Who said that you can’t edit video on a budget? We’ve selected top 5 best laptops for video editing that cost less than $700 and have everything you need to turn raw footage into a popular YouTube video.
Of course, there are certain things you can’t reasonably expect a $700 laptop to do—or at least do it well. While all laptops featured below have enough processing power for cutting video clips, converting video files to different formats, and applying basic video filters, more sophisticated video effects are out of their league.
Are budget laptops a good choice for video editing then? We think they absolutely are. For most people, the equipment they use won’t ever be a limiting factor. And even if you become one of those few video editors who need the processing power of the latest top-of-the-line processors and graphics cards, you can always sell your current laptop at a small loss and upgrade to something better.
Acer Aspire E 15
The Acer Aspire E 15 is not a great-looking laptop—we admit it. But good looks are not what Acer was going for. This laptop is all about delivering as much value for your money as possible. That’s why it features Intel’s 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor clocked at up to 4 GHz, 8 GB of dual-channel memory, a 258 GB SSD, and the GeForce MX150 dedicated graphics card from Nvidia.
The laptop has a large battery that can keep it running for up to 15 hours on a charge, and it features a convenient access door on the bottom that lets you upgrade the hard drive and memory with ease—not something you see on many modern laptops, but something many users will definitely welcome.
Thanks to the laptop’s 15.6-inch full HD display, you can edit video without constantly fighting for space, and Acer TrueHarmony sound technology delivers true-to-life audio quality for the days when you don’t have your headphones around.
Microsoft Surface Laptop
The original Surface Laptop is an excellent choice for getting started in video editing. It has more than enough power to get you started, but most importantly, has a large and clear screen for looking at the details you need to see. With a 13.5-inch PixelSense display, you’ll get the clarity you need to crop, cut, and edit different effects for your video.
The display is touchscreen as well, which gives you slightly better control over your storyline or board. It has 8GB of RAM as well, so you should have no trouble maneuvering through your video editor.
ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH55
If you would rather trade some performance for a high-end design, the ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH55 is an excellent alternative to the Acer Aspire E 15. It’s absolutely impossible to tell that this laptop costs just a little over $600. It weighs just 3.7 lbs and has an amazingly thin 0.8 in profile, making it great for everyday use.
The F510UA-AH55 rocks a beautiful 15.6-inch NanoEdge Display with an incredible 80 percent screen-to-body ratio, which essentially turns this 15.6-incher into a compact ultrabook. But unlike many ultrabooks, the F510UA-AH55 offers extensive connectivity options that include USB 3.1, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, and SD card ports.
Great performance is provided by an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, with 8GB DDR4 RAM and Intel UHD 620 graphics. A dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi lets you enjoy speeds of up to 867 Mbps, or six times more than what you can expect from a laptop with an older generation of Wi-Fi.
Lenovo Miix 510
The Lenovo Miix 510 is a 12.2-inch convertible laptop with a detachable keyboard and unique watchband hinges that adjust up to 150°, helping you find the ideal viewing angle for video editing and all other tasks.
The $700 version of the laptop has an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of memory, 128 GB SSD, and an integrated graphics card. Despite its compact size, the laptop can easily last 8 hours on a charge, and it has an excellent keyboard with 1.5 mm of key travel.
Because the keyboard, which doubles as a folio case to protect the display from damage and scratches, can be detached from the laptop, the Lenovo Miix 510 is far more versatile than ordinary laptops, making it an excellent buy for anyone who’s looking for a device that can do more than video editing.
Next up, we’re looking at the Huawei Kepler. This one comes with a 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 display. It’s Full HD, so the resolution isn’t the best, but it will get you by just fine. And with the 8GB of RAM inside, you should move through the motions pretty quickly.
The only downside — and similar to the Surface Laptop — is that you only get 256GB of internal storage. That’s not a lot as far as rendering raw video footage goes, but with USB 3.0 ports available, you should have no trouble hooking up an external SSD or hard drive. It’s powered by an AMD R5 processor as well, which keeps things moving pretty quickly.
Microsoft Surface Go
The 128 GB version of the Microsoft Surface Go costs less than $600 for the device alone and less than $700 for the device and the Microsoft Surface Go Type Cover, which transforms this 10-inch tablet into a laptop. The Surface Go runs Windows 10 Home in S Mode, which is a more limited, locked-down version of the Windows operating system that allows you to install apps from the Microsoft Store only.
Fortunately, there are several great video editors in the Microsoft Store, including Animotica, an easy-to-use video editor that lets you easily join, split, trim and combine video clips and photos, add transitions, voiceover, effects, and much more.
Although the Surface Go isn’t admittedly as powerful as traditional laptops, it more than makes up for it with its convenience, long battery life, and ultra-portable design. Apart from the Microsoft Surface Go Type Cover, you can also purchase the Microsoft Surface Pen and write and draw naturally.
Samsung Chromebook Pro
If you haven’t come into this article expecting to see a Chromebook, you’re probably not the only one. Many people believe that Chromebooks are just glorified tablets that may be handy for content consumption but are next to useless for content creation. But that’s simply not true anymore.
Chromebooks, including the excellent Samsung Chromebook Pro, can now run Android apps, which means you get to enjoy such excellent video editors as FilmoraGo, Adobe Premiere Clip, KineMaster, and many others. Of course, there are also video editors in the Chrome Web Store, not to mention online video editors such as WeVideo, which has all the features most users will ever need and makes it easy to capture, create, view and share your movies at up to 4K resolution for stunning playback anywhere.
The Samsung Chromebook Pro has a 12.3-inch display with a high resolution of 2400×1600, and it’s powered by the Intel Core M3 processor 6Y30, with 4 GB of memory. The processor is far from powerful, but its performance is sufficient for basic video editing.
If you’re just getting started in video editing, you don’t need a ridiculously expensive machine. Professional video editors are dropping thousands on a machine that can render and crunch video better. But, if you’re just getting started in video editing, you really don’t need a machine like that — something for $700 or less will give you plenty of raw power for your video needs.
Do you have a favorite machine for under $700 for video editing? Let us know in the comment section below, and it may just end up on our list in the future.