Best Laptop for DJing 2023
Still looking for the best DJ laptop in 2023? Maybe yours is running a bit slow these days, or you’re looking to trade in your old laptop for a more powerful computer? Regardless of the reason, having a fast, portable, rugged laptop is something every serious, professional DJ needs if this is their main means for mixing and organizing their music.
The great thing about buying the best DJ laptop is that your options are virtually limitless. MacBook Pro may be the default laptop for most musicians, but opting for an affordable PC that runs Windows 10 isn’t a bad option either. It really comes down to you and your personal preferences.
That being said, there is quite a bit to consider when it comes to specifications, what DJ software and controller you’re planning to use, and whether you’re going to use your laptop for music production, work, study, or anything other than mixing.
What to look for in the best DJ laptop?
Specifications will play a big role in your final choice because the laptop needs to be able to accommodate your software, music files, and other applications if you plan to use it for work or study.
If you don’t already have DJ mixing software, the 3 most popular are Rekordbox DJ, Serato DJ Pro, and Traktor Pro. If you plan to use a different mixing software, be sure to check the system requirements before you purchase a laptop or make sure your existing one is compatible. Luckily, the requirements for most DJ applications are pretty much the same all around.
A good laptop should account for the following factors:
Unlike DAWs, most DJ software doesn’t put much of a strain on the CPU. Nevertheless, it’s wise to opt for something with a good processor that can handle multiple tasks. Laptops with Core i3, i5, or i7 processors are the best bet.
You’ll want to opt for a laptop with lots of disk space or get yourself a decent-sized SSD or hard drive if you’re going to be storing all your tracks on this laptop.
Think Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux etc.
4GB is the minimum needed to run most mixing applications. However, if you’re going to be playing out or using your laptop outside of your home studio, we recommend opting for at least 8GB of RAM.
If you’re going to be using a DJ controller or audio interface, you’ll need at least one or two ports to connect to these devices. It’s worth making a head count of how many devices you’re likely to have in your setup so you can make sure you buy a laptop with plenty of connections.
You should also consider things like weight and portability when you’re looking for a top DJ laptop. If you’re going to be traveling to bars, clubs, or festivals with your laptop regularly, you’ll also want something with a long battery life in case there is nowhere to charge your device.
And, on that note, let’s check out our top picks for the best laptops for DJs in 2023!
Apple MacBook Air M1 2020
The new Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) is not only the best laptop Apple has ever made, it is the best laptop anyone can buy right now. It’s not the first time a MacBook has been on our top lists for laptops, but the MacBook Air (M1, 2020) definitely deserves the top spot as the best DJ laptop and best all-arounder.
Intel has been suspended on all new Apple laptops, hence why the Macbook Air features the new revolutionary ARM-based Apple M1 chip which makes the processor run incredibly fast and helps you deliver an excellent performance. The slim and lightweight laptop build makes it ideal for traveling and it also has impressive 18-hour battery life to keep you going when there’s nowhere to juice up.
Running both new and old Mac applications, the new MacBook Air can now run iOS applications for iPhone and iPad, giving you access to hundreds of great mobile applications and games. It’s also compatible with Serato and Rekordbox DJ, so you can simply download and install, then start mixing right off the bat.
Summary: The slim and lightweight laptop build makes it ideal for traveling and it also has impressive 18-hour battery life to keep you going when there’s nowhere to juice up.
Why We Recommend: Easily managing over 16 hours on a single charge, this is a laptop that you can easily carry with you to gigs, and its price is incredibly competitive compared to rival Windows 10, such as Dell XPS 15 (lower). Even if you’ve only ever used Windows laptops, with MacBook Air (M1, 2020) it’s worth making the leap. Yes, it really is that good.
Dell XPS 15
Dell XPS 15 ticks almost all specifications when it comes to what we want from a DJ laptop. The end result is that the Dell XPS 15 (2020) is one of the best Dell laptops to date. It has some of the latest and greatest mobile technologies from Intel and can be configured even with a discrete discreet GPU, making it an expert in images, video editing software, and gaming.
It also runs an extremely efficient system with 32GB of DDR4 RAM to help you streamline your mixes and make quick transitions without any impact on latency. In terms of storage, this bad boy houses a 1TB SSD for lightning-fast file acquisition and lots of room to store and back up your recordings and performances.
If the 15-inch screen is a little too big, then it’s worth considering the Dell XPS 13 (also on this list), just like the MacBook Air above.
Summary: The XPS 15 runs an extremely efficient system with 32GB of DDR4 RAM to help you streamline your mixes and make quick transitions without any impact on latency.
Why We Recommend: The Dell XPS 15 is easily one of the best 15-inch laptops on the market. It is extremely strong, elegant, and light enough to be transported to shows and events. While it’s not the cheapest laptop out there, the battery life is phenomenal, and the incredible power and memory completely justify the price tag.
HP Spectre X360 (2020)
The HP Specter x360 2-in-1 laptop had a big refresh for 2020, with 10th generation Intel Core processors and Intel Iris Plus graphics, along with the impeccable 2-in-1 design. The new version has a well-deserved place at the top of our list of the best laptops.
HP was in a productive period, with the excellent HP Elite Dragonfly also appearing on the list of the best laptops (you’ll find it a few places below), but when it comes to quality, design, and pure performance, HP Specter x360 (2020) is easily one of the best 13-inch laptops you can buy, rivaled only by the excellent MacBook Air (M1, 2020).
Although it is definitely expensive, you get some great features, such as great security features and Bang & Olufsen speakers. In terms of storage, you can opt for 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB with all the same other specs. However, if you’re looking to DJ with only a moderate amount of files, 1TB should be plenty. It’s also lightweight and comes with lots of ports which makes it easy to transport and plug in your controller or other gear.
Summary: The HP Specter x360 comes with an improved processor that makes it run better than ever before, and the extended battery life means you’ll get up to 10 hours of moderate use.
Why We Recommend: HP Specter x360 is an updated convertible laptop, which certainly has no ghostly appearance. It comes with an improved processor that makes it run better than ever before, and the extended battery life means you’ll get up to 10 hours of moderate use.
Asus Zephyrus G14
The Asus Zephyrus G14 isn’t perfect; it lacks a webcam and a Thunderbolt 3 port. However, if you’re looking to use it primarily for DJing, it’s damn close to being one of the best. It’s also an absolute beast when it comes to gaming, which is why we’ve given it our coveted, but rarely seen five-star rating.
Thanks to its AMD Ryzen 4000 processors and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card, the G14 offers incredible performance and has a battery life that will last all day. It also has a fast display with a 120Hz refresh and a light, ultra-thin design that makes getting from your home to the DJ booth an absolute breeze.
Rekordbox or Serato works fantastic in conjunction with a controller. We were mixing for hours on our DDJ 400 and didn’t experience any latency or driver issues whatsoever. It’s also worth mentioning that the built-in speakers are pretty decent as well. Compared to most 17-inch laptops, the G14’s pair of 0.7W tweeters and 2.5W drivers that deliver a clear and superb frequency response.
Summary: Thanks to its AMD Ryzen 4000 processors and Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card, the G14 offers incredible performance and has a battery life that will last all day.
Why We Recommend: Asus Zephyrus G14 is an absolutely fantastic laptop for gamers and DJs alike. Incredible performance, the best battery life, and a fast, light all-in-one laptop that you can easily carry with you anywhere you go.
Acer Swift 3
Beyond the modest exterior of the Acer Swift 3, you’ll find an excellent laptop that has plenty of power for music production and DJing. Swift 3 (not to be confused with Switch 3, another laptop from Acer) is a cheap laptop; however, the simple chassis is made of aluminum and it comes equipped with super-durable components.
In terms of performance, it is surprisingly close to the Microsoft Surface laptop, which is much more expensive. It comes with HDMI, USB-C, and Thunderbolt, so you shouldn’t have any issues connecting your devices and hardware. The display is a little weaker than the Switch 3, but this isn’t likely to hinder your performance in the DJ booth.
On a final note, this laptop is also ideal for work and study thanks to its spacious trackpad and backlit keyboard which together offers a comfortable typing experience. Weighing in at only 2.6lbs, this laptop can literally go anywhere with you.
Summary: The latest Acer Swift 3 is an excellent ultrabook, improved due to its affordable price, slim design, and fairly decent battery life.
Why We Recommend: The latest Acer Swift 3 is an excellent ultrabook, improved due to its affordable price, slim design, and fairly decent battery life. You can choose between 8GB to 16GB of RAM and up to 256GB of SSD space, which should be more than enough to store your tracks and run a mixing application.
MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021
Although we are saddened that the 15-inch MacBook Pro no longer exists, we welcomed the MacBook Pro (16-inch) with open arms in 2019. Despite being incredibly thin, light, and elegant as ever, you wouldn’t think it was 16 inches!
For the new and improved 2021 version, Apple has crammed in lots of great extra features on its amazing display, and updated it with the newest and best components. This is without a doubt the best MacBook for content creators, designers, digital composers, and other creative professionals. It comes with an amazing (and powerful) set of built-in speakers and a new and improved keyboard that’s pleasant to the touch.
While the 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1, 2020) that we listed earlier is just as powerful and innovative, this particular model features a discreet GPU that’s really useful for graphics-intensive tasks, and it has a larger 16-inch screen which makes it much easier to see and navigate your way around your mixing application or DAW.
Summary: The 2021 Macbook Pro is powerful, features a discreet GPU that’s really useful for graphics-intensive tasks, and has a larger 16-inch screen which makes it much easier to see and navigate your way around your mixing application or DAW.
Why We Recommend: This machine really is a beast when it comes to productivity and performance. It’s super powerful, fast, and competitively priced compared to other Mac models. There is also the fact that the MacBook Air M1 2020, (which we’ve listed as our first choice) is just as good, with almost the same hardware and screen like the 13-inch MacBook Pro M.
HP Dragonfly Elite G2
The HP Elite Dragonfly G2 takes everything we liked about the original HP Elite Dragonfly and adds state-of-the-art Intel technology and a gorgeous 4K display. This means that HP has once again made the best 2-in-1 laptop in 2023, and has made the Dragonfly a worthy addition to our list of the best DJ laptops.
The gorgeous 2-in-1 design lets you turn this slim, lightweight laptop into a tablet device, and you it has one of the best battery lifes we’ve experienced on a Windows 10 laptop. It also comes with more powerful 11th generation Intel Core chips, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and now a 4K display that’s been upgraded from its previous Full HD model.
As the Dragonfly already comes with Windows 10 preinstalled, your laptop is immediately protected with enhanced safety features from the minute you switch it on. It also has a built-in Tile tracker, which locates the machine in the event it gets lost or stolen.
Summary: The HP Elite Dragonly G2 now comes with more powerful 11th generation Intel Core chips, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and now a 4K display that’s been upgraded from its previous Full HD model.
Why We Recommend: It’s the perfect choice for a DJ thanks to its lightweight build, brilliant performance abilities, powerful CPU and Core i5 processor, along with the 16 GB of RAM and standard 256GB of storage that can handle all of your software and mixing requirements without any lag or hang time.
HP Envy x360
The excellent HP Envy x360 2023 proves that you can have a 2-in-1 laptop with a premium look without having to pay a scandalous amount for it. Like all modern HP laptops, the HP Envy x360 13 is beautifully designed and comes with an amazing screen and some of the best speakers we’ve ever heard in a laptop.
Weighing only 2.92lbs, the HP Envy is a solid choice for mobile DJs and those who don’t want a big and bulky setup. The 11th generation, Intel 4-Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM should be more than sufficient for running your DJ software and music-making applications like Ableton, Cubase, or FL Studio.
The 256GB SSD can be upgraded to 2TB of storage, and allows you to store large libraries of tracks, samples, and loops that you can access without worrying about the need for additional space. Connections-wise the HP Envy features ports for Thunderbolt, USB, and USB-C.
Summary: Like all modern HP laptops, the HP Envy x360 13 is beautifully designed and comes with an amazing screen and some of the best speakers we’ve ever heard in a laptop.
Why We Recommend: If you want one of the best laptops on the market that can double as a tablet device, then HP Envy x360 13 is an excellent choice, packing modern components from AMD and an excellent battery life.
So there we have it! Eight solid laptops especially designed with DJs in mind. Many of these options are also a great choice if you are a content creator, graphic designer, gamer, business owner, or a music producer – the only spec you would need to reconsider if you want to use your laptop for music production is the memory. The good news is that you can upgrade the SSD and RAM on most of these machines to accommodate larger file libraries and music-making applications in addition to your mixing software. It may cost you a little more, but in the long-run it will be well worth it, and you’ll have a fast, durable laptop with tons of space that you won’t need to upgrade for several years.
And if you don’t fancy any of the laptops we’ve listed here, feel free to check out our guide to the best laptops for music production in 2023 for the best and latest machines that will take your track composition to new heights.
One of the most important things to consider when buying a laptop for DJing is the machine’s processor. A Core i7 or higher is ideal for DJs because it means your software will run smoothly and be far less likely to crash or experience lag compared to a sub-standard processor.
Another important factor in a good DJ laptop is the RAM. The minimum you’ll need to run your mixing application is 8GB, but we always recommend opting for 16GB if you have the means. The type and number of ports is also highly important because 1) you need to make sure your devices are compatible with your laptop, and 2) there needs to be enough of them to connect your DJ controller, audio interface, and any other gear in your setup.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure your laptop has both a hard drive and optical drive. Some laptops already feature a hybrid hard drive, but for most DJs, this isn’t good enough to run your software and store all your tracks. Our advice is to get something with a 7200rpm hard drive, and then you can decide if you want to get an optical drive.
The MacBook Pro is one of the best options for a DJ laptop for many reasons. Not only does it feature an immaculate retina display that’s super bright and vivid, but they are laptops with some of the best built-in RAM and storage in the world.
The only downside with Macbooks is the cost and the fact that Apple streamlines all the laptops in its range by reducing the I/O, meaning most users will require an extra USB hub to connect all their DJ gear. These hubs are pretty inexpensive though, and this shouldn’t put you off buying a Macbook if you think this is the best fit for your setup.
Absolutely you can. Gaming laptops are some of the best options for DJs because they have super-fast and powerful processors, tons of RAM and storage, and they’re lightweight and portable enough to fit in your backpack. While they also have impeccable graphics cards, you may find you’ll be wasting money on this aspect of the machine if you don’t plan to use it for gaming, video editing, or similar tasks.
As mentioned, RAM is particularly crucial to the performance of your laptop and will pose a lot of challenges if you are trying to run complex programs on anything less than 8GB. You need at least 4GB of RAM just to run Windows 8, and hardly anyone uses this version anymore. As you’ll be playing tracks simultaneously inside your mixing software, you should be looking at a machine with 8GB-32GB of RAM.
You can choose to use a laptop or a desktop for DJing. As long as the machine has a good amount of storage, RAM, and connections, you don’t really need to worry too much about the screen size. Although, if you struggle with your eyesight, a larger laptop may be a better option than a 13-inch tablet. Just bear in mind that the larger your laptop is, the heavier it will be and therefore it may be a bit more difficult to cart it around to gigs.
Yes, you can. Thanks to advancements in DJ software, you can not mix tracks using nothing more than your laptop, although it’s not particularly exciting. It’s much more fun to mix with a controller or other piece of hardware. If you’re looking to pair your mixing application with a DJ console, check out our top picks for the best DJ controller for beginners and professional DJs for more inspiration!