Good Windows laptop for Video Editing <$1k?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wmitch, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. wmitch macrumors regular

    wmitch

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #1
    I'm trying to help my dad find a laptop. My parents and in-laws assume that my Apple knowledge translates to the PC world and unfortunately, it does not.

    My dad is a private investigator who spends his day in the car doing video surveillance. He has a power inverter and a small, powered workstation set up in the car to edit video and type reports throughout the day to minimize after hours work.

    He is using what was the top of the line toshiba satellite that is ancient now and running pinnacle 12.

    Because he spends so much of his day editing, I would like to see him move to a refurb 15" quad core MBP but money is an issue and he only wants to spend $700.
    I'm just wondering what options might be suitable in the $500-$1000 range.

    FYI- video editing is for content, not movie quality so it's not advanced editing at all.
     
  2. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
    I saw a Lenovo ultrabook in Office Depot for about $650 a few months back. Looking at Lenovo's site today, I see a similar model for under $700 here. It is Intel i3 based, which will be a huge upgrade from his old laptop while modest in today's i5/i7 world. It comes with 128GB SSD which will provide excellent performance and is ideal for using in the car. It comes with Win 7 so there is little or nothing for him to learn. He just has to transfer his software and keep working.
     
  3. wmitch thread starter macrumors regular

    wmitch

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    Mar 7, 2012
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    Iowa, USA
    #3
    I'm wondering if it would be worth it to go with a quad core model?
     
  4. boomdog macrumors regular

    boomdog

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    Oct 3, 2013
    Location:
    The most Easterly point of the UK
    #4
    I've just browsed the Dell website and have seen Inspiron 15R's for fairly good money. 4th gen i5 and 8GB ram for under $700.

    I have a 4 year old Dell XPS L701X. Cost a bit more than these in its day but it's still going fairly strong. I think it's build well and has not slowed too much over the years. I will say, I'm finding it extremely hard to adjust to windows 8, been trying to persevere since it came out on Beta but find myself installing apps to make it look / function like either a Mac or a Windows 7 machine. I will say windows 8 boots faster, but that's the only thing I really like. For those reasons I would recommend sticking with windows 7 if you can. I also suggest trying to get an SSD as they are so superior to regular HDD's with regard to speed and durability. The only thing I've had to replace on mine is the battery, it was originally 3 hours but dropped to 30 mins after a couple of years use. The replacement has now done the same. No a game changer for me as they are easy to replace and I'm usually plugged in.

    I'm sure you can find something that meets his demands, if he wants a bigger screen, Dell offer 17R's too. I'm sure other brands are also competitive but I have always had good experiences with UK Dell (3 laptops).
     

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  5. ecrispy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    #5
    There are some good suggestions above. For video editing a quad core might make a difference, but usually that's only important if the video is being encoded, not if you just want to edit/trim the clips.

    Look at the outlet sites of Lenovo/Dell as well as upcoming Black Friday sales - there are many deals to be had, and the pc oem's offer big discounts on their outlet sites unlike Apple.

    I would also suggest you keep Windows 8, it is faster OS, and use a Start menu replacement + boot to desktop if the new Metro environment bothers your dad, that way its going to be like Win 7 except faster.
     
  6. boomdog macrumors regular

    boomdog

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    Oct 3, 2013
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    The most Easterly point of the UK
    #6
    This is exactly what I've done but I've also added a dock to the bottom of the screen to help with navigation. I just find myself spending more time figuring out how to make it work like 7 than being productive.
     
  7. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    NJ USA
    #7
    Also check out HP. I think HP's quality may be spotty but that can be said about all manuf.

    I got my son a 13" HP notebook two years ago. He feeds Xbox footage into it and edits and posts to Youtube. It has i3 processor, 4GB and nice small footprint. The thing was around $500. We've been very happy with it.

    Also +1 to Lenovo. I have these at work and they are good machines.
     
  8. wmitch, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013

    wmitch thread starter macrumors regular

    wmitch

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #8
    Lenovo?

    My work laptop is a Lenovo t430 (or t440 I can't remember off hand) it's built like a tank which is awesome and I've been really happy with it.

    Does anyone know how L or Z or Ideapad Series compare?

    Also, difference between the U series and the M series processors?

    Thanks!
     
  9. Gasu E. macrumors 601

    Gasu E.

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
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    Not far from Boston, MA.
    #9

    My experience with Lenovo is that they are high quality products. My extensive experience with Dell is not so good on quality; but they are amazing on turning around warranty repairs.
     
  10. ecrispy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    #10
    If you are able to get a business line laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad, Dell Latitude, HP Elitebook) on clearance/outlet, those are much higher quality than their consumer line, and will last a long time.
     
  11. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #11
  12. wmitch thread starter macrumors regular

    wmitch

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    #12
    I know, I'd like him to go this direction too but his requirements include a large Hard drive (He needs easy access to edit and view hours of video footage on the go) and an internal DVD Burner (Able to make hard copy back ups and provide client hard copies) I understand that he could get external solutions to both but when working out of a car and if needing them constantly, built in really is ideal. I also think the larger monitor is helpful since he is using it alot to scan and analyze video frames and his eyes aren't as young as he used to be.

    That leaves only the 13" Macbook Pro as an option. Would it run video as fast as a similarly priced Windows machine?
     
  13. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #13
    Yes older MBP 13" should fit the bill. Contains internal DVD burner + easily changeable internal HD. An used or older model 15" MBP from a reputable dealer might do it too.

    If his budget was for "top of the line toshiba satellite", why isn't he going for comparable computer now?
     

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