Buy a decent budget laptop that fulfills all your needs for YouTube video editing and at the same time, you save money to invest in other things to improve your video, like a good microphone or a good tripod, or maybe buy something to please yourself. Why buy over-priced and over-hyped laptops when you can buy a budget laptop that can fulfill all your requirements for your YouTube channel! The cost must justify the purchase and your needs.
This article will help you to reach a decision on buying a ‘Budget Laptop for YouTube Video Editing in 2021’, you’ll be getting a ‘Point-blank Ultimate Buying Guide’ with straight answers, as to what to look for while making a purchase. Additionally, you’ll be having a list of 10 laptops that will fit the budget and do the job.
Decision-Making Process: Before Buying a Laptop for YouTube Video Editing
The buying decision is near optimum when ‘our requirements/needs’ and ‘what options are available in the market within our budget meets. For this purpose, we need to have an understanding of three things:
I. What are our needs? (Explained in: Understanding our needs before Buy a Budget Laptop in 2021)
II. Which technical specifications/criteria are needed to satisfy our needs? (Explained in: A Point-Blank – Ultimate Buying Guide: Buy a Budget Laptop for YouTube Video Editing in 2021)
III. What the market is offering us? (Explained in: Buying Options/Choices)
Well, the above-mentioned ‘Thought Process/Decision-Making Process’ is applicable in general to all the purchases you make, it is more applicable to all the technical and technological purchases you make. Keep this ‘Thought Process’ handy and you’ll be a wise buyer. Don’t forget to thank me.
I. Understanding the Needs Before Deciding to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2021
There are many laptops available for gamers, students, office-goers, light usage, etc. but there is no specific category to cater especially the need for video editing, that too in the niche usage of YouTube Video editing. Buying a budget laptop for video editing especially YouTube video editing is the best decision you have made. Why? Because buying a fancy one and paying for all the processing capability which you will not be fully exploiting will be a sheer waste of your money and investments.
This brings us to the first approach which you as a buyer must-have. It is that the money spent on buying a laptop to earn is not an expenditure, but an investment. Get a firm hold on this approach as you want to earn money and we are talking business.
Investment or an Expenditure: Buying a Budget Laptop for YouTube Video Editing
Yes, here comes the pieces of wisdom! If you are thinking of making money online from a YouTube video channel, then it is purely a commercial venture.
When it comes to commerce, your purchase of a laptop for YouTube video editing is an investment. By the way, what is the average life of a laptop, keeping in mind it stays relevant to technological changes and software upgrades?
Yes, the effective life of your asset should be taken well into consideration.
Here is another tip from a business management guy, do add all your costs including your internet bills, the price paid for the microphone, tripods, etc. while calculating your input cost for your YouTube video channel. This will help you get a firm grip while both managing your costs and calculating profits in the long run.
Case Against Buying a Desktop PC for YouTube Video Editing
If you are still finding it difficult to justify, why you are not purchasing a desktop PC while all the professionals are advising? Then here are some major pieces of wisdom.
A desktop PC is a fine and professional choice for video editing, only if you are into more professional and commercial content creation that happens to include editing movies, commercials, etc. for corporates or big movie houses. But for YouTube video editing if you are investing in a feature-rich PC, then surely you are buying a space-ship for a two-mile walk.
Advise of professionals is right, but may not be right for you. Yes, if you don’t understand the technicalities then a blind rule is to buy the best. But here we are, to be wiser before investing money.
Another thing which I’ll comment on as a passing reference is that assembling a mid-featured desktop PC is not that much return-giving than buying a capable laptop.
Video Quality and Resolution
Before some social media influencer telling you to buy a high-end golden laptop and promising you a berth on mars, hold it! I intend to save your money and also to save you from heartburn. Additionally, you can invest the remaining money in buying a good microphone, tripod, lights, etc.
Simply, you may buy a high-end laptop which will again have an effective life span of 5-7 years, and if the same work can be done by a budget laptop, then you have actually shelled out more than 50% of your money than you could have invested in other areas.
Good videos for YouTube are generally in a resolution ranging from 720p to 1080p. The mark of 4K video quality for YouTube is not feasible or advisable if you are a vlogger giving reviews or teaching. 4K video quality is needed when you want to go beyond high definition and capture some natural scenery. Plus, it is more of an add-on where high definition is already giving a very high-quality video output.
4k videos will be much larger in size, even a 10-minute video will be in very high GBs which makes them difficult to upload and will raise the cost of your internal hard disks too. A normal Full High Definition video can be edited with a laptop having an FHD feature and a normal screen refresh rate of 60 Hz. Tough in the market, 144 Hz is also available, but it is needed for very high-end and demanding games. Though we are not allergic if we can get a higher refresh rate in our budget or by stretching our budget a little. But only little not too much.
Duration of the Videos is a Necessary Criterion
If you are not editing a 1 hour+ animation movie with VFX, rather your videos are of 10 to 15 minutes or atmost 25 minutes duration then a budget laptop will suffice your needs. Provided you are doing simple stuff in video editing.
By simple stuff I mean, cutting and joining videos, adding transitions, pop-up elements, and animations, mainly GIFs, sound effects, etc. for a 10-15 minute video or a maximum 20-minute video which is under 4K.
This aspect is rarely touched by many advisors. Perhaps it is better that you should research before committing your hard-earned money. Troika of Processor, RAM, and GPU should be a deciding factor at this stage. But they are commonly dealt by all without assessing your needs.
II. A Point-Blank – Ultimate Buying Guide: Buy a Budget Laptop for YouTube Video Editing in 2021
As from the reading above, you already know what are your needs, now we have to get to the next stage to understand, which technical specifications fulfill your needs. Here we are going to deal with those technical specifications which are going to satisfy the purpose of editing 15-20 minute YouTube videos with more than average effects, animations, and filters.
Processor Requirements for Video Editing
All the YouTube stories from rags to riches look motivating on paper. But when you look at currency paper, the euphoria takes a great hit from reality. You need to invest in a decent processing capacity or else whatever ‘make-shift’ investment you are going to make will be wasted in near future. Investing too much is riskier, so is investing too less. You need to find that ‘sweet spot’, the ‘middle ground’.
Processor is the brain of the computer that do what you want it to do. You must have heard two names when it comes to processors: Intel and AMD. Which one is better? Both and None. Yes. Only thing is your requirement. Both brands are competitive and both have many variants to choose from and to avoid. So which one to opt for? Lets see.
Currently, Intel offers 9 types of processors in the market. Which are:
- Intel Atom
- Intel Celeron
- Intel Pentium
- Intel i3
- Intel i5
- Intel i7
- Intel i9
Currently AMD offers these processors, from which you need to choose:
- AMD E2
- AMD A4
- AMD A6
- AMD A9
- AMD A10
- AMD A12
- AMD Ryzen 3
- AMD Ryzen 5
- AMD Ryzen 7
Which processors to avoid for video editing for any sorts:
- From Intel: Atom, Celeron, Pentium, and i3 are not built for video editing and content creation. They are for simple average usage. Browse the net, listen to songs, watch movies and write some letters.
- From AMD: From AMD E2 to AMD Ryzen 3, they are all meant for the same purposes mentioned above, should not be pushed for any video editing.
Which Processors can handle video editing:
- From Intel: Intel i5, Intel i7, and Intel i9.
- From AMD: AMD Ryzen 5, AMD Ryzen 7.
Get is simple, i5 is cheaper and i9 is the costliest. Where your comfort zone lies? From i5 8th Generation to i7 11th Generation if you are looking for a budget laptop. Similarly, ADM Ryzen 5 is cheaper and can handle all the above-mentioned needs for video editing, AMD Ryzen 7 can do it more seamlessly. If you are buying i9, then you are surely in a premium segment and not in the budget segment.
Simply RAM (Random Access Memory) means the multi-tasking ability of your computer. The higher the RAM better it is. Below 8 GB RAM is a disaster. 8 GB can easily handle all the normal requirements mentioned above. Though there could be a bit longer rendering time in certain cases, 8 GB will suffice. More than 8 BG is surely a gaming laptop-oriented purchase. If on a budget, you should buy 8 GB RAM which is upgradable. 16 GB is really a comfortable purchase.
Without graphics on your PC or laptop, there is no question of video editing at all. But we have to decide between integrated and dedicated graphics. If you think there is a thumb rule then you need to read this. Graphics is like a separate processor for all the video or graphical rendering. Higher their GBS the better. GPU is one of the major components of the cost. Some GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit) are meant only for watching HD movies and a little bit of photo editing, while some are meant to handle very high-quality videos and rendering.
Nvidia graphics card GTX 1070 family, GTX 1080 family, RTX 2060, RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 family is meant to handle hardcore video processing needs. But at the same time, GTX 1050 family, GTX 1060 and all those below GTX 1070 are for casual usage.
Similarly, AMD Radeon RX Vega family, AMD Radeon RX 5700 family, and AMD Radeon VII are masters at handling hardcore gaming and video editing. But AMD Radeon RX 590 and below are meant for casual video watching and playing less demanding games.
Integrated graphics are usually not meant for hardcore gaming. But if on a budget you are getting above mentioned GPU in an integrated form, they can easily suffice casual or simple video editing even at i5 and Ryzen 5 processor with 8 GB RAM. If you can get a dedicated 4+ GB GPU then it is far more comfortable.
SSD is fast but costly. Old school spinning hard-disk is less fast, not slow but cheap. A very high capacity RAM or the sweet spot 8 to 16GB RAM can easily handle a 15-20 minute video editing even on a spinning hard-disk. But, if you can get a hand on the laptops which offer the combo of SSD and hard-disk both in some storage ratios, then you have hit the jackpot.
Trying to buy a full SSD-based laptop will get you a smaller storage space which can be countered with buying an external hard disk. A low storage space with full SSD means high efficiency with less storage. There is a bit of a trade-off, but can be managed.
Let’s talk about your proficiency in video editing. Are you some professional or an amateur? Does your 15-20 minute video need VFX (special effects) and editing like ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Fast and Furious’ or ‘Baahubali’ or a simple video editing like ‘Count of Monte Cristo’, ‘Sex and the City’ or ‘Godfather’ will be enough?
I hope you got that. Famous software is good, but your purpose and need are top priorities. Video editing and other elements to be used needs a learning curve. Software usability, ease of operations, and skill levels should match.
Of course, you can learn anything. But do you just need to learn anything or something relevant and useful? I can pitch heavy and funky names but if your work can be accomplished via much less resource eating and simple user interface software like ‘Camtasia’ and ‘Filmorago’ then your efforts in learning tough software will a bit misdirected.
Even if you are editing some episodes of a crime investigation series, the above two mentioned softwares will be sufficient for you. Rather they will surprise you like anything. Best part is that they are quicker to learn.
Once you have enough proficiency and experience in editing videos you can switch to heavier and more versatile softwares if the need arises.
III. Buying Options/ Choices (What Markets are offering?) While Deciding About Budget Laptops for Video Editing
Acer Swift 3X (SF314-59)
- Processor: Intel i5 – 11th Gen
- RAM: 6 GB DDR 4
- Graphics: Integrated, Intel Iris Xe Max
- Screen: 14-inch, Full High Definition
- Storage: 512GB SSD
When it comes to quality, speed, and durability, Acer is something that must be on your list for serious consideration. It has been out-performing many other big brands and doesn’t even make a fuss about it.
An i5 processor of 11th generation backed by a 16 GB RAM is something you need to consider if you are buying a budget laptop for YouTube video editing. But I won’t be going gaga over every rosy thing. Integrated graphics is an issue here, but then it is the budget category. I personally won’t recommend you to try and edit some long 1 hour or more HD videos with tons of animations and effects. But if your aim is for 15-20 minutes of some vlogger videos or some tutorials or any screen recordings and voice-over, then this is surely the choice you want to make.
One thing which is sure with this laptop is that you can run Camtasia and Filmorago like anything. But it may give more waiting time while rendering the videos if you are using some very heavy software. If you are starting a YouTube channel and wish to scale it later, in other words, ‘when I’ll earn then I’ll upgrade’. Then this is a secure purchase. It is a versatile laptop and surely will help in other things related to graphic designing after helping you earn enough for the big jump.
HP Pavilion Gaming (16-a0022TX)
- Processor: Intel Core i5 (10th Generation)
- RAM: 8 GB DDR 4
- Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1650 4GB
- Screen: 16-inch, Full High Definition
- Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
- Storage: 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD
One of the budget laptops for video editing in 2021 when it comes for your YouTube channel. A right mix of features. Though I must remind that when it comes to budget category, we aim to get the best of what the market is offering us. Here we cannot go bragging about all the goods. Obviously, some things are trade-offs. Let’s see the right fit.
This laptop is one of the best investments when it comes to editing 15–20-minute videos. Packs the right combo of hybrid storage with massive 1 TB HDD with a faster 256 GB SSD. Very nicely configured for price sensitive Indian market. Liked that fact. Clever.
16-inch Full HD display with a 4 GB graphic processing power, that too by NVIDIA is more than what you need for video editing. Rather it may even surprise you more than that. A RAM could have been better but the trade-off with the SSD and 4GB graphical processing power is a wise choice. If needed, RAM can be upgraded and that scaling up capability makes it one of the wise choices. As you earn, you can upgrade. A sound logic of commerce.
HP Envy x360 Convertible Touchscreen
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5
- RAM: 8GB DDR4, expandable up to 16 GB
- Graphics: AMD Radeon Graphics
- Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080), multitouch-enabled, IPS
- Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Now, this is some head-turner. Edit your videos in style and budget. Yes, it is one of the clever purchases when it comes to a budget laptop for YouTube video editing purposes. It is a nice bet where the RAM is upgradable. This leaves a lot of scope for scaling up the laptop instead of buying a whole new one. The basic video editing which I have mentioned above can be done in a seamless manner.
HP is a nice and dependable choice. Rather these days, when you are above a certain budget, mostly all the big brands are offering competitive products. The only difference comes to our personal choices and some specific features, styles, and personalizations. I guess, standing in the corner of the metro while editing videos with a touchscreen convertible will surely look classy and stylish.
Yes, I do see that you need to compulsorily buy an external hard disk for storing other content. But we all need to buy that because the videos after processing needed to be backed up. Plus if you are making too many videos even 1 TB of storage will finish quickly. Apart from that issue, it is a bright and pocket-friendly choice. Even your family members will love it.
MSI Alpha 15 Ryzen 7 Quad Core 3750H – (A3DD-264IN)
- Processor: Ryzen 7 Quad Core
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4
- Graphics: Dedicated; AMD Radeon RX 5500M 4GB GDDR6
- Screen: 15.6 inch, Full High Definition
- Refresh Rate: 144 Hz
- Storage: 1 TB ESATA Hard Disk; No SSD
When it comes to a budget laptop for YouTube video editing in 2021, AMD processors supported by 16 GB RAM and 256-512 GB SSD prove to be more efficient do the job very well. The best part is that there is scalability. Easy to run software like Camtasia and Filmorago.
When it comes to screen size and other display factors in video editing, 60 Hz is the minimum requirement for video editing and if you get 144 Hz in refresh rate, which is meant for high resource-demanding games, then your video editing task becomes much smoother. Additionally, a 15.6-inch high definition is a must, going below this screen size is not advisable.
This laptop does not provide an SSD but do provide a 4GB dedicated graphics card. Thus, there are a few trade-offs but when it comes to video-editing to medium level requirements for graphical content creation, it is surely a bang for the buck.
MSI Bravo 15 Ryzen 7 4800H (A4DDR-212IN)
- Processor: AMD Ryzen7-4800H
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4
- Screen: 15.6″ Full High Definition (1920*1080)
- Refresh Rate: 144 Hz
- Storage: 512GB SSD
- Graphics: 4 GB Dedicated Graphics Card – Radeon RX 5500M
Brilliant color display and immersive multimedia experience. A 15.6-inch screen is what you need for video editing. This laptop fulfills almost all the criteria to be the best fit for video editing.
Though if you are an amateur video editor, then obviously a 144 Hz refresh rate is too much for you. If you are getting that much refresh rate at a 15.6-inch screen, 4 GB dedicated graphics card, and processing power aptly backing it up, then this purchase is a wise decision.
If this is your first tryst with an AMD processor, then you will be wondering why you haven’t tried it before. A power-pack value for money aluminum body laptop.
There are two RAM slots which mean that RAM is upgradable up to 64 GB. Getting a 512 GB of SSD at a trade-off of 1 TB optical drive is not an issue here, because it is a performance-oriented laptop. Here the motive is to get the work done rather than to use the laptop as some bulky and slow storage device for movie archives. Need to buy at least 1 TB external hard disk with it, for backup of your videos.
Lenovo ThinkPad E15
- Processor: Intel Core i5-10210U Quad Core
- RAM: 16GB DDR4
- Graphics: Intel Integrated Ultra High-Definition Graphics
- Screen: 15.6″ Full High Definition with IPS Anti-Glare Display
- Storage: 500GB Hard Drive + 512GB SSD
This laptop may not be the top choice when it comes to the geek criteria, but when it comes to budget laptops for video editing, then it may compete for its due place. YouTube video editing requirements can range from a mid-level to a very high-level specification. If you are into shooting videos and then cropping, cutting, editing, joining, adding transitions, and a bit more than color correction, green screen, and sound effects, then this laptop justifies the price it commands.
The split of storage ratio of almost equal between the HDD and SDD is surely a compensation for the absence of a dedicated graphics card.
Here we cannot go on boasting all positives, there are some trade-offs and we need to analyze them too. Seems a very good choice for video editing when it comes to 15-20 min videos, but if you are looking to edit a video above 45 minutes, then you should expand your budget to other laptops in this list. Otherwise, you can buy this, make videos, get popular, earn money, and can upgrade. But even in that scenario, this laptop has the potential to deliver its performance for more than 5-6 years at mid to heavy usage.
Lenovo Legion 5i 10th Gen (82AU00KKIN)
- Processor: Intel i7, 10th Generation
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4
- Graphics: Dedicated 4GB, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
- Screen: 15.6 inch
- Refresh Rate: 120Hz Full High Definition IPS antiglare display
- Storage: 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD
This is one of the dream configurations if you are looking for a budget laptop for YouTube video editing in 2021. Though seeing its price, it has competition in the market and you may need to over-stretch your budget a little. It has a lot to promise when it comes to content creation and performance delivery.
A solid refresh rate backed by a dedicated 4 GB graphics card and a powerful processor is all the right ingredients for video editing. With a mighty RAM, it all adds to its advantage. One of the best things about this configuration is that here you can install some big-time heavy and resource-consuming video-editing software.
Additionally, the combo in the storage of HDD and SSD makes it all the more desirable. This laptop has seemed to touch all the sweet spots for content editing. Though many more things can be desired when analyzing all the trade-offs and the price, this goes a little above the budget category. But at the same time, if you can extend your budget, you are going to get a laptop which can give sold return on every penny spent and can last longer and relevant. The good point about it is that it can be used for many other purposes as its 1 TB memory and given configuration makes it a good work-horse.
New Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip
- Processor: System on Chip (SoC), Apple M1 chip
- RAM: 8 GB
- Graphics: Apple 8-core GPU
- Screen: 13-inch
- Storage: 256GB SSD
An Apple laptop in budget category? Yes! Let’s all be on weed for some time.
Now this is something an alien technology. M1 chip is very different and comparison to intel and AMD architecture is more than off-limits. With 3.5x faster CPU and 5x faster GPU, you can play bug games and can edit videos too. Not to forget its Neural Engine which takes your graphic processing to another level. If you are not editing some 4K videos, then this laptop fills in just nicely. Rather smoothly. Apple processors are faster than other brands available in the market. The biggest plus is that, there softwares and hardware are tuned to get the maximum performance. In short, they are well tuned and tweaked to take full advantages of all the cores.
Some issues can be faced by those who have never used an iOS. Yes, storage space is an issue and you need to buy an external hard disk. The best part about this laptop from Apple is that you have a pre-installed free video editing software which is basically everything you need for a basic level video editing, its called iMovies. For video editing requiring a full high definition and duration upto 30 mins, you will find it optimum for usage.
The surety is that, this laptop will be there for you for a very long time. Plus, I don’t mind a little show off and jealous friends for a very long time. I love to see that happening. This laptop is more than just show-off, a working man’s beast and a head-turner for sure.
Dell Inspiron 15 G3 3500 Gaming Laptop
- Processor: Intel i7 (10th Generation)
- RAM: 16GB DDR4
- Graphics: Dedicated 4 GB, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
- Screen: 15.6 inches, Full High Definition
- Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
- Storage: 1TB HDD+256GB SSD
Dell has again surprised us with a beast performer in a little more than budget category laptop. It is a nice choice when we analyse all the specifications. There is more than the brand name that meets the eye.
When we short-list laptops for a budget category for YouTube video editing, we also take into account those laptops that are just the other side of the budget. The motive is to see that if we can stretch a little, maybe we can get a wonderful deal that gives more than the returns we are wishing for. Yes a, ‘No Cost EMI’ at this point is surely a welcome thing. But don’t overstretch your budget because there are always better things available.
It checks all the right boxes with the robust RAM, 15.6-inch display, obviously i7 10th Generation and that above sweet spot refresh rate makes it more than a competitor, rather a benchmark. If you are thinking would have been better, then you are escalating the cost by more than % and we are already in a very high zone of budget laptops.
This is above borderline gaming laptop on which video editing is seamless and given all the specifications, there is no as such trade-off. Deliberately finding faults is one this, but this is just the right decision.
Acer Swift 5 (SF514-55TA)
- Processor: Intel i7 (11th Generation)
- RAM: 16 GB
- Graphics: Integrated, Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- Screen: 14-inch Full High Definition IPS Display with Touchscreen
- Form Factor: Ultra Thin and Light Notebook
- Storage: 1TB HDD
This beast is a really good one to serve its video editing masters. Acer has always been one of the wise choices. It is more of a laptop to accomplish a given task than much pomp and show. For a beginner or I should say for a new YouTube channel where you plan to have a laptop to serve you for more than 300+ videos where all of them are ranging between 15-20 minutes and or not full of animation and special effects, then this laptop is just the right decision.
I won’t give ‘perfect tag’, to anything, as I am a skeptic by nature. Thus even in this laptop, I do manage to find a fault of having an integrated and not dedicated GPU. But it is something to worry about for those who wish to play very heavy games on full mode, otherwise they can also run at medium settings.
I won’t give ‘perfect tag’, to anything, as I am a skeptic by nature. Thus even in this laptop I do manage to find a fault of having an integrated and not dedicated GPU. But it is something to worry for those who wish to play very heavy games on full mode, otherwise the can also run at medium settings.
Back to video editing. Yes, can even run heavy video editing softwares on this laptop like a charm. We all wish a dependable and reliable technology which both looks nice and serves right, and this is the one.
ASUS ZenBook 14 (UX425EA-BM701TS)
- Intel Core i7-1165G7 11th Gen
- 14-inch Full High Definition
- Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
- 16GB RAM – LPDDR4
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
- Thin and Light Laptop
- Intel Iris Xᵉ Graphics
To begin in a ‘point blank’ manner, the most robust thing about this is its battery life and its portability. It’s a travel ultrabook, so if you are a vlogger and likes to edit videos while traveling, then it is one of the best bet. Integrated graphics can be a trade-off, but Asus has countered that with an SSD in combination with 16 GB RAM to give a smooth rendering of your videos. The best part about this smart configuration is that avoids the tag and premium of being a gaming laptop while still giving all the punch.
For video editing, you get all you want: 100% sRGB, 14-inch Full HD, 1080p Resolution, and an i7 processor supported by 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD. Though you need to buy an additional 1 TB external hard disk, which is a must to keep the backup of your videos. They could have given a 256 GB SSD with a 1 TB optical hard drive. But it seems they want to give a fully functional and reliable content creation laptop to deliver the performance rather than a built-for-all-purpose machine which ends up being pricier.
Other features to brag about are its face recognition technology, fast charging, Harman/ Kardon certified sound, and not to forget Thunderbolt 4 ports. Now that’s a classy way to spend your money.
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