With so many options on the market today and so many competing opinions about which one is best, how can you really know which laptop is right for you?
So how to choose a right laptop?
In order to help you narrow down your choices, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re buying a new laptop:
- Do I plan to use this machine for professional or personal reasons?
- If professional, what features I need to run programs for?
- If personal, what are my three biggest requirements (e.g. exceptional audio quality, an internal optical drive, an SSD drive, etc.)?
- Is it necessary that I buy a factory-new laptop, or would I be comfortable with a certified refurbished device?
- Do I plan to use my laptop primarily at home, or do I plan to travel with it? If I plan to travel, what dimensions do I need to be able to transport it comfortably on a regular basis?
What is your own demand?
Being able to answer these questions will help you to further narrow your focus so you can more easily reach a decision. Thus, if you’re still feeling indecisive, with these answers in mind go back and read through this list again.
- Ask yourself which two to three best laptops fit your requirements.
- Rank them by price, and omit any that are out of your range.
- With what’s left, ask yourself which of the remaining options are the closest fit to your ideal device.
Best Laptops Under 400 dollar
Before you can even make your purchase, there are many variables for you to consider: variables like the price of the product, dimensions (screen size, keyboard size, weight, etc.), available features, security, compatibility, and utility. It’s equally important to know in advance whether you plan to use your laptop primarily for study, work, entertainment, gaming, or other purposes.
This helpful guide will make it easier for you narrow down your options and focus your choices on only those laptops that are right for you
|Acer Aspire E 15||Intel Core i5-6200U 2,8 GHz||5.3 lbs||15 x 10.2 x 1.2 inches|
|HP Pavilion X360 2-in-1||Intel Core i3-4000M Processor 2.4GHz||6.4 lbs||10.5 x 16.5 x 1.3 inches|
|Dell Inspiron 3000 Premium||Intel Core i3-5005U 2.00GHz||5.4 lbs||15 x 10 x 1 inches|
|ASUS F556UA-AB32 Full-HD Laptop||Intel i3-6100U 2.3 GHz||4.7 lbs||10.1 x 15 x 1 inches|
|Lenovo Ideapad 310||Intel Core i3 2.3 GHz||4.8 lbs||14.9 x 10.2 x 0.9 inches|
|2017 Newest HP ProBook||AMD A8-7410 Quad-Core 2.5 GHz||4.7 lbs||14.9 x 1 x 10.4 inches|
|2016 HP 15.6 Inch Flagship||AMD Quad-Core A8-7410 APU 2.5 GHz||6.7 lbs||14.9 x 10.2 x 1 inches|
| Acer Chromebook 15||Intel Celeron N2840||4.8 lbs||15.1 x 9.7 x 1 inches|
|Toshiba Chromebook 2||Intel Celeron N2840||3.0 lbs||12.6 x 8.4 x 0.8 inches|
|HP Stream 13.3-Inch Laptop||Intel Celeron 3205U 1.6 GHz||3.4 lbs||9 x 13.1 x 1 inches|
1. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch FHD – Best Budget laptop for gaming
Noteworthy for its super-fast performance speeds and superior touch control, it’s versatile enough to meet all your work-related needs and still function as a suitable gaming PC in your off hours.
Let’s take a closer look at what else makes this laptop a good candidate for our list of the best laptops under 400 dollars.
- This laptop contains an access door at the bottom that can be removed, revealing ports that will accommodate two memory sticks that can bump up your total RAM to 32 GB. If you know you’re a user who consumes a lot of memory, you can avail yourself of this feature to optimize your usage.
- The screen dimensions measure 15.6 inches and 1920 x 1080 pixels, making for a larger, vivid display. Many users count this among their favorite features of this
- The battery lasts for twelve hours without any re-charge. So you can use your laptop cord-free for your entire workday and then some for maximal convenience. Plus, the lithium ion battery is easy to reorder and replace when it’s time for a new one.
- The design is sleek, solid, and sturdy, unlike the flimsy plastic feel of some other budget laptops. You won’t feel like your carrying around a cheap, unreliable device with this computer.
- This device does not come with the Microsoft Office suite pre-installed. Thus, if you’re an avid Office user or you simply prefer this program to other word processors, know that you will have to acquire the program elsewhere. For those who prefer open-source word processors and other programs, this may not prove to be problematic.
- Like the first laptop on our list, this one is also a Windows device, only this one is equipped with the somewhat controversial Windows 10. Some users may want to downgrade to the more stable Windows 8.1 or switch to a different operating system altogether depending upon their feelings about this release.
- Some users also found the display too dark for their liking. While this won’t be a problem for many people, those who have to do a lot of close reading on their computers screens for work may find that this leads to eye strain, so just be aware in advance.
This will prove to be a popular choice for many users, whether you intend you use it primarily for work or for school. But if it doesn’t quite suit your needs, keep reading to discover some other alternatives.
2. HP Pavilion X360 2-in-1 11.6 Inches Touchsreen – Best 2-in-1 Laptop
With a 500 GB mechanical hard drive and larger dimensions and display. Intel Core i3 processors, 6GB of RAM, a 17.3 inch LED-backlit Brightview display, multi-DVD burner, and exceptionally rich audio quality all intersect to make this a machine that’s cut out to carry the demands of graphics-heavy, audio-heavy streaming games and MMORPGS.
Let’s break it down even further and see what else it has to offer.
- With a 500 GB hard drive, you’ll have more than enough space necessary to contain all of your media, and plenty of power for your gaming needs. You won’t need to supplement with external hard drives or cloud storage when all the space you need is built right in.
- The internal DVD drive means you can watch movies, run games from disk, and read and write multiple disk formats. You won’t ever need to plug in an external optical disk drive, making for a more streamlined experience and less clutter during gaming.
- The 13.3 inch backlit display is perfect for movie watching and for high-resolution gaming. The high screen resolution means you’ll never need to squint or endure low, grainy quality.
- The mechanical hard drive can be more prone to damage than the secured state drive some other newer notebooks have. Keep this in mind if you know you tend to be hard on your laptops.
- This machine comes with a copy of Windows 8.1 already installed on it. Windows 8.1 has been one of the more controversial Windows OS releases, so if you know ahead of time that you don’t care for it, you might look elsewhere or prepare to install a clean copy of an operating system you know you like.
Like the other items on this list, this laptop has plenty to offer the avid gamer in terms of functionality, screen resolution, sound quality, and other features. The size may be off-putting to some who value ultra-portability, but for a home-dwelling desktop gamer it’ll be a perfect fit.
3. Dell Inspiron 3000 Premium 15.6 inch – Cheap Dell Laptop
Because it has all the essentials you’ll need to make it your primary work computer, and definitely one of the cheap laptops under 400 dollars.
Let’s examine just what makes this one such a sophisticated choice for students and professionals, and a candidate for our best-of list.
- This laptop comes equipped with Bluetooth WiFi, which means you can easily synced it with any digital Bluetooth device. This allows for ease of use and compatibility with your other products.
- Though it comes with only a track pad, it’s also designed for use with a USB mouse or wireless mouse if that’s something that makes computer usage easier for you.
- The many four- and five-star ratings on Amazon indicate that this machine is reliable, affordable, and equipped with all the features one needs for use in college or in the workplace. At its price, it’s the perfect investment for somebody who needs a dependable machine without paying top-dollar for the privilege.
- Ultra-high battery life means you won’t need to stay tethered to a charging cable all workday. You can know that your laptop is up to the demands of your academic or professional life.
- As mentioned above, this laptop comes with Windows 10 already installed. As you probably already know, Windows 10 has proven to be controversial among some PC users for a range of reasons from security to navigability. So if you know in advance that you’re not a fan of this operating system, you might consider giving this machine a pass.
- At 7.2 pounds it’s slightly heavier than the other options we’ve discussed already, but it’s still plenty portable for work- or school-related travel.
- Unlike some other recent Dell products, this laptop does not come equipped with a keyboard light, so if that’s a feature you’re determined to have then you’ll know this isn’t the laptop for you.
- Some users have reported that this laptop isn’t as fast as some of Dell’s other machines, but the glut of four- and five-star reviews on Amazon indicate that it’s nevertheless superior compared to other mid-range laptops.
Between the speed, functionality, and screen resolution, you can know this best laptop of Dell won’t fall down on the job, whether you’re using it for student life or at work. If you still feel undecided, we suggest browsing the Amazon reviews for more feedback about its reliability and quality.
4. ASUS F556UA-AB32 15.6 Inches Full-HD – Best Budget Asus Laptop
This edition also features Splendid Technology for color temperature correction and reduction in blue light, which supports retinal problems and macular degeneration. It means that you can safely use it for long stretches without experiencing eye strain or other vision problems.
In that sense, it’s ideal for college student life, the workplace, your home office, and personal use. It’s a versatile choice that you’ll find stands up to your everyday demands.
- Many users found this one especially easy to upgrade, so if you know you want to optimize your device with increased memory or other upgrades, these are achievable goals that won’t run you a ton of extra money.
- Contrary to one of the cons listed above, many users have also found that they can easily run multiple memory-consuming applications and execute many tasks simultaneously without encountering errors or running into performance issues. Thus, It may well be exactly the kind of machine you need if you expect you’ll have to do a lot of multimedia work.
- The audio quality is widely reported to be exceptionally good, particularly for standard laptop speakers. They have been said to lack the “tinny” quality sometimes associated with laptop audio, which can be a bonus if you enjoy listening to music or podcasts while you’re working, if you need to make many video calls, or if the nature of your work relies heavily on audio/visual components.
- This laptop boasts a 15.6 inch LCD display, making it perfectly balanced for productivity and entertainment.
- Once more, this machine comes with Windows 10 pre-installed on it. So if you know you’re averse to Windows operating systems, you’ll probably either want to look elsewhere or consider installing a different clean OS. But, you always have the option of downgrading to Windows 8.1 or Window 8.
- Some users have reported that they’ve been unsatisfied with the quality of Asus customer service on occasions when they needed to call for help. Therefore, you should keep this in mind if you tend to need to contact customer service frequently and you hope to save yourself some frustration down the line.
- Other users have reported some problems with the optical display, including darkness, video card problems, and occasions when the mouse disappears from the screen. These experiences should be taken with a grain of salt rather than representations of all users’ experiences. But it’s worth noting when you’re doing comparison shopping.
- Relative to other Asus products, some users have found that this one runs more slowly. Again, keep in mind that many variables can affect performance speed, including Internet speed (You can improve internet speed by choosing a right wireless router), the number of programs you run simultaneously, and more.
5. Lenovo Ideapad 310 15.6 Inches – One of Best Laptops for Entertaining
It’s designed for streaming with ultra-fast responsive processing, enhanced audio capabilities, and the utmost in graphics and display quality.
The browsing speed and performance are top of their class. Besides, the audio-visual features are sophisticated enough to accommodate whatever you might throw at them. Also, the storage capacity is large enough to contain all your data without having to resort to cloud storage or an external HD.
Keep reading to find out more about what makes this such an exceptional gaming laptop.
- This laptop comes with an internal optical drive with DVD, so you won’t need to attached any external devices in order to run games from disk or watch movies on DVD. You can also use it to read and write disks in multiple formats, so if you know that sort of versatility is a must for you then this device would be a great choice.
- The storage capacity of this laptop means you won’t have to store your data on multiple devices or in the cloud unless you want to (though we do still recommend that you always back up your data in multiple locations). It also comes with a 4-in-1 card reader so you can add as much extra storage as you need or want.
- This laptop also comes equipped with 802.11 a/c WiFi connectivity, which translates into exceptionally fast browsing and download speeds and top-notch performance. You’ll never have to worry about this one getting sluggish on you, or looking forward to inordinately long download times, and you can know you’ll be able to play MMORPGs without having to deal with lag time.
- Its audio-visual capabilities are engineered for exceptional multimedia performance, with a 15.6 inch display, integrated AMD Radeon graphics, and Dolby stereo speakers. It’s a great choice whether you like immersive gaming, or simply enjoying music and movies without dealing with pixelated resolution and poor audio.
- The keyboard has a ten-key feature which some users will appreciate or feel neutrally about, but others have reported they felt wasted useful space. That said, unless you feel strongly about your keyboard configuration this probably won’t pose a problem for you.
- This device is equipped with only one USB port, so you can’t connect multiple external devices simultaneously. If you know that will conflict with your gaming requirements, it might not be the best choice for you.
- Some users have reported that the track pad buttons clicked noisily, and they found it distracting. If you anticipate that this will detract from your gaming experience, you might consider some other options instead.
- Other users have found that the device becomes very warm after prolonged use. This may not be a problem for some users, but others may wish to invest in a cooling pad not only to preserve the lifespan of the laptop’s internal components, but also for their own comfort during use.
Overall, the Lenovo has proven to be a really popular option among people who use their PC primarily for games, music, or movie-viewing. But read on if you’d like to make some more comparisons before reaching a decision, and discover which other gaming-oriented laptops we most recommend for under $400.
6. HP ProBook 455 15.6 Inches HD – Best Budget Laptops of 2017
For these reasons alone, it would be a great choice for any student or professional. But particularly anybody whose work involves audio or visual media, like web designers, sound designers, or photographers. Read on for more info about what makes this laptop such a standout in its class.
- The HP Premium keyboard is full-size, spill-resistant, backlit and features an optional full numeric keypad. So if you’re somebody with strong preferences about your keyboard dimensions this will probably be a great choice for you.
- At 4.7 pounds, this is one of the most portable, lightweight laptops on our list, making it ideal for business and travel. You can carry it easily on public transit, take it on planes by packing it in your carry-on, and know that you won’t have to lug it with you from point A to point B.
- A 500 GB hard drive and 4 GBs of RAM make this machine well-equipped for most business-related tasks. You’ll have ample device storage necessary to run and memory-heavy programs integral to your job or studies.
- Amazon’s refund policy guarantees you can return any device that arrives damaged, “dead on arrival,” or still in its original packaging for a full refund within thirty days of purchase. If you need some extra reassurance about the safety of buying a refurbished device, that should take a load off your mind.
- This laptop comes with Window 7 Professional 64-bit operating system pre-installed and a license for an upgrade to Windows 10. While many users find Windows 7 to be a more stable, reliable release as far as windows go, some may prefer a different operating system and find the upgrade options limiting.
- If you’re a user who values having a SSD over the traditional mechanical hard drive, or you’re somebody who prefers a laptop with few internal components generally, this might not be the best laptop for you. It does have a DVD+/-RW drive, which can be an asset if you need to read/write data to disks. It may have problem if you travel a lot and are concerned about breakage.
Overall, this is one of the more functional and affordable business laptops on our list. Though it offers few fancy extras, it has all the features you’ll need to make it your primary work or school device.
7. HP 15.6-Inch Flagship Touchscreen – Budget Laptop with Touchsreen
- The touchscreen feature allows for exceptional versatility of use, since you can toggle between the track pad and keyboard or the screen itself while browsing. If you’re somebody who prefers the navigability and functionality of a tablet to a traditional laptop, then this will probably be a great choice for you.
- 4 GB of memory mean this machine is equipped for any task you might need to throw at it, including running memory-consuming applications and doing multimedia work.
- The webcam comes with an integrated digital microphone, so if you know you need to regularly use Skype or other video call services for work or school, or even just to keep in touch with friends and family abroad, this laptop will give you the means to do so.
- Unlike many laptops nowadays, this one is equipped with an internal DVD drive that lets you not only watch movies and play CDs, but read and write disks in multiple formats. This would make it an especially appropriate choice for anybody in a profession that involves multimedia work.
- Though the internal CD/DVD drive means it’s suitable for viewing movies and writing disks, having multiple internal components can also make laptops more prone to damage, costlier to repair, and harder to clean. Keep this in mind if you’re somebody who happens to be tough on your hardware, so you don’t end up with a costly repair bill.
- The touchscreen, while it offers versatility of use that other laptops don’t, can be a sensitive instrument, and it can also be tough to keep in pristine condition. If fingerprints on the display are going to distract or bother you, this might not be the best choice for your needs.
- This device, like some of the previous laptops on the list, also runs Windows 10. Proceed accordingly if you know you’re averse to using Windows operating systems in general, or 10 specifically.
This laptop is a little different from some of the others on these list because the multimedia features offer a certain amount of cross-over for entertainment and gaming. If you’re self-employed, a student, or just somebody who prefers to use one machine for both work and play, this could be an ideal choice for you.
8. Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571-C1DZ 15.6-Inch Full HD IPS – Best Portable Laptop
We choose this one for our list of gaming laptops for several important reasons:
- the solid-state drive that allows you to boot up in only seven seconds
- The fifteen full hours of battery life
- The 802.11ac wireless with MIMO technology all combine to create a super-fast
- Efficient machine that will keep up with whatever data you need to stream.
Keep reading to find out what else makes this one unique, and an ideal choice for students.
- This was the first item on our cons list, but it merits mentioning here too because for some people it will be a huge asset: that’s the size of the laptop. If you’re a user who values having a big display for game-related purposes or so you can enjoy movies in HD, then this will be an excellent choice for you, and you’ll appreciate the resolution.
- Between the 4GB of RAM, the SSD, and the sophisticated 1.5 Gh Intel Celeron processor, users can look forward to super-fast performance with no lag time. This will come in handy particularly if you’re an MMORPG enthusiast.
- The charging time is reported to be exceptionally fast, so when your battery starts to run low you can get it operational again in minimal time. This means you won’t be tethered to the nearest outlet and makes this laptop a more versatile choice for many users.
- The matte, anti-glare screen will be very appreciated by gamers and movie enthusiasts alike. The display is said to be exceptionally bright and clear, with a viewing angle of almost 180 so multiple people can watch use it together comfortably. Plus, the Intel HD graphics processor will give you unparalleled visual quality while gaming or enjoying movies.
- For those who like to travel with their laptops with ease. Its sheer size means it isn’t as portable as some of the others. If not, you know your laptop is going to be primarily for home use, this probably won’t pose much of a problem to you.
- Although the manufacturer claims that the battery life lasts for a full fifteen hours, some users have reported that its life expectancy doesn’t quite meet expectations, beginning to peter out in less time than the manufacturer claims. This, of course, will also depend on what you’re using your laptop for, how many programs you’re running simultaneously, the memory consumption associated with programs, etc.
- This laptop is white, so keeping it looking pristine can be harder than it can for laptops of other colors. If the aesthetics of your device are important to you, you’ll want to make sure that you clean and maintain it regularly to avoid it taking on a dingy appearance.
- Some users also find the combination of 2.0 and 3.0 USB ports to be frustrating, and would prefer only 3.0 ports. Again, depending on the nature of the external devices you use, this may not be a problem for you at all.
This laptop is certain to be a big favorite among gamers and those who prefer to watch movies on their PCs instead of on TV. But we still have some more options to consider if none of these items has totally sold you yet.
9. Toshiba Chromebook 2 – 13.3 Inch IPS Full HD – Best Chromebook for Student
Here’s another fan favorite in the Chromebook category, and one that gamers will get a lot of use and enjoyment out of. With a full HD 1080 pixel display, audio technology and interface by Skullcandy, 9 hours of battery life, and a flash memory solid state drive, it’s a perfect choice for businessman who have presentation frequnetly.
Read on for a breakdown of the additional features that make this one such a great choice.
- The Intel HD graphics processors, high screen resolution, brightness, and viewing angles mean the display is designed for optimal viewership. This one would be another great choice for game-related purposes, movie-watching, and multi-media needs.
- Because Toshiba partnered with Skullcandy on this device, the sound quality is said to be really exceptional. Those who are frustrated with stereotypical tinny laptop speakers will appreciate the superior sound quality of this device.
- The whole device is slim, lightweight, and doesn’t have a fan, so it’s exceptionally portable. More than some of the other gaming laptops on this list, we can easily bring it along.
- The speakers are positioned beneath the keyboard instead of on the bottom of the device like some other laptops, which also allows for better sound production.
- Some users have complained of video card issues with this laptop, most notably a problem involving vertical lines appearing down the length of the screen and spoiling the screen resolution. Fortunately, if this occurs within the warranty period it’s fully covered by the manufacturer, so it’s less of a gamble then you may think it is.
- Some users have also reported problems with the manufacturer’s customer service department, which can make contacting them aggravating. Keep this in mind when placing your order in the event that you need to contact them for support in the future.
- Over time, some users have found that this device is sometimes more prone to hardware failures than other items on the list. In particular, the touch pad has been said to lose functionality, and the cursor sometimes disappears from the screen.
In spite of the issues reported by some users, it should be understood that this laptop still has plenty to offer, especially if you’re a user who really values the sound quality of your laptop. We still have two items remaining, so keep reading for the conclusion of our list of studying laptop recommendations.
10. 2016 HP Stream 13.3 Inches Premium HD Touchscreen – Best HP Laptop for Studying
Intel HD graphics and a backlit display make it suitable for use in any environment. Also, the dual-core Intel Celeron N3050 processor guarantees consistently fast browsing and streaming speeds.
For more details specs, keep reading and we’ll tell you what else makes this such a great gaming and multimedia laptop.
- This laptop has no fan, which is a huge asset in a couple of ways: it’s less prone to breakage than a laptop with more internal components, easier to clean, and much quieter. Without the annoying whirring noise that accompanies most computer fans, you’ll be able to have a quieter, more enjoyable movie-watching or gaming experience free of distraction.
- It’s 19.6 millimeters wide and only weighs 3.4 pounds, making it the very lightest notebook on this list. If you’re somebody who likes to travel when you game, this will be a perfect choice for you since it’s so small and easy to carry.
- Some users find the long update times aggravating. However, if you schedule your updates for specific times instead of allowing them to run automatically, you should avoid the frustration of having your work interrupted.
- This device has no internal optical drive, so if you want to watch DVDs, run a program from a disk, or write anything to disk you’ll need to use an external USB optical drive. However, the lack of internal components means it’s also more portable than some of the other gaming laptops on this list, as well as more durable than some of the others.
- Not all models are equipped with the touchscreen, so be extra attentive during purchase to ensure you aren’t buying the wrong item.
The notebook has a full TB of cloud storage, so you can reserve your internal storage for what you really want and can keep your photos, documents, and other files elsewhere, freeing up much-needed space.
This notebook is a little different from some of the other items on our list of gaming laptops. But, it’s still a great choice especially if you’re somebody who likes to do your gaming away from home. Let’s take a look at our very last item.
As you can probably see by now, the options available to you are less overwhelming than you may have thought at first. Selecting a laptop can seem like a daunting task when you aren’t sure how to focus your preferences. But, if you can come at it with a few priorities and a budget in mind, it makes it easier to weed through the possibilities and more easily narrow them down to only those that you know are in line with your needs.
If you still can’t decide, don’t overlook Amazon reviews. Specialists at big box stores can tell you plenty about a device’s features and capabilities. Also, the manufacturer descriptions attached to items sold online can fill in more of the blanks. But you shouldn’t overlook the value of consumer opinions. Generally, people will be very frank about their experience using a particular digital device. And you can incorporate their opinions into your decision-making process. Remember, too, that if you choose to buy a new or refurbished laptop from Amazon, they protects their buyers. So if you happen to end up with a dud of a device, you can send it back and Amazon will reimburse. Buying online does not have to be a gamble.
We hope this guide has helped you streamline the process of buying a new laptop for under $400. Check back in the future for more useful buyers’ information about digital devices. If you’ve read this guide and it helped you make a decision about what to buy, please leave us a comment and tell us about it. We’d love to know that it was helpful to you!