Whether you’re thinking of becoming the next YouTube sensation or want to get your feet wet with filming, a laptop is the most important and basic tool you need to get started. But since you’re just getting started with editing be it photos or videos, great chances are that you don’t want to splurge on an expensive laptop model just yet.
However, given that a laptop is not something you should be replacing anytime soon, it is a good idea to buy a model with the right features and components from the get-go. If you’re going to traveling with the laptop often, you should also ensure that the model you choose is lightweight especially when carrying it with your other gear such as tripods, speakers, etc.
The first thing worth noting is that manufacturers seldom make laptops exclusively for photo and video editing, but there is a mix of features to pick from the common laptop categories – gaming laptops, ultraportables and mobile workstations that make a good and cheap laptop for the photo, video editing and more. That said, here are a few aspects to consider when in the market for the best cheap laptop for editing YouTube videos and photos.
Consider a Chromebook
If you feel that your laptop editing needs aren’t overly complex, and you have a tight budget, buying a Chromebook may perhaps be the best option for you. Chromebooks just as the name suggests uses Google-owned Chrome OS and can be had across an array of manufacturers and different specs.
They are a great choice if you’re going to be performing your editing tasks entirely online including storing media files in Google Drive or other similar offerings. If you aren’t sure what specs to look for in a Chromebook, the following aspects should guide you in the right direction.
Do you want a 2-in-1 Laptop?
A 2-in-1 laptop basically doubles up as a tablet as well, allowing you to switch between clamshell and tablet mode and others in between including tent and stand modes. Further, they are usually available in two different form factors – detachable with screens that come off and ones that are fitted with 360 degrees bendable hinges for more flexibility.
What to Look for in a Cheap Laptop for Editing?
Apart from Chromebook, there are two other common OS options to select from –Windows and MacOS, and the right one for you is one you are comfortable using and your photo and video applications are compatible with. In most cases, you will not find an Apple laptop running MacOS at an inexpensive price, but it’s always an option in case premium is the way to go.
Apart from being lightweight, you should determine the right size display for your needs. The size of laptops can be classified into several different segments –11” to 12”, 13 to 14 inches, 15, and 17 to 18 inches.
CPU and Memory
These two components that are regarded as the engines for all media editing laptops for several reasons. When selecting the right amount of CPU and memory power, it is wise to consider the type of applications you will be running as some can be taxing on these two components.
The best laptops for editing YouTube videos and photos will probably not offer a top of the line processor such as an Intel i7. i3, but most commonly come with AMD or a smaller processor from Intel. RAM short for Random Access Memory is the component that holds the programs and the data being processed until it is saved to the hard drive. Some laptops offer the option to upgrade the RAM, which others do not. Either way, the minimum you should choose is 4 gigs of RAM.
If you’re going to be storing a lot of files on your hard drive, buy the best laptop for video and editing that has a large capacity hard drive to store your videos, images and more. If you do run out of hard drive space down the road, you can always connect an external hard drive with your laptop.
Not to be confused with the display size, the resolution of the screen dictates the quality of output, where higher resolutions such as Full HD what you can expect in a budget-friendly laptop. Speaking of the screen, they can be ordered in touch and non-touch versions, where the former is probably what you will get in the cheap laptop segment.
Videos and photo editing laptops in the budget segment typically come with integrated graphics, which should be ideal for most basic to moderate video editing tasks.
It may be challenging to upgrade the integrated graphics chip given that it is attached to the processor, so you need to select one before making the investment. Some laptops even in the inexpensive laptop segment come to a discrete graphics chip such as Nvidia, which is an entirely different graphics subsystem.
Given that you will probably be traveling with your laptop and to prevent any downtime in your editing tasks, buy a cheap yet best laptop for video and photo editing that offers at least 6 to 10 hours of battery power on a single charge.
Make informed decisions:
The aforementioned factors will help you buy the best cheap laptop for video and photo editing, so choose them wisely because some of the components cannot be changed down the line as your needs grow. Adding to this, you should also take into account the type of ports that come with the laptop, because some offer the chance to connect to a projector and flat screen TV’s such as HDMI ports.
The best cheap laptops for video editing should come with the latest USB 3.0 port, which offers higher data transfer speeds that, its predecessor – USB 2.0. Before heading out on the shopping trail, it helps to make a list of specs and features you absolutely need for your video and photos editing needs, so that easily select the best model that fits the bill.