Thanks to affordable movie streaming sites like Netflix or Amazon Prime, it’s easier than ever before to sit down and watch the latest movies.
Watching movies on your laptop is a great way to relax and unwind with friends or grab some ‘me’ time.
Have you ever tried to watching your favorite movie in your laptop or even just a tv program, only to be frustrated by skipping, lag, loading issues, poor resolution, or even bad sound?
In some cases, these problems may be caused by a poor internet connection, but in most cases it’s your laptop that is the real issue. There’s only so much you can do about insufficient wifi, but each of these problems that you think may be causes by bad wifi is most likely an issue with your computer being inadequate — and that’s something you can control.
Table of Contents
- Quick Summary:
- The five best laptops for watching movies
- The best laptop for watching movies
- The four other laptops for watching movies we tested
- How we chose the best laptop for watching movies
- The most important consideration when choosing the best laptop for watching movies
- Other considerations when choosing the best laptop for watching movies
- The bottom line
Here is a list of the top performing laptops for watching movies and videos for those that want to jump and ahead and check out the price and other customer reviews.
Best Overall…By Far: Apple Macbook Air
You can check out the Macbook Air on amazon by clicking here.
Best Bang for Your Buck 2-in-1 Movie Watching Laptop: Lenovo Flex 5
Cheapest, Okay, Performing Laptop for Movie Watching:
You can check out the Aspire 5 Slim on amazon by clicking here.
The five best laptops for watching movies
Here’s a list of the five best laptops for watching movies:
The best laptop for watching movies
Listed below is our top pick and the other contenders that came in close.
Our #1 pick for best bang for your buck when it comes to watching movies is…the Lenovo Flex 5!
This device is a beautiful 2-in1 laptop that will bring you a flexible, portable choice for watching movies.
It has plenty of processing power with an i5 CPU and 16GB of RAM, making it ideal for movie lovers who need a fabulous movie watching laptop that can be used for other purposes as well.
This laptop comes with a 14″ touchscreen display with Full HD. The display can be flipped into four different modes: laptop, tent, stand, or tablet.
IPS technology makes it easy to view the screen from a wider angle without losing contrast or picture quality.
This flexibility means that you have even more options for watching movies on the go or whilst travelling. The tablet mode in particular is great for watching movies on an airplane, bus, or other cramped space.
A Harmon speaker system does a decent job of delivering crisp, quality audio. While laptop speakers could be louder, you won’t be disappointed with the quality of the sound.
The battery life on this device is excellent, giving you around seven hours when streaming movies (more for basic tasks like word processing). With this much battery at hand, you won’t have to relocate in the middle of your favorite episode.
Unfortunately, this laptop doesn’t come with an optical drive, so it’s not ideal for those who wish to play DVD or Blu-Ray discs. However, if you mostly plan to stream your video, the Flex is a great all-around choice.
The four other laptops for watching movies we tested
The Acer Aspire E is a great choice for those on a budget who don’t need as much processing power on the side.
This laptop comes with an i3 CPU and 4 GB of RAM. While this is less powerful than the other laptops on our list, it’s more than sufficient for movie streaming, and will also keep up with the day-to-day needs of many users.
This laptop comes with a nice 15.6” of Full HD display, large enough to fully enjoy your movies but small enough to stay very portable.
The speakers on this laptop are specially designed to limit distortion and boost volume, and they do a decent job of living up to their claims.
This laptop also comes with an optical drive, so you’ll have plenty of options for how you watch your movies.
When it comes to battery life, this laptop gives all you could ask for with up to 12 hours. That’s enough time to make it through an entire season of many popular series! Well, not quite.
The battery life will vary depending on just how you’re using it, including how bright your screen is.
Based on user feedback, you can expect to get 7-12 hours depending on your circumstances. Heavy use (beyond streaming) will drop that down even further.
Ultimately, the Acer Aspire E was chosen because of its excellent functionality across each of our five criteria.
While the processing power isn’t as heavy-handed as with our other picks, it’s more than enough to enjoy watching movies on a fantastic laptop.
When combined with the other great features this laptop has to offer and the great price for those on a budget, the Acer Aspire was a clear choice for inclusion on our list.
- 7th Generation Intel Core i3-7100U Processor (2.4GHz, 3MB L3 cache)
- 15.6" Full HD Widescreen ComfyView LED-backlit Display supporting Acer...
- 4GB DDR4 Memory, 1TB 5400RPM HDD
Swooping in at #3 is the Dell Inspiron. This laptop is another great option at a decent price. Like some of the other picks on our list, this laptop comes with an i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM.
It’s also got a brilliant Full HD, 15.6” display, a long battery life of up to 8 hours, and an optical drive for those who need it.
But where this laptop really shines is in the audio department. The Inspiron features a Waves MaxxAudio Pro audio system, with great user reviews in terms of quality and sound level.
As far as laptop speaker systems go, this one does a pretty good job relative to others on the market.
It may not be as great as the surround sound system on your entertainment center, but you’ll get decent mileage in comparison to many other laptops.
- 11th Generation Intel(R) Core)TM) i7-1165G7 Processor (12MB Cache, up to 4.7...
- 8GB, 1x8GB, DDR4, 3200MHz.
- 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive.
Our #4 Pick is a beautiful laptop with great user ratings and plenty to offer movie enthusiasts. This is one of those laptops that comes with more processing power than you need just for streaming, with an i7 CPU and 8 GB of RAM.
It’s a great choice if you want your movie watching laptop to do more than just play movies. If you like all of the movietastic features this laptop has to offer but don’t want to pay for all that extra processing power, go for the version with the i5 CPU rather than the i7.
The picture quality on the Lenovo is lovely, with a 17.3 inch Full HD display. At this size, you may notice that portability is slightly impacted, but when you do settle down to watch a movie you’ll be glad you didn’t skimp on the screen.
This laptop comes with high-quality speakers that provide great clarity. Dolby technology minimizes distortions, and users report satisfactory sound level and quality.
The Z70 has an average battery life of 4 hours, right at the threshold of our recommendations. This is enough to get through a couple of movies on a full charge, but we’d like to see the battery last longer.
This laptop also comes with a DVD drive for those who prefer to keep hard copies of their favorite movies.
In the end, this laptop came into fourth place due to its lower battery life. Even so, when all of the great features on this laptop are taken into account, it can’t be denied that the Lenovo Z70 is a great choice for watching your favorite movies.
This is especially true if you want your movie watching laptop to have enough processing power to handle more demanding tasks on the side.
- Intel Core i7-5500U 2.4 GHz Processor. 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM
- 1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive, 8 GB Solid-State Drive;DVDRW
- 17.3-Inch Screen, NVIDIA GeForce GT840M 2GB
Although it may be last on our list, the HP Pavilion has a lot to offer at a great price. This laptop comes with an i5 CPU and 8 GB of RAM, making it great for playing movies as well as all-around computing tasks.
In terms of display, the Pavilion clocks in at 15.6” and provides excellent picture quality with Full HD resolution and IPS panels for wider viewing angles. It’s also a touchscreen, which means you won’t have to mess with the touchpad in the dark.
We found that the audio system on this device received mixed reviews. While many users had no problems with the audio, others felt found it lacking in quality and volume.
This laptop comes with a quality DVD drive, and yet manages to stay highly portable at under 4.5 lbs. The battery life is excellent, giving you up to seven hours to watch your favorite flicks.
- 15.6-Inch IPS Touchscreen FHD (1920x1080)
- 8th Generation Intel Quad Core i5-8250U
- 8 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM
How we chose the best laptop for watching movies
As you begin your search for a great laptop for watching movies, you’ll want to keep a few key considerations in mind. Many people start out thinking that picking a movie laptop is all about screen quality—but it’s so much more than that!
We’ve honed in on five specific features that will make sure you get the most from your movie-watching experience.
- Processing Power
- Battery Life
- Optical Drive
We determined this final list by analyzing what movie-lovers have to say about what makes a great movie laptop, as well as tech reviews and industry standards.
The most important consideration when choosing the best laptop for watching movies
The most important consideration when choosing a laptop is the display. Color, resolution, and viewing angle are all important factors when it comes to creating the best viewing experience.
To get the most out of your movie, we recommend a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display at minimum. IPS panels are also a good choice, as they provide wider viewing angles and improved color accuracy which is especially useful if you watch movies in bed.
However, keep in mind that IPS panels will add to the cost of your laptop. You may or may not find the improvement worth the extra cost, depending on your budget.
Choosing a laptop with a good brightness, or luminance level is also important to get the most out of your movies.
Other considerations when choosing the best laptop for watching movies
When choosing a great laptop for watching movies, a top consideration is processing power.
Good processing power means that your laptop can do more and will be less likely to experience any sort of stuttering during playback.
Luckily, streaming movies isn’t a highly demanding task for most laptops. You should be able to find a great streaming laptop for a great price, although if you want it to do more than just stream movies, you may want to spend a few extra bucks for a decent CPU.
We recommend that you keep this in mind when choosing your laptop, as most of us don’t want to carry around a different laptop for every purpose—a great movie watching laptop is one that will support your needs in other areas as well.
For the best balance between affordability and functionality, we recommend an Intel i5 or i7 processor.
You’ll also want sufficient RAM. Again, this isn’t a high-demand area for movie streaming. You can usually get away with as little as 2 GB, although again, if you want to keep your movie watching laptop versatile, you’ll want to aim for 4 GB or higher.
The truth is that even the best laptops can be lacking in the audio department. This simply isn’t an area where laptops shine.
A common problem is for the speakers not to be loud enough for comfortable movie watching, especially in a group. Other common problems include distortion and poor bass.
Of course, if you’re on your own you can always pull out your headphones, and if you’re watching with friends or family there are plenty of plug-in and Bluetooth speaker options on the market.
But after all, who wants to carry around extra speakers? And headphones are not always ideal either, especially if you’re trying to keep an ear out for something else.
Both of these solutions will help, but it’s also nice to have the option of watching a movie without needing any peripheral devices.
Battery life can be a pretty big consideration when picking out a great laptop for watching movies. It won’t always be convenient to plug in while streaming, and a device with a short battery life can bring your movie to an abrupt and frustrating halt.
The problem is compounded if you’re trying to watch more than one movie at a time or having a binge session with your favorite tv program.
Obviously, the longer your battery life the better! However, we recommend at least four hours to ensure that your movie watching won’t be interrupted.
An optical drive isn’t necessary for everyone. Many laptops without DVD drives are fantastic laptops for watching streaming movies.
The important thing is to think about how you will want to watch movies before you purchase your laptop, so that you can make sure your needs are met.
If you know you’ll want an optical drive for watching your favorite flicks, don’t forget to make sure that the laptop you’re considering has one!
On the other hand, if you’re a hardcore streamer who hasn’t played a movie disc in years, you can ignore optical drive functionality in favor of more relevant features.
When all is said and done, the Lenovo Flex 5 came in as our top pick due to its superb balance of great features and excellent pricing.
Each of the other four laptops on our list also has something to offer. This list was created after careful consideration of many laptops, and those that made the cut definitely deserve your consideration.
In the end, which laptop you choose will be dependent on your specific situation and how you most like to watch movies.
In addition to our five criteria, keep in mind where you like to watch movies, with whom, and how portable you want your laptop to be. Armed with the information in this article, you’re ready to make a fantastic choice for your new laptop for watching movies.