5 Best Laptops Under 400 Consumer Ratings & Reports 2021


Buying a budget laptop is not an easy task. There are so many options available out there to pick one with a specific requirement.

Not everyone can stretch their budget to accommodate the latest released MacBook or Razer Blade.

It is like most of us, trying to find the best laptop under the $400 price range.

Settling with a budget laptop must not be meant for getting a sub-par laptop, the one that starts a new struggle every time you turn it on.

We tried very hard to pick the models that are superb even under a $400 budget. We check every model ratings, customer report, and upon getting satisfaction added the model.

So, feel free to pick any of them, and get started to take your computing to the next level.

Related

(1) Best Laptops Under $500
(2) Best Laptops For College Students


QUICK PICKS

Here are the top-rated laptops we picked out through amazon you would be interested in depending on your budget…

BEST PICK
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14" Laptop, 14.0" FHD 1920 x...
Connect with ease using Bluetooth 4.1, up to 2x2 Wi-Fi 5, three USB ports, and HDMI; System RAM Type: DDR4 SDRAM
BEST VALUE
ASUS F512JA-AS34 VivoBook 15 Thin and Light...
Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU (4M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz); 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD

Best Laptops Under 400 Consumer Ratings & Reports

We have compile a list of best laptops under $400 based on consumer ratings and reports 2021.

1. Acer Aspire 5

Acer Aspire 5 - Best Laptops Under $400

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Features at a glance
  • Good overall laptop
  • Premium look
  • 5 Ghz clock speed
  • SSD storage

The list of best budget laptops can never be made without including Acer Aspire 5. It is one of the most demanding budget laptops that can be taken on board for light to complex computing tasks.

It got the ideal hardware specification that is hard to grab under the mentioned price range. It is among very few laptops under 400 that has a backlit keyboard.

One more thing, most of the laptops added to the list come with many cuts. This is the only laptop that I feel does not have any cuts and offers you a decent line of specs to go through regular computing tasks, which makes it an all-rounder laptop for anyone.

It is made of plastic, but the material looks premium. It is a hard plastic that is temperature and scratch-resistant to make the lifespan a little longer than others.

It comes packed with 15.6 inches Full HD IPS display that offers a superior viewing experience. Keep in mind; it is a Full HD display that brings amazing 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution into existence.

You get amazing viewing angles, and without any distortion or color, bleeding view the screen from any angle.

Its real power comes from AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor. It is a dual-core mobile-processor, designed for frequent travelers, goes up to 3.5 GHz clock speed. Processing power is on par; never make you have lagged in handling some complex next scale apps or programs.

The processor comes clubbed with AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics that make you have visually loaded tasks processed seamlessly. The combo brings forth impressive performance, enough good for home computing or business computing.

With 128GB SSD storage and 4GB RAM, you get a good to go memory option. Some might feel a little low due to the short memory or storage, but for average scale processing, the given memory option is more than you need. For a school student or a business professional with average computing needs, the given RAM and storage is good.

With a backlight keyboard, this laptop hits the right chord. It’s a full-size keyboard with a dedicated numpad on the side. The keys of the keyboard are well spaced in between and render a smooth typing experience.

The keys offer clicky responsive feedback and make a professional device for professionals users.

It has 2 USB 2.0 Ports, 1 USB 3.1 Port, one HDMI port, and an Audio Jack to let you connect most of the computer peripherals around you.

In total this laptop checks most of the boxes right. It is a good laptop for the price, and make your computing life goes smoother under a budget price range.

Hardware Specifications
Processor AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
RAM 4GB GGR4
Storage 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display 15.6 inches full HD (1920 x 1080)
Operating System Windows 10
Battery life Up to 7.5 hours
Weight 3.97 lbs

2. Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Lenovo IdeaPad 3

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Features at a glance
  • Sturdy, premium construction
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • Multiple ports including Type-C
  • Bright FHD IPS display

If you are a gamer and do it often and looking for a budget-priced laptop to roll hands on some light games, this is the option for you. It is a decent performing laptop, known for handling some complex tasks besides light gaming.

It packs a decent line of specs inside the thin and lightweight chassis that let you go through complex tasks such as video and image editing and others of the same scale.

Let me clear, it is not a pro gaming laptop, neither you should take it for the purpose. It is good at handling some light games, old PC games and games light on graphics handling.

It is a plastic constructed laptop, does not look like a gaming machine. The plastic seems sturdy, and it can endure regular wear and tear easily. You can take it around for personal scale computing and other tasks easily.

It got a 14-inches screen. Narrow bezels around the display bring an FHD native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. LED Backlight screen renders a wider viewing area and thin bezels remove the clutter and make you have undisturbed gaming and multimedia consumption.

The real power comes from its AMD Ryzen 5 3500U multi-core processor. This processor got enough oomphs to let you process through complex operations at incredible bandwidth.

You get more done faster, running multiple operations without consuming lots of power. Keep in mind, it is a mobile processor, consumes less power than an average machine.

This processor comes clubbed with 8GB RAM. It is the most powerful laptop under this price tag. This RAM size lets you open many apps at one time, without getting frozen or stuck.

Its AMD Radeon graphics is the power behind visual processing. This Vega 8 Graphics let you handle visually loaded tasks. It let you handle games and other visually intensive tasks. The good thing is, it got an extra slot that lets you expand the RAM size.

It got 256GB SSD storage. This is unbelievable to get a big SSD storage under 400 dollars price range. It is amazing, as SSDs are impressive and add a boost to your regular computing and performance.

This laptop got a phenomenal keyboard. The keyboard is good to compare to an average laptop, but you can’t take it as equal to the ThinkPad service keyboard. It feels nice, offers solid tactile feedback, and makes you type-through your work without any big issue.

It got a 3-cell battery with a power-saving option. The battery lasts around 5-6 hours in one charging.

The battery performance though largely depends on the apps and programs you run at one time, if you take it for multimedia, 4-6 hours are the minimum performance. Indeed, for complex tasks such as video editing, the mentioned hours might not be achievable.

In short, if you are looking for a budget laptop for regular computing tasks besides relatively complex visual tasks handling, I bet you can’t find a better option than this. Get this machine on board, and enjoy a steady performance.

Hardware Specifications
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB SSD
Display 14-inch FHD screen
Operating System Windows 10
Battery life Up to 6 hours
Weight 3.30 lbs

3. ASUS VivoBook 15

ASUS VivoBook 15

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Features at a glance
  • Compact laptop
  • 10TH Gen processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • Good at battery backup
  • USB Type-C integration

If you are looking for a lightweight laptop under a budget price range, that’s the option to go with. It is a portable laptop that you can take around, and go anywhere without any issue.

You must not take this laptop for gaming or some visually complex tasks such as next-scale video editing, music production, or others. It is a good laptop for regular computing, to take on home computing and other tasks.

ASUS VivoBook 15 is a powerful laptop with all nuts and bolts. It comes powered with a 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor. Imagine enjoying a 10th Gen processor laptop under a 400 dollars budget price range.

This is a G-series processor, lets you handle average scale visual tasks. You can take on apps such as Adobe Photoshop, adobe premiere pro, and many others of the same scale.

Furthermore, the performance has been escalated with an 8GB RAM. It is a DDR4 memory that offers superior performance from a personal to a professional level. This is the RAM size actually for a fast laptop that is used for professional tasks.

The model houses 128GB SSD storage. The added SSD storage is going to improve your overall processing, offers superb boot-up times and loading time.

With this storage, everything will be blazing fast, with no issue in handling larger files. On top of that, the storage size comes with an empty slot to help you upgrade the storage as per your needs.

This laptop has a good display. 15.6 Inches FHD IPS display is something impressive. The brightness may not be that good as of top premium laptops that cost arms and legs. It has an improved screen body ratio of 88-percent which enhances your viewing experience.

The nano bezels around improve the look and make it look like today’s premium laptop. On the top thin bezel, ASUS managed to bring an HD webcam that offers up to 30FPS.

It is a plastic construction, to make the laptop looks light, plastic is the primary part. It makes it easy to carry around.

It offers a good battery life besides a fast charging mechanism. This model lasts around 6-7 hours in a single charging and gets juiced up to around 60-percent in 49-minutes to make you never wait too long to get it charged.

USB Type-C port integration is something you must pay special attention to. It helps you to charge the laptop’s battery, gets it connected to bigger 4k monitors, and enjoys up to 10 GB/s data-transfer.

The only issue with the laptop is its S mode. Many users found this a problem, which is not in actuality. You can switch the S mode to Windows Home premium mode anytime. It is a one-way road, can get the S mode back.

But for a professional user, it is imperative to Switch to Windows Home mode and gets the fullest use of the Windows home. For personal consumption, it might not be that useful to switch to Windows mode.

In a nutshell, this laptop is compact that can easily be carried around without feeling any big weight. Offers a next-generation processor a decent memory integration to hold on to multiple operations at one time, and good battery backup to let you last around a day.

Hardware Specifications
Processor Intel Core i3-1005G1
RAM 8GB DDR4
Storage 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Display 15.6 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Operating System Windows 10
Battery life Up to 7 hours
Weight 3.75 lbs

4. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

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Features at a glance
  • Good for frequent travelers
  • Small form factor
  • 10th Gen processor
  • Backlit keyboard

Chromebooks sales are sky-high. They are one of the most sought after laptops for frequent travelers and casual computing on the go.

If you are the one, looking for a reliable Chromebook under a budget price range, give this laptop a shot, and I can assure you, you will never regret the decision.

It is a beautifully crafted 13-inches convertible laptop. The hybrid laptop packs great specs and power inside to satisfy your computing needs. It is a light-weight model, with just 2.99 pounds of weight make an ideal pick for the average users.

The model comes powered with a 10th Gen Intel Core i3-10110Uprocessor. This processor is quite capable of handling regular computing things.

Tasks such as surfing the internet, handling words document, preparing assignments, and doing other similar kinds of tasks would not be an issue with the laptop.

One more thing, it is a mobile-processor, consumes less power, and makes you run longer than an average machine with the same tasks.

It has 4GB RAM onboard. With the RAM size, you can open around 2 dozens chrome tabs without freezing or lagging issues. The RAM size is on par for the average scale of tasks, it would not hurt your performance.

With 64GB integrated eMMC storage you got enough space to store your favorite thing. It is a Chromebook, comes installed ChromeOS, surely not going to occupy lots of GBs out of your already short storage. Anyway, you are going to get lots of free cloud space by Google to let you store your important things online, with offline access as well.

It is a 13-inches FHD touchscreen display laptop. Its wider viewing angles and touchscreen support is among one the features that attracted a large variety of users.

For the students, the touchscreen and stylus pen is something they pay special attention to. It helps them to take notes on the screen, and print them out for their semester archives.

For architecture, drawing, and other students the stylus pen with touchscreen is the most useful feature. It let them draw things without pen and paper and get their creativity flows out. The hinges support is impressive; you get a seamless conversion into a tablet anytime.

It is a superb laptop with a backlit keyboard. Its white backlit support with 1.4 mm keys travel speed is going to make you enjoy the performance on par. The keys are a little closer, which might be an issue for the large handed people.

With more than a good battery backup of 10-hours, this laptop is something you can rely on for the longest time.

This Chromebook is an amazing pick for the student with no need for complex or hardcore processing. It is also a good option for on the go professionals to carry out casual computing such as browsing, emailing, handling docs, and others.

It is not for hardcore processing or a hardcore professional with high computing needs.

Hardware Specifications
Processor Intel Core i3-10110U
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB SSD
Display 13-inch FHD display 360 degree
Operating System Chrome OS
Battery life Up to 10 hours
Weight 2.97 lbs

5. ASUS VivoBook Flip 14

ASUS Vivobook Flip 14

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Features at a glance
  • Convertible 360-degree
  • Ergonomic keyboard
  • Power efficient processor
  • Impressive battery runtime

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 is another convertible laptop on our list of best laptops under 400. It feels and looks like a mid-range laptop more than a cheap laptop.

It hosts an array of exceptional features that take you to the next level of processing. Its processing power is more than any other laptop added to the list.

So, if you want to use the power of a notebook with added productivity of a tablet get a hands-on laptop. This sturdy 360-degree hinges laptop is going to help you go through any type of processing.

It is the Intel Quad-Core Pentium N5000 Processor that powers this laptop and make users achieve anything with a slim looking budget notebook that is achieved by a premium laptop.

With up to 2.7 GHz clock speed, you get a power-efficient performance and help you run many top applications and programs. It is a fanless design laptop, to make you enjoy a noise-free performance without any big issue.

The slim looking stylish laptop has a 14-inches FHD IPS display. The nano bezels around the display make this machine render a clutter-free viewing experience.

Due to the nano bezels, the overall chassis of the laptop becomes 13-inches. With a 73-percent screen-to-body ratio and 178-degree viewing angles, this laptop renders error-free crisp, and crunch display.

More than that, the display supports a touchscreen. With 360-degree sturdy hinges, this laptop transforms into a tablet and makes you enjoy the performance in different modes.

Although the laptop does not come with a stylus, the support of the stylus makes this laptop on par productive. Use the stylus freely onto the touchscreen and have a seamless drawing, sketching, taking notes, and other productive tasks.

As long as the memory option is concerned, it has 64GB SSD storage and 4GB DDR4 RAM. The storage and RAM might not look that appealing but for the average tasks handling and casual computing are concerned, it is good to go.

This touchscreen convertible laptop shares an ergonomic keyboard. It is a good size keyboard, good for small-handed people due to close keys placements, but offers fluid typing.

The integration of the Webcam on the top bezels and the availability of microphones makes this machine a good pick for students and professionals for attending lectures and virtual meetings respectively.

It is a lightweight laptop, shares 0.6 inches thickness and 3.3 pounds of weight. Due to its small form-factor, it is easier to carry around. You can slim this laptop into a bag and carry it around without any big issue.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 is one of the best laptops for frequent travelers due to its small chassis and longer battery backup. It offers around 14-hours of battery backup as per the brand’s claims.

Hardware Specifications
Processor Intel Quad-Core Pentium N5000
RAM 4GB DDR4
Storage 128GB eMMC storage
Display 14 inch Glossy screen
Operating System Windows 10
Battery life Up to 14 hours
Weight 3.30 lbs

 

Buying Guide for Laptop Under 400 USD

You can consider the below points when going to buy a very good one;

Battery Life

Laptops are meant to be cordless, or else computers are quite cheaper than that specification. This is the reason you need to consider active battery life. Normally a laptop with 5-7 hours is OK to have.

Memory Disc

This factor is not that important as we do most of the work online. All our stuff is stored remotely in drives and clouds. Still, you can see if that space is enough for you. I always prefer to have a portable hard disk to save all the important stuff to be safer.

Screen to Body Ratio

Some people prefer a smaller screen while others the bigger one. A 14-inch screen is considered smaller, while 15.6 inches is quite normal. This is totally a

Weight

Lightweight is preferred. A laptop with 3 pounds is quite normal, and you can

Color

Some people are really choosy in this case. Like ladies will always go pink or silver while the men are OK with black! This is totally a personal choice.

Budget

If you can afford it, then I recommend you invest in more pricy and quality stuff. However, you can upgrade some models later. But let pass this pandemic issue, then you can invest in costlier stuff if required.

FAQ’s about Cheap Laptop Under 400

What are the best laptops under 400 dollars?

Here are the best laptops under $400 by consumer ratings & reports 2021:

  1. Acer Aspire 5 Slim
  2. Lenovo Ideapad 3
  3. ASUS VivoBook 15
  4. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5
  5. ASUS VivoBook Flip 14

Is a $400 laptop worth it?

Keep in mind, 400 dollars is not a big budget to house a good laptop that got impeccable power to handle anything you throw at it. First, you should keep the level of your expectation down and have a realistic set of expectations.

If you need a laptop for average computing and casual browsing like things, the laptop under this price radar will be good to go. Under this price, you can get the laptop onboard for word processing, preparing presentations, virtual meetings, and streaming, browsing, and other tasks of similar kinds.

Under this price, laptops can’t offer a big chunk of RAM or next scale multi-core processors or ultra HD displays. It does not mean you settled with a sub-par laptop, for this price laptops can only be used for casual computing.

Can you play games on the $400 budget laptop?

For a price range under 400, you can’t take a laptop for dedicated gaming. I mean, you can’t play the most demanding latest titles on a laptop under this price.

Yes, as long as the old PC games or some light games are concerned, you surely can take your laptop onboard. For that too look for a laptop with Intel UHD processors, Chromebooks, or convertible laptops that are not good for that.

For this price, a laptop should only be consumed for average computing tasks.

Is a $400 laptop good enough for professional tasks?

If your take of professional tasks is handling word processing, virtual meetings, video conference, streaming, and internet surfing, then the laptop under this price range is all good to take on.

The laptop for this price should only be taken for the minimal tasks mentioned above. If you are into handling next scales processing tasks such as video editing, image editing, 3d modeling and rendering, and others, the laptops at this price can’t help you do that.

For that, you need a laptop with a decent multi-core processor, a good chunk of RAM, and dedicated graphics. And for this price, you can’t get either of them.

So, keep your expectation level minimum, and set realistic expectations from a laptop for this price range.

Are sub-$400 laptops powerful enough for Video and Photo Editing?

Laptops under 400 dollars price range can be good at video and photo editing if your mean is to edit them online. Online tools are available for light images and video editing. By using them you can add texts to your images, change the frame size of the videos.

If your mean to video and image editing is to consume professional tools such as adobe photoshop, light room, adobe premiere, and others, the laptops for the price simply can’t do that.

Aside from consuming the mentioned tools, most of the models reviewed here can’t even run those apps.  Because it requires a good range of RAM and storage to make these apps get installed and run.

Can $400 laptops good for Programming and college students?

For college students into arts degrees and others where no dedicated laptops are required, yes. You can use 400 laptops for that.

For an average college student, handles regular computing tasks such as slides, word processing, reading, online classes, streaming, and others, the given 400 laptops are more than good.

Programmers those do not run virtual machines and heavy application or programs, they can use a 400 laptop for programming and coding.

But if you are a professional coder, and have to check your code on different machines before handing it over to clients, it is good to get a good laptop with a dedicated graphics card.

Can I get a laptop under $400 with SSD?

Yes, you can get a good laptop with SSD storage for the price. But, it would not be a giant SSD storage to store your larger files and big video games.

If take your chance, the max you can get is 256GB SSD storage. Do not expect more than this, with this SSD even you will have to sacrifice some core aspects or features.

The good to go display for this price is 128GB SSD. Do not settle lower than this if you are buying a notebook. For a Chromebook or convertible, you may settle with 64GB SSD.

Can you buy a touch screen or 2 in 1 laptop under $400?

Yes, you can buy a good convertible laptop for this price. In fact, in our list of best laptops under 400 dollars price, we have included convertible laptops. Most of the time, users expect a Chromebook with a touchscreen at this price.

But, you might not get a digital pen at this price. And you will have to pay extra to get one. The touchscreen might not be as good as premium laptops. But good enough to let you go through regular tasks without any big hiccup.

Why do most budget notebooks offer better battery backup?

At this point, most of the laptops come with mobile processors. Mobile processors are good at the battery. They are power efficient and conserve power for the long run.

In laptops, processors and displays consume the most power. With the budget laptops, you see dim displays are integrated with less illuminance.

So, the point seems true, both the specs under a budget price range are sub-par that makes the laptops go longer than a premium laptop.

Final Verdict

It is never easy to buy a good laptop under a budget price range. Yes, many brands are there competing shoulder to shoulder but it is hard to get all boxes checked under 400 dollars price range.

We have added our top picks, best laptops under 400 dollars based upon consumer ratings and reports. Now, it is up to you, at your discretion to pick a laptop as per your personal to professional needs and preferences.

The laptops added at this price range are good average scale computing tasks. For students, teachers, and professionals with not very hard computing tasks, can rely on these machines. But professionals with hardcore computing needs and requirements can’t rely on them at all.

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