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Best Laptops for Watching Youtube and Netflix [2020 Review]

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YouTube and Netflix are probably two of the most popular video streaming platforms on the net. However, to get the best experience, you need a good laptop. That is why we did plenty of research to help you find the best laptops for watching YouTube and Netflix. 

Our Top Laptops for Watching YouTube and Netflix 

Below are some of our top recommendations for YouTube and Netflix. 

Brand
Best Overall
LG gram
Best for the Money
New Apple MacBook Air
Best Cheap Pick
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Product
LG gram Thin and Light Laptop - 15.6" Full HD IPS...
New Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD...
Microsoft  Surface Laptop 2 (Intel Core i5, 8GB...
Processor
8th Gen. Intel Core i5
10th-generation Intel Core i3
Intel Core 8th Gen i5 or i7
RAM
8GB
8GB
8GB
Rating
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
LG gram
Product
LG gram Thin and Light Laptop - 15.6" Full HD IPS...
Processor
8th Gen. Intel Core i5
RAM
8GB
Rating
-
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
New Apple MacBook Air
Product
New Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD...
Processor
10th-generation Intel Core i3
RAM
8GB
Rating
-
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Product
Microsoft  Surface Laptop 2 (Intel Core i5, 8GB...
Processor
Intel Core 8th Gen i5 or i7
RAM
8GB
Rating
Price

Best Overall Laptop for Watching Youtube and Netflix: LG gram

LG gram Thin and Light Laptop - 15.6' Full HD IPS...

This iteration of LG’s gram looks relatively similar to previous models from the outside, with few changes in specifications. LG is riding on the premise of the gram line being light and thin, which is true for this laptop.

Best of all, the machine provides up to 19 hours of battery life, without compromising on performance or being excessively heavy because of a large battery.

This reasonably ultraportable laptop boasts one of the best battery life ever documented. The LG gram is quite sturdy thanks to its nano carbon magnesium chassis that looks beautiful as well. Its simple and clean design is also complemented by the thin bezels surrounding the 15.6-inch full HD (1080p) display.

Weighing less than 2.5 pounds, the Gram is great for on the go productivity. The backlit full keyboard is tactile and its trackpad is responsive, supporting up to four-finger multi-touch gestures. The IPS panel looks great and can get remarkably bright to make outside use possible while watching YouTube and Netflix.

Despite the laptop’s relatively small volume, it nevertheless contains a generous number of ports including a USB-C, 3 USB 3.0, and HDMI to connect to an even larger HD display.

The internals doesn’t disappoint either, its 8th generation Core i5 processor is good enough to easily take care of most tasks. It ships with 8 GB RAM and a fast 256 GB SSD, both of which you can easily upgrade. 

The LG gram grants you the freedom to be completely untethered to wall outlets all day while watching movies and browsing lightly. Because of its durable design, full HD screen, lightweight, and amazing battery, this laptop is worth every penny.

What We Like 

  • Backlit full keyboard
  • Full HD 15.6-inch panel
  • A bright and colorful display
  • Astonishing battery life

What We Don’t Like 

  • Only available with Intel’s UHD Graphics 620
  • No fingerprint ID
  • Pricy
LG gram Thin and Light Laptop - 15.6" Full HD IPS...
  • 15.6" Full HD IPS LCD Screen
  • Windows 10 Home. Lithium Battery Energy Content (in Watt Hours)-72Wh. Battery Cell Type-4 cell...
  • 72Wh Lithium Battery (up to 19 hours* - MobileMark 2014 Standard)

Best Laptop for the Money: New Apple MacBook Air

New Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD...

The New Apple MacBook Air has a stunning 13.3-inch retina display with True Tone technology. With the panel supporting a resolution of 2560 by 1600 pixels, getting up to 400 nit brightness, images couldn’t look more divine. Best of all, battery life (up to 12 hours) isn’t sacrificed because of the amazing screen resolution.

Other manufacturers are still playing catch up to Apple’s legendary build quality. As expected, the New MacBook Air rigid aluminum chassis is exceptionally thin. The speakers are surprisingly loud with a shocking amount of base for such a minimalist laptop.

In essence, you can showcase your movie collection to a couple of friends happily. The retina display provides excellent color and wide viewing angles to boot.

This laptop’s backlit magic keyboard feels great to type, with a millimeter of key travel and clicky enough without being overly loud. The keys on this MacBook’s keyboard are a welcome change from the previously hated butterfly keys in previous models. The chassis doesn’t flex, so you can work with this laptop comfortably, at odd angles.

The New MacBook Air comes with a 10th generation dual-core Core i3 processor, 8 GB RAM, and a fast 256 GB SSD storage. Thanks to not one but two Thunderbolt 3 ports, simply connect an external GPU or even a 6K display. You can expect this laptop to do most things reliably and competently for a long time to come.

As an Apple fan, you’ll definitely appreciate this laptop’s integration with the other devices. For example, you can use your Apple Watch for authentication. Alternatively, use touch ID as well to get into the New MacBook Air fast and securely.

What We Like 

  • 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Excellent keyboard and speakers
  • 3 color profiles available (gold, silver and space gray)
  • 720p webcam
  • Very light: 2.8 pounds only (1.29 kg)
  • Seamless integration with other Apple devices

What We Don’t Like 

  • Not a touchscreen display
  • Dual-core Core i3 processor
Sale
New Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD...
  • Stunning 13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology
  • Backlit Magic Keyboard and Touch ID
  • Tenth-generation Intel Core i3 processor

Best Cheap Laptop: Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

Microsoft  Surface Laptop 2 (Intel Core i5, 8GB...

The Surface Laptop 2 possesses one of the best keyboards available. The keys provide excellent feedback and the Alcantara palm rest makes it very comfortable to type on. It’s amazing how Microsoft was able to fit such features in a confined space.

The glass touchpad is also responsive and accurate. You can expect top of the line touch functionality imagined for Microsoft’s Surface lineup.

The screen is great with an astounding resolution of 2256 × 1504 pixels crammed in a 13.5-inch display. Everything from images to fast-moving action pictures looks great and is more visible than ever before. The colors are accurate, with deep blacks. Moreover, the 3 × 2 screen aspect ratio enables you to see much more of your work while surfing or dealing with documents.

This laptop is a powerhouse with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, and 128 GB SSD. The speakers under the keyboard are surprisingly loud, despite not utilizing the traditional type of outlet.

Microsoft puts a lot of work into the design and quality of their laptops, and the Surface 2 just exemplifies this statement. The chassis flex is virtually non-existent, the speakers sound great, considering their size and you can watch YouTube or Netflix for up to 9 hours on a single charge. You can select one of Platinum, black, burgundy, or cobalt color options to suit your taste.

The surface laptop 2 price to performance ratio is truly outstanding. There’s little to complain about with it and you can counter the limited number of ports problem with a dock. At less than 2.8 pounds, this laptop is the ideal companion on your travels.

What We Like 

  • Lightweight, thin and portable
  • Windows Hello facial recognition
  • Four different color options
  • 3:2 screen aspect ratio
  • Three levels keyboard backlight
  • An extra USB port on the adapter

What We Don’t Like 

  • Small touchpad
  • Letterboxing on most videos
  • A limited number of ports (one USB 3.0)
Sale
Microsoft  Surface Laptop 2 (Intel Core i5, 8GB...
  • Clean, elegant design thin and light, starting at just 2.76 pounds, Surface Laptop 2 fits easily in...
  • Choose from rich tone on tone color combinations: Platinum, Burgundy, and Cobalt Blue
  • Improved speed and performance to do what you want, with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core...

Best Portable Laptop: ASUS ZenBook 14 

ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra Thin and Light Laptop, 4-Way...

The ZenBook 14 has an elegant and classy look to it, with its two contrasting color designs. When opening up this laptop’s display, the base lifts, giving you a more desirable typing position as well as improving cooling performance.

Asus claims the ZenBook 14 is the most compact laptop to date. This stems from the fact that it has a 94% screen to body ratio as the bottom edge disappears from view when you open up the ZenBook. Of course, the form factor couldn’t also be possible were it not for the near bezel-less display, which the manufacturer calls the NanoEdge.

Despite the small bezels on the top of this laptop’s screen, Asus still managed to find room for a camera and a 3D IO camera. The latter can securely unlock the ZenBook 14 with your face, even in the dark. The full-sized keyboard feels great to type on and the laptop’s large mouse pad supports all Windows 10 gestures.

The Harman Kardon speakers blast tunes so clear, even at their surprisingly high volume. Harman Kardon speakers are some of the best you can get. If a product has the Harman Kardon written on it, then you can bet its sound quality is above average.

Specs-wise, the Asus ZenBook 14 is a beast, having a capable Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM and 512 GB NVMe SSD. You can spec it up easily with a maximum of 16 GB ram and 1 TB NVMe SSD. The laptop also has a decent range of ports including 1 USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0. Its 14-inch display is full HD (1080 p), meaning visuals are exceedingly vivid.

With a battery life of up to 14 hours and weighing a little over 3 pounds, this laptop is an excellent travel companion.

What We Like 

  • Attractive design and strong build
  • Harman Kardon speakers
  • Backlit full keyboard
  • Impressively thin, light and powerful
  • Long battery life

What We Don’t Like 

  • No Thunderbolt 3 port
  • Not touch screen
  • Fingerprint magnet
ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra Thin and Light Laptop, 4-Way...
  • Stunning NanoEdge 14 inch Full HD display with 86% screen-to-body ratio in a 13” chassis
  • MIL-STD-810G military-grade durability
  • Super compact & slim at less than 0 65” thin and weighs only 3 2 lbs

What to Consider in a Good Laptop for Watching YouTube and Netflix

When it comes to video viewing, the display is the most important thing to look out for in a laptop. However, there are a few other features that make a laptop a good fit for streaming high-quality video.

Woman wearing headphones while watching movies in her laptop

A Full HD Display

You cannot compromise on display when it comes to buying a laptop for watching YouTube and Netflix. In this case, you should only lookout for a Full HD display. If you have the money, you can go for a 4K resolution or UHD. Otherwise, anything below Full HD would be a great disservice to your entertainment needs.

The size of the screen will also matter. While this is usually a personal preference, bigger screens tend to offer the best video viewing experience. If you are looking for a big screen, consider a 15 or 17-inch.

GPU

The display graphics are just as important as resolution. They ensure a streamlined viewing experience, especially with high-resolution videos. GPUs can either be integrated or discrete. Integrated GPUs are those that are part of the laptop and are not removable.

Discrete or dedicated graphics chips on the other hand can be removed. They are usually used for gaming or graphics-intensive creatives tasks. For YouTube and Netflix, you will be fine with integrated graphics. However, if you are looking for more refined video experience, you can opt for discrete GPUs.

Refresh Rate

Although this is a consideration that most people only take seriously with gaming laptops, we think it is also important for video streaming. The refresh rate is the number of times per second that the screen refreshes itself. It is measured in hertz and comes in handy when watching fast-paced movie scenes. 

For instance, when there is a high-speed car race in the movie, a higher refresh rate will ensure that you see all the action clearly without the screen flickering or freezing. While the standard refresh rate for most laptops is 60Hz, some high-end models can go up to 120Hz.

Processor

Whether you are running YouTube and Netflix remotely on your laptop or on the net, you will need a good processor to ensure smooth performance.

Hand holding a laptop while watching Netflix

The processor is the heart and mind of the laptop. It is responsible for every operation that takes place from typing to playing a video.

For YouTube and Netflix, we recommend at least an Intel Core i5 processor. If you are on a budget, you can go with an Intel Core i3. While you may experience some performance hiccups with this CPU, it is not entirely useless.

RAM

The random access memory is responsive for temporarily storing data of currently running programs. This enables the processor to access the data faster than if it would have retrieved from the hard drive.

So in this case, if you are running YouTube or Netflix on your laptop, having more RAM would mean faster performance and multitasking.

For YouTube and Netflix, you can do with anything from 4GB of RAM. If you are feeling lucky, you can also go with 8GB or 16GB. You should, however, take care not to blow your budget or a memory space you won’t even need.

Battery Life

Video streaming is one of the most battery-hungry activities you can do with your laptop. This is especially true if your laptop has a high-resolution screen and dedicated graphics. So to make sure that you enjoy your movies without much interruption, you should settle for a laptop with a longer battery life.

Laptop screen showing recommended Youtube videos

This might not be an issue if you are watching at home and the charger is close by. However, if you want to leave the confines of your room and enjoy watching outdoors, short battery life might be bothersome.

Storage

If you will be downloading movies for offline use, you definitely need more space. In any case, enough storage will always contribute to faster performance since the laptop will have plenty of breathing space.

When it comes to storage, you have two options. You can either go with Solid-state drive (SSD) or hard disk drive (HDD). SSD doesn’t have moving parts and is much faster than HDD.

However, laptops that come with this kind of storage are expensive and might not be a good fit if you are looking for budget options. HDD, on the other hand, has moving parts and slower but much cheaper.

Conclusion 

We hope this guide will help you find a laptop that offers the best experience when watching YouTube and Netflix. Make sure to prioritize the features we discussed above in order to get a laptop that clicks with both your needs and budget.