Finding the Best Budget Laptops Under $300

Last Edited: October 9, 2017 by

Finding-the-Best-Budget-Laptops-Under-$300

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

With so many options available on the market and the amount of research required before making a purchasing decision, finding the right laptop for a decent price can be a real chore. We’re here to help. Below you’ll find lists of the top netbooks, 10 to 13-inch laptops, and full size 15-inch laptops. The price of some of the best budget laptops has gone down significantly over the past few years and finding a new $300 laptop worth recommending, once an impossible mission, is now only made difficult by the vast array of options that have entered the market. Students and mobile users will benefit from the portability of the netbook variety at bargain prices while more advanced users may also want to check out our guides featuring deals on finding laptops under $400 and laptops under $500. For those on a shoestring budget, our guide to laptops under $200 is another great place to start as part of our weekly updated series of guides on finding the best cheap laptops. On the flipside, those looking for gaming laptop under $300 with a dedicated graphics processor may want to view some more budget gaming options in our guides to the best gaming laptops. We’d strongly recommend increasing your budget for a gaming laptop to $400 plus unless you plan on playing only much older games.

Introductory Laptop Buying Guide

We would recommend giving LaptopMag’s laptop buying guide a good read before going any further unless you already consider yourself a pro.  This will help you to understand some of the technical jargon involved so you can make a better purchasing decision.

Top Picks >>More Laptops Under $300 >> 2-in-1 >> Chromebooks >>

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Laptops Under $300 – Overall Top Picks

Note: Retailers often change prices fairly regularly. Be quick to capitalize on these laptop deals if you can in case the item goes back to it’s regular price (usually discount margins also fluctuate by quite a bit from week to week).

HP 15-BA009DX 15.6-inchHP 15-BA009DX 15.6-inch

While HP are generally known for their office and business laptops, they do offer a wide range of budget friendly laptops for home and personal use. Breaking the mold from the usual Intel Celeron or Pentium processors, the HP 15-BA009DX features an AMD Quad-Core A6-7310 processor which offers slightly better performance than the current entry-level Intel processors. This also means that instead of an Intel HD Graphics based graphics cards, you will get an AMD Radeon R4 graphics card. While this will not run any of the current titles such as GTA V or Battlefield 1, it will allow you to play classic titles such as Warcraft III, Age of Empires II and Command & Conquer Generals. The HP 15-BA009DX ships with 4GB of RAM, which will be sufficient for everyday tasks, however, it will struggle with more RAM hungry applications such as Google Chrome. We recommend purchasing a second 4GB RAM module to increase the HP 15-BA009DX’s overall performance. While some budget friendly laptops feature tiny 32GB solid state drives, the HP 15-BA009DX comes standard with a 500GB mechanical hard drive. While this hard drive is slower than the newer solid state drives, it does have the advantage off offer far more storage space. If you would like to undertake the task of upgrading the storage drive to a superfast SSD, then we recommend backing up all of your important documents and files before cloning your current hard drive. We recommend the WD Blue 250GB SSD as an affordable solution for the HP 15-BA009DX. You can expect to find an entry-level display for the price, however the colors and image quality are quite decent for the laptops low price tag. Sure, it might not be Full-HD, however it will still allow you to enjoy your favorite 720p YouTube videos online. Some users have mentioned that the trackpad may not always be super responsive and this might be a deal breaker for some users. However, you can use a basic USB mouse to get around this slightly frustrating issue.

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

Pros

  • Quad-Core processor
  • Radeon GPU
  • Minimalist design
  • Good amount of storage space
  • Price

Cons

  • Trackpad
  • Integrated graphics
  • No gigabit Ethernet or Bluetooth

Summary

The HP 15-BA009DX is a budget friendly laptop for the casual gamer who enjoys playing classic titles, however the integrated graphics will limit which games this laptop will run without feeling sluggish.

HP 15-BA009DX 15.6-inch
$287.98$284.88
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(as of 16-09-2017 15:48 UTC) Details

HP 15-F222WM 15.6-inchHP 15-F222WM 15.6-inch

The HP 15-F222WM replaces the 2015 HP 15-F211WM in HP’s line-up of affordable laptops. Priced under $300, the HP 15-F222WM is best suited for home or office use. While its Intel Pentium N3540 processor and 4GB of RAM will easily cope with tasks such as Skype, Internet browsing and sending emails, it is slightly underpowered for more intensive tasks. You might want to consider either an Intel i3 or an Intel i5 based laptop if you intend on working with more intensive apps. Like its predecessor, you get the same 500GB mechanical hard drive which offers a decent amount storage space. However, the entry-level hard drive will mean slower Windows boot speeds and your apps will take a bit longer to load. You will be able to upgrade the hard drive to an SSD, however these are still expensive for the amount of storage space that they offer. One of the key features of the HP 15-F222WM is the touchscreen display. Despite the laptop’s low price, the touchscreen is fairly responsive and this will allow you to easily navigate around Windows or your favorite web browser. However, the HP 15-F222WM still features the same budget display panel which offers a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768 and average viewing angles. While the display does not offer Full-HD resolution, it will still allow you to stream your favorite series or movies in 720p quality. A minor drawback is that the HP 15-F222WM does not feature Bluetooth connectivity. While this is not a train smash, it would have been nice for HP to include it in there updated laptop.

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

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Touchscreen display
  • Decent amount of storage
  • Good build quality

Cons

  • Slightly underpowered
  • Average keyboard
  • Poor webcam quality
  • No 5GHz WiFi connectivity
  • No Bluetooth

Summary

The HP 15-F222WM is a budget friendly laptop suitable for home or office use. However, if you are looking for a more powerful machine that does more than basic tasks, then this laptop is not right for you.

HP 15-F222WM 15.6-inch
$328.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 15:50 UTC) Details

ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6-inch

ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6-inch

If you are looking for a strong and sturdy Chromebook that can handle the abuses of the classroom, then the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is well worth considering. It has been specially designed with nano-molding technology to ensure that it is tough as nails and the rubber bumpers help to protect this Chromebook from impact in unforeseen accidents. It has even been tested by ASAS to endure a 3.9 foot drop. ASUS have also given the Chromebook C202SA-YS02 a spill-resistant keyboard to ensure that this Chromebook will still function in the event of an unforeseen spillage while it is being used. The 180-degree hinged display allows for easier viewing while in group discussions and gives the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 a bit more flexibility when relaxing with your feet up on the sofa. Powering the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is an Intel Celeron N3060 processor and 4GB of RAM, which combined are more than powerful enough for most Chrome OS tasks. While the standard Microsoft Office cannot be installed on Chrome OS, you will be able to use Google Docs, QuickOffice and Microsoft Office Online for all of your word processing needs. The 16GB of storage will allow for a handful of applications and documents to be stored on the ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02, however, it has been designed to be used in conjunction with Google’s Drive cloud storage. You get 100GB of cloud storage space for 2 years from Google, thereafter it will cost $1.99 a month to keep the same amount of storage. If you would prefer an offline solution, then we recommend purchasing a 128GB MicroSD card and installing it into the MicroSD slot for a more permanent storage solution.

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Chrome OS
  • 10 hours battery life
  • 2.2 lbs

Pros

  • Rugged design
  • MicroSD slot
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • Price
  • 4GB of RAM

Cons

  • Limited storage space
  • No optical drive
  • Non-upgradable
  • Limited amount of apps
  • Linux not supported

Summary

The ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is a rugged Chromebook that has been designed for the classroom and features double the RAM as many of its competitors.

ASUS Chromebook C202SA-YS02 11.6-inch
$229.00$209.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 15:49 UTC) Details

Acer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM 14-inchAcer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM 14-inch

The Acer Chromebook 14’s all-aluminum chassis make it look and feel like it costs much more than its modest price tag. This makes it stand out amongst competitors, and despite the metal design, it remains light enough to carry around easily. Sporting a 1920 x 1080p resolution, its display is sharp and reproduces colors accurately. However, it is not bright enough for comfortable outdoor use, and its color palette is middling at best, but understandable at this price point. Moving on to input devices, the keyboard offers nice feedback and is well spaced out, but we would have liked deeper travel. It is by no means bad, but it tires you out faster than other keyboards. The touchpad, however, is smooth, accurate, and correctly registers multi-touch gestures. Acer fit an Intel Celeron N3160 processor and backed it up with 4GB of low power RAM. Office apps run like a breeze, and there is no visible lag during multitasking. Intel Celeron processors are also designed to be as efficient as possible, and this allows the Chromebook a long 10-hour battery life that will last any school day. Unfortunately, the integrated graphics will not tolerate anything except light gaming. This might actually be a good thing, seeing as how you should be studying rather than playing computer games.

  • 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 12 hours battery life
  • 3.42 lbs

Pros

  • Premium metal design
  • Sturdy build
  • Full-HD screen
  • Long battery life
  • Great speakers
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • Shallow keyboard
  • Dim light
  • Underpowered processor
  • No SD card slot

Summary

The Acer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM offers much more than its modest price tag suggests, and with its long battery life and compact design, it makes for a great carry-on device.

Acer Chromebook CB3-431-C5FM 14-inch
$299.99$268.88
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(as of 21-11-2017 15:57 UTC) Details

HP Stream 14-ax010nr 14-inchHP Stream 14-ax010nr 14-inch

HP has been releasing its Stream series for a number of years and the HP Stream 14-ax010nr is one of their latest offerings. Its compact size and light weight make it a great laptop as an everyday carrier, but the tiny hard drive will mean that you will need a connection to the internet or an external hard drive. The fast 32GB solid state drive allows Windows 10 to boot up in seconds and will allow you to launch your apps much faster than a traditional 5400rpm mechanical hard drive. But with just under 20GB free with Windows 10 installed, you are not left with much space to store your work or personal files. But you do get a year’s subscription to Office 365 and 1TB of OneDrive storage. However if want a good offline solution then we recommend a 1TB Seagate external hard drive. Powering the HP Stream 14-ax010nr is an Intel Celeron N3060 Dual Core processor and 4GB of RAM. While its entry level hardware is underpowered for the power user, it is sufficient for basic home and office use. The same goes with the display, like most budget laptops you get an entry level 1366 x 768 display panel. However the BrightView panel does offer brilliant image quality and a bright visual experience for indoor use.

  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4.75 hours battery life
  • 3.17 lbs

Pros

  • Thin and light
  • 1TB of OneDrive storage
  • Two USB 3.1 Type-A ports
  • Good battery life
  • Price

Cons

  • Limited offline storage space
  • Underpowered for power users
  • No optical drive

Summary

The HP Stream 14-ax010nr is a portable budget friendly laptop that performs great when it comes to basic tasks, but it is not recommended for power users.

HP Stream 14-ax010nr 14-inch
$216.03
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(as of 04-06-2017 12:47 UTC) Details

ASUS L402SA-WH02-OFCE 14-inchASUS L402SA-WH02-OFCE 14-inch

At first glance the ASUS L402SA-WH02-OFCE does not look like a laptop that would be priced at under $200. Its compact size and rounded edges give it a far more elegant look and feel than many of its competitors in the same price bracket. Designed for home or school use, the ASUS L402SA-WH02-OFCE is not overly powerful and is more suited for basic tasks. The Dual Core Intel Celeron N3060 processor and 4GB of RAM will easily cope with browsing the web, sending emails and chatting to friends and family via Skype. However, more RAM hungry applications such as Google Chrome will feel sluggish if you have loads of tabs open. If you prefer using Windows 10’s Edge browser, then you will be better off. If you are looking to play the latest games, then this laptop is not for you as it is only suited for basic browser games or less demanding classic titles from yesteryear. The biggest issue with the ASUS L402SA-WH02-OFCE is the tiny 32GB storage drive which will fill up extremely quickly. We recommend looking at a good external hard drive, or even using a good Cloud-based storage solution such as Google Drive. While the display is fairly average, the sound is rather good for a budget laptop and you even get the world renowned ASUS SonicMaster application to fine tune your audio. However, don’t expect high-end sound quality as this is still an affordable laptop. As a bonus, you get 1 year subscription to Microsoft Office 365, allowing you to use applications such as Word, Excel and Outlook.

  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 5.75 hours battery life
  • 3.6 lbs

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Thin and light
  • Good sound
  • Battery life
  • Price

Cons

  • Underpowered processor
  • Tiny SSD
  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • Non-upgradable

Summary

The ASUS L402SA-WH02-OFCE is an elegant laptop that is compact enough for school or travelling, however the hardware is not the most powerful and the storage space is severely limited.

ASUS L402SA-WH02-OFCE 14-inch
$229.00
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(as of 21-11-2017 15:49 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK 15.6-inchDell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK 15.6-inch

Dell have been on the market for a number of years and they have always managed to release great laptops for the budget conscious consumer. At first glance the Dell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK looks great, though to cut costs Dell has used a slightly less expensive plastic for the body. Sadly there is no all-metal body here but for its price it would be unreasonable to expect one. This cheaper plastic body also means that there is a noticeable amount of keyboard flex while typing and this might deter some users, but this is common among the budget friendly laptops of today. Dell has instead invested in offering the Dell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK with a relatively good entry-level Quad-Core Intel Pentium N3700 processor, though it only features 4GB of DDR3L memory. While this will be fine for browsing the web in Microsoft Edge, sending emails and using Skype, it will leave the system feeling sluggish with more intensive applications. Even Google Chrome will feel sluggish due to its memory hungry nature. Luckily, you will be able to upgrade the memory to 8GB for a snappier experience. You get a 500GB 5400rpm storage drive which offers much more space than competing laptops fitted with SSDs, but it will mean waiting longer for it to start up and for your applications to launch. While it does not offer a Full-HD display, the Dell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK does offer great image quality and the viewing angles are what we would expect for its price. There is sadly no optical drive, which has become a trend as they are slowly becoming obsolete in this day and age. You can purchase an external optical drive if need be.

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

Pros

  • Great price
  • Good amount of storage space
  • Decent battery life
  • Good image quality

Cons

  • Plastic chassis
  • Average amount of RAM
  • Slower storage drive
  • Some keyboard flex

Summary

The Dell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK offers great value for money for the bargain hunter or student after a new laptop. However, there is a noticeable amount of flex due to the plastic chassis.

Dell Inspiron i3552-3240BLK 15.6-inch
$259.00
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from Walmart.com
(as of 04-06-2017 23:28 UTC) Details

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More Laptops Under $300

ASUS VivoBook X540SA BPD0602V 15.6-inchASUS 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. The 500GB mechanical hard drive offers a decent amount of space to store your files and your installed apps, but it is a slower 5400rpm drive. You can upgrade to a faster drive, but it is not necessary for this budget friendly laptop. You get a standard 1366 x 768 display, which offers great image quality, but the viewing angles are not as good as IPS displays. The display offers impressive image quality for video playback and 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.

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

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

Summary

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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from Amazon.com
(as of 29-07-2017 16:35 UTC) Details

HP 14-bw010nr 14-inchHP 14-bw010nr 14-inch

While a MacBook Pro will easily cost you over $1000, not everyone needs to or can afford to spend this much money on a new laptop. For the budget hunter on the go there is always the HP 14-bw010nr. This 14-inch laptop will easily fit into your handbag or backpack while you travel or attend classes at university. Not only does the HP 14-bw010nr have a compact size, it is fairly light too, at only 3.76 pounds.. While you won’t get a metal body for under $300, you will get a sturdy plastic shell that will withstand almost everything that you can throw at it. The 14-inch display might not offer Full-HD image quality, however the 1366 x 768 pixel display will still allow you to watch the best HD 720p content that the web has to offer. The HP 14-bw010nr offers a 2017 Dual-Core E2-9000e processor, 4GB of memory (RAM) and 500GB of storage space. This will easily allow you to work on a term paper, browse the web and send emails, though the hardware is slightly underpowered for more intensive applications. The memory will also get bogged down by applications like Google Chrome and we recommend a lighter web browser like Microsoft Edge and Opera. HP claim a battery life of just over 6 hours with mixed use, however this will all depend on exactly what that mixed use is. Expect video playback to offer far lower usage figures. Regardless of this, the battery life is fairly good for a budget laptop and this is good news for this compact laptop.

  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)

Pros

  • Compact size and lightweight
  • Attractive price
  • 7th gen AMD CPU
  • Faster USB 3.1 ports

Cons

  • Average hardware
  • No gesture support
  • No optical drive
  • No numeric keyboard

Summary

The HP 14-bw010nr is a small and light laptop which is perfect for the budget traveller on the go, however the hardware won’t win any awards for speed.

HP 14-bw010nr 14-inch
$284.99$229.99
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(as of 21-11-2017 16:30 UTC) Details

HP 15-af131dx 15.6-inchHP Pavilion 15-af131dx 15.6-inch

While there are loads of powerful HP laptops on the market that have price tags to match, the HP Pavilion 15-af131dx is not one of these. It is more of a budget friendly laptop with decent hardware and simple looks. Perfect for home and office use where the majority of the tasks are fairly basic. The HP Pavilion 15-af131dx sports a Quad Core AMD A6-5200 and 4GB of RAM, which is sufficient for day-to-day tasks such as word processing, Skype and web browsing. The RAM can be upgraded to a maximum of 8GB, but the RAM slots are not easily accessible.. The 500GB, 5400rpm mechanical hard drive offers ample storage space for media and work documents. The hard drive can be upgraded to either a solid state drive or a hybrid drive, but at its price it is a bit unnecessary for most users. To offer the Pavilion 15-af131dx at such an attractive price, HP had to cut costs and this is noticeable with the display panel. While it is not terrible, it does have a low maximum brightness level, a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768 and average viewing angles. But the display will offer decent image quality for 720p videos and while browsing the web. The Radeon R4 graphics chip is underpowered for modern games and users will struggle with any form of decent frame rates when it comes to hardware intensive games. Overall the HP Pavilion 15-af131dx is a great buy on a budget and at its extremely attractive price as a second laptop for travelling.

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

Pros

  • Price
  • Decent hardware
  • Optical drive
  • Good port selection

Cons

  • No Bluetooth
  • Not the newest hardware
  • Hard to upgrade

Summary

The HP Pavilion 15-af131dx combines the reliability that we know and love from HP, with decent hardware and an extremely attractive price for budget conscious buyers.

HP Pavilion 15-af131dx 15.6-inch
$319.00
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(as of 21-11-2017 15:58 UTC) Details

Lenovo 110-15IBR 80T7000HUS 15.6-inchLenovo 110-15IBR 80T7000HUS 15.6-inch

If you are after a good 2016 budget laptop for streaming videos, browsing the web and making Skype calls, then the Lenovo 110-15IBR 80T7000HUS is worth looking at for its low price. The all plastic design is durable and is similar to that of the G50 series which has stood the test of time. Powered by a 2016 released Celeron 3060 processor and 4GB of RAM, the Lenovo 110-15IBR 80T7000HUS will run basic tasks with relative ease, but will struggle with multitasking. But at the price we can’t expect to receive a laptop with top of the line hardware. The 500GB mechanical hard drive offers a generous amount of storage space to store all of you photos, work and for your music collections. The 1366 x 768 display offers good image quality and average brightness levels for its price point. But the viewing angles are not great due to its TN panel. But users can connect a monitor or a TV via HDMI to enjoy Full-HD videos. The AC WiFi offers better wireless connection speeds and will run on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networks. The Intel HD Graphics 400 integrated graphics chip is by no means a gaming GPU and is only capable of running classic games and Flash based games. If you are after a laptop for the occasional casual gaming session then we recommend looking at Lenovo G50-80E301Y7US as it runs a more powerful Radeon graphics chip.

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

Pros

  • AC WiFi
  • Price
  • Durable build quality
  • 500GB of storage

Cons

  • Poor graphic performance
  • Underpowered processor
  • RAM soldered to the board
  • Average battery life
  • microSD card slot

Summary

The Lenovo 110-15IBR 80T7000HUS is an affordable laptop for those users who have basic needs such as emailing, web browsing and word processing. But the hardware is underpowered for more intensive multitasking.

Lenovo 110-15IBR 80T7000HUS 15.6-inch
$249.99
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(as of 21-11-2017 16:28 UTC) Details

Asus X553SA-BHCLN10 15.6-Inch

Asus X553SA-BHCLN10 15.6-Inch

With technology advancing so rapidly and becoming cheaper we begin to find the price of entry level machines dropping and the performance rising. A sub $300 dollar laptop nowadays is a fairly capable machine. We are still a long way away from gaming grade but for most users who only need word processing and Internet access the ASUS X553SA-BHCLN10 is a very strong competitor in the tight budget space. Featuring a dual core Intel Celeron N3050 running at 2.16GHz and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, this packs enough power to run every day tasks with ease. For file storage a 500GB 5400RPM hard disk drive takes care of all your personal files and folders. Blessed with a fair amount of connectivity ports the ASUS X553SA-BHCLN10 sports an HDMI port, USB 3.0 port, USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit LAN port and a 4-in-1 SD card reader as well as a Super-Multi DVD-RW. At this price a metallic chassis is out of the question but the plastic casing, while not feeling premium does hold quite well and doesn’t feel flimsy. Gaming, unless much older games are installed, is pretty much out of the question and at this price point and would be an unrealistic expectation. This is a great starter machine for users new to computing or for users who only really need to check mail and type up spreadsheets.

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

Pros

  • Great build quality
  • Good battery life
  • Stylish design
  • Quiet operation volume

Cons

  • Bloatware

Summary

A great entry level laptop that performs day to day tasks quickly and quietly.

Asus X553SA-BHCLN10 15.6-Inch
$320.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 16:04 UTC) Details

Lenovo Ideapad 100 80MJ00AEUS 15.6-inch

Lenovo Ideapad 100 80MJ00AEUS 15.6-inch

Users on a tight budget often have to sacrifice performance and quality due to financial constraints, however the Lenovo IdeaPad 100 may just be a saving grace for those users. Sporting a relatively quick Intel Quad-Core Pentium N3540 processor running at 2.16GHz and 4GB of DDR3L RAM, it’s not winning any awards for speed however for simple day to day tasks and even consuming media the IdeaPad 100 holds its own. The chassis is simple and stylish with a glossy finish that does tend to attract fingerprints and the battery life is not amazing at 4.75 hours during normal operation. Many reviewers noted that the keyboard was quite comfortable and responsive which is unusual on cheaper laptops. The biggest selling point of this machine is its low sub $300 price tag offering incredible value for the money and better performance over some of its Celeron based rivals. This is an ideal machine for users who only need to perform simple tasks such as browsing, streaming, Skype and email although gaming is completely out of the question.

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

Pros

  • Low price
  • Good build quality
  • Minimal bloatware
  • Good keyboard

Cons

  • Runs hot with prolonged use
  • Mediocre battery life

Summary

At this low price don't expect great performance for anything other than basic tasks.

Lenovo Ideapad 100 80MJ00AEUS 15.6-inch
$299.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 16:04 UTC) Details

HP 15-F211WM 15.6-inch

HP 15-F211WM 15.6-inch

A very basic machine at its heart the HP 15-F211WM delivers good day to day performance at a reasonable price. Powered by a Celeron N2840 processor and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, advanced applications such as music production or media editing are out of the question, as is gaming. With 500GB of storage space and a respectable display this machine is good for 720p media. The good sound quality and capable volume level contributes to the multimedia experience. The keyboard and trackpad are where this machine shows its price point. The keyboard is unresponsive at times and the trackpad fails to register input periodically. This machine is best suited to college or business users who need basic browsing and word processing with some media consumption on the side.

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

Pros

  • Great price
  • Good build quality
  • Acceptable day to day performance
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • Unresponsive keyboard
  • Clunky trackpad

Summary

A budget laptop that’s best for basic tasks and watching media.

HP 15-F211WM 15.6-inch
$349.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 16:04 UTC) Details

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2-in-1 Laptops Under $300

Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E-G3 11.6-inchLenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E-G3 11.6-inch

The Yoga range of laptops are usually priced well above $500, however the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E-G3 is an affordable Lenovo laptop that offers you a good 2-in-1 experience. Compared to the more expensive Yoga laptops, the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E-G3 is slightly bulkier at 0.9-inches and weighs in at 3.3lbs. The Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E-G3 is also made from the same durable plastic as the G50 which is still a workhorse for many budget conscious consumers. The touchscreen display can be flipped 360 degrees to allow you to use the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E-G3 as a Windows 10 tablet. While many laptops in this price category feature a tiny 32GB solid state drive or a slower 500GB hard drive, the Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E-G3 ships with a 128GB SSD. This can easily be upgraded to a larger SATA based 2.5-inch SSD, however this will mean having to clone the smaller 128GB SSD or doing a fresh install of Windows 10. It also features 4GB of DDR3L memory, which can be upgraded to a maximum of 8GB. However, the 4GB of RAM will be enough to run most standard applications in Windows 10. If you intend on using the RAM hungry Google Chrome web browser, then you might want to upgrade the RAM as it can become quite sluggish with loads of tabs open. The Intel Celeron N3160 processor will not win any awards for performance, however it will cope with basic tasks such as Skype, word processing and browsing the web. It also features both Bluetooth 4.0 and Dual-Band AC wireless, which is faster than standard b/g/n wireless adapters. It will also allow you to join both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz wireless networks. One small thing to take note of is the position of the power button, which is on the side of the laptop to give you access to it while in tablet mode. You might want to set what the power button does in Windows to prevent the laptop from going into sleep mode when accidently pressing or knocking it.

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 6 hours battery life
  • 3.3 lbs

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Upgradable storage drive and memory
  • 128GB SSD
  • Foldable display
  • Durable build quality

Cons

  • Slightly underpowered
  • 1366 x 768 pixel display
  • Placement of the power button
  • Only two USB ports

Summary

The Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E-G3 is a budget friendly 2-in-1 laptop that offers good hardware at a fair price. However, the hardware is more suited to basic tasks and for using the laptop in tablet mode.

Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E-G3 11.6-inch
$330.00
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from Amazon.com
(as of 21-11-2017 15:49 UTC) Details

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Chromebooks Under $300

Chromebooks marked Google’s first entry into the laptop market a couple years ago. Since then they have dominated the budget PC market as a basic portable entry level PC perfect for work or casual web browsing. Google’s app suite provides numerous productivity tools with the benefits of being hosted online and accessible from anywhere. Chromebooks run Chrome OS, Google’s flagship operating system, a simplified OS designed specifically for the web. Note: You will not be able to run standard Windows applications on a Chromebook.
Acer-Chromebook-13-CB5-311-T9B0

Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 13.6-Inch

If you spend most of your daily time working online and wouldn’t mind a browser based OS on your laptop, the CB5-311-T9B0 Chromebook is another top choice featuring a stand out design. Although it cannot be compared with the fastest Chromebooks around,  the new NVIDIA Tegra K1 Quad Core 2.1 GHz Processor it is capable of giving you fast day to day performance for a really low price. The excellent better battery life and lightweight design make the CB5-311-T9B0 another great budget Chromebook or netbook alternative.

  • 13.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Chrome OS
  • 11 hours battery life
  • 3.31 lbs

Pros

  • Tegra K1 processor
  • Full HD screen
  • Long battery life
  • Large comfy keyboard

Cons

  • Poor audio

Summary

With a price tag as attractive as this it's very easy to overlook the poor sound quality on this stylish, fast and portable Chromebook.

Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T9B0 13.3-inch
$234.99
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from Amazon.com
(as of 19-05-2017 05:21 UTC) Details

Acer C910-C37P 15.6-inch Chromebook

Acer Chromebook C910-C37P 15.6-inch

People usually associate Chromebooks with small-screen productivity-oriented laptops for schools or offices. The C910-C37P, on the other hand, offers larger screen real estate with a 15.6-inch Full-HD IPS screen. If you’re coming from a garden variety TN panels, you will see a big improvement in color accuracy, contrast and viewing angles. Despite its large proportions, at just 4.8 pounds, it’s not as heavy as similar sized Windows laptops, and its battery lasts a lengthy 9 hours – similar to many smaller chromebooks and Windows ultrabooks. As for its design, Acer has reinforced its textured cover to endure accidental force and drops, and the hinges are robustly fixed without feeling too tight. It has a typical Chromebook style chiclet keyboard that leaves out dedicated number pad and Windows buttons like delete, print screen and caps lock. Keys are well spaced so that the typing accuracy won’t be any different from a regular keyboard. Its internal hardware includes the new Intel Celeron 3205U Processor, 4GB Ram and a 32GB SSD. You get a more powerful system than ARM-based Chromebooks like the Samsung Chromebook 2 and Intel Celeron equipped Toshiba CB35. However, the CB35 has a better quality screen. Overall, audiophiles, movie lovers and productivity users will love the bigger, affordable and more capable C910-C37P Chromebook.

  • 15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels (TN)
  • Chrome OS
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 4.85 lbs

Pros

  • 1920x1080 IPS Display
  • Great battery life
  • Blazing fast solid state drive

Cons

  • Bulky design
  • low storage space
  • Poor integrated graphics

Summary

The full HD screen is crisp and bright, near instant boot and restart times thanks to the SSD. 15.6 inch screen is rather large for a Chromebook and effects portability.

Acer C910-C37P Chromebook 15.6-inch
$288.05
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from Amazon.com
(as of 04-06-2017 12:48 UTC) Details

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Laptops Under $300 Buying Tips

The most important factor to consider when buying a laptop is what you intend to use it for. Do you want to use it for office work? Are you a work-at-home pro who uses the laptop mostly to scour the internet for jobs and communicate with clients? Or a college student who wants his notes and assignment to be in one place? Regardless of the task, there’s something here to fit your needs.

For students

Students are more or less all-round users. While they primarily use their laptops for downloading and uploading notes and tests, they also spare some time to watch movies, listen to music and even play a few games. While you may not need a 1TB laptop, you need to consider the need for space to store your movies and notes. If you are studying anything requiring your PC for work applications such as video or graphic editing then you to check the requirements for these programs beforehand. Luckily for most students a $300 laptop will do just fine.

For office and other general purpose tasks

For people who work from their laptops and do a lot of business over these devices, what matters most is reliability. The last thing you expect is a laptop that will freeze up when you’re in the middle of a conversation with a potential client.  Portability is also a big concern especially if you intend to take your laptop with to meetings.  In terms of a general office laptop, a 15.6-inch laptop with 4GB of RAM and excellent Wi-Fi are recommended. Many of our other best laptop guides cover laptops in higher price brackets that may be better suited to business applications, although a cheap 13-inch laptop or 2-in-1 specifically for taking notes at  client meetings is also not a bad idea.

For gamers

Gamers need powerful laptops with high processing power and significant memory (both RAM and HDD). You may also want to pick a laptop with high graphics and reliable battery life otherwise you may have to play while the laptop is plugged into the power supply. For a great laptop that won’t let you down when trying to play the games you love most you’ll probably want t to raise your budget to between $500 and $1,000, although we have also curated some uber budget gaming laptops in our guide to gaming laptops under $300 if you are comfortable only playing older games.

That marks the end of our list of the top laptops under $300 for now. If you are still unsure after reading all of your options here be sure to checkout our other guides to cheap laptops which cover various budgets and models for the savvy consumer and be sure to check back for updates soon.

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