If you’re after a new laptop for music production, you may be struggling to decide which one to get.
There are so many different options out there these days, and to make matters more complicated, there are some specific qualities you’ll need to look for in a laptop to make sure it will be able to handle the demands of music production.
But don’t worry, in this article I’m going to walk you through some of the best laptops for music production in 2021.
Best Laptops For Music Production
|Image||Name||CPU (Processor)||RAM||Storage||Buy On Amazon|
M1 Apple MacBook Pro
8-core Apple-designed M1 chip
256 GB or 514 GB
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
10th Gen Intel Core i7
8GB or 16GB
128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB
Microsoft Surface Book 3
10th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7
8GB, 16GB or 32GB
256 GB, 512 GB, 1TB, or 2TB
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 3
10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H
Dell XPS 15 9500
10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H
Table of Contents
But Macbooks this year have become rather interesting. This is the first time Apple has tried putting their own processor in a MacBook.
Every other model of Macbook before this has always used Intel processors which are very powerful, but Apple thought they could do better. And now, thanks to this new M1 processor, this new line of MacBook Pros is quite similar to the previous generation, except it’s more powerful and has significantly better battery life.
This is all great and the newest MacBook Pro could be a great option for those who prefer to use Macs, but there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Compatibility – The biggest issue is compatibility, all the apps that you might want to install on your MacBook were all designed to run on Intel chips, and as Intel chips are quite different from Apple’s new M1 chip, you might find that there are some apps that won’t run very well on it.
Of course, any App offered by Apple, along with some other really popular apps have already been re-built to run amazingly well and take full advantage of this M1 chip.
But a lot of apps (including most music production apps) are still only designed to run on Intel chips so the M1 processor will have to work really hard essentially pretending to be an intel processor and in the end, the performance will usually end up being slightly worse than a good Intel chip.
Over the next year or so most apps should catch up and start running well on M1 chips, but all this is certainly something to keep in mind.
Ram – The other thing to keep in mind is that these MacBooks only have 8GB of RAM. And while 8GB of RAM isn’t terrible, it would be nice to have a bit more for music RAM production.
If you prefer MacBooks over Windows laptops, but you’d rather not get an M1 MacBook until they’ve been around for a bit longer, you can still get the latest Intel-powered MacBooks here, but if you’d like to give Apple’s new innovation a try, the M1 Macs are a very nice option for music production.
But it still has very powerful internals and a full version of Windows so it will still effortlessly be able to handle music production.
You can choose between a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor which are both very powerful, but for music production, I would definitely recommend upgrading to the i7 if you can afford it.
It’s a similar case with the RAM, you can choose between 8GB or 16GB of RAM. And while either option would be perfectly fine for regular use, when it comes to music production, I would recommend choosing the 16GB option as it allows you to have a lot more running at once.
You can also choose between 128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB of storage. And if you don’t mind storing most of your tracks on the cloud or on a portable SSD, the lower two options will do just fine, but if you want to store all your tracks on the device, you’ll definitely want to go with the 512 GB option.
The Surface Pro’s ability to detach from the keyboard and become a tablet might not be very helpful for music production, but it could certainly be handy to be able to use it as a tablet when doing other tasks on the go, and then set it down on your desk and use it as a fully-featured laptop for music production.
Unfortunately, the speakers aren’t great, but most laptop speakers aren’t that good anyway so you probably already have a high-quality set of headphones or external speakers.
And due to the design, it can be a little uncomfortable to try and use it as a laptop on your lap, but as long as you are going to either use it on a desk or table or use it as a tablet when on the move, this isn’t really anything to be concerned about.
So overall, this is a really powerful device, and if you want something that’s nice and portable, this is probably going to be the one for you.
It detaches from the keyboard like the Surface Pro does, but due to the fancy hinge design, it can still sit on your lap very comfortably as though it’s a normal laptop.
And it has a better keyboard than the Surface Pro, and optionally more RAM and storage than the surface pro.
It has the same choice of processors (10th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7), but as for the RAM, you can choose 8GB, 16GB, or a massive 32GB. The 16GB option will be perfect for most people, but if you like to have a lot of stuff open at once, the 32GB option is certainly nice to have.
As for the storage, there is still a 256GB option which will be perfectly fine if you’re happy to store most of your tracks elsewhere, but it also has the option to choose 512GB, 1TB, or even 2TB of storage. If you never want to run out of space, 2TB will be the way to go.
The only real downside of getting the Surface Book instead of the Surface Pro is that it is a fair bit more expensive.
But if you don’t mind the cost and you want a convertible laptop to produce music on that doesn’t have the drawbacks of the Surface Pro, this is probably the one for you.
The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen 3 is a more traditional sort of laptop, it doesn’t detach from the keyboard or anything like that, but it’s extremely powerful, available at a fairly reasonable price, and has an excellent keyboard.
Unlike the other options I’ve mentioned today, the Thinkpad only has one variation available on Amazon, but that one option gives you a very powerful Intel 10th Gen 6 core i7-10750H which will effortlessly power through the demands of music production.
A massive 32GB of RAM which is really enough RAM to have as many different things open simultaneously as you want. And a nice big 1TB of storage which should easily be enough space to store all your work.
Something that really sets this laptop apart from a lot of others is its nice selection of ports. While most modern laptops just have a few USB-C ports and Mabey a USB A port if you’re lucky, this has two USB A ports (regular USB ports), two USB-C ports, an HDMI port, a full-size SD card reader, and a headphone/microphone jack.
It also has a really nice keyboard which is not super important for music production, but it’s still nice to have whenever you need to type something, and it has a fingerprint reader which is in my opinion the easiest way to unlock a laptop.
The fans can get slightly loud when it’s working really hard, but as long as you don’t overwork it or have your microphone pointing directly at it, it’s really nothing much to worry about.
Overall, it’s a really nice laptop with plenty of power and a few nice features. So if you’re looking for a regular laptop with enough power to easily handle the demands of music production, this is probably the one for you.
You get a nice powerful Intel 6 core i7-10750H, which will effortlessly power through the demands of music production.
A nice big 16GB of RAM which will give you plenty of room to have heaps of things open. And 1TB of storage which should give you plenty of space to store all your tracks and other files.
It has a really big trackpad similar size to the MacBook which is really nice if you use your trackpad for music production.
And some great sounding speakers that fire up from either side of the keyboard so that you can hear them much more clearly than if they were under the laptop.
Obviously, the speakers in a laptop aren’t too important because you’ll probably still want to use a high-quality pair of headphones or external speakers. But if you ever need to quickly listen to a track without your normal audio setup, these speakers will sound decently good.
Like the Lenovo Thinkpad, The Dell XPS also has the added bonus of a nice keyboard and a fingerprint reader which is always good to have on a laptop.
So if you don’t mind the higher price tag, and you’re looking for a truly premium Windows laptop experience, this is probably going to be the one for you.
And there you have it, my top 5 pics for the best laptop for music production in 2021. With all the different options to suit different people’s preferences, hopefully, you’ve found the one for you.
Or if these laptops are a bit out of your price range, I also have a list of the best laptops for music production under $500.