After posting several related threads looking for laptop advice I think I might have found something that will suit the bill.
the key issue was finding a lappy that was going to fit a very tight budget but that would have the graphics capability to play SIMS3.
Budget very limited due to being something my daughter could buy with her £300 national savings with a little bit of top up from her cash strapped parents!
Having found several possibles that I came here for advice on, which I subsequently rejected,I then used the notebookcheck.net website that a member recommended.
This proved a very useful resource as it provides advice on which Graphics Cards are capable of playing a range of games, including Sims3.
Using this I then searched for laptops against the handful of graphics cards that could handle Sims3. In particular the ATI Mobility Radeon 4570.
As a result I have opted for the Toshiba L500D-16L
Spec highlights are as follows
15.4” HD TFT 1366 x 768
2.00Ghz AMD Athlon II Dual-Core M300
2nd level cache : 512 KB
4GB DDR2 RAM (800 MHz)
500GB 5,400 RPM Serial ATA 2
DVD Super Multi (Double Layer) drive
Windows 7 Home Premium
Wireless LAN 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570
24-bit stereo built-in stereo speaker
Normally a £400 to £500 laptop I can pick up an Official Toshiba refurbished for £351 delivered.
So, thanks to the helpful advice from members here I have been able to delay making a hasty and unsuitable purchase and with a bit of patience and research found something within budget that will do the job whilst also having a generous specification all round.