For the investment, screen size, components, etc. and so forth.
The best Laptop for video editing is a Desktop.
If you have no other option but to edit and record using a 13, 15 or 17 inch laptop.
I wish you the best of luck. I don't recommend going there. They are just too darn small.
You're going to get a lot of different responses since there's so many different ways to skin a cat ;)
The better the processor, the better/faster your render times will be (the act of creating or exporting the MP4 video file for uploading to youtube).
I use a 15" HP Pavilion laptop that's mainly billed as a gaming laptop. It is an internal GTX 1050 graphics card which helps with on-screen playback, and the processor is a 7th generation Intel i5. I installed a 500 GB SSD drive along side the 1 TB HDD that came with it, and I use the SSD for everything except backups... I back up to the HDD (and externally).
The 15" screen size is too small for serious video editing, so I have a setup whereby I have 3 external monitors that are all 28" in size. To make this work, I got a DisplayLink adaptor that plugs into the laptop via USB, and that drives two of the monitors (the two I have on the sides), and I use the HDMI output from the laptop to drive my center monitor (thus taking advantage of the GTX 1050 graphics card on my center monitor only.
I love this setup because although I do most of my work on the center screen, I have lot of other things open "on the wings" like File Manager windows for dragging and dropping media content, Adobe Audition for sound editing, Filezilla for file transfers, Outlook, Google Chrome, etc. To make sure all these apps can operate at the same time I have 16 GB of RAM... and I NEVER run into trouble. I think I only ever really use about half of that.
So... YES you can be a video editor with a laptop, but at the very least I highly recommend an external monitor you can plug it into. For me personally, I go on the road often, and want to be able to bring my work with me... so unplugging the laptop and going is super easy.
I bought this laptop a couple months ago... I think it's like $800 or so, plus add the 8 GB extra RAM to bring it up to 16 GB was $80 or so, and the 500 GB SSD drive was around $100. I've had the DisplayLink dual monitor dock for a couple years... I think it was around $150-$200.
Hope that helps!
So, Dave J Shank
Myself personally, I like Dell computers. I’ve been using them for years and I’ve had a lot of good service out of them.
For high performance you want the XPS line. If I had to replace mine today, I would choose this one. https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-desktop-computers/xps-tower/spd/xps-8930-desktop/dxcwvmax004hb
When purchasing a computer through Dell it’s always best to contact them over the phone. Because the person you speak to will probably give you additional discounts. It will be in the form of a Dell coupon that you will have to use within 30 days or something like that. I purchased 2 additional internal hard drives with my discount when I purchased my computer. I ordered them from Dell and installed them myself.
This particular computer comes with a standard hard drive. Although, it’s a fast hard drive. You have the option to upgrade to an SSD. It’s 150 additional dollars for a 512 gigabyte or 350 for a 1 terabyte drive. So that’s kind of pricey. SSD’s are nice, the computer fires up faster. Program start faster and you can transfer files faster. However, overall. When it comes to video editing I think they’re overrated.
I purchased my XPS 8700 almost 4 years ago. At that time Dell used Seagate barracuda 7200 RPM hard drives. I have little doubt they still use the same hard drives. But I have no way of guaranteeing that. I’ve done my own testing of read/write speeds of these drives. I can transfer 100 GB of files from one drive to the other at a rate of 7 GB per minute.
In a nutshell, when you rendering a video. Odds are, you will be writing/rendering that video at a speed under 1 GB per minute.
So, if you only have 1 hard drive installed on your computer. 2 things must occur. Camtasia needs to read files stored on the C drive. These files are” Temporarily placed in RAM memory”
Plus, it needs to write the video to the same drive.
The hard drive is only capable of reading or writing as a separate function. It cannot perform both functions at the same time.
This is where more RAM memory can come in handy. When you rendering a video the CPU and GPU are accessing RAM memory to perform the task of rendering. Therefore, the C Drive can spend all its time writing/rendering the video.
If there wasn’t enough RAM memory in the computer to hold all the video files on the timeline. The rendering process would have to be paused at some point. Then, the hard drive would have to switch to write mode and replace RAM data. Then the rendering process could continue.
In reality, this delay is not a huge delay. Were talking in terms of several seconds in most cases. But I think it’s best to understand what’s really going on in order to make the best decision.
I run 3 internal hard drives. 1 hard drive is dedicated to the rendering of videos. So there’s never a conflict when it comes to reading and writing files. 2 drives handle the reading and one drive handles the writing. Once again, I have 16 GB of RAM. So if there was a pause to replenish RAM memory during the render process. It would not be that big of a deal. A 16 GB plus video takes a very long time to render. Any delay to replenish RAM is minor by comparison.
SSD’s make everything run faster. Program start faster, Windows starts faster etc. and so forth. However, once you’ve actually opened Camtasia and placed your media on the timeline. The advantages of an SSD are no longer prevalent. You can have 3 high-capacity internal hard drives cheaper than you can have one SSD. So from an economic standpoint, it’s a good place to save money. With a 7 gigabyte read and write speed. These hard drives write at speeds 10 times faster than Camtasia will be rendering video in most cases.
I think there’s an argument for what is your time worth? With regards to SSD’s. I added a Seagate fire Cuda hybrid drive to my system a year or so ago. Windows does fire up faster. Plus, 2 or 3 programs will open faster. Hybrid drives form a memory of what you open the most often. Based on that, those functions operate faster. Open different programs on other days, the information gets replaced and those programs work better for the next couple of days. So the system is pretty flaky.
If Windows fires up 40 seconds faster per day. Your programs fire up 30 seconds faster per day. If you total all this up over a long period of time. You may feel that it justifies the cost.
With video editing you need a lot of storage space. You can pick up 2 TB Seagate barracudas for around 60 bucks at Amazon. 2 TB SSD will cost you an arm and leg by comparison.
This particular Dell comes with a GTX 1060 graphics card with 6 GB of memory. That’s a nice beefy card. It’s more than you need for Camtasia.
If you are going to get into 3D modeling, advanced special-effects work like Adobe After Effects with lighting effects. You would want a different type of graphics card. The Quadro line is the next step up in the Nvidia line. That is something you would want to negotiate with Dell as a custom-built.
For general video editing purposes. The Quadro is unnecessary. Quadro handles the mathematics for 3D CAD work at lightning speed, anti-aliasing displays in wireframe mode. High resolution displays especially associated with CAD work. And a whole host of other features strictly related to 3D rendering and interaction with professional applications.
I run a Nvidia GTX 660 OEM. It’s more than enough card for Camtasia. I wouldn’t mind having a 1060 in my machine instead. I do work with special-effects in After Effects using lighting in 3D space, particle emitters and the types of things where a Quadro would come in quite handy. I just don’t find myself doing it often enough to upgrade.
The key to a good-looking video is being able to see exactly what the video is going to look like when it’s done. It’s difficult to tell what a 1920 by 1080 video is going to look like in fine detail. If you’re editing it on a small monitor. If the canvas area is 10 inches by 5 inches. The video is much smaller/compressed then it is in reality. A lot of pixels have been discarded and rearranged to display the image you are seeing. So what you are actually seeing and editing is a distorted depiction of the original video. A 1920 by 1080 video measures nearly 24 inches diagonally. Or 21 inches by 11 inches.
So it takes a whole lot of screen to see video in its original form. Ideally, you want to go with dual monitors. That’s another reason I think using a laptop is kind of a joke. Once you plug another monitor into a laptop. It’s technically not a laptop any longer because is no longer portable. Isn’t that the entire point of using a laptop is its portability? Unless you consider lugging around another monitor along with your laptop portable.
I switched to a 32-inch primary monitor last year. It’s a HP omen 2560 by 1440 display. It specs are 1st class. Most monitors with the same specs cost much more.
I worked with dual 23 inch monitors for years. That worked out quite well.
But this new set up is the best. A 1920 by 1080 video doesn’t fill the 32 inch viewing area at 100 percent canvas size. So I always know exactly what the videos going to look like when it’s done. When I zoom in or out of the canvas area. The real estate area I have to work with is massive.
So, this works for me. What works for you might be entirely different.
Hopefully, this gives you something to think about.
Here is a link to a forum post where the member wanted information about purchasing a laptop 3 years ago. I discussed purchasing a Dell with KMKelly. Kelly went with the Dell. “She I think” was so pleased with the performance of the Dell she named it “The Beast”
As far as choppiness and Lag goes. As you edit and add effects, Pan and Zoom etc. Depending on the footage.The resolution of that footage.Some choppiness and lag will be unavoidable.
Camtasia doesn't let you reduce the resolution of playback on the canvas. Or Pre-render timeline playback like Premier Pro and some other video editing programs. 4K video is especially prone to lag as a result. So don't expect smooth payback in all situations. You won't get it.
I'm still chugging along with a gen 3 i5 laptop. But I do not do any high level editing. 720p is the highest I usually render if anything. And I will delay upgrading [Camtasia] until Camtasia 2019 comes out.
And there students are not taking required classes online.
So you can argue till the cows come home about the wonders of the laptop. It's still second best. For all the reasons I've stated in this thread. And then some.
My 4 year old computer has a processor that's almost as fast, as fastest ones available today.
What it lacks is SSD's. So I purchased 3 ........1TB Samsung 860 EVO drives yesterday.
1 will power the operating system "Only"
1 will host media files for the purpose of editing "Only"
1 will handle cached video playback files, Proxy files, etc. I may use it to render videos to as well, but the external drives can handle that. So I haven't decided for sure.
My current Fast, 2TB 7200rpm disk drives will be outside in docking ports hooked up through USB 3 ports. They will handle most of my media.Screen recordings, Downloaded media, computer backups, etc. all go through them. If its to be edited, it can be placed on the SSD's for that purpose.
Making for a higher powered video editing experiencing. You can't do upgrades like that with a laptop.Period.
With a Laptop, your stuck with the original purchase. "Pretty much" So spare me any more laptop praise.
I'm turbocharging my desktop, and could still do more.
I'll top that off with a list price that's $734.00 cheaper than yours. Plus a $174.00 Credit through Dell to buy some accessories.You have to become a Dell member "For Free" to take $58.00 of the price of the laptop before purchasing.
And this thing isn't on sale.Its the regular price.
Add it together, and its equal to $908.00 less than your Lenovo. And a better performing computer.
Hows that for a laptop recommendation?
With a caveat, laptops are not cost efficient.I could build a desktop with several SSD hard drives, Large 4K monitor, better processor, all the bells and whistles and have money left over.
So I'll always endorse Desktops over laptops.And point people toward them, before they take the plunge on a laptop. And give them the opportunity to weigh their options. I've been thanked for doing so more than once.
That led me to further research. SSD’s for laptops are way too expensive. I did research a Dell Alienware computer. I could get to the same place as the Lenovo computer. But it was actually a couple hundred dollars more.
However, it came with 2 SSD’s and 1 Spinning Disc HD. So you would have a third spinning disc to record your screen recording to and store media. Download media to, etc. and extend the life of your SSD’s. If you're writing a lot of video files to your SSD's. Especially Camtasia recordings with their large file sizes. And 4K video footage. You're going to wear out those $750 SSD's rather rapidly. That 1 terabyte hard disk could prove invaluable. Between recording and temporary files alone. Your SSD's would really appreciate it.
Plus, the graphics card is about 3 times more powerful than the graphics card in the Lenovo
The processor is basically the same thing with a different turboburst speed rating
thats slightly lower. Burst speeds are overrated, as it only applies to a temporary state. Which generally does not apply to video editing. When you're processor is pretty much idling and running cool. Turbo boost is a temporary overclocking of the CPU. As the CPU heats up and workloads increase. Turbo boost becomes inconsequential and must be shut down.
1 TB solid-state drives are going for $750 in the Lenovo computer. I didn’t calculate what they go for in the Dell.
I purchased 3 of them for $400 for my desktop.
I don’t think there’s many situations where you absolutely have to sit in a motel room and edit your videos. Or on an airplane, or sitting at poolside, or in your backyard.
I can’t imagine many situations where people are out on the road under crushing deadlines, needing to get a video produced, that they can’t wait until they get to their office, or their home, to a desktop computer and edit their videos.
For myself personally, I will never go down that rabbit hole.
Some excellent comments in here (and a few off-topic; please try to stay within the confines of the OP's original question), so it's definitely appreciated. I think that "best laptop" or even just "best computer" for Camtasia will almost exclusively be limited to your editing behaviors, recording needs, and budget. We in Technical Support often see users with budget laptops being extremely successful with Camtasia, even more so after a little troubleshooting or coaching, while on the flip side I have seen an absolute beast of a computer just come screeching to a halt while trying to edit/produce a small project. I think that defining a budget is also an important step as it is very easy to just go a little overboard at times, so I'd like to put forth one of my personal (and in no way endorsed by TechSmith) recommendations for a very reliable laptop that is extremely proficient at handling what I throw at it while being largely affordable when looking at the scope/scale of power-to-price.
I personally use an MSI GS63VR Stealth Pro 4k and outside of some occasional heat concerns when playing a couple of different video games (and only once with Camtasia), it is literally a rock-solid machine that stands toe-to-toe with my desktop workstation at the office. I'd recommend taking a look at it if it falls within your budget.
Lenovo has come up a few times and I absolutely love their machines; rock solid performance, attractive case, generally affordable and feature rich. I used the same trusty Lenovo all through University and it worked pretty solid throughout. Dell I can't speak to as I've actually never used one of their laptops (but I have used plenty of Dell desktops) so I'll defer to the experiences of the other community members on that end.
Note though that some of the issues you are running into might be addressed with your existing hardware; it could be that there are editing behaviors or issues with source files that are causing the issue. It is entirely possible that the issue is hardware related as well; I would be curious to know if you have opened a Support Ticket at all? There are a ton of different things that could be a part of the problem so the Support team would be a good place to start.
Hope that helps!
note: the product opinions in this response are mine and mine along and not intended to be an endorsement by TechSmith