Best laptops under 400$: The Best Laptop Under $500 for 2023

The Best Laptop Under $500 for 2023

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Photo: Rozette Rago

FYI

We’ve tested two new models and added them to the Competition section.

Lots of laptops cost less than $500, but it’s hard to find a cheap one that doesn’t totally suck. We’ve researched and tested hundreds of cheap Windows laptops and Chromebooks over the years to find decent models, and we also have advice to help you shop smart when prices change and our picks go out of stock.

Choosing a budget laptop is tricky because you can find dozens—even hundreds—of options at a given time. Their prices fluctuate constantly, too, and companies release and discontinue models with no warning. We have picks for Chromebooks and Windows laptops under $500, and some other good options if those picks are unavailable. If you can’t find our picks anywhere, check out our tips on how to shop for a budget laptop, or consider a used laptop instead.

The research

  • Choosing a cheap Chromebook vs. a cheap Windows laptop
  • Best Windows laptops under $500
  • Best Chromebooks under $500
  • What about an iPad?
  • Other good laptops under $500
  • How to shop for a cheap laptop
  • How we picked
  • How we tested
  • The competition
  • Sources

Choosing a cheap Chromebook vs. a cheap Windows laptop

Our picks are for anyone who doesn’t want to or can’t spend more than $500 on a laptop. These models are good for anyone who just wants to browse the web, students who don’t need special software, and people who work at home only occasionally. If you need a more powerful laptop, take a look at our guide to the best laptops.

At this price, Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops because they’re faster at the things most people use a laptop for. They also tend to have better build quality, longer battery life, and superior screens, keyboards, and trackpads. Chromebooks don’t need antivirus software and don’t come with bloatware (unnecessary, manufacturer-loaded software that clutters the computer and slows it down). If you spend your computing time in a browser—checking email, using Google Docs, watching Netflix, or making Zoom calls—Chrome OS is all you need. But if you need specialized software for work or school, if you want to play Windows-specific games, or if you need to be able to work offline, you’re better off with Windows.

A great Windows laptop under $500 can handle web browsing, video calls, and media consumption, but they’re rare—many cheap Windows laptops buckle under the load of running more than a couple apps at a time. And buying a bad laptop may cost you more in the long term: Compared with a $700 laptop, it will feel worse in everyday use in two years, and you’ll need to replace it sooner. Even $550, if you can swing it, will more reliably buy you a faster computer that will last longer.

If you don’t need Windows, if you prefer Apple’s platforms, or if you mostly watch videos and play games, consider an iPad with a keyboard. Compared with a cheap Windows laptop, this combo is snappier when you’re banging out emails, watching movies, or taking notes, and whereas a Chromebook forces you to rely on web apps and Android apps designed for phones, you can find thousands of iPad-optimized apps and games. But an iPad-and-keyboard combo is not a complete replacement for a laptop.

Best Windows laptops under $500

Our pick

Acer Aspire 3 Spin 14 (A3SP14-31PT)

Unlike most cheap Windows laptops, the Aspire 3 Spin 14 is fast, compact, and light, and it has a decent 1080p touchscreen and good battery life.

Recommended configuration

Processor: Intel Core i3-N305 Screen: 14-inch 1920×1200 touch
Memory: 8 GB Weight: 3.3 pounds
Storage: 128 GB or 256 GB SSD Tested battery life: 8.5 hours

Why we like this one: If you need to run Windows apps or games, or if you prefer to work offline, we recommend the Acer Aspire 3 Spin 14 (A3SP14-31PT) in any of the following configurations: 37NV, 38YA, or 32M6. The Aspire 3 Spin 14 is fast enough to meet most people’s computing needs for years to come. Many cheap Windows laptops have less memory or terrible processors that limit them to running only a couple apps and a handful of browser tabs at a time.

The Aspire 3 Spin 14 is one of the more portable cheap Windows laptops we’ve tested. It’s more compact than common Windows devices in this price range, and its battery life lasted 8 hours and 30 minutes in our tests—long enough to make it through a full day of work or classes. Unlike cheap laptops with unpleasant keyboards and trackpads that flex and rattle, the Aspire 3 Spin 14’s keyboard and trackpad are accurate and reliable.

Our pick’s 14-inch 1920×1200 touchscreen has a tall aspect ratio that feels spacious and is particularly convenient for web browsing. The glossy touchscreen is reflective, but it’s much better than many laptop displays in this price range—most have lower-resolution screens that look pixelated, or horrendous TN panels that look blown out and have poor viewing angles. Our pick also has a 360-degree hinge that allows you to flip the display all the way around to use the device as a tablet (or in any intermediate position), though it’s a bit heavy to do so easily.

Photo: Acer

Where it falls short: The Aspire 3 Spin 14 ships with Windows 11 S mode, which only allows apps from the Microsoft Store and limits you to Microsoft Edge for web browsing. But you can switch it to Windows 11 Home for free to install any program you need.

Like many inexpensive Windows laptops, our pick comes with a ton of unnecessary bloatware that takes up space and slows down performance. Follow these steps to remove those programs and make your laptop feel faster and be more secure.

The Aspire 3 Spin 14 also lacks a fingerprint reader, has a mediocre webcam, and it can’t be opened with a single hand.

Also great

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 (82X7001VUS)

If you want a 15-inch screen, the best option is the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3. This model is fast, plus it has a 1080p touchscreen and a fingerprint reader.

Buying Options

Recommended configuration

Processor: Intel Core i3-1315U Screen: 15-inch 1920×1080 touch
Memory: 8 GB Weight: 3. 6 pounds
Storage: 256 GB SSD Tested battery life: 7 hours

Why we like this one: If you want a Windows laptop with a large 15-inch screen, we recommend the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3. With our recommended specs, it’ll be fast enough for most people’s computing needs for years to come.

The IdeaPad Slim 3’s 15-inch 1920×1080 display is bright, and the matte touchscreen is convenient and not overly reflective. (The 82X7001VUS configuration we recommend has a touchscreen; the 82X70005US is largely identical, but lacks touch.) Its colors look a bit cool and washed out compared to more expensive Windows laptops, but the Slim 3’s IPS display is leagues better than the horrendous TN panel in its sibling, the IdeaPad 1.

The backlit keyboard feels snappy and the large trackpad is reliable and accurate. The IdeaPad Slim 3 also has a reliable fingerprint reader on the power button and a handy webcam cover. It’s possible to partially open the laptop with one hand, though it’s difficult to fully open the lid without additional leverage.

Photo: Lenovo

Where it falls short: The IdeaPad Slim 3 lasted about 7 hours in our battery test—not quite long enough for a full day of work or classes, but about average for this category. And like most inexpensive Windows laptops, this model is bulky and heavy, and its webcam is mediocre. We also recommend following these instructions when you get the laptop to remove unnecessary preinstalled programs.

Best Chromebooks under $500

Budget pick

Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook (13″)

The cheaper Flex 5i is a serviceable Chromebook, but its battery won’t last a full day, and it will stop receiving OS updates one year sooner than our top pick.

Buying Options

$385* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $374.

Recommended configuration

Processor: Intel Core i3-1115G4 Screen: 13.3-inch 1920×1080 touch
Memory: 8 GB Weight: 2.97 pounds
Storage: 64 GB eMMC or 128 GB SSD Tested battery life: 6.5 hours

Why we like this one: The Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook (13″) is a great Chromebook for its budget price. It’s fast, it has an excellent keyboard and trackpad, it’s compact and light, and it has a 1080p touchscreen. This Chromebook is faster than Windows laptops at the tasks most people use laptops for, including browsing the web (even with a ton of tabs open), making video calls, working in documents and spreadsheets, and watching movies. The Flex 5i is much more portable than cheap Windows options, too, and it’s free of the bloatware that slows them down.

Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Where it falls short: In addition to the limitations of ChromeOS outlined above, the Flex 5i has disappointing battery life; this model likely won’t make it through a full day of work or classes without needing to be plugged in. Compared with the display on the more expensive Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (CP513-2H-K62Y), our top Chromebook pick, the Flex 5i’s screen doesn’t get as bright, and this Chromebook will cease receiving OS updates one year sooner. I also needed two hands to open the Flex 5i.

Also great

Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook 16″ (82V80009UX)

This model has a spacious 16-inch screen with a high refresh rate and an RGB keyboard with a built-in number pad, but it’s too bulky to travel with frequently.

Buying Options

$429* from Walmart

*At the time of publishing, the price was $430.

Recommended configuration

Processor: Intel Core i3-1215U Screen: 16-inch 2560×1600 non-touch, 120 Hz
Memory: 8 GB Weight: 4.01 pounds
Storage: 128 GB eMMC Tested battery life: 9.5 hours*

*We tested the Core i5 model; we expect the Core i3 model to have slightly better battery life.

Why we like this one: If you want a larger screen and a number pad, we recommend the fast, inexpensive Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook 16″. Its 16-inch display provides more room to get work done or to enjoy media; its colors are vibrant, the matte display doesn’t throw distracting reflections, and the 120 Hz high refresh rate makes scrolling and other actions look extra smooth. The RGB-backlit keyboard also has a number pad, which can be useful if you do a lot of data entry. But even though this model will last a long time away from an outlet, it’s too large and heavy to carry around.

Photo: Michael Hession

Where it falls short: The 16-inch display makes this Lenovo model heavier and bulkier, so it’s much less portable than our other Chromebook picks—we don’t recommend it if you need a laptop to take to work, to class, or even to a coffee shop. I also consistently needed both hands to open this laptop.

What about an iPad?

Also great

Apple iPad (9th generation)

If you favor portability over screen size, the iPad works for browsing the web and doing light note taking or writing. It’s not good for more complicated tasks, though.

Why we like it: Depending on how you use a computer, you might not need a laptop at all. An Apple iPad (9th generation) with a Bluetooth keyboard or a keyboard case makes for a lighter and more portable system than any of our picks. If you primarily browse the web, make video calls, write, and take notes, an iPad provides a smoother, less painful experience than the Windows options in this price category.

Photo: Sarah Kobos

Where it falls short: An iPad can’t run traditional desktop apps and offers only limited multitasking support, so it’s not a direct replacement for a laptop. If you need to run more than two apps at once, work with specialty software, or want a large screen, an iPad won’t work for you.

You can read more about the iPad in our guide to the best tablets.

Other good laptops under $500

If our top pick is unavailable: The next best option is the Acer Aspire 3 A314-23P-R3QA and A314-36P-360X. Compared with the Acer Aspire 3 Spin 14 model we recommend, these models have duller-looking non-touch displays with a shorter aspect ratio that isn’t as convenient for browsing the web. But both models have fast-enough performance, reliable keyboards and trackpads, and the R3QA model we tested had long battery life, at 12 hours and 11 minutes in our tests.

If our 15-inch pick is unavailable: We recommend the 15-inch Acer Aspire 3 instead. These ones are available with a lot of different model numbers: A315-24P-R7VH, A315-24P-R2SC, A315-24PT-R08Z, A315-24PT-R90Z, and A315-510P-3905. Compared with our 15-inch pick, the R7VH model we tested had a dim, washed-out, non-touch display and a large trackpad with poor palm rejection. It’s also quite heavy, at around 4 pounds, and its battery lasted for 7 hours and 31 minutes.

The models with “24PT” in the name have touchscreens that we haven’t tested, and the model with “510P” has an Intel processor instead of an AMD one. And some models come with Windows 11 in S mode while others are already upgraded to Windows 11 Home. Otherwise, all of these models are identical—they’re all passable laptops that are fast enough for everyday tasks.

If you can spend a little more for the best Chromebook: Our top Chromebook pick, the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (CP513-2H-K62Y), is slim, light, and blessed with long battery life, and it has a tall, vivid touchscreen. It typically costs around $550, but it has gone on sale for less than $500.

If you can spend around $700: Our budget ultrabook pick, the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED (UM3402YA-WS51T)—or the UM3402YA-WS74T version with more memory—costs a few hundred dollars more, but it has the build quality to last at least five years and the battery life to run all day. Its predecessor was frequently on sale for $550; if you see this model on sale for that price, it’s an unbeatable value.

If you want a tablet with a bigger screen: The iPad is plenty powerful for most people, but if you want a bigger screen on your tablet for multitasking and a faster processor, consider the iPad Air. But it starts at $600, and you have to spend more on a keyboard and a case to go with it.

How to shop for a cheap laptop

For laptops under $500, inconsistent pricing, disappearing inventory, and retailer-exclusive deals make shopping difficult. But even if you aren’t familiar with computer specifications, you can still find a decent Windows laptop by looking for these features:

  • Processor: We recommend an 11th, 12th, or 13th-generation Intel Core i3 or i5 processor or a 7000-series AMD Ryzen 3 or 5 processor. Avoid AMD processors such as the dual-core A9, as well as Intel Pentium or Celeron processors.
  • Storage: Choose a 128 GB or larger solid-state drive (SSD) and avoid hard drives (abbreviated as “HDD” on some product pages).
  • Memory: Get 8 GB of memory (which can also be listed as “RAM”). In a pinch, 4 GB will do, but with that smaller amount you won’t be able to run many programs at the same time.
  • Screen: Look for a display with 1080p resolution, listed as 1920×1080 or “FHD” by many sellers. A computer that hits the other requirements but has a standard HD display (1366×768) will do for basic tasks.

(Chromebooks have different requirements to run well—they run better than Windows laptops with 4 GB of memory and can get away with certain slower processors. You can learn more in our guide to Chromebooks.)

When shopping for a cheap laptop, stick to major retailers with good return policies, such as Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, or the manufacturer itself. Avoid sites with deals too good to be true, like BuyDig. Buying a refurbished model is another excellent way to save money. When you’re shopping for a refurbished laptop, buy from the original manufacturer or an authorized dealer and avoid seller-refurbished models from places like Amazon.

As soon as your laptop arrives, open the box carefully, keep all the parts and accessories, and give the computer a thorough test drive. Check for a clunky trackpad, mushy and unresponsive keys, or a dim, washed-out screen, and if you spot anything you don’t like, return the laptop as soon as possible. Wait too long, and you’ll be stuck with it—some manufacturers give you only a two-week return window.

If you don’t need a laptop right this second, you can find a great deal on a good laptop with some patience—prices fluctuate, and a $700 laptop can temporarily dive below $500. Wirecutter Deals editor Nathan Burrow told us that the best deals on laptops come around the holiday season, starting in November and running through Christmas.

How we picked

You can’t get a perfect laptop for less than $500—if it were perfect, it wouldn’t be cheap. At this price you make serious trade-offs, so it’s worth knowing how the system’s components affect your experience:

  • Storage: Some cheap Windows laptops still have spinning hard drives or hybrid drives that feel unbearably slow—booting the laptop, launching apps, and browsing files take so long that you have time to sip coffee and stretch before you can do anything. We found that having flash storage (ideally an SSD, but an eMMC or UFS drive will do in a pinch) instead of a traditional hard drive dramatically improved everyday performance, even more than a faster processor or more memory. But avoid Windows laptops with less than 64 GB of flash storage—you can’t even run Windows updates on them without an external drive.
  • Processor: We recommend an 11th, 12th, or 13th generation Intel Core i3 or Core i5 processor or a 7000-series AMD Ryzen 3 or Ryzen 5 processor. The Core i3 and Ryzen 3 processors are fine for casual use and basic schoolwork but aren’t the best for multitasking; the Core i5 and Ryzen 5 are faster and better at multitasking but rare in this price range. Avoid AMD processors like the dual-core A9 and steer clear of Intel Pentium and Celeron processors like the N4200 and N5000. We found these processors to be unusable with more than a single open app.
  • Memory: For less than $500, it’s uncommon (but possible) to find more than 4 GB of memory without sacrificing other important specs. But 8 GB will allow you to more smoothly run multiple programs and browser tabs, and is a much better choice for a computer you’ll be using years from now.
  • Screen: Models with a 1080p display (a resolution of 1920×1080) offer a clear image and more screen real estate than cheap 1366×768 screens. We recommend IPS (in-plane switching) screens because they have more accurate color and better viewing angles than TN (twisted nematic) panels.
  • Keyboard and trackpad: The keyboard and trackpad should be tolerable and responsive, and neither input device should annoy you so much that you seek out an external keyboard and mouse. Backlit keyboards are a bonus but rare in this price range.
  • Build quality: No budget laptop is a paragon of industrial design, but a computer shouldn’t feel like it’s going to break. Many laptops in this price range are massive 15-inch beasts with cheap plastic cases, loose keys, and rattly trackpads. A decent laptop should be sturdy, shouldn’t flex beneath your fingers when you type, and shouldn’t creak every time you click the trackpad or tap the spacebar.
  • Bloatware: Cheap Windows laptops come with a ton of bloatware, and it’s especially problematic on these laptops with slower processors, less memory, and limited storage. We recommend getting rid of useless applications by following these steps as soon as you unpack the laptop to speed up boot time, sew up potential security holes, and eliminate annoying notifications. We experienced mild performance bumps after removing bloatware.

For $500, you don’t get much control over features we consider when evaluating more expensive laptops, such as size, battery life, or ports, so although such details are nice to know, they didn’t make or break any of our picks. In this category, we just wanted to find usable laptops.

How we tested

We tested the Windows laptops and Chromebooks that met our criteria by using each for at least a day of ordinary work and video calls to get a feel for their performance, screens, keyboards, and trackpads. For Chromebooks, we had at least 20 browser tabs open, including Google Docs, Google Sheets, streaming music, Slack, and a variety of other sites. For Windows, we had five to 10 tabs open at a time, as well as the Spotify and Slack applications. We also tested the laptops by opening large Excel spreadsheets, 100-page Word documents, and 200-page PDF files.

The competition

Most Windows laptops under $500 are horrendous, and very few with our recommended specs even exist—we combed through hundreds of models on manufacturer and retailer websites and found only a handful of promising options. (And if you’re curious about the Chromebook competition, head over to our Chromebook guide.)

The Asus VivoBook 15 (F515EA-Ah44) was one of our previous picks, thanks to its fast-enough specs, decent screen, backlit keyboard, reliable trackpad, and handy fingerprint reader. But it has short battery life, it’s large and heavy, and we recommend removing the included bloatware. Our current picks have newer, faster processors for a similar price.

The Acer Aspire 5 (A515-45-R74Z) was another of our previous picks thanks to its fast-enough performance, vivid and bright display, and long battery life. But it’s also large and heavy, and it comes with a ton of unnecessary bloatware. It also lacks a fingerprint reader, and its keyboard is mediocre.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 1 (82VG00BJUS) is very similar to our 15-inch pick, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3 (82X7001VUS), but this model has a horrendous TN display with terrible viewing angles and an unseemly blue cast.

The Gateway 14.1″ Ultra Slim Notebook (GWTN141) has only 4 GB of memory, which means it struggles with more than a couple of apps open, and it won’t perform as well for as many years as our picks. It also has poor build quality and terrible speakers.

Sources

  1. Brian Westover, How much RAM do I need?, Laptop Mag, June 22, 2018

  2. Avram Piltch, Help Me, LAPTOP! Will an SSD Improve My Budget Laptop?, Laptop Mag, May 21, 2017

  3. Cale Hunt, eMMC vs. SSD storage: What’s the difference?, Windows Central, February 26, 2019

Meet your guide

Kimber Streams

Kimber Streams is a senior staff writer and has been covering laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more for Wirecutter since 2014. In that time they’ve tested hundreds of laptops and thousands of peripherals, and built way too many mechanical keyboards for their personal collection.

Further reading

  • The Best Cheap Gaming Laptop

    by Haley Perry

    You may not need to spend as much as you think to get a good gaming experience on a laptop, and we’ve got options for multiple budgets.

  • The Best Laptops

    by Kimber Streams and Dave Gershgorn

    From budget-friendly options to thin-and-light ultrabooks to powerful gaming laptops, we’ve spent hundreds of hours finding the best laptops for most people.

  • What to Buy: A School Laptop Under $500 That Isn’t Junk

    by Thorin Klosowski

    To get a laptop that’s usable for most schoolwork, you need to spend at least $450 to $500. I’ve tested dozens of laptops, and here’s what I’d recommend.

  • The Best Laptops for Video and Photo Editing

    by Dave Gershgorn

    Photographers and video editors on the go need a powerful laptop with good battery life, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro is almost always the best tool for the job.

Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).

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10 Best Laptops Under $400 2023: [Most VFM Product]


Disclosure: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning that if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, I may receive a commission. All opinions however are my own.

The Acer Aspire 5 is the finest laptop you can buy for less than $400, based on my research and testing of many models. For its reasonable price and robust features, portability, and overall attractiveness, this laptop model was my clear choice.

When looking for a low-cost laptop, you don’t have to make many hard choices.

A well-specced machine with a fast Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processor, plenty of RAM, a sharp 1080p display, and even a backlit keyboard is available.

Furthermore, all of this is available for less than $400.

So, if you’re looking for a good deal on a laptop, check out our list of the best budget laptops under $400!

This article includes:

  • Specifications that are important for a laptop that comes in this budget.
  • Laptops from Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer, Asus, etc.
  • Final Verdict on my favorite budget laptop from these 10.
  • And much more

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Here is a comparison of the 10 laptops on my list:

Image Product Detail Price

Acer Aspire 5

  • 15.6 Full HD IPS display
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i5
  • 256 GB SSD
  • 8GB DDR4
Check Price

Asus VivoBook 15

  • 15.6-Inch Full HD
  • Intel Core i3-8145U
  • 128GB SSD (Upgradable)
  • 8GB RAM
Check Price

Lenovo 15.6

  • 15.6-Inch 
  • AMD A12-9720P
  • 1 TB
  • 8GB RAM 
Check Price

Asus L402YA

  • 1920 x 1080 pixels (14 inches)
  • AMD Dual-Core e2-7015
  • 8GB RAM
  • 64 GB
Check Price

Dell Inspiron 2020

  • 14. 0-inch HD
  • Intel Core i5-1035G4
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • 128 GB SSD
Check Price

Dell Inspiron 14

  • 14-inch HD Display
  • 10th Gen i5
  • 128 GB SSD (Upgradable)
  • 8GB RAM
Check Price

HP Pavilion 15.6

  • 15.6″ HD (1366 x 768)
  • AMD Radeon R4
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1 TB
Check Price

Asus VivoBook F510QA

  • 15.6″ FHD Wide View
  • AMD A12-9720P
  • AMD Radeon R7
  • 8GB RAM
Check Price

Lenovo IdeaPad S340

  • 15. 6-inch HD Display
  • Intel Core i3-8145U Processor
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • 128 GB SSD
Check Price

HP 15-inch HD

  • 15.6-Inch (1366×768)
  • 10th Generation Intel Core
  • 4GB (not upgradable)
  • 128 GB SSD
Check Price

Table of Contents

Toggle

10 Top Laptops Under $400 2023

Here are all the details about the 10 affordable laptops under $400.

1. ACER ASPIRE 5

Acer Aspire 5

Features

  • 15.6 Full HD IPS display
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i5
  • 256 GB SSD
  • 8GB DDR4

Buy Now

Acer is a ruler when it comes to launching laptops that are super affordable or cost-effective.

The Aspire 5 is a popular choice among gamers looking for the best laptop under $400. It has a powerful processor and a long battery life.

It has a plastic body and is classically covered by an aluminum sheet. The display is appreciated because it does not expose the eyes to harmful color rays.

This laptop provides an excellent experience due to its excellent features and flawless craftsmanship.

Hardware Specifications Of Acer Aspire 5
Processor 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8265U, 1.6 GHz Quad-Core processor
Graphic Cards Intel UHD 620
Display 15.6 Full HD IPS display with 1920×1080 Resolution
RAM 8GB DDR4
Operating System Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Battery life Up to 8 hours
Weight 4 pounds
Storage 256 GB SSD
Price From $319. 99

Pros

  •   It has a very bright display.
  •   It is super affordable.
  •   It is very thin and has less weight.

Cons

  • Unfortunately does not have an SD card slot.
  • The graphics are not very great.
  • The crafting quality or base quality is not extremely strong.

My Say: If you hate having to charge your laptop while it is in use, I recommend this one. It has a long battery life, a powerful processor, and high-end graphics (Intel UHD 620). This laptop is cheaper in comparison.

🔥 Check Out Acer Aspire 5 Now

2. ASUS VIVOBOOK 15

Asus VivoBook 15

Features

  • 15.6-Inch Full HD
  • Intel Core i3-8145U
  • 128GB SSD (Upgradable)
  • 8GB RAM

Buy Now

This is one of the most recently launched machines, and it has received a lot of support from students and people who travel frequently and want a laptop that costs less than $400, which sounds like a great deal.

This laptop’s grey color gives it a very royal and classy appearance, and it is a lighter-weight laptop. It has a fantastic combination of vibrant visuals.

The display is quite decent and has great viewing angles, and it also provides a great experience to people who want to use a laptop for work or as a source of entertainment.

Hardware Specifications Of Asus VivoBook 15
Processor Intel Core i3-8145U Dual-Core Processor (Turbo up to 3.9GHz)
Graphic Cards Intel UHD 620
Display 15.6-Inch Full HD NanoEdge Display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
RAM 8GB RAM (Upgradable up to 16GB)
Operating System Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Battery life Up to 7 hours
Weight 3.7 lbs
Storage 128GB SSD (Upgradable)
Price From $381. 99

Pros

  • Well-equipped ports or slots are needed.
  • Convenient keyboard with a huge touchpad.
  • Good for quick connectivity to the internet.
  • Upgraded Bluetooth system
  • A powerful processor that is Intel Core i3.

Cons

  • The storage is less.
  • Adequate graphics are offered.

My Say: This one has great connectivity and a powerful processor along with satisfactory graphics and a good display Guess what all of this is at a super cheap price.

🔥 Check Out Asus VivoBook 15 Now

3. LENOVO 15.6

Lenovo 15.6

Features

  • 15.6-Inch 
  • AMD A12-9720P
  • 1 TB
  • 8GB RAM 

Buy Now

This is one of the most unique laptops, with some incredible performance features for the best gaming laptop under $400.

If you are a true gamer with extensive knowledge, you will know that the AMD Radeon R7 outperforms the Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i5.

According to a debate among gamers, the AMD Radeon R7 is 18% more efficient than Intel core processors.

Hardware Specifications Of Lenovo 15.6
Processor AMD A12-9720P
Graphic Cards AMD Radeon R7
Display 15.6-Inch 
RAM 8GB RAM 
Battery life Up to 7 hours
Weight 3.7 lbs
Storage 1 TB
Price From $398

Pros

  • Great for gaming purposes
  • 1 terabyte hard drive
  • Appreciable design
  • Good RAM
  • Superb processor
  • HD display features.
  • Windows 10

Cons

  • Heating issues.

My Say: This one has some fantastic features. a processor that is ideal for gaming, good graphics, and a display that is neither too bright nor too dark for the eyes. It has plenty of storage space and RAM. The price is simply too low.

🔥 Check Out Lenovo 15.6 Now

4. ASUS L402YA

Asus L402YA

Features

  • 1920 x 1080 pixels (14 inches)
  • AMD Dual-Core e2-7015
  • 8GB RAM
  • 64 GB

Buy Now

This is another option for gamers who have a powerful AMD Dual Core processor. This laptop is available in two different colors: blue and white.

This laptop comes with a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office.

Hardware Specifications Of ASUS L402YA
Processor AMD Dual-Core e2-7015
Graphic Cards Integrated Radeon R2 Graphics
Display 1920 x 1080 pixels (14 inches)
RAM 8GB RAM 
Operating System Windows 10
Weight 3.60 lbs
Storage 64 GB
Price From $239

My Say: This is a thin and lightweight laptop with one of the best processors at this price, but it lacks great graphics that would meet the needs and requirements of a gamer.

🔥 Check Out ASUS L402YA Now

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5. DELL INSPIRON 2020

Dell Inspiron 2020

Features

  • 14. 0-inch HD
  • Intel Core i5-1035G4
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • 128 GB SSD

Buy Now

This laptop is one of Dell’s most recent models, and it’s an excellent choice for gamers.

It has an Intel core processor, the best graphic cards, and an anti-glare display to protect your eyes.

Hardware Specifications Of Dell Inspiron 2020
Processor Intel Core i5-1035G4
Graphic Cards Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Display 14. 0-inch HD (1366 x 768) Anti-Glare LED-Backlit
RAM 8GB RAM 
Operating System Windows 10 in S Mode
Storage 128 GB SSD
Price From $427

Pros

  • Dell Inspiron has great connectivity
  • It has all the required ports and slots
  • Anti-glare display
  • Well-equipped with Windows 10
  • The price of this Dell laptop is very affordable

Cons

  • Poor Battery Life

🔥 Check Out Dell Inspiron Now

6. DELL INSPIRON 14

Dell Inspiron 14

Features

  • 14-inch HD Display
  • 10th Gen i5
  • 128 GB SSD (Upgradable)
  • 8GB RAM

Buy Now

We’ve known Dell for years; it’s renowned for the high quality it provides, including its features and relatively low cost.

The Dell Inspiron 14 is elegantly composed with a classy black matte finish. It has a fantastic display feature called the anti-glare coat that keeps your eyes from straining in bright sunlight.

The combination of the processing system and the RAM it provides results in excellent performance ability.

Based on the features of this laptop, I’m confident that it can handle any task and is capable of performing admirably, and it’s well worth the $400 price tag.

Hardware Specifications Of Dell Inspiron 14
Processor 10th Gen i5-1035G4 
Graphic Cards Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Display 14 Inch HD Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Display
RAM 8GB RAM 
Operating System Windows 10 
Weight 5. 47 Pounds
Storage 128 GB SSD (Upgradable)
Price $387

Pros

  • Extraordinary display
  • Matte finish body
  • Thin and well designed
  • Essential ports and slots
  • Value for its cost
  • Latest intel core processor.
  • Great RAM

Cons

  • Poor battery life

My Say: It is a 10th Gen i5 processor along with an antiglare display but has poor battery life. I guess you can look for other options in this range.

🔥 Check Out Dell Inspiron 14 Now

7. HP PAVILION 15.6

HP Pavilion 15.6

Features

  • 15.6″ HD (1366 x 768)
  • AMD Radeon R4
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1 TB

Buy Now

This laptop encompasses AMD processors as well as a slew of other features that allow the user to multitask while gaming. It is well-known for its safety and adaptability.

Hardware Specifications Of HP Pavilion 15. 6
Processor Intel Dual Core AMD A6-9225 2.6Ghz
Graphic Cards AMD Radeon R4
Display 15.6″ HD (1366 x 768) LED backlight display
RAM 8GB RAM 
Operating System Windows 10 
Weight 4.4 Pounds
Storage 1 TB
Price $409

Pros

  • AMD processor
  • Ability to read and write CDs and DVDs
  • Has LED display
  • The touchpad comes with multi-touch gesture support.

Cons

  • Little Bit Costly

🔥 Check Out HP Pavilion 15.6 Now

8. ASUS VIVOBOOK F510QA

Asus VivoBook F510QA

Features

  • 15.6″ FHD Wide View
  • AMD A12-9720P
  • AMD Radeon R7
  • 8GB RAM 

Buy Now

ASUS offers this laptop at an extremely low price. Instead of an Intel core processor, this has an AMD A12-9720P quad Intel core processor.

It has 8GB of RAM, which is a surprising feature for the price. This is adequate for your daily tasks.

You can multitask while gaming, working on projects, browsing the web, and much more. The main issue is that it has poor display quality; it is not very bright and may be harmful to your eyes.

The internet connectivity is also adequate, but there is no Ethernet port. It weighs about 3.7 pounds and is light enough to carry around.

Hardware Specifications Of Asus VivoBook F510QA
Processor AMD A12-9720P
Graphic Cards AMD Radeon R7
Display 15.6″ FHD Wide View
RAM 8GB RAM 
Operating System Windows 10  in S Mode
Weight 3.7 lbs
Storage 256 GB SSD
Price $340-$399

Pros

  • Super affordable
  • Well-equipped processor
  • Smooth gaming and multitasking
  • Has all needed ports and slots
  • Poor display features

Cons

  • Poor display features
  • Networking or connectivity features are satisfactory and not too great.

My Say: This is a great laptop for cheap prices with multiple other features but has a very poor display, so in case you as a gamer spend a lot many hours on your laptop, this one is not the right one for you.

🔥 Buy Asus VivoBook F510QA Now

9. LENOVO IDEAPAD S340

Lenovo IdeaPad S340

Features

  • 15.6 Inch HD Display
  • Intel Core i3-8145U Processor
  • Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • 128 GB SSD

Buy Now

Are you a high school or college student, or a business professional? If so, this Lenovo Ideapad S340 is without a doubt the best option for you.

It is designed in such a way that it exudes professionalism. It appears very classy to carry it anywhere you want.

The screen is anti-glare, shielding your eyes from harmful rays. With the help of this option, you can game on this laptop while also multitasking. Isn’t this fantastic? And the price is fantastic.

Hardware Specifications Of Lenovo Ideapad S340
Processor Intel Core i3-8145U Processor
Graphic Cards Intel UHD Graphics 620
Display 15. 6 Inch HD Anti-Glare LED-Backlit Display
RAM 8GB RAM 
Operating System Windows 10 
Weight 3.96 lbs
Storage 128 GB SSD
Price $340-$399

Pros

  • Fantastic body design
  • Great display features.
  • Dual Intel core processor
  • Smooth gaming
  • Best for students and business people
  • Has all needed ports and slots

Cons

  • Poor battery life

My Say: It has a dual-core processor and is best known to students and business people. It looks very classy and professional. The battery life is not appreciable though.

🔥 Buy Lenovo Ideapad S340 Now

10. HP 15-INCH HD

HP 15-inch HD

Features

  • 15.6-Inch (1366×768)
  • 10th Generation Intel Core
  • 4GB (not upgradable)
  • 128 GB SSD

Buy Now

The HP 15-inch HD is a lightweight and portable laptop that is reasonably priced.

It can boost in seconds and transfer files extremely quickly, allowing you to enjoy the joys of gaming and multitasking.

It has a fantastic feature called Bios Recovery, which automatically monitors the health of your laptop.

Hardware Specifications Of HP 15-Inch HD
Processor 10th Generation Intel Core
Display 15.6-Inch (1366×768)
RAM 4GB (not upgradable)
Operating System Windows 10 in S mode
Weight 3.85 lbs
Storage 128 GB SSD
Price $391

Pros

  • It transfers files in seconds
  • It has a long-lasting battery
  • Boosts super quick
  • Protects your laptop from unauthorized access

Cons

  • The RAM is not upgradable

🔥 Check Out HP 15-inch HD Now

How To Select A Laptop With A Budget Of $400?

Let’s take a look at the specifications that a good laptop should have in the given budget of $400.

1. Processor

Also known as the CPU, it aids in determining the speed at which the computer will process information. And, as a gamer, I’m sure you’re aware that a laptop requires a high processing system speed to enjoy your gaming experience.

High-end laptops now include at least an Intel Core i5 processor, and some even have quad processors.

As a result, you must conduct thorough research to find the best speed processing system to meet your needs.

2. Display

When it comes to gaming, visual or laptop graphics specifications are crucial. If the image or sound quality is not satisfactory, the gamer will not be able to fully enjoy the experience.

In the case of the display, the two main features to look for are:

  • Display dimensions, and
  • Resolution

1280 by 1024 resolution display screen appears to be adequate for a laptop.

Other certain features that are important for the best laptop display are

  • The size of the display.
  • Native image resolution.
  • The perspective of viewing
  • The aspect ratio

3. Graphics Card

A gaming laptop folds higher graphics cards. If you don’t want to play games like those from the 1980s, you’ll need the best graphics cards.

All of the most recent games necessitate the most recent updates, which necessitate modernized graphics cards.

As time goes on, there are many advancements in the field of gaming, so the graphic cards should be of high quality so that they can deal with the new updates.

However, you cannot expect high-quality cards for less than $400. I’m sure you can make some changes and still be happy. When looking for the best laptops under $400, this feature should be at the top of your list.

4. Hard Drives

The term “hard drives” refers to the required storage space. The most recent low-cost laptops have storage capacities of around terabytes.

SSDs are designed and crafted in such a way that they provide an auspicious future in the field of gaming, but they are extremely expensive despite being extremely reliable choices.

Most laptops offer high-end options that are always popular among gamers:

  •   SATA HDD
  •   SSD

5. RAM

This is one of the most important features to consider when purchasing a laptop. This indicates how quickly your systems will run on the laptop.

A laptop must have at least 8 GB of RAM because this is required for users who want to try out new games. Nowadays, the majority of laptops come with 8 GB or more of memory.

RAM is not prohibitively expensive, and you can easily afford it, so why settle for less RAM?

If you need more graphics, you will need more RAM, so make sure you have enough laptop memory to enjoy your gaming experience.

FAQ

What is the best gaming laptop under $400?

It is noticed that many people vote for Lenovo 15.6 laptops as their favorite. It has AMD A12- 9720P. It has amazing gaming graphics – AMD Radeon R7. The display undoubtedly is bright and great. It has 8GB RAM for you to store an ample amount of data and information. The storage is best at this price it is 1 terabyte and it is the only one with this much storage under the $ 400 segment. This is a thin and portable device and the best part is its price, which is $398.

Can You Game on a $400 laptop?

Yes, you can game on a $ 400 laptop but you would have to undergo very good research and choose the right one. You will see that these laptops have quite many restrictions and limitations but you can adjust them if you want to fit them into a lesser budget.

Are These Laptops Ideal for Students?

Yes, these laptops are perfect for students as they can use them for gaming as well as they can be multitasking on these laptops and they come on a budget. LENOVO IDEAPAD S340 is voted as the best choice for students and business people under the $ 400 segment.

What should a $400 laptop include?

A good amount of RAM, a long-lasting battery, mobility, a good display, and plenty of ports.

Is a $400 laptop capable of doing professional duties?

With the help of web-based tools, a $400 laptop can manage video conferencing, spreadsheet processing, and basic productivity tasks that demand minimal degrees of professional expertise. However, if you need a device that can handle more demanding tasks, such as photo or video editing, a device with a sufficient amount of RAM should be considered.

Are laptops under $400 capable of video and photo editing?

Even if you expand the RAM, $400 laptops aren’t powerful enough for professional editors who utilize Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Lightroom, Camtasia, and other software. Web-based photo editing (think Canva) and video editing (think Animoto) are, on the other hand, well-supported.

Why do most low-cost laptops have longer battery life?

Most low-cost notebooks use power-saving processors that are weak or mid-range. Furthermore, unlike PCs dedicated to high-end gaming, these machines are solely utilized for basic productivity and academic duties, putting less strain on the battery.

Quick Links:

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Conclusion

Though all of these options are amazing, have fantastic features, and are well worth the price, there must be a clear favorite; after all, you can’t afford to buy all of them, can you?

So, after analyzing and weighing the pros and cons of all the crazy options up there, I had to come to a decision on which was my clear choice. Lenovo 15.6 is my favorite laptop.

It has an AMD A12-9720P processor, which is popular among gamers. It has incredible gaming graphics for breathtaking visuals and the best gaming experience.

The display is undeniably bright and impressive. It has 8GB of RAM, which allows you to store a large amount of data and information. At this price, the storage is excellent; it is 1 terabyte.

This is a small and portable device, and the best part is the low price of $398. It’s already my favorite. Oh my goodness, this was a challenge.

To begin, it is difficult to find the best laptop for under $400 because you must conduct extensive research to find one within your price range.

Second, you must be certain of your conclusion. So, have you chosen your favorite yet?

🔥 Check Out Lenovo 15.6 Now

TOP-5 best laptops cost up to 400 euros

Each of us needs a computer to a greater or lesser extent – it can be used both for work needs and for leisure. However, if this is not your most important purchase, you certainly do not want to invest a lot of money in it. The good thing is that you don’t need to do this – inexpensive laptops will please not only with a good price, but also with solid characteristics. Which of their models can be purchased under 400 euros?

Lenovo IdeaPad 3

This laptop is ideal for a variety of daily tasks. Nevertheless, this does not mean that, having chosen a fairly inexpensive model, it will be necessary to slow down the pace of work: on the contrary, , the manufacturers made sure that the power of this device was definitely enough for . Lenovo IdeaPad devices are commercially available in several different configurations. This is very convenient because you can choose the power you need for your needs without spending a single cent more than you would like. 4GB to 16GB RAM, modern Intel or AMD Ryzen processor, 128GB to 256GB SSD memory, battery lasting about 9hours without additional recharging – all these specifications speak for themselves. In addition, it is very easy to integrate with other devices. This provides the latest USB-C connector.

HP 255 G7

Although this device may look inconspicuous on the outside, don’t be fooled – the manufacturers have placed all of its brilliance on a list of very solid specifications. An SSD hard drive, 8 GB RAM memory and an advanced AMD processor is an amazing combination that is rarely available at such a low price. HP laptops have been proving for years that they offer some of the best value for money. So you can rest assured that these parameters will definitely be enough for everyone to perform everyday work. It’s not without reason that so many businesses around the world choose HP computers for their work.

Asus VivoBook 15 x515

Whether you’re working or playing, this laptop delivers solid performance and breathtaking visuals. This provides a fast Intel processor and as much as 8 GB of working memory. The screen boasts 178-degree wide angles and a matte finish that reduces glare and provides eye comfort. . This device will also provide fast reading and writing of data, therefore, its capabilities should definitely be enough. Compared to other models, Asus VivoBook 15 X515 will allow you to store a wider range of data, from your favorite music to videos, thanks to an ultra-fast 480 GB SSD hard drive. Of course, when choosing a new laptop, looks also matter. This model will definitely not disappoint those who appreciate the stylish and minimalistic design.

Prestigio Smartbook 141 C6

Manufacturers claim that this laptop is one of the best assistants for students or office workers. With a 2.2GHz AMD dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal SSD storage, you can quickly complete everyday tasks, work seamlessly with Microsoft Office programs, and smoothly browse the Internet. This is a relatively modest package that does not require large investments. But this should be enough for productive work. The computer is not large, weighing only 1.4 kg, so it is easy to carry it with you to work or study outside the home or university, for example, in a cafe or park. A powerful 4800 mAh battery will also allow you not to think about charging for quite a long time: up to 6 hours of watching videos and up to 8 hours of working with Office programs.

Dell E7250

The list of the best laptops will end with one of the cheapest on the market. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not cheap because it’s bad. Simply put, this model has features ideal for your basic needs. First, the Dell E7250 is very small, with a 12.5-inch display. This is a great advantage when you need to take your laptop with you on a trip, but you don’t want to lug around a big computer backpack or bag. However, this kid is no slouch. It is equipped with 8 GB of working memory and a good Intel processor – enough for everyday tasks such as searching the Internet or watching Youtube.

When wondering how to choose a laptop for yourself, the price is not the only selection criterion, it is easy to see that all these cheap models can easily compete with more expensive devices. You will find more options worthy of your attention – you just need to decide which characteristics you prefer in the first place.

All the best laptops under $400 for students

We’ve finally reached the point where even a budget laptop can give you enough computing experience. In fact, Microsoft itself has released a budget version of the Surface for less than $400. So what should you buy?

$400 Say No

The new Microsoft Surface Go is the first thing you’ll see in this price range. But you should skip it and move on.

The $399

Surface Go is a clever marketing myth. That version is just a tablet without a keyboard. The keyboard costs another 100-130 dollars. So no matter what, we’re talking about a $500 laptop here, no taxes.

Of course you can buy a tablet for $400 if you want, but it’s not the best laptop and you can’t expect any work on it. In addition, there are better options.

Best laptop for $400

Acer Aspire E15

  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: Intel Core i3 8130u
  • Touch screen: no
  • Screen: 15. 6″ Full HD (1920 × 1080 pixels)
  • Memory: 6 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 1TB SATA HDD
  • Ports: 2xUSB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1xUSB-C, HDMI, DVI
  • Notable Features: DVD Writer, long battery life
  • Biggest problem: is too bulky for everyday mobility

I can’t remember how many years it’s been since the first model was released, but the latest Acer Aspire E15 was my (and most other reviewers’) standard recommendation for a budget laptop with all the features you could need. It’s pretty much a desktop replacement.

Everything about the E15 is great, from the crisp screen and good sound to the powerful Core i3 processor and extra RAM. The latest version also fixes the only issue people have had with it, including a hefty battery that puts it among the laptops with the best battery life.

The only problem with the Aspire E15 is that it’s bulky and heavy. In a world where laptops are getting thin and easy to carry around, Acer has done it with every convenience. Naturally, it hurts to take it with you everywhere, but you won’t regret missing a day of shoulders and arms at the gym.

Best laptop under $400 for school and work

Asus VivoBook E403NA

  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Pentium N4200
  • Touch screen: no
  • Screen: 14″ Full HD (1920 × 1080 pixels)
  • Memory: 4 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD
  • Ports: 2xUSB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1xUSB-C
  • Notable features: lightweight, USB-C charging
  • Biggest problem: not powerful enough for heavy tasks

For most students and office professionals, a laptop has multiple uses. It’s the go-to device for browsing the web, working in Microsoft Office, and doing other demanding tasks. It is also the main device for watching movies or listening to music while doing housework. At the same time, it should be light enough that you can take it from one place to another without complaint.

The Asus VivoBook E403 is the laptop that best fits these criteria. It weighs 3.3 pounds and is made from aluminum, giving it a classy and classy look. The Solid State Drive (SSD) makes it safe to carry from place to place.

One of my favorite features of the VivoBook is that it can be charged via USB-C. As long as you have a power bank with enough power, you can plug it into your laptop and charge anywhere.

However, the Asus VivoBook E403 has a much less powerful processor than the Acer Aspire E15. While the VivoBook is good enough for general work, don’t expect it to be used for AutoCAD, Photoshop, video editing, or other similar intensive tasks.

Best convertible or flip laptop under $400

Dell Inspiron 11 3000

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: Intel Pentium N3710
  • Touch screen: yes
  • Screen: 11. 6″ HD (1366 × 768 pixels)
  • Memory: 4 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD
  • Ports: 1xUSB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, HDMI
  • Notable features: 360 degree flip
  • Biggest problem: weak for multitasking

Many laptops these days are equipped with a touch screen. You may not use it as often as in regular laptop mode, but it’s handy with laptops that rotate 360 ​​degrees to become like a tablet. The best one is the Dell Inspiron 11 3000.

You actually have several choices in this category, including the Asus Vivobook Flip, Lenovo Flex 6, and Acer Spin 1. But like our overall winner, the Aspire E15, the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 has an age advantage. Dell has been doing this for years, with small improvements every year. The latest model finally got the right balance.

With laptops like this at this price point, don’t expect to get everything. It’s all about compromise. So you end up with a lower resolution screen, which comes with a few downsides; but hey, it’s a touchscreen. The sound might be low, but it’s Windows, so you can boost it artificially with programs like VLC. Performance isn’t great, but it’s good enough for simple tasks as long as you don’t load too many things at once.

Of course, this is the best convertible or inverted laptop. If you want to detach the tablet-keyboard hybrid, you will need to select the next option. But to decide whether you need a convertible or a plug-in hybrid, read our article on how to choose the right 2-in-1 for you.

  • Operating system: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: Intel Atom x5 Z8350
  • Touch screen: yes
  • Screen: 10″ HD (1280 × 800 pixels)
  • Memory: 4 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD
  • Ports: 1xUSB 3. 0, 1x USB 2.0
  • Notable features: removable tablet with stylus
  • Biggest problem: not a great computer

If you like the Microsoft Surface Go but find it too expensive, the Asus Transformer Mini is the best alternative. And it comes with a keyboard case as well as a stylus with handwriting recognition.

Transformer Mini looks more like a tablet than a laptop. If most of your work involves writing or editing documents, this is actually good enough. Because the rest of the time you can use it as a tablet to watch movies and shows or play games.

But for any other task, the Transformer Mini’s underpowered processor can’t handle your needs. Even while browsing the web, you can have five to eight tabs open in Chrome before it starts to choke.

However, it might be a good idea to spend a few more bucks and get one of the best mini tablet PCs or hybrids out there. Spend $500 and you’ll get a laptop that will last you years.

  • Operating system: Chrome OS
  • Processor: Intel Celeron N3350
  • Touch screen: yes
  • Screen: 11.6″ HD (1366 × 768 pixels)
  • Memory: 4 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Storage: 32 GB Flash
  • Ports: 2xUSB 3.0, 1x USB-C
  • Notable features: support for Android applications and Linux programs
  • Biggest problem: very low sound level, average battery life

We keep saying that students should use Chromebooks, they offer much better value in the budget segment. But in $400 brackets, the Asus Vivobook E403 and Acer Aspire E15 are actually ahead. That said, the Acer Spin 11 is a solid Chromebook for those looking to give Chrome OS a try.

This touchscreen laptop with flip-out hinge allows you to install Android apps through the Play Store, and will even work with Linux apps in the near future. This means that you will soon be able to install full-fledged desktop applications. But then 32 GB of memory can become a problem.

There are two minor issues with the Chromebook Spin 11. First, it has rather weak speakers, so you can’t wait to hear the sound. This is not a deal breaker, as there are ways to increase the volume beyond the maximum. Secondly, the Spin 11’s battery life doesn’t live up to expectations for a Chromebook. It’s still pretty good, running time is around 7 hours. But for a Chromebook, it’s on the downside.

If you ask me, I would suggest you up your budget by about $50 and get the Asus Chromebook Flip C302. This is one of the best convertible Chromebooks and surprisingly cheap for what it offers.

Forget gaming at this price

Some of you may be wondering why there is no recommendation for a gaming laptop. It’s simple. You can’t enjoy $400 PC games. The Acer Aspire E15 is actually the best gaming laptop you can get in this budget, and even then you won’t have a good experience.