Written by Jan

Which laptop do you need for video editing?

Are you a filmmaker, animator, or YouTube hobbyist? We're happy to help you choose a you can use for video editing. We'll list what specifications you need for which programs, so you can find the best laptop for you.

Working with video editing programs

To edit and render videos, you work with programs such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, Pinnacle, or Final Cut Pro (for Mac). These are all heavy programs and that demands something from your laptop. Are you looking for a laptop on which you can effortlessly start editing videos? When making your choice, pay attention to the following specifications:

  • Processor: at least Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7
  • RAM: at least 8 gigabytes
  • Screen: minimum full HD (1920 x 1080)

Processor, RAM, and screen resolution

Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen 7 icons with a mountain landscape in the background.

Choose an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processor if you want to get started with heavy video editing programs. This allows you to render video files without problems.

If you work with heavy programs, sufficient RAM ensures that these programs run smoothly. That's why we recommend a laptop with 8 gigabytes of RAM or more.

At least Full HD resolution is a requirement for the screen. Movies are increasingly being shot in 4K, so also consider choosing a laptop with a 4K screen with IPS panel for an even sharper image.

A dedicated video card, yes or no?

Filming a fashion show with a video camera.

To render, edit, and play videos, your laptop needs some extra power from a dedicated video card (an NVIDIA GeForce, Quadro series, AMD Radeon, or FirePro series). It will make video editing software run a bit smoother, and render your movies faster, especially, in 4K. You don't have to, because the processor does most of the heavy lifting, but it's a nice bonus.

Video editing for beginners

Man with red sweater and blue cap takes photo with camera.

If you don't necessarily need demanding and complicated software, or if you have a smaller budget, there are a number of alternatives to consider. You can start with Adobe Premiere Elements, for example, which is actually Premiere Pro for beginners. If you use this on a laptop with an Intel Core i3 or AMD A10 processor, you'll be fine. MacBook users can use iMovie, which is an excellent alternative, which even works well on the 12-inch MacBook with Intel Core m3 processor.

Editing videos on a Chromebook

Acer Chromebook with PowerDirector icon.

Looking for a Chromebook, but you want to edit videos on it? You can. Use apps from the Google Play Store like PowerDirector, or an online program like WeVideo. Keep in mind: you can't install software on a Chromebook that you can install on a Windows laptop or MacBook, as discussed earlier in this article. The same applies to a laptop with the Windows 10 S operating system.

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