Best computers for music production: Best laptops for music production 2023

Dell XPS 13 9310 OLED review

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High quality, classy and musician-friendly Windows laptop with a screen to die for

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MusicRadar Verdict

If you’ve got the money, and going down the Apple route isn’t for you, then there are few laptops on the market today that can match the Dell XPS 13 OLED for all-around form and functionality.


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    Has the instant ‘wow’ factor visually

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    Enough grunt to handle most music production tasks

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    The screen is a sight to behold

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Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.

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Dell XPS 13 9310 OLED review: What is it?

If you are looking for a laptop for music production, you are clearly not short of options. In the past, the majority of creatives would have made a beeline for Apple’s MacBook range, mainly because there were so few viable options running Windows. That has changed of late, with laptops at all ends of the budget scale that can happily run a large multitrack DAW session with ease. At the top of the tree, however, is the Dell XPS range. Here, we are reviewing a specific model from the range, namely the Dell XPS 13 OLED (or Dell XPS 13 9310 OLED to give it the full name), which – on paper at least – matches most of what’s good about its Apple counterparts. 

Straight out of the box you can tell this is a premium laptop. It features a machined aluminium shell, with carbon fibre across the keyboard and trackpad, and hardened Gorilla Glass on the screen. And what a screen it is too. With a near bezel-less InfinityEdge viewing area, everything you look at here is going to pop. Colours are vivid, as you’d expect from an OLED, and it all adds to the feeling you’re working with something special. For musicians and producers, there’s a lot of processing power on offer thanks to its 11th generation Intel i7 processor, and if you buy through Dell it can be configured to include up to 32GB of RAM and up to 2TB of solid-state storage. So there’s a lot to like here, with a price tag to match. Let’s explore its performance.

Dell XPS 13 9310 OLED review: Performance & verdict

(Image credit: Dell)

At upwards of $/£1,499, it’s reasonable to expect the Dell XPS 13 OLED to perform as well as it looks. With its 11th-gen Intel i7 and plenty of onboard RAM, we found it breezed through pretty much anything we could throw at it. We started by firing up our trusty demo Ableton Live session – 128 tracks of MIDI, audio and plugins, designed to push any laptop to its limit – and found it coped admirably. From grabbing audio samples off the SSD, to bouncing and rendering audio, the XPS 13 gave us no issues on the performance front. This is made even more impressive when you consider it’s not a dedicated music production laptop, per se.

From grabbing audio samples off the SSD, to bouncing and rendering audio, the XPS 13 gave us no issues on the performance front

The XPS has only two Thunderbolt 4 ports which seems to be the norm nowadays, rightly or wrongly. The fact you’ll need one of them for charging it means the now-mandatory external USB hub will be required by most. There’s also a single 3.5mm in/out audio jack, and a micro SD slot, and that’s as far as physical connectivity goes with the XPS. The built-in speakers are decent enough for a laptop and produce enough bass that watching films on it is passable. We did however find the trackpad a touch on the small side, particularly now we’re used to the much larger offer found on current MacBooks. Face Unlock and a fingerprint scanner are nice touches from a security perspective though, because nobody likes typing out passwords these days right?

There are some other points we’d draw your attention to if you are considering buying an XPS 13 OLED. It’s hardly scientific, but the fact you can open and close the laptop with one hand highlights the overall high levels of build quality. These are well-constructed laptops, with thought that has evidently gone into the design over and above making them look pretty. Of course, they do look pretty too. Coming in either black or white on the inside – we’d opt for white, given the choice – the flash of carbon fibre which houses the keyboard and trackpad is elegant and doesn’t attract thumb or fingerprints as some other laptops do. It’s also very light in weight, so if your usual workflow doesn’t involve staying stationary then we’d have no concerns about throwing it in a bag. 

Also consider

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple MacBook Pro 14″
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Huawei MateBook 14S

The Dell XPS 13 OLED manages to pull off two distinct feats. It has that killer industrial design down to a tee, marrying up slick looks with some nice engineering to make it both light and able to handle the rigours of daily life. It then backs that up with enough power on tap to suit even the most demanding of production workflows. 

If we were being honest, there are probably other laptops out there that would offer better pound for pound performance for the price, but then you’d lose out on the other benefits that come with the XPS, like the fact that it’s so darn nice to interact with. In summary, if music and audio production isn’t the only thing you’ll be using it for, and you’re looking for a top-tier, premium laptop that you’ll never get tired of using, then the Dell XPS 13 OLED is a very exciting proposition indeed. 

Dell XPS 13 9310 OLED review: Hands-on demos

Mark Guim


Andrew Mark David

Dell XPS 13 9310 OLED review: Specification

(Image credit: Dell)

  • Processor: 11th-gen Intel i7
  • Memory: Up to 32GB
  • Storage: Up to 2TB SSD
  • Screen: 13.4” OLED 3. 5K InfinityEdge Touch
  • Video: Intel Iris Xe
  • Colours: Platinum exterior/black interior, Frost exterior/arctic white interior
  • Contact: Dell

Chris Corfield is a journalist with over 12 years of experience writing for some of the music world’s biggest brands including Orange Amplification, MusicRadar, Guitar World, Total Guitar and Dawsons Music. Chris loves getting nerdy about everything from guitar and bass gear, to synths, microphones, DJ gear and music production hardware.

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch review

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Best of 2021: Has Apple created the perfect machine for music production?

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MusicRadar Verdict

Quite simply the best MacBook that Apple has ever made, and the one that pro-level music producers have been waiting for.

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    Incredibly powerful

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    New ‘industrial’ design

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    Enhanced connectivity options

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    No more Touch Bar

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    Excellent display and speakers

MusicRadar’s got your back
Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch review: What is it?

BEST OF 2021: Since their launches last year, Apple’s M1 Macs (the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini) have been showered with praise – and rightly so.

However, they’re not for everyone. Great though these machines are, they represented a first step on Apple’s journey away from Intel towards its own silicon ‘system on a chip’ technology, and were designed more for consumers, hobbyists and ‘prosumers’ (whatever that means) than hardcore creative professionals.

In the eyes of these pros – many music producers among them – there are a few things that have held the M1 machines back. These relate not so much to outright speed – the M1 chip has shown itself to be something of a powerhouse – but to issues such as RAM capacity (a maximum of 16GB), screen size (a mere 13.3 inches) and connectivity (not enough ports, basically). A design refresh was on a lot of people’s ‘most wanted’ lists, too.

Something else was required, then – and now it’s here.

(Image credit: Apple)

The 2021 MacBook Pro comes in two sizes – 14-inch and 16-inch – and with a choice of two different processors: M1 Pro and M1 Max. As with the M1, these integrate the CPU, GPU, security, I/O and memory onto a single chip, but promise significantly enhanced performance. 

The M1 Pro offers an up to 10-core CPU and up to 70% faster performance than the M1, with GPU performance that promises to be up to twice as fast. Memory bandwidth is 200GB/s – that’s getting on for three times that of the M1 – and you can install up to 32GB of RAM.

The M1 Max has the same 10-core CPU as the top M1 Pro, but doubles the maximum GPU core count to 32. This is said to equate to four times faster GPU performance than the M1. This chip can handle up to 64GB of RAM, and the memory bandwidth speed is 400GB/s. 

For video processing, the M1 Pro features a ProRes accelerator in the media engine. The M1 Max gives you two, so pros can edit even more hi-res streams simultaneously.

Apple claims that the new MacBook Pros will maintain their performance levels whether they’re running on mains or battery power; maximum running times for the 14-inch and 16-inch machines are quoted at 17 hours and 21 hours respectively.

In terms of physical changes, these new MacBook Pros have a Liquid Retina XDR display that features the same mini-LED technology that’s used in the iPad Pro. This includes ProMotion technology that features an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The bezels around the screen are significantly thinner than those on the previous model, and the machine as a whole has a chunkier, more industrial feel to it.

Strangely, one of the other new ‘features’ is the removal of an existing one: the Touch Bar. This always felt like a bit of a fudge – a byproduct of Apple’s reluctance to put a touchscreen on a MacBook – and we’re happy to see a row of function keys returning in its place, complete with a good old Escape key.

There’s plenty to take in on the sides of the 2021 MacBook Pro: two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a 3.5-mm headphone jack (with support for high-impedance headphones) and a Magsafe power adapter (another old favourite that’s making a return) on the left, and a further Thunderbolt 4 port, an SDXC card slot and an HDMI port on the right.

Back up top, you’ll find a 1080p FaceTime HD camera in a ‘notch’ in the screen, an improved array of mics, and a “high-fidelity” six-speaker sound system that promises 80 percent more bass than the one it replaces. Spatial Audio playback is supported, too.

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch review: Performance & verdict

Let’s get this straight: our test machine – a 16-inch, 10-core M1 Max machine with 64GB of RAM – is a beast, in every conceivable way.

This isn’t a light laptop (it weighs in at 2.1kg, which is 0.5kg heavier than the 14-inch model) and it’s not a dainty one, either. There’s a hefty price attached to this kind of spec, too – the ‘entry-level’ M1 Max machine, with 32GB RAM and 512GB storage, costs $3,099/£2,999.

It’s fair to say that some of our colleagues weren’t all that taken with the new MacBook Pro’s more chunky design, which actually has echoes of the laptops that Apple was making more than a decade ago. We rather like it, though – it looks like a computer that means business.

Also consider

And that, really, is what the 2021 MacBook Pro is all about. It’s not a machine for casual users, or a family laptop that gets passed around laps on the sofa. It’s a computer that’s laser-targeted at professionals – particularly those in the creative industries.

This is reflected in the performance, which is little short of jaw-dropping. We ran our usual Logic Pro test, using the Benchmark project created by Music-Prod. This contains a big stack of identical duplicated tracks, each loaded up with Logic’s Sculpture synth and five effects playing a heavy chord. The challenge for the Mac is to see how many of these tracks it can play without falling over.

The 2020 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro coped with 106 tracks in our test, while the M1 MacBook Air topped-out at 98. The 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max, though, managed a whopping 181, which is not altogether surprising, but still hugely impressive.

To put this in context, according to Music-Prod, the only Macs to have beaten this figure are the 2019 and 2020 Mac Pros (these achieved 265 and 386 tracks respectively), desktop machines that can end up costing tens of thousands. The new MacBook Pro certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s reasonable to say that we haven’t seen anything like this kind of performance in an Apple laptop before.

We can confirm that battery life is excellent, too, while the built-in speakers do a pretty impressive job when you’re listening to music or watching video. Obviously, you’re not going to finish a mix on them, but there’s a definite sense of immersion, and it’s to Apple’s credit that they’re more than just an afterthought.

A shout-out to the mic array, too – again, a step-up from the usual laptop fare – and we can also confirm that those who saw us on FaceTime through the 1080p camera said we’d never looked better (though they might just have been being polite, obviously).

(Image credit: Apple)

Here’s the big question, though: do you really need all this power? Producers and composers who are working on huge, RAM-intensive projects will certainly appreciate it, as will those who work with a lot of hi-res video, but for the vast majority of us, it’s not really required.

The sweet spot, we feel, could actually be the entry-level 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro, which has an 8-core CPU, 14-core GPU, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, and costs $1,999/£1,899. This makes it only $550/£450 more expensive than an 8-core M1 MacBook Air with the same memory and storage specs, and $300/£200 more expensive than the comparable 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro, which comes with the now out-of-favour Touch Bar.

These aren’t insignificant sums, obviously, but when you start crunching the numbers, you might decide that it’s worth paying the extra for the benefits that the 2021 MacBook Pro offers (better screen, more connectivity, improved speakers, mics and camera etc). 

To have one quick moan, we’re still frustrated by how much it costs to spec-up the RAM and SSD sizes in these machines. Unless you’re willing to spend a fortune on storage at the outset, the chances are that you’ll be plugging in an external drive or two sooner rather than later.

Ultimately, though, what we have here is the best, most powerful MacBook that Apple has ever made, and the one that pro music producers have been waiting for.

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch review: Hands-on reviews

Andrew Huang 

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch review: Specifications

  • Key features: Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max chip with up to 10-core CPU, up to 32-core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine, up to 64GB RAM, up to 8TB SSD, 14. 2-inch or 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with True Tone, Backlit Magic Keyboard, Touch ID, Three Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot
  •  Contact: Apple 

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

Best laptop for music production and DJs

If you are a DJ or looking for best laptop for music recording then you have come to the right place as we have selected best laptops for music production . For music recording, you’re looking for a machine with plenty of processing power and RAM to handle multiple music tracks. A large and fast hard drive or SSD (Solid State Drive) is also necessary as you are going to be working with large file sizes. Excellent speakers, or at least the ability to connect to external speakers, are also important.

If you’re a DJ then you’ll need something durable to take the occasional bump when you’re traveling from gig to gig. Since you are going to be traveling a lot, a laptop that is thin and light will be preferred over other devices. The best laptop for DJs will also have a large hard drive or SSD to store all of your tracks. At the moment, the choice is large and while Apple products are the main choice for music makers, there are many great Windows laptops available for DJs and music production.

The best laptops for music production and DJing:

Apple MacBook

Apple MacBook
The new Apple Macbook is the thinnest, lightest and most beautiful Macbook Apple has ever made and one of the most popular and best selling laptops on the planet.

See also:

  • Apple’s best deals to buy right now
  • Top 10 multi-port USB charging stations

Along with great music production software available for Mac, this is the best laptop for DJing and recording music. It’s a super thin and light Macbook that you can take with you everywhere without even noticing its weight.

Best laptops for music production and DJing in 2021 | TOP-7

The best laptops for recording music and live mixing.

There are a few features that set the best laptop for music production apart from the rest. While choosing a good laptop for music can seem daunting, it’s worth the effort to find one that will last a long mixing session and a full playlist of tracks on stage.

Buying the best laptop for making music is more than just choosing the best laptop you can afford. You’ll need plenty of RAM and one of the best processors available today to handle DAW digital audio workloads without reservation. At the same time, you’ll want to make sure you have enough storage space, perhaps even two drives, one solid state, the other a substantial hard drive, to store all your music files and samples. Finally, if you’re planning on taking your laptop on the road or on stage (when that becomes a reality again), you’ll need a laptop that’s rugged enough to withstand multiple drops, and portable like an Ultrabook so it doesn’t take up a lot of space while traveling.

And while the options aren’t as diverse as gaming laptops, there are still plenty of machines for your needs, even affordable ones that aren’t much more expensive than budget laptops.

To help you, we’ve rounded up the best laptops for music production so every audio editor and DJ can spend more time making music and less time choosing a new laptop. You’ll find the right models here, whether you stick to the old school with a MacBook Pro or prefer a Windows 10 laptop.0007

1 | MACBOOK PRO 16 (2019)

The world’s best Apple laptop.

Processor : Intel Core i7 – Core i9 (9th generation) | Video card : AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM : 16 – 64 GB | Display : 16″ Retina with True Tone | Physical Memory : 512 GB – 8 TB SSD.

  • Pros : Great screen | New keyboard;
  • Cons : Expensive | Only four Thunderbolt 3;

And while we mourn the 15-inch MacBook Pro, we’re excited about the new MacBook Pro 16 (2019). Thin, light and sleek as always, it just doesn’t feel like a 16-inch behemoth. However, you get the extra real estate on the 16-inch screen, as well as modern components inside. This is, without a doubt, the best laptop for DJs and music production, as well as for graphics designers. Its amazing (and loud) speakers and updated keyboard make making music a real pleasure.

Read more : MacBook Pro 16 (2019) review | Best MacBooks

2 | DELL XPS 13 (2020)

Still one of the best laptops, no matter the application.

Processor : Intel Core i5 – Core i7 (10th generation) | Graphics : Intel Iris Plus | RAM : 8 GB – 16 GB | Display : 13.3″ FHD (1920 x 1080) – 4K (3840 x 2160) | Physical Memory : 256 GB – 2 TB SSD.

  • Pros: Stylish design | Long working time;
  • Cons : Mediocre sound | High price;

The Dell XPS 13 (2020) has made our list of best laptops year after year, but its place in our best laptops for making music is well deserved. It retains all the features of the previous flagships of the 13-inch XPS series, from its gorgeous and lightweight design to modern hardware and versatility. With 10th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors and the continued evolution of InfinityEdge bezel-less screens, the 2020 models mean the Dell XPS 13 (2020) will do just fine while staying thin and light. A wide range of configurations will allow you to build a laptop according to your (musical) needs.

Read More : Dell XPS 13 Overview


Very powerful professional notebook.

Processor : Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics : Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (Max-Q) – Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition | RAM : 32 GB | Screen : 15.6″ OLED 4K 60Hz touchscreen, factory calibrated | Physical memory : 1 TB SSD.

  • Pros : Powerful | Excellent screen;
  • Cons : Expensive;

If you think Razer laptops are just for gaming, the new Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition proves otherwise. Razer takes the hugely popular Razer Blade 15 as a base, equips it with more impressive specs, and offers the user one of the best mobile workstations available in 2019. Designed for creatives and content creators, this laptop is ideal for musicians and DJs. You will have to spend a significant amount to take this laptop home. But rest assured, the Studio Edition will be one of the smartest investments you’ll ever make. If you can afford its price.

Read more : Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition Overview


Microsoft’s best DJ laptop.

Processor : Intel Core i5 – Core i7 / AMD Ryzen 5 – Ryzen 7 | Video card : Intel Iris Plus Graphics / AMD Radeon Vega 9 / Radeon RX Vega 11 | RAM : 8 GB – 16 GB | Screen : 13.5″ PixelSense (2256 x 1504) – 15″ PixelSense (2496×1664) | Memory : 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB SSD.

  • Pros of : Opening hours | Choice of Intel or AMD processors;
  • Cons : No Thunderbolt 3 | Few ports for its size;

With the third iteration of the Surface Laptop 3, Microsoft has released its best laptop yet. While the Surface Laptop 3 isn’t a big step up from its predecessor, there are improvements across the board. It is very important that the choice between Intel and AMD is now available on the 15-inch laptop model. The Surface is one of the most coveted laptops today that doesn’t bear the Apple logo. With a new aluminum chassis and a stunning design with objective damage protection, the Surface Laptop 3 is the perfect companion for musicians on the go.

More : Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Review

5 | MACBOOK AIR (2020)

Significant updates in 2021.

Processor : Intel Core i3 – Core i7 | Graphics : Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM : 8 GB – 16 GB | Screen : 13. 3″ LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Physical Memory: 256 GB – 2 TB PCIe based SSD.

  • Pros : Reduced entry price | New processors | Keyboard;
  • Cons : Average running time | Webcam 720p;

Apple’s thinnest and lightest MacBook returns in 2021 with new power. Moreover, the modern model solves most of the problems of previous laptops, including the sensational keyboard, which was replaced by the Magic Keyboard. With updated components, more physical memory and a lower base price, the new Air is the perfect laptop for DJs and musicians. The new laptop still has flaws we’d like to change, including a dim screen and battery life, but this MacBook Air is the best the series has offered to date.

Read more : MacBook Air (2020) review


For all the musicians who are ready to upgrade to a Microsoft tablet.

Processor : Intel Core i3 – Core i7 (10th generation) | Graphics : Intel UHD Graphics – Iris Plus Graphics | RAM : 4 – 16 GB | Screen : 12. 3″ PixelSense screen | Physical memory : 128 GB – 1 TB.

  • Pros : USB-C | WiFi 6;
  • Cons : Operating time has become lower | No Thunderbolt 3;

The seventh iteration of Microsoft’s award-winning series of devices may not offer the generational leap that fans of the company have been waiting for, but here you’ll find plenty of upgrades from its predecessor. It’s a 2 in 1 tablet aimed at professionals and has received a performance boost that makes it even more capable as a music production laptop. Plus, it now boasts a USB-C port and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity. And of course, it offers the same level of portability as other Windows tablets. An interesting feature of this tablet is the choice of configurations, that is, you can choose the required level of performance and memory capacity depending on your musical needs.

Learn More : Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Overview

7 | DELL XPS 15 (2019)

World’s smallest 15″ laptop.

Processor : Intel Core i5 – Core i9 (9th generation) | Graphics : Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 | RAM : 8 – 64 GB | Screen : 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge Anti-Glare Non-Touch – 15.6″ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge IPS Anti-Glare Touch | Physical Memory : 256 GB – 2 TB SSD.

  • Pros of : Excellent 4K screen | Fast processor | Camera position;
  • Cons : Wish there were more ports | The speakers are directed downwards;

The Dell XPS series gets better every year, and the 2021 15-inch model is no exception. The webcam, which is smaller than ever before in this iteration, is back in its rightful place, and the optional 4K screen looks amazing. What’s more, the laptop boasts powerful 9generation, and you can upgrade the laptop with up to 64GB of RAM, making it ideal for demanding music DAW applications. Physical memory is configurable up to 2TB so you can store all your samples and other music files. Unfortunately, the laptop’s speakers are downward-facing, but any musician and DJ will use quality headphones to play music.

Read More : Dell XPS 15 (2019) Review

Want More Options? Check out our ranking of the best laptops of 2021.


Apple Macbook Pro

Apple Macbook Pro with Touch Bar
This is the best laptop Apple has ever made and brings new features to a classic design. Of course, the most important feature is the touchpad and the thin OLED display at the top of the keyboard, which can be used for any number of operations.

The Macbook Pro also offers more options than the Macbook, which means if you’re a music producer, this is the best laptop for you as it handles complex productions across multiple audio tracks with ease.

There are cheaper alternatives to this best laptop for DJing and music production, but if speed and quality are the most important factors, then we recommend choosing the Macbook Pro.

Are laptops with a “proprietary” sound system worth it?

Keep in mind that there are quite a few manufacturers who integrate branded audio products into their laptops as a sales incentive; We mean, for example, laptops with built-in speakers labeled Bang & Olufsen, Bose or Harman Kardon sound systems of undoubted quality, but which do not really guarantee the best sound quality or the best acoustic experience.

In most cases, you should remember that bringing in speakers from these firms is more for pure marketing than anything else. While they are in fact the speakers of these brands, they are usually the lowest end ones that don’t differ too much from the “regular” speakers found in any laptop, and unless accompanied by a better quality sound card or DAC, we really won’t notice what or noticeable difference.

Therefore, we mean that you are not just fooled by brands; Just because a laptop has a Bang & Olufsen speaker system (for example) does not guarantee that the sound quality it outputs will be better than another laptop that may have larger, more powerful speakers. To be sure, you need to pay attention to all the features, not just the brand, especially if you are an enthusiast.

Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro 9The 0019 Microsoft Surface Pro is the best laptop for you if you’re looking for the perfect balance between a nimble Windows tablet and a full-featured laptop.

The basic version of the Surface Pro is just a tablet and you get the main unit with a stand, and if you want the Surface pen or the fantastic Type Cover keyboard, you’ll need to pay extra for the kit or buy it separately.

Again, this is a great laptop for writers who can use the stylus to jot down their notes to later turn them into editable text. 9Ol000 Full version Windows 10, which means it’s an extremely portable device that can run any of the music mixing and editing programs available for Windows.

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13
For years on end, the Dell XPS 13 has been one of the best laptops you can buy today. For aspiring music producers, the XPS upgrade to an 8th generation Intel Kaby Lake R processor should be attractive as it cuts down on time spent processing tracks, allowing you to minimize downtime.

More reviews…

  • The best Dell laptops today — TOP 50026

Sadly, you won’t be able to use a 1TB drive anymore, but when you get a laptop as fast as this and good for booting, it’s a worthy compromise.

Acer Swift 3 Ryzen 5

Acer Swift 3 Ryzen 5
The Acer Swift 3 Ryzen 5 is one of the best budget laptops you can buy for music production.

  1. The latest version of the gadget is offered with the new Ryzen 5 2500U quad-core processor (clocked at 3.6 GHz).
  2. With a 15.6″ Full HD widescreen IPS display (1920 x 1080 resolution) and Corning Gorilla Glass LED backlighting, this notebook not only looks good, but also lasts longer.
  3. Swift 3 includes 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, so the user can take on serious tasks.
  4. Although the memory storage is limited to 256 GB, it can be used in SSD format, which greatly increases the storage speed.
  5. The Acer Swift 3 Ryzen 5 has a USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port, two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port.
  6. Acer battery life up to 8 hours.

Whether it’s rendering or production, you can work on the go.

Lenovo Yoga

Lenovo Yoga Book
As with all Lenovo Yoga devices, the screen is foldable so you can use it as either a tablet or laptop.

To add more versatility, Lenovo has now added the option to buy it with either Windows 10 or Android 6.0 included, and which you choose depends on how you plan to use the device. The screen on this device defies the cheap price, and the capacitive touch keyboard is fantastic too.

While a bit underpowered for music production, if you’re a DJ looking for the best portable laptop for music playback and mixing, it’s still a great choice.

What makes a good music production notebook?

While your exact requirements mostly depend on the type of music you’re making and the software you’re using, there are a few good rules of thumb to follow.

First, you need to prioritize the hardware that matters to you, and in the case of music production, that’s a high-performance processor and lots of RAM.

Many high performance laptops are essentially gaming laptops and include powerful graphics capabilities. But for music production, high-end GPUs won’t help (unless you’re thinking about VJing too).

Look for the higher-end 8th Gen Intel Core (i5 and i7) mobile processors, or AMD’s Ryzen mobile chips. AMD chips will outperform Intel chips in terms of integrated graphics performance, but they match closely in most other areas. Check out our comparison of Intel and AMD chips!

In terms of RAM, more is always better. If you’re using a digital audio workstation (DAW) with plugins and virtual instruments, you’ll need memory to make everything work. While 8GB is a good start, 16GB is a safer option.

Since music production can be a memory-intensive hobby, you will need a lot of space to store samples and demos. A solid state drive (SSD) will be fast, but it’s much more expensive than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). 256GB will be devoured in no time, so we recommend at least 512GB if you can afford it.

As you choose a laptop for production, the form factor can also influence your decision. If you’ll be using the laptop for gigs, for making music on the go, or maybe for DJing with the right tools

; thin and small may be a priority too. Just remember that smaller laptops tend to sacrifice power consumption as battery size, airflow and cooling capacity are reduced.

Apple Macbook Air

The 13-inch Macbook Air
Macbook Air is in an interesting position. Although it is still one of the most popular and well-known laptops, the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook have stolen much of its glory.

That is, unless you need legacy USB 3, Thunderbolt 2, and SDXC connections, and without a Retina display or Force Touch trackpad, the 13-inch MacBook Air is a very capable machine, even if 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage leave wish for the best.

More Reviews:

  • Apple MacBook Air (2018) Review
  • Fiio BTR1K Audio Receiver Review

Plus, it still has the beloved MagSafe 2 charger and flawless battery life.

So, if you don’t mind having a slightly older machine, the Macbook Air is a great and now more affordable choice for DJs and music production.


Laptop vs desktop for music production?

Desktop computers are much better suited for professional music production when it comes to speed and processing power. However, laptops may be the best choice for your needs when it comes to portability and economy.

What computer specifications are needed for music production?

If you are looking for a PC for music production, your specifications should be at least the following:

  • 8 GB memory
  • AMD Ryzen Multi-Core or Intel Core i-Series
  • Integrated graphics card
  • Monitor size 15″+

Should I overclock for music production?

Overclocking for music production is not necessary and can make your session more unstable. Because overclocking can cause hardware to overheat, if you plan on overclocking, you need to provide cooling. Otherwise, you risk killing your thread.

Does the GPU play any role in music production?

Graphic cards are not very important for music production, and the integrated video card installed on the motherboard will most likely cope with this task. Of course, if you use a lot of high-end plugins, having a GPU capable of handling visually demanding graphics can be useful.

Are gaming laptops good for making music?

Gaming laptops are great for making music because they can handle heavy loads. Compared to most laptops, gaming laptops usually have better RAM, processing power, and faster SSDs.

What’s the best gaming laptop for making music?

The 15″ Razer Blade is one of the best gaming laptops available on the market today thanks to its combination of 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD and 6-core Intel i7 processor.

What is more important for music production – processor or RAM?

The processor is more important than RAM when it comes to making music. The advantage of RAM is that it can usually be upgraded later, which cannot be done with a processor.

Is 32 GB of RAM overkill for music production?

If you are working with large sample libraries that require a lot of processing power, 16 or 32 GB of RAM may be required for smooth operation. However, for most music projects, 8 GB is usually sufficient.

Can you get by with 4 GB of RAM for music production?

If you’re looking for the best laptop for making music, we highly recommend getting a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM if you want the best speed and performance.

Do I need an SSD for music production?

Solid State Drives are a much better choice for today’s music production than HDDs as they offer much higher reliability and performance. With an SSD, you won’t have to deal with incredibly long load times, clicks, or bursts that can ruin your stream.

Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS
If you’re looking for a more powerful laptop to run your music recording software, then the Dell XPS could be made for you. Using Infinity Edge technology, it’s quite pricey depending on which version you get. The most expensive version has a 4K color display that can give you a great overview of all the tracks you’re working on.

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Lenovo Ideapad 710S Plus

Lenovo Ideapad 710S Plus
Lenovo is one of the leaders in the segment of budget notebooks designed for recording music. The Lenovo Ideapad 710S Plus is one of the most inexpensive laptops with excellent technical specifications.

  1. The laptop has a 13.3-inch FHD IPS screen with 5mm narrow bezels on all four sides of the shiny display (it feels like half the thickness of similar laptops).
  2. User receives product with 7th generation Intel Core i5-7200U with Intel HD Graphics 620.
  3. Storage capacity is 256 GB PCIe SSD (the product has the fastest write and read speed, so all music tracks will be displayed almost instantly) .
  4. Battery backup is promising. Lenovo guarantees seven hours of battery life for the Ideapad 710S Plus laptop.

Additional useful options include always-on charging ports, charging peripherals on the go. A fingerprint sensor is a useful option for protecting personal data (all source files will be under reliable protection, completely safe from competitors).

The 6 best laptops for writing music in 2022!

The good news for beginners is that you can create music on any laptop. If you’re looking for a medium-sized composing laptop (with lots of tracks and instruments in your project), this article will take a look at some of the popular options.

Making music can be very demanding on a computer, and that is why the more complex and high-quality the project, the more powerful the computer must be. Here are the main characteristics that you should pay attention to:

  • Processor: Multi-core processors delegate power for multitasking. It’s rare to see less than 8-core processors in recording studios these days.
  • RAM: If you are going to use a lot of plug-ins and virtual instruments, choose the maximum amount of RAM you can afford. A good minimum for music production is 16 GB.
  • Hard Drive: Choose a fast solid state drive for recording, playing and exporting files. Software and files can take up a lot of space, so you’ll probably need at least 256GB (which can fill up quickly with just sound libraries!). You can always expand with external drives if needed, which is a good idea for a backup anyway.
  • Connectivity: What peripherals do you have? Make sure your laptop has the appropriate ports, or consider expanding its connectivity.
Is it better to use Mac or Windows laptops?

Mac is the creative platform and industry standard for professional studios. You’ll find little to no software/hardware compatibility restrictions, and you’ll be able to more easily import/export sessions and files between other Macs in the studio. The biggest downside is that MacBooks tend to be more expensive than PCs, and there’s no room on the Mac itself to upgrade components in the future.

If you’re comfortable with Windows, that’s fine! PCs are great for making music, and there aren’t many software or hardware compatibility issues these days. Most of the major plugins and DAWs are cross-platform, so there is no problem here. PCs tend to be more affordable and more upgradable than Macs.

– See also: Spotify says songwriters now make more money streaming than CDs –

Best MacBook for making music

1. Best budget option: MacBook Air

The MacBook Air is about as budget-friendly as other Apple laptops (they’re all expensive). The base model has an 8-core M1 chip, 8GB of RAM (configurable up to 16GB), a 256GB SSD, and two Thunderbolt 4 ports. It’s also lightweight if maximum portability is important to you.

2. MacBook Pro 13″

The 13-inch MacBook Pro features an octa-core Apple M1 chip, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and two Thunderbolt 4 ports. . You’ll likely need to expand its connectivity options as the two Thunderbolt ports fill up quickly.

3. Best Pro: MacBook Pro 16″

The top 16-inch MacBook Pro is the most powerful for professional use. It comes with a 10-core M1 Max chip, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, three Thunderbolt 4 ports, one HDMI port, and one SDXC port. You can optionally upgrade to 64GB RAM and 8TB SSD if you need it!

Best Windows Laptops for Music Production

1. Best Budget Option: Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

The Surface Laptop 4 is a great budget laptop for making music. The 13.5-inch model can be equipped with an Intel i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD. Connectivity includes one USB-A port and one USB-C port, which you’ll likely need to expand with accessories.

2. ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15

ZenBook Pro is a fantastic PC for creative people. Choose from powerful Intel i7 or i9 processors, up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. It also includes a ScreenPad in addition to the main display, so you can split your workflow between two monitors right on the laptop itself.

– See also: Lindell Audio 902 De-Esser: worth buying? —

3. Best Pro: Razer Blade 17 Studio Edition

Razer is known for its gaming laptops, but their Studio Edition series has a lot of potential for content creators. This beast features a 14-core Intel i9 processor, 32GB of RAM, 1TB of NVMe storage, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one powered USB-C port, and three USB-A ports. This is by no means an inexpensive laptop and will probably be overkill for many. But if you’re looking for the best laptop of the current generation, then this is the Razer Blade 17 Studio Edition.