As a person who is almost always editing video for my Youtube channel, I am always trying out new video editing software for the best videos possible. There are many non-linear editing (NLE) systems out there on the market, but for my money, I like to use Adobe Premiere for its ability to organize a large amount of recorded audio and video and edit them as I please. The chief drawback to this NLE is its tendency to have very finicky hardware requirements, which is why I crafted this guide to help you find the best laptops for Adobe Premiere.
Adobe Premiere Pro System Requirements
First, let’s take a look at Adobe Premiere Pro’s requirements. I selected Premiere Pro CC 2017 because that is what you’ll most likely be using for editing purposes. I also included stats for MacOS laptops because one of my reviewed items falls into that category.
|Processor||A multi-core processor with 64-bit architecture||A multi-core Intel processor with 64-bit architecture|
|RAM||8 GB of RAM||8 GB of RAM|
|Display||1280 x 800 resolution display||1280 x 800 resolution display|
|GPU||Adobe Recommended GPU||Adobe Recommended GPU|
|OS Version||Windows 7 or better||MacOS X v 10.10 or better|
While there isn’t a huge amount of difference, it’s worth noting that Adobe suggests an Intel processor for its Mac version. Outside of that, they consider a dedicated graphics card optional, but I find that CUDA technology gives me extra processing power so I always recommend a discreet graphics card in your new NLE laptop.
What to Look For Video Editing laptop
As I’ve mentioned, Adobe Premiere can be a bit finicky; in fact, in the past, I’ve been made pretty angry by the software when I tried to use it on a friend’s slower computer. I want you to avoid this frustration, so here are some key stats that you should consider before you make a purchase (in my estimation, you should always shoot well above the Adobe official requirements – it’ll lead to less frustration):
I’m going to be honest with you; this is simply the most important component for video editing that you will need. While the other features are very important, a fast and powerful processor will be a great boon to your overall video editing experience.
As you’ve undoubtedly noticed from the reqs, you’ll need a 64-bit processor to run Premiere. Personally, I always try for a quad-core i5 or i7 processor. These processors have more overall computational power because they can run four computational strings simultaneously. This means that encryption and editing processes will simply run faster, which is major in editing.
Effectively, when rendering from a format to another, your processor comes into play. As a matter of fact, just about any form of rendering or batch rendering will tax your processor, which is why I suggest that you err on the side of more power.
RAM is how your processor interacts with what you have on your hard drive. The chief reason that memory is so important in video editing in Adobe Premiere is without sufficient RAM, your computer will have to re-render frames more often when the RAM itself gets bogged down. You can safely stick with the 8 GB of RAM that’s suggested by Adobe, but for quicker overall access times, go with 16 GB or more.
Storage is another major consideration. As a video editor, you’re going to have a ton of footage and files sitting on your computer. You’ll use software to change its format, which means that you’ll have two huge files on your laptop and you’ll sometimes simply just have a ton of video files on your machine that you haven’t burnt or transferred to removable storage. Many of my colleagues use removable storage devices like external hard drives, key drives, and MicroSD cards, but I personally like to have more than enough space onboard before I consider external options, so shoot for a larger capacity drive.
That being said, there are two types of internal hard drives on the market. Let’s take a look at the uses and benefits of each:
- SSD: Solid-state drives are a fast but expensive option for storage. These drives are coming down and will eventually achieve parity with mechanical drives, but for now, they are a harder to get due to their price. I like to install software on these and I also keep the footage that I’m working with on my SSD, so that I can access it quickly.
- HDD: Mechanical hard drives come in two flavors – 5400 RPM and 7200 RPM. The faster that the internal disk spins, the faster the access speeds, but even at 7200, mechanical hard drives are much slower than solid-state ones and are also more prone to eventual failure. The chief advantage is that a standard HDD is much cheaper than an SSD, so buy more gigabytes or terabytes on your HDD and store things like general files or previously edited video there.
Since we’re editing video, it’s pretty important to have a good display. Here’s a breakdown:
- IPS – in-plane switching is a technology that adds a lot of clarity to a modern monitor. It has more vivid colors, a better contrast, and excellent viewing angles. Personally, I prefer IPS monitors, but for high-speed footage over 120Hz, there is the possibility of screen tearing and ghosting.
- TN – TN displays are the classic LED and LCD displays that lose a bit of clarity at different viewing angles. These are cheaper usually than IPS and can have 4k resolutions, which are excellent. If you’re looking to save a little cash, these are an option.
- Anti-Glare – This is an option that you should consider if you find yourself working in an area where there is a lot of ambient light from office lighting or if you simply tend to get a lot of sunlight in your workspace. Anti-glare coatings will reduce the glare from these sources.
Best Laptops for Adobe Premiere
The first laptop that I’ll be reviewing is the MSI GL62. This laptop only costs about a thousand dollars, yet it comes packed in with a seventh generation i7 processor under its hood. This processor is whip-fast and has a quad-core architecture for your Adobe Premiere needs. Additionally, the GPU on this machine is the last generation Nvidia GTX 960M, which is very respectable and will give you some extra processing power as well.
I also love the fact that this laptop employs a 250 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD. This gives some great overall storage options that’ll let you store standard files on one drive and run programs from the other. The only caveat that I have for this laptop is its mediocre battery life.
The Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW (Signature Edition) is another great laptop for Adobe Premiere. It also employs a UHD display, which is excellent for anyone who needs to do 4K video editing. While I find the hard drive space to be a little light (you get a 500 GB SSD), the fact that it’s solid-state is still a plus; just expect to use externals. I also like the overall battery life of this unit, which falls just under six hours of moderate use time. Its processor is also very competitive and has four cores and a max turbo frequency of 3.50 GHz.
I’ve become partial to touchscreens, so the fact that Asus included this feature in this laptop is a major plus in my opinion.
The Dell XPS 15 XPS9560-5000SLV-PUS’s best features are its lightweight construction, its powerful GPU, and its excellent display. At only 3.9 pounds, you’ll have no issue running this NLE on the go, which is great for those situations where you have completed an outdoor shoot and want to upload your footage, post-editing, while you’re on-site. The graphics processor is an Nvidia 1050, which is actually virtual reality-ready and through CUDA technology, will allow you to add a bit of processing power that can speed up your rendering processes.
When it comes to the display, I really appreciate the 4K resolution, the touchscreen, and the fact that it uses “InfinityEdge” technology to make the screen almost completely borderless. While the processor is an i5, it has a quad-core architecture and a max operating frequency of 3.50 GHz.
Another laptop that incorporates touchscreen technology into its display, the HP Pavilion 17t Touch is a slightly heavy machine that has an impressive amount of storage, excellent RAM, and a good runtime. For many producers and directors, carrying a laptop from shoot to shoot is a requirement. This laptop is about seven pounds, which is very heavy for a portable machine. That being said, there are few laptops in this price range that grant 32 GB of RAM or have a dual hard drive system that grants 3 TB of space.
In fact, it’s also surprising that with the sixth generation i7-6700HQ and the previous generation Nvidia GTX 960M that this laptop has such a robust five-hour battery life. All in all, this is a very competitive device for Adobe Premiere.
Many video editors out there love to work on MacBooks, which is why I HAD to include on in my guide. This particular laptop actually allows for two variations:
- A device with 256 GB of solid-state storage for $2400
- A device with 512 GB of solid-state storage for $2700
Whichever you decide on, you’ll probably still need more storage, especially if you plan on keeping rendered files, so I’d suggest thinking about an external. In any situation, this laptop has everything that you’ll need to run Adobe Premiere including the same i7-6700HQ that was included in the previous laptop in this guide and 16 GB of RAM. While this MacBook only has an integrated Intel graphical chipset, it has excellent battery life (eight hours plus) and is feather-light at only four pounds.
Wrapping it Up
I hope you enjoyed my post here about the best laptops for Adobe Premiere. Video editing is very rewarding, but no one would argue that it doesn’t require a good system. The systems that I’ve featured here are robust enough to run the NLE with relative ease, but if you have any additional questions, shoot me a comment below – I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Pick Notebook also has several blog articles about laptops for video editing, you should check them out if you are looking for a more generalized laptop experience.