I'm using Windows 7 Enterprise at home (got it from work) and the drivers all picked up fine and playback is great using WinDVD. The drive was picked up and detected automatically on 7 (and I'd assume Vista), and Windows Update grabbed the proper driver. If you're using XP, I haven't used the drive on an XP environment for a year or so, but you may need to manually install an extra driver, unless it has been added to the Windows Update repository. As for playback, I believe most of it is CPU intensive rather than GPU, so it really depends on what you'll actually see. What are the specs of your laptop?