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We review 7 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.
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 7 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 value to performance start to shift in your favor.
The all-metal design laptop comes with a 9th Gen chipset, specifically the i7-9750 that peaks at a whopping 4.5gHz.
The lithium-ion battery in the Acer Aspire is rated to last approximately 8.5 hours of steady use. This is pretty great if you plan to spend time collaborating remotely or moving to different parts of your studio without easy power access.
As for the laptop’s ports, musicians should find everything they need. The Aspire 7 comes with 3 different types of USB ports, an HDMI, an RJ-45, and a headphone/microphone combination jack.
Ultimately, the 2020 Acer Aspire 7 is one of the best laptops for music production under $1000. The large storage capacity and 16GB of RAM will keep nearly any musician happily producing for many years.
2. The New MacBook Air
Macintosh fans rejoice, as the newest MacBook Air is a great laptop for producing music, priced at a much more reasonable level than what’s usually expected of Apple.
The incredibly thin and light MacBook Air is now more powerful than ever. It features a brilliant Retina display, new Magic Keyboard, Touch ID, processors with up to twice the performance, faster graphics, and double the storage capacity.
At just under $1,000 the MacBook Air is an exciting laptop for die-hard apple users and rookies alike.
The MacBook Air makes it incredibly easy to record simply audio demos. Between the three microphones, built-in software (Garageband is still free), and surprisingly good speakers, creating simple tracks has never been easier. Apple’s software is designed to be incredibly user friendly, so if you are planning to record some simple acoustic songs, the MacBook Air works great.
From Ableton to Logic Pro, the MacBook Air is more than powerful enough to run today’s top music production software and handle CPU-hogging plugins with ease. The Air comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD Storage (at the <$1,000 level).
The MacBook Air runs on the OS X 10.11 El Capitan operating system, which may be unfamiliar to those who have never owned an Apple computer. The battery is rated to last for up to 11 hours, which is pretty long considering its powerful capabilities.
There is a long-standing myth that Macs last longer than PCs, and it may be true as PCs typically take a little more work to upkeep. MacBooks are designed to be user-friendly and to last as long as possible.
For a user-friendly way to quickly get started on producing music, there are few better options than the New MacBook Air. Starting at under $1000, musicians can invest in a high-end brand for a long-lasting production laptop.
3. Dell XPS 13 Laptop
Since the dawn of computers, the name Dell has been synonymous with quality. In 2020, the Dell XPS 13 is a masterfully designed device that is perfect for making music on a budget.
The XPS 13 comes with up to 512GB of Solid State Drive storage and 16GB of memory. For most, this is enough capacity for music production, with other files being saved in the cloud or externally.
Most importantly, however, the Dell XPS 13 is rated to stream videos for over 8 hours. When you’re running your music software, you can expect a similarly long battery life when away from a power outlet.
For your external hardware, Dell offers a limited, but comprehensive amount of ports. Standard, the XPS 13 includes 2 Thunderbolt ports, 1 microSD card reader, a Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack, and 1 Type-C to USB-A adapter.
Overall, the Dell XPS 13 is a reliable laptop from a well-known manufacturer. The XPS 13 is great if you’re looking for a lightweight, portable, and powerful Windows music production laptop.
4. HP 2020 15 Premium Laptop
Next on our list is another great laptop from a name brand company. The 2020 HP 15 is a perfect laptop for musicians looking to spend under $1000.
First, let’s start with the basics. The HP 15 has a 15.6” display and operates Windows Home 10. The laptop weighs 3.75 lbs and is 9.53 x 14.11 x 0.71 inches. With your purchase, HP includes a convenient backpack and wireless mouse with the laptop.
In terms of included hardware, HP’s latest has what it takes to efficiently run most music software programs. The laptop comes standard with DDR4 SDRAM and 512 GB of memory. The hard drive is rated for 512GB SSD of storage.
With the 2020 HP 15, musicians can purchase a reliable laptop without any of the bells and whistles to add unnecessary expense. The HP 15 is a great, affordable PC for producing music without worrying about slowing down.
5. Asus TUF FX505DT Gaming Laptop
Producers take heed. Your virtual studio is going to look amazing on the system’s NanoEdge display.
The FX505DT is a powerful device that doesn’t break the bank. The system is built around a DDR4 SDRAM processor and offers 512 GB of hard disk space. There is 8 GB of built-in computer memory with a speed of 4 GHz.
Astonishingly, this gaming laptop weighs just 4.85 pounds. But more importantly, the ASUS TUF is packed with ports for all of your hardware. It features two kinds of USB ports, an HDMI, an RJ-45, and a standard 3.55 mm headphone/microphone jack.
When running your machine, the Asus TUF has a patented anti-dust cooling system to extend the device’s battery life and lifespan. It is built to run high capacity video games for hours on end, and will likewise power your music software.
Microsoft is truly the brand that revolutionized personal computers as we know it. As of late, however, the most famous offering from the Seattle based company might be the Microsoft Surface. After a few previous models, the Microsoft Surface 3, is one of the best music production laptops for under $1,000.
The Surface is distinct in its ability to function as both a laptop and a tablet. The 13.5” Touch screen is handy for producers who like to get hands-on with their plugins. The keyboard folds into the screen, making the 2.79-pound device extremely easy to carry.
While you’re bringing your Surface around, you will not always have to hunt for an electrical outlet, because the battery is rated to last up to 11.5 hours between charges.
For under $1,000 you can purchase the 128GB SSD storage model, although the 256GB is available for just a few hundred dollars more.
Perhaps the most convenient thing about the Surface 3 is its rapid charge time. In under one hour, the Surface 3 can charge to 80% of the battery’s capacity. This makes it incredibly easy to always keep a steady amount of battery power in your digital studio.
MSI’s laptops include GeForce® GTX processors that provide award-winning gaming graphics experiences. Of course, this isn’t entirely necessary for producing music, but the beautiful full-color, bevel display certainly is not a downside.
The GF65 was designed to run video games for long periods of time. Because of this, the noninvasive cooling system prevents the system from overheating.
Secondly, MSI claims to deliver the world’s first ever “high resolution audio” sound system. Considering you’ll probably be using an external soundcard with your own monitor speakers/headphones, it’s nothing really to boast about. We appreciate the sentiment, though, MSI!
Some final important notes to make about the GF65 include the windows 10 Home / Window 10 Pro operating system as well as the attractive “aluminum hairbrush” hardware design. The battery is only rated to <8 hours between uses.
Overall, the MSI GF65 is a powerful laptop designed to handle large amounts of processing demand for hours on end. If you can find the right deal, the MSI GF65 can be a very valuable music production laptop.