- The Overall Best laptop under $400 is the ASUS VivoBook 15.
- A budget of $400 is still sufficient to purchase a laptop that can accommodate most everyday needs such as web browsing and word processing.
- Most laptops under $400 have around 8GB of RAM which will provide a fast speed.
Navigating through the laptop market to determine which is best suited for your needs can be daunting. Fortunately, with $400, you’ll have enough spending power to find yourself something powerful and accommodating of all your everyday tasks such as web browsing and word processing, without having to settle for a subpar machine.
However, with countless products offering various capabilities and benefits, picking one that meets your requirements can be tricky. Although they might be heavily advertised, laptops with the most recent processors or RAM capacity may not necessarily offer you the best value.
It’s essential to remember that there’s a range of different models on the market – some provide more features and improved performance compared to others in terms of design.
If you’re seeking a laptop that suits your individual specifications and is within the price range of $400, you’ve come to the right place. This comparison guide for the best laptops under $400 will provide you with all the information you need. Take a look at the top-rated laptops below:
- Best Overall: ASUS VivoBook 15
- Best Budget Option: Acer Aspire 1
- Best Touch Screen: 2020 Dell Inspiron
- Best for College: Acer Aspire 5
- Best Apple Laptop: MacBook Air
Best Overall Laptop Under $400: ASUS VivoBook 15
The ASUS VivoBook 15 is our selection as the best laptop under $400. This model features the Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, a 15.6″ 1080p display, and a memory capacity of up to eight gigabytes. What’s great about this model is the 128GB SSD which is another excellent spec in this budget range.
With its remarkable design and construction quality, the ASUS VivoBook 15 is an eye-catching convertible. Despite being relatively affordable, it looks deceptively expensive due to this specific feature. This lovely laptop also includes a multitude of ports – three USB ports, a single USB-C port, a full HDMI port, plus an audio jack combo & microSD card slot, all included for convenience.
On the flip side, the ASUS VivoBook 15 is a dual-core model, which means its CPU is relatively slow. Being a Chromebook, this model performs Office suite work efficiently, but it’s slow when handling heavy multithreaded workloads. It also has a rather dim screen with weak speakers.
Otherwise, the keyboard, with its number pad, is a great feature. The model also boasts an excellent touchpad and average battery capacity. While the drawbacks may sound disappointing, the VivoBook 15 is a perfect option for lightweight work involving an opened Word docs, an Excel sheet, and two dozen Chrome tabs.
Moreover, the ASUS VivoBook 15 is a top seller, so it can be challenging to get it at the preferred price of $400 or less. You may find that it’s sold out for this amount and will have to wait until restocked – unless you’re willing to pay an extra 15%! For those who want the best deal, a little patience is necessary, as well as close monitoring for any available discounts.
Check out the ASUS VivoBook 15 on Amazon.
Best Budget Laptop Under $400: Acer Aspire 1
If you’re looking for a laptop with great specs at an affordable price, you should consider the Acer Aspire 1. For a device costing less than $400, its features make it stand out. For starters, the keyboard offers excellent accuracy for a number pad, plus its touchpad works equally well.
This laptop also has an impressive battery life of up to 10 hours, so you can do more without having to stay connected to a power source. In addition, the CPU may not be too powerful but it’s sufficiently capable of handling office work such as heavy browsing & media consumption tasks easily.
The most significant drawback you’re likely to encounter with this model is narrow viewing angles and the eMMC storage, which isn’t flexible and, therefore, can’t be expanded.
In addition, installing Windows and pre-installed apps eats into its storage, taking as much as 42 GB of space. You’ll only be left with around 20 gigs of storage, which is too low for a notebook costing that much.
However, it compensates for these shortcomings with a wide selection of expansion ports consisting of three USB ports, a single full-size HDMI port, an Ethernet port, and a combo audio jack. That’s an excellent expansion option, and had it featured an SD card reader, the Acer Aspire 1 could have been the ultimate package.
Still, the Acer Aspire 1 is a suitable laptop if you’re on a tight budget and need a machine to enjoy seamless browsing, perform light duties and school work, and even watch movies.
Check out the Acer Aspire 1 on Amazon today.
Best Touch Screen Laptop: 2020 Dell Inspiron
Our best pick for the best touchscreen category under $400 is the 2020 Dell Inspiron. This machine has impressive power-packed features, including touchscreen support. The under $400 price isn’t bad for a model boasting such premium specs.
On performance, the 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor adds to its robustness and efficiency. It’s also compatible with the Intel UHD integrated graphics card.
Other likable features of this device include its enhanced processing speeds, made possible by the 4MB of cache memory and a 3.4GHz turbo clocking speed. The Dell Inspiron is the ultimate beast capable of efficiently handling heavy tasks.
Additionally, this model boasts dual storage support comprising 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 128GB SSD, and a 1TB hard disk drive. Its screen size is impressive, measuring about 15.6 inches with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels and a multi-touch panel.
The Dell Inspiron is an excellent laptop under $400 with a sleek, compact, durable, and attractive design. It ticks all the right boxes on specifications, performance, and dual-touch functionality.
Check out the 2020 Dell Inspiron on Amazon..
Best for College: Acer Aspire 5
Are you a college student seeking an all-in-one laptop that can multitask to help with school assignments and still have some fun on social media? Look no further than the Acer Aspire 5; it’s perfect for your needs.
Get maximum power and performance with the Acer Aspire 5, featuring an incredible AMD Ryzen 3 3200U chipset that clocks up to 2.6GHz for superior speed. This budget-friendly device also offers a powerful SoC (System-on-Chip), which seamlessly integrates with the stunning AMD Radeon Vega 3 GPU, giving you unbeatable graphics quality. Plus, enjoy lightning-fast loading and rendering of data through its 4GB RAM capacity – all at an affordable price range.
Furthermore, the Acer Aspire 5 provides exceptional visuals with its 15.6-inch full HD screen with a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. The Widescreen IPS panel ensures crisp viewing angles and vibrant colors while working or gaming. It also includes a backlit keyboard with an even more responsive touchpad, so you can quickly type in dark settings. With all these features, you will have an enjoyable computing experience with this machine.
Another feature of this impressive laptop is the powerful speakers with inbuilt TrueHarmony audio technology. It has various functional ports, including USB 3.1, USB 2.0, and more. Finally, the Acer has an HD webcam and highly impressive Wireless connectivity standards.
Check out the Acer Aspire 5 on Amazon today.
Best Apple Laptop: MacBook Air
Our list of best laptops under $400 can only be complete with an Apple laptop, in this case, a MacBook Air. Everybody knows that Apple laptops don’t feature anywhere around the $400 and below price range, meaning owning these models can be tricky if you’re on a budget.
Fortunately, there’s the refurbished MacBook Air that you can purchase for $400 and below. But these laptops come with a limited Amazon Warranty, which is just 90 days, but it’s worth it. The specs for this machine are way above the price, especially if you factor in the robust 256GB SSD and four gig RAM.
Although its dual-core Core i5-4250U CPU isn’t ideal for heavy workloads owing to its slow speed, you can efficiently perform light work and other everyday chores. Remember that this is a refurbished, older version of the MacBook Air, so its screen has a resolution of around 1440×900 though it’s much taller than most other devices. With that, you get more usable space and seamless interactions with word processors.
The MacBook Air also features an impressive screen size with bright, vibrant colors. Its design has stayed the same despite being an older version. It still features the same thin, light body with a high-quality metal chassis that gives it an attractive look.
With a nice keyboard touchpad and excellent speakers, this laptop looks as good as it costs. There’s only one drawback with this machine. Being refurbished means its battery strength differs from a brand-new model, and the body might have a few scratches here and there. But for just $400 or less, you can get a high-quality Apple notebook with great features.
Check out the MacBook Air on Amazon.
How To Pick Best the Best Laptop Under $400: Step by Step
Regardless of the cost of a laptop, there are some fundamental features that you must always look out for before making a purchase. These features comprise the laptop’s hardware components that determine its performance. Below are some essential factors to consider when buying a laptop under $400.
A laptop’s Random Access Memory or RAM plays a crucial role in its performance. Most laptops under $400 typically have a RAM capacity of 8GB. However, if you want something that offers excellent speed and performance to make tasks more manageable, go for DDR4 RAM. It would be best to have a machine with as much RAM as possible to reduce or eliminate latency.
The performance of any computer device depends on the processor. The more robust the processor is, the more it can handle high-end tasks with relative ease. With a budget of $400, or less, look for a machine with an i3 processor suitable for light activities. However, if you’re keen on something that can handle highly demanding tasks with that budget, go for a model with AMD Ryzen CPUs.
Having a laptop with quicker SSDs is much better than having slower HDDs. And with a budget of $400, you can aim for 256GB and enjoy the breakneck speed of the SSD drives’ data processing capacity. If you’re a heavy user and need something more powerful for heavy tasks, you can stretch your options and settle somewhere around 512GB of space.
Another crucial factor you must always pay attention to when purchasing a laptop for any amount is its battery strength. You want something that can stay on for long, working efficiently for several hours on a single charge.
Fortunately, most laptops covered in our review have a battery life of up to eight hours, allowing you to carry your machine even when traveling and enjoy the convenience of not running out of battery.
What To Know Before Buying a Laptop Under $400
Despite the appearance and features of a laptop, before purchasing one for under $400 or less, it’s essential to be thorough in your research. Even if an item looks appealing on the internet, you should always ensure that you’re making well-informed decisions.
Consequently, don’t skip double-checking all factors before finalizing your purchase; this step can save you from potential future issues.
It would be best to go through the user testimonials and reviews to determine the validity of the machine you want to buy. Some tend to have exaggerated specs that are too good to be true, and you may not get value for your money.
While Amazon has many certified vendors, being certified doesn’t mean you won’t run into bad luck. Many amateurs and not-so-good sellers are mixed with the lot, and you could easily get duped. The point is to always research before making a substandard purchase and losing money.
Using the Best Laptop Under $400: What it’s Like
Shopping for a laptop with a $400 or less budget will get you some of the best deals. You could acquire a good machine with impeccable features for a relatively low amount, which is a plus if you’re on a tight budget. The specs outlined in the machines in this review will guarantee exceptional performance and more excellent user experience no matter your workload.
In this world of ever-evolving technology, thrifty shoppers can still find a laptop that provides incredible value for their hard-earned money. Spending under $400 will give you efficiency, speed, plenty of storage, and impressive performance — all while lasting much longer than expected on battery life.
While it won’t be long before the need to upgrade arises again, when that time comes around, you should explore devices above the initial price range – as they’ll offer even better quality models with improved features.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©voronaman/Shutterstock.com.