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For many, the best laptops for music production are too expensive. So, that’s where the most affordable laptops for music production come in.
As we discussed in our article The 5 best laptops for music production in 2022, you don’t need the fastest laptop on the market to make music. However, DAWs have minimum specification requirements in order to run efficiently on a system. In summary, these minimum requirements include at least an i5 processor and 8GB of RAM (Random Access Memory). Additional storage always helps, but many affordable laptops for music production lack that. If you’re going to be taking your laptop on the go a lot, you’ll also want to prioritise battery life.
After all, your laptop sits at the heart of your digital music production setup. Our MIDI controller and audio interface all connect to it via USB. So we need an affordable laptop that can handle these connections while processing audio at the same time. Budget-friendly laptops for music production enable anyone to get involved and create music. Though your laptop may be nothing spectacular, if it can process your project and empower you to make music then you’re on the right track.
This article will provide you with a list of the 5 best affordable laptops for music production. Like our article about the 5 best laptops for music production, this list factors in a few metrics. In relation to a smaller budget, we’ve thought about size and transportability, processing power and overall speed.
1. ASUS VIVOBOOK 15 – $879.99 – the best laptop for music production under £1000
The ASUS VIVOBOOK 15 provides astonishing value for money. As a result, it’s the best laptop for music production for under £1000.
With 8 hours of battery life, you won’t need to worry about being away from a plug socket for too long. A 15.6″ full HD display provides you with plenty of screen space when working on big projects too!
As far as storage is concerned, an SSD is far more desirable than an HDD. SSDs are digital and have faster read/write times, and the VIVOBOOK includes 128GB of SSD storage! Furthermore, an Intel i5 processor and 8GB of RAM will see your smaller projects through. However, we recommend making a habit of bouncing your MIDI files down to audio as soon as possible in order to save processing power. You’ll know if your computer is struggling to compute your project as your audio will distort!
One slight drawback is its transportability. With a 15.6″ display, you may find it hard to fit it into a backpack. The build of the computer itself is pretty thin, though it gets thicker towards the rear of the laptop. But we still think it’s the best inexpensive laptop for music production.
2. Acer Aspire 5 Slim – $389
Though slightly more expensive than the ASUS VIVOBOOK, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim brings 512GB of SSD storage!
In addition, the Aspire 5 Slim offers a full HD 14″ display and 10 hours of battery life. Whether at home or on the go, you’ll be able to make the most of the exceptional screen size without worrying too much about power. When it comes to transportability, its slim design enables you to slip it into your backpack and head off on your travels too.
8GB of RAM in addition to a USB-C port allow for efficient processing of internal audio, connecting MIDI devices, and transporting files back and forth too. The design of the Acer Aspire Slim 5 isn’t the most graceful, true. However, the design of your laptop shouldn’t be your priority if you’re looking for a budget laptop for music production.
3. 2019 ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim Laptop – $857.63
ASUS have a reputation for making affordable laptops that work great. And that’s why we’ve mentioned them again.
The ASUS ZenBook 13 is a versatile laptop fit for any music production need. With 8 GB of RAM, an Intel i5 processor and 512GB of SSD storage, it ticks all of the processor checkboxes. You’ll also find plenty of connectivity options too!
Furthermore, 10 hours of battery life empowers you to make music on the go – anytime! Weighing in at just 2.5 pounds, and with a thirteen inch full HD screen, you can feel assured that this is a fully portable laptop with just enough screen space for your projects. The slim size, however, does come at a cost. ASUS have soldered its components to the motherboard in order to make it slimmer. This means that the laptop is not user-serviceable and you can’t upgrade its hardware should you want to.
4. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro – $989
A 2-in 1-laptop, you can use this beauty as a tablet as well as a laptop.
The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is certainly one of the best affordable laptops for music production on every metric. For example, it features an Intel i7 processor, 256GB of SSD storage, 8GB of RAM, and it’s got a 13″ anti-glare display. All in all, this is the most transportable music production laptop on our list.
An intuitive “S Pen” enables you to glide around the anti-glare screen elegantly too. If you find yourself in a professional studio, it’ll be handy to use the Notebook 9 Pro as a tablet. Studio desks have a reputation for being crowded!
Finally, it features a Radeon 540 graphics card. This enables you to get make the most of your DAWs’ user interface when you’re mixing!
5. HP Jaguar 15.6″ – $748
Featuring yet another touch screen, the HP Jaguar features 8GB of RAM, a TB of HDD storage, an Intel i5 processor, and a 15.6″ full HD screen.
As we said at the beginning of the article, an SSD is more desirable than an HDD. As time goes on, you’ll find that your HDD will slow down – thus slowing down your laptop. It’s not a cure, but a near-remedy is to back up all files onto an external hard drive and keep space free on your laptop.
We have listed the HP Jaguar as the final option on our list for this very reason. Though still a versatile laptop, the inclusion of an HDD is a drawback.