Choosing a laptop suitable for DJing and music production isn’t JUST based on hardware requirements. If you’re wondering about the best laptops for DJs?
Listen up folks.
Sure, power counts, but you also need a machine that’s reliable and stable, in the right ways.
Probably the worst nightmare of any DJ is their computer crashing mid-performance. For this reason, a good laptop is as essential for a DJ or music producer as having high-quality headphones.
You shouldn’t just buy the first product that pops up or the one that sounds affordable and looks good. Choose the one that suits your needs, whether you’re a DJ or a music producer. It’s always better to buy a great product at a fair price than a fair product at a great price.
What Laptops Do DJs Use?
In general, to be a good DJ you should think about getting a fairly modern laptop that can handle basic processing tasks much like a gaming computer. The laptops listed below are probably what 90% of DJs are using today in 2020.
A few years back, people in the music industry, especially music production, relied more heavily on desktop computers.
They offered great power and more stability. Nowadays, people have a greater need for mobility, and thankfully, laptops came a great way.
DJ Laptop Specs Explained:
Whether you’re a traveling DJ or a music producer, there are things you should pay attention to when choosing a laptop:
- Processing Power – Your laptop’s performance depends on it, so you should go for the best you can afford. A power-packed CPU (Intel Core i5 at least), coupled with enough RAM, allows the computer to handle heavy audio processing apps.
- RAM – you need plenty of RAM for your DAW software and VST intensive production. So, you should choose a model with 8GB of RAM or more.
- Storage – Depends on your needs. Choose a laptop with an SSD storage, coupled with a spacious HDD. Choosing a model with SSD only will result in you having to buy an external HDD, which will eventually become a necessity.
- Mobility – if you’re traveling a lot, opting for a slimmer and lighter laptop may be a smart idea. Traveling musicians are usually opting for an Ultrabook since they are light, thin, and durable. Since working on a 13″ screen can be challenging, 15″ displays are the safest bet.
They’re big enough to be comfortable and small enough to transfer it around easily.
- Battery Life – While on the subject of mobility, you might find yourself working in a place without a power outlet. Having a laptop that offers a great battery life really helps in those situations.
Apple products may be the default for most DJs, but most laptops for music production are actually Windows-based.
The Top 10 Laptops For DJing & Music Production In 2020
This is also the best MacBook for recording music by the way. MacBook is an extremely reliable device, so buying one will ensure that your performance goes without laptop related crashes. Apple takes pride in the creativity options its devices offer, so this laptop is great for musicians and music producers, as well.
This model of MacBook Pro comes with a powerful Intel Core i7 2.2GHz CPU, 256GB SSD storage, and Radeon Pro 555X. This is quite a powerful configuration, coupled with 16GB of RAM offers flawless performance with almost no chances of crashing.
When it comes to aesthetics, Apple rarely disappoints. The new space-gray uni-body is crafted out of aluminum and still looks as nice and sleek as always.
The all-glass trackpad is still the best in its class, and its backlit keyboard comes in handy for your night performances. The battery of this model is pretty strong, offering up to 11 hours of work.
MacBook Pro has a reputation for being among the top choices for musicians all over the world.
Pros Of The MacBook Pro
- Strong performance
- Great audio
- Long-lasting battery
Cons Of The MacBook Pro
- Somewhat expensive
DJing on a 13” laptop can be challenging. However, if you’re traveling a lot, sacrificing a little comfort in favor of portability can be done with no downsides in performance. That’s why XPS 13 is one of the top choices for traveling performers and music producers.
Its powerful Intel Core i7 allows for faster track processing, minimizing your downtime, while 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD allow for better multitasking and flawless work. For a price, you get one of the most popular Windows-based laptops – one that looks great and runs fast.
It’s only 0.46” thin, and weighs only 2.7 pounds, making it easily portable. The combination of anodized aluminum and woven carbon fiber makes for a sturdy, durable body. It’s small, but not delicate, making it perfect for world-wide performing DJs.
Pros Of The Dell XPS
- 12 hours of battery life
- Beautiful 4K display
- Great design, easily portable
Cons Of The Dell XPS
- Steeper price
This model proves that Lenovo is all about reliability and durability. It offers a robust design, which is excellent for traveling DJs.
Lacking a dedicated graphics card, this model isn’t meant for gaming, but it still offers great specs for DJing.
And since it’s focused on the performance market, this laptop sports AMD PRO A12 Quad-Core APU and 16GB of RAM, offering excellent overall performance. The 14” display isn’t too small, yet it’s not too big for portability either. It’s an FHD display powered by an AMD Radeon R7.
What’s makes this model so great for DJing and producing is the number of extra features. It’s equipped with a spill-resistant keyboard, AR coated display, a significant amount of ports, and a fingerprint reader.
The battery life of this model is underwhelming 5-6 hours, but Lenovo allows for an optional external battery purchase. With an external battery added, you can expect a solid 9 hours of battery life.
Pros Of The Lenovo ThinkPad
- Great performance
- Good portability
- Comfortable to use
- Battery life
HP Pavilion Power 15 is a powerhouse when it comes to running DAW software. With great hardware, backed up by great storage options, this laptop is all you need for large music arrangements and recordings.
Packing a power of Intel’s Core i7-7700HQ CPU, NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti graphics, and 16GB of RAM, this one allows for a wide range of use.
Besides audio processing, this configuration is also great for some light video processing, and even some light gaming when relaxing from work.
The great thing about HP Pavilion Power 15 is it’s dual-storage. It comes equipped with a 128GB SSD for fast boot time and snappy responsiveness. Its 1TB HDD offers enough storage space for your audio projects.
You get about 6-7 hours of battery life, which is pretty impressive considering the power this laptop packs. The Pavilion Power 15 is a great machine for beginners or intermediate music producers and DJs.
Pros Of The HP Pavilion
- Attractive design
- Solid overall performance
- Good battery life
Cons Of The HP Pavilion
- The display could be better
The Acer Predator Helios 300 falls under the “gaming” category, meaning that this machine packs power. Since DAW software can be demanding, this laptop is well-suited for music producers.
Designed primarily for gaming, this model features an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU that can manage heftier workloads.
Acer backed up this CPU with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics and 16GB of RAM and got a well-balanced machine that’s able to handle pretty much anything.
This model comes with 256GB of SSD storage. While it’s not much, you can easily upgrade since there is an extra empty slot. The slot is easily accessible and can house a 2.5″ HDD or SSD.
The body is a combo of brushed anodized aluminum and matte black plastic. The overall build is sturdy and decent enough. However, gaming laptops are known to be a little heavier, and Predator Helios 300 is no exception.
Pros Of The Helios
- Reasonable value
- Good performance
- Great-quality screen
Cons Of The Helios
Another powerful gaming laptop quite popular with DJs and music producers is Asus ROG GL552VW. It’s among the best choices if you’re looking for a non-Apple setup.
This model is quite powerful, sporting Intel Core i7 and 16GB of RAM. That’s more than enough for running multiple DJ or audio processing software simultaneously.
1TB of HDD storage offers more than enough space for your project files, favorite samples, mixes, and software. It comes equipped with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics, capable of supporting some light to medium gaming.
15.6” anti-glare display is an excellent addition if you’re working or performing outside, so the sun won’t play against you. However, if you’re working in a low-light setting, you can turn the backlight on the keyboard, which allows for more comfort.
The ASUS ROG GL552VW has everything you need for DJing and music production, offering exceptional performance with little to no chances of crashing.
Pros Of The ASUS ROG
- Comfortable to use
- Good performance
- The high-quality IPS panel
Cons Of The ASUS ROG
- Not exactly lightweight and slim
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is a stylish, but economic laptop. Despite the lower price, this model packs more power than MacBook Pro. On top of that, it’s lightweight and slim, making it one of the most portable 15” laptops on the market.
The design of this model is more uniform, closely resembling Samsung’s style of smartphone design. In other words, the silver aluminum chassis looks simple while still giving off the premium nature of the product.
Driven by an Intel Core i7-8550U 1.8Ghz, 16GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon 540 graphics, Notebook 9 Pro can handle most tasks with ease. With these specs, you can expect reliable performance.
Also, this laptop is convertible, meaning that it can be used as a sort of a tablet thanks to its brilliant 15” FHD touchscreen display.
Pros Of The Samsung Notebook
- Premium design
- Decent performance
- Solid battery life
Cons Of The Samsung Notebook
- Speakers could be better
Dell offers quite reliable and trustworthy performing products. That’s why you can count on this laptop for your DJing needs.
Inside a dense and sturdy body of Inspiron 5000, you’ll find a solid and reliable configuration. This model comes equipped with an Intel Core i5, and 8GB of RAM (basic configuration).
Since it’s a budget option, it might not be enough for high-end music production, but it can handle DJing and live performances quite well. At the point of purchase, you can opt to upgrade both the CPU and RAM for a few extra dollars.
On the plus side, 1TB of HDD offers plenty of storage capacity, which is ideal for storing all your samples, tracks, and mixes.
With plenty of ports, a backlit keyboard, and an anti-glare FHD display, this laptop is an ideal choice for DJs on a tight budget.
Pros Of The Dell Inspiron
- Solid performing specification
Cons Of The Dell Inspiron
- Battery life falls short
This is an absolute beast amongst laptops. With powerful hardware configuration, P650RP6 is one of the most powerful and best models for music production.
Armed with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, this laptop will shred through any audio processing task with ease.
It’s backed up by 16GB of RAM, great for running multiple software. If you need more, the RAM on this machine can be upgraded up to 64GB.
P650RP6 has incredible connectivity options for your audio devices. This is great for using a lot of MIDI controllers and installing a multiple-display set.
This portable cooling workstation features an intelligent thermal design with three cooling fans. While it gets the job done, it tends to be noisy. This might be a problem if you’re recording and mixing in the same room.
Pros Of The Eluktronics
- Amazing performance and power
- Tons of connectivity options
Cons Of The Eluktronics
- It is bulky
ASUS ZenBook Pro is somewhat different than other models in its class. While most are heavy and bulky, this one is on a thinner side while still getting the job done.
It’s slim, slick, and still offers excellent performance thanks to a powerful Intel Core i7-7700HQ. This pure power providing CPU is combined with 16GB of RAM. It makes the ZenBook Pro a productivity powerhouse, rather than a solid performer.
If you’re a MIDI controller person, you’ll love this model for its many ports. However, it comes with a limited storage space of 512 GB SSD.
All those critical components fit inside an all-aluminum chassis that’s elegant and solidly built. Its battery life is about 7 hours, which is great considering the power it offers.
Pros Of The ASUS ZenBook
- Excellent productivity performance
- Great port selection
- Thin and portable
Cons Of The ASUS ZenBook
- Moderate battery life
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