It’s easy to overlook the best laptops under $300 when there are so many premium portables out there that catch the eye. Those more powerful notebooks are very attractive, thanks to having the newest components and the latest features, but they’re very expensive and are a lot more than what many people actually need.
But, you shouldn’t ignore those laptops under $300. Besides their very low price, these budget machines are able to handle a lot of what most regular users need out of a computer. You’ll find plenty of portables at this price point that should probably be avoided but there are some pleasant surprises as well. It’s not impossible to find a quality machine for this cheap, especially if you're looking for a student laptop and don't need a lot of power.
If you really don’t need the newest portable to get you through your day such as the Dell XPS 15, save your money and consider getting an excellent laptop under $300 instead. To help you filter out the bad and find the ones that will help you with your daily computing tasks, we’ve gathered our top picks here, including smaller notebooks and light Chromebooks. We’ve even included our price comparison tool so you can find the best deal.
While the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 was over $300 when it was released, many of its configurations have dropped in price, which is only good news for budget-minded consumers. This little Chromebook that could has many things going for it, starting with its surprisingly great design and solid build, as well as its comfortable to use keyboard and touchpad.
But, that’s only to start. It also delivers performance-wise, with a solid set of components under the hood. You can multitask without issue on this laptop, so you can use it for work and entertainment. That is, as long as you can do most of your work on Google Chrome. It is still a Chromebook, after all.
The features we love most about this laptop, however, is its versatile 2-in-1 design and touchscreen display. You won’t often find that combination in cheaper laptops, which adds more value to this particular portable. And, we’re not talking about a crappy screen here. It has a Gorilla glass touch display that may be a little dimmer than its premium counterparts, but is still tough and nice to touch.
Read the full review: Acer Chromebook Spin 311
There are several reasons why HP’s Chromebook 14 is so popular, including the fact that it has a surprisingly wide range of configurations, giving economical buyers many options. Though in the budget range of the lightweight Chromebook environment, this line is also powerful enough, has an impressive battery life and boasts a good selection of ports.
And, if you choose wisely, you’ll be rewarded with a configuration that gives you great value all around, like the HP Chromebook 14A G5. Beyond the line’s 14-inch display, battery longevity and port selection, it’s also fitted with AMD A4-9120C APU and Radeon R4 Graphics. It’s one of the crowd-favorites in the bunch, but it won’t set you back more than $300, unlike the other highly rated configurations.
It’s not without its compromises. The lower resolution HD display isn’t anything to write about, and the keyboard isn’t great either. But, budget laptops are never without flaws. At least with this, you’re getting great performance without breaking the bank.
Even with its most budget laptops, Lenovo has never been one to shy away from great, modern aesthetics. It’s one of the many things we appreciate about the Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14-inch. Inside, it kind of reminds you of older MacBooks, only with a small yet noticeable Lenovo logo sitting at the edge on the right. Outside, the logo’s there again, but nothing else. This makes it perfect for fans of the minimalist look. And, if you’re sick of the same old gray/silver color, it comes in ice blue too.
Of course, there’s more to laptops than just looks, and this one’s got a few other things going for it, including a great port selection and a lightweight design. Well, lightweight for a budget laptop at least There’s also it’s “just right” 14-inch screen size – it’s not too big like a 15-inch and not too small like a 13-inch.
Fair warning, though: this isn’t known for its speedy performance and multitasking skills. So only get it for casual use. If you have a penchant for multitasking and addiction to games, this probably isn’t the best laptop under $300 for you.
Those who are happy with a tablet-sized portable will love the price of the 11-inch Lenovo IdeaPad 1, which is now cheaper than ever. It’s just under three pounds and is powerful enough to help you tackle productivity tasks. Thanks to that eight-hour battery life, you won’t need to carry that charger with you either if you’re traveling light. It also comes with a built-in dual stereo speaker for media consumption on your bed. While it’s terrific for doing light productivity tasks, this one’s best for the matriculating members of the household.
For an affordable 15-inch laptop, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 hovers just under $300. That’s pretty good considering the extra real estate you’re getting. But, that isn’t the best part. While it keeps things pretty modest on the CPU and graphics front, it does go for a fast SSD with 128GB of storage. It’s just the ticket if you have a lot of photos, videos and documents to store. You’ll want this if you’re looking for the best laptop under $300 to get you through your workload.