Best Gaming Laptops under $400 in 2020

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When you are buying a gaming laptop, there are a lot of features that you need to look into. These include matters like its processor speed, battery power, screen resolution, HDD feature, etc. Not to mention, you have to notice what the generation of the processor is, and how navigable the interface is. However, while all of these features are important to note, it is not always easy to find the right one in budget. Most laptops that support gaming have a very high selling price, owing to the multitude of features necessary. In fact, some are customized with extra elements like SDD for better user experience.

If you are on a budget, spending a lot of money on a gaming laptop feels unnecessary and taxing. But it does not have to be that way; you would find some good contenders when looking for the best gaming laptop under 400 dollars. Certainly, they have satisfactory features that allow the system to work well with different high-intensity games. Not only do these laptops have good storage drive and memory power, but they also need a good GPU. Moreover, their build, too, is done with sustainable materials for longer functioning. You should also notice the make of the keyboards and the mouse as they hold a crucial supplementary role.

There are some budget-friendly gaming systems that have these functions and model specifications that make them more user-friendly too. You can also add some new updates to them to make it more compatible with you and your favorite activities and games. Although this is true, getting confused about what to buy is normal in this situation. Indeed, there are many companies that currently produce and mass-market laptops with high-quality gaming software. Each is different, and the features too fit into them accordingly. Certainly, there are many gaming laptops under $400 in the market, but not all of them are equally good.

In this regard, this article would showcase the best budget-friendly laptops for gaming that are currently available. Also, you need to notice important information about these gaming laptops like their storage capacity, display features, GPU support, and other important factors. Depending on what your requirements are, you can go forward with purchasing the one you see more fit for your taste. The following are some of the top products that pack the most features and are careful about the pricing too. Take a look through and see which matches up to your preference.

1. HP Notebook Laptop 15.6

  • Form Factor-  
  • Memory Slots
  • Max Memory– 4GB

Certainly, with its 1.96 kgs of weight and durable thin design, the HP Notebook Laptop is a good-quality and reliable hardware. It has a good battery life that lasts up to 7 hours, in normal use. Thus, you can work on your regular work on this laptop without much difficulty, and play games too. Additionally, these laptops have Windows 10 Home pre-installed, and many related applications.

With a big display of 15.6 inches, it is easy for you to work comfortably on this laptop, and also see the full effect of high-quality games. In this regard, the 1366×768 resolution makes the picture quality suitably prominent, regardless of what you are watching. The exterior of this HP product is attractive and sturdy, and the Webcam software is an added bonus.

In terms of its CPU power though, the Intel Core i5 8250U works at 1.6 GHz, and that mainly operates the system. Furthermore, in the matter of graphics, the Intel HD Graphics 620 would improve the gaming ordeal. However, this would not do good justice to the newer games which have more intricately-defined graphics.

This and the 4GB RAM it possesses are fit for most activities and many games. The bigger games would not work perfectly though and affect your system to lag. As for the storage, this product supports 256GD SSD and 500GB HDD. Regardless of this, there is no hard disk feature available.

In this system, there are two speakers ready and the sound quality of them is adequate. You would also notice a total of 3 USB ports, out of which one is a USB 2.0 type. Also, there is a place for a multi-card reader, a standard HDMI port, and additional slots for RJ45 LAN and Mic-and-headphone combo.

Among the lower-priced gaming-accessible laptops in the market, the HP Notebooks work properly. Although the product comes installed with features like Windows 10, you have to update the software again for better performance. Also, you may notice some issues with the rebooting, but that is solvable by removing the bloatware.

Pros

  • Good build in the screen and keyboard
  • The hard drive space is plentiful
  • Does not heat up too much

Cons

  • Many pre-installed bloat-ware available
  • Older software that does not work well with newer software and applications

2. HP Pavilion 15.6

  • Form Factor-
  • Memory Slots
  • Max Memory– 1TB

This system has the Windows 10 operating system installed and the processor is an Intel Core 8th Generation i5 processors. Both of these simultaneously affect the working condition of this notebook laptop. However, what is actually more important for gaming purposes is the Graphics processor and this product has the Intel HD Graphics set in. The presence of the SATA hard drive helps this laptop a lot in the gaming matter. 

In the league of cheaper laptops that support gaming, the HP Pavilion 15.6 is a good alternate. With a sleek 15.6 HD screen and 1366×768 pixel resolution, this laptop is suitable for most functions. Not to mention, the keyboard itself is fitted with integrated numeric keypad and touchpad, which add to your gaming experience. The display is also equipped with LED backlighting, and the 64-bit Windows 10 OS is a part of its interface system. 

The AMD Radeon R4 works hard for its graphic element; more specifically, the Intel UHD Graphics 620 processor. Aside from that, the memory quotient is suitable for most computer applications, thanks to its 8GB RAM status. It makes this system good for gaming if the games you are playing are of moderate power. Additionally, this laptop supports a  hard drive storage space of 1TB, and the memory type is DDR3 SDRAM. Together, they allow the system to operate smoothly.

You would notice one 2.0 USB ports and two 3.0 type-A USB ports, and there are other slots as well. These include a combination slot for microphone input and headphone output, an RJ45 port, Ethernet and WiFi, and an HDMI port. Bluetooth and DVD-RW connections are also visible in this system. 

Overall, this laptop is a good choice in the budget market and you should surely consider buying it. However, if you are a fan of high-intensity games, you would not have the best experience using it. While the display is suitable for most games, the RAM is the main problem that would work against you.

Pros

  • Backlit keyboard 
  • The NVIDIA Graphics card is quite capable
  • Build structure is stable and good 

Cons

  • RAM is too less 
  • The display is not high-quality 

3. Dell Inspiron i3531

  • Form Factor-
  • Memory Slots
  • Max Memory– 8GB

In the matter of budget-friendly laptops under the cost of $400, the Dell Inspiron i3531 is a good option for you. With its 15.6” display size and the resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, it is fitting for most applications. Of course, this thin and durable DELL product is also equipped with a standard keyboard with a touchpad, LED backlight, and is also light in weight.

The system itself owes its power to the Intel Celeron N2830 Dual-Core Processor and has Windows 8.1 installed. These are satisfactory with most of the work you would use it for, but gaming requires something more. The Intel HD Graphics GPU technology provides that particular solution and delivers smoother gameplay and visuals.

As far as the storage potential is concerned, you would receive 500GB of space that works with lighter applications. And the DDR3 RAM is 4GB in size, which, too, is suitable for most normal functioning. Similarly, the gaming potential is satisfactory enough, thanks to the speedy operation of 1600 Mhz.

A key feature that improves the feel of your gameplay is the sound quality, and the embedded Stereo Speaker provides so in good quality. Furthermore, this laptop does support a 4.0 Bluetooth connection and Wireless internet (802.11 b/g/n). Aside from all these features, you would see external ports for 2.0 USB (2), Headphone and Microphone Jack (1), and SD Card (1).

Overall, this laptop is good for most entertainment features aside from regular office work. In the matter of gaming, too, this system gives a good experience, and the battery life is suitable. However, bigger games that require a lot of RAM power can cause it to lag.

Pros

  • Big display
  • Affordable price
  • Battery is replaceable

Cons

  • No VGA port or DVD drive
  • Low video quality

4. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop

  • Form Factor-
  • Memory Slots– 2
  • Max Memory– 16GB

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop is a sleek looking laptop with an Intel Quad-core™ i5 processor and Windows configuration. The other features like its memory, AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Processor, and good battery life allow for the product to work in good condition for longer. Not to mention, it does not take a lot of power to run, averaging at around 65W.

 A huge part behind the popularity of a gaming laptop is how good the display is, and this one with its 15.6” Full HD display presents just that. With a sleek outer finish, aluminum-made top cover, and a LED-backlit display, it proves an attractive contender. Not to mention, the lightweight of this laptop (1.8 kgs) also works well for you if you are on the road frequently.

From a gaming perspective, a laptop containing GPU support features is highly important, and its Radeon Vega 3 Mobile Graphics allows for a better quality functioning. Whether you are playing a lighter game or something more graphic intensive, the AMD DDR4 SDRAM display gives the users better adaptability.

Moreover, what props this laptop up for the users is its 8GB memory, with the DDR4 SDRAM technology. Also, while playing high-octane games, you do not have to worry about the system lagging, thanks to the 1TB internal storage it possesses. The speed of the memory drive is satisfactory during usage, raising up to 3.5 GHz.

As for the connection features that allow the laptop to work perfectly, this gaming laptop under 400 dollars runs on Gigabit Ethernet. To be precise, this laptop also supports IEEE 802.11ac Wireless LAN, a Bluetooth 5.0 standard, and contains stereo sound effects. Furthermore, you would find 2 memory slots in its frame, 1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports each, and 2 USB 2.0 ports. The system also supports a Type-C USB, which is very useful to many people.

Overall, with its great quality outer appearance, satisfactory battery life, and other suitable factors, this laptop is worth a nod. Other features like a backlit keyboard make this product quite interesting to use for young adults and other ages alike. However, you would notice it has the Windows 10 in S mode, which is a slight issue for some.

Pros

  • Faster storage
  • Good screen display that allows for an interesting gameplay
  • The graphics performance is of satisfactory quality to a gamer 

Cons

  • Windows 10-S Mode
  • Sound is very average

5. Lenovo G50 80E30181US

  • Form Factor-
  • Memory Slots– 2
  • Max Memory– 16GB

One of the most reliable laptops at a low price that you can try out is the Lenovo G5 80E30181US model. This black and broad laptop has a big display of 15.6” with 1366 x 768 pixels definition. Thus, no matter what you are using the laptop for, watching movies, playing video games, etc., the visuals are satisfactory. Not to mention, the LED backlight also puts less strain on your eyesight.

Another major reason behind its quality is the GPU processor AMD Radeon R5, which provides great graphics. Moreover, it works with the help of an integrated AMD Quad-Core A8 6420 processor, which gives better functionality. The speed of this processor is 2.4 GHz, which is proper for this price range.

As for the RAM factor, you would notice a DDR2 SDRAM memory, with a pre-installed 6 GB RAM. Moreover, this laptop is pre-fitted with a storage space of 500 GB. That allows you to use most applications easily, though high-octane games can take up more space. The operating interface is Windows 8.1 which is suitable for most activities you may need a laptop for.

As for the connectivity features, the Lenovo G50 80E30181US does allow Bluetooth settings and a Gigabit Ethernet. You can insert a two-in-one card too, and it specifically supports MultiMedia Card and SD Memory Card in this regard. Aside from these, the computer also has ports for USB3.0 and 2.0 formats, a LAN connection, VGA, HDMI, and earphone-microphone combo.

Therefore, you would notice quite a lot of good quality functions when you are using this laptop. The functions would satisfy most of your work and entertainment goals. And the battery life is good at this price-range; another reason why you should consider this laptop seriously.

Pros

  • Big screen
  • Lighter weight
  • Can include SSD Drive later

Cons

  • Low RAM power for gaming
  • Issues in trackpad and keyboard can appear

6. Acer Chromebook R11 Convertible Laptop

  • Form Factor-
  • Memory Slots– 1
  • Max Memory– 8GB

Despite its low price, the Acer Chromebook R11 Convertible shows it worth through its very looks. The outer appearance showcases a matte silver finish, and most of the material of production is plastic. You can turn the 11.6 inches screen in the opposite direction all the way, which allows for good viewing. Notably, the HD display is also touch-sensitive and the resolution itself is 1366 x 768 Pixels.

Additionally, the GPU, Intel HD 400 Graphic processor works in tandem with the CPU, Intel Celeron N3060 processor for integrated performance. So, whether you are watching a movie or playing a game, you can do so with smooth functioning. Moreover, the Chromebook has the Chrome OS, which runs the system at a faster and safer rate.

Owing to this, the laptop is equipped with many Google apps, including Google Drive which provides additional cloud storage. The original storage that it offers is a 32GB eMMC, which is comparatively good quality. In the matter of memory though, you would get either a 2GB RAM or a 4GB RAM, neither of which are great for hardcore gaming. However, OS technology does work in giving a good performance regardless.

You can access the internet wirelessly and get 11AC WiFi connection, with a 2×2 MIMO technology and 802.11ac. Thus, you can work online without much strain on your system and work effortlessly on various other projects. Also, there are two ports fitted in, supporting 3.0 USB and 2.0 USB each. Similarly, there are slots for the SD Card, HDMI port and 3.5mm headphones.

All in all, you would enjoy the touchscreen facility of this laptop, and like the many viewing opportunities that it brings. However, the regular battery life would expire sooner owing to the touch screen technology. If you are thinking about gaming too, this would not work too well for you. Although, the smaller sized games that take up less RAM would operate favorably.

Pros

  • Rotates backward
  • Chrome OS features and additional Google features
  • Low-weight and good grip

Cons

  • Battery issues due to touchscreen
  • Low RAM for gaming

7. 2019 ASUS 14″ Premium

  • Form Factor-
  • Memory Slots
  • Max Memory

If you are looking for a good-quality laptop under $400, this 14’’ HD laptop is a good deal. It runs with a Windows 10 operating system and that is a great feature for everyday use. Plus, it also supports a SATA hard drive with 500 GB space.

Indeed, the 2019 ASUS 14″ Premium looks thin and compact, and it does not weigh too much. Moreover, the definition of the screen is 1366×768 pixels, which gives a good visual delight. The system is also fitted with an internal stereo, and the keyboard is satisfactory to handle during gaming and other activities.

As for the interior power, this laptop runs on an AMD A6-9225 Processor of the 7th Gen variety, which is good for most applications. However, in the case of gaming, this processor is older compared to the newer game features. Similarly, there is an AMD Radeon R4 Graphics processor in this model but that too is outdated for newer games. Yet, most lesser-sized games work on this system fine, and the processors give off a stable functionality.

As for the memory conditions, the RAM of this laptop is of the DDR4-2400 type, giving its users 4GB RAM power. If you are using your system for regular office or school work, this works perfectly. You can also watch movies and play games on it normally, and the 500GB of already-saved storage helps with that. The battery, too, is of the optimum condition and can last for many hours at full charge.

Also, this laptop does support Bluetooth features and wireless connection, 802.11bgn, 802.11b/g, and 802.11b. In case you cannot access the internet wirelessly, there is a LAN port available too. As for the other ports, you would notice spaces for a Type-C 3.1 USB, 3.0 USB. 2.0 USB, VGA port, and HDMI outputs.

Thus, this laptop is a good choice for you if you are on a budget. The high-quality display and graphics allow for good clarity and you can use this system for various purposes. However, if you try to play something as heavy-duty as Fortnite, you may see some performance issues.

Pros

  • The processors work effectively for most applications  
  • Big and defined display
  • Less expensive

Cons

  • The laptop and internal processor fans are loud
  • Big files lag the system

8. Asus Vivobook 15 Thin and Light Laptop

  • Form Factor-
  • Memory Slots– 1
  • Max Memory- 12GB

In the matter of the best gaming laptops under 400 dollars, the Asus Vivobook 15 Thin and Light is a perfect entrant. Owing to its ErgoLift Hinge technology, you can turn your screen to a position fitting your form, including the keyboard’s tilt. Aside from that, this laptop has a fingerprint sensor and operates its Windows 10 interface via its Intel Quad-Core processor.

Although these are important factors that improve its quality, the one that attracts users is its 14” FHD display that covers 73% of the top surface area. Not to mention, this ultra-thin body is adjustable to different angles, which gives it a multi-purpose feel. Thus, whether you want to use it as a regular laptop or a tablet, the picture and color quality would not shift.

The program that runs in the background is INTEL Core i3-7020U and that allows for a better gaming experience. To put it simply, it is a 7th Gen processor that goes up to the speed of 2.3 GHz, and that works well with most complicated games. Not to mention, the  Intel HD graphics 620 allows for suitable Graphics, appropriate for whatever you are doing on the laptop.

A major factor that can make or break the demand of a laptop model is its RAM component; this one supports 4GB DDR4. No matter what type of gaming fan you are, your computer would not start lagging after continuous usage. Also, it has a 256GB hard drive in its composition that allows for good storage capacity. It also has the power to hold 256GB of SSD additionally.

As for the ports that it holds, there are two memory slots, SD card reader, one Type C USB port, and one audio-in and headphone-out combination jack available on the side of the laptop. Wireless features include Bluetooth and WiFi, specifically 802.11b/n/ac type of it. The battery within is reliable, powered with Lithium Polymer and that is it detachable. Moreover, there are speakers attached within its frame, and the sound quality is quite satisfactory for its size.

If you are planning on buying a laptop that is okay for everyday use and also supports good gaming quality, this laptop is excellent. The light design and good battery life are satisfactory for regular use, and you can carry it around easily. Therefore, at this price range, it is not a bad bargain to consider.

Pros

  • Easy to hold; and the compact and light build of it is simple to move around with
  • Log-in features include Windows Hello and fingerprint scanning
  • Long battery life (full day power at 100% charged capacity)

Cons

  • There is only one C port USB
  • Internal storage is not satisfactory enough at 64GB

9. Dell Inspiron 15.6

  • Form Factor-
  • Memory Slots-
  • Max Memory- 32 GB

The Dell Inspiron 15.6 is a sleek and efficient contribution from the Dell company. This laptop works best with Intel Core i3-7130U Dual-Core Processors and is a good choice for gaming activities. It is integrated with Windows 10 Home and is comparatively easy to navigate. The clock speed can go up to 2.70 GHz and the CPU cores support hyperthreading. However, this is quite an older model but has a reliable infrastructure. Also, there is M.2 PCIe SATA storage available too, and it can hold up to 128 GB. 

Of course, another notable feature of this laptop is its 15.6-inch display with touchscreen capability and 1366 x 7680 pixels resolution. Thus, whether you are doing something simple or playing your favorite game, the interface is easy to navigate. There is a WLED backlight feature as well. Equipped with these characteristics like microphone-integrated webcam, a light build, and covered in all-black, this laptop is sturdy and quite a looker too. 

However, the real show-stopper is the integrated Intel HD 620 Graphics, which allows you to have better visibility and operation. The Windows 10 system within the system has many valuable features too, including a digital assistant. Especially for an ultra-defined and entertaining performance that makes a gaming experience memorable, this laptop includes an HDMI 1.4 port too. There is a slot for a media card, and the laptop also comes equipped with an SD card reader. 

An attractive quality about the Dell Inspiron 15.6 is its 8GB internal RAM size, highly influential for bigger-sized applications. Furthermore, the technology involved in this is DDR4, and the built-in cooling technology allows for safer CPU performance. Not to mention, there is the feature of adding external SSD and that can increase the storage space. The RAM itself runs at a speed of 2400 MHz, and that makes downloading things easier. 

You would notice the wireless service in this product, and the WiFi feature is quite well-optimized. This allows for faster connectivity, and it works in a dual-band system. An RJ45 port allows for fast ethernet as well.  As for the ports, there are many of them accessible on this laptop, and they all support different devices. This also includes microphone/headphone jack, SD Card Reader, USB 3.0 ports, among others. Not to mention, Bluetooth features are also available. 

With so many influential features like good quality RAM, high storage space, and better graphic technology, this product is effective. Not to mention, the cost of this laptop is very affordable and a good deal, considering the many available benefits. You may not use it for high-octane games, but overall the product is a good possibility to consider.

Pros

  • Good cost 
  • Quality of the hardware is good 
  • Installed bloatware is very minimalist

Cons

  • Not the best storage potential 
  • The touchscreen can hamper gaming speed 

10. Samsung Chromebook 3

  • Form Factor-
  • Memory Slots- 0
  • Max Memory- 4GB

Indeed, the Samsung Chromebook 3 may be small in size, but it packs quite a punch with its Intel Celeron N3060 processor. It is not difficult to use in the slightest, and the weight of it at 1.18kg is very portable, suitable for everyday use. Not to mention, the build of it is very sturdy, and the Chrome OS is simple to handle for most individuals.

Appearance-wise though, the 11.6” screen has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, which is not too high-definition. However, the display is still satisfactory and is fine for most games and regular work. This 17.9mm thick laptop also contains a spill-proof keyboard, which makes it last longer and it suffers less strain. Furthermore, it has a wide-screen display and contains LED backlights as well.

As a gaming laptop, it is important for the CPU to have a good quality chipset, and Dual-Core Samsung Exynos 5 in it handles that. Moreover, this feature works effectively at a rate of 1.7GHz, and there is a cache memory of 1MB. For security purposes, a TPM embedded security chip is also installed, protecting your files and the functionality of the system.

In the matter of storage, you might find the available 16GB eMMC storage disappointing, but the Chrome OS Cloud is an additional help. However, in the question of gaming, RAM power is significant, and this laptop has 2GB installed size and operates on DDR3L SDRAM. Additionally, there is a 16 GB SSD hard drive available, but optical storage is not.

For wonderful use, the sound quality is important too, and the microphone and stereo speakers are of satisfactory quality. Also, wireless works well enough through the 802.11a/b/g/n, which gives a good connection. Aside from that, this system also holds ports on the side regions of the model for various functions. These include a 3-in-1 memory card reader, an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, and a combo microphone/headphone jack.

If you are wondering whether you should buy it though, the good battery life, easier portability, and strong build are high-grade incentives. It is quite a cheap gaming laptop under 400 dollars, and the features at this price rate are competent. While the display is not the most favorable, you would not face too much difficulty using it.

Pros

  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • Battery life is long-lasting, averaging at 11 hours
  • The build is good and sturdy, but not too heavy

Cons

  • The keyboard is tough to use
  • Small and mediocre-quality display

Buyer’s Guide

Indeed, most of these products mentioned have a lot of different features that make them stand out. However, before buying the said products, you must know what the various important features are. And most importantly, the pairing of which ones would give you a better gaming opportunity while keeping your system safe. The following are the main things you should check more thoroughly.  

1. Display features

While choosing your preferred laptop, buy the ones with the bigger screen size and higher resolution. A better display would allow you to see the gameplay better and make your experience more enjoyable. However, keep note that the bigger screens weigh more; you must find a laptop with a balance of good weight and visuals. Also, try not to choose any touchscreen laptops as they affect your battery life negatively.

2. RAM

In the question of gaming, the RAM power of a computer is very important to look into. If you are willing to spend more money, choose those systems which have 16GB RAM. However, if you want to save money, 8GB RAM is acceptable too. You should try to upgrade it later though, if possible.

3. CPU

Generally, CPUs are not customizable or changeable, and thus, you should choose something with more power. These include anything with the 10th Gen Core processor and not lesser than that. The lesser-powered ones would work, however; but not long-lasting. Yet, in the matter of saving money, at least keep a note of the intensity of the GPU processor. Core i5 ones are the most profitable bet.

4. Keyboard and Keypad

Most gaming laptops support backlight in keyboards, mostly in the colors of red or white. Additionally, choose those systems which have n-key rollover or anti-ghosting in their keyboard. These give more effects and bonus support during certain games. Furthermore, look for laptops with macro-keys in them; these keys give you shortcuts and helpful tips during challenges.

5. Storage

Most laptops have a hard drive within its framework, more commonly of 1TB size. However, for gaming purposes, having an SSD drive is also beneficial. Thus, choose those that support both, and where you can increase the size of it too. However, do keep in mind that if you take a bigger SSD drive, that would hamper your loading time.

FAQs

1. How long does the battery life last during gaming?

Most laptops require constant charging as the GPU takes a lot of energy. Thus, in most cases, the battery would not last over an hour if you are using a notebook laptop. You need to keep it charged while playing.

2. What heats up the gaming laptops the most?

One of the key features in a gaming laptop is the Graphics, and this processor works the most during gaming. Thus, when you are playing a game that is more intensive, it is the Graphics processors that are overworking. This causes it to heat up, thus hating up the system too.

3. What temperature is most worrying during gaming?

When you are playing more intensive games, your system would start to heat up. But, most of the time this is not too worrying, especially if the temperature stays within 70 to 80 degrees Celsius. However, if the temperature of your system extends up to 95 degrees Celsius or more, that is a very worrying indication.

Conclusion

All things considered, gaming is a very exciting and fun experience that most people like, and these laptops give that. Surely, the higher-priced products do better, but there are many budget-friendly ones which are satisfactory. If you choose your preference based on features like battery life, RAM, or display, you can make an educated choice. However, if you are looking for a laptop that supports more advanced gaming technology, you should try to save up instead.