In this article, we have culled out for you ten best laptops under $300 2021 that provide reliable performance on a budget.
The marketplace of laptops is, quite literally, flooded. Every other day, you get introduced to new machines with stylish features, new form factors for that added zing and agility to life, and the kind of processing strength that can rival that of full-purpose desktops.
It is no wonder that announcements like these don’t come cheap, which is why the prospect of laptops under $300 sounds too good to be true.
How can a computer that cheap actually be useful enough for any of the myriad tasks that present-day audiences need to perform? Except: they are.
While many brands have centered their focus on upscale computers that offer the fanciest bells and whistles, many others have prioritized cost-cutting.
Top computer makers like Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo have understood that not everyone wishes to—or can—own an incredibly powerful laptop that is also shockingly expensive. Indeed, not all of us need to.
For daily computing needs at school or the office, a computer that is easy to carry and quick to open up word processors and browsers can suffice, even if it hasn’t top-notch acoustics or an ergonomic keyboard design.
It is in this context that cheap laptops—also called budget laptops—have become readily available in the market. You can find decent computers under $1000, $500 and even $300; while these devices are pleasantly inexpensive, they are also adept at keeping their promises.
They span across form factors—from 11 inches to 15—and are suitable for various needs, ranging from personal to professional.
But before you move to the recommendations, we would advise you to brush up on some essential knowledge about this select line-up.
- Is it Wise to Buy a Cheap Laptop Under $300?
- Our Picks: 10 Best Laptops Under $300 2021
- 1. ASUS Laptop L210 Ultra-Thin Laptop
- 2. Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14 Laptop
- 3. ASUS Laptop L510 Ultra-Thin Laptop Under $300
- 4. Lenovo Flex 3 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
- 5. ASUS L410 Laptop Under $300
- 6. HP 14 14-dq0080nr Touch Laptop Under $300
- 7. Lenovo Chromebook Duet 2-in-1 Tablet Laptop
- 8. ASUS Chromebook CX1
- 9. HP Stream 11.6-inch Laptop Under $300
- 10. Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop
- Things to Remember Before Buying a Budget Laptop
- Closing Note
Is it Wise to Buy a Cheap Laptop Under $300?
Over time, this has become ingrained in our minds: cheap equals poor. When something comes to you cheap, you tend to presume it will also be low in quality and performance.
Happily, this is nothing but a myth as far as the consumer laptop marketplace is concerned. Today, many leading manufacturers have come up with budget laptops that you can buy for only a few hundred dollars without compromising on performance or display.
While it is true that these computers are not ideal for heavy-duty pursuits like gaming, they sure are rock-stars for everyday work—and all without drilling a hole in your wallet!
You can safely consider buying a laptop under $300 if:
- You are a student seeking to purchase a budget laptop for regular classroom activities like taking notes, working on decks, or even watching videos for research and entertainment. Note: If you are a design or programming student or your major entails running complicated software, a budget laptop might not be ideal.
- You are a young professional or entrepreneur who doesn’t want to splurge on an expensive laptop. You don’t plan to utilize your device for tasks beyond routine business needs like checking e-mail, video conferencing, and carrying along on travels.
- You are a home-based user who needs a portable laptop for entertainment, watching recipe videos in the kitchen, sitting back and chatting with friends, or completing routine tasks for work. It is easy to take off anywhere you want with a laptop like this, for most products in this league are mobile and lightweight.
Our Picks: 10 Best Laptops Under $300 2021
Finding cheap and affordable but highly functional laptops is quite difficult but there are a few amazing laptops available under $300 but with some of the latest technological advances.
1. ASUS Laptop L210 Ultra-Thin Laptop
The ASUS Laptop L210 is one of the most affordable devices from the brand and features some of the best functionalities for improved and unmatched performance.
It features a compact 11.6” HD display with narrow bezels on either side. As for the performance, the device runs on the Intel Celeron N4020 Processor for unmatched performance and all-day productivity.
The design of the device is pretty compact and lightweight, making it extremely easier for you to carry the device around without any hassle. It does feature a 180-degree hinge that enables easier sharing and collaboration.
The device comes with an ASUS numberpad on the touchpad, making it a perfect option for the business. It also provides with all-day battery life, so you can use and work on it anywhere you are. The device also features a fanless device for silent work. As for the memory and storage, it features 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC for storage options.
2. Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14 Laptop
Lenovo has come up with a smart laptop within the sub-$300 price range that combines everything you typically need: a reasonably fast processor (Intel Celeron N4020), adequate memory and storage for daily needs (4GB RAM and 64GB SSD), a long battery life (8 hours), and a responsive operating system (Windows 10 in S Mode).
The fact that this blizzard-white device is also amazingly lightweight and sleek—3.09lbs and 0.77”—elevates the overall ease of use even further. You can comfortably carry this laptop around with you without feeling burdened; it can also be slipped into backpacks without a glitch.
How about the display? Well, the FHD monitor comes with an IPS panel to ensure maximum viewing comfort across angles/positions. The screen resolution supported is 1366 x 768.
Also, you will not be left wanting for device support and compatibility, thanks to a USB Type A port, an SD card reader, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 (with support for up to two parallel Bluetooth devices), and a webcam (720p).
3. ASUS Laptop L510 Ultra-Thin Laptop Under $300
Finding budget-friendly devices with superior performance can be a challenge. The ASUS Laptop L510 is hands down one of the absolute best when it comes to finding cheaper laptops with superior performance.
Despite the price, the device features a stunning 15.6” FHD display with 1080p screen resolution.
This slim and portable device weighs under 4 lbs, including the battery, enabling you to travel anywhere without feeling the burden of it on your shoulders. The ASUS L510 is powered by the Intel Celeron N4020 Processor with 4M cache for superior user experience and uninterrupted performance like no other.
This laptop is integrated with 128GB eMMC flash storage with 4GB RAM for superior multitasking and performance like no other. The device runs on the Windows 10 in S Mode and has superior wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi 5 for 3x better speed experience.
4. Lenovo Flex 3 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop
Best Feature: Awesome sound! The 11.6” Lenovo Flex 3 2-in-1 laptop comes with Dolby Audio Premium sound that helps you enjoy (almost) home-theater-like audio even in your inexpensive computer.
The result is louder and clearer whether you are engaged in watching a film or voice-calling a friend.
The specially designed keyboard is also a major winner, with its ergonomic excellence and precise touchpad that supports multi-finger gestures.
A responsive touchpad is a huge blessing for portable laptops as you cannot always be expected to be sane and slow when typing (especially when that deadline is looming dangerously close!)
For an 11-inch laptop, this Lenovo Flex 3 is quite powerful. It is driven by an MediaTek MT8173C processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage.
The quick-charging battery fires up rapidly, providing almost two hours of backup in only 15 minutes of charging. So, no longer must you worry about charging stations when on the run; a brief stop for a sandwich can give you the juice you need.
The display is at par with some of the other cheap laptops on our list: an HD screen with an anti-glare panel and the provision of touch. The supported screen resolution is 1366 x 768.
While this may seem glum, it isn’t bad at all for an 11-inch laptop; just consider the convenience you can obtain from a form factor so compact!
This blizzard white device is tremendously mobile. It weighs only 2.65 lbs—among the lightest on this list—and its choice of premium materials for construction makes it reliable during travel.
Fitted with an array of USB ports (yes, including Type-C), an HDMI to plug into external displays, and a 4-in-1 card reader, it lets you connect to your world on the go.
5. ASUS L410 Laptop Under $300
Finding a good-quality and high-performance laptop under $300 sounds like a dream. However, the ASUS L410 laptop makes it possible.
Not only the performance, the device is also equipped with a sleek design with navy blue and printer exterior and a standard black interior with your keypad and trackpad in place.
The device is powered by the Intel Celeron N4020 dual core processor and is integrated with up to 128GB eMMC storage for efficient management without any risks or damage.
As for the display panel, the E410 from ASUS is equipped with a compact 14-inch HD LED display with 1080p screen resolution with integrated Intel graphics.
The ASUS L410 runs on Windows 10 operating system and features a wide range of wireless connectivity options and the standard I/O ports, including USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A and HDMI card reader.
6. HP 14 14-dq0080nr Touch Laptop Under $300
If you are a college student, it is pretty common for you to look for cheaper and affordable laptops.
While the search can be hectic, the HP 14 14-dq0080nr is hands down one of the best touchscreen display laptops under $300 that you can consider buying.
The thin and lightweight design with 79% screen to body ratio makes it the ultimate choice for users on the go.
As for the performance, the device is powered by the Intel Celeron N4020 processor that allows you to tackle your busy day work with flare.
Also, pair that with the 11 hours battery life and you won’t ever have to complain about finding a power outlet every few hours.
The device is equipped with a 14-inch HD touchscreen display with next-gen Intel UHD graphics for vibrant and vivid visuals. It runs on the Windows 10 Home operating system and is integrated with 64GB storage and 4GB RAM for superior multitasking.
7. Lenovo Chromebook Duet 2-in-1 Tablet Laptop
Lenovo has time and time catered to a wide range of users. From the sleek business laptops to the budget friendly student laptops, the brand manages to take care of all its users.
The Lenovo Chromebook Duet convertible laptop is ideal for everyday use, thanks to its 2-in-1 design and superior user experience.
The convertible device includes a fast and stable plug and play detachable keyboard that you can use according to your needs.
The thin and lightweight device offers up to 10 hours of battery life and is constructed with the lightweight and modern dual-tone aluminum alloy for a sophisticated appearance. The device is equipped with a compact 10.1” FHD display with 1200p screen resolution.
The Chromebook Duet is further powered by the MediaTek Helio P60T and is integrated with 128GB eMMC storage and 4GB RAM for superior productivity throughout the day.
8. ASUS Chromebook CX1
Chromebooks are gaining rapid momentum in the market, thanks to the superior functions and the sleek design.
If you are on the lookout for a high-quality Chromebook within $300, the ASUS Chromebook CX1 is a good starting point.
Not only does it feature a sleek design and premium look, the device is packed with the latest features too.
Powered by the Intel Celeron N3350 processor, the device features a military grade construction for long-lasting usage. As for display, you get to enjoy vibrant colors and motions on the 14-inch FHD nanoedge display with superior screen to body ratio and portable design.
The device is further integrated with 64GB eMMC storage with 4GB RAM configuration for tackling all your work without delays. The elevated performance is also thanks to the 12 hours prolonged battery life and the Chrome operating system.
9. HP Stream 11.6-inch Laptop Under $300
Last but not the least on the list is the HP Stream 11 laptop that features a 11.6-inch display that allows you to shift your focus and get started on your home workspace.
It is integrated with an HD display with the BrightView technology.
The device runs on the Intel Celeron N4000 processor with Intel UHD graphics for crisp visuals and true color reproduction on the device. It also programmed with the 4GB memory and 32GB eMMC storage for unmatched productivity throughout the day.
HP Stream also features a stunning wireless connectivity options with Bluetooth 4.2 and the latest Wi-Fi technology. Moreover, the device is also programmed with up to 14 hours of battery life, pretty much staying by your side throughout the day.
10. Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop
Nobody would imagine finding a convertible laptop under $300 but Acer makes it possible yet again.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 laptop is one of the absolute best options, both in terms of the design and in terms of the functionalities.
The device runs on the Chrome OS, enabling you to live in today and get your performance sorted for the day.
With 360-degrees of versatility, the Spin 311 transforms its easily for a versatile function. It supports touch, enabling you to experience easy and all-day productivity. The device provides with fours different modes that you can choose from, depending on what deems the most comfortable for you.
Even with the affordable price point, the device stays by your side up to 10 hours without any issues. The device is powered by the Intel Celeron processor for lower power usage and a highly responsive software.
The device features a stunning 11.6” display with the IPS technology. As for storage and memory, it is equipped with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC flash memory.
Things to Remember Before Buying a Budget Laptop
There is no doubt that purchasing a budget laptop has several merits, not the least of which is a considerable sum saved that you can invest in school or your business instead. However, while making the acquisition, keep in mind that:
- You should not expect top-tier hardware. Manufacturers have to cut corners somewhere, and many cheap laptops offer limited storage space and memory. However, there frequently are options to plug into card readers, devices through USB ports, etc., to access anything you might need.
- You are unlikely to experience the visual brilliance of a dedicated graphics card like NVIDIA GTX or RTX. There is simply not enough processing muscle, and you must make peace with integrated graphics. However, that is not to deny that many inexpensive laptops now offer compelling displays with vivid colors and details.
- Cheap laptops work best when you perform standard computing pursuits like creating documents or presentations, checking e-mail, and browsing the internet. While you can pursue some degree of CPU-intensive work (such as image- or video editing), you should remember that the speeds and efficiencies will be much lower than pricier laptops with more processing prowess. Few of these laptops will be suitable for gaming or processor-draining endeavors like simulation and 3D modeling.
- Don’t expect too many fancy features in sub-$300 laptops (read keyboards with per-key lighting, surround sound, etc.). Manufacturers prioritize low prices, and the resulting products are usually pruned of features that are delightful but not indispensable for day-to-day requirements.
How did you find our list of the best laptops under $300 2021—did you come across a computer that spoke to you?
Not so many years back, it would have been almost unthinkable to expect good performance and versatility of use from a laptop this affordable; indeed, budget laptops were few and far between and looked down upon for being cheap rather than compact or competent.
But times have changed and how, and cost-effectiveness is a mantra that many top brands have embraced.
A close survey of the marketplace reveals several cheap laptops that may not cost you the big bucks but definitely cater to regular computing needs, while also packing in useful features like a convertible design, high-quality audio, pleasing graphics, and excellent all-round connectivity.
For instance, if you are eying responsiveness hand-in-hand with mobility, you can consider purchasing a Chromebook. If you wish to cater to a wide gamut of needs and also enjoy offerings like superior audio and fast charging, a Lenovo budget laptop will be a good pick.
We leave you with one final bit of advice pertaining to cheap laptops: remember what you are signing up for. Don’t go about expecting the moon, but if you choose well, you are likely to land among the stars.