Back when laptops launched, they were serious work machines. They were bulky, did limited tasks, could only be used for work, and were too expensive as well. But things have changed NOW. These machines have gotten thinner, more powerful, affordable, and can also be used for entertainment purposes such as watching movies, listening to music, surfing the web, and live streaming the games!
Some laptops are perfect for these activities, and some are not. People can use any device from a smartphone to a high-end tablet to a laptop or a mid-range 2-in-1 machine when it comes to watching movies. All of them give an enjoyable movie-watching experience, but only some provide the best.
To help you get the best one, we have prepared a checklist of laptop specifications that every movie watcher should consider when getting a new laptop.
- Things To Consider (A Checklist for Cinephilia)
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- Best Laptops for Watching Movies in 2021
Things To Consider (A Checklist for Cinephilia)
- Display: Don’t go by the sales speak. Apart from a full HD screen, the only screen that will give you more satisfaction while watching a movie is a 4K Ultra HD panel. However, the size of the screen depends on the user’s comfort.
- GPU: Most laptops today, including low-budget ones, can run a movie nicely. But with a good GPU, you are sure that the picture is choppy and the movie viewing experience is smooth.
- RAM: Watching a movie on a laptop is a taxing experience for the laptop. You need to ensure that the laptop has at least 4GB of RAM. To run the films in all their glory, you need at least 8GB of RAM. You can go up to 16GB of RAM but 32GB of the same would be overkill.
- Lightweight: Once you start watching films on a big screen, watching them on the mobile phone doesn’t seem fun. So, you might be tempted to take your laptop whenever you end up traveling. Therefore, look for a thin and lightweight laptop.
- Good Battery: When you have a Full HD screen and a graphics card running, they take up considerable battery power. It would be best if you compensated for that with a bigger battery.
- Storage: The streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu offer a lot of options when it comes to streaming content. But a true moviephile will have situations where their favorite film won’t be available on those platforms. A high-quality movie file can be anything between 1GB to 8GB. So, it would be best if you had an HDD of at least 500GB.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
Trust us with the checklist? Jump to the list!
Although you already went through the checklist above, the below-listed specifications are just for your technical reference. We have divided them into two sections and are self-explanatory.
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||10th Gen Intel Core i3||10th Gen Intel Core i5 or better|
|Storage||256GB SSD or Dual Storage||512GB SSD|
|Display||13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|Graphics||Integrated Intel UHD 615||2GB NVIDIA GeForce MX250|
|Battery||Up to 5 hours||Up to 8 hours|
Best Laptops for Watching Movies in 2021
|Apple MacBook Pro|
|Acer Predator Helios 300|
|Lenovo Legion Y70|
|ASUS VivoBook 15|
|Dell Inspiron 15|
|Acer Aspire E15|
|Acer Chromebook 14|
Although, For now, you might want a laptop that can provide high-quality visuals while streaming or watching movies or TV shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime. But once you have it, you would want it to do a lot of other tasks such as browsing the internet, be able to run music production software like Ableton, FL Studio, Pro Tools, or even use it to write articles like the one you’re reading, etc. that’s why we’ve included a few high-end models too!
1. Best Overall: Apple MacBook Pro
The new and improved Apple MacBook Pro comes with a sophisticated Apple T2 security chip that keeps the system secure. The sophistication extends to the powerful processor, graphic unit and display. The MacBook Pro offers a stellar entertainment experience backed by smooth power-packed performance.
A six-core Intel Core i7 9th Gen processor with a clock speed of 2.6GHz is the MacBook Pro’s core strength. The AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics managed by Intel UHD Graphic 630 Processor plays a vital role in bringing the powerhouse to life. High definition videos or complex media editing or design software; the MacBook is capable of handling it.
The 16GB high-speed RAM and 4GB of Graphics memory is the core that ensures seamless rendering of high definition videos and smooth functioning of professional design software. The 512GB Solid-state drive is a substantial storage space unless you indulge in 3D modeling or civil engineering. For daily operations, the macOS Catalina is a joy to use. The sidecar feature enables the usage of the iPad as a second screen.
It is one of the rare large screen size releases of Apple MacBooks since 2012. The IPS powered 16-inch backlit LED retina display is extra-bright with a wide color gamut. The resolution of 3072 x 1920 pixels is high enough to justify and stands as a testament to Mac’s visual brilliance.
The MacBook Pro keyboard uses an efficient key placement mechanism to keep the typing comfortable. The touch bar comes with additional shortcuts, while the touch id offers a quick authentication process. The force touch trackpad is sensitive to multiple touch and gestures to keep keystrokes as minimum as possible.
At 4.3 pounds, the Mac tilts to the heavier side, justified by its heavy-duty hardware. Despite the increase in the screen size, the increase in the laptop size is hardly noticeable. Apple sticks to its simple, yet classic design. Even if it comes with four multipurpose Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack, the lack of other ports makes it necessary to get adapters to use older accessories.
The 96 WH battery brings a lot of battery backup to its much necessary high performing laptop. The high-resolution retina display screen with exceptional brightness, a six-speaker system with dual force canceling woofers bring the best out of the powerful graphics processing unit and takes the movie viewing experience to a whole new level.
- Six core Processor
- 16-inch Retina display with True Tone tech
- AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics
- Six speaker system
- Ample Battery life
- No SDcard Slots
- No Wi-Fi 6
2. Best Gaming Laptop: Acer Predator Helios 300
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is one of the few laptops that offer a Dolby Audio experience, that gives a clear, crisp sound, whether it’s games, movies, or listening to music.
It also has two USB 3.2 Type-A ports and 2 USB 3.x port, one Type-C 3.2, and one Type-A 3.2. Other ports available are an SD card reader and an ethernet port. The machine has a whopping 16GB of RAM but only 256GB SSD.
There’s a newer model available, but if you are looking for something to watch your favorite movies and series, this one is worth the price. Spruced up with 16GB, the Predator is good enough for anything that you throw at it, including streaming high definition content.
It is armed with an i7 and has a 15.6-inch FHD screen. The LED-backlit is an IPS display. It is sharp and gives a great display quality along with bright color tones. The graphics card, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, does a great job handling the heavy graphics.
This laptop is a little bit of an overkill for watching movies, but if you are looking for some device that does the job of playing games as well as watching movies, this is it. The display is standard and doesn’t stand out in this range and price. It could have done with a little more brightness!
- Powerful processor
- Solid graphics card
- Host of connectivity ports
- Ample RAM
- Underwhelming display
3. Best 17-inch Laptop: Lenovo Legion Y70
The Lenovo Legion Y70 is another big daddy of laptops when it comes to watching movies. The laptop sports a 17.3-inch FHD screen with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor. The bezels are thin, and it makes for good viewing, but some machines offer thinner bezels. The display is bright and reproduces colors beautifully.
It has 16GB RAM that makes it an excellent machine for streaming as well as running movies locally. It also has a discrete GPU, which is a great help while streaming movies or watching them locally in high definition.
For ports, the laptop has a USB-C, USB 3.1, and an HDMI port. So, the user has enough connectivity options for connecting an external drive or connect the laptop to an external projector.
- Big, FHD and bright screen
- Good RAM capacity
- Good processor
- Mediocre battery life
4. Best for Movies & Work: ASUS Vivobook 15
The ASUS Vivobook 15 offers impressive specs that are just perfect for movie viewers and professionals working from home. The screen is a 15.6-inch FHD one. The NanoEdge bezels mean there’s a lot more real estate for the display, which is good news for the movie viewer. The screen to body ratio is 88 percent on this one.
The machine also offers moderate storage, which is again good news for those looking to download and store entire film franchises and series. The 512GB SSD is good enough to store a couple of films and series in high quality.
The unique feature here is the fingerprint sensor. Apart from that, the ports are USB 3.1m Type-C and type A, along with an HDMI port.
- FHD screen
- Thin and Light
- Enough RAM
- Fingerprint reader
- Below par display
- Battery life not up to par
5. Best with Dual Storage: Dell Inspiron 15
This Dell Inspiron 15 works on an i5 processor and has a full HD 15.6-inches display with touchscreen support. The display is not precisely bezel-less, but the side bezels make for more viewing real estate.
The brightness and color reproduction is standard for the budget. For storage, there’s a 512GB SSD and 1TB of HDD. For ports, it has 1 2.0 USB ports along with 2 USB 3.1 ports. It also has an HDMI port and an ethernet port as well.
The volume system is pretty good for the budget. It is quite balanced and does an excellent job of entertaining the user. So if you love watching movies without your headphones plugged in then believe us, you’ll love the sound quality too!
The build is strong and it is pretty portable. This is mostly made of plastic but looks robust. The laptop is sleek and is easy to pass off in a backpack. There’s extra security in the form of a fingerprint scanner.
- Large display
- Narrow bezels
- Fingerprint reader
- The plastic build makes it look cheap
6. Best Under Budget: Acer Aspire E15
The Acer Aspire E15 is a winner right off the bat with its full HD screen that offers crisper, fuller video. The display is an LED. The 6GB is good enough to stream as well as run a video in all its glory. 1TB in a laptop is a bit of an overkill, but you will need it if you plan to download those entire seasons in high resolution.
The device, along with the DVD drive, offers two USB 3.0 ports and one USB Type C 3.1 port. The user can connect an external hard drive to the device. It also has an Ethernet port, which gives you the needed data speeds to download entire episodes.
The two stereo speakers make this a good media machine. The cherry on the top is the DVD drive, which completes the package for a movie lover. We would have loved a Blu-Ray disc player, though.
Coming to the build, it is bulky and not easy on the eyes. This is not the most portable device out there. In an era of nano bezels, the thick bezels stand out but don’t reach eye-sore levels.
- FHD screen, sharp and crisp
- DVD Drive
- Ethernet port
- Large capacity HDD
- Tinny speakers
7. Best Chromebook: Acer Chromebook 14
Chromebooks are becoming increasingly popular as budget do-it-all laptops. The Acer Chromebook 14 joins that list. It sports an Intel Celeron with a 14-inch FHD display screen. The screen, though a large one and with FHD, is quite dull. However, this is one of the largest display laptops that run on the Chrome OS.
The build is robust and pleasantly different from the previous model. The 100% metal build makes it sturdy and durable enough to be carried out. The laptop looks chick with rounded corners and a hairline brushed finish. All in all, this one doesn’t look like a cheap machine.
The metallic look is cool and passes off in the boardroom as well as the coffee shop. For ports, it has 2 USB 3.0 ports and one HDMI port. The HDMI port allows you to connect it to a projector.
An interesting aspect is that the Chromebook supports Google Play. So, you get to download and use your favorite Android apps and on a bigger screen.
- Full HD
- Sporty and light
- Robust build
- 16 GB eMMC
- Old, low powered processor
These are the laptops currently in the market, perfect for movie viewing. The MacBooks score over the others with their Retina Display, portability, and their sleekness. They are known for their battery life as well, so portable viewing is not a problem.