Best Laptop for Streaming: Top 5 Picks

Editor’s Choice

  • It has a high refresh rate.
  • It has a powerful CPU and GPU.
  • There’s plenty of storage space and RAM.

Best Overall

  • Sturdy yet attractive design
  • It has super-fast and powerful processors. 
  • It has all the ports you need, like the Ethernet, HDMI, and USB ports.

Budget-Friendly

  • Dual-intake, dual-exhaust airflow design
  • High voltage driving fan
  • Load-balancing heat pipes

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out the best laptop for streaming, then I’d recommend the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17 (2021) Gaming Laptop as the best one.

Most content is now accessible as long as you have an internet connection. Streaming newly released movies, series, and even games are quickly done using a laptop. But to get the best experience, you’d need the best laptop for streaming. Getting a laptop with a high-resolution screen is only one of the many components you need to consider. Many brands claim they’re the best, but before we believe them, what are the criteria that guarantee they are the best?

Here are the Best Laptops for Streaming we will be reviewing:

What is the Best Laptop for Streaming?

What is a streaming laptop?

A streaming laptop can quickly load graphics-heavy apps such as movie and video watching and games and heavy programs. Streaming laptops have powerful processors, graphics cards, and plenty of RAM and storage. 

Can I Use Any Laptop for Streaming?

Yes, most laptops nowadays have more storage and RAM and have more than decent processors. Some mid-range laptops can function just as well as high-end laptops. Any laptop computer, in general, will be great to use for streaming on Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook Live. 

You’ll also have a great time watching movies and series using a streaming laptop, especially when traveling. But of course, if you want excellent video quality, it’s not enough to have an HD laptop; you also need a fast and robust internet connection.

Can gaming laptops handle streaming?

Of course! Gaming laptops are equipped with plenty of RAM, storage, and high-quality processors and graphics cards. They also have a high-resolution screen catered to deliver the best gaming experience to its users. With an excellent internet connection, rest assured that gaming laptops will make streaming easy for you.

Does the Laptop Monitor Resolution Matter?

Yes, it does, especially when you’re finicky and want to watch videos in full HD. Better laptops in the market produce sharper images with 1920 x 1080 pixels or more resolution. But if you’re going to go the extra mile, then maybe a threshold of 3840 x 2160 resolution might be worth your while. This resolution allows you to stream content and watch movies in 4k resolution.

Can I stream videos on a 720p laptop monitor?

Yes, you can stream videos on a 720p laptop monitor; however, do keep in mind that most videos are a minimum of 1080p. So when you use a 720p laptop monitor, you’re missing out on the entire experience. 

Benefits of Using the Best Laptop for Streaming

Lightweight

Laptops are so compact and lightweight that you can fit them into any backpack or carrying case. It contains a desktop computer’s components, except it only weighs 2-3 kgs. Compared to PCs, laptops are very convenient for travel, especially with the thinner models nowadays. 

Easy to set up

Laptops are super easy to set up. Simply take it out of your bag, carefully flip the screen open, and press the power key to start it up. Especially newer models, they start up much faster than a desktop computer. You can start using a brand new laptop a few minutes after turning it on, compared to PCs that take a while to install apps before you can begin to use.

It uses less power compared to a PC

Laptops use less power than desktop computers due to the minimal energy required to run smaller components. Also, compared to a PC, a laptop computer has a built-in battery that serves as its reserved power source when you wish to work without plugging in the laptop charger. You can continue watching your movie or series without worrying about the laptop accidentally shutting down when the power fluctuates. 

Things to consider when choosing the Best Laptop for Streaming

CPU and GPU

CPUs and GPUs go hand in hand with how well a streaming laptop performs. You will be able to run programs and apps smoothly, thus making it more manageable for you to stream HD movies and videos without lagging or broken frames. There is no absolute when it comes to CPUs and GPUs; it depends on the type of resolution and refreshes rate of the laptop. 

RAM and Storage

Nowadays, most laptops have 8GB of RAM with 500GB to 1TB of memory plus 8 to 32 GB of SSD memory. 8GB of RAM ensures the best performance, while the increased storage allows you to download more videos and movies into your laptop. Many laptops in the market have expandable storage, so you can insert another into the SSD slots if you do run out of memory. 

Connectivity

If you want to stream 4k content without the lagging and buffering, RAM and memory aren’t enough; you need to have fast internet speed. The minimum internet speed to stream 4k content is 25 megabits per second. Internet speed of 100 to 200 Mbps is both excellent internet plan options. Also, to fully utilize the internet speed, opt to directly connect your laptop to the router instead of relying on wireless bands. 

Long battery life

Though it is often overlooked, it’s good to check the battery life of a potential laptop you’re buying. The average battery life of notebooks ranges from 1.5 to 4 hours of running time, depending on what programs and applications you’re running. Laptops with larger screens have a shorter battery life because it consumes more power to keep the screen functioning. 

Budget

Let’s be honest; there is no cheap option for a streaming laptop. However, think of purchasing a laptop computer as an investment. If you’re a student, an office worker, or a business owner, having a decent laptop will be tons of help. If your budget is tight, you might want to consider a secondhand model, but you have to be vigilant in choosing. As much as possible, opt to pay upfront and after you’ve checked the laptop out for yourself to avoid getting scammed.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17 (2021) Gaming Laptop

You have not seen a laptop like the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17 (2021) Gaming Laptop. Aside from its enormous screen, the slightly elevated keyboard is undoubtedly not just innovative but also highly functional. The creative gap’s primary function is to provide extra cooling for a smoother gaming experience. 

Aside from being innovative, the elevated keyboard is also very sturdy. It can withstand the constant pressure of up to 12kg, so there is no need to worry about breaking it mid-type.

But enough about the keyboard, let’s talk about the 17.3-inch screen with 2560 x 1440 resolution. There are two options: a super-fast screen with a 165Hz refresh rate and a 4k panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. The first option is best for gaming, while the second option offers an immersive movie experience. 

As for the configuration options, the S17 has an Intel Core 9 processor with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU and a whopping 32GB of RAM. It’s undoubtedly a powerful gaming laptop.

Pros:

  • Sturdy yet attractive design
  • It has super-fast and powerful processors. 
  • It has all the ports you need, like the Ethernet, HDMI, and USB ports.

Cons:

  • The fan is loud during high-performance settings.

Lenovo Legion 7i Gaming Laptop

Legion by Lenovo is one of the most prominent brands for gaming equipment, and with good reason; take the Legion 7i as an example. The Lenovo Legion 7i is a simple-looking gaming laptop with a powerful configuration setting with a 240Hz display refresh rate. It has a 10th-generation 6-core processor and uses the Intel Core i7-10750H. 

Even the most demanding circumstances, such as multitasking and streaming, will be easy for this great laptop. And let’s not forget the whopping 1TB of SSD and 32GD of RAM; you won’t ever have to worry about insufficient space. 

The Lenovo Legion 7i has a 1920 x 1080 full HD screen resolution with a battery life of 7 hours without gaming. It’s also lighter than the previous streaming laptop, weighing 2.1kg, and is only 20mm thick. It’s very portable and can easily fit inside your backpack or messenger bag. 

Pros:

  • It has a high refresh rate.
  • It has a powerful CPU and GPU.
  • There’s plenty of storage space and RAM.

Cons:

  • The GPU is a previous generation.

Alienware m15 R4 RTX 3070 Gaming Laptop

First, let’s appreciate the design and build of the Alienware m15 R4 RTX 3070. The most notable design feature is the large ventilation exhaust. It’s a little clunky, but you get used to it eventually. It gives off a futuristic look when the laptop is turned on, and the LED lining and the Alienware logo are lit up. The rest of the laptop computer is made of magnesium and plastic, both pretty solid and feel high-quality. 

The hardware and performance of the Alienware m15 R4 RTX 3070 don’t disappoint. It comes with an Intel octa-core i7-10870H CPU and an Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU, both guaranteed to give you top performance. However, the laptop seems to fall short on storage. You only have 256GB SSD, which is not enough for gaming. However, you can use the spare SSD bays and manually expand the laptop storage. 

Pros:

  • Dual-intake, dual-exhaust airflow design
  • High voltage driving fan
  • Load-balancing heat pipes
  • Intuitive Immersion
  • Unparalleled display technologies 

Cons:

  • The laptop lid is prone to scratching.
  • The built-in storage is fewer than most streaming laptops. 

Acer Nitro 5 AN515-45-R9QH Gaming Laptop

The Acer Nitro 5 AN515-45-R9QH has a high-performance CPU, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900Hx. This CPU is targeted toward content creation and high-end gaming, so multitasking and streaming are possible. With a 2560 x 1440 QHD resolution and a 165Hz refresh rate, you’ll surely get an immersive gaming experience. The colors are vibrant and accurate with the RTX 3080 graphics card and Ryzen 9 processor. You also get a 1TB SSD and 32GB of RAM, plenty of legroom for games, movies, and programs. 

The design, however, is a hit or miss, and it’s clear that functionality was a priority over aesthetics. The Acer Nitro 5 has an all-plastic black and glittery red exterior. It weighs 2.3kb and has enormous dimensions, 0.94 x 14.3 x 10-inches. It also has a bulky chassis, and though it provides extra cooling, it can be tough to bring with you during travels. Despite the lackluster design, it’s very sturdy and can withstand wear and tear for years. 

Pros:

  • Dominating Performance
  • Made for Speed
  • Cooling Perfected
  • Killer Connectivity
  • Extensive Connectivity

Cons:

  • It’s too heavy and bulky to fit in a backpack.
  • The plastic exterior is a fingerprint and dust magnet.

2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip

Out of the five streaming laptops we’ve reviewed, the 2020 Apple MacBook Air is the most compact and most manageable to carry around. Like its 2019 predecessor, the 2020 Apple MacBook Air does not disappoint. With a choice between a 7-core and 8-core GPU M1 SoC, this laptop can handle reasonably heavy workloads. 

However, the GPU may struggle with most graphically demanding games. Its fanless design can also be a reason not to use this as a gaming laptop. There’s an 8 and 16GB RAM options and configurable storage from 258GB to 2TB.

Besides its quick and powerful processor, its screen display is a sight to behold. The 2020 Apple MacBook Air uses a high-resolution Retina display that is bright enough to combat glare when using the laptop outside. It also produces highly accurate and sharp images and videos. The battery life is also admirable, lasting up to 8 hours per full charge.

Pros:

  • All-day battery life
  • Superfast memory
  • Stunning display
  • Simply compatible
  • Easy to learn. Easy to set up. Astoundingly powerful. Intuitive.
  • Packed with apps to use right out of the box.

Cons:

  • It can quickly heat up during gaming. 
  • You would need an adaptor as the laptop only had two USB-C ports. 

Conclusion

With so many brands claiming they’re the best, it’s tough for novices to choose the best laptop for streaming. However, you effectively narrow down your choices once you’ve got the hang of which configuration settings, screen resolution, and storage amount you want. Ideally, the best laptop for streaming has super-fast and powerful processors, has all the ports you need, a large memory, and a high-resolution screen. 

This is why the best laptop for streaming is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S17 (2021) Gaming Laptop. The design and overall build of the S17 are noteworthy. Its clean, matte black magnesium and aluminum chassis perfectly complement the RGB keys of the S17. The off-center placement of the brand and the dotting pattern on the lid give off a subtle yet clean appeal. 

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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.