The 10 Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Under $300

Find the best budget gaming laptops for under $300 with our weekly updated list of the top all-purpose ultra-budget gaming laptops.

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Welcome to our weekly updated pro guide to the best gaming laptops under $300 based on reviews, specs, retail sales volume and retail discounts.

Being a gamer on a super-tight budget is never fun, but with the huge library of older games available at ones fingertips these days, sometimes being the latest and greatest comes second to sticking to your budget. We’ve sourced the top contenders for the best gaming laptop under $300 right here so you an easily browse some of best picks available.

Top Picks >> Runners Up >>

The following laptops should, in most cases, run older games on medium settings and some newer games on very low graphical settings.

At this price range expecting 60fps at 1080p resolutions is out of the question – however, if you are happy with great day to day performance and some light gaming restricted to only older games on the side, then read on.

Disclaimer: Limited Performance Here!

Please Note: If you plan on playing newer games we’d strongly recommend investing something with a dedicated graphics from our gaming laptops under $500 guide or even our gaming laptops under $1000 guide if you can afford it.

A great resource for checking if your laptop could play the games you want is Notebookcheck which feature benchmark tests for all the graphics cards on offer for many games. This should give you a good idea if your laptop has the performance you need.

NB**: Laptops with integrated graphics will usually only work well for playing much older titles and will have medicore performance for newer games. That said, if you are a true gaming connoisseur ready to whip out the classics or enjoy browser-based games, read on!


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Best Gaming Laptops Under $300 – Top Picks

1. ASUS L210MA-DB01 11.6-inch

We do not always need a high end laptop to complete tasks that are suited to a lower end machine. This is where the ASUS L210MA-DB01 11.6-inch comes in. Coming in just above the $200, this laptop carries out day-to-day tasks relatively easily, delivering a competent performance, and is easily one of the cheapest Windows 10 systems currently on sale.

The sleek, compact design houses budget components that are powerful in their own right, however, compared to our top pick under $400, the Aspire 5 A515-43-R19L, the ASUS L210MA-DB01 is a bit more sluggish. This is largely thanks to the AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, which offers quite a bit more in terms of power. Both laptops come with a meager 4 GB of RAM, however, so these laptops are better equipped for very basic tasks. You will be able to game, however, new games or games in any way demanding will almost result in issues, but older game boy advanced emulators and games will run perfectly fine, as well as less demanding older titles, such as the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. You will have to be concious of saving space however, as this machine comes with a low 64GB of storage space.

The laptop has an incredibly lightweight design, weighing in at 2.31 pounds, with a maximum thickness of 0.67-inches. The lightweight design is made possible in part to the fanless CPU as well as the eMMC storage. The 11 hour battery life is fantastic off a single charge, meaning you won’t need to scramble to charge your laptop in the middle of a late afternoon lecture.

At this price point, you receive a dull 1366 x 768 display, which has poor viewing angles. Sadly, display quality is one of the big things that get cut with budget laptops, however, for all the functionality and ease of use, the ASUS L210MA-DB01 11.6-inch laptop is a reliable laptop comes in a slim body that houses decent components.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Lightweight, portable and silent fanless design
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Lengthy battery life
  • Bright screen

Cons

  • Limited performance for more than basic applications and / or gaming
  • Average touchpad quality

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 2.31 lbs

Summary & Score

If you need a small form-factor laptop for basic daily tasks on the move, the ASUS L210MA-DB0 offers high-quality features at a bargain price making it a top recommendation in the sub-$200 price range.

ASUS L210MA-DB01 11.6 Inch
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(as of 28-11-2021 19:16 UTC) Details

2. Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 82B80006UX 13.3-inch

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 82B80006UX 13.3-inch

The 2-in-1 Lenovo Chromebook Flex 82B80006UX 13.3-inch offers users versatility with the various modes (tablet, tent, stand, laptop) it makes available to the user thanks to its 360 degree convertible design. Its schick graphite grey finish, lightweight design and all day battery life make it a great option for school or college students, and it even packs enough power to run some more demanding applications for office use.

The laptop weighs in at a decent 2.97 lbs, with a maximum thickness of 0.67 inches. It sports an Intel Core i3-10110U processor that packs a decent punch, with this definitely being one of the cheapest laptops that offers this very decent processor, but it is held back by the 4GB of DDR4 RAM, which limits productivity somewhat when compared to high priced laptops. The 64GB of storage space is also limiting, and you will be expected to make use of Google Drive for all your additional storage needs. Reviewers have noted that it runs games from the Google Play store well, as well as some older titles, and even managing some newer titles on very low. See the below review that further clarifies on this.

Lenovo have packed a decent amount of ports to keep you connected to your peripherals, including two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A port and a single audio jack. The inclusion of two USB Type-C ports is refreshing and rare at this price point. The battery life won’t limit you in any way, as it will last you the day on a single charge.

Lenovo has opted for an awesome Full HD IPS display that users praised, stating that its touch response is awesome. The higher resolution means that movies and videos will have crisp image quality, while the IPS technology means you won’t need to adjust your display to find a suitable angle where it doesn’t look washed out.

Pros

  • Two USB Type-C ports
  • High quality display
  • Touchscreen is responsive
  • Good battery life
  • Great CPU for the price

Cons

  • Quality control
  • Average speakers
  • Poor trackpad

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.97 lbs

Summary & Score

Lenovo has opted for a snappy Intel Core i3-10110U processor that will handle more demanding applications, and along with the 1080p IPS panel, the Chromebook Flex 82B80006UX is an attractive option for users not looking to break the bank.

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 82B80006UX 13.3-inch
$429.99$329.99
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(as of 28-11-2021 19:18 UTC) Details

3. HP Chromebook 11a-na0021nr 11-inch 

The budget Chromebooks are built for convenience more than power. While this doesn’t mean they aren’t plenty powerful for day-to-day task handling, it does mean that you will need to offer up some performances and comforts that one associates with the pricier laptops. The HP Chromebook 11a-na0021nr 11-inch is one such laptop.

At a measly 2.36 lbs and with a thickness of 0.77-inches, this Chromebook truly is convenient, easily slipping into a backpack and going almost completely unnoticed. On top of this, you can go without needing to charge for a whole 15 hours, which is simply incredible for a laptop. The long battery life is made possible by the less power hungry components that the laptop is fitted with, sporting the impressive 8-Core MediaTek MT8183 CPU, a modest 4GB of RAM and a fast – but very limiting – 32GB eMMC storage. While these aren’t exactly high end components, they will get through simple tasks easily, and even allow some basic gaming. For word processing, browsing, video streaming, or video calling your friends you won’t have many issues, but don’t expect to play any new games, as they likely wouldn’t work as well as a machine with a dedicated GPU such as the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3. Fortunately Google Play store is stacked with titles suited to this machine.

The HP Chromebook 11a-na0021nr comes with a full-keyboard and a fairly dull 11.6-inch display that is only HD, and not Full-HD. Chrome OS is straightforward and easy to use, with the Google Workspace being at your disposal for all your office needs, and Google Drive’s additional storage will come in handy. It charges via USB type-C, so you can expect fast charge times at least.

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Lightweight build
  • Excellent battery life
  • Easy to use Chrome OS operating system
  • Low price

Cons

  • Very limited hard drive space (SD card recommended)
  • Not suitable for advanced applications or any Windows applications
  • Can only use apps from Chrome store

Specs

  • MediaTek MT8183 2Ghz [View Benchmarks]
  • ARM Mali-G72
  • 4GB SDRAM RAM
  • 32GB SSD
  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Chrome OS
  • 15 hours battery life
  • 2.36 lbs

Summary & Score

If you are looking for a mobile laptop on a budget this 2020 Chromebook makes for an attractive package, merging a slick design with excellent battery life for a stylish portable laptop on the go, though advanced users who want to use Windows apps or advanced applications should look elsewhere.

HP Chromebook 11a-na0021nr 11.6-inch
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(as of 25-11-2021 05:24 -07:00) Details

4. ASUS VivoBook L203MA 11.6-inch

Although hard to recommend as a true gaming laptops due to it’s small screen and very limited processing power, the ASUS VivoBook L203MA makes up for it with its attractive design and portable build quality.

If you plan on taking your laptop with you to work or school or using it around the house on your lap, the L203MA provides a very attractive design including a 180 degree screen hinge.

Powered by an Intel Celeron N4000 processor with Intel UHD Graphics 600, don’t expect to be planning anything but the most basic games on this laptop. The Intel UHD Graphics 600 provides less than half the gaming performance of AMD Vega 3 graphics in top competing models. That said, for the price, its hardware still provides excellent value for money even when compared with some pricier laptops in the $300 and $400 range.

Asus VivoBook 11.6" Windows 10 Laptop – Unboxing & First Look!

The main sacrifice for gaming is of course the smaller screen size, which isn’t ideal for immersion, though users who prefer gaming on the go on their couch or around the house may prefer its smaller design which will allow you to game comfortably virtually anywhere.

With only 64GB of storage space, you will need to store most of your games and media on an external harddrive or MicroSD card which is another minor inconvenience.

Overall, if portability is your main priority, the VivoBook L203MA will allow you to play older games anywhere you like with a stylish design to boot.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Attractive design
  • Portable lightweight build

Cons

  • Flimsy touch pad
  • Slow hardware for advanced tasks

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 S
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.2 lbs

Summary & Score

If you are looking for an ultraportable budget laptop that will allow you to comfortably do basic work and browsing on the go, the ASUS VivoBook L203MA-DS04 offers an attractive design and reliable performance for basic tasks at a bargain price.

ASUS VivoBook L203MA-DS04 11.6-inch
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(as of 28-11-2021 19:17 UTC) Details

Best Gaming Laptops Under $400 – Top Pick

5. Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-43-R19L 15.6-inch

The Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-43-R19 is another bestselling laptop with gaming capabilities powered by integrated Radeon RX Vega 3 graphics and a dual-core AMD Ryzen 3 3200U CPU.

The RX Vega 3 takes the cake when it comes to modern integrated graphics at this price level. Unfortunately, with no dedicated graphics cards available for less than $500 options are extremely limited in this hyper-budget gaming segment. The RX Vega 3 graphics can, however, handle popular titles such as Dota 2 and the Sims on medium settings perfectly fine. It’s value for money hardware make it another shining choice when it comes to a budget gaming laptop capable of running older games.

Although priced slightly higher than $300, it features a larger 15.6-Inch screen powered by IPS technology for better viewing angles and overall picture quality. This technology is a step up from the TN type displays found in other budget laptops.

Value Laptop! Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop A515-43-R19L | Unboxing & Impressions

Another bonus is relatively high quality on-board audio, making gaming on the move without a headset a real possibility. Add to this a lightweight build and a battery life of up to 7.5 hours (expect a LOT less while gaming) and the A515-43-R19L also makes for a feasible all-round laptop for college or traveling.  Another handy feature is a backlit keyboard, perfect for gaming or work at night or in low-light areas.

That said, don’t expect to be able to run most popular tites from 2016 onwards with playable framerates. We recommend looking at older games and indie titles. There are enough  amazing games out there to keep you occupied for a lifetime if you consider all of the classics.

If you are still not keen on spending a little bit more for a dedicated graphics card and but would prefer a slightly higher quality and larger display, the Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-43-R19 offers some nice perks for only an extra $50 or so.

Pros

  • High quality IPS display with good contrast
  • Lightweight design with aluminium top cover
  • Backlit keyboard

Cons

  • Graphics only suitable for older games
  • Flimsy touchpad
  • Limited storage space out the box

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 7.5 hours battery life
  • 3.97 lbs

Summary & Score

The Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-43-R19L provides enough graphics to run for older games on low settings and snappy Windows performance at a bargain price.

Acer Aspire 5 Slim A515-43-R19L 15.6-inch
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(as of 28-11-2021 19:17 UTC) Details

6. HP Chromebook x360 14a-ca0022nr 14-inch

The HP Chromebook x360 14a-ca0022nr comes in a sleeky and sexy mineral silver body that is highly portable with its dimensions of 0.7 by 12.8 by 8.6 inches, making it a great option for school kids, college students and working professionals. Its weight of 3.3 lbs is slightly heavy, however, it should still go unnoticed in your backpack. Since this is a 2-in-1, the screen flips through into tablet mode, sporting a responsive touchscreen display. Don’t expect a high quality display however, as it is a lower quality display with a low 1366 x 768 resolution. This is to be expected at this price point however. It is a downgrade from out top pick under $400, the Acer Aspire 5 A515-46-R14K 15.6-inch however, that comes with a Full HD IPS display.

The HP Chromebook x360 ships with a decent processor. The Pentium Silver N5000 is a quad-core processor that comes with Intel UHD Graphics 605, which means that video streaming, light casual gaming, and other media consuming activities will be carried without breaking much of a sweat. The 4GB of DDR4 memory hampers multitasking capabilities, however, so don’t expect to run too many programs simultaneously.

HP Chromebook x360 Review – 14" 2-in-1 Chromebook – 14-da0021nr

It comes with a decent array of ports, including a USB Type-C and SD card reader on the left hand side, while the right hand side holds volume rocker and USB Type-A port, along with the usual headphone/microphone combo. Additionally, it supports Bluetooth 5.0 and the latest 802.11ac. The keyboard is said to be a pleasure to use, offering responsive tactile feedback. The touchpad is of equal premium-feeling quality.

For storage, you get a measly 64GB eMMC SSD that will fill up quickly should you wish to store music and movies or other larger files, however, ChromeOS is an OS that relies on the internet, so making using of the Google Workspace that is free for all to use is a good idea, as you will be able to make store all your work on here.

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Premium looking
  • Great keyboard
  • Responsive touchpad
  • Responsive touch display
  • All day battery life

Cons

  • Low quality display
  • Not a strong multitasker

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Chrome OS
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 3.30 lbs

Summary & Score

The 2-in-1 HP Chromebook x360 14a-ca0022nr has a premium looking body that houses a poor display with weak viewing angles. Its long battery life and ability to do the basics makes it well suited to those who are looking to get the most out of a work day without breaking the bank.

HP Chromebook x360 14a-ca0022nr 14-inch
$349.00
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(as of 28-11-2021 19:17 UTC) Details

Additional Resources

More Laptops:

Recommended Older Games:

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Best Gaming Laptops Under $300 – Runners-Up

7. HP Elitebook 8470p 14.1-inch

HP Elitebook 8470p

The HP Elitebook 8470p is a 2013 laptop now being offered as refurbished for a great bargain.

It features a 2.60Ghz Intel Core i5-3320M dual-core processor, Intel HD Graphics 4000, a 128 SSD hard drive, 8GB of RAM and a great collection of ports including two USB 3.0 ports.

Users praised the Elitebook for its fast hardware and a hardy design that has clearly stood the test of time. That said, as with all refurbished units, the chances of getting a ‘lemon’ or higher than new laptops, so be prepared to call on Amazon’s return policy if needed.

The SSD hard drive is definitely the cheapest you will get on a laptop, although it’s not very large so be prepared to get a secondary drive to add to it if needed.

Despite its performance, the 8470p suffers in the design department and has quite a dated bulky look to it where it starts to show its age a little bit. Some user also complained of poor speakers and a lack of HDMI port may also be off putting for some users.

All in all if you are looking for the most bang for your buck for in an ultra-budget gaming laptop, the 8470p sports better hardware for the money at its price point hands down.

Pros

  • Faster hardware than newer laptops its price
  • Rugged design
  • Good battery life on original laptop
  • SSD hard drive

Cons

  • Possible issues with refurbished units
  • Bulky design
  • No HDMI port
  • Poor speakers

Specs

  • 14.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6.25 hours battery life
  • 4.65 lbs

Summary & Score

If you are looking for the best hardware possible for the price at all costs, the HP Elitebook 8470p provides much better performance than modern laptops at its price.

HP Elitebook 8470p 14.1-inch Refirbished
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(as of 23-11-2018 03:16 -07:00) Details

8. Lenovo IdeaPad 320 80XR00AGUS 15.6-inch

Lenovo IdeaPad 320 80XR00AGUS 15.6-inch laptop
The Lenovo IdeapPad 320 80XR00AGUS offers durability for travellers and students. While it is not as lightweight as some of the Chromebooks we have featured in this guide, it is light for a laptop that comes with a 15.6-inch display.

The LED matte display has a resolution of 1366×768, which is a fairly standard resolution for laptops in this price range, and most customers enjoyed it large size, especially for media consumption. Lenovo have included a large, 1TB HDD, allowing you to save a lot of multimedia, but be warned, the 5400RPM mechanical hard drives are slow.

Chromebooks, such as the Acer R11 CB5-132T-C7R5 11.6-inch usually offer fast SSD type storage within this price range, but you’ll only be able to save a handful of files. The slower hard drive of the IdeapPad 320, combined with its underpowered Intel Celeron N3350 CPU, will inevitably lead to an underperforming system. T

his has been confirmed by numerous customers who found it to be slow for anything but basic task handling.

It does run Microsoft Office and QuickOffice well enough, however, and some even noted that the Intel HD Graphics 500 allows for some decent gaming when it comes to running the classics, such as WarCraft III, Diablo II and the older Call of Duty games.

The battery life is not that great, lasting only 4 hours 30 minutes for most users, which again, is a lot less than we see with the Chromebooks, which usually run a lot more efficiently when it comes to power consumption. So if you are planning on spending the day at the office or at lectures, then be sure to carry your power adapter around with you, and if that doesn’t sound ideal to you, then perhaps the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6-inch will better serve your needs.

The 4GB of RAM is modest, and for heavy Internet browsing and multitasking, it won’t quite make the cut. However, you can expand the RAM up to 16GB, which will give a significantly improved performance.

Pros

  • Expandable RAM
  • Build quality
  • Plenty of storage
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Large display
  • Spacious keyboard

Cons

  • Slow at times
  • Slow HDD
  • Below average battery
  • Speaker quality

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 4.85 lbs

Summary & Score

The Lenovo Ideapad 320 80XR00AGUS is great for casual users looking for a laptop that runs Microsoft Office and that can play the older classics well, but it is slow according to most reports, which is to be expected from a laptop in this price range.

Lenovo IdeaPad 320 80XR00AGUS 15.6-inch
$269.00$239.00
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(as of 11-11-2020 14:00 -07:00) Details

9. Lenovo IdeaPad 110-15 15.6-inch

Lenovo 110-15 15.6-inch laptop
The Lenovo IdeaPad 110-15 15.6-inch is another entry level laptop that is more suited to running the classic titles than anything new.

It comes with a lower-tier A6-7310 Quad-Core processor and 4GB of RAM, both of which put up a respectable performance for basic tasks, but heavy multitaskers and those looking to run resource heavy applications should look elsewhere. It is suitable for multimedia purposes such as video streaming, photo viewing (even some basic photo editing), and word processing.

It comes with a sufficient amount of storage space of 500GB, but the mechanical hard drive will make boot up times and applications loading times slow when compared to the loading times of the modern SSDs. The battery life is terrible to the say the least, lasting only around 3 hours, meaning that you will need to lug around a power cable if you intend on using it outside of your home or office. The 15.6-inch LED display is 1366 X 768, but most seem happy with the display despite it not being Full-HD.

Pros

  • Good for basic use
  • Decent design
  • Value
  • Plenty of storage space

Cons

  • 3 hour battery life
  • Slow hard drive
  • Not ideal for power users

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8.5 hours battery life
  • 4.8 lbs

Summary & Score

If you are a on a budget and you are looking for a laptop that gets the basics right, then the Lenovo 110-15 15.6-inch will meet all your needs. But be aware, the 3 hour battery means it will almost always need to plugged in.

Lenovo 110-15 15.6-inch
$276.00$275.98
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(as of 28-10-2018 02:41 -07:00) Details

10. ASUS VivoBook X540SA BPD0602V 15.6-inch

ASUS VivoBook X540SA BPD0602V 15.6-inch
While most budget 15.6-inch laptops weigh in at over 5 pounds, the ASUS VivoBook X540SA is noticeably lighter and weighs in at just 4.41 pounds. Its sturdy plastic construction is quite rugged and will easily withstand being carried around on a daily basis.

The battery life is also a lot better than some of its competitors and some users have reported run times of over 7 hours off of a full charge. Realistically you can look at 5-6 hours of web browsing or word processing and 3-4 hours while streaming videos. Powered by an Intel Quad Core Pentium N3700 processor and 4GB of RAM, the ASUS VivoBook X540SSA will easily cope with basic tasks at home or at the office.

But the installed 4GB of RAM is soldered to the mainboard and you will only be able to install another 4GB RAM module. But 8GB of RAM is more than sufficient for the needs of most basic apps and for the limitations of the Pentium processor.

While the processor ranks slightly lower than the one in the HP-15 F222WM, the GPU is slightly better. However this still won’t be powerful enough to run newer games, as even some 2009 releases only run at 6-8 frames per second. If all you are after are some classics such as the original Red Alert, Warcraft 3 and Age of Empires 2, then the HD Graphics Braswell GPU will cope just fine. If browser based games are more your thing, then you will easily be able to enjoy these in your favorite web browser.

The display offers impressive image quality for video playback or you can comfortably stream videos at 720p. The superfast USB 3.1 Type-C port allows you to connect to a host of next generation devices and peripherals, which helps in future proofing the ASUS VivoBook X540SA.

Pros

  • Price
  • USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Decent battery life
  • Light

Cons

  • 4GB of onboard RAM can’t be removed
  • Slightly underpowered processor
  • Slight keyboard and display flex
  • Only two full size USB ports

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 4.41 lbs

Summary & Score

The ASUS VivoBook X540SA offers great value for money and even features a USB 3.1 Type-C port. But the Intel Pentium processor is slightly underpowered for more intensive multitasking and you only receive two full size USB ports.

ASUS VivoBook X540SA BPD0602V 15.6-inch
$272.00$268.00
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(as of 08-11-2020 15:13 -07:00) Details

11. Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW 15.6-inch

Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW 15.6-inch
The cut throat budget laptop market has seen many great laptops being offered by most of the big name brands. Acer is no stranger to the budget market and has been releasing laptops for the budget conscious buyer for a number of years.

What you won’t get with the Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW is a high performance gaming laptop, but you will be able to play some of your favorite classics. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 graphics chip will even allow you to play Diablo III and CS: GO on medium graphics settings. With almost a quarter of all Overwatch players using integrated graphics, it comes as no surprise that you will be able to play this fun and fast paced shooter.

However, don’t expect to play more demanding titles such as Battlefield 1 or Fallout 4 on this machine, as it’s more suited to the casual gamer. The Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW is powered by a Skylake-based Intel Core i3-6100U processor and 4GB of RAM, which will cope with basic tasks with ease. But the 4GB of RAM is slightly underpowered with Windows 10 and it will struggle with certain games. Luckily Acer has made it quite easy to access the internal hardware to upgrade the RAM, we recommend at least 8GB of RAM for smoothest performance.

The 1TB mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for installing games, saving photos and even your favorite videos. To cut costs Acer has used a 5400rpm drive, which for day-to-day use is more than acceptable. However, users who are after faster Windows boot and application loading times can easily upgrade the hard drive to either a hybrid or a SATA based solid state drive.

Pros

  • Skylake-based i3 processor
  • Easy to upgrade
  • Ample storage space
  • Price

Cons

  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • Integrated graphics
  • 1366 x 768 pixel display
  • Only one USB 3.0 port

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.29 lbs

Summary & Score

The Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW is a budget friendly laptop that can be used by the casual gamer thanks to its Intel i3 processor and its HD Graphics 520 GPU. However, the hardware will not run current AAA gaming titles smoothly and is not suited for hardcore gamers.

Acer Aspire ES1-572-31KW 15.6-inch
$319.99
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(as of 28-11-2021 18:14 UTC) Details

 

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Best Refurbished Gaming Laptops Under $300

12. Lenovo ThinkPad T430 14-inch Refurbished

Lenovo ThinkPad T430 laptop
The refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad T430 is geared towards business use, but there is no reason why it can’t double up as a gaming laptop. For under $300, this certified machine packs enough power to be useful to productivity orientated users. While the parts may be rather old, they are still powerful by today’s standards, with the ThinkPad T430 sporting a Dual Core i5 2.6Ghz processor and 8GB of RAM, which can be further upgraded to 16GB if really necessary.

The older NVIDIA NVS 5400M GPU runs newer games on lower settings, but older classic titles should run with ease. Dota 2 and Overwatch fans will have little issues relating to graphics performances on medium settings. The 320GB of storage space is sufficient for most. The hard drive is mechanical 7200 RPM hard drive and not an SSD, however, so one can expect slower loading times and boot times. It has a durable build, but it has quite an outdated look, which some may find unappealing.

The anti-glare LED-backlit display is also only 720p, but it is still said to be crisp. Some online reviewers suggested that the display is somewhat dim, however. The keyboard is said to be great overall, and they have used the island-style keyboard that is fitted with a trackpoint.. All-in-all, the refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad T430 offers users a decent overall performance, and older games will run with little difficulties, but newer games will need to be run at lower settings.

Pros

  • Exceptional keyboard
  • Great build quality
  • Reliable performance
  • No frills design

Cons

  • Outdated design style
  • No HDMI port
  • 720p

Specs

  • Intel Core i5 2.6GHz
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000 Shared [View Framerates]
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • 320GB 7200 RPM HDD
  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • 10.5 hours battery life
  • 4.78 lbs

Summary & Score

While the Lenovo ThinkPad T430 may look fairly bland, it drives solid a performance, and its 13-hour battery life is great.

Lenovo ThinkPad T430 14-inch Refurbished
$195.42
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(as of 28-11-2021 18:59 UTC) Details

13. HP 15-f387wm 15.6-inch

HP 15-f387wm 15.6-inch
The gaming industry has grown into a multi-billion industry, however, not everyone is interested in playing the latest AAA gaming titles. Some just want to play classic titles or even browser based games. You will be able to play games such as Counter Strike: Go, Diablo III and FIFA 2014, however, this is pretty much pushing the limits of the Radeon R5 graphics card. Thanks to the HP 15-f387wm’s touchscreen display, you can play some of your favorite browser based games without needing to use the laptop’s trackpad. While the Quad Core AMD processor won’t win any awards, it does outperform most of the Intel Celeron and Pentium processors that it competes with.

The AMD A8-7410 processor and 4GB of memory will cope with most daily tasks and classic games, however, it will leave this laptop feeling sluggish when using more intensive applications. While you can run the extremely popular Google Chrome browser on the HP 15-f387wm, we do recommend upgrading the memory to at least 8GB as Chrome is extremely resource hungry. You get 500GB of storage space, however, the HP 15-f387wm uses a slower 5400rpm storage drive which will mean slower boot times and will mean that applications will take longer to launch.

You also will not get a Full-HD display as these are generally reserved for more expensive laptops. Instead you get a standard entry-level display which will still allow you to enjoy your favorite movies and series in 720p. The HP 15-f387wm is a Certified Refurbished product and comes with a 90 day warranty.

Pros

  • Quad Core processor
  • Decent amount of storage
  • Touchscreen display
  • VGA webcam

Cons

  • Integrated graphics
  • Not for hardcore gamers
  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • Slower storage drive

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 5.67 lbs

Summary & Score

The HP 15-f387wm has been refurbished for a new lease of life and will allow you to play some of your favorite classic or browser based games.

HP 15-f387wm 15.6-inch
$269.00
Order Now
on Amazon.com
(as of 08-11-2020 16:19 -07:00) Details

14. Acer Aspire 3 15.6-inch

Acer Aspire 3 15.6-inch laptop
With its Radeon R5 Graphics, the Acer Aspire 3 15.6-inch manages to run some solid titles such as GTA V and Overwatch on low settings, along with classics such runs the classics such as Diablo III and CS: GO on medium settings.

The accompanying AMD A-Series Dual-Core Processor A9-9420 and the 6GB of DDR4 RAM are reliable for the most part, and basic task handling can be carried with general ease. Some complaints were directed towards certain aspects of its performance, with users finding that updates, boot times and application load times were a rather tedious affair, but this could be due to the 5400RPM hard drive, which is slow. It does have 1TB of space fortunately, so running out of space shouldn’t be much of a concern. The laptop feels slightly cheap according to most, but there were no real complaints relating to its long-term durability.

The battery life of 5.5 hours is fairly average, so you would need to be near an outlet if you intend on using it all day. The screen’s resolution is 1366 x 768, but it may be quite reflective as it is a gloss display. The Aspire 3 is said to come preloaded with quite a bit of bloatware,which does take up a lot of space. We always recommend uninstalling bloatware, unless of course you legitimately use some of the preinstalled apps.

Pros

  • Price
  • Decent performance for basic tasks
  • Decent amount of RAM
  • 1TB HDD

Cons

  • Slower mechanical hard drive
  • Bloatware
  • Feels cheap

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.5 hours battery life
  • 4.63 lbs

Summary & Score

Acer’s Aspire 3 runs some newer titles such as GTA V and Overwatch on low settings, and most have found it to perform reasonably well at handling the basics, but the slower 5400RPM HDD will make the machine slightly sluggish overall.

Acer Aspire 3 15.6-inch
$359.00
Order Now
on Amazon.com
(as of 28-11-2021 19:03 UTC) Details

The Future of Budget Laptops and VR-Ready Laptops

The demand for VR ready laptops might have started out strictly for gamers, but more professions are beginning to see its appeal. VR is a (relatively) safe place to practice diverse skills and operations that would otherwise be expensive or dangerous to do in the real world.

The aviation industry was one of the first to jump at the opportunity. Flight simulations have always been a part of pilot training, but now it can be done with VR, instead of the big, lumpy machines. Other industries such as education, real estate, architecture and medicine have been experimenting with VR for years. Now that the technology has caught up with our imaginations, the use of VR ready laptops for training and collaboration is bound to increase radically.

 

When will there be VR ready laptops for Under $300?

Now that the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have proven themselves, more laptop makers will be willing and eager to make VR compatible models. We can expect a number of new releases from all the leading brands this year. This should force the prices down, as only a handful of top-quality VR ready laptops are on the market, and a majority of them are by Dell.

We still have a long way to go before we have VR ready laptops for under $300, but if you already own a laptop that has some of the requirements listed above and are able to buy the graphics card and processor, then you might have on your hands a pretty decent laptop that will help you take down ogres or take your first flying lesson.

 

 

By LaptopNinja Editorial Team

The LaptopNinja editorial team he is dedicated to helping you choose the right laptop for your needs and spreading knowledge about everything tech. Founded in 2012, the LaptopNinja team of motley tech specialists spend countless hours every week scouring the best deals across the web to help save you time and money based on more than half a decade of experience researching and recommended the top value for money and high performing laptops on the planet.