Who doesn’t love curling up and watching a good movie or box set! And for many of us, streaming a movie is hands down our most favorite use of our laptops.
You can watch your favorite movies over and over, and keep right up to date with the latest movies that are trending all for a small, reasonably priced Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription. And they’re usually free for the first few months too.
If you’ve been thinking of replacing your old laptop for a nice brand new one that can stream movies for you - you’ve come to the right place!
Since so many laptops these days are now up to the standard of being able to show movies, we’ll ensure you won’t be left out of pocket, and help you get good value for your money.
Below you’ll find reviews of our Top 5 picks, which we’ll follow up with a buying guide, and answers to your most frequently asked questions.
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Best Laptop for Streaming Movies - Comparison Table
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Best Laptop for Streaming Movies - Reviews
Here we’ve found you a great laptop with a big screen, this one is 15.6 inches wide.
It has a great screen resolution too, coming in at 1920 x 1080, so you can stream movies in full High Definition.
We also love it’s anti-glare properties, which mean you can still watch movies clearly in direct sunlight.
It has Lightning-fast Wi-Fi 5 (802. 11AC) to keep you connected through any interference or congestion. And where connectivity is concerned, it also has a HDMI port, so you can hook it up to a TV screen no problem.
It has a good CPU, which can function at up to 3.6 GHz, and has a nice 8 GB of RAM, so it’s fully equipped to stream movies, and you could have other programs running in the background at the same time.
It has a huge Solid State Drive too, and if you wanted to download a few movies as well as stream them, then you’ve got a whopping 256 GB of storage space where you can store them.
It has a top of the range integrated graphics card too.
In terms of using on the go, it’s really lightweight at only 3.5 pounds, and the battery lasts a good 3 to 6 hours. You don’t have to worry about missing the end of the film if you give the laptop a full charge first. That won’t take long though, it’s fast charging.
With it’s big 15.6 inch screen, and Fully High Definition screen resolution of 1920 x 1080, you’ll have a great time watching movies on this beauty!
Unlike the laptops in our Top 5, this one has a 360 degree flip and fold design, and it’s touch screen enabled too, so you can use it as a laptop one minute, and like a tablet the next!
It’s made with an Intel Pentium Quad-Core Processor, which goes Up to 2.5GHz, and there’s 4 GB of RAM, so it’s got all the power you need to stream movies. Intel is also the brand who made the integrated graphics card, so you can be assured you’re in safe hands.
It has 802.11ac wifi, so as long as you have a good broadband connection, you can watch your movie uninterrupted.
If you wanted to download a couple of movies (rather than stream), you’ve got 32 GB of storage space in it’s SSD drive.
Aa a Chromebook, it operates on the Chrome operating system, which is quite intuitive to use, and isn’t a whole lot different to Windows in terms of what it can offer you and do. Chromebooks are popular for featuring the Google Play Store which has a seemingly unending collection of apps you can install.
This is a great laptop for streaming movies!
It has good screen size for a laptop, coming in at 15.6 inches, and features a top notch display resolution at 1920 x 1080, so you get a fully High Definition screen.
The connectivity is good, with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and plenty of cable ports including HDMI, so you can hook the laptop up to a bigger screen such as a TV.
It doesn’t use an Intel Pentium processor, but we can assure you it’s CPU is up to the job of streaming movies because it has a speed of up to 3.5 GHz.
It comes with Windows 10 in S Mode, so you can be assured that you can get all the apps you could ever need.
When it comes to watching movies unplugged, you’re sorted because it’s got a really good battery life, of up to 7.5 hours after a full charge. You could watch 2 or 3 movies without plugging in!
It has 4 GB of RAM which is plenty, and there’s 128 GB of storage space on it’s solid state drive, so if you were downloading as well as or instead of streaming, you could store a mini library of movies!
It has a top of the range integrated graphics card too.
Here’s another great laptop with a great big 15.6 inch Full HD screen, and a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
With regards to connectivity the WiFi connection is 802.11b/g/n/ac (2x2), which is fine, but it has no HDMI port to hook the laptop up to a TV, but with such a big screen on the laptop anyway, this may not be an issue for you.
It’s CPU is an 8th Generation Intel Core i3, so it can handle streaming movies, no problem.
It’s integrated graphics card comes from Intel too, so you can be sure of quality.
It also has the necessary 4 GB of RAM you need, and also has 128 GB of storage if you wanted to download a couple of movies as well as stream them.
Unlike a traditional laptop, a Chromebook runs on the Chrome operating system, where all the Google apps you know and love come as standard. It also updates automatically, boots up in seconds and comes with built-in virus protection.
And if you don’t see the app you’re after when you first set up the machine, simply search for it in Google Play store, and download. Most Google Play apps are free.
Here’s another great laptop from Asus. With it’s big 15.6 inch wide screen, and full high definition display 1920 x 1080, you can have some serious fun streaming movies.
It has an Intel Core i3 CPU, and 8 GB of RAM, so it can handle your movie streaming no problem.
It’s connectivity is great, with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), and it has a HDMI port too, which is just what you need for hooking a laptop up to a smart TV.
It comes with Windows 10 in S mode, so you get features like built in virus protection, and automatic updates.
It’s lightweight, at just 3.5 pounds, and it’s lithium polymer battery means you can keep streaming for longer. Great for when you’re on the go!
If you wanted to download any movies rather than stream, you’ve got 128 GB of space in the Solid State Drive.
Best Laptop for Streaming Movies - Buyers Guide
Of course one of your first concerns will be the laptop’s screen. As for the size of screen you need to determine what is the most comfortable screen size for you.
Laptop screen sizes vary from the smallest at 11.6 inches to 17.3 inches at the larger end of the spectrum. As you're specifically looking for a laptop to watch movies on, we would recommend that you go for a laptop with screen size of at least 14 inches. All of the laptops in our Top 5 all have screens of 14 inch or bigger.
More important than screen size however is screen resolution. Display resolution measures the number of distinct pixels in each dimension, and is quoted as width x height, with the units in pixels. The higher the figures of the display resolution, the clearer the picture.
We would strongly recommend that you invest in a laptop with a screen resolution of at least 1920 x 1080, which is the display resolution synonymous with HD, or High Definition. Most new laptops will have this level of resolution, but please ensure that you check, you don’t want to be watching a grainy movie.
All of the laptops in our Top 5 have a resolution of at least 1920 x 1080
Some laptops now have 4K displays, which are really good, but cost a lot more. Their resolution is 3840 x 2160. This isn’t a vital consideration however, your movies will stream just fine on a 1920 x 1080 screen.
You can watch 1080 pixel video on a lower screen resolution than 1920 x1080, such as 1366 x 768, but you won’t see it in it’s Full High Definition potential.
Another thing to look out for is True Color, also referred to as 24-bit color, to ensure you get the full spectrum on your screen.
You should also look out for a laptop with a HDMI port. This will allow you to hook up your laptop straight to a TV set, for a more immersive, cinema like experience.
Another foremost consideration for buying a laptop to stream movies is connectivity. You can’t stream movies unless you have an internet connection. You'll need a good WiFi adapter in the laptop, and through it a good broadband connection.
For watching movies on a display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, you will need a broadband speed of 6 MB per second. If you wanted to stream your movie on a 4K screen on the other hand, you’ll need a broadband speed of at least 25 MB per second.
The CPU is the computer’s processing unit, and it basically determines how well the laptop works on the whole. CPU performance is measured in gigahertz, or GHz. The higher the CPU performance the better.
You may have heard of Intel Pentium who today are still the dominant brand for CPUs. They have a number of CPUs on the market, and for streaming movies, you’ll need Intel’s Core i3 processor at least, or their rival brand’s equivalent. Core i3 processors are most often found as dual-core, having two cores, and they’re available at multiple speeds from 1.30 GHz upwards.
RAM is the computer’s “working” memory, as opposed to it’s storage space. And this is important for streaming movies. Playing a movie is quite a taxing job for a laptop, so we would recommend that you go for a laptop with at least 8 Gigabytes of RAM, or at the bare minimum 4 Gigabytes.
Portability is a two fold consideration. First of all the laptop has to be sufficiently lightweight to take with you on your travels. Sure you can watch a movie on your smartphone, but wouldn’t you prefer a larger screen, like that on a laptop? The lightest laptops come at just under 4 pounds, so not too heavy at all, and they don’t tend to get a lot heavier than that.
And secondly, you’re after a laptop with a good battery life. You don’t want to get right up to the film’s climax, only to have the laptop shut down on you! These days it’s quite common for a laptop to have a battery life of 7 to 8 hours. Some Apple laptops have a battery life that’s longer still!
Hard drive storage isn’t particularly relevant for streaming, but if you were to start downloading movies, say from Google Play, then storage does come into it. Movies can take a lot of space on a laptop, with most movies at least 1 Gigabyte in size (that’s 1000 Megabytes). If you were to go down this route, we would recommend that you go for a laptop with at least 500 GB of HDD or SSD storage.
Alternatively if you wanted to collect a movie library, you would do well to invest in an external drive to hold all of your movies. It can also be used to back up any of your other files on your laptop. They typically start at 1 TB at the smallest, which works out at 1000 MB, and you can buy them on Amazon.
You won’t need a dedicated graphics card for streaming movies, the integrated graphics card within the laptop will do just fine.
frequently asked questions
Can you stream movies on a Macbook Pro?
You certainly can stream movies on a MacBook Pro. Here are some of the apps that you can stream movies on: Viewster, Popcornflix, Crackle, Snagfilms, Pluto TV, and Vimeo.
Can you stream movies on a Chromebook?
You can indeed stream movies on your Chromebook. You can watch Netflix through the Netflix website or the Netflix app from the Google Play Store. You can also watch movies or TV series using the Amazon Prime Video app, which lets you both stream or download. You can also download movies directly from the Google Play store.
Last update on 2021-01-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API