It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional disc jockey or a beginner to music production. If you’re looking for a reliable laptop that can run modern music production or DJing software like Ableton, Serato DJ, Traktor Pro 2 smoothly, then you are in the right place. Although, many people claim that DJs don’t need a laptop, however, having a future-ready machine allows you to compile, render, produce music in a matter of clicks. Also, there are a lot of professionals who make a living out of this profession, thanks to the technological advancements and easy-to-learn DJ software.
To make this list, we first talked to 45 professional DJ artists and music producers with years of industrial experience. We then examined the technical specifications with the minimum required specs of the most commonly used DJ software like Serato DJ Pro, Ableton Live, Mixxx, Pioneer rekordbox, etc.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
|Asus ZenBook Pro||CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H|
Storage: 1TB SSD
GPU: 6GB Nvidia Nvidia RTX 2060
Display: 15.6-inch 4K UHD Touch (3840 x 2160)
Battery: Up to 5 hours
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|Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch||CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7|
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 16-inch Retina IPS (3072 x 1920)
GPU: 4GB AMD Radeon Pro 5300M
Battery: Up to 11 hours
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|Razer Blade 15||CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H|
Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
GPU: Nvidia Nvidia GTX 1660Ti
Battery: Up to 6 hours
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We analyzed the minimum system requirements of 38 renowned DJ and music production software. According to us, here are the minimum & recommend specs you should consider when getting one. If you have a laptop that the minimum system requirements then, you will be able to run the software, but for smooth experiences, we suggest opting for the ones that have the recommended specs or above it, at the same time, making sure that you don’t overspend.
10 Best DJ Laptops in 2020
Choosing the perfect laptop isn’t a difficult task; you can enter the specs you want in a Laptop Finder, and you’ll get an endless list. However, if you’re looking for expert-recommendations, then continue checking out the models we’ve reviewed below!
1. Asus ZenBook Pro
2. Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch
If you are serious about becoming a DJ, then the new Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch is the right laptop that can handle all DJ software with ease. The 16-inch display is big, bright and comes with a native resolution of 3072 x 1920p, which will let you pixel peep into your mix without any external screen or monitor.
However, if needed, you can connect an external 4K display on to it well. As per the hardware capabilities, the device is capable of running DJ software like Traktor, PCDJ DEX 3, Virtual DJ, and Djay without any sort of lags, even when you are running another software in the background. DJing involves playing with multiple tracks to create custom music, and the Intel Core i7 with a base clock speed of 2.6GHz can handle the task without any issue. Additionally, it has a 16GB RAM which allows you to keep multiple DJ software running in the background for seamless switching between them. The laptop comes with 512GB flash storage which is more than enough for most of the DJs, but you could make use of External HDDs for backups.
This SSD based laptop offers higher read/write speeds, which should decrease the time taken to load files into the mixing software. The battery life of a laptop is an important aspect for a DJ, as it is hard to find a charging plug near the stage. But with this machine at your service, it won’t be an issue at all, as it can deliver 11 hours of battery on a single charge.
The best part is, it also supports fast charging. Lastly, it weighs 4.3 pounds, which might seem like a bit heavy. However, considering the fact that it has a 16-inch display, this is one is even lighter than a lot of 15.6-inch machines.
3. Razer Blade 15
If you are a DJ and want to buy a modern laptop with Windows OS, then the Razer Blade 15 seems like the one you should consider. It comes with a 15.6-inch IPS screen with thin bezels and offers a native resolution of 1920 x 1080p with an anti-glare finish, which will help to reduce the light reflection from the parties.
The laptop comes with the 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor; that’s why it is capable of running resource-intensive DJing software such as DJ Intro or the Serato DJ. Also, The 4GB NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti is powerful enough for those who are into making custom tracks. To show you how powerful the GPU is, it is capable enough of running high-graphic games such as Fortnite, PUBG at 60FPS with no lags. As per the storage, the Blade 15 offers dual storage solution with a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. This lets DJs store songs and music on the HDD while having DJ software on the SSD, which loads quickly.
Thanks to 16GB RAM, the machine can run the Virtual DJ and MixVibes Cross DJ at the same time. This is a thin and light 15-inch laptop, as it weighs 4.63 pounds, which makes it easy to carry and play DJ whenever you want. Besides, the built-in speakers are also powerful, which can also be used at pre-party and after-party scenes. Lastly, the machine delivers 6 hours of battery life on a single charge and supports fast charging.
4. Dell XPS 13 7390
A lot of professional DJs look for a compact laptop with a 4K touch screen, and the Dell XPS 13 7390 seems like a great option for those who need a 13-inch touchscreen laptop. Just like most of the XPS laptops this device also has thin bezels. Also, it offers a screen resolution of 3480 x 2160 pixels with 10-point multi-touch support and a higher screen to body ratio. The laptop is based on the latest energy-efficient Intel Core i7-10710U, which is a 10th gen Intel processor with a base clock speed of 1.1GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.1GHz.
Having an extremely low base clock speed will help the CPU to offer better battery life and the higher boost clock speed will ensure that software like DJ Pro and Virtual DJ will run smoothly throughout the concert. There’s also integrated Intel UHD graphics, which is capable enough for basic graphic-intensive tasks and also can be used for connecting an external 4K monitor.
Although it isn’t the best graphics you’ll get on a laptop, but it’s more than enough for most of the DJs. As for the RAM and storage, the Dell XPS 13 7390 offers 1TB of SSD storage, which is a substantial amount of storage for DJs, especially who likes to use multiple DJing software like Serato DJ, Virtual DJ, and it will also help DJs to compose new tracks directly on the laptop, as it offers higher write and read speeds.
Though the Dell XPS 13 7390 is a 4K touch laptop, thanks to modern design, it just weighs 2.93 pounds and offers an amazing battery life of 8 hours on a single charge. Overall, this is a great laptop for DJs, those who want one with a touch screen with a higher resolution panel with great visibility.
5. Lenovo ThinkPad P52
You might want to consider the Lenovo ThinkPad P52 if you’re looking for a laptop that’s sturdy. It comes with robust design and is a great option for DJs who travel around the world for various concerts and shows. The laptop has a big 15.6-inch screen with the standard 1920 x 1080p resolution. This is the usual screen resolution that a DJ should consider, as it usually renders the UI more optimally on professional DJ software like VirtualDJ, UltraMixerDJ, or even Mixxx. The machine comes with the Intel Core i7-8750H. This high-performance CPU with 6 cores can optimally run most of the DJ software without any lags.
The built-in 2GB NVIDIA Quadro P500 enables users to run high-resource intensive software like Serato DJ Intro with no issues. The machine offers 500GB of SSD storage, where users can store high-resolution FLAC music files on the laptop and create music on the go, without any internet connection. Plus, the 16GB RAM on this laptop will let you scrub through the music without any interruption. The device is a bit bulky, as it weighs 4.39 pounds.
However, it does offer a metallic build, which makes it long-lasting compared to lightweight laptops. As per the battery life, it can last up to 6 hours on a single charge, which is great considering the high-end CPU and GPU that the battery has to power.
6. Dell XPS9360
The Dell XPS 9360 is a 13-inch affordable Windows laptop that’s a great option for beginner disc jockeys. As the name suggests, it has a 13.3-inch IPS LCD display with 1920×1080 pixels resolution with support for touch input.
The Dell XPS9360 is based on a 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7200U processor, which is a quad-core CPU with a base clock speed of 2.5GHz. Along with the GPU, it comes with Intel HD graphics, enabling users to connect an external display to the laptop to use features like song scrubbing on software such as Virtual DJ. As per the storage, it just offers 128GB SSD, which seems a bit less. It does offer 8GB RAM, which is also used as video memory.
For most tasks, the laptop does not struggle, especially while watching videos to learn new DJ tricks or while playing an already composed track. However, it does not offer much storage to load or store tracks locally on it. It weighs 2.7 pounds and delivers a battery life of 6 hours on a single charge. Considering the price tag that it comes with, this is a great laptop for those who are getting started with music production.
7. Best 2-in-1 Laptop: HP Pavilion x360
The 2020 HP Pavilion x360 2-in-1 laptop computer is for those who want more built-in RAM and storage with a good screen with touch support. It has a 14-inch 1920 x 1080p IPS grade screen, which is rotatable and can be used as a tablet. It comes with the 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U, which offers a base clock speed of 1.6GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.1GHz.
When it comes to raw performance, the processor that powers the 2020 HP Pavilion x360 2-in-1 can even outperform laptops with the Intel Core i7-7500U. Also, the built-in Intel UHD graphics card allows you to play some light games such as Minecraft at 1080p. The laptop also ships with a massive 2TB flash storage, which makes it a great option for DJs, especially for those who like to make their own tracks and save them locally on the computer, instead of an external hard disc.
The 32GB RAM in the machine allows great multi-tasking. Coming to the battery life, the laptop comes with a 41Wh battery, that usually lasts for six hours on a single charge. Lastly, it weighs 3.49 pounds, making it not such a heavy machine and one can easily carry this around on a daily basis.
8. Huawei MateBook X Pro
The Huawei Mate X, based on Windows OS also offers a huge set of features that a DJ might look for in a laptop. It has a 3000x2000p high-resolution touch screen with a narrow slim bezel design allowing DJs to create native high-resolution photos and graphics, which can be used in concerts. The Huawei MateBook X Pro features the Intel Core i5-8350U, 8th gen quad-core processor, which is power efficient and offers a base clock speed of 1.6GHz, delivering a good battery life.
This laptop does not have a dedicated GPU, instead, it comes with the Intel UHD 620 integrated GPU, which uses system memory and can power an external monitor with up to 4K resolution. Coming to storage and RAM, this machine offers a 256GB SSD which can load software like DJ Pro, Virtual DJ in just a few seconds thereby saving a lot of time. Coming to RAM, the computer has 8GB RAM, which is the minimum amount of RAM a DJ laptop should have.
The Huawei Mate X is a thin and light laptop. It just weighs 2.93 pounds, making it easy for DJs to carry around on a backpack or a sling bag. Similarly, the machine also offers a good battery backup and on a single charge it can last up to 12 hours and the battery does feature fast charging support as well.
9. Apple MacBook Air
Apple MacBooks are some of the best laptops for entry-level DJs, especially the new Apple MacBook Air, which is affordable and offers the latest features and specifications. The compact laptop, with a 13-inch screen, offering a native resolution of 2560 x 1600p and the display is protected by tempered glass. The device has one of the most color-accurate displays, which makes it easy for DJs, who create their own logos and album art on a laptop.
The laptop is powered by the Intel Core i5 processor. It is a dual-core processor with a base clock speed of 1.6GHz and a boost clock speed of 3.6GHz. It does come with the Intel UHD 617 graphics, that will handle basic music rendering and music composing without any issue. Just like any other MacBook, the Apple MacBook Air is not meant for gaming at all. As per the storage, this is an entry-level model, as it just offers 128GB storage, which might be a bit less for some DJs, who like to store a lot of mixes on their laptops.
However, one can easily use an external storage device with the laptop to store songs and backups, old projects, as it offers super-fast file transfer, thanks to the USB Type-C port. As for the RAM, the Apple MacBook Air offers 8GB RAM and the same memory is also used by the GPU when required. macOS is highly optimized, and it can easily run most DJ software like Virtual DJ and Traktor without running into any issues.
And the laptop also has a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack, which is capable of delivering high-resolution audio output. Like most of the MacBooks, the Apple MacBook Air offers an amazing battery life and can last for 13 continuous hours on a single charge, which is great for a laptop of this size. Lastly, the device weighs 2.75 pounds, making it one of the lightest 13-inch machines in the market, which also delivers stellar performance for DJ related tasks. Overall, a good macOS device for entry-level DJs, who do not want to spend more and still want a high-performance laptop. Besides, one major benefit of the OS over Windows is, you don’t have to worry much about viruses or optimizations.
10. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Microsoft makes some of the best Windows OS powered laptops and the New Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a testament for the same. It comes with a compact 12.3-inch display, offering 2736 x 1824p resolution and the display also supports touch input, which enables DJs to use modern DJing software like Virtual DJ, which supports touch input.
The New Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is powered by the 10th Gen Intel Core-i5 processor with a base clock speed of 1.5GHz. This is a quad-core processor, based on 10nm fabrication, which ensures good performance with improved battery efficiency compared to laptops with previous-generation Core-i5 processors. Similarly, the built-in Intel Iris Plus GPU on the New Microsoft Surface Pro 7 also delivers good graphics performance, which will be useful for casual gaming and rendering short music files on apps like Djay or Ableton Live, which requires high-computational performance. The New Microsoft Surface Pro 7 offers 128GB flash storage along with 8GB RAM.
After the OS installation, the laptop offers around 70 to 80GB of free storage, which seems a bit less. However, it does offer a dedicated USB-A port, which allows DJs to access tracks from an external storage device with ease. If you are using a specific DJ software, then this amount of storage should be enough. However, if you usually play with different software, then you might have to consider a laptop with at least 256GB of internal memory.
Thanks to the efficient processor and software optimizations, the New Microsoft Surface Pro 7 offers 10 and a half hours of battery life on a single charge. Similarly, it just weighs 1.1 pounds without the external keyboard combo, which makes it easy to carry. If you are looking for a full-fledged laptop, which can also be used as a tablet, then the New Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is the device that you should get.
Frequently Asked Questions
What laptops do professional DJs use?
Professional DJs can use a laptop that is either based on Windows OS or macOS. It should have a good screen, an audio out port, and a good processor, which is capable of rendering music and loading music quickly.
How much RAM does a laptop that DJs use should have?
A laptop for DJs should have at least 8GB RAM and it is also advised to get the machine with 16GB RAM, making the device future proof.
How much storage does a laptop that DJs use should have?
A laptop with 128GB storage is more than enough if a DJ uses a single software. However, a professional DJ should opt for the one with at least 512GB storage, who likes to locally save the custom DJ music that has been created.
Do you need a laptop for DJing?
Yes, a pair of good sounding headphones and a laptop will be the best friends of a DJ. Make sure that you select the one that offers high-fidelity sound output and it should also have additional ports to connect to an external speaker or a sound system.
Do you need a MacBook laptop for DJ?
Most of the Djing software like Virtual DJ and Pro DJ is available for both Windows OS and macOS alike. So, you can either use a MacBook or a Windows OS-powered laptop for Djing without any issue.
Why do DJs use Mac laptops?
Most of the professional DJs use MacBook laptops, as they offer good battery life and good sound output. Compared to Windows OS laptop, macOS machines crash less often, which gives a peace of mind for DJ, especially while performing a live show, in front of a crowd.
Djing is now considered as a very noble profession, where artists earn a lot of money and respect. If you are getting into it, then you can consider any one of the laptops that offer the right balance between the regular usage and DJing related tasks. Some of these laptops do offer a lot of performance and storage, which makes these machines good for gaming and can also be used for other applications as well. Which one are you getting?