Best Budget Laptops for Music Production under $500 in 2023: Music Production on a tight Budget
Don’t let money hold you back on your music production journey. Start creating music with these best budget laptops for music production under $500.
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When I’m satisfied with a laptop brand I don’t switch that easily. So if you’re like me then you prefer your new music production laptop to be from the same manufacturer as your old one. No matter the brand
If money is not an issue, then I advise you to buy a gaming laptop. Laptops for music production require quite some impressive specs. And mostly gaming laptops have everything you need. But what if you don’t have the money and you don’t want to break the bank? Then check out some of these budget music laptops. They might not be as powerful as the more expensive ones, but they will definitely be enough for anybody just starting out with music production. The best laptops for music production under $500 are very similar. Any of these laptops will be a good place to start your music production journey.
There will be no Mac laptops included in this list, simply because Apple PCs are more expensive. And if you do find one under the price range of $500, then most likely the specs of any other competitor will be better and newer for your music production needs. Let’s find a laptop for music production on a budget!
What are the best laptops for under $500 included in this guide
1. ASUS Vivobook 14 Laptop
The Vivobook is a trusted name in the field of laptops. With it’s Intel Core i5-1235U CPU you can get quite a lot done. With the 14-inch display, you can get an expansive, 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution. It has a fast hard disk: 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD. All in all a great laptop to begin music production with.
2. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Laptop
Lenovo is known to produce quality laptops. I myself have used an Ideapad-y700 laptop for many years. The IdeaPad 3 is a stable computer that can pack a punch considering its price. The 14″ FHD display allows a nice 1920×1080 resolution, which is great for music creation and bigger music projects that need to show multiple tracks.
3. Dell Inspiron 15 3520 Laptop
As the name already hints. This laptop is suitable for creating any kind of creative work. And definitely for music making. The Intel Core i5 processor is great for when you want to start producing music on a tight budget.
4. Acer Aspire 3 Slim Laptop
This smart laptop is great for on the go. It’s specs are definitively very competitive and the price tag is not too steep. Even middle-heavy games can be played. For when you want a break from your productions and music.
5. HP Micro-Edge HD Laptop
What other laptops in this list are missing when it comes to a big hard disk and more RAM, this HP does have it. The processor is not overwhelming, but the total offer is very balanced for a production laptop. And it should be enough to get you going with creating music
Why use a laptop for creating and producing music? And what are the possible downsides?
One of the reasons why a laptop can be so useful for anything music production-related is that it allows you to produce music literally anywhere. Whether you are in a studio, travelling and on the road, or at home. You can easily carry your laptop with you and connect it to your audio interface, any MIDI controllers, microphones, and speakers. Just like any desktop computer, a laptop gives you access to a wide range of software and plugins that you can use for music production. Any digital audio workstation (DAWs), virtual instrument, effects, and samples should work.
Also, a laptop can work with most of the hardware and software that are available for music production. You can use a laptop with Windows or Mac OS, depending on your preference and budget. Just like a desktop, you can work with various audio formats and standards, such as WAV, MP3, MIDI, ASIO, and VST.
But there are also some possible downsides when it comes to using a laptop for your music production needs. For example, laptops tend to be more expensive than desktop computers, especially if you want a high-performance laptop that can handle complex and demanding music production tasks. You may have to spend more money on a laptop than on a desktop computer with similar specifications.
Also, laptops are more prone to damage and wear and tear than desktop computers since most likely you travel with your laptop or use it in environments outside of your studio or house. Laptops also have some other limitations compared to desktop computers when it comes to music production. For example, laptops have smaller screens, keyboards, and trackpads than desktop computers. This can affect your workflow and comfort.
The best budget laptop for music production
ASUS Vivobook 14
A great laptop with a beautiful screen. Lightweight and flexible. Ready to take on your music arrangements
CPU: Intel Core i5-1235U Processor 1.3 GHz (10M Cache, up to 4.4 GHz, 10 cores) RAM: 8Gb DDR4 RAM STORAGE: 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD SCREEN: 14” FHD (1920×1080) ultra-slim NanoEdge bezels CONNECTIVITY: Audio I/O jack, USB-C, 2x USB 3, USB 2, HDMI
The ASUS Vivobook 14 is surprisingly snappy. The performance is as you would expect from an Intel i5 processor. Although it is not suitable for playing AAA games, you can do some heavy tasks with this laptop. This means that it has enough power to run projects in your DAW. You will be able to work with multiple plugins on your tracks and do a comfortable job editing your recorded music tracks.
And when you are not busy producing music, you can enjoy watching movies and streaming TV series. The beautiful NanoEdge screen is a pleasure to look at. Not only a joy to work with but also nice for during your free time.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3
Trusted quality of Lenovo. A decent laptop for sound production with plenty of upgrade possibilities.
CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7, 2.4GHz RAM: 8Gb DDR4 RAM STORAGE: 512GB NVMe SSD SCREEN: 14” FHD (1920×1080) 250nits Anti-glare CONNECTIVITY: microSD card reader, Audio I/O jack, USB-C, USB 2, HDMI
This Lenovo IdeaPad 3 will be a great companion in your music production journey. It has all the features that any musician or beginning music producer would need. I especially like the fact that the processor is an i5 processor. With quad cores and 8 threads, you will be able to play clean music arrangements.
The 512GB NVMe SSD disk in combination with a USB-C port will give you the opportunity to connect External SSD disks that have all your music samples on it. This way you don’t have to clog your laptop’s hard disk.
Dell Inspiron 15 3520
A very powerful laptop for the money and has options for upgrading hardware.
CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7 2.4GHz (Up to 4.2 GHz) RAM: 8Gb DDR4 RAM STORAGE: 256GB SSD SCREEN: 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) CONNECTIVITY: microSD card reader, Audio I/O jack, 2x USB 3, USB 2, HDMI
Dell is one of the trusted brands when it comes to making great computers and laptops. The Intel Core i5 processor has a boost up to 4.2 GHz and should be able to deal with your tracks in your DAW. Even though the pre-installed 8GB of RAM is not overwhelming it should be enough for you to load some nice VST instruments.
When working on a laptop the screen size is very important. Because music arrangements in your DAW can become visually cramped. The 15.6-inch screen is big enough for you to work comfortably with multiple tracks. Overall this is a great laptop for the price.
Acer Aspire 3 Slim Laptop
The only laptop on the list with an AMD Ryzen processor.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 7520U Quad-Core Processor RAM: 8Gb DDR4 RAM STORAGE: 512GB NVMe SSD SCREEN: 14.0″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) CONNECTIVITY: microSD card reader, Audio I/O jack, 2x USB 3, USB 2, HDMI
The Acer Aspire 3 is the only laptop on my list with an AMD processor, but this does not mean that it doesn’t perform. The AMD Ryzen 5 is very capable of handling your music production tasks. And also from this list of best budget laptops for music production under $500, it is the cheapest. The laptop is steady and nice and slim. This will be ideal for any music producer on the move. You can take it to any home studio, library or coffee bar that you like.
HP 2023 Newest 15.6″ Micro-Edge HD Laptop
For people who want plenty of storage space and a fast hard disk.
CPU: Intel Pentium Silver N5030 Processor, 1.1GHz, 4 cores RAM: 16Gb DDR4 RAM STORAGE: 1 TB SSD SCREEN: 15.6 Inch display (1366 x 768) CONNECTIVITY: microSD card reader, Audio I/O jack, USB-C, 2x USB 2, HDMI
With this HP laptop, you won’t have to be afraid of bloating your hard disk if you install a few of your sample libraries. It comes with 1TB of disk space. And that is quite generous. If you want to install your samples on an external SSD drive, you can always use the fast USB-C connection for speed. If you choose to have less pre-installed RAM then this computer might end up being the cheapest of all budget laptops for music production under $500.