Best Laptop for Audio Production-When considering a more costly investment such as a good laptop for audio production, you are going to want to make a well-informed decision before you part with a large amount of cash.
Today’s buyers’ guide has admittedly been on the heavier side to ensure you have all the necessary info presented in an understandable way. Computers are of a complex nature so there is a lot to cover.
Many of the laptop we have chosen to review have attributes we haven’t delved into in an effort to keep specification breakdowns relevant to audio production purposes. We have also aimed to surmise in concise terms all of the more vital aspects you will require to get a laptop with optimum performance when running a digital audio workspace.
Whilst many of those we have looked at are capable of installing and running them fairly competently we have chosen to be very honest and clear as music production software can be very demanding of your computer as your production skills and methods evolve.
With technology improving at a steadily increasing rate, the modern market is awash with high-performance laptops so as long as you know which DAW you wish to use and how you intend to use it you should find a suitable laptop to meet its requirements.
To find the best laptop for audio production your primary concerns should be processing power and the correct OS. Once you have narrowed it down then all you need is to find one in your price range, that is as rich in rapid RAM as it is stuffed with sufficient SSD storage for speedy retrieval.
There are many great choices for music production laptops. I would suggest getting the best computer you can for your budget, but try to stay away from “cheap” options – and definitely avoid Chromebooks. You will just run into limitations and issues that take the fun out of your hobby or profession!back to menu ↑
- 15. 6" 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) OLED InfinityEdge anti-reflective Non-Touch 100% DCI-P3 400-Nits Display
- 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750h (12MB Cache, up to 4. 5 GHz, 6 Cores)
- 16GB DDR4-2666MHz, 2x8G
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
- Sd card reader, Thunderbolt, USB 3. 0
- Windows 10 Home 64bit English
- 6-Cell 97Whr integrated
- 256GB M. 2 PCIe NVMe solid state Drive
- Fingerprint reader
- System Ram Type: Ddr4 Sdram
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- Zero-Compromise Creative Mobile Workstation: Built for creative work in a 0.7" thin CNC aluminum unibody with high-performance, vapor chamber cooling powered by an NVIDIA Quadro series GPU
- Futureproof Design: Thunderbolt 3 capable, compatible with Razer Core external GPU enclosures for additional power; supports dual-channel memory and SSD upgradability
- Professional-Grade Studio Display: Features an individually calibrated 4K OLED touch display covering 100% DCI-P3 with a blazing fast 1ms response time
- Ready to Connect: Plug in multiple devices directly to expand the view on up to 3 extrenal displays via Thunderbolt 3, MiniDislayPort, and HDMIm and get over gigabit speeds through Intel Wi-Fi 6 for a desktop-class editing experience
- Biometric Security: Supports Windows Hello instant facial unlock with integrated webcam and IR sensor
- Customizable RGB Individual Key Lighting: Includes 16.8 million colors available with multiple preset profiles
- Summary: 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H 6 core processor w/ 2.6GHz/4.5GHz (base/max turbo), NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000, 15.6" 4K OLED DCI-P3 100% display, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe SSD
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3.Asus ROG Strix
- 【Upgraded Configuration】Its seal box is opened during upgrade for better performance. Substantial high-bandwidth 32GB RAM to smoothly run your games and photo- and video-editing applications, as well as multiple programs and browser tabs all at once. A flash-based 1TBSSD has no moving parts, resulting in faster start-up times and data access, no noise, and reduced heat production and power draw on the battery.
- 【10th Gen Intel Core i7-10870H processor】With 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processors, you can revel in powerful performance without interrupting your gaming, streaming or videos. Powerful 8-core, 16-thread processing performance. The Intel Turbo Boost technology (up to 5.0 GHz) delivers dynamic extra power when you need it.
- 【15.6" Full HD display 】The 1920x1080 resolution boasts impressive color and clarity. Supports 1080p content. Energy-efficient IPS display An ultrafast 240Hz refresh rate makes the flow of fast-paced action look impeccably smooth, while the 3ms grey-to-grey response time minimizes motion blur for precision target tracking.
- 【NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Graphics】Backed by 6GB GDDR6 dedicated video memory for an ultrafast, advanced GPU to fuel your games. RGB backlit keyboard allows you to enjoy comfortable and accurate typing, even in dim lighting.
- 【Woov Accessory Bundle】Bundled with a 6ft Woov High Speed HDMI Cable that supports 4K content.
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4.HP – OMEN
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- 15.6 inch Full HD NanoEdge bezel display with stunning 85% screen-to-body ratio
- Powerful AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.1 GHz)
- 8GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and Windows 10 Home
- Ergonomic backlit keyboard along with a fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello
- Comprehensive connections including USB 3.2 Type-C, USB 3.2 Type-A, USB 2.0, HDMI, and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) (*USB Transfer speed may vary. Learn more at ASUS website)
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6.HP – Envy
- 15.6" diagonal FHD IPS micro-edge WLED-backlit multitouch-enabled edge-to-edge glass (1920 x 1080), Intel Core i7-1065G7 (1.3 GHz base frequency, up to 3.9 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 8 MB L3 cache, 4 cores)
- 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, 12GB DDR4-3200 SDRAM (1 x 4GB, 1 x 8GB)
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 1 multi-format SD media card reader, 1 SuperSpeed USB Type-C 10Gbps signaling rate (USB Power Delivery, DisplayPort 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge); 1 SuperSpeed USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate (HP Sleep and Charge); 1 SuperSpeed USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate; 1 HDMI 2.0; 1 AC smart pin; 1 headphone/microphone combo
- Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5 Combo (Supporting Gigabit file transfer speeds), HP Wide Vision HD Camera with camera shutter and integrated dual array digital microphone
- Audio by Bang & Olufsen; 3 speakers, Windows 10 Home 64bit (This laptop does not include a built-in DVD/CD drive.)
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- Clean, elegant design — thin and light, starting at just 2.76 pounds, Surface Laptop 2 fits easily in your bag
- Choose from rich tone on tone color combinations: Platinum, Burgundy, and Cobalt Blue
- Improved speed and performance to do what you want, with the latest 8th Generation Intel Core processor
- All day battery life, with up to 14.5 hours of video playback
- Vibrant 13.5" PixelSense Display with interactive touchscreen and razor sharp resolution
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- Display: 15.6 inches Fhd (1920 x 1080), IPS-Level 60Hz 45 percent ntsc thin Bezel 1920x1080 16:9
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 [Max-Q] 4G GDDR5
- Processor: Intel Core i7-9750h 2.6 - 4.5GHz
- Memory: 16GB (8 gram x 2) DDR4 2666MHz 2 Sockets; Max memory 64GB
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
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- ■ Upgraded ■ Seal is opened for upgrade ONLY, Upgrade from base: 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD; 1 year warraty on Upgraded RAM/SSD from iPuzzle, and original 1 year Manufacture warranty on remaining components. 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U Processor @ 1.80GHz (4 Cores, 8MB Cache, up to 4.0GHz)
- 15.0" FHD LED Display (1920 x 1080) with Touch Screen Panel Display; AMD Radeon 540 Graphics with 2GB GDDR5 Graphic Memory; 360°flip-and-fold convertible design
- 16GB DDR4 SDRAM Memory; 1TB SSD, 720p HD Camera and Dual Array Digital microphone Ideal for Home, Student, Professionals, Small Business, School Education, and Commercial Enterprise, Online Class, Google Classroom, Remote Learning, Zoom Ready
- 802.11 ac (2x2) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v4.1; 1 USB Type-C, 2 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, 1 headphone/microphone combo jack. This electronic gift, holiday gift offers a good experience for watching videos, browsing the web, remote work, or study from home.
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- Powerful & fast for effortless on-the-go computing: 8th generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD & 16GB RAM
- Durable & reliable: meets the ultra-demanding MIL-STD-810G military standard for reliability and durability, undergoing a punishing testing regime
- Long battery life: powered by a high-capacity battery that won’t let you down
- Exclusive ErgoLift design: an engineering masterpiece designed to automatically tilt the keyboard to the most comfortable typing position, plus it improves cooling and audio performance
- Professional Grade: use Windows your way with Windows 10 Professional and hardware TPM security
- Ultra slim bezels: The 13. 3” Full HD NanoEdge display with a 95% screen-to-body ratio is designed to give you the most screen area in the least physical space and makes any visuals more immersive
- Exclusive ASUS NumberPad: with one tap, your touchpad becomes a numeric keypad for speedy data entry
- Thin, lightweight and stylish: comfortably portable at only 2. 6 pounds and featuring iconic Zen-inspired spun-metal finish
- Includes 1 year free ASUS Accidental Damage Protection
- Carry sleeve and USB3. 0 to RJ45 cable included
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Best Laptop for Audio Production- BUYER’S GUIDEback to menu ↑
CPUs: A fork in the road
Essentially, a faster processor means two things; your computer can handle more tasks being thrown at it, and it can ‘process’ those things a lot quicker. You may see only small differences; perhaps an audio file will render one minute quicker using the faster of two processors, but over time this clearly adds up.
In the CPU world, there are two major players. Intel is the big name, with a huge share of the market. Intel’s range goes from i3 – the least powerful – all the way up to i9. Most common in mid-to-upper tier laptops, however, are the i5 and i7 variants, and within that sphere you have different speed ratings, measured in gigahertz, as well as the option to turbo-boost when you’re placing the computer under major stress. The other name to look out for is AMD, which produces the Ryzen processors. These follow a similar nomenclature to the Intel versions, so R3, R5 and so on, and are popular amongst the gaming crowd.
Where things might change in the coming years is with Apple’s switch to using its own in-house silicon CPU, called the M1. It’s been well-documented about the changes that are on the way, and the resulting boost in power and performance, but for musicians and producers the true benefits to this are likely a way off yet. For a start, the software vendors must ensure compatibility with this new architecture which is by no means guaranteed. So, while it’s worth keeping an eye on developments, it doesn’t necessarily mean holding off on your purchase in the short term.back to menu ↑
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 (or more patient) than we are. That’s 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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- Explore the best iPads for musicians and producers
Storage memory comes a close second. For audio applications, particularly those involving sample libraries where audio is streamed from disk, you’ll want to use a solid state drive (SSD). The benefit of these drives is the rapid data transfer, meaning files load quicker, although they are slightly more expensive than their hard disk drive (HDD) equivalent. For music production applications, however, the extra expense is totally justified.
It’s not uncommon however to see a combination employed – a HDD for storage of files, photos and videos, and an SSD for tasks where more instantaneous responses are required. The alternative involves using external hard drives; SSDs, particularly those that take advantage of USB-C technology, are more than capable of the types of transfer speeds required for music production.back to menu ↑
So, clearly there is a lot to think about when choosing the best laptop for music production.
It’s easy to see why a good all-round laptop can fetch a premium price tag, but, as with anything from the best samplers and studio monitors to home studio mixers, you get what you pay for, so it’s always wise to get the best you can afford, rather than skimping and regretting your purchase later (often quicker than you thought). Our price comparison software will come in handy here. Next to each product entry on this guide our price widgets will display the best deals online right now to save you shopping around.
We won’t be focussing on various legacy ins and outs, such as the number of USB sockets, or lack of, for your audio interface, and so on. With so many dongle and docking options available, this shouldn’t be a deciding factor in your purchasing journey. In this guide we’re talking sheer horsepower for music-making. For example, can your portable rig cope with large multitrack sessions, running handfuls of plugins and MIDI instruments? Want to take a closer look? Hit the ‘product guide & reviews’ button above.back to menu ↑
Frequently Asked Questionsback to menu ↑
Best Budget Laptop For Music Production?
Unfortunately in the world of audio production the faster the better, so as to avoid crashes and glitches or latency loss in the middle of recordings. The top laptops for audio production we have looked at in this article all make for reasonably priced budget options.
The best value for money in our opinion would be the Alienware or the Razor Blade Stealth, each are gaming laptops with high-end graphics that have good sound processing capability, they have superior CPUs and great clock speeds and fair RAM and storage. They aren’t however exactly cheap.
The cheapest option on our list is the tablet option, the Lenovo yoga book, but it only runs an Android operating system so won’t manage most full DAW. It makes for a good option if cash is of concern, for younger users and those just curiously branching out into songwriting. There are a decent amount of Apps that have great content for basic audio production. If your budget simply won’t stretch to the $1000 dollar mark this might be an ideal starting point for you.back to menu ↑
Which Is Better For Music Production – Laptop or Desktop?
Ultimately a desktop is better for music production especially considering that they can be upgraded and built-on with relative ease. Though much more capable, they have their drawbacks meaning they need to be set up and remain where they are located. They are a worthy investment if you’re serious about setting up a home studio, however, we live in a modern world that is constantly on the move and being able to take your work with you is every bit as valuable.
If you already have a studio set-up a laptop for music production essential tools for taking those hours of endless editing home with you to be done in more comfortable surroundings.
There are some great laptops around which bring with them their smaller footprint and the convenience of being able to set up shop at a moments notice in any situation, however, the truly capable ones with the ideal set of specs can set you back in excess of $2500.
If you are investing in a new laptop that can specifically handle your DAW workloads you will need one with a good number of USB ports (ideally 3.0 or Thunderbolt), a great processor, fast memory speeds, 16+ GB of RAM and a decent amount of SSD storage.back to menu ↑
There is a good chance you’ll have lots of programs and tabs open at the same time and you will need the ability to add at least 1 extra screen (many people use 2 or 3). These usage requirements use a lot of RAM and graphic power, respectively. I recommend getting at least 16GB RAM if at all possible.
Most important for audio processing is a CPU with fast single-core performance. This will allow you to get your mixes into a single file much quicker and process effects and chains without the CPU needing to wait, among many other benefits. 8th generation Intel i7 processors are the best, followed by Intel i5. 7th generation processors are also excellent.