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Last updated November, 2020

We’ve spent a hundred hours compiling laptop data to help you make an informed decision about the best laptop for video editing.

Sorry to trick you, but it’s impossible for us to choose the #1 best laptop for video editing for you – it’s a personal choice you have to make.

Keep reading to learn about what makes a laptop great for video editing. Below, we compare different video editing software requirements and then give our top recommendations based on minimum requirements provided by the software manufacturers, and of course, sorted by price.

Parts of a laptop used during video editing

In order to choose the best laptop for video editing, it’s important to know what is required of a laptop when editing videos.

When transferring files from your camera, GoPro, or SD card, you’ll want to make sure that your laptop has high-speed ports such as a USB-C port that can handle USB 4.0 for fast data transfers. Or, if you are planning to pull straight from an SD card, make sure that the laptop has an SD card reader or be prepared to purchase an SD card reader.

When editing high quality video files, the laptop’s RAM is used when displaying the video, when playing back raw video files, and when doing on-the-fly rendering.

A fast internal hard drive (often called a scratch disk), will serve as the cache location, so faster is better, and means more responsive and smoother functions while editing videos on your laptop.

When it’s time to render the final high quality video file after you’re done making all the edits, that’s when the laptop’s CPU and GPU really start to shine (or slow things down).

Depending on the software you are using, a dedicated GPU can provide the computing power you need to render video.

If you’re using something like OpenShot (which doesn’t have dedicated GPU support for rendering yet), you’ll be stuck processing all that video with your CPU. If that’s the case, you’ll want to make sure you buy a higher-end CPU.

The good news, is that because of increases in technology and decreases in manufacturing costs, you can now buy one of the best laptop for video editing for less than a $1000 (or, click here to read about the best gaming laptops under $1000 Canada!).

System Requirements for the Best Laptop for Video Editing

The best laptop for video editing must meet the minimum system requirements for the video editing software you plan on using.

Choose the Best Laptop for Video Editing Canada!

Adobe Premiere Elements 2021

Adobe lists the minimum system requirements as follows:

  • Processor: Intel 6th generation or newer, or AMD equivalent
  • Memory/RAM: 8 GB
  • Display: 1280×800 display resolution

And the recommended specifications are slightly higher. Instead of barely scraping buy, meeting the recommended specs will provide you with the best laptop for video editing, instead of just a cheap laptop for video editing:

  • Processor: Intel 7th generation or better, or AMD equivalent
  • Memory/RAM: 16GB for HD media, and 32GB for 4k media
  • GPU: 4gb of GPU VRAM
  • Other: SSD for app installation and fast cache

CyberLink PowerDirector 365

According to Cyberlink, the software requires 4GB of RAM, with 6GB recommended. As for the GPU, they want at least 128 MB VRAM for standard video processing along with a CPU that is an Intel Core i-series or AMD Phenom II or above.

Final Cut Pro X Video Editing Software

If you want to use Final Cut Pro as your video editing software, then you’ll be looking at an Apple laptop. Minimum requirements are macOS 10.14.6 or later, with 1GB of VRAM, 4GB of RAM, or 8GB of RAM for 4K editing. Disk space required is 3.8 GB.

HitFilm Pro

FXHome lists the requirements here. They state that the minimum processor required is the 4th generation Intel Core processors or AMD equivalent. For RAM, they need 4 GB, with 8GB recommended.

And for the graphics card, they state that 1GB of video memory is the minimum, while 2GB or more is required for 4K UHD processing.

Corel VideoStudio Pro 2020

On their website, VisualStudio lists the system requirements for standard videos, and for UHD videos in order to run smoothly on the best laptop for video editing. For standard videos:

  • Processor: Intel Core i3 or AMD A4 series
  • RAM/Memory: 4GB
  • Display: 1024×768 with 512MB of VRAM

For HD and UHD videos, VisualStudio recommends:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 or AMD Athlon A10 or higher
  • RAM: 8GB + highly recommended

OpenShot Open Source Video Editing Software

OpenShot currently doesn’t support a dedicated GPU for rendering, but they’re working on it – it’s currently in testing and likely to be released in 2021.

Because of that, they recommend 16GB of RAM and an up to date CPU. From their website, this is what they say to help guide you in the search for the best laptop for video editing:

Video editing benefits from large amounts of memory, modern CPUs, and fast disks. Basically, you want the best computer you can afford when editing video.

Video Editing Requirements Summarized

Even with all of the different video editing software available, it’s easy to see that most modern day laptops surpass the software requirements set out by the software manufacturers.

Obviously, more is better in every respect, but if you’re on a budget then any laptop with a processor from the last year or two, and with at least 4GB of RAM will do what you need.

For 4K video editing, look for something with more than 16GB, or even 32GB of RAM and a dedicated GPU.

Best Laptop for Video Editing that meets Min. Requirements

All modern laptops do a decent job at editing video, so here’s a few entry-level options that have at least 4GB of RAM and a fast enough processor to handle basic editing tasks.

Laptop Model Shop
Asus VivoBook Flip 14
$1046.98Amazon.ca
Asus VivoBook Flip 14
$1083.99Amazon.ca
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
$1149Amazon.ca
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
$1191.25Amazon.ca
Acer Spin 5
$1199.99BestBuy.ca

Use our Laptop Picker Canada to find more laptops by memory

Best Laptop for High Performance Video Editing

These laptops have faster CPUs, at least 16 GB of RAM, and a dedicated GPU with at least 4 GB of Memory on the GPU.

With these options, you can safely edit, view, and render UHD and 4K videos at decent speeds.

Laptop Model Shop
Acer Nitro 5 Canada
$1199.99BestBuy.ca
Acer Nitro 5 Canada
$1199.99BestBuy.ca
Acer Nitro 5 Canada
$1249.99BestBuy.ca
Acer Aspire 7
$1299.99BestBuy.ca
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
$1318.58Amazon.ca

Use our Laptop Picker Canada to find more laptops by memory

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