How a laptop should be for video and photo editing
As we anticipated in the presentation, the concept of video and photo editing is a huge bag that gathers different options in terms of software, intensity of use, expectations … thus, it is not the same the edition of photography and family videos from time to time in when with amateur quality that the intensive edition of 4K videos.
Even within these tasks, the hardware for video editing must be more ambitious than that of a computer intended solely for photo editing. In fact, a team prepared for video is oversized for photography and vice versa may fall short . Throughout the article we specify models and characteristics for each need.
So before choosing a laptop for photo or video editing, it is interesting that we have clear which software we are going to use . A good starting point when choosing your configuration can be found in the official pages of programs such as Photoshop or Premiere Pro .
However, these requirements are still minimal to run the software, but are not recommended. In fact, they are very short if we seek a smooth job, multitasking or if we consider that it is an investment with a view to lasts a few years.
The most important components in this use scenario are the CPU and RAM , although the GPU also has an impact on video editing applications that are able to access the graphics processor to increase their productivity.
CPU: threading and multicore
The CPU has a very strong impact on the performance of these tasks, being conditioned by the number of physical cores, the number of threads that it is capable of processing simultaneously and by the clock frequency at which they work.
For these applications that pull processor such as video rendering, design or multitasking a good starting point is a quad-core processor. Thus, we will choose microprocessors Intel Core i5 / i7 or AMD Ryzen 5/7 with at least 4 physical cores and 8 threads of execution. If you focus on video, better bet on the latest generation models.
The more RAM, the better
RAM is also crucial, especially if we work with large files . In this sense, the more RAM (if it is at a good price), the better.
Considering that Photoshop is a program that devours RAM, the 16 GB DDR4 is a good minimum. However, in scenes of video editing in 4K or 3D modeling we will upload up to 32 GB of RAM. In this sense, it is interesting to acquire a laptop that allows updating the RAM according to our needs .
As for storage, the best option is to choose a combination between an SSD for the operating system and programs and a large HDD to save files. In this way, the boot, access to data and read and write are faster from the solid state drive. Considering the volume of creative software, a 512 GB SSD with NVMe M.2 interface is a good starting point. In the case of the HDD, we will start with 1 TB at 7,200 rpm.
For video: dedicated graphics card (and compatible)
While in photographic edition the graphic card begins to be used timidly in certain specific functions, in video editing it is advisable to bet on the best compatible graphic card for the software that we are going to use and that we can afford . Adobe offers a list of supported graphics on its website.
A dedicated graphics card has its own processor and memory (VRAM) that manages the processing of graphics and allows laptop components to manage other workloads simultaneously. Graphics are especially important in 4K video editing, 3D rendering or animation.
For these tasks, we will look for NVIDIA Quadro or GeForce GTX GPU, AMD FirePro or Radeon family models with at least 4 GB of memory.
The screen, the skinny point of a laptop for editing
The big problem of laptops for photo and video editing is the screen: it is difficult to find models that integrate quality screens and are accurate in color reproduction, as well as having attractive dimensions for mobility, but inconvenient to spend hours in front of they. For this reason, many times you choose to work with an external monitor .
We look for models with quality screens, precise colors and wide gamut. In terms of resolution, a starting point is QHD (2,560 x 1,440 points).
Likewise, the panel should be IPS and not TN, since it allows a better color reproduction and a wider viewing angle. In this sense, special attention to portable gaming , a sector that provides a good number of interesting models for this scenario, but that can integrate TN panels.
Monitors shopping guide: how to choose the ideal model and 17 proposals for all pockets and needs
Monitors shopping guide: how to choose the ideal model and 17 proposals for all pockets and needs
Eye to the ports
For professionals and fans of the creative sector, ports are fundamental in their daily work , so that they can connect devices such as digitizing tablets, SD cards, monitors … In this sense, it is interesting to have a pair of USB 3.0 ports , HDMI output is usually between monitors and a Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C output, looking ahead.
What laptop for photo and video to buy: models according to budget
Less than 1,500 euros
HP Specter x360
The HP Specter x360 is a particularly compact, lightweight model that stands out for its good quality screen for the range in which we are, which is also touch. Of course, its specifications are framed within a photographic use not very intensive.
screen 13.3 “WLED FHD IPS Processor i5-8265U RAM 8 GB
Storage 256GB SSD GPU GeForce GTX 1060 Price 1,249 euros
Lenovo Legion Y7000
The Lenovo Legion Y7000 is a gaming notebook with very good value for money thanks to its configuration of processor, RAM, combined storage and its dedicated graphics. The keyboard is QWERTY US
screen 15.6 Inches FHD IPS Processor Core i7 -8750H RAM 16 GB
Storage 1 TB HDD + 256 GB SSD GPU GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Price 1,299 euros
MSI GE75 Raider 8RE-066XES
This gaming team shares the processor, RAM and graphics with the previous one, but does not have combined storage, but both programs and files are stored in a solid state drive. Also its screen is bigger.
screen 17.3 “Full HD (1920×1080) IPS Processor i7-8750H RAM 16 GB
Storage 512GB SSD GPU GeForce GTX 1060 Price 1,349 euros
HP OMEN 15
Designed for gaming, the HP OMEN 15 is a balanced computer in terms of graphics, RAM and processor. Yes, it comes without operating system
screen 15.6 “Full HD IPS Processor Core i7-8750H RAM 16 GB
Storage 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD GPU GeForce GTX 1060 Price 1,349 euros
Lenovo Ideapad Y720-15IKB
Although with a veteran multi-core processor, this gaming laptop has a solvent graphics and enough RAM for creative work. Among its weaknesses, a somewhat limited SSD and its Full HD screen.
screen 15.6 “Full HD IPS Processor Core i7-7700HQ RAM 16 GB
Storage 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD GPU GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB Price 1,395.12 euros
Huawei Matebook X Pro
Limited by components such as graphics or RAM for video editing, the Huawei Matebook X Pro is an ultrabook that stands out for the quality of its screen, touch and 3K resolution. For those users who are looking for a lightweight equipment for lightweight mobility editing.
screen 13.9 “3K (3000 x 2000 pixels) Processor Core i7-8550U RAM 8 GB
Storage 512GB SSD GPU NVIDIA MX150-2GB Price 1,399 euros
Dell Xps 15
Dell XPS 15
While the hardware of this model (there are more ambitious configurations) leads to the photographic edition, the Dell XPS stands out for its screen: anti-reflective, with 400 nits brightness, Ultra HD 4K resolution with Adobe RGB color and software to adjust the color
screen 16.6 “InfinityEdge 4K UHD Processor i5-8300H RAM 8 GB DDR4
Storage M.2 PCIe 256 GB GPU GTX 1050 with 4 GB GDDR5 memory Price € 1,499.99
From 1,500 euros to 2,500 euros
ASUS ZenBook Pro 15
With a good number of ports in terms of quantity and diversity, the Asus ZenBook Pro 15 stands out for its Screenpad, a screen located on the functional Touchpad interesting for creative tasks. Its dedicated graphics are somewhat limited for demanding video editing.
screen 15.6 “LED IPS Full HD Processor Core i7 8750H RAM 16 GB DDR4
Storage 512GB SSD GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 4 GB GDDR5 Price 1,599 euros
ASUS ROG Strix Scar II
We return to the gaming aesthetic with the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II , a team with good connectivity that stands out for its graphics with Turing architecture that, together with processor and RAM, achieve a team that offers performance at the height of a desktop
screen 15.6 “IPS Full HD Processor Core i7 8750H RAM 16 GB DDR4
Storage 512GB SSD GPU Nvidia RTX2060 6 GB Price 1,749 euros
Gigabyte Aero 15X
Another lightweight laptop that shares hardware configuration with the previous one is the Gigabyte Aero. With an aesthetics away from gaming and very thin 5mm edges where your FHD 144Hz IPS panel is integrated with X-rite Pantone color calibration.
screen 15.6 “IPS Full HD Processor Core i7-8750H RAM 16 GB
Storage 1TB HDD + 512GB SSD GPU GeForce GTX 1070 Price 1,999 euros
MSI WE73 8SJ-278ES
A Workstation with good connectivity oriented to graphic processing and a large screen, which although reaches Full HD, has True Color technology to offer greater color contrast and greater detail of the image
screen 17.3 “Full HD Processor Core i7-8750H RAM 16 GB DDR4
Storage 1TB HDD + 512GB SSD GPU NVIDIA Quadro P2000 Price 1,999 euros
Workstation for intensive and demanding users in audio video tasks with a good number of ports (it is possible to connect up to 4 4K screens) in a compact format of little more than 2kg.
screen 15.6 “UHD Processor Core i7-7700HQ RAM 32 GB DDR4
Storage 512GB M.2 PCIe 2280 PCIe NVMe SSD + 2TB GPU NVIDIA Quadro Embedded P4000 8GB Price 2,499 euros
More than 2,500 euros
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme
With a 4K touch screen with Dolby Vision HDR, the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme is a very attractive powerful laptop for photo editing.
screen 15.6 “4K UHD LCD IPS Processor Core i7-8750H RAM 16GB DDR4
Storage 512 SSD GPU GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Price 2,589.58 euros
Microsoft Surface Book 2
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is a team for those who seek lightness and autonomy to work in mobility. It is also a powerful team (especially for photo) and versatile thanks to its quality touch screen. Yes, something short in terms of ports.
screen PixelSense 15 “, 3240×2160 pixels Processor Core i7-8650U RAM 16 GB LPDDR3
Storage 256 GB SSD GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX1060-6GB Price 2,659.05 euros
HP ZBook Studio x360
As in the previous case, we have a powerful and light equipment with a hinge that allows to use it as a tablet, interacting with its quality screen with 4K resolution. With speakers signed by Bang & Olufsen
screen 15.5 “4K UHD Processor i7-8850H RAM 16 GB DDR4
Storage 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD GPU NVIDIA Quadro P1000 Price 2,902.79 euros
HP OMEN X
The HP OMEN X is a portable gaming with 4K screen quality and solvent hardware.
screen WLED 17,3 “4K Processor Core i7-7820HK RAM 16 GB
Storage 1 TB and 256 GB SSD GPU GeForce GTX 1070 Price 2,921.58 euros
Dell Alienware 17
The Dell Alienware 17 is a gaming notebook with a configuration designed for virtual reality that fits the bill in intensive editing tasks. With 300 nits anti-reflective IPS panel
screen 17,3 “IPS UHD Processor i9-8950HK RAM 32 GB
Storage 1 TB HDD + SSD 256 GB GPU GeForce GTX 1080 Price 3,399 euros
MacBook Pro 15
One of the most demanding configurations for video and photo editing, with Retina display with True Tone of great quality in a premium design but that will require the use of adapters, given its scarcity of ports.
screen 15.4 “LED IPS 2.880×1.800 Processor i7 2.6 GHz RAM 32 GB DDR4
Storage 512GB SSD PCIe GPU Radeon Pro Vega 20 Price 3,947 euros
MSI GT75 Titan 8SG-016ES
A powerful laptop for demanding users in photo and video editing tasks with a large screen that reaches 4K and a good number of ports.
screen 17.3 “IPS UHD (3840 * 2160) Processor i9-8950H RAM 32 GB DDR4
Storage 1TB HDD + 512GB SSD GPU Nvidia RTX 2080 8GB Price 4,179.05 euros