Whether you do it professionally or are just an enthusiast, if you like editing music then I am sure Image-Line’s FL studio is one of the software you work with, right?
It is one of the most popular DAW software used by music producers, composers, and DJs all over the world and when you combine its amazing mixing features with a powerful laptop, you get portability like never before.
But with so many brands and laptops in the market, how do you find the best laptop for FL Studio? You do not have to spend $2000 and we get it, you don’t have to either.
This is why we put together this extensive posts where we trim it down to 5 laptops that are worth the money for all FL Studio users.
Best Laptops for FL Studio Reviewed
#1: New Apple MacBook Pro
- RAM: 16GB
- Weight: 4lbs
- Processor: 9th Gen, 6-core, i7
- CPU Speed: Up to 4.5GHz
- Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M (6GB)
- Storage: 512GB SSD
- Display: 16″ (3072×1920)
- OS: iOS
- Battery Life: 6-7hrs
- LxWxH: 14.09 x 9.68 x 0.64 inches
With portability, power, and great design at the forefront, the New Apple MacBook Pro, is one of the best choices for professional DJs, Music editors, composers, etc, and here’s why.
Excellent processing speed and power
As a professional using FL studio, you will likely be using many of its plugins and libraries to give you the edge.
And considering that some of these plugins require higher specs than FL Studio itself, you must have a powerful laptop. And the MacBook Pro is just that with the latest 9th Gen, 6-core, i7 processor with an ability to turbo boost to 4.5GHz, which btw, is one of the most important processor specs.
Wondering why we choose clock speed over cores for once? The reason being that from the instrument, effects to the mixer track, everything needs to be processed in sequence on the same core especially if the mixer tracks are linked as they now become dependant on each other and thus cannot be processed separately.
In case you feel this processing power isn’t enough for you, there is also an 8-core i9 processor variant available that clocks at a whopping 4.8GHz.
Another feature to watch out for is an SSD as with an SSD, you’ll be able to load samples/VSTs much faster (because who wants to wait 5 minutes just for those to load, right?).
Not to forget, SSDs have lesser parts thus improve durability as well. Apart from that, there is a 16GB RAM is in tandem with a dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6 memory to further boost performance.
An immersive display
You’ll be stuck at your laptop for hours, may even have to pull an all-nighter to meet the deadline, and having a good display can make all the difference.
I am thinking something like Retina display should be good enough, right? The large and crystal clear 16-Inch Retina display comes with True Tone Technology and 400+nits of the brightness of to give you an immersive display with excellent colors whether you are indoors or outdoor even on bright sunny days.
Plus, the display is easy on the eyes (no more will all that glare during an all-nighter result in red, tired eyes ). Oh, and did I tell you that it isn’t your average Full-HD display. The Pro comes with a 3072×1920 resolution so you can view every detail on the screen whether you are working or watching a movie.
Furthermore, you can also expand your working area by connecting to a larger screen or multiple screens using the DisplayPorts or even AirPlay.
Data transfer at super-fast speed
Since we are on the topic of ports, the laptop also features multiple thunderbolt ports. As a music editor, composer, you probably have tons of data that need to be backup up or copied to your laptop. With these ports, this is going to be lightning-fast as they give speeds of about 40GBPS.
A touch of magic on the keyboard
One of the biggest improvements that Apple has made to all its latest laptops is switching to the Magic keyboard from the Butterfly keyboard which was, in simple words, cumbersome to use. Since editors and composers rely heavily on shortcuts keys to get the work done quickly the keys should have ideal travel between them.
With the travel of 1mm, the MacBook delivers just that. Plus, the keys are more silent and in tandem with the backlight allowing you to work in peace even during the night. As for the trackpad, it is smooth as ever.
Also, further enhancing your productivity is the TouchBar which gives you custom options based on the software and the functions you use often so you can perform them again in seconds with a simple touch.
The sound quality of the Pro is again very immersive all thanks to the 6-speaker system with noise-canceling woofers (feels like MacBook Pro has a miniaturized version of an Apple HomePod).
There’s ample sound to fill-up a room while the bass and treble produced are crisp and sharp (if you don’t have a headphone yet, this will save you a few bucks on it).
Portability and Battery
Was portability the main reason you want to switch to a laptop from your workstation? The MacBook gives you just that. For a powerful laptop, it is quite amazing that it weighs just 4lbs and is pretty compact (from handbags to backpacks, this bad boy will fit in anywhere).
And yes, working from beaches, hilltops, hotel rooms or even airports and trains is now a whole lot easier as you do not have to worry about power points, the laptop will give you 5-6hrs of run-time even with FL Studio.
Well, this MacBook Pro will set you back by $2000 which means they are suited only for professional FL studio users that need a lot of processing power.
Also, my biggest complaint about MacBooks has always been that they lack an HDMI port. Though thankfully, there are other ways to connect your laptop to monitors, even your TV as shown in the video above.
#2: Dell XPS 15
- RAM: 16GB
- Weight: 5.50lbs
- Processor: 9th Gen, 6-core, i7-9750h
- CPU Speed: Up to 4.5GHz
- Graphics: GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
- Storage: 1TB SSD
- Display: 15.6″ 4K UHD
- OS: Windows 10
- Battery Life: 3-4hrs
- LxWxH: 14.06 x 9.27 x 0.65 inches
Need a Windows laptop that can deliver processor performance and display like the MacBook Pro? Then Dell XPS 15 is exactly what the laptop doctor ordered for and here’s why.
First and foremost, the XPS 15 also features a 9th Gen, an i7-9750H processor that comes with 6-cores and more importantly, with a 4.5GHz clock speed which allows it to process all your effects and music tracks faster.
Supporting the processor is a 16GB RAM and if you feel like that isn’t enough, you even the option of upgrading it to a whopping 32GB (it barely gets any higher than that).
Also, while you do not need a lot of graphical power to run FL Studio (even professionally), the dedicated 4GB, GeForce GTX 1650 does add to the utility, especially if you love gaming (from Fortnite to Overwatch, it will run all your multiplayer games smoothly).
The one big advantage the XPS has over the MacBook is that you get 2x space. Yes, the 1TB SSD makes it the ideal combination of speed and storage for professional FL Studio users that have a lot of stock music and files stored on the laptop.
But the laptop is more than just its powerful specs
But Dell XPS 15’s USP isn’t the powerful components but its mesmerizing, jaw-dropping display (no I am not kidding, it is that freaking good). Firstly it is a larger 15.6″ 4K UHD display and with that resolution comes details that you have never experienced before (now see every pixel at every corner without having to zoom in).
Add to that the 100% Adobe RGB color that produces over 16millions colors you get lifelike gradients and crisper colors and contrast. Plus, 500nits brightness ensures that from movies, work to games, everything is crystal clear even if you were sitting and working at a beach and working in bright sunlight.
Further improving the viewing experience is an excellent wide-angle view. And to top it all, it has one of the smallest bezels you’ll find in a laptop giving it a 93% screen to body ratio.
The keypad, trackpad, and ports
Compared to the previous XPS, the XPS 15 comes with a keyboard with better key travel and softer feedback so using it for hours during edits should be easy peasy and quiet.
It also backlit so you can continue to be productive even when there is no light. As for the trackpad, it remains the same good old self, though a few gesture controls would have come in handy.
When it comes to ports, the XPS 15 has got them all which gives the edge over the MacBook. From Thunderbolt ports for data transfer at speeds of 40GBPS, USB-C ports that allow you to charge smartphones or connect a dock to HDMI ports that let you expand your display by connecting it to a TV or external monitor, XPS leaves little room to complain.
Another standout feature of the XPS 15 is the Killer 1650 features that automatically prioritizes bandwidth for the software or browser window that you are using. In case you are looking at tutorials or want to download a library/template, this is just what you need to enjoy a high-speed connection.
It also comes with a fingerprint scanner so you can unlock your laptop within seconds without having to remember your password each time (and if you are as forgetful as me, phew, that comes as such a relief).
The laptop can also take a few bumps thanks to its all-round aluminum build. Even the screen is as durable as it is a Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 which makes it highly resistant to dust and scratches (this baby will last you for years to come).
If you are eco-conscious (and I believe everyone should be), Dell XPS gives you the power to run FL Studio while playing your part in protecting the environment as it is made using 90% recyclable parts.
The laptop weighs around 5lbs and isn’t the most compact compared to others on the list and thus won’t be as easy to carry around as the MacBook or the ultralight Microsoft Surface Pro 7. Also, it only gives you 3-4 hours with FL Studio running which is a tad low and reduces its portability.
Further hampering portability is the fact that it weighs around 5.5lbs. Speakers are also pretty bad as the sound tends to crackle. Though you can improve it to a large extent with the Waves MaxxAudio Pro app but getting headphones would be ideal.
Dell XPS 15’s speed, display, portability make it one of the most recommended laptops for music production. That means not just FL studio, the XPS 15 has you covered irrespective of the software.
#3: Microsoft Surface Pro 7 (Best Convertible Laptop for FL Studio)
- RAM: 16GB
- Weight: 1.7lbs
- Processor: 10th-Gen, i7-1065G7
- CPU Speed: Up to 3.5GHz
- Graphics: Iris Plus Graphics
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- Display: 12.3″ (2736 x 1824)
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- Battery Life: 7-8hrs
- LxWxH: 7.9 x 11.5 x 0.3 inches
If you are an FL Studio enthusiast and mostly edit songs for small DJ gigs or composing your tunes, then Microsoft 7 is worth the consideration. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Most DJs live life on the go and that is where portability of your peripherals becomes so much more important, right? Well, you’ll be happy to know that the Surface Pro 7 is one of the most portable laptops you’ll find on the market (its what we call the portability king).
If this were a boxing match, the Surface Pro wouldn’t even fit in the featherweight category (yup, it is that light ). It weighs a mere 1.7lbs (carry it in your handbag or your hands, you’ll barely feel its weight).
Plus, it is a 2 in 1 laptop. Use it as a tablet, in studio-mode, or as a standard laptop, the Surface Pro gives you the freedom to edit audio from anywhere anytime like no other laptop can.
But don’t take all that portability and compactness for granted, this one can pack a strong hook in the speed and power department.
#4: Acer Spin 3
- RAM: 16GB
- Weight: 3.70lbs
- Processor: 8th Gen, i7-8565U
- CPU Speed: Up to 4.6GHz
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- Display: 14″ (1920 x 1080)
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- Battery Life: 7-8hrs
- LxWxH: 12.95 x 9.41 x 0.78 inches
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option for an extremely portable yet powerful laptop? Then the Acer Spin 3 is the answer to your prayers. Here’s what makes the Spin 3 a great choice.
The Acer Spin 3 is a great convertible laptop choice, sporting both a laptop function, a tent function, and a tablet function (by rotating the screen over the keyboard), which lets you keep an eye on the stocks at your convenience wherever you are, whether it be on your desk, on the couch, or even on the toilet.
Thanks to the 360-degree hinge, you can convert your laptop into a tablet (and vice-versa), and it can be used as you would your mobile phone. Because it weighs just 3.7lbs, your hands won’t tire out when you use it as a tablet.
The Spin 3 has an i7-8565U Processor that clocks in a speed of up to 4.6GHz, and when paired with the 16GB DDR4 RAM, you have all the speed and power you need (and maybe a little more) to run multiple platforms and trackers without a hitch. It also has a 512GB solid-state drive, which further speeds up your laptop.
Thanks to this, your laptop boots in seconds. Considering the price range the Spin 3 is in, the 512GB is a pleasant surprise compared to your standard 256GB SSD.
Another impressive aspect of the Acer Spin 3 is the fact that despite its power, it runs for up to 8-10 hours of non-stop use. If you’re frequently on-the-go (or frequently forget your charger), you won’t have a problem at all. If you’re a graphic designer on the side, the Spin 3 comes with a rechargeable stylus. Navigating and designing is easy-peasy.
The 14-inch, Full-HD display, paired with the Spin 3’s excellent dual front speakers makes watching movies while on a break an absolute delight. Multiple displays are also supported with the Acer Spin 3 for better viewing and tracking of changes when you’re at home, as long as you have a top-notch docking station.
It doesn’t live up to its advertised 12-hour battery life, but 8-10 hours of battery is still great compared to other choices. It also has an integrated graphics card, and while it doesn’t support gaming or other graphics-intensive tasks, but considering that it costs less than $1000, it’s a worthy choice.
#5: HP 14-CF0014DX (Best Budget)
- RAM: 16GB
- Weight: 4.3lbs
- Processor: 7th Gen, i3-7100U
- CPU Speed: Up to 2.4GHz
- Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 620
- Storage: 128GB SSD
- Display: 14″ (1366 x 768)
- OS: Windows 10
- Battery Life: 5-6hrs
- LxWxH: 32.40 x 22.60 x 2.00 inches
Are you looking for a laptop while on a tight budget? There’s one out on the market that costs less than $400. For any beginner FL studio user, this device is the best choice, and here’s why.
The biggest problem for cheaper laptops is that they’re slow and tend to hang quite frequently. That’s because most of them have low RAM, a slow processor, and come with an HDD. That’s not the case with the HP 14-CF0014DX. The HP comes with 128GB SSD, meaning your laptop shouldn’t take more than 15 seconds to boot.
The i3 processor and 8GB RAM also ensure seamless browsing, even with multiple tabs and FL studio plugins. Cheaper laptops tend to have DOS installed, and you’d need to pay extra for Windows 10. Fortunately, the HP-14-CF0014DX comes with Windows 10 pre-installed, meaning you won’t have to worry about any extra cost.
The laptop also looks a lot heavier than it is, weighing just 4.5lbs. Carrying it on your shoulders in a backpack or a laptop sling-type bag won’t give you aching joints and muscles (definitely something you’d want to avoid, right?).
Though its display isn’t a full-HD screen, it still displays colors vividly and has good brightness with its WLED backlight. WLED, or White Light-Emitting Diodes, screens perform much better than LCD monitors, making them so much better for your eyes.
The laptop doesn’t have a full-HD display, so using it for leisurely activities like streaming on YouTube or Netflix won’t be as pleasant as with other laptops on this list. Most laptops come with a basic 256GB storage, so the provided 128GB storage is less than ideal.
Eventually, you might have to look at upgrading. The battery life of the laptop comes up to just 5 or 6 hours, so you’ll have to keep the charger on you, especially if you’re frequently on the road. But considering you pay less than $400 for it, it’s still a steal.