Best Cheap Laptop under 300 dollars 2017 (For gaming and Office)

A few years ago, it was almost impossible to buy a laptop for 300 dollars with superior performance. Often, at this price point, they came with a time lag due to the smaller memory size and poor processor, which affected the user experience. As a result, purchasing a PC costing around $300 was not recommended.

With the development of technology, the laptops have become cheaper and cheaper, the 300-dollar laptops also have relatively good performance, they are generally equipped with Intel Pentium N3530, Intel Celeron 3205U and other processors, coupled with 4GB of memory, they are enough for us to do some light work.

With the evolution of technology, the laptops have become cheaper and cheaper. Even the 300-dollar laptops have made performance improvements. Coupled with 4GB of memory, they are equipped with Intel Pentium N3530, Intel Celeron 3205U, and other processors, which make them good enough for performing light work.

For playing games, editing videos, and other heavy computing needs however, it is still unrealistic to select a laptop under 300 dollars. They are often equipped with an integrated graphics capability with display performance that comes short of meeting the gaming requirements. We recommend you to increase your budget to around 500 dollars. Of course, if you just enjoy playing some older games, there are still some models at this price point that will meet your requirements.

Next, we’ll share several laptops, which are divided into two categories. First, for office use, we recommend very popular laptops around $300. Their configuration and performance-cost ratio are the best. However, due to lower requirements for graphics, we will select the laptops based on Intel platform to ensure better overall performance. For the gaming category, we will recommend laptops that are equipped with APU platform as the integrated graphics that APU platform uses has better gaming performance than that of the Intel processor. At the same time, we refer you to the users’ reviews on Amazon as it can help you make the right selection.

For Office

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

The newest member of Dell’s 15.6-inch, budget-class, laptop 3000-series family is the Dell Inspiron 15 3000. This notebook, made for home or office, has a chassis that is almost square, and made from a matte black plastic. Instead of using the older Haswell processors which were found in the previous 3542 and AMD CPUs in the 3541, they have installed the most recent Intel Broadwell processors.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000, at this time, is providing a couple of choices of lower-to-mid range Broadwell CPUs. They are offering the mid-tier Intel Core i3-5015U, or the entry-level Intel Celeron 3205U. The Celeron is only adequate for simple office, basic web use, and multimedia tasks. On the other hand the Intel Core i3-5015U gives much better performance, giving you the ability to do video editing and photo-manipulation without hesitation. Additionally, the Intel HD 5500 integrated graphics in the i3, is a lot faster compared to the basic Intel HD. This will allow you to play the most recent games on low settings.

The memory system for the notebook comes with 4 GB of RAM but will support up to 8 GB. There is only one RAM slot, which has been conveniently located, making upgrades easy to accomplish; this is true of the hard drive bay as well. The machine can be purchased with either 1TB or 500GB HDD preinstalled. The laptop also has a DVD burner on board.

The display resolution is 1366-by-768. As to be expected, in a budget category notebook, IPS wide viewing angle technology has been omitted. There is an option for backlighting the Chiclet-style keyboard, which has a dedicated numeric pad.

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has a Touchscreen version, to have a see on Amazon

The majority of buyers will be quite satisfied with the selection of slots, ports, and networking features that Dell has incorporated into this laptop. These include:

  • Bluetooth connections
  • A combo audio microphone/headphone jack
  • Wi-Fi
  • HDMI video connector
  • Ethernet LAN
  • Memory card reader
  • 3 USB ports
  • Windows 10

    The non-touch Inspiron 3000 only weighs 5.3 pounds, while the touch screen version is slightly heavier at 5.5 pounds. The laptop is very thin, with a thickness of only 0.9 inches.

    Summary

    Even though the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 may not be the most powerful of laptops, if you need a computer that will help you with basic office and home computing, or to help you with your school work and play older games, this is a good option. It has been designed to be versatile and it is easy to upgrade both storage and memory, yourself; plus, the long battery life is definitely a benefit.

    More information and user reviews on Amazon (Non-touch) | Touchscreen version

    Acer Aspire ES1-531-P0JJ

    When you think about Acers, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Most likely, you think about a cheap price, which I must say, often means an excellent value. Acer seems to have the ability to incorporate a great many performance features into their machine, which makes prospective customers happy, knowing they will not have to spend a great deal of money. The question becomes, with Acer’s newest budget release, the Acer Aspire ES1-531-P0JJ, is this still true? Let’s take a look and see if we can find out!

    Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G

    Performance

    The first thing we notice about the Acer Aspire ES1-531-P0JJ is the lackluster nature of the processor. It is called the Intel Pentium N3700, and although the CPU features four cores with varying clock speeds between 1.6 GHz and 2.4GHz (with turbo), it still has some problems. Even though the specifications seem quite solid, when tested, it receives a rather low 1900 points when compared to CPU Mark benchmarks. To give you an idea what this means, the midrange processors, such as the ULV Core i3, receive 2500 points and sometimes even more. Even though you cannot expect this processor to perform at high standards, it is still a viable choice when used for daily activities, such as YouTube and web browsing.

    The Acer Aspire ES1-512-P84G comes with 4GB of DDR3L SDRAM preinstalled, in the motherboard’s single memory slot. It will, however, support an 8 GB chip, so if you wish to have more RAM, you can swap out the memory.

    Storage is provided by a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive. Even though, by today’s standards, this may not be a great deal of storage, if you do not download a great deal of large files to your computer, half a terabyte should be quite sufficient. The casual user will find the 5400RPM rate is quite adequate, however, if you’re a professional, I am sure you will have a different solution: get rid of the HDD and replace it with a solid-state drive.

    The graphics performance of the Acer Aspire ES1-531-P0JJ is probably its worst feature. Integrated into the processor is a HD Graphics (Braswell) unit that supports DirectX 11.2  and is about twice as fast as the HD Graphics (Bay Trail), used as the graphics engine. What this means is, as a general rule, it is not powerful enough to handle demanding 3D games.  On the other hand, if you prefer the old games, such as Minecraft, WoW, and CS, you may be quite happy with this machine as the frame rates can reach 30FPS or more. The GPU also supports 4K/H.265 video acceleration.

    They claim that their three-cell battery has an average life of a massive seven hours, per charge. Well, we all know that that is most likely not true; you are more likely to end up with four or five hours of use from a single charge. However, that is still a little better than many of their competitors who have batteries which only give three hours of use.

    For those who have only basic needs, such as text editing, browsing, and maybe some off Internet video streaming, the Acer Aspire ES1-531-P0JJ might be the laptop for you. This laptop only allows for very limited gaming, making most of the 2014-2015 games almost completely unplayable because of the feeble graphics card. Of course, for the price of this laptop, you cannot expect much more. If you are seeking a solid starter laptop, then this Acer might be just what you’re looking for.

    Read More information and user reviews on Amazon

    The comparison of Our Recommend:

    Models Detail Information Screen CPU/GPU Storage Connectivity Battery/Weight
    Acer Aspire E 15(Recommended!) More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 2.4 GHz Intel Core i3-7100U/
    Intel HD Graphics 620

    1TB 5400RPM
    4GB DDR4 RAM

    1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C);
    2 x USB3.0
    1 x USB2.0
    Bluetooth 4.1
    1 x HDMI
    DVDRW/CD-RW
    6-cell Li-Ion Battery
    Up to 12 hours
    15 x 10.1 x1 inches (L x W x H)/ 5.3 pounds
    Acer Aspire ES 15 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 2.3 GHz Intel Core i3-6100U/
    HD Graphics 520

    1TB 5400RPM
    4GB DDR4 RAM

    1 x USB3.0
    2 x USB2.0
    Bluetooth 4.0
    1 x HDMI
    DVDRW/CD-RW
    4-cell Li-Ion Battery
    Up to 6.5 hours
    15 x 10.1 x1 inches (L x W x H)/ 5.3 pounds
    ASUS F556UA-AB32 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 2.3 GHz Intel Core i3-6100U/
    HD Graphics 520

    1TB 5400RPM
    4GB DDR4 RAM

    1 x USB3.0
    1x USB3.1 Type C
    1 x USB2.0
    Bluetooth 4.1
    1 x HDMI
    DVDRW/CD-RW
    15 x 10.1 x1 inches (L x W x H)/ 5.1 pounds
    Lenovo Ideapad 300 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch 1366 x 768 2.3 GHz Intel Core i3-6100U/
    HD Graphics 520

    500GB 5400RPM
    4GB DDR3 RAM

    1 x USB3.0
    2 x USB2.0
    Bluetooth 4.0
    1 x HDMI
    DVDRW/CD-RW
    15.11″ x 10.43″ x 0.90″ (L x W x H)/ 5 pounds
    Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga More information and user reviews on Amazon 11.6 inch IPS
    1366 x 768 Convertible Touchscreen
    1.83 GHz Intel Celeron N2940/ Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail) 128GB SSD
    4GB DDR3
    1 x USB2.0
    1 x USB 3.0
    1x HDMI,
    Bluetooth 4.0
    4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
    11.8x 8.5 x 0.9 inches (L x W x H)/ 3 pounds
    DELL i5558-2147BLK More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch
    1366 x 768
    1.83 GHz Intel i3-5015U/ Intel HD 5500

    1 TB HHD
    6GB DDR3

    1 x USB3.0,
    2 x USB2.0
    1x HDMI,
    Bluetooth 4.0
    DVD-RW
    4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery;
    14.90″ x 10.25″ x 0.95″ (L x W x H); 5.3 pounds
    ASUS Transformer Book T100HA-C4-GR More information and user reviews on Amazon 10.1 inch IPS 1280×800
    Touchscreen
    1.44GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8500
    HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
    64GB SSD
    4GB DDR3

    1 x Micro USB 2.0 (Tablet)
    1 x USB 2.0 (Dock)
    1 x HDMI
    Bluetooth 4.0

    8-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
    10.40″ x 6.80″ x 0.33″ (L x W x H) 2.28 pounds
    Dell Inspiron 15 3000 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6  inch
    1366×768
    2.0 GHz Intel Core i3-5015U/
    Intel HD Graphics 5500
    1TB 5400RPM
    4GB RAM
    1 x USB3.0
    2 x USB2.0
    1x HDMI,
    Bluetooth 4.0
    4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery;
    15.00 x 10.20 x 0.90 inches(L x W x H); 4.85 pounds
    Asus VivoBook More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch/1366 x 768 1.6 GHz Intel Pentium N3700/HD Graphics (Braswell) 500GB 5400RPM
    /4GB DDR3 RAM
    1 x USB3.0
    2 x USB2.0
    1x HDMI
    DVD+R/RW
    3-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery/15 x 9.92 x 1 (L x W x H)/ 4.41 pounds
    Lenovo Premium More information and user reviews on Amazon 11.6 inch
    1366 x 768
    1.6 GHz intel celeron N3050/ HD Graphics (Braswell) 32GB SSD
    4GB DDR3
    2 x USB2.0
    1x HDMI
    10 x 8 x 1 inch (L x W x H)/ 2 pounds

    For Gaming laptop under $300

    Lenovo G50

    The black Lenovo G50 is not only modern and stylish, but functional, versatile, and affordable. Filled with nice features, this15.6 inch laptop is wonderful for daily use of multimedia apps and streaming videos. You can expect an okay gaming performance when playing games such as Skyrim, when graphics settings are set to lower or medium performance. The R5 graphics card with 6GB of RAM, along with the A8 processor, make this machine quite reliable for school, work, or home use.

    Lenovo G50

    The Lenovo G50 ships with a quad core AMD A-Series processor A8-6410 at 2.0 GHz, 6 GB DDR3 RAM, which works quite well for multi-tasking. Windows 8.1 operating system is preinstalled, and there is plenty of room for storage with the 500GB at 5400 rpm hard drive. Simple data backup and recovery is easy with the OneKey Recovery feature, so there is no need for you to worry about where all your regular and multimedia files are going. Multitasking is easy due to the generous amount of memory and the quad core processor.

    You will enjoy the immersive and full sound from the stereo speakers and Dolby advanced audio certification, provided unexpectedly from this budget laptop. You will find your home entertainment experience very satisfying. This is a budget laptop, so don’t expect the highest of screen quality like you would get from an FHD display, and although the sound may not wow you, it is a fairly good quality. You can play the most recent games on lower resolutions with the integrated AMD Radeon R5 HD graphics card. With this system, you can enjoy online video chats or web conferences with other colleagues, because the webcam has an integrated microphone.

    For all those which are not full-on gamers, this is a fantastic computer. If your main use is the running of daily tasks efficiently and smoothly, and you want to play games like Minecraft or Skyrim at lower settings, or possibly older titles with higher resolutions, you really should consider this laptop.

    Detail Specs:

  • Screen: 15.6 inch (1366 x 768)
  • CPU: AMD Quad-Core A8-6410
  • GPU: AMD Radeon R5 graphics
  • Hard Drive: 500GB 5400RPM
  • RAM:4GB
  • Input/Output: 1 x USB3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI; DVD±RW/CD-RW drive
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64-bit 


    Read More information and user reviews on Amazon

    The comparison of Our Recommend:

    Models Detail Information Screen CPU/GPU Storage Connectivity Battery/Weight
    Acer Aspire E 15(Recommended!) More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 2.4 GHz Intel Core i3-7100U/
    Intel HD Graphics 620

    1TB 5400RPM
    4GB DDR4 RAM

    1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C);
    2 x USB3.0
    1 x USB2.0
    Bluetooth 4.1
    1 x HDMI
    DVDRW/CD-RW
    6-cell Li-Ion Battery
    Up to 12 hours
    15 x 10.1 x1 inches (L x W x H)/ 5.3 pounds
    Acer Aspire ES 15 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 2.3 GHz Intel Core i3-6100U/
    HD Graphics 520

    1TB 5400RPM
    4GB DDR4 RAM

    1 x USB3.0
    2 x USB2.0
    Bluetooth 4.0
    1 x HDMI
    DVDRW/CD-RW
    4-cell Li-Ion Battery
    Up to 6.5 hours
    15 x 10.1 x1 inches (L x W x H)/ 5.3 pounds
    Lenovo Ideapad 300 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6  inch
    1366×768
    2.3 GHz Intel Core i3-6100U/ HD Graphics 520

    500GB 5400RPM
    4GB DDR3 RAM

    1 x USB3.0
    2 x USB2.0
    Bluetooth 4.0
    1 x HDMI
    DVDRW/CD-RW
    15.11″ x 10.43″ x 0.90″ (L x W x H)/ 5 pounds
    ASUS F556UA-AB32 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 2.3 GHz Intel Core i3-6100U/ HD Graphics 520

    1TB 5400RPM
    4GB DDR4 RAM

    1 x USB3.0
    1x USB3.1 Type C
    1 x USB2.0
    Bluetooth 4.0
    1 x HDMI
    DVDRW/CD-RW

    15 x 10.1 x1 inches (L x W x H)/ 5.1 pounds
    Dell Inspiron 15 3000 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6  inch
    1366×768
    2.0 GHz Intel Core i3-5015U/
    Intel HD Graphics 5500
    1TB 5400RPM
    4GB RAM
    1 x USB3.0
    2 x USB2.0
    1x HDMI,
    Bluetooth 4.0
    4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery;
    15.00 x 10.20 x 0.90 inches(L x W x H); 4.85 pounds
    HP Business 15 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch 1366 x 768
    Touchscreen
    AMD A8-7410/ Radeon R5 1TB 5400RPM
    4GB DDR3

    1 x USB3.0
    2 x USB 2.0
    1 x HDMI
    DVD/CD burner

    3-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
    15.13 x 10 x 0.96 (L x W x H) 4.73 pounds

    HP High Performance

    More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch 1366 x 768 AMD A8-7410/ Radeon R5 1TB 5400RPM
    4GB DDR3

    1 x USB3.0
    2 x USB 2.0
    1 x HDMI
    DVD/CD RW

    3-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
    19.9 x 12.2 x 3 (L x W x H) 4.32 pounds
    Lenovo G70-80 More information and user reviews on Amazon 17.3 inch
    1600 x 900
    2 GHz Intel Core i3/AMD Radeon R5 1TB 5400RPM
    4GB RAM
    1 x USB3.0,
    2 x USB2.0
    1x HDMI,
    Bluetooth 4.0
    DVD-RW
    4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery;
    15 x 10.5 x 1 inches(L x W x H); 5.3 pounds
    Lenovo G50

    More information and user reviews on Amazon

    15.6 inch
    1366 x 768
    2 GHz A8-6410/ Radeon R5 500GB 5400RPM
    4GB RAM
    1 x USB3.0
    2 x USB2.0
    1x HDMI
    Bluetooth 4..1
    DVD-RW
    4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
    15.12 x 10.43 x 0.98 (L x W x H); 4.6 pounds

    ChromeBook

    Google’s entry into the laptop field are the ChromeBooks. Designed for web use, they use a slimmed down operating system. Turn on a ChromeBook and, in just a few moments, the login screen will appear and you can instantly log into your Google account. Once you have logged in, you will notice an environment similar to a Windows 7-style desktop, complete with application launcher, system tray, and taskbar. From this desktop, you can only run Chrome apps and the Chrome web browser.

    Simplicity is the key to the ChromeBook. The Chrome web browser is the only thing you have to work with. If you, like many others, are a person who normally uses multiple web browsers on your computer, this aspect can be quite liberating. No complicated operating system is hiding under your web browser for you to worry about, no window type viruses, startup programs are not there, and best of all, there is no preinstalled bloat-ware slowing your system down and filling up your system tray. There is no need for you to run system utilities or antivirus programs. What you have in front of you is a laptop that boots extremely quick, to a full desktop version of the Chrome web browser, including a touchpad and a keyboard; that’s all there is!

    One thing that is important for you to consider before buying a ChromeBook is what you will be utilizing the laptop for. If you are planning to use your ChromeBook for programs like Photoshop, think again; it cannot be used for this kind of program. If you want to do CAD work or any other tasks that utilizes advanced tools not found on the web, then you need to forget about getting a ChromeBook; it just won’t work. Once again, if the latest PC games are what you have in mind, then this system is not for you.

    Of course, if all you really need is a web browser, or if you can get by with just a web browser, then a ChromeBook is something you may want to look at. These days, there is a lot that can be done with just a browser.

    The desktop version of Microsoft Office cannot be used on a ChromeBook. This means you cannot use mail merges or Excel macros. There is, however, a free version of office provided by Microsoft, called Office Web Apps. It works with your browser and it will run on a ChromeBook. This will allow you to use at least the basics of Office on a ChromeBook.

    ChromeBooks do not have much integrated storage as they have been optimized to be used with web-based services. Usually they come with only 16 GB of internal storage. Fortunately, this is extremely fast SSD–based storage, which enables your ChromeBook to run and boot quickly. Not having very much storage available encourages you to not rely on local storage.

    Even though ChromeBooks are able to do many things off-line, they are not as versatile as a Mac or Windows system when there is no Internet connection available.

    The comparison of Our Recommend:

      Acer Convertible Chromebook R11 Acer Chromebook 14 Samsung Chromebook 3 ASUS Chromebook Flip
    Display Size 11.6 inch Touchscreen 14  inch
    Touchscreen
    11.6 inch 10.1 inch Touchscreen
    Display Resolution 1366 x 768 iPS 1920×1080 iPS 1366 x 768 1280 x 800
    CPU Intel Celeron N3150 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3160 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3050 1.6GHz 1.8 GHz Rockchip RK3288
    Hard Drive 32GB SSD 32GB SSD 16GB SSD 16GB SSD
    Ram 4 GB 4 GB 2 GB 4 GB
    Graphic Card HD Graphics (Braswell) HD Graphics (Braswell) HD Graphics (Braswell) ARM Mali-T624
    OS Chrome OS Chrome OS Chrome OS Chrome OS
    Input/Output 1 x USB 2.0
    1 X USB3.0
    Bluetooth 4.0
    1 x HDMI
    2 X USB3.0
    Bluetooth 4.2
    1 x HDMI
    1 X USB3.0
    Bluetooth 4.0
    1 x HDMI
    2 x USB2.0
    1 x mHDMI
    Bluetooth 4.0
    Weight 4.8 lbs 3.42 lbs 2.5 lbs 2 lbs
    Battery Up to 10 hours Up to 12 hours Up to 11 hours Up to 9 hours
    More information on Amazon

    User Reviews on Amazon

    User Reviews on Amazon User Reviews on Amazon User Reviews on Amazon

  • 3 Comments

    1. KB

      On Amazon right now: ACER = $282, Dell = $339

      Is the $60 worth it? We’ll mainly be using it as a non-gaming computer. But will use it for multitasking a lot (office, web, spreadsheet, spotify, netflix etc.)

      Also on Amazon is the ASUS X551MAV Notebook for $249 (Dual-Core Celeron 2.16GHz Processor)

      Also, the Lenovo products cost significantly more – Lenovo G50 N3530 = $330, Lenovo G50 A8-6410 = $390 (both w/ 4 GB RAM)

      Thoughts?

      Reply
      1. KB

        Checked again, and it looks like the Lenovo model you show above, Lenovo G50 A8-6410, is on Amazon for $330 (not sold by Amazon, but fulfilled by them).

        Reply
      2. admin (Post author)

        I think the Dell is worth buying, the Intel core i3-5005U is more power than Intel Pentium N3540, the Integrated Graphics Intel HD Graphics 5500 is good for playing older and retro games.

        Reply

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