Even if companies and specialized magazines would like to believe otherwise, the truth is that the evolution of computers has basically stopped due to a negative spiral that also seems difficult to stop: users buy fewer laptops, companies sell less , they innovate less, they offer models that are not too different from those of a year or two years ago and there is less and less drive to change the laptop even if it has a few years on its shoulders.
In essence, laptops on sale today are slightly better than those on sale a year or two ago, albeit with some different characteristics.
In this article we are going to find out what they are the best laptops with extremely low prices (maximum € 400), but which meet the minimum requirements, so as to make it convenient to buy them to replace the old notebook of over 5-7 years ago or to have a battle computer, one to carry around and use for everyday work without too much concern that it can be ruined or that it can break at any moment.
READ ALSO: How to choose the new notebook in 2020
Minimum laptop requirements
Talking about cheap computers we must first specify which are minimum requirements that a computer must-have today, so as to avoid the poorer products offered at the balance price or as leftovers from stock. In the final chapter we will also see the best models that we can buy online, so as to save something compared to physical stores.
Before buying any notebook, make sure to read the technical characteristics, so as to make them coincide with the comments below.
The price of a computer is now more influenced by CPU mounted inside.
The more you spend, the faster you get a CPU (processor) for using 3D graphics and video processing programs. The Intel i5 and i7 he AMD Ryzen 5 and 7 they are the best processors for laptops since they combine power and energy savings, but we will hardly find them in the price range we are dealing with.
For low cost laptops we can find the Intel Celeron he AMD A-Series (A4 or A9), with adequate power to start the main programs for working and studying, to which they add a more than discreet battery life. We will try to focus on models with AMD Ryzen 3, which represent the best balance between power and energy savings in this price range.
The cheapest processors are the Intel Atom, good for surfing the Internet, watching videos and studying on the notebook but which could immediately go into difficulty with heavier programs such as Office or work suite.
To choose the processor well, we can also read our guide on how choose between i3, i5 and i7 type processors, where we find the various differences of generations of CPUs.
On laptops we do not neglect the RAM memory, which must be at least 4 GB (preferably 8GB), it must be of type DDR4 so-DIMM (very different from modules for fixed PCs) and above all there must be at least one expansion slot, so that you can add memory if necessary.
To deepen the discussion we recommend you read the guide Computer RAM types: DDR, shape and speed.
When looking for a laptop with a price that is not too high, even with a medium-level processor, you obviously have to give up something and, specifically, what you usually lose is the possibility of obtaining a PC with a unit SSD, much faster than thehard disk traditional.
On some laptops, however, you may find a unit eMMC, which would be like the memory of a USB stick, usually limited in space but cheap, with higher speed and performance than mechanical hard drives, but not such as to be comparable to an SSD (see difference between SSD and eMMC)
If we find an inexpensive laptop with a mechanical disk, immediately replace it with a small SSD such as the SanDisk Plus SSD 240 GB, which we can also find for less than € 40. If we don’t know how to replace the disc, we recommend following the steps described in our guide How to replace the laptop disk with a new SSD.
The mechanical disk removed from the laptop can always be used as an external hard disk, so as to save the most important files; in this regard we can follow the suggestions of our article on how Turn internal disk into portable external drive.
Battery life, unfortunately, is a feature that is sacrificed in laptops with a medium-low price and you will have to settle for a maximum autonomy of 2 hours, maximum 3 hours. If the battery is removable, insert it in the notebook only if strictly necessary, so as to increase its duration over time.
When you don’t spend too much on a laptop it means that we are not thinking about the latest generation of video games so the impact of it becomes negligible Video Card, considering that many modern processors integrate a video chip inside that can manage at least the 3D effects and hardware acceleration of the operating system.
Dimensions and screen
The size of the laptop they depend a lot on the screen size needs you prefer and, as it can be quite obvious, the bigger the notebook, the higher the price.
In some cases you can find modular computers that are like gods touchscreen tablet with detachable keyboard. Although this type of two-in-one convertible computer may seem attractive and valuable, consider that if the price is low it means that the interior is penalized and that, therefore, it will have a low-power processor, a very small disk and little RAM memory .
So let’s choose a model with one 15-inch screen, so as to have the right size and adequate screen / body ratio.
If you want to save money, we certainly cannot think of an Apple MacBook, but we must look at the Windows 10 PC, now become an extremely flexible operating system so that it can be used without problems even on low-end PCs.
Best laptops under 400 Euros
After these premises on the minimum requirements, we can finally go and see what they are the best low-cost mid-level laptops, notebook that you can buy at a price not exceeding 400 Euros. The reference point for prices always remains Amazon, which as an online store gives us a wider variety of choice than shopping malls.
Acer Aspire 1
The cheapest laptop we can focus on is the Asus X540NA, which features a 15.6-inch HD screen, 1.1 GHz multi-core Intel Pentium Silver processor, eGBC 64GB, 4 GB of RAM, USB 2.0 and 3.0 connection, HDMI port and Windows 10 operating system.
We can view this laptop from here -> Acer Aspire 1 (210 €).
HP 255 G7
Another low cost laptop to bet on to save money is the 255 G7, which provides a 15.6 ”display, 2.3GHz AMD A4 9125 processor with AMD Radeon R3 graphics card, 4GB RAM, 500GB M.2 SSD, HDMI port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DVD burner and operating system Window 10.
We can view this laptop from here -> HP 255 G7 (320 €).
If we want to spend a little more on a work notebook we can view the Asus VivoBook, which features a 15.6 “HD LED display, Intel Dual Core processor up to 2.4GHz, 4GB of RAM, 500GB mechanical disk, 3 USB ports, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, wireless mouse, DVD burner and Windows 10 Pro operating system .
We can view this laptop from here -> Asus VivoBook (€ 288).
Lenovo IdeaPad S145
One of the best laptops in this price range is without a doubt the Lenovo IdeaPad S145, which boasts a 15.6 “Full HD display, AMD A9 processor, 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, Bluetooth, Dual band Wi-Fi and Windows 10 operating system.
We can view this laptop from here -> Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (399 €).
Acer Aspire 3
Another good laptop in this price range is the Acer Aspire 3 which boasts a 15.6 “HD LED display, 256 GB M.2 SSD, 8 GB of RAM and Windows 10 of which different models are on sale depending on the processor you choose.
The cheapest is the one with the Pentium Silver processor, from 256 Euros.
The most recommended, remaining below the 400 Euro figure, is the one with the 399 Euro AMD Ryzen 3 processor.
To buy a light and powerful enough laptop to study and surf the Internet, you don’t need to spend € 1000 but you only need € 400 or less, depending on the model we intend to choose and the economic availability.
To learn more, we can also read our guides on How to choose the notebook laptop PC and don’t go wrong and if we are looking for a gaming notebook, Portable PCs to play: which one to choose.
If instead we want a tablet with a removable keyboard, we invite you to read our guide to Best Tablet-PC 2 in 1 with a removable keyboard.