A laptop up to 400 euros can have more power than you think – if you save in the right place. The comparison reveals what that is and why a spark of technical expertise really saves money.

One thing in advance: buyers should only consider a laptop up to 400 euros if they don’t want to do anything with it other than surfing, streaming, checking e-mails or doing simple office work. A device in this price category is not sufficient for games, image or even video editing. Once the fronts have been clarified, a computer that is as powerful as possible is still desirable. Ideally, this means: four cores in the processor, 8 gigabytes of work memory and 128 gigabytes of internal memory, the e-mails

Laptops without an operating system

Most manufacturers sell their laptops with Windows 10 or 11. Of course, they buy licenses from Microsoft and pass the purchase price on to their customers. However, anyone who already has a Windows 10 license, for example because they bought a laptop with Windows, is wasting money here. All you need to know is how to install the operating system yourself. Alternatively, you can of course also rely on Linux. So if you bring some technical expertise with you, you can save a lot of money.

Don’t worry: Even laypeople can install Windows 10 on the computer. All it takes is a bootable USB stick. Find out how to get it below.

HP sells its HP 255 G8 (4P367ES) without an operating system. The device costs 399 euros and, with the Ryzen 3 5300U, offers a very powerful quad-core processor that is assisted by 8 gigabytes of RAM in its calculations. The computer saves images, videos and documents on a 256 gigabyte Solid State Drive (SSD). Movies from Netflix

A very similar laptop is the Asus Business P1. An Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor works in it. Compared to the AMD image in the HP 250 G8 in the comparison, it only has two and not four cores. For this reason alone, the AMD version is preferable to its Intel brother. The rest of the specifications remain the same: 8 gigabytes of RAM meet 256 gigabytes of internal memory. The display also has a Full HD resolution with a diagonal of 15.6 inches (39.6 centimeters) and the Asus Business P1 is also delivered without an operating system.

Installing Windows 10 on the fresh laptop is not rocket science. All you need is a free USB stick with at least 16 gigabytes of storage space and a Windows computer with an Internet connection.

Insert the USB stick into the computer and go to the Microsoft support website. There you can download the official Media Creation Tool.

Install it and select “Create installation media” from there. Then select the USB stick and download it using the Windows 10 tool. The program does the rest automatically.

Once the process is complete, simply insert the now bootable USB stick (installation medium) into the laptop and boot up. The calculator should automatically enter the Windows installation menu. Windows can be installed there on the hard drive of the laptop.

Laptops under 400 euros: With Windows

If the installation is too complicated for you, it is better to use a laptop up to 400 euros on which Windows is already installed.

The Lenovo V15 is even cheaper. An AMD processor also works in it, namely the AMD 3020E. It is a very low-performance dual-core processor that is assisted in its work by only 4 gigabytes of RAM. Nice: Lenovo has given its laptop a 256 gigabyte SSD. And the display is also brilliant for the price: It has a Full HD resolution and extends over 15.6 inches (39.6 centimeters).

A reasonable computer for school and university up to 400 euros is the Asus Education VivoBook 15 – if a student is not studying graphic design. Humanities scholars are happy about a 15.6 inch full HD display. Asus installs the Intel Pentium Silver N6000 as the processor. After all, it offers four cores that work at 1.1 gigahertz in the standard clock. Unfortunately, the processor is only assisted by 4 gigabytes of RAM. This is extremely sparse.

After all, 128 gigabytes of internal memory offer enough space for university and school documents. In addition, only the S version of Windows works on the laptop. Unfortunately, this only allows software to be downloaded and installed from the in-house Microsoft app store. To get out of S mode, you need to buy an additional license from Windows. Aggravating.

The Acer Aspire 1 (A114-33-C3Q2) is one size smaller. Its Full HD display is only 14 inches and thus 35.56 centimeters. Its Windows version also only works in S mode. The built-in processor is an Intel Celeron N5100, which is only slightly weaker than the processor built into the Education VivoBook 15.

Unfortunately, Acer also saves on the built-in RAM: The manufacturer only gives its laptop 4 gigabytes. In contrast, the 128 gigabytes of internal memory seem almost astronomical. But you don’t want to save videos on it. But there is enough space for documents and a few photos.

The final point is an Asus VivoBook E410. The laptop currently costs around 300 euros. Buyers really can’t expect much for the money. The built-in dual-core processor leaves a lot to be desired in terms of performance. 4 gigabytes of RAM doesn’t really help. After all, the internal storage of 128 gigabytes is okay for a device in this price range. Beautiful: The 14-inch display has a Full HD resolution.

Laptop up to 400 euros: Chromebook as a Windows alternative

There are also many Chromebooks under 400 euros. Google devices are particularly popular in the US education sector. The Chromebooks don’t seem to have really arrived in Germany yet. Unfortunately, the laptops often have problems with the Office products from Microsoft that are popular in this country, i.e. Word, Excel

They only run on Chromebooks with virtualization software and only on somewhat more powerful representatives of their type. All of this causes such high extra costs that a Windows laptop is usually the better alternative. If you can do without Office and like to work with Google services, you will find solid companions in Chromebooks.

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