HomeUpdateTop 10 Best Laptops for Streaming Videos in the US 2022

Top 10 Best Laptops for Streaming Videos in the US 2022

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Powerful computers weighing only a few pounds can now execute many of the operations that editors used to undertake in a studio on complex and expensive equipment. So, whether your boss expects you to do initial cuts in the field, you’re a film student, or you simply want to examine your holiday footage on your journey home, you should consider a laptop with video editing capabilities. Here’s what you should look for.

Companies seldom produce laptops designed expressly for video editing in the same way that they do bulked-up machines for PC gaming or Chromebooks aimed at schools. As a result, you’ll have to pick and select characteristics from typical laptop categories including ultraportables, gaming laptops, and mobile workstations. Your wish list of features might wind up belonging to a fantasy machine that doesn’t quite match any laptop already on the market. But at the very least, you’ll have a starting point from which to make concessions.

Devoting the majority of your spending to a strong CPU, a beefed-up graphics card, and plenty of RAM is a safe choice, but ancillary features like storage, input/output options, and the operating system are considerably more significant to you than they are to the ordinary laptop consumer. Weight is also important because even a few extra pounds might push already hefty luggage over an airline’s weight restriction or make your carry-on too big to fit into an overhead bin.

Display specifications are especially crucial if you intend to use your laptop for more complex editing chores like shading and color correction. A comfortable keyboard is also recommended, as keyboard shortcuts assist to speed up various editing activities, such as beginning and stopping playback and inserting keyframes.

Finally, there are a few capabilities that are popular on laptops that you don’t need to be concerned with when purchasing a mobile video-editing station. The most important of them is battery life because video editing consumes so much power that your laptop will most likely spend the majority of its time plugged in. If you need to edit while on the road, bring an extra power adapter with you, and check sure your aircraft offers in-seat power outlets when you book a ticket. Unless you’re looking for a machine that you’ll use for online browsing and viewing movies after a long day of filming and editing, you won’t get much use out of a touch screen or a convertible laptop that serves as a tablet.

CPU and Memory

The CPU and RAM are the two most significant laptop components for video editors. Most apps are designed to make use of contemporary multi-core CPUs, thus the more cores you have, the better. Multithreading, which allows each core to manage two processing threads at the same time, is also essential. To learn more about the CPU in the laptop you’re considering, visit Intel’s product directory or AMD’s Ryzen CPU product pages. Any processor you consider for serious video work should have at least four cores and multithreading capabilities for up to eight concurrent threads of processing. High-end laptop CPUs may have up to eight cores and sixteen threads. (For a more in-depth look at laptop CPUs, see our in-depth tutorial on understanding notebook CPUs.)

Check out how well the laptop you’re considering performs on our Cinebench benchmark, which is included in the performance section of each review, for a bird’s-eye view of how a greater CPU core count enhances performance. This test employs Maxon software to generate a proprietary score based on how rapidly the PC can render a 3D picture. Although a variety of factors can impact the score, the more (and faster) cores the CPU has and the more addressable threads it supports, the faster the image renders.

The same approach applies to video-editing tools such as Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro, which are designed to divide compute jobs over several cores in the same way that Cinebench is.

In general, CPUs from AMD or Intel’s power-laptop-oriented H series (search for an “H” at the end of the CPU’s model name) will be the best match for video editing. They have more addressable cores and threads, higher voltages, and occasionally faster clock rates than thin-and-light laptop competitors (the U series, which nowadays end in a “U” or “G,” with the G followed by a number). On their mobile CPUs, AMD and Intel follow the same conventions (except for the “G” in AMD’s case).

In terms of primary system memory, a decent rule of thumb is to get a laptop with 16GB of RAM. This is the maximum for many consumer ultraportables, while creator-class laptops with 32GB or more are already available. However, the cost is sometimes exorbitant, and we believe the money would be better spent on a faster CPU, therefore we’ve designated 16GB as the sweet spot.

Should I Buy a Video Editing Laptop with a Hard Drive or an SSD (or Both)?

To complete the trinity of primary specifications, you’ll need a fast boot drive. In almost all cases these days, this means installing a solid-state drive (SSD) in a laptop, which can retrieve data much faster than older spinning drives. The speed difference between an SSD and a spinning platter hard drive is significant for regular computing use because an SSD’s core skill is minimizing boot times and making software load faster. These factors are important for video editing (loading editing software can take some time if you edit under time constraints), but an SSD can still provide noticeable speed benefits on specialized tasks like playing back numerous clips at once or dealing with 4K footage.

You should ideally have a large hard drive in addition to a fast SSD, but because the cost of built-in SSDs skyrockets at capacities above 1TB, it’s more cost-effective to ensure your laptop has a Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 connection to enable a link to a fast external drive where you’ll store the majority of your footage. However, some larger workstation and gaming computers can offer two drives (an SSD boot drive and a huge platter-based hard drive), and if you’re looking for a big system, this is a perfect video editors’ setup: you have both speed and mass storage without the inconvenience of external drives.

When it comes to evaluating SSDs, most video editing equipment has shifted toward SSDs that use the PCI Express interface (often associated with the term “NVMe,” for a protocol that affords faster data transfers than ever). These are speedier than SSDs that use the older SATA interface, which is becoming less widespread in the midrange and high-end laptops. 

Dedicated GPU or Not for Graphics Acceleration?

Most non-gaming laptops use graphics-acceleration silicon integrated into the CPU, rather than a separate graphics processing processor (GPU). This configuration performs poorly when playing fully-featured, AAA-grade video games, but it is adequate for many video-editing tasks. Almost all video-editing packages are built to take advantage of faster computers, but the ability to use sophisticated graphics-processing technology is less common.

There are a couple of exceptions. A discrete GPU, for example, helps speed up the video-encoding process in Final Cut Pro X, while Blackmagic’s Davinci Resolve editing suite includes a video-playback engine tuned for fast GPUs. Still, store GPU-accelerated editing work for when you return to the studio.

However, if the laptop you’re contemplating provides an entry-level discrete GPU for a fair premium (say, $200 or so), there’s no reason not to pay for it and benefit from the extra speed advantage when exporting video. A laptop’s graphics performance may be compared by looking at its scores on our 3DMark benchmark tests.

What Ports Should a Video Editing Laptop Have?

You don’t want to add weight to your luggage if you’re already hauling dozens of pounds of camera and lighting gear. Fortunately, many powerful computers now weigh less than 3 pounds. The thinnest and lightest will lack discrete GPUs and displays larger than 14 inches, but you may be able to live without these capabilities, especially if you have a studio with a more powerful editing station where you perform the majority of your cutting.

However, if you’re trying to lose weight, try not to drop too many ports. We recommend at least one Thunderbolt port, which allows you to connect to external displays through the DisplayPort standard, lightning-fast external drives, and virtually any USB connection, such as external mice or keyboards, with the proper cable or an adapter. (Thunderbolt 3 or 4 ports are electrically and physically compatible with USB Type-C ports.) Some laptops, such as all MacBook Pro models, only have Thunderbolt 3 connectors. One or two Thunderbolt ports plus one or two standard USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 ports are ideal.

A full-size SD card slot is also essential for instantly downloading a film from your camera to your laptop, and all computers should include an audio jack for connecting headphones to use when editing on the aircraft or in a cafe.

What is the optimal screen size for a video editing laptop?

With the majority of mainstream and higher-end laptops now having at least full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) resolution, your primary screen consideration should be screen size rather than pixel count. A 15-inch or 17-inch monitor will allow you to see more of your project schedule, but it will be heavier and bulkier. Meanwhile, a 12-inch display may cause you to squint.

If you need to travel with your editing machine, the sweet spot is 13 or 14 inches. By slimming down the bezel, or border, around the screen, many laptops can fit a 13-inch or 14-inch screen into a chassis that would normally support a smaller display. But take note: most laptops with this screen size will default to a U-series processor. The most powerful CPUs are often found in 15-inch and bigger versions. This is due to the fact that the larger the laptop, the more thermal leeway the designer has to include more powerful components.

While full HD resolution is adequate for many editing operations, if you shoot primarily in 4K, you’ll need a screen with the same resolution. When you combine a 4K (or 3,840-by-2,160-pixel) screen, a six- or eight-core processor, plus a discrete GPU, you’re likely to get fairly short battery life. So, if you decide on a 4K screen, make sure you’ll be able to keep it near a power outlet most of the time and consider purchasing an extra battery charger to use in an emergency.

On the opposite end of the scale, never use a piece of video-editing equipment with a resolution less than full HD (such as 1,366 by 768 pixels). However, new laptops with screens that are less than full HD are unusual, save in the most affordable models.

If the majority of your video-editing chores consist of arranging clips, mixing audio, and the like, you probably don’t need to be concerned about the display’s color capabilities. However, for more artistic or precise operations, such as shading and color correction, you should consider how many colors the screen can display and how it calibrates the color profile. Look for DCI-P3 or Adobe RGB color-gamut support, as well as automatic calibration, which is frequently combined into a single marketing name, such as HP’s DreamColor. OLED screens and those with HDR capabilities provide more color contrast and may be useful as well. (See our picks for the best OLED-screen laptops thus far.)

As previously stated, you probably don’t need to be concerned about whether or not the laptop has a touch screen. Precision and repetition are required for video editing, which is ideally suited to keyboard shortcuts and a mouse rather than touch inputs. The MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, a narrow, secondary touch panel sitting forward of the keyboard, between it and the screen, is the sole exception. It’s intended for products like Final Cut Pro and the Adobe Creative Suite, and it will display context-sensitive shortcuts to approved software. It’s simply a function row for serious content makers that changes depending on the program being used.

With the majority of mainstream and higher-end laptops now having at least full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) resolution, your primary screen consideration should be screen size rather than pixel count. A 15-inch or 17-inch monitor will allow you to see more of your project schedule, but it will be heavier and bulkier. Meanwhile, a 12-inch display may cause you to squint.

If you need to travel with your editing machine, the sweet spot is 13 or 14 inches. By slimming down the bezel, or border, around the screen, many laptops can fit a 13-inch or 14-inch screen into a chassis that would normally support a smaller display. But take note: most laptops with this screen size will default to a U-series processor. The most powerful CPUs are often found in 15-inch and bigger versions. This is due to the fact that the larger the laptop, the more thermal leeway the designer has to include more powerful components.

While full HD resolution is adequate for many editing operations, if you shoot primarily in 4K, you’ll need a screen with the same resolution. When you combine a 4K (or 3,840-by-2,160-pixel) screen, a six- or eight-core processor, plus a discrete GPU, you’re likely to get fairly short battery life. So, if you decide on a 4K screen, make sure you’ll be able to keep it near a power outlet most of the time and consider purchasing an extra battery charger to use in an emergency.

On the opposite end of the scale, never use a piece of video-editing equipment with a resolution less than full HD (such as 1,366 by 768 pixels). However, new laptops with screens that are less than full HD are unusual, save in the most affordable models.

If the majority of your video-editing chores consist of arranging clips, mixing audio, and the like, you probably don’t need to be concerned about the display’s color capabilities. However, for more artistic or precise operations, such as shading and color correction, you should consider how many colors the screen can display and how it calibrates the color profile. Look for DCI-P3 or Adobe RGB color-gamut support, as well as automatic calibration, which is frequently combined into a single marketing name, such as HP’s DreamColor. OLED screens and those with HDR capabilities provide more color contrast and may be useful as well. (See our picks for the best OLED-screen laptops thus far.)

As previously stated, you probably don’t need to be concerned about whether or not the laptop has a touch screen. Precision and repetition are required for video editing, which is ideally suited to keyboard shortcuts and a mouse rather than touch inputs. The MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar, a narrow, secondary touch panel sitting forward of the keyboard, between it and the screen, is the sole exception. It’s intended for products like Final Cut Pro and the Adobe Creative Suite, and it will display context-sensitive shortcuts to approved software. It’s simply a function row for serious content makers that changes depending on the program being used.

Mac or PC?

Video editors are among the creative professionals who, stereotypically, choose Macs over PCs. Whether or whether you fit that stereotype, if you’re an industry veteran, you undoubtedly already have a preference, so we won’t try to sway your mind.

If you don’t care about the operating system, you have a wide range of hardware options if you choose a PC laptop over a Mac laptop. The most significant advantage of using Windows or Linux is the ability to purchase a workstation-class laptop with a multi-core Intel Xeon CPU, which is not accessible on any Mac portable.

Another factor to consider is your preferred video-editing program. Final Cut Pro, for example, is only accessible on Macs, but most other editing suites, from Premiere Pro to Avid Media Composer, are available on various platforms. If you’re committed to certain software, we’d expect that to influence your decision just as much as, if not more than, the operating system or the hardware available.

Top 10 Best Laptops for Streaming Videos

1. MACBOOK AIR (LATE 2020)

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The greatest laptop you can buy is the late-2020 MacBook Air, which is powered by Apple’s M1 processor. The entry-level model, which contains 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, costs $999.

This laptop looks a lot like Apple’s Intel-powered MacBook Air from earlier this year, with the same 2560 x 1600 screen, Touch ID, 720p webcam, fingerprint sensor, and scissor-switch keyboard.

But it’s the new CPU that steals the show here; it’s lightning-fast. In our testing, it outperformed practically every Intel-powered laptop we’ve seen this year when it came to heavy photo and video editing workloads. It could also run Shadow of the Tomb Raider at near-playable frame rates, which is extremely impressive for integrated graphics. These apps hadn’t yet been tuned for the M1 processor and were running through Apple’s Rosetta 2 translation layer when they were released, but they nevertheless worked perfectly.

Another advantage of the M1 CPU is that it allows the MacBook Air to run native iPhone and iPad apps on macOS. As of this writing, there is still a limited number of mobile apps available, and some of those that have been launched aren’t exactly suited for the laptop screen. Still, it’s something to look forward to as time goes on.

Overall, there’s no reason why a client looking for a general-purpose computer shouldn’t consider the MacBook Air. It’s a dependable gadget with good performance and the build quality that Apple is recognized for. Power users who require a MacBook Pro are probably aware of who they are; for everyone else, the Air should suffice.

2. MACBOOK PRO (16-INCH, 2022)

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The 16-inch MacBook Pro is Apple’s most powerful laptop to date. If you’re willing to pay the price (which is quite high), you’ll almost probably be pleased with what this machine can produce.

The MacBook Pro 16 performed better than any laptop we’ve ever tried in our benchmarks, which test a variety of creative tasks like encoding, playing, and export time — the only other machines that have come close to matching this beast in some of our benchmarks are high-end desktop PCs. The battery life is also unrivaled. In my tests, the 16-inch configuration with the M1 Pro processor lasted 16 hours, making it the longest-lasting laptop we’ve ever examined. (The M1 Max arrangement doesn’t last as long, but it gets us through a workday.)

Aside from that, we have almost no issues regarding the new MacBook Pro. It boasts a stunning display that can exceed 1,000 nits when watching HDR material. It combines this with the greatest laptop speakers we’ve ever heard. The MacBook Pro 16 is the finest gadget for you if you need a laptop that can handle a hard workload while also functioning as an amazing multimedia device when you’re not working.

3. MACBOOK PRO (14-INCH, 2022)

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If you’re a creative worker who doesn’t want to spend the price of the MacBook Pro 16, or if you want something more compact, the 14-inch MacBook Pro is probably a better fit. This device is narrower, lighter, and less expensive than its 16-inch counterpart, but it has the same enormous CPU options and fantastic screen, just in a smaller size.

We didn’t see much of a difference in benchmark scores between the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBooks with the same processors – in several cases, the 14-inch outscored the 16-inches. Aside from the proportions of these devices, the main distinction to consider is battery life. The 16-inch chassis allows for a substantially larger battery, and the 16-inch M1 Pro model lasted several hours longer in our testing than the 14-inch M1 Pro model.

On the surface, Apple has addressed many of the flaws that prior MacBook Pro models had. This device has a plethora of connectors, including an HDMI port, an SD slot, and several Thunderbolt 4 ports. The much-maligned Touchbar is likewise no longer available. While there are dozens of excellent 14-inch computers available for less than half the price of this MacBook, it is the one to get if money is no object.

4. HP SPECTRE X360 14

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It’s difficult to find a single flaw with the Spectre x360 14. It’s a stunning laptop with a solid build and a premium look and feel.

But the Spectre x360 14 is more than just a lovely face: it’s also a joy to drive on a daily basis. Intel’s latest 11th Generation processors with Iris Xe integrated graphics give a fast performance with no noticeable slowdown or freezes. And the device provided an average of 10 hours of battery life, which is one of the finest performances we’ve ever seen.

On the outside, the Spectre has a large 3:2 display, and if FHD resolution isn’t your thing, there are OLED and 1,000-nit variants. There’s also a stylus included, which magnetically attaches to the side of the Spectre – useful if you’re using the gadget like a tablet. Almost every single component of this laptop approaches or exceeds the greatest convertibles on the market, from its comfy keyboard and responsive touchpad to its bass-heavy audio and sensible port options.

Such a comprehensive set of features is not inexpensive, and many clients will find what they require in a less-priced solution. The Spectre x360 14 is, however, the new gold standard among Windows convertibles. Overall, it is the greatest Windows laptop available.

5. ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS G15

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The Zephyrus G15 is one of the lightest 15-inch gaming laptops available, at slightly over four pounds. However, you are not sacrificing performance for portability. The G15 is powered by the best mobile CPUs from AMD and Nvidia, and it comes with a quick 165Hz QHD display. During our testing, the system was able to run even the most demanding AAA titles at QHD resolution.

Almost everything else about the G15 is excellent: the audio is excellent, the keyboard and touchpad are among the best on the market, the port selection is extensive, and the battery can last for more than eight and a half hours on a single charge. The Zephyrus G15 should be at the top of your list if you’re searching for a high-powered gaming machine that also functions well as a daily driver.

6. ASUS CHROMEBOOK FLIP CX5

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This year, Asus stunned us with the Chromebook Flip CX5, a stunning $800 notebook that runs Chrome OS. It’s as tough and well-made as any other Windows laptop at a higher price point, and it has a distinct silky texture. It has full laptop specifications, such as Intel’s 11th-Gen processors and a 57Wh battery, which give a fast performance, long battery life, and quick charging.

There are numerous ports available, including an HDMI port and a microSD card. The speakers sound fantastic, and the keyboard is really comfortable. Asus hasn’t skimped on the CX5’s chassis or performance – it’s unquestionably the product to buy if you want a Chromebook with a large screen.

7. LG GRAM 17 (2022)

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Even if you’ve used a lightweight laptop before, it’s tough to put into words how light the LG Gram 17 is. It features a big 17-inch display but barely weighs three pounds. Picking it up confuses your thoughts; you feel as if you aren’t holding anything.

The weight of the Gram 17 isn’t the only distinguishing attribute. It also offers some of the best battery life available, lasting more than 12 hours in our tests. There’s absolutely nothing not to like about this gadget, which has a nice keyboard, a respectable port selection, quiet fans, and a speedy processor.

Not everyone needs a 17-inch display, and many of those who do are opting for a heavier-duty workstation that is unlikely to be relocated frequently. However, if you simply want a large screen for your daily office work and Netflixing, you’re the machine’s target population. It’s a niche product, but it’s a very excellent one with little true competition in today’s market.

8. HP ENVY X360 (2020)

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You don’t have to pay $1,000 to acquire a premium-looking and feeling laptop. Because of its durable and compact structure, stylish convertible design, and exceptional performance, the HP Envy x360 2020 is the best budget laptop you can buy.

HP has carried over a number of aspects from its superb 2019 flagship, the Spectre x360, including the thin-and-light chassis and practically bezel-free display with an 88 percent screen-to-body ratio, which contributes to the Envy’s greatness. The touchscreen (which accepts HP’s MPP2.0 pen) is bright and attractive. (You have the option of a 300-nit, 400-nit, or 1,000-nit panel.) In addition, HP has added a row of useful hotkeys to the keyboard, including kill switches for the microphone and webcam.

The most interesting feature, though, is found on the inside: the new Envy x360 is powered by AMD’s Ryzen 4000 series processors. The Ryzen 5-4500U in my model performed admirably under a reasonably heavy load of multitasking. And AMD’s integrated Radeon graphics outperformed a lower-powered separate GPU in terms of gaming performance.

9. MACBOOK PRO 13 (LATE 2020)

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If you want to acquire an M1 MacBook for harder workloads that isn’t as pricey as the most recent releases, you should look at the late-2020 MacBook Pro. It starts at $1,299, which is $300 higher than the MacBook Air due in late 2020.

The MacBook Pro has a somewhat different form and appearance than the Air, as well as a few extra features like the Touch Bar. However, they share the same processor. The key distinction is that the Pro has a fan (the Air does not), which allows it to run heavier workloads for extended periods of time without having to reduce its performance. However, unless you’re consistently pushing demanding activities for extended periods of time, you won’t notice much of a performance difference between the two MacBooks.

If that’s the case, the Pro is the way to go. We were able to run a number of large Premiere Pro exports without experiencing any performance issues. In a 30-minute loop of Cinebench R23, the Pro scored much higher than the Air; the scores were closer together after a single run.

10. DELL XPS 13 2-IN-1

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If you’re searching for a convertible laptop that can do it all, we recommend Dell’s latest XPS 13 2-in-1. It sports a strong and well-built chassis, a practically bezel-free 16:10 touch display, and Intel’s latest 11th Gen processors.

For $1,099, the base model contains a Core i3-1154G4, 8GB of RAM, a 1920 x 1200 display, and a 256GB SSD. You can get it with a 3840 x 2400 display, a Core i7-1165G7 processor, 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. There are also different add-ons, such as a $50 white model and a $60 upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. In general, there is something for everyone.

Since last year’s model, Dell has made a few small changes to the 2-in-1. The webcam is now compatible with Windows Hello, and the RAM and microSD reader has been improved. The new CPU, and particularly Intel’s new integrated graphics, is the big news. On our Adobe Premiere Pro export test, the XPS 13 2-in-1 outperformed any 10th Gen laptop with an iGPU. This thing can even play games: it managed 60 frames per second in Rocket League, League of Legends, and Overwatch, and 36 frames per second in Shadow of the Tomb Raider at its lowest settings. That’s an improvement above the results we witnessed with 10th generation systems, and it also outperforms some 11th generation systems (including the clamshell Dell XPS 13).

Conclusion 

Purchasing a video streaming laptop might be difficult because there are hundreds of laptops on the market with excellent capabilities.

However, we have collected the finest 9 laptops that you can buy for video streaming in the United States in 2022 and have broken down their characteristics to processor speed, RAM, display, battery backup, and graphic card availability.

These qualities mostly determine the laptop’s capacity to do a specific activity.

As a result, you should consider these crucial aspects when purchasing a laptop, and you should select a laptop that meets your needs.

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