Best Laptops

The 4 Best Laptops Under $300 – 2023 Reviews

BY:

Sangram Rana

A few years ago, it was almost impossible to find a good laptop for less than $300. Today, it’s easy to find cheap hardware that can play videos and let you browse the web quickly and smoothly. Most of the laptops on this list are Chromebooks because Chrome OS is much lighter than Windows and macOS and can run on lower-end hardware. Even though laptops in this price range can handle most everyday and basic tasks, it will be hard to find the best gaming laptops for under $300 because gaming requires more powerful hardware than this price point allows for.

More than 60 laptops have been tested by us. Here are our picks for the best laptops that cost less than $300. You can also check out our picks for the best laptops that cost less than $1000.

Best Laptop Under $300

1. Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (2021)

 

If you like Chrome OS but want a 2-in-1, you can get the Lenovo Chromebook Duet (2020), which is a Chrome OS tablet with a keyboard you can take off. You can take the keyboard off to make it easier to hold when you want to watch something, or you can put it back on when you want to type something.

It has a display that is sharp, bright, and colourful, which is hard to find on cheap Chromebooks. The keyboard is built into the device, so you don’t have to buy it separately. But it’s not the most comfortable keyboard; it’s fine for a couple of emails but not for typing a long paper. The battery life is great, lasting nearly 12 hours for light work or 7 hours for watching videos.

We think you should get the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 instead if you can spend a little more. It has a faster processor and a much better OLED screen with more vivid colours and darker blacks. The keyboard comes with the device, just like with the Duet, but it’s just as hard to type on. The screen can be controlled with a stylus, and there’s even a dock on the back cover where you can store it when you’re on the go. However, you have to buy the stylus separately.

Pros

  • Exceptional battery life.
  • Easy to carry around due to compact size.
  • Decent build quality despite all-plastic chassis.

Cons

  • Limited port selection.
  • Screen doesn’t get bright enough to fight glare.
  • Tiny plastic touchpad

2. Lenovo Chromebook Duet (2020)

If you want to stick with Chrome OS but would rather have a 2-in-1, you can get the Lenovo Chromebook Duet (2020), which is a Chrome OS tablet with a detachable keyboard. You can take the keyboard off to make it easier to hold while watching content or put it back on when you need to type something. It has a sharp, bright, and colourful screen, which is hard to find on inexpensive Chromebooks.

The keyboard comes with the device, so there is no need to buy it separately. However, it’s not the most comfortable keyboard. It’s fine for sending a few emails, but not for typing a long paper. The battery life is great, with nearly 12 hours of light work or seven hours of video playback.

If you can stretch your budget a little, we suggest getting the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 instead. It has a much better OLED screen that shows more vibrant colours and deeper blacks. It also has a faster processor. Like the Duet, the keyboard comes with the device, even though it’s just as hard to type on. The screen can be controlled with a pen, and there’s even a dock on the back so you can store the pen when you’re on the go. However, you’ll need to buy the stylus separately.

Pros

  • Very portable due to compact size.
  • Screen produces a sharp image due to high pixel density.

Cons

  • Speakers sound bad and don’t get very loud.
  • Low contrast not ideal for dark rooms.

3. Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020)

The Acer Aspire 5 15 is our pick for the best Windows laptop under $300. (2020). Since it’s from 2020 and an older model, the price is much lower than when it first came out, so now is a good time to buy one. It costs a little more than $300, but it’s worth the extra money because it’s well-made and works well. This model has a 1080p screen, an Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.

The Intel Core i3 CPU has no trouble with everyday tasks like surfing the web, working with text, and watching videos. But 4GB of memory isn’t much for a Windows machine, so if you try to run too many things at once, your computer will stutter and slow down.

As for how it feels to use, the 15.6-inch screen gives you plenty of room to do more than one thing at a time. The keyboard is comfortable and responsive, and the touchpad is small but works well. The worst thing about it is that the battery only lasts about seven hours with light use. If you want to get through an 8-hour day, you’ll have to plug it in at some point. It has three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, an HDMI port, and an Ethernet port. The USB-C port doesn’t support video output or charging, which is too bad. On the plus side, you can quickly log in with your fingerprint.

Pros

  • Sturdy chassis.
  • Laptop and charger are very portable.
  • Comfortable keyboard.
  • Fairly easy to access internals for repairs and upgrades.

Cons

  • Short battery life.
  • Screen doesn’t get bright enough for sunny rooms.
  • CPU and GPU can’t handle demanding workloads.

4. Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020)

Even though the laptop we suggested above, the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020), is portable, it might be too big for some, especially younger students in elementary school. If so, you should instead get the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (2021).

This Chromebook has a screen size of 11 inches and a battery that lasts for nearly 16 hours with light use. Even though it’s made of plastic, the build feels good, and it’s a 2-in-1, so you can flip the screen to use it as a tablet.

Unfortunately, the screen doesn’t get very bright, so it might be hard to see in bright places, and the touchpad isn’t very responsive. It only has one USB-A port and one USB-C port, but that’s fine for people in elementary school or with a light workload. The USB-C port can both charge and send video. Last, it doesn’t have a fan, so you don’t have to worry about it making too much noise in a library or classroom.

Pros

  • Exceptional battery life.
  • Easy to carry around due to compact size.
  • Decent build quality despite all-plastic chassis.

Cons

  • Limited port selection.
  • Screen doesn’t get bright enough to fight glare.
  • Tiny plastic touchpad.

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