I need to get a laptop to exclusively handle my music production. I only really produce in reason but I am going to start using ableton to create sets and possibly for mixing. I would really like to not have to spend over $1000. $700 would be ideal. Any suggestions for a laptop on a budget to basically only handle two programs and hold samples? Thanks in advance!!
Usual rules apply: fastest HDD you can afford for storage, SSD for system drive, as much CPU grunt as you can afford. If not gaming, graphics card is not an issue. Memory is rarely the bottleneck but its nice to get it as fast as possible, don't accept less than 8GB for the money you say you are spending.
Secondary: As many USB slots as you can get - USB hubs are bad shit.
Any of the big name brands have good stuff with adherents and nay-sayers alike. Ignore the 'budget laptop' reviews in The Register, they are way off the mark and very biased.
I'd say do NOT get a Dell. I had one that overheated and died. So I opened it up to look inside and I could see it was poorly designed in terms of heat dissipation with no active cooling for certain parts of the computer.
I wouldn't focus too much on the brand. Every brand has good and bad models. Read reviews (serious reviews like Anandtech). Brands are still a good indication of what kind of quality you get though.
Things like cooling differ from model to model. Even within the same series one model would have decent cooling and the next one will be total shit.
Thanks Nyul for telling me about AnandTech, thats definitely the kind of reviews and information I was looking for.
I really appreciate all the help from everyone. It looks like Asus has a pretty good option with the Asus Zenbook. I think I will look further into that.
Oh and, Nystagmus, when I was in my teens I had a dell laptop that functioned properly for roughly 5 months before slowing to a crawl and then finally giving out. Over the years Ive had friends own dell computers and I've never heard a good thing about them. My parents bought one to basically only check email and use Word and after a year it can barely even do that. Horrible computers.
Actually Dell Business/corporate class computers at least used to be quite good. my parents bought me one my junior year of undergrad ...2003...and I honestly didn't retire it until 2010. hand to the baby Jesus...it lasted seven years...though it was pretty ragged by the end.
The thing is there is so much difference in performance requirements between Reason and Ableton that its not an easy choice. And you cant really go by the system requirements for Ableton to make a good choice.
Depending on what you do on Ableton and how you use it you might have to go for higher end-ish laptop. Because if you can easily handle 20-50 plugins in reason on your average laptop, you will be lucky if you can run 10 without lags in ableton ( then again depending on your vst's, kontakt library vs some effects etc).
To be more precise we would need a screen size, but you can start looking at something like HP Envy 15.