As you may know:
Ableton is popular music production software, used by top-most music producers/composers in the industry to small music production houses and beginners as well.
Since it caters to such a vast majority of people, it has features that will be useful for all types of people.
Hence, having a rock-solid computer system is essential to run Ableton Live at its full potential.
To save you from the hassle of choosing a powerful computer system, we have listed below the Top 7 Best Laptop for Ableton.
But before moving onto it, there are few things you need to understand before choosing the best laptop for you.
Best Laptop for Ableton
Ableton Live 10 System Requirements
Ableton Live 10 is the latest music production software from the company and below are the system requirements from the official site itself:
- Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10
- 64 bit Intel or AMD Multi-core CPU. Intel Core i5 CPU or faster recommended
- 4GB RAM (8GB or more recommended)
- Mac OS X 10.11.6 or later
- Intel Core 2 Duo CPU. Intel Core i5 CPU or faster recommended
- 4GB RAM (8GB or more recommended)
As you can see from the system requirements, Ableton recommends Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB RAM to run the software.
However even if you get a laptop with the recommended system requirements, the problem starts when you install a slew of aftermarket plugins that have even higher system requirements than Ableton Live itself.
This means you’ll need a powerful laptop system to get you started with Ableton Live 10.
Now to give you an understanding of what a robust system should be, I’ve listed a few pointers below for better judgment.
Processor is the most critical component to consider when choosing the best laptop for Ableton.
As Ableton is known to be a CPU intensive program, hence when it’s running along with its plugins kicked in, this will drain your laptop’s battery far quicker than expected.
Therefore you’ll need a processor that’s not only powerful but power-efficient as well.
For this point, I’m only considering Intel i7 CPUs and AMD Ryzen 7 CPUs because they are top of the line processors from respective brands.
An important thing to consider here is, if you need a power efficient processor, look for a processor in the laptop configuration ending with ‘U.’
For instance, Intel Core i7-8550U and AMD Ryzen 7 2700U are examples of power efficient CPUs that consume between 12-25W of power.
Ableton recommends 8GB of RAM; however, in this list of laptops for Ableton Live 10, I’ve considered a mixture of laptops with 12GB and 16GB DDR4 of RAM, which you can choose according to your budget.
Or you can later upgrade your laptop with additional RAM modules as required.
For Ableton Live, the higher amount of RAM you have, the better.
SSDs are a must; if you want to a smooth experience while using Ableton on your laptop.
Generally, SSDs are costly than a traditional 7200RPM HDD.
SSDs offers read/write speeds close to 500MB/s, whereas an HDD offers read/write speed of measly 60-80MB/s.
However, if you take into account the performance factor, SSD will not only speed up Ableton, but it will also speed up other factors like booting time, opening applications, processing audio/video and other productive options.
Most laptops either come with a standalone SSD/HDD or a combination of SSD + HDD.
Hence just like RAM, you can later upgrade your HDD to an SSD for overall fast performance at any given time.
Graphic Card is not an essential factor when it comes to buying the best laptop for Ableton Live 10, however considering the configuration of laptops I’ve chosen for you, you do get a dedicated or integrated graphic card in your system.
Moreover, you aren’t only going to use your new laptop for Ableton; hence other applications in your system can make use of the graphic card, e.g., Internet Browsers, Photo Editors, Video Making software and more.
When it comes to laptop, you have the freedom to choose laptops in variable screen sizes.
Smaller screen size improves portability and decreases weight, whereas bigger screen size decreases portability and increases weight.
Finding a middle ground between these factors is essential.
However, from my experience of using Ableton and other music production software, I prefer larger laptop screen, because of multiple functions and toggles displayed on a single screen that can be hard to look at on smaller screens.
Should you buy Mac or Windows Laptop?
Ableton Live 10 is available for both Windows and Mac OS at the same price.
Hence you may be left wondering, which OS-based laptop should I buy?
However the latest Apple MacBook Pro 15”; capable of running Ableton Live 10, costs over $2300, whereas a similar spec’d Windows laptop costs 2x less than MacBook Pro 15”.
Having said that, a Mac OS based laptop usually has longer life compared to a traditional Windows laptop.
Moreover, you are bound to have fewer software-related issue with a Mac OS based laptop than a Windows laptop.
Basically, for an Apple MacBook, you pay a higher price up front for extended reliability.
Though for a Windows-based laptop, you get a better upgradability option when you want to do it later on.
Even the repair costs are lower for Windows Laptops, compared to say a Macbook Pro.
Moving on, here are the Top 7 Best Laptop for Ableton
One of the most successful gaming laptops currently, the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a perfect pick for you; if you need a laptop that will run Ableton smoothly and without any hiccup.
Priced just under $1000, the laptop is a boon for gamers, who want to do gaming under budget.
However, not only for gamers, this laptop is a boon for people who use resource-intensive applications on-the-go.
It comes with a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS Display with LED back lighting; with the laptop predominantly build around a Black and Red theme.
The keyboard is backlit, with accentuated WASD keys along with presence of numpad as well.
Entire laptop is assembled using a metal chassis that makes the build quality sturdy and provides heft as well.
What’s exciting are the Dual fans underneath the laptop that offer proper heat dissipation and will keep the Helios 300 cool during resource intensive music-making sessions.
On the specification front, the laptop features an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor which is a tad bit faster than the modern i7-8550U.
Coupled along with the CPU is a 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. Acer also offers an additional 2.5” slot where you can install extra SSD or HDD according to your need.
What turns this laptop into a beast is the 6GB DDR5 Nvidia Geforce GTX 1060 GPU that will run all your applications and games as smoothly as you’ll ever see them.
Additional features include USB 3.1 (Type-C), USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, HDMI 2.0, and preinstalled Windows 10 OS.
What you may not like about Acer Predator Helios 300?
- 2.7KGs of weight
- Thick laptop bezels
#2: LG Gram
What if I tell you, there’s a 15.6-inch laptop that has a battery life of over 15 hours, weighs at 1.1 Kgs and is developed by LG, would you believe me?
But what I said above is entirely true!
Apple set the bar with MacBook Air in manufacturing 1 KG+ laptop.
For many years; other laptop manufacturers have tried it and succeeded too but only with laptops with 13.3-inch screen size and lower.
But LG raised the bar entirely with LG Gram that has a screen size of 15.6-inch and looks stunning.
LG is not a household name when it comes to laptops; however, the Gram put LG in an entirely new spotlight.
With thickness of LG Gram close to 1.8cm, it fits a power-efficient Intel Core i7 8550U, which is Quad Core CPU that offers base frequency of 1.8GHz that can go up to 4GHz with Max Turbo Boost.
Coupled with the processor is a dedicated Intel UHD 620 Graphics that will suffice for all your multimedia needs and requirements.
Included is a 16GB 2400MHz DDR4 RAM along with a whopping 1TB (2x 500GB) of SSD storage that will be a breeze to work with.
Also Read: Asus Q504UA Review
You will also get impressed with the Full HD IPS Touch Screen Display that offers a wide viewing angle and excellent color gamut that will help you differentiate between different shades of similar colors while using Ableton.
At last, we come to the battery life, the previous generation LG Gram offered close to 10 hours of battery life, while the 2018 model provides a whopping 16 hours of battery life.
So basically, your laptop won’t give up on you during your critical music-making sessions.
However, to get all this tech, you have to shell out close to $1.8K for the Core i7-8550U, 16GB model.
What you’ll like about LG Gram?
- Excellent screen with touchscreen panel
- Extremely lightweight with big screen size
- 1TB SSD of internal storage
- Mammoth battery life close to 16 hours
What you may not like about LG Gram?
- Currently priced around $1.8K
- 4K display would have been appreciated; however that would negatively affect battery life
Just above we talked about LG Gram.
In case you need a similar spec’d laptop at a lower price point, you may consider the Asus Vivobook Pro.
It comes with an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD Internal Storage along with a powerful Nvidia GTX 1050 GPU at almost half the price of LG Gram.
What’s interesting about Asus Vivobook Pro is that it features a large 17.3-inch Full HD display, which will be a benefit for you while using Ableton Live.
This, in turn, gives you a larger screen area to work with and reduces squinting of eyes to see all the smaller functions and options inside Ableton Live 10.
Also Read: 7 Best Laptop for Streaming Netflix
Additionally, even with a 17.3-inch screen, the laptop weighs only around 4.6 lbs, making it effortless to carry around. Though make sure to get yourself a backpack that will fit the laptop, as it will not fit in your regular backpack.
Furthermore, Asus claims that the laptop will charge up to 60% under 49 minutes and offers battery life of close to 8 hours on full charge.
Additional features include: backlit keyboard, USB 3.0, USB Type-C, USB 2.0 and HDMI.
As I mentioned earlier, there are multiple advantages of owning a MacBook Pro for using Ableton.
However there are few disadvantages too, one of them is price.
If you want a full blown Apple MacBook Pro with:
- 15.4” (2880×1800 Resolution) Screen
- 6-Core Intel i7 Processor
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- 512GB SSD
- 4GB DDR5 Radeon Pro 560X Graphics
…is going to set you back by $2799.
There’s even $400 cheaper version available that offers a tad bit slower Intel i7 Processor, Radeon Pro 555X graphics and 256GB of SSD storage, which will also be suffice to use with Ableton Live 10.
Later for more storage, you can swap the 256GB storage with a higher storage SSD.
If you do get a MacBook Pro for using Ableton, you get the benefit of using an enormous and responsive trackpad.
You also get a larger 16:10 aspect ratio screen that offers pixel density of 220DPI.
Additionally, the MacBook Pro 15” offers 10 hours of battery life and weighs around 4 lbs.
Other features include:
- 500 nits brightness
- 4 USB-C ports
- Connection with eGPU
- Supports up to 2 displays with 5K resolution each
#5: HP Omen 17T
The above four laptops that we covered; featured a mid-range i7 processor or one from an older generation.
However, if you’re looking for a laptop for Ableton with top of the line i7 CPU that too close to $1000, the HP Omen 17T is meant for you.
As the name suggests, it’s a 17.3-inch laptop that is specifically meant for serious gaming.
However, considering how resource intensive Ableton Live and its plugins are, it makes up to be a great selection.
HP is a renowned and reputed brand with excellent after-sales and customer service.
Hence you can be trouble-free in case your laptop gets few hiccups here and there, and you’ll be covered with HP’s world-renowned warranty service.
HP Omen 17T too, on the other hand, is an excellent laptop for you to consider that offers battery life of over 8 hours.
Under the hood, it houses an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, which is 29% faster than Intel i7-8550U.
Coupled along is a faster 12GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM and Nvidia GTX 1050Ti Graphics Card.
On the storage front, you get a 128GB SSD, coupled with a 1TB 7200RPM HDD, which you can easily swap with another SSD as well.
The laptop is configurable as well on Amazon.com; however I’ve mentioned the best and value-for-money configuration for you.
What may not like about HP Omen 17T?
- Weight of 8.33 lbs
- Lower SSD storage
#6: MSI GS65
MSI is a reputed brand that currently puts out excellent Gaming Laptops and Components.
Just like the HP Omen 17T; the MSI GS65 features an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU.
However, this one is coupled with 16GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage and Nvidia GTX 1060 Graphics Processor.
Unlike the previously mentioned HP Omen 17T, the MSI GS65 only weighs around 4 lbs, making it way more comfortable to carry around.
The screen on MSI GS65 has small bezels; this means you get a larger screen within a smaller laptop footprint.
Screen size is 15.6-inch, along with it; the brand also offers a 144Hz refresh rate panel and 7ms response time, which technically may not be an important factor when considering the best laptop for Ableton.
What sets apart the MSI GS65 from its competition is its extreme cooling capabilities.
The GS65 features 3 fans and 4 heat pipes configuration for proper elimination of heat from the laptop, which the brand calls as Cooler Boost Trinity technology.
Additionally, MSI GS65 integrates Nahimic 3 audio technology that offers excellent surround sound and 4 giant speakers for audio output.
Personally, I’m surprised how MSI has been able to put so much into the laptop and keep the weight close to 4lbs.
What you’ll like about MSI GS65?
- Larger trackpad
- Excellent heat dissipation
- Thinner bezels
What you may not like about the MSI GS65?
- Price may be an off-putting factor
- Higher capacity SSD expected for the price point
Let me be very honest, all the above laptops I’ve suggested are almost over $1000.
However, not everyone has that kind of money to spend, especially beginners or people who want to get started with music production and DAW softwares like Ableton.
The Lenovo Ideapad 320 is my suggestion to those people.
It features an Intel Core i7-8550U CPU along with 12GB DDR4 RAM and an internal DVD drive as well.
However, for a lower price, there are a couple of downsides to this laptop.
The first one is; it comes with a slower 1TB 5400RPM HDD, which you immediately need to swap with a faster and more efficient SSD that will cost you $100 extra.
The second one is, it comes with a 1366×768 resolution screen, which isn’t a significant problem, but since all the other laptops in this list feature a minimum of Full HD screen, I felt it to be a downside.
For the price, you get an overall plastic build laptop that weighs around 5 pounds.
Additional features include USB Type-C, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI, Bluetooth 4.1 and 2 cell battery that offers battery life of 4-5 hours on full charge.
What you will like about Lenovo Ideapad 320?
- Excellent processor and RAM at low price
What you may not like about Lenovo Ideapad 320?
- Slower Hard Disk that needs to immediately replaced with an SSD to use it with Ableton Live 10
- Lower Resolution Screen
Additional Suggestions for the Best Laptop for Ableton
- Four different modes: tent mode, stand mode, laptop mode, tablet mode
- Newest Intel 8th Core i7-8550U Processor Quad Core 1.8GHz, 8M Cache, Max Turbo 4.00 GHz
- 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Truelife LED-Backlit Touch Display
- 8GB DDR4 (Max support to 16GB); 1TB Hard Drive
- Backlit Keyboard, Wireless AC, Bluetooth, IR Camera Face ID, Windows 10 Home 64 bit
- 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core Processor (Up to 4.1GHz)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM
- 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display
- 8GB DDR4 2400MHz Memory, 128GB SSD & 1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi |Backlit Keyboard | USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port | Fingerprint Reader
USP of Laptops for Ableton Live 10
|Acer Predator Helios 300||Excellent specifications under budget|
|LG Gram||Extremely Lightweight, Longer Battery Life|
|Asus Vivobook Pro||Bigger Screen|
|Apple MacBook Pro 15||Overall reliability, Long Lasting|
|HP Omen 17T||Powerful Laptop at low price|
|MSI GS65||Runs cool during intensive CPU Load|
|Lenovo Ideapad 320||Inexpensive Laptop, Fantastic specifications|
Frequently Asked Questions
I’ve tried and listed all the possible points that I can think of to help you make a better purchase decision.
I will keep updating this post frequently as new information becomes available or new and better laptops get launched that will be best for Ableton Live 10.
All the laptops I’ve listed here are the best choices for Ableton Live, hence don’t fret over if you buy any of the laptops listed above blindly.
Though, in some laptops, you’ll have to upgrade the storage from HDD to SSD to get a smooth experience while using Ableton.
If you’re confused between choosing Windows or Mac-based laptop, then go with an OS that you’ll be comfortable to use with because your primary goal is to get started with Ableton as quickly as possible instead of tinkering with a new OS that you might have no idea about.
If there’s any additional help that you need from me, please leave a comment on this article, and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.
Last update on 2018-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API