Best Laptops Under $300 – $350 dollar
Each month there are thousands of people looking for the best laptops under $300 hoping to find a good deal for their new laptop. In this price range you will mostly find entry level and compact laptops. Before making your purchase be sure you understand the main difference between a mini laptop (also know as a NetBook or Chromebooks) and a laptop (also known as a Notebook).
Any laptop with a screen size smaller than 13-inch is usually targeted more towards mobility than performance. The devices with displays very close to 10-inch, but still run Windows, are what is usually called Netbooks. In recent years Netbooks have all but disappeared and have been almost completely replaced by Chromebooks, which don’t run Windows, but Google’s ChromeOS. To further save in cost some of them come preloaded with a Linux distribution.
Netbooks got their name as a side effect of their small size. This limited the available selection of electronics that would fit and the available power had to be limited due to thermal constraints. This meant they could only do very basic Internet browsing and office tasks. Anything more demanding and it would be too much. Another side effect of the small size was that they weren’t very well suited for long writing sessions. The keyboards are even to this day quite compact and uncomfortable sometimes.
Today’s compact laptops have improved quite a bit since then, most noticeably in performance and battery life. Netbooks and Chromebooks are basically smaller, cheaper, lighter, more portable laptops. Due to these characteristics they have become a staple for students and schools. The fact that Chromebooks are easily managed centrally also helps here.
In recent years manufacturers have started to offer full sized 15-inch Laptops under the 350 dollar mark with quite acceptable performance. Some of them have proven themselves to be quite good and offer enough power for basic computer and even gaming needs. As such here is our list of some very good laptops in this price range.
The best performance for $350 dollars
This laptop actually caught me a bit off guard. I wasn’t expecting to find a full sized 15-inch laptop with a SSD for less than 350 dollars.
Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop with Touchscreen
- Intel Core i3-8145U
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB SSD
The 2019 Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop is currently on sale and just makes it into this category. It comes equipped with an Intel Core i3-8145U Processor 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. One of the big bonuses with this laptop is the built in Touchscreen and that it’s a full sized laptop.
While there are plenty of Netbooks, Chromebooks and various other compact devices we can choose from, we will stick with laptops here. We will pick one of the more compact models only if they have something above average ore special that might make them better choices than a regular full sized laptop.
HP 14 Inch Touchscreen Laptop
- AMD Ryzen 3-3200U
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB SSD
The HP 14-Inch Touchscreen Laptop is currently the best equipped laptop in this price class. It comes with AMDs new Ryzen 3 CPUs, 8GB of RAM a 128GB SSD and a Touchscreen. The only thing you need to remember with this laptop is that it comes with Windows 10 S. Meaning you have to convert it to regular Windows 10 within the first month if you want to install any application not from the Windows Store on it.
Lenovo C340 11.6-Inch 2-in-1 Chromebook
- Intel Celeron N4000
- 4GB RAM
- 64GB SSD
My last pick is the Lenovo C340 11,6-Inch Chromebook. I chose it for this list because it is one of the better Chromebooks on the market. It’s not the most powerful or the cheapest, but the build quality is quite good for such an affordable device. The specifications are almost identical on all Chromebooks and the main difference has historically only been the build quality. This one can be speced up with a much quicker CPU and Memory if you’d like.
Personally here’s how I see the difference between Laptops & Mini-Laptops:
Can play games, HD movies & complex software
Larger screens, usually between 13-to-19 inches.
Larger keyboards for comfortable typing.
Have built-in DVD drives.
Battery life between 2 to 6+ hours.
Weight between 5 to 12+ pounds.
Can be used as a primary PC
Prices between $350 to $1500+ for a good laptop.
Medium performance (for office use mostly).
Smaller screens, usually between 10-to-13 inches.
No built-in DVD drives.
Smaller and more portable than Laptops.
Longer battery life, 6 to 10+ hours.
Small & light-weight, making them ultraportable.
Not suitable or capable for gaming or complex 3D apps.
Prices between $250 to $600 depending on bells and whistles.