Whether you're a budding filmmaker, a content creator, or a vlogger aiming for the stars, choosing the right tools can make all the difference between an average result and an exceptional piece of art. Given the importance of post-production in video creation, it's critical to have a reliable machine that can handle your editing needs smoothly and efficiently. The MacBook, renowned for its performance and graphics capabilities, has been a go-to choice for many creative professionals. However, not everyone has the budget for the highest-end model.
That's why this blog post is dedicated to all you video editors out there on a budget! Let's dive into the world of Apple and explore the best budget MacBook for video editing. We’ll guide you through the maze of options and specifications, ensuring that you can find a device that will not only suit your budget but also cater to your creative needs. Stay tuned, and let's begin this journey to find your ideal, budget-friendly MacBook companion!
List of 5 Best Budget Macbook for Video Editing in 2023
Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023): The Ultimate Video Editing Powerhouse
In the realm of video editing, the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) stands as an undisputed champion, offering an unparalleled blend of power, performance, and precision. This model is an exhibition of Apple's technical prowess and commitment to pushing the boundaries of what's possible.
Chip and Performance
The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is powered by Apple's state-of-the-art M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, marking a significant stride in Apple's chip-making journey. These second-generation Apple Silicon chips claim a remarkable 40% performance boost compared to the previous M1 chips, making them potent warriors in handling resource-intensive tasks like video editing. From editing raw 4K videos to rendering complex effects, these chips are designed to deliver exceptional performance without a hiccup.
One of the standout features of the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is its long-lasting battery. A single charge can power this workhorse for over 20 hours, a vital feature for video editors working on long projects or away from a power source. With this stellar battery life, you can keep your creative juices flowing without the constant worry of finding a power outlet.
The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) hosts the best-in-class Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion technology. It is arguably the most advanced display you can find on a laptop today. With its stunning color accuracy and sharp details, every frame you edit will look exactly the way you intend it to be.
However, all these outstanding features come at a premium price, making this MacBook Pro a high-end option. Additionally, its large size might make it a bit hefty to carry around. Yet, if video editing is your primary task and budget is not a constraint, then the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is undoubtedly the ultimate powerhouse you should consider.
MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2023): Video Editing Powerhouse in a Compact Design
The MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2023) is proof that good things can indeed come in small packages. This compact yet mighty machine seamlessly merges portability with power, providing top-tier video editing capabilities in a travel-friendly form factor.
Performance and Chipset
Under the hood, the MacBook Pro 13-inch (2023) is equipped with groundbreaking M2 series chips. These chips not only underscore Apple's unyielding innovation in silicon architecture but also deliver a robust 40% performance upgrade over the predecessor M1 chips. Whether you're editing high-resolution videos, adding complex effects, or multitasking, this compact beast is designed to handle it all with stunning efficiency.
The MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2023) shines in terms of battery performance. Boasting an incredible runtime of over 15.5 hours, it allows you to work on extensive projects uninterrupted. This excellent battery life, combined with the MacBook's portable design, makes it an ideal companion for editors who need a dependable machine on the go.
Design and Form Factor
Apple has retained the classic aesthetic of the MacBook Pro, maintaining the same sleek design and color options as the 2020 M1 model. But don't let the familiar look fool you; this MacBook Pro is a significant upgrade in terms of performance and capability.
While this model still features only two Thunderbolt ports and carries over the 720p webcam, the nearly silent operation is an added advantage for those who value peace and quiet during their editing sessions.
In conclusion, the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2023) encapsulates a perfect balance of power and portability. If you're a video editor seeking a laptop that can easily travel with you without compromising on performance, this model could be your perfect match.
14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021): A High-speed Yet Affordable Option
The 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models 2021 strike a perfect balance between affordability and high-speed performance, making them an excellent choice for video editors on a budget who still crave top-notch editing power.
Chipset and Performance
Both models are equipped with the revolutionary Apple M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra chips, which provide these laptops with impressive processing prowess. Regardless of whether you're editing 4K footage or adding intricate effects, these chips are designed to handle it all with remarkable efficiency.
The Liquid Retina XDR display on these MacBook Pro models, which includes mini-LED technology, delivers a stunning visual experience. With up to 1000 nits sustained full-screen brightness and 1600 nits peak brightness, you're guaranteed vibrant, true-to-life images for precision in your video editing work. In addition, the ProMotion technology allows for adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz, further enhancing your editing experience.
The 2021 MacBook Pro models are notable for reintroducing an expanded array of ports. Beyond the USB Type-C Thunderbolt ports (of which there are three), these models also include an HDMI port, a MagSafe 3 port for charging, and an SDXC card slot, providing a variety of ways to connect your favorite accessories.
While these laptops do come with a higher price tag than some other options, their power, display quality, and expanded connectivity options make them an excellent choice for anyone working with intensive video editing projects. However, if your editing work includes arranging elaborate music scores, compiling and testing complex code, or editing 8K footage, the 2021 MacBook Pro models offer an affordable alternative that doesn't compromise on power or speed.
13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020): A Budget-friendly Powerhouse for Video Editing
Presenting a potent combination of affordability and performance, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) is a force to be reckoned with. It offers excellent power and efficiency for video editing tasks, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious creatives.
Chip and Performance
At the heart of this MacBook Pro model lies the M1 chip, the inaugural edition of Apple's homegrown silicon. This chip not only marks Apple's departure from Intel but also demonstrates impressive performance, setting a high benchmark for future generations.
Despite being a budget-friendly option, this MacBook Pro model is no slouch in handling video editing tasks. Whether you're working with Full HD or 4K footage, the M1 chip ensures smooth and responsive performance.
When purchasing the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020), it's recommended to maximize the storage and RAM for optimal video editing performance. It's worth noting that this model is the last current MacBook Pro to feature the Touch Bar, an element that may be of interest to some users.
However, be aware that this model has limited port options, which may require you to invest in adapters or docks to connect all your devices.
Comparison to Predecessor
Compared to the early 2020 model it replaced, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) offers a substantial performance boost. It's 2.8 times faster than its predecessor and outperforms similar Windows laptops by a factor of three.
To summarize, the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) offers robust performance for video editing at a much more affordable price point than newer models. If you're just starting your video editing journey or are mindful of your budget, this model is an excellent choice to consider.
MacBook Air (M1, 2020): Affordable Entry into Apple's Silicon Era
The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) marks a significant milestone in Apple's history, ushering in the era of Apple Silicon with an affordable yet powerful device that's perfectly suited for video editing beginners or those on a budget.
Performance and Chipset
The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is powered by the revolutionary M1 chip, Apple's first foray into creating its own processors. The M1 chip, despite being Apple's maiden silicon, delivers impressive performance and handles video editing tasks admirably, especially considering the MacBook Air's entry-level positioning.
Design and Features
In terms of design and features, the MacBook Air closely mirrors the 13-inch MacBook Pro. However, there are a few differences to consider: the MacBook Air lacks a Touch Bar and offers slightly less battery life. Additionally, it does not include Touch ID, and the display brightness is slightly lower (400 nits compared to 500 nits on the MacBook Pro).
Despite these differences, if you're new to video editing or operate on a strict budget, these limitations may not significantly impact your editing experience.
Silent Operation and Heat Management
One distinct advantage of the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is its fanless design, which allows for virtually silent operation - a real boon for those who appreciate quiet working conditions. However, it's important to note that this design might also lead to the device heating up during intensive tasks.
Market Availability and Future Outlook
The MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is a frequent subject of sales and discounts, making it an even more appealing choice for those budget-conscious editors. However, it's worth mentioning that Apple has released an updated MacBook Air, the M2, which boasts some new features. Depending on your budget and needs, it could be worth comparing both models before making a decision.
In summary, the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) offers an affordable yet powerful entry point into the world of Apple Silicon, providing respectable video editing performance at a budget-friendly price. For newcomers to video editing or those seeking an Apple device without breaking the bank, it represents an excellent choice.