Best Laptop under 400$: Best Budget Laptop (2020)

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Winner
ASUS F512JA-AS34 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
Best Price-Performance Ratio
2020 Premium Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15.6 Inch Laptop, AMD APU A6-9225 up to 3.0 GHz, AMD Radeon R4, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI, Webcam, Windows 10 Home, Black
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
Model
ASUS VivoBook 15
Lenovo IdeaPad S145
Acer Aspire 5
Test Result
Test Result 9.9/10 Excellent June 2020
Test Result 9.7/10 Very Good June 2020
Test Result 9.6/10 Very Good June 2020
Manufacturer
ASUS
Lenovo
Acer
RAM
8 GB
8 GB
4 GB
CPU
Intel Core i3-1005G1
AMD APU A6-9225 up to 3.0 GHz
AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
Graphics Card
Intel UHD Graphics
AMD Radeon R4
AMD Vega 3 Graphics
Storage Capacity
128GB SSD
1TB HDD
128GB SSD
Performance
Value for money
Weight
3.75 lbs.
4.0 lbs.
4.0 lbs.
Pros
  • Amazing performance
  • Reasonable price
  • Looks nice and is available in multiple color schemes
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Cool and quiet
  • Best price-performance ratio
  • Screen doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment
  • Thin and light body
  • Fast processor
  • Elegant design
  • Low power consumption
  • Great price
Cons
  • Battery life
  • Low contrast ratio
  • Surfaces susceptible to fingerprints
Recommended by us?
Winner
ASUS F512JA-AS34 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
Model
ASUS VivoBook 15
Test Result
Test Result 9.9/10 Excellent June 2020
Manufacturer
ASUS
RAM
8 GB
CPU
Intel Core i3-1005G1
Graphics Card
Intel UHD Graphics
Storage Capacity
128GB SSD
Performance
Value for money
Weight
3.75 lbs.
Pros
  • Amazing performance
  • Reasonable price
  • Looks nice and is available in multiple color schemes
  • Backlit keyboard
Cons
  • Battery life
Recommended by us?
Best Price-Performance Ratio
2020 Premium Lenovo IdeaPad S145 15.6 Inch Laptop, AMD APU A6-9225 up to 3.0 GHz, AMD Radeon R4, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI, Webcam, Windows 10 Home, Black
Model
Lenovo IdeaPad S145
Test Result
Test Result 9.7/10 Very Good June 2020
Manufacturer
Lenovo
RAM
8 GB
CPU
AMD APU A6-9225 up to 3.0 GHz
Graphics Card
AMD Radeon R4
Storage Capacity
1TB HDD
Performance
Value for money
Weight
4.0 lbs.
Pros
  • Cool and quiet
  • Best price-performance ratio
  • Screen doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment
  • Thin and light body
Cons
  • Low contrast ratio
Recommended by us?
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
Model
Acer Aspire 5
Test Result
Test Result 9.6/10 Very Good June 2020
Manufacturer
Acer
RAM
4 GB
CPU
AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
Graphics Card
AMD Vega 3 Graphics
Storage Capacity
128GB SSD
Performance
Value for money
Weight
4.0 lbs.
Pros
  • Fast processor
  • Elegant design
  • Low power consumption
  • Great price
Cons
  • Surfaces susceptible to fingerprints
Recommended by us?

Finding The Best Laptop Under 400$

Before you buy a laptop, you should be aware of what you need the device for.

This will help you narrow down your choice when shopping.

What to look for if the decision is difficult.

As with so many new purchases, everything begins with a simple question:

What do I usually use the device for? The answer to this question already narrows down the choice.

In this article we concentrate on the best laptops under 400 Dollar.

If I want to write e-mails, edit texts or surf the Internet, you don’t need an expensive device. Any laptop can also do graphics for home use, such as editing holiday photos:

That’s even possible with a mobile phone these days.

Film editing, on the other hand, is more complex.

Price depends on the application

First you should find out about the most common applications.

Then the product group and thus the price range can be selected:

Good laptops are available from around 400 to 500 Dollar, older models or special offers also for less than 300 Dollar.

On the other hand, those who prefer a lighter so-called Ultrabook, a Detachable – a notebook that can be turned into a tablet by means of a removable screen – or a notebook with a 360-degree hinge (convertible) will have to invest at least 1,000 Dollar.

How much performance the processor should provide

The processor generation is one of the key differentiators that also determines the price of the computer.

For all our best labtops under 400 Dollar this was a major criteria.

Almost all notebook processors come from Intel and AMD.

At Intel average private users should choose the i5 model.

The i3 processor is the absolute basic variant, i7 for private use is already “very demanding”.

Even AMD, which also numbers its Ryzen processors available since 2017 with odd numbers from 3 to 7, is well on board with the 5.

Better more memory and smaller display for the best laptop under 400$

We recommend at least four gigabytes (GB) of RAM, preferably eight.

There is also agreement on mass storage: SSD instead of conventional hard disk, we recommend.

An SSD is standard today. It is robust and accesses data faster, but it is also more expensive than a conventional hard disk.

It also consumes less power and thus increases the running time of the notebook.

As far as storage space is concerned, 128 GB is the minimum, 256 GB is clearly better.

The size of the display influences the price, dimensions, weight and power consumption.

15.6 inches or more is more comfortable for longer work than smaller screen diagonals.

Exepnsive foldable laptops for on the road

Those who like to watch movies on the train could also think about buying a convertible in which the keyboard can be folded completely back.

This is also practical for presentations to three or four people.

With Detachable, the screen can be completely removed and used like a tablet, usually with a different user interface.

However, we advise everyone who works predominantly in tablet mode to buy a tablet with an external keyboard.

Test Results: The Best Laptops Under 400$

The Best Laptop under 400$: ASUS VivoBook 15

ASUS VivoBook 15

Pros

  • Amazing performance
  • Reasonable price
  • Looks nice and is available in multiple color schemes
  • Backlit keyboard

Cons

  • Battery life

Best performing laptop under 400 Dollar

Asus offers its VivoBook 15 laptop in the middle class.

It wants to score with a 15.6 inch 1080p display, Ryzen 7 and 512GB SSD.

The test shows how well this works together.

Ryzen CPUs are strongly on the rise and so many notebook manufacturers have also discovered their heart for them.

Asus offers a cheap entry into this world with the ASUS VivoBook 15, but the rest of the equipment doesn’t have to hide either.

Minimalist scope of delivery for the best laptop under 400$

There are no surprises in the scope of delivery.

Apart from the ASUS VivoBook 15 and the adapter, there are only a few notes for warranty processing in the box.

Nothing outstanding, but everything is there for the start.

Simple design for the best laptop under 400 Dollar

The design is kept simple.

Asus relies completely on plastic for the material.

The keyboard’s exterior and bezel are kept in a simple, elegant grey. In return, the frame around the display relies on a matt black.

The display bezels on the left and right are absolutely okay for 2020 and a midrange device.

Asus calls it NanoEdge – I call it normal.

The upper frame contains the 720p webcam and the lower frame still has an Asus logo on it.

Nothing is too conspicuous and thus a simple look results, which I find very appealing.

ASUS VivoBook 15

In notebooks of this size, there is almost always a number pad beside the normal keyboard – as in the ASUS VivoBook 15.

The keys offer a slight resistance and it takes some time to get used to the slightly hollow noise when typing, but after that it’s easy to type on the keyboard.

The previously mentioned choice of materials is due to the price.

In return, the workmanship quality is quite good. There aren’t any irregular gaps or sharp edges or the like.

When trying to open the ASUS VivoBook 15 with one hand, you’ll unfortunately only slide it over the table. This is a pity, but unfortunately the norm for most notebooks under 1000$.

Surprises with the connections

Often connections define what we use a device for or whether we buy it at all.

If the entire household is still at USB-A I will not go for a device that is only type-C.

If I want to win multiplayer matches, I will insist on a network connection (RJ45) at my computer, etc.

ASUS VivoBook 15

There is a fast USB 3.2 (Gen 1) port on the left side of the ASUS VivoBook 15. Once with USB type A and once with USB type C.

Both are welcome and allow the use of a wide variety of peripherals.

In addition, there is also a full-fledged HDMI port and the connection for the power.

However, the notebook cannot be charged via the Type-C port.

The ASUS VivoBook 15’s right side isn’t quite as convincing in return.

Aside from two USB 2.0 ports and a jack port, there is also a microSD card reader.

If you only rely on the small memory cards, you’ll save the adapter here, but a real 4in1 cardreader would have been preferable.

But what I really miss is a network connection.

In notebooks of this size they are actually standard.

I would also like to exchange a USB 2.0 port for a USB 3.2 (Gen 1). Is more suitable for 2020.

But for most users, the ports installed here should fit.

They are well chosen and also offer enough space between the individual interfaces so that wiring is not a fiddly job.

Matt display

Compared to the other best laptops under 400$ the ASUS VivoBook 15 has a matt TN panel that resolves with Full HD.

The viewing angles are stable and reflections are limited to a minimum.

This is how it should be with more laptops.

ASUS VivoBook 15

There’s not much to complain about in terms of colors.

The ASUS VivoBook 15 isn’t suitable for color-critical work with 65% sRGB coverage and 49% in the extended AdobeRGB color space.

The missed white point and lack of contrast also disqualifies it for this.

This shouldn’t be expected in the price range of the best laptops under 400 Dollar either.

The colors are good for everyday use, even if too cold ex works.

However, the ASUS VivoBook 15 has a good color image after the display’s calibration.

If you want, you can download the calibrated color profile here.

There’s also nothing to complain about in terms of illumination.

The display is advertised by Asus with 200nits.

In practice it was even 250nits. It’s not the brightest display on the market, but it’s okay for working indoors.

The display is also very evenly illuminated. The deviation on the complete panel was mostly only a few percent.

Little Bloatware

Windows 10 Home is used as the operating system for the ASUS VivoBook 15.

Asus is mostly reserved with unwanted software for this.

Even if the large package of Microsoft apps is installed, you’ll look in vain for both Netflix and Candy Crush.

I personally like that a lot, but what I don’t like is the pre-installation of a total of three McAfee programs. Asus would have liked to have been able to do without this scaring software on the VivoBook 15.

Solid office performance

The ASUS VivoBook 15 performs as one would expect in view of the built-in hardware.

The Ryzen 7 has enough performance to handle all office tasks without any problems.

It can hardly afford delays or dropouts.

ASUS VivoBook 15

Unfortunately, Asus seems to take the built-in Ryzen 7 very seriously.

In direct comparison with a Ryzen 5 (3500U), the processor in Asus is the shortest.

This is good for the noise level, but annoying in CPU-heavy tasks.

If you only use mail, browser and file manager, you won’t notice much of it, of course.

Meanwhile, the built-in SSD performs solidly, but doesn’t set any speed records.

This will become noticeable during a copy process with larger data – but not otherwise.

Meanwhile, it takes about ten seconds to boot the entire system and the SSD still has 437 GB free on delivery.

About five hours battery life

The ASUS VivoBook 15’s battery life is within the expected range.

You won’t be able to go a whole day without a power outlet.

But in order to transfer a movie to the TV via HDMi, for example, you don’t have to rummage through the power adapter under the desk.

For the test, I simply used the ASUS VivoBook 15 as my main work computer for a while.

Accordingly, it has to deal with Microsoft’s Office applications, a lot of web browsing and Photoshop and Lightroom.

The display was set at around 180-200 cd/m². After about five hours, that was it.

Those who do without less bright lighting or resource-hungry programs will achieve a longer battery life.

Nevertheless, you should always know where the next power outlet is or use the device permanently on the electricity during a normal office day.

Neither hot nor annoying for the best laptop under 400 Dollar

Here the ASUS VivoBook 15 scores in my eyes.

In normal use you won’t hear the laptop. At worst, the fans make a low humming noise. Even just typing on the keyboard is louder.

ASUS VivoBook 15

The notebook stays really quiet even under load compared to the other best laptops under 400 Dollar.

The fans turn faster and are also louder, but the noise level is still masked by the noise in a normal office.

Everything stays within the green range in terms of temperature.

The CPU settles down at around 81°C even under the heaviest demands and stays there.

By the way, the case remained pleasantly cool during the entire stress test.

Well accessible interior

To give a notebook a fresh cell cure with fresh components after a few years, you have to get hold of the parts.

Asus makes it quite easy for us with the VivoBook 15.

The base plate is held with 10 cross screws and can then be removed carefully with an old plastic card.

The screws are partly of different lengths.

After the base plate has been removed, you can also quickly get to the interior.

So the built-in memory can be quickly replaced by an 8GB bar.

Four gigabytes are already soldered on the board.

The NVMe SSD is also quickly replaced and the battery is also only held by three screws.

No glue is used.

There is also room for another 2.5 inch drive.

However, neither the cables are included, nor is a mounting frame included.

Both would have to be purchased separately.

Useable sound for a notebook

Notebooks and music don’t really go together.

There is usually a lack of a resonance chamber and so a lot of sound usually falls by the wayside.

Asus did not want to accept this and therefore developed SonicMaster.

Specially tuned loudspeakers that are supposed to optimize the sound experience.

ASUS VivoBook 15

Let’s leave the church in the village.

The sound image is definitely better than that of many laptops in this price range, but don’t expect a revelation here.

The sound is good and there are even a few mid-range speakers.

Basses lack volume, but the trebles are well tuned.

For a YouTube video or a podcast it’s enough, but nothing more.

Meanwhile, the volume has convinced me.

The maximum is enough to fill a small room with sound.

But I wouldn’t consider it for the next flat share party. With everything above 40% volume, vibrations are noticeable in the case.

Verdict: Best performing laptop under 400 Dollar

The interaction between the ASUS VivoBook 15’s individual components is mostly successful and buyers get a solid product due to the very good workmanship.

The strengths clearly lie in the quiet running and the matt display.

The only negative aspects are the missing network connection and the slowed down performance.

But if you can live with it, you can get a good laptop for the next few years for a price of currently 400 Dollar.

However, those who can also work with the performance of a Ryzen 5 will significantly expand their options in this price range.

All in all the VivoBook 15 wins the award best laptop under 400$.

Second Best Laptop under 400$: Lenovo IdeaPad S145

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

Pros

  • Cool and quiet
  • Best price-performance ratio
  • Screen doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment
  • Thin and light body

Cons

  • Low contrast ratio

Best price performance-ratio in best laptops under 400 Dollar

How far do you get in everyday life with a notebook with minimal equipment?

The Lenovo S145 is one of these models and I grabbed it to try out what you can do with it.

My expectations weren’t particularly high, but it did surprise me in some places.

Lenovo’s S145 range includes entry-level notebooks that you can get in a variety of configurations.

The main difference is the CPU. This ranges from an Intel Pentium to the Core i3 and the Ryzen 5 3500U.

The standard SSD has a capacity of 256 GB and you get 4-8 GB RAM.

My test device is in the midfield of the available models.

It has an eighth generation Core i3, 8 GB RAM and an SSD with 256 GB and 16 GB Intel Optane.

Windows 10 is pre-installed, so you can get started right away.

Sleek design and clean finish

Cheap notebooks do not have good workmanship?

This can happen, but is not the case here.

The S145 is made entirely of plastic, but that’s to be expected in this price range.

The visual and haptic impression is good and looks more valuable than the price tag would suggest.

The surface consists of matt and ribbed plastic and can only be pressed in with some effort.

Cmpared to the other best laptops under 400$ the big advantage of this design is that almost no fingerprints are visible due to the matt plastic, so that the notebook stays presentable for a longer time.

The overall design is extremely simple.

I personally like this very much.

There are only two small Lenovo logos in two places, but they aren’t very noticeable and certainly don’t disturb.

The display frames are okay.

They are neither very thick nor very thin.

The display can be opened easily and is stiff enough that it always stays in the chosen position and doesn’t wobble.

The large touchpad in front of the keyboard reacts reasonably to your input, even if it can’t keep up with those in high-priced notebooks.

The keyboard has a number pad – as befits a 15.6″ notebook.

The keys offer low resistance. Once you get used to it, it is quite pleasant to write on it.

There’s nothing to complain about in the workmanship. It is flawless.

There are no burrs, edges or irregular gaps.

Matt display, which unfortunately is not very bright

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

The display is unfortunately the notebook’s biggest weak point.

That you can’t expect an OLED display in a notebook in even the best laptop under 400 Dollar should be clear to everyone.

There is also no high color space coverage. So far, it can be expected.

The display is quite dark overall.

We measured 204 cd/m² at the peak, the average was 190 cd/m².

This is still sufficient in normal office environments or with normal room light in the living room.

Very bright surroundings or even direct sunlight should be avoided if possible.

There the display can’t balance out the brightness and you’ll hardly see anything on it.

Because it’s a matt display, you won’t have any problems with annoying reflections and the viewing angles are also good.

As already described, you can’t expect high color fidelity in a cheap notebook.

So also here. The standard color space sRGB is covered to 56%.

This is okay, but nothing more than that.

The colors are set quite cool ex works.

A calibration ensures that they appear warmer.

If you’re thinking about calibrating the S145, you should be aware that warmer colours lead to a lower brightness.

The colours are perfectly adequate for simple image editing of holiday photos and the occasional consumption of movies.

More demanding color-critical work should be done on a different display, though.

Plenty of connections, but no USB-C

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

In the best laptops under 400 Dollar segment, the Lenovo S145 offers quite some connections.

For an external display, you can fall back on an HDMI connection.

For an external mouse there is a USB 2.0 port. Additionally there are 2x USB 3.1 Type A.

These connectors are all on the left side.

On the right side there is a 4in1-Cardreader.

I really like it and miss it every time it is not there. Next to it there is a 3.5mm combo connector.

There’s no Kensington Lock on this one. There’s also no ethernet connection here.

You won’t find a USB-C port on the S145, but unfortunately it’s still the absolute exception in this price range.

Hardly any bloatware pre-installed

A clean Windows installation is very rare.

But with the S145 you get an almost bloatware-free one.

Because apart from the annoying friends of MacAfee there is no bloatware installed.

But MacAfee is very large and occupies 1.1 GB on the SSD.

If you have a better use for the disk space, you can easily uninstall it and then enjoy Windows 10 Home.

A word about the setup. Microsoft has recently started requiring a user account during setup.

You can get around this by not requiring an Internet connection during setup. If you set up a wireless network later, Microsoft will try to make it easy for you to create an account.

But you can refuse this without problems.

The SSD is delivered with 195 GB free.

Good performance all around for the second best laptop under 400$

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

There is not much to say about performance.

The S145 delivers exactly as expected.

The Core i3’s performance is completely sufficient for office and multimedia.

Everything runs smoothly and smoothly. The SSD offers you a decent speed with 1286 MB/s read.

The 314 MB/s writing isn’t that outstanding, but not surprising in this price range.

You won’t have any problems in normal office and multimedia everyday life.

However, as soon as you perform more computationally intensive tasks, you will quickly reach the limits of the device.

This can be seen for example with Adobe Lightroom.

The rendering of our 20 RAW files with about 50 MB each took 2:54 minutes in this case.

On a notebook with a Core i7 the time is about 1.5 minutes.

You can do these tasks on the S145, but then you have to plan time accordingly.

A short word about Intel Optane.

Behind this designation hides a kind of permanent RAM.

Optane remembers how you use your notebook and keeps data and programs that you often need. Thus they start especially fast.

Battery life: One working day without a power outlet is possible

Lenovo states the S145’s battery life with 5.5 hours.

This value is realistic if you do without computationally intensive applications.

With 100% display brightness I was with just under five hours.

If you turn the brightness down a bit more, of course even more is possible.

You should avoid energy-hungry applications in battery mode.

Lightroom, for example, drains the battery by 14% in just under 20 minutes.

You should keep this in mind when working on the move with this device and with the other devices in the best laptop under 400$ segemnt.

Emissions: quiet and cool

One advantage of the S145’s power-saving hardware is that you will hardly ever hear it in everyday life.

Every now and then, the fans start up, but that’s within limits.

Their volume is low and normal ambient noise easily drown them out.

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

The temperatures are also within the green range.

The CPU heats up to a maximum of 53° in idle; the average is 45° Celsius.

Even the stress test doesn’t bring the S145 out of its rest.

The CPU’s temperature goes up to 78° in the peak and stays at 59° on average.

There’s nothing to complain about. By the way, there’s not much to hear from the fans either.

They do make a lot of noise, but the noise level is consistently low.

Very easily accessible interior

With many notebooks that I have tested recently, there were only limited possibilities for upgrading or they could not be opened at all.

Lenovo makes it pretty easy for you with the S145, compared to the other models in the best laptop under 400$ segment.

Ten cross screws need to be loosened and you can lever out the base plate with an old plastic card. All in all, this doesn’t take five minutes.

A look at the interior reveals that you can replace the battery among other things.

It is only screwed on and not glued. With the RAM, however, nothing can be done.

The S145 supports a maximum of 8 GB. Four GB are soldered and a RAM bar with 4 GB can be seen directly.

The 256 GB SSD can become too small over time.

Then it is good to know that there is still a free space for a 2.5″ SATA SSD.

They do not cost the world anymore, a 1TB SSD is available for about 100 Euro.

No standard fare for sound

I had no great expectations of the S145 speakers. So I was quite surprised at the decent sound it delivers.

At half volume the highs dominate, but the mids were also noticeable and there were even traces of bass.

All in all, a well-balanced proportion, even if no real stage is built up when music is played.

But that’s okay, because even more expensive notebooks don’t always manage this.

If you tear up the volume fully, you’ll notice that the highest volume is not really loud.

It is enough for a movie night on the couch. But a group of four or five people talking can’t drown it out.

Positive, though: the sound doesn’t change much. The trebles become a bit more dominant, but they are far from shrill.

Standard scope of delivery

The scope of delivery is clearly arranged.

Besides the notebook, there is the power supply unit and two small booklets with warranty conditions and the setup guide.

Verdict: Best price performance-ratio in best laptops under 400 Dollar

You can also perform more demanding tasks, have enough connections, good sound and the possibility to upgrade the memory quickly and easily.

In addition, there is a nearly clean Windows installation and a flawless workmanship.

If you’re looking for a notebook that you’ll use mostly to surf the web and indulge Netflix, check it out.

If you want the best price-performance ratio the second best laptop under 400$ is definitley for you.

Third Best Laptop under 400$: Acer Aspire 5

Acer Aspire 5

Pros

  • Fast processor
  • Elegant design
  • Low power consumption
  • Great price

Cons

  • Surfaces susceptible to fingerprints

Third best laptop under 400 Dollar

As I needed a new device, I recently bought the Acer Aspire 5 notebook.

After days of research, I decided on this model because I liked the features very much and I already had other Acer Aspire notebooks with which I was always very satisfied.

In the following you’ll find my Acer Aspire 5 review, respectively my experiences with this device.

My requirements for a best laptop under 400 Dollar

Every person has their own specific requirements for a notebook.

I personally use a notebook primarily for surfing, writing, editing pictures and video streaming.

Especially the video streaming is very important to me, because I watch a lot of Netflix, the best Amazon Prime Video series and also various media libraries on the notebook, if I don’t use a streaming box.

Also the normal TV program I often watch on my notebook.

I also write a lot, which is why this point is also very important to me.

Acer Aspire 5 Design and Finish

Acer Aspire 5

The Acer Aspire 5 is already a little beauty.

At least for my taste. The notebook is slim, flat, relatively light and looks very high quality and well made due to the aluminum surface on the display lid.

Only the display can be opened a bit awkwardly because there is no access for the fingers. One could have thought of that, in my opinion.

But okay, despite the lack of an intervention, I have always been able to open the display.

Once the display is opened, it stays in its position and doesn’t wobble.

Commissioning and installation

After I unpacked the well packed notebook, I started the device immediately.

After the first start you will be guided through the installation by the Windows 10 assistant.

After only a few minutes the device is ready for use.

I was pleasantly surprised about the fact that hardly any unnecessary software was pre-installed on the device.

In the past I also had notebooks that came with lots of bloatware. Fortunately, this was not the case with my device.

Moreover, it is immediately noticeable how fast the Acer Aspire 5 starts up.

The built-in SSD hard disk immediately has a positive effect here. I don’t want to use anything else these days.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Acer Aspire 5

The keyboard in QWERTY layout is very pleasant to use for my taste.

The keys have a good pressure point and reign immediately on every keystroke. That’s how it should be.

I can type comfortably for a long time with this keyboard without any problems.

The keys of the numeric keypad on the right side are a bit smaller than the normal keys – I find this well solved.

In addition, the keyboard has a backlight, but it turns off after a while if no key is pressed.

Only when you press a key again, the backlight turns on again.

It’s different with my older Acer Aspire notebook.

There, the keyboard’s backlight is always on or always off, depending on what you set.

The touchpad also works perfectly and offers the usual gesture control.

I find the small fingerprint scanner in the upper left corner of the touchpad very practical.

With it you can comfortably log in to Windows 10 and unlock the notebook in seconds. This really works very quickly and reliably.

Besides the fingerprint sensor you can of course also use a password or PIN.

Display

Acer Aspire 5

The screen is a 39.6 cm (15.6 inch) IPS Full-HD display with LED backlight, which also makes an excellent impression on me.

The colors look very natural and I like to work and watch series and movies on this display.

Because it is a matt display, there are also no unpleasant reflections, as is the case with many laptops not in the best laptops under 400 Dollar list here.

The large viewing angle stability is also worth mentioning. Whether you look at it from the left or the right – the display always offers a really good picture.

Interfaces of the third best laptop under 400$

The available interfaces are of course also important for a notebook.

The device doesn’t disappoint in this point either and proves to be very flexible.

I could discover the following interfaces on my model:

  • 1x USB 2.0
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB 3.1 type C
  • HDMI
  • Line out / headphone output
  • RJ45 LAN

The only thing missing is a VGA output. But such an output is hardly used any more anyway.

You can easily connect an external monitor via HDMI, a keyboard and a mouse to the notebook – I’ve already done that.

But some of you might miss an SD card reader and a CD/DVD drive.

Both are not available. Personally, I don’t mind that at all, because I don’t use either of the two media.

But if you have the need for it, you can always fall back on a USB solution.

USB memory card readers are already available for little money. The same applies to external CD/DVD drives.

Acer Aspire 5 Test – Performance

Acer Aspire 5

A much-noticed point in a notebook is of course the performance.

And this too has convinced me personally. Thanks to the Intel® Core™ i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, the SSD hard disk and the NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics card, this notebook is really fast on the road, compared to the other best laptops under 400$.

So far I have been absolutely satisfied with the performance of the device on every occasion.

The notebook runs smoothly and fast.

However, I can’t judge how the device is on the road in terms of gaming, since I only play via a PS4.

Windows 10 performance index

Windows 10 displays the performance index for the Acer Aspire 5 as follows:

CPUScore (Processor)8,9
D3DScore (Graphics (Gaming))9,9
DiskScore (Storage)8,9
GraphicScore (Graphics)5,6
MemoryScore (Working Memory (RAM))8,9

As you can see, these values are quite respectable.

Communication

In terms of communication, the Acer Aspire 5 offers Bluetooth, Ethernet LAN 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 1000 Mbps and Wireless Lan (WLAN).

I haven’t used the Ethernet LAN port so far, as the notebook offers fast and reliable WLAN in my opinion.

Although the WLAN router is located in the hallway and I use the notebook in the living room with the door closed, I have a fast and stable connection without any problems.

Normally I am someone who prefers to use Ethernet and only uses WLAN if there is no other way. But with the Acer Aspire 5 there is no reason to switch to Ethernet because of the good WLAN connection.

I have used the Bluetooth adapter for my Bluetooth headphones so far – I had no problems with it either.

Battery life

Unfortunately, I cannot say much about the battery life, as I run the notebook most of the time on the mains.

So I have not yet tested how long the battery actually lasts.

Acer Aspire 5

Memory and hard disk

When I first read the configuration of this notebook, I could hardly believe that a 1,000 GB SSD was doing its job.

But this is actually the case. So I really have more than enough space for my photos, videos and documents.

I myself still know the times when you had to decide between speed and storage space.

My Acer Aspire 5 offers both. It’s really very pleasing.

And the memory (RAM) is also quite good with 8 GB DDR4.

I personally need more and my Windows 10 doesn’t need more.

Different versions

It is important to know that there are many different versions of the Aspire 5 on the market.

Some of these differ considerably from each other.

My Acer Aspire 5 review therefore only refers to the device in the 400$ range.

Verdict: Third best laptop under 400 Dollar

In fact I am very satisfied with this notebook.

And this, although I’m always complaining about the hardware.

The Acer Aspire 5 notebook looks nice and offers a great performance.

The display, keyboard and touchpad also convinced me.

Only the missing SD card reader alone could bother some users.

I would describe the price/performance ratio as very good.

Overall the Acer Aspire 5 earns the title third best notebook under 400 Dollar.

Final Verdict: The Best Laptops under 400$

All in all, every laptop tested here earned a rank in the best laptops under 400 Dollar.

We can recommend them all but based on your personal preference, you might want to chose a model that fits your needs the most.

If you want the best performance at a very fair price you should go with our best laptop under 400 Dollar, the Asus VivoBook 15. It has amazing performance for any daily task and even for light gaming.

If you need a lot of storage and want good performance at the best price-performance ratio you should go with the Lenovo IdeaPad S145.

The 1TB HDD will offer enough onboard storage memory for all your files, whether they are images, videos, games or other large files.

If you really put a lot of emphasis on the price and have a tight budget we recommend the thir best laptop under 400 Dollar, the Acer Aspire 5. It is a very high quality laptop at an unbeatable price.

We keep this article about the best laptops under 400 Dollar updated for you, so you will always get the newest models to chose from.


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