Best Gaming Laptops Under $400 (2021)

Top Choice
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, Vega 3 Graphics, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode, A515-43-R19L, Silver
Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 11.6-Inch HD (1366 x 768) IPS Display, MediaTek MT8173C Processor, 4GB LPDDR3, 64 GB eMMC, Chrome OS, 81HY0000US, Blizzard White
ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS34
HP 14" HD AMD Ryzen 3 3.5GHz 4GB 128GB SSD Radeon Vega 3 Webcam Windows 10 Laptop
Lenovo 130S-11IGM 11.6" HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 1-Year Office 365, Windows 10 in S Model - Gray
Best Budget Gaming Laptop
Best Portable Gaming Laptop
Slimmest Gaming Laptop
Best for Beginner Gamers
Best Ergonomic Gaming Laptop
Top Choice
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, Vega 3 Graphics, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode, A515-43-R19L, Silver
Best Budget Gaming Laptop
Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 11.6-Inch HD (1366 x 768) IPS Display, MediaTek MT8173C Processor, 4GB LPDDR3, 64 GB eMMC, Chrome OS, 81HY0000US, Blizzard White
Best Portable Gaming Laptop
HP 14" HD AMD Ryzen 3 3.5GHz 4GB 128GB SSD Radeon Vega 3 Webcam Windows 10 Laptop
Best for Beginner Gamers
Lenovo 130S-11IGM 11.6" HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 1-Year Office 365, Windows 10 in S Model - Gray
Best Ergonomic Gaming Laptop

Gaming laptops today can be just as reliable as any gaming desktop! Better yet, they’re portable, space-saving, and lightweight.

But here’s the problem:

Especially if you’re a serious gamer, it’s difficult to find a gaming laptop that can keep up with your competitive streak. We hate to break it to you, but it’s even harder to find a capable laptop with a low price tag. 

But, if you know the specs to look for in a cheap gaming laptop, you can still get a great gaming experience.

Trust us, you wouldn’t want to seem like a noob!

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • What specs to look for in a gaming laptop in our buyer’s guide
  • Best gaming laptops under $400 

If you are interested in how we judged the laptops, at the end of the article we go over all the specifications that you should look for in a good gaming laptop. Jump to the Specifications for a Gaming Laptop Now.

Ready to start the grind? Find the best cheap gaming laptops FTW!

Top 5 Gaming Laptops Under $400

Now, keep our buyer’s guide considerations in mind as you read through this section!

From our testing and research, here are the 5 best cheap gaming laptops:

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, Vega 3 Graphics, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode, A515-43-R19L, Silver
Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 11.6-Inch HD (1366 x 768) IPS Display, MediaTek MT8173C Processor, 4GB LPDDR3, 64 GB eMMC, Chrome OS, 81HY0000US, Blizzard White
ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS34
HP 14" HD AMD Ryzen 3 3.5GHz 4GB 128GB SSD Radeon Vega 3 Webcam Windows 10 Laptop
Lenovo 130S-11IGM 11.6" HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 1-Year Office 365, Windows 10 in S Model - Gray
Processor
AMD Ryzen 3 Dual Core - 3.5GHz
Mediatek, 2.1 GHz
Intel Core i3, 10th Gen., 3.4 GHz
Dual-Core AMD Ryzen 3, 3.5 GHz
Intel Celeron N4000
RAM
4GB DDR4
4GB DDR3
8GB DDR4 SDRAM
4 GB DDR4 SDRAM
4GB DDR3 SDRAM
Graphics
AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile
Intel Integrated
Intel UHD Graphics
AMD Radeon™ Vega 3 Graphics
Intel integrated UHD
Storage
128GB SSD
64 GB SSD
128GB SSD
128GB SSD
64GB EMMC
Display
(1920 x 1080) Full HD IPS
(1366 X 768) HD IPS
1920 x 1080) FHD
1366 x 768
1366 x 768 HD
Battery Life
Up to 7.5 hrs
Up to 10 Hours
Up to 5 hours
Up to 8 Hours
Up to 10 hours
OS
Windows 10 S
Chrome OS
Windows 10 S
Windows 10
Windows 10
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, Vega 3 Graphics, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode, A515-43-R19L, Silver
Processor
AMD Ryzen 3 Dual Core - 3.5GHz
RAM
4GB DDR4
Graphics
AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile
Storage
128GB SSD
Display
(1920 x 1080) Full HD IPS
Battery Life
Up to 7.5 hrs
OS
Windows 10 S
Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 11.6-Inch HD (1366 x 768) IPS Display, MediaTek MT8173C Processor, 4GB LPDDR3, 64 GB eMMC, Chrome OS, 81HY0000US, Blizzard White
Processor
Mediatek, 2.1 GHz
RAM
4GB DDR3
Graphics
Intel Integrated
Storage
64 GB SSD
Display
(1366 X 768) HD IPS
Battery Life
Up to 10 Hours
OS
Chrome OS
ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS34
Processor
Intel Core i3, 10th Gen., 3.4 GHz
RAM
8GB DDR4 SDRAM
Graphics
Intel UHD Graphics
Storage
128GB SSD
Display
1920 x 1080) FHD
Battery Life
Up to 5 hours
OS
Windows 10 S
HP 14" HD AMD Ryzen 3 3.5GHz 4GB 128GB SSD Radeon Vega 3 Webcam Windows 10 Laptop
Processor
Dual-Core AMD Ryzen 3, 3.5 GHz
RAM
4 GB DDR4 SDRAM
Graphics
AMD Radeon™ Vega 3 Graphics
Storage
128GB SSD
Display
1366 x 768
Battery Life
Up to 8 Hours
OS
Windows 10
Lenovo 130S-11IGM 11.6" HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 1-Year Office 365, Windows 10 in S Model - Gray
Processor
Intel Celeron N4000
RAM
4GB DDR3 SDRAM
Graphics
Intel integrated UHD
Storage
64GB EMMC
Display
1366 x 768 HD
Battery Life
Up to 10 hours
OS
Windows 10

TOP CHOICE: Acer Aspire 5

Sale
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display, AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, Vega 3 Graphics, 4GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 in S Mode, A515-43-R19L, Silver

  • Brand: Acer
  • Model: A515-43-R19L
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 Dual Core (3.5GHz)
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 3 Mobile
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Display: (1920 x 1080) Full HD IPS
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.97 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 7 1/2 Hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10 S
  • Additional Features: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Backlit Keyboard, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0 port

It’s hard to find a better low-budget gaming laptop than the Acer Aspire 5!

First of all, it’s lightweight, simple, and sleek –– the perfect portable gaming laptop.

In terms of specs, Acer Aspire is as good as it gets. Its AMD Ryzen 3 processor ensures that it can run heavy applications faster than your typical laptop.

It also has 4GB DDR4 RAM, which is great for multitasking. You can listen to your favorite music and play games without any problem.

There’s more. . .

To ensure a smooth gaming experience, the Acer Aspire 5 is equipped with an updated AMD Radeon 3 graphics card. You can easily play Need for Speed, GTA IV, and run the PUBGM Emulator on medium to high settings.

Even better, you can enable Alexa on this laptop. Easily set timers and alarms, to-do lists, reminders, and calendars or appointments.  A great gaming life and home life? That’s what we call a double whammy!

Lastly, the Acer Aspire 5 is known to be hardy and durable. Most gaming laptops would wear down within a year or two, but not the Acer Aspire 5.

Pros
  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • Lightweight and portable
  • AMD Ryzen 3 processor is powerful
  • AMD Radeon 3 GPU
  • Ergonomic
Cons
  • Heating issues
  • Battery drains quickly

Final Verdict

Acer Aspire 5 is one of the best low-budget gaming laptops for its powerful processor and graphics card! 

Customer Reviews Rating: 4.6/5

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BEST PORTABLE GAMING LAPTOP: Lenovo Chromebook C330

Sale
Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, 11.6-Inch HD (1366 x 768) IPS Display, MediaTek MT8173C Processor, 4GB LPDDR3, 64 GB eMMC, Chrome OS, 81HY0000US, Blizzard White

  • Brand: ‎Lenovo
  • Series: ‎IdeaPad C330
  • Processor: Mediatek (2.1 GHz)
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3
  • Storage: 64 GB SSD
  • Graphics: Intel Integrated
  • Display: (1366 X 768) HD IPS
  • Screen Size: 11.6 Inches
  • Weight: 2.64 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 Hours
  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Hard Drive: ‎64 GB Flash Memory Solid State
  • Additional Features: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; 1 USB 3.0 port

Are you looking for a highly versatile yet affordable laptop? Get the 2-in-1 Lenovo Chromebook C330!

This ultra-light laptop has a convertible design that is easy to lug around. What can be better than playing games anytime and anywhere?

Don’t let its slim design fool you –– you can play NFS-Underground, GTA, and Project IGI!

Now onto the specs:

While the Chrome operating system might seem restricting, it’s incredibly intuitive and easy to use. 

The integrated Intel graphics card is fast, accompanied by a 4GBDDR3 memory for the ultimate seamless and responsive experience.

We also love that it’s convertible. But there’s more –– you can disassemble the keyboard to get a tablet!

Pros
  • Convertible
  • Can be disassembled to a tablet
  • Highly responsive touchscreen
  • Affordable
  • 46B DDR4 Memory
Cons
  • Battery drains quickly
  • Not ideal for complex games

Final Verdict

If you’re a casual gamer that’s always on the go, we recommend the budget-friendly 2-in-1 Lenovo Chromebook C330.

Customer Reviews Rating: 4.5/5

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SLIMMEST BUDGET GAMING LAPTOP: ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop

Sale
ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS34

  • Brand: ‎ASUS
  • Processor: Latest Intel Core i3, 10th Gen. (4M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
  • Display: (1920 x 1080) FHD
  • Screen Size: 15.6 inch
  • Weight: 3.75 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 Hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10 S
  • Additional Features: WiFi 5 (802.11 ac), BT 4.1

The Asus VivoBook 15 is far from the stereotypical ugly and bulky gaming laptop.

From our research, it’s the best thin budget gaming laptop in 2021! Especially if you’re looking for a responsive laptop with exceptional multitasking capabilities, Asus Vivobook 15 won’t disappoint.

Here’s a rundown of its best features:

The Asus VivoBook runs on a powerful 10th Gen. Core 13 processor that ensures smooth and fast performance.

Though it’s the thinnest gaming laptop, Asus generously equips the Vivobook 15 with an ample vivid display of 15.6” full HD 1080p. 

Another great feature is the combination of the 8FB DDR4 memory plus the Intel UHD GPU that makes for a fast and smooth user experience. We love to play Counter-Strike, Fortnite, and Minecraft on this laptop.

Lastly, we’re big fans of Asus for its one-year damage protection guarantee for most laptops. Their customer support is amazing when it comes to repairs and technical concerns.

Pros
  • Vivid graphics
  • Large Full HD display
  • Thinnest budget gaming laptop
  • Powerful Core 13 10th Gen Processor
  • Damage Protection Guarantee
  • 8GB DDR4 memory
Cons
  • Mouse and touchpad issues
  • Quiet speakers
  • Battery drains quickly

Final Verdict

The Asus VivoBook 15 is one of the best gaming laptops with a low price tag! It’s thin, powerful, and offers a vivid display. It doesn’t hurt that it also comes with a damage protection guarantee!

Customer Reviews Rating: 4.5/5

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Best for Beginner Gamers: HP 14 inch

HP 14" HD AMD Ryzen 3 3.5GHz 4GB 128GB SSD Radeon Vega 3 Webcam Windows 10 Laptop

  • Brand: ‎HP
  • Processor: Dual-Core AMD Ryzen 3 (3.5 GHz)
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon™ Vega 3 Graphics
  • Display: 1366 x 768
  • Screen Size: 14 Inches
  • Weight: 3.2 lbs
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 Hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Additional Features: Bluetooth, Media Card


Are you a beginner gamer on a tight budget? The HP 14” is the answer!

Though extremely budget-friendly, the HP 14” specs won’t disappoint. In fact, you can play most AAA games on medium to high settings without any issue.

Here’s what you should know:

It runs on Windows 10 OS! Remember, that’s your number one choice if you want to run all the latest games with ease.

It also runs on an AMD Ryzen 3 processor, which is great for most beginner games. No problems for performance and loading/response time/

What’s more, the 128GB SSD combined with a 4GB DDR4 RAM ensures the ultimate responsive gaming experience! You can play Minecraft, GTA, NFS, Counter-Strike, and Project IGI without any problems.

To top it off, the graphics are spectacular! The 14-inch HD screen ensures a smooth visual journey without any glitches.

Pros
  • ntegrated Intel GPU
  • Powerful processor
  • 14-inch full HD display
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Ergonomic keyboard
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Some crashing and freezing issues
  • Overheating

Final Verdict

The HP 14” is ultra-lightweight, compact, and budget-friendly! It’s your best bet for beginner gamers who want a cheap yet reliable gaming laptop.

Customer Reviews Rating: 4.⅗

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Best Ergonomic Gaming Laptop: Lenovo 130S-11IGM

Lenovo 130S-11IGM 11.6" HD Laptop, Intel Celeron N4000, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 1-Year Office 365, Windows 10 in S Model - Gray

  • Brand: ‎Lenovo
  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4000 (1.1 Celeron)
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage: 64GB EMMC
  • Graphics: Intel integrated UHD
  • Display: (1366 x 768) HD
  • Screen Size: 11.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Camera: 0.3MP
  • Battery Life: Very reliable
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Additional Features: One year of Microsoft Office 365; 802.11bgn, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB-C 3.1 port, HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0

Ergonomics should be your top priority, especially if you want long gaming sessions! The Lenovo 130S-11IGM can give you just that! 

We love that this IdeaPad laptop is portable and lightweight at only 2.5 pounds. It’s compact enough for everyday travel in your satchel or backpack with a thickness of just 0.7 inches.

The best news? The Lenovo 130S packs a punch when it comes to battery life. Most gamers can rely on the battery alone for about 8 to 10 hours.

Now onto the specs:

We admit that this laptop isn’t the best for high-tech and complex video games. However, newbie gamers are sure to have a blast with the Lenovo 130S-11IGM without burning a hole in their pockets.

Thanks to its reliable Intel Celeron processor, you can have a fast gaming experience! It’s not the most powerful gaming computer out there. Play your favorite games like Sim City, Quake, Planetbase, or Dungeon keeper.

Performance is great for its price, thanks to the combination of the 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and a flash storage of 64GB eMMC.

Pros
  • Budget-friendly
  • Great for travel (lightweight, thin)
  • Integrated with Windows 10
  • Great battery life
  • Intel Celeron processor
  • Many ports available
Cons
  • Low FPS
  • Dim display
  • Upgrading is tricky

Final Verdict

The Lenovo 130S-11IGM is one of the most reliable travel gaming laptops! It’s sleek, compact, and lightweight. Plus, it has great battery life.

Customer Reviews Rating: 4.3/5

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There you have it! You’ll never be the lagger with our top 5 gaming laptops under $400! 

Cheap Gaming Laptops Specs – What to Look For

Go AFK for a moment and take a look at the top specs you need in a gaming laptop:

RAM

If you hate it when your computer crashes mid-game (who doesn’t?), increase your laptop performance by getting one with plenty of RAM!

Ideally, you’d want a laptop with at least 8GB RAM. This would be great for most games to avoid any lagging. Unfortunately, not many cheap gaming laptops have this feature.

It’s easier to find a laptop with 4GB RAM. If you’re a serious gamer who loves MOBA or FPS games, you’ll feel limited by a 4GB RAM.

To maximize CPU power, you can opt for dual-channeling and get a laptop with 2 x 4GB RAM sticks instead of 8GB RAM.

CPU

Also known as “the brain” of your computer, the CPU ensures the functionality and longevity of the laptop. 

For high-tech video games, you need a CPU with multiple processors to keep up with your audio and video feeds. You also need to consider clock speed for a fast and seamless gaming experience.

Here’s what you should look for in a cheap gaming CPU:

Intel
AMD
Intel i3-1005G1
Ryzen 5 3500U
M3-8100Y
Ryzen 3 3200U
Intel i5-1035G1

Storage

If you’re a light to the casual gamer, recommended storage for your gaming laptop is at least 512GB. If you plan on installing a lot of AAA games, go for a gaming laptop with at least 1TB of storage.

Most gaming laptops will allow you to expand your internal storage, but if you’re not comfortable doing so, you can always get an external HDD/SDD.

Display

The best display you can get for a gaming laptop within this price range is either an FHD/IPS display. FHD offers the sharpest images, while IPS is great for color reproduction and wider viewing angles.

FHD/IPS displays are difficult to find in a cheap laptop, but you can still go for a TN/FHD laptop. This display offers better refresh rates which are ideal for gaming.

It will be best to steer clear of TN/HD or HD+ displays due to their low resolution.

As for screen size, you’d generally find gaming laptops under $1000 with 15” screens. While it may not be the most space-saving choice for gamers on the go, most 15-inch laptops can run for a good six hours off the plug.

For resolution and refresh rate, the universal 1080p and 60Hz display is capable enough.

GPU

The graphics card is the most important factor to consider in a gaming laptop. A reliable GPU helps drive up higher frame rates, higher resolutions, and better detail settings.

Here’s what you should look for:

Integrated (For MOBA or FPS games at medium settings; FPS +60)
Dedicated (maximize frame rates on medium and high settings)
Intel UHD
MX150
Intel HD 620
MX250
AMD Radeon Vega 3/5/8
MX350
Radeon 610
NVIDIA GTX 1050 (2-4GB) - BEST
Radeon RX 540 - BEST

We hope our cheap gaming laptops guide helps you to figure out the best choice for you! 

Give us your POV . . .

Which one do you think will give you the best gaming experience?

While gaming laptops on a budget will have its limitations, these are the best gaming laptops when it comes to performance and gaming experience. We’ve reviewed the top gaming laptops considering CPU, RAM, GPU, storage, and display.

Get ready for a GG with our top picks –– GLHF!