Lenovo Thinkpad notebook for productions

Hey people!

I’m thinking about to buy a Thinkpad P 53 (the i7 version)

Does someone use a thinkpad for music productions? How are your experience with these notebooks? Any Struggeling? What is about the DPC latency?

Thank you for your help!

All the best from Hamburg

I bought a refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad two years ago with 16GB RAM, Fresh Windows 10, i7 3740Q and 256GB HDD space from ebay for under $300. I love it and make all my productions on it. Haven’t had any issues.

The only time I run into CPU troubles is when I’m running my interface buffer size pretty low and dealing with a lot of plug-ins. When that happens, I usually increase the buffer size, render the audio tracks, or both. I can’t stress how little this is an issue though. It’s if I’m running multiple instances of serum and also have some heavy duty FX going…But if I’m mixing and set the buffer as high as it’ll go its fine, and I’ve had some songs with loads of tracks and processing.

I love the Lenovo life. Highly recommend it. Now that it’s two years later you can probably get something even better. My original budget was $500 just for the laptop and I was very happy to fall under it so I could buy soft synths and production software.


May I Ask where you bought it?
300 sounds like a great deal

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Refurbished on ebay. I looked and looked and watched for a week or two. It was definitely the best deal at the time. You can filter by RAM, processor speed, etc.

The only thing I traded was HDD space (it’s not an SSD) with the knowledge that I could (and did) buy an external HDD. I’m thinking about finally buying an SSD cause I hear they’re getting cheap, and having super fast loading of all my software and plug-ins sounds real rad… But it doesn’t bother me much right now.

I also wanna point out I settled on a ThinkPad because every consumer grade laptop that was equivalent in specs cost another $200 or $300. Asus, HP, Dell, (Apple wasn’t even a question) whatever. Lenovo is the most bang for the buck it’s a no-brainer.

Not sure what kinda processor that is–they all have weird names. Q, M, whatever… Some are better. But i7 2.9 GHz and 500GB SSD is pretty ballin

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Can’t believe how affordable it is compared to MacBooks. Thanks for the tip & link

Also heard the keyboard is very nice

I’m guessing no warranty tho?

Was considering one of these tiny computers to replace my laptop but a Thinkpad at almost half the price and double the specs seems like such a no brainer

I regularly use a Thinkpad t470, t480 and e570.

The T470/T480 are the sexiest PC laptops I’ve ever used. I’m sure the X1 series is nice also. The e570 is powerful, and has the ‘keyboard’ that Thinkpad enthusiasts love, but build quality is a notch lower.

SSD is a must btw.

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I do, i use old lenovo x220, no problem recording , but thats about it i use it for, no fx, no midi no nothing. I use it with the docking station, and i use audient usb interface with it, no glitches. I think it is i5 processor, don’t know what generation, also, i use ssd disc.

Yes, keypad is really nice, and the build quality of my x220 is great,

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I was looking into x1 as well. They go for 350 on ebay.de, but not the yoga version. Looks like a great laptop.

Apple is a racket–don’t bother with em. Same specs will cost you 3x as much.

@GirTheRobot It’s something I’ve often heard but it hasn’t appeared that obvious to me until now. Especially with the new macs and all the expensive dongles for the USB C what a nightmare

For those of you who have switched from macOS to Windows (or Linux) as a main OS, what do you miss?

Curious also about the quality of the headphone output and integrated sound card on the think pads. Do they stand well on their own?
My first laptop 10 years ago was an Asus windows which had a laggy, buzzy as hell headphone output but I assume that’s not relevant anymore

I’d love some info on fan noise as well.


in some fields, mac os is worth the premium.

fuck i bit. not this debate plz

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Mine doesn’t get loud. I would never use its integrated sound card–always use a dedicated interface when producing music. I think I tried using the onboard soundcard once when I brought it to a session at a studio and everything took insanely long to load and just wouldn’t work at all. That being said, I think I loaded up individual Arturia instruments (as in NOT running in a DAW) and had them working fine…YMMV.

I’ve used the headphone output and it was fine.

OS is OS. I’ve used Windows my whole life and it’s fine. I’ve used Mac on my friends’ computers and elsewhere and it’s fine. I honestly don’t know why anyone has a preference :man_shrugging:

because unix…

haha i don’t know nothin 'bout that stuff but yes, i hear those OSes are definitely different. I was just talking about Mac vs Windows.

Sooo… thank you! Now I’m more and more into a lenovo notebook… I thought to combinate it with my digitakt as a soundcard… I also have an old (but still very great 8 channel interface from Presonus) it’s a matter that its connection is Firewire 400… so I can’t use it with any notebook on the market :((

Another option to have an interface when I’m “on the road” would be to buy something like apogee one… small and great interface…

Do you use the digitakt as your main soundinterface? Does it work fine???

Hello x 201 user here. I bought this one refurbished for 180 3 years ago, but it really need to be replaced. I like the build, that you can access all tje components
Its really hard to choose a computer these times, so many specs and
I d love to replace it with a more up to date computer now, would love a thinkpad with a bigger screen!!
For 500, is it possible to have one from the t series which will run today and for some time easily?? (Specs wise)

I don’t have a Digitakt. I use a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20. I treat my laptop like a desktop and have it hooked up to a monitor and never really take it places unless I need to record someone somewhere.

I don’t see why using a Digitakt as a sort of soundcard wouldn’t work, assuming you don’t want to record vocals/anything that might need an XLR input. You should ask Digitakt folks about that…You could also buy a little Presonus or AVID interface for under $100 (sometimes even $50) that will be USB 2.0 or 3.0 or whatever.

Also you may be able to get dongles to convert firewire to USB? Idk

Nope. These technologies don t match.

Options when you really need firewire on current laptops is thunderbolt to firewire adapters (made by apple, works but not necessarily stable on any windows system) and thunderbolt PCIe enclosures. The latter lets you mount a firewire PCIe card that you can use to connect to an audio interface.

X1 Extreme user here. Have only used it a little for DAW work: Ableton Live + Max (for Live.) Works fine. Has got more than enough CPU power.

Laptop is very nice except that i m weary of the soft mat coating. It shows greasy fingers very badly and I think it will wear off quickly where touched a lot.