7 Best Gaming Laptops under 400 Dollars

Best Gaming Laptops under 400 Dollars

Show of hands, who’s looking for the best gaming laptops under 400? Yeah, many of us are. Look, no one’s claiming budget notebooks can deliver the kind of blistering gaming performance that premium gaming machines can. But if the price of standard gaming laptops leaves you feeling shell-shocked. You might be in a better position with a budget of $400 than you think. Intel UHD Graphics 620 cards and AMD equivalents have changed PC gaming forever – they’re powerful integrated GPUs with enough horsepower to play independent releases and older games like Need for Speed: Most Wanted. So, if you’re ready, Let’s go!

RELATED: Click Here for Gaming Laptops under 2000

IN A HURRY?  HERE’S OUR TOP PICKS…

RAMCPUGraphics
1.Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (i3567)8GBIntel Dual-Core i5-7200U Intel HD Graphics 620Buy Now
2.HP Pavilion 158GBAMD A6-9225 APU AMD A6-9225 Buy Now
3.Lenovo IdeaPad 3308GBIntel Core i3-8130U CPU Intel UHD Graphics 620 Buy Now
4.Lenovo IdeaPad 3204GBAMD Dual-Core A9-9425 APUAMD Radeon R5 Graphics Buy Now
5.Acer Aspire 5 Slim4GBIntel Core i3-8145U CPUIntel UHD Graphics 620Buy Now
6.Lenovo IdeaPad 3108GBAMD A10-9600P APUAMD Radeon R5 GraphicsBuy Now
7.Asus VivoBook 154GBAMD Dual-Core R3-3200 APUAMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics Buy Now

RELATED: Click Here for the Best Gaming Laptop under 1500

Best Gaming Laptops under 400 Review

1.     Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (i3567)

Dell Inspiron 15 I3567-5949BLK-PUS Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i5-7200U, 15.6" LED Screen, Storage: 256 GB, RAM: 8 GB) Black
  • 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7200U mobile processor
  • 8GB system memory for advanced multitasking, 256GB solid state drive (SSD)
  • Typical 1366 x 768 HD resolution. Natural finger-touch navigation makes the most of Windows 10. Energy-efficient LED backlight.
  • Intel HD Graphics 620, Windows 10 operating system
  • This laptop does not include a built-in DVD/CD drive. Weighs 5.07 lbs. and measures 0.9" thin

Last update on 2021-11-16 at 19:26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Acknowledged, the price is higher than our $400 target. But the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (i3567) makes the top of the list for being a budget desktop replacement that delivers better performance for lightweight gaming than much of the competition.

BUILD:  We like that even though it’s made of plastic, it feels well-constructed. Our favorite feature is the underside which gives you access to RAM, the hard drive and Wifi card for future upgrades. The lid exhibits a lot of flex.

DISPLAY:  But on the other side is a 15.6-inch display with HD (1366 x 768) resolution. Images are sharp with acceptable viewing angles for the price. 

SPECS:  Equipped with a “Skylake” generation Intel Dual-Core i5-7200U CPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM, a 256GB SSD, and integrated Intel HD Graphics 620. Performance is fast enough for gaming (turning down settings on some games will get you playable frame rates).

KEYBOARD:  A responsive keyboard and touchpad reflect the laptop’s overall strong build quality. Keys are well-spaced with good travel. And the touchpad is usable with an appropriate amount of accuracy and sensitivity (you might find it to be a touch on the small side, however).

PORTS:  And it’s got all the ports you could want like a DVD/CD player, a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 port, HDMI, headphone/mic jack, 802.11 b/g/n Wifi and Bluetooth 4.0 for connectivity. 

BATTERY LIFE:  The upside to marginal hardware is a strong battery life. You can expect around 7 hours.

Pros:

  • solid build-quality
  • good collection of specs
  • plenty of storage
  • easy to upgrade

Cons:

  • low-res HD panel
  • small touchpad

2.     HP Pavilion 15

HP Pavilion 15.6 HD 2019 Newest Thin and Light Laptop Notebook Computer, Intel AMD A6-9225, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Bluetooth, Webcam, DVD-RW, WiFi, Win 10
  • Intel Dual Core AMD A6-9225 2.6Ghz Base Frequency Burst Frequency up to 3.0Ghz, AMD Radeon R4.
  • RAM is upgraded to 8GB memory for multitasking Adequate high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once. Webcam, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth DVD-RW, 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x RJ-45, 1 x headphone/microphone combo.
  • 15.6" HD (1366 x 768) LED backlight display, No Touchscreen
  • DVD-Writer: reads and writes CDs and DVDs; Full-size island-style keyboard with integrated numeric keypad; Touchpad with multi-touch gesture support; Webcam
  • Windows 10 64-bit OS; provide a familiar and productive experience, while delivering enterprise-grade flexibility and security

Last update on 2021-11-16 at 23:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This isn’t the competitive Omen “For Gamers, By Gamers” series. It’s not even the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 laptop that served as predecessor to the Omen. 

BUILD:  The HP Pavilion 15 is a black plastic slab that’s made it on our list for ditching the frills and flash of the Omen to deliver a well-balanced mix of hardware that’s not too shabby for lightweight gaming.

DISPLAY:  Lifting the flimsy textured lid reveals a 15.6-inch HD (1366 x768) resolution display. Unfortunately, colors look pale and the contrast is wanting. And there’s no way to make the screen any brighter.   

SPECS:  Power delivery comes from an AMD A6-9225 APU that’s equivalent to a Skylake generation Intel Core i3. You also get a generous helping of memory with 8GB of RAM as well as a spacious 1TB MHD (mechanical hard drive). That’s enough performance to run almost any game at low graphics settings.

KEYBOARD:  Inputs include a full-size, island-style keyboard with an integrated numberpad. Keystrokes feel shallow but with a nice, crisp snap. The Clickpad is large enough for intense gaming and supports multi-touch gestures with separate left and right mouse click buttons.

PORTS:  Port options are decent with a DVD/CD drive, two USB Type-A ports, one USB 2.0 port, HDMI, Ethernet, and a headphone/mic jack combo. Connectivity options include Wifi and Bluetooth.

BATTERY LIFE:  Battery life is acceptable at 8 hours for a budget-level machine with entry-level hardware; you can squeeze out around 4-hours during gaming sessions.

Pros:

  • good port selection
  • decent specs for lightweight gaming
  • respectable input devices for a budget laptop

Cons:

  • lackluster display
  • flimsy feeling lid

3.     Lenovo IdeaPad 330

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 15.6" HD Business Laptop, Intel Dual-Core i3-8130U Up to 3.4GHz (Beat i5-7200U), 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 10 (Plum Purple)
  • 15.6” HD 1366 x 768 Energy-efficient LED backlight Display, 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U mobile processor, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Type A Ports, 1 x USB 3.0 Type C Ports, 1 x HDMI Outputs (Total), 1 Headphone Jack
  • Wireless-AC WLAN, 10/100/1000 Ethernet, Bluetooth, No DVD
  • Windows 10, 14.9 x 0.9 x 10.2" , 4.85 lbs

Last update on 2021-11-16 at 23:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Not to be mistaken for the more expensive 330S. The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is a budget mainstream system with a stylish, premium design. 

BUILD:  It’s not as svelte as the 330S and doesn’t share its aluminum construction. But the sleek platinum gray notebook looks small and feels sturdier and more lightweight than the competition.

DISPLAY:  The 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) screen is energy-efficient with LED backlighting. Although the panel is of the low-resolution variety. It’s bright enough for a budget laptop.

SPECS:  Under the hood is an 8th generation Intel Core i3-8130U CPU which delivers slightly better performance than the AMD A12-9700P chip. You also get an 8GB DDR4 RAM, a spacious 1TB MHD with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620. It’s enough horsepower for productivity work and gaming.

KEYBOARD:  The nicely spaced keys on the chiclet-style keyboard aren’t backlit. But for the price, what do you expect? Keystrokes are shallow. But the dedicated number pad is a good inclusion. The touchpad is offset slightly to the left with responsive precision. You can configure gesture controls in the setup menu. 

PORTS:  There’s an excellent selection of ports including a DVD+RW drive, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one USB 3.0 Type-C port, HDMI, an SD card slot, headphone/mic, and Ethernet. For wireless connectivity you get 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1. 

BATTERY LIFE:  Stay close to a power outlet when gaming; battery life is only around 3-hours.

Pros:

  • nice design
  • strong performance
  • good connectivity

Cons:

  • weak battery life

4.     Lenovo IdeaPad 320

2019 Newest Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6" HD High Performance Laptop PC |7th Gen AMD A9-9425 Dual-Core 3.10 GHz| 4GB RAM | 128GB SSD | 802.11ac | Bluetooth | DVD+/-RW | HDMI | Win 10
  • Windows 10 Home; AMD A9-9425 processor; 15. 6" display; 4GB memory; 128GB solid state drive; Bluetooth; outdoor screen; HDMI output

Last update on 2021-11-16 at 23:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Lenovo IdeaPad 320 is another budget-friendly laptop from the venerable Lenovo marque that looks more expensive than it really is. The inclusion of an SSD makes it a better value proposition than other 320 models.

BUILD:  The sleek, unibody construction is thin and light yet sturdy. But the two-tone design can fool you into thinking the chassis is made of aluminum – it’s not.

DISPLAY:  The 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) panel is surprisingly bright and clear for a budget performer. But lack of IPS means viewing angles above and below the screen tend to suffer. However, color reproduction is good.

SPECS:  This is a mid-tier offering within the 320 lineup with its AMD Dual-Core A9-9425 APU, 4GB DDR4 SDRAM, 128GB SSD, and integrated AMD Radeon R5 graphics (the most affordable version comes with a Celeron N3350).

KEYBOARD:  The island-style keyboard is an outstanding feature. The keys and touchpad have a smooth and responsive feel with right and left click buttons incorporated into the overall design for a clean look. 

PORTS:  You’ll find the DVD +/- RW drive located on the right side of the laptop. Port selection also includes two USB 3.0 ports, one USB Type-C port, HDMI, Ethernet, a 4 in 1 SD card reader and headphone jack.

BATTERY LIFE:  Considering the fact these aren’t the most powerful specs on a laptop. Battery life is disappointing at only around 6-hours.

Pros:

  • beautiful construction
  • great keyboard
  • good performance

Cons:

  • terrible battery life

RELATED: Click Here for Gaming Laptops under 800

5.     Acer Aspire 5 Slim

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6" Full HD IPS Display, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8145U, 4GB DDR4, 128GB PCIe Nvme SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode, A515-54-30BQ
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i3 8145u Processor (Up to 3.9GHz) | 4GB DDR4 Memory | 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED backlit IPS display; Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • 1 USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port, 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports (one with Power off Charging), 1 USB 2.0 Port & 1 HDMI Port with HDCP support
  • 802.11AC WiFi ; Backlit keyboard; up to 9.5 hours Battery Life
  • Windows 10 in S mode

Last update on 2021-11-16 at 23:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Acer Aspire 5 is a mainstream laptop from the Aspire lineup. It’s an impressively good deal for a gamer on a budget. So, what do you get?

BUILD:  Well, the focus here is on good internal specs rather than premium features. Yet you still get an aluminum frame. Our favorite bit is that you can pop off the bottom of the chassis to upgrade hardware like RAM and storage – a feature not many laptops offer.

DISPLAY:  You even get IPS on the 15.6-inch Full-HD (1920 x 1080) screen. Off-angle viewing is acceptable with good brightness levels and color reproduction.

SPECS:  With an Intel Core i3-8145U CPU, 4GB DDR4 SDRAM, 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD, and integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620. Our review unit (the A515-54-30BQ) represents entry-level components within the Aspire 5 lineup. But for a budget-focused machine, not bad.

KEYBOARD:  The keyboard is even backlit which isn’t a feature commonly found on budget notebooks. The keys have a shallow feel with a decent amount rebound. And the Windows Precision touchpad delivers great performance. There’s even a fingerprint reader for security.

PORTS:  The selection includes one USB Type-C port (unfortunately, it’s not Thunderbolt 3). But you also get two USB Type-A ports, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port with HDCP support, and a combo headphone/mic port. And there’s 802.11ac Wifi and Bluetooth 5.0 for connectivity.

BATTERY LIFE:  The CPU isn’t hungrier than Intel’s Y-Series processors. So, the 48Whr battery can deliver 8-hours under heavy use.

Pros:

  • excellent combination of hardware
  • very good battery life
  • comfortable keyboard and touchpad

Cons:

  • bulky for its size
  • thick display bezels

6.     Lenovo IdeaPad 310

Last update on 2021-11-16 at 23:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Lenovo IdeaPad U310 is an Ultrabook class laptop. The unit we’re reviewing is the Lenovo IdeaPad 310 – It’s a simple, multimedia all-rounder with pretty good hardware for budget gaming. 

BUILD:  The exterior may look like brushed metal but it’s plastic. The keyboard deck flexes in several areas without much effort. What about accessibility? Well, the battery isn’t removable but there are access points for the hard drive and RAM for future upgrades.

DISPLAY:  This is obviously where Lenovo chose to cut corners. The IdeaPad U310 is hampered by a glossy 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) panel. Contrast is good but the brightness level falls short. And since it’s a TN panel, off-axis viewing isn’t great. But this is a boon for gaming.

SPECS:  Things are more promising under the hood, however. There’s an AMD A10-9600P APU, 8GB DDR4 SDRAM, a 1TB MHD, and integrated AMD Radeon R5 Graphics. While there’s enough power here for gaming. Performance would be enhanced by replacing the slower 5400RPM MHD with an SSD.

KEYBOARD:  The chiclet-style keyboard has a slightly rough surface with shallow keystrokes that deliver a crisp typing experience. Dido the touchpad. It’s smooth which makes performing multi-touch gestures easy.

PORTS:  Along with a DVD+RW drive. The port selection includes one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, a memory card reader, VGA, Ethernet, and audio/mic combo jack. Connectivity ports include an 802.11ac Wifi standard.

BATTERY LIFE:  You can expect around a 4-hour runtime when gaming.

Pros:

  • comfortable keyboard
  • plenty of storage space
  • maintenance flaps

Cons:

  • body flex
  • underwhelming battery life
  • weak display

7.     Asus VivoBook 15

Last update on 2021-11-16 at 23:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for another Ultrabook to game on. The Asus VivoBook 15 is a sleek consideration and an absolute steal for less than $400. Just don’t confuse it for the VivoBook S15.

BUILD:  It’s not as well built as the celebrated ZenBook. But it features a thin and light design that’s built well enough that it doesn’t feel like it’ll fall apart in your hands.

DISPLAY:  This is the 15.6-inch variant that comes with a Full-HD (1920 x 1080) panel surrounded by Nano-edge bezels. Resolution quality is good. But even with the brightness turned all the way up, colors look washed out.

SPECS:  Components include an AMD Dual-Core R3-3200 APU, which is equivalent to an Intel Core i5-8250U chip. But a 4GB DDR4 SDRAM, 128GB SSD, and integrated AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics reflect the entry-level status of this Ultrabook. Performance, however, is strong enough for lightweight gaming.

KEYBOARD:  Lifting the lid drops the bottom of the screen down behind the keyboard base which raises the keyboard up at a gradual angle. Compared to other Lenovo keyboards, the squishy feeling keystrokes are disappointing. But the touchpad is responsive.

PORTS:  This Ultrabook also comes fitted with a variety of useful ports like a USB Type-C port, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 port, a microSD card reader, and an HDMI port. Wi-Fi 802.11 rounds out the list of connections.

BATTERY LIFE:  The 2-cell, 37Whr battery only delivers a runtime under workload of about 4-hours.

Pros:

  • sleek chassis
  • fast performance
  • useful ErgoLift mechanism

Cons:

  • dull display
  • subpar battery life

Laptop
Our Top Choice
Dell Inspiron 15 I3567-5949BLK-PUS Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i5-7200U, 15.6" LED Screen, Storage: 256 GB, RAM: 8 GB) Black
HP Pavilion 15.6 HD 2019 Newest Thin and Light Laptop Notebook Computer, Intel AMD A6-9225, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Bluetooth, Webcam, DVD-RW, WiFi, Win 10
Lenovo IdeaPad 330 15.6" HD Business Laptop, Intel Dual-Core i3-8130U Up to 3.4GHz (Beat i5-7200U), 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 10 (Plum Purple)
Specs
Dell Inspiron 15 I3567-5949BLK-PUS Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i5-7200U, 15.6" LED Screen, Storage: 256 GB, RAM: 8 GB) Black
HP Pavilion 15.6 HD 2019 Newest Thin and Light Laptop Notebook Computer, Intel AMD A6-9225, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Bluetooth, Webcam, DVD-RW, WiFi, Win 10
Lenovo IdeaPad 330 15.6" HD Business Laptop, Intel Dual-Core i3-8130U Up to 3.4GHz (Beat i5-7200U), 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 10 (Plum Purple)
Rating
-
-
Our Top Choice
Laptop
Dell Inspiron 15 I3567-5949BLK-PUS Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i5-7200U, 15.6" LED Screen, Storage: 256 GB, RAM: 8 GB) Black
Specs
Dell Inspiron 15 I3567-5949BLK-PUS Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i5-7200U, 15.6" LED Screen, Storage: 256 GB, RAM: 8 GB) Black
Rating
Customer Reviews
Laptop
HP Pavilion 15.6 HD 2019 Newest Thin and Light Laptop Notebook Computer, Intel AMD A6-9225, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Bluetooth, Webcam, DVD-RW, WiFi, Win 10
Specs
HP Pavilion 15.6 HD 2019 Newest Thin and Light Laptop Notebook Computer, Intel AMD A6-9225, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Bluetooth, Webcam, DVD-RW, WiFi, Win 10
Rating
-
Customer Reviews
Laptop
Lenovo IdeaPad 330 15.6" HD Business Laptop, Intel Dual-Core i3-8130U Up to 3.4GHz (Beat i5-7200U), 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 10 (Plum Purple)
Specs
Lenovo IdeaPad 330 15.6" HD Business Laptop, Intel Dual-Core i3-8130U Up to 3.4GHz (Beat i5-7200U), 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 10 (Plum Purple)
Rating
-
Customer Reviews

Last update on 2021-11-16 at 19:26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Gaming Laptops under 400 Buyer’s Guide

The great thing about the laptops you can use for gaming at this budget is that you start seeing more robust hardware like Core i processors and 1TB storage drives. If you enjoy the gaming experience possible on a laptop, you’re not alone. Every gamer wants the best performance for the games they want to play. Here’s everything you need to find the best laptop at any budget. And here’s what you need to look for to get the best gaming laptop for $400. 

RELATED: Click Here for the Best Gaming Laptops under 700

GRAPHICS

Everyone knows the most important aspect for gaming laptop performance is the graphics card. It’s responsible for delivering crisp, smooth gaming visuals.  The best gaming laptops under 400 dollars mostly have integrated GPUs, unfortunately.

Options primarily include Intel’s UHD Graphics 620 and AMD Radeon R5. And since they’re integrated chips. They’re not powerful enough for 3D gaming. But they have the performance to run lightweight games at low to medium settings.

CPU

The CPU is not as crucial a component for gaming as the graphics hardware.

BUT,

It still plays an important role when it comes to the overall performance of the laptop you choose to play games on. The best gaming laptops under 400 dollars are mostly going to be an Intel Core i3 experience or AMD equivalent. They stretch as far back as the 6th generation “Skylake” CPUs in this price bracket. 

While they’re able to deliver outstanding performance for low to medium range games. You can also find some hidden gems like the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (i3567), Asus VivoBook 15 and Lenovo IdeaPad 310. They house slightly more powerful processors like an Intel Dual-Core i5-7200U CPU, Intel Core i5-8250U chip, and an AMD Dual-Core R3-3200 APU, respectively.

RAM

The more RAM you have for gaming the better. For a laptop you’ll use for gaming, the amount of RAM you have is important for peak performance. Fortunately, even with just a budget of $400 there are plenty of laptops that offer 4 GB and even 8 GB of RAM.

And if you’ll also be using your laptop for office related tasks like research or writing papers. This component will allow you to keep multiple tabs open without noticeable lag or stuttering.

STORAGE DRIVE

The type and capacity of a laptop’s storage drive will also affect the speed of the overall system and ultimately, gaming performance. But guess what? We’re finding more and more of the best gaming laptops under 400 with an honest to goodness SSD!

This means you no longer have to settle for a slower MHD (mechanical hard drive). But since these are budget machines. They only have a 128GB capacity (which means you’ll be packing games in like sardines). But a laptop with an SSD is much faster than a laptop with only a mechanical hard drive. And laptops like the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (i3567) offer SSDs with a generous-for-this-segment 256GB capacity.

DISPLAY

For a good gaming experience, you need a decent screen, duh. Most laptops for gaming at this price feature a TN (twisted nematic) LCD display. While they offer quick response times, they lack IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology.

Without IPS the laptop must be directly in front of you to see the game you’re playing clearly. Displays with IPS technology offer better color accuracy and superior off-axis viewing. But they’re more expensive. So, finding the best gaming laptops under 400 with an IPS display is something of a challenge. But not impossible: the Acer Aspire 5 Slim offers an IPS panel for wide viewing angles.

RESOLUTION

While we’re on the subject, in this price category most laptop manufacturers also choose to cut-corners when it comes to screen resolution. You’ll find many of the best gaming laptops under 400 dollars with an HD (1366 x 768) resolution. Colors tend to look washed out and contrast levels suffer. So, if resolution is important to you. Be on the lookout for laptops that offer a Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution like – again – the Acer Aspire 5 Slim and Asus VivoBook 15.

SCREEN SIZE

If you’re current situation sees you travelling a lot. You’ll be pleased to know that the sweet spot for any gaming laptop is 15.6-inches. It gives you just enough screen real estate for an immersive experience. Yet, it’s portable enough take anywhere. Many laptops you can game on at this price tier have a 15.6-inch screen. And since the size of the display affects weight. A laptop with a 15.6-inch screen will typically be around 3- to 6-pounds.

BATTERY LIFE

You know that icy feeling you get when you’re just about to shut down a level? And all that’s left is to defeat the boss. Then, you happen to glance at your laptop’s battery reader. And sure enough, the battery life is slowly ebbing away. Now you’re in a panic to find a power outlet. 

Don’t let that be you.

We found that the battery endurance for the best gaming laptops under 400 is between 3 and 6-hours for activities like gaming. But don’t hesitate to do your own research and look at lots of reviews for the battery life of the laptop you want to game on.

RELATED: Click Here for the Best Gaming Laptops under 600

Best Gaming Laptops under 400 Brands

ACER

This is one of the largest laptop manufacturers in the world and their laptops are extremely popular among budget users.  Acer continues to offer one of the best overall selections around, with mainstream and gaming options catering to every budget.  You get Chromebooks that are available from just $150 as well as 2 in 1s.  But they also produce high-end gaming laptops like the afore mentioned Predator series and premium notebooks.  You get what you pay for, and Acer laptops are usually the best value for the money.  Their most popular line is the E series and Aspire notebooks like the amazing Aspire 7.  Support for their notebooks leaves plenty to be desired, though.  The company has made some strong innovations.  But nothing much to sink your teeth into.

HP

One of the oldest electronics brands, HP has very strong reviews, stellar designs, impressive innovations, top-notch value and selection.  All of which has helped it go head to head with the best laptop brands in the world.  The latest laptops take design cues from their contemporaries to raise standards even higher.  These notebooks are fast, powerful, and supported by a very competent customer service.  Innovations include an AMOLED version of the Spectre x360, which delivers a brighter and more vibrant display than the standard version.

ASUS

The design of these laptops is always impressive, and you get a wide selection of products to choose from.  The most popular line is the VivoBook, and you can easily find Chromebooks and 2 in 1s here.  Innovations include:  a ScreenPad and an ErgoLyft hinge (like the one on the Asus VivoBook 15).  If nothing else, what earns Asus the #1 spot on many top 10 laptop lists is the fantastic all-around capabilities of their laptops.  From the thin and light ZenBooks, to affordable Chromebooks and powerful gaming machines like the ROG Zephyrus S, this brand has earned the top spot on our list, too.

DELL

This is one of the most consistently forward-thinking laptop brands!  Dell laptops are some of the slimmest notebooks you could possibly want.  The most popular line is Inspiron (an examples is the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (i3567)).  But the XPS line is a one of the best laptops to buy and gets the notoriety of doing everything surprisingly well with the latest screen resolutions, connections, premium materials, all topped-off with a solid battery life.  The company’s innovation in Ultrabooks yields a wonderful army of ultraportable laptops with powerful specs.  You can even find 2 in 1s and Chromebooks under this moniker with loads of style and hardware.  The after sale and technical support is worthy of so much praise. 

LENOVO

Last, but certainly not least.  Our list of the best gaming laptops under 400 sees plenty of Lenovo laptops, which is a good thing for you.  Thanks to some innovative new features and a wide selection of laptops, Lenovo is one of the best laptop brands.  Their most popular line is the ThinkPad line of business focused laptops.  And while they don’t offer any Chromebooks, their line of 2 in 1s – like the Yoga and Flex series – are TOTALLY worth checking out.  Prices are reflective of their premium laptop brand status.  But their offerings are ideal for all types of users.  Most recognized for business class laptops that offer extreme performance and a super flexible design, this brand has all but perfected graphics, touchpads, keyboard, display and audio quality.  Their Legion series gaming notebooks competes against the Asus ROG and Acer Predator series.

RELATED: Click Here for Good Gaming Laptops under 500

FAQs

Is a $400 gaming laptop worth it?

In the past, you needed a massive amount of money to play PC games on the go.  Fast forward some years and mercifully, that is no longer the case.  The barrier of entry for PC gaming is lower than ever.  And part of the reason is because of stronger integrated graphics from Intel and AMD.  If the games you play don’t need the most powerful graphics card and CPU, there are plenty of the best gaming laptops under 400 dollars as our list demonstrates. 

Can I make upgrades on a 400-dollar gaming laptop?

With their powerful specs and premium prices, gaming laptops are a different breed than your run-of-the-mill mainstream laptop.  And they need to be in order to run the latest collection of AAA titles.

But the astronomical price for privilege of being able to play on one of these high-performance machines can be a HUGE barrier of entry.

That’s why cheaper laptops like the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (i3567), Acer Aspire 5 Slim and Lenovo IdeaPad 310 are such an intriguing value – they’re built with access to components like the CPU, RAM and the hard drive to make upgrades as you can afford it.

What are the most portable gaming laptops under 400 dollars on the list?

Components that can add to the weight of a laptop include a DVD player and MHD (mechanical hard drive).  Due to the smaller more portable emphasis of Ultrabooks, it’s no surprise that at 3.5-pounds the Asus VivoBook 15 is the lightest laptop on our list.

Weight Laptop
  3.5-pounds  Asus VivoBook 15
  4-pounds  Acer Aspire 5 Slim
  4.4-pounds  Lenovo IdeaPad 330
  4.85-pounds  Lenovo IdeaPad 320
  4.85-pounds  Lenovo IdeaPad 310
  5.1-pounds  Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (i3567)
  5.8-pounds  HP Pavilion 15

RELATED: Click Here for the Best $300 Gaming Laptop

What kind of FPS can I expect on a cheap gaming laptop under 400?

On average, the components list for the best gaming laptops under 400 dollars includes an Intel Core i3/Core i5 CPU or AMD equivalent.  4- to 8GB of RAM.  A 128GB SSD.  And an integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 or AMD Radeon R5 Graphics chip.

These specs are nothing to sneeze at.

You can expect 33FPS for Need for Speed: Most Wanted on low settings.

The integrated cards aren’t as powerful as a dedicated card with DDR5 vRAM.  But – especially with 8GB of system RAM – you’ll be able to play the latest games at very low settings beautifully supported by the Intel HD Graphics 620 card.

Will touch support improve my game?

Not really, friend.

Generally, our advice is to ditch the touchscreen – it’s a feature that doesn’t add enough to the gaming experience to justify the markup of the laptop you’re considering.

Not only that, but touchscreens are draining on battery life.  And if you travel frequently you know how challenging it can be to find a place to plug in your laptop.

RELATED: Click Here to Find a Gaming Laptop under 200

Dell Inspiron 15 I3567-5949BLK-PUS Laptop (Windows 10, Intel i5-7200U, 15.6" LED Screen, Storage: 256 GB, RAM: 8 GB) Black
  • 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7200U mobile processor
  • 8GB system memory for advanced multitasking, 256GB solid state drive (SSD)
  • Typical 1366 x 768 HD resolution. Natural finger-touch navigation makes the most of Windows 10. Energy-efficient LED backlight.
  • Intel HD Graphics 620, Windows 10 operating system
  • This laptop does not include a built-in DVD/CD drive. Weighs 5.07 lbs. and measures 0.9" thin

Last update on 2021-11-16 at 19:26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In Conclusion

Just look. Do that and you’ll find the gaming laptop you want at a price you can afford. Really. And with the right specs delivering enough power, you’ll be able to scratch your gaming itch at a very reasonable price. Our favorite gaming laptop for $400 is the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (i3567). It offers a dual core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and an SSD. Our second choice is the HP Pavilion 15 which also offers 8GB of RAM along with a 1TB MHD. And our third choice is the Lenovo IdeaPad 330. It offers a more powerful AMD A12 chip.