In this guide, I will be touching on what to look out for when searching for a student laptop. Personally, I’m a student and I know how it feels bad when you really can’t afford a gaming laptop as they are quite expensive at times. I will be making this guide short and clear as no one would like a lengthy guide. Without further ado, let's have a look at what to look out for when purchasing a student laptop that has the best bang for buck value:-
First things let's talk about the price range. A typical student would be very tight on budget. As I’m based in Malaysia, all the prices that I will be stating would be in MYR (Malaysian ringgit). As a student in Malaysia, you want to look for something that’s priced around RM2000 to RM3000 for a mediocre household. This price range would get you a fairly decent laptop for a student but don’t expect too much performance from these machines in terms of gaming. If you are even tighter on budget, I would genuinely recommend the lowest price of RM1000 to RM1500. Now, do note that laptops from this price range will only allow you to do your daily work although it might be game possible but I genuinely don’t recommend to game on a laptop at this price point as it will ruin the overall experience of the game. In my other blogs I would be recommending my personal options for student laptops in these price range.
A student would clearly want a fairly lightweight laptop as you would be carrying it around wherever you go during projects and meet-ups with your project members. Try to get a laptop that is within 1.5 to 2.3 kg as anything more than that would be kind of a burden on the shoulder.
3) Battery Life
Generally, I would recommend searching up for laptops that have at least 4 hrs of battery life. Anything less than that would be kind of lacking and you would have to carry your charger wherever you go. The better battery life I recommend would be around 6 to 7 hrs as this will be sufficient for the time when you are usually outside as a student. A quick note though, try not to trust the battery life stated on the producers websites as they are not as accurate as doing a benchmark testing by youtubers themselves. So before buying, try to look out and do some research on the laptop you are getting before buying.
If you are a normal student, any display literally should be fine but if you are a student that is pursuing a career in arts than the monitors comes into some serious plays. You would want something that is more colour accurate, vibrant and has better rating percentages in sRGB as well as Nits. These 2 things will clearly state how colour accurate your monitor actually is, but for the most of us just get the display that is bright enough for viewing outside and has a fairly decent viewing angle and you should be good to go. Another thing about the monitor that will effect your weight is the display size. Do you prefer 14″, 15.6″ or even bigger? Generally, a bigger screen would mean more weight to your computer so keep in mind of that but a bigger screen also means that it is easier to read texts on the screen.
5) Design and Layout
On the design part as usual can’t say much as everyone has their own preference. To me, you would want to look for a professional-looking chassis. Like smooth edges with clean corners that sort of thing for a better presentation during work. Now let's talk about the keyboard design, since we will be doing a lot of typing like thesis projects, we would want a fairly spacious keyboard for a better typing experience. You would also want to consider getting a backlit keyboard design as it will help with working long hours in your dome when your dome-mates are asleep and the lights are off so that you can see the keyboard. Talking about sleeping dome-mates, try getting a laptop that has relatively quiet fan noise for less distraction during class or literally anywhere you go.
6) Processor and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) Selection // Upgrade Abilities
For processors, we would want something that is powerful enough for daily multitasking and some light gaming at the end of the day. Generally, I would recommend Ryzen processors as their integrated GPU’s are generally better than Intel’s one due to their APU (Accelerating Processing Unit) which takes advantage of your dual-channel RAM memory to provide better frames for some light gaming while consuming less power than a dedicated GPU. Besides the new Ryzen 5000 mobile processor series’s Integrated Graphics also outperforms entry-level dedicated graphics such as MX Nvidia series cards. On the other hand, do lookout for a laptop that has a fair amount of upgradeability such as the RAM slots and the SSD slots. These upgrades will be useful in the future when you need extra RAM or even more storage to allocate your files.
That’s all I have for you in this blog, hope it helps clear up your mind on selecting a laptop for your student routine, and good luck with your purchase! Do stay tune for my next blog where I will be recommending my personal laptop choices for students as well as for gaming. Did I miss out on anything? Did I make a mistake? Do give feedback as I will be more than happy to correct my mistakes, thanks!