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 12 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:
Lenovo Ideapad L340
Lenovo’s Ideapad series of laptops tend to be excellent budget contenders in a variety of categories. They’re built respectably well, they handle day-to-day tasks pretty good, and they usually last a good while. The L340 is a gaming machine, but due to its performance, it’s also an excellent option for video editing.
Intel’s Core i5-9300H runs the show, a CPU that runs a base frequency of 2.4GHz, but when necessary, can turbo up to 4.1GHz which is quite impressive. With four cores and eight threads, video editing won’t be a problem. To help with this, however, you also get Nvidia’s GeForce GTX1650. This also means that you’ll be able to game on the L340, too.
In addition, you’ll find 8GB of DDR4 memory, as well as a 512GB NVMe SSD. You won’t have to worry about slow read or write speeds, and you’ll be more than set to go. Last but not least, not everyone uses an external monitor for gaming, so the inclusion of a 1080p IPS panel in the 15.6” display is a very smart decision by Lenovo. The sound is also excellent thanks to Dolby Audio, and overall you have a great video editing laptop.
Acer Aspire 5 A515-54G-73WC
Acer’s Aspire 5 is the newer version of the Aspire E15 which was 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 i7-8565U processor. It’s a powerful processor that turbos up to 3.6GHz allowing it to run video editing software without many issues. The four threads also help in that process. If you want, you can even have GPU rendering help here, thanks to its Nvidia’s GeForce MX250 graphics card. It’s not the highest-end GPU, but it will surely help.
You’ll also get 12GB of dual-channel memory, so you’re covered for multitasking such as video editing. The 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD provides ample space for operating system and software you’re using and should allow them to boot very fast.
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. This laptop os also rated for up to 9.5 hours of battery life.
ASUS VivoBook 15
While the ZenBook is undoubtedly the more premium variant, the ASUS VivoBook models have made quite a splash. They come at very reasonable prices, yet offer great performance and a very good build quality. The body is thin and light, while still being thick enough to give respectable cooling to the CPU and GPU.
Speaking of CPU and GPU, with the VivoBook you’ll get a Ryzen 5 3500U processor, as well as AMD’s own Radeon Vega 8 graphics solution. This is a very respectable choice, especially since the CPU can turbo up to 3.6GHz when necessary.
The display is a full HD panel with good viewing angles, and the bezels are really, really thin. Actually, the entire laptop’s design is excellent, with an 88% screen to body ratio and a 0.7” thickness. And yes, even with that thickness, you still get a full-size HDMI port.
The laptop is rounded out by 8GB of DDR4 RAM, as well as a 256GB PCIe SSD which should keep all your files safe and easy to access. Add to this the backlit keyboard, and you’ve got yourself an excellent machine for video editing.
ASUS TUF FX505DT
There’s no doubt that the Republic of Gamers series of laptops by ASUS is their top-of-the-line offering, for both video editing and gaming. But for those who can’t afford it, the TUF models could be a good alternative. They’re pretty cheap, yet come with a good choice of components and excellent build quality.
To begin with, in the TUF FX505DT you will find a quad-core Ryzen 5 3550H processor. It’s a very respectable CPU that should hold its weight when you’re editing videos on it. It’s paired with Nvidia’s 4GB GTX1650 graphics card, to ensure a smooth experience even if you’re editing higher resolution video.
The display is another excellent thing the TUF comes with. It’s no regular display, with an IPS panel with a full HD resolution, and a refresh rate of 120Hz. This will come in handy for video editing, but it’s also nice if you want to play a game or two every once in a while.
The laptop also comes with 8GB of DDR4 memory, as well as a respectable, 256GB NVMe SSD. It should run video editing programs well, and you’ll have pleasure using it. It’s truly a great option.
ASUS VivoBook 15 F512DA-EB55-BL Laptop
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 F512DA-EB55-BL is a prime example of that.
It’s a good video editing laptop, as it comes with AMD’s R5-3500U CPU which is comparable to Intel’s Core i5-8250U. The R5-3500U has four cores, eight threads, a base frequency of 2.1GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of 3.7GHz. It’s a good CPU for video editing on a budget. Aside from that, you get 8GB of DDR4 RAM, which should have you covered, a 128GB SSD, and a 1TB HDD for your videos. Sure, a larger SSD would’ve been nice, but at this price, we can’t really complain.
Moreover, the anti-glare coating display is a 15.6” display, but its frameless four-sided NanoEdge display keeps dimensions down to a minimum and allows for an 88% screen to body ratio. This thin, lightweight, and portable laptop is 14. 1” wide and 0. 7” thick. You also get an ergonomic chiclet backlit keyboard, 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. And don’t forget its amazing one-year accidental damage protection.
Acer Aspire 5 Slim
Acer’s Aspire 5 has been around for a while, with Acer refreshing the lineup every once in a while. The Aspire 5 Slim is the latest iteration and is one of the best budget video editing laptops. It comes in a slim body, and even at 15.6”, it weighs less than 4lbs. The build quality is pretty good, and you have things such as a fingerprint scanner and a backlit keyboard, things that were usually reserved for higher-end models only.
Even though a budget-oriented model, the Aspire 5 Slim does pack a punch. It’s powered by Intel’s 8th generation Core i5-8265U, which is a very power efficient four-core eight-thread processor that runs at 1.6GHz, but can turbo up to 3.9GHz when needed. There’s no dedicated GPU (even though there’s a higher priced model that does have an Nvidia GPU), but you do get a decent 8GB of DDR4 RAM, as well as a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD.
The laptop is rounded out by a 15.6” full HD IPS display with excellent color reproduction and viewing angles. If you’re looking for a budget laptop that you can edit video on, this should be one of your top picks.
Acer Nitro 5
Acer’s Nitro series has always been one of the best budget gaming laptops, but the Nitro 5 AN515-42-R5ED is also good for one more thing – video editing. With a quad-core CPU and a great graphics card, you’ll enjoy editing videos on this machine.
The processor is AMD’s Ryzen 5 2500U, which even though it isn’t the latest gen, still offers excellent performance for the price and boosts up to 3.6GHz. Alongside it, you’ll get AMD’s RX560X graphics card, as well as 8GB of DDR4 RAM. This combination is actually the best you’ll get at this price and is one that’s going to work with 1080p videos very well, but you could push some higher resolution too.
Storage is unfortunately taken care of by a conventional hard drive. Even though it has a 1TB capacity, an SSD would’ve kept things a lot faster. You do get USB Type C ports, so you can connect an external SSD, as well as a 15.6” IPS display with a full HD resolution.
The component selection will give you a great performing laptop, and the build quality and design are also excellent, if not a little outdated. It’s a pretty good choice if you’re on a budget.
Asus Vivobook K570ZD
Video editors on a budget love the ASUS Vivobook series. The series is basically a cheaper variant of their ultrabook ZenBooks, but it’s a great choice for many. The build quality is excellent, and you get a fingerprint scanner for security, as well as a backlit keyboard. You also have USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and a USB 3.1 Type C port, alongside the HDMI port that lets you connect to a monitor.
On the inside, you have AMD’s quad-core Ryzen 5 2500U running the show. With frequencies of up to 3.6GHz, it can run video editing programs pretty well. If you’re using GPU acceleration, you also have an Nvidia GTX 1050 in a 4GB configuration. To add to that, there’s 8GB of DDR4 RAM, as well as a 256GB SSD. This may not sound like too much, but on a budget, it’s actually pretty good, especially since it’s a PCIe M.2 SSD.
Last but not least, you have an excellent 15.6” IPS-level display with a resolution of 1920×1080. It’s got pretty good color reproduction, and excellent contrast and brightness. All things considered, the Vivobook is a great option for budget-oriented video editors.
Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1
While some are very much opposed to the idea of a touch screen on a laptop, Lenovo’s 2-in-1 solution, the Flex 14, might make you reconsider. It’s an excellent machine, with plenty of performance and a lot of versatility in the way you use it.
Just like with many other popular models nowadays, AMD’s Ryzen series CPUs make an appearance here, in the form of the Ryzen 5 3500U. It’s a great all-round CPU, and it should do a great job with video editing. It also has Radeon Vega graphics to help a bit with video acceleration.
The Flex also comes with a 14” full HD display that, as we mentioned, has touch capabilities. This might come in quite handy when you’re scrubbing through a timeline, or for precise zooming and editing, and is an interesting feature. You will also get a pen as well, which you can use with your laptop. There’s also 12GB of RAM, which is quite a bit, as well as a very fast 256GB NVMe SSD.
The only potential downside of the Flex is the lack of a dedicated GPU. However, at this price, and with a 10-hour battery, you can’t really complain.
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.
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.
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.