The best laptops in 2013 for just under $400.00 are the HP 2000-2b10NR 15.6-Inch and the Gateway NE56R34u 15.6-Inch.
The HP 2000-2b10NR 15.6-inch laptop boasts an Intel Pentium B960 2.2 GHz (2 MB Cache) processor, 4 GB SDRAM, a 500 GB 5400 rpm hard drive, Intel HD Graphics, the Windows 8 operating system, and a 4.5-hour battery life. Customers rave about the laptop's hard drive size and the amount of RAM offered, but complain about small glitches and that Windows 8 isn't a very user-friendly operating system.
The Gateway NE56R34u 15.6-inch laptop comes with a 1.4 GHz Celeron E1200 processor, a 320 GB hard drive, 4 GB DIMM, AMD Radeon HD graphics, the Windows 8 operating system, and up to 4 hours of battery life. Customer rave about the laptop's easy set-up and amount of storage, but complain that powering down has too many steps and that Windows 8 is difficult to use.
Just in- If you don't need a lot of storage, wouldn't mind learning how to use the browser-based Chrome operating system, and are only interested in surfing the web, the brand new Samsung Series 3 laptop might work for you. The price starts at just $249.99.