Best Laptops Under $400 Budget-Friendly Options

Best Overall
ASUS VivoBook F510UA Thin and Lightweight 15.6" FHD WideView NanoEdge Laptop, Intel Core i5-7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, USB Type-C, Fingerprint Reader, Windows 10 - F510UA-AH50
Newest HP 15 15.6" HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop - Intel Core i5-7200U, 8GB DDR4, 2TB HDD, DVD+RW, HDMI, Webcam, Wi-Fi AC + Bluetooth 4.2, Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45, Windows 10 - Silver
Lenovo Ideapad 15.6" HD High Performance Laptop, AMD A12-9720P Quad core processor 2.7GHz, 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD, DVD, Webcam, WiFi,Bluetooth, Windows 10, Platinum gray
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, Vega 3 Graphics, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode, A515-43-R19L
ASUS Vivobook Flip 14 Thin and Light 2-in-1 Laptop, 14" HD Touchscreen, Intel Quad-Core Pentium N5000 Processor, 4GB DDR4, 128GB eMMC Storage, Windows 10, TP401MA-AB21T
Our Score
8.3
8.0
7.3
7.1
7.0
MSRP
$429.99
$522.00
$397.99
$308.97
$349.99
Processor
Intel Core i5 7200U
Intel Core i5-7200U
AMD A12-9720P
AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
RAM
8GB DDR4
8GB DDR4
8GB DDR4
4GB DDR4
4GB DDR4
Hard Disc
1TB HDD
2 TB HDD
1TB HDD
128GB SSD
128GB eMMC
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 620
Intel HD Graphics 620
AMD Radeon R7
AMD Vega 3
Intel UHD Graphics 605
Display
FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
FHD (1920x1080)
HD (1366x768)
FHD (1920x1080)
FHD (1920x1080)
Weight
3.7 lbs
4.85 lbs
5.07 lbs
4.2 lbs
3.3 lbs
Best Overall
ASUS VivoBook F510UA Thin and Lightweight 15.6" FHD WideView NanoEdge Laptop, Intel Core i5-7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, USB Type-C, Fingerprint Reader, Windows 10 - F510UA-AH50
Our Score
8.3
MSRP
$429.99
Processor
Intel Core i5 7200U
RAM
8GB DDR4
Hard Disc
1TB HDD
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 620
Display
FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
Weight
3.7 lbs
More Information
Newest HP 15 15.6" HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop - Intel Core i5-7200U, 8GB DDR4, 2TB HDD, DVD+RW, HDMI, Webcam, Wi-Fi AC + Bluetooth 4.2, Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45, Windows 10 - Silver
Our Score
8.0
MSRP
$522.00
Processor
Intel Core i5-7200U
RAM
8GB DDR4
Hard Disc
2 TB HDD
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 620
Display
FHD (1920x1080)
Weight
4.85 lbs
More Information
Lenovo Ideapad 15.6" HD High Performance Laptop, AMD A12-9720P Quad core processor 2.7GHz, 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD, DVD, Webcam, WiFi,Bluetooth, Windows 10, Platinum gray
Our Score
7.3
MSRP
$397.99
Processor
AMD A12-9720P
RAM
8GB DDR4
Hard Disc
1TB HDD
Graphics
AMD Radeon R7
Display
HD (1366x768)
Weight
5.07 lbs
More Information
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, Vega 3 Graphics, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode, A515-43-R19L
Our Score
7.1
MSRP
$308.97
Processor
AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
RAM
4GB DDR4
Hard Disc
128GB SSD
Graphics
AMD Vega 3
Display
FHD (1920x1080)
Weight
4.2 lbs
More Information
ASUS Vivobook Flip 14 Thin and Light 2-in-1 Laptop, 14" HD Touchscreen, Intel Quad-Core Pentium N5000 Processor, 4GB DDR4, 128GB eMMC Storage, Windows 10, TP401MA-AB21T
Our Score
7.0
MSRP
$349.99
Processor
AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
RAM
4GB DDR4
Hard Disc
128GB eMMC
Graphics
Intel UHD Graphics 605
Display
FHD (1920x1080)
Weight
3.3 lbs
More Information

It’s a myth that you need to spend a lot of money in order to get a laptop that will give you all the important features you need, whether for your work requirements, studies, or Netflix obsession. 

You can find the best laptops under $400: budget-friendly options don’t mean subpar status!

What should you look for in the best laptop under 400? Some of the most important features include a decently-sized screen, good processor, 8GB of RAM and storage space other than a hard drive. 

But, just because you’re not spending a lot of money, it doesn’t mean you can’t get some extra features too.

It’s really about what you need from a laptop that matters. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best laptops under $400: budget-friendly options.

#1​ Asus VivoBook

ASUS VivoBook F510UA Review

This one might seem a little sneaky because it costs $500 on Amazon, but it’s worth the extra money to get everything you need. 

In addition, you can get discounts on Amazon that can make it even more affordable.

Pros

  • The laptop screen has a 0.3-inch NanoEdge bezel to make your screen look larger and brighter. It actually fits a 15.6-inch display into its 14-inch frame!
  • It’s thin and easy to carry around as it weighs under four pounds.
  • It makes use of ASUS Tru2Life Video technology to make videos you play on it look much more realistic. It also uses algorithms to increase contrast and sharpness by up to 150 percent.

Cons

  • The keyboard doesn’t have a backlight, which is a small point but can be frustrating if you’re working in a dark room. This is also a feature that we’ve come to consider as standard in computers, so not having it is a bit of a letdown.

Extra features

  • It gives you many ports to use, such as USB 3.1 Type C, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI

Buying Guide

The Asus VivoBook costs $500.

It will give you everything you need, while adding a few nice touches, such as extra ports and an excellent screen, so it’s the best $500 laptop you can find.

#2​ Newest HP 15 15.6″ HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop

Newest HP 15 Review

This is a laptop that offers good performance, plus it’s touchscreen-enabled, which is a nice touch for a budget-friendly laptop.

Pros

  • It’s got great processing speeds, making it quick and easy to do downloads and complete your daily tasks.

Cons

  • If you’re hoping to turn this laptop into a gaming device, it’s worth knowing that some new-release games will have to be played on lower settings as this laptop doesn’t meet their requirements.

Extra features

  • It looks stylish, with its black and silver finish.
  • It’s got high-quality HD audio.

Buying Guide

You’ll get this laptop for $450 on Amazon, and it’s equipped with the basics you need.

So, it might not be one of the best laptops under 400 dollars, but you don’t have to pay much more to reap its solid benefits.

#3 Lenovo Ideapad 15.6″ HD High Performance Laptop

Lenovo Ideapad 15.6 Review

The HP Onyx Blizzard has a sleek black design that doesn’t make it seem like a gaming laptop.

But it’s got great features that every gamer will appreciate.

Pros

  • It’s got an AMD processor that enables the machine to be fast and efficient, especially when you’re loading things from an SSD.
  • It’s got excellent HDD storage capacity – 1TB’s worth, which rivals other laptops in this buying guide.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a very good battery life. You might get around two hours of juice when it’s not plugged into a power source.

Extra features

  • This laptop can be easily upgraded because features such as its DVD drive and HDD can all be easily accessed and even removed.

Buying Guide

You can get the Lenovo Ideapad laptop for $389, which makes it highly affordable and the cheapest budget laptop on this list so far. 

While it’s quite a bit less expensive than other laptops, this laptop under 400 dollars doesn’t miss out on important features. 

Okay, so it doesn’t offer anything too fancy, but it definitely ticks all the boxes for being a solid device.

#4 Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

This laptop is proof that you can get a powerful budget-friendly laptop.

Pros

  • It has an excellent screen, thanks to its thin bezel and IPS display. It makes use of Acer Color Intelligence to keep colors looking sharp and rich.
  • You get up to five (if not more) hours of battery life, so it is a laptop that you can use when you’re on the move.
  • It’s fast enough to do a variety of tasks, such as daily work, surfing the internet, and streaming videos.

Cons

  • When it comes to RAM, this laptop does fall short – it only offers 4GB, which is a disappointment considering many budget laptops will have at least 8GB. However, there is an extra SATA slot for storage.
  • It doesn’t have CAPS Lock and Numeric Key Lock indicator lights.

Extra features

  • The keyboard is backlit, which is a nice touch that doesn’t feature on all budget-friendly laptops.

Buying Guide

This Acer laptop costs $349.99. 

It’s definitely one of the best laptops under 400, and can compete with more expensive models, thanks to its various features. 

Some of the most noteworthy ones include its screen and fast processing speeds.

#5 Asus Vivobook Flip 14 Thin and Light 2-in-1 Laptop

Asus Vivobook Flip 14 Review

Asus makes the list again! 

If you think that a budget laptop can’t go the distance and give you lots of extra features and frills, then you haven’t come across the Asus Vivobook Flip.

Pros

  • This is another example of a best computer under 400 that brings screen advantages to the table. With its NanoEdge HD wide view technology, it enables you to view the screen by up to 178 degrees, so it’s perfect for when you want to watch videos or play games.
  • You can use this laptop in more than one way, which makes it highly versatile for its price. Basically, you can view it in tablet, tent, stand, or laptop mode, depending on what you want to do with it. “Tent” means you can place it in an upside-down “V” shape, such as when watching movies. Since it’s got a touchscreen on the back of its cover, you can easily prop it up for comfortable viewing, such as when doing presentations.
  • It’s got an accurate touchscreen that has touch sensors on it which are spaced at 0.6cm intervals. This ensures more precision when pressing the screen.

Cons

  • Its ports are a little odd. As Laptop mag reports, it has a micro-USB 2.0 port which isn’t usual for a laptop and although Asus has explained that this port is used for data transfer with mobile devices, the mag points out that no one really uses a micro-USB to micro-USB cable.
  • It’s got a poor webcam. This is a bit of a disappointment if you want to use the cool flipping mechanism during video chats.

Extra features

  • The VivoBook Flip has a fanless design that prevents noisiness, even when you’re using it at full power. This prevents disturbances, whether you’re working or watching movies on it.
  • At just 3.3 pounds, it’s the lightest laptop in this buying guide!

Buying Guide

The Asus Vivobook Flip costs $350.

It’s budget-friendly, works well, and offers you many of the perks that you’d usually find on more expensive laptops.

It also looks good with its sleek black and grey design. It’s definitely one of the best 2 in 1 laptops under 400.

Laptops under $400 FAQ

What can you expect from laptops under $400?

You might be pleasantly surprised to discover that a laptop under $400 doesn’t have to offer the bare minimum.

These days, you can find a solid, efficient machine for under $400 without it being low on quality. But that’s not all.

As can be seen in the laptops that are featured in this buying guide, many budget-friendly laptops have extra features that you might not expect them to have because of their competitive price tags.

For example, greater attention to larger, crystal-clear screens is something manufacturers are paying more attention to, even in their lower-budget models.

Another important extra feature that’s cropping up a lot in laptops under $500 is quality processors that enable faster, more efficient performance.

In addition, other extras can almost be expected in lower-budget but quality laptops. 

These include the presence of ports and a good battery life, which are included – and are really nice perks – in some of the laptops in our buying guide.

What kind of games can you play for under $400?

Many laptops that you can purchase for under $400 have gaming capabilities, but they’re a bit limited. This is due to their GPUs but other features too, such as their limited storage. Let’s take a look at the laptops mentioned in this buying guide to see how they fare when playing games.

Asus VivoBook

It’s got specs that make it useful as a gaming laptop. This is thanks to its 1TB hard disk drive that makes saving games easy.

This laptop also makes use of a graphics processor that has a dual-channel RAM – this means better output.

However, while it’s certainly possible to play some games at low settings, you can’t run games that are heavy on the device’s hardware.

Bottom line: It’s not a machine made for gaming, so you should avoid games that need a lot of power, or at least play them on lower settings, such as some Assassin’s Creed games, Grand Theft Auto V, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Newest HP 15

This laptop has the same GPU as the Asus VivoBook (Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620), and this graphics card does run a little short when it comes to newer games that are on the market.

However, by working with lower settings, you can still play games like Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto V, making it a worthwhile gaming laptop under 400.

Lenovo Ideapad

While it has enough RAM, it falls a bit short when running newer games due to its graphics card and processor, but you can play new games on lower settings so it can still be seen as the best gaming laptop under 400 dollars – if you’re a mild gamer, though.

If you’re serious about games and you want all the extra frills in a gaming laptop, you should opt for something else like our guide to Best Gaming Laptops Under $700.

Acer Aspire

You can play games on this laptop, but they shouldn’t be too intensive as the laptop’s features won’t be able to handle it.

It only has 4GB, after all, which means that many games you want to play on it won’t run effectively.

Asus VivoBook Flip

This laptop’s graphics can only handle web-based or less intensive games, and they should be played at lower settings.

It has Intel UHD Graphics 605, which offers low-end performance in games and won’t be good enough for newer games.

In this case, a $400 gaming laptop might not offer exactly what you need, but it should suffice if you’re okay with playing games at lower settings.

Is it better to buy a new laptop for under $400 or used one?

If you’re in the market for a new laptop, you might wonder if you should purchase a new or used product. 

It really depends on your personal preferences, but there are some important things to note about used laptops.

  • Used laptops are usually the cheapest ones to buy, but they don’t come with any guarantees.
  • It’s important to realize that there’s a reason why the previous owner of the laptop wanted to sell it. It could’ve been giving them trouble, for instance. It’s actually quite rare for someone to sell their laptop because they wanted to get something better. There’s usually another reason for it.
  • Even if the used laptop doesn’t have major problems, you never really know what you’re dealing with until you purchase it and use it for a few weeks. But that’s risky, bearing in mind that buying a used laptop via a third party means you will have no support if there happens to be a problem with the machine.
  • If you want to go ahead with purchasing a used laptop, consider that you should never purchase something that doesn’t come with a warranty. Also avoid purchasing a used laptop online, because it’s better to inspect it in person – and bring a friend who’s a computer expert with you. Check the screen for any damage, try the keyboard to make sure all the keys work, check the ports, any CD drives, and the audio. Basically, inspect it thoroughly before purchasing it.

Conclusion

Buying a laptop that’s budget-friendly and has everything you need on it doesn’t have to be an impossible mission. You can certainly find a laptop that’s not expensive and can cater to all your requirements.

However, there are some important things to look out for when purchasing a new laptop, such as when it comes to its processor, storage capability, and screen. 

There are also other things that you might want to pay attention to, such as how versatile and efficient it will be for your daily tasks.

And, that’s actually the most important thing to ask yourself when shopping for a cheap laptop: Will it have the most important specs that you’ll need, based on what you’re hoping to use it for?

Whether you’re keen to purchase a laptop for work or you’re looking for the best laptops for college students under 400, you can definitely find what you’re looking for in our buying guide.

Last update on 2019-11-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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