Best Budget Laptops for Film and Media Students 2020

Film making is a very tech heavy line of work. Whether producers are making a low budget flick or big Hollywood block buster; technology will be key to making the best movie possible. Film and media students must have a solid performing computer for editing, mixing, recording scenes and special effects. Here is a list of the best budget laptops for film and media students.

The Best Budget Laptops for Film and Media Students for 2020 Reviews:

1. MSI GV62 8RD-034 15.6″ Thin and Light Gaming Laptop

The MSI GV62 is a great piece of equipment for making films. We’ll take a look at the specs of this powerful machines then will go into detail about what it has to offer. The MSI GV62 is a thin and light gaming machine. You can get the unit outfitted with an Intel Core Intel Core i7-8750H processor, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050Ti 4G GDDR5 and 8GB DDR4 2400MHz of RAM. The unit is also outfitted with 1TB + 128GB SSD of storage space. These basic specs mean that this laptop can run high end programs to make your editing experience professional and polished.

The MSI GV62 is thin and weighs in close to 5 pounds. The relatively light weight will allow you to carry your unit for hours without it tiring you out. The unit is also easy to store inside of backpacks and computer bags. You can also quickly manipulate it when you have to do some on the spot editing work. It has the Windows 10 operating system installed and a 15.6” screen.

The screen display is LCD and that NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards delivers crisp and clear pictures that will make your movies look like a big studio production. The laptop is black with a brushed metal cover. You’ll also get a kick out of the red colored LED backlit keyboard. This added touch will allow you to use your keyboard with ease in low light and dark room locations.

Cool Booster is a feature built into this model that keeps this laptop machine 20% cooler with heavy use. The unit also offers Blue Tooth connectivity, a wireless adapter, and enhanced audio features with 3D sound effects. This unit is a machine that will give you the edge with generating the best videos or media content possible.

Pros:

  • The MSI GV62 can handle any type of movie editing and creation program on the market. Even the top end movie producing software titles will run flawlessly on this machine.
  • The MSI GV62 is also a beast that can stand up to repeated and prolonged use. Don’t forget that gaming laptops have to be designed to take a beating. In other words, they are made for long periods of gaming. So, they must have mechanics and functions that make they last for hours (or even days) on end without wearing out or breaking down.
  • MSI GV62 owners will notice how fast this machine moves. It will easily move through a program and you barely have to click a button to get it to respond.

Cons:

  • This top end laptop might be overkill for some video or film making projects.
  • The unit might be too much for inexperienced users to properly handle.

Verdict:

This machine is one of the best budget laptops for film and media students. It cost a little over $1000. However, that is not a lot of money for this high-end machine. Most comparable laptops in its class will cost almost twice as much. So, the MSI GV62 is a good deal. This laptop comes highly recommended for any filming, editing, and video creation project.

 

2. Microsoft Surface Book 2 15″

Microsoft Surface Book 2 is not necessarily a gamine laptop, but it can be used in that capacity. The thing about Microsoft machines is that they are designed for business and tech related use. While it is true that gaming laptops are best suited for filming projects; other state of the art laptop machines can be used for this function.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 offers an 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 Processor. It has 512 GB of storage and 16 GB RAM. The unit offers an enhanced graphics card. The graphics card is a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060. The Surface Book 2 also offers around 17 hours of video playback which means it has a long and powerful battery life.

A vibrant touch screen display helps the onscreen images come to life. The PixleSense Display feature helps to provide this benefit. The unit has a 15” touchscreen display and it is a hybrid laptop. You can take the screen from off the unit and use it as a stand-a-lone tablet. This is a great feature for film students because it will allow for more versatility when out in the field. The Surface 2 provides quick performance and lag time is virtually non-existent. You can run multiple programs at once and still have plenty of speed for carrying out functions. This machine can be easily carried around since it weighs a little over 4 pounds.

Blue Tooth connectivity and WiFi functions are available on the Surface Book 2. Since the Surface Book 2 is a Microsoft machine, Windows 10 is automatically included. Versatility is another strong selling point for this hybrid laptop model. You can use it as a standard laptop for editing films, as a drawing tablet for adding in your own special effects and as a computer tablet for shooting scenes on the go. You can also use the unit as a viewing screen. This will allow you to see how a film is progressing as a whole while you work to finish your project.

Accessories such as a mouse, Surface pen and a Surface dial are available with the unit. Each of these different input methods will give you the ability to manipulate movie programs in different ways. Again, the long battery life is perfect for field work or shooting at a location. Finally, you have USB-C ports and other slots to extend connectivity.

Pros:

    • Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 is a great machine for making films. It provides lots of versatility out in the field and it will perform as expected.
    • This laptop model provides long battery life which is something that all filming students need.
    • The laptop’s design and function are so versatile that it can be used within many different environments and settings with ease.
    • It is also lightweight and won’t weigh you down when you have to lug it around to complete your work.

Cons:

    • The biggest drawback is its inability to use software. Surface Book models require people to download apps from its store. You can also purchase and download software online and use it on the unit. Many software manufacturers have downloadable versions of their software online. So, you can still access some of the top of the line film editing and creation software on the unit.
    • While this machine is powerful, versatile and very fast; you must take great care with handling it. The hybrid laptop design means that you can lose some parts of your machine. You can also easily damage the screen when you detach it from the keyboard. The Surface Pro 2 is not a flimsy machine, but it is not as sturdy as other laptop models. You need to keep this fact in mind if you film in rugged environments or are constantly on the go with your mobile unit.

The verdict:

Get the Surface Book 2 it is a solid and flexible machine for making movies. It will help you to achieve what you desire with your film making work. The unit originally cost about $3,000 out the box. However, you can pick up for slightly $2,000 which offers nearly $1,000 in budget savings. This is a good deal for a great performing laptop apparatus.

 

3. Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer computer products have been around for a long time. They offer home PCs and gaming laptops that are dependable and practical for use. The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a gaming laptop that can be used for movie filming and editing. The laptop offers an i7 processor, a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, 16GB DDR4 2933MHz Dual-Channel HDD, and 6 GB of RAM.

Users will enjoy the multi-colored lit keyboard that comes in yellow, red, blue, and green. The screen size is 15-inches and the product weighs close to 6 pounds. It has a stylish cover that showcases the Helios logo with a LED blue light display. Users will be treated to Ignite Infusion which is a screen and computing technology that allows for less lag and slowdown when you make your films. This benefit was designed for more improved video game play, but it can translate into a simpler movie watching and editing process.

The cooling fan has been designed for a quieter sound and greater airflow. You can enjoy the 360-degree sound feature and the protective sleeve for the unit. You can even get the specialized accessories for this model. These accessories include a specialized headset, specialized keyboard, a unique carry case and a sophisticated mouse.

Pros:

    • The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a powerhouse for making films. It can handle rigorous use and it can stand up to constant movement, bangs and even drops. Hopefully, you don’t make a habit of dropping your laptop often for this benefit to be useful.
    • The Predator Helios 300 is also a dependable and provides lots of speed. You can work with a program and not have to worry about it taking its sweet time to perform a function.

Cons:

    • If you don’t like working out and building up your muscle endurance, then you don’t need the Helios 300. This machine is not for the faint or the weak. Weighing in close to 6 pounds means that it will get heavy after repeated use throughout a day.
    • This machine looks good and polished, but it is very rugged. It’s more about the power than the style. Not a good fit for people who want more versatility for their machines in a filming environment.

The verdict:

The Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop will get the job done for most filming and media students. It can handle programs and it can provide you with more than enough power to get the job done. This is a great unit for creating basic movies. The model is a true budget saver that costs around $1,100.

 

4. Apple MacBook Pro 15

Many people know that Apple makes great computing devices. The Apple MacBook Pro 15 is no exception. The unit has a i7 3.9GHz processor and is outfitted with Turbo Boost. It also has a 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage. Bluetooth, WiFi, and the MacOS 10.12 Sierra is included on the unit. Users also have dual graphics and HD processers, 10 hours of battery life and an amazing pixel screen resolution that is 2880×1800 Pixels. The standard body is space gray, but it can also be purchased in a dark gray hue.

The Apple MacBook Pro 15 has 10 hours of battery life and it comes with Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities. The unit is quick and can handle most filming and video software. There is also a backlit keyboard and a Touch Bar feature that adapts for different applications. Users will be able to manipulate the keyboard with ease. There are also accessories that can be purchased for the unit. A mouse, earbuds and camera functions are also available. The unit weighs 5.5 pounds and various connections for Apple related devices and chargers.

Pros:

    • The Apple 15in MacBook Pro is powerful machine for editing and creating videos. The processor allows for quick and consistent use for programs. This will help with film makers that make long and complex films that need constant editing. This benefit is also great for special effects creation.
    • Apple’s 16GB RAM doesn’t allow this laptop to slow down for anything. This unit has one of the best memory rates on the market. With 16GB of RAM you can operate multiple top-of-the-line programs on your laptop without any of them ever slowing down. Your films won’t slow down or look second rate on this machine.
    • The screen display is mind blowing. The pixel rates give the MacBook Pro definitive picture quality that is hard to match. You can easily see your videos and scenes with powerful clarity and style.

Cons:

    • This is another laptop model where you must download the movie editing program from the Apple Store or from online. It does not have drives for programs. Once again, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem since most software developers have online versions of their products.
    • The MacBook Pro doesn’t offer a lot of versatility and function even though it has lots of power and speed.

The verdict:

The Apple 15in MacBook Pro is a useful product for film and media students. However, you will need to make sure that you can use preferred programs onto this computer before you get it. The unit is priced around $2000. This is a good deal for anyone on a budget because a computer like this normally costs around $3000.

Why is it important for film and media students to know about gaming laptops for their craft?

Film and media students probably wonder why a gaming laptop would be used for their line of work. The truth is that the best budget laptops used by film and media students are gaming laptops. Computer manufacturers usually do not make laptops specifically for film students. Software creators generally make movie programs that are used for filming and media producers. These programs convert laptops computers into film and editing machines.

Film and media students must understand this point. The key to finding a good film and media laptop is to find a powerful computing machine that can run top of the line movie creation and editing software.

Gaming laptops are the most powerful type in their class. They are designed for heavy graphics use, constant data manipulation and they need lots of storage and RAM for games. Movie editing and creation software requires complex editing sequences, complicated special effects, lots of storage space, lots of RAM usage and a powerful graphics card for high quality content.

Gaming laptops make the best movie creation and editing software because they are loaded with top of the line specifications. They are also durable and can handle long hours of usage. All filming and media students should strongly consider a gaming laptop to use for their profession. They can install movie editing and creation software onto the unit to redesign it for their line work. Now, let’s check out some top end gaming laptops that can be used for this purpose.

By the way, while gaming laptops are often preferred for filming and media functions; there are other laptop models that can fulfill this need. Certain laptop manufacturers make high quality laptop machines for other purposes than gaming. A few of those models will be included below.

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