A new laptop is a significant investment. That’s a fact of life. But you don’t always have to break the bank. There’s a huge range of laptops for just a few hundred pounds. And if you just need a device to check emails, browse YouTube, or pull up recipes, a budget laptop might be all you need.
It’s still hard to choose though. Each person needs a slightly different specification. Maybe you want a big screen. You might like to take your laptop to the cafe, so battery life is important. Or maybe you need to store all your photos and documents, in which case more storage space is a priority. And a commuter might want a lighter laptop.
Just because you’re looking at a lower price doesn’t mean you don’t have all of these options. Here’s some information to get you started.
Are cheap laptops good?
You know the old saying: you get what you pay for. Actually, cheap laptops can be pretty good in this day and age. They may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive machines, but the truth is, who needs them? Why spend the extra £200 for a redundant graphics card? Instead you can spend less than £400 and be ready for whatever work, school or life throws at you on a daily basis
What size laptop do you need?
This comes down to two things: personal preference and lifestyle. Do you like a huge screen, or do you prefer something more compact? If you travel often and have your computer on your back, something lighter and more compact will suffice (thin 11-inch models might be the best). But if you’re a huge movie buff who doesn’t usually take your laptop on the road, why not go for a 15-inch (or bigger) screen so you can have epic Netflix sessions. If you get a gaming laptop, you should probably also “go big or go home”.
What are the disadvantages of a cheap laptop?
Laptops in the £400 or lower price range aren’t going to be good for PC gaming. You don’t get a screen with a resolution of 4K or a refresh rate higher than 60Hz. RAM maxes out at around 8 GB. You’re also unlikely to get more than 500GB of storage. In this price range, laptops are best for web browsing, word processing, Zoom calls, and streaming. If you don’t expect more than that, you’ll be fine.
What’s the best laptop for under $400?
We’ve made a selection of the best cheap laptops from top brands such as Lenovo(opens in a new tab) and Acer(opens in a new tab), with something for every type of user. It’s worth taking a moment to carefully consider all of these options and weigh them against your own priorities. This way you should be able to locate the device that best suits your lifestyle.
These are the best laptops for under £400 in 2023.