If you plan to record, mix, and produce real instruments and vocals, pro tools are the best program to use. I guess you are already aware, and that is why you are looking for the best laptop for pro tools. There are many laptops for pro tools. However, we both know that they all can't be the same or the best. Therefore, to make your research easier and less time-consuming, we created this article to take you through the best laptops for pro tools. However, I would like us first to get a vivid understanding of what a pro tool is.
What is Pro Tools?
Pro Tools is a (DAW) Digital Audio Workstation for music creation and production. Avid Technology developed and released it to be used in Windows and macOS. The program is centered around three windows:
(i). Edit Window
This is where you record and edit audio.
(ii). MIDI Window
This is where you can record, edit and process MIDI data.
(iii). Mix Window
Mix window mirrors the design and layout of a traditional mixing desk with inserts, au sends, pan controls, and volume faders.
This software is used to record, edit, mix, sequencing, video support, and MIDI.
Although you can install pro tools on your laptop, you may not get the best out of it as you will be limited if it does not have enough resources for the software to run efficiently. Therefore, we have reviewed the best five laptops for this music production software.
1. Apple MacBook Pro 16
With the 2020 edition of the Macbook in the market, now you can have the best laptop for pro tools for your recordings and mixing. MacBook Pro is a powerful laptop with features that support running the software. In addition, with its 16-inch Retina display, this version of the Macbook gives you a large and clear display so you can work with ease.
Apple MacBook Pro features a 9th generation intel core i7 processor, which gives it just the computing power you need to run this music software for longer and higher performance. Furthermore, it delivers the most graphics horsepower with the optional AMD Radeon Pro 5600M series. In addition, its 8GB bandwidth memory makes it even easier to work on graphics-intensive projects.
This MacBook provides you with up to 64GB of memory so you can multitask smoothly and edit large files, as well as edit, mix and record audios conveniently. In addition, it comes with numerous connectivity options such as 4 USB type-C inputs and Thunderbolt 3 support.
It comes with a keyboard with a refined scissor mechanism and a touch bar that provides you with shortcuts, and touch ID offers fast authentification. In addition, this 16-inch MacBook has up to 8TB SSD storage and a powerful 100-watt-hour lithium battery that provides up to 11 hours of battery life.
2. Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 7th Generation
- Intel Core i7-8565U Processor 1. 8GHz, Up to 4. 6GHz Turbo, Quad Core
- 14" Anti-glare LED Backlit IPS FHD (1920 x 1080) Display
- 16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz RAM, 512GB Solid State Drive
- Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, Windows 10
- Intel Integrated 620 Graphics, HDMI, 802. 11 Wireless-AC
If you don't like carrying a heavy and bulky laptop, and you need a good one for pro tools, Lenovo Thinkpad X1 is the best. It features a 7th gen intel core i7-8565U processor to handle high intensive software. The lithium-ion battery that powers it lasts up to six hours after a full charge.
This laptop weighs only 4.6 pounds and is 14mm thick, making it very easy to carry around. The screen is 14 inches, giving it a large display so you can easily multitask. With 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage, you have more than enough space to carry out all your activities.
Lenovo Thinkpad X1 is a high-quality laptop, and you can use it for a long without experiencing any issues. It features two USB 3.1, two USB-C Thunderbolt with power delivery HDMI.
3. Razer Blade 15" Gaming Laptop
- Fully loaded: 15.6" Full HD, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti,...
- Edge-to-edge action: Colorful and accurate visuals to the thin bezel factory...
- Packed with power: Driven by the latest 9th Gen Intel processor and NVIDIA GeForce...
- Precision crafted: CNC aluminum unibody houses incredible performance in the most...
- Ready to connect: Plug in multiple USB 3.1 devices directly, expand the view on up to...
Although Razer Blade 15 is a gaming laptop, it qualifies to be the best laptop for pro tools as it has all the features needed to run the software. It has a 15.6-inch screen with a full HD 1920 x 1080 display for accurate and colorful visuals and a 9th generation intel core i7 9750 that ensures you run things smoothly during the music production.
It has a thin and contact body, 16 GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD. It is driven by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti for the best performance. In addition, it has all the ports you may need to use while producing audio. The ports include 3.1 USB ports, Thunderbolt 3, mini display port, and HDMI.
You can also customize the backlight color of your keyboard with Razer chroma and make it uniquely yours. You can also expand the storage and memory when you feel it's not enough.
4. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
- Latest 7th Generation Intel Core i7 Processor 2.8GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up...
- Latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen IPS display, Red Backlit Keyboard
- 16GB DDR4 DRAM Memory & 256GB SSD | Extra empty expandable hard drive slot for 2.5"...
- Up to 7-hours of battery life
Most laptops for pro tools are expensive, but Acer Predator Gaming Laptop is one of the most affordable laptops for running this software. It features the latest 7th gen intel core i7 processor 2.8Ghz with turbo boost technology up to 3.8Ghz.
It has 16 GB of RAM, and so you can run your tools smoothly. The drawback is that it offers only 256GB of SSD drive, but it offers a slot for an HDD, so storage space will not be a problem once you upgrade by buying an HDD. It is a gaming laptop, so it comes with a GTX1060 graphics card suitable for running graphics-intensive tasks.
You will have enough slots for connectivity with this laptop. It has an HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1 Type-C, 2x USB 2.0, and ports for line-out Jack, Ethernet, and speaker. The 15.6-inch screen offers a Full HD display and gives enough display for working on different tabs.
5. Microsoft Surface Book 2 15"
- Microsoft Surface Book 2 Features a 8th generation Intel Quad Core i7 Processor, 1 TB...
- Enhanced Graphics performance with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 discrete GPU w/6GB GDDR5...
- The fastest Surface Book yet, with 4x more power. Battery type : 4-cell Lithium-ion
- Vibrant PixelSense Display: now available with a new 15" touchscreen
- Four versatile modes of use and new USB-C port
With Microsoft Surface Book 2, you can work in four different modes, laptop mode, where you can use demanding apps and handle complex tasks with up to 17 hours of battery; with a full keyboard and large trackpad, you can use the touchscreen. You can also detach the pixel sense display to transform this laptop into a thin quad-core i7 tablet for easy portability.
Another way is to fold it to studio mode or detach the screen by pushing a button, turning it around, and reattaching. It is run by an 8th gen intel core i7 processor and 16GB RAM, and the storage is more than enough as it is 1TB.
The screen is 15 inches and 4.2Ghz for smooth and better performance, and the GTX 1060 graphics offer 2GB of extra VRAM. However, one major challenge is that you cannot upgrade its memory.
Microsoft Surface Book 2 laptop is lightweight and features a backlit keyboard so that you can use it conveniently, even in dimly lit environments. In addition, it has several ports, including 2 USB-A 3.0, 1 USB-C 3.0, a Microsoft Dock connector, and an SD-card reader.
What Should You Consider Before Buying the Best Laptops for Pro Tools?
When you want to buy a laptop for music production, it is important to keep in mind that you will need a laptop that can provide you with most of the features needed for running pro tools, if not all. Therefore, if you need the best laptop for pro tools, watch out for the following factors:
a). Audio Interface Ports
You will need to make many connections for your audio interfaces, external displays, and basic peripherals. Basic peripherals depend on the available USB ports. However, the USB connections work differently from the Firewire, and the two are uninterchangeable.
In that case, the best laptop for pro tools needs a Thunderbolt port as it is compatible with Firewire when connected with an adapter. The good news is that the latest USB 3.1 type C adapts the streaming, making it a thunderbolt, so if your laptop has either, you are good to go.
The processor plays a vital role in tasks like this. However, for pro tools, a single processor is better than multiple threads because it is impossible to share audios between the CPU cores. Check your mastering chains and how many plugins you intend to use; if it's on the higher side, then you will need a processor that is above 3.5GHz. If it is lower, then a lower processor will do just fine.
However, it is important to know that choosing a higher processor will always keep you on the safer side as processor upgrade is rare, but plugins and software upgrades often occur. This upgrade makes the program heavier each time.
c). Battery Life
A powerful and high-performance laptop may not have a long battery life, and the same applies to best laptops for pro tools; it will suck the life out of the battery after use for only a few hours. Therefore, to make the battery last a little longer, ensure that you get a laptop with a heavy-duty battery that can last at least 3-4 hours of use.
Previously, the minimum requirement for pro tools was 8GB RAM which has now increased to 16GB RAM due to the plugin and new features of the software. Therefore, when buying a pro tools laptop, check the storage and afford it, but one with 32GB RAM. Although the 16GB RAM is still okay, it is good to be on the safer side.
To run pro tools, you will need an SSD (Solid State Drive). VSTs, pro tools, and the operating system need about 300GB, which means that you will need large storage. If your SSD is less than 500GB, then you will need an HDD. Therefore, unless your SSD storage is over 500GB, you will need a regular HDD to ensure you run things smoothly.
f). External Displays
The major display connectors are HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, and DVI. However, the latter two are not found on laptops as their sizes limit them. Therefore, these ports are not important unless you are working with an old projector. The important ones are DisplayPort and HDMI.
DisplayPort is superior to HDMI in the sense that it can support higher resolutions and refresh rates. However, you can still use the latest versions of HDMI to connect multiple displays.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Laptop for Pro Tools
1. How much RAM do I need for Pro Tools?
The minimum RAM you need to run this software on your laptop is 16GB; however, it is always better to use a laptop with a larger RAM than 16GB. This is because the software may need an upgrade occasionally, meaning the larger the memory, the better.
3. What can I do with pro tools on my PC?
With Pro Tools on your Pc, you can do a lot of stuff like editing, recording, composing, and mixing music and sound for a picture as you like.
4. How many GB does Pro Tools music software have?
This music software comes with over 5GB of high-quality sounds to find the perfect piano tone, orchestral hit, or the perfect beat.