Top Best value laptop around $400: Our Recommendation

Looking for really dirt cheap laptop is not a problem as there are many that go for less than $400 when new, but none of them are gaming laptops. If you are looking to play the most demanding RPG and FSP games of 2009 even at the lowest game settings, laptops in the price range simply can’t do the job with their APUs mostly integrated with Intel HD Graphic 300 GPU.

It has been our observation that laptops using the Intel HD Graphics 4000 are the starting point for a gaming laptop.  Even then, many of the games released in 2011 and earlier will play but only at the lowest possible game settings and graphics card resolution. Battlefield 3, however will not play.

Crysis 3 released this year will not play, neither will earlier games like Hitman: Absolution, Assassin’s Creed III, Max Payne 3, Dishonored and Elder Scrolls V.

Having said that, we look at laptops just around the $400 price point and found a few models that sport the Intel HD Graphics 4000 at the very least. They should be able to satisfy the most budget conscious casual gamers and those who don’t mind playing 2011 games at their lower settings.  Here are three good value specimens we found:

Some of the best value laptop around $400

The Acer Aspire V3-551-8469 retails for just $439.91 with free shipping at Amazon and what’s amazing about it is the quad core engine and a separate GPU one can expect only from laptops at a high higher price point. Under the hood is a 1.9 GHz AMD A8-4500M with a 4GB SDRAM and a distinct AMD Radeon HD 7640G graphics engines with its own 512 MB video RAM.

Modest by gaming laptop standards with their own GPU and video RAM, this Acer certainly packs 20% more muscle than any with integrated HD Graphics 4000.  Sophisticated games will remain a challenge but at least most of them will play smoothly at low game settings.

In addition, this Acer comes with a 15.6-inch LED-backlit display with a 1366 x 768 resolution , a 500GB SATA drive running at 5,400 rpm, an 8x multilayer optical drive all house and a 1,3 megapixel HF webcam with Dolby speakers all housed in light 5.74 body.  It also gets bundled with the Windows 8 and a 6-cell; Lithium Ion battery that can power you up for 5 hours.

The Acer Aspire E1-571-6811 is priced around $10 cheaper and is powered by a 2nd generation Intel Core i3-2328M with a 3MB L3 Cache and clocked at 2.5GHz. It’s inteegrate4d with the Intel HG Graphics 4000 with a 128 MB dedicated video RAM while its system RAM is a single module 4GB DDR3.

It spots the same 15.5-inch LED-backlit display with 1366 x 768 resolution, 500GB DATA drive running at 5,400 rpm, an 8x multi-layer optical drive, 1.3 megapixel HD webcam and a 6-cell lithium-ion battery that gets you going up to 4.5 hours before the next charge. It weight slightly lighter at 5.3 lbs.

At a slightly higher price, gaming gets a bit better with the $458.99 HP Pavilion G7-2220us powered by 2.7GHz AMD dual core A6-4400M and a 4GB DDR3 system RAM.  Its dedicated Radeon HD 7520G graphics engine enjoys a dedicated 2GB video RAM.  It sports a higher than average 17.3-inch LED-backlit display with a high definition 1600 x 900 resolution.

You get a 500 SATA hard drive running 5,400 rpm, a multilayer DVD burner, an HD webcam, Dolby audio, and a 6-cell Lithium ion battery can last 3 hours and 15 mins on a single charge.  Bundled with Windows 8, this HP is just 1.22 inches thick and weighs about 6.6 lbs.

The 5 The Best 400 Dollar Gaming Laptop Reviews:

1. Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-36UT

Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-36UT, Best value laptop around $400

Best value laptop around $400

It’s all about the innovation. Acer products are designed for your needs and accessibility with powerful features fit for your lifestyle. The Aspire 5 packs a lot of power into the portable design to suit the multi-tasking needs of you and your family. The powerful 11th Gen Intel Core i3 processor is great for light gaming, productivity, and work tasks.

Enjoy photo and video editing on the color-rich 15.6-inch Full HD display with Intel UHD Graphics. You can turn this Acer Aspire 5 into a virtual meeting room with an HD webcam and dual built-in microphones using Acer Purified. Voice Technology to carry your conversation clearly.

Whether video chatting, streaming entertainment, or working in the home office, you’ll stay connected to your network with dual-band Wi-Fi 6 working intelligently with your router to increase network efficiency. An ergonomic lifted keyboard makes working on this Acer Aspire 5 laptop more comfortable. (NX.AASAA.002).

Highlighted Features:

  • Powerful Productivity: 11th Generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor delivers unmatched speed and intelligence, enabling impressive creating, productivity, and gaming experiences. With Turbo Boost Technology, get up to 4.1GHz for your high-demand applications
  • Visibly Stunning: Experience sharp details and crisp colors on the 15.6″ Full HD display with 82.58% screen-to-body, 16:9 aspect ratio and narrow bezels
  • Ergonomic Typing: Ergonomically-designed hinge lifts the keyboard for comfortable typing, improved cooling, and a better sound experience
  • Internal Specifications: 4GB DDR4 on-board memory (1 slot available); 128GB NVMe solid-state drive storage (1 hard drive bay available) to store your files and media
  • Acer’s Purified. Voice technology, features enhanced digital signal processing to cancel out background noise, improve speech accuracy and far-field pickup, which not only makes calls clearer, but makes talking to Alexa easier than before.
  • Using Alexa on your PC is as easy as asking a question. Just ask and Alexa can check your calendar, create lists, play music, answer questions, read the news and more.
  • Secure Operating System: Windows 11 Home (S Mode) comes with advanced security features built right in, like protections against phishing and malicious software so you don’t have to think twice when navigating to a new webpage or downloading an app

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2. MSI GF63

MSI GF63 , Best value laptop around $400

Best value laptop around $400

MSI GF63 THIN 9SC-068 15.6″ Thin bezel Gaming Laptop, Intel Core i5-9300h, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 [Max-Q], 8GB, 256GB NVMe SSD

Highlighted Features:

  • Display: 15.6″ Fhd (1920*1080), IPS-Level 60Hz 45%ntsc thin Bezel 1920×1080 16: 9
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 [Max-Q] 4G GDDR5
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-9300h 2.4 – 4.1GHz
  • Memory: 8GB (8G*1) DDR4 2666MHz 2 Sockets; Max Memory 64GB
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD

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3. ASUS VivoBook 15

ASUS VivoBook 15, Best value laptop around $400

Best value laptop around $400

Whether at work or play, ASUS VivoBook 15 is the compact laptop that immerses you in whatever you set out to do. Its new frameless four-sided Nano Edge display boasts an ultra slim 5.7mm bezel, giving an amazing 88% screen-to-body ratio for supremely immersive visuals. The Ergo Lift hinges design also tilts the keyboard up for more comfortable typing.

VivoBook 15 is powered by an Intel core i3 processor to help you get things done with the least amount of fuss. The actual transfer speed of USB 3.0, 3.1, 3.2 (Gen 1 and 2), and/or Type-C will vary depending on many factors including the processing speed of the host device, file attributes and other factors related to system configuration and your operating environment. Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required.

Highlighted Features:

  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920×1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
  • Compatible with Google Classroom; run Google Classroom on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer 11
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU (4M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello
  • Exclusive Ergolift design for an improved typing position
  • Comprehensive connections including USB 3.2 Type-C, USB 3.2 Type-A, USB 2.0, and HDMI; Gigabit Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) (USB Transfer speed may vary. Learn more at ASUS website)
  • Windows 10 in S mode exclusively runs apps from the Microsoft Store. To install an app that isn’t available in the Microsoft Store, simply switch out of S mode in three easy steps. There’s no charge to switch out of S mode

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4. Lenovo IdeaPad 1

Lenovo IdeaPad 1, Best value laptop around $400

Best value laptop around $400

The Lenovo IdeaPad™ 1 is your daily computing companion. Not only does this affordable laptop deliver amazing performance with an Intel® Celeron® processor, but it also features 64 GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage and a bigger, wider 14-inch HD display for great productivity. Browse the internet, stream your favorite shows, chat with family, or get work done on this reliable notebook computer. With a stylish Ice Blue case, this everyday laptop is easy to use and durable, with long battery life to let you handle daily tasks easily.

Great for students, travelers, and those who like to work from home or the local coffee shop, the IdeaPad 1 is lightweight at just over 3 lbs and is less than 1 inch thick, so it’s easy to slip into your Lenovo laptop backpack or carrying sleeve. Plus, with up to 8 hours of battery life, you can stay productive no matter where you are! You’ll stay connected with integrated WiFi and Bluetooth® while on the go.

Highlighted Features:

  • This everyday laptop is powered by an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, and 164 GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage
  • Microsoft 365 is included (1 year subscription); includes free 3-month trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – Play over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows PC; includes iconic Bethesda games, new day one titles, and the EA Play on PC catalog
  • Enjoy videos or browse online on a large 14″ HD display panel, framed by narrow bezels, while Dolby Audio delivers crystal-clear sound through the built-in dual stereo speakers
  • Light and slim, this Windows 11 laptop computer (S mode) weighs just over 3 lbs and is less than 1 inch thick
  • WiFi 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity; ports include 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 12 (Type-A), microSD Card Reader; HDMI; Microphone / Earphone Combo

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5. Acer Aspire 5

Acer Aspire 5 , Best value laptop around $400

Best value laptop around $400

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L comes with these high level specs: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual-Core Processor 2.6GHz with Precision Boost up to 3.5GHz (Up to 4MB L3 Cache), Windows 10 in S mode, 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS Display, AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics, 4GB DDR4 Memory, 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD, True Harmony Technology, Two Built-in Stereo Speakers, Acer Purified.

Voice Technology with Two Built-in Microphones, 802.11ac Wi-Fi featuring 2×2 MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz), 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port), Bluetooth 4.0, Back-lit Keyboard, HD Webcam (1280 x 720), 1 – USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port, 2 – USB 2.0 Ports, 1 – HDMI Port with HDCP support, Lithium-Ion Battery, up to 7.5-hours Battery Life,, 3.97 lbs. | 1.8 kg (system unit only) (NX.HG8AA.001).

Store your PC in a cool, dry place. The recommended temperature is 10° C (50° F) to 30° C (86° F). Higher temperatures cause the battery to self-discharge faster.

Highlighted Features:

  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor (Up to 3.5GHz); 4GB DDR4 Memory; 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 15.6 inches full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED backlit IPS display; AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics
  • 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports & 1 HDMI port with HDCP support
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Backlit Keyboard; Up to 7.5 hours battery life
  • Windows 10 in S mode. Maximum power supply wattage: 65 Watts

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Unless you are looking for slightly used or refurbished laptops with decent gaming capability, there are simply no new ones below $400 that can be said to be a decent gaming laptop even for casual gamers. The three specimens are close enough with the most expensive at $458.99. The Acer brand appears to have the most gaming models at this price range.

Here are a few other notebooks that can handle current PC games well, as well:

Last update on 2022-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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