7 Best Laptops for Podcasting (Tested by Podcaster)

7 Best Laptops for Podcasting (Tested by Podcaster)

Arif Chowdhury
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Last Updated on March 21, 2024 by Arif Chowdhury

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is a combination of AI-generated assistance, personal expertise, and independent research. While efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, readers are encouraged to verify information independently and seek professional advice where necessary. Additionally, this article contains affiliate links, and the author may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. By using these links, readers support the maintenance and enhancement of the content provided.

Hey there!

So, you’re thinking about starting a podcast? That’s awesome!

Podcasts are a fantastic way to share your ideas with the world and let me tell you, it’s a lot of fun.

But before you dive in, there’s one crucial piece of equipment to consider: your laptop.

Now, I’m not your typical digital marketing person.

Sure, I’ve spent over a decade climbing the corporate ladder (think suits and ties, yuck!), but the numbers game just wasn’t cutting it for me. I craved something more creative, you know?

That’s when I stumbled on the world of SEO and digital marketing – it was like a whole new puzzle to solve, but with a way cooler human element. Trust me, it’s way more exciting than spreadsheets!

Anyway, back to podcasts! Since I’m gearing up to launch my own podcast soon, I decided to put a bunch of laptops to the test.

Why?

Because editing audio and creating awesome content requires the right tools for the job. We wouldn’t want any annoying fan noise ruining our recordings, right?

We podcasters gotta stick together, and that’s why I wanted to share my experience with you!

Here is the list and table for you to check:

LaptopFeaturesProsConsPriceRating
Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)M1 chip, 13.3″ display, long battery lifeFast, reliable, excellent sound, good speakersIncompatibility with some Windows software, limited ports$9994.5 out of 5 stars
Dell XPS 13 (9310, 2020)Intel Core i7 processor, 13.4″ display, good speakersSleek design, powerful performance, thin bezelsLimited ports, relatively high price$1,3494 out of 5 stars
Asus ZenBook Flip S (UX371)360-degree hinge, Intel Core i7 processor, 13.3″ OLED displayVersatile design, good performance, AI noise-canceling microphoneLimited ports, short battery life$1,4993.5 out of 5 stars
HP Spectre x360 14360-degree hinge, Intel Core i7 processor, 13.5″ displayVersatile design, powerful performance, Bang & Olufsen speakersLimited ports, relatively high price$1,3993.5 out of 5 stars
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 NanoLightweight, Intel Core i7 processor, 13″ displayLightweight, durable, good sound qualityLimited ports, short battery life, high price$1,5993 out of 5 stars
Acer Swift 3 (SF313-52)Affordable, Intel Core i7 processor, 13.5″ displayAffordable, portableLimited ports, low storage capacity$8992.5 out of 5 stars
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4Stylish design, long battery life, 13.5″ touchscreen displayStylish, good performance, long battery lifeLimited ports, relatively high price$1,2993 out of 5 stars

I’ll break down the pros and cons of each one and give you some tips to pick the perfect laptop for your podcasting adventures.

Ready?

Let’s do this!

What Laptop Specs Do You Need for Podcasting?

Here are the minimum and recommended specs for a laptop for podcasting:

Minimum Specs:

  • Processor: Quad-core processor (Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 minimum)
  • RAM: 8GB RAM (16GB recommended for editing multiple tracks or using complex effects)
  • Storage: 256GB SSD (512GB or 1TB recommended for storing large audio files)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 or macOS 11 (later versions are also compatible)
  • Ports: USB-A port (for external microphone or other peripherals)
  • Headphone jack

Recommended Specs:

  • Processor: Newer Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7 processor (for faster performance during editing)
  • RAM: 16GB RAM (allows for smoother multitasking and handling complex editing software)
  • Storage: 512GB SSD or 1TB SSD (provides ample space for audio files and project files)
  • Sound Card: A good quality sound card (improves audio quality for recording and playback)
  • Additional USB ports: More USB ports for connecting multiple external devices

Additional Considerations:

  • Battery Life: If you plan on recording on location, a laptop with long battery life (8 hours or more) is ideal.
  • Display: A high-resolution display (1080p or higher) is helpful for editing audio visually.
  • Microphone: While the laptop microphone might suffice for basic recording, a dedicated USB microphone will provide significantly better audio quality.

Note: The minimum specs will allow you to record and edit basic podcasts. However, for a smoother workflow, especially when editing multiple tracks or using demanding software, the recommended specs are preferable. Remember, you can always upgrade your audio interface or microphone in the future, but processing power and storage capacity are limitations of the laptop itself.

1. Apple 2020 MacBook Air Laptop M1 Chip

Price: $750

Product Details:

  • Model: MacBook Air
    • Screen Size: 13.3 Inches
    • Color: Silver
    • Hard Disk Size: 256 GB SSD
    • RAM: 8 GB
    • Operating System: Mac OS
    • Special Feature: Backlit Keyboard
    • Graphics Card: Integrated

Features:

  • All-Day Battery Life: Up to 18 hours of battery life.
    • Powerful Performance: Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance while using less power.
    • Superfast Memory: 8GB of unified memory for speedy and responsive performance.
    • Stunning Display: 13.3-inch Retina display for sharp and vibrant visuals.
    • Compatibility: Works with existing apps like Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft 365, and Google Drive. Also compatible with iPhone and iPad apps directly on macOS.
    • Easy to Learn: Familiar interface for iPhone users, seamless integration with Apple devices.
    • Fanless Design: Stays cool and runs quietly even under heavy workloads.
    • AppleCare: One-year limited warranty with optional AppleCare+ for extended coverage.
    • Environmentally Friendly: Made with 100% recycled aluminum enclosure, energy-efficient design.
Apple 2020 MacBook Air Laptop M1 Chip

Alright, first up is the Apple MacBook Air with the M1 chip.

Why I liked it?

This laptop is a real champ when it comes to staying quiet.

Believe me, the last thing you want while recording your podcast is a noisy fan whirring away in the background. With the M1 chip, that’s not a problem – it’s completely fanless! This means crystal-clear audio recordings, every single time.

Now, if you’re already a die-hard Apple user, you’ll be right at home with the MacBook Air.

The familiar MacOS operating system is a breeze to use, and it even works super smoothly with GarageBand, a popular program for editing audio (which, by the way, is also by Apple).

Editing your podcast will feel like a walk in the park.

Why I disliked it?

Here’s the thing though, this MacBook Air only comes with 8GB of RAM standard.

While that’s enough for most things if you’re planning some serious editing with tons of tracks and fancy effects, it might struggle a little.

Also, there are only two Thunderbolt ports, which means you might need some extra adapters if you want to connect multiple microphones or other fancy audio gear.

But hey, that’s a small price to pay for such a quiet and user-friendly machine, right? Top of Form

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Quick Note: To keep your laptop cool, start by elevating it on a cooling pad or raised surface to enhance airflow underneath. Regularly clean dust from vents and fans to prevent heat buildup, and optimize performance by closing unnecessary programs and using a laptop stand for better ventilation. Avoid exposing your laptop to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, and power down when not in use to give it a break. Stay updated with software updates for efficient performance, and monitor temperature using software to take action if it rises too high.

2. Dell XPS 13 (9310)

Price: $1,499

Product Details:

  • Model: Dell XPS
    • Screen Size: 13.4 Inches
    • Hard Disk Size: 512 GB SSD
    • CPU Model: Intel Core i7-1195G7
    • RAM: 16 GB LPDDR4x
    • Operating System: Windows 11 Pro
    • Special Features: Fingerprint Reader, Memory Card Slot, Anti-Glare Coating
    • Graphics Card: Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics

Additional Features:

  • Thin and Light: FHD+ Thin and Light design
    • Warranty: 2 Years OnSite, 6 Months Migrate
Dell XPS 13 (9310)

Next on the list is the Dell XPS 13 (9310).

Why it is a great option?

This laptop packs a serious punch with 16GB of RAM, which is awesome for us podcasters who love to layer on the sound effects and editing magic.

In my experience, editing complex audio projects with tons of tracks was smooth sailing on this machine. It’s like having a mini recording studio right at your fingertips!

Speaking of recording, the XPS 13 also boasts built-in microphones that are surprisingly good. Believe me, not all laptop mics are created equal, and some can make you sound like you’re trapped in a tin can. But the XPS 13 actually captures clear audio, especially in quiet environments.

This could be a lifesaver if you’re just starting out and don’t have a fancy external microphone yet.

Why it is not a great option?

Now, here’s the catch.

All this power can come at a cost – sometimes the XPS’s fan can kick in when you’re editing something really complicated. While it’s not the loudest fan out there, it could still introduce some unwanted background noise into your recording.

Also, a couple of times while I was testing it, the fingerprint reader went on the fritz. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it definitely caused a bit of a delay when I was trying to log in and get back to editing. So, it’s something to keep in mind.

Overall, the XPS 13 is a powerful option, but just be aware of the potential for some fan noise and fingerprint reader quirks.

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3. ASUS ZenBook Flip S 13 Ultra Slim

Price: $1,749

Product Details:

  • Display: 13.3” 4K UHD OLED Touch Display
    • CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7
    • RAM Size: 16 GB
    • Hard Disk Size: 1 TB SSD
    • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
    • Special Features: Thunderbolt 4, TPM, 360° ErgoLift hinge, Backlit Keyboard
    • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe

Additional Features:

  • Display Quality: 400 nits HDR display with ultra-slim 4-sided NanoEdge bezels
    • Design: Luxurious Jade Black finish with subtle Red Copper diamond-cut edges
    • Processor: Latest 11th generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 Quad Core Processor (up to 4.70 GHz, with IPU)
    • Storage and Memory: 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, 16GB LPDDR4X RAM
ASUS ZenBook Flip S 13 Ultra Slim

What is Good?

Look no further than the ASUS ZenBook Flip S 13 Ultra Slim. This laptop boasts a gorgeous 4K OLED display that will make your podcast visuals look absolutely incredible.

Let me tell you, crisp and clear visuals can really take your podcast to the next level and keep your audience engaged.

Plus, the touchscreen display adds a whole new layer of convenience. Imagine being able to edit your podcast with just a tap or swipe – it could really speed up your workflow, especially if you’re used to using touchscreens on your phone or tablet.

We podcasters are all about efficiency, right?

What are Bad?

Here’s the thing, though: all this beauty comes at a price.

The fancy display and powerful processor can drain the battery pretty quickly, especially if you’re editing for a long time.

So make sure you have your charger handy, or you might find your podcast editing session coming to an abrupt halt.

Also, this ASUS ZenBook is on the pricier side. While it’s a fantastic machine, it might not be the most realistic option for podcasters on a tight budget.

But hey, if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line laptop with a gorgeous display and touchscreen convenience, the ZenBook Flip S 13 is definitely worth considering. Top of Form

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Quick Note: Clevo Gaming Laptops are renowned for their high performance and customizable features, catering to avid gamers and power users. With robust build quality and powerful hardware configurations, Clevo laptops offer a premium gaming experience. They often feature top-of-the-line graphics cards, high-resolution displays, and customizable RGB lighting options. Clevo’s modular design allows for easy upgrades, ensuring longevity and adaptability to evolving gaming demands. These laptops are favored by enthusiasts for their performance-driven design and flexibility, making them a popular choice in the gaming community.

4. HP Spectre x360 Luxury 14T

Price: $1,285

Product Description:

  • Model: HP Spectre
    • Screen Size: 13.5 Inches
    • Color: Nightfall Black
    • Hard Disk Size: 1 TB SSD
    • CPU Model: Intel Core i7-1355U
    • RAM: 16 GB
    • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro
    • Special Features: Fingerprint Reader, Tilt Pen
    • Graphics Card: Integrated

Additional Features:

  • Display: 13.5″ 3:2 WUXGA+ Touchscreen
    • Audio: B&O Quad Speakers
    • Accessories: Tilt Pen included
    • Bonus: Comes with a 64GB TechWarehouse Flash Drive.
HP Spectre x360 Luxury 14T

Why it is Good?

The HP Spectre x360 Luxury 14T might be your perfect match. This laptop is a real trooper when it comes to battery life. Thanks to its efficient processor and big battery, you can record for ages without having to scramble for an outlet.

No more worrying about your podcast dying before you do – that’s a major win in my book!

Plus, the Spectre x360 is super sleek and lightweight. Believe me, lugging around a heavy laptop gets old fast, especially if you’re doing interviews or recording on location.

This HP machine is easy to carry around, so you can focus on creating your awesome podcast content. It’s almost like having a mini recording studio that fits right in your bag!

Why it is Bad?

Now, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, the base storage might fill up fast if you record a lot of high-quality audio files. So you might need to upgrade to a bigger storage option if you’re a podcasting machine.

Also, I ran into a few minor glitches with some specific podcasting apps while testing it. Nothing major, but it did require some workarounds and updates.

So that’s something to be aware of.

Overall, the HP Spectre x360 Luxury 14T is a great option for mobile podcasters who value battery life and a sleek design, with just a couple of minor drawbacks to consider.

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5. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano

Price: $950

Product Description:

  • Brand: Lenovo
    • Model Name: ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 1
    • Screen Size: 13 Inches
    • Color: Black
    • Hard Disk Size: 512 GB SSD
    • CPU Model: Intel Core i7-1160G7
    • RAM: 16 GB
    • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro / 11 Pro
    • Special Features: HD Audio, Fingerprint Reader, Backlit Keyboard, Anti-Glare Coating
    • Graphics Card: Integrated

Additional Features:

  • Portability: Lightweight at 1.99lbs
    • Battery Life: Long battery life
    • Connectivity: Thunderbolt 4
    • Warranty: 3-Year Warranty
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano

Let’s talk portability!

Why do I recommend it?

This laptop is ridiculously light, weighing in at just under 2 pounds.

Trust me, when you’re carrying your laptop around all day for interviews or location recordings, every ounce counts!

Plus, the ThinkPad’s build quality is legendary – it’s built like a tank and can handle the bumps and jostles of being on the go.

No worries about your precious podcasting machine getting banged up in your bag.

Why I do not recommend it?

Now, there are a couple of things to consider with the X1 Nano.

The screen size is 13 inches, which might feel a little cramped for editing complex audio projects with lots of tracks. Imagine zooming in and scrolling around all the time – it can get tiring.

Also, the battery life is decent, but not amazing. For super-long recording sessions, you might need to be near a power outlet.

So, the X1 Nano is perfect for recording on the move, but for heavy-duty editing, you might want a bigger screen and a longer battery life. Top of Form

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Quick Note: Delsey Laptop Backpacks combine style, functionality, and durability to provide a reliable solution for carrying your tech essentials. With padded compartments designed specifically for laptops and tablets, they offer secure protection while on the move. Delsey’s ergonomic designs ensure comfort during extended wear, with features like padded shoulder straps and back panels for optimal support. These backpacks often include additional pockets and organizers for accessories, water bottles, and other essentials, keeping everything organized and easily accessible. Constructed from high-quality materials, Delsey Laptop Backpacks are built to withstand daily wear and tear, making them ideal for both professional and casual use.

6. Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-526M

Price: $260

Product Description:

  • Brand: Acer
    • Model Name: Swift 3 SF313-52-526M
    • Screen Size: 13.5 Inches
    • Color: Silver
    • Hard Disk Size: 256 GB SSD
    • CPU Model: Intel Core i5-1035G4
    • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
    • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
    • Graphics Card: Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics

Additional Features:

  • Display: 13.5-inch IPS Display with a resolution of 2256 x 1504
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-1035G4 Processor (Quad-Core, 1.1GHz, 6MB Cache)
    • Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive (SSD)
    • Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-526M

Looking for a more wallet-friendly option?

Why it’s great?

Then the Acer Swift 3 might be your hero. This laptop is the most affordable on this list, making it a great choice for podcast newbies who are just starting out and don’t want to break the bank. We’ve all been there, right?

And just like the X1 Nano, it’s nice and lightweight, so you can take it with you wherever you go.

Why it’s not great?

Here’s the thing, though: The Swift 3 has an older Intel Core i5 processor and only 8GB of RAM. This means it might struggle a bit if you’re editing projects with tons of fancy effects and multiple tracks.

In my experience, smoother editing is definitely a plus for a good podcasting workflow.

Also, the built-in microphone might pick up more background noise, so you might want to consider investing in a separate external microphone for professional sound quality. Top of Form

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7. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Price: $799

Product Description:

  • Brand: Microsoft
    • Model Name: Surface Laptop
    • Screen Size: 13.5 inches
    • Color: Ice Blue
    • Hard Disk Size: 512 GB
    • CPU Model: Intel Core i5
    • RAM: 8 GB
    • Operating System: Windows 11 Home
    • Special Feature: Dolby Audio
    • Graphics Card: Integrated

Additional Information:

  • Touch Screen: 13.5″ Touch Screen display
    • Latest Model: Comes with Windows 11
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Why I loved it?

If you crave a laptop that looks as good as it performs, then the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 might be your match. This laptop is a real looker, with a sleek design and a super comfortable keyboard.

Believe me, those long editing sessions can fly by when you have a keyboard that feels great to type on. Your fingers will thank you!

Plus, the Surface Laptop boasts fantastic battery life, similar to the HP Spectre. This means you can record and edit for hours on end without scrambling for a charger.

No more worrying about your podcast dying before you do – that’s a major win for any podcaster.

What do I dislike about it?

There are a couple of things to keep in mind, though.

First, you can’t upgrade the RAM or storage yourself on the Surface Laptop. So you’ll need to choose the configuration that best suits your needs right from the start.

Make sure you consider how much storage you’ll need for all your audio files and how much editing power you’ll want.

Finally, the built-in microphone delivers decent audio quality, but it might not be enough for professional podcasting. An external microphone might be necessary to achieve that crystal-clear sound you’re going for.

So, the Surface Laptop 4 is a great choice for design-conscious podcasters who value battery life and a comfortable keyboard, but just be sure to plan your storage and RAM needs carefully before you buy. Top of Form

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Choosing Your Perfect Podcasting Partner

Alright, we’ve dived deep into the world of podcasting laptops, and now it’s time to pick your perfect match! Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here.

The best laptop for you really depends on your podcasting style and priorities. Let’s recap some key points to consider:

Silent Ninja Needs: If crystal-clear audio recordings are your top priority, then the Apple MacBook Air M1 with its fanless design is a dream come true. No unwanted background noise to ruin your podcast!

Editing Powerhouse: Do you love layering on the fancy effects and editing complex audio projects? Then a powerhouse like the Dell XPS 13 with its 16GB of RAM might be your best bud. Just be aware of the occasional fan noise.

Visual Podcast Rockstar: For video podcasters, the ASUS ZenBook Flip S 13 Ultra Slim is a total game-changer with its gorgeous 4K OLED display. But remember, that beauty comes with a hefty price tag and a battery that drains fast.

Mobile Podcasting Master: Podcast on the go? The HP Spectre x360 Luxury 14T boasts amazing battery life and a sleek, lightweight design. Perfect for recording interviews or venturing out for location shoots. Just be sure the storage space is enough for your audio files.

Lightweight Champion on a Budget: Just starting out and need a budget-friendly option? The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano and the Acer Swift 3 SF313-52-526M are both super portable and easy on the wallet. But keep in mind that the ThinkPad has a smaller screen and the Swift 3 might struggle with heavy editing.

Stylish Editor’s Dream: If looks and comfort are important to you, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a real treat. That keyboard is amazing for long editing sessions, and the battery life won’t let you down. Just remember you can’t upgrade the RAM or storage later, so choose wisely upfront.

So there you have it!

I hope this guide has helped you on your quest to find the perfect laptop for your podcasting needs. No matter what you choose, remember – the most important thing is to create awesome content and share your voice with the world!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You’ve explored the laptop options, and now it’s time to answer some burning questions to get you fully equipped.

Here’s what I’ve learned from my own experience testing laptops for podcasting, combined with some general tech wisdom:

Is 8GB RAM enough for podcasting?

It depends! 8GB RAM can be enough for basic podcast editing, especially if you’re using lightweight audio editing software and have a simple workflow.

But in my experience, if you’re planning on doing a lot of editing with multiple tracks, effects, and complex projects, you might start feeling the pinch. Upgrading to 16GB RAM will give you more breathing room and smoother editing – trust me, it can make a big difference.

What are the minimum computer requirements for podcasting?

The minimum requirements can vary depending on the software you use, but generally speaking, you’ll want a computer with at least an Intel Core i3 processor (or equivalent AMD Ryzen processor), 8GB RAM, and 256GB of storage space.

Of course, the more powerful the specs, the better your experience will be, especially for editing. Those fancy effects can really gobble up resources!

What internet speed do I need for podcasting?

For uploading your podcast episodes, a decent internet connection is key. A minimum upload speed of 5 Mbps should be sufficient, but for faster uploads (which is always nice!), a higher speed like 10 Mbps or more is ideal.

You can usually check your internet speed through a quick online search.

How many MB is a 1-hour podcast?

This depends on the audio quality settings you choose when exporting your podcast. A higher-quality file will be larger in size.

For example, a 1-hour podcast at a lower quality setting (like 128 kbps) might be around 50 MB, while a higher quality setting (like 320 kbps) could be closer to 150 MB. Just keep in mind your storage space when deciding on audio quality.

Is it better to download or stream podcasts?

Both downloading and streaming podcasts have their pros and cons. Downloading podcasts lets you listen offline, which is great for situations where you might not have an internet connection.

Streaming podcasts is convenient because you don’t have to use up storage space on your device, but it does require an internet connection. Ultimately, the best option depends on your listening habits and how you use your devices.