Finding the Best Budget Laptops Under $400

Last Edited: June 20, 2017 by

Finding-the-Best-Budget-Laptops-Under-$400

Welcome to our pro budget guide to the best laptops under $400 money can buy based on hardware performance, ease of use, design and raw consumer feedback.

One level up in the price range from our previous guide to laptops under $300 in our series of budget guides to cheap laptops, the $400 dollar price range offers a number of full fledged 15-inch laptop deals as well as more portable 13-inch netbooks that will cover all of our basic computing needs, perfect for studies, word processing  and media consumption. For entry level gaming we recommend our budget gaming laptop guide which features more laptops with dedicated graphics units. Most of the best full-size budget laptops start at around $350 upwards, the entry point for a new laptop with some half decent modern hardware, although for closer to $300 you will also find some seriously competitive deals on both portable netbooks and all-purpose budget 15-inch laptops. Gamers will also be happy to know that the integrated graphics on all current i3 based chips in this list offers Intel HD 4000 graphics, capable of running many popular games including Counter Strike GO, Dota and League of Legends at playable framerates. The Quad Core based Pentium N3540 chips also offer Bay Trail based Intel graphics which also provide adequate performance for many popular games. Non-gaming users with a bigger budget should also head over to our all-purpose laptop guides for laptops under $500 and $1000 respectively or our high-end laptops guide for some more premium options.

Top Picks >> Under $400 >> Chromebooks >>

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Laptops Under $400 – Top Picks

These are our top picks curated through hours of research each week to provide a one stop guide to the best budget  sub-$400 laptops on the market. This guide is updated regularly with new specials and laptops as they become available so you can be sure you’re not missing out on any great deals.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-inchAcer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-inch

If you are looking for a budget friendly laptop that ticks all the boxes, then the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM is well worth a closer look. It not only features the latest Intel Kaby Lake processor, it also features next generation connectivity such as USB 3.1 Type-C and Bluetooth 4.1. Powered by a 7th generation Intel Core i3-7100U processor and 4GB of DDR4 RAM, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM will easily cope with basic tasks such as video streaming, web browsing and word processing. But the 4GB of RAM will struggle with more hardware intensive apps. Luckily, Acer has fitted the laptop with an access panel that makes upgrading the RAM a whole lot easier. If you are on a tight budget then we recommend installing a second 4GB RAM module, but if your budget is slightly larger, we recommend installing two 8GB RAM modules for a total of 16GB of RAM. While many sub $500 laptops are still being offered with entry level 1366 x 768 display panels, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM comes with a Full-HD display. The 1920 x 1080 display offers great image quality and with Acer’s ColorBlast technology, you get more than twice as many colors as other budget laptops. If you spend long hours working on your laptop, then Acer’s BluelightShield feature will help to reduce eye strain by reducing the amount of blue light that is emitted from the display. Overall the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM is packed for of great features that you would expect from more expensive laptops, giving it a great price to performance ratio.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 5.27 lbs

Pros

  • Full-HD display
  • 7th Gen Intel processor
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Battery life
  • Price to performance ratio

Cons

  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • Slower 5400rpm HDD

Summary

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM offers a lot of great hardware for its sub $400 price tag. But you only get 4GB of RAM and we recommend upgrading to increase the laptop’s day-to-day performance.

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-inch
$349.99
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(as of 28-06-2017 15:52 UTC) Details

ASUS F556UA-AB32 15.6-inchASUS F556UA-AB32 15.6-inch

The ASUS F556UA-AB32 replaces the ASUS F555LA-AB31 in ASUS’s line up of affordable laptops. Sporting an updated Intel Core i3-6100U processor, the ASUS F556UA-AB32 now boasts more power than its predecessor. The Skylake-based processor allows the ASUS F556UA-AB32 to run the newer DDR4 RAM, which offers improved performance over its older DDR3L counterpart. While you still only get 4GB of RAM, this will easily cope with basic tasks such as Skype, Internet browsing and word processing. For more RAM hungry apps such as Google Chrome, we recommend adding a second 4GB RAM module, however this is not as easy as with other laptops on the market. ASUS have also doubled the storage space to 1TB, however you still get a slower 5400rpm mechanical drive that will mean slower boot and app loading times. Sporting a crystal clear 15.6-inch Full-HD display, the ASUS F556UA-AB32 will cater to media enthusiasts who enjoy streaming online content. The award winning ASUS SonicMaster audio is paired with stereo speakers to allow you to enjoy your favorite music or audiobooks while you work. ASUS have also used a polymer battery, which offers 2.5 times the lifespan of a standard Li-ion battery. This will allow you to work for longer between charges. Another new feature is the addition of a USB 3.1 Type-C port, which will allow you to use a host of next generation computer peripherals. ASUS have once again included their Ice Cool technology which keeps the touchpad and palmrest area of the laptop nice and cool at all times for ergonomic comfort while typing. All-in-all you get a great laptop for a bargain price.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.1 lbs

Pros

  • Intel Skylake-based processor
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Ample storage space
  • Polymer battery

Cons

  • Only two full size USB ports
  • Slower hard drive
  • Not easy to upgrade
  • VGA webcam

Summary

The ASUS F556UA-AB32 offers decent hardware for everyday users at a bargain price. However the slower storage drive and the limited RAM might annoy some users as it is not easy to replace.

ASUS F556UA-AB32 15.6-inch
$364.99
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(as of 28-06-2017 15:52 UTC) Details

HP 15-ay191ms Signature Edition 15.6-inchHP 15-ay191ms Signature Edition 15.6-inch

The HP 15-ay191ms Signature Edition is one of the first budget friendly laptops from HP to feature the new Kaby Lake range of Intel processors. Its seventh generation Intel Core i3-7100U processor is backed by a healthy 8GB of DDR4 RAM, which allows the HP 15-ay191ms Signature Edition to easily handle everyday tasks with ease. The HP 15-ay191ms is part of the Signature Edition range of laptops from Microsoft, these laptops ship without any third-party bloatware. You will still have to deal with some of the Microsoft applications, however these are easily removed for a clean version of Windows 10. The 10-finger multi-touch display is quite responsive and will allow you to easily navigate through Windows 10 or while using your favorite web browser. You get good viewing angles for a non-IPS display, however, like most budget friendly laptops you only get a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768-pixels. This is not a deal breaker as you will still be able to comfortably watch your favorite 720p movies and videos on the HP 15-ay191ms. You also get Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 620 graphics chip, which will allow you to play some newer games on lower settings. While it is not intended for the hardcore gamer, this graphics chip will allow for some casual gaming. To store all of your multimedia files and documents, you get a large 1TB hard drive. This will allow you to store an estimated 250,000 Smartphone photos or an estimated 17,000 hours of music.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.75 hours battery life
  • 4.6 lbs

Pros

  • Fast processor
  • Healthy amount of RAM
  • Ample storage space
  • No third-party bloatware
  • Touchscreen display

Cons

  • Plastic construction
  • Slower hard drive
  • Only one USB 3.0 port

Summary

The HP 15-ay191ms Signature Edition is a budget friendly laptop that ships with no third-party bloatware. However the standard 5400rpm hard drive will mean slower boot times and app loading times.

HP 15-ay191ms Signature Edition 15.6-inch
$395.00
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(as of 08-06-2017 00:05 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron I5566-3000BLK 15.6-inchDell Inspiron I5566-3000BLK 15.6-inch

Dell is a household name when it comes to laptops and the Dell Inspiron I5566-3000BLK joins the list of great affordable laptops from this computer giant. For the price, you won’t get a metal unibody and will have to instead settle for the cost cutting plastic shell. Though the plastic body still manages to look sleek and elegant and is even durable enough to be used as a college or school laptop. The display might lack the quality of a Full-HD display, though it still manages to offer decent image quality and vivid colors for streaming your favorite media. While the lower resolution display offers less onscreen space that might put off some users, it does win back some points by being a touchscreen display. This handy feature has become an everyday feature thanks to smartphones and helps you to navigate around Windows with ease. To ensure that you can run a host of everyday applications, the Dell Inspiron I5566-3000BLK features a seventh generation Intel Core i3-7100U processor. Backing up the processor is 6GB of memory, though this will be pushed to the limits if you intend on using the popular Google Chrome browser which is extremely memory intensive. Some users have mentioned that the Dell Inspiron I5566-3000BLK takes longer to start up and this is due to the slower 5400rpm storage drive that has been fitted to reduce costs. It does offer far more storage space than budget friendly SSDs and this is great news for users with large amounts of audio files and photos. Some users have mentioned that there might be some issues with the trackpad, though this can be combatted with a good, cheap wireless mouse.

  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6.25 hours battery life
  • 5.2 lbs

Pros

  • Touchscreen
  • Latest Intel i3 processor
  • Ample storage space
  • Elegant plastic design

Cons

  • Slow storage drive
  • Lower resolution display
  • Possible trackpad issues
  • Only one USB 3.0 port

Summary

The Dell Inspiron I5566-3000BLK is a great choice for college and school student, though the slower hard drive might frustrate some users.

Dell Inspiron I5566-3000BLK 15.6-inch
$399.99$346.76
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from Amazon.com
(as of 28-06-2017 16:31 UTC) Details

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More Laptops Under $400

HP Pavilion 15-BA079DX 15.6-inchHP Pavilion 15-BA079DX 15.6-inch

HP has been releasing budget friendly laptops for a number of years and it is fair to say that they have mastered the art of producing good entry level laptops. What sets the HP Pavilion 15-BA079DX apart from some of the other HP laptops is the fact that it is completely black and features a responsive touch screen. While it has a plastic construction, it does look quite elegant thanks to the all-black color scheme. While it is in no way a laptop for power users, you do get a 7th generation AMD A10-9600P processor and 6GB of RAM, which will easily cope with all your day-to-day tasks. You won’t have any issues running basic tasks such as web browsing, Skype and word processing. The display is quite average and as with almost all budget laptops you get an entry level 1366 x 768 pixel display. While it won’t offer great viewing angles, it does offer vivid colors and good image quality for 720p video streaming. The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for all of your home and office needs. But it is a slower 5400rpm hard drive which will mean that Windows will take longer to boot and some apps might take longer to launch. You can always swap out the hard drive for an SSD, but for basic everyday use it is not necessary. HP claims a battery life of around 5 hours, but realistically you can expect between 3-4 hours off of a full charge.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 4.72 lbs

Pros

  • 7th generation AMD CPU
  • Ample storage space
  • Lighter than most 15.6-inch laptops
  • All-black color scheme
  • Touchscreen display

Cons

  • Slower Windows boot time
  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • No AC WiFi

Summary

The HP Pavilion 15-BA079DX is a budget friendly laptop that looks elegant and features a 7th generation AMD processor. But it is not suited for power users looking to edit photos or videos.

HP Pavilion 15-BA079DX 15.6-inch
$378.99
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(as of 05-06-2017 06:20 UTC) Details

Leneovo Ideapad 310 80SM003SUS 15.6-inchLeneovo Ideapad 310 80SM003SUS 15.6-inch

When it comes value for money laptops that won’t break the bank, Lenovo is one of the most recognized brands on the market. They have been releasing laptops for the budget conscious buyer since they took over IBM’s personal computer division in 2005. The Lenovo Ideapad 310 80SM003SUS wasn’t designed for the hardcore gamer or for the power user, but was designed for the everyday home and office use. Its all-plastic design is relatively durable and can withstand its fair share of abuse. Powering the Lenovo Ideapad 310 80SM003SUS is a sixth generation Skylake-based Intel Core i3-6100U processor and 4GB of DDR4 2133MHz RAM, which is enough for basic tasks such as email, Skype and web browsing. You can add a single 4GB DDR4 RAM module to the laptop to bring it up to the maximum of 8GB that the laptop supports. However, you will have to make sure that it is 2133MHz RAM to match the installed 4GB that are soldered to the motherboard. While the 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for all of your work and multimedia files, it is a slower 5400rpm drive. This will mean that your Windows OS will boot slower than laptops with SSD and Hybrid drives and your apps will take a bit longer to load. While this is not a train smash, you can have a look through our guide for a laptop that comes stock with an SSD storage drive. The display offers good image quality and acceptable viewing angles despite being an entry-level display panel. You will easily be able to binge watch your favorite movies and series in HD (720p).

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 4.8 lbs

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Intel Skylake i3 processor
  • Ample storage space
  • Good audio quality
  • Impressive display

Cons

  • RAM is soldered to the motherboard
  • Slower Windows boot speeds
  • Small Right hand Shift key
  • Average battery life

Summary

The Lenovo Ideapad 310 80SM003SUS is a budget friendly laptop for basic tasks at home or at the office. But the Windows boot time is slightly slower due to the 5400rpm hard drive.

Lenovo Ideapad 310 80SM003SUS 15.6-inch
$479.99$349.00
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from Lenovo.com
(as of 05-06-2017 05:10 UTC) Details

ASUS VivoBook X540LA-SI30205P 15.6-inchASUS VivoBook X540LA-SI30205P 15.6-inch

The ASUS VivoBook X540LA-SI30205P is another one of ASUS’s budget laptops that offers good value for money. For under $400 you get a USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen 1) port, Bang & Olufsen designed audio and a comfortable keyboard for word processing and emailing. Powering the ASUS VivoBook X540LA-SI30205P is a 5th generation Intel Core i3-5020U processor and 4GB of DDR3L RAM, and while it is not the most powerful hardware it will allow you to complete basic tasks with ease. You can easily and cheaply upgrade the RAM to 8GB and this will allow you to run more memory intensive apps such as Photoshop. The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample space for storing all of your work and multimedia files, but you do get a slower 5400rpm hard drive for the price. You can upgrade the hard drive to a faster 7200rpm hard drive or if you don’t mind the reduced storage space, then you can look at a superfast solid state drive. The display offers vivid colors and the image quality is good for its price, but the TN display doesn’t offer very good viewing angles. With a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768, the display doesn’t stand out from its competitors and is what we would expect from a laptop priced under $400. When it comes to battery life, the ASUS VivoBook X540LA-SI30205P is no winner either, you can expect between 4-5 hours off of a full charge under ideal conditions.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.5 hours battery life
  • 4.19 lbs

Pros

  • Value for money
  • B&O designed audio
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Ample storage space

Cons

  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • Older Intel processor
  • Average battery life
  • Only 2 full size USB ports

Summary

The ASUS VivoBook X540LA-SI30205P is a budget friendly laptop that offers great value for your money, but the 4GB of installed RAM might leave it feeling sluggish when it comes to multitasking.

ASUS VivoBook X540LA-SI30205P 15.6-inch
$380.00
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(as of 28-06-2017 15:52 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire ES1-572-31XL 15.6-inchAcer Aspire ES1-572-31XL 15.6-inch

The cut throat budget laptop market has seen many great laptops being offered by most of the big name brands. Acer is no stranger to the budget market and has been releasing laptops for the budget conscious buyer for a number of years. The Acer Aspire ES1-572-31XL is powered by a Skylake Intel Core i3-6100U processor and 4GB of RAM, which will cope with basic tasks with ease. But the 4GB of RAM is slightly underpowered with Windows 10 and apps such as Google Chrome and Adobe Photoshop. But luckily Acer has made it quite easy to access the internal hardware to upgrade the RAM, we recommend at least 8GB of RAM for smoothest performance. The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for college papers or for those all important holiday snaps. To cut costs Acer has used a 5400rpm drive, which for day-to-day use is more than acceptable, but users who are after faster Windows boot and app loading times can easily upgrade the hard drive to a hybrid or solid state drive. While it is not designed to be a gaming laptop, the Acer Aspire ES1-572-31XL will run older titles with acceptable frame rates for casual gaming.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.29 lbs

Pros

  • 1TB of storage space
  • Skylake i3 processor
  • Bright and sharp display
  • Easily upgradable

Cons

  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • Heavy

Summary

The Acer Aspire ES1-572-31XL is a budget friendly laptop for basic home users and college students. Though the hardware is slightly underpowered for photo or video editing.

Acer Aspire ES1-572-31XL 15.6-inch
$399.00$349.00
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(as of 01-06-2017 13:49 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron I3558-9136BLK 15.6-inchDell Inspiron I3558-9136BLK 15.6-inch

When it comes to entry level laptops, most budget buyers will prefer performance over aesthetics. The Dell Inspiron I3558-9136BLK features updated hardware and Dell has addressed some of the issues from its predecessor. With a 5th generation Intel Core i3 processor and 6GB of RAM, the Dell Inspiron I3558-9136BLK will cope with everyday tasks and can even run Adobe Photoshop or CorelDRAW. The 1TB mechanical drive offers plenty of storage space, and the slower 5400rpm speeds won’t affect most day-to-day tasks. The Intel HD 5500 graphics will run older and classic games with acceptable frame rates, but newer titles will struggle even at the lowest of settings. Its 15.6-inch touchscreen display offers a maximum resolution of 1366×768, but colors and image quality are average for its price point. The touchscreen is quite responsive and allows users to quickly and easily navigate around Windows 10. Users have criticised the all plastic chassis and covers, but this helps to keep the weight and the costs down, which is import in the budget laptop segment. Overall, potential buyers will be impressed with the Dell Inspiron I3558-9136BLK value for money performance, despite its no frills design.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 7.5 hours battery life
  • 4.85 lbs

Pros

  • Responsive touchscreen
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 1TB hard drive

Cons

  • Display quality
  • Sound quality

Summary

A good entry level machine with good hardware and a responsive touchscreen. Unfortunately the sound quality leaves much to be desired.

Dell Inspiron I3558-9136BLK 15.6-inch
$373.86
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(as of 28-06-2017 15:56 UTC) Details

Lenovo Z50-75 Signature Edition 15.6-inchLenovo Z50-75 Signature Edition 15.6-inch

Lenovo is no stranger when it comes to offering great laptops for the budget market. One of their latest offerings is the new Lenovo Z50-75 Signature Edition laptop, which offers decent specs and a very attractive price. Its plastic shell looks very unassuming, but it is quite sturdy and will take a bit of a beating without breaking. Sporting AMD’s more powerful FX-7500 processor and a healthy 8GB of RAM, the Lenovo Z50-75 Signature Edition will cope with day-to-day tasks with ease. Featuring a more powerful Radeon R7 GPU, the Lenovo Z50-75 Signature Edition can be used for casual gaming and for video editing. But we do recommend upgrading to 16GB to improve performance while using video and photo editing apps. For those users who need quite a bit off storage space, the Z50-75 offers a sizable 1TB mechanical hard drive for all your multimedia files. Though it is a 5400rpm drive, users can look at upgrading to a Hybrid or solid state drive for increased performance. But a 1TB SSD will set you back quite a few dollars. The display is rather average and this is one area where Lenovo has cut costs. But despite its maximum resolution of 1366 x 768, users can comfortably enjoy 720p videos. While many other laptops offer decent battery life these days, the Z50-75 barely manages to squeeze out 5 hours under ideal conditions. With its average battery life, the Lenovo Z50-75 Signature Edition is more suited as being a desktop replacement at home or at work.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.25 hours battery life
  • 5.15 lbs

Pros

  • Quad Core FX processor
  • 1TB of storage space
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Price

Cons

  • Battery life
  • Display quality
  • Only one USB 3.0 port

Summary

The Lenovo Z50-75 Signature Edition is one of the latest budget offering from Lenovo, offering decent hardware it will do great as a home or office laptop. But the poor battery life limits its portability.

Lenovo Z50-75 Signature Edition 15.6-inch
$365.00
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(as of 06-06-2017 00:04 UTC) Details

Acer Aspire E5-575-54E8 15.6-inchAcer Aspire E5-575-54E8 15.6-inch

With the Aspire E5-575-54E8, Acer has once again created a budget friendly laptop with great hardware and next generation ports. The metallic visual effect gives the Acer Aspire E5-575-54E8 a sleek design that is also extremely beautiful. Powered by a powerful Skylake Intel Core i5-6200U and 6GB of DDR4 RAM, the Acer Aspire E5-575-54E8 will cope with day-to-day tasks with ease. The hardware will also run more intensive apps such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, but we recommend upgrading the RAM to 16GB for better performance. While its slightly more expensive big brother the Aspire E5-575G-53VG features a Full-HD display, the Aspire E5-575-54E8 has a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768. The Acer CineCrystal technology offers brilliant colors and crisp image quality, but the maximum brightness levels are lower than average. To ensure that users have ample storage space for their work and multimedia files, Acer has fitted the Acer Aspire E5-575-54E8 with a 1TB mechanical hard drive. The USB 3.1 Type-C offers users the ability to use next generation external devices and gives the Acer Aspire E5-575-54E8 an edge over many of its competitors. While it is not designed to be a gaming laptop, the Acer Aspire E5-575-54E8 can be used for casual gaming thanks to its Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU chip.

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 4.92 lbs

Pros

  • USB Type-C
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Good battery life
  • Price

Cons

  • Dim display
  • Slightly thicker

Summary

The Acer Aspire E5-575-54E8 is a powerful budget friendly laptop that offers great hardware specs and even features a USB 3.1 Type-C port. But the display panel offers lower maximum brightness levels that will be noticeable in well-lit areas.

Acer Aspire E5-575-54E8 15.6-inch
$388.00
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(as of 01-06-2017 13:50 UTC) Details

ASUS F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch

ASUS F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch

The Asus F555LA-AB31 is a new addition to the Asus family. Sporting a crystal clear 15.6” matte Full HD display that is viewable from nearly all angles, the F555LA is perfect for media enthusiasts. The award winning Asus Sonicmaster sound paired with the brilliant display make watching HD content a pleasant experience, although some users did report minor screen bleed around the edges. Asus have included their Ice Cool technology which keeps the touchpad and palmrest area of the laptop nice and cool at all times for ergonomic comfort while typing. Another great advantage is Windows 10 being pre-installed which is far better at utilizing hardware efficiently allowing for better performance than windows 8.1. While not the fastest on the market, the Intel Core i3 coupled with 4GB of DDR3 RAM make for an all round pleasant computing experience running basic day to day apps for a bargain price.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 4.6 lbs

Pros

  • Full-HD Screen
  • Great price
  • Good sound

Cons

  • Slight screen bleed
  • Hard drive not easy to replace
  • Dim display

Summary

At this price you are getting a great performing Windows 10 laptop with a FHD screen and fast wireless connectivity. Only slight screen bleed at the bottom and basic users will struggle to upgrade the hard drive.

ASUS F555LA-AB31 15.6-inch
$499.99$396.78
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(as of 02-06-2017 02:59 UTC) Details

Lenovo-Flex-3-80LX0026US-11.6

Lenovo Flex 3 80LX0026US 11.6-inch

Like the Satellite Radius, the Flex 3 is a budget convertible with a versatile 360-degree hinge, a responsive touchscreen and low-end hardware suitable for basic tasks like video streaming, web browsing and word processing. It has a travel friendly design that weighs just 3 pounds and measures only 0.8 inches thick, with a large battery to get you through the day and then some. With rounded corners, smooth black-plastic finish and brushed-finished interior, it has an almost high-end aesthetic. As a budget convertible, it had to make compromises somewhere and this can be seen on the island style keyboard which feels cheaply made with shallow keys. The touchpad offers better performance with fast response and fluid navigation. The 360 degree hinge allows the keyboard to flex to seamlessly switch to one of these four modes: Laptop, tent, tablet and stand. However, most users will probably spend most of their time on either the tablet or laptop mode. Another budget feature is its 11-inch touch panel with a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution. If you put it against a high-end laptop, the low quality of the display becomes evident with faded colors and low brightness. However, the screen is similar to the ones on other budget hybrids and it’s perfectly usable for daily use. Music lovers may be disappointed with its bottom mounted speakers, which produced mediocre audio despite Dolby Digital enhancements. With a 2.16 GHz Intel Celeron N2840 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB Hard Drive, the Flex 3 carries similar hardware as many budget competitors including Radius 11, Stream 11 and Toshiba Chromebook 13. The notebook does well in real world tests involving everyday computing. However, the system performance declines under stressful scenarios like rigorous multitasking and HD video encoding. Forgetting all the minor issues, the Flex 3 is easily one of the best 2-in-1 convertibles in the budget category when it comes to build quality, multimode design and endurance.

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 3 lbs

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing design
  • Responsive touch panel
  • Lightweight
  • Very affordable
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Dull display
  • Underpowered CPU

Summary

A lightweight affordable device with a accurate and responsive touchscreen. The battery life is impressive and the price is even better. The critical points would be the dull display that lacks crisp colour and the entry level CPU which doesn't handle demanding apps too well.

Lenovo Flex 3 80LX0026US 11.6-inch
$329.99$272.79
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from Amazon.com
(as of 28-06-2017 16:13 UTC) Details


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Chromebooks Under $400

Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US 12.3-inchSamsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US 12.3-inch

If you are looking for a thin and light laptop for your studies, then the Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US is well worth considering. It features a sleek design, weighs in at 2.38-pounds and at just 0.51-inches thick, it is among the thinnest of the Chromebooks on the market. While other ChromeBooks are generally inexpensive, the Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US commands a higher price due to the fact that its features are more in line with that of mid-range Windows laptops. The Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US sports a Rockchip Hexa-Core OP1 processor with 4GB of DDR3L RAM, which give it the edge over some of its slightly cheaper counterparts. While you might not get an Intel processor, the Rockchip OP1 has been optimized in conjunction with Google for Chrome OS. You also get double the storage space of most Chromebooks, however the 32GB will fill up quickly if you intend on storing larger documents or multimedia files. You can purchase a large MicroSD card to extend the laptop’s storage space and we recommend a good 128GB MicroSD card. If you are permanently connected to the Internet, then you can make use of Google Drive as they offer great packages for under $10 a month. With a good battery life, the Samsung ChromeBook Plus will easily make it through all of your classes at college. The high resolution QHD display can be folded 360-degrees and with the included pen you will be able to take notes with ease. While it does run the more limited Chrome OS, you will still be able to use Microsoft Office thanks to Microsoft Office Online. The only major downside is that it only features two USB 3.1 Type-C ports that require adapters in order to use a standard USB port. Luckily Samsung have included an adapter in the box, which is more than what you get with Apple’s MacBook.

  • Rockchip OP 1 Cortex-A53/Cortex-A72 2.0GHz
  • Mali-T860 MP4 Shared
  • 4GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • 32GB SSD
  • 12.3 inch, 2400 x 1600 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.38 lbs

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • 8-Core processor
  • Pen for drawing and taking notes
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Only 2 USB 3.1 Type-C ports
  • Limited apps
  • Chrome OS
  • Limited storage space

Summary

The Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US is a powerful Chromebook that is perfect for all of your college classes. The included pen will make taking notes much easier and will allow you to save them as digital copies.

Samsung Chromebook Plus XE513C24-K01US 12.3-inch
$449.99$408.90
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from Amazon.com
(as of 28-06-2017 15:52 UTC) Details

Acer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM 14-inchAcer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM 14-inch

The Acer Chromebook 14’s all-aluminum chassis make it look and feel like it costs much more than its modest price tag. This makes it stand out amongst competitors, and despite the metal design, it remains light enough to carry around easily. Sporting a 1920 x 1080p resolution, its display is sharp and reproduces colors accurately. However, it is not bright enough for comfortable outdoor use, and its color palette is middling at best, but understandable at this price point. Moving on to input devices, the keyboard offers nice feedback and is well spaced out, but we would have liked deeper travel. It is by no means bad, but it tires you out faster than other keyboards. The touchpad, however, is smooth, accurate, and correctly registers multi-touch gestures. Acer fit an Intel Celeron N3160 processor and backed it up with 4GB of low power RAM. Office apps run like a breeze, and there is no visible lag during multitasking. Intel Celeron processors are also designed to be as efficient as possible, and this allows the Chromebook a long 10-hour battery life that will last any school day. Unfortunately, the integrated graphics will not tolerate anything except light gaming. This might actually be a good thing, seeing as how you should be studying rather than playing computer games.

  • 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 3.42 lbs

Pros

  • Premium metal design
  • Sturdy build
  • Full-HD screen
  • Long battery life
  • Great speakers
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • Shallow keyboard
  • Dim light
  • Underpowered processor
  • No SD card slot

Summary

The Acer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM offers much more than its modest price tag suggests, and with its long battery life and compact design, it makes for a great carry-on device.

Acer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM 14-inch
$299.99$294.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 28-06-2017 15:57 UTC) Details

Samsung-Chromebook-2-XE500C12-K01US-11.6-Inch

Samsung Chromebook 2 XE500C12-K01US 11.6-inch

The Samsung Chromebook 2, with its black chassis and a matte finish, is a very elegant machine. It looks and feels more like a regular laptop than a cheap netbook. Armed with an eight-core Samsung Exynos 5 processor and 4GB of RAM, it outshines competing Chromebooks from Acer and HP, which are equipped with less powerful CPU’s and half the amount of memory. However, the Samsung Chromebook 2 costs over $60 more than the Intel-Celeron integrated competitors. Tied to the Chrome OS, most of its functionality is useful only when you’re online, but users who are always browsing will prefer this cheap option over the more expensive, entry-level Windows machines.

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Chrome OS
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 2.60 lbs

Pros

  • Good processor
  • Generous amount of RAM
  • Anti-glare screen

Cons

  • Less competitively priced
  • Low resolution display

Summary

While being priced slightly higher than its competitors the Samsung Chromebook 2 XE500C12-K01US makes up for it with its above entry level specs and anti-glare display, although it does have a slightly lower resolution.

Samsung Chromebook 2 XE500C12-K01US 11.6-Inch
$299.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 28-06-2017 16:25 UTC) Details

This covers all of the current laptops that we’d recommend checking out. If you can spare a few bucks be sure to check our guide to laptops under $500 . For more options and reviews be sure to checkout our other guides to cheap laptops which can help save you time and money in the search for the ultimate machine to meet your needs. If you have more than a few hundred bucks to spare then our best all-purpose laptop guides will be your best bet to find top of the line machines at awesome prices. If you find a new laptop you think deserves a spot on our list not listed here feel free to drop us a line and we’ll get right on it. Let the hunt continue!

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