Best Laptop for Music Production Under 500 – There are a lot of great laptops out there that will do well with running music production software. While looking for a budget laptop, make sure to never skimp on RAM, CPU, and a hard drive or solid state drive.
Having a fast, capable processor will enable you to work efficiently and save you from waiting several minutes just to start your computer up and get things running. RAM allows for more plugins to be used in your DAW and works hand in hand with your CPU.
If your processor isn’t fast enough, you’ll get issues like latency while recording, and if your RAM isn’t big enough, you’ll get issues like your plugins running slowly or crashing. This is why having a good computer is so important.
That being said, don’t forget to look at older computers, especially ones from Apple. They can be just as good as newer computers and you’ll be able to save much more money if you buy something that’s been refurbished or used.
For more information on the best computers to use for music production to help you choose the best laptops and desktops within your budget, be sure to check out the articles and guides that we have coming up in the near future!back to menu ↑
- 7th Generation Intel Core i3-7100U Processor (2.4GHz, 3MB L3 cache)
- 15.6" Full HD Widescreen ComfyView LED-backlit Display supporting Acer ColorBlast technology
There are two types of laptops I’ve come to expect from Acer: Standout premium models like the crazy Swift 7 ultraportable and Predator Triton 900, and mainstream laptops that are impossibly good deals — like last year’s Predator Helios 300 and this year’s Acer Aspire 5.
For more than a year, Acer’s Aspire E 15 was my go-to pick for anyone who just needed a quick, reliable laptop for general use around the home. Sadly, that model is getting harder to find, but the Aspire 5 is an excellent alternative that’s thinner, lighter and still an impossibly good deal.back to menu ↑
- 15.6" diagonal HD SVA BrightView WLED-backlit touch screen (1366 x 768) Display, Intel Core i3-1005G1 (1.2 GHz base frequency, up to 3.4 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, 4 MB cache, 2 cores)
- 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, 8GB DDR4 RAM
As for price this is a cheap, budget gaming laptop under . But obviously that will impact how many games you can run.
Unfortunately, this laptop won’t run games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Minecraft, PUBG and GTA V. PCGameBenchmark reviews are based on how many of the best PC games a PC can run. This laptop can run 399 of the top 1000 games – so we give it a 39% rating.back to menu ↑
- 15.6” HD 1366 x 768 Energy-efficient LED backlight Display, 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD
- 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U mobile processor, Intel UHD Graphics 620
The IdeaPad 1 14 is rather bland-looking compared with the MSI Modern 14, and it’s a bit bigger too, despite having the same-size screen. The IdeaPad measures 0.78 by 12.9 by 9.25 inches (HWD) and weighs 3.1 pounds, compared with 0.7 by 12.6 by 8.6 inches and 2.8 pounds for the MSI. The size difference is especially noticeable in the display bezels. They’re chunky strips of black plastic on the IdeaPad 1 14, while the Modern 14’s slimmer bezels help match its aesthetic to its name.
But while the IdeaPad 1 14 might not be as modern-looking as some of its competitors, neither is it ugly. Our review unit is gray, which is vaguely sleek without being boring. This is not a svelte premium ultraportable like the Dell XPS 13, nor is it a corporate-chic laptop like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. But after using it intermittently for a few days around the house, I found that it certainly looks like it belongs on your coffee table or kitchen, and probably would do just as well in a fluorescent-lit classroom.back to menu ↑
- Power & performance - Maximize performance with an Intel Core i7 Processor, a solid state drive with up to 512GB of storage and an NVIDIA MX 250 graphics card.
- Gigabit Wi-Fi - Seamlessly transfer, download or stream with an ultra-fast Gigabit Wi-Fi that delivers stunning high-speed connectivity.
Falling short of marketing hype happens, of course. (Just ask Apple how things are going these days.) The Notebook 9 Pro doesn’t have any major issues caused by the design, but the design doesn’t noticeably improve use, either.
For instance, Samsung used a full-size active pen instead of its compact and debatably more useful S Pen. The S Pen stores in the body of Samsung’s other laptops including the new Notebook 9 Pen and never needs to be charged. The Pro’s pen has no garage or holder and requires the unusual AAAA-size battery. The Pro’s pen also lacks all of the S Pen’s Air Command features that give it an edge over other pen-enabled two-in-ones.back to menu ↑
- 2-in-1 PC running Windows 10 Home with a 6th Generation Intel Core m5 processor
- World class security with a ultra-fast fingerprint sensor on the side that lets you unlock with a single touch
Huawei expands its MateBook series with the new MateBook 14s, a high-quality subnotebook with a new 14.2-inch high-resolution touchscreen as well a powerful Intel processor with a 45W TDP. This means the MateBook 14s MateBook 14s is a big competitor for Huawei’s own MateBook X Pro, which is currently equipped with slower Tiger Lake-U CPUs.
Huawei offers two configurations at launch, which only differ in terms of storage capacity. The entry-level model for 1299 Euros is equipped with 512 GB SSD storage, while the model for 1499 Euros is shipped with a 1 TB PCIe-SSD.back to menu ↑
Best Laptop for Music Production Under 500 – BUYER’S GUIDE
A laptop sleeve will help protect your laptop against dust, debris and scratches. You could get the “official” one that is usually an accessory to the laptop purchase, or you could get a generic one that fits various laptops of a certain size, such as the RAINYEAR 13 Inch Laptop Sleeve. [Amazon Link]
An external hard drive and/or subscription to a cloud storage service such as Dropbox would be advisable because even if you have a large hard drive on the laptop, you will likely be surprised at how quickly that drive can fill up. A well-reviewed external HD to consider is the KwiltGo Personal Cloud Storage Device. [Amazon Link]
You’ll of course need music production software to produce music on the laptop! Here are some commonly recommended programs:
- Ableton Live: digital audio workstation for macOS and Windows
- Adobe Audition: digital audio workstation from Adobe
- Cakewalk by BandLab: complete music production package
- Cubase: digital audio workstation for music and MIDI recording
- Logic Pro: digital audio workstation and MIDI sequencer for macOS
- Reaper: digital audio workstation and MIDI sequencer for macOS, Windows & Linux
- Reason: more for electronic music production
- Sibelius (music notation software): mainly for setting actual sheet music and probably best if you want to make printed parts for a band/orchestra
Frequently Asked Questions
What Features Do You Need For Music Production?
Music production is a professional field. Therefore, professional level of music production requires high quality and fairly expensive machines.
Nevertheless, if you are an amateur music producer or a DJ, you can certainly begin with a rather cheaper budget.
Music Production demands a lot of processing power as well as RAM. When you are dealing with loads of tracks and large files, RAM and processing power needs to be high.
Therefore, when you are looking for laptops under $500, we recommend that you find a laptop with at least an 8 GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5 processor from the 8th generation.
You can also go for the Intel Core i3 processor, if you want to save up a bit more, but that won’t be future proof. As you grow more experienced and when your projects get more complex, you will need at least an Intel Core i5 to give you a fairly good experience.
RAM can always be upgraded, however, the same cannot be said about the processors.
What about the Intel Pentium and Intel Celeron processors? The laptops featuring those seem really tempting due to their extremely budget price tag, however, for music production, we would recommend that you steer clear of them.
Laptops with entry level processors like Pentium and Celeron are built for work like word processing. They are not at all capable of performing professional work like music production, photo editing, video editing, DJing etc.
Learn more about entry level Atom, Celeron and Pentium Processors here.
As far as the storage goes, the larger the better. Since you are dealing with multimedia, you will need to store up a lot of stuff on your laptops. T
he minimum we recommend is 1TB. However, it is not uncommon to find 2 TB HDD being offered under $500 as well.
Lastly, we recommend that you upgrade your HDD to SSD in the future. SSDs provide a far better and smoother overall experience as compared to HDD. Unfortunately, they are quite expensive and they are not so readily available in the stock models under $500.
What Hardware Do You Need For Music Production?
In case if you want to know about the rest of the hardware that you need for music production, watch this video.
In order to even begin to start working with music production, aside from instruments and other gear, you need a computer. Without a desktop computer or a laptop, you’ll have no way to record, mix, and master any music.
Sometimes it’s hard to find the best cheap laptop for music production when you’re on a tight budget, so we’re providing you with a list to help expedite your process.