Best Laptops for Ableton Live 11 (Fall, 2022 Update)

Ableton Live 11 Ableton Live value lies in being an all-in-one solution for audio production, DJing, live performances and music composition. The list of people using Ableton Live is staggering. As far as audio software goes, it’s pretty much industry standard. The fact that it has recently received a 11th version update only confirms that the future of Ableton Live is brighter than ever. And here’s what I can offer to you if you’re looking for a top laptop for Ableton Live 11.

How would you know what laptop to buy? Are you looking for best performance for your dollar? What specifications are crucial for music composition? I’ll answer all of that and more – after looking at some benchmarks and getting some hands-on with both laptops and controllers. Let’s do this!

P.S. Ableton Live does not require nothing special in terms of GPU, even an integrated graphics card will be fine. Thus I decided not to include section about that this time.

TL;DR
  • Ableton Live 11 is pretty much industry standard
  • Continue reading for tips choosing the best laptop for Ableton Live 11 in 2021
  • Check my laptops comparison spreadsheet for even more details

Requirements for a Ableton Live 11 laptop

Major How to choose the right memory for Ableton Live 11?

laptop memory

It’s safe to say, RAM is the second most important component for a computer when using Ableton Live. The amount of RAM available to your computer will have a profound effect on how well it performs in certain tasks. For all digital audio workstations, including Ableton Live, it’s the same rule of thumb: the more RAM you have, the better.

This is not to say that you cannot run Ableton Live on a computer with 8GB RAM, but I can guarantee nothing more than a sad, irritating experience.

Minimum (16 GB)

For some of you, 16GB should be enough. But it all depends on your personal needs. I would only recommend it if your budget is too tight for something more. You’lll be able to use Ableton Live 11, but keep in mind that projects tend to grow fast and the bigger they get, the more memory you’ll need.

Recommended (32 GB)

I’d say GB of RAM is somewhat of a sweet spot for many of you. It will handle medium size projects without a problem. And IMHO, hobbyist-level DJs will very rarely need more than that.

Best (64 GB)

you have the budget for it – 64GB is the best option. That much of RAM will handle even professional grade/size projects with ease. Of course, I should mention – it’s always possible to overgrow even 64 GB of RAM, but if you using your plugins wisely, it’s super unlikely to happen.

TL;DR
  • 16 GB should be considered as a minimum
  • 32 GB is a sweet spot for many people
  • 64 GB is the best option if you have the budget for it

Major Choosing the right processor for Ableton Live 11

processor notebook

Processor is the most important component for Ableton Live. The more powerful CPU it is, the faster you going. Simple as that. That’s why I recommend opting for at least a mid-range Core i5 processor.

AMD Ryzen processors are also a good option, but don’t count on them being much cheaper than Intel Core processors.

Going further, if your wallet is wide enought, I’d recommend the latest Intel’s generation Core i7/i9 and AMD’s 5th generation Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 9.

If you looking for a Mac, then it’s super easy to choose – go with M1, M1 Pro or M1 Max. Depending only on your budget.

Recommendations

So, in short, what can I suggest in this sea of options? An excellent place to start is to look for one of the following CPUs:

  • i5-10300H – minimum recommended processor
  • i7-1165G7 (or M1, M1 Pro) – the perfect match for a hobbyist
  • i9-11980HK (or M1 Max) – best for professional use
TL;DR
  • i5-10300H – minimum recommended processor
  • i7-1165G7 (or M1, M1 Pro) – the perfect match for a hobbyist
  • i9-11980HK (or M1 Max) – best for professional use

Optional requirements for a Ableton Live 11 laptop

Optional Deciding on a storage

storage ssd

It is important to have enough storage space on your laptop to house all of your assets, music, samples and whatnot. To be honest, storage recommendations for Ableton Live 11 won’t be any special. A little more storage never hurt no body, just consider your personal needs and budget.

Is HDD an option?

You can use a hard drive (HDD) in place of an SSD, but it won’t provide the same level of performance as an SSD will. HDD storage devices are much slower than SSDs, which can be problematic if you are working with large files that might take time to load to RAM memory. I’d recommend picking laptop with HDD only if it’s also has a SSD and you get some special deal. Any other way – just go with SSD, it’s definitely worth those few extra bucks.

Upgrading

If you are considering upgrading your laptop after purchase, check if the laptop offers some type of expansion slot or connector where you can add additional internal storage. But don’t worry too much – you can always use external drive if you feel it’s time. It won’t be as fast as internal one, but it’s no tragedy – you can just copy files you need to the main drive and bring them back when you finished. Problem solved.

Recommendations

  • if you’re tight on budget, get a laptop with 512 GB SSD and use external drive for extra storage
  • 1 TB SSD is kinda the sweet spot as the price difference from 512 GB to 1 TB is not that big
  • if you can afford it – go with 2 TB SSD.
TL;DR
  • 512 GB is the minimum I could recommend
  • 1 TB should be enough for most of you
  • Go with 2 TB if you can.
  • You can always upgrade using internal and/or external drives

8 Best Laptops for Ableton Live 11

Asus VivoBook OLED PC

1
Ableton Live 11 laptop under $1000
Price
$870
i5-1135G7 | Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs | 20 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ OLED; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Up to the mark display (15.6 OLED)
  • Large 1TB SSD
Cons
  • Middle-of-the-road graphics card (Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs)
  • Mediocre memory amount (20GB)

HP Pavilion

2
N/A
Price
$930
Ryzen 5 4600H | GTX 1650 | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 15.6″; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Great processor (Ryzen 5 4600H)
  • Adequate graphics card (GTX 1650)
Cons
  • So-so memory amount (16GB)
  • No IPS Panel (inferior color reproduction)

HP Pavilion

3
Plenty of features for the money
Price
$1040
Ryzen 7 5700U | Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 4000/5000) | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Up to scratch processor (Ryzen 7 5700U)
  • Up to scratch display (15.6 IPS)
Cons
  • Run-of-the-mill graphics card (Radeon RX Vega 8 (Ryzen 40005000))

Lenovo ThinkBook 13s 13

4
N/A
Price
$1080
i7-1165G7 | Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 13.3″ IPS; 2560×1600
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Decent memory amount (16GB)
  • Great processor (i7-1165G7)

Lenovo Thinkpad P1 Gen

5
Ableton Live 11 laptop under $3000
Price
$2600
i9-10885H | Quadro T2000 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS HDR; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Decent processor (i7-10850H)
  • Lots of memory (32GB)

HP ProBook 450 G8

6
Ableton Live 11 laptop under $3000
Price
$2630
i7-1165G7 | Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs | 64 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Awesome memory amount (64GB)
  • Featherweight (3.8 lbs)

Lenovo Thinkpad P17 Intel

7
N/A
Price
$2900
i9-10885H | Quadro RTX 3000 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 17.3″ IPS HDR; 3840×2160
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Awesome processor (i9-10885H)
  • Ample 1TB SSD

MSI Creator Z16 Professional

8
N/A
Price
$3250
i9-11900H | RTX 3060 | 32 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 16″ 120Hz Touch; 2560×1600
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Awesome processor (i9-11900H)
  • Great RAM amount (32GB)

Comparison spreadsheet

If you’re looking for the best laptops for Ableton Live 11, here’s the link to my comparison spreadsheet. It contains all the data you need in order to make an informed decision.

Table of Best Laptops for Ableton Live 11

LaptopPrice (approx)
Asus VivoBook OLED PC$870
HP Pavilion$930
HP Pavilion$1040
Lenovo ThinkBook 13s 13$1080
Lenovo Thinkpad P1 Gen$2600
HP ProBook 450 G8$2630
Lenovo Thinkpad P17 Intel$2900
MSI Creator Z16 Professional$3250
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Ethan

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