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Best MacBooks for DJing

For the DJ, besides your DJ control, your laptop is the most important piece of equipment you’ll own in your DJ career. There are very few laptops that are able to stand the test of tasks and time and prove to be a faithful companion to DJs. There is but one laptop that has been granted the legendary status by the best DJs in the world: the Apple MacBooks.

NameProcessorDisplayRAM/ StoragePros and ConsPricing
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch1.1-GHz quad-core 10th generation Intel i3 processor13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology16 GB RAM and 256-gigabyte solid-state drivePros:
-New keyboard
-Faster processor
-Lower price
 
Cons:
-Not designed for intensive programs
– Limited Storage Capacity
– Limited Hardware Upgrade
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Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch)1.4GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i513.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology32GB RAM and 1TB SSDPros:
-Magic Keyboard
-10-Generation Intel Processors
-Double the Storage
 
Cons:
-High Price
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Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch)
2.6GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor
16-inch LED-backlit Retina display64 GB RAM and 1TB SSD (Upto 8TB)
Pros:

-Larger 16″ display with slimmer bezels
-Up to 8-core Core i9 CPU and 64GB RAM
-Audio upgrade
Cons:
-Lacks full-size USB port or SD card
-Display not 4K
-Every upgrade makes it more expensive
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Chosen by prominent DJs around the world, Macbooks are constantly chosen by DJs as their laptop of choice. While you may not need a Macbook for DJing, there are a number of qualities that Macbooks have that make them the top choice.

Even though the MacBooks seem to be a perfect option for DJs, the possibility of doubt is always there. The mind begs to question, do you really need a MacBook?

Do you need a Macbook for DJing?

DJ’s need laptops that can help them work in any condition and run all the software they need to create music with ease. Many laptops have the same specifications as the MacBook and can be purchased at a lower price, however, some specific advantages of the MacBook make it a really good option for the DJs.

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Performance

DJ software isn’t a joke, run them on an average laptop and you will see the blue screen of death right away. To run these pieces of software, you need a high-performance laptop, and MacBooks can be an optimal choice.

MacBooks can offer you the best performance owing to their characteristics. They are equipped with Mac OS which is programmed to deliver maximum performance by utilizing the processors, graphics, and the display incorporated in the device.

The unimaginable power generated by Apple MacBooks is a result of the company’s superiorly designed hardware and software. Giving it the advantage of creating meticulously tailored OS and apps for their laptops that make them more powerful.

Enhanced Support for MIDI

At some point in time, you might feel the need to use a MIDI controller/s for enhanced performance. These controllers may include pad controllers, rotary mixers, and keyboards that are enabled in DJ software.

The primary use of MIDI controllers is to enable triggers like loops, hot cues, and sync functions. Mac OS is programmed to support many such MIDI controllers smoothly which makes MacBooks a great choice for creative DJs.

Stability

MacBooks also come with drivers that facilitate seamless performance of the different controllers and accessories tend to work incredibly offering smooth function. The Mac OS comes with prewritten Kent files, that prevent driver conflicts and system lags due to driver issues.

Security

Security is an essential aspect of computing technology and Apple Inc. is widely popular for being the safest in the world.

Both of them can be very dangerous for aspiring DJs and it can have a very deep effect on their career. MacBooks, on the other hand, are widely popular for their impeccable security and an impenetrable firewall.

Why do DJs use MacBooks?

There are many things that you have to consider when buying a laptop but MacBooks on the other hand, are designed to provide you with the excellent features that are essentials for DJs and even suit their lifestyle.

Build quality

There are many ways a laptop can endure damages during transit. Therefore DJs, look for laptops that are built with materials that can withstand considerable hits before finally breaking apart. Laptops with plastic bodies shatter too easily after a fall or crack into halves after a hit. MacBook’s all-metal body gives the DJs a greater advantage in such situations.

New Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD Storage, Magic Keyboard)

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A MacBook’s construction involves high-quality raw material and an intelligently planned design. These not only endure hits and shocks but also keep the parts intact for a longer period. The keyboards are durable and don’t tend to lose their spring easily.

It has strong and durable screen hinges that can last for more than a few years. The trackpads can stay in excellent condition even after prolonged use. Most parts of the laptop including the trackpad are made with scratch-resistant materials.

Screen Quality

While many laptop manufacturers claim to offer the best and the most vividly colored screens, there is hardly any laptop that matches the screen quality of MacBooks. Sharp, bright, and adaptability are some of the common qualities of MacBook screens.

Light adaptability is one of the most useful features for DJs as they perform under different light conditions such as sunlight, LEDs, dark rooms, and more. Adaptive screens are also energy efficient and do not affect the battery life of the laptop. 

Battery Life

DJs always prefer laptops with longer battery life due to several reasons. However, the most common reason is, they can work or perform longer without having the fear of their laptop dying in the middle.

MacBooks also tend to have longer battery life and MacBook Airs can work for 12 hours straight. The battery does not wear-out soon and offers the same performance even after years of usage.

Options

Apple has introduced a vast array of products in its portable computers’ lineup. You can find them all kinds of shape, color, size, and specifications that can combine to meet the expectations of any user. To ensure that you choose the right product you need to square out your requirements and find a laptop that suits you best.

Best MacBooks for DJs in 2020

Apple Inc. has been consistent in introducing innovations in all of its products. These upgrades help the users run the latest version of their software with ease. The company has introduced new versions of the MacBooks for 2020 too.

NameProcessorDisplayRAM/ StoragePros and ConsPricing
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch1.1-GHz quad-core 10th generation Intel i3 processor13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology16 GB RAM and 256-gigabyte solid-state drivePros:
-New keyboard
-Faster processor
-Lower price
 
Cons:
-Not designed for intensive programs
– Limited Storage Capacity
– Limited Hardware Upgrade
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Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch)1.4GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i513.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology32GB RAM and 1TB SSDPros:
-Magic Keyboard
-10-Generation Intel Processors
-Double the Storage
 
Cons:
-High Price
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Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch)
2.6GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor
16-inch LED-backlit Retina display64 GB RAM and 1TB SSD (Upto 8TB)
Pros:

-Larger 16″ display with slimmer bezels
-Up to 8-core Core i9 CPU and 64GB RAM
-Audio upgrade
Cons:
-Lacks full-size USB port or SD card
-Display not 4K
-Every upgrade makes it more expensive
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Apple MacBook Air (13-inch)

When it comes to making improvements in their devices, Apple knows exactly how to make excellent products for their consumers. The company had been receiving a lot of criticism for the butterfly keys that were attributed to causing so many issues. Apple got rid of it and replaced it with a more suitable substitute.

Apple-MacBook-Air-13-inch

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Newer versions of the MacBook Air have been designed to look very similar to the Pro models. It comes with the new Retina display which is one of the key features of Apple laptops. For user-convenience, the laptop has a better and responsive trackpad.

The irksome butterfly keys are replaced with the new Magic keyboard which is designed to offer better performance and higher durability. It can be hard to believe but the speakers in these new MacBook Air feel like an upgrade from the old ones owing to their clear and louder sound output.

It has two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports for charging and using peripherals with the device. If you are more of a bling person, you can go for gold-colored MacBook Air.

The incredible performance of the laptop can be attributed to the 1.1-GHz quad-core 10th generation Intel i3 processor paired up with a 256-gigabyte solid-state drive. To ensure smooth operation, the company has added 16 GB RAM.

A configuration like this is sufficient to handle intensive operations and software for long hours. To cope up with scarcity of ports you can purchase multiport adapters that can be used as plug and play and keep the device charged at the same time.

Pros:

·        New keyboard

·        Faster processor

·        Lower price

Cons:

·        Not designed for intensive programs

·        Limited Storage Capacity

·        Limited Hardware Upgrade

Apple MacBook Pro (13-Inch)

MacBook Pro is known for its high-performance abilities and superior quality build. The system configuration of the device can let it run not just one but multiple applications effortlessly. It is one of the highly commended laptops in the high-end range besting brands like HP, Dell, and Lenovo.

Apple-MacBook-Air-13-inch-2

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It is also considered as the middle ground between the MacBook Air and the 16-inch MacBook Pro. Even though it comes with a hefty price tag, the MacBook Pro eliminates the need for buying a laptop in the near future.

The MacBook Pro comes with one of the most revered processors that is known for its superior efficacy and performance- the 10th-generation Core i5. It can optimize the performance of the laptop according to task priority and usage.

You can no chances of lags and delays, with the 16GB RAM allowing you to safely run multiple programs at the same time. This lets you run different software on the laptop for a long time without the fear of crashing.

There is only one minor problem with this device i.e. the storage. Unlike the other performance laptop in range, the MacBook Pro comes with only 512GB whereas other laptops offer around 1TB storage or SSD.

Another good thing about the MacBook Pro is, it comes with a Magic Keyboard which makes typing easier and is more durable. It also features a Touch Bar that makes navigation easier and makes maneuvering more realistic.

You can connect a lot of MIDI and other controllers on this laptop as it comes with 4 USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. It also features a powerful battery that can last all-day if used optimally.

The MacBook Pro is a perfect combination of power and portability, as it is slightly heavier than the MacBook Air, but its slim body compensates for the weight as it fits easily in all kinds of bags. It may not be as high-performing as the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

MacBook Pro 13-inch has the ability to handle as many tasks as the 16-inch variant. Plus, it gives you the advantage of avoiding the heavyweight of the advanced version.

Pros:

·        Magic Keyboard

·        10-Generation Intel Processors

·        Base Model Has Double the Storage

Cons:

·        High price

Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch)

This is one of the most powerful laptops created by Apple Inc., it is also considered as the ultimate power machine as it comprises features that can get any tech lover drooling over it. It is an ideal option for DJs who prefer using power-hungry software and need a lot of memory.

Apple-MacBook-Pro-16-inch

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The updated MacBook Pro 16-inch has been improved with features like the Magic Keyboard, which is designed to offer the best typing experience. It comes with keys that are far more responsive as compared to the other keyboards made by the company.

This version of the MacBook Pro handles heat effortlessly and does not let it affect the performance of the device. However, the only problem with this laptop is the cooling system; the fans get too loud as the device heats up.

Its excellent performance can be attributed to the ninth-generation Core i7 processor. This processor has the ability to handle several programs easily without even a minor lag. It also allows you to switch between different programs smoothly even after working for long hours.

Owing to the dedicated graphics card, you can also play high-graphic games on the laptop and get the best experience.

Using MIDI controllers will never be a problem as the laptop comes with four Thunderbolt 3 ports. You can plug in as many controllers and peripherals you want without having to buy an additional controller port.

The base model of the variant comes with a 512GB SSD but if you are looking for extra storage, the MacBook Pro is designed to expand up to 8 terabytes with ease. Meanwhile, it has a superb RAM capacity of 64 GB which is the highest that any laptop can offer.

It also comes with a higher graphic card option the AMD Radeon Pro 5600M, which can let you create music and play games while keeping the other one paused in the background. You can also upgrade the processor of the laptop to Core i9.

The major bleeding points of the MacBook Pro 16-inches are low battery life and heavyweight. You can get the most out of the battery by reducing the number of tasks running on the laptop or using power-consuming software one at a time.

Pros:

·        Larger 16″ display with slimmer bezels

·        Up to 8-core Core i9 CPU and 64GB RAM

·        Audio upgrade

Cons:

·        Lacks full-size USB port or SD card

·        Display not 4K

·        Every upgrade makes it more expensive

13 vs 16″ MacBook Pro for DJs: which to choose?

The above information makes it clear that no matter which device you choose there is surely a gap that you have to fill. Leaving the odd one out, the two MacBook Pros have their pros and cons that make them an ideal choice for certain requirements.

If you are confused between a 13-inch or a 16-inch MacBook Pro, as to which is more suitable for DJing you can take a look at the following points.

Processors

When it comes to choosing between MacBooks as the best laptops for DJing the first and most important factor you need to consider is the performance. To begin with, we can consider the core of the laptops i.e. the processors that are being offered.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro features two variants that you can consider, the base-level 8th Gen model and the 10th Gen model. No matter which one you choose you will get the best performance as the laptop has a quad-core.

On the other hand, the 16-inch variant comes with a six-core, 16 thread processor. You can also increase the processor to i9 eight-core chip.

Each of the core on the laptop works individually to offer optimal performance to the laptop. Therefore, having eight-cores means adding 8x power to your laptop.

Thermal Cooling

The MacBook Pro 16 also comes with the additional benefit of a redesigned cooling system that offers a 35% larger heat sink which results in 28% better airflow.

Graphics

The MacBook Pro 16 comes with a dedicated graphics which is not included in the MacBook Pro 13. The 16-inch variant has many graphic options like a 4GB AMD Radeon Pro 5300M to an expensive Radeon Pro 8GB 5500M with faster HBM2 memory. Whereas the 13-inch version comes with Iris Plus Graphics provided by its 8th- and 10th-generation Intel processors.

RAM

Both laptops have different RAM configurations. The 13-inch MacBook Pro offers up to 32GB with fast 3,733MHz LPDDR4X memory. There are some limitations that you need to consider if you prefer the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The base-version of 13-inch laptops has 8th-generation Intel processors and they are available in the 8GB or 16GB of 2,133MHz LPDDR3 memory which is slower than the 13-inch model. If you want higher RAM capacity, you have to purchase the expensive version of the 13-inch that comes with 32GB RAM and 10th Gen Intel processors.

You don’t have to face any such complications with the 16-inch version, both variants of this version come with 2,666MHz DDR4 memory. The speed of this RAM is comparatively low as compared to the ones incorporated in the MacBook Pro 13, but this increased space can have a massive impact on performance in many cases.

Portability

The best laptop in terms of portability is undoubtedly the MacBook Pro 13 due to its smaller size and lightweight. It measures 0.61 by 11.97 by 8.36 inches and weighs 3.1 pounds. MacBook Pro 16 measures 0.64 by 14.09 by 9.68 inches and weighs 4.3 pounds.

Battery life

There is a massive difference in the battery life of both devices, and this is a factor that will influence your decision massively. When tested in a typical day schedule the MacBook Pro 13 offered a battery life of around 6.5 hours. The MacBook Pro 16, on the other hand, offers a battery life of only 5.5 hours during average workload.

For a more detailed comparison, you can watch this video:

Is MacBook Air Powerful enough for DJ software?

Now that we know that Apple laptops come with pretty awesome configurations that can take on any task thrown at them. However, DJs who are on a string tight budget might be wondering if the MacBook Air that fits their bill, will it live up to their demands?

You need to understand that you can run almost all kinds of software on MacBooks, the only thing that sets them apart is the performance output. Therefore, a MacBook Air might technically be able to handle all the DJ software but there are some things that you might have to adjust to.

The MacBook Air is very different from the MacBook Pro, its construction is a result of a planned design that offers maximum convenience with portability and long battery life as compared to the other ultrabooks and laptops in the market.

MacBook Air’s 2.91b weight makes it easy to carry without putting a lot of strain on your arms shoulders when carrying it around. The long battery life that can go up to 13+ hours can help you make new tracks or finish an incomplete project while you are on the road.

The latest model of the MacBook Air has almost the same amount of power as the 13-inch MacBook Pro. It packs some incredible features like the 8th Gen 1.6GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor, which has the ability to handle any DJ software with ease.

It has an 8GB RAM works really well and attributes to the smooth performance of the laptop. The best part of the MacBook Air’s RAM is, it can be expanded to 16GB enabling to run more software simultaneously.

To see the number of software the MacBook Air can support, you can watch this video:

The only feature that the MacBook Air falls short on, is space. DJs need laptops that offer enormous amounts of space for saving their projects or multiple versions of it. Unfortunately, MacBook Air only comes with a 128GB SSD storage which can barely fit one or two files.

You might have to buy an external drive to store your music or if you spend most of your time in an area with good internet speed, you can purchase cloud storage and save your projects on the cloud. The SSD also compensates by giving the laptop a faster booting time.

MacBook Air comes with another notable feature i.e. backlit keyboard, which earlier given to premium or flagship products. You also don’t have to worry about connecting MIDI controllers as the laptop comes with two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port. MacBook Air is also regarded as the best laptop for mobile DJs.

Which MacBooks to avoid

MacBooks are lauded as one of the finest laptops in the world of computer, there have been some slip-ups from the company that has put MacBooks in a bad light. Here are some MacBooks that you must avoid buying to save yourself from regret.

Older MacBooks with Butterfly Keyboards

The butterfly keyboard was integrated into MacBooks that were introduced in the years from 2015-2019. These keyboards were known to cause severe issues for the users as their thin construction jammed up the keys up easily due to the crumbs, dust, and other particles.

They caused problems like keys not pressing properly, keys that skipping keystrokes, or keys repeating the letters. If you are trying to buy a used laptop, it is recommended that you get the keyboard replaced by the company. 

You choose to replace the butterfly keyboard with the latest magical keyboard or don’t buy that laptop at all.

Old MacBooks Air Models (With a Silver Bezel)

These are one of the few laptops that shook the world with its innovative design and classy appeal. At the time of their launch, these MacBooks were known to have the best configuration that any laptop could have.

The reason to avoid these MacBooks is to save yourself from buying a laptop that is living off its past legacy. These older MacBooks have not changed or received any update over the years, which means you would be paying your precious money to buy an antique that is hardly of any use.

It features a dowdy-looking, non-Retina screen and Intel processors that have become obsolete. You may not require the dongles, like the ones in the newer MacBook models, as the newer versions are much faster.

You might find these laptops at a relatively low price as compared to the other MacBook but we recommend you avoid these laptops and go for a better option.

15-inch MacBook Pro

The name MacBook Pro is enough to raise people’s ears. However, investing in this version of the series can turn into your life’s biggest sob stories. This 15-inch laptop comes at a whopping price of $2,200 but it also comes with a set of problems that can make life harder for you.

One of the most prominent problems that these laptops were reported to cause was battery heating and in some cases, the battery was even reported to catch fire. Apart from that these laptops are not built to support modern software.

The laptop does live up to the MacBook legacy in some areas of performance, but it offers very poor value for money. Most of the time vendors sell you this laptop when you ask for the 16-inch variant. Since most of the specifications, features, and design looks similar, it can be hard for a normal person to differentiate between the two. 

Conclusion

Reliability, performance, and convenience are the two factors that you should look for when buying a laptop for DJing, and MacBooks are considered to be the best terms of offering such benefits. There different variants and versions of MacBooks available in the market and you can the best only when you understand your requirements well.

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