The best laptop for DJing and music production | Features | MN2S

These are the best laptops for DJing on the market, adept to handle everything from production to performance.

Though turntable purists still abound, the digital era has not left the world of DJing untouched. DJs can use laptops to produce music without having to rent a studio or expensive equipment, and to perform sets. But with the range of laptops on sale, surely not just any of them will be good enough to handle the demanding musical workout that DJing and music production requires.

Here, we take you through the best laptops for DJing money can buy, at different price points, and for different purposes.

Apple MacBook Pro

Price: £1249

Pros: Apple’s latest MacBook Pro is its fastest and most powerful ever. You’ve likely seen fellow DJs rocking MacBooks on stage for years now, and there’s a good reason for this: MacBooks are solidly reliable when it comes to speed and efficiency, coupled with pure processing power. Crucially for performances, MacBook Pros all have backlit keys and metal bodies, meaning you can see what you’re doing in low light, and they are less susceptible to wear and tear. With a slick interface to boot, you should have no trouble using this laptop for bedroom productions and gigs in the club.

Cons: They are expensive. That’s always the drawback with Apple. And, trademark MacBook appearance aside, they don’t really do anything you can’t get cheaper elsewhere. The laptop also has a short battery life, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you leave it plugged in.

Dell XPS 15

Price: £999

Pros: Another powerful model, the Dell XPS 15 is perfect for running music software. Its processing capabilities mean it will never struggle to render tracks quickly, nor will your multitrack, effects-laden productions ever prove too complex for it. The screen is also a highlight. With 4K picture quality, you’ll be able to see your tracks displayed crystal clear.

Cons: Visually, it’s less stylish than the MacBook. The lower price is misleading, as it only accounts for a base model. Upgrading with all the special features will set you back well over £999, and perhaps even more than the MacBook Pro itself.

Lenovo Thinkpad T580

Price: £929

Pros: As a part of Lenovo’s most durable laptop range, Thinkpad T580s have the heft to survive heavy gigging. With plenty of RAM, storage and processing power, the Thinkpad is also ideal for creating productions and mixes. Plus, it has a huge number of ports for attaching the relevant DJ and recording gear. Like the MacBook, it has a backlit keyboard suited to club lighting.

Cons: Some have reported issues with the display quality of Lenovo’s Thinkpads, and the actual Lenovo interface can be cluttered and obtrusive. They can also suffer from short battery life. But again, this shouldn’t be an issue if you are able to keep yours charging during gigs.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Price: £600 – £1000

Pros: The Surface Pro 4 is the first tablet/laptop combo to make the list. Machines like these may have started out as gimmicks, but this model is a great laptop that just happens to double up as a tablet. By its nature, it’s small and portable. And it also has impressive battery life. Unlike some tablet hybrids, it runs Windows 10 in full, so you should have no problem mixing and recording tracks.

Cons: The Surface’s portability can actually be a drawback, as the device may lack the robustness to easily survive the wear and tear of extended club gigs. The last thing you want is for you or someone else to knock your laptop onto the floor when you’re in the mix. It’s also less powerful than the other models on this list, again by its tablet-hybrid nature. Still, if portability is your number one concern, you could do far worse than this.

For more DJ equipment advice, see our guides to the best DJ controllers and best DJ software.

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