The Best LAPTOPS UNDER $400 in 2020 (Updated)

BEST Overall

asus vivobook 15 review

Asus Vivobook 15

BEST GAMING

Lenovo Ideapad S145 review

Lenovo Ideapad S145

BEST BUDGET

Acer-Aspire-5-A515-52-A515-52G-main

Acer Aspire 5 Slim

top 10 laptops under 400 dollars

You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a good, functioning laptop!

Although, indeed, a laptop under 400 will not be as powerful as a
17 inch huge gaming laptop, but if you are planning to use it for travelling or simple office work, maybe watching movies, these laptops for cheap work just fine!

Finding the best laptop for cheap is a hard task, this is especially true if you are on a budget and want to make every single dollar you spent count.

There are so many budget gaming laptops out there to choose from that it can be a hard task to narrow down the best ones, that you want and meets your specific needs.

In this article we are going to be breaking down the 10 best laptops under $400, to help you choose the right one.

Whether you are looking for a 2 in 1 budget laptop or a 15.6 inch laptop to do some work, we are going to be showing you the best ones in this $400 price range!

(Just as a side note, keep in mind that laptop prices often fluctuate, so if a laptop on this list costs more than $400, then it means that the price went up a little.)

1. Best Laptop Under 400: Asus Vivobook 15

Specs SUMMARY

CPU

 AMD Ryzen 5 3500u

GPU

AMD Radeon Vega 3

Storage

 256 GB NVMe SSD

RAM

8 GB DDR4

Display

15.6" inch 1080P IPS Display

The Asus Vivobook 15 is the best laptop you can wish for at the $400 price mark.


The laptop comes with a 15.6" inch 1080P IPS Display, which could be a little brighter, but at this price point, we couldn't ask for more.

screen asus vivobook 15


The display quality, however, is very sharp and niche and because it is an IPS screen, it has decent viewing angles.


This laptop 15 has an AMD Ryzen 5 3500u processor, 8 GBs of DDR4 ram and 256 gigabytes of space on an NVMe SSD. However, if you would like to upgrade the SSD or the RAM, you have some upgrade options and the laptop is not hard to take apart at all.


You just simply take off the bottom panel and you can swap out the storage and the RAM.

Like the Asus Vivobook 15? We've got you covered.

Although it is important to keep in mind that there are four gigabytes of ram soldered onto the motherboard and one additional slot where you can put more RAM in. If you were to put in an 8 GB RAM module, you can get up to 12 GBs total.


The laptop weighs about 1.75 Kgs, which makes it easy to carry around, but it is a little bit heavier than most of the laptops under 400.


The battery life on the laptop is around 6 hours, if you use it lightly, if you plan on gaming or doing some power demanding tasks, that is going to be less.


The build quality of the laptop is pretty awesome. The house is all plastic, but it definitely has a good feel to it. It also has little plastic pieces that will angle the keyboard up at you a little bit, when you tilt the display.


The backlit keyboard has a very nice touch to it, they did include a Numpad which is pretty essential to some people.


The trackpad although is a little spongy on the side, it is decent and accurate as well. It has a fingerprint sensor built into it, which you can use to log into your operating system.


On the side of the laptop, you can find several USB 2.0 ports, one USB C port and one micro SD card slot.

The Asus Vivobook 15 is the best laptop under 400 you can choose, if you are looking for a machine that can easily handle web browsing, Microsoft Office, watching movies.


If you are planning on gaming with this laptop, I will let you know that it does provide a somewhat decent gaming experience, much better than most of the budget laptops!

Pros

  • Very Good Display
  • Great Upgradeability
  • Good Performance
  • Astonishing Design

Cons

  • Spongy Trackpad

Specs SUMMARY

CPU

AMD Ryzen 3 3200U

GPU

AMD Radeon Vega 3

Storage

 128 GB NVMe SSD

RAM

4 GB DDR4

Display

15.6" inch 1080P IPS Display

As we are speaking, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim is the best selling budget laptop on Amazon, according to their ranking system.


This laptop has a Ryzen 3 3200U processor and comes with 4GBs DDR4 RAM.


We also have a 128 GB NVME SSD which provides a good load up speed.


The construction quality of this laptop is pretty fine. It is made out of aluminium and it is as sturdy as you need it to be. Nothing about the laptop screams that it is a budget laptop.

Like the Aspire 5 Slim? We've got you covered.

acer aspire 5 screen

The display of this great laptop shot by UFD Tech.

It has a little bit less of ports than usual, we have one Ethernet, one HDMI, one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports. It doesn't have a USB Type C connector.


The laptop has a lot of future proof room in it, as you can upgrade it to 32 GBs of ram and there is also room for an extra two and a half inch SSD or hard drive.


The display is a 15.6 inch IPS screen which offers great viewing angles and sharpness.


The laptop has a white backlit keyboard and it is completely fine, however, they have tried to squish a Numpad into this 15.6" frame, which makes it a little tight.


On the battery life side, we have at least six hours of normal use and roughly eight hours of battery if you are trying to preserve it.


Unfortunately, this laptop comes with a lot of Acers' bloatware and several gigabytes of addons, which you just don't need and should remove.


Overall, if you are looking for a cheap laptop that is upgradable the Acer Aspire 5 Slim is definitely worth the price. The only downside is that it has a lot of bloatware installed, which can be a hassle to uninstall.

Pros

  • Great Performance and Load Up Speed
  • Good Build Quality
  • IPS Display

Cons

  • Lot of Bloatware
  • Tight Keyboard

Specs SUMMARY

CPU

AMD Dual-Core A4-9120

GPU

AMD Radeon R4 GPU

Storage

 32 GB eMMC

RAM

4 GB DDR4

Display

14" inch Full HD Display

The HP Chromebook 14 if an affordable chrome book, powered by an AMD Processor.


Let's talk about build quality first. The laptop is fully plastic and doesn't have any metal or aluminium parts. Fortunately, this doesn't make it feel cheap or terrible, people at HP worked hard to make it firm and well put together.


The laptop is pretty slim and portable, which makes it easy to carry around. It does come with the preinstalled operating system, Chrome OS. 

Like the Eluktronics PA71? We've got you covered.

Although the keyboard is not backlit, it feels pretty nice and the trackpad is accurate as well, just like we would have expected from HP.


On the side, we get two USB A ports, two USB Type C ports and a Micro SD card slot.


The base model of the HP Chromebook comes with 32 GBs of eMMC Storage, 4 GBs of DDR4 RAM and the AMD A4 processor. It has a built-in AMD R3 Graphics Processor, which is not terrible but not too great either.


The display is an 1366 by 768 14 inch HD screen, which is a bit dim and blurry, but it is perfectly fine for an average user. The viewing angles are not too great.


The battery life on the HP Chromebook 14 is very good, you can easily get out at least 8 to 10 hours of battery life with mixed-use.


Overall the HP Chromebook 14 is a cheap laptop that is perfect for office work and work that involves a lot of travelling, but we wouldn't recommend it for watching movies or editing pictures as the display is not the best quality.

Pros

  • Slim and Portable
  • It's fast with the Chrome OS

Cons

  • All Plastic
  • Small Storage
  • Dim Display

4. Best Portability: Samsung Chromebook 4

Specs SUMMARY

CPU

Intel Celeron Processor N4000

GPU

Integrated

Storage

 32 GB eMMC

RAM

4 GB DDR4

Display

15.6" inch 1080P Full HD Display

The Samsung Chromebook 4 is one of the best laptops you can pick up under $400.


Powering the Samsung Chromebook 4 is a Dual Core - Dual Thread Intel Celeron 1.1 GHz Processor, which can boost up to 2.6 GHz.


This processor runs the Chrome OS Operating system incredibly efficiently. Unfortunately, storage we don't get a lot, as this laptop only has 32GBs of storage, or 64GBs if you decide to upgrade.


The build quality and the design is something you would expect a thousand dollar laptop to look like, it is also very lightweight coming in at just 3.75 pounds.


Unfortunately, the display was where Samsung decided to cut costs, as they are using a cheaper TN panel, which offers bad viewing angles and colour accuracy.


Given that, the display is a 15.6 Inch 1080P (Full HD) anti-glare screen which makes it good for indoor purposes.

Like the Chromebook 14? We've got you covered.

The keyboard on the laptop is pretty decent with a nice click to it, unfortunately, the trackpad doesn't have the best precision, but the gesture recognition works very well.


On the side of the laptop, we get two USB Type C ports and one USB 3.0 port.


The battery life, just like for most of the Chromebooks we have reviewed in this article is around 10 hours easily.


Overall, as long as you're aware of the limitations, the Chromebook for plus makes a great choice for an entry-level laptop at a really low price. The design and build quality are awesome, the screen is the only weakness of this laptop.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Build Quality

Cons

  • Bad Viewing Angles and Colour Accuracy
  • Small Storage (34GB or 64 GB)

5. BEST FOR STUDENTS: Lenovo 100E Chromebook

Specs SUMMARY

CPU

MediaTek™ 8173C

GPU

Integrated

Storage

32GB eMMC

RAM

4 GB LPDDR3

Display

11.6" inch 720P Display

Lenovo is not a new name when it comes to making laptops.


The Lenovo 100E is an entry-level Chromebook, which is capable of handling easy tasks, like editing documents. It is not a powerhouse, so you won't be gaming with this laptop.


With that said, you can't get laptops cheaper than this!


It comes with a MediaTek™ 8173C 2.1 GHz processor, which is specifically made for Chromebooks, 4 GBs of LPDDR3 ram and 32 GBs eMMC of hard drive space.


The laptop is about 2.7 pounds and it has an 11.6 inch display at a 720P resolution. Unfortunately, it is not an IPS screen, so the screen doesn't have very great view angles, but we can't expect that at this price range.


Although it is a Chromebook, it does not feature a touchscreen display, which would be very handy when downloading apps from the Google Store.


Although the laptop opens all the way flat, it is not a 360 degree Chromebook.

Like the Lenovo 100E? We've got you covered.

screen of the lenovo 100e chromebook

A quick overview of the small and compact screen of the laptop, shot by Quick Tech Reviews.

It has a pretty decent battery life which is around 10 hours. As the hardware is not that strong and you can't use it for gaming, rendering or any power-intensive tasks you can use it for almost half a day without having to charge again.


The build quality of this laptop is pretty good. It is very light and durable, even though it is mostly plastic. It has a brushed aluminium type finish.


The keyboard feels nice, has a deep press even though it is not that quiet.


On the sides you have a USB port, Type C Charging Port, SD Card Slot a Jack and an HDMI port.


If you are a student or just looking at the best budget laptops for your needs, this could be a potentially good choice, especially at this price, under $400.

Pros

  • Touchscreen Display
  • Decent Battery Life

Cons

  • Small Storage (34 GB)

6. BEST FOR GAMING: Lenovo Ideapad S145

Specs SUMMARY

CPU

Ryzen 5 3500U

GPU

Vega 8 Integrated Graphics

Storage

256 GB M.2

RAM

8 GB DDR4

Display

15.6" inch 1080P Display

The Lenovo Ideapad S145 has pretty impressive specs for its price tag.


This laptop is rocking a Ryzen 5 3500U processor, which operated at 2.1 GHz with Vega 8 Integrated Graphics.

The Lenovo Ideapad comes with 8 GBs of DDR4 ram of which one is soldered onto the motherboard, the other is removable and upgradeable.


As a hard drive, it has a 256GB M.2 drive, with space for an additional SSD or HDD.


On the side, it has 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 1 USB 2.0 Port, an HDMI port and an SD Card Reader.


The build quality is fine, the laptop is all hard plastic with only the screen flexing a little bit.

Like the Lenovo Ideapad S145? We've got you covered.

screen of the lenovo s145

The Display is a 15.6 Inch 1080P TN Panel, which unfortunately isn't the best, given that TN panels have awful viewing angles. Given that, it is a laptop so most likely you wouldn't be looking at it from many angles.


The colour of the display is not too great.


The keyboard is not backlit, however, it is a full-sized keyboard with a Numpad and it feels pretty nice to type on with being a laptop cheap.


The trackpad, on the other hand, is not too accurate, so you are better off just using a mouse with the Lenovo Ideapad S145.


The battery life is somewhere between 4-6 hours in balance mode, but you can stretch that out by lowering the screen brightness and not using power demanding software.


Overall, this 15.6 inch laptop does everything you need it to do, and it is especially a killer laptop for students. Although it is not a gaming laptop, it can run recent games at an average 30-40 FPS and doesn't have any problems with older games.


If you are looking for the best laptops under 400, we recommend swiping this up, but if you can go longer without needing a budget laptop, then we would recommend seeing what comes out of the 4000 series. 

Pros

  • Great Performance
  • M.2 Drive

Cons

  • Awful Viewing Angles (TN Panel)
  • Inaccurate trackpad

7. BEST WITH SSD: Dell Inspiron 15 3000

Specs SUMMARY

CPU

10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 Processor

GPU

Intel UHD Graphics

Storage

128 GB SSD

RAM

8 GB DDR4

Display

15.6" inch Touchscreen HD Display

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is the perfect budget laptop if you are a student, travel to work a lot or just looking for a laptop that is easy to carry around but at the same time, it has some juice.


Inside the Dell Inspiron is a 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 Processor (Double Core), which runs at 1.2 GHz, but can boost up to 3.4 GHz and integrated Intel UHD Graphics.


It comes with 8GB DDR4 Ram, a built-in 128GB SSD, and given the option, you choose it can come with a 1 TB HDD as well. If you choose the budget option, you can always install an HDD into the laptop later.


The build quality of the Dell Inspiron is nothing too crazy, it is made out of plastic, but that is what helps the laptop being so portable and lightweight, at only 4.45 pounds.


It does come with a pre-installed operating system, Windows 10 S, which you can easily upgrade to the Windows 10 Home version. 

sreen of the dell inspiron 15 3000

Screen of the Inspiron 15, shot by Gadget Mad.

The screen is a 15.6 Touchscreen Display at a resolution of 1366 x 768, although we would have liked a Full HD screen, given it is a touchscreen, it is completely fine.


The touchscreen works alright, sometimes it is a little bit glitchy, so we don't recommend it for artwork.

Like the Dell Inspiron 15? We've got you covered.

The keyboard is not backlit, but it has a great touch to it. The keyboard is also full width which means there is a Numpad included, which we always love.


The touchpad is not too great, it is a little bit mushy, but we didn't have any problems with it whatsoever.


With the Dell Inspiron 15 3000, we get 2 USB 3.0 Type-A ports, 1 USB 2.0 Type-A port, 1 HDMI port and an Ethernet port.

The laptop has a decent battery life, coming in at about 6 hours at normal use!


Overall, this laptop is great if you are a student who is looking for a budget option, it is one of the best laptops under 400.


The touchscreen is a great addition and it has pretty good battery life. However, if you are a professional or looking to do photo editing, video editing this is not the laptop for you as the screen is not the best.

Pros

  • Upgradable
  • Touchscreen
  • Decent Battery life

Cons

  • Full Plastic Housing
  • Not too accurate touchscreen

8. Best For College: ASUS VivoBook L203MA

Specs SUMMARY

CPU

AMD E2-7015 1.5 GHz

GPU

 Radeon R2

Storage

64 GB eMMC

RAM

4 GB DDR3

Display

14" inch Full HD Display

The ASUS VivoBook L203MA is a very inexpensive laptop, so if you are a gamer, photographer or a video editor, this laptop is probably not going to be a good laptop for you, because those options need a little bit more power.


Although it is not a very powerful laptop, it is very affordable while being able to do basic functions like writing, surfing the web and watching or streaming videos.


It is equipped with an AMD E2-7015 1.5 GHz processor, which is a Dual Core Processor. The graphics card that comes with this laptop is a Radeon R2, which is great for multitasking, but not for gaming.


The display of this laptop is a 14 inch Full HD screen, which is, unfortunately, is not IPS, which gives it subpar viewing angles.


It comes with 4 GBs of DDR3 memory and a built-in 64 GB eMMC storage.

Like the VivoBook L203MA? We've got you covered.

The build quality is great, although the lid is made out of aluminium, the laptop is not heavy at all, and it is nicely thin.


It, unfortunately, doesn't have a backlit keyboard, but it is excellent and has minimal flex when typing.


The touchpad is accurate and is not mushy, the buttons feel very good.


Given the laptop is not a huge gaming machine, the battery life is pretty long, we were able to get at least 8 hours of battery life on regular use.


On the sides, we've got two USB port, a USB-C port and an HDMI port.


Overall the ASUS VivoBook L203MA belongs on our budget laptops list as it does come with a decent price tag. If you want to multitask, edit documents, watch movies or videos, this is the laptop for you!


However, for gaming purposes, it is not the best as it can only run older games.

Pros

  • Build Quality
  • Accurate Touchpad
  • Battery Life

Cons

  • Small Storage

Specs SUMMARY

CPU

Intel Celeron N4000

GPU

Integrated Graphics

Storage

64 GB eMMC

RAM

4 GB DDR4

Display

14" inch Full HD Display

The Acer Aspire is a good budget laptop, for anyone who is looking for a laptop that is easy to carry around and can do generic tasks.


So for this price point, you are going to get an Intel Celeron N4000 processor which runs at 1.1 GHz but can boost up to 2.6 GHz.


The 14 inch laptop comes with 4 GB of DDR4 RAM, 64 GB of eMMC storage and Windows 10 S operating system.


The build quality is pretty good for this kind of price. The texture of the laptop is nice and matte, so it will not catch a whole bunch of fingerprints.

the look of the acer aspire 1 laptop

The ports that we get are an HDMI Port, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port and an SD Card slot.


The display is a 14 inch Full HD screen, and unfortunately, just like for most laptops in this price range, the display is where Acer decided to cut costs.


Like the Acer Aspire 1? We've got you covered.

The display is nice and spacious, but if you are looking at it from any angle or if you shift this display, it gets washed out really quickly.


The keyboard is full-sized and not backlit, it has nice key travel. Because the whole laptop is made out of plastic, there is some flexibility in there, just so you are aware.


The battery life with general use is around six to eight hours which is very acceptable for this price point.


Overall: Although there are some compromises, like the display and that it is all plastic, at this price this laptop is a pretty good deal. We think this laptop was aimed at the student audience, so if you are a student feel free to pick this laptop.

Pros

  • Decent Performance
  • Good Battery Life

Cons

  • Bad Viewing Angles
  • Full Plastic Housing

10. Best For Business: Asus Vivobook Flip

Specs SUMMARY

CPU

Intel i5-8520U

GPU

Intel 620 Graphics

Storage

256 GB SSD

RAM

8 GB DDR4

Display

14" inch Full HD Display

Asus has a very wide range of variety of good laptops just like the Asus Vivobook Flip.


The laptop comes with an Intel i5-8520U quad-core processor, which has a processing power out of this world.


The Vivobook Flip has a built-in Intel 620 Graphics, which provides a capable gaming experience with lower demanding titles.


Depending on the model you choose, it comes with 8GBs or 16GBs of DDR4 Ram, which is soldered onto the motherboard and that means it isn't upgradable, not like the HDD!


It has a 256 GB SSD and with the help of the additional 2.5 Inch hard drive slot, you can upgrade the storage up to 1 TB.


The build quality is pretty good as the laptop is a smooth aluminium.


This laptop is a 2 in 1, which means it can switch between traditional laptop tent mode and tablet mode.

Like the VivoBook Flip? We've got you covered.

The display is a 14 inch LED touch screen at a resolution of 1920 by 1080 (Full HD)and it is SRGV colour accurate.


Its touchscreen is pretty reactive and it is capable of drawing or note-taking. A pen is included in the box and it is pretty nice.


The display has awesome viewing angles, some of the best we have ever seen, but unfortunately, it has a glossy coating which makes it very reflective.


The Flip has a backlit keyboard and it provides a decent typing experience.


The trackpad is subpar, as it uses Asus drivers and not Windows Position drivers and it doesn't feel satisfying to click. We have a fingerprint sensor at the corner of the trackpad, which is a nice addition.


The battery life is pretty decent, during general use such as word processing and internet browsing it lasts about five hours.


So who should buy this laptop?


We wouldn't recommend it for professional use, like video rendering, given the graphics is Intel based, but it can be a great 2 in 1 option for students or anyone who is looking to use it for general things, like watching movies or editing documents, or for business.

Pros

  • Good, Colour Accurate Screen
  • 2 in 1
  • Back-lit keyboard
  • Intel i5 Quad Core processor

Cons

  • Glossy Display


Frequently asked questions


What is the Best Laptop for Under 400?

The best laptop under $400 is for sure the Asus Vivobook 15. With the $400 price mark, IPS 1080P 15.6 inch display, pre-installed windows 10 operating system and decent build quality, it is unbeatable in this range! 

What is the Best Gaming Laptop under 400?

The Lenovo Ideapad S145 and the Vivobook 15 gives pretty decent gaming experience under $400$. Although you can't expect real hardcore frame rates from these laptops, the best laptops in this range can handle most games!

What is the best budget laptop 2020?

The best budget laptop under 400 is the Acer Aspire 5 Slim, hence it is the most selling budget laptop on Amazon. The Ryzen 3 processor, 15.6 inch screen and the SSD makes it a very decent laptop if you are on a budget.

Why are laptops so expensive in 2020?

Laptops are getting more and more expensive, because of the components manufacturers put in it. For example, a laptop with an Intel core i3 processor counts as outdated now, or a budget laptop.


Big laptop companies like Asus, HP or Dell, have to always think about the next step in technology and want to make their laptops as fast as possible, with the best processor, display, battery and possibly operating system.


With that said, you can find several budget laptops or laptops under 400 which are perfect for the general user. Most of these even come with a Full HD 15.6 display, somewhat decent processor, which might not be suitable for gaming, but it is fine for editing documents or watching movies.

Well, these are the best laptops under 400$ according to our results. Hope we have been able to help you find the right laptop for your needs.

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