Laptop for Linux (mainly for VSE)

I am looking for a laptop (preferrably ThinkPad) for video editing that will be running Linux.

  1. What hardware should I be looking at so that Blender VSE can use it to accelerate video editing/rendering?

From current things I have roughly outlined that I want is:

  • Intel i7 4th gen
  • around 14" (bigger ones are way to heavy to be mobile enough for me)

(2.) Is there a better video editing software than Blender that could possibly use more of hardware acceleration? (note: one require feature for me is “time remapping”)

I am not specifying price range as I would like to know what can actually be used on Linux (I’d prefer not to dual boot just to get hw acceleration for editing) and then I might start picking what I can afford and what not.


I am starting to do some hobby/holiday video editing.
As I get footage in quite high resolution my current laptop is not capable of processing it efficiently.
Output format will be usually HD (720p). Input bigger. So probably decoding part of setup is more important than encoding.

I like how Blender is designed and it seems to be the only “video editor” (I know it is not it’s main feature, but seems to have pretty rich feature set for that).
The one feature I find most important in video editing is time remapping/time stretching/smooth speed control/<any other name ppl came up with for that>.
And Blender’s speed modifier with graph editor exactly as it should be (with exception it seems to have some odd glitches when used with other transforms/metastrips, but that is outside of scope of this post).

I like and use Linux as my OS of choice for desktop (Gentoo).

I need it to be a laptop as I intend to do at least some basic editing when travelling.

As I was forced to start looking into new laptop and I am content owner of ThinkPad I thought about buying a new one.
Unfortunately there seems to be a lot of ways do accelerate video encoding and decoding.

From what I’ve read it seems that HD4000 + i7 processor outperforms everything else. However it seems to rely on “Quick Sync” feature, which I am not sure made to Linux finally (it is not officially supported by Intel, but they seem to have given open specification).

The other choice would be to go for some NVidia card, which would be better general purpose 3D card, but seems to perform worse than HD4000 + i7 combo when it comes to video transcoding.
Here I should note that I am not really that interested in 3D stuff, I am not going to model/render much, so it is not my main concern how well it will perform with 3D tasks.