The best laptop for film students like you should help you go through your term unscathed. By that, I mean it should have the necessary power to process all your raw data when you’re creating amazing footage. Let’s be honest, though, you’d deal with a lot of video editing in the long run.
For that, first, bear in mind that you’d have to spend at least $700 or above. You’d want your laptop to have a dedicated GPU that renders faster graphic processing in case you’re dealing with a 4K video. The CPU also would have to start from Core i5 8th gen if not less or AMD Ryzen’s line-up that rivals this architecture.
I’ve saved you all the slack with the following list of laptops that will perform so very well you’d only have to concentrate on learning how to tell stories through your lens.
The List of Best Laptops for Film Students and Professionals
- Acer Predator Helios 300
- Apple MacBook Pro
- ASUS ZenBook 15
- Acer Nitro 5
- Lenovo Legion 5
- ASUS TUF A15
- Razer Blade 15
Now let’s review each of them one by one and see what’s inside.
1. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Laptop for Film Students
The Acer Predator Helios is hands-down the best laptop for filmmakers, teachers, and students all alike.
With its Intel Core i7-10750H that has a clock speed of about 2.6GHz, you should expect a stellar performance. With a CPU Mark of 12506, given by cpubenchmark.net, it stands tall above all but AMD Ryzen 7 4800H and Apple M1 8 Core 3200 MHz. Its single thread performance soars higher too with only Apple’s M1 8 beating it by a small margin.
This means as a film student, all of your apps such as those in the Adobe CC suite will run like butter.
Editing a 4K video with a few things running in the background shouldn’t be a problem as well. The credit here goes to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB. It is inching closer to the performance of RTX 2070. Gamers normally play 4K games with around 50 fps. This shows the capability of the card when it comes to GBs after GBs of raw videos that need to be edited in real-time. The 3D rendering plus its data processing henceforth is phenomenal.
Under its hood, a 512GB SSD waits to transfer or write data in a blazing fast manner. That should give you the leverage of getting your footage into the laptop in minimum time besides helping you multitask without an issue.
The 16GB Dual-Channel DDR4 RAM complements other power-related specs so you should get an all-around performance that speaks for the price you’re going to pay.
And if all of this power wasn’t enough for you, there’s a dedicated “Turbo” key on the keyboard to open its flood gates. However, bear in mind that the fans would go nuts and noisy in transferring all that heat from the card to the outside.
On top of that, the RGB keyboard is responsive. I didn’t like the key travel time but you might.
Since you’d be working with audio plus visuals, the 144Hz screen plus its dual rich speakers would give you a pleasurable experience like no other.
You can even connect it with your favorite monitor or big screen because it’s got an HDMI port, three USB A 3.2, and a USB-C 3.2. Unfortunately, though, this unit isn’t too portable because of its weight and the fact that its battery doesn’t run more than 4 or 5 hours on heavy work.
- Intel Core i7-10750H CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GPU
- 16GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
- RGB Keyboard
- 144Hz display
- Good audio and visual quality for long hours of work
- Powerful enough to last every task
- RGB keyboard for an easy night’s work
- 15.6 FHD screen to view everything marvelously
- Not very portable
- Small battery timing
2. Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip
The new Apple MacBook Pro with its dedicated and integrated Apple M1 chips has bamboozled other CPUs in terms of performance.
I like this laptop for its all-rounder feeling – a great screen overlooking a keyboard with considerably bigger keys, a Touch Bar with its dedicated shortcuts, and a wider trackpad for easy operations. There’s a character to this whole thing that you can’t miss as a film student.
That character has been derived from convenience. With a battery that runs for more than 15 hours on top of all the specs I talked about, you’re bound to have a fluid experience that feeds your creativity.
Plus who could be wrong about the metallic chassis of this machine and its looks? Take it anywhere and it would settle into its surrounding with its gray color. The screen edges are round as if it wants to take you on a journey to a land where things are mild, soft, and smooth. The feel of the laptop is just next level.
So is its performance. The Apple M1 chip churns out some serious benchmarks as compared to the latest Intel chips. With a clock speed of 3.2 GHz, you get 8 threads and 8 cores working round the clock to produce a performance that could run anything and everything you need. It has a CPU Mark of 15159, beating the scores of i7 9th and 10th gens while staying behind the Core i9. However, in single-core ratings, it surpasses even that CPU with an average thread rating of 3,781 to 2,970.
With its 8 cores, that is to say, your programs would take only seconds before loading. The small boot time is famous and kind of a signature of Apple’s laptops and here too, you see that with, of course, other improvements such as multiple cores handling multiple programs online or offline like a breeze. All these specs confirm that Apple MacBook Pro is the best laptop for film students.
There’s also a 16-core Neural Engine as Apple will call it to personalize your experience. I don’t know what that means or what it did for me, but I did find my MacBook experience with this unit fluid like water.
For connectivity, you get two thunderbolts, 4 USB ports, and a plethora of other ports to help you connect with other machines.
- Apple M1 Chip CPU with 8 Cores
- Integrated GPU
- 8GB RAM
- 512GB SSD
- 13” FHD screen
- 10+ hours of battery
- Better than most windows PC
- A bigger battery means long hours of work
- Strong material
- Great audio quality
3. ASUS ZenBook 15
The ASUS ZenBook 15 is a beautiful laptop made for tasks like video editing with its brand new ScreenPad.
What’s ScreenPad, you ask? It is a 5.5” small screen situated right in the trackpad. Using it is fairly simple since it’s touch-enabled. You won’t even have to connect a second screen to your laptop because, you guessed it right, you already have it on your trackpad. It’s beyond cool.
Besides, when you’re using an Adobe application for doing your film-related assignments, you can always set some shortcuts in the keyboard for quick access to a function. That is another interesting feature of the Asus ZenBook 15.
Besides these features, the real deal is in the performance, which to be honest, does not sit on par with the two laptops I’ve talked about. However, that doesn’t mean you should discard it completely.
The Intel Core i7-10510U CPU with its CPU Mark of 6,887 has 8 threads and 4 cores. So to say, the performance is definitely adequate for the likes of Adobe CC. However, if you’re looking for a GPU with flawless 3D rendering, this one isn’t for you. It will do fairly with raw 4K footage but when you’re working on that, you might wanna close other programs for smooth performance.
That claim is buttressed by the fact that the GPU is average – the GTX 1650. Play the games you like but at an average fps as compared to the latest models, if you want to.
The laptop comes with 16GB of RAM and a whopping 1TB of SSD. These two are more than enough for their share of power. The 1TB storage is so sweet you’d want to cling to only this unit, given your need for more space.
Talking about the rest of the features, the keyboard on this machine is super comfortable. Not too high or low, but with just the right amount of key travel for fluid typing. There’s also a Numpad to help you do some quick calculations or remaining. I already talked about the tremendously helpful feature of shortcodes.
The battery comes with juice for 5 to 6 hours on heavy use and that +2 hours on light usage. The low weight makes the laptop one of the handy ones to take to your classes for quick notes taking.
- Intel Core i7-10510U CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
- 16GB RAM
- 1TB SSD
- 15.6” FHD screen
- 6 to 7 hours of battery timing
- Extremely thin bezels
- Immersive screen with near-perfect colors
- Shortcodes plus ScreenPad takes an edge
- Noisy fans when overclocked
4. Acer Nitro 5 – Best Budget Laptop for Film Student
The Acer Nitro 5 has got to be the best budget laptop for film students like you. Since it’s a budget laptop, it has got mid to low range specs, but the picture is not gloomy at all.
Let’s talk about the screen first since you’d be looking at it for hours. The 15.6” FHD display is an IPS panel that sits comfortably somewhere in the middle of the best displays and the worst. It has somewhat muted colors but the overall feel isn’t cheap at all. The brightness could have been more; still, you should be comfortable when working outside. Besides all the odds it shares, the very size of it is more appealing.
Look down from the screen and you find a red-backlit keyboard with a key travel distance of 1.6mm. That means they would feel tactical but sometimes too “clicky”. There’s a dedicated command key in the Numpad that activates the NitroSense right from there.
NitroSense is NVIDIA’s control panel from where you can conveniently control many things including the dual fan speeds.
You’d want to do that from time to time because when you’re running heavy video editing software from the Adobe CC, the fans have to be clocked to their maximum for maximum heat expulsion. The system can get steamy when you don’t do that – owing to the power it packs.
That power derives from the Intel Core i5-9300H with a clock speed of 2.4GHz, which is honestly more than enough for your work. However, you might see a stray lag here and there during intense graphics rendering. Its CPU Mark is 7840 with 8 threads and 4 cores — pretty standard for a film college student. While the CPU lags behind major or popular chips, when you look at its performance among its own kin that is the previous and the new generations of i5, it tops that very chart.
The GPU is also nothing in your face or something too luxurious for this price. It sure would do your work without complaining, though. You should expect it to run side by side with your CPU, giving it all the power it needs to play content, run many Chrome tabs, all the while handling a few tasks related to the film world. But I do wish the RAM was 16GB at least, not 8GB, and the storage be 512GB and not 256GB.
Overall, this machine performs blazingly fast for your processes – the only limitations being its storage and RAM, courtesy of its price.
- Intel Core i5-9300H CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU
- 15.6” FHD Display
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB SSD
- Backlit keyboard
- Turbo mode
- 8 hours of battery (advertised)
- Stunning large display
- Strong and durable built
- Has turbo mode
- Responsive keyboard
5. Lenovo Legion 5
The Lenovo Legion 5 is expensive, no doubt, but it outperforms many laptops on this list. The reason for its inclusion is its CPU and amazing screen — both of which you directly need for your career.
Talking about its screen first, you get a 15.6” FHD IPS panel with a 144Hz refresh rate. The refresh rate makes the laptop worth the price. It’s fluid, non-pixelated, and immensely immersive. Playing your movies on this one would give you a near-cinema experience. Who could argue with a screen that big that shines bright with 300 nits and popping color gamut? Using it outdoors would be a delight, that I can guarantee.
The CPU is another highlight, which is AMD Ryzen 7 4800H with a CPU Mark of 19,165. It beats the likes of Core i9, i7, i5, Ryzen 9, and Ryzen 7 Pro by a margin. That means its 16 threads and 8 cores will power your applications, run them, and let you multitask with the convenience you look for.
On top of that, the NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti churns out enough power to play games in moderate to satisfactory fps and 4K videos without any problem at all. If you’re an avid gamer along with being a film student, I’d highly recommend this laptop to you.
Even the 16GB RAM plus 512GB SSD storage speaks for the appropriateness of this machine for your daily film-related tasks.
The laptop, as you read, is brilliant for outdoor use, but so it is for low light conditions as it boasts an RGB keyboard with a spacious touchpad. You’d have absolutely no problem in writing screenplays or scripts, for that matter. However, I wish the keyboard wasn’t placed offset because of the Numpad.
So, all in all, the Lenovo Legion 5 is a suitable laptop for your day-to-day study, work, and play. I say this because of its bright IPS panel, powerful chipsets, and a battery that runs for 5 or more hours.
- AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU
- NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti
- 16GB RAM DDR4
- 512GB SSD
- 15.6” FHD screen
- Backlit keyboard
- Awesome responsive keyboard
- Easy on the eyes screen
- Immensely powerful
- Relatively cool
- Mediocre design
- Offset keyboard
6. ASUS TUF A15
The sixth best laptop for film students on this list is from the Asus Arena. The Asus TUF A15 has almost the same specs as the Lenovo Legion 5, but it’s more like its rich cousin rather than a contemporary.
There’s a difference in the built quality. This one has an aluminum chassis that feels ultra-fashionable and premium, not to mention robust and tough. The screen has the same width and small bezels but here, the colors become even brighter. There’s a subtle intensity to it as compared to the previous gens.
So as a film student, you’d absolutely love playing movies and watching content on ends. The speakers are louder than what ASUS has produced in its TUF lineup but it doesn’t have the kind of bass we all want — no matter how much ASUS deems otherwise.
There’s a yellow-backlit keyboard, but seriously, why yellow? Even though there’s a Numpad, the keyboard miraculously sits comfortably somewhat in the middle, which is a welcome feature.
I’ve already talked about the CPU and GPU performance of AMD Ryzen 7 4800H and NVIDIA GeForce 1660Ti, respectively. They combinedly churn out likable performance for your work, study, and play. The 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB SSD compliment that performance like they should.
But why buy this laptop when it seriously has the same performance metrics as the previous one and that too, for a low price? You should buy it for a bigger battery, classy speakers, premium feel, and a military-grade construction, which is its signature. It’s durable enough to last longer than expected and I presume you’re looking for such a machine.
- AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU
- GeForce GTX 1660Ti GPU
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- 512GB SSD
- Metal chassis
- 8 hours of battery
- Durable than most of its contemporaries
- Bigger battery
- 144Hz screen
- Heats up rather quickly when overclocked
7. Razer Blade 15 – Best Laptop for Filmmakers
The Razer Blade 15 has the same CPU as Acer Predator Helios on the first slot in this list. However, there’s a huge difference in the GPU. The Razer Blade 15 runs on NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 — a mammoth of the GPUs around the world.
I like the overall design and build of this laptop with its tough look but subtle feel. The edges are sharp but thank God there are small bezels. As a film student, working on such a display would always be a pleasure, regardless of what you’re going to do.
The speakers are great, too, and so is their placement. You’d feel the sound of the movie come right at you rather than away. There’s a certain depth to them too with proper loudness and admissible bass. Obviously, you can’t bet on them as you do on your large speakers.
The keyboard placement is optimal for blaze typists like me. It is backlit, thankfully, and also very responsive. You can even customize the color with the help of Razer Chroma — a dedicated app to tweak such things.
With an Intel Core i7-10750H under its hood accompanied by the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, the laptop’s performance is out of the roof — literally. There’s not a single program that they can’t run in max settings, not a game that you won’t enjoy in high fps, and much more.
But of course, with such power comes heat. There’s a dedicated cooling system on the laptop. However, sometimes even that cannot cope up with the kind of heat that builds up.
Imagine all that power running things smoothly on a 144Hz screen. The colors are a bit washed out but nothing like you won’t be proud of.
And if you think the storage isn’t enough for your files, you can upgrade it by inserting an SSD in the open M.2 PCIe 3.0×4.
To sum up, by buying this laptop, you’d buy yourself a machine that will last for years without compromising on power or performance at all.
- Intel Core i7-10750H CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- 512GB SSD
- Aluminum chassis
- 15.6” FHD display
- Bang for the buck
- Would last for many years; it’s this tough
- Outclass performer
- Not too fancy for a study laptop
- Mediocre battery timing
For a film student like you, a wider IPS panel with the right colors would mean a lot since you have to work with so much visual input. A better battery and flawless performance are also necessary to get you through endless hours of different assignments. You also need a keyboard that feels less mushy and more tactical.
The laptops I’ve listed take an edge one feature or another. Feel free to get any of them. My personal recommendation is the Apple MacBook Pro as the best laptop for film students.