If you change your spot more often when making music, a laptop for music production is highly recommended. Today’s laptops (notebooks) have enough power to mix your tracks properly and make music wherever you need or you want.
On the market, we’ll find many models are suitable for making music. To know which laptops are best for music production, google for this for appropriate tests. Many notebooks are tested on different websites.
Recommended laptops are with a numeric keypad. This can be used for shortcuts (start, stop, record).
Especially with a 15-inch notebook, it is sometimes difficult to read the name of the controller or the numerical values of some digital instruments or effects. It’s best to get an additional screen, which you can then connect to the notebook. Recommended sizes are 24 or 27 inches. Choose a matte screen to avoid annoying reflections.
So you can, for example, display the mixer on the laptop screen and the trace view on the main screen. It would also be possible to close the laptop and only work on the main screen or connect to another screen. Be sure that your laptop has two outputs on the graphics card.
Notebooks basically have a smaller number of USB ports than PCs. These can be extended with so-called USB hubs. However, all devices connected to the USB hub share the speed of one USB port. For USB dongles, mouse and keyboard but that should not be a problem.
This post comes as a continuation of the Best Laptop For Music Production ( Buyer’s Guide). (We recommend you to read this first to get a better idea of what you should choose next).
Here’s a list of some of our recommendations on the best laptop for music production for those who use Windows but also for those who prefer MAC OS:
Windows-based laptop with the best performance.
This is one of those fancy ultrabooks you keep hearing about. Pricey, yes, but man does it pack a punch! They’re also praised for being lightweight, making them extremely portable. You can look into other ultrabooks too, but Asus has a reputation for a reason.
Budget Windows-based laptop.
These come highly recommended, even if you’re not just looking for a budget. They offer higher specs than you would expect for the price but keep in mind that there’s always a compromise.
Mac/OSX based for best performance.
The Macbook Pro is the leading powerhouse in the Apple world. Again, pricey, especially if you opt for their retina display, but you’ll never need another laptop ever again.
Budget OSX solution
There’s not much to say here. It’s a Mac that’s not as powerful as the Macbook Pro, but still good enough to fulfill all your music production needs.
Portable solution for live DJing and recording on location.
It’s a tablet/laptop. This thing is sturdy, compact, compatible, has good battery life, a matte screen option, and a backlit keyboard. Need I say more? If you’re going to use your laptop as a mobile audio studio – this is what you need!
Dell XPS 13 (new 2015 version)
A promising option to look into.
This model is praised for being a 13″ screen packed in an 11.6″ casing. It’s also got incredible battery life (they claim it’s 12 hours), a matte screen option, a backlit keyboard, and the components pack a punch! This might be a great option for a portable studio, but it’s a bit early to tell.
So, what do you generally recommend? You’re really asking me this? Didn’t I say it’s relative? Okay, I’ll give you a recommendation: if you can afford it – go all-purpose. This means those pricey “best performance options”. Why? So you’ll be more future-proof. The more expensive options will stay relevant for at least 5 years (often 10) and you won’t have any problems in case you suddenly realize you want to take your laptop out or make it the center of your music production studio.
I would definitely take a notebook that also has an SSD hard drive and HD display. It should also be a fast i7 of the current generation. If you are traveling a lot, weight is certainly to be considered.
When deciding what to buy, make sure you buy something you’ll use for a long while. Don’t think in terms of “I’ll replace it later” because as audio engineers there’s a more important equipment to spend money on.