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Cyberlink PowerDirector 20 review

This Cyberlink PowerDirector 20 review will help you find out if this is the ultimate video editor for your needs.

Image shows footage of a woman with a skateboard being edited in Cyberlink PowerDirector 20.
(Image: © Cyberlink)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

A great video editing option for beginners, with a fast performance and lots of rich features.

Pros

  • +

    Minimalist workspace

  • +

    Ease of use

  • +

    Flexible

Cons

  • -

    Some pro tools missing

Cyberlink PowerDirector 20, or 365 for those going for the subscription option, is a powerful yet simple video editor, making it an ideal starting point for beginners.

This video editor, now on its twentieth version, has reached a state that places it in our list of the best video editing software (opens in new tab). This version comes with a selection of updates including AI-powered tools to make workflow faster and more intuitive.

Cyberlink PowerDirector 20: Key specs

Supported OS: Mac and Windows

Processor: Intel Core i or Apple M1

RAM: 4GB

Graphics card: 128MB VGA VRAM

DirectX: 11 

The UI has also had enhancements to make the layout, look and usability better for this iteration of the software. There is also a huge library of over eight million assets that can be accessed, making video creation from scratch far easier, even for beginners.

Cyberlink PowerDirector 20 straddles the line between offering powerful tools while offering easy-to-use guidance and templates. This isn't the only reason the tool is ideal for beginners; the price point is also considerably lower than the pro-grade competition too.

Cyberlink PowerDirector 20: Features

This version of Cyberlink PowerDirector offers new interface options. You still get the previous selection including Storyboard and Full modes as well as Slideshow Creator, but now you also have Auto mode. This new option is ideal for super simple video creation, with as little input as possible.

There are new AI-powered tools that help to automate processes that might otherwise be out of reach to most users. The AI wind removal tool is a great way to adjust the audio for clearer sound if you recorded in windy conditions. Similarly, there is an AI speech enhancement tool that turns down background noise and refines vocals.

Image shows a video of a black horse being edited in Cyberlink PowerDirector 20, with some of the options in the workspace visible.

(Image credit: Cyberlink)

AI is introduced into the visual side of editing too, as Cyberlink PowerDirector 20 offers AI object detection. This allows you to select a person or object and a mask will automatically be applied to that area, so you can remove background items or people you don't want in the shot, for example.

There are also a host of new glitch and carousel transitions for videos as well as new fun effects and templates designed for travel videos. 

For audio, you can get access to 16 sound effects for use in videos. Plus, you can synchronize the starting position of two or more audio clips with the same audio source.

Cyberlink PowerDirector 20: Performance

Cyberlink PowerDirector 20 is faster than ever. That isn't just to say it processes faster, which it can, but also is faster to use. This is thanks to the selection of UI changes and updated AI support. You can now go from nothing to an edited video with fewer clicks than ever before, saving time and effort. That makes this ideal for novices, perhaps working on holiday or birthday videos.

This version is also enhanced for those sharing videos using social media. You can now capture, edit, share and even live stream creations to popular streaming platforms. There's also a new screen recording feature built-in making this great for remote teaching or guidance videos.

Image shows the 3D video effects available in Cyberlink PowerDirector 20, and a video of people in the sea being edited.

(Image credit: Cyberlink)

While there have been a lot of audio updates, one of the best has to be the BGM Smart Fit. This will automatically fit any background audio tracks to your video clips meaning this is easier than ever and very quick to get just right.

If you don't have all your video made by yourself then the eight million royalty-free assets from the likes of Shutterstock and iStock by Getty could be really useful to you.

The non-destructive editing, which you'd expect at this level, is really helpful. This means you can change and edit clips but without the original files being damaged – ideal if you want to roll back changes or start a new project with the same original clips.

Image shows the overlays function in Cyberlink PowerDirector 20.

(Image credit: Cyberlink PowerDirector 20)

Cyberlink PowerDirector 20: Technical support

Cyberlink PowerDirector 20 comes with some really helpful tutorials that allow even the most novice of video editor newbies to get going. From guides on how to import media to creating transitions, there's even one specifically for first-time use. You can also filter the selection of videos to narrow down anything specific you might be looking for help with.

If it's anything beyond that which you need help with, there is a dedicated support section on the website. This offers FAQs, downloads of patch updates, a support ticket section and a contact us section with a form you can fill out to be contacted back.

Cyberlink PowerDirector 20: Price

To purchase Cyberlink PowerDirector 20, you can make a one-off payment of $99.99 / £79.99 that gets you a lifetime license of the software with the option to upgrade each year at a reduced fee. The downside of the lifetime license is you don't automatically get feature updates as they're rolled out.

The Cyberlink PowerDirector 365 version is a subscription model, meaning you're always up to date with the latest features. This can be paid either annually or monthly. Annually, it costs $69.99 / £59.99, and monthly it costs $19.99 / £17.99. 

It's worth looking out for deals as there are often cut prices in the case of the 365 option.

Image shows the storyboard mode in Cyberlink PowerDirector 20 being used on a video of farm animals.

(Image credit: Cyberlink)

Cyberlink PowerDirector 20: User reviews

Amazon users have given Cyberlink PowerDirector 20 an average star rating of 4.5 out of 5. That's with 59% giving five stars, 36% giving four stars and 6% giving three stars. There are no two or one-star ratings of the total 22 ratings given.

One positive four-star review stated: "I really like this product but it does take some time to learn to use it."

A negative three-star review said: "The video editor has some fun features to add different effects to videos, but once you try to get into the editing side of the videos, it is really complicated to use and not very user friendly for simple edits. So for video creation, this is an ok product, but I would use something like Avidemux which is free for video edits."

So, despite this review largely singing the praises of how simple to use this software is, some people still seem to struggle. If you think that could be you then perhaps starting with a free program could be a sensible first step.

Should you buy Cyberlink PowerDirector 20?

If you want to get into video editing as a beginner, if you're trying to go beyond a free option or if you want to start video editing for social media, Cyberlink PowerDirector 20 is a great option. It's an affordable way to try video creation and editing without you having to commit too much.

However, if you're looking for more complex video editing, perhaps to go pro at some point, then you may want to try a more expensive and feature-rich option.

Related products

If Cyberlink PowerDirector 20 isn't the right fit for you, we've reviewed plenty of other video editing software.

Adobe Premiere Elements (opens in new tab) comes from one of the biggest names in video editing, meaning you're getting a very professional tool. This feature-rich, easy-to-use and scaleable software allows you to grow as you learn.

Apple Final Cut Pro X (opens in new tab) keeps things affordable while offering a more professional system that can get you lots of features to push the limits of what you may have thought possible at this price point.

DaVinci Resolve 17 (opens in new tab) is a very powerful and relatively easy-to-use video editor that's totally free. A perfect pick for anyone that wants to try video editing without committing to spending right away.

Luke is a veteran tech journalist with decades of experience covering everything from TVs, power tools, science and health tech to VPNs, space, gaming and cars. You may recognize him from appearances on plenty of news channels or have read his words which have been published in most tech titles over the years. In his spare time (of which he has little as a father of two) Luke likes yoga, surfing, meditation, DIY and consuming all the books, comics and movies he can find.