Best Laptops Under $300

Is it possible to get a good laptop for under 300 dollars? One might be surprised by what is available for so little money. Gaming, video editing, and some other activities may require more expensive laptops. For most other things, a $300 laptop can do everything that a much more costly computer will do. Don’t waste your money on a $1000 or $2000 laptop unless you genuinely need the newest and fastest technology.

While buying a cheaper laptop tends to be a good idea, one has to make sure that the computer is of high quality. There’s a big difference between a more affordable laptop than merely can’t run the newest games and a cheap laptop that breaks quickly. If you are looking to save a few hundred or more dollars by buying a more affordable laptop, make sure you do your research. There are plenty of poorly made products on the market, including poorly made computers. The last thing you want to end up with is a laptop that breaks quickly and does not have a reliable warranty.

You may also require a computer that has the right features. You may be surprised by how cheap some laptops that offer the features you are interested in are. A more affordable laptop does not always lack exciting features. Remember that you want to get an excellent deal, not merely an acceptable deal. There are many good choices out there, but only a few great choices.

10 Best Laptops Under 300 Dollars

Acer Aspire 1

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For its price, this is an unusually fast and powerful laptop. The laptop uses only solid-state memory, so it boots up very quickly and runs smoothly. Both the keyboard and the trackpad are well designed. The feel of the keyboard is excellent, and the trackpad neither has too much sensitivity nor too little.

The screen is rather small (14 inches) but, on the plus side, the laptop is very portable. It weighs only 3.64 pounds and is only 0.71 inches thick, which is excellent if you need a computer that you can carry around. The laptop is not fragile, either. You can move it around often without damaging it as long as you are reasonably careful.

On the downside, the storage might be too small for some people. It only has 64 gigabytes of storage. Sixty-four gigabytes is not as small as it gets, and some people don’t even need 64 gigabytes. However, a small amount of memory can be a deal-breaker for some people. Many inexpensive laptops offer much larger drives if you need one.

The Acer Aspire has a solid-state drive, which is faster than a standard hard drive but has less storage. The solid-state drive can be an advantage if you do not need a lot of memory or you have external storage. Again, you can find cheap laptops with much more storage than the Acer Aspire has. You can find a cheap laptop with a one terabyte hard disk drive or with a 128-gigabyte solid-state drive.

Another disadvantage of the Aspire is its slow clock speed. The clock speed is only 1.1 Gigahertz, which is out of date and may cause problems with some programs and not only some games. However, not many people who buy the Acer Aspire find the laptop to run slowly. Clock speed or CPU speed is not a good way to measure a computer’s overall speed.

The Acer Aspire does not have a reputation as a slow machine. It depends on what you are using the laptop for. With some games and programs, the CPU is simply too slow. The screen is 1080p, which is better than what many laptops offer.

Pros:

  • Runs quickly and smoothly
  • High-quality keyboard and trackpad
  • Image quality is reasonably high
  • Light and durable

Cons:

  • Only 1.1 GHz clock speed
  • Limited hard drive space
  • Customer service may be poor

Important features:

  • High image quality
  • SSD memory

Asus Chromebook 15.6″ NanoEdge Display

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One of the first things you might notice about the Asus Chromebook is its long battery life. The Asus Chromebook can last for up to 10 hours without needing to be recharged. The screen also displays a clear picture with vibrant colors and is resistant to glare. If you want a laptop that you can work with at an outdoor restaurant table, the Asus Chromebook might be the right choice because of its glare-resistant screen.

The Asus Chromebook also boots up almost instantly. After turning it on and entering your password, the laptop works right away. The Asus Chromebook uses a solid-state drive, so it boots up very fast. On the downside, the Asus Chromebook has only 32 GB of memory, not nearly enough for some users. You might use online cloud storage or offline external hard drives for more space, but otherwise, you will be stuck with little memory. Many cheap laptops offer a lot more room than what you will have with the Asus Chromebook.

This laptop is a Chromebook, which is very different from a windows laptop. A Chromebook does not have a windows or macintosh operating system. Instead, you can only use the chrome browser and apps that you install on the chrome browser. You generally cannot install games, nor can you install an application like Microsoft office. Any program that does not run on a chrome browser will not work here. For some people, this is fine; for others, this is way too much of a limitation.

The Asus Chromebook is a good idea if you want a laptop for web browsing and not very much else. For web browsing, it is a very fast, very cheap, and very reliable machine. A computer that runs on Chrome is often faster than a laptop that runs on windows. You can count on the Asus Chromebook to boot up instantly and load webpages immediately. It is not an acceptable choice if you want to install a lot of programs. It doesn’t have the memory or the operating system to be a good office work machine.

Pros:

  • Swift boot-up time, even for a laptop with a solid-state drive
  • Long battery life
  • Reasonably good clock speed and ram

Cons:

  • Chrome browser only, no real operating system
  • Minimal 32GB storage

Important features:

  • SSD memory

Acer Chromebook 14

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Again, this is a Chromebook, so there are limitations on which programs you can use. You can use the chrome browser and applications that run on your browser without needing to be downloaded. You can also download apps that run on your chrome browser. Programs that have nothing to do with the chrome browser cannot be used.

On the plus side, Chromebooks have better features for the same price than windows laptops do. The battery life is very lengthy (12 hours), and the wifi connection is unusually fast. The Asus Chromebook is a good deal if you can get around the limitations of not having a windows or mac operating system.

The Asus Chromebook comes with 100GB of free google drive storage. With google drive storage, you can store apps you are not currently using to get around the limited hard drive space. This online memory is less convenient than a larger hard drive, but it may be enough for many people.

You will need to use google storage as the hard drive is tiny, only 32 gigabytes. Those who use Chromebooks are less likely to install a lot of programs than those who use Windows machines, but Chromebook users still install apps. You can expect the 32GB storage to run out very fast.

The Asus Chromebook also offers an excellent webcam and excellent speakers. The webcam has 1280 by 720 resolution, and the two built-in speakers that are of above-average quality. The screen is also reasonably high resolution, 1920*1080 pixels; many new laptops still offer much lower maximum resolutions. The Asus Chromebook is also cheaper than most of the other laptops listed here. The Asus Chromebook is an excellent choice if you do not have much interest in installing programs.

Pros:

  • Excellent screen with high-quality colors
  • High-resolution webcam with a wide-angle lens
  • Appealing aluminum construction
  • Reasonably powerful processor

Cons:

  • Little local storage
  • No windows or mac os

Important features:

  • Superior screen quality
  • Superior webcam

Dell Inspiron 15 3000


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The Dell Inspiration 15 offers a great deal of hard disk space (500 GB) and runs Windows 10 instead of a more limited operating system. It also has a DVD drive, a large screen, and an attractive appearance. It has an intel 4.0 graphics card, which in addition to its DVD drive, makes this laptop suitable for playing movies. The large hard drive may appeal to those who are annoyed by how little memory some new lower-end laptops have.

However, the Dell Inspiron may have too many problems to be worth buying. The computer comes with very many pre-installed programs that slow it down right from the start. If you want reasonably good performance even for basic tasks like web browsing and word processing, you will have to uninstall a lot of these programs.

Even with a lot of programs removed, it may still run slowly for many purposes. If you attempt to do many things at once on this computer, it will slow down. Even opening many different tabs at once can slow the computer down. Nothing is worse than a new computer that is still slow.

The computer does work properly for low-intensity tasks. If you remove the programs that it has installed on it by default and use it for only one task at a time, it may work fine. As long as you do not have many browser tabs open, it works fine for web browsing. The laptop also has no trouble with skype or with playing DVDs or youtube videos. It is also good enough for word processing, but even then, you might have to uninstall some of the programs it comes with first.

Pros:

  • Good keyboard
  • Large 500GB hard drive

Cons:

  • Too slow for more demanding tasks
  • May be too slow for basic tasks in some cases
  • Fairly low-resolution screen
  • Even slower if you do not uninstall pre-installed programs

Important features:

  • Lots of storage space

Lenovo IdeaPad 15.6″

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The best thing about the Lenovo IdeaPad is that it both has solid-state memory and has a reasonably large 128 GB hard drive. The combination of reasonably good storage space and solid-state memory makes this perform as well as more expensive computers in many ways. The CPU speed also reasonably fast (2.6 GHz), so this is one of the faster choices for a laptop under $300.

It is also a windows ten laptop, so there is an impressive list of features for the price range. The computer also has a high definition screen, and it is fast and powerful enough to run high definition videos without slowing down. The Lenovo Ideapad is impressive and not merely a competent laptop. You should consider buying it.

One disadvantage of the laptop is that it does not have the full version of windows 10. Instead, it has “Windows 10 S”, which does not allow you to use whatever apps you want. On the plus side, you can uninstall windows 10 S and replace it with the free version of windows 10, which is much less restrictive. The laptop will let you install a different operating system if you want to do this.

Like many new computers, the Lenovo Ideapad comes with many programs already installed. You will probably not want to use many of these games or applications, so you should uninstall them to speed up performance. The Lenovo Ideapad is truly impressive. It is a high-speed machine with a reasonable amount of storage space and an excellent screen.

Pros:

  • Very fast, boots up instantly, programs start running instantly
  • Reasonably ample 128 GB storage
  • High definition screen
  • Performs like a more expensive laptop in many ways

Cons:

  • You may have to uninstall some programs or even change the operating system to make the most of your purchase

Important features:

  • Above par screen resolution
  • SSD memory without having little storage

ASUS VivoBook L203MA Ultra-Thin Laptop, 11.6”

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The Asus VivoBook is an excellent light laptop that can handle activities that do not require a great deal of processing power. If you are looking for a laptop for gaming, photo editing, or video editing, this will probably not be powerful enough. However, it is good enough for lighter activities in general and does not have any serious disadvantages.

The laptop is particularly small and light, weighing only 2.2 pounds. It is 11.3 inches wide, 7.6 inches high, and only 0.67 inches thick. It still has all of the capabilities of a larger laptop. It is not difficult to type with the small, fully functional keyboard. The hard drive space is relatively low, only 64 gigabytes. You might need some external storage.

The small keyboard feels great, and the trackpad works appropriately as well. The battery is also reasonably long-lasting depending on what you are doing. Lowering the screen brightness can help the battery last longer. The small size and reasonable power of the laptop make it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a light and powerful laptop to study or work with away from home. It also works for entertainment purposes, although it has a small screen and is not powerful enough for graphics-heavy games.

Pros:

  • Particularly light and portable
  • Boots up very fast, runs very smoothly for lighter activities
  • Unusually cheap

Cons:

  • Unimpressive screen resolution
  • The surface is vulnerable to scratches

Important features:

  • SSD memory

HP 14″ Touch-Screen Laptop

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Touch screen laptops are a great choice if you don’t want to either carry a mouse around or use a trackpad. The HP Touch Screen Laptop also has 128GB of solid-state memory, so you will not have any problem with either the speed or the amount of storage space. The computer both boots up fast and launches programs quickly. The laptops’ Intel i3 processor can run more powerful applications than most other laptops in its price range.

The HP Touch Screen Laptop also boasts a long battery life. The operating system is windows 10 S, which has its limitations. However, you can change the operating system to a better version of windows 10 for free. There is more than enough memory (128 GB) to store windows ten and still have a lot of storage left. A fingerprint reader is another exciting feature that helps the laptop stand out.

While the laptop is not likely to have durability issues, the laptop’s warranty might not be usable if anything goes wrong. Whether or not HP will honor their warranty depends on where you purchase the computer. Make sure to read the warranty first, because it may not apply in your case. Some people also dislike the keyboard, but this is an excellent laptop other than some problems with the warranty.

Pros:

  • Both solid-state memory and a reasonable amount of storage
  • Very fast
  • 2.3 GHz Intel i3 processor can run fairly CPU intensive applications
  • Touch screen

Cons:

  • Some possible problems with the warranty, depending on where you buy it
  • No DVD drive
  • Some people dislike the keyboard
  • The operating system should be changed to windows ten after you purchase it

Important features:

  • Intel I3 processor
  • Solid-state memory
  • Touch screen

HP 15.6-Inch HD 

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The HP 15.6 Inch HD offers a one terabyte hard drive, so it is an excellent choice if you are looking for a laptop that you can store a lot of programs and files on. The computer also has a touch screen, a webcam, and decent speakers. There are both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 drives, and the laptop comes with the full 64-bit version of Windows 10.

The laptop is also possible to upgrade. Often, you cannot do much to upgrade a laptop, but this is an exception. You can add more ram if you want, rasing it from 4GB to at most 8GB, and you can even swap the hard drive out with a solid-state drive for faster performance.

Unfortunately, this is a flawed product and one of the choices we do not recommend. It appears to be hastily made and flimsy. There is a significant risk of problems with these laptops. They might frequently crash and freeze and have to be returned.

Even if your HP 15.6-Inch HD runs properly, these are not fast computers. The processors are 1.1 GHz Pentiums, and therefore are slow. Even basic tasks like web browsing and word processing may slow down with these computers. The screen resolution is also unimpressive and is not high definition. While the HP 15.6-Inch HD will, in most cases, work without problems, they are more likely to have manufacturing defects than most of the other options.

Pros:

  • Huge hard drive
  • Large screen
  • Touch screen

Cons:

  • Old fashioned 1.1 GHz Pentium processor
  • Slow overall performance
  • May have manufacturing defects

Important features:

  • Both fully functioning touch screen and fully functioning keyboard
  • Large hard drive
  • Multiple USB ports

Best 2 in 1 Laptop Under 300 Dollars

Lenovo Chromebook C330 

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The Lenovo Chromebook can either be used as a tablet or as a laptop. You can detach the screen from the keyboard and use it as a tablet if you prefer portability. If you prefer to have a keyboard, you can attach the keyboard again and use the Lenovo as a fully functioning laptop.

The 64 gigabytes of solid-state memory may or may not be enough for you. Sixty-four gigabytes is a bit low, but it depends on how much you plan to install.

The Lenovo Chromebook has only one disadvantage, and that is the Chrome operating system. All sorts of programs run only on windows and not on Chrome. However, Chromebooks are often more powerful than windows laptops that cost the same amount. Unless you insist on windows, this is an excellent computer with few disadvantages.

The Lenovo Chromebook is ready to use almost as soon as you turn it on. There is no pre-installed software to uninstall, no attempts to get you to buy anything like there often is with new Windows PCs. You can quickly turn it on, have it boot up instantly, log in to your Google account, connect to the internet, and be ready to go in less than a minute.

Pros:

  • Can be converted from a full laptop with a keyboard into a tablet with a touchscreen for more portability
  • Fast boot times and program load times
  • Very smooth overall performance
  • Virtually nothing required to set up the laptop
  • Excellent overall quality and reputation

Cons:

  • The hard drive is relatively small
  • No windows operating system

Important features:

  • Convertable from a laptop to a tablet
  • SSD memory
  • Reasonably fast processor

ASUS Chromebook 11.6″ ($)

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The ASUS Chromebook is light without being fragile. Even if one drops the ASUS Chromebook, it will often be okay as long as it only falls a few feet. You can carry it around in a backpack without damaging it. It is also small and light, at only 2.2 pounds. The combination of lightness and durability makes it ideal if you are looking for something as portable as possible.

On the downside, the laptop only has 16 GB worth of memory. Even those who are okay with 64GB or 32GB might not be okay with only 16. You might not mind the screen, but some are unimpressed with it. The colors are not great, and the maximum resolution is at the lower end. The screen is at least glare resistant, but it does not display an impressive image.

Whoever chose the colors of the keys on the keyboard did not make a sensible choice. There is not enough contrast between the colors, so it can be hard to see the letters and numbers in a dimly lit area.

While it has limited memory and some other minor flaws, the ASUS Chromebook is fast, durable, portable, and cheap. It is excellent for browsing the web with a full keyboard when away from home, and you can use external storage to get around the lack of memory.

Pros:

  • Unusually durable
  • Small, thin, and light
  • Fast for appropriate tasks

Cons:

  • Very small hard drive
  • Somewhat poorly designed appearance

Important features:

  • Durable construction
  • SSD memory

How to Choose the Right Laptop Under 300 Dollars

You should know what you want before you buy anything. Will you have problems with a chrome operating system? Do you need storage? Do you need the instant boot up that comes with a solid-state drive? Will you use a webcam, and do you want a touchscreen? How small and portable does your laptop need to be? The more you know about your own preferences, the easier it is to make the best choice.

Touch screen

If you prefer using a touch screen, by all means, get a laptop that has one! Laptops that have touch screens are not always expensive. Touch screen laptops can compare to non-touch screen laptops in terms of what other features they have. Many people do not prefer touch screens except for phones and tablets, so they are not yet the standard for laptops.

Display

The screen resolution makes a significant difference. Videos and games look significantly better at higher resolutions. It is somewhat less relevant when you are just browsing the web, but you can still notice the difference.

Lower end new laptops are usually divided between either a resolution of 1366 x 768 or, at the higher end, 1920*1080. 1920*1080 is above par resolution for a lower-end laptop. Laptops that are capable of 4K resolution are always more expensive.

Screen resolution is not the same as overall display quality. Two screens that have the same resolution can look different. Some screens create a more visually appealing image than others of the same resolution. The colors look slightly different from one screen to another, and some screens get the colors just right.

Processor

The more powerful your processor is, the more games and applications you can run without your computer slowing down. A laptop with a weak processor is not always slow (it may work just fine for web browsing), but it does have a lot of limitations. An intel I3 is a good processor. If the processor is a Pentium or Celeron instead, the computer will have more restrictions on what it can do without slowing down.

Operating System

One of the first decisions to make is whether or not you insist on a windows operating system. You want to know in advance whether or not Chrome will be good enough for what you want to use the laptop for. If you need Microsoft office or software such as turbo tax, windows ten is the right way to go. You may be able to find substitutes for these programs that run on Chrome, but it might be a hassle to find and use them.

If, on the other hand, everything you do on a computer is with your web browser, Chrome might be the best idea. A Chromebook often has more features for the same price than a windows machine does. Chromebooks also tend to boot up faster than windows machines. Some say that the Chrome operating system is less likely to crash than windows. Another advantage of the Chrome operating system is that your battery lasts longer with the Chrome OS. It takes significantly more electricity to run windows.

Another option is the macintosh operating system. The Mac OS is similar to and not superior to windows. One disadvantage of the macintosh operating system is that it is less compatible with games. For gaming, the windows operating system is the only real choice. Other than windows being better for gaming, the two operating systems are about even.

Memory

Another thing to take into consideration is whether to go with a standard hard drive or with solid-state memory. Simply put, solid-state memory is faster, and hard drives give more storage. Generally speaking, solid-state memory is the right way to go these days.

With a solid-state drive, your computer will boot up almost instantly. Your computer will run a lot and not just a little faster with a solid-state drive. It makes so much of a difference that one should probably avoid laptops that only have hard drives. Ideally, a computer should have both a smaller solid-state drive and a larger hard disk drive for extra storage. However, you will probably have to buy a much more expensive laptop for it to have both types of memory, and having both types of memory is not standard even for higher-end laptops.

What will you use it for?

If you are planning to use a laptop for something like creating animation, playing detailed games, using photoshop, or displaying video in very high resolution, you are going to need a more expensive laptop. However, if you are going to be browsing the web, doing word processing, watching Netflix, watching DVDs, and so on, then a cheaper laptop is often more than fast enough.

Know in advance whether or not you will be installing a lot of programs. If so, you will need a reasonably large hard drive or external storage. If not, faster and cheaper machines without large hard drives are the right way to go.

Sometimes, an expensive new laptop can be a waste of money. Just because you need a laptop that runs smoothly, is durable, has a webcam, or has a touchscreen does not mean that you need an expensive laptop. You can find any of these features on much more affordable laptops. Some cheap laptops also have problems, however, so check the reputation of any brand you buy in advance.

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