If you’re interested in exploring the vast field of bars and chords, Music Majors is certainly a perfect education stream for you. Apart from performing and teaching, there are numerous lucrative career opportunities that you can pursue with a degree in music.
To become a successful musician, you have to develop the right set of foundational and technical skills. Keeping that in mind, you’ll surely require a performance-rich laptop to aid your journey and manage your responsibilities as a musician effortlessly.
After several hours of research and interviewing professional musicians, we’ve concluded that the “Apple MacBook Pro M1” is one of the best laptops for music majors. It simply provides a perfect balance of power and professionalism that you’d ever require.
We’ve also reviewed several different brands based on the varying requirements of consumers. Therefore, take your time to navigate through the recommended picks given below and make sure you read the buyer’s guide in the end before making a purchase decision.
Table of Contents
- 1 5 Best Laptops for Music Majors
- 2 Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Laptop for Music Production in 2021
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 3.1 1. What specs should I look for in a laptop for music production?
- 3.2 2. Is RAM or processor more important for music production?
- 3.3 3. Is 8 GB of RAM enough for music production?
- 3.4 4. Is 16GB RAM enough for music production?
- 3.5 5. Do Music Majors need Laptops?
- 3.6 6. What is the best laptop for a music student?
- 4 The Takeaway
5 Best Laptops for Music Majors
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Apple MacBook Pro M1
13-inch Retina display, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD Storage
Dell XPS 13 OLED
13.4 inch FHD Thin and Light Laptop - Intel Core i7-1185G7, 16GB LPDDR4x RAM, 512GB SSD, Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Intel Core i7-10875H 8-Core, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000, 15.6” 4K OLED Touch, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD
Asus ROG Strix Scar III
15.6” 240Hz IPS Type Full HD, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070, Intel Core i7-9750H, 16GB DDR4, 1TB PCIe Nvme SSD
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
12.3" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 128GB SSD
1. Apple MacBook Pro M1
The Apple MacBook Pro M1 is one of the best successors of Apple’s Pro workstation series. This 13-inch beast is powered with Apple’s own M1 chipset as seen in MacBook Air and Mac Mini, instead of the traditional Intel processors.
Although it still lacks some essential design updates that could have made this laptop a much more promising upgrade, especially for the consumers owning an early 2020 model, the new chip itself makes it an impressive laptop with better performance than most of the Intel-powered devices.
It’s not only twice as fast as its predecessors and equivalent Windows machines, but also provides longer battery life for complete peace of mind. We certainly love Apple’s MacBook Pro M1 as it exceeds almost all our expectations.
As a student of music majors, you’re going to have your machine work for hours on rendering music, which makes MacBook Pro M1’s exceptional power worth it. However, make sure you don’t overburden it as there are no fans to prevent overheating.
If you’re expecting a new phenomenal look to match the amazing new hardware, you’ll be left disappointed because the design aspects of this laptop look very identical to the previous iterations of MacBook Pro 13-inch models, which seems like a missed opportunity from Apple.
Among the various versions of laptops released by Apple in recent years, the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020) appears to be the most promising device. With the brand new M1 chipset, you can enjoy an unparalleled battery life with an excellent performance that surely fits the bill for music majors.
2. Dell XPS 13 OLED
When it comes to ultraportable laptops, Dell’s latest XPS 13 is one of the best laptops with a colorful and ultra-high-contrast OLED screen. While the impressive panel accounts for higher battery consumption, it makes this awe-striking laptop even more pleasing to the eyes.
The base model features a Core i3 CPU with 8 gigabytes of memory, a 1920:1200 pixels non-touchscreen, and a 356GB solid-state drive. It also includes a carbon-fiber palm rest on the shiny silver interior, complemented by a quad-core 2.4GHz processor.
We noticed that the XPS 13 has only two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 capability on each side of the laptop. There’s also a MicroSD slot on the left, followed by an audio jack on the right. With that said, if you want to connect an additional display, you’ll need a DisplayPort dongle.
This laptop also carries forward the trend of near-borderless displays and stylish thin bezels by placing the camera below the screen to provide a whopping 91.5% of screen-to-body ratio. However, there’s no privacy shutter involved in the device.
The majority of space is covered by the backlit keyboard with adequately sized keys that provide a snappy typing experience. Moreover, the buttonless touchpad offers great responsiveness with neat taps and gentle clicks.
Dell’s XPS 13 OLED has won multiple awards for being one of the best ultraportable machines available in the market. While the high-resolution OLED screen is not cheap, you surely won’t be able to resist yourself after glaring on this laptop.
3. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
Popularly known for its cutting-edge gaming gear, Razer looks forward to dominating the mobile workstation market through its Blade 15 Studio Edition, which features a pleasant aluminum design that makes it one of the most attractive laptops we’ve ever reviewed.
The latest version features the 10th generation of Intel’s octa-core I7 processor, paired with an exceptionally capable Nvidia Quadro RTX 500 graphics card. There’s even a fascinating 32 GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage that make it one of the most powerful laptops for music majors today.
Razer Blade’s level of performance and polish is definitely unrivaled, especially when you’re also getting a 4K OLED touchscreen that offers support for 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. We found the colors to be highly accurate, vibrant, and bright.
You’re effectively getting the power of a desktop PC in form of a portable workstation that allows you to wave through creative resource-demanding tasks like music production. It should prove to be a worthful investment for students of music majors.
Furthermore, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition has a more professional look, unlike its other counterparts that focus more on the gaming aspects of a user. It has a very engaging silver metallic body with a slightly square and chunky look.
The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is one of the most powerful laptops we’ve ever tested. If you’re looking for a mobile workstation for managing complex tasks like music production, this laptop is definitely considerable, provided that you will likely have to spend more than you intended.
4. Asus Rog Strix Scar III
Asus carries forward the ROG Strix legacy by releasing the third iteration of their popular workhorse series. It’s as powerful as its predecessor and packs a powerful RTX 206 GPU covered in a chassis with a smooth 240Hz 15.6-inch panel.
We simply love the keyboard layout of this device as it provides a very comfortable typing experience. However, the chassis appears to be slightly thick and we can’t detect any webcam in our sight, but you’re surely getting a good pair of speakers and an amazing battery life.
The Strix Scar III features a gray lid with a faux-aluminum design and a visually appealing gradient finish. There’s also the classic RGB logo on the lid, complemented by an off-center cutout revealing the deck of this machine.
It also features an RGB lightbar covered all around the chassis. The moment we opened the lid, we were greeted with a beautiful carbon-fiber deck portraying a futuristic style. However, unlike the earlier iterations, this model uses the black and gray color combination.
Although there are plenty of ports spread throughout the body of this laptop, it still lacks a DisplayPort which makes it quite complex to set up a VR. On the right side, you can see a ROG keystone that works as an encrypted key to add custom lighting effects to the laptop.
The Asus ROG Strix Scar III provides a great match of performance and aesthetics. Its butter-smooth 240-Hz display and long-lasting battery life make it a perfect laptop for students of music majors and creative professionals.
5. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
Among the various laptops we tested for this review, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 appears to be the most complex out of all. We noticed both annoying limitations and huge benefits that it brings to the users. It maintains a keen balance of features and shortcomings.
If your main points of interest are power and battery life over anything else, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is worth considering for you. However, in case you can’t deal with a squishy keyboard and have more storage requirements, you better look at something else instead.
There are two major models of this laptop, each equipped with a full HD display, a fingerprint sensor, and plenty of Thunderbolt 3 ports. However, you can only get a single-color option with the same “Light Titan” finish on both models.
The device can easily outshine MacBook Pro 2017 as it features more modern processors and significantly better performance. We believe that this machine’s price is heavily justified by its features and design aspects.
It’s both gorgeous-looking and feature-rich, even when Microsoft hasn’t brought various changes in terms of design. Moreover, there is simply the right number of curves that reflect an understated luxury from the silvery aluminum frame of this laptop.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 surely consists of some shortcomings like lesser storage and squishy keyboard, but as far as the price is concerned, the device is perfect for someone with very specific requirements such as long-lasting power and adequate performance.
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Laptop for Music Production in 2021
Being a student of music majors, you might not require the best memory in your preferred laptop, but there are certain things that you should definitely keep in mind while making a purchase. With that said, let us take a look at things to consider before choosing a laptop for music majors:
As a student, you might have to spend your day attending lectures while carrying your laptop. You need to make sure that it is lightweight and easy to carry for maximum efficiency. That’s why it is necessary to consider the portability of your preferred laptop before making a purchase decision.
There are several modern machines that feature ridiculously thin designs and are very lightweight. However, make sure you don’t miss out on essentials in return for portability because performance requirements are comparatively higher for music major students.
Additionally, screen size can also impact the portability of your laptop gradually. You need an adequate screen size to be able to see music notes properly, but make sure it doesn’t add up weight to your laptop.
The processing power of your laptop determines its efficiency in managing tasks thrown at it. It’s crucial to have a decent processor in your laptop to run the required software that you’ll be using for your music majors like Digital Audio Workstation.
As you’ll be required to produce music, your laptop’s processing demands are destined to be higher. With that said, if you go ahead with an underpowered device, you’ll end up running into various sorts of problems.
The laptops recommended above have the adequate processing power to help you meet the emerging demands of music production. Therefore, if you choose one of the reviewed devices, you won’t have to worry about processing power at all.
Although you don’t have any extravagant memory requirements for music majors, it is still recommended to have at least 8GB of RAM in your preferred laptop to make sure your processes take place smoothly without any issues or lags.
In case you’re looking for a laptop to do other things in addition to music production, you can also consider getting one with 16GB RAM. The aforementioned reviews have several picks based on the ranging requirements of users.
As a general rule of thumb, keep in mind that the required amount of RAM depends entirely on how you plan to use your laptop. If you’re unsure about your usage, it is safe to choose a model with higher RAM to avoid a lack of resources in the future.
As a music major student, you will also have to store various apps and files on your laptop. This makes it important to choose a laptop with proper storage volumes. It is recommended to choose a device with a Solid-State Drive instead of going for the traditional hard drive variants.
While the latter is available at a cheaper cost, you will end up losing a lot of potential performance of your laptop. SSDs are comparatively faster and provide quick data transfer at a phenomenal speed, which further facilitates your storage requirements.
Talking about the required storage size, you can go ahead with 512 GB or 1TB SSDs if you plan to store everything locally. Alternatively, if you’re comfortable with flash drives or cloud storage, even a 256GB variant will work flawlessly.
5. Battery Life
Having a laptop with a good battery life can help you in various ways in your educational journey. Nobody likes to charge their devices every now and then and still run out of usage time. That’s why you must choose a laptop with decent battery life.
With high-end workhorses like Apple MacBook Pro and Asus Rog Strix Scar III, you gain a sufficient amount of battery that can easily last all day long. However, all the recommended machines have a very decent battery backup that won’t disappoint you.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What specs should I look for in a laptop for music production?
A laptop for music production should have a minimum of a 2.4GHz quad-core processor and at least 4GB of RAM. Moreover, to run the required software properly, you should have a 64-bit operating system and a minimum of 256GB of internal storage.
2. Is RAM or processor more important for music production?
The processing power of your device is much more important than RAM for music production. That’s because you can easily upgrade the RAM later as per your convenience. However, you can’t add or upgrade a new processor down the line on your device.
3. Is 8 GB of RAM enough for music production?
8GB of RAM can be considered perfect for 5-25 audio tracks produced using multiple instruments, plugins, effects, and MIDI. However, if you’re planning to work on large projects, you should consider getting 16 gigs of RAM to avoid performance-related issues.
4. Is 16GB RAM enough for music production?
As we mentioned above, you can perform music production on a laptop with 8GB RAM as well but 16GB RAM is definitely the sweet spot for music production. Especially, we recommend 16GB RAM for those who have high demanding music production tasks but for hobbyists, 8GB RAM is fine.
5. Do Music Majors need Laptops?
It definitely depends on person to person because some like to create music on their own while others like to create music using software on a laptop. If you want to be more productive then we do recommend getting a laptop while studying music majors.
6. What is the best laptop for a music student?
We have listed the best laptops for a music major in our guide above. The best laptop for a music major right now is the Macbook Pro M1 from Apple because of how solid it is as a package in terms of performance, build quality, design as well as lightweightness.
With several new devices being launched in the market, it can be quite overwhelming to choose a laptop that resonates perfectly with your requirements. However, with the comprehensive reviews given above, you can make an informed decision with ease.
The given recommendations cover most of the consumers’ requirements. Therefore, make sure you check out the products given and choose the one that matches your needs. Also, follow the buyer’s guide to ensure that you never make a wrong purchase decision.
Ashish Rohra is a technical writer with extensive knowledge of Windows computing and more than seven years’ experience in the computer industry. He has experience in the areas of networking, security, operating systems, and databases.