Best Netbooks for Under 300 Dollars

As Christmas approaches, many people will turn their shopping efforts towards finding the best netbooks for under 300 dollars. There are, after all, a wide range of cheap mini notebooks for sale that may or may not meet your needs.

Since there are literally dozens of lightweight, portable laptops available on the market today, I thought I would create a quick reference list that documents what I have discovered in my research for a new netbook. This, of course, does not even address the many amazing tablet PCs available; such as the new Kindle Fire or iPad 2.

Each of the mini laptops reviewed below are currently available on sale at Amazon for less than $300. In addition to their unbeatable return policy and customer service, they also offered the widest range of laptops and netbook computers on sale. Despite the fact that each one is slightly different with respects to its weight, battery life, and design, the overall level of customer satisfaction is extremely high.

While it is true that every laptop reviewed here is less than $300, there are also a few cheap netbooks for less than 200 dollars; some are even less than 100 dollars.

Best Netbook Under $300 Dollars

Toshiba NB505-N508BL Netbook (10.1 inch)

The Toshiba NB505-N508BL is the most wished for mini laptop computer, regardless of price, according to Amazon. After checking out its features, it is not difficult to understand why! Customers universally agree that this is a great netbook available at a great price.

As it comes with 1 G of RAM and a 250 Gb hard drive it is powerful and fast enough to do most of your computing tasks. It also comes complete with 3 USB ports, an SD card slot, and VGA output. A basic camera and separate headphone and microphone jacks help round out this amazing little machine.

When it comes to cheap mini laptops, however, it is always important to check out their battery life. The Toshiba NB505 netbook sports an impressive 8 hour battery life; which is more than impressive when compared to its price.

What Makes this Netbook Stand Out

There are literally hundreds of decent, cheap netbooks for sale. What helps set this one above the rest is its keyboard. In order to make these machines as small as possible, manufacturers typically reduce the keyboard to ridiculous proportions. I do not know if you have ever tried using a tiny keyboard, but let me tell you from my own experience, it is miserable.

Perhaps this is why this Toshiba netbook is so highly rated. It comes with everything you would expect from a quality netbook and a few things you would not expect from such a low priced computer. The main keyboard is full size and which includes all of the cursor movements (so much better than having to hit two or more buttons to simply move the cursor around the screen).

Additional Product Specifications

  • Intel Atom processor N455 1.66 GHz, 512KB L2 Cache
  • Configured with 1GB DDR2 (works at 667MHz, max 2GB)
  • 250GB (5400 RPM) Serial ATA hard disk drive
  •   10.1 inch diagonal widescreen TruBrite display at 1024 x 600 native resolution (WSVGA) with a 16:9 aspect ratio and LED backlite
  • Genuine Windows 7 Starter 32-bit with a 6 cell/48Wh Lithium Ion battery pack
  • Battery Life (measured by MobileMark 2007): 8 hours, 21 minutes

If you are looking for a gaming computer this certainly is not what you are looking for. If, however, you are looking searching for the best netbooks for under 300 dollars, the Toshiba NB505-N508BL Netbook certainly deserves a second look.

Acer Aspire One AO722-0473 Netbook (11.3 inch)


Another cheap netbook that really stands out from my research is the Acer Aspire One. This versatile mini laptop really packs a powerful punch especially when compared to its size, and more importantly, its price. Again, the cheapest price I could find online was at Amazon, and even with the number of Black Friday sales going on, you would be hard pressed to find a lower price anywhere online.

The AMD core processor is powerful enough to play videos without having the skip, and constantly rebuffer. If stays charged for approximately 7 hours, which means that you can enjoy at least 2 movies without having to plug it in somewhere.

Another aspect that many users will appreciate is the fact that the Acer Aspire One comes with Windows 7 Home Edition; not the starter version. Unlike many desk top computers, and even some mini notebooks, this netbook loads extremely fast. On average, you can expect to have it up and running in less than a minute.

Finally, the WiFi connection is relatively stable and works extremely well with Google Chrome. One thing you will need to remember is that even though that research indicates that the battery will last up to 7 hours, it will typically last only 3 to 4 hours if you are constantly browsing the internet. This is, of course, the same with any laptop computer.

Additional Product Specifications

  • AMD Dual-Core Processor C-60 with HD Internet Technology
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Processor: 1 GHz AMD C Series
  • RAM: 2 GB

Overall, this netbook has all the memory and processing power of a full sized laptop condensed into a small netbook computer. Furthermore, the additional screen size HD internet technology really helps to improve your internet experience.

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Best Laptop for Students

When I was in high school, having computers in the classroom was a relatively new concept. Back then, computers were massive, bulky machines that functioned as little more than large word processors. At least, that is what most people used them for. Thinking back, I honestly cannot remember having even one; outside of the required typing class (wish I would have worked harder on that).

Today’s student, however, does not just want any laptop; they want a cool, lightweight yet super-fast machine that does not cost an arm and a leg. It is, after all, one of the most important things they will purchase all year. It is not only important for their courses, it helps keep them connected to what their friends are doing.

With that in mind, I have compiled a short list of the best laptops for students.

Top 3 Laptops for College Students

Lenovo IdeaPad U260

The Lenovo IdeaPad U260 is a nice, compact little machine that consistently receives top ratings and positive customer reviews. It has a simple to use keyboard, trackpad, and comes complete with a nice range of software included (Windows 7). Furthermore, this laptop includes a quality webcam and a modest 12.5 inch screen.

Despite the glowing customer recommendations, the Lenovo IdeaPad U260 has room for improvement. Like many others, I need to look at the keyboard in order to type. This laptop does not have a backlit keyboard which would make it much more difficult for me to use while my wife watches TV at night (she turns off most of the lights).

The cheapest price I could find for this laptop was at Amazon.

Apple MacBook Pro

While I am more of a PC guy myself, my wife is certainly a Mac type of girl. She absolutely loves her MacBook. I will most likely never be able to buy her anything else in the future.

This Apple MacBook Pro is pretty awesome as well. This robust machine sports an impressive six hour battery life and a stunning 13 inch screen. The updated processor is built upon the revolutionary new architecture known as Sandy Bridge. This processor is being touted as the best thing since Intels Premium 4 processor was released. It is an absolute must if speed is your major concern.

While it was difficult to find many things people did not like about this machine, price is, of course, an issue. Products manufactured by Apple are not cheap. This one comes in around $2,000.

Dell Inspiron 14R N4110

Dell computers have always been one of my personal favorites. I guess it dates back to my very first laptop; so much better than the one I had before. I actually used that old thing for about five years before upgrading earlier this year.

I am a pretty busy guy. It seems as if I am always on the go. As such, I really like catching up on my favorite shows by streaming them from sites like Hulu or Netflix. With that being said, a laptops video and graphics are really important to me. The Dell Inspiron 14R comes complete with a high quality video and audio system. The 14 inch screen only helps to add to this artfully designed machine.

The only thing I could find wrong with this machine is the fact that the battery life seems so short when compared to the other laptops reviewed in this article. I would like to see Dell improve upon its 3 hour charge a bit; although I spend more time plugged in than not!


When you compare its cost, portability, and functionality, I would say that the Dell Inspiron 14R is the best laptop for students; particularly those on a budget.

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