The 10 Best Laptops for Music Production in 2024

It’s no secret that finding the perfect laptop for music production can be a challenging journey. There are countless models and specifications to check out, making it easy to get lost in the details.

As a music producer and laptop enthusiast, I’ve been through this multiple times. I’ve made regrettable laptop purchases that left me disappointed and frustrated.

Through my experiences, I’ve learned what truly matters in selecting a laptop for producing high-quality music—whether it’s creating powerful beats, captivating synths, or smooth vocals.

Let’s check out some of the best laptops for flawless performance with music production software, based on real-world testing and reviews.

Our Quick Top 5 Picks

ModelCPURAMStoragePortsBattery Life
MacBook Pro 14″Apple M1 Pro16GB512GB SSD3x Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, SD cardUp to 18 hrs
MacBook Air M2Apple M216GB512GB SSD2x Thunderbolt/USB 4Up to 15 hrs
Dell XPS 1312th Gen Core i716GB512GB SSD2x Thunderbolt 4Up to 12 hrs
Surface Pro 912th Gen Core i716GB256GB SSD2x Thunderbolt 4Up to 8 hrs
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14AMD Ryzen 916GB1TB SSD1x USB-C, 2x USB-A, HDMIOver 10 hrs

Powerful Processor for Audio Production

You’ll want a multi-core processor with enough speed and power to run your digital audio workstation software smoothly. I recommend at least an Intel Core i7 or i9 chip.

The latest Apple M-series chips are also excellent and can be found on the MacBook Air line of computers.

More cores mean better workload division.

Sufficient RAM

RAM stands for random access memory. It’s like your laptop’s short-term memory and directly impacts performance.

For music production, 16GB RAM should be the minimum, while 32GB or more is ideal for complex sessions with many software instruments and effects.

Fast SSD Storage

An SSD (solid state drive) offers much faster read/write speeds compared to old-school HDDs. This is important when working with large uncompressed audio files. Aim for at least 512GB of SSD space, but 1TB or more is better for storing sample libraries.

In my experience testing and reviewing over 20 different laptop models in recent years, Apple consistently provides top-notch performance and usability for music production.

However, there are also good Windows options at more budget-friendly prices.

Here Are 10 Best Laptops For Music Production In 2024:

1. Apple MacBook Pro 14″

The MacBook Pro 14 is my top choice for its unrivaled power and portability. I’ve used the M1 Pro for music production before and it has worked flawlessly when recording complex orchestral arrangements.

macbook_pro_14

It also has a stunning mini-LED screen and long 18-hour battery life, making it ideal whether I’m working in the studio or traveling.

The SD card slot, HDMI port, and multiple Thunderbolt 4 USB-Cs give me all the necessary connectivity.

2. Dell XPS 13 OLED

For Windows users, the Dell XPS 13 is a strong competitor to the MacBook Pro. It features a sleek, high-quality design and a gorgeous near-bezel-less OLED touch. 

dell xps 13

The latest 12th Gen Intel Core i7 configuration offers smooth performance for music production.

My only complaint with this laptop for music production is the limited port selection, but a hub solves that. Overall, a great premium laptop for making amazing beats.

3. Apple MacBook Air M2

This is Apple’s ultraportable option with the new fast M2 chip. This is a decent laptop for beginner music production projects.

Despite the thin and light design, it runs my projects flawlessly thanks to the speedy processing and 16GB of unified memory.

Macbook air m2

I love that it’s completely silent too since there’s no fan. The battery easily lasts 10+ hours. This particular model is also great for portable synthesizers you can play anywhere.

My main gripe with this laptop for audio production is the 2 Thunderbolt ports limit external connectivity, so a hub is a must-have accessory.

4. Microsoft Surface Pro 9 (2024)

Many producers like to use the Surface Pro 9 as a tablet for mixing on the couch or even outdoors. The 2-in-1 detachable keyboard design gives you that flexibility. 

The 120Hz touchscreen pairs nicely with the pen for precise audio editing.

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

It has awesome performance too with the latest Intel Core i7 chip, making it suitable for even huge multi-track sessions.

My only complaints are somewhat short battery life and lack of ports, but it’s still fantastic for small studios.

5. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Gaming laptops like this Asus ROG model can be great options for music production thanks to their processing muscle. I use an AMD Ryzen 9 configuration which chews through my projects with ease.

asus-rog-zephyrus

It weighs just 3.5 lbs making it super portable. You’ll get over 10 hours of battery life with general use.

The AniMe Matrix LED design may not be for everyone aesthetically, but for pure performance this laptop rules.

BEST OVERALL

6. Apple MacBook Pro 16”

If you want more screen real estate, Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro is essentially the same brilliantly fast laptop as the 14-inch but with a bigger display. It’s also often touted as one of the best laptops for music production around.

laptops-for-music-production-macbook-pro.

The excellent battery lasts nearly 20 hours in my experience, so it really can go all day long.

And it has awesome built-in speakers that make listening back to your mixes enjoyable even without headphones. It’s pricey but a creative powerhouse.

7. Dell XPS 15 OLED

The XPS 15 from Dell is a stellar Windows alternative for music production. The OLED touch display is stunning with its 4K resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, and 100% DCI-P3 color gamut.

Dell XPS 15 OLED

It has plenty of processing muscle too with Intel 12th Gen Core i7/i9 CPUs and an RTX 3050 Ti GPU.

The giant trackpad and keyboard also feel great to use. Battery life leaves something to be desired, but overall an awesome creative laptop.

The Dell XPS 15 music production laptop is a go-to for Windows OS lovers and budding music makers.

8. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

I like the unique 2-in-1 convertible design of the X1 Yoga. Being able to use it as both a laptop and tablet adds nice versatility for music-making on the couch or on the go.

ThinkPad-X1-Titanium-Yoga

Plus, it comes loaded with ports, unlike some other ultraportables. The 16:10 display looks superb and is fantastic for touchscreen operation.

Available with the latest 12th Gen Intel processors and 16GB RAM for solid music production performance in a portable package.

We’ve had multiple beginners say that Lenovo music production laptops leave a lot to be desired.

The main complaint was that ThinkPad X1 Yoga could not handle heavy VSTs such as Omnisphere or even Diva.

9. Acer Aspire 5

Here’s my top value pick for music producer laptops on a budget. For around $700, you can get an Aspire 5 is a great laptop for music production.

It boasts a Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD — enough for many basic home studios without breaking the bank.

Top 10 Best Laptops
For
Music Production

The 15.6-inch display is quite large for the price and it has a good port selection too.

It’s not the prettiest or most premium-feeling laptop, but it will get the job done for affordable music production and content creation.

BEST ALL-ROUNDER

10. Razer Blade 15

Finally, while pricey, I wanted to include the Razer Blade 15 as the best laptop for making music and for those seeking pure power.

It’s a gaming laptop but the Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU, 1TB SSD, Intel Core i7 CPU, and 16GB RAM give it serious muscle for music production.

RAZER BLADE 15

The build quality is outstanding and it stays cool under load. If you want no compromises in performance.

This is one of the best laptops for music production (but expensive) and it can handle even the most complex sessions.

Razer Blade laptops often handle graphic-intensive games pretty well. As such, they shouldn’t have a problem running huge DAWs and VSTs.

Is Mac Or Windows Better For Music Production?

The choice depends on several factors, including your specific needs, technical requirements, and, of course, your budget.

Mac VS Windows for music production

If you prefer Apple products, Mac laptops are known for their high quality, durability, and ability to handle demanding music production tasks, especially if you choose a higher-end model.

Mac computers in music production are famous for their stability and reliability.

If you already use other Apple devices like an iMac, iPad, or iPhone, the seamless connectivity between your devices is a significant benefit.

On the flip side, if you find yourself more at home in the Windows environment, the familiarity of Windows might make navigating a Windows laptop for music production a more convenient choice.

It’s also worth noting that Windows offers broader compatibility with a wide array of music production software.

These are plugins and apps, and they offer extensive customization options.

The Windows landscape provides a broader spectrum of hardware options at varying price points. This makes it easier to find a laptop that aligns with your budgetary constraints.

Eventually, you’ll notice that the decision between Windows and Mac boils down to your personal preferences, workflow, and financial considerations.

Both operating systems have their merits and can serve as effective tools for music production, so take the time to assess your specific needs before making a choice.

What To Look For In a Music Production Laptop?

When you’re in the market for a good for music production, there are several crucial factors to consider.

Your choice of laptop can significantly impact your music-making experience.

So it’s essential to make an informed decision.

Beyond the models mentioned, there are some general factors to keep in mind when choosing a laptop for producing music:

Operating System

This depends on your DAW software and personal preference. MacBooks only run MacOS, while Windows laptops are compatible with Windows software. 

If you already own iOS devices, a MacBook for music production will provide seamless integration.

CPU Processing Power

Look for multi-core Intel Core i7/i9 or Apple M1/M2 chips. Avoid low-power CPUs found in ultraportables, as well as older or entry-level processors.

image 32

For Windows, AMD Ryzen 7/9 chips are also great options. More cores mean better workload division during music production.

Plenty of RAM

I recommend a minimum of 16GB RAM for smooth performance, but 32GB or more is better for large sessions with many software instruments and effects.

Upgradability can future-proof your investment if you’re looking to get the best computer for music production.

Fast SSD Storage

Great laptops for music production often come with SSD drives that allow much quicker access to audio files compared to traditional hard drives. 

SSD vs HDD for music production

A minimum of 512GB is recommended, but 1TB or larger is ideal for storing uncompressed audio and sample libraries.

If you’re planning on using your music production laptop with Kontakt Libraries, you’ll need a lot more space.

NI Kontakt library sizes

This is because most NI Kontakt libraries can take as much as 80GB of your hard drive space for a single library.

Port Selection

The best laptops for music production have Thunderbolt, USB-A/C, HDMI, SD card slots, etc.

These ports on a music-making laptop allow you to connect audio interfaces, MIDI devices, mics, monitors, and more.

Dongles can add connectivity if ports are limited.

Battery Life

Look for at least 8 hours of light use battery life for productivity on the go.

Discrete GPUs in gaming laptops tend to drain batteries faster under heavy loads.

Display & Audio

A good screen with accurate color reproduction is great for getting mixes to translate across systems.

Decent built-in speakers or headphone jack allow previewing tracks on the go. With this said, it wouldn’t be a good idea to do track mixing on a set of in-built laptop speakers.

Wrapping Up – Best Laptops for Music Production in 2024

Over the past decade, technological advances have opened up new possibilities for music creation and production.

Portable computers have gained the power and efficiency required to serve as viable studio tools.

Software developments have made music production laptops accessible to beginners while maintaining high-level capabilities for seasoned professionals.

This democratization of the tools signifies a profound shift.

Aspiring artists no longer require a dedicated studio space to write, record, and refine their work. A dedicated music production laptop provides all the necessary DAWs, virtual instruments, and effects to sculpt raw ideas into polished tracks.

Of course, experience remains invaluable. While the hardware exists for anyone to become their own recording engineer, the subtle art of production takes years to master.

Advanced techniques for mic’ing, mixing, and mastering have improved a lot with dedicated practice.

Now, the gap between amateurs and professionals is much smaller.

There are plenty of resources available to help speed up the learning process. As such there are plenty of beginners with music production laptops making awesome music.

Online tutorials provide structured guidance for enthusiasts at all levels, and production communities encourage collaborative problem-solving.

Streaming platforms showcase talented independent artists who are worth emulating. By using the available knowledge, newcomers can develop studio skills far beyond what early laptop-based productions could achieve.

Technology has democratized music creation, leading to a renaissance of independent artists shaping popular culture outside the traditional studio system.

Laptops for music production allow anyone to fully realize their musical visions and bring fresh perspectives to audiences worldwide.

Innovation will continue to push creative limits while preserving music’s universal ability to move humanity.

Sources:

Gaming laptops for music production
https://www.creativebloq.com/buying-guides/best-laptops-for-music-production
https://americansongwriter.com/best-laptops-for-music-production/
https://splice.com/blog/best-laptop-music-production/
https://musicianshq.com/ssd-or-hdd-for-music-production/
https://spacehop.com/is-512gb-enough/

FAQs

Is 512GB enough for music production?

Yes, 512GB can be enough if you manage storage efficiently, but you may need external or cloud storage for larger projects.

What specifications should I look for in a laptop for music production?

Look for a powerful CPU, at least 16GB of RAM, a fast SSD, and multiple USB ports for peripherals.

Are MacBooks better than Windows laptops for music production?

MacBooks are favored for their reliability and software compatibility, while Windows laptops offer more hardware variety and cost-effectiveness.

Do I need an audio interface for a music production laptop?

Yes, a dedicated audio interface enhances sound quality and reduces latency compared to built-in sound cards.

Can I use a gaming laptop for music production?

Yes, gaming laptops can handle music production well, but be mindful of fan noise.

What is the best laptop processor for music production?

The best laptop processor for music production is the Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 series.
These processors offer high core counts and fast clock speeds, providing the necessary power for running DAWs and handling multiple audio tracks and plugins efficiently.

What about Apple’s M1 and M2 chips for music production?

Apple’s M1 and M2 chips are also excellent choices for music production. They offer high performance, energy efficiency, and seamless integration with macOS and Logic Pro X, making them suitable for many producers.

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