In today’s world of technology, we use laptops for every need, then why not for music production? Yes, the laptop has become an essential even for music production. Musicians in all genres are constantly searching as to which one will help them best.
There are so many laptops available, which one should you choose? We will review a few laptops from top end companies. But before that let’s see how one can use a laptop for music production.
- Recording Audio: you can plug a microphone or any other recording device directly into a laptop which allows you to record your sound to the laptop.
- Sample Libraries: Laptops give you access to thousands of virtual sample libraries, which is good for genres that frequently use samples.
- Editing and arranging: Laptops help to edit and arrange music tracks, whether that have been self-recorded or from sample libraries.
- Production Software: there are many software’s available like Image Line FL Studio or Ableton Live that can turn your laptop into a full-fledged production studio.
- Live sets: Yes, laptops can be used in live concerts or DJ shows too.
- Portable music studio: Given the ease of carrying a laptop and the varied software available, your laptop can be a portable music studio giving you the ease of accessing your music anywhere and anytime.
So, now that we know how a laptop can be used for music production one should also know what are the key features that one needs to look for while buying a laptop.
- RAM: for music production look for a laptop with a RAM of 8 GB. If you will not be using a lot of music samples or sound plug-ins even a lower RAM is fine. If you are going to use your laptop for sound recording only, a laptop with 4 GB RAM will also serve the purpose.
- Battery life: a long battery life is always preferable. If you plan to use your laptop as a portable music studio a long battery life is essential. Whereas if you intend to keep your laptop in one place only you can settle for a model with a lower battery life.
- Type of hard drive: there are two types of hard drives, SSD and HDD. SSDs are newer and faster. But yes, you pay more for an SSD hard drive. If you intend to store a lot of music go for an SSD, if not you can settle for a laptop with HDD too.
- Ports/connectivity: you need to be able to plug in any audio gear that you plan to use. A laptop for music production should have at least one USB3 port, though more is better. It is best to be able to plug in directly into your laptop but, you can work around this by using a USB port hub.
- Screen size: Music production apps take up a lot of screen space so a screen size of 15-17 inches is ideal.
- Keyboard: One of the advantages of using a laptop is you can work with it anywhere and at any time. So, having a laptop with a backlit keyboard will be helpful.
Let us now compare a few laptop models from top end brands. The brands that we are considering in this list are HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, and Dell.
- HP Spectre X360: A very well-made laptop that can either be used as a laptop or tablet. Although small it is very well built. It has a 15.6-inch screen, an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, a 512 GB SSD, and weighs 4.76kgs. It has a great battery life of 8 hours. On the flip side, this laptop has very few ports and you may need a USB hub. The plus for this model is the powerful processor and great battery life. You can check more details here.
- Lenovo Legion Y720: This is an impressive gaming laptop and will perfectly for any music production. It has a 15.6-inch screen, an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB RAM, 2.25 TB SSD, and weighs 3.2 kgs. The biggest plus for this laptop is the number of ports that it offers. The negative is that it has a low battery life. The Lenovo Legion Y720 is good if you are working at one place so you can charge it frequently. Also, it is the most expensive laptop in this list. Check out the model here.
- ASUS ROG Strix: This advanced technology laptop from ASUS works well for many music producers. The ASUS ROG Strix has a 15.6-inch screen, an Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, and a battery life of 5 hours. It also has plenty of ports, a backlit keyboard, and a matte screen to prevent glare. The con of this model is that it is very heavy. It weighs close to 5.5kgs which makes it difficult for one to carry it around. Learn more about this model here.
- Acer Aspire 5: This is the only laptop on our list with a Linux OS. Now if you are comfortable working with that OS you can read on. There are some musicians who prefer Linux to other Operating systems. The ACER Aspire 5 has a 15.6-inch screen, Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD and it weighs 2.2kgs. This laptop has an attractive design and wide selection of ports. The cons for this model are dim and unsaturated display and poor battery life. Read more about this model here.
- Dell Inspiron 15: This laptop can be considered if you are just beginning to work in the field of music production. It has a 15.6-inch screen, 8GB RAM, 1 TB SSD hard disk, an Intel Core i7 processor, and it weighs 2.76kgs. This laptop has a number of ports which is helpful and a long-lasting battery life. The cons for the model are its display and the keyboard which isn’t very comfortable to use. Learn more about this laptop here.
Though there are other brands in the market that one can choose from. Nonetheless what matters at the end of the day is using the laptop for practice and actually making music. Keep in mind the features listed ahead while selecting any laptop. At the end of the day, it is your personal choice and work that will determine your purchase.
So, keep in mind these recommendations while selecting your laptop to create some great music!