The days are gone when massive desktop computers were used for music recording and production. Thanks to the introduction of powerful and compact laptops that work best for all music engineers, producers, and live performers. In fact, this affordable alternative is becoming very popular among music enthusiasts.
Choosing a music production laptop can be a little tricky. You need to have a laptop with great power featuring a multi-core processor, more RAM, and of course, great battery timings that will handle your DAW (music production software).
Whether you use FL Studio, Ableton Live, or Cubase, all the laptops we suggest below will get the job done. For more, check the best music production software, and the best free music making softwares for beginners.
Unfortunately, there are no good laptops for music production at $300-$400, but we’ve found and reviewed some affordable laptops perfect for music production and home recording studios.
If desktops are also in your mind, take a look at the best computers for music production!
TOP 10 Best Laptops For Music Production – Reviews
1. Apple MacBook Pro
- 16-inch Retina Display
- 9th-generation 8-Core i9 Processor
- 16GB DDR4 RAM (Up to 64GB)
- Up to 1TB SSD Storage
- Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
- Up to 11 hours of battery life
So if you are looking for the best Mac laptop for music production, then MacBook Pro is clearly the winner. Most professional music producers prefer using Mac over a PC laptop because it provides everything that one needs to create music to perfection.
The latest Macbook Pro features a high-performance ninth-generation 8-core Intel i9 processor, 5.0 GHz of turbo boost, and also 3.2GB/s of SSD read speed. This is the best laptop processor for music production in the market.
The 1TB SSD, will store all your music production software, virtual instruments, and plug-ins. The professional-level tasks like multiple tracks layering, 3D modeling, special effects, editing, etc. are done 2x faster than other laptop processors.
The wide stereo sound provides a dynamic soundstage with more immersive and room-filling music. Also, it has three built-in mics that create directional beams to capture crystal-clear audio. Multi-tasking is not an issue; listen, create, compose, and edit audio all at the time. Thanks to the 16GB of 2400MHz DDR4 memory, you can import and deal with multiple music projects. Another noticeable feature is the 16 inches OLED touch Bar with a Retina display. Moreover, it has Radeon Pro Vega 560x graphics with a video memory of 4GB.
MacBook offers four Thunderbolt 3 ports with versatile connectivity and the most powerful speed of 40G/s data transfer. Take advantage of the great speed of 40G/s data transfer, and connect one of the best Thunderbolt audio interfaces to start recording and music production like a professional.
Even if you use it from a home studio or work station, MacBook Pro offers up to 11 hours of battery life. Being light-weight and extremely portable, you can check over music tasks anywhere.
- Dynamic soundstage
- Great battery life
- Powerful processor
- No software issue
- Super-fast speed
- 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Not much upgrading options
2. ASUS ZenBook 15
- 15.6-inch FHD wide-view display
- 10th-generation Quad Core i7 processor
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- 1GB SSD Storage
- Two USB 3.1 ports, one USB-C port
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
Asus ZenBook is a gaming laptop that is also ideal for music production. Thanks to its high power, Asus 15 comes with an Intel Core i7-8565U processor and also 1050 Gtx TI that makes it powerful hardware that can easily manage all sorts of audio recording and processing. Since this is designed for gaming, it features the latest high-quality 3D graphics with UHD Graphics 620 and NVIDIA GeForce. The 3mm narrow Nano edge display comes with a 3D IR video camera on the front top bezel.
To more convenient handling, Asus has introduced the ogre lift feature, which allows for better underneath device cooling. Moreover, it weighs only 1.6 kg making it very portable. You get m2 SSD with great read and write speeds and a RAM of 16 GB. ZenBook 15 comes with a 73Wh 4-cell lithium-polymer battery that offers about 6 to 8 hours of battery life.
When it comes to displaying, Asus 15 takes the lead with its 15.6 inches IPS screen with full HD 4k graphics and amazing color accuracy with 100% SRGB, which works best for all the content creators. The two speakers on the bottom are pretty much loud to fill up a room, but for better audio quality, you require those professional stereo headphones. The in-built microphone has Cortana voice-recognition support.
- Good performance
- Great display
- Stylish design
- Many USB Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Less storage
3. HP Envy 17t
- 17.3-inch diagonal FHD display
- 10th-generation Quad Core i7 processor
- Up to 32GB DDR4 RAM
- 1TB SSD Storage
- One USB-C port, Three USB 3.1 ports
- Up to 15 hours of battery life
The HP Envy 17t is a nice laptop coupled with a big screen of 17.3 inches perfect for all your DOW edits. For large scale music recording, editing, or production, you’ll get enough computing power. Moreover, it has the latest i7 8550U Quad-Core processor with up to 32GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB 7200 rpm mechanical hard drive.
Furthermore, you can save or import your music projects or other tasks easily with a DVD writer. Additionally, good news for all audiophiles, the in-built Bang & Olufsen speakers run across the back of the top keyboard just under the screen and sound really good without any audio muffling. In like manner, for those who want basic digital sound production and editing, the B&O software will help in producing rich audio. Also, the dual array digital microphone prevents all background noise for a clear conversation.
Equally important, talking about the graphics, HP Envy works well for video editing tasks and low-end gaming. Not only it comes with NVIDIA GeForce MX150 but also has a full HD 1080p 4k IPS display and great viewing angles and perfect visuals making it a perfect device for all movie editors. Whereas the big screen doesn’t imply its heavy, Envy 17t weighs only 6.63 lbs.
No headache of loud fans, overheating, speed lag, or lack of ports, this portable HP laptop is built to offer the best performance. The Li-ion 3-cell battery provides a runtime of up to 15 hours.
- Great 4k display
- Olufsen Audio
- 3 inches screen
- 1-year warranty
- Dual storage option
- It reflects back
- No-touch options
4. Dell Inspiron 17 5000
- 17.3-inch FHD Display
- 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD Storage
- Two USB 3.1 ports, one USB-C port
- Up to 13 hours of battery life
If you want to have the best budget laptop for music production and a fan of Dell laptop, then Inspiron 17 5000 is an affordable option that is packed with the latest 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor. The 4.0 GHz speed and power is ideal for performing all music-related PC tasks and allows the device to handle multitasking effortlessly.
Dell Inspiron 17 5000 is a great consideration for advanced music producers as it comes with dual drives to store all your data and documents; 256GB SSD storage and a generous 2TB hard drive. With this Dell laptop, you get fast, responsive performance and reduce loading speeds as well as the storage space is perfect for all music professionals working on DAW software.
The full HD 1080p high-resolution IPS display with 17.3 inches large screen offers a crisp and clear picture with excellent brightness level and details to work on DAW. It even comes with a discreet Radeon 530 graphics card with 4GB of VRAM. The colors maybe not be as vibrant as other models, but if your main goal is creating music, then Dell 17 5000 will run DAW smoothly. Moreover, the DVD writer comes in handy to access old backup music CD or DVD collection.
- Smooth and reliable performance
- 11 hours of battery life
- Great storage space
- Extensive USB connectivity
- Slim design
- No touchscreen
- The device heats up
5. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
- 13.5-inch PixelSense display
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor
- Up to 16GB RAM
- Up to 512GB SSD Storage
- Up to 14 hours battery life
Surface 2 is one of the best Windows laptops for making music as it comes with a high-power 8th generation Intel quad-core i7 processor. When it comes to RAM, it is ddr3, and there’s an option of 8 and 16 GB. Talking about storage, it’s also good news for those considering this laptop for work. It starts with a built-in SSD storage of 128 GB and also goes up to 512GB that results in faster login time, having read and write speeds of 1500MB and 811Mb per second, respectively.
This laptop features 13.5 inches touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio to make your work easy and convenient. It has a razor-sharp resolution of 2256 by 1504, which gives you a 201 pixel per inch density. Surface 2 offers vibrant and accurate colors with 100% adobe and sRGB, while brightness is 300 nits.
If you are into making Skype calls or webcam, the 5 megapixels camera has great resolution and color clarity and one of the best cameras you can get in the market. To have the best typing experience, the keyboard has multi-stage back-lighting with 1.5 mm travel and a lot quieter than other laptop models. The trackpad with precision drivers also works best with the Alcantara deck. Though the surface connector and USB-A work well, having no thunderbolt 3 is a real bummer.
- All-day battery life (14.5 hours)
- Omnisonic speakers
- Great processing power
- No Thunderbolt 3 or type-C port
- Not a lot of ports
6. LG gram Thin and Light Laptop
This is for those who want a bigger screen ultrabook but don’t want to carry bulky laptops. So, LG gram comes with a 17 inches IPS display with 2560 x 1600 2k resolution. Talking about the power, it has an Intel quad-core 8th generation i7 core processor with a speed of 1.8 GHz, so for everyday music productivity work, editing, and compiling, LG gram works pretty well. Also, you get 16GB of RAM onboard with 512 GB of SSD storage, which makes multitasking a lot easier.
Furthermore, weighing less than 3 pounds, it is the lightest laptop with the biggest screen. Additionally, It is DDR4 2400MHz RAM with 2 SSD slots. Whereas for ports, LG gram has 3 USB-A 3.1, an HDMI, microSD, audio jack, and a Thunderbolt 3 for easy audio data transfer.
Not to mention, you can do your work on LG gram for hours as the 72Wh heavy-duty battery offers a runtime of up to 19.5 hours. Being an ultrabook and having a big chassis, this doesn’t get hot or loud. It has 2 stereo speakers of 1.5 watts which produce decent sound. Moreover, the head jack supports Dolby DTS headphone X, providing surround sound effects.
Perfect for working in dark environments, it comes with a backlit keyboard, 368 Nits of brightness, 98% sRGB, and also a Microsoft precision trackpad.
- Ultra-light in weight
- Long-running battery
- Large 17 inches screen
- 1-channel surround sound
- Thunderbolt 3
- No touchscreen
7. ASUS VivoBook Pro
If you want a laptop for recording music, consider Asus VivoBook Pro. This powerful laptop has the 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor, which runs at 2.8 GHz and likewise can turbo up to 3.8 GHz. It has got 8GB of DDR4 memory running at 2400MHz and furthermore, offers the computing power to do multi-tasking and multimedia editing effortlessly.
Be ready to have an immersive sound experience; the VivoBook pro also comes with a Harman Kardon-certified sound system for detailed and HD sound. Moreover, it has its own ASUS SonicMaster software optimizations, which enhances audio quality. Equally, the built-in speakers provide crystal clear sound, making it at maximum level, thanks to the Asus’s smart amplifier technology. Moreover, this light-weight and ultra-thin device offer loud sound with its front stereo speakers that have dual-coil. You get a wide-range frequency sound system which makes sure that bass and treble are rich.
For storage, there’s a 1TB Seagate 5400RPM hard drive installed, however, there is the option of getting an SSD instead that provides ten times faster data transfer/write speed. Moving on to the graphics, VivoBook has got Nvidia’s 1050 in combination with 17.3 inches, bezel-free 1080p FHD display with a NanoEdge design. It also features extensive connectivity with many USB ports to connect a wide range of devices, which helps in creating the best quality music.
- Great performance
- Durable and stylish
- Immersive sound
- 4K UHD output
- Extensive connectivity
- 1-year ADP
- No Thunderbolt 3
8. Lenovo Thinkpad E590
Lenovo Thinkpad is not only for programmers or gamers; this affordable laptop is also designed for all those who want to start music production. The processor you get on this fast device is the 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7, a clock speed of 1.6 GHz, a turbo burst of 3.9 GHz with a Windows 10 Pro operating system. Talking about the display, Thinkpad E590 also comes with 15.6 inches anti-glare, IPS display with FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution.
Moreover, to give you detailed images and color, there is AMD Radeon™ RX 550 2GB VRAM ultra-HD graphics card present. In brief, a solid laptop weighing 4.7 pounds, is an ideal option for all music experts. Additionally, for storage, you have got multiple choices with SSD or SATA hard drive, an optional dual drive as well.
The battery life is up to 13 hours, and the keyboard has a backlighting feature to work in low-light dim environments. For better conference video calling, this laptop has an HD 720p webcam and a dual-array built-in microphone that delivers accurate sound. Thinkpad E590 has taken the stereo speaker system to another level with the smart audio speaker support and Dolby® Advanced Audio. Connecting many external devices is not an issue; it has HDMI, USB 3.1, and USB-C, which is the power port and allows connectivity with the 4K monitor.
One of the best laptops for audio and music production without breaking the budget!
- 13 hours of battery life
- Powerful and fast processor
- Multiple ports
- Discrete graphics
- No touch screen
- Laptop’s bottom heats up quickly
9. HP 2019 Premium Flagship Probook
If you are searching for the top Hp laptop to buy, HP ProBook 450 G6 is a high-quality laptop that is aimed to provide the fastest that will work best for music production in many ways. The main reason is that it is powered by Intel’s 8th generation Quad-Core whiskey late processor. All audio editing, creating, and composing demands will be handled smoothly with a 4.6GHz turbo boost. For effortless multitasking, the RAM and storage are upgraded to DDR4 16 GB and 512GB, respectively, to store as many music files and projects as you want.
It has 15.6 inches display that operates at Full HD 1366 by 786 resolution using SVA for rich and sharp colors. HP has given G6 an all metal-built apart from the plastic screen bezel and hinge. The brightness is rated at 220 nits, which is a bit low to work outdoors. It offers seamless Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Stereo speakers are loud enough to fill the room and home studio.
- Nice built and design
- Long battery life
- No thunderbolt 3
- No upgrade for 4k display
10. Dell XPS 9560
Dell XPS 9560 is the most stylish 15.6 inches laptop that can purchase for music mixing, production, or editing. The reason is its Intel Core i7-7700HQ 7th generation Quad-Core processor with a max turbo speed of 3.8 GHz that is good enough for multi-tasking and DAW software. It features a DDR4 16GB RAM and a solid-state storage drive of 512GB PCIe.
It has a nice slim and premium look yet strong built, perfect for producers on the road. For your home studio, it offers multiple USB ports, including Thunderbolt 3 that supports connectivity to two 4K displays.
- Ultra-sharp 4K touch display
- Accurate, rich colors
- Solid built
- Fast computing power
- No two storage drive option
You only need a couple more studio tools and your home studio is ready. Check out how to build your home recording studio with $500.
What is the best laptop for music production and audio engineering?
Apple produces some very powerful laptops that work great for music producers and recording studios. Windows laptops Asus Zenbook, Dell Inspiron, HP Envy, and Microsoft Surface are considered great alternatives to the Mac OS. Laptops by Acer and Lenovo are also good for music production. Nevertheless, the most important thing for your music-making and recording is the audio interface.
The built-in sound cards on these laptops, are definitely good enough for games, movies, or listening to your music at home. However, in your studio, you might want to take a look at the best audio interface under $200 or the best professional USB audio interfaces.
What laptop specs are good for music production?
- Display: 13-inch or bigger screen
- Processor: Quad-Core i7 Processor
- RAM: 8GB DDR4
- Storage: Minimum of 5ooGB SSD
- Ports: USB-C or/and USB 3.1 ports
We hope that this article is a great help to all amateur audio producers looking for a laptop to compose, edit, create, or produce music. All the above-listed laptops have specifications that are important for music production purposes.
We left the best for last! check here the best free VST plugins to start music production right here, right now.
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