The era of digital mixers, virtual synthesizers and guitar processors has made laptops indispensable for rehearsals and concerts, in professional and home studios, when you need multi-channel recording in the field. In this material, we are looking for the best laptop for working with sound.
So, the best laptop for music production should be powerful and light, and have a good battery capacity for those situations when you are away from the mains.
Whichever platform you choose, some factors remain the same. When it comes to choosing the best laptop for your home studio, you need to pay close attention to power and memory specs. Although the basic requirements are a multi-core processor, about 4 GB of RAM and several gigabytes of storage, this is not enough for real applications. Purchase based on “minimum recommended” features – that’s a recipe for future anxiety. Instead, you want a laptop with enough power to handle the latest software and growing file sizes, with enough power to handle any future demands you may have.
Best Laptops for Music Production
Today, even the power of junior budget models is enough to try to write your first track. If there is an interest to develop in this direction, then advanced models allow you not to lose it on the road and perform tasks with comfort. In turn, the solution of professional tasks will require even greater investments, but they will pay off with the reliability and durability of the device, the advanced filling of which will allow you to forget about replacing a laptop for many years.
How we chose the best laptops for music production
- Dell XPS 13
- Apple MacBook Pro M1 13 inch
- Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2020)
- Microsoft Surface Pro 8 i5
- Best budget laptop for music production: Acer Aspire 5
When choosing the best laptops for music production, we focused on options with fast processors and enough RAM and storage for the fastest, most efficient audio experience. The best digital workstations (DAWs) and music production software can be resource-intensive.
Each of the listed laptops will be useful to anyone involved in music.
What to look for when looking for a laptop for music production
To find the best laptops for making music, you need to think about the right things.
In general, there are four important factors to consider when looking for a portable computer for making music:
- RAM (Random Access Memory)
- Processing speed
- Disk space
- Monitor specifications
The processor is the heart of a laptop. You can add RAM, change the hard drive, add ports and connect an external screen. But if the processor in a laptop becomes obsolete, then most often the entire platform retires with it. And if we take into account that programs for working with sound consume gigahertz with the appetite of a black hole, then it becomes clear that it is the processor that should be looked at in the first place.
The number of cores and their frequency are of great importance. For comfortable work with music applications, you need at least four cores with a frequency as high as possible. A large number of streams will also be in the cashier, since most applications have already learned how to work with them correctly.
RAM – there is never a lot of it, because for plug-ins and sample libraries, RAM is their second dish after gigahertz (and sometimes the first). At least 8 GB is required, and 16 GB is better. The type of memory also matters (almost everywhere now DDR4) and its frequency – the larger it is, the faster the samples will be loaded.
A hard drive is ideally an SSD, because it will have to work with a lot of small files. You also need a large amount of space, because the music software eats permanent memory for dessert.
Here you might already think that to work with music, you definitely need a six-core monster for gamers for obscene money. Of course, as a universal workstation, this would be very good. But, firstly, the video card is practically unimportant when creating music, unless you plan to connect the device to a dozen monitors. Secondly, musical tasks are different, and many of them do not require everything and more at once, but only a couple of quite specific characteristics. Thus, it is possible to compile a list of laptops suitable for these tasks.