Chromebooks might be a very good and affordable alternative for those on budget and not required to run MS specific programs (see Top 11 Chromebooks Under $250). If a Chromebook is not an option for you right now, 
I have listed twelve great budget laptops (under $400) most students and budget shoppers will be happy about. 

Among recommended you will find Lenovo, ACER. ASUS, HP and Toshiba brands. They all are among my favorite when choosing a new laptop. I would add that this list is missing DELL laptops, which are great, but doing this research on latest releases (as of 2016) I didn't find a hot DELL laptop under $400. 

Alternatively you could check out these lists: 

All laptops listed here comes with latest Windows 10 OS, and are released just recently (at most cases early start of 2016 on Amazon).

A quick note: This article contains affiliate links to Amazon.com, by clicking on links on this page and by making a purchase on Amazon site, I will earn an affiliate income at no cost to you. Prices for laptops listed on this page are retrieved using Amazon Product Advertising API and is updated daily. For actual prices please refer on product page on Amazon.

2016 Newest Edition Lenovo 15.6-inch Premium Laptop, Intel Dual-Core Celeron N2840 up to 2.58GHz, 4GB Memory, 500GB Hard Drive, DVD RW Drive, HDMI, Bluetooth, Webcam, Windows 10 64bit

2016 Newest Edition Lenovo 15.6-inch Premium Laptop, Intel Dual-Core Celeron N2840 up to 2.58GHz, 4GB Memory, 500GB Hard Drive, DVD RW Drive, HDMI, Bluetooth, Webcam, Windows 10 64bit

With solid performance and a slim, lightweight build, the Lenovo Ideapad 100 is a reliable, everyday laptop for work and play. A power-efficient Intel Celeron N2840 processor keeps everything humming smoothly along, while a 15.6-inch display provides a roomy canvas and big picture. And with Windows 10, you get easy ways to snap apps in place, create new desktops, and work and play across all your devices.

  • Intel Dual-Core Celeron N2840 2.16 GHz with Intel Burst Technology up to 2.58 GHz, Intel HD Graphics
  • 4GB DDR3L SDRAM Memory, 500GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 4 in 1 card reader
  • 15.6 in HD LED (1366 x 768) Display, DVD RW Optical Drive, HD webcam, HDMI
  • 802.11b/g/n Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0, 1G LAN Ethernet, 3-cell lithium ion (up to 3 hrs)
  • Windows 10 64 bit, Realtek HD Audio

List Price: listpriceformattedprice not found for Buy this laptop on Amazon

 

2016 Newest Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 14-inch Laptop, Intel Dual-Core Processor, 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD, Office 365 Personal 1-year subscription, 1TB OneDrive Cloud Storage, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 10

2016 Newest Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 14-inch Laptop, Intel Dual-Core Processor, 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD, Office 365 Personal 1-year subscription, 1TB OneDrive Cloud Storage, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 10

Stay productive and connected to what matters wherever you are with the Acer Aspire Cloudbook. This lightweight 14-inch laptop comes with one-year subscriptions to Office 365 Personal and online OneDrive storage, so it's ready to get down to business right out of the box. And with Windows 10, you get easy ways to snap apps in place, create new desktops, and work and play across all your devices.

  • Intel Dual-Core Celeron N3050(2MB Cache, up to 2.16GHz), Intel HD Graphics, 2GB Memory, 64GB eMMC Solid State Drive
  • Includs Office 365 Personal 1 Year Subscription, 1TB One Drive Cloud Storage, Signature Edition PCs No Junkware
  • 14 inch HD LED (1366 x 768) Display, HD webcam, HDMI, Up to 12-hours Battery Life
  • 802.11ac Gigabit Wifi (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, SD card reader
  • Windows 10 64bit, Weighs only 3.5 lbs. and measures jus 0.7" thin

List Price: listpriceformattedprice not found for Buy this laptop on Amazon

 

​2016 Newest Asus Flagship 15.6" Premium High Performance HD Laptop, Intel Core i3-5020U 2.2GHz 3MB Cache, 4GB DDR3L, 1TB HDD, SuperMulti DVD/CD Drive, HDMI, VGA, Webcam, Windows 10 64-bit, Black

2016 Newest Asus Flagship 15.6" Premium High Performance HD Laptop, Intel Core i3-5020U 2.2GHz 3MB Cache, 4GB DDR3L, 1TB HDD, SuperMulti DVD/CD Drive, HDMI, VGA, Webcam, Windows 10 64-bit, Black

  • 5th Gen Intel Core i3-5020U mobile processor(3M Cache, 2.2GHz), Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • 4GB DDR3L 1600MHz SDRAM, 1TB Hard Drive, DVD SuperMulti Burner, 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0
  • 15.6-inch High-Definition (1366 x 768) LED-Backlit Display, 0.3MP Webcam with Microphone, HDMI, VGA
  • 802.11b/g/n Wifi, 1G LAN Ethernet, no bluetooth, Media Card Reader (SD, SDHC)
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit, Glossy warm golden gradient finish

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​2016 New Edition Lenovo 15.6-inch Premium Laptop, AMD Dual-Core Processor, 4GB Memory, 500GB Hard Drive, HD LED Backlit Display (1366 x 768), DVD Burner, HDMI, VGA, Bluetooth, Webcam, Windows 10

2016 New Edition Lenovo 15.6-inch Premium Laptop, AMD Dual-Core Processor, 4GB Memory, 500GB Hard Drive, HD LED Backlit Display (1366 x 768), DVD Burner, HDMI, VGA, Bluetooth, Webcam, Windows 10

  • AMD E1-6010 Dual Core Processor, AMD Radeon R5 graphics
  • 4GB DDR3L SDRAM Memory, 500GB Hard Drive, 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0, Built-in media reader(SD, MMC)
  • 15.6 in HD LED (1366 x 768) Display, DVD/CD RW Burner, HD webcam, HDMI, VGA
  • 802.11b/g/n Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0, 1G LAN Ethernet, 4-cell lithium ion Battery up to 6 hours usage
  • Windows 10 64bit, Weighs 5.5 lbs. and measures 1.0" thin

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HP 14t 14-inch N3050 2GB 32GB eMMC Windows 10 - Red Notebook Laptop Computer

HP 14t 14-inch N3050 2GB 32GB eMMC Windows 10 - Red Notebook Laptop Computer

This HP notebook is all about getting the perfect combination of design, reliability, and features. Style and productivity while keeping your wallet in mind - now that's something to get excited about.

  • Processor: Intel Celeron N3050 Processor (2MB Cache, 1.6GHZ-2.16GHz) 6W
  • RAM: 2GB DDR3L 1600MHz | Storage: 32GB eMMC
  • Optical Drive: None | Operating System: Windows 10 x64
  • Graphics Card: Intel HD Graphics | Display: 14-inch HD Display (1366 x 768)
  • Color: Red

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Lenovo Ideapad 100 15.6-Inch Laptop (Pentium, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, Windows 10) 80MJ00AEUS

      Lenovo Ideapad 100 15.6-Inch Laptop (Pentium, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, Windows 10) 80MJ00AEUS


The Lenovo Ideapad 100 gives you powerful Intel performance at an affordable price.

  • Intel Pentium N3540 2.1 GHz Processor
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 500 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • 15.6-Inch Screen, Integrated Graphics
  • Windows 10

List Price: $239.99 Buy this laptop on Amazon

 

2016 NEW Edition Acer Aspire One 11 Cloudbook 11.6-inch Laptop, Intel Dual-Core Processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD, 100GB OneDrive Cloud Storage 2 years, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 10

2016 NEW Edition Acer Aspire One 11 Cloudbook 11.6-inch Laptop, Intel Dual-Core Processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD, 100GB OneDrive Cloud Storage 2 years, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 10

Stay productive and connected to what matters wherever you are with the Acer Aspire Cloudbook. This lightweight 11-inch laptop comes with 100GB of free OneDrive storage for two years, and with Windows 10 you get easy ways to snap apps in place, create new desktops, and work and play across all your devices.

  • Intel Dual-Core Celeron N3050(2MB Cache, up to 2.16GHz), Intel HD Graphics, 2GB Memory, 16GB eMMC Solid State Drive
  • 200GB One Drive Cloud Storage 2 years, Signature Edition PCs No Junkware or 3rd party trialware
  • 11 inch HD LED (1366 x 768) Display, HD webcam, HDMI, Up to 6-hours Battery Life
  • 802.11ac Gigabit Wifi (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, SD card reader
  • Windows 10, Weighs only 3.5 lbs. and measures jus 0.7" thin

List Price: listpriceformattedprice not found for Buy this laptop on Amazon

 

2016 Newest Edition Lenovo 15.6-inch Premium Laptop, Intel Dual-Core Celeron N2840 up to 2.58GHz, 4GB Memory, 500GB Hard Drive, DVD RW Drive, HDMI, Bluetooth, Webcam, Windows 10 64bit

 Roll over image to zoom in      2016 Newest Edition Lenovo 15.6-inch Premium Laptop, Intel Dual-Core Celeron N2840 up to 2.58GHz, 4GB Memory, 500GB Hard Drive, DVD RW Drive, HDMI, Bluetooth, Webcam, Windows 10 64bit

With solid performance and a slim, lightweight build, the Lenovo Ideapad 100 is a reliable, everyday laptop for work and play. A power-efficient Intel Celeron N2840 processor keeps everything humming smoothly along, while a 15.6-inch display provides a roomy canvas and big picture. And with Windows 10, you get easy ways to snap apps in place, create new desktops, and work and play across all your devices.

  • Intel Dual-Core Celeron N2840 2.16 GHz with Intel Burst Technology up to 2.58 GHz, Intel HD Graphics
  • 4GB DDR3L SDRAM Memory, 500GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, 4 in 1 card reader
  • 15.6 in HD LED (1366 x 768) Display, DVD RW Optical Drive, HD webcam, HDMI
  • 802.11b/g/n Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0, 1G LAN Ethernet, 3-cell lithium ion (up to 3 hrs)
  • Windows 10 64 bit, Realtek HD Audio

List Price: [amazon B01BGZP9ZI listpriceformattedprice] Buy this laptop on Amazon

 

2016 Newest Edition Lenovo 15.6-inch Premium High Performance Laptop, AMD Quad-Core A8-6410 up to 2.4GHz, 4GB DDR3L, 1TB HDD, DVD RW Drive, HDMI, VGA, 802.11 A/C WiFi, Bluetooth, Webcam, Windows 10

2016 Newest Edition Lenovo 15.6-inch Premium High Performance Laptop, AMD Quad-Core A8-6410 up to 2.4GHz, 4GB DDR3L, 1TB HDD, DVD RW Drive, HDMI, VGA, 802.11 A/C WiFi, Bluetooth, Webcam, Windows 10

There are so many similarities to Windows 7, you?ll feel like an expert from the get-go. Spend less time learning and more time doing, with the return of classic features like the Start menu, and new features like simplified navigation, universal access to apps, and introducing your very own personal assistant, Cortana.

  • AMD Quad-Core A8-6410 Processor(2MB Cache, 2 to 2.4GHz) with integrated AMD Radeon R5 graphics, HDMI and VGA output
  • 4GB DDR3L 1600MHz SDRAM, 1TB Hard Drive, Multiformat DVD¡ÀRW/CD-RW drive, 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0
  • 15.6-inch High-Definition (1366 x 768) LED-Backlit Display, 720p HD Webcam, 2-in-1 media reader(SD, MMC format)
  • Next Generation 801.11 A/C WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 1G LAN Ethernet
  • Windows 10 64bit, Dolby Advanced Audio v2

List Price: listpriceformattedprice not found for Buy this laptop on Amazon

 

HP 14t 14-inch Notebook Laptop Computer (Intel N3050, 2GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, Windows 10, Black)

HP 14t 14-inch Notebook Laptop Computer (Intel N3050, 2GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, Windows 10, Black)

This HP notebook is all about getting the perfect combination of design, reliability, and features. Style and productivity while keeping your wallet in mind - now that's something to get excited about.

  • Processor: Intel Celeron N3050 Processor (2MB Cache, 1.6GHZ-2.16GHz) 6W
  • RAM: 2GB DDR3L 1600MHz | Storage: 32GB eMMC
  • Optical Drive: None | Operating System: Windows 10 x64
  • Graphics Card: Intel HD Graphics | Display: 14-inch HD Display (1366 x 768)
  • Color: Black

List Price: listpriceformattedprice not found for Buy this laptop on Amazon

 

2016 New Edition HP 15.6-inch High Performance Touchscreen Laptop, AMD Quad-Core A8-7410 Processor, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, HDMI, DVD/CD Drive, Windows 10 64bit

2016 New Edition HP 15.6-inch High Performance Touchscreen Laptop, AMD Quad-Core A8-7410 Processor, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, HDMI, DVD/CD Drive, Windows 10 64bit

  • AMD AMD A8-7410 Quad-Core APU (2MB Cache, 2.2GHz Turbo boost up to 2.5GHz), AMD Radeon R5 graphics
  • 4GB DDR3L 1600MHz SDRAM, 1TB SATA Hard Drive, DVD Super Multi Drive
  • 15.6-inch HD Touch Screen Display (1366 X 768), HD Webcam, HDMI
  • 802.11b/g/n Wifi, 1x USB 3.0 Port, 2x USB 2.0 Ports, 1x RJ-45 Port Ethernet, SD card reader, No Bluetooth
  • Windows 10 Home 64bit, DTS Sound+ Sound

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Toshiba Satellite C55-C5268 Laptop Notebook - - 8GB RAM - 500GB HD - 15.6 inch display

Toshiba Satellite C55-C5268 Laptop Notebook - - 8GB RAM - 500GB HD - 15.6 inch display

Powerful, feature-rich Windows 10 laptop for students and professionals Runs on Windows® 10. 15.6" TruBrite® LED-backlit TFT display. 1366 x 768 widescreen resolution provides crystal-clear images. Powered by AMD A8 processor. Enjoy lightning speed and multi-tasking with ease. 8GB of memory is available. Spacious 1TB (1000GB) hard drive easily stores all your movies, music, pictures and more. Features DVD SuperMulti drive to watch and burn DVDs, CDs and more. Built-in HD webcam with TruTalkTM dual microphones so you can keep in touch with others via video and voice messaging. Integrated AMD RadeonTM R5 graphics for faster browsing and video playback. Memory card reader for file transfers made fast and easy. Transfer your digital photos, music and other files from 6 types of memory cards. Use the HDMITM port to view videos and photos on your HDTV. (HDMI cable is sold separately.) Features Bluetooth® wireless technology. Effortlessly interact with other Bluetooth-enabled devices at up to 30'. Features one USB 3.0 ports for ultra-fast data transfers. USB 3.0 is up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0, yet fully compatible with USB 2.0. Weighs 4.85 lb. Eco-conscious choice - has one or more meaningful eco attributes or eco-labels. EPEAT Gold certified - has multiple eco-attributes. Ranked in three tiers: Bronze, Silver or Gold. ENERGY STAR certified - meets federal guidelines for energy efficiency.

  • Intel® Pentium® N3700 Processor
  • 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz
  • 500GB (5400 RPM) Serial ATA hard disk drive
  • 15.6" diagonal widescreen TruBrite® TFT display at 1366 x 768 native resolution (HD)
  • Stereo speakers tuned by Skull Candy

List Price: Buy this laptop on Amazon