10 Best Laptops Under $400

Looking for an exceptional laptop while keeping the pockets warm is not unrealistic. In 2021, most manufacturers have focused on producing laptops with improved and upgraded features all while staying within more affordable price ranges.

You can easily find a laptop with an AMD Ryzen or Intel Celeron processor, increased 8+GB RAM and SSD up to 128 memory capacity, display (including HD or full HD), graphics (such as Intel UHD Graphics and Vega3) and backlit keyboard laptops, all under $400!

However, there is a catch: you won’t find all these amazing things in one device. Therefore, it’s important to know exactly what you want from a laptop, that way you can pinpoint which one will be your new budget-friendly, upgraded companion. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the ten best laptops under $400.

Best Laptops Under $400

1. Lenovo Chromebook Flex

We begin with the Lenovo Chromebook Flex which surely will amaze you. For starters, it’s one of the most affordable, exquisite, and useful devices. Amazing, right?  

The Chromebook is a great companion for surfing the web, typing stuff up, running several apps at once, and so on. It comes with fast speed and wireless connectivity, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. As such, you can browse the web and use apps without lag. 

This Lenovo’s display gives you more screen room because it features short bezels. (In our opinion, more room is always good.) Also, it travels well which means you have access to everything mentioned above pretty much whenever you want. 

The laptop’s keyboard is responsive – it allows you to type fast and with comfort. The keys travel and the tactile feedback has been improved which results in accurate typing. The keyboard is backlit which provides a pleasing aesthetic and the lights dim automatically when the device is not in use. Also, you can change the search key if you are used to using caps lock. 

The touchpad is also responsive and allows for accurate cursor movements. However, if that’s not your thing, you can always connect a wireless mouse to the laptop and keep on moving. 

This laptop’s battery life is excellent. Even after a whole day of continuous use we’ve found that the battery still retains some charge! So, if you’re on a long trip or just running around all day, you won’t have to worry about reaching for an outlet – this laptop will keep up with you.

Of course, eventually, you will have to charge your device which will not be a problem because Lenovo decided to make your life a bit easier by including a USB Type-C charging port on both sides of the laptop. Therefore, you’ll be able to plug the charger from whichever side is more convenient for you. 

One of the most exceptional features of this laptop on a small budget is that it comes with 10th Gen i3 with better speeds than previous generation i5 and i7 laptops. Also, it has 64 GB RAM with a micro SD card port on one side, which you can use to increase the laptop’s memory. 

As for design, this thing looks like it’s worth more than $400. This is due to the elegant and sleek dark charcoal grey design that, along with logos, keys, and the screen, gives it a premium look.  

Pros

  • Better battery life
  • Keyboard has increased tactile response
  • SD card reader

Cons

  • Average display

2. ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin Laptop

This is another fully updated laptop with a 10th Gen Core i3 1005G1 and even more SSD storage (up to 128GB and 8GB RAM). However, it has less internal storage than the Lenovo Chromebook. 

This laptop features a fingerprint login option which allows for easy access. Also, it is quite responsive and has a good (fast) processing speed. If you are looking for an easy to-go device, this laptop is right up your alley. (Note: You will have to be patient while the installation process and Windows S mode is enabled, but it will be worth it.)

Coming to its design and integrations, the laptop has four USB ports, including Type-C and NVMe SSD, so that you can connect your laptop to different peripherals, including printers, MP3 players and scanners. Also, the trackpad and keyboard are both highly responsive; they provide accurate typing and cursor movement, respectively.

This laptop also features a 1920 x 1080 display with responsive properties and pleasant brightness. However, you won’t be able to use this laptop for outdoor purposes (especially in excessive sunlight), so it’s best used indoors, perhaps at your home or work office. Also, the bezels are short which results in a wider display.

The machine is lightweight and sleek, no doubt because it features a plastic outer casing which is definitely lighter than the hard aluminium casings found on other laptops.

This laptop starts up quite fast (about 10 seconds) so there won’t be any waiting around. Meanwhile, the backlit keyboard will allow you to work or play in low-light or in the dark without disturbing anyone. Its speakers are relatively average but good enough for use in a quiet room. Finally, its battery life is around 4-6 hours if being used for office work.

Overall, this laptop is a steal. If you consider the various features and enhanced processing, you might find that this ASUS VivoBook is exactly what you need for your office and college work. 

Pros

  • More features
  • Fast processing
  • Slim and lightweight
  • Increased battery life
  • Better port selection

Cons

  • Wireless LAN
  • Less memory capacity
  • Slow installation process

3. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

If you are looking for a budget-friendly laptop with fast processing speed, you might want to take a look at the Aspire 5 from Acer. With it, you’ll be able to keep a good deal of money in your pocket and enjoy a quality laptop experience. 

The Acer Aspire comes with a 1080 high-resolution picture and IPS display. Also, it features a blue light shield that helps protect your eyes, which is particularly important if you’re staring at the screen for a long time.   

Due to this laptop’s aluminium casing, it is quite durable, which means that it should last you a while as the casing will help keep things intact. That said, this laptop is light enough to carry with you wherever you go, which means that you get durability and portability in one device.

Its Ryzen chip increases its speed in terms of technical utility and provides consistent performance, especially during games. However, its RAM is relatively lower than other laptops, i.e., 4GB memory. However, if you buy a 1TB drive (they sell for approximately $50), your laptop’s memory will be similar to the memory found in expensive laptops. Plus, you can add memory without having to clone the device or re-install an M2 SSD. 

Its integrated ports include an HDMI port, a USB 3.1 and a USB 2.0 which will transmit your data 10 times faster than a standard dock; for instance, the debtor transmits at a rate of 150 Kbps to 480 Mbps or above. 

This laptop provides clear and crisp sound due to its enhanced deep bass (this is great for you gamers). Thus, you’ll have a heck of a time playing action-packed games because you’ll have a clear picture and great sound quality. However, this laptop is not suitable for modern games, so keep that in mind.

Finally, like most of the laptops we have reviewed, this one comes with a backlit keyboard. Please note that if the keyboard is idle for long, it will switch off.

Pros

  • Fast processor
  • Increased battery life
  • Does not heat-up

Cons

  • Less than average AC adapter performance
  • The touchpad is not very responsive

4. Acer Chromebook Spin Convertible Laptop

Compared to its predecessor, this 15” Acer (with the latest convertible spin feature) is even faster and more amazing. It offers improved functionality which will allow you to browse the Internet, stream music, watch videos, etc. with ease.

This well-built Acer laptop comes with rather large bezels. No, it’s not great news because it means that the screen isn’t as wide as it could be but, still, it’s not a deal breaker. So, if you really like this laptop, don’t let this minor flaw get in your way. 

Moving on to the display, the screen brightness is glossy and allows you to use the laptop, both, indoors and outdoors, without worrying about sunlight and glare. Also, the screen has sharp viewing angles even from a distance. 

The touchscreen works well, but some folks might have an issue with it because touch sensitivity varies from person to person. In any case, we have experienced smooth touchscreen operation which is why we think it works well. 

This laptop is great for general office or college work, but not so great for games. It lacks the capacity to regulate games smoothly, so if you try to play current games on it, you’ll be jeopardizing your laptop’s life. 

Whether you’re using Wi-Fi or a home network, you’ll find that this laptop works fast with excellent signal strength. As for ports, they are located on either side of the laptop and include a USB Type-C which you can use to charge the device. Also, the keyboard is well-built and the trackpad is responsive and amazing to use. 

While this laptop is touchscreen, artists and designers will be disappointed because it lacks stylus (Samsung devices and Wacom) support. Nevertheless, this laptop offers a good bundle of features for the price range. 

As you may know, this laptop’s convertible feature allows you to use the laptop in tent or tablet mode, which is handy for when you’re following how-to cooking videos. Also, the laptop’s sound quality is fifty-fifty, so it will provide decent sound while you’re following along with said videos.

Finally, this laptop has 4 GB of memory with an additional 32GB eMMC. It has an SD card reader that provides 20GB for the installation of apps. The laptop’s initial setup is simple (you can use a Google account) and its parental controls will help you keep track of your children’s activities. 

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Trackpad and keyboard both responsive
  • Different USB ports integration

Cons

  • Reduced battery life
  • Large bezels

5. SAMSUNG XE310XBA-K02US Chromebook

An old and renowned name in the tech market that always offers amazing and efficient products. As such, we decided to take a look at the Samsung Chromebook to get a better idea of its integrations and properties. 

This laptop’s battery life will allow you to work, watch videos, and do whatever else you do, for hours. This sleek little machine is way better to give a try.

This version of the Chromebook is smaller than previous versions which means that it travels well so you can take it with you to work or school with no problem. Also, it has a sleek look and comes with a high-quality display and brightness with clear and contrast colors. Its keyboard is backlit which makes typing easier in low-light or no-light environments.

An amazingly fast and quick processing machine, this chromebook will help maximize your productivity. It’s battery life also contributes in this area due to its long battery life. Also, if you’re concerned about overheating due to extended usage, don’t be. Even after hours of use, this laptop will remain cool. 

One cool thing about this laptop is its sweet spot view. Basically, if you’re on a train or a bus, this feature helps ensure your privacy and security by making it difficult for strangers to see what you are doing. 

Two minor complaints we have concern the charging cord’s length and it’s single USB port. The cord isn’t very long so it might be tricky finding an outlet for it. As for the USB port, this might not be an issue if you rarely use it, however, if you do and it gets damaged, you’d have to  another way of using whatever it was you connected to it.

Pros

  • Slim and compact
  • Increased keyboard tactile feedback
  • No heat up

Cons

  • Short charging cable
  • Reduced number of USB ports

6. Dell Inspiron 3000 laptop

This 15.6-inch Dell Inspiron is not only budget-friendly – it also offers great features.

This laptop comes with increased storage capacity and exceptional ports, however, it’s relatively slower than the other laptops on this list. It’s design is quite basic, however, its inside is well-built (it’s harder, thus, more durable) making the device a bit heavier and not as slim as other laptops. 

This Dell features a 15.6-inch touchscreen (with short and wide viewing angles) with 1366×768p resolution and a clear display. (For this price, we were surprised with how sharp the screen is.)

Compared with other brands, the Dell Inspiron 3000 wins in terms of memory capacity (1TB 5200 RPM), so you’ll have a way more space for storing media and documents. It also has more ports, including Ethernet, USB 2.0 (two ports), HDMI, USB 3.0 port, SD card inlet and headphone jack. Dell also supports Bluetooth 4.0 and wireless dual-band 802.11ac. 

Moving to its performance, the 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-5015U integration ensures high-speed processing. That said, you should not expect super fast speeds at this price range, however, hangovers or freezing of your screen activity should not be an issue, either. As for its battery, it lasts up to eight hours, which is quite long when compared to previous versions. 

Pros

  • Durable
  • Increased battery life
  • Better touchscreen sensitivity

Cons

  • Reduced hard drive performance
  • Average display

7. HP Chromebook 14″ Laptop

Here we have a 14-inch HP Chromebook. If you look into the Chromebook’s history, you’ll notice that the processors have changed from version to version (they include ARM, Tegra K1 and AMD). This one has an AMD A4-9120C with 2.4GHz Radeon graphics, making it faster than the Dell Inspiron we reviewed above. 

The laptop’s casing is plastic rather than aluminium integration so, while it is light, it’s not as durable as laptops made with aluminum. The HP and Chromebook logos make the laptop look nice, however, its bezels are large which gives you less space to work with. As for the inside, you get 4GB RAM, added 32GB eMMC storage capacity and an exceptional AMD processor. 

This laptop’s HP 720 resolution webcam is great for video calls and can capture pictures relatively well. Also, the noise cancellation feature during video calling is amazing and unexpected for a laptop in this price range. 

Moving on to the ports we find a security lock system, USB 3.1 and 2.0 ports, a headphone jack, an inlet for a micro SD card, and a USB Type-C port for the AC adapter. (Unfortunately, it lacks an HDMI and other ports.)

The Chromebook’s keyboard has a great tactile response with good key travel. Like other Chromebook keyboard layouts, this laptop has a search key instead of a Caps Lock key. However, contrary to other HP models, this laptop has standard arrow keys, and its search and browsing controls are located on the top row. The trackpad also works well – you will experience soft glides by hovering over it. Also, it is quite responsive to tapping or scrolling with your fingers.

As we mentioned, it features a 14-inch screen and 1366×768p (resolution) which is similar to the Dell Inspiron. Despite the large bezels the display is still reasonably wide and sharp. However, we found that the laptop’s brightness level was reduced and that the background and colours seemed bland. 

Finally, the integrated speakers provide reduced bass and sound effects, however, the sound is quite clear at different mid-tones. (If you’re sitting in a small room the sound will be clear and crisp.)

Pros

  • Modest
  • High-functioning keyboard and trackpad
  • Video cam with impressive noise cancellation

Cons

  • Unimpressive
  • Reduced brightness
  • Lacks HDMI and other ports

8. Lenovo IdeaPad 15″ Laptop

Most lower-end laptops are considered to be low-quality and sometimes have designs that make them look, well, cheap. The Lenovo IdeaPad is not any of this at all! It comes with a premium, stylish design and high-quality materials that make it quite durable. Also, its display and memory capacity are some of the features that separate the Lenovo IdeaPad from other low-quality, inexpensive laptops. 

This laptop features an Intel Celeron processor, a 720p resolution display, 4GB RAM (which is more than enough for Chromebooks), and 32GB of storage. On the outside, it is a platinum grey color which gives it a clean and modern look. Also, the display lid has no gaps. Compared to some of the other laptops on this list, this Lenovo is a bit heavier, but not so much that it affects portability. 

The 1366×768 resolution display and the integrated 720 resolution webcam have been the subject of debate, however, this laptop is still a great option if you are looking for something easy to operate and do not require fast processing speed.  

This laptop comes with a TN (twisted nematic) integrated panel with LED backlights brightness (220 nits) that, sadly, does not improve user experience. (350 nits or higher would’ve done the trick, but then again, that might have increased the laptop’s price range.)

The battery life is great so you will be able to carry it around for hours without worrying about low battery warnings.

Arriving at the ports, here are the ones we have: USB Type-C 3.1 and USB Type-A ports with a headphone/microphone jack (the total number of USB ports is four). Also, there is a micro SD card inlet. Overall, this laptop provides good connectivity options, especially when you consider the price range. 

Pros

  • Increased battery life
  • Stylish and durable
  • Liquid-resistant keyboard

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi support
  • Unimpressive display

9. HP Chromebook HD Touchscreen Laptop 

This HP touchscreen Chromebook is a modest device that offers an array of features to discerning customers. In particular, this laptop provides business- and work-oriented specs that will surely boost productivity. 

Compared to the other brands found on this list, the HP Chromebook comes with more features and better specs. For instance, this laptop is composed of aluminum with a plastic base which increases its durability. It also comes with a fingerprint reader for, both, easy access and strong protection.

With an 8GB RAM capacity and Core i5 processor, this laptop will allow you to do your work with ease. Also, it has an amazing fully-featured webcam that will give you clear and crisp video calls. However, it should be noted that the display, while comfortable, could be better (at least higher than 250 nits).

Concerning the all-important ports, we’ve got USB Type-C (for plugging in the charger/adapter), USB Type-A, a headphone jack and micro SD card inlet. Also, this laptop supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connections. 

This Chromebook’s keyboard is backlit and has an enhanced tactile feel. Like other brands, its key set-up includes a T-shaped integration of arrow keys with a search key instead of Caps Lock. Also, the keys on the top row control brightness level, volume, and browsing. 

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Webcam disabling switch
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Support for the latest Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Cons

  • No SSD storage
  • Bulky
  • Average-quality display

10. Microsoft Surface Go 2

The Microsoft 2 in 1 (tablet and laptop) is, as the name implies, the second version in this series. It comes with improved battery life, a wide display, and a faster processor performance. Also, it’s more versatile than standard laptops.

The laptop’s touchscreen is 10.5 inches and its bezels are relatively small, providing ample room for work, watching videos, etc. Meanwhile, its Intel Pentium Gold processor ensures high processing speeds. There’s also the upgraded LTE modem, 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD which is a sufficient amount for saving documents, files and (not huge) media. 

One of the cool things about this laptop is the built-in kickstand. With it there’s no need to purchase or carry around a kickstand, which is a small but still noteworthy perk. On the flipside, one thing we don’t like about this laptop is that it lacks a keyboard. This is not necessarily a deal-breaker but we thought we’d mention it.

And last, but not least, we have the ports. We have a USB Type-C port, headphone/microphone jack, and a micro SD card reader. Also, you can charge the laptop through a USB Type-C port. 

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Built-in kickstand
  • Improved audio performance

Cons

  • No keyboard

Best laptops Under $400: Quick Answers

Which laptop is better, HP or Lenovo?

It depends on what you’re looking for. See, each company offers laptops tailored for specific purposes: HP laptops come with enhanced sound quality and graphics while Lenovo offers laptops that are great for business purposes. Therefore, it’s important to know what you want to do with the laptop so you can find the right one.

Which is the best touchscreen laptop under $400? 

On the long list of laptops featuring amazing touchscreens you’ll find HP. HP’s convertible Chromebook features a great touchscreen and is cost-effective. 

Which laptop should I buy for daily use? 

For daily use, we recommend Chromebooks because they are compact, lightweight, fully-featured, and affordable. You could go with an Acer or HP Chromebook. 

Which is the best-priced laptop for home usage? 

All of the laptops on this list are budget-friendly, however, we recommend the Samsung Chromebook for all of your work-from-home needs. 

What should I check before buying a laptop? 

There are tons of things you can consider, but the most important are price, portability, processing speed, storage capacity, size and weight, and battery life. The lighter the laptop, the more convenient it will be for you to use. Similarly, high processing speed, increased memory and battery, should always be considered.

Final words 

We hope our list on the best laptops under $400 was helpful. As always, make sure you look at a laptop’s specs before purchase. Also remember that you can find good laptops even at this price range; for example, our no. 1 pick, the Lenovo Chromebook. It’s packed with great features and, like we said above, doesn’t look like a $400 laptop. Thanks for reading!

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