Best Laptop for Music Production

If you’re looking for the best laptop for music production, we understand that your time is valuable. So naturally, you are interested in a solution that takes care of everything for you.

NextbookUSA has created a list of the 8 Best Laptops in 2020 for Music Production, which details top machines such as the ASUS Rog Strix Scar II, Apple Macbook Pro, and Apple Macbook Air.

We have also included some useful features such as speakers, CPU (so you can run vital Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software smoothly), storage capacity (for recordings), and RAM.

Modern music production has seen a transition from traditional recording gear to portable devices. For most musicians and producers, a laptop is crucial.

With our research and testing, we have taken some of that work off your hands. It will provide you with enough information to make an informed decision. We will look at some of the best laptops for music production and why we rate them.

Best Laptop for Music Production
Asus ROG Strix Scar II Laptop, 15.6” 144Hz IPS Type Full HD
Asus ROG Strix Scar II Laptop, 15.6” 144Hz IPS Type Full HD
10

They do not come any better than the Asus ROG Strix Scar II Laptop. A potent Intel Core i7 8750H Hexa core processor. It is built to facilitate multi-tasking. That means that you can simultaneously run several programs powered by 16GB of DDR4 RAM. With the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6, you are capable of anything…

Runner Up
New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage)
New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage)
9.9
  • Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB SSD
Editor’s Choice
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Gold (Previous Model)
Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) – Gold (Previous Model)
9.7
  • 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i3
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics

Music Production Laptops – Comparison Table

ImageProductRatingPrice
Asus ROG Strix Scar II Laptop, 15.6” 144Hz IPS Type Full HD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, Intel Asus ROG Strix Scar II Laptop, 15.6” 144Hz IPS Type Full HD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, Intel
  • Nvidia geforce rtx 2070 8gb gddr6 (base: 1215 mhz, boost: 1440 mhz; tdp: 115w)
  • Intel core i7 8750h hexa core processor
  • 144hz 3ms 15.6 1920×1080 ips type display
  • 16gb ddr4 2666mhz ram | 512gb pcie ssd | windows 10 home
  • Gigabit wave 2 wi fi 5 (802.11ac) | quad antennas and rog rangeboost technology provides upto 30% wi
9.7
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New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage) New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage)
  • Ninth-generation 6-core intel core i7 processor
  • Stunning 16-inch retina display with true tone technology
  • Touch bar and touch id
  • Amd radeon pro 5300m graphics with gddr6 memory
  • Ultrafast ssd / Intel uhd graphics 630
  • Six-speaker system with force-cancelling woofers
  • Four thunderbolt 3 (usb-c) ports
  • Up to 11 hours of battery life
9.5
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Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) - Gold (Previous Model) Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage) – Gold (Previous Model)
  • Stunning 13.3-inch retina display with true tone technology
  • Backlit magic keyboard and touch id
  • Tenth-generation intel core i3 processor
  • Intel iris plus graphics
  • Fast ssd storage
  • 8gb of memory
  • Stereo speakers with wider stereo sound
  • Two thunderbolt 3 (usb-c) ports
  • Up to 11 hours of battery life
  • Force touch trackpad
9.1
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Microsoft  Surface Pro 6 (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB) Microsoft  Surface Pro 6 (Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB)
  • A best in class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet
  • More power now with the new 8th generation intel core processor
  • Ultra slim and light, starting at just 1.7 pounds
  • All day battery life, with up to 13.5 hours of video playback
  • Pair with our signature type cover* in luxurious alcantara material and rich colors for a full keybo
8.8
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2020 HP 15 15.6 2020 HP 15 15.6″ HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop – 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1, 16GB DDR4, 512GB SSD
  • Fast processor 10th generation intel(r) core(tm) i5-1035g1 processor quad-core 1 0 ghz base frequenc
  • Display 15 6-inch diagonal hd sva bright view micro-edge wled-backlit touchscreen display (1366 x 76
  • Fast boot up with ssd boot up in seconds transfer files without waiting hours and enjoy a snappier e
  • 1 hdmi 1 4b 1 headphone/microphone combo 1 usb 3 1 type-c gen 1 (data transfer up to 5 gb/s) 2 usb 3
  • Windows 10 home no dvd
8.6
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Asus ROG Strix G (2019) Laptop, 15.6” IPS Type FHD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, Intel Core i7- Asus ROG Strix G (2019) Laptop, 15.6” IPS Type FHD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, Intel Core i7-
  • Nvidia geforce gtx 1650 4gb gddr5 (base: 1395 mhz, boost: 1560 mhz; tdp: 50w)
  • Latest 9th gen intel core i7-9750h hexa-core processor. 48whrs, 3s1p, 3-cell li-ion battery
  • 15.6 full hd 1920×1080 ips type display
  • 16gb ddr4 2666mhz ram | 1tb pcie ssd | windows 10 home | gigabit wave 2 wi-fi 5 (802.11ac 2×2)
  • Rog intelligent cooling thermal system with dual 12v fans, anti-dust technology, and adjustable fan
8.2
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Razer Blade 15 Laptop: Intel Core i7-8750H 6 Core, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, 15.6 Razer Blade 15 Laptop: Intel Core i7-8750H 6 Core, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, 15.6″ FHD 144Hz,
  • Zero compromise powerhouse: built for gaming and creative work in a 0.7″ thin cnc aluminum unibody w
  • Futureproof design: thunderbolt 3 capable, compatible with razer core external gpu enclosures for ad
  • Perfect display for work or play: an edge-to-edge, 100% srgb, factory-calibrated matte screen with a
  • Biometric security: supports windows hello instant facial unlock with integrated webcam and ir senso
  • Customizable rgb individual key lighting: includes 16.8 million colors available with multiple prese
  • Summary: 8th gen intel core i7-8750h 6 core processor with 4.1ghz turbo, nvidia geforce rtx 2060, 15
8
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Best Music Production Laptop – Reviews


1. Asus ROG Strix Scar IIBest Windows Laptop for Music Production

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7 8750H Hexa core
RAM16GB DDR4 RAM
Storage512GB PCIe SSD
GPUNvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6
Display15.6” 1920×1080 IPS type display
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Battery LifeUp to 11 hours
Weight5.29lbs

Top 3 Features


KeyboardConnectivityCoverage
The keyboard has been re-engineered. They have not quite broken the wheel on this one. The additional room between functional keys makes it a lot easier to use. It is also said to be designed to take 20-million keystrokes. How’s that for durability?
You get the full array of connectivity options. Some of the highlights include USB Type-A, USB Type-C, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, RJ45 Ethernet, and an SD card reader.
The Asus ROG Strix Scar II gives you up to 30% extra WiFi coverage. That means you can work further afield without struggling for a reliable connection.

There are many factors that make the Asus ROG Strix Scar II the music producing titan that it is. The most apparent of these would be the visual side of things. It is easy on the eyes. That is largely down to the way that the manufacturer has used neon colours to good effect.

The hardware is second to none; an Intel Core i7 8750H Hexa core processor makes this device quite the workhorse. It is aided by 16GB of DDR4 RAM to enhance its multitasking capability.

As far as storage goes, you have an incredible 512GB PCIe Nvme SSD. It gives you ample storage for your music as you record. The transfer speed is a bonus.

Pros
  • The hardware is easy to upgrade
  • It has a beautiful display
  • It feels solid and sturdily built
  • There is 1 year water and electrical damage cover from ASUS
  • Offers enhanced Wifi coverage
Cons
  • The touchpad is quite small
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2. Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage) – Best MacBook for Music Production

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorNinth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor
RAM16GB RAM
Storage512GB SSD
GPUAMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory
Display16-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Retina display
Operating SystemMac OS
Battery LifeUp to 11 hours of wireless web surfing
Weight4.3lbs

Top 3 Features


Battery LifeT2 ChipRetina Display
The 100-watt-hour lithium polymer battery gives you close to 11 hours of working time on a single charge.
This chip delivers a high level of security. It is responsible for the Touch ID and for the encryption of data stored on the laptop.
See your work on a crystal clear display with this Retina. It produces 500 nits of brightness. Colours are displayed in their full vibrance.

With the ninth-generation 6-core Intel Core i7 processor, this Macbook Pro packs a real punch. It has 16GB of RAM, which aids in multitasking some of the most demanding software.

Not only does it come with an SSD, but it provides adequate space for storage and is described a which will give you access to recording devices. Most music producers will use external speakers, but it is worth noting that this Macbook Pro has a six-speaker with force canceling woofers. 

Another critical feature to consider is battery life. You get up to 11 hours of use from this laptop, there is also the option to upgrade hardware if you would like to. You can upgrade the processor to an Intel Core i9 and the storage to 8TB of SSD. 64GB is how much further you can push the memory.

Pros
  • It has a Touchbar and Touch ID
  • There is excellent scope for upgrading the hardware
  • The processor is impressive
  • The basic RAM is adequate for most tasks
  • It feels sturdy and well built
Cons
  • The battery life does not always live up to expectations
  • The hardware alone does not justify the price
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3. Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage)

Hardware Specifications

Processor1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i3
RAM8GB RAM
Storage256GB SSD
GPUIntel Iris Plus Graphics
Display13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone technology
Operating SystemMac OS
Battery LifeUp to 12 hours of wireless web surfing
Weight2.8lbs

Top 3 Features


PortabilityBattery LifeAffordability
At just 2.8 pounds, this Macbook Air is a shining beacon of portability. It is also incredibly thin, which also goes a long way.
For such a compact device to give you close to 12 hours of battery life is impressive.
When compared to other products from Apple, this one is affordable.

If weight is important to you, you may want to consider the Macbook Air instead of the Pro. It comes with a smaller screen size which makes it more suited for portability. The screen offers an LED-backlit Retina display.

At first glance, you may be taken aback by the 1.1GHz speed of the processor but you will be pleased to know that it can be turbo boosted up to 3.2GHz. It is a quad-core 10th generation processor. For storage, you have a fast SSD drive that provides you with 256GB storage. 

Where battery life is concerned, you can get up to 12 hours of use from a single charge for less demanding tasks. There are two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports that can be used for charging and display.

Pros
  • It is a lightweight device
  • It comes at a lower price than the Macbook Pro
  • Set up is exceptionally user friendly
  • It has a Touch ID
Cons
  • The camera is a bit of a letdown
  • There are connectivity limitations
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4. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro NP940X5N-X01US 15″ FHD

Hardware Specifications

Processor8th Generation Intel Quad-Core i7-8550U Processor (1.8GHz, up to 4GHz with turbo boost, 4MB L3 Cache)
RAM16GB, 2133MHz DDR4
Storage256GB SSD
GPUAMD Radeon 540 graphics driven by 2GB GDDR5 dedicated video memory
Display15.0″ Full HD touch screen
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Battery LifeUp to 12.5 hours of wireless web surfing
Weight3.79lbs

Top 3 Features


VersatilityBattery LifeThe Pen
You can fold the laptop all the way around. The hinge gives it additional versatility in laptop and tablet mode.
The battery has an impressive capacity to give you up to 13 hours of web surfing.
If you are doing any annotation or graphic design. You will be pleased with just how accurate the pen is.

If you are after a utility laptop, this is an exciting pick. The Notebook 9 Pro comes with a Touch Screen that gives you the additional option of using this device for your graphics. It also helps that you have a 15” screen to work with.

The versatility is such that you can use this laptop as a tablet if you would like to. Where performance is concerned, you will derive a lot of pleasure from the 8th Generation quad-core Intel Core-i7 processor. It is aided by 16GB of RAM and an equally impressive 256GB SSD. 

There are four cells in a 3530mAh Lithium-ion battery. It gives you close to 13 hours of web surfing and similar tasks. For those moments of collaboration, you also have access to a 720p HD webcam that is built-in.

Pros
  • It is reasonably lightweight for a 15” screen
  • It has a touch screen
  • The trackpad is of impressive quality
  • Comes with a pen for annotating PDFs
  • The battery life is reasonably good
Cons
  • The inbuilt speakers are nothing to write home about
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5. Microsoft Surface Pro 6 – Best 2-in-1 Laptop for Music Production

Hardware Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core 8th Gen i7
RAM16GB  DDR SDRAM
Storage512GB SSD
GPUIntel UHD Graphics 620
Display12.3” PixelSense Display
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Battery LifeUp to 13.5 hours of video playback
Weight1.7lbs

Top 3 Features


Ultra Slim & LightweightBattery LifeErgonomic Design
At just 1.7lbs, the Surface Pro 6 is perfect for those that work on the go. It is slim enough to be packed away with no fuss.
When using this device for video playback, you can get up to 14 hours on a single charge.
Not only is the Surface Pro 6 a versatile device. It is its ergonomic design that facilitates this. From a keyboard that is comfortable and lightweight. To the accompanying kickstand that holds up the screen.

If the touch screen and accompanying pen are of interest to you, this is another option. This is a tablet that can double as a laptop, courtesy of the ergonomic keyboard and the kickstand.

The kickstand stretches from the center of the device and it can be folded away when you are using the device in its tablet form. Such is the versatility of this device that it is adequately a laptop as it is a tablet. You can benefit from the 8th generation Intel Core processor. There is 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD to maximize its performance potential. 

The thickness of the device makes it incredibly portable. It is a surprise that it has enough battery life to last an entire day or close to 14 hours when a video is played on it, which is the battery life that you can expect when using it for work.

Pros
  • It is incredibly lightweight
  • It has an ergonomic design
  • The battery life is relatively good
  • It is a responsive device
  • It is versatile
Cons
  • Quality control could be improved
  • Heats up when stressed
  • The keyboard and pen are sold separately
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6. 2020 HP 15 15.6″ – Best Touchscreen Laptop for Producing Music

Hardware Specifications

Processor10th Generation Intel(r) Core(tm) i5-1035g1 Processor
RAM16GB DDR4 RAM
Storage512GB SSD
GPUIntel Graphics_coprocessor UHD Graphics
Display15.6 inches HD Touchscreen
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Battery LifeUp to 12 hours of wireless web surfing
Weight4.49lbs

Top 3 Features


KeyboardBattery LifeStorage
The ergonomic keyboard is certainly one of the highlights of this device. It makes typing easier. It is a key component in making more of a laptop of what would otherwise have been a tablet.
Even in the more demanding video playback, you will get close to 14 hours out of this laptop. Thanks to the Lithium Polymer batteries.

How does a quad-core 10th generation processor sound? Good right? What makes this one even more interesting is that it can be turbo boosted from 1.0GHz to an eye-watering 3.6GHz. That takes your base level performance to another level.

It also benefits from 16GB DDR4 RAM. For storage, the HP 15 comes with a generous 512GB SSD. Not only does that give you plenty of room to store your music, but it is also lightning quick at startup. That may not seem like a big deal, but it counts for a lot over the lifetime of any laptop. Not to mention how much quicker it is when transferring files. 

Having an HD Touchscreen is a bonus, it eases tasks that can be monstrous when using a mouse. We are pleased to note while other devices are doing away with the connections that we are accustomed to, this one does not. There are several USB ports as well as a headphone/microphone combo and a memory card reader.

Pros
  • It is thin and reasonably lightweight
  • It comes with large storage space
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty as standard
  • It is reasonably priced
  • It has excellent battery life
Cons
  • The fan can be loud
  • The keyboard is not backlit
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7. Asus ROG Strix G (2019) Laptop

Hardware Specifications

Processor9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750h Hexa-Core
RAM16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM
Storage1TB PCIe SSD
GPUNvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5 (base: 1395 MHz, Boost: 1560 MHz; TDP: 50W)
Display15.6 inches
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Battery LifeUp to 9 hours of wireless web surfing
Weight5.28lbs

Top 3 Features


Cooling SystemKeyboardStorage
The Asus ROG Strix G has an incredible cooling system. You can take your pick from 3 modes in which it functions. You can have it silent when you want some peace, balanced when you need it to work hard, and turbo if the device feels hot under stress.
The keyboard is designed for those who want precision as they work. The keys are fast actuating and curved. They have a subtle, yet effective backlight.
It is almost unheard of to get 1TB of SSD storage space within this price range. The 1TB PCIe Nvme SSD is a highly responsive drive that enhances your transfer speeds.

This is another laptop that was designed with gamers in mind. Fortunately, we know that this means the hardware is geared towards the high demands that games have. To facilitate this, it has a 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750h Hexa-Core processor. It is a processor that can perform at a speed of up to 4.5GHz.

There is also a 16GB RAM in place to further enhance the performance of this laptop. With high processing speed and demand often comes heated devices. That is where the Asus ROG Strix G excels.

Allow me to introduce you to the Rog intelligent cooling Thermal system. It has two 12V fans and anti-dust technology which gives you the option to control the fans through adjustable fan modes. Would you like it silent, balanced, or in turbo mode?

Storage woes will be a thing of the past as there is an excellent 1TB SSD in this laptop. To ensure that you get the most out of the screen size, they have a 79.6% screen to body ratio. That also feeds into a lovely keyboard layout designed for precision.

Pros
  • It comes with a terabyte of storage space
  • The cooling system is effective
  • Great value for money
  • CPU usage can be controlled
  • Fans can be controlled
Cons
  • It is heavier than others on our list
  • Screen design and colour precision could be better
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8. Razer Blade 15 Laptop: Intel Core i7-8750H 6 Core

Hardware Specifications

Processor8th Gen Intel Core i7 6 Core
GPUNVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (6GB)
RAM16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM
Storage512GB SSD (PCIe)
Display15.6” 144Hz Full HD
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Battery LifeUp to 6 hours (80Wh)
Weight4.56lbs

Top 3 Features


DisplaySecurityCustomisation
The display is a factory-calibrated matte screen with a 144 Hz refresh rate. That makes it an ideal partner for your work and play. The latter part being one of the core elements of the product design.
Beyond the usual security features that you would get with any laptop, the Razer Blade 15 comes with an IR sensor to give you the option of tapping into facial recognition for unlocking it.
It is always great to know that the hardware of your device can be upgraded. Both RAM and storage on this device have room for upgrading.

Here is one powerful laptop that strikes a perfect balance between work and play. We cannot go further without mentioning its 0.7” thin CNC aluminum unibody.

That is where all of the higher performance hardware is housed. To ensure your music production safety, you can depend on the biometric security features on this laptop. It allows for face unlock through the integrated webcam and IR sensor.

All of this does not come at the cost of the main feature, which is the overall performance. For that, you have the 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H 6 core processor with 4.1GHz turbo to thank. It is accompanied by an equally enthralling 16GB RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. 

We are pleased to report that the display is not a letdown either. It has a 144Hz Refresh Rate. There is also room for expansion. The RAM can be expanded to 64GB. Storage can be expanded to 2TB.

Pros
  • Hardware is easy to upgrade
  • The body feels and looks sturdy
  • It starts up very quickly
  • It has biometric capabilities
  • It is reasonably priced
Cons
  • It does not fare too well at low frequencies
  • The sharp edge can be annoying when typing
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Buyers Guide to the Best Laptop for Music Production

Found a laptop that you fancy but are not sure if it is the one? That is where the buyer’s guide comes in handy. We will explore some of the things that you must consider when purchasing a laptop for music production. The first of these would be to make sure that the Digital Audio Workstations you want to use are compatible with your laptop’s operating system. For Macbook, you have Pro Tools and Garage Band at the forefront. 

Music Production Software
SoftwareRequirementsRecommendationsCompatibility
Steinberg Cubase Pro 10.5Requires at least 4GB of RAM.You are recommended to have at least 8GB to get the best out of it. You will also need to have 30 GB of storage. Cubase is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.Cubase is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.
Logic Pro 10Requires at least 6GB of storage space for installation.You will need 72GB of storage space for the full Sound Library.You will need at least Mac OS 10.14.6 to run Logic Pro 10.
Ableton Live 10At least 4GB of RAM is required on both Windows and Mac OS.You are recommended to have at least 8GB.Compatible with both Mac OS and Windows.
Processor/CPU

The processor will determine how well your laptop runs the tasks that each DAW software requires. 

Graphics Card/GPU

The graphics card determines the look and visual performance of the laptop. That is an essential feature of DAWs. 

RAM

The RAM is critical for the multitasking that is associated with music production. More RAM means better performance.

Screen Size & Resolution

Screen size and resolution allows for a better view of the DAWs. Most software will come with minimum requirements. 

Storage

Storage space allows you to retain your working data. Music production is synonymous with large files: the more storage space you have, the better. 

Internal Memory/Extension

Most laptops come with internal memory. It is essential for multitasking. You also have the option to purchase extensions that can be connected to it.

OS

The operating system is responsible for running the DAWs. Compatibility is key. Your OS should be compatible with the DAW that you would like to use. 

Battery Life 

Battery life determines how long you can use your laptop when it is not plugged into a power source. Better battery life means you can make use of it for a longer time.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Laptop Should I Buy For Music Production?

Any of the laptops that we reviewed above would make an excellent laptop for music production. We would recommend that you decide whether to go with the Mac OS or a Windows laptop. For Mac OS, we would recommend that you purchase the Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage).

Best Budget Laptop For Music Production?

If money is an object, the 2020 HP 15 15.6″ HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop makes a good laptop for music production. You should also consider the Asus ROG Strix G (2019) Laptop, which offers excellent value for money.

What is the best Mac laptop for music production?

The Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage) is the one that we would recommend. You can consider upgrading some of the hardware to meet any additional requirements that you may have.

What is the best windows laptop for music production?

The Asus ROG Strix Scar II is our top pick for Windows laptops for music production. It has some room for upgrading hardware. We like that it comes with a powerful processor and RAM. There is also a generous amount of storage space to start with.


Conclusion

Producing music, while enthralling, does not have a shortage of challenges. There are various moving parts that the producer and others involved have to keep an eye on. Whatever those may be, having a solid music production laptop as part of your set up makes it a whole lot easier – and we hope our buyers guide and recommended laptops for producing music have saved you time (and money) in your search. Any of the devices that we have recommended above will serve you well.