Finding the Best Budget Laptops Under $300

Last Updated: November 8, 2016 by

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

Welcome to our weekly updated pro 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 >> 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 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.

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 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
from $219.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:46 UTC) Details

ASUS Transformer Book T100HA-C4-GR 10.1-inch

ASUS Transformer Book T100HA-C4-GR 10.1-inch

If you are constantly on the move and need a device to keep up with you then the Asus Transformer Book T100HA-C4-GR 10.1-inch might just be your perfect travel companion. Able to hold its own in the laptop game the T100HA-C4-GR is also a fantastic 10.1″ tablet. With the full power of Windows 10 at your disposal paired with the new Intel Atom Quad Core Cherry Trail x5-Z8500 processor and a 4GB or DDR3 RAM this device can handle most basic applications with ease. Asus also included a USB type-C connector which ensures compatibility with future peripherals and a 64GB SSD to make sure you have plenty of storage for your files and ultra fast boot times. The bloatware that Asus deemed fit to install does, however, slow down boot times a bit so be sure to uninstall it. Secondly the sound quality leaves something to be desired although this is to be expected in such a thin device but is easily remedied with a pair of headphones. All in all the ASUS Transformer Book T100HA-C4-GR 10.1″ should be considered by anyone who is frequently on the move and doesn’t want to be confined of a traditional laptop.

Specs

  • 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixels (IPS)
  • 9.5 hours battery life
  • 2.28 lbs

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Ultra portible
  • Convertible between a tablet and laptop
  • Touchscreen
  • Windows 10
  • USB Type-C connector

Cons

  • Dull design
  • Poor sound quality
  • Lots of bloatware
  • Keyboard feels flimsy

Summary

The Asus Transformer Book T100HA is the best of both worlds combining a laptop with a tablet while still using Windows 10. While the Asus preinstalled bloatware is a pain the machine performs well and has a crystal clear screen to boot.

ASUS Transformer Book T100HA-C4-GR 10.1-inch
from $299.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:30 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.

Specs

  • 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
from $274.35 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:40 UTC) Details

Lenovo-Flex-3-80LX0026US-11.6

Lenovo Flex 3 80LX0026US 11.6-inch

Like the Satellite Radius, the Flex 3 is a budget convertible with a versatile 360-degree hinge, a responsive touchscreen and low-end hardware suitable for basic tasks like video streaming, web browsing and word processing. It has a travel friendly design that weighs just 3 pounds and measures only 0.8 inches thick, with a large battery to get you through the day and then some. With rounded corners, smooth black-plastic finish and brushed-finished interior, it has an almost high-end aesthetic. As a budget convertible, it had to make compromises somewhere and this can be seen on the island style keyboard which feels cheaply made with shallow keys. The touchpad offers better performance with fast response and fluid navigation. The 360 degree hinge allows the keyboard to flex to seamlessly switch to one of these four modes: Laptop, tent, tablet and stand. However, most users will probably spend most of their time on either the tablet or laptop mode. Another budget feature is its 11-inch touch panel with a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution. If you put it against a high-end laptop, the low quality of the display becomes evident with faded colors and low brightness. However, the screen is similar to the ones on other budget hybrids and it’s perfectly usable for daily use. Music lovers may be disappointed with its bottom mounted speakers, which produced mediocre audio despite Dolby Digital enhancements. With a 2.16 GHz Intel Celeron N2840 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB Hard Drive, the Flex 3 carries similar hardware as many budget competitors including Radius 11, Stream 11 and Toshiba Chromebook 13. The notebook does well in real world tests involving everyday computing. However, the system performance declines under stressful scenarios like rigorous multitasking and HD video encoding. Forgetting all the minor issues, the Flex 3 is easily one of the best 2-in-1 convertibles in the budget category when it comes to build quality, multimode design and endurance.

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 3 lbs

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing design
  • Responsive touch panel
  • Lightweight
  • Very affordable
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Dull display
  • Underpowered CPU

Summary

A lightweight affordable device with a accurate and responsive touchscreen. The battery life is impressive and the price is even better. The critical points would be the dull display that lacks crisp colour and the entry level CPU which doesn't handle demanding apps too well.

Lenovo Flex 3 80LX0026US 11.6-inch
from $329.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:30 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.

Specs

  • 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
from $264.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 15-07-2016 15:02 UTC) Details

Dell Inspiron i3452-5600BLK 14-inch

Dell Inspiron i3452-5600BLK 14-inch

While maybe lacking in the power department the Dell Inspiron i3452-5600BLK is currently on sale at a very attractive price from Amazon.com. With only an Intel Celeron N3050 2.16Ghz and 2GB of RAM don’t expect to do much multitasking or any gaming at all. This machine is best suited to users who only use their machines for emails, Skype and web browsing. HD media playback is possible however but with only 32GB of storage it would be best to store your media on an external hard drive. Users who need basic day to day computing and are on a tight budget should definitely consider the Inspiron i3452-5600BLK especially while it is on sale.

Specs

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

Pros

  • Fast bootup
  • Stylish design
  • Good build quality
  • Good battery life
  • Extremely affordable
  • Truelife LED-Backlit Display

Cons

  • Sub-par performance
  • Touchpad buttons feel cheap and clunky
  • Only 2GB of RAM
  • Only 32GB of storage

Summary

Not the most powerful machine by any means, however at this low price it is a perfect browsing machine.

Dell Inspiron i3452-5600BLK 14-inch
from $222.40 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:32 UTC) Details

ASUS X551MAV-EB01-B

ASUS X551MAV-EB01-B 15.6-inch

Similar to the other ASUS laptops reviewed in this guide, the X551MAV-EB01-B provides a good balance of price, performance and design. The X551MAV-EB01-B is no exception and comes with standard features to meet the needs of a basic user without putting a dent in their wallets and its build is also lighter than many of its 15-inch rivals. Most buyers were wary of the performance of its Celeron processor but it’s actually one of the best entry-level processors available and combined with the device’s standard memory it can run basic tasks smoothly on Windows 8.1. For a first time buyer on a tight budget or a student looking for a quality homework/research machine, the X551MAV-EB01-B is definitely worth its weight in gold.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 5 hours battery life
  • 4.7 lbs

Pros

  • Highly affordable
  • Good battery life
  • Large display

Cons

  • Poor performance
  • No Bluetooth
  • Maximum 4GB of RAM

Summary

A very basic entry level machine priced perfectly for users who only use basic apps and web browsing.

ASUS X551MAV-EB01-B 15.6-Inch
from $297.76 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:20 UTC) Details

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More Laptops Under $300

Acer Aspire ES1-572-31XL 15.6-inchAcer Aspire ES1-572-31XL 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. The Acer Aspire ES1-572-31XL is powered by a Skylake 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 apps such as Google Chrome and Adobe Photoshop. But 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 college papers or for those all important holiday snaps. To cut costs Acer has used a 5400rpm drive, which for day-to-day use is more than acceptable, but users who are after faster Windows boot and app loading times can easily upgrade the hard drive to a hybrid or solid state drive. While it is not designed to be a gaming laptop, the Acer Aspire ES1-572-31XL will run older titles with acceptable frame rates for casual gaming.

Specs

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

Pros

  • 1TB of storage space
  • Skylake i3 processor
  • Bright and sharp display
  • Easily upgradable

Cons

  • Only one USB 3.0 port
  • Heavy

Summary

The Acer Aspire ES1-572-31XL is a budget friendly laptop for basic home users and college students. Though the hardware is slightly underpowered for photo or video editing.

Acer Aspire ES1-572-31XL 15.6-inch
from $399.00 $299.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Walmart.com
(as of 08-11-2016 05:50 UTC) Details

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.

Specs

  • 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
from $251.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 22-10-2016 01:00 UTC) Details

Toshiba-10.1-Satellite-Click10-LX0W-C64Toshiba Satellite Click10 LX0W-C64 10.1-inch

The Toshiba 10.1″ Satellite Click10 is a tablet/notebook hybrid running the latest Windows 10 operating system. Measuring 0.4 inch thick and weighing 1.3 pounds, it is heavier and thicker than most high-end tablets of its size, but it’s equally powerful for daily tasks and costs less despite including a keyboard dock. Like other hybrids, this device can function both as a portable on-the-go notebook and a multimedia tablet by detaching the keyboard. Switching to tablet mode takes a few seconds, as it can be unlocked by a press of a button on the keyboard. The device is equipped with plenty of ports, including two full-sized USB 2.0 ports on the keyboard, and a micro USB port, micro HDMI output and microSD card slot on the edge of the tablet. Despite its small size, the keyboard is great for typing because of the full-sized and well-spaced keys that are distributed right to the edge of the keyboard. By itself, the tablet lasts 8 hours but the battery inside the keyboard dock extends its stamina to 15 hours to get you through the day. The 10.1 inch IPS screen has 1920 x 1200 resolution, delivering sharp and vivid visuals. Whether you’re using it in laptop mode or tablet mode, the display quality remains the same in any angle. Its internals include an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor, 2GB of RAM and 64GB flash storage. Hence, it is clearly not a powerhouse, but for email checking, video playback and typing on the move, it’s more than adequate. All in all the Click10 is a value for money option for users who are looking for a cheap yet reasonably fast alternative to the pricier Microsoft Surface 3.

Specs

  • 10.1 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixels (IPS)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 8 hours battery life
  • 2.4 lbs

Pros

  • High resolution display
  • Long Battery life
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Poor graphical performance
  • Low amount of RAM
  • No USB3.0 ports

Summary

A good looking machine with a great display. A RAM upgrade is recommended for best performance and the lack of USB 3.0 is disappointing.

Toshiba Satellite Click10 LX0W-C64 10.1-inch
from $369.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:43 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.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 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
from $219.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Bestbuy.com
(as of 03-09-2016 04:11 UTC) Details

Acer-Aspire-One-Cloudbook-AO1-431-C7F9

Aspire One Cloudbook AO1-431-C7F9 14-inch

Weighing 3.5 pounds and only 0.7 inches thick, the Aspire One Cloudbook AO1-431-C7F9 is one of the thinnest and lightest 14-inch laptops here. It’s all plastic but has very little flex and feels solid. If you want a compact laptop without sacrificing on screen real estate or adding extra money, this could be it. It is a Chromebook style laptop designed for cloud users who prefer the Windows 10 operating system for routine computing and features just enough hardware to serve that purpose. The onboard Dual-Core Intel Celeron N3050 processor easily tackles mainstream tasks such as document editing, slide preparation, social networking and so on. What it cannot handle is processor intensive tasks like sophisticated video editing, hardcore gaming and graphics design. Because of the measly 2GB of RAM, opening multiple applications and browser tabs will also result in awful stuttering. Acer has provided only 64GB of storage here because it wants most of your data to be stored on the cloud or synced to an online storage. Instead of a larger hard drive, you get up to 1TB of Onedrive Storage and a subscription to Office 365 free for a year. Another alternative to expand the storage is via microSD card or an external Hard-Drive. Like other low-tier Acer products, it sports a 1366×768 matte TN panel that has mediocre brightness but provides good protection against glare. For a low-end Windows device, it features a very responsive trackpad and a keyboard with relatively good travel. The battery life is also exceptionally good, lasting 8 hours of mixed use and more when used in battery saving mode. All in all the Cloudbook AO1-431-C7F9 is a versatile machine that is well worth its budget price due to its compact form factor, fast day-to-day performance and free online storage offers.

Specs

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

Pros

  • Good Display
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Long battery life
  • Super lightweight

Cons

  • Poor CPU
  • Low amount of RAM

Summary

While being stylish and super portable this machine is let down by the entry level processor and the low amount of RAM. Would still be a good choice if the user only needs basic apps and requires portability.

Acer Aspire One Cloudbook AO1-431-C7F9 14-inch
from $249.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:30 UTC) Details

LENOVO-0G50-80E301Y7US

Lenovo G50-80E301Y7US 15.6-inch

If you are shopping for a laptop on a seriously tight budget the Lenovo G50-80E301Y7US  is a top contender thanks to a combination of extreme affordability, decent hardware performance, and a full sizes 15.6-inch display.  As one of the cheapest options in this list, it includes a dual core  AMD E1-6010 Accelerated Processor, 4GB RAM, a 500GB hard drive as well as AMD Radeon R5 integrated graphics. Although the G50-80E301Y7US  may struggle with mutli-tasking or advanced applications, it is more than capable of holding it’s on for the day to day needs of the average user and it integrated graphics even makes light gaming possible for much older titles. Overall the Lenovo G50-80 comes highly recommended.

Specs

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

Pros

  • Slim
  • Low price
  • Runs Windows 10 well

Cons

  • Average performance
  • Plastic design

Summary

Not the best performing machine but offers good value for money for users who only need a basic day to day machine.

Lenovo G50-80E301Y7US 15.6-inch
from $259.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-07-2016 08:21 UTC) Details

HP 14-ac159nr 14-inch

Users looking to purchase at this price point should understand that while the cost of technology, and especially older tech has dropped significantly, laptops with a low price tag such as the HP 14-ac159nr 14-inch don’t offer much in the way of performance. With only 2GB of RAM and a very basic Intel Celeron Dual-Core N3050, pretty much anything but browsing, streaming and basic applications like Microsoft Word will be a challenge. Even combining these tasks will challenge the entry level hardware. Where this machine does excel is being able to deliver a full size laptop to users who otherwise could not afford a new machine and it will serve you well assuming you don’t stress the CPU too much. The 32GB eMMC does make for fast boot up times which improves overall performance but with such a small amount of storage users will more likely run out of space quite often.

Specs

  • 14 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • 4 hours battery life
  • 4.2 lbs

Pros

  • Low price
  • Fast boot up times
  • WLED-backlit display

Cons

  • Slow 2.4GHz wifi
  • Only 2GB of RAM

Summary

A very low cost laptop that will get the job done, however it may take a while.

HP 14-ac159nr 14-inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:34 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.

Specs

  • 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
from $295.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:33 UTC) Details

HP-Stream-11.6-Inch-Convertible-2-in-1

HP Stream 11-p010nr 2-in-1

With a .8-inch slim frame, over 9 hours of all-day battery life and stable daily performance, the HP Stream 11 is aimed at students and regular travelers looking for an affordable and lightweight Windows laptop to take to field trips, lecture halls and conference rooms. The Stream 11 is also one of the cheapest laptops to feature a 2-in-1 convertible design with a flexible hinge that converts this laptop into a tablet by flexing the keyboard all the way to the back of the screen. The keyboard is of course automatically disabled on tablet mode. This small netbook provides surprisingly loud audio coming from a pair of DTS stereo speakers resting on the front edge of the bottom of the base. Colored in horizon blue, it has an eye catching look that stands out. Unlike glossy casings, its soft touch plastic chassis doesn’t get smeared easily by sweaty fingers. Under the lid it has a traditional look with thick screen bezels and rough plastic frame surrounding the keyboard. The rubber feet on the bottom prevents it from sliding on your desk or any hard surface. While not high-class, its build quality is above average for a laptop of this price. It also includes a strong selection of ports with a USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and HDMI port on the right, and power input, SD card slot and Kensington security lock on the left. Except for the touchscreen features, there is nothing noteworthy about its 11.6-inch 1.366 x 768 resolution display. Powering this device, is an Intel Celeron N2840 processor combined with 2GB of RAM. Basics tasks like document editing and web browsing are its primary usage, although it can easily run HD videos. With only 13GB available out of the 32GB of internal storage, media users will want to add an SD card or an external hard drive. If you want the portability of tablet and a functionality of a laptop in a single device, the HP Stream offers just that for less than a mid-range tablet of its size.

Specs

  • 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 3.31 lbs

Pros

  • Fresh color
  • Stylish multi-mode design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Bundled with Office 365

Cons

  • Poor HD display
  • Cheap feeling touchpad

Summary

A vibrant stylish device that will outlast your work day while still looking good. The bundled Office 365 software is great for productivity and Multi-mode design means its as versatile as you are. This device is only let down by the sub-optimal HD display and the touchpad does feel a bit cheaply manufactured.

HP Stream 11-p010nr 11.6-inch
from $299.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:28 UTC) Details

Acer-Aspire-ES1-512-P84G-15.6-425x277

Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G 15.6-inch

The Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G is another laptop offering users some of the best features and hardware specs available at this price range.  Just like any budget machine, there are sacrifices, but this Acer manages to back in the best Intel based configuration you can find in this price range.  Powered by an Intel Pentium N3540 and 4 GB of RAM, the ES1-512-P84G offers quick processing times on most every day tasks such as word processing, email and web browsing.  However, it will struggle somewhat under heavy multitasking loads and some heavier applications will take longer compared to its more expensive competitors. Overall, the Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G packs in a large number of features such as HDMI, USB 3.0, a card reader, and more to make it a great productivity machine for office use while also included enough power to double up as a mobile multimedia machine.

Specs

  • 15.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Windows 8.1
  • 7 hours battery life
  • 5.3 lbs

Pros

  • Quad-Core Processor
  • Cool operating temperature
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • Only 500GB 5400RPM hard drive

Summary

A great all round machine that would have been even better with an SSD drive however at this price it's understandable why it wasn't included.

Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G 15.6-Inch
from $299.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:22 UTC) Details

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Top 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.

Specs

  • 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 11.6-inch
from $299.99 $259.99 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 17-07-2016 08:48 UTC) Details

ASUS-Chromebook-Flip-C100PA-DB01-10.1

ASUS Chromebook Flip C100PA-DB01 10.1-inch

The 10-inch ASUS Chromebook Flip C100PA-DB01 is one of the lightest Chromebooks in the market. Weighing only 2 pounds and measuring 0.6-inch thick, it is more portable than most mini notebooks. Its dimensions can be compared to that of the 12-inch Macbook, which costs significantly more. The island-style keyboard have slightly smaller than desktop size keys, but thanks to the adequate space in between getting back your usual typing accuracy won’t take long. An uncommon feature on this Chromebook is its hybrid design with a hinge that allows the screen to be folded all the way to the back of the keyboard to enter tablet mode, a design usually only found on Window hybrids. In tablet mode, the main keyboard is turned off and replaced by an onscreen keyboard. For such a compact machine, the C100 includes all essential ports including USB 3.0, USB 2.0, micro HDMI and microSD. Except for the chunky screen bezels around the 10-inch 1280 x 800-pixel display, the design looks fairly modern. The display offers adequate sharpness for the average user although due to the underpowered 1.8 GHz Rockchip processor the C100PA lags behind other Chromebooks featuring Intel Core i processors or the Nvidia Tegra K1 chip. That said, users reported hardly any stutter while streaming videos, editing Google Docs and browsing the web. However, heavy multitasking did result in slower touch response and occasional lags. Having a less power hungry CPU enables the C100 to last 9 hours on battery and even more if you use power saving modes. Provided you’re willing to trade-off some speed for top of the line battery life, the C100PA-DB01 is an affordable option and a worthy alternative to many similarly sized mid-range tablets of the same price.

Specs

  • 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixels (IPS)
  • Chrome OS
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 1.95 lbs

Pros

  • Hybrid hinge design
  • Aluminium chassis
  • Long battery life
  • Responsive touchscreen

Cons

  • Underpowered CPU
  • Poor sound quality

Summary

An entry level Chromebook with an interesting hybrid design and stylish aluminium housing. Great for basic web browsing and word processing but falls a bit behind with more complex apps.

ASUS Chromebook Flip C100PA-DB01 10.1-inch
from $304.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 20-10-2016 15:55 UTC) Details

ASUS-C300-ChromeBook

ASUS C300MA-DH01-RD 13.3-inch

The ASUS C300MA-DH01-RD  is a low-cost Chomebook configured with basic internal hardware, excellent battery backup and a large 14-inch screen. With a matte black chassis and a faux brushed-metal polycabornate top, the C300MA features a modern appearance. However the glossy plastic surface on the sides look cheap. Measuring 0.9 inches thick and weighing 3.1 pounds, it’s a lightweight machine that is easy to carry around with a solidly build that won’t wobble easily when placed on your desk like most budget laptops. It has a large chiclet-style keyboard with a wide touchpad that supports multitouch gestures. For plugging in peripherals, it’s equipped with an HDMI port, a SD card reader, a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port. Its 13.3 inch screen supports a 1366 x 768 pixels resolution, which is typical for budget Chromebooks and Windows laptops. The LCD screen is bright and clear enough but the viewing angle isn’t as optimum as that of an IPS screen. Inside, the C300 packs an Intel Celeron N2830 dual-core processor with Intel HD Graphics which offers significantly better performance compared to machines with older Atom processors. Although it is able to tackle basic tasks with ease, with only 2GB of RAM too much multitasking can cause lots of lag. With only a 16GB SSD users will also soon have to add an SDCard or an external hard drive to store large media files. Running over 10 hours on battery, the C300MA-DH01-RD  is an excellent option for those who want to work all day on the move without needing their charger

ASUS C300MA-DH01-RD ChromeBook 13.3-Inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:35 UTC) Details

Toshiba CB35-B3340 Chromebook 2

Toshiba CB35-A3120 Chromebook 13.3-Inch

The CB35-A3120 is another extremely popular Chromebook from Toshiba that boasts a larger than usual 13-inch display as well as great performance with a pearl design that is sleek and stylish. It received acclaim from most users for its overall look and feel with great battery life and audio quality to boot. For fans of Toshiba or anyone looking for a Chromebook with a larger display than usual then the CB35-A3120 is one of the best options currently on the market.

Specs

  • 13.3 inch, 1366 x 768 pixels (TN)
  • Chrome OS
  • 9 hours battery life
  • 3.3 lbs

Pros

  • Vibrant display
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Long battery life
  • Fast boot times

Cons

  • Keyboard feels cheap

Summary

While on par with most Chromebooks on the market the Toshiba CB35-A3120 really takes a stride forward with its impressive sound quality and vibrant display. Our only gripe was the cheap feeling keyboard.

Toshiba CB35-A3120 Chromebook 13.3-inch
Price Currently Unavailable Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 17-12-2016 11:08 UTC) Details

Acer-Chromebook -15-CB5-571-C1DZ

Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571-C1DZ Chromebook 15.6-inch

If you are okay with running only Google applications on your laptop, the Acer Chromebook 15 is a nice alternative to 15-Inch Windows notebooks under $300. In fact, on day to day tasks like Google doc editing, web browsing and Youtube streaming, the Chromebook 15 performs on the same level as the top Windows 8 laptops of this category, plus it has a nicer looking frame and much longer battery life. Its all-white chassis looks bright and has woven pattern that add style and extra grip, but it picks up dirt easily. Images, texts and videos look sharp in its matte finished 1,920 x 1,080 pixel IPS display, which is the best you can expect at this price. However, don’t mistake it for a high-end display because it loses its brightness slightly if you view the screen from the sides. Its speakers are loud and the keyboard is large and sturdy, with black keys to complement the white look. Thanks to a zippy 1.5-GHz dual-core Intel Celeron 3205U CPU and 4GB RAM it delivers impressive performance on basic tasks. Its 16GB of onboard storage won’t be enough for media users who will have to add a high capacity SD card to its cardreader slot. It also features a solid set of other connectivity options with an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, and a Kensington lock slot. The Chrome OS is easy to learn and minimalistic, with an Android like interface including a menu button, app launcher, settings, Wi-Fi and Clock displayed at the bottom right.

Specs

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

Pros

  • Large Full HD Display
  • Excellent performance
  • Great battery life
  • Clear definitive sound

Cons

  • Not as portable as most chrome books
  • Picks up dirt fast

Summary

While a bit bigger and less portable than some of the other Chromebooks the Acer 15 CB5-571-C1DZ can offer a fast immersive multimedia experience thanks to its great performance, Clear Full HD screen and excellent sound quality.

Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571-C1DZ 15.6-inch
from $218.77 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:24 UTC) Details

Samsung-Chromebook-2-XE500C12-K01US-11.6-Inch

Samsung Chromebook 2 XE500C12-K01US 11.6-inch

The Samsung Chromebook 2, with its black chassis and a matte finish, is a very elegant machine. It looks and feels more like a regular laptop than a cheap netbook. Armed with an eight-core Samsung Exynos 5 processor and 4GB of RAM, it outshines competing Chromebooks from Acer and HP, which are equipped with less powerful CPU’s and half the amount of memory. However, the Samsung Chromebook 2 costs over $60 more than the Intel-Celeron integrated competitors. Tied to the Chrome OS, most of its functionality is useful only when you’re online, but users who are always browsing will prefer this cheap option over the more expensive, entry-level Windows machines.

Specs

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

Pros

  • Good processor
  • Generous amount of RAM
  • Anti-glare screen

Cons

  • Less competitively priced
  • Low resolution display

Summary

While being priced slightly higher than its competitors the Samsung Chromebook 2 XE500C12-K01US makes up for it with its above entry level specs and anti-glare display, although it does have a slightly lower resolution.

Samsung Chromebook 2 XE500C12-K01US 11.6-Inch
from $269.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:22 UTC) Details

Dell-CRM3120-1667BLK-11.6-Inch

Dell CRM3120-1667BLK 11.6-inch

While most Chromebook laptops incorporate modern design elements, the Dell CRM3120-1667BLK with its all-plastic body looks just like a regular budget laptop. The outer appeared might seem boring but the actual material is very sturdy. The rubberized surfaces on the base and around the screen provide additional protection by absorbing shocks, and the keyboard and trackpads are properly sealed for spill protection. Having gone through all kinds of durability tests involving pressure, humidity, temperature and vibrations, this Dell Chromebook is built to last. Cheaply built, budget laptops are prone to hinge damages, but this laptop comes with an 180-degree LCD hinge that can flex all the way to lay flat on the surface. The 11.6-inch screen isn’t pixel rich but it’s plenty bright enough for daily use and it’s matte surface allows for better visibility in bright light than standard LCD displays. The Intel Celeron N2840 Processor along with 2GB of RAM gives you enough power for running basic applications as well as doing some light multitasking heavy web browsing sessions with multiple browser tabs. Most of the 16GB storage is already occupied by Chrome OS, meaning you will need to add an SD Card if you plan on storing more than a handful of files and apps. Ports are aplenty with two USB ports, an HDMI-out and a Kensington lock slot. Running over 9 hours on a charge, its battery life is much longer than other budget chromebooks.. If you leave out its relatively dull look, the Dell CRM3120-1667BLK is the best Chromebook on paper available at this price range.

Specs

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

Pros

  • 4GB of RAM
  • Battery life
  • Good audio
  • Designed for stundents
  • MIL-STD tested

Cons

  • Storage space
  • Brightness levels

Summary

The Dell CRM3120-1667BLK offers good battery life for users on the go or for high school students.

Dell CRM3120-1667BLK 11.6-Inch
from $208.88 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 06-09-2016 03:22 UTC) Details

Toshiba-CB35-B3340-Chromebook-2

Toshiba CB35-B3340 Chromebook 2 13.3-inch

While most manufacturers brought out a more portable 11-inch Chromebooks, Toshiba wanted to give people more screen space with its 13.3-inch CB35-B3340 Chromebook 2. The original Toshiba Chromebook was criticized for being large, bulky and less portable than many competing Chromebooks. The latest Chromebook 2 has a new and improved design that is sleeker, thinner and lighter than its predecessor, and is closer in size to its small-screen rivals. The keyboard is excellent and so is the trackpad featuring smooth multi-touch gesture controls. Other areas of improvements include screen quality, battery life and processing power. The screen is a Full-HD 1920×1080 IPS display, with rich colors, crisp text and excellent viewing angles. Packed neatly inside is a power efficient Intel Celeron N2840 processor which runs cool and silent and facilitates a lengthy battery life of up to 9 hours. Although, not a particularly fast CPU, it beats most older Intel Atom equipped machines. While the average user should be happy with the Chromebook 2, power users will prefer something in the line of the Intel Core i3 equipped Acer C720. Connectivity ports are also abundant, with multiple USB ports, a full-sized HDMI port and an SD card slot – an essential feature since the system comes with only 16GB of internal storage.

Specs

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

Pros

  • Great display
  • Clear HD Audio
  • Low price
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • No touchscreen
  • Sharp corners

Summary

An affordable and responsive Chromebook, unfortunately lacking a touchscreen and the sharp corners could be uncomfortable for some.

Toshiba CB35-B3340 Chromebook 2 13.3-Inch
from $225.00 Read Reviews Order Now
from Amazon.com
(as of 16-01-2017 13:22 UTC) Details

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.

More Cheap Laptops >>