10 Best Gaming Laptops Under $400 of 2021 (Top Picks)

Getting a good laptop on a slim budget is a big headache.

The reason is that there are hundreds of cheap products that don’t deliver on their promise. In fact, investing in many of them will end in tears. Truly, when going for a laptop under $400 you need to keep your expectations low. But does that mean you should accept any garbage out there? Certainly not! However, digging through the trash to find the gold can be a herculean task for a professional, talk more of a novice.

The best laptops under 400 dollars are those that still allow you to carry out day-to-day computing with minimal difficulties. Apart from their processors, some of them have specs that would surprise you. This list is a product of several hours of research. We scanned through several online reviews, looked at market trends in top e-commerce shops as well as tested a few products ourselves.

Review of the Best Gaming Laptops Under $400 of 2021

One characteristic of budget laptops that still persist in 2021 is the tendency to look bulky and distasteful. We don’t like that too which explains the reason why all the laptops on our list have a classy appearance. In terms of RAM and processor speed, some of the laptops on our list will leave you in awe. It’s probably best you have a look at the list yourself.

Asus VivoBook 15 – Best gaming laptop under $400

When it comes to gaming, only a few laptops under $400 can come close to what Asus VivoBook 15 has to offer. The Full HD 4-way NanoEdge bezels are probably the first feature that will catch your interest—but there is even more that makes it a treasure for low-budget gamers. It runs on the 10th generation Intel Core i3 with a speed of up to 3.4 GHz. This pairs with an 8GB RAM to deliver speed a smooth gaming experience, particularly for games with medium to low requirements.

Apart from gaming, Asus VivoBook 15 has the exclusive ErgoLift keyboard design which improves typing experience. The inclusion of fingerprint sensor helps to improve your security. Complementing the impressive visuals is the Asus SonicMaster audio technology with deeper bass. Also, you will get up to 8 hours of battery life, thanks to the lithium-polymer battery. It incorporates a fast-charge technology that gives you 60% power in just 49 minutes.

The backlit keyboard keeps you on top of your controls in low-light environment. Asus VivoBook 15 is thing and just slightly heavy at 3.5 pounds. One feature that should impress you is the inclusion of USB Type-C port—you know what that means. There is one-year accidental damage protection on this one but only users in the USA and Canada can access it.


  • Full HD display with 4-way NanoEdge bezels
  • ErgoLift keyboard design improves typing and cooling
  • Asus SonicMaster audio technology with deeper bass
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life
  • Large RAM size


  • Slightly heavy
  • Lacks DVD drive

Acer Aspire 5 – Best overall

Any list of budget laptops will never be complete without the inclusion of Acer Aspire 5 Slim. While well within $400 budget, this laptop beats the odds in several areas. It runs on the AMD Ryzen 3 Dual Core processor with a speed of up to 3.5GHz. Some statistics suggests that this processor performs better than Intel Core i3. This pairs with 4GB RAM to give your seamless multitasking experience. Also, you will get 128GB storage space.

The 15.6” Widescreen offer Full HD LED-backlit IPS display with Acer Color Intelligence. Simply put, you will have better color separation and lesser strain on your eyes. It is also important to mention that the manufacturers incorporate Acer BlueLightShield for eye safety. The graphics is further enhanced by the inclusion of Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics. It’s not just about the display. The inbuilt innovative speakers and Acer TrueHarmony brings a complementary powerful audio.

Unlike some of the top laptops under $400, Acer Aspire 5 Slim comes with a backlit keyboard that allows you to work in environments with poor light. In addition to all these cool features, you will get a battery life of up to 7.5 hours. This laptop has numerous ports that will accommodate all your connections. However, it is slightly heavy at 3.97 pounds which can affect flexibility of use.


  • Full HD display with Acer Color Intelligence
  • Innovative speakers with Acer TrueHarmony
  • Acer BlueLightShield for eye comfort
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Good processor and speed


  • Slightly heavy
  • Lacks disk drive

Lenovo IdeaPad – Best for dedicated graphics card under $400

It is an undisputed fact that a dedicated graphics card is better for gaming than an integrated graphics card. When you opt for this Lenovo IdeaPad, you will get AMD Radeon R5 dedicated graphics card with 2MB dedicated video memory. You can bet that this is one of the best you will get under $400. However, you have made do with HD bright screen LED display rather than Full HD.

This laptop runs on the 9th generation AMD A9 with a speed of up to 3.1 GHz, arguably the fasters in this series. This pairs with 4GB RAM to give you a seamless multitasking experience for software with low to moderate requirements. Like most of the budget laptops under $400 you will get 128GB SSD storage space. However, the inclusion of SSD means you should expect faster boot and software load speed.

This Lenovo IdeaPad is thin enough to be a travel companion. However, its 4.60 pounds weight may sully this experience. In all, you’ll get about 5 hours of battery life. The price is also a few dollars above the $400 benchmark. However, considering the decent performance you should have no problems expanding their budget a little to accommodate this one. As a compensation you will get a DVD drive.


  • AMD Radeon R5 dedicated graphics
  • Good processor and speed
  •  DVD drive included


  • Display is not Full HD
  • Large weight may limit use flexibility

HP EliteBook 840 – Best i5 laptop under 400

Investing in a refurbished laptop can be risky but it is often the only way to get better specs at a lower price. Finding a laptop with Intel Core i5 under $400 is almost impossible. Through a rigorous search, we were able to find this HP EliteBook 840. In addition to the i5 with a speed of up to 2.3 GHz, it also comes with 16GB RAM. The combination of both should get you through the day at top speed.

The 256GB SSD storage space is bigger too compared to what you will get in this range. The display of this 14” screen is the only HD but you will find it commendable, thanks to its eDP anti-glare, Multi-Stream transport properties. Other impressive features of this laptop include dual speakers with microphone, touchpad gesture support, and spill resistance. This laptop should be able to give you up to 12.5 hours of battery life.

HP EliteBook 840 makes use of the Intel HD Graphics 5500. Worth talking about is the diversity of connection ports that comes with this laptop. This laptop weighs 3.42 pounds which may be potentially heavy depending on your usage pattern. We would always advise that you buy only refurbished products that are backed by some sort of warranty. Also, endeavor to test all products on arrival.


  • Larger RAM and storage space
  • Core i5 with a speed of up to 2.3 GHz
  • Up to 12 hours of battery
  • Spill resistance


  • Display is not Full HD
  • Bezels are unattractive
  • Slightly heavy

Fusion 5 T90B+ Pro – Best notebook under 400

Sometimes, the best notebooks are those that are thin, lightweight, and fits into your flexibility lifestyle. At 2.75, Fusion 5 is definitely one of the lightweight notebooks out there. It runs on the Intel Atom Cherry Trail processor which combines with 4GB RAM to deliver unparalleled speed. The display is also remarkable, courtesy of Full HD IPS display. This high resolution takes the pressure off your eyes thereby allowing you to work or game longer.

Fusion 5 has other interesting features that will improve your overall experience. One of them is the use of dual-band Wi-Fi system which is twice faster than what you will find in traditional laptops. You should be able to get up to 6 hours of battery life from this one. If you love to make video calls, the dual camera (2MP and 5MP) of this laptop is another feature that should get you excited.

There are a few drawbacks that you need to consider though. The first is the limited number of ports while the second is that the storage space is only 64GB. However, Fusion 5 makes provision for a card reader which you can use to upgrade the memory to 256GB or using an external drive of up to 1TB. Customers in the United States can also enjoy 12 months warranty and service center assistance.


  • Slim, classy, and lightweight
  • Full HD IPS 14.1” display
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi system
  • Dual Camera
  • Comes with 12 months warranty


  • Storage space is grossly insufficient
  • Processor speed is questionable

Asus VivoBook Flip – Best touchscreen laptop under 400

Touchscreen brings a lot of flexibility to a computer but finding one with complementary features can be a huge task. Asus VivoBook flip tilts increases your odds with an Intel Quad Core Pentium N5000 processor with a speed of up to 2.7 GHz. the 14” glossy screen comes in a 13” frame and offers HD display with wide-view technology. Arguably the most captivating feature of this laptop is the fact that you can use it in four different modes.

When it is time for entertainment, you will enjoy an immersive sound, thanks to Asus SonicMaster technology. The superior clarity and bass is a product of innovative hardware and software combination. This laptop is fanless meaning you won’t have to deal with the distractions of noisy fans. Asus VivoBook flip gives you over 7 hours of battery which is complemented by the Asus Battery Health Charging technology which gives you power to set the charge state to avoid overcharging.

This laptop comes with multiple ports including USB Type-C connector for superfast data transfer speed. You will also get a HDMI port for connecting with multiple peripherals. This laptop is only slightly heavy at 3.3 pounds. The storage space is 128GB eMMC which is also great. Nevertheless, only USA and Canada customers will get one-year accidental damage protection (ADP).


  • Touchscreen with 4 modes
  • Immersive sound with Asus SonicMaster technology
  • Asus Battery Health Charging technology prevents overcharging
  • Multiple ports including USB Type-C


  • Display is not Full HD
  • Slightly heavy
  • ADP is only available to USA and Canada customers

2020 HP 14 – Best thin laptop under 400

Thin laptops easily fit into everyday life. One of the best we found is the 2020 HP. This 14” laptop runs on the 7th generation AMD A9 Dual-Core processor with a speed of up to 3.7 GHz. It pairs well with a 4GB RAM to provide seamless multitasking experience on day-to-day tasks. The bright view glossy screen maintains vivid colors at HD resolution with WLED backlight. This product earned its spot on this list because of battery life of up to 10 hours. This is the most you will probably get in this price range.

An innovative inclusion here is the HP TrueVision HD camera with integrated digital microphone. Part of the reason why the display is great is because of the graphics card which is the AMD Radeon R5 Graphics. Like most of the best laptops under $400, you will get 128GB SSD storage space. The absence of moving parts ensures faster start-up and software load.

In as much as this 2020 HP is thin, the weight is still slightly on the heavy side (3.2 pounds) which is something you should consider before making your purchase depending on your working lifestyle. The price is a few dollars above the benchmark which can also be a problem. However, this laptop was built tough to last long which should make up for the extra cash in the long run.


  • HP TrueVision HD camera with integrated digital microphone
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Thin and trendy
  • Powerful AMD Radeon R5 GPU


  • Display is not Full HD
  • Slightly expensive
  • Large weight

Lenovo Chromebook C330 – Best Chromebook

Chromebooks are usually sleek and thin but Lenovo Chromebook C330 pushes that limit. It runs on the Chrome OS which gives you access to all the great apps in Google store. It makes use of the MediaTek processor with 4GB RAM. This should be enough to keep you blazing through the day with minimum lags. The 360 degrees hinge makes it possible for you to use this laptop in 4 different modes.

Lenovo Chromebook C330 comes with an 11” touchscreen IPS HD display. Thanks to the Chrome OS, you will constantly be up to date in virus protection. Your computer will update automatically every six weeks. This takes the worries about virus and malware attacks off your shoulders. If you move around a lot then you are in luck because this laptop has a battery that can last up to 10 hours.

This Chromebook is lightweight at just 2.64 pounds. It comes with 720p webcam and 2W speakers. Although these are not the best there is, it should help you to get by. However, the storage memory is disappointing at just 64GB—but there are ways you can get around that. This is not only one of the best but also comes at a highly competitive price.


  • Durable 360 degrees hinge
  • 10-point touchscreen IPS display
  • Lightweight with competitive price
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life


  • Storage space is highly disappointing
  • Display is not Full HD

Acer Spin 1 – Best laptop for college students under 400

In addition to being affordable, the best laptop for college students under 400 needs to be lightweight and flexible. Acer Spin 1 thinks all those boxes. At 11.6”, this laptop weighs only 2.65 pounds. It runs on Intel Celeron N4000 dual-core processor with a speed of up to 2.6 GHz. This works well with 4GB RAM to give you a fluid multitasking experience—as long as you don’t venture into the software with heavy CPU demands like high-end games.

Acer Spin 1 offers IPS Backlit LED HD display. The graphics card in this case is the Intel UHD Graphics 600. The combination of these two gives you good visual quality. All things being equal, you should be able to work for longer hours without your eyes becoming teary. This laptop will take care of your entertainment needs, thanks to the dual stereo speakers.

With Acer Spin 1 you should be able to get up to 6 hours of battery life. This can vary depending on settings and use pattern. It has two ports with no USB Type-C port. Another thing you should know is that the camera resolution is only 0.3MP. Expect grainy images when using it for video call. Storage space is only 64GB. Notwithstanding all the flaws, it is still a great device for students.


  • Lightweight and budget-friendly
  • Good processor speed and RAM
  • Up to 6 hours of battery life
  • Can be used in 4 modes


  • Internal storage is disappointing
  • Camera resolution is poor

HP Stream – Best Windows laptop under 400

Windows remains one of the most versatile operating systems. Most software and game developers focus on Windows first before developing for other operating systems. With this laptop, you will get access to Office 265 tools including 1-year full access to PowerPoint, Excel, Word, as well as 1TB of One Drive storage. Windows 10 Home in S Mode is one of the most secure Windows yet with faster booting time and protection against phishing.

It runs on Intel Celeron N4000 Dual Core processor with a speed of up to 2.6 GHz. The processor pairs with 4GB RAM to deliver seamless multitasking capability like you have never seen before. Unfortunately, don’t try to upgrade the RAM because there is no provision for that. Like most of the best gaming laptops under $400, you will struggle with disk space. HP Stream offers only 64GB eMMC storage space. The only way to get around this flaw would be to use an external hard drive or a memory card.

HP Stream offer a HD display with BrightView brilliant details and up to 14 hours of battery life. The improved 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi antenna delivers a stronger and more reliable Internet connection. Also, the touchpad has gesture capabilities. This laptop has limited number of ports and is heavy at 4.54 pounds.


  • 1 year full access to 1TB of One Drive storage
  • Comes with Windows 10 Home in S Mode
  • Improved 802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi antenna


  • Storage space is highly disappointing
  • Display is not Full HD

Buying Guide for the Best Gaming Laptops Under $400

Inasmuch as you will find decent laptops at $400 budget, they will most likely come with gaping lapses here and there. Determining what to ignore and what to accept can be a huge challenge. That is why we decided to create a buying guide to tell you some of the things you should look forward to as well as how they can affect your experience. Even if you decide not to choose any of the laptops on our lust, this list should help you to make your own research.

Screen and Resolution

The size of the screen matters and so does the resolution. A laptop with 15.6” screen will likely offer better viewing experience than a laptop with 11” screen. The reason is simply because the smaller the screen the more likely you are to squint to see things more clearly. Also, Full HD will have milder effect on your eyes than just HD. However, it is OK to sacrifice Full HD for better processor or storage space. The choice is up to you.


This is literarily the heart brain of the laptop and you need to get it right. It is possible to get Intel Core i3 at a budget of $400. However, if you are aiming for a more powerful processor, you would likely looking towards refurbished products. Also, pay attention to the speed of the processor. The minimum processor speed we would recommend is 2.0 GHz. Anything less than this will most certainly lead to lags when you attempt multitasking.

Graphics Card

If you desire a laptop that you can use to play games or that can handle software for graphics design, you need to pay attention to the graphics card. Dedicated graphics cards are usually better. However, it is unlikely that you will find that here unless you look towards refurbished. Still, you need a laptop with at least Intel UHD 620 integrated graphics card. Bear in mind that this is still insufficient for high-end games. They may not run at all or run with lags.

Storage Space

Except for refurbished products, the highest storage space you would find under $400 would probably be 128GB SSD. If you are heavy on documents and multimedia, plan ahead to get an external 1TB HDD or a memory card of at least 256GB.


Yes, you may have just $400 budget but on no account should you accept a laptop less than 4GB RAM. This should be you minimum. If possible, look for a laptop that allows you to expand the RAM. We rarely stick to one thing these days and a poor ram size will lead to incessant lags that will get you frustrated.


This encompasses both the size dimensions and weight. Some laptops look thin but tend to be heavier than others. A thin and sleek laptop needs to be accompanied with lightweight to perfectly fit into a mobile lifestyle. We generally consider laptops that are over 3.0 pounds as heavy and our adjective varies from slightly heavy to extremely heavy as the weight goes higher. Decide your comfort level before making your purchase. This can be ignored if it is going to be used as a home or office PC.


If you are really focused on getting a good processor and reasonable storage space, we would recommend you try refurbished products. Also, if you can make your budget flexible to accommodate another $100 you will certainly get better specs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best gaming laptop under 400?

The best gaming laptop we found under $400 is the Asus VivoBook 15. It runs on the 10th generation Intel Core i3 and has 8GB RAM which should be able to handle games with low to medium specifications.

  • What is the best inexpensive laptop?

HP Stream has a number of appreciable features but still cost less than $300. It is definitely one of the best budget laptops you would find.

  • What is a good laptop for under 300?

If you are looking for good laptops under 300 you need to consider Chromebooks and fanless laptops. Most Chromebooks are priced below $300 but they also have their drawbacks too.

  • What is the best 2-in-1 laptop under $400

Acer Spin 1 or Asus VivoBook Flip will make a good option if you are looking for convertible laptops. Take a look at our review to find their strengths and weaknesses which should help you to make a better decision.


As you have seen, you can still afford to be picky and set a fairly high standard—even with a $400 budget. All the laptops we have highlighted here should be able to perform day-to-day tasks with no or minimal lags. If you notice, we failed to place any limits on the battery. The reason is simply because the battery life of the best gaming laptops under $400 are not consistent. You may find a product with up to 14 hours while another will struggle with 4 hours. Also, if you focus on the battery you may miss out the specs that really matter. Keep your eyes on what matters. If you find this useful, feel free to share with your friends.