5 Best Laptops for College Students under $400

At a time when laptops are becoming a cheaper alternative to desktop computers and tablets, but still provide a lot of power, there is no doubt that these devices are here to stay. But with the cost of laptops coming down and options becoming more difficult to find, it is harder than ever to find the best laptop for you. When it comes to finding the best value laptops for students, finding a laptop that costs less than $500 is almost impossible; even the best budget laptops from brands such as HP and Toshiba tend to start at $700. That said, there are several models that cost under $600, and they all have plenty to offer students looking for a cheap laptop.

Best Laptops for College Students under $400

1. Samsung Chromebook 4

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SAMSUNG Galaxy Chromebook 4 11.6-inch 64GB eMMC, 4GB RAM, Gigabit Wi-Fi, Chrome OS, HD Intel Celeron...
3,738 Reviews
SAMSUNG Galaxy Chromebook 4 11.6-inch 64GB eMMC, 4GB RAM, Gigabit Wi-Fi, Chrome OS, HD Intel Celeron...
  • JUST YOUR SIZE: Compact, light design with an 11.6-inch display and full-sized keyboard and trackpad
  • MILITARY-GRADE DURABILITY: Samsung Chromebook 4 is made to handle bumps and drops
  • ULTRA-FAST CONNECTIVITY: With a lightning-fast Gigabit Wi-Fi connection, stream videos or download massive files quickly

The Chromebook is the world’s most popular laptop, and it’s only getting more popular. With the increasing demand for cheap laptops that can handle all of your daily tasks, manufacturers have been churning out new models every year, and they continue to make attractive compromises in hardware and pricing. If you want to buy a Chromebook, you’ll be pleased to see that they’re more affordable than ever.

While laptops are becoming more and more like tablets, the Chromebook is still very much a laptop—a thin, light one at that. The new model, which is available in 11.6- and 13-inch sizes comes with an Intel Core m3 processor and an 11.6-inch HD display. It also has a backlit keyboard and stereo speakers.

Samsung Chromebook 4 vs Chromebook 3

Apple has a line of laptops that’s been getting a lot of attention lately, and with good reason. MacBooks are powerful, beautiful, and expensive. With the MacBook Air, you get a slim unit with an 11-inch screen. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is a half-inch thicker and heavier, but it’s also a full pound cheaper. It’s still a beautiful laptop that performs well, and the multi-touch trackpad is the best you’ll find on any laptop.

If you are in the market for a new Chromebook, you are in luck. Google recently released the updated version of the third-generation Chromebook. I have been using a third-generation Chromebook for a few years now and I absolutely love it. With each new release, the Chromebook has improved and I can’t believe that Google is almost ready for a fourth generation! Let’s take a look at what’s new and see if this latest one is worth buying!

Samsung Chromebook 4 vs Lenovo Duet

It is no secret that the Chromebook is the preferred laptop for most people these days. The reasons for this are numerous: they’re portable, cheap, and easy to use. But without a doubt, one of the most compelling reasons to own a Chromebook is the price. The newest generation of Chromebooks was introduced at Mobile World Congress 2018. A new model in the Chrome series, the Chromebook 4, is a 13.3″ laptop that’s only $199.99. And for $299.99, you can buy the Chromebook 13. There were three Chromebooks unveiled recently that are interesting options for students and others who are looking for cheap, high-end laptops. The new Acer Chromebook 4-255, the Lenovo ThinkPad 13, and the Samsung Chromebook 2.

It’s been a bit since we reviewed the Chromebook 4, and it’s been long enough. With that in mind, we’ve decided to revisit the Chromebook 4, which has been replaced by the newly announced Chromebook 5. Just like the 4, it’s a 2-in-1 device that can be used as a tablet or a laptop, and just like the 4, it’s a very capable machine for the price.

2. Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop

Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop, 15.6' Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U, GeForce MX150, 8GB RAM Memory,...
2,303 Reviews
Acer Aspire E 15 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U, GeForce MX150, 8GB RAM Memory,...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor (Up to 3.4GHz)
  • 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-lit IPS Display
  • 8GB Dual Channel Memory & 256GB SSD

One of the most popular laptops in the past year has been the Acer Aspire E 15. With a sleek design, solid performance, USB Type-C, and a bright 15.6-inch display, it lives up to its name.

Acer has been making laptops for a while, but this is their first foray into the ultra-thin, light-weight category that has become so popular lately. The Acer Aspire E 15 is powered by an Intel Core i5-8250U processor. It includes a 15.6-inch 1080p display, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The laptop weighs 2.6kg (5.9 pounds) and measures 20.35mm (0.87 inches) thin, making it an ideal travel companion.

Acer Aspire E 15 vs Acer Aspire 5

Acer is one of the world’s most popular laptop brands, and Acer Aspire is one of its most successful product lines. So, which should you buy, the Acer Aspire E 15 or the Acer Aspire 5? The Aspire E 15 is, as the name suggests, a really thin and light laptop for under 500 dollars. It is powered by the latest Intel processors but doesn’t have a Full HD display. However, the Aspire 5 is a premium model, with a Full HD screen and a sharper resolution. It is more powerful and has longer battery life.

The Acer Aspire E 15 has been around for a few years now, and it has a solid track record with consumers. It’s a reasonably-priced laptop that offers great performance for its price, and it’s available with a variety of hardware configurations. Like the Aspire E 15, the Acer Aspire 5 is a 15-inch laptop that offers a performance-friendly configuration, and it’s an even better value when you consider the Windows 10 Pro software included with both laptops.

Acer Aspire E 15 vs Acer Nitro 5

Laptops are one of the more popular computer devices among consumers. Although laptops can vary in form factors and sizes, the industry has settled on a standard form factor known as the “Ultrabook”. Ultrabooks are thin and light laptops with a display size of 11.6″ or under. What makes Ultrabooks so special? They have a very low weight, they are very portable, and they have a very long battery life.

As you’ve probably guessed, the new Acer Aspire E 15 features a 15.6-inch display, but you may not be aware that the company also has a 15-inch version—the Acer Nitro 5. This budget notebook is very similar to the E 15, except it has a 15-inch display instead of a standard 15.6-inch one. Both models are powered by an Intel Core i5-7200U, 6GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.

3. Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571-C09S

This week, Acer launched its new budget-friendly Chromebook 15, which costs just $249 and sports a 15.6-inch display. It’s the least expensive Chrome OS laptop on the market right now. (You might be wondering what an Acer Chromebook is—we’ll get to that in a moment.)

The Acer Chromebook 15 is one of the best-reviewed Chromebooks of 2017. It’s one of the more high-end Chromebooks, but is it worth the $550 price tag? After a few years of being a solid, well-rounded budget pick, the Chromebook is now on a bit of a slide. The Acer Chromebook 15 is a lovely choice for the budget-conscious, but even it isn’t quite affordable enough to stand out among all the “good enough” devices out there. Still, it holds its own and continues to get better and better over time, as if it were being updated by Google itself.

Acer Chromebook 15 vs Acer Chromebook 14

The Acer Chromebook 14 was the first Chromebook to ship with a touch screen, and it was one of the first to ship with an all-aluminum chassis. The Chromebook 14 is still one of the best-looking laptops in its price range, and its performance is good enough for most users. But, a few months after its launch, Acer had to replace the Chromebook 14 with the Acer Chromebook 15, a new model with a faster processor and a larger screen. Acer and Google clearly felt that the Chromebook 14 was too outdated, and as a result, the Chromebook was discontinued and replaced by the Chromebook 15.

Back in 2012, Acer made some waves with its first Chromebook, the C720; it was the first Chrome notebook to pack a real keyboard and a full HD screen. This year, Acer has continued the trend with the Chromebook 14 (C740), which has a Gorilla Glass screen that’s just as rugged as the earlier model’s, but with more premium looks.

Acer Chromebook 15 vs HP Stream 14

Several months ago, Acer announced a new line of laptops, Chromebooks. The first two models were Acer’s new budget Chromebooks. But the Chromebook 15 was the model that got the most press attention. It had the largest screen size, and it was the most powerful. It was also the most expensive Chromebook, at $349-$450. It was the first Chromebook to ship with 4GB of RAM. It also had an Intel Core M3-6Y30 CPU, which is a low-power processor.

If you’re looking for a great laptop that will last, the Acer Chromebook 15 HP Stream 14 is a powerful, affordable alternative. At only $199, you get a slim, lightweight chassis that comes standard with a full-sized USB Type-C port and a stylish backlit on-screen keyboard.

On the subject of Chromebooks, Acer’s new Chromebook 15 is an interesting and refreshing take on the laptop market. It’s the most powerful Chromebook we’ve reviewed to date, with a Chrome OS build that’s just as speedy as you’d expect. It packs plenty of solid hardware inside and has a sleek design that you’ll be proud to show off. But the best part is its price: it’s only $249.

4. Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Laptop

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Laptop, 15.6' HD, Intel Core i5-8250U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB HDD + 16 GB...
38 Reviews
Lenovo IdeaPad 330 Laptop, 15.6" HD, Intel Core i5-8250U Processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB HDD + 16 GB...
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE LAPTOP: The IdeaPad 330 15 is equipped with an Intel Core i5-8250U Processor, Windows 10 Home, 8 GB DDR4, 1TB HDD + 16 GB intel Optane Memory and so much more
  • SLEEK DESIGN: This powerful everyday laptop is designed with a special protective finish to guard against wear and tear, as well as rubber detailing on the bottom to maximize ventilation and extend component life
  • MAXIMUM PRODUCTIVITY: With the latest generation of Intel processing and integrated Intel UHD graphics, you’ll enjoy seamless multitasking, immersive gaming, faster bootups, and more on your laptop computer

The all-new Lenovo IdeaPad 330 (starting at $549) is one of the best-value 15-inch laptops you can buy for the money. At a slightly heavier weight, but with a full HD screen and powerful Intel Core i7 processor, the IdeaPad 330 is more than powerful enough for any mainstream user.

The Lenovo IdeaPad 330 is a budget all-rounder from Lenovo, one of the world’s biggest PC makers. We’ve got the black model here, but there’s also a silver version and a pink one for those who like their laptops to standing out. If you’re after a slim and trim laptop, then you’ll want to take a look at the S330. It’s got an ultra-slim chassis and can be used as a tablet too.

Lenovo Ideapad 330 vs Lenovo Ideapad 330S

Lenovo may be best known for its ThinkPad laptops, but the company also makes some great laptops of its own. The IdeaPad 330 is one of these. Lenovo knows that productivity shouldn’t be all about numbers. This is why we’ve also included an HD webcam in the IdeaPad’s list of features. The webcam enables you to log in to online services like Skype and FaceTime, so you can keep in touch with friends and family while on the road.

Lenovo has released a new update to the Lenovo IdeaPad 330, a 14-inch laptop with a Full HD display, integrated Intel HD Graphics 5500, and 802.11ac wireless. Lenovo is back at it again with another IdeaPad 330, a laptop that packs in a lot of features for a budget-friendly price. We’re starting to notice how many laptops Lenovo has in their lineup, and that’s a good thing. It means there’s a laptop for everyone. The IdeaPad 330 is a good example. It has a 13.3-inch screen, a good selection of ports, and a quad-core Celeron processor. It’s not the best laptop choice, but it’s definitely in the right price range.

Lenovo Ideapad 330 vs Acer Aspire 5

The IdeaPad 330 is one of Lenovo’s entry-level laptops, which means you are probably looking at buying it already. The idea of buying a cheap laptop is to get the most you can out of it, save money, and yet get decent performance. Lenovo has stepped up to the plate with the new 330, offering some decent specs and build quality for less than $500. The IdeaPad 330 has a 15.6-inch display, so it isn’t quite as big as the Apple MacBook Air, but it is a big laptop capable of running the latest games and software. Lenovo packed some decent hardware into this laptop, including Intel’s latest Core i3 processor and 4 GB of RAM. The screen is also a strong point with 1080.

5. ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 Thin & Light

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ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 Thin & Light 2-in-1 Laptop, 14” FHD Touchscreen, Intel Celeron Dual Core...
575 Reviews
ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 Thin & Light 2-in-1 Laptop, 14” FHD Touchscreen, Intel Celeron Dual Core...
  • Powerful & efficient Intel Celeron N4000 1.1GHz (Turbo upto 2.6GHz); 64 eMMC storage, 4GB LPDDR4
  • Featuring Windows 10 in S mode operating system with 1 year of office 365 included; Webcam: VGA Camera
  • 14" Glossy screen with a Nano Edge FHD display with wide view technology and a touchscreen with upto 178° viewing angle optimized for entertainment

We have seen a lot of flip-based laptops that can transform into a tablet, but this is the first one that can transform into a laptop. The VivoBook Flip 14 offers a lot of versatility for its price, with a full-HD screen, fingerprint sensor, and a Kaby Lake Core i5 processor. A good alternative to the Surface Pro 6.

I really wanted to love the VivoBook Flip 14. I wanted to be excited about this all-rounder that is powered by the latest hardware, the GeForce MX150 GPU, up to 16GB of RAM, and even doubles the storage of the old Flip 14 Pro model. But more often than not, I was left unpleased. The overall looks and feel of the VivoBook Flip 14 are great. However, the software is a huge letdown; the Windows 10 experience is lacking, and the performance is just not there. Despite the VivoBook Flip 14’s strong hardware, it’s just not a laptop I will actively recommend, and I believe this is true for other Windows 10 machines.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 vs HP Pavilion x360

The ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 is the latest addition to the VivoBook family, and it’s one of the most affordable 14-inch laptops you can buy. It starts at just $500, which is great news for anyone looking to get a lot of battery life and a dual-booting machine without having to pay a lot of money.

We will be reviewing ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 and HP Pavilion x360. Today, we are going to compare ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 and HP Pavilion x360 for the price, features, display, processor, and performance. With a 14-inch screen, the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 is a laptop that offers the best of Windows 10 in a more portable design than a traditional 14-inch notebook. Our early impression is that it feels like a premium laptop where it counts—the metal aluminum shell is rigid and sturdy, and the understated industrial design and thin, brushed-aluminum silver accents are comfortable and stylish.

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 vs Lenovo Flex 5

When you’re deciding between a few laptops, it’s easy to get lost in endless comparisons of specs, performance, and design. So, let’s take a look at two of the hottest new budget ultrabooks: the ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 and the Lenovo Flex 5. Both are 13.3″ Windows 10 devices with a Full HD screen, fast performance, and good battery life, but only one comes with a touchscreen.

Asus VivoBook Flip 14 vs Lenovo Flex 5: It is the time of the year when we look at the upcoming laptops and all their features and spec sheets. In this case, we will compare the two laptops, the VivoBook Flip 14 and the Lenovo Flex 5. The Flip 14 is one of the newer laptops from Asus, and the Flex 5 is the latest laptop from Lenovo. Both laptops are available with Windows 10. The Flip 14 comes with an Intel Core i5-7200U processor and 8GB of RAM. On the other hand, the Flex 5 comes with an Intel Core i7-7Y75 processor and 16GB of RAM.

Buying Guide

Ever wonder how to choose the best laptop for you? We have the answers. In this guide, we’ll show you the best laptops under $500, best laptops under $1000, best laptops under $2000, best laptops under $3000, and top laptops under $5000. Here is our list of the best laptops for college students. For this list, we only look at laptops under $1000, to keep the post manageable.

Buying a new laptop can be a stressful time for college students. Whether you’re just starting out or about to embark on your second computer, you want to find a laptop that’s not only affordable, but offers a good balance of features for the years you’ll spend in the classroom.

Processor

It is very difficult for me to find a perfect laptop that is within my budget. Maybe I should just wait a couple of years before I go for it. If you have the same problem, you should consider an affordable laptop.

So, you know how the new MacBook Air is a little over $1000? I don’t think any of us can really afford that. That’s why the deal I’m about to tell you about maybe for you. B&H has a fantastic deal on a laptop that delivers similar performance to the Air but at a much lower price. It’s the 13″ R1330. This model has a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i3-8130U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, which is solid for a laptop priced at $650.

Battery Life

A cheap laptop can be worth its weight in gold, but not if you have to worry about the battery life when you need your computer the most. If you’re a college student, this is one of the most important factors to consider. If you’re not planning on being tethered to a power outlet, the battery life for the Acer Aspire E3-111-C1TZ-P5G1 is actually a very nice feature.

You want a laptop with a lot of bang for your buck, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on a new one. If you’re looking for a laptop that has a long-lasting battery, a good screen, and fast speeds, then you should get the HP Stream 12. This affordable laptop has a high-resolution screen, a long-lasting battery, and a very fast processor.

Hard Disk

A hard disk isn’t a necessity for a laptop, but it’s certainly nice to have one, especially if you plan to use the laptop on a daily basis. When you choose a laptop, you’ll want to make sure you’re looking for a good price, a good brand, and a good hard disk. Calculate the bare minimum amount of storage you should have on a laptop for a successful college student, and if that’s a bit too boring, find the laptop with the best hard drive, and the most affordable.

Portability

There are a lot of features that define a great laptop, and every laptop has a different combination of these. However, all laptops have to satisfy the basics. All laptops need a decent processor, an adequate amount of RAM, and at least a USB 3.0 port. All laptops require at least one of the following: an HDMI port, a USB 3.1 port, a USB-C, or an SD card reader. All laptops have to have a standard keyboard and touchpad. All laptops will have a screen that must be at least 1080p, and some will be touchscreen.

RAM

Nowadays, you can get a good CPU, a good SSD, and a good graphics card for a laptop that’s well under $1000. But the RAM is still an issue. Most of the time, it’ll be the limiting factor to a usable laptop. If you’re looking for a good laptop for college, the one you should get is the one that has enough RAM to run programs you need for school.

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