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These cheap Windows laptops are all under $400

If you're looking for a cheap Windows laptop, you don't have to skimp out on features like display, battery life, processor, or storage to find a great pick for less.

Investing in a laptop can be an expensive undertaking, and not everyone wants to pay thousands of dollars for the best Windows laptop

Students and workers alike can be perfectly happy with cheap and cheerful systems that just get the job done without bells and whistles or fancy branding. 

Here are a handful of Windows 10 laptops, all priced under $400 and perfect for most day-to-day tasks.

Also: The 6 best laptops for college

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Affordable
  • Great display
  • Efficient processor
cons
  • Finicky touchpad
More Details

Specs: Windows 11 Home in S Mode | AMD Ryzen 3 5300U processor quad-core 2.60 GHz | AMD Radeon Graphics shared memory | 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 | 8 GB, DDR4 SDRAM | 256GB SSD

This is one of those budget laptops that not only looks premium, but also advanced features such as Wi-Fi 6 and a decent amount of fast storage. It makes the perfect laptop for work or school.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Great battery life
  • Easy-to-use keyboard
cons
  • No SSD
  • No USB-C ports
More Details

Specs: Intel Celeron Processor N4020 (4MB Cache, up to 2.8 GHz) | 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) Anti-glare LED-Backlit Non-touch Narrow Border Display | Windows 11 Home (S mode) | 4GB, 1x4GB, DDR4, 2400MHz | Intel UHD Graphics 600 with shared graphics memory | 128GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is a cheap yet stylish laptop that offers decent power and performance, all for under $300. It is a good, solid, and reliable all-rounder.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Lightweight, yet durable option
  • Bright and powerful screen
  • Great battery life
cons
  • Trackpad could be better
  • Lacks more RAM
More Details

Specs: Intel Celeron N4000 | 14.0-inch 1366x768 HD matte display featuring ASUS NanoEdge Bezel | 4GB LPDDR4 RAM | 64GB eMMC | Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) | Up to 12 hours of battery life | 0.7-inch thin and 2.87 lbs light

Thin and light aren't limited to high-end, high-priced premium devices. Here we have a solid laptop that's perfect for day-to-day tasks, and it has a modern design and premium feel.

Pros & Cons
pros
  • Compact
  • Doubles as a touchscreen tablet
  • Great color and design
cons
  • Battery life could be better
  • Dimmer display
More Details

Specs: Windows 10 Home | AMD A9-9420E processor | Radeon R5 graphics | 11 6-inch HD (1366 x 768) LED-backlit touch display | 4GB DDR4 RAM | 64GB eMMC storage

The Dell Inspiron 11 is a great device for those who can't choose between a laptop and a tablet -- with just a flip of a hinge, you can swap between one configuration and another with ease. Choose between tablet mode, presentation mode, tent mode, and laptop mode.

The 64GB eMMC storage means this is a more robust platform, ideal for throwing into a messenger bag or school bag since there's no hard drive to knock about.

What is the best cheap Windows Laptop?

Acer Aspire 5 is the best cheap Windows laptop. Whether you need a budget Windows laptop for work or school the Acer Aspire 5 packs a punch at a very affordable price. It is compatible with Windows 10 and Windows 11, and certainly gets the job done.

Windows laptop

Price

CPU

Display

Acer Aspire 5

Around $362

AMD Ryzen 3 5300U processor quad-core 2.60 GHz

15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

Starting from $299.99

Intel Celeron Processor N4020 (4MB Cache, up to 2.8 GHz)

15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) Anti-glare LED-Backlit Non-touch Narrow Border Display

ASUS Laptop L406

Around $286

Intel Celeron N4000

14.0-inch 1366x768 HD matte display featuring ASUS NanoEdge Bezel

Dell Inspiron 11 2-in-1

Around $249

AMD A9-9420E processor

11 6-inch HD (1366 x 768) LED-backlit touch display

Which cheap Windows laptop is right for you?

Any of these cheap Windows laptops are great options -- it ultimately comes down to what qualities are important to you (CPU, RAM, display, etc.), what size and weight you prefer, and what you're willing to spend.

Choose this cheap Windows laptop...

If you want...

Acer Aspire 5

The best overall option.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

A reliable laptop for great value.

ASUS Laptop L406

A lightweight Windows laptop. 

Dell Inspiron 11 2-in-1

A Windows laptop that also doubles as a tablet.

How did we choose these cheap Windows laptops?

We chose these laptops after extensive research into the product category. We compared factors like pricing, reviews (both good and bad), different specs, as well as renowned brand names in the space.

Can all these laptops run Windows 11?

It's always recommended that you check the tech specs and user manual of your laptop to see what version of Windows it's running. But the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has Windows 11 already installed, and the Acer Aspire 5 is eligible for a free Windows 11 upgrade.

What are budget laptops best suited for?

You're looking at a system that can handle the general activities people do at work or school (as long as they don't include things like pro-grade photo and video editing and playing games and that sort of activities). These systems are general-purpose systems but don't expect them to handle heavy workloads.

What kind of battery life can I expect from a budget laptop?

Battery life all depends on how you're using your laptop. If you're doing very light workloads like web browsing or word processing, you'll get the maximum run time out of your new laptop. For example: the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has a maximum battery life of 7.5 hours. So if you're just catching up on news headlines or your kids are doing homework, you'll get fairly close to that number. But if you're streaming music, movies, or shows, you'll get a bit less, and your laptop will die fairly quickly if you're trying to edit photos and videos.

Are there alternative cheap Windows laptops worth considering?

Here are a few other options to look into:



 

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