The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production (2024)

Music GearRecording

Alex Lavoie·8 Nov 2022·9 minute read

The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production (1)

For modern producers the laptop is the centerpiece of any music production studio.

You use a laptop to run your DAW where you create, record, mix and master your tracks.

Nothing is more frustrating than getting a perfect take only to find that your computer crashed during the recording session.

There are ways to reduce DAW latency and cut down on the demands your software is making on your system.

But sometimes a new laptop is what you need to get up and running.

Here’s the 10 best music production laptops on the market today:

  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Microsoft Surface Book 2
  3. HP ENVY x360
  4. ASUS VivoBook Slim
  5. Lenovo ThinkBook 14s
  6. Razer Blade Stealth
  7. ASUS Rog Strix
  8. HP Omen 15
  9. The Apple iPad
  10. Build Your Own PC

In this guide we’ll look at the basic system requirements you’ll need to successfully use DAW software and we’ll list our top ten choices for music production computers.

How to Choose a Music Production Laptop

If you’re just getting started with a home studio you really don’t need anything super fancy or expensive.

There are plenty of affordable computers that can handle the demands a DAW puts on their systems.

There are plenty of affordable computers that can handle the demands a DAW puts on their systems.

There’s lots to consider when picking a music production computer.

But in general, watch for these four factors.

  • Processing speed
  • RAM
  • Solid State Drive space
  • Monitor size

Processing speed

The processing speed of your CPU is still one of the most important factors for processing audio.

Watch for computers that come with more processing cores and faster clock speeds above the 2.0Ghz range.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Adequate RAM means having enough working memory for plugins, tracks, presets, and recordings to do their thing smoothly in your DAW.

For music production tasks we suggest having at least 8GB of RAM. You might want more, but it’s not always necessary.

Solid State Drive

Hard disc drives are somewhat a thing of the past. Today it’s all about the Solid State Drive or SSD.

If your DAW and plugins are installed on your SSD they’ll load much faster and be more responsive.

You want at least 512GB worth of storage space, but even that will get taken up pretty quickly.

The key is to be organized with how you store your data.

The key is to be organized with how you store your data.

Hot tip:In the past, hardware guides recommended that you track your audio files on a separate volume from the drive that stores your OS and DAW.

This is less of a concern with modern computers, but using a fast external drive for your session files can still help you get the most from your system. Consider using an external drive for tracking.

Monitor Size

A smaller monitor makes your setup more portable, but it also means more scrolling and wasted time in your workflow.

If you don’t mind using a larger machine, the extra screen real estate will help you see what you’re working on more clearly.

Ideally, any laptop you own should come with some kind of external display port so you can hook up to a larger secondary monitor.

The Top Ten Best Laptops for Music Production

Without further ado, here are our top ten picks for the best music production laptops today.

1. MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro is a long-standing favourite among music producers.

You’ll see them everywhere from on stage at Coachella to the DJ booth at your local night club.

The MacBook Pro comes out of the box ready to go, it even has Garage Band pre-installed on it.

But chances are you’ll eventually want to upgrade to the Apple OS exclusive Logic X, which is widely seen as one of the world’s best DAWs.

MacBooks are powerful, versatile and designed with creators in mind.

The MacBook Pro is a long-standing favourite among music producers.

There are a few downsides to consider. The latest generation MacBook Pro is only equipped with Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports.

That means you’ll have to buy the correct adapters to connect peripherals like your audio interfaceand midi controller.

For a more affordable option, you could consider searching for a refurbished unit or buying one on the used market.

The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production (3)

2. Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft Surface Book 2 is one of the most interesting laptops on the market right now.

It comes with a higher price tag, but it’s worth it considering the features, high powered specs, and functionality the laptop has.

The defining feature of the Surface Book 2 is its detachable 13.3-inch touchscreen tablet display.

The tablet itself is very high quality and compares favourably with the Apple iPad.

Tablets open plenty of new avenues for your production workflow.

Plus you can even use a smartpen stylus on the screen, making it a great option for artists who also create visually.

Since its launch the Surface Book 2 has come down in price significantly, but it still sits on the higher end of this list.

But considering that it comes as a two-in-one tablet and laptop package, the price tag is fairly justified.

The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production (4)

3. HP ENVY x360

The HP ENVY x360 is a very good and very affordable option for a music production laptop.

It may not have the same power that a gaming laptop or the Surface Pro 2 has but its technical specs easily meet the requirements you need to produce music.

This laptop also features a tablet-style touch screen that is compatible with a smart stylus.

It doesn’t separate from the body like the Surface Pro 2, but the screen folds a full 360 degrees so you can use the laptop and touch screen in a variety of ways.

With its 8GB of ram and i5 processor, you can comfortably make music in your DAW too.

If you’re looking for an affordable music production laptop this is definitely one to have on your list.

4. ASUS VivoBook Slim

The most affordable option on this list is the ASUS VivoBook Slim.

The most affordable option on this list is the ASUS VivoBook Slim.

It’s a fairly simple laptop with a modern-looking design, a large 15.6 inch display, comprehensive connection ports including modern USB 3.1 Type-C and Type-A connectors and standard USB 2.0 ports.

Its lower price makes the VivoBook a greater starter laptop that can handle your music production needs even if it comes with only 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 processor.

The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production (6)

5. Lenovo ThinkBook 14s

While it’s more known for being a business computer, Lenovo’s ThinkBook series is known for being a powerful yet portable option.

The ThinkBook is known for its long-lasting battery life and durability.

The laptop is water-resistant and is protected from spills, extreme temperatures, and vibrations.

So if you often find yourself working in a thumping, spill-prone night club this could be a good option for you.

We recommend choosing a model with a larger screen, at least 8GB of RAM and an i5 or higher processor.

The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production (7)

6. Razer Blade Stealth

The Razer Blade is first and foremost a gaming laptop so its higher price tag is justified by a superior graphics and sound card.

The Razer Blade is first and foremost a gaming laptop so its higher price tag is justified by a superior graphics and sound card.

You won’t need these to produce music, but the powerful 16GB RAM, i7 processor, and 512 GB SSD drive that comes with it will give you more than enough to create without limits in any DAW.

This model of laptop is popular amongst many FL Studio users given its powerful specs and cool aesthetic.

It comes with an eye-catching shifting neon backlit keyboard.

The 13-inch model comes with a smaller screen, but it is very portable and comes with ample USB, USB-C, and HDMI connections so you can easily hook it up to a larger monitor.

Considering how much power the laptop packs, you are getting very good value for its mid to high-range price.

The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production (8)

7. ASUS Rog Strix

Another gaming laptop that should be on your list is the ASUS Rog Strix.

Despite its admittedly gamer aesthetic, the laptop comes with very powerful specs at a comparable price to other gaming laptops.

Its main advantage is its larger 15.6-inch screen even if it’s a bit bulkier than other laptops on this list.

If you are looking for a laptop in the mid to high price range this a good one to consider.

The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production (9)

8. HP Omen 15

The last gaming laptop on this list to look at is the HP Omen 15.

This laptop certainly offers plenty of power with 12 GB of RAM, an i7 processor, and 128GB of SSD storage on top 1TB of hard drive storage.

While it has that bulkier gaming aesthetic, the laptop offers a sizeable a 15.6-inch display.

The HP Omen 15 prices slightly lower than its counterparts on this list since its specs are slightly behind the Razer or ASUS Rog Strix.

But for music production, this laptop has ample processing and memory for any project.

The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production (10)

9. The Apple iPad

It’s not a laptop, but it’s a portable, powerful, and affordable option.

There are plenty of music production apps and DAWs that work very well on iOS.

In fact, some of the biggest tracks today were produced with mobile apps.

In fact, some of the biggest tracks today were produced with mobile apps.

Working with a touchscreen interface is an entirely new experience that can sometimes be inspiring.

Plus, you can purchase hardware add-ons that enable you to use a keyboard and mouse with your iPad.

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10. Build your own PC

If portability isn’t something you need, building a custom desktop PC might be your best option.

You’ll get maximum customizability and you can always change components if you aren’t satisfied.

There are plenty of builds you can find online in computer and music production forums.

Plus, you’ll get the satisfaction of having a computer that is uniquely yours!

The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production (12)

Alex Lavoie is a drummer, music producer, songwriter and marketing professional living in Montreal, Quebec. He works as a staff writer at LANDR by day and writes indie post-punk tunes in his band UTILS while moonlighting as drummer for folk-rock outfit The Painters.Connect with Alex Lavoie on LANDR Network!

@Alex Lavoie

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The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production (2024)


What is the best laptop to use for music production? ›

  • MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) Best laptop for music production overall. ...
  • Dell XPS 13 (2022) A powerful and light laptop for music production. ...
  • MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) ...
  • Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition. ...
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 4. ...
  • MacBook Air (M1, 2020) ...
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 8. ...
  • Dell XPS 15 OLED (2021)
Jun 13, 2024

Is a laptop enough for music production? ›

For music production, you need a laptop that can handle high-level audio and video software. You can opt for a laptop that is equipped with a powerful processor and enough RAM. So that it runs complex music software applications such as Ableton Live and ProTools.

How much RAM do I need for music production? ›

Your DAW and a couple of software synths will probably not even use more than 3GB or 4GB of RAM. But if you are building a new computer now, I would recommend getting 2x 16GB. This will give you plenty of headroom and also gives you the option to buy 2 more slots, later on, to increase your total memory to 64GB.

What kind of computers do music producers use? ›

All Reviews
ProductBuild QualityPorts
Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 (2022)9.55.0
Dell XPS 16 (2024)9.56.5
ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED UX3404 (2023)9.58.0
Dell XPS 14 (2024)9.56.5
4 more rows
May 15, 2024

Do I need more RAM or a better processor for music production? ›

Having an ample amount of RAM is essential for seamless music production. It allows you to load large sample libraries and ensures that your software runs without hiccups. Aim for at least 16GB of RAM, but if your budget allows, 32GB or more is even better. Storage is another critical consideration.

What are good computer specs for music production? ›

The build list for your music production PC
  • Quad-core / 2.4Ghz clock speed processor minimum.
  • No less than 8GB of RAM (but 16GB will be more efficient)
  • At least 500GB of storage (SSD preferable), 1TB will be more cost-effective in the long term.
  • A motherboard compatible with your components and enough USB inputs.
May 2, 2024

What are the requirements for a laptop for music production? ›

CPU: though multi-core performance is important, audio processing is sequential, so fast single-core performance is crucial. RAM: I understand for some types of music production like EDM, 8-16 GB is enough. However, since I'm going to use sample libraries, at least 32 GB is recommended. Storage: SSD - at least 1 TB.

What is needed for high quality music in computer? ›

An external DAC bypasses your computer's inferior DAC. You get sound that's more accurate and detailed. Small portable DACs are a great option for laptops and travel. Plug the DAC into your computer, then plug your headphones into the DAC for great sound.

What processor is best for music production? ›

What is the best processor for music production? The best processor for music production depends on various factors such as your budget, software requirements, and long-term goals. Intel Core i7/i9 and AMD Ryzen 7/9 processors are often recommended for their robust performance and multitasking capabilities.

Is 8GB or 16 GB better for music production? ›

With the evolution of music production techniques and software, 16GB RAM is increasingly becoming the new standard. It provides ample space for large instrument libraries, such as those from Kontakt and Zimmer, and ensures that software like Logic and Studio One runs seamlessly even under heavy load.

Is 512gb enough for music production? ›

You could easily pick a laptop with 256 ssd ( ssd recommended ) and take another disk for storage of music, sample, movies and backup but less than 256 is not enough in my opinion. If you are mostly just using the computer for music production, 512gb can go a long ways depending how large your sample library is.

Is 256GB enough for music production? ›

When you kickstart your music production journey, 256GB of SSD storage should be enough.

What laptop do most music producers use? ›

Our top picks
  • Apple MacBook Pro M3 16" Check Thomann. ...
  • Apple MacBook Air M2. Check Thomann. ...
  • Dell XPS 17 (9730) Check Thomann. ...
  • Apple MacBook Pro M3 14" Check Thomann. ...
  • Apple MacBook Air M3. Check Thomann. ...
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 9. Check Thomann. ...
  • Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro. Check Thomann. ...
  • Acer Swift X14. Check Thomann.
Jun 26, 2024

How to buy a laptop for music production? ›

For music production, you need at least 8 GB and preferably 16 GB of RAM, especially if you're working with a lot of recorded tracks and/or virtual instruments, or applying multiple effects to your tracks. Luckily, RAM is one of the more upgradeable components of a computer, but every laptop has its limits.

Should I use a laptop for music production? ›

A laptop is a great tool to have for your music production process. You can use it to create complex studio-quality recordings. Gladly, you will find many laptops with pre-installed audio editing software and there are lots of additional applications that you can purchase or download.

Which audio system is best for laptop? ›

Best PC Speakers You Buy Today
  1. Creative T100. The Best PC Speakers Under $100. ...
  2. Creative Pebble Pro. Best Budget Speakers. ...
  3. AudioEngine A2+ Best Premium 2.0 Speakers. ...
  4. Edifier G2000. Best Gaming 2.0 Speakers. ...
  5. Razer Nommo V2. Best Gaming 2.1 Speakers. ...
  6. SteelSeries Arena 9. Best 5.1 Surround Speakers. ...
  7. Creative Sound Blaster Katana SE.

What is the best computer processor for music production? ›

Intel Core i7/i9 and AMD Ryzen 7/9 processors are often recommended for their robust performance and multitasking capabilities. Is a Ryzen 5 CPU good for music production? A Ryzen 5 CPU can be suitable for music production, especially if it's a higher-end model with better core counts and clock speeds.

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