Who says you can’t buy a best laptop under 400? Not all laptops are expensive and not everyone has a task intensive use for it. Many people like you, would need a good laptop which is powerful enough to handle your day to day normal tasks and still costs you something which you can happily afford.
So, we came up with some of the best laptops under $400. These are good laptops, they come with good RAM and processing speed. You will also like their display and overall ease of use. Of course you should not be expecting a lot from it. There won’t be enough room for performing graphic intensive tasks and gaming etc. Now let’s dig into these best cheap laptops under 400 and get you what suits you the most.
Best Laptop under 400 (2020)
- Acer Aspire E15
- ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin
- Acer Aspire 1
- Lenovo Ideapad 330S
- Acer Aspire 5 Slim
- Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
- CHUWI HeroBook 14
What do you get By Spending 400 Dollars?
This is important to know, there is a limit for everything and so is for a laptop under 400. RAM, CPU, storage, display and other certain things will be at a level. You can not go beyond that limit if you want to spend 400 dollars only. Below, we have gone through almost everything which you will get by spending $400 on a laptop.
First and foremost, is how your budget laptop will perform. This comprises of three main things, namely CPU, RAM and storage. Speaking of CPU, you will get a core-i3 and below processor. A core-i5 processor is something which you might get by chance but this will be very rare. However, most of the times you will get other Intel processors like Intel Celeron or Intel core M etc. These processors are not slow in anyway because you should remember that you are willing to spend $400 only. Your basic work like using MS Word, Excel Sheets or browsing multiple tabs will go just fine.
Speaking of RAM, you will be able to go as high as 8GB and in most cases you will get anything below this like 6GB or 4GB. This is not an issue at all, an 8GB RAM is more than enough. Though, you can always upgrade your RAM later on but you won’t need to do that. This is because a 16GB or above RAM is only needed for intensive tasks like Gaming or a laptop for Graphic Designing.
Then comes your storage, this is something which you can always upgrade and get yourself more storage room. But speed is what matters more compared to space. Laptops usually come with an HDD or SSD, also in some cases you may get an eMMC storage or sometimes referred to as as flash storage. Now, SSD is faster than HDD and most new laptops rock an SSD. But it also takes the price up. By spending 400 dollars or below, you will definitely get an SSD but the storage of it will 256GB or below and in some cases you might get 512GB as well.
All these three internal components and their range when put together, gets you a nice configuration. This means your laptop will not be slow by any means, unless you put more load on it, than it can carry.
Two things which will make or break you display preview is its size and resolution. Well, good news, $400 or less bucks is not a barrier here. One can easily get a laptop having a 15 inches display with a resolution of 1080p and this is one nice combination. 15 inches display is more than enough, the only thing beyond this will be a 17 inches laptop which is expensive and needs powerful internal components. In addition, FHD resolution is mainstream these days and you literally do not need anything above this unless you are a gamer or you use you laptops for Photoshop etc.
Other Important Things
Besides display and performance, there are certain other factors which are important to check if a laptop is worth it or not. These things involve, keypad, audio and portability etc.
Well, for 400 dollars only, you should not expect your laptop to be ultrportable and sleek. Yes, it will be easy enough to carry around in your backpack, but it won’t resemble new and modern laptops which are super sleek. Then comes the keypad, comfort level of it is not a factor here. Because there are many expensive laptops on the market which have a not so good keypad on them. What matters here is if the keypad is backlit or not. This depends on each laptop, sometimes you will get normal white backlit keys and sometimes there will none.
Audio performance also matters, for the budget you are willing to spend, you laptop speakers won’t be able to produce ultimate sweet sound. However, it will be good enough for normal work use like watching a tutorial etc.
Best Laptops Under 400
1. Acer Aspire E 15
Not always, but sometimes a manufacturer is able to produce something which does wonders. Acer Aspire E 15 is one of these wonders which Acer has manufactured. It comes with solid performance, overall ease of use and is simply superb. It’s an exception which is worth under 400 dollars, otherwise all other laptops on the list here are nowhere near its performance. The trade-ff for all this performance, however has been made on its design. The laptop is heavy compared to its competitors, it weighs around 5 pounds where other normally weigh 4 pounds or less.
The portability is effected by its heavy weight and thickness, but this does not mean that you can’t carry it in your backpack. You might not like carrying it around, but it’s pretty much doable. Speaking of the specs, this budget model comes with an Intel Core-i3 processor, backed by 6GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, this is one nice configuration for a budget laptop. Up on the top, it also houses an Intel UHD 620 graphics chipset which makes it a best laptop under 400 for gaming. More, its 15.6 inches FHD display is amazing too. It is bright, comes with a good color accuracy ans is pretty detailed.
For I/O you get a ton of ports, it’s a combination of all new and old ports which you will ever need. You get 3 USB-A ports, a USB Type-C, VGA, HDMI, Ethernet port, SD card reader and even a DVD-RW drive. Again, this selection of ports is more than enough for anything you will ever do to your laptop. They keypad you get is full-sized, including a numpad. It is comfortable and pretty much easy to type on. But here comes the best part of all, you get a battery backup of well above 8 hours which is massive for 400 dollars only.
2. ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin
VivoBook 15 is what actually means “power within budget”. You get a laptop which is powerful enough to take you through all you daily tasks and at the same times costs below $400. Not only performance, in fact its design is amazing too. For 400 dollars only, you get a sleek and powerful laptop. It rocks a large 15 inches display and a full-sized keypad. And the overall design also makes it a portable one, so you could easily take it anywhere with you.
Speaking of internals, it houses an Intel Core i3-8145U CPU with an 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD. The storage here is low which is because of the lower price, but you can always upgrade it later. Rest of the configuration is good, an i3 processor combined with 8GB RAM can take you places. Also, it houses an Intel UHD 620 video card which again supports its 1080p display and makes the view nice. The display of is not bad either, it is bright and the colors on it are just fine. However, the thin bezels of it, is what you are going to love the most.
For interface you get almost all necessary ports. The laptop is home to 3 USB-A, a Type-C, an HDMI port, SD card reader and a headphones jack too. You won’t be needing any other ports besides these. About the dimensions, the laptop is 0.75 inches thick and weighs 3.5 lbs only, this makes it a portable one as mentioned earlier. More, the keypad of it is pretty easy to use, it makes you feel comfortable while typing lots of stuff quickly and the speakers of it fall in good range. The battery life of it is what most new laptops have these days, its internals are not power hungry and so the laptop can pretty easily cross 8 hours life which is pretty good.
3. Acer Aspire 1
If you are looking for something way below $400, this is it. It is an affordable laptop which comes with relatively good performance and also rocks a 1080p display. However, not everything on it is good, it lacks certain performance levels which you should not care about because the price of it is too low. Design wise it is amazing, its thickness is 0.7 inches and the weight of it is 3.3 lbs. This makes it a portable one, you will love carrying it around.
It comes with a 14 inches display which has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Not only this, but the colors and brightness on it is great too. About the internals, it houses an Intel Celeron N4000 processor backed by 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB eMMC. This does not sound too good, these specs will not help you if your multitasking is of higher levels. Doing multiple tasks will be OK as long as the tasks are not too intensive. Nothing comes totally perfect, and so this laptop has a good design but lacks serious power.
Speaking of the keypad, it’s a nice one for a 14 inches laptop. The keys are good and fast typing will be no issue at all. The keypad is not backlit, which again is because for buying this laptop you won’t be paying a lot. The audio performance of it is mediocre, it does not have the loudest speakers and won’t give you a kick while listening to songs or watching movies. Finally, for the price it is offered, the battery life of it is good. It gives you a backup of over 6 hours which is just fine.
4. Lenovo Ideapad 330S
You should not expect a lot when spending 400 dollars on a laptop, but you can get something which will work just fine for your normal work. Ideapad 330S is a sleek laptop and has a nice chassis. It is a nice one to carry around for quick work. Also, the performance of it is somehow better than many others because of its AMD Ryzen CPU. Anyway, speaking of the design, it is 0.8 inches thick and weighs around 3.9 lbs which is OK considering its 15 inches display and of course its low price.
About the internals, the base version of it, one being reviewed, comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 CPU alongside 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD. This gives it enough power for multitasking or running multiple tabs in your browser. However, you should not be expecting good graphical performance from it. Not only its graphics chip is weak, in fact its display is not up to the mark either. Yes, it is 15.6 inches and yes it has 1080p resolution. But it lacks a nice brightness level and color accuracy.
For I/O, you get 2 USB-A ports, a USB-C, HDMI, SD card slot and of course a headphones jack. This is enough for all sorts of connectivity considering that it has a Type-C port as well. More, the keyboard on it might not interest you a lot, but the fact that it’s a full-sized keypad which comes with a numpad on it, makes it a good one. About the battery life, it is something you are not going to like. It lives for around 3 hours only, this is not a good battery life considering what new laptops come with these days.
Also Read: How to Upgrade Your Laptop
5. Acer Aspire 5 Slim
This laptop is something you should not take easy, the price of it might be lower but it is superb in everything else. Starting from the design and ending on its performance, it is superb. Additionally, it is lightweight and portable enough to be carried all day long in your backpack without any issues. It is suitable for all sorts of uses, even students can use it for their tasks and it will never let them down. And if you are using it for you normal daily work like checking e-mails and browsing etc. it should work just fine.
This best laptop under 400 houses good internals on the inside compared to the price it is offer at. You get AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD. You can always upgrade its RAM and storage if you need, but even at this configuration it works just fine. More it comes with AMD Vega 3 Graphics chipset as its integrated GPU, it might not be very powerful but does a lot which you can not feel. The 15.6 inches display panel with 1080p resolution is yet another wonder at this low budget. It is great for work, gives nice details and is bright as well.
For basic I/O you get all necessary ports except for a Type-C which is useful nowadays. The laptop is home to 3 USB-A ports, an HDMI port, Ethernet port and a headphones jack as always. What you may not like about the laptop is its audio performance, surely the speakers can go loud but the quality of sound is not satisfactory. For a lower price, Acer had to bring in some trade-offs for performance and those have been made on speakers and ports because it lacks new useful ports like a Type-C.
6. Samsung Chromebook 4
Chromebooks are making space for themselves and they have been pretty much successful in it. Among these, Samsung Chromebooks are well-known, same as the predecessor Samsung Chromebook 3, the Chromebook 4 is going on the ups. It is cheap, powerful, portable and comes handy a lot. Starting from its design, it is one sleek laptops weighing 2.6lbs only and has a thickness of 0.7 inches. This makes it pretty portable and so working on it becomes easy.
About the specs, the Samsung Chromebook 4 comes housed with an Intel Celeron N4000 processor which is backed by 6GB RAM and has 64GB eMMC storage as well. This configuration is only available in the 15 inches model. The display of it is 15.6 inches with good brightness and overall nice view. Also, the resolution of it is 1920 x 1080 which makes most of your tasks fun and easy to go. The only thing which seems sort of oldschool is the thick bezels around the display, in fact they are thicker than what traditional laptops have.
Speaking of interfaces, there isn’t a lot of connection options but you get a USB-C among other ports which you can use to connect other things using adapter cables. Besides Type-C, you get an SD card slot, USB 3.0 and a headphones jack. The speakers of this laptop might not be too loud, but the sound of them is sweet. More, its keyboard is what you will love the most, it makes fast typing easy. Finally, about the battery life, this Chromebook is capable of going well beyond 10 hours which is impressive at this budget.
7. CHUWI HeroBook 14
The name CHUWI might be new to you, but they have come up with a laptop which is cheap yet powerful. Initially, this might sound odd that a new cheap laptop is making place in the market. But it really is worth it. You will come across a lot of cheap laptops with good performance, but this one is exceptional. The best laptop under $400 is worth around 250 dollars only and still rocks good internal components for a speedy performance.
About the specs, you get an Intel Atom X5-E8000 Quad Core processor with 4GB RAM backed by 64GB eMMC storage but things do not come to a halt here. You also get a 256GB SSD and and an M.2 slot where you can add up to 1TB SSD. This means you can always upgrade your laptop later on and get tons of extra storage. As for the display, it comes with a 14.1 inches 1080p display and the looks of it are great. It is bright, colorful and is capable of displaying enough details to smoothly run your work.
For I/O, you get 2 USB-A ports, an SD card slot and a mini HDMI. Unfortunately, there is no USB-C port on it, addition of this port would have made the laptop more useful and good among others. However, the ports you get are still enough for most external connections. The keyboard of it is good but its larger trackpad becomes an obstacle in properly utilizing the keypad. Last but not the least, the battery of this best cheap laptop under 400 is enormous. It goes well above 9 hours which is something that should attract you towards buying it.
A 400 dollar laptop can be useful for many and at the same time will mean nothing to other users. Everything depends on what is your use for the laptop you are buying. For normal things, a best 400 dollars laptop is more than enough. We have listed the best of them, now it’s your turn to choose and get the laptop which will suit you the most.