DJs have access to lots of software options that help them follow their passion. But finding suitable hardware equipment might be a bit problematic.
As an aspiring or professional DJ, you understand the importance of buying a reliable laptop that will live up to your expectations during live performances. A laptop that crashes or malfunctions in the middle of your gig is a DJ’s worst nightmare.
This is why I was determined to help you find the best laptop for DJing so you can pursue your music production dreams. In this article, you’ll find links to 7 of the best laptops, in addition to information to help you buy a suitable one.
Interested? Don’t let hardware malfunctioning stand between you and realizing your dreams.
Best Laptops for DJing
Here are my top 7 picks.
1. 2018 Acer 15.6″ HD WLED Chromebook: Budget Model
The Acer Chromebook comes with a comfy view display that reduces reflection for best performance in different lighting conditions. The 4 GB system memory is enough for basic DJing software programs, in addition to 16 GB em flash memory. I recommend this laptop to a beginner DJ because it’s affordable and delivers solid performance.
This laptop has built-in cloud support and a media reader to expand the memory and make your life easier. It also connects to Wireless 3 times faster than other laptops at the same price level.
Like most of the laptops on our list, it doesn’t have a CD or DVD drive, but the USB ports are more than enough to play your favorite media files. Moreover, the display quality isn’t that impressive, but for the price point, I believe that this is a reliable budget-friendly model.
You won’t have to install an antivirus, as it comes with built-in malware and virus protection, and both update automatically without disturbing your performance. It also comes with a built-in HD cam. If you’re looking for a lightweight and affordable model, then you should definitely check this one out.
Things I Like
- Budget-friendly option.
- Lightweight laptop with an anti-reflection display.
- Built-in cloud support.
- Built-in malware and anti-virus.
2. HP Omen 15″ Gaming Laptop: Best For Professionals
This HP model is marked as a gaming laptop with cutting-edge graphics. Nevertheless, if it’s powerful enough to handle hardcore gaming, then it will definitely be more than enough for your DJing adventures. It comes with Windows 10 and an impressive system memory of 12 GB. This is higher than what most laptops offer.
The battery is supposed to last for 10 hours and 45 minutes on standard use, but the performance drops significantly to 5 hours and 30 minutes when you’re using wireless streaming. I think that at this price range, you should expect a battery that lasts longer.
However, if you can get over the not-so-satisfying battery life, you’ll be impressed by how rugged and well-built this laptop is. In addition to wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, this laptop has a massive 1 TB internal memory that you can fill up with your signature tracks. You can also upgrade this laptop by expanding the memory if you need to.
I really admire the HD audio boost of this laptop and think that it will be a great advantage to DJs especially if you want to test-drive your mixes before a gig. The backlit keyboard will come in handy when you’re having a gig in low light settings. Every keystroke is detected even when you execute multiple commands at the same time.
I recommend this laptop for professionals because it comes with a reliable fan that improves heat dissipation for better performance. You should, however, note that it’s slightly heavier than other models. It doesn’t have a webcam, but as a DJ, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
Things I Like
- 12 GB RAM.
- Expendable hardware.
- HD audio boost.
- Backlit keyboard.
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Best for Multitasking
Looking for a versatile and multitasking slim laptop? The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is an upgraded model that delivers what an aspiring DJ would need in a reliable laptop. It features 8 GB of RAM, which is probably more than you would typically need for DJing software programs. Nevertheless, it allows you to run multiple operations at the back with no issues.
Microsoft promises a battery that lasts for 13.5 hours, but it will probably last for 8.5 hours, especially when you’re having a live performance. The 8th Generation i5 processor provides more power for all your tasks and operations.
Being a DJ doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a technology geek. So, you’ll probably appreciate that it works operates on Windows 10 OS which you’re already familiar with and know. It also comes with the Cortana intelligent assistant.
This laptop can be used in a laptop, tablet, or studio mode and is compatible with various accessories, including the signature type cover, surface dial, surface pen, and arc mouse. If you’re not a big fan of the touchscreen, then you must buy these separately.
Things I Like
- Versatile and multitasking performance thanks to the 8th Generation processor.
- Windows 10 OS with several accessories compatibility.
- Can be used in laptop, tablet or studio mode.
- 8 GB of RAM for multiple DJ software programs.
4. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop: Best Overall
This laptop combines versatility with enhanced graphics, making it the perfect companion for creative people. It has a 4 GB system memory to power your DJing software and can be used for long hours thanks to the BlueLightShield that protects your eyes from strain.
The AMD Ryzen 3 3200U mobile processor delivers outstanding performance for a decent price. The laptop is lightweight and features a slim design with an aluminum top. It has USB ports, in addition to a feature that strengthens your wireless signal and a backlit keyboard that allows you to work in any environment. It also has an SD card reader that quickly transfers data from and to your laptop.
Although you’re likely to connect your laptop to party speakers when you’re having a gig, you still want to listen to your music during rehearsals. It features the Acer TrueHarmony where you can enjoy a higher volume and deeper bass through the innovative speaker design.
The only two negative things about this laptop are probably its short battery life and camera. The battery works for 7.5 hours and will probably need to be recharged after rehearsal and before you hit the stage. As for the camera, the images are rather washed out and not that impressive.
Things I Like
- Sleek design.
- Impressive display.
- Backlit keyboard.
- TrueHarmony sound system for more impressive audio.
5. Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina display, 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5): Best High-End Option
Environmentalists will love this laptop because it’s the first one to be made of 100% recycled aluminum, guaranteeing a lightweight, portable and robust design. The weight of this model doesn’t indicate how powerful and versatile it is. It comes with a high price tag, but it’s still more affordable than other Apple models while delivering the expected flawless performance.
I recommend this to someone who’s taking DJing seriously because it comes with an internal system memory of 8 GB so it can successfully run several software programs in the background. The battery delivers 10 hours of performance, which is fair enough considering the amount of work you’ll be expecting it to do.
The new screen is going to impress you but there are models that feature a stronger processor than the dual-core 8th Generation Intel Core i5 processor. This innovative laptop quickly unlocks with the fingerprint recognition, saving you the time to type a password.
You’ll enjoy better keyboard stability and more responsiveness so you can focus on your music. It comes with the Force Touch Trackpad where it reacts to your pressure. However, I wouldn’t recommend this to someone who needs more storage because it doesn’t support a microSD.
As a DJ, you’ll love the improved audio performance as it delivers 25% higher volumes with two times deeper bass. You can also make video calls thanks to the built-in cam and the three-array microphone that captures your voice accurately.
Things I Like
- Lightweight and sleek laptop made of recycled aluminum.
- Improved volume and bass.
- Retina display and fingerprint unlock.
- 8 GB storage.
6. Asus C302CA-DHM4 Chromebook Flip 12.5-Inch: Best Convertible
If you’re looking for a lightweight and versatile convertible, then you should check this one out. It’s lighter than most models on the market and can be used in tablet, stand, tent, or laptop mode. As a matter of fact, the 360-degree screen allows you to flip it into any style you want.
Although this is a compact model with a 12.5” display, the back-assembly minimizes key float. Thanks to the Chrome OS, you can rest assured that your laptop is protected because it updates itself automatically, making it an excellent choice for DJs who don’t want to dive into the technical specs.
The Asus Chromebook offers versatile wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, in addition to a USB port and an SD card reader. It starts in a matter of seconds and will probably last for 10 hours of video playback. However, the actual operating time depends on the applications you’re running in the background.
It offers 4 GB RAM and 64 GB hard disk size, so I recommend it for beginners and amateur DJs who won’t be using demanding apps. It features a touchscreen with stylus support for more versatility. It also has a good webcam.
This convertible Chromebook from Asus comes with lots of built-in apps that can be used for various purposes when you’re not playing music. The only drawback is related to the quality of graphics. As a DJ, you might not care that much about graphics, but this is not a cheap laptop.
Things I Like
- Versatile and convertible laptop.
- Lightweight model.
- Built-in protection and apps.
- Decent battery life.
7. 2019 HP 15.6″ HD Premium Laptop: Best Value
For those who prefer traditional-looking laptops, the 2019 HP represents an excellent choice. It features a convenient 15.6” inch touchscreen, Windows 10 OS, and a remarkable processor that can handle multiple tasks and operations at the same time.
I recommend this to aspiring and professional DJs because it’s well-built and can withstand lots of abuse. However, it’s heavier than other laptops on the market.
The 8 GB RAM is enough to handle the most demanding software programs while the 2 TB internal storage is big enough to store all your media files. This more storage than what you usually get from other laptops.
What really impresses me is the HD audio quality. As a DJ, you’ll find this extremely helpful, as you can mix and listen to your tracks through the stereo speakers. Moreover, you can enjoy the outstanding graphics when you’re done playing music.
Another feature that I personally find extremely useful is the long battery life. This laptop will last up to 12.5 hours on a single charge. That’s half a day and probably more than you’ll ever need.
Things I Like
- Well-built laptop.
- 8 GB RAM and 2 TB memory.
- High-quality audio.
- Long-lasting battery.
Best Laptop for DJing Buying Guide
Laptops are designed to cover multiple needs and execute various tasks. But as a DJ, there are a few factors that you should take into consideration before buying one.
As you’re focusing on launching your career as a professional DJ, you don’t want to spend time worrying about the technicalities of a laptop. No matter how tempting a laptop may seem, you should make sure that you’re familiar with the operating system unless you don’t mind spending time learning the tips and tricks of a new OS.
Windows is probably the most popular operating system that you might be familiar with. For years, Windows has proved to be reliable as the company keeps on updating it and adding tools to optimize users’ performance.
It’s flexible enough to run any app, which is a plus as you’re browsing mixing software programs for your tracks. However, most Windows laptops aren’t that budget-friendly.
Chromebooks are run by Chrome OS and powered by Google Chrome. This means that all security and updates are handled by Google, while you can focus on whatever you’re doing. Unlike Windows, Chrome requires little to no intervention so it’s a great choice for beginners and amateurs. They can also easily run lots of Android programs.
Laptops run by Chrome OS are typically lighter and less expensive than Windows laptops. They also allow you to expand the memory by granting access to cloud storage. However, Chrome isn’t that strong and might not handle very complicated tasks and programs.
Avid Apple users always prefer Mac OS. It’s different but it offers a unique experience, especially for multi-tasking users who need a reliable laptop. Macs are easier to buy because they’re offered by a single manufacturer so you can always follow up on the updates. They’re also easier to repair as Apple stands solid behind all its products.
Depending on your previous experience, you might actually find out that Macs are easier to use. They also come with lots of built-in free software. However, the most significant problem is storage. Macs don’t have media card readers and you’ll have to use the cloud to store your media files.
Also known as the heart and soul of your laptop, the processor will have a great impact on your laptop’s performance, and accordingly your career as an aspiring DJ.
Intel Core i9 processors offer the fastest and most reliable performance for demanding programs. If you’re a professional DJ, then they’re definitely worth their higher price tag. However, if you’re not planning on abusing your laptop, then you can consider Intel Core i7 or Intel Core i5. These still deliver decent performance at a good price range.
AMD Ryzen Mobile processors are designed to compete with Intel Core i7 and i5, but they’re not up to i9 processors. Intel Pentium, Celeron or i3 processors are a bit slow, but if you’re looking for a laptop that doesn’t break the bank, you should consider them.
Ideally, you’d want at least 4 GB RAM to run professional mixing software programs. However, you can still get away with 2 GB RAM, especially if you’re not planning on using your laptop for gaming or media editing.
8 GB RAM is enough to run the most demanding and powerful mixing programs. You can also find laptops that have 12 GB or even 16 GB RAM, but these are reserved for professional hardcore users.
When you’re shopping for a laptop for DJing, you can choose either classic-looking clamshell laptops or convertibles, also known as 2-in-1 laptops. Convertibles are so versatile because you can fold your laptop, place it on a tabletop or use it as a tablet.
Convertibles might come with or without keyboards. So if you’re not a big fan of a touchscreen, you’ll have to buy a keyboard, and probably a mouse too. Moreover, some users prefer the rugged feeling of a reliable laptop. In this case, you’ll have to make sure that you have a suitable table or stand to use your laptop conveniently.
While it might not be your number one priority, the screen size affects the portability of your laptop as well as its convenience. Most DJs aren’t after a big screen with impressive graphics, but you can’t deny that you would like to have those. Nevertheless, because you’re always moving around, you don’t want a heavy laptop as you’ll probably be carrying other pieces of equipment as well.
As for the quality of the display, you need a well-lit display that you can see in low light conditions. Touchscreen displays are also very popular because they allow you to ditch a mouse and a keyboard if you want to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all professional DJs use software programs?
No. Some of them don’t use any software. It’s a matter of personal preference and you might want to experience with several ones until you find the one that suits your mixing style.
Why do most professional DJs use Macs?
Macs are less likely to crash down. DJs want the most reliable performance as any system crash can totally ruin their gig or have a negative impact on their professional career. However, not all DJs prefer Mac. Some still believe in the reliability and familiarity of good old Windows. Chrome OS is also a game-changer as it offers decent performance at a good price.
How long is suitable battery life?
The battery life isn’t always a deal-breaker, especially if you’re planning to use your laptop next to a power outlet. However, if you’re still roaming spots for occasional gigs, then you want a laptop that can last at least up to 8 hours without having to worry about a recharge. You’re unlikely to play all that long, but you don’t want the party to end early because you can’t play your music.
At the end of this article, it’s quite obvious that there are several options available if you’re looking for the best laptop for DJing. In addition to being a matter of personal preference, a professional DJ will have different needs than someone who’s doing it as a hobby.
Personally, I would go for the Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop as a mid-price laptop with decent and reliable performance. I love the audio quality and enjoy the security and familiarity that Windows 10 provides.
If you’re a big Apple fan, then I’d recommend you take a look at the Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina display, 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5. It comes with a steep price tag but it won’t let you down thanks to its 8 GB RAM.
For budget-users, nothing beats the 2018 Acer 15.6″ HD WLED Chromebook. The Chrome OS is reliable, secure, and will automatically update itself and protect your laptop so you can focus more on your music.
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