Best laptops with CD and DVD drives in 2023

Shaun Lucas/Laptop Mag
laptops with CD-DVD drives in 2023 (Image credit: Future)

The best laptops with CD and DVD drives are on the verge of extinction, unfortunately. Trust me! During my tenure as a laptop reviewer, I haven't seen a SINGLE laptop with an optical drive. Now that everything can be downloaded or streamed straight to your PC, including games, software, music, and more, CD and DVD usage is becoming outdated (I know, I'm not happy about either!)

If you need access to a disc drive, you'd be better off purchasing an external DVD drive that can plug into one of the best laptops (like this highly rated external CD/DVD drive (opens in new tab) from Amazon). Since many manufacturers stopped making laptops with optical drives several years ago, laptops with built-in CD-DVD drives that are available today have obsolete hardware that is several generations old. Keep that in mind!

However, if you're still determined to snag one of the best laptops with a CD drive, even if it's packed with an obsolete CPU, check out our list below.

What is the best laptop with a CD drive?

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The best laptop with a CD-DVD drive is, without a doubt, the Acer Aspire 3. It's well priced at less than $600, and of course, it meets your needs with a built-in optical drive, so you can play as many CDs and DVDs on this thing to your heart's desire.

I also dig the ultra-large 17.3-inch display on this laptop, which means you have plenty of screen real estate to read long-form articles and other expansive stuff that large screens are best for. It's also highly praised on Amazon, so we're not the only ones singing its praises!

Another best laptop with a built-in optical drive is the HP 17 2021 17.3-inch laptop. This is for folks who have heavy workloads because it comes equipped with 32GB of RAM, which means it is excellent at multitasking and juggling several tasks at once. If you need to run several resource-intensive apps at once, this is the laptop for you. It's also packed with abundance of storage space (1TB HDD + 512GB SSD). Admittedly, it's pricey, but it's worth it for those seeking a capable, productive laptop with a built-in CD-DVD drive.

Acer Aspire 3

Acer Aspire 3 (Image credit: Amazon)

1. Acer Aspire 3

Best budget laptop with CD-DVD drive


Optical Drive: DVD writer
Display: 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: Intel Core i5-1035G1
Storage: 512GB SSD
Ports: 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A Port, 1x Headset (headphone and microphone combo) port, 1x RJ45 - 10/100Mbps Ethernet port, 1x HDMI 1.4 port, 1x Power-adapter port, 1 x TWE Cloth
Weight: 6.17 pounds

There's a reason why the Acer Aspire 3 has an Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars! It's one of the best laptops you can get because it's packed with a large-screen display (17.3 inches), giving you plenty of screen real estate as you surf the web or work on large spreadsheets. Most importantly, it has an optical drive that can fire up any CD or DVD without a hitch.

The Acer Aspire 3 comes with an Intel Core i5-1035G1 GPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 1920 x 1080-pixel display. The Aspire 3 is wrapped in a sleek, sophisticated Shale Black chassis, so it will look great, whether it's sitting in your room or office.

You can grab the Acer Aspire 3 here for only $549. (opens in new tab)

HP 17 2021 17.3-inch laptop

HP 17 2021 17.3-inch laptop (Image credit: Amazon)

2. HP 17 2021 17.3-inch laptop

Best budget laptop with CD-DVD drive


Optical Drive: DVD writer
Display: 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: Intel Quad-Core i5-10210U
Storage: 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Ports: 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (Data Transfer Only); 1 USB 2.0 Type-A (Data Transfer Only); 1 AC smart pin; 1 HDMI 1.4b; 1 headphone/microphone combo; 1 RJ-45; 1 multi-format SD media card reader
Weight: 5.44 pounds

This HP notebook is another spectacular laptop with an optical drive. As of this writing, it costs $1,099. You may be wondering why this laptop isn't under $1,000 like most laptops with optical drives these days. There are a few reasons for this. One, this laptop has 32GB of RAM, which is a lot! Typically, laptops in this price range have less than 16GB of RAM. RAM makes it easier for your laptop to juggle multiple tasks at once. For example, with 32GB of RAM, you can have 80 tabs open on Google Chrome without it slowing down.

Secondly, this laptop has tons of storage: it has a 512GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, so you'll be fending off the annoying "storage full" error for a long time. Finally, this laptop is highly rated on Amazon, so naturally, HP priced it according to demand. This laptop also comes with an SD card reader, which many content creators will appreciate.

You can snag the HP 17 2021 17.3-inch laptop here. (opens in new tab)

HP - 17.3" HD+ Touchscreen Laptop

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. HP 17.3-inch HD+ Touchscreen laptop

Best budget laptop with CD-DVD drive


Optical Drive: DVD writer
Display: 17.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
CPU: 10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G1
Storage: 256GB SSD
Weight: 5.25 pounds

If the last HP laptop is too pricey for you, consider this HP notebook that has a touchscreen display. It's priced at less than $800, and it comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU, Intel UHD graphics, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. And of course, it has a built-in optical drive, which means you can pop in your favorite CDs and DVDs without any issues.

You can snag this HP 17.3-inch HD+ touchscreen laptop here for $739. (opens in new tab)

Best cheap laptop with a CD drive

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Lenovo ThinkPad E570

Best budget laptop with CD-DVD drive


Optical Drive: DVD writer
Display: 15.6 inches 1366x768
CPU: Intel Core i3-7100U
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-DVD drive (that's rare in this day and age) — all for a decent price.

Dell Inspiron 17 5770

Best 15-inch laptop with a CD-DVD drive


Optical Drive: DVD-RW double-layer drive
Display: 15.6 inches 1920x1080
CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U
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

Best Dell laptop with a CD-DVD drive


- Optical Drive: DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD)
Display: 15.6 inches 1366x768
CPU: 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7200U
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.

HP Envy 17


- Optical Drive: DVD Writer
Display: 17.3 inches 3840x2160
CPU: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U
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 1TB SSD, a 4GB Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card, 16GB of RAM and — of course — a CD-DVD drive.

HP ZBook 17 G5

Best 17-inch laptop with a CD drive


Optical Drive: Blu-Ray Player/DVD Writer
Display: 17.3-inch 3840 x 2160 CPU
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 sometimes professionals need optical drives too, and that's why it sells the premium-grade ZBook 17 G5. That's right, the ZBook 17 G5 isn't just a plain old laptop with a CD-DVD drive: it's got a Blu-ray CD-DVD drive, which is even rarer than regular optical drives. This system also features military-grade durability and the blistering speed of an Intel Xeon processor.