Laptops for a light Cubase Elements user - specs to focus on

Hi all,

In the market for a new laptop and Cubase Elements 10.5 is the heaviest thing I will need it for so basing decision around this. Hoping to get some input from forumites. Desktops are not an option for me.

I have managed fine on an Asus ZenBook UX303UA that lasted me 8 years now. Has an intel i7, 12GB of RAM, Windows 10, 256GB SSD. My usage is proably relatively light, I use 8-12 tracks typically (doubt would ever go beyond 20 tracks) and each may have 2 or 3 plugins. I record live through a focusrite scarlett 2i2.

So probably need something in the mid-range market at least, current options I’m considering are an Asus Vivobook 16X (the cheapo one not the pro one) and the MacBook Air M2. Here is a comparison of specs + performance which seem v. comparable despite price difference:

Wondering whether the MacBook 8GB of RAM will be enough? Seems to have similar performance to the Vivobook16X 16GB of RAM but maybe I am missing something

Are their any other more audio relevant components to focus on within the laptop itself?

Thanks for reading/input!


You can find the Minimal System Requirements here.

For smaller projects, I believe so.

Yes, but if your needs grow the 8GB RAM and 256GB Storage are not going to fare well.

A PC does allow you to grow your specs to meet your needs, via easy upgradability. That is what I would recommend.

I think the base M1/M2 Pro 14" MBP is the sweet spot for Productivity and Media Creation. I would never buy an Air, and I hardly ever recommend them (or the 13" Pro).

IMO, either you’re okay spending the money, or you’re better off getting a PC Laptop - especially with how cheap components (RAM, SSDs) are, these days.

The MacBook Air makes perfect sense for what you describe. You could get 16GB if you want but with such modest needs you might be fine anyway. Unfortunately you can’t change your mind later though but you can always add an external drive for storage. 8GB on Apple silicon is not the same thing as 8GB on a PC - it uses memory in a much more efficient way. I’m not sure how efficient Elements is so you might want to check that.

If by chance your needs should change you can sell it and get something else. It will hold its value pretty well as opposed to a PC which is essentially a paper weight after a few years. You wouldn’t have to worry about battery life or noise either which are significant quality of life factors when it comes to recording laptops.

Hard to go past the MacBooks with M chips. I personally use an older HP Z Book which is beefy and not much second hand.