If you’re in the music production game, or you’re just started in the industry, you’ll know that a high-performance laptop is critical. Being able to seamlessly work on multiple high-bitrate tracks without slowing down your machine means your workflow is so much smoother and everything gets done quicker. As someone who is producing audio content on a regular basis for my Podcast & digital marketing role, I thought I’d share my personal laptop recommendations with you to help you make an informed decision.
To help you pick the best laptop for your music production, I’ve hand-picked what I think is both powerful and affordable.
Let us dive right in!
How do I choose the best laptop for music production?
Picking the right music production laptop essentially comes down to three factors in my opinion.
- Your preferred operating system (Mac or Windows)
- Your budget (how much you’d like to spend)
- And finally, the type of projects you’ll be working on.
I’ve done my best to outline the best machines for each operating system, laptops to suit most budgets, and then my thoughts on how future-proof each laptop is.
This post covers both Mac and PC and multiple budget options to help you pick the right music production laptop in 2024.
1. Macbook Pro 14”/16” (M2)
All Round Best Choice For Music Production
The Macbook Pro 14”/16” currently comes in 3 variations. The M1, M2 and M3 Chips. The M3 chip is the most powerful. Personally, I’d currently go for the M2 flavor as most music production experts won’t notice that much of a difference between M2 & M3. That being said, if you can find a good price on the M1 variant, it’s still an excellent choice too.
2. Lenovo X1 Carbon
The Business Podcaster
The Lenovo X1 is a great option for podcasters and music production a like because of its solid performance and portability. There’s a number of processor options available and plenty of RAM to allow for seamless multitasking, making it ideal for working on multiple high-bitrate tracks without any lag or slow down. Personally I think it’s a great option for the business focused entrepreneur on a mission a change the world with their message!
3. Best 2-in-1 Laptop For Music Production
The Ultimate Multitasker
The ASUS ZenBook Flip 15 is an excellent choice for music producers looking for a 2-in-1 laptop. Its versatility means its super easy to switch between laptop and tablet mode, making it convenient for recording, editing, and working on the go.
4. Macbook Air M1
Best Budget Macbook for Music Production
I’ve owned the M1 Macbook Air since it came out a few years back, and let me tell you – this machine is AWESOME. If you’re a new music producer, or on a tigher budget, the The M1 chip’s offers impressive processing power and enables seamless multitasking and smooth handling of resource-intensive music production software and plugins.
5. XPS 15
Power, Ports & Performance
I’ve always been a big fan of the XPS line up. Even in 2024, it makes for a great music production laptop due to its powerful performance and high-quality audio capabilities. With its fast processor and ample RAM, it can handle demanding music production software with ease. Additionally, its crisp display and excellent sound system provide an immersive audio production experience.
6. ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo
Super Clever Design
The Zenbook 14 Pro Duo is a great option for music creation due to its powerful performance and innovative dual-screen design. I love seamlessly running multiple music production software and dragging them to the touch screen. The 14 Duo provides an intuitive and efficient workflow for editing and arranging your music tracks.
7. Razer Blade (2023)
Game First, then Music
You probably wouldn’t think a gaming laptop would make a good music production machine, but the opposite is true. Music gaming machines come with top specs, and plenty of RAM to boot. That’s why the Razer Blade is an excellent choice for music production in 2024. With its powerful performance and sleek matte finish design, it offers a seamless experience for music producers.
Pros and Cons
Music Productions Laptop Specs You Should Know About:
As I mentioned above, for Mac users, you’ll want to opt for the M1 Pro, M2 or M3. All three processors are plenty powerful enough.
PC users will want to go for either a Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7. These processors offer ample power and multi-threading capabilities to handle demanding music production tasks effectively.
When it comes to music production, having 16 or 32GB of RAM is the best option. It provides sufficient memory to handle complex audio projects and ensures smooth multitasking without any performance issues.
Personally, having a minimum of 512GB of hard drive storage is your staple now days. This gives you ample space to store large audio files, samples, and software libraries. However, it’s also important to consider an external SSD or NAS drive as a backup to ensure the safety and security of your music projects.
Most laptops come with either a discreate GPU or a dedicated GPU now days. A dedicated graphics card not only enhances visual performance but also plays a crucial role in music production. It offloads the processing power required for rendering complex audio plugins and visualizations, resulting in smoother playback and improved overall efficiency. Just keep in mind that Mac Silicon has a single chip for both CPU and GPU (M1, M2 and M3).
Screen Size & Resolution
When it comes to music production, the ideal laptop screen size is normally around 15 to 17 inches. This allows for comfortable viewing of multiple tracks, plugins, and waveforms without compromising on portability. 13inch is still an okay option, but the larger the better in my opinion.
I think most people underestimate how important it is to have modern port selections. If you can, opt for USB-C, Thunderbolt, HDMI and ethernet. If that’s not possible, look at a USBC/Thunderbolt hub from UGreen like this one.
Picking a Future Proof Option
When it comes down to it, you really want to purchase a laptop that lasts you for several years. Personally, I lean towards Mac because they support their products with future OS updates for upwards of 5-6 years. This means, if you buy the Macbook Pro M2 14″ or Macbook Pro M3 Max 16″ today, it’ll still receive heaps of useful OS updates well into the future.
The other thing I’d strongly recommend you think about is additional RAM for your music production computer. Don’t settle for anything less than 16gb. 32 to 62gb is ideal. Music production can be pretty resource-hungry and picking a computer with less than 16gb is a mistake in 2024 and beyond.
Looking for the best laptop for music production in 2024? Check out our ranked and compared list! If you want a laptop that will last for years, consider going for a Macbook Pro.
Macbook Air M2
So there we go guys – when looking for the best laptop for music production in 2024, it’s important to consider longevity and future-proofing. Mac laptops, like the Macbook Pro M2 14″ or Macbook Pro M3 Max 16″, provide excellent support with future OS updates for years to come. Additionally, investing in a laptop with ample RAM, ideally 32 to 62gb, is crucial for handling resource-intensive music production tasks. Keep these factors in mind to make the right choice for your music production needs.