Here at Ranking Squad, we’ve always took budget into consideration and we have already shared with you some great cheap laptops – like our article where we shared the best budget laptops for college or the best ones for watching Netflix. However, all our recommendations were around the $500 mark and sometimes that’s not low enough.
For a while now, we started asking ourselves a big question: are there any good cheap laptops under $300? That is indeed what we would call “very cheap” and we know that there are a lot of people who can’t really afford to spend more on a laptop. Are they doomed or is there some hope for them? Well, I have some good news: we’re here to share with you the best laptops under $300 for general use and you’ll be happy to hear that you do have some options to choose from!
But first – what does “best budget laptop under $300” mean? Does it mean that you’re going to get a super fast gaming computer to play the latest games, or perform very demanding tasks, like video editing and such? Unfortunately not – for this price we weren’t able to find anything that can really handle modern games or applications that demand a lot of resources, but the good news is that for everything else, these laptops are at least decent if not very good. We’re talking about browsing the internet, watching movies, using online apps for chatting, doing text editing and even some photo editing with the right programs… so you do have options!
Now these being said, let’s waste no time and let’s check out below the best budget laptops under $300 in 2017, listed from the cheapest to the most expensive – but all under $300 at the moment of writing this article! (price might change)
UPDATE: We have updated this article in 2017, with fresh new products and better ones than those recommended in the past. This list is up to date so your money will be better spent, according to this year’s standards!
For those looking for a budget laptop, this one comes with some decent stats, even though it does have its Cons you should take into account. Talking about the good things, we should note the fact that it is powered by a decent AMD E2-7110 QC processor (running at 1.8 GHz) and it has 4GB of RAM, meaning that you can get decent speed for browsing the internet or watching movies. It also comes with Windows 10 Home installed, which is always a bonus.
However, there are some things I am not really happy with – but you will see that none of these laptops under $300 are perfect so you will have to accept cutting on a feature or two. The biggest problem in my opinion is the limited amount of storage it offers – just 32GB, but at least the storage drive is really fast as it is an eMMC Hard Drive (which is way faster than the traditional HDDs).
This is a small laptop, offering a 14″ display, but it’s still better than the really small, 11-inch ones in my opinion. You can get a lot of things done on it especially if you have some cloud storage options available or you don’t need many files stored on your laptop. It does have an SD card reader as well as USB ports so you can expand the storage with your own SD card or external storage drives, but it lacks and optical drive so you won’t be able to have it read CDs or DVDs.
All in all, this is a good laptop for the budget we have and you’ll have to find a way to deal with the limited storage or get external storage options (which can also be pretty cheap)
2017 Asus 14 inch FHD Laptop
Thin, elegant and highly portable – this is what the 2017 model of this laptop has to offer to those who decide to get it. It’s also a 14-inch laptop, but it can give you Full HD resolution and a crystal clear image, actually. It also has a 720p HD Webcam, which is great if you want to chat with friends and has enough slots (USB, HDMI and Card Reader) so that you have no reasons to complain.
In terms of performance, it also does really well for its price: it is powered by an Intel Celeron Dual-core processor N3060 which can be Turbo Boosted up to 2.48GHz, which is really good for our budget. It also has 4GB of RAM to keep things running smooth and solid.
Just like most of the other budget models on this list, one of its biggest problems in my opinion is the limited amount of storage: 32GB of eMMC storage means that you won’t be able to store many movies, photos and music… but if you don’t need that, it is a perfect, fast choice.
A good laptop overall, one that’s highly portable, looks really good, is thin and light. Good choice for the budget!
Dell Premium 15.6-Inch Laptop
One of the best options on our list is this 2016 model of a 15.6-inch laptop manufactured by Dell. There are very few reasons of complaint for our budget and I can see Pros over Pros here. So get it while supplies still last!
So, apart from its larger display size – which is that of a regular laptop at 15.6″ – it also has a great Intel Quad Core Pentium N3700 Processor that can run at speeds up to 2.40GHz. It also has 4GB of RAM and comes with Windows 10 installed.
But the real surprises follow now: it offers amazing storage space: 500GB of Storage thanks to its SATA drive and it also is equipped with a DVD reader and burner, which is pretty rare nowadays, especially for the budget. It also has an HDMI port, USB slots and a card reader slot, so you’re covered on all bases.
If we want to find something bad about this laptop is the fact that its maximum supported resolution is 1366 x 768 pixels, which is a bit of a let down, but for this price all the other pros (especially the better storage) compensate for the lower resolution, in my opinion. I definitely consider this Dell model one of the best on our list!
Acer Aspire ES 15
Another amazing and surprising laptop if we look at all the goodies it has to offer and a great opponent for the Dell model above in the battle for the best on our list. It’s a bit more expensive, but if you have the money, it’s money well spent in my opinion!
This budget laptop model is powered by a 6th Generation Intel Core i3-6100U Processor that offers a 3MB cache and 2.GHz – one of the best processors on our list. It also comes with 4GB of RAM and Windows 10 Home installed.
It is a 15.6-inch laptop – and that’s the size I love when it comes to laptops – but just like the Dell model above, it can only offer a 1366×768 resolution. Little reasons to complain when you hear that it offers a ton of storage thanks to its 1TB HDD and also has an optical drive, together with the regular band of ports (HDMI, USB, SD card reader).
This one’s an everyday performer that you will be really satisfied with – from battery life to its quality and durability and storage space, it gives you all the reasons to be happy with it on such a low budget.
HP Stream 14
HP’s budget laptop looks cute thanks to its beautiful Aqua Blue color, but it’s also available in a bright purple color if you feel the need to make a statement. And design aside, it does offer some good specifications for its price and packs some power under its small hood.
It’s a small laptop – with a 14 inch screen – but still not small enough to be considered tiny like an 11-inch one. I would call the screen size decent for the budget we have in mind – because it is indeed really difficult to find a regular sized laptop (15.6-inch) for such a cheap price. But read on because we have those as well on our list!
Back to the HP Stream 14, apart from its beautiful design, it has some other nice features: it comes with Windows 10 installed and, even though it has tiny storage capabilities (32GB, which is less than many smartphones out there are offering) and NO optical drive, it comes with 1TB of Cloud storage, Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and more. The bad thing is that, after one year, you will have to pay for it.
In terms of performance, it has 4GB of RAM and runs on the Intel Celeron N3050 processor which, even though it’s nowhere near this generation or even the last generation of top processors for Intel, it can handle internet browsing and text editing really well.
All in all, the HP Stream 14 has major limitations and you should only consider getting it if your budget is really tight and closer to the $200 limit rather than the $300 one. Click here to check it out or buy it.
Lenovo Flex 3
The Lenovo Flex 3 is actually a very popular choice with some interesting features and delivering great performance. The only downside of this model, if we’re trying to keep the costs low, is that we have to give up in terms of size to get that performance. So our model is a small 11.6-inch laptop, but it’s brand new and, as I already said, ready to pack a punch.
The tiny laptop runs on an Intel Celeron N2840 processor and also has a touchscreen. You can also flex it (hence the name) and turn it into a tablet – a bulky one, but a tablet nevertheless, for extra portability. It’s nice to play with this feature, so you basically shoot two rabbits with one shot if you get the Flex 3: you get a small laptop that can turn into a tablet. Pretty cool!
In terms of specifications, it has 4GB of RAM and offers great storage thanks to its 500GB HDD, but it has no optical drive. Like all laptops on this list, it has all the goodies like built-in webcam, WLAN or Bluetooth. It comes with Windows 10 installed, weights just 3lbs and has a very good battery that can last over 5 hours one one charge.
All in all, if you’re on the budget and you want a 2-in-1 that is more than decent in terms of performance, but you’re ready to give up a few inches in terms of screen size, the Lenovo Flex 3 is a great choice!
HP ProBook 14
I’m suggesting a new HP laptop that is cheap and reliable – but have in mind that this is, just like the Lenovo I have recommended earlier, a refurbished product. And even though it’s RRP is at the top of our budget, it’s worth spending our money on it as it is way better than the Stream 14 that we’ve also recommended in this article.
The ProBook 14 runs on a good Intel Core i5-3320M 2.6GHz Dual-Core processor and 4GB of RAM, also providing extra speed thanks to its 128GB SSD. Solid State Drives are able to boot up your computer in seconds and are incredibly fast compared to traditional HDDs, so everything will load and move faster. So getting the chance to experience a SSD at such a low price is a big win!
The 14-inch screen of this laptop offers resolutions of up to 1366 x 768 pixels, which is also good. It comes with Windows 7 installed and it also has an optical drive, in case you feel the need for one. It’s pretty heavy though for such a small laptop (weights around 6.3 lbs) and looks a bit bulky, but it also delivers great performance and has a good battery life on regular usage. Get this one if you want to experience the lightning-fast SSD!
The best performing laptops under $300 that we managed to find and share with you are the Certified Refurbished ones, but we also have you covered in case you want your product to be brand new, fresh out of the box – or if you have way under $300 to spend on your laptop. The good news is, as you see, that there’s hope to get a decent laptop even if you’re on a very tight budget, so enjoy our recommendations!