There have always been certain tech essentials every student should have to perform better in school. But with the advent of the pandemic, the ‘should’ has now changed to a ‘must’. Technology, especially a laptop, is now a necessity for students. Even something as basic as taking classes is now impossible without one.
But technology is an investment, and most students find themselves battling with a difficult financial as well as technological decision. How can they balance their budget and need in a way that they get the most out of it? This is guide is an answer to just that.
What do students need?
It is frustrating to recall the number of times I have seen a video editor buy a laptop with an integrated GPU or a basic google docs user buy an i7 processer. Students tend to research very less and just jump at whatever sounds nice. On top of that, the sheer excitement of getting a new laptop acts as a barrier to patient research. So, if you are considering buying a laptop, read the succeeding subsections carefully, you won’t regret it.
This category constitutes more than 90% of students who need a laptop. It constitutes basic usage like google chrome, watching videos, writing in word, and so on. If needed, you can add a touch option without too many extra costs. The range and availability of this kind of laptop are also huge. These are the specs you should be looking for.
- Processor: i5 Intel core processer or AMD FX-4300
- GPU: Integrated GPU is fine, you don’t need any extra specs.
- RAM: 8 GB is the golden number.
- Hard drive: For budget reasons, 256 GB should be enough. If you feel like you will have lots of data to store, you can bump it up to 512 GB.
- Screen resolution: Full HD (1920 x 1080), you do not need a 4k panel.
Programmers, Computer Science majors
Surprisingly, you do not need powerful specs for programming. A laptop with decent specs is more than enough, and it is only a slight upgrade from everyday users.
- Processor: i5 Intel core processor or AMD FX-4300
- GPU: Unless you are a developer, the integrated GPU is enough. Otherwise, consider NVidia MX 150 or above.
- RAM: 8 GB is fine.
- Hard Drive: I would recommend 512 GB since you might have a lot of data.
- Screen resolution: Full HD (1920 x 1080), again no 4k panels, please.
For video editing and graphics designing.
This category will require you to pretty much max out your specs, especially the processor and the screen.
- Processor: i7 Intel core processor (10th gen preferably)
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060+ (preferable)
- RAM: 16 GB or more
- Hard Drive: 512 GB if you have external hard drives, otherwise you will probably need 1 TB.
- Screen Resolution: Look for color-accurate screens. Preferably color-accurate 4k OLED panels with 120 Hz+ frame rate.
For gaming purposes
Students are known for playing a lot of games. Though I wouldn’t recommend buying gaming laptops, if you really want one, then the following should be the specs to look out for.
- I7 Intel core processor
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 or better.
- RAM: 16 GB (You probably won’t need more)
- Hard Drive: 512 GB unless you store a lot of games.
- Screen Resolution: 4k panel isn’t necessary. Loo for higher frame rate screens in full HD, preferable 144 Hz or more.
Optimum budget laptops in Nepal
Nepal doesn’t have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to laptops. Even the ones available are usually hiked in price in name of custom duty and exchange rate. Even so, there are some picks that work best for Nepali users. I have listed out Laptops for each category along with the price. These are all budget options and may not align with the spec sheet given ago.
Everyday users and Programmers
You will want to buy Lenovo, Acer, and Asus laptops. They provide cheap options for comparatively less prices. Lenovo Flex 14 may be a good option if you can afford to spend Rs 70,000. You will get all the features mentioned on the spec sheet on top of a touch screen. Asus Vivo Book is another great option starting at just Rs 60,000. If you are willing to sacrifice specs, then you can find one in as low as Rs 40,000.
There really isn’t much difference between everyday use laptops and laptops used for programming. The same brands will work for both, but you might want to bump up paper specs a little. Dell Inspiron laptops are a good choice because you will want durability for programming. These laptops vary a lot in price starting from 50,000 all the way up to 200,000.
Gamers, video editors and graphic designers
IF you want that extra spice then the price bumps up accordingly. The cheapest option for gaming laptops is probably the Acer Predator. You can find it in as low as Rs 100,000. If you are willing to spend an extra 30,000-40,000 then Dell G5 and HP Omen laptops are also good budget options, ranging in price from 130,000 to 140,000.
For video editing, you can certainly go with premium options like the Dell XPS if your pockets are full. I would not recommend a MacBook pro simply because of how expensive they are. XPS laptops have great panels and at around 200,000 will deliver the performance you will need. For more budget options, you are restricted to gaming laptops as the two overlaps in specs. It will be heavy and not as portable, but the price will be significantly lower.
Where can you buy laptops in Nepal?
There are two types of stores for buying laptops in Nepal. There are either authorized sellers, which guarantee original products and unauthorized sellers which aren’t as reliable. However, authorized sellers charge significantly more than their counterparts (up to 30,000 more). I will include how to check the authenticity of devices at the last so you should be fine with normal stores too.
These are company-verified authorized distributor of laptops in Nepal.
- Neo store Nepal: Authorized distributor for Dell products
- Gennext Nepal: Authorized distributor for Dell, HP, and Apple products.
- Max International: Authorized distributor for Dell, Lenovo, HP, and Microsoft.
- Ocean Kathmandu: Authorized distributor for MSI
There are several seemingly authorized distributors that aren’t actually brand partners. But, they still deliver quality quite consistently. Plus, the price of products is significantly less compared to authorized distributors, although you will have to independently verify the product’s authenticity.
- Itti Nepal
- Itech store
- Logix digital systems
- Bigbyte IT world
- Other laptop stores mainly around NewRoad and Putalisadak.
Checking the authenticity of laptops
I recommend buying from unauthorized sellers to the average Nepali simply because of the price factor. However, there are some things that you need to be aware of while buying from these sources. Here is a list of things you should check.
- Find the service tag and type in into the relevant company’s website’s service section. Warranty information should pop up and your laptop’s brand should be shown.
- Check if the windows are genuine.
- Check hardware components like microphones, speakers, and screen brightness.
- Check if all the ports work properly and the laptop charges properly.
- Look out for the VAT bill, your seller should provide you one.
If you follow all the steps, I have laid out above, you should have a genuine product even if you don’t buy from an authorized seller. Try not to spend too much on laptops, especially if you are a student. Most of the laptops I have mentioned here are also budget laptops, to save your family unnecessary expenditure. I hope this guide helps!
Read also: How to start an online store in Nepal