Streaming movies and TV shows all the time? A laptop with a good display and powerful speakers is the ideal content consumption platform for when you’re on the go.
And today we’ve compiled a list of the top 7 laptops for streaming content from sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.
Our top pick for the best movie/ streaming laptop is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme. It has one of the best 4k IPS displays, and supports Dolby Vision HDR 500.
Read on to learn more about the X1 Extreme and other laptops that we chose. Also, check our laptop buying guide to know more.
Here is the list of 7 best laptops for streaming and watching movies:
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
- MacBook Air (512GB model)
- Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK
- Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED YB
- Lenovo IdeaPad S940
- ASUS VivoBook F512JA-AS54
- MSI Creator 15 A10SEV-001
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme
A display that is color accurate to the point where you can do professional photo editing work on it, and bright enough to shine through even in broad daylight.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme is what you get when you design a business laptop for creative professionals who want the best performance without compromising on display quality or portability.
It supports the Dolby Vision HDR 500 standard which means you can enjoy 4k Blue Ray HDR content from external sources like a disk.
It can also stream HDR content from Netflix and Amazon Prime, although both sites still have mostly non-HDR content.
HDR means your display can dynamically adjust brightness in different parts of the screen. Light sources and shadows will appear much more realistic and you get images with more punch to them. Images will have a wider range of colors and highlights look brighter.
Of course, you can’t enjoy HDR content unless you have a HDR capable display, which is why the ThinkPad X1 Extreme gets our recommendation for serious movie fans who also own 4k Blue Ray media at home.
- Dolby Vision HDR 500 support
- 4k IPS panel with excellent colors and viewing angles
- 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor with 6 cores and 12 threads, perfect for both content consumption and creation
- NVIDIA GTX 1650 dedicated graphics
- 16GB of RAM so you can use the laptop for gaming, 3D modelling, drawing, and more
- Windows 10 Pro preinstalled
- 1TB PCIe NVMe storage drive
- Excellent built-in audio
- Premium design with high quality materials (for instance the 3D textured carbon fiber lid)
- Plenty of ports like USB Type C, HDMI out, SD card reader, etc.
- Battery life can suffer if you’re doing intensive work like gaming, rendering, etc.
- Fingerprint sensor is located in a weird spot (not on the power button or trackpad)
- The trackpad itself is a bit too narrow
MacBook Air (512GB model)
The MacBook Air has always been an excellent streaming/ movie laptop. It has an excellent Retina display, loud and clear speakers, great battery life, and a snappy processor- pretty much everything you could ask for from a streaming machine.
The only downside we can think of is the small 13.3 inch display which isn’t ideal if you want to share content with your buddies.
But if you just need a machine onto which you can stream and download movies for viewing at home or while travelling, this is ideal. It doesn’t take up much space, has an excellent keyboard so you can use it for work.
And the speakers ensure that you listen to every song and line of dialogue with utmost clarity. We chose the 512GB model because it has just the right amount of storage for people who want to keep movies and songs locally, on their laptop(comes in handy if you’ve got bad internet).
- 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor can handle multitasking and light productivity
- 8GB of RAM is more than enough for streaming, casual gaming, and photo editing
- Retina display means you get very high pixel density, resulting in super sharp images
- Excellent color accuracy and viewing angles
- Speakers that don’t sound too tinny or muddy as you crank up the volume (plus the bass is quite good by laptop standards)
- 512GB of PCIe NVMe storage
- Thin and light chassis made from strong aluminum alloy
- Long all-day battery life
- The screen is only 13.3 inches, so it isn’t ideal if you want to watch movies together with friends
- There is no ethernet port, so you’ll need a dongle if you want to use wired internet from the wall
Acer Aspire 5 A515-55-56VK
If you want the best laptop for movies but are on a strict budget, this little Acer is the ideal choice.
It has a decent 1080p IPS display which doesn’t compare to the high end IPS panels on more expensive laptops like the Razer Blade or Dell XPS. Still, it’s more than enough for casual movie streamers who just want a basic, no-frills device.
The battery life is not super high, but you can easily browse the web for a couple hours and watch 2 to 3 movies on a single charge.
The keyboard is also not bad for the price, and the build quality feels tough enough to sustain a few knocks and light drops. It has a good CPU in the 10th generation Intel Ice Lake Core i5-1035G1 and general responsiveness is there thanks to a 256GB NVMe SSD.
- Ideal for streaming 1080p content from Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, Twitch etc.
- Pricing is ideal if you’re a student or small business owner on a budget
- The 10th generation Ice Lake processor and 256GB NVMe SSD makes it feel responsive and snappy
- Good speakers (for the price)You can easily write articles in MS Word and do some spreadsheets in Excel, thanks to the full-sized backlit keyboard
- Good selection of ports with a reversible Type-C connector and HDMI output (you can connect an external display)
- Wi-Fi 6 for the best in high speed wireless internet
- Fingerprint reader for quick yet secure unlocks
- The included 256GB SSD is fast for sure, but a bit on the smaller side (not an issue if you have all your media on the cloud and primarily stream content such as movies)
- Sometimes while watching movies or working with 3D content the fans ramp up and get quite loud
Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED YB
Honestly, the processor and graphics seem a bit overkill for a content streaming laptop.
Because unless you’re the one creating content, you don’t need a Core i9-10980HK and RTX 2080 Super Max-Q graphics.
This is the kind of muscle that allows you to play the latest games in 4k and stream them to Twitch at high bitrates simultaneously.
However, the beefy specifications also include a superb X-Rite Pantone certified 15 inch OLED 4K panel which boasts a Delta E under 2.
Plus, it meets the VESA Display HDR 400 standard. So you can watch 4k HDR content on this machine (or play AAA games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider with HDR enabled).
And if you’re a creative professional making content for Youtube or editing photo/ video for a company, this is a dream machine.
- Intel 10th generation Core i9 processor with 8 threads and 16 threads
- Extremely powerful NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super GPU (Max-Q) variant
- An insane 32GB of RAM
- 512GB NVMe SSD
- Pantone validated 4K OLED panel with VESA Display HDR 400 support (each display is individually calibrated from the factory by trained technicians)
- Windows Hello fingerprint login
- Battery life drops like a rock once the dedicated GPU is used
- Massive power adapter
- Comes with some bloatware
Lenovo IdeaPad S940
It is a slightly older model with a 8th generation Intel processor and just a 1080p display. But this is a really good machine purely in terms of features and build quality.
For instance, the display isn’t spectacularly high in terms of resolution, but it has really good color accuracy.
And the bezels are very thin, which gives it a very sleek and non-distracting look that feels more immersive if you’re watching movies.
The processor is an 8th generation Intel chip. But it is an i7, so there will be no trouble in terms of performance.
Even if you’re gaming or creating content on this machine. Its only downside is the relatively small 256GB NVMe SSD, but this can be remedied with a quick storage drive swap.
You also won’t get 802.11ax Wi-Fi but you can purchase an AX200 adapter and solve that issue.
- 1080p IPS panel with really good colors and super thin bezels
- Viewing angles are really wide making this a great display for sharing movies and videos with friends
- 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor
- 400 nits brightness
- AI system and IR camera plus wake-on voice
- USB Type C
- Thin & Light aluminum chassis
- The storage needs an upgrade down the line as it’s just 256GB by default
- No 802.11ax Wi-Fi
- No Ethernet port
ASUS VivoBook F512JA-AS54
Another budget contender, this is designed to go up against Acer’s highly popular Aspire 5 lineup. Plastic body and a slower processor aside, this is actually a pretty decent thin and light machine.
Its FHD IPS display won’t blow you away. But the color accuracy and viewing angles are good enough for watching your favorite Hollywood blockbuster on a weekend.
It isn’t slow by any means, don’t let the cheap price fool you. This VivoBook is comparable to a lower end Apple MacBook Air in terms of speed, in fact it surpasses most MacBook Air configurations because of the superior cooling capacity.
The Intel 10th generation Ice Lake Core i5 quad core is plenty for your average user. It can do spreadsheets, video/ photo editing, light gaming, and much more.
- 88% screen to body ratio with a 4-way NanoEdge bezel
- FHD IPS display
- 10th generation Core i5 processor
- ErgoLift keyboard for comfortable typing experience
- Backlit full size keyboard
- Fingerprint reader integrated into large trackpad
- Almost all the ports you need- Type C, Type A, micro SD reader, HDMI out, 3.5mm headphone jack
- The onboard audio isn’t very good so you might want to consider a decent pair of headphones
- No Ethernet port
- Wi-Fi 5 instead of 6
MSI Creator 15 A10SEV-001
A display with 100% Adobe RGB coverage and Delta-E under 2 is perfect for content creation. But it is also excellent for content consumption, like watching 4k Blue Ray movies on the go.
The MSI Creator 15 was designed to meet the demanding requirements of professional artists, but the very same traits make it a great choice for anyone who wants the best streaming laptop.
It packs a 8 core Intel 10th generation processor and NVIDIA RTX 2060 graphics, so you know this laptop can excel in workloads that involve 3D design or rendering.
It is also a great laptop for light gaming and pretty much functions as your all-in-one media powerhouse thanks to a massive 1TB NVMe storage drive.
There is 32GB of RAM, so you can rest assured this laptop will run smoothly for at least another 4 to 5 years.
- Excellent 4k thin bezel display with 100% Adobe RGB coverage
- Intel 10th generation 8 core processor
- RTX 2060 graphics
- 1TB NVMe storage
- 32GB of RAM
- Windows 10 Pro
- Premium build quality
- Thin & Light design
- Lots of ventilation on all sides results in a quiet laptop with good thermals
- Subtle, understated design that looks sleek and professional
- Comes with MSI bloatware like Creator Center
- The Webcam is only 720p despite this being a premium laptop targeted at creative professionals
How To Select The Best Laptop For Streaming?
The best streaming laptop doesn’t have to be super high end like many of the machines we’ve listed in our article.
You need to purchase a laptop which balances performance, display quality, portability, battery life, and sound quality while staying within your budget.
And there are some cheap options from Acer, Dell, HP, ASUS, etc. which all come in under 700 dollars and deliver a good 1080p IPS display along with SSD storage.
The most important thing in a streaming laptop is of course its display, since you’ll use it primarily to consume multimedia content such as movies and music videos.
If your display is under 1080p resolution, it won’t function well as a movie laptop. And a TN panel won’t do you any favors either, especially in an age where even the most basic home laptops pack FHD IPS panels.
IPS vs TN
IPS has superior color accuracy, vibrance, and viewing angles compared to TN.
The main advantage TN has over IPS is cost.
And its pixels react faster so there is less smearing, which comes in handy if you’re in need of a high refresh rate gaming display.
But for movies which run at 25 to 30fps you don’t want high refresh rate or super fast pixel response times.
You want a color accurate display with good brightness and viewing angles.
Good built-in audio is a must have for any laptop you purchase with the intent of viewing movies on it.
It doesn’t have to be some fancy 5.1 setup, even a basic 2 speaker stereo setup can work wonders.
If you want good audio, check out Apple, Dell, and Lenovo. Premium laptops tend to have better audio, with the exception of business oriented machines.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hope this article provided you with the information you need to purchase your streaming laptop.
What is the best laptop for streaming/ movies? The answer varies for each individual. Some like bigger screens and don’t mind 1080p resolution. Some want a movie laptop that doubles as a workstation PC.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme is the ultimate combination of power, portability, screen quality, and battery life. While it doesn’t look very stylish and is essentially a business machine, the hardware is so good we couldn’t help but crown this laptop as our number 1 choice.
It has one of the best displays we’ve ever seen on a Windows machine and is built really well. There are plenty of ports so you can connect external displays, and the Dolby Vision HDR 500 display lets you enjoy 4k HDR content.