The musical world is going through a period of revolution where there’s more freedom than ever! Due to intelligent audio software and high-end processing, today it’s easier to make music. Even more, anyone who understands the tech part of music can create and produce without any support from the big guys.
However, whether you’re a DJ, a professional audio producer, or an amateur, you will need to find the best laptop for music production that supports your needs. Since the world of computers and IT components can be confusing for a beginner, we created a detailed guide that walks you through the features that matter for a laptop destined for music production.
Also, we reviewed some of the best products on the market, so you can make an informed decision.
How to Choose the Best Laptop for Music Production?
First, it’s important to understand that there are not that many devices created for music production, per se. However, you don’t need highly specific features, just the ones that work best for your needs.
OS & Software
Which operating system do you like to work on?
The most popular ones are Windows and Mac OS, and most people have a strong preference for one or the other.
You should also consider the software you’ll use to produce music since some are not always compatible with both systems mentioned above.
So, before you decide on anything else, make sure you know your preferences for both the OS and software.
Configuration & Audio Quality
Audio software is quite demanding which is why you’ll find several gaming laptops in the products we reviewed.
The configuration of a laptop refers to the components that provide processing power such as the processor, RAM memory, and storage space. If these components work well together, your device will not choke when you try to open two different programs at once.
Moreover, since you are producing music, you will need a device that features good audio quality. Otherwise, you won’t be able to listen to your own creations.
Portability & Battery Life
Some music producers only work in a studio, but if you’re in a band or you’re a DJ, portability is going to be an important factor. Not to mention that you’ll want a laptop with good battery life that doesn’t drain too fast when the workload increases.
So, make the decision according to your needs. As you’ll see, some devices are ultra-portable while others are a bit more difficult to carry along.
Finally, as a music producer, you may need to transfer your creations online or to other devices. This is why you should select a laptop with good port configuration (at least one Thunderbolt3 port and plenty of USBs) and good connectivity (both Bluetooth and WiFi).
8 Best Laptops for Music Production in 2020
Apple MacBook Pro 15″ Retina with Touch Bar
Impressive Design & Power
One of the best MacBooks on the market, the Pro version is equipped with either 2.6GHz 6-Core Intel Core i7 or 2.3GHz 8-core Intel Core i9, 16GB RAM and has 256/512GB SSD for storage and fast data processing.
Also, being an Apple laptop, it features a sleek and elegant design, with an easy-to-use keyboard and large trackpad. The Space Gray case is durable and thin, which makes the laptop highly portable (it’s easy to carry it in a bag or in your hand). Not to mention, the battery should hold for up to 10 hours (still, the time varies according to the type of software you’re running).
The Retina display with True Tone technology is brilliant as usual, making this a fantastic device for both music production and watching various videos. The Touch Bar feature is designed to help users work faster without the need to use the mouse or trackpad too much. This area is dynamic and offers different options, according to the software that’s currently in focus on the laptop.
Moreover, due to the Radeon Pro 560x graphics with 4GB of video memory, the laptop can also be used for video production or advanced games (not too demanding though). You’ll also enjoy the four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, each being capable of transmitting up to 40 GB/s.
- Beautiful and thin design
- Impressive Retina display
- Easy-to-use keyboard
- Good configurationHigh-def sound from the incorporated speakers
- Fast and versatile
- Highly portable
- A bit expensive
- Battery drains fast with demanding tasks
- The Touch Bar needs some getting used to
Acer Predator Helios 300
When Performance & Design Meet
The first thing that comes to mind when you look at the Acer Predator Helios 300 is power. The design is bulky, but it’s also extremely attractive and inspires feelings of greatness in the soul of mere mortals.
Let’s get something clear first: this is a gaming laptop! With a 15.6” FHD IPS display with 144Hz refresh rate, a GTX 1660 Ti 6GB dedicated graphics card, and an Intel i7-9750H, the Helios is a mean machine that can help you conquer even the most dynamic virtual worlds.
Not to mention that it comes with 16GB DDR4 and a 256GB NVMe SSD that works quickly and swiftly. Now, all this power can be put to good use (besides gaming), which is why it makes for a remarkable work laptop as well. Due to its configuration, the Helios can be named the best laptop for gaming and music production, graphic animation, and any other projects that usually require tons of resources.
Finally, the laptop is fitted with a metallic case, MAXXAudio technology, Gigabit Wi-Fi, USB 3.1 (Type C), and dual all-metal AeroBlade 3D Fan Cooling. Acer mentions that the battery should hold for up to 6 hours, but this is highly dependent on the type of software you run.
- Badass design
- Metallic case
- Powerful configuration
- Moves fast with demanding software
- Astonishingly beautiful display
- Easy to use keyboard
- It is rather heavy
- Battery life
- Bulky design
- It runs a bit hot
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Your Most Reliable Option
This may actually be the best Windows laptop for music production because it is highly portable and lightweight. As such, you can have it by your side whenever inspiration strikes, whether you’re on a plane or walking through the park.
Surface Pro 6 is one of the most inspiring 2-in-1 laptops on the market because of its gorgeous design and impressive accessories. It’s also fast (8th Generation Intel Core processor), reliable, and features a 12.3” PixelSense display that offers clear images, sharp details, and vivid colors.
Since it can be used as a tablet, laptop, or studio tablet, it’s nice to have it around regardless of your location. However, if you truly want to unleash its power, you may have to purchase the accessories as well.
Overall, the battery should hold for about 13.5 hours of video playback (less with more demanding tasks) and you get to enjoy an operating system you know (Windows 10 Home edition).
- Slim & lightweight design
- Powerful configuration
- Beautiful display
- Great for a wide array of activities
- Comes with Windows 10 Home
- Keyboard and pen are extremely useful
- Accessories are a bit expensive
- The port configuration is a bit lacking
HP Spectre x360 GEM Cut 13.3 Pro
If you’re into music production, just take a look at this gem of a laptop: Bang & Olufsen Audio (!),Intel i7-8565U CPU under the hood, 16 GB of RAM, a fast 512GB SSD, a full HD touch display, and even a HP stylus; basically HP got all their basis covered with this version of Spectre x360 GEM Cut. For a reasonable price, you’ll get top-notch audio quality, an excellent FHD touchscreen, powerful hardware, lots of storage capacity, everything packed into a high-end chassis with a sexy design, which makes this baby the ideal companion for traveling or working “out of studio”.
- excellent build quality
- weighs less than 3 pounds, 14.5 mm thick
- good performance
- Bang & Olufsen-tuned speaker system
- amazing full HD touchscreen display
- good value for money
- class-leading autonomy (approximately 13 hours)
- lots of privacy/security features
- comes with sleeve and full-size active pen
- not suited for outdoor use due to relatively dim display
Huawei Matebook 13
Portable Design and Plenty of Power
Given its stunning screen (178-degree view angle, 2K resolution) and design (88% screen-to-body ratio and ultra-thin bezel), the Matebook from Huawei is one of the best laptops for video editing on the go.
The 13” touchscreen reacts fast, but the real power is provided by the Nvidia GeForce MX150 card. Also, the 8th Gen Intel Core i7 8565U processor boosts the overall performance whenever you need more resources. Not to mention, there are 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD to complete the configuration.
Based on the design, we can safely say that Huawei used the Apple MacBook as inspiration. The case is metallic and thin, silver in color, with an ergonomic keyboard and large trackpad. Also, the device is lightweight (2.8 pounds) and quite portable.
Since the main issue with most thin laptop is overheating, Huawei introduced an innovative cooling solution. The Huawei Shark Fin cooler can go up to 8,000 revolutions per minute and brings in about 25% more airflow than standard coolers.
Finally, the port configuration is impressive, with the compact Mate Dock 2.0 (included in the initial price). Thus, you get one USB-A port, USB-C port, HDMI port, and one VGA port.
- Thin, lightweight & elegant
- Easy to use keyboard
- Impressive touchscreen
- 2K resolution
- Powerful configuration
- Comes with Huawei Mate Dock
- The hinge is a bit finicky
- It still runs a bit hot
- Battery life could be better
ASUS ROG Strix Scar III
A Gaming Laptop with All the Bells and Whistles
Gaming devices feature an opulent design that screams power and performance through every color on their metallic case and RGB keyboard!
The same happens with the ASUS ROG Strix Scar III laptop, that comes with a beautifully ornated case, an RGB keyboard, and an RGB light bar. It also features a pretty interesting configuration (a cheaper one) starting with the Intel Core i7-9750H Hexa-Core processor combined with 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM and 1TB PCIe Nvme SSD!
When it comes to video quality, the laptop is equipped with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB card and has a 15.6” IPS FHD display with 240Hz(!) refresh rate and 3ms response time. As such, it’s one of the best laptops for graphic design but it can also run the latest games.
All this is cooled down by the Hypercool Pro thermal system with dual 12V fans, triple radiators and heatsink, and anti-dust technology.
Finally, you can use the 802.11b/n/ac Wave 2 Gigabit Wi-Fi to get online almost anywhere, since the quad antennas and ROG RangeBoost technology provides up to 30% wider coverage.
- Impressive configuration and build
- RGB keyboard, logo, and light bar
- Powerful WiFi connectivity
- Good port configuration
- Advanced cooling system
- A bit on the heavy side
- It still gets a bit hot
- Some screen backlight bleed in the corners
- The keyboard RGB setup is confusing
Razer Blade Stealth 13.3″ 4k
A Laptop that Supports Creativity on the Go
Simple, elegant, and thin, the Blade Stealth is yet another high-performing laptop with good audio and video features. Besides the 13.3” 4K touchscreen that can be rather small for long gaming sessions or photo editing, the laptop is configured to take on demanding tasks.
The NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with 4GB VRAM pairs nicely with the 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U quad-core processor, the 16GB dual-channel RAM memory, and 512GB SSD. Moreover, the display supports 100% Adobe RGB color, which makes this the go-to device for video creation on the go.
This is possible due to the CNC aluminum body (for increased durability) and thin design that makes it highly portable. You may also enjoy the Razer Chrome keyboard and precision glass touchpad that make working on this laptop a lot more fun.
Finally, you’ll always be connected with this device, due to its impressive port configuration (Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, USB-A, WiFi).
- Thin & portable design
- CNC aluminum case
- Designed for creativity
- Powerful configuration
- Impressive connectivity features
- Keys on the keyboard are a bit different
- The case is easy to scratch
- Battery drains faster than advertised
PCAudioLabs Rok Box MC M7 S
The Best Budget Laptop for Music Production
Equipped with components that support demanding audio production software, this laptop may look a bit expensive at first, but in reality, it will deliver the best performance without breaking the bank.
The configuration is powerful enough for studio and on the road needs and the design is portable and durable. The basic configuration is fueled by a 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H running at 2.6 GHz with 6 cores, and 16GB of RAM (up to 64GB), the device can be used for a wide range of activities.
Moreover, the 15.6” Full HD (1920×1080 resolution) screen can be used for both work and fun (for those times when you want to take a break). Not to mention, there is one audio drive (1TB 7200 rpm) and up to 3 Drives with RAID configurations.
The laptop runs Windows 10 64-bit version and supports both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Overall, it is ideal for both traveling and working in a studio, which is why it can be used by both bands on tour and professionals who would rather stay put. Also, note that everything is configurable and you can choose really high specs with this laptop but be ready to pay extra.
- Designed with audio production in mind
- Fully configurable
- Impressive case
- Portable design
- A bit expensive for beginners
As you can see, the offer is rather varied. However, the prices can be a bit steep for a beginner. Still, if you’re looking to get a good start, any one of the laptops mentioned above will help with both performance and durability.
So, instead of worrying about the price, consider this a first investment in your career as a musician!