The 6 best laptops for streaming on Twitch, YouTube, and more

Diablo 4 running on the Alienware x16.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Knowing what the best laptop for streaming is can be a little complicated. Many streamers actually use two computers to manage everything. They use one PC to play the game they’re streaming while having a dedicated PC or Mac for controlling the stream such as by adding bots to their channel which enhance the general experience for everyone by offering key information regularly, moderating activity, or simply throwing in some fun quirky bonuses.

That means that there are technically two types of PC you could do with for streaming — one that’s focused on playing the latest games therefore one that has a good graphics card, while you also have a second one that is powerful for plenty of data crunching to support the main system. Whichever type of laptop it is you’re seeking for streaming, we’ve got it listed below. We’ve picked out the best laptops for streaming including options for gaming rigs as well as ones that will help enhance your content creation potential. As you’d expect, all the laptops here come from the best laptop brands so they’re also great for general usage too. Here’s what we recommend.

The best laptops for streaming in 2024

  • Buy the

    if you want a great all-rounder.

  • Buy the

    if you need a streaming only laptop.

  • Buy the

    for all your content creation needs.

  • Buy the

    to start your streaming journey.

  • Buy the

    for high-end gaming.

  • Buy the

    for portable streaming.

Dell XPS 16

Best all-rounder streaming laptop

Dell XPS 16 sitting on desktop with flowers.
Dell
Pros Cons
Perfect for both gaming and streaming support No ethernet port
Highly portable

The Dell XPS 16 is the ideal all-rounder. It’s powerful enough to be used as a streaming machine monitoring all your essentials, but it also packs a punch graphically so you can easily use it to play the games you’re planning on streaming too. With the latest Intel Core Ultra 9 processor and 32GB of memory, it’s certainly powerful with the side only slightly let down by 512GB of SSD storage rather than more. Still, it’s fine for having a few different games installed at once. If you plan on also using the laptop for video editing such as to post your streams on YouTube for later viewing, you’ll likely need to add an external hard drive.

If you’re turning the Dell XPS 16 into a desktop replacement, the 16.3-inch full HD+ screen is a great starting point before adding a second monitor, while the media row of buttons is useful for controlling certain things and the haptic touchpad feels good on your fingers if you’d prefer to not use a separate mouse. There’s no ethernet port so you’ll need to rely on Wi-Fi but Wi-Fi 7 support means you’re all good to go with the latest protocols.

A plethora of ports means you can hook up all your key accessories, while the sound is catered for with Dolby Atmos support for the 360-degree spatial sound so you won’t need a dedicated solution. The 1080p full HD webcam means viewers can see your reactions with software ensuring a reduction in background noise, and AI which helps keep you in focus.

Specifications
CPU/RAM Intel Core Ultra 9/32GB
GPU Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
Storage 512GB SSD
Display 16.3-inch full HD+ 1920 x 1200

Dell XPS 13

Best for solely streaming

The Dell XPS 13 in front of a window.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Small design for a support machine No good for gaming on
Ideal for using on the move

For streaming, in an ideal world, you want one system for gaming and another for dealing with the demands that streaming can place on a laptop or PC. By doing so, you can take the weight off your gaming machine so that one can focus on gaming and your streaming laptop can handle bots and other fun additions for your channel. That’s where the Dell XPS 13 is perfect. It lacks a dedicated graphics card for anything gaming related but it offers good power for all the background processing. There’s an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor along with 16GB of memory and 512GB of SSD storage so it’s just right for a support machine.

When you need to check what’s going on, the 13.4-inch full HD+ screen with 1920 x 1200 is clear to look at so you can easily get things done alongside your gaming. There’s no ethernet port but like the Dell XPS 16, the Dell XPS 13 has Wi-Fi 7 which should be highly reliable. It’s a thin and lightweight laptop only weighing 2.6 pounds so you can easily find room for it in your gaming setup.

Other useful extras include a 1080p full HD webcam packed with AI-based assistance if you want an extra camera while the haptic touchpad gives you precise feedback when you’re doing something in a rush. The keyboard feels good to use too when issuing bot commands, thanks to offering deeper touch-friendly keycaps and less space between them to make typing more efficient.

Specifications
CPU/RAM Intel Core Ultra 7/16GB
GPU Intel Arc
Storage 512GB SSD
Display 13.4-inch full HD+ 1920 x 1200

Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max

Best for content creation

Apple MacBook Pro 16 front angled view showing display and keyboard.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Very powerful Mac gaming options are still limited
Perfect for speedy video processing

Besides streaming games, many streamers also record their video footage before uploading it to YouTube or editing it down to social media-friendly size for TikTok or other apps. If that’s your intention, you need a machine that can handle a lot of video editing. No one wants to wait a long time for a video to process which is why the Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max is the ultimate option. It has Apple’s most powerful processor — the M3 Max — with 14 cores for the CPU and 30 cores for the GPU. It’s powerful stuff and sure to streamline your plans.

Alongside that, 36GB of memory further helps matters while 1TB of SSD storage is a good amount of storage for anything but the biggest of projects. What you’re working on will look gorgeous and crisp too thanks to the 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display which has Extreme Dynamic Range, over 1,000 nits of brightness for HDR content and up to 600 nits for SDR content. It’s incredibly well suited for content creation right down to 18 hours of battery life.

Thanks to the power involved, the Apple MacBook Pro M3 Max can handle gaming well too if you want to use it sometimes as your gaming machine, but you’ll need to be aware that not all PC games come to Mac. That number is improving over time but consider this your content creation device over your gaming rig.

Specifications
CPU/RAM 14-core M3 Max/36GB
GPU 30-core M3 Max
Storage 1TB SSD
Display 14.2-inch Liquid Retina

Lenovo Legion Slim 5i

Best for a new streamer

The Lenovo Legion Slim 5 Gen 8 gaming laptop on a white background.
Lenovo
Pros Cons
Well priced for what it offers Not the fastest of gaming rigs
Slim design is convenient

If you’re new to game streaming and you want to buy a dedicated rig for playing new games, the Lenovo Legion Slim 5i is an excellent starting point for your streaming journey. It’s more affordable than higher-end systems while still being more than competent for playing most games and then eventually being used as a support system once you’re in a position to level up your streaming. It has a competent 13th-generation Intel Core i5 processor teamed up with 16GB of memory and 512GB SSD storage. These are the core specs you need for most activities these days while there’s an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 to ensure you can handle plenty of gaming if you don’t mind tweaking some detail levels.

While we’d always recommend using one of the best gaming monitors to give you more screen space, the 16-inch WUXGA 1920 x 1200 is more than good enough thanks to its 144Hz refresh rate and 45% NTSC color. If you need to rely on the built-in webcam for your viewership, you’ll be happy too thanks to its 1080p full HD webcam with dual microphones and a camera shutter for those moments when you need to guarantee privacy.

Refreshingly, the Lenovo Legion Slim 5i also finds room for an ethernet port so if you want a more stable internet connection, this is your chance to do so by wiring things up. There’s Wi-Fi 6E for when you want the freedom of a wireless connection. A slimline design, the Lenovo Legion Slim 5i won’t take up too much room meaning you can easily move it around. It’s a versatile machine for your introduction to the compelling world of game streaming.

Specifications
CPU/RAM 13th-generation Intel Core i5/16GB
GPU Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050
Storage 512GB SSD
Display 16-inch WUXGA 1920 x 1200

Alienware x16 R2 gaming laptop

Best for high-end streaming

Screen on the Alienware x16.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Powerful hardware Expensive
Fantastic screen

Anyone keen to invest in a high-end gaming rig should consider all that Alienware has to offer. The Alienware x16 gaming laptop is one of the best gaming laptops around right now and perfectly suited for if you want to stream games at high graphical levels. It has the latest Intel Core Ultra 9 processor along with a huge 32GB of memory and 1TB of SSD storage. The graphics card is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 with 12GB of dedicated VRAM so it can easily handle the most demanding of games now and in the future too. It’s teamed up with a screen which means you don’t need a dedicated monitor if you don’t want. It has a 16-inch QHD+ screen with 2560 x 1600 resolution, 240Hz refresh rate, and 3ms response time. It’s all combined to make this a highly able laptop for playing and therefore streaming the latest games.

If you’re new to streaming, you really don’t need to spend this kind of money just yet but if you’ve made partner and you’re working your way up through the ranks of Twitch popularity with a side dose of YouTube posting, this is a good investment. It also has a 1080p full HD webcam, a great cherry keyboard with per-key RGB LED lighting, and its precision touchpad is great to use too. The only thing we miss is there’s no ethernet port but Wi-Fi 7 compatibility is a bonus here at least.

A truly phenomenal gaming laptop, the Alienware x16 gaming laptop is the perfect main rig for you. Stick it alongside your old laptop so you can use the latter to control the stream better and you’re all set.

Specifications
CPU/RAM Intel Core Ultra 9/32GB
GPU Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080
Storage 1TB SSD
Display 16-inch QHD+ 2560 x 1600

Razer Blade 14

Best for portable streaming

Razer Blade 14 2023 on desk with lighting in background
Razer
Pros Cons
Super sleek No ethernet
Flexible for streaming

The Razer Blade 14 is a super flexible laptop. It’s sleek and small so you can easily take it out and about with you. It’ll slot on your streaming desk to ensure you can use it well as a support laptop but it’s also powerful in the right ways for you to use as your dedicated gaming laptop for streaming too. Its screen is a little small at 14 inches but that’s not a huge dealbreaker when you can add an extra monitor.

For performance, there’s an AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS processor, 16GB of memory and 1TB of SSD storage. It’s worth noting that the memory is extra speedy and designed with gaming in mind. The screen is a 14-inch QHD+ display with 2560 x 1600 resolution and 240Hz refresh rate for those times you need to rely on it. The graphics card is an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 which could be a little more powerful but is still more than good enough for current games without a hitch.

Predictably given the sleek build, there’s no ethernet port but the Razer Blade 14 is otherwise packed with key ports like USB-C and USB-A as well as HDMI 2.1 so it’s perfect for branching out your setup. It also has a full HD webcam with a privacy shutter if you don’t want to buy a dedicated webcam for streaming just yet.

Specifications
CPU/RAM AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS/16GB
GPU Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
Storage 1TB SSD
Display 14-inch QHD+ 2560 x 1600

How we chose these laptops for streaming

When buying a laptop for streaming, you need to think carefully about several things. Those factors are what we considered when picking out the best laptops for streaming. While the laptops above are a general overview of your best options, it’s still important to consider just what you need from a laptop for streaming on Twitch, YouTube or elsewhere. By learning about how we came to our decision, you can go on to form your own opinions based on what you need and want most of all.

One of the most important things to consider is why you need the laptop for streaming. Do you want a laptop for actually playing the games you’re streaming or do you want a secondary device for controlling your stream more efficiently, taking the effort off your gaming rig? Not everyone needs a secondary rig. If you’re just going to stream occasionally and solely for fun, there’s little need for it. However, if you’re pursuing it as something more then the extra power is certainly helpful. Another thing to consider here is if you plan on doing more than just streaming. If you also want to edit videos, upload content to social media, and do more to expand your streaming brand, a laptop that can handle all that is important. A combination of a powerful processor, a large amount of RAM/memory, and a good graphics card help a lot here. More storage is good but you can always upgrade that through external hard drives further down the road. Video editing and streaming at a high resolution are some of the most demanding things you can expect from a PC. Particularly when it comes to video editing, no one likes waiting for a slow process to complete so it’s useful to have the hardware to handle it efficiently.

From there, think about your budget. We included options for different budgets, bearing in mind that some people can spend thousands while others can only afford a budget device. For gaming, nothing is super cheap but there are ways to save through picking laptops that have slightly older hardware and tech. On the other hand, while few people need a $3,000 laptop, if you’re serious about streaming and your online career is going well, it could be a very worthwhile investment. Only you know if you’re getting value for money by spending more.

One of the more important things you need from a laptop for streaming is flexibility. You want a system that has plenty of ports so you can hook up dedicated devices such as a second monitor, standalone webcam, charge controllers or simply be able to plug in your capture card. Most gaming laptops lack an ethernet port which is frustrating for gamers as a wired connection keeps signs low and reliability high compared to Wi-Fi. However, some of the latest models make up for this by having Wi-Fi 7 support which helps massively with reliability.

In some cases, you may also wish to consider how portable the laptop is. While streaming on the move isn’t always ideal, it’s nice to have the option. Also, if you have a small amount of living space and want two systems — a gaming rig and a streaming support rig — a small size can help a lot here. Once you factor in extra monitors and accessories, space is soon filled, so slimline laptops are the most appealing.

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

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