Please Help Me Decide On Laptop As A Christmas Gift For My Family


Nov 24, 2017
So I am a university student which means I'm obviously on a budget. However, my family back home has been without a laptop for about a year now, and they've been unable to afford a new one. They will be using it daily, but it'll be for light use. (think Facebook, browsing sports news, maybe some Facebook games) However, my sister loves to play Roblox so I want to make sure she can at least run the game (minimum of at least like 30 FPS for her) and I want her to be able to have a laptop for school. The specs of the one I am thinking are:

CPU: Intel Core I5 2520M

GPU:Intel HD Graphics 3000

128 gb SSD

4 GB ram

Price: $280 CAD refurbished

I know the storage size is pretty sketchy, but in general will the laptop fairly smoothly run daily usage, as well as give my sister a decent time on Roblox? It is a Dell laptop, if that matters. Thank you so much in advance to anyone that decides to help, this gift will mean a lot to them. Also, there is another laptop for cheaper that has an i5 3320 and an intel HD graphics 4000, but no SSD just standard hard drive. Would that one be more worth it?


This is going to be a case of "win some - lose some":

Your Dell under consideration may have a fast SSD, but it uses a 2nd gen i5 with an HD 3000 IGP and only has 4GBs of RAM. If you can get your hands on the 3rd gen i5 with the HD 4000 IGP it is certainly the better choice. The difference between the HD 3000 an the HD 4000 is noticeable.

For general web surfing and YouTube videos at 720p these machines should do the job quite comfortably. 1080p is going to be difficult, and watching movies will require some adjustments, too.

As for the Roblox games: I went and signed up on Roblox and downloaded the Hospital game using my 10-year-old ThinkPad T61 running Intel's GMA 965 IGP. This unit outputs something like 300MBs worth of VRAM, and it was horrible!

I then tried the same game on a different PC with a 2GB GTX750 card which, unsurprisingly, made a world of a difference. The upshot of this test is that if your sister wants to play Roblox games, my estimation is that you'll need graphics output between 750MBs and 1GB of VRAM for smooth and pleasant viewing. I'm pretty sure the HD 3000 is too weak, but the HD 4000 just might be able to do the job.

I know you're on a budget, but I'm still going to link this refurbished Lenovo from

At CAD360 it is rather more expensive, but it does come with a 4th gen i5 CPU and that means Intel's HD 4600. This IGP has around 1GB worth of graphics output, which I believe is what you need. RAM is low, but you can add up to 8GBs later on, and it already has a 180GB SSD.

Best of luck to you and your family,
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