Digital DJ Tips forum member David Müller writes: “In the next few weeks, I plan to buy a used MacBook Pro for DJing. The problem is that I can’t decide between the higher-resolution 13″ Retina display model, or the lower resolution (but larger) 15” model.
“Friends tell me that I should go for the 13″ MacBook Pro with the Retina screen. I’m hesitant because I think that a 13″ screen is too small for DJing, however the 15” Retina MacBook Pro is way out of my budget.
“Which should I go for? Is it advisable to DJ on a smaller 13″ screen? I plan to spin chill out music on outdoor terraces, so how would a Retina display fare under the sun? Thanks for your help.”
Digital DJ Tips Says:
Good question, David. It’s difficult to give advice on this one because it all depends your budget and personal preference. I’ve used a 15″ MacBook Pro and yes, the larger screen real estate was very convenient with Traktor. These days, I use a 13″ MacBook Air, and while the screen’s smaller, I’ve had no issues with the change in screen size. It’s just a matter of preference, of course, but you do get used to it.
Also, it can be a good idea to experiment with the resolution settings, whatever size screen you have: For many people, reducing the resolution is a way of getting a clearer view on their software and can mean less squinting.
Our forum moderator DJ Vintage had this to say:
“I have had 15″ Retina displays on both my MacBook Pros thus far, and have to say that the combination of a larger screen with the very crisp, sharp image it gives means I can have enough information on screen, while still being able to read it all. My eyes need glasses, so a 13″ screen would be too small for me. In my opinion, the 15″ Retina is the best option.”
Regarding DJing in the sun, I can give two solid pieces of advice here: First is that you must buy something to cover your gear from the sun, you don’t want your equipment to overheat. Second is that you can reduce screen glare when playing outdoors by inverting the colours of your display (check Apple’s instructions here).
Which size screen do you use for DJing? Have you ever had any glaring issues when playing outdoors? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below…