9 Laptops Under $400: Your Guide to the Most Popular Brands

Laptops Under 400 Your Guide to the Most Popular BrandsFace it. A computing device is fundamental to your productivity.

But shopping for laptops under $400 (or any other budget) can be a headache.

Choosing the right laptop doesn’t have to be anxiety ridden.

With so many options competing for your attention. The key is knowing what you need it for.

Asking yourself questions, like: do I need this laptop for professional or personal use? What features do i have to have? Do I want it new, or am I okay with a refurbished unit? Will I use it at home? Or do I need the best travel companion? Will help narrow your focus.

Laptops under $400

 

If you already know what you’re looking for in laptops under $400. Here are the top picks:

400 Dollar Laptop-Comparison

Laptop Display Size CPU Graphics RAM Storage Price
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33B 15.6-inchAcer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33B 15.6-inch15.6-inch2.4GHz Intel Corei3-7100UIntel HD Graphics 6204GB DDR4 SDRAM1TB HDD, DVDRWCheck
Asus-F556UA-AB32-15.6-inchAsus F556UA-AB32 15.6-inch15.6-inch2.3GHz Intel i3-6100UIntel HD Graphics4GB DDR4DL 1TB HDD, No Optical DriveCheck
Dell Inspiron (Touch) i3543 15.6-inchDell Inspiron (Touch) i3543 15.6-inch15.6-inch2.16GHz Intel Core i3-5005U Intel Graphics4GB DDR3500GB HDD DVD/CDCheck
Dell Inspiron i3169 (2-in-1) 11.6-inch:Dell Inspiron i3169 (2-in-1) 11.6-inch11.6-inch0.9GHz Intel Core m3 6Y30Intel Graphics4GB DDR3L SDRAM 500GB HDD, No Optical DriveCheck
HP (15-ay191ms) Touchscreen Signature Edition 15.6-inchHP (15-ay191ms) Touchscreen Signature Edition 15.6-inch15.6-inch2.4GHz, Intel Core i3-7100U Intel Graphics8GB DDR4 SDRAM1TB HDD, SuperMulti DVD BurnerCheck
Dell Inspiron i5555 15.6-inchDell Inspiron i5555 15.6-inch15.6-inch2.2GHz AMD A8-7410 Quad-Core APUAMD Radeon R5 Graphics6GB Single Channel DDR3L500GB HDD, DVD/CD Check
HP 15 (Touchscreen) Business Laptop 15.6-inchHP 15 (Touchscreen) Business Laptop 15.6-inch15.6-inch2.2GHz AMD Quad-Core A8-7410AMD Radeon R5 Graphics4GB DDR3L 1600MHz1TB HDD, SuperMulti DVD/CD BurnerCheck
Lenovo Flex 4 (Yoga 510) 14-inchLenovo Flex 4 (Yoga 510) 14-inch15.6-inch2.2GHz AMD Quad-Core A8-7410AMD Radeon R5 Graphics4GB DDR3L 1600MHz1TB HDD, SuperMulti DVD/CD BurnerCheck
Lenovo IdeaPad G505 15.6-inch: Laptops under $400Lenovo IdeaPad G505 15.6-inch 15.6-inch1GHz AMD E1-2100 ATI Radeon 82104GB DDR3 RAM 1600MHz320GB HDD, DVDRWCheck

The Run Down

To run every day applications, you don’t need the latest and greatest specs. And you don’t need to drop a lot of coin to get something decent.

The good news is there are quite a few systems to suite your specific requirements in the $400 arena. But, distinguishing between bargains to come up with the best fit for your needs can be difficult.

So, to make your life easier. We’ve put together a list of 9 of the best laptops under 400 dollars currently available. Along with an informative guide.

Throughout this guide. You’ll see our detailed rundown of the most important specs, benefits and perks of laptops under $400.

If you want actionable tips to help you:

  • learn about the build quality you can expect in this range
  • find out if your the type of user that benefits most from these systems
  • know more about hardware specifications to best compliment all your programs

We’d love to  answer these questions in this guide.

Need something else? No worries. You’ll find links along the way to articles that feature different laptops. Within similar price margins. With the best options for your budget: like this one below.

MUST READ: Checkout Our List of the Best Laptops for College Students Under 500 Dollars

(Keep an eye out for helpful PRO TIPS along the way.)

 

Here’s What You Can Expect from Laptops under $400

A cheap laptop can still handle games like League of Legends and every day apps without strain. There are many brands offering fully-fledged 15-inch examples. As well as 11-inch convertibles.

They may not have the fastest or most cutting edge hardware. But laptops under $400 represent some of the most well-built machines to cover your basic computing needs, like surfing the web. Word processing. And media consumption.

You can expect:

  • 4-8GB of RAM
  • backlit keyboards
  • dual core processors
  • 320GB -1tb hard drives
  • integrated graphics cards
  • Full High Definition screens
  • and laptops with touchscreens

Pro Tip #1: When it comes to build quality. Business grade laptops are going to give you more value than consumer models. And performing upgrades will be way easier.

 

What the Ideal User Is Looking for in Laptops under $400

Laptops under $400 are perfect for students. Business people. And anyone in the market for something that will nimbly surf the web. And perform daily tasks.

Since your shopping for a laptop in this space, you have a sharp focus on what it to do.

You’re looking for an entry-level, all-rounder that’s slim and lightweight. Mainly for general web browsing. Word processing. Playing some games. Watching Youtube. And a movie or 2.

You’re not so much concerned about things like the longevity of the battery. But, you expect a good deal.

 

Here’s Exactly What to Look for As You Shop for Laptops under $400

The Display Size on Laptops Under $400

11-15-inch sizes sprawl the gamut of affordable laptops at this price.

Users who perform graphically intensive activities should opt for 15-inch systems, however. They offer the most real estate for getting visually demanding work done.

Pro Tip #2: If you commute. Size is important. The lighter the system the better. Consider an Ultraportable. They’re thin, light and fast.

AMD/Intel Graphics Cards in Laptops under $400

These machines can play high definition content smoothly on low to medium settings without a hiccup. The two integrated graphics cards pushing them along this front are: the base-level Intel HD 620. And AMD Radeon R5.

While the integrated Intel HD, and AMD Radeon graphics cards can run many popular games, like Hearthstone. They won’t play GTA V.

Here’s how AMD Radeon R5 Graphics fairs against Intel HD 620.

Laptops under $400: AMD Intel Comparison Chart

Source: Technewswith.me

And here’s how to optimize your game settings for any Intel graphics card.

Pro Tip #3: Games will run smoother at 1366 x 768-pixel resolution than 1920 x 1080 with these cards.

Laptops Under $400 and the Intel CPU Family

Intel’s U series chips will fall short when it comes to gaming and animation. But for surfing the web and editing spreadsheets. They’ll help you stay productive. With low battery consumption.

U series chips are mostly what you’ll find in laptops under $400. They represent the sweet spot between performance. And good battery life.

Add a large battery. And a power-efficient display. And you’re talking about getting well over 10-hours of endurance from a single charging session.

Laptops Under $400: Intel i3 vs i5

Should your laptop come with the Intel Core i3, or i5 processor?

Core i3 processors are best suited for users who just want a budget machine with an Intel CPU. While the Core i5 is for the mainstream user who wants a bit of oomph in his or her daily computing.

Here’s a chart comparing both against the powerful Core i7 family.

Best Laptops Under 400: Intel i3 vs i5

Source: Laptoping.com

PCMag.com goes into much better detail about the difference between Core i3. And Core i5 processors.

How Much RAM Do I Need in Laptops Under $400

Professional work usually means you’ll be depending on memory-hungry applications. We recommend 8GB of RAM for a smooth experience.

How Much Hard Drive Space Do I Need in Laptops Under $400

When money is a concern, a Solid-State Drive is not necessary up front as it will likely inflate the laptop’s price. But an SSD is more reliable than HDD. And worth looking into down the line. You can check prices here.

Depending on how you’d like to use your laptop. You may not even need a massive Hard Disk Drive. Something like 250-750GB should suite your requirements.

Hybrid storage is the solution that goes one step further to make use of both a mechanical hard drive. And a small SSD, which holds the operating system. The SSD also acts like a cache to speed up the OS and boot times.

Pro Tip #5: As always. We recommend purchasing a laptop that’ll allow you to upgrade to an SSD in the future for faster bootups, and faster overall system performance.

PCWorld.com shows you how to make common upgrades to your laptop, correctly.

Laptops Under $400 and Their Keyboard Functions

The best laptop under $400 has a backlit, and spill-proof keyboard.

Illuminated Keyboards help you see what you’re doing in low light and in the dark.

Spill-Proof Keyboards let you drink your beverage of choice while you work with peace of mind.

Laptopmag.com has 22 keyboard shortcuts for you to try when you get your new laptop.

MUST READ: Checkout Our Top Picks for Ultrabooks Under 500 Dollars

The Research Method

These picks are based on a price point between $300 and $400. Best all-round performance. User experience. At least 100 Amazon reviews. And at least 3.5 out of 5 stars when this guide was published.

We’ve put together a range of laptops to fit almost anyone’s need. From 11.6-inch and 15.6-inch examples. And even Ultrabooks.

Now, from among the most progressive brands we bring you: Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo.

9 of the Laptops under $400-Reviews

1. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33B 15.6-inch

Acer Aspire E5-575-33BM 15.6-inch

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33B 15.6-inch Specs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you need to get the job done, this 10.2 x 15 x 1.2-inch desktop replacement is one of the most ideal laptops under $400. The latest 7th gen ‘Kaby Lake’ processor. A backlit keyboard. Good connectivity with all the ports you’d expect. And a battery life that’s more than adequate for enthusiast, level media consumption. Are just some of the features that push this Aspire to the head-of-the-class in the budget category. You can play some casual games on the Intel HD 620 graphics card. But if you’re doing anything more than the minor color correction when photo editing. You should look elsewhere. You might find the keyboard space is a bit cramped.

Acer-Aspire-E-15-E5-575-33B-15.6-inch-pros-and-cons: Laptops under $400

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

 

2. Asus F556UA-AB32 15.6-inch

Asus F556UA-AB32 15.6-inch: Laptops under $400Asus F556UA-AB32 15.6-inch: Laptops under $400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 10.1 x 15 x 1-inches, here’s another one of those Windows laptops under $400 that doesn’t skimp on the features. It shines as an above average, budget desktop replacement with features like Full HD. A 1TB hard drive for files. And 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution good for basic photo/video editing. Although the keys (with 10 key numberpad) are not backlit. IceCool technology for the palm rest makes banging out assignments a comfortable experience. Not only do you get the standard connectivity options you would expect. But you can easily upgrade the system with 16GB of RAM, and SSD.Asus F556UA-AB32 15.6-inch: Laptops under $400

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

 

3. Dell Inspiron (Touch) i3543 15.6-inch

Dell Inspiron (Touch) i3543 15.6-inch: Laptops under $400Dell Inspiron (Touch) i3543 15.6-inch: Laptops under $400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If what you’re after is value. A durable build quality. And solid battery life in laptops under $400, this 1 x 10 x 15-inch laptop delivers what Dell is known for in spades. Some of the more impressive features include a backlit keyboard. And of course, a 10-finger capacity touch-screen. A lean budget can still get you capable laptop. With good looks to make mainstream rivals jealous. But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. Unfortunately, our unit doesn’t come with backlit keys. But the large touchpad offers the same full gesture support as the touchscreen. The very basic connectivity includes a DVD/RW.

Dell Inspiron (Touch) i3543 15.6-inch: Laptops under $400

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

 

4. Dell Inspiron i3169 (2-in-1) 11.6-inch

Dell Inspiron i3169 (2-in-1) 11.6-inch: Laptops under $400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the unique features of this 11 x 1 x 8-inch Ultrabook is a screen that can flip all the way around to transform into a tablet. Dell proves you don’t have to sacrifice functionality for the sake of minimalism with plenty of expansion ports. A 500GB hard drive for all your media files. A good keyboard (if not a tad on the small side). And you can upgrade the RAM up to 8GB. Although a 5400RPM hard drive is common in entry-level, budget laptops. 500GB hard drive seems especially slow here in this configuration with the Core m processor. And for a 2-in-1, the display is less than adequate.

 

Dell Inspiron i3169 (2-in-1) 11.6-inch pros and cons: Laptops under $400

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

 

5. HP (15-ay191ms) Touchscreen Signature Edition 15.6-inch

HP (15-ay191ms) Touchscreen Signature Edition 15.6-inch: Laptops under $400HP (15-ay191ms) Touchscreen Signature Edition 15.6-inch specs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a user in the hunt for value? Look no further than this insanely inexpensive budget, desktop replacement. The 7th gen processor. Multi-touch display supporting 10-finger gestures (a feature once exclusive to premium laptops). And 8GB of RAM. With a 1TB hard drive. Are just some of the highlights that serve as a clarion as top brands battle it out in this category. Some features we’re willing to overlook in this 15 x 10 x 1-inch laptop is a low resolution 1366 x 768-pixels display. Though it’s common in the budget category. The glossy coating makes a bad situation worse.

HP (15-ay191ms) Touchscreen Signature Edition 15.6-inch pros and cons: Laptops under $400

 

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

 

6. Dell Inspiron i5555 15.6-inch

Dell Inspiron i5555 15.6-inch: Laptops under $400Dell Inspiron i5555 15.6-inch specs.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay. So, it’s not the most powerful laptop with 6GB of DDR3 RAM. And integrated AMD R5 graphics card delivering average performance. But for light gaming. The 2.2GHz, AMD A8-7410, Quad Core APU is decent. That along with the 500GB hard drive. And 1366 x 768-pixel display. Makes this 1 x 10 x 15-inch laptop a bargain for users looking for a cheap machine for school, work. Or a family computer for everyday use. And even with a so-so battery life. It’s an adaptable system that offers good value. With the LED-backlit display delivering bright, crisp pictures.

 

Dell Inspiron i5555 15.6-inch pros and cons: Laptops under $400

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

 

7. HP 15 (Touchscreen) Business Laptop 15.6-inch

HP 15 (Touchscreen) Business Laptop 15.6-inch: Laptops under $400

HP 15 (Touchscreen) Business Laptop 15.6-inch specs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for a standout laptop that pulls no punches? This 15 x 10 x 1-inch HP, like the Dell touchscreen above is also powered by AMD. They keyboard is snappy and comfortable to use offering plenty of travel. It features the usual 1366 x 768-pixel resolution common on these laptops. But it suffers when it comes to color reproduction. Images aren’t as bright and sharp. And the touchscreen has trouble keeping up with quick finger gestures. You get all the ports you come to expect. With the bonus of an optical drive. Expect to get about 5-hours of battery life. Which is on par with system in this category.

HP 15 (Touchscreen) Business Laptop 15.6-inch pros and cons: Laptops under $400

 

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

 

8. Lenovo Flex 4 (Yoga 510) 14-inch

Lenovo Flex 4 (Yoga 510) 14-inch: Laptops under $400Lenovo Flex 4 (Yoga 510) 14-inch specs: Laptops under $400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a competent, full-fledged laptop that offers a 360-degree flip-and-fold design. The system is a bit heavy for a convertible at 4.5-pounds. But within that bulk. The 13 x 1 x 10-inch system gives you a 10-point multi-touch display offers for hands-on control. RAM that’s expandable up to 16GB. A 2.1GHz Dual Core Intel Pentium processor. And 4GB of DDR4 RAM. And the full-size keys have good travel. The 500GB SATA HD at 5400RPM is slow. Resulting in an overall slow performing system. The Flex’s considerable size makes tablet mode clumsy to use.

Lenovo Flex 4 (Yoga 510) 14-inch pros and cons: Laptops under $400

 

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

 

9. Lenovo IdeaPad G505 15.6-inch

Lenovo IdeaPad G505 15.6-inch: Laptops under $400Lenovo IdeaPad G505 15.6-inch specs: Laptops under $400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A value-focused laptop that delivers on a bargain hunter’s dream. This offering from Lenovo is perfect for surfing the web, and performing a few tasks on the go. They’ve even managed to squeeze in an optical drive in the 15 x 10 x 1-inch. But the 5.7-pounds makes it heavy to be a very mobile platform. To keep costs low. It’s kitted with an AMD APU, though it’s de-tuned to be more power efficient. That along with the low impact Radeon HD 8330 GPU. And 1366 x 768 resolution display. The system returns a battery life of about 4-hours. Gameplay won’t be exceptional. But you can get normal work done.

Lenovo IdeaPad G505 15.6-inch pros and cons: Laptops under $400

 

See what others are saying about this laptop only on Amazon.

 

Conclusion

Thank you for making it to the end of this guide. That was a lot of information.

But we hope this list concludes that you no longer need to dip into your savings just to buy a laptop to meet your daily computing requirements.

Many brands offer a range of accessible models. They may not all have the highest performance. But the hardware is enough to help you get essential work done. And even catch up on your entertainment needs.

We’d love to continue this conversation about laptops under $400 in the comment section below. If you want to add something to the article, you can contact us here.

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