The 10 Best Laptops For Ableton

What is Ableton?

Ableton Live is an application software used for producing, recording and editing music, songs, speeches, radio, sound effects, television and other types of complex audio. Such applications are often known as digital audio workstations (DAWS) and come in a wide range of configurations for a variety of devices, purposes and application. Most modern DAWs have a central interface that users can use to work on to create, change and mix recordings to produce a finished audio product.

Ableton was founded by Gergard Behles, Robert Henke and Bernd Roggendorf and developed from a homemade software that they had created for live performances. It is designed for macOS and Windows and is written in C++ language. In addition to composing, recording, arranging, mixing and mastering audio, it is also used for live performances such as by DJs as it has a range of controls such as beat matching and crossfading. Ableton Live is available in 3 variations:

Intro – This is the most basic and has limited features. Ideal for beginners.
Standard – This version is a bit more advanced and offers a wide variety of features.
Suite – This is the most advanced addition. It comes with the largest range of features and is best suited for professionals.

What Does Your System Need To Run Ableton Live Efficiently?

Ableton offers complex and versatile functionality. Therefore, it stands to reason that it requires performance oriented machines. In this section we’ll have a look at the minimum system requirements for running Abletonlive and a detailed look at what’s important. However, it should be noted that having a system with the minimum specs does not guarantee a lag-free experience.

System Requirements

 
Mac

Windows

Recommended

OS


macOS 10.11.6

Windows 8

MacOS Mojave or Windows 10

CPU

Core 2 Duo


Core i5

Core i7

RAM


4GB

4GB

8GB or 16GB

Processor

A powerful processor is the most important aspect of running Ableton Live smoothly. We recommend Intel’s Core i7 or higher to achieve the best results.

RAM

Other than having a powerful processor, having a powerful RAM will ensure that your pc is able to multi-task without limits. We recommend having 8GB RAM or higher.

Operating System

Ableton is only compatible with macOS and Windows. It should be used with macOS Mojave or Windows 10 for the best results.

Storage

Finished audio files tend to be larger in size, therefore having a lot of disk space is important. We recommend using SSD in combination with the PC’s HDD whenever possible.

Other Requirements

  • Relevant Drivers
  • Ports
  • Long Battery Life
  • And Efficient and Silent Cooling System
  • High Quality Speakers
  • High Quality Graphics (Beneficial but not necessary)

1. Acer Predator Helios (G3-571-77QK) (Best ableton laptop)

The Acer Predator Helios is one of the most popular gaming laptops. Being a powerful laptop meant for complex and performance-intensive activities; it is ideal for running Ableton as well.

Acer Predator Helios (G3-571-77QK)

It has a 15.6 inch full HD widescreen IPS display and runs on a Core i7 processor. It comes with a preinstalled Windows 10 Home operating system and the latest NVidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of dedicated memory. It has a backlit keyboard and comes with 16GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD. It also has an extra empty slot for expanding storage space.

Pros
  • 14.6 inch Full HD widescreen IPS display
  • Core i7 (7th gen)
  • Windows 10 Home OS
  • NVidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB dedicated memory
  • Backlit keyboard
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD
  • Expandable HDD (empty slot)
  • Decent battery life (up to 7 hours)
  • Ports: 2 USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1, USB Type C, 2 HDMI, Ethernet port, mini DisplayPort
  • Aero blade 3D fans
  • Comfortable touchpad
  • Competitive Pricing
  • Not too bulky
Cons
  • No media card reader
  • Does not support thunderbolt 3
  • No biometric features
  • 720p webcam
  • 256 GB built in storage may be insufficient
  • Average sound quality
  • Fans can be too loud at times
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2. MSI GS65 Stealth 002

The MSI GS65 Stealth 002 is ideal for handling complex applications such as Ableton. It can be handling graphically intensive applications such as games and 3D applications with ease as well. It is one of the slimmest gaming laptops.

MSI GS65 Stealth 002

It is powered by an Intel Core i7-8750H processor and runs on a Windows 10 Home operating system. It has a 15.6-inch FHD screen that provides wide viewing angles and slim bezels. It runs on a powerful 32 GB RAM that ensures a lag-free Ableton experience.

Pros
  • Large 15.6 inch Full HD screen
  • Anti-glare and wide view display
  • Excellent viewing angles
  • Slim bezels and high screen to body ratio (82%)
  • NVidia GeForce RTX2070 graphics with 8GB dedicated RAM
  • 6 core Intel Core i7-8750H processor
  • 32 GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
  • Cooling system has multiple modes
  • Large (35% bigger) and smooth touchpad with over 10 gestures
  • Backlit keyboard – with individual key lighting and the ability to save and use lighting presets
  • Keyboard is easy to get used to
  • Comes with preinstalled Windows 10 Home but also supports Window 10 Pro with equal ease
  • Premium build and appearance – black matte aluminum with gold accents (gold hinges, vents, touchpad border etc)
  • One of the lightest gaming laptops in the market
  • Light next to the power button changes color to indicate which GPU is in use
  • Speakers are loud and clear
  • Ports: Ethernet, 3 USB 3.1 Type A, Headphone/mic jacks, HDMI, mini display port, USB 3.1 Type C (Thunderbolt)
  • Decent battery life
Cons
  • No fingerprint reader
  • Keyboard is not full sized
  • Can be difficult to upgrade
  • The cooling system can be noisy
  • It has the tendency to overheat (Using the right cooling mode should help with this issue)
  • Chassis flex
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3. Gigabyte Aero 15X (v8-BK4)

The Gigabyte Aero 15X is one of the best examples of a powerful modern laptop – it is lightweight and stylish without compromising on its specs. It has a 15.6 inch screen and has the world’s first Full HD 144Hz display with ultra slim bezels.

Gigabyte Aero 15X (v8-BK4)

It is powerful enough for gaming and other graphically intensive activities and supports Ableton with ease. It comes equipped with a Max-Q version of NVidia GeForce GTX 1070 with 8 GB of dedicated memory. It is powered by a Core i7-8750 processor. It comes with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD. It has a sturdy build and offers a rare blend of power, mobility and long lasting battery life.

Pros
  • 15.6 inch Full HD IPS screen with a thin bezel
  • Anti-glare display
  • Hexa Core Intel Core i7-8750H processor
  • NVidia GeForce GTX 1070 (Max-Q) graphics with a dedicated 8 GB RAM (Supports NVidia Optimus technology)
  • Max-Q cards are battery friendly
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
  • High quality aluminum chassis
  • Lighter than most competitors
  • Familiar and ergonomic keyboard
  • Keyboard has backlighting
  • Window 10 Home OS
  • Ports: 1 Thunderbolt, 3 USB 3.1, SD car slot, HDMI, mini display port, RJ-45 Ethernet, M-2 PCI-E external storage slots
  • Dolby Atmos sound
  • 100% Adobe RGB coverage
  • Colors are factory calibrated
  • Supports 4K
  • Dual fans and pipes to prevent overheating
  • Cooling system is silent
  • Stellar battery life
  • Competitive pricing
  • Gygabyte software such as Smart Manager and Smart Dashboard are valuable additions
  • Comes with a DVD driver, a warranty card and an instruction manual
  • 2 year global warranty
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • Missing a drive bay
  • Metal chassis makes the laptop sensitive to dirt and finger marks
  • Sound system lack bass
  • 720p webcam
  • Lacks NVidia G-Sync support
  • Max-Q cards are slower than non-Max-Q cards
  • Fans can get noisy when video editing or using 4k
  • Touchpad could be better
  • Maintenance can be difficult as the body is difficult to take apart
  • Touchpad recognizes just 2 gestures
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4. Acer Aspire 7

The Acer Aspire 7 is a casual gaming laptop and is fully capable of running Ableton features smoothly. It has a 15.6 inch Full HD LED IPS display and bring you great graphics using NVidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 GB dedicated memory.

Acer Aspire 7

It has 128 SSD and 1 TB HDD which should be more than enough to stock a large number of audio files. It has an 8 GB RAM which ensures smooth multitasking. It runs on a Windows 10 Home operating system and an 8th gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor. It has a decent battery life as well.

Pros
  • 15.6 inch FHD LED IPS display
  • Matte finish makes it suitable for outdoor use (anti-glare)
  • 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H processor
  • NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 GB memory
  • 128 SSD and 1 TB HDD
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Windows 10 Home OS
  • Decent battery life
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Easily upgradable storage and memory
  • 1 touch login
  • Rich and powerful sound
  • Dual digital microphones
  • Supports MIMO wireless technology
  • Portable
  • Durable build
  • Ideal of amateur Ableton users
  • Supports more complicated features as well
  • Relatively affordable
  • Ports: 2 USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type C, HDMI, audio jacks etc.
Cons
  • Could do with more USB ports
  • Battery life could be better
  • Not compact or lightweight
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5. Asus ZenBook 14 (UX430UA-DH74)

The Acer ZenBook 14 is a mid-range laptop with premium features. It manages to fit in a range of specs and features in an ultrathin package. It has an aluminum build and ASUS’s signature radial lid design. It offers a 14 inch widescreen FHD display with ultra-thin bezels and comes with a pre-installed Windows 10 Home operating system.

Asus ZenBook 14 (UX430UA-DH74)

It runs on the 8th generation Core i7-8550U that can be turbo boosted to 4.0 GHz. It features a 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD. It uses Intel’s Integrated HD 620 graphics. Weighing only 2.75 pounds, it is lightweight and portable as well.

Pros
  • Good value for money
  • 14 inch Full HD Display
  • Wide screen with ultra slim bezels
  • Windows 10 Home OS
  • 8th generation Core i7-8550U processor (Turbo to 4.0 GHz)
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Intel Integrated HD 620 Graphics
  • 512 GB SSD
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Finger print sensor
  • 1 touch login
  • Supports Windows Hello
  • Durable and stylish aluminum build
  • Roomy trackpad that supports all standard gestures
  • Comfortable and backlit keyboard
  • Battery life can last up to 9 hours depending on usage
  • Ports: 2 USB 3.1 Type C, USB 3.1 Type A, USB 2.0 Type A, HDMI, MicroSD Card reader, audio jack etc.
Cons
  • Awkwardly placed fingerprint sensor (top right corner of touchpad)
  • Lid is prone to smudges
  • Does not support Thunderbolt
  • Fans can be noisy
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6. Razer Blade 15

The Razer Blade 15 is one of the slimmest gaming laptops in the market. It has a 15.6 inch full HD edge-to-edge display. It comes with NVidia’s GTX 1060 graphics with a Max-Q design. The graphics are VR capable. However, most importantly for Ableton, it has a Core i7-8750H processor that allows the application to run without lags.

Razer Blade 15

It supports a dual storage of 128 SSD and 1 TB of HDD to provide both speed and capacity. It runs on a 16 GB dual-channel RAM that can be expanded to 32 GB. It comes with a preinstalled Windows 10 Home operating system.

Pros
  • One of the slimmest gaming laptops
  • 15.6 inch FHD screen with edge to edge display
  • Colors are factory calibrated for accuracy
  • NVidia GTX 1060 Max-Q VR capable graphics with 6 GB of memory
  • Core i7-8750H processor (8th gen)
  • 128 SSD and 1 TB HDD – combines speed and capacity
  • 16 GB dual channel RAM (can be upgraded to 32 GB)
  • Windows 10 Home OS
  • Durable CNC aluminum build
  • Above average battery life
  • Affordable
  • Ports: USB-C Thunderbolt 3, 3 USB 3.1, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, Kensington lock, Ethernet, headphone/mic combo port etc.
  • Precise and smooth glass touchpad
  • Backlit keyboard powered by Razer Chroma
  • Razer Synapse 3 – customize lighting, improve performance etc.
  • No bloatware
  • GPU doen’t overheat easily
  • Speakers are loud and well positioned
Cons
  • Fans are noisy under load
  • Processor can overheat
  • Does not allow a 144 Hz display
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7. Apple MacBook Pro (15 inch)

This Apple MacBook Pro offers all the things that have come to be associated with Apple products – high performance, innovative features and a sleek, slim and stylish design. It is powered by the 8th generation 6-core Core i7 and runs on a MacOS operating system.

Apple MacBook Pro (15 inch)

It offers a 15.4 inch FHD screen with Retina Display and True Tone technology. It has AMD’s Radeon Pro 560x graphics with 4 GB of memory. It also features integrated Intel UHD 430 graphics. It offers an ultrafast and spacious 512 GB SSD and a 16 GB RAM. It also promises a battery life of up to 10 hours. It is a great choice for running Ableton Live.

Pros
  • Sleek, slim and stylish design
  • 15.4 inch FHD Retina Display with True Tone technology – exceptional stunning graphics
  • Graphics can be switched between AMD Radeon Pro 560x graphics with 4 GB memory and Intel UHD 430
  • Fast and spacious 512 SSD
  • 16 GB RAM (upgradable to 32 GB)
  • Long battery life
  • Touch Bar
  • Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • 8th generation Core i7-8850 2.6 GHz
  • Ports: 4 Thunderbolt 3 (USB type C), head set etc.
  • Balanced, high-fidelity sounds
  • Silent
  • Greater keyboard key stability
  • Equipped with a T2 chip for security
Cons
  • No Ports other than USB Type C – No SD card reader, HDMI slot etc.
  • Shallow key travel
  • Cooling system is not very powerful
  • No optical drive
  • Battery and parts are difficult to replace and upgrade
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8. LG Gram (15Z980-R.AAS9U1)

The LG Gram is an ultra-lightweight laptop (weighs less than 2.5 pounds) and has a metal allow build that not only makes it durable but also adds style to its appearance. It offers an extremely long battery life of over 16 hours, and is powered by an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor.

LG Gram (15Z980-R.AAS9U1)

It has a 15.6 inch screen that offers a full HD IPS display and has ultra slim bezels. It comes with a preinstalled Windows 10 Home operating system. It offers a 16 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD, making it extremely fast while ensuring a large storage capacity. It meets the MIL-STD-810G military durability standard.

Pros
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Proven and tested durability – meets the requirements for the military standard MIL-STD-810G
  • 15.6 inch FHD IPS Display
  • Supports 4K
  • Ultra-slim bezels
  • Excellent viewing angles
  • Intel integrated UHD 620 graphics
  • Extremely long battery life – more than 16 hours
  • Comes with preinstalled Windows 10 Home
  • 16 GB dual-channel RAM (upgradable)
  • 1 TB SSD – fast and spacious
  • Sleek metallic design
  • Compact and portable
  • Backlit keyboard – multiple levels of brightness
  • Buttonless touchpad that supports 4 finger multi-touch gestures
  • Good sound quality
  • Touch screen
  • Ports: Micro SD card reader, Headphone set combo, HDMI, 3 USB 3.0 ports, USB Type C (thunderbolt), Kensington lock etc.
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Cooling system is quiet and effective – can withstand extreme temperatures
  • Speakers are loud
  • Shock and dust resistant
Cons
  • Awkward numeric keypad layout
  • Poorly placed Enter key
  • Speakers are bottom mounted and have very little bass
  • Integrated graphics – cannot be upgraded
  • Small touchpad
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9. Asus VivoBook Pro (N705UD-EH76)

This VivoBook has one of the largest screens on this list. It features a 17.3 inch full HD widescreen display. It has an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor that can be turbo boosted to 4.0 GHz and a NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card with 4 GB dedicated memory.

Asus VivoBook Pro (N705UD-EH76)

The laptop has a very small footprint – it is very light and compact. It comes with a 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD – this means not only is this laptop fast, it has a lot of storage capacity as well. It’s well suited for Ableton Live usage.

Pros
  • One of the largest screens on this list
  • 17.3 inch full HD widescreen display
  • Nearly 180 degree viewing angle
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550 U processor (Turbo to 4.0 GHz)
  • ASUS Splendid software enhancement for richer and more vivid colors
  • NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics with 4 GB dedicated memory
  • Comes with a preinstalled Windows 10 Home operating system
  • 16 GB RAM (can be upgraded to 32 GB)
  • 256 GB SSD
  • 1 TB HDD
  • Thin, durable and portable
  • Brushed aluminum exterior
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard with number pad – there are 3 brightness levels
  • Keyboard offers comfortable travel and typing
  • Reasonable battery life
  • Powerful and immersive speakers with smart amplifier technology for a loud and clear sound
  • Front mounted speakers
  • Ports: USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, LAN, SD card reader, audio/microphone jacks, USB Type C (thunderbolt) etc.
  • Streamlined dual-fan cooling system with changeable speeds – does not let the system overheat easily
  • Fingerprint sensor
Cons
  • Battery life needs improvement
  • Middling touchpad
  • Fan can be too noisy at times
  • One of the more expensive options on this list
  • Not enough ports
  • Maintenance and upgrades are difficult – parts can be difficult to unscrew
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10. Dell XPS 9570

Dell’s XPS 9570 is well equipped to run all of Ableton’s features without any noticeable lag. Furthermore, it’s powerful enough to handle intensive gaming. It is built for speed and performance. The XPS 9570 has a 15.6 inch full HD screen that offers an anti-glare and anti-reflective display, making it an ideal laptop for outdoor use as well.

Dell-XPS-9570

It is powered by an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750 processor and an NVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU. It has an aluminum build which makes it durable as well as aesthetically pleasing. It comes with a 16GB RAM and a sizeable 512 GB SSD storage. It comes with a preinstalled Windows 10 Home operating system.

Pros
  • 15.6 inch Ultra HD screen
  • InfinityEdge bezels (extremely slim)
  • Touch screen with anti-glare and anti-reflective coating makes it suitable for outdoor use as well
  • Wide viewing angles
  • Exceptional brightness and visual clarity
  • Fingerprint reader integrated into the power button
  • Core i7-8750H processor
  • NVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics with a 4 GB memory
  • 16 GB RAM that makes it easy to multitask and is more than enough for Ableton
  • 1 TB SSD
  • Window 10 Home preinstalled
  • Relatively affordable in comparison to other laptops with similar specs
  • Ports include a full sized HDMI port, 2 USB-A, an SD card reader, Thunderbolt 3, Noble Lock etc.
  • Allows fast 3D rendering, modelling etc.
  • Can be upgraded to 4k
  • Island style keyboard with responsive keys
  • Impressive battery life
  • Supports Windows Hello
  • The Dell XPS line is knowing for its premium build quality
  • Energy efficient – easy on the electric bill
  • Studio quality sound
  • 90% of the materials used in the laptop are recyclable
Cons
  • Poor quality webcam (just 720p)
  • Comparatively limited port options
  • Does not have an optical drive
  • Has the tendency to overheat
  • The fan can be noisy at times
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Verdict

Using Ableton on laptops requires an interesting blend of system requirements. However, what’s also interesting is that Ableton is not a graphic intensive application and, therefore, does not need a high performance GPU. However, most of the laptops mentioned on this list offer high quality graphics cards to ensure that the laptops are capable of handling other complicated applications such as those involving 3D graphics. Most laptops on this list exceed the minimum system requirements for Ableton and are, therefore, well equipped to run the application and all its features without lag. So what is the deciding factor here? There are two:

  1. Your budget – This is the primary determinant of the features and functions that your laptop is capable of providing
  2. Your usage – It is safe to assume that Ableton is not the only application you will be using a laptop for. Be it watching movies in HD quality or playing graphically intensive games, your own needs should determine which laptop will provide you the most value for money.

FAQS

Which OS is Ableton more suitable for?

As long as your laptop meets the minimum system requirements, it should work equally well with Windows or MacOS based systems.

How can I get Ableton?

It’s as simple as going to the Ableton website and clicking “Get Ableton Live Free” – This should redirect you to the download page.

How to make Ableton run faster?

Start with ensuring that you run Ableton on a system that meets or (preferably) exceeds the application’s minimum system requirements. It should be noted that a system running on the minimum requirements is likely to face lags and latency. This article includes the recommendations for a lag-free experience in the first section. However, in addition to the system configurations, there are other things you can to optimize your Ableton experience:
Lower audio sample rate
Lower audio sample rate

1 – Lower audio sample rate
2 – Increase buffer size
3 – Disable unused inputs and outputs to lower the load on the CPU
4 – Manage CPU intensive devices and plug-ins such as Wavetable and Echo
5 – Freeze or resample tracks
6 – Reuse CPU intensive effects by putting them into return tracks
7 – Manage polyphony better to reduce CPU use
8 – Switch off the Spread function as it doubles CPU load
9 – Use the Eco mode
10 – Turn off unnecessary filters, effects and other features
11 – Turn off warping
12 – Deactivate Hi-Q mode when it is not needed
13 – Use Complex and Complex Pro algorithms only when necessary
14 – Close other unnecessary programs running in the background
15 – Deactivate features such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when they’re not needed
16 – Manage disk space better
17 – Keep laptop plugged in to prevent the CPU from throttling
18 – Choose the High Performance mode on Windows
19 – Clean and maintain the cooling system to prevent unnecessary overheating
20 – Ensure ventilation