Best Laptop for DJing

Regardless of what level of DJ you are, you’ll need a decent laptop for both producing and performing your sets.

There really could be nothing worse than your well-loved laptop struggling to even boot up Serato or Traktor Pro without taking minutes.

If it can’t even open programs without taking an age, how is it meant to survive a whole event of you running various programs during your performances?

If you dread using your current laptop and it’s preventing you from producing new music or taking job opportunities, then you’ll need to get yourself a suitable laptop that’s built to withstand the demand of DJing.

A good DJing laptop will allow you to use all the music production programming you need and be able to store everything you need on one device without slowing it down.

Luckily, I’ve saved you the time of looking and found you the best laptops for DJing that are currently available. 

OUR TOP PICK

2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 1TB Storage, 2.3GHz Intel Core i9) - Space Gray

Top of our list for the best laptop for DJing is the trust Apple MacBook Pro. This cult favorite is used by so many people in different businesses, not just DJing and there is a reason why - it’s so reliable.

The MacBook Pro comes with a stunning 16-inch retina display with true tone technology making it incredibly easy to be able to see all your mixes on your screen without the need for an additional monitor.

The laptop features 4 thunderbolt 3 ports, so you’ll have plenty of room for additional connectivity to other devices and equipment.

You’ll bag yourself 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage space with this MacBook Pro, giving you plenty of space to store your mixes, personal files and also run all the programming you need at high speeds.

The Intel Core i9 processor will also contribute to running your laptop smoothly even during the most demanding sessions.

The MacBook Pro by Apple offers up to 11 hours of battery life giving you more flexibility about where and how you can work as you won’t have to keep charging it back up frequently.

Despite not being the most lightweight of laptops from Apple’s range, the MacBook Pro is still reasonably light and will be no bother to carry around with you in your arms or a bag.

If all this wasn’t enough, then you’ll also benefit from the six-speaker sound system and studio-quality mics to help you produce, mix, and listen on the go wherever you are.

Pros

  • Good battery life - Allows you to go longer without charging
  • Fast storage - Loads and saves mixing files quickly
  • Can get Apple Care - Great support team offers help round the clock
  • High-quality display - Able to see everything on your screen clearly
  • Compatible with nearly all software - Ideal for all DJ levels

Cons

  • Not budget-friendly - Not attainable for everyone

EDITORS CHOICE

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14' Laptop, 14.0' FHD 1920 x 1080 Display, AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics, Narrow Bezel, Windows 10, 81W0003QUS, Abyss Blue

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option then the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14” laptop will be right up your street.

The laptop features great connectivity via Bluetooth, HDMI, and 3 USB ports so you’ll be able to hook up all the equipment you need without any bother.

Graphics isn’t a huge thing for DJs but the Ideapad 3 does benefit from the inclusive AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics to keep all your programs and software looking crisp and rapid on your display.

The narrow side bezels will also give you more viewing area on your screen and less clutter.

The laptop features an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Mobile Processor that provides amazing bandwidth for getting all your everyday tasks done faster.

If you like to mix and produce without headphones then you’ll love the Dopoundsy Audio that the IdeaPad 3 delivers.

If you’re always on the road traveling for DJing jobs, then you'll be happy to know there’s a built-in webcam to help keep you connected with friends and family when you’re away.

The IdeaPad 3 holds RAM of 8GB and 256GB of SSD which is more than enough to get you by, but if you want to keep your laptop running as quickly as possible then you might want to consider external hard drives to store all your work on.

Pros

  • Quiet battery saving mode - Saves your charge when you’re doing less demanding tasks
  • Powerful processor - Everything's runs smoothly and quickly 
  • Narrow bezels - More viewing area on your screen

Cons

  • Battery life is average - Will need more frequent charging

BEST VALUE

2020 Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Gold

If you’re looking for the reliability of the MacBook Pro but without the extra weight, then you’ll want to go with Apple’s smaller and more budget-friendly alternative, the MacBook Air.

The MacBook Air is one of the most popular laptops on the market and is built to be lightweight enough to carry around with one hand.

Despite its tiny size, the MacBook Air can last for up to 18 hours without charging, making it one of the most long-lasting laptops in terms of battery life on the market.

It’s also equipped with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD to instantly launch apps and files and keep everything running as fast as the first day you owned it. The 8-core CPU also provides faster performance to tackle even tedious jobs rapidly.

If you own another Apple device, you’ll be able to keep everything connected in one place through the use of Apple’s The Cloud, so you won’t have to worry about keeping everything on external hard drives as well.

The fanless design delivers silent operation, even during long periods of use, making it an ideal laptop if you’re working late at night whilst on tour. The backlit keyboard will also help you work in any environment comfortably without disturbing others.

Pros

  • Silent operation - Can work at any time and everywhere
  • Access to The Cloud - Efficient storage option
  • Ultra-lightweight design - Ideal for touring
  • Good storage and memory - Everything runs super fast

Cons

  • Smaller display - More difficult to see screen when performing 

RUNNER UP

ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 2-in-1 Laptop, 14' Touchscreen FHD 4-Way NanoEdge, Intel Core i5-10210U, 512GB PCIe SSD, Fingerprint, Backlit KB, Wi-Fi 6, Chrome OS, C436FA-DS599T-W, Magnesium-Alloy, White

This premium build laptop by ASUS offers completely versatile usage via either the touchscreen or generic laptop construction.

The 14” Chromebook is large enough to be able to be used easily via the keyboard and touchscreen but is also lightweight to be able to take around everywhere with you.

The compact laptop boasts 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD so you’ll be able to store as much as you need and run all the programs necessary without slowing down the system.

An added benefit of this Chromebook is that you’ll get yourself 12-months of 100GB Google Cloud storage when you get this laptop, so you’ll have extra space to keep all your mixes and sets all in one place.

The Chromebook does run on Chrome OS, so you may find it more difficult to find software that is compatible with this laptop, this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re just starting in the industry, but for more experienced DJs this could be a major flaw.

Unfortunately, the speakers are notably not the best with this Flip C436, so producing and mixing music with headphones comes more than recommended.

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 produces up to 12 hours of battery life, giving you more time to focus on your work instead of finding somewhere to charge up your laptop.

The illuminated keyboard is ideal for DJs who work primarily in the evening, allowing users to clearly see what they’re doing without the need for bright lights.

Pros

  • Premium build - High quality and durable construction will last you
  • Versatile use - Can be used as a laptop and tablet
  • Lightweight design - Offers great portability

Cons

  • Speakers are not the best - Will have to wear headphones when mixing

RUNNER UP

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – 13.5' Touch-Screen – Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB Solid State Drive (Latest Model) – Platinum with Alcantara

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is ideal for those DJs who are always out of town on the road and are living out of a suitcase.

The lightweight design weighing less than 3lbs makes it a perfect companion for everywhere you go so you can stay on top of all your work.

The touchscreen laptop is completely versatile and can be used for admin, mixing and producing, or even designing to advertise your business.

The laptop also comes in various colors including matte black and cobalt blue to suit whatever brand image you have chosen to create for yourself.

The Surface Laptop 3 comes with improved speed and performance to do everything you need on just one device.

There are various incorporated connectivity ports including USB-A and USB-C to connect to displays, equipment, and charging devices if needed.

This little device has 8GB of RAM and 128GB, enough to keep everything running efficiently but external hard drives would also be recommended for extra peace of mind.

You’ll also be guaranteed all-day power on the go, with up to 11.5 hours of battery life. It also offers fast charging taking you from 0% to 80% in just under an hour.

Pros

  • Fast charging - More time working cable-free
  • Various connectivity - Offers more versatile usage
  • Lightweight design - Easily carried around for people who are always on the go

Cons

  • Memory and storage not as big as others - May need extra hard drives

Best Laptop for DJing Buying Guide

Screen Size

Having a laptop that has a decent screen size will make your life a whole lot easier.

DJing on a tiny screen, especially for nighttime events can be very straining on your eyes and could even damage them in the long run.

At least a 15” screen size is recommended to make navigating everything you need on your laptop for jobs or events so much easier.

Portability

If you’re going to be traveling around for gigs and live performances, then you’ll want to make sure your laptop is lightweight and thin enough to easily carry around without being a burden.

However, even though you want your laptop to be lightweight and portable, you’ll need it to be robust and durable enough to withstand the hustle and bustle of gigs, clubs, and events without breaking.

Aluminum is normally a reliable material and is the choice of many manufacturers for laptops.

Processor

For your laptop to be able to handle all the stress of producing music and also performing live, it will need to have a powerful processor to run smoothly and without faults.

Good laptops for DJing will hold an AMD or Intel processor as these are the most reliable.

You’ll need your laptop to multitask when you’re DJing so having a processor that has a larger core will offer you more efficient functionality.

Battery

As a DJ it’s your responsibility to make sure all your equipment is all in working order.

So if your laptop battery dies mid performance, then there is no one else to blame but you.

Make sure the laptop you buy has a good battery life so it’ll be able to last you a gig without being plugged in, just in case you don’t have direct access to a power source.

Anything above 5 hours of battery life is considered good.

HDD or SSD

Hopefully, as a DJ, you’ll have backup hard drives to store all your important mixes and data so HDD or SSD will not have to be a primary focus for you.

Anything above 256GB should be enough to keep anything important stored on the laptop without majorly slowing it down.

If you don’t hold your work on external hard drives, then try and find a 1TB SSD built into your laptop.

RAM

As you’ll be running DJing programs or other music programs on your laptop at once, you’ll want to guarantee that the RAM is large enough to keep everything running efficiently and without stalling.

If you’re just starting off in the DJ industry, 8GB will be enough to get you by, but having 16GB or 32GB will have you back covered for a long time.

Connectivity

As well as a laptop, you should also have other DJ equipment that will require you to connect to your laptop to perform. Make sure the laptop comes with a handful of USB ports so you can plug everything you are in at one time.

The more the laptops have, the more options you will have for what equipment you can get. More equipment doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be a better DJ, but it will make your life a lot easier for the various gigs you’ll be doing. 

FAQ's

Which laptop is best for DJing?

The best laptops for DJing are:

  • Apple MacBook Pro
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 3
  • Apple MacBook Air
  • ASUS Chromebook Flip C436
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

What size laptop should I get for DJing?

The size of the laptop you choose for DJing will depend on personal preference.

Powerful laptops come in all shapes and sizes so there is no definitive answer so it all depends on whether you’d like a larger laptop with a big screen display or would rather something smaller in size that offers more portability.

Can you DJ with any laptop?

As long as your laptop holds the power, memory, and speed to handle DJ and mixing software then you should be able to DJ on any laptop.

Do you need a laptop for DJing?

No, you do not NEED a laptop for DJing. Back when laptops weren’t a thing DJs used to travel the world and DJ if they can do it then you can certainly do it.

DJs can DJ without a laptop and use devices such as a mixing table, controllers, turntables, and decks.

Why do DJs use laptops?

Laptops are a lot lower in cost for DJs in comparison to purchasing equipment like mixers and controllers.

Some venues do not own their own DJing equipment, so if you’ve been hired for work and you also do not have your own DJing hardware, then you can still use your laptop and take jobs wherever you want.

What is the easiest DJ software to use?

The easiest and most popular DJ software to use is Rekordbox DJ, Serato DJ Pro, and Traktor Pro.

Software like these are well-liked amongst beginners and are even used by some professional DJs around the world.

Is Serato or Rekordbox better?

If you’re primarily mixing on laptops, then Serato DJ will be the one you want to use. However, if you’re using CDJs then Rekordbox will be your go-to.

Does Serato work on Windows?

Yes, Serato is compatible with both newer versions of Mac and Windows operating systems.

How can I DJ on my laptop for free?

The popular DJ software Serato does offer a free version called Serato DJ LITE, however, it does have a limited feature set but you will be able to learn all the basics of DJing.

The software Mixxx is also completely free for all Windows, Linux, and Mac OS users. Another popular DJing software Traktor also offers a free version of their paid software, but you can only use it in 30-minute increments.

Which DJing phone apps are good?

Some good DJing phone apps are:

  • MIXO
  • DJ Player Pro
  • RMX-1000
  • Djay
  • Scratchers Delight

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