I'm looking for a lap top for my 12 year old middle schooler. He'll likely use it from homework (papers, slideshows, some photos), web browsing and probably some gaming (the home PC is a old Pentium XP that runs old games fine but is too slow for , say, Oblivion). He'll keep it in the house, I expect so battery life and portability aren't big concerns. I hope he can use it into high school for work so some reliability would be nice. I'd love to get it for $500 or less, if that's possible.
I found the Lenovo Ideapad U400 at New Egg marked down to 500 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... It has only a 14" screen though.
is the 14-15.5" a big difference in user experience?
Any sugggestions on brands, models?
For schoolwork / home entertainment it should get the work done over the next five years.
If there is a need to run more demanding games at higher graphics settings - that will be the area where it might not remain suitable over the next 5 years.