Need 3 laptops under $400 each for 13 years who want to play games

Nevar

Honorable
Mar 18, 2012
1
0
10,510
0
1. What is your budget? $400 each - need 3

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 15inch but other sizes can be considered

3. What screen resolution do you want? 1920x1080 would be nice

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? new laptops, space is limit with triplets

5. How much battery life do you need? not sure what is currently available - probably 3 to 6 hours

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)? When asked they said Steam Games... which unfortunately does not narrow it down. I know that all three play Minecraft

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) School work

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? enough for the games; probably 250GB to 1TB

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. last computers came from Walmart. I have bought from new egg and HP in past. Any Reputable site would be considered

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? At least 3 years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?no optical drive needed (they can share an external optical drive if they need one)

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
Need a real laptop, not a tablet, As long as the brand is good, not particular

13. What country do you live in?
US

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I think they can do with 8GB of RAM, maybe even 4GB as long as the RAM is up gradable to at least 16GB
Windows 10 since they want to play games.

The laptops are for my best friends triplets who are turning 13 in June. Their uncle lives close and will be available to fixes. I will be able to help but live in another state.



Appreciate any suggests and help on this search. I usually build my own desktop so have not kept up with new laptops.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
You can buy the following new 15.6" Acer laptop with an 8th generation (current) dual core i3-8130u CPU, 1080p screen, 6GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive for $359 each. That "13.5 hour battery life" is an over estimation; it expect it would be closer to 6 or at most 7 hours when using the laptop for "average daily tasks" which means no games.

https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-i3-8130U-Memory-E5-576-392H/dp/B079TGL2BZ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1527138827&sr=8-2&keywords=acer+i3-7100u


It has the integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics core which is a very minor update to the Intel HD 620 used in 7th generation Intel CPUs. Max clockspeed has been increased by 100MHz, pretty minor, but better than nothing I suppose. It has primarily been revised to be more efficient at playing back 4k videos compared to the Intel HD 620. The Intel UHD 620 can be used to play some games but that depends on how graphically demanding the game is. See link for some benchmarks. For example, Team Fortress 2 is playable at 1920x1080 resolution and medium settings because the game uses Valve's Source Engine which is not graphically demanding.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-UHD-Graphics-620-GPU-Review-Benchmarks-and-Specs.239936.0.html

Right now I am playing Fallout Shelter (originally released to run on the iPhone) on laptop released back in late 2013. The game is running at 1080p resolution using the Intel HD 4400 graphics core that is in 4th generation Intel CPUs. It should have no problems playing Skyrim at 1366x768 and default settings. Though I have tweaked Skyrim to run decently well on my friend's laptop which also has the Intel HD 4400 sometime back in 2015. Though the game was running at 1600x900 instead of 1080p resolution, but at least the was running decently well at mostly 40+ FPS and graphics didn't look bad at all. Though I am not sure you want your kids to play Skyrim since it is rated as Mature 17+ by the ESRB.
 
The only way you're going to get a gaming laptop (with discrete GPU) at that price point is if you find it used. The lowest price I've seen for a new gaming laptop recently was a Newegg eBay deal a couple weeks ago when there was a 15% coupon which dropped the price to $493. That one had a i5-8250U (quad core), 256GB SSD, 1080p screen, and Nvidia MX150 (updated version of the 940m). Pretty good deal for the price. The Acer A515 is the cheapest model which can be configured with Nvidia graphics, so you may want to keep an eye out for sales on it.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Acer-A515-51G-5504-15-6-Laptop-Intel-Core-i5-8th-Gen-8250U-1-60-GHz-8-GB-Memo/292465013015

The Intel integrated GPU in the latest processors (Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake) is pretty good for simple games like Minecraft and Sims, but won't be able to handle any serious modern 3D titles. You'll need at least a 940m/MX150 for that. And you're still going to be stuck playing at 1366x768 and low/med settings for most titles.

For decent gameplay at 1080p, you need at least a 1050, meaning $600+, $500-$600 if you're lucky and find a decent sale.

You can try searching if any store is still trying to get rid of stock of old laptops with a Nvidia 950m or 940m. Those are still decent, and may get you to your $400 price point. (The AMD APUs were a decent step up from Intel integrated graphics when they were first released. But now they're about the same. I wouldn't recommend them.)
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
If only Minecraft, and the use it for school work, I would suggest a Chromebook. Find out exactly what the usage is and what games. My daughter uses my high end gaming system and a few laptops, and all she does is play games that are available in the app store.

Chromebooks are simple to use, many can download apps from the Google Store, not a lot of issues with cost or compatability.

ASUS has some nice tablet/laptop units on the higher end that you will find on the used market for $300 or so.

I have recently used the Google Pixel as a demo from work, and my daughter loved it, but cost for that is about the $1,000 mark. ASUS has a similar model that is half that.
 

Scott_130

Commendable
Dec 29, 2016
36
0
1,590
4
Dell's Inspiron 15 Should do for them with 7th Generation Technology, 8GB Ram and an SSD It should be able to handle Roblox, Minecraft and less demanding game titles. General browsing on youtube and homework should work like a dream on the Core i3
http://outlet.us.dell.com/ArbOnlineSales/Online/SecondaryInventorySearch.aspx?c=us&cs=22&l=en&s=dfh&sign=PXhcOSHtr1T4IOw%2fPR7UdcC3yd%2f5eWFff7vzd4NIKO4JU8EpC0issFf4pu3j3GisDeNZHhzORFTG0eOed4phuIz9faoBSHAVaObRHAg6PloRAxbdLedihtesJ5hadt%2b%2fhtbwRjgX%2fK3T9mTJqxllT0HWhFQv24nZ%2bwXNtKSXckLEk9o3QBHqzjMi5FT%2fcV8CaqhbNgEtXe6isGJ7xRZeGw%3d%3d
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
You can buy the following new 15.6" Acer laptop with an 8th generation (current) dual core i3-8130u CPU, 1080p screen, 6GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive for $359 each. That "13.5 hour battery life" is an over estimation; it expect it would be closer to 6 or at most 7 hours when using the laptop for "average daily tasks" which means no games.

https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-i3-8130U-Memory-E5-576-392H/dp/B079TGL2BZ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1527138827&sr=8-2&keywords=acer+i3-7100u


It has the integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics core which is a very minor update to the Intel HD 620 used in 7th generation Intel CPUs. Max clockspeed has been increased by 100MHz, pretty minor, but better than nothing I suppose. It has primarily been revised to be more efficient at playing back 4k videos compared to the Intel HD 620. The Intel UHD 620 can be used to play some games but that depends on how graphically demanding the game is. See link for some benchmarks. For example, Team Fortress 2 is playable at 1920x1080 resolution and medium settings because the game uses Valve's Source Engine which is not graphically demanding.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-UHD-Graphics-620-GPU-Review-Benchmarks-and-Specs.239936.0.html

Right now I am playing Fallout Shelter (originally released to run on the iPhone) on laptop released back in late 2013. The game is running at 1080p resolution using the Intel HD 4400 graphics core that is in 4th generation Intel CPUs. It should have no problems playing Skyrim at 1366x768 and default settings. Though I have tweaked Skyrim to run decently well on my friend's laptop which also has the Intel HD 4400 sometime back in 2015. Though the game was running at 1600x900 instead of 1080p resolution, but at least the was running decently well at mostly 40+ FPS and graphics didn't look bad at all. Though I am not sure you want your kids to play Skyrim since it is rated as Mature 17+ by the ESRB.
 
Sep 19, 2018
1
0
10
0
Sorry if out of specs but fits the intended purpose.

Consider Nintendo Switch.
Has Minecraft and free Fortnite.
No virus (at least not yet), portable, less headache in maintenance.
 
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