Macs are best. No PCs are best. Repeat until the end of time — t’was ever thus. Arkaei aka our Ray will definitely die on the PC hill, to the point where he’s put his reputation where his mouth is, and hooking up with German computer company Schenker has worked tirelessly to create the XMG DJ 15, an insanely optimised Windows laptop for DJs.
There are many words, but for me, the demo video above that Ray has tirelessly perfected says everything. But here goes:
XMG DJ 15: lightweight, audio-optimised laptop for DJs
Leipzig, Germany, 1st October 2020 – For years, MacBooks have been the de facto standard for digital DJ setups. Apple’s recent product iterations, however, have left much to be desired in terms of professional connectivity – using industry standard DJ equipment with a MacBook requires the purchase of expensive and impractical adapters or hubs. XMG responds to the DJ community’s growing demand for a functional, reliable alternative by releasing the DJ 15 – the first ever laptop designed, optimised and tested specifically to meet the needs of professional DJs. Weighing in at a mere 1.6kg, this machine features a 15” non-glare Full HD IPS display and a wide array of standard ports. An entirely bloatware-free Windows 10 Pro installation, perfectly tuned to the DJ 15’s hardware components, ensures ultra-low, stable DPC latency out of the box, even running off battery with WiFi and Bluetooth activated. On top of that, XMG offers unique and highly specialised support – by DJs, for DJs.
Made to Create with DPC latency values below 1 millisecond
The XMG DJ 15 is ready to go straight away – all DJs need to do is pick their favourite software to install, followed by ASIO drivers for their mixer or audio interface. None of the tweaking typically required for using a regular Windows-based computer for DJing is necessary either, as low DPC latency values of below 1ms make sure nothing interferes with system stability while performing. The machine has also been tested in real-life settings with most common DJ software like Native Instruments Traktor Pro, Serato DJ Pro, Pioneer Rekordbox DJ and Virtual DJ 2021 – as well as several mixers, controllers, audio interfaces and modern accessories like MWM Phase. XMG calls this certification “Made to Create”, which will soon include more laptops optimised for different pro A/V use cases.
Thin, lightweight and powerful
The XMG DJ 15 is available in a classic silver and a more extravagant red. Both models are powered by 10th-generation Intel processors, each with 4 cores and 8 threads. The efficient Core i5-10210U will handle any DJ software with ease, while the i7-10510U offers plenty of power for more ambitious tasks. The aluminium chassis with a resin mold on the underside keeps the weight at just 1.6kg – and measuring just 360.4 x 244.5 x 19.9 mm, the machine will easily fit into any DJ backpack.
The DJ 15’s 54.5 Wh battery makes it easy to work on playlists while on the road, and the 15” non-glare Full HD IPS display is a pleasure to use even over longer periods of time.
Professional connectivity and plenty of storage
Unlike many other portable laptops, the DJ 15 features a wide array of standard connectors, making adapters entirely obsolete. This includes three USB-A ports (2x USB 3.1, 1x USB 2.0 for compatibility with older peripherals), one USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 combo port with charging functionality (20V / 3A), full-size HDMI, mini DisplayPort, an SD card reader, an RJ45 Ethernet port – and of course, standard 3.5mm headphone out and microphone inputs. An M.2 SSD connected via PCI Express offers fast loading times and up to 2 TB storage, and RAM can be upgraded to a maximum of 32 GB thanks to two SO-DIMM slots.
Tailor-made support by DJs for DJs
The Made to Create concept is based on an intense cooperation between XMG and Ray Arkaei – a DJ, producer and audio-visual live showcase artist who also acts as technical & creative lead at Berlin’s Sample Music Festival. He oversees the new audio-optimised product line. This unique relationship allows XMG to offer customers an outstanding level of dedicated support for the DJ 15 and all subsequent audio-optimised machines. Due to Ray Arkaei’s long-standing relationship with top brands in the industry and frequent involvement in beta tests and hackathons, he can offer highly specialised expert advice in regard to pro A/V applications on Windows, and will take over from customer support when necessary.
One tech demo to rule them all
To demonstrate the full capability and stability of the XMG DJ 15, Ray Arkaei has prepared an elaborate showcase performance, using the top 4 market-leading 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. The video, available on Youtube, includes live desktop capture, showing all programs running on one screen, with live DPC latency readout from LatencyMon. Despite the tremendous stress placed on the system, DPC latency is clearly shown to remain well below 1ms, even with WiFi and BlueTooth activated – and with the laptop being flipped shut mid-performance. This proves beyond any doubt that the DJ 15 can handle significantly more of a workload that any DJ would typically require.
Pricing and availability
The XMG DJ 15 and XMG DJ 15 RED are immediately available from bestware.com. The default configuration is priced at € 1.220,44 (incl. 16% VAT, different tax rates may apply in some countries), features Intel’s Core i5-10210U, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, a 1 TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 SSD and also includes the optimised Windows 10 Pro installation.
About Schenker Technologies
Schenker Technologies is a leading provider of IT hardware and the latest Extended Reality technologies. The company offers private consumers individually configurable laptops and desktop PCs from the cult gaming brand XMG, whilst the SCHENKER branded product portfolio is aimed at professional users and commercial customers. Numerous independent tests prove the high quality of the product range and the excellent customer service has already received several awards from the press.
The e-commerce platform bestware.com offers an enhanced product catalogue. In addition to the devices of the two own brands, the range also includes selected third-party solutions as well as supplementary accessories.
In addition, the company operates throughout Europe as a specialist distributor of augmented and virtual reality hardware, supporting its customers with the holistic implementation of their commercial-creative projects. Robert Schenker and Melchior Franke are managing directors of the company, which was founded in 2002 and employs around 70 people in Leipzig, Germany.
HERE WE GO AGAIN
The PC vs Mac war started a very long time ago and continues most annoyingly in a never-ending spiral of online rants and unchanged minds.
Within the DJWORX team, we have a cross-section of opinion on this score — at one end is me, a seasoned Apple user since 1985. I was a proud badge-wearing fanboy — literally had a gold product professional pin awarded by Apple, but have used, supported and owned PCs over the years.
My opinion has mellowed to the point where I still don’t care for Windows (from repeated experience) but appreciate that they can do everything I need. But I prefer the quality and design of the Mac hardware and software. Use what you want — I don’t care. My writing or Photoshopping isn’t better than anyone else’s because I do it on a Mac.
Ray, however, is a devout Windows user. Without speaking for him, I describe him as seeing the good things about some Apple products, but as far as computers go, he’s a firm believer that PCs deliver everything and more, for less. He does have a point, it’s just that my point is more beautiful and aspirational.
I say this to paint a picture of the diversity found even in our small team. We have lively debates — indeed our Slack channel with Ray, Dan, Darren and myself is hot this morning on this very subject but largely we use what we like, and get into Macs vs PCs just to wind Ray up.
ALL THE SOFTWARE
But all this is academic. You only have to watch Ray’s video to see that the XMG DJ 15 is a complete beast. It’s not a matter of running one app flawlessly — Ray decided to run ALL THE APPS at once while providing live graphics while recording the whole thing. The firepower and ability of this laptop is in no doubt whatsoever.
At this point any yeah-buts or whataboutism is irrelevant. While a lot of skill that most of us don’t have is on display, the raw grunt and sheer ability of the XMG DJ 15 as a DJ only laptop is proven. Knowing Ray as we do, he wouldn’t soil his hands on a machine if it didn’t meet his exacting standards.
Two Clicks — One Hand
From a DJ perspective, this video is a showcase of power. Not just that of the XMG DJ 15, but also of Ray’s sheer level of skills and fuckaboutery. Case in point — did you see the scratching? Did you see him pull off complex techniques with just one hand and a smug grin? We await the hate and tired old arguments. Or alternatively, you could ask him how he did it, try it for yourself, and learn a few new tricks.
I find the arguments raised by both sides of the technology divide to be tired. Or is it just me being tired with it being a divide at all? I wear boots rather than shoes. But I don’t hate shoes, nor do I attack shoe wearers in the streets for their clearly poor choice and sucking at life in general. Do you see how silly the Mac vs PC thing is?
The bottom line is this — Ray worked with Schenker to deliver the XMG DJ 15, a Windows laptop that eats every kind of insane punishment that Ray can devise, and has done it for a price that makes your wallet very happy indeed. Stick that in your MBP and smoke it. Mic drop.