CHEAP Laptop for General Desktop use and VERY light Gaming?

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,085
Hey all,

My sister asked me this question today, and I am stumped. It turns out I am very well versed on the high end desktop stuff, and very poorly read on laptops and low end, so I'd appreciate any recommendations here.

She wants a basic machine for Web/Email/Youtube/Netflix type of stuff, but with the ability to run some very light games. And by very light, I mean she likes The Sims 4, so the system requirements are really very low.

The key requirement here is, it cannot cost a lot. She is very budget conscious.

On the other hand, I couldn't live with myself if she got a laptop with an unbearable slow-ass mechanical hard drive. I'd say an SSD is a must.

Is it generally cheaper to get the hard drive variety, and swap in a SATA SSD on my own, or to shop for one with an SSD already installed?

I'm thinking she probably doesn't need much storage space, so a 250GB Samsung EVO type SSD would likely be sufficient.

I don't have an exact budget for her, but she keeps linking me examples in the $400-$450 range. I'm guessing it could probably stretch to $500, but that is likely about it.

Are there any bang for the buck models with modestly sized SSD's in this price range?

I'd appreciate any input.
 

dvsman

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 2, 2009
Messages
3,606

Think

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
95

Zarathustra[H]

Extremely [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
33,085
Thank you both for your suggestions!

I've not been keeping up on mobile hardware as of late, but here's a $424.99 open box deal from Newegg. Ryzen 5 2500U / 8gb / 256gb SSD.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834850877R&ignorebbr=1

Here's a review.
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-IdeaPad-330-15-Ryzen-5-2500U-Laptop-Review.329434.0.html

Remember to keep in mind the return policies of refurb/open box deals from any vendor. Good luck!

This looks like a great find for the price. I suggested this one to her.
 

janas19

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
1,797
Why not post in FS/FT? State what you're looking for. A budget laptop for $400 that can play the Sims 4. $400 is a good bit of money for a laptop, so you might find a sweet deal.

I'm a laptop gamer myself and I love Notebookcheck. It has lots of information and benchmarks. I did a search for what laptop hardware is necessary to run the Sims. For non-gaming laptops, Intel HD 4400 (Haswell) graphics are the bare minimum. You get ~ 29 FPS on medium resolution, which imo is the best way to run games. The sweet spot is Intel HD 520 graphics (Skylake). That one gets ~ 45 FPS on medium resolution.

If I were you, I'd definitely post in FS/FT and see what's available. Post the price screen size, SSD capacity, and graphics card (HD 520).

Notebookcheck HD 4400 graphics benchmarks

Notebookcheck HD 520 graphics benchmarks
 
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