Need Recommendation: Laptop for Music Production

Hi Ozbargainers!

I just bought my son a Novation Launchkey 61 midi keyboard but now need to get him a laptop to go with it (so he doesn't bug me to use my computer when I'm working).

Can anyone recommend a reasonable laptop that would easily handle software like Ableton and software like that? I don't need it to run games or anything like that (in fact I don't really want it to be at that level, or he'll just play games instead of create music) but I don't want it to be all laggy.

Budget is up to $1,500.



  • +2

    DPC latency is a real issue for windows laptops, so whatever you buy you need to ensure it supports latency free real time audio.

    Not that this will help pre-purchase, but latencymon is the standard way to test DPC latency on windows.

    Any apple laptop supports latency free audio out of the box. Air or MBP 13" would work. Pro has better speakers.

  • +2

    Second hand MacBook Pro in your budget would be the quickest and easiest. Also the bonus of limited gaming capability.

  • +1

    I don't know music production myself, but my friends who do all seem to need massively high end computers for music production. Like insane amounts of ram and a high end processor. I come from video editing side of things and it always struck me as odd as music and audio needing higher end machines than the video side.

    • Most likely because of digital (audio) signal processing plugins which need to run in real time.

      • Yeah sure, cause video editing isn't done in real time???

  • +2

    I can run Ableton fine on a 2014 surface pro i5 8gb ram.

    But, last month I got a mac mini m1 (M1 is the new apple chip) for video editing, $997. The thing is a beast. You can get the mac air m1 for $1,500. Realistically you'd want a larger monitor to go with it.

    Also, you don't need a large SSD, just get an extra external. I have Samsung T5, I edit video directly from there.