5 Best Gaming Laptops under $400 for Your Unforgettable Game Time

Read how to choose the best high-quality gaming laptop in our article on Top 5 under $400 laptops 2021. Bonus: list of accessories for your fantastic game time.

Are you crazy about games? Do you have a tight budget, but a strong desire to spend your time in the wonderful world of games? We understand you, that’s why we prepared this article, where we chose the best gaming laptops for less than $400.

Acer Aspire 5

Category winner – The most powerful for light gaming and graphic intensive work

It takes a lot of time to research to find a pretty good gaming laptop with powerful features. But don’t worry! Fortunately, our team has done half the job for you and collected the best gaming laptops under $400 in one place. You only need to choose the one that suits you. Whether you need to do intensive office tasks or just chill out playing your favorite game, you can count on them.

Let’s look at some of the main characteristics of the best gaming laptops under 400 dollars that you can purchase and enjoy your game time right now. 

Comparison table: Your 5 best gaming laptops under $400

How did we choose

  • Firstly, our team looked at the highest-rated gaming laptops in various categories of contrast ratio and checked the specification characteristics.
  • Secondly, we found 15 affordable models which are popular
  • Thirdly, we selected 7 models for a detailed review (those with fewer reviews and insufficient features were excluded). 
  • Then after that, we analyzed more than 200 customer reviews

This method helps to identify factors that are critical to gaming laptop users. During our methodological analysis, we emphasized the best criteria for each model to stand out. After comparing our results, we selected the Top 5 laptops with excellent gaming performance and comfortable use.

A detailed review of each model

Acer Aspire 5 — Best for light gaming and graphic intensive work

Best for light gaming and graphic intensive work
Main specificationKey features
Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
Storage: 128GB SSD
Display: 15.6 inches
Battery life: 7.5 hours
Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 3
OS: Windows 10 S Mode
Weight: 3.97 lbs
15.6” full HD IPS display providing the best visual interface

A long-lasting battery to keep you focused on your tasks more

It has an Alexa, your assistant to make life easier

Backlit and super responsive keyboard


  • The most responsive keypad with backlit 
  • It has a personal assistant Alexa
  • Acer Aspire 5 includes long-lasting battery (7.5 hours)
  • This laptop has the perfect TrueHarmony sound quality due to high-resolution equalizer tuning to direct the sound waves toward you


  • It’s hard to open the laptop using the one hand

If you are looking for the best-budget $400 laptop for playing games, then Acer Aspire 5 is one of them. Whether you are a newbie or an experienced computer user, the model got something unique for you.

Acer gaming laptop has been equipped with an AMD Ryzen 3 processor, which is fast enough to run heavy applications. Acer can also load the games quicker than other typical laptops. In addition, this laptop is powered with updated AMD Radeon 3 Graphics to ensure a smoother gaming experience. Compared to Intel UHD Graphics 620 that Asus VivoBook 15 has, AMD Radeon Vega 3 is much better for new games according to 200 gamers reviews. Due to its powerful graphics card and processor, Acer Aspire 5 seems the best for lighting games and intensive graphic work.

Games such as PUBG, Emulator, GTA IV, and Need For Speed The RUN are, consequently, easily playable on medium to high settings.

Acer Aspire 5, the same as Asus VivoBook 15 and Lenovo IdeaPad 3, has a 15.6” full HD IPS display, giving a mesmerizing viewing perspective. That said, it will make your work much more manageable and will keep your eyes away from strain and glare at the same time.

Storage is another vital part of a gaming laptop. The slimmest laptop under 400 also comes with a 4GB DDR4 memory combined with a 128 GB SSD. That’s 2 times more than Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 has. Acer Aspire has enough storage capacity for gaming. You can easily play games, run songs in the background, or do any other activity without any trouble.

The other best quality of the Acer Aspire laptop is its sound quality. The audio is also one of the best parts of the speakers that Acer TrueHarmony tunes. Moreover, you can enjoy a backlit keyboard and responsive keypad. The personal assistant Alexa is the most distinguishing thing that this laptop has.

The drawback of this laptop is that it comes with the Windows 10 S Mode. That usually locks you to only using Microsoft products. You can, although, unlock the S Mode. Read how to do it here.

Everybody wants a laptop with a long-lasting battery, and Acer gives you just that. Aspire 5 is meant to work for at least 7.5 hours on one full charge. That is longer in comparison to Asus VivoBook 15 and Lenovo IdeaPad 3 models.

In a nutshell, Acer Aspire 5 is the favorite option for people from every walk of life. It’s sleek, slim, and has a lightweight body as well. We highly recommend buying this gaming laptop, and you will get plenty of satisfaction using it.

Asus VivoBook 15 — The best for light gaming and study

The best for light gaming and study
Main specificationKey features
Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1
Storage: 128GB SSD
Display: 15.6 inches
Battery life: 7 hours
Graphics: ‎‎Intel UHD Graphics 620
OS: Windows 10 Home S 
Weight: 3.75 lbs
15.6” full HD display enhances the gaming performance

Ergonomic backlit keyboard with a fingerprint sensor 

Rock-solid build quality preventing damages


  • Has the quickest processor
  • Plenty of ports for connection with accessories or other devices
  • Has excellent battery timing (7 hours)
  • Sleek build quality


  • Lack of full-size SD slot, only micro SD
  • Color contrast is not the best
  • It has Windows OS in S mode, which you can switch off reading this guide.

The ASUS VivoBook 15 is a sleek and lightweight laptop that fits those who need a laptop for typing work and light gaming. With exceptional gaming and multitasking capabilities, this laptop’s design is extra thin, which is the beauty of Asus VivoBook 15.

The excellent gaming laptop under $400 comes with a powerful 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor and 8 GB of RAM to efficiently handle all your study and gaming tasks. Yes, you get 8GB DDR4 memory under a tight budget range. You can consequently enjoy a fast and smooth gaming experience at the same time. That makes a noticeable difference among other gaming laptops under $400. 

The model comes integrated with a 15.6 inches full HD display. Though it is not that vibrant, the display seems a little dim but performs well per the gamer’s requirements. The bezels around the display are so narrow to the point of making the screen seem to have no protection.

The UHD Graphics 620 cards from Intel may also not be the best in gaming because they cannot handle heavy gaming at high resolutions. Intel UHD Graphics 620, and this GPU is quite suitable for casual gaming. It will perform better on not demanding games and other simplified tasks. The graphics would not let you play the latest titles enough to handle light games such as Dota 2, League of Legends, and more in the row.

The laptop has a full-size backlit keyboard where keys are comfortable to type on, as well as backlighting lets you get word done even in a low-light room. Of course, this option has its drawbacks. For example, its dim display should be improved. However, this is generally an acceptable compromise unless you are willing to pay more than $400. With Windows 10 in S mode, you may want to switch it when installing applications out of Microsoft Store. How to do it, you can read it here.
The Asus VivoBook 15 uses an energy-efficient CPU, but it does not have great battery time. The laptop lasts up to 7 hours, over the Lenovo IdeaPad’s 6 hours, but still behind the HP 14-dk0028wm that lasts 8 hours on a single charge.

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 — The speediest work performance

The speediest work performance
Main specification Key features
Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i3-10110
Storage: 64GB eMMC SSD
Display: 13.3 Inches
Battery life: 10 hours
Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 3
OS: Chrome OS
Weight: 2.97 lbs
10 hours of battery to enhance your productivity

A dual-core processor, which ensures your rapid work, by using the Intel Turbo Boost technology

A 2-in-1 laptop combines a keyboard and touchscreen for writing essays, preparing presentations, and taking notes during lectures. Then switch to use it as a tablet for watching catch-up TV, games, scrolling through Instagram


  • Has the longest battery power compared to others on the list (10 hours)
  • Excellent typing experience
  • Flawless Performance during playing games at low settings
  • A 2-in-1 laptop combines a keyboard and touchscreen


  • Restricted Operating System (Chrome OS) in comparison with Windows
  • Minimal storage space (64GB), which you can add by buying an external hard drive HDD

The Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 is one of the most selling laptops under $400 you can buy in 2021. This portable laptop comes with an Intel Core i3 processor (2.1 GHz), which ensures your rapid work by using the Intel Turbo Boost technology paired with 4GB of RAM. Altogether, this combination produces flawless performance with excellent power efficiency and makes this laptop the speediest. If we’re talking about understanding and completing single tasks or Android games, this laptop’s clock speed will be more than enough, and Acer Aspire 5 (3.52 GHz) would be better for more demanding gaming. 

The OS is a critical part of laptops, especially those that run on a unique Chrome OS developed by Google. It is a very lightweight operating system that requires minimal resources. Subsequently, it arrives with limited functionality, such as a lack of Microsoft Offices. Also, most of the apps and extensions cannot work without an active internet connection. The graphics on this laptop is handled by UHD graphics, making it suitable for playing games in a low to medium setting.

Get the best visual pleasure with a 13.3-inch Full HD touchscreen display at 1920 x 1080p resolution. Although the display quality is impressive, along with excellent viewing angles, it is much smaller than Acer Aspire 5 and Asus VivoBook 15 have. Chromebook Flex 5 includes 4GB DDR4 RAM coupled with 64GB eMMC. It has minimal storage space compared to HP 14-dk0028wm and Asus VivoBook 15 laptops with 128 GB SSD. However, there’s an external hard drive HDD you can use to get extra storage space.

This 2-in-1 laptop combines a keyboard and touchscreen to make it easy to interact with the display. You can also use the Lenovo digital pen (sold separately) to quickly write, click or drag files right on the screen. If we look at connectivity, it offers two USB 3.1 Type C ports, one USB 3.1 Type-A port, or a microphone jack for fast data transfer, multimedia streaming, and battery charging on a single port.

Undoubtedly the best part of Chromebook is its impressive battery life (10 hours), which you can get on a single charge. It’s a golden opportunity to bring your device with you anywhere, anytime. All in all, this gaming laptop is worth buying for games and other essential tasks.

HP 14-dk0028wm — The greatest battery timing for gaming 

The greatest battery timing for gaming
Main specificationKey features
Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U 
Storage: 128GB SSD
Display: 14 inches
Battery life: 8 hours
Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 3
OS: Windows 10 Home S
Weight: 3.2 lbs
14’’ full HD display keeps the picture bright and colorful whenever you are playing

Has 8 hours battery life for long performance without interruption

The presence of an AMD Ryzen 3 processor allows playing on medium settings


  • The greatest battery life (8 hours) for gaming
  • Powerful AMD processor (up to 3.5GHz), keeping the speed of your work process
  • Lightweight and portable


  • It has just Windows OS in S mode (read our guide on how to turn it off)
  • Has not capacious 128GB solid-state drive (you can expand the memory by purchasing an external hard drive HDD)

Have you seen many best budget gaming laptops and not picked the suitable one yet? Let’s look at HP 14-dk0028wm, the best brand that seems to be prioritizing beginner gamers’ requirements. 

The HP 14 laptop is powered by Dual-Core AMD Ryzen 3 (3.5 GHz), making it more potent for playing the latest games in this budget. In addition, this processor is sufficiently powerful for a smooth user experience during the most common computing tasks, such as web browsing, text and spreadsheet document editing, or movie watching.

The battery life of HP 14-dk0028wm lasts approximately 8 hours, which is quite good with this processor and is better than other laptops’ batteries. Compared to Acer Aspire 5 and Lenovo IdeaPad 3, this HP laptop remains battery timing for a more extended period. So if you want to play games on a single charge, then this HP is the best.

The presence of an AMD Radeon Vega 3 processor also spices up things quite much nicely for games. The Vega 3 enables playing light games and possibly some heavier games on low graphics detail settings. We checked that the HP 14 laptop could easily play games like GTA Vice City, Project IGI, and Minecraft on medium to high settings. Games such as NFS – The Run and Counter-Strike are also playable. 

This HP 14 ultra-thin laptop delivers reliable performance. HP comes with a 14-inch full HD display. This high-resolution display makes it easier for you to focus on the game whenever you are playing. Although it has only a 14-inch display, which is not so big as other brands, it will not affect your gaming process.
Let’s talk about HP 14’s storage capacity. The combination of 4GB DDR4 RAM and a 128GB superfast SSD ensures a smooth and responsive gaming experience. Although it is double 64GB of the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5, 128GB is still considered a low-capacity laptop data storage device. Nevertheless, if you don’t plan to save large amounts of files and massive files like high-resolution movies, 128GB can be enough. Don’t worry; you can expand the memory by purchasing an external hard drive HDD.

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Best value for money

Best value for money
Main specificationKey features
Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3250U
Storage: 128GB SSD
Display: 15.6 inches
Battery life: 5-6 hours
Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 3
OS: Windows 10 
Weight: 3,30 lbs
Due to speedy video card — Radeon Vega 3 Graphics (2.6 GHz), this laptop works ideal for gaming and photo editing

Dual speakers enhanced with Dolby Audio to make a distinctly clear sound 

It has a physical webcam shutter to prevent unintentional capture of images, accidental or through spyware that may try to use your camera without your knowledge


  • Has a clear and distinct sound thanks to Dolby Audio produces the best sound quality at a lower bit rate
  • Has one of the speediest GPU (AMD Radeon Vega 3) that are ideal for gaming and photo editing
  • Lightweight and portable


  • Noisy fans
  • Viewing angles are limited

Take a glance at IdeaPad 3 from Lenovo, another versatile laptop that you can get by merely spending less than 400 bucks. First, the device has got a unique shape. Plus, it’s lightweight and portable enough to be carried around easily. IdeaPad 3 from Lenovo is a perfect option for those interested in playing some old games or the new ones on low settings, apart from using it for online work.

It’s equipped with a powerful AMD Ryzen 3 3250U processor (2.6 GHz) that lets users play some popular games at low settings. It has a more speedy gaming process than Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5. The IdeaPad 3 boasts AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics, which make a good performance in smooth frame rates and highly detailed displays. This video card is better than Intel UHD Graphics 620 which Asus VivoBook 15 has because it can handle heavier games, not only light ones, on low graphics detail settings. Furthermore, it can easily handle photo editing and video editing.

The laptop has a 15-inch HD display with excellent narrow bezels on two sides to let you get the most out of the IdeaPad 3 laptop’s HD display and present a clean, contemporary look. Dual speakers are enhanced with Dolby Audio sound, so you’ll love what you hear as well as what you see. Speaking of Lenovo’s display, there is a need to say the resolution is quite frankly low, and viewing angles are limited in comparison to Acer Aspire 5.

Likewise, HP 14-dk0028wm, the laptop comes with 4GB of RAM, which is excellent for performing basic tasks, and 128 GB of SSD storage to store your documents and all the personal information you need to take with you. To sum up, Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a good value for money if you desire to buy a good gaming laptop under $400.

Accessories for your unforgettable gaming time

Do you want to enter a gaming world “beyond your imagination”? Don’t forget about things that will enhance your playing performance:

Laptop Cooling Pad

Laptop Cooling Pad

How about playing games or doing your office work in a carefree way without thoughts of overheating? KLIM Wind Laptop Cooling Pad is a durable, light pad that will fit any situation to cool your PC to reasonable temperatures in under a minute. This laptop pad is provided with 4 fans to allow for cooling of all the areas of your laptop. 

The KLIM Wind is great to fit whatever the size of your laptop. From 11 to 16 inches, the Wind will cover the whole area that needs to be cooled. If your laptop tends to overheat and its performance slows down, this cooling pad will undoubtedly enhance its performance. You can also use it with a PS4 or Xbox One. 

Wireless Gaming Mouse

Wireless Gaming Mouse 

What is a real gamer without an excellent computer mouse? We recommend a high-quality UHURU rechargeable USB wireless mouse, which works without delays and jumps during intense gaming. You can easily adjust the moving speed, perfect for games and office, satisfying all your needs.
This mouse works extremely stable while gaming, for example, League of Legends, World of Warcraft, DOTA 2, CS, etc. This mouse is brilliant and demanding for various games, with 6 buttons programmed by installing driver software. An excellent feature about the UHURU wireless gaming mouse is its broad compatibility with most systems, including Windows 7 / 8 / 10 / XP, Vista 7 / 8, Mac OS, and Linux. Fit for PC, Laptop, Computer, Macbook, and other devices.

Vision Blue Light Shield Computer/Gaming Glasses

Vision Blue Light Shield Computer/Gaming Glasses 

Do you spend all day on the computer or smartphone? Do you get sore and dry eyes after a long day of work/gaming sessions?

Say goodbye to sore eyes and headaches! Keep your eyes safe with J+S vision blue light shield computer glasses. Wearing it, you will get 100% UV protection on all your devices (computers, smartphones, TVs, tablets). These computer glasses protect your eyes and allow you to focus on your game or task at hand by filtering out 90% of the most harmful blue light.

Guide on how to switch out of Windows 10 S in 7 steps

What is Windows 10 S Mode? Windows 10 S is a version of its operating system developed in an educational setting to give you faster boot times, longer battery life, and better security. However, with Windows 10 S, you can’t use specific web browsers or download any apps, not in the Microsoft Store. Our team prepared a step-by-step guide for your successful switching out. Let’s go over it!

Take note that switching out of S Mode is a one-way process. Once you’ve disabled it, there’s no going back. So, make sure that you want to disable S Mode for good before you proceed.

Step 1: Open the Start Menu. 

This is the button in the lower-left corner of your screen shaped like the Windows logo.

Step 2: Go to Settings.

This is the button with the gear icon just above the power options.

Step 3: Then select Update & Security.

Step 4: In the left sidebar, click Activation. 

Step 5: Then click “Go to the Store.”

 You will see this under the “Switch to Windows 10 Home / Pro” section.

Go to the Store

Step 6: Press the “Get” button under the “Switch out of S Mode.”

This will be a blue button located just below the description.

Step 7: Click Install and wait for the process to finish.

Once finished, you’ll see a pop-up box that says, “You’re all set!

Congratulations! Your new computer now has Microsoft Windows 10 Home / Pro, without the restrictions of S mode!

Dispel it with us! No myths about gaming laptops anymore! Only facts

Myths. Sometimes it seems that our whole life is a total myth because they exist everywhere. The world of technology isn’t safe from them, too. But you must remember that myths, how real they may seem, are not true, and they can be disproven by valid facts. If you’re one of these gamers who want to embark into the gaming world but are skeptical, this part of the article is for you.

monkey memes

Here are 5 common myths about gaming laptops:

  • Gaming laptops always get too hot: NOPE

Once upon a time, you could fry an egg on the trackpad of gaming laptops. Their fans struggled to keep up with even the most basic games, but now almost every laptop has inner fans that are more efficient, by as much as 35 percent. So can get top performance without any throttling. It is usual for gaming laptops to run a bit hot, especially while gaming or to do other very intense tasks. However, don’t worry; the newest models have protection from overheating.

  • Some gaming laptops are slower than desktops: TRUE.

Since laptops are designed for energy conservation, they will naturally run more slowly. You can always cram more power into larger components; it’s simple physics. The hard drive is typically smaller than in a desktop unit, has less storage capacity, and runs at a slower speed. Many laptops have less memory installed than desktops, which makes them slower.

  • Gaming laptops are too loud: TRUE.

Yes, gaming laptops should be loud because your fans are sprinting to cool your system down. If your computer is too loud even when idle, that could mean there is a problem with the software, hardware, or the environment you’re using it in.

  • You must buy an expensive video graphic card to play games: NOPE.

The most common myth is that it is obligatory to have a costly video card to enjoy your games to the full extent. Video card affects only the graphics of the game and not the performance.

  • You should turn off your laptop when you don’t use it: NOPE.

That’s a myth. It used to be true around five or ten years ago when most laptops used nickel-metal hydride batteries that were susceptible to the well-known “memory effect,” which decreased their longevity. Nowadays, we use lithium batteries for almost all consumer tech. Laptops nowadays have cooling systems so that circuits won’t overheat.


Whether you will do study assignments, work video editing, various office tasks, or have a great time playing games with your friends, the gaming laptop is the best device for you. Using it gives you golden opportunities to work when you’re temporary out of electricity, take it with you on business, or play it everywhere you want. So whether you’re on the go for work or play, a gaming backpack is a must-have for any gaming laptop owner.

After reading the article and guide, you can now pick the best gaming laptop under $400 of them all, and of course, Windows S Mode won’t cause any trouble for you. 

Before purchasing a gaming laptop, pay attention to its display (size, resolution, and refresh rate), which impacts your gaming experience. Then look at CPU and GPU. Compare component specifications like core count and clock speed, and check benchmarks for an at-a-glance comparison between different product lines. 

The following things you should look at are memory and storage. Recognize the difference between SSDs and HDDs, and determine how much RAM you need for the way you plan to use your system. If you are on a cheap budget, you can select models that will be easy to upgrade later.

Choose the most suitable one for you among Top-5 gaming laptops are based on these criteria and include the following models:

Acer Aspire 5

Best for light gaming and graphic intensive work

Asus VivoBook 15

Best for popular older games and multitasking

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5

The speediest work performance

HP 14-dk0028wm

The greatest battery timing for gaming

Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Best value for money


⚔️ Can I use gaming laptops not only for gaming?

Sure! You can use them for anything! Gaming laptops have the same operating system, same programs, and layout as regular computers. These devices aren’t just for gaming. A gaming laptop can do anything a typical laptop can do, like official tasks, school/college work, or personal use.

⚖️ How to differentiate a gaming laptop from a regular one?

Primarily, gaming laptops are the same as regular laptops, only with upgraded features — but these modernizing features make all the difference:

  1. They are made to give intense performance as compared to normal ones with only average performance.
  2. Gaming laptops have specially designed cooling systems and high-speed fans for efficient performance.
  3. A gaming laptop comes with higher configuration and heavy graphics cards specially designed for gaming and graphics
  4. They have sophisticated things like Backlit RBG (red, green, and blue) keyboards, high-quality displays, out-of-the-world design, etc.
  5. Gaming laptops are highly-priced compared to standard laptops (but they are worth every penny you spend on them).
  6. They have high power consuming processors, hence having less battery life than the whopping 12 hours of battery life of low energy consuming laptops.

☺️ Do gaming laptops overheat?

Gaming laptops get so hot because they have high-performance processors and dedicated graphics cards that generate a lot of heat when under load. It is usual for gaming laptops to get hot, especially while gaming or doing other very exerting tasks such as compiling software, video editing, etc. If your laptop is overheating, your dedicated graphics may be the problem. Keep in mind; most gaming laptops will start to overheat beyond 80 °C. To avert it, we highly recommend using a cooling pad. Ultimately, you will see lower temperatures during long gaming sessions, thanks to the increased airflow.

⌛️ Do gaming laptops last longer than standard laptops?

The answer is YES. Gaming laptops are much outstanding in performing specific tasks when other typical laptops fail to do. Using gaming laptops, you will efficiently perform due to a great design and a cooling system with high-speed fans. Most experts estimate a laptop’s lifespan to be 3-6 years. It may survive more prolonged than that, but you will either experience hardware failure, or your laptop’s specs just simply won’t be able to keep up with newer games.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts