers. A lot of video editing, 3D CAD work, programming and everything you want, it can do that fine.
Top 10 Asus Zenbook 3 12″ reviews – ultraportable laptop
This is an ultraportable laptop that can be configured and scaled to include the 7th gen i7 processors and up to 16 GB of RAM. This is a wonderful combination given a chassis that is small enough for carrying around and for video editing on the fly. It has a great screen too.
Crafter from premium aerospace-grade aluminum, it is sturdy as hell. The battery life extends up to 9 hours of mixed usage. It has ultra-slim borders, and Gorilla Glass protected FHD display. It also has 4 separate Harman Kardon speaker chambers for vivid entertainment and audio video editing.
1. 12.5 inch IPS panel, FHD, Corning Gorilla Glass
2. 7th Gen Kabylake Core i5, base 2.5GHz, turbo 3.1 GHz
3. Liquid-crystal fan, the alloy-copper heat pipe
4. Less than 2lbs weight
1. Lacks powerful GPU, e.g. NVIDIA or AMD cards
2. Lacks touch screen or stylus support like Spectre or Dell XPX 13
This laptop is one of the best in the market in terms of the price factor. Though it lacks GPU, it still packs a punch for video editing. For gaming and 3D video rendering, it is not that great with integrated Iris Graphics from Intel. But, photo editing, video editing; multitasking is all great with it. It is a great video editing laptop.
In all, there is always a trade-off between the price point and what you get in return. With cheaper products, you can get higher configurations, but Mac users find it hard to use Windows, so that is that. So, iMac and Surface are best of both worlds.
Choice time: I will choose Surface Book 2 and you?
It is always a choice between what you are more comfortable with and works for you when you are actually using it, the way you use it. A great build quality might matter to some, while convenience matters to me, as a video editing, drawing, and graphic design work. In all, portability is the key to make it the best video editing laptop.
One point being I’m used to the Windows and it comes easily to me. When it comes to convenience, such as using certain keyboard, the shortcuts, the ways the keys are arranged, the travel between them and so on. For some, a big track pad is necessary, while many would use a separate wireless mouse. So, it matters from the usage policy, OS, and UI.
Plus, it has a lot to offer at a smaller price point. It offers a great convenience when working on a tablet and a laptop, and switching between the two. It is difficult to work on a desktop computer if you want to draw and sketch something. A separate drawing tablet like Wacom Intuos is built into the Surface, which makes it my ideal choice. Again, it comes with its own $100, Surface Pen that has great value.
I wouldn’t trade that for anything. It is a portable beast. When you see the ways you can handle the Surface Book that offers by the way up to 17 hours of mixed usage, it naturally becomes your go-to choice. A desktop is a desktop and a laptop is a laptop. The Surface Books have been built keeping that one thing in mind. You do have a low-priced Surface Laptop too. This makes it my video editing laptop in 2018.
Short buying guide: How to choose a computer for photo/video editing?
A quick guide below gives you a lot of insight into top 2 priorities while purchasing a video editing laptop.
Some of the important considerations that you need to make when looking for a great video editing laptop is mentioned here. I would first like to take some excerpts from the online users and reviewers and then proceed towards making a brief summary.
The most neglected pieces of the component in your laptop are the hard disk. Most of the time, people think only of the storage, while storage is important, video read, write and other things depend on the type of your hard drive. Whenever it comes to choosing between a SATA and an SSD, go for the SSD. If you are buying a laptop worth more than $1000, you are getting one anyway, but the problem lies with desktops and some of the laptops which still stick to SATA. For a video editing job, spend some bucks and get a smaller SSD, than a 1 TB of SATA.
Over the course of time, you will understand the difference, if you compare the both.
The next biggest thing to consider is the RAM size. Mostly, an 8 GB is the entry-level option, but go for 12 or 16 GB is possible, else look for the ones that can be upgradable, that is without fusing RAM slots. In many ultra books, the RAM slots are fused with the on-board RAM, and cannot be changed. Avoid them at all costs.
Again, look for better and faster like DDR5 or DDR4 RAMS. Look for better speeds. A 16 GB of RAM paired with 4 or 6GB of VRAM from GPU is the best combination. So, mostly you get a 4GB of AMD or NVIDIA. Opt for this combination, and later upgrade the RAM to 16, and you are good to go.
While these are costly investments, look for cheaper gaming laptops, to get the same specs.
Mac vs. PC
It is always for PC users to make a choice because if you have the money to buy, you can get the best Mac. Again, as I had mentioned above, many times, it’s all about what you are acquainted with. With the new Surface Books, Windows PC users also have the best specs that Macs have, at relatively lower costs. But, again Mac OS, Apple ecosystem is different from Windows.
It is always a matter of how much you can afford, and what is your priority. A guy for 3D modeling and CAD needs a certain hardware than an image editing person. A video editing person needs less than a video creator.
Know more about: Read best desktop computer ultimate buyer’s guide
To get the best deals and the best video editing laptop guide 2018, look at the latest releases on Amazon, for example. And, compare the specs as we have mentioned in the above article. Then, figure out what you need the most of them. Then, it makes sense to invest your money. It is a matter of the budget, many times.
In my opinion, there are tons of products that offer entry-level to mid-range video editing laptops. These always include the gaming laptops. Although, the Razer Blade 15.6 that is priced around $3000, is the beast in the market. It comes with NVIDIA 1070 MaxQ and 16 GB RAM or 32 GB RAM. It has one of the best screens of 2018 too. If you use a Mac or Windows, now you know which one to buy.