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The Best Laptops Under $400 in 2023 (Reviews & Buying Guide)

Check out top budget notebooks and 2 in 1s under $400 for work or study.
best laptos under $400 2022 - featured image

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 Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processor, fast SSD storage, 4GB+ 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 activities. If you have to, then there are some budget notebooks under $400 with powerful integrated graphics that can handle light 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 – Top Picks

Our Top Pick

1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 Touchscreen Laptop

The Best Windows Laptop Under $400

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 Touchscreen Laptop - best laptop under $400


  • Processor: Intel Core i3-1115G4 Dual-Core (up to 4.1 GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD integrated for 11th Gen Intel processors
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 (Upgradable)
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD (Upgradable)
  • Display: 15.6-Inch HD Touchscreen Display (1366 x 768)
  • Weight: 3.6 lbs



  • Well-balanced core specs (CPU & RAM)
  • Spacious SSD storage
  • Responsive touchscreen display
  • Privacy shutter on webcam
  • Plenty of ports
  • Lightweight
  • Smooth touchpad and comfortable keyboard


  • Display is not full HD
  • Keyboard does not have backlit keys

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 is the best laptop you can buy under $400 right now. Although it does not have a backlit keyboard and its display is also not full HD, its powerful and well-balanced hardware more than makes up for those things.

That said, it is powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core i3 dual-core processor and it is paired with a decent 8GB of RAM and a spacious 256GB of fast NVMe SSD. These specs would make everyday tasks just fly on it and thanks to the CPU’s integrated UHD graphics, you will also be able to play games like CS:GO, Minecraft, Rocket League, etc. at low settings on it.

Apart from great performance, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 is also a very good-looking laptop with brushed copper like exterior finish that Lenovo calls Almond. Also, its 15.6-inch display has very tiny bezels and it supports touch input, giving you a one more way to interact with apps on Windows 11 or play touch-based games.

With comfortable full-size keyboard, plenty of ports, and fast wireless connectivity, the IdeaPad 3 15 is an excellent all-around performing laptop, and that’s why it is currently our top pick in sub-$400 price segment.

2-in-1 Pick

2. Asus VivoBook Flip 14″

The Best 2 in 1 Laptop Under $400

Asus VivoBook Flip 14 - best 2 in 1 laptop under $400


  • Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 Dual-Core Processor (1.7 – 4.1 GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Integrated on-chip
  • RAM: 4GB LPDDR4x (non-upgradable)
  • Storage: 128GB SSD (upgradable)
  • Display: 14-inch 1080p Touchscreen with wide viewing angles
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs



  • Snappy performance
  • Beautiful looking responsive touch display with pen support
  • Nice backlit keyboard
  • Long battery life
  • Thunderbolt 4 port
  • Slim and portable design


  • RAM is not upgradable

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 a bad display and keyboard, or an overall feel.

The Asus VivoBook Flip 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 Flip 14’s polycarbonate chassis is just as sturdy, and it has an aluminum-alloy lid, which lends it a premium feel. Opening up the lid reveals its gorgeous 360-degree rotatable 14-inch full HD display, which is very responsive to touches, and it is also a relatively bright and colorful panel.

Asus also offers a backlit keyboard on the Flip 14, which is very rare in the 2-in-1s at this price range. It is comfortable to type for long hours, and its trackpad is also adequately sized. And, since it uses Windows Precision drivers, it supports all the multi-finger gestures.

Inside it has Intel’s 11th Gen Core i3 processor, with plenty of oomph to handle everything from typical everyday tasks to mid-end gaming. However, the Flip 14 has just 4GB of RAM and a very small (but quick) 128GB SSD. The storage drive on the laptop is upgradable, but RAM is sodded on the motherboard, and you cannot upgrade it in the future. However, if you would be using your laptop for MS Office, web surfing, or streaming videos online, then 4GB RAM is more than enough.

Overall, the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 is the best convertible laptop you can buy under $400 running Windows operating system. It offers powerful specs in a premium and portable chassis with a great display, comfortable backlit keyboard, and its battery also lasts for up to 8 hours on a single charge.

Chromebook Pick

3. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5i 13″

The Best Chromebook Under $400

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


  • Processor: 11th Gen Dual-Core Intel Core i3-1115G4 (Up to 4.1 GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Integrated
  • RAM: 8GB LPDDR4x (non-upgradable)
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Display: 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080) IPS Touchscreen
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs



  • Smooth performance
  • Beautiful 1080p touchscreen
  • Supports stylus
  • Latest Wi-Fi 6 wireless connectivity
  • Portable design


  • Sodded RAM

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 hardware inside a beautifully crafted lightweight chassis that weighs just 2.9 pounds!

It is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor with 8GB RAM and 256GB 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, and battery life of up to 10 hours, the Lenovo Flex 5i 13 Chromebook is a complete package for people who prefer Chrome OS over Windows.

ALTERNATIVE CHOICE: Lenovo Duet 5 Detachable Chromebook

If you want to buy a little more versatile laptop than the above-mentioned Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13, then the recently launched Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook is a worth considering laptop for you.

It costs little more than $400, but for the price, you get a 13-inch Chrome OS tablet with a premium detachable fabric folio keyboard that connects to it via powerful magnets to use as a laptop.

It’s a highly versatile ultraportable device to get things done on the go, and since it is powered by the newest Snapdragon 7c octa-core chip, it also performs well. You can efficiently multitask on it, and you can even enjoy gaming on it since it supports all Android games.

What I like the most about this Chromebook, though, is its display. It has a 13.3-inch full HD OLED display, which is the best display you’ll find on a laptop in this price range. It is very bright and vivid, showing deep blacks and eye-popping colors.

The whole package weighs just 2.2 pounds, and it lasts for up to 15 hours on a single charge. | 64GB storage variant$242.73 from Amazon | 128GB storage variant$399 from Lenovo

17-inch Pick

4. HP 17z-cp200 17-inch Laptop

The Best 17-inch Laptop Under $400

HP 17z-cp000 Best 17-inch Laptop Under 400 Dollars


  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 7320U Quad-Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.1 GHz)
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon integrated
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 (upgradeable)
  • Storage: 128GB SSD (upgradeable)
  • Display: 17-inch HD+ Display with 1600 x 900 Resolution (250-nits)
  • Weight: 4.58 lbs



  • Powerful & highly efficient AMD Ryzen 7000 series processor
  • Speedy SSD
  • Large 17-inch screen with slim bezels
  • Decent number of ports for connectivity
  • Good upgradeability options
  • Customizable as per need


  • Not so portable
  • Average battery life

HP is one of the world’s most renowned laptop manufacturers, and its laptops are known to provide better value than the rest for the given price. If we talk about this 17-inch notebook from HP, it also provides an excellent value for the money, just like most other HP laptops.

It comes with a pretty modern-looking design, and its build quality is also decent enough, but its performance is what makes it a worthy option to consider under $400.

It is powered by the latest 7000 series AMD Ryzen 3 processor, which is one of the fastest and most efficient processor you will find in a laptop at this price. Yes, it’s even faster than the Intel Core i3 that powers the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (our current top pick under $400).

Moreover, the processor is paired with 8GB RAM for smooth multitasking, and you also get the fast 128GB NVMe SSD for storage. As you would expect, the performance that this 17-inch beast delivers is outstanding. It handles everyday work like browsing the web and using MS office applications like a piece of cake, and you can even do some light gaming or make minor edits to the videos on this laptop.

However, like most 17-inch laptops, it has huge dimensions and nearly 5 pounds of weight to lug around, so it isn’t suitable for those who travel with their laptop a lot. But, if you are someone who is looking for a laptop to replace your home or office computer, then this 17-inch laptop is the perfect option for you under $400. It offers a large display, a comfortable keyboard, and many connectivity options to make you forget about your PC.

Newest Model

5. Asus VivoBook 14 Slim

Powered by Latest 12th Gen Intel Processor

Asus VivoBook 14 F1402ZA-AB31


  • Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i3-1215U (6 cores, up to 4.4 GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Integrated for 12th Gen Intel processors
  • RAM: 4GB (Upgradable up to 12GB)
  • Storage: 128GB SSD (Upgradable)
  • Display: 14-Inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare Panel
  • Weight: 3.09 lbs



  • Newest 12th Gen Intel Core processor
  • Ergonomically designed backlit keyboard
  • Good looking design
  • Fingerprint scanner with Windows Hello support
  • Offers all required ports
  • Upgradeable RAM and storage
  • Great value for money overall


  • Only 4GB RAM out of the box but it’s upgradeable

Asus 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 powerful hardware specifications.

That said, it is one of the very few laptops in this price range that offers all three—a full HD display, backlit keyboard, and fingerprint scanner. Moreover, it doesn’t even compromise in the specs department or build quality, making it one of the most well-rounded laptops in the sub-$400 price 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 Windows precision touchpad and a full backlit keyboard with ergonomically designed curved keys for comfortably typing.

Apart from that, it is also powered by the latest 12th Gen Intel Core i3 processor and offers 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD storage. Overall, the performance of the Windows 11 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 Asus VivoBook 15 laptop is suitable for a wide array of users because it doesn’t compromise on any features or specs. It packs in a decently powerful processor with reliable solid state drive storage. Plus, it is also a very aggressively priced notebook, making it a solid option under $400.

Gaming Pick

6. HP 14-fq1025nr 14″ Laptop

The best gaming laptop under $400

HP 14z-fq1097nr best gaming laptop under 400 dollars


  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5625U Six Core (2.3 – 4.3 GHz)
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8 Integrated
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 3200MHz (Upgradable)
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD (Upgradable)
  • Display: 14-Inch Full HD Anti-Glare (250-nits)
  • Weight: 3.24 lbs



  • Offers most powerful specs under $400
  • Decent display with full HD resolution and tiny bezels
  • Good amount of ports
  • Long battery life and fast charging
  • Fantastic value


  • No backlit keyboard

HP 14-fq1025nr laptop is known for its fast-performing hardware packed inside a thin and light chassis. It is 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 silver color, as you can see in the image above, and it comes in various other color options like Blue, White, Burgundy, Black, and Gold. It’s fully customizable as per your taste (if you buy it from Overall, the laptop’s design looks pretty standard, but it is a well-built laptop, and it’s strong enough to resist everyday wear and tears. It has a 14-inch full HD display with narrow bezels, which is bright and produces decent gamut of colors.

What makes it potent enough to play games, though, is the powerful AMD Ryzen 5 six-core processor, which is the most powerful processor you can get in a sub-$400 laptop. Moreover, it is accompanied by 8GB of RAM and fast 256GB SSD storage, making it a really well-specced notebook. Its integrated AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics handles gaming and other intensive jobs smoothly. Plus, its powerful cooling system keeps the laptop body at comfortable temperature while gaming.

With all standard ports and slots and battery life that lasts a normal work day, this HP notebook stands best for people looking for a mixture of work and play on 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. They are the best budget high performance gaming laptops which won’t break the bank.

Business Laptop Pick

7. Dell Inspiron 15 3511

The Best Budget Business Laptop

2021 Dell Inspiron 15 3511 - best business laptop under $400


  • Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 (2 Cores, Up to 4.1GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD integrated
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 2666MHz (Upgradable)
  • Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (Upgradable)
  • Display: 15.6-inch (1080p) Anti-Glare WVA (Wide Viewing Angle) Panel
  • Weight: 3.9 lbs



  • Superb display with tiny bezels
  • Very well built
  • Lift up hinge makes typing comfortable
  • Large trackpad with smooth tracking experience
  • Upgradeable hardware


  • No backlit keyboard

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 comes with an all-new design with a lift-up hinge and super slim bezels around the screen, reminiscent of the premium XPS laptops from Dell. As for color options, there is only one, the Carbon black, which looks good and makes it fit well in all sorts of environments.

Its 15.6-inch display is excellent for work. It’s a 1080p panel with decent color reproduction, and the slim side bezels make the display pop. However, its peak brightness is just 250-nits, so it would be hard to use this laptop under direct sunlight. 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 the recent 11th Gen Intel Core i3 processor inside with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. Those are one of the most powerful specs you can get in the laptop under $400, and it’s still capable enough to handle all the basic to medium demanding tasks without any hiccups.

If you need more power, the laptop also allows upgrades. You can upgrade its 8GB RAM to 16GB or put in a higher capacity SSD to increase the storage. 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 dim, 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.

Newly Launched

8. 2023 Acer Aspire 3 15

With the newest 7000-series AMD processor

Acer Aspire 3 15


  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 7320U Quad-Core Processor (2.4 – 4.1 GHz)
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon integrated
  • Storage: 128GB SSD (upgradeable)
  • Display: 15.6-inch Full HD IPS Anti-Glare Dispay (1920 x 1080)
  • Weight: 3.9 lb



  • Excellent performance with latest AMD processor and fast DDR5 RAM
  • Decent 1080p IPS display
  • Full layout keyboard with Numpad
  • Comes pre-installed with latest Windows 11 operating system
  • Plenty of ports


  • RAM not upgradeable
  • Non-backlit keyboard

Just like every other laptop in this list, this 15-inch notebook from Acer also has few shortcomings, but it gets full marks for the hardware that it offers for the price.

It is powered by the most recent 7000-series AMD Ryzen 3 processor, and it has 8GB of fastest DDR5 RAM and 128GB SSD for storage. Most laptops in this price range have an older-gen processor and slower DDR4 RAM, however, this Acer Aspire 3 15 has got both the latest and greatest, and that’s what makes it a worthy contender in the 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 a great keyboard with nice clicky keys, and its touchpad is also pretty good with a smooth tracking surface. Moreover, you also get a host of wired connectivity options, including multiple USB Type-A ports, HDMI, and even a Type-C port.

However, its keyboard is not backlit and its RAM is also soldered on the motherboard. But we think its 8GB of RAM would suffice most users’ computing needs for years to come. Though its storage drive is upgradeable if you want to increase its onboard storage limit.

So all in all, with the support of latest Windows 11 operating system and all the latest and balanced specs, the Acer Aspire 3 15 is an excellent value-for-money notebook under $400. It would be perfect choice for businesspeople or students for everyday productivity tasks and light gaming.

Premium Pick

9. Acer Chromebook 514

All metal build

Acer Chromebook 514 Most Premium Laptop Under $400


  • Processor: Intel Celeron N3450 Quad Core (Up to 2.2GHz)
  • Graphics: Intel UHD
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Display: 14-inch 1080p IPS Touchscreen
  • Weight: 3.0 lbs



  • All-aluminum chassis
  • Very comfortable backlit keyboard
  • Excellent 1080p display
  • Powerful enough for everyday computing
  • Long battery life


  • Limited storage

If you are looking for the most premium-looking and feeling laptop under $400, then this Acer Chromebook 514 is for you. It is among the very few laptops 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 display supporting touch input, 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. We think it will please typists of you. Its touchpad is also large and intuitive to navigate the Chrome OS.

As far as performance is concerned, the Chromebook 514 has an Intel Celeron N3450 processor inside with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage. It outputs an adequate amount of performance for most user’s 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 showing signs of slowing down. So, performance is definitely not the strongest point of this laptop, and if you are a power user, then the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13″ (our most recommended Chromebook under $400) 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 horsepower, then this Chromebook delivers the MacBook-like feel for a lot less money, plus the convenience of all the standard ports and slots!

Splurge Worthy

10. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14

What a bit more money gets you

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14


  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U (6 Cores, 2.1 – 4.0 GHz)
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon integrated
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 (Upgradable)
  • Storage: 256GB SSD (Upgradable)
  • Display: 14-inch Full HD IPS Anti Glare Display
  • Weight: 4.4 lbs



  • Powerful six-core AMD CPU with Radeon graphics
  • Good build quality
  • Professional design
  • Fingerprint scanner smartly embedded in power button
  • Comfy keyboard with backlit keys
  • Good value for money


  • Keyboard does not have Numpad

The last laptop on our list is only for those who have a flexible budget. If you are ready to spend up to $450, then the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 is the most powerful laptop you can buy in the $400 price range right now with the six-core AMD Ryzen 5 processor. It is way more powerful than the Intel Core i3 processor and even smokes last year’s 11th Generation Intel Core i5 powered laptops in many benchmarks.

Not everyone needs such powerful laptop, but if you want to future proof your purchase, you should definitely consider this laptop.

It is built using a robust polycarbonate material finished in Abyss Blue color, and it has a kind of professional hue going on with the design. It comes with a backlit keyboard that is comfortable to type for long hours, and its touchpad is also smooth and responsive. The laptop’s display is also excellent with full HD resolution, and it’s an IPS panel, so viewing angles and colors are also pretty good.

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 standard USB-A ports to USB-C, and it even has a full-size SD card slot.

As far as performance is concerned, the laptop has the AMD Ryzen 5 processor inside with powerful Radeon graphics, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. The laptop packs a lot of punch, and it would satisfy even the most advanced user’s requirements. And, it can even handle all the latest games (in low to medium graphics settings) without any problem.

So, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 is one of the most powerful laptops available right now in $400 price range. Apt for everything from mid-end gaming to even light video editing.

Related: The best laptops under $500 right now

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.

Buying Guide: How to Select the Best Laptop under $400 for You?

Finding a good laptop under $400 is way less stressful than, say, in a cheaper price range like $300 or $200 because the options get remarkably good at this price range. This is the price range where you go past entry-level Chromebooks and Windows netbooks and start seeing laptops that are actually good for mainstream use.

But if you are a non-tech savvy person, and don’t understand computer hardware, then you might not be able to differentiate between them and end up getting an entry-level laptop for yourself despite paying close to $400 for it.

To avoid making this mistake, we’d advise you to go through the buying guide below, where we have discussed everything — the ideal processor for a laptop under $400 to the amount of RAM and storage capacity a laptop should have when spending $400 for it. And we also have a few nuggets of information from our experts that will help you shop smartly for your next budget laptop.

NOTE: You don’t need to go through this buying guide if you select any laptop from our list of top picks above, but to do your own research or just to know what you are buying, you can refer to it.


I have been saying from the very beginning of this article that laptops under $400 are good for mainstream use, but what makes them good for mainstream use is the CPU that powers them. Most inexpensive laptops are powered by entry-level Intel Celeron or AMD Athlon processors, which are good for basic computing. However, for under $400, you should avoid buying laptops with those CPUs.

In the $300-$400 range, there are laptops powered by mainstream Intel Core i3 and AMD Ryzen 3 processors, which have more cores and higher clock frequency, making them capable enough to handle heavy multitasking. Plus, these CPUs also have powerful enough integrated graphics to handle demanding tasks like gaming and photo/video editing to an extent. So, make sure to get laptops with these CPUs only and avoid falling for laptops with entry-level CPUs in this price range.

Also, make sure to check the generation of the processor. Generation means how recent the CPU is. The 11th and 12th Generation Intel processors are the recent ones and a good choice for a laptop right now, while for AMD, it should be the Ryzen 5000 or 6000 series processor.

RELATED: Intel 12th Gen vs. AMD Ryzen 6000 Laptop – Which one should you buy in 2023?


While laptops under $400 offer a mainstream processor but many laptops pair those CPUs with only 4GB of RAM. It’s okay to buy laptops with 4GB RAM, but it’s important to check if they allow you to upgrade it later when you might need more. 

4GB RAM is enough for basic use but having at least 8GB RAM would almost make the laptop twice the faster, and you’ll feel it running smooth even with multiple apps running at a time.

So, 4GB RAM is good, but 8GB is great and always make sure to check the upgradeability of the RAM before buying the laptop, especially if it comes with less RAM out of the box.


For storage again, there’s the same case. Most laptops in this price range only come with 128GB SSD. While it’s good that they have a fast SSD and not a slower HDD, their 128GB capacity would fill up pretty quickly if it’s a Windows laptop. For Chromebooks, 128GB SSD is okay since most of the apps and files you’ll use and work on daily will be on the cloud, but for Windows laptops, we recommend at least 256GB SSD storage.

Again, for under $400, you might not be able to get the laptop with a higher capacity SSD, so make sure to check the laptop you decide to buy for storage upgradeability options.

In the list of our top picks above, we have mentioned the upgradeability details of each laptop in their specs table for your ease.


The displays on most budget laptops are not that great, to be honest. They are either low-resolution panels or have poor color reproduction and low peak brightness. Fortunately, laptops under $400 do not come with a complete trash display. You’ll find most laptops in this price range offering full HD resolution. However, don’t expect them to be color accurate or bright enough to work comfortably outdoors on a bright sunny day.

That said, the things that you should look for in the display are; the resolution must be full HD (1920 by 1080), and the peak brightness should not be less than 250 nits. Also, the panel type should be IPS, and it should also have an anti-glare coating to reduce the reflections. The display with all these aforementioned things is considered best for a sub-$400 laptop.

Traditional Laptop or Convertible Laptop: Which one should you buy under $400?

The type of laptop you decide to buy, especially at this budget, would make a huge difference in how capable your new laptop would be. That’s because the traditional laptops offer better specs than convertible laptops at this price range

With convertible laptops, manufacturers have to provide a few extra things in the laptop, like the touchscreen display and a 360-degree rotatable hinge, which adds up to the manufacturing cost of the device. Whereas with traditional laptops, the manufacturing cost is relatively low, so they come with better hardware. 

So, if you want to buy a fast-performing laptop under $400, you should go with the traditional laptop instead of the convertible laptop. 

Though our recommended convertible laptop in the list above, Asus VivoBook Flip 14, defies this by offering equally capable specs as the traditional laptops available in this price range. Still, RAM is not upgradeable on it!

Is $400 enough for a laptop or should you spend more?

While there are some pretty capable laptops under $400, we think spending just a little more can buy you a laptop that is not only more powerful but also well-built and has a better display as well. Also, if you want to buy a convertible laptop going a bit over your budget opens up the choices of many great convertible laptops that offer great performing specs, responsive touchscreens, and more.

The laptop is a long-term investment, and it’s very important to consider not just your current but future needs as well at the time of buying it. A budget laptop might be able to suffice all your computing needs right now, but what if your needs get a bit advanced in a year? 

At that time, if your laptop starts feeling slow or can’t handle the task you want to do, it will be frustrating, and you’ll be forced to buy a new laptop. Instead, think of your future needs and plan your purchase accordingly.

And we recommend always getting a little more powerful system than you need—this would help increase the longevity of the laptop and also ensure that your laptop would keep supporting the future versions of operating systems and apps you use.

That sums it all up. I hope this budget laptop buying guide help you to buy best laptop under $400 for yourself.

  1. 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. 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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