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The 5 best laptops for music production in 2024

In a world where music producers are often on the move, either touring or daily commuting to their 9-5, it’s unthinkable not to have a portable device that allows you to make music whenever inspiration strikes.

Infinitely more powerful than they used to be just a few years ago, laptops can now give you all the tools you need to produce, mix, and release music professionally. Thanks to versatile DAWs and plugins, you can design your own unique recording studio and carry it with you at all times.

Quick recommendations

If I had to choose just one, I’d definitely go for the Dell XPS 15. It’s a powerful machine that delivers outstanding performance at a reasonable price, with build quality and customization options that make it a worthwhile investment for producers of all levels.

If you want to go for options that cost more but will provide high-end results for years to come, my recommendations are the MacBook Pro M3 (with high-end configurations) and the ProArt Studiobook.

The former offers the reliability and power one expects from Apple products, and then some. The latter is specifically designed with content creators in mind, hence can give you full control over your creative output with a flawless and fluid performance.


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Why you should trust me

I’ve been producing music for two decades now, and most of my releases were either sketched out or entirely made on a laptop.

Marco Sebastiano Alessi, author and contributor at Higher Hz

While desktop computers can give you more in terms of power and functionalities, the possibility of carrying my own recording studio with me anywhere has been crucial in my development as an artist.

Choosing the right laptop for your music production requires a clear understanding of your needs as an artist, so in this article, I’ll explore the world of mobile music production, review what I believe are the best laptops to make music, and analyze what to look for when choosing one that’ll enhance your production.

How I chose and tested

This is part of my recent research on the best hardware for music production, so make sure you check out my recent piece on the best desktop computers for music production if you want to get a full overview of what the market offers these days for music producers.

For this article, the most important thing I considered was processing power, so I looked for laptops with a multi-core processor, such as an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 7, that allows to run digital audio workstation software and virtual instruments smoothly.

Furthermore, a robust processor ensures low latency and quick response times, which are crucial for real-time audio processing.

Memory (RAM) was another critical factor I considered during my research. I aimed for a minimum of 16 GB, which is enough RAM for efficient multitasking and reduces the risk of my system slowing down when handling complex projects.

I also took storage capacity into account. My recommendation is a solid-state drive (SSD) with at least 512 GB, as SSDs provide faster data access, which is a big advantage when you want to load samples and project files quickly.

Finally, a laptop destined for music production should come with a variety of USB ports, including USB-C, and interfaces like Thunderbolt for connecting external devices.

Best Mac: Apple MacBook Pro M3

  • CPU: Apple M3
  • RAM: up to 128 GB
  • SSD: up to 8 TB
  • OS: macOS
Apple MacBook Pro M3 laptop
Image: Apple

Just released a couple of months ago, the MacBook Pro M3 will likely become the weapon of choice of producers of all levels, and for all the right reasons: it’s reliable, insanely powerful, and offers that unique sense of optimized workflow typical of Apple products.

The new generation of M3 chips provides lightspeed performance and excellent multitasking capabilities even in the most demanding workflows, while the 22 hours of battery life and abundant connectivity options make it the perfect companion for producers on the go.

Pricey but not ridiculously so, the MacBook Pro M3 might be the perfect solution for those already familiar with the Apple environment and for those who prioritize reliability and compatibility above all else. All in all, you can’t go wrong with such a powerful machine.

What I like

  • Unbeatable, performance-wise.
  • Perfectly optimized macOS environment.

What I don’t like

  • Best configurations are very expensive, and with low-end configs, there are better options.
Buy Apple MacBook Pro M3 at: AmazonApple

Best Windows: Dell XPS 15 (9530)

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 or i9
  • RAM: up to 64 GB
  • SSD: up to 8 TB
  • OS: Windows 11
Dell XPS 15 (9530) laptop
Image: Dell

The Dell XPS 15 (9530 model) is a phenomenal laptop for those unimpressed by the bells and whistles of Apple products.

In terms of power, performance, and streamlined workflow, the Dell XPS offers just as much as its standard Mac counterparts, with up to 64 GB of RAM and an Intel i9 processor that will make any DAW or plugin run smoothly.

While heavier than other high-end laptops and expensive once you start adding extra features, the Dell XPS, even in its standard package, delivers magnificently.

With good (but not great) battery life and a plethora of display options to choose from, this laptop would be my go-to option should I wish to upgrade my hardware.

What I like

  • Professional laptop capable of handling all music tasks with ease.

What I don’t like

  • Battery life isn’t top-notch.
Buy Dell XPS 15 Laptop at: AmazonDell

Best laptop/tablet: Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2

  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • RAM: up to 64 GB
  • SSD: up to 2 TB
  • OS: Windows 11
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2
Image: Microsoft

A perfect combination of power and portability, the Surface Laptop Studio 2 is an excellent option for content creator of all kinds looking for an all-in-one laptop and tablet for their creative needs.

With an impressive Intel Core i7 and plenty of upgradeable options in terms of RAM and storage, the Surface Laptop Studio 2 will be able to upload and mix your heaviest tracks without breaking a sweat.

An excellent 14-inch display that can also be used as a tablet, combined with a rich port selection, makes the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 one of the most versatile and performing laptops for music production right now.

What I like

  • Portable.
  • Versatile.
  • Customizable.

What I don’t like

  • Pricey.
  • On the heavier side.
Buy Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 at: AmazonMicrosoft

For versatile creatives: Asus ProArt Studiobook

  • CPU: Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 9
  • RAM: up to 64 GB
  • SSD: up to 4 TB
  • OS: Windows 11
Asus ProArt Studiobook laptop
Image: Asus

Specifically designed with content creators in mind, the ProArt Studiobook offers everything you need if you’re a versatile artist who does more than music production.

With various latest-generation CPUs to choose from and plenty of data storage and RAM, you can make videos, mix complex compositions, and take your multitasking skills to the next level with this all-in-one laptop solution.

Versatile connectivity options, an immersive 16-inch display, and hardware that’s built to last further increase the quality of the ProArt Studiobook.

The only downside is the price. Not all content creators can afford a laptop whose price starts at $2,000. It’s worth the investment, though, if you can afford it.

What I like

  • An all-in-one solution for the versatile creative.
  • Beautiful 16-inch OLED display.

What I don’t like

  • Expensive.
Buy Asus ProArt Studiobook at: AmazonAsus

Best value Mac: Apple MacBook Air M2

  • CPU: Apple M2
  • RAM: up to 24 GB
  • SSD: up to 2 TB
  • OS: macOS
Apple MacBook Air M2 laptop
Image: Apple

A “budget-friendly” and ultra-portable solution for the Mac-oriented. The MacBook Air M2 might easily be the most silent and lightweight laptop I’ve ever seen. Almost magically, it doesn’t get warm even when performing live or working on heavy projects, despite not having a fan.

Aside from this, what can I say about this laptop? It works magnificently; the workflow feels natural and effortless, and programs work seamlessly with the OS and load in no time.

Although I’d recommend getting the 16 GB option, even with 8 GB of RAM, the Air M2 performs admirably. For the price, this is a bargain that can upgrade your creative career for good.

What I like

  • Lightweight and durable.
  • Reasonably priced.

What I don’t like

  • Nothing to note.
Buy Apple MacBook Air M2 at: AmazonApple

Recent updates

  • Feb 22, 2024: Fixed minor text inconsistencies. Verified that all the laptops are available for purchase. No changes in recommendations.