There isn’t a subset of laptops specially designed for music production. However, a laptop powerful enough, having the latest GPU, powerful processor, and faster RAM can do the magic. Choosing the best laptop for music production shouldn’t be too hard but the decision to make is a critical one. You will need a powerful laptop that has the capacity for recording and producing music.
Having said that good specs are really important for music production. Now let’s look into what design would suit you. If you use your laptop inside your studio for things like mixing and voice over then you can go for a large screen laptop and in some cases a bulky one too, because such laptops pack huge performance. On the contrary, if your work involves traveling around and performing live then you definitely need a laptop which you can carry around easily. So, you must keep portability in mind before choosing your laptop for music production purposes.
Best Laptop for Music Production 2020:
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 – Best Music Production laptop
- Razer Blade 15 – Best Design Overall
- Apple MacBook Pro – Editor Choice
- MSI GV62 8RD-276 – Most Powerful Laptop
- Apple MacBook Air – Best Value Laptop For Music Production
- Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 – Best Budget Laptop
- Dell XPS 15 9570 Ultrabook – Best Display Laptop For Music Prodction
- Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Laptop For Multitasking
- Microsoft Surface Book 2 – Best Lightweight Laptop 2020
- ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim – Best UltraBook 2020
What can Fill your Music Production Needs?
Time has come, whether you are recording a hip hop, classical or any type of music. You can do that on a laptop. Now, it depends on how passionate you are, the more passionate you are, the more selective you should be while getting a laptop.
Select a Screen Size You Need
Screen size is very important for music producers. It determines your visual work-space. If you are a musician who would use his/her laptop for basic recording and mixing, a small size would be a better choice because it would easily fit in a backpack. For more complex production, you will need a bigger work-space and balance between portability and performance. At the end comes those who want to monitor dozens of tracks simultaneously, they will need a large screen ranging anywhere between 17 to 19 inches.
Windows Vs Mac
If you have no problem in spending more, then choosing a MacBook should be your first priority. At this time, MacBooks are the laptops having the most stable performance and great portability. You can take them anywhere and work along with traveling.
The other case, if you are low on a budget. Windows laptops are also an excellent choice to make for producing music. At the price of a MacBook Pro, you can buy a powerful laptop that can run the most demanding latest DAW software. However, Windows is not that refined and robust as compared to MacOs. It is perfectly optimized for work and even an older MacBook can work better than a new Windows laptop but the fact exists, that MacBooks are expensive. Before buying a laptop, you should have an eye on the DAW software that you want to use. If you want to use software that works only on the Mac, it would be silly to get a Windows laptop. You should first research your DAW software and check if it’s available for a specific operating system and then select the OS platform.
A Complete Package
The laptop being used for music production needs to be a complete package and have maximum mobility. It should incorporate such features due to which you can take it anywhere and use it anywhere. This involves maximum portability, in case you perform live on stages, your laptop should be lightweight and smart. Besides, things like good battery life, external connectivity and a good keyboard are important too.
Ports like USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, audio jack and HDMI, etc will make things easy for you while you perform live. Also extended battery life (around 8 hours) and a nicely backlit keyboard will be of great help as well.
Get an Enhanced Processor
Music production needs load-bearing hardware. Most DAW software is heavy and can put a lot of load on the processor. CPU is the main component of a computer, it needs to be selected very carefully because no one changes a laptop processor later on. Now, it depends on your music production needs and how complicated work you are going to do on it. The more complex your work, the more powerful the processor you will need.
CPU can be measured in two different ways. The first thing that matters in CPU performance is the number of cores. Multiple cores dramatically increase performance. You can get a laptop with a dual or quad-core processor. The other metric that matters is the clock speed of the processor. For music production, anything above 2.4Ghz can be considered good.
RAM: More is Always Better
Random Access Memory (RAM), as the name suggests, it stores programs and data temporarily at run time. The more programs or complex programs you going to run, the more amount of RAM it requires. Now, In music production, you have to deal with complex programs and sometimes you will be working on multiple tracks or applying effects to your tracks. You will need at least an 8GB RAM. Memory is upgradable but each laptop has its maximum limit. It will be good to choose a laptop that has an upper limit of 16GB or above.
SSD or HDD or Both : What’s Best?
In music production, you will have to deal with complex audio files which can take up to 1GB of space. For this kind of work, you need a huge space. Anything above 500GB would be a good choice.
But besides space, its speed matter too. This is where the difference between a conventional Hard Disk Drive and the modern SSD comes in. HDD uses mechanical arm for sorting and finding your data, whereas, an SSD uses an internal chip mechanism. This makes it pretty obvious that an SSD is much faster than a conventional HDD. However, SSD is also way expensive compared to HDD. This is where you can decide based on what your pocket allows. You can either go for a huge capacity SSD like 500GB and above or you can choose a combination of these two. An SSD somewhere between 128GB to 256GB and an HDD of around 1TB as your secondary storage.
This way, the laptop will not put too much burden on your pocket and you can still enjoy the speed of SSD alongside the capacity of your HDD. Moreover, you can also use an external storage drive that you can carry along easily in the backpack.
You should check that the laptop you choose has all the necessary ports for you. Things like USB, USB-C, HDMI, audio jack, SD card reader and Thunderbolt 3, etc are the most common and widely used interfaces. However, you should look into the number of them too. Some laptops only come with 2 USB ports or a single Thunderbolt 3 port which later on becomes an issue. Make sure you get all the ports you need and in the same count which you prefer.
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Best Laptop For Music Production 2020
1. ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701 – Best Overall
Most powerful laptops are bulky and heavy but this isn’t the case with ASUS ROG Zephyrus S. It packs huge power inside it and I slim too but as costs a bug sum. ASUS ROG Zephyrus S is expensive due to which it might be inaccessible for most people. This laptop can fill in all your needs, it’s powerful enough to be used for music production or playing AAA-rated games and light enough to take anywhere.
Internals of the Zephyrus S is ridiculously awesome. It is housed with the latest Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, a faster Intel Core i7-8750H Hexa-Core processor alongside a much improved FHD display. The storage needs are filled by a faster and massive 1TB SSD with 16GB of RAM. They have put the money in the right place, the specs are high and can give you huge power for processing. It can be called an all-rounder. The only thing that restricted us from putting it at list top of best laptop for music production list is the price, it’s expensive compared to others.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Cooling system is much more effective. With the ROG-exclusive Active Aerodynamic System and 12V fans, the temperature is always kept in check and reduced to a minimum. GPU switch mode in it lets you switch between integrated and discrete graphics, saving you battery and giving a powerful performance. The keyboard is right at the front of the laptop and the trackpad doesn’t go in its traditional way. It’s placed on the right-hand side of the keyboard where you would expect a Numpad. On could get used to its unconventional design in a matter of days. You get all the necessary and basic ports for external connectivity. Finally, as mentioned earlier it is expensive but has mighty performance and sleek design.
2. Razer Blade 15 – Best Design
Razor has always been a major player in the game. Their laptop is powerful enough that can outrun, outshoot and outperform any laptop in the price range. They produce a laptop that is powerful, portable and stylish that can be used for anything, anytime, anywhere. You can simply say that laptops produced by Razor are all-purpose laptops. In the case of Razor Blade 15 is a major player in the game which is full of useful features and could be the best choice to use for producing music.
Now producing music needs a lot of power and a big display because you will have to run heavy programs and do a lot of multitasking. Razor Blade 15 does a great job because it’s armed with the latest NVIDIA GeForce 1660Ti paired with the 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor. This ensures an impressive and satisfactory performance of the tasks to be done on this laptop. Furthermore, a 16GB RAM is featured which can easily handle all your multitasking needs plus for storing the files a fast 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD are housed inside. So, you can say that it completely deserves the top spot in the list of best laptop for music production.
Along with music production, this model can also fulfill your gaming needs. The touchpad of the Razer Blade 15 is massive and smooth. All the ports for the basic need are there. Along with all other ports, Razer Blade 15 sports Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C. The audio output is good and the speaker sounds good but they are not for loud music. Overall, Razer Blade 15 is lightweight, with good battery life and all the latest specifications which you would be needing for your music production work.
3. Apple MacBook Pro – Editor’s Choice
Apple has its own reputation and fanbase. The design of the Macbook Pro is fabulous as always with powerful specifications. The target of the Macbook Pro has always been a creative and professional audience. Apple Macbook Pro delivers a high-level performance but it always costs a little over consumer-oriented devices. If you have no problem with the budget and your only concern is the performance, this is definitely the one you should go for.
Apple MacBook Pro houses a latest 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 Six-Core processor with a powerful AMD Radeon Pro 555X GPU that makes it powerful enough for any kind of work. To store your data, it sports 256GB SSD and 16GB of 2400 MHz RAM for covering the multitasking. The display of the Apple MacBook Pro is also amazing. It’s 15.4″ 2880 x 1800 Retina Display provides you sharp view and bright colors. The battery has always been a plus point for Apple users, it can provide you enough battery life for your work. Because of such powerful specifications, amazing design and portability, it can be labeled as the best laptop for music production.
The touchpad of the Apple MacBook Pro is massive but not intrusive. The keyboard of the Apple MacBook Pro as claimed by Apple is quieter. If you are a keyboard worrier, this could be something of interest to you. Bad news for USB Type-A fans, you cant have it. Apple MacBook Pro only sports 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports. Overall, this is a great laptop for those who want to use an Apple model for music production.
4. MSI GV62 8RD-276 – Most Powerful
Whenever it comes to power and performance, MSI is a beast. MSI GV62 8RD-276 is a budget entry-level laptop with a fabulous performance. It has power, nice design and all the features you need. It can fill your gaming plus music production needs, with the latest powerful specs and louder speakers. The MSI GV62 8RD-276 has an aesthetic frame having a comfortable keyboard. If you are low on budget and want something to fill your music production needs, this is something you get.
MSI GV62 8RD-276 comes with the latest internals. It houses a powerful 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 processor with the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050TI 4G GDDR5 GPU that has enough power to fulfill your music production needs. It also sports a massive 16GB RAM with a speedy 128GB NVMe SSD and ITB HDD as its secondary drive. MSI GV62 8RD-276 comes with a 15.6″ Full HD display that’s bright and sharp. Overall, this can be called the best cheap laptop for music production with all the powerful specifications.
MSI GV62 8RD-276 has a great cooling system. The cooling system has 2 fans, 2 exhausts, 6 copper heat pipes that keeps the temperature in check. Ports that MSI sports are healthy and enough for your needs. Along with all the common ports it also sports USB Type-C and HDMI. The battery life of MSI GV62 8RD-276 isn’t as impressive as other laptops. It’s around 2 to 3 hours on a higher brightness. Overall, it is a good laptop to fulfill your needs.
5. Apple MacBook Air 13-inch Retina – Best Value
The users of MacBook air have been waiting for an update to their thin and light laptop for a long time now. They won’t be disappointed by the fact that the new MacBook Air 13-inch is thinner and lighter than the older models. However, if you see the performance of the laptop, there is just a slight improvement but it is more expensive. If you are not a fan of Macbook Air, these slight improvements won’t be enough to impress you. Overall, it’s one of the best Macs available on the market with a stunning retina display.
The Macbook Air boasts a latest Dual-core 8th-Generation Intel Core i5 Processor with improved retina display and a much better design which is light yet thin. To fulfill your graphical needs, it sports Intel UHD Graphics 617, a faster 128GB SSD alongside 8GB RAM which can be upgraded to 16GB. Furthermore, MacBook Air comes with an improved battery life of over 10 hours. All its features and power makes it one of the best option for being the best laptop for music production.
The size of the MacBook Air is reduced but that doesn’t mean there is a cut to the features and power. You still get a 13.3-inch display, the hardware is faster than it was and it includes the latest processor as well. MacBook Air includes only USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 3) ports. If you rely on the old USB peripherals, you will need a dongle or dock for them to work. The keyboard featured by Macbook Air uses a third-gen butterfly mechanism. Which is stable, comfortable and much more responsive. This laptop also includes a fingerprint sensor to log you in securely. Overall, it’s portable, beautiful and powerful enough to meet your needs.
6. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 – Best Budget
All the money you spend on Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is totally worth it. It’s a super worthy fellow, vastly improves the performance compared to the previous model while there aren’t many changes in the design of the laptop. It may not shake things up but Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is what you wanted your original to be. A great design, powerful enough and a fabulous Windows 10 experience. All, you need for music production is power and portability, it’s there in the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2.
The design of Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is clean and elegant. It’s thin and light starting at just 2.76 pounds. With the powerful 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-8250U processor, Intel UHD Graphics 620 and 8GB RAM, it can fill all your needs for music production. To take care of storage needs and store your files, it sports a speedy 256GB SSD. The display is fabulous with a high resolution of 2,256 x 1,504 which will give you a clear and sharp view. Besides, it’s an interactive touchscreen that you would rarely see on good laptops. Overall this is something beautiful with power in there.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 comes in rich-on-tone color combination i.e. platinum, burgundy and cobalt blue to choose from. The battery life is a plus with around 14 hours of life. You can also enjoy the extra features, a surface pen, surface dock to transform to desktop, surface arc mouse and Microsoft wireless display adapter. The invisible speakers below the keyboard are awesome too. However, Microsoft hasn’t iterated enough on the design. You still don’t get a Thunderbolt 3, a Type-C and a mini DisplayPort. Overall it’s a great laptop to consider for music production.
7. Dell XPS 15 9570 Ultrabook – Best Display
Whenever it comes to gold standard laptops, you cannot simply ignore the Dell XPS 15. This series of laptops from Dell is simply amazing. They come with a premium design and Dell XPS 15 isn’t an exception. It comes with thin bezels and a dazzling detailed 4K display. The display is simply amazing and detailed, you won’t need to zoom in to see clearly. Also, it’s great for doing multitasking and best for split-screen usage. No laptop can beat the compatibility of Dell XPS 15 for music production.
Thanks to the 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H Quad-Core Processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics. This laptop can handle any number of tasks and heavy programs. Also, you get a 16GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB SSD. These specs are powerful enough to handle all your music-related tasks and will be the perfect laptop to include in the best laptop for music production. This is the ultimate opportunity to get your hands on the most powerful laptop for creators and gamers.
Speakers are loud and clear. The keyboard of the Dell XPS 15 is good and comfortable to type. Furthermore, a big enough touchpad is quick and responsive. You will be facing no problem in performing gestures like zooming and double finger scrolling. Dell XPS 15 has enough ports to fill your gaming and work needs. With all the common ports, it sports HDMI, SD card reader and Thunderbolt 3. This a great laptop, both performance, and design-wise.
8. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best for Multitasking
Acer Predator Helios 300 is a beast when it comes to the performance. Music productions need a powerful laptop. You will need to have a big screen and the ability to run multiple programs. Helios 300 can do that quite efficiently. Furthermore, the built material of the laptop is impressive and it’s quite durable and can handle a lot of beating. This laptop can be used for gaming, working at the office and also other tasks. If you have enough budget and want something better, there can be nothing better then Helios 300 on the list of best laptop for music production.
Thanks to the 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. It produces enough power to fill your needs. The display of the Acer Predator Helios 300 is also bright and sharp. It comes with an FHD screen having a 1920 x 1080 resolution with a 144Hz refresh rate. These specs are too much in a simple laptop for music production. If your focus is only to fill your power need and not on the other features, this should be your go-to option.
You will love the keyboard of this laptop. Its comfortable has enough bounce, key travel and is responsive as well. The touchpad is also impressive but for music production, we suggest that you use an external mouse to have a better experience. Apart from Thunderbolt 3, it has all the common ports for your needs. Overall, this is a very good device to buy at an affordable price.
9. Microsoft Surface Book 2 – Best Lightweight Laptop
Microsoft Surface Book 2 comes with a stunning design that gives you everything. You can call it one of the best 2-in-1 laptops to date. The new edition of surface book 2 comes with more power and a bigger size. When the surface book landed at first, no one thought that it will make the MacBook Pro look second in rate comparison. It’s a little pricier than the base model but it provides more power and features.
The internals of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is massive too as the price. They include the latest 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U, a massive 16GB RAM, integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 and discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5 VRAM) Graphics. The resolution (3240 x2160) is high as well with a stunning PixelSense display which is touch-enabled. Furthermore, a huge 1TB SSD is included to fill your storage needs. Microsoft Surface Book 2 weighs around 4.2 pounds. This is a beast at power with a beautiful design.
Speakers are not that impressive as they should be. There is plenty of space to add more audio chambers. The trackpad is also not that wide as it should be given the bigger space available below the keyboard. The keyboard is big and typing is comfortable. You will get a phenomenal experience while typing on the Microsoft Surface Book 2. The Webcam is 1080p, good enough for video calls. Furthermore, you get USB 3.1, Type-C, SD card reader and audio jack. Overall, this is a powerful laptop that easily fulfills your music production needs.
10. ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim – Best Ultrabook
ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim is something you can get on a budget for great productivity. It’s a lightweight laptop weighing less than three pounds. ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim is a little more than a half-inch thick that boast a latest quad-core processor. Furthermore, it sports a battery that lasts for a full day. However, it lacks powerful graphics for gaming and has a non-touch display.
Despite being a budget laptop, it still offers great performance. Thanks to the Intel Core i5-8265u Processor, fast storage 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD, memory featuring 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, Full HD wide-view display and Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics, all these together can run any tasks fast enough to fill your needs. Along with the respectable specs, it offers a durable aluminum body as well.
Furthermore, ASUS ZenBook 13 comes with a backlit, comfy and snappy keyboard that has enough key travel. ASUS ZenBook 13’s glass-coated trackpad is good enough and performs its duty with precision and responsiveness. However, it does a few accidental inputs while typing on the keyboard but that needs getting used to. All common ports are there including HDMI and USB Type-C. Overall this is a great product within a budget and will work great for music production.
Getting a good laptop is easy but getting a laptop that fulfills your needs is a bit tricky. Getting portability mean losing some of the features while heavy spec means getting a bulky laptop. We have made a list of various laptops. Some of them are in budget, some are portable with performance while others have great designs. Now, it’s completely up to you to select what you need.