A cheap laptop under $300 will never be a great option for the majority of users. However, if you’re strapped for cash and you need a laptop, in this guide, we’ve listed seven of the best laptops under $300 currently available.
While ultra-cheap laptops are not typically ideal options for anyone who is looking for a long-term computer, if you need something to hold you over until you can save up to buy a more powerful option, or if you just need a system that can handle web-browsing, email, watching videos, or for doing any other non-demanding tasks, then you can get away with going with a cheaper laptop.
In this guide, we’ve rated and reviewed seven of the best laptops under $300. These options range from as low as ~$150, offer screen resolutions as high as 1080P and storage drives as large as 1TB, and they have screens as large as 15.6″ (although, none of them feature all of those specs together.) Again, they won’t be perfect options, but if you have a really strict budget, they might be your only option. So, if you need a cheap laptop, check out our overviews on the options below to see if one of them will work for you.
A Quick Look at the Best Laptops Under $300
While this guide features seven different laptops under $300, we have provided a quick-look table of our top four choices below. The table will give you some basic info on the laptops, as well the rating we have given it and a link to where you can find it. We’ve chosen the best laptop under $3000 overall, the option with the most storage, the option with the best display, and the cheapest overall option.
*Click on the “Read Review »” link to check out our overviews on the four laptops listed above. You can also scroll down on this guide to see our overviews on our Honorable Mention picks.
Best Laptop Under $300:
HP 15-BA009DX 15.6″
Our pick for the best laptop under $300 is HP’s 15.6″ 15-BA009DX Notebook. Again, none of the laptops on this list are ideal options. But, of the laptops that do come in under $300, the HP 15-BA009DX has specs that place it a head above the rest.
It comes with an AMD A6-9220 APU, which, while not an amazing processor, is at least decent enough to handle day-to-day tasks with no problem. The A6-9220 also comes with integrated Radeon R4 graphics and that means playing games like League of Legends, Rocket League, or Dota 2 aren’t out of the question, though you might run into issues with the processor getting too hot and you’ll likely want to use a laptop cooling pad if you do play games with this laptop. (Check out our guide on Budget Gaming Laptops if you need something that is cheap and better-suited for gaming.)
This laptop also comes with 4of of DDR4 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and 15.6″ display that has a 1366 x 768 resolutions. And, really, its the combination of having a decent-size hard drive, a decent APU, and a 15.6″ screen that help the 15-BA009DX stand out over the option options listed below.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t expect the world out of this laptop. However, if you have right around ~$300 to spend, this laptop is likely the most well-rounded option in this price range.
Pick With the Most Storage:
Lenovo ideapad 320 15.6″
Lenovo’s ideapad 320 15.6″ laptop is another option worth considering in the under-$300 price range. The biggest upside with this laptop is the fact that it comes with the most storage. Whereas the HP 15-BA009DX comes with a 500GB hard drive and most of the other options listed below only come with small flash storage drives, the ideapad 320 comes with a much larger 1TB hard drive.
So, if you need an option that can hold a lot more files, the ideapad 320 would probably be the best option for you.
Aside from the storage capacity, the ideapad 320 comes with a dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 15.6″ display that has a 1366 x 768 resolution.
The ideapad 320 also comes in at about ~$40 cheaper than the HP 15-BA009DX, too, so if you want to save a little money and you don’t need an option that can handle light gaming, then this might be your best bet.
1080P Budget Laptop:
Acer Aspire 1 14″
If you’re looking for a cheap laptop that has a 14″ 1080P display, the Acer Aspire 1 might be the option for you. At just a little over $200, the Acer Aspire 1 is easily one of the cheapest laptops out there that comes with a 1920 x 1080 screen.
The laptop also comes with an Intel Celeron N3450, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, Windows 10, and 32GB of internal flash storage. And, unfortunately, the storage cannot be upgraded. So, with such a small amount of storage, this laptop really won’t work well for anyone who is looking for something they can use to save files to unless you also purchase an external hard drive to go along with it.
This laptop’s ultra-cheap price and its 1080P will likely win over some users who are looking for a budget-friendly laptop. Like the other options on this list, though, the Acer Aspire 1 probably won’t offer enough performance for the majority of users out there. It might be able to serve you for some light web-browsing, social media, sending emails, and watching YouTube videos, but that is about the extent of its capabilities.
HP Stream 11.6″
At just a little over $150, the HP Steam laptop is by far the most affordable option on this list. It comes with a small 11.6″ screen that has a 1366 x 768 resolution. It also comes with an Intel Celeron N3060 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory, and 32GB of internal flash storage.
So, in terms of hardware and specs on the Stream, it is about as barebones as it gets—which, explains how it can come in at such a low cost. At this price point, you might be better off using a Chromebook for its better-optimized operating system system, or spend less and get an Android tablet and an attachable keyboard.
If those aren’t options, though, and you need a laptop format system, this option should serve you okay for web browsing, social media, and watching YouTube. However, just note, like the Acer Aspire 1 listed above, if you want to store any kind of files on this laptop, you’ll need an external storage device, as the 32GB of internal flash storage will fill up quickly.
Honorable Mention #1:
ASUS VivoBook 14″
An alternative option to the Acer Aspire 1, is this ASUS VivoBook. Like the Acer Aspire 1, the VivoBook comes with a 14″ 1080P display. However, the VivoBook comes in at almost $100 more than the Acer Aspire 1, despite having a weaker processor.
The VivoBook comes with an Intel Celeron N3350 processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and 64GB of internal flash storage. So, it does come with twice as much storage as the Acer Aspire 1, but, for anyone who is looking to store a lot of files, you’ll need to pair this system with some kind of external storage device as well.
Ultimately, we’d recommend going with the Acer Aspire 1 over this VivoBook, mostly because of the large price difference between the two and the fact that they will both perform fairly similar.
Honorable Mention #2:
ASUS L402WA 14″
Another sub-$200 option is the ASUS L402WA. It comes with a 14″ 1366 x 768 display, an AMD E2-6110 APU with integrated Radeon R2 graphics, 4GB of DDR3 memory, Windows 10, and 32GB of internal flash storage.
At this price, the Acer Aspire 1 is probably the better option as it comes with the better processor and the higher resolution display. And, for less money (and similar performance), the HP Stream is probably a better option as well.
If this laptop goes on sale, though, it might be worth considering. Just note, that like the other options on this list that feature internal flash storage drives, you’ll need to pair this laptop with an external hard drive if you want to use it to hold any realistic amount of files.
Honorable Mention #3:
Dell Inspiron 15.6″
Finally, we have Dell’s Inspiron i3552-4042BLK 15.6″ laptop. It comes with an Intel Celeron N3050 processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 15.6″ 1366 x 768 resolution display, and a 500GB hard drive.
While the Inspiron does feature a larger display and comes with a lot more storage, the main problem with it is that it comes with a pretty weak processor and at its price, there are better options. For instance, the Lenovo ideapad 320 comes in at ~$15 cheaper and has an upgraded processor and a larger hard drive, and the HP 15-BA009DX comes with the same amount of storage and a much better processor for just ~$20 more.
So, ultimately, this is an okay option for web browsing, watching YouTube videos, and sending emails, but it isn’t really a great choice considering that there are options out there at similar price-points that have better specs.
Need A Cheap Laptop? These Budget Options Might Work for You
Again, none of the options listed above should be considered for intensive tasks. For light web browsing, watching videos, some word processing, and sending emails, these options can serve you halfway decently. However, these laptops really shouldn’t be considered for long-term use and should be used as ultra budget-friendly options that can hold you over until you can afford a better-performing system.