When you’re trying to find the best cheap laptop for editing YouTube videos, you can easily get overwhelmed by the number of options available. There are truly a lot of great budget laptops, with varying specifications, made for different workloads. Not all of them are worth their (often modest) price tag, and not all of them can do the job well. To make things a bit easier, we’ve made a list of the 6 best budget laptops for video editing. They all hover around more or less the same price range, and they’re all excellent in their own way.
What should you look for in a budget editing laptop?
Medium to High-end CPU
The CPU is the most important component for video editing. Most of the editing software requires a good CPU that can boost to high frequencies, and more cores and threads are crucial for video editing. This is why if you’re looking for the best cheap laptop for editing YouTube videos, for example, you should make sure it has a midrange or a powerful CPU. The lowest you should go for is Intel’s 8th generation Core i5 CPUs, or an AMD Ryzen equivalent.
You’ll want at least 8GB of RAM
Video editing software do demand a lot of RAM, and 8GB is somewhat of a minimum for today’s daily use anyways. If you find something that has 16GB of RAM, it’s even better, but 8GB is the bare minimum.
SD Card Slot
An SD card slot is another important feature a video editing laptop must have. When you’re recording video, regardless of the device, chances are it’s saved on an SD card. If you need adapters or card readers to be able to transfer the data to your laptop, you need to spend more money and that’s one more thing to carry around with you. Try to get one that has a reader.
A good display is another important factor. Unless you’re using an external monitor, and chances are you aren’t if you’re on a budget, a good display will help you see accurate colors. A full HD resolution is recommended, but you can’t get it on most budget devices. If you can afford it, by all means, go for it. Other things to note here are the panel type – IPS is preferred over TN or VA panels, as viewing angles are better and color accuracy is usually higher. And last but not least, an anti-glare coating is usually more pleasant to the eyes.
Budget Laptops for Video Editing:
ASUS VivoBook F510UA-AH51
ASUS’ VivoBook series is an excellent budget option. They’re somewhat of a cheaper option of their premium ZenBook series, but they’re often packed with excellent specs, in a well-built body, and don’t cost a lot. The F510UA-AH51 is a prime example of that.
It’s a good video editing laptop, as it comes with Intel’s Core i5-8250U, which is an 8th generation CPU with four cores, eight threads, a base frequency of 1.6GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of 3.4GHz. It’s an excellent CPU for video editing. Aside from that, you get 8GB of DDR4 RAM, which should have you covered, and a 1TB HDD. Sure, an SSD would’ve been nice, but at this price, we can’t really complain.
The display is a 15.6” display, but with the slim bezels, the laptop’s size is a touch bigger than a 14” one. The panel is an IPS panel with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, and it has an anti-glare coating. You do get a full-size SD card reader to transfer your videos, as well as a fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello. It also has plenty of ports, including a USB 3.1 Type C port, as well as full-size USB ports and an HDMI port.
Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (2018)
Dell is a well-established brand in the laptop industry, and the Inspiron series has always been their midrange model. The 2018 Inspiron 5000 is built really well and packs all the specs you need for video editing.
We have Intel’s Core i5-8250U CPU, which is a quad-core, eight-thread processor with a maximum turbo boost of 3.4GHz. Video editing shouldn’t be an issue with it. Multitasking shouldn’t be a problem either, thanks to the 8GB of DDR4 RAM. There’s plenty of storage in the shape of a 1TB hard drive. Unfortunately, at this price, an SSD may be a bit too much to ask for.
The CPU’s integrated Intel 620 graphics powers a 15.6” display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, which is also touch-enabled. This may come in handy when you need to scrub through your video editing timeline.
You do get a full-size SD card reader as well, which will come in handy. As a bonus, there’s dual-band AC wireless and a backlit keyboard. The stereo speakers with MaxxAudio Pro Audio processing are loud and clear, and they definitely get the job done. All things considered, an excellent budget laptop for video editing.
Acer Aspire E15 E5-576G-5762
Acer’s Aspire E15 series is a long time budget favorite for many. The laptops are always built really well considering the price, they make sure to include all the necessary specs, and often come with a thing or two you can’t find with the competition.
Inside the E15, you’ll get Intel’s 8th gen, quad-core Core i5-8250U processor. It’s a powerful processor that turbos up to 3.4GHz allowing it can run video editing software without many issues. The eight threads also help in that process. If you want, you can even have GPU rendering help here, thanks to its Nvidia’s GeForce MX150 graphics card. It’s not the highest end GPU, but it will surely help.
You’ll get 8GB of dual channel memory, so you’re covered for multitasking. The 256GB SSD may not be able to store too much data, but the operating system and software you’re using should run really fast thanks to it.
To round out this laptop, you have a 15.6” full HD display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and an IPS panel for those great viewing angles. Oh, and yes, you get a full-size SD card reader, as well as up to 15 hours of battery life.
HP Touchscreen 15.6” HD Notebook
HP is another one of those brands that have been here seemingly forever, and they’re continuously making great laptops for the budget oriented crowd. This 15.6” notebook is a great option for someone who wants to edit videos but stay within a tight budget.
The brain of the laptop is Intel’s Core i5-8250U CPU, which is the minimum you’ll want for video editing. The four cores run at a base frequency of 1.6GHz, but it can turbo up to 3.4GHz, which is fairly fast.
There is no dedicated GPU, but you don’t really need one for video editing. 8GB of DDR4 RAM should cover you for your video editing software, and even though there’s no SSD, you get a massive 2TB hard drive. It can store plenty of files and data.
The card reader supports SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards, so you’re good on that front. Unfortunately, the display only has an HD resolution of 1366 x 768, which may be a dealbreaker for many. A full HD panel would’ve been much preferred. However, if you don’t mind that, you’re getting a touchscreen and an otherwise excellent video editing laptop.
Dell Inspiron 15 5000 (2019)
With the 2019 model year, Dell has made the switch from Intel’s processors to AMD’s CPUs with their integrated Vega graphics chips. This makes the Inspiron 15 5000 a great editing machine, and one you can customize before you buy.
When it comes to the CPU, you get the second generation AMD Ryzen 5 2500U, which is a quad-core, eight thread CPU with a base frequency of 2GHz and a maximum turbo boost of up to 3.6GHz. It’s more than enough for video editing on a budget. The integrated Radeon Vega 8 graphics chip may not be as good as a dedicated chip, but it still runs well and can help with rendering if you ever need GPU acceleration.
The rest of the laptop is, as we said, customizable. It starts at 8GB of RAM, but you can get it with 12GB, 16GB or even 32GB of memory if you need to. The storage is another customizable option, starting with a 256GB SSD, and you can go up to 1TB with it, or you could either get a 1TB or 2TB hard drive. To round out the package is a full HD display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, as well as an SD/SDHC/SDXC card reader.
Lenovo IdeaPad 330
Even though the IdeaPad is the budget-oriented lineup for Lenovo, and the 330 is on the lower end of that lineup, this laptop is still an impressive piece of tech. Inside the sleek and durable design, you’ll find Intel’s Core i5-8250U running the show. The quad-core, eight thread CPU runs at a base frequency of 1.6GHz, and the maximum turbo frequency is 3.4GHz, which is impressive.
What’s not impressive is the lack of a dedicated GPU, but with video editing software being CPU-oriented, you don’t really need one. Multitasking is taken care of by 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and storage is where it gets interesting. Even though there’s no SSD, the 1TB hard drive is complemented by 16GB of Intel’s Optane memory. This acts as an accelerator, and the software and files you use most often will load much faster than they would with a regular hard drive.
The display is not that good, honestly, being a 15.6” panel with a resolution of only 1366 x 768 pixels. You’ll get a full-size SD card reader, which should help with fast data transfers. If you can look past the display’s resolution, there’s pretty much no reason not to choose the IdeaPad 330 as your video editing machine of choice.