In the market stacked with premium laptop options, identifying the ones below the $300 mark could be tricky. Budget laptops restrict us in terms of specifications and usage. Moreover, with pricing being a major determinant, we also need to compromise on certain preferences. If you have already selected a price range, we presume that you have toned down your expectations.
That said, budget laptops are no pushovers. If you select the right brand and series, you can still get hold of a device that is productive, utilitarian, and intuitive. From the sub, $300 to $400 laptops are low-end options, but that does not mean that they cannot have a decent build quality or come with justifiable specs.
Purchasing a budget laptop doesn’t always mean that you will only get Chromebooks to choose from. Incidentally, $300 might still pack in a few Windows OS laptops albeit with restricted features.
Finally, if you are cutting corners and getting a laptop that meets your budget, try going for something light and portable. In the next few sections, we shall enlist the best options that cost less than $300 while focusing on productivity and value for money.
- Best Laptops Under $300 in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Lenovo IdeaPad
- 2. Best Runner Up: Lenovo Chromebook S330
- 3. Best 2-in-1 Under $300: Jumper EZbook X1
- 4. Best For Students: Asus VivoBook L203MA
- 5. Best Touchscreen Laptop: Acer Spin 1
- 6. Best Value for Money: CHUWI HeroBook Pro
- 7. Best Renewed Model: Microsoft Surface Go
- 8. Best Budget Chromebook: HP Chromebook 14
- 9. Cheapest Option: Asus Chromebook
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Verdict
Best Laptops Under $300 in 2021
|Lenovo Chromebook S330|
|Jumper EZbook X1|
|Asus VivoBook L203MA|
|Acer Spin 1|
|CHUWI HeroBook Pro|
|Microsoft Surface Go|
|HP Chromebook 14|
Our list comprises of established brands and even a few new players that manufacture exceptional devices. Not just that, mellowing down on the brand increases your chances of getting hold of a more beefed up specs sheet. After hours of researching and testing across diverse parameters, we’ve handpicked the best laptops you shall consider getting this year.
1. Best Overall: Lenovo IdeaPad
Unveiled in 2020, this is one of the best-rated 300 dollar laptops in the market. The gadget assumes a standard clamshell model and weighs almost 4.4 lbs. The Lenovo IdeaPad is a pretty slim device for the sizeable chassis on display. It wouldn’t be wrong to consider this as a pretty compact device for minor productivity tasks.
In terms of display, the 14-inch HD panel is exceptional to look at and even flaunts decent viewing angles courtesy, the 1366 x 768 pixel screen resolution. The LED-backlit screen is extremely energy efficient and abides by the power saving standards.
Lenovo offers Windows 10 OS straight out of the box. The company sweetens the pot further for the productivity seeking professionals with a year-long Microsoft 365 Office subscription.
The accelerated AMD A6 A6-9220e processor renders decent levels of processing power to this device. The chipset works closely with the AMD Radeon integrated graphics unit and 4GB GPU. Coming to the storage, we expected a bit more than the 64GB eMMC. However, the eMMC technology boots up the device quickly.
In terms of power backup, Lenovo offers a decent 35Wh battery unit. While the performance and support are adequate upon moderate to low usage, we expected the IdeaPad to pack in some more meat, especially in this department. The connectivity features are adequate and the device also offers a decent set of ports for functional tasks.
- Decent display
- Sizeable screen
- Ample processing power
- Complimentary Microsoft 365 Suite
- Decent brand value
- Underwhelming battery
- Monotonous design
2. Best Runner Up: Lenovo Chromebook S330
In the era of digital gadgets, it has become easier to work within budget constraints. The Lenovo Chromebook S330 offers a laptop at a budget that would take you through most of the basic activities including web browsing, spreadsheets management, online schooling, and more.
The Chromebook may not be fit for high-end multi-tasking like Intel i7 or i9 laptops, but the quad-core processor can handle the basic daily computing needs of a school student or a homeschooler, and the eMMC flash drive delivers faster boot-ups.
The MediaTek MTK8173C has four operating cores with a base clock speed of 1.3GHz, and it can clock up to 2 GHz.The lack of multi-threading may curtail its multi-tasking abilities. Yet, it pulls-off multiple browsing tabs, online streaming that fall within the purview of students. The integrated graphics processor will not help you with gaming requirements, but it can handle streaming media at 1080p.
The 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC flash memory, while limited, can deliver quicker boot-ups and faster data accessibility. The Chromebook compensates for the limited storage with 100GB cloud storage, and Chrome OS keeps all your data in-sync through a single google account.
The full HD, the 14-inch screen has thin bezels. It delivers visuals at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Watching HD media online or offline is simple work for this laptop.
The Chromebook keyboard throws some extra set of keys to the standard design. It has a full-size keyboard sans the dedicated numeric pad with dedicated keys for searching, browser navigation, etc. The standard size touchpad is adequately responsive at different levels of sensitivity and operates smoothly.
The Lenovo Chromebook weighs 3.3 pounds. It is light, sleek, and a travel-friendly device. Lenovo has two USB ports(one Type-C and one Type-A), an HDMI 2.0 port, an SD card reader, and a 3.5 mm audio jack. The Wi-Fi(5) and Bluetooth(4.1) may not be state-of-art, but they offer multiple avenues for wireless connectivity.
Chromebook comes with 45Wh batteries. It offers a decent battery backup of up to 10 hours. Using the laptop optimally with reduced brightness should bring the best out of the battery. In S330, Lenovo packs a quad-core processor, eMMC flash storage, and cloud storage of 100 GB in a sleek 180-degree laptop within a budget of $300.
- Quad-core processor
- Cloud storage
- FHD display
- Battery life
- Limited processing power
- Dust magnet
3. Best 2-in-1 Under $300: Jumper EZbook X1
The Jumper EZbook X1 is an exciting convertible flaunting a metallic chassis and enviable aesthetic slimness. Despite incorporating an aerospace-grade alloyed body made of aluminum, the gadget feels feathery at a mere 2.3lbs.
At 8mm, this is one of the thinnest gadgets in the concerned price bracket. Here is one reliable convertible that supports multiple usage modes courtesy of the 360-degree rotating hinge.
The 11.6-inch display packs a punch. The full HD capacitive touch screen packs in 1920 x 1080 pixels and looks exceptionally vibrant. Moreover, this device runs Windows 10 straight out of the box which is a pretty decent addition by the company considering the budget tag. The Windows-powered interface looks better on the IPS screen which also flaunts a 178 degree, viewing angle.
When it comes to the processing power, the EZbook features the Intel Dual-Core Gemini Lake N4100 processor that is pretty fast and assisted perfectly by the Intel HD 9th Gen graphics. The integrated GPU clocks at 700MHz and performs better than expectations. The Dual storage units involving eMMC and SSD make for snappy data reading and writing speeds. Jumper EZbook offers 64 gigs of storage for each unit.
Despite the lowest possible price point, the SSD and eMMC storage units make sure that the boot-up time is minimal. This device offers a battery backup of up to 5 hours. Besides that, the device also offers a decent set of ports and outlets with the highlights being Micro USB and USB Type-C port.
- Decent processing power
- Supports 360 degree rotation
- Excellent display
- Excellent collection of ports
- Exceptional graphics for such an affordable price point
- Underwhelming battery life
4. Best For Students: Asus VivoBook L203MA
This Asus VivoBook L203MA is designed to perfection. At 2.1 lbs, this is one of the lightest laptops in our list. What stands out is the 180-degree hinge that makes the gadget highly productive and functional. It wouldn’t be wrong to consider this VivoBook as an aesthetic brilliance courtesy of the slimness of profile.
The company offers an 11.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) screen which is pretty vibrant. Moreover, Asus supports the Tru2Life video technology for bringing graphics and visuals to life. The SonicMaster technology from the company is a great acoustic addition that readily complements the realistic imagery.
Windows 10 Home edition is the operating platform that is further bolstered by the S-mode for additional power savings. The company also packs in a complimentary, year-long Microsoft 365 Office Suite.
In terms of processing power, the Intel Celeron N4000 chipset performs better than expectations. With 4MB of cache memory and a turbo clock speed of 2.6GHz, this sub-$300 laptop from Asus offers decent firepower in the processing department. We also get decent RAM support at 4 gigs followed by a standard 64GB eMMC unit that complements the sleekness.
Asus boasts of a battery life of up to 10 hours which is exceptional for a productive. Not just that, we also get a dedicated webcam and a decent collection of functional ports, including Type-C and USB 3.1, to go with the existing specs sheet. If you’re a student, you would be happy to know that this laptop comes with a 1-year of Microsoft Office 365 access.
Although, it isn’t suitable for resource-intensive study purposes such as Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Medical School, Machine Learning, GIS studies, Business studies, it sure is a relevant choice for kids or for basic tasks such as note-making, minimal web browsing, etc.
- Decent processing performance
- Comes with 1 year of MS Office 365
- Exceptional design
- Massive battery support
- Futuristic acoustic technology
- Underwhelming camera
- The display could have been better
5. Best Touchscreen Laptop: Acer Spin 1
The renewed version of the Acer Spin 1 is as good as the new and packaged one. While you can still expect a minor reduction in battery life and a few dents here and there, the gadget looks and feels just like the actual one, sitting pretty at the store. This device is carefully crafted and flaunts a convertible form factor. Moreover, at 2.76 lbs, the laptop is still quite light.
Coming to the display, we get an 11.6-inch touchscreen display with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. Unlike some of the other sub-$300 devices in the market, the device is known for its excellent color reproduction. The Full HD IPS screen is one of the best features of this renewed laptop. The user interface looks minimalistic and is further complemented by the Windows 10 in the S-Mode. The gadget screen also flaunts exceptional viewing angles.
The Acer Spin 1 packs in a dual-core Intel Celeron N4000 processor which is a decent addition to the existing price bracket. Needless to say, getting a quad-core processor at this price is highly commendable. The chipset works closely with the integrated Intel UHD graphics and 4GB of RAM. We also get a fast rendering 64GB SSD storage unit.
Battery life that is originally rated at up to 10 hours might give you 8 hours of playback support. In addition to that, we also get built-in speakers with stereo output for music followed by a decent collection of ports. We also get a 16GB Ptech SD card bundled with the package.
- Excellent display
- Decent aesthetics
- Class-leading chipset
- Exceptional acoustics
- Reduced battery life in the refurbished model
- Only 90 days of product warranty
6. Best Value for Money: CHUWI HeroBook Pro
The CHUWI HeroBook Pro doesn’t feel like a budget notebook. The laptop is slim with a chassis thickness of 0.8-inch and weighs a mere 3.06 lbs. Moreover, the design elements associated with the CHUWI HeroBook Pro feels premium.
CHUWI packs in a 14.1-inch Full HD panel that boasts anti-glare properties, a resolution of 1920 x 1980 pixels, and exceptional viewing angles. The screen supports the wider vision and puts minimal strain on the eye despite you being glued to the screen for long working hours.
This sub-$300 device offers Windows 10 OS straight out of the box and includes one-touch Cortana accessibility. Overall, in terms of the user interface, this device certainly leaves a lasting impression.
Coming to the internals, it comes forth the Intel Gemini Lake N4000 processor, manufactured via the 14nm processor, it is capable of attaining turbo speeds of up to 2.6GHz and is complemented by 8GB of RAM.
The Intel UHD 600 GPU performs better than expectations. This gadget also brings forth a 256GB SSD storage unit, capable of the highest possible writing and reading speeds. For the given price point, there aren’t many devices that can beat the featured processing power.
The battery unit is capable of lasting up to 9 hours based on moderate to heavy usage. If you are a light user, the 38Wh battery might last an entire day. Besides that, CHUWI also provides fast charging support in case you need quick spurts of power to resume productive tasks. If you are in a search of the best laptop for video editing under 300 dollars, this is a great option to consider.
Additional specs include a decently sized keyboard with exceptional key travel and a conglomerate of ports not seen even in the more premium gadgets. The high-speed M.2 port and the Micro-HD outlets stand out followed by 5 other functional units.
- Exceptional processing power
- Vibrant Display
- Extensive collection of ports
- Massive storage support for the given price
- Excellent battery life
- The design feels slightly monotonous
- Heats up real quick
7. Best Renewed Model: Microsoft Surface Go
You must be extremely lucky to get a Microsoft Surface Go at a $300 price tag. Despite this being a renewed device, there are minimal blemishes and performance compromises on this aesthetically brilliant gadget.
The lightest Surface weighs a mere 1.15 lbs and flaunts a metallic chassis. Other design-centric highlights include a detachable form factor followed by the reliable kickstand.
The 10-inch display associated with this device is pretty sharp at 1800 x 1200 pixels. The viewing angles are clear and the color reproduction is decent enough for a renewed device. We get Windows 10 OS with this gadget.
Needless to say, this is a professionally inspected gadget that doesn’t fall short in terms of processing power. The Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y chipset is a powerful addition followed by 4GB of RAM and 2MB of cache memory for faster renders. The Intel UHD GPU is an adequate addition to the existing specs sheet. In terms of storage, we get a 64GB eMMC unit.
Battery life gets an obvious cut but still offers 7 hours of playback support. Apart from that, the device also brings in a dual set of cameras at 8MP at the back and 5MP at the front, which fulfils your video conferencing needs using Skype or Zoom. The USB Type-C connector is a desirable addition as well.
Also, If purchased from Amazon, you get a 90-day professional warranty on this renewed Microsoft Surface Go. Not just that, you only get the tablet and the generic package doesn’t include the stylus pen or the keyboard.
- Enviable aesthetics
- Feathery device
- Decent processing power
- Sharp Display
- Decent battery life
- Comes withonly 90 days warranty
- Doesn’t include stylus and keyboard
- Lower storage space on this model
8. Best Budget Chromebook: HP Chromebook 14
Here is one good-looking Chromebook that features decent design elements and aesthetics. The 180-degree hinge is the standout element that makes productivity fun. Moreover, HP Chromebook 14 is also pretty sleek and portable for such an affordable price point. The gadget weighs only 3 pounds which is a decent figure for laptops that feature 14-inch screens.
In terms of display, there aren’t many budget Chromebooks that can match what HP 14-db0050nr has to offer. The 14-inch screen is perfectly complemented by the Full HD (1920 x 1080) pixels resolution. The IPS WLED panel makes sure that the viewing angles are fantastic and the interface with Chrome OS looks exemplary. Moreover, the operating platform allows us to install and use diverse Android applications with ease.
In terms of processing power, the AMD A4 9120C dual-core chipset steals the show. The processing performance is more than decent and well-complemented by the integrated graphics support. In addition to that, we get 4 gigs of RAM. The eMMC storage unit at 32GB is fast but underwhelming in terms of capacity.
The battery life on this Chromebook is up to 8 hours or slightly more, depending on the usage. Other elements include the decent set of speakers powered by B&O followed by 100 gigs of cloud storage support. The device also brings in a dedicated webcam and the card reader for improving the functionalities. Lastly, HP also packs in a decent collection of USB ports to increase the usefulness of this Chromebook.
- Exceptional display
- Power-packed processing conglomerate
- A decent set of ports
- 100GB of cloud storage support
- Decent battery life
- Storage space could have been more
9. Cheapest Option: Asus Chromebook
The new Asus Chromebook is crafted with perfection. The metallic finish renders a premium feel to the device that weighs a mere 2.6 lbs. In terms of design and aesthetics, it is the 180-degree hinge that stands out. This feature improves the functionality and mobility of the device.
When it comes to the display, this Chromebook offers a 14 inch HD screen with a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. This inclusion is pretty standard for the given price tag. However, the NanoEdge display technology from Asus makes the screen look bigger and more vibrant. The bezels are narrow and there is also an anti-glare screen coating to minimize reflections and strain on the eyes.
The Chrome OS is a decent addition to the repertoire which supports android apps, basic productivity jobs, and also offers 100GB of cloud storage support. This OS offers automatic updates, faster boot times, and built-in protection from viruses.
The processing power in this device is also pretty adequate courtesy of the Intel Celeron N3350 processor and the HD 500 graphics. The 4GB RAM support is a decent inclusion but the 32GB eMMC storage unit leaves a lot to be desired. While the reading, writing, and boot-up processes are quick, we expected a bit more storage space.
Battery life is a major highlight with this device running strong for up to 10 hours at a stretch. However, the figure depends on the usage. Moreover, the device also brings in high-end stereo speakers which play a decent role in amplifying the overall acoustic performance. The ergonomic keyboard also deserves a mention followed by a decent collection of USB Type-A and Type-C ports.
- Decent display
- Enviable battery life
- Decent processing power
- Chrome OS is responsive
- Storage space is not enough
Frequently Asked Questions
In this segment, we answer the most pressing questions concerning budget laptops.
Laptops that are priced under $300 can be good choices for basic and some advanced office tasks. You can use the same for journalism, content writing, stock trading, podcasting, online photo editing, and even for attending to Skype calls, provided the device has a decent webcam and built-in microphone.
Budget laptops usually offer integrated graphics from Intel or AMD. Therefore, you can only play online games on these machines. Playing high-end games is not possible even if you pair additional RAM.
Users who are interested in basic live streaming, minor online tasks, basic productivity jobs, professional indulgence with minimal graphics requirements, and content creation can opt for budget laptops under $300.
If you already own a premium device, you can opt for a budget laptop as your second tool for indulging in productive tasks. Having an affordable secondary laptop means that you do not put additional pressure on the premium device.
The processing power of laptops below $300 isn’t enough to indulge in professional video editing. However, if you have a Chromebook, you can use the basic android video editors to work on basic smartphone videos where the requirements aren’t high-end.
You are hard-pressed for choices if you are only willing to spend $300 on a new laptop. While we did list 10 feature-packed options, the final choice depends on your preferences, choice of form factor, and the OS.
- If you are looking for a Windows-powered device, we would still recommend the refurbished Microsoft Surface Go for its brand value.
- If you aren’t looking for renewed devices, consider the underrated Jumper EZbook X1. If your preferences are aligned to the standard clamshell models, CHUWI HeroBook is the one to consider.
- Lastly, for Chromebook enthusiasts, Lenovo Chromebook S330 is the best possible choice.
Budget laptops, if selected strategically, can still bring a lot to the table, in terms of specifications. However, you should be willing to research extensively.
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