We get that not everyone has over $1,000 to spend on some of the best laptops money can buy. The good part of that is that laptops now come in all shapes, sizes, form factors, and prices. In 2022, you can easily find a new cheap laptop for less than $300. These laptops in the sub $300 price range are great for basic tasks like web browsing, or typing office documents. The keyboards and overall design and build of these laptops are pretty great, too, and should not feel too cheap.
In this piece, we’ll look at some of the best laptops you can buy for $300. We’ll cover all kinds of laptops, not just Windows devices, and look into some Chromebooks, too. Here’s a roundup, and remember, you can navigate the guide at any point by clicking the headings below.
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Best overall: Acer Aspire 5
At the top of our list is a 15.6-inch Windows laptop that’s quite popular on Amazon and typically on sale for less than $290. It’s the Acer Aspire 5 laptop. This laptop not only has a big screen but it’s powered by processors that you’ll usually find in mid-range devices north of $500 in price. It also has a really great traditional solid-state drive for storage, compared to the eMMC or flash storage on other laptops that are on our list.
Diving deeper into specs, this Acer Aspire 5 has last year’s 11th generation Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor under the hood. You never find this in a mid-range Windows laptop like this one. Instead, you’ll often find slower Intel Celeron or Pentium processors, which aren’t that good for multitasking. If you pair this up with the 4GB RAM, most web browsing and other tasks should be fine. Especially because this chip can turbo boost up to 4.1 GHz and because of the faster NVMe SSD where your system will experience better read/write speeds.
Other than the CPU, we want to touch on the Full HD 1920 x 1080 screen. Again, as you’ll see, most other devices on our list don’t have FHD screens and are much lower resolution. What this means is that you’ll be able to multitask with ease and fit more on your screen. Pair that with the 82.58% screen-to-body ratio and you’ll be able to feel immersed in your content. There are no ugly bezels like there are with other laptops on our list. Acer also includes Color Intelligence software on board, which helps make colors and shades look better for photo editing, so there’s that, too.
What’s even better is that on this laptop, Acer doesn’t skip out on giving you the best ports. You’ll have everything you need to avoid dongles and extra purchases. It comes with an RJ-45 ethernet jack, HDMI 2.0, 2 USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a USB 3.2 Type-C Gen 1 port, and a USB-A 2.0 port plus a headphone and microphone jack. This makes it the perfect laptop to use on the go.
Note that this laptop is powered by Windows 11 Home in S mode, though. It is a cost-cutting measure, but you can upgrade to Windows 11 Home at any time through the Microsoft Store, and install other apps like Google Chrome without issue.
Best tablet: Lenovo Chromebook Duet
A lot of people prefer using Windows devices, but it’s truthfully hard to find a Windows tablet for under $300. You might want to buy a Surface Go from Microsoft, but adding the keyboard and pen will bring the price up way too high. That’s why our top tablet for under $300 is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. You’ll have to adapt to ChromeOS for this one, but the web-based OS should not give issues. There’s also the fact that you can run Android apps natively, too.
Truthfully, we’ll admit that this is a very small tablet. It comes with a 10-inch IPS touchscreen, but like a more expensive Surface Pro, it’s also detachable. This means that when you want it, you can attach the included keyboard case magnetically, and pull out a kickstand for typing. Or, you also can use it as a stand-alone tablet in your hands for gaming, or multimedia. The overall dimensions come in at 9.44 x 6.29 x 0.29 inches, and the weight is a little over 1 pound. We do think that the keyboard case might be small, but it still gives some room to type up documents, scroll webpages, and use the Duet Chromebook as a laptop.
The MediaTek Helio P60T processor inside this tablet is also great for a tablet. Android apps have been known to run perfectly on the Duet, mainly since the SoC being used is ARM-based, just like your Android phone. Even Chrome should run smoothly, as the device has 4 GB of RAM. You’ll not find more than that for this price, but what is great is the long battery life. Lenovo rates it for up to 10 hours, which is more than enough to stay free of a charger. Of course, that’s rated on mixed usage.
There is one downside, though. The most important is that there’s only a single USB-C port on board, and there’s no headphone jack, either. So, you’ll need to ensure you use either Bluetooth headsets or a dongle for movie watching and other multimedia But for a Chromebook, though, it’s hard to complain.
Best Chromebook: Samsung Chromebook 4+
Have you ever wanted a laptop that looks like a MacBook but is much cheaper? That’s what the Samsung Chromebook 4+ is for. It has a striking design, but basic specs have a good balance for this price. It features a 15.6-inch full-HD (1920 x 1080) display with slim side bezels and is powered by a 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4000 dual-core processor and 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM, which is more than most laptops in this price range. It comes with 128GB eMMC storage that can be expanded further using a microSD card.
Powering the all-plastic Samsung Chromebook 4+ is an Intel Celeron N4000 processor. This is a much lower-end processor found in most laptops in the price range, so you’ll have to be aware that some things like Android apps might not perform the best. Paired with 4GB of RAM, though, this laptop definitely has what it takes to get you through web browsing just fine.
As for the display, it has what you need for multitasking and web browsing. You’re getting a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution 15.6-inch panel. This screen size is usually an expensive upgrade on most other laptops of this class. The panel has an anti-glare coating and should hold up great when being used in office settings. Samsung even slimmed the side bezels of the display down a bit, to make it seem more like what you get on a Macbook. There’s still an ugly chin, though.
Overall with the design, you can’t expect to find magnesium or aluminum for this price. The keyboard and trackpad are plastic but are still great on this device. With nice key travel, the island-style chicklet keyboard is good enough for getting through a day’s work. The added bonus of being spillproof saves it from dying if it comes in contact with liquids. There’s also no backlighting either, so you’ll have to stick to using this in the daytime or work under lights at night.
Just like with some of the other laptops on our list, Samsung includes two USB-C ports for charging onboard the Chromebook 4+. This is in addition to a headphone jack and a single USB-A port. Older USB drives or peripherals should work fine on this system thanks to that bonus USB-A port.
Overall, though, 15-inch laptops are typically heavy. Samsung’s option measures 14.16 x 9.64 x 0.65 inches and weighs 3.75 pounds. You’ll be able to take it with you on the go without worry.
Best for education: Lenovo 14W Gen 2
In education scenarios, there are a lot of great laptops you can buy for under $300. Laptop makers are focused on the growing education market, particularly in the Windows space, to compete with Chromebooks. One of the best right now you can buy is the Lenovo 14w Gen 2. It’s an AMD device designed just for educational purposes, and powered by Windows, instead of Chrome OS. And best of all? It is actually less than $200. Let’s dive deeper into why it’s a great pick.
First of all, it’s the overall size and the design. This is a 14-inch laptop, whereas typical laptops in this price range come in at 11-inches or less. It’s quite portable for the size, too. Measurements come in at 12.8 x 8.8 x 0.69 inches, and it is under 3 pounds in weight. All of that, and it’s still durable, too. Since it’s designed to meet military MIL-STD-810H tests and Lenovo EDU Spec standards, this laptop is rugged. With students, it has what it takes to handle rough-and-tumble student use. It also has a water-resistant keyboard, reinforced ports, and mechanically anchored anti-pry keys that can stand a lot of pressure.
Another part of that design is the ports. The good news with this is that there’s plenty to avoid your student using unsafe dongles. The mix includes USB-C, USB-a 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI 1.4, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, a microSD card reader, and a headphone jack. Most accessories and displays will connect fine with this device.
Next, up is the performance. With the AMD 3015e Mobile Processor, 4GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage, this is a laptop that can get most students through their workflows with minimal distractions. When configured by an IT admin through Microsoft Intune, or when Microsoft Family Safety parental controls are added through Windows, students will be able to enjoy education-only apps like Microsoft Teams and not stray too far on the internet.
Of course on an education laptop, the webcam is important. For this price, it’s hard to find a 1080p webcam, and you’ll have to settle for 720p instead. But Lenovo includes a privacy shutter. This lets students stay safe and block the camera when not in use.
And on display and ports, the base model display still isn’t FHD resolution and comes in at 1366 x 768 resolution and without touch. This might not be the best, but it helps with battery life, which is rated at 13 hours. An FHD 1920 x 1080 display option is also available if you pay for it at checkout.
Best 2-in-1 convertible: ASUS Vivobook Flip 14
You might think that touch-screen Windows convertibles are expensive. But if you tone down the specs a bit, you’ll still get a good product like the ASUS Vivebook Flip 14. It’s one of the best cheapest Windows convertibles you can buy for $300. We say that because of the design, display, touchscreen, and speakers. Here’s a bit more on our reasoning.
With a 0.61-inch thick chassis, this Windows convertible is quite slim when closed shut. But that’s not all we like about the design. Thanks to the ASUS NanoEdge Display, Asus is able to fit a 14-inch touch screen into a 13-inch chassis, so you get more screen space for your money. The display is even FHD, so webpages and other content will be crisp and clear. Again, it’s great for this price, where displays are often 720p, or lower.
And let’s not forget about the hinge, either. It’s made of metal and is quite durable. Asus says the hinge has a stepless action so you can use your device any way you like. Which is what you’ll want to do anyway. As a convertible, you can enjoy the device as a table, or in stand, tent, or laptop modes. Just rotate it around as you see fit. The specially-designed hinge helps, as it features precision-engineered alloy-steel gears that mesh perfectly for smooth rotation while also making the hinge tough and reliable. To prove the durability of this unique design, ASUS engineers put it through a punishing 20,000-cycle open-and-close test.
Under the hood of the device, meanwhile, is the Intel Dual-Core Celeron N4020 processor. While not the latest and greatest from Intel, this is still an efficient processor for web browsing and common tasks. Pair that with eMMC storage and the 4GB RAM, and most everyday computing should be just fine on this 2-in-1. even battery life should be good, rated at 14 hours. This is thanks to the included ASUS SuperBattery technology, which ASUS says can protect your battery and provide up to 3X longer battery life versus standard lithium-ion cylinder battery configurations.
The last thing to mention is speakers and ports. This device has ASUS SonicMaster technology. What this means is that, similar to premium products from HP with have B&O audio, the music, movies, and other content you listen to should sound life-like. As for ports, there’s Micro HDMI, a full-size SD card reader, Micro USB, and USB-C. You might still need a dongle, but it’s a nice mix, to say the least.
Best 15-inch laptop: Dell Inspiron 15 3000
For $300 it’s often hard to find laptops with a big screen, but that’s exactly what you get with the Dell Inspiron 15 3000. This laptop sports an amazing 15-inch display that’s great for multitasking. It also has some fairly decent processing power and a really great keyboard.
As with many laptops on our list, this device is powered by Intel Pentium Silver processors. We’ll warn that this isn’t the speediest processor, but it is good for simple and everyday tasks. The part this laptop is using is the Intel Pentium Silver N5030. It has 4 cores, 4 threads, and can turbo boost up to 3.10 GHz. That’s also paired with 4GB of RAM, and a traditional 128GB NVMe SSD. Note the storage type here, it’s NVMe, so that means the system will run more efficiently than others with eMMC storage.
Going back to the display, though, it’s a 15.6-inch panel tuned to 1336 x 768 resolution. That’s not as good as FHD 1920 x 1080, but we’re still giving it a pass. The reason why? It’s not a cheap panel. Dell is using anti-glare technology, and it’s also very narrow-bezel on three of four sides, so more can fit on your screen. You’ll also get Comfort View Low Blue Light Software. This helps reduce harmful blue light emissions and optimize eye comfort.
As for the keyboard, it’s a shocker for this price. You’ll get a number pad to the right, as well as 6.4% larger keycaps and a spacious touchpad that makes it easier to navigate your content. Typing things up in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint should be a breeze as a result. The hinge even lifts the keyboard up a bit to a more ergonomic angle, for better typing. On top of that, rubber feet and bumpers on the hinge keep it from skidding and provide additional stability when on hard surfaces.
Last of note is the webcam and ports, just as we typically describe. On this unit, you get a 720p HD webcam, which isn’t the best but will still get you by for basic web calls. 1080p webcams are only on much more premium units these days. And for the ports? Well, there’s a lot. You’ll get 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 Audio jack, and 1 HDMI 1.4 port. Worry no more about dongles!
Best compact laptop: Acer Chromebook Spin 311
Alright, we talked about 15-inch laptops, but what if you want a small laptop under $300 that’s compact? Maybe for a student who is always traveling? Or maybe even for yourself, if you don’t like to carry a lot of weight in your bag. It’s why we’ve added the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 to our list. This laptop is popular on Amazon, which is why we picked it. You can regularly find it for less than $300 and closer to $200, too.
There are a lot of things that make this compact laptop interesting, too. The first of those is the processor under the hood. It’s a MediaTek MT8183C. This is a really low-end CPU, but it is fairly typical for Chromebooks. Thanks to the 4GB of RAM, it should help power you through web browsing, but multitasking might not be the best. Android apps, though, should perform fairly well, since this is an ARM-based SoC, similar to the one found on the Chromebook tablet we mentioned at the top of this guide. Storage is also the eMMC type, which is slower, but since this is a Chromebook, cloud storage usually comes first and it shouldn’t be a worry.
Other than that is the 11-inch screen size. It’s an 11-inch HD panel tuned to 1366 x 768 resolution. Of course, it supports touch, since this laptop is fully convertible, too. You’ll be able to use it in additional modes like tablet, tent, or stand. With it being as compact as is, you can keep this as a device for watching movies on the go. Just keep in mind that the screen won’t be too immersive, as it has thicker bezels.
Oh, and of compactness, let’s get into the weight. It weighs in at just 1.1 pounds, which is the lightest of any laptop we’ve mentioned so far on our list. It also comes in at 0.74 inches thick, which is about average for a plastic device like this size. That doesn’t mean Acer has to skimp on ports, though. There’s a lot to enjoy. The mix includes 1 USB-A, 1 USB-C, and a headphone jack. Connections to a display will still require a dongle, though.
Best just over $300: ASUS Vivobook 17
Sometimes the laptops we’ve mentioned so far could go a little over $300 in price. It’s quite hard to find something that’s exactly $300. This is why we’ve now come to a laptop that you might want to consider if you have just a tiny bit more money to spend. It’s the ASUS Vivobook 17. This is the biggest laptop on our list, with a 17-inch screen. And priced just north of $360, we think you might like it.
The first thing to like is the processing power. Like our top pick, this laptop has an Intel Core i3 processor. It’s the Intel Core i3-1115G4 that’s inside this laptop. It’s not the best Intel CPU, but with 2 cores and 4 threads, it can hit 4.1 GHz top frequency. You should have no worries about opening a lot of tabs in your web browser or using multiple apps. The 128GB traditional PCIe SSD helps with that too, as does the 8GB RAM. It’s one smooth-performing laptop for this price, but if you have extra money to spare, you can configure it even better. Options for 12GB, 16GB, or 24GB RAM are available, and the SSD can be pushed to either 256GB, 512GB, or as high as 2TB.
The second aspect that has our attention is the display. This has a massive 17-inch screen. And no, the screen isn’t low-resolution. It’s actually tuned to FHD at 1920 x 1080, meaning everything you do on the laptop will look crisp and clear. That includes movies, web browsing, or whatever you please.
Third up is the keyboard. It’s backlit, which is really rare for this price. Typically, you’d have to spend $500 or more on a laptop to get this feature. Other than that, the keyboard also has a number pad, which is huge for those who might be into using Microsoft Excel. It will make number crunching faster without reaching over letters on the keyboard.
Ending with ports, the mix includes 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, 1 x Headphone-out, 1 x Micro SD card reader. Even premium laptops don’t have this many ports, so this is huge in our book.
Those are all the $300 laptops that we can think of for now. If your wallet is bigger, though, you can check out our picks for the best laptops and the best cheap laptops. We get into more premium devices like the Dell XPS lineup and even the Microsoft Surface. We even get into 5G laptops, if you’re looking to stay connected on the go.