Our #1 Rated
Macbook Pro is a done-deal when it comes to a multi-purpose machine capable of keeping up with demanding workloads. It’s light, portable with a high-definition display, and the keys are highly responsive. The OLED touch bar offers quicker navigation within many applications and DAWs.
If you’re serious about music production or DJing, and don’t have the funds to splash out the dollars on analogue gear or hardware – investing in a powerful computer or quality laptop is the next best investment you can make.
Some producers like to lock themselves away in their caves all day making beats, while others prefer to find their inspiration outside of the bedroom.
In which case, if you’re more inclined to the mobile/on-the-go lifestyle, you’ll need a powerful laptop capable of storing a lot of data and handling a good few years of abuse.
So, we thought we’d lay out some long-lasting, affordable options of the best laptops for you to consider as the base of your music production.
In this article, we’re going to review the following best laptops:
- Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15”
- Microsoft Surface Pro 4
- Dell XPS 9570
- Apple MacBook Air 13
- Razor Blade 15
- Dell Alienware 15 R4
- HP Spectre x360
- ASUS ROG Strix SCAR II
- Lenovo Yoga 910
- Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series
What to Look For
A good laptop should have:
CPU – If you’re going to be working in a DAW with several plug-ins open, you’re going to need a system with a good processor that can handle multiple tasks. Rendering tracks with several channels and effects will also require a strong CPU. Laptops with Core i3, i5, or i7 processors are the best bet.
RAM – Producers and gamers should opt for 16GB and up for the best experience. Again, if you’re going to be running multiple applications at once, plenty of RAM is a must.
Operating System – Think Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux etc.
Disk Space – With all those sample packs, VSTs and other files, you should look for a laptop with plenty of storage space, or at least invest in an external hard drive.
Now… let’s take a look at our top picks for the best music production laptops in 2021.
We think the Macbook Pro is a done-deal when it comes to a multi-purpose machine capable of keeping up with demanding workloads.
It’s light, portable with a high-definition display, and the keys are highly responsive.
The OLED touch bar offers quicker navigation within many applications and DAWs. If using Logic or Garageband, users will find this laptop particularly beneficial.
You’ll marvel at its fast performance, and ability to store large sums of data and project files. The only downfall is it may require an external adaptor or docking station when hooking up USBs…
That being said, you can purchase a top-quality USB hub for as little as $75. It will probably last you as long as the laptop itself too!
If you want to keep your spending bracket to a minimum in the process, you can always opt for an older model of the Macbook or pick up a renewed one for under $1,000.
It will still offer more than enough functions for you to create awesome, top-quality music.
With modern technology being as advanced as it is, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to own a good quality laptop these days. When it comes to music production however, spending that little bit extra will make a big difference to your productivity and will eliminate much of the stress when carrying out multiple tasks.
Is there an advantage to opting for CPU with Turbo Boost?
Yes and no. There are some misconceptions around whether turbo boost does anything to truly impact your CPU. The truth is, it’s generally ok for checking emails and loading webpages, but no real benefit when making music. Your processor will still take a hit if you’ve got tons of operations happening all at once.
Will 8GB of RAM be enough to store all of my projects?
That really depends on how many you have currently, as well as if you will be looking to store lots of other files and media too. 8GB is generally enough for most music producers, gamers and Mac users, however if you’re someone who constantly has windows and programs open, these all collectively suck up a lot of the RAM and the CPU, and can take up quite a few gigabytes at a time. We mostly recommend 16GB for that sweet spot.
What’s the best laptop for running Ableton Live?
The MacBook Pro is an all-around winner for most DAWs, but when it comes to Ableton in particular, it’s truly a laptop that was made to be it’s perfect match. The processor, RAM and SSD are capable of handling multiple tasks at once, without even making a dent in the CPU. You can safely have your devices and outboard gear plugged in too, making it a great option for those who will be using it for physical live performances