- We review 3 of the best music production laptops under $1000.
- Mid-range price point — best bang for buck.
Whether a hobby or professional career, making music can be an expensive venture.
Choosing the best laptop for music production is just one piece of this puzzle, albeit an important piece, and choosing the right one while having money left over is no easy task.
On top of that, with an investment this size you’ll want to shop with buyer confidence, knowing that your purchase will last you for years.
No one wants drop several paychecks worth of their hard-earned cash on a subpar laptop, only to have their machine stutter, crash, or otherwise fail when performing, or recording the perfect take.
In this article, we’ve selected 3 of the best-value music production laptops that fall under a price point of $1000. There are some great models available around this price range, and is honestly where you’re going to start to see your $$$ to value start to shift in your favor.
Here’s the list…
The Lenovo Yoga blends high power with ultrabook features, making it a potential budget alternative to the Razer Blade 14. With a 2.8 Ghz 17 quad-core, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB Solid State Drive, it’s powerful enough for processing plenty of resource-heavy plugins.
While the hard drive space is a little lacklustre, you can simply pair the laptop with a 1TB external HDD and you’re in the clear.
With a 15.6-inch screen, 0.8” thinness, and 4.41lbs, it’s perfectly suited for portability. The screen can also be flipped back for a tablet mode. You also get two USB ports, and a backlit keyboard.
One downside is that the fan can be a bit loud, so we wouldn’t recommend this one if you record in your room with a laptop nearby.
It’s much better for the travelling musician who needs to work on sketches or a performer who needs to operate powerful VSTs in a live setting.
If you’re on a budget, finding the best laptop for music production can be hard. The Acer Aspire E 15 is a great choice, offering an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD (photos here). While the hard drive is a weak point and may require an external drive to be added, the processor is powerful enough for rendering heavy walls of sound. 8GB of memory is modest but certainly capable.
You also get a decent 15.6” screen, which may see you scrolling a bit, but it’s very manageable. As it is designed to be an all-around laptop, it can offer up to 15 hours of battery life.
You also get a DVD-RW, something of a rarity these days. Indie musicians will enjoy the ability to burn and hand out CDs. You also receive a generous three USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port, perfect for those with lots of peripherals.
Clocking in at 5.27lbs, it’s fairly portable when combined with the size. It’s not designed to be feather-light, but it’s manageable. If you need a budget solution that is moderately portable, this is a great bet.
The Dell XPS 13 9360 (photos here) is very comparable to the Surface Pro in terms of its target audience. With a 2.5 GHz i5 processor, a 128GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM, it fulfills minimum requirements for handling audio. While heavier, at 3.7lbs, it also has a larger 13.3” screen. While an inch may not seem like much, when you’re dealing with a very small laptop, it can make a huge difference in being able to see what you need to on the fly.
It is a touch screen, although it does not fold into multiple configurations like a Surface Pro. Since a tablet mode is less practical in a non-folding laptop, rather than tweaking knobs with the touch screen, you’ll be more likely to use it to draw automation and other composure-oriented tasks.
We do appreciate that there are two USB ports. While you can get a hub regardless, this is the only real weakness of the Surface Pro. Not needing a hub removes a big hassle.
Overall, whether you prefer the Dell XPS 12 9360 or the Microsoft Surface Pro will come down to whether you want a very portable laptop, or a slightly more practical but heavier one.
Whether you’re an emerging folk hero, a Serum sage, or the life of the party, we wish you the best of success in your search for the best high-end music production laptop. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!