best laptops for writing music

Best laptops for making music: The best laptops for DJs

Having the best laptop for music production packed right next to your headphones is important, if you're a musician or a professional DJ you'll need one of the best processors - not to mention plenty of fast RAM - which will allow the laptop to better handle multiple music tracks. . A fast SSD solid state drive, a capacious hard drive if you will be working with massive file sizes.

Plus, if you're on the road a lot, you need a laptop that can handle unexpected bumps and drops. It's likely to go to any lengths and pick up one of the best rugged laptops out there, but you should definitely be looking for a laptop that won't fall apart on the first shake. And while we're talking about portability, a thin and light ultrabook can do wonders.

See also: best laptops 2024

While the MacBook Pro may be the default for most musicians, your choice of the best music production laptop can run Windows 10 as well.

Our editors have monitored prices and compared all kinds of laptop options to make it easier to determine what you need.

Best laptops for creating music for beatmaking:

MacBook Pro

Processor: 6-core Intel Core i7 - Core i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 555X - Radeon Pro Vega 20 | RAM: 16 GB - 32 GB | Screen: 15,4-inch (2880 x 1800) Retina Display | Physical memory: 256 GB - 4 TB SSD.

  • pros: Powerful | Stunning design;
  • Cons: Expensive;

For many years, on MacBook Pro has been the choice for musicians around the world, and its 2019 update hasn't changed that concept. The MacBook Pro is the best laptop for making music... or at least one of the best on this list. With 9th generation Intel chips and up to 32GB of RAM, you can download as many tracks as you want. Durable aluminum construction guarantees a long service life of this gadget.

best laptops for writing music
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 

Processor: Intel Core i5 - Core i7 (8th generation) | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 GB - 16 GB | Screen: 12,3-inch (2736 x 1824) PixelSense | Physical memory: 128 GB - 1 TB SSD | connection: Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 8 megapixel, 5 megapixel.

  • pros: 4-core processor | Working hours;
  • Cons: Still no USB-C;

If you want the best laptop for making music, look no further than a tablet laptop. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 based on Windows 10 - Pro 6. This is not only an alternative laptop with powerful hardware necessary for creating music, but also has a beautiful display, and many outdated connectors for connecting equipment. It lacks USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, but if you only need it for making music, this is not so important.

best laptops for writing music
Dell XPS 13

Processor: Intel Core i5 - Core i7 (8th generation) | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 GB - 16 GB | Screen: 13,3" FHD (1920x1080) - 4K (3840x2160) | Physical memory: 256 GB - 1 TB SSD.

  • pros: The camera returned to the center | Opening hours | 4K display;
  • Cons: Expensive;

Dell XPS 13 is one of the best laptops you can buy in the last few years in the company's laptop line, and the 2018 version is no exception. For aspiring music producers, an XPS' laptop with an 8th generation Intel processor should be attractive as it will reduce the amount of time it takes to process tracks, which helps minimize downtime. Unfortunately, you won't be able to find a 1TB drive, but when you get a laptop that looks great and runs fast, this is a worthy compromise.

best laptops for writing music
2 Laptop Surface

Processor: Intel Core i5 - Core i7 (8th generation) | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 GB - 16 GB | Screen: 13,5-inch (2256 x 1504) PixelSense | Physical memory: 128 GB - 1 TB SSD.

  • pros: Significantly more powerful | Gorgeous black color;
  • Cons: No Thunderbolt 3;

Of all the 2-in-1 laptops that turn into tablets, this gadget isn't crammed with unnecessary features, sometimes a more traditional Windows 10 laptop is just what you need: the best laptop for writing music. Luckily, Microsoft released 2 Laptop Surface, one of the best laptops in its lineup. Not only is it the best laptop for making music with a quad-core processor and plenty of storage, but it also has a great touchscreen and all the ports you need.

MacBook Air

Processor: 2-core Intel Core i5 (1,6 GHz) | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617 | RAM: 8 GB - 16 GB | Screen: 13,3-inch (2560 x 1600) LED, IPS | Physical memory: 128 GB - 1 TB SSD | dimensions: 304,1 x 212,4 x 15,6 mm (W x D x H).

  • pros: Lovely design | Excellent screen | Opening hours | Price;
  • Cons: Performance | Little physical memory;

On the MacBook Air, which has recently been updated, brings Apple's thin and light laptop to the mainstream in a modern, sleek aluminum chassis, Retina display, and new processors. It's all the best laptop for making music, for those who want to stay with macOS and save money. Just be sure to invest in a pair of dongles as two Thunderbolt 3 ports are not compatible with a lot of music equipment.

Dell XPS 15

Processor: Intel Core i57300HQ - Core i7-7700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15,6-inch Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge | Physical memory: 1TB HDD - 512GB SSD.

  • pros: Performance | Screen | Slim design;
  • Cons: Webcam position;

If you're looking for a bigger, more powerful recording laptop, look no further. Dell XPS 15 may just be made for you. Featuring the same technology as InfinityEdge as the XPS 13 laptop, the screen goes straight to the edge of the machine. This means that it is as small as a 15-inch laptop can be. It's quite expensive depending on which version you get, but the latest version has a 4K color-accurate display that can give you a great overview of all the tracks you're working on.

How much RAM does your laptop need to make music?

With RAM, as we mentioned, you can ignore the "minimum specs" listed on the major DAW websites. Anyone trying to run an Ableton Live multitrack session on a laptop with 4GB of RAM is braver (or more patient) than we are. This is because RAM is actually your machine's short-term memory. In audio applications, especially those that contain a lot of recorded audio, more RAM means audio playback will be smooth and stutter-free because the computer doesn't have to "capture" audio from the hard drive every time it wants to play.

If you're buying now with the next few years of use in mind, we recommend 8GB of DDR4 memory - that's the absolute minimum you should be looking for. Ideally, you want 16 GB, as this will allow you to work with much more, although this additional resource comes at a cost. 

It's also worth finding out if your laptop of choice can be upgraded with more RAM in the future. Apple laptop fans won't have that luxury due to their sealed case, but laptop users might.

How much memory do I need?

Storage memory takes second place. For audio applications, especially those that include sample libraries where audio is streamed from disk, you should use a Solid State Drive (SSD). These drives have the advantage of fast data transfer, meaning files load faster, although they are slightly more expensive than their hard disk drive (HDD) equivalents. However, for music production applications, the additional cost is fully justified.

However, it's not uncommon to see a combination - a hard drive for storing files, photos, and videos, and an SSD for tasks that require more immediate responses. An alternative is to use external hard drives; Solid state drives, especially those that take advantage of USB-C technology, are more than capable of delivering the transfer speeds you need to make music.

How we choose the best laptops for music production

As such, it's obvious that there's a lot to think about when choosing the best laptop for making music.

It's easy to see why a good all-around laptop can come at a premium price, but as with the best samplers and studio monitors to home studio mixers, you get what you pay for, so it's always smart to get the best. you can afford rather than save and regret buying later (often sooner than you thought). This is where our price comparison software comes in handy. Next to each product entry in this guide, our price widgets will display the best online deals right now to save you the shopping experience.

In this guide, we are not focusing on the various legacy inputs and outputs, such as the number or lack of USB connectors for your audio interface, and so on. With so many dongle and dock options available, this shouldn't be a deciding factor in your purchase. In this guide, we are talking about pure power for music production. For example, can your portable setup handle large multi-track sessions with multiple plugins and MIDI instruments?

How we test laptops for music production

When testing a laptop for music production, we consider many aspects of design, features and power. At a basic level, a music production laptop needs to be portable and powerful. As for the last consideration, this is why we often include these gaming laptops as they are designed to deliver impact. 

Obviously a lightweight design is great, but we also need connections - Thunderbolt, USB-C or even A for older interfaces. In fact, more is better, though most Apple laptops now only have a couple of Thunderbolt 3 ports that you can use for music. 

In terms of power, it's often difficult to compare processors based on their specs alone, as they can perform quite differently in a real music production environment. With this in mind, we compare and contrast standard DAW projects from sites like www.logicprohelp.com и www.musicprod.com. This is where you just run a project and add audio tracks until your car crashes. Then you will get an idea of ​​the power of a particular processor in a real production scenario. 

Finally, we'll also look at screen and speaker specs. Of course, Apple excels at this with the latest speaker designs that can (simply) be used for mixing, as well as bright screens that help you see everything your DAW has to offer.

BEST LAPTOP FOR MUSIC AND DJ

  • Macbook Pro;
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 7
  • Dell XPS 13;
  • Surface Laptop 2;
  • Macbook Air;
  • Dell XPS 15.
5/5 - (6 votes)
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