- We review the best music production laptops available on the market in 2020.
- Extreme performance laptops come at a price, and are for those willing to make a serious investment towards their music production career.
The 5 Best High-End PC Laptops For Music Production In 2020
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.
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?).
Top 5: Best Performance Laptops For Music Production In 2020
A business notebook that actually means business. With 32GB of RAM, 4.1ghz processor speed, and 1TB hard-drive, this thing right out of the box satisfies the needs of the most performance-demanding producers in 2019.
It features 2 x 3.0 USB ports, and 2 x USB Type-C ports so you’re spoilt for choice when plugging in peripherals.
It’s hard to fault the machine, though I did feel that the laptop speakers were a little lacklustre. Considering most producers are going to be mixing exclusively on monitor speakers or headphones via an onboard soundcard, it’s hard to take away points just for subpar laptop speakers.
You’re probably wondering about the hard drive – it’s SSD. And it’s 1TB. Asking for any more would just be greedy, though if need be you can upgrade the space to 2TB if need be, or simply use the laptop in conjunction with an external hard drive. It’s also fantastic that the company allows you to open up the back to add RAM/HD without voiding the warranty.
Once again, producers can thank gamers for creating the large market for resource-rich laptops that birthed this beast. With an 8th-generation i7 capable of running up to 3.9Ghz with 6 cores and 12 threads, it will speed through crunching advanced synth algorithms. It also offers a disgustingly unreal amount of hard drive space: you’ll be equipped with both a 2TB 5400rpm hard disk drive, and a 1TBSSD. This is perfect for partitioning your applications and recordings or samples separately. The laptop also has you sorted with 32GB of DDR4 RAM.
The screen is 17.3”, like the Lenovo ideaPad Y700, providing plenty of room for sprawling DAWs. It’s also lighter than the aforementioned, at 6.5lbs. The weight and size make it a poor choice for portability, though a small price to pay for production power.
Featuring a special anti-dust, thermal cooling technology, you’ll enjoy a longer product life at the expense of sound emitting from a powerful 12V fan. Be aware of this if you intend to record casually.
You also get 3 USB ports, an RGB-enabled keyboard for custom-color lighting, and a great ergonomic design. All of these can be a great boon to producers. On the flip side, the price is also bloated with features that are gamer-specific, such as game codes.
With an additional 3-year warranty, this laptop is nothing short of a producer’s dream workhorse.
Dell has always had their finger on the pulse when it comes to leading laptops, and the Dell XPS 15 9570 is no exception.
With 32GB dual-channel DDR4 RAM, this device just chews through multitasking and high-CPU-intensive activities like nothing else.
You get 1TB of SSD space (flash-based SSD so no moving parts) for lightning fast start-up times and drive-read. The lack of moving parts also helps keep the laptop cool as you use it.
The screen is 15.6″, with 4K Ultra HD display, and features Dell’s patented “InfinityEdge” technology, which is really a fancy way of saying you get a bigger screen for less real-estate. Can’t bag it out, it looks really, really impressive.
Unfortunately, this means the webcam is placed in the lower part of the screen, which does create a bit of an odd viewing angle for whoever is webcamming with you. As someone who rarely webcams with people, it’s barely a concern for me, though it’s something that some people may consider.
If budget isn’t a concern, you’ll love the Acer Predator Triton 700. With a massive 32GB of RAM and quad-core i7 processor, you’ll be ready for the next generation of music applications, and be able to handle huge compositions. It also features advanced cooling with 5 heat pipes to keep your machine in top shape. There’s a Thunderbolt port and 5 USB ports for your devices, as well as an RGB mechanical keyboard.
Screen size is an ample 15.6” and it clocks in at a decent 5.4lbs, making it fairly portable. The screen is made from Gorilla Glass to protect from damage, too.
There are two downsides, though. First, the battery life is 2 hours, so while it’s thin and portable, you will definitely want to plug it in if performing. Secondly, you only get a 512GB SSD, so you’ll probably want to add external storage. Nonetheless, this is one of the most powerful laptops you can get for music production.
For affordable power, look to Alienware. A 3.8Ghz quad-core i7 processor paired, with 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB HDD gives you power and space for handling complex audio tasks. You also get a Thunderbolt port, and 3 USB 2.0 ports. It is also not a touch screen, but at 15.6” the screen is ample for most DAWs. You also get a lighted keyboard, thermal cooling, and up to 11 hours of battery life.
Unless you want a touch screen or a larger viewing area for your plugins, this laptop is a real winner. It’s affordable, too. At 7.69lbs, it can be portable enough if need be.
If you need serious power but also portability, the Razer Blade 14 has you covered. With a six-core i7 7700HQ processor (hyper-threading up to 3.8GHz in turbo mode), 16GB of memory, and 1TB PCIe solid-state storage, this laptop will handle anything you throw at it. And at a 14” screen size, 4.25lb weight, and 0.7” thinness, it’s easy to carry around. Add an 8-hour battery life, and it’s perfect for performing musicians and DJs. Load up multiple instances the most advanced VSTs and play live without a care in the world.
You’ll also get 3 USB ports and an RGB membrane keyboard. The downside is that it can easily heat up with so much power in a small package. Additionally, it’s not cheap. Trying to get this much power and portability in one laptop is tough, though, and the Razer Blade 14 pulls it off exceptionally well.
And there you have it! We’ve pointed out how to focus your search, and brought you the best laptops for music production in 2020. 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.
If you’re looking for more hot tips and guides to build the home recording studio of your dreams, visit our Home Studio Design category.