- The Acer Aspire 5 is a top choice for video editing under $500, with a powerful processor, ample storage, and a strong GPU.
- The ASUS Vivobook Go 15 is a close runner-up, offering a performance bump and military-grade protection against drops.
- The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 features a touchscreen display and a strong Intel iRIS xe graphics card.
- Important considerations when choosing a laptop for video editing under $500 include storage, graphics card, and display size.
- Laptops under $500 are capable of video editing but expect slower performance for tasks like exporting files and adding effects.
When it comes to the best laptops for video editing, there is an unfounded belief you need a very expensive computer to achieve this. We have long been under the impression that for any type of serious video work, you should expect to spend at least $1,000 on a new laptop. The good news is that this is no longer true and you can spend far less and still get perfectly good video editing results.
This is why looking at laptops right around the $500 price point is so great. You can find some hidden surprises in this price range that work well for video editing. Instead of rushing out and buying the best laptop around, shop smart and find a model that can run the video editing software you need.
With this in mind, let’s jump right into a list of the best laptops for video editing under $500.
- #1 Best Overall: Acer Aspire 5
- Best Runner-Up: ASUS Vivobook Go 15
- Best Value: Lenovo IdeaPad 14
- Best Large Screen: ASUS Vivobook 16
- Best Battery: HP 14 laptop
- Best Touchscreen: Dell Inspiron 15 3000
#1 Best Overall: Acer Aspire 5
- 15.6" Full HD display
- 20GB RAM
- 1TB SSD storage
- AMD Ryzen 4-core processor
- Backlit keyboard
- Fingerprint login
- Ethernet port
- Windows 11
When it comes to budget-friendly laptops under $500, the Acer Aspire 5 always seems to be top of mind for all the right reasons.
Powered by an AMD Ryzen 3 3350U processor, the Acer Aspire 5 has plenty of power under the hood to handle videos. This is especially true when you consider the Acer offers 1TB of storage and 20GB of RAM. Where video editing gets really interesting with the Acer is the inclusion of the AMD Radeon Vega 6 mobile graphics processor. This GPU is more than capable of handling not just photo editing, but also video edits as well.
With any laptop under $500, there are going to be limitations with video edits. However, unless you are trying to edit a full-length movie, you should be in good shape. All of your edits, regardless of length, will take place on a 15.6-inch Full HD 1080p display. Alternatively, with HDMI input built-in, you can always hook up a larger monitor and finish edits on a bigger screen.
Grab the Acer Aspire 5 from Amazon today.
|Lightweight form factor
|The keyboard feels a little too flexible
|Strong GPU for under $500
Best Runner-Up: ASUS Vivobook Go 15
- 15.6-inch FHD display with ultra-slim NanoEdge bezels
- AMD Ryzen 5 7520U processor
- 8GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
- AI-powered noise-canceling microphones
- ASUS fast-charge technology
A close second to the Acer Aspire 5, the ASUS Vivobook Go 15 is another solid contender for video editing under $500.
With a performance bump over the Acer, the ASUS Vivobook Go 15 adds an AMD Ryzen 5 processor. When combined with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, you should have no issue pushing through short video edits. Doubling the RAM on the Vivobook would allow it to jump into the number one position, but it would also push the price tag past the $500 ceiling.
Even without the extra RAM, there is plenty to highlight on the Vivobook Go 15. ASUS’ fast-charge battery technology is a real bonus. The ability to power up the laptop from 0-50% battery capacity in 30 minutes should be standard across all laptops.
Better yet, the ASUS meets military-grade standards, which means it can handle a slight drop without damage. This is good news as the display is most often damaged whenever a drop occurs.
|Military-grade protection against drops
|Only 8GB of RAM
|AI-powered noise-canceling microphones
|Wi-Fi 6 not available under $500
Pick up the ASUS Vivobook Go 15 from Amazon right now.
Best Value: Lenovo IdeaPad 14
Lenovo has a long history of manufacturing inexpensive laptops like the Lenovo IdeaPad 14 that punch well above its price point.
Running an AMD 5 5500U CPU paired with 16GB of RAM, there is ample processing power to handle video edits of all sizes with the Lenovo IdeaPad 14. Now add in 1TB of storage and you have enough room to store these videos after edits are finished. The inclusion of AMD Radeon 7 graphics amps up the video editing power as one of the stronger GPU options under $500.
With all of this power in the laptop chassis, you also have a beautiful 14-inch FHD 1080p display to work on. The narrow bezels on every side of the monitor make it feel as if it’s bigger all while the laptop itself remains thin and light. Even with its thin packaging, the IdeaPad 14 offers intelligent thermals to help stay cool, even under heavy performance loads from video editing.
Uploading videos after you are finished will also go much faster thanks to the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 or USB-C for connecting to external storage.
|Excellent thermal controls
|Small(er) display for video editing
|Strong graphics card for video edits
|Internal speakers are not super loud
The Lenovo IdeaPad 14 can be all yours by purchasing on Amazon today.
Best Large Screen: ASUS Vivobook 16
- Features a 16-inch display with ultra-slim NanoEdge bezels
- 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD and 8GB DDR4 RAM
- Intel Core i5-1235U Processor 1.3 GHz (10M Cache, up to 4.4 GHz, 10 cores) and Intel UHD Graphics
- 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, micro HDMI 1.4, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.1
With a 16-inch display, the ASUS Vivobook 16 is a great option for video editing on a bigger screen.
Right from the start you will be impressed with the ASUS Vivobook 16 and it’s better than 1080p display. The 16-inch WUXGA offers a resolution of 1920 x 1200 or 16:10, which makes it all the more flexible for video editing. When paired with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, there is plenty to like about the Vivobook 16 and its video editing prospects. Add in Wi-Fi 6E technology and the ASUS feels jam-packed with features for under $500.
Assisting with all video edits is an Intel UHD graphics card, which can handle basic video edits. While editing any video, ASUS IceCool thermal technology will ensure the laptop components and frame stay cool. Plus, the chassis meets military-grade standards, so you can safely use the ASUS without any fears about longevity. Another highlight is the keyboard as ASUS added its ErgoSense keyboard tech to reduce overall strain on hands and wrists.
Grab your very own ASUS Vivobook 16 from Amazon right now.
|Nice large screen
|Only 8GB of RAM
|Better than 1080p graphics
|Best for basic video edits
Best Battery: HP 14 Laptop
If you’re looking at the HP 14 laptop, you might think it’s a minimal basic laptop but the reality is quite different.
As you go under the HP 14 hood, you’ll find an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor and 8GB of RAM. Along with a 256GB SSD, you have both the processing power and storage to make small-scale video edits. You’ll want to add an external drive for larger files, but this is a small price to pay for such a great portable laptop. Add in the 14-inch Full HD display with anti-glare tech, and it’s quick to see why this laptop is so appealing for under $500.
Processing power aside, where the HP 14 really shines is with battery life. Lasting up to 9 hours and 45 minutes on a single charge, this is the best battery on this list. Battery life gets even better when you learn the HP 14 can charge from 0-50% charge in 45 minutes. Using HP Fast Charge technology ensures you have plenty of juice to edit videos whenever you need it.
Make sure and pick up the HP 14 laptop from Amazon right now.
|Fantastic battery life
|The 14-inch display might be too small for some
|Lightweight for carrying on the go
|Touchpad is hit or miss for video edit controls
Best Touchscreen: Dell Inspiron 15 3000
Dell has a strong reputation for producing laptops that punch above paper specs and this remains true with the Dell Inspiron 15 3000.
If you can look past the awkward naming convention, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is a truly capable machine. The highlight is the Intel Core i5 processor paired with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. When combined with the 15.6-inch Full HD anti-glare touchscreen, you get a solid video editing experience. As a bonus, you also get numerous inputs including USB-A, HDMI, and a MicroSD card reader.
One of the more notable additions of the Inspiron 15 3000 is the inclusion of Intel Iris xe graphics. This bump from Intel’s previous UHD graphics gives Dell more power to handle detailed video edits. Unfortunately, lengthy movie editing is still out of the picture, but the boost in GPU power will certainly deliver great videos for YouTube and social media.
Make sure and get the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 from Amazon today.
|Intel iRIS xe graphics card is a strong performer
|Would like to see 1TB of storage
|Traditionally great Dell touchscreen
|So-so battery life
How to Pick the Best Laptops for Video Editing Under $500: Step-by-Step
When choosing a laptop for video editing under $500, there are a few important considerations.
- Graphics card
- Display size
Among the most central factors with any laptop for video editing is storage. Regardless of whether you are posting to social media or a home video, you need plenty of storage. This is why you shouldn’t consider any laptop with less than 256GB of storage space. This is the absolute minimum you will want to consider. Ideally, you would start at 512GB or 1TB if you are planning to do video edits regularly.
One of the most important aspects of video editing is the graphics card or GPU. Having a powerful CPU and RAM is important, but it’s the GPU that carries a lot of the editing weight. At the minimum, you would want an AMD Radeon Graphics card or Intel Iris xe. If you can find a powerful laptop with Intel UHD graphics, it works best for YouTube and social media. Anything above the AMD or Intel options will only help you deliver faster exports of your videos.
Ideally, you will use the largest display size possible when editing videos. The more space you have available, the more likely it is you can make quick fixes and have more editing controls on the screen at a single time. Using any laptop 14 inches or above is going to be well-sized and you can always connect to a monitor if you need more space.
What to Know Before Buying the Best Laptops for Video Editing Under $500
Before you buy any laptop for video editing under $500, knowing the limits is really important. For many people, this might be the limit of their budget and this is why these laptops are capable of video edits. However, it goes without saying, the more you spend, the more you get. Editing short-form videos for YouTube and social media on a sub-$500 laptop is going to be just fine. Trying to deliver professional-level video edits for work is asking a little much.
Ideally, there is one important question you will ask yourself prior to any laptop purchase. This question is essentially asking what kind of videos you hope or want to edit. If it’s home movie videos, these laptops are great. If you are trying to edit a TV show for work, you might want to reconsider the budget level.
Using the Best Laptops for Video Editing Under $500: What It’s Like
When using a video editing laptop under $500, for the most part, it’s a good enough experience. If you have any experience with more expensive laptops, you will notice things work a bit slower. This is especially true as exports of completed video files take a lot longer. Trying to add various effects to videos is also probably going to take a bit longer on laptops in this price range.
Now, none of this is to say laptops under $500 are not capable of video editing. They very much are. However, you have to know that in this range, you should expect to spend a little more time adding effects or waiting for the final files to export.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com.