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Recommended laptop for making music??

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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November 12, 2009 8:27:22 PM

I have been searching sites only to feel a bit lost. I am one of those people who does not need the latest and greatest piece of tech just something that works for what I want to do and will last ie. won't be outdated within 5 years.
I need a laptop where buying replacement parts or upgrading it will be farely accessable.
The most challenging requirement for my laptop would be to create and play live music on. So I will be running programs such as Reason, Ableton Live, Peak, Traktion and so on. I do not know what type of processor this would require.
Also I will be doing very basic video editing which I may want to run the same time as the music programs.
I want to run Adobe photoshop on this as well as publishing programs for word documents, which I think almost any laptop can do??
I do need dvd/cd rom but does not need to burn discs.
A decent battery life of 6-8hours.
The size of the computer is not as important as the price but it MUST be in black.
My previous laptop was a mac but I do not have the budget for the the newer macs so that option is probably out of the equation. Something very 'mac like' would be nice but price is most important.
I am hoping I can find a laptop that will suit these requirements for £400 or under. Is this a reasonable budget?
Can anyone help shed some light on this matter??
November 12, 2009 8:46:07 PM

I just read 'is mac worth the extra money' and I retract my statement on prefering a 'mac like' laptop prehaps it is style more than substance that attracts me to such.
The reason I can't use my old laptop is because it is now outdated and they do not have the parts for it. I think this is bad business especially considering the environmental issues we face today. I want to find a company where their components are more universal and having a laptop for lets say 8-10 years would not be an absurd idea. I do not like this throw away culture we live in today!
November 12, 2009 9:06:37 PM

Hard drive space is not so important either as I will be eventually purchasing an external one.
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a b D Laptop
November 12, 2009 9:43:59 PM

Actually, using a notebook for 8-10 years is pretty unreasonable. After that amount of time, the nature of notebook components makes them pretty unreliable. Upgrading is also a very difficult task on a notebook - they aren't designed to be as such. Configurations and layouts are not standardized like they are on desktop computers - thus, pretty much all of the components in any given notebook today are specific to that notebook's line; once a new line comes into production, everything is thrown out the window. While this may seem disadvantageous to you, it's great for the manufacturer - making it difficult to upgrade forces you to buy a new one faster! It's just the way the market operates.

As for your notebook, you can get a basic machine for $600. I'd start suggesting models, but I have one question you haven't answered; do you need any special interface (Firewire, PCMCIA, etc) for your notebook, concerning your music production? Also, are you sure Windows 7 (which will likely come with your notebook) is compatible with any digital hardware you'll be using?
November 12, 2009 10:12:21 PM

frozenlead said:
Actually, using a notebook for 8-10 years is pretty unreasonable. After that amount of time, the nature of notebook components makes them pretty unreliable. Upgrading is also a very difficult task on a notebook - they aren't designed to be as such. Configurations and layouts are not standardized like they are on desktop computers - thus, pretty much all of the components in any given notebook today are specific to that notebook's line; once a new line comes into production, everything is thrown out the window. While this may seem disadvantageous to you, it's great for the manufacturer - making it difficult to upgrade forces you to buy a new one faster! It's just the way the market operates.

As for your notebook, you can get a basic machine for $600. I'd start suggesting models, but I have one question you haven't answered; do you need any special interface (Firewire, PCMCIA, etc) for your notebook, concerning your music production? Also, are you sure Windows 7 (which will likely come with your notebook) is compatible with any digital hardware you'll be using?


I have checked all the programs I will be using and they are all compatible with windows. I have a sound card so will need to be able to accept that and yes it will need firewire and usb. As I am not so tech oriented (yet) I do not know what PCMCIA is.
Thank you for your query.
a b D Laptop
November 13, 2009 1:00:30 AM

Unfortunately, I can't find a notebook with firewire for under $600. Very few notebooks carry the interface nowadays, especially cheaper ones. I'll continue looking, but it's looking pretty bleak, at the moment.
November 13, 2009 1:41:35 PM

frozenlead said:
Unfortunately, I can't find a notebook with firewire for under $600. Very few notebooks carry the interface nowadays, especially cheaper ones. I'll continue looking, but it's looking pretty bleak, at the moment.


Well if I do have to fork out more money for something that will work for what I am trying to do than that will have to be done. I have been doing some searches myself and found some external ports at a few computer parts websites would that be something that can be used? What other interfaces work in a 'peer to peer' manner besides firewire?
November 13, 2009 2:35:29 PM

Also I looked up the PCMCIA and it isn't a necessary feature as I have a usb Universal card reader.
Also does anyone know what companies are more reliable for creative purposes, using several programs at once. I don't play games nor care to watch movies on this but for photo editing purposes I will need a decent resolution.
So far I have been looking at IBM and Dell is this a good direction to go in??
November 13, 2009 3:10:27 PM

PCMCIA and the newer express card are completely seperate from card readers unless I am misunderstanding you(I assume the card reader is only for memory types.)

Indeed, you would probably be cheaper getting an express card with a firewire port expansion than finding a laptop with specific things like firewire.
November 13, 2009 3:27:56 PM

strangestranger said:
PCMCIA and the newer express card are completely seperate from card readers unless I am misunderstanding you(I assume the card reader is only for memory types.)

Indeed, you would probably be cheaper getting an express card with a firewire port expansion than finding a laptop with specific things like firewire.


Then I must misunderstand what PCMCIA is. yes it is a memory card reader, which is all I need really to use with my 4- track recorder. If I use older video editing programs that would probably be the only way I could use a notebook.
Does anyone know how you can get older versions of software?
So there is a way to adapt a firewire port to laptop, someone told me you could only do that on a desktop??
!