Computer Help forum


Ultrabook for photo and HD video editing - suggestions?

by tomdaniel91 / June 23, 2013 1:38 AM PDT


I'm looking for a ultrabook/small laptop, that I can use mainly for photo and HD video editing, using Adobe software. I need it to be light, good screen, reasonable battery life and powerfull enough for the software. I was hoping anyone had some experience of which ultrabook to buy Happy

Minimum system requirements:
Core i5 (or similar)
Windows 7 or 8
SSD harddrive is preferred (250GB ++)

What is your budget?
£1050 / 1200€ / 1,600USD

What country will you be buying this in?
Europe, country is not a concern

What size notebook do you prefer?
12-15 inch screen

Would you consider a refurbished laptop?

What are the primary tasks you need this notebook for?
Photo Editing, Video Editing (Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects)
(Editing RAW files and full HD files from a Canon EOS 7D)

Where will you be using this laptop?
Will be used different places, much travelling

How many hours of battery life do you need?

Will you be buying online or in store?
online or in store

List the screen resolutions that interest you:
Max Resolution (1920 x 1080)

Do you prefer a glossy or matte screen?
Glossy or Matte is fine

Is the laptops design important to you?
Yes, fairly

How much storage capacity do you need?
250 GB++

Are you interested in SSD for storage?

Do you want a built-in optical drive, what type?

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All Answers

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HD editing on battery power?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 23, 2013 1:58 AM PDT

Given the hours of battery time plummet under load let's read any review to see what the battery time is and halve that for when you are rendering HD video.

What this means is you should wear out a battery on a yearly basis and since many ultrabooks don't have an easy to replace battery then why consider this sort of model that will tax you about 200 bucks a year for battery replacements?

There are good ultrabooks today that you could edit HD but this comment on battery has me concerned you will be very upset by the end of the first year if not sooner since battery time while editing/rendering HD video should be hard to achieve.

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It doesn't exist
by Jimmy Greystone / June 23, 2013 2:05 AM PDT

It doesn't exist, and laptops in general are horrible platforms for this sort of thing. Plus, this sort of thing would blow through the write cycles on an SSD in no time. Depending on use, you'd probably be looking at having to replace the SSD once or twice a year. Also, photo/video editing will suck a laptop's battery dry in no time. Screens on laptops tend to have much higher/slower response rates compared to desktop monitors and are obviously much smaller making it harder to see some of the smaller details in a photo and/or video frame. The real problem, however, will be with heat dispersion. Editing videos or photos will cause the unit to work very hard and that in turn means a lot of heat will be generated. With laptops there just isn't as much room for that heat to spread out, so you end up slow roasting the components inside the laptop. Think of it like the computing equivalent of smoking. It takes a little while for the effects to catch up with you, but eventually they will and with interest.

Photo and video editing is best left to desktops. If you want to have a laptop to do some quick mock up work or demos, that would be one thing, but relying on a laptop to do all the heavy lifting would be a very big mistake.

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