DJs and musicians diving into electronic music always try to find that best laptop for music production. For a very long time, Apple has the lion share of the market with the MacBook reigning against its competitors due to the sheer compatibility of Logic Pro X – a music creation software – with this portable platform.
But over the recent years, the advancement of portable technology has made it so that MacBook is starting to lose its hold on the market share for music enthusiasts. The rise of Ultrabooks and high-spec gaming laptops proved to be a worthy competition for Apple, and with it, the availability of music production got more diverse.
For a more specific description, the word Ultrabook was coined back in 2011. Back then, Intel wanted a term to describe ultra-fast laptops that are thinner and sleeker than most laptops in existence. They are the pinnacle in laptop technology, combining the latest technological advances in laptop hardware with an elegant, modern look.
DJs and Music Producers often prefer Ultrabooks because of their lightweight frame. It can be brought out on any music gig, and the hardware would let these people play and mixing music without having any slowdown. Not to mention that these also look very sexy, which is a plus on the ‘looking like a professional’ factor. And kind of for status as well – If you are well versed in these kinds of laptops, Ultrabooks also cost a pretty penny on the market.
Meanwhile, gaming laptops are, well, laptops used for gaming. Simple? Not really, as these bad boys (or girls, as we are modern politically correct people here) carry very high specifications when it comes to their internals. Most gaming laptop rival desktop set-ups, albeit giving you the ability to play games anywhere, anytime.
Gaming laptops are slowly becoming popular with music producers these days, as well. Most new musicians in this era play games and they want something that can handle both their gaming needs and music production activities.
But Before You Even Think of Buying…
Basically, as with any other high-end program, owning a laptop for music production boils down to the specs your machine has. And whether your chosen device will get you up-and-ready for your next gig as a musician depends on these initial factors:
- Processor strength – a no-brainer, having the latest processors will allow you to run Logic Pro X or other music production software on a speed that won’t lag. Managing multiple music tracks can be tough on a low-end laptop.
- RAM – your machine’s memory is another critical factor in producing high-quality music. Just think of the ramifications of not having enough memory to run a certain sub-program while you are in the middle of creating a song, or worse when you are in the middle of a live gig. Yikes!
- High-capacity hard drives or preferably an SSD – again, you’d want your music to be available whenever you need it. An SSD allows you to switch through beefy music folders blazingly fast. And having one would not compromise your laptop’s loading speed even when running a heavy software for music production.
- Lightweight – The goal of having a laptop is its portability. If you are still lugging a machine that weighs almost like a CPU, then it kind of defeats the purpose of having one, you know?
While music production has traditionally been reserved for music studios and complicated hardware setups, the development of power and portability in personal computing has made it easily accessible to the common consumer. As laptops become faster, the ability to produce your own music, collaborate, and subsequently share your work online has never been easier.
The Best Laptops for Personal Music Production at a Glance:
Still The Best Juggernaut in this Field – MacBook Pro
The granddaddy of it all, the 2019 model for the MacBook, remains as the best laptop for music production in our list. This year’s MacBook is stronger than ever, sporting top-of-the-line specs and the macOS ecosystem.
There are two versions of the MacBook Pro, and both are equally amazing. The 13-inch version sports a potent Intel Quad-Core i7, and the 16-inch version sports an extremely powerful Intel i9 Hexa Core processor. The sheer power of this makes the Logic Pro X run smoothly without any slowdowns.
The 13-inch sports a 16 GB RAM capacity, while the 16-inch has a 64 GB RAM ensuring that there will be no lags when switching through tracks. Also, feel free to store all the songs you want, since you probably won’t be able to fill that 2 TB – up to 8 TB on the 16-inch – SSD storage.
Another added bonus of getting the 16-inch model is that it comes with a GPU: an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M, 8GB DDR6 to be exact. If ever you are in the process of also creating a music video for your songs, then, by all means, this will take care of your editing and rendering activities easily.
Portability wise, Apple is always known to deliver. It sports the same lightweight yet extremely durable aluminum casing. This way, you can be sure that your laptop stays safe wherever you go without the constant fear of breaking it due to small accidents. However, if you are some safety freak, consider getting these sturdier, fine-grained wood Macbook Pro cases.
All-in-all, Apple still delivers with the Macbook Pro, whichever model you would like to use. And if you can afford its pricey nature, (the 16-inch model doubles the price of the 13-inch one), then you probably will have all the things you’d look for in a music production laptop, and more.
Muscle and Magnificence, All in One – Dell New XPS 13
Long-standing in the consumer laptop market, the newest version of the Dell XPS laptop provides the well-rounded power and reliability associated with the brand. With options up to 32 GB of RAM and 2 TB of SSD storage, the XPS also features the powerful Intel Core 10th Gen i7 processor. This will easily be able to handle the full gambit audio editing software while also multitasking any other logistical programs.
Built in the traditional laptop form factor, the XPS is a small and portable 13.4 inch screen device with an “InfinityEdge” bezeless display made out of Corning Gorilla Glass 6. With a simplistic IO setup of two USB Type C ports, one 3.5 mm headphone jack, and one Mini SD card reader, you’ll be able to connect two high-speed peripheral devices while not charging and make use of studio-quality headphones while editing audio.
The aluminum chassis housing, HD front-facing webcam, lid sensor, and facial recognition create a high-performing and stylish laptop with all of the convenient everyday features for productivity.
The Window (Tablet) to the Future – Microsoft Surface Pro 7
The flagship touch-screen laptop from Microsoft, the Surface Pro has cemented itself as the perfect combination of laptop power with the ease of use and mobility associated with tablets. Built with the 10th Gen Intel Core i5, the Surface Pro packs a big punch in a small form factor, supporting up to 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of SSD storage. Running the latest version of Windows 10 Home, the ability to run the full suite of music production software including Logic Pro, Avid, or Ableton Live will be possible.
The inclusion of the Surface Pen will allow for easy manipulation of its 12.3 inch touch-screen, whether you are scrubbing through tracks or adjusting levels. The three different modes of Laptop Mode, Studio Mode, and Tablet Mode will also allow you the flexibility to not only work alone but also share and collaborate on projects.
As far as IO is concerned, you’ll have access to USB Type C, USB Type A, as well as a full-sized SD card reader. This gives you the option to not only import audio files from external audio recording devices but also to run your audio editing software of choice with any necessary peripherals.
Is it a New Contender? No Way?! – Huawei Matebook 13
One of the newest and more popular tech manufacturers in the tablet, phone, and computer landscape, Huawei and their Matebook 13 is a 13 inch touch-screen display full-sized laptop. Built with an Intel Core 8th Gen processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256 GB SSD, this is a great value option for portability and power. Weighing only 2.86 pounds, the small form factor and supplied fast-charger is ideal for those producing audio while on the go.
The 2K (2160×1440) 200 pixel per inch touch-screen display is not only impressive in functionality and responsiveness, but it is also built with a “FullView” borderless display giving it an 88% screen-to-body ratio. The added fingerprint “One Touch” power button allows for an easy boot up and login experience.
It’s Strong, Even Beneath the Surface – Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Another one from Microsoft enters the list with their Surface Laptop 2.
Despite being a more ‘traditional’ laptop, this powerful machine can go toe to toe with the Ultrabooks that pre-date it on this list.
Music production is a cinch with its Quad-core processor, which is an 8th gen Intel Core i5 or i7, depending on your budget. A state of the art piece of machinery inside a traditional laptop already speaks wonders.
RAM starts with 8 GB and can be upgraded up to 16 GB memory, depending on your preference. Since this is for music production, we always recommend you getting the one with the higher capacity. With this, you’ll be blasting song-for-song nonstop without ever worrying about slowdowns and lags.
The storage limit goes up to 1 TB, starting from a 128 GB SSD. And even though this is a traditional laptop in a sense, it’s still very lightweight compared to other same price-ranged laptops.
It has all the ports you’ll ever need – except a Thunderbolt 3, which is quite a sad part on its end if you are an avid user of Logic Pro X. But if you are using other software – hardware combos that don’t require a Thunderbolt 3, then look no further. The Surface Laptop 2 can surely take care of your music production needs flawlessly.
You Can Play Fortnite with It Too! – Asus ROG Strix Scar III
First, on the list on the two gaming laptops we will include on this list, is the Asus ROG Strix Scar III. Long awkward names aside, this laptop packs some SERIOUS internals that can even rival all the existing music production laptops in this list.
The processor comes in three forms, all 9th gen, depending on your choice. The most basic you can get will be an Intel i5, no issue, but the best one comes as an Intel i9. This is one of, if not the, best processors a laptop could ever have.
On the memory side of things, it carries around a 16 GB base, and it is expandable for up to 32 GB. A 1 TB, SSD storage capacity lets you keep up your list of songs without worrying about where to put them.
The Asus ROG Strix Scar III, however, leans over to the heavier side, at least compared to others on this list. Having heavy internals will result in heavy builds, so it is not as lightweight. It is quite sturdy, however, which makes up its weight.
If you know Hudson Mohawke and you are familiar with his music, do know that he is a huge fan of the Asus ROG series and recommends music producers and DJs to try it out. They all say the same thing: that it almost feels like they are working on a desktop when using this machine – it is that good!
The price is on the steeper side, though, so buy at your own risk. But hey, if you like producing music while fragging players on the latest shooting game available in the market, then this one is definitely up your alley.
Still Hanging On – MacBook Air (2019 model)
Apple’s second entry in our list of the best laptops for music production goes further down, as the 2019 model of the MacBook Air is not as strong as the MacBook Pro.
Wait, you might be thinking, “If it’s not as strong, then why is it on the list?” Well, we said it’s not as strong as the newer MacBook Pro model, but it is still hella strong, compared to other laptops in the market.
The new modern version of the MacBook Air boasts a new screen display and powerful internals, protected by Apple’s trademark aluminum build. As always, the Macs are always good for music production, but you might need to get yourself some port hubs for this laptop – its 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports are not compatible with a lot of music equipment.
If you are on the macOS ecosystem, but you don’t have as big of a budget to afford its beefier cousin, then the MacBook Air is available for your music production needs.
You Can Play Fortnite with It Too, Part 2 – MSI GF63
The next entry on our gaming-laptop-turned-music-production-laptop is the MSI GF63.
When you hear the letters MSI on the tech world, you’d know they give out good specs for a good price. The MSI GFS3 isn’t any different. While it stays in the ‘mid-range’ list of MSI’s behemoths, it still gives out a heavy punch with its strong internal components.
Yet mid-range is a funny thing to call it given its specs.
Models range from having a strong i5, 9th gen processor up to an even stronger i7 8th gen Hexa Core. Bumping it up to the Hexa Core processor gives it an additional 40% increase in performance, perfect for running all your music programs without expecting and slow responses.
One of the best things about this laptop is it can grow as your music production grows – the laptop has an upgradeable RAM, which can reach a whopping 64 GB.
Storage capacity runs on a 256 GB SSD as your primary drive C, and an additional SATA HDD drive for storing your files.
The GF63 is also boasting its thin, bezel display, allowing you to see everything on screen perfectly. Because of how thin this laptop is built, you can expect somewhat of a lightweight build than most gaming laptops don’t have.
So if you fill that you want to widen your horizons in terms of producing your music, know that the MSI GF63 can grow alongside you.
Proving that They Can Enter Any Niche – Samsung Notebook 9
Another 2-in-1 laptop on our list is Samsung’s entry in the best laptop for our music production line.
If you are looking at a MacBook Pro alternative, then look no further than the Notebook 9. It is monster specs are nothing to scoff at, as this laptop can compete with our number one contender – even surpassing it in some aspects. Not only that, but this one also has a much lower price tag, making it a strong placer in our list.
Proving that they can stand toe-to-toe with the big names, the Samsung Notebook 9 carries an impressive Intel i7 – 550U processor. This enables it to dish out strong performance levels in a smooth manner.
Its memory starts from a so-so 8 GB but can be upgraded to 16 GB, handling most program issues with ease. A whopping 256 GB that can be upgraded up to 512 GB of SSD storage space is just right for that massive list of songs you are preparing to play through.
It also is incredibly light, probably because it functions as a 2-in-1 laptop.
The only downside and its greatest flaw is that the Notebook 9 does not have a very good keyboard. It feels a bit cheap in this regard. But nonetheless, the Samsung Notebook 9 is a powerhouse that you should check out.
I Can’t Believe That This is an Ultrabook – Acer Swift 3
It’s a budget Ultrabook.
See the paradox in that sentence? We can’t believe that the words “budget” and “Ultrabook” will come together in one cluster of words, but apparently, Acer made it happen. Looking at it objectively, this is the perfect beginner-level gear.
Technically a hybrid of the economically-friendly Acer components and the chassis of the powerful Acer Swift 7, the Acer Swift 3 can put other modern laptops to shame with its lightweight yet budget-friendly build.
But wait, the phrase “economically-friendly” might be a bit of a misnomer; what we truly meant was they can be considered as top-of-the-line technology that is available at a price tag that won’t burn holes through your wallet. Not convinced? Well, how about if we tell you that the Swift 3 towers over the old MacBook Air in almost all aspects. Yes, in ALMOST ALL aspects, which, of course, includes the price. Too bad it doesn’t run on macOS.
Processor-wise, it did cut corners and had quite a low core and threading function for an Ultrabook, only having an Intel Dual Core i3 – i7 processor, unlike most of the laptops on this list.
RAM also took a bit of a hit, as the maximum capacity goes up to only 8 GB, so don’t expect any massive multitasking or the machine might slow down a bit. The Hard Drive is okay though, up to 256 GB SSD capacity should prove useful for storing songs that you would want to practice on.
Because it does not contain heavy internals, expect the Swift 3 to be lightweight, like an Ultrabook should.
It does, however, lack the Ultra HD graphics that almost all Ultrabooks are looking for. But well, if you are going to use it for solely your music production stuff, then by no means, go for the Acer Swift 3.
So if you are a beginner
As we would like to impart you with more choices for music production laptops, we’ve scoured across the internet for brands that are not as big as the ones on the main list.
Remember, these ones are not to be scoffed at. They are very powerful tools for music production and can provide you with the same prowess as the known ones, probably more!
So buckle up and check out these two laptops that might interest you if going mainstream isn’t your thing.
Created Just for This Specific Purpose – PCAudioLabs MC Mobile 10
- Processor: Intel Core i7 – 9700K, 9th Gen
- RAM: 16 GB to 64GB, DDR4
- Hard Drive: SSD, 250 GB m.2; 1 TB Audio Drive
- Lightweight: Somewhat
The next generation in the line of the fantastic PCAudioLabs series, this laptop has such powerful hardware, you’d feel like you are looking at a desktop set-up for someone who specifically works on the digital arts.
It has an Intel i7-8550U octa-core processor, which makes multitasking with different music programs a cinch, preventing unnecessary lag.
It also has an expandable RAM that reaches up to 64 GB, which also adds up with the multitasking music producers and DJs need when it comes to handling their songs.
Storage-wise, the operating system for this laptop sits on a 250 GB SSD, further adding to your ability to multitask without the risk of your own OS slowing you down. It also comes with what they call an “Audio Drive,” which lets you store additional data, totaling 1 TB.
Add in Thunderbolt 3 slots, 6-in-1 card readers for whatever card you are using, and it runs on an actual video card, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB, instead of an integrated GPU, and you have the almost-perfect music production machine.
And there is actually a reason why we mentioned the video card: this laptop created specifically for music production, music videos included.
For a long time now, PCAL had always been delivering quality set-ups for audio and video purposes, and the new MC Mobile 10 is their latest creation that delivers a breakthrough experience for those in the field. A lot of professional music producers are working with this gargantuan beast, and they all sing praises, pun intended.
It is not without a downside, though, as powerful hardware tends to be on a bit of the heavy side, at least compared to the other ones on this list. Also, as this is made for professional use, the price tag on this is also on the more expensive side of the spectrum.
Did We Mention Fortnite? – Eluktronics Pro-X P955ER
- Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H, Hexa Core
- RAM: 64 GB DDR4
- Hard Drive: SSD, 2TB Ultra Performance PCIe
- Lightweight: Yes
The last entry on our gaming laptop list is the Eluktronics Pro-X P955ER. Last, but definitely NOT the least.
With a build like this and a very competitive price tag, this laptop basically is the strongest gaming laptop on our list.
The P955ER laptop borders on being an Ultrabook when you take a look at it. This can be seen with that thin aluminum chassis that goes along with its subtle, professional look, commonly found in most Ultrabooks.
Gear-wise, it is an understatement to call this machine “strong.”
To start off, the Eluktroniks Pro-X P955ER carries a whopping 64 GB DDR4 RAM on-set. No memory upgrades needed here, as it already has a VERY strong base RAM that it puts most of these laptops to shame.
It uses an Intel Hexa Core i7-8750H as a processor, which can handle most of your music production programs with no hassle at all.
Storage-wise, this laptop also comes with a 2 TB SSD, the kind the MacBook Pro sports. For additional storage (for those who feel they can fill up two terabytes for some reason), there is an empty bank that is dock ready for any hard drive modifications you want.
And as mentioned, the Pro-X is almost like an Ultrabook, encasing its internals within the lightweight aluminum casing. It’s way lighter than most gaming laptops.
The only downside we see is that the fans are somewhat loud in some cases. If you are producing upbeat, loud music like EDM or rock, then you won’t even feel this. But if you are trying to record a ballad, then you might hear some fan vibrations if you did not place your mic a bit further from this machine.
Don’t let that drawback stop you, though, as the Eluktronics Pro-X P955ER is something we definitely recommend for those gamer-slash-musicians that wan an extra oomph.
Music Producers, DJs, Music Artists Input on the Best Laptop for Music Production
I use a Dell Inspiron (2016 model). I love the thing! I have the 17.3-inch version, and although it’s big and heavy, it’s actually really comfortable to use once it’s on a solid sturdy surface. In the DAW, I use mostly stock plugins except for VST limiters, simple Reaktor, and VCV rack patches, and I’m also occasionally rendering some Blender projects in the background and the 16gb of ram have never failed me. The 1TB disk is nice too. On the topic of djing, I’ve run DJ programs on it without issue. My only complaint is actually my fault. At the time I was having a hard time choosing between one with a GPU and the one I have, with Waves MaxxAudio Pro. It’s supposed to enhance your audio. It might be a matter of taste. The best way I can describe it is that it creates a spatial image that I find very artificial now. You can easily turn it on and off though.
Techno DJ and music producer
I am a full-time session singer and work exclusively virtually, so I do all of my own recording and exporting. I use a Macbook Pro, 15-inch, 2019 version. It sucks and I do not recommend it.
This newer version of Macbook does not have USB ports, which is endlessly frustrating as my interface is a USB, as well as many other important things I need for my computer. The fact that I had to spend 2 grand on a computer, just to have to spend MORE on an adapter so that I can use the things I already own, was so stupid and frustrating. I lose the damn
converter all the time which is also annoying (and entirely my own fault).
I loved my Macbook before I upgraded. If anyone is using an older model and wondering if they should switch, I don’t recommend it. It’s still more familiar and comfortable than a PC to me (and I use Logic Pro X to record) so I’ll continue to use it, but the lack of USB ports is just such a stupid modification. What I do like about the laptop and Macs in general is Logic Pro X, it is my primary reason for tolerating such nonsense (I realize it would be infinitely easier to learn a new DAW, but I’m dumb and this is what I know so I’ll just stick to complaining).
I’m a completely independent Artist so I’ve had to learn a lot about tech myself over the years.. Generally speaking DAWs perform most of there tasks off the CPU. The Razer Blade 15 Laptop is a great contender through. Most people will think of this as a gaming laptop which is actually great news since gaming laptops are known for being the top performers in almost any task you give them.. (plus you can set the vibe, take a break, game in the studio..) 😉 .
It comes with a very decent Intel i7 8750H CPU and the NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU + 16 Gigs of RAM. If you can get your DAW to use it’s GPU then it’s even better for things like dual screens in a studio session. If you already have an external Audio Interface (which I highly recommend) then this will 100% suffice most of your music production needs.
I currently use the MacBook Pro, it’s an amazing computer and it’s efficiency is magnifique. I am able to use ProTools Daw together with more than fifteen (15) plug-ins running, plus stand alone softwares such as Melodyne, Kontakt and others like Orchestral Composer Cloud, Zoom and having it all run together without crashes is definitely an Apple product privilege.
Composer & Performer
Dupr’Art Production Company
email@example.com (617) 515-5135
I specialize in audio devices and have worked with recording studios and music producers. I also have massive experience as a hobbyist with music production, as I’ve been doing it for my own music since childhood.
Apple’s Macbook Pro is going to be the hands-down best choice overall for music production thanks to its high-end performance using Intel processors. Having a processor with over 2gHz of processing speed is essential as any digital recording software (like FL Studio, Ableton Live, etc.) will be thread-intensive. On the flip side, in order for your computer to remember layer after layer while in production, you’ll want at least 8GB of Ram, but ideally 16 or 32.
So I said the Macbook Pro is the best choice, but when it comes to good hardware (at a good price) the iMac desktops definitely outperform. The primary advantage the Macbook Pro holds is that it’s portable. I have worked on many tracks while sitting on the subway.
The last point I want to make is that newer Macbook Pros don’t come with any USB ports, and so you’ll need an adapter (like https://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-Adapter-Delivery-Thunderbolt-MacBook/dp/B07X5YM12G/?tag=hayksaakian-20, for example) to add the required ports. This is a caveat for sure, but the cost of such adapters is very minimal compared to the price of the laptop.
I hope you found some value from this answer, Paul. I know others have probably beaten me to the punch on the Macbook Pro, but I work with computers for a living so I’m happy to give even further insight on it.
Creator / Founder
It’s funny I came across this question now. I was just thinking about music production and laptops the other day. The thing is, my group The Impersonators was born on my old laptop. It’s not the laptop I use anymore but nevertheless. In 2012, my former group Carmen Gray, a Sony/BMG act, had just disbanded after a decade of recording in the biggest studios in Finland. Even though it felt like the end of the world, I wanted to continue releasing music. The problem was I didn’t have a recording contract anymore. However, what I did have was an HP laptop that had a strong enough processor and just about enough memory for music production. It wasn’t much but it got us going.
Nowadays, I have an Apple laptop, a 15-inch Macbook Pro. This works fantastically for what I need. It has a 2.2 gigahertz processor, which isn’t perfect (3.2 or 4.2 would be but you mostly get these on desktops so this is a moot point). For those of you shopping for a laptop right now, in addition to the processor, the laptop (or any computer used for recording) should have a minimum of 16 GB of RAM (random access memory) and really, a storage of one terabyte. Even with this amount of space, my advice to you is: get a portable hard drive. The space on your computer will run out eventually and also, you will need backups! I use LaCie Porsche hard drives but there are many equally good products out there. Just take your pick.
I just realized that while I use the laptop quite a bit, it’s actually my son’s laptop. I borrow it every once in a while to sing the harmony parts for my songs and to finish off my mixes. It’s very handy for that purpose actually. Although I prefer working on a desktop and a much bigger screen (I have a 27-inch screen in my home studio upstairs), for some things, like crafting a stereo image of a song, this setup works perfectly.
In case you are now wondering what I need the laptop for since I have a home studio, I’ll explain a bit. I can’t always go upstairs to work on my music. I have six kids, the youngest of whom is three, so sometimes downstairs is the only place where I can get stuff done. If I’m upstairs and mixing a new track behind closed doors, anything can happen. I tried once sending an email from the upstairs computer while the kids were downstairs playing and that resulted in a pool of pee on the kitchen floor that my five-year old was cleaning using my wife’s cocktail dress as a towel. I am still paying for this and I doubt I will never live it down!
Working downstairs means working with headphones but I’ve gotten used to that. Obviously, the mix needs to be finalized in the studio with loudspeakers (I use Genelecs) but you can get pretty far with good headphones and a laptop. And as I explained, for our family, this is also a safety issue and an issue of clothes preservation!
By the way, staying on the topic of laptops and my marriage, this isn’t the only thing that I will never live down. When my wife and I were dating (a few kids and a quarter of a lifetime ago), I installed some music software (Audacity amongst other things) on the laptop she had then, Acer I believe it was. I was new to recording music and didn’t bother to check the features of her laptop. Turned out her laptop couldn’t handle the software and stopped working altogether. You can just imagine how comfortable that was. We had known each other for only a few months! I told her a while ago how fantastic it was that she got over that little incident and forgave me rather quickly, pointing out that this must be the case since she married me. She looked at me with a rueful smile and said, Darling, those two things aren’t connected in any way. I will never forgive you for what you did to my laptop.
She has a great sense of humor…or so I keep telling myself.
I have been a DJ | Producer for 15 years, while I do a lot of my mixing and engineering work in the studio on a desktop. All of my gigs are played with a laptop and most of my productions are started on a laptop.
I have owned pretty much every make and model laptop you can think of. I am still an avid Apple guy when it comes to doing creative stuff on a computer though. My current go-to set up is a 2012 Macbook Pro Non-Retina. While you can do some upgrades to a few newer models, the 2012 was one of the last models that allowed the user to do upgrades to meet their specific needs.
My 2012 is currently running dual HD’s, a 1TB SSD located in the factory position and a 1TB HDD located in the bay where the optical drive was. 16GB RAM and an i7 processor.
Even on this somewhat older laptop, it’s been around the world for gigs in hot and cold conditions, it’s ran all of the production sessions and recorded full projects for artists, as well as run adobe creative suite for any creative projects I need to go along with music as well. While I do have newer machines, this one is really the work horse that stays in my bag
I have been producing electronic music (melodic progressive house) since 2012, and I’m signed to labels in both US, Russia and Cyprus.
Right now I use a MSI GS63 7RE Stealth Pro ( https://www.msi.com/Laptop/GS63-7RE-Stealth-Pro/Specification ) which I find awesome for music production. Besides being (as the name implies) quiet and lightweight, I love the amount of RAM (and the processor power) it comes with. It makes me able to run a lot of plugins / VSTs, including a full mastering chain, all in the same project and without exporting a lot of files as I go. It’s also a quite nice gaming computer, which is a bonus.
Andreas J @ Spotify
We each use a 2017 MacBook Pro 15-inch model for producing. The touch-bar above the keyboard is handy for making quick adjustments and navigating across project sections. We use Apple’s DAW Logic and enjoy its very intuitive interface and built-in features such as Flex Pitch.
I use Apple’s 13” MacBook Pro; it’s both sturdy and slick. Plus, it’s processing power helps me produce more efficiently because it can handle a ton of CPU-heavy plugins!
I am currently using an Asus Zenbook Pro Duo, which has two touchable screens. It is really helpful when mixing and mastering because I can put the mixer in one of the screens and have the playlist on the other. When making a beat, I can turn the lower screen into a touchable piano, which feels awesome.
While touring with Neil Young I would take my MacBook Pro and a small interface and be able to make recordings all around the world that later I would dump into my studio at home. There is no downtime in my creativity. When inspiration strikes I’m able to capture it. I love having the option to max out the RAM to make it super powerful and process large amounts of information with no delay.
For music production and recording, I use a 2018 Macbook pro. I like this laptop because it has great battery life and is user-friendly–I use both Logic and Garageband and I like having the software options, depending on how in-depth a project is. Although this laptop doesnt have standard USB ports, I am able to connect my mixer and microphone/instrument inputs easily. Price wise, it is quite affordable for a computer with this sort of speed and memory. I can use it for both music production as well as personal/other business use.
Musician. Singer. Songwriter.
We have produced the music for such TV series as POWER on Starz and for me; I love the Apple “13 Mac Book PRO!
The Mac Book is perfect for me, who often wants to digitally pen down a new idea before it’s forgotten. I love the built apps, Garageband, iMovie, Itunes, Facetime! The Mac Book Pro allows me to access shared projects, edit from my office and collaborate with fellow music producers.
Mac Book is one of the best for music recording because of it’s powerful 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor, large RAM and storage space. It is also able to quickly load and handle multiple software.
Linnette A. Harrigan
Currently, I am using Dell XPS Thin and Light for music production. It is one of the best devices to use for all your compositions and production, especially if you are a newbie. This laptop has the latest 7th Gen Intel Quad Core processors and a powerful 4G GeForce 1050 graphics card, ensuring that your recording and production tasks don’t lag. Another fantastic thing about this laptop is it’s 16 GB storage capacity and 2400 MHz bandwidth, which ensures excellent speed and performance.
Editor of The Sound Junky
How to Choose a Music Production Computer
There you go! Those are our candidates for the best laptop for music production list. If you are still unsure of what to buy, do remember that these laptops cater to you, depending on your needs.
Are you fond of using your laptop to do different tasks other than music production? Do you prefer a lightweight one that you can lug around? Or are you more of the desk person but still prefer something to carry without going low on the specs side of things? If you can answer these questions, then you can pick the right music production laptop for you.
After all, at the end of the day, music is only as good as the one who plays it.
Recap: The 10 best laptops for music production in 2020.
- New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage) – Space Gray
- Dell New XPS 13 9300 – 13.4″ Touch-Screen
- Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3″ Touch-Screen
- Huawei Matebook 13 – 13″ Touch-Screen
- ASUS ROG Strix Scar III G531GW-XB96
- Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage) – Gold
- CUK MSI GF63 Thin Gamer Notebook
- Samsung Notebook 9 Pen 15”-Intel Core i7-16GB Memory-1TB SSD-MX150
- Acer Swift 3 SF315 Laptop: Core i7-8550U, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, 15.6″
- Eluktronics Pro-X P955ER