Best Laptops for Video Editing Under $500: Consumer Reports

Best Laptops for Video Editing Under $500

Video editing laptops are identical in exterior design compared to most traditional laptops, but it’s what’s under their hoods that makes a world of a difference in performing what could be intense tasks with ease.

Just like most laptop categories, there’s no shortage of cheap video editing laptops under $200, but if you’d like to get perfect renders each time, this inexpensive range of devices will probably deliver disappointing results.

Before setting foot on the shopping trail for the best laptops under $500, you’ve got a few key decisions to make in order to select the perfect model for your needs. These include the type of tasks you’re looking to perform with the laptop – whether its simply trimming small clips or working with work with raw HD or 4K video or creating special effects.

If you aren’t sure about what to look for in the best budget laptops under $500 when wading through the many options available, our brief video editing laptops buying guide will provide great insight. And once you’ve determined what your needs are, we’ve narrowed down on 10 best laptops for video editing that will make your footage sing!

The Best Video and Photo Editing Laptop Models

We spend lots of hours to research these top models. Look at these 10 best laptops for video and photo editing, we picks these models from top brands like Microsoft, Apple, Dell and HP. So, must read the complete review and buying guide of these models in this post.

ImageLaptop ModelSpecificationRating

2018 Dell Inspiron 15 5000

Core i5-8250U

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ASUS VivoBook F510UA

Core i5-8250U

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2018 Newest HP Touchscreen

Core i5-8250U

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Acer Aspire17.3 Inch Full HD

Core i5-7200U

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Acer Chromebook

Dual-Core 3205U

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Samsung Chromebook Plus

Core M3

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ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook

Core

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Apple 15 Inch MacBook Pro

Core i7

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Google Pixelbook

Core i5

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Microsoft Surface Book 2

Dual Core i5

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Best Budget Laptops under $500 Buying Guide

There are several factors to consider when checking out the myriad options available in the best laptops under $500 Consumer Reports segment including:

  • OperatingSystem – Most video editing laptops are powered by three common operating systems – Google Chrome, Microsoft Windows or MacOS. You should choose one that you’re most comfortable working with.
  • Processor (CPU)–given that most video editing software such as Photoshop requires a considerably high amount of processing power, it is important that you buy a machine that can run your applications without any hiccups. Also referred to as the brains of the laptop, there are several different processor models to choose from including Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5, Intel Core i7, AMD and Intel Celeron.
  • RAM (Random Access Memory)–for most video editing programs, 4 GB RAM should do the trick, but you will have to step it up a few notches for other RAM-hungry programs. If you’re going to be multitasking, meaning switching back and forth between programs, you will need more RAM to do it quickly. RAM does not speed up the laptop or make single tasks faster, but simply allows you to do more things at once.
  • 32-Bit vs. 64-Bit – a 64-Bit based processor and the operating system is more capable than a 32-Bit processor/operating system can also handle a higher amount of RAM. For example, you can buy the best budget laptop for under $500 with 8 gigs of RAM, but it will only be able to read 4 gigs if it’s running a 32-Bit version of Windows.
  • Display size –display sizes vary across models, and generally start from 11” to 18” or more. Take note that the larger the display, the heavier the laptop is going to be, so if you plan on traveling often with the device but are only going to use it for basic editing tasks, buying a bulkier model may not be your best bet.
  • Display resolution –the different types of display resolutions to choose from are 1366 x 768 (HD) (not Full HD), 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) and 2560 x 1440 (QHD). If you’re going to be running a lot of high-end tasks, it is highly recommended that you opt for a budget laptop with high-resolution panels.
  • Graphics (GPU)–the integrated graphics chip (one that shares system memory) in most of the best laptops under $500 should work well for most basic video editing needs. But you will probably need a discrete graphics processor –one that is not part of the CPU such as one from the AMD or Nvidia hangar to handle hi-res applications.
  • Hard drive storage – this dictates the number of files (media, etc.) that you can store on the laptop, and the most common types are SSD (Solid State Drive) and Serial ATA (SATA) drives. SSD drives are quicker than most SATA models mostly because they do not have any internal moving parts. SATA drives tend to be more cost efficient, but offer slower boot up times. In terms of video editing applications, SSD drives are an ideal choice because they spin much faster resulting in faster overall laptop performance.
  • Battery life –laptops are fitted with rechargeable batteries, and the runtime they offer on a single charge varies but is between 3-8+ hours depending on the manufacturer.
  • Ports –few laptops these days come with optical drives given that most editing software is downloadable. But if you need to read or upload media from peripherals such as CD drive or memory, you should ensure that the budget laptop you buy is up for the task.
  • Additionally, if you’re going to be connecting with external devices such as an LED TV via HDMI or external USB drives via USB ports, look for a laptop that has the required ports.

Best Laptops for Video Editing under $500

1. 2018 Dell Inspiron 15 5000 – Core i5-8250U Quad-Core, 12 GB DDR4, 1 TB HDD

2018 Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Flagship Premium

Coming in at the #1 position, and priced at a little over $500, the latest 2018 Dell Inspiron is a great choice for video editing tasks and much more. Powered by an 8th Generation Intel Quad Core i5-8250U Processor, it is appointed with a stunning 15.6″ Truelife Touchscreen LED-backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) display.

Available in a choice of three exciting colors –black, silver and blue, the 2018 Dell Inspiron 15 5000 offers stellar performance for most applications thanks to its inbuilt 12 gigs of DDR4 RAM and Intel Integrated 620 graphics.

Tipping the scales at just under 5 lbs, it comes loaded with high-end features including several USB ports, stereo speakers with MaxxAudio Pro, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity, 1 TB SATA hard drive, widescreen HD webcam, and runs the latest Windows 10 64-Bit right out of the box.

Pros

  • Windows 10 64-Bit preinstalled
  • MaxxAudio Pro
  • 1 TB hard drive
  • 12 gigs of RAM and Intel graphics
  • Full HD display

Cons

  • Does not come with a laptop bag

2. ASUS VivoBook F510UA Video Editing Laptop

ASUS VivoBook F510UA 15.6” Full HD Nanoedge Laptop

Asus has garnered an untainted reputation in the laptop and computer segment, mostly due to its innovative lineup of products that offer unrivaled performance, and the ASUS VivoBook F510UA video editing laptop is no different.

It features a brilliant 15.6” Full HD Nanoedge display that offers an impressive 80% screen-to-body ratio, and an award-worthy 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor. Adding to its extensive list of features is 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB hard drive, and a handful of connectivity ports including USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI.

The laptop comes pre-installed with Windows 10 home, blazing 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and an ergonomic chick let style keyboard. Further, the laptop features a fingerprint sensor, and Intel UHD 620 graphics, which renders ultra-smooth visuals without any hiccups.

Pros

  • 6” FHD Wide View display
  • Lightweight at just 3.7 lbs
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Intel UHD 620 graphics and fingerprint sensor
  • Windows 10 Home

Cons

  • Lacks SSD hard drive

3. 2018 Newest HP Touchscreen 15.6 Inch HD Laptop

2018 Newest HP Touchscreen 15.6 Inch HD Laptop

The 2018 Newest HP Touchscreen 15.6 Inch HD Laptop is in a league of its own with a 15.6″ diagonal HD SVA WLED-backlit touchscreen that emits a 1366×768 HD resolution.

Under its hood lies a robust Intel 8th Generation Quad-Core i5-8250U processor with Turbo Boost Technology, which when mated with the 8GB DDR4 SDRAM delivers nothing less than blistering performance for most low to medium intensity tasks.

It comes with Windows 10 Home edition out of the box, a 1 TB HDD and Intel’s UHD graphics 620 chip, making it a bit hard to beat in the best budget laptops under $500 segment.

Weighing in at just 4.52 lbs, the 2018 HP Pavilion15t scores high in terms of ports and features with 802.11b/gm Wi-Fi,Bluetooth, 1 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0 Gen 1, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Headphone/microphone combo jack, DVD writer, and a memory card reader that supports SD, SDHC and SDXC formats.

Pros

  • 8th generation Intel processor
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1 TB SATA hard drive
  • Cloud support, webcam and stereo speakers

Cons

  • Speakers aren’t loud compared to other budget models

4. Acer Aspire17.3 Inch Full HD Laptop

Acer Aspire17.3 Inch Full HD Laptop

The Acer Aspire E5-774G laptop gives you the best of both worlds high-end specs and a gorgeous 17.3-inch Full HD backlit display with Acer Comfy View. What makes this model distinct from most other laptops mentioned on this list is it comes pre-fitted with a discrete NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB GDDR5 graphics card, and 8 GB DDR4 RAM.

It measures 16.67 x 11.1 x 1.09 inches and weighs 6.83 lbs, and is equipped with a 256 GB hard drive, making it easy to carry on the road. Powered by an Intel Core i5-7200U Dual-Core processor, the laptop doesn’t fall short in the feature department, but comes with an HD webcam, media reader, and True Harmony high-performance sound system.

Pros

  • 3-inch Full HD
  • 256 GB hard drive
  • Intel Core i5-7200U Dual-Core processor
  • HD webcam and TrueHarmony sound system
  • NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics
  • 11.a, 802.11bgn, Bluetooth

Cons

  • 256 GB hard drive may not be enough for some users

Best Chrome OS Laptop for Video Editing under $500

5. Acer Chromebook – Acer Newest Flagship 15.6 inch Full HD Laptop 

Acer Chromebook

For a Chromebook that’s priced under $500 and one that can easily handle several editing applications, the latest Acer Chromebook is not to be overlooked. It boasts a stylish design, features a 15.6-inch full HD backlit display, and is one of the first laptops in the budget segment to integrate upward-facing dual stereo speakers.

Equipped with an Intel Celeron Dual-Core 3205U processor, the Acer Chromebook leads the pack with 4 GB DDR3 SD RAM, 32 GB SSD, and Intel HD graphics. Powered by a 4-cell lithium ion battery, the laptop offers approximately 9 hours run time and can connect easily with Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices.

Pros

  • Weighs 4.8 lbs
  • A 6-inch full HD display
  • Intel Celeron Dual-Core Processor
  • 4 GB DDR3 SD RAM
  • 32 GB SSD and Intel graphics
  • 9 hours of battery life

Cons

  • 4 GB RAM may not work well for intense editing programs

6. Samsung Chromebook Plus with M3 processor & 4 GB RAM

Samsung Chromebook Plus

The Samsung Chromebook Plus features a 2-in-1 design, meaning it can be used as a laptop or tablet on the fly. It is extremely lightweight at just 2.8 lbs, and is equipped with an Intel Core M3 processor, 64 gigs of inbuilt memory that can be expanded with a MicroSD card, and comes with 4 GB RAM.

The Chromebook Plus by Samsung is appointed with not one but two cameras, allowing you to capture clear shots with the 13-megapixel camera in tablet mode with autofocus or video chat with the front camera. Appointed with a 12.2” display, the Samsung Chromebook Plus comes with a pen that makes it easy to take screenshots, write, sketch, edit and magnify, and provides you will instantly access to the Google Play Store.

Pros

  • Intel Core M3 processor
  • 64 gigs of inbuilt memory and 4 GB RAM
  • Two cameras
  • 2-inch FHD (1920 x 1200) display
  • Comes with pen

Cons

  • Screen size is a bit small at 12.2 inches, but it is FHD (1920 x 1200)

7. ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook with Full HD Touchscreen Display

ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook

If you prefer a 2-in-1 Chromebook for video editing, the ASUS C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook might be right for you. It comes with a 12.5-inch full HD touchscreen display, features several ports including a USB 3.1 Type-C port, MicroSD card slot, a standard audio jack. and is fitted with a flexible 360-degree hinge that lets you use it in both laptops of tablet mode.

Boasting a compact footprint at just 2.65 lbs, this Chromebook from the Asus stable sources its power from a class-leading Intel Core processor, and offers 64 GB onsite storage and 4 gigs of RAM. The laptop showcases a durable design with its sleek metal body, is factory fitted with a bright backlit illuminated keyboard, and comes with free 100 GB worth of Google Drive storage space.

Pros

  • 5” Full-HD touchscreen
  • 4 gigs of RAM
  • 100 GB Google Drive storage space
  • Intel Core processor
  • Lightweight at 2.65 lbs
  • 11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity

Cons

  • Lacks HDMI port

8. Apple 15 Inch MacBook Pro – Budget Friendly Laptop

Apple 15 Inch MacBook Pro

The Apple 15 Inch MacBook Promay is not the most budget-friendly laptop for video editing, but if you love what you do, want the best from day 1 and a machine that works well for both novice and seasoned professions, it won’t disappoint!

In terms of performance, the MacBook Pro wins the gold with its 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 processor complete with Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHZand 16 GB RAM, which collectively helps speed up performance and multitask efficiently.

The MacBook Pro features a slim and sleek design with a 15-inch Retina LED-backlit display that supports millions of colors, superb Intel Iris Pro graphics, and offers 256 GB worth of onboard SSD storage.

Further, it is appointed with a Force Touch trackpad for accurate cursor control, backlit keyboard, FaceTime HD camera, headphone jack, stereo speakers, two thunderbolts 2 (USB-C) ports and two USB 3 ports.

Pros

  • 15-inch Retina LED-backlit display
  • 2GHz Intel Core i7 processor and 16 GB RAM
  • Intel Iris Pro graphics
  • FaceTime HD camera, headphone jack, stereo speakers
  • Excellent battery life and fast charging

Cons

  • Battery drains faster when working with video files

9. Google Pixelbook – High-Performance Chromebook

Google Pixelbook

The Google Pixelbook is a high-performance Chromebook that gives you much more for its price tag starting with a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, 128 GB storage and 8 GB RAM. It features a long-lasting battery that when fully charged delivers up to 10 hours run time, and is the first laptop to come with the Google Assistant.

The Pixelbook measures a sleek 10.3 mm and weighs 2.45lbs, and is appointed with a 12.3” 360° touchscreen protected the display, all tucked away neatly into an aluminum body topped with Corning Gorilla Glass detail.

Adding to this, this premium laptop by Google features a 4-in-1 design, allowing you to easily switch between laptop, tablet, tent and entertainment modes, and starts up in an astounding 10 seconds.

Pros

  • 4-in-1 design
  • 3” 2,400 x 1,600 resolution display
  • Amazing battery life
  • Comes with Pixelbook Pen
  • Features Google Assistant
  • 7th Gen Intel Core processor

Cons

  • Comes with a720p @ 60FPS webcam not HD

10. Microsoft Surface Book 2 – 13.5-inch Touch Screen PixelSense Display

Microsoft Surface Book 2

The Surface Book 2 by Microsoft is billed as the fastest Surface Book yet owing to its 7th generation Intel Dual Core i5 processor, Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU, and 8 GB RAM. It features a vibrant 13.5-inch touch screen PixelSense Display and offers up to 17 hours of video playback on a single charge.

This versatile yet powerful laptop features a 2-in-1 design and can be used in four different modes –Laptop, Tablet, Studio, and View. It is compatible with the Surface Pen, Surface Dial, and Surface Precision Mouse, and is powered by Windows 10 Pro.

Pros

  • 17 hours of video playback
  • Intel Dual Core i5 processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated GPU
  • Four different modes – Laptop, Tablet, Studio and View
  • 5-inch touchscreen PixelSense Display

Cons

  • Surface Pen not included in the package

What Laptop Specs Do I Need for Video Editing?

The best laptop for video and photo editing should have similar specs as gaming laptops and since the latter are often high on ram, hard drive space and display quality, they are a great choice for video editing tasks.

But if you’re going to be performing basic video editing tasks, then buying the best cheap laptop for video editing should suffice. In terms of specs for video editing laptops, look for a laptop model that offers at least 4 gigs of RAM, inbuilt graphics or discrete graphics card is even better, a minimum HD resolution screen and a fair amount of storage of 500 GB minimum.

Some video editing tasks are generally performed with specialized software such as Photoshop, which needless to say do require a considerable amount of RAM to run seamlessly. All in all, gaming laptops cost more than the best cheap video editing laptops, mainly because they come with high end specs that are collectively designed to handle memory intense games.

Final Thoughts

Video editing laptops under $500 can be had in several configurations and with premium features such as HD displays, SSD storage, and several connectivity options. But if you have the money to splurge, we’ve also presented you with 3 best laptops for video editing over $500 that are bound to make all your projects a success.

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