Looking to have your laptop do double or triple-duty as a media machine? Here's a short list of some notable laptops that have some features you're looking for.
Scott SteinEditor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
ExpertiseVR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tabletsCredentials
Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Blu-ray, Intel Wireless Display, HDMI--there are a lot of ways laptops can make themselves killer TV-friendly media machines. In fact, for a reasonable price, there are a lot of options out there. Between Blu-ray playback and wireless streaming of online video, it's easier than ever to get your laptop to effortlessly play nicely with a big-screen HDTV. The trick is knowing which machines have these features. While Blu-ray laptops are often heavily plastered with stickers, Intel's Wireless Display technology is often invisible, and sometimes not even mentioned as a feature at all.
For your convenience, we've rounded up notable media laptops from our back-to-school 2010 retail laptop guide, focusing on the features in each. We've also noted whether these laptops have discrete graphics for gaming (it's not always a given). Whether or not they're gaming friendly, they're all well suited for video. Our roundup came up with several laptops from Sony and Toshiba, including a Sony Vaio EA24FM/W that offers an affordable Blu-ray/Wi-Di one-two punch for $799.
Note: we've seen some other compelling Blu-ray and Wi-Di laptops recently, including the Gateway NV5933u, but our list below focuses on retail configurations from our recent guide.
Sony Vaio EA24FM/W (Blu-ray, Wireless Display) The bottom line: Comfortable, feature-packed, and boasting an eye-catching design, the Sony Vaio EA24FM/W and its combination of Blu-ray and Intel Wireless Display make it an affordable multimedia winner. Read the full review.
Toshiba Portege R705-P25 (Wireless Display) The bottom line: Toshiba's Portege R series has always impressive, and the new 13-inch Portege R705 is close to a perfect balance of design, price, and performance. Read the full review.
Toshiba Satellite A665-S6050 (Wireless Display) The bottom line: The Toshiba Satellite A665-S6050 is a smart choice for home use thanks to its outstanding audio output, Intel Wireless Display, and roomy 16-inch display. Read the full review.
Sony Vaio F126FM/B (Blu-ray, graphics) The bottom line: Sony's high-end Vaio F126 laptop is fast and feature-packed; however, for the money, we wish it had a true HD display and better battery life. Read the full review.
Sony Vaio F12AFM/H (Blu-ray, graphics) The bottom line: At a hair less than $1,000, the Sony Vaio F12A is an attractive desktop replacement laptop that provides Blu-ray and basic gaming performance; it also includes some bonus free software. Read the full review.