What is the best laptop under 400? There are plenty of options out there, whether you want an i3 laptops under 400, touch screen laptops under 400, or just something that you can use to check Facebook, we have plenty of options for you on our list.

Laptops Under Dollars

Now, everyone needs something different out of their laptops, so remember to read through everything. Some will have better displays but worse battery life, whereas others won’t have great displays but they will have amazing battery life.

Nonetheless, there is something for everyone on this list.

Best Laptops Under 400 Dollars Comparison Table

Products Pros Cons
2020 HP 14 inch HD Laptop Newest for Business and Student
  • Good performance,
  • a comfortable keyboard,
  • decent display
  • The battery life isn’t great;
  • webcam isn’t good at all
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
  • Amazing battery life;
  • good display for the price;
  • comfortable keyboard;
  • good looking
  • Not the easiest to commute with;
  • loud fans;
  • large bezels around the display
ASUS VivoBook L203MA Laptop
  • Good deal for the price;
  • good looking laptop;
  • it has a USB-C port
  • Bad viewing angles;
  • poor webcam
Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
  • Long battery life;
  • good keyboard for typing;
  • affordable;
  • HDMI port
  • The display isn’t great;
  • performance is underwhelming

What Are The Best Laptops Under $400?

There are so many different types of laptops out there that it can be difficult to make an educated decision. However, many of them aren’t even worth your consideration, especially in this price range.

We’ve been able to narrow down the list to four really great laptops under $400 that will likely fulfill most of your needs.

1. 2020 HP 14 inch HD Laptop Newest for Business and Student

Overall, the 2020 HP 14-inch laptop is a great option if you are looking for laptops for college students under $400. It is easy to carry around, gives a good performance, and has a comfortable keyboard. However, be sure that you have a power outlet close by as battery life is a bit weak.

Computer Memory Size 4 GB
CPU Model Manufacturer AMD
CPU Speed 2.30 GHz
Display Resolution Maximum 1366×768 pixels
Screen Size 14 inches
Hard Disk Size 128 GB
Item Dimensions 12.80 x 8.90 x 0.80 inches
Item Weight 3.24 lbs
Operating System Windows 10
Processor Count 2
Wireless Communication Standard 802.11ac

If you want to take a gamble of a laptop, consider this HP. It is a really powerful option with one big problem: the battery life isn’t great. If you are able to connect to a power source most of the time, you will get a lot of power for the price. If you aren’t, you may want to move onto the next option on the list.

It is a light laptop and is easy to carry and is quite slim, so you will be able to fit it into almost any bag.

  • Design

The design here isn’t going to be anything that wins awards. It is a pretty generic looking machine that is professional enough to take on business trips but won’t catch anyone’s eye.

The case itself is pretty generic, with a silver color that has a bit of a shiny finish. There is some style along the hinges as they are a unique shape. The black deck is also pretty cool. There are some slim bezels around the screen itself, so it has an almost seamless look.

  • Ports and Connectivity

There are some good port options here, perfect for students who need to connect different things to it. On the right-hand side of the machine, you will have a power jack, an RJ45 Ethernet port, an HDMI 1.4 port, two USB 3.1 ports, and a headphone jack.

On the left-hand side, you will get a security lock slot, one USB Type-C port, and an SD card slot. The SD slot is great for those who take photos or videos and don’t want to buy an external adaptor.

  • Display

This display isn’t going to win any awards either. It isn’t the brightest or most colorful display on this list. The screen is glossy and finger-print resistant. You will also get some pretty good viewing angles, so you will be able to collaborate with someone else.

It comes with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, which means that the picture quality will be pretty good on most streaming services. You may have some trouble with darker shows. The screen isn’t washed out and white or bright scenes don’t seem to be an issue, but darker screens are.

There are 205 nits of brightness, which is a fairly standard offering in this price range. Overall, I think it is a better option than some of the other laptops on the list as far as the display goes.

  • Keyboard & Touchpad

The keyboard is backlit and has a pretty interesting and stylish font on the keys. The laptop is a bit loud and clicky, so you probably don’t want to use it to type up an essay in a library, but it is a good laptop for typing.

The line spacing and pressure needed to type will help to eliminate some hand stress. The touchpad itself is a bit hard, especially the discrete buttons at the bottom. You can use two-finger scrolling and three-finger tabbing, however.

  • Performance

This laptop comes with 4GB of RAM, which should be enough for most people. You won’t be able to have dozens of tabs open, but it should be fine. According to people who have used this laptop under $400 for a long time, they haven’t noticed any degradation in terms of performance at all.

  • Battery Life

While the battery life isn’t horrible, it isn’t all that great either, especially when compared to some of the others on this list. You will be able to use it for about 6 hours before you need to recharge.

Unfortunately, some users said that the amount of time you can use it falls quite a bit as it gets older. You should monitor it. You also can’t switch out batteries, which is a bit of a bummer.

  • Webcam

The webcam isn’t all that great here either, especially if you are doing business on this laptop. You will be able to use it for friendly chats, but I wouldn’t use it as a business computer or for online school. If this is your only sticking point, there are plenty of USB ports, so you could just buy an external webcam.

  • Heating & Cooling

One of the positive points of this laptop is that it doesn’t really get too hot when you are using it. You will be comfortable enough that you can hold it on your lap while you are using it, even if you are on for hours.

Now, you can’t push the system too much and don’t try to overclock it, but the temperature won’t rise from simple web browsing or computing.

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Good performance, a comfortable keyboard, decent display


The battery life isn’t great; webcam isn’t good at all

2. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

Acer always has the top spots when it comes to budget computers, and the Acer Aspire 5 Slim is no different. It is a great computer for under $400 that everyone will get some benefit from – if you are willing to go up a couple of hundred dollars, you may get even more from this line, however.

Computer Memory Size 4 GB
CPU Model Manufacturer AMD
CPU Speed 3.5 GHz
Display Resolution Maximum 1920 x 1080
Screen Size 15.6 inches
Display Technology LED
Hard Disk Size 128 GB
Item Dimensions 14.31 x 9.74 x 0.71 inches
Item Weight 3.97 lbs
Operating System Windows 10 S
Processor Count 2
Wireless Communication Standard 802.11ac

If you are looking for a good laptop that is going to be your best choice for carrying around, throwing into a tote bag, or just taking to class, this is a pretty solid under $400 laptop.

You may even be able to find it on sale, which will help you to cut the costs even more. If you are willing to go up about $200 (or less on sale), you might get some better features within this range, however.

  • Design

While you aren’t going to get any work of art at this price, the build of the Acer 5 Slim is pretty great. This laptop is pretty strong thanks to an aluminum frame that keeps it feeling like something you could take with you on a trip. While everything is plastic, it does feel pretty solid and you won’t have to worry about breaking anything.

As far as appearances go, there isn’t anything to complain about or praise either. It looks like your typical, generic laptop with a silver color scheme. There is an Acer logo on the lid and that is about it. Apart from silver, there are a few other color options, including red, black, dark blue, and light blue. As far as size goes, it is slim like the name says, coming in at 0.71 inches and 3.97 pounds.

  • Ports and Connectivity

You actually get a fair number of ports with this laptop. You will get a USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port, two USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a USB-A Gen 2 port, a full-size HDMI port, and a gigabit Ethernet port. You will not get a Thunderbolt 3 port, but you shouldn’t expect to get that out of any laptop at this price. Wireless connectivity comes from the 802.11ac 2X2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2, which is fine.

  • Display

The display does have some bezels, which is a style that is quickly fading. The sides have much bigger bezels than some of the other options. There isn’t a touch display, which is a bit disappointing but not unexpected.

The display is pretty good for the price range, but this isn’t going to be a computer that you will edit videos or photos on, not that you’ll find one you can in this price range. It has a 15.6-inch IPS Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) panel, which is much better than some of the other options. You will still experience some muting in the colors, because it shows just 64% of the sRGB gamut and 47% of AdobeRGB.

Still, it is pretty decent for this price range. Color accuracy was good at 2.49. Brightness is also surprisingly good, coming in at 238 nits, which is above average for this price range. The contract was good, coming in at 890:1, meaning you won’t lose quality as you watch movies or play games that have too much white or black on the screen.

  • Keyboard & Touchpad

The keyboard is plastic but it doesn’t flex as some other keyboards do. The bottom of the chassis is solid, so you can type on your knees. Overall, the keyboard and the touchpad are much better than you’d expect. Both work quite well and help to reduce hand strain.

The keyboard is considered an “island” keyboard that has black and white letters. You do get a backlight, which isn’t always included standard with a budget laptop. The keys are a bit shallow for those who type all day long, but they are quiet, which is good. You won’t experience any slowing down of your typing.

The touchpad, similarly, is good. It is large enough that you can use it for a long time. The buttons under the pad aren’t too loud or too hard to push. You will also be able to use Windows 10’s multitouch gestures, which isn’t a common feature in laptops this cheap. There also isn’t a Windows 10 Hello feature, which is a bummer.

  • Sound

Audio performance isn’t something we usually even think about when it comes to budget laptops because it is never all that great. However, with the Acer, it is actually good. There isn’t any distortion, even when you max out the volume. The mids and highs were strong and the bass was satisfactory.

You will get a full experience when you are watching Netflix or YouTube. However, if you listen to music, I’d invest in a good pair of headphones.

  • Performance

This laptop comes with a  dual-core Core i3-8145U CPU. This isn’t the fastest CPU, but it doesn’t use a lot of power. You’ll get 4GB of RAM. Overall, it isn’t the best performer but it isn’t the worst performer.

There are certainly better performers within this list and overall. It will be good enough for most usage, however. If you are using it for office work, school work, or just navigating the internet, you won’t have to worry.

  • Battery Life

You will get some great battery life out of this one, surprisingly! You will get 8 hours of battery life, which is somewhat unheard of in this price range and in most price ranges, to be honest.

  • Heating & Cooling

One good thing about this laptop is that you won’t have to worry about heating and cooling. Even when working for hours, it stays cool. There are some great bottom vents to keep the bottom warm (no more burnt thighs) and it has some great fans. However, when the fans are going at full speed, they are a bit loud.

Button check price light blue


Amazing battery life; good display for the price; comfortable keyboard; good looking


Not the easiest to commute with; loud fans; large bezels around the display

3. ASUS VivoBook L203MA Laptop

The ASUS VivoBook L203MA is a good under $400 laptop that has enough features and good performance if you aren’t looking for something that is too powerful. It is one of the best portable options on the list, has good build quality, is designed well, decent connectivity options, and a very nice HD screen.

Computer Memory Size 4 GB
CPU Model Manufacturer Intel
CPU Speed 2.6 GHz
Display Resolution Maximum 1920 x 1080 pixels
Screen Size 11.6 inches
Hard Disk Size 64 GB
Item Dimensions 11.30 x 7.60 x 0.67 inches
Item Weight 2.20 lbs
Operating System Windows 10 S
Processor Count 2
Wireless Communication Standard Bluetooth, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac

If you need a decent, inexpensive laptop that is the right size to do some basic school work, computing, or browsing the internet, this is a good option. The  ASUS VivoBook L203MA has enough features that you won’t regret making this purchase.

It is one of the most affordable laptops on the market with a Windows 10 system and a USB-C port. If you need some extra connectivity, stop your search here. There are a few things to be wary of, but you should like it overall.

  • Design

ASUS is always going to be the brand that pushes the edge when it comes to design, even on its more budget-friendly laptops. The VivoBook L203MA-DS04 is no exception to that. The lid has a silver logo etched into the middle and it has a honeycomb theme. That theme continues onto the keyboard and the bottom cover.

The enclosure is plastic, but it is a high quality, sturdy plastic. The system itself is very compact, coming in at 0.7 by 11.3 by 7.6 inches (HWD), and weighing 3.2 pounds.

  • Ports and Connectivity

For connectivity, it will be hard to find a better laptop under $400. You get a very nice selection of ports here. On the right-hand side of the laptop, you will get the power connector, an HDMI port, a headset jack, a USB 3.0 port, an SD card reader, and a USB-C port. On the left-hand side of the laptop, you will get a single USB 3.0 port and a headphone jack. For wireless, you have dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.

  • Display

The display is an 11-inch LCD non-touch panel. It has a 1366-by-768 (HD) resolution, which is fairly common among budget laptops. There are some budget laptops that have a better resolution, but most of them aren’t Windows 10 or don’t have the connectivity options.

The display isn’t going to be the best option for people who want to edit photos, videos, or website. It also isn’t great for spreadsheet viewings or watching HD movies.

However, the screen is clear and you will be able to see some good details. You will have to learn how to adjust yourself and two people really cannot work on this computer at the same time as the viewing angles are strange.

  • Keyboard & Touchpad

The VivoBook L203MA has a chiclet-style keyboard that isn’t the greatest. It lacks backlighting, which means you may make mistakes if you are typing in the dark. There are some backlit keyboards in this price range, so it is a bit of a bummer.

The keyboard is comfortable to use, but it doesn’t have a block-style numeric keypad. The touchpad is fine, nothing great. It is tall, quite wide, and responsive.

  • Performance

The laptop comes with an Intel Celeron N4000 Processor (with Intel HD Graphics), which means that it will carry out everyday tasks pretty well. It is fast enough that you won’t have to wait around. You won’t be able to game very well on it.

However, you can have quite a few tabs open (think dozens) and it should still function properly. Some people have noted that there is some degradation in terms of performance over time, but nothing that isn’t to be expected.

  • Battery Life

The battery life here isn’t notable in any way. It lasts just under 5.5 hours, which isn’t all that long but it isn’t short either. If you need a lot of battery life, you probably don’t want to get this one. However, it does charge fairly quickly.

  • Webcam

This isn’t going to be the laptop to buy if you want to Skype or Zoom on a regular basis. The camera quality is not great at all and it will probably cause pixelation more than not.

  • Heating & Cooling

This laptop isn’t prone to overheating, so you should be able to set it on your lap. However, the fans are a little loud if you are trying to do too much, so it isn’t great for those who spend a lot of time working in quiet environments.

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Good deal for the price; good looking laptop; it has a USB-C port


Bad viewing angles; poor webcam

4. Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop

The Lenovo Chrombook C330 is a convertible laptop under 400 dollars that will last all day on a charge, as long as you aren’t going to be doing any heavy work.

Computer Memory Size 4 GB
CPU Model Manufacturer Mediatek
CPU Speed 2.1 GHz
Display Resolution Maximum 1366X768 pixels
Screen Size 11.6 inches
Hard Disk Size 64 GB
Item Dimensions 11.50 x 0.77 x 8.48 inches
Item Weight 2.64 lbs
Operating System Chrome OS
Processor Count 4
RAM Type Unknown
Wireless Communication Standard 802.11ac

The Lenovo Chromebook C330 is an 11-inch convertible laptop that held a lot of promise when it was first announced. With a miraculous amount of battery life, it should be a great option for students and commuters.

However, there are some problems that you need to take into consideration (the display). You will need to weigh the different aspects to see if this is a laptop that will give you what you need. If it is, it’s a fantastic laptop, but it won’t be for everyone.

Design: The overall design of the Lenovo Chromebook is an off-white plastic that looks somewhat interesting, if only because of the strange color. It does have really thick black bezels that aren’t all that appealing, however.

Looking at the laptop closed and then looking at it open feel like two different experiences. It is 0.8 inches thick and 2.8 pounds, making it fairly light and easy to carry around. While it may look cheaper than some of the others, however, it is quite sturdy when you are using it in any of its four convertible forms. You can rotate between those four forms quite easily.

  • Ports and Connectivity

This laptop feels a bit uneven when it comes to ports, as almost all of them are located on the left, including a USB Type-C port for charging, HDMI, USB 3.0, and SD memory reader. While that isn’t a ton of ports, the inclusion of an HDMI port is somewhat rare within this price range.

On the right side, you will get a  headphone jack, security lock slot and buttons for power and volume. Almost feels like a phone when you hold it because of these side buttons.

  • Display

The display isn’t all that great, let’s start there. It is okay for a Chromebook, but it is difficult to use if you have had a good laptop with an HD display. It has some problems with brightness and with colors.

The C330 produces about 75% of the sRGB color gamut, which is fairly standard for a Chromebook. It also emits 250 nits of brightness, which is above the standard. Even so, it just doesn’t feel like it is that good.

It could be that the screen doesn’t have good viewing angles. You will notice it more in tablet and tend mode than you will in laptop mode. Additionally, the screen has a glossy finish that will reflect the glare of any lights in the room.

The touchscreen is pretty good, especially in tablet mode. You will have smooth scrolling, but you will also have a ton of fingerprints.

  • Keyboard & Touchpad

Typing is important for students and those who work in an office space. You will be able to type fairly quickly on the keyboard and it will be accurate. Some people did notice some hand strain when they used it because the keys do require some more pressure than other keyboards.

It isn’t loud, which is a good thing for those who plan to type in libraries or common areas. The touchpad is 4.1 x 2.4 inches and it is pretty good, you won’t have to worry about stuttering. It will also recognize Chrome OS’ three-finger navigation gestures.

  • Performance

The performance of this laptop isn’t much to talk about. There are some issues with multitasking, depending on what those tasks are. If you are the type of person who likes to listen to music while typing and researching, you may notice some slowing. Just remember to keep the number of tabs you have open down and it should be fine.

  • Sound

The sound quality of the Lenovo Chromebook C330 is about what you’d expect out of a laptop in this price range. While it isn’t the best, you will be able to get the music loud enough so that it will fill a dorm room. However, the sound quality isn’t all that great, particularly if the music has a ton of bass. It is fine for conversations and YouTube video watching, however.

  • Battery Life

Battery life is really where this laptop will shine. It lasts about 10 hours, which is much longer than the Chromebook average and the average for other laptops on this list. Part of this is because you don’t have as much brightness, which eats away at batteries.

  • Webcam

The webcam is a 0.9 megapixel, meaning that it is fine but you won’t be able to conduct business on it. Many people have also noted that it is extremely sensitive to changes in light, so you will need to be careful where you seat yourself when you use it.

  • Heating & Cooling

Another high point for this that it is extremely cool. You will be able to hold it on your legs without worrying about burns or any other issues.

Button check price light blue


Long battery life; good keyboard for typing; affordable; HDMI port


The display isn’t great; performance is underwhelming

Frequently Asked Questions About Laptops Under $400

If you are going to buy a new laptop and you are on a tight budget, it can feel impossible to get what you need. However, you can get what you need if you are willing to look critically at what you really need and what you don’t need.

Of course, it will also require a bit of research and maybe watching the price to see if it fluctuates. If you have some time, you can check to see when laptops typically go on sale to see what you will get.

If you are will struggling to find a laptop under $400, we suggest going up a little bit to see if you can get what you need in that price range.

1. What do I need in a laptop, even one that is under $400 dollars?

All laptops should have good quality construction that won’t feel like it is going to break when you are typing on it. You also want to think about what you will use the laptop for. Do you need to have a great display if you are only going to be typing and researching on it?

If you are a photographer, you might need a good dsiplay so that you can edit and choose the best photos. You do want to look for a laptop that has at least 4GB of RAM and, if possible, an i5 processor.

Another thing you may want to consider is the battery life of your laptop. Having to plug it in on a regular basis may be easy for someone who only uses it in a dorm room or an office, but if you are on the go, you may need longer battery life.

2. Can I use a laptop under $400 for gaming?

Probably not. You will be able to play games like solitaire or a Facebook game, but you won’t be able to play a serious video game. None of the options listed above have dedicated gaming cards.

There are some features that may be appealing (like the battery life) for gaming, but you want to get a much better laptop if you are a serious gamer. Consider getting something that has better cooling, more memory, and more ports to connect everything you need.

3. Can I use a laptop under $400 for college?

Yes, you will be able to use a laptop that is under $400 for college. While it really does depend on your major, you should be fine. If you will be using your computer to edit videos or photos, you should probably check to see if there is a lab that will support that kind of work.

Students who need laptops that can carry massive data sets and RAM without lags may not be able to find what they need in this price range as well. However, for taking notes, doing research, and writing papers, these are just fine.

The only thing that you really want to pay attention to is the battery life. If you have longer lectures and want to take notes on your laptop, you will need to be sure that it will last (or you get a seat near an outlet).

4. What storage unit will I need to get if I buy a $400 laptop?

If you purchase a laptop that has a processor that has enough RAM support and a powerful processor, you should be able to get a static hard disk drive without 1TB of storage.

However, you can also get one with an SSD unit to help with boot-up speeds and to make your device more user friendly. However, within this price range and for normal use, you really won’t have to get anything special.

5. Is there a laptop under $400 that I can use for professional purposes?

If you want a basic laptop that you can use in a professional setting, then you can absolutely find what you need here. You won’t impress anyone, but you will be able to take notes, commute, and get some work done.

Even so, I would suggest increasing your budget if you can in any way, as these laptops are sometimes a bit slow and tend to degrade over time.

6. Is a standard clamshell laptop good enough or should I go with a 2-in-1?

If you are interested in having a laptop that productive and mobile, you should go for a 2-in-1 model. If you already have a tablet, or you don’t think you will use it, it is best to get a better quality laptop. The standard clamshell laptops in this price range tend to be just a little bit better.

Remember that most laptops are going to be fine for basic typing and web surfing. If you are going to be doing serious photo editing, video editing, or music production, it will be difficult to find a laptop in this price range that will give you what you need.

If you are able to go up even another $100, you may be able to find something better that will last longer. Even so, if you don’t need something that is so powerful, you should be able to get what you need out of one of these great options.

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