Are you looking to up your game in podcasting or music and video production? You’ve come to the right place. This article highlights the best laptops for music production and recording.
There are a lot of programs you’ll need to run simultaneously. This would beg for at least 16GB RAM. A recommendation from our view.
Most vital for audio processing is a CPU with fast single-core performance, allow you to get your mixes into a single file much quicker and process effects and chains without the CPU needing to wait. The 8th generation Intel i7 processors are the best, followed by the Intel i5. 7th generation processors are also excellent.
Let’s dive right in.
Best Laptops For Music Production & Recording
1. Dell XPS 13 OLED
Dell XPS 13 OLED is another addition to the daunting Dell XPS series. Tagged as the ideal laptop for on-the-go creatives who don’t fancy signing up to the Apple series. Also, the closest Windows alternative to an Apple MacBook Pro. The Dell XPS line has gained a strong reputation thanks to its sleek design, gorgeous screens, and powerful spec.
The XPS range features similar levels of style, quality, and performance to the MBP, but uses Windows as its OS. As it is, other than looking at high-spec elite gaming laptops, you’re not going to get a much better package for the money.
The 2021 vintage features an updated 11th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, plus the 4K OLED screen.
There’s a heftier 15” model further up the range, but for most people, the Dell XPS 13 (2020) is a good catch.
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2. Apple MacBook Pro M1 13”
You bet that Apple made it to our list. Apple, which has become much more than a gadget and more of an icon. Apple’s new in-house M1 chip offers:
Unparalleled boosts in speed, performance and Battery life. It does this by merging CPU, GPU and memory into one chip. This greatly reduces power usage and delivers a vastly optimised computing experience.
3. Razer Blade
Hold your horses, we know Razer Blade is considered a gaming laptop. But that also translates to a high spec, this spec meets the requirements for music production.
The advanced 15″ Razer Blade is the one for you, towering with an Intel i7-8750H 6-Core CPU, NVIDIA RTX 2060 (6GB GDDR5 VRAM), 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
They also have an ultrathin 13″ laptop and a 17″ desktop replacement, but as of March 2019, the 15″ model is the most recently updated.
The build quality of these laptops is unique and is typically compared with Apple for good reason. They don’t add a bunch of extra software that just ends up slowing your computer down and they care about speed and performance. Sweet right?
4. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Microsoft has come a long way their Surface Pro line. They offer a few great configurations that would work well for a music production laptop. We recommend the Surface Pro featuring an Intel i7, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
If you want to spend under $1,000, the Intel Core i5 with 8GB RAM is a lower-budget option, it comes with a MicroSD slot too.
The screen size on these is 12.3″ which can be a little small. Regardless, most people get an external monitor or 2 anyway. Just know that the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 don’t come with a keyboard. Additionally, you’ll likely need to get the Microsoft Surface Dock to give you more ports.
5. Asus Rog Strix Scar III Laptop
Another PC in the gaming spectrum, featuring an Intel i7 processor and a base spec of 16 GB of RAM. It’s evident that this machine can gnaw through any audio production task you throw at it.
Hudson Mohawke, the Scottish electronic producer, is a known fan, and with good reason. Once you get past the brash color scheme and ‘edgy’ gamer branding, you have an immensely capable, lightweight computer. This would rival many traditional desktop arrangements.
6. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Microsoft’s second effort at a pure laptop device is an absolute champion in our view. It doesn’t characterize a huge refurbishment of the original Surface Laptop. But it offers improvements in all the areas we were hoping for. This includes updated hardware that brings serious performance benefits.
Also read: The 10 best headphones for music 2021
This is a laptop that finally accomplished what Microsoft set out to do with the original. A pure, powerful Windows 10 laptop experience. If you’re not sold on the 2-in-1 nature of the Surface Book 2. But you love Microsoft’s premium build quality and design, then the Surface Laptop 2 is the laptop for you. A very worth addition to our best laptops for music production guide.
7. MSI GF63 Laptop
MSI is one of the more respected names in gaming PCs. It’s no mystery that their flagship mid-range features some awesome internals. The MSI GF63 is the ideal blend of performance and aesthetics. It would make a superb laptop for anyone using their laptop for live performance or as a portable studio. This is on account of its thin form factor and cooling features.
Performance-wise, MSI GF63 Laptop packs a 2.4 GHz i5 processor, so strong enough to achieve most tasks. We liked the potential for upgrading though. It comes with 8GB of DDR4 RAM installed, but with space to house up to 64GB. So, future-proofing your gadget is possible. As your live sets or studio sessions grow in size, so too can your laptop.
8. Dell XPS 15
The Dell XPS line of laptops has been an excellent choice for a while now. It’s the thinnest 15″ PC laptop around but doesn’t lack performance. The latest version Dell XPS 9570 includes Intel’s brand-new Coffee Lake processor. Also, a beautiful 4K touchscreen with Gorilla Glass for scratch resistance.
We recommend the XPS9570 4K Touch model with the 8th generation Intel i7-8750H, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. You’ll also get Nvidia GTX 1050Ti graphics card. You’ll be able to record and edit music, do video editing, and nearly anything else with this.
Dell XPS 15 comes with an SD card reader and 2 USB 3.0 ports.
9. HP Spectre X360
The HP Spectre X360 is beautiful, versatile and powerful. A good recommendation is the 15″ model updated in mid-2018. It features the 8th Generation Intel i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and a Radeon RX Vega graphics card.
This is a “2-in-1″ laptop, meaning that the 4K touchscreen folds backward, effectively making it a tablet. The 15” model is a little under 4.5 lbs, which is a bit heavy to hold one-handed in tablet mode. But it is great for sharing things or writing. There is also a media mode for watching videos and a tent mode for presentations.
HP was smart by including both a USB Type-A port (the stand rectangle) and 2x USB Type-C ports (the new oval). One of which includes Thunderbolt. They also include an SD Card reader and an HDMI port so you shouldn’t need a bunch of dongles to all your gear connected.
The flexibility and reasonable price point make both sizes of the Spectre X360 an excellent choice for a Windows-based music production laptop.
10. Samsung Notebook 9
Although infamous for its keyboard, the Samsung Notebook 9 is still one of the best laptops you can buy. Bursting with more horsepower than the MacBook Pro, but at a much lower price, Samsung has crafted a laptop that has just as much substance as it does style.
Plus, on top of its enviable specs, it’s lightweight and thin, making this one of the most portable 15-inch laptops you can buy today.
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11. Asus ZenBook Flip S UX370 Laptop
Asus has struck gold with its new advance of its ZenBook Flip S 2-in-1 laptop.
With a new Kaby Lake R 8th-generation processor powering the device, plenty of RAM and a super-fast PCIe SSD in certain models. This is an absolutely stunning addition to our rundown of the best laptops for music production.
Its 2-in-1 design means you can use it as both a laptop and a tablet, and while it’s not as affordable as some machines on this list, if you have the budget, you’ll be really glad with this fantastic device.
12. Acer Swift 3
You may have been persuaded that ‘budget Ultrabook’ was an oxymoron up until this point. Actually, the Acer has turned this common misconception on its head with the Swift 3. That’s because the company has taken the all-aluminum chassis of the Acer Swift 7 and stuffed some more affordable components inside for everyone to enjoy.
It doesn’t run macOS, but the Acer Swift 3 does put the age-old MacBook Air to shame in about every other regard, including the nigh-unbeatable price tag. Of course, in the process of demolishing the competition, Acer did have to cut a few corners in order to keep the price so impressively low.
So, although you can’t suppose much in the way of an Ultra HD display or quality onboard sound, the performance benchmarks alone give even the Surface Laptop a run for its money.