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 range.
As with a laptop you’re going to buy at 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 you download. Aside from this, everything else is pretty much a luxury.
You may be 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. Either way, I’ll recommend some of the best options for those looking for a laptop under £400.
Best Laptop under £400
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|ASUS VivoBook R465JA
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|Acer Swift 1
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|Acer Chromebook 315
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|ASUS Chromebook C433 Flip
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|Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 3
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|Acer Aspire 3
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Operating System: Windows | 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 its 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. You’ll need to take Windows 10s off the laptop and installed regular Windows yourself, though it’s pretty straightforward to do so. This is a pretty good deal if you’re looking for a £400 laptop, although in an ideal world, we’d prefer an upgrade to 8GB RAM.
Overall Verdict – With a simple dual core Intel processor, this ASUS Vivobook is more powerful than its price. The slightly adjusted hinge makes it comfortable to type on, and it’s suited best to general computing tasks.
Operating System: Windows | 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?
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.
Operating System: Chrome | Size: 15.6 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Processor: Intel Pentium | Average Battery Life: 8 hours
For those looking for a laptop that’s capable of doing everything, then the Chromebook 315 is going to be a great choice. It’s well within our price range, and when you actually consider the cost, the build quality is pretty good.
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 315 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 64GB eMMC storage. Whilst this 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 display, which could definitely be improved (but it’s pretty hard to get anything better for the price).
However, there are a lot of things about this laptop to love. It’s a well made laptop, and although there’s a lack of storage, you can use some external storage for a little more if necessary. If you find you still need more, then you can opt for an external hard drive or use Google Drive for your files.
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 315 is the perfect laptop within a tight budget, giving you a good balance of performance and cost.
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.
Operating System: Chrome OS | Size: 14 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Processor: Intel M3-8100Y | Average Battery Life: 6 hours
The ASUS C433 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 64GB 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 ASUS C340. It’s one of the best laptops around when it comes to convertible models.
Overall Verdict – Another Chromebook that does everything pretty well, with no real flaws.
Operating System: Windows | 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. It’s true that Lenovo offer some of the better laptop deals when you’re searching for a budget machine, as they manage to deliver a pretty solid build quality at a low cost.
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 Macbook Air and Thinkpad come with 8GB of RAM, so this is the same memory as many premium models base points. You’ll likely want this much power if you plan to do a lot of multi-tasking.
It also has 256GB of SSD storage space too. SSD storage is typically faster than both HDD and eMMC storage. 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.
Overall Verdict – You get a whole lot for your money, with a decent amount of RAM and storage too. But what stands out about this laptop is the high-grade chassis, which gives it a premium feel.
Operating System: Chromebook | 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.
You have the option to go for 32GB or 64GB of storage. They’re both minimal amounts, which is what we’ve come to expect from Chromebooks now. It works pretty well with all sorts of video calling software, so if you need to make Zoom or Skype calls for work, this would definitely fit the bill.
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. This is a common issue that users face, even with some of the best budget laptops out there.
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.
Overall Verdict – Whilst it doesn’t have a lot of power, it would still make a good lightweight laptop for daily use. You could also look at the general Lenovo Ideapad 3 range if you don’t need a touch screen.
Operating System: Windows | Size: 15.6 inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB SSD | Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 | Average Battery Life: 6.5-7 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 Acer Aspire 5, it still makes a good purchase for those looking for a budget laptop. It has a well laid out keyboard and a pretty solid build quality.
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.
Overall Verdict – The Aspire series is one of Acer’s best, and the Aspire 3 comes highly recommended.
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 laptops are probably ‘better’ than ASUS, with a better customer service reputation and more popular laptops. They both tend to provide excellent value for money.
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 its 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.