How to choose a laptop
for movies and TV

Top three things to consider

  1. Paying more for a quality screen
  2. Larger screens can be heavy – check size & weight
  3. Extra performance lets you watch and work
Pick Your Best laptop

In our ever-connected world a laptop is a great device for streaming video clips, TV programmes and movies. So, if you’re tucked up in bed bingeing on Netflix boxsets or you are sitting outside catching up with the latest gardening tips on the BBC iPlayer, this scenario is for you. You can of course use a smartphone, but a laptop has a bigger screen which makes for a better viewing experience but it’s still easy to move a laptop around – you can even download and watch movies on the train, which is slightly impractical with a full-sized TV!

Our Product Chooser matches laptops that are ideal for video with high quality screens 14” or bigger. Watching video alone doesn’t demand a powerful laptop, but if you are likely to want to do more than just watch you may need a better device. Be sure to use the slider for ‘performance’ when using Pick Your Best to match you to a higher performing laptop - read this as more expensive because the extra performance always costs a bit more!

If you have a stack of music CDs and DVD videos - be wary to that fewer devices today actually have a CD or DVD player built in. The demand for these has dropped with so many people subscribing to streaming services Netflix and Spotify – it also makes the laptop lighter and cheaper to manufacture. If you do want to keep using your shiny discs then you may need to budget for an external DVD drive which you can connect via a USB cable.

If you do want to watch video through a streaming service you will need a good broadband connection. If you plan to watch while tucked away in a rural holiday cottage you can download them before you go - a remote WiFi or free public WiFi connection is very unlikely to be as good as it is in the middle of a highly connected city. If you plan to watch on the journey itself check the device you are matched with has a good battery life. It can be difficult to accurately judge battery life because it really does depend on how you use the device. Just as with your smartphone, if you are only doing one thing it will last for hours longer than if you are watching a movie, while browsing the web for a new pair of trainers and chatting to all your friends on messenger all at the same time. However, that said some laptop devices do use the battery more efficiently than others, so it’s worth taking the time to check that before buying.