Laptops

7 Best Laptops For Podcasting: Reviews For Recording & Editing

Podcasting is on the rise. More people listen to podcasts now than they did just a couple of years ago. Like blogs and websites, you can find a podcast on just about any topic. If you are looking to start your own podcast, you will need the right equipment.

The first thing you will need is a decent laptop to handle the recording, editing, formatting, and publishing of the podcast. This article looks at the best laptops for podcasting, reviewed, compared, and displayed for your reference.

Image

Model

CPU

RAM

Screen Size

USB Ports

Battery Life

Check Price

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 128GB...

8th Gen Intel Core i5

8GB

13.3 Inches

2 USB-C

12 Hours

Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop, 15.6' Full HD, 8th...

8th Gen Intel Core i5

8GB

15.6 Inches

4 USB

15 Hours

Asus TUF FX505DT Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 120Hz...

AMD Ryzen 5

8GB

15.6 Inches

3 USB

5 Hours

Microsoft  Surface Pro 6 (Intel Core i5, 8GB...

8th Gen Intel Core i5

8GB

12.3 Inches

1 USB

13.5 Hours

Lenovo - Yoga 730 2-in-1 15.6' Touch-Screen...

8th Gen Intel Core i5

12GB

15.6 Inches

3 USB

4 Hours

Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop 2019: Intel Core...

9th Gen Intel Core i7

16GB

15.6 Inches

4 USB

6 Hours

HP Pavilion 13-inch Light and Thin Laptop...

8th Gen Intel Core i5

8GB

13.3 Inches

3 USB

11 Hours


Why A Quality Laptop For Podcasting Can Make Big Difference

Audio processing, such as podcasting, video blogging, or other methods, can be CPU intensive. You must have the right set up to meet your needs. While the most focus for a new podcast comes on the microphones and software, the real business is in the computer you are using to record, edit, and upload your podcast.

Without the right laptop using the right hardware, your recordings can skip, get jumpy, or even stop recording. While there are some aspects to the laptop you can overlook, or even downgrade to save money, the important parts need to be more than capable.


Laptop Specifications For Podcasting: Buyers Guide

What is it you should look for when comparing specs for podcasting with your laptop? Below is a brief outline of what you should have or aim for when buying a new laptop with podcasting in mind.

Laptop Specs

Talking mainly about the hardware inside the laptop, here is what you need.

CPU/Processor

The processor is an integral part of the overall aspect of your project. The CPU will be responsible for allocating RAM and other resources to the software and programs, the microphone, and other software and peripherals. You should aim for at least an 8th generation Intel Core i-series (5, 7, 9) or the AMD equivalent.

Clock speed isn’t going to be as important as it is for a gaming matching, but a minimum CPU clock speed of 3.0GHz is recommended.

Memory/RAM

Without RAM, you have a pretty brick sitting on your lap. For podcasting and audio recording software, it is recommended that your machine have at least 16GB to power the machine and get the most out of your recording devices. You can opt for 32GB, but you may be spending money on parts that aren’t used often.

Likewise, if you downgrade to 8GB, the machine will still work fine, but you may notice lags when running your software and equipment.

Storage Drives

When it comes to storage, you should look for a solid state drive (SSD) as these are much faster than the HDD counterpart. You can find SSD in all capacities from 128GB to 2TB.

Of course, the more space you get initially, the more you will pay. Don’t forget that you can get a second hard drive or even an external drive later, usually at a lower price.

Graphics Card

The graphics card is one of the areas you can save a little bit of money. Since most of your podcasting will be done through audio channels, you don’t need to go all out and get the best of the best when it comes to graphics.

Integrated GPUs like the Intel Iris still produce 1080p HD and should be good enough for your needs. If you want a dedicated GPU, look for the Nvidia GTX 1050 or 1060. They will cost a little more, but they will perform well enough to last without upgrades for several years.

Operating System

The operating system (OS) you choose to go with should be comfortable for you, familiar, and have the required recording and editing devices you need. The three major brands all do podcast software well enough.

Mac OS X has a lot of podcast, music recording and editing software and really outshines both Windows and Linux. However, just because the software is good, doesn't mean you have to leave your comfort zone.

There are plenty of reliable and excellent programs for Windows and Linux systems alike, and many of them are compatible will all three OSes.

Connectivity Quality

Connectivity is going to be important. If your podcast does interviews, you will need the connectivity while recording and using online sites or VOIP software such as Skype.

The wireless connection should be at a minimum of the 801.1 AC standard. This will give you a wider range from the router and a more reliable signal when you are within range.

Portability

The laptop needs to be lightweight and easily portable. Whether you put the laptop in a backpack or a laptop case, you need to be able to pick up and go at a moment's notice. You never know when that next sound bite will come up, and you should make sure you are ready to go at all times.

Most modern laptops try to keep their weight at or below 5 pounds, but anything less is always a bonus.

Battery Reliability

The battery should be able to last all day. At a minimum, look for a battery with a life expectancy of 7 hours. If you have a battery that doesn’t last as long as this, you can find a laptop that offers a quick charge feature.

Great Audio Speakers

It is no secret that you need exceptional audio from your laptop for your podcast projects. Recording, editing, and playback are all essential aspects of the process, and you need crystal clear audio for the entire process.

Most laptops will use integrated audio, but this doesn’t mean that it is sub-par. Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos are commonly found in modern laptops and work incredibly well. Make sure your sound card and speakers are on par with Dolby.

Low Latency

You will need to do some tweaking on most laptops you purchase. Latency problems can become a major headache if your system isn’t optimized for low latency, or the time it takes for the sound to be processed.

Usually, the issue is the way the OS handles the drivers for your audio inputs and sound card. There are several settings you can optimize, depending on your controllers and system. A simple search for your Operating System + audio optimization will have you fixed right up.

DAW Requirements Compatibility

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is the system and software as a whole that is used to record, process, edit, and publish audio. The requirements for DAW are pretty low and include 15GB free storage space, 8GB RAM, and internet connection.

All of the laptops on this list far exceed these requirements, so as long as you stick to this list, you will be ready to turn your laptop into a DAW.

Price & Warranty

Obviously, you will want to get the best deal possible. However, you want to avoid making sacrifices to keep prices down. While there are some aspects where you can make cuts (You don't need a 4K GPU, for example), other areas need to be top-tier. You will pay for these features.

However, there is no reason you need to break the bank to get a great laptop for podcasting. As you will see below, several choices meet all of your needs, including the wallet.


7 Best Laptops For Podcasting Reviewed

Here we offer you the 7 best laptops for podcasting, reviewed, rated, and compared just for you. Have a look and find your next power podcast machine right here.

1. Apple MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 128GB...
  • Stunning 13.3-Inch Retina Display with True...
  • Touch ID
  • Dual-core 8th-Generation Intel Core i5...
  • Intel UHD Graphics 617

Our Top Pick!

CPU

8th Gen Intel Core i5

RAM

8GB

Screen Size

13.3 Inches

USB Ports

2 USB-C

Battery Life

12 Hours

Warranty

1-year, 3-years with Apple Care + Bundle

One of the most alluring aspects of the Mac family of laptops is that they are already set up for audio and entertainment. This makes it easy for them to be used for podcasting. The Apple MacBook Air is our top pick and the best laptop for podcasting.

The 13-inch display isn’t as large as some of the others on this list, but it packs a punch with Apple’s True Tone and touch bar interactions as well as the bright and vivid display. You can also opt to upgrade the SSD to the 256GB capacity, which is recommended.

Other than that, you won’t need to touch much. You can open the laptop, turn it on, install Garageband, and start recording instantly. Also, because it is a Mac, you can record using your iPhone and transfer the files seamlessly.

What's even better is if you don't want to buy an external microphone right away, the Air comes with a 3-microphone array to pick up all the sounds with better clarity. The stereo sound isn’t surround, though, but it does have a wide-angle output for clearer music and voice.

If you are looking for more power, a bigger display or better input and output for video editing as well as audio, the Apple MacBook Pro is the next step up and well worth checking out. It doubles all of the specs without taking any hits in the negative column.

Good
  • Extremely lightweight
  • 12-hour all-day battery life
  • Fast and responsive SSD
  • 3-microphone for added clarity
  • HD camera built-in
Bad
  • Not the best on RAM

2. Acer Aspire E 15

Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD, 8th...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor...
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen...
  • 8GB Dual Channel Memory & 256GB SSD
  • Up to 15-hours of battery life.Adapter: 65 W

Best Laptop For Podcast Editing

CPU

8th Gen Intel Core i5

RAM

8GB

Screen Size

15.6 Inches

USB Ports

4 USB

Battery Life

15 Hours

Warranty

1-year Limited Warranty

Editing your podcast may just be the most tedious aspect of the entire process. That process is made easier with the Acer Aspire E 15, the best laptop for podcast editing. With a full 15.6-inch display and Nvidia GeForce MX150 video card, you won’t have any problems finding the high tones to edit out or where your voice goes flat.

With 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD hard drive, you have enough power to work all day. However, many find these two specs to be on the low side. Luckily, Acer makes it easy for you to swap. With a single panel on the bottom, you have 4-screw access to the hard drive and RAM.

The laptop itself is durable, rugged, and designed to go all day. With a 15-hour battery life, you won't miss a beat or interview. A lot will complain that the 15-hours is a standby mode only, but while that is true, you can get a full 11-hours of video playback time from a single charge, which should be more than enough to edit your next podcast episode.

You will need to purchase a microphone and invest in good editing software, but the laptop can push it, no matter the brand or demand. With the core i5 processor at clock speeds up to 3.2GHz, you can edit, record, and publish your podcast without ever experiencing a bit of lag.

Good
  • Ultra-fast boot times
  • Multitasking capabilities
  • Easily upgraded SSD or RAM
Bad
  • Lower on RAM than recommended

3. Asus TUF FX505DT

Asus TUF FX505DT Gaming Laptop, 15.6” 120Hz...
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB graphics (base:...
  • Quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 r5-3550h processor
  • 15.6” 120Hz full HD (1920x1080) IPS-type...
  • 256GB NVMe SSD | 8GB DDR4 RAM | Windows 10...

Best Cheap Laptop For Podcasting (Budget Option)

CPU

AMD Ryzen 5

RAM

8GB

Screen Size

15.6 Inches

USB Ports

3 USB

Battery Life

5 Hours

Warranty

1-year Limited Warranty

Asus makes a gaming laptop that doesn't quite sit well with the gamers. Not because it is a bad laptop, but because of the battery life while extreme gaming. However, for a podcaster, this becomes the best cheap laptop for podcasting.

As long as you can overlook the battery life problem (you will get about 4 to 5 hours from a full charge not running many applications), you will have a responsive and sleek laptop for your work.

The laptop ships with 8GB of RAM and the GTX 1650 GPU. If you want additional RAM, you can buy a single 8GB stick and be happy for years to come. The system also includes the DTS surround sound audio for an intense and immersive sound experience.

What makes this guy really stand out, though, is that for the price, the parts inside are only 1 season old, and other brands are charging 150% more than Asus. While you can go for a better option by upgrading to the Ryzen 7 CPU or opting for the GTX 1660 model, there isn't a real need, especially for podcast recording, editing, and publishing.

The lightweight model will be able to follow you to the coffee shop for that interview and your next episode can be uploaded before you finish that double latte. Not too shabby for an often overlooked gaming model.

Good
  • Excellent surround sound audio
  • Upgrade every part if needed
  • Responsive and adaptive keyboard
Bad
  • Battery life is bad

4. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

On Sale Today
Microsoft  Surface Pro 6 (Intel Core i5, 8GB...
  • A best in class laptop with the versatility...
  • More power now with the new 8th Generation...
  • Ultra slim and light, starting at just 1.7...
  • All day battery life, with upto 13.5 hours of...

Value For Money Model (Affordable Price Point)

CPU

8th Gen Intel Core i5

RAM

8GB

Screen Size

12.3 Inches

USB Ports

1 USB

Battery Life

13.5 Hours

Warranty

12-Month Warranty

The Microsoft Surface tablets and laptops have been a go-to model for years for their Superior speeds and graphics capabilities. Now, you can snag a Microsoft Surface Pro 6 for an incredible price and have one of the best value for the money model hybrids on the market.

The screen is a little small, but at under 2 pounds and a battery life that lasts nearly 14 hours, there are some things worth overlooking. The 8th gen i5 CPU will power this little guy all day and make you look like a hero with responsive program launches and a speed kick that prevents lag or distortion.

Finding the right editing software isn’t tough either, as the Surface Pro 6 uses Windows 10, which will allow you to install Audacity, VLC or Movie Studio without any issues. The 128GB SSD may give you a little pause, which is to be expected.

However, with the price of external hard drives today, it isn’t going to take away from the overall value of the machine to do a little upgrading. When you go to purchase your microphone and system equipment, adding in a carrying case and the Microsoft pen as well will make the entire experience well worth it.

Good
  • Affordable
  • Ultra-fast boot and load times
  • Crystal clear resolution and sound
Bad
  • Low RAM and Storage
  • Not as easily upgraded

5. Lenovo Yoga 730

Lenovo - Yoga 730 2-in-1 15.6" Touch-Screen...
  • 15.6" Full HD 10-point multitouch screen
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U mobile processor
  • 256GB Solid State Drive (PCI-e)
  • 12GB system memory for full-power...

Best Laptop For Recording Podcasts

CPU

8th Gen Intel Core i5

RAM

12GB

Screen Size

15.6 Inches

USB Ports

3 USB

Battery Life

4 Hours

Warranty

1-Year Limited Warranty

The Lenovo Yoga 730 is a 2-in-1 full-sized laptop with a screen size of 15.6 inches and comes with everything you need to record that perfect podcast. It isn't designed as a DAW, but with a few program installs and an external microphone, you won't know the difference.

The best laptop for recording podcasts happens to be a hybrid laptop and tablet in one. The advantage here is that you can use the touch screen for your editing controls and the full keyboard for ID3 tags and publisher's notes.

The one downside to this machine is that the battery life is sub-par. You won’t be going out to the beach to record and edit all day. The 4-hour life is hopeful at best, and you are better geared at sticking close to a power supply outlet.

Beyond that, which really isn't much of an issue for podcasting as it is done indoors, for the most part, you have a solid machine that is more than capable in every other department.

With a 256GB SSD and 12GB of RAM pushing the Intel i5 CPU, there won’t be a need for hardware upgrades any time soon. More speed than you can use for a simple podcast, and enough to push you into video editing if you ever decide to try that, the Yoga 730 is a dream come true.

Also Recommended: Best Lenovo Laptops for Students

Good
  • Dual array microphone built-in
  • Ultra-fast login and software start-up
  • No need for upgrades
Bad
  • Horrible battery life

6. Razer Blade 15

Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop 2019: Intel Core...
  • Perfect display for work or play: An...
  • Precision-crafted powerhouse: Built for...
  • Futureproof design: Supports SSD/HDD and...
  • Biometric security: Supports Windows Hello...

Best Gaming Laptop For Podcasts And Music Production

CPU

9th Gen Intel Core i7

RAM

16GB

Screen Size

15.6 Inches

USB Ports

4 USB

Battery Life

6 Hours

Warranty

1-year Limited Warranty

If you like gaming, or like the setup a gaming rig offers, then the best gaming laptop for podcasts and music production) is the Razer Blade 15. This laptop has it all and room to spare.

Let’s start with the RAM and CPU. With the 9th generation Intel i7, you get 8 cores and incredible clock speeds (up to 5GHz overclocked)  being pushed by 16GB of RAM. You can also opt to upgrade to 32GB of RAM if that suits your needs, but for most podcasting software that is simply overkill.

You also get one of the best mid-tier graphics cards on the market with the GeForce 1660Ti, pushing the huge 15.6-inch display to the max. You won’t miss a beat, track or skip when viewing this machine.

The 4 USB slots allow you to use USB 3.0 or 3.1 (type A and type C) for expansion, or other peripherals. There are some reports of screen edge bleed, but unless you are working in a near-dark environment with an almost sold black screen, you will hardly notice.

While it is worth pointing out, it is also worth noting that unless you want to use this to play intensive MMORPGs, the screen bleed is negligible. You also should be aware that the 6-hour battery life is a humble estimate, and you are more likely to get closer to 4 hours when using your editing software and recording devices.

You won't need to upgrade for a while, either. With a 256GB SSD for booting and a full 1TB HDD for storage, you will have all of your needed podcast files and programs ready and waiting to load. Overall, this is an ideal machine for many facets of computing, podcasts being one of them.

Also Recommended: Best Laptops for Music Production

Good
  • Huge storage (1TB + 256GB SSD)
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Easily upgraded
  • Biometric security features built-in
Bad
  • Screen has some light bleed
  • Battery life may not be good enough

7. HP Pavilion 4WJ36UA#ABA

HP Pavilion 13-inch Light and Thin Laptop...
  • MULTITASKING PERFORMANCE IN AN ULTRA-PORTABLE...
  • DISPLAY: 13.3-inch diagonal FHD IPS...
  • MEMORY: 8 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (not upgradable)
  • SOLID STATE DRIVE: 256 GB PCIe(R) NVMe(TM)...

Best Portable Model For Podcasting

CPU

8th Gen Intel Core i5

RAM

8GB

Screen Size

13.3 Inches

USB Ports

3 USB

Battery Life

11 Hours

Warranty

1-Year Warranty

HP is known for its laptops and desktop computers with longevity and great customer support. Now they bring you the thinnest, lightest Pavilion laptop yet. Weighing just 2.8 pounds, this is the best portable model for podcasting available.

The 8th gen i5 processors play well with the 256GB SSD for ultra-fast boot and loading performance. The 8GB RAM is sufficient for all applications when podcasting, and even at full capacity, the battery will last you all day, at least 8 hours running full and up to 11 with less going on.

The 13.3-inch screen size is a deterrent for some, but the low bezel makes the most of the available screen and still offers you 1080p FHD for dynamic visuals. You can also make use of the multiple ports to add a second screen or monitor, and with the USB 3.0 ports, you can connect any device with incredible transfer speeds.

HP is usually good at offering upgraded PCs and laptops. However, this model is not one of them. With an inverted motherboard, the hardware works better but is more difficult to access and upgrade. Should you decide you need more RAM, you can expect an all-day process.

As it sits, though, for the money and the hardware profile that is the default for the machine, you won't need to worry about upgrading for a while. Charge it up, take it with you and record that podcast from your favorite location.

Good
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Long battery life with quick-charge
  • Weighs less than 3 pounds
Bad
  • Small screen
  • Not as easy to upgrade as others

Essential Podcasting Software Programs

There is podcast software, and then there is podcast software. The trick is to find the software that will give you everything you need in as small a package as possible. There are so many to choose from that it can be a daunting task to pick the right one.

Luckily, most of the great applications for beginners (and even pros) are free. At a minimum, they will come with a free trial, so you can try it out before you buy to make sure it works for you.

The minimum specs are about the same for the desktop versions of the programs. In general, you will need a minimum of 15GB free storage space for the install and save files. You will also need at least 8GB RAM (16GB in some cases) and, of course, a sound and audio card.

Depending on your Operating System, the program choice will vary slightly. For example, Audacity is one of the biggest names in audio recording and editing and is open source. It is also compliant for all operating systems, including Mac and Linux.

When it comes to Mac systems, the best software is also free. Garageband is an all-inclusive audio recording studio. It has a fairly user-friendly interface, too, which makes it ideal for learning on.

For Windows, the best packages aren’t free. While Audacity will handle most of what you need, there are paid programs that are better. Vegas Movie Studio Pro is actually quite capable of handling podcasts and will help you get the perfect edit in no time. Even better if you plan to do video podcasts, too.

For the Linux side, Audacity, again, is the go-to program, though relative newcomer Ardour is making big waves and is more inclusive than Audacity. It compares to Garageband on a lot of levels. It is also available for Windows and Mac.


How To Podcast: Tips & Tricks For Success

There isn’t a magic formula for creating a successful podcast. The main trick is to pick a topic you are passionate about. You don’t want to start a podcast and 10 episodes in run out of things to talk about.

Once you have your niche, you will want to create buzz for it. An email sign up or a small website is ideal. You can post links to the site where interested persons can sign up for email notifications or even a newsletter!

After you have recorded and edited 3 to 5 episodes, you can have a grand opening party on the site, a live listen to the first episode or even a giveaway. Publishing regularly, engaging your audience, and being passionate about your topic will have new listeners downloading your podcast episodes as fast as you can publish them.

For more details, check out this complete tutorial from Podcast guru Pat Flynn.


Other Podcasting Gear & Equipment

Aside from the laptop and the software, you really need only a few things for a great podcast. You will need a dedicated microphone. Built-in mics aren't going to have the range and clarity you need to make a quality podcast.

One of the best microphones is the Blue Yeti. Truly one of the greats at an affordable price for most budgets, you won’t need mixers or amplifiers with this mic, saving you even more money.

You also need a good set of headphones, recording and playback are crucial aspects of the process, and being able to focus on the sounds in the podcast is important. OneOdio has a great set of over-the-ear headphones for mixing in studio quality.

Finally, you may want to invest in a microphone boom arm. This will allow you to host a live interview and keep the microphone where you need it. They also come with wind and sound guards to help minimize distracting ambient sounds or vibrations.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How can I make podcasts on my laptop for free?

To make a podcast for free, you need a laptop and free software, such as Audacity. You need to record the podcast and add the ID3 tags and publish the podcast. There are free hosting providers who do a decent job, but a lot of them will only allow for certain lengths of audio files, or will embed ads into your podcast.

While a completely free podcast is possible, it is worth it to spend a little for proper hosting such as that from LibSyn. The actual recording and editing can be done with open-source software, though, saving you a lot of money.

Are gaming laptops also good for podcasting?

Gaming laptops are actually a great option for podcasting. While they focus a lot on the graphics, which can be generally ignored for podcasting, the hardware specs on a gaming rig will far exceed those required by any podcasting software, and many have premium audio cards for great sound, too.

Which is better for podcasting, laptops or desktops?

This is a debate that only you can answer. Neither is superior in terms of performance, as each one can be geared to meet the minimum or recommended requirements.

However, with a laptop, you can go anywhere you need to do your recording. If you have an interview, for example, you can take the laptop to a public place instead of inviting a stranger into your home.

How much does it cost to start podcasting?

The initial investment will be for the laptop, microphone, headphones, and other equipment you may want or need. You should also look to invest in podcast hosting. Podbean, LibSyn, and others are quite affordable.

Beyond that, a podcast is a relatively cheap pastime. After the initial purchase of the machine and equipment, you are looking to spend about $15 to $20 per month on your podcasting services.

Where are the best places to upload podcast episodes that I make?

You will want to look into a podcast hosting service. LibSyn is one of the biggest names and has a user-friendly interface. Buzzsprout, Podbean, and Simplecast are others. If you run a WordPress website, you can even integrate your podcast there using various plugins and host the podcast yourself.

Where is the best place to buy laptops and related gear/equipment for podcasting?

The best place for podcast laptops and equipment is going to be through Amazon. You will find the biggest selection, cheapest prices, and the highest rate of availability. As a bonus, you can purchase “last year models” to save even more, that stores and other retailers no longer carry.


Conclusion

Podcasting can be a fun hobby or a serious career. Regardless of your path, the right laptop is a crucial element in the overall process. I hope this review of the best laptops for podcasts has helped you narrow your choices down.

If you are still stuck, I recommend you take a closer look at the top pick. The Apple MacBook Air, paired with Garageband for Mac is one of the top solutions for the novice and professional podcaster.