If you’re looking for best laptops for watching movies or live streaming video online, here are the specifics regarding the laptops for multimedia you own or are considering acquiring. With all of the advances in the laptop industry, there are plenty of people who are looking at them as more than just a computer but also as a portable entertainment device as well.
This has been heavily fueled by the number of companies who are including some great features that really take advantage of the portable nature of a multimedia notebook.
Best Laptop for Multimedia – Things to Consider
From the simple features to those that are a bit more extreme there are plenty of things that you should consider when picking a laptop for multimedia.
- Your first step should be looking at the screen. No amount of features is going to make you happy if the screen you are working with is so tiny that it cannot help you at all. You should look for a notebook that is at least 15 inches so that you have an adequate viewing area. Consider this compared to the fact that most people have the smallest television in their home at 19 inches and you are still looking at a small screen, but it is much better than some of the 12-inch micro versions available.
- Another key feature that is really a requirement for a laptop is the ability to have an optical drive. At the very least, you need a DVD-ROM optical drive so that you can enjoy movies. Companies such as HP are including their special software on their laptops that can actually allow you to watch movies, without being forced to boot the entire operating system as well. This is a great benefit and can allow you to start watching movies quite quickly. However, if you are looking at a laptop that does not have a DVD-ROM optical drive as a minimum, you may want to avoid the model since it is likely quite out of date.
- You are also going to want to see what key features are included in the multimedia notebook that will enable you to quickly use it for your needs. For example, HP offers two headphone jacks on the front of their laptops so that two people can both plug up headphones to watch and hear the movie. Apple laptops include a remote control so that you can easily and quickly change tracks, fast forward, rewind and start the movie over.
- These are features that may seem quite small and trivial but they are actually quite useful when you are using the laptop a lot. You are also going to need to look at the graphics card that is included on the laptop. While any computer can play a movie that has a DVD-ROM drive at a minimum, the graphics card will often determine how well the picture quality compares to other portable DVD players as well as your player at home.Look for something that delivers a nice crisp picture and ensure that you ask exactly what card is inside and specifically about performance while playing games and movies to ensure you get the best multimedia laptops available.
Top Rated Laptops for Watching Movie
As watching movies or videos online is becoming even more prevalent these days, you are sure to look for a quality laptop for live streaming video and watching movies that supports your needs and whims. Your options are wide if you have some $1,000 to spend—or perhaps even more than that.
You can afford the most sophisticated device ever designed out there. However, if budget becomes some sort of concern for you, you are probably struggling to find a streaming laptop that is at least decent enough for this specific purpose.
When you are faced with budget constraints, finding a streaming laptop with capable hardware while avoiding poor screen quality and subpar battery life is something that takes time, probably more than what you can afford.
You can work around this limitation quite conveniently, actually—that is, if you know what to use as benchmarks in measuring a device’s capacity in supporting your needs. In doing so, you can sort matters out and pare your options down to just one that is perfect in every regard.
Getting to know all the essentials that make a laptop the perfect tool to stream videos online, you would be able to pick one that does not drain your money so much. Processor is the first thing that determines a laptop’s ability to play a video smoothly.
And frankly speaking, a good processor is all there is to find on a laptop, nothing fancy. In this case, you can divide laptops based on the kind of processors they use. The best processors to find on a laptop are the non-U series i7 processors (MQ, HQ, and HK).
The worst processors, on the other hand, are Intel Atom, Celeron, and Pentium. However, the i5 and i3 processors as well as AMD A line are enough to support the laptop when it plays a video. Processors aside, storage is another factor you need to take into account when choosing laptops for this purpose.
Netflix or Hulu Plus doesn’t require a laptop to store files before running the videos. As such, you don’t need a laptop with too big a storage size. To put it simply, storage size plays little to no part in streaming videos online. It does, however, have a pretty big role in storing videos you have downloaded.
After learning about these things, you may want some examples as a guide of sort. Below are top 3 laptops suitable for video or movie streaming:
Top 3 Laptops for Video Streaming
- Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ
General specs: 9h 30min of battery life – 11.6” IPS screen with 1366 x 768 resolution – 16 GB SSD – 2GB RAM – HD Graphics – Celeron N2840 processor
If you’re on a tight budget, this streaming laptop could perhaps be your preferred buy. While its specs are not that reassuring (chiefly, that processor), for a laptop in this range of price, the Acer Chromebook is still capable of tackling your needs.
- Toshiba Chromebook
General specs: 7h 30min – 13.3” IPS 1920×1080 – 16 GB SSD – 4GB RAM – HD Graphics – Celeron N2840
Comparing its price to the specs it boasts, this is perhaps the perfect laptop for video streaming that you are searching for.
- ASUS VivoBook E403SA-US21
General specs: 9h – 14” 1920×1080 – 128 GB SSD – 4GB RAM – HD Graphics – Pentium N3700
VivoBook’s screen doesn’t feature IPS technology, which results in its rather underwhelming brightness.
Laptop for Watching Movies that are Worth Buying
Quality screen should be on top of your priority when it comes to finding the best laptops for streaming video or movies. You cannot expect enjoying the presentation with a screen that is not easy on the eyes.
It is suffice to say that good screen is an essential part that laptop must possess in order that it can satisfy you. A good laptop should have Full HD resolution (or equals to 1080p) at the very least. Laptops with this screen technology can cost upward of $370.
If this is too much for you, you can settle with HD laptops with lower resolution such as one that has 720p resolution. Others higher than 1080p (such as QHD or 4K) are not necessarily important as most movies have up to 1080p resolution anyway.
The screen panel itself should be of IPS technology. IPS screens excel at contrast and viewing angles. Brightness is another thing you need to consider. Bright screen isn’t necessary as you would probably spend your time watching movies indoor, after all—unless of course it’s the other way around.
The matter of contrast and color gamut can be skipped entirely. These factors are important for those who use their laptop for work related to something that requires color representation that is accurate. Getting a streaming laptop with touchscreen technology could be of great help, especially when you want to zoom in on certain scenes.
Portability of the laptop in question is also important. This covers battery life and weight. In the case of battery life, it ties closely with the length of the cord. As you watch the movie, your laptop is drained of its power.
The moment the laptop needs recharging, you would want to plug the cable in. This is a nuisance as having your fun moment interrupted is not something you (or anyone else) would expect. Therefore, never settle with a laptop whose battery life is questionable.
The weight of your laptop also plays into how convenient you will be while watching a movie. A heavy laptop would not be convenient to move around while an extremely lightweight laptop may be too fragile for frequent moves. As for the laptop’s video card, you should not worry too much.
Any laptops installed with modern graphic chip should work well pretty much for every purpose. To give you a better and clearer picture about this matter, below are 3 recommended laptops for movie streaming:
- Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G
Gen. specs: 9h – 15.6”1920×1080 – 250 GB SSD – 8GB RAM – 940MX 2GB – i5-6200U
This streaming laptop is perfect for a balance in fun and work. Its screen lacks the IPS technology, though, but its performance is overall satisfying.
- Asus Zenbook Flip UX360CA
Gen. specs: 6h 30min – 13.3” touch IPS 1920×1080 – 500 GB SSD – 8GB RAM – HD 515 – M3-6Y30
Zenbook Flip’s processor can be compared to either i3 or i5. It is design for efficient power consumption and low heat production.
- Apple MacBook Air MMGG2LL/A
Gen. specs: 10h 30min – 13.3” IPS 1440×900 – 250 GB SSD – 8GB RAM – HD Graphics 6000 – Core i5
If you are an Apple fanboy, the MacBook Air is the standard device that supports convenient movie-watching. While its battery life is exceptional and its memory is super-great, it lacks the sophistication of higher resolution.