Chromebooks are getting more and more popular these days. More and more people are replacing their old Windows or Mac os laptops with Chromebooks for benefits such as easy automatic updates and a better cost to performance ratio.
When Chromebooks first began, you wouldn’t dream of using one for music production. But with the combination of the advancement of Chromebooks and the advancement of technology in general. Music production on a Chromebook is now very possible.
Click here to read our ultimate guide to music production on a Chromebook.
As with all laptops, if you’re looking to buy a Chromebook for music production, some are going to be much better at it than others. But before you can choose the best fit for you, you need to work out what sort of music production software you’ll be using.
As mentioned in our article about music production on a Chromebook. There are two different kinds of music production software available for Chrome OS. There are web apps that run in the cloud, and there are Android apps that run on your Chromebook.
Music Production Web Apps
If you plan to use music production software in the form of a web app, you won’t need to worry as much about processing power as most of the heavy lifting will be done in the cloud instead of on your computer.
Instead, you can put more focus on things like screen size, how good the keyboard is, and your budget.
Music Production Android Apps
But if you plan to use an Android App, the heavy lifting will take place on your device so you should probably focus more on having lots of RAM and a powerful processor.
It might also be a good idea to get one with a touch screen as Android apps were designed with touch screens in mind. You can still use Android apps without a touch screen, but it’s probably going to be a better experience with one.
Best Chromebooks For Music Production
Below is a comparison chart of all the best Chromebooks for music production. You can compare them all here, and then scroll further down to get a more detailed overview of each one.
|Image||Name||Processor||RAM||Why It's Good||Check The Price|
Lenovo Chromebook IdeaPad 3
Intel Celeron N4020
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5
10th Gen Intel Core i3-10110U
4GB or 8GB
Best Cost To Performance Ratio
Lenovo Chromebook C340
8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U
Nice Big Screen
ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5
11th Gen Intel Core i3-1110G4
Google Pixelbook Go
Intel Core M3, i5, or i7
8GB or 16GB
The Best From Google
HP Elite C1030
10th Gen Intel Core i7-10610U
So if you’re on a bit of a tight budget, this could be the perfect option.
It uses an Intel Celeron N4020 processor so it’s not the most powerful, but it is a more modern and significantly better processor than you’ll find in most Celeron Chromebooks in this price range, and due to the lightweight nature of Chrome OS, the performance is fairly good.
It would be ideal for a regular music production workflow using web apps as this processor would really have no struggles there, but it would even manage to use some music production Android apps as long as you don’t try to have too many tracks at once.
It has 4GB of RAM which is by no means huge, but that’s really all you could expect for a laptop at this price point and with Chrome OS 4GB is all you really need anyway.
The overall build quality of this Chromebook is quite nice considering the price. It doesn’t exactly feel premium, but it feels quite solid and well put together so it’s not going to fall apart in your hand, and the keyboard is fairly nice to type on.
Unfortunately, the screen is a bit small at only 11.6 inches (diagonally) which can feel a little cramped for music production, but it is certainly useable and you could always connect it to an external monitor if you need to, (although at this price the monitor might cost more than the laptop).
But overall, this is a great laptop considering the price and it would certainly be capable of music production without any major hiccups, so if you need a super budget friendly Chromebook to produce music on, this is the one for you.
Want To Buy The Lenovo Chromebook IdeaPad 3?
Check The Current Price:
And the excellent performance and great build quality of the Flex 5 make it seem more like a $700 – $800 laptop.
So this is probably going to be the best option for most people, and it’s absolutely perfect for anyone who wants a reasonably priced Chromebook that’s actually still a really good computer.
It has a 10th Gen Intel Core i3 processor which isn’t exactly Intel’s most powerful chip, but it’s still more than enough for Chrome OS and will have no trouble with a normal music production workflow whether you use web or Android apps.
And it’s the same processor that you’ll find in a lot of more expensive Chromebooks that cost $800+.
The cheapest model comes with 4GB of RAM which is perfectly fine for Chrome OS, but it also comes in an 8GB variation which I would probably recommend upgrading to as it just gives you a bit more space to work with.
It has a 13.3 inch screen which isn’t massive, but it’s a lot bigger than the 11 inch screen on the Lenovo IdeaPad and it’s really quite a comfortable size to work with.
The overall build quality is very nice and feels very sturdy to hold, and the 360° hinge works very well with minimal wobble. The trackpad is very nice for a Chromebook in this price range, and the backlit keyboard might just be the best Chromebook keyboard I’ve ever typed on!
So while it’s not the very best Chromebook ever made, it’s still a great device that would be perfect for music production, and it’s almost definitely the best Chromebook in this price range, and in fact, I’d say it’s better than a lot of the more expensive Chromebooks out there!
Want To Buy The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5?
Check The Current Price:
But the fact is Lenovo just has a lot of really good options in the low to medium price range that most other Chromebook manufacturers can’t seem to match.
I promise there’ll be some Chromebooks from other brands as we start to get into the more premium, more expensive options.
The reason I’ve added the Lenovo Chromebook C340 to the list is because while it is a good Chromebook for a reasonable price, the main thing that makes this one stand out against the crowd is that it has a huge 15.6 inch screen.
This is quite rare to find in a Chromebook, even the large ones are usually no bigger than 14 Inches, but having a 15.6 inch screen can be really nice for music production as it just gives you that bit of extra space to work with.
Aside from the screen, it has an 8th Gen Intel Core i3 processor which is similar to the one in the Flex 5 above, but it is a few years older so the performance won’t be quite as good, but it will still be perfectly capable of handling music production with no real issues.
It only has 4GB of RAM which isn’t massive and there’s no option to upgrade it, but 4GB is still perfectly fine for Chrome OS so that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
The only major stand-out thing about this Chromebook is the nice large screen, but it can be quite nice to have a large screen, so I guess that’s the only stand-out feature it needs.
So if you’re looking for a reasonably priced and decently specced Chromebook with a nice large screen, this will be the one for you.
Want To Buy The Lenovo Chromebook C340?
Check The Current Price:
It’s not the most expensive Chromebook out there, but it’s certainly in the mid to high end of the price range, and it has the specs and build quality to back it up.
The processor is an 11th Gen Intel Core i3, which sounds fairly similar to the previous two Chromebooks on this list. But as it’s Intel’s latest 11th Gen processor, it is newer than the others so it does actually have somewhat better performance.
And it also has 8GB of RAM which is great for Chromebooks and gives you plenty of room to have all kinds of things open.
Another advantage of having a more modern and premium Chromebook is that this one has a Thunderbolt 4 port (essentially a USB-C port but better). This can be quite nice to have especially seeing as in an article I wrote recently about the best USB-C hubs for music production, most of the hubs on that list used a Thunderbolt connection.
It has a nice sized screen at 14 inches (diagonally). So it’s not the biggest screen on this list, but it still gives you plenty of room to work with and I feel like 14 inches is a very good screen size for a laptop.
And in addition to the screen being a touch screen, this Chromebook actually comes with a stylus that can be stored inside the Chromebook while you’re not using it. I know a stylus isn’t going to be all that helpful for music production, but if you want to use it for anything else you might be doing on your Chromebook, it’ll be there.
So overall, if you want a really nice premium feeling Chromebook with great build quality and some more modern specs and features, and you don’t mind paying a bit more for it, the ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 won’t disappoint.
Want To Buy The ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5?
It’s not exactly the cheapest out there, but it’s not the most expensive and is probably priced quite reasonably given the specs and build quality.
As it was released a few years ago now, it does have 8th Gen Intel processors rather than the more modern 10th or 11th gen processors that most of the others on this list have.
But you do get to choose between a core M3, i5, or i7 processor, so while I probably wouldn’t recommend the M3 version for music production, the 8th gen i5 and i7 processors are still great processors and will have no difficulties with music production.
You can also choose between 8GB and 16GB of RAM which is great! 8GB is easily enough for music production on a Chromebook, and 16GB is incredibly huge!
All the different variations have backlit keys which is nice if you often work in a dark environment, and the keyboard is one of the best in any Chromebook.
The internal speakers in the Pixelbook Go are some of the best speakers in any Chromebook. It’s not a huge deal as you’ll probably be using high quality external speakers or headphones anyway, but it’s nice to have some decent sounding speakers if you ever need them in a pinch.
So overall, it’s a really nice laptop with great performance and build quality, and if you want the very best computer made by the people who created Chrome OS, this will be the way to go.
Want To Buy The Google Pixelbook Go?
Check The Current Price:
But, if you don’t mind paying a higher price for the ultimate Chromebook experience, it could be the one for you.
The specs are absolutely incredible for a Chromebook, with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor running Chrome OS you can pretty much do anything you want and the experience will still be super fast and smooth the entire time!
And with a huge 16GB of RAM, you could really have as many apps and tabs as you could ever possibly want all open at once without ever running out of space.
Aside from the incredible internals, it also has a super premium look and great build quality that makes it feel very sturdy, and the keyboard and trackpad are excellent and some of the best in any Chromebook I’ve ever used.
And in addition to that, the 360° is super sturdy. 360° hinges are quite hard to get right in laptops, so a lot of the time the screen ends up wobbling and flopping about quite a bit.
But with the HP Elite C1030, the hinges are great, and they seem to have managed to strike the perfect balance between the screen wobbling around, and the laptop being difficult to open. Making opening this Chromebook and moving the screen a wonderful experience.
Speaking of the screen, the actual screen itself is great! My only complaint is that it isn’t the biggest at 13.5 inches, but it still gives you plenty of space to work with.
And the actual picture quality of the screen is great which I guess you would expect at this price point. But the brightness of the screen is also great, getting easily bright enough to easily see it in bright environments.
And for those moments when you’re sitting near a window or directly under a light, the screen also has special anti-glare technology so that you can still easily see everything without any annoying glare getting in your way.
So I’m sure you can tell by now that this really is a super premium Chromebook. So if you don’t mind paying a fairly steep price for the best of the best, the HP Elite C1030 is probably going to be the way to go.
Want To Buy The HP Elite C1030?
So there you have it, plenty of great Chromebooks at all different price ranges to suit every different budget.
Once you buy a Chromebook for music production, make sure you check out our article about music production on a Chromebook to learn everything you need to know about producing music on a Chromebook.