Best Laptop for Music Production Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
If you are searching for the best laptop for music production, you are probably struggling browsing through all of the available models. To help, we took a close look at what the market has to offer and we concluded that the Acer Aspire 5 Slim 15.6″ is the choice that you should consider getting. This laptop features an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor and it delivers high-quality graphics. Furthermore, the option has a long battery life and, given that it was made using Acer TrueHarmony, it can bring you a deeper base and significantly more volume because of the innovative speaker design that it includes. The keyboard is backlit and it comes fitted with numerous ports for extensive connectivity. If this choice is unavailable, feel free to consider the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6″ as you might also find it suitable for your needs given its outstanding features.
Our Top Choice
This laptop was designed for performance. It has a 15.6” Full HD IPS display that enables you to enjoy true-to-life colors and it includes the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Mobile Processor and Radeon Vega 3 Graphics for extensive battery life.
Given that this model runs on Windows 10 in S mode, you can only use apps made by Windows.
Because it features the Acer TrueHarmony, this laptop allows you to enjoy a deeper bass and it enables you to play music at high volume. It has a backlit keyboard and it comes with a wide array of ports, including USB 3.1 & USB 2.0, as well as HDMI.
If you want an alternative that has a rugged construction, this is it. The model is spill and drop resistant and it has a durable design. It comes with 4 GB DDR3 RAM and 16GB of flash storage. It has an 11.6 inches HD display that is anti-glare.
The keyboard is not very practical as the keys can prove difficult to use in low light.
This option is powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 Processor that makes it suitable to deliver fast and snappy performance. In total, it weighs 2.65 pounds and, thus, it is the perfect laptop to carry around when you are on the road. It comes with virus-protection.
Also To Consider
This choice comes packed with all the features you might need to be productive. It has an AMD Dual-Core a4-9120 processor, and a 14. 0-Inch diagonal Full HD antiglare display. It comes with 4 GB DDR4-1866 SDRAM that is not upgradable.
When used for hours on end, this laptop gets heated. So, you need to use it with a fan.
The model has a battery life of up to 8 hours thirty and it features a 32 GB eMMC hard drive. It operates on Chrome OS and you can easily share the music that you are working on with other friends or work colleagues. The unit is backed by a warranty.
10 Best Laptops for Music Production (Updated Reviews) in 2020
Getting the best laptops for music production and recording can be tricky, especially given all the options that are currently available. If you are short on time, and you want to make a purchase, here is a list of choices that have received positive reviews from both previous users and the specialists.
- 1. Acer Aspire 5 Slim 15.6″
- 2. ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6″
- 3. HP Chromebook 14″ 14-db0050nr, Snow White
- 4. Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible
- 5. Samsung Chromebook 3, 11.6″ XE500C13-K06US
- 6. Lenovo Chromebook S330 81JW0000US
- 7. Jumper EZbook X3 Windows 10
- 8. HP Flyer Red 15.6 Inch Touchscreen Laptop
- 9. ASUS 15.6″ High Performance Laptop X555QA
- 10. Apple MacBook Pro MF839LL/A
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Acer Aspire 5 Slim 15.6″
This laptop comes provided with a 1920×1080-pixel Full HD resolution as well as with wide viewing angles for increased convenience. The option also stands out because of the backlight keyboard that makes it very simple to use in low light environments.
Because of its size, 14.31 by 9.74 by 0.71 inches, and weight, 3.97 lbs., this laptop is perfect for those who are always on the go and who need a product that is portable. When it comes to its performance, it should be added that the Acer Aspire 5 comes with a dual-core AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor that can provide you with plenty of power. It has 4 GB DDR4 of RAM and 128 GB of flash memory.
You can utilize this model for music production as it includes Acer TrueHarmony speakers that deliver realistic sound reproduction. Also, this choice runs on Windows 10 in S mode.
Battery-wise, this laptop features a 3320 mAh unit Lithium-Ion Battery that delivers up to 7.5 hours of battery life.
The Aspire 5 is quite generous with system memory and with the data storage capacities that it offers. It has 4 GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD.
It has TrueHarmony speakers that deliver a deeper bass as well as more volume than other laptops made and distributed by Acer.
The unit features numerous ports, including USB 3.1 & USB 2.0., as well as HDMI ports. This is an aspect that adds to its practicality and overall appeal.
Because the Acer Aspire 5 is pre-loaded with Windows 10 in S mode, you can only use the apps developed by Windows via its online store.
The Ryzen 3 3200U graphics processor that this laptop features makes it unsuitable to be utilized for gaming. Still, you can run light PC games on it if you want to.Buy from Amazon.com for ($349.99)
2. ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6″
This alternative has a durable, modular constriction that makes it rather easy to replace its parts in case the laptop gets damaged. Size-wise, this choice measures 11.6 by 0.9 by 7.9 inches and it has a total weight of 2.2 pounds, thus, it is very portable.
The 11.6-inch display has a resolution of 1,366 by 768p, as well as a practical anti-glare coating that makes it perfect to use in brightly light working environments. This laptop has a hinge that is quite giving, as it can open to a full 180 degrees. This way, the model is suitable for easy-viewing when collaborating on a project with other work colleagues.
Moreover, the laptop is powered by the Intel Celeron N3060 Processor that guarantees a good performance. It includes 4 GB DDR3 RAM and it comes with an SSD of 16 GB. The laptop runs on Chrome OS and it comes with virus-protection.
Because this laptop allows you easy access to Google apps, you can edit and download your work in Google docs, slides or sheets for easy access.
The model is small in size and it features an 11.6 inches HD 1366 by 768 anti-glare display that has a 180-degree hinge for added convenience.
It runs on Chrome OS, the operating system developed by Google. Besides, it is powered by the Intel Celeron N3060 Processor.
This unit has 4 GB DDR3 RAM and it comes with a 16GB SSD. If you buy this model, you also get one year of 100GB of Cloud Storage.
The display lacks any touch-screen capabilities. This is not necessarily a drawback for all buyers. It all depends on your needs and preferences.
You should also know that this laptop does not include a CD or a DVD drive. This can prove problematic if you need such compatibility.Buy from Amazon.com for ($199.99)
3. HP Chromebook 14″ 14-db0050nr, Snow White
This model can provide you with the power that you need to work and be productive. The laptop features high-quality dual speakers and audio that allow for immersive entertainment. Additionally, because the screen has a 180 degrees hinge, you can easily work alongside your colleagues.
What is more, this model features an AMD dual-core a4-9120 processor that has 2. 2GHz up to 2. 5GHz. It has 4 GB DDR4 -1866 SDRAM that is not upgradeable and it allows for Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. For one year, all buyers are given access to no less than 100GB of space on Google drive.
The choice features a 32 GB eMMC hard drive and it has a battery life of no less than 8 hours and a half. The display measures 14 inches and it delivers a max screen resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. This laptop has a built-in high-quality camera and it comes with a digital media card reader.
The laptop delivers a solid Chrome OS performance and it has a sturdy construction that makes it suitable when you are on the go.
Because it includes high-quality speakers, you can enjoy an immersive experience when listening to the music that you are working on.
When compared to other similar choices, this laptop stands out because of the 1080p display that it comes fitted with.
The Chromebook 14 comes with 4 GB DDR4-1866 SDRAM that is sufficient for day-to-day tasks. Still, it might not perform as well when running demanding apps.
If you use this laptop for hours on end, there is a big chance that it will start to heat up. This is the main reason why you should invest in a cooler or a fan.
The keys on this model do not require too much pressure in order to be engaged. Still, their performance is a bit mushy.Buy from Amazon.com for ($239)
4. Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible
This convertible model runs on Chrome OS, the operating system developed by Google. It comes with a virus protection software that is programmed to update automatically so that you are protected at all times.
What is more, this laptop is compatible with a wide selection of Google apps that you can utilize to stay productive throughout the day. The model also comes with storage. All your files are backed up automatically on an additional 100 GB of space on Google Drive.
The unit has a 2.48 GHz Intel Celeron N3060 dual-core processor and it comes with 4 GB DDR3L of RAM. This Chromebook features an 11.6-inch screen with a max resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Because the product has a 10-point touch screen, you will have no trouble organizing and editing your files with ease. It is equipped with 802.11ac and 2×2 MIMO so that you can enjoy a quick internet connection.
This versatile laptop can be used in three modes, as a laptop, in display mode, or in tent mode. Hence, you can use it for a wide array of applications.
Its 10-point touch screen makes it easy for you to organize and edit your files without having to use a mouse or the touchpad.
The choice features a 2.48 GHz Intel Celeron N3060 dual-core processor and it has 4 GB of RAM. You can also back up your files on Google Drive.
Additionally, the model comes with an 11.6 HD screen that delivers wide-viewing angles. Because it is portable, it is simple to travel with.
The touchpad can be very flaky. This is not necessarily an issue given that the model has a touch screen.
In rare cases, you might receive a device that does not work. If this happens to you, be sure to get in touch with the seller to get this problem solved.Buy from Amazon.com for ($339)
5. Samsung Chromebook 3, 11.6″ XE500C13-K06US
If you are searching for a laptop with good battery life, this might be it. The Samsung Chromebook 3 can be used for up to 11 hours on a single battery charge. It also comes with built-in security features so that you are protected from Malware.
The model has an 11.6-inch HD screen that is anti-reflexive so that you can use it no matter how well light the environment is. Plus, the keyboard is spill-resistant and, thus, it will not get damaged in case of accidents.
It has a Celeron N3060 Processor and 4GB of RAM, Besides, this laptop includes 64 GB of storage and it features Bluetooth v4.0. You can recline it at 180 degrees for easy sharing. Therefore, this option is ideal to use when you need to share your work with your colleagues. This Chromebook runs on Google OS and, thus, you can access your favorite apps with ease.
On a single battery charge, you can use this choice for up to 11 hours at a time. Also, after 3-years of use, it still retains most of its initial capacity.
The model has a 1.6 GHz 1.2GHz Cortex A8 Processor and it features 4GB of RAM. It also includes an Intel HD Graphics 400 coprocessor.
Because it is only 2.54 pounds and it measures 11.37 by 0.7 by 8.04 inches, it is very simple to travel with. Consequently, it is a rather portable alternative.
The design of the unit is very sturdy. For instance, the model comes with a water-resistant keyboard that might come in handy.
The screen does not deliver great viewing angles. This is not necessarily an issue, depending on your preferences and line of work.
Given that it has an 11.6-inch screen, this model might prove a bit too compact for some. Yet, it is very simple to travel with.Buy from Amazon.com for ($299.99)
6. Lenovo Chromebook S330 81JW0000US
This laptop comes fitted with a MediaTek MTK8173C processor and with 4 GB of RAM. It runs on Chrome OS, and, thus, you can have easy access to extra storage space on Google Drive. Design-wise, this model is sleek and stylish looking. Because it is less than one inch thin and 3.3 lbs. in weight, you will have no difficulties transporting it around if you are on the road often.
Besides, the laptop features a 14-inch, 1920X1080 pixel screen that is perfect for day-to-day use. If you need to use this alternative to connect to other workmates, you should know that this choice includes a USB-C, as well as a micro SD and USB 3. 0.
The device also includes built-in virus protection for additional safety and it has a long battery life of around 10 hours. It has a minimalist design, and it is very simple to use.
This model has a 14-inch screen that has a max resolution of 1920X1080 pixels. It also comes with 4GB of RAM and 64 GB of flash memory.
Because it runs on the operating system made available by Google, this choice also comes supplied with 100 GB of Google Drive space.
The laptop can be used for hours on end as its battery has an overall battery life of around 10 hours.
It was specially designed to be both simple to use and very handy. It is perfect for multitasking and it is very handy to have around.
The display has a rather narrow viewing angle. Still, this is not necessarily a significant drawback that should discourage you from trying it.
This choice does not come supplied with a lot of ports. If this is an aspect that is important to you, you should consider other similar alternatives.Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.31)
7. Jumper EZbook X3 Windows 10
This alternative is powered by an N3350 dual-core processor that can provide you with a smooth operation, especially when multitasking. The model runs on 10 Home OS, and, consequently, it is suitable for those who often store their files on Google Drive.
Besides, this choice comes with a 13.3-inch HD IPS screen that has a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Therefore, it is perfect for browsing the web or when watching the latest music videos online.
Because of its slim design, the unit is 8mm, you can carry it around with you with little difficulty. It comes with 6GB of RAM, for video-editing apps, and 64 GB of ROM. On top of that, this laptop features a 7.6V/4500mAh lithium polymer battery.
Sound-wise, this option delivers stereo-quality sound so that you can fully enjoy the music that you are working on. It has a 3.5mm Jack port.
The Intel HD Graphics 500 coprocessor that this laptop features delivers high-quality performance and great user experience.
It comes with a 13.3 inches HD screen that does not consume as much as other screens. The laptop is perfect for watching videos.
The model has a very slim and stylish design that makes it a great choice for those who are on the go. In total, it weighs 2.7 lbs.
Given all the ports that it features, this device allows for extensive connectivity. This can prove practical in a working environment.
This choice does not have a touch screen. This is an issue for those customers who are more technologically savvy and who appreciate such features.
In rare cases, when mishandled, the touchpad might stop working as expected. This is rarely the case and, thus, it is not a drawback that should deter you from giving it a go.Buy from Amazon.com for ($249)
8. HP Flyer Red 15.6 Inch Touchscreen Laptop
With a 15.6-inch, 1366 x 768 HD display, this model is suitable for day-to-day tasks. It also includes a 10-finger multi-touch support feature that can come in handy when editing. The laptop has an Intel Pentium Gold Processor N4417U, 4 GB of RAM and a 500GB SATA hard drive.
Differently from other models, this choice includes a SuperMulti DVD burner. It also comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, as well as one HDMI port. This option features a built-in HD webcam and a full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad.
In total, the laptop has a battery life of up to 6 hours. It runs on Windows 10 Home and, thus, it is rather simple to operate. Another feature that you should consider is the sleek, classic design of the device and its deep, metallic red color. You can use it while traveling or at the office.
The 15.6 HD LED display and the 10-finger multitouch support that it offers make the laptop handy to use while editing.
It features a powerful, Intel Pentium Gold Processor N4417U and it comes with 4GB of RAM. Additionally, it includes a 500GB SATA hard drive.
The laptop has numerous ports that you can use for added connectivity. Plus, it comes with an HDMI port that makes it practical to use during presentations.
Besides, this option has a built-in HD camera and, on top of that, a SuperMulti DVD burner, a feature that not many laptops include.
It should be noted that this model does not feature a Bluetooth connection. This is not necessarily a drawback given all the ports that it incorporates.
The battery life of this device is not as impressive as that of other alternatives. If this is an aspect that you consider essential, be sure to consider other counterparts.Buy from Amazon.com for ($429)
9. ASUS 15.6″ High Performance Laptop X555QA
If you are a fan of products made and distributed by ASUS, be sure to add this one to your shortlist. The device has a 15.5 inches anti-glare screen that makes the laptop perfect to use in a wide array of environments.
The option is worthy of your time given that it has an AMD processor as well as a Radeon Integrated card. Thus, it does a decent job of handling more intensive tasks. The model is a bit heavier than others, given that it weighs 5 pounds. Still, if you take into account its overall size, 15 by 10.1 by 1 inch, the item is perfect for office work. It runs on Windows 10 pro.
Plus, this model has 8GB of RAM, and it includes a 500 GB SSD. It has a memory speed of 2400 MHz. The choice also comes fitted with stereo speakers that you will definitely appreciate.
This powerful option is provided with plenty of ports. In fact, it features one USB 3.1 type C port, a USB 3 port, as well as two USB 2 ones and an HDMI port.
It has a 15.6 LCD screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768p. The screen offers a great color distribution and, thus, it is perfect for indoor use.
Given that this laptop has a big chassis, the keyboard that it includes is full size and it includes numeric pads as well. The keys are practical as they are well sized.
The AMD processor that this device comes equipped with guarantees a great performance.
It should be noted that, given the size of the model, it is a bit heavier than other choices. This can prove problematic if you travel often and you need to take your laptop with you.
The battery life on this alternative is also not necessarily great. Yet, it comes with plenty of other features.Buy from Amazon.com for ($549.55)
10. Apple MacBook Pro MF839LL/A
Just like other devices made by Apple, this option has a beautiful design and a great built quality. It includes a fifth-generation Intel Core i5 processor as well as 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of state drive.
For increased convenience and productivity, this device was designed to include the Force Touch trackpad that gives the model more functionality. Also, because the keypad is backlit, you can utilize it at night.
The battery life that this option delivers is also worth mentioning, According to Apple, this MacBook Pro works for 10 to 12 hours, on a single charge. When it comes to connectivity, the MF839LL/A features Bluetooth 4.0, as well as numerous ports, two USB 3.0 ones, two “Thunderbolt 2” ports, an SDXC card slot, an HDMI port as well as an audio in/out one.
It has a 13.3 inches HD 2560×1600 Retina display that is quite performant, Yet, it does not come with an internal optical drive.
This MacBook Pro has a very lightweight and practical design. It measures 8.6 by 12.4 by 0.7 inches and it weighs 3.48 pounds.
It features a 2.7 GHz Core i5-2410M processor and it includes 8GB of RAM, as well as a 128 GB Solid State hard drive.
The model has a 10 to 12-hour battery life and a high-resolution 13.3 inches screen. It can be used for numerous applications.
Besides, the backlit keyboard is a great addition to its design as it is comfortable to use and practical when working at night. It has a solid construction.
The base flash storage capacity of the device is only 128GB. Depending on your needs, this might not be a major drawback.
If you are financially strapped, the price of this alternative can be a bit of a turnoff. Yet, the model is practical and powerful and, thus, worthy of your attention.Buy from Amazon.com for ($821.97)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
If you are a novice, you probably know little about how to select the best laptops for music production. If you need help purchasing a device of this type, you must consider several features. Here is a rundown of the aspects that you should not overlook.
Screen size and mobility
The screen size is a feature worth considering when searching for good laptops for music production. After all, the size of the screen actively determines the dimensions of your visual workspace. As a rule of thumb, the more complex your music productions, the bigger the workplace should be.
On average, most screens will make it comfortable for you to monitor around 6 to 110 tracks at once. However, if you need to monitor more than 20 of them, doing so on a small screen can prove problematic, if not impossible.
Top laptops that come with small screens that measure between 10 to 13 inches are perfect for those who are always on the go and, who, thus, need to travel a lot. They are suitable for basic mixing and recording.
Midsize laptops for music production supply users with a compromise between portability and performance. They are a good investment if you do not want to compromise on either of these two aspects.
Finally, if you are set on acquiring the best cheap laptops for music production that you can use in a specialized studio, you should opt for larger models (17 to 10 inches diagonally). You can use a device of this sort to monitor numerous tracks at a time. They are generally used by producers of hip hop and EDM.
Processor and RAM
As many laptop for music production reviews point out, the power of the processor is a feature that can make or break a device. As you know, the CPU acts as the heart or the engine of your laptop.
If you intend to use a demanding music creation software to record and produce your music, you need an affordable laptop for music production that can get the job done. This is the main reason why it is recommended that you invest in the best rated laptops out there, that feature multiple cores.
RAM is the access-memory that stores data temporarily. If you are working on many tracks at a time, or if you are utilizing multiple virtual instruments and you are applying a wide array of effects to your tracks, you should look for one of the best laptops for music production on the market that has at least 8 to 16 GB of RAM.
However, if you are on a budget, or if you do not need to work with this type of effects and instruments, you can opt for cheap laptops for music production.
Number of ports
It should come as no surprise that good cheap laptops for music production offer great connectivity. In other words, they come fitted with numerous ports. As expected, to use your device with various instruments such as MIDI pads or DJ controllers, you need to connect them via a port.
An average cheap laptop for music production features two ports. Still, with a bit of research, you can find affordable alternatives that include more ports. If the product that you have purchased does not have the right number of ports, you can, of course, use a USB hub.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can you use any laptop for music production?
If you have read a laptop for music production review before, you probably are well aware of the fact that devices of this sort have to come provided with a couple of essential features. While, theoretically, you can use any laptop for music production, doing so might prove challenging and frustrating due to the many glitches that you will have to face.
However, if you own a dual-core model that has at least 8 GB of RAM and that comes with plenty of ports, you are all set for music production. Of course, to make sure that you get all the tools for the task, you should invest in a good-quality DAW or digital audio workstation.
If you travel a lot, and, let’s be honest, most musicians do, portability is also of great importance. So, the size of the device is also worth taking into consideration.
Q: Is a graphic card necessary for music production?
The short answer is no, especially if you are on a tight budget. A graphics card, or a video card, is the device that outputs the images to the display of your laptop. Some affordable laptops for music production come provided with integrated graphics that are low in energy consumption. Dedicated graphics are not as energy-efficient and they can be both expensive and less compact.
According to the experts, even though advanced graphics are not necessary a must for music production, high-quality graphics cards often improve the processing power of a laptop. Still, once again, if you do not have the resources necessary, you should select a device that works with your budget that does not come with an integrated or dedicated graphics card.
Later on, when you can afford this feature, you can upgrade your laptop and invest in a more high-tech alternative. Plus, keep in mind that technology progresses and, thus, you might be able to invest in a better device in a couple of years.
Q: How much RAM do I need for music production?
Random-access memory (RAM) is the type of computer memory that can be accessed, as its name suggests, randomly. The RAM is the place where your laptop stores data and programs temporarily.
The experts recommend that you invest in cheap laptops for music production that have at least 8GB of RAM. Some experienced producers opt for models that have 32 Gb of RAM. However, this is only necessary if you use plenty of sample-based instruments that each run plugins and multi-GB orchestral libraries.
One advantage of RAM is the fact that it is easy to upgrade. So, before you make a purchase, make sure that the laptop that you like accommodates at least 16 GB or RAM. This is important, as you cannot add RAM on all laptops.
If you are a novice, and you need more help to understand these aspects, you can join an online forum and ask for advice from seasoned producers.