best budget laptop for watching movies

Finding the best Budget Laptop For Watching Movies and best budget laptops for video streaming can be hard if you’re unaware of what features to look for especially that there are so many of them to find around. For this reason, we’ve put up a guide highlighting the top best cheap laptop for streaming in the category.

Our team has researched and reviewed these products to help you come up with a better decision.

best cheap laptop for streaming

I genuinely think that laptops are the perfect device for watching movies on – far superior to phones, TVs, desktops, and projectors. Here are some of the reasons why.

Affordable

Watching movies at the theater gets expensive. The cost of tickets is at an all-time high, and a cinema trip will set you back around $9 each time, on average – and that’s not even considering snacks.

Watching movies on your laptop, on the other hand, is very affordable. You can watch as many as you like for the comparatively low cost of a Netflix subscription fee. And, in many cases, you can find movies to watch online for completely free.

Extensive On-Demand Movie Catalog

A laptop really opens up the world of on-demand cinema for you. You can choose from a huge back-catalog of movies, most of which you wouldn’t even be able to find in the cinemas. Between movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Hulu, and YouTube, you’re spoiled for choice.

Sufficient Screen Size

Have you ever tried watching a movie on your phone? It really is a sad experience. Mobile video viewing is just not good; the screen’s too small to fully appreciate all the cinematic detail that the director spent so much time getting right. With a laptop, you can watch movies on a screen big enough to actually enjoy it.

Projectable

If a laptop screen is still a little too small for your liking, you can always hook yours up to a TV or projector using an HDMI cable. That way, you can project your movies onto a bigger screen whenever there’s one available, and watch it on your laptop when there isn’t. 

More Portable

Unlike desktops and TVs, laptops are wireless and portable, so if you need a quick toilet break or snack-run in the middle of your movie, you can carry it to the kitchen or the bathroom with you without even having to click pause. You can watch movies anytime, anywhere.

Hands-Free

There’s a reason they’re called laptops. Laptops are built to fit nicely on your lap so you can watch movies hands-free. Holding your mobile phone or tablet up to eye-level when you’re watching a movie on it is exhausting – your hands get tired after a few minutes. This isn’t a problem with laptops.

Versatile

Laptops aren’t just for watching movies. You can use them for other everyday computing tasks and gaming too, which makes them very versatile.

Supported By Most Streaming Channels

Not all streaming platforms and video-on-demand services support all kinds of devices. There are some channels you can’t access on mobile, but almost all of them support laptop browsers.

Best Budget Laptop For Watching Movies

1. Apple MacBook Air

ON SALE TODAY

Apple 13' MacBook Air Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM...

Apple 13″ MacBook Air Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM…

  • 1.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Processor
  • Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • Fast SSD Storage
  • 8GB memory
Our Top Pick!
Processor1.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Processor
Display Resolution1440 x 900
Graphics/GPUIntel HD Graphics 6000
Screen Size13.3 Inches
Battery Life12 hours
Warranty1 year

The overall best laptop for watching movies (top pick) has to be the Apple MacBook Air. Like all Apple products, this laptop boasts excellent build quality and stunning visuals.

The MacBook Air has a 13.3-inch screen with a LED-backlit glossy widescreen display, which is small enough to make it very discrete and portable but large enough that you can still enjoy the movie and won’t feel like you’re squinting to see the detail.

It also features 1440p resolution, which is somewhat unusual and not something you often find on laptops – most laptops have a 1080p resolution. The resulting aspect ratio is a little more ‘square-ish’ than you might be used to, but a lot of movie-buffs actually prefer it.

Apple’s beautiful ‘Retina Display’ isn’t featured on this specific model but, if you really want it, you can purchase the latest MacBook Air model instead, which comes with Retina Display, for a slightly higher price tag.

When you buy this laptop, you also get that lovely Mac Operating System, which is great if you’re the creative type and want to use your laptop for creative tasks like video editing and graphic design when you’re not watching movies.

And of course, it might sound trivial, but MacBooks look cool too. There’s an unspoken prestige that is associated with having that little Apple icon on the back of your laptop. Call me pretentious if you want, but you know it’s true.

Good
  • Very lightweight & portable
  • Huge battery life
  • 8GB RAM
  • Mac OS
  • Great display & resolution
Bad
  • No retina display
  • Need to call to change the warranty

2. Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L

ON SALE TODAY

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full...

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full…

  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor (Up to…
  • 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen…
  • 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port, 2 USB 2.0 Ports & 1…
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Backlit Keyboard; Up to 7.5…
Best Budget Laptop For Watching Movies
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Processor
Display Resolution1920 x 1080
Graphics/GPUAMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics
Screen Size15.6 inches
Battery Life7.5 Hours
WarrantyN/A

Next up, we have the Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L. In my opinion, this is the best budget laptop for watching movies. If you don’t want to spend too much and you just want something affordable that does the job, this is the way to go.

At under $350, this laptop is an absolute steal. Sure, the processor isn’t exactly top-notch, the GPU leaves a lot to be desired, and there’s only 4GB of RAM in there. But we’re watching movies here, not data mining, so who cares?

Power and speed isn’t our top priority here, but the display and visual performance are – and that’s where the Aspire 5 stands out.

The IPS display brings the colors on the screen to life in full HD resolution, while the Acer BlueLightShield protects your eyes so that you don’t end up straining them during those all-night movie binges. The speakers sound pretty great, too, with excellent deep bass thanks to the Acer TrueHarmony sound system.

One of the best things about this laptop is the screen size. At 15.6 inches, it offers a lot of visual real estate already. But you also have to factor in the super-thin bezel (that’s the plastic thing that borders the screen), which means that even more of the screen space is viewable.

Good
  • Very thin bezel
  • Great display
  • Good sound performance
  • Extensive connectivity
  • Very affordable
Bad
  • Only 4GB RAM
  • Poor processor & GPU

3. Lenovo Flex 14

Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 14...

Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 14…

  • With a 1920 x 1080 Full HD touch screen…
  • Comprehensive, built-in, ongoing protection…
  • Convenient true block privacy shutter allows…
  • With the included active Pen, you can draw or…
Best 2 In 1 Laptop For Watching Movies
ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 3500U Mobile Processor
Display Resolution1920 x 1080
Graphics/GPURadeon Vega 8
Screen Size14 Inches
Battery Life8 Hours
WarrantyN/A

The Lenovo Flex 14 is, in my opinion, the best 2 in 1 laptop for watching movies. What’s a 2-in-1 laptop, you ask?

Well, it’s basically a convertible laptop with a touchscreen display, in which the keyboard folds back against the screen, so you can flip it over and use it like a tablet if the mood takes you.

This is useful when you’re watching movies as it makes it more portable and usable while you’re on-the-move. For example, if you’re somewhere with limited space (like on a plane) and you don’t have enough room to prop a laptop up on your knees, you can switch it to tablet mode and watch your movies on it that way instead.

Aside from that, something else worth mentioning is that the Flex 14 has a whopping 12GB RAM, which is pretty insane considering the price. You’ll struggle to find that much RAM on any other laptop under $600.

The maximum supported display resolution is 1080p, which is more than enough for most people. However, the AMD Ryzen Mobile Processor allows you to stream 4K movies by connecting it up to a TV or external monitor for when you want to watch your movies in the highest possible resolution.

I also like the ‘Rapid Charge technology,’ which can take your battery from completely dead to 80% in as little as an hour.

Good
  • Very powerful
  • 2-in-1 convertible
  • Highly portable
  • Rapid charge
  • Tons of RAM
Bad
  • Mediocre processor
  • Poor GPU

4. Omen By HP

Omen by HP 2019 15-Inch Gaming Laptop, Intel...

Omen by HP 2019 15-Inch Gaming Laptop, Intel…

  • Play the latest games, including Fortnight,…
  • 8th Generation intel(r) core(tm) i7-8750H…
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB GDDR5…
  • 16 GB DDR4-2666 SDRAM (upgradable with 2…
Best Laptop For Watching Movies And Playing Games
Processor4.1 GHz Intel Core i7
Display Resolution1920 x 1080
Graphics/GPUNvidia GeForce GTX 1060
Screen Size15.6 Inches
Battery Life6.25 Hours
Warranty1 year

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. The Omen is one of HP’s most popular ‘gaming laptops.’ It’s a bit of a jump up in price compared to the previous laptops on this list, but you get what you pay for – this laptop features desktop-class graphics performance.

It’s a super-powerful machine all round. The built-in 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H Processor is one of the best processors on the market, second only to the i9, and the 16GB RAM is more than enough for even the most demanding computing tasks. You can edit videos, stream movies, and play CPU-intensive games on this laptop with no problems whatsoever.

All that power, combined with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, makes this laptop ideal for gaming as well as watching movies. The GeForce GTX 1060 is an excellent GPU that’s capable of running the most CPU-intensive games without sacrificing performance.

Play all your favorites, like Fortnight, PUBG, and Overwatch, without losing out on performance or having to worry about frame rates.

If you’re someone who likes watching movies and playing video games, this one’s for you.

But enough about power, let’s talk about visuals. The Omen has an FHD, IPS, WLED-backlit screen that features anti-glare technology. The visuals are stunning from pretty much any angle you view it from, and the sound is awesome too.

The only small criticism I have is that I’d have liked to see even more battery life, but 6 hours and 15 minutes is still pretty good, all things considered. All in all, it’s a great machine and probably the best laptop for watching movies and playing games you’ll find anywhere.

Good
  • Amazing sound performance
  • Great for gaming
  • IPS Display
  • Super powerful
  • Great graphics card
Bad
  • Expensive
  • Average battery life

5. Razer Blade Stealth 13

ON SALE TODAY

Razer Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook Laptop:...

Razer Blade Stealth 13 Ultrabook Laptop:…

  • Performance for Work and Gaming: NVIDIA…
  • Designed for Mobility: Ultra thin, light and…
  • 4K Thin Bezel Touch Display: Visually…
  • Powered By Razer Chroma: Keyboard featuring…
Best 4k Laptop For Watching Movies
ProcessorIntel Core i7 processor
Display Resolution4K (3840 × 2160 pixels)
Graphics/GPUNVIDIA GeForce MX150 4GB graphics card
Screen Size13 Inches
Battery Life8 hours
WarrantyN/A

Next up, we have the Razer Blade Stealth 13, the best 4K laptop for watching movies. It’s actually the only 4K resolution laptop on this list, with superior color quality and cinematic clarity, so it’s the perfect choice for movie quality purists.

If you’re not familiar with the brand, Razer is a leading gaming laptop manufacturer, so they know how to make powerful laptops with incredible graphics performance. Gaming laptops are often ideal for watching movies as gamers prioritize great visuals too.

The Razer Blade Stealth 13 only weighs around 3 lbs, so it’s super lightweight. It also has a relatively small 13-inch screen, so it’s easy to take with you on the go.

Is 4K really necessary on a 13” screen? Probably not, but who cares? It’s still awesome. Plus, because the 4K resolution has to be squished down to fit in the small screen, the resulting pixel density is really high, which creates incredible crisp visuals.

But don’t be deceived by the small size, this thing packs a punch. It has a powerful i7 processor and a 4GB GeForce MX150 graphics card, so it’s capable of running CPU-intensive games and other tasks very smoothly too.

The build quality is excellent, the backlit keyboard looks fantastic, and the touchscreen is a nice additional touch.

Good
  • 4K resolution
  • Excellent build quality
  • Small bezels
  • Super powerful
  • Small and lightweight
Bad
  • Expensive
  • Not very loud speakers

6. Acer Aspire E 15

Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop, 15.6' Full HD, 8th...

Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop, 15.6″ Full HD, 8th…

  • 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor…
  • 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen…
  • 8GB Dual Channel Memory & 256GB SSD
  • Up to 15-hours of battery life.Adapter: 65 W
Best Laptop For Browsing And Watching Movies
ProcessorIntel Core i5-8250U
Display Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels
Graphics/GPUNVIDIA GeForce MX150
Screen Size15.6 inches
Battery Life15 hours
WarrantyN/A

If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, but still powerful, go for the Acer Aspire E 15. It’s a solid mid-range laptop that represents great value for money.

You’re making some compromises in exchange for that value. It doesn’t have the most storage space (256GB), and the bezels are kind of thick, but you’re getting a decent enough CPU and GPU, awesome speakers, and a nice display, all of which are much more important when it comes to watching movies. 

Plus, with the money you’ll save, you can buy a separate external hard drive to create some more storage space.

My absolute favorite thing about this laptop, though, has to be the battery life. It offers 15 hours of battery life, so it’ll last through even the longest flights. You can sometimes go for days without having to charge it up.

The i5 processor and GeForce MX150 GPU are sufficient for most computing tasks, so you’ll enjoy fast browsing speeds and shouldn’t run into any problems unless you’re doing really CPU-intensive stuff.

Good
  • Great value for money
  • Good CPU & GPU
  • Excellent sound performance
  • Superior battery life
Bad
  • Thick bezels
  • Low storage (SSD)

7. Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC,...

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop PC,…

  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7 9750H 6 Core…
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics with 6GB…
  • 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen…
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD…
Best Laptop For Watching Blu Ray Movies
ProcessorIntel Core i7 9750H 6 Core Processor
Display Resolution1920 x 1080
Graphics/GPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics
Screen Size15.6 Inches
Battery Life6 hours
WarrantyN/A

And last but not least, we have the Acer Predator Helios 300. This is one of the best laptops for watching blu ray movies and streaming HD videos.

It features an IPS display, which, as I mentioned earlier, provides superior viewing angles and color performance compared to other types of display panels. It also has a 3ms Overdrive response time which eliminates blur, so you get totally crisp, high-octane visuals when you’re watching movies or playing games.

The Predator Helios 300 is also VR ready, which might be good to know if you’re into watching virtual reality movies.

The Waves MAXXAudio technology also means the sound performance on this laptop is excellent. The speakers are loud, and the sound is highly immersive, so you’ll feel like you’re right there in the movie.

It’s also very powerful, thanks to the Intel Core i7 9750H processor, GeForce GTX 1660 GPU and 16 GB RAM. Those are some mightily impressive components when you consider the price. Overall, it’s an excellent mid-range laptop that won’t let you down.

Good
  • IPS display
  • Lots of RAM
  • Excellent sound performance
  • Powerful CPU
  • Good graphics card
Bad
  • Low storage space (256GB)
  • Average battery life

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