£500 Laptop/Notebook that can handle gaming?

  FreddyNoFriends 23:51 22 Jun 06

Hi all.
I'm looking for a laptop for my 11yr old with a half decent graphics card that can handle fairly recent games, such as Sims2, Call of Duty, that kind of thing.
I also want it to be able to surf the net, preferably wirelessly, and be able to store a reasonable number of pictures (60-80Gb HD?)
I'm not bothered about bundled software as I have most of what she'll need already, though I guess XP is a must.
The problem is my budget for this is about £500.
Can anyone recommend a reasonable laptop at this price?

  PUNKA 07:33 23 Jun 06

Try laptops direct.

  wee eddie 07:46 23 Jun 06

Double your budget, at the very least.

It is only recently that notebooks have made any impression on the gaming fraternity and those with graphics cards are among the upper echelons.

Most have on-board graphics and will only handle simple stuff.

  rmcqua 08:44 23 Jun 06

You're not going to be able to find a laptop that will cope with modern games for that budget, I'm afraid.

  FreddyNoFriends 19:40 23 Jun 06

Thanks for the replies. Is it easy enough to install a graphics card in a laptop? I know my way around desktops but have never owned a latop. If it's easy, I may buy a good laptop and save up for a decent graphics card...

  wee eddie 20:03 23 Jun 06

No space

  wolfie3000 20:07 23 Jun 06

Best to up your budget to at least £1000 for a laptop that will play Call of duty even then you will need to lower the settings in game to play it properly,

As for adding a new gfx card to a laptop its nearly impossible im affraid.

  Totally-braindead 20:32 23 Jun 06

Laptops are not upgradable (apart from a couple of very expensive £1500+ ones) apart from adding more memory. For the budget you have you can a decent laptop that will be able to do anything but will not play the latest games.
I'm a bit of a gamer and because of that I would not consider a laptop. Sorry but thats the way of it I'm afraid. Even supposing you doubled your budget I can virtually guarantee that in 6 months time there will be a game brought out that that will not run on even that.
If you have a decent desktop, buy a cheap laptop if you wish and use the leftover cash to get a good graphics card for the desktop.

  FreddyNoFriends 20:45 23 Jun 06

Hmmm. Guess I'll have to have a re-think and maybe go for a desktop instead.
Thanks for all the excellent advice.

  Q-Bie 12:28 26 Jun 06

I have an Acer Aspire 3023 which I bought from eBuyer about 4 months ago for £640.. It has a Radeon X700 Graphics card in and plays most games pretty well.

I mainly use it to play World of Warcraft and I must say it copes with it pretty well.


If your son wants it mainly for gaming I think a desktop will be a more suitable route. You will get a much better spec for £500 and the possibility of upgrading it in the future.

It's nice to be able to lie in bed and chat on MSN with a laptop but realistically an 11 year old won't really benefit much from the portability of a laptop unless you travel a lot. I find most children that want laptops instead of desktops only want them for the fashion status.

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