Imagine how in the middle of your set while performing in front of hundreds or even thousands of raving fans, your laptop suddenly crashes for no obvious reason. That probably would be one of the most embarrassing moments you could ever face behind the decks, not to mention the fact that it could impact negatively your overall reputation as a professional DJ.
Fortunately, there is a decent amount of durable and reliable laptops available out there that could help you avoid those awkward situations or at least reduce the risk of failure to a minimum while performing live on your next gig. So, without further ado, here are some of the best laptops for DJing in 2020 we have come across recently.
|2019 Apple 16″ MacBook Pro
|2.3 GHz Intel Core i9 Eight-Core
|16" 3072 x 1920 Retina Display
|16GB of 2666MHz RAM | 1TB SSD
|Microsoft Surface Pro 12.3″ 256GB Multi-Touch Tablet
|2.6 GHz Intel Core i5-7300U (Dual-Core)
|12.3" PixelSense 10-Point Touch Display
|8GB of RAM | 256GB SSD
|Dell 13.3″ XPS 13 9360 Multi-Touch Notebook
|2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-7200U Dual-Core
|13.3" 3200 x 1800 InfinityEdge Display
|8GB LPDDR3 RAM | 256GB M.2 SSD
|Lenovo 15.6″ Legion Y520 Notebook
|2.8 GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core
|15.6" 1920 x 1080 Anti-Glare IPS Display
|8GB DDR4 RAM | 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
|Apple 13.3″ MacBook Air (2020)
|1.1 GHz 10th Generation Intel Core i5 Dual-Core
|13.3" 2560 x 1600 Retina Display
|16GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR4 RAM | 512GB SSD
|Dell 15.6″ Alienware 15 R4 Notebook
|2.2 GHz Intel Core i7-8750H Six-Core
|15.6" 1920 x 1080 IPS Display
|16GB DDR4 RAM | 1TB HDD + 256GB SSD
|ASUS 14″ ZenBook UX430UA Notebook
|2.7 GHz Intel Core i7-7500U Dual-Core
|14" 1920 x 1080 Anti-Glare Display
|8GB DDR4 RAM | 256GB M.2 SSD
|Acer 14″ Swift 3 Notebook
|1.6 GHz Intel Core i5-8250U Quad-Core
|14" 1920 x 1080 IPS Display
|8GB DDR4 | 256GB SSD
|ASUS 15.6″ VivoBook S15 S510UQ Notebook
|1.8 GHz Intel Core i7-8550U Quad-Core
|5.6" 1920 x 1080 Anti-Glare Display
|8GB DDR4 | 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
|Dell 15.6″ Inspiron 15 5000 Series
|2.8 GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core
|5.6" 1920 x 1080 LED-Backlit TN Display
|16GB of DDR4 RAM | 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD
That’s arguably the most popular laptop available on the market right now. What makes the 2019 MacBook Pro ubiquitous in the realm of DJs and music producers around the world, is its higher quality value as well as the seamless integration with most music and DJ software. The machine performance is rock-solid, and even though it’s one of the most expensive devices on the list, its durability and power efficiency are still unmatched by other rivals.
The model we suggest features a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i9 eight-core processor, 16GB of 2666 MHz DDR4 onboard memory, a 1TB PCIe-based SSD, four Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) ports, large Force Touch trackpad, a redesigned scissor mechanism that delivers 1mm of key travel as well as an Apple-designed rubber dome that stores more potential energy for a responsive key press, redesigned six-speaker, high-fidelity sound system, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology, and even a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The laptop also has a thin and light-weighted body which makes it perfect in terms of portability. The 16-inch screen has a brightly LED lit retina display with 3072 x 1920 resolution and excellent contrast ratio. The laptop suffices with long hours of battery life for up to 11 hours and comes with the latest MacOS operating system.
Apple 16″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Late 2019, Space Gray) Highlights
This makes it to our number two review due to the great features alongside lightweight and compact form factor that the device has. The Surface Pro boasts a 12.3″ PixelSense display with a 2736 x 1824 screen resolution (267 ppi) and a 3:2 aspect ratio. The display is also 10-point touch support, so you can take full advantage of the multi-touch gestures incorporated into Windows 10 Pro. There’s also a Mini DisplayPort output if you want to add an external monitor to your DJ setup.
The laptop sports Intel Core i5-7300U processor with a base clock of 2.6 GHz that can be overclocked to 3.5 GHz when performing demanding tasks. Other neat features include an integrated Intel HD Graphics 620, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, a microSD media card slot, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, a 5MP front-facing camera, an 8MP rear-facing camera with 1080p HD video recording, and dual integrated microphones. There are also built-in stereo speakers with Dolby audio. The battery is remarkable since it lasts for about 10 hours which can be a handful feature when DJing in the studio or on the go.
Microsoft Surface Pro 12.3″ 256GB Multi-Touch Tablet Highlights
Dell XPS9360-3591SLV is another popular choice among professional DJs. Some of the great features of the device that we certainly should highlight include a 13.3″ InfinityEdge IGZO IPS display with QHD+ 3200 x 1800 resolution, a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-7200U Dual-Core processor with a boost speed of 3.1 GHz, 8GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3 RAM, an integrated Intel HD Graphics 620, and a 256GB M.2 SSD.
In case you need more storage for your music collection, you can connect additional external storage solutions using the available Thunderbolt 3 port and two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one of which doubles as a charging port with PowerShare technology. Other integrated features include a 720p webcam, a backlit keyboard, an SD/SDHC/SDXC card reader, dual digital microphones, 2W stereo speakers with Waves MaxxAudio, and a headset/microphone combo jack. Last but not least, the Dell XPS9360-3591SLV comes with a backlit keyboard, which is an essential feature when working in dimly-lit and dark environments like night clubs and other similar venues.
Dell 13.3″ XPS 13 9360 Multi-Touch Notebook Highlights
This is another essential laptop that is recommended for DJs who want to create great music and mixes. The device is powered by a 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core processor and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. The available NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card offers more than enough processing power to run any DJ software with ease. The 15.6″ FullHD IPS display, on the other hand, produces crisp, clear, and vivid images right off the bat.
For storage, the Lenovo 15.6″ Legion Y520 Notebook has a 128GB PCIe SSD and a 1TB 5400 rpm HDD. Other integrated features include 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A,1 x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, a 4-in-1 media card reader, a webcam, microphones, speakers, 3.5mm mic, and a headphone combo jack. The only downside we can find on this laptop is the maximum runtime you can get on a fully charged battery which tops out at four hours only.
Apple MacBook laptops have never disappointed when it comes to functionality, and this is another model that is highly recommended for DJs. Apple 13.3″ MacBook Air (Early 2020) features a unibody aluminum enclosure that weighs less than 3 pounds. For optimal performance in the club, we recommend the 1.1 GHz 10th Gen Intel Core i5 Dual-Core model that also comes with 16GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR4 RAM and 512GB SSD.
Graphics are provided by integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics coupled with a 13.3″ Retina IPS display featuring 2560 x 1600 resolution. Other than that, the computer features all the amenities you expect on a Mac – a 720p FaceTime HD webcam, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi (also compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 5.0, and built-in stereo speakers.
Apple 13.3″ MacBook Air (Mid 2017, Silver) Highlights
This is a powerful and reliable laptop that every DJ must consider acquiring. It is designed with the latest generation Intel core six-core processor and a 6GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card which empowers the laptop to work better and faster with virtually any DJ software on the market.
For storage, the Alienware 15 R4 has a 1TB 7200 rpm SATA III 2.5″ hard drive and a 256 GB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD. If you want to connect different peripherals, you can take advantage of one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, one of which features PowerShare technology, as well as one Thunderbolt 3 port, which also supports USB 3.1 Gen 2.
Additionally, you can utilize HDMI 2.0, mini-DisplayPort 1.3, and Thunderbolt 3 ports to connect external displays if required. Other integrated features include a Full HD webcam, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, a headphone/mic combo jack, a headset jack, stereo speakers, Alienware’s TactX keyboard with N-key rollover, 5 user-programmable keys, and 4-zone, multi-color RGB-LED AlienFX lighting. The Dell Alienware also comes with a 240W power adapter and a 4-cell / 68Wh lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 11 hours on a single charge.
Dell 15.6″ Alienware 15 R2 Notebook Highlights
ASUS 14″ ZenBook UX430UA Notebook laptop features both classy look and excellent functioning. It’s a thin, lightweight, and compact system designed for creative professionals looking for a balance between portability and screen size. The laptop features a 14″ 1920 x 1080 Full HD display, driven by an integrated Intel HD graphics, within a 13″ chassis thanks to its ultra-slim bezels.
At 15.9mm thin and weighing 2.87 pounds, the UX430 is easily portable and packs an all-day battery to match. Performance-wise, it’s powered by a 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7-7500U dual-core processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 256GB M.2 solid-state drive. Just like many of the other rivals on the list, you can connect external storage solutions using its multiple USB ports, one of which features a Type-C interface, as well as its media card reader.
ASUS 14″ ZenBook UX430UA Notebook Highlights
Even though the Acer 14″ Swift 3 Notebook is among the last review on the list, it is quite reliable and useful for Serato DJs. What sets the laptop at a high bar is the long-lasting battery that runs for 10 hours and even more. Other than that, the laptop features 14″ IPS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution alongside a compact chassis that is powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5-8250U processor along with 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD, providing desktop-like computing performance behind the decks.
This level of performance lets you efficiently multitask and quickly access your media. When a heavier workload is required, each of the processor’s four cores can reach a max turbo frequency of 3.4 GHz. In terms of connectivity, the notebook comes equipped with 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1 x HDMI, and 1 x 1/8″ (3.5 mm) Headphone Output.
Acer 14″ Swift 3 Notebook Highlights
The 15.6″ VivoBook S15 S510UQ Notebook from ASUS is a thin and lightweight laptop, ideal for DJs looking for a portable, yet powerful system. It boasts a 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7-8550U quad-core processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM. Regarding storage, the laptop is equipped with a 128GB solid-state drive and a 1TB hard drive.
The 15.6-inch display is built with ultra-thin bezels, has wide 178° viewing angles and an 80% screen-to-body ratio for a more immersive viewing experience. Other integrated features include 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, a webcam, microphone, speakers, a backlit keyboard, multiple USB ports, an SD card reader, an HDMI port, and a combo audio jack. It’s also worth noting that the battery within the VivoBook S15 is designed with a longer lifespan while featuring fast-charging technology so you can charge it up to 60% in less than an hour.
ASUS 15.6″ VivoBook S15 S510UQ Notebook Highlights
The Dell 15.6″ Inspiron 15 5000 Series Notebook is powered by a 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ Quad-Core processor that allows you to run multiple applications simultaneously. The processor also features a boost speed of up to 3.8 GHz as well as 16GB of 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM, which can be upgraded to 32GB.
The 15.6″ TN anti-glare display features a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and LED backlighting. The laptops sports a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card that has 4GB of GDDR5 RAM. You’ll also be able to output video to an external display in the club using the built-in HDMI 1.4 output. Additional compatible peripherals can be tethered using the available 5 Gb/s USB 3.0 Type-A ports (x3), one of which is equipped with PowerShare technology.
Dell 15.6″ Inspiron 15 5000 Series Notebook Highlights
The following video will give you even more tips regarding choosing the right laptop for DJing.
Here’s a quick video tutorial that will show you how to DJ by only using your laptop.
Important notes to keep in mind when choosing a laptop for DJing
- Avoid using your laptop when it gets to the bottleneck of its resources since it is prone to crash.
- For DJing, use at least a laptop with a quad-core processor to enhance multitasking behind the decks.
- If you want a laptop for performing at night events, choose one with a backlit keyboard.
- Although a computer can still perform decently with 4GB of RAM, it’s highly recommended to invest in a machine that has at least 8GB for flawless performance when DJing.
- If you want a large storage space for your music collection, make sure to get a laptop that has a memory with at least 512GB. Look for even larger external storage drives for the same purpose.
- Although SDD and M2 equipped laptops are still a relatively expensive option, these are highly recommended, especially if want to get the most optimal performance in the club.
- When it comes to the selection of a laptop based on the display, make sure the latter has 1080p resolution or higher. The other thing to consider is where you are going to position the laptop. If you tend to place it at a far distance, make sure to get a device with a large display to offer an excellent view. As a rule, the size of your laptop’s display should be more than 14″.
- If you are prone to working outdoors, choose a laptop that has a matte finish to prevent unwanted reflections.
- More often than not, you may require connecting your laptop to other external devices. Therefore, you should avoid buying a laptop that has only a couple of ports.
- Last but not least, ensure that the laptop you opt for is made of strong and durable materials for safety purposes.
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