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Top 10 Best Laptops Under $300 of 2022 (Fall Update)

Great for everyday productivity tasks and also light gaming!?
Best Laptops Under $300 - Featured Image

Nowadays, you don’t need to break the bank to buy a functional laptop because even budget laptops these days are good enough. In fact, you can buy a pretty decent laptop for under $300, and you’ll be able to do all your day-to-day tasks and even light gaming on it!

So which are the best laptops under $300 right now? Are the cheap laptops under $300 really powerful enough to handle intensive tasks like gaming? Read on to get answers to all your questions and check out the list of our most recommended Windows laptops and Chromebooks under $300 right now—cherry-picked by our team of laptop experts.

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But before we discuss anything else, it’s important to know if the budget laptops under $300 will be able to suffice your everyday computing needs or not. So, let’s start with that.

Are Laptops under $300 Powerful Enough for Your Needs?

The sub-$300 laptops are powered by an entry-level Intel and AMD processor, so the performance capabilities of these laptops would be limited. But, they have more than enough power for basic computing tasks like surfing the web, editing word documents, managing small excel sheets, and attending meetings or classes online.

If we talk about gaming or power-demanding tasks in general, then yes, you can play a few old, less demanding games at scaled-down settings and even edit the photos and videos using the online tools on these cheap notebooks. But don’t expect them to run the most graphically demanding games or handle professional editing apps like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro.

To give you an overall idea, you’ll be able to play games like Minecraft, Roblox, and CS:GO at around 30 FPS in low settings on some laptops mentioned in our list, which are playable framerates for these games. Also, if you like playing mobile games, you can purchase the Chromebook (with touchscreen display) under $300 since they support all the games available on the Google Play Store, including Subway Surfers and even Roblox Mobile!

So, the budget Windows laptops and Chromebooks under $300 are powerful enough for basic computing activities, and although not meant for, they can handle light gaming and editing work to an extent.

Where Do Laptops under $300 Fall Short?

Not even thousand dollar laptops are perfect, so it’s quite evident that these budget laptops will have some shortcomings too.

One of the biggest drawbacks of budget laptops under $300 is storage. You’ll be able to get at most 128GB storage on these laptops, with most of them offering only 64GB.

So, you’ll have to smartly manage the storage to not run out of space on your laptop. Also, most of these laptops have eMMC type storage, which is faster than traditional HDDs but nowhere close to the quickest storage type SSD.

Tip – Buy the laptop with an SD card slot so that you can expand its storage later if required.

Also, display on most of these budget notebooks straight-up sucks. Firstly, most laptops available to buy under $300 are small 11-inch laptops, so their display is small, and they have less sharp 1366 by 768 resolution, which makes them not pleasing to look at. While there are larger 13, 14, and 15-inch laptops with full HD displays available, they are far between.

But, from the mix of all the Chromebooks and Windows notebooks under $300, we have found some worthy options that offer full HD display, fast SSD storage and much more!

You can have a look at them below.

Thinking laptops under $300 won’t cut your requirements? Consider checking out our guide on the best laptops under $400. By spending a little bit extra, you can get a laptop with a mainstream Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processor, fast SSD storage, a decent amount of RAM, and a full HD display. If you are looking for a budget laptop for gaming, we recommend you to check out our picks of gaming laptops under $500, which come with powerful integrated graphics. Also, check out our round-up of best laptop deals this week to find if there’s any good laptop deal available under $300.

Well, if you think that the laptops under $300 are perfect for your requirements, then go through the list of our top picks below. We have all types of options on our list—whether you want a laptop for work or a 2 in 1 for home use or college, even if you are looking for the laptop with the most powerful specs under $300 for gaming, then we have got you covered as well!

Best Laptops Under $300 – Top Picks

1. Asus L510MA 15.6″ Laptop – The Best Laptop Under $300

Asus L510MA 15 - Best Laptop Under $300 Overall in 2022

PROS:

  • Premium looking design
  • Full HD Display
  • Backlit keyboard with Numpad
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Free 1 year Microsoft 365 subscription
  • Free upgrade to Windows 11

CONS:

  • Display not bright enough to work outdoors

The Asus L510MA offers a fantastic value for the price by offering great performing specs and features that are not usually available even on more costly budget laptops.

That said, it is among the very few Windows laptops to offer a 15.6-inch display with full HD resolution in this price range. That’s not it. It also features a full-size backlit keyboard, and it also has a fingerprint reader for quickly logging in to your computer!

Although its dual-core Intel Celeron N4020 processor is not the most powerful chip you can get in a laptop in this price range, it is capable enough to handle everyday tasks without any issues, and it will also allow you to play some less demanding games.

With spacious 128GB SSD storage (as per the $300 laptop standards) and all the essential ports and slots, the Asus L510MA is a very well-rounded package, and it will efficaciously suffice the requirements of most users.

Hardware Specifications of Asus L510MA-DS04 Laptop:

 ProcessorIntel Celeron N4020 Dual-Core Processor (Turbo up to 2.8GHz)
 RAM4GB DDR4 RAM
 Storage128GB eMMC
 GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 600
 Display15.6-Inch Full HD anti-glare Display
 Operating SystemWindows 10 Home in S mode
 Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
 Weight3.59 lbs

2. HP Chromebook 14a – The Best Chromebook Under $300

HP Chromebook 14a - best chromebook under $300

PROS:

  • Smooth performance
  • Full HD display with tiny bezels
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Front facing stereo speakers
  • Large trackpad
  • Wide-angle webcam with dual-array microphone

CONS:

  • Flexy keyboard deck

If you want to buy a Chromebook, then HP Chromebook 14a is the best option right now because it offers a very capable set of hardware, and it features probably the best display of any laptop under $300.

It is powered by the latest Intel Celeron N4500 processor, which is a dual-core processor with up to 2.8 GHz of clock speed. It’s one of the most powerful processors you’ll find in a laptop in this price segment, and it runs Chrome OS fluidly smooth. Part of the reason behind its smoothness is also the 4GB DDR4 RAM, which is more than enough for cloud-based Chrome OS and will allow you to multitask without any issues.

Apart from great performance, the Chromebook 14a features a superb 14-inch screen. It’s a full HD IPS panel with wide viewing angles and up to 250-nits of brightness. It is one of the brightest and most vivid-looking display on a laptop in this price range and also supports touch input. That beautiful display paired with B&O powered dual front-firing speakers makes the HP Chromebook 14a a great device for media consumption.

The goodness does not end there. It also features a backlit keyboard and decent size trackpad with multi-touch gesture support.

Although its price keeps fluctuating around $300, we think it’s a tremendous value for the price for all that it offers.

Hardware Specifications of HP Chromebook 14a:

 ProcessorIntel Celeron N4500 Dual Core Processor (Turbo up to 2.8 GHz)
 RAM4GB DDR4 RAM
 Storage64GB eMMC
 GraphicsIntel UHD integrated
 Display14-Inch Full HD IPS Anti-Glare WLED-backlit Display (250-nits)
 Operating SystemChrome OS
 Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
 Weight3.2 lbs

3. Dell Inspiron 15 3511 – The Best Gaming Laptop Under $300

Dell Inspiron 15 3511 - best gaming laptop under $300

PROS:

  • Very powerful specs for the price
  • Upgradeable RAM & storage drive
  • Lift up hinge for better cooling & typing experience
  • Good ports selection

CONS:

  • Keyboard is great but it is not backlit
  • Display’s viewing angles aren’t great, and it’s dim as well

If you are looking for a gaming-capable notebook under $300, then this Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop is for you. For under $300, it offers a powerful Intel Core i3 processor with Intel UHD graphics integrated on the chip, and it is paired with 8GB RAM and a quick 128GB SSD.

With these specs, you’ll be able to enjoy games like Valorant and GTA 5 at low settings on this laptop. What’s even better though is, both its RAM and storage drive is upgradeable! You can upgrade its RAM up to 12GB and replace its stock 128GB drive with an increased capacity SSD or add another SATA SSD in the empty slot.

Doing the RAM upgrade would add up to 15 to 20 FPS in games, and that would make a world of difference in competitive games like CS:GO and Roblox. Not to mention, the upgrade will also make the overall experience of using the Windows 11 on this laptop smoother when you are doing just everyday work on it.

It also features a lift-up hinge design for a comfortable typing experience and increased airflow, resulting in cool operation under load. But its 15-inch display is nothing to write home about. It uses a TN panel which has terrible viewing angles. Even seeing the display from the slightest angle is not possible. The image gets totally washed out. Also, its peak brightness is pretty low. Thankfully, the FHD 1920 by 1080 resolution is great and makes the Inspiron 15’s display usable for everyday work and gaming.

Overall, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is a great value for the price, and it is the best option if you are looking for a cheap gaming laptop under $300.

Hardware Specifications of Dell Inspiron 15 3511:

 Processor11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 Dual-Core Processor (Up to 4.10 GHz)
 RAM8GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM (Upgradeable)
 Storage128GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD (Upgradeable)
 GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics Integrated
 Display15.6-inch FHD Anti-Glare LED-backlit WVA Display
 Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
 Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
 Weight3.82 lbs

4. HP 14t-dq300 Laptop – With 8GB RAM

HP 14t-dq300 14 - Budget Business Laptop

PROS:

  • Well balanced specs
  • Easy to upgrade RAM & Storage
  • Smooth performance and runs cool under load
  • Lot of ports
  • Decent battery backup

CONS:

  • Costs slightly above $300

The HP 14t is another very powerful laptop under $300, and it’s a perfect option for those who want to buy a capable compact computer.

That said, this HP 14-inch notebook is powered by a dual-core Intel Celeron N4500 processor, which is not as powerful as the Intel Core i3 processor on the above-mentioned Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop. But it is built on Intel’s latest 10nm process, which in simple words means it’s a much efficient chip, and it will make this laptop last longer on battery.

Accompanying the latest processor is a decent 8GB RAM and a speedy 128GB of SSD. It does not show any signs of lag even when pushing it to its limits and handles everything from heavy multitasking to even light gaming without any issue.

However, its display will make you desire for more. It’s a sharp 14-inch Full HD IPS display with great contrast and viewing angles, but just 250-nits of peak brightness and glossy surface make it very glary when using opposite to windows or in direct sunlight. But you can configure it with the anti-glare 1080p IPS display on HP’s website by spending a little more money.

So, this HP 14t laptop is also not perfect and misses out on a few things just like every other budget laptop, but it provides very well-balanced specs for the price, and that’s what makes it worth considering. Although its display is not that good, the embedded 720p webcam on top along with dual-array microphone are pretty decent for video conferencing on Microsoft Teams.

Hardware Specifications of HP 14t-dq300 Laptop:

 ProcessorIntel Celeron N4500 Dual-Core Processor (Turbo up to 2.8 GHz)
 RAM8GB DDR4 2933MHz RAM (Upgradeable)
 Storage128GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
 GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics
 Display14-Inch HD 1366 x 768 Display (250-nits)
 Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
 Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
 Weight3.24 lbs

5. Acer Chromebook Spin 311 11″ 2 in 1 Laptop – Best For Kids

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 - best laptop for kids under $300

PROS:

  • Solid build quality
  • Responsive touchscreen with Gorilla glass protection
  • Ultraportable design
  • Good amount of options for wired & wireless connectivity
  • Full day battery life

CONS:

  • Less on-board storage

If you are looking for a laptop for your kid under $300, then Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is the perfect option with 2 in 1 design. It is an ultraportable 11 inch laptop with an excellent 11.6-inch IPS touchscreen display and Corning Gorilla Glass protection. You can rotate the display on this Chromebook 360 degrees to use it as a tablet or in any other positions in between.

It would be a great option for younger ones at home or even if you want to buy a durable and easy to carry 2 in 1 laptop for work.

What’s impressive, though, is despite its small size, it offers enough performant hardware inside to do all the basic tasks with ease on this Chromebook. And it also features all the ports, including multiple USB-A and USB-C ports, and it also has a microSD card reader, which takes care of its less onboard storage. 

Although its keyboard feels slightly cramped if you have big hands like me, but for the price tag of less than $250, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is a no-brainer and perfect option for kids to study from home. 

Hardware Specifications of Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-2H-C679):

 ProcessorIntel Celeron N4020 Dual-Core 1.1 GHz Processor (Turbo up to 2.8 GHz)
 RAM4GB LPDDR4
 Storage32GB eMMC
 GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics 600
 Display11.6-inch HD Touchscreen IPS Display With Corning Gorilla Glass (1366 x 768 resolution)
 Operating SystemChrome OS
 Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
 Weight2.4 lbs

6. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 13″ – Best 2 in 1 Chromebook Under $300

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 13 - best 2 in 1 laptop under $300

PROS:

  • Strong performance
  • Good design and build quality
  • Beautiful Full HD touchscreen display with stylus support
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Front facing stereo speakers
  • HD webcam with privacy shutter & dual-array microphone

CONS:

  • Costs slightly more than $300

I get it. Working all day long on a small 11-inch laptop wouldn’t be practical. So, if you are looking for a convertible laptop with a large enough screen that can allow you to work without squinting your eyes to read the text, then Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 13 is for you.

It comes with a 13-inch touchscreen display with full HD resolution, and it is great for work, watching videos on YouTube, and playing touch-based games available in Google Play Store.

The performance of the Flex 5i 13 is also very smooth since it has an Intel Core i3 processor inside. With multitasking that includes a few tabs of Chrome and editing a word document in Google Docs and music playing in the background, it feels snappy and ready to take on some more load.

Its chiclet-styled backlit keyboard is also very comfortable to type long emails or essays, and it also has a decent size trackpad, which is smooth and responsive.

With ultraportable form factor, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 13 is one of the best 2 in 1 chromebooks you can buy under $300 for work or college if you are a student.

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 13″ Chromebook:

 Processor11th Generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 Processor (Dual Core, Turbo up to 4.1 GHz)
 RAM8GB LPDDR4x RAM
 Storage128GB SSD
 GraphicsIntel UHD Integrated
 Display13.3-Inch Full HD IPS Touchscreen Display with Stylus Support
 Operating SystemChrome OS
 Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
 Weight2.9 lbs

7. Asus VivoBook 14 – Good Value for Money

Asus VivoBook 14 Windows Laptop

PROS:

  • Clean & minimal design
  • Powerful performance with Core i3 processor
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Good battery life
  • Has all required ports

CONS:

  • RAM is low but it’s upgradeable
  • Memory card reader is missing

If you need a Windows laptop under $300 for work, then this Asus VivoBook 14 is another great option that’s worth considering. It runs the latest Windows 11 operating system, so it supports all the proprietary apps and software, and unlike Chromebooks, you can even install MS Office on this laptop.

It is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor, which offers two high-performance cores that can clock up to 4.1 GHz, and it is paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD storage. While RAM is a bit on the lower side, the overall performance of this laptop is still very smooth, thanks to its powerful processor and fast SSD storage.

If you want, you can upgrade its RAM to 8GB or more. It is possible, but even with 4GB RAM, it can power through all sorts of productivity apps and run less demanding games like Minecraft.

Its 14-inch display isn’t much bright, just like most other laptops in this price range, but it has an anti-glare coating to reduce reflections, and everything else, from color reproduction to contrast and viewing angles, is great on its IPS panel.

What we loved the most about the VivoBook 14 is its backlit keyboard. It is an absolute delight to type of on it. It has decent sized keys, and they travel deep to deliver a very satisfying typing experience. It also features a decent array of ports, including multiple USB Type-A ports and one Type-C port, and it also has an HDMI port to connect it to an external monitor. Though, SD card reader is missing on it. 

But all in all, the Asus VivoBook 14 is a very well-rounded work-centric notebook that you can buy for under $300.

Hardware Specifications of Asus VivoBook 14:

 ProcessorIntel Core i3-1115G4 Dual Core Processor (Turbo up to 4.1 GHz)
 RAM4GB DDR4 RAM
 Storage128GB NVMe SSD Storage
 GraphicsIntel UHD Graphics integrated
 Display14-Inch Full HD Anti-Glare IPS Display (250-nits)
 Operating SystemWindows 11 Home in S mode
 Battery LifeUp to 7 hours
 Weight3.3 lbs

8. Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 13″ – Most Versatile Design

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 13 - Best Detachable Laptop Under $300

PROS:

  • Stunning OLED display
  • Highly versatile design
  • Keyboard included in the box
  • Long battery life
  • Front and rear facing cameras

CONS:

  • Less built-in storage
  • Limited ports and no 3.5mm audio jack

If you want an extra versatile laptop that can cope with your on the move lifestyle, then this Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 13 might interest you.

It is a 13-inch Chrome OS tablet that can be attached to the keyboard—just like Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablets. But here, you do not have to pay extra for the keyboard because Lenovo includes one right inside the box—all for $300!

Despite such a low price tag, it offers a remarkable touchscreen OLED display with full HD resolution, 400 nits of brightness, and 100% DCI-P3 color coverage. This is hands down the best display you can get on a laptop under $300. It’s great on all fronts. It also features two cameras, 8MP on the rear and 5MP on the front, and it also has far-field microphones and stereo speakers for a crystal clear video calling experience.

The tablet connects to the keyboard via a pogo pin connector and strong magnets, so you don’t have to worry about the tablet getting detached and falling when using it on your lap. Although you’ll get the best typing experience using it on a desk.

Speaking of typing experience, its keyboard is also pretty decent for a detachable laptop. Its keys travel a little less for my liking, and the palm rest area is also a bit small for my hands, but overall, it was a good experience typing on its keyboard, and its trackpad is also of decent size and provides a smooth tracking experience.

It also feels very responsive while multitasking and gaming. Its 8-core Snapdragon processor inside, paired with 4GB RAM, does a great job of keeping its performance smooth throughout. But its storage capacity of just 64GB is very low, and it also does not have an SD card reader to extend it via a memory card.

Also, connectivity options are largely lacking on it, with only two USB Type-C ports, but considering it is a tablet, that was expected. But, it also misses out on a 3.5mm audio jack, which means you will have to use dongles to connect your wired headphones or buy a wireless pair.

Though that’s unfortunate, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 13 is still an excellent “ONE OF A KIND” Chrome OS powered device in this price range. And if portability and versatility are your utmost priority, it’s definitely worth considering option.

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 13:

 ProcessorSnapdragon SC7180 Octa Core 2.5 GHz Processor
 RAM4GB LPDDR4x RAM
 Storage64GB eMMC
 GraphicsIntegrated Qualcomm Adreno
 Display13.3-inch Full HD OLED Touchscreen (100% DCI-P3, 400-nits)
 Operating SystemChrome OS
 Battery LifeUp to 12 hours
 Weight1.5 lbs (with keyboard attached)

9. Acer Aspire 5 15-inch Laptop – Honorable Mention

Acer Aspire 5 15

PROS:

  • Powerful Intel Core i3 CPU
  • Great design and build quality overall
  • Sharp Full HD IPS display
  • Long battery life
  • Good number of ports for connectivity
  • Upgradeable RAM and storage

CONS:

  • Keyboard does not have backlit keys
  • Low storage and RAM out of the box

The Acer Aspire 5 15 is one of the best selling budget laptops, which is known to offer better specs and features than the competition at a highly competitive price.

Following the same suite, this Acer Aspire 5 variant under $300 offers a powerful Intel Core i3 processor, which is way more faster than the Intel Celeron processors that most laptops under $300 offer. While its 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD are pretty low, to be frank, to efficiently work on Windows 11, they are easily upgradeable on this laptop, and making those upgrades also won’t cost you much.

But for primary usage like surfing the web, working on MS office, and even playing some indie games, you don’t need to spend extra on increasing its RAM, as 4GB RAM would handle such tasks just fine.

Apart from performance, its 15-inch display is also one of the best in this price range. It’s a 1080p IPS panel with good color reproduction. It looks sharp and has great viewing angles, but its peak brightness is low, making it uncomfortable to use in bright surroundings.

Its keyboard, on the other hand, is comfortable and also features a numpad, but it misses out on backlighting.

Being a budget laptop, of course, the Acer Aspire 5 is not perfect, but we think it is a very well-rounded laptop for the price. It has all the latest wireless connectivity options, and its powerful performance and long battery life make it a great option under $300.

Hardware Specifications of Acer Aspire 5 15 (A515-56-32DK):

 ProcessorIntel Core i3-1115G4 Dual Core Processor (Up to 4.1 GHz)
 RAM4GB DDR4 RAM (Upgradable)
 Storage128GB NVMe SSD (Upgradable)
 GraphicsIntel UHD integrated
 Display15.6-inch Full HD IPS Anti-Glare Display with Acer BlueLightShield
 Operating SystemWindows 11 Home in S mode
 Battery LifeUp to 8.5 hours
 Weight3.9 lbs

10. Asus VivoBook 14 Slim – What a bit more money gets you

Asus VivoBook 14 Slim Value for Money Laptop Under $350

PROS:

  • Latest 12th Gen Intel 6-core processor
  • Premium feel and lightweight
  • Good quality 1080p display
  • Fantastic backlit keyboard with ergonomically designed curved keys & anti-bacterial coating
  • Quick Windows login with fingerprint scanner
  • Upgradeable RAM and storage
  • Competitively priced

CONS:

  • Less RAM and storage out of the box but they are upgradeable

If you don’t mind going a little over your budget for a better laptop, then Asus VivoBook 14 Slim is a much better value proposition for the price overall.

For about $350, it offers the latest 12th Gen Intel Core i3 processor with 6-cores, which is leaps and bounds faster than the Intel Celeron and Pentium processors that most laptops under $300 offer. The processor is paired with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD, which is on the lower side, but both are easily upgradeable and can be expanded in the future.

The display is also much better, with a 14-inch IPS panel offering wide viewing angles and good color reproduction. There’s also no lack of ports on this laptop, with multiple USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port, and even an HDMI for connecting an external monitor. It also supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 for fast and reliable wireless connections.

Apart from that, we also love this laptop’s clean and minimal design, and its backlit keyboard is also very comfortable with ergonomically designed curved keys, and it has an anti-bacterial coating to protect you from diseases!

With other features such as a fingerprint scanner, privacy shutter webcam, long battery life, and just 3 pounds of weight, the Asus VivoBook 14 is one of the best laptops if you can extend your budget to around $350.

Hardware Specifications of Asus VivoBook 14 Slim:

Processor12th Generation Intel Core i3-1215U Processor (Turbo up to 4.4 GHz)
RAM4GB DDR4 RAM (Upgradable)
Storage128GB SSD (Upgradable)
GraphicsIntel UHD integrated Graphics for 12th Gen processors
Display14-inch Full HD IPS Display with NanoEdge bezels
Operating SystemWindows 11 Home
Battery LifeUp to 10 hours
Weight3.09 lbs

How to Pick the Best Laptop under $300 for Yourself?

While others might say otherwise, we think buying a budget laptop under $300 is way less complicated than buying, say, a high-end gaming laptop.

All you have to do is have your needs figured out and have them in mind when looking at different options and make sure that the laptop you buy ticks the checkboxes of the below-mentioned pointers by us. Easy!

Processor

Most laptops under $300 will be powered by entry-level Intel Celeron, Pentium, or AMD Athlon processors. But entry-level does not mean bad.

The latest generation Intel Celeron and Pentium processors, a.k.a. Jasper Lake chips and AMD Athlon processors, are way more capable than the previous generation.

To identify the laptops powered by these latest processors, look for these CPU names –

  • Intel Celeron N4500
  • Intel Pentium N6000
  • AMD Athlon 7000

The laptops powered by Intel Celeron N4020 are also good, but its successor Celeron N4500 would be a better choice considering the futureproofing.

And, while laptops with mainstream Intel Core i3 processors are not usually available in this price range, if you find it on a sale and it has a recent 11th or 12th Generation Intel Core i3 processor, then it is the one you should go with. The Intel Core i3 processors will almost always outperform Intel Celeron and Pentium processors. The same goes for AMD as well. Choose AMD Ryzen 3 over AMD Athlon.

Confused between an Intel Core i3 & AMD Ryzen 3 laptop? Read: Intel vs. AMD – Which laptop should you buy in 2022?

RAM

After the CPU, the next thing to check in a laptop is the amount of RAM it has. Most laptops in this price range will offer 4GB RAM, which is good enough for basic tasks and light multitasking. 

But having more RAM is always beneficial and will allow your laptop to keep running smoothly even with multiple apps running in the background. 

We recommend having at least 8GB RAM in a laptop, but as I said earlier, most laptops in this price range max out at 4GB. So, it’s important to check if the laptop you buy has extra RAM slots or at least allows an upgrade by replacing its existing RAM. 

Tip: Most 11 and 13-inch laptops have soldered RAM, which cannot be upgraded, so buy a 14 or 15-inch laptop if possible. 

Storage

The amount of storage you need totally depends upon your needs. For some, even 64GB is too much, while for some, even 128GB is less.

But in the $300 price range, you wouldn’t find laptops with more storage capacity than 128GB, which are also very few and most laptops come with only 64GB storage capacity.

While for Chromebooks, 64GB is good enough, but for Windows laptops, it’s very less.

If you are buying a Windows laptop under $300, then only buy it if it has 128GB storage and also look if it is upgradeable to increase its storage capacity in the future. 

Apart from the storage capacity, it’s also important to check the type of storage drive the laptop has. 

Most inexpensive laptops use eMMC (embedded multimedia card) storage which is like a memory card. It’s a chip soldered on the motherboard, so it cannot be upgraded. As far as its read and write speeds are concerned, it is far more faster than the hard drives but cannot beat solid state drives at speed.

So, look for SSD in the laptop you select for yourself as they are faster and, in most cases, also upgradeable if you want to increase the storage capacity of your laptop in the future.

Display

Once you are done checking the internals, it’s also important to check the display of the laptop, mainly because most laptops under $300 use the low resolution and dim panels with terrible viewing angles. 

How to find a good one?

The first thing you need to check in the display is its resolution. It should be at least full HD (1920 x 1080) as a lower resolution than that would make the picture look less sharp and blurry. You’ll find many laptops in this price range with 1366 by 768 resolution display, which you should avoid.

After the resolution, the next thing you need to check is the display’s peak brightness. It should be at least 250 nits in a laptop of this price. 250 nits is also not bright enough to use the laptop in direct sunlight, but it’s the maximum you’ll find on a laptop under $300, and if you work mostly indoors, it should be enough.

Also, to combat this low brightness, it’ll be good if the laptop’s screen is matte and not glossy. It will help reduce glare.

Check for these four things, and we ensure that the laptop you’ll place the order for will be a great pick under $300.

While these are the main four things, but if you are buying a laptop for your kid or you’re always on the move and looking for something that can withstand more than normal wear and tear, then there are laptops under $300 that are MIL-STD tested. 

You will find these certifications mentioned along with the other laptop specifications, as manufacturers tout them quite heavily.

We think that’s all.

We hope this in-depth guide on laptops under $300 helps you make an informed purchase. 

Also, if you don’t understand all this technical jargon or don’t want to take the hassle of doing your research on your own, then in our list of top picks, we have mentioned quite clearly in the headings and descriptions for what kind of user each laptop would be a right choice. 

To give you a recap, if you are looking for an overall best option, we think the Asus L510MA 15″ Laptop (Our Top Pick) or HP Chromebook 14a (if you want a Chromebook) are the right choices for most people. They pack enough performance to meet the daily computing needs of most users while netting you enough value for money with a good display and a comfortable backlit keyboard.

If you want to buy a 2 in 1 laptop, then the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i 13 is a great option. It’s perfect for college or business use with decent performing specs and long battery life. It’s also a very lightweight 13-inch convertible laptop, but if you are looking for an even smaller and ultraportable laptop, then Acer Chromebook Spin 311 offers a similar experience in a much small 11-inch form factor. And, if you want your device to be portable and versatile both, then Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 13 with a detachable keyboard will be your best bet in this price range.

Finally, if you want to buy a gaming laptop under $300, Dell Inspiron 15 3510 is the best option with the most powerful specs, upgradeable RAM and storage drive, and a lift-up hinge for better cooling.

We have talked about all these laptops in much more detail above, so make sure to give a good read to the whole article. It’ll help you buy the right laptop for your needs.

If you still have any questions, the comment section on all our articles is always open, and we are always eager to hear back from our readers. Drop in your question, and we will answer them in a day.

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14 comments
  1. Hello, I’m looking for a laptop that can handle basic music recording and maybe some basic instrument plug ins for classical composition. What would you recommend for someone who doesn’t have over $300 to spend? 😁 Thanks for your time

    1. It’s very hard to recommend a sub-$300 notebook for music recording and composition work. You will need a laptop with more powerful CPU than usually found in under $300 laptops. I would recommend you to check out the laptops powered by the AMD Ryzen 3 4300U processor. That is the most powerful processor you can get in a laptop at this price range. I would still recommend you to get more capable laptop for this job, though.

  2. I basically need a laptop for research, writing articles, editing, and books under 300 pgs, that can be saved on flash drive or memory card. I don’t need any bells and whistles, I just need laptop for best writing experience with the least headache and easiest to save and operate!
    Thank you in advance, appreciate any feedback!

    1. If you want it to be absolutely under $300, then Lenovo Chromebook S330 would be great option for you. However, I would insist you to extend your budget up to $400 and get the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13. It comes with Intel Core i3 processor which makes it faster than most laptops under $300.

  3. Is there any laptop with MS office already because I need it for university or I must buy it extra? Which one would be a good one?

    1. Many netbooks come with an Office 365 subscription free for one year. Read the descriptions and you’ll know it, which one has office pre-installed. Check out the Acer Aspire 1 in the list.

    1. This is happening due to the pandemic. There’s a less stock of laptops everywhere and few sellers are selling laptops with higher prices than usual.

  4. I am well equipped in my office but need a laptop or Chromebook (I don’t know which) for travel. All of my stuff for work is cloud based so I don’t need Microsoft. I literally just need it to access the Internet for (google, gmail, drive, etc). What do you recommend? All of these sound like they’d work but which is the best under $250?

    1. Hi Cara,
      I would recommend you to get the recently launched Samsung Chromebook 4. It is available in two sizes with varied configuration options. You can pick one in accordance with your budget and requirements.

  5. Which would be the best option for photography and photo editing under $300? Must be compatible with Lightroom. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Kayla,
      For under $300, I don’t think there are any good laptops that I can recommend for photo editing. They don’t have power to handle those softwares. I would recommend you to increase your budget to at least $600. Check out our guide on laptops for photo editing we have few budget laptops listed over there.

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