Best Windows Laptop Music Production – For most musicians recording music at home now, the laptop (or computer) will be the most important part of the studio. With that in mind, it’s worth allocating a significant portion of your studio’s setup budget. So it might seem crazy to spend over $1000 at first, but if it will last you a long time and you’re serious about making great sounding music, it’s worth it. Trust me, it took me buying about 3 cheap laptops and a lot of frustration to finally figure it out.
Below are my current recommendations for several different categories, I will be updating the list regularly so keep checking back for the latest advice.
Best Windows Laptop Music Production
If you want the details on the minimum specs I think you should look for in buying a laptop for music production, check out this detailed article I wrote.
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I admit, I’m a little biased on this one. I tried and failed with several Windows laptops when I first started making music at home, I had problems with latency and they never really lasted many years before the problems started to appear.
I always thought Apple products were overpriced and could never be worth the extra hundreds of dollars over the Windows alternatives. But after being repeatedly told to make the switch by friends, I decided to save up and buy myself an Apple MacBook Pro.
And I have to give it to friends, because since I bought one I haven’t looked back. The lag issues are gone, the battery life is still good after years of heavy use and of course they look great too.
But since then, laptops have come a long way and there are now many Windows options available. So it’s really a matter of personal preference.
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Another thing to keep in mind is what digital audio workstation (DAW) will you be using? Some DAWs like Logic only work on Apple, so if that’s your DAW of choice, you can’t go for a Windows laptop.
As mentioned above, I’m now heavily biased towards Apple laptops for home music production (sorry!). I’m currently using a MacBook Pro from around 2015 and it still runs great. It has a 2.7GHz quad-core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage.
That’s the great thing about Max for me. All my Windows laptops have only lasted a few years of heavy use but my MacBook still feels like new even after 3 years of very heavy use.
If you want a nice new gloss, I recommend this. It will give you a 2.6 GHz, i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage.
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The new Asus ViviBook laptops are packed with features for the money. You get i7 processors, 8 GB of RAM (16 GB available) and a large 17-inch screen. They also look really cool (if that bothers you), giving the MacBook’s modern look a run for its money.
If you’re on a budget, I’d recommend looking for a pre-owned version of the laptops mentioned above. Getting a new one is definitely ideal, as you get the maximum life out of it, along with a full warranty and a view. But if your budget doesn’t stretch that far, second-hand versions on eBay are probably the next best thing.
However, with technology advancing so quickly, there are some new options available that have specs that are starting to rival higher priced models and are capable of producing music.
Lenovo makes great laptops and the Ideapad 330 comes at a reasonable price with specs high enough for music production. It has a quad-core i7 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 1 TB!! of internal storage and a 15.6-inch screen.
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I set out to share all the tips I picked up along the way, and help as many people as possible create music. Since then, other musicians have taken over and continued the good work.
This website is owned and operated by Musician’s HQ. Musicer’s HQ is a participant in the Associates Program of Amazon Services LLC. As an Amazon partner, the site profits from eligible purchases. Music Headquarters also participates in partner programs with Plugin Boutique. When it comes to music production, the importance of a laptop built for the job cannot be underestimated.
Our laptops when making music – choosing the right DAW, installing the best effects and tools plugins, etc. However, to allow the tools to work
(Nobody likes seeing the dreaded ‘system overload’ message seconds after pressing the power button), it’s important to have a laptop equipped with the features and functionality needed to handle music production in 2023.
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In this article, we break down the key factors you’ll want to consider, along with some specific laptop models that can be strong starting points for your search.
There are several factors you’ll want to keep in mind when evaluating laptops for music production. First and foremost, if you’re already used to using a particular DAW, you’ll want to make sure your laptop’s operating system is compatible with it. For example, Logic Pro is an Apple-exclusive DAW, so you’ll want to purchase a Mac if you’re committed to using it.
On the other hand, there are also a number of plugins that are exclusive to Windows too – so you might want to take stock of the essential plugins for your toolkit before you pick up a new laptop (if you’re just starting out) in your music production journey, don’t worry too much about it, because (Most plugins are compatible with both Mac and Windows).
However, let’s dive deeper into five other key factors that matter when it comes to making music on a laptop: RAM, processor, storage, displays, and connection types.
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RAM (short for Random Access Memory) is the form of computer memory that refers to a laptop’s ability to quickly handle multiple tasks and efficiently process large amounts of data. You’ll see RAM in GB, and it’s usually in one of the following amounts: 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB.
RAM plays a role in almost every aspect of music production, from playing multiple tracks at once to processing all the effects and synthesizers you’re using at any given moment. If your laptop doesn’t have enough RAM, your DAW will start to slow down, freeze, or even crash.
The bare minimum for music production RAM is 8GB, but 16GB or more is more optimal, especially if you’ll be working on sessions with lots of tracks or complex sample libraries.
The CPU (short for Central Processing Unit) performs the key calculations and instructions that allow the software on your laptop to run. Working in conjunction with RAM, it allows you to process audio, effects and more in real time.
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A processor with a higher clock speed and more cores will be able to handle the complex tasks required by producing music faster and more efficiently. Some popular processors found in modern laptops include Intel Core i9, Intel Core i7, AMD Ryzen 9, Apple M2 and Apple M1.
Regardless of your exact CPU, there are also ways to use what you have effectively – check out our tips for optimizing CPU resources when creating music here.
If RAM represents short-term memory, you can think of the CPU as the “brain” of your laptop. Both are essential and work closely together to fulfill your music production needs.
However, a processor perhaps receives insufficient attention from many novice manufacturers compared to RAM, even though it is (literally) the most central part of your laptop’s performance. You’ll find that the price of a laptop can vary drastically depending on the CPU specification – we’ll explore this further when we discuss specific models.
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DAWs, software instruments and sample libraries can take up a lot of space – so having a healthy amount of storage available is key, especially if you intend to keep these tools on your laptop as opposed to an external drive.
There are two main types of storage you should be aware of: solid state drives (SSD) and conventional hard drives (HDD). SSDs use flash memory to store data, while HDDs use spinning disks and read/write heads.
In general, SSDs are preferred for music production over HDDs because they have higher read and write speeds that are ideal for tasks like opening projects, accessing large audio files, etc. That is, they tend to offer less storage capacity and are usually slightly more expensive than hard drives, although they have become more and more affordable over the years.
At any time when running a DAW. Although a specific screen size is not essential, larger monitors (e.g. 15 inches and above) with higher resolutions (e.g. 1080p and above) can help you better navigate your session.
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In addition to choosing a laptop with a larger display, using a screen in conjunction with your device can be another way to better organize and visualize your production workflow.
Last but not least