Music production can be extremely intensive on resources, especially when you’re running the latest DAW and plugin suites. Due to the flexibility and creative fluidity, most musicians, artists, producers, and even engineers are working in the box these days and who could blame them? Technology-based platforms are constantly improving, which gives us access to the latest hardware and software. A world of audio processing power are available at a fraction of the cost of an entire analogue studio. Let’s take a look at 5 of the most appealing Windows laptops for music production.
Update: Thanks to our reader Stefan, who rightly pointed out in the comments that there’s an important caveat here. These laptops look very impressive on paper, each with a slightly different focus at various price points. But some Windows laptops can be more difficult to get running glich-free than others, and before you buy you should check out the experience of music producers on each model.
Top 5 Windows laptops for producing music
All of these will get the job done, but each has specific capabilities and connectivity options that may be better suited to your creative workflow.
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581
Already rated as one of the top content creation laptops on the market, the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo is a mobile creative powerhouse. With an Intel® Core™ i9 processor and up to 32 GB of RAM, you’ll have all the resources you need to run those CPU-intensive audio sessions. Furthermore, when combined with the 4K UHD OLED display, the 4K ASUS ScreenPad™ provides some inspiring new workflow possibilities with its tactile multi-touch interface.
Starting price: 2,299 Euros
Unique feature: 4K ASUS ScreenPad™
Cons: A little heavyweight at 2.5kg
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Although the Razer Blade 15 laptop series starts at 1,399 Euros for the base model, the flagship Studio Edition is a different animal entirely. Chances are it probably wasn’t designed with music production in mind, but from its meticulously sturdy construction, you can tell it’s built for extremely high-level performance and long hours. The ability to support up to 64GB of RAM makes this the perfect tool for large-scale productions where low latency is essential.
Starting price: 3,799 Euros
Unique features: Vapor cooling system, Per-key RGB powered by Razer Chroma™
Cons: Heavy, NVidia Quadro RTX 5000 rather excessive for music production purposes.
Dell XPS 15
The latest offering in Dell’s XPS laptop series is a very attractive proposition for music production. The way the XPS 15 is presented and packaged with fully customizable specifications is almost identical to Apple’s Macbook Pro, with a few optional extras. It’s thin and lightweight for a machine of its size, capable of running an 11th Gen Intel® 8-Core™ i9-11900H with 64 GB of RAM. The 15.6″ display has 3 options, including OLED and UHD+ touchscreen configurations.
Starting price: 1,899 Euros
Unique features: Completely custom spec, Nx® 3D audio enabled speaker system by Waves and JJP, Full-size SD card reader v6.0
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme Gen4
Lenovo’s Thinkpad has a household name as a high-end business laptop, but the new flagship X1 Extreme offers so much more. The design has slowly evolved over the years into a completely performance-orientated mobile workstation. With its 3 onboard cooling systems, it’s capable of running all the latest and greatest in processing hardware, making it a very competitive solution for music production. Also, it’s slim and lightweight for such a large design footprint, making it an ideal choice for the traveling user.
Starting price: 1,799 Euros
Unique features: 16:10 UHD+ display, hybrid cooling system, carbon fiber top casing, pointing stick mouse, optional ThinkVision M15 mobile monitor
MSi GS66 Stealth 11UH-085
The latest MSi GS66 Stealth is everything you’d imagine when putting together the most powerful laptop possible with the latest and best technology available. Almost every part inside claims to be the first of its kind or uniquely designed in some way. It’s not cheap, however, by any stretch of the imagination, but you are paying for one of the highest spec laptops on the market in this size. At the very least, it gives you an extremely powerful mobile studio workstation.
Starting price: 4,999 Euros
Unique features: Dynaudio speaker system, Cooler Boost Trinity+ cooling system, Steel Series keyboard with per-Key RGB and Anti-Ghost key
Cons: Astronomical price tag, NVidia GeForce RTX 3080 is excessive
More Information about Windows and Laptops for Music