Best Budget Laptop for Programming Students in 2020

Finding out the best budget laptop for programming students is always the top priority of a programming or a computer science student. There are tons and tons of laptops that can handle your programming needs. But, a cheap programming laptop can save so much of your investment on your educational journey.

I am a Computer Science graduate and I know what could be your requirements for the best laptop that will accompany you for the next 3 to 4 years.

It is obvious that a Desktop PC is much more useful than a laptop. But remember, as a student most of the time you’ll be staying in hostels. So a laptop is convenient than a Desktop setup for a student.

Best budget laptop for programming students

If you get your hands on the right device, it is going to be a wise decision for you.

In this post, you’ll see, what to look for before purchasing your laptop. Also, you’ll get to know where to buy them.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

(Skip to the lists)

Budget Laptop for Programming Students – Specifications you need

Being a programming student, most of the time you’ll spend with the Command Line Interface(CLI) or some Integrated Development Environments(IDE) of your computer.

From compiling several programming languages to submitting your final project work, tons of loads to be handled by your laptop. You need a powerful device to carry out all those class works smoothly and efficiently.

If you are a developer or a programmer, check this post to find out your ideal device that can support the heavy Lifting of your codes.

Let’s see, what are the expected features of an affordable laptop for programming.

Processor and Processing Power

The processor is the most important part of a computer. The higher the processing power, the better your device performs.

Talking about programming, you won’t usually need any more than an Intel Core i5. But again, if you’re planning to get most out of your programming career during your college days, the Intel Core i7 is the ideal one.

Go for at least 8th generation Intel processors. A faster processor is going to save you a lot of time.

RAM and GPU

RAM is one of the critical components of a programmer’s laptop, as you might run virtual machines and heavy IDEs. These applications consume an enormous amount of memory while in running state.

As a student, you need not more than 8 GB of RAM. But, having an extra RAM slot will benefit you in the long run.

So, do you need a graphical processing unit(GPU) for your programming laptop?

To work on recent domains in Computer Science, like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, etc you need dedicated graphics to run performance demanding software.

If you’re interested to work on those above topics go for an Nvidia GPU, because you’ll eventually use a  parallel computing platform. CUDA is popular and easy to use, which is limited to Nvidia hardware only.

Having a 2 gigabytes of GPU is enough for a low budget laptop for programming.

Operating System

You need to see what Operating System you’re going to use.

I love Ubuntu! Ubuntu is a mostly used OS in the programming field. Any UNIX based OS is preferred to Microsoft Windows PC.

However, Windows too can be used for programming purposes.

To cut the price, you can opt for a DOS installed laptop rather than a Windows installed laptop.

Anyways, you can always dual boot your Windows PC with a UNIX OS, if you can not abandon your love for Windows. (Yes! I can feel your love for windows)

Battery Life

Battery life plays a crucial role, but this is not necessary if your budget is too tight.

Having a massive battery will light up your backpack. If your laptop is able to give enough standby time for your class time, there is no need to carry the charger.

This is an external feature you can look for in a budget laptop for programming students.

Keyboard and Display

Another important feature to look for in a budget laptop for programming for your comfort is the keyboard of your device.

I don’t think I need to point out the importance of a comfy keyboard for a programming student.

While considering a comfortable keyboard for your needs, you need to take a look at the decent key travel and comfortable, smooth keypress. You can also opt for a backlit keyboard if you are a night owl and prefers to work in a dim environment.

Don’t compromise with the display quality of your budget laptop for programming. Most of the time you’ll be spending looking at the display of your device. Having a good quality display may reduce the strain on your eyes.

Anti-glare, LED-Backlit screens are the best ones. My suggestion would be to go for any display which is more significant than 1920 x 1080 pixels even if it feels you unnecessarily expensive. The reason is that we tend to forget the long term effects of eye strain caused by low-resolution laptops.

Portability

Portability is another feature for your comfort and looks of your laptop. Try to find a laptop with less bezels.

A lightweight slim laptop is always eye-catching and helpful to make your backpack airier. 14-inch screen size is more than enough, though you can choose your laptop screen size as per your requirements.

There are tons of recommendations available online, but I don’t recommend you to go with the one with the highest rating blindly. Instead, you should do comprehensive research according to your needs.

Best Budget Laptop For Programming Students Under 40000 Rupees Segment

It is pretty tough to find out an affordable laptop for programming. Considering all those specifications mentioned above, I picked 7 laptops under three price segments.

Some of them are lacking one or two specifications, without which you can consider making it your daily driver next couple of years.

1. ASUS VivoBook 14 X412FA

This model of Asus VivoBook is a compact and stylish laptop, you can use for programming purposes when you have a very tight budget.

ASUS VivoBook 14 X412FA comes with the 8th gen Intel Core i3 processor. You can also choose the i5 variant, but make it under budget segment under Rs. 36000, I am considering the i3 variant.

It has 8 Gigs of onboard RAM and Intel UHD graphics. Windows 10 Home with 512 GB NVME M.2 storage gives you shorter load time. You can also have the option of dual storage.

The keyboard is backlit and has 1.3mm key travel. This affordable laptop for programming also supports Windows Hello login. A fingerprint scanner is housed above the trackpad. You get a 2-cell battery with fast charging technology with this laptop.

This laptop weighs only 1.5 KG, which makes it very lightweight compared to other laptops in this price range.

asus vivobook 14 x412fa
source: Asus

ASUS VivoBook 14 X412FA

  • 87% screen-to-body ratio
  • Compact Size
  • Lightweight
  • Performance packed

Price Starts at ₹35,990

8th Gen i3 processor
8 GB RAM + 512GB SSD storage
LED-backlit, Anti-Glare
Backlit keyboard
Integrated Graphics

Specifications

ProcessorIntel® Core™ i3 8145U Processor
RAM8 GB DDR4 
GPUIntegrated Intel UHD Graphics 
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Storage512GB SATA 3.0 M.2 SSD
Display14-inch LED-backlit (1920×1080) Anti-Glare
KeyboardIlluminated chiclet keyboard
Battery2 -Cell 37 Wh Battery
Dimensions322 x 212 x 19.9 mm (WxDxH)

2. IdeaPad S145 (81W800BSIN)

Powered by Intel Core i3 10th Generation processor, this model of IdeaPad S145 is a pretty good laptop to consider for your day to day programming class needs.

You get 1 TB of Hard Disk Drive storage with 4 GB of RAM. This also features Intel UHD Integrated graphics only. For OS, you get Windows 10 Home with this laptop.

15.6-inches Full HD screen, which anti-glare also, is another plus point to consider this device as your programming laptop.

Moreover, a 35WH battery is powering this laptop and comes with a 65W fast charger.

ideapad s145 81W800BIN
Source: Lenovo

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

  • Bezel-less design
  • Compact Size
  • Lightweight
  • Crystal-clear Dolby Audio

Price Starts at ₹35,490

10th Gen i3 processor
4 GB RAM + 1 TB HDD storage
Full HD, Anti-Glare
Integrated Graphics
No backlit keyboard

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i3-1005G1 Processor 
RAM4 GB DDR4
GPUIntegrated Intel UHD Graphics 
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Storage1TB HDD
Display15.6-inch FHD Anti-glare
KeyboardFull size English (US)
Battery35Wh Battery

Best Budget Laptop For Programming Students Under 50000 Rupees Segment

1. Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (81MV009HIN)

This model of Lenovo IdeaPad S145 is an upgraded model of the above-mentioned variant. The looks and design all the same as the above one. But, the hardware is upgraded to max its performance.

You get an Intel i5 8th generation processor with 8 GB of RAM, which is a great option for a budget laptop for programming. And of course, this laptop has 2 GB of Nvidia Graphics card.

Another thing to look at before considering this laptop to buy is that, this laptop comes with a free-DOS operating system. You have to install your desired OS after purchasing it.

ideapad s145 81W800BIN
Source: Lenovo

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

  • Bezel-less design
  • Compact Size
  • Lightweight
  • Crystal-clear Dolby Audio

Price Starts at ₹42,990

8th Gen i5 processor
8 GB RAM + 1 TB HDD storage
2 GB Nvidia Graphics
No backlit keyboard

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5-8265U Processor 
RAM4 GB + 4 GB
GPUNVIDIA® MX110 2GB GDDR5
Operating SystemFree-DOS
Storage1TB HDD
Display15.6-inch FHD Anti-glare
KeyboardFull size English (US)
Battery2 cells 35Wh Battery

2. Dell Vostro 15

I love the Dell XPS laptops. But, this post is for only budget laptops for programming. This laptop by Dell has some amazing features for this price range of ₹50000.

A 10th generation Intel core i5 processor, this budget laptop for programming comes with Windows 10 Home to max performance. Talking about performance, 8 GB of RAM, and 2 GB of Nvidia MX230 GDDR5 graphics card is housed on this laptop.

With this setup you can easily perform machine learning or deep learning model training locally on your own PC.

Also, dual storage option is there on this laptop. You can have PCIe NVMe SSD with up to 512GB SSD or up to 1TB hard drive of storage, which is a good option if you want to upgrade your laptop later.

But, portability is a bummer, because this laptop is on the heavier side than the other laptops I’ve mentioned. However, battery capacity is better than others. 3 cells 42 WH battery is integrated and comes with a 65W charger.

ideapad s145 81W800BIN
Source: Dell

Dell Vostro 15

  • Capable processors
  • Great graphics
  • Seismic storage
  • Windows 10 Home

Price Starts at ₹50665

10th Gen i5 processor
8 GB RAM + 1 TB HDD
2 GB Nvidia Graphics
No backlit keyboard

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5-1035G1 Processor 
RAM8GB, 8Gx1, DDR4, 2666MHz
GPUNVIDIA® MX230 2GB GDDR5
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Storage1 TB HDD
Display15.6-inch FHD Anti-Glare LED-Backlit
KeyboardFull size English (US)
Battery3-Cell, 42 WH Battery

Best Budget laptop for programming students under 60000 rupees segment

1. ASUS VivoBook 15 X510UN

VivoBook 15 is the perfect combination of beauty and performance. VivoBook 15 is a Windows 10 laptop powered by the 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor with 8GB RAM and NVIDIA MX150 graphics.

15.6-inches full HD NanoEdge display with ultra-narrow bezel makes this laptop super compact. This 1080p resolution display also features 178° wide-view technology to ensure that colors and contrast remain vivid and bold, even when viewed at sharp angles.

So, portability is not an issue here. This laptop weighs only 1.7 Kg with battery. The battery capacity is also good, but not that satisfactory for this price. However, you have the fast charging option to charge it.

A chiclet-style backlit keyboard is a great option for all-nighters. The key travel is also good.

ideapad s145 81W800BIN
Source: Asus

Asus VivoBook 15

  • Amazing performance
  • Elegant Design
  • Lightweight
  • Windows 10 Home

Price Starts at ₹58,488 (Flipkart)

8th Gen i7 processor
8 GB RAM + 1 TB HDD
2 GB Nvidia Graphics
Backlit keyboard
42WH battery

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5- 8550U Processor 
RAM8GB, DDR4, 2800MHz
GPUNVIDIA® MX150 2GB GDDR5
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Storage1 TB HDD
Display15.6-inch FHD Anti-Glare LED-Backlit
KeyboardIlluminated chiclet keyboard
Battery3-Cell, 42 WH Battery

2. Lenovo L340 Gaming (81LG00TGIN)

This is the best pick for a budget laptop for programming students, which is actually made as a gaming laptop from Lenovo.

Powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, the Ideapad L340 comes with 8 GB of RAM. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card is a major major go for this laptop. But, unfortunately, with this particular model, I have come up with the model that has the Nvidia MX230 graphics.

A full-sized keyboard with ambient backlighting and a slick, stylish design make the IdeaPad L340 a masterpiece for your programming needs, from the inside out.

There is a  physical shutter on the webcam, so that, you can shut off your camera from the outside world at any time. Privacy matters!!

A 15.6 -inch full HD, anti-glare display with Lenovo Vantage’s Eye Care Mode, which can reduce blue light emission and adjust your display’s color tone, countering the risk of eye strain and fatigue.

With up to 9 hours’ battery life, the battery recharges rapidly to 80% within 60 minutes and to 100% within 120 minutes.

But, this is a heavy laptop. With 2.2 KG weight, the portability is a con here. Let’s look at some key points and specifications of this budget laptop for programming students.

ideapad s145 81W800BIN
Source: Lenovo

Lenovo L340

  • Amazing performance
  • Up to GTX 1650
  • Two distinct modes
  • Rapid charge technology

Price Starts at ₹58,990 (Flipkart)

8th Gen i7 processor
8 GB RAM + 1 TB HDD
2 GB Nvidia Graphics
Backlit keyboard
Weighs 2.2 KG

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7-8565U Processor 
RAM8GB, DDR4
GPUNVIDIA® MX230 2GB GDDR5
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Storage1 TB HDD
Display15.6-inch FHD Anti-Glare IPS
Keyboardbacklit keyboard
BatteryUp to 9 hours*, with Rapid Charge

3. ASUS VivoBook S14 S430FN

Another stunning laptop by Asus. This ergonomic and lightweight device is a value for money laptop. A beautiful budget laptop for programming.

Unlike other laptops, Asus has a lot of color options for this 14-inch full HD laptop. Asus Vivobook S14 is a good budget laptop for programming, which also looks really cool.

Powered by an 8th generation Intel i7 processor and 8 GB of RAM gives you a swift performance for your programming tasks. Even the dedicated graphics memory from Nvidia, the Geforce MX150 makes sure to deliver a powerful performance at all times.

The hinge of this laptop has a silky-smooth dual action that holds the display securely at any angle and slightly tilts the keyboard up by 3.5° to give you a perfect typing position. This hinge design also optimizes the thermals of the device.

14-inch full HD, LED-backlit screen with narrow bezels along the top and sides of the display, this laptop comes with an 84% screen-to-body ratio. The 178-degree wide-viewing angles and commendable color reproduction makes every visual task easier to handle.

Weighing just 1.4 kg, this laptop is highly portable for your daily usage. So much soo Ultrathin and light that it simply slips into your backpack, and you won’t actually feel that there is a laptop inside your backpack.

Coming to the battery life, a 42 Wh 3-cell lithium-prismatic battery is packed inside this slim laptop. This is a con for this laptop in my opinion. However, you get the fast charging technology with this laptop.

This model of Asus S14 is indeed a great option for budget laptops for programming students in 2020.

ideapad s145 81W800BIN
Source: Asus

Asus S14

  • Ultra-portable, lightweight
  • Elegant Design
  • Precision-engineered ErgoLift hinge
  • NanoEdge Display

Price Starts at ₹59,990 (Flipkart)

8th Gen i7 processor
8 GB RAM + 1 TB HDD + 256 GB SSD
2 GB Nvidia Graphics
Backlit keyboard
Ultra portable
Low battery capacity

Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7-8565U Processor 
RAM8GB, DDR4
GPUNVIDIA® MX150 2GB GDDR5
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Storage1 TB HDD + 256 GB SSD
Display14-inch FHD, Anti-Glare, LED-backlit
Keyboardbacklit keyboard
Battery3 cells, 42 WH
Dimensions323 x 226 x 18 mm

Budget laptops for programming -final thoughts

Now that I have picked those seven laptops under three price segments, the one that I liked most is the Asus S14 model under ₹60000. That price is listed on Flipkart, on this day of writing this article on best budget laptops for programming students.

Moreover, there are tons of laptops out there in the market, you just need to look for the right specifications for the asked price.

I know a lot of guys, who just go to a Computer Shop and get themselves a laptop that was suggested by the shop owner. This is what you should not want to do, I want you to do proper research based on your requirements and find out the best quality products that are well priced.

Another tip, I want to give is that if you’re purchasing your laptop offline, always get the sealed pack. Some of the vendors may deceive with an opened pack, which they may temper before.

Now, I would like to hear from you.

What laptop do you use for programming?

If you liked my best picks for budget laptops for programming students, feel free to share it, let people know about it.

If you have any other laptops in your mind, let me know in the comment section below.

FAQs

  1. Is 4gb RAM enough for coding?

    For simple programming, 4GB RAM is enough. But, most of the advanced programming and IDEs require at-least 8 GB RAM to perform smooth compiling.

  2. Is Intel corei5 enough for programming?

    Yes, Intel core i5 is more enough for programming.

  3. SSD or HDD, what should I go for?

    SSD makes your computer faster. Try to go for a dual storage device, where you can get both the SSD and HDD storage option. Install the OS and other software on the SSD to get fast loading time.

  4. Does screen resolution matter for programmers?

    Yes, screen resolution matters if you are a programmer. My suggestion would be to go for any display which is more significant than 1920 x 1080 pixels even if it feels you unnecessarily expensive. The reason is that we tend to forget the long term effects of eye strain caused by low-resolution laptops.

  5. Do I need graphics card on my programming laptop?

    Graphics cards make your processing of a program faster. It saves a lot of time. For AI and ML tasks, it is very useful to have a graphics card on your laptop.

About Rupjyoti

A Programmer and Developer. He loves to work on recent trends in Computer Science. Moreover, he is the creator of ETECHDNA. He helps others to make their online presence.

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