Best Laptops that provide reliable performance on a budget.
The marketplace of laptops is, quite literally, flooded. Every other day, you get introduced to new machines with stylish features, new form factors that add zing and agility to life, and the kind of processing strength that can rival that of full-purpose desktops.
No wonder announcements like these don’t come cheap, which is why the prospect of 10 Best Laptops Under $300 sounds too good to be true.
How can a cheap computer be useful enough for the myriad tasks that present-day audiences need to perform? Except: they are.
While many brands have focused on upscale computers that offer the fanciest bells and whistles, many others have prioritized cost-cutting.
While gaming laptops under $300 are practically unheard of, they do exist and come packed with a wide range of top features for their price. Here we review the best Gaming laptops under $300, which are decent budget laptops but lack the power of four hundred and five hundred options.
Top computer makers like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo have understood that not everyone wishes to—or can—own a rugged laptop that is also shockingly expensive. Indeed, not all of us need to.
For daily computing needs at school or the office, a computer that is easy to carry and quick to open up word processors and browsers can suffice, even if it hasn’t top-notch acoustics or an ergonomic keyboard design.
In this context, cheap laptops—also called budget laptops—have become readily available in the market. You can find decent computers under $1000, $500, and even $300; while these devices are inexpensive, they are also adept at keeping their promises.
They span across form factors—from 11 inches to 15—and are suitable for various needs, ranging from personal to professional.
But before you move to the recommendations, we advise you to brush up on some essential knowledge about this select line-up.
Is it Wise to Buy a Cheap Laptop for Under $300?
Over time, this has become ingrained in our minds: cheap equals poor. When something comes to you cheap, you tend to presume it will also be low in quality and performance.
Happily, this is a myth as far as the consumer laptop marketplace is concerned. Today, many leading manufacturers have come up with budget laptops that you can buy for only a few hundred dollars without compromising performance or display.
While it is true that these computers are not ideal for heavy-duty pursuits like gaming, they sure are rock stars for everyday work—and all without drilling a hole in your wallet!
You can safely consider buying a Best Laptops Under $300 if:
- You are a student seeking to purchase a budget laptop for regular classroom activities like taking notes, working on decks, or watching videos for research and entertainment. Note: If you are a design or programming student or your major entails running complicated software, a budget laptop might not be ideal.
- You are a young professional or entrepreneur who doesn’t want to splurge on an expensive laptop. You don’t plan to utilize your device for tasks beyond routine business needs like checking e-mail, video conferencing, and carrying on travels.
- You are a home-based user who needs a portable laptop for entertainment, watching recipe videos in the kitchen, sitting back and chatting with friends, or completing routine tasks for work.For most mobile and lightweight products in this league, it is easy to take off anywhere you want with a laptop like this.
Our Picks:10 Best Laptops Under $300
Finding cheap and affordable but highly functional laptops is tricky, but there are a few great laptops available under $300 but with some of the latest technological advances.
Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-32DK Cheap Laptop
Aspire 5 is one of the bestselling models from Acer, and their A515-56-32DK is an ideal investment option for beginner users on a budget.
This lightweight and sleek laptop is easy to lug around and is powered by the 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor with integrated graphics that streamline optimal performance.
Despite the cheaper price range, Acer has integrated the Aspire 5 with a 15.6″ FHD display panel that produces true-to-life colour reproduction and premium visuals with stunning viewing angles.
It falls short with the storage and RAM configuration since it comes integrated with 128GB SSD and 4GB RAM, which aren’t the most productive and efficient specs. That aside, the model is pre-installed with Windows 11 OS, which is promising.
Reasons to buy:
- Slim and lightweight
- FHD display panel
- SSD storage configuration
Reasons to avoid:
- RAM isn’t optimized
- Battery life is average
ASUS Laptop L510 Ultra-Thin
Finding budget-friendly devices with superior performance can be a challenge.
The ASUS Laptop L510 is hands down one of the absolute best when it comes to finding cheaper laptops with superior performance.
The device features a stunning 15.6″ FHD display with 1080p screen resolution despite the price.
This slim and portable device weighs under 4 lbs, including the battery, enabling you to travel anywhere without feeling the burden of it on your shoulders. The Intel Celeron N5030 Processor powers the ASUS L510 with a 4M cache for superior user experience and uninterrupted performance.
This laptop is integrated with 128GB eMMC flash storage with 4GB RAM for superior multitasking and performance. The device runs on Windows 10 in S Mode and has superior wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi 5 for a 3x better speed experience.
ASUS Chromebook C425 Clamshell Laptop
Regarding budget-friendly, entry-level laptop, the ASUS Chromebook C425 deserves an honorary mention in the list, thanks to its Intel Core m3-8100Y Processor, integrated graphics configuration, and the latest updated version of the Chrome operating system for optimal access to all the latest apps and functionalities.
Also, the model is equipped with a 14″ 4-way nano edge display with touchscreen support, which further elevates the overall viewing experience to the max. It features a backlit keyboard, which is again quite promising, given the price point it is available for.
The Chromebook C425 is also backed with 128GB eMMC storage and 4GB RAM, which renders actual performance but don’t expect it for high-end productivity or gaming.
Reasons to buy:
- Premium and portal design
- Latest processor configuration
- Nanoedge bezel display
Reasons to avoid:
- Storage and RAM configuration is disappointing
- Overheats quickly
ASUS Laptop L210 Ultra-Thin Laptop
The ASUS Laptop L210 is one of the most affordable devices from the brand and features some of the best functionalities for improved and unmatched performance.
It features a compact 11.6″ HD display with narrow bezels on either side. As for the performance, the device runs on the Intel Celeron N4020 Processor for unmatched performance and all-day productivity.
The device’s design is compact and lightweight, making it significantly easier for you to carry the device around without hassle. It does feature a 180-degree hinge that enables easier sharing and collaboration.
The device comes with an ASUS number pad on the touchpad, making it a perfect option for the business. It also provides all-day battery life, so you can use and work on it anywhere. The device also features a fanless device for silent work. As for the memory and storage, it features 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC for storage options.
Also See: Best Business Laptops Under $1000
Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14 Laptop
Lenovo has come up with an intelligent laptop within the sub-$300 price range that combines everything you typically need: a reasonably fast processor (Intel Celeron N4020), adequate memory and storage for daily needs (4GB RAM and 64GB SSD), a long battery life (8 hours), and a responsive operating system (Windows 11 in S Mode).
The fact that this blizzard-white device is also amazingly lightweight and sleek—3.09lbs and 0.77″—elevates the overall ease of use even further. You can comfortably carry this laptop around without feeling burdened; it can also be slipped into backpacks without a glitch.
How about the display? The FHD monitor has an IPS panel to ensure maximum viewing comfort across angles/positions. The screen resolution supported is 1366 x 768.
Also, you will not be left wanting for device support and compatibility, thanks to a USB Type-A port, an SD card reader, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 (with support for up to two parallel Bluetooth devices), and a webcam (720p).
HP Stream 11.6-inch
Last but not least on the list is the HP Stream 11 laptop, which features an 11.6-inch display that allows you to shift your focus and get started on your home workspace.
It is integrated with an HD display with BrightView technology.
The device runs on the Intel Celeron N4020 processor with Intel UHD graphics for crisp visuals and accurate colour reproduction. It is also programmed with 4GB memory and 64GB eMMC storage for unmatched daily productivity.
HP Stream also features attractive wireless connectivity options with Bluetooth 4.2 and the latest Wi-Fi technology. Moreover, the device is also programmed with up to 14 hours of battery life, pretty much staying by your side throughout the day.
Lenovo Flex 3 2-in-1 Convertible
Best Feature: Awesome sound! The 11.6″ Lenovo Flex 3 2-in-1 laptop comes with Dolby Audio Premium sound that helps you enjoy (almost) home-theater-like audio even on your inexpensive computer.
The result is louder and clearer whether you are engaged in watching a film or voice-calling a friend.
The specially designed keyboard is also a significant winner, with its ergonomic excellence and precise touchpad that supports multi-finger gestures.
A responsive touchpad is a massive blessing for portable laptops as you cannot always be expected to be sane and slow when typing (especially when that deadline is looming dangerously close!)
For an 11-inch laptop, this Lenovo Flex 3 is quite powerful. A MediaTek MT8173C processor drives it with 4GB RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage.
The quick-charging battery fires up rapidly, providing almost two hours of backup in only 15 minutes of charging. So, no longer must you worry about charging stations when on the run; a brief stop for a sandwich can give you the juice you need.
The display is at par with some of the other cheap laptops on our list: an HD screen with an anti-glare panel and the provision of touch. The supported screen resolution is 1366 x 768.
While this may seem glum, it isn’t bad for an 11-inch laptop; consider the convenience you can obtain from a compact form factor!
This blizzard-white device is tremendously mobile. It weighs only 2.65 lbs—among the lightest on this list—and its choice of premium materials for construction makes it reliable during travel.
Fitted with an array of USB ports (yes, including Type-C), an HDMI to plug into external displays, and a 4-in-1 card reader, it lets you connect to your world on the go.
HP 14 14-dq0080nr Touchscreen
If you are a college student, it is pretty standard for you to look for cheaper and affordable laptops.
While the search can be hectic, the HP 14 14-dq0080nr is hands down one of the best touchscreen display laptops under $300 that you can consider buying.
The thin and lightweight design with a 79% screen-to-body ratio makes it the ultimate choice for users on the go.
As for the performance, the device is powered by the Intel Celeron N4020 processor that allows you to tackle your busy day of work with flare.
Also, pair that with the 11 hours of battery life, and you won’t ever have to complain about finding a power outlet every few hours.
The device has a 14-inch HD touchscreen display with next-gen Intel UHD graphics for vibrant and vivid visuals. It runs on the Windows 10 Home operating system and is integrated with 64GB storage and 4GB RAM for superior multitasking.
Lenovo Chromebook Duet 2-in-1 Tablet Laptop
Lenovo has, time and time, catered to a wide range of users. The brand manages to take care of all its users, from sleek business laptops to budget-friendly student laptops.
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet convertible laptop is ideal for everyday use, thanks to its 2-in-1 design and superior user experience.
The convertible device includes a fast and stable plug-and-play detachable keyboard that you can use according to your needs.
The thin and lightweight device offers up to 10 hours of battery life and is constructed with the lightweight and modern dual-tone aluminium alloy for a sophisticated appearance. The device has a compact 10.1″ FHD display with a 1200p screen resolution.
The Chromebook Duet is further powered by the MediaTek Helio P60T and is integrated with 128GB eMMC storage and 4GB RAM for superior productivity throughout the day.
ASUS Chromebook CX1
Thanks to their superior functions and sleek design, Chromebooks are gaining rapid momentum in the market.
If you are on the lookout for a high-quality Chromebook within $300, the ASUS Chromebook CX1 is a good starting point.
Not only does it feature a sleek design and premium look, but the device is also packed with the latest features.
Powered by the Intel Celeron N3350 processor, the device features a military-grade construction for long-lasting usage. As for the display, you enjoy vibrant colours and motions on the 14-inch FHD nano-edge display with a superior screen-to-body ratio and portable design.
The device is further integrated with 64GB eMMC storage with a 4GB RAM configuration to tackle all your work without delay. The high performance is also thanks to the 12 hours of prolonged battery life and the Chrome operating system.
Things to Remember Before Buying a Budget Laptops
There is no doubt that purchasing a Budget laptop has several merits, not the least of which is a considerable sum saved that you can invest in school or your business instead. However, while making the acquisition, keep in mind that:
- You should not expect top-tier hardware. Manufacturers have to cut corners somewhere, and many cheap laptops offer limited storage space and memory. However, there frequently are options to plug into card readers, devices through USB ports, etc., to access anything you might need.
- You are unlikely to experience the visual brilliance of a dedicated graphics card like NVIDIA GTX or RTX. There is insufficient processing muscle, and you must make peace with integrated graphics. However, that is not to deny that many inexpensive laptops now offer compelling displays with vivid colours and details.
- Cheap laptops work best when you perform standard computing pursuits like creating documents or presentations, checking e-mail, and browsing the internet. While you can pursue CPU-intensive work (such as image- or video editing), you should remember that the speeds and efficiencies will be much lower than pricier laptops with more processing prowess. Few laptops will be suitable for gaming or processor-draining endeavours
- like simulation and 3D modelling.
- Don’t expect too many fancy features in sub-$300 laptops (read keyboards with per-key lighting, surround sound, etc.). Manufacturers prioritize low prices, and the resulting products are usually pruned with delightful features but are not indispensable for day-to-day requirements.
How did you find our list of the best laptops under $300 in 2022—did you come across a computer that spoke to you?
Not so many years back, it would have been almost unthinkable to expect good performance and versatility of use from a laptop this affordable; indeed, budget laptops were few and far between and looked down upon for being cheap rather than compact or competent.
But times have changed and how, and cost-effectiveness is a mantra that many top brands have embraced.
A close survey of the marketplace reveals several cheap laptops that may not cost you the big bucks but cater to everyday computing needs while also packing in valuable features like a convertible design, high-quality audio, pleasing graphics, and excellent all-around connectivity.
For instance, if you are eying responsiveness hand-in-hand with mobility, you can consider purchasing a Chromebook. A Lenovo budget laptop will be a good pick if you wish to cater to a wide gamut of needs and enjoy offerings like superior audio and fast charging.
We leave you with one final bit of advice about cheap laptops: remember what you are signing up for. Don’t go about expecting the moon, but if you choose well, you are likely to land among the stars.