Best laptop under $300 in 2023
If you want help finding the best laptop under $300, our experts have put their knowledge to work and created the below shortlist, covering a variety of sizes, display options, memory and storage sizes.
Most of these picks are valid contenders for the title in their own ways, though if you’re looking for pure processing power, the Acer Aspire 3 A315-24P-R7VH Slim is the best out there. That being said, there are other considerations you should think about, as this might not be your biggest priority. We’ll take you through each of these picks to help you find the best model for your needs.
Products at a Glance
Best laptop under $300 in 2023
- A mere 128GB of storage at this price point
The Acer Aspire 3 A315-24P-R7VH Slim has the biggest hitting processor on this page by some margin – one of the latest gen AMD Ryzen 7000 series no less – the Ryzen 3 7320U. Not only is this a fantastic budget performer as far as processing power goes, but it’s also highly energy efficient, meaning this machine is capable of a very impressive 11-12 hours of battery life duration.
You get 8GB of RAM which is decent at this price point, and it’s the latest LPDDR5 – meaning greater future-proofing. The machine looks good, has reasonable build quality, and the keyboard comes with a numpad.
The only real downside is the limited 128GB SSD size, which doesn’t afford much space, but given the quality of the rest of the components, it’s still well worth buying this laptop and just expanding the storage yourself either with an external SSD or through upgrading the internal SSD.
- Comes with SD UHS card reader
- Nice webcam & mic for a budget model
- Respectable battery duration
- Solid build quality
- Only 4GB RAM & 128 SSD for $300
- Can’t upgrade the RAM
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 is a convertible 14-inch laptop available around the $300 mark. The hinge allows the lid of the laptop to bend back on itself, turning the laptop into a 14” tablet, complete with touchscreen functionality (though you can also use this in the normal laptop mode too).
This machine comes with another AMD Ryzen processor, though of a fairly old gen (though still capable) – the Ryzen 3 4300U. Again you get good battery duration – up to around 10 hours on battery saving mode.
The overall build quality on this Lenovo machine is notably good considering its low price. On top of that the webcam (720p) and accompanying mic are both above average for this price point, and you get an SD UHS card reader too.
Again the limitation comes in the storage (only 128GB SSD) and also this time the RAM, which is capped at 4GB DDR4. Although the storage can be expanded with external hard drives, unfortunately the soldered memory cannot be upgraded, so you’re stuck at 4GB, which may put some people off.
- Plenty of storage (512GB SSD)
- Loads of RAM (12GB)
- Light & slimline
- Poor Peak brightness
If you’re not satisfied with the limited memory and disk space of the above picks, then the 14-inch ASUS VivoBook 14 could be the choice for you.
Not only does this machine come with 12GB of DDR4 RAM, which is all you’ll need for an affordable general purpose laptop like this, but you also get a whopping 512GB of SSD storage, which is by far the most you’ll see out of any laptop in this price range.
The 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 is also a decent runner in terms of performance, even if the approx 7 hour battery life isn’t as good as the Ryzen picks on this page.
The laptop has decent build quality, has slimline dimensions, and at 3.10lbs is highly portable. The keyboard even comes with a fingerprint scanner.
The main downside however, is the brightness, which caps out at a mere 210 nits: about 75-100 nits below some of the other selections on this page. Not ideal for bright conditions, even inside. Besides though, there’s little to complain about.
- Excellent battery duration
- USB-C with video output & charging
- Nice and light for a 15” laptop
- Good quality keyboard
- Only 4GB of RAM
- No stylus support for touchscreen
If Chrome OS appeals to your needs then this Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 is a nice affordable option.
It has a 15-inch display but remains light by virtue of it being a Chromebook therefore requiring less powerful (and therefore weighty) components. The processor and integrated graphics aren’t the best, but don’t need to be to generate a similar level of performance, thanks to Chrome OS’ reliance on the cloud.
For the same the Chromebook doesn’t require much storage – capping out at 64GB – although it would have been nice to see more than 4GB of RAM, particularly given the time you’ll be spending opening tabs in your Chrome web browser.
Battery duration is better thanks to the reduced draw of the components – lasting up to 12 hours max, which is not bad at all (and the best of any of our picks here). Although there’s no SD card reader, you get charging support and video output on the USB-C socket, as well as a Kensington lock for added security.
The biggest disappointment of the machine is the lack of stylus support for the touchscreen… although it does have a touchscreen where others don’t so this is still a net gain. On top of this, the keyboard is the best of all the laptops on this list.
Things to think about when looking for the best laptop under $300
Most laptops under $300 will have 256GB or even just 128GB of storage, either on an SSD or using eMMC. You may find the odd laptop with 512GB SSD storage (which is quite enough for most people), but these are rare.
You can however supplement your laptop’s inbuilt storage with an external hard drive, store things via the cloud, or (if your laptop allows it) upgrade the SSD yourself.
The majority of under $300 will cap out at 8GB of RAM, though you may be able to expand this yourself after the point of purchase (if the RAM is soldered onto the motherboard though, this will not be possible). Some laptops at this price point will come with only 4GB of RAM even, which is less than what you want if you’re prone to opening a lot of tabs in your browser, though it will suffice for some people.
Best laptop under $300 FAQs
Are $300 laptops worth buying?
$300 laptops are worth buying if you’re after a budget machine, but you have to be aware of the limitations that will pop up. You’re going to get older gen CPUs and integrated graphics, less memory and less SSD space than on the more mid-budget models, though if you’re only looking for something cheap to do some web browsing and document writing on whilst indoors, then there are decent models available.
What is a good laptop that is not too expensive?
There are a few contenders for a good laptop that is not too expensive (for around the $300 mark). Our top picks include an Acer Aspire, Lenovo IDeaPad Flex, and ASUS VivoBook – read within for exactly which models we’ve picked and why!
The Acer Aspire 3 A315-24P-R7VH Slim might be the best laptop for under $300 in terms of power, but other options have the edge in other areas, so we’d advise you read our mini-reviews of each to help you determine the pick for your needs.