Adobe After Effects is one of the most used programs for visual effects and motion graphics, and artists heavily rely on this to create visually pleasing videos and films.
But when you are using such sophisticated software to create breathtaking visuals you will need a laptop that can cope up and provide you with equivalent power so your work can be done efficiently.
The best laptops for After Effects are not that hard to buy, all you have to do is carefully check to see that you have the required specifications. This includes having a latest-generation processor, a good storage space, a discrete graphics unit and many more which will be discussed down below.
So if you are curious and want to find out what factors you need to keep in check and the laptops which fit these criteria and are well suited for the job, then keep on reading.
|Acer Nitro 5Spin||Intel Corei5-8250U||256GB SSD||8GB|
|Dell XPS 9570||Intel Corei7-8750H||1TB SSD||32GB|
|Dell XPS 15||Intel Corei7-9750H||1TB SSD||4GB|
|MicrosoftSurface Book 2||Intel QuadCore i7-8650U||512GB SSD||16GB|
|LenovoYoga 720||Intel Corei7-7700HQ||512GB SSD||16GB|
|AppleMacBook Pro||Intel Core i7||512GB SSD||16GB|
|LenovoLegion Y7000||Intel Corei7-8750H||1 TB HDD and128 GB SSD||16 GB|
|New AppleMacBook Pro||Intel Core i9||Intel Core i9||16GB|
|HP Spectrex360||Intel Core i7-i7 9750H||512GB SSD||16GB|
|LenovoThinkPad X1||Intel Corei7-8750H||512 GB SSD||16 GB|
The Acer Nitro 5 Spin has a wide 15.6-inch Full HD touchscreen display. It is very flexible since you can use it in a display, tent, and tablet mode besides the usual laptop mode.
The design is what catches the eye at first since you get an ultra-thin metal chassis with a red-backlit keyboard which creates a better typing experience even in the dark.
The processor is one of the most important elements for accusing after effects, and here you have the Intel Core i5-8250U processor with a clock speed of up to 3.4 GHz. This is a pretty impressive speed the lets you work at a relatively fast pace.
For the graphics unit, there is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 4 GB of VRAM. This is one of the higher-end graphics units from Nvidia, suitable for heavy-handed gamers who wish to play all the latest games.
Similarly, this makes it just as well suitable for use with After Effects where you get to experience such vivid and lively graphics on screen.
Space is crucial to gaming and just as crucial when you are using editing software. This is why you get a 256 GB SSD along with a 1 TB hard drive.
Thanks to these the laptop has immaculate speed as well as an immense amount of storage space. This is important since video editing takes up a lot of space, from both editing software and the various forms of edit files created.
Because this is a gaming laptop, you get a complete experienceand not just a visual one with two built-in front-facing stereo speakers along with a subwoofer.
This Dell XPS 9570 is possibly one of the finest laptops out there for using After Effects. There is the Ultra HD 4K resolution display with an Infinity Edge touch screen and 400 nits brightness.
The screen stretches to the four corners providing you with a widescreen view which helps you edit videos in a better manner.
Dell also packs a great Core i7-8750H processor with an impressive clock speed of 4.1 GHz as well as 6 cores. This means you practically never have to face any slowdowns when it comes to the processing speed.
Programs load a lot faster and you do not have to wait for all that heavy editing software to load before you can get editing.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti is one of the top tier graphics units found in laptops. It allows you to play all the latest and the most power demanding games. And this tells us that the most power demanding video editing software can also be used.
We are especially impressed with the storage since there is a 1 TB SSD. While this does up the costs since SSDs tend to be more expensive in general, this gives you astronomical speeds as well as storage space, both of which are highly required for using such software smoothly.
Plus, the 32 GB RAM lets you can work on multiple projects at once or proceed to edit multiple videos without having to slow down. A high memory like this makes multitasking a breeze no matter how many tasks you keep adding.
The Dell XPS 15 laptop is fairly similar to the last model from Dell, however, there are a few improvements that are better suited for users who require higher power and possibly want to use the laptop for gaming besides using it for After Effects.
You have the 15.6-inch 4K Infinity Edge touchscreen with 500 nits brightness. With this, you can easily use the laptop outdoors, even under sunlight, and still be able to see the screen clearly.
Processor is just as impressive with the 9th generation Core i7-9750H and has a clock speed of up to 4.5 GHz which is a step up from the last one. All of this points to an immensely fast processor that lets you play games or edit videos at lightning speed.
For the graphics unit, there is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 with 4 GB VRAM. While the last GPU was powerful, this is an upgrade and made for an even faster laptop.
Storage remains just as impressive with 1 TB SSD promising you faster loading times and impressive storage spaces.
We especially love the crisp sound which has a higher volume and deeper bass to provide you with a 3D audio experience.
The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is perfectly suitable for userswho are looking for a sleek and portable laptop for their busy lives. It has a 15-inch touchscreen display and can be used in a tablet, studio, and a view mode besides the regular laptop mode.
It enhances interaction by allowing you to detach the screen when required and provides a backlit keyboard. You can use the surface pen on the tablet which makes editing a lot easier and it's actually preferred by video editors since it allows for more control.
You have the Quad Core i7 processor which makes sure to provide you with enough power while saving battery life so you can use this outdoors for a prolonged period. To be more specific 17 hours of video playback is what you get from a single charge.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics unit has 6 GB of graphics memory that act together to give you a vibrant and bright display.
The Lenovo Yoga 720 proves to be a great choice if you are keen on using after effects for animations or other forms of edits with its 15.6-inch 4K IPS 10-point multitouch screen.
The more interaction you can have with the display the better you get to edit the videos and having a touchscreen with a high resolution makes this process a lot easier.
And since it has a 360° flip and fold design, you can use it in whatever form you feel comfortable.
That is not all since you also get a very powerful Core i7-7700HQ processor with 4 cores and 2.8 GHz o'clock speed. This alongside the 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD altogether make this a strong laptop with good speeds for video edits, as well as all other activities.
For the graphics unit, you have the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 2 GB video memory. So even though you get an impressive display as it is, this further enhances the display quality for better graphics.
When using After Effects, you will be relying more on the processor for your work, and most of the time which makes it crucial that you get a good processor.
It should be from one of the latest generations, preferably the 8th Generation or ones after that up to the current 10th Generation.
You should also look for multi-core processors. Look for a minimum of 4 cores that can provide you with a good amount of speed.
And you should start from the Intel Core i5 processor if you are on a low budget, and increase the processing power from here onwards depending on how much you are willing to spend.
The best After Effect laptops also have to carry a high memory since it determines how well you can multi-task. Multi-tasking is a big part of editing videos.
Sometimes you are adding effects to 3D characters, while you have to work on 2D videos. You have to go back and forth multiple times meaning you need a good amount of memory that does not jam up the laptop as you work.
The minimum is 8 GB RAM. Obviously, if you are a professional who needs more power, go for a 16 GB RAM and that should be enough to function with After Effects.
For storage, it is recommended that you go for a solid-state drive as the storage medium. This might be a little more expensive, but the benefits it provides outweigh what you pay for.
Laptop booting is a lot faster with an SSD, programs load faster, and the overall laptop performance improves. Not to mention you can recover your files much faster as well.
Start with the 256GB SSD if you are low on budget, and if not, go for the 512 GB SSD.
Even though you do not need a discrete graphics card for every task performed, you will need it if you want to work on 3D tasks. Hence it is recommended that you do get a laptop with a discrete graphics unit since you never know when you have to work on it such tasks.
And if you are a professional, you eventually have to take these on, making it important that you get a discrete GPU.
On the lower end for beginners, there is the Nvidia GeForce MX 150. This is a good choice for entry-level artists. However, if you are a professional this will not cut it and you should look for more powerful ones like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 and higher-end models.
The display size does not have much to do with how the edits turn out, but the comfort during work can affect the results.
This is why you should look for laptops between 15- and 17-inch screens which provide the right balance between portability and a spacious screen.
A bigger screen allows you to see, judge, and edit videos in a better manner while smaller ones constrict your creativity.
Dell XPS 15 laptop 15.6", 4K UHD InfinityEdge Touch, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA - Walmart Link
Lenovo Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD IPS Anti-Glare Laptop (Intel Core i7-8750H - Walmart Link
2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB Storage, 2.3GHz Intel Core i9) - Space Gray - Walmart Link
Alienware New M17 Gaming Laptop, 17. 3" FHD 144Hz Display, Intel 9th Gen. i7-9750H, - Walmart Link
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15" (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512 GB), Silver - Walmart Link
HP Spectre x360, 9th gen Gemcut 15t ,Touch 4K UHD,i7- i7 9750H Hexacore,NVIDIA GeForce - Walmart Link
HP ZBook x2 G4 14" Touchscreen LCD 2 in 1 Mobile Workstation - Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) - Walmart Link
1.Acer Nitro 5 Spin - Walmart Link
4.Microsoft Surface Book 2 - Walmart Link
8.New Apple MacBook Pro - Walmart Link
Dell XPS 15 laptop 15.6", 4K UHD InfinityEdge Touch, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA - eBay Link
Lenovo Legion Y7000 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD IPS Anti-Glare Laptop (Intel Core i7-8750H - eBay Link
2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB Storage, 2.3GHz Intel Core i9) - Space Gray - eBay Link
Alienware New M17 Gaming Laptop, 17. 3" FHD 144Hz Display, Intel 9th Gen. i7-9750H, - eBay Link
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15" (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512 GB), Silver - eBay Link
HP Spectre x360, 9th gen Gemcut 15t ,Touch 4K UHD,i7- i7 9750H Hexacore,NVIDIA GeForce - eBay Link
HP ZBook x2 G4 14" Touchscreen LCD 2 in 1 Mobile Workstation - Intel Core i7 (8th Gen) - eBay Link
1.Acer Nitro 5 Spin - eBay Link
4.Microsoft Surface Book 2 - eBay Link
8.New Apple MacBook Pro - eBay Link
The number of ways you can use Adobe After Effects is pretty endless. While animators use it to create 2D cartoon characters, video editors use it for their titles, while VFX artists take it as the right tool for their 3D videos.
The best laptops for After Effects must have a combination of good specifications. Specifically, the laptop should have a discrete graphics processing unit, 16 GB of memory, multi-core processors, and of course an impressive display.
Keeping this in mind you can alter other specifications as per your personal preference and find the laptop model you like the most.
About Dror Wettenstein
Dror Wettenstein is a software engineer and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. He is the founder of TechTreeRepeat, a company that enables technical writers to publish their work faster and share it with readers across the globe. Dror has a master’s degree in computer science from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in physics from UC Irvine.
When he’s not working on software projects, Dror enjoys writing articles and essays on various topics. He also likes playing guitar and spending time with his wife and two young children.