Best Lightweight (Ultrabook Preferred) Laptop for Video Editing


Dec 29, 2014
Hey all -

I've been doing some research over the past week or so to find out what would be the best option in purchasing my next laptop. Here is the form below to start with:

1. What is your budget? I can go up to $2,000 USD

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? I don't want a 17", like at all. That would be a deal breaker for me. I'd prefer a 15", but 13" is fine.

3. What screen resolution do you want? Preferably UHD/4K. Although FHD would be fine if it gives me a better dedicated graphics card

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? I have a desktop editing machine, but I'm looking for the best bang for my buck to get a portable editing machine. As lightweight and thin & light as possible would be perfection.

5. How much battery life do you need? This is not too important as 90% of the time I will be able to plug my machine in

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)? I may do some gaming, but nothing too often. I play high demanding games (Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Fallout 4, Witcher 3, etc.), but I don't think I will use this machine for gaming.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) This will primarily be used for video and photo editing, as well as internet browsing, word document creation and editing, etc. I use Adobe Premiere Pro CC for video editing and Adobe Photoshop CC for photo editing.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? I'd prefer an SSD with at least 256GB, but that's all I need. All of my video files (raw, edited, etc.) are housed on a 4TB WD external drive, so I'm not too worried about onboard space.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. I am open to anything but more particularly to Amazon, Best Buy, or B&H Photo (I get a great educator discount through them).

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? As long as possible, minimum 3 years.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? I don't think I will ever need an optical drive. I'd like to have a Thunderbolt connection if available, but at least USB 3.0, possibly USB-C.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons. I am open to anything by Apple, Dell, or ASUS.

13. What country do you live in? I live in the US.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. I have been looking at the Macbook Pro with Retina display, the ASUS Zenbook Pro UX501VW, and the Dell XPS 15. I know these are the highest rated right now for my needs, but I need someone to really tell me which one is the one I should go for. I love Apple products, but they're so darn expensive (and don't have the same performance as their PC equivalents). But I hear some horror stories regarding Dell too that sway me away from that one. I don't know too much about the Zenbook Pro so I can't say too much there.

Thank you in advance for anyone's assistance and feedback!
For video editing you do not want a ultraportable laptop.
There is a HUGE difference between an i7U and an i7Q CPU.

My Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro has an i7U which is only a dual core with hyperthreading, with turbo peak to I believe 2.4 GHZ.
This is plenty of processing power for day to day, but not even close for video editing.

Also, a video card (at least an NVIDIA with CUDA cores) will also help rendering performance.

Here is my recommendation for something lighter then ROG or Alienware gaming laptops but still has the "horsepower" that you need: