Best Laptops For Watching Movies

Best Laptops For Watching Movies

Everyone loves a good movie. But unfortunately, you can’t exactly pack up your 40 inch TV and take it with you everywhere you want to go. Or maybe you don’t have a TV in your dorm and you need a new laptop.

Whether you prefer to stream your movies, or if you like to download them and keep them forever, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve been looking at some of the top-selling laptops out on the market at the moment, and have been looking specifically at what they’re like for watching movies on. After much deliberation, we were able to handpick our top 5 favorites, which we can’t wait to show you.

All of the laptops in our top 5 picks are strong bestsellers with retailers, and they all use the Windows 10 operating system, so are very easy and straightforward to use. We also ensured that they all cost less than $1000, though we do include laptops for a range of budgets.

But we get that picking out the perfect laptop can be tricky, so we’ve also got a buying guide for you. It’s written in a way that anyone can understand, and it will walk you through everything you might want to think about before you buy.

Then we’re going to top that off with another handy section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.

Let’s get straight to it…

OUR TOP PICK

ASUS TUF Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 144Hz Full HD IPS-Type Display, Intel Core i7-9750H Processor,Gigabit Wi-Fi 5, Windows 10 Home, FX505GT-AB73

Gaming laptops are the best and most powerful laptops around. Sure, they do cost more money, but many people are more than willing to pay an extra few hundred dollars to get such a top-performing machine.

This beauty has all the features you want in a laptop for movies, and more besides. First off, there’s the large screen, which comes in at 15.6 inches wide.

Moreover, this screen has a high resolution, coming in at 1920 x 1080, in other words in full high definition. Plus this screen has an IPS display, making it possible to watch the movie from any angle.

But we haven’t got to the best part yet. Not only do the laptop specs meet those required for watching movies - they exceed them.

There’s the Intel Core i7, for plenty of processing power, and plenty of RAM, coming in at 8GB. Not to mention the dedicated graphics card to avoid shuttering during the movie.

And we love the audio side of things, with it’s virtual surround sound, for a really immersive experience.

There’s also plenty of storage space you can access, so you could download media files such as movies, music, photos etc, and save them to the laptop rather than in the cloud.

It also has a HDMI port, which means that, if you prefer, you can hook the laptop up to your TV and bring your movies onto a bigger screen.

It runs on Windows 10, so is very easy to use and comes with some basic apps already built-in.

Pros:

  • Large 15.6-inch screen
  • Full high definition screen resolution
  • Exceeds requirements for streaming movies
  • Plenty of storage space at 512 GB SSD
  • Virtual surround sound

Cons:

  • Customers have reported that the battery life is average at best

EDITORS CHOICE

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD, Intel i5-1035G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Backlit KB, Fingerprint, Windows 10, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS54

If you’re looking for an affordable laptop for watching movies, then this could be the one for you. And it’s because of it’s affordable price that it made such a high position in our top 5 picks.

First off, it has a large 15.6 inches display, and better yet it has a great display resolution too - it comes in at 1920x1080 and has a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio. Perfect for watching movies on!

You don’t have to be sitting directly in front of the screen to see it properly, because it has a 178 degree viewing angle, so you could comfortably watch your movies alongside a family member or friend.

It also meets all the other requirements for streaming movies to watch, including the latest 10th generation Intel Core processor to power the streaming, along with 8 GB of RAM for the streaming.

But that’s not all. It also features a whopping 512 GB of storage space on it’s SSD drive. That means that not only are you able to stream movies, but you also have the storage space to download a few movies, if you have a few favorites that you want to keep.

It has a HDMI port, which means that you can hook the laptop up to your TV and bring your movies onto a bigger screen.

It runs on Windows 10 Home, so if you’ve ever used computers before you’ll find it very easy to get to grips with.

It has some other nice features too, like a webcam for video calling, a backlit keyboard, and a fingerprint sensor for security when you’re out and about.

If you do decide to buy this one, please be careful on the Amazon page because two of the options are for an Intel i3, whereas you will need the Intel i5 processor.

Pros:

  • Large 15.6-inch screen
  • Good affordable price
  • Full high definition screen resolution
  • Meets requirements for streaming movies
  • Has 512 GB of storage space for files

Cons:

  • It has an integrated graphics card rather than an dedicated one (more on that in our buying guide later)

BEST VALUE

MSI GF75 17.3' Gaming Laptop, i5-10300H, 8GB, 128GB SSD+1TB

If a big screen is what you’re into, then this laptop is certainly worth a look - it’s screen is a whopping 17.3 inches wide - perfect for watching a movie around the table. That’s a great screen size for a laptop that’s under $1000.

And of course the screen has a great resolution of 1920 x 1080, so you can watch your movies in full high definition!

It meets movie streaming requirements with its 8 GB of RAM, but the processor goes a step further and exceeds movie streaming requirements with its 10th generation Intel Core i5 CPU.

And that’s not all - there’s also a top quality integrated graphics card built-in, so you don’t have to worry about shuttering during your movies.

It runs on Windows 10, so is very easy to use and comes with some basic apps already built-in.

There’s also significant storage space on there, specifically 512 GB. So you can store several movies on its solid state drive and keep them forever rather than just stream them over the net.

And customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive - when this article was written it had earned an average customer rating of a full 5 stars out of 5 on the Amazon page!

Pros:

  • Very large 17.3-inch screen
  • Full high definition screen resolution
  • Exceeds requirements for streaming movies
  • Plenty of storage space at 512 GB SSD
  • Incredibly positive customer feedback

Cons:

  • For some reason this laptop is still quite far down the best seller lists with online retailers, but we think there’s still time for that to change

RUNNER UP

HP Pavilion 15 Laptop, 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD Storage, Full HD IPS micro-edge Display, Windows 10 Pro, Compact Design, Long Battery Life (15-eg0021nr, 2020)

This is another very popular laptop, and looking at the specs it’s easy to see why!

It has a very powerful processor, an 11th generation Intel Core i7, and an impressive 16 GB of RAM, by far exceeding the requirements for streaming movies.

And it’s a nice laptop to watch movies on with it’s large 15.6 inch screen with a full high definition resolution of 1920 x 1080.

And it has an IPS display too, meaning you can watch the movie from any angle and watch along with a friend or family member.

Better yet, it also offers 512 GB of solid state drive storage space, which means you can store some of your favorite movies right on your laptop to watch again and again.

We also love the integrated graphic cards - with the built-in Intel Iris Xe Graphics GPU, you get crisp, stunning visuals, and no shuttering.

Plus, it’s got a good long battery life of up to 8 hours on a full charge. Moreover you can get a full charge after just 45 minutes, even if you run it down to zero.

It runs on Windows 10, so is very easy to use and comes with some basic apps already built-in.

If you do decide to buy this item, please be sure to select the option you want, as there are two different versions on the Amazon page.

Pros:

  • Large 15.6-inch screen
  • Excellent battery life & charge time
  • Full high definition screen resolution
  • Exceeds requirements for streaming movies
  • Plenty of storage space at 512 GB SSD

Cons:

  • Premium product at a premium price

RUNNER UP

Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK, 15.6' Full HD IPS Display, 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1, 8GB DDR4, 256GB NVMe SSD, Intel Wireless WiFi 6 AX201, Fingerprint Reader, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 Home

This is the most affordable option in our top 5 picks. But despite it’s relatively cheap price it still makes a great laptop for watching movies on.

The screen is a very nice size, coming in at 15.6 inches wide, and it has an excellent display resolution too, which is 1920 x 1080, or in other words full high definition (Full HD).

Better yet, it’s also an IPS display, which means you can watch your movie from any angle.

It also has a HDMI port, which means that, if you prefer, you can hook the laptop up to your TV and bring your movies onto a bigger screen.

It meets all the other requirements for streaming movies to watch, including the processing power provided by the 10th generation Intel Core i5, and including the 8 GB of RAM.

It has some other nice features too, like a fingerprint reader for security when you’re on the move, a webcam, and a backlit keyboard.

It runs on Windows 10 Home, which means all your apps are easy to access, and you get several built in apps.

The amount of storage space is good but could be better, but at least its SSD and not HDD.

The battery life is really good though - you could watch 3 movies one after the other without having to plug it in, provided it’s had a full charge first.

Pros:

  • Large 15.6-inch screen
  • Excellent battery life
  • Most affordable option in our top 5
  • Full high definition screen resolution
  • Meets requirements for streaming movies

Cons:

  • Not well suited for downloading movies, but perfectly fine for streaming them to watch

Best Laptops For Watching Movies Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide!

Downloading Movies Vs Streaming Movies

Streaming movies is super popular with those who, once they’ve watched a movie and know what happens, tend not to want to watch it again. You stream the movies over your wifi connection and they do not get stored on your laptop.

Downloading movies on the other hand is favored by those who like to watch their favorite movies over and over. The drawback to this however is that once you’ve downloaded them you have to store it somewhere.

But the good news is that this does not have to be directly onto your laptop. Instead you can keep the files on an external hard drive, that you only plug into your laptop when you want to watch one of your saved movies.

Screen Size

Most people like to watch their movies on as big a screen as possible.

Most traditional style laptops these days have a screen that’s about 15 inches wide, and that’s quite a good size for watching movies on your lap or on a table.

But in our top 5 picks, we also selected a laptop with a 17-inch screen, for those who prefer an even bigger screen.

If you were to go with a more portable laptop, say one that has a removable or fold-over keyboard, then you would have to sacrifice on screen size, since their usual screen size is only about 12 inches. This is why we didn’t include these in our top 5 picks.

Display Resolution

More important than screen size is screen resolution. The higher the resolution, the clearer the picture.

All of the screen resolutions in the laptops of our top 5 picks have a screen resolution of at least 1920 x 1080, which is the resolution required to watch movies in full high definition (Full HD). Anything above this is a bonus.

CPU

The CPU of a laptop is its processor, and the type of CPU used describes how much power it has.

If you want to stream movies over the internet, you will need a CPU of at least an Intel Core i5 or higher, or it’s AMD equivalent, AMD Ryzen 5 or higher. 

RAM

A laptop’s RAM is what enables it to carry out several tasks at once.

For a movie to run smoothly on a laptop you will need it to have a RAM of at least 8 GB.

Graphics Card

While graphics cards can be important for playing video games on a laptop, you don’t actually need a dedicated graphics card for watching movies.

This is because nowadays laptops come with much better integrated graphics cards than they used to.

However, when it comes to watching movies in HD, having a dedicated graphics card means it doesn’t need to skip frames in between which causes shuttering.

Battery Life

If you want to watch movies on the go, for example during a transit from one place to another, where you have no access to a plug socket, then you’ll want the battery to last at least as long as the journey there, if not also for the journey back too.

Most laptops these days will last 3 to 4 hours after a full charge, but many can do even better. That said, for most movies you’ll only need about 2 hours of battery life at the most.

Storage

If you’re going to be streaming movies, which is popular at the moment rather than downloading them, then you won’t need to save any movie files, and you will only need file storage for other files.

If however, you intend to download films to keep forever, then you will need a LOT of storage. While many movies often take up only 1 or 2 GB of storage space, some higher definition movies can require 20 GB of space or more!

So, if downloading movies is your thing we recommend laptops with plenty of solid-state storage  (SSD) because this isn’t as slow and clunky as more traditional storage, like on a hard disk drive (HDD).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it bad to watch movies on laptop?

It’s perfectly legal to watch movies on your laptop provided that you have obtained them lawfully. 

There are two main methods of obtaining movies you can choose to follow. Streaming movies is the most common. It is like renting.

You simply watch the movie over the internet via your wifi connection, but you don’t get to keep it. Streaming movies over the net usually  requires a paid subscription service. Examples include Netflix, and Amazon’s Prime Video.

Downloading movies to keep can be done on a laptop legally, and this may involve buying a move from apps such as Google Play. 

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