A 15-inch Thin Laptop For The Road: No More Dongles With The XMG DJ 15by Dr. Ian Cutress on October 1, 2020 8:00 AM EST
As a journalist and an editor that in any given year travels around the world to attend events, having the best device that helps me write news and generate content is always on my mind. Having a device with more battery life, or more performance, or can deal with dodgy Wi-Fi connections, or can process photos and video while having a good display at a nice price are all factors. Weight is also an important one, as it gets lugged around for 12+ hours a day, and I don’t want to be carrying around too many dongles for everything. The new XMG DJ 15 might be a contender for one of the best devices to do this with.
The XMG DJ 15 is a 15-inch notebook that is designed to be light but also has an array of connectivity unlike any other notebooks I’ve seen in this segment. Despite the size, there is no discrete graphics card in this design, saving space and also allowing the cooling system to be reduced from a typical gaming notebook. This keeps it thin, measuring only 19.9mm at its tallest point, but the use of aluminium keeps it light, weighing in at only 1.6 kg.
For connectivity, the unit has two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, a Thunderbolt 3/Type-C with 60W fast charging, a full-sized HDMI port, a mini-DisplayPort, an SD card reader, a gigabit Ethernet port (!), two 3.5mm jacks for headphone/microphone, and a USB 2.0 Type-A port for legacy.
Inside is an Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake processor, with the base specification using the Core i5-10210U, 16 GB of DDR4-2666 memory, and a 1 TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe storage drive, all for a pre-tax price 1052 Euro / $1237. The memory is SO-DIMM and the storage is M.2, making both upgradeable.
That also gets Wi-Fi 5, the 15.6-inch 1920x1080 IPS thin-bezel display, a HD webcam, a backlit keyboard with number pad, a Microsoft Precision Touchpad with a fingerprint sensor, and a 54.4 Wh battery. Moving up to Wi-Fi 6 is another $5.
This device isn’t so much aimed at workers, but DJs. XMG claims the unit is built with components that minimise DPC latency, even when Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled. It is pre-tested with all the major DJ software, such as Serato, Traktor, Rekordbox and Virtual DJ. This makes it suitable even for simple DAW projects. It will ship with an optimized installation of Windows 10 Pro, and XMG quotes a maximum DPC Latency of a millisecond. XMG will also work with DJs that have custom needs and offers a bespoke service for those that might need additional features.
The XMG DJ 15 will be available in a traditional silver color or a more striking red design. Even in the base configuration, that price seems great for a workhorse machine on the road, and hopefully the display quality is decent. The version I’d be interested in, with the i7-10510U, Wi-Fi 6, and 32 GB of memory, runs at €1,337 (incl. tax). That can’t be a coincidence.
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ingwe - Thursday, October 1, 2020 - linkInteresting niche to pursue. Not for me but probably great for a lot of people. Price seems high but not terrible.
Samus - Saturday, October 3, 2020 - linkIt’s a l33t price for a l33t package!
firewolfsm - Thursday, October 1, 2020 - linkDJs would need a touch screen and a bigger battery.
jabber - Saturday, October 3, 2020 - linkProper DJs should not require a laptop at all.
Setting up a playlist on a laptop, switching the crossfade to max, hitting play and waving your hands in the air does not make you a DJ.
Revv233 - Monday, October 5, 2020 - linkHate to tell you the but all music is made with computers.
No one is carrying around reel to reels to shows.
jabber - Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - linkReel to reels? What alternate universe did you drop in from?
Laptop DJs are NOT proper DJs. Get mixing those decks with some proper vinyl and then we are talking.
praktik - Thursday, October 15, 2020 - linkAs a vinyl only DJ who still spends way too much $$ on the black crack, this comment is dumb. I get the hate for technically easy DJing especially when the content played is boring -> but a digital DJ can be just as good as a vinyl DJ.
These are all tools. If anything I find using vinyl keeps me respecting "songs" more and using "songs" where I find digital DJs can sometimes get too deep in the cuts and edits and manipulations so an hour long set becomes less "song-ey" and more a long groove, which is fine, but not what I like as much on the dancefloor or my ears. I like how vinyl DJs end up respecting the tracks more cause there's less general fussing with/changing the song you're stuck with what's on vinyl (though mixers and loopers and extra gear and still be over-used with vinyl, it's just done less often).
Anyway - there is no special cadre of DJ based on medium. There is a special cadre of DJ based on talent, and while my heart is with djing vinyl my brain knows digital djs can approach DJing the exact same way I am if they want to and some do!
skavi - Monday, October 19, 2020 - linklove it when actual professionals shut down weird gatekeepers.
ath007 - Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - linkHaha. Enjoyed this conversation thread.
Nexing - Sunday, October 4, 2020 - linkTouchscreens are not up to par in development terms as the various external controllers and playing formats.
At 2020 software platforms have gathered large user bases; VirtualDJ, Traktor, RekordBox, Serato, MIxxx to name just the turntables centered ones.
Then combinations of musicians/producers/DJs utilise other software platforms; Ableton Live with/out Max, Native Instruments Kontakt (NKS) ecosystem of performance tools.
Thousands of the above users combine those with external controllers and also importantly hardware instruments and effects. Novation (in association with other brands) is a good example that develops both lines. On the Synthesizers fertile ground Roland has two! multiple devices platforms already, Korg and others merge sequencers, workstations and even Dj mixers into controllers.
///In sum, there is wide variation of usage and workflow alternatives for DJs, DJ-producers and many of them need powerful, low DPC and low latency laptops... For performance use and at many cases also for studio and preparation work. Hence at least a middle GPU is also required for DAWs and NLEs professional work (to handle GUIs at least) with large upgradeable RAM in a light packages.
PLUS this industry activity has been severely affected, so budget is relevant.