13 Best Gaming Laptops Under $400 in 2018

Gaming on a budget is not impossible when you know where to look for discounted games, cheaper accessories and, most importantly, the best gaming laptop under 400 dollars. It is possible to get a high-quality machine that lets you play for hours without slowing down or lowering standards for the graphics.

By following this guide, you will be lead through some of the most important features to consider. This ensures you start off in the right direction while the list of most popular gaming laptops and the expert reviews will help to narrow down the options.

Top 13 Gaming Laptops Under $400 Ultimate Chart

DesignNameRAMUSB PortsRating (1-5)
  1. HP Flagship 15.6 15-ay191ms HD Touchscreen Signature Laptop 8 GB1 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

  2. Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6″ Full HD 4 GB 1 x USB 3.0 4.0
  3. Lenovo G50 80E30181US 15.6-Inch Laptop 6 GB1 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

  4. ASUS E200HA Portable Lightweight 11.6-inch Intel Quad-Core Laptop 4 GB1 x USB 3.0

1 x USB 2.0

  5. DELL Laptop Inspiron 15 i3543-2000BLK Intel Core i3 5005U 4 GB1 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

6. ASUS F556UA-AB32 15.6-inch Full-HD Laptop 4 GB1 x USB 3.0

1 x USB 2.0

1 x USB3.1

Type C (gen. 1)

7. Dell Inspiron 3000 15.6-Inch HD Laptop 6 GB 2 x USB 2.0

1 x USB 3.0

8. 2016 Lenovo Premium Built High Performance 15.6 inch HD Laptop 8 GB1 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

  9. Dell – Inspiron I3542-11001BK 15.6″ Touch-Screen Laptop 4 GB 2 x USB 2.0 3.7
  10. Lenovo Flex 4 Convertible 2-in-1 14″ Touchscreen Laptop 4 GB 1 x USB 2.0

1 x USB 3.0

  11. HP 15-f215dx 15.6-inch Laptop PC 4 GB 1 x USB 2.0 3.5
  12. Asus X551MAV-EB01-B(S) 15.6-Inch Notebook 4 GB1 x USB 3.0

1 x USB 2.0

  13. 2016 Dell Inspiron 15.6″ Premium High Performance Laptop PC 4 GB 1 x USB 3.0 3.2

Buying Smart

  • Screen Size – Generally, the laptops with larger screens are more powerful in every sense, but this also means that they are less portable.

If you want the best gaming laptop under 400 dollars so that you can take it with you, should consider the laptops with screens that are 15.6” or less. While the models with 18” screens are nice to game on, you would be better served to get a desktop if you were choosing a screen that big.

  • Comfort – Whether you will be adding attachments like your own mouse, for example, or not, you will need to have a comfortable keyboard and mouse pad. Your gaming experiences will be short lived if you are not able to use your keyboard effectively.

Consider expert reviews to get the best idea of how the keyboard will feel if you cannot go and try it for yourself. The ideal keyboard should have,

    • keys that bounce back quickly,
    • need a mid-amount of force (so there will be few errors in touching nearby keys),
    • and the possibility for customization.
  • Display – Any gaming is better when you have better resolution. Avoid laptops that have less than 1920 x 1080 and opt for laptops that will make the visuals more stunning. You should also consider whether the screen has a glossy or matte finish based on your personal preferences.
  • Storage – More storage means faster game installations and games loading faster. More, in this case, is definitely better.
  • Processor – This is something that can affect how fast your computer is able to keep up with your gaming. You need to make getting the best processor and a good amount of RAM a priority in the buying process.

This is something that will make the difference between having hours of blissful gaming and spending your time frustrated by a slow machine.

All About the GPU

The graphics card (GPU) is the aspect of the laptop that processes the data and transmits a signal to the monitor in order to bring you the images seen on your screen. This is a processor that is very demanding on the GPU when gaming, which is why you need a video memory or VRAM to help.

More VRAM is better for the speed and quality of the graphics on your laptop but 4 GB of VRAM is often enough for the average player. That being said, more is always better though more than this is something that can generally only be found on more expensive laptops.

Pro Tips

  1. Don’t opt for a touch screen laptop unless you want to use it for other functions as well, they tend to be more expensive and drain a battery quickly. We have included some of the better touch screen options on our list.
  1. Buying a gaming laptop for low-end games is not necessary when there are ways to support these games with a graphics card.
  1. Audio is just as important as the display, so having a gaming laptop that lets you use your headset as well as the speakers is the best option. This is especially true if it provides great quality sound.

Top 5 Best Gaming Laptop Under $400 Reviews

1. HP Flagship 15-ay191ms

The HP Flagship 15-ay191ms is the perfect combination of powerful features and low price. First of all, the quality of the build is superior. This adds to the durability of the machine overall. The keyboard is solid and the mousepad is well-made too though the laptop is also made to accept any modifications or outside devices that you would like to use in conjunction.

The 8GB of RAM is perfect for gaming and any more intensive work. It is possible to use many tabs and programs at once without noticeably losing speed. It is easy to set up this laptop from the start and it’s easy to install different games and programs.

The fast speed and the flexibility that this laptop provides make it an incredible deal. It should be noted that the screen size is also perfectly suitable for gaming and making everyday operations easy too.

2. Acer Aspire E 15

The Acer Aspire E 15 is the affordable laptop that works well for students, business people and gamers alike due to its perfect combination of specifics. The first thing this laptop offers is 4GB of RAM. There is more than enough speed and processing power to make sure everything you need to get done is possible without the machine slowing down or stalling in any way.

The full-size screen is the second advantage, especially for gaming or having multiple applications open at one time. While larger screens can often cause issues with your eyes, making them tired over time, this laptop has a LED display. This is a friendlier option for sensitive eyes.

When it comes down to it, this is one of the best gaming laptops under $400. Even considering all of the ports for different add-ons make this an ideal choice for gaming but also for customizing your experience.

3. Lenovo G50

The Lenovo G50 50 is a heavy-duty laptop that is perfect for gaming on a budget without losing quality or screen size. This laptop is on the heavier side, but that is only a reflection of how well-built it is and it also reflects the larger screen size. You get 15.6 inches to play with, something that always enhances any gaming experience.

The visuals are definitely important but so it the power that makes your laptop work and work well. The 6GB of RAM and the AMD Quad-Core A8-6410 Processor with integrated AMD Radeon R5 graphics is all you need and more.

Setting up the programs and everything that you need to get started playing your favorite games is easy. The laptop boots up quickly and the keyboard and mouse pad come comfortable to use with the option of attaching different accessories for ones you might prefer more.

4. Asus E200HA

For portable gaming and a sleeker look, the Asus E200HA is an absolute must. This laptop is only 11.6” and is super lightweight so you can take it any and everywhere that you are comfortable gaming or working. The size is definitely one of the most appealing features considering the larger, somewhat industrial size of many laptops that have been specifically made for gaming.

This is a solid all around machine that can help you with daily word processing as well as perusing more specialized interests like music, gaming and photography. Asus has really outdone itself with a model that is so capable and so affordable too.

While the battery life, of course, depends on how you are using the laptop, this is generally a machine you can count on to last for the entire day. It can even provide up to 13 hours of video playback, although this certainly does depend on the quality of the feed.

5. Dell Inspiron 15 i3543

The Dell Inspiron 15 i3543 comes with a 4 GB memory, Intel Core i3-5005U Processor and uses Windows 8.1 as its operating system. These basic specs already put this laptop ahead of the competition in many respects. The laptop is ideal for when you want a machine you can really work on whether it is doing a lot of business and running many applications or gaming on the go.

This laptop has a tray load DVD drive that allows you to upload games and programs with ease as well as write CDs and DVDs too. This is an added bonus, but the real star feature of this machine is the 15.6-inch touchscreen.

You can use this as a traditional laptop with the keyboard and mouse pad or you can use the touchscreen to make different applications easier to control. This kind of versatility is unheard of in such a powerful laptop.

Make or Break

Gaming is all about the quality of the experience and that is something that you can’t get if your game keeps freezing or delaying because the processor, storage, and the RAM cannot handle it. Power is a feature that you cannot compromise on when you want the best gaming laptop under 400 dollars.

If you could take one thing away from this article it would be to choose the power of the laptop above all else. You can still game on a smaller screen or with a low-resolution display, but you cannot game on your laptop when the game itself takes forever for each aspect to load.