Welcome to our list of the top budget laptops for video editing in 2022! In this article, you will find a list of 7 affordable, yet powerful laptops that you can edit videos on.
There’s an incorrect prevalent perception that you need fancy equipment and expensive tech to edit high-quality videos. Some self-proclaimed “tech gurus” might tell you that you have to spend thousands of dollars on a video editing setup and build a crazy custom PC laden with RGB lights to get anywhere with your videos.
Let’s clear this misconception right away. You really don’t need to spend that much money on a video editing setup unless you’re a professional that actually needs it. You would just be wasting your hard-earned money on something you don’t need. What you really need is a laptop that gets the job done efficiently and doesn’t break the bank. There are plenty of amazing options available for beginners and buyers on a budget, such as the ones on this list.
If you’re a beginner, a laptop that’s considered budget or entry-level is the best way to go for you. The primary reason (apart from the price of course) is, if you buy a really expensive laptop but then decide that video editing isn’t really for you, you would be wasting way too much money.
Next, training/learning on a budget machine is better as tech gets outdated pretty soon nowadays. If you purchase a laptop with the latest CPU, GPU, and other specs, but then spend a year or two learning everything about video editing, your high-end laptop will start showing its age. By the time you gain experience and start getting into the stuff that actually requires high-end specs, your laptop won’t be able to handle it anymore and you’ll have to upgrade, thereby costing you more money.
Hence, as a beginner, it makes the most sense to buy a budget laptop for video editing and in this list, you will find exactly that. We have curated a list of the 7 best budget video editing laptops in 2022. Taking your time to go through the list and the entire article will help you make a more informed decision that will satisfy you. So without any further ado, let’s begin!
In a hurry? Here are our top 3 picks when it comes to the best budget-friendly laptop for video editing in 2022!
Can a Budget Laptop Handle Video Editing?
You might have this question on your mind while checking out some budget laptops. “This does fit within my budget, but can it handle editing videos?” Your question is completely understandable. After all, what’s the point of buying a laptop and it not being able to do what you want?
Short answer, yes but to a limit.
Now for the long answer. Budget laptops are value-for-money machines that try to get the same job done as high-end machines but at a lower price. Now what happens when you lower the prices of a product is that you often lose out on some of the cutting-edge tech and features. These laptops get the job done, certainly, but they might have a tough time in competing with the latest developments in tech and working on heavy files (more than 4K or higher frame rates).
With this, we get back to the point made in the introduction of this article. Ask yourself if you really need a laptop that can render 8K video. It’s very likely that you don’t. If your needs are standard high-quality video editing, simple compositing in After Effects, and maybe light photo editing, a budget laptop will work perfectly for you. They can run software like Premiere Pro, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Davinci Resolve, Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.
These laptops come with sufficient CPU and GPU power, enough storage, and useful features that are integral for editing videos. Nothing more, nothing less. Plus, the money you save on buying a laptop can be used to purchase the licenses for these softwares.
Regardless, you always have the option of upgrading in the future if you feel the need for a stronger laptop. So to answer your question, yes budget laptops can handle video editing.
What are the Minimum Recommended Specifications for Video Editing?
While any old laptop can edit videos using Windows Movie Maker or iMovie, to edit and render professional, high-quality videos along with some compositing, you will need better specs than your average laptop. If you try to edit large 4K or 8K files on a standard laptop, it would take you ages to actually get anything done, not to mention that those laptops may crash, leaving you annoyed and frustrated.
Your laptop should be able to run the latest version of editing software like Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Davinci Resolve without any issues. The makers of this software list down certain minimum requirements to use their software and going below those requirements will give you a less than desirable experience.
Now, remember, these are the minimum requirements. We recommend choosing a laptop that is at least a step above these requirements to avoid any problems while using it and also to future-proof your laptop for at least a couple of years. Buying a laptop that has at least these specs will allow you to edit videos on it and work out a smooth workflow without frustration.
Let’s take a look at the minimum specs you need to edit videos properly in 2022:
- RAM: Minimum 8 GB RAM, but aim for 16 GB of RAM. 32 GB works great if you plan on editing huge files.
- CPU: Latest Intel or AMD chipset which is at least a quad-core. Try to get 6 to 10 cores.
- Storage (ROM): A 256GB SSD is the bare minimum with a 512 GB SSD being a standard option for manufacturers.
- Graphics Card: Some people might say that you can work with a 2GB graphics card. Don’t listen to those people. You’ll need a 4GB graphics card preferably from Nvidia to get any real work done.
7 Best Budget Laptops for Video Editing in 2022
You’re now familiar with why you should go with a budget laptop for video editing, what the minimum specs should be, and the fact that yes budget laptops can handle video editing. Now would be a good time to introduce you to our list of 7 top budget laptops for video editing in 2022.
1. Apple MacBook Air Laptop with the Apple M1 Chip – Best Overall
Cutting the ceremonial ribbon, we have the 2020 Apple Macbook Air with the new M1 chip. It tops our list of the best budget laptops for video editing in 2022 due to its high performance, value for money specs, Apple’s incredible reputation and support, sublime quality, and attention to detail.
- CPU:8 Core Apple M1 Chip
- GPU: 7 or 8 Core GPU
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: 256 GB or 512 GB SSD
- Display: 13 inch Retina Display (2560×1600 resolution)
- Battery Life: Up to 18 hours
Why is this the best budget laptop for video editing in 2022?
Okay, okay, hold your horses. We know what you’re thinking. An apple product on a budget laptop list? Seems antithetical. So yes, having a MacBook on the list might be surprising, but hear us out. We’ve gone with the 2020 Macbook Air (M1) as our pick for the best overall budget laptop for video editing. As far as budget laptops go, this one might seem a little on the border between budget and premium, but it’s worth every penny.
The MacBook Air was once the laptop you’d get if you couldn’t afford its bigger brother, the Macbook Pro, but things are different now. With the introduction of Apple’s M1 Chip, the Macbook Air has become a strong product on its own. It can do nearly everything that its superior can do, but in a thinner, more affordable form factor.
The display is pristine, the build quality is premium and the laptop is a beast that can gobble up almost anything you throw at it. Not to mention that it’s an apple product, so you know it will measure up to their high standards of quality. For all these reasons, the 2020 Apple Macbook Air (M1 Chip) is our choice for the best budget laptop for video editing in 2022.
2. ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop – Runner Up
We’ve chosen the Asus Zenbook 13 as our Runner Up. It is an excellent notebook that has everything you’ll need to edit videos and so much more. One of its unique features is that it has a number pad built into the trackpad. The Asus Zenbook 13 is a complete package for video editors and comes at a fairly reasonable price.
- CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7
- RAM: 8 GB
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
- Display: 13.3” OLED FHD NanoEdge Display
- Battery Life: Up to 13 hours
3. Lenovo Yoga 720 2-in-1 13.3″ FHD IPS Touch-Screen Ultrabook – Budget Pick
The third laptop on our list is our budget pick among these laptops. The Lenovo Yoga 720 manages to fit in everything you really need into a solid deal that’s hard to refuse. It has a touch screen display that you rotate backward to turn it into a tablet on the go.
- CPU: 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7200U
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620
- Display: 13.3″ Full HD touch screen
- Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
At number 4, we have the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 which is a quality budget offering from Dell. The laptop is light, yet sturdy, thanks to the magnesium alloy used in its construction. The power button and fingerprint reader are the same buttons, which is a great way to integrate the fingerprint reader into the laptop naturally.
- CPU: 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4
- Storage: 256 GB NVMe Solid State Drive
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
- Display: 15.6 Inches (1920 x 1080 resolution)
- Battery Life: Up to 9 hours
Moving on, we have the Samsung Notebook 7 at number four. This laptop features a sleek and clean design. The Samsung Notebook 7 gets Dolby Atmos speakers for enhanced sound quality.
- CPU: Intel Core i7
- RAM: 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM
- Storage: Up to 512GB SSD
- GPU: NVIDIA MX 250
- Display: Full HD 13.3” Screen
- Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
6. Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop – Premium Pick
The Lenovo Legion 5 is our choice for the best premium budget laptop on this list. While the Legion 5 is said to be a gaming laptop and is marketed as such, it can also be used for video editing. You might be aware that most gaming laptops make great creative laptops due to their high-performance numbers and the Lenovo Legion 5 is no different.
With its outstanding graphics and heavy computing power, it can easily gobble up any video editing task that you throw at it. Unlike other laptops, gaming laptops have their main focus on performance, display quality, and graphics, which helps them translate over to video and photo editing so easily.
- CPU: AMD 3.2 Ryzen_7
- RAM: 16 DDR4
- Storage: 512GB SSD
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB
- Display: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS display
- Battery Life: Up to 8 hours
Last, but certainly not the last, we arrive at the Asus TUF Dash 15, which has proven itself to be one of the highest-performing laptops of 2021. This is yet another gaming laptop that has managed to win creators’ hearts all around the world. Its slim, sturdy body along with the crazy good performance it offers makes it a strong contender for your attention.
Being a gaming laptop, you get lots of ports for easy connectivity without the need for adapters. Asus claims that the laptop holds up to the “toughness” in its name, with the laptop being tested for drops, humidity, shakes, high heat, and cold temperatures.
- CPU: Intel Core i7-11370H
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 RAM
- Storage: 512GB SSD
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB GDDR6
- Display: 15.6” 144Hz IPS-Type Full HD (1920×1080)
- Battery Life: Up to 16.6 hours
How to Choose the Best Budget Laptop for Video Editing in 2022?
Well, we’ve given you the basic requirements you need and the best laptops you can buy on a budget, all you really need now is to apply that knowledge and we’ll show you how. What’s coming up is a detailed buyer’s guide to choosing and purchasing the best budget laptop for video editing in 2022.
You can’t really let any aspect go while looking at a laptop for video editing. You will need an all-around performer to edit your videos. Possibly the only place you might be open to compromise is in the display that comes with the laptop, using an external monitor as a workaround solution. However, that doesn’t hold up either if you’re planning on using your laptop to edit videos on the go. This means that you have to focus on each department while looking at a possible laptop.
Now how much priority you give to each department depends entirely on your individual usage and requirements, starting from the size of files you work with to how long your days outside are.
Most users will edit their videos in 1080p as it is currently the most widely used resolution for video. For editing videos at 1080p resolution, you can go ahead with any laptop on the list, even at their starting models/prices. 8GB RAM and a good GPU would be plenty to edit 1080p videos.
You won’t need too much storage either and can suffice with 256 gigs of SSD storage but you can always use an external USB drive to store your videos too. We still recommend going with 512 gigs of SSD storage as a minimum. Since your main priority is editing videos at 1080p, a 1080p Full HD display works best for you and will get you the results you need.
However, if you’re a professional or enthusiast who has to edit 4K video, you’ll have to choose a more powerful variant of the laptops offered here. 4K video is essentially 4 times the HD resolution, so you can imagine how much power you’ll need.
You can’t go lower than 16 gigs of RAM and 4 GB of VRAM to edit 4K footage. 4K videos take up a lot of space, just a minute of 4K video at 24 fps in the H264 format can take up 270 MB! So, 512GB SSD is a must for you and we recommend a 1TB SSD, but this will drive the prices up. Instead, you can use a fast external SSD to store your 4K footage. The display of the laptop you buy obviously needs a color-corrected 4K display too.
If you’re planning on using this laptop on the run, you’ll want a battery that supports your adventures. This is unfortunately where most of these laptops have their weakness. Something like a Macbook Pro M1 is unbeatable when it comes to battery life.
Don’t fret, even if the battery life of the other laptops seems unimpressive, most of them charge quickly and can get back up and running quickly. Regardless, since they all still get at least 6-7 hours of battery life per charge, a quick fix could be that you can edit for say 5 hours, then take an hour-long break and let them charge somewhere.
Quick Tip: If your main usage is pure video editing using Premiere Pro, focus more on the CPU of your laptop. Whereas if you do a lot of color correction, 3D rendering, or just use Davinci Resolve a lot, prioritize the GPU along with the CPU for the best possible performance.
We’ve reached the end of this article and we hope that you will leave here feeling more informed and confident about making a good choice for your laptop purchase.
Let’s go through a quick recap of everything we’ve covered in this article:
- You don’t need to drill a hole in your pocket to get a capable machine to edit videos on.
- Budget laptops are the best options for beginner editors.
- Budget laptops can indeed handle professional video editing software.
- You now know the minimum specs required for buying a video editing laptop.
- There are plenty of amazing laptops for video editing in the budget range.
- The Apple Macbook Air with the new M1 chip is currently the best budget laptop for video editing on the market.
- If you’re really on a strict budget, then the Lenovo Yoga 720 is the laptop for you.
- The specs of the laptop you buy for video editing ultimately depend on the quality of the videos that you are going to edit on it.
- Standard variants of the laptops are sufficient for 1080p editing, while the top models of these laptops are mandatory for editing 4K footage.
- While the battery life is very important, laptops usually don’t come with a lot of it. You can fix this by taking breaks every few hours and charging your laptop.
That list sure summarizes everything easily.
In conclusion, we’d just like to say that it is possible to edit high quality videos on budget laptops. So don’t get discouraged by your budget, get a laptop from this list, start perfecting your craft and eventually you’ll grow enough to have a budget to afford high end machines too. Farewell and happy editing!