Are you a gamer looking for a gaming laptop under 400 dollars to begin with? Laptops in the $400 range may not offer high-end features but there are things like better resolution and considerable memory sizes. That implies you can get a machine that will help you kickstart the race as you catch up with the pros. 

If that’s the feeling, we have the best gaming laptop under 400 for you to check out. Grab a drink and keep reading to see which laptop will best serve as the starting point. 

Related Post: Cheap Gaming Laptop Under 100

Best gaming laptop under 400 dollars in 2020

  1. Acer Aspire 5
  2. ASUS VivoBook 15
  3. ASUS VivoBook (F510QA)
  4. Lenovo Ideapad S145
  5. HP Premium i5 (2020)
  6. HP Business i5 (2020)
  7. CHUWI HeroBook Pro 14.1
  8. Dell Inspiron 15 (3000)
  9. Gateway 11.6” FHD

1. Acer Aspire 5

“Fits gaming and other computer tasks” 

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches...
  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor...
  • 15.6 inches full HD (1920 x 1080)...
  • 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports &...
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Backlit Keyboard; Up to...
  • Windows 10 in S mode. Maximum power...
Pros
  • Quality display
  • Fast SSD storage
  • Better sounds from the speakers
  • Has Alexa
Cons
  • Less storage
  • Windows OS in S mode

The Acer Aspire 5 slim leads the best gaming laptop under 400$ list and it has impressive features worth looking into. The Windows version may not be the best but it doesn’t deter you from throwing games on it or going online. It also fits overall computer work, making it a suitable solution for students, those in the office or those working at home. 

Performance 

There is no Intel here which may be a bold move considering it makes the best processors. The AMD Ryzen 3 does not disappoint though and the 3.5GHz speed is among the desirable clock speeds for a game. What you may want to upgrade here is the RAM. 

It’s okay to work with the 4GB DDR4 but we are in 2020 and you may demand for more computing power. There are two RAM slots with one already occupied. The other one can host up to 32 GB but accessing it means opening the hole bottom lid. The storage is also on the minimum here and it’s only 128 GB. 

It’s however an SSD with M.2 form factor and it’s upgradable too. You can opt for a higher storage in the SSD niche or the older HDD since it’s also compatible. It’s actually possible to upgrade without needing a clean installation. If you are not tech savvy, YouTube can rescue you here. 

Portability 

At slightly close to four pounds so carrying and movement is a breeze. It’s also slim enough to fit in tighter bag spaces but you may not want to put pressure on the screen lid. In general, it resembles what you would like from a modern laptop. The battery life is also generous here. 

With usual schedules and browsing, you will get about 7.5 hours of battery life. That is however bound to drop if you are using it for games. If you are on the move as you play, your charger should always be with you. 

Display 

The A515-43-R19L model comes with one of the best screens displays. It’s all IPS here with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. That makes the 15.6-inch screen to render pictures with the best color quality – what they call the Acer Color Intelligence. Black is real black and green comes with the right intensity. 

The graphics card in play is also from AMD. It’s a Radeon Vega 3 chip which does not disappoint as you play, browse and watch. Viewing from the screen does not strain your eyes. The bezels are also minimized to give a better screen-to-body ratio. 

Other Considerations

The laptop has a few ports that can come in handy. There are two 2.0 USB ports and one 3.1 USB port. The rest are HDMI for connecting to larger screens and an ethernet port. You may not be able to use the ethernet port well due to the small closing lid on it. To counter that, you can use the 2×2 802.11ac wireless capability for Wi-Fi connection. 

The audio is also one of the best here with the speakers tuned by Acer TrueHarmony. The downside on this laptop is that it comes with the Windows 10 S Mode. That locks you to only using Microsoft products. You can however unlock the S Mode. More of the features also include a backlit keyboard and Alexa-enabled. 

Bottom Line 

The Acer Aspire 5 is a laptop that will fit your daily computer work and gaming. It may not perform like what you get in high-end laptops but the visuals are great and there are minimal hardware and software issues. What you may want to upgrade is the storage and the Windows version. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 10/10
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Weight: 3.97 lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 7.5 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 3
  • OS : Windows 10 S Mode

2. ASUS VivoBook 15 

“best gaming laptop under 400” 

ASUS F512JA-AS34 VivoBook 15 Thin and...
  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way...
  • Compatible with Google Classroom; run...
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU...
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2...
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard with...
Pros
  • Maximized screen size
  • Great typing experience
  • Powerful processor
Cons
  • Poor color contrast
  • Sound is not the best

The ASUS VivoBook 15 is a light laptop that you can take anywhere with you. It has some of the best features to use but you are bound to get drawbacks here. It may not be the best in gaming but it has a maximized screen and great keyboard experience. Let’s see what it holds for the gamers on a budget. 

Performance 

The F512JA-AS34 model has an Intel processor and it’s a 10th Gen i3. So, there are minimal to no issues when executing the needed tasks. It’s also coupled with an 8GB DDR4 RAM which is sufficient for a fast laptop. Again, like the predecessor above, you may want to upgrade the storage. 

It has a fast 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and that gives you a lot of form factors for an upgrade. If you are not storing much apart from a few games and files, then you will have no problem since everything will be fast. In the drive, there is Windows 10 S already installed. 

Portability 

The chassis is all plastic and that contributes to the 3.75 lbs. weight. That makes it a light laptop to carry around. The plastic also makes it feel cheap but with proper care, it will serve you for quite a long time. We may not know the battery life but one thing that is clear is that this is a fast-charging laptop. 

In about 49 minutes, you can charge the battery to 60%. That gives the travelers an advantage if you have short charging periods before embarking on the next journey. There is a USB-C port on the laptop which makes many to wonder if the laptop can charge with it. To answer that, you cannot do it since there is a charging port already. 

You can however charge other devices using the port. 

Display 

The visuals are not the best on this laptop. You are bound to get blurry images and dark spots especially if you are watching a movie. That will also tell you that the gaming experience will not be the best. The 15.6-inch screen is however maximized to give an 88% screen-to-body ratio. 

That makes the bezels so narrow to a point of making the screen seem to have no protection. Amazingly, ASUS managed to fit a webcam at the top and it’s 720p at 30 fps. The UHD graphics card from Intel may also not be the best in gaming. It will however perform better on light games and other simplified tasks. 

Other Considerations 

With Windows 10 in S mode, you may want to switch it when installing applications out of Microsoft Store. What you will enjoy on this machine is the typing experience. The VivoBook 15 has an elevated design to give the needed incline as you work on the keyboard. 

The travel distance is also the best, not to mention it’s also backlit. On the right side of the alphanumeric keys, there is a narrow numpad. The touch pad feels extra sensitive and it has a fingerprint sensor that works with Windows Hello.  For the I/O, there is USB-C, USB 3.1 and 2.0, HDMI and a microSD reader. 

Bottom Line 

The ASUS VivoBook 15 fits those who need a laptop for typing work and light gaming. Due to the poor graphics card and screen visuals, you may not want to subject heavy games on it. Furthermore, the storage is minimal and it may call for an upgrade later. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.9/10
  • Processor: dual-core, i3-1005G1
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Weight: 3.75 lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : not tested yet
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: Intel UHD
  • OS : Windows 10 S Mode

3. ASUS VivoBook (F510QA)

“Fits light gaming” 

2019 ASUS VivoBook F510QA 15.6”...
  • Powerful AMD Quad Core A12-9720P...
  • 15. 6" anti-glare Full HD WideView...
  • 4GB DDR4 2400 MHz sdram Memory for...
  • 802. 11ac WLAN, Comprehensive...
  • Windows 10 in S mode, 14. 2" wide, 0. 8"...
Pros
  • Light laptop
  • Better visuals
  • Upgradeable storage and RAM
Cons
  • Quite noisy
  • Wi-Fi disconnection issue

The 2019 ASUS VivoBook does not look like its predecessor above despite having the same name. They may have the same screen size and storage but the former is faster. For the 2019 model, it has a better graphics card to support light gaming. It’s however buggier and lighter too when it comes to color. 

Performance 

$400 is just an average budget but this Asus VIvobook is a good combo of perfromance, and portability, and hence make it to the best gaming laptop under 400 dollars that gamers would love. The processor is a different one where the F510QA goes with the AMD version. It’s a quad-core A12-9720P processor with a minimum frequency of 2.7 GHz. Depending on what you are working on, the rate may increase to 3.6 GHz. The RAM is however on the lower side, going for only 4 GB but it’s in the DDR4 category. 

There is an extra slot for an additional RAM and the former one can also be replaced. The storage is the same as the VivoBook 15, at 128 GB. If you need to upgrade it, there are M.2 and SATA slots for that. Due to the limited space, it’s another laptop that doesn’t allow you to store a lot. 

Portability 

This ASUS model is actually lighter than the one above but it only sheds 0.5 lbs. So, it’s easy to judge them to be of the same weight. The grey-colored laptop has more room in the chasis though and it looks buggy at the bottom. On the keyboard, this one does not include the narrow numpad making the alphanumeric keys bigger. 

It’s also not backlit. ASUS does not provide the battery life here but it’s not bound to stay for longer hours being in the gaming niche. It’s always advisable to carry a charger if you are travelling. 

Display 

The screen is also placed on a nano-edge lid but the upper and lower bezels are thicker than what you get in the VivoBook 15. The F510QA however has better visuals on the 1920 x 1080 pixels screen. That must be from the more powerful AMD Radeon R7 integrated graphics which renders better than the Intel counterpart. 

It also has a wider viewing angle on the 15.6-inch screen. So, you can flip the lid to lower positions depending on the comfort you are looking for. The lower front part houses some vents for cooling purposes. Due to the position, you may find the laptop getting noisy at some point. 

Other Considerations 

The available ports here support the current and older generations. There are two 2.0 USB ports, and one 3.1 USB port. In case you need to extend the display, there is a HDMI port for that. It also includes an SD Card reader. Connecting to the internet will require a Wi-Fi connection. 

This laptop uses the standard 802.11 ac and you may experience a drop or disconnection as you continue to use it. You can however solve that using a few troubleshooting steps without having to contact ASUS about it. The OS here is also Windows 10 in S mode and you may want to switch to the full version once it arrives. 

Bottom Line

This is a laptop that will fit light gaming and overall computer use. It has a better viewing experience when compared to the VivoBook 15. If you are however bothered by noise, the F510QA may not be the best move to make. On the other hand, it’s very easy to upgrade it. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.5/10
  • Processor: AMD Quad-Core A12-9720P
  • RAM: 4GB, DDR4, 2400MHz
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Weight: 3.7 lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : not tested yet
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon R7
  • OS : Windows 10 S Mode

4. Lenovo Ideapad S145

“Good for light gaming and tasks” 

Lenovo Ideapad S145 15.6-inch HD Display...
  • Intel Dual Core Celeron 4205U...
  • 4GB 2133 MHz DDR4 SDRAM, 128GB Solid...
  • 15.6-inch HD LED Backlit Anti-Glare...
  • 802.11 AC WiFi, Bluetooth, 2 x USB 3.0,...
  • Windows 10 Home 64-Bit, Up to 6 Hours...
Pros
  • Widescreen view
  • Wide keyboard area
  • Variety of ports
Cons
  • Poor resolution
  • No touch screen

The Lenovo Ideapad S145 may not have the best features for the gaming category. You can however trust the younger generation in finding it awesome since they may not need the large computing power yet. It has a widescreen and keypad that includes a Numpad. 

Performance 

What powers the Ideapad is an Intel Celeron 4205U processor. The clock speed is only 1.8 Ghz and you can’t boost it. On the other hand, it’s much better for light gaming and other computer tasks such as watching. The RAM is only 4GB but in the DDR4 category which means you may not want to overload the machine too much. 

128 GB SSD storage is enough for Windows and a few files. That also makes the computer faster than those in the HDD category. If you want more storage, it’s better when you consider external options. There are a variety of ports for connections. 

Portability 

It’s slightly heavier but within an acceptable range when you are carrying it. It does not have an optical drive which would have made it heavier anyway. The extra weight comes from the lengthy keyboard and the chassis housing it below. We love the way the screen can stretch to 180 degrees flat but it would be much better if it was touch-enabled. 

When it comes to battery life, the S145 model gives six hours on average. If you are playing light games such as pool, or chess, that may last you longer before the next recharge. Heavier games may need frequent recharging though. 

Display 

The screen is 15.6 inches but it’s deprived of resolution. It has 1366 x 768 pixels only. If you are however using it to watch, and learn, the screen is not that bad. It looks wider as you view. The graphics card in use is an Intel UHD type which, again, can only support light gaming. 

The top part has a webcam with 720p specification. In most laptops, it’s however bound not to work. This is a mechanical issue since most of the laptops in the model are reported to fail. If yours is working, then well and good. 

Other Considerations 

There are two 3.0 USB ports on this laptop. You also get one 2.0 USB, HDMI, and SD Card reader ports. That’s enough for most of the connections that work with USB-A ports. If you need USB-C, you are not lucky with the Ideapad S145. We appreciate that it comes with Windows 10 Home which is not in S mode. 

The keypad here is also lengthy with a Numpad included. If this laptop has a touch screen, it would be much better. The dark orchid color is great for those who like coffee colors. 

Bottom Line 

This Lenovo model may not suit heavier gaming but it will do well with light ones. The screen is wide and the lid can bend to 180 degrees. The battery life is also quite lengthy if you don’t have intensive tasks to work on. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.5/10
  • Processor: Intel Celeron 4205U
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Weight: 4.9 lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 6 hrs
  • Screen resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Graphics: Intel UHD 610
  • OS : Windows 10 Home

5. HP Premium i5 (2020)

“More I/O connections and ample storage” 

2020 Newest HP 14 Inch Premium Laptop,...
  • 14" HD SVA Anti-glare Micro-edge...
  • AMD Athlon Silver 3050U 2.30GHz...
  • 16GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM Memory for...
  • 2 x USB 3.1, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 x...
  • Bundled with Laser HDMI CABLE,...
Pros
  • Quite powerful processor
  • More ports
  • Ample storage
Cons
  • Screen size is quite small

If you need a laptop with ample storage space and support for connections, then the 2020 Newest HP will be a great fit for you. The screen and graphics may not support heavier gaming but it’s great when you use a bigger screen with this laptop as you play. 

Performance 

Depending on what you are working on, the clock speed on the processor can go up to 3.2 GHz from a minimum of 2.3 GHz. It’s an AMD Athlon Silver 3050U processor that will perform better if you have a wider screen. Also, being AMD, gaming may be more of a contest than enjoyment. 

With 16 GB DDR4 RAM, you can bet that it’s a laptop that will do much without delays. So, it may not have the best processor but it will work you through with minimal resistance. The Windows 10 in S mode is stored in the 128 GB SSD drive, leaving you with the terabyte of HDD to put whatever you need to throw on the machine. 

Portability 

The machine is somewhat light and that also makes it cheap. The plastic on the machine is all over making the HP Premium be 3.3 pounds only. It’s also not that large and that is from the small screen and keyboard area. The battery life is also unknown here but it will serve you depending on what you are doing. 

Being a machine that can support better visuals on a larger screen, the battery may not stay for long here. 

Display 

You don’t expect to see much better on a 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. On the other hand, as we said, it will work better when you have a larger screen to display. The screen, being from the HP is a WLED which is known to render some of the best colors. 

AMD has also raided the graphics department and it’s Radeon. According to HP, it works the same or better than the Ryzen 3 in an i5. There is confusion on whether this has a 14-inch or a 10-inch screen. To get it right, the 14-inch screen fits in a square lid of 10 x 10 inches. 

Other Considerations 

There are more ports here for anything you need to connect. There are two 3.1 USB ports, one 3.1 USB-C, HDMI, and an ethernet port if you use wired internet. Housing all this is great for a person who needs something that can replace desktop work. The installed Windows is version 10 but in S mode. 

We love that it’s a 2020 HP laptop that still retains the buttons on the touchpad. If you like the toggles than the all flat touchpad, then this will be good for you as you use the touch space. 

Bottom Line 

The 2020 Newest HP is a good choice for those who need to play games offline. It has all the space you need and the OS can be stored in a faster but smaller SSD. Due to the small screen size, you may need to connect to a larger screen to enjoy a better playing session. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9/10
  • Processor: AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128GB SSD + 1 TB HDD
  • Weight: 3.3 lbs
  • Display: 14 inches
  • Battery life : not tested yet
  • Screen resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon
  • OS : Windows 10 S Mode

6. HP Business i5 (2020)

“More battery life”

2020 HP 14 inch HD Laptop Newest for...
  • AMD Athlon Mobile Processor with Radeon...
  • 14-inch diagonal HD, SVA, anti-glare,...
  • 4GB system memory for basic...
  • Up to 10 Hours of battery life means you...
  • Windows 10 Home in S mode, You may...
Pros
  • Quite light
  • Better grip
  • Quality camera
  • Long battery life
Cons
  • Slow machine
  • Less storage

There may be some similarities between this HP model and the Premium model above. the latter is however different with minimal capacity and less powerful internals. It also comes with Windows 10 in S Mode and which you can switch. It’s also lighter when compared to the other model. 

Performance 

The processor is still an AMD Athlon 3050U with the same clock speed range as the predecessor. What makes the machine slower is the 4 GB RAM which is in DDR4 category though. That implies you may not want to overload it with major tasks and heavily animated games. 

The storage space is only 128 GB in solid state. That makes the machine quicker but you may ask for an upgrade later which is doable. The switchable Windows 10 S is stored in there and there are instructions on how to go to the full version. 

Portability 

The 2020 HP is quite lighter, maybe due to the fact that it does not have the extra storage space. At 3.24 pounds, you may not feel much difference though when comparing it to the Newest HP. Just like the one above, the chassis here is all plastic and that sheds of the extra weight. 

If you want a laptop that can stay for long as you go to work, watch and surf, then this is the model to consider. It has a 10-hour battery life and that can even make you forget your charger. Subjecting it to games will however give you less time. 

Display 

Playing with this laptop also means needing a bigger screen. The size is still at 14 inches and the resolution is 1366 x 768 pixels. That tells you that anything above the NFS Most Wanted will not be as clear as you would like it. The graphics card in play is also an AMD Radeon. 

Using it for regular work will be fine though. When connecting to a larger screen, there is a HDMI port for that and it’s the only port you can use if you don’t have a converter. As you use it, the rough covering provides the grip you need especially if your hands are on the machine for a long time. 

Other Considerations 

All the important ports are on one side of the machine. They include a USB-C in 3.1 generation, two USB-A types, and a HDMI. The other end has an SD Card reader. If you want to switch to Windows 10 full version, there are instructions to do that. However, make sure that the account you use for One Drive is what you would like to use. 

It may not be possible to switch from one account to another after the first sign in. If you need a laptop for Zoom, the camera on this model is one of the best for that. 

Bottom Line 

The 2020 14 Inch HP is better for those who need a machine that can serve for longer hours. The specifications on it may not support heavy gaming but it has an SSD, a RAM in the DDR4 category and a better graphics card. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9/10
  • Processor: AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB
  • Weight: 3.24 lbs
  • Display: 14 inches
  • Battery life : 10 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon
  • OS : Windows 10 S Mode

7. CHUWI HeroBook Pro 14.1 

“Better screen visual” 

CHUWI HeroBook Pro 14.1 inch Windows 10...
  • Powerful Inside: Powerful and efficient...
  • Storage What You Need: 8GB RAM, 256GB...
  • Thinner and Lighter: CHUWI HeroBook...
  • Long Battery Life: A monstrous 38Wh...
  • 7 Ports Availiable In One: Herobook Pro...
Pros
  • Quality display
  • Lightweight
  • Can decode 4K videos
Cons
  • No USB-C

The CHUWI HeroBook Pro is another one in the best gaming laptop under 400 niche. Many would say it’s one of the quiet machines with a better display than most of what we have already reviewed. The technology is modern here and the weight is also bearable. 

Performance 

We have a few changes on the processor specification here. It’s an Intel Lake N4000 with a clock speed of up to 2.3 GHz which is acceptable in this range. Combining that with an 8 GB RAM enables you to enjoy smoother gaming experience than what you get in the 4 GB category. 

Storage is also much better going up to 256 GB. If you want more, you can upgrade via the extra M.2 slot available in the machine. It’s however in the SSD category and we know that makes a machine faster. 

Portability 

The weight is comparable to most of the machines we have reviewed. According to CHUWI, this laptop weighs 1.39 kg and that is not a problem for anyone on the move. It’s also one of the quiet machines we are reviewing as the manufacturer decided to exclude the fan. 

How it cools off is still up for debate. It also has one of the best battery lifes. It comes with a fast-charging cable and the battery goes on for the next nine hours or so. 

Display 

There is a 1080p resolution here and that’s good for more color contrast and vividness. The screen size is only 14.1 inches but it does a better job on the visuals. If you need a larger screen, the connection is possible via the miniHD port. 

At 1920 x 1080 pixels, the CHUWI meets some of the minimum requirements for a good game. We also appreciate the fact that this is one of the slim laptops for you to enjoy. It also comes with a touch pad that is full touch and full of gestures. For the screen, it can work with 4K videos thanks to the Intel UHD graphics card. 

Other Considerations 

There are seven ports that you can utilize while using the CHUWI model. First, you can expand the storage via the TF reader and it permits up to 256 GB. Other ports include 2.0 USB, 3.0 USB and a miniHD port. We may wish for an additional USB-C port but it’s not on this HeroBook Pro model. 

The keyboard is full size but it doesn’t have a numpad. That gives you large keys for a better typing experience. 

Bottom Line 

Due to better screen visuals and a massive RAM space, you can use this machine for light and medium gaming. The Intel graphics card does a better job here, making the 4K videos run smoothly. On the downside, it appears quite fragile. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8.5/10
  • Processor: Intel Gmini Lake N4000
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB
  • Weight: 3.06 lbs
  • Display: 14.1 inches
  • Battery life : 9 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • OS : Windows 10 Home

8. Dell Inspiron 15 (3000)

“Widescreen better for entertainment” 

2020 Newest Dell Inspiron 15 3000 PC...
  • Intel Celeron Processor 4205U (2MB...
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit English
  • Intel UHD Graphics 610
  • 12 GB, 1 x 4 + 1 x 8GB, DDR4, 2666 MHz
  • 256GB SSD + 1 TB 5400 RPM 2.5-inch SATA...
Pros
  • Ample storage
  • Wide screen
  • Quite sturdy
Cons
  • Can be slow

Dell has had a good run when it comes to durable laptops. The Newest Dell Inspiron 15 comes in to boost the speed and performance but they do not shed the weight. So, expect to be dealing with a heavy machine as you work through. 

Performance 

Dell decided to stick to Intel on the processor. The D15 model works with a Celeron 4205U version with quite a slow clock speed of 1.8 GHz. There is however more room in the RAM since it goes to 12 GB. So, for those claiming it’s a slow laptop, that may be from the execution point of view. 

The RAM has all the volume needed for fastness. It’s also very necessary since there is ample storage space for all your games and files. This Inspiron has 256 GB SSD for the OS and a 1 TB SATA drive for all the extra files. With such internal connection, it may call for a higher clock speed. 

Portability 

As we said, Dell has made us deal with all their weight again. The D15 weighs 4.8 pounds which may be too much for a 2020 machine. On the other hand, don’t mistake that for not being compact. Everything is intact in the machine and you can feel through no moving parts as you carry it. 

The battery life will go for an average of five hours. If there are no intensive tasks or playing, it may serve for 6.5 hours. Gaming will however need you to have the charger at all times. 

Display 

The Inspiron 15 3000 has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels on a 15.6-inch screen. That can be low for gaming but the screen size has a wider viewing angle. The bezels are also quite thick making the screen look smaller but it fit’s the modern viewing range. 

The Intel UHD graphics card is what supports the visuals. If you have a game that does not demand the heaviest pixels and graphics, it will work well with this machine. 

Other Considerations 

Notable ports on the Dell are two 3.0 USB ports, one 2.0 USB, an SD Card slot and HDMI. For wired internet connections, there is a RJ45 port. The speakers on this laptop are not the best. That calls for an aux cable or bluetooth connection to the stereo for better output. 

Bottom Line 

Dell Inspiron 15 300 offers more storage and main memory too. The clock speed makes it slow hence the complaint from purchasers but it still gets the work done. Being from Dell, be aware that you will be dealing with more weight. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8.5/10
  • Processor: Intel Celeron 2-Core 4205U
  • RAM: 12 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256 GB + 1 TB HDD
  • Weight: 4.8 lbs
  • Display: 15.6 inches
  • Battery life : 5 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • OS : Windows 10 Home

9. Gateway 11.6” FHD

“Fits small spaces” 

Gateway 11.6" FHD Ultra Slim Laptop...
  • CPU: 7th Gen AMD A4-9120E APU (1.6GHz,...
  • 11.6" FHD (1920 x 1200) LCD IPS Display;...
  • 4 GB LPDDR4X RAM, 64GB eMMC Storage. No...
  • Bluetooth 4.0; USB 2.0 x 1, USB 3.0 x 1,...
  • ▌Authorized BROAGE Bundle ▌Bundled...
Pros
  • Small and tight
  • Great resolution
  • Portable USB on a pen
Cons
  • Small keyboard area
  • Less storage

If you want a small laptop that you can carry anywhere and play small games while on the move, then the GateWay Ultra Slim is a proper choice. It’s not blessed with great features but it will store a few things for you in small spaces too. 

Performance 

AMD rules the processor on this one and the frequency varies from a minimum of 1.6 GHz to a height of 2.4 GHz. The Ultra Slim laptop also hosts a 4 GB DDR4 RAM to keep things going. This is definitely a machine you don’t want to overload. For the storage there is little but it’s way portable as we will see. 

The internal hosts an eMMC storage of 64 GB. While it’s not what you expect, it’s still not upgradable but it’s faster than SATA and slower than SSD. The reason is that eMMC types behave like SSD but they cannot host large storages yet. To add on the storage, there is a 64 GB USB flash drive. 

Portability 

It’s a way too light laptop weighing at only three pounds. It’s also one of the small ones to throw in small bags or carry with one hand. You may want to buy a pouch though for extra protection. If you can carry it around, it means that you will have no problem coupling it with a charger as you move. 

It does not keep power for longer than four hours. That’s however much time to do something constructive on this laptop. If you will be playing though, a charge should be close. How you can carry the extra storage on the pen is also a good way to keep things moving. 

Display 

The Gateway has a small screen of 11.6 inches but we can say it’s loaded with pixels. With a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, you can guarantee that the visuals will be better when compared to other laptops in this price range. You may have a problem though typing on the small keys. 

The keyboard area is small and you don’t want that if you have some long typing work to do. The Ultra Slim model also has a big touchpad area which would have been utilized by the keypad but that depends on preference. On the bright side, it’s a touch screen laptop that comes with a stylus that you can also use a ballpoint pen. 

Other Considerations 

The rear camera is much better than the front one. We always expect that but having more on the front is a better idea now that everyone is depending on things like Zoom. The back has 8MP while the front one is only 2 MP. 

There is also a deficiency in ports. There is one USB 2.0 and one for the 3.0 specification. Expanding the storage on this machine will mean either getting external drives or an SD Card since there is a slot for that. 

Bottom Line 

This is a laptop that can serve better those are gaming online. It does not have a big storage space and the RAM too to support better offline games. You may however find it a better option if you want something light as you travel. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8/10
  • Processor: AMD A4-9120e
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4
  • Storage: 64 GB eMMC Storage + 64 GB USB Flash Drive
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs
  • Display: 11.6 inches
  • Battery life : Up to 4 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon R3
  • OS : Windows 10 S Mode

10. Dpofirs Jumper EZbook 

“Light and portable” 

Dpofirs Jumper Tech Laptop EZbook - 11.6...
  • This laptop has a more powerful CPU,...
  • For Intel's 9th generation HD graphics...
  • The laptop has a multi‑touch IPS...
  • This laptop has longer battery life and...
  • The laptop has a wealth of ports. ,...
Pros
  • Small and compact
  • High resolution
  • Fast charging capability
Cons
  • Poor ventilation

Lastly, we have the Dpofirs Jumper laptop that seems to be small and compact. It has the power needed for a better gaming drive but the screen size and and disk drive do not permit much. You can carry it anywhere though and it will fit overall computer use too. 

Performance 

You don’t expect this laptop to give you better results but working with the Intel Apollo processor does not disappoint. The machine’s frequency, at 2.4 GHz, meets what the 6 GB RAM feeds it from the ROM. So, expect it to be a fast machine in this price range. 

There is minimum storage here for the Windows 10 and the games you may need to carry with you. The 128 GB storage can only be expanded via the TF reader slot since opening this sleek machine is a bit of work. It also doesn’t have any full USB-A port to support external HDDs. 

If you get one with USB-C, then well and good. 

Portability 

At 3.42 pounds, that’s a fair weight to deal with as you move. The Dpofirs is however smooth and you may need a cover for it as you carry. After some time of use, expect it to have a few scratches. There are rubber pad at the bottom though to prevent corrosion from friction when you place it on a table. 

The battery life is not available but being a highly portable laptop, you can expect that it will keep some charge for more than four hours. It charges via the USB-C making the power input fast. You can use the same port to charge devices too. 

Display 

The small 11.6-inch screen has a 1080p resolution or what we refer to as the 1920 x 1080. That’s both good and bad with the latter falling on eyes straining due to size and the prior going to better color contrast and vividness. The top and side bezels are thin which gives more screen-to-body ratio. 

The lower part is however thicker to allow for the Microsoft logo. This machine has a well-performing graphics card from Intel. It’s a 9th Gen HD which renders pictures with the right color contrast and without dragging. You can therefore subject it a few racing games without too much animation. 

Other Considerations 

Every port you find on this laptop is micro apart from the USB-C port which also serves as the charging point. The rest are micro HDMI, micro USB and the TF Card slot. 

It’s also worthy to note that the heat dissipation on this laptop is quite poor. The air vents are small and compact due to the machine’s size. That tells you that you don’t want to run tasks that will lead to overheating. 

Bottom Line 

The EZbook model fits those who need a small machine for a few tasks from time to time. It may however not suit those who spend more time on machines especially in long gaming sessions. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8/10
  • Processor: 8th Gen Intel Apollo N3450
  • RAM: 6 GB DDR4
  • Storage: 128 GB
  • Weight: 3.42 lbs
  • Display: 11.6 inches
  • Battery life : not tested yet
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: Intel 9th HD
  • OS : Windows 10

How to choose the best gaming laptop under 400 dollars?

Reaching at the end of the reviews means you have already settled on some of the best laptops for your next gaming venture. You still want to select the best of them all but you don’t know what to look out for next. 

This guide will help you determine which laptop in the $400 price range will best suit your needs. The key thing here is that it always depends on how you will be using your laptop.

Processor 

This is like the heartbeat in a computer. It’s the part that determines the final execution before you start seeing things on the screen. What you should look for here is durability in processors and whether they can handle higher speeds when you upgrade in future. 

Some of the clock speeds can only function with RAM sizes within their specified range. Higher volumes may lead to motherboard problems and in most cases, the circuitry suffers. Intel chips mostly never have a problem but you may want to think twice when it comes to dealing with AMDs.

If you will be considering the frequency, then there are few models above 2.0 GHz. You can start looking there. Intel have recently upgraded to Celeron and Lake versions among others and they have rendered the best performance in machines. 

Graphics Card 

We don’t expect to find a lot of NVIDIA specifications in this price range. Most of the selected models and others too either have an Intel graphic chip or AMD. Here, going with both will not hurt if the visual is okay. On the other hand, again, the Intel chips rule the day while AMDs continue to improve the output. 

Laptops like Gateway have great visuals, thanks to the AMD chip in it but working with Intel is much easier for an upgrade. If you buy the Dell Inspiron 15 3000, most of the parts are readily available making it almost effortless to work with future components. 

If you are however only looking for a great output, then there are a few laptops with an AMD processor to pursue. 

RAM 

Huge RAMs are great for a laptop’s output. That is why we consider going for a 4GB RAM or above. Anything below that will not keep up with the modern times. There are various laptops with 8 GB and that is much better. As you are choosing the category, it’s better when you are dealing with the DDR4 category. 

Others contain RAM in SSD format and that provides better output. If you get a laptop with 4 GB RAM, then it’s better if you check on if it has an extra slot of if the current RAM stick is upgradable. Why? Because as you use the machine, it may become necessary to get a bigger one. 

The apps we use especially if you are watching, browsing and gaming require a lot of main memory to work fast. 

Display & Resolution 

How you will be viewing the apps and games is a great determiner when picking a laptop. It doesn’t matter how well things are running in the background. With that, you may need to check on the type of screen, size and the pixels on it. That way, you can gauge properly on what suits your eyes. 

For the types, IPS and WLED have offered some of the best displays anc color renders. You will find them in HPs and superb models like the Acer Aspire 5 Slim. If you couple such a screen with high pixel capacity, the clarity shoots to the best. That is why the Acer threw 1920 x 1080 pixels on their model. 

Speaking of pixels, that’s the highest range you can get in laptops in this category. Depending on the model though, some fall to 1366 x 768 and that’s the lowest you should consider. High resolution on smaller screens brings out the best in imagery although you have to deal with a smaller output window. 

Laptops like the Gateway have a small screen but the pixels it’s in the 1080p category. If you take the Dell Inspiron model, you get blurry images on a big screen since it’s 15.6 inches with 1366 x 768 pixels. 

Storage 

You will not get much storage if you are going for a laptop with less or about $400. We have however seen models with more than a terabyte so, why is that? First you need to consider the type of drive in the machine. In most of them, there is the current SSD which is faster than SATA. 

Those laptops with more storage have both SATA and SSD connections. Such models are easy to upgrade due to a variety of slots to use. You will also note that the SSD storage is less than what you get in the HDD drive. that settles down to cost and speed. 

HDDS are slower but they are also cheaper hence more storage capacity. In some models, you will also see the eMMC type of storage. It behaves like the SSD version but with a limitation. Such types of storage modes are embedded in motherboards and they dont permit much storage or room for upgrade. 

Connectivity 

If you are playing games online, then you’ll need to check on how fast your laptop can be on the internet. All of them are Wi-Fi enabled with the common standards. So, the speeds will depend on your connection point. For faster output, you can check for laptops with more than the 802.11 a.c standard. 

Small compact laptops like the Dpofirs may not have the big ethernet ports. That means you have no option to use the fast wired internet speeds. If you have that option, consider a laptop with an RJ45 jack. Other forms of wireless connections such as the Bluetooth are also essential. 

Laptops in this range may have varying sound outputs but to make it better, you need the stereo. A laptop that enables Bluetooth connection will reduce the wiring as you work and play. 

Battery 

Last but not the least goes to the battery life. It’s also another factor that makes or breaks a deal. However, in the gaming category, don’t expect the laptops to have so much life. There are few exceptions that will stay for more than 10 hours but that is bound to reduce depending on how you are using the machine. 

For a good working time and playing time, you can get a laptop that gives between five and eight hours. Upgrading a machine and prolonging the use will however bring down the hours. You should also remember that it’s a common thing for batteries to die down. 

If you don’t get an original replacement, trouble will start there. Keeping a battery intact requires a few requirements on the overall use of the machine. Apart from not overcharging which happens often, there are other issues like ventilation especially if you are spending more time on your machine. 

Frequently asked questions

What is the best gaming laptop under $400?

Acer Aspire 5 Slim, 3.5 Hz, 1920 x 1080 pixels 
ASUS F512JA-AS34 VivoBook 15, 3.4 GHz, 1920 x 1080 pixels
2019 ASUS VivoBook F510QA, 3.6 GHz, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 
2020 Newest HP 14 Inch Premium, 2.3-3.2 GHz, 1366 x 768 pixels 

Is 400 dollars good for a gaming laptop?

If you are starting out or on a budget, then $400 can allow you to get the first novice experience. You will however not experience what the high end computers possess. It’s hard to get NVIDIA graphics cards and high-end Intel chips on such laptops. Most of them however have better visuals and some have larger storage. 

What can I expect from a gaming laptop under $400?

Laptops have developed over the years. You can, on the other hand, expect the following: 
Screen size:14 inches to 15.6 inches 
Processor: Mostly Intel with a few models going for AMD 
Storage:SSD or HDD with the prior being smaller 
Resolution:1366 x 768 on the minimum. Highest goes for 1920 x 1080 pixels 

Is a $400 gaming laptop would be good for everyday use?

Yes, a gaming laptop can serve you for other every day tasks. They possess large RAM sizes and quite faster processor speeds. If you are however programming or working in the graphics niche, these laptops will require upgrades in the main memory and the physical memory. 

What’s the ideal GPU of a gaming laptop in the $400 budget?

If you want better performance, consider the Intel UHD 610 category. AMD Radeon also performs better or similar to Ryzen 3, so it’s also a good choice. Do not expect high-end graphic properties though in this price range. If you are lucky to get the 9th Gen Intel HD, then that is one of the best choices in this price range. 

Are gaming laptops worth it in 2020?

Depending on what you are playing, they are worth it. If you are using it for online gaming, then you need better graphic performance and power processing speed. What you cannot depend on them for is the battery life especially if you are not near a power source. 

Are gaming laptops good, and reliable?

If you have a laptop that does not have much mechanical or internal issues, then it’s reliable even for other uses. You should make sure that what you get can deal with future upgrades without any problems. It’s also worth noting that you may need to replace the laptops after two to three years. 

What laptops do pro gamers use?

Pro gamers use high-end laptops with high processing power, NVIDIA category for graphics, and faster storage spaces in SSD mode. The resolution in most of the high-end laptops does not fall below 1080p. Since the games played require high graphic output and processing power, heat dissipation here is also the best. 

The Final Verdict 

After reading the reviews and guide, we believe that you can now settle for the best one of them all. If you are tech savvy, you can choose models that will be easy to upgrade later. For those who don’t need to test their laptops once in a while, compact and slim is the way to go. 

If you feel that you would like to share your thoughts, don’t shy away from the comment box below.  

Last update on 2021-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API