Mobile workstations have reached a point in their evolution when they start to address niche market segments. There are systems for color critical workloads, there are machines to use on set by digital imaging technicians, there are PCs for creative professionals with a broad set of needs.
Schenker, a maker of high-performance laptops from Germany, has now introduced what it calls an audio-optimized laptop for DJs.
Leading DJs like Armin van Buuren and Paul van Dyk have used MacBook Pros for decades mostly because these are the PCs they use for their production workloads in the studio and because professional A/V software is indeed optimized for MacOS (it just so happened historically). Things got slightly more complicated for using MacBook Pros on live concerts after Apple swapped all external ports for a quartet of Thunderbolt 3 connectors and a headset output.
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It is possible to get a hub with a set of connectors optimized for A/V, but for some these are too expensive, while for others they are impractical for certain reasons. Essentially, Schenker’s XMG DJ 15 is for DJs who want everything to work right out of the box without any hubs.
The Schenker XMG DJ 15 is equipped with a Full-HD non-glare 15.6-inch display and comes in an aluminum chassis that packs Intel’s quad-core Intel Core i5-10210U or i7-10510U processor paired with up to 32GB of DDR4 memory as well as an M.2-2280 SSD with a PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA interface. The laptop is 19.9mm thick and weighs 1.6 kilograms.
The unique selling point of the XMG DJ 15 is its connectivity. On the wireless side of matters, the notebook has Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5. Physical connectivity department includes a GbE port, a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C connector, three USB Type-A ports (one USB 2.0, two USB 3.0), two display outputs (HDMI 1.4b, mDP 1.2), an SD card reader, a 3.5-mm headset connector, and a 3.5-mm mic-in + S/PDIF optical connector.
One of the reasons why professional musicians and videographers use MacOS instead of Windows is because dozens of professional applications are optimized for Macs and are meant to work flawlessly on the platform. Another reason is because many Windows 10-based notebooks come with pre-loaded software that may conflict with demanding professional programs. Schenker stresses that the XMG DJ 15 comes with an “entirely bloatware-free Windows 10 Pro installation” that is “perfectly tuned to the DJ 15’s hardware components” that promise to ensure an ultra-low and stable DPC latency.
Schenker has published a demonstration how the system works with four popular DJ apps (Serato DJ Pro, Native Instruments Traktor Pro, Pioneer Rekordbox DJ and Virtual DJ 2021) simultaneously together with Ableton Live, an all-in-one DJ controller (Roland DJ-707M), the Allen & Health Xone:96 mixer and the Ableton Push 2. DPC latency remained well below 1 ms at all times throughout the demonstration.
The XMG DJ 15 and XMG DJ 15 in red are available now. The default configuration features Intel’s Core i5-10210U, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 SSD, and Windows 10 Pro. The system is priced at €1,220.44 (including 16% VAT).