Is a MacBook Air ideal for video editing? With the M1 performance and chip boost in the MacBook Air, users will be pleased to determine that the video editing in M1 MacBook Air is good enough to fit for an editor’s requirements, regardless of the kinds of video editing they perform.
While selecting a MacBook, you have to consider its ability to handle graphically intensive tasks when editing and rendering videos. Overall, you need to check for three specs: a 16 GB of RAM (memory), a powerful graphics card, and a multicore processor.
Suppose you are looking for a super high-end studio-level set-up. In that case, the M1 MacBook Pro will indeed outperform the M1 MacBook Air and is ideal for professional video editing purposes.
The M1 MacBook Air will suffice if you’re not performing an extreme amount of multitasking.
In this post, we’ll cover why exactly the M1 MacBook Air is ideal enough for video editing, the technical specifications that make this so, and how you'll want to consider it. Also, we'll look for where the M1 MacBook Pro is better over the M1 MacBook Air.
Part 1: Is Apple M1 MacBook Air Good for Video Editing?
Most professional video editors use powerful PCs for work. It is a convenient option. Desktop computers provide you with everything you require for video editing at the exact price of a much less great laptop.
They would go for a powerhouse laptop like a MacBook Pro if these professionals had to work while on the go. It is more expensive but is known to manage video editing tasks easily.
However, the M1 MacBook Air is a solid option for intermediate and amateur content creators or photo editors who edit and post videos on their social media platforms or blogs, such as YouTube.
Pro receives a pretty good analysis from experts when it comes to video editing. The Air is ideal enough for simple video editing tasks, especially if its processor, RAM, and storage are maxed. However, the M1 MacBook Air premium you pay to update could offer you the MacBook Pro's entry point that you may as well consider the basic MacBook Pro.
Part 2: How to Configure an M1 MacBook for Video Editing?
Simple video editing needs can be done quite well with the Air, but 4k video editing will undoubtedly place more demand on resources on the desktop, and we know the MacBook Air is not a workhorse. Let's look at the video editing in M1 MacBook without any further delay!
MacBook Air: Is it configured to meet video editing requirements?
The new M1 MacBook Air is undoubtedly more robust than its predecessor. It's also a bit cheaper. But, will it cut as far as video editing requirements are concerned?
For simple video editing, including editing YouTube, blogs, and other social media platforms’ content, a MacBook Air running on 16 GB RAM and an i5 processor would be perfect.
A higher SSD storage would also be ideal. Each video frame's content contains a lot of information (metadata, audio, visuals, timestamps, etc.) that can maximize the file sizes.
However, the 13-inch screen size may be irrelevant for video editing and ideal with a larger external monitor.
And the 16-inch MacBook Pro is a healthy option if you frequently use a mobile device and need a bigger screen.
How Best is the 4k video editing in M1 MacBook Air?
Some video editors have exceptionally done 4k video editing regarding M1 MacBook. But before you go out to get the MacBook Air, know that performance tests show two issues while considering the same laptop.
Apple M1 MacBook Air heats up when regularly exporting and rendering files slightly. First, this sudden heating may shorten your laptop's life. The export will take a noticeable amount, which is longer than if you were using the M1 MacBook Pro.
In a 4k video editing performance test, a 3-minute file consumes almost 15 minutes for rendering. The transcoding time estimates of 4k videos range from 4 to 16 times longer on the M1 MacBook Air.
Thus, the M1 MacBook Air might still be able to do some tasks, but we think it will indeed look like a struggle and will take more time to finish important tasks.
We already know that the M1 MacBook Air is not ideal for regular 4k video editing. But if you are doing a MacBook Air’s 1080p videos, let’s see how different video editing software stack up.
Part 3: The Best Video Editing Software for Apple M1 MacBook Air
The preference for Macs video editing looks dependent mainly upon the fact that nonlinear video editing on personal desktops begins with Macs - all the way back to the Apple Macintosh II, to be precise. It persists besides the Windows systems having long afforded more selections in editing software and more upgradeability in hardware, including for GPUs, CPUs, storage, touch screens, and peripherals.
That said, Apple has its indisputable inducements, most notably terrific screen options with wide-gamut, accurate colors, not to mention exclusive and reliable video editing software - Wondershare Filmora. In addition, some Mac laptops include a partial touch screen known as the Touch Bar, which may be valuable for some video editing processes, and you can use an iPad as a touch-screen peripheral through the Sidecar feature.
You need to look for Mac's three tiers of video editing software: the entry, enthusiast, and professional levels.
It is the best-known entry-level and professional M1 MacBook Air video editing software for Mac and Windows operating systems. It is impressively capable, and users can go for a free trial as well.
Wondershare's Filmora provides the standard trimming, overlays, and transitions along with effects we've come to expect in enthusiast-level video editing software.
In addition, the company has introduced modern and advanced features like those you find in more-established competitors - it provides motion tracking, for instance. Filmora can easily get the job done, and its interface is quite pleasing and clear, but you'll have to do without various fine control features you get with competitors.
The M1 MacBook Air video editing software Filmora is mainly similar to the Windows version. However, it contains extensive features, including Auto Reframe, which crops broad content to fit into social-post sizes, either the vertical phone view for "stories" or the square Instagram format.
You can begin a new project or use its two-finger tap menu on a clip to use Auto Reframe in the source panel.
Wondershare Filmora took 4:55 (min: sec) on our performance test on the M1 MacBook Air for the same project that consumes 1:12 on my Windows test PC.
What to Consider in Mac Video Editing Software
The basics of video editing - joining, splitting, and trimming video clips and then outputting the outcomes as a single file - can be accessed in all the software here.
But you can do more with your videos via Filmora. Adding transitions between clips, captions, text titles, and fun effects all come in limitless variations. Motion tracking, picture-in-picture, and chroma keying are further options.
The entry- and enthusiast-level video editing tools include templates that assist you in arranging your content for a coherent, compelling presentation. Premiere Elements' Smart Trim and iMovie's Trailer tools and templates are standouts among these possibilities.
And then there's the audio: Most of the video editing programs of Mac let you add voice-over narration, background music, and adjustments and effects to your clips' audio. Want to make it feel like your video got recorded in a stadium or a concert? The software can easily do that.
The final editing stage (not to overlook): Output. Does the program make it convenient to format your project for your desired output? Most chronic video editors these days mean online social video - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Still, you may wish to share a 4K file or an HD file privately or to a more professional output as well as embed it on your website, a Zoom session, or within a presentation. You may even want to create a USB key or a DVD with your video to share as a promotion or a physical gift.
The video editing software you select must be able to provide results to your specifications, whether that's a wall-size 4K TV or a small smartphone screen. Maybe you even want to output VR headsets. Whatever the output, you don't want to be waiting around for extended durations while the program processes your project, and that's what our next section mentions.
So, it's our overall answer to “Is M1 MacBook Air good for video editing?”
Were looking to video edit initially and wondering if the M1 MacBook Air video editing is good enough? Then be sure that its performance, display, speed, and overall possibilities will enable relevant video editing for intermediate and casual video editors.
If you were looking to professionally edit videos, such as in a studio, going with the powerful M1 MacBook Air video editing software Wondershare Filmora is more powerful and performed much quicker and more effectively when we tested the two laptops simultaneously.
Max Wales is a writer and a lover of all things video.