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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Choosing a Computer

5. Laptops

Recent developments in
CPUCentral Processing Unit: the silicon chip at the centre of a computer system.
technology have brought the desktop and laptop much closer together in terms of power and performance. Modern laptops can happily run a recording studio, or be used as a performance instrument in a live situation. For recording on the move or on location, the advantages are clear. However, the emphasis with laptop design is on small size and low power consumption, and this brings performance compromises: typically, hard drives are slower,
DDRDouble Data Rate memory is the standard RAM used in most computers. DDR can read data on both the rise and fall of the computer's system clock cycle, where older SDRAM could only transfer data on the rise.
is slower, and the connections between components are not so efficient, so you will never achieve the level of performance that you'll find in a similarly specified desktop computer.

If you are planning to work on the move, something else to consider is battery life: manufacturers’ figures of 4, 5 or even 6 hours plus are normally based on light usage or running on standby; but if you’re recording, mixing or performing, then the laptop will be working very hard indeed. 1-2 hours is a more realistic time to think about being away from a plug socket, and even less if your laptop is powering a
USBUniversal Serial Bus: a system for connecting low-to-mid speed computer peripherals which has largely replaced a variety of competing serial connection standards. USB allows up to 127 devices (in theory) to be connected in series, and exists in two variants: USB1 (12Mbps) and USB (480Mbps). USB ports are backwards-compatible, but connecting a USB1 device will limit all devices on that port to the slower speed.
AudioGenerally used to mean "sound"; technically it describes periodic fluctuations of air pressure or electrical energy at frequencies and amplitudes within the human range of hearing; sound, or electrical energy that represents sound; acoustic, mechanical, or electrical frequencies corresponding to normally audible sound waves.
InterfaceA device enabling the connection of two or more devices, or types of devices. Examples include MIDI interfaces, for connecting MIDI equipment to a computer, and audio interfaces.
WindowsA family of computer operating systems developed by Microsoft, using a Graphical User Interface (GUI) in which software programs display visual information, images, text and other data in independent screen areas ('windows') which may be moved and re-sized independently.
laptops also tend to be more prone to compatibility issues.

But if portability outweighs all these considerations though, you can’t beat a laptop! They’re also great as second machines which can be used to run extra synths and
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
when you’re back in the studio.