What is the best video editing laptop?
When I am on the road or at an event with Jeff, we often times need to edit videos and publish them the same day. Therefore I need a fast and portable video editing laptop solution for SDEs (same days edits) and on location projects. In this blog I will also share with you some two upgrades I made to this laptop and the hack I use to get SUPER FAST performance from Adobe Premiere Pro.
So what is the best video editing laptop? (Laptop Buying Guide)
The Best Video Editing Laptop (in my Opinion) is the Toshiba Qosmio X875 (Link).
2013-06-20 Update: The X875-Q7380 has been updated to the X875-Q7190. They are almost identical however the new laptop has a better screen resolution of 1920×1080 instead of 1600 x 900 in the previous model. I would therefore recommend the X875-Q7190 now with the same upgrades. Especially an SSD for the Operating System. Note: It may appear that the Q7380 has a 3.4 GHz i7 Processor while the Q7190 has a 2.4 GHz i7 Processor. However, upon closer inspection you’ll notice they are the same processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM (3.4 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology). One spec sheet is referencing the the actual speed and one is referencing the Turbo Boost speed.
7 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Laptop for Video Editing.
- Is the laptop screen large enough for efficient video editing?
- Does it have a high performance processor? (The Faster the Better)
- Does it have a high end graphics card that will work with your video editing software to speed up rendering and editing?
(The key is to make sure it is compatible with the Adobe Premiere Mercury Playback Engine)
- Does it have fast internal hard drives? (Should be 7200RPM+ or Solid State for Video Editing)
- Does it have enough RAM for high performance video editing? (Adobe CS6 Supports 32GB)
- Does it have a built in “SD Card Reader” for quick capture of video content?
- Does it have USB 2.0 ports or USB 3.0 ports? (Make sure it has USB 3.0)
I am doing two simple upgrades to this laptop including swapping out one of the hard drives for a Hybrid SSD drive and adding 4GB of RAM.
7200RPM SATA SSD (Solid State Drive)
(Boosting the Ram Up to 16GB) 4GB PC3-12800 DDR3-1600MHz
RAM Direct from Toshiba HERE.
Is this really The Best Video Editing Laptop?
Nope. There are much better video editing laptops out there. However, when you consider cost and value, this is the best bang for your buck, that I could find. For more than TWICE the total price of this laptop and upgrades you could get a decked out MacBook Pro with Retina Display. If that is in your budget then that might be something you want to consider. There are other higher end PC options as well, but in every case I have seen, you are going to pay more for it!
COMMENT: Do you know of a video editing laptop with better specs? Please share the details in the comments section!
Super Fast Video Editing Workflow (Video Card and 3 Hard Drives for Peak Performance)
I am using Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. That means the laptop needs to be 64-bit and needs to have an Adobe-certified GPU card for GPU-accelerated performance (i.e. Mercury Playback Engine). In order to get this video card I followed the instructions here in this article, “How to Unlock Adobe Premiere CS5, CS5.5 and CS6 to use almost any NVIDIA graphics card with CUDA acceleration.” I have successfully used this hack on two different laptops now without any problems. Make sure to read the entire FAQ on that article and don’t email me if your laptop blows up. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. I Do.
Adobe recommends a 7200 RPM hard drive or multiple fast disk drives, preferably RAID 0 configured. This is how my hard drives are configured. Drive one is Hybrid SSD with the operating system and Adobe Premiere installed. Drive two is a 7200rpm internal hard drive where I will send my working files and temp files (video captures/project files). Drive three is a WD 7200rpm external USB 3.0 hard drive, where my video files and content will be stored. Check out this thread for more on this.
Monitor Resolution and Color Quality
Even though the monitor is 17″ the resolution of the Qosmio x875 is less than ideal at only 1600×900 (1920×1080 would be ideal). Some pros would also consider the color and viewing angle of the monitor to also be unacceptable. These are valid points to consider when making your decision on video editing laptop. Excellence is definitely a priority for THiNK International videos and content, but we are not making “films” and we are not spending a lot of time “color grading” our videos. Therefore I wanted the fastest video editing laptop possible for the cheapest price. Therefore, we decided to go with a Qosmio.
*****2013-06-20 Update: The X875-Q7380 has been updated to the X875-Q7190. They are almost identical however the new laptop has a better screen resolution of 1920×1080 instead of 1600 x 900 in the previous model (Shoot! I bought mine too early…). I would therefore recommend the X875-Q7190 now with the same upgrades. Especially an SSD for the Operating System.
Your Opinion is Needed!
Do you know of a laptop with better specs for a cheaper price? What do you think of the Qosmio x875 and upgrades I have put together Would you do something different? The THiNK International tribe and I would love to know what you think the best video editing laptop set up is. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.