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An Overview Of The 10 Best Laptops for Podcasting

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An Overview Of The 10 Best Laptops for Podcasting

Laptops have become a staple of every podcaster’s setup. Laptops offer indispensable adaptability, portability, and processing power that make podcasting on the go easy. 

The only problem? With the number of laptops on the market these days, it can be hard to know where to start. 

In this guide we break down all the technical jargon and laptop specifications, so you know exactly what you’re looking for. Then we walk you through the 10 best laptops for podcasting in 2021. Let’s jump right in. 

TL;DR 

  • Do podcasters need a laptop? Short answer: Yes. 
  • When looking at a laptop, the most important factors are the memory, processing power, and the operating system. The others come down to personal preference. 
  • For podcasters on a tight budget, try the Acer Aspire 5 
  • For podcasters with more to spend, try the Apple Macbook Pro or the Razer Blade 15

Do Podcasters Actually Need a Laptop?

Although podcasters don’t technically need a laptop, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one. 

A laptop allows you to enhance and transform your recording into a podcast with flair so you can produce the podcast of your dreams. With a laptop you can harness the immense editing power offered by several editing suites, using visual effects, music, transitions, and more. 

Plus, in a COVID-19 world, a laptop is necessary if you want to include guests and remote participants in your podcast using software such as Riverside.fm. 

Why laptop versus desktop for podcasting? 

This is a podcaster’s personal choice and often comes down to your recording setup. 

Laptops are more portable. So you can record, edit and publish on the move, wherever you find yourself. 

Laptops are more adaptable. Laptops offer additional flexibility to podcasters: you can set up in someone else’s studio or work on the go. 

Laptops have great processing power. Nowadays laptops can compete with the processing power of desktop computers, so you’re not losing out. 

Desktops are better suited to home studio environments. Desktops are, for obvious reasons, intended for more permanent setups. So if you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated home studio then a desktop might be a more suitable option. 

What to consider when buying a laptop for podcasting? 

Given the number of laptops on the market, it can be hard to decide which one is right for your podcasting setup. There are a variety of different factors to consider before purchasing a laptop, so we’ve broken them down for you here: 

RAM - Random Access Memory 

RAM indicates how much data your laptop can store at one time. Any information that is not stored on your computer’s RAM has to be retrieved from the hard drive (internal storage). 

Don’t underestimate the importance of RAM. Laptops with fast processing power but low RAM can often run more slowly. This is because your computer has to retrieve more data from its internal hard drive, which can cause delays.

Podcasters need a high RAM. You want your laptop to be able to handle and store as much information as possible at once. A higher RAM means your laptop will be able to process multiple audio tracks, editing software, and more with no problem. 

Podcasters should look for at least 8GB of RAM. If you’re a full-time podcaster, you might want to consider at least 16 GB. 

CPU - Central Processing Unit 

CPU tells you how quickly your computer can carry out various processes. This correlates to data processing, calculation, and other tasks. Think of your laptop’s CPU like its brainpower. 

A high-speed processor means your laptop can handle more at once. For podcasting, you want a laptop that can perform multiple tasks at a high speed. 

‘Multi-core processor’ means your laptop will be even faster. A multi-core processor essentially means your laptop has more than one processing unit. This translates to high-speed workflow. 

Intel Core, AMD, and Apple M1. These are all different types of CPUs that you may have come across. 

DAW Requirements

Your DAW will affect the kind of CPU and RAM you need. Certain podcasting DAWs are ‘resource intensive’ and require immense processing power to run smoothly. 

Apple or PC-specific DAWs. Certain DAWs such as Garageband or Logic Pro only work on Apple devices, so you will need to keep this in mind when purchasing a new laptop. 

Plugin Requirements

Plugins require certain processing power. If you tend to add multiple plugins such as sound effects or transitions, you will probably need a laptop with good processing power. 

Latency 

Latency is the time it takes between input and output of an audio signal. For example, the time from when you speak into your microphone until you hear it in your headphones. 

Podcasters want lower latency. For obvious reasons, you want to keep that delay as short as possible. If your laptop has quick processing power and decent RAM, you should be fine. 

Internal Storage

There are two types of internal storage: Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drive. 

Laptops that use HDDs for internal storage tend to be slower. This is because data retrieval can take a while. 

SDDs are a good alternative to avoid unnecessary delay. Solid State Drives store data digitally, using flash memory, so they can retrieve data more quickly. 

SSD storage laptops are good for studio environments. Laptops that have SSD storage tend to be less noisy, which is a huge plus in a podcasting setup. 

SSD laptops tend to be more expensive with less storage space. SSD laptops require more of an investment, so might not be an option for all budgets. 

Hybrid HDD with built-in SSD is budget-friendly. For a more affordable option, many people opt for an HDD laptop with a built-in SSD. The computer pre-loads data to the SSD for faster retrieval time. 

Operating System

The operating system is down to the podcaster's preference. This depends on what you are used to working with, what your colleagues tend to use, and what serves you the best. 

Your editing software can impact your operating system choice. If you swear by Logic Pro or Garageband, you’re also committing to Apple devices. 

Your budget can also influence your operating system choice. Apple devices tend to come in at a higher price point, so if you have a limited budget you may want to consider a Windows device. 

Screen Size 

Screen size is also about personal needs and wants. 

Screen size doesn’t affect your podcast. Your laptop screen size doesn’t objectively influence your podcast - you can still record and edit a studio-quality podcast regardless of your screen size. 

Larger screens make your life easier. For obvious reasons, a larger screen will make editing easier and better for your eyesight because you won’t strain your eyes. 

Bigger screens tend to be more expensive. For those on a tighter budget, opting for a larger screen may not be an option. 

Battery Life 

For those constantly on the move, battery life is a major consideration. The last thing you want is for your laptop to die mid-recording or editing session. 

Weight

Your laptop weight will impact its portability. For podcasters on the move, you want something lightweight, so you can bring your laptop wherever you go. 

Price & Warranty

Your budget will determine what range of laptops are available to you. This is a personal matter, and you’ll know how far you can stretch your purse strings. Plus, there’s a great range of laptops available for all budgets, so don’t worry if you don’t have too much to spare. 

Ensure to check the warranty period of your new laptop. Warranty covers accidental damage, and definitely should not be overlooked. 

Upgrade vs Replace

For those on a tighter budget or who aren’t quite ready to invest in a new laptop just yet, upgrading your existing model can be a good option.

Minor upgrades can make a major difference. You can upgrade the RAM and replace your hard drive with an SSD on your current laptop to increase processing power and speed. 

We recommend you consult a professional before DIYing it. The last thing you want is to wind up irreparably damaging your laptop. Consult a professional so you can upgrade your laptop properly. 

The 10 Best Laptops for Podcasting

Acer Aspire 5 

Price: $560.90

Weight: 3.97 lbs 

RAM: 8GB

CPU: Intel Core i5 10th Gen, 4 cores

Internal Storage: 265 GB of SSD storage 

Operating System: Windows 10 Home 

Battery Life: 7 hours 

Screen size: 15 ” 

Great for those with a tighter budget, the Acer Aspire 5 offers superb processing power with ample RAM and internal storage - perfect for all podcasting endeavours. 

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 (14”) 

Price: $791.19

Weight: 3.06lbs 

RAM: 16GB

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 

Internal Storage: 512 GB SSD

Operating System: Windows 10 Home

Battery Life:  14 hours

Screen size: 14 ” 

Great for podcasters who want to grab and go. The Lenovo IdeaPad is affordable, super portable and robust, an all-round winner for a great price. 

ASUS VivoBook F510UA 

Price: $900

Weight: 2.4 lbs

RAM: 8GB 

CPU: Intel Core i5

Internal Storage: 128GB SSD & 1TB HDD 

Operating System: Windows 10 

Battery Life: 4 hours 

Screen size: 15.6”  

Great for those who are constantly on the go. The ASUS VivoBook F510UA is lightweight and compact yet boasts a big screen, so you can podcast wherever and whenever you want. 

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Price: $1,268.00

Weight: 2.84 lbs

RAM: 16 GB 

CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U 

Internal Storage: 256GB of SSD storage 

Operating System: Windows 10 Home

Battery Life:  8 hours 

Screen size: 13.3 ” 

Great for those who want the combined power of a tablet and laptop all-in-one. The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is a super adaptable laptop, perfect for all parts of the podcasting process. 

Dell XPS 15

Price: $1,549.99

Weight: 4lbs 

RAM: 16GB

CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H up to 5.0GHz, 6 cores 

Internal Storage: 1TB SSD 

Operating System: Windows 10 Home

Battery Life: 9 hours 

Screen size: 15 ” 

Great for those who want serious processing speed. The Dell XPS 15 is a sophisticated laptop which capitalises on its Core i7 processor, generous RAM and huge internal storage capacity. 

Macbook Air 

Price: $1,869.00

Weight: 2.8 lbs

RAM: 16GB

CPU: Apple M1 Chip with 8 Core CPU 

Internal Storage: 2 TB SSD Storage

Operating System: Apple 

Battery Life: 18 hours 

Screen size: 13.3 ” 

Great for jetsetters who swear by Apple. The Macbook Air offers incomparable battery life and portability. The Macbook Air’s processing power competes well with the Macbook Pro, and you will be able to run all the same resource intensive software with no trouble. 

HP Spectre x360 

Price: $1,999.11

Weight: 2.8 lbs 

RAM: 16GB

CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U 

Internal Storage: 512 GB of SDD storage 

Operating System: Windows 10 Home 

Battery Life: 12 hours 

Screen size: 15.6 ”

Great for podcasters who like their freedom. The HP Spectre x360 is an incredibly versatile and lightweight laptop with a touchscreen. You can flip and change the laptop according to your needs to work in yoga, tablet or laptop mode. This adaptability combined with its enviable processing speed makes it the ideal laptop for beginner and expert podcasters alike. 

Asus ROG Zephyrus - S17 GX701

Price:  $2,499.99 

Weight: 5.7 lbs 

RAM:  16GB 

CPU: 10th Generation, Intel Core i7 with 8 cores 

Internal Storage: 1 TB SSD storage

Operating System: Windows 10 Pro

Battery Life: 9.5 hours 

Screen size: 17.3” 

Great for those who want an all-rounder laptop. The Asus ROG Zephyrus offers an expansive screen, lightning fast processing power and precise execution. Podcasting with this laptop is too easy. 

Razer Blade 15 

Price: $2,599.99

Weight: 4.40lbs

RAM: 32GB 

CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core H series 

Internal Storage: 1TB SSD 

Operating System: Windows 10 Home

Battery Life: 9 hours 

Screen size: 13.3 ” 

Great for committed podcasters. The Razer Blade 15 was built with gamers and creatives in mind, meaning it can most definitely handle even the most arduous podcasting workflows. Its robust build combined with serious storage capacity means this is an investment for the long-term.

Apple Macbook Pro 

Price: $2,799.00 

Weight: 4.3 lbs

RAM: 64 GB 

CPU: Intel Core i9, 8 core 

Internal Storage: 8TB of SSD storage 

Operating System: Apple 

Battery Life: 11 hours 

Screen size: 16 ” 

Great for podcasting and beyond. The Apple Macbook Pro certainly comes in at a higher price point, but it’s worth it. For those who are accustomed to Apple workflows and software, the Macbook Pro is the ultimate laptop. Incredible processing power, combined with the dynamic touch bar and crystal clear Retina Display, mean podcasting has never been easier. 

Final Thoughts 

There’s a laptop out there for every podcasting setup, big or small. With a laptop, you’ll be recording, editing, and publishing your podcast wherever you find yourself in no time. 

Although the number of laptops on the market can be overwhelming, with this guide to the technical jargon and the best ones out there for podcasting, you should be feeling confident and ready to go. 

Once you’ve got your laptop up and running, why not try Riverside.fm with our free trial? You won’t regret it. 

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