Over the last few years a number of companies have introduced mini laptops, usually called Netbooks, into the crowded computing market at very affordable prices. In this article we’ll be looking at a few of the most reliable models that are priced under $300 as well as a couple of full-size laptops that can also be found at this price point. One other option that should be considered if you are someone who needs a slightly larger or more powerful machine, is purchasing a refurbished machine, just make sure you get a trustworthy brand like Asus or Hewlett-Packard so that you don’t run into any problems down the road. Before moving on to look at individual machines, we should note that, due to their small screen size (Netbook screens are usually between ten and eleven inches in size), slower processors and lower RAM, these low-priced Netbooks may not be able to run some of the more intensive applications out there like Photo Shop or video-editing software like Final Cut Pro.
These budget machines are best used for everyday functions like browsing the Internet, streaming movies, listening to music and word processing but this reviewer believes that the keyboard, full size Operating System (usually Windows 7 or 8) and larger hard drives make these computers a better value than most of the tablets on the market, including the much higher priced Apple Ipad. The three most reliable Netbooks under $300 that this reviewer found in researching this article are: the Asus X101CH-EU17, the Dell Inspiron Mini1018 and the HP Mini 110-3730NR. All three of these machines are from well known companies and contain 1GB of RAM, dependable Intel Atom processors and run on Windows 7. In fact, these mini laptops have remarkably similar specs so it really depends on which brand you feel you can trust the most. Two other models you might want to check out in this category are the Acer Aspire One AOD 270-1824 and the Toshiba NB505-N508BL.
One last thing to note before we move on to looking at the full-sized laptops is that, although you may be sacrificing some power in using one of these Netbooks, you also gain in terms of battery life; the HP Mini for example, can run for up to eight hours on a full charge. Finally, we come to the two most reliable full-size laptops this reviewer found under $300. They are the Acer AS5250-BZ641 and the Asus A53U-EH11. The Asus has a 15.6 inch screen, 3 GB of RAM, an AMD 1.33 GHZ dual-core processor and a 320 GB hard drive. The Acer also contains a dual core processor and 3GB of RAM but the screen is slightly smaller at 15 inches. This, however, is more than made up for by the inclusion of a 256 MB Radeon Graphics Card. Both of these laptops run on the Windows 7 OS.