Budget Laptop

To many ads? Support ODJT and see no ads!

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
10,303
1,402
62
Did you finally get a laptop and if you did, what is it and how much did it cost you? If you decide to go further into DJing, i would suggest you get a backup laptop just in case your main laptop stops working or something else happens. Also a backup controller would be a good idea too.
 

sonic-vision

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Feb 6, 2007
1,423
2,322
central Ohio
Mixy, What a good backup controller?
 
  • Like
Reactions: ittigger

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
10,303
1,402
62
Mixy, What a good backup controller?
I have the Denon DN MC 6000 MK 2 and for backup a cheap controller that we use in case of an emergency. Hopefully you can find one that has enough inputs to connect things in a certain way instead of having to improvise.
 

sonic-vision

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Feb 6, 2007
1,423
2,322
central Ohio
Mixy What is your backup ?? I use denon 4000 for backup
 

Hank Davidson

Affordable, yet priceless.
ODJT Supporter
Nov 15, 2006
7,348
1,627
54
Boston, MA
www.facebook.com
RULE #1 is certainly true at its core. However, you can change it to "You can get more than what you pay for."

When shopping for anything, it's best to be thrifty but not end up with a cheap product. A good baseline price range for a laptop is $600-$800. Something in that range will almost always be suitable for running music software, HD video and USB peripherals. It's not like you're going to be playing 4K open world games or editing an independent film. You're playing music. (light shows excluded).

That being said, you do NOT have to pay full retail for it. Close-outs and refurbished machines are out there in abundance. You'll almost always find something that is $200+ below retail. Look for deals. Don't buy a $300 laptop at all. It likely will fail sooner than later. In 2004, I purchased an $850 Sony Vaio for $400 and I still use it today after adding about $100 in upgrades over time. My newer machines were similar deals.

Get something good to start with and if you take care of it, it will serve you well for a long time.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
6,738
4,019
I buy used laptops all the time. A laptop will continue running well over a decade. In fact, the one I'm typing on right now is at least 14 years old. The machine is not important - the application is everything,

A 14 year old machine will run office applications, email, music, simple website like this one, and compressed video like Youtube. Music and file management all easily done with older machines, and having the latest versions of these applications is typically not at all necessary. MS Word is a prime example because so few people ever use the advanced features of MS Office applications. It's also just good practice to save office documents in versions compatible with 2003 and later if it will not negate any feature of the content. (That being said - you still need a way to open files sent in the latest format. This practice presumes you own more than one computer.)

For a DJ - older versions of DJ software are valuable if you are not doing video or any of the advanced things that require the latest versions. That means old Laptops make great music players. I still have a few XP machines that do nothing but run karaoke using older versions of applications. That significantly lowers the cost of software, hardware, and backup because at $200 ( ? ? years ago) buying two identical used machines was very affordable. (These are the last 2 of 8 machines and are likely 20 yrs old - still running because the application they are put to remains unchanged.)

My two used i7 laptops were both under $400. My original new i7 was $900. (I won't do that again!) These are the machines that I use for graphics, editing, video, and the latest versions of applications and PDF editing. I enjoy the economy of matching machines to what it is I expect them to do. It also provides multiple layers of backup because I'm not relying on any one machine to do everything.

Music management requires very little processing power. If music players or file management is all you require then that can easily be done with older machines. Just take care to figure in the cost of a new battery because used machines will need one, almost every time. Corporate and Educational users tend to flip their computers right about the time the batteries have reached end of life. Also, the power supplies provided with used computers are usually switched out by liquidators. It's not unusual to receive a 65W or 90W power supply for a machine that requires 230W. The machine won't function properly if it's power supply is weak and the boot warning about this will have been turned off by the reseller. To the uninformed user it looks like the machine is a lemon but, it's actually being choked by a lack of power.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Jeff Romard

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
10,303
1,402
62
I buy used laptops all the time. A laptop will continue running well over a decade. In fact, the one I'm typing on right now is at least 14 years old. The machine is not important - the application is everything,

A 14 year old machine will run office applications, email, music, simple website like this one, and compressed video like Youtube. Music and file management all easily done with older machines, and having the latest versions of these applications is typically not at all necessary. MS Word is a prime example because so few people ever use the advanced features of MS Office applications. It's also just good practice to save office documents in versions compatible with 2003 and later if it will not negate any feature of the content. (That being said - you still need a way to open files sent in the latest format. This practice presumes you own more than one computer.)

For a DJ - older versions of DJ software are valuable if you are not doing video or any of the advanced things that require the latest versions. That means old Laptops make great music players. I still have a few XP machines that do nothing but run karaoke using older versions of applications. That significantly lowers the cost of software, hardware, and backup because at $200 ( ? ? years ago) buying two identical used machines was very affordable. (These are the last 2 of 8 machines and are likely 20 yrs old - still running because the application they are put to remains unchanged.)

My two used i7 laptops were both under $400. My original new i7 was $900. (I won't do that again!) These are the machines that I use for graphics, editing, video, and the latest versions of applications and PDF editing. I enjoy the economy of matching machines to what it is I expect them to do. It also provides multiple layers of backup because I'm not relying on any one machine to do everything.

Music management requires very little processing power. If music players or file management is all you require then that can easily be done with older machines. Just take care to figure in the cost of a new battery because used machines will need one, almost every time. Corporate and Educational users tend to flip their computers right about the time the batteries have reached end of life. Also, the power supplies provided with used computers are usually switched out by liquidators. It's not unusual to receive a 65W or 90W power supply for a machine that requires 230W. The machine won't function properly if it's power supply is weak and the boot warning about this will have been turned off by the reseller. To the uninformed user it looks like the machine is a lemon but, it's actually being choked by a lack of power.
What is very important is what operating system you're using. There's no updates for Windows 7. So that's obsolete. So no matter how good the laptop is if the operating system is too old that there are no updates you're going to run into problems.
 

adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
1,017
1,966
60
Long Island NY
What is very important is what operating system you're using. There's no updates for Windows 7. So that's obsolete. So no matter how good the laptop is if the operating system is too old that there are no updates you're going to run into problems.
Who told you that? If you have an unsupported windows operating system and you keep it off the internet, keep the Programs you use the same it will run stable until the hard drive or another needed piece of hardware dies. I have an XP desktop & win98 which still run. One of my favorite laptops was running Vista, it just died 2 years ago. I just keep them off the internet. Now if you going to be putting your machine online all the time, using the latest S/W then you will want the latest operating system. A majority of updates to operating systems are usually Security and patches. Now if you have some of those really old S/W programs, some of them won’t run on the newer machines.l
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
6,738
4,019
What is very important is what operating system you're using. There's no updates for Windows 7. So that's obsolete. So no matter how good the laptop is if the operating system is too old that there are no updates you're going to run into problems.
I'm on a Vista laptop typing this. Works great with ODJT. The ABC News site - not so much. As previously said, what matters is the tasks you intend to use it for.

Yes, you need the latest OS to run the latest applications or most cutting edge internet sites. It's a double edge sword though, because if an application you need and want is discontinued then you'll need BOTH and old OS and an OLD machine in order for it to continue functioning in the years ahead. This Vista laptop and the pair of XP laptops I keep are the last OS's that can run the software I use for bookings and contracts. I keep them specifically for that purpose, an they work fine using older versions of MS Office, Adobe Acrobat, and some other software I like. I have a rally great contract and cover letter generator with a format I love - and I'm not willing to do all of that development work again in a new application. (It just works - so I don't fix it.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jeff Romard

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
10,303
1,402
62
Who told you that? If you have an unsupported windows operating system and you keep it off the internet, keep the Programs you use the same it will run stable until the hard drive or another needed piece of hardware dies. I have an XP desktop & win98 which still run. One of my favorite laptops was running Vista, it just died 2 years ago. I just keep them off the internet. Now if you going to be putting your machine online all the time, using the latest S/W then you will want the latest operating system. A majority of updates to operating systems are usually Security and patches. Now if you have some of those really old S/W programs, some of them won’t run on the newer machines.l
You said if you don't put a computer online then it will work just fine. Of course it will if it's not online. When online it will look for updates and if there are no updates for that S/W then it won't work online or cause a lot of problems trying to operate the way it should.

The thing is there's a newer version of Windows 10 that just came out. The first question is do you really need that newer version and what is the big difference in the 2 besides the price. Normally when they upgrade something they charge more for it. One of the tricks of the trade is to try to convince someone that they need the latest thing so they can make more money.
 

Dan The Man

Administrator
Staff member
Jul 20, 2006
14,938
7,120
36
New York
danhutter.com
You said if you don't put a computer online then it will work just fine. Of course it will if it's not online. When online it will look for updates and if there are no updates for that S/W then it won't work online or cause a lot of problems trying to operate the way it should.

The thing is there's a newer version of Windows 10 that just came out. The first question is do you really need that newer version and what is the big difference in the 2 besides the price. Normally when they upgrade something they charge more for it. One of the tricks of the trade is to try to convince someone that they need the latest thing so they can make more money.
Windows 10 updates are free. You would only have chose between Windows 10 Home or Pro. You only need the home version which is what's normally installed on budget laptops so you're good to go.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
18,968
15,468
50
Sydney, Nova Scotia
You said if you don't put a computer online then it will work just fine. Of course it will if it's not online. When online it will look for updates and if there are no updates for that S/W then it won't work online or cause a lot of problems trying to operate the way it should.

The thing is there's a newer version of Windows 10 that just came out. The first question is do you really need that newer version and what is the big difference in the 2 besides the price. Normally when they upgrade something they charge more for it. One of the tricks of the trade is to try to convince someone that they need the latest thing so they can make more money.
I guess I'm done for my main machine is a Vista machine....You do know you can turn off automatic updates right?
 

steve149

Shine on you crazy diamond
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 26, 2011
26,466
41,908
Connecticut
Any machine that hits the net should be relatively current and running appropriate security/av software. Any standalone machine can run "whatever" .. as long as you realize it might be a pain in the neck to use current versions of some apps that rely on newer technology.

Windows 7 was pretty stable .. Vista and predecessors not so much ...
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
18,968
15,468
50
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Windows 7 was pretty stable .. Vista and predecessors not so much ...
While I agree with you from a personal standpoint the only OS I never had trouble with was Vista and only once with XP and I believe that was a hardware issue. 2K was good too but I only used it short term. I've dumped 10 a few times
 

PhaseIIPro

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 19, 2015
635
964
51
You said if you don't put a computer online then it will work just fine. Of course it will if it's not online. When online it will look for updates and if there are no updates for that S/W then it won't work online or cause a lot of problems trying to operate the way it should.

The thing is there's a newer version of Windows 10 that just came out. The first question is do you really need that newer version and what is the big difference in the 2 besides the price. Normally when they upgrade something they charge more for it. One of the tricks of the trade is to try to convince someone that they need the latest thing so they can make more money.

Once again you prove that you have no clue of what the hell you're talking about.