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 16″
An Ultimate Tool for Every Creative Individual
Apple MacBook Pro 16″ is one of the best MacBooks available on the market and definitely a great option if you are in the creative business, no matter if that is music, movies, or graphics design. Apple devices are made in order to deliver premium quality and its 16” Pro version is even a step further in that direction, delivering basically everything that artistic work might demand.
There is an excellent-quality Retina Display; a lot of firepower under the hood thanks to the 9th generation Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM (there are also versions with 32GB and 64GB) and AMD Radeon Pro 5300M (4GB) graphics card (there are also versions with AMD Radeon Pro 5500M (8GB) and AMD Radeon Pro 5600M (8GB) graphics cards), as well as a very good 100-Wh battery that will give you some 11 hours of autonomy.
When talking about its audio department, Apple MacBook Pro 16″ is a story for itself and comes with a six-speaker system, with dual-force canceling woofers; three-mic array with studio-quality and directional beamforming, as well as support for Dolby Atmos and wide stereo that altogether make this notebook one hell of a machine. Also, thanks to the four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, Magic keyboard, Touch Bar, and many other interesting and very handy features, you are getting great versatility and functionality, as it should be the case with the best laptop for music production.
The point being, if you want the best of the best, Apple MacBook Pro 16″ should definitely be your number one choice.
- Magic keyboard
- Excellent battery life
- Attractive design
- Very good sound quality
Acer Predator Helios 300
A Reasonable Price and Excellent Performance in One
Acer Predator Helios 300 is a high-performing, but reasonably priced notebook that offers great value and versatility for its price, which makes it a good option for both gamers and creatives, such as musicians. It is available in multiple configurations; however, the most preferable one is definitely the version with the 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, 16GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB) that will give you enough power, as well as provide a decent level off-reserve to allow for its use for at least a couple of years.
Acer Predator Helios 300 offers great connectivity (three USB3.2 ports, one USB Type-c port, an audio combo jack, HDMI and mini-DisplayPort, etc.) and comes with decent stereo speakers, with very good high and mid frequencies reproduction; nevertheless, it doesn’t have subwoofers, which certainly reduces its overall audio performance. On the other hand, there is DTS X support and a few predefined sound profiles that should help you find your perfect setup. However, for an immersive audio experience, the external speakers’ setup should definitely be the preferred choice.
When talking about other important aspects of this notebook, have in mind that this device comes with a highly responsive, FullHD 15.6” IPS screen, with 3ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate, as well as great connectivity that includes Killer Ethernet E260 and Killer Double Shot Pro Wireless-AX 1650i. Also, there is Windows 10, a special Turbo button that offers instant GPU overclock and performance boost, and overall a very sturdy build that will allow for its safe transport and trouble-free use while on the move.
In other words, Acer Predator Helios 300 definitely offers a great value for the money, which makes it an exceptional choice, whether you are looking for the best laptop for music production, the best laptop for video editing, or plain and simple gaming. Whatever your choice, you may be sure that this device will not disappoint you.
- Reasonable price
- Excellent performance
- Space for three storage drives
- Turbo (overclocking) button
- No Thunderbolt 3 port
- Speakers come without subwoofers
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
A Budget-friendly Music Production Tool
If you are seeking a practical and highly-functional device that will help you with your music production work, while giving you great flexibility and being affordable at the same time, Microsoft Surface Pro 7 2-in-1 laptop is the thing for you.
However, have in mind that this device offers solid, but not impressive performance. In other words, its Intel Core i5-1035G4 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD will allow for decent, trouble-free work on some of the best DAWs on the market, such as Ableton Live, or Steinberg Cubase, but nothing more than that.
Also, have in mind that this isn’t a classical notebook, but a tablet that can also be used as a regular laptop; however, for something like that, you will have to purchase its specialized keyboard that, on the other hand, costs additional money. For that reason, be sure that the 2-in-1 device is what you are really looking for.
When talking about other important aspects of this device, you should know that this 2-in-1 offers good networking capabilities (Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5); that it is lightweight and weighs only 771 grams, and that it comes with a solid battery life that provides the respectable 10.5 hours of work. Moreover, Surface Pro 7 offers USB-C3.1 and USB3.0 connectivity, it provides a decent sound and overall presents an affordable, but good enough option, especially for beginners in the music production industry.
- Very good performance
- Sharp display
- No Thunderbolt 3 connectivity
- Keyboard and pen are sold separately
HP Spectre X360 2020 GEM
A Dream Machine
HP Spectre X360 2020 GEM is an attractive-looking, flexible and lightweight 2-in-1 laptop that offers great performance and provides a whole bunch of interesting features that make it a great deal for music artists and producers.
The features such as HP Audio Boost and QUAD Bang & Olufsen speakers that provide an excellent audio experience, as well as a great long-lasting battery that allows for up to 18 hours of work, giving you a great level of autonomy. Also, there are numerous connectivity options such as one USB3.1 port, two USB3.1 Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 functionality, DisplayPort, combo audio jack, and more.
More importantly, there is some powerful hardware hidden inside, such as Intel i7-1065G7, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB NVMe SSD that altogether can make some great stuff, allowing you to solely focus on music.
In other words, if you are seeking the best laptop for music production, HP Spectre X360 2020 GEM is definitely the machine that should satisfy all your demands. With its 1.3 kg, it is lightweight and highly portable; its 2-in-1 characteristics allow it to be used as both laptop and tablet, while its great overall performance, along with the stylish looks and 13.3” 4K AMOLED screen, make this dude one hell of a machine. Therefore, if you are seeking the best laptop for graphic design or music production, you may be sure that this dude will help you do any of these with.
- Stylish looking
- Excellent performance
- Great battery life
- It can get hot from time to time
ASUS ZenBook 15
Stylish Looks and Great Performance in a Compact Edition
ASUS ZenBook 15 is a one-of-a-kind, premium product that offers only the best, in accordance with its class, whether it’s appearance or performance. Therefore, it should be no surprise that this laptop comes with a few unusual features, such as ScreenPad2.0 (5.65” interactive trackpad/touchpad) that present a great productivity tool, as well as the ErgoLift hinge that makes typing a bit more pleasant.
Other key ingredients of the ASUS ZenBook 15 include a great-looking 15.6” wide-view 4K screen, Intel Core i7-10510U CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, 512GB of NVMe SSD, as well as 16GB of RAM. Altogether, these features make a recognizable force and certainly provide a lot of maneuverability space that makes this laptop one of the best laptops for graphic design and music production, or, on the other hand, an excellent gaming tool.
ASUS ZenBook 15 comes with a lot of connectivity options under its wing, such as Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 6 networking, as well as two USB3.1 ports, one USB3.1 Type-C port, HDMI, SD card reader, and more. Also, it is compatible with Amazon Alexa, it is fitted with a solid battery that provides some eight hours of action and equally importantly, it is reasonably priced, which altogether makes it a great option for mobile music producers looking for the best value for their money, and ultimately the best laptop for music production there is.
- Great overall performance
- Excellent design
- Very useful ScreenPad
- No LAN port
ASUS ROG Strix G15
An Ultimate Productivity Tool
Whether you are a gamer or a professional, you must respect quality laptops when you see them, and ASUS ROG Strix G15 notebook definitely is of that kind. It doesn’t matter what your intentions are with it and what tasks you throw at it, you may be sure it will handle them with ease. This includes music production that, considering its specification, should be as easy as a walk through the park.
Simply, when you have Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU, 1TB NVMe SSD, and 16GB of RAM under the hood, everything seems easy to handle, whether that is video rendering, gaming, or just simple office work. However, there are also other interesting things about this laptop – before anything else, its super-fast 15.6” 240Hz FHD IPS screen, ROG Aura Sync compatibility, and RGB Keyboard, as well as solid connectivity that includes Gigabit LAN, BT 5.0, and Wi-Fi 6 connection, and numerous ports, such as audio combo jack, three USB3.2 ports, USB3.2 Type-C port, and many others. In other words, it puts quite a lot of versatility at your disposal.
Unfortunately, such praising words cannot be used to depict its speaker system that, although good, doesn’t deliver enough bass; therefore, it should be observed more as a spare option, while you should probably get yourself some high-quality external speakers that would go neck and neck with this mighty machine.
All in all, ASUS ROG Strix G15 offers a lot for the money, while offering great functionality and versatility at the same time. In other words, if music production isn’t the only thing on your mind and you are also into gaming, video rendering, or some other more demanding tasks, you may be sure that this notebook is quite a catch.
- Great performance
- Excellent keyboard
- Not the best battery life
- Not the best sound quality
Razer Blade Stealth 13
A Fantastic Working Machine
Razer Blade Stealth 13 is a compact and, because of its metal build, highly durable product that is designed as a top-class working machine and a solid gaming performer.
Inside of it, there is an Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU, as well as 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD that should be more than enough for the tasks of music production. Also, this device supports DolbyAtmos and is equipped with a four stereo speaker system, fitted with a smart amplifier that provides additional clarity and audio boost, which as a result provides amazing sound quality, as it should be the case with the best laptop for music production.
Moreover, Razer Blade Stealth 13 offers very good connectivity and comes equipped with combo audio, two USB3.2 ports, two USB3.2 Type-C ports, with Thunderbolt 3 support, and much more. Its long-lasting battery allows for some 10 hours of work, giving you a lot of flexibility, while its Razer Chroma Keyboard provides the much-needed comfort and certainly adds to the overall positive user experience of this notebook.
In other words, Razer Blade Stealth 13 is a great-working machine and a terrific tool for any sort of use. It is well-built; it offers great performance and definitely presents a good deal, especially if music production or high-demanding office work is your major concern.
- Beautiful looks
- Great performance
- Thunderbolt 3
- Durable metal build
- Good battery life
- A bit pricey
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 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H running at 2.3 GHz with 8 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 screen (there is also a version with the 17″ 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 500GB M.2 SSD for your OS and one 1TB M.2 SSD for storage.
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!