TechJunkie Expert Recommendations
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Whether you’re a music producer or a DJ, or if you simply have a home music studio, you will need a powerful laptop that can meet all your demands. After all, your laptop is an essential tool that you will use for work daily. Picking the right one can make or break your career in music.
There are countless specifications you need to take into consideration when choosing the ideal laptop. If you are always on the go, your laptop should have a strong battery life, and it shouldn’t be too heavy. You also need high-speed performance, lots of storage, and a CPU that can support all your music-making software. The last thing you’d want to experience is your laptop crashing in the middle of an editing session, resulting in you losing hours of hard work. There is a wide range of options to choose from on the market, but you’ll want to pick one that’s tried-and-test and has excellent reviews from people across the globe.
In this guide, we’ll go through a comprehensive list of high-quality laptops that are ideal for the music industry. These are some of the best laptops for music editing, music production, and recording.
Professionals who love getting the best of the best on the market won’t be disappointed with the latest 16-inch MacBook Pro. It was released in 2021 and equipped with the mighty Apple M1 Pro chip. It has a 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine. You can spend extra on a variant with the even more powerful M1 Max chip, featuring a 24-core or 32-core GPU. The base model offers 16GB of RAM, but you can get up to 32GB with the M1 Pro chip and 64GB with the M1 Max chip. In terms of storage, you can choose between a 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB variant.
The laptop features a 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with a 1,600-nit peak brightness and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Thanks to ProMotion technology, it can achieve an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The 16-inch MacBook Pro’s connectivity options have improved compared to its predecessors because, aside from Thunderbolt 4 ports, you get an SDXC card slot, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack. The charging port isn’t a Type-C port anymore because you now get the new MagSafe 3 port. The laptop has a 100-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery, and you can get up to 14 hours of wireless web or 21 hours of movie playback on the Apple TV app. The included 140W USB Type-C power adapter supports fast charging, so you can quickly get your juice back.
Apple still didn’t bring back the touch bar on this model of the MacBook Pro, but you still get the backlit magic keyboard with touch ID, ambient light sensor, and force touch trackpad. Other noteworthy features are its 1080p FaceTime HD camera, Bluetooth 5.0 technology, Wi-Fi 6 support, and high-fidelity six-speaker sound system. The 16-inch MacBook Pro would be the perfect machine to have for those who want a premium and reliable music editing experience.
If you’re not the type who likes a large laptop, you can get the smallest MacBook Pro variant from Apple: the 13-inch model. It’s not the most affordable option, but you’re guaranteed a premium experience, and it’s undoubtedly an ideal laptop for music editing for a couple of reasons.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro was refreshed in 2022 and now comes with Apple’s powerful M2 chip. You can rest assured that all your music editing programs will run smoothly. Since the laptop is lightweight (3 pounds), it is much more convenient for people who are always on the go. Not to mention that its 58.2-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery provides you with up to 17 hours of wireless web per charge. Storage is another vital factor for music-making and editing software. The base model has a 256GB SSD, but you can get up to 2TB of SSD storage.
You will get 8GB of RAM on the cheapest model, but you can get up to 24GB of RAM if you have extra cash to spare. Having a high amount of RAM is essential when you want high-speed performance when launching multiple apps and programs simultaneously and keeping dozens of tabs open without worrying about the device crashing. The MacBook Pro 13 has other features: a fantastic retina display, a backlit magic keyboard with a touch bar and touch ID, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, a 720p FaceTime HD camera, and stereo speakers with a high dynamic range. We only wish the laptop had more ports because you only get two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The newest version of the MacBook Air contains a lot of improved and up-to-date features compared with previous versions. It’s also Apple’s thinnest notebook, making it ideal for traveling music producers. It’s powered by the impressive M2 chip, which provides users with incredible speed that is way faster than the previous models. It allows you to run multiple music-making programs at the same time without the device slowing down. That’s why this device is ideal for high-performance apps and games that include intense graphics. The base model for the MacBook Air M2 has an M2 chip with an 8-core CPU and GPU, but you can get it with a chip with a 10-core GPU.
The laptop holds the record for Apple’s longest battery life, which can even go to 18 hours. Some other features this laptop has to offer thermal efficiency, up to 2TB of SSD storage, up to 24GB of RAM, a high-quality built-in microphone, and a beautiful 13.6-inch display Liquid Retina display. It has a backlit magic keyboard with Touch ID, making it easier to authenticate things. For those who hop on video calls regularly you will love the quality of its 1080p FaceTime HD camera.
The MacBook Air M2 is not the best option if you need many ports because it only comes with two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. If you want to invest in an excellent laptop for music editing, then the MacBook Air is the right option for you.
Dell’s XPS series contains high-quality laptops that have long been customer favorites. Specifically, the Dell XPS 13, which also deserves a spot on our list. This model is particularly well-suited for beginners who have just started their journey in the music production industry.
The Dell XPS 13 is technically considered a gaming laptop due to its ultra-fast 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor. Remember that ideal gaming and music-editing laptops usually require the same powerful features. There are other aspects of the Dell XPS 13 that make it an excellent music-editing laptop, such as its compact size, 13.3-inch FHD+ touch display, and Intel Iris Plus graphics.
Other features that make this laptop a hit among music producers include long-lasting battery life, high-quality stereo speakers, various high-definition audio options, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a microSD card reader. On the other hand, the Dell XPS 13 has 16GB of RAM, which is sufficient for all your music-editing programs and various music files. If you’re a novice music producer, then the Dell XPS 13 is the ideal option for you. In terms of pricing, you can expect to spend more than $1,500 for this laptop, which might be a deal-breaker for some.
The Razer Blade 15 is a well-known laptop in the gaming world, and it also has many specifications that can meet all your music-editing requirements. The Studio Edition of the laptop comes with all the specs you would need for a smooth music editing session.
Its 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875 processor allows for the ultimate performance, so you can have as many programs running as you like. The device can support all of your apps and software flawlessly. This laptop also has 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage, which is more than plenty. Music editing programs can require a lot of energy from your laptop, and it could lead to overheating. The great thing is that the Razer Blade 15 has an innovative cooling system featuring a liquid-filled, vacuum-sealed copper vapor chamber.
You can use this laptop in a professional studio since it has incredible NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics. You can expect its GPU to be about 25% faster than the original RTX 20 series. Your graphics card won’t be put to good use if your laptop’s display isn’t nice, but thankfully, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition comes with a fantastic 4K OLED touch display that features a 1ms response time, HDR 400 True Black, and a wide color range.
The laptop is only 0.7 inches thin, so you won’t encounter any issues when you want to bring it around. It has Thunderbolt 3 ports, USB Type-A ports, an HDMI port, an SD card reader, and an audio jack, so you won’t have to buy any USB hubs or adapters anymore. Due to the many powerful features and high-speed performance this laptop offers, it’s pricier than most laptops on this list. It also has a disappointing battery life because you will only get about 4.5 hours of usage when you use heavy programs. While the Dell XPS 13 is better for beginner music producers, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is more suitable for professionals.
The Asus ROG Strix Scar 15 is another powerful laptop that can meet all of your requirements. This laptop’s most valuable features are the 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H processor, an RGB lighting keyboard, and a 15.6-inch Full HD display. The display is a treat to look at, mainly because it has a 300Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. It features NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics, ensuring a fantastic visual experience on whatever program you use. The laptop has a GPU MUX switch, which makes the GPU and the display communicate directly, resulting in less latency and better performance.
Considering it weighs 5.07 pounds, it’s convenient when you have to work on the fly. Another handy feature is its built-in ROG Intelligent cooling system, which maximizes CPU and GPU performance, and makes your laptop quieter. The best part is that most of its features can be upgraded easily.
This laptop is an excellent choice for audio production due to its 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and long-lasting battery life. You also won’t be disappointed with its ports because you get a Thunderbolt 4 port, a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port, an HDMI port, a LAN port, two USB Type-A ports, and an audio jack. If you’re looking for a laptop with certified high-performance ability, then this might be the right option for you.
For those with a tight budget and who want a more affordable option, the Acer Swift 3 would be a fantastic option. With an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core CPU, it’s ideal for handling various apps and music-making software simultaneously.
Its ultra-thin and lightweight design makes it easily portable and even more convenient when you are always on the go. Moreover, the Acer Swift 3 has a long-lasting battery life of 11.5 hours, more than enough for a whole day of work without stopping to charge the battery. This laptop comes with 8GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, which are pretty decent for a budget option.
When it comes to external features, the Acer Swift 3 comes with USB 2.0, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, and a USB Type-C port, as well as an HDMI port and headphone or mic jack. Having a sufficient number of ports allows you to plug in various wires and connect with different devices. If you are looking for a more affordable version of the Dell XPS 13, which has the same high-speed performance, then this is definitely the right laptop for you.
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