Tips for buying a laptop for a recording studio (in 2018) - Gearspace.com
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Tips for buying a laptop for a recording studio (in 2018)
Old 29th March 2018
Tips for buying a laptop for a recording studio (in 2018)

Display: Go with an IPS panel display. TN panels suffer from bad viewing angles, washed out colors and in the long-run you'll wish you had gotten a better display.

Resolution: You want at least 1080p resolution. Many laptops cut corners with 768p resolution, but you're going to end up with an ugly screen with cramped workspace.

Battery Life: 6-8+ hours is good. 10 hrs is not 100% necessary because you'll likely be able to charge it up at some point in the day. But having a ~4 hr battery life can feel very limiting at times.

CPU: Ideally, you want a quad-core processor made within the past few years.

Storage: SSD. ~250 GB. You can always get an external hard drive, but you don't want a slow computer.

Ports: You'll want at least 2 USB ports for the interface and midi controller (and more, depending on what else you need. Ethernet is a bonus if you want to download instrument packs quickly. Having Thunderbolt or HDMI port allows you to use the laptop on a larger display which is very useful.

RAM: 16 GB ideal. If getting an upgradable laptop, 8 is fine. But many newer laptops can't get a RAM upgrade. Going above that on a laptop is silly because a laptop CPU most likely won't be strong enough to utilize all of it.

Additional Features. Having a trackpad with multitouch and keyboard with backlighting do make a meaningful difference in usability.

Price: You'll want to spend around $1000 or more. If you want a computer of good quality at a budget, build a desktop. Any $500 or less laptop is going to skimp out on performance somewhere.
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