When it comes to choosing a laptop for music production, there are a number of important factors to consider, even if you’re just a hobbyist. At the very least, it will need to be powerful enough to handle your DAW or DJ software.
As a general rule of thumb, most music production software require at least an Intel Core i5 or AMD equivalent, 16GB of RAM, Solid State Storage, plus USB or FireWire ports to connect accessories. If you’re a DJ, musician or music producer, these specifications are recommend at the very minimum.
For professionals, laptops are a popular choice for music production as it gives the flexibility to be mobile for live events, being on tour and recording live streams. However, depending on if you’re a musician, DJ or music producer you’ll want to find the most appropriate laptop for you.
Not all laptops are created equal. It’s important to budget properly for a laptop that is reliable. It would suck to have a laptop crash during an event, a live show or while writing music.
Below you will find the best laptops for music production, including for musicians, DJs and music producers.
MacBook Pro (16 inch, 2019)
The MacBook Pro (16 inch, 2019) is a suitable all-round laptop for music production from Apple.
A popular choice for many industries, musicians are also commonly known for being equipped with Apple products such as the Macbook. The latest edition of the Macbook Pro, released in 2019, features an older 9th-Gen 8-Core Intel i9, 16-inch Retina display, touch bar and more.
If 16-inch sounds a little big for you, consider the Macbook Air or wait for the Macbook Pro 14-inch 2020 version, which Apple will reportedly release later this year.
Apple Macbook Air (2020)
The Apple Macbook Air (2020) is the newer, smaller brother of the Macbook Pro (16-inch, 2019).
Apple has refreshed the popular Macbook Air for 2020, and this time they have included a beautiful 13.3-inch Retina display, Intel Iris Plus Graphics, Intel’s 10th-generation Intel Core i3 or i5 processors and fast SSD storage.
This isn’t the fastest laptop in the world, but it provides a portable solution if you are a fan of Apple products. For DJs this provides an easy solution to play at clubs and festivals.
Dell XPS 13 (2020) Laptop
The Dell XPS 13 (2020) is widely considered to be the best all-round laptop available today.
With it’s latest refresh, the Dell XPS 13 (2020) comes equipped with the latest 10th-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, Infinity Edge Display (which provides a 91.5% screen-to-body ratio), great battery life and beautiful design.
If you’re looking for a powerhouse Windows laptop that can also be used on the road, or for music production, the Dell XPS 13 (2020) is a fantastic choice.
Dell XPS 15 9500 (2020) Laptop
The laptop can be topped out with an Intel i9 10885H chip, 64GB of RAM and 2TB PCIe SSD. 4k display (3840 x 2400) Infinity Edge design in 16:10 aspect ratio is gorgeous too.
HP Spectre x360 (2020) Laptop
The HP Spectre X360 is a beautiful 2-in-1 solution that provides extended flexibility.
The latest edition which has been refreshed for 2020, includes a 10th-generation Intel Core processor with Intel Iris Plus graphics, 4K OLED Screen and you also get some awesome extras like Bang & Olufsen speakers built-in.
This is a great choice for music production including DJs, artists, producers and more.
Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 (2020) Laptop
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is a fast portable gaming laptop that doubles as a workstation.
Weighing in at just 2.2kg, this streamlined gaming laptop is under 19mm yet equipped with the power to slice through popular games and everyday work. It’s a supremely versatile and affordable, subtle and elegant, hybrid device designed for content creators and gamers alike.
This laptop is more suitable for music producers as opposed to artists who need to travel. Also take a look at the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14, which is smaller, similar model.
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is a thin and light laptop that features a premium aluminium body that is akin to Apple counterparts. It comes in both AMD and Intel processor options, 13-inch or 15-inch touch screen and is currently on sale for a low price. It’s also available in Sandstone, Matte Black, Cobalt Blue, and Platinum.
Razer Blade 15 (2020) Laptop
The Razer Blade 15 is a gaming laptop that is also built for creative work.
The Razor Blade 15 features a 0.7″ thin CNC aluminum unibody with high-performance, vapor chamber cooling, killer graphics (maxing out at the RTX 2080 Super), Thunderbolt 3 capable, supports dual-channel memory, SSD upgradability and more.
While you might have not heard of this brand, Eluktronics MAG-15 is actually a collaboration with Intel and features top notch premium materials.
It’s comprised of magnesium alloy and the 15.6″ screen has a 144hz IPS panel which looks fantastic during music production. It’s also got a Thunderbolt 3 port, which is great for plugging in external devices with NO latency!
Lenovo Flex 5 14″
If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 device, the Lenovo Flex 5 14″ is a great fit featuring a 6-core Ryzen 5 processor, 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and 1080 14″ IPS display that looks beautiful.
It should be sufficient for music production and DJ use. Plus, it doesn’t suffer from any DPC latency issues from our experience. For this price it’s a decent choice!
No matter your choice, be sure to do your own research. Everyone has particular requirements and personal preferences. Check the minimum requirements for your DAW Software as a starting point. There are also frequently sales available with online retailers including Amazon, Newegg and more.
In some instances, especially while people are primarily at home due to COVID-19, building a music production desktop PC might be more suitable and affordable.
What is the best laptop available now?
The best laptop right now is the Dell XPS 13, which has just been refreshed for 2020. The Dell XPS 13 has exceptional specifications, beautiful screen, a battery life that lasts over 12 hours and more.
What is the best laptop for a DJ?
The best laptop for a DJ would either be the Macbook Air (2020) if you like Mac based laptops, or the Dell XPS 13 (2020) if you like Windows based laptops.
Are gaming laptops good for music production?
In most instances, yes. Since they usually come equipped with a fast performing CPU, SSD storage, high-resolution display and a graphics card, they will also be suitable for music production.
What is the best laptop for Traktor Pro?
Since the requirements for Traktor Pro are an Intel Core i5 with 4GB RAM, the Dell XPS 13 (2020) or Macbook Air (2020) is highly recommended. However, all of the laptops above should be sufficient.