How did I miss this? Thanks for such a detailed reply, zannej, and I apologise for the delayed response. My nephew did end up with a desktop. The capability to upgrade did matter in the end--you're right that laptops are pretty limited in that aspect.thebuilder, are you able to ask your nephew if he would prefer a laptop or a desktop?
From what I've seen laptops tend to be more expensive & have issues with battery life. You can't customize them quite as much as you can a desktop.
There are other options in between though-- All-in-One computers, but you want to make sure they can be upgraded. He'll want something with a mainboard that has an M2 slot for an SSD hard drive (faster than standard hard drives & more stable), a good cooling system, fast processor & good amount of RAM. Not sure what the options are for the All-in-ones but they tend to be pricey.
There are the workstation thingies (not sure exactly what they are called) that are basically like tablets but can work like laptops. Pros: small, lightweight, portable, touch-screen, better battery life than laptops etc-- cons: expensive, can't be customized much, & tend to have lower ram & processor speed & video card.
CyberpowerPC actually builds custom PCs w/ good stats. I've had a few built from them. I used the specs for their computers as a guideline to pick parts to build a desktop computer for my mother recently. Mice got into her old one & ruined everything but the power supply.
Speaking of power supply, if he goes w/ a desktop, he'll want at least 600w (800 or higher gold plus certified would be good).
I digressed... Desktops come in different sizes and there are some cases that even have handles on them so they can be carried. They have full towers, mid-towers, cubes, & other types. With the smaller ones it's important to have good cooling.
Base computer should have 3GHz 6-core or higher processor, 1Tb hard drive (game files take up a lot of space), USB 3.0 or higher, 2Gb or higher video card, 16Gb RAM, & probably a DVD or Blue-ray drive (if the case even has a slot for it). Case should have good ventilation. Mainboard should have at least 4 RAM slots.
My mother's computer has:
RAM: Patriot Viper 4 16GB Kit (2 X 8GB) 3400 MHz (PC4-27200) DDR4
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700 Processor with Wraith Spire LED Cooler
Heatsink: ARCTIC MX-4 2019 Edition
Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix B450
SSD: Crucial P1 1TB 3D NAND NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
It's working well for her thus far. I'm not sure what the video card is bc my friend gave it to us. I have a Radeon RX480 4Gb video card in mine.