Best Music Laptops Ultimate Guide

Discover the Best Laptop for music production

If you find yourself wondering what kind of laptop you need to record music, this guide may help you make that big decision. Now before we get to the specs, there are two different kinds of people who use computers. A mac guy and a PC guy. I honestly have used both, and I can assure you, they both can handle the task. But let’s be honest, if you’re a mac guy, your mind is made up and you’re not even reading this! Joking aside, I understand that you may be in the middle of what to do, Mac vs. PC? Like I said, I have used both PC and Mac for music production. I like them both!

The interactive chart of laptops below will help you decide what the best music laptop is for you.

Whether you’re a DJ who needs a laptop for recording and live producing or a rock n roll band laying down tracks for your next album, we’re here to help you make your next decision for a new music recording laptop.  We hope you find the best laptop for music production with the guide we put together.

Why a laptop for recording music?

A good music laptop is the essential tool that can give you a great recording sound, and portability to capture it. That’s what we like about recording onto a laptop. Back in the old days, machines were so huge, it limited you to where you can track. But today, we can be tracking in one location and the next be mixing somewhere else.

It’s true, a room sound can change the dynamics of an instrument. But, with the help of a laptop, you can try out several rooms and see how they sound. Or, you can record your next live gig.

Unlimited multi-tracks: This means, you can record as much as you want to separate tracks. For example, track one would be the kick drum, track 2 would be the snare, track three could be your Wired Guitar, and so on. Did you know, the Beatles had only 4-tracks! How the heck? Back then, you would have to “bounce down” each track to another combining instruments to free up more tracks. I bet that took FOREVER!

I personally have used a 4-track, recorded in professional studios, and have my own studio. Now, I have my laptop and the studio is right there. Not only that, it can produce the expensive studio quality recordings on a laptop.

What makes a good laptop for recording music?

Like anything related to a computer, you want to ask yourself a few questions before buying it.

  1. How much does it cost? (duh, you have to make sure it’s in your budget first!)
  2. How big is the hard drive? (A hard drive is how much storage you can fit on your computer) A good number would be at least 125GB, more if you can afford it!
  3. How much RAM? ( Random Access Memory) This is very important, it allows data to be stored and accessed quickly, at least 4GB
  4. What kind of processor? (It’s the computers brain, it can handle multiple things at the same time, and that is very important for recording music. Things like multiple tracks be played back and recorded at the same time, while using plugins can really slow down a machine. And it also depends on how heavy will you be tracking? If it’s just you, a normal laptop can handle your basic home recording. But if you’re really going to make an epic production, a high end processor is what you need.)
  5. How many inputs? (USB, extra monitor, HDMI, etc.)
  6. Is there a DVD Drive?
  7. How big is the Monitor? (That’s up to you, I use a 17″, and also an extra monitor for when I use a lot of tracks.)
  8. Where Can I buy the Best Music Laptop?

These things are what to keep in mind when looking for that laptop. The higher the quality or the more memory is when things will start to get more expensive. However, you can get a good quality laptop for music for under $1000 and even under $600. But, you get what you pay for, and before you learn that the hard way. Find out what fits for you.

What fits your needs?

We have gone over a few of the important specs and now you probably have an idea of what will fit your style. So below, I have already done the research for you and put it all one spot! You’ll find the specs on the best music laptop’s on the market. And below there, I will review the top 5. Rather than taking somebody’s advice on Youtube, take a look at the options and criteria to help you make your decision.  No matter if you prefer the drums, or bass or a wired guitar (be sure to check out TheGuitarJunky.com) it is easy to find the best music laptop that is perfectly suited to your needs.

Below you find the a complete guide with everything you need to know to help you find the best music laptop.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best options available for a music laptop in 2019:

If you’re not into reading extensive, in depth reviews and just want a quick answer for which laptop we think you should buy for your music production needs, here are our ultimate top 3 picks for the best music laptops for 2019:

Let’s do them alphabetically, no special treatment here:

The Apple MacBook Pro 15 is a nice light laptop with a long battery life and great speed and is our top choice if you’re an Apple fan.

The ASUS ROG GL7036M-DS74 has a fast processor, is compact and good value for money.

The Lenovo ThinkPad P52 is a powerful machine, at a premium price, and is our top choice if you’re a Windows user.

Not quite making it into the top 3 list is the Acer Aspire E15 which is definitely worth a look if you’re on a tight budget. It narrowly missed the cut for top 3 but we’ve given it an honorary 4th place as we’d consider it the best economical option for a music laptop. 

If you’re looking for more in depth reviews and comparisons, read on for our

Best Music Laptop Reviews 2019

Image Name CPU (Processor) RAM Hard Drive Read Our Review

Apple MacBook Pro 15

Apple MacBook Pro 15
Six-core i7 2.66 GHz
16GB
512GB SSD

Lenovo ThinkPad P52

Lenovo ThinkPad P52
8th Gen Intel Six-Core i7-8750H
16GB
512GB SSD

ASUS ROG GL703GM-DS74

ASUS ROG GL703GM-DS74
8th Gen Intel Four-Core i7-8750H
16GB
256GB SSD

Acer Aspire E 15

Acer Aspire E 15
8th Gen Intel Four-Core i5-8250U
8GB
256GB SSD

Razer Blade 15

Razer Blade 15
8th Gen Intel Six-Core i7-8750H
16GB
512GB SSD

Apple MacBook Pro 13

Apple MacBook Pro 13
2.3GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
8GB
512GB SSD

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Microsoft Surface Pro 6
Intel Six-Core i5-8400T
8GB
256GB SSD

Lenovo Yoga 720

Lenovo Yoga 720
Intel Quad Core i7
16GB
512GB SSD

So, which laptop should you buy?

Here’s our summaries on the good and bad for each laptop. Again, it all comes down to what you need – how much storage/memory size/processing power you need/want and, importantly, your budget – how much are you willing and able to spend? We’ve covered the spectrum for budgets here from the economical Acer Aspire E15 to the more premium priced Lenovo ThinkPad and Apple MacBooks, there’s a suitable music laptop for everyone.

Apple MacBook Pro 15 ReviewMost people would agree that Mac computers are highly coveted and used widely by the creative and musical communities so it’s no surprise that in our search for the best music laptops, the MacBook Pro would have to play a starring role.

One of the fastest models featured here, the MacBook Pro has Intel Core i7 Six-core, which is 2.6 GHz fast, with the ability to be boosted, so it can be super fast! All this is powering a 265 GB or 512 GB solid state drive, with 16 GB of RAM memory which means almost instantaneous loading. As far as ports go, this machine does not have any USB ports (gasp!) but instead comes with four super-fast Thunderbolt 3 ports. This means you’ll need to buy an adapter or USB hub to plug in your MIDI controllers and external displays into the Thunderbolt port. No big deal and certainly not a deal breaker but something to factor in when considering purchasing, and perhaps one of our only complaints about the MacBook.

Equipped with the new Touch Bar which replaces the typical function keys, the Touch Bar changes automatically based on what you’re doing, and only shows you the relevant tools needed. It’s intuitive and fun! And with Touch ID, you can log into your Mac and make secure purchases online easily with one touch. The Retina display has a super fine resolution, and, although it’s not a touchscreen, it’s super bright and colorful. The battery is also fairly long lasting and should give you up to 10 hours of editing and music production.

Want to Buy The Apple Macbook Pro 15?

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Lenovo ThinkPad P52 ReviewThe Lenovo ThinkPad P52 is the latest and greatest ThinkPad. The upgraded specs of this model, such as an updated keyboard and relocated ports, as well as its fast processor, good sized SSD hard drive and decent amount of RAM, make this ThinkPad ideal for music production.

This powerful model now comes with a six-core Xeon 2176M, giving you plenty of power for any music production uses you may have in mind for it.
The machine alone comes with 16GB DDR4 of RAM, but, with four memory slots available, you could increase that up to 64GB of ECC memory. And, when the 32GB non-ECC memory modules become available, you could increase that even further to 128GB of memory!

The 512GB SSD hard drive gives you plenty of space to install apps and load them  quickly. Adding a bigger secondary hard drive would be a good idea for all the recorded audio and project files you will no doubt be creating, but 512GB gets you off to a great start.

The Lenovo ThinkPad P52 is highly specced for graphics-intensive tasks, above and beyond the needs for music production and audio recording so, if you’re also looking for a laptop to use for graphics editing type jobs, this could be the one for you! Film scorers and multimedia producers could definitely make use of the graphics capabilities of this laptop.

Feedback from users is all pretty positive – it’s fast, powerful and reliable. The only negatives we’ve come across are that it can get hot, but, once the cooling system kicks in, the temperature will go back down. The other disappointing review was regarding the BIOS support for Thunderbolt, with some users reporting the machine doesn’t work when this is activated – hopefully something Lenovo will be able to update and fix.

Ultimately though, if you’re looking for a laptop with speed and power and, perhaps especially if you plan on doing some graphic work as well, this could be the one that you want.

Want to Buy The Lenovo ThinkPad P52?

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ASUS ROG GL703GM-DS74 ReviewMany people may not have considered this ASUS model as a music laptop. It has gained its fame as a gaming laptop, but the features it offers for gaming and powerful performance actually make it a suitable option for music producers too.

If you think about gaming, even if you’ve never played a video game, you can imagine that a machine built with gaming in mind, should be powerful enough to handle the demands of music production. The ASUS ROG GL703GM-DS74 is a terrific example of this, and has a nice price point making it great value for those on a tighter budget. 

Gaming requires fast processing so this machine is powered by an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor (six-core, 12-thread) capable of processing speeds of up to 3.9GHz, making it 23% faster than previous generation quad-core processors. So you know it’s super fast. What does this mean for music production? Capable of handling bigger projects, more efficient processing and handling of soft synths and mixes and an overall smoother performance for mixing and producing. Pretty cool!

With plenty of storage, the ASUS ROG GL703GM-DS74 comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, but you have the option to upgrade to a maximum of 32GB. You also get a 256GB SSD included, as well as a 1TB FireCuda Hybrid Drive, which is reportedly five times faster than standard HDD. Put this all together and the result is fast operating and apps loading, with heaps of storage space for all your projects and music.

The only real downside we came across for this powerful little laptop is its relatively short battery life. This could be solved, or at least made less problematic, by using it at home or in your music studio where it can be plugged in, more than out and about or on the go.

Ultimately though, this powerful and economical laptop would be able to manage just about any music production task you can throw at it (although we don’t advise throwing anything at it literally!).

Want to Buy The ASUS ROG GL703GM-DS74?

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Acer Aspire E 15 ReviewIf it’s economy you’re after, the Acer Aspire E 15 is definitely worth a look.  As far as laptops for music production go, this is the best cheap option available.

This is a nifty little machine that is powerful beyond its great price point. It’s also currently one of the most popular laptops sold on Amazon, which means you know it’s a great price offers plenty of end value to its users.

The Acer Aspire E 15 comes with a solid state drive (yay!) but it’s only 258GB.  It’s a good start but it does mean that you will probably have to expand your storage at some stage with an external hard drive.

Startups and loading is no problem thanks to the 8 GB memory working with the 258GB solid state drive.

Powered by the latest Intel Core i5 dual-core CPU that can turbo boost up to 3.4 GHz, there is also the option to get the i5 quad core – but it will cost you a couple of hundred dollars more.

The Acer Aspire E 15 is one of the few laptops we reviewed to come with, a dual layer DVD burner. It also has 4 USB ports, one of which is the high speed type-C USB 3.1 port. However, if you’re looking for a thunderbolt port, you unfortunately won’t find one here.

The manufacturer reports that you will get up to 15 hours of battery life, which is pretty impressive and would certainly see you through a day at work/school/uni or the studio.

With features you’d expect from a much higher end model, such as the backlit keyboard and 1080p display, we think you’ll find this to be a very impressive laptop for music production.

There’s no doubt that this is a good laptop! Keep in mind that, for music production purposes, you will have to add to the storage capabilities at some stage, but, for the price and to get you started, this is a great option.

Want to Buy The Acer Aspire E 15?

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Razer Blade 15 ReviewAnother one for the gamers amongst us, the Razer Blade 15 is touted by the manufacturer’s as being one of the smallest 15.6” gaming laptops, making it a great option if compact portability is important to you. We know that gaming laptops are designed to be super quick and powerful which also suits music production needs. As this one is probably less cumbersome than some other gaming laptops out there, it ticks the boxes of those looking for a portable laptop to use for music production.

We know that music production apps suck up a lot of the juice and place extreme demands on computer hardware, so it’s important to find a machine that can handle your DAWs and virtual instruments. This impressive device is powered by six cores of i7 processing power ( i7-8750H processor) – making it more than capable of handling even the largest of projects.

The Razer Blade 15 comes with 16 MB of memory as standard, and you can choose your SSD storage of between 256 GB and 512 GB. It also supports drives of up to 1 TB, so you could have plenty of space to store your music projects. The more storage the better as far as music production goes, so we’d recommend buying as much storage as you can afford.

For a great, portable device, the screen size of 15.6” is impressive. The larger screen size doesn’t seem to impact its portability as its lightweight, aluminum body and compact design make it easy and light enough to carry around.

It doesn’t come cheap, but it’s fast, powerful and reliable – not much more you could ask for in a laptop for music production! If you like gaming as well, this could be the one for you!

Want to Buy The Razer Blade 15?

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Apple MacBook Pro 13 ReviewSo, we’ve talked about the Macbook pro 15, in fact it made it into our top 3 list, but, if you think you want a Macbook Pro and the 15 is out of your price range, you could consider the MacBook Pro 13 as a reliable option.

Again, it’s a Macbook so you know you’ll get industry standard performance but you’ll be getting a smaller screen (more compact!) and less memory.

One of the biggest differences in the 13” as opposed to the 15” is the processor.  In this model you’re getting a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and not the i7 quad core that the more powerful machines are equipped with.

So, is the dual core i5 processor enough? Again, it depends on what you need it for, but in most instances – yes, it probably is enough to handle the daily demands of music production.

With a 512GB solid state drive and 8 GB of RAM, this machine can still do a stellar job of loading up your DAW plugins and supporting your artistic, musical projects.

Just like the 15”, this machine does not come equipped with USB ports, but you will find four Thunderbolt 3 ports for plugging in all your paraphernalia.

Lighter and smaller than the 15” model, this could be a real bonus if you plan to carry it around a lot – for example high school music students might find this size easier to work with due to its compactness. The backlit keyboard, Touch Bar and Touch ID features, are all fun and useful additions that this model is also equipped with, as well as 10 hours of battery life which should see you through all day (or night!).

If it’s an industry standard laptop that you’re after that offers plenty of space, power and portability, this could be the computer you are looking for. We’d especially recommend this model for students as it’s cheaper than the 15” and smaller and easier to carry around to classes.

Want to Buy The Apple Macbook Pro 13?

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Microsoft Surface Pro 6 ReviewThis one stands out from the crowd of other options discussed here as it’s a true mix of laptop and tablet.

If you’re not sure whether you’d prefer a tablet or a laptop, or just think you could make use of both styles of device, this could be the machine you’ve been looking for!

Of course these days there are plenty of laptop/tablet combos out there but, the Surface Pro 6 comes equipped with a lot more power than most on the market which gives it the edge in regards to suitability for music production needs. The Surface Pro 6 offers a choice of an i5 or an i7 8th Generation Intel Core processor – giving you options for a more economical model or one with an amazing amount of power.

It’s nice and light (under 2 pounds), making it a great option if you’ll be carrying it around a lot. It also has a fantastic battery life of 13.5 hours so there’ll be no need to be constantly looking for somewhere to charge it.

We feel as though for music production, you’ll most likely use the Surface Pro as a laptop, if for no other reason than habit (if you’ve used laptops before) and to hold the screen at a good position. That being said, you could use it in tablet-mode when mixing and editing and for general file management duties – it probably depends on what you’re used to using and how/where you like to work.

There are add-ons you can get such as the Surface Pen and the Surface Arc Mouse – if you’re not used to a trackpad the mouse could be a handy addition.

While it’s a fun computer (laptop/tablet) to use, as far as music production goes, connectivity options are a concern. While it comes equipped with a USB A 3.0 port, a surface connect port, a mini-display port, and a headphone jack, it’s noticeably missing a USB C Thunderbolt 3 port  which could significantly limit its use in the future.

Ultimately while the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 offers plenty of power and is no doubt fun to use with its touchscreen and ability to flip into a tablet, it’s unlikely to be the ideal laptop for music production. If it’s what you’ve got on offer, we’re sure you’ll find plenty of uses for it, but, if you’re serious about music production, this wouldn’t be on top of our list to go out and buy.

Want to Buy The Microsoft Surface Pro 6?

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Lenovo Yoga 720 ReviewLenovo calls their Yoga series the world’s first convertible laptop. Of course, nowadays, convertible laptops are reasonably common, but Lenovo are known for producing reliable Windows laptops and this particular Lenovo model is definitely worth a look if you’re considering buying a convertible laptop for your music production needs.

Out of the box you’ve got a 512 GB solid state hard drive paired with 16 GB RAM memory – that’s going to load your plugins and software without a problem! And, with this memory size, you’ll have plenty of space for storing all your music projects.

The Lenovo Yoga 720 15 is powered by a quad core i7 Intel Core processor, so you know it’s a powerful machine.

It comes with Windows 10 Home edition, which should be capable of handling all your music making and mixing needs.

It has a Thunderbolt port (yay!), a super high speed USB-C 3.1 port, and 2 high speed USB 3.0 ports for all your devices, so it’s fair to say its connectability is good.

Reportedly, it has a slightly lower battery life than most of our other recommended models, but 8 hours should still see you through the bulk of the day and presents no problem at all if you’ll be using it predominantly at home or in the studio. If there are any other negatives to this nice little machine it would be that the fan can sometimes run a bit too loudly, which could make things difficult when recording music.

On the plus side, it has a nice security feature of a fingerprint reader and a generous sized (15.6”) touchscreen.

It’s fast, it’s efficient and it’s more than capable of recording and editing music – the Lenovo Yoga 720 15 is definitely worth considering as a music laptop, especially if you think you will use and enjoy using it as both a laptop and a tablet.

Want to Buy The Lenovo Yoga 720 15?

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