On the graphics on both the 1st and 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors with IGP (Intergraded Graphic Processor) they will allow you to set the amount of system memory dedicated to the running the graphics. The maximum amount that can be dedicated to the graphics is 1.7 GB. For more information on the Intel HD 2000/3000 you can check out this site http://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/quick-reference-guide-to-intel-processor-graphics/.
So yes it is possible that your friend got a laptop with a new I5 with 1.5GB of memory for video.
Intel Enthusiast Team