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Best laptops for music production

Editor's Choice
apple macbook pro

Apple MacBook Pro

5/5
Editor's Choice

Acer Predator Helios 300

5/5
Editor's Choice

LG Gram 17

4/5

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If you are here we are guessing you either want to get into making music on your computer for the first time or are an old hand looking for a decent portable solution.

The days of needing a huge home studio are gone, and while it is undoubtedly better in many ways to be able to sit down a big desk with your DAW looking fresh on a massive monitor, there is no denying that sometimes, cracking open your laptop while you are traveling (like that happens anymore) can be both useful and satisfying.

With that in mind, we are going to look here at laptops that are good for both general production and also handy when it comes to moving projects between a regular desktop environment and a more mobile setup.

Our Recommended Best laptops for music production

Editor's Choice
apple macbook pro

Apple MacBook Pro

5/5
Editor's Choice

Acer Predator Helios 300

5/5
Editor's Choice

LG Gram 17

4/5

How We Picked

We looked for laptops that had good reliability, good screen size and resolution (DAWs are known for being difficult to look at and we wanted to avoid eye-strain). We also looked for powerful processing capability to handle multiple virtual instruments at the same time.

How We Tested

We put our favorite DAWS through their paces on each machine to see how they looked and how they handled several VSTs running at the same time.

Our Recommended

Best laptops for music production

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Editor's Choice
apple macbook pro

Apple MacBook Pro

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Pros

  • Solid as a rock
  • Good compatibility with applications such as Ableton Live
  • Good screen resolution

Cons

  • Apple premium price
  • Lack of ports to connect instruments

Macbook Pro

If you have read of Best Laptop for DJS feature you probably won’t be surprised to see our recommendations start once more with a Macbook Pro.

Once again stability is a key factor in our choice here and that is why Macbooks are a staple in the music industry. They are also the only format you can run Logic Pro X on and that is a piece of software you will find in many studios around the world, so when it comes to getting a track mastered it can be easier to just export your Logic project and WeTransfer it to the producer.

That’s not to say DAWs like Ableton play second fiddle on an Apple. They don’t and Live 10 is particularly robust on the MacOS ecosystem.

The Macbook Pro also, without question, comes with as good a display as you can get and when you are messing about with small notes on sprawling keyrolls you are certainly going to appreciate this.

As with the DJing option again the lack of basic USB ports may put you off. Macs are too cool for school when it comes to legacy connections, and pretty much all your equipment and add-ons will be standard USB. Factor the added cost of a hub (powered) while you are at it. And yes, that is just something extra to carry about, and also something you might not easily be able to plugin if you are traveling about and already have your laptop connected to the mains on a train for example.

Editor's Choice

Acer Predator Helios 300

A gaming laptop that is completely at home in other fields. Powerful, good 144hZ refresh rate and sleek styling make this one to consider for any job.

Pros

  • Powerful specs
  • 144Hz refresh rate easy on the eyes
  • Multi-purpose

Cons

  • Gaming styling
  • Quite expensive
  • Small SSD

Acer Predator Helios 300

The Predator is actually marketed as a gaming laptop, and a very nice one at that too, but we are interested in the CPU and ram here for our needs.

An i7-9750H combined with 16GB of ram is going to make sure our projects don’t grind to a halt the second we start loading our samples and VSTS in. Anybody who has even dabbled in music production will know that things start getting tight in the memory department without too much going on so the extra headroom we have here will allow us the freedom we need to comfortably swap projects from laptop to desktop and vice-versa.

The 15.6” screen is lovely, and while we don’t exactly need the 144hz refresh rate it’s always nice to have on a display that we will be staring at for long periods.

Where things could be improved is that it only packs a pretty miserly 256GB SSD so you’ll be wanting to reserve this for your OS and DAW and keep any addons well and truly on a USB drive.

The audio quality is nice too, but as you will generally be using headphones and trying to listen to as flat a signal possible for production purposes you will probably turn off some of the bells and whistles designed for improving game audio.

This is a lot of laptop for the cash and if you don’t want to go the Apple route, you should look no further

Editor's Choice

LG Gram 17

If you’re after a large screen laptop, this is the obvious choice. Despite the huge high resolution screen, this is still a remarkably light machine, and has good all round performance.

Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Thin and light

Cons

  • The price
  • Might not handle being bashed around as well

LG Gram 17”

If you are looking for something a little thinner and a little lighter than most offerings on the market this 17” LG Gram will fit that bill. Despite its larger display size, clever design meads they can fit the 17” panel into a 15” frame. Witchcraft we know.

Another reason that you may be interested in this recommendation is the extraordinary battery life which can last for up to 16 hours (it won’t obviously but it’s still impressive.)

It has a backlit keyboard so you can continue to work in the dark and it also comes with 16GB of ram and a much more generous 1TB of SSD, so you can probably get away without having a plethora of extra drives dangling from the side of it.

It looks great, weighs less than 3llbs and is packing an 8th Gen Intel CPU.

For all of this however it comes in at a larger price but you are picking up a nice machine that will last you easily through that awkward second album.

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Our Verdict

apple macbook pro

Apple MacBook Pro

5/5
apple macbook pro

Apple MacBook Pro

5/5
apple macbook pro

Apple MacBook Pro

5/5

As with most things musical we are going to choose the Apple Macbook Pro. There are reasons why this machine has been the mainstay of the music industry for so long. It’s not that it can do anything different to most other laptops out there, it just does them with extra style and aplomb. It’s rock-solid reliable, runs the necessary software like a charm and has no problems with instruments virtual or real (as long as you get past the thorny issue of actually connecting USBs). It’s a very easy recommendation, also the Helio 300 from Acer ran it a close second on this occasion.

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