Videomaker Laptop Buyer’s Guide

Shot of a laptop



DCDouglas's picture

One of the most useful things is a "firewire" or IEEE 1394 connection so that you can capture video right into the machine. Whether you are tranferring scenes from a camera right into your software (PREMIERE, SONY VEGAS MOVIE STUDIO) or using the computer as the recording device, you can save a lot of time with right input connectors.Not all cameras have that kind of output, but when they do, live is good.

Laptops for editing

If you are planning to use Adobe Premiere Pro it is very important to include a compatible graphics processor in your features.  Adobe has a fairly limited list of cards but search on the web and you will find many more that will work with just a little bit of configuration fiddling.  When I enabled my non listed but compatible graphics card in my workstation it made a huge difference as did going to 16GB ram.

Avoid Brands for better deals

I was recently doing research to upgrade my laptop for a Government video project. The Dell computers I looked at (my go-to brand) were pretty expensive, up to $3,000 (I'm in the high-priced area). 

I discovered an Acer computer that was way better than the Dell's and Macs I scoped out, and it was only $1,250! You don't hear about Acer that much, but this laptop had a blu-ray drive, 1TB of space and all kinds of nice was almost beyond perfect, for muc cheaper!

If the brands are expensive, consider doing extra research to find what you can from a lesser-known brand.

external hard drive

mongo's picture

Are you advocating a download of the raw footage, ruff cut and project map to an external hard drive while editing the movie or after it is complete? I have found the former to be rather cumbersome and slow but maybe you have a suggestion?