Best Laptops for Ableton Live
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3 Best Laptops for Ableton Live In 2023

One of the great things about living in modern times is the plethora of technology to choose from but the unfortunate issue is there are SO many options to choose from. When we are discussing the best laptops for Ableton Live and music production in 2023, there are many different factors to choose from. Are you a Mac or PC person in your day-to-day life? Are you also a gamer? Are you on a budget?

I am here to help guide you to making the correct decision for you. Luckily there really aren’t many laptops available as a top choice for music production.

1. M2 16” MacBook Pro (Best Overall)

Overview

If you are looking for the best music production laptop, then the search is over. The MacBook Pro is the most powerful laptop created by Apple. It comes in several sizes and colors, but the 16” MacBook Pro provides the most screen space for easier viewing on your eyes. This laptop is capable of all of your production needs. It will handle all of your music projects, it can run any music software available to be downloaded on it like Ableton, handle multitrack Ableton live sessions, and assist in producing music or editing video. It is also the first laptop to feature the M2 chip.

Key Benefits

  • The ability to use multiple DAWs
  • Workflow for productivity
  • Plenty of processing power for multiple plugins
  • Easy cross-device sharing for Apple Users
  • Up to 8TB internal SSD Storage
  • 20 hours of battery life

Pricing

$2,500+

Opinion

The M2 16” MacBook pro is the best laptop for Ableton live in 2023 for multiple reasons, with the largest key benefit being that you aren’t pigeonholed into one DAW and have access to Logic Pro, allowing you to collaborate with other artists that use Logic. It has way more processing power than you could need, and can run multiple powerhouse plugins at the same time.

Apple is great for workflow productivity, it makes it so easy to navigate around once you learn the OS. I used to be a PC purist, and I came to Apple over time, and I find PC much more difficult when it comes to productivity. This really bolsters Ableton’s already great workflow potential, everything just gets that much faster. Not to mention, MacBook Pro’s can come with up to 8TB internal SSD storage, making the need for external memory almost unnecessary, depending on your sound library.

This laptop earns the trophy for best laptop for Ableton 2023 hand down. I plan on upgrading to this one eventually for my own home studio, I currently have the M1 MacBook Pro.

2. M1 MacBook Air (Best for Tighter Budgets)

Overview

The M1 MacBook Air is a lighter (literally) MacBook than the MacBook Pro in terms of physical weight and the internal processing power, however, it will still run Ableton Live with ease. This thin and light laptop comes with the same perks of owning a MacBook Pro, with slightly diminished results.

This Apple laptop is great for music production. It is also one of the best laptops for audio production. It can handle all of the music production software the Pro version can weather recording live sets or studio sessions it can handle all of your music production needs. While it is not one of the beefiest laptops, this is a mid-to-upper tier laptops for a fraction of the cost of the Pro model.

Key Benefits

  • Easy pack and play for mobile production
  • Ability to use multiple DAWs
  • Best budget
  • 12 hour battery life

Pricing

$999

Opinion

The MacBook Air is the best laptop for people who are on a tighter budget and interested in getting into the world of Mac for music production. The low cost of entry means that you won’t be breaking the budget compared to windows laptops, and you can use trade-in value to upgrade to a MacBook Pro when you realize that Apple is best for music production.

PC for gaming, Mac for music.

3. ASUS ROG Zephyrus (Best for Gamers)

Overview

The ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) Zephyrus laptop is the best for Gamers. This gaming laptop has all of the power you would need for playing most games on ultra high graphics (barring the demanding titles, in which you will get away with high or medium. It is likely to be the only Windows 11 laptop on this list, even into the future because frankly, Windows is just that bad comparatively. It also has enough processing power to handle Ableton live and whatever plugins you would need.

Key Benefits

  • Great for gaming
  • Light and mobile
  • Capable of running Ableton plus plugins
  • Intel Core

Pricing

$1,000 – $1,600

Opinion

I was personally using this laptop when I first got into music production and wanted a music production/gaming laptop I could take with me on the go. It can play most games on ultra high graphics, with some larger and more demanding titles on medium or high. It can also run Ableton very well with the addition of plugins, so this is a great laptop for those that refuse to jump to Apple, who also want something that is best all around for gaming, music production, and day-to-day use of a laptop.

The major downside to sticking with PC, is that you will never be able to use Logic Pro which will vastly limit the amount of artists that you could collaborate with. It is my personal opinion that Ableton and Logic Pro are two essential DAWs that every EDM Music Producer will eventually need to learn.

While PC is suitable for music production, elite gaming laptops will help out a bit more due to their original purpose so really any gaming laptop with an intel core will work.

What Is the Best Laptop for Music Production? (It’s the Apple MacBook Pro).

Hands down, the best laptop for Ableton Live and music production in general is the Apple MacBook Pro. It is widely used across the industry by many amateurs and professionals alike. Its incredibly powerful processing capabilities, ease of transportation, and ability to use ANY DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) on the market makes it the single best choice you can make in your musical journey.

While I understand that many people have misguided notions about Apple products, and believe PC and Android are better, this is one area that I must disagree with you. PC is definitely better in regards to gaming, and many of us are more familiar with its operating system due to growing up with PCs and not Macs, but after a little bit of time and familiarization Apple wins out on workflow productivity. Making music is work, so you might as well get something that makes work easier.

While any laptop or PC can get a DAW and run Ableton, MacBook allows you to work with all DAWs, a benefit that PC will never have. Logic Pro is one of the best, arguably THE best DAW on the market, and only Apple users have access to it. Think of it like a PlayStation Exclusive, that will never make its way to Steam. Gotta buy that PlayStation to play it, Logic Pro is no different.

How Can the Best Laptops for Ableton Live Benefit Your Music Production in 2023?

The best laptops for Ableton Live benefit you by future proofing your music creation. You do NOT need to buy a MacBook to run Ableton, or collaborate with others using Ableton. Owning a MacBook will allow you to get Logic Pro, which will allow you to collaborate with more artists, as well as have access to a massive sound library known as Apple Loops.

The main benefits for getting a laptop for your music production is the mobile capability. Desktops offer plenty of power, obviously, but you are stuck in one place when using without being incredibly inconvenient. Laptops are much more mobile in nature.

The hidden benefit of laptop work is also, when you start doing shows, almost every professional artist on the planet still uses backup tracks during their shows. Truly live music is for the pro’s is nearly gone.

Choose the Best Laptops: How We Conducted Our Researched

When doing our research to find the best product, we determined using these factors:

  • Pricing: How much did each product cost?
  • Reality: What really is the best laptop?
  • Features: What were the best features of each product?
  • Support or refund: Do they offer a community, support, or refund policy?
  • Future-Proofing: What allows the most flexibility?

Wrapping Up the Best Laptop for Ableton 2023

The biggest con to Apple products is the entry price, other than that, the world becomes your oyster in terms of music production. Apple laptops for music production just simply bear many of the laptops on the market. They have everything you could look for in a laptop, fast transfer speeds required for music production, and compared to other laptops they are simply king.

I’ve made music on PC and Mac and the difference is indisputable. PC just can’t use Logic Pro, and this is a major hinderance in the future of your musical journey. So why wait until later, way down the road, to have to learn how to use a new OS and redownload everything and transfer your sound library over when you can just do it now?

You can search all over Reddit, you can scour the internet and look for your perfect windows music making machine, but I guarantee you, you will find way more about MacBooks being the top dog and it doesn’t look like that will ever change.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does Ableton Live work better on Mac or PC?

Either will work fine. MacBook is really good at controlling the processes between plugins, and I find MacBooks can really handle the demand of large products better than PC can. Sure some top-end PC will do better, but not for the same price.

  • Are Laptops good for music production?

Arguably superior than desktops. DAWs require generally little processing power out of the box, even the crappiest laptops can run most of them before plugins get involved. High-end laptops will handle everything just fine, with the added bonus of mobility.

  • Do professionals use Ableton?

Oh God yes, especially in the EDM world. If you’re into EDM and especially dubstep AT ALL, you will know artists that play at festivals that use Ableton. And Logic Pro.

  • How much RAM do you need for music production?

For PC, 2x 16gb is recommended. For Mac only the standard 16gb is required, you don’t need the 32gb RAM option. Do I know why Macs just operate better than PC in this department? No. It just does, or its magically tech wizardry.

  • How much storage do you need for music production?

A lot. I personally wish I chose way more internal storage with my MacBook Pro, but in the future I will buy the top amount of internal storage available. External storage is mostly used. I use a 2Tb external SSD on top of my 500gb Internal memory.

  • Why do musicians use Mac?

They are super simple to set up, the M-series chips are often outperforming any other chips such as the intel core in the market in this arena, and its ability to use any and every DAW. No PC will ever be able to use any and every DAW, legally. I know Intel Core chips are pretty powerful stuff, but the new-ish M-series chips from Apple are *Chefs kiss*

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