Physical media may be on its way out the door, but it hasn’t completely gone the way of the Dodo just yet.
Steam, Dropbox, Google Docs and other digital services are rapidly removing the need for discs to store data. Consequently, built-in optical drives in newer laptops are becoming more and more rare.
Need a portable computer with great specs that don’t forget about physical discs? We’ve got you covered with a roundup of the best laptops with a DVD drive!
Recommendations for January 2021
Best Laptops With DVD Drives In 2021
HP Flyer Red- Affordable Pick
If you are looking for the perfect laptop to keep around the house for the entire family, the HP Flyer Red is a great choice. It’s low price and overall decent specs make it a great laptop for parents or the kids.
Inside is a decently fast Intel Pentium Gold 4417U Gold Processor processor that is perfect for web browsing, doing homework, or watching a movie. It also has 500 GB of HDD space, Which is definitely a welcome option for its cheap price.
At this low of a price point, you will not get a dedicated graphics processor, so any new games will be a no-go on the Intel HD Graphics on this laptop. However, there are gaming laptops out there with CD drives (we list our favorite below).
It comes equipped with a glossy 15.6-inch display and has a resolution of 1366 x 768. While this isn’t terrible, it falls a bit shy of our preferred 1920 x 1080 resolution.
The optical drive is a DVD-RW, which is plenty capable. You will be hard-pressed to find a better laptop with a CD drive in the budget market than the HP Flyer Red. It packs enough horsepower to be the main household laptop, all at an affordable price.
Hardware specifications for HP Flyer Red
CPU: Intel Pentium Gold 4417U Gold Processor | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 610 | RAM: 4 GB RAM| Screen: 15.6-inch diagonal HD SVA WLED-backlit touchscreen (1366×768) | Storage: 500 GB HDD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 6 hours| Weight: 3.74 lbs
Lenovo Ideapad 330 – Touch Screen Laptop
When you walk into the boardroom of your office for a meeting with the higher-ups, you will want to look the part. Strolling in with the Lenovo Ideapad 330 will let them know you are the real deal.
The ThinkPad has a decent i5 processor on board, though we find ourselves wishing it was an i7 with a couple more cores at times. It is usually more than enough when combined with 8GB of RAM and to handle your business.
The integrated Intel graphics are fine for business use cases, and even light content creation (presentations, audio recording, etc). We would not recommend it for use in 3D modeling, animation, or anything other than light photo editing and creative work.
The Lenovo Ideapad 330 has a really nice 15.6-inch display and 1366 x 768) resolution. This gives the screen a nice crisp and clear image, making it easy on the eyes when reading documents or typing up your next business proposal.
In today’s world, it is hard to find an optical drive on laptops. However, the ThinkPad has one equipped, and that makes it a great choice when physical copies of files are still used.
When you look at the overall package, the Lenovo Ideapad 330 is a fantastic business laptop. There are a few weaknesses, and it has strengths in all the right places.
Hardware specifications for Lenovo Ideapad 330
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U 1.60GHz Quad-Core Processor (6MB SmartCache, up to 3.40GHz)| Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620| RAM: 8 GB RAM | Screen: 15.6″ HD LED-backlit Touchscreen (1366 x 768) Display | Storage: 1 TB HDD | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 6 hours| Weight: 5.99 lbs
HP 17 – 17” HD Display
It’s hard to find a 17” laptop out there with a DVD drive. CDs are getting phased out and the newer generation laptops have traded their optical drives to include better specs for their laptops. The HP 17 on the other hand is one of those laptops that still retain their optical drives.
With a nice and fast Intel Core i5-8265U processor and 8 GB of RAM, this laptop can do anything you want. Homework, business work, and even gaming are all in the realm of possibilities.
The Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics card is a really good alternative to a dedicated GPU to keep the price down. They can handle content creation and gaming on even some of the newer games on the market.
The two things that hold this laptop back the most are the screen and the slow hard drive. The screen, while it does have a decent color, only has a resolution of 1600×900. The storage hard drive is small for a powerful laptop with only 256 GB of SSD storage.
Read and write DVDs and CDs with the integrated optical drive. Great for those that still have photos and videos on physical media or a large DVD library.
Hardware specifications for HP 17
CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8265U Quad-Core Processor Speed| Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620| RAM: 8 GB | Screen: 17.3″ diagonal HD+ SVA BrightView WLED-backlit Touchscreen Display (1600×900) | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 5 hours | Weight: 6.49 lbs
Dell Inspiron 15 5593 – Affordable FHD Display
Packing an i5 processor and a whopping 8 GB of RAM, this is a great laptop for all productivity-related tasks. The hard drive is a full 256 Tb of SSD storage, which is great for plenty of speedy file sharing.
This laptop is using the Intel UHD Graphics graphics card, which is enough to do things like render videos or play the latest games on lower resolutions and have an enjoyable experience.
One of the biggest selling points of this laptop is that it comes at an affordable price and it offers you a 1920×1080 for a cheap price. You’ll be able to work easily now since you don’t have to strain your eyes with a lower resolution screen.
The Blu-ray DVD writer that is included is a nice touch and something that most laptops are getting rid of. It works great, playing CDs and DVDs extremely quickly and without error.
Hardware specifications for Dell Inspiron 15 5593
CPU: 10th Gen Core i5-1035G1 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics| RAM: 8 GB RAM | Screen: 15 6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Non-touch Display Narrow Border | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 3 hours | Weight: 6.02 lbs
HP Envy – Very Powerful
DVD drives are starting to phase out in the newer laptop models. They simply are obsolete and a waste of space. But if you want a powerful laptop that still has a DVD drive, then the HP Envy is your best bet.
The laptop features the latest Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB SSD storage. The laptop also has a fairly long battery life of 9 hours making this a very convenient laptop to have.
Hardware specifications for HP Envy
CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U processor | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX150 | RAM: 32 GB DDR4 SODIMM RAM | Screen: 17.3 inch diagonal Full HD (1920×1080) 16:9 Aspect Ratio Touch Display | Storage: 1TB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Pro-64 Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 9 hours | Weight: 6.14lb
Acer Aspire E 15 – Long Battery Life
The Acer Aspire E 15 is a reliable laptop that lasts for 13.5 hours. Sadly it doesn’t have an SSD and it’s powered by an Intel Core i3 8130U Processor which really isn’t saying much.
However, it does have an FHD display which makes it really appealing to the eyes. And it’s one of the few laptops with DVD drives with long battery life. It’s definitely the longest in this list.
Hardware specifications for Acer Aspire E 15
CPU:Intel Core i3 8130U Processor 2.2 GHz (Up to 3.2GHz) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620| RAM:6 GB RAM | Screen: 15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED lit Display| Storage: 1 TB HDD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 13.5 hours | Weight: 5.27 lbs
Lenovo ThinkPad E570 – Business Pick
The Lenovo ThinkPad E570 is ideal for business and travel especially because of its amazing 15 inches 1920 x 1080 display. It also has anti-glare properties which makes it extremely useful when you’re out working on a bright sunny day.
The laptop also has fairly decent specs and it’s built to be durable which makes it last for a long time. It’s definitely a handy business laptop to have around.
Hardware specifications for Lenovo ThinkPad E570
CPU: Intel 7th Gen Core i5-7200U 2.5GHz | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620| RAM: 8 GB RAM | Screen: 15.6” FHD (1920×1080) IPS Anti-Glare Display | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 7 hours | Weight: 5 lbs
Dell Inspiron 15 5000 – Large Storage Space
The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is probably one of the best laptops on this list when it comes to storage. Specs wise it’s pretty decent with its 8th gen Intel Core i3 processors, it also has a pretty good Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics card and ridiculous 12 GB amount of RAM.
As for storage, well it’s an SSD and HDD combination with a 512 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD. You won’t have storage problems with the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 around! Of course it also has a DVD drive like all the other laptops on this list and expect it to read and write files quite easily as well.
Hardware specifications for Dell Inspiron 15 5000CPU
Intel Core i3-8130U | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 12 GB RAM | Screen: 15 6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Non-touch Display Narrow Border | Storage: 512GB M2 SSD+1TB HDD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 3 hours | Weight: 4.8 lbs
Picking The Best Laptop With A CD/DVD Drives In 2021
There’s no question that storage options have shifted away from CDs to cloud-based services and USB thumb drives.
Plenty of people still keep around game installation discs, CD collections, and burned DVDs filled with photos and family videos, however.
Finding a laptop with acceptable modern specs and a built-in optical drive is difficult, but not impossible. Below we’ve picked five of the best models available at every possible price range for work, school, or gaming.
When looking for a laptop with a CD drive, keep in mind they are often culled from newer models to save space for other features. Many manufacturers are shifting away from traditional laptop design to combine tablets and computers into one.
If you don’t want to lose out on certain minimum specs, you need to be very selective in your choice, taking into account all the possible options.
Whether you want a touchscreen, extra RAM, more hard drive space, or great battery life, we’ve got a laptop here to fit your needs.
What Problems Should I Look Out For In CD Drive Laptops?
Picking a decent laptop with a CD drive isn’t quite as straightforward as you might think. When browsing different models, be sure to take special note of the specs and not just the description or cover image.
Slight differences in model numbers across the same series can have radically different options. More than just a cursory glance is needed to make sure you find what you really need.
Stock photos of a previous model may be used for multiple products at sites like Amazon and Newegg. The photo can appear to have an optical drive on the side, but that particular model may not actually include the CD / DVD.
Take a look at what the reviewers have to say about the speaker quality as well. If your goal is to listen to music CDs or watch movies on DVD without headphones, this can be a critical feature.
Can I Find More Budget-Friendly Options?
Although we picked a wide range of models to include some cheaper options, those on a budget may want something with an even lower price tag.
It isn’t difficult to find laptops in the $250 – $350 range with a DVD drive. You just can’t expect to get a computer with higher end specs at that price point, unfortunately.
Typically these lower priced models only have 4GB of RAM and a slower processor. For web browsing, movie watching, and light work these may still meet your needs.
Even more expensive models may have trade offs to carefully consider. Removing the optical drive saves room for other components, especially in thin and lightweight models.
When a manufacturer adds the CD drive, you may lose out on other specs. Be on the lookout for a laptop with M.2 expansion slot so you can put in an SSD for faster boot times.
Models that allow you to upgrade to 32GB of RAM are also worth considering. You don’t want your laptop with a built-in CD drive going obsolete in the near future.
How Can I Prepare For The End Of Optical Drives?
Sadly, it won’t be long before optical drives are entirely a thing of the past. For those of us with binders full of CDs and extensive collections of disc games, that means it’s time to catch up with the technology.
Many manufacturers offer a large chunk of online storage — such as 500GB — for free if you register your laptop and sign up for an account.
Check the computer’s documentation, or even just take a look at all those stickers near the touchpad before tearing them off the laptop. They often have all the details right there, so don’t overlook them before they go in the trash!
Even if your laptop doesn’t include an online storage option, there are still plenty of services available for free. If you’d prefer not to keep all your data in the cloud, external USB drives offer extra room at reasonable prices.
Best CD Drive Laptop Options
Between these five contenders, you should have found the absolute best laptop with a CD ROM drive to meet your needs. No matter what size, specs, or options you want, something here will fit your budget.
What did you think of our picks, and why do you stick with old school optical drives? Sound off and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you burn CDs and DVDs on laptops?
Yes! If the laptop model you choose has a burner equipped (not just a reader), you will be able to burn discs just like on a desktop PC.
Are all CD drives the same?
No! There are readers, where you will only be able to watch DVDs and listen to CDs. There are also burners which can read and write CDs and DVDs. Just read the specs for the specific drive.
Do I need an internal optical drive?
Unless you have a huge library of discs, no. You can also buy external drives to attach to your laptop if you find one you like that is not equipped with a CD drive.