The 5 Best Laptops for DJs in 2024


While old-school DJing used to happen purely on super-expensive hardware, a lot of that has moved to the digital space now, making it more accessible and affordable to folks who want to get into the industry. Of course, that does make having a good laptop a necessity, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to shoehorn yourself into one or two options, especially with how saturated the market is. Luckily, there are a lot of picks out there, whether you’re a beginner just starting out or a pro who wants to elevate your gear and skills to the next level. To that end, we’ve collected some of our favorite laptops for DJing below to save you the hassle of wading through all the options out there, although if you want to do that, be sure to check out how we made our picks in the section at the bottom to get a better idea what to look for.

The Best Laptops for DJs in 2024

  • Buy the  if you want the best overall laptop for DJs
  • Buy the  if you want the best MacBook for DJs
  • Buy the  if you want the best portable laptop for DJs
  • Buy the  if you want the best small-screen laptops for DJs
  • Buy the if you want the best budget Acer laptop

ASUS ROG Strix G17

Best overall laptop for DJs

Asus ROG Strix G17 sitting on a table.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
Fantastic keyboard Low battery life
Excellent performance Can be a bit bulky
Large screen

While the ASUS ROG Strix G17 is ostensibly a gaming laptop, you might be surprised to know that there is quite a bit of overlap in terms of what works well for gaming and what works well for DJing. For example, having a powerful processor is very important for any form of music production, and the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX is as powerful as you can get without going professional-grade and will easily cost several thousand. It has 16 cores and a whopping 32 threads for you to work with, so you aren’t likely to run into any problems with apps lagging, which can happen on some CPUs when you run too many channels or effects.

It also comes with a pretty massive 17.3-inch screen that provides you with a ton of real estate to work with, and especially in places where there might not be good lighting, the high brightness will help a lot. Similarly, the impressive 240Hz refresh rate will give you a smooth experience, ensuring you don’t miss a single beat. The 16GB of DDR5 RAM, one of the fastest in the industry, will certainly help with having the flow as well, especially since it’s a Windows laptop and it tends to eat RAM pretty easily. Ideally, we would have liked it to be more, but you can always upgrade the RAM yourself afterward if you feel you need it.

Of course, it’s worth mentioning the GPU as well, which is an RTX 4070, a mid-range GPU that won’t help a ton with DJing, but it’s nice to have if you want to game. Something that also won’t make a big difference to DJing is the RGB lighting in and around the laptop, which you can certainly use as a bit of flair when performing. As for battery life, that’s probably the biggest downside to the ROG Strix G17 since gaming laptops very rarely last more than 4-5 hours, even in the best-case scenario.

Specifications
Screen Size
17.3-inches
Processor AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX
RAM 16 GB DDR5
Storage 1TB SSD
Weight
5.9 pounds

M3 MacBook Pro

Best MacBook for DJs

The 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Max chip seen from behind.
Luke Larsen / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
GPU performance gets big upgrade Only supports one external display
XDR display is even brighter Storage and RAM are soldered on
Excellent speakers

If you want the best that MacBook has to offer, then going for one of the latest M3 MacBook Pro laptops is what you’re looking for. There are a couple of different models that you can pick from, but the most basic one is the 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro, which has the Liquid Retina XDR display, so you won’t hurt your eyes looking at it for many hours. It also comes with 8GB of RAM, which admittedly isn’t a ton, and so you may want to consider going for the , which is only a couple of hundred more expensive, so it’s worth the upgrade.

Of course, performance is pretty excellent on the M3 chip, so it’s perfect for doing any DJ work, although it’s just as good for other tasks as well, including productivity, graphical rendering, and pretty much anything you can think of. The 120Hz refresh rate of the screen also means you’re going to get a smoother day-to-day experience when using it, similar to what you’d find on a flagship smartphone. Plus, the battery life is pretty substantial, lasting up to several 22 hours or so, depending on your usage.

If you want a bit more power from your laptop, then you could also go for the or the versions too, which have upgraded performance and come with more RAM as their base configuration. You could also consider the larger 16-inch versions of the M3 Pro, although those only come in either the or the variant, and they are also significantly more expensive, although it’s worth checking them both out to see if you’d prefer going that route.

Specifications
Screen Size
16-inches
Processor M3 Chip
RAM 8 GB DDR5
Storage 512 GB
Weight
3.4 pounds

Microsoft Surface Laptop 5

Best portable laptop for DJs

The Surface Laptop 5 on a table in front of a window.
Microsoft
Pros Cons
Still thin and light Limited performance gains
Thunderbolt 4 No more AMD options
Upgradable storage

If you need something that’s thin and portable and that isn’t inside the Apple ecosystem like the MacBook, then the Microsoft Surface 5 is a solid alternative. At 0.58 inches thick and weighing 3.44 pounds, it’s very similar to the 15-inch MacBook Air in terms of size and weight, so it’s easy to stick in a bag and carry it around with you wherever you go. In fact, the screen is actually the same size, and it does run a slightly higher resolution of 2496 x 1664, but either way, you’re getting a good amount of screen to work with.

In terms of performance, it’s not something outstanding, although that doesn’t mean that it isn’t still pretty good, especially since it comes with a 12-generation Intel Core i7 Evo Platform. That’s a mid-to-high-end CPU that should easily handle most music production and DJing tasks, as well as being a great general-use CPU, such as for productivity. That said, this Surface 5 lineup doesn’t offer any more AMD options, which is a shame because they tend to be slightly cheaper and more efficient, plus they tend to do relatively well for anything music-related.

One thing that is a bit of a problem is that it doesn’t have a lot of RAM, sitting at just 8GB of DDR5, and much like the MacBook Air, you can’t really upgrade this on your own. That said, there are both 16GB and 32GB versions, but they are considerably more expensive, enough that, at that point, you might as well go for the ROG Stryx. Of course, you may value having something thin and light more, in which case that upgrade is totally worth it to you. Ultimately, that’s something that has to be a judgment call on your end.

Specifications
Screen Size
15-inches
Processor Intel Core i7 Evo Platform
RAM 8GB DDR5
Storage 512 GB
Weight
3.44 pounds

ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

Best small-screen laptops for DJs

Cyberpunk 2077 running on the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends
Pros Cons
MacBook-like thinness and weight Can get a bit hot
Gorgeous OLED display Soldered memory
Redesigned charger and USB-C power delivery

Another gaming option, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14, is perfect for those who really value something small but powerful. Interestingly enough, one of the biggest problems we found with the G14, the somewhat bad gaming performance, is an issue that is completely irrelevant here. As such, the G14 is a really excellent option if you want something small since it’s pretty much perfect in every other category.

For example, it runs an AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS under the hood, which is one of the most powerful CPUs on the market, and something that’s surprising to see on a laptop that’s this small. As such, you shouldn’t have any issue running your software or driving any peripherals, and if you do, there’s really nowhere else to go from here in terms of performance, so you’re getting top-of-the-line stuff. Realistically, though, almost everything you could want should run relatively easily, and the 16GB will also help give you a smoother experience overall.

As for the screen itself, it is 14 inches in size and runs a 2560 x 1440 resolution, but more importantly, it can hit an impressive 165Hz refresh rate, which is an even better screen experience than you would find on a flagship phone. That’s doubly so because the screen is OMLED, the only one on the list, and the 500 nits of peak brightness means you don’t have to worry about flashing lights getting in the way of seeing what you’re doing. That said, the G14 does somewhat suffer from the same issue that all small laptops do, which is that it can get hot when used at full throttle. Also, you should expect to only get about six hours of battery life out of it in the best scenario, so it will be important to have some access to an outlet nearby.

Specifications
Screen Size
14-inches
Processor AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS
RAM 16 GB DDR5
Storage 512 GB
Weight
3.64 pounds

Acer Aspire 3

Best budget Acer laptop

Acer Aspire 3
Acer
Pros Cons
Excellent price Feels a bit flimsy
Surprisingly solid performance Pricey at MSRP
Comes with a touchscreen display Only has 8GB of RAM

Not all laptops that are good for DJing have to cost a ton of money, and if you’re just starting out, or are on a budget, then the Acer Aspire 3 is actually not too bad, especially when you consider that it has an AMD Ryzen 5 7520U processor under the hood. That’s a mid-range CPU that should handle DAW and DJing tasks quite well, and while it won’t be incredibly powerful, it should fit the needs of most folks who aren’t going wild with their software. It’s also worth noting that, since it’s a bigger screen and chassis, it doesn’t get as hot as you would find with other options on this list.

You also get a larger screen than you’d usually get with some other options, as it sits at 15.6 inches, and while it only runs an FHD resolution, it is a touchscreen, which only one other option on this list has, which is pretty nice. It’s also worth noting that at 3.92 pounds, it’s actually not that heavier than a lot of the options here either, so sticking it in a bag and carrying it around with you isn’t a big deal. On the other hand, the fact that it only has 8GB is a bit of an issue; not a deal-breaking one, but something worth keeping in mind if you feel that you need something with more RAM.

Overall, though, this is a pretty excellent budget laptop for DJing, especially if you can find it at a discounted price. Unfortunately, the value proposition isn’t as ideal at MSRP, even though it’s still worth grabbing as a budget laptop, but the truth is that it does regularly go on sale, so if you can’t find one, waiting a little bit might be worth it.

Specifications
Screen Size
15.6-inches
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 7520U
RAM 8 GB DDR5
Storage 512 GB
Weight
3.92 pounds

How We Chose These Laptops for DJs

Processing power

The CPU on a laptop that’s meant to go for DJing and other forms of music production is way more important than pretty much anything else except things like scientific number crunching. That’s because whether you’re running DJ Rekordbox or Ableton Live, pretty much all these pieces of software rely heavily on the CPU to run properly. In fact, the more cores and more threads a CPU has, the better it’s going to be able to run the apps without running into any annoying bits of lag or issues that you might find with underpowered CPUs.

Now, that said, most modern mid-tier CPUs should handle the majority of work that you put on them, so things like the Intel Core i5 and the AMD Ryzen 5 are both good options. On the other hand, going for something better, like the Intel Core i7 and AMD Ryzen R7, is going to give you a ton more room to do work. As such, we mostly did our best to aim for laptops that had at least an i5 or R5, with some of the best picks getting the top-of-the-line AMD Ryzen R9 processors, which will easily handle anything you throw at it.

It’s also worth pointing out that the M2 chip from Apple is also roughly at an i7, so if you want that sort of performance from a MacBook, or better, then anything in the M2 or M3 family works great.

RAM

RAM is the second most important component of a good DJing laptop, along with the CPU, and it’s not necessarily so much because it helps the software run its calculations better but because it lets the app draw samples, effects, and other things you’ve loaded into the buffer, much quicker. In that sense, having more RAM means you can be running a lot more, and it helps keep the issue of other open bits of software, like browsers, from impacting the performance of every DJing app you are using.

Of course, answering the ideal amount of RAM to have is a difficult question, especially since it can vary heavily depending on what and how you’re using the laptop. What can be said is that 8GB should be the minimum for any Windows laptop, especially because the Windows OS itself likes to eat up RAM. That said, 16GB is the ideal number to have if you can swing it, but the problem is that some laptops, like the MacBook and the Surface, charge you an exuberant amount for 16GB or more. As such, it’s important to come to a decision about how much RAM you actually feel you need and if it’s worth spending the extra cash or potentially going for one of the other options.

Battery Life

Battery life on a laptop can be important depending on the sort of places or venues where you tend to perform. For the most part, you should have relatively easy access to power, especially since the venue will likely be running mixers, speakers, lights, and a bunch of other stuff. Even so, it can sometimes be difficult to get an extra plug, or you might have some other unforeseen issues, so having a laptop that can handle a full set before running out is good. Luckily, most modern laptops should be able to handle 2-3 hours with ease, and we’ve done our best to include laptops that can hit that minimum handily. Realistically, the only laptops that might struggle are the gaming ones, but even then, you should be able to do a full set on a full charge; just keep an eye on it to be sure.

Screen

Screen size is something else that is very personal to folks and can also vary greatly depending on your setup. For example, if you have a lot of gear where space is a premium, going with a smaller screen, which gives you a smaller laptop, makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, if you spend a significant amount of time doing stuff on the laptop, then having a larger laptop can be a lot of help. To that end, we’ve done our best of including a range of size options, and since the processors have a bit of overlap in laptop size, you should have some leeway in what you’re trying to pick

This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.

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