Podcasting is one of the most popular types of media in the United States. At the end of 2019, a survey by Edison Research showed that 51 percent of Americans have ever listened to a podcast with 32 percent listening within the last month.
If you’re thinking about starting a podcast of your own, you’ll need a few tools to do it properly. Of course, you’ll need some audio gear but the fundamental tool for every podcast is a good computer.
Laptops are a great option for podcasters. Let’s look at how to choose the best laptop for podcasting.
Best laptop for Podcasting
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What’s Best for Podcasting: Laptops vs. Desktops
You can use a laptop or a desktop computer to produce your podcast. Both are perfectly capable of handling everything that needs to be done.
But laptops offer the advantage in portability. If you expect to ever do remote interviews or want to be able to record an episode from anywhere in the world, it’s hard to beat the versatility of a laptop.
Specifications to Look for In the Best Laptop for Podcasting
Producing audio content for a podcast isn’t quite as resource-intensive as it would be for video but it still needs a reasonably powerful computer. If you’re planning to edit your own show, create your own show art, and do most of the production work yourself, you’ll need to make sure your laptop meets certain specifications.
The minimum amount of RAM you need for recording a podcast is 8GB but if you can afford to upgrade to 16GB or even 32GB, you’ll be happier. More RAM will improve your laptop’s performance and extend its usefulness for at least an extra year or two.
The CPU isn’t quite as important as it is for applications like video editing and gaming but it still plays a part in the overall process. Look for a laptop with at least an Intel Core i5 processor but an i7 is even better.
And if you’re considering a Mac, look for one of the latest models running the M1 Apple Silicon CPU.
Audio files use a lot of storage space, especially if you record at a higher bitrate. Make sure you get at least 1TB of internal storage but the more you have, the better.
Most laptops don’t have upgradeable storage so you need to make this decision with the long-term value in mind.
You’ll need to connect other tools for podcasting to your laptops, such as a mixing board, microphone, and external recorders. Make sure your laptop has enough ports and all the necessary types of connections including USB-C, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.
Our Recommended Podcasting Laptops
The following models are our top picks for podcasting laptops.
Apple MacBook Pro
Apple’s MacBook Pro is one of the best options for podcasting. The build quality is excellent, Apple’s service and support are the best in the industry, and the battery life is better than most other brands, especially on the new M1-based models.
You can spec the MacBook Pro with anywhere from 8GB to 64GB of RAM and up to 4TB of storage, depending on the model. Just keep in mind that if you choose a Mac, you’ll need to use macOS-based applications to produce your podcast.
- Display quality
- Battery life
- Customer support
- More expensive than the competition
- Lack of external ports
Dell XPS 13 or XPS 15
Dell’s XPS line of laptops comes in either a 13-inch or 15-inch configuration, depending on how you value screen size vs. portability. They have a 4K touchscreen display and are available with the latest Intel i7 CPUs.
The XPS series includes several USB-C ports, some of which also support the high-speed Thunderbolt standard.
- High-resolution touchscreen display
- Plenty of external expansion ports
- Long battery life, especially for a Windows laptop
- Strange placement of the built-in webcam
- No USB Type-A (USB 3) ports built-in
Microsoft Surface Pro
The Microsoft Surface Pro is a 2-in-1 computer that works with a detachable keyboard. With the keyboard attached, it works like any other laptop but if you remove the keyboard, it becomes a handheld tablet.
Unlike Apple’s iPad tablet, the Surface Pro is a fully-functional PC with an Intel i7 CPU, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of storage. It supports any software that runs on Windows 10.
- 2-in-1 design with detachable keyboard
- High-resolution display
- Touchscreen and stylus support
- Supports all Windows apps in a tablet form factor
- No Thunderbolt support on the USB-C port
- Only available with one size display (12.3”)
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 8
Lenovo’s Thinkpad series of laptops give Apple a run for its money in build quality and reliability. The Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 8 is one of the first 14-inch laptops to be mobility-certified by Intel.
It’s available with either the i5 or i7 processor and up to 1TB of internal storage. The X1 Carbon is rated up to 19.5 hours of battery life, one of the longest of any laptop.
- Excellent battery life
- High-quality display
- Built-in fingerprint reader for security
- Great keyboard with trackpad and Trackpoint mouse
- A lot of preinstalled applications
- Only available with a 14-inch display
There’s Never Been a Better Time to Start a Podcast
It might seem like the podcast market is getting saturated but there’s unlimited potential for new shows. Start with the best laptop for podcasting and a few other podcasting essentials and you’ll be on your way to a loyal podcast following.
And if you’re in the market for the best laptop for any other purposes, Laptops Champ is here to help. We do all the research to find the best laptops so you don’t have to. Be sure to get in touch with us if you’re looking for something we haven’t reviewed yet.