What is the best low-cost Windows laptop for returning to school? The Acer Aspire 5 is our top pick. We conducted a thorough examination of the best Windows laptops under $400, focusing on display, battery life, processor, and storage.
Back to school can be costly, and not everyone wants to spend thousands of dollars on a new laptop.
Students can be perfectly content with simple, low-cost systems that do the job without frills or fancy branding.
Here are a few Windows 10 laptops under $400 that are ideal for most of the day-to-day tasks that students face.
ACER ASPIRE 5
Specs: Windows 11 Home in S Mode | AMD Ryzen 3 5300U processor quad-core 2.60 GHz | AMD Radeon Graphics shared memory | 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 | 8 GB, DDR4 SDRAM | 256GB SSD
This is one of those budget laptops that not only looks good, but also has advanced features like Wi-Fi 6 and plenty of fast storage. It’s the ideal laptop for work or school.
- Affordable price
- Great display
- Efficient processor
- Finicky touchpad
Dell Ispiron 15 3000
Specs: Intel Celeron Processor N4020 (4MB Cache, up to 2.8 GHz) | 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) Anti-glare LED-Backlit Non-touch Narrow Border Display | Windows 11 Home (S mode) | 4GB, 1x4GB, DDR4, 2400MHz | Intel UHD Graphics 600 with shared graphics memory | 128GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive
The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is a low-cost, stylish laptop with adequate power and performance for under $300. It is an excellent, solid, and dependable all-arounder.
- Great battery life
- Easy-to-use keyboard
- No SSD
- No USB-C ports
ASUS LAPTOP L406
Specs: Intel Celeron N4000 | 14.0-inch 1366×768 HD matte display featuring ASUS NanoEdge Bezel | 4GB LPDDR4 RAM | 64GB eMMC | Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) | Up to 12 hours of battery life | 0.7-inch thin and 2.87 lbs light
Thin and light aren’t just for high-end, expensive premium devices. We have a solid laptop here that is ideal for day-to-day tasks and has a modern design and premium feel.
- Lightweight yet durable option
- Bright and powerful screen
- Great battery life
- Trackpad could be better
- Lacks more RAM
Dell Inspiron 11 3195 2-in-1
Specs: Windows 10 Home | AMD A9-9420E processor | Radeon R5 graphics | 11 6-inch HD (1366 x 768) LED-backlit touch display | 4GB DDR4 RAM | 64GB eMMC storage
The Dell Inspiron 11 is ideal for those who can’t decide between a laptop and a tablet—with the flip of a hinge, you can easily switch between the two. Choose between tablet, presentation, tent, and laptop modes.
Because there is no hard drive to knock around, the 64GB eMMC storage makes this a more robust platform, ideal for throwing into a messenger bag or school bag.
- Doubles as a touchscreen tablet
- Great color and design
- Battery life could be better
- Dimmer display