Hardware, Top Lists

Top 3 Best Budget Laptops (2018)

Alright it’s time once again to look at some of the best budget laptops. This time we’re going to be taking a look at computers under 300 dollars. Unfortunately no Apple or Mac computers are included because they are simply too expensive.

Also, most of these laptops are not really good for gaming or video editing. Although some older games are playable on them. I will make another video for the best cheap laptops for gaming soon, so stay tuned for that.

The laptops featured in this video are mostly for school, office work, watching movies, photo editing and other general things. They are ideal for students, as well as small business owners, freelancers, other professionals and people who travel a lot.

# Budget Laptop Processor Memory Harddrive Screen Graphics Battery
1 Acer Aspire ES 15 Intel i3-6100U 2.3 GHz 4GB DDR3 1TB SATA 15.6 inch HD Intel HD Graphics 520 6.5 hours
2 HP Stream 11 Intel Celeron N3060 1.6 GHz 4GB DDR3 32GB Flash 11.6 inches HD Intel HD Graphics 400 10 hours
3 ASUS Chromebook C202SA Intel Celeron N3060 2.48 GHz 4GB DDR3 16GB Flash 11.6 inches HD Intel HD Graphics 400 10 hours


#1 Acer Aspire ES 15

Acer Aspire ES 15 Best Budget Laptop

Processor Memory Harddrive Screen Graphics Battery Price
Intel i3-6100U 2.3 GHz 4GB DDR3 1TB SATA 15.6 inch HD Intel HD Graphics 520 6.5 hours $299

To start off we have the Acer Aspire ES 15 which is a 15.6 inch budget laptop running Windows 10 Home Edition. The screen is high definition, but not full HD, and it has an Intel HD 520 graphics card. It comes with a 1TB harddrive and a SD card reader, so plenty of storage space. Also it has 4GB of DDR3 memory and a sixth generation Intel i3 processor which clocks out at 2.3GHz.

The ES 15 is a decent choice for a simple work or school laptop. It is also good for some entertainment, like watching Netflix, YouTube or DVD’s if you’re old school. Yes it actually has a DVD player. However it is not suited for high definition gaming or other resource intensive activities like video editing or 3D modeling. But it will still run games like League of Legends, World of Warcraft, EVE Online and other older games. Especially at low or medium graphics settings. Web browsing, emailing, creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations, photo editing and most other basic activities should be perfectly doable on this laptop.

In terms of connectivity it has good Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0 and also a Gigabit Ethernet port if you need to plug it into the network directly. The ES 15 also comes with 3 USB ports and an HDMI port so you can attach a second monitor.

This Acer is really my top pick for budget laptops under 300 dollars, especially for work and school, and even just as a general laptop if you’re not into gaming or video editing. There is however a slightly better version, but it costs 50 dollars more, the Acer Aspire E 15. In terms of specs the main selling point for the E 15 would be its battery life which is almost double that of the ES 15. That being said, personally I don’t use my laptop on battery that much. I usually find myself trying to plug it in somewhere anyway, so as long as the battery life is above 5 hours I am pretty satisfied. However, everyone has their own needs and requirements.

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#2 HP Stream 11

HP Stream 11

Processor Memory Harddrive Screen Graphics Battery Price
Intel Celeron N3060 1.6 GHz 4GB DDR3 32GB Flash 11.6 inches HD Intel HD Graphics 400 10 hours $217

Next up we have the HP Stream 11 laptop, which is a smaller computer with a 11.6 inch high definition display, and it runs on Windows 10. It also has a 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3060 processor and 4GB of DDR3 memory, which means it should perform somewhat smoothly while doing basic stuff. It only has 32GB of flash memory for file storage, so I do recommend grabbing an external USB harddrive if you need more space.

The HP Stream 11 is a pretty useful and portable budget laptop for travel, school and work. It’s very small and lightweight, and has a decent battery life at roughly 10 hours. Personally I’d say this laptop is as good for entertainment while traveling as a tablet. But I’d say it’s better if you need to do some work. Having an actual keyboard and access to Windows applications makes it much more convenient to use.

It has good Wifi connectivity and also Bluetooth 4.0 to link various devices. Graphics wise it has an integrated Intel HD 400 graphics card, so you won’t be doing too much gaming on this laptop.

But it should be perfectly fine for all the basic stuff you might want to do on your computer. Things such as surfing the web, watching Netflix or YouTube, doing homework, creating documents and even some photo editing.

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#3 ASUS Chromebook C202SA

ASUS Chromebook C202SA

Processor Memory Harddrive Screen Graphics Battery Price
Intel Celeron N3060 2.48 GHz 4GB DDR3 16GB Flash 11.6 inches HD Intel HD Graphics 400 10 hours $197

And finally there’s the ASUS Chromebook C202SA which is actually a ruggedized laptop running Google’s Chrome operating system. It has a military grade rugged design, spill proof keyboard and an anti-glare display. It’s a smaller laptop though, being only 11.6 inches in size with a high definition display, but also not full HD.

The Chromebook has a 2.48 GHz Intel Celeron processor and 4GB DDR3 memory, so its performance is fairly good. The main drawback with this laptop is the lack of onboard storage space. It only has 16GB of flash memory, however it does have USB ports so you can plugin external harddrives. But beyond that it is basically reliant on the cloud for anything else. So you need to be constantly connected to the internet to use this laptop at its full potential.

Connectivity wise it has good Wifi and is also Bluetooth 4.0 enabled. However it does not have a 3G or 4G LTE modem, which is a bit disappointing considering it focuses on being cloud based. The battery life is fairly decent at 10 hours. Also the keys on the keyboard are bit bigger than usual for a laptop of this size, which is great.

I’d recommend this budget laptop for children and students, as well as people who work in environments where they would require a ruggedized computer. It would also be good for generally clumsy people who just tend to drop and break their electronics. Because this laptop can actually take a few hits and scrapes and spills, and still remain functional.

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There’s also a few extra components that you might want to grab while buying your budget laptop.

Logitech M325 Wireless Mouse

For example using a laptop touch pad with your fingers is a bit slow and uncomfortable in my opinion. If there’s no touch screen, I always prefer to use a proper mouse. Usually wireless so I don’t have to deal with a lot of cables. Check out this Logitech M325 wireless mouse ($15), I have one that’s very similar to it and I really like it.

WD My Passport Harddrive

If you need to expand your file storage, especially for the HP Stream or Chromebook, you should consider picking up an external USB harddrive. For example this 1TB Western Digital My Passport ($56) is a good choice.


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