Getting a good laptop for music production makes a great difference to your creative process. While many would like to get into music production, most of us just cannot afford the high-end laptops required to do so. It’s incredible that you can get a fully functional laptop that can handle music production for the price of just two copies of Windows 10.
It’s difficult to get the best laptop for music production under $300. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a great laptop in this price range. The best value for your money is found when you balance price and quality. So, it may take a long time and a lot of research to find the right device.
I’ve done the research and found some of the best laptops for music production that won’t break the bank at less than $300. Also, I will later point out the factors you should consider when choosing the best laptops for music production.
What Kind of Laptop Do I Need for Music Production?
If money is tight, you’ll need to give careful consideration to the laptop you choose. It’s possible that some of the choices you’ve come across lack even the minimum processing power required to run a basic word processor. Therefore, having a minimum of 4 GB of RAM is the first and foremost requirement for a laptop.
Many people also argue that you should buy 8 GB, but that’s obviously out of the question given your budget constraints. You can easily get by with 4 GB if you are careful about the number of songs you use and don’t have a ton of programs open in the background.
When people read the “minimum requirements” part of the software used for music production, they are frequently turned off by the fact that the program requires an i5 or an equivalent AMD CPU to function properly.
Despite the fact that this may be the case, numerous users have reported success with somewhat less powerful alternatives. If you lower your standards, you’ll find that there are decent laptops available under $300 that will serve your needs for basic music production.
Here are my top recommendations for the best laptops for music production.
I’ve had experience working with music producers and used the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop for a few years before I got a chance to upgrade. It is definitely my best laptop for music production under $300. Why?
First, this laptop has a RAM of 4GB. This means that all my games and all of my apps, including music production tools, can run smoothly because of the high-bandwidth RAM. It also features a headphone/microphone combination jack, a memory card reader, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two USB 3.1 Type-C ports, and a three-cell lithium-ion battery with a runtime of up to 12.5 hours.
Image Source: acer.com
Furthermore, the ultracompact memory system’s 32GB eMMC flash memory provides better storage capacity and easier data management. The fast startup speed and ability to play high-definition videos make it an excellent option for use with portable gadgets and software.
The Intel Celeron N4000 processor which is an ultra-low-voltage platform also stood out for me. I got to enjoy the high-efficiency power provided by processing with two directions and two cores. The Intel UHD Graphics 600 with shared video memory is also great for web browsing, basic music production, photo editing, and playing light video games.
I’ve found this is an ideal setup for any music producer who wants to edit while listening to music via Bluetooth or wireless solid. Whether you’re a creative professional, a social media content marketer, a teacher, or a student working on a project, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop will satisfy your needs.
- Standard keyboard for easy typing
- Chrome OS operating system
- Anti-glare and energy-efficient LED screen
- Long-lasting battery
- Great value for money
- Not very portable
I bought the ASUS VivoBook L203MA Ultra-Thin Laptop on the advice of my friend. It is easy to dismiss this laptop at the first glance. It’s easy to see why considering the model’s lightweight design (2.2 lbs) and compact dimensions (11.30 x 7.60 x 0.67 inches).
In actuality, the VivoBook’s small size serves more convenience than functionality. Although an 11.6-inch screen made me squint sometimes, the L203MA’s portability is unmatched for laptops of this quality.
Image Source: asus.com
The VivoBook is the best budget laptop you can buy in terms of hardware. This machine has 2 Intel processors and comes with Windows 10 already installed. The laptop also has a 64 GB solid-state drive spinning at 10,000 RPMs, 4 GB of RAM, and a 2.6 GHz processor.
The VivoBook has 3 USB ports (type A and type C), an HDMI port, and a MicroSD outlet on its side. This gives you a ton of options for adding more storage to your studio or for connecting your instruments.
The Asus VivoBook L203MA is a lightweight laptop that can handle simple music production tasks. The laptop’s numerous ports, long battery life, large storage capacity, and speed make it ideal for recording and using simple software while traveling.
- Compact and lightweight
- Great battery life
- Ample ports
- The RAM is 4GB
It’s no secret that the Lenovo Chromebook S330 is one of the best budget laptops on the market and arguably the best cheap Chromebook you can get right now. It’s inexpensive, easy to transport, and offers satisfactory performance.
There is a 64GB SSD in this laptop. There’s no doubt that SSDs are quickly replacing traditional hard drives in all manner of computing devices, including servers, desktops, and laptops. A slow desktop or laptop can be made much quicker by replacing the hard disk drive (HDD) with a solid-state drive (SSD).
Image Source: lenovo.com
Due to their speed and stability, SSDs are also a great choice for custom-built computers, servers, and other systems. However, 4GB RAM was adequate a few years ago, but 4GB is no longer adequate given how games have changed and grown more complicated. However, I think it is still a great bargain at this cost.
There are HDMI and USB 3.0 Type-A ports, so I am not constrained to using an external display with a USB-C port. The Chromebook features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 10-hour battery life. Furthermore, its Mediatek MT8173C processor is top-tier, uses a 28 nm manufacturing process, and features four CPU cores, divided into two Cortex-A72 and two Cortex-A53 cores.
- Reliable processor
- Stable construction
- Adequate battery life
- Doesn’t have a touchscreen or tablet mode
- Only available in one color
Combining Samsung’s reliability with Chrome OS’s user-friendliness, the Samsung XE350XBA-K01US Chromebook allows me to enjoy my favorite media to the fullest on a 15.6-inch screen. Its new lightweight and compact design make it ideal for use as a portable workplace or entertainment center.
It illuminates my digital workstation with an HD display without adding bulk or draining the battery too much. I make this claim in light of the Samsung Chromebook 4+’s lightweight (3.8 pounds) and long-lasting battery (more than 10 hours).
Image Source: samsung.com
When it comes to technological details, this laptop has 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. Although it will do the job, I upgraded mine to the 6 GB RAM version to give the program more breathing room. The 4 GB version has a 2.1GHz speed but only supports 1 Intel processor.
The Samsung Chromebook 4+ has a few limitations when it comes to connecting devices as the main control of your command station. There is no HDMI or USB type A connectors on the laptop, but it does have two USB C ports that may also be used to recharge the battery. Despite the fact that it is not ideal for operating complicated music software, it is nevertheless a great computer at a reasonable cost.
- HD display
- Reasonable cost
- Features two USB C ports
- User friendly
- No HDMI or USB type A connectors
Ever since the introduction of personal computers, HP has been a go-to brand for reliable, popular products. The HP Stream Laptop Intel N4000 is one of the most affordable premium laptops from HP. With this laptop, I can achieve my desired level of productivity without sacrificing speed.
A year of Office 365 is included with the purchase of an HP Stream Laptop Intel N4000. However, you’ll still have enough space for your work thanks to OneDrive’s generous 1TB supply. The HD display of Stream 14’s fourteen-inch screen does justice to my virtual recording space.
Image Source: hp.com
While there is no backlight for the keyboard, the trackpad is robust and simple to operate. Furthermore, the HP Stream 14 comes pre-installed with Windows 10. The laptop has 4 GB of DDR3L memory and uses Intel’s “Turbo Boost” technology.
I recommend using a large external drive in addition to the device’s 64GB of internal storage. Additionally, the battery life is expected to last over 10 hours and there are numerous USB ports (type A and type C), an HDMI connector, a headphone/microphone jack, and a card reader on the left side of the laptop.
- Lightweight and portable
- Reliable brand
- Easy-to-use trackpad
- Great battery life
- No backlight
Things to Consider When Purchasing the Best Laptop for Music Production Under $300
The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is what gives life to the laptop by executing commands. In the context of making music, this limits things like the number of simultaneous virtual instruments you can play, the depth of the effects you can apply, and the speed with which you can export your produced tracks.
Unfortunately, the monopoly held by Intel and AMD means that the quality of the products is directly proportional to their price. I recommend looking at Intel’s i5 or AMD’s Ryzen 5 lines if you’re making music or audio, but if money is tight, any CPU will do; you might just have to stare at progress bars for a little longer.
RAM limits the number of audio files you can use at once and the complexity of your arrangements. RAM is a little bit easier to understand. It limits the number of audio files you can use at once and the complexity of your arrangements.
Using music production software like Garageband or Ableton Live on a laptop with 4GB of RAM is technically possible, but you will shortly reach a wall where the laptop can’t cope with what you’re asking it to do.
There are just two storage options: HDD or SSD. Although hard disks are less expensive and can store enormous amounts of data, they are often slower, making streaming sample libraries undesirable. On the other hand, SSDs are incredibly fast but do cost more.
A laptop that is portable will undoubtedly be necessary if you move around a lot. Any laptop that weighs more than three pounds is going to be too cumbersome to carry around. Slimmer laptops have one major drawback, they can’t accommodate as many high-powered parts.
To connect to different types of amplifiers, microphones, and other devices, you’ll need a large range of inputs. Having a wide selection is essential. You should shop for a laptop that offers USB 3.2 Type-C, USB Type-A, Ethernet, and HDMI ports.
The vast majority, if not all, of these laptops, provide excellent audio quality. However, because laptop speakers aren’t meant to be particularly loud, we recommend using external speakers if you want to hear those mid tones clearly. Without an external speaker jack, the punchiest sound will come from laptops whose speakers are upward-facing.
If you’re going to be away from an electrical socket for an extended period of time, a laptop with a 10- to 12-hour battery life is a reasonable starting point. That’s longer than a standard workday.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Best Laptop for Music Production
1. Is Windows or Mac better for music production?
If money is no issue, a Mac is without a doubt the best choice for producers. But there’s a price to pay: Windows laptops are far less expensive than MacBooks. You should evaluate your system requirements, read up on audio optimization, and then settle in with one of the Windows models I’ve recommended above if money is tight.
2. Is a laptop or a desktop better for music production?
It depends heavily on what you, the musician, need and want. A laptop is essentially your only option if you need a portable computer to carry with you while working on music in different locations. A desktop computer is the best option if you have a larger budget, as its performance and expandability may be easily improved. In either case, you’ll be able to create excellent music.