Buying a laptop can be a tricky task, especially when you are on a budget. With a low budget, it is important to remember that you will have to sacrifice the quality of some of the device’s features, so my advice would be to decide on what you need the laptop to do and certain features that are important to you.
The Best 9 Laptops for Less than $300
Once you have decided on these features look for a device that meets these requirements, here is the GizmoFusion list of the best laptops under $300 to help you with this decision.
1. Lenovo IdeaPad 130
CPU: AMD Dual-Core A9-9425 | AMD Radeon R5 Series | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch (1366 x 768) | Storage: 128GB SSD | Battery: 30Whr | Dimensions: 10 x 14.8 x 0.9 inches | Weight: 4.63 lbs
Solid performance in terms of the price
Unique inclusion of DVD drive at this price point
Low display quality
Storage on the small side
Low gaming capabilities
The Lenovo IdeaPad 130 is a great choice for anyone looking to buy a laptop on a budget, ideal for maybe a student who is in need of a device that can handle the basic tasks without breaking the bank.
With an average specced screen and display, you do get what you pay for with this device, don’t expect any high resolutions, sharpness or wide viewing angles and the keyboard although comfortable to use, lacks any form of backlighting.
However, it is important to bear in mind the price point of this laptop, when you are in the market for a cheaper device I would say that the most important factor to look at is performance, and I can then say that your money has been invested in the correct way.
Although this laptop is more on the basic side, you can see time has been put into ensuring that you get good performance for the money.
The inclusion of the AMD Dual-Core A9-9425 CPU means that run times are smooth and lag-free. This laptop has multitasking capabilities meaning that performance isn’t sacrificed when you use multiple applications and have more than one tab open during browsing.
Something to add about this device would be its low gaming capabilities. Popular games such as Fortnite, Apex Legends and GTA V can only be run on this laptop when the game quality settings have been lowered, at the end of the day, this isn’t a laptop for gaming and would only really suitable for somebody looking to do the basic tasks such as internet browsing and creating documents.
As well as a solid CPU, you also get 4GB RAM within the motherboard of this device and there is also a single RAM slot for any memory expansions that you require.
Although the performance is positive, the battery doesn’t match in quality, with a smaller than most 30Whr battery the life isn’t the best, however, Lenovo does claim you can get up to 5.5 hours from a single charge.
A nice feature that Lenovo has included on this laptop would have to be the inclusion of a DVD drive, which you don’t tend to see on the smaller and cheaper laptops.
One bad thing about this device is the small storage. Although it is fast SSD, it is only 128GB in size. This will run out quickly unless used for basic tasks only. You can always add external storage down the line if need be. SSD is much faster than HDD, so boot-up times and loading of programs will be faster on this machine.
When it comes to the aesthetic element, users are provided with a basic, black design but as it is both thin and lightweight it is extremely portable for use on the go.
2. Lenovo IdeaPad S145
CPU: AMD A-Series A6-9225 | GPU: AMD Radeon R4 Series | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 500GB HHD | Battery: 30Whr | Dimensions: 9.9 x 14.3 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 4.9 lbs
Cool and quiet when running
Screen doesn’t use PWM
Thin and light construction
Poor quality build
Poor viewing angles
Low battery life
The Lenovo IdeaPad S145 is a budget laptop aimed more towards a student or somebody looking for a device on a budget. You can see that the costs have been cut when it comes to the plastic outer body but its overall appearance is pretty good.
This device is light and compact and making it great for traveling and use on the go again appealing to the student lifestyle. When it comes to the keyboard and touchpad, although the keyboard does look pretty great and is responsive it can feel a little bit on the cheap side, and it is common for you to feel some give and weakness in the chassis during vigorous typing which is a concern.
The majority of the ports on this device are located on the left of the chassis, there are a charging plug, HDMI, three USB A ports, one USB 2.0 and two USB 3.1. On the right side, there is an SD card reader and headphone jack. The output positions are conveniently organized and there has been the inclusion of many different ports so you can be sure that connectivity won’t be an issue.
When looking at the display users are provided with an average quality resolution with a quick reaction time but the viewing angles are uncomfortable and colors are not the brightest.
This device also doesn’t use PWM to adjust the brightness so it is more comfortable to use over longer periods. However, as the S145 only has a 30whr battery the capacity is limited to around 4 hours of web browsing and 5 for video streaming.
A good point about this device is its large 500GB HDD. This type of size should be more than enough memory for most users.
When it comes to the performance of this device the AMD A-Series A6-9225 CPU has a lower clock range and would only really be suitable for basic tasks like web browsing and video streaming, although this is to be expected for a device in this price range.
Furthermore, the AMD Radeon R4 Series GPU matches the quality of the CPU and is very typical for a device of this budget. The GPU included on this device is limited in capability and only the older less demanding games would be capable of running smoothly.
3. Dell Inspiron 3000
CPU: Intel Pentium N5000 Quad Core | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 60 | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 500GB HHD | Battery: 30Whr | Dimensions: 10.15 x 14.96 x 0.9 inches | Weight: 4.96 lbs
Decent screen quality
Good speeds for the price
Varied output options
Not the lightest
Limited gaming capabilities
Simple design may not be liked by everyone
The Dell Inspiron 3000 is a decent budget laptop suitable for everyday use and doing the basic tasks to a high standard. Although the speeds that you are getting are not the best, it is still great when you compare it to similar models on the market.
This device comes in a basic but sleek black design, with glossy accents, there is a more upmarket aesthetic with this laptop. In terms of portability, this device isn’t the thinnest or the lightest but it’s definitely not heavy to the point where it is an issue, again, this is where the price point should be considered. The build quality is solid and the laptop as a whole feels sturdy and reliable.
When looking at the display users are given a solid screen resolution for the price and with a sharp screen and wide viewing angles, this laptop is comfortable to use.
In terms of port options, on the left side of the laptop is an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, and an SD card slot. On the right, there’s a DVD drive, two USB 2.0 ports, and a headset jack so you can be sure that connectivity will not be an issue.
The inclusion of the DVD drive is a nice touch as it isn’t a common feature on the smaller and cheaper devices. Another cool inclusion is Bluetooth 4.0 support for streaming and file sharing.
When looking at the performance on this device both the GPU and CPU contribute to the device having a noticeable lag-free and smooth performance. Although it isn’t the fastest it is pretty high up there in terms of laptops in this price range and it can handle the day to day tasks easily.
In terms of gameplay on this device, only the low end and less strenuous games are able to be played smoothly, but again as this is a budget device you can’t expect the performance of a higher-end device.
Overall, this device is a well-made laptop with great speeds, it isn’t packed with all of the high-end features but it does the simple things well and would be great for the day to day tasks.
4. ASUS VivoBook L203MA
CPU: Intel Celeron N4000 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 600 | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Screen: 11.6-inch (1,920 x 1080) | Storage: 64GB Embedded multimedia card | Battery: 30Whr | Dimensions: 11.3 x 7.6 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 3.2 lbs
Value for money
Portable and sleek design
Includes USB C port
Narrow viewing angles
When trying to shop for a budget laptop it can be hard to decide on the crucial factors that you need and what you are willing to sacrifice for the lower price point. The ASUS VivoBook is a reliable and inexpensive laptop that can serve a person’s basic needs to a very high standard.
In terms of the design this laptop comes with a honeycomb design lid and the Asus logo, the design is more than you would expect to get for such a low price. The materials used are sturdy and the chassis itself is pretty light and compact for optimal portability.
Although the eleven-inch screen panel has a pretty low resolution, it isn’t any lower than you would expect for a budget laptop, the screen itself is pretty clear and detailed but colors can be seen as dull if you are not close to the screen.
When looking at the connectivity of this device, There’s a very good selection of ports. The right side holds the power connector, an HDMI port, a headset jack, a USB 3.0 port, an SD card reader and a USB-C port. On the left, there’s a single USB 3.0 port and a headphone jack.
The placement of this port is excellent if you want to use a wired USB 2.0 mouse. However, there could have been the inclusion of multiple USB 3.0 ports as opposed to just one but the output options are still great for such a cheap laptop.
The keyboard on the ASUS Vivobook does lack any form of backlighting and lacks the space for a separate number pad but it is both responsive and comfortable to use and for the price, it is normal for there not to be the luxury of backlighting.
The Intel Celeron N4000 Processor and Intel UHD Graphics 600 GPU both contribute to this system’s faster performance and when it comes to running the day to day tasks such as browsing or managing documents you can expect for the performance to be positive.
The battery life on this laptop is okay, the 2 cell battery has a life of about 5 hours which I would consider a significant amount of time for use without the need for a power supply.
The main drawback of this device is only having 64GB of memory. But this machine is meant for basic tasks only, such as browsing the web and streaming videos. 64MB is enough for this but not much else.
It does include an SD card reader though, so you can add memory via this slot easily if needed.
5. ASUS X441BA
CPU: AMD Dual-Core A6-9225 | GPU: AMD Radeon R5 Series | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Screen: 14-inch (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 500GB HDD | Battery: 36Whr | Dimensions: 9.6 x 13.7 x 1.1nches | Weight: 3.86 lbs
Low price point
Portable without limitations to screen size
CPU only really suitable for day to day use
The ASUS X441BA is a low-end laptop suitable for someone in need of a new device but doesn’t want to break the bank buying it.
Something to consider before buying this device would be that it has very low capabilities when it comes to gaming. Popular games such as Fortnite, GTA V, and Apex Legends can only be run when the settings have been lowered significantly.
However, the AMD Dual-Core A6-9225 processor and the AMD Radeon R5 Series GPU give the laptop enough power for surfing the web, editing media, and multitasking capabilities, allowing you to switch between multiple tabs and programs at once.
The 500GB HDD offers a large platform for storing all of your files, pictures, movies, and music and in such a compact device you do get more than what you would with similarly priced devices. Storage should not present an issue and if you do get close to filling this device there are options such as iCloud and Google Drive to make some extra space for you.
In terms of output options, this device includes an audio jack, VGA port, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, LAN jack, HDMI and AC adapter plug. By including so many output options you can rely on the fact that this device is very versatile and you are unlikely to have any connectivity issues.
This laptop comes equipped with the ASUS SonicMaster audio technology, this quality sound system isn’t something that you would normally see on a laptop of this standard and provides users with an immersive audio quality.
Furthermore, the built-in high-speed wireless LAN connects to your network and delivers a fast and smooth internet experience.
6. Lenovo 330-15IGM
CPU: Intel Pentium Silver N5000 Quad-Core | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 605 | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 500GB HHD | Battery: 30Whr | Dimensions: 10.24 x 14.88 x 0.91 inches | Weight: 4.4 lbs
Can handle basic streaming and browsing well
Value for money
Poor calibration to the display
Very limited gameplay capabilities
Although this laptop is one of the most affordable options out there, it is a very basic device and would only really be suitable for everyday use, multitasking, and basic entertainment.
The design features a basic metal case although it does lack a strong aesthetic appeal due to its lack of any kind of backlighting which is to be expected due to the price point. It’s a thin and compact device perfect for portability and convenience making it extremely suitable for a busy lifestyle.
In terms of the display, this device is limited to a resolution of just 768p. The colors and contrasts are poor and may appear to be dull.
The Lenovo 330 comes fully equipped with multiple USB port options so you can be sure connectivity won’t be an issue especially if you are using this device on the move.
Furthermore, in terms of sound quality, there are both software and audio tuning features included to ensure quality sound performance.
Now when it comes down to the performance this laptop can handle the essential tasks very well, promising a good experience should you use this device for entertainment or work, making it a suitable option for many of you.
In terms of how the Lenovo can handle games, it’s not too different from others on this list, it cannot handle the modern, popular games without running them on the lower settings.
However, this shouldn’t be a surprise after all this is a lower-end laptop. Furthermore, the GPU included on this device (Intel UHD Graphics 605) would again only be suitable for streaming and browsing capabilities. So if you require something more powerful I would look at something with higher specs.
7. Lenovo S145-15IWL
CPU: Intel Pentium 5405U | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 610 | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 256GB HDD | Battery: 30Whr | Dimensions: 9.92 x 14.25 x 0.78 inches | Weight: 4.08 lbs
High quality when running basic tasks
Decent design quality
Can only handle simple tasks
The Lenovo S145-15IWL may have a simple design, however, its aluminium feel touches add to the aesthetic quality, and it’s made from extremely solid materials so it doesn’t feel cheap.
The display has a decent resolution for the price, however, the viewing angles are poor and colors are shown to be dull, this isn’t helped by the thick bezels that you get on this device.
This laptop is relatively thin and light and so portability will be easy and this laptop would be great for someone who lives on the go and needs a device that can keep up with a busy lifestyle.
Connectivity is good with this laptop including a variety of ports so that any external connections that you need can be met.
With a spacious trackpad and comfortable keyboard, this device is extremely user-friendly.
In terms of the performance, this laptop isn’t the best, it doesn’t seem to be the most responsive and lag may be an issue. As well as this poor performance quality, when this device is running it can run a little on the warm side, this may cause some issues with overheating and does cause issues with the overall laptop performance.
However, although there are issues with heat these are dealt with quite effectively and the high temperatures are dispersed quickly thanks to the inclusion of vents on this device.
The GPU on this device does perform quite well in terms of the price point, however, it would only really be suitable for less strenuous use.
Overall the Lenovo would be a good laptop for those wanting something simple to deal with the simpler tasks you may wish to do in everyday life, however, when it comes down to playing games, unless you only wish to play the most basic titles, then this device just doesn’t have the power to provide users with a quality experience on even the older games. But this is to be expected for a budget laptop.
8. Lenovo 130-15AST
CPU: AMD A9-9425 | GPU: AMD Radeon R5 | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch (1,366 x 768) | Storage: 128GB SSD | Battery: 36Whr | Dimensions: 9.9 x 14.3 x 0.9 inches | Weight: 4.63 lbs
Can conduct the basic tasks well
Better options available for similar price
The Lenovo 130-15AST is a solid choice when looking for an affordable laptop, with its sturdy design and this is a decent laptop for everyday tasks.
However, when it comes down to performance this laptop really does underperform, you can expect to see issues loading apps, delays switching through tabs and issues with buffering and streaming videos.
In terms of gameplay, your options will be limited to playing the simple app store games and even then the running quality isn’t the best. When looking at the graphics the frames per second come up at lower than other laptops within this price range and there are definitely better options available, without spending that much more money.
Although it is important to bear in mind what you can get for the price, you can get better laptops for your money that are further up on this list.
The battery life isn’t much better and if you are using this laptop on the go I would definitely recommend staying close to a power supply.
When in use this laptop doesn’t get hot so at least you can rely on the fact that you won’t have issues with overheating and the performance of this laptop shouldn’t be hindered by high temperatures.
Another issue is it only having 128GB SSD. It will boot up faster than an HDD but the problem is the storage space won’t be enough for most users. If you plan on only using this for basic tasks, then this amount of storage will be ok.
Overall, I would recommend this laptop if you are looking for something extremely basic and even then there are still better options available to you within this budget that can run the basic tasks well.
9. Acer Aspire 1
CPU: Intel Celeron N4000 | GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 600 | RAM: 4GB DDR4 | Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1080) | Storage: 64GB flash memory solid state | Battery: 30Whr | Dimensions: 9.65 x 13.5 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 3.64lbs
Slim and light
Good port selection
Low battery life
Only 64GB of memory
The Acer Aspire is definitely a budget choice and I can definitely say this is at the lower end of the laptops within this price range.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t have the capabilities to run a lot of the popular modern game titles unless they are run on the lowest of settings and this is simply because it doesn’t have the power to do so. However, because these are all laptops on the lower end of the market you can’t expect to be getting a laptop that has decent gaming capabilities.
As well as issues with the performance this device does come with a very small battery and users have reported only getting about four hours of use from this laptop so I would advise keeping the charger handy.
In terms of the materials that have been used to construct this laptop, it can feel quite flimsy and the webcam is of low quality.
Overall this laptop would be suitable for the basic processes such as internet browsing on a day to day basis and other general functions. However, when it comes to exceeding the simple processes such as gaming this is where the laptop falters and I would definitely recommend choosing another option on this list.
However, it is worth noting that this basic laptop does include some quality features like the high-quality display, slim and light design and great selection of ports.
But, if you are in the market for a basic gaming laptop or something that is required to deliver to a high standard, then I would presume that you want something that can produce quality gameplay, and fulfill your needs without the need to go out and upgrade where possible.
What’s the best budget laptop I can buy for under $300? (March 2020 update)
Overall the best laptop on this list would have to be the Lenovo IdeaPad 130. It offers the most value for money as you still get such a great performance for such a low price.
It is common to think that you have to spend a lot of money to get a decent laptop, however, this really isn’t the case with this machine and should you need a basic laptop that can perform the basic functions to a high standard then this would be the one for you.
You can find many more laptop reviews by visiting the following page www.gizmofusion.com/computing/laptops.
James Cosgrove has been the lead writer at GizmoFusion since 2019. He has a huge passion for the latest technology and gadgets. He loves to talk and write about this interest. He hopes that visitors to the website will find his reports informative and helpful when it comes to making the best choices for their needs.