Best budget laptop for music production – Reviews & Buying Guide [2023 updated]
There has never been a time when recording music on a laptop was more straightforward. Many kinds of software allow you to do everything from imitating a guitar amp to conducting full multi-track sessions with complete creative control over mixing, recording, and mastering. For those unfamiliar with the field, it’s essential to know that many different kinds of software exist. In this day and age, even the most affordable laptops that are rated highly for music creation have sufficient levels of performance to get you started.
If you’re unfamiliar with the world of entry-level laptops, it might be challenging to figure out where to begin. It’s possible that you’re just starting in the world of recording and don’t have a significant budget or the desire to spend it. It’s also possible that you’re rediscovering an old interest simultaneously as you realize the world has moved on from tape machines. Regardless of the path that led you here, we are confident that we can locate a laptop for recording music that will meet your requirements. And although if the majority of modern laptops, if not all of them, are capable of performing a task, some excellent cooling features set apart the finest budget laptops for music production from the rest of the competition.
Audio work necessitates a unique collection of capabilities distinct from those needed for gaming or general computing tasks. Along with providing some suggestions to get you started, including our pick for the laptop that we believe is the best for music production, this article will discuss the factors that should be of the utmost importance to you when selecting affordable laptops for music production (for more information on this topic, please see the section of our website devoted to buying advice).
Our List Of The Best Budget Laptop For Music Productions (Updated 2023)
1. MSI GF63 Thin – Editor’s Choice
Choose a laptop with sufficient processing power if you intend to do a lot of music production. Some of the most exclusive features of a portable music studio are discussed below.
First and foremost, you need enough of your computer’s RAM and a fast processor speed. Most digital audio workstations (DAWs) have a few hundred gigabytes of storage, a multi-core processor, and four or more gigabytes of RAM as minimum system requirements. However, this is frequently inadequate for actual work. Therefore, you shouldn’t buy one based on the minimum standards.
The impressive battery life of a cheap laptop is another factor to consider when using it for music creation. Because you’ll be using it for extended periods, the excellent battery life must be at least 8 hours long.
You may always buy an external hard drive if you don’t want to rely on your laptop’s battery life. As a last point, the MSI GF63 Thin 10UC-439 laptop is equipped with a wide variety of connectors, including USB-C, making it ideal for the recording studio.
MSI is a well-known brand of laptops that many producers choose for making music. When it comes to forming and function, the GF63 Thin 10UC-439 laptop is unrivaled.
Despite its slim profile, its superb cooling features and maximum performance make it an ideal choice for a live blend of performance or portable studio use. Make sure your MSI GF63 Thin 10UC-439 laptop is sturdy and has enough storage space for your music before you buy it.
2. Asus TUF Gaming F17 – Runner Up
You won’t find a better laptop at this price point than the Asus TUF Gaming F17. It’s quieter than most other laptops in its price range and is built around a speedy processor.
In addition to the excellent 512 GB SSD, the laptop’s RAM is also easily upgradable. It has a 256 GB hard drive and 8 GB of RAM, so it can do most music production tasks at an affordable price.
We put the TUF Gaming F17 laptop through its paces to ensure it can handle even the roughest treatment. It boasts 84-blade Arc Flow Fans with anti-dust technology to enhance pressure, reduce turbulence, and improve cooling performance capability.
Moreover, this laptop has four heat vents and five separate heat pipes. The 90-watt battery allows for prolonged online time, and the quick-charging key feature fully charges the battery in 30 minutes.
The backlit keyboard on the TUF Gaming F17 is fantastic, but the screen is incredibly dim. When put to the test, it outlasted the G5 15 SE and the Omen 15 by a significant margin when used for continuous web browsing at 150 nits (my chosen brightness level).
3. HP Spectre X360 – Best Selling
Budget-conscious music producers might look into the HP Spectre X360 laptop. The newest Intel Core i7 and i5 processors, along with 8GB or 16GB of RAM, are installed in these portable computers.
As a bonus, they are coded to function with the newest build of FL Studio. Most musicians couldn’t afford a laptop with all these bells and whistles even a decade ago.
However, the low price of these laptops has altered the playing field. These cost-effective models allow musicians to make music without breaking the bank.
When it comes to laptops for making music, the HP Spectre X360 has the highest processing power. They favor its 11th-generation Intel processor because of its ability to handle heavy media workloads.
In addition, the screen is fantastic, with a stunning 4K resolution. A 6-cell 74Whr battery allows for up to 10 hours of continuous operation, demonstrating its superior battery life. Because of the battery’s durability, you can keep working for a long time without worrying about running out of juice.
The HP Spectre X360 combines excellent portability with sturdy construction. Its dimensions are 356 x 251 x 17.9 mm, weighing a mere 2020 grams. One USB 3.1 Type-C port and one HDMI port are included in the slim and light Spectre X360. Additionally, it has HP’s customer assistance software and a 12-month guarantee.
4. Lenovo Legion 5
The Lenovo Legion 5 is among the finest low-cost laptops for making music. There’s ample space for your editing and music apps, and the processor is lightning-fast. Amazon shoppers have given it a 4.4-star rating and praised its reasonable price.
This sleek laptop boasts a sizable screen, a simple interface, and an ultramodern appearance. It’s also a fantastic option for musicians and audio engineers due to its many input and output connections.
The laptop’s keyboard is also a strong point. It features a full-sized keyboard with a numeric keypad and a customizable 4-zone RGB backlight. The full-size keyboard has enough room to type, and the illumination may be set to your liking.
The USB-C port on this laptop makes it easy to hook up the external display & graphics. The computer may connect to other devices through Bluetooth vPro.
This laptop’s usual memory is 16GB; if you need more, you may purchase an optional upgrade to 32 GB. A massive one terabyte of storage space is available on the solid-state drive.
The monitor has a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution and a screen size of 17.3 inches. An LED backlight illuminates it. This notebook has respectable battery life. If you’re looking for a cheap laptop that can produce music through music equalizer, there are a few extra things to remember.
5. Apple MacBook Pro
As far as computers go, the Apple MacBook Pro is up there with the best in making music. The MacBook Pro may be upgraded to a 9th generation Intel processor with eight cores, and its 6-core i7 processor and 16GB RAM are perfect for making music.
The 6-speaker audio system in the MacBook Pro is high-quality and reduces vibrations for straightforward listening. Its size may prevent it from being used in concert settings, but it more than holds its own in the studio.
Apple’s MacBook Air may be the least potent MacBook available, yet it can easily handle most music production duties. Both Logic Pro X and GarageBand work without a hitch on this machine. Remember that music creation software not optimized for the Apple silicon M1/M2 processor may not function as expected on the MacBook Air. The lack of fans on the MacBook Air means it’s not the best option if you want to use it as a home recording studio.
The Apple MacBook Pro is an excellent laptop for making music because it is compatible with Logic Pro X, Garage Band, Presonus Studio, and Ableton live. The MacBook Air is also an excellent option for audio industry users.
It can take up to 8TB of storage and 64GB of RAM and boasts a high-resolution display and audio system. In addition, the Apple MacBook Pro is undoubtedly one of the most trustworthy laptops in audio production.
Think about your storage needs before making a laptop purchase for music production. Select a device that can accommodate your audio files and music projects, as this is where you’ll be storing and mixing your songs.
Additionally, try to find products that use solid-state SSDs. SSDs are more expensive and speedier than regular hard disks. A music producer must have access to a high-quality SSD to succeed.
Check to see that your laptop has plenty of memory. For music production, 4GB of RAM is recommended by several DAW developers, but this is conditional on using their software.
The minimum is 16GB of RAM, but the more you can afford, the better. Weight is another factor to consider when purchasing a laptop drive for music production. A laptop’s portability and battery life are two essential features that should not be compromised.
What To Look For In A Budget Laptop For Music Productions?
The central processing unit, random access memory, and storage space are the three main areas of concentration for laptops used for music creation. In contrast to the emphasis placed on graphics and visuals by gamers and video editors, a laptop’s processing speed, RAM, and plenty of storage capacity are all that matter when it comes to audio:
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) generates power for the laptop by executing instructions. In making music, this determines factors like the number of simultaneous virtual instruments you can play, the depth of the effects you can apply, and how quickly your finished tracks can be exported. Intel and AMD dominate the market, and the quality of their products reflects this. If money is tight, we advise looking at Intel’s i5 or AMD’s Ryzen 5 series of processors for audio and music software creation, but lower-end CPUs would do if cost is a concern.
Working with RAM is simpler. As a result, it limits the size of the arrangements you can make and the number of audio files you can open simultaneously. It’s technically possible to use music production software like Garageband or Ableton Live on a laptop with 4GB of RAM. Still, you’ll shortly reach a point where the computer can’t handle the demands of your project. Ideally, you’d like to see at least 8 GB of storage space.
You can either use an HDD or an SSD for storage. Streaming sample libraries isn’t recommended due to the poor speeds of hard drives, despite their reduced cost and impressive storage capacity. However, solid-state drives (SSDs) are expensive but extremely fast.
An excellent low-cost laptop for home recording will prioritize processing power, memory, and speed. Your first machine for making music should serve you well if you can put aside your desire for bells, whistles, and other extra yet cool features.