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BUDGET Laptops for Music Production – FL Studio, Ableton, Cubase, and more


my original video featuring the best
laptops for music production is one of my most popular videos ever! but those
are not cheap laptops. they were high-end machines. if you’re on a tight
budget this video is for you. these are not some recommendations from
me gathering specs online. my viewers have tried and tested these laptops and
are getting real results in their studios. to give you my own first
impressions I even checked out these laptops in person at a local store to
give you my take on some features that you can’t tell by checking them out
online. these laptops range in price from $500 to $700 and will run the most
popular music production software out there. let’s cover some of the basic
specs for popular DAWs. Cubase, Ableton Live, and other DAWs recommend at least
an i5 processor or a multi-core AMD processor. recommended Ram is 8 GB.
the higher processor cores, speed, and more RAM you get, the better. it
translates to smoother performance especially when running multiple plugins
at once. so all the laptops in this roundup have those minimum specs. and all
of these laptops will run all the popular DAWs including Ableton, FL Studio,
Reaper, Reason, Cubase, Studio One, Cakewalk, and others. I’ll put links to get any one
of these laptops in the description of the video. now I’m not gonna get into MacBooks even though I use one myself. the prices are pretty high so I don’t
consider them budget laptops. that said a MacBook Air with similar specs will be a
good choice if you want to stick with Apple. especially if you prefer running
Logic or GarageBand. you should also check out the used market for cheap
MacBook Pros – or cheap Windows laptops. here’s some quick information about my
audience – the people recommending these laptops.
most of you are Windows users the majority make Hip Hop and EDM. thanks to
everyone who contributed. take the time to leave a comment for the people who
took their time to share their experience for your benefit. let’s get
started! at number 5 are laptops by Dell – the Inspiron and
Latitude. Inspiron, Inspiron? Inspirons start at $600 at BestBuy and include all
the specs you need to run the popular DAWs. in fact at the $700 retail price
point you can get an i7 processor for even better performance. these are
excellent budget laptops for the price and could be the cheapest you can find.
check your local stores. the sales on these laptops are insane! in person the
Dell was my least favorite laptop to look at and handle. it looked and felt
dated and wasn’t as slick and modern as the other laptops in this roundup. it
kind of reminded me of something a student would take to college for their
term papers. the keyboard was okay but every other laptop keyboard in this list
was better. the trackpad was nothing special either. you should note that Dell
has had issues with their XPS laptops and audio latency. i’ve reported that in
my last video. i found that people also reported similar latency issues with
Inspiron laptops. if you do find a Dell laptop that you’re interested in buying, Google “DPC latency” to see if anyone is reporting major issues. I’ll link to a
good article about DPC latency in the video description. by the way, if you’ve
got some extra cash laying around, upgrading to an i7 on any of these
laptops in this list will cost you around $200. but that upgrade seems
cheaper with Dell. at number 4 are laptops by Lenovo. the Lenovo ThinkPad e590 has all the specs you need for your music studio at $700. if you want the
flexible form factor the Yoga model comes in at around the same price with
similar specs. both models have been recommended by my viewers. I had a hard
time finding good deals on Lenovos at local stores like Best Buy or a Micro Center but on the Lenovo website there are similarly spec’ed Ideapads that
start at $500. I find Lenovo laptops very business-like but I love their keyboards
as does another one of my viewers. they feel really good quality and
very comfortable to type on. another viewer pointed out that Yoga laptops
have good Geekbench scores. in person the Lenovo ThinkPad was kind of boring but
discrete if that’s what you like. the keyboard felt excellent. I actually use
this laptop at work and love typing on it. the trackpad is decent but doesn’t
compare to my MacBook of course. this is a well-built laptop and has been
dependable in my own experience. now if you’re ready to upgrade to something
higher-end, check out my previous video listing the top laptops for music
production. those are a high end which means more plugins, smoother performance.
check it out in a video here. at number 3 is HP. my HP viewers are running FL
Studio and Ableton on HP’s Pavilion model laptops. I found the lowest prices
on HP laptops online. in fact several Pavilion models come in just over $500.
definitely some of the cheapest laptops I found. in person the HP Pavillion looks
awesome. it looks and feels more expensive than it is. possibly my
favorite form factor in this list. the keyboard felt excellent and high quality
and the touch screen model I tried was responsive and quick. but the trackpad
was my least favorite. it felt scratchy to the touch. at number
2 is Acer. viewers recommended the Swift, Aspire, and Nitro models. I couldn’t
find an Acer laptop under $700 so they’re not the cheapest in this roundup.
but viewers really liked them. and for $30 extra I found a Nitro model which is
a gaming laptop by Acer. with the Nitro you get better graphics and some other
bells and whistles. viewers who love Acer are running Ableton, FL Studio, and Studio
One. and they’re reporting “no issues!” good enough for me!
in person the Acer Aspire reminded me of the Lenovo. subtle and businesslike. it
felt a little big and bulky. the keyboard felt great and the trackpad was
excellent. probably my favorite trackpad. The contrast on the screen was a bit off. it
may have been the one I was looking at or maybe the store lights. the Nitro
model definitely had that gaming laptop look.
it felt premium and super high quality but kind of like the aspire it’s really
big and bulky. maybe even bigger. before we get to number 1, if you’re finding
this information useful hit that like button and don’t forget to subscribe if
you haven’t already. also leave a comment below if you have any questions. Alright coming in at number 1, the most recommended budget laptop, is by Asus .the
Asus VivoBook comes in at a very good price point at around $700. one of my
viewers said it “runs like a dream.” and you get everything. the i5 quad core
processor, 8 gigabytes of RAM, a 256 gigabytes solid-state drive, and a 15
inch screen. most of my viewers are running Ableton and FL Studio on their
Asus laptops. but with these specs you can really run anything. I had several
other ASUS models recommended by viewers including the ROG laptops which are
more expensive. but the higher-end Zenbook is only $100 more. I couldn’t
find an ASUS VivoBook in person. most stores were selling the Asus ROG
laptops which are the higher-end Asus laptops. they’re the ones I recommended
in my last video. I did find a couple small Zenbook laptops by Asus at the
store. the Zen books felt really premium looks really good. the screens were
top-notch and the keyboard felt good as well. by the way I found very few
reported DPC latency issues with both Acer and Asus laptops. maybe that’s why
they made it to the top two positions! now listen, if you don’t need portability
you can save some money and improve the performance of your studio by getting a
desktop computer instead of a laptop. desktops with similar specs to the
laptops on this list are typically cheaper. so you can even upgrade some
options like the processor and RAM. and it’s easier to install upgrades
later on a desktop than it is on a laptop. desktops excel in performance
efficiency and cooling which is important in a quiet studio. so all the
laptops in this video are priced similarly but check the latest prices
and models using the links in the video description. listen if your studio is
working you may not need to upgrade at all. several viewers said they’re using
an i3 processor with 4 gigabytes of RAM and are still making music. if you’re
interested in what I use, I have a 2018 MacBook Pro with an i7 processor and 16
gigabytes of RAM. it’s been great for music production but you know Mac’s have
their quirks as well. I hope you found this information useful. if you have a
question leave it in the comments below. make the music you love. and I’ll see you
guys later.

About Ralph Robinson

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