What’s the best laptop for music production? To help take new your job as far as you possibly can, let’s understand the equipment you need.
Making Sweet, Sweet Music – All About Laptops for Music Production
You’ll get much farther in your audio career if you understand the equipment you need. As is evident all around you, everything is done with technology, that means you’re going to need the best laptop for music production to help you take your new hobby, or perhaps your dream job.
Whether you are an experienced music producer, you’re someone who is just starting out, or maybe you just have a fleeting interest in the hobby and you want to see how far you can take it, you will need the right equipment to be able to do the job in the first place.
There are many considerations you need to take into consideration when looking for equipment, but you should firstly look at your budget.
It’s no good going over the top, especially if you are just starting out; if you are more on the professional side however, you should have a higher budget, since this is an integral part of your kit, and therefore for your job too.
What Makes a Music Production Laptop Different to a Regular Laptop?
There really is no major difference in terms of branding – you can find specific gaming laptops on the market, but you won’t find a labelled music production laptop.
What you need to look at is the specifications of a regular laptop, to make sure it will give you what you need for your music production endeavours.
Extra power, a large screen, fast speeds, and large storage are really what you are looking for, but we will go into the specifics a little more later. For now,
it’s important to realize that you are not shopping for a specific music production laptop, but a regular laptop which is a little higher up the spec line, and therefore probably a little more expensive than the most basic laptop on the market.
What is the Difference Between a Mac and Windows?
Assuming you know a little about computers, this is basically about the operating system, and you have a quite important choice to make here.
If you are used to a Mac, e.g. computers made by Apple and running on the OSX operating system, then you might find it easier and quicker to stick with a Mac.
If however you have always used a Windows computer, then sticking with Windows could be a good option. Having said that, there is some advantage to switching.
Mac is more reliable, that has been proven, and Mac laptops also come with pre-installed software and links to the Apple Store, where you can instantly get your hands on high quality music production software and apps.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with Windows either, and provided you know how to use it and you keep it updated, as well as protecting it with anti virus software, it is a very high quality choice.
What you need to bear in mind is that if you are swapping between the two operating systems, i.e. you have Mac at the momenta and you’re choosing Windows, and vice versa.
You may have issues trying to convert existing work or software over, so think carefully before making the switch.
Choosing The Best Laptop For Music Production
Okay, so we know why you may want to purchase a dedicated laptop for music production and we now know the differences between the operating systems of Mac or Windows, but what specifics should you look out for when you are trying to find the best laptop for music production, according to your needs?
You need to look at the following areas:
This is something you need to think about very carefully before making a purchase. The best laptop for music production should have quite a high CPU power amount, because you need it to do quite a lot of things at once.
If you are planning on having several apps open at one time, the higher speed you need, and if you are running several plug ins for example, this also adds to the amount of CPU power you need.
The basic guideline is to never go for less than a laptop with i5 CPU power, with some of the best laptop for music production choices running at i7.
Amount of RAM
Whilst you can’t upgrade CPU power once you have made the decision to purchase, you can purchase more RAM and install it, so this isn’t the most crucial part. Having said that, you want to get it right from the start, so it’s wise to think about it beforehand.
You basically have three choices – 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB. A 4GB will be enough for a basic beginner, but if you are a little more au fait with music production, then you should be looking at 8GB – this will cover your needs. If however you are more experienced and you have a lot of material you want to keep, or you have several libraries you need to make use of, then 16GB is where you need to be looking.
Obviously, the higher the RAM, the higher the price, generally speaking.
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Storage – SSD or HDD
This particular issue depends on how much storage you think you will need, but do bear in mind that you can use external storage means, such as flash drives or external hard drives, which connect via a USB port. SSD is higher quality, because it has a faster speed and therefore is great if you are wanting to transfer over large amounts of data.
On the other hand, HDD gives you more storage space, so you need to weigh up what is best for you here.
This isn’t a deal breaker, but you need to be comfortable with what you are looking at. The screen size also dictates the size of the physical laptop.
If you are travelling a lot for your job, or you generally move around a lot with your laptop, you probably want to avoid going too big. 15” screens will get you by, but if you are into your hobby in a bigger way, 17” is a great choice.
If you are moving around for work or you are planning on heading out to actually use the music you have produced, then you will need a good quality battery life on your laptop.
If however you are mainly going to be using this at home, the amount of battery life may not be an issue, because you can simply keep this plugged into the mains supply.
This is a biggie, because you need to be able to incorporate your extras, e.g. an external hard drive, anything you want to transfer to etc. If you can find a laptop with around 3 USB ports, this is favourable.
Obviously, if there is an issue, you can purchase a USB hub to give you extra portability, but this does add to the cost.
Is there anything else which you deem important? Do you need a backlit keyboard? Do you want software pre-installed? You need to think about what you need and want, and then shop around according to your requirements. Obviously do bear in mind that the more extras a laptop has, the higher the price will be in the end.
Best Laptop for Music Production – A Few Choices on The Market Currently
We know that technology is a big thing these days, and for that reason it may be better to go with a big named brand, to give you more in the way of confidence in your purchase.
You should also check for the warranty, as many larger brands have a higher quality warranty policy too. Some of the main brands on the market include Apple (Mac), Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Samsung, etc, the list goes on.
Shopping around is the only way to get the best purchasing choice for your needs, but these are some of the most popular options around today. See if any of these suit your requirements.
Overall the is basically great for everything, but it is definitely one of the best laptop for music production choices, because it does so much and has such a large capacity.
It obviously uses the OSX operating system, as it is a Mac, and it has a huge i7 CPU processor, so it is fast and very efficient.
There is 8GB for RAM, and it runs on an SSD memory, at 128GB, so there are no worries about issues with transferring large amounts of data.
The graphics are also fantastic on the MacBook Pro, holding the Intel Iris Pro graphics software, and you can also easily download and access many different software and app choices, thanks to a direct link with the Apple Store.
Overall, this is a fantastic choice for everything, but if you are serious about music production, this is the daddy of the Mac world.
The MacBook Air is fantastic for those who are either on a budget, or need to move around a lot. This is because it is much lower cost compared to the MacBook Pro, and many other Windows-based laptops, and it is very lightweight too, hence the ‘air’ in the title.
On top of this, the MacBook Air has a huge battery life capacity, lasting for up to 12 hours, so if you are travelling, or you move around a lot, this is a major advantage. It may not be as powerful as the MacBook Pro, but many aren’t; that doesn’t mean it’s not a great option however.
There is a 13.3” display, which is enough, and a great graphics resolution – you wouldn’t expect anything less than this on a Mac of any type! There is 8GB of ram, and again, it is SSD memory storage, at 128GB, giving you more than enough room.
To Sum it Up
The best laptop for music production is quite a personal deal, but there’s no denying that there are main attributes which make up the final decision.
As we mentioned at the very start of this article, make sure you set yourself a budget and stick to it – it’s very easy to go over the top when you start shopping around.
You have your head turned by top quality, shiny, new technology, but if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it – it’s that simple.
Check out reviews and testimonials before making the jump, because product specifications are one thing, but experience is something else entirely.
Once you find the ideal product for you, and you decide to invest, your journey towards new music is just beginning.
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