Laptop for High School - Budget $650

My nieces need new laptops for School (Year 8) under $650. They play minecraft, roblox ect. I've found the two below

Acer Aspire 3 15.6-inch i3-N305/16GB/512GB - Blue $597

Acer Aspire 5 i5 16GB 512GB SSD 15.6" Notebook NX.AT2SA.002 Comes down to $634

Would the Aspire 5 with the dedicated graphics be worth it over the 3? Any better out there under $650?


  • Acer Aspire 5 for sure. i5 Processor.

  • +9

    Really should be looking at more portable laptops. 13~14inch strongly recommended.

    Video game performance should really be deprioritized, low-end discrete graphics cards nowadays can be matched by AMD Ryzen APU's — a Ryzen 5 APU can run Minecraft and Roblox comfortably. Having Discrete graphics cards also means you get less battery life too, and additional bulk that you have to carry around.

    Take a look at the MSI modern 14 series (they're usually in the sub $800 range, as low as $650). If you want to spend even less perhaps even grab a refurbished ex-corporate Lenovo Thinkpad (X series or T480s series)

    • or Dell 73-series or HP Elitebook …

    • Always wondered, how to find genuine sellers of ex corporate devices? Any recommendations ?

      • Lots of refurb sellers on ebay, just stick with the sellers that have close to 100% feedback, have high sales volumes (look at their seller profile / star ratings) and have been running for at least more than a few years. If item is SNAD you at least have ebay money back guarantee to fall back on.

  • Does your school have a BYOD spec?

    • Just 8GB and 256GB HDD no mention of processor.

      She wants something that will hopefully last them 3-4 years.

      • +1

        Sure they don't need a Chromebook?

        • +1

          Windows or Mac

          • @Trueno: Do they have iPhones and iPads already? That would swing you to Mac

            • @sumyungguy: OP does have a $650 budget though.

              • +1

                @CrispyChrispy: I was thinking pre-owned MacBook Air 13-inch, but acknowledge OP may prefer new. And if they don't have the other devices of course there's no need

  • OP just be aware that acer aspire is bottom of the barrel quality, annoying to use, touch pad and keyboard missed strokes, hinges may break early, cheaply made parts etc

Login or Join to leave a comment