Laptop for Editing


Anyone know a bargain laptop I can get for editing video footage from my DJI phantom 4?

If you can indicate what size budget you’re working with it would help.

“Bargain” is relative.


£500 budget, i have a mac book pro but its about 4 year old and slow

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I don’t think you’ll better a 5 year old MBP on your budget.

Have you maxed out the RAM and does it has SSD?


I think @milkmanchris is probably right. The reason I said that the word Bargain was relative is because it’s wide open to interpretation. As an example I consider my Dell XPS15 9570 (i7, 16MB, 512SSD, dual Intel650 and Nvidia 1050ti GPU’s, 4K Adobe true colour touch screen) to be a bargain. I bought a refurb unit, from a Dell authorised reseller, which had only been in service for two weeks, and was supplied with a full Dell 5yr warranty. It arrived in the original packing and indistinguishable from a new laptop, but only cost 55% of the original new price but twice your quoted budget. This does lead me to wonder how much these resellers actually pay for corporate bulk purchases and still able to turn a profit. :thinking:


I’m looking to purchase a new laptop to edit my drone footage. What would be the best spec/make for the job?

I’m currently running a Mavic Air 2.


Does it have to be a laptop? If you take the PC route, you’ll have more control over the key components you need, plus, it’ll be cheaper.

Have a look here…



As @Ned above suggests, a desktop solution maybe the most cost effective solution, more bang for your buck over a laptop/notebook.

Saying that I went with a laptop solution due to space constraints and the need for something to carry around for my more nefarious geeky interests. But as well as the cost difference between the two formats there’s also the maintenance aspect. If a laptop fails it is invariably an expensive fix as many of the peripherals are embedded in the motherboard, especially the all important GPU. To fix will require specialist tools and skill. If the GPU fails in a desktop all that’s required is a bit of cash and a Philip’s Screwdriver to do a swap of the card. There could be bonus in that you’d be able to upgrade the system at the same time.

Very recently my not so cheap Dell XPS15 9570 i7 4K Adobe profiled thingamibob started playing up where it would shut down for apparently no reason. To have an authorised Dell tech to take a look would have cost a significant amount of the original price I paid just in labour costs alone, plus the inconvenience of being without the machine for “your deity” knows how long. In my case I have the tools and skill to make matters a whole lot worse and I was able to fix the problem.

If you go with a laptop purely on a need to save space this too may end up as a false economy as you may find yourself wanting a larger display more storage space, more ports, and before you know it you have a spaghetti junction of cables and wires all over the place, where with hindsight the same could easily be achieved more discretely with a desktop.


I have a laptop but realistically now I’ve hit the buffers in terms of expansion. I’ve maxed the memory (32gb) got 3xSSD drives (plus externals) and added a big 4k monitor. I’ve thought of adding an eGPU even though it’s already running an Nvidia 1060 but realistically my processor (i7) would then become the bottleneck. I did need portability at the time so it ticked that box, but if I did it again I’d go with a desktop.

The other thing is to consider which editing software you’ll use. Davinci uses the hardware differently to Adobe for example.


Apple don’t seem to be popular around these parts, but here goes…

The M1 MacBook Air is £999 (£899 if you have a child at university who buys it for you!) and will handle your 4K video without breaking sweat. You get a reasonable 4K editor (iMovie) for free, and it runs all other popular editors. Also, for me, unlike every Windows PC I was given by my employer, for all other things, It Just Works.

See if this chap can persuade you: Perfection - M1 MacBook Air (2020) Review - YouTube

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Or just walk upto an Apple Store and tell them you have a child in school/college give them the name of the school and boom 10%

Far from it ;o)

I’d still pick FCPX over DR though on the MBA/P

Hi @Nidge

Have you got the name/URL for that reseller? Were you happy with them?



Hi Ned.

I bought it via Amazon but the seller was:

I did have an issue in that it didn’t have the Nvidia GPU that Amazon listed it as having. I spoke with FYL on the phone and they arranged for it to be picked up the same day, and a replacement arrived two days later.

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I’m looking too for a cheap editing laptop got to say not fantastic at editing and would be a big learning curve. Would a dell g5 15 amd around £700 be ok only have a mavic pro and mini 2. Will more than likely will get a mavic pro 3 if/when they come out.
Will this pc do it all at 4k and if pro 3 has 8k would it do it (think that maybe a pipe dream tho)
Also what simple but good and affordable editing software would be best?

You’d be better off searching elsewhere for your software editing question, rather than taking this thread of topic, many other threads exist re editing - it gets discussed almost weekly :blush:

Can you stretch to £999 for the M1 powered MacBook Air?

Whatever you decide to purchase though, an entry level machine may just barely handle today’s camera tech. And I mean, just.

It most definitely won’t handle whatever comes out in the future.