I would not worry too much about the CPU or the GPU , nor would I worry about a very large RAM memory. The reason is that most current processors, even the least powerful, are sufficient to reproduce local or network video. In addition, the players do not usually demand too much RAM memory (8 GB would be very good).
Then? What matters the most?
Well, I would pay more attention to the Best laptop screen , both the refresh rate, the size, resolution, pixel density and the technologies of the panel that can improve the image to the maximum. Especially if you want to rent or download 4K movies so you can watch them in the highest quality.
However, this collides head-on with ‘cheap’, as laptops with 4K panels fetch above $ 1,000. So, you may have to compromise some quality and choose a FullHD or between FHD and 4K . That is, a 1920 × 1080 (FHD) or a 2560 × 1600 that would be between that and 4K (3840 × 2160 px).
You should also control the type of panel, an LED, IPS or an OLED is preferable , although with all the requirements that we are putting and with the budget limit, it will be difficult to find OLED panels that have a price that is not too expensive.
And there is no good movie theater without good sound . Therefore, you should choose laptops with a good sound system. But of course, as with the panel, here we run into another impediment, and that is to say portable and good sound in the same sentence squeaks a bit, and more if we add the adjective cheap to portable. That’s not to say that there aren’t laptops with better sound systems. By focusing your budget on an interesting screen and a good audio system, you will have the best equipment for what you are looking for. You don’t need to spend a penny more.
And finally, as a recommendation, you probably want to connect your computer to a larger screen to watch the videos on a TV you have, etc., for that reason, you should not neglect that the laptop has an HDMI port , even if it is not Strictly necessary if you are not going to use a second external screen.
Our final recommendation
If you are a fan of watching movies in the best possible quality and in a large size, you also have the option of setting up your own home theater with the best cheap 4K projectors on the market. Every day more people choose this type of device to watch their favorite series and movies.