Best Laptops Under 300
Best Laptops Under 300
This article continues my cheap laptop saga, which is an honest approach to buying quality, functional, dirt-cheap laptops at a bargain. Akin to my $100 dollar laptop article, and unlike my $500 dollar one, finding laptops under $300 will entail a compromise. Now, there's absolutely no reason why you can't get a relatively powerful and highly functional laptop for the price, but buying second-hand is your best bet (retailers such as Blinq through Amazon offer some seriously great offers -- but don't take my word for it).
Here is a rundown on the best offers I could find, along with the reasoning behind my choices.
Acer Aspire One AO722-BZ454
My own laptop is an Acer, and I can vouch that it has been a stoic companion over the years. I recall it being quite cheap at the time compared to the competition, and it seems that my research validified Acer's trend of offering very competitive prices. Unlike the Toshiba (below), you can, with luck, find one of these puppies for under $300 brand new. What's the catch?
- 11.6” HD CineCrystal™ LED-backlit Display (WXGA).
- 2048MB DDR3 Memory.
- AMD C-Series Processor C-50.
- ATI Radeon™ HD 6250 (256 MB dedicated).
- Ultra-thin and ultra light!
- A long-lasting battery-life (realistically reviews noted around 4.5-5 hours in use).
I really like the Aspire One. Not only is it cheaper than the Toshiba, it also fills in the only gaping hole I could find -- integrated graphics. Gamers rejoice. Almost all customer reviews agree: we may have found the one (pun absolutely intended).
Toshiba Satellite T115-S1100
Despite the retail price that approaches the $500 dollar mark, Amazon also offers various second hand options from experienced retailers that offer "like-new" and "excellent" condition T115's at under $300. As of writing this, there is one going for $278! And that, my dear friends, is a bargain. Why? Well here we go:
- A subjectively cool design (a personal opinion).
- 1366 x 768, 11.6 inch TruBrite display.
- A solid (and expandable) 2 GIGS DDR3 RAM.
- 250 gigs 5400RPM hard disk drive.
- Windows 7 Home premium.
- Wireless, webcam and HDMI ready.
- A somewhat lackluster integrated graphics processor, but you weren't expecting to play Crysis on this were you?
The T115 is a solid choice for professionals and students, there is nothing, save upper-end gaming, it cannot efficiently do. And even then, it could play most games without a hitch -- but realistically very modern games may be sluggish.
Alright, I hear you, it's a netbook. Nevertheless, it has all the qualities we're looking for in a $300 bargain.
- A 10.1-inch LED backlit widescreen display (a slightly smaller diagonal than the previous offers -- albeit not by much).
- 1.66 GHz Intel Atom (the N455).
- 1 GIG of DDR2 RAM (you can add another gig quite cheaply).
- Integrated graphics (sigh).
- 8 hours battery life.
- Despite the small size, this netbook houses a full-sized keyboard.
Despite the system specs which pale slightly before the previous laptops, why did I choose to include this model? Firstly because it is the cheapest, and secondly because the solid build, fantastic keyboard and brimming battery life will appeal to people who aren't looking to game. But are looking for something to take to campus, or on a business trip. In this, the NB505 truly excels.