Many retailers, including Walmart, will carry low end laptops under $300 during special sales events. These laptops, however are cheap, plastic machines that rarely last much longer than a year or two before expensive components such as the screen or power connector breaks, making them ‘disposable’ at best. When considering a laptop purchase, if price is an issue, usually the best option is to purchase a refurbished business grade machine.
How to find Laptops Under $300
There are several places you can find good quality used laptops for under $300. Several laptop manufacturers, such as Dell and Lenovo refurbish returned machines (often off a corporate or government lease) and re-sell them with a limited warranty for a fraction of their original cost. Amazon and eBay are also great places to look for refurbished laptops, though there are a few more risks involved. If you do decide to to buy a laptop from a private Amazon or eBay seller, check to ensure they have at least a 15 day return policy, should the laptop develop issues in the first two weeks of use.
3 Excellent Business Laptops Under $300
This is an excellent laptop and a real bargain, due to the fact that thousands of these machines are coming off their 3 or 4 year leases with government and corporate entities. A good quality one can be had for as little as $200. Several refurbishing shops will even put a fast SSD (solid state drive) in for you which will make this laptop faster than any sub $500 laptop you could find at an electronics store. I’ve actually purchased several of these laptops for friends and family who were looking for the best laptop they could find at this price point. Up until six months ago, I used a Latitude D630 8 hours a day for work after upgrading the internal hard drive to a Seagate 500GB Hybrid Drive (ssd+harddrive). Available from Amazon.com
Lenovo, the company that now sells the old IBM Thinkpad line under a new name still maintains a high level of quality in their machines. They may look a bit dated, but rest assured, the components on these machines are rock solid. I’ve seen Thinkpad laptops last 10+ years, a testament to the use of quality parts and the best manufacturing practices in the industry. Available from Amazon.com
This machine is easily the most powerful laptop under $300, out of the trio listed here. It comes with dedicated graphics which enables it to run the aero graphics in Windows 7 without a hiccup. It also means you’ll be able to watch those high definition movies on Youtube and Netflix without an issue. Available from Amazon.com
There are several other sub $300 refurbished laptops around, but these in my experience are the best on the market at this time. Have you discovered any other great refurbished laptops under $300? Feel free to mention them in the comments below!