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Top 10 Best Budget Laptops Under $400

Buying a budget laptop does not always have to mean compromises, especially when you’re spending $400 for it. At this price, you can get a pretty well-specced laptop with mainstream Intel or AMD processor, fast SSD storage, 4+ GB RAM, a sharp 1080p display, and some of them even have a backlit keyboard! What else could you expect from a laptop that costs under $400? Of course, it cannot run the latest AAA games or handle demanding workloads, but most people buying budget laptops don’t have to deal with such programs. If you have to, then there are some budget notebooks under $400 with powerful integrated graphics that can handle minor photo video-editing jobs and even gaming up to an extent.

So, the best laptops under $400 are definitely not slouching performers, and there are very few compromises you’ll have to make compared to other less costly options. However, if you’re shopping for a 2-in-1 laptop or a Chromebook, then you’ll still struggle to find a decent one with a great display or enough storage space. Nonetheless, there are still some great options in the $400 price range. You can check them out in our top picks below.

Best Laptops Under 400 Dollars – Top Picks

After testing many budget notebooks, Chromebooks, and 2-in-1s, we concluded that the ASUS VivoBook 15 is the best budget notebook under $400 for most people. It offers great performance, an edge to edge 15-inch full HD screen, a backlit keyboard, and it’s also a very portable laptop weighing just 3.7 pounds. For those looking for a 2-in-1 laptop under $400, our top pick is the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14. It is a very well-built convertible laptop with a great display, excellent performance, and long battery life. For those shopping for the Chromebook, our top pick is the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13″, which is the only Chromebook to come with a mainstream Intel Core i3 processor in this price range. Plus, it has an excellent display, and it has the longest battery life among all our top picks.

ProductCPU | RAMSize | Weight
Asus VivoBook 15 (Our Top Pick)Intel Core i3-1005G1 1.2GHz | 8GB15.6″ | 3.7 lbs
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14″ (Best Convertible)AMD Ryzen 3 4300U 2.7 GHz | 4GB14″ | 3.6 lbs
Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13″ (Best Chromebook)Intel Core i3-10110U 2.1GHz | 4GB13.3″ | 2.9 lbs
HP 17z-ca100 17-inch LaptopAMD Ryzen 5 3500U 2.1 GHz | 12GB17.3″ | 5.6 lbs
Acer Aspire 5 (Best Seller)AMD Ryzen 3 4300U 2.7 GHz | 4GB15.6″ | 3.9 lbs
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14″ Laptop (Best For Gaming)AMD Ryzen 5-3500U 2.1GHz | 8GB14″ | 3.3 lbs
Dell Inspiron 15 3000 LaptopIntel Core i3-1115G4 1.7 GHz | 8GB15.6″ | 3.9 lbs
HP 14t LaptopIntel Core i3-1115G4 1.7 GHz | 8GB14″ | 3.2 lbs
Acer Chromebook 514 (Premium & Lightweight)Intel Celeron N3450 1.1GHz | 4GB14″ | 3.0 lbs
HP 15t High Performance LaptopIntel Core i5-1135G7 2.4GHz | 8GB15.6″ | 3.8 lbs

1. Asus VivoBook 15 Our Top Pick

ASUS VivoBook 15 F512JA-AS34 15-inch Laptop

Asus VivoBook 15 is a recently launched laptop, which exceeded our expectations for a sub-$400 laptop both in terms of hardware specs and features.

It is among the very few laptops in $400 price range to come with the 10th Gen Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD. Plus, it also has the beautiful 1080p display with tiny bezels and a full backlit keyboard with numpad!

So, it’s a very feature-rich laptop, and it also offers decent performing specs for the money, but every budget laptop have to cut corners somewhere to meet its low price tag, and with VivoBook 15 it happens to be its display and speakers.

No doubt, its 15-inch full HD display is far better than most other laptops in this price range that comes with 1366 by 768 resolution panels, but the peak brightness of VivoBook 15’s display is just 204-nits. It is very dim and its almost impossible to work outdoors or in a highly lit environment with this laptop. Apart from that, speakers on the VivoBook 15 does not get loud, and it distorts at high volumes, and you still can’t expect bass-rich sound from the laptop speakers in this price range, so you might have to use headphones if you watch a lot of YouTube videos or Netflix on your laptop.

The ASUS VivoBook 15 is still a great value for the money. It is well-designed and built notebook with features that are hard to find in this price range, and it performs well too. You can easily multitask and complete all your everyday tasks on it, and it can even handle tasks like photo editing and run less demanding games like Minecraft and CS: GO (at low graphics settings).

So, if you are looking for the best laptop under $400, then the ASUS VivoBook 15 is our top pick right now.

Read our full ASUS VivoBook 15 Review

Hardware Specifications of Asus VivoBook 15 (F512JA-AS34) Laptop
 ProcessorIntel Core i3-1005G1 Dual-Core Processor (Turbo up to 3.4GHz)
 RAM8GB RAM
 Storage128GB SSD (Upgradable)
 GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics
 Display15.6-Inch Full HD NanoEdge Display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 7 hours
 Weight3.7 lbs

$379.99 | Buy Now From Amazon

2. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14″ Best 2-in-1 Laptop Under $400

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14" - best 2 in 1 laptop under $400

If you are looking for a good convertible laptop under $400, then your options are quite limited because most 2-in-1s in this price range either have a weak CPU or have a bad display and keyboard or an overall feel.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14″, our top pick for a convertible laptop under $400 is an exception, though. It offers phenomenal performing hardware with excellent display and keyboard and has a pretty sturdy build quality as well.

You can’t expect an all-metal chassis in this price range, but Flex 5’s polycarbonate chassis is just as sturdy, and it has a nice smooth finish which makes it look premium and feel good to touch. It comes with a 14-inch full HD IPS display which is very responsive to touch, and it is also relatively bright and colorful panel. The keyboard on the Flex 5 14 does not have backlit keys, but it is very comfortable to type for long hours, and its trackpad is also adequately sized, and it uses Windows Precision drivers, so it supports all multi-finger gestures.

Inside it has an AMD’s newest Ryzen 3 quad-core processor which has plenty of oomph to handle everything from typical everyday tasks to mid-end gaming. However, the Flex 5 14″ has just 4GB of RAM and a very small 128GB SSD. The storage drive on the laptop is upgradable, but RAM is sodded on the motherboard, and it cannot be upgraded, which is the biggest problem with this convertible laptop. However, if you would be using your laptop for MS Office, web surfing, or streaming videos online, then 4GB RAM is more than enough.

All in all, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 is the best convertible laptop you can buy under $400. It offers powerful specs in a premium and portable chassis with a great display, comfortable keyboard and its battery lasts for up to 10 hours on a single charge.

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 Laptop
 ProcessorAMD Ryzen 3 4300U Quad Core 2.7 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 3.7 GHz)
 RAM4GB DDR4 RAM
 Storage128GB SSD
 GraphicsAMD Radeon Integrated
 Display14-inch Full HD IPS Touchscreen Display
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home in S mode (Easily switchable to Windows 10 Home)
 Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
 Weight3.6 lbs

Check price on Walmart

3. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13″ Best Chromebook Under $400

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13" - best chromebook under $400

If you’re looking for the best chromebook under $400, then Lenovo Flex 5 13″ is our pick. It is a 13-inch convertible Chromebook that packs powerful and all the latest hardware inside a beautifully crafted lightweight chassis that weighs just 2.9 pounds!

It is powered by the latest Intel Core i3 processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB SSD, which outputs adequate performance for most users’ daily requirements. It can easily handle chrome with around 15 tabs and few other apps running in the background. So, it’s no slouch. Apart from that, the laptop comes with a beautiful 13-inch full HD touchscreen display, which also supports pen input, making it a great option for students to take notes. However, the pen is not included in the box, and you’ll have to buy it separately. Moreover, the laptop’s hinges allow smooth rotation of the screen to use it as a tablet or in other positions. There’s no unnecessary friction or stops in between the hinges’ operation.

With an excellent backlit keyboard, all the required ports and slots, including the micro SD card reader to expand its low storage, and battery life of up to 10 hours, the Lenovo Flex 5 13 Chromebook is a complete package for people who prefer Chrome OS over Windows.

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo Flex 5 13″ Convertible Chromebook
 ProcessorIntel Core i3-10110U Dual Core 2.1 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.1 GHz)
 RAM4GB DDR4 RAM
 Storage128GB SSD
 GraphicsIntel UHD Integrated
 Display13.3-inch Full HD IPS Touchscreen Display
 Operating SystemChrome OS
 Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
 Weight2.9 lbs

$398.11 from Amazon

4. HP 17z-ca100 17 Inch Laptop

HP 17z-ca100 Best 17-inch Laptop Under 400 Dollars

HP is one of the world’s most renowned laptop manufacturer, and its laptops are always the contending ones in all categories. Well if we talk about this notebook from HP, then it is made for those who prefer big screen laptops. It is a 17-inch laptop, so it isn’t portable to work on the go or conveniently carry around, but it can be an excellent replacement for your home or office computer. It has the pretty average build quality and design, but its performance is what makes it a worthy option to consider under 400 dollars.

As expected its chassis is made up of polycarbonate, which isn’t problematic but due to its huge dimensions there’s more than average amount of flex in its keyboard deck and screen. Nothing to worry about though. That’s common with most 17-inch laptops. It has got full size keyboard with dedicated numpad for those who has to crunch numbers all day long and it has a standard size touchpad with plastic surface. 

The massive 17.3 inches of LED-backlit display produces decent gamut of colors and it is bright as well. It provides a whole lot of connectivity options as well both wired and wireless, so that you stay connected with your loved ones no matter where you are. It comes with latest Windows 10 pre-installed which runs buttery smooth by co-operating with its powerful AMD Ryzen 5 CPU (up to 3.7 GHz) and 12GB of RAM. Moreover, it offers enough spacious and speedy 256GB SSD to store all your required files, and your collection of movies and games.

Although it isn’t the pro-gaming machine, it does allow to play some of the best all-time favorite games such as Counter-Strike. This laptop can also be used for photo editing because it has got the large display.

Overall, the HP 17z-ca100 is the best 17-inch laptop under 400 dollars for people who are looking for a budget laptop for photo editing, gaming and other similar stuff.

Hardware Specifications of HP 17z-ca100 Laptop
 ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 3500U Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 3.7 GHz)
 RAM12GB DDR4 RAM
 Storage256GB SSD
 GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
 Display17.3-Inch Diagonal HD+ Anti-Glare WLED Display with 1600 x 900 resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
 Weight5.6 lbs

Check price on HP

5. Acer Aspire 5 (A515-44-R93G) Notebook #1 Best Seller

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L - best laptop under $400

Acer is also not behind in manufacturing value for money laptops. This is another laptop in this list of best laptops under $400 which comes packed with impressive features and hardware specifications. That said, it is one of the very few laptops in this price range that offers a full HD display and a backlit keyboard. Moreover, it doesn’t even compromise in the specs department or build quality which makes it one of the best all-around laptops in sub-$400 laptops category.

It is built from high-quality plastic which is also heat resistant to keep the temperature of this laptop in control. It has a precision touchpad and a full backlit keyboard with numpad for easier data inputs. It is powered by an AMD Ryzen 3 quad-core processor (beats Intel Core i3) with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD. The RAM and storage capacity both are very less, but they are both easily upgradable. Overall, the performance of the Windows 10 on this laptop with stock specs is very smooth, and we think it’ll be more than enough for most people’s computing needs. Apart from that, it also has all the standard ports and slots lined up on either side with fast and reliable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options.

All in all, the Acer Aspire 5 laptop is suitable for a wide array of users because it doesn’t compromise on any features. Its hardware may not be best available in a laptop at this price point, but it packs in a decently powerful processor, and its less RAM and storage drive are easily upgradable. Plus, it is also a very aggressively priced notebook. Probably, that’s the reason it is currently one of the best selling laptops under $400.

Hardware Specifications of Acer Aspire 5 A515-44-R93G Laptop
 ProcessorAMD Ryzen 3 4300U Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 3.7 GHz)
 RAM4GB DDR4 RAM
 Storage128GB SSD
 GraphicsAMD Radeon Graphics
 Display15.6-Inch Full HD LED-backlit IPS Display with 1920×1080 resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 in S mode
 Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
 Weight3.9 lbs

$560.00 | Buy Now From Amazon

6. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14″ Laptop Best For Gaming

Lenovo Ideapad 3 best gaming laptop under 400 dollars

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is known for its decent performing hardware packed inside a thin and light chassis. It is one of the best gaming laptop under $400 for all the budget gamers right now. Although the design of this laptop suggests otherwise, its high-performance hardware can let users play some of the popular gaming titles and do some less complex video editing. It isn’t a pro-gaming laptop or anything, but it does get the job done for budget gaming laptop buyers.

The laptop is finished in abyss blue color as you can see in an image above and it is also durable to resist everyday wears and tears. It has 14-inch full HD display with narrow bezels, which is fairly color accurate and bright as well.

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 boasts powerful AMD Ryzen 5 processor and 8GB of RAM which makes it the most powerful laptop in this segment! It has integrated AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics which handles gaming and other intensive jobs smoothly. With all standard ports and slots and decent battery life, this Lenovo laptop stands best for the people looking for the mixture of work and play in their new laptop.

If you are looking for more better laptop to play games, then we recommend you to checkout our guide to buy best gaming laptop under 500 dollars. They are the best budget high performance gaming laptops which won’t break the bank.
Hardware Specifications of Lenovo IdeaPad 3 – Best Gaming Laptop Under $400
 ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5 3500U Quad Core 2.1 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 3.7GHz)
 RAM8 GB DDR4 RAM (Expandable up to 16GB)
 Storage256GB SSD
 GraphicsAMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
 Display14-Inch Full HD Anti-Glare LED-backlit Display with 1920 x 1080 resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit
 Battery Life5 hours
 Weight3.3 lbs

$518.00 | Buy Now From Amazon

7. Dell Inspiron 15 3000

2021 Dell Inspiron 15 3000 - best business laptop under $400

Dell’s Inspiron series of laptops are designed to suit the requirements of the vast array of users. They are good looking and come with adequate power inside to do all everyday tasks efficiently. This particular notebook belongs to the Inspiron 3000 series, which provides an affordable entry into Dell’s mainstream laptops. It’s a relatively well-built machine with a standard 15 inch size, and it follows a very similar design language as the other Inspiron series of laptops by Dell. There’s nothing exceptional about its design, but it looks good, and its black color makes it fit well in all sorts of environments.

Its 15.6-inch display is great for work. It’s a 1080p panel with relatively good color-reproduction and the slim side bezels makes the display pop. However, it’s peak brightness is just 250-nits and that makes it lose out slightly on total charm. The keyboard is one of the best you will find in this price range with perfectly laid out keys, and its touchpad is also big enough with a decent palm rest area. It also provides a pretty great selection of ports and slots. Plus, it has decent options for down the line hardware upgradability as well.

Speaking of hardware, it has an Intel Core i3 processor inside with 8GB RAM and 1TB HDD. That’s not the most powerful specs you can get in the laptop under $400, but it’s still capable enough to handle all the basic to medium demanding tasks without any hiccups. If you need more power, then you can add another 8GB RAM stick and put in an SSD inside. These upgrades would cost you about $100, but in the future, when this laptop slows down, you can save money by making these upgrades to your machine instead of spending hundreds of dollars again on a new laptop.

Overall, it is a pretty sweet deal for people finding the best budget business laptop for themselves. Its display is slightly underwhelming, but you can always hook it up to an external monitor to power your home/office setup and use it as your everyday work computer.

Hardware Specifications of Dell Inspiron 3501 Series Laptop
 ProcessorIntel Core i3-1115G4 Dual Core 1.7 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.1 GHz)
 RAM8GB DDR4 RAM
 Storage1 TB 5400 RPM HDD
 GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics
 Display15.6 Inch Full HD Anti Glare LED-backlit Display
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
 Battery LifeUp to 5 hours
 Weight3.9 lbs

$390.99 | Buy at Dell

8. HP 14t Laptop

HP 14t 14 inch Laptop - best laptop under $400 for students

Just like every other laptop in this list, this 14-inch notebook from HP also have few shortcomings, but it gets full marks for the hardware that it offers for the price.

It is powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core i3 dual core processor and it has 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD for storage. Most other laptops in this price range offers either decent amount of RAM or storage capacity, however, HP 14t has got both and that’s what makes it a worthy contender in under $400 price range. It’s a very well-balanced notebook that offers perfect specs and most of the required features as well.

It has got a great keyboard with nice clicky keys and its touchpad is also pretty good with smooth tracking surface. Moreover, you also get host of wired connectivity options ranging from multiple USB Type-A ports, a single USB Type-C port, HDMI and even a full size SD card reader. However, its display is not that great. It’s 14 inches and 1366 by 768 panel so it’s not sharp but it’s not as dim as the one on the Dell Inspiron 3000 15 laptop mentioned above.

With the only laptop offering Windows 10 Pro and perfectly balanced specs in this price range, the HP 14t is a great value for money notebook under $400 for business people or students for everyday productivity tasks and light gaming.

Hardware Specifications of HP 14t Laptop
 ProcessorIntel Core i3-1115G4 Dual Core 1.7 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.1 GHz)
 RAM8GB DDR4 RAM
 Storage256GB SSD
 GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics
 Display14-inch HD WLED-backlit Display with 1366 x 768 resolution
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro 64-bit OS
 Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
 Weight3.24 lbs

$419.99 From HP

9. Acer Chromebook 514 Most Premium Option

Acer Chromebook 514 Most Premium Laptop Under $400

If you are looking for the most premium looking and feeling laptop under $400, then this Acer Chromebook 514 is for you. It is the only laptop in this price range that has an all-metal chassis. Plus, it doesn’t miss out on any features, and its performance is also pretty adequate for day to day tasks.

It comes with a 14 inch full HD touchscreen display, which is very responsive to touches and it’s also bright enough to work outdoors and colorful to watch Netflix or YouTube videos. Its speakers are decent, but the experience would still be better with headphones. They are loud, but they miss out on bass. Moreover, its backlit keyboard is also one of the best in this price range. Its keys travel deep enough and deliver lovely tactile feedback when pressed. Its touchpad is also large and intuitive to navigate the Chrome OS.

As far as performance is concerned, the Chromebook 514 has Intel Celeron N3450 processor inside with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage. It outputs an adequate amount of performance for most users everyday requirements. You can easily surf the web with 4-5 tabs and edit a document or create a presentation simultaneously. However, for anything more intense than this, the Chromebook 514 will start slowing down. So, performance is definitely not the strongest point of this laptop, and if you are a power user then our top pick – Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13″ would be a lot better option for you. It may not have an all-metal chassis, but it’s a well-built laptop, and it has a way more capable Intel Core i3 processor.

Overall, the Acer Chromebook 514 is an excellent option for those who want to buy a premium and well-built laptop under $400. It may not have the most powerful specs, but if your everyday work does not demand a lot of horsepowers, then this Chromebook delivers the MacBook like feel for a lot less money, plus the convenience of all the standard ports and slots!

Hardware Specifications of Acer Chromebook 514
 ProcessorIntel Celeron N3450 Quad Core Processor (Turbo up to 2.2 GHz)
 RAM4GB LPDDR4 RAM
 Storage64GB eMMC
 GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics
 Display14-inch Full HD LED-backlit IPS Touchscreen Display
 Operating SystemChrome OS
 Battery LifeUp to 12 hours
 Weight3.09 lbs

$381.49 from Amazon

10. HP 15t Laptop With 11th Gen i5

HP 15t Laptop - High Performance Budget Laptop in $400 Price Range

The last laptop in our list is only for those who have a flexible budget. If you are ready to spend up to $450, then the HP 15t is probably the most affordable laptop with newest 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor right now. You are getting almost double the performance than Intel Core i3 processor by spending just $50 bucks over your budget. Most people don’t need an i5 processor laptop though, but if you want to future proof your purchase, then you should definitely consider this laptop.

The HP 15t is built from a rigid polycarbonate finished in black color, and it has kind of professional hue going on with the design. The keyboard is non-backlit but is comfortable to type for long hours, and its touchpad has separate left and right click keys, which is becoming rare these days. The display of the laptop is not that great, though. It’s a bad 1366 by 768 resolution panel, but there’s an option to get it with full HD display. All the ports and slots are lined on either side of the laptop. Plus, there’s a pretty great selection of it as well. You get everything from an HDMI and Ethernet port to standard USB-A and USB-C ports, and it even has a full-size SD card slot.

As far as performance is concerned, the laptop has the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor inside with powerful Xe graphics, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. The laptop has got a lot of punch, and it would satisfy even the most advanced user’s requirements. Plus, it can also handle all the latest games (in low to medium graphics settings) without any problem.

So, the HP 15t is one of the most powerful laptops available right now in $400 price range. Apt for everything from mid-end gaming to even video editing.

Hardware Specifications of HP 15t High Performance Budget Laptop
 Processor11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Quad-Core 2.4 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 4.2 GHz)
 RAM8GB DDR4 2666 MHz RAM
 Storage256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
 GraphicsIntel Xe Integrated
 Display15.6 Inch HD Anti-Glare WLED Display (1366 x 768)
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home 64-bit OS
 Battery LifeUp to 7 hours
 Weight3.8 lbs

$449.99 From HP

You may like to check out: Top 10 Best Laptops Under $500

These are the top 10 laptops to buy under your $400 budget right now. Read reviews, check hardware specifications and buy the laptop which suits best for your daily requirements. Feel free to comment below, if you have any questions about the laptops listed above.

I hope this budget laptop buying guide help you to buy best laptop under 400 dollars for yourself.

More Budget Laptops

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Best Budget Laptops Under $400”

  1. Marilyn Solomon says:

    I just purchased the HP Laptop that you have listed as number 8. I’m very glad to see this review and that I made a good purchase even though I am not that knowledgeable. Thank you for all your work doing these reviews as I am one consumer that really appreciates them.

    1. Mike Johnson says:

      Glad to know that, Marilyn. And, thanks for your comment. This is what keeps us all here at Laptop Under Budget pumped up to create the great laptop buying guides like this one.

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