Laptops

6 Best Laptops For FL Studio: DAW Buying Guide For 2021

FL Studio is one of the world's best programs for producing music – particularly electronic music. It's user-friendly, relatively easy on the wallet, and incredibly powerful.

However, you need an equally as powerful laptop if you're going to run it without issues and make the most of its capabilities. If you want the best option for your needs and budget, then you're in the right place because our guide has you covered!


Common Sound Applications For FL Studio Software

The capabilities of FL Studio are practically endless, but chances are, you are interested in using the software to produce music.

This involves loading up in-the-box instruments, using it to record external instruments/vocals, sample music, edit samples, and design and arrange your own sounds, and much more.

As you can imagine, you'll need quite a bit of processing power to operate it smoothly, and storage should be robust to store samples, VSTs, and projects.

The right laptop may not automatically turn you into the best music producer, but it will definitely make sure you're never limited in your abilities.


Laptop Requirements For FL Studio: A Buyer’s Guide

FL Studio Compatibility

What's most important is that FL Studio is actually compatible with your laptop and any external accessories you're planning on using it with. It’s crucial that each spec works well with the software but that you also aren’t spending money on things that you don’t need to.

Audio System

You don’t have to worry too much about the speaker quality, as you’ll likely be listening in headphones or external monitors.

However, what you do need to pay attention to is that the sound card drivers are compatible with the sound card in the laptop and that it comes with ASIO driver support. ASIO drivers are much faster and efficient than Primary Sound drivers.

Processor & OS

The great thing about FL is that you can use it on both MAC and Windows OS, so you aren't limited in that respect at all.

Your processor should at the very least be 2GHz Intel Pentium 4, but you're better off going for either a dual or quad-core. Multiple cores and higher clock speeds will ensure that your production sessions run smoothly, with no glitching.

RAM & Storage Space

FL Studio itself actually isn’t too much of a space suck, though your audio projects and sample packs could quickly fill up your available storage.

This is why we recommend you go for a model that has at least 8GB of RAM. SSD storage is highly recommended, too, as it will help you access files more quickly – making for a seamless, pleasant experience with uninterrupted creativity.

Battery Reliability

You may choose to use FL Studio just at home, with your computer plugged in. However, if you enjoy producing on a plane or at a café, you may not always have access to a charge port.

In these cases, you need your battery to back you up with at least 5-6 hours of life, so you don't lose any projects or progress.

Monitor & Display

As is the case with most popular DAWs, there are many intricacies and details in FL's UI that can be difficult to see on a too-small screen. If you’re planning on just producing at home or won't be taking it to travel that often, then a 15" screen is probably perfect for you. However, for the best views, you'll want a 17" model.

Ports

Having enough (and the right type of) ports is also essential in music production. You’ll want at least a few USB ports in order to connect an interface, a hard drive, or MIDI instruments like a keyboard. This will save you a lot of hassle, which can significantly inhibit inspiration.

white hp laptop

6 Best FL Studio Compatible Laptops Reviewed

1. Apple MacBook Pro

On Sale Today
2019 Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM,...
  • Ninth-generation 6-Core Intel Core i7...
  • Stunning 16-inch Retina Display with True...
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics with GDDR6...

Best Laptop for FL Studio Overall

Operating System

Mac

CPU

9th-Gen 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor

RAM (Storage)

16GB

Resolution

3072 x 1920

Speakers

Six-speaker system with force-canceling woofers

Widely considered to be the best laptop for music production FL Studio use, the Apple MacBook Pro comes with 16GB of GDDR6 memory and up to an enormous 8TB of SSD storage – perfect for editing hefty samples and keeping various VSTs handy for quick access. 

If you don’t already produce music, something you’ll quickly come to find out is that the samples, unfinished (and finished) projects, and plugins really start to pile up, and you'll need ample storage to keep things moving smoothly.

To help with the seamless operation, you have a 9th-Gen 6-core Intel Core i7 processor that will manage synthesizing, multiple effects, playing dozens of tracks at once, and so on.

The Touch Bar is also a cool addition, as you’ll be able to quickly use it to pause, play, record, etc., instead of using your mouse to do so.

It wouldn’t be the best laptop for FL Studio if the graphics didn’t clearly display each little detail of the software, would it?

Well, you’ll get exactly that with the perfectly-sized 16” Retina Display along with AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics. For those times you may not have headphones or monitors handy, the 6-speaker sound system complete with force-canceling woofers will give you accurate sound reproduction with each band of the audio spectrum balanced out.

At some point, you’re going to want to use at least one external MIDI device to produce with. These require USB ports, so you’ll ideally have at least 2 (one for your audio interface).

The MacBook Pro comes with 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, which will keep your options open. With 11 hours of battery life, you can make your tunes anywhere you’d like, too!

The only real "downside" to this beauty is that you have to pay for all these cool features. Of course, given how durable it is, it’s more than worth it for the vast majority of music makers!

Good
  • Very durable
  • Large amount of storage
  • Fast processor
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Touch bar useful for quick maneuvers
  • Clear, large display
Bad
  • A bit expensive

2. Acer Aspire 5 Slim

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 Inches FHD...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8265U Processor...
  • 15.6 Inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen...
  • 1 - USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port, 2 - USB 3.1...
  • 802.11ac WiFi | Backlit Keyboard |...

Best Cheap Laptop for FL Studio

Operating System

Windows

CPU

8th-Gen Quad-Core Intel Core i5 Processor

RAM (Storage)

8GB

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Speakers

2 stereo speakers

Let’s face it: not every aspiring music producer has a big budget. While you’re waiting for those riches to roll in, check out the Acer Aspire 5 Slim. It's so good that plenty of people use it as their go-to studio centerpiece, even if they don’t need to save cash.

One of the biggest selling points of this FL studio laptop is its size-weight ratio. The 15.6” model weighs a mere 3.8 pounds and comes in at just 0.7” thick.

The 1920 x 1080 resolution isn’t the best, but it’s definitely all you need for easy viewing at a glance. Despite being so thin, I appreciated that you still get a nice selection of ports: two USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1, one USB 2.0 Port, and one HDMI port with HDCP support.

With 8GB of memory and 2GB of storage, it’s more than enough space and responsiveness for those looking to learn basics, all the way to more experienced artists.

The 8th-Gen quad-core i5 is really impressive too, for how affordable the laptop is. I was able to have various heavily processed tracks playing at once and multiple plugins in use without any threat of glitching.

The battery on this budget laptop for FL Studio is just a smidge less durable than the MacBook Pro’s, holding out up to a generous 9.5 hours.  However, it’s still much more than anyone will need.

Good
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Ample ports
  • Fast processor
  • Low power consumption
  • Low maintenance
Bad
  • Interface is somewhat mediocre
  • Surface attracts fingerprints

3. Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, Intel...
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core...
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics with 6 GB...
  • 15. 6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen...
  • 16 GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 512GB PCIe NVMe...

Best Mid-Range Laptop for FL Studio

Operating System

Windows

CPU

9th-Gen Intel Core i7-9750H 6-Core Processor

RAM (Storage)

16GB

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Speakers

2 stereo speakers with MaxxAudio sound technology

Next up, we have the hands-down best gaming FL Studio laptop for you: the Acer Predator Helios 300. Even if you aren’t a gamer, you’ll be able to take advantage of these high-quality features that will make everything from admin tasks to music production streamlined.

The metal design is very sturdy, made to hold up against bumps and consistent use. The appearance is clean but inarguably has a gaming influence.

Measuring 15 inches and weighing 5.51 pounds, it’s pretty average in weight and just the right size for being able to catch little details in music arrangement and the UI, overall. If the sun is hitting just right, the anti-glare surface has your back, too.

For those nighttime sessions, you’ll be able to see more clearly with the 4-zone RGB backlit keyboard. With the included Predator app, you can save profiles and edit those colors to your liking.

You get 16GB of memory included, though you can easily expand upon that with various slots for upgrades should you need to. Pair that with the 9th-Gen Intel Core i7 6-Core Processor, and you have yourself a speedy machine that can handle anything you throw at it.

While you don’t get Thunderbolt support, you do have a bunch of ports to choose from: three USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-As, an audio combo jack, Killer E2600 Ethernet, along with a USB Type-C port, and HDMI/Mini DisplayPort outputs.

Lastly, you’ll find 2 built-in stereo speakers complete with MaxxAudio tech that create crisp, clear audio reproduction.

If you’re a DJ and plan to do so with your new laptop, the Helios 300 is hard to outperform.

Good
  • Robust SSD
  • Ample ports
  • Excellent graphics/detail
  • High system performance
  • Very fast response
Bad
  • Battery isn’t the most durable
  • No USB-C Gen 2 or Thunderbolt support

4. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 (Intel Core i7,...
  • Clean, elegant design — thin and light,...
  • Choose from rich tone-on-tone color...
  • Improved speed and performance to do what you...
  • All-day battery life, with up to 14.5 hours...

Best Portable Laptop for FL Studio

Operating System

Windows

CPU

8th-Gen Quad-Core Intel Core i7 Processor

RAM (Storage)

16GB

Resolution

2256 x 1504

Speakers

2 invisible Omnisonic speakers

“The Surface Laptop 2 is Microsoft’s ultimate vision of what a Windows 10 laptop should be – simple, sleek and sophisticated, but still a little different,” says The Guardian.

We definitely agree that while the design hasn't changed much in the last few years, there's really no need to fix something if it isn't broken! Coming in 4 different colors like Platinum, Burgundy, Black, and Cobalt, it’s quite the looker, too!

This thin, slim design weighs just 2.76 pounds and fits easily into your backpack or computer bag without weighing your shoulders down.

Thanks to the aluminum build, it's also very durable, so if you plan on traveling often with your best laptop for FL Studio 10, this is the perfect model for you.

The 13.5” high resolution touchscreen is a crowd favorite and overall makes for a more pleasant producing experience that’s easier on the eyes. The touchscreen also allows for a tactile, hands-on experience, which many producers prefer.

However, where the computer really shines is with its 8th-Gen quad-core i7 processor. If you’d like to save a bit more cash, you can also opt for their i5.

With this, I was able to support an external display, an audio interface, a drum machine, and a MIDI keyboard with no problem. You get to choose between either 8GB or 16GB of memory, though I recommend the latter to save room for the DAW, samples, projects, and plugins.

Battery life is quite average, lasting about 8 hours without a charge, which isn't bad at all. A pair of invisible Omnisonic speakers with perfect clarity and balance only proved to us further why the Surface 2 is such a fantastic selection for FL Studio!

Good
  • Beautiful display
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Very fast processor
  • Ample storage
  • Various color options
Bad
  • Battery is average
  • No USB-C or SD Card support

5. MSI GV62

MSI GV62 8RD-034 15.6" Thin and Light Gaming...
  • Display: 15.6" Full HD eDP IPS-Level 45% NTSC...
  • Processor: New Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2 -...
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1050Ti 4G...
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400MHz, 2 Sockets; Max Memory...

Best Light Gaming Laptop for FL Studio

Operating System

Windows

CPU

8th-Gen 6-Core Intel Core i7 Processor

RAM (Storage)

8 - 32GB

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Speakers

2 speakers

The MSI GV62 is an ultra-portable laptop great for eSports. With a metal base, it is relatively durable though we should mention that the lid does flex. Overall, it’s speedy and comes with enough ports for you to use any accessories or instruments you may need.

As far as looks go, it's sophisticated and professional, with a brushed steel finish and a red backlit, customizable keyboard. This keyboard is great for dimly lit studios and night sessions, ensuring you don’t accidentally press the wrong button.

Coming with 8GB of memory, it's by default not the most spacious. However, you do have 2 sockets, which give you the option to expand it up to 32GB should you ever need to!

The 6-core Intel i7 processor, together with your storage, creates a smooth experience so you're never waiting around for samples and tracks to load, which risks diminishing creative inspiration.

Don’t be afraid to push boundaries either, as its Cooler Boost Technology will keep your CPU and GPU nice and cool.

Packed with NVIDIA’s GTX 1050Ti graphics, it’s not only excellent for gaming but for revising even the tiniest specs and settings on FL. 3D sound technology actually makes a significant difference in listening to music on monitors or headphones, creating a more accurate and immersive experience.

Good
  • Solid performance
  • Nice audio
  • Good graphics
  • Ample storage
  • Comfy keyboard
Bad
  • Lid flexes
  • Battery is average

6. ASUS F512JA-AS34 Vivobook

On Sale Today
ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop,...
  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge...
  • Compatible with Google Classroom; run Google...
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU (4M...
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD

Best Cheap Laptop for FL Studio

Operating System

Windows

CPU

10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1

RAM (Storage)

8GB

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Speakers

2 speakers

Another one of the best cheap laptops for FL Studio is the ASUS F512JA-AS34 Vivobook. No, it doesn't have the best specs in the world, but for aspiring producers on a budget or those who don't yet have the skills that demand more robust processors, it’s an excellent choice.

The 15.6” full HD display comes with an 88% screen-to-body ratio to give you an extra-large view without making the laptop bulky.

If you like to produce for long sessions at a time, then you’ll appreciate the ergonomic keyboard, which makes things a bit easier on your hands and wrists. Not only that, but it comes backlit for accuracy and efficiency.

With 8GB of RAM, it’s just right for beginners who don’t yet have or need a lot of samples or aren’t producing such intricate tracks at this point. The 10th-Gen Intel Core i3 processor is also well-suited for this type of user.

The array of ports included is quite handy, though, with three USB Type-A ports, two USB 2.0s, an HDMI 2.0, a combo headphone/mic jack, and a microSD card slot.

Altogether, you can expect this laptop to be reliable, albeit not the speediest or most capable on the market. If you're just learning the software and the basics of producing in FL Studio, though, then it's a budget-friendly option that will help move you to the next level.

Good
  • Beautiful design
  • Nice selection of ports
  • Affordable
  • Good screen size for producing
  • Backlit keyboard with Ergolift design
Bad
  • Just OK CPU
  • Battery is average

All About FL Studio

FL Studio is a software program that is used to produce and edit music. You can load instruments and samples, arranging and recording them to create songs or play them live.

If you’d like, you can record external sounds through instruments, your voice (by microphone), and even with an old-fashioned recorder. These sounds can be edited to your liking. Chop them up, reverse them, use sound effects, etc.

There are a few DAWs that are often compared to FL: Ableton Live, Logic, and GarageBand.

FL Studio Vs. Ableton Live

I do believe that FL Studio is easier for beginners to learn than Ableton is, though each has its pros and cons. FL Studio is much more affordable, though I find Live’s stock plugins to be much more versatile with more capabilities.

If you’re on a budget, I obviously recommend going with FL Studio as they’re honestly pretty similar programs.

FL Studio Vs. Logic

Logic only works on Mac, so if you're not getting a MacBook Pro, you pretty much have this question answered for you. Logic is, well, much more "logical," in my opinion.

It's incredibly easy to get the hang of. However, I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking to start arranging and for overall music-making. If you're already an intermediate producer, it's a great tool to master your tracks, but that's about it.

FL Studio Vs. GarageBand

GarageBand draws enormous similarities to Logic, with the biggest being that it's a Mac-only product. It's cheap, it's simple and easy to use. However, if you're trying to become an advanced producer, you're going to need a more robust program like FL.

studio headphones

FL Studio Software & Download Options

First off, you should know that just like with other major DAWs, you can download FL Studio to try for free before you buy it. Of course, it’s just the most basic version: Fruity Edition. Let’s go into detail a bit about the other versions as well.

Fruity

This is great for your entry-level producer. You do not have audio clips or recording here.

Producer

Producer Edition is an affordable upgrade made for the beginner who needs more abilities than the Fruity Edition can offer. Audio recording, full playlist features, and 6 additional native plugins are included here.

Signature Bundle

The signature bundle is for the intermediate producer, including audio recording, full playlist features, along with 13 more native plugins.

All Plugins

This edition is for the most advanced producer, but is also the most expensive. You get all of the aforementioned features along with all FL Studio native plugins. You essentially have no limitations here.

Keep in mind that if you select a specific edition, you aren't locked into it forever. You can upgrade at any time by paying the difference.

Downloading whichever version you’d like is a breeze. After you purchase the edition of your choosing, you simply follow the prompts, and you're all set.

Keep in mind there are much more affordable, mobile versions of the app as well that can be used for Android, iOS, and Mobile Windows 10.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is a gaming laptop OK for music production with FL Studio?

Absolutely! Most good gaming laptops come with ample memory and powerful processors that work perfectly for FL Studio production.

Which is better for FL Studio, laptops or desktops?

Both have their pros and cons, but for most modern-day producers or aspiring producers, laptops make more sense. You're not stuck to just one spot, you can bring it to friends' houses, production classes, cafes, on trips, and much more.

What laptops do most music producers use?

MacBook Pro is the default for a huge percentage of professional music producers, but it’s not a rule. There are also a bunch who use Windows laptops. It’s all up to you and your preferences.

How much RAM is needed for FL Studio?

You'll need, at minimum, 8GB. Obviously, if you can get more than that, you'll be better off.

Is the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U chipset a good choice for FL Studio?

Definitely! It’s powerful enough to work perfectly with FL Studio.

Is a high-End graphics card necessary for FL Studio?

Not at all! While it will make it more pleasant to use and easier to see little details, it’s not necessary.

How much does FL Studio software cost?

Anywhere from $99 to $499, depending on which edition you choose to purchase.


Conclusion

No matter which laptop you choose, make sure to consider your own needs and preferences. The laptop you produce on is a very personal experience and can make things easier if you choose the right one.

The MacBook Pro is definitely a great option, considering how reliable, powerful, and spacious it is. Not only that, but it works well with the vast majority of plugins, controllers, and MIDI instruments.

However, any of the choices on our guide are solid. We hope our guide has been able to help you select the right one for you.