Alright, today we will try to find the best laptop for DJing – and it’s not as easy as it may seem. While you may think you have the best DJ setup because you’ve invested a ton in your headphones, studio monitors, mixer, and controller – you can’t possibly expect to start DJing professionally without a good computer.
If you are serious about your passion, you’ll need to find a powerful laptop that has plenty of RAM and is being able to handle high CPU usage – DJ software applications tend to be very demanding, especially once you start adding more effects and tweaks to the original tracks for your set.
If your laptop is old and slow, you’ll likely have issues not only when mixing the tracks and getting the set ready, but even when performing – the last thing you’d want is for your laptop to crash in the middle of a set. Think of investing in the best DJ laptop not as an option, but as a must – you really can’t cut corners here.
I’ve created a list of 10 best laptops for DJing for you to compare the parameters of each and pick the best one for your needs – it’s not as hard as it seems.
Alright, let’s get to the list already!
1) Apple MacBook Pro
As a lot of people may have guessed already, MacBook Pro is an obvious choice. By now you must’ve seen so many DJs around the world using a MacBook as their laptop for DJing – even Kanye was recording his new album in Africa on his MacBook. They are just all over the place – but why’s that? Well, here are a few reasons.
First of all, it’s light, slim, and durable – that’s what you need when you play gigs at a local club. It may not be the most durable laptop for music production on the market, but it will last you a very long time if you are careful – just avoid dropping it or spilling drinks on it. Secondly, it has a long battery life which means that you don’t need to have it plugged in during your 4-hour set at an event.
Even though it’s not cheap, it’s well worth the price. Even though the specs for the price are usually lower than in its Windows competitor, this laptop does a fantastic job handling high CPU loads music production and DJing involve. All the newer versions of this laptop for DJing also come with a solid state drive – you’ll notice the speed difference right away if you are coming from a desktop or laptop with a more popular HDD.
If you are a music producer, you know that Apple has a few digital audio workstations that can only be used on macOS – Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, and Garage Band. Martin Garrix uses a MacBook Pro with Windows installed on it to run FL Studio – that’s because the laptop’s specs are perfect for artistic purposes such as Photoshop, video editing, music production, and DJing.
2) Lenovo ThinkPad
If the MacBook Pro doesn’t meet your needs or budget, you should try a more budget laptop for DJing – Lenovo ThinkPad. Depending on how much RAM and disk space you need, you’ll be able to find the built that fits your needs seamlessly with 13 different options to choose from. If you have been producing music or DJing for some time now, you probably know what specs you are looking for to get the best performance.
If you don’t – there is no need to worry – I got you! So essentially you are able to pick your CPU, amount of RAM, and the SSD size. The most optimal pick for the person who doesn’t know how much CPU or RAM he or she will need to DJ and play gigs, your best bet is going small and then upgrading later.
If you are going to pick ThinkPad as your laptop for DJing, try the one with the 7th gen Intel i5, 8GB of RAM, and 250GB SSD. It’s one of the most basic versions, but it will suit you in the very beginning – you simply don’t need more power when you are learning how to DJ or still working on your DJ setup.
Lenovo makes one of the best computer and laptops for the price, so you can be confident you are getting a good bang for the buck here. Laptops are generally more expensive than desktops, but these days the technology is so advanced that you can run pretty much any soft on even budget DJ laptops – so don’t hesitate.
3) HP Envy x360
HP Envy line has been around for over 10 years now and has been promising since before the release date. Even though not the most budget DJ laptop, Envy x360 is a fantastic choice for those who don’t want to think too much about specs and just need a laptop to play at clubs and events.
Unless you are doing professional mixing, adding a ton of effects, and getting a long set ready for a festival – you don’t need more than what Envy x360 has to offer. This budget laptop for DJing works for music producers who utilize a lot more resources when mixing and mastering a track, so getting a set ready or DJing should be a breeze.
Speaking of specs I keep emphasizing, it comes with an AMD CPU, 8GB RAM, and 2 disks – 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD. You can use the solid state drive for all your DJ software and operating system while storing all your files – sounds, samples, plugins, and more – on the hard drive. This will speed up your budget DJ laptop dramatically.
Another cool thing about the laptop is the fact that HP Envy x360 is incredibly light and easy to carry around – and we all know it’s a must for a DJ laptop. The screen is high resolution and touch-sensitive – so if you want to use it as a tablet while you are taking a break from mixing on the couch – you’ll be pleased with your Envy x360 flexibility.
4) Microsoft Surface Pro
After Microsoft’s gotten into laptop production, they’ve released fantastic devices for both everyday and artistic purposes. Can you use a Surface Pro as a laptop for DJing? Absolutely! It will suit every artist out there – music producer, DJ, or illustrator. And don’t underestimate the specs of the laptop – it may look slim and slick, but it’s a powerhouse that will exceed all your needs.
The best thing about the DJ laptop is its portability – it’s light and easy to carry. Moreover, the battery life is way above average – don’t ever worry about forgetting a charger at home – the charge will last you up to 14 hours. If you are using a DJ software – you’ll get at least 6 hours at high CPU usage – that’s more than enough even for an extended set at a nightclub.
With 8GB of RAM, Intel Core i5 CPU, and 128GB SSD, Microsoft Surface Pro is suitable for virtually any task possible. If you only DJ part time – use Surface Pro for school, start a blog, or watch movies and YouTube – it’s one of the most versatile budget DJ laptops on the market right now.
This Microsoft laptop is customizable with 3 modes – laptop, tablet, and studio. Use the DJ laptop as a tablet when you want to take a break and watch YouTube – or you can work on your sets while taking a bus or subway to work – make the most out of your free time.
5) Dell XPS 15
If you are serious about DJing and want the best DJ laptop which is able to handle even the highest CPU loads – try Dell XPS 15. Although it’s by no means budget, it can be the best investment you’ll ever make – you can’t possibly find much better specs for a beginner DJ laptop – it will run any DJ software and all the plugins you need with virtually no delay.
The specs are insane – besides a mind-blowing 8th gen Intel Core i7 processor, it comes with 32GB of RAM and 1TB SSD – you won’t see specs like this anywhere else on the list – Dell XPS 15 is an ultimate powerhouse of a DJ laptop. You are also getting a top-of-the-line graphics card – watch movies in 4k or pick up drawing or gaming as your hobby with ease.
If you can’t decide between a MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 15 because they are both in a similar price range – let’s look at why Dell might be your better bet. First of all, the specs, as we’ve found above, are outstanding. MacBook can’t compete with them even if it tries really hard – trust me.
Secondly, you are getting a lot more ports to connect your equipment. If you are a music producer who works in a studio – it’s not a big deal – you set everything up and forget. If you are a DJ who plays at gigs and festivals, it makes sense to have as little DJ gear as possible – you don’t want to forget something or have something break in the middle of the set.
6) Apple MacBook Air
Even though not as powerful as a Pro, MacBook Air is still the top pick as a budget DJ laptop for many DJs around the world. The main features of the computer are its portability, long-lasting battery, and ease of use. Even though it’s not as powerful as many other beginner DJ laptops – it goes above and beyond to deliver stable and reliable performance.
It won’t crush on you unlike many Windows computers – unless you actually abuse the CPU and RAM resources of the laptop. It’s fast, light, and slick – everything you’d want if you are always on-the-go and play at nightclubs, gigs, and events. The battery will last you a very long time with ever the most resource demanding DJ software such as Serato DJ Pro.
The drawback of this particular laptop for DJing is identical to its bigger brother MacBook Pro – it lacks inputs, so you’ll need an extension device to plug-in your DJ setup to it. It’s not a big deal at all – just make sure to have an extra just in case you forget the primary extension device or spill something on it. Be cautious, and you’ll be fine.
If you care about the environment – you should know that every MacBook Air DJ laptop is made of recycled aluminum. If you don’t care that much – just tell everyone you work with how you do and shame them for using different laptops – this boosts your ego and makes you a lot more confident – so you are set to be the best DJ in the world!
7) Asus Rog STRIX GL553
If you are looking for a powerhouse laptop for DJing – it’s worth looking into getting an Asus Rog. It might be a gaming laptop, but it will make sure every single mixing sessions of yours will go as smooth as physically possible – at no expense to the quality of the mix. Add as many effects and tracks as you want – this laptop for DJing can handle it all.
The only extra addition to the cost that is completely unnecessary for a budget DJ laptop is the Nvidia graphics card – you don’t really need one if all you do is DJ or make music. If you are into gaming or love to watch a movie before bed – you’ll love the image clarity. Think of it as a nice add-on to the powerful CPU and plenty of RAM.
This Asus budget DJ laptop is also incredibly durable – both on the inside and on the outside. First of all, it’s made of metal – which means it will last you a lot longer than a plastic or aluminum laptop. The drawback that comes with durability is an increase in weight, but that’s rarely a big issue to most DJs.
Secondly, Rog GL553 is able to withstand high CPU loads for long periods of time without overheating and damaging the internal components such as the motherboard. If one of your sets has one too many effects and tracks on it – you won’t have to worry about DJ laptop’s internal damage – let it rest for a big, and you are good to go back on stage.
8) Dell XPS 13
Remember Dell XPS 15 – the ultimate DJ laptop? Well, think of XPS 13 as its little brother. It’s a lot cheaper and still an excellent choice for every guy and girl who want to learn DJing. It’s slick, light, and easy to carry around – what else do you want from a budget DJ laptop? That’s right – you want it to run all your DJ software seamlessly.
With Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD, it will overdeliver in terms of performance. XPS 13 specs are more than enough for music production, mixing, and mastering in your DAW, which usually loads the CPU a lot more than DJ software like Serato DJ Pro. So if you are a DJ who uses their laptop primarily to mix tracks and put a set together – you don’t ever need to worry about it!
The laptop also comes with a touch sensitive screen – that’s handy when you need to turn a single switch on and off or move the fader really quick. XPS 13 also comes with a number of inputs to plug-in your DJ equipment without using any extensions and converters.
Save yourself the hassle of carrying a converter around at all times by investing into a laptop that has enough inputs for every single piece of your DJ gear. This Dell DJ laptop is also incredibly fast due to its SSD – stop waiting for the program to start and get to DJing already.
9) MSI GE62VR Apache Pro
Yet another gaming computer that can do a fantastic job as a budget DJ laptop. Actually, Apache Pro is a big player in the gamers community – you must’ve seen it before and just haven’t recognized the brand. It will suit every DJ who needs a lot of power to create the most unique and effect-saturated mixes out there.
To support the most power demanding games and high frame rate, the laptop is equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, and 2 drives. A 256GB SSD is used for the system files and essential software, while all your mixes, effects, and samples can be stored on the 1TB hard drive – you’ll never have enough data to fill it up completely.
It’s made of metal – this ensures it will last you longer than your average beginner DJ laptop made of plastic. If you like to “push” your computer to limits when mixing or preparing a set – you are in danger of overheating it or even burning the motherboard. Unless you happen to have an Apache Pro – it can handle the most CPU and RAM demanding games, so what makes you think it will have an issue when used for music production and DJing?
It also comes with various inputs to accommodate every type of DJ setup out there – with the most popular USB-A and USB-C and other inputs available. That makes it easier to use the DJ gear you need without getting any extra extensions.
10) Dell G5
If you haven’t noticed a trend yet, here it is – apparently gaming laptops are great for music production and DJing. Even though you pay a little extra for a graphics card in 99% of cases, you still end up with a powerhouse of a laptop for DJing. Give it as big of a CPU as you can – and it will process it and ask for more.
That’s how gaming laptops are – and Dell G5 is not an exception. It comes with an 8th gen i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and 2 drives. And you still have an option to upgrade the specs if you ever need more power, which is unlikely – your sessions will run smoothly every time.
With a fast-charge function, you’ll get the charge up 25% after only 15 minutes of charging. If you need to charge the laptop really quick before the gig and you are in a rush – G5 won’t let you down. The battery capacity is also very high – it will last for hours even if you are pushing it a little too hard.
Lastly, it’s incredibly durable – the high-quality metal built ensures the budget DJ laptop will last you a very long time – even if you drop it here and there. It’s better not to do that at all, but clubs and events can be crazy sometimes – with a billion cables all over the place that are just waiting to trip someone over and pull the DJ laptop off the table. Don’t worry about your Dell G5 breaking even if it falls.
Things To Consider When Buying a Laptop For DJing / Commonly Asked Questions
There are few things one may want to clarify, so here are a few questions that beginners ask most often.
What’s The Best Mac Laptop For DJing?
Between the two – MacBook Pro and MacBook Air – the first one definitely takes the place of the best Mac laptop. It delivers smooth and more importantly consistent performance over time and doesn’t crash under the high CPU loads. It’s SSD drive makes the computer fast and efficient, with all the files retrieved almost instantly upon request.
What’s The Best Windows Laptop For DJing?
Besides the MacBooks, virtually all laptops run on Windows Os. While picking the best Windows DJ laptop should include the individual’s needs and demands, the best-performance-for-the-price Windows laptop for DJing is definitely Windows Surface Pro.
Besides a fantastic CPU, plenty of RAM, and a spacious SSD, Surface Pro is also incredibly light and flexible – which is probably the most crucial factor for a DJ who constantly moves between gigs and events. Being able to use it as a tablet to take notes in school or as a board to draw on only adds to the numerous benefits mentioned.
What’s The Cheapest Laptop For DJing?
Essentially, any laptop can be used for DJing – the question is whether paying an extra dollar would’ve saved a lot of hassle in the long run. However, it’s also a good idea to keep a few dollars at the beginning of your journey – you’ll need money later on promotion, shoutouts, plugins, and a lot of other stuff.
One of the cheapest laptops for DJing will be HP Envy x360. While the price is far from intimidating, it still delivers fantastic performance coming with a powerful i5 CPU – you don’t have to worry about your DJ laptop crashing even if you don’t have $1000+ to invest. To sum up, HP Envy x360 is a great yet one of the cheapest laptops for DJing that will go above and beyond to meet your needs.
Conclusion: Best Laptops For DJing
Clearly, there is a lot of stuff to wrap your head around when looking for a laptop to use when DJing – there are so many things to consider. It’s especially difficult to pick one if you aren’t sure what specs to look for or what inputs you’ll need to plug your DJ controller and mixer into.
I really hope my guide helped you even a tiny bit to understand what you need to be looking for. I wish the best luck in finding the best budget DJ laptop that suits your needs. My buyer guide lists the essential specs of each DJ laptop and highlights its main features – the highlighted areas show what the computer performs best at and the most suitable for.
Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API