What Laptop...

I’m going to buy a laptop in the new year - to run Renoise and Reaper - and also a laptop soundcard.
It would be for gigging with and composing whilst at the girlfriends (she’ll love it ! )

Does anybody have any recommendations of any particular laptops and sound cards…
(soundcard - a basic 2 in two out plus headphone would be the minimum spec for me although would probably be fine).
I have an maudio axiom usb controller - i’d perhaps consider a controller/sound card combi.

I havent got a clue about laptops… is express card slot the way forward? or usb2? firewire old hat?
Pentium dual core? or is athlon good enough…

Of course my budget comes into this - perhaps middle market price.

Any recommendations of what to go for and particularly what not to buy would be appreciated.
Battery life is not that important…

Thanks in advance.

Asus N61Vn

Macbook Pro + Motu Ultralite firewire interface.


I never even thought about macbooks…
But quadcore - thats gotta be the way to go methinks.

Ok then - what about windows 7? is that working or is it still a case of reformat with XP?
I’m not really interested in running anything other than renoise, reaper and perhaps a wave editor.

then pick up this brilliant Asus + Win 7

and audio - go for MOTU or ECHO card

From my own experience I suggest to use Express card slot for 4xUSB controller for gadgets, and use proper USB audio card at a free USB port at laptop.

Pretty helpful thanks.
I can’t imagine what a quadcores like…
The amount of choice out there is bewildering.

Has anybody bought anything that just hasnt worked? and is windows 7 playing nicely yet?

just dont buy m-audio audiocards.
win7 is really nice.

m-audio firewire solo user here and if you plan to use windows 7, don’t pick that card, otherwise I’m quite satisfied…

I wish I had a MOTU ultralite mk3.

Laptop wise, you have to consider what size you want… 13 15 or 17+?

imo 17+ should only be considered if you don’t want to travel a lot with the laptop, they are big, heavy and the battery life is often not very good.

I’d seriously consider the macbook pro, the conclusions I got from this line is that you will pay between 300$ and 500$ more for the same specs but you get a smaller machine, well built with good battery life. It’s a sure bet you can trust it.

But yes, they don’t offer i7 yet… but I bet they are going to start offering it for the mbp 15 and 17 in early 2010, so if you can wait a little, it might worth the wait.

Also, for the i7 core, I did not check every brands yet but Dell do offer the cheap Studio 15, the less cheap (and apparently bad battery life) Studio XPS 16 and the higher end Alienware m15x which are between 1200 and 1500$ I think and they all come with the i7 cpu.

I’m also considering to buy a laptop… I wish I could spend my money elsewhere but I’ll probably need one to present my upcoming school projects… and I don’t mind mbp or a pc… I’m not sure what to buy but I’m also looking forward for one of these i7 core.

I think 15 or 17 inch will be cool - portablility is not to high on the agenda (which may seem odd for a laptop).
Having a numpad is a essential - so the smaller machines are out.
Reading the specs for all the new machines is rather awesome - its gonna be quite a leap from a single core chip.
Something like the ultralight would be cool - a bit more than i really need but of course i could record the odd punk band with the extra inputs…

If you want pure processing power it has to be the Clevo D900F (Sager NP9280 and dozens of other names depending on retailer.) Heavy and very little battery life but with a desktop i7, rather than the mobile version, it really will crunch some numbers.

Be warned that you will not find a currently produced laptop that uses the TI Firewire chipset if you use a Firewire audio interface.

Woaa desktop i7 in a laptop! that’s a beast!

i’m looking at some of the cheapest asus lappies now. what’s your guys’ minimal laptop setups? just the puter and an external usb audio card?

It was out before the mobile i7 was even released, first shown at this year’s CBIT IIRC. I have the previous model, the Clevo D901C, which is a very nice laptop, uses the desktop Core2Duo (personally have the Xeon X3360, which is basically the same as the Q9550, quad core 2.83GHz.) As far as I could work out it is the last laptop to be produced using the TI firewire chipset and I do have an M-Audio Ozonic, which is firewire and has a built-in soundcard and I am using for the moment until I possibly upgrade in the future when feeling flush (well I actually use onboard sound 90% of the time to be honest.)

Anyway waffling now but I will say they are well-built and powerful machines. As long as battery-life, weight and cost aren’t so important too you…

Just figured I would add my two cents…I use the Acer Aspire 5735g.

It won a value/performance award from a leading laptop mag(can’t remeber which one) Core 2 Duo, 2ghz 3GB ram and a 160 gb hd. Mind you, it doesn’t use firewire etc(USB 2.0) and the onboard sound is not the best(Realtek).

On the other hand, it is ultrastable and quick once you disable the unneccesary Vista Functions and use High Performance plan. I sometimes use 30 + plug ins on a track and will only glitch slightly from time to time. So if you are smart, unlike myself and render only some of your passages etc…it runs w/o a glitch.

You could just pick up an a/i to improve sound as the retail for the 5735g is under £400!

Just curious, what is wrong with them? I noticed you and a few others use them…I am in the market for an A/I so doing some research!

Are pci express firewire cards any good then? as ive heard before many onboard firewire chipsets don’t cut it.
And what sort of latency do people get with usb2 without problems?

I’m fine using Fujitsu T series with 1.84mhz processor. I don’t use vst’s much and with render vst to instrument, hell, I don’t even need to anymore. :) I also don’t use much live effects either. 1 reverb, 1 or 2 delays, some filters and now stutter. Sometimes distortion.

I’m not one of those dudes that will run 95 effects on one sample for ambient tunes. :P

I’m not one of those dudes that will run 95 effects on one sample for ambient tunes. :P

Ha…I think I know you from somewhere! ;)

Its funny you said that! I think I AM one of those guys who would run 95 effects on one sample!
Well maybe just 90! :)

render selection to sample, also smoking is bad

hseiken lights up cigarette while rendering a sample

Hey, Tarek… :) Small world, this internet stuff is.