2013 Fender Squire Mini Strat [5.4 lbs] :: student setup.

This guitar was set up with 9's for a player's daughter to start learning on.  Its smaller proportions and short 22 3/4" scale make it ideal for kids or those will small hands.  Unfortunately this guitar suffers the common ailment of student instruments in that it uses budget hardware.  Upgrading the tuners would make tuning much, much easier but would add to the cost of the guitar.  Spending the money on such an upgrade would depend on the student's interest in learning to play.  I attempted to lubricate the tuners but it didn't seem to improve them.

I could see this guitar being fun to record in the studio.  The 22 3/4" scale is close to short scale Fender lap steels (22 1/2") so heavy strings and a slide might add a unique sound to a track.  Nashville high-strung might be a cool option as well.