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Audio PC Laptops - a buyer's guide. Let's make it a sticky!
Old 9th January 2012
  #1
Lives for gear
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Audio PC Laptops - a buyer's guide. Let's make it a sticky!

OK, someone else had this idea but he wouldn't feel like starting the thread. I thought it was an excellent idea that shouldn't be dropped, so I'm going to do it. The idea of this thread it to help buyers buy an audio PC laptop.

We all know that many models just don't cut it, especially if you have a Firewire interface. So, what I'm suggesting is for people who have PC laptops that actually do work fine with audio to post specs here, including the interfaces and the software they use it with. Oh yeah, and also price (tips on where to get it for less no doubt will be greatly appreciated.) Also very useful if the same individuals could post DPC latency figures. If you don't have DPC Latency Checker, you can get it here for free: DPC Latency Checker

PLEASE DO NOT SUGGEST BUYING MACBOOKS, THE REASON FOR THIS THREAD IS TO GIVE READERS AN IDEA OF THE PC LAPTOPS (i.e. RUNNING WINDOWS 7) THEY CAN PURCHASE FOR AUDIO.

I think this should become a sticky that will nicely complement the "let's build a studio PC" thread. If we all email the chiefs, they might listen to us.

========================================================

I will start with my own laptop, a machine I recently acquired as my mobile rig.

Model: HP ELITEBOOK 8560p
CPU: Intel Core i7-2620M (2.70 GHz, 4 MB L3 cache)
Screen: 15.6" (1600 x 900)
RAM: 4GB standard, expandable to 16GB.
HD: 500 gb 7200 RPM
Optical drive: DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL
Graphics: Radeon HD 6470M (1 GB)
OS: Win 7 Pro x64
Ports:
2 USB 3.0
1 eSATA/USB 2.0 Combo
1 USB 2.0
1 USB 2.0 charging
1 external VGA monitor
1 DisplayPort
1 1394a (TI chip!!)
1 stereo microphone in
1 stereo headphone/line-out
1 AC power
1 RJ-11
1 RJ-45
1 serial
1 docking connector
1 secondary battery connector
1 Express Card/54
1 Smart Card Reader
1 SD/MMC

DPC latency: averages @ 85 milliseconds, tops @ less than 100 (i.e. well into the GREEN ZONE.)

Price paid: around $1,350
Buying tip: Buy.com has it for less than that ($1,288.99 as of today, shipped free)

Buy.com - HP EliteBook 8560P XU063UT 15.6" Notebook, Intel Core i7-2620M (2.7GHz), 4GB DDR3 Memory, 500GB HDD, DVD Super Multi-Drive with LightScribe, AMD Radeon HD 6470M, Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit

Interface: RME Babyface (USB 2.0)
Software: Reaper 4 and Sonar X1 (no, I'm not going to move my Cubase key from my master desktop...) No issues.
Use: mostly for live recordings of a chamber ensemble with Babyface and a Neumann KM184 matched pair. Also as my portable composing rig, using many VST's.

Checked with my studio's RME Fireface UC: no issues.
Checked with my old Profire 2626 to see if Firewire works: no problems at all.
Old 9th January 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Lenovo Thinkpad W520 here.

First, I vote this thread for sticky, because I've seen so many similar threads, and useful information is scattered and hard to find in one place.

Price paid: $1930 w/ tax, including 2820QM processor and 8GB RAM upgrade, direct from Lenovo online shop.

(Tips: Amazon.com –US sells W520/2820QM/8GB model @$1670 w/o tax, as of 1/11/2012)

Processor: Intel i7 2820QM 2.3GHz (upgraded), RAM 8 GB (upgraded)
HD: 500GB ST9500420AS, 7200RPM

OS: Windows 7 professional, 64bit

DPC latency: 70-110 us

Tips for “Tweaks”: Turn off wireless (hardware switch). Use “High performance” power scheme. Microsoft security essential can be left ON. CPU power saving features can be turned off from Thinkpad Power Manager. Other than those, DPC latency is good “out of box”.

Interfaces working properly (no pops/clicks):

1. RME UFX USB and FW (via Ricoh onboard chip) working great, at low latency 64 samples.
2. M-Audio Profire 2626 working fine (via Ricoh chip) at 128 samples. Legacy FW driver must be used.
3. Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP working fine (via Ricoh chip) at 128 samples.

DAW: Reaper ver4 32/64 bit, Cubase ver 6 32/64 bit, ProTools MP9
Plugins/VSTis: Altiverb 6, DMG Eq/Comp, AddictiveDrums, etc, etc

Positives: 1) Nice HD matte display, comes with display port and VGA port. 2) Long battery life -b/c 9 cell extra capacity. 3) Less bloatware. 4) Comes with 2 USB3 ports, eSATA/USB port, 1 USB2 port, FW port, and Expresscard slot. 5) Docking station 3 expands 3 monitor outputs, 6 USB ports. 6) Really quiet when CPU is <15% usage

Negatives: 1) Bulky (ugly), 2) Keyboard “feel” is not as good as previous Thinkpad quality 3) AC/DC adapter is absurdly huge and heavy. 4) Fan noise can be loud if the CPU is >70% usage.

General impression: Good business laptop with decent expansion possibility, which can be used for decent DAW work if tweaked appropriately. The processor is fast enough to do most of the modern DAW work. I bought this laptop primarily for location recordings with RME UFX, but after getting docking station, it’s getting more use like a workstation. Carrying in a backpack may be a little bit tough, because overall weight (incl adapter) could be 7lb or so.
Old 9th January 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Sensorychaos's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Really good idea.
Old 9th January 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I just thought about this the other day. It could be a companion sticky to "Today we build our PC". Anyway, great idea and a bump.
Old 10th January 2012
  #5
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for starting this thread! I'm actually looking for a new laptop. Here's some information about my current laptop. Not for sale anymore but a reference may help.

Purchased: December 2009/ January 2010


Sony VPCF115FM
i7 720Q (1.6GHz)
6.00 GB RAM
500GB HDD (5400rpm)
NVIDIA 330m
Windows 7 64 bit

DPC Latency:
Avg: 200 us
High: 12,361 us or 12.361 ms

This model actually worked well with a ua-25ex. It's been a while since I've used it, but I don't recall any drop-outs or crashes. It did have extremely high latency ~23ms.


That elitebook is looking quite nice from here.

Requests:
Lenovo Thinkpad
ADK Custom Laptop
ASUS laptop
Old 10th January 2012
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Audio PC Laptops - a buyer's guide. Let's make it a sticky!

Also, an ultrabook would be great.
Old 10th January 2012
  #7
Gear Addict
 
frawnchy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hey PaPi61, DPC latency is measured in microseconds (µs), not milliseconds (ms), just to let you know.
A microsecond is one-thousandth of a millisecond.
Definite sticky though, good jobliness.
My entry:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Model: Lenovo Thinkpad T510
CPU: Intel Core i7-620M (2.66 GHz, 4 MB L3 cache)
Screen: 15.6" (1600 x 900)
RAM: 8GB (maximum possible)
SSD (Primary): Intel 320-series, 120GB, SATA II
HDD (Secondary): Hitachi Travelstar, 500GB, 7200RPM
Graphics: Nvidia NVS 3100M, 512MB
OS: Win 7 Pro x64
Ports:
2 USB 2.0
1 USB 2.0 charging
1 eSATA/USB 2.0 Combi
1 external VGA monitor
1 DisplayPort
1 1394a :-(Ricoh)
1 stereo headphone/line-out/line-in combo port
1 AC power
1 docking connector
1 Express Card/34
1 Smart Card Reader
1 SD/MMC

Disabling WiFi and Ethernet results in...
DPC latency: 92µs
...otherwise, ethernet pops it up to 162µs, and WiFi up to 560µs (un-good, totally de-gooderised).

Price paid: €1200 (refurbed and delivered from America to Ireland, inc. Customs Duty)
Buying tip: You can get the newer version with a 25% faster CPU for the same price now.

Interface: M-Audio Fast Track Pro (USB 1.1, don't buy unless just DJing, woeful)
Software: Reaper 4, Ableton Live 8, Traktor Pro 2
Latency: Reaper 4 @ 8.6ms, Live 8 @ 10ms, Traktor Pro 2 @ 5.3ms
Use: Recording live guitars, keys, vocals and (uh-oh, pretence!) sound-art, playing live, DJing.
Old 11th January 2012
  #8
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaPi61 ➡️
Model: HP ELITEBOOK 8560p
(...snip...)
1 1394a (TI chip!!)
Hey, that sounds promising, in the light of my (so far) bad experience with a Dell M6600 (full story in this post, if folks are interested).

Did you know in advance that the Elitebook had a TI chip? Do HP publish these specs?

Thanks.
Old 11th January 2012
  #9
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I have an ADK 8600 laptop on order.

17.3" 1920x1080 full HD
i7- 2760qm 2.4 ghz quad core 6m cache
16 gig 1333 ram
120 gig ssd
500 gig 7200rpm hdd
nvidia gtx560m 1.5 gig memory
blueray reader multi burner

esata, usb2,usb3, firewire 400 wireless,bluetooth recovery DVD

windows installed and tweaked with my interface (motu 828mk3)

The big thing for me is lifetime tech support from guys I know by name.
Old 11th January 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
rksguit's Avatar
After having never owned or used a computer EVER!
I bought a Dell XPS L502x
Intel Sandy Bridge i7 2630 QM
8 GB RAM
Nvidea GT540M GPU
750 GB Seagate ST9750420AS
2x USB 3
1xUSB 2 Esata combo
HDMI
Mini Dysplay Port[makes 3 screens very easy]

After initial user error,this feature packed,powerful[for the price] is stable [NOW],with the DPC dropping to av. 130us,after turning off core parking,and making sure "powerplan" in W7 is "High Performance".

I paid $1,299 in Australia[where EVERYTHING is 20%+ more than US]
They now have the option[unlike some other brands] of having the LATEST Q4 2011 i7 2760qm or the more powerful than the "formerly" most powerful i7 2920XM: i7 2860QM,with 1080p screen,and Bluray,for under $1900.

Anyway,I use this everyday,and unless I do something seriously wrong,it's VERY solid.
It looks good too by being mostly silver,with an aluminum lid.

Definitely one to consider if FW is not needed,but CPU power is, for a decent price.

Doing it over,I probably would buy a HP Elite,or an[unfortunately UGLY] Lenovo W520[but with Q4 i7 ONLY]and spend a bit more,but this XPS serves fine,though I did get an i7 2600k desktop for seriousness.

Glad I didn't get a Presicion[$$$$$]and I feel the pain of the poster who did,lucky he didn't get it in AU.
Old 12th January 2012
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Great thread.

It is kind of amazing that when you spec up these Business model notebooks you end up spending $1000-$1500 more than what you could get from ADK.

It just sucks living in Australia I would get slugged with import fees getting a ADK over here.

EDIT:
If anyone has any results on some ASUS models it would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by distaudio; 12th January 2012 at 04:33 AM.. Reason: Update
Old 12th January 2012 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
rksguit's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by distaudio ➡️
Great thread.

It is kind of amazing that when you spec up these Business model notebooks you end up spending $1000-$1500 more than what you could get from ADK.

It just sucks living in Australia I would get slugged with import fees getting a ADK over here.
Too true-$$$ wise
However we have this option,which should be every bit the pro-product of ADK right HERE: AAVIM Technology Online Store. Core Systems - Audio
Old 12th January 2012 | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rksguit ➡️
Too true-$$$ wise
However we have this option,which should be every bit the pro-product of ADK right HERE: AAVIM Technology Online Store. Core Systems - Audio
Nice one. Apart from a SSD drive they are about the specs I'm after.

Any customer feedback about these guys?

Thanks for the tip
Old 12th January 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
DAW PLUS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by distaudio ➡️
Nice one. Apart from a SSD drive they are about the specs I'm after.

Any customer feedback about these guys?

Thanks for the tip
Search for Gearslut "TAFKAT", he is Mr. Aavim. You can't go wrong with his systems and service. Brilliant guy.
Old 15th January 2012
  #15
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Which is better for music production? 2.2GHz quad core i7? or the 2.8GHz dual core i7?

Thanks.
Old 25th January 2012
  #16
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Elitebook 8560P

PaPi61!

Are you sure about the onboard FW Chipset being TI? According to HP support over here (Sweden) they use JMicron. This has been confirmed by other users. I should say this is relevant for 8560W model LG660EA. Could this differ between models? According to RME, JMicron is the worst possible chipset of all!

Since I'm considering an Elitebook 8560P/W for location multitrack recording
I'm curious to know if you or anyone else has tried >32 tracks multitrack recording over Firewire. I'm getting more and more convinced this wont work on a laptop with any degree of reliability, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

/Bauer

I will start with my own laptop, a machine I recently acquired as my mobile rig.

Model: HP ELITEBOOK 8560p
CPU: Intel Core i7-2620M (2.70 GHz, 4 MB L3 cache)
Screen: 15.6" (1600 x 900)
RAM: 4GB standard, expandable to 16GB.
HD: 500 gb 7200 RPM
Optical drive: DVD+/-RW SuperMulti DL
Graphics: Radeon HD 6470M (1 GB)
OS: Win 7 Pro x64
Ports:
2 USB 3.0
1 eSATA/USB 2.0 Combo
1 USB 2.0
1 USB 2.0 charging
1 external VGA monitor
1 DisplayPort
1 1394a (TI chip!!)
1 stereo microphone in
1 stereo headphone/line-out
1 AC power
1 RJ-11
1 RJ-45
1 serial
1 docking connector
1 secondary battery connector
1 Express Card/54
1 Smart Card Reader
1 SD/MMC

DPC latency: averages @ 85 milliseconds, tops @ less than 100 (i.e. well into the GREEN ZONE.)

Price paid: around $1,350
Buying tip: Buy.com has it for less than that ($1,288.99 as of today, shipped free)

Buy.com - HP EliteBook 8560P XU063UT 15.6" Notebook, Intel Core i7-2620M (2.7GHz), 4GB DDR3 Memory, 500GB HDD, DVD Super Multi-Drive with LightScribe, AMD Radeon HD 6470M, Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit

Interface: RME Babyface (USB 2.0)
Software: Reaper 4 and Sonar X1 (no, I'm not going to move my Cubase key from my master desktop...) No issues.
Use: mostly for live recordings of a chamber ensemble with Babyface and a Neumann KM184 matched pair. Also as my portable composing rig, using many VST's.

Checked with my studio's RME Fireface UC: no issues.
Checked with my old Profire 2626 to see if Firewire works: no problems at all.[/QUOTE]
Old 25th January 2012 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauer ➡️
I'm curious to know if you or anyone else has tried >32 tracks multitrack recording over Firewire. I'm getting more and more convinced this wont work on a laptop with any degree of reliability, but I'd love to be proven wrong.
I used my Thinkpad W520 to record 30 tracks @44.1/24bit, using RME UFX via firewire and USB, with simultaneous front DUREC. But that was just to test the system, cause I don't do 30 tracks location recording. I record mostly 4-12 tracks (stereo main + outrigger + spot mics for orchestra/chamber music) most of the time.

Btw, Modern laptops (i5-i7 CPU with 7200rpm HD) certainly work for track count like 8-16 channels, if they are properly configured (tweaked for audio), and paired with good quality audio interface (like RME's). For >32 tracks, I don't know. Besides, I don't know any FW audio interface that is single unit and comes with three ADAT ports. Daisy chaining FW interface is another way to get high track counts, like Presonus firestudio x 4 (? I'm not sure), but that already fills 4U rack, and it'll be better to do it with rackmount DAW, or just bring a light weight desktop machine.
Old 27th January 2012
  #18
Gear Head
 
pabloaugustus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Power Supply

Does having your laptop plug in while recording add noise to the audio signal? Man I sure hope not because my laptop that is basically desktop replacements (3.4ghz i7 with three hard drives) last about 30 minutes unplugged. My bad for sure I wanted a desktop and a laptop in one..worst of both worlds in some ways..you can't and shouldn't do it IMHO, I wish I had a light little unit for the road and a desktop.

I started reading about this on mac forums, does anybody know solid facts about this issue?

The point that was made in the forums I was reading was that you should unplug while recording.

Does anybody know about the facts that could cause this issue and ways to avoid it...are we effected on PCs?
Old 27th January 2012 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Head
 
pabloaugustus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by distaudio ➡️
Great thread.

It is kind of amazing that when you spec up these Business model notebooks you end up spending $1000-$1500 more than what you could get from ADK.

It just sucks living in Australia I would get slugged with import fees getting a ADK over here.

If anyone has any results. on some ASUS models it would be greatly appreciated.
ADK Laptops can seem overpriced because they offer things that no business laptops have, i.e. three hard drives and desktop processors

ADK has very competitive pricing on laptops that are comparable to the business ones posted here. If you are going to make a post like this please compare models and don't just guess, its very unfair to one of the best custom DAW companies there is. Without them pushing boundaries we wouldn't have standard TI chipsets.

I get your point but do some comparison shopping and you will see that you are WAAAAY off.

Sorry you live in Australia, I'm sure lots of stuffs more expensive.

I just checked ADKs page...their sandybridge laptops are reasonable, 15" model 2.7ghz i7 4gb ram 500gb 7200rpm drive 1 year warranty is $1440, i5 will save a few hundo, 17" will add a few hundo.

That is competitive with what the mass produced companies provide with the same specs.

I swear I'm not a fanboy, I just can't stand people trashing this good company staffed by real good people. You claim they are up to $1500 more for the same product....no my friend, its about the same. I'm sure you can save some money by buying mass produced products, and I'm sure you have problems importing small custom products to Australia, but talking smack on ADK is unwarranted.

-Pablo
Old 27th January 2012
  #20
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I had a Rain Livebook that worked out well for me. It's an older model (2007/XP) and I use it as a regular laptop these days, but if I was in the market for a new notebook, I would definitely look at their offerings first.
Old 27th January 2012 | Show parent
  #21
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pabloaugustus ➡️
ADK Laptops can seem overpriced because they offer things that no business laptops have, i.e. three hard drives and desktop processors

ADK has very competitive pricing on laptops that are comparable to the business ones posted here. If you are going to make a post like this please compare models and don't just guess, its very unfair to one of the best custom DAW companies there is. Without them pushing boundaries we wouldn't have standard TI chipsets.

I get your point but do some comparison shopping and you will see that you are WAAAAY off.

Sorry you live in Australia, I'm sure lots of stuffs more expensive.

I just checked ADKs page...their sandybridge laptops are reasonable, 15" model 2.7ghz i7 4gb ram 500gb 7200rpm drive 1 year warranty is $1440, i5 will save a few hundo, 17" will add a few hundo.

That is competitive with what the mass produced companies provide with the same specs.

I swear I'm not a fanboy, I just can't stand people trashing this good company staffed by real good people. You claim they are up to $1500 more for the same product....no my friend, its about the same. I'm sure you can save some money by buying mass produced products, and I'm sure you have problems importing small custom products to Australia, but talking smack on ADK is unwarranted.

-Pablo
Pablo if you read my post properly which you clearly didn't, you would see that what I said was that in order to get the same specs as a ADK in a Business model notebook you would need to spend an additional $1500.

In other words my post was PRO ADK.

It was abundantly clear also from the later posts between rksguit, DAW PLUS and myself that I was positive about the products they offered.

But if you want to get on your righteous high horse for absolutely no reason go right ahead.
Old 27th January 2012
  #22
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Audio PC Laptops - a buyer's guide. Let's make it a sticky!

Still no ADK stats?! what gives? I know Scott frequents these forums.

Btw adk is not the only custom laptop makers with multiple hdds. Origin pc (mainly for gamers) offers the same specs at about the same price and offers options for 1600 ram on their low end model.
Old 27th January 2012 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radan53 ➡️
Which is better for music production? 2.2GHz quad core i7? or the 2.8GHz dual core i7?

Thanks.
quad all the way (of the newer mobiles) it was the opposite with previous gen
benchmarks

Benchmarks for Pro Audio!

Scott
ADK
Old 27th January 2012 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
avebr's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauer ➡️
I'm curious to know if you or anyone else has tried >32 tracks multitrack recording over Firewire. I'm getting more and more convinced this wont work on a laptop with any degree of reliability, but I'd love to be proven wrong.
(...)
Yes, it's possible. I did 34 channels @ 24bit, 48kHz.

Clevo D900F + TI Expresscard FW800 + 2x RME FF800.

It was a quite tricky on the begining - system tunning (still Win XP SP3, daw only, all the rest off), firewire drivers backgrade, the right Expresscard/chipset... but it's worth.

Clevo does excellent desktop-like notebooks, altought very expensive. But I'm happy (at least until I may *need* to jump on Win7/64 and redo it).


all the best,
ave.
Old 27th January 2012
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
how about 64 channels with the RME Madiface to a console live.
we have a ton of laptops out there connected to Yamaha and DigiCo consoles. todays laptops are very powerful.

we have several out there with turbo boxes with UAD2s and standard PCie cards in them.
amazing what a lappy can do now.

scott
ADK
Old 28th January 2012 | Show parent
  #26
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcschild ➡️
we have several out there with turbo boxes with UAD2s and standard PCie cards in them.
amazing what a lappy can do now.

scott
ADK
What these turbo boxes you speak of? Sound interesting.

Edit: Nevermind. Google to the rescue.
Old 28th January 2012 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Head
 
pabloaugustus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by distaudio ➡️
Pablo if you read my post properly which you clearly didn't, you would see that what I said was that in order to get the same specs as a ADK in a Business model notebook you would need to spend an additional $1500.

In other words my post was PRO ADK.

It was abundantly clear also from the later posts between rksguit, DAW PLUS and myself that I was positive about the products they offered.

But if you want to get on your righteous high horse for absolutely no reason go right ahead.
Excuse me, I misread your post, and was mostly also responding to the people who spent $1400-$1900 on business laptops. Otherwise I thought I was very polite and decent towards you.

As you stated more clearly in your reply I see what you are saying and that I should have read your post more carefully. I have been jumped on all over this forum for sticking up for ADK builds and was all too ready for a battle, I apologize.

You are correct, I was mistaken as to the point of your post; thank you for joining me in applauding ADKs work.

It is not a high horse or personal ego but a respect for the service I've received from ADK that prompted the emotional response.

Nothing in my post attacked you or said anything personal to you. I was speaking of computers. You've jumped on me for a misunderstanding, and I apologize for taking part in that. If you PMed me I would have edited my post and given you all the respect you deserve for being maligned. (which I still do)

Peace,

Pablo

p.s. I edited for the pricing and didn't read those interim posts, I apologize in spades.
Old 9th February 2012
  #28
Here for the gear
 
William H.'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Samsung Series 7 Chronos i7 2675 .....
Old 17th February 2012
  #29
Lives for gear
 
The Listener's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Any more ideas for a workable PC laptop with FW? And especially a dead SILENT one...

I am looking into those options with SSD disks... That HP and Lenovo seem fine suggestions... Any more experiences with those and different models?
Old 18th February 2012
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Well Im am going to put the spanner in the works.

2011+ Macbook Pro 17.

There its been said - in bold, in big letters for maximum annoyance

And now for the fine print....

I have extensively used a bunch of audio apps on a bootcamp install of windows 7 on my 2011 macbook pro: Live, Reason, Cubase, Traktor, Maschine with a variety of audio interfaces from RME and Native Instruments. I have never found a better laptop for windows based audio production. That includes previous Lenovos that I have had as well which I had always previously rated as the best.

The caveat is the same may not be true for 2010 or earlier models, but 2011 onwards are really very good for reliable low latency glitch free audio.

As a bonus, you can run OSX as well and even with Lion, I have to say that Ive found it to be a notch up in reliability from anything I have encountered on Windows, and it remains true without reinstalling your OS every 6 months.

Performance of Live 8 is near identical on both windows 7 and OSX 10.7 on my MBP. While it is a good windows laptop, I do use OSX for my audio production, but did try it out on Windows bootcamp for several weeks (because I was used to windows and not OSX when I first got this and had a lot of work on at the time).

The other thing on the reliability front - that rally matter to me - crash in the studio is just annoying. A crash while DJing/performing is an absolutely no no - something that must simply NEVER happen. Experience has taught me to not trust windows on stage when installed on a laptop (this is with Live and/or Traktor). The other little advantage for me - I can run Logic on it as well as Cubase and anything else. Im free to chose whatever software I can work best with - regardless of platform.

I have no axe to grind in the windows vs PC debate - I have used Windows for production for many years, am still a windows software developer etc each have their merits - these days I use both OS. Day to day use, Im tending to use OSX more - things just happen more quickly. I still have the 4GHz 1st gen i7 desktop PC that used to be my main audio workstation - thats now a gaming machine - the mac laptop was just as fast for audio work and portable.
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