Best Laptops Under $300
These days not everybody needs to buy a top-end flagship laptop to perform their everyday tasks because cheaper budget laptops are now coming with great capabilities and power. In this highly competitive market of laptops, new machines are being launched every second day, which is not less than a boon for the companies, as older models get a substantial price cut after the release of newer devices. This market phenomenon is beneficial for the customers as they get an option to buy better and capable laptops for a lesser price. Budget laptops are capable of performing all everyday tasks along with moderate level gaming and basic photo and video editing. It is a hassle for people to choose the best under the budget price of $300, which I have made simpler with detailed research on each laptop. Let’s find the best among the following budget laptops:
- Lenovo Ideapad 320
- Acer Aspire 1
- Asus Chromebook C202SA-YS02
- Acer Chromebook R11
Lenovo Ideapad 320:
Like every other company, Lenovo has also updated the design of this laptop, better than its predecessor, the Ideapad 310. The non-glossy and cheap plastic is now replaced with a matte exterior plastic and better-built quality. Let’s check out the details:
The Design– The IdeaPad 320 still sports a bulkier look like its predecessor, with the same width and height, but this one specifically looks sleeker due to its design. The laptop feels premium at first glance, but the plastic touch to the exterior reminds us of it being a budget device.
The Display– The display of the machine is full HD, i.e. 1920x1080p, which is great, but the inferior viewing angles seem inferior. The colour reproduction is below average, but the brightness and contrast are up to the mark. The laptop also supports a 180-degree movement which still doesn’t help in the pathetic viewing angles.
The Keyboard and Touch-pad– Lenovo has been consistent with its great keyboard experience. The IdeaPad 320 has an identical keyboard to the previous generation, with one main difference that the up and down arrow keys are smaller which probably makes way for a bigger right shift key and enter key. The flat keycaps of the island-style keyboard are still very popular amongst the Lenovo line-up, with great customer reviews and experience.
The touch-pad is bigger with this particular variant of the IdeaPad series. The laptop now features an inbuilt right and left keys on the touch-pad which works only when the lower end of the touch-pad is pressed. The touch is great but not as good as one with the glass finish.
The Performance– The machine does not disappoint when it comes to the performance. The laptop is powered by an Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core processor with 4 GB RAM and 1 TB Hard Disk Drive. The performance is everything that a potential buyer is looking for in a laptop. This machine serves the purpose in the best way possible. The graphics are great with the Intel Graphics 500 GPU. Using the machine for basic office tasks, internet browsing, video playback, etc. offers great experience without any lag.
The Battery– The laptop lasts for about 4 hours on a single charge. The HD display and graphics of the laptop takes up all the juice, but as compared to other budget laptops, this duration is pretty decent.
The Conclusion– The Lenovo Ideapad 320 serves more than what a budget laptop has to offer. The device features great performance, a very responsive keyboard, and decent battery life. It also comes in a variety of different colours for the buyer to choose from. All In all, the machine is great with the price-tag of $278 on Amazon.com/us.
Acer Aspire One:
The Acer Aspire One is one of the best laptops under a budget of $300, with a stylish design and a 1080p display. Acer has done a remarkable job at creating such a great machine with a modular look.
The Design– Acer Aspire One is sleek and stylish when it comes to looks. The laptop is thin and unusually light weighted. The machine comes only in black colour with silver Acer logo and white keyboard keys. If a buyer is looking for pop and funky colours, this is not the thing for you. The laptop is made of plastic which flexes even at the slightest touch. The laptop sports a 180-degree movement with sturdy hinges.
The Display- The machine is offered with a 1080p HD display which has great contrast and picture quality. Although the wide viewing angles are a bit off, it strains the eyes when viewed from the slightest tilt. The laptop does a great job with dimming the reflections, providing an average picture quality with great colour.
The Keyboard and touch-pad– The keys of the island styled keyboard provide a great tactile response; however, it becomes a little stiff when having long typing sessions. The key-travel of 1.2 mm is very responsive with the actuation force of just 78 gm. The laptop has a well-spaced keyboard for its design that provides distinct typing without sluggishness.
The touch-pad is made of plastic which lessens its smoothness. The right and the left click of the laptop have an undeniable form factor. The touch-pad is very responsive, and there are always positive feedbacks for Acer’s keyboards and touch-pads.
The Performance– The machine, under the hood, is equipped with Intel Celeron N4000 CPU, which when combined with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of eMMC flash storage provides excellent power and offers great capabilities. The performance score of the Aspire One is better than its rivals like the HP stream 14 and Dell Inspiron 15. The laptop even sports Intel UHD Graphics 600 GPU for playing web games all day every day, along with basic entry level editing and making office presentations. This laptop is capable of doing it all.
The Battery Life– This laptop runs 6 hours and 21 min. on a single charge, which is more than its potential competitors.
The Conclusion– The Acer Aspire One is an impressive laptop with a sleek and light design. The 14-inch display steals the show. One of the drawbacks of the device is the amount of flex in the plastic. The battery life is great, and the on-paper specifications are something that you wouldn’t want to miss. This laptop is priced at just $249 on Amazon.com/us.
Asus Chromebook C202SA-YS02:
With the increasing demand for high technology, how can we forget student’s need of having a laptop? The Asus Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is specially designed keeping students and kids in mind. It has a solid design with a spill-resistant keyboard and much more.
The Design– The Asus Chromebook C202SA-YS02 has focused its design on durability keeping the clumsiness of kids and children in mind. It is made from plastic, with rubberized moulding around all four corners of the laptop. This laptop has been supported with rubber as resistance against falls up to 3.5 feet and also the keyboard is water resistant up-to 66cc of fluid. The design is pretty solid with lesser flex than other budget laptops.
The Display-The display of the laptop is 11.6 inches with a resolution of 1366x768p. The screen has an anti-glare coating which minimizes reflections when working outdoors or in bright sunlight. The hinge of the laptop is capable of 180-degree tilt. The display lacks touchscreen features, and also the viewing angles aren’t good at all. Viewing the screen from different angles strains the eyes a lot. Otherwise, the brightness and contrast of the display are remarkable with the right amount of colour reproduction as well.
The Keyboard and Touch-pad- Silver plastic is used for the keyboard and touchpad area, which feels sleek and looks stylish. The keys feature a blue back-lit, which makes it difficult to see them under dim light. According to some reviews, the keyboard may seem smaller to some users. The key-travel of the keys is just perfect, and they are very responsive as well. The touch-pad feels smooth with sensitive left and right clicks. Both of these components are designed especially for kids to use them the rough way.
The Performance-An Intel Celeron N3060 processor powers the performance-the machine with Intel HD Graphics 400 which is clocked at 1.6 GHz. These specifications are always upgradable for some cost. This laptop as said is perfectly designed for kids and students to use, with high-performance capabilities, and with the integrated graphics card, gaming is no problem at all, unless it requires high specs like the GTA V. Basic students work can be done quickly, with these specifications.
The Battery Life– As mentioned earlier, this laptop is designed for kids to use, so automatically other than durability; the next thing that would come to mind is the battery life. The laptop has outrun most of its rivals regarding battery life, i.e., 12hours and few mins. The laptop will last the whole day at school, and the students can perform their projects and assignments without worrying about the plugin. Battery life is the biggest benefit of this laptop.
Conclusion– The Asus Chromebook C202SA-YS02 is the perfect laptop for students; it is affordable, it is durable, it is fast, it is portable, it has great battery life with great performance and modular design as well. This laptop is ideal for any student with a restricted budget, as this laptop costs only $224. Not only students, but even professionals can also use this laptop for carrying out their everyday office tasks, without any sluggishness and lag. It is a wonderful device by Asus.
Acer Chromebook R11:
This laptop by Acer is the most one could get out of a restricted budget. This laptop has a great design, the display is vibrant, the battery is long-lasting and many other different yet not so unique features, let’s find out:
The Design– The Acer R11 is docked in a sleek white chassis with some kind of diamond design on top. The build quality of the machine is not that strong as when we pressed the lid; the air pushed out. On Opening the lid, beautiful Black Island-style keys which looked great with the contrast of white.
The Display– A solid machine with 11.6” display, aluminium panelling and it is also very sleek and light to suit the students’ need of a portable device. It is just 19.6 mm thin and weighs only 2.76 pounds. The Acer R11 is a small machine that will fit comfortably in your bag and go with you anywhere. It has a 1366 x 768 touchscreen display which could be a little more vibrant. The brightness is lower than compared to its other competitors
The Keyboard and Touchpad-The keyboard on the beautiful laptop is very clicky, with 1.7 mm of key travel which is great as some high-end laptops lack such key travel features. The touch-pad is also very responsive and smooth. A 4.1 x 2.4 inches touch-pad didn’t feel as strong as it should have when compared to its other competitors.
The Performance– The machine is powered by an Intel Celeron N3150 Quad Core processor, which I think is pretty decent for the low budget laptop. It is packed with 4 GB of DDR4 RAM. This laptop did not feel sluggish while working with many different tabs open at the same time. It works on a Chrome OS which is very interactive for students and has cloud storage as well. The display is touchscreen and offers excellent colour reproduction as well.
The Battery Life– The battery life of this machine is excellent. It lasts for about 10 hours every day which is more than most of other two in one laptop in the market these days. This battery life is longer than most of the budget laptops and this is one of the most important components for a student to see in a laptop.
Conclusion– The low budget Chromebook R11 is light-weight and offers a colourful show, a snug keyboard, tight performance, and reasonable battery life. We tend to do worry regarding the machine’s build quality thanks to the flexing lid. Chrome OS simply is not prepared for touchscreens; therefore we won’t call the functionality a plus. This laptop is priced at $289 on Amazon.com/us.
There are laptops which are released every few weeks with advanced hardware and software, but the question is, whether you need all that power or not? Not everyone can afford that power. There are buyers who need a laptop just for the sake of it or even to carry out their browsing and office work or power-point presentations and more. Just because you buy a budget laptop which is not high-end, that doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on speed and capabilities. The above-mentioned laptops are the best in their category, and by now I’m sure, most of you must have decided what machine they’ll be going for. The thing is obvious that to achieve that price range, the company has to make some sacrifices, either on build quality or looks or anything, it is not important for a laptop to look premium always.
My choice for a budget laptop would surely be the Acer Aspire One, because of its stunning looks and sleek design. The Intel Celeron N4000 CPU with 4 GB of RAM does the job for performance really well. This laptop is all that a budget buyer requires. I would rate this laptop 8/10. There are great possibilities in future for budget laptops with more and more features and capabilities.