Best Laptop under £400 UK [2021]

You can find a decent enough laptop no matter how tight your budget is. If you only have £400, then you can still find a quality laptop within this price.

As with a laptop you’re going to buy any price, you just need to know exactly what it is that you’re looking for. Any good laptop should have enough storage space to store everything that you need, and enough memory to run any programs that you need to. Aside from this, everything else is pretty much a luxury.

So whether you’re a student looking for a laptop to see you through university, or you’re just looking for a casual laptop to see you through your daily activities, I’ll recommend some of the best options for those looking for a laptop under £400.

Best Laptop under £400

ProductImageGet More InfoScreen SizeSpecs
Acer Chromebook Spin 311Acer Chromebook Spin 311 CP311-3H - (MediaTek 8183, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, 11.6 inch HD touchscreen display, Chrome OS, Silver)Check Price11.6 inch4GB/32GB
ASUS VivoBook R465JAASUS VivoBook R465JA Full HD 14.0-inch Laptop (Intel Core i3-1005G1, 4GB RAM, 128GB PCIe SSD, Windows 10), GreyCheck Price14 inch4GB/128GB
Acer Swift 1Acer Swift 1 SF114-32 14-inch Laptop - (Intel Pentium N5000, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Full HD Display, Windows 10 in S Mode, Black)Check Price14 inch4GB/128GB
Lenovo Chromebook C340Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 Inch (15.6 Inch) FHD Touchscreen Laptop - (Intel Pentium Gold, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, Chrome OS) - Mineral GreyCheck Price15.6 inch4GB/128GB
Acer Aspire 3Acer Aspire 3 A315-23 15.6 inch Laptop (AMD Ryzen 3 3250U, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Full HD Display, Windows 10 in S Mode, Black)Check Price15.6 inch4GB/128GB
Lenovo V145Lenovo V145 A6 15.6-inch Laptop, AMD A6-9225, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, DVD+RW,Windows 10 ProCheck Price15.6 inch8GB/128GB
Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 11.6 Inch HD 2-in-1 Laptop - (Intel Celeron, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB eMMC, Chrome OS) - Abyss BlueCheck Price11.6 inch4GB/64GB

Acer Chromebook Spin 311

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 CP311-3H - (MediaTek 8183, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, 11.6 inch HD touchscreen display, Chrome OS, Silver)

Operating System: Chrome | Screen size: 11.6 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB eMMC | Processor: Intel Pentium | Average Battery Life: 6 hours

For those looking for a laptop that’s capable of doing everything, then the Chromebook Spin 311 is going to be a great choice.

Typically, I’m not the biggest fan of Acer laptops. However as with every brand, there are some bad models, and some that are good. Acer’s Chromebook range in general is pretty awesome, and the Spin 311 is one of the best value for this laptop range.

Whilst the specifications of the laptop aren’t that impressive, they are still powerful enough for most casual users. It has 4GB of RAM and 32GB eMMC storage, which whilst isn’t that great, won’t make too much difference for those that don’t need a higher RAM. As with any Chromebook, the storage isn’t particularly important.

It has all the typical ports and connectivity – Bluetooth, HDMI and USB are easily set up with it. The only downside is really the 11.6 inch display, which may prove to be too small for some users.

However, there are a lot of things about this laptop to love. It’s 2-in-1 convertible laptop, which means that you can easily flip it into tablet mode and use it as a touchscreen. The thin bezel screen is great, making it an awesome choice for people who will watch a lot of YouTube or Netflix videos on it. Along with this, it has a long battery life of 8-10 hours too.

The Acer Chromebook R13 is the perfect combination of an Android tablet and a laptop, giving you the best of both worlds.

Pros

Touchscreen display
Doubles up as a tablet
Good battery life

Cons

Customer support not good
Purists will hate the Chrome OS

Overall Verdict – I think a laptop that runs on Chrome OS is suited best to casual users. If this is you, then maybe this laptop is worth considering, as its long battery can last up to 10 hours on a good day.


ASUS VivoBook R465JA

ASUS VivoBook R465JA Full HD 14.0-inch Laptop (Intel Core i3-1005G1, 4GB RAM, 128GB PCIe SSD, Windows 10), Grey

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 14 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB SSD | Processor: Intel i3 | Average Battery Life: 7 hours

It’s difficult to find the best budget option on the market, but sticking with cheaper brands like Acer and ASUS is a good idea. An example of an impressive laptop with a 14 inch screen is this ASUS Vivobook.

The main thing that’s noticeable about this model is that its full HD display is impressive. Even though the laptop itself is quite small and light, the screen makes the most of this space due to it’s very slim bezel. This is important when you’re trying to balance getting something you can read easily, and something fully portable.

In fact, the whole build quality of the Vivobook is in general above average. The keyboard is designed to be a little higher than normal, and this is due to the ergonomic hinge that’s used with the laptop itself. This can make it much easier to type.

The Intel core i3 processor is good for the price, and it should be powerful enough for daily browsing. This is another pretty good deal if you’re looking for a £400 laptop.

Pros

Well designed laptop
Lightweight and fairly thin
Should be enough storage

Cons

Plastic shell isn’t top quality
Not much else

Overall Verdict – With a simple dual core Intel processor, this ASUS Vivobook is more powerful than its price.


Acer Swift 1

Acer Swift 1 SF114-32 14-inch Laptop - (Intel Pentium N5000, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Full HD Display, Windows 10 in S Mode, Black)

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 14 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB SSD | Processor: Intel Pentium | Average Battery Life: 8 hours

It’s not a surprise that the next laptop in the list is an Acer. They tend to provide the best value for money out of all the big laptop brands, and whilst you might suffer a little in quality, this isn’t the case with the Acer Swift. This is their best laptop range, and it’s definitely a good option if you’re looking for a laptop for less than £400.

With this laptop, you’ll get 128GB of storage space and 4GB RAM. Combine this with an Intel Core Pentium processor, and you’ll have a decent laptop. What’s most impressive about it is its build quality – it doesn’t feel like a cheap plastic laptop due to its metal body. It has all the ports that you could need from a laptop, too.

This laptop has a super long battery life, with the capability for you to go all day without having to recharge it. The only negative is the fingerprint reader which isn’t great, but where else are you going to get a laptop with a fingerprint reader for £400?

Pros

Very long battery life
Good quality build
Quick charge

Cons

Fingerprint reader not great
Not much else

Overall Verdict – If you’re looking for a good laptop for studying, then this is likely to be a good choice. It’s budget friendly and performs well.


Lenovo Chromebook C340

Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 Inch (15.6 Inch) FHD Touchscreen Laptop - (Intel Pentium Gold, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, Chrome OS) - Mineral Grey

Operating System: Chrome OS | Screen size: 15.6 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB eMMC | Processor: Intel Pentium Gold | Average Battery Life: 6 hours

The Lenovo C340 is another convertible laptop that’s a solid choice if you’re looking for something to use everyday. For most people, an expensive laptop isn’t a necessity, and you may want to focus more on practicality.

Like other convertible laptops, this one has solid 360 degree hinge. This gives you the capability to use it as a laptop, a tablet or you can also use it in ‘tent’ mode too. This is perfect if you want to set the laptop up for kids, as you can easily prop it up for them and put some videos on. Plus, with the sensitive touchscreen, it’s great if you want a laptop that kids can use too.

It actually runs on the Chrome Operating system. This makes it super fast and easy to use – it’s probably more similar to using a tablet than it is to using a laptop. But, it does still have all the capabilities of a laptop.

The only downside of this model is the 32GB of eMMC storage – this may not be enough if you want to store a lot of files on it. However, you could always consider using cloud storage, or even an external hard drive.

So for another good option for people looking for a competent laptop 2-in-1 combo, then you’ll want to consider the Lenovo C340.

Pros

2-in-1 laptop
Nice anti-glare screen
Good sound quality

Cons

Low storage like most Chromebooks
Not great battery life

Overall Verdict – Another Chromebook that does everything pretty well, with no real flaws.


Acer Aspire 3

Acer Aspire 3 A315-23 15.6 inch Laptop (AMD Ryzen 3 3250U, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Full HD Display, Windows 10 in S Mode, Black)

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 15.6 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB SSD | Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 | Average Battery Life: 6.5 hours

The Acer Aspire series is another Acer range that is actually pretty decent. It’s been Acer’s bestselling laptop range for a while now, and it’s actually one of the bestselling laptops overall for the last few years. Whilst the Aspire 3 isn’t quite up to the standards of the Aspire 5, it still makes a good purchase for those looking for a budget laptop.

Like many other laptops within this price range, it has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage, combined with a AMD processor. The processor speed is actually 2.6Ghz, which is faster that any other laptop that I’ve listed. It has a moderate battery life of 7 hours, which should be comfortable for most people.

The 15 inch screen may prove to be too big for some. It isn’t a particularly heavy laptop, so you won’t need to worry about that if you need something that is thin and light, making it quite portable.

You can also expand your memory pretty easily with the Aspire series, so if you do want to upgrade it later down the line, you can easily. This model provides another basic yet effective option for those looking for a laptop that is less than £400.

Pros

Good amount of storage
Top webcam quality
Great value for money

Cons

Acer’s support not good
Can’t handle a lot of programs

Overall Verdict – The Aspire series is one of Acer’s best, and the Aspire 3 comes highly recommended.


Lenovo V145

Lenovo V145 A6 15.6-inch Laptop, AMD A6-9225, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, DVD+RW,Windows 10 Pro

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 15.6 inch | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Processor: AMD | Average Battery Life: 6 hours

If you are looking for an everyday laptop with a little more power, it might pay to look at something like the Lenovo V145.

With this model, you’re able to get a bit more power than you would with the other options, without making much sacrifice. It comes with 8GB of RAM, which is more than other laptops within this price point. For reference, the standard Macbooks and Thinkpads come with 8GB of RAM, so this is the same memory as many premium models base points.

It also has 256GB of SSD storage space too. SSD storage is typically faster than both HDD and eMMC storage, so this is better for people who want something that is going to be capable of running more programs simultaneously.

I’d say the only sacrifice you make with this laptop is its design. It isn’t the most beautiful laptop around. However, the V145 is pretty lightweight and easy to carry around with you. For those looking for a fairly powerful laptop for everyday use, this provides another great option for you.

Pros

A lot of storage included
Ideal for everyday tasks
Decent graphics

Cons

Battery struggles
Trackpad not the best

Overall Verdict – You get a whole lot for your money, with a decent amount of RAM and storage too.


Lenovo Ideapad Flex

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3 11.6 Inch HD 2-in-1 Laptop - (Intel Celeron, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB eMMC, Chrome OS) - Abyss Blue

Operating System: Windows | Screen size: 11.6 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Processor: Intel | Average Battery Life: 6 hours

For those after an entry level laptop for web browsing, checking the Lenovo ideapad range is a wise move. This is Lenovo’s budget range, and you can find some good options there if you’re trying to cut costs.

The Ideapad range is generally quite lightweight, and this Ideapad Flex is a good example of this. It weighs like more than a kilogram, so it’s very easy to pack it up and carry it around with you. This is matched by a strong battery life, another necessity if you’re going to be on the go a lot.

Something else I like about this design is that it’s fanless, so although it will probably struggle with some programs, it won’t start to get noisy. Although the screen is small, it comes with a full HD display which will be enough for many people. So whilst it’s more of a Notebook than it is a laptop, for casual use it’s a pretty good option.

Pros

Lightweight and very easy to carry around.
Chrome OS makes it very fast and easy to use.
Good build quality for the low price.

Cons

Not a whole lot of power for more intensive programs.
Screen won’t be big enough for those looking for a proper laptop.

Overall Verdict – Whilst it doesn’t have a lot of power, it would still make a good lightweight laptop for daily use.


FAQs Answered For Buying a Laptop

Can a laptop last 10 years or more?

Whilst the majority of people would say yes, and technically this is correct, the truth is that you probably won’t want to be using a 10 year old laptop that far in the future. Typically, a laptop should have 5-6 years of regular use, with you changing some parts later down the line. However, in 10 years time you’d probably be better off opting for a new laptop instead.

Do I really need a laptop?

It’s a good question to ask yourself, and it’s one of the reasons why I recommend looking at a convertible 2-in-1 laptop. For many people, they can do everything they need to from a tablet, or even from their mobile phone. So by opting for a 2-in-1 laptop, you can ensure that you get the best of both worlds.

Which laptop brand is the most reliable?

In all honesty, most laptops can have issues somewhere along the line. Whilst the majority of people would probably say Apple or Dell, these laptops are pretty expensive and can cost in excess of £1000. If you don’t want to spend this much, then there’s other brands like Lenovo, which offer a good combination of reliability and cost.

Should I spend more than £400 on a laptop?

Although this is a common question, it really has varied different answers. The right one being, spend whatever you can afford on a laptop. If you’re thinking about trying to make a living from your laptop, then yes – I’d advise that you spend a little more than £400 on it. However if you need a cheap laptop for your studies, or just something to use regularly, then you shouldn’t need to spend more than this.

Is Lenovo better than ASUS?

You can’t really compare the models of each brand, as some ASUS laptops will be better than Lenovos, and vice versa. However across the board, it’s fair to say that Lenovo’s are probably ‘better’ than ASUS, with a better customer service reputation and more popular laptops. They both tend to provide excellent value for money.

Conclusion

These are just some of the top laptops that you can buy for less than £400. Whilst some people might want to spend more than this, I do think that £400 is enough to get anyone started with a decent laptop. You could drop your budget a little and get a £300 laptop if necessary. Or, you could also up your budget too, and get a laptop for £500.

As long as you’re happy with the brand of your laptop and it’s specs, then that’s all that really matters. Make sure that you double check the laptop you decide on has everything that you require, like the right ports and the right functionality. But aside from this, you should be good to go! If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

About Alex

Hello, I'm Alex and this is my website, Spacehop. I started the site as a way to talk about myself, and a few years later we're now a team of 6! I still work full time at a major PC retailer in the UK, and I'm a bit of a tech whizz (self-proclaimed, unfortunately!).

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