If you’re looking for a music production laptop capable to handle lots of tracks and instruments inside your project, this article will take a look at some of the best laptops suitable for music production.
It’s great how music technology has evolved in recent decades and gives us the mobility we need to do what we love from anywhere. Basically, we carry an entire studio in a shoulder bag. A laptop can be an essential production tool for any producer these days.
Making music can be very demanding on a laptop, the more complex your musical project is, the more powerful the computer/laptop needs to be. Using multiple audio plugins, effects, and samplers, will strain your computer’s resources, so computing power (CPU) and memory are the first things to consider.
These are the main features to consider:
Processor: Multi-core processors delegate power to perform multiple tasks. It’s rare to see sub-8 core processors in recording studios these days.
RAM: If you’re going to be using a lot of plugins and virtual instruments, choose the most RAM you can afford. A good minimum for music production is 16 GB.
Hard Drive: Choose a fast solid-state drive (SSD) for recording, playback, and exporting files. Software and files can take up a lot of space, so you’ll probably need at least 256GB (which can quickly fill up with sound libraries alone!). You can always expand with external drives if needed, which is a good idea for a backup anyway.
Connectivity: What peripherals do you have? Make sure your laptop has the proper ports or consider expanding your connectivity. You will use for sure the wireless. Also, Bluetooth can be useful for extra connectivity between other devices (headphones, mixers, consoles).
Is it better to use Mac or Windows laptops?
The Mac is a creative platform and the industry standard for professional studios. You’ll encounter few to no software/hardware compatibility restrictions, and you’ll be able to more easily import/export sessions and files between other Macs in the studio. The biggest drawback is that MacBooks tend to be more expensive than PCs, and there’s no room in the Mac to upgrade components in the future.
If you’re comfortable with Windows, that’s fine! PCs are great for making music, and there aren’t many software or hardware compatibility issues these days. Most major plugins and DAWs are cross-platform, so no problem here. PCs tend to be more affordable and more upgradable than Macs.
5 BEST LAPTOPS FOR MUSIC PRODUCTION
1. MacBook Air
The best economic option. The MacBook Air is about the same budget as other Apple laptops (they’re all expensive). The base model has an 8-core M1 chip, 8GB of RAM (configurable up to 16GB), a 256GB SSD, and two Thunderbolt 4 ports. It’s also lightweight if maximum portability is important to you.
2. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
The best budget option. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a great budget laptop for making music. The 13.5-inch model can be equipped with an Intel i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD. Connectivity includes a USB-A port and a USB-C port, which you’ll probably need to expand with accessories.
3. Macbook Pro 13″ / 16″
The 13-inch MacBook Pro features an 8-core Apple M1 chip, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and two Thunderbolt 4 ports. You may need to expand your connectivity as the two Thunderbolt ports fill up quickly.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro is the most powerful for professional use. It comes with a 10-core M1 Max chip, 32GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, and an SDXC port. Optionally you can upgrade to 64GB RAM and 8TB SSD if you need!
4. ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 is a fantastic laptop for creative music producers. Choose from powerful Intel i7 or i9 processors, up to 32GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. It also includes a ScreenPad in addition to the main display, so you can split your workflow between two monitors right on the laptop.
5. Razer Blade 17 Studio Edition
Best pro-choice: Razer Blade 17 Studio EditionRazer is known for its gaming laptops, but its Studio Edition series has a lot of potential for content creators. This beast features a 14-core Intel i9 processor, 32GB of RAM, 1TB of NVMe storage, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a powered USB-C port, and three USB-A ports. This is not a budget laptop and is probably overkill for many. But if you’re looking for the best laptop of the current generation, this is the Razer Blade 17 Studio Edition.
These are our recommendations if you’re looking for a laptop for music production. It’s not an actual top, it’s a list that starts with the more affordable (but good) laptops and ends with the most powerful laptop that you can use both in the studio to make music, or you can also play the latest video games when you want to take a break from making hits 🙂