Using the best laptop for music production packed right next to your headphones is crucial, if you’re a musician or a professional DJ. You’ll required one of the best processors – not to mention, plenty of fast RAM – as these will allow the best laptop for music production to handle multiple music tracks. A fast and capacious SSD, hard drive or both are important as well, since you’ll be dealing with massive file sizes.
In addition, if you’re frequently on the road touring, you’ll want a laptop that can handle a beating or two. You probably won’t need to go all out and pick up one of the best rugged laptops, but you should look for a device that won’t fall apart if you so much as look at it the wrong way. And, while we’re on the subject of mobility, a thin and light Ultrabook will keep you packing light while on the road.
To simplify your search for the best laptop for music composition, we went ahead and included our exclusive price comparison tool, so you can quickly spot the best deal for your budget. If you want to see a more comprehensive list of prices and retailers, just click the ‘see all prices’ button on each widget.
The best laptops for music production and DJs:
1. MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
The most powerful MacBook ever made
CPU: 6-core Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 555X – Radeon Pro Vega 20 | RAM: 16 – 32GB | Screen: 15.4-inch, 2,880 x 1,800 Retina display | Storage: 256GB – 4TB SSD
For years, the MacBook Pro has been the go-to laptop for musicians all over the world, and its 2019 refresh follows in its footsteps, fitting the bill even more. As long as you can justify the price of entry, the MacBook Pro is the best laptop for music production… especially if you’re invested in the macOS ecosystem. With its 9th-generation Intel Core chips and up to 32GB of RAM, you’re going to be able to load up as many tracks as you want in Logic Pro X without crippling your laptop or suffering slowdowns. It’s also unexpectedly durable – you don’t need to worry about things bumping into it in your tour bag, as Apple has designed their MacBooks with a robust aluminum chassis that can survive hard falls and bangs.
Read the full review: MacBook Pro (15-inch, mid-2018)
2. Surface Pro 6
The Windows tablet, refined
CPU: 8th-gen Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 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
Long battery life
Still no USB-C
If you want the best laptop for music production to also double as a Windows tablet for light gaming and movie watching in your downtime, the Surface Pro 6 should be at the top of your list. Not only does this laptop alternative rock powerful hardware ideal for music production, but it has a stunning display as well – not to mention, a number of legacy ports for connecting your equipment. It might be lacking USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, but if you’re just in it for music production, that shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
Read the full review: Surface Pro 6
3. Dell XPS 13 (2019)
New and improved for 2019
CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4k (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
Battery life better than ever
Beautiful optional 4K display
2019 update isn’t huge
The Dell XPS 13 has been one of the best laptops money can buy for a few years running now, and the newly-released 2019 version is no different. For aspiring music producers, the XPS’ move to an 8th-generation Intel Core chips should be appealing, as it will cut the time it takes to process tracks, making your creative process more streamlined and giving you more time to do other stuff. Better yet, the 1TB storage drive option is back so you’ll have more storage space than ever to save your large files in.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 13
4. Surface Laptop 2
Microsoft’s laptop, perfected
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch 2,256 x 1,504 PixelSense Display | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD
Much more powerful
Gorgeous new black color option
No Thunderbolt 3
With all the 2-in-1 laptops that switch into a tablet and is rich with features you might not use, sometimes a more traditional Windows 10 laptop is best for what you need. If you’re a fan of the Surface devices, you’ll be happy to know that Microsoft has rolled out the Surface Laptop 2, one of the best laptops in its lineup. Not only does this best laptop for music production feature a quad-core processor and plenty of memory, but it also has a beautiful touch display and most of the ports you need – even if it’s missing Thunderbolt 3. As long as you don’t need Logic Pro X, you really can’t go wrong with the Surface Laptop 2.
Read the full review: Surface Laptop 2
5. Apple MacBook Air (2019)
A solid entry with an excellent new screen
CPU: 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,600 LED-backlit display with IPS technology | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56cm; W x D x H)
Screen is great
Fantastic battery life
New lower price
Lack of storage space
The recently refreshed MacBook Air brings Apple’s thin and light mainstream laptop into the modern age, what with a sleek aluminum build, a Retina display and an actual modern processor. This all makes for the best laptop for music production if you would like to stick with macOS while saving some money. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to invest in a couple of dongles, as the two Thunderbolt 3 ports aren’t compatible with a lot of music equipment.
Read the full review: MacBook Air (2019)
6. 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
Poor webcam position
On the other hand, if you require a larger and more powerful laptop for running music production software on, the Dell XPS 15 might just be ideal for you. Swaggering the same InfinityEdge technology as the smaller XPS 13, the screen extends right to the edge of the machine. This means that it’s as small as it’s possible to make a 15-inch laptop. It’s expensive, depending on which version you get, but the very top end version has a 4K color-accurate display that can offer you a brilliant overview of all the tracks you’re working on.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 15