There’s no better way to kill some time than by watching a good movie. With a laptop, you can indulge yourself and your friends in fantastic cinema anywhere. If you’re in the market for a new laptop and want something specifically for viewing films, make sure you’re prioritizing the right features.
Laptop Specs For Watching Movies
There are a few important specs to consider when you want to buy your best laptop for watching movies. Even low-end laptops will have the processing power to play videos. What you want to consider is screen size, battery life, resolution, and weight. It’s also essential to think about your budget because there is an extensive range of prices.
- Screen size can be good either way, depending on your needs. If you travel often or need to bring your laptop with you regularly, something smaller might be better. On the other hand, a computer that won’t leave the house might give you a better movie-watching experience with a large screen.
- Battery life matters most if you want to use your laptop away from wall sockets. If you don’t think you’ll have access to a place to charge the computer, look for one with more battery life so that you don’t run out of power in the middle of a film.
- You want a screen resolution that can display your favorite movies in all their glory. If you mostly watch 1080p or lower content, you can buy a screen with a 1080p resolution. If you prefer 4K films, it might be better to purchase a screen with a higher resolution. However, remember that not all streaming content will always display at 4K, even if available. It often depends on whether your connection is strong enough to maintain the stream.
- Another thing to consider is what kind of display panel you want in your laptop. Consider looking for an IPS or OLED panel. They both have better color reproduction and viewing angles than a TN panel, which offers lower input lag and response times. That’s great for gamers, but movie watchers will definitely benefit from avoiding TN panels.
Best Laptop For Watching Movies
Your personal needs determine the best laptop for watching movies. It’s different for everyone. Consider whether resolution, weight, or battery life is more critical for you, for example, before making your choice.
- Resolution: 4K UHD
- Screen size: 15 inches
- Weight: Starting at 3.10 pounds
The Dell Latitude 9520 is a fantastic 4k laptop for anyone who prefers stunning visuals and excellent audio in one machine. Dell uses a technique called InfinityEdge to make the laptop have a 15-inch screen housed in the body of a laptop that would typically carry a smaller screen.
This laptop can be purchased as a standard laptop with the screen and keyboard in an inseparable body or purchased as a 2-in-1 with a keyboard that you can move behind the display, allowing it to be used more like a tablet.
The Latitude 9520’s display has 500 nits of brightness. The standard laptop has a 4K UHD display. It also features a low blue light screen that reduces the amount of blue light coming from the display while displaying bright and accurate colors. The laptop was designed from the ground up to create an epic screen for portable movie nights.
There are a few other features of the Latitude 9520 that might also interest you. For example, the standard laptop version has Gorilla Glass X, which helps reduce screen glare. Both versions also have intelligent audio with multiple speakers that fire from different locations to help you feel more immersed in the film.
- Resolution: 1080p / 900p
- Screen size: 17.3 inches
- Weight: 5.07 pounds
The Asus Vivobook M712 is a perfect value laptop for movie watching with a 17.3-inch display. You can choose what kind of screen you want, and I’d recommend upgrading to the 1920×1080 model if you’re serious about your films.
All of the screens you can choose from include anti-glare technology to help make it better to look at in different environments.
One problem with the Asus Vivobook is that it won’t last as long on battery power as others on the list. However, if you’re willing to plug in your laptop when you watch movies, it’s an excellent value for money. The large, bright screen and plentiful ports make it feel like an even more premium laptop.
- Resolution: 1080p
- Screen size: 15.6 inches
- Weight: 3.97 pounds
The Acer Aspire A515-44-R6TV is a great little laptop that clocks in under $500. In addition to the 1080p screen, it utilizes a small bezel to ensure that most of the real estate on the screen is taken up with the actual screen rather than part of the case. It runs for about 10 hours on the included battery.
This laptop uses a Ryzen processor that includes Vega graphics. It should keep up with even fast-paced and colorful movies. It’s bright, and the speakers are decent for the size. If you’re looking to save money and still have an excellent laptop for movie watching, consider the Acer Aspire.
- Resolution: 900p
- Screen size: 17.3 inches
- Weight: 5.24 pounds
The HP 17T is one of the few laptops with a DVD drive built right into the case. Few laptops have this anymore, even though it was a popular feature in the past. It means that you can just pop in a classic DVD and watch it anywhere without having to transfer other films onto your computer.
While the resolution of this laptop is a bit lower than most, it’s also less expensive than many laptops with higher-resolution panels. The screen is bright enough to let you watch movies even when you aren’t in dark environments, and the battery lasts long enough to give you time to finish your favorites.
It also has a larger screen than many other options, which is excellent if you prefer your movies on a big screen.
- Resolution: 1080p
- Screen size: 15.6 inches
- Weight: 4.41 pounds
One of the best things about the Lenovo Yoga 9I is its speakers. Many convertible laptops don’t have premium speakers, which can make for an underwhelming movie-viewing experience. The speakers can rotate in their soundbar, so the speakers will face you no matter which way you use the device.
Since the Yoga features Dolby Atmos Speaker System software, you have a lot of different presets for different audio environments — including gaming. It changes how the audio sounds to give you a better experience depending on what you’re listening to. It also has excellent bass.
On top of the great audio, the Yoga 9I offers a choice between a 4K and 1080p screen with good color coverage, various picture modes, and the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio. The only downside with this laptop is that it isn’t quite as bright as some of the other picks on the list, coming in at 500 nits.
- Resolution: 3456 x 2160 (3.5K)
- Screen size: 13.4 inches
- Weight: 2.46 pounds
Dell XPS 13 OLED is the best laptop for watching movies with a high contrast ratio because the screen is just so beautiful. The OLED screen delivers true blacks that help make pictures look deeper and more realistic. It also offers an FHD+ variant.
While 400 nits of brightness might seem low at first compared to some of the other picks, it didn’t need more. The 100,000:1 contrast ratio shines in colorful movies and games.If you prefer a different type of screen, you can order the laptop with a UHD+ display instead that increases the resolution.
However, for most movies, you’re going to be completely satisfied with the OLED screen — and possibly even more so, since it offers deeper and more true black colors. All screens come with Gorilla Glass 6 on this laptop to help protect against damage.
One issue with the XPS 13 is the small display size and non-standard resolution. If you’re looking to watch 4K content, this screen isn’t going to do the trick. However, it’s a great laptop for someone looking for a device on-the-go, since it’s small and light.
- Resolution: 3840×2160
- Screen size: 15.6 inches
- Weight: 4.23 pounds
The HP Spectre offers a lot of customization to give it exactly the amount of power you need. One of the options is a 4K UHD screen with BrightView and AMOLED technology. With 400 nits of brightness, it’s easy to see even in well-lit spaces. HP also says that the convertible laptop includes quad speakers custom-tuned by Bang and Olufsen, audio experts.
For a convertible laptop, the components pack a punch. It has lots of memory options and 10th generation Intel processors to choose from. The Spectre also has many neat quality-of-life features, including a webcam kill button and a switch to turn off the microphone.
- Resolution: 1920×1200
- Screen size: 10.1 inches
- Weight: 2.03 pounds
If you prefer the Chrome operating system, consider the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. In addition to the bright, colorful screen, the speakers aren’t bad for a laptop of that size. With 400 nits of brightness, you can watch movies in a lot of different environments.
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is also super portable, making it an excellent choice for traveling on trips or in the car. The battery lasts for more than 13 hours, meaning you can watch at least six average-length movies before having to recharge. On top of that, it’s small and light. It won’t be a burden to bring along.
While watching movies on a smaller screen might not feel as cinematic, the portability will more than make up for it.
- Resolution: 2560×1600
- Screen size: 13.3 inches
- Weight: 2.8 pounds
The Apple Macbook Air M1 is a little powerhouse of a machine, lightweight but still packing a high-capacity battery that delivers more than 20 hours of screen time, according to some reviewers. That means that you could take the laptop to work or school for an entire day and still have time to watch a couple of movies with your friends.
Also, the laptop does have a retina display with True Tone which should make for excellent colors in any movie you watch. While the Macbook Air 13 inch M1 might run for a long time, you’re not going to get 4K resolution from it.
Also, even the higher-end model only comes with 512 GB of storage so you might need to invest in external storage if you want to take a lot of movies with you when you’re away from home.
Is Watching Movies on a Laptop Bad For Your Eyes?
In general, you aren’t going to permanently damage your eyes by watching movies on a laptop. You want a clear picture, a bright screen, and to sit close enough that your eyes don’t have to struggle to focus. This means purchasing a laptop with a bigger screen can make it easier to see for some people.
If you notice that your eyes feel tired or you’re getting headaches, take a break from watching movies on your laptop. Try making sure that you’re not having a hard time focusing on what you’re watching.
If you want to make watching movies easier on your eyes, consider purchasing a laptop with a higher-resolution screen and prioritizing content filmed in a higher resolution.
Tablet Versus Laptop For Watching Movies
When it comes down to it, a laptop is better than a tablet for watching movies most of the time. The screens are larger, they tend to be brighter, and they have a built-in stand. Laptops also tend to have larger batteries and can run video and audio for longer.
However, tablets have an edge when it comes to portability. They’re light enough to throw in a bag, charge quickly, and don’t require anything beyond a USB cable to recharge.
If you aren’t sure which you prefer, consider a 2-in-1. It can function like a laptop but still be used as a tablet in a different configuration.