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 The Best Laptops Under £400

Tech Shopping On a Tight Budget: The Best Laptops Under £400

Harry Stewart
The best laptops under £400 offer a fully functional albeit no-thrills experience for a super affordable price. While you can’t expect these wallet-friendly machines to blaze through highly-intensive apps, most can easily handle standard computational tasks.
From web browsing to Office apps and streaming the latest blockbuster films, you’ll be surprised how well a sub-£400 laptop can cope.
But before investing in a great-value new laptop, it’s crucial to consider your preferences and needs. In this post, we’ll cover what to consider and present the seven best options from HP.

How to choose a laptop under £400

Once you dip below the £400 mark, you’re delving well within the budget laptop realm. But a low-cost laptop needn’t mean you’ll suffer through frustrating non-stop loading screens. On the contrary, if you choose a suitable device and keep your expectations in check, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
But first, a reality check. Serious gamers, 3D animators, data-crunching analysts, and other high-intensity users will struggle with a low-cost machine. You simply won’t get enough processing power to get the job done in a timely fashion—there aren’t any true gaming laptops under £400.
The same applies for video content creators. If you’re looking for the best laptop for video editing under £400, you’re going to be disappointed. Editing requires a decent dedicated graphics card, which you just won’t find for that price.
Nonetheless, everyday multimedia users, web surfers, Office aficionados, students, researchers and other low-intensity users will get by fine. You may notice slower performance than a mid-range or top-end laptop, but you’ll still get enough juice for a seamless workflow.
Aside from the specs (which we’re covering in more detail below), a key consideration is the screen size. Highly mobile users will, on the whole, want to spring for a smaller, lightweight laptop. Not only do these nimble devices take up a minuscule amount of space, but they weigh less and generally boast a better battery life.
Stationary users, on the other hand, might prefer a bulky 17-inch laptop for the luxuriously spacious on-screen real estate. Or, if you never intend to move the device at all, you can get a pretty decent desktop PC for under £400.

Weighing up the specs

You can’t expect high-level specs on a low-cost machine. Generally speaking, a sub-£400 laptop will have an Intel® Pentium®, Celeron®, Core™ i3, or Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor. RAM usually runs between 4 and 8GB, and the hard drive will rarely exceed 128GB. Some low-cost laptops have a crystal clear FHD display, though many offer HD instead.
With these limitations in mind, it’s worth identifying your priorities. If you do a lot of multi-tasking, for example, you might want to stick to a laptop with 8GB RAM. Got a sizeable movie collection? Then choose something with a decent SSD (or get an external drive).
Consider a Chromebook
Many of the best laptops under £400 are Chromebooks. Powered by Google’s cloud-based ChromeOS™, these versatile, low-cost machines don’t need chunky specs to churn through complex computational tasks. Most of the processing occurs in the cloud, and that innovative approach gives you better performance at a lower price.
Better yet, Chromebooks boast outrageously long battery lives - at times up to 15 hours - and weigh less than their Windows-based counterparts.
The catch?
You’ll need a fast and reliable internet connection to make the most of it - the Chromebook doesn’t have much utility while offline. You also won’t be able to run some Windows-only applications (most are available on ChromeOS, but some aren’t), nor store large files locally on your hard drive.
Nonetheless, it’s a worthy trade-off for many budget-orientated consumers. Due to its cloud-based nature, the Chromebook sells like hotcakes in the sub-£400 range.

The best HP laptops under £400

Now you’re up to speed, it’s time to browse the best options from HP. We’ve organised these into categories to help you identify the best options for your needs.

Best 17-inch: HP 17-cn0041na Laptop

HP 17-cn0041na Laptop
· Screen: 17.3", FHD (1920 x 1080)
· Processor: Intel Pentium Gold 7505
· Hard drive: 128GB SSD
· Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
Big-screen lovers will adore the generous screen size and spacious keyboard in this sizeable 17-inch device. An enlarged click pad and left-hinge design makes typing feel more comfortable and natural than ever before.
On the HP 17-cn0041na Laptop, the Dual-core Intel Pentium processor handles most everyday tasks, yet is energy-efficient enough to facilitate over 8 hours of battery life. Stacks of storage and a free Microsoft 365 Personal one-year subscription enhance the appeal.

Best 15-inch: HP 15s-fq2015na Laptop - Core i3, Silver

HP 15s-fq2015na Laptop
· Screen: 15.6", FHD (1920 x 1080)
· Processor: Intel Core i3 1115G4 (11th Generation)
· Hard drive: 256GB SSD
· Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
The HP 15s-fq2015na Laptop sneaks in under the £400 threshold, and its highly respectable specs make it among the most powerful performers on this list.
The 11th Generation Intel Core i3 is rare in laptops at this price point. The device also boasts an impressive 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM, perfect for multitasking and storing sizeable file libraries.
Don’t like the set-up?
You’ve got the option to customise the specs, ramping up or scaling down the key hardware components to suit your budget and needs. A long-lasting battery (7 hours and 15 minutes), a lightweight design (1.69 kg), and a sleek micro-edge bezel make it the best-in-class for the popular 15-inch screen size.

Best 14-inch: HP 14-eg0001na 4G LTE Laptop

HP 14-eg0001na 4G LTE Laptop
· Screen: 14", FHD (1920 x 1080)
· Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c (Gen 2)
· Hard drive: 128GB eMMC
· Graphics: Qualcomm Adreno™ 618 GPU
Looking for something a bit more nimble but don’t want to go too small with the screen?
The HP 14-eg0001na 4G LTE Laptop is agile enough to whisk around town yet remains easy to read thanks to its mid-sized 14-inch screen. As one of the slimmest laptops from HP (it’s only 1.69 cm wide), this slender 1.25 kg device is ideal for users on the go.
Portability is such a strong focus in its design that this unit comes with an LTE modem and 20GB of EE data. Forget tethering off your phone or memorising a befuddling WiFi password. Just switch on the laptop and enjoy an instant high-speed internet connection.

Best 11-inch: HP Stream Laptop 11-ak0029na

HP Stream Laptop 11-ak0029na
· Screen: 11.6", HD (1366 x 768),
· Processor: Intel Celeron N4020
· Hard drive: 64GB eMMC
· Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600
Coming in at less than half our already-low £400 threshold, this low-cost unit is among the most affordable laptops from HP (it’s even cheaper than most Chromebooks).
As the name suggests, the feather-light 11-inch device is primarily intended as a portable streaming machine. If you want something small to catch up on your favourite series while out and about, the budget-friendly HP Stream Laptop 11-ak0029na is your best bet.
A familiar Windows 11 interface and a whopping 13 hours and 15 minutes of battery life make it a great option for working or studying on the road, too.

Best Chromebook: HP Chromebook 14a-na0005na

HP Chromebook 14a-na0005na
· Screen: 14", FHD (1920 x 1080),
· Processor: Intel Pentium Silver N5030
· Hard drive: 128GB eMMC
· Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 605
Whether you’re a seasoned Chromebook pro or a newcomer to ChromeOS, this nifty 14-inch device is the go-to option in the sub-£400 range. Unlike its more affordable counterparts, the HP Chromebook 14a-na0005na has 8GB RAM and a sizeable 128GB eMMC for seamless multitasking and plentiful in-house storage.
Stereo speakers from Bang & Olufsen and a sparkling Full HD display ensure a front-row entertainment experience through streamed or locally stored media. Whether it’s for work or play (or a mixture of both), this potent little 14-incher delivers the goods.

Best Budget: HP Chromebook 11a-na0000na Laptop

HP Chromebook 11a-na0000na Laptop
· Screen: 11.6", HD (1366 x 768),
· Processor: MediaTek
· Hard drive: 64GB eMMC
· Graphics: MediaTek Integrated Graphics
Budget-conscious ChromeOS devotees should check out the HP Chromebook 11a-na0000na Laptop, which retails at a fraction of our £400 limit. Weighing a meagre 1.07 kg, the low-profile 11-inch device redefines portability. And thanks to its impressive 15 hours and 45 minutes of battery life, you won’t have to worry about running out of juice anytime soon.
While its specs don’t match up with more expensive Chromebooks or Windows-based machines, the cloud-based nature enables such modest hardware to perform surprisingly well.

Best Touchscreen: HP Pavilion 15-eg0026na Touchscreen Laptop - Pentium Gold, Blue

HP Pavilion 15-eg0026na Touchscreen Laptop
· Screen: 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080), touch screen,
· Processor: Intel Pentium Gold 7505
· Hard drive: 128GB SSD
· Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
Craving a fully functional touchscreen laptop that still adheres to the £400 maximum limit?
Then take a gander at the HP Pavilion 15-eg0026na. Its gorgeous Full High Definition (FHD) screen lets you scroll and swipe just like a tablet or mobile phone. Under the hood, you’ve got an Intel Pentium Gold 7505 and 4GB RAM to power your everyday tasks, as well as a sizeable 128GB SSD.
Fancy splashing out on a games-ready machine?
You can upgrade this device to include a zippy i5 processor and Intel Iris Graphics - it’s the best integrated card on the market. While you’ll break the £400 mark, this type of upgrade is worth the splurge for any casual gamer on the go.

Choosing the best laptop under £400

Finding the ideal sub-£400 laptop requires identifying your preferences and weighing up the most crucial specs. While the modest price limit is certainly somewhat restrictive, a budget-friendly laptop doesn’t have to underperform.
Follow our advice on how to determine what specs and screen size work best for you. Once that’s established, take the time to review our top seven budget-friendly laptops to pinpoint the top option for you.

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