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.
To help, we’ve gathered the creme de la creme of music production laptops. Word of warning, these aren’t budget options. These are for producers who demand serious power, i.e. those who are specifically looking for laptops that can handle the pressure of large projects, multi-core rendering DAWs, and sample libraries larger than Kanye West’s ego (impossible, surely?).
Yes, gaming laptops are perfect for producing music on. This is because they are fitted with high-performance chipsets, and decked out with enormous amounts of CPU power. RAM and HD/SSD space is upgradable on most laptops, but gaming laptops benefit from its core components being optimized for speed and performance, even under the most strenuous situations.
One might argue that gaming laptops might even be overkill for music production, as a high-performance graphics card is not entirely necessary for running music-making software.
However, if you intend on using the music production laptop as a full creative suite (video production, image editing), or even as a gaming station when you need to let off some steam, then it makes sense to use a gaming laptop as your music production laptop.
7 Best High-Performance Laptops For Music Production
In 2020, the 2nd generation of Lenovo’s Thinkpad X1 extreme has everything you could ask for in a music production laptop. The unit is stacked with a 1TB hard drive, 32GB DDR4 2666MHz of RAM, and an Intel Core i7-9750H Six-core 2.60GHz processor. If that’s not enough, you can also upgrade the RAM or hard drive without voiding the included 1-year warranty.
In terms of picture quality, this 2nd generation ThinkPad delivers with a 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080) HDR 400 display. Plus, the device has a built-in anti-glare display for sunny studios or distracting venues.
For input ports, the Thinkpad comes standard with 2x USB, 2x USB Type-C, an HDMI 2.0, SD card reader, and a combination headphone and microphone input.
Despite being ultra-powerful, the 2nd generation of the Thinkpad X1 extreme is very compact and portable. At just 3.76 lbs (1.8 kg) and 14.2″ x 9.7″ x 0.7″ (36.1 x 24.6 x 1.8 cm), this laptop can be bought anywhere in the world.
Ultimately, the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme (2nd generation) is one of the best out of the box laptops for music production. It has plenty of storage and power, but can even be upgraded if absolutely necessary.
Although it is clearly marketed as a “gaming laptop,” the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II makes for an absolute beast of a laptop for music production. The RTX 2070 is one of the best laptops for musicians and gamers alike.
First of all, the Strix Scar II simply looks cool. The sleek black and gunmetal grey hardware looks great against the easy-to-change colors of the backlit keyboard. Plus, the entire thing is only an inch thick, so it looks as advanced as it truly is.
Because it is a gaming computer, the Strix Scar II is designed to run powerful programs for long periods of time. With its “ROG HyperCool Pro” 2 fan thermal system, the Scar II protects itself against overheating from extended use. Plus, the 15.6″ FHD anti-glare display is bound to come in handy for both gamers and music producers.
As you may imagine, the Strix Scar II can handle pretty much anything you need to plug in. The laptop comes equipped with ports for USB Type-A, USB Type-C, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, RJ45 Ethernet, and an SD card reader.
Overall, if you are a producer who spends more time in the studio than out, then the ASUS ROG Strix Scar II gaming laptop is perfect for long periods of seamless production.
Since the dawn of personal computers, it seems as if Dell has always been able to make a name for themselves. In 2020, Dell’s XPS 15 (10th Generation) delivers as a truly great laptop for music production.
For those who have been producing music for a while, you or someone you know probably runs their setup on a Dell XPS 15. The models are only continuing to improve. This year, the XPS 15 comes standard with a 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-10750H processor, which is perfect for running any kind of music software.
Technically, this laptop is full of premium hardware. The 8GB (2x4GB) DDR4, 2933MHz, and 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive give it enough RAM, memory, and storage to keep your files both easily accessible and usable.
The Dell XPS 15 9500 has received a lot of praise to help back up its claim as one of the best laptops for music production. It has been recognized as an “Editor’s Choice” by Tom’s Hardware, Tom’s Guide, and Laptop Mag.
In terms of plugs, the XPS 15 has availability for USB-A, USB-C, Full size SD cards (v6.0), 3.5mm headphones ot microphones, and a Wedge-shaped lock slot. Despite its premium features, this laptop is only 0.71″ (18 mm) thick and weighs a mere 4 lbs. (1.83 kg).
For a great music production laptop that comes at an affordable price from a well known brand, the 2020 Dell XPS 15 9500 is hard to beat.
Looking for one of the most capable portable computers on the market today? Well, even the power-hungry music producer’s appetite can be satisfied by the 2020 Acer Predator Triton 700.
Depending on your budget, the components and capabilities of an Acer Predator Triton 700 can be customized to your liking. Take for example the version with 32GB of DDR4 RAM and 1 TB of SSD storage. Now that’s going to be pretty hard to beat!
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility, and the 2020 model’s Intel Core i7-9750H Processor, 6-Core upgrade is built to run everything as smoothly as possible. Plus, the computer’s smart system accelerator learns from your habits and optimizes the overall performance.
With 3 standard USBs ports, one USB type-C port, an HDMI port, a RJ-45 port, and a Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack, the Triton should have enough inputs for all of your devices and instruments. Additionally, the 4-cell 5400 mAh lithium battery is designed to last for up to 6 hours when disconnected from a power source.
Although this machine is a bit heavier than the others on this list (5 lbs. vs 4 lbs.), that slight difference should not influence your purchasing decision. In terms of usability, the Triton 700 thrives with a backlit keyboard and included wireless mouse.
Overall, if you have some extra money in your budget, the Acer Predator Triton 700 is one of the best laptops for music production.
At first glance, most music producers will naysay any type of Chromebook as a serious, high-functioning machine. However, despite running on a Chrome operating system, the AWM15 can run Windows 10 and therefore is compatible with most music software.
Although it is not quite as impressive as other products on this list, the AWM15 is still made up of components powerful enough to produce and perform music for an extended period of time. The system comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB SSD of storage. If that is not enough, there are also two slots for additional memory.
The Alienware AWM15’s Intel Core i7 9th Gen i7-9750H Hexa-core (6 Core) 2.60GHz is large enough to make sure everything runs smoothly. Plus, the system is loaded with plugs for all of your hardware. The laptop has 3 standard USB ports, 1 USB Type-C port, and an HDMI input.
Lastly, the Alienware AWM15 weighs over 11 pounds, which is an awful lot more than the more expensive items on this list. It is quite sturdy, however, and is sure to last much longer than its initial 1 year warranty.
Ultimately, if you are looking to save some money while still buying a high powered laptop, the Alienware AWM15 Gaming Laptop is perfect for budget-conscious music producers.
Razer is a company that makes laptops “for gamers, by gamers.” Although this is true, music producers are also allowed to buy their products, and will likely be very happy if they choose to do so.
The Razer Blade 15 follows up the Razer Blade 14 as one of the best laptops for music production in 2020. The 10th Gen i7-10750H capacity model is a moderately priced laptop that is designed to run power-sucking applications for extended durations.
Running on Windows 10, the Razer Blade 15 will seamlessly display your virtual studio on its 144Hz Full HD, 1920 x 1080 display. Plus, you will be able to keep your eyes glued to the 15.6-inch beveled screen for up to 6 hours without having to recharge the lithium-ion battery.
Despite being “Razer” thin at just 0.78 inches, the Razer Blade 15 is actually quite durable. The laptop’s single block aluminium casing protects it against bumps, scratches, and falls.
As is the case with most of our recommendations, the Razer Blade 15 has ample input ports. The system comes standard with USB (type A and C), HDMI, Thunderbolt 3, and ethernet plugins. With its smart battery saving features, this laptop is guaranteed to handle most everything you throw its way.
The truth is, gaming laptops are great for musicians. At an affordable price, the Razer Blade 15 is one of the best laptops for producing music today.
Lastly, we wanted to include a laptop for those music producers who can afford the best technology available. The MSI GS66 Ultra Thin Gaming Laptop is a premium product that just may be worth the extra money spent.
Okay, let’s start with the awards. The MSI GS66 has been recognized as a top product by Digital Trends, Laptop Mag, PC World, Smart House, and Laptop Media. It’s sleek design and endless capabilities have earned it the nickname as the “Batman” of laptops.
Next, let’s talk about technical specs. The GS66’s 10th generation Intel Core i9-10980HK processor is perhaps the most capable processor in 2020. The system is designed to power optimal performance while multitasking or running heavy workloads. Plus, the system is designed with the 3 of the “world’s thinnest” 0.1 mm sharp-edge fans to keep the entire device running nice and cool.
The MSI GS66 Stealth is ready to run Windows 10 and holds a 1TB NVMe of SSD storage. Plus, the GS66 comes with 32GB of DR4 2666MHz RAM. At just 9.2 lbs, it would be difficult to find a laptop that is both as powerful and portable as the MSI GS66.
For those looking to invest their money into premium studio components, then this laptop may be for you. If you have the budget, you will not be disappointed with the MSI GS66 Gaming Laptop.
And there you have it! We’ve pointed out how to focus your search, and brought you the best laptops for music production. The search might be frustrating, but use our guide to help. For an encore, we also have a few last words of advice to close us out.