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Best Laptops With a DVD Drive

Companies including Dell and HP still make laptops with built-in drives that can play your old movies and CDs

A laptop with a DVD drive.

Alexa Kaplan was in the mood to watch "At World’s End," the third film in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, when she realized she had no way to do so.

A college student from Long Island, Kaplan is among the many consumers who own a laptop that doesn’t have a built-in DVD drive, a once-common feature that has faded away as manufacturers chase thinner and lighter designs.

Though the proliferation of streaming media services for music, movies, and TV shows, and cloud-based software may make it seem like having a built-in DVD drive is superfluous, anyone with a pokey internet connection (or strict data caps) will appreciate the flexibility of being able to use disc-based media. An added bonus: Blank DVDs are inexpensive—you can get 50 of them for $15 on Amazon—in case you want to back up photos or other digital media somewhere other than the cloud.

“My first Mac had a disc drive and, yeah, it was heavy, but I got a lot of use out of it,” Kaplan says. “While I definitely enjoy my current Mac being lighter and thinner, I do miss the luxury of having a DVD drive."

More on Laptops

Of course, if your laptop doesn’t have a built-in DVD drive, you can always buy an external drive for $20 to $30 at stores like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. But that's best for occasional use. These drives typically connect via USB, which means you’ll need an unoccupied USB port every time you want to use it. And if you're bringing your laptop and some DVDs on vacation, you'll need to pack the extra piece of electronics. A built-in drive can be more convenient.

The following laptops, which all have built-in DVD drives, aren't the highest-rated laptops in our ratings, but they’re more than capable of handling everything from browsing the web to editing text documents to touching up photos. And they’re reasonably priced, too.

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