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Best laptops with CD drives in 2021

Shaun Lucas/Laptop Mag
best laptops with CD drives in 2020 (Image credit: Future)

The best laptops with CD drives are growing more and more obsolete as optical drives become extinct in the laptop world. Now that everything can be downloaded straight to our PC, including games, software, music and more, CD and DVD usage is becoming outdated.

While the laptop world ditches CD drives, also known as optical drives, it's now difficult for CD and DVD owners to find laptops that can support their optical media. You may have a large CD collection from the 90s and early 2000s that you want to pop into your laptop for some nostalgic feelings. Or perhaps you have a DVD collection and you'd love to watch a movie or two after plugging away for hours on your laptop. Or maybe you'd just like to have that peace of mind that your laptop has a CD drive in case you need it.

Luckily for you, there are still some laptops with CD drives on the market, and you don't need to break a sweat looking for one because we've done all the work for you. Of course, many of the laptops on this list are underpowered budget models. If you're a bit flexible, consider checking out our best laptops page then buying an external CD player. If you're on a budget but want something more, well, modern see our best laptops for under $500 rankings. Need a larger screen to watch your favorite shows and movies on? Our best cheap monitors page has you covered.

What is the best laptop with a CD drive?

The best laptop with a CD drive depends on your budget.  If you can only afford a sub-$500 laptop, your best bet would be the Lenovo ThinkPad E570.  Users praise this laptop for its comfortable, clicky keyboard and decent stock of ports for all their periperhal needs, but keep in mind that it is a budget laptop -- you'll have to make some trade offs. And in this case, you won't get the standard 1080p laptop (the $499 Lenovo ThinkPad sports a 1366 x 768-pixel display).

If you have a little more wiggle room in your budget, we'd strongly recommend the Acer Aspire E 15 as the best laptop with a CD drive. With a vibrant display, clear speakers and a satisfactory selection of ports, you'll likely be fulfilled with the Acer Aspire E 15. This laptop hovers around the $800 range, but it's well worth it.

Now if you can afford to splurge, the best laptop with a CD drive that you can get is the MSI GL62M 7REx. Not only can it handle your daily tasks with smooth efficiency, but it can double as a gaming and photo editing machine thanks to its powerful processor and graphics card. This laptop is so well received by buyers, it's rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Best cheap laptop with a CD drive

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Lenovo ThinkPad E570

Best budget laptop with CD drive

Specifications
Optical Drive: DVD writer
Display: 15.6 inches 1366x768
CPU: Intel Core i3-7100U
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 240GB SSD
Ports: 2 x USB 3.0 | USB 2.0 (Always On) | HDMI | VGA | LAN | Headphone/microphone combo jack
Weight: 5 pounds

If you're looking for a decent laptop with a CD drive on the cheap so that it will not break your bank, the Lenovo ThinkPad E570 is an excellent choice. One of the best qualities of this laptop is that it is equipped with a variety of ports for all your peripheral needs. 

You may also find that you'll love the clickiness of the keyboard -- many laptops in this day and age sacrifice a good keyboard in favor of a slim chassis. But with the Lenovo ThinkPad E570, you'll have a comfortable keyboard, a decent stock of ports and a CD drive (that's rare in this day and age) -- all for a decent price.

Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-576-392H)

2. Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-576-392H)

Best overall laptop with a CD drive

Specifications
Optical Drive: DVD Double-Layer Drive RW
Display: 15.6 inches 1920x1080
CPU: Intel Core i3-8130U
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 1TB 5400rpm SATA hard drive
Ports: HDMI, USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, USB Type-C, Ethernet, VGA, Headphone Jack
Weight: 5 pounds

The affordable Acer Aspire E 15 (E5-576-392H, not to be confused with one of the many other Aspire E15's) is one of the best value picks out today. For $379 (currently on sale for $359) you get a capable 8th Gen Intel Core i3 processor, a full-HD display and nearly 9 hours of battery life. Its 5-pound weight may put some off, but that's par for the course on DVD-drive bearing laptops.

Dell Inspiron 17 5770

3. Dell Inspiron 17 5770

Best 15-inch laptop with a CD drive

Specifications
Optical Drive: DVD-RW double-layer drive
Display: 15.6 inches 1920x1080
CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 1TB 5400rpm SATA hard drive
Ports: HDMI, Ethernet, 2x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, headphone jack
Other: Noble lock slot, SD card reader
Weight: 6 pounds

Looking for a big-screen without an equally large price? The Dell Inspiron 17 5770 is a kitchen sink-level laptop. Not only does the Inspiron pack a comfortable keyboard, a 17-inch Full HD screen and that optical drive you're looking for, but it's also got an SD card reader, another dying breed of port. Just don't let its metallic finish fool you, that's a plastic chassis.

Dell Inspiron 15 5000

4. Dell Inspiron 15 5000

Best Dell laptop with a CD drive

Specifications
- Optical Drive: DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD)
Display: 15.6 inches 1366x768
CPU: 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7200U
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 1TB 5400rpm hard drive
Ports: HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, SD memory reader Weight

Looking for more power? Dell's Inspiron 15 5000 laptop starts at $599 with a Core i5 CPU, and its optical drive comes standard. Upgrade options include a discrete AMD Radeon R7 graphics card for gaming, doubling the memory for more multitasking, a 256GB SSD and a Core i7 processor for more speed.

Asus X540UA-DB52

5. MSI GL62M 7REx

The best gaming laptop with a CD drive

Specifications
Optical Drive: DVD-RW drive
Display: 15.6 inches 1920x1080
CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB SSD
Ports: Microphone, Headphone, security lock slot, HDMI, USB Type-C, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Mini DisplayPort
Weight: 5.2

There's a reason that the MSI GL62M 7REX has a 4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon. Jam packed with a GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card, this MSI laptop can also handle some of your favorite gaming titles. If you've got a favorite game that is encapsulated into a CD, you don't need to worry because this laptop comes equipped with a CD drive.

Many users have praised for the MSI for remaining cool under intensive gaming experiences. Others have put the MSI GL62M 7REX on a pedestal for its fine performance when it comes to photo editing. If you're looking for a gaming rig or a laptop that can handle photo and video editing, and you are in need of a CD drive, this is the laptop for you.

HP Envy 17

6. HP Envy 17

Specifications
- Optical Drive: DVD Writer
Display: 17.3 inches 3840x2160
CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Ports: Ethernet, HDMI, 1x USB Type-C, 3x USB 3.0, SD Memory reader Weight

Got more money to spend? You truly can have it all. The HP Envy 17 is a premium machine with an aluminum chassis, a 17.3-inch 4K IPS anti-glare display and audio from the sound maestros at Bang & Olufsen. It also packs a giant 1TB SSD, a 4GB Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card, 16GB of RAM and — of course — a DVD writer drive.

HP ZBook 17 G5

7. HP ZBook 17 G5

Best 17-inch laptop with a CD drive

Specifications
Optical Drive: Blu-Ray Player/DVD Writer
Display: 17.3-inch 3840 x 2160 CPU
RAM: 32GB
Storage: 512GB NVMe M.2 PCI-e SSD
Ports: 3x USB 3.0, Ethernet, lock slot, 2x Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, headphone jack, mini DisplayPort, Smart Card Reader (optional), SD memory reader
Weight: 7.7 pounds

HP knows that professionals need optical drives too, and that's whyit sells the premium-grade ZBook 17 G5. That's right, the ZBook 17 G5isn't just a plain old laptop with a DVD drive: it's gota Blu-ray CD/DVD drive, which are even rarer than regular optical drives. This system also features military-grade durability and the blistering speed of an Intel Xeon processor.