Cd drive laptops: Best laptops with CD-DVD drives in 2023

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Best Laptops with DVD Drive 2023 (Blue-Ray & CD Drive)

Each passing year, laptops with CD DVD Drives are becoming increasingly difficult to find.

This is due to USB Drives capacities now reaching hundreds of gigabytes, the easy access to cloud storage and of course the ever increasing internet speed which allows you to download pretty much anything within seconds.

Companies still manufacture laptop with CD DVD Drives. How do you find them?

You can still find CD DVD Drives on the Dell Inspiron and Dell Vostro.

Easy…

Just look for 17 inch laptops.

If that doesn’t work…

Look for slightly older models. Now now…don’t be scared. I said slightly older…

I know I know…

You want the 2023 laptop with a DVD Drive….one which has a CD DVD Drive AND the 11th or even 12th generation Intel Core CPU (a 6th generation Ryzen CPU would be the AMD equivalent).

Don’t worry I’ll show you a couple of models like that soon.

But think about…

If you’re just going to burn family photos and videos on DVDs, pull out a DVD drives on an internet-less flight to watch a movie or maybe to toy around with legacy software.  Why would you want that much power?

As for me…

I still use my 10th gen Core i3 CPU with a DVD Drive, enough power to do research (currently in Reno Nevada close to the desert) and with the DVD Drive ready to go when the internet goes down (quite often) so i can watch star wars again.

Another solution is…

To buy any laptop you want and just add an external optical drive.

You can just attach it to the USB port and call it a day.

  All laptops can have an external USB Optical Drive attached to it, even the MacBooks have their own USB Optical Drive shown below: 

Table of Contents

Chill, I know you’re here because you want to avoid that especially if you’re in the Information Technology business and dont want to add an accessory to the suitcase.

Be warned, I’m only going to list modern latpops (2020-2023). There’s no point on listing devices older than that as they’ll be too slow to handle the full version of Windows 11 or even Windows 10.

I’ll list them in order of increasing power: starting with those for everyday tasks & video playback and wrapping it up with something for gaming & streaming.

WARNING: ALL OF THE FOLLOWING LAPTOPS CAN READ DVDs , CDs and Blue-Ray . For Blue-Ray Disc support you just need to install a software like VLC because Windows Media Player cannot play them. Check out this guide for more details


1. Acer Aspire 3

Best Acer Laptop with DVD Drive 

  Intel Core i5 105G37

  8GB DDR4 (Free Slot – Up to 16GB)

  ‎Intel UHD Graphics

  512GB PCIe NVMe SSD (Free 2.5” and M.2 Slot for Upgrade)

  17.3” FHD IPS

  6.17 lbs

  8 hours

    WiFi 5 802. 11 AC

  CD DVD Reader and DVD Writer

As of 2023, the Acer Aspire 3 is still the best laptop with a CD DVD Drive due to its low price.

Luckily, the link I’ve posted last year still works and there’s plenty of stock this year too. If it runs out of stock, check the model below which is 150 dollars cheaper but it discards the FHD display for an HD display:

I’ll just save you time and tell you right now…there’s really no need to look after all the other laptops on the list (unless the Acer Aspire 3 runs out of stock), this is without doubt the best laptop with a cd dvd drive right now.

What makes it so special?

Well, virtually every (NEW) laptop with a CD DVD Drive will have a 17 inch display (again that makes it easier to manufacture with a DVD Drive) but only a few come with a FHD display and even less sell with both FHD and a DVD Drive under 600. 

Why is a FHD display useful?

FHD stands for FULL HIGH DEFINITION which is basically 1920×1080 resolution, if you’re buying this to watch movies, then that’s going to let you play movies at 1080p resolution. If you’re using this for other purposes, the FHD gives you A LOT of extra screen space to multitask, play games, run software, etc.

 Performance

I know we are in the 12th generation of Intel Alder Lake CPUs but they haven’t released (if they ever do) a model with a CD DVD Drive, they haven’t even released an 11th gen CPU with a DVD Drive last year.

The 10th generation Core i5 CPU is by no means slow, if you look at the chart below , it’s only a few points slower than the 11th gen CPUs:

Now…

You could go in fact for older CPUs and it is much more likely they’ll have a CD DVD Drive the further you go back in time. What you can’t miss though is the 8GB RAM & Solid State Drive, otherwise, WIndows 10 will run painfully slow.

This laptop not only has both of these but adds extra storage on TOP of the modern 10th gen CPU so you can bet this can run applications even on Windows 11 with ZERO lag. You can even play most AAA games at low settings without having to worry about high temperatures (this is the advantage of 17 inch laptops , more space = better cooling).   Photo and video editing rendering can also be done in this laptop without having to worry about speed or high temperatures for the aforementioned reasons.

 Design

You can increase performance even more by upgrading RAM to 16GB (for gaming) or even 32GB (for video editing), the best part of this model and the advantage of buying it over all the other models is how EASY it is to upgrade. If you take a look at the bottom panel cover as shown below:

There’s easy access to both RAM slots and the additional 2.5” bay SATA III conector (for Storage upgrades), all you have to do is unscrew a few screws, insert either the RAM stick or an additional SATA III SSD Drive and you’re done!

CD DVD Drive:

It reads both CD & DVD Drives but it can only write DVDs.


2. HP Pavilion 17

Best HP Laptop with CD DVD Drive 

  Intel Core i3-1005G1

  8GB DDR4 ( Up to 16GB)

  ‎Intel UHD Graphics

  128GB PCie NVMe SSD+ 1TB HDD

  17. 3″ HD+ (1600×900)

  5.70 lbs

  10 hours

    WiFi 5 802.11AC

  Reads CD DVD / Writes DVD

This laptop is somewhat cheaper (~70 dollars cheaper) than the Acer Aspire 3.  Two things you’re going to have to give up though:

  • Core i5 10th gen CPU: This model has a Core i3 10210U, it’s only going to be useful for everyday tasks, photo editing and gaming at low settings. Video editing and 3D work will be very slow unless you upgrade RAM to 16GB.
  • 1080p Display: It only has a HD+ display which is not something you want if you’re buying this to watch movies at FHD or to heavily multitask with two or three windows next to each other.

Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD

I’ve used a laptop with a HD+ resolution for several years (2014-2018) and I didn’t really care about the HD+ resolution, I was still able to enjoy anime & I was able to multitask effectively.

However, I could not deal with just 128GB SSD storage for my work. I need a high speed storage drive to install some AAA games which take up a lot of space, AutoCAD. If you are not gaming but rather just watching movies the extra 1TB HDD will come in handy to you, you don’t need the extra super fast storage to read files (reading movies is fast and so are most basic everyday tasks). At least this laptop gives you a 128GB which is enough for Windows 11 Pro (you need to install Windows on the SSD in order for your laptop to boot up in seconds) and about 80GB left of SSD storage for any other high-end application.

So if you’re not happy with 128GB SSD, likewise you can upgrade the storage as shown in this post.

CD DVD Drive:

Likewise it can read both CD & DVD Drives and only has a DVD writer (you can save data on DVDs only but read them out of CDs or DVDs).


3. HP 17-by3053cl

Best Laptop with DVD Drive – 1080p Display

  Intel Core i5-1035G1

  12GB DDR4 (Upgradeable to 24GB)

  ‎Intel UHD Graphics

  1TB HDD

  17. 3″ FHD (1080p) IPS

  5.43 lbs

  9 hours

    WiFi 5 802.11AC

  Reads CD DVD / Writes DVD

 Performance

However…

It’s not going to be anywhere near as fast as the Acer Aspire 3 because it lacks a Solid State Drive. The current HDD (Hard Disk Drive) gives you plenty of space, can let you install dozens of heavy games and thousand of movies but it’s not going to run these files as fast as an SSD and even booting up its going to take several several minutes as opposed to a few seconds with an SSD.

Needless to say, if both the Acer Aspire 3 & The HP Laptop that follows it run out of stock, you have to upgrade the HDD with an SSD if you buy this model.

 Display

Luckily, this laptop keeps the FHD display and on top of that gives you 12GB RAM out of the box (very unlikely you’ll need to upgrade RAM), you can any extra cash to buy the SSD storage below and do the upgrade as I mentioned in this post: Upgrading SSD Storage.

CD/DVD Drive: Best out of the list

Here’s the kicker, the optical drive installed in this laptop can not only read both DVD and CDs but it can ALSO write on both CDs and DVDs! At least that’s what it looks like!

Alternative:

The following laptop is a carbon copy of this HP 17 except that it has a touchscreen display and a HD+ resolution and you no longer need to upgrade the storage to speed up performance as it already comes with a 256GB SSD.


4. Dell Inspiron 15 3000

Cheap Laptop with DVD Drive 

  Intel Core i7-1065G7

  16GB DDR4 (Upgradeable to 24GB)

  Intel Iris Plus

  1TB PCIe NVMe SSD (Supports additional Storage)

  15.6″ FHD (1080p) IPS

  4.41lbs 

  8 hours

    WiFi 5 802.11 ac

  Reads CD & DVD / Writes DVD

  Core i5 vs Core i7 10th gen 

This Dell Vostro has a Core i7 which as most of you probably know , significantly faster AND comes by default with a better ‘integrated’ GPU attached to it.

If you’re a gamer, this is a huge upgrade and you’ve got here the best hardware out of the entire list.

In fact, there’s a trick which I talk about in a previous post. If you can up the RAM to 16GB, the Intel UHD 620 or any integrated GPU on board can use the extra RAM as vRAM thus almost acting like a dedicated GPU, long story short it can increase framerates. Guess what? RAM is already upgraded to 16GB  and in dual-channel mode!

I would usually recommend to stay clear of Core i7 CPUs because they’re too expensive but this one is the exception. It’s selling for about the same price as the Acer Aspire 3 yet holding way better hardware and with all upgrades maxed out.

There’s another much cheaper renewed laptop with a DV Drive. If both run out of stock, just type “Dell Inspiron Laptop with DVD Drive” on the amazon search bar.

CD/DVD Drive:

The CD/DVD Drive is nothing special. Like almost every laptop, it can read both CDs and DVDs but can only write on DVDs.  


5. Dell Vostro 3590

Best Dell Laptop with DVD Drive – Dedicated Graphics

  Intel Core i7-10510U

  8GB DDR4 (Upgradeable to 24GB)

  AMD Radeon 610 2GB vRAM

  256GB PCIe NVMe SSD (Supports additional Storage)

  15.6″ FHD (1080p) IPS

  4.39lbs 

  8 hours

    WiFi 5 802.11 ac

  Reads CD & DVD / Writes DVD

 

Unlike the Dell Inspiron this laptop is a little more expensive and NEW. You’re not only paying money for the fact that it’s new but it also has a few more features that are going to come in handy if you’re buying a laptop to watch movies through a CD DVD Drive.

  Display & Graphics

Although it has the same display (FHD) , it’s smaller and its a lot more portable to take it with you perhaps on an airplane trip to watch movies. But unlike most laptops here it’s got a slightly brither display (~450 nits). How is this useful? Well if you’re out in the sun or in a place with lots of lights, the brigther the display the easier it’s going to be to see what’s on the screen.

What’s more it’s got a dedicated GPU, while it may not be useful for gaming, it’s going to be able to handle 3D models much better and it’s also going to speed up video editing much faster , not for watching, but for editing and the usual benefits from dedicated graphics: photo editing, etc. You can check the gaming performance of the Radeon 610 the link below and make your own conclusions:

 


A. QHD Laptop with External DVD Drive

Now I want to talk about one more laptop we did not include in the list it is shown below:

If that laptop could have a DVD Drive, it would’ve been PERFECT to watch movies because the resolution is just as high as the one found on MacBooks or laptops above 1000 dollars. Its not FHD, its close to blue-ray quality. . That’s not all, the speaking system is almost 1. 5x louder than most laptops and the quality of sound is pretty good too. Add the fact that it’s got a 16” display and you’ve got the perfect laptop to use DVDs and CDs.

Sure this one doesn’t have one but it’s still going to be less expensive than some laptops with DVD drives and you can just add either an external optical drive and problem solved.

You can choose the blu ray DVD drive (for higher resolutions which this display supports) or the regular optical drive for FHD resolutions and below:

B. MacBooks

Macbooks released on 2007 and onwards do not have a built-in CD DVD Drive. However, every single model supports the external Optical Drive which can read DVDs and CDs called “USB SuperDrive”. 

For example, below you can see my MacBook 16′ (2019) and the external optical drive on top of my MacBook Air (2014 model ), I’m using the same 2012 Optical Drive to install 2023 software. Thus I assure you there is nothing wrong with Optical Drives, they weigh next to nothing.

I would totally understand the issue if you had to carry 17 inch 6lb laptop and adding more weight to that would just defeat the whole purpose.

But if you’re willing to use the optical drive, you can buy pretty much any laptop of your choice and if you choose a thin lightweight model say ~3lb and add the optical drive, it’s just going to add up to 3.3lb at the most.

By the way, older macbooks are faster, even if you get a 2008 MacBook, it’s still going to be plenty fast and faster than most windows laptops made in 2023 under 250 bucks. That’s because OSX (Mac’s operating system) is nowhere near as hardware demanding as Windows 10. refurbished. So you can also get a built-in CD DVD Drive  out of a macbook without having to compromise speed or anything.

C. Mini Laptop with DVD Drive

As of 2023, no mini laptops with built-in DVD drives have been released yet. 

You can find 10 inch DVD devices with screens to watch movies but no laptop yet.

The reason? Currently it just isn’t feasible to make small CPUs, RAM sticks, Storages, and all the circuitry that goes inside a laptop and STILL be able to fit in a CD DVD Drive which would basically occupy HALF the space of a 10 inch laptop. 

Here’s my suggestion, get yourself one of these 11 inch laptops  and just buy an optical drive. 11 inch laptops or even 10 inch laptops (netbooks) have USB ports so they can also have an optical drive attached to it.

If you feel like I’ve missed something or you are not happy with my suggestions (perhaps you want a laptop with a DVD Drive and another feature) please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible (one day tops) and reply to you within hours and also include your suggestion in the next update.

Author Profile
Miguel Salas
I am physicist and electrical engineer. My knowledge in computer software and hardware stems for my years spent doing research in optics and photonics devices and running simulations through various programming languages. My goal was to work for the quantum computing research team at IBM but Im now working with Astrophysical Simulations through Python. Most of the science related posts are written by me, the rest have different authors but I edited the final versions to fit the site’s format.