5 Best Laptops for Recording Music

By | 2021-10-05T23:12:17+00:00 October 5th, 2021|Home Recording, recording, recording music|Comments Off on 5 Best Laptops for Recording Music

You might have seen music producers with massive rigs that include high-power towers, tons of monitors, and even more speakers. It’s not uncommon in the music industry, but nowadays, that amount of hardware isn’t essential to record professional-quality music.

Many musicians and producers are starting to turn to laptops for their recording needs. Not only are they highly portable and less expensive, but modern laptops also pack plenty of power for any recording need. If you want an on-the-go recording studio, here are the laptops for recording professional-quality music.

What Makes a Good Recording Laptop?

Before diving into the options, it’s important to understand what makes a good music recording laptop in the first place. Here are the minimum specs you want to watch for:

  • 2.4GHz processor minimum (i5, i7, M1)
  • At least 16GB of RAM (32GB preferred)
  • 64-bit operating system
  • Minimum of 500GB of internal storage (SDD)
  • 13” screen (bigger is preferred)

If you find a laptop that meets all these requirements, it should have no problem handling whatever Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) you prefer to record your music. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to go above and beyond these specs if you want a faster and smoother operating experience.

Top Laptops for Professional Music Recording

There are tons of laptops on the market that can easily handle the requirements of modern music recording, even at the professional level. However, there are certainly some that stand out among the pack. Here are the best laptops for recording music in 2021:

Apple MacBook Pro M1 (Best Overall)

  • Price: Starting at $1,299

Apple has always been at the head of the pack when it comes to the creative arts, including graphic design and, yes, music recording. Not only do Macs come preloaded with GarageBand (which is one of the best DAWs for beginners), but they can easily handle the requirements of some of the more professional DAW options.

The brand-new Apple MacBook Pro M1 is the best of the best when it comes to recording music. It’s an Apple, so you know the iOS is ideal for recording, but the new models also come with the super-powerful M1 Apple processor. You’ll have no problem running multiple tasks while maintaining incredible performance.

As if the processor wasn’t enough, the Apple MacBook Pro M1 comes with an impressive 20-hours of battery life! You’ll be able to have all-day recording sessions without needing to look for an outlet. Whether you want to process your recordings on a plane or record way out in the woods, the Apple MacBook Pro will be ready!

Although the base model will be able to handle any music recording task you can throw at it, it’s a good idea to get the model with 500GB of SSD storage and 16GB of RAM—which starts at $1,699. The price tag might be a bit hard to handle, but you’ll be happy for the extra power when you start up your DAW for the first time. There’s no other laptop that can stand up to the Apple MacBook Pro M1 when it comes to recording music professionally.


  • Super-high performance M1 chip
  • 500GB SSD storage (can be configured with more)
  • 16GB RAM
  • Up to 20 hours of battery life


  • Only two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Can be expensive

Apple MacBook Air M1 (Best Bang for Your Buck)

  • Price: Starting at $1,399

For producers and musicians on the go, the Apple MacBook Air M1 features the same powerful chip as the MacBook Pro but in a much smaller, more portable package.

Although it doesn’t have all the same features as the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air still provides plenty of music recording power. With up to 16GB of RAM, 2TB of SSD storage, and 18 hours of battery life, there’s not much to complain about.

All that music recording power is packed into a compact size that’s only about half an inch thick, weighing in at around 2.8 pounds. If you’re looking for a portable studio solution, the Apple MacBook Air M1 might be the best choice!


  • Thin and lightweight
  • Powerful M1 chip
  • 16GB RAM
  • Up to 2TB SSD storage
  • 18-hour battery life


  • Only two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Not as powerful as the MacBook Pro
  • Bezel could use some work

Apple MacBook Pro 16” Intel (Best Performance)

  • Price: $2,399 for ideal recording specs

If you’ve got the money, Apple has the goods. It might be expensive, but the Apple MacBook Pro 16” Intel is the top-of-the-line when it comes to Apple laptops. It features the highest performance, biggest screen, and largest storage capacity of any laptop in Apple’s lineup.

The MacBook Pro 16” is powered by the incredible Intel Core i9 processor that brings up to 8 cores and 16 threads of processing power right to your fingertips. According to Apple’s website, it has 2.1 times the performance of the standard quad-core MacBook Pro.

No matter what you’re doing or how many projects you have running simultaneously, the 64GB of DDR4 memory will keep everything going without breaking a sweat. And storage? Don’t worry about it! The MacBook Pro 16” comes with up to 8TB of SSD storage!

Musicians will also love the six speakers and dual force-cancelling subwoofers that can produce “room-filling” audio and without the use of external speakers. Plus, the MacBook Pro 16” comes with a studio-quality three-mic array that rivals professional microphones.

No matter how you look at it, the MacBook Pro 16” has all the power you could ever need in a laptop built for music recording. The only question is, “do you want to spend that much on a laptop?”


  • Unmatched performance
  • Large 16” screen
  • Built-in professional-grade speakers and microphones
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports


  • Expensive

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (Best PC Pick)

  • Price: $3,799

If you’re a PC user, don’t despair. There are plenty of laptops on the market that can handle the requirements of most DAW software. While the iOS operating system is generally preferred for music recording, Windows still offers plenty of operating power and functionality to get the job done.

One of the best PC laptops for recording music professionally is the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition. Razer Blade is known for its powerful gaming PCs and laptops. The Studio Edition takes all that sound and graphics power and packs it into a music recording machine!

This laptop features an 8-Core 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor for up to 5.1GHz of processing power. Coupled with 32GB of DDR4 RAM, Thunderbolt 3 inputs, three USB ports, and 1TB of SSD storage, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is almost overkill for any type of recording project.

The main downsides to this laptop are the price and the battery life. At over $3,500, it’s by far the most expensive laptop on the list, and because of all the powerful features, the battery lasts about 1-2 hours in high performance mode (3-4 hours in battery saver mode). However, if you want a laptop that can literally do it all, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is a great choice that won’t disappoint.


  • Incredible performance with Intel i9 processor
  • Plenty of ports
  • 32GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD storage
  • Large 15” screen


  • Expensive
  • Short battery life

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (Best for Mobile Recording)

  • Price: $2,199 at ideal recording specs

Want the recording power of a laptop with the flexibility of a tablet? If so, Microsoft has just the product for you!

The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is the latest model of the popular Surface series from Microsoft, and it’s the most powerful one yet. The Pro 8 runs on the brand-new Windows 11 for the best user experience and functionality.

Although it might look and function like a tablet. The Surface Pro 8 packs plenty of power for all your recording needs. Depending on the model you choose, it can come with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, up to 32GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and Thunderbolt 4 ports.

The best part about the Surface Pro is the portability. If you want to record music on the go, you can flip the keyboard all the way back to create a 13” touchscreen tablet without losing any functionality! You can work from anywhere with up to 16 hours of battery life on one charge.

If you’re looking for the most flexibility from your laptop, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is hard to beat. It takes the best parts of a laptop and combines them with the on-the-go attitude of a tablet.


  • Powerful i7 Processor
  • Up to 32GB RAM
  • Up to 1TB SSD storage
  • Can be used as a tablet
  • Lightweight
  • 16-hour battery life
  • Touchscreen with stylus


  • Can be expensive

Would you like to add to this list of Laptops? If so, please leave your comments below, we would like to hear from you.


Enter the 18th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards), see: https://www.inacoustic.com