Best Laptop for Streaming: Get The Right Machine to Go Live Everywhere
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Streaming is booming, from game streaming on Twitch to live videos on Youtube.
Usually, people don’t consider the best laptops for streaming. But in this article, we’re going to explain why sometimes they can become handy when a PC or smartphone can’t sort your streaming needs.
And to help you narrow down the best offers on the market, we have also come up with a few notable recommendations.
Why Do You Need to Choose A Laptop for Streaming?
Do you want to stream your gameplays to your Twitch followers? Are you planning new content for your Youtube channel or your Instagram page? You admire stores on Facebook, where they have daily streams, and want to follow their steps?
Then think about getting a laptop to go streaming.
While PCs are still the most popular choice for game streaming at the moment, laptops are another option worth your consideration. Many premium models offer powerful performance that is enough for both game and live-streaming programs running at the same time.
On top of that, you can never ignore the portability it brings. Now you can go live on your Twitch everywhere, not necessary at your home.
Live videos are also a new trend many Youtube channel owners have been trying to keep up with.
Besides the traditional videos, they provide a new kind of interaction between the channel and viewers. There are even many channels whose primary content is live videos.
And what is the most convenient tool you should buy before planning ahead your content? That’s right, a laptop.
It is more powerful than your smartphone. And by hooking it up with external equipment, you can have higher video and audio quality as well. Though it’s not as portable as your phone, we can totally afford to trade off this, especially when you don’t need to move around a lot in your streaming session.
We can use the same arguments for other cases, and it’s still true: no matter your needs, a laptop is a great choice for streaming.
Best Laptop for Streaming: In-depth Reviews of Top 5 Winners
2019 Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch – The Best All-around Option
Let’s start our list with something everyone surely knows of.
The MacBook Pro is one of the most well-known laptop series for many years, becoming a top recommendation for almost every purpose: from programming, graphics design, video editing, to a traditional business laptop.
And streaming is another job the marvelous machine from Apple can handle pretty well, at least in most cases.
Some may like the iconic look of the MacBook Pro, while others may feel its design is a little bit stale. Still bearing a chic and slim chassis, it has an aesthetic that is both aging and refined.
As its tradition, the screen is one of its strongest selling points. It’s sharp, colorful, and bright – everything you can expect from a display from Apple.
The top version allows you to upgrade to 32GB RAM – a massive number for any programs you want to run at the same time. You can do the streaming to your Youtube channel while opening a lot of Chrome tabs without any lags or stutters.
With the i9-9980HK and the Radeon Pro 560x, the MacBook Pro can handle most kinds of live streaming pretty well.
Jumping between applications also doesn’t cause any slowdown. You can read comments from your viewers without any issue with the greatest level of smoothness you can ever experience in a compact machine.
The bezels don’t also hole up pretty well over time compared to other thinner models.
And of course, its battery life never disappoints us. You can squeeze out the most hours out of it with just a single charge, on par with the XPS 15, which can last up to 10 hours in moderate use.
But nothing exists with no flaws.
The controversial Butterfly keyboard is still there, which has many reports of stuck keys and double-clicks in the past. And we haven’t started on the price – which is crazy expensive for most users.
- Colorful, sharp display
- Long battery life
- Controversial Butterfly keyboard
Dell G5 15 5590 – Top Pick for Game Streaming
In this version, Dell has stripped a lot of gaming flair elements from its G5 15, making it thinner and smaller.
Thanks to the thinner bezels and black chassis, the G5 15 now has a more attractive look. The built-in touchpad works well enough, so you may not even need to reach for a mouse while not playing games.
The FHD matte display is not a special feature, but it still brings good off-angle image quality while the contrast and color are fine as well.
You can’t rely on it for any work requiring exact color accuracy, but for an entertainment laptop, it’s not an issue.
Stacked with an i7-9750H, a GTX 1650, and 16 GB RAM, the G5 15 performs well in most games, even when you start a live streaming software simultaneously. Even the most demanding games can hit 30fps easily – an acceptable number for a game-streaming laptop.
But remember that the display panel is only 60Hz.
For picky gamers who can’t stand anything below 144Hz, there are other offers from Dell you can try.
The fans also seem to be noisy when you put your system under heavy loads. On the other hand, battery life is good enough for a gaming laptop, which can go for around four and a half hours in moderate use.
- Attractive design
- Strong performance
- Good battery life
- No 144hz display
2019 Acer Predator Helios 300 – Alternate Choice for Game Streaming
Acer has decided to go with the black-and-teal scheme in the newest Predator Helios. We consider this as an improvement if you remember the garish, flashy 2018 version, and its black and red color combo.
The overall build quality is sturdy, though not on the premium level. It has a metal keyboard and lid while the underside and screen bezels are plastic.
One of its nicest touches is the 144Hz, FHD display screen.
The colors and sharpness are fine, not the best but also nothing mediocre. With the GTX 1660 Ti and the i7-9750H, you can get an unbeatable gaming experience, especially considering its price. It can run the newest game titles in high settings with another streaming software with no problem.
60fps in AAA games is already a no-joke performance for any gaming laptop, and the Predator Helios 300 can do that without breaking the bank.
But on the flip side, the battery life may disappoint you, especially when you plan to have a long streaming session with no power plug.
- Great gaming performance for its price
- 144Hz screen
- Short battery life
Eluktronics MECH 17 G1Rx – The Budget High-performance Laptop
Though Eluktronics has not established a long track record like other brands like Apple, Dell, or Leveno, it can also make quality products.
The streaming landscape does not stay still.
Whether you want to look at the comments, shares, and other engagements, a high-end laptop, especially at a price like that of the MECH 17 G1Rx, is an ideal choice.
It comes with the i7-9750H and GTX 1660Ti, powerful enough to drive even the new VR titles. And the built-in mechanical is never a bad choice for serious gamers.
But it’s not hard to notice some problems in its material quality.
For example, the palm rest area is not tough enough, which may peel away after some time. On top of that, the customer services are not as responsive as you may expect from a top-tier brand.
- Great performance, even for streaming heavy games
- Mechanical keyboard
- Poor-quality material
- Average customer support
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 14 – The Portable Choice
Just like the U, S, and Yoga series, the IdeaPad lineup features a smooth, matte lid with the Lenovo login on the top-left corner. But while the Yoga models can fold all the way to have a tablet-like look, we can’t say the same thing with the IdeaPad Flex 14.
But still, the touch-screen provides extra flexibility by bending back by 300 degrees. This is what Lenovo the kiosk mode when you can enable the Tablet Mode in Windows 10 to have a better touch-friendly experience.
Starting from under $400, the IdeaPad Flex 14 is also the cheapest option on our list. But with the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U and 12GB DDR4 RAM, it still can handle most kinds of streaming, except gaming.
If you think that this is not enough for your use, there are higher options with Intel i3 and i5 CPUs.
The major downside is its screen, which offers only the HD (720p) resolution.
It’s also not an IPS panel, so don’t expect the best image quality from off-axis angles. But considering its price, we can’t really complain much.
- Thin and compact design
- Multiple modes
- Below-average display
- Noisy fans
Factors to Consider When Buying A Laptop for Streaming
The CPU is what does the most work when you live-stream.
As a result, to deliver the best videos to your viewers, get the best possible CPU you can buy. Anything worse than a quad-core, multi-threading model will have a hard time processing your streams.
Don’t be cheap, and lose your viewers!
When a new game is released, and you want to stream you testing it out, the GPU is as important as the main processor.
The obvious decision here is going for a great gaming laptop. They are already designed to handle most heavy games, and the premium models can even load your streaming software at the same time without a hitch.
8GB is the minimum amount, but if you are a game streamer, get at least 16GB. DDR3 can still perform well enough, but if you aim for an easy upgrade in the future, DDR4 is a better choice.
SDD has become cheaper and cheaper over the years. So it’s obviously the best option out there. Your game loading time can be reduced to a matter of seconds with high-quality SSD drives.
Unless you want to store a lot of games on your laptop, streaming doesn’t require a huge amount of storage.
But, for example, when you need to edit your footage and upload it to your Youtube channel later, get a laptop with extra HDD storage.
This really depends on what you want to do when you’re streaming.
There is no cheap option for a game streaming laptop. On the other hand, a portable, cheaper model can handle Youtube streaming sessions pretty well.
What is a Great Laptop Model for Streaming?
A great laptop for streaming at least must have the required hardware for your purpose. On top of that, other factors such as the design, battery life, and display quality all contribute to the quality of your streaming sessions.
All the products above are notable options on the market, with each model having its own strengths. But if you want to for a specific laptop, the 2019 Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch is our recommendation.
What Hardware do I Need for Streaming?
The exact requirements depend on your purpose, even the type of game you’re going to play in the case of game streamers.
For example, if Twitch is your streaming platform of choice, get at least an i5-4670, 8GB of RAM, and a GTX 1060.
Additionally, other equipment like a good microphone and webcam is all equally important.
How to Speed Up a Laptop Used for Streaming?
Streaming takes a toll on your CPU, so try to close as many unnecessary programs as possible. And since the quality of your Internet connection is vital for a good streaming session, get the best plan you can afford from your ISP.
Though we’re discussing laptops for streaming, use the wired connection instead whenever you can as it brings a more consistent connection compared to Wi-Fi.
PCs, smartphones, and laptops – they all have their use if you can figure out which tool can help you the most in your streaming sessions. And when you need a powerful yet portable machine to connect to your viewers, the best laptops for streaming in the list above are all great choices.
Which one of them is your favorite? Let’s share your thoughts with other streaming fellows below.