If you’re on the market for the best laptop for music production, you’ll want the best processor and as much RAM as you can get to handle multiple music tracks. You’ll also need one of the best SSDs or hard drives, as you’ll be working with large file sizes. Great speakers, or at least the ability to connect to external ones is also extremely important.
You’ll also want something that can take a beating – you want it to withstand bumps and knocks as you travel from gig to gig. And, because you’re going to be carrying it around a lot, you may prefer something that is thin and light, like the best Ultrabooks.
To make choosing a laptop easy, we’ve included our exclusive price comparison tool, so you know where to find the best deal without having to trawl through the web comparing prices. If you want to see a more comprehensive list of prices and retailers, just click the ‘view all prices’ link on each widget.
The best laptops for music production and DJs:
1. Apple MacBook 12" (2016)
Apple remains the number one choice for music makers and DJs
CPU: Intel Core M3 1.2GHz - Intel Core i7 1.4GHz | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 12-inch, (2,304 x 1440) IPS 16:10 | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD
The new Apple Macbook is the slimmest, slickest and best-looking Macbook Apple has ever built and it's one of the most popular and best-selling laptops on the planet. This, along with the excellent music production software available for Macs, means it's the best laptop for DJs and Music production. It's a super slim and light Macbook that you can take anywhere without even noticing the weight, and gives you the same slick OS X performance.
2. Apple Macbook Pro with touchbar
The best Macbook Pro ever, now with touchbar
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 – 650 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, (2,560 x 1,600) IPS | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe 3.0 SSD
If you’re looking for the latest and greatest from Apple, check out the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. It’s quite possibly the best laptop Apple has ever made,and builds new features into the classic design. And, with the new Touch Bar, you can easily select auto suggested words, or even log in with just your fingerprint. The MacBook Pro is much more powerful than the MacBook as well, which means if you’re a music producer, this is the best laptop for you, as it can handle complex arrangements with multiple audio tracks with ease.
3. Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Microsoft's Windows tablet is a brilliant 2-in-1 option
CPU: Intel Core m3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 – Iris Plus Graphics 640 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 8MP rear-facing, 5MP front-facing
The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is 2017's best laptop for you if you're looking for the perfect cross between a nimble Windows tablet and a fully functional laptop. The base version of the Surface Pro 4 is just a tablet - you get the main unit itself with kickstand but if you want the Surface Pen or the fantastic Type Cover keyboard you'll need to pay extra for a bundle or buy it separately. Again, this is a great laptop for writers who can use a stylus to jot down their notes to later turn into editable text. As the Surface Pro 4 is a tablet 2-in-1 that runs the full version of Windows 10, it means it is an extremely portable device that can run any music mixing and editing programs that are available for Windows.
Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
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4. Dell XPS 13 (2018)
The best gets better
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) | Storage: 128GB – 256GB SSD
The Dell XPS 13 has been one of the best laptops you can buy for a few years running now, and the 2018 version is no different. For aspiring music producers, the XPS’ move to an 8th-generation Intel Kaby Lake R CPU should be appealing, as it will trim down the time it takes to process tracks, allowing you to minimize downtime. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find a 1TB storage drive anymore, but when you get a laptop that looks this good and runs this fast – it’s a worthy tradeoff.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13 (2018)
5. Lenovo Yoga Book
A wonderfully versatile and cheap 2-in-1 laptop
CPU: Intel Atom x5-Z8550 | Graphics: Intel Atom | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 10.1-inch full HD IPS touchscreen | Storage: 64GB SSD, up to 128GB microSD
If you’re after a cheap laptop that is unique in the marketplace, the Lenovo Yoga Book might be for you. As with all Yoga devices, the screen folds flat so you can either use it as a tablet or a laptop. To add even more versatility on top, Lenovo gives you the choice to buy it with either Windows 10 or Android 6.0 onboard – which one you pick will depend on how you’re more likely to use the device. The screen on the Yoga Book defies the cheap asking price and the keyboard and capacitive touch keyboard are both great additions. While this won’t cut it for hardcore music production, it’s a great travel companion for DJs who are looking for something portable.
6. 13-inch Macbook Air (2015)
The Ultrabook before Ultrabooks
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 6000 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 13.3-inch HD (1,440 x 900) | Storage: 128GB – 512GB PCIe Flash | Dimensions (W x D x H): 19.7cm x 19.7cm x 3.6cm
The Macbook Air is in an interesting spot. While it's still one of the most popular and well-known notebooks around, the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook have stolen much of its thunder. That is, unless you need the legacy USB 3, Thunderbolt 2 and SDXC card connectivity. Even without a Retina display or Force Touch trackpad, the 13-inch MacBook Air is a very capable machine, even if the 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage leave a lot to be desired. Plus it still has the beloved MagSafe 2 charger onboard as well as an impeccable battery life. So, if you don't mind having a slightly older machine, the Macbook Air is an excellent - and now more affordable - choice for DJs and music production.
Read the full review: 13-inch MacBook Air (2015)
7. Dell XPS 15
The best 15-inch laptop available this year
CPU: Intel Core i5-7300HQ - i7-7700HQ | Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB - 16GB DDR4 | Screen: Up to 15.6-inch Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) InfinityEdge touchscreen | Storage: 1TB HDD - 512GB SSD
If you're looking for a larger and more powerful laptop for running music production software on, then the Dell XPS 15 could be for you. Packing the same InfinityEdge technology as the smaller XPS 13, the screen extends right to the edge of the machine which means it's as small as it's possible to make a 15-inch laptop in 2017. It's quite pricey though, depending on which version you get. The very top end version has a 4K color-accurate display, which can give you an excellent overview of all the tracks you're working on.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 15
- Want more choices? Check out our list of the best laptops of 2018