Skip to main content

The best laptops for music production in 2022

Music Home studio equipments including one of the best laptops for music production
(Image credit: Anutr Yossundara / Shutterstock)

If you're looking for the best laptops for music production in 2022, then we're here to help. Laptops have become essential tools for music producers and musicians, with music production software now turning these portable computers into mini studios.

With the right setup, you can plug in various microphones, amps, instruments, MIDI controllers and more, and record, edit and export your compositions. There's a huge range of music production software out there that lets you record on multiple tracks, while also offering plenty of effects and editing tools.

So, what makes a good laptop for music production? Recording, and then working on, multi-track songs can be quite demanding, so you'll want a laptop with a powerful multi-core processor, as well as plenty of RAM. We'd recommend 16GB as a minimum these days.

You'll also want a nice large SSD. Audio tracks, especially uncompressed ones, can take up huge amounts of storage space, so you'll want to make sure your laptop doesn't run out of capacity. We'd recommend around 1TB.

Good speakers are also important. While most music producers will want to plug in external speakers, having a decent set built into the laptop can make your life easier, as you can use it when out and about and still get a good idea of how your music sounds.

Having plenty of ports is also important, as you'll likely need to plug in external hardware. The more ports a laptop has, the less likely it is you'll need to use adapters, which again makes things easier when you're out and about. There's a huge range of laptops out there, so to make things as easy as possible, we've listed the best laptops for music production you can buy in 2022.

Looking for a laptop for another specific activity? Have a look at our guides to the best laptops for graphic design, or the best laptops for video editing

The best laptops for music production today

MacBook Pro 14 against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)
The best laptop for music production overall

Specifications

CPU: Apple M1 Pro 8-core – M1 Max 10-core
Graphics: Integrated 14-core – 32-core GPU
RAM: Up to 64GB
Screen: 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
Storage: Up to 8TB

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent performance
+
Very good speakers

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The MacBook Pro 14-inch is currently the best laptop for music production you can buy right now. Coming with either an M1 Pro or M1 Max chip, this is an incredibly powerful laptop that can handle even the most complex projects with ease. There's a good reason why many music producers and musicians favour Apple products, and macOS, the operating system the MacBook Pro 14-inch comes with, supports a huge amount of music production applications. 

It also has some of the best speakers we've heard on a laptop, making it ideal for using when you can't hook up external speakers, and there's an excellent array of ports. The battery life is also seriously impressive. It's expensive, but you won't find a better laptop for music production any time soon.

MacBook Air (M1, 2020) against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)
The best value laptop for music production

Specifications

CPU: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
Graphics: Integrated 7-core – 8-core GPU
RAM: 8GB – 16GB unified memory
Screen: 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 Retina display
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
macOS Big Sur is fast and responsive
+
Battery life is great

Reasons to avoid

-
Fanless design could impact performance

While Apple may not be the first company you think of when you read the word 'value', its latest MacBook Air actually offers fantastic value for money for music producers. This is because it offers a stylish thin and light design, plus excellent performance thanks to the M1 chip, while also being much cheaper than the MacBook Pro 14-inch above, and even other Windows-based alternatives.

The fact that it's almost two years old also means that prices have fallen even more, but don't let its age put you off - this is still a fantastic laptop for music production, and can run any application the more expensive MacBook Pro can.

There's another benefit, as Apple has made the MacBook Air fanless. This means it is completely silent when in use, which is a huge bonus if you're recording via microphones. It doesn't offer a huge amount of ports, however, so you'll probably need to invest in an adaptor, but for many people, that will be a compromise worth making.

An Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15 laptop against a pure white background

03. Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15 UX582L

The best high-end laptop for music production

Specifications

CPU: 10th-gen Intel Core i7-Core i9
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
RAM: 16GB
Screen: 15.6-inch 4K OLED (3840 x2160p) Touchscreen, 0.2ms, 440 nits, Pantone-validated; 14-inch 3840 x 1100p, anti-glare IPS secondary display
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous main display
+
Second display actually useful

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Poor Battery life

If you want a brilliant high-end laptop for music production, then the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15 UX582L could be for you. Not only does it come with some incredibly powerful components, including a choice of Core i7 or i9 Intel processors, but it also has a unique design that includes a second screen above the keyboard.

This touchscreen can be used with music production applications to provide extra control, such as sliders for mixing tracks. It gives the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15 UX582L a level of versatility that other laptops lack. Both screens are OLED as well, which means they look absolutely stunning as well.

However, the unique design won't be for everyone, and it does make the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo 15 UX582L more expensive than other laptops on this list. Battery life is also impacted, which means you'll need to make sure you carry around the power supply if you're planning on using this out and about.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition against a white background

(Image credit: Asus)

04. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition

A unique collaboration

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti 4GB
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Screen: 14-inch, IPS, 2,560 x 1,440, 120Hz
Storage: 1TB Samsung M.2 SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Great CPU performance
+
Good battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 Alan Walker Special Edition is a rather unique laptop for music production, as it's been designed in collaboration with the popular YouTube DJ. Not only does this mean it has exclusive colours compared to the regular Zephyrus G14 laptop, but the actual box it comes with can be used as a controller for mixing or as a synth pad that connects through USB-C to use with a dedicated app.

This means you can start creating straight away, but if you think this is a gimmick, or you already have your own equipment, then you'll find this laptop to still be an excellent investment, with plenty of ports and some decent specs that means it'll handle any music production app with ease, however.

MacBook Pro 16-Inch (2021) against a white background

(Image credit: Apple)
A great large-screen alternative

Specifications

CPU: Apple M1 Pro 10-core – M1 Max 10-core
Graphics: Integrated 16-core – 32-core GPU
RAM: Up to 64GB
Screen: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
Storage: Up to 8TB

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely long battery life
+
Plenty of ports

Reasons to avoid

-
On the bigger side

While the MacBook Pro 14-inch is the best laptop for music production in our view, if you'd like a bigger screen, then we've got some good news, as Apple also launched a 16-inch model, which comes with essentially exactly the same specs.

This means that you get a brilliant laptop for music production that performs spectacularly well, even when working on the most complex of projects, brilliant speakers and microphone, and plenty of ports. You also get a much larger 16-inch screen. Many people may find this makes the 16-inch model more comfortable to work on, especially if you're working on multiple tracks at once.

The reason why it doesn't land as high up as its 14-inch counterpart, however, is because the extra screen size means this is a much larger laptop that's harder to carry around. There is also a price increase as well, which is why we think the 14-inch model is the best choice for most music producers.

Dell XPS 17 (2021) against a white background

(Image credit: Dell)

06. Dell XPS 17 (2021)

A large, yet slim, music production laptop

Specifications

CPU: Up to 11th Generation Intel Core i9-11980HK
Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6
RAM: Up to 64GB DDR4-3200MHz
Screen: 17.0" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit – 17.0" UHD+ (3840 x 2400) InfinityEdge Touch Anti-Reflective 500-Nit
Storage: Up to 4TB M.2 PCIe NVMe

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Gorgeous design

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of ports

If you want a gorgeous and large display to do your music production on, then the latest Dell XPS 17 is the laptop for you. Usually, 17-inch laptops are large and uncomfortable to carry. However, with the XPS 17, Dell has crafted a stunningly thin large screen laptop, and it's impressively light as well.

This means you can carry it around with you, while still benefitting from a much larger screen to comfortably work on. Power-wise, this is a brilliant laptop, featuring up to an Intel Core i9 processor, 64GB of RAM and an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU. Any music production software is going to run brilliantly well on this. It is expensive, however, but for many people, the premium design will definitely be worth it.

The Surface Laptop 4 against a white background

(Image credit: Microsoft)
A great Windows laptop for music production

Specifications

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 4680U - 11th Gen Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
RAM: 8GB – 32GB
Screen: 13.5” 2256 x 1504 PixelSense Touch Display
Storage: 256GB – 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable keyboard
+
Beautiful screen

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is pretty much the best laptop the company has ever made. It's god a beautiful, premium, design, a stunning screen and plenty of power beneath the hood.

It's also got a long lasting keyboard that means you can use this when out and about without worrying about it running out of charge. As a Microsoft product, it's also a showcase for the company's software, especially Windows 11. Any music production app you want to use will run with ease, and the built-in speakers are also impressive, considering the size of this laptop. It could do with a few more ports, but overall this is a stylish laptop that's great for music production.

The LG Gram 17 (2021) against a white background

(Image credit: LG)

08. LG Gram 17 (2021)

Big yet light

Specifications

CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X
Screen: 17-inch WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS LCD
Storage: up to 2TB NVMe SSD

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent battery life
+
Large, high-quality display

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The LG Gram 17 is another great choice for a laptop for music production that offers a large screen. This makes working with multiple tracks and complex arrangements much easier, as you get to see more of your project at once.

Like the Dell XPS 17 also on this list, the LG Gram 17 pushes back against the notion that 17-inch laptops need to be big and bulky. In fact, LG has really made an impressive effort here, and the LG Gram 17 is actually lighter than many smaller laptops. This means it's a great laptop for carrying around with you, and you still get the benefit of that large screen. It also has some great specs that ensures Windows and any apps you want to use all run well. Battery life is also excellent, but it is an expensive laptop. For the screen size and portability, however, it's a great investment.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Matt has been a technology journalist for well over a decade, writing for publications such as T3, MacFormat and Creative Bloq. He's a senior editor of TechRadar, Creative Bloq's sister site, where he can be found writing about and reviewing laptops, computers, monitors and more. He often writes for Creative Bloq, helping creatives find their perfect laptop or PC.