5 Best Laptops for Music Production of 2023 {Mac & Windows} – American Songwriter

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Imagine trying to load Google Maps on your old flip phone from 2008. Sounds terrible! Music production is very demanding on laptops, so make sure you have the right workhorse for your software.
Laptops need to be reliable to make the music production process run smoothly, between being fast and having lots of storage, a laptop for music production needs other features like compatibility with music software, a powerful processor, and even a screen large enough for productivity.
We’ll cover more specs you should consider as well. If you don’t already own an Apple Macbook Pro or have a custom-built PC, you’ll need to shop around for a laptop that’s ready to take on years of work.
We highly recommend the MacBook Air. It’s a reliable, versatile laptop meant for heavy workloads. It can handle software for music production along with video and photo editing as well. Overall, a great pick for those who are hands-on with their projects and branding.
See our favorites below for working from your home studio or on the go.
A MacBook Air is a great high-end, yet not-so-pricey option to consider. They’re generally much cheaper than MacBook Pros, yet are still super fast and reliable options for content creators. If you’re a music creator, streamer, video, or photo editor and you don’t want to spend thousands on a MacBook Pro, a 2022 Air is a solid laptop.
Overall, it’s got the powerful hardware you need to run music production software. Plus, you can download just about any software on MacBooks. You hardly ever have to worry about things not being compatible with your Mac. Use Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, and more of your favorite software.
Processing files and mixing and mastering tracks will be super speedy on this laptop. You’ll have plenty of storage as well. Choose between 256 or 512GB of SSD storage.
We love how reliable Macs are and love how they’re compatible with their iPhones. If you have any files on your phone, you can easily Airdrop them to yourself. Bypassing emailing files is such a relief. If you have lots of files or some projects on your phone, send them over to your Macbook Air.
Want to Learn More About Laptops? See the Best Laptops for DJs Here
Here’s a music production favorite for Windows users. This laptop has hardware built for heavy workflows. It’ll be reliable for running several virtual instruments and mixing and mastering.
Run Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, Cubase, FL Studio, Pro Tools, and Studio One on it along with your favorite virtual instruments and audio plugins.
There’s plenty of RAM and storage, and the 13.4-inch display has a 16:10 aspect radio for a detailed view of your software. It’s also touchscreen, which can come in handy for those who are used to their current touchscreen laptop.
This laptop is also great for connecting to your MicroSD card, headphones, MIDI controllers, and other hardware devices.
We enjoy the impressive battery life, so if you work long hours on the road, you’ll love this laptop.
We found a great laptop priced right around $700. There’s no need to spend thousands on a music production laptop to get started. A nice budget laptop will get you through your beginner and intermediate days of music production.
It has a powerful processor and plenty of storage, making it a great laptop for large projects and sample libraries. 15.6 inches is pretty big for a laptop, so if you like a large screen, you’ll like this pick. Overall, connectivity is simple.
There are USB ports, an HDMI port, and an ethernet port. You can also connect external audio faces, MIDI controllers, and other necessary hardware devices for music production.
Use it to run your favorite DAW, plugins, and virtual instruments.
Want a powerful laptop for music production? Ask any Twitch streamer what gaming laptops they’d recommend. This is a gamer laptop, so you know if it can handle hours of gaming/graphics, this is a great laptop for running virtual instruments and processing huge audio files without lag.
This gaming laptop meets storage needs and has a wonderful HD IPS display that’s great for ensuring accurate color representation.
As for connectivity, you can easily connect to audio interfaces, MIDI controllers, and many hardware devices.
The graphics are nice, so if you’re prioritizing great graphics this is the laptop for yo.
We included a tablet/laptop option for anyone who may be on the go. This small but mighty laptop features a powerful laptop for virtual instruments and processing large files. It has 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, so you’ll have plenty of room for your files.
With a tablet, you can work with the touchscreen, using your pen as well. Precise control is a must with music production software! Again, if you’re on the go you’ll enjoy the portability of this option.
Many of the laptops on this list are pretty lightweight, but this one weighs just over 1 pound and has a detachable keyboard cover so you can pack it in a bag.
You can use the USB ports for audio interfaces and MIDI controllers.
We love how versatile it is. Use the tablet for leisure if you’d like!
Picking out your first laptop for music production goes beyond aesthetics and price. Below we’ll dive into processors, RAM, storage, and some other specs like graphics, and screen size, and why these will make or break your music production process.
You need a workhorse, and that mean’s a powerful processor is a must. Look for laptops with an Intel Core i7 or i9, or an AMD Ryzen 7 or 9.
Every college kid has suffered the consequences of low RAM. Low RAM can make your laptop shut down completely! Make sure your laptop has at least 8GB but if you can stretch your budget 16GB of RAM is fantastic. The more RAM, the smoother your software will run.
WAV files can take up lots of space, so make sure you have enough storage. A laptop with a solid-state drive will ensure fast load times.
A graphics card helps with rendering visual elements such as virtual instruments. Look for a laptop with a dedicated graphics card. Nvidia GTX and RTX are great.
A large screen is super helpful for multiple tracks, and higher resolution makes it easier to see what exactly you’re working on. A resolution of 1920×1080 is fantastic.
You’ll need USB ports for MIDI controllers and may also like working with a monitor (two screens are best for a heavy workload).
Windows and macOS are great. If you’re already a Mac user, you’ll be a fan of Mac for music production for the familiarity plus the stability.
No, it’s not necessary at all. But you’ll be glad you had one, especially if you also dabble in video editing and gaming.
It’s another feature that’s not necessary, but faster load times help so much.
An Apple MacBook Pro is a great option for music production, however, these options are all fantastic too. You can’t go wrong with a new MacBook Air or even an older model of a MacBook Air or Pro if you want to save money.
If you’re on a budget, we recommend the Acer Aspire 5 Notebook Laptop or even going with a 2-in-1 option like the Surface Pro. While they may not be the best fit for long-term use, you’ll get plenty of years out of them. You’ll get a lot of memory and years out of something built for heavier projects like a Razer Blade 15.
At the end of the day, technology is technology, and some Mac users will have a busted laptop before the budget-friendly laptop user does. Be sure to take care of your laptop and delete unwanted files and keep it safe from debris.
Photo Courtesy Amazon
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