A laptop opens up your world in ways you had never imagined before, as a theater substitute, the laptop is so personal that only the shutdown button should come between you and your absent-minded self.
We are not in any way implying you should mess your beautiful credit score, we are just saying that the screens you peep into should be able to open up the extremes of human imagination.
Things to watch out when buying a laptop for watching movies
Performance and Expandability
Basically, what you’re looking for is a computer with high processor power (AMD or Intel Processor), lots of operating memory (RAM), and a sizable (preferably extendable) internal storage capacity (HDD or SDD) to stockpile as many videos and movies as you’d like. You also want a laptop that allows you to hook up newer fast USB devices (3.0, or type C 3.1 USB) in case you need to play your multimedia data from an external device. A headphone jack is also an important feature for when you want to watch your movies without being a nuisance to everyone else. This can also be solved by having Bluetooth features that allow you to connect external BT speakers or BT headphones. Still on the issue of connectivity, a strong and stable Wi-Fi connection and an Ethernet/LAN port (for RJ45 wired internet connection) can really come in handy when streaming movies, tv-series, or music videos from online sources.
Picture and Sound Quality
Do you know why die-hard movie fans find “poor cam-recorded movie downloads” really annoying? Two things… poor resolution and bad audio quality. The same reaction can also be expected if clear copy movies are watched using a laptop that has both poor picture quality and sound. The movie watcher’s laptop should, as a rule of thumb, have high screen resolution (HD, HD+, Full-HD, 4K Ultra HD, Quad HD, QHD+, or Mac’s Retina display…), a screen that’s large enough (15″, 17″, 18″ or above) and crisp sound quality; preferably from front-facing speakers. If you watch movies all day long, then you probably want a laptop that does not heat excessively or that becomes extremely slow after hours of continuous use. Other things to consider here include the graphics card and viewing angles.
The perfect movie watcher’s laptop should deliver on more than clear pictures and fast computing or sound quality. You should also pay attention to useful features such as long battery life or time to a full battery charge, keyboard and trackpad design, sensitivity, as well as positioning, compact construction, brand, the price range to performance ratio, an HDMI port to hook up your large TV (or monitor) for better viewing experiences, and maybe a DVD/CD drive; sometimes our favorite movies are only available on original DVDs or Blue-Ray Discs. You also want to consider whether you prefer a hybrid (2-in-1) laptop that transforms into a tablet, or just a simple claim. Either way, the two choices must also include the portability factor. You definitely want something that you can carry around the house with ease or when traveling. Lastly, you can look at the preferred operating system(s) or what your laptop of choice can accept (Chrome, Windows, Mac…).
Here are some of the greatest choices of laptops highly recommended for veteran movie watchers or Netflix binge-watching.
15″ Laptops for Watching Movies
Acer Aspire 5 15.6″ Notebook
• Powerful NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics system almost eliminates screen tearing when watching high-resolution video
• Compartment door can be removed easily to upgrade most components
• Built-in Alexa connectivity, which can stream movies with a spoken request
• Stock models feature a relatively small 256GB SSD
• Battery life is rated for seven hours of continuous use, but may not last that long
• The power cord isn’t reinforced and can easily come loose
Acer’s previous 15″ model, the 2017 version of the E15, offered a full HD 1920×1080 and the company came back again with the same full HD display but now attached to a beefy GeForce MX150 graphics chip and fed by an equally powerful Intel Core i5-8250U CPU. This makes it one of the more performant models available this year, though some users may bulk at the fact that it’s more expensive than some other comparable designs yet only comes with a 256GB SSD.
That being said, Acer did partner with Amazon to offer a few customization options. They also included Alexa technology and a very sturdy external audio jack that helps the newly revised Aspire 5 fit the bill for those looking for great laptops for listening to music. It can easily be attached to a pair of audiophile speakers and provide stereophonic sound thanks to the Acer TrueHarmony audio system. Acer’s patented Color Intelligence system further improves the movie-viewing experience by dynamically adjusting video gamma and saturation features in real-time. Most viewers shouldn’t notice any oversaturation or clipping as a result.
Unfortunately, this can sometimes drain the battery a bit faster than promised, but it’s to be expected when viewing movies in full HD. You shouldn’t have too much of an issue even if you increase the bitrate on Netflix, though. The basic specs should be just fine for those streaming movies from the Internet or watching them over a USB 3.0 or USB-C external hard disk. Acer additionally included a high-speed SD card slot, so there are plenty of I/O options for film buffs even though it lacks an optical drive. If you’re a heavy Netflix user, then you’re unlikely to notice the small storage volume anyway.
ASUS VivoBook 15.6″ S15 S530U
• Full seven hours of battery life even when watching full HD video
• Exclusive ErgoLift hinge technology can automatically tilt the bottom of the system up to 3½°
• Comes with a pair of USB 3.0 for connecting external media – including high-resolution DVD and Blu-ray equipment
• SSD doesn’t offer enough storage for many FHD films
• Lacks an internal optical drive
• Comes with quite a bit of bloatware preinstalled, but this can be disabled
The first thing pretty much everyone notices about the new VivoBook Portable i5-8250U edition is the garish exterior, which hides a very powerful processor and 8GB of speedy DDR4 RAM feeding a seemingly massive 15.6″ 1920×1080 FHD screen. Ironically, this CPU is slightly weaker than what was included in the older VivoBook models from earlier in the year. They also cut out the 1TB electromechanical hard disk. However, both of these sacrifices serve this PC model because it helped to greatly lengthen the battery life. Notably, it also helps to make it a bit more affordable compared to some of the competition.
The 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter is specially tuned for good networking performance, so you won’t experience much in the way of lag provided your modem is configured correct even if you have Netflix’s quality turned up. Some serious movie buffs have found that this version of the VivoBook works great with an external GPU, but most users won’t have to go this far to get great video out of the stock proprietary WideView display. Considering that it features a dedicated quad-core CPU, there shouldn’t be any deficiencies anyway. At less than four pounds, users can position the VivoBook almost anywhere for extra comfortable viewing.
Lenovo ThinkPad E580 15.6″ Premium Laptop
• Includes an Intel UHD Graphics chip running at 1920×1080 FHD for crisp playback
• Enhanced onboard stereo audio sounds great, though you also have the option of external sound output
• Quad-core i7-8550U CPU holds up to a lot of abuse while watching visually intensive movies
• Battery life can sometimes run out after less than four hours
• Includes many features like a fingerprint reader that many users may not need
• The mechanical hard disk can drain the battery
When Lenovo redesigned the ThinkPad E580 for home media use, they gave users the option to include a second optical drive. This could make it attractive for those who stream or burn a great deal of music as well as enjoy really high-resolution videos. The trend over the last few years has been to cut out external audio jacks, but Lenovo bucked it by including an excellent solid one as well as a solid keyboard. While they were clearly trying to hit some of the needs of business users as well, there’s a great deal here for those who want to do nothing with their laptop beside use it as a home theater.
HDMI and Bluetooth support should help you connect all of your sophisticated television displays and other gadgets to your laptop, but it really isn’t necessary. The pixel depth and backlight on the E580 offers a very high-quality picture that most movie buffs should find more than sufficient even if they’re streaming or playing the highest resolution media. While the display might not be able to support a full 4K video, the included DDR4 SDRAM is fast enough to buffer it without any lagging or screen tearing. Unfortunately, the E580 is a tad more expensive than some other models as a result.
17″ Laptops for Watching Movies
HP Envy 17.3″ Touchscreen Laptop
• Comes with the user’s choice of powerful Intel i7 CPUs
• Uses a GeForce MX150 adapter to support FHD 1920×1080 resolution on a 17.3″ screen
• Features a fairly massive 1TB SSD
• Hinges are prone to breaking according to some users
• Running unnecessary options like the backlit keyboard can run the battery life down in a few hours
• Comes with some preinstalled antivirus software that users may wish to disable
When you’re given the option of 16GB or 32GB of RAM, you know you’re looking at one of the best laptops for watching movies on the market today. The newest version of the HP Envy can even fit two optical drives, though it’s also perfect for those who just want to use it to stream movies or screen locally stored media files. If you do store extra media on your boot drive, then you’ll find that the 1TB of space is probably more than enough for most uses.
A single USB Type-C port, as well as three USB 3.1 Type-A jacks, an HDMI jack, and a stereo audio jack provides plenty of IO functionality if you do prefer working with external devices. While HP’s special hardware needs a number of proprietary drivers to keep it running smoothly, they’ve made sure to update all of these before the machine even leaves the factory.
Dell Inspiron G3779 17.3″ Laptop
• Easily upgradable even for users who don’t have much technical experience
• FHD IPS Anti-Glare display running at 1920 x 1080 looks good even indirect light
• A pair of SuperSpeed USB ports and an HDMI jack offer plenty in the way of fast and steady I/O
• Costs about somewhere in the middle as far as higher-end laptops go
• Ships with only 4GB of RAM
• Uses a 6-core CPU that can become rather hot over time
Flagship models are always heavily promoted from Dell, and the Inspiron G3779 is no different. It’s designed to support all of the latest media, and the huge IPS display is one of the only ones on the market that actually looks great when you’re using it in the light. While it’s not a good idea to watch movies in direct sunlight too often, this goes to illustrate how well the display was engineered. If you’ve ever streamed a movie on Netflix only to find the colors were a little washed out, then you can appreciate this feature.
Some people who use their laptops for serious media viewing have complained that Dell’s former models positioned the USB ports too close together to plug in several devices at once. They’ve fixed that with the G3779 while also making it easier than ever to use a media hub with their design. The power jack is also positioned for maximum accessibility. Fewer users report problems with the hinges or any other mechanical part of this Inspiron than many other units in its class, which again speaks highly of the build quality.
Eluktronics N970TF Pro Laptop
• Ships without any bloatware
• Offers a genuine 17.3″ 1920×1080 FHD display screen
• Includes a speedy 512GB SSD
• Backlit keyboard and several other design features reflecting Eluktronics’ gaming past may irritate some home theater users but may be disabled
• LCD may not be firmly attached, though this can be easily secured
• Battery life can be slashed in half if the backlight is turned up
When the newest version of the N970TF got announced, Eluktronics’ marketing department focused largely on the gaming market. They’re not one of the larger vendors like HP or ASUS, so they were trying to find a niche. What happened, though, was that word-of-mouth among audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts quickly fell in love with the GeForce RTX 2070 graphics laptop. A combination of a sophisticated stereo system from B&O Audio combined with a WLED-backlit touchscreen display can make it feel like a home theater even if you’re only using the stock equipment.
Speedy DDR4 SDRAM memory chips provide enough buffering space for the absolute most highly rendered movies in spite of this machine being less expensive than most devices that have a 17.3″ screen running at this resolution. Some people may be a bit reluctant to look into the model because of the vendor is not as well known, but it’s quickly becoming a popular option among those who want to watch movies on something with a larger screen than a standard 15.6″ display might give them.
The ASUS VivoBook is one of the best laptops for streaming movies for those looking for something in the 15″ range. The fact that the battery lasts so long gives you the freedom to stream movies off the Internet no matter where you are while the ErgoLift mount lets you adjust the viewing angle easily. It’s so easy to connect optical media or external devices to the VivoBook that you may consider using it as a tiny self-contained theater system.
Seventeen-inch display fans may instead want to look into either Dell’s Inspiron or the Envy from HP. The Envy has a massive SSD that can hold multiple HD video files at once while the Inspiron has one of the best screens of any device in its class. The anti-glare feature puts it ahead of even many consumer-grade television sets sold in that size.