What Is The Storage
Storage here refers to the amount of permanent space your computer has for system software and programs . When you get close to running out of storage on a laptop, not only can you not save your takes, edits, etc., but performance problems ranging from processing lag to frequent crashing can quickly arise.
Best Laptops For Making Music
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Whether you are recording music as a professional or beginner, the first step to attaining the perfect output is getting the best laptop for your records. That is why we selected the 7 best laptops for making music. After thorough market research and evaluation, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is what you need to perfect your music production.
Even more, we have 6 other laptops with distinctive specifications in this article that can also give you the best output.
To see these laptops without going through the article, we have the 7 laptops and their specifications summarised below.
How To Choose A Laptop For Music Production
When looking for a laptop for music production, there are several things you must take into consideration:
- Operating system: Do you want a Mac? A Windows computer? Or do you want something with a different operating system, like Ubuntu, for example? This all comes down to personal preference but it also has to do with the DAW youll be using. Some DAWs only work with Mac, some only work with Windows.
- Your DAW: Whats your DAW of choice? Is it compatible with Mac or Windows or both? Is it hard to navigate through on a smaller screen? Does it require a computer with a lot of memory or CPU when using plugins?
- Your plugins: You may already have experience working with different audio plugins in your DAW. You may already have a suite of plugins in mind that youd like to use. Think about them. Are they graphics-heavy? Do they require a lot of computer power?
- How you mix: Are you the type of person who likes to use only a few plugins, or do you come up with elaborate signal chains? Do you typically make songs that have many audio tracks, or just a few?
- Preparedness for future projects: Who do you anticipate working with? Will they want or need a lot of plugins? Will they likely have a lot of audio tracks?
- Studio size: How big is your studio? Are you a bedroom producer, or do you have a professional-grade studio to work in?
- Portability: Do you plan on taking your computer with you to work on projects at other studios or while youre on the go, or will it stay in one location?
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Hp 15 156 Hd Touchscreen Premium Laptop
This amazing notebook by HP is a good choice for anyone that is on a small budget. The HP 15 Touchscreen is solidly built that enhances durability. The 15.6 FHD display is fitting for anyone that is looking to use the notebook for longer periods of time. Coming on to the CPU, the HP 15 Touchscreen features a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor that is clocked at a speed of 3.6 GHz Core i5 Family.
Though it is not the best performing processor, it can easily take care of heavy-duty tasks such as those required by VSTs. The RAM on the notebook is an ample 16 GB DDR4 that will allow you to run multiple applications at the same time without lag seamlessly.
For the storage, the notebook has options available for a 512GB SSD drive . The notebooks battery, on average, gives up to 7 hours of continuous use.
An economical choice for a music production laptopGood battery time, especially if you consider the screen sizeRobust and durable
Not as portable as the other options because of its greater weight and larger size
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
CPU: 1.6Ghz Intel Core i5-8250U
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi , Bluetooth 4.1
Camera: 720p HD webcam with infrared for Windows Hello
Battery: 16 hours
Weight: 2.76 pounds
Average price: $1249
The Surface Laptop 2 is an excellent device, offering improvements in all the areas we were hoping for. The updated hardware brings serious performance benefits, making this a great choice for anyone looking for a pure laptop experience.
The Surface Laptop 2 is a great laptop for music production. It has a pure Windows 10 experience, and its build quality and design are excellent. If youre not sold on the 2-in-1 nature of the Surface Book 2, but love Microsofts premium build quality and design, then the Surface Laptop 2 is the laptop for you.
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The Best Laptops For Music Production Today
The MacBook Pro 14-inch is our top pick as the best laptop for music production. Coming with either an M1 Pro or M1 Max chip, this is an incredibly powerful laptop that can handle even the most complex projects with ease. There’s a good reason why many music producers and musicians favour Apple products, and macOS, the operating system the MacBook Pro 14-inch comes with, supports a huge amount of music production applications.
It also has some of the best speakers we’ve ever tested on a laptop, making it ideal for use when you can’t hook up external speakers, and there’s an excellent array of ports. The battery life is also seriously impressive. It’s expensive, but you won’t find a better laptop for music production.
Read all the details in our in-depth Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch review.
While Apple may not be the first company you think of when you read the word ‘value’, but 2020 MacBook Air actually offers fantastic value for money for music producers. It’s significantly cheaper than the MacBook Pro 14 above, and even many Windows-based alternatives, but still offers a stylish thin and light design and excellent performance thanks to the M1 chip.
Another benefit is that the MacBook Air is fanless. This means it’s silent when in use, which is a huge bonus if you’re recording via microphones. It doesn’t offer a huge amount of ports, however, so you’ll probably need to invest in a dock.
Read our full MacBook Air review for further details.
Dell Xps Thin And Light
This model from the Dell XPS series makes for a superb 16gig, touch display laptop. It would be well suited to audio production use as it is admirably fast. It has 7th generation Intel quad-core processor and a faster memory which together deliver unbelievable speeds.
It is on the slightly bigger side at 15 .6 inches. It has 2 USB 3.0 slots as well as a Thunderbolt 3 multi-use port. This one is a much more versatile choice and will be more compatible with modern audio interfaces. It makes for an exemplary option and is more than capable of dealing with even the busiest workloads in your DAW.
This one has a price tag double that of its 8 gig predecessor we have reviewed but the ram has doubled and the SSD storage alone more than makes up the difference. It also has other fantastic features which make it a great laptop on the whole for a range of general uses.
Pros:+ Good I/O options.+ Terabyte SSD storage.
Why We Liked It – The response on this one is amazing it boots and resumes in an instant. The terabyte of SSD storage is almost unprecedented and needless to say a highly desirable bonus, ensuring plenty of space for saving works in progress.
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Zenbook Pro Duo Ux581 By Asus
The Asus Zenbook Pro Duo is an absurdly priced computer, but it is also one of the most innovative, advanced, and useful laptops ever produced.
Its 16 GB of memory, 1 TB of storage capacity, and processing power make it ideal for music mixing, midi production, podcasting, and audio recording. Again, the Acer gaming laptop bites the dust when a ZenBook comes out.
Some music producers advise against creating work on your laptop’s screen and instead recommend purchasing a separate LED for nuanced detail. But all you need is an incredible machine. A machine with an outstanding dual display, dazzling 4K resolution, and a pen with high sensitivity.
What makes this the best laptop for music production:
- The main 4K OLED display looks pretty good.
- It has an attractive and well-implemented second screen just above the keyboard.
- For a dual-screen laptop, it is fairly thin and appealing.
What could have been improved:
- Its design puts external devices and ports at risk.
- It provides inadequate wrist support.
- It has a 2nd matte display in addition to the OLED above.
- The battery life is poor and that’s with the second display off.
What If I Purchased A Gaming Laptop And Used It For All Other Activities
Nothing is stopping you from doing that. You have to figure out what you do for the maximum amount of time on your laptop and make sure the specifications of the laptop support the task. Gaming laptops do have some impressive specifications but are priced high as well. You have to make a prudent choice.
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Lenovo Y700 Best And Cheap For Music Recording
This time coming from Lenovo, we have yet another gaming laptop we find more than capable of performing as a music production PC.
The 15.6 in full HD display offers a vibrant and bright image, while not consuming much battery power. There is also a touchscreen option, for which you will have to spend some more money if you find it is a useful feature.
The included Intel Core i7 at 2.6 GHz as one of the more powerful CPU options, at least in the world of laptops, couples well with the 8 gigs of RAM and 1 TB of HDD storage. Though 16 gigs may have been a better solution, the affordable price point cant come with some minor drawbacks.
What makes this laptop stand out, however, are the integrated JBL speakers. Combined with the well- known Dolby Home Theater, the sound youll get out of the Y700 is realistic and immersive.
Though you may find yourself using a pair of headphones while on the go, or studio monitors while in the studio, having a good pair of speakers on your laptop can prove as a useful feature.
- Keyboard is not that great
- i5 CPU
How Much Ram Does Your Music Making Laptop Need
With RAM, as we mentioned, you can ignore the ‘minimum specs’ listed on the websites of the major DAWs. Anybody who tries to run a multitrack Ableton Live session on a laptop with 4GB of RAM is braver than we are. Thatâs because RAM is effectively the short-term memory of your machine. With audio applications, particularly those involving lots of recorded audio, a higher amount of RAM means your audio playback is buttery smooth and glitch-free because the computer isn’t having to ‘grab’ the audio from the hard drive each time it wants to play.
If you’re buying now, with the next few years of use in mind, we’d suggest 8GB of DDR4 memory is the absolute minimum you should be looking for. Ideally, you’d want 16GB, as this will handle much larger arrangements, although there is a cost to this extra resource.
It’s also worth investigating whether the laptop you choose can be upgraded with extra RAM in the future. Apple laptop fans won’t have this luxury, due to their sealed chassis, but laptop PC users might.
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Dell Xps 15 9560 4k Uhd
Dell has raised the bar with this cutting edge Dell XPS 15 model with the latest technological advances. This includes a 4K resolution, a Core Intel i7 processor and windows 10. Its somewhat comparable to the Apple MacBook but its price point is lower, and you get a good quality product. For all those music producers who like to own a quality laptop that will last a long time and be your ultimate reliable partner in crime, this laptop is the investment you need to make.
The Dell XPS has 32 GB of RAM and a battery life of 5 hours, so thats a little downside. Yet, this battery life doesnt tend to deteriorate over time. Unlike other laptop models, the battery life is sustainable and wont decrease rapidly even when youve had it for over a year or two. Its an unspoken law that good music production laptops are always designed to be good for gaming too. ThisDell XPS is exactly an example of this.
Pros:+ Also Good for Gaming+ Lower Price Point
Why We Liked It – Purchasing a laptop like this lightweight, and sleek one will mean youre getting something that is good quality but for a fraction of the price of an Apple or other Windows PC. Its a great choice because youll save money but also be able to produce some of the best music around.
What Are The Nice
As your recording career progresses, you may find you want to add to your studio with extra gear like MIDI keyboards, home studio mixers, drum machines and more. Most kit these days connect to your computer via USB, so youll want to ensure you have a decent number of USB ports. Increasingly brands are looking to incorporate USB-C into their gear so look out for these ports where possible too. This is also useful when using an external hard drive for music production, where the combination of USB-C and an external solid-state drive makes light work of large audio or sample files.
Another nice-to-have element is the option to upgrade components in the laptop yourself in the future. This wont be possible on every laptop, but having the ability to chuck in a couple of extra sticks of RAM can have a significant impact on overall performance.
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Budget Pick: Lenovo Yoga C740
Lenovos Yoga C740 offers the best bang for your buck, and its a great machine for a home musician or producer.
The Windows 10 laptop has a quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage, which is pretty good considering its modest price. The laptop has two USB 3.1 ports, one USB-C port, and a single USB 3.0 port. This is a healthy array of inputs thatll work with all of your current and future recording gear.
The Yoga C740s key feature is that its 14-inch 1080P display can be flipped a full 360 degrees. The touch sensitive display can be used like a tablet, which means you can make quick edits to your music using your finger instead of a track pad and cursor. If youre more comfortable using an iPhone or iPad for creative work, this is a must-have feature.
It may not be quite as powerful as the other laptops on this list, but Lenovos Yoga C740 holds its own at nearly half the price.
How To Choose The Best Laptop For Music Production
Choosing a laptop capable of running CPU-intensive audio production work can be tricky. Some options focus heavily on battery life. Others major on performance, and favour higher-grade processors to ensure operations run snappily. Add into that differences in screen sizes, aesthetics and any number of other variables and we can easily see how itâs hard to justify buying one model over another.
There are certain characteristics youâll look for in a laptop, regardless of whether itâs for producing music or editing video. Namely, you are looking for that sweet spot of power, performance and price. We all wish that last part wasnât a factor, but it is. Not to worry though, as there are supremely capable laptops coming in at some very sensible prices right now. So what are the specifics that make a great production laptop?
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Start Small Start Clever
Realistically, not everyone can afford the latest M1 Apple MacBook Pro or Dell XPS. Hence, we all have to sometimes make compromises in what we want versus what we can afford. It would be great to have a touch-enabled 4K screen, all-day battery life, plenty of horsepower, and all those other headline features. But we have to cut our cloth accordingly, right?
Thats not to say music production cant be done on a budget laptop. It absolutely can, as well outline in our recommendations in this guide, but just be aware that certain concessions may have to be made. Start small, before working your way up. This way, when you reach the skill level where you are making 72 track arrangements featuring a symphony orchestra, youll know the equipment inside out and have a handle on whats really important from a music production laptop.
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Best 2
- Sturdy and sleek all-metal chassis
- Long battery life
- Included stylus is too skinny
- Undersized touchpad
- Limited ports all on left side
If you prefer the portability and versatility of a convertible laptop, you may want to pick up the Lenovo Yoga 9i 14. You can prop it up like a painters easel or swing the screen around and use the laptop like a tablet. It features 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, and strong battery life. You can also expect reliable performance thanks to the 12th-gen Intel Core i7 processor. It has four performance cores and eight efficiency cores. The more cores, the better, especially if youre working with multi-track songs.
The 74 watt-hour battery is also surprisingly large for such a slim machine. It lasted 12 hours during our battery rundown benchmark, which is more than a full work day. The speakers are surprisingly punchy, too. This is important if youre editing a song and arent able to plug into external speakers. While this convertible laptop has a lot to offer, we had a few nitpicks with it.
The displays 16:9 aspect ratio may be a problem, as it makes for a squashed-looking picture. Its not a deal breaker, but we tend to prefer taller displays. The trackpad is also smaller than we like, which takes time getting used to. The port selection is a bit limited as well. That said, if you dont mind those small factors, then the Yoga 9i is a fabulous machine worth considering.
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