The Best Laptops Under 300 Dollars in 2018 – For Gaming & College

If you are in a limited budget and in need of a good laptop, then don’t worry. We have listed 4 of the best overall and best gaming laptops under $300, for those want powerful laptops but have budgetary constraints. See this guide If you’re looking for best laptops for college students for under $300.

One of the key considerations while buying a laptop is always the performance capacity of the machine. Unfortunately, brand new laptops with top-range specifications cost from $500 to above $1000. Throw in some extra costs for key software and drivers, and the top range laptop is above the financial reach of most users.

This has brought about an urgent need for budget laptops which are on the lower end of the cost spectrum, yet contain decent specifications that can deliver top range performance while handling regular everyday tasks. These functions include but are not limited to typing documents, email and internet access, database access, basic multimedia functionality among others.

If you prefer a tablet, we recommend you to have a look at our guide to  The Best $300 Tablets to Buy in 2019. If you’re on a tight budget, you might like to see our guide to really cheap laptops & tablets.

Best Laptops Under $300 in 2018/2019

For those users who have budget constraints, the list below outlines the very best laptops for under $300 or lower, with good output and performance.

The 2017 ASUS 15.6” High-performance Premium HD Laptop

The 2017 ASUS 15.6” Highest-rated Asus Laptop

Asus has cultivated a reputation as a top computer brand especially with regards to the hardware components of their machines. The 2017 Asus 15.6” High-performance Premium HD Laptop does not disappoint, living up to the company reputation as one of the best budget laptops under $300.

Weighing about 4.8 Pounds, this Asus power book is easily portable provided that you have a good laptop bag. It comes with ample storage in the form of a 500GB hard disk which provides sufficient space to store all your documents, presentations and media files.

Packing in a decent Intel Celeron processor and Intel HD Graphics, this laptop will give the user an impressive multimedia delivery. This laptop should be the machine of choice for students and corporates who prefer a mixture of good entertainment and a powerful delivery in their machine. Its overall performance is rated as moderate meaning that it can handle everyday tasks with ease.

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Acer Aspire E 15

Acer Aspire E 15

If there is one thing that Acer has gotten right, it is the quality of finishing seen in their products. The Acer Aspire E 15 laptop lives up to this reputation by combining a sleek body with a stylish finish, which has an attractive blue  plastic finish on the inside and a charcoal grey finish on the outside.

In terms of performance, the laptop boasts of 1 TB of storage which is more than enough to store in even the most humongous of media files. It comes with a full alpha-numeric keyboard. The keys are slightly elevated individually off the laptop casing and spaced evenly which makes this laptop perfect for jobs that involve a lot of typing.

By virtue of the Intel HD Graphics, the laptop delivers an impressive multimedia performance while playing videos. By virtue of its huge storage space, this laptop is ideal for users who use databases with huge files, or those who need to store large files on their computers. It also comes with a decent battery that can run up to 5 hours without a recharge, making it ideal for tech savvy businessmen who travel over short distances.

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2017 NEWEST HP 15-F222WM

HP 15-F222WM notebook

2017 NEWEST HP 15-F222WM is The Best HP Laptop Under $300

HP is one of the best known computer and computer accessories brand worldwide, and with good reason. The HP – 15F222WM laptop exceeds expectations for a budget laptop by boasting of touch screen capability among its specifications. It is also one of the most affordable laptops on this list.

Boasting of a massive 15.6 inch touchscreen backed by a decent Pentium quad core processor, this laptop can deliver an impressive multimedia performance even with high resolution videos. It also comes with a full alpha-numeric keyboard, though the keys feel squeezed together on the keyboard.

In terms of finish, it comes in the regular black HP plastic casing which may be low in aesthetic appeal, but is highly practical and durable. It also boasts of an integrated digital microphone and a built-in webcam which makes it the ideal laptops for users who hold a lot of video and tele-conferences.

This HP laptop can comfortably handle most simple and moderate computer tasks but will struggle with tasks that require good graphics in delivery. It is recommended laptop for college students and business users who need a machine that will handle simple and moderate tasks while providing a decent performance in entertainment.

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ASUS Vivo Book X540SA

ASUS Vivo Book X540SA Notebook

ASUS Vivo Book X540SA – Best Asus Gaming Laptop Under 300 Dollars

The ASUS Vivo Book X540SA is one of the best gaming laptops under $300(see also: best gaming laptops under $500). It boasts of a full alpha-numeric keyboard with well-spaced keys which makes it ideal for jobs that involve typing.

The built in stereo speakers combined with Intel HD Graphics give an impressive multimedia and video delivery and it can also handle most computer games with ease. It can handle most moderate to medium computer tasks with ease but will slow down a bit if given the heavy tasks and programs.

It is recommended for both students and corporate users who are looking for a budget laptop that packs a powerful punch in its performance and delivery.


What to Expect from Laptops Under $300?

A  laptop under $300 is perfect for people who use their computers to do word processing, email, and do typical internet surfing. New laptops in this category are going to typically be netbooks, that is laptops with screen sizes under 12 inches which are perfect for people on the go. Note that all screen size, computer monitor, and even TV size measurements are done diagonally, from bottom left corner to upper right corner for example.

Students and people who travel extensively will find the generally small laptops in this price range fit their needs wonderfully. However, you can also buy a used or refurbished laptop under $300 that are more powerful, larger, and have more features than the typical small netbook.

There are also unbranded websites that can be found on less reputable websites that do sell laptops with screen sizes up to 13.3 for less than $300. That makes them legitimate laptops, however you get what you pay for. They may come with a year warranty, but who do you redeem a warranty issue with if the company doesn’t exist in six months?

To help you understand what to expect from cheap new laptops under 300 dollars each component of the laptop has been broken down in the following sections and the biggest and best that $300 can buy has been found. Also, standard components on $300 laptops are analyzed.

Brand

For some people brand is a big deal. People are loyal to their favorite brand, whether that be Dell, Sony, or Apple. However, if you are limited to just $300 you are going to have to make some sacrifices. For example, there is no MacBook, let alone MacBook Pro, for under $999 so don’t even think about it. Some computers are expensive because they have the name of that particular manufacturing on it and are consequently not going to be in this price range. These ritzy brands include, but are not limited to, Apple, Sony, and Dells Alienware gaming laptops. However, most all other brands of laptops will have some entry into the sub $300 market.

Operating System

Almost all PCs being manufactured currently come with Windows 7. However, there are many different versions of Windows 7 that you should be aware of. The most basic is Windows 7 Starter Edition. This is a stripped down version of Windows 7 that can run on the most primitive of hardware. There are no fancy animation effects when switching from one window to another, all of the built in Windows Media Center features are removed, and even online multiplayer versions of Hearts and Checkers are gone. The next version up is Windows 7 Home Premium, then Professional, then Ultimate. While, Windows 7 Starter Edition was designed specifically with netbooks in mind it does cripple one capability of the new generation of process currently used in netbooks, 64bit processing. But, with the limited hardware the ability to utilize the expanded RAM capacity with a 64bit processor is unlikely.

Processor

The best laptop under $300 is not going to be processors on the bleeding edge of technology, the i7 processors from Intel for example are’nt even on the same continent as a sub $300 laptop, so dont even think about it. New laptops in this price range are most likely going to be one of Intels or AMDs (but most likely Intels) low power consumption processors, like a Atom N455 for example. It is a modest 1.66 GHz, which is not must when compared to a i7-980X which is 3.33GHz, has 6 cores, and is hypertheaded. But then again that processor alone is three times your entire computer budget. However, the Intel Atom N455 although modest in speed is hyperthreaded, which helps to improve performance by 20-30%. Hyperthreading basically tricks your operating system into thinking that there are actually two cores in the processor, allowing your computer to processes tasks in parallel.

In researching different laptops that fit into the sub-300 category it was found that every single laptop came with essentially the same processor. So in this instance there is no one laptop that stands out above the others, they are in fact almost identical.

Screen Size

Screen size appears to be another area where there is not much differentiation of one laptop to another. It appears that if you only have $300 to spend on a new laptop that the screen size you are destined to have is a 10.1 inch (measured diagonally) screen. The resolution on all of these screens is identical, 1024 x 600 (The first number is the number of pixels it can display vertically and the second is the horizontal direction). To put that in perspective, to be called high definition (HD) the resolution must be at least 1280 x 720 pixels (denoted as 720p), and full HD is 1080p or 1920 x 1080 pixels. Even though the screen size is rather small the quality of that image has not suffered tremendously, pictures and movies viewed full screen will not look pixelated or distorted. However, because of the lower resolution you will likely not be able to see a web page exactly like you are used to seeing it, you may need to scroll around a bit more to find everything you are looking for.

Video Card

The video cards that support the graphics on these laptops are almost all integrated into the motherboard. This means that they don’t have any dedicated memory specifically for graphics, it is shared with the processor. Because of this there are practically no laptops within budget of $300 that have HDMI ports to connect to a monitor or TV, they only have an old VGA cable. However, there is one laptop that has an HDMI out and a dedicated graphics card, that is currently the Acer Aspire One 512. If you want to play 3D games on your laptop or just connect it via HDMI to a TV then this is currently the only choice you have.

Ram

When it comes to RAM in a sub-$300 laptop you don’t have many choices, in fact you have exactly two choices. Do you want 1 gigabyte (GB) of DDR2 RAM or 1 GB of DDR3 RAM? DDR3 RAM is faster and more energy efficient than DDR2 RAM. So if you are deciding between two sub $300 computers go for the one with DDR3 RAM. Many manufacturers will allow you to upgrade to 2 GB of RAM, however doing so will likely push you out of your $300 price range. 1 GB of RAM will likely be enough for most people who surf the internet and check Facebook. However, if you are going to be doing heavy multitasking with Word, Excel, Outlook, Firefox, Chrome, Google Talk and many other programs open all at the same you may need to upgrade to 2 GB of RAM to keep your system running smooth.

Hard Drive

The standard $300 laptop has a hard drive of 160 GBs and it spins at 5400 RPMs. This is pretty standard for low power consumption laptops. If this is not enough for you it should’nt be too hard for you to find a laptop in your price range that comes with 250 GBs. If you are doing significant file transferring you may desire to have a hard drive that spins at 7200 RPMs, which most desktop hard drives spin at. They can be found for less than $300 but you may have to wait for a special sale or be willing to accept a 3-cell battery over the standard 6-cell battery.

Optical Drive (Blu-Ray, DVD, or CD)

DVD drives are not typically found built into netbooks. But many manufactures in the checkout process give you an option to purchase an external DVD drive. An external optical drive can come in handy when installing software, particularly when using a recovery DVD to fix a problem with the operating system. However it is not the only way, you need not feel obligated to pony up and buy an external drive, there are options that involve booting the computer from a USB flash drive or creating a virtual DVD drive to install software.

Wireless

All modern laptops come equipped with wireless networking hardware. The only thing you need to choose is whether you want a 802.11b/g wireless card or a faster 802.11b/g/n card. The 802.11n protocol is currently the newest wireless standard that allows for higher transfer rates. However, most internet providers do not give speeds in excess of that of the 802.11g protocol. Also, to realize the full advantage of the 802.11n increase in speed all devices on the network must be 802.11n capable and the router must be a 802.11n router. Currently most devices are still of the g protocols so chances are you wont hit the peak speeds of 300Mbps, but rather the g speeds of 56Mbps, which is more than enough for all but the largest file transfer uses.

Battery

Batteries on laptops for less than $300 come in a few different arrangements. Mainly in 3, 4, or 6 cell varieties. 3-cell batteries can range around 3 to 4.5 hours of use and 6 cells up to 7 or 8 hours. Many laptops can be purchased with an optional 9-cell battery which increases the battery life even more. However, the 9-cell battery typically sticks out from the main body of the laptop creating an unappealing bump. The price of the laptop will also go up as well, so carefully consider how long you will be using the laptop without a outlet close at hand before shelling out the cash for the extra large or extra batteries.

Webcam

Cheap laptops at under 300 bucks come with three main varieties of webcams. None, 0.3 megapixel or a 1.3 megapixel. If you want the 1.3 megapixel webcam you may need to branch out into less charted waters by using companies that don’t have the brand to backup their products like Dell or HP has. You can buy them, but you may not know exactly what you are getting yourself into until its too late. But, if you really are trying to get the cheapest laptop there is then maybe an off brand laptop is something you’d be okay with.

Other Features

Another feature that you can expect to find on the best sub-300 laptop is a card reader. Card readers allow you to take memory cards from many common devices, like digital cameras, video recorders, and even cell phones and transfer the files onto your computer without the use of any transfer cables. All card readers are not the same, some can handle more different types of cards than others can. So if you have a device you are looking to use with the card reader make sure that it supports the specific type of media card you have.

GPS can be found in netbooks and small laptops, but it is currently a newer and higher end product and may not fall in to the less than $300 price range.

Mobile broad band is another item that is possible to get in a netbook, however because of the added cost it may not make it into your budget. But if its something you are going to use because you are constantly on the go and need to be constantly updated on whatever it is you need to know about then maybe the reasons can justify the cost.


Refurbished Laptops Under 300

You can potentially get much more for your money by buying a used or refurbished laptop. However, the word potentially is used because when someone else has already used it you don’t know exactly what you are getting. Even a refurbished laptop from a solid manufacturer could have more problems than you care to deal with. Laptops are refurbished because they are broken. If it broke once it could break again.

But the gains could be quite large if you are will to take the risk. Intel Core2 Duo processors are not uncommon in a refurbished laptop for less than $300. With a used laptop screen size will likely be bigger than the standard 10.1 of a netbook. They most likely will also have a DVD drive. However, older laptops most likely wont have a large hard drive capacity, sometimes less than 100GB. Also, batteries lose the ability to hold charge over time, so if you are buying used laptop under $300 you may need to replace the battery to get the battery life you’d expect from a new laptop.

Tips to Find Good Laptops for Under $300

If you’re on a tight budget the good news is that the prices for computers, laptops and notebooks is getting cheaper and cheaper. Combined with the speed and advances in technology advances you can get a more powerful laptop for your money.

Because laptops are getting cheaper the choice of models at less than $300 is also increasing compared to previous years where you would be very lucky to find any, if you did it that laptop would have the processing power of a 20 watt light bulb.

With more choice available and with an increasing number of laptop models coming in at affordable prices this can only be a good thing for those who are on a tight budget. In the future these prices will again get cheaper as more manufacturers come into the market to meet consumer demand for the mobile laptop.

If you have a limited budget that is $300 or under then today you have more choice available to you in terms of buying new laptop within this budget or other options of acquiring one that meets your financial needs.

Obviously you will have to expect that laptops within a budget of $300 price tag will not have the processing power, functionality or software package that a $400 or $500+ laptop will have, however with a little effort you can pick out some gems that offer really good value.

So before buying a laptop you need to carefully think about what you will be using your laptop for. The cheaper the model will more than likely mean slower processing speeds and lower RAM capacity. If you are expecting to use your laptop for gaming or using storing huge files then it will need the processing power and ram memory to be able to cope with that. Laptops at the lower end of the market are more than likely not powerful enough to cope with such demands.

Today there are a growing number of good laptops that cost less than 300 dollars, however there are only a few that really excel at delivering the maximum performance, durability, functionality reliability and of course affordability.

To help you with your quest We have searched the internet to find the latest news and information about best cheap laptops under $300. Also on this site you will find useful information on the following.

Suggestion

Best Laptops Under $200

Can their really be laptops for under $200? Well, yes there are, however these are more likely to be either second hand or refurbished laptops. If you really look and use due diligence you can pick up a real bargain. However, at the this low end of the market reliability and power is an issue. Read further to find out more on how to address these issues and use them to your advantage.

Best Laptop for Under $400

Now we are going up the price scale which means there are a lot more options to choose from. For an extra 100 bucks you can more processing, RAM memory and more powerful hardware such as graphics cards to enhance your user experience. We look at the top laptops under 400 dollars and find out which offers the best for the money.

Conclusion

All in all, the list above gives some of the best laptops under 300 dollars. At the end of the day, many factors come into play when choosing a laptop including the aesthetic appeal and brand preferences. You should however now be in a better position to make an informed decision on the budget laptop that best suits your needs. Evaluate the specifications of each machine in depth, go through the user reviews on the comments section, compare the same with the review done here and we are sure that you will get a laptop that will satisfy both your budgetary constraints and the need for a powerful performance.

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