The 10 Best Laptops for Video Editing in 2022

You probably already know that editing videos can be demanding on any computer’s resources. If you’re in the market for the best laptop for video editing, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Keep reading to learn more about how to choose the best editing laptop and to see our top recommendations!

Best Laptops for Editing Videos in 2022

Laptop Description Link
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16-inch MacBook Pro

Best Video Editing Laptop All-Around Check Price
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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5

Best Windows Video Editing Machine Check Price
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13-inch MacBook Pro M2

A More Portable MacBook Pro Check Price
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Dell XPS 17 9720

Best Display Size for Video Editing Check Price
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Dell XPS 15 9520

Best 15-inch Laptop for Editing Video Check Price
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MacBook Air M2

Most Portable Laptop for 4K Editing Check Price
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15.6-inch Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop

Best Gaming and Video Editing Laptop Check Price
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Bonus: 15.6-inch HP Envy x360 2-in-1 Laptop

An Affordable Laptop for Video Editing Check Price

Can I Use My Current Laptop for Editing Videos?

Video editing can be incredibly resource-intensive, depending on the type of work you have to do. But there are certainly cases where your existing laptop is more than enough for your needs.

For example, suppose you only need to do occasional light editing work for short 1080p (Full HD) files. In that case, your laptop is probably fine as long as it has a minimum of an Intel Core i5 with hyperthreading (or an AMD Ryzen equivalent) and 8GB of RAM. You don’t even need a discrete GPU (more on this later) for this editing work. You’ll likely have to wait a bit for videos to render and save, but if you’re willing to wait, it’s not really a problem.

However, suppose you’re intent on learning to edit and will be working with larger files, longer videos, bigger resolutions, and more effects. In that case, you’ll definitely need a new laptop for video editing.

How to Choose the Best Laptop for Video Editing

You probably already know that you need certain minimum specifications on a good laptop for video editing. But what specifications do you need, exactly? And how do you choose the best laptop for video editing that 2022 has to offer? There are quite a few factors to consider, and we go through each below.

The Three Major Factors

1. Operating System

One of the first things you’ll need to consider is which operating system you want to use when editing videos. Most of the best laptops for this purpose run either Microsoft Windows or macOS.

The Case for macOS

Many creatives prefer Mac machines as their laptop or desktop for various reasons. Some state that it is because of the Apple ecosystem, while others state it is because Apple machines are simply much simpler and more elegant to use. This is generally true — Macs are stable, get frequent free OS updates, and are compatible with pretty much all of the industry-standard video editing suites.

Additionally, Final Cut Pro is only available on macOS.

Now that Apple’s newest laptops are running on their M1 and M2 chips, their machines have become even more attractive. Of course, there are downsides, too — the price and the lack of upgradeability are the biggest reasons that come to mind.

The Case for Microsoft Windows

Windows machines can be just as powerful and effective at video editing. The vast majority of industry-standard tools (minus the macOS exclusive Final Cut Pro) also work on Microsoft Windows, so you won’t have to worry about compatibility.

There are many advantages to using Windows machines. One of the biggest ones is that you’ll likely be spoiled for choice — there are so many different laptops to choose from. Another reason is price, as you can often get Windows machines more affordably than MacBooks (especially when you start upgrading the specs of MacBooks).

Many users also choose Windows machines because most of them are often easy to upgrade. This means you can buy a machine and add more RAM or storage space later.

Can You Use Linux for Video Editing?

If you prefer Linux, you’ll need to find and learn a video editor that works on Linux. One option is DaVinci Resolve, which is sometimes used in the editing industry. However, be aware that no other industry standard tools, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or Avid Media Composer work on Linux. If you intend to find work in film, TV, news, or any other industry with a preferred editor, you’ll need to learn that tool.

For this reason, we have not included any laptops running Linux in our recommendations.

Linux can still be a great operating system for video editing. For example, it is more than enough for hobbyists or content creators who only need to edit videos for their own YouTube channel.

2. Your Intended Use

The next big thing you should consider is how you intend to use your laptop for video editing. Ask yourself what skill level you are at and what type of files you’ll most likely be working with. If you are a beginner just learning the trade or a hobbyist looking for a machine for occasional editing, the right video editing laptop for you will be different from someone who does more intensive work.

3. Budget

The last major factor to consider is your budget. Establishing a ceiling will make it easier for you to eliminate machines from your list and can simplify the decision for you. Try to figure out how to make your limit work with the specs you need, and find compromises where you must. If you don’t want to spend too much, consider choosing a budget laptop for video editing.

CPU/Processor

The processor is one of the two most important components in a laptop meant for video editing, which is why you need to choose one that can handle the intensity of the tasks you intend to work on.

These days, most CPUs have multiple cores — a fact that most apps and programs take advantage of. The more cores your CPU has, the better. But it’s not just cores you need to think about. You’ll also want to look into multithreading or hyperthreading, which means each core in your CPU can process more than one thread concurrently. For example, you can have a quad-core CPU that supports multithreading, giving you eight threads that work simultaneously. Higher-end processors can have many more cores and threads.

If you don’t intend to work on huge files, long videos, resolutions beyond 1080p, and so on, an Intel Core i5 with a minimum of four cores and multithreading (or the AMD alternative) can be enough. But if you want a laptop to edit 4K video, you’ll probably want an Intel Core i7+ with 6-10 cores and multithreading (or the AMD alternative).

For Macs, the base M1 and M2 chips are enough for light editing work. Anything more intense, and you will want the M1 Pro or M1 Max (or the M2 equivalents when they release).

RAM or Memory

RAM/Memory is the second most important component in video editing laptops. 8GB seems to be the minimum for light editing work. You will most likely not be able to multitask. For this reason, we recommend a minimum of 16GB.

You’ll probably want more RAM in a laptop for 4K video editing. Intense video editing work can require 32 GB or more RAM, though 32GB can often be enough.

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) or Video Card

When it comes to gaming, you’ll almost always need a discrete GPU or video card separate from the one that comes integrated with your CPU. However, for video editing, this isn’t always the case. Most video editing software is optimized to use your CPU, so you can get away with just using your integrated graphics.

There are some cases when you might want a discrete GPU in your editing laptop, such as if you also intend to use it for gaming or if you use some software (Final Cut Pro X or DaVinci Resolve) that can benefit from it.

If you can choose a laptop that offers a discrete GPU (even at entry-level) for not much more, you may want to pay the difference just for the speed boost when you export videos.

Storage

These days, the superior SSD (solid state drive) often comes standard in most machines. SSD is faster and can help speed up boot times and app loading times. We recommend choosing an SSD at just 256-512GB for your operating system and video editing app installation. Of course, this amount of storage is nowhere near enough for the large video files you’ll probably be working with, so you may also want to get an external HDD (cheaper per GB than SSDs).

Ports and Connectivity

Laptops for video editing need certain ports at a minimum. Smaller or slimmer laptops may not have all of these ports, so you might have to make some compromises. Look for:

  • A minimum of one Thunderbolt port for faster file transfers, use with peripherals with the appropriate adapters, and connecting to external displays via DisplayPort
  • Optional USB-A ports for use with compatible peripherals with no need for adapters
  • An HDMI port if you need one
  • An SD card slot if you intend to transfer video from cameras (although an SD card reader will also do)
  • A 3.5mm jack if you use wired headphones

And, of course, you’ll want Bluetooth connectivity and WiFi — but both of these are standard these days.

Display

There are four main things to consider when it comes to a laptop’s display: size, resolution, brightness, and color accuracy. You’ll want a bright screen if you intend to work outdoors in the sunlight. If color accuracy matters in your industry, you’ll want a color-accurate screen. And, of course, size and resolution are important, though both are up to your personal preferences.

Size, Weight, and Portability:

Because you are looking for a laptop, you’ll want to consider each option’s size, weight, and overall portability. If you’re frequently on the go, you may want to skip the heavy 17-inch laptops and opt for a smaller, lighter option.

Most video editing laptops will have powerful components that drain batteries like you won’t believe. Still, you may also want to consider battery life when you aren’t editing videos!

Best Laptops for Video Editing in 2022

16-inch MacBook Pro – Best Video Editing Laptop All-Around

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Specifications

  • Operating System: macOS
  • Size: 14.01” x 9.77” x 0.66”
  • Weight: 4.7lbs (M1 Pro); 4.8lbs (M1 Max)
  • Display: 16.2-in Liquid Retina XDR display, 3456 x 2234, 254 PPI (pixels per inch), 500 nits, P3 wide color, up to 120Hz
  • Processor: Apple M1 Pro (10 cores, 16-core GPU) or Apple M1 Max (10 cores, 32-core GPU)
  • GPU: Integrated
  • Memory: 16GB or 32GB (configurable up to 64GB)
  • Storage: 512GB or 1TB SSD; configurable up to 8TB
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • SD card
    • MagSafe 3
    • 3.5mm jack
    • 3x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C
    • HDMI
    • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

As Apple’s top-of-the-line MacBook Pro, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is easily the best laptop for video editing in 4K+. The M1 Pro and Max MacBook Pros are absolute beasts in terms of video editing. You’ll get shocking performance from the overall improved specifications, which are a massive step up from the previous Intel models.

One of the things we love about this machine is that it is powerful enough to run several displays at 4K or 6K. So while it is a portable workstation, plugging it in at your home or office station is still a breeze. With an Apple Magic Keyboard, working at your desk becomes even more comfortable. However, if you don’t like Apple’s external keyboard for any reason, there are plenty of Magic Keyboard alternatives at your fingertips.

Pros

  • Tons of ports
  • Beautiful display
  • Powerful internals
  • Great battery life outside of editing videos

Cons

  • Expensive, especially if you upgrade specs
  • Display is not 4K
  • Camera notch
  • Heavy

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 – Best Windows Video Editing Machine

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Specifications

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro/11 Home/11Pro
  • Size: 14.13″ x 9.99″ x 0.78”
  • Weight: 4.14lbs+
  • Display: 16.0”, more options here
  • Processor: 12th Generation Intel Core
    • i7 12700H or 12800H (both 14-core, 20-thread)
    • i9 12900H (14-core, 20-thread)
  • GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3050Ti 4GB, 3060 6GB, 3070Ti 8GB, 3080Ti 16GB
  • Memory: Up to 64 GB DDR5, up to 2 non-ECC SO-DIMM slots
  • Storage: Up to 8TB SSD
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • 2x USB-A (1 powered)
    • 2x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C
    • 4-in-1 SD card reader
    • HDMI 2.1
    • 3.5mm combo jack
    • Optional sim card slot for 5G
    • WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2

Lenovo ThinkPads are some of the best machines out there, and this X1 Extreme is no exception. The Extreme is a machine designed for the ultimate portable performance, so you can bet that your laptop will be able to handle video editing tasks with ease. You can configure yours to the exact specs you need, even including four options for discrete GPUs.

Needless to say, when properly configured, you won’t have any trouble running the best AAA games either — though your laptop may get hot and loud in the process. Nevertheless, we’d easily say that this laptop is a major contender for the best laptop for gaming and video editing.

Pros

  • Highly configurable to your desired specifications
  • Plenty of ports
  • Beautiful display options
  • Discrete GPUs

Cons

  • Expensive, especially when configured
  • Heavy

13-inch MacBook Pro M2  – A More Portable MacBook Pro

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Specifications

  • Operating System: macOS
  • Size: 11.97” x 8.36” x 0.61”
  • Weight: 3lbs
  • Display: 13.3-inch Retina display, 2560 x 1600, 227 PPI, 500 nits brightness, P3 wide color
  • Processor: M2 (8-core CPU, 10-core GPU)
  • GPU: Integrated
  • Memory: 8GB, configurable to 16GB or 24GB
  • Storage: 256GB or 512GB SSD, configurable to 2TB
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • 2x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C
    • 3.5mm jack
    • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

The 13-inch M2 MacBook Pros are excellent options for those seeking a more portable machine without compromising too much on performance. With 8 cores, the M2 is powerful enough to edit 4K video — even with 8GB of RAM. Add more RAM, and you’ll have an even more capable machine in a smaller form factor. Thanks to the internal fan, your laptop stays cool despite a full load. We’d say this is the best laptop for Premiere Pro if you’re looking for portability and great battery life (when not editing video).

Pros

  • Capable of 4K editing in most cases
  • Powerful performance in a smaller form factor
  • Beautiful screen
  • Fan for cooling

Cons

  • Pricey when configured
  • Only two Thunderbolt ports
  • Camera Notch

Looking at the MacBook Pros but not quite sold on macOS as an operating system? Check out our list of the best MacBook Pro alternatives.

Dell XPS 17 9720 – Best Display Size for Video Editing

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Specifications

  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home/Pro
  • Size: 14.74” x 9.76” x 0.77”
  • Weight: 4.87-5.34lbs
  • Display: 17-inch
    • FHD+ 1920 x 1200, InfinityEdge non-touch, 500 nits, anti-glare
    • UHD+ 3840 x 2400 InfinityEdge touch, 500 nits, anti-reflective
  • Processor: 12th Generation Intel Core
    • i5-12500H (12-core, 16-thread)
    • i7-12700H (14-core, 20-thread)
    • i9-12900HK (14-core, 20-thread)
  • GPU:
    • Integrated: Intel UHD or Intel Iris Xe
    • NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3050 4GB, or 3060 6GB
  • Memory: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB
  • Storage: 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB m.2 SSD
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • 4x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C
    • 1x eDP port
    • 3.5mm jack
    • SD card slot
    • Lock slot
    • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2

The Dell XPS line of laptops has long been known to be extremely capable and powerful, especially when configured to your preferred specs. This 17-inch laptop isn’t the most portable, but you get a lot of extra-screen real estate to work with! There are plenty of ports, too.

Pros

  • Large screen offers plenty more screen real estate
  • Beautiful display options
  • Touch version available
  • Configurable
  • Plenty of ports

Cons

  • Can get expensive when configured
  • Heavy

Dell XPS 15 9520 – Best 15-inch Laptop for Editing Video

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Specifications

  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home/Pro
  • Size: 13.56” x 9.06” x 0.73”
  • Weight: 4.06-4.62lbs
  • Display: 15.6”
    • FHD+ 1920 x 1200, non-touch, 60Hz, 500 nits, InfinityEdge, anti-glare
    • 3.5K 3456 x 2160, 60Hz, OLED, touch, 400 nits, anti-reflective, InfinityEdge
    • UHD+ 3840 x 2400, touch, 60Hz, 500 nits, anti-reflective, InfinityEdge
  • Processor: 12th Generation Intel Core
    • i5-12500H (12-core, 16-thread)
    • i7-12700H (14-core, 20-thread)
    • i9-12900HK (14-core, 20-thread)
  • GPU:
    • Integrated: Intel UHD or Intel Iris Xe
    • NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3050 4GB or 3050Ti 4GB
  • Memory: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB
  • Storage: 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB m.2 SSD
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • 1x USB-C 3.2 with Power Delivery & DisplayPort
    • 2x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C
    • 3.5mm jack
    • SD card slot
    • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2

Want the powerful specs of the Dell XPS17 in a much more portable form factor? Try this Dell XPS 15, which you can configure pretty much to the exact same specifications as the 17-inch version. Besides display size and price, the main difference is that there are fewer ports on the 15-inch.

Pros

  • Configurable to extremely powerful specs in a smaller form factor
  • Beautiful display options
  • Touch version available
  • Plenty of ports

Cons

  • Can get expensive when configured
  • Still on the heavier side

MacBook Air M2 – Most Portable Laptop for 4K Editing

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Specifications

  • Operating System: macOS
  • Size: 11.97” x 8.46” x 0.44”
  • Weight: 2.7lbs
  • Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina Display, 2560 x 1644, 224 PPI, 500 nits brightness, P3 Wide Color
  • Processor: M2, 8-core CPU with 8-core or 10-core GPU
  • GPU: Integrated
  • Memory: 8GB, configurable to 16GB or 24GB
  • Storage: 256GB or 512 GB SSD, configurable to 2TB
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • MagSafe 3 Port (for charging)
    • 2x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C
    • 3.5mm jack
    • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

Don’t be fooled by the Air’s size and form factor — it packs the same power as the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro, minus the internal cooling fan. The Air even has a slightly larger screen than the Pro, at 13.6” vs 13.3”. Another advantage this laptop has over the Pro is the return of the MagSafe 3 charging port, a long-missed feature. When you’re not using the MacBook Air M2 for editing, you get best-in-class battery life that can last you more than a full workday of use (depending on usage, of course).

This is a prime candidate for the best laptop for YouTube video editing. However, the lack of a cooling fan does work against this machine. Without a fan, the Air will start to throttle its performance when it gets hot. If you want to edit heavy files with this machine, you’ll need external cooling (like a laptop cooling pad).

If you want a MacBook Air M1, which offers almost the same performance at a much more affordable price, it is still available for sale here.

Pros

  • Powerful internals in the slimmest and lightest form factor
  • Excellent battery life outside of editing
  • Capable of editing 4K videos in most cases, but may require external cooling
  • MagSafe 3
  • Improved webcam (now 1080p over 720p)

Cons

  • Camera notch
  • No cooling fan (great for portability and whisper quiet operation, not so great for helping performance)
  • Expensive

Not quite sold on the MacBook Air but want something similar? Check out this list of the best MacBook Air alternatives.

15.6-inch Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop – Best Gaming and Video Editing Laptop

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Specifications

  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • Size: ‎14.27” x 10.26” x 0.89”
  • Weight: ~5.29lbs
  • Display: 15.6” FHD, 1920 x 1080, IPS
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-11800H
  • GPU: NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3050Ti
  • Memory: 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB
  • Storage: 1TB or 2TB SSD
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • 4 x USB-A 3.2
    • HDMI (supports 4K 60Hz)
    • 3.5mm jack
    • RJ45 ethernet
    • DisplayPort
    • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

This Lenovo Legion 5 gaming laptop is the perfect mix of price and performance, thanks to its discrete GPU and high-performance CPU. If you’re looking for a somewhat more affordable option without compromising performance, this machine is a great choice, especially when configured with more RAM.

Pros

  • Processor is a generation behind but still plenty capable
  • Discrete GPU
  • Plenty of ports, including ethernet

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Definitely has that “gaming laptop” aesthetic

Bonus: 2022 15.6-inch HP Envy x360 2-in-1 Laptop – An Affordable Laptop for Video Editing

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Specifications

  • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
  • Size: 14.13” x 9.02” x 0.73”
  • Weight: 3.93lbs
  • Display: 15.6″
    • FHD multi-touch, IPS, 250 nits
    • FHD, OLED, multi-touch, low blue light, UWVA
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5625U (4-cores, 8-thread)
  • GPU: Integrated AMD Radeon
  • Memory and Storage: 8GB/512GB, 16GB/256GB, 16GB/512GB, 16GB/1TB, 32GB/1TB, 32GB/2TB (all SSD)
  • Ports and Connectivity:
    • SD card slot
    • 2x USB-C with Power Delivery and DisplayPort
    • 1x USB-A with HP Sleep and Charge
    • 1x USB-A
    • HDMI 2.1
    • 3.5mm jack
    • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
  • Additional Features: Includes an active (rechargeable) stylus

If you want an affordable video editing laptop for lighter editing work, this 2-in-1 machine is an excellent option. It’s got a large enough display, decent specs, and a convertible form factor.

Pros

  • Affordable even when fully configured
  • Convertible form factor with touch screen

Cons

  • Not for super intense editing
  • Not the brightest screen

How We Tested the Best Laptops for Video Editing

As we were choosing the best laptop for photo and video editing contenders, we did a lot of research. We looked at some of the most popular machines out there and asked video editing pros their thoughts on the specifications and features of each.

We looked at reviews and ensured each machine performed well for its intended purpose. We also looked at benchmarks to ensure that the processors and GPUs (where available) were performing up to par.

Beyond performance, we also considered other factors, such as each laptop’s price and display (resolution, brightness, and color accuracy).

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much RAM Is Needed for Video Editing?

The amount of RAM you need for editing videos depends on the type of videos you intend to work with. Light editing at Full HD (1080p) only needs 8GB, but if you want to work with higher resolution videos at 8-bit color you will likely want 16GB to 32GB. For videos with higher bit-depths and a lot of effects, you may want at least 64GB. Remember that when it comes to RAM, more is always better.

What Is the Best Video Editor?

There are quite a few popular options, but you may want to pay attention to which editor is preferred in the industry you intend to find work. The most popular video editing software today include (but are not limited to):

  • Adobe Premiere Pro (usually industry standard)
  • DaVinci Resolve
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Avid Media Composer (another industry standard)

Which Is the Best Laptop for Video Editing?

The best video editing laptop for you depends on your specific needs and budget. Consider the type of work you intend to do and how intense your editing will be, then factor that information into your decision. However, suppose you’re looking for a budget laptop for video editing. In that case, we’d say look into the 15.6-inch HP Envy x360 2-in-1 Laptop above (or any gaming laptop with a discrete GPU and a decent processor). If money is no object, our choice for the best video editing laptop all around is the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Conclusion

Video editing is often a resource-intensive task that can be quite taxing on your computer. It’s important to ensure that you have equipment that can handle the type of video editing tasks you intend to do; anything less will most likely be an exercise in frustration. We hope that this buying guide has helped you find your choice for the best laptop for video editing!

Unsure how to share your WiFi password without committing it to memory or writing it down? Check out how to share your WiFi password on macOS, iOS, Android, and Windows.

Chriselle Sy
Chriselle Sy
+ posts

Chriselle has been a passionate writer for over 10 years, but she's a geek at heart. When she isn't busy writing, she spends her time streaming video games and learning new skills.

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