~500USD budget laptops, recommendations?

Hello level1tech forum.

My partner is looking to buy a new (but cheaper) laptop and I’m trying to help in looking at options. The budget is kind of 4500 SEK (~500 USD) and I’ve been looking at some of the ryzen 3 3250U laptops available here in Sweden. The laptop will mainly be used for youtube and web browsing but I’ve heard wishes of maybe being able to play some minecraft, civ 6 and/or Sims 4.

The models i’ve been looking at as options (acer aspire 3 and lenovo ideapad 3) come with 4 GB of RAM installed but we are not opposed to add in more later (when we can afford it).

My question is if we could expect the 3250U to keep up with any of these games? Or maybe there are some better options in our price range we should consider.

Best regards

PS I hope this subforum is the one best suited to this question, I’m not around this forum that actively hehe heh he :blush:

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If you want to play games for $500, get a used desktop. If you want something portable, get a tablet.

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Just at a little over 500 bucks there are HP Pavilion laptops with the R5 3500U which should be much faster. And if you care about speaker quality, they are great. I have a 13 inch Intel-based Pavilion from 2018 though.

We’re looking for something portable that might run some games to complement our household desktop, we’d like to play minecraft together and my partner talked about being able to bring it to their parents place in the future.

The cheapest pavilion with the 3500U I could find available to us is more than 800USD, there are however a Lenovo IdeaPad with that processor closer to our budget.

Time dependent tho

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I have a Lenovo Flex 14 with R5 3500U and I like this recommendation except it only has 4 + 4 GB RAM. This will not be enough for Sims 4 on Windows 10 iirc

Screenshot_2020-07-19 Lenovo Laptop V14 ARE 82DQ000PUS 8 GB 4 plus 4

I have a 3200u and ram upgrade should be done to all ryzen u laptop apu’s due to the way the gpu side uses the ram . It can be made into something decent with ram upgrade and faster larger nvme. Cheap enough easy enough upgrades for the most part. Also the best shake you are gonna get at a 500 dollar budget. .ish

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Yes, I have 8 + 4 but I’d recommend 16 + 4 at this point if they do any gaming.

Shame this likely means single channel but it is more important to not swap I think.

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Depends on whether or not it is soldered in or not…Been trying to find something concrete.


Ah …crying shame :frowning: Why would you hobble amd platform like this ?

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Thanks for the replies. I haven’t been able to find a lot of information on the ryzen laptop processors but it sounds like either the 3250U or the 3500U should do an okay job in this budget (especially after a ram upgrade), have I read that correctly?

Above budget but has a beast of a processor w/ decent sized nvme. Major down side is 8gb soldered (and non expandable from what I can find) RAM. Still, can probably do what you want out of the box. Dunno about availability in EU tho.

Yes…you are going to want to upgrade the ram in this price point on ryzen apu laptops. These laptops are not really gaming machine per say at low budget. They can be okay playing older games that are not as demanding. Pay attention to the display type and nit measurement.


My partner have made their purchase now. They found a return/resell/something Lenovo S340 with the 3500U, 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD. It fit neatly enough in our budget that they can afford more RAM at the end of next month.

I’ll reuse this thread for some more questions as some suggestions already have appeared here.

The place they bought it at listed the maximum RAM as 8 + 4GB but looking around some people on YouTube seem to put in 16 + 4 GB in this model. Is that something that would just work or will they be stuck with a maximum of 12 total?