Video editing can require a whole lot of processing power and up-to-date graphics cards, which usually means shelling out hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars just to get a decent machine. While this may have been true a couple of years ago, nowadays there are budget laptops under $500 or within $500 that can suit the basic, and even advanced, needs of video editors. Granted, some of the more high-end laptops like Alienware 15 R3 go up to more than $2000, the budget laptops we put on this list are more than sufficient for a lot of things.
We’ve found that some of the best video editing laptops under $500 have all the bells and whistles that editors need to make great-looking VFX, although it might struggle with rendering times and might even slow down if you’re running more than one program. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a video editing laptop under 500 dollars with great battery life, portability, and processing power, this is the list you need to see.
Lenovo Ideapad 330
Sporting a 15.6 inch HD display, the Lenovo Ideapad 330 looks nearly identical to previous iterations of the ideapad. However, aesthetics are the only thing it shares with its younger siblings; the Lenovo Ideapad 330 is better, faster, and stronger in terms of configuration, with Lenovo beefing up this latest model with various upgrades and augments while retaining the reliability their laptops are known for.
The Ideapad 330 comes with the latest Intel Core offering, the i5-8250 quad-core processor, alongside an 8GB RAM. It also houses a 1TB HDD which is augmented by 16GB of Intel Optane memory technology, which is essential if you’re going to use this laptop for video editing. For USD 500, it’s a steal, considering all the things it can do with its hardware. A couple of drawbacks, however, are the limitations of the screen: with just 1366×768 resolution, it might not be as clear as video editors would like, plus the screen’s lack of brightness means you won’t be able to use it in direct sunlight (but for real, it’s not like you’ll be editing in a park anyway).
But with its powerful processor and its ability to minimize lag when switching between apps makes it a suitable machine, and makes it one of the best video editing laptops under $500. The Lenovo Ideapad 330 comes preloaded with a Windows 10 OS and a whole slew of free business apps and licenses so you can learn how to market your video editing skills better.
Hardware Specifications of Lenovo Ideapad 330
|Processor||Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz Processor (Turbo up to 3.4GHz)|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 RAM|
|Storage||1TB HDD + 16GB Intel Optane Memory|
|Graphics||Intel UHD 620 Graphics|
|Display||15.6-Inch HD LED display with 1366×768 Resolution|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home 64-bit|
|Battery Life||Up to 5 Hours|
Price: $528 (At $528, it’s a little over the 500 dollar limit of the whole “best video editing laptops under $500”, but if you’re going to spend this much anyway, might as well fork over the extra 30 bucks)
HP Pavilion x360
For heavier video editing usage, the HP Pavilion x360 might be a better choice considering its powerful processor, high value-for-money graphics card, and its all-metal exterior that makes it look more like a steampunk laptop.
With a native resolution of 1920×1080 pixels in full HD and a 16:9 aspect ratio, the HP Pavilion x360 provides photo and video editors with mind-blowing visuals and is perfect for anyone looking for a great budget video editing laptop under USD 500, or for anyone looking for a powerful laptop that can operate multiple programs seamlessly.
Under the hood, the Pavilion x360 is run by a 3.4GHz Intel Core i3 dual-core processor supported by a 4GB DDR4 RAM. While it might not be able to run the latest video games, the Pavilion x360 can be used for heavy video editing purposes and can handle other graphics-intensive software like Adobe Premiere or Lightworks.
Hardware Specifications of HP Pavilion x360 15-inch Laptop
|Processor||Intel Core i3-8130U Dual Core 2.2 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 3.4 GHz)|
|RAM||4GB DDR4 RAM|
|Storage||1TB HDD + 16GB Intel Optane Memory|
|Graphics||Intel HD 620 integrated Graphics|
|Display||15.6 Inch Full HD IPS Touchscreen display with 1920 x 1080 Resolution|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Battery Life||Up to 7 Hours|
ASUS Chromebook Flip
With a full HD touch screen and 12.5 inches of display, the ASUS Chromebook Flip is an interesting piece of technology that doubles as both a laptop and a tablet. It has highly durable hinges that convert the chromebook into a tablet smoothly, and the on screen transition from normal to touch screen is fairly seamless. As a contender for “best video editing laptops under $500”, this is probably the weakest link, but it’s still worth mentioning, and here’s why:
It’s pretty powerful for a small laptop, packing an energy efficient Intel Core m3 processor with a 4GB Ram and 64GB of Solid State Drive storage. It comes with Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac WIFI which makes sure your internet is as fast as it can be. It does slow down when you start running some video editing programs, but it’s fairly workable and it can still render within a reasonable time frame. It is, however, perfect for everyday tasks like checking emails, accessing the web, playing videos, and word processing. The memory is fairly small, but the Chromebook Flip does come with an SD card slot that can support memory cards of up to 256GB of memory.
It might not be the most powerful machine on this list, but it is one of the most value-for-money purchases you can make for video editing.
Hardware Specifications of ASUS Chromebook Flip C302
|Processor||Intel Core m3 2.2 GHz Processor|
|RAM||4GB DDR3 RAM|
|Storage||64GB SSD (Memory expandable via SD Card Slot up to 256GB)|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics|
|Display||12.5 Inch Full HD Touchscreen Display (1920×1080 Resolution)|
|Operating System||Chrome OS|
|Battery Life||Up to 10 Hours|
HP 15z 15-inch High-Performance Laptop
Armed with an AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics card and a respectable 15.6 inch screen, the HP 15z is one of the most respectable laptops of its class, capable of running most video editing programs, render heavy graphics, and even run some of the latest video game titles (albeit in low or medium graphics settings). Protected by a scratch resistant chassis, the HP 15z was built to withstand everyday wear and tear, as well as the occasional (and highly regrettable) drop from the table. The full sized keyboard with functioning number pad and a large, smooth touchpad make it both efficient and enjoyable to use, especially for tedious video editing chores like marking footage or frame-by-frame cleanups.
Inside, the 15Z boats an AMD Ryzen 5 quad-coure processor with 8GB of RAM, with an option to expand to 16GB. With its 15.6 inch screen, the 15z can run multiple apps side by side, ideal for when you want to be watching tutorials while editing videos (or responding to client emails). While it might not be able to fully compare to more high-end laptops, the 15z offers great value for money because of what you’re getting for its price point.
It’s one of our top choices for best video editing laptops under $500, particularly because it can handle easy to medium video editing jobs without taking too much time rendering or loading, and it can even handle heavy-graphics tasks like VFX. For $479, it’s practically a steal.
Hardware Specifications of HP 15z High Performance Laptop
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 5 2500U 2.0GHz Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 3.6GHz)|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 RAM|
|Storage||1TB 5400 RPM Hard Drive|
|Graphics||AMD Radeon Vega 8|
|Display||15.6 Inch HD display with 1366×768 Resolution|
|Operating System||Windows 10 OS|
|Battery Life||Up to 5 Hours|
HP Pavilion 17-Inch Laptop
The third HP offering on this list, and the big brother of the HP Pavilion x360, the 17 inch HP Pavilion is aesthetically the most beautiful: its sleek, black chassis gives it a classy but refined look while providing people with a non-slip surface to grip. The 17.3 inch HD display boasts a respectable 1600×900 resolution that’s backed up by HP’s BrightView tech, helping it deliver absolutely crisp visuals and above-average brightness.
Under the hood, the 17 inch Pavilion runs on an AMD A9-9420 APU Dual Core processor with 8GB of DDR4 Ram and a 1TB HDD. It also has the essential ports and connectivity options for video editors to plug in external HD’s or video sources. On an average day, the Pavilion’s processor runs at around 3GHz, although it’s known to reach speeds of up to 3.6GHz on Max Turbo speed, perfect for those all-nighter video editing jobs that require reliable processing power and graphics card. At just $7 under 500, it’s our top pick for best video editing laptops under $500 because of its efficiency, power, and over-all visual decency. The fact that it comes in a cool AF black chassis makes it so much more appealing.
Hardware Specifications of HP Pavilion
|Processor||AMD Dual Core A9-9420 3GHz Processor (Max Turbo up to 3.6GHz)|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 SDRAM|
|Storage||1 TB SATA Hard Drive|
|Graphics||AMD Radeon R5 Graphics|
|Display||17.3 Inch HD BrightView WLED backlit display with 1600×900 Resolution|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64-bit OS|
|Battery Life||5 Hours|
When it comes to reliable and powerful video editing laptops under USD 500, it’s essential to weigh in as many options as possible so that you get the best bang for your buck. While we’ve tried our best to be as comprehensive as possible, this list is neither definitive nor exhaustive. Always do your own research based on your needs. We hope, however, that our list gives you a rough guide and estimate for the type of machine you want and need.
Do you have any recommendations for the best video editing laptop under $500? Or do you disagree with an item on our list? Comment below and let’s start a conversation!