The Best Laptop for DJing – Update 2018
Choosing the best laptop for DJing is not just about hardware requirements, brand or which software to use. One of the most important things to consider on a laptop for DJing is being reliable and stable for your live performances.
Nobody wants dropouts, “clicks” or even a complete computer crash and close in the middle of your gig. This is probably the DJ’s worst nightmare.
I remember an interview with DJ Sasha when he had crash two MacBooks in one night. Sh*t happens! but thankfully he had a third one.
How can you avoid this situation you might ask..?
You’ll have to go through countless websites and do all the research yourself. It will be necessary to read reviews and check many comments or reports about dropouts, crashes, driver’s stability, etc. So we did most of the job for you in order to create a list of the best laptops for DJing in the market.
On 2018 the choices for a DJ laptop are countless. Most modern computers out there actually are more than enough. That doesn’t necessarily mean that makes it hard to “fail” on your choice. As many laptops have characteristics for a specific job. For example, gaming, design, office work, etc.
One necessity that can’t go unmentioned is the DJ software. Global DJs Guide is here to help once again with the best DJ software for mixing.
What to look for before buying a laptop for mixing and Djing
There are a few basic things to check, but for a budget around $1000, you can get a powerful laptop with good specifications of Processor, RAM, Hard drive and the rest. Connectivity and battery life are also two things to consider. However, for a decent amount of money, those two characteristics won’t differ a lot from other contestants.
So, a roundup on what to consider before choosing your next DJ laptop.
- Processor – Your laptop’s performance depends on it. A good processing power, at least an Intel i5, along with the RAM size will give your laptop the opportunity to handle heavy applications and multitasking without a problem.
- RAM – Definitely pick a laptop with 8GB RAM memory or more. Definitely.
- Hard drive – Well, here it mostly depends on your needs. An external hard drive will eventually become a necessity, so go for an SSD of 500GB or more.
- Screen Display – The same with the above, it depends on your needs and wants. Djing on a small 13-inch laptop can be quite challenging. The safest option would be in my opinion a 15-inch notebook that it’s big enough to check your mixing and small enough to easily transfer it around.
What you will learn about the best laptop for Djing
You can search and find the best laptops for djing yourself, but first, we will show you the best, most reliable and popular laptops used by DJs all around the globe. We will check the process on how to find the best laptop for djing.
These are the top laptops DJs that haven’t reported issues in forums, social media, or reviews. You can feel safe about having issues when performing live with any of the models below. These also have more than enough hardware requirements for you to comfortably run your favorite DJ software and DAW applications.
All our choices below for the best laptop for DJing will also work perfectly in your home recording studio. If you want to learn more, check our list with the best computer for music production.
5 BEST LAPTOP FOR DJING
1. MacBook Pro 13”
CPU: Intel Dual-Core Core i5 2.9-3.3 GHz | RAM: 8GB 2133MHz DDR4 | Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD | Display: 13.3” Retina Display IPS Gloss
There are many reasons why you see a lot of DJs using MacBook at their live performances. That is reliability. This model doesn’t have the highest specifications you can get from a MacBook Pro but as for DJing goes it will cover you for many years.
If budget isn’t a problem for you and you’re starting your career as a DJ, you can play it safe with any of the Apple MacBooks. Everything from the software, operating system, the motherboard, and the sound card are all built and designed by the same company. This is reliability at its finest. All that together makes everything work flawlessly and with almost no chances of crashing or dropouts.
An i5 dual-core processor with +3GHz and 8GB RAM is plenty to run the most intensive DAW or DJ software out there. It has only 256GB SSD, but with the latest technology available, will make sure to read out your mp3s and tracks faster plus they are more reliable than a regular HD Drives.
Its resolution is far higher than what you will find on many mainstream laptops out there (2880×1880) which will allow you to fit in more VSTs, Interfaces, Windows, etc. The battery life is great as well, you won’t have any issue on that.
A big plus is the backlit keyboard for the countless of times you’ll be performing in dark settings. In addition, you’ll get plenty of connectivity for all your external devices. Along with the unique, USB-C port that supports charging, USB data transfer with speed up to 5GB/sFrom audio interfaces to USB studio quality microphones and DJ controllers. Find here The best DJ controller under $400 to connect to your Macbook.
2. Dell Inspiron i5578
CPU: Intel Corei5 up to 3.1GHz | RAM: 8GB-16GB 2133MHz DDR4 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 15.6″ Full HD Matte Finish
Another gem for DJing. Dell offers quite reliable and solid laptops with their Inspiron, XPS and Precision series. It’s a windows laptop you can also count on for DJing in general.
It might not be as powerful as the DELL XPS 15, but it is three times cheaper. The best part is that for a small budget you get sufficient laptop for DJing and performing live with a 3.1GHz multi-core processor and 8GB RAM (upgradeable to 16GB).
If you think you need a bigger RAM, it will be a bit more expensive for you to upgrade it yourself. But there is no need to worry because RAM is one of the easiest things to update on a laptop.
On the plus side, it comes with a Solid-State Driver. This is a storage device with plenty of capacity for your samples, tracks, and mixes. Along with the advantage of the superb reading speeds this offer, it’s an ideal option for any DJ.
Its display size is bigger than the MacBook Pro shown above. So, if you have problems with setups far from an optimal viewing distance might be a better option this 15.6″ Full HD screen. Not to forget the IPS Truelife LED-backlit feature with wide viewing angles-in Camera. It also offers a matte finish for those few instances where reflections might cause a problem.
Dell Inspiron i5578 also comes with a backlit keyboard to easily see your keys in your dark home recording studio. As well as plenty of ports for all your external connections (xl USB 2.0, x2 USB 3.0 and HDMI for displays). This is probably the best laptop for djing for those on a tight budget.
3. MacBook Air 13.3″
CPU: Intel Dual-Core Core i5 1.8-2.9 GHz | RAM: 8GB 2133MHz DDR4 | Storage: 128GB PCIe SSD | Display: 13.3” LED-backlit Glossy Widescreen Display, 1440 x 900 resolution
Back to Apple products and this “thin” Air 13.3″ is perfect for your live gigs. A combination of reliable laptops and great characteristics – not to forget the design. It’s not the fact that Window is unstable, or PC laptops are bad but the fact that their parts are made from a variety of different manufacturers, making them less efficient and more likely to not deliver the job.
The Air notebook by Apple, on the other hand, is completely different from the Pro, it’s far more portable and has probably the longest battery life as far as ultrabooks and laptops go. It’s only 2.91b and with +13 hours of battery life, will deliver the job for any DJ on the road.
The latest models have more than enough power to match the 13” MacBook Pro. You have the ability to upgraded all the way to an i7 processor but if you can’t reach the budget, then i5 is good enough choice for DJing. While 8GB RAM is also sufficient, keep in mind it cannot be upgraded after purchase.
An important thing for a DJ is a big and fast hard drive disc. Unfortunately, the MacBook Air cannot deliver here the best possible. The 128GB SSD storage (from 2017 – PCIe flash storage) it will probably not fill your needs. The backlit keyboard is not missing from this model. In addition, the Air has the fastest bootup times on this list mainly due to its hard drive technology.
Regardless of the connectivity and ports of this laptop: it has two USB ports and a Thunderbolt 2 port (for external displays) which is pretty cool for an extremely thin laptop.
Note: This is one of the most affordable Apple laptop in the market.
4. Lenovo ThinkPad T460
CPU: Intel Dual-Core Core i5 2.5-3.0GHz | RAM: 8GB 2133MHz DDR4 | Storage: 256GB SSD | Display: 14” LED-backlit Widescreen Display, Full HD Matte Finish,
The last couple of years Lenovo has proved that reliability and durability are two of their biggest targets. Out of all of their models, you will see the thinkpads almost everywhere. Users reviews say is one of the most durable laptops they had. With a very good and solid designs build, a huge bonus for every DJ who travels a lot.
This model is not a gaming laptop, nor does it have any unnecessary features (no dedicated graphics card). This model has great characteristics on every feature as far DJing is concerned. Good power with 3.0GHz (turbo boost) and dual-core processor along with 8 GB RAM. The SSD hard disc with 256GB for storage to increase readout times and boost your overall performance. Its display size is 14″, which is neither too small for those far from eyesight sets ups, nor too big for portability. One more thing to remember is the full HD resolution display will give you space for a plethora of interfaces, tools without the need to switch back and forth between views when you are performing. It also comes with a matte finish to prevent reflections from disturbing you when performing.
Out of this list, it has the greatest number of ports: It has 3 USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, Ethernet, mini-DisplayPort, and HDMI and guess what? It also comes with a backlit keyboard. Plus, the keyboard itself is also spill resistant for any accidents that may happen whenever you are performing. Definitely the best laptops for Djing coming from a Windows machine, nothing is missing from this one.
5. ASUS ROG GL552VW
CPU: Intel Core i7 3.5Ghz Quad Core I RAM: 16GB 2133MHz DDR4 I Storage: 128 GB + 1TB HDD I GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB I Display: 15.6″ Matte IPS HD display 1920 by 1080 resolution ASUS gaming laptops are quite popular among DJs looking for a non-apple laptop.
The ASUS ROG GL552VW has too much power for DJing: i7 Quad Core 3.5Ghz and 16GB RAM that will cover your needs for many years. As well as being able to run multiple DJ or production softwares at the same time. Best of all it comes at a great price. This model offers a combination of storage, a 1TB HDD for all your tracks and mixes and an SSD for your most used samples, mixes, OS, and software. You won’t need an external hard drive for a long time. From the other hand, you will probably find the GPU a bit unnecessary unless you have gaming in mind, which I wouldn’t recommend for a couple of reasons.
With a display screen of 15.6″ is a must-have if you have your set up quite far from your view. In addition, the Matte Display for those instances where bright reflections are unavoidable (working outside or when the sun is playing against you). Plus, you get way too many ports to play around with, probably far more than you’ll ever need: x3 USB 3.0 ports, xl USB 3.1 port, HDMI, SD Card Reader and with a backlit keyboard too. If you don’t mind the huge gaming tag on it, this laptop has everything you may need for DJing while remaining affordable at the same time.
6. ACER ASPIRE E 15
A last-minute addition is the very affordable ACER Aspire E15. It comes with an 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor (Up to 3.4GHz). As well as, an 8GB DDR4 Dual Channel Memory RAM that will guarantee a great performance on your live performances. The 256GB SSD hard drive might not excite anybody, but you can’t ask everything on a tight budget.
The 2GB NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card offers promising capabilities to the laptop when it comes to watching videos, but not very useful for DJing or music production. The 15.6-inch LED-lit IPS Display shows clear and natural content. This full-HD screen makes it absolutely perfect for DJing while using the software of your preference.
In addition the Aspire E 15 has an SD card reader, Bluetooth 4.1, 2 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 along with an HDMI port. All the components of the laptop are power efficient and they can run without any limitations for 15 hours. One more plus on this DJ laptop is it’s weight. It is a bit over 5 pounds which makes it easy to transfer everywhere you go.
That is our list of the 5 best laptops for DJing.
Lastly, make sure the laptop you buy is well built and has a solid design. A DJ laptop will take more physical damage than a laptop from a regular consumer which is just simply standing on a desk as opposed to being constantly on the move.
Even if you find a laptop with all the specifications listed above for a cheaper price, look at the design and built because that’s where manufacturers try to cut the price down.
Another good tip is to aim for business class laptops as opposed to regular consumer laptops, they are built with durability and reliability in mind.
Live DJ performance without headphones is impossible. Find now The best DJ headphones in the market.