Home Forums Digital DJ Gear Best laptop for dj'ing ? (besides apple)

  • This topic has 21 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by Tord.
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    Dj vitico BL

    What would be the best laptop for dj’ing besides apple I know everyone is going to say apple thats fine I get it , so lets make my question whats the next best laptop after apple ,

    PC compatable and will use with a controller.. Any suggestion on brandname or specs operating system etc ?


    • This topic was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by Dj vitico BL.
    Marvin The Martian

    lenovo thinkpad series is quite ok. t430 or t440 and so on. i have t430 model and its works.
    The pros:
    -2 hard drives. CD rom easily can be replaced by HDD caddy with large hdd – you dont need to open a laptop
    -4 usb ports
    -battery life is good
    -14 inch screen with 1600×900 is nice for me, but it can be replaced also by x1 screen.
    -not heavy (for a quite bulky device)
    -good sound from onboard speakers
    -you can open this laptop to 180 degrees
    -dock station slot
    -good build quality

    -quite bulky
    -non-backlight keyboard
    -touchpad – just cant get used to it, so i am using external mouse (-1 usb slot)
    And the main – Windows system itself. No, seriously. If you plan to use Windows 7 and block the Win10 update – than it might be ok, but Windows 10 is not ready, obviously. it will be someday, but not now.

    Look for business models, it can be pricey, but the build quality and hardware will worth it.

    DJ Vintage

    You asked a specific question, what are the best laptops after Apple. You did not specify that there are budget-constraints here, so will not take that into consideration.

    Effectively all the high-end models from the major brands. Dell XPS, AlienWare, ASUS, Lenovo, HP.
    Pretty much the quality goes up along the usual lines:
    – budget consumer
    – consumer
    – (high-end) business
    – flagship/gaming
    With the last category being the one where you will find those “best after apple” models.

    i5 minimum, i7 advised. 8GB RAM minimum, 16GB advised. Minimum 250GB SSD on-board (not a hybrid). Seperate videocard helps, especially if you plan on doing video in your DJ software.

    Make no mistake, those high-end models WILL cost you as much as a comparable Apple. And generally, because they are made for a different audience, they tend to be bigger and bulkier than the Apple counterparts.

    While I agree with the Cons as BadRobot describes, I am not sure I share the Pro’s. One Con he does miss is one of the main attraction to me for using an Apple on the road, the magnetic power connector. On too many (even today) laptops, the power connection is built in such a way that it can break/damage when hit sideways while connected. I have had to scrap a few laptops over the years because the connection on the laptop broke off and the only way to fix it was a (too expensive) motherboard swap. On the Apple, you bump the connector and it comes off, plug it back on (it’s not in after all) and move on. It’s saved my hide on a few occassions already.

    Hope that helps some.

    Marvin The Martian

    Agree about the power connector. I still have my previous Samsung 13inch notebook and the power connector is built in from the left side and when its connected to the adapter, its sticks out and easily can be broken. Lenovo have connector in rear part of the laptop, which, for me, is more securely.

    But my next one is going to be Apple for sure. Yes, maybe, windows laptops will have a better hardware for the same price, but it is all about the software, i think. MacOs is extremely stable, i dont know what you have to do to kill a MacOs. But Windows can die after some days of heavy using.

    Dj vitico BL

    Thanks dj vintage for all the advice Especially what u mentioned about i5 and i7 to be honest I lost track of cpus after pentium 4 :p so thats really good to know which cpu to consider

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by Dj vitico BL.
    Dj vitico BL

    Thanks bad robot Yeah im also like having more on board usb sockets Good to know that i should avoid windows 10 i had not thought of that My current laptop is win 8.1 which i dont like much i downloaded 10 and was pretty happy it seemed way faster and well designed until i noticed i can barely type on it after a few words the cursor would disappear and i have to click to type again it made writing my papers impossible and i downgraded back to win 8.1 again So u think windows 7 is the way to go for dj ing?

    Dj vitico BL

    You mentioned gaming laptops being the high end As I understand gaming laptops devote alot of power to video graphics Does that translate to better handling of audio software for dj ing?

    DJ Tucker

    If money was no option, the only non-mac I would want is a Panasonic Toughbook. On a budget, any reliable i5 proc windows laptop will do fine. Most important to the situation is adding an SSD (they’re cheap now) and some ram. If you have some money to spend, I’d look for an older gaming laptop.


    Honestly I do not like Panasonic Toughbooks. They tend to overheat due to design when stressed extremely. They can survive a fall and all, but constant straining is a tough one.
    DELL has a tough line that does that a little better.

    As for DJing I do not think you need a toughbook, you can use a good laptop per se. I tried a HP Elitebook Folio 1040 and a 1020 Bang/Olufson Edition and both worked extremely well (and are good looking). However I had maxed stats (8GB Ram, i7, 512G SSD) so they were both above 1500 bucks.
    Which as always: Quality costs money, no matter if Apple or not. (My MacBook Air was cheaper than the Folio 1020).


    Just picked up a couple of Lenovo’s – price was good even with upgraded ssd. Robot was right about the mouse pad though, if I caught it with 2 fingers it caused all kind of problems. Fortunately that can be fixed in mouse settings which are quite extensive for the Lenovo, (not sure if you are having the same problem Robot?). With that said; if I had of bought a Mac I wouldn’t have wasted chunks of my life ‘optimising’. The process aint over yet – Windows wants to update but the latest up date fries the CPU so rolled back for now but will get back to tweaking. Are Mac’s really plug and play?


    Yes they are. Amazing but true.
    However I predict it will only be this way for a short while. I can already see product quality with Apple sink regarding their mobile devices (iPads and iPhones) and if this hits the Macs, then these amazing times will be over.


    All eyes on the embedded all in one systems then.

    Marvin The Martian

    Yep, most of my problems with Lenovo touchpad is about using it with two fingers (scrolling, for example).
    Ive made an update to Win 10 and then made a clean installation of it. while Ive had a complete clean Windows, ive decided to ckeck system logs and there were some Warnings and Errors. The answer from microsoft was something like “did you get a BSOD? if not – do not pay attention. when you get it – ask us again”

    I mean, you can get technicaly brilliant laptop from Lenovo, HP, Dell etc. but what you will do with the OS? Windows will remain Windows with the ghost of BSOD somewhere in the air after some “important update”.

    One of the main reasons why ive picked quite old Lenovo t430 model was an option to easily add second HDD. And the price was good. But Ive checked the new laptops market when i was looking for an laptop, and there was no big difference in prices between top models from lenovo, hp, dell and apple.


    Hey Robot – you can definitely turn the 2 finger scrolling off in mouse settings let me know If you can’t find the settings and I’ll have a look -I would do now but I’m on the wrong side of a bottle Scotch for that stuff at the moment.

    DJ Vintage

    To be honest … Apple has no BSOD, but it CAN just stop operating, with only a forced reboot as a last resort.

    And I have had a few of those instances, granted not while DJ-ing, but while doing lots of various stuff more or less simultaneously. But still … Macs do crash too. Just without a blue screen (or the little bomb icon they had in the old days … silence, I kill you!)

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