I'm helping my brother buy a laptop. He wants the usual: cheap power.


Oct 19, 2011
I'm a knowledgeable desktop builder, and I'm pretty up-to-date on individual components. Unfortunately, I feel completely lost when it comes to picking out laptops. I've spent a few weeks reading websites like NotebookCheck and LaptopMag, but now I've come to you for help.

My brother wants to buy a laptop. The problem with him is that he thinks he can get good performance for under $500. Doubt it. Even some laptops in the $1000 range are going to have issues running Crysis on ultra. Fortunately, I think he understands that he's going to have to settle for less. I'm just trying to figure out how much quality you can get for about $500 or $600.

1. Budget: $500 or $600, not opposed to refurbished.

2. Intended use: Other than the obvious word processing, internet browsing, and media use, he plays League of Legends, Borderlands, and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. He doesn't mind playing on lowest quality settings, he just wants playable framerates. His last laptop only ran League at 18fps. :fou:

3. Screen resolution? I don't think he'll care.

4. Battery life: Somewhere around 5-7 hours would be good.

5. Storage: I'm guessing around 500GB would be fine, he doesn't store too much media on his current laptop. The only thing is, I'm trying to convince him to ditch an optical drive and self-install a 128GB SSD Boot Drive. I've got one on my current desktop, and I can't NOT recommend it. However, we'd probably do the optical/SSD swap ourselves, so don't necessarily factor that into the price of the laptop.

6. Laptop Life: He usually takes good care of his electronics. No dropping them or banging them up and stuff. Therefore, is it feasible to hope for a 3-5 year life out of a laptop?

7. Preferred Brands: NEVER HP. I've had two HP laptops, never again. Instead, I was thinking maybe the Lenovo IdeaPad Z575 or a Toshiba or Asus maybe. I dunno, anything that makes quality instead of crap.

8. What country do you live in? Midwest, USA.

Again, I realize he's hoping for a miracle with a budget of $500-$600, but I'd like to see your suggestions.


Unfortunately the age old saying "wish in one hand and *** in the other, see which one fills up first" holds true here as well (I'm pretty sure it's universal). Most of the sub $900 dollar laptops, including the IdeaPad Z575 won't handle BC2 very well and as a longtime BC2 fan I can't in good faith recommend anything that won't.

Asus has some of the best mid-range gaming laptops available. They will be more than $500-$600 bucks but they do exist. I recall seeing a few Asus laptops that had the 460M or the 560M being on sale recently for around $800, see if you can find those.
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