What should you know about choosing the right laptop for audio production? Here are a few recommendations and key points to note.

3 Reasons Laptops are Better Than Desktops for Audio Production

  1. They’re portable, meaning you can work from wherever you want. If you’re travelling from country to country, all you need is that backpack-sized computer. You could even be working from a desktop at home and decide that you want to work in the garden. It’s easy with a laptop!
  2. Flash storage is the standard in many of the newer laptops. This means faster access to the audio files you need (with less waiting time), and a whisper-silent HDD that won’t make loud noises all the time.
  3. Retina displays allow for finer grain detail on many laptops.

3 Action Points for Audio Producers Using a Laptop

  1. Sync everything you do to the cloud. That could be using Dropbox, Google Drive or another cloud storage service. Make sure you do this, as you can then access your audio and sessions elsewhere and carry on. It’s also a good idea to back up your DAW preferences and presets into the cloud.
  2. Does your audio editing software of choice allow multiple installs under the same licence? Can you, for example, install a copy on your desktop and your laptop machine without issues? Adobe Audition CC will allow you to install it on up to 2 machines at the same time. 
  3. Consider external goodies such as an audio interface Scarlett 2i2 of tiny speakers M-Audio Studiophile Av40 M-Audio Studiophile Av40 to add that extra kick. Hardly any laptops come with decent built-in speakers and sound cards, so look outside the box. You may also wish to consider a really high-quality set of headphones Beyerdynamic DT770 PRO Headset – 80 OHM too.

A Couple of Things Desktops Do Better Than Laptops for Audio Producers

  1. The mouse control on a laptop can often be much less intuitive for audio production than a mouse that comes with a desktop. This issue can be easily overcome by purchasing an external controller for your laptop.
  2. Desktops usually allow for far bigger local storage of files. This is not really an issue with Dropbox/Drive for cloud syncing. If you’re worried about filling up your laptop, you can always use ‘selective sync’ on Dropbox.

The Best Laptop for Audio Production

Apple builds products for media creators. That’s why I highly recommend their latest Apple MacBook Pro for audio producers. I would not consider the MacBook Air as, despite its beautifully light size and shape, I simply do not believe it will be powerful enough to produce intensive audio sessions. Always go for a bigger screen size if you’ll be using the laptop for audio production, as tiny screens will not allow you to navigate around your multitrack session very easily.

If you’re looking for a PC alternative to Apple, then I’d recommend the HP zBook X2 for its power and amazing hard drive should give you plenty of room to play with!

What Laptop Do You Use for Audio Production?

It’s over to you! Let me know what laptop you’re currently producing on in the comments below.