The musical world is going through a period of revolution where there’s more freedom than ever! Due to intelligent audio software and high-end processing, today it’s easier to make music. Even more, anyone who understands the tech part of music can create and produce without any support from the big guys.
However, whether you’re a DJ, a professional audio producer, or an amateur, you will need to find the best laptop for music production that supports your needs. Since the world of computers and IT components can be confusing for a beginner, we created a detailed guide that walks you through the features that matter for a laptop destined for music production.
Also, we reviewed some of the best products on the market, so you can make an informed decision.
Last update on 2023-03-22 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
How to Choose the Best Laptop for Music Production?
First, it’s important to understand that there are not that many devices created for music production, per se. However, you don’t need highly specific features, just the ones that work best for your needs.
OS & Software
Which operating system do you like to work on?
The most popular ones are Windows and Mac OS, and most people have a strong preference for one or the other.
You should also consider the software you’ll use to produce music since some are not always compatible with both systems mentioned above.
So, before you decide on anything else, make sure you know your preferences for both the OS and software.
Configuration & Audio Quality
Audio software is quite demanding which is why you’ll find several gaming laptops in the products we reviewed.
The configuration of a laptop refers to the components that provide processing power such as the processor, RAM memory, and storage space. If these components work well together, your device will not choke when you try to open two different programs at once.
Moreover, since you are producing music, you will need a device that features good audio quality. Otherwise, you won’t be able to listen to your own creations.
Portability & Battery Life
Some music producers only work in a studio, but if you’re in a band or you’re a DJ, portability is going to be an important factor. Not to mention that you’ll want a laptop with good battery life that doesn’t drain too fast when the workload increases.
So, make the decision according to your needs. As you’ll see, some devices are ultra-portable while others are a bit more difficult to carry along.
Finally, as a music producer, you may need to transfer your creations online or to other devices. This is why you should select a laptop with good port configuration (at least one Thunderbolt3 port and plenty of USBs) and good connectivity (both Bluetooth and WiFi).
Best Laptops for Music Production
Apple MacBook Pro 16″
An Ultimate Tool for Every Creative Individual
Apple MacBook Pro 16″ is one of the best MacBooks available on the market and definitely a great option if you are in the creative business, no matter if that is music, movies, or graphics design. Apple devices are made in order to deliver premium quality and its 16” Pro version is even a step further in that direction, delivering basically everything that artistic work might demand.
There is an excellent-quality Retina Display; a lot of firepower under the hood thanks to the 9th generation Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM (there are also versions with 32GB and 64GB) and AMD Radeon Pro 5300M (4GB) graphics card (there are also versions with AMD Radeon Pro 5500M (8GB) and AMD Radeon Pro 5600M (8GB) graphics cards), as well as a very good 100-Wh battery that will give you some 11 hours of autonomy.
When talking about its audio department, Apple MacBook Pro 16″ is a story for itself and comes with a six-speaker system, with dual-force canceling woofers; three-mic array with studio-quality and directional beamforming, as well as support for Dolby Atmos and wide stereo that altogether make this notebook one hell of a machine. Also, thanks to the four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, Magic keyboard, Touch Bar, and many other interesting and very handy features, you are getting great versatility and functionality, as it should be the case with the best laptop for music production.
The point being, if you want the best of the best, Apple MacBook Pro 16″ should definitely be your number one choice.
- Magic keyboard
- Excellent battery life
- Attractive design
- Very good sound quality
Acer Predator Helios 300
Solid Value for Money
The Acer Predator Helios will drain less than $1500 from your bank account, which is pretty impressive in terms of value for money, considering the fact that you’ll end up with a gaming-centric machine powered by a Intel i7-11800H CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 GPU, 16 GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD, plus an excessively awesome full HD low latency 144 Hz IPS display.
Basically, if you’re looking for the best laptop for music production without breaking the bank, the Predator Helios 300 would fit the bill, as gaming laptops are great for music production, except maybe from battery life, which is not stellar.
The Predator Helios 300 is average sized, which makes it portable, even if it’s not exactly light at 4.85 pounds. Considering the screen size, this is an acceptable weight. In terms of build quality, the partial aluminum design is nothing to write home about, yet the laptop is solid and well built, with minimal lid/chassis flex, and, on top of that, you can open the lid with just one hand, which is pretty cool.
The low latency/high refresh rate screen delivers silky smooth pictures, there are more than enough connectivity options, including USB-A and Type C, a mini display port, HDMI, Ethernet and a headphone jack, and overall hardware performance is very good for the price asked.
The only downsides are battery life, which is not shorter than average for gaming laptops (about 5 hours), and awful audio from the built-in speakers. Other than that, the Helios 300 offers a very good display and great performance at a reasonable price.
- Smooth display
- Quiet cooling
- Solid connectivity
- Built-in OC features
- Accepts 3 storage devices
- Good value for money
- Short battery life
Dell XPS 13 9310
A Solid Laptop for Music Production and Travel
The Dell XPS in a high-end business laptop, designed to be tough, reliable and highly portable, which makes it an ideal tool for music production. This particular model features a full HD 1080p 13.4″ InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit display, an Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU with Iris Xe Graphics, 16 GB of RAM (DDR4) and a beefy 512 GB SSD.
Needless to say, the hardware inside is more than enough for music production, as the quad-core processor based on the Tiger Lake-U generation is a true beast for an ultra-portable. At the time of its announcement, the CPU was the fastest model of the lineup, and that says it all.
Speaking of performance, this Dell comes with the Evo badge, which means it’s optimized for day-to-day workloads including its boot times, i.e. it’s super snappy.
The discrete GPU is pretty good also, as in you can play games to some extent, but we wouldn’t recommend it due to the laptop’s cooling system, which is not, let’s say, very sophisticated, and you’ll probably experience a serious performance drop due to heating.
The display is great, with excellent color accuracy, and features an anti-reflective and anti-smudge coating. The keyboard is also very good, as well as the trackpad, autonomy stands at 8 hours, give or take, depending on the brightness level, due to the respectable (non user-replaceable) 53WHr battery inside, and you’ll receive a 45W AC adapter to charge the laptop via either one of the two USB Type-C ports.
Finally, we must mention the two Thunderbolt 4 ports (one on each side) that support DisplayPort and/or Power Delivery, and, on top of that, you’ll get a Type C to USB Type-A adapter in the retail box.
- Top tier performance
- Fantastic display
- Great keyboard
- Compact and light
- Premium build quality
- Intel Evo Certified
- Runs hot if pushed
SAMSUNG Galaxy Book Pro
It’s a well-known fact that MacBooks are the “weapon of choice” for many music creators, but now Samsung seems to have finally made a competitor. Enter Galaxy Book Pro, a nicely designed and powerful ultrabook, that comes equipped with state-of-the-art Intel CPUs, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and impressive battery life.
Just like a MacBook, right? And, just like a MacBook, the Galaxy Book Pro is very expensive, looks and feels premium, and makes for a great choice if you already own a Samsung smartphone. I mean, just like a MacBook, right?
This particular model features Intel EVO certification, which means it’s optimized for day-to-day workloads including its boot times, i.e. it’s super snappy, features a high-end 15.6″ AMOLED (Samsung’s specialty) display, which is arguably better than Apple’s Retina stuff, and costs a little less than $1500, which is pretty interesting.
Moreover, you’ll get the 11th gen Intel I7 CPU, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD. Basically, this baby is Samsung’s flagship laptop, a stylish high-end machine that is designed to provide top-notch performance in style. Thunderbolt 4 ports are there, to provide you with super-fast data transfer speeds, and battery life in real life is about 14-16 hours, which is flabbergasting.
The laptop measures 355.4 x 225.8 x 11.7 mm, is thin and light, weighing just 1 kg (2 pounds give or take), is solidly built, quiet, fast, looks modern due to its thin bezels, the full size keyboard is great for typing, and it’s ideal for day to day workloads.
- Beautiful screen
- Solid performance
- Amazing battery life
- Modern design
- Thin and light
- AMOLED panel
- All-plastic construction
ASUS ZenBook 15
Stylish Looks and Great Performance in a Compact Edition
ASUS ZenBook 15 is a one-of-a-kind, premium product that offers only the best, in accordance with its class, whether it’s appearance or performance. Therefore, it should be no surprise that this laptop comes with a few unusual features, such as ScreenPad2.0 (5.65” interactive trackpad/touchpad) that present a great productivity tool, as well as the ErgoLift hinge that makes typing a bit more pleasant.
Other key ingredients of the ASUS ZenBook 15 include a great-looking 15.6” wide-view 4K screen, Intel Core i7-10510U CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, 512GB of NVMe SSD, as well as 16GB of RAM. Altogether, these features make a recognizable force and certainly provide a lot of maneuverability space that makes this laptop one of the best laptops for graphic design and music production, or, on the other hand, an excellent gaming tool.
ASUS ZenBook 15 comes with a lot of connectivity options under its wing, such as Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 6 networking, as well as two USB3.1 ports, one USB3.1 Type-C port, HDMI, SD card reader, and more. Also, it is compatible with Amazon Alexa, it is fitted with a solid battery that provides some eight hours of action and equally importantly, it is reasonably priced, which altogether makes it a great option for mobile music producers looking for the best value for their money, and ultimately the best laptop for music production there is.
- Great overall performance
- Excellent design
- Very useful ScreenPad
- No LAN port
ASUS ROG Strix G15
An Ultimate Productivity Tool
Whether you are a gamer or a professional, you must respect quality laptops when you see them, and ASUS ROG Strix G15 notebook definitely is of that kind. It doesn’t matter what your intentions are with it and what tasks you throw at it, you may be sure it will handle them with ease. This includes music production that, considering its specification, should be as easy as a walk through the park.
Simply, when you have Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 GPU, 1TB NVMe SSD, and 16GB of RAM under the hood, everything seems easy to handle, whether that is video rendering, gaming, or just simple office work. However, there are also other interesting things about this laptop – before anything else, its super-fast 15.6” 240Hz FHD IPS screen, ROG Aura Sync compatibility, and RGB Keyboard, as well as solid connectivity that includes Gigabit LAN, BT 5.0, and Wi-Fi 6 connection, and numerous ports, such as audio combo jack, three USB3.2 ports, USB3.2 Type-C port, and many others. In other words, it puts quite a lot of versatility at your disposal.
Unfortunately, such praising words cannot be used to depict its speaker system that, although good, doesn’t deliver enough bass; therefore, it should be observed more as a spare option, while you should probably get yourself some high-quality external speakers that would go neck and neck with this mighty machine.
All in all, ASUS ROG Strix G15 offers a lot for the money, while offering great functionality and versatility at the same time. In other words, if music production isn’t the only thing on your mind and you are also into gaming, video rendering, or some other more demanding tasks, you may be sure that this notebook is quite a catch.
- Great performance
- Excellent keyboard
- Not the best battery life
- Not the best sound quality
Lenovo Legion 5 15
Well Balanced Machine
The Lenovo Legion 5 is yet another gaming centric laptop that can be used for a multitude of tasks, including productivity work, in our case music production. The laptop retails for approximately $1000 give or take, which is on the affordable side for gaming laptops, arriving with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, 16 GB of RAM , a 512 GB NVMe SSD and a powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti for gaming on the side.
Seriously speaking, this configuration is pretty good for $1k, as you’ll end up with a well-built/well cooled gaming laptop which can be used for basically anything, on a daily basis, or a work-horse of sorts. The Ryzen 7/ GeForce RTX 3050Ti combo offers great all-round performance for the price asked, the design is smart and subdued, making the Legion 5 an excellent choice if you want a more discreet machine, and there are loads of practical features included in the package, things like adequate battery life (5 hours), and a great keyboard, which make it versatile for everyday computing.
Connectivity is top notch and includes 4 full size USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports and 2 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C connectors, the laptop weighs 2.4 kilos and has a 25.7mm thick body (a tad on the heavy/bulky side compared to others, due to its excellent cooling system), and you’ll get per key RGB LED lighting and a fantastic keyboard.
The display is a little washed out to be honest compared to higher-end models, but overall, for the price asked, the Legion 5 will not disappoint you with mainstream video work, photo editing, and any other demanding content-creation tasks.
- Solid performance
- Robust and discreet design
- Excellent keyboard
- Amazing value for money
- Tons of ports
- None really at this price
PCAudioLabs Rok Box MC M7 S
The Best Budget Laptop for Music Production
Equipped with components that support demanding audio production software, this laptop may look a bit expensive at first, but in reality, it will deliver the best performance without breaking the bank.
The configuration is powerful enough for studio and on the road needs and the design is portable and durable. The basic configuration is fueled by a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H running at 2.3 GHz with 8 cores, and 16GB of RAM (up to 64GB), the device can be used for a wide range of activities.
Moreover, the 15.6” Full HD screen (there is also a version with the 17″ screen) can be used for both work and fun (for those times when you want to take a break). Not to mention, there is one 500GB M.2 SSD for your OS and one 1TB M.2 SSD for storage.
The laptop runs Windows 10 64-bit version and supports both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Overall, it is ideal for both traveling and working in a studio, which is why it can be used by both bands on tour and professionals who would rather stay put. Also, note that everything is configurable and you can choose really high specs with this laptop but be ready to pay extra.
- Designed with audio production in mind
- Fully configurable
- Impressive case
- Portable design
- A bit expensive for beginners
As you can see, the offer is rather varied. However, the prices can be a bit steep for a beginner. Still, if you’re looking to get a good start, any one of the laptops mentioned above will help with both performance and durability.
So, instead of worrying about the price, consider this a first investment in your career as a musician!