Laptops are quite popular with music producers because they give the ability to take your computer and go, especially if you are a musician/producer. They are much lighter and portable, including you can take the creative spark to the park, cafe or oceanside.
With the increase of Dell’s Ultrabook and other gaming laptops, Apple no longer has the monopoly on the music production space. Besides the Ultrabook, the longstanding and innovative company now competes with Acer, Lenovo, Microsoft and a host of other innovative laptop creators. Therefore, if you aren’t attached to the Apple brand, you have a wide choice from a diverse sea of laptops.
Shopping for a new laptop can be daunting, especially if you are on a tight budget, including so many options, it’s difficult to navigate finding the laptop that suits your workflow. Questions you might ask are, is there enough space, how fast is the CPU, including how many USB ports does the laptop have. To find the perfect laptop for you, you’ll first need to decide what your laptop’s music production setup will look like.
In respect to space or RAM, the more space gives the most capabilities to run various DAW programs or auto-accompaniment software such as Band-in-a-Box without crashing. If you are looking to buy a laptop that will last longer in the future, it is best to have at least 8GB of memory. 16GB would even be better to handle more larger tasks. But if you are on a tighter budget, the 8GB is a good starting point. Another important thing to consider when purchasing a laptop for music production, is whether the laptop can be upgraded with extra RAM in the future.
As with RAM, the faster the CPU, the better the fluidity of producing without interruptions while producing.
Most modern laptops have just three USB ports. Therefore, depending on your workflow and how many devices you are looking to connect to a laptop, it is something you might want to consider.
Although computers are more stealthy and give you more bang for your money due to speed and space, a laptop’s selling point is function and portability. In this article we will be concentrating on the best laptops that are available for music production.
If you’re interested in learning more about this, check out our guide to building the best computer for music production.
Without further ado, let’s get into the best good laptops for music production!
Apple’s Macbook Pro has been a juggernaut in the creative and music production world for a while. With competition from the PC world, The Macbook pro still stands out in a sea of many. It boasts a powerful Intel processor with up to 32GB of memory. Therefore, even the most tasking DAW would perform with ease.
The Macbook pro utilizes a solid state drive rather than a typical hard drive. This allows you to navigate files with ease and quickness. The 13 inch model has a capacity of up to 2TB and the 15 inch model has 4TB capacity. Although there are other great Apple laptops for music production, the Macbook pro is the cream of the crop.
Price averages about $1,499
CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, (2,560 x 1,600) IPS | Storage: 128GB – 2TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
Pro: Super fast performance and high powered processor.
The XPS 13 is one of the very best laptops for music production. The latest version is slimmer and more powerful. The award-winning laptop has a stunning 4k display touchscreen which makes it far more user friendly. This also includes a beautiful silver black color option. The Dell XPS has an 8th generation Intel Core i5 or i7. Another bonus is the wide range of options for customizing this sleek laptop. The Dell is considered to be the most popular Windows laptop worldwide. With lots of customization, this could easily be the best windows laptop for music production.
Average price is $1,260.95
CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4k (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Pro: Centered IR webcam, Beautiful optional 4K display and lots of connectivity options.
Con: Steeper starting price and white version is pricier.
The Razor Blade Stealth is very popular with gamers. It’s powered by the quad-core 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor with speed of 1.8GHz, including it is quite capable of reaching a max speed of 4.6 GHZ when in turbo mode. This can make it up to four times faster than its average performance speed.
The Razor Blade Stealth has 16GB of RAM with a memory speed of 1866MHz, including an Intel Graphics card 620. The hard drive capacity has a 256GB SSD and is upgradeable to 512GB SSD.
This is a very sleek and visually stunning laptop. It features a 4K resolution QHD+ 3200 X 1800 touch display. This stunning laptop combines both mobility and style with power. Therefore, besides a perfect laptop for gaming, it is also perfect for music production. The Razor Blade Stealth is also popular with FL Studio owners.
Average price is $1,399.00
13.3-inch FHD matte screen (100 percent sRGB, factory calibrated, and 4.9mm side bezels) Intel Core i7-8565U at 1.8GHz / 4.6GHz (Base / Turbo) 16GB LPDDR3 dual-channel RAM. 256GB PCIe.M.2 SSD. 720p, Windows Hello infrared camera. Wi-Fi / Bluetooth 5. 53.1Wh battery. 65W USB-C charging brick
Pros: USB Type-A and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Cons: Single-zone backlighting and mediocre battery life.
The Huawei Matebook 13 is a beautifully designed laptop with a stunning display screen that comes with cutting edge elements. The battery life runs far longer than its competitors, therefore it performs brilliantly. It’s roughly the same depth as the Macbook Air at three quarters of an inch narrower because it has extremely trim bezels and no speakers on the top deck. The speakers are underside of the laptop. Therefore the sound quality isn’t as impressive as the top competitors. But if you are mixing and referencing with outside monitors or studio headphones, this isn’t a deal breaker.
The Matebook 13 is compact and easily portable with a very competitive price. It utilizes Windows Precision drivers. It has an outstanding performance, an excellent display, compact dimensions, great keyboard and a trackpad.
Average price is $999.00 to $1,299
CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 , Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13-inch 1440p (2,160 x 1,440) | Storage: 512GB SSD
Pros: Great performance and excellent value
Cons: Only 8GB RAM, no Thunderbolt 3 and subpar battery life.
The Acer Swift 3 is a sleek all front screen budget laptop. It has a lot of ports and connections, compared to current laptops. The Acer Swift 3, all-metal build and glass-front screen make a great first impression. It actually looks more expensive than it is.
Although the Swift 3 doesn’t include an IR camera for facial recognition, it does have a fingerprint sensor on the right-side palm rest. Therefore it recognizes your fingerprint and can easily log you in as efficiently as other laptops with larger sensors.
If you are looking for an affordable laptop where function and sharp design is your main goal, the Acer Swift 3 would be one of your best choices. This could be one the best budget laptop for music production, with a much lower price point than the others on this list. If you’re looking for the best laptop for music production under $300, this one isn’t quite as cheap, but you may be able to get it for that second hand.
Average price is $549.99
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB DDR4 | Screen: 14-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) ComfyView IPS | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD
Pro: Powerful for the price and stellar battery life.
Con: Memory not expandable and SD performance.
The Asus Rog Strix Sca III is a great place for music producers to look when sheer power is required. There are some serious studio contenders but the Asus Strix Scar III is beast. With an Intel i7 processor and a base spec of 16 GB of RAM, you know this machine can chew through any audio production task you throw at it.
A beastly yet lightweight laptop that can rival many traditional desktop arrangements, the Asus Rog Strix Scar III is a very solid laptop for serious music producers.
Average Price $2,099.99
CPU: Intel i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB | RAM: 16 GB (base) | Screen: 15.6” Full HD | Storage: 1TB SSD
Pro: Monstrous performance, Upgrade potential
Con: No Thunderbolt 3
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 has style to go with its speed. Colorful, sleek and light with improved speed, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is easy to slip it in your bag for those busy musicians and producers on the go. This laptop has a vibrant 13.5” touchscreen that enables fast, easy navigation for work, inspiration or for sharing photos with family and friends.
A great laptop for music production, the Surface Laptop 2 gives you the performance of your dreams. With the 8th Gen Intel Core processor and up to 14.5 hours of battery life, you will have beyond ample time to create and complete your projects. For its function, form and price the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is a great bargain.
Average price is $789.99
CPU: Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB SSD
Pro: Competitive power level and a beautiful new black color scheme
Con: No Thunderbolt 3 option and too few ports for its size.
Is considered to be one of the best laptops you can buy. This super sleek lightweight laptop packs more horsepower than the MacBook Pro, including it’s a great alternative with a lower price. A super effective laptop that has just as much substance as it does style. Including awesome specs, such a long battery life, the Samsung NoteBook 9 is definitely a great laptop for music production.
Starting price is $1,039.99.
CPU: Intel i7-8550U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150 | RAM: 8GB-16GB | Screen: 15-inch 1,920 x 1,080 LED | Storage: 256-512GB SSD
Pro: Excellent performance and very long battery life.
Con: Shallow keyboard and display could be brighter.
Another 2 in 1 laptop with tablet and laptop features is the Asus ZenBook Flip S UX370. It is considered by many to be one of the 10 best laptops for music production. With an 8th-generation processor powering the device, including a lot of RAM and a super-fast SD in certain models, this is a superb and stunning laptop.
The Zen Book UX370 isn’t as affordable as some laptops on this list, but if cost isn’t an issue, you will get more than what you paid for with this top of the line music producing machine.
Average price is $1,399.99
CPU: Intel Core i7-855OU | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch full HD touchscreen | Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
Pro: Super thin and light and powerful core components
Con: Not the cheapest convertible and limited I/O
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a super thin two-in-one hybrid laptop. As a device geared towards portability with a full equipped version, it comes with an Intel i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. The Surface Pro 7 is a high-level laptop that can handle music production including everything else you can throw at it. This is a cost-effective and solid addition to any serious music producer’s studio.
Starting price is $579.99
CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus | RAM: 4 GB – 16 GB | Screen: 12.3” Full HD | Storage: 128 GB – 1 TB SSD
Pro: Aesthetically breathtaking and touch versions of desktop apps
Con: Not a lot of spec for the money and performance drops over time due to fanless design.
We hope this guide has helped you decide what’s needed from a laptop for music production and that it’s given you a few laptops to choose from. Please share it if you know someone else who’s looking for their new music production laptop!
Whilst you’re waiting for your laptop to arrive, why not find some people to work with in our global marketplace. You could also get sync opportunities for your existing tracks or send them to publishers, record labels and more with our demo submissions tool. All you have to do is sign up – try Music Gateway now for free!