Best Laptop For Podcasting


Listening to podcasts is great – but making them for yourself is much more fun.

But it’s something you’ve got to get right from the off. And that means you can’t make do with equipment that’s not up to the job. And that certainly includes the laptop. 

Best Laptop For Podcasting

You’ve got to podcast with your listeners in mind. They’re not going to want to listen to your podcast if the audio is of bad quality, and they can’t make out what you’re saying.

But before you can worry about the software to tweak the audio characteristics, you first have to get the best possible hardware if you’re ready for an upgrade.

We’ve been checking out some of the best laptops on the market, with use for podcasting at the forefront of our minds. After much deliberation, we were able to handpick our top 5 favorites to review for you here today.

But we certainly get that choosing one can be somewhat tricky, so we’ve also drawn up a handy buying guide for you that will highlight some of the key things to think about before you buy.

Then we’re going to top that off with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.

So, without further ado…

1. 2020 Apple MacBook Pro

2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray

If you want to run your podcast through an Apple-based DAW, such as the ever popular GarageBand or Logic Pro, then you’re going to need a laptop that runs on the Mac operating system.

And that means investing in either a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air if you’re going to go for a traditional laptop rather than an iPad.

The Apple MacBooks are one of the most wished for laptops around, because of their unsurpassed performance and specs…

The MacBook Pro features an 8-core processor, and as we discuss later in our buying guide, a multi-core processor is an essential feature for a laptop to work with any Digital Audio Workstation software. And it’s 2.8 times faster than previous versions of Apple processors.

And there’s a whopping 16 GB of RAM, which not only meets the minimum requirements for running DAW software, but also meets the recommended requirements.

But what’s really special about the MacBooks is how they feature Apple’s M1 chip. The M1 chip has a built-in Neural Engine, which is designed to accelerate certain tasks across the Mac for things like video analysis, voice recognition, and more. And that could be a huge bonus for your podcasting.

It also features substantial on-board storage, coming in at 2 TB. But better yet, it’s all solid state storage, so it’s really speedy.

And with specs like this you get no noticeable latency in your podcast recordings, which is especially handy if you ever like to go live. (More on latency specs in our buying guide later on.)

The MacBook Pro has some other great features too. Like a whopping 20-hour battery life, a Full High Definition screen, an amazing integrated graphics card and more.

The drawback to Apple products is that as a general rule, they tend to be more expensive than their Windows OS counterparts. But, if you’ve got your heart set on using GarageBand, then you’ve little option.

Amazon occasionally has deals on the Apple MacBook Air – simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros:

  • Superfast 8-core processor
  • Recommended 16 GB of RAM
  • M1 chip with built-in neural engine
  • Staggering amount of SSD storage
  • No noticeable latency for podcasts

Cons:

  • Premium product at a premium price
  • Most apps that run on MacOS are paid for ones
Sale
2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray
4,133 Reviews
2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Space Gray
  • Apple-designed M1 chip for a giant leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance
  • Get more done with up to 20 hours of battery life, the longest ever in a Mac
  • 8-core CPU delivers up to 2.8x faster performance to fly through workflows quicker than ever

2. 2020 Apple MacBook Air

2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Gold

As we mentioned in our previous laptop review earlier, if you want to use the GarageBand DAW for your podcasting, then you’re going to have to invest in some kind of MacBook.

The Apple MacBook Air is basically a slightly more affordable version of the MacBook Pro. As you might imagine, it doesn’t offer quite the same specs as the MacBook Pro, but it does retain some of the more important features.

Like the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air also sports a very speedy 8-core processor, and as we discuss in our buying guide, multi-core processors are important for running your Digital Audio Workstation software.

And speaking of DAW software, the MacBook Air also features 8 GB of RAM, which will meet most DAW minimum RAM requirements. 

You can opt for either 256 GB or 512 GB of on-board storage, and it’s all SSD, so it’s really speedy.

Together, these specs mean that you will get no noticeable latency on your podcast recordings. (More on latency in our buying guide later.)

And the MacBook Air also features M1 chip with built-in Neural Engine, which could come in handy if you ever wanted to use its voice recognition capabilities for your podcasts.

The MacBook Pro has some other great features too. Like a Full High Definition screen, an amazing integrated graphics card and more. It also offers fantastic battery life at 18 hours, which is only slightly less than with the MacBook Pro.

As we mentioned in the MacBook Pro review, Apple laptops do, in general, tend to cost more than their Windows OS counterparts, and unfortunately the MacBook Air is no exception. 

However, Amazon occasionally has deals on the Apple MacBook Air. To see if you can catch one, simply click on “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros:

  • More affordable than MacBook Pro
  • Superfast 8-core processing unit
  • Meets minimum DAW RAM requirements
  • M1 chip with built-in Neural Engine
  • No noticeable latency for podcasts

Cons:

  • Not equipped for Microsoft Windows apps
Sale
2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Gold
9,284 Reviews
2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13” Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Backlit Keyboard, FaceTime HD Camera, Touch ID. Works with iPhone/iPad; Gold
  • All-Day Battery Life – Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life.
  • Powerful Performance – Take on everything from professional-quality editing to action-packed gaming with ease. The Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance than the previous generation while using way less power.
  • Superfast Memory – 8GB of unified memory makes your entire system speedy and responsive. That way it can support tasks like memory-hogging multitab browsing and opening a huge graphic file quickly and easily.

3. Acer Swift 3

Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop, 14' Full HD IPS, AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core Processor with Radeon Graphics, 16GB LPDDR4X, 512GB NVMe SSD, WiFi 6, Backlit KB, Fingerprint Reader, SF314-42-R3U5

If you’re more at home with the Microsoft Windows operating system, however, then the Acer Swift 3 may be more your top option. It has some excellent specs, and is more affordable than both the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air.

It’s available with different options for the processor, and for the RAM and storage. If you go for the AMD Ryzen 7 processor, this is a speedy 8-core processor that can work at speeds of up to a whopping 4.1 GHz.

And, as we discuss in our buying guide, you’re going to need a multi-core processor in order to run your DAW for your podcasting.

As for the RAM, you can choose from 8 GB, which is enough to meet the minimum requirements for most DAW software, or you can go for 16 GB which is usually the recommended amount for running DAW software, allowing seamless active memory retrieval.

Combined, the high processing power and RAM mean that you get no noticeable latency when you are going live with your podcast (more on that in our buying guide later).

The 8 GB of RAM version is available at a choice of different levels of storage, 256 GB or 512 GB. While the 16 GB of RAM version comes with the full 512 GB of storage. Better yet all on-board storage options are on solid state drive, and this too will protect against latency issues.

And the Acer Swift 3 has some other great features besides, including a Full HD screen, a backlit keyboard, Radeon graphics, and a fingerprint scanner for security. And a whopping 11.5 hours of battery life to boot.

Pros:

  • 4.1 GHz multi-core processor
  • Choose up to 16 GB of RAM
  • Solid state drive on-board storage
  • No noticeable latency on podcasts
  • Full High Definition IPS display

Cons:

  • You can’t use it for the GarageBand DAW, or any other MacOS or iOS apps
Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop, 14' Full HD IPS, AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core Processor with Radeon Graphics, 16GB LPDDR4X, 512GB NVMe SSD, WiFi 6, Backlit KB, Fingerprint Reader, SF314-42-R3U5
3,367 Reviews
Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop, 14" Full HD IPS, AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core Processor with Radeon Graphics, 16GB LPDDR4X, 512GB NVMe SSD, WiFi 6, Backlit KB, Fingerprint Reader, SF314-42-R3U5
  • AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core Mobile Processor (Up to 4.1GHz) with Radeon Graphics | 16GB LPDDR4X Memory | 512GB NVMe SSD
  • 14" Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080 resolution; 16:9 aspect ratio)
  • Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX200 802.11ax | Backlit Keyboard | Fingerprint Reader

4. ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2021)

ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2021) Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 144Hz FHD, GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, Intel Core i7-11370H, 8GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, Windows 10, Eclipse Grey Color, TUF516PE-AB73

This is ASUS’s latest gaming laptop, and as such it has some really great specs, that lend themselves excellently to recording podcasts.

It features a multi-core processor from one of the main brands in the business, Intel, that can process data at speeds of up to a whopping 4.8 GHz. As we discuss in our buying guide, you’re going to need a multi-core processor in order to run your Digital Audio Workstation software.

It also offers 8 GB of RAM, which means it meets the minimum RAM requirements for most DAWs. And there’s also a generous 512 GB of on-board file storage at your disposal. Better yet, this also happened to be a solid state drive, rather than a hard disc drive.

Together, this means that you should get negligible latency when you record your podcasts.

But what makes it really special for podcasting is the crystal clear audio and two-way AI noise cancellation.

It runs on the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system, which means it can run any Windows compatible app, including the Audacity DAW.

What makes this laptop different to the other laptops we’ve shown you so far in our shortlist is that it has a notably larger screen, coming in at a nice 15.6 inches, rather than just 14 or 13 inches. Moreover, it also happens to be a Full High Definition IPS display for crisp imagery and video.

And while it’s not a budget laptop, it is relatively cheap for a gaming laptop.

Pros:

  • 4.8 GHz multi-core processor
  • Meets minimum RAM requirements
  • Negligible levels of latency
  • Two-way AI noise cancellation
  • Larger Full HD screen

Cons:

  • You can’t use it for the GarageBand DAW, or any other MacOS or iOS apps
ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2021) Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 144Hz FHD, GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, Intel Core i7-11370H, 8GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, Windows 10, Eclipse Grey Color, TUF516PE-AB73
519 Reviews
ASUS TUF Dash 15 (2021) Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 144Hz FHD, GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, Intel Core i7-11370H, 8GB DDR4, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, Windows 10, Eclipse Grey Color, TUF516PE-AB73
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB GDDR6 up to 1585MHz at 60W (75W with Dynamic Boost 2.0)
  • Intel Core i7-11370H processor (12M Cache, up to 4.8GHz)
  • 15.6” 144Hz IPS-Type Full HD (1920x1080) display with adaptive sync

5. ASUS VivoBook 15 

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS34

If you’re in the market for a Windows laptop but just don’t have the budget for a gaming laptop, then this is possibly your best option. It has all the important specs you need for recording podcasts, and at this price, it’s almost a budget laptop.

So, let’s start with the processor. It’s one of the latest 10th generation Intel Core i3, which is a dual-core processor that can process data at speeds of up to 3.4 GHz. That makes it ok for use with DAWs, although it’s not as fast as the processors of the other laptops that made our shortlist.

It also offers 8 GB of RAM, so it meets the RAM requirements for most DAWs. And the high processing capabilities together with the high amount of RAM should mean that you won’t get too much latency on your podcast recordings.

There’s 128 GB of solid state drive on-board file storage available, and this should also prevent too many issues with latency. 

It has a nice, large screen, larger than the MacBooks, and it has a high resolution, Full HD no less. And it has some other nice features too, like an ergonomic backlit keyboard and a fingerprint scanner for security. 

Admittedly, the battery life doesn’t compare to MacBooks, but you’d probably be happy to keep it plugged in while making your podcasts anyway.

It runs on the Windows operating system, so it can’t run GarageBand, but you could use Audacity instead or something like that.

Pros:

  • Available at a really good price
  • Latest 10th Gen dual-core processor
  • Meets minimum RAM requirements
  • Uses speedy solid state drive storage
  • Specs should help prevent latency issues

Cons:

  • You can’t use it for the GarageBand DAW, or any other MacOS or iOS apps
ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS34
5,336 Reviews
ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS34
  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
  • Compatible with Google Classroom; run Google Classroom on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer 11
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU (4M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)

Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide. You can use it as a quick checklist to ensure that you’ve thought of everything before you decide to part with your hard-earned cash.

Golden Rule Number One

If you are serious about your podcasting, we strongly recommend that you invest in a good quality microphone, rather than making do with the one that comes integrated with your laptop. Integrated laptop microphones are not really built for high quality audio.

This means that you will need a laptop with sufficient ports to be able to take both your microphone and your headphones, so you can listen to how the podcast has turned out, and whether you need a retake. 

If you’re also in the market for a microphone, be sure to have a good browse around the website for guidance on what to buy. And you may also want to check out our article titled Best Headphones for Podcasting, which is available on this link.

Golden Rule Number Two

The next most important thing to consider is whether the laptop meets the requirements of the DAW you expect to be using. For those who don’t already know, the DAW, or Digital Audio Workstation, is simply the software you use to record, and edit audio tracks.

Most DAWs will list their minimum system requirements, but you’d get a much smoother experience if you go for a laptop that meets the recommended requirements rather than just the minimum requirements.

Operating System

Some audio editing software will only run on Apple devices, including the likes of the ever popular GarageBand and Logic Pro.

However, you can also use alternatives such as Audacity and Adobe, which will work on the Microsoft Windows operating system.

CPU

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) of a laptop is basically the brain of the computer. Most DAW software requires a multi-core processor in order to function properly – even the DAWs aimed at beginners.

We recommend that you go for at least a triple-core processor with a processing speed of at least 2.5GHz.

RAM

RAM or Random Access Memory is the amount of data that a computer can hold in its memory for processing at any one time. For amateur podcasters, we recommend that you get yourself a laptop with at least 8 GB of RAM. But, if you want to go Pro, we recommend at least 16 GB.

Latency

Latency is the time-lapse between the input and the output of the audio signal. You’ll want this to be minimal. In order to achieve an acceptable level of latency, you will need a high CPU speed and sufficient RAM, as we made reference to earlier.

Internal Storage

You must be sure to invest in a laptop with solid-state storage rather than hard drive storage. And there are two main reasons for this. One, using HDD can contribute to a higher degree of latency, as we have already made reference to.

And two, SSD storage causes less background noise, so you get a clearer audio recording.

Other Features

We’ve covered the most important laptop features for podcasting, but you might also like to consider other features such as screen size, screen resolution, battery life, and backlit keyboards.

Value for Money

Although laptops these days tend to be more affordable than they used to be, they can still vary quite considerably in price, with some costing less than $300, and others costing more than $1000. This is why we always recommend checking prices as you go along. 

You can use budget laptops for podcasting, but only so long as they meet the DAW requirements. 

Answers To Your Most Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the best laptop for podcasting?

We would argue that the best laptop for podcasting has to be the Apple MacBook Pro, because of its unbeatable performance and specs. Plus, you can use it to run the GarageBand DAW.

Last update on 2021-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Vinnie

I'm Vinnie, and I'm here to support you to create your own studio at home, whether it’s for photography, recording audio, podcasts, or videos!

Recent Posts