The above table shows our top 5 picks. Find other recommendations within the article.
Are you searching for the best laptop with a budget under $400? Look no further, you’ll be able to make a decision on which laptop best suits your needs after going through our list of the Top 10 Best Laptops Under $400.
There are several laptops with this price tag available in the market as well as various models and brands. Hence, it might be a bit confusing to find one to fulfill your needs. For this reason, we have carefully compiled this list for you to have a better understanding of the features and specs that make each of the laptops stand out from the rest.
Best Laptops Under $400 – Top 10 Picks
1. Lenovo Flex 14-81SQ000EUS
Best 2 in 1 Laptop Under $400
Lenovo designed the Flex 14 81SQ000EUS as a convertible laptop and specifically for those who travel light. It also comes in a tablet mode which gives the laptop another interesting dimension. The laptop is powerful enough to handle several basic activities from use at home or for college work.
The Lenovo Flex 14 comes in Onyx Black color, an uncommon and special shade of black. It features a matte finish present on the top which makes the laptop nice to touch and gives it a premium look for a laptop with this price range.
A major plus to the Lenovo Flex 14 is its portability and its flexible form. It is one of the lightest laptops one could carry around with a weight of just about 1.87 pounds. It can easily fit into any backpack and because of this, it is a suitable laptop for any college student.
You only get a 14-inch HD display with the Lenovo Flex 14 with a 1366 x 768 display. To be honest, this is not too impressive as you won’t be able to view 720p content at its best quality. When streaming a YouTube video, you won’t be able to go beyond the HD setting.
Also, there isn’t much to appreciate with the viewing angle as well. When viewing the laptop directly in front, you’ll be able to get the best out of the picture quality and color. But with a small shift in angle, you’ll notice a loss in color display which is not suitable for high-quality multimedia works.
Inside the Lenovo Flex 14, it packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and an Intel Pentium Gold 5405U processor which is a low-end processor and suited for light use such as for home and school work. The base speed of the processor is 2.3GHz and it is a low-end chip with no opportunity to turbo boost.
Another noteworthy feature that comes with the Lenovo Flex 14 has to do with the storage. You get a 128GB Solid-State drive which operates fast and has a quick boot time. With the NVMe SSD, you’ll get speedy performance notwithstanding the subpar processor and memory hardware.
There are several good options for connectivity with the Lenovo Flex 14. It has a USB Type-C port, an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, a dock for headphones and an SD card reader.
The battery life of the Lenovo 14 is another selling point for this laptop. It can last for up to 8 hours on a single charge which makes it great for college work as it can last an entire school day.
The Lenovo Flex 14 features basic specs suitable for light use. However, it is powerful enough to handle your daily computing activities without any issues owing to its efficient hardware. If you are in search of a laptop that you can also convert into a tablet, this laptop is a great option.
- The 14" Hd (1366 x 768), 220 nits, 10-point touchscreen display is...
- With up to 8 hours of battery life, The Flex 14 enables you to work,...
- Stay connected with WLAN Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in. The Flex 14...
2. HP 14-CF0014DX
HP Laptop Under $400
The latest HP 14-CF0014DX is a nice and portable laptop which is almost the perfect size for anyone who is frequently on the move. With a 14-inch display, you get sufficient screen size for easy viewing. It may not be the most powerful budget laptop in the market but it is capable to handle basic tasks to a substantial level.
HP made use of dark anthracite and silver-gray color combination giving the device a sleek look. A weight of 4.35 pounds and measurement of 32.4 x 22.6 x 2 inches makes it suitable as a travel laptop.
Its 15.6-inch screen gives you plenty of viewing angle with a TN display and a 1366 x 768 screen resolution. However, it might be pretty difficult to read at a slight tilt or in an off-centered angle. Moreover, it is also quite difficult to use outside due to its relatively low brightness even at its maximum
One major aspect to appreciate is its speedy and solid 8GB of DDR4 RAM for advanced multitasking and smart dual-core 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U processor. This is a four-way processing performance for modest HD computing.
The keyboard of the HP 14 is fantastic with great key action. It does not feel mushy and gives you comfortable typing experience on MS-Word, Excel, Gmail and so on. The trackpad is also spacious and responsive to touch.
Although 128GB Solid State Drive offers less space for storage than a hard drive, it is a flash-based SSD that results in fast start-up times and speedy operations in general. You might want to get an external hard drive or an SD card for storing files.
For connections, you get a sufficient configuration of ports such as two USB ports, one 2.0 and 3.0, a headphone/mic jack, an Ethernet and HDMI port, an SD card reader. Users say that it might be difficult to tell the difference between the 2.0 and 3.0 when looking from the side of the laptop but that’s not muchnot pretty much of a problem.
The battery life of the HP 14 impresses as well. You get 9 hours of battery time on a single charge to keep you on the go for almost a whole day without having to find a power source
The HP 14-CF0014DX is a great budget laptop that still packs some decent performance and configurations. It comes in a compact size suitable to be carried around. The major flaw is with the display with poor viewing angles.
- Windows 10 operating system Windows 10 brings back the start menu from...
- 14" Display bright View glossy screen maintains the vivid colors in...
- 7th Gen Intel Core i3-7100U mobile Processor smart dual-core, four-way...
3. Asus VivoBook Flip 14
Cheap Laptop Under $400
Asus has made exceeding success with the 2-in-1’s they have released to date and the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 does not disappoint. It comes in a stylish and clean design which is both pretty and practical and appeals to users working with a tight budget.
The design of the VivoBook Flip is quite clean although in a way bland. It also has rounded corners with a grey finish and notched base which gives it a sleek look. However, the bezelbezels under the display are quite massive with a somewhat thick lid.
One major strong point in the design of the VivoBook is its ability to be flexible. It comes with two hinges that rotate the display 360 degrees back and forth converting the laptop into a tablet mode.
The Asus VivoBook Flip 14 screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080p which is very much decent for its price. While it looks nice and smooth, it still falls short when it comes to crispness and when compared to other budget laptops. However, webpages and movie streaming appear nice and the touch screen works fine as well.
Typing a report on the VivoBook Flip 14’s island-style keyboard is not so impressive. The keys are quite small and they give a soft and mushy feel when pressed. It has a 1mm key travel which is below 1.5mm recommended by experts.
The touchpad on the other hand easily executes gestures such as switching to task view using 3 fingers to swipe up and pinching to zoom. But users say that there is usually a slight delay when opening certain features like Cortana.
In terms of performance, the VivoBook Flip 14 packs an Intel Core m3-7Y30, 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 64GB memory card storage. The Core m3 is an ultra-low voltage chip and makes it only capable enough to handle basic tasks but does not excel when used for power-intensive works.
The selection of ports on the VivoBook Flip 14 is quite unexpected. It comes with a micro USB 2.0 port on the left, something we don’t often find in many modern systems. Asus explained that the port is meant for data transfer with mobile phones. On the right, you’ll find a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a micro HDMI and a jack for headphones/mic.
Battery life on the VivoBook Flip 14 is a little bit below average. According to users, it can only last an average of 7 hours after a full charge at continuous web surfing at a brightness of 150 nits.
If you are in search of a lightweight road warrior laptopslaptop with 14-inch screen size, then you should not bother searching further. The Asus VivoBook Flip 14 is one to be reckonedreckon with as you might not be able to get anything better and still have a 1080p resolution working very nice. However, the battery life and unimpressive keyboard is a letdown.
- 14 in Full HD LCD touchscreen (1920 x 1080), 10-finger multi-touch...
- 64GB eMMC, 4 GB DDR3L-1600 SDRAM (1 x 4 GB)
- Intel 802.11b/g/n/ac (2x2) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 Combo, 1 USB 3.1...
4. Dell Inspiron I3567-3970BLK-PUS
Best Core I5 Laptop Under $400
The Dell Inspiron I3567-3970BLK-PUS has gotten many positive reviews by users owing to its decent specsspec to price ratio. It comes with an Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM which enables you to undergo powerful multitasking. It also comes with other impressive features that make it a decent laptop for day to day use.
There’s nothing much to appreciate in the design of the Dell Inspiron I3567. It features the typical lines and curves Dell has been using for quite some years. It feels rather hefty with a plastic covering with a measurement of almost 1-inch thickness. Hence, this laptop won’t be suitable to carry along when traveling.
While it is quite disappointing that Dell does not feature an entry-level graphics card in the Inspiron i3567, it comes with an Integrated Intel Graphics UHD 620 model. It allows you to carry out basic multimedia works.
Also, the display quality of the 15.6-inch laptop is not too impressive with just a resolution of 1366 x 768p. For a laptop of this price range, it could have at least featured a full HD display.
The Dell Inspiron I3567 is powered by a 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7200u processor. It has a base processor speed of 2.7GHz with a Max turbo boost of up to 3.1 GHz featuring a cache size of 3mb. A lot of mid-range notebooks come with this certified processor.
It also has ample system memory space for most users who will make use of it. 8GB of DDR4 RAM is more than enough memory to achieve a good result for basic works. It allows you to carry out intense multitasking, to handle large sets of data and to run intensive scripts on the web.
With 128GB SSDSSSD, it offers lesslesser storage space when compared to a hard drive. However, there is no moving partspart with a flash-based SSD which gives fast booting and access to data. Also, no noisy operation with a limited power draw on the battery.
There are abundant options for connectivity on the Dell Inspiron. It specifically features an HDMI output which expands your viewing options and allows you to connectyou connect to a high definition monitor to set up two screens next to each other.
Despite the downsides seen on the Dell Inspiron I3567-3970BLK-PUS such as low display quality and limited space for storage, I must admit other features are in line with the asking price. It is an impressive budget laptop which is similar to a desktop replacement notebook
- Intel Core i3-7130U Dual -Core Processor 2.7GHz/8 GB DDR4 SDRAM...
- 15.6" HD 1366x768 Touch Screen Display/ Intel Integrated HD 620...
- Keyboard with numeric keypad/ 802.11b/g/n Wireless and Bluetooth/...
5. Samsung Chromebook Plus V2
Best Chromebook Under $400
Samsung is known to be one of the most successful brands in the making of Chrome OS notebooks. Now Samsung has raised the bar with the design of the Chromebook Plus V2. For those who value style coupled with performance, it is a great choice that isn’t too pricey.
The slim construction and rounded corners of the Chromebook Plus V2 give it a distinction in a market filled with large and chunky machines. It also has a darker aluminum than other Chromebooks and this gives it a distinctive look.
There’s a considerable firmness attached to the chassis and the deck of the keyboard, but you can also get a bit of blend if you wrench it a bit. However, this does not make the laptop feel flimsy or cheap
For the screen, Samsung has added a quality panel having a brightness of 300 nits, a full HD 1920 x 1200 resolution and wide viewing angles. This combination is one of the best panels that has come with any Chromebook in a while.
The only feature which feels less successless of success is the keyboard. It looks quite small and it does not come with a good amount of key travel which makes typing uncomfortable. Also, it does not come backlit which would have been a nice addition for its price, but Samsung has done well to include a protective layer beneath to prevent spills.
The port configuration is quite decent with 2 USB Type-C ports and one USB Type-A, a microSD card slot and jack for headphonesa headphone/mic. The only glitch to this setup is the placement of the USB Type C ports on the same side of the device and it hinders flexibility.
The speakers are also decent in delivering full sounds which is not a common feature found in Chromebooks. The sound released always comes with depth and is quite nice to listen to when compared with other devices.
For its internals, it features a Celeron 3966Y which comes with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB eMMC which is good enough to handle most basic tasks you throw at it. Despite a QHD extended display, the laptop is still powerful to handle multiple tabs and work as a graphics editor at the same time.
The battery life is also decent, giving you about 8 hours of work on basic tasks like light browsing. Although, power-intensive tasks might bring it down to 7 hours.
Samsung has put together a splendid package with Chromebook Plus V2 with a great screen, fast performance, good options for connectivity and awesome sound systems. However, it falls through in terms of touchpad performance as it is a bit choppy and does not respond to light and subtle movements.
- LIGHTWEIGHT 2-in-1 DESIGN At just under 3 pounds, the Chromebook Plus...
- BUILT-IN PEN Experience the power of the incredibly precise built-in...
- DUAL CAMERA Fold your laptop into tablet mode to capture clear shots...
6. New Microsoft Surface Go
Best College Student Laptop Under $400
With the invention of the Surface Go, Microsoft is trying to prove to everyone that even the best Windows tablets can come at a cheap price. Almost everything found in other high-end laptops can be seen here.
However, there will assuredly be some degree of compromises such as the disabling of the Windows 10 S Mode and the absence of strange app compatibility issues amongst others.
Considering appearance, the Surface Go looks just okay. It comes in a silver finish with a shiny Windows logo present at the rear giving it a fancy look while the front feels rather plain. However, it is not all good news as the bezels of the Surface Go are quite thick which makes us wish Microsoft could have squeezed in a 10-inch screen into a design having more edge-to-edge.
While the 10-inch Pixelsense display found on the Surface Go may be small, it offers a considerable amount of pop. The color accuracy is top-notch and movies and videos look nice on it. It has a 3:2 aspect ratio which is useful for web surfing and work but 16:9 full-screen videos wasted space having black bars.
Perhaps the reason for the thick bezels was the inclusion of the Surface Go’s speakers. It is surprising to find that the speakers sound quite powerful for a tiny driver like this. This makes the Surface Go a good multimedia tablet as well as a mild device for great productivity.
The Intel Pentium Gold found inside the Surface Go makes it powerful enough to handle basic browser-related workloads such as content creation and management and word processing, including the office 365 suite efficiently.
On the other hand, with 4GB of RAM, the performance is rather sluggish. According to users, you’ll most likely notice an issue with strenuous software and when you open several tabs.
However, in terms of storage, while it does not come with a HDDan HDD, it uses a 128GB Toshiba SSD which boasts decent read and write speed performance. By tests we carried out, it gives a read speed of 1116MB/sec and writewrites speed of 1300MB/sec.
If you are willing to work either as a student or for office purposes, the keyboard of the Surface Go can handle that and even better. It gives a good tactile feel and while it is not the same as a mechanical keyboard in terms of quality, it is much better than what you get from a type cover.
The Surface Go is in several ways the ultimate mid-range PC. While it is rather small and compact, it comes in a 10-inch display which is bright and colorful. It gives a solid performance with greatwith the great build quality. However, its thick bezels and short battery life is a huge downside.
- High res 10 inch PixelSense Display designed to be viewed, touched,...
- Lightest Surface yet, starting at just 1.15 pounds
- All day battery life, with up to 9 hours of unplugged power
7. Acer Chromebook R 13
Best Touch Screen Laptop Under $400
The Chromebook R13 is the latest release from the 13-inch series of 2-in-1 Chromebooks normally released by Acer. This laptop is also convertible offering you a tablet mode. It is a cheap and pleasant device that handles most basic tasks with less to-do. If you are a student or you carry out multimedia works, then the Acer Chromebook R13 is just what you need
The aluminum chassis used in Chromebook 13 gives it a stunning look. Although there is not much difference when compared to a similar priced Chromebook. It weighs about 3.2 pounds and has a thickness of 0.6inches which makes it quite portable to be moved around.
The 13.3-inch screen of the Chromebook has an FHD resolution of 1920 x 1080 but with default settings at 1536 x 864 pixels. It can also increase to a maximum of 2400 x 1350 pixels whether you like.
However, experts recommend the resolution does not get to the maximum as it might be difficult to read the text at the highest settings. On the other hand, high definition videos look great at the maximum resolution especially when watching on a full-screen mode.
The performance of the R13 is somewhat limited. It is a Chrome OS laptop, hence it is a workhorse that is suitable majorly for Google’s free office suite, for Google Docs, Gmail and the Chrome web browser.
The Chromebook is powered by a 2.1GHz quad-core MediaTek M8173C CPU, 4GB of RAM and 1MB cache. This configuration is more than enough for the kind of work you may bemay probably be doing on the Chromebook R13.
For storage, what Acer indicates is 64GB of eMMC, but according to reviews by users, it is only close to 45GB of memory. However, this will not be a problem since the majority of your files will be stored on Google Drive.
The Chromebook R13 comes with four-speaker, two present on the underside of the laptop and the other two just below the keyboard. When you are working on the upright laptop mode, the sound feels jammed and muffled as a result of the desk absorbing the sound coming from the speakers found underside.
You’ll be able to get 12 hours of battery life which is almost a day use of the Chromebook R13 while working with 150nits of brightness, connected to Wi-FI. This is what is expected from a Chromebook with relatively low processor power.
The Acer Chromebook R13 is a great piece of hardware with a good value for money ratio. A mix of Android emulation and long-lasting battery life ensures this 2-in-1 laptop is a must buy. Sadly, no touch screen options are found on the Chromebook and the audio can be better.
- Chromebook runs on chrome OS - an operating system by Google that is...
- All the Google apps you know and love come standard on every...
- With the Google play store, you can access a rich library of apps,...
8. MacBook Air MJVM2LL/A
$400 Laptop Cheap
With characteristics such as portable, powerful and practical, the Apple MacBook Air MJVM2LL/A is a nice and compact notebook that can be used by students, professionals and enthusiasts alike. Its lightweight makes it good as a travel laptop too.
The MacBook Air comes in a super sleek design, it is also lightweight which implies you can carry it along anywhere. It features black keys and an accent on a silver body with the design of the wedge also looking nice.
The widescreen display of this 11.6-inch laptop with a 1366 x 768 screen resolution gives crystal clear images with a decent level of crispiness. Whether you are browsing through the web, watching a movie or doing some basic multimedia works, you’ll be able to enjoy an awesome viewing experience
Performance comes with not much of a surprise. Thanks to a little upgrade by Apple over the previous MacBook, the Air MJM2LL/A is now fast and smooth owing to its 1.6GHz Core i5 Haswell processor and 4GB of RAM
Small looks good but there are some sacrifices one has to make using a smaller model. In terms of connectivity, it does not feature an SD card slot which is used for sharing files, hence, you’ll be needing a dongle for this purpose.
On the positive side, it features an SDXC card slot, 2 USB 3.0 port and one Thunderbolt which are nice options for connectivity. Also, it comes with a Bluetooth 4 that allows you to pair the MacBook with a wireless headphone, speakers or other Bluetooth enabled device.
Another compromise made with the small size is a shrunken trackpad and palm rest. This is because Apple used a large-sized keyboard on a small-inch laptop. However, it also means you get a well-spaced trackpad making it comfortable to use. It is also very smooth and responsive.
The MacBook Air makes use of a Li-Poly battery which ensures the laptop lasts up to 10 hours of use. At 65nits of brightness, you can cycle through websites with different tabs openopened for as long as possible
The main selling point of the Apple MacBook Air is its portability and performance. It is quite thin but works fast as a tablet. If you intend on working with office apps and web browsing, then this is the right product. However, compromises such as a shrunken keypad and absence of an SD card slot comes with its small size.
- 11" Laptop, 1.6GHz Intel Core i5
- 4GB Memory, 128GB SSD
- Integrated Intel HD Graphics 6000 graphics processor
9. Dell M4800
Best Dell Laptop Under $400
Dell specifically built the M4800 as a powerhouse. According to Dell, it is the most powerful 15-inch workstationwork station in the world. It also comes with sufficient hardware to make it a desktop replacement laptop. While it might not be the most attractive laptop in the market, it does pack a punch in terms of spec.
The Dell M4800 is a continuation of the traditional appearance common in the precision line of laptops. It comes in a solid tank-like chassis which is about 40mm thick and a huge weight of 6.35 pounds. This implies two or three ultrabooks can fit into the same space.
Dell’s signature gunmetal dark grey case coats the M4800. This gives it a more professional look rather than for fun and games.
A traditional style of the keyboard rather than an isolated style comes with the M4800. It also squeezes a full-size number pad along its sides using a nipple to control the mouse right in between the G and H keys at the center.
No compromise was made to reduce the physical size of the Dell M4800. It has about 11 status LEDs flicker on and off. It also features a built-in optical drive, an SD card reader, four USB 3.0 port, with a further USB 2.0 port present at the rear.
Dell appreciably retained the analog D-Sub connector since most projectors and display still make use of this video standard in the office settings.
The entry-level version of the Dell M4800 comes with an Intel Core i7 4800MQ processor with a base speed of 2.7GHz and 8GB of RAM and Nvidia Quadro K2100M which is a powerful combination of features to deliver a great performance.
However, more interesting is the ability to upgrade or change any of the specs. You also have the opportunity to create your own Dell M4800 specification and choose from a lengthy list of configurations.
The Dell M4800’s display Is full HD and twisted-nematic of 1920 x 1080 screen resolution. This comes with benefits such as less battery drain but some downsides as well when compared with what you get from a QHD+ screen.
The Dell M4800 might not be a suitable laptop for students to use in college but will be a great option for design professionals who are in search of a portable machine with real 3D power. On the other hand, the M8400 still lacks in terms of battery life and massive weight.
- 15.6" Ultrasharp FHD (1920x1080) Wide View Anti-glare LED Backlit...
- Intel Core i7 Quad-Core (i7-4900MQ) 2.80 GHz up to 3.8GHz processor;...
- Bluetooth, WiFi 802.11ac, HDMI; 4x USB 3.0; 1x USB/eSATA; DVD-RW;...
10. HP 2-in-1 Chromebook
Top $400 Laptop
A thorough evaluation of the HP 2-in-1 Chromebook will clear your doubts on different aspects of the device. It boasts of a stylish design and comes with several interesting components. It is also well-built to work in a tablet mode.
The HP 2-in-1 Chromebook comes in a white, anodized aluminum finish joined to a keyboard with a rubber leather-texture and can work in both a laptop and tablet mode. While the unique color and chrome HP logo used on the laptop leaves much to be appreciated, according to reports by users, it is not durable and begins to scratch over time.
The keyboard, on the other hand, is nicely made having a black metal on the back with a rubber textured plastic applied as a covering over the deck which gives users comfort when typing. A magnet connects the tablet to the base of the keyboard which forms a conventional configuration.
Although the keys come with shallow travel of 0.63mm, the keyboard of the HP Chromebook still gives you a satisfying experience when typing on it. It also features a 4.1 x 2.1-inch touchpad which is quite responsive to touch
The 2-in-1 Chromebook comes with a 12.3-inch QHD (2400 x 1600) IPS display running on a 3:2 aspect ratio. This means you get a lot of vertical space and a better display for productivity. The display also comes with enough brightness to be used in sunny environments or with a significant amount of ambient brightness.
Owing to the double Bang & Olufsen speakers present at the front, the audio of the HP Chromebook x2 is also enjoyable. The volume is also plentiful having only slight distortions at the highest settings.
The 2-in-1 Chromebook only features a lightweight OS but the performance is quite snappy. It packs a 7th Gen Intel Core m3-7Y30 CPU, a low-end processor in any Windows 10 notebook but it comes in handy in a much lighter Chrome OS.
There is a standard selection of ports on the Chromebook. On the left, it comes with a USB-C port and microSD card reader while on the right, you’ll find another USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm jack for headphonesa headphone/mic. With such options for connectivity, you get adequate data transfer, display and power support.
Since the HP 2-in-1 Chromebook uses a Chrome OS, hence there is little demand on the battery. With 10 hours of batteryhours battery life, the Chromebook will last you a full workday away from a charge.
A bright and colorful display in addition to a long battery life makes us recommend this laptop. The ability to work in both a laptop and tablet mode is also a plus. If only it had a solid performance and light as other similar Chromebooks, then it would have been a perfect buy.
- 12.3" diagonal 2K WLED-backlit touch screen (2400 x 1600)
- Intel Core m3-7Y30 (1 GHz base frequency, up to 2.6 GHz with Intel...
- 32GB eMMC | 4 GB LPDDR3-1600 SDRAM | 802.11ac WiFi (2x2) and Bluetooth...
At this stage, you have all the knowledge and information you need to buy a laptop under $400. The ten laptops we have reviewed stands as the best in the market currently. Before choosing any of the laptops, carefully read through all the reviews and specifications of each of the products to see which one fits your needs.
However, if you still have doubts or suggestions to give, feel free to share in the comment section below
Last update on 2019-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API