Mac or PC? The 15 Best Laptops for Podcasting Success

By Chris Craft | Last Updated:  June 9, 2020
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best laptop for podcasting with headphones and a microphone on a desk

For over a hundred years, people have listened to the radio and enjoyed different talk shows for entertainment or gathering news. Today, there is a better, more efficient option in podcasts. You can rewind, fast forward, or speed up a podcast. You have complete control. Good luck trying to do that with the radio. If you want to start a podcast like I did (hosting or co-hosting three different shows right now) and participate in the evolution of media, you will undoubtedly need to research and discover the best laptop for podcasting. My goal is to make your podcasting laptop research much easier with this article.

According to Statista, 51 percent of Americans at or above the age of 12 listen to podcasts regularly. So, whether you are just starting or are already into podcasting, you have to make sure that you are well up to date with the best podcasting gear and only possessing a microphone or a smartphone isn’t enough. You will need a top-quality podcasting laptop to create engaging podcasts.

A high-quality laptop is almost essential for creating audio for podcasts and videos for YouTube. And that doesn’t mean that you have to go for the most expensive device in the market. The laptops listed later in this article can do almost everything you need to get your podcast correctly done and they aren’t the most expensive laptops in the market.

But before I go into detail, let’s discuss why you need a laptop in the first place.

Do you really need a laptop?

Let’s agree that we all love and enjoy quality products and services. That means that you’d go the extra mile to produce flawless podcasts. So, if a good podcasting laptop can enhance and make things easier for you, then why not invest in one? Whether you are looking for the best Chromebook for podcasting (you will need more power than Chromebooks can offer by the way) or you are simply looking for a good laptop for podcasting, a laptop helps you operate more optimally and quickly–and while on-the-go if needed.

If you have good audio content, but it consistently lacks good sound quality, then there is a high probability that you will lose a considerable portion of your audience. Making a podcast involves editing, removing unwanted parts, mixing, and adding music, all of which can be comfortably done using a laptop. For these reasons, you will want to seriously consider purchasing a good podcasting laptop from our list below if you aspire to be a professional podcaster.

You also want or may need to utilize an audio editing software or Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for podcast post production. A quality laptop computer can offer you the needed technical resources that you need in order to produce and edit your podcasts to your desire. If you are a beginner who is looking to kill it in the podcasting game, a good podcasting laptop can be the most beneficial tool to professionalize your production. 

What are the minimum recommended system requirements for a podcasting laptop?

When you decide to look for the best laptop for podcasting, it’s important that you pick the right machine for the job. Not all laptop computers can deliver the technical specs required for editing your voice, producing music, and uploading large media files. Don’t gamble with the quality of your end product.

In order to determine the features, you need to establish why you need a computer in the first place. In most cases, it is for editing the voices of the host, co-hosts, and/or guests. You need to highly consider the various features and components of your laptop to determine whether it is a good fit or not. Your podcasting laptop should have the following minimum system requirements:

FeaturesMinimum system requirementsRecommended system requirements
CPUIntel Core i3Intel Core i7
RAM8 GB16 GB
BatteryAt least 5 hoursUp to 12 hours
Storage256 GB HDD512 GB or more (SSD is ideal)

How to choose the best laptop for podcasting

Whether you are looking to buy a laptop for sports content or to tell your life story, making up your mind on a specific computer can be a daunting task due to the many options available. Like I had mentioned earlier, you don’t need to go for that high-end fancy laptop to get the job done. Our curated list includes 15 laptops of varying prices that are quite reasonable.

You have to critically pay attention to the features and what the extras bring to the table before making the final decision. Remember, the best computer for podcasting should meet all your podcast requirements (as well as the DAW’s requirements). Equally as important, your podcasting laptop should be durable for the long haul.

So, what are you going to look for when searching for the best laptop for podcasting?

Good question. We have you covered.

Here are the primary specs/features that you should consider checking to help you make an informed decision.

Hard drive

Computers that run using hard disk drives or HDD for internal storage have high seek times, which delays the processing of an audio signal, leading to higher latency. Go for a laptop that uses Solid State Device SSD for internal storage. These types of computers cause less noise and create a noise-free environment for recording. They store data digitally instead of writing it on a disk. However, they have lower storage capacity and are a bit more expensive.

RAM

Random Access Memory (RAM) is simply the amount of data a laptop can hold in memory when processing at once. Data that is not stored on RAM can only be retrieved through the hard drive, which means that your laptop’s processor needs to wait for this data to load before processing it. Higher seek times in the hard drive can lead to delays even when the processor is high speed. That is why I recommend buying a laptop with a higher RAM (16 GB and above) for your podcasting activities. This gives your computer a chance and ability to handle editing software, multiple audio tracks, and plugins. 

CPU

I just call it the brain of a computer. The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is what makes your computer perform various tasks like calculations. The better the CPU, the faster the performance, simple and clear. That also means that your computer can perform several tasks simultaneously faster. I would advise that you look for a multi-core processor when purchasing a laptop for podcasting. The more cores, the faster the processing and carrying out of tasks.

Operating system

How you choose your operating system is solely a personal choice. In fact, it’s more personal than a professional decision. There are multiple options available for both Mac OS and Windows. Choose the one you feel comfortable with, especially regarding podcasting. Consider your budget  as Mac devices are typically more expensive than Windows.

DAW plugin requirements

A good laptop for podcasting should be powerful enough to handle your DAW’s native and third-party plugins. Aside from editing, you may need to use plugins to add or reduce sound effects, do fades and transitions, and simulate musical instruments. The more RAM your laptop has, the better it will help your audio plugins work.

The best laptops for podcasting

I have already shared with you the major areas to check when buying a laptop for podcasting. I also went searching far and wide for the best laptops for podcasting based on quality, price, functionality, and many other factors. So, if you are still undecided, check out these 15 laptops, and I can assure you that you won’t miss a device that matches your needs.

1. MacBook Pro (16″)

MacBook Pro 16" and an Apple Magic Mouse on a marble desk
Photo of MacBook Pro by Anthony Choren on Unsplash
Display16-inch LED-backlit Retina display
Weight4.3 lbs or 2.0 kg
RAM16 GB
CPUIntel Core i7 2.3 GHz
Storage1 TB SSD
BatteryUp to 11 hours

Apple’s MacBook Pro (16″) is my all-time favorite model and recommendation. It offers you the versatility and power that you need for podcasting. The 16” screen and the sleek design will blow your mind. It comes with a fantastic backlit keyboard that is extremely comfortable to use. I also loved the fact that it can stay on for 11 hours without charging. That’s a whole day if you forgot your charger!

2. HP 17.3″ HD+ High Performance Laptop

Display17.3-inch
Weight5.25 lbs
RAM32 GB
CPU1.60 GHz up to 3.9 GHz
Storage1 TB SSD
BatteryUp to 9 hours

Coming up as one of the most affordable laptops for podcasting, the HP 17.3 HD+ High Performance Laptop gives you all the reasons to hit the buy button. This laptop boasts a massive 17.3-inch screen that’s powered by an Intel UHD graphics card. This HP performs like a beast and is quite reliable for all your podcasting tasks. But with the generous screen size and the spacious 1 TB SSD hard drive (wow 1 TB SSD!), this podcasting laptop is a little on the heavy side at 5.6 lbs.

3. ASUS ZenBook 15 Laptop

Display15.6-inch
Weight3.60 lbs
RAM16 GB
CPU4.9 GHz
Storage512 GB SSD
BatteryUp to 8 hours

With the Asus ZenBook 15, we have another irresistible brand (the “Mac” of the PC world) and a great laptop for your podcast equipment setup. It has a gorgeous body design and is packed with excellent technical specs for handling CPU-intensive processes. This laptop has a nice-sized 512 GB SSD and a speedy 4.9 GHz processor so you will have the freedom to get creative without any worries.

4. Dell XPS 15

Display15.6-inch
Weight5.52 lbs
RAM16 GB
CPU4.5 GHz
Storage256 GB
BatteryUp to 5 hours

Outside of its short battery life, the Dell XPS 15 laptop has everything you need to do your podcasting tasks well. Running on the latest 9th gen i7 processor, it is the perfect podcasting laptop for maximum performance. You will like the superb finish, screen resolution, and the touchpad, which is excellently responsive. The 5 to 6 hours of battery life is enough to get your job done, but make sure that your charging cord is in close reach. The cooling system can be improved as well, as some purchasers said that it can run pretty hot sometimes.

5. HP Spectre x360

Display 15-inch
Weight1.32 lbs
RAM16 GB
CPU1.80 GHz up to 4.00 GHz
Storage512 GB SSD
BatteryUp to 8 hours

The HP Spectre x360 comes with a super sleek dark ash and silver-lined body design and impressive performance. It only weighs 1.32 lbs! This convertible design allows you to use it as a tablet if you are browsing or writing. It also boasts an extensive range of ports like HDMI, Thunderbolt, and SD card for your podcast requirements. If you plan to do videos, this laptop could be good for you. However, you need to have a generous budget as its price is a little above average.

6. HP Envy 13.3-inch

Display13.3-inch
Weight2.6 lbs
RAM 16 GB
CPU1.8 GHz up to 4.6 GHz
Storage512 GB SSD
BatteryUp to 12 hours

The HP Envy 13.3 Inch is the perfect definition of durability, where functionality meets style. Never underestimate the workability of this lightweight laptop. The HP Envy supports multitasking whether you’re editing, cutting video parts, or simply recording or reviewing your podcast. The 13.3-inch display allows you to take actions like zoom, select pinch, and more. I couldn’t leave out mentioning the HP Envy 13.3 Inch’s superb battery life (up to 12 hours!).

7. Dell XPS 13

Display13.3-inch
Weight2.67 lbs
RAM16 GB
CPU1.8 GHz up to 4.00 GHz
Storage1 TB SSD
BatteryUp to 7 hours

The Dell XPS 13 is a tight competitor of our number 5 (The HP Spectre x360) when it comes to features. You may have already noticed that the display, processor, and touch screen features are similar. On top of that, the RAM and battery are also of equal strength. The reason why I am comparing them is to help you narrow down your search. This laptop works excellently when recording and editing audio with your DAW. And the 1 TB SSD storage is hard to pass up.

8. Acer Predator Helios 300

Display15.6-inch
Weight5.9 lbs
RAM16 GB
CPU3.8 GHz Intel Core i7
Storage256 GB SSD
BatteryUp to 5 hours

This laptop is for those of you who might want to do both gaming and podcasting. The Acer Predator Helios 300 is made to withstand the roughness of gaming and provide the specs for podcasting. And it is averagely priced for a gaming laptop. The main issue that I have with the Acer Predator is its weight at 6 lbs.

9. Razer Blade 15

Display15.6-inch
Weight4.63 lbs or 2.1 kg
CPU4.1 GHz Intel Core i7 
RAM16 GB
Storage512 GB SSD
BatteryUp to 6 hours

The Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop is another powerful machine that will excellently meet your podcasting needs. And the VR-ready graphics seals the deal for doing video work. The battery life leaves a little to be desired though.

10. Lenovo Legion Y540

Display15.6-inch
Weight5.0 lbs
CPU2.4 GHz up to 4.1 GHz
RAM16 GB
Storage1024 GB SSD
BatteryUp to 10 hours

Featuring NVIDIA GEForceGTX 1660Ti graphics, the Lenovo Legion Y540 is one of the emerging beasts in podcasting laptops. This machine comes with plenty of power to work on your podcasts and also do a little gaming! This podcasting laptop has what it takes (including a 1 TB SSD and good battery life) to take your podcast to the next level.

11. Apple MacBook Pro (15”)

Display15.4-inch Retina 
Weight4.02 lbs or 1.83 kg
CPU2.3 GHz Intel Core i7
RAM16 GB
Storage256 GB SSD
BatteryUp to 10 hours

What I like most about Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch is that it comes packed with everything you need to get your podcast done easily from a hardware and OS perspective. Like all Apple products, the MacBook Pro 15-inch was designed to make things easier and faster for you. The Thunderbolt ports and SSD storage help you work with large audio and video files with ease. It is simply the right laptop (and brand) for anyone looking to make their podcasting dreams come true.

12. Lenovo Thinkpad x1

Display14-inch
Weight2.49 lbs
CPU1.9 GHz Intel Core i7
RAM16 GB
Storage512 GB SSD
BatteryUp to 5 hours

Featuring a beautiful display, the Lenovo Thinkpad x1 is a great machine that cools and runs faster than most laptops of its type. You can bet on exceptional performance and durability. The display and brightness are great, so you don’t have to strain when using it for long hours. This computer can help you with all your podcasting needs even though it is mostly known as a business laptop. The only downside is the short battery life.

13. HP Envy 17t

Display17.3-inch
Weight6.73 lbs
CPU1.8 GHz Intel Core i7
RAM16 GB
Storage1 TB HDD and a 256 GB SSD 
BatteryUp to 10 hours

The HP Envy 17t is a good average-cost podcasting laptop with its cutting-edge performance for the cost. It has the specs to handle your podcasting workload. The design looks great and the 16 GB RAM can be upgraded to 32 GB. This podcast laptop comes with two hard drives for storage (1 TB HDD and a 256 GB SSD), which is a positive, but those two drives help make it the heaviest laptop on the list at 6.73 lbs.

14. Omen by HP 17″

Display17.3-inch
Weight5.00 lbs
CPU2.6 GHz up to 4.5 GHz Intel Core i7
RAM16 GB 
Storage1 TB HDD and a 256 GB SSD 
BatteryUp to 11 hours

The Omen by HP 17” laptop is another gaming and podcasting machine that comes with a lot of power. The glorious 17.3-inch display stands out when reviewing this laptop. This laptop is similar to the HP above (the Envy 17t), but it packs a faster CPU and is 1.73 lbs lighter!

15. Asus TUF Gaming 2019

Display16.6-inch
Weight4.85 lbs
CPU4 GHz
RAM16 GB 
Storage256 GB
BatteryUp to 5 hours

For the record, I absolutely love Asus laptops (mainly for their design). The Asus TUF is a powerful machine that combines functionality with gaming power in a medium-sized package. The attractive design and portability (for a gaming computer) makes it ideal for traveling and completing creative tasks while on-the-go. But while it’s a great podcasting and gaming laptop power-wise, the short battery life is a bit of a letdown.

You make the choice

Selecting the best computer for podcasting can be a daunting task, particularly when you are not sure about the features and technical specs that are needed. I hope that our podcast laptop guide has helped you make a decision in finding the best laptop for podcasting so that you can get on to exceeding your podcasting goals. Remember…this is an investment, so don’t sell yourself short. Happy shopping!

If you need help with learning how to start a podcast, look no further than our podcast equipment bundle for beginners and getting started guide.

Hi! I'm Chris(topher) Craft. I'm a believer, husband of an amazing woman (Wanda), and father of three talented kids (Naomi, Maria, and Elijah). I love writing, learning about God's Hand in History, entrepreneurship, and basketball. Thank you for reading my stuff! ❤️ Connect with me on Twitter @CraftWrites.