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Top 10 Best Laptops for Music Production in 2021

We’ve narrowed it down to the 10 best laptops for music producers or those looking to learn music production.

Reasons to look for a good laptop for music production

Music production is a lot different than it used to be. Nowadays, producers no longer need large, perfectly engineered studios to make music. In this day and age, all you need is a laptop and headphones. Of course, it would still help to have a bunch of added-on equipment, but with a laptop and headphones, you can start making music worthy of the radio!

Of course, you still need the right laptop if you want to produce music. While you can install Digital Audio Workstations (DAW’s) on any computer, some laptops will run the programs better than others.

When it comes to laptops for music production, there’s a wide range of choices out there. And with all the variety, picking out the right one can be tricky, especially since there are so many factors to consider.

If you’ve been trying to find the right laptop for music production, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve researched for you and narrowed it down to the top 10 choices today.

Best overall

Apple MacBook Air Laptop

Recommended
90 %

Apple MacBook Air Laptop

Because of its portability, processing power, and compatibility with the top DAW’s, the 2020 Macbook Air is fit for any budding music producer out there.

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One of the most significant advantages of getting an Apple laptop for music production is compatibility. Apple has a program called Logic Pro X which is specifically designed to be used with an Apple computer. And if you can’t afford the program just yet, it also comes with GarageBand, which is more than capable of helping you produce music.

The 2020 Macbook Air is one of the best laptops for music production today. It’s compatible with the most popular DAW’s out there, such as Ableton, FL Studio, Logic, and ProTools. It’s also very portable and lightweight, allowing you to bring your music with you anywhere.

One downside, however, is that the new M1 chip in the Macbook Air may not be compatible with some programs. You shouldn’t worry about it too much, though, as Apple will probably resolve the issue in time.

Best for making beats

Apple MacBook Pro

Recommended
90 %

Apple MacBook Pro

The Macbook Pro is best at handling multiple tasks at once because of its superior processing power. This makes the laptop ideal for making lots of different beats to hone your production skills.

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To start making a career as a music producer, you’re going to have to make a lot of beats. The best pick to handle making a lot of intricate beats is the 2020 Macbook Pro. Like all Apple computers, it’s best to use Logic Pro X or GarageBand for music production, as Apple specifically made the programs compatible with Apple devices.

Logic Pro X is a great place to make beats. Some of the top hip-hop producers and artists like Kendrick Lamar and Pharell Williams use the program, and even big names in pop like Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Ed Sheeran use Logic for their songs.

The Macbook Pro is the most powerful laptop that Apple has to offer. So, not only will it be able to handle DAW’s, but it can also handle just about any program you throw at it. While it might be an expensive investment, it will be worth every penny in the long run.

Best for gaming & music

Acer Predator Helios 300 Laptop

Recommended
90 %

Acer Predator Helios 300 Laptop

Since it’s a gaming laptop, the Acer Predator Helios is good at just about anything. This versatility makes it ideal for music producers who are also avid gamers.

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Modern-day laptops are designed to handle a wide range of tasks. These workhorses can handle heavy games, DAW’s, and multiple processes at once. This laptop from Acer does just that, which is why it’s a great pick for the producers who are also gamers.

The Acer Predator Helios 3000 is everything you’ll need from a gaming laptop. And as any computer enthusiast will tell you, gaming laptops are powerful enough to handle most computer programs and tasks out there.

This model is equipped with all the latest features. It has an Intel i7-10750H processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2600 6Gb, and many other premium components that will run any program out there with ease, whether it’s Ableton Live, Adobe After Effects, or Red Dead Redemption II.

Best affordable option under $700

Acer Swift 3 Laptop

Recommended
80 %

Acer Swift 3 Laptop

We highly recommend this laptop for producers on a budget. It’s affordable and has pretty good specifications that can readily handle most music production tasks and programs.

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While it would be great to get the latest gaming laptop, not everyone has that budget. Luckily, there are a lot of DAWs out there that can run on just about any laptop. And while the Acer Swift 3 may be an affordable option, it will easily handle most DAWs.

One advantage of this laptop is that it’s thin and light. Inspiration can hit a producer at any time, and having their laptop handy is very important. This model can easily fit into a bag and be brought with you anywhere, any time.

It also boasts excellent specifications such as AMD Ryzen 7 4000-Series, a Radeon graphics card, and 8GB RAM. This is more than enough to handle most DAW’s out there, though you might notice it won’t run as smoothly as on a more premium laptop.

Best lightweight

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

Recommended
80 %

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

This laptop is best for producers on the go. It’s an ideal choice for students and producers just getting started in the field as it’s inexpensive, lightweight, and has decent specifications.

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As we’ve mentioned multiple times, portability is essential for a music production laptop. Producers work almost everywhere, whether at a cafe, by the park or at another producer’s studio. And to work, they need their laptop.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is one of the best lightweight options for producers. It’s incredibly sleek and weighs only 2.44lbs, meaning you can bring it with you anywhere without worrying about lugging around a heavy piece of gear.

It’s equipped with an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256 GB hard drive. These aren’t the strongest specifications out there, but some sacrifices had to be made to keep the laptop this light, portable, and affordable.

Best under $1500

Razer Blade 15 Base Laptop

Recommended
90 %

Razer Blade 15 Base Laptop

This laptop is one of the best all-around options under $1500. It can handle a wide variety of tasks while remaining portable and easy to bring around.

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Razer is one of the most popular brands amongst gamers. The brand is known for making some of the best gaming laptops, gear, and accessories in the market today. And while the price of this model may seem steep, you’re getting great value for the price.

Many Razer laptops out there sell for upwards of $2000, so getting one under $1500 is a great deal. Since it’s a gaming laptop, expect it handles everything from music production, video editing all the way to the latest top games on Steam.

This laptop can handle all your music production needs, equipped with Intel’s 10th Gen i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, and a beautiful 15.6’’ display. And with its light and sleek design, you can easily pack it in your backpack and head out to find musical inspiration somewhere else.

Best premium option

Alienware M17R3 Laptop

Recommended
90 %

Alienware M17R3 Laptop

This laptop is fast, strong, and well-made, making it best for music producers who plan on doing heavy work. When used to its full potential, the Alienware M17R3 offers excellent value for its price.

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If you’re familiar with computers, then the Alienware brand needs no introduction. They have remained consistently on top of the laptop game for years by releasing incredibly powerful computers that can handle virtually anything. The M17R3 is no exception.

Unlike the old, bulky Alienware laptops, this model is sleek and relatively lightweight. It has a modern design and some of the best specifications out there with its 10th Gen Intel i7 processor and NVIDIA RTX 2070 graphics card.

While it is lighter than most Alienware models, it is still bulkier than many modern laptops. However, because of its incredibly computing power, this would be an excellent choice for any music producer looking for a powerful laptop.

Best under $1000

HP Envy X360 Laptop

Recommended
90 %

HP Envy X360 Laptop

This laptop is best for producers who need a sleek and modern laptop for music production.

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The sub-$1000 range is a great place to look for music production laptops. In this range, you’ll find models like this one, the HP Envy X360, a modern laptop designed for the modern user. It has a touchscreen, incredibly sleek design, and contains AMD Quad-Core Ryzen 5 processor, AMD Radeon Vega 8, and a 256GB solid-state drive for incredible speed.

The touchscreen can find a lot of uses in music production. Many people would find it much easier to use a touchscreen instead of a mouse or trackpad when navigating through a DAW. This laptop is equipped to handle many different programs, and while it might not be the most durable option, it can last you a very long while you take care of it.

Best for video editing

ASUS ZenBook 15 Laptop

Recommended
90 %

ASUS ZenBook 15 Laptop

This laptop is a modern workhorse designed for producers who also plan to edit music videos. It can handle most editing and music production programs out there, making it a great choice overall.

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In today’s music landscape, musicians need to pay close attention to the visual aspect of their art as well. It’s always best to release music with an accompanying music video, and when starting as a producer, chances are you’ll have to make the video yourself.

So on top of needing a laptop of production, you need one to edit videos as well. This ASUS model can do that very well. This laptop handles most programs with ease with a sleek design, Intel i7 processor, and a GTX 1650 Ti graphics card.

This laptop also comes with a 1TB hard drive, which is essential in storing large music and video files. It also comes with a screen pad, a very modern feature that you can use to jot down notes or ideas.

Best under $2000

Dell New XPS 13 9300 Laptop

Recommended
90 %

Dell New XPS 13 9300 Laptop

This laptop is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a workhorse on a budget. It can handle multiple different tasks simultaneously and is portable so that you can bring it with you anywhere.

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Looking for a laptop in the sub-$2000 range is a great idea. In the range, you’ll be able to find choices like this incredible one from Dell. It’s precision cut from aluminum, making it one of the most durable picks out there, and in an unpredictable music scene, having a durable laptop is essential.

It’s thin and lightweight, so you can bring it with you to studio sessions, recording sessions, gigs, or just to a friend’s place to show them your new beats. It also has dual fans, which prevent overheating, which tends to happen when working on heavy files on the computer.

What to look for in a laptop for music production

Finding the right laptop is essential for any music producer. However, there are so many options and factors to consider that buying a laptop for music production turns into an arduous task. To make things simpler for you, the following are things to consider when buying a laptop for music production;

The specs

First and foremost, you need to consider the specifications. Luckily, DAW’s or Digital Audio Workstations aren’t as heavy as most games and other programs out there. However, you will still need a fair amount of power to run it smoothly.

We recommend getting a laptop with a decent processor and at least 8GB of RAM. That way, it will run any DAW from Logic, GarageBand, FL Studio, Ableton, all the way down to ProTools.

Budget

The best way to narrow down your options is by selecting a budget range. Some producers have been known to spend upwards of $2500 on their laptops. While it isn’t required to have an expensive laptop, premium models offer some premium features to make work easier.

However, everyone has different means. There are tons of great options below $700, $1000, and $1500 out there, so don’t worry if your budget isn’t that large. Everyone has to start somewhere. And on top of the cost of the laptop, you also have to take into account other equipment you need such as studio monitors, headphones, and an audio interface, which are all very important for music production.

Compatibility

Another critical factor to consider is how compatible the laptop is with your programs. Certain brands like Apple have developed programs like Logic Pro X that are specifically designed to work on their laptops. However, some programs will work better on Windows, while some will work better on a Mac.

When looking for a music production laptop, ensure that the DAW and VST’s you use in production are compatible with the OS. That way, you won’t run into any issues when you start producing.

FAQ

How much is a Music Production Laptop?

Good music production laptops can go for as low as $600 and as high as $5000. It all depends on your means and requirements. When starting, you can always go for a budget option and upgrade as needed, so there is no pressure to buy an expensive laptop for music production right away.

Do I Need Studio Monitors for Music Production?

Studio monitors can be a great help with music production. They allow you to hear high-quality and accurate audio when producing. However, they aren’t a requirement, especially for beginners. When starting, any decent pair of headphones or speakers can do the trick with music production.
However, as you get more serious, you might need to invest in studio monitors, but it isn’t something you need to get started.

Final verdict

One of the best things about living in this day and age is that all you need to make music is a laptop. Different programs designed for music production allow producers to make hard-hitting beats or Lo-Fi music all from their laptops.

When looking for a laptop to use for music production, there are many things to take into account. And while finding the right one might be hard, all the time, effort, and money will be worth it because, by the end of it all, you’ll have an incredible tool you can use to hone your craft.

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