9 Best Laptops for Film Students & Makers in 2020 [Expert Recommendations]

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Film making is a complex and highly resource-intensive process. However, to pursue it as a profession, one has to focus on every aspect, including video editing, compositing, color grading, audio editing, 3D rendering, etc. Here is why selecting the most appropriate laptop is necessary for film students, as they must adhere to every processing requirement, for a holistic professional exposure.

It is a cohesive process and students cannot single out software that cater to a specific role. Instead, they must be well-versed with every relevant software there is, in regards to producing visuals, rendering images, and creating tailored audio.

When it comes to the most sought-after software,

Most importantly, these are only a few software selections and students often need to work with other similar combinations, based on the preferences and options provided by the institutes. As there are no generic devices that can fit in with every requirement, it is necessary to zero in on a few specifications, based on the preferred specializations.

For instance, a good quality display is the first step towards selecting the perfect gadget. Although you can opt for a 4K OLED display if you have the budget and patience to work with an ever-draining battery, a Full HD IPS panel seems like a pretty good bet.

While a good display is a bare minimum, you must emphasize on laptops featuring powerful CPUs for faster processing, resourceful GPUs for handling graphics-intensive applications, and excellent battery backup for working and learning on the go. Besides that, a film student can also benefit from class-leading wired and wireless connectivity for staying in sync with dummy film making workflows.

Apart from the mentioned specs, you must always check the amount of RAM (higher the better) on the laptop followed by the availability of a Thunderbolt 3 port, in case there is a need to set up external workflows for editing, color grading, and compositing, all at once.

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements

Our experts have carefully enlisted the minimum and recommended set of system requirements based on the filmmaking preferences. For instance, the minimum conglomerate of features is still a good fit for editing videos, audio, and compositing on a basic level. However, if it has the recommended specs, it can even handle 3D modeling and basic VFX rendering for gaining the requisite levels of expertise.

 Minimum System RequirementsRecommended System Requirements
CPU7th Gen Intel Core i5Intel Core i7
Storage256GB SSD or 1TB HDD512GB SSD or more
Display15.6-inch HD (1920 x 1080)15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
Graphics2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX2504GB NVIDIA GTX / RTX Series GPU
BatteryUp to 4 hoursUp to 7 hours

9 Best Laptops for Film Students in 2020

As mentioned, filmmakers or film students need to be well-versed with every aspect of advanced editing, color grading, 3D rendering, VFX, and even workflow creation. However, during the initial days of academic indulgences, it is necessary to learn about every aspect. Based on their expertise, preferences, and skill sets, students can migrate over to select domains, at a later point in their career.

Therefore, our experts have carefully handpicked 9 of the best notebooks for filmmaking students, based on computing firepower, audio-video quality, battery performance, aesthetics, and budget.

1. Best Overall: MSI P65 Creator

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)
  • GPU: 6GB NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours

As a file making student, you must always opt for an all-encompassing machine like the MSI P65 Creator, if the budget permits. This laptop allows you to indulge in every aspect of film making besides catering to your leisure tendencies, now and then.

At the core, you get the Intel Core i7-9750H processor which is significant when audio and video editing requirements are concerned. Most importantly, despite the 6-cores on offer, the HyperThreading technology allows you to use 12-threads at once, especially when multi-core activities like composting, 3D rendering, and color grading are concerned. Apart from that, the turbo clock speed of up to 4.50GHz allows you to handle workflow-centric tasks with ease.

The machine boasts of a class-leading GeForce RTX 2060 GPU clubbed with 6GB VRAM. This processing component readily allows you to handle NLE video editing tasks, 3D modeling using applications like Maya, Houdini, and more. Put simply, this GPU comes equipped with Real-Time Ray tracing and AI-Assisted capabilities for making the best use of intricate, graphics-intensive resources, associated with the film making software units.

When it comes to RAM, you get 32GB that comes in handy while creating extensive workflows using Storyboarder, StudioBinder, and Evernote. In addition to that, the 32GB RAM also helps the CPU perform better by speeding up data access. The MSI P65 Creator comes equipped with a 1TB SSD based on the Teton Glacier technology. What stands out is the excellent file and Windows 10 OS loading speeds associated with this storage unit, courtesy of Intel’s Optane H10 technology.

The 15.6-inch 4K panel is exceedingly vibrant and comes across as a major highlight for the filmmaking students, courtesy of the enhanced color clarity. The GPU and Display work in tandem to help students learn about advanced color grading with BaseLight and DaVinci Resolve as the go-to application software units. The existing panel comes with anti-glare properties, overall resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, and an almost 100 percent sRGB color gamut for optimal levels of color reproduction.

When it comes to structural enhancements, this notebook comes equipped with the smoothest possible touchpad clubbed with a fingerprint sensor, backlit keyboard, powerful speakers, and a serviceable webcam. However, despite being an insanely powerful laptop, film making students can carry it around with ease, as it only weighs 4.9 pounds. At 0.63-inch, this is one of the thinnest laptops in the market, despite featuring such a powerful H-series processor.

The port management is pretty exhaustive with the Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Gen 2, and other legacy display and data transfer ports for creating external workflows. When it comes to connectivity, you get access to Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 5 standards. Due to the extensive sleekness of the profile, the existing batter offers a steady 8-hour backup.

Overall, the MSI P65 Creator is the perfect gadget for a filmmaking student, capable of taking care of every technical domain, regardless of the demanded computing resources.

  • Powerful processor
  • Class-leading GPU with support for 8K video decoding
  • SSD with Optane memory
  • Top-of-the-line display
  • Excellent battery
  • VR ready
  • Hard to maintain

2. Best For Students: Razer Blade 15

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 6GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours

With an exceptional specs-sheet on display, the Razer Blade 15 is one of the preferred choices for a majority of filmmaking students.

When it comes to raw power and performance, the Hexa-Core Intel i7-9750H chipset is a class-leading addition. The turbo clock speed of up to 4.5GHz ensures better logic processing, associated with the more demanding film making software module, including Logic Pro, Renderman, and more.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU is exceedingly powerful and the existing Turing Architecture and a larger number of CUDA cores ensure better GPU accelerated rendering and even advanced 3D modeling for learning more about film-centric explosions and other environments. You also get 6GB of Video RAM that can help the Blade 15 decipher intricate 3D textures or get the best possible compositing experience.

You get 16GB RAM for efficient multitasking and a dual-storage module for handling demanding storage requirements. While the 128GB Solid-state drive plays a major role in speeding up the boot-up times, it is advisable to install the most resource-intensive applications here, for faster access. The 1TB HDD takes care of sizeable files, 3D models, audio projects, and even source or study materials.

Film making students dig into exceptional displays and this is where the Blade 15 steals the show with its vibrant 15.6-inch panel. Most importantly, the matte Full HD panel ensures exceptional levels of visibility. However, the color reproduction levels associated with the 1080p screen are more than adequate, courtesy of the 100 percent sRGB color gamut.

The Chroma keyboard with backlit support is a revolutionary addition, allowing you to customize the gadget based on preferences. Besides that, you also get a pretty responsive trackpad, high-end webcam, and extremely powerful speakers. When it comes to the structure, it flaunts an aluminum-clad chassis that weighs almost 4.63 pounds.

The Razer Blade 15 also features top-of-the-line connectivity specs with Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, and Gig Ethernet support being a few to name. Undoubtedly, the Thunderbolt 3 is a desirable asset for the filmmaking students, allowing them to pair external 4K displays for managing multiple edits at once and even transfer data at 40 Gbps.

The exceptional transfer speeds associated with the Thunderbolt 3 port allows the external monitors to pick up files and processing information at speeds comparable to that of a RAM module. This feature ensures that there are no performance lags or downtime issues. The 6-hour battery backup is quite adequate for a gadget as powerful as our review model.

Based on continued usage over the past 15 days, we could infer that the Razer Blade 15 is one of the more efficient gadgets for basic and even advanced filmmaking courtesy of its ability to handle most CPU and GPU-intensive tasks with significant ease and precision.

  • Powerful processor
  • Excellent port arrangement
  • Sharp display with slimmer bezels
  • Resourceful GPU based on Turing Architecture
  • Dual storage module
  • Shallow keyboard
  • Allocated SSD storage is on the lower side

3. Best For Professionals: Dell XPS 15

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch 4K UHD IPS Touch (3840 x 2160)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours

Good-looking laptops with massive processing firepower are often priced a premium. However, the Dell XPS 15, despite being pricey doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket and even validates the price tag, in the best possible way.

The Hexa-Core Intel Core i7-9750H CPU persists, boasting of exceptional performances, synonymous with the H-series i7 processors. Most importantly, the turbo boost clock speed of up to 4.5GHz is a resourceful attribute that is deployed in tandem with the Hyper-threading technology, to handle some of the more demanding video and audio editing tasks.

The existing NVIDIA GeForce 1650 GPU is a powerful addition, featuring OpenGL, OpenCL, DirectX, and Vulkan 1.2.140 compatibility. These 3D APIs ensure that you can handle all the modeling, rendering, and color grading tasks with ease. The 4GB VRAM takes care of the diverse graphics textures, which filmmakers need to process.

Dell features 16GB RAM that allows you to handle multiple applications and workflows with ease. When it comes to storage, the 1TB SSD module is a pretty significant addition, allowing you to store projects, files and even install the concerned application software units and the Windows 10 OS, for minimizing loading times.

Dell brings back its popular InfinityEdge display with the 15.6-inch 4K touch panel featuring the slimmest possible bezels. The cumulative display resolution of 3840×2160 pixels ensures an overall brightness level of almost 500-nit, a feature that comes in handy when compositing and image extraction from Chroma background is concerned.

Dell pushes the innovative envelope further with a significant backlit keyboard, smooth touchpad, and a powerful set of speakers flaunting the brilliant acoustic clarity and higher-fidelity. The MaxxAudio pro acoustic technology clubbed with a 3D surround system, allows you to handle mid-range audio rendering with ease. When it comes to added professional productivity, there is a highly resourceful webcam in place clubbed with a decent set of microphones.

When it comes to the structure, it is exceedingly sleek and weighs a mere 4 pounds. Coming to the port arrangement, you get HDMI 2.0, Type-A, Thunderbolt 3, and other functional output slots. Moreover, this gadget allows you to stay connected to data networks courtesy of the Wi-Fi 6 support. There is a powerful battery at the helm, offering an 8-hour backup, despite the gadget flaunting a 4K display.

Overall, the Dell XPS 15 is one of the best gadgets to buy if you are into film making as it allows you to be productive even on the move.

  • Dependable GPU with all 3D APIs on-board
  • Powerful processor
  • Excellent display
  • Class-leading aesthetics
  • Sizeable storage module based on the NVMe technology
  • Long-lasting battery
  • The aging keyboard might be a deal-breaker

4. Best 2-in-1: HP Spectre x360 15t

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch 4K UHD IPS Touch (3840 x 2160)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 15 hours

If you are a filmmaking student who is mostly traveling for practical experiences, the new HP Spectre x360 15t is the best gadget to invest in.

When it comes to power and performance, there is an Intel Core i7-9750H processor at the helm. With 6 cores and 12 threads to work with, this chipset can easily handle some of the more intricate processing requirements like Storyboarding and editing with ease. Highly graphics-intensive tasks like 3D modeling, rendering, and complex 4K editing is best handled by the consumer-grade NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU that also comes equipped with 4GB VRAM.

Despite being an aesthetically-empowering gadget, you get 16GB RAM on-board that allows you to handle the massive workload and multitasking indulgences with significant levels of precision. Not just that, files, Windows 10 OS, and installed application software load faster than usual with the featured 512GB SSD, boasting of PCIe NVMe compatibility.

When it comes to the display, you get a 15.6-inch 4K display, featuring multi-touch support and an overall resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. Film students can benefit from the micro-edge panel that effectively increases the screen-to-chassis ratio and is even protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass support. Color reproduction and visual clarity are taken care of by HP’s proprietary display technology.

HP Spectre x360 15t also comes equipped with several productivity-enhancing features, including the backlit keyboard, responsive trackpad, and a functional Full HD webcam with IR support and a dual-array microphone unit. Acoustic performances are taken care of by the B&O and quad speakers that boast of the Audio Boost technology.

From an aesthetic point of view, this is one of the best-looking gadgets in the market, courtesy of the innovative gem-cut layout. The gadget weighs 4.81 pounds and comes equipped with a host of ports, including HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1, and USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 compatibility.

HP brings home a powerful, 84wh battery that can last up to 15 hours on a single charge. Overall, if you are a filmmaking student who wants a gadget that strikes the perfect balance between performance and portability, HP Spectre x360 is the name to consider.

  • Brilliant and portable aesthetics
  • Powerful processor
  • Sizeable storage
  • Brilliant 4K display
  • Massive, top-of-the-line battery with fast charging support
  • Heavier for the 2-in-1 form factor

5. Best For Creators: Asus ZenBook 15

  • CPU: 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-10510U
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 9 hours

Film making students mostly prefer gadgets that offer additional productivity and this is where the Asus ZenBook 15 comes across as a sought-after laptop. Boasting of the innovative ScreenPad 2.0, this intuitive machine relies more on class-leading enhancements as compared to raw processing power.

When it comes to the chipset, Asus features the Intel Core i7-10510U, which is a low-power processor with a TDP of 15W. Despite the low base clocking speed of this SoC, it supports Turbo Boost 2.0 and can escalate up to 4.90GHz, if and when required. The quad-core processor isn’t the most powerful component around but can easily handle complex editing and workflow maintaining tasks, courtesy of the Hyper-threading technology.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU is a resourceful addition, clubbed with 4GB VRAM. However, the graphics processing unit works in tandem with the iGPU i.e. Intel UHD graphics, and helps the gadget process complex 3D models and renders with precision. Most importantly, the dedicated GPU flaunts the Max-Q layout, which makes it sleek and lowers TDP values of the processing conglomerate.

In terms of RAM support, Asus packs in 16GB which offers enough juice to handle sizeable renders, compositing files, and other multitasking requirements. When it comes to storage, the 1TB NVMe solid-state drive is a decent addition. When it comes to the operating system, Asus comes equipped with Windows 10 Pro, an interface that works well with several filmmaking software modules.

The 15.6-inch Full HD panel is extremely bright and flaunts the highly desirable wide-viewing technology. This feature allows most video editors and 3D modelers to understand the angles by which a particular scene or image needs to be tweaked. When it comes to resolution, the ZenBook 15 exhibits 1920 x 1080 pixels to be exact.

Asus makes room for a backlit keyboard, powerful speakers, and a purposeful IR webcam that supports facial recognition. However, it is the ScreenPad 2.0 that steals the show, courtesy of the responsive touch panel, integrated app switcher, a vibrant 5.65-inch display, and advanced trackpad abilities.

The ZenBook 15 flaunts a durable yet sleek chassis that weighs a mere 3.6 pounds. When it comes to connectivity, you get access to USB Type-C, HDMI, and other functional slots followed by Wi-Fi 6, Gig Ethernet, and Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility. Despite featuring two displays, the built-in battery offers a decent, 9-hour backup, even with moderate usage.

To sum things up, the Asus ZenBook 15 is one of the best laptops in the market, especially if you are an aspiring filmmaker and looking to purchase a device that can handle all the professional applications and tools with ease.

  • Brilliant display with NanoEdge technology 
  • Minimal heating courtesy of lower TDP
  • Powerful GPU with Max-Q compatibility
  • Sizeable storage
  • Long-lasting battery
  • No Thunderbolt 3 port

6. Best For Productivity: Apple MacBook Pro

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 16-inch IPS Retina (3072 x 1920)
  • GPU: 4GB AMD Radeon Pro 5300M
  • Battery: Up to 11 hours

If you have been a Mac user for the better part of your life, the new MacBook Pro 16 is one of the better gadgets to invest in, more so when you have the aspiration of becoming a filmmaker.

MacBook Pro boasts of excellent processing performances, courtesy of the 9th gen Intel Core i7 processor. The i7-9750H chipset features Hexa-Core architecture, 12MB of cache memory, and Hyper-threading technology, thereby handling every demanding task with ease. The processor-software cohesion exhibited by Apple and the exceedingly high Turbo Clock speed of up to 4.5GHz allows the gadget to handle demanding applications like Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X with significant ease.

The existing AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GPU is yet another powerful addition to the specs sheet that allows you to work with several 3D modeling, color grading, and rendering tools for gaining the desired levels of experience. Every intricate graphics texture and patterns are perfectly handled by the 4GB VRAM on offer.

When it comes to memory allocation, Apple offers 16GB RAM for seamless multitasking. Storage-centric requirements are handled by the 512GB SSD module that is upgradable up to 8TB. Most importantly, this is one of the fastest storage units in the market, capable of loading the latest version of the macOS i.e. Catalina and all the demanding applications, in a twinkling of an eye.

Coming to the display, the new MacBook Pro 16 comes equipped with one of the best panels in the market, flaunting a display resolution of 3072 x 1920 pixels. The Retina Display exhibits excellent brightness levels that amount to 500-nits. Besides that, the thinner bezels and the expansive P3 color gamut further enhance the visual quality and ensure that you get to experience true-to-life, on-screen characters.

When it comes to productivity, Apple brings forth a durable magic keyboard with a key travel of 1mm. Besides that, you also get a responsive trackpad with an integrated Touch ID for improving device authentication standards. The new MacBook Pro 16” also comes equipped with a Touch Bar that helps improve device functionality and ease of usage. However, it is the acoustic performance that stands out, courtesy of the six-speaker system, and high-end woofers with dual force cancellation.

The MacBook Pro 16” flaunts top-of-the-line aesthetics and weighs a mere 4.30 pounds. When it comes to port arrangement, you get access to 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, helping you pair external monitors, additional film making workflows, and external GPUs with ease. Apart from that, Apple also brings forth USB 3.1 and Mini DisplayPort units followed by exceptional wired and wireless connectivity standards.

The battery on offer serves the film students perfectly with an extended 11-hour backup. Nevertheless, it is one of the more powerful notebooks for aspirational film making, provided you prefer macOS over Windows. However, if you are willing to spend less, you can always for the 13-inch version, featuring a standard Intel Core i5 processor, 13.3-inch display, 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a dedicated 128MB eDRAM module for faster application and data access.

  • Powerful 9th gen processor
  • 12MB of L3 cache for faster processing
  • Exceptional GPU with exceptional memory bandwidth for faster file rendering
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports for better connectivity
  • Upgradeable memory
  • Exceptional cooling with 28 percent better airflow
  • Pricey
  • Predictable design

7. Best 13-inch: Microsoft Surface Book 3

  • CPU: 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-1065G7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 13.5-inch IPS Touch (3000 x 2000)
  • GPU: 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
  • Battery: Up to 15.5 hours

For film students interested in portable yet powerful laptops, nothing works better than the new 13.5-inch Microsoft Surface Book 3.

The existing gadget boasts of decent processing performances with the Intel Core i7-1065G7 chipset capable of turbo clocking at speeds of up to 3.9GHz. While the firepower underneath the hood might not be outrageous, the existing processor boasts of excellent single-core performances, even better than the class-leading Intel Core i7-9750H.

Despite being a mid-range processor, the i7-1065G7 is capable of handling demanding editing applications, basic color grading, and audio production with minimal effort.  Supporting the SoC is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, clubbed with 4GB RAM.

When it comes to handling multitasking requirements with ease, the Surface Book 3 packs in 16GB RAM that is non-upgradeable but readily enhances the processing performances. Files, data, application software, and the Windows 10 Home OS are to be installed on the 256GB solid-state drive that is equipped with excellent read & write speeds.

The Microsoft Surface Book 3 boasts of an exceptional display, with the 13.5-inch panel exhibiting a cumulative resolution of 3000 x 2000 pixels. The PixelSense screen is extremely vibrant and comes with multi-touch support and extremely sharp viewing angles. Most importantly, the color grading experience on this device is extremely productive, courtesy of the top-notch color reproduction levels.

For the aspiring filmmakers, this features an expansive array of productivity-centric attributes, including a backlit keyboard, responsive trackpad, and a functional dual camera setup i.e. an 8MP back shooter and a 5MP front shooter. You also get front-firing speakers, bolstered further by the Dolby Atmos technology.

At 3.62 pounds, this is one of the lightest gadgets in the market, catering specifically to the filmmaking students. Moreover, the magnesium clad chassis further enhances the aesthetic presence of the detachable notebook. When it comes to connectivity, Microsoft makes way for USB Type-A, Type-C, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and other resourceful attributes.

The battery on this gadget is capable of lasting for up to 17.5 hours, on moderate usage which is an extremely useful feature to have, especially if you are always on the move. Overall, the Microsoft Surface Book 3 is a highly capable notebook that is best characterized by exceptional performances and unmatched portability.

  • Powerful graphics-optimized processor with exceptional single core performances
  • Brilliant GPU with Max-Q technology
  • Minimal heat generation
  • A sizeable chunk of RAM
  • Vibrant display
  • Restrictive storage support
  • No Thunderbolt 3 port

8. Best with GTX 1050: Acer Aspire 7

  • CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: 3GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours

The Acer Aspire 7 is a processor-intensive gadget that is still an affordable option to consider, provided you aren’t looking for a graphics-heavy notebook.

At the helm, you get the fast and efficient Intel Core i7-9750H processor. The existing chipset, in cohesion with a decent GPU, is extremely capable of handling high-end color grading apps like the Resolve and even Fusion that deals in Hollywood-style VFX. However, the existing Hexa-Core processor with a turbo clock speed of up to 4.5GHz is capable of handling NLE editing and other relevant processes without any lags.

The GTX 1050 GPU with 3GB VRAM is entry-level for a filmmaking student. However, the core clock speed of 1392MHz ensures that mid-range compositing using After Effects, planning stories using Storyboarder, and other graphics-intensive jobs are easier to initiate.

When it comes to RAM, you get 16GB of the same followed by a sizeable SSD storage module with 512GB to show for. The existing memory-specific conglomerate makes multitasking possible without compromising on the loading speeds of the Windows 10 OS and the demanding application software sets.

Acer comes equipped with a 15.6-inch display that features a standard Full HD resolution. The existing IPS panel flaunts 1920 x 1080 pixels to be exact besides making way for wide-angle viewing. For aspiring filmmakers, the existing display is a pretty good reference point to get started. The Aspire 15 also features Acer’s Color Intelligence technology clubbed with the 72 percent NTSC color gamut for ensuring crisp and sharpest possible visuals.

When it comes to productivity and content creation, film students can benefit from the backlit keyboard that allows them to work even in restrictive lighting conditions. The precision touchpad makes navigation easier than ever whereas the integrated fingerprint sensor with Windows Hello compatibility strengthens device authentication.

You also get 2 integrated speakers, boasting of the proprietary True Harmony technology. Other specs include the HD webcam with the voice purified digital microphones. When it comes to the structural brilliance, the all-metal design doesn’t add to a lot of heft as this laptop only weighs a mere 5.18 pounds.

As far as ports and connectivity specs are considered, you get USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI with HDCP support, USB 3.1 Gen 1, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, and a widest possible gamut of other functional elements.

The existing battery, despite the decent processing conglomerate, it offers a steady 8-hour backup. Overall, if you are looking to cut down on the budget by compromising on the GPU without letting go of processing performances and battery backup, Acer Aspire 7 is the option to consider.

  • Powerful processor with support for HyperThreading
  • A sizeable chunk of RAM
  • Ultra-fast SSD with NVMe support
  • Decent keyboard with fast actuation
  • Stellar display with the slimmest possible bezels
  • Heavier than expected

9. Best Value For Money: Lenovo Yoga 720

  • CPU: 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch 4K UHD Touch (3840 x 2160)
  • GPU: 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours

The last product on our list is yet another touch-supported convertible that validates the fact that film making students prefer portability as much as they value processing performances.

When it comes to overall audio, video, and photo editing performances, the Intel Core i7-7700HQ chipset is a standout performer. What stands out is the excellent single-core performance of this chipset, a feature that comes in handy if you prefer working with the likes of Audition, FL Studio, and other digital audio workstations.

The existing NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 2GB RAM performs adequately if you are willing to let go of CGI and high-end VFX as the go-to domains. The integrated HD 630 GPU works in tandem with the dedicated GPU and assists the Yoga 720 with workflows, filmmaking projects, Evernote documentation, and other moderately demanding tasks.

When it comes to the RAM, you get a decent 16GB unit that assists with seamless multitasking. There is also a 512GB SSD storage unit in place, making way for faster boot-ups and enhanced file loading speeds. Lenovo boasts of the interactive Windows 10 OS and that too the signature edition.

The 15.6-inch UHD display is extraordinarily brilliant and bright courtesy of the cumulative 3840×2160 pixels. The IPS panel also boasts sharper viewing angles and comes with anti-glare properties. Besides that, the screen comes equipped with multi-touch support that further validates the credibility of the convertible.

Lenovo offers a backlit keyboard, responsive touchpad with an integrated fingerprint scanner, an HD webcam with built-in microphones, and powerful JBL speakers with the Dolby Audio technology at the helm.

This portable notebook weighs a mere 4.4 pounds and ensures that you get access to all the connectivity slots, including USB 3.1, USB 3.0, Type with Thunderbolt 3 support, audio jack, dual-band wireless support, and Bluetooth 4.1 compatibility. Each one of these connectivity specs plays a major role when studying about film making it concerned courtesy of external display connectivity, listening to produced tracks via headphones, or staying wirelessly connected to the internet or other legacy devices.

The battery on display lasts up to 8 hours on standard usage and ensures that you can get the most out of this power-packed convertible, even when on the move.

  • Vivid and enthralling display
  • Long battery life
  • Smoothest possible touchpad
  • Attractive aesthetics
  • Portable
  • Lacks the latest Wireless standards
  • Quite heavy for handheld usage

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the most demanding film making domain, when computing resources are concerned?

Adding effects to the existing imagery or scenes via VFX or implementing exclusive CGI or Computer Generated Imagery are some of the most demanding aspects of movie-making. Either one of these tasks is both CPU and GPU-intensive and requires high-end laptops like the MSI P65 Creator to take care of.

How important is laptop portability for a film student?

A film making student needs to travel around the globe to study more about the filmmaking process. Therefore, it is desirable to have a light-weighted gadget and that too with a solid battery in place. Portability, in case of laptops, is the perfect balance between weight and battery backup, sans any performance compromises.

What are the benefits of Touchscreen displays for film making students?

Film making isn’t as straightforward as audio or video editing as there are several simultaneous processes involved. Moreover, every application has a different UI that requires continuous interactions with the system. This is why a touch panel comes in handy as it cuts down on the requirement of keyboard and touchpad for feeding in or interacting with the existing software.

Why workstation-notebooks aren’t always good for film making students?

Film making students often find it hard to invest in separate notebooks for work and entertainment. Therefore, if they get workstation-laptops for handling 3D modeling, CGI, color grading, compositing, VFX, and other demanding processes, it becomes difficult to indulge in leisure gaming due to the lack of the gaming prowess, mostly associated with Quadro GPUs. Moreover, workstations aren’t portable and therefore are popular among the students.

Which is the most powerful CGI tool for aspiring filmmakers and what computing resources does it use?

If you are looking for an excellent CGI tool that caters to professionals and students alike, you must consider the Autodesk Maya. The existing application software allows you to work with 3D animation, 3D modeling, shading, 3D rendering, and motion graphics. Therefore, for using Maya in the best possible manner, it is necessary to get a laptop with a powerful, HyperThreading, Intel i7 or i9 processor, and an RTX 20-series GPU with at least 6GB VRAM.

What are the essential software modules that every film making student must know how to use?

Besides Autodesk Maya, you need to get a good grasp of Adobe After Effects for proper video editing and compositing and even the all-encompassing DaVinci Resolve for efficient color grading. However, top-notch applications like these require powerful laptops, including overclocking processors, GPUs with support for ray tracing, and even sizeable RAM for handling multiple workflows with ease.

The Verdict

There aren’t many gadgets in the market that cater specifically to the filmmaking students. Although we can always select powerful workstation notebooks film editing professionals, students require a more holistic approach towards gadget selection. Each one of these 9 gadgets is therefore chosen based on budget, professional and academic preferences, and even leisure indulgences.

Therefore, if you are looking for an insanely powerful notebook that scales beyond every competition and allows you to learn about every aspect of this creative domain with ease, the MSI P65 Creator is the way to go. However, if portability is on your mind and that too without performance trade-offs, the Microsoft Surface Book 3 is the one to invest in.

Last but not least, if you want a more budget-friendly notebook that features a top-of-the-line CPU, you must readily opt for the Acer Aspire 7. While there are quite a few options to choose from, it is always advisable to check the institute curriculum before moving ahead with the purchase.

Freedom 251 Staff

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