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What are the best laptops for watching movies? It seems to be more convenient to watch movies and television series on a laptop, thanks to the development in technology and design of the laptops, and even other portable devices.
You may think that buying a laptop simply for watching movies is a sheer waste of money if you cannot put it to education, business or other work. Well, it is not so.
There are so many laptops out there that are affordable and good enough for working on it all day as well as for watching movies during breaks.
While watching movies on your laptop, you can place it anywhere and even on your lap for a comfortable viewing.
A laptop is easy and convenient to shift your place and position since it is wireless. You can even take it to your kitchen and make some popcorn!
Many people think that buying any type of laptop will be good enough for watching movies, and they are highly wrong.
Since you will need a good HD or full HD display and stunning audio, those low-cost laptops without these will not suffice.
This automatically and fortunately narrows down your search. The two most important factors to consider for watching movies on a laptop are the display and the audio system, if you do not intend to use Bluetooth speakers or earphones.
You just need to choose the right laptop, download the right apps, and have a strong and reliable internet connection to be ready to go.
However, the difficult part is choosing the best laptop for watching movies, given the plethora of options to choose from.
Therefore, to find the right laptop needs quite a bit of research and time. However, if you do not have it, do not worry.
Here are the five best laptops for watching movies. These are good, very capable and affordable. Follow the buying guide as well to choose the right option.
- Laptops for Watching Movies – Price
- Tips for Better Watching Movies on a Laptop
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Watching Movies
- 5 Best Laptops for Watching Movies 2021:
- How to Choose Best Laptops for Watching Movies?
- Is a laptop with Intel Core i7 processor better than i5 processor for watching movies?
- Are gaming laptops good for watching movies?
- What is the best app to watch movies on a laptop?
- Are the laptops for streaming videos good for watching movies?
- Do I always need to use the best headphones to watch movies on my laptop?
Laptops for Watching Movies – Price
Tips for Better Watching Movies on a Laptop
Apart from investing in a strong and stable internet connection to watch movies by using any free online video streaming service such as YouTube or any other paid movie streaming sites like Hulu and Netflix, there are a few other things to do to better your movie watching experience on a laptop.
Ideally, while watching movies online, it actually uses a specific technology called streaming. This means that the movie is not downloaded to your laptop but is streamed to it over the internet connection.
This means that it will not overload the memory, storage, or processor of your laptop, which is its positive side. The downside of it is that, if the internet connection is not strong, then your viewing experience will not be smooth as it will result in buffering.
In addition to that, if you are a movie buff, you should go for those paid channels rather than the free ones for watching newer and better-quality movies. A paid subscription will provide you with access to more content.
You may also need some solutions, assistance, and accessories to enhance the performance and speed of the laptop.
In order to prevent your laptop from getting overheated easily you should utilize a cooling pad.
A screen filter is also very useful to reduce the stress and strain on your eyes and dyslexia when you look at the screen for long hours at a stretch.
Also, a wireless portable mouse can be used if you do want to use the trackpad of your laptop or if it is not very accessible from your viewing position.
If you want more storage, you can invest on an external hard disk. You can also use a laptop desk for comfortable placement of the laptop as well as a Docking Station if you do not have enough ports in the laptop to attach a larger monitor and other peripherals for better viewing and listening pleasure.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Watching Movies
You will have a fairly good movie watching experience on a laptop provided the system comes with at least an Intel Pentium III or Athlon equivalent processor with a lowest speed of 1 GHz, a 4 GB RAM, 2.5 GB of free and uncompressed disk space in addition with 500 MB for Windows swap files, and an Nvidia GeForce 3+ or ATI Radeon 7000+ graphics card with DX 9.0c support with 32 MB of video memory.
On the other hand, if you want to have an exceptional visual experience and performance from your laptop while watching movies on it, these are the recommended system requirements that you should go for. It might cost you a few hundred dollars more but is still worth an investment.
Minimum system requirements: 10th generation Intel Core i3 1005 G1 processor or higher| 8 GB of RAM | 128 GB PCIe NVMe SSD | Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 or higher| 13.3 inches screen | 1366 x 768 pixels resolution
Recommended system requirements: 7th generation Intel Quad Core i5 or higher processor| 16 GB of RAM or higher | 256 GB SSD or larger | Intel Iris Plus Graphics or higher Nvidia or AMD Radeon variant | 14 inches screen or bigger | 1920 x 1080 pixels or higher screen resolution
5 Best Laptops for Watching Movies 2021:
1. Lenovo Flex 14 – Best Overall
Bottom Line: When compared with all other laptops in this list for watching movies, this device will offer the best overall performance. The AMD Ryzen 5 processor coupled with the Radeon Vega 8 graphics will process the data and render images at a fast rate to make them look seamless on the touchscreen.
- Screen: 14 inches
- Storage: 256 GB NVMe SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
- OS: Windows 10
- GPU: Integrated AMD Radeon Vega 8
- The laptop can handle demanding workloads.
- The RAM is upgradeable.
- The system comes with touchscreen features and a stylus.
- The two fans at the bottom make quite a loud noise on full throttle.
- The battery may not last for 8 hours as advertised.
- The stylus holder uses one USB port and blocks the other ports.
This 2-in-1 convertible laptop has everything that will allow you to work and play on it, and even watch movies.
The best part of the system is the Windows 10 operating system that provides comprehensive protection to the system against viruses, ransomware, and malware.
Another unique aspect of the system design is the True Block privacy shutter in the webcam that allows you to conveniently close it physically when it is not in use.
The touchscreen feature and the Active Pen included in the package allows you to draw and write on the screen directly or have better control while gaming or watching a movie.
2. Dell Inspiron 3567 – Runner Up
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 7th generation Intel Core i5 7200U
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620
- The memory of the system can be upgraded up to 32 GB.
- The touchscreen of the system allows hands-on control.
- The sound system with MaxxAudio technology provides great sound for movies and music.
- The built-in mouse is located improperly to the left of the keyboard and jumps frequently.
- The system is also quite heavy, weighing more than 5 pounds.
- There is no optical drive in the system.
The 7th generation Intel Core mobile processor operating at 2.5 GHz, the DDR4 RAM, the SSD storage, the MaxxAudio technology of the sound system, the HD webcam, the Intel HD Graphics 620 and the Windows 10 operating system, all enhances the performance of the laptop even while watching movies.
The touch screen feature allows better control of your movies and games and the images displayed at 1366 x 768 HD resolution are sharp and crisp enough to provide you with a wonderful movie viewing experience.
All the features and components of this laptop allow you to make the most out of the operating system.
The extremely low-voltage platform makes the system more power efficient and the dual cores of the processor deliver faster results and dynamic extra power.
The high bandwidth of the memory of the system allows easy multitasking and smooth running of the games and movies along with all photo and video editing apps and software.
You can run multiple programs and browser tabs at the same time at lightning fast speed due to the SSD which provides adequate space for storage as well for your photos, DVD-quality movies and HD videos.
The Bluetooth 4.0 technology, the two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 and HDMI port, a 3-in-1 media card reader along with a headphone/microphone combo jack provides a lot more connectivity options. Check out Dell Inspiron 3567 Laptop Review.
3. Apple MacBook Air – Durable
Bottom Line: This laptop is for the ones who are environmentally conscious and want to use a durable and green laptop for watching movies and other computing tasks due to the good quality recycled aluminum material used to make it. The other features of this laptop and the battery are also equally good.
- Screen: 13.3 inches
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: Intel Quad Core i5
- OS: MacOS
- GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
- The system comes with a Retina display for better viewing pleasure.
- The laptop is made from recycled aluminum making it durable and green.
- The storage is adequate and fast.
- Weighing more than 5 pounds, the system is quite heavy.
- The number of ports is limited.
- The keyboard does not have a separate numeric keypad.
The Retina display with True Tone technology of the system will enhance the image quality even more to enhance your movie watching pleasure.
The Intel quad core processor along with the Intel Iris Plus graphics card will make sure that the images are displayed flawlessly and uninterruptedly on the screen.
The processor is fast and powerful enough to operate at 1.1 GHz at its low and at a high up to 3.5 GHz with Turbo Boost technology.
Add to that, the DDR4 memory and the SSD storage makes the system fast as well as the 30 W USB Type C power adapter and the USB Type C charging cable makes this system more powerful than ever.
This incredibly thin laptop also comes with a new Magic Keyboard and with Touch ID that adds to the comfort and safety in its use.
The recycled aluminum makes it a durable and green laptop.
The all-day battery life will allow you to do anything with the laptop and provide an immersive viewing and listening pleasure. Check out Apple MacBook Air Review.
4. Acer Aspire 5 – Better Visual Experience
Bottom Line: The display of this laptop comes with a narrow bezel to offer a larger viewing area when you watch movies on it. This full HD IPS display supports Acer Color Intelligence technology and Acer Blue Light Shield technology to protect your eyes from any harm and prevent eye fatigue as well.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 128 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- RAM: 4 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i3 10110u
- OS: Windows 10 in S mode
- GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
- The backlit keyboard of the system allows easy and comfortable typing in dimly lit settings.
- The display of this laptop delivers crisp and clear images.
- There are lots of ports included in the system design.
- The storage of the laptop is only 128 GB.
- The RAM is quite low and is of 4 GB only.
- The laptop does not come with any optical drive.
This slim laptop is good enough for performing almost all of your computing tasks including watching movies.
The display and its narrow bezel provide a lot of screen space to maximize the visuals to make your movie experience more immersive. The full HD display allows a crisp image in true-to-life colors.
Everything will come alive in the IPS display, thanks to the Acer Color Intelligence technology. This, along with the Acer Blue Light Shield technology will not strain your eyes even if you watch movies on this laptop for long sessions.
The system provides it all including performance, entertainment and connectivity. It is the 10th generation i3 processor that will open up a lot of possibilities.
It will make the system adapt to your needs and style so that you enjoy a more responsive and personalized movie experience.
The audio system provides a powerful and immersive listening experience while watching movies. The Acer True Harmony technology will enable you to make it more powerful with more volume and deeper bass.
The innovative speaker design, powerful and convenient wireless wi-fi 6 connectivity of 802.11ax standard, and complete confidence when you surf the web Microsoft Edge provides the ultimate viewing experience.
5. Asus F512JA-AS34 VivoBook – Value for Money
Bottom Line: The 10th generation dual core Intel i3 processor of this laptop will offer a reliable enough performance along with its equally efficient integrated GPU while you watch movies on this relatively cheap laptop. The large enough screen with thin bezel also adds to the value for money and viewing pleasure.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i3 1005G1
- OS: Windows 10 S mode
- GPU: Intel UHD Graphics
- The dual core processor is of the 10th generation and makes it a powerful system.
- The narrow bezel provides a lot of viewing space.
- The backlit keyboard with ergo-lift design provides a better typing experience.
- The storage, though SSD, is only 128 GB.
- There is no optical drive in the system.
- The screen quality and viewing angle could have been much better.
This is a thin and light laptop to watch movies. The full HD display is big enough, the Intel i3 processor is powerful enough, and the RAM and storage also provides just the right kind of support to the laptop.
The backlit keyboard, the fingerprint sensor and the Windows 10 Home operating system in S mode are the other useful features of the system.
The screen of this laptop comes with a narrow Nano Edge bezel all around it which provides an amazing viewing experience with its 88% body to screen ratio.
The 10th generation processor with its 4 MB cache allows running Google Classroom on Internet Explorer 11 or on Microsoft Edge with a high speed of 3.4 GHz.
The keyboard does not only come with an ergonomic design but the backlit feature allows easy viewing and comfortable typing in the dark. The fingerprint sensor is activated through Windows Hello and allows faster and safer login.
You will also have lots of ports and slots for more comprehensive connection options that include USB 3.2 Type C and Type A ports, USB 2.0 port and an HDMI port. The system also allows Gigabit Wi-Fi 5 connectivity.
The lithium polymer battery provides power to the system for quite a long time and also gets recharged pretty quickly at the rate of 60% of its total capacity in just 49 minutes.
Finally, with Asus Sonic Master technology the audio system will provide an immersive audio and viewing pleasure when you watch the movies on this laptop. Check out Asus F512JA-AS34 VivoBook Review.
How to Choose Best Laptops for Watching Movies?
Watching movies on a laptop, with or without different accessories, should be an immersive experience.
Apparently, it may seem to you that having a good display with high resolution, preferably a full HD, is the most important thing to consider while buying a laptop.
Well, it is very important and there is no doubt about it. Your selection of laptop should certainly revolve around this to make your investment worthy.
However, it is only partially true because there are lots of other things to consider as well to make the right choice.
For example, the sound system of the laptop should also be good enough to ensure a better listening experience with clear and high volume and bass. There are a lot of laptops out there in the market that come with pictures and sound that are of cinematic quality.
In addition to these two vital components of the laptop, these are the specific factors to look for in it to have a memorable experience while watching movies.
Right at the onset however, you should remember that your budget and affordability are crucial factors that will influence your choice. Therefore, be wise and take some time when you shop around.
Display size and type
The display type and size, as said earlier, should be your primary concern while making your choice.
Most of the laptops today come with a variety of types, features and screen sizes ranging from 11 to 17 inches, but the most common screen sizes are 14 and 15.6 inches.
Choosing a laptop with a screen size within this range will be good enough for watching movies.
While looking for the type of display you will come across a term, ‘A full HD display.’ Well, this is a sales-speak and you should not give in to this gimmick without checking.
Apart from a full HD screen, which is quite good to watch movies on a laptop, you should also check out the 4K or the UHD, which is the short form of Ultra High Definition screens as well.
Ideally, you should go for a 4K display if you want more satisfaction and viewing pleasure while watching a movie on your laptop.
However, the ultimate choice will depend on your affordability and comfort, and also, if you know what it means.
This is one aspect which you should look into following the general rule of thumb which says, ‘the higher, the better.’ This means that the higher the resolution of the display, the better and richer will be the visual experience.
Ideally, you should not settle for a display resolution less than 1920 × 1080 pixels. This is what full HD means. This will be good enough for watching high-definition movies and videos.
However, if your budget does not allow you to buy a laptop with a full HD or higher resolution display, you must consider buying a laptop model with a smaller screen size.
This is because the concentration of the pixels will be more compact and denser due to the small real estate, thereby making the images look sharper and clearer with all its details.
You must also focus on the brightness score of the displays of the laptop measured and indicated in nits. Ideally, it should not be less than 100 nits.
However, to be on the safer and better side, you should choose a laptop within the brightness range of 250 to 300 nits for a more immersive viewing experience of the videos and movies on your laptop.
Remember, you will need a higher brightness score of the display of your laptop if you prefer watching videos and movies when you are outdoors.
Touchscreen feature and viewing angle
Also focus on the touchscreen aspect which most of the new laptops come with. This feature will be exceptionally helpful when you place your laptop up close while watching a movie on it.
This will benefit you with the convenience of tapping on the screen when you want to pause, rewind, and play a video.
It is also crucial to focus on the viewing angle of the screen of your laptop. It should be good and wide enough so that everyone sitting around you can see the images as clearly and comfortably as you sitting right in front of the screen.
Though most of the laptops today come with a regular TN panel, choosing one with an IPS panel, of course if you can afford, will give you a more consistent and better visual performance and experience while watching movies from all possible viewing angles.
The sound aspect
Without a good sound system, a laptop is no good for watching movies. While considering the sound systems you must focus on the following different aspects of it.
First, check its location. The speaker should not be located at the bottom of the casing as that will produce a muffled and suppressed sound output, even if the audio system is of the highest quality, when you use the laptop on a flat surface or on your bed.
It should be front firing or on top of the keyboard for a clear and loud audio performance. A few specific laptop models come with a unique design where the speakers may be in the hinges!
Then, check the number of speakers. Most of the speakers come with a set of two stereo speakers, which may be good enough but nothing as compared to a hi-fi six speaker audio system. Go for it if you can afford it.
The audio technology of the system is the next important factor to look into while choosing your system.
Nowadays, most of the laptops come with advanced audio systems that have an enhanced functionality due to the technologies such as Dolby surround, Waves Maxx and others.
These technologies have a unique ability to increase the volume, bass and quality of the audio systems.
Also check for the noise cancellation and force cancelling subwoofers feature in the audio system.
If these are included in the audio system, you can rest assured that you will have the most immersive audio experience while watching movies on your laptop, just like in a movie theater.
Other things to look for
Now that you know what to look for a better video and audio experience in a laptop for watching movies, there are a few other aspects to consider as well in order to ensure that you have a better cinematic experience.
These are the factors that will enhance the performance of your laptop as well as your user experience when you put your system to other uses as well apart from watching movies on it.
As for the storage, any model that comes with an SSD storage will be good enough, provided you mainly stream videos and movies off the internet and do store them on your computer.
Since the hard drive capacity will not matter too much in this case for your computer, you can even consider upgrading the hard drive to SSD to make it run faster.
However, on the other hand, if you store a lot of movies offline, you will be better off if you consider choosing a laptop model with a 2 TB hard drive storage instead of the common 1 TB or 512 GB options.
Do not worry about the difference in the price because it will actually be very little.
Heat generation by the innards of the system is also an important factor to consider before buying your laptop.
You will certainly not like a hot frame on your lap while watching a ‘cool’ movie or video.
Be wise to avoid those fan-less models because, though these laptops promise a quieter operation, these tend to get really hot quite easily. Choose a laptop with a better cooling system with stronger fans.
The processor of the system should also be good, though you will not need one of those highly sophisticated and costly processors for video playback or for web browsing.
Most Intel Core i3 and AMD A4 processors will be good enough to handle your movie watching needs just fine.
However, avoid those Intel Atoms, Celeron and Pentium Ns, and AMD E2 processors. These cannot handle the load of playing back online videos effectively.
You will not need much of a memory in your laptop for watching movies. Ideally, 4 GB of RAM is enough for such activities as well as for performing other computing tasks on your computer, though 8 GB or more will be better.
Most of the laptops today come with 4 GB of RAM. However, 2 GB of RAM will be far too less, especially if you run Windows.
As for the GPU, it may not be necessary to have a dedicated graphics card in your laptop for watching movies, but make sure that it is of good quality.
Most of the laptops now come with integrated graphics cards which is quite good enough to support online and offline movie watching and video playback.
A good quality GPU will ensure that the images are not choppy and your viewing experience is seamless, smoother and better.
A long enough battery life of 8 hours or more is necessary in a laptop for watching movies. This is because the FHD screen, the graphics card, and the processor running will consume a considerable amount of battery power.
You will certainly not like your laptop shutting off during the climax of the movie simply because the battery died out and there is no electrical outlet to recharge.
Finally, the weight of the laptop. It should be light in weight, especially if you want to travel with it.
Is a laptop with Intel Core i7 processor better than i5 processor for watching movies?
Ideally, anything latest and belonging to a more advanced processor family, such as i7, is better for watching movies on a laptop. Therefore, if you find and can afford a laptop with an i7 processor it will be much better in performance in comparison to an i5 processor. However, this does not mean you cannot buy an i5 or even an i3 processor at all.
Are gaming laptops good for watching movies?
Most of the time, yes. However, everything depends on the specific model of the laptop you want to use. This is because the specs and configurations of one gaming laptop brand model may vary from another but usually all gaming laptops come with excellent graphics cards, amazing display resolution, powerful processors, decent amount of RAM and storage which makes them great for watching and saving movies as well as for playing games.
What is the best app to watch movies on a laptop?
You will need to download a few specific apps if you want to watch the latest movies on your laptop and not be at the mercy and favor of YouTube. Netflix and Amazon Prime are two of the most popular paid platforms that stream latest movies online. Alternately, you can also watch movies on DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, provided the system comes with an optical drive.
Are the laptops for streaming videos good for watching movies?
Yes, if you have a good laptop with decent specs, it will be good enough for both, watching movies online and for streaming videos. This is because both these use cases need similar features in a laptop such as a good and powerful processor, enough RAM and SSD storage, which most of the modern laptops have.
Do I always need to use the best headphones to watch movies on my laptop?
This actually depends on your personal preferences and affordability. For example, most of the users believe that Bose Quiet Comfort 35 is one of the best headphones for watching movies on a laptop. This wireless and Bluetooth-enabled headphone comes with innovative features like noise cancellation for superior listening pleasure, but at a price.