Best Budget Laptops For Music Production and Recording

In this article, I am going to share the best budget laptops for music production and recording that you can buy for Under USD 1000.

Top 5 Budget Laptop For Music Production - Thumbnail

Recommended Specifications Of Budget Laptops For Music Production And Recording

When on a budget, you have to settle for certain tradeoffs. When buying a laptop for music production on a budget, look for speed and capacity. Go for faster processors, faster storage and faster RAMs with higher capacity. Also, watch out for dedicated cooling.

To learn more about laptop and desktop specifications for music production, check out this article.

Here are the specifications for a budget music production and recording laptop:

Components Specification
Processor Core i5, AMD Ryzen 5 or higher with 2.3Ghz or above, 64 Bit
Ram At least 8 GB, 16 GB Preferred—DDR3 or DDR4 Ram with 2133Mhz or more speed
Storage 1 256 GB or more SSD. M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive Preferred
Storage 2(optional) 1 TB HDD/SSD Or External HDD
Graphics Card(optional) Integrated Graphics or Any Graphics Card
Cache 6MB L3 Cache or More
Operating System Windows 10/macOS

Best Budget Laptops For Music Production and Recording

Here are the Top 5 Budget Laptops For Music Production and Recording Under USD1000 :

  1. MSI GF63 Thin 10UC-439 - Indicative Price USD 999
    15.6" FHD, Intel® Core™ Core i7-10750H 2.6GHz, NVIDIA GeForce® RTX3050, 512GB NVMe SSD, 8GB (8G*1) DDR4 3200MHz(Upgradable)
  2. DELL G15 Ryzen™ Edition Gaming Laptop - Indicative Price USD 980
    15.6-inch FHD, AMD Ryzen™ 5 5600H 6-core/12-thread Mobile Processor, NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3050 4GB GDDR6, 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive(Upgradable), 8GB, 1x8GB, DDR4(Upgradable) 3200MHz.
  3. ASUS TUF Gaming F17 Gaming Laptop —Indicative Price USD 850
    17.3” 144Hz FHD IPS-Type Display, Intel Core i5-10300H, GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, 8GB DDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD.
  4. Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop - Indicative Price USD 950
    15.6" Full HD, Intel® Core™ i5-10300H, NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3050, 16 GB DDR4(Upgradable), 512GB NVMe SSD.
  5. MacBook Air M1 - Indicative Price USD 999
    13" Retina Display With True Tone, Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 7‑core GPU, and 16‑core Neural Engine, 8GB unified memory, 256GB SSD storage.

1. MSI GF63 Thin (10UC-439)

MSI GF63 Thin 10UC-439 is the best budget laptop for music production and audio engineering Under USD 1000. Its powerful processor and upgradable features make it a clear winner for music production in this category.

MSI GF63 offers the most powerful processor, Intel Core i7, for Under 1000 dollars for music production. Comes with DDR4 3200MHz RAM which can be upgraded up to 32 GB. There are two ram slots on this laptop. The storage offered on the MSI GF63 is 512 GB NVMe SSD, which can be upgraded as well. You can also install an additional SATA SSD or Hard Disk on this laptop. There is an additional 2.5" SATA slot available. All these features and specs make MSI GF63 the best laptop Under USD1000, for Music Production and Recording.

Reasons To Buy MSI GF63 Thin 10UC-439 For Music Production

  • Incredible performance- Even with a higher number of channels in a DAW session, MSI GF63 performs amazingly well. The Intel Core i7 10750H Process clockable up to 5.0GHZ is a beast and the backbone of strong performance.
  • High-Speed Upgradable RAM —Comes with 8 GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM, which can be upgraded up to 32 GB.
  • Upgradable Storage —Comes with High Performance 512 GB NVMe M.2 SSD. NVMe can be upgraded. You can also install an additional SSD or HDD.
  • Best In Class Graphic Card —MSI GF63 laptop offers GeForce RTX3050 GPU with 4G DDR6, making it suitable for graphic intensive work like gaming and video editing.
  • Clockable - Comes with easy to use software that will enable you to clock the machine as per your needs.
  • 15.6” FHD Display
  • Quite Operations —Fan noise is quiet compared to other windows laptops. Also offers an adjustable fan rpm feature.

Cons Of MSI GF63 Thin 10UC-439 For Music Production

  • Small Battery —The battery on the MSI is 51WHR but still does not last as long as other laptops in the category.
  • Not The Best Cooling —Cooling on the MSI GF 63 is decent, but not the best in the category. Overheating can result in faster RPM Fan and fan noise.

Music Production Essential Specs Table For MSI GF63 Thin 10UC-439

Component Specification
CPU CPU Core i7-10750H, 2.6 - 5.0GHz
RAM 8 GB DDR4 3200MHZ installed, Upgradable Up To 32 GB
Storage 512 GB NVMe M.2 SSD, Upgradable. Additional Slot For HHD or SSD
Screen Size 15.6" FHD, IPS-Level 144Hz 45% NTSC
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce® RTX3050 Laptop GPU 4G GDDR6
I/O Ports and Connectivity

1 x Mic-in
1 x Headphone-out
3 x USB 3.2 Gen1
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN

WIFI and Bluetooth

 

Who Should Buy MSI GF63 Thin 10UC-439 For Music Production

Beginners to advanced music producers who are on a budget. MSI GF63 will be the best laptop for your studio or music production career.

If you are on a budget and looking for a perfect all-around laptop for music production and recording, MSI GF63 is the best buy. It provides the best value for money and can be upgraded as well.

The processor on this laptop combined with specs makes this laptop unbeatable for the price. If you add RAM and More storage, this laptop can become a beast for music production. As you grow in skills, you can upgrade the machine and keep it going.

NVIDIA GTX3050 graphic card makes it usable for video editing and gaming as well, which is a big plus.

To learn more about MSI GF63 Thin, check out the manufacturer website here.

2. DELL G15 Ryzen™ Edition Gaming Laptop

Dell G15 Ryzen Edition Gaming Laptop ranks second among best laptops for music production under USD1000 category.

Dell G15 is a well-designed machine, design is a lot better than MSI. The reason Dell G15 ranks second is due to the processor and smaller hard disk size.

Even though AMD Ryzen 5 5600H is a great six-core processor and is more than capable of performing all the music production tasks of advanced music producers, the processor on the MSI is a winner when it comes to benchmark.

If you spend USD100 extra, you can upgrade the processor on Dell G15 to AMD Ryzen 7 5800H. 8 Core and make this machine completely unbeatable in the category.

If I am buying, I will get the upgraded processor for an extra USD100 and prefer Dell G15 over the MSI machine on any given day.

Reasons To Buy DELL G15 Ryzen™ Edition For Music Production

  • Incredible Performance -AMD Ryzen with Up to 4.2 GHz and 16Mb Cache, are great for music production and multitasking
  • Great Design - Dell G15 Offers a great design with ports on the back. I love it for desk work.
  • High-Speed Upgradable RAM —Comes with 8 GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM, which can be upgraded up to 32 GB.
  • Upgradable Storage —Comes with High Performance 256 GB NVMe M.2 SSD. NVMe can be upgraded. You can also install an additional SSD or HDD.
  • Best In Class Graphic Card —G15 laptop offers GeForce RTX3050 GPU with 4G DDR6, making it suitable for graphic intensive work like gaming and video editing.
  • Clockable - Comes with easy to use software that will enable you to clock the machine as per your needs.
  • 15.6” FHD Display
  • Effective Cooling — Fan noise is quiet compared to other windows laptops. Dual fans are keeping the machine cool. Also offers an adjustable fan rpm feature.

Cons Of DELL G15 Ryzen™ Edition For Music Production

  • Bulky - This laptop is bulky and weighs over 6Lbs, which is a lot.
  • The keyboard is Flimsy - The keyboard on the laptop feels a little flimsy.

Music Production Essential Specs Table For DELL G15 Ryzen™ Edition

Component Specification
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 5600h, Also Upgradable To AMD Ryzen 7 5800 H For Extra USD100
RAM 8 GB DDR4 3200MHZ installed, Upgradable Up To 32 GB
Storage 256 GB NVMe M.2 SSD, Upgradable. Additional Slot For HHD or SSD
Screen Size 15.6" FHD
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce® RTX3050 Laptop GPU 4G GDDR6
I/O Ports and Connectivity

1 x Mic-in and Headphone-out
1 x USB Type C
2 x USB 2.0
1 x USB 3.2 Gen1
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN

WIFI and Bluetooth

 

Who Should Buy DELL G15 Ryzen™ Edition For Music Production

Beginners to advanced music producers who are on a budget. DELL G15 Ryzen™ Edition with AMD Ryzen 7 can be the best laptop for your studio or music production career.

3. ASUS TUF Gaming F17 Gaming Laptop

Asus TUF Gaming F17 laptop ranks three among laptops under USD1000 for music production.

Asus TUF Gaming F17 is one of my favourite laptops for music production. It offers a great big display powerful CPU, efficient cooling, is quiet compared to other laptops under the same price range(at max stress around 51dB Loud) and is upgradable with ease.

This laptop is a bang for the buck starting at just USD850.

Reasons To Buy Asus TUF Gaming F17 For Music Production

  • Value For Money - At Just USD850, This laptop is a great bang for the buck.
  • Incredible performance- Even with a higher number of channels in a DAW session, Asus TUF Gaming F17 performs well.
  • High-Speed Upgradable RAM —Comes with 8 GB DDR4 2933 MHz RAM, which can be upgraded up to 32 GB.
  • Upgradable Storage —Comes with High Performance 512 GB NVMe M.2 SSD. NVMe can be upgraded. You can also install an additional SSD or HDD.
  • Best In Class Cooling - Comprehensive cooling ensures that every TUF Gaming laptop can sustain high performance and maintain effectiveness over a long life span.
  • Biggest Display In The Category - Featuring a speedy IPS-level panel of up to 120Hz, the 17 Inches wide screen is perfect for music production.
  • Military-Grade Build - Asus TUF F17 is built to last.
  • Clockable - Comes with easy to use software that will enable you to clock the machine as per your needs.
  • RGB Keyboard - The Keyboard can be colour-coded according to your style and studio ambience.
  • Clockable - Comes with built-in software to overclock the specs.

Cons Of Asus TUF Gaming F17 For Music Production

  • Small Battery - The battery on the Asus F17 is on 48Whr but it still performs decently. Not a big downside.

    Music Production Essential Specs Table For Asus TUF Gaming F17

    Component Specification
    CPU Intel® Core™ i5-10300H Processor 2.5 GHz (8M Cache, up to 4.5 GHz, 4 cores)
    RAM 8 GB DDR4 2933MHZ installed, Upgradable Up To 32 GB
    Storage 512GB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 3.0 SSD, Upgradable, Additional Slot for NVMe and Additional Slot For HHD or SSD
    Screen Size 17.3-inch, FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9, anti-glare display
    Graphics NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 Ti, 4GB GDDR6
    I/O Ports and Connectivity

    1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
    1x HDMI 2.0b
    2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
    1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C support DisplayPort™ / power delivery / G-SYNC

    WIFI and Bluetooth

     

    Who Should Buy Asus TUF Gaming F17 For Music Production

    Beginner to advanced music producers who are on a lower budget and looking for a machine with great performance and upgradability.

    Asus F17 ranks third on the list only because it has been around for quite a while and the GPU is getting older. If you are like me who is not a fan of GPU intensive work and loves to produce music all day long, buy this laptop and upgrade it like crazy. Add in the additional 2 TB of SSD storage, Up the RAM to 32Gb and use this machine all day long. This is an unbeatable machine for the price.

    If you are a beginner music producer and on a limited budget, buy the ASUS TUF Gaming F17 laptop and save money for other studio equipment. As you learn and grow, keep on upgrading it.

    To learn more about Asus TUF Gaming F17 visit the manufacturer website here.

    4. ACER Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

    Acer Nitro 5 - AN515-55-56AP Gaming Laptop is the fourth among best budget laptops for music production and audio engineering Under USD 1000.

    Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop offers 15.6" Full HD, Intel® Core™ i5-10300H, NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3050, 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM(Upgradable), 512GB NVMe SSD.

    Even though the RAM on this laptop is 16GB, this laptop is number four because of the poor form factor.

    Acer Nitro 5 Offers Core i5 - 10300h(4Cores) processor while MSI GF63 offers Core i7 10750H which is a 6 Core processor.

    As the processor is not upgradable on laptops, MSI and Dell win over Acer in terms of processing power.

    Reasons To Buy ACER Nitro 5 For Music Production

    • Best Offering For Money - In this category, Acer Nitro 5 offers 16GB of RAM pre-installed which no other laptop does.
    • Incredible performance- Even with a higher number of channels in a DAW session, ACER Nitro 5 performs amazingly well.
    • Upgradable RAM —Comes with 16 GB 2400 MHZ SDRAM, which can be upgraded up to 32 GB.
    • Upgradable Storage —Comes with 512 GB PCI Express. Can be upgraded. You can also install an additional SSD or HDD.
    • Best In Class Graphic Card —MSI GF63 laptop offers GeForce RTX3050 GPU with 4G DDR6, making it suitable for graphic intensive work like gaming and video editing.
    • Clockable - Comes with easy to use software that will enable you to clock the machine as per your needs.
    • Good Battery Life - 4 Cell Battery With Up to 11 Hours Runtime
    • 15.6” FHD Display

    Cons Of Acer Nitro 5 For Music Production

    • Fan Noise — A lot of users complain about the fan noise on the Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop with age. This is not a given but can cause trouble for recording. Even though the Fan RPM can be controlled, this is a concern for tracking situations.
    • Not The Best Cooling — Acer Nitro 5 tends to get hot with extensive usage.
    • Weight - This machine weighs 5.07lband is bulky compared to others.

    Music Production Essential Specs Table For Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop

    Component Specification
    CPU CPU Core i5-10300H, 2.5 - 4.5GHz
    RAM 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM 2400MHZ installed, Upgradable Up To 32 GB
    Storage 512 GB PCI Express SSD, Upgradable. Additional Slot For HHD or SSD
    Screen Size 15.6" FHD
    Graphics NVIDIA GeForce® RTX3050 Laptop GPU 4G GDDR6
    I/O Ports and Connectivity

    1 x Mic-in
    1 x Headphone-out
    2 x USB 3.2 Gen1
    2 x USB Type C
    1 x HDMI
    1 x LAN

    WIFI and Bluetooth

     

    Who Should Buy Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop For Music Production

    Beginner to intermediate music producers who are on a very strict budget and do not wish to immediately spend on upgrades.

    If you are on a very strict budget and do not wish to spend anything above USD1000 for other upgrades like RAM and SSD, go for Acer Nitro 5.

    This is a decent performing machine with good capabilities but the only issue is the Fan noise which can be troubling if your machine does that. Not all users complain about fan noise but some do. Even though the Fan RPM can be controlled, this is a concern for tracking situations. Noise is one of the reasons why this machine ranks low even with the extensive RAM offered.

    To learn more about Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop visit the manufacturer website here.

    5. MacBook Air M1

    MacBook Air With M1 Chip ranks number five among budget laptops for music production.

    Macbooks are the true studio machine. No machine noise is what every studio needs. MacBook Pro M1 is the best laptop for music production. Still, MacBook M1 Air on the budget laptop list is at Five. Why? Here are the reasons:

    1. Storage options are expensive like crazy and not upgradable in future.
    2. I/O ports still missing on the MacBook Air which adds to the costs and defeats the budget.

    I love the stability that Mac machines offer. Yet because of high price, limited I/O ports and storage the mac is at number five.

    Reasons To Buy MacBook Air M1 For Music Production

    • Incredible Performace &No Noise - This is the true studio machine with the lowest noise and great performance.
    • Unified RAM —Comes with 8 GB Unified RAM. Unified memory is about minimizing the redundancy of data copied between different sections of memory used by the CPU, GPU, etc. This makes the RAM outperform for its size.
    • Best In Class Design - MacBook air is light, portable and the best aesthetic you can get in this category.
    • Best In Class Battery Performance - Macbook Air Battery can last up to 18 hours.
    • Reliability - Macbooks are the best choice if you are a performing musician. They are reliable and more dependable than Windows laptops.
    • Logic Pro X DAW - If you are a logic pro user, you need a mac. Logic Pro is user-friendly and loved by a lot of music producers.

    Cons Of MacBook Air M1 As A Budget Music Production Laptop

    • Not Upgradable Hardware - The storage and RAM are not upgradable. If you opt for a higher configuration while purchasing, your budget will be defeated. If you are an advanced producer who often works with 60+ channels, 8GB RAM and 256GB storage is going to be limiting, even for macs.
    • I/O Ports - Still MacBook air doesn't have an HDMI port, USB -A and other necessary ports. You will need to purchase an additional adapter, which is expensive and will defeat your budget.

      Music Production Essential Specs Table For MacBook Air M1

      Component Specification
      CPU Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU,
      RAM 8GB unified memory
      Storage 256GB SSD storage¹
      Screen Size 13" Retina display with True Tone
      Graphics 7‑core GPU, and 16‑core Neural Engine
      I/O Ports and Connectivity

      Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports

      WIFI and Bluetooth

       

      Who Should Buy Apple MacBook Pro M1 For Music Production

      Beginner to intermediate music producers who are looking for a portable and reliable laptop for music production and live performance on a budget.

      MacBook M1 chip is wonderful. Logic Pro X is also a beast. If buying additional connectors and getting the 16GB RAM doesn't hurt your budget, MacBook Air M1 is the machine of choice for music production. If not, it will become limiting.

      If you perform live, MacBook Air M1(With16Gb RAM) and Mac Ecosystem will be a great choice to get started with. On the same budget, you can also opt for the 2020 MacBook Pro M1. Both Macbook Air M1 and 2020 MacBook Pro M1 offer nearly the same specs.

      To learn more about MacBook Air M1, check out the manufacturer website here.

      I hope this article helped you decide on a budget music production laptop according to your needs.

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      Udeeksh Sood Image

      Written By

      Udeeksh Sood on

      Udeeksh is an Audio Engineer and Co-Founder of learnmusicproduction.in. He loves to produce music, research music gear, play guitar, go on treks and road trips.