MacBook Pro or Windows laptop?

Hey guys,
I want to have a mobile solution to work from home, when I’m travelling or on-location.
My projects vary from music productions with loads of vst instruments, plugins and orchestral libraries to small audio post production tasks. So in case of bigger music projects, these can be “a bit heavy” for the system to handle.

I’ve checked the new MacBook Pro with the M2 chip and this looks really promising, except the price. With a configuration that should last for a mid-term future, we are talking about EUR 3.500 up to EUR 6.500.

Does anybody have some experience to share regarding a MacBook Pro M2, or in general with the MacBook (SoC)?
Or any alternatives on the Windows side?

Looking forward for tips and advices,
thanks and all the best

I tested m2 macbook pro at friends studio, and must say it is damn good. It stays quiet and does not get warm.we tested various stuff like music mix loaded with plugins, post production stuff, vst instruments (a lot of them simultamious), high and low buffer setings, and it did the job without a hickup.
Battery life…impressive !
But you wont make a mistake if you buy a windows laptop, it is a computer just like any other.
At least you can sell macbook at a good price if you dont like it

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@soundcage thanks for sharing your experiences!
Unfortunately I have not made the best experiences with Windows laptops so far, allthough I didn’t use them in combination with a DAW. I mostly used them for university and private stuff, but most of the times after 2 years, they were so laggy and buggy that I woud call them “dead”.
Any advice for a MacBook Pro comparable laptop?

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sorry, i have been using mac from 2012, so im not a person for win recomendations.
but im sure dell, asus, hp make good laptops.
but last time i checked the price was almost the same as macbook pro ( at least for “high end” win laptops )
i mean, you can buy win laptop for 500 euro and upgrade it, and it will work,but the build quality and battery… whell that is a diferent story

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Any Windows laptop users out there running Nuendo 12?

I use this:
Nuendo 12.0.60, Laptop HP Omen, W11 (22H2), i7-10870H, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, GeForce RTX 3060, Scarlett 18i8 1stGen, ioStation 24c.
I’m not an “intensive” user.
I’ve done some short film post with up to 90 tracks (5.1, no atmos) with only some reverb tracks, no instruments, no other efects.
I recorded once 13 live tracks on a show, 2 hours continuous recording (with a behringer X32).
No hangs, no crashes.
The only problem I have, the fans are noisy.

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Ya I use Nuendo occasionally on my Windows laptop. It works as well as it does as on my Windows desktop which is to say very well.

Now my system isn’t particularly a “Macbook alternative” as it was designed to be a portable powerhouse so it is not only larger but also hotter, more fans, etc. It has an RTX 3070 in it so hefty dGPU, which would be of no use for just Nuendo use.

I’m going to recommend Windows systems, because I am a Windows guy and dislike Apple and how they go about things, but I can’t offer a comparison since, well I’m a Windows guy. If I were getting a laptop for business use it would be a Dell Latitude, Precision, or XPS depending on what I wanted with a bias towards the Latitude. I like Dell because their support is one of the best for consumer support in my experience. Still not as good as real enterprise support, but good. They will usually get a dude with the parts out to you next day if you’ve paid for that level of warranty.

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Thanks for your reply. I’m also a Windows guy since forever, but when it comes to mobile solutions, I’ve never made good experiences with Windows laptops. As I wrote, they were “done” mostly after two years (Toshiba, Sony Vaio, Lenovo,…). The MacBook Air from my girlfriend is now 10 years old and still works like a charme.

My music projects can get pretty heavy, so the machine needs some serious power and in terms of fan-noise, I think the MacBook is unbeatable.

Well for reliability it is a mixed bag. In general Macbooks are better than cheap Windows laptops since they are more expensive and can afford better parts. However we’ve seen plenty of issues with them. While there are some people happily using old ones, there are people with ones that break not long after Applecare runs out and are sad. Heck there’s a Youtuber, Louis Rossman, who makes his living off of mostly repairing dead Macbooks.

They also don’t support their old stuff. That 10-year-old Macbook isn’t getting security updates, because it can’t run a recent OS and Apple doesn’t support their OSes for long. On the flip side I’ve installed Windows 10 on some pretty old systems at work (Windows 11 is a different story though, it requires a more modern CPU).

In terms of actual long-term support, your best bet is a business/enterprise class system from Dell with ProSupport or ProSupport Plus. You can get up to 5 years of next business day support and they mean it: They’ll come out and fix that thing, they maintain the parts availability to do it. There’s never a guarantee of how long something will last so if it is “It HAS to last” the only way to have that is a support contract.

In terms of performance/power right now the M2 can’t be beat. You can get more powerful Intel chips, but they do it at the expense of efficiency. So if you need maximum computation for the power draw, Apple is the way to go.

Now I will warn you that depending on how power hungry your projects are, the idea of “one computer to do everything” may not be feasible. You may find you need a desktop because they just scale to higher power levels than laptops do.

One final thing to consider in that regard is storage space. The storage in Macbooks is EXPENSIVE and not upgradable. So while you CAN get 8TB of storage, it’ll cost you like $2200 additional. On the other hand you can drop a 4TB SSD in a Dell laptop for like $200-300 and many of them (like mine) hold two drives. So if your projects demand a lot of storage you have to get it up front and have to pay a lot with Apple.

Ultimately either way will work. It is mostly up to you and what you want.

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