How to Choose a Laptop for DJing

How to Choose a Laptop for DJing



Choosing the right laptop for DJing is a decision that should not be taken lightly. All of the various components of a laptop and the different specs must be taken into consideration before making a purchase. Research is key when selecting the best laptop for DJing, and in this article we will explore all of the research points and best practices to consider when selecting the perfect laptop for your DJing needs.

Identify your needs

It’s important to identify your needs before selecting a laptop for DJing. Start by taking into consideration the type of performance you will be giving. Will you be playing live shows, spinning in clubs, or creating music from home? Each option requires different hardware and software configurations. Once you understand what type of performance you will be providing, it is time to look for laptops that can meet those requirements.

Equipment-wise, consider laptops with high graphic card performance if using a controller like the Novation Launchpad as it will enable faster screen full loading times. Also, look for models specifically designed for audio production and make sure they have sufficient ports and can support latency-free playback.

Software-wise, different software packages vary greatly in terms of requirements so make sure the laptop that you choose can handle the specific DJing program that you are using. For example Ableton Live requires more RAM than Serato DJ Pro but is generally easier to manage on lower spec PCs with less demanding graphics cards such as Nvidia MX230 etc. If a majority of your workflow involves video editing and uploading videos to YouTube then choose an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor with an integrated graphics card such as HD 630 or better.

Lastly, research different options online and compare prices between retailers to discover which one offers the best value for your hard earned money! Although every situation is unique, researching online reviews is an excellent way to get a better understanding on how each computer performs before making a purchase.

Consider the type of DJing you want to be

Think about the type of DJing you’ll be doing and what type of hardware you'll need to do it. Will you be using turntables, tools such as Serato, controllers based on software such as Ableton Live? Or maybe you’ll just be using a laptop to play some pre-recorded mixes. All of these have different requirements when it comes to hardware, so make sure to consider your particular needs before making a purchase.

For example, if your DJing will involve lots of software mixing, then look for features such as 8GB of RAM or more and an Intel i5 or i7 processor with at least 2 to 4 cores. This will help ensure smooth operation when running multiple software applications at the same time. Another important factor is storage – look for a laptop with an SSD (solid-state drive) instead of a regular hard disk drive or even an SSHD (hybrid drive) if budget allows. SSDs provide lightning fast write speeds and far greater speed when accessing data which is essential in the fast changing world of DJing.

Also keep in mind that laptop size matters; portable laptops are great for carrying around to gigs and smaller events but on-the-spot mixing requires ample space and control over tunes, so consider getting something bigger with a full size keyboard for better control.

Research different brands and models

It is important to research different laptop brands and models to find the optimal laptop for your specific needs. Be sure to read reviews from other DJ users, as well as technical specifications of the laptops themselves. When reviewing laptops, there are some key points to consider:

  • Processor: the type and speed of the processor is one of the most important indicators of a laptop's performance capacity. Generally speaking, a faster processor will translate into better performance when running complex audio applications, so opt for at least an Intel Core i5 processor or equivalent.


  • RAM: Having enough memory (RAM) is essential for DJs as they will likely be multitasking and running several programs at once while DJing. 8GB RAM should be considered a minimum requirement, although 16GB or more is preferred (for more intensive activities).


  • Operating system: If you plan on using any DJ software that requires Windows or Mac OS X (or any other operating system), then you will need to make sure it's compatible with your chosen laptop model. Make sure that the laptop has all necessary drivers installed as well.


  • Display and Graphics capability: In addition to researching processors and RAM requirements, most graphics intensive applications, such as Virtual DJ require a performance video card with dedicated video memory in order to run smoothly. Look for video cards with at least 4GB of dedicated memory or higher; this feature directly affects visual elements such as lighting animations and video effects visuals like programmable shaders.


  • Storage capacity: Be sure to look for laptops that have sufficient storage capacity (preferably 500 GB free space or more) in order to store all your audio files, music loops and libraries safely. For DJs who prefer no hard drives, there are now many models that offer solid state drives instead which effectively reduce loading time.


  • Battery life: For DJs constantly on the move, a long lasting battery life should also be considered - typically 8 hours minimum should do it. Also look out for additional features such as built in webcams, USB ports, HDMI ports etc which come in handy when connecting external equipment like mixers leads and other devices onto your rig.


Hardware is probably the most important consideration when selecting a laptop for DJing and music production. The main components to look for when choosing a laptop for DJing include the CPU, RAM, portability, battery life, hard drive, and graphical capabilities. Depending on your budget, you may have to make some compromises when looking for a laptop that fits your specific needs. Let's look at each of these features in more detail.


Having an adequate processor is important for any laptop, but is particularly important if you are a DJ. Your CPU of choice should be at least an Intel core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5. This will give you the speed and power necessary for running multiple music streaming applications and plug-ins without breaking a sweat. Laptops with Intel Core i7 processors or better are ideal, especially if you want to load larger files quickly and multitask while listening to your music. An i9 processor is overkill, but can provide significant improvements in performance.

When choosing the number of cores/threads on your CPU, realize that more threads have a greater impact on application performance than extra clock speed (GHz). Multiple threads increase the efficiency of applications that can take advantage of them, such as mixing programs and video editing software.

Finally, make sure your chosen laptop does not sacrifice battery life in order to provide extra processing power; you want enough battery capacity to last at least three hours of playback time without having to plug it in constantly.


Random Access Memory (RAM) is one of the most important hardware components you should consider when shopping for a laptop for DJing. RAM is the amount of memory used to store data that your computer requires for active tasks and is measured in gigabytes (GB). A normal desktop PC uses DDR4 RAM, while a laptop may use DDR3 RAM, which performs slower but is smaller and more energy-efficient.

When working professionally as a DJ, 8GB or higher RAM should be considered as an absolute minimum. When using multiple applications at once with certain plugins running in your music production software, having enough memory can have an impact on performance. Laptops with 16GB or 32GB are far better suited to this purpose and can handle significantly larger workloads without slowing down your computer.

RAM speed will also be important because you are likely to be spending time recording audio and producing music on your laptop computer. While RAM size affects performance, the speed rating of the modules used will also determine how quickly instructions can be processed within any given program. Again, 16 GB or 32GB models are equipped with faster memory modules and often offer better performance compared to lower capacities of RAM when multitasking between large audio projects.

Hard Drive

When shopping for a laptop for DJing, one of the most important factors to consider is the hard drive. The hard drive needs to have enough storage space for your media library and software, so think about the number of sounds, samples, and sound effects you plan on having at once.

A spinning hard drive is the most common type of storage for a laptop and typically comes in capacities ranging from 128 gigabytes (GB) to 4 terabytes (TB). A spinning hard drive should be more than enough space if you’re just starting out as a DJ. For serious DJs with hundreds or thousands of songs in their library, 2 TB or more is recommended.

Solid-state drives (SSDs) are much faster than spinning hard drives but also more expensive. These drives come in lower capacities ranging from 128 GB to 2 TB but some modern models can reach up to 8 TB. SSDs can load up tracks quicker and provide higher performance than traditional spinning disks, making them good choices if speed is your priority.

Battery Life

Opting for a laptop with longer battery life is essential for DJs who are often performing in crowded or outdoor venues. Before purchasing, research the specific model and the size of the battery. Additionally, look into any energy-saving options that can help increase the amount of time your laptop runs on each charge. Furthermore, you may want to consider investing in a spare battery and charging station to ensure you always have enough power.

When selecting a laptop battery capacity, it’s important to keep in mind what your priorities are when playing as a DJ. If you’re playing at large events where mobility is key – like outdoor events or club gigs – then opt for more powerful batteries which appear larger due to size and weight; those models tend to provide longer usage per charge cycle compared with their lighter, slimmer counterparts. If weight isn't an issue then go for the larger battery and consider bringing a second charged spare if required - just remember that heavier laptops will require more maintenance as regular use can wear down components faster than lighter ones.


Solid-state drives (SSD) are energy efficient storage solutions that replace traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). Designed to be faster than HDDs and provide quieter operation, SSDs accommodate data storage within semiconductor circuitry, relying mostly upon NAND flash memory. They boast an average read speed of 55MB/s with an average write speed of 35MB/s.

Compared to HDD based solutions that have access times that range from 9–12ms, SSDs offer substantially lower latencies with access times as low minutes and even seconds in some cases. Due to their lower power requirements, reliable performance in extreme temperature environments and overall smaller form factor, they are ideal for laptop users who need the portability but still want decent read / write usage speeds within a limited storage capacity.

When it comes to DJing, having a reliable and fast laptop is key as one needs capability without sacrificing on performance or ease of use. Having an SSD based laptop allows quicker boot time (due to faster components) meaning your music library is always accessible which can make the difference between coming out with flying colours or dismantling your setup defeated by technical functionalities. Furthermore and probably more importantly, it provides a reliable means for streaming genre-stable mixes free from stutters or lags due to inefficient memory—bonus points for improvisation!


When you’re shopping for the right laptop for your DJing needs, one of the major factors to consider is the available ports that comes with it. Ports are physical connectors on your laptop which allow you to connect various devices and peripherals such as speakers, headphones, external hard drives, and even charge your device. It’s important to assess what sort of ports you require for your work as some laptops may not have the ports you’re looking for.

The common ports used by DJs include:
-USB 3.0: This increasingly popular port is designed to transfer large files quickly between compatible devices.
-HDMI: An even faster protocol ideal for connecting to hardware such as projectors or HDTVs in order to present shows or display music videos while DJing live
-Audio Output: Use an audio output port either through a 3.5 mm cable or RCA cables in order to connect speakers or any other multi-speaker systems
-Ethernet Port : Perfect for looping up wired internet with any LAN setup
-Memory Card Readers: Some laptops come with memory card readers which can be incredibly useful if you use a digital DJ controller that reads from SD cards


Choosing the right laptop for DJing depends largely on the type of software you’ll use. If you’re looking for a laptop for music production, you’ll want to make sure it has the power to run all of the necessary software. You’ll also want to consider the kind of controller, the hard drive, and the RAM. Make sure to check the software requirements before you make a purchase.

Operating System

When choosing a laptop for DJing, the operating system is an important factor to consider. While most laptops are designed to run Windows, there are options such as Apple's Mac OS, Chrome OS and Linux that can also provide you with powerful performance. Windows laptops offer the greatest compatibility with DJ software since they are the most widely used machines in businesses, schools and homes. macOS offers a more user-friendly interface that is ideal for creative professionals, while Chrome OS is ideal for budget-minded shoppers who don't need extensive features. You may also want to consider a Linux machine if you want maximum customization power. Every operating system has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to performance and usability - take the time to shop around and research before making your decision.

DJ Software

Before selecting the perfect laptop to suit your DJing needs, you'll need to consider which kind of DJ software you want to use. Different software comes with different hardware requirements, so this is an important decision that will heavily influence which laptop you may want or need. Popular DJ software includes Serato, Traktor Pro and Rekordbox.

Serato – Serato is a popular choice for mobile DJs and general purpose use and a minimum recommendation of 1GB RAM and 2GHz processor. It works natively on Mac OS X and Windows 7/8/10 operating systems.

Traktor Pro – Developed by Native Instruments this highly versatile piece of music production software is considered one of the top choices for professional DJs around the world. A minimum recommended specification would be Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit), 4GB RAM, Intel Core i5 or above processor.

Rekordbox – This one is from PioneerDJ; it offers both DJing functions and sync production capabilities in one piece of software on both Mac OS X and Windows 10 operating systems with a minimum requirement of 4GB RAM for both systems.

It’s important to note that these are just basic guidelines when choosing your laptop for any given piece of software; for more precise specifications it’s advised to contact the manufacturer or read up online about what can work best for your needs before making a purchase decision.

Music Production Software

When you’re looking for music production software, you should consider the requirements of your DJ setup. Not all software is suitable for all types of applications; some may be more ideal for recording and mixing audio files, while others are great for creating beats and sound effects.

Considering this, it’s important to make sure that you select a laptop with the right type of software preloaded. Here are some popular tools that make up most DJ set-ups:

-DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) – A DAW allows users to mix music and alter audio signals in digital format. Common DAW programs include Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, and Ableton Live.

-MIDI controllers – Some modern laptops already have MIDI controllers preinstalled; however, if you need a more advanced set-up a separate controller will likely be needed. Popular items include Akai MPK Mini MK3 Controller, Novation Launchpad Pro MK3 Grid Controller, and Korg nanoKONTROL Studio Midi Control Surface.

-DJ Software – There are plenty of DJing applications available to choose from including Mixxx 2.2 , Traktor Pro 3., Serato DJ Pro 2., Algoriddim Djay 5., Virtual DJ 8., Native Instruments Maschine Jam Essential Groove Production System Version 2., and NI Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3

-Audio pluggins/effects – Vocal effects such as reverb and EQ can really enhance the overall sound quality of your mixes. Popular plugins include Waves Mercury Bundle Plugins, iZotope Ozone 9 Standard Mastering Suite , Antares Autotune 8 Pitch Correction Software Plugin, Avid Smack! Advanced Reverb Pluggin and Fabfilter Creative Bundle Effects Pack .


When deciding on what laptop to get for DJing, it is important to factor in the accessories that you need to make your setup complete. A DJ laptop should not just be powerful enough to run the necessary software and hardware, but should also have the right ports and accessories to make it easy to connect to other equipment. In this article, we’ll discuss the main accessories you should consider when selecting the best laptop for your DJ setup.

DJ Controller

When it comes to DJing, it’s important to choose the right equipment. A great way to improve your DJing capabilities is by investing in a dedicated DJ Controller. A controller is essentially a piece of hardware that allows you to control sonic parameters such as volume, effects and tempo.

DJ controllers provide intuitive controls and easy-to-use interfaces that operate in tandem with professional software. This makes them great for beginners who may have difficulty understanding the complexities of DJs software alone. Most DJ Controllers are built for digital use only, so it’s important to make sure that the controller is compatible with your computer set up before you buy.

A digital DJ Controller will usually come with its own jog wheels, button and faders which allow you to play records without having access to an appropriate turntable setup and will often come with integrated audio output options making them great for recording and live sound performance. It’s also important to consider portability when selecting a controller as certain models are designed for travel or desk-top environments only - be sure to check the specifications before investing in a new piece of kit!


When buying a laptop for DJing, you might also need to consider the peripherals. Headphones are essential when mixing as they will allow you to get the best sound by isolating yourself from the external noise. Choose a pair that has good sound-isolation properties, strong bass response and good clarity and try on different types of headphones to decide which one is the most comfortable for you. As an added bonus, many DJs prefer over-ear headphones as they have a better sense of balance and spatial awareness while mixing online.

For the ultimate listening experience while DJing, get closed-back headphones that offer superior sound isolation and noise cancellation without sacrificing comfort or sound quality. There are many brands to choose from depending on your budget. Additionally, whatever type of headphone may want to get should be compatible with your device so make sure to check before purchasing. Don’t forget about portable audio interfaces as well as turntables when selecting your accessories for best results!

Audio Interface

An audio interface is a device used to capture, manipulate and broadcast sound. The device is generally connected to an external computer or recording system, such as a laptop or tablet. Audio interfaces are versatile and allow DJs to connect multiple inputs and outputs with their DJ setup or portable rig.

For DJs who use a laptop for their setup, an audio interface is essential because it bridges the gap between the laptop and the DJ's other devices. It also allows for playback at higher sample rates than what is typically available with laptops. In other words, instead of just piping songs out of the laptop’s speakers, a good audio interface allows for more control over sound levels and quality when playing live.

There are many types of audio interfaces available on the market, ranging from high-end models designed for professional studios to more affordable options designed specifically for mobile rigs. When selecting an audio interface, you should consider features such as number of inputs/outputs, supported software compatibility (including low-latency drivers) and overall build quality. Additionally, make sure that your chosen device has enough power output capability to handle all of your gear (headphones and monitors) correctly — otherwise sound distortion may occur when playing music through your speakers.

Price Point

If you are in the market for a laptop for DJing, it is important to consider the price point of the laptop. There are laptops vary in price, from low-end budget laptops to high-end gaming laptops with plenty of power and tech to support any DJing needs. It is important to consider all of your options and find a laptop that fits both your budget and your needs.

Set a budget

An important step in choosing the right laptop for DJing is to set a budget. As with any purchase, your budget will ultimately decide what you can get for the money. When considering a laptop, don’t forget to consider extra costs like software and accessories that may be required for your setup.

It's important to keep in mind that laptops with better specs and features will cost more, but these can provide higher performance levels and provide a much better overall experience when DJing. Taking your time to research different options and find the best deal is essential in getting the most performance from your investment.

The prices of laptops can vary greatly depending on various factors such as processor type (e.g., Intel or AMD), RAM size, display type, graphics card, storage capacity (hard disk drive or solid state drive) and other integrated components like webcams and Wi-Fi connections. Generally speaking, you should expect a good laptop for DJing to cost anywhere between $500 - $2,000 USD depending on the exact configuration you choose.

Compare prices

When considering the price of a laptop for DJing, it is important to compare prices from different vendors. Knowing the exact features you need and understanding roughly what is available in terms of specification and cost, will help you to make an informed decision. Spend some time researching different laptops that have the features that suit your needs, then compare them side-by-side to determine which offers the best bang for your buck.

It’s also beneficial to look at reviews online and read each review in full so that you can get an idea of any potential problems with a model before committing to purchase it. Doing so will save you time and money in the long run as there is nothing worse than buying a laptop only to find out after using it for a while that it doesn’t do what you need it to do!

In addition, buying online can be a good option if you don’t live near any local computer stores because shipping costs are often very reasonable and most vendors offer a 14-day return policy for goods purchased, just in case something goes wrong or if you decide Don't like your purchase. When buying from an online retailer always factor in delivery costs as this can vary from free delivery or cost up to around £25 extra depending on size, weight and delivery method (e.g., overnight service). It may also be wise to factor out any taxes or duties associated with importing goods from different countries when shopping internationally.

Consider discounts/deals

In addition to being mindful of your budget, it is also important to consider discounts and deals on the laptop you are looking at. There are numerous options for special sales and discounts on laptops, such as student/educator discounts and military discounts. Depending on your personal requirements, there might be specific offers designed for you.

Often times you can find deals by signing up for emails from a certain electronics store or even online stores like Amazon. These emails will usually notify you of new arrivals or some crazy discount that is only available for a limited time. You can also check deal sites such as Slickdeals or Techbargains for great discounts if you have an open mind about brands and features on the laptop you’re interested in.

It is also important to keep an eye out for cashback programs offered by credit cards or shopper loyalty programs which help earn extra from your purchase. However, pay attention to any return policies or term of services when taking advantage of these programs as some may limited your abilities to get a refund if something goes wrong with the product after usage.

And that's all you need to know before picking out a laptop to use for DJing!