10 Best Laptops Under $400 in 2021 [Top Rated Models]

Find the top inexpensive laptops for school or work.

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The speed at which the budget laptop segment is innovating is both encouraging and disconcerting at the same time. Although you are never short of options as a buyer, any computer you purchase quickly becomes obsolete. Therefore, selecting a $400 laptop is tricky as you would want to purchase something functional, powerful, and that stays relevant for a considerable length of time.

These budget devices are a keenly contested arena with manufacturers enticing users into making purchases by putting across saleable schemes. Therefore, it is necessary to keep an open mind and take every aspect into account before picking the perfect laptop based on your requirements.

And to set expectations right off the bat. Don’t expect machines in this price range to come with an Intel Core i5 or other high-power processors (i.e., Intel i7 or Intel i9). But you can get a reliable machine with Core i3 laptops, decent RAM + SSD-based storage. This means that you won’t be able to perform graphic or CPU-intensive tasks. Still, you can use these budget laptops for everyday activities such as browsing the web, writing or editing documents, playing mid-range games, watching movies, using web conferencing apps, college use, online learning, etc.

Most importantly, you must know the features/specs you’re looking for beforehand. For instance, if you’re getting a laptop for your seniors, then you might consider getting the one with a DVD drive or easy accessibility options. In case you’re buying one for your child, then you might prefer a durable option.

If your budget is around $400, you might have to compromise on a few specs, depending on your preferences. Devices in this range don’t feature a powerful graphics card, long-lasting battery, responsive touchscreen, and portability, all at once. Therefore, you would want to get a clear idea of what the laptop will be used for and what’s important to you other than the price.

Best Laptops Under $400 in 2021

After searching through a seemingly endless number of selections, here’s is our list of the top 10 laptops that cost less than 400 USD. Also, instead of mentioning only the standard clamshell models, we will also talk about the convertibles and the touchscreen laptops. It’s important to note that even though we keep our articles up to date, the laptop market changes rapidly. Thus some models may be slightly more depending on availability and supply/demand factors.

So let’s begin with the list!

  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Pentium 6405U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch HD IPS (1366 x 768)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours

If you are interested in a budget device that combines a high-end display, exceptional processing performance, and a powerful battery, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is the laptop you might consider looking at.

CPU and GPU

In terms of processing power, Lenovo features the Intel Pentium 6405U chipset which is one of the best processors precisely for budget notebooks. Apart from that, the integrated Intel UHD graphics card renders additional performance enhancement to the inexpensive device. The notebook comes with a base clocking frequency of 2.4GHz which amplifies, if and when required.

RAM and Storage

You get 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD unit for faster data rendering. The DDR4 RAM complements the existing SoC and helps achieve better processing speeds.

Display and OS

It is the display that stands out with Lenovo bringing forth a 14-inch HD screen. The viewing angles are exemplary and the narrow bezels further enhance the visual quality.

Design, Keyboard and Touchpad

The Windows operating system allows you to toggle between the performance mode and the power saving mode, via the one-touch Q-control.

Lenovo features a standard touchpad and an ergonomic keyboard with decent key travel. Other specs include the HD webcam and built-in speakers with Dolby Audio support making it one of the best options for music listening. This machine also features a commendable, 180-degree design and weighs a mere 3.3 pounds.

Ports

Lenovo offers 2x USB USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0 and 1x HDMI along with the 3.5mm audio jack with the device, followed by decent Bluetooth and Wireless connectivity standards. The existing battery offers a steady backup of 6 hours despite the HD display at the helm.

Overall, the new Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is the perfect device to purchase if you are looking for an all-rounder in this budget segment.

Pros
  • Excellent display
  • Decent enough processing unit
  • Exceptional speakers
  • Decent collection of ports
  • Powerful battery
Cons
  • No USB Type-C with charging support
  • CPU: 2.6GHz AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD 
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: Integrated AMD Radeon Vega 3
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours

Acer has always been willing to manufacture powerful budget notebooks with revolutionary specifications and the Acer Aspire 5 is no different.

It’s important to note that laptops coming with Windows 10 in S mode (aka netbooks) are cheaper. S mode from Microsoft allows only apps from the Microsoft Store. Some people don’t like being restricted. Microsoft realized that and you can switch to Windows 10 Home edition for free.

CPU and GPU

This inexpensive laptop brings forth the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U chipset with a base clock speed of 2.6GHz. The existing SoC is perfectly supported by the AMD Radeon Vega 3 GPU which enhances the overall performance and even the visual quality.

RAM and Storage

Besides the exceptional mobile graphics processing unit, you get access to 4 gigs of RAM. It also features a 128GB solid-state storage unit, making it the best value laptop suited for faster data rendering and quick OS loading. Coming to the operating platform, this Acer model features Windows 10 in S mode, for enhancing the power saving quality.

Display

It is the display that stands out courtesy of the 15.6-inch Full HD screen with an overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The Widescreen IPS panel is extremely vibrant and boasts sharper viewing angles.

Keyboard and Peripherals

Another standout feature is the availability of a backlit keyboard and responsive touchpad at the sub-$400 price tag. Other innovative specs include powerful speakers featuring the TrueHarmony audio technology.

Design and Ports

In terms of physicality, this notebook looks exceedingly high-end, courtesy of the aluminum chassis, narrow screen bezels, and a sleek structure. The device weighs slightly less than 4 pounds and is quite easy to carry around. You can pair external storage units and other peripherals via the USB 3.1, USB 2.0, and other functional ports. Acer also packs in an built-in HD webcam and exceptional Wireless connectivity standards.

You also get a powerful battery offering up to 8 hours of extended support. Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 is typically a budget laptop, distinguishable courtesy of the brilliant display.

The Aspire 5 is one of the most popular budget laptops on the market and definitely the most popular budget model from Acer.

Pros
  • Enthralling display
  • Decent processing unit
  • Premium chassis
  • An exceptional collection of ports
  • Backlit keyboard
Cons
  • Only 4GB RAM
  • Windows 10 in S Mode
  • CPU: 1.2GHz Intel Core i3-1005G1
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch HD IPS (1366 x 768)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD
  • Battery: Up to 6 hours

Although it’s quite hard to get hold of a featured-packed notebook under the sub-$400 price tag, the Dell Inspiron 14 clearly fits the bill.

CPU and GPU

This laptop comes with the moderately powerful Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor that works in tandem with an integrated Intel UHD graphics card. What stands out is the availability of 4MB of cache memory that amplifies the processing speeds! The turbo clocking speed of up to 3.4GHz makes sure that the device can handle demanding tasks with ease.

RAM and Storage

The 4GB of RAM is a decent addition for the low price point followed by 128GB SSD. While the former speeds up data rendering and boot-ups, the latter allows you to store every document, file, and video in plain sight. In terms of OS, you get the interactive Windows 10 Home edition.

Display

The 14-inch HD display is a pretty standard addition. However, Dell takes innovation a notch higher with the multi-touch panel, featuring a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The HD screen quality is further enhanced by the slimmer bezels.

Keyboard and Peripherals

Dell brings in a resourceful keyboard that misses out on the backlit support. The touchpad on offer is equally responsive. This device brings forth a decent HD webcam and a powerful microphone, allowing you to handle video calls and professional commitments like Zoom meetings, even during the era of social distancing.

Design and Ports

The Dell Inspiron 14 is a durable device that is still quite sleek and weighs almost 6 pounds. Moreover, you get a host of USB Type-A ports on this device followed by other functional slots. The otherwise powerful battery offers at least 6 hours of backup if you use the touchscreen continually.

To sum it up, this model from Dell is a decently loaded device in terms of specifications but steals the show when multi-touch functionality is concerned.

Pros
  • PCIe SSD storage module
  • Decent collection of functional ports
  • Good processor
  • Commendable battery backup
Cons
  • Not a full HD display
  • No backlit keyboard
  • CPU: 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-10110U
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB SSD
  • Display: 13-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours

Chrome OS is the only other choice of operating platform that you can get for the sub-$400 price tag. Therefore, if you are looking to let go of the Windows 10 operating system, Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 is a perfect choice.

CPU and GPU

This model features the Intel Core i3-10110U processor with a base clock speed of 2.1GHz. Besides that, you also get Intel UHD integrated graphics for better visuals and amplified performances. Lenovo also brings forth 4MB of cache memory for increasing processing speeds.

RAM and Storage

Lenovo offers 4 gigs of RAM followed by a restricted yet ultra-fast storage space of 64GB. The built-in SSD unit results in the quickest possible boot-ups and faster data rendering. Moreover, you get Chrome OS as the built-in operating platform with a host of handy features, including unhindered access to Google accounts and cloud support.

Display

It is the display that stands out with Lenovo featuring an innovative 13-inch 1080p panel. The smaller screen size increases the pixel density and makes the touch screen look more vibrant. This device also supports an external pen that is sold separately by the company.

Keyboard and Peripherals

The backlit keyboard is quite aesthetic and complements the exceptional chassis with the 1.4mm key travel. Despite the responsive screen, Lenovo doesn’t compromise on the quality of the touchpad. Other specs include a built-in HD webcam and utilitarian speakers for seamless skype calls.

Design and Ports

The physical layout is a distinguishable characteristic of this device. The 360-degree, convertible layout allows you to use the same in laptop, tent, tablet, and the stand mode. Besides that, this is an enviously slim device that weighs a mere 2.97 pounds. Other productive features include a decent collection of ports in USB Type-C, Type-A, and other productive slots. Lenovo also boasts of excellent Bluetooth and Wireless connectivity standards.

The existing battery offers up to 10 hours of continued support. Therefore, it is possible to use this Chromebook for hardcore productivity tasks despite frequent electrical outages.

Overall, the Chromebook Flex 5 from Lenovo is probably the most portable and efficient device on the list, provided you are looking to try an operating platform other than Windows.

Pros
  • Exceptional design
  • Powerful processor with decent cache memory
  • Powerful battery
  • Enthralling display with touch support
  • Supports multiple form factors
Cons
  • Minimal storage space
  • CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Celeron
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD 610
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours

Working within a budget comes with compromises. Dell Inspiron 3583 is not going to surprise you with its outstanding performance, but it certainly covers a fair lot of ends in terms of cost, basic features, and the overall utility; under the $400 budget.

CPU and GPU

A dual-core processor Intel Celeron clocking at 1.6GHz and integrated Intel UHD Graphics 610 processor is sufficient for handling the processing requirement of basic activities like web surfing, media downloads, etc.

RAM and Storage

The dell system comes with 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD, which keeps the data transfers and processing at a decent pace.  The laptop comes with a Windows 10 Home edition in Secure mode. The secure mode of the operating system brings a similar windows experience, despite being limited by a low hardware configuration.

Display

The laptop comes with a recent display configuration, capable of keeping your video viewing experience pleasant. The Anti-glare, 15.6-inch High Definition display has a resolution capability of 1366 x 768 pixels capable of delivering 720p videos with ease. The backlit LED reduces energy consumption, making the while unit suitable for watching movies.

Keyboard and Peripherals

The dell laptop sports a full-sized keyboard with a dedicated numeric pad. The trackpad comes at its standard size, placed aesthetically to keep it away from the palm. The laptop also features a webcam that enables video conferencing with ease.

Ports and Design

The 3583 from Dell has the typical textured black body weighing close to 4.5 pounds. It has two USB Type-A ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port and an audio jack. The laptop also comes with 802.11 ac and Bluetooth connectivity.

With optimized usage, the battery backup of Dell Inspiron 3583 can be extended up to 5 hours. Despite being limited, it would offer mobility while using a laptop on regular day-to-day activities. The kids’ laptop from Dell comes with a 15.6-inch screen, 4GB RAM with Wi-Fi 5, and Bluetooth connectivity that would easily take you through most of the everyday use.

Pros
  • 15.6-inch HD Anti-glare Display
  • Windows 10 in Secure mode
  • 802.11 ac
  • 4 GB RAM
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Limited battery life
  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Pentium 6405U
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch HD IPS (1366 x 768)
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 605
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours

If you are looking for a laptop to use at home without having to spend more than 400 dollars, you must immediately opt for the HP 15.

CPU and GPU

The Pentium Gold 6405U is a decent addition with 2.4GHz base frequency. The performances are perfectly amplified by the Intel UHD 605 graphics card.

RAM and Storage

If you are looking for additional processing support for your work from home setup, the 4GB with a drive speed of 2666MHz is a decent addition. Besides offering decent data processing speeds, the existing RAM is also capable of handling demanding data-intensive tasks with minimal hiccups. In terms of storage, you get a 128GB SSD unit. Windows 10 Home edition is the pre-existing OS but the device also supports the S mode for saving additional power.

Display

In terms of display, the 15.6-inch LED panel is a standard addition. The cumulative screen resolution on offer is 1366 x 768 pixels. The narrow bezels measuring a mere 6.5mm are standout performers followed by the micro-edge panel.

Keyboard and Peripherals

HP also offers an ergonomic keyboard followed by a responsive touchpad that supports gestures. Other specs include the integrated HD webcam and an array of microphones. This device also features excellent acoustic output.

Ports

The HP 15 DW1083WM sports a metallic chassis and weighs slightly less than 6 pounds. Despite the durable exterior, this is still a pretty slim device. In terms of port management, HP generously stacks in the USB 3.1 Type-A, Type-C, and a host of other productive slots.

The powerful battery offers up to 8 hours of backup. Most importantly, HP brings forth the Fast Charge technology, capable of boosting the battery by up to 50 percent in less than 45 minutes. To sum things up, this laptop from HP is best suitable for everyday use and surfing the web.

Pros
  • Premium looking design
  • Dependable battery unit
  • 15.-6 inch wide LED screen
  • Handles basic programs
Cons
  • Inadequate storage

The PCIe-based SSD storage is generally found in high-end gaming laptops that cost around $2000 and in some cases even such premium devices would come with a normal SATA3 based SSD. If you’re looking for an affordable laptop with the fastest SSD, then the ASUS VivoBook 15 is worth looking at!

  • CPU: 1.2GHz Intel Core i3-1005G1
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel UHD G1
  • Battery: Up to 8 hours

Here is a new-age budget laptop from Asus that would set you back 400 dollars. Most importantly, the Asus VivoBook 15 is one of the best budget Windows laptops featuring some excellent, mid-range specifications.

CPU and GPU

To start with, you get the Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor based on the 10nm architecture which can clock at speeds of up to 3.4GHz. Besides that, ASUS also packs in 4MB of built-in cache memory to further amplify the processing performances. You also get the Intel UHD integrated graphics card which Asus provides to make way for cheap gaming under 400.

RAM and Storage

The VivoBook 15 boasts 4GB RAM and 128GB of SSD storage support. The PCIe SSD unit is faster as compared to the SATA3 counterpart. The company features Windows 10 S Mode as the existing operating platform. As we mentioned with the Acer laptop above, you can switch out of S mode to Windows Home for free.

Although 128GB PCIe SSD might seem a little less to many, it’s more than enough for working professionals like writers, stock traders, business managers, accountants, etc. And you could buy an external HDD if you need more storage.

Display

In terms of display, Asus features a sizeable 15.6-inch screen with an overall display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. What stands out is the NanoEdge display that makes sure you get almost 88 percent of display-to-body ratio, combined with exceptional viewing angles.

Keyboard and Peripherals

Asus features an ergonomic, backlit keyboard and an exceptional touchpad with an integrated fingerprint scanner. In terms of physicality, Asus brings forth the ErgoLift Hinge enhancement and a 1.4mm key travel for an optimal typing experience. Other specs include built-in speakers, featuring the Asus SonicMaster technology.

Ports

This is an extremely sleek device that weighs a mere 3.97 pounds. In terms of port management, you get USB Type-C, USB Type-A, and a host of other functional slots. Asus also brings forth exceptional wireless connectivity and Bluetooth support for enhanced productivity. In terms of battery support, the existing unit offers at least 8 hours, upon moderate to heavy usage.

Overall, the Asus VivoBook 15 is an exceptional device that doesn’t look like a budget laptop from any stretch of the imagination. Instead, it is a commendable performer, best suited for unhindered media consumption and academic assignments.

Pros
  • Powerful processor based on 10nm architecture
  • Excellent display
  • Powerful battery
  • Excellent physical attributes
Cons
  • Underwhelming storage capacity

8GB RAM + 256GB SSD-based storage makes this machine capable enough to run Microsoft Excel and other Microsoft Office programs. However, the CPU isn’t very powerful. In case you’re looking for a balanced laptop, then consider going for the first option.

  • CPU: 2.3GHz AMD Athlon 3050U
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch HD IPS (1366 x 768)
  • GPU: Integrated AMD Radeon Vega 3
  • Battery: Up to 5 hours

Provided you are looking to spend below 400 dollars for your new machine; the HP 14 is the premium device to look at. While the feature sets readily justify the budget tag, it is the processing unit that makes it a cheap powerful performer.

CPU and GPU

To start with, this laptop features the AMD Athlon 3050U chipset that comes with a decent turbo clocking speed of up to 3.2GHz. You also get 4MB of cache memory that perfectly complements the chipset and helps minimize the application access time. HP also features integrated AMD Radeon Vega 3 graphics for improved visuals and casual gaming.

RAM and Storage

You get access to 4 gigs of RAM on this device which is quite high-end for the mentioned price. Therefore, this laptop allows you to accomodate demanding productive, and data processing jobs without lags. Data rendering and boot-up speeds are also remarkable with the 128GB Solid-state storage unit in place. HP also features an interactive, power-saving operating platform in the Windows 10 Home edition.

Display

In terms of display, you get the 14-inch full HD IPS panel with a display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Although the viewing angles aren’t the sharpest, the anti-glare screen allows relentless visual and productive tasks without straining the eye. The micro-edge WLED panel makes sure that the display-to-body ratio is on the higher side.

Ports and Peripherals

In terms of port management, HP featues a USB Type-C and Type-A port in addition to the functional HDMI slot. The battery unit is slightly underwhelming with only offers 5 hours of backup. HP also boasts of decent Bluetooth and wireless connectivity standards. You also get a standard combination of an HD webcam and a decent microphone on this budget laptop.

Design

Overall, the HP 14-inch is a good computer for students who are slightly more inclined towards faster data processing and rendering. This model is still pretty sleek, with a thickness of less than an inch. Last but not least, the laptop weighs a mere 3.3 pounds, making it easier to carry to school or on trips.

Pros
  • Decent RAM support 
  • SSD unit is fast and offers decent storage capacity
  • Full HD panel with IPS technology
  • Has backlit keyboard
  • Light-weighted and easy to carry
Cons
  • Underwhelming battery life at 5 hours
  • CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Atom x7-Z8700
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB SSD
  • Display: 10.8-inch PixelSense (1920 x 1280)
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD
  • Battery: Up to 10 hours

Light-weighted budget laptops are easy to carry and the Microsoft Surface 3 is probably the best bargain of this flexibility. This innovative piece of hardware is nifty and aesthetically desirable.

CPU and GPU

In terms of processing power, the Intel Atom x7-Z8700 chipset performs satisfactorily courtesy of 2MB of built-in cache memory. This SoC brings forth a base clock speed of 1.6GHz but misses out on Turbo Boost. The integrated Intel HD graphics card is also a powerful processing component.

RAM and Storage

Microsoft adds to the processing repertoire with the 4GB built-in RAM and the 64GB SSD storage unit. This laptop is extremely portable, with Windows 10 Pro as the featured OS. However, it misses out on the complimentary Microsoft 365 office suite that you get on the other Microsoft Surface Books.

Display

The almost 11-inch full HD panel offers a cumulative display resolution of 1920 x 1280 pixels. The touch panel is extremely vibrant and boasts sharper viewing angles. This model also supports the inclusion of an external pen that needs to be purchased separately.

Keyboard and Peripherals

Microsoft features an aesthetic keyboard and a responsive touchpad followed by the inclusion of a Windows Hello powered front cam and a powerful 8MP rear shooter. Microsoft also brings forth integrated stereo speakers, further bolstered by Dolby Audio technology.

Design and Ports

Without a doubt, Microsoft Surface Go is the slimmest and lightest computer on our list. This model weighs a mere 2.6 pounds and even features the Corning Gorilla Glass panel as a potent structural element. In terms of port management, you get access to a USB Type-C, surface connect, and other essential and utilitarian slots.

The powerful battery offers up to 10 hours of extended backup. Overall, this is a small, slim, portable, and innovative device that is best known for the aesthetic prowess.

Pros
  • Excellent display
  • Brilliant aesthetics
  • Light-weighted chassis
  • Performance-oriented processor
Cons
  • Restricted storage space
  • CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4000
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB SSD
  • Display: 14-inch FHD LCD (1920 x 1080)
  • GPU: Intel Integrated UHD 600
  • Battery: Up to 14 hours

Here is yet another convertible laptop under $400 on our list, featuring an exceptional display, and dependable processing components. The Asus VivoBook Flip feels more like a mid-range device and not a typical budget notebook.

CPU and GPU

In terms of performance, this device is pretty nifty courtesy of the Intel Celeron N4000 CPU, capable of attaining turbo clock speeds of 2.6GHz. The Intel UHD 600 GPU also performs as per expectations.

RAM and Storage

You also get access to 4 gigs of LPDDR4 RAM and an ultra-fast 64GB eMMC storage module. Asus features the power-saving Windows 10 S mode. The company also features Microsoft Office 365 Suite as a complementary addition.

Display

The 14-inch touch screen is optimized and extremely responsive. The Full HD panel offers a display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and the narrow bezels further enhance the screen-to-chassis ratio. Asus also boasts of the 178-degree, wide-view technology.

Keyboard and Peripherals

The precision touch support is well-complemented by the excellent ergonomic keyboard and an efficient touchpad. Besides that, the device features a VGA webcam followed by a standard microphone and integrated speakers, powered by SonicMaster acoustic technology.

Design and Ports

The 2-in-1 device weighs a mere 3.3 pounds and comes an extremely slim chassis and an extremely durable metallic hinge supporting 360-degree convertibility. Moreover, the existing form factor allows you to use the same in the stand, tent, tablet, and even laptop mode. The company also brings forth the Type-C, Micro HDMI, and other functional ports for enhanced productivity.

Asus boasts of an excellent battery and offers up to 14 hours of backup, despite moderate to heavier usage. SuperBattery Technology makes the battery last almost three times more as compared to any other device in the same category. Overall, the VivoBook Flip is one of the more well-balanced models on our list, characterized by brilliant aesthetics.

Pros
  • Excellent battery module
  • Vibrant display
  • Brilliant structural design
  • Decent processor
Cons
  • Underwhelming eMMC storage unit

Frequently Asked Questions

What features should you look for in a $400 laptop?

A decent chunk of RAM, long-lasting battery, portability, decent display, and a generous array of ports.

Can you play games on a budget laptop?

A budget notebook can only support casual or older games, such as Minecraft, Diablo II, Quake, Starcraft, etc. It’s not powerful enough to play graphic-intensive games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Ghostrunner, or World of Warcraft: Shadowlands due to the lack of a dedicated graphics card. An integrated graphics card cannot process frame rates fast enough and almost every laptop on our list is unfit for hardcore and professional gaming.

Is a $400 laptop good enough for professional tasks?

A $400 laptop can handle video calls, spreadsheet processing, and basic productivity tasks, using web-based apps, that require minimal levels of professional assignments. However, if you are looking for a device that can handle more demanding tasks like photo or video editing, and more, the one with a decent chunk of RAM needs to be considered.

Are sub-$400 laptops powerful enough for Video and Photo Editing?

For professional editors who use software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Lightroom, Camtasia, and more, $400 laptops aren’t powerful enough, even if you upgrade the RAM. However, web-based photo editing (think Canva) and video editing (such as Animoto) are well-supported.

Why do most budget notebooks offer better battery life?

Most budget notebooks have underpowered or mid-range processing components that are power-efficient. Moreover, these devices are only used for basic productivity and academic tasks which puts minimal stress on the battery unlike the PCs dedicated towards high-end gaming.

Verdict

It isn’t easy to select the best laptops under $400 as there are several laptop brands and devices in the market to choose from. However, the final selection is at your discretion and based on personal and professional preferences.

  • If you’re looking for an overall top option, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a good choice.
  • While if you want a good-looking thin and light laptop, consider the Acer Aspire 5.
  • Lastly, if you are looking for a unique device that can handle intricate online schooling requirements without exceeding the budget, the Microsoft Surface 3 is a great option for students who are looking for a great laptop under $400.

Written By
Ray Kinton

A veteran techie from the days of the ZX Spectrum 48K. Ray enjoys technology, entrepreneurship, travel, writing and photography, and always looking for ways to improve his skills. He has built many computers and enjoys tinkering with technology. Follow Ray on Twitter

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