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A new laptop is a big investment. That’s a fact of life. But you don’t always need to break the bank. There’s a huge range of laptops out there for just a few hundred pounds. And if you just need a device to check emails, browse YouTube, or pull up recipes, maybe a budget laptop is all you need. It’s still tricky choosing, though. Each person needs a slightly different spec. Maybe you want a large display. Perhaps you enjoys taking your laptop to the cafe, so battery life is important. Or maybe you need to stash all your photos and documents, in which case, more storage space is a priority. And a commuter might want a lighter laptop. Just because you’re looking at a lower price point, it doesn’t mean you don’t have all of these options available. Here’s some information to get you started.

Are cheap laptops any good?

You know the old saying: You get what you pay for. Actually, cheap laptops can be pretty darn good in this day and age. They may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive machines, but the truth is, who needs ’em? Why spend the extra £200 for a superfluous graphics card? Instead, you can spend less than £400 and be ready for anything that work, school, or life throws at you on a day-to-day basis

What size laptop should you get?

This comes down to two things: Personal preference and lifestyle. Do you like having a huge display, or do you prefer something more compact? If you’re travelling often and have your computer on your back, something lighter and more compact will do the trick (thin, 11-inch models might be the best). But, if you’re a huge movie buff who doesn’t normally take their laptop on the road with them, why not go with a 15-inch (or larger) screen so you can have epic Netflix sessions. If you’re getting a gaming laptop, you should probably “go big or go home,” as well.  

What are the downsides of a cheap laptop?

Laptops in the £400-or-below price range are not going to be good for PC gaming. You won’t get a 4K resolution display or a refresh rate higher than 60Hz. RAM is going to max out around 8GB. You’re also unlikely to get more than 500GB of storage space. In this price range, laptops are best for web browsing, word processing, Zoom calls, and streaming. If you don’t expect more than that, you’ll be fine.

What is the best laptop for under £400?

We’ve lined up a selection of the best cheap laptops from top brands like Lenovo and Acer, with something for every type of user. It’s worth taking some time to properly consider all of these options, and weigh them up against your own set of priorities. This way you should be able to pinpoint the device that best fits your lifestyle. These are the best laptops for under £400 in 2023.


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