Best laptop for DJs 2018: The best laptops for music production

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If you’re a DJ, or even an aspiring music producer, you’re going to need more than just the best headphones, you’re going to need one of the best laptops for music production.

If you’re looking for the top laptop for music, you might want to consider any device that has one of the best processors and plenty of RAM – this is important because these will help your laptop handle multiple music tracks efficiently. You also want one of the best SSDs or hard drives, as you’ll be working with large file sizes. Finally, you’re going to need awesome sound – whether through great speakers or the ability to connect to external sound outputs.

You’ll also want something that can take a beating. While you don’t necessarily need one of the best rugged laptops, the best laptops for music productions should be able to handle and bumps and knocks that occur while travelling from gig to gig. And, because you’re going to be carrying it around, you’ll want something that’s thin and light – so take a look at the best Ultrabooks.

While the MacBook Pro may be the default for most musicians, plenty of the top laptops for music production will run Windows 10 instead.

To make choosing a laptop easy, we’ve included our exclusive price comparison tool, so you know where to find the best deal, which will come in handy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you want to see a more comprehensive list of prices and retailers, just click the ‘view all prices’ link on each widget.

The best laptops for music production and DJs:

Apple MacBook Pro

1. Apple MacBook 12" (2016)

Apple remains the number one choice for music makers and DJs

CPU: Intel Core M3 1.2GHz - Intel Core i7 1.4GHz | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 12-inch, (2,304 x 1440) IPS 16:10 | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD

Beautiful design 
Good performance 
Just one USB-C port
Expensive 

The new Apple MacBook is the slimmest, slickest and best-looking Macbook the Cupertino company has ever created, and it’s one of the best selling laptops on the market. This, along with the excellent music production software available for Macs means it’s the best laptop for music production. It’s an extremely slim and light notebook that you can take anywhere without even noticing the weight, and gives you the same slick macOS performance. 

Read the full review: Apple Macbook

2. MacBook Pro (15-inch, mid-2018)

The most powerful MacBook ever made

CPU: 6-core Intel Core i7 - i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 540X - 560X, Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 16 - 32GB | Screen: 15.4-inch, 2,880 x 1,800 Retina display | Storage: 512GB - 4TB SSD

 Powerful 
 Gorgeous design 
 Expensive 

The MacBook Pro is kind of known for being the go-to laptop for musicians all around the world, and the 2018 version is no different. As long as you can justify the expense, the MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops for musicians. With its Core i9 processor and up to 32GB of RAM, you’re going to be able to load up as many tracks as you need in Logic Pro X without having to worry about your laptop slowing down. It’s also incredibly sturdy – you don’t need to worry about things bumping into it in your bag, thanks to its robust aluminum unibody design. 

Read the full review: MacBook Pro (15-inch, mid-2018)
See more like this: The best Macs

3. Surface Pro 6

The Windows tablet, refined

CPU: 8th-gen Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 8MP rear-facing, 5MP front-facing

Quad-core processing
Long battery life
Still no USB-C

If you’re looking for the best laptop for music production that will double as a tablet for some downtime between extraneous recording and production sessions, you might want to look at the Surface Pro 6. Not only does it pack the powerful hardware you’ll need for efficiently handling multiple music tracks, but it has a gorgeous display, and plenty of legacy connections for connecting your equipment. It lacks USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, but if you’re just in it for music production, that doesn’t really matter much, does it?

Read the full review: Surface Pro 6

4. Dell XPS 13 (2018)

The best gets better

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD

Impressive performance
Beautiful design
Expensive

The Dell XPS 13 has been one of the best laptops you can buy for a few years running now, and the 2018 version is no different. For aspiring music producers, the XPS’ move to an 8th-generation Intel Kaby Lake R CPU should be appealing, as it will trim down the time it takes to process tracks, allowing you to minimize downtime. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find a 1TB storage drive anymore, but when you get a laptop that looks this good and runs this fast – it’s a worthy tradeoff. 

Read the full review: Dell XPS 13 (2018)

5. Surface Laptop 2

Microsoft’s laptop, perfected

CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch 2,256 x 1,504 PixelSense Display | Storage: 128GB - 1TB SSD

Much more powerful
Gorgeous new black color option
No Thunderbolt 3

With all the 2-in-1 laptops that convert into a tablet, packed with unnecessary features, sometimes a straight Windows 10 laptop is just what you need. Luckily, Microsoft has released the Surface Laptop 2, one of the best laptops in its arsenal. Not only does this thing feature a quad-core processor and plenty of RAM, but it has a lovely touch display and all the ports you need – even if it’s lacking Thunderbolt 3. As long as you don’t need Logic Pro X, you really can’t go wrong with the Surface Laptop 2 – it’s one of the best laptops for music production.

Read the full review: Surface Laptop 2

13-inch MacBook Air - Best Mac 2016

6. 13-inch Macbook Air (2015)

The Ultrabook before Ultrabooks

CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 6000 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch HD (1,440 x 900) | Storage: 128GB – 512GB PCIe Flash | Dimensions (W x D x H): 19.7cm x 19.7cm x 3.6cm

Battery life
Nippy storage
Dated design
Display

The MacBook Air is in a weird place in 2018. While it’s still one of the most popular and well-known laptops on the market, the iPad Pro and 12-inch Macbook have stolen much of its thunder. That is, unless you need the legacy USB 3, Thunderbolt 2 and SDXC card connectivity. Even without a Retina display or Force Touch trackpad, the 13-inch MacBook Air is a very capable machine – it even still has the fan-favorite MagSafe 2 charger onboard. So, if you don’t mind having a slightly older machine, the MacBook Air is an excellent – and very affordable – choice for musicians. 

Read the full review: 13-inch MacBook Air (2015)

7. Dell XPS 15

The best 15-inch laptop available this year

CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ - i7-7700HQ | Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB DDR4 | Screen: Up to 15.6-inch Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge touchscreen | Storage: 1TB HDD - 512GB SSD

Amazing power
Sublime screen
Slim design
Poor webcam position

If you're looking for a larger and more powerful laptop for running music production software on, then the Dell XPS 15 could be for you. Packing the same InfinityEdge technology as the smaller XPS 13, the screen extends right to the edge of the machine which means it's as small as it's possible to make a 15-inch laptop in 2017. It's quite pricey though, depending on which version you get. The very top end version has a 4K color-accurate display, which can give you an excellent overview of all the tracks you're working on.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15