For most musicians now recording music at home, the laptop (or computer) will be the most important part of the studio.
Choosing the best laptops for music production shouldn’t be too difficult, but it’s a critical decision.
What you want is a laptop powerful enough to record and produce music. On top of that, it will last you for many years and will eventually make sense of your investment.
You may also travel a lot and want a laptop to produce music, which is not bulky or heavy.
If you are looking for the best music production laptop for that purpose it can be difficult to find a high-quality one as there are so many options on the market and it leaves you so confused.
In a hurry? Here are quick links of our top 5 recommendations of best laptops for music production:
- Apple MacBook Pro
- Razer Blade 15 Gaming Laptop
- Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL504GW
- Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- Dell XPS Thin and Light Laptop
Whatever your budget, here you can find an ideal choice of the best music production laptop and all other areas of your life that demand pristine performances.
Check out my personal favorites and see what arouses your interest. My list of the best computer for music production includes an affordable, expensive, beginner-friendly laptop.
Let us help you make the decision to purchase a laptop to begin your music career. These are some of the best laptops for music production you can buy today.
Best Laptops for Music Production: Our Picks
Its review time! We have chosen some of the good laptop brands that will meet the needs of most musicians. Use this list to get the most out of your music production laptop purchase.
Here, we will provide a review of the best music production laptop in detail so you can shop knowing everything. Let’s get started.
One of the best laptops for music production is the MacBook Pro.
Why? Because it just works. I’m not going to talk about the war between PC or Mac for music production, but having used both and while it really comes down to personal preference.
I still prefer to use a MacBook Pro over any Windows laptop to produce music. MacBooks are powerful, versatile, and designed with creators in mind.
There is a 13 “and 16” model of the MacBook Pro laptop.
If you plan to buy the MacBook Pro and need to add more RAM, don’t buy the 13″ models and upgrade the RAM.
With up to 64GB of RAM, a 2.6GHz 6-core Intel i7 processor (9th generation), and a 512GB solid-state hard drive (or 1TB with 8-core i9), you’ll be ready for years to come.
As of early 2020, this is the best MacBook Pro for music production. I’d stick with the 512GB SSD and expand it with an external SSD later as needed unless I know you’ll need the extra space. It also comes with a Radeon Pro 5300M with a 4GB video RAM.
It comes with 4 USB-C ports, so you will need adapters or a dock. USB Type-C is a different port from traditional USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports.
Stay away from regular Macbooks (the non-“Pro” models). They basically use a phone-like processor, which means they are designed for battery to last longer than speed.
The Razer Blade Stealth is another quad-core model on the market that features an updated 8th Gen Intel i7 processor with impressive speeds.
It is actually one of the faster processing laptops that we are examining in this article.
Its touchscreen gives you additional flexibility in terms of easy-to-use navigation, ideal for curling up on the couch to finish a bit of editing.
Yes, the Razer Blade is a “gaming” laptop, but that also means that it is equally well equipped to effortlessly handle music production.
The Razer Blade is first and foremost a gaming laptop, so its higher price tag is justified by a superior sound and graphics card.
The build quality of these laptops is second to none and is generally compared to Apple for good reason. They don’t add a ton of extra software that ends up slowing down your computer and they care about speed and performance, my kind of company!
A nice feature is a touchscreen, so you could actually use the touchscreen to adjust your audio plugins and draw automation.
It also has 16 hearty gigs, making it much better suited for a number of popular digital audio workspaces and better for a beatmaker producing sample-heavy work.
It has 256GB, fast SSD storage, and is compact and highly portable with a screen size of 13.3. The battery life is about 6 hours of average use.
However, a quick solution is to use the USB-C port, where you can use an external SSD or HDD to load any of your projects, plug-ins, or virtual instruments with ease.
While USB-C is pretty fast, make sure you get an external drive, preferably an SSD that’s fast enough to load and save samples.
Although the Razer Blade Stealth is marketed for gaming, where you will spend money on the design and graphics card, the laptop will perform very well for any music production use.
The Asus ROG Strix Scar II GL504GW-DS74 is a brand new model available from January 2019 and is the perfect laptop for your music recording and mixing needs.
This is the second gaming laptop to make our list and it’s not surprising given that to get decent FPS rates during games you need sufficient processing power, which is also a key ingredient for audio production.
Asus ROG Strix is a gaming laptop that works well for music production.
Another gaming laptop that should be on your list is the ASUS Rog Strix.
Despite its gamer aesthetic, the laptop comes with very powerful specs at a price comparable to other gaming laptops.
It is a gaming laptop that works well for music production. Why? It is quite powerful for its size and weight. You get the latest Intel Core ™ i7-8750H processor that would handle any plug-in recording and processing smoothly.
It uses the NVIDIA RTX 2070 graphics card. Many software programs, including most DAWs, use the graphics card, freeing up the CPU to do its thing.
Also, when you start connecting 2 or 3 external monitors, you will definitely need the extra power of the GPU.
This version also includes improved cooling, which can keep your computer quieter. This is great, as you don’t want to hear fan noise when recording.
The processor is an Intel Core i7-8750H, it comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and an amazing 512GB NVMe SSD, perfect for fast performance and large file storage.
It comes with 3x USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB Type-C port, 1x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, 1x Mini DisplayPort.
The following is a similarly priced comparative product offered by Microsoft.
It also has an i5 processor, in fact, it offers very similar specs to the MacBook Pro we reviewed earlier.
Microsoft has come a long way with their Surface Pro line.
They offer some great settings that would work well for a music production laptop.
It offers very similar specs to the MacBook Pro we reviewed earlier. The main differences lie in its faster 3GHz processor speed and double the hard drive space. It also has a 12.3-inch screen size and is not only more compact but also lighter at 1.7 pounds.
Like the MacBook Pro, it only has 2 USB ports, if that doesn’t meet your needs, you probably want to consider investing in a USB hub to expand your connectivity options.
You have only 8 gigs of RAM onboard, again this will only meet the minimum requirements, but will probably be sufficient for the most basic DAW production.
Just know that these don’t come with a keyboard, and you probably need to get Microsoft Surface Dock to give you more ports.
The Dell XPS series is a series of notebooks that have been around for some time.
The Dell XPS line of laptops has been a great option for a while.
It’s the thinnest 15″ laptop out there, but it doesn’t sacrifice performance.
It would be well suited for audio production use, as it is admirably fast.
The Dell XPS 15 is also one of the most attractive 15-inch laptops you can buy for music production.
Unlike many other Chinese-made laptops that can be quite flimsy with their build, you’ll appreciate the XPS 15’s solid and premium build, its nice borderless display, touchpad, and the laptop’s slim profile. It is truly a laptop beauty.
Performance-wise, there are few models you can choose from, depending on your budget. But keep in mind that the Dell XPS is more expensive than other laptops with the same performance, due to the quality of build and components.
It’s on the slightly larger side at 15 .6 inches. It has 2 USB 3.0 slots and a Thunderbolt 3 multipurpose port.
This is a much more versatile option and will be more compatible with modern audio interfaces.
It’s an exemplary option and is more than capable of handling even the busiest workloads in your DAW.
This one is priced twice as much as its 8-gig predecessor that we reviewed, but the RAM has doubled and the SSD storage alone more than makes up for the difference.
It also has other great features that make it a great overall laptop for a variety of general uses.
Tips on buying a computer for music production
Finding the best computer for music production use basically comes down to a few important factors, which digital audio workstation you plan to use and which operating system you prefer to use is the most important.
Which is Better for Music Production: Laptop or Desktop?
Ultimately, a desktop computer is better for music production, especially considering that they can be upgraded and built relatively easily.
Although they are much more capable, they have their drawbacks, which means that they must be installed and remain where they are. They are a worthy investment if you really want to set up a studio at home.
However, we live in a modern world that is constantly on the move, and being able to take your work with you is just as valuable.
If you already have a studio set up, a laptop for music production, essential tools to take those hours of endless editing home, and do it in a more comfortable environment.
There are some great laptops that bring with them their smallest footprint and the convenience of being able to install at any time in any situation, however, the truly capable ones with the ideal set of specs can set you back over $2,500.
If you’re investing in a new laptop that can specifically handle your DAW workloads, you’ll need one with a good number of USB ports, a great processor, fast memory speeds, more than 16GB of RAM, and a decent amount of SSD storage.
Mac or Windows?
I admit I’m a bit biased on this one. Tried and failed with some Windows laptops when I started making music at home, I had issues with latency and they never lasted for many years before the problems started to appear.
I always thought that Apple products were overpriced and would never be worth the hundreds of dollars extra than Windows alternatives. But after my friends told me to switch over and over again, I decided to save up and buy an Apple MacBook Pro.
And I have to give it to those friends because since I bought one I have never looked back. Latency issues are gone, battery life is still good after years of heavy use, and of course, they look great too.
But since this, laptops have come a long way and there are now plenty of great Windows options available too. So it really is a matter of personal preference.
Another thing to keep in mind is which Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) will you be using? Some DAWs like Logic will only work on Apple, so if that’s your DAW of choice, you can’t go for a Windows laptop.
Best Budget Laptop for Music Production?
Unfortunately, in the world of audio production, the faster the better, to avoid glitches and glitches or loss of latency in between recordings. The best laptops for audio production we’ve looked at in this article offer inexpensive options at reasonable prices.
In our opinion the best value for money would be the Alienware or the Razor Blade Stealth, both are high-end graphics gaming laptops that have good sound processing capabilities, have superior CPUs, and excellent clock speeds and RAM. and fair storage. However, they are not exactly cheap.
The cheapest option on our list is the tablet option, Lenovo’s Yoga Book, but it only runs an Android OS, so it won’t manage most full DAWs.
It is a good option if money is an issue, for younger users and for those curiously into songwriting. There are a good number of applications that have great content for basic audio production.
If your budget just doesn’t reach $1000, this could be an ideal starting point for you.
So, which is the best music production laptop right now?
The best music production laptop really depends on what type of laptops you are looking for, what level of performance you are on, and how you want to use it. Our best choice for the best laptops for music production is the Apple MacBook Pro.
There are many great options for music production notebooks. I would suggest buying the best computer you can for your budget.
We hope this guide has helped you choose the best laptop for music production!