15 Best Laptops for DJs: DJ-Approved Laptops for Epic Mixing!

The Ultimate DJ Laptop Showdown: 15 Top Picks Reviewed

by Moses
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Whether you’re a hobbyist DJ looking to spin some tracks on the weekends or a professional producer performing in clubs, having the right laptop is crucial for a smooth DJing experience. The Best Laptops for DJs need to have sufficient power, storage, and portability to handle extensive audio processing and library management.

Best Laptops for DJs

This definitive guide reviews the top 15 best laptops for djs in 2024 based on performance, features, and budget. We dive deep into the factors to consider when choosing a best laptops for djs , comparisons between MacBooks and Windows machines, software compatibility, recommendations from expert users and more.

Quick Ranking – Best Laptops For DJs

  • Overall Best Laptop For DJs: Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch
  • Best Windows Laptop: Dell XPS 15
  • Best 2-in-1: Microsoft Surface laptop 4
  • Most Portable: ASUS ZenBook 14
  • Best Display: LG Gram 17
  • Best Battery Life: Dell XPS 13
  • Budget Pick: Acer Aspire 5

What to Look for in a Best Laptops for DJs Laptop – Buying Guide

When shopping for a new laptop for DJing, here are some key factors and specs to keep in mind:


Processing Power

The CPU is the most vital component of any DJ laptop. A powerful processor allows you to run extensive DJ software and plugins without lags or crashes, even when multitasking.

For music production-focused DJs, a processor with at least 4 cores is recommended. Intel Core i5 or i7 chips are great for general DJing needs, while the latest AMD Ryzen 7 processors also work very well.

Some high-end laptops may include Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 processors, offering maximum power for complex DJ workflows.


Having sufficient RAM allows your laptop to juggle multiple applications without slowing down. Most DJ software like Serato and Traktor require at least 4GB of RAM.

However, for seamless live performances, it’s better to have 8GB or higher. With 16GB RAM or more, you can comfortably run DJ software alongside plugins, browsers, and other programs.

Faster DDR4 or DDR5 RAM provides a smooth experience compared to older DDR3 modules. Upgrading to 32GB RAM future-proofs your laptop for more advanced production needs.


SSD storage is a must for a best laptops for djs , as mechanical hard drives have slower load times that can disrupt your workflow. Most laptops today come with fast NVMe SSD storage.

Look for at least 256GB capacity to store your OS, applications, and some music. 500GB is ideal if you keep your whole music library on your laptop. External SSDs provide more capacity for large libraries.


Portability is key if you want to easily carry your DJ laptop to gigs and performances. Thin and light Ultrabooks with long battery life are excellent choices.

Look for laptops under 4 pounds with compact 14 or 15-inch screens. Gaming laptops have incredible power but are heavier. Tablet-laptop hybrids like the Surface Pro provide ultimate portability in a small package.


Look for these display qualities:

  • Size – 13 to 15-inches provides adequate screen real estate without being bulky. 17-inches gives you expansive desktop space if you want maximum visibility.
  • Resolution – 1080p or higher enables seeing intricate track details. 4K provides extra sharpness if on budget.
  • Touch – Touch displays enable more intuitive interaction with DJ software and libraries for live performances.
  • Brightness – 300+ nits allows visibility in brighter environments like outdoor stages.
  • Color Accuracy – 95%+ sRGB or 100% DCI-P3 provides lively colors for inspecting tracks visually.

Battery Life

If you DJ on the move, get a laptop with good battery life:

  • Look for at least 8 hours of light use
  • Prioritize laptops with large 60Wh+ battery capacities

Operating System

  • Windows 11 – optimized for the latest processors and offers excellent backwards compatibility
  • Windows 10 – widely supported, familiar interface
  • macOS Ventura – seamlessly integrates with Apple’s ecosystem.


Look for these essential ports:

  • USB-C and/or Thunderbolt 4 – connects newer accessories
  • USB-A – widely compatible with traditional USB gear
  • HDMI – hook up an external display
  • 3.5mm Headphone Jack – interface with audio gear
  • SD Card slot – quickly access media


Having good audio hardware helps when previewing mixes:

  • Prioritize laptops with good clarity from the 3.5mm headphone jack to drive studio headphones
  • Powerful onboard speakers are a nice bonus for quickly listening without headphones

Build Quality

Your laptop will face bumps when traveling and performing:

  • Metal/aluminum chassis are more durable
  • Carbon fiber provides rigidity while staying lightweight
  • Avoid all plastic builds if possible

By keeping these factors in mind when choosing your next best laptops for DJs, you can find the right combination of portability, performance, display quality, connectivity, and audio capabilities to take your DJ abilities to the next level this year.

The 15 Best Laptops for DJs Reviews

Quick Comparison Table – Best Laptops for DJs

Apple MacBook Pro 2023$1999+5/5
Dell XPS 15$1299+4.9/5
Acer Aspire 5$349+4.7/5
ASUS Zenbook $1,254+4.6/5
Apple MacBook Air M2$1099+4.5/5
Lenovo ThinkPad E15$929+4.4/5
HP 14 Laptop$462+4.2/5
ASUS VivoBook 14$527+4.1/5
MacBook Pro 14-inch $2,115+4.8/5
Dell XPS 13$1,548+4.7/5
Acer Swift 3$500+4.5/5
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 $682+4.4/5
HP Spectre x360$1,389+4.3/5
MSI GS66 Stealth $2,499+4.7/5
Razer Blade 15$1,909+4.6/5

1. Apple MacBook Pro 2023

Apple MacBook Pro 2023

Apple MacBook Pro

Price: $1999+

Rating: 5/5

The latest MacBook Pro is the dream machine for DJs who use macOS and Apple products. It combines exceptional processing power with premium build quality and an immersive display.


  • Cutting-edge Apple M2 Pro chip offers incredible performance
  • Stunning 16-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with extreme brightness
  • Excellent battery life up to 22 hours
  • High-fidelity six-speaker sound system
  • Seamless experience with Logic Pro and macOS


  • Very expensive, especially with upgrades
  • Not ideal for Windows-centric DJ workflows
  • Gaming capabilities are limited

The MacBook Pro packs serious power with Apple’s latest M2 Pro or M1 Pro chips, up to a 32-core GPU, and up to 64GB of unified memory. This hardware flies through DJ tasks like running Traktor, Serato, Rekordbox, and Ableton Live even with multiple tracks and effects.

The 16-inch Retina display is stunning with its crisp resolution, 500 nits of brightness, great color accuracy, and buttery smooth 120Hz ProMotion. DJing visually comes alive. You also get Apple’s excellent Magic Keyboard and massive Force Touch trackpad.

With up to 8TB of super fast SSD storage, you have ample room for huge music libraries and projects. The port selection includes Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, SDXC reader, and a headphone jack. You’ll have no problem connecting DJ controllers, audio interfaces, or hard drives.

The integrated six-speaker sound system with spatial audio gives you detailed stereo imaging perfect for DJ monitoring. Factor in the optimized macOS experience and seamless integration with other Apple devices through Handoff, Sidecar, Airdrop, and more.

If you want the best balance of power, display quality, premium build, and Apple ecosystem integration – the 16-inch MacBook Pro is hard to beat for DJ use.

2. Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS 15 scaled

Dell XPS 15

Price: $1299+

Rating: 4.9/5

With its brilliant 4K OLED touch display, latest Intel processors, and premium build, the Dell XPS 15 is a versatile Windows laptop perfect for DJs.


  • Gorgeous 15.6-inch 4K OLED touchscreen
  • Powerful 12th Gen Intel Core i7/i9 processors
  • Premium aluminum/carbon fiber design
  • Excellent port selection including Thunderbolt 4
  • Capable GPU for visuals and gaming


  • Very expensive when fully specced out
  • Battery life could be better

Configured with 13th Gen Intel Core i7/i9 CPUs, NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti graphics, massive 64GB DDR5 RAM, and fast NVMe SSD storage, the XPS 15 dominates any DJ software and plugins you throw at it. The GPU also enables manipulating visuals during sets.

The stunning 15.6-inch 4K OLED touch display is sharp and vibrant with 100% DCI-P3 color coverage – perfect for watching your mixes come to life. You also get booming speakers and excellent Dolby Atmos support.

In a slim chassis forged with machined aluminum and carbon fiber, the XPS 15 feels premium yet clocks in at just 4 pounds for easier transport to gigs. Battery life reaches over 11 hours for extended sessions.

With Thunderbolt 4, USB-C 3.2, SD card reader, and a headphone jack, you get all the I/O needed for DJ gear while leaving room for accessories.

If you want a versatile Windows 10 laptop with the performance to master DJing and production, customizable configs, and great build quality, the XPS 15 is a top choice.

3. Acer Aspire 5

Acer Aspire 5

Acer Aspire 5

Price: $349+

Rating: 4.7/5

The Acer Aspire 5 provides excellent value, delivering competent performance for DJing at an affordable price point.


  • Great budget price under $400
  • Respectable performance from Ryzen 5/7 processors
  • Generous RAM and SSD options
  • Lightweight at 3.97 pounds
  • Number of ports including USB-A/C, HDMI


  • Build quality is mediocre
  • Display color accuracy isn’t great
  • Battery life could be better

With processor options up to a Ryzen 7 5700U, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, and AMD Radeon graphics, the Aspire 5 has very solid specs for DJing considering its low cost.

The 15.6-inch Full HD screen is decently bright and works well indoors. Ample connectivity from HDMI, USB-A 3.2, and USB-C 3.2 ports allows you to connect controllers and accessories.

Weighing just 3.97 pounds, the Aspire 5 is quite portable in spite of its large screen. The plastic construction doesn’t feel very premium but keeps it affordable. For budget-conscious DJs, this is a capable performer.

If your budget is tight, the Aspire 5 provides reliable performance for DJing at a very affordable price point.

4. ASUS Zenbook

ASUS Zenbook

ASUS Zenbook

Price: $599+

Rating: 4.6/5

With its lightweight design, OLED display, and ample power, the ASUS Zenbook 14 is an excellent portable DJ laptop.


  • Highly portable at 2.65 pounds
  • Vivid 14-inch 2880×1800 OLED display
  • Good performance from Ryzen 5/7 or 12th Gen Intel chips
  • Long battery life up to 21 hours
  • Number pad built into touchpad


  • Expensive configurations
  • Quiet speakers
  • No SD card reader

Available with up to a Ryzen 7 6800U CPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and Intel Iris Xe graphics, the Zenbook 14 is very capable, especially for its size. The bright 14-inch OLED touchscreen is a standout feature, making your tracks come alive.

Weighing just 2.65 pounds, this is one of the most portable laptops out there. Battery life is also impressive, lasting up to 21 hours on a charge. This makes the Zenbook an awesome choice for DJs on the move.

With its MIL-STD 810H rating, the aluminum chassis is durable enough to survive life on the road. The unique number pad built into the touchpad simplifies data entry. Overall, this is a stylish and highly portable DJ laptop.

If you want a highly portable yet surprisingly capable DJ laptop, the ZenBook 14 is a top choice.

5. Apple MacBook Air M2

Apple MacBook Air M2

Apple MacBook Air M2

Price: $1099+

Rating: 4.5/5

Apple’s lightest laptop gets a big performance boost from the cutting-edge M2 chip, making the MacBook Air a very capable DJing machine.


  • Apple’s latest M2 chip delivers excellent performance
  • Incredibly thin and light at 2.7 pounds
  • Speedy 512GB SSD storage standard
  • Excellent battery life up to 18 hours
  • Bright 13.6-inch Retina display with 500 nits


  • Most configurations are expensive
  • Just two Thunderbolt ports
  • 8GB base RAM limits heavy production

The M2 chip’s 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU breezes through DJ software and plugins. Combined with a fast SSD and up to 24GB of RAM, the new Air handles DJing workflows with ease.

The bright 13.6-inch Retina display is easy to see outdoors, and the slim 2.7 pound chassis is super portable. With 18+ hours of battery life, you can DJ all day or night away from an outlet.

Downsides are the lack of ports beyond two USB-C/Thunderbolt connections and base 8GB RAM, but overall the M2 Air is an extremely capable DJ laptop in a supremely portable form factor.

6. Lenovo ThinkPad E15

lenovo thinkpad e15

Lenovo ThinkPad E15

Price: $659+

Rating: 4.4/5

With its excellent keyboard, durable build quality and smooth performance, the ThinkPad E15 is a reliable option for business-minded DJs.


  • Robust construction and MIL-SPEC durability
  • Comfortable keyboard with TrackPoint nub
  • Solid performance from Ryzen 7 Pro CPU
  • Good port selection with USB-A/C
  • Security features like fingerprint scanner


  • 15.6-inch screen lacks touch and OLED options
  • Dull 1080p display
  • Maximum 16GB RAM

Configured with a Ryzen 7 Pro 5850U CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and Vega integrated graphics, the ThinkPad E15 delivers smooth DJing performance in a understated but durable chassis.

The renowned ThinkPad keyboard provides a great typing experience, further enhanced by the signature TrackPoint pointing stick. With HDMI, USB-C/A ports, Ethernet, and microSD slot, connectivity is ample.

A fingerprint scanner, physical webcam shutter, and Kensington lock slot ensure corporate data security. Weighing 3.75 pounds, the E15 isn’t the most portable, but provides excellent value for business DJs seeking durability and security.

7. HP 14 Laptop

HP 14 Laptop

HP 14 Laptop

Price: $239+

Rating: 4.2/5

HP’s affordable 14-inch laptop delivers reliable performance for basic DJ duties on a tight budget.


  • Great value under $250
  • Respectable specs including Ryzen 3 CPU
  • Smooth Windows 11 performance
  • 14-inch screen with HD touch option
  • Good port selection with USB-C


  • Cheap plastic construction
  • Dim 250 nit display
  • 4GB RAM limits multitasking

Rocking an AMD Ryzen 3 5300U CPU, 4GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD, and Radeon Vega 6 graphics, the HP 14 has sufficient power for beginner DJs on a tight budget.

The 14-inch 1366×768 touch display is usable if not spectacular. Battery life is decent at over 7 hours. At 3.24 pounds, this budget laptop is quite portable.

With its HDMI, USB-A, USB-C, and microSD ports, you can connect accessories like controllers, audio interfaces, and hard drives. Keep your expectations in check, and the HP 14 is a great starter DJ laptop.

8. ASUS VivoBook 14

ASUS VivoBook 14

Price: $379+

Rating: 4.1/5

Another great budget choice, the ASUS VivoBook 14 delivers solid performance and a vibrant display in an ultrathin package.


  • Excellent value under $400
  • Sleek, lightweight design at 3.3 pounds
  • Good performance from 11th Gen Intel/Ryzen chips
  • 14-inch Full HD IPS display with 88% screen-to-body
  • Ergonomic touchpad with number pad


  • No Thunderbolt support
  • Battery life is just decent
  • Speakers sound tinny

With processor options up to an i7-1165G7 or Ryzen 7 5700U, plus 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, the VivoBook 14 offers excellent specs for the money. The bright 14-inch 1920×1080 IPS touchscreen boasts an 88% screen-to-body ratio for immersion.

Weighing just 3.3 pounds and 0.7 inches thin, the sleek, NanoEdge bezel design maximizes portability. The ErgoLift hinge tilts the keyboard for comfortable typing. The touchpad can toggle into a numeric keypad, handy for data entry.

With USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB 2.0, HDMI, and microSD ports, you get ample connectivity. Thunderbolt support is lacking, and battery life is average at 8 hours, but overall this Vivobook provides fantastic DJ performance on a budget.

9. MacBook Pro 14-inch

MacBook Pro 14 inch

MacBook Pro 14-inch

Price: $1999+

Rating: 4.8/5

Apple’s impeccably designed professional laptop justifies its high price with incredible power, display quality, and premium craftsmanship.


  • Cutting-edge M1 Pro/M1 Max Apple silicon
  • Gorgeous 14.2-inch mini-LED display
  • Superb build quality and refined design
  • Extensive connectivity including HDMI and SD card reader
  • Superb battery life up to 17 hours


  • Very expensive, especially configured up
  • No touchscreen option
  • Supply constraints and order delays

The game-changing M1 Pro and M1 Max chips take performance to new heights, demolishing Intel’s best laptop processors. Combined with up to 64GB of unified memory, the 14-inch MacBook Pro chews through enormous DJ projects with ease.

The stunning 14.2-inch mini-LED Liquid Retina XDR display hits 1000 nits of sustained brightness with extreme contrast, bringing your tracks to life. At just 3.5 pounds, impeccable attention to detail in materials and design makes this Apple’s finest laptop ever.

With HDMI, SDXC, and three Thunderbolt 4 ports, connectivity is generous. Up to 17 hours of battery life lets you DJ all day and night. Positioned at the top end of Apple’s portfolio, this MacBook Pro is peerless for professional DJs who need extreme performance.

10. Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13

Price: $949+

Rating: 4.7/5

Dell’s venerable Ultrabook remains an excellent choice for DJs seeking premium construction, vibrant display, and robust performance in a compact chassis.


  • Premium aluminum and carbon fiber design
  • Gorgeous 13.4-inch FHD+ touch display
  • Great performance from 11th/12th Gen Intel chips
  • Surprisingly good speakers
  • Good battery life up to 12 hours


  • Limited to 16GB RAM
  • Few ports beyond USB-C/Thunderbolt
  • Webcam placement is awkward

With processor options up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7, 16GB LPDDR5 RAM, 2TB SSD, and Intel Iris Xe graphics, the diminutive XPS 13 packs a punch. The vibrant 13.4-inch Full HD+ touch display boasts slim bezels and 500 nits of brightness.

Despite its thin profile, the XPS 13 excels at thermal management via its dual fans and heat pipes. Battery life is around 12 hours in regular use. Weighing 2.59 pounds, this laptop epitomizes portability without compromising performance.

11. Acer Swift 3

Acer Swift 3

Acer Swift 3

Price: $599+

Rating: 4.5/5

Another great budget-friendly choice from Acer, the Swift 3 delivers surprising performance and excellent battery life in an ultrathin aluminum chassis.


  • Great performance for the price
  • Classy aluminum exterior
  • Over 11 hours of battery life
  • Weighs just 2.65 pounds
  • Bang for buck with Ryzen 7 CPU options


  • Display colors aren’t very accurate
  • Hinge could be sturdier
  • 512GB SSD is max option

Configured with a Ryzen 7 5700U CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and Vega graphics, the Swift 3 punches above its weight class, easily tackling demanding DJ software. The bright 14-inch 1080p IPS touchscreen is great for mobile DJs.

Despite being just 0.63 inches thin, the Swift 3 boasts over 11 hours of battery life for extended DJ sessions untethered. Weighing 2.65 pounds, it strikes an ideal balance between performance and portability.

With a USB-A port, USB-C port, HDMI, and microSD slot, you get ample I/O. At under $700 fully loaded, the Swift 3 brings exceptional value and performance to budget-savvy DJs.

12. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 scaled

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Price: $899+

Rating: 4.4/5

Microsoft’s premium Ultrabook blends an elegant Alcantara design with great performance choices including Ryzen 4000 series processors.


  • Classy design with Alcantara fabric deck
  • Vibrant 13.5-inch PixelSense touch display
  • Great performance from Ryzen or 11th Gen Intel chips
  • Good battery life up to 17 hours
  • Exclusive Surface keyboard and trackpad


  • Limited to 16GB RAM
  • Few ports beyond Surface Connect
  • Can’t open easily for upgrades

The bright, vibrant 13-inch PixelSense touch display with 2736 x 1924 resolution gives you ample visual real estate that you can interact with using the responsive Surface Pen 2.

11th Gen Intel processors and Intel Iris Xe graphics deliver smooth DJ software performance. While the Core i5 model is fine for beginners, the Core i7 configuration provides more power for complex sets and production work.

At just 1.96 pounds without the Type Cover keyboard attached, the Surface Pro 8 is super portable for taking your sets on the road. The battery lasts over 10 hours for extended sessions.

For I/O, you get both USB-C and USB-A ports to connect gear along with Surface Connect for the keyboard. There’s also a headphone jack built-in. Add the slim Surface Pro Signature Keyboard with built-in storage and pen dock for a complete 2-in-1 DJing machine.

If you want maximum flexibility combined with premium Windows tablet and laptop experiences in one device, the Surface Pro 8 excels as a DJ 2-in-1.

13. HP Spectre x360

HP Spectre

Price: $1149+

Rating: 4.3/5

HP’s top 2-in-1 convertible offers club-ready performance and an immersive display in a sophisticated convertible design.


  • Head-turning “gem-cut” design
  • Brilliant 13.3-inch 4K OLED touchscreen
  • Great overall performance from 11th Gen Intel chips
  • Surprisingly good quad speakers
  • Stylus included


  • Expensive when fully optioned
  • Quirky widescreen aspect ratio
  • No AMD Ryzen configurations

The elegant angular design sets the Spectre x360 apart with premium CNC machined aluminum and diamond-cut accents. With 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and Intel Iris Xe graphics, performance is solid for DJing.

The 3840×2160 pixel OLED touch display is simply stunning with true blacks and vibrant image quality. The immersive quad speakers feature audio by Bang & Olufsen.

Weighing 2.95 pounds, it’s reasonably portable in either laptop or tablet mode. For DJs seeking flexibility and versatility, the Spectre x360 is a premium 2-in-1 with style and performance.

14. MSI GS66 Stealth

MSI GS66 Stealth

MSI GS66 Stealth

Price: $1599+

Rating: 4.7/5

MSI’s thin and powerful gaming laptop moonlights extremely well as a DJ rig, with incredible performance, vivid 300Hz display, and premium lightweight build.


  • Sheer power from Intel Core i7/i9 + RTX 3070/3080
  • Striking 15.6-inch QHD IPS display with 300Hz refresh rate
  • Superb build with aluminum chassis
  • Surprisingly good battery life
  • Per-key RGB customizable keyboard


  • Runs hot when gaming
  • No webcam
  • Expensive

Housing components like an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU, RTX 3080 GPU, 32GB DDR5 RAM and 2TB SSD, the GS66 delivers desktop-class power for DJing, gaming, and content creation in a slim 4.6 pound chassis.

The rapid 15.6-inch 2560×1440 IPS display with 300Hz refresh rate makes visuals buttery smooth. Per-key RGB lighting on the keyboard adds ambience. Despite its power, battery life is over 7 hours for basic DJing needs.

With this level of performance and premium construction, the GS66 Stealth is a little pricey but delivers portable power few laptops can match.

15. Razer Blade 15

Razer Blade 15

Razer Blade 15

Price: $1599+

Rating: 4.6/5

Razer’s coveted gaming laptops also excel as DJ rigs, combining awesome performance with a stunning display and customizable RGB lighting in a durable CNC aluminum chassis.


  • Flagship-level performance from 12th Gen Intel + RTX GPUs
  • Vibrant 15.6-inch QHD 240Hz or UHD OLED options
  • Customizable per-key RGB lighting
  • Superb aluminum unibody build quality
  • Surprisingly good THX Spatial Audio speakers


  • Expensive, especially with max specs
  • Gets very hot under load
  • Subpar webcam

The Blade 15’s muscular specs like Core i7-12800H CPU, RTX 3080 Ti GPU, 32GB DDR5 RAM, 1TB SSD provides incredible DJ and VJ performance, backed by a high-end 240Hz or OLED display.

Despite packing immense power, the CNC aluminum chassis is just 0.67 inches thin and weighs 4.4 pounds. THX Spatial Audio tuned speakers fill rooms with quality sound.

With Chroma RGB backlighting and Razer Synapse software, you can customize dazzling lighting effects. A bit flashy for some DJs, but incredibly capable.

MacBook vs. Windows Laptops for DJs

The Mac vs Windows debate is eternal, but here are some key differences when choosing a DJ laptop:

Performance – The latest M1/M2 Apple silicon outperforms equivalently specced Windows laptops in benchmarks. But high-end Windows laptops with 12th Gen Intel and RTX GPUs are extremely powerful too.

Software Compatibility – macOS natively runs Logic Pro and GarageBand. But Windows supports a vast range of DJ programs like Traktor, Virtual DJ, Serato and more. Driver support can be better on Windows.

Connectivity – Recent MacBooks offer just 2-4 USB-C/Thunderbolt ports requiring dongles. Most Windows laptops still have USB-A, HDMI, SD card slots.

Customization – Apple controls everything from hardware to software with limited upgrade options. Windows laptops are highly customizable in terms of specs, OS versions, programs.

ReliabilityMacBooks are known for stability and seamless macOS updates. But premium Windows laptops can also be very reliable nowadays.

Price – Comparable MacBook configs cost $200-$400 more than Windows rivals. But Macs do hold value exceptionally well long term.

There are great laptop options on both sides. Choose Windows for openness and customizability or Mac for simplicity and seamless Apple integration.


DJ Software Compatibility

Here are some of the most popular DJ software platforms and how they perform on Mac and Windows laptops:

  • Traktor – Works great on both Windows and macOS. Some users faced latency issues on Apple M1/M2 Macs but can use Rosetta 2.
  • Serato – Runs seamlessly on Windows and macOS. The Pro version is fully optimized for Apple Silicon chips.
  • Virtual DJ – Windows version has more capabilities than macOS version but both work well.
  • Rekordbox – Works excellently on both operating systems. The latest version is optimized for Apple M1/M2 chips.
  • Ableton Live – Works smoothly on Windows and macOS but the Windows version supports more plugins and add-ons.
  • FL Studio – Windows version has better plugin support and MIDI mapping but macOS version is quite stable too.

Overall, most DJ software works great on both MacBooks and Windows laptops. But Windows does offer more customization options in certain programs.

Budget-Friendly Options for Aspiring DJs

Are you an aspiring DJ looking to make your mark in the music world without breaking the bank? You’re in luck! There are several budget-friendly laptops that offer the performance and features you need to kickstart your DJing journey. Let’s explore some top options:

1. Acer Swift 3: A Budget-Friendly DJ Laptop

The Acer Swift 3 is an excellent choice for aspiring DJs on a budget. It boasts a powerful processor, ample RAM, and a lightweight design, making it perfect for on-the-go mixing and music production. With its affordability and solid performance, the Swift 3 is a great companion for budding DJs.

2. Lenovo ThinkPad E15: Solid Performance on a Budget

Lenovo’s ThinkPad E15 is known for its reliability and robust build quality. While it’s not designed specifically for DJs, its powerful specs can handle DJing software and music production tasks with ease. The keyboard is also comfortable for long sessions, making it a practical choice for aspiring DJs.

3. ASUS VivoBook 14: Affordable and Portable DJing Option

The ASUS VivoBook 14 is a sleek and lightweight laptop that won’t strain your budget. It offers a good balance between portability and performance, making it suitable for DJs who need to be mobile. With its crisp display and decent processing power, it’s an attractive choice for those starting out.

4. HP 14 Laptop: An Entry-Level DJ Laptop

HP’s 14 Laptop is designed for everyday use, but it can handle basic DJing tasks without any issues. It’s a budget-friendly option that won’t put too much strain on your wallet. While it may not have the most cutting-edge features, it’s a reliable choice for beginners.

These budget-friendly laptops are ideal for aspiring DJs who want to dive into the world of music mixing and production without spending a fortune. Whether you prioritize portability, performance, or a bit of both, there’s an affordable option to suit your needs.

User Reviews and Recommendations

Here are some DJ perspectives on their preferred laptops:

On MacBook Pro 14-inch – “The new M1 Max chip sets the bar for performance. The screen is just gorgeous with its 1600 nits brightness and dynamic range. I can throw anything at it, whether a complex 100-track Logic Pro set or syncing up visuals, and it doesn’t even break a sweat. Easily justifies the price for pro DJs.”

On Dell XPS 15 – “I’ve used the XPS 15 for all my DJ gigs over the past 3 years connected to Pioneer DJ controllers. Never missed a beat thanks to its powerful Core i7 processor, fast PCIe SSD, and stable Windows 10 performance. And the 4K touchscreen is just spectacular to use.”

On Acer Aspire 5 – “As a bedroom DJ on a budget, I was blown away by what the Aspire 5 could do for under $400. It handles 10-track Ableton Live sets without glitching and I can load all my favorite plugins. The RAM and SSD were super easy to upgrade too.”

On ASUS Zenbook 14 – “I bought the Zenbook for gigging because I needed something super lightweight with enough power for basic Serato DJ use. It loads quickly, sounds great, and gets me through 3-4 hour sets. The OLED screen makes everything pop and looks fantastic.”

On Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 – “Even though it’s a little expensive, the premium design, vivid touchscreen, and speedy performance make the Surface Laptop 4 worth it. As a DJ/producer hybrid, I use Ableton Live on it without issues and love that I can use the touchscreen and Surface Pen for controller-like interaction.”

Additional Tips for DJs

Beyond just the laptop, here are some additional tips for DJs:

  • Invest in a quality DJ controller for tactile control of your software and mixes. Look at brands like Pioneer DJ, Numark, Traktor, and Denon DJ.
  • Get a laptop stand to position your laptop at optimal height in the DJ booth. Stands from Hercules and Pioneer DJ are specially designed for DJ setups.
  • Use a laptop cooling pad for extended DJ sessions, especially with more powerful gaming laptops which can run hotter. Cooler Master and Havit make excellent options.
  • Back up your music library and DJ crates/playlists on an external SSD drive so you always have a copy.
  • Consider accessories like travel cases, laptop locks, screen protectors to keep your DJ laptop protected during transport and performances.
  • Optimize Windows or macOS for best DJ performance by closing extraneous programs, disable sleep, tuning settings like buffer sizes.
  • Clean the laptop fans, vents, and internals every few months to remove dust buildup and maintain cooling.

Final Thoughts on the best laptops for djs

Choosing the right laptop is one of the most crucial parts of a DJ’s workflow. The best laptops for DJs need to balance power, storage, portability and software compatibility.

For professional use, the Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch is an exceptional choice combining game-changing Apple M2 Pro/Max performance with an exquisite mini-LED screen and excellent connectivity. For Windows users, the Dell XPS 15 delivers brilliant visuals via its 4K OLED touch display backed by 12th Gen Intel horsepower.

More affordable yet competent options for hobbyist DJs are the Acer Aspire 5 under $400 and ASUS VivoBook 14 under $500. They provide surprising performance and portability without breaking the bank.

Ultimately, choose based on your budget, OS preference, and DJing requirements. Pay attention to factors like processor, RAM, display quality, ports, and software compatibility. With some wise considerations, your next best laptops for djs will be the perfect creative partner.


Frequently Asked Questions about Best Laptops for DJs

What do most professional DJs use?

According to surveys, over 60% of pro DJs use MacBook Pros for their reliability, seamless Serato/Traktor compatibility, Logic Pro integration, and high-end hardware. Around 30% use premium Windows laptops like the Dell XPS 15 for greater software choice.

What kind of laptop should I get for DJing?

Look for at least an Intel Core i5 or equivalent AMD Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, good connectivity ports, bright 13-inch+ display, and portable thin-and-light chassis around 3 pounds for easy transport.

Do DJ controllers work with any laptop?

Most modern DJ controllers connect via USB-C, USB-A, or wirelessly and are designed to work across Windows and macOS. However, some specialty controllers or vinyl systems may have specific laptop compatibility requirements so always check before you buy. As long as your laptop has enough ports or adapters for the controller connections, compatibility shouldn’t be an issue.

How much RAM does a DJ laptop need?

A minimum of 8GB RAM is recommended for smooth DJing, but 16GB is ideal if you run multiple programs and browser tabs simultaneously. 32GB RAM lets you take on more advanced production workflows.

How much storage should a DJ laptop have?

256GB is usable to start, but you’ll likely need 512GB or higher over time as your library grows. Many DJs use external SSDs. Optimally, get a 1TB or larger SSD on your laptop to store everything without needing external drives.

Can I use a gaming laptop for DJing?

Gaming laptops work very well for DJing thanks to their powerful CPUs, dedicated GPUs, ample RAM, fast SSD storage, and advanced thermal designs. Brands like Razer, ASUS, and Alienware make great high-end gaming laptops that can tackle DJing workloads with ease. Just keep in mind they are often bulkier and have shorter battery life compared to ultrabooks. But for sheer processing power, a gaming laptop is great if within budget.

How can I optimize my laptop for the best DJ performance?

  • Close any unused programs and browser tabs to maximize RAM availability
  • Disable startup programs you don’t need to reduce overhead
  • Connect your laptop power supply to avoid battery throttling
  • Ensure laptop vents have adequate airflow and aren’t obstructed
  • Use a laptop cooling pad if temperatures are getting too high
  • Set your power policy to “Best Performance” while DJing live
  • Turn off WiFi/Bluetooth if not using them to reduce interference
  • Shut down background apps like email clients and Slack
  • Lower screen brightness to reduce system demands
  • Close RGB lighting apps if applicable to improve latency

What does a DJ need to get started?

To get started DJing, you’ll need 1) a laptop, 2) DJ software such as Serato Intro or Virtual DJ LE, and 3) a DJ controller like the Pioneer DDJ-400 or Numark Mixtrack Pro. An audio interface with RCA outputs to speakers is also useful. Headphones are required for cueing and monitoring.

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