For people who are looking for high quality laptops with a relatively low price tag, a chromebook is usually a great option. These laptops are packed with the most incredible technology and are truly reliable, both for casual and professional use.
While chromebooks are generally expensive, it goes without saying that some are considerably more expensive than others. This isn’t always ideal when you’re on a budget and you don’t have a lot of money to spend. Thankfully, we’ve written this guide to help you to buy the best possible chromebook for under $300. We’ve also covered our selection criteria to help you to make the best decision.
So, how did we choose the best chromebooks for under $300? There are a bunch of great chromebooks on the market, but they had to be truly spectacular to make this list. So, with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of products that fit with our criteria. Is the chromebook affordable? Is it powerful enough, and how long does it last when it’s not charging? We’ve also taken some time to think about the other features that the chromebook offers, such as the connectivity or unique features such as tablet modes. In doing so, we’ve come up with the following list.
Best Chromebook Under $300 in 2021
Great battery life
Thin and lightweight
The audio quality leaves a lot to be desired
There are very few budget chromebooks out there that are better than the Samsung Chromebook 4. This laptop is truly spectacular considering the price. For your money, you will get a fast and impressive performance. That, of course, is not all!
One of the key things worth noting about this chromebook is the stellar battery life. You can expect to get many hours of use out of this laptop, making it ideal for when you need to work away from home and don’t have access to the power supply. Thankfully, it’s made even more portable by the design. This chromebook is lightweight and thin, allowing you to slot it into your bag for easy transportation.
With this laptop, you can also expect a pretty great performance. It operates quickly, and you shouldn’t have to worry about waiting for long periods of time for pages to load. If you will be using the laptop for doing a lot of typing, you will also be happy with the keyboard. The keys are well spaced, making traveling between the keys totally seamless. Perhaps the only real issue is the fact that the audio isn’t the best. This issue is easily combated by connecting some separate speakers, however.
Large screen size
Poor audio quality
This laptop is a pretty attractive model, but it’s great for more than just good looks! The laptop is known for having a large 15.6 inch touch screen display, making it ideal for tablet use and for viewing multiple things at once on the screen.
This chromebook runs incredibly quickly when you use it. It has a ChromeOS operating system that’s very speedy, in addition to a 2.5 GHz Intel Pentium processor. The 4GB of RAM also helps to make the laptop operate smoothly. For storage, you will have 64 GB of data. This certainly isn’t a lot, but thankfully you will have access to the cloud with your chromebook, which can solve the storage problem. You will also get a HD camera built into the laptop – perfect for those Monday morning Zoom calls!
The connectivity on this laptop is also pretty decent. You will get two Type-A USB 3.1 ports, a headphone and microphone jack and two USB 3.0 type C ports. Unfortunately, this is another laptop that has poor audio quality, but again, this is an issue that’s easily rectified.
Versatile - can be used as a tablet and a laptop
Great battery life
Only comes with a USB C port connection
Are you in the market for a fantastic 2 in 1 chromebook on a budget? Well, look no further than the Lenovo Chromebook Duet. This laptop has a lot to offer, so read on for more information!
To start with, this laptop has great battery life. With this laptop, you can easily do your work in university classes and when working away from home without panicking that your laptop is going to die soon. It is designed to be used both as a laptop and as a tablet, so it’s pretty versatile. As such, it comes with a cover and a keyboard that you can detach.
In terms of performance, you’re going to have good results with this laptop. It operates smoothly and efficiently, and it’s ideal for casual use. The only caveat is that the connectivity is a little limited. All you are going to get with this chromebook is just one USB-C port. This is a little disappointing, but otherwise, this tablet can serve you well for most of your needs.
Comfortable to type on
The graphics could be better, though they are suitable for a laptop at this price
The Dell Chromebook 11 is one of the most affordable chromebooks on the market, so it’s definitely worth considering if you’re on a budget. With this laptop, you’re getting a high quality device with impeccable performance.
In fact, this is actually a great laptop for young children since it’s super durable. It’s made with US Military MIL-STD durability. It feels just as sturdy as it looks, and you can easily carry it anywhere with you without worrying about it getting damaged as you knock it about.
It’s also incredibly easy to type on it thanks to the travel between the keys. You will get a decent screen display, though it’s best not to expect crystal clear graphics like you would get on a laptop that’s quadruple the price. Otherwise, it’s a great laptop with a good performance that you can rely on.
Great trackpad and keyboard
The battery life isn’t the best
Last but not least on our list is the HP Chromebook 14. This chromebook comes in a pretty cool blue color, which will certainly stand out as you are using it! Of course, the vivid color of the design is not the only thing to love about this laptop.
The laptop comes with fantastically clear visuals, allowing you to see the things on the screen with optimal clarity. It’s very fast and responsive, so you don’t need to wait for long periods of time for the chromebook to load various pages. You will also enjoy typing on it, thanks to the well spaced keys and the trackpad that works like a dream.
Perhaps the biggest issue with this laptop is that the battery life isn’t nearly as good as many of the other options on this list. Nevertheless, this laptop is great if you want a reliable option.
Things To Consider
What should you be thinking about when making your decision about which chromebook to buy? Ultimately, it’s an incredibly personal decision. However, there are some key things that are worth thinking about before you click that buy button.
Using a laptop is often a very visual experience. For this reason, you will want to get a chromebook with a high quality display. It’s essential to get something that’s durable, and with graphics that are vivid so that you can see everything with the perfect clarity.
One of the great things about chromebooks is that they often work alongside android apps. If you intend to use some of these apps, it’s certainly in your best interest to consider getting a chromebook that has a touchscreen display. In fact, many Android apps will actually require use of the touchscreen. Thankfully though, a good amount of chromebooks are actually made to be used both as laptops and as tablets, giving them extra versatility. If you are going to get a chromebook that has a touchscreen, it’s probably best to get a 2 in 1 option that can alternate between a tablet and a laptop.
You should also think about the resolution – it’s best to get an option that has a resolution of roughly 1366 x 786 at the minimum. If you can get better than this then that’s a much better choice.
Another consideration that you will want to make when buying your chromebook is the size. For instance, in some professions you may wish to have a larger screen so you can see more things at once. On the other hand, if you intend to use your chromebook for things such as taking notes in lectures or for business meetings outside of the house, it’s better to get a laptop with a smaller screen since this will be significantly more portable.
You can get chromebooks in a wide variety of sizes. The smallest is usually 11.6 inches. These laptops are generally very affordable and are highly portable. The resolution is often less than 1080p which isn’t ideal. They can sometimes have shrunken keys too.
On the other end of the spectrum you have the 15.6 inch chromebooks. These are usually best for use at home in a permanent station. They’re not necessarily designed to be sat on your lap since they’re so large. They’re ideal if you need better productivity though since you can see more at once. There are even laptops that are around 13 inches or 14 inches, if you want a middle ground.
Basically, if you want something that’s more portable, then it’s usually better to get a chromebook that’s smaller in size. If you want something that will allow you to see more at once, a larger model will be better for you. A larger model may also cost you a little more money.
RAM is a rather important factor to consider when you are buying your chromebook. It can determine how quickly your computer will run, alongside whether you can effectively multitask with it.
Ideally, you should be looking for a minimum of 4 GB of RAM. You will most likely find this in the vast majority of chromebooks. Of course, it’s a lot better to get a laptop with 8 GB of RAM since this will run a lot faster. You aren’t likely to get 16 GB of RAM on a chromebook that costs less than $300, however. In many cases you can also expand the RAM on your computer with some upgrades anyway, so you can always make some adjustments later down the road.
RAM goes hand in hand with your processor. In fact, the processor is one of the biggest components to consider when it comes to buying any kind of laptop, since it will have a huge impact on the speed and performance of your laptop. You can think of it as a brain for your laptop – if the brain isn’t functioning properly, the rest of the chromebook isn’t going to work very well either.
For the best possible performance, you should be looking for a chromebook that has a powerful processor. You’ll need an Intel i3 processor or a suitable equivalent at the minimum, but ideally you should be investing in a chromebook with an i5 or an i7 processor for the perfect performance.
One good thing to take into consideration when choosing a chromebook is how good the connectivity is. You will want to have at least some USB slots where you can put things such as external hard drives and cables for your computer mouse. At the minimum, it’s worth looking for a chromebook with a minimum of three USB ports. Ideally, try to get two USB Type-C ports, preferably one either side. It can also be handy to have a USB Type A port in case you need to connect older devices to your laptop. You will often find that more expensive devices will have better connectivity, but this is a good expectation to have at this price range.
Chromebooks are quite well known for their portability. If portability is your goal though, you’ll need to think about more than just the physical size of your chromebook. There are also other factors at play, namely the battery life. What is the point in having a portable laptop if it dies after 2 hours of use if it isn’t plugged in? With that in mind, you should be considering a chromebook with decent battery life. At the minimum, you should be looking at a minimum of 6 hours worth of battery life with basic use. You will find that most chromebooks have a high battery life so this shouldn’t be a massive problem for you, but it’s still something that’s important to take into consideration.
Finally, you’ll want to think about other features that you can get with your chosen chromebook. First and foremost, it goes without saying that you should be getting a laptop that’s durable. If your laptop isn’t designed for longevity, you will likely find yourself in the need of a replacement in just a few months time. That simply won’t do! Look for something with a durable construction – you can usually check for other customer reviews to see how good the durability is. If you have a child that is going to be using the chromebook, it’s also worth thinking about getting a Chromebook that’s made with military grade MIL-STD 810G durability, and think about getting something that has a spill resistant keyboard too.
In addition to this, you may want to consider getting a 3:2 display if you are planning on working with a lot of tabs open. This will make it a lot easier for you to split screen with the laptop. You may also wish to get a laptop with a backlit keyboard if you are planning on working late into the night, since this will allow you to see the keys much more easily when it’s dark.
So we’ve reached the end of this buying guide for the best Chromebook under $300. Although all the Chromebooks on show are pretty fantastic options, we think that the standout choice and the one you should pick up if you’re on that $300 budget, is the Samsung Chromebook 4.