Best Laptop For HTPC

Best Laptop For HTPC In 2022 Review: Secrets Revealed!

So, you are looking for the best laptop for HTPC? Well, the good news is that there are loads of options out there. And the bad news is that not all of them options will offer an excellent overall value proposition.

While we were trying to get our hands on one of the HTPCs, we purchased something that could not handle the streaming services that smoothly. It even stuttered while playing a 1080p movie.

After that, we decided to do intensive tests and research on the top-selling options. And we will talk about the ones that we found worthy of the money and capable of handling all the media and streaming services without throttling one bit. So, if you want to get the most out of your money, read through the entire article.

What Is an HTPC (Home Theater PC)?

Before we move into our reviews, we would like to ensure that you understand what a home Threatre PC is. Generally, these are PCs intended to be used in the living rooms instead of the office. It can be a computer that you opt for consuming media and entertainment purposes.

Most of the homes that have HTPCs will usually use them for streaming services. For example, to play Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, and other services. Yes, most TVs have these apps built-in, but those apps do not really offer that much flexibility.

These computers also share some traits with regular computers. They might have the same power as the regular ones. However, one thing that will be different is that the HTPCs are smaller and lighter in weight. That makes them highly portable. And the main focus of these computers is to deliver media smoothly.

How To Make an HTPC Using Laptop Step by Step?

Converting a capable laptop to an HTPC is not a difficult task at all. Do not believe us? Go through these steps and see how simple it is:

Step 1: Hook the Laptop Up With a Big Screen

A 40 to 55 inches TV will be a great pick for this. However, if you want to stick with monitors, hook the laptop up with something that is at least 30 inches. Use an HDMI cable for the connection.

Step 2: Speakers

To get an immersive sound experience, we would recommend getting at least a 2.1 speaker system. Those will be able to offer loud, crisp, and deep sounds.

Step 3: Peripherals

Finally, you would need to get wireless peripherals for controlling the laptops. We would recommend getting a wireless combo that runs on Bluetooth or a single 2.4 GHz dongle. Pair them up with the computer and keep them near where you would sit or rest yourself to consume media.

Minimum Laptop System Requirements for HTPC?

Even though many think that handling media is not that big deal for PCs, it actually is. In fact, most of the old-gen computers will struggle a lot to play a simple 1080p60 video. That is why it is pretty important to consider the minimum requirement for HTPC.

  • Processor

The minimum requirement, in this case, would be to get something that is equipped with a quad-core CPU. And the Intel 9th gen or Ryzen 3rdgen CPUs would be a great choice in this regard.

  • Storage

A fast storage system is a must for media. For that reason, the minimum spec for an HTPC laptop in terms of storage would be an SSD that is at least 500GB.

  • Graphics Card

As HTPCs are generally used for entertainment and media consumption purposes, many play games one them. For that, a capable GPU is a necessity. Considering that, the minimum spec for running most games and 4K videos smoothly would be an RTX 3050 or RX6600M, or something equivalent.

  • RAM

It has become a norm to equip the media consumption systems with at least 4GB of RAM. However, to playback 4K videos and play AAA games, the minimum spec is at least 8GB of RAM.

Old or Brand New Laptop: Which One Is the Best for HTPC?

The thing with old laptops is that they have older generation components. That means the processor will be outdated. They will also have slower storage, which will take loads of time to load games and playback videos.

However, most people opt for older gen laptops for media consumption tasks because they will usually be on sale with a considerable discount slapped on the price tag.

These older-gen computers will surely be able to handle media and lower-end games for the time being. But after a year or so, they will lose all of the app developers’ support and will struggle to handle high-quality media. For that reason, the best option for HTPC would be new laptops.

In comparison, the new ones will boast the latest and greatest technologies. And those technologies indeed have an impact on the media consumption experience. They can handle tasks smoothly, and most of the latest well-equipped computers are highly capable of handling AAA games as well.

Additionally, the newer laptops will have more extended support. That means you will not have to think about upgrading for at least two to three years. Some might even offer stellar performance for up to four years.

10 Best Laptop For HTPC In April 2022 [Expert Recommended]

The laptop market is so dense that you will indeed find about 10 to 20 options at a single price point. However, not all of those 10 to 20 options will be ideal for media consumption. So, we went ahead and did extensive tests on the promising systems at every price point. And these are the ones that stood out the most:

  1. Acer Predator Helios 300 – (Top Pick)

The manufacturer Acer has been making quite a noise (in a good way) in the laptop market in their latest offerings. And the Helios 300 can adequately explain why there is so much fuss regarding their offerings.

First of all, this system focuses on extreme performance. It boasts a state-of-the-art processor, which is the 11th gen core i7. The CPU has 8 cores and 16 threads. And this processor is capable of multi-tasking and handling 4K media and AAA games like it’s nothing.

On that note, the processor is not the only good thing about this system; it also boasts RTX 3060.It also flaunts a 15.6 inches display that is large enough for on-the-go media consumption. Thanks to the 144Hz refresh rate, motions on display will seem buttery smooth.

This system packs a 512 GB ultra-fast Gen4 SSD. That storage solution will be able to load up demanding games and stream high-resolution videos super fast. The 16 GB ram of the system is more than enough for running multiple streaming apps simultaneously.

  • Sports a powerful i7 CPU
  • Boasts RTX 3060 for AAA games
  • Flaunts a high-end display
  • Has fast storage device
  • Capable of multi-tasking like a champ
  • The cooling system is not that quiet
  • Tends to get a bit hot during simple tasks

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

Acer went full-on with this one. They have equipped the system with all the latest and capable components, making the media consumption experience smooth and enjoyable.

  1. MSI GF65 – Best All-Rounder Laptop

While most of the latest HTPCs will equip competent components, only a few are thin and light in weight. And this offering from MSI is one of them.

Like the offering of Acer that we looked at, this one packs a core i7 processor. However, it is a 10th gen CPU. But it does have enough power to play most of the media and handle most demanding tasks without any issues.

Even though it is thin and light, MSI did not skimp one bit in terms of display. They have integrated a 15.6 inches FHD display that has a praiseworthy color accuracy level. It will be able to output crisp and color-accurate pictures, which can certainly enhance the movie-watching experience.

In the graphics department, it has RTX3060 Max-Q. Even though it is not a full-fat 3060, it does pack a good amount of kick. The system also boasts 16 GB ram, which is more than enough for different streaming apps and AAA games. And the NVME 512 GB SSD will take care of all of your storage needs.

  • Thin and light in weight
  • Has a fast 10th gen i7 CPU
  • Boasts a capable GPU
  • The display is reasonably large and color accurate
  • Sports 16 GB of RAM
  • Overheats a bit during handling intensive tasks
  • The integrated keyboard is pretty basic

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

This offering from MSI is pretty thin and light in weight. However, it has all the bells and whistles of a high-end laptop.

  1. Razer Blade 15 – Best FHD Laptop

You might have already heard about the brand Razer. They are well-known for offering enthusiastic grade systems. And the case is the same for this laptop that we will be talking about.

Let us first talk about the design. This laptop is sleek, slim, and exceptionally light in weight. It will blend exceptionally well as an HTPC in your living room. And the compact nature of the system will mitigate the space issues if you have any.

The system is supercharged with a 10th Gen processor. The i7 can boost up to 5 GHz, making it well capable of handling demanding applications. Also, thanks to the six-core CPU, the computer can stream high-resolution videos without fluctuation one bit.

Another great thing about this system is the display. Even though it is compact and slim, it has a 15.6 inches display that can run at 120 Hz. So, movies and games will look buttery smooth on this. Also, the FHD resolution is more than enough for media consumption. It also has a GTX 1660ti and 16 GB ram.

  • Compact, thin, and lightweight
  • Has a good 1080p 15.6 inches display
  • Packs a GTX 1660ti
  • The process is pretty powerful
  • Sports a decent amount of RAM
  • Ships with a 256 GB SSD
  • The cooling system is not that praiseworthy

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

This offering from Razer deserves all the hype. It is slim and compact. The only major downside is the SSD. But you can easily upgrade it later down the road.

  1. MSI GL65 – Best All-Rounder Laptop

Do not want to hook up a wireless keyboard to your HTPC. Well, in that case, an excellent integrated keyboard is a must. And this laptop from MSI has that!

Unlike some of the other offerings, this one has a fully customizable keyboard. You can customize each of the keys. And thanks to the RGB feature, it will make your HTPC setup glamorous too.

The system also packs a well-capable CPU. The 10th Gen core i5 has more than enough power to handle the streaming apps and run most AAA games without any issues. And the GTX 1650 can play most of those games in medium to high settings.

Even the cooling system of the laptop is decent. The Cooler Boost technology will ensure the computer runs quiet even during intense loads. Also, as the display sports an FHD resolution, it can act like a decent on-the-go media consumption system. There is also a 512GB NVME storage device and 16 GB ram.

  • Features a decent keyboard
  • Keyboard has RGB features
  • Packs a well-capable CPU
  • Sports Cooler Boost Technology
  • 512 GB NVMe SSD
  • GPU is a bit underpowered in comparison
  • 60Hz panel

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

This is yet another banging laptop from MSI. However, the GPU is a bit let down, but it will not affect you that much if you do not want ultra settings on the games.

  1. Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14 – Best Affordable Laptop

The offerings from Lenovo have been a go-to option for many when it comes to affordable systems. And the IdeaPad 1 14 is an excellent example that can illustrate that.

Though it does not cost that much, it has a reasonably capable CPU. The Celeron N4020 processor can take on low to medium demanding applications such as Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. And the 4GB ram that it equips is more than enough to handle those apps smoothly.

When it comes to size, the system is relatively small and compact. It also has a 14 inches display with an HD resolution, making the contents look crisp. Also, it supports Dolby Audio, which will work like a charm in terms of offering an immersive sound listening experience.

Other than that, it is pretty light in weight. But when it comes to connectivity, it has all the ports that you will need. There are 2 USB 3.1, HDMI, and an SD reader port. You will also find an earphone and microphone combo that will make it easier to use the computer as a communicational device apart from just an HTPC.

  • Compact and light in weight
  • The screen has an HD resolution
  • Handles streaming apps like a champ
  • A good amount of connectivity ports
  • Supports Dolby Audio
  • Integrates a 64 GB SSD
  • Does not have a dedicated GPU

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

For the price, it is offering a load! And the power of the device is more than enough to consume media, run streaming apps, and listen to music.

  1. Acer Nitro 5 – with 144Hz IPS Display

An excellent integrated screen can indeed make a difference if you are not looking to use an external monitor or display. And a laptop that has that type of screen would be this option from Acer.

As we have mentioned, it has FHD 15.6 inches display. As it is an IPS panel, the colors will be reasonably accurate, and the blacks will be reasonably punchy. Also, it can run on a 144Hz refresh rate, which will make the motion seem lifelike. Watching movies and playing games on it will be fun.

Talking of playing games, it has RTX 3050. This GPU packs a good amount of TFlops to run the latest titles without any issues. And the cooling system will do a proper job of keeping the whole computer cool while you are playing intense and demanding games.

Other than that, it has a 10th Gen core i5 process that can handle most of the tasks pretty easily. It can play 4K videos without any issues. Also, the Killer Ethernet technology that the system integrates will ensure you have a stellar HTPC experience with this.

  • FHD display is color accurate
  • Can run at 144Hz refresh rate
  • Sports RTX 3050
  • Boasts a fairly capable processor
  • Good ethernet solution
  • Included SSD is 256 GB
  • Comes with 8GB ram only

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

The fact that it has such a display that can offer accurate color pictures indeed amazed us. Also, it can run at 144Hz, which is a cherry on the top.

  1. ASUS TUF Gaming F17 – Best RGB Keyboard Laptop

Another brand that is quite well-known in the computer market is ASUS. Their offerings usually have a higher level of durability. And the same case is prevalent for this HTPC laptop.

To start with, the entire chassis is of high-quality material. And the brand has opted for a military standard construction method to put all of the pieces together. That makes it exceptionally durable. However, it does not really have a larger footprint. So, you will not have to worry about facing issues while storing it.

Apart from being exceptionally durable, the overall power of the laptop is up to the mark. It boasts a GTX 1650, which can easily handle pretty modern titles and demanding media without any issues. The 80-watt power rating of the GPU makes this one exceptionally efficient. In other words, it will have good battery life.

In terms of processor, it has a 10th Gen i5. The quad-core processor can handle demanding tasks without fluctuating at all. Also, there is a 512 GB SSD and a proper keyboard that has RGB support. Even the screen is pretty large. And as the 17 inches IPS panel is FHD, it will output crisp and clear contents.

  • Exceptionally durable
  • Sports a GTX 1650
  • Power-efficient
  • The screen is 17 inches in size
  • Feature an RGB keyboard
  • Has comparatively loud cooling fans
  • The audio quality of the speakers is not that high

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

The RGB keyboard is the main selling point of this laptop. However, it packs a good amount of power that can offer a stellar HTPC experience.

  1. HP Pavilion 15-dk0020nr – Best for Stream Laptop

If your main priority is to stream movies and TV series on the best laptop for HTPC, it would be better to get something that is thin and light but offers good performance. Well, this offering from HP checks all that factors.

In terms of the form factor, the laptop is pretty thin. The display is in the Micro-edge category, and when the lid is closed, it becomes exceptionally compact. Also, the screen is 15.6 inches and is an IPS panel with FHD resolution. So, you can view content on it with maximum clarity and sharpness.

The PC also packs a reasonably capable CPU. It has a 9thgen i5, which has four cores. The multi-threading capability of the processor is pretty praiseworthy, which means you will not face any issues while running the streaming services. Also, it equips 8GB of RAM for handling tasks properly.

Although the laptop is fairly slim and lightweight, it sports a good cooling solution. That thermal management of the system will keep the PC cool while you are streaming movies and content. Also, the GTX 1650 will be more than enough to play light to medium demanding games.

  • IPS screen is pretty sharp
  • Slim and light in weight
  • Has a reasonable amount of RAM
  • Sports a great thermal management system
  • Boasts a GTX 1650
  • The WiFi chip is fairly outdated
  • Does not have a good battery life

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

This offering is pretty slim and light in weight. However, the processing and graphics power of the system is more than enough for demanding streaming and medium gaming.

  1. Acer Aspire 5 – Best Slim Laptop

Although we have already gone through a couple of slim and light laptops, this offering from Acer took slimness to another level. And to know what we are actually referring to here, you need to go through the entire review.

Ergonomics was the main focus of Acer when they were manufacturing this unit. They have managed to shrink the form factor into the exceptionally “slim” category. And even though the size is small and the laptop is slim, it still has a full-sized keyboard.

Additionally, the size and form factor does not say anything about the power of the laptop. It flaunts an 11th Gen i3 processor that will offer unmatched speed and impressive multi-tasking capability.

The screen is also fairly large in size. And the display has an 82.58 percent screen-to-body ratio. Also, as the screen is full HD, viewing content on it will surely be a pleasing experience. Even the port selection is pretty praiseworthy for how slim the device is. It has a type C port, three regular USB 3. ports, and one HDMI output.

  • Extremely slim
  • i3 processor can handle tasks easily
  • Features a 15.6 inches screen
  • Outputs crisp and clear images
  • Loads of connectivity ports
  • Only has 4GB of RAM
  • Integrated SSD is 256 GB in size

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

This amazingly slim device from Acer amazed us. It is slim and packs a good amount of power at the same time. Also, the downsides will not matter too much because you can upgrade both the RAM and SSD in the future.

  1. Dell Inspiron 3583 – Best Laptop with Integrated UHD Graphics

Dedicated graphics are something that will not bother you that much if you are not into gaming. And if you are one of them, we believe you need to check this budget-friendly offering from Dell.

As we mentioned, it does not have a dedicated graphics card. However, it does have a capable Intel UHD integrated graphics chip. That GPU is highly capable of handling media and videos. And you will even have the option to play some light games.

Apart from that, the device’s display is pretty good, considering the price point it is at. It is an HD panel that has an anti-glaring coating on the surface. That coating will ensure that your content viewing experience does not degrade because of a light source around you. Also, the screen is 15.6 inches.

In addition to that, the process it boasts is reasonably capable of handling most streaming platforms. It even has a praiseworthy multi-tasking capability. You can browse and consume content without facing any issues at all. Also, there are a good amount of connectivity ports. It even integrates a capable wireless chip.

  • Has a capable integrated graphics chip
  • The process is reasonably powerful
  • Can handle multiple tasks pretty easily
  • Features an anti-glaring coating on the screen
  • There are a good amount of connectivity ports
  • Has only 4GB of ram
  • Ships with 128 GB SSD

Why Should You Purchase This Product?

This laptop by Dell is offering good value for the money. And the integrated GPU is relatively capable of handling demanding content.

6 Things to Consider Before Buying a Perfect Laptop For HTPC

We know that there are loads of versions and models of components. And those can surely make it confusing to get a proper HTPC laptop. However, if you consider these six key factors, things will get clear as water:

  1. Processor

The first thing that you would want to check out is the processor. As we have mentioned, the newer versions are the ones that you should shoot for. So, that takes the CPUs older than Intel 9th Gen and Ryzen 3rd Gen out of the equation.

Now, to get a good content viewing experience, you would need a CPU that is capable of handling medium to highly demanding media properly. For that, a higher count of cores is a must. For that reason, it would be a good idea to stick with laptops that have a quad or six-core processor.

  1. Storage

There are two things that you would want to consider for storage. First is the overall capacity, which needs to be at least 512GB. The windows alone can eat up to 100 GB of storage. And the other system files can take up to 50 GB. You can get away with 256 GB but do not opt for anything that is under that.

Secondly, HDDs are a thing of the past now. They are slow and clunky. So, we would highly recommend not opting for a system that has an HDD instead of an SSD.

  1. Graphics Card

This factor will highly depend on your preference. If you want to play games every now and then, get something that has at least GTX 1650. And if you do not want to game at all, opt for the ones that have reasonably capable integrated graphics chips. The Intel UHD is a good option for this case.

  1. Display Size and Resolution

The quality and the size of the display will play a significant role if you do not plan to hook the PC up with an external screen. A good display can also make on-the-go content viewing enjoyable. So, get something that is at least 15.6 inches and has an FHD or HD resolution.

  1. Battery

Again, good battery life will play an important role if you are watching content on the go. Considering that, we would recommend getting something that has at least 6 hours of runtime. But if you want to keep it plugged in all the time, you do not need to worry about this too much.

  1. Budget

Finally, factor in the value proposition. Laptops tend to offer less value proposition in comparison to regular PCs. However, if you know what components you are getting for your money, you can get the most out of your money. So, it would be a wise idea to compare all of the options in our budget.

FAQs On Best Laptop For HTPC

Is HTPC worth it?

Absolutely! They can make you feel like you are in the theatre without leaving your home if you can get a good setup.

How much RAM do I need For HTPC?

Usually, 4GB of ram should be enough for media consumption. However, the system will require at least 8GB of ram to handle demanding apps and streaming services.

Do I need a graphics card for HTPC?

The integrated graphics should do the trick in terms of handling media. But if you are into gaming, a dedicated graphics card is a must.

Do HTPC laptops overheat?

It will depend on the cooling system. If it is capable, the system should not overheat.

How long does an HTPC laptop run on battery?

Usually, the run time is around 6 hours. But if the battery has a high capacity, it will run longer than that.

Final Words: The Best Laptop For HTPC

Getting the best laptop for HTPC can indeed become difficult because of the overabundant available options. But we hope that our reviews have made it easier for you to choose one. And no matter which one you pick from the list, you will end up getting something that will offer a stellar HTPC using experience.

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