Best Laptop for Cubase 9.5?

My schedule is becoming increasingly more fragmented, requiring me to be away from my studio more and more. I’ve got a lot of holes in my day where I could work for an hour or two, but I’m out of the studio. So, I’m considering getting a light, powerful PC Laptop and running Cubase 9.5 on it.

The goal is to be able to work on my Nuendo 8.3 projects during these breaks outside of the studio. We’re talking programming and rough mixing only (no tracking of any kind - at least not yet!)! So, I won’t need an input interface. I’m thinking 15" Laptop, headphones and a wireless mouse. Can I get away with just those pieces? Or will I need an external drive as well to transfer the projects between the Laptop & the Desktop?

I’m clueless on all of this so, any advice would be helpful. Is it going to be more hassle than it’s worth? What Win 10 Laptops would you guys recommend? Are there any traps I need to look out for? Anybody working like this now? If so, how efficient is this process?

Thanks for your help.

I have no direct recommendation but I’d say if you’re just gonna use it for what you say, you don’t have to worry much. Onboard soundcards are more or less crap but will do the job with the generic Asio driver, tiny interfaces like the UR22 are bus powered, unproblematic and cheap too as an alternative.

Otherwise the usual: if lots of VSTis are involved get a machine with at least 8 GB RAM, SSD or M.2 drive as big as possible (both tend to be small or expensive). i5 or better i7 with 4+ cores and as fast as you can get and that’s it more or less.

Haven’t tried myself but I’d say it should be possible to run the projects on a USB3 thumbdrive instead of an external hdd when there’s no recording involved. May depend on the audio data throughput but in any case it’s easy to copy it back and forth between stick and local drive.

You’re asking for efficiency of mobile work… my experience is semi. Creating music is something I’d like to focus on when I do music - can work well if you can spend that one or two hours without distraction in a quiet space. I highly doubt it’s too cool to really create anything while waiting for your flight or on a crowded train. Surely looks fancy on Instagram but not much more. Maybe that’s just me, I prefer reading books :slight_smile:

I struggled with what laptop to get for Cubase 9.5 for the past few months, considering a Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch), a Dell XPS 15 9570, and a Razer Blade 15.6.

I don’t record in Cubase. I record on my digital piano and then transfer the files to Cubase. I was worried because many people said that the Dell XPS 15 had terrible DPC latency, something not reported on the Razer Blade. There are detailed results on DAW performance in Microsoft Surface products in general (surfaceproaudio.com), but not the model I was looking at.

My wife needed a new laptop for word processing and web research. She didn’t need the most powerful processor currently available so I bought her a Dell XPS 15 9570 with an i5 and 8 GB of memory. I tested Cubase 9.5 on her computer with a piano VST and the built-in string and woodwind sounds in Cubase 9.5. I didn’t experience any problems. As long as I am not recording, the latency issues did not seem to affect me (i.e., the performance on the laptop seemed to be the same as the performance on my desktop i5).

I ended up getting myself the same XPS 15 9570 (but I upgraded the memory to 32GB just in case).

Please keep in mind that my results may not be applicable to a lot of music producers. I only have a couple of MIDI (and possibly audio) tracks and one or two VSTs with no special effects on them.

I am also looking for a laptop for light recording and mixing. I wonder if a 13.3’ 8250U ultrabook will be efficient, something like HP Probook/Elitebook or Lenovo Thinkpad L380. I own a 2008 Macbook but it only supports 32bit programs so it has to be replaced. Any suggestions ?

Thanks. It helped a lot

Hi - new to this forum - trying to switch to laptop - what do any of you think of this? Seems like it has it all. Any comments would be appreciated!!!

Processor Speed 4.1 GHz
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD IPS w/ 144Hz Refresh Rate, Intel 6-Core i7-8750H, Overclockable GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, 16GB DDR4, 256GB NVMe SSD, Aeroblade Metal Fans PH315-51-78N

Another review:
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH315-51-78NP Gaming Laptop comes with these high level specs: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8750H Processor 2.2GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 4.1GHz (9MB Smart cache), Windows 10 Home, 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display, 144Hz Refresh Rate, 300nit Brightness, 16:9 aspect ratio, 72% NTSC, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Overclockable Graphics with 6 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM, 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory, 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD, Secure Digital (SD) card reader, Optimized Dolby Audio Premium sound enhancement, Acer True Harmony Plus Technology, Two Built-in Stereo Speakers, Intel Wireless-AC 9560 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi which can deliver up to 1.73Gbps throughput when using 160Mhz channels (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, HD Webcam (1280 x 720) supporting Super High Dynamic Range (SHDR), 1 - USB 3.1 (Type-C) port (Gen 1 up to 5 Gbps), 1 - USB 3.0 port (featuring power-off charging), 2 - USB 2.0 ports, 1 - HDMI 2.0 with HDCP support, 4-cell Li-Ion Battery (3220 mAh), Up to 7-hours Battery Life, 5.51 lbs. | 2.5 kg (system unit only) (NH.Q3FAA.001).

When I’ve been looking, it seems the gaming models have so much more. ANY FEED BACK is appreciated!!! Thank you!!
Rebekah