Traditionally, Music was composed and produced in studios. Today we have various digital audio workstation (DAW) tools available for music production. Buying a laptop solely for this purpose can be challenging due to the vast amount of choices we have. I have tried to come up with a perfect list of best laptop for music production 2018. I have made sure to include all the high-end laptops along with budget-friendly options.
If you’re heavily involved in video editing along with music production, please check out our post: Best Laptop for Video Editing.
Some common questions that come to the mind while picking best laptop for music production. (Please click on the questions to see my answers and explanation.)
- What should I look for in a laptop for music production?
- How much RAM do I really need for music production?
- Which is the best processor for music production?
- How important is the graphics card (GPU) in a laptop for music production?
- Are gaming laptops good for music production?
Best Laptop for Music Production 2018
|Lenovo ThinkPad P51 ( Editor's Choice)||Check Price|
|Apple 15" MacBook Pro MPTT2LL/A (Editor's choice for Best MacBook for Music Production 2018)||Check Price|
|Lenovo Yoga 720 Premium (Best Laptop for Music Production 2018 under 1500)||Check Price|
|Dell i5577-7359BLK-PUS (Best Laptop for Music Production 2018 under 1000)||Check Price|
|MSI GL62M 7RD-058 (Best Laptop for Music Production under 800)||Check Price|
With Intel Quad Core i7-7700HQ Processor, NVIDIA Quadro M1200M (4GB Memory) Graphics card, ThinkPad P51 is capable of handling all that you throw at it. It features HD Audio, Realtek ALC3268 codec/stereo speakers, W x 2 / dual array microphone and combo audio/microphone jack. The 15 inch, P51 offered vibrant colors and sharp images in my tests. Fine details are easy to make out, and colors are rich.
It features 32GB RAM and 1TB Solid State Drive which makes the reading-writing speed exceptional and Lenovo Thinkpad P51 is the swiftest laptop of its kind. The performance is great, even with multiple programs open. The system feels snappy and responsive.
Buying the Best Laptop for Music Production 2018 is not easy due to the variety of options out there. I have analyzed multiple different high-end machines and all have seen their ups and downsides. With the ThinkPad P51, Lenovo got a lot of things right. I would recommend it as the Best Laptop for Music Production 2018.
Apple’s notebook for power users still packs a gorgeous 15-inch Retina display and innovative Touch Bar controls into an impossibly slim design. And thanks to Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors, the MacBook Pro has gotten even faster. The 15-inch Pro gets the Force Touch trackpad, and a 512GB SSD storage, plus updated graphics in the form of an AMD Radeon R9 M370X GPU.
The display in the MacBook Pro is the best ever in a Mac notebook. It features bright LED backlighting and a high contrast ratio, delivering deep blacks and bright whites. Its large pixel aperture and variable refresh rate make it power efficient. MacBook Pro includes a solid-state drive that’s blazing fast. Its memory is both high speed and power efficient. It all works together to help you boot up, launch multiple apps, or import huge files in a flash.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro remains Apple’s biggest and most powerful laptop, and a great all day, everyday productivity machine, especially if you need the extra GPU power for music or video work. MacBook Pro is built on groundbreaking ideas and is my perfect choice for Best MacBook for Music Production 2018.
The Yoga 720 15 is a 360-degree convertible, meaning that it relies on its hinge to enable a smooth transition from traditional notebook through presentation and tent modes, and into a rather large and unwieldy tablet. This Yoga 720 comes with Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution Widescreen LED. The 512GB PCIe SSD storage of this Lenovo Yoga laptop lets you perform fast file transfers. The keyboard and touchpad don’t require new muscle memory; from the moment you open the lid, the key travel and smooth pad just feel right.
It is equipped with 15.6-inch 4K IPS 10-point multitouch screen. It has a slim build, and can perform multiple tasks with ease, and is competitively priced. All the features combined makes it perfect for the Best Laptop for Music Production 2018 under 1500.
If shopping for a budget laptop with the right features, Dell Inspiron 15 is the choice. The 7th Gen Intel Quad-core CPUs provides responsive, powerful performance whether you’re doing music production or working on CPU-intensive projects.
New NVIDIA GTX 1050 Graphics with 4GB GDDR5 video memory allows you to have a more immersive on-screen experience. It includes 1TB conventional HDD and PCIe NVMe 128 GB SSD for plenty of storage, stability and responsive performance.
The Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS is an irresistible option for buyers focusing on performance, stability, and a product which supports not just your routine computing tasks but also the occasional complex job. It has an optimum resolution of 1920X1080. This is a very powerful laptop thanks to the 2.8 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor. You can Immerse yourself in superior sound with Waves MaxxAudio Pro and built-in subwoofer. The studio-quality audio puts you in the middle of the action, turning every footstep, shout and musical score into something real.
It is decently priced and overall a very pleasing performance. I am thoroughly impressed with its features and therefore, regard Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS as the Best Laptop for Music Production 2018 under 1000.
The MSI GL62M 7RD laptop is a high-end laptop with great battery backup. The dedicated GPU presents crisp clear images and it also gives you great music experience. The MSI GL62M 7RD laptop has a 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) LED-backlit display.
It is driven by a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-7300HQ (7th Gen) processor coupled with an 8GB of DDR4 RAM. As far storage is concerned, there is 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD which can run multiple applications.
The graphics department features a dedicated GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card which is great for some of the tools and plugins that perform better when a dedicated graphics card is available. It is a powerful laptop on a low budget, deserving its position as the Best Laptop for Music Production 2018 under 800.
What should I look for in a laptop for music production?
This is the most fundamental question that comes to our mind. Let’s talk about leading DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation) in the market. You’ll be using these tools most of the time on your new laptop. Therefore, it’s really important to check the minimum system requirement for tools like Studio One, Sonar, FL Studio, Appl’s Logic Pro X.
Most of the software vendors recommend a decent multi-core 2.0 GHz Processor, 4GB of system RAM & adequate storage capacity. However, for the best possible performance, you must get a powerful machine which can be used for the next 3-5 years. For this reason, I recommend following minimum system specifications:
- Quad Core Processor
- 8GB System RAM ( 16GB if your budget permits)
- SSD ( To store OS + DAW + Current Project Files) + HDD or External Drive for content storage
- Any decent graphics card
How much RAM do I really need for music production?
As mentioned above, most DAW software vendors recommend 4GB system RAM. I would go one step ahead and ask you to go for at least 8GB of RAM (If you’re on a budget).
Which is the best processor for music production?
Music production is a CPU intensive task. All the production tools require adequate CPU power to perform smoothly. Because of this, I recommend going for latest quad-core i7 processors. They come with hyperthreading technology which makes processing very efficient during CPU intensive tasks. If you’re on a budget, you can go with quad-core i5 processors. They will also provide equally good performance and value for money.
How important is the graphics card (GPU) in a laptop for music production?
Frankly speaking, you don’t need a very fancy graphics card for music production. However, the performance will go down south if the laptop has integrated graphics. Integrate graphics card consume some of the CPU power for graphics related task that makes other CPU intensive processed slow. For this reason, you should look for any decent budget-friendly graphics card in your laptop. Some of the tools and plugins perform better when a dedicated graphics card is available. They use the GPU for rendering their interfaces. If you’re using multiple screens or a 4K monitor then also GPU gets utilized.
Bottom Line: Any decent graphics card would boost your music production experience.
Are gaming laptops good for music production?
Yes, Totally. If you check the specifications of gaming laptops, you would find that they full-fill above-mentioned requirements. Moreover, all gaming laptops have very powerful GPUs at your disposal. Music Production on gaming laptops will be an absolutely blissful experience.