Laptops under $400 don't tend to have stylish looks, full 1080p displays and excellent battery life, but that's what makes the Asus VivoBook E403SA our favorite budget notebook. The VivoBook also offers a solid keyboard, a slick brushed-metal design and a USB Type-C port for power and data transfer. Its Pentium CPU and 4GB of RAM provide enough pop for solid multitasking.
It may not be the most powerful sub-$500 laptop, but the Ideapad 100S offers the most value for your money. Lenovo's 2.2-pound, 11-inch laptop combines solid performance, an attractive design, a bright screen and over 9 hours of battery life. The Windows 10-powered Ideapad 100S even comes with a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal.
If battery life and price are your top concerns, the $330 Toshiba Chromebook 2 CB35 is just the laptop for you. It's the only budget laptop we've tested that lasted more than 10 hours, and it has a bright, accurate 13.3-inch 1080p display. Add to that an excellent keyboard, and you've got a low-cost system that's worth more than the sum of its parts.
With its lightweight, detachable design, the 10.1-inch Miix 310 makes a great first PC for children or secondary device for adults. With Windows 10 running on its Atom processor, this affordable 2-in-1 combines solid performance with over 12 hours of battery life.
For less than 350 bucks, the Asus F555LA offers a 15-inch, 1080p display, which is almost unheard of at this price range. It's a bit on the dim side, but paired with the notebook's strong speakers and attractive design, you get a budget computer for simple tasks.