The Best Laptop For Music Production 2018 (With Mac, PC & Budget Options)

It’s not just the electronic music that requires a powerful laptop that can offer efficient and reliable music production. Nowadays, any type of music depends on the technology, but just in different ways. It might be hard to choose the best laptop for music production because of many factors, however not here.

In this post, we will help you to choose the most suitable laptop for your music production needs, no matter the type of music or your skills.

We’ve reviewed and ranked the laptops by performance, but also the needs music production requires on a regular basis.

Monkey’s  cheat sheet

Top pick

15″ MacBook Pro

Being restricted in any way by your laptop when it comes to music production could create a significant problem.

MacBook Pro is very well-known in the music industry. Go anywhere near the music venues, parties, or studios and you will see the powerful MacBook Pro being used for the music production purpose and that’s why it’s the winning laptop.

It has a decent 15″ monitor, and the most powerful MacBook Pro is being powered by the quad-core 4.0GHz processor. 16GB of RAM in combination with SSD of 128GB or even 1TB. It’s more than enough of speed for music production.

Reviews of the best laptops for music production

1. 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display – Best Apple laptop for music production

  • Powerful performance inside a portable laptop
  • A battery that lasts for hours
  • Very useful Touch Bar
  • Retina display
  • Very responsive trackpad
  • Not enough ports

Should this be your choice?

The reason you see so many MacBook Pro laptops anywhere near music is that the users love the reliability in combination with the professional performance that can be taken anywhere on a go. Touch Bar happens to be really helpful when it comes to music production tasks such as switching the time line on a track.

When you are looking for the best of the best, MacBook is the number one laptop in the music industry. Needless to say, it’s almost everywhere you go. It might be the pricey investment, but it’s definitely the best tool you can get to have a reliable solution for your needs.

No matter which software you use, MacBook Pro can handle it with its 7th generation i7 Intel processor that comes with a Turbo Boost feature.

 

For the speed, 16GB of memory and at least 256GB of SSD storage will open, save, render, and play music through any software. You won’t even have to pay attention to the number of plugins and effects you’ll be using.

While graphics might not be very important for the music production, users still get the best experience with the combination of the Retina display and the latest Radeon graphics. If you’re DJ-ing at night clubs, you’ll never have a screen visibility problem ever again.

Working on your music whenever you get inspired is very much possible. The battery can handle up to 10 hours of work no matter where you’re at.

Users love the ability to precisely adjust the tracks according to the software with just a tip of their finger. It’s definitely the best laptop for DJ-ing you could get.

Hardware specifications for 15” MacBook Pro
ProcessorIntel Core i7, Quad-Core, 2.9GHz
RAM16GB DDR SDRAM
Storage512GB SSD
GraphicsRadeon Pro 560
Display15”, 2880 x 1800 pixels
Operating SystemMac OS X
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
Weight6.4 lbs
Other featuresRetina display, Touch Bar, Touch ID

2. Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – Best laptop for music production under $500

  • Very lightweight
  • Portable design that is adjustable to different positions
  • Multi-position kickstand
  • Affordable price
  • A great choice between two powerful configurations
  • Surface pen and keyboard have to be purchased separately
  • Battery life isn’t the best

Should this be your choice?

Surface Pro 4 is really easy and simple to use, and you won’t even feel it in your backpack. You can literally take it anywhere with you and set it up even when there’s no space on a desk.

If you decide to additionally purchase the Surface pen, you’ll have a very fast, reliable, and precise laptop for music production which costs just under $500.

When you’re looking for the most portable laptop for music production, yet don’t want to break your bank, Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a great choice.

It’s a laptop that can power through any music production task you have, yet it’s the lightest laptop you could ever use for music production.

Some people like to think of Surface Pro 4 as a tablet, yet it’s actually a laptop that is powered with one of the best configurations out there. You can choose between Intel Core M or i5 processor and between 4GB or 16GB of RAM.

The same applies to the storage. If 128GB of SSD storage isn’t enough, 512GB will be the next best option to store your software, music tracks, and much more.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 can handle any music production software effortlessly, and what we really like about is portability is the multi-position kickstand. You can basically put Microsoft Surface Pro 4 anywhere in any of desired positions.

However, you should remember that the keyboard and a pen are sold separately. It’s not something we support, but we still find the Surface pen to be very useful when it comes to making edits on the music tracks. When you need the most of the precision, you’ll get it either through the Surface pen or a PixelSense display.

Also, the battery can last only up to 6 hours of use. When we consider the ultra light and portable design, we think that the battery could have been improved.

Hardware specifications for Microsoft Surface Pro 4
ProcessorIntel Core i7, Quad-Core
RAM4GB
Storage128GB SSD
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics (Integrated)
Display12.3”, 2736 x 1824 pixels
Operating SystemWindows 10 Professional
Battery LifeUp to 9 hours
Weight1.73 lbs
Other features8 MP rear camera, multi-position

3. Huawei MateBook X Pro – Best PC laptop for music production

  • Sleek and modern design
  • Durable build
  • 3K touch-enabled display with a high resolution
  • The latest generation processor for the most powerful tasks
  • Lightweight
  • Long-lasting battery
  • The keyboard has a 10-second time light out which is unconventional

Should this be your choice?

If you enjoy working on a go, yet you aren’t very careful about the equipment, Huawei MateBook Pro X will save you a lot of trouble with its durable aluminum body. At the same time, it’ll offer effortless and reliable experience through its latest configuration.

If Apple and Mac OS aren’t your thing, Huawei MateBook X Pro might even be a better option for music production. It’s equipped with the latest 8th generation of Intel i5 quad-core processor, and a Windows 10 operating system.

For the speed, 8GB of RAM and 256 SSD are pretty much standard when it comes to the music industry. It’ll be more than enough to provide the necessary speed for even the most difficult tasks.

Huawei MateBook X Pro weighs only under 3 lbs but is definitely not fragile. It’s got a durable and rugged stainless steel body that makes traveling worry-free.

Along with the speed, the 3000 x 2000 resolution offers 3:2 aspect ratio that helps users to get the most out of the software by bringing up the precision. The touch display offers even more features and makes things easier since users don’t have to rely solely on the keyboard and trackpad.

On a single charge, you’ll get the chance to get a day of work on average, while the battery can last up to 12 hours during the heaviest usage. Some light use will give you a battery life up to 15 hours.

The trackpad is very responsive and precise. It might not be as good as in MacBook Pro, but it’s definitely suitable for music editing.

Hardware specifications for Huawei MateBook X Pro
ProcessorIntel Core i5, 8250U
RAM8GB
Storage256GB SSD
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce MX150
Display13.9”, 3000 x 2000 pixels
Operating SystemWindows 10
Battery LifeUp to 15 hours
Weight2.93 lbs
Other featuresQuad speakers and microphones

4. Acer Flagship CB3-532 – Best laptop for music production under $300

  • Very responsive even with Celeron processor
  • Features SSD
  • Great resolution for the screen type
  • Plenty of ports
  • Price
  • Very light and portable
  • The complete body design is plastic

Should this be your choice?

It’s definitely not the best laptop for music production, but considering the price, it’s a starting point which is available to be upgraded. It’s a pretty basic laptop which is always better rather than no laptop in the beginning.

If you aren’t doing any hardcore tasks, yet light music production, this is a suitable laptop for the needs.

When you’re hunting for the cheapest solution for the music production, you will have to sacrifice a few things, but you’ll still be able to find a solid laptop for music production under $300, just like the Acer Flagship CB3-532.

Acer Flagship CB3-532 might not be the most ideal laptop for music production, but it still has the fast responsiveness thanks to the latest generation of Intel processing.

For the price, you definitely won’t be able to get the i5 or i7, but Intel Celeron N3060 will do a decent job. It’s a dual-core processor that has one of the famous Turbo Boost features which allows the users to boost the processor up to 2.48GHz.

Luckily, for the price, you won’t have to sacrifice the budget. Yet you will have to deal with only 16GB of SSD and will have to add another SSD or HDD after a while. Acer Flagship CB3-532 comes with basic 2GB of RAM, but it’s upgradeable to 6GB which is pretty useful.

The screen is a basic HD LED backlit 15.6″ display which still offers a pretty decent resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels.

Its body is thin and light, which is pretty nice to see along with the plenty of available ports.

Hardware specifications for Acer Flagship CB3-532
ProcessorIntel Celeron N3060, dual-core, Turbo Boost
RAM2GB DDR3L SDRAM
Storage16GB SSD
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 400
Display15.6”, 1366 x 768 pixels
Operating SystemWindows 10
Battery LifeUp to 7 hours
Weight4.3 lbs
Other featuresVarious ports, HD anti-glare display

5. HP Spectre x360 – Best overall laptop for music production and recording

  • Quick start and reboot
  • Offers 2-in-1 functionality
  • Lightweight, slim and very portable
  • The latest generation of Intel i7 processor
  • Powerful performance anywhere
  • Lack of USB ports

Should this be your choice?

Working on a go can be hard sometimes, but laptops for music production such as HP Spectre x360 really make it simple.

It’s wonderful how powerful components can fit inside such a thin and lightweight 2-in-1 laptop. Whatever your music production needs are, this laptop is really the best overall laptop for music production and recording.

HP Spectre is very similar to the Microsoft Surface Pro, yet it has the differences that make it unique, and very suitable for music production, especially recording.

It handles the music production with ease thanks to the quad-core i7 Intel processor in combination with the 16GB of RAM.

HP Spectre x360 offers a lot of space on the 512GB SSD drive which makes sure that multi-tasking and working in different software at the same time isn’t slowing you down at all. However, what we don’t like about this laptop is that it has only one USB port.

Performance wise, it’s perfect for music production and recording, and even its portability and functionality is amazing. However, HP just didn’t do well with the ports. For some people who are just producing music, it might not be a big problem, but if you’re planning to connect a few other devices, it’s definitely going to be a bit of a trouble.

When you’re looking to get the easiest and the most effortless laptop for music production, HP Spectre x360 is a perfect choice. It has everything necessary to keep you up and running even when you’re on a go.

Needless to say, this is the best laptop for audio recording.

Hardware specifications for HP Spectre x360
ProcessorIntel Core i7, 8th generation, Quad-Core
RAM16GB
Storage512GB SSD
GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 620
Display12”, 1920 x 1080 pixels
Operating SystemWindows 10 Professional
Battery LifeUp to 14 hours
Weight0.75 lbs
Other featuresBluetooth 4.0, touch screen

How to choose the best laptop for music production?

When it comes to music production, the performance is everything. However, there’s much more than that. It’s important to consider your needs and types of tasks you’ll be performing.

This way, you won’t only find the most powerful laptop that will definitely be able to handle your tasks, yet you will find the most suitable laptop for your personal needs.

Here are some things to consider before making a decision.

  • Laptop size
  • How powerful does your laptop need to be?
  • Type of tasks/software you do and use
  • Is battery life important for you?
  • Are there any special requirements you need to consider?
 

Instead of going for the most powerful laptop, you should go for the laptop that will make you feel comfortable and very happy about the decision. There is much more than performance.

Everyone uses their laptop differently, and that’s why you need a laptop that will make you love and enjoy music production tasks even more.

I5 Or I7 Processor For Music Production?

When it comes to music production, it’s basically all about the software you’ll be using.

Now, the software might not have high requirements, but it’ll definitely require more power once you set up your tracks, extensions, plugins, and effects.

i7 has some of the best and the latest processors of the 8th generation, and if you can afford it, we’d recommend you to go for it.

On the other hand, i5 processors are still a great deal for music production, but you’ll just have to pay attention to go with some of the best i5 processors, and you won’t have anything to worry about.

How much RAM for music production do I need?

It’s hard to say how much RAM music production requires because it mostly depends on the personal use of the laptop.

If you’re used to multi-tasking, using a few different software at the same time, and even have a number of tabs open in your browser at the same time – it’s always the best to go for 16GB of RAM.

However, for some people, even 8GB of RAM is enough. RAM is basically one of the cheapest components, and most of the time it’s upgradeable. If you can’t really afford a laptop with 16GB of RAM, go with the 8GB and upgrade later if you feel like you need to.

However, 16GB of RAM is pretty standard for the music production industry. Combine it with a powerful processor and you’ll get a very powerful laptop.

Best laptop computer for recording music at home?

When you’re trying to make a home studio, you’ll have to carefully choose every component.

Recording music at home is very possible nowadays, and it’s becoming way more popular than ever before. If you happen to choose any of these laptops from the list above, you’ll have a powerful laptop computer for music recording no matter where you are.

Nothing changes the fact you’ll be working from the comfort of your home. Therefore, you don’t need to break your head thinking about home music recording, and only focus on the music recording and production needs.

Now, if you’re planning to use Ableton for recording music at home, we’d always recommend going with the best laptop for recording music, if possible.

Conclusion

After reviewing and comparing some of the best laptops for audio recording and music production, it’s fair to say that there’s a laptop on this list suitable for almost everyone.

We think that it’s important to know your needs and have a clear goal of what you’re looking to get from the laptop. Instead of just getting the most powerful laptop to handle all your music production tasks, hopefully, you’ve learned how important your needs are and your way of work.

Whatever your choice is for the best laptop for music producing, you won’t be disappointed with any of these laptops from the list we have carefully selected.

Leave a Comment