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March 13, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 2:25pm

Top 5 laptops under £300

Need a laptop on a budget? Here are some of the best Chromebooks and hybrids.

By Ben Sullivan

Looking for a laptop on a budget? Can’t quite empty the wallet enough for a sub-£500 laptop? Then here’s our list of laptops, Chromebooks, and hybrids all under £300. At this price level, it’s all about choosing what you want, as you can’t have everything. Portability, durability, power…if you know what you want out of your device then it’s a lot easier to pick one out. Let’s kick off with this Acer Chromebook – it’s not the easiest to carry around but can act as a suitable work computer with 32GB of local hard drive storage…

Acer Chromebook C720


Chromebooks are small, sleek and fast to boot up. The latest offering from Acer brings a long battery life, the Chrome OS and 32GB of local hard drive storage (Google throws in 100GB of free Drive storage too).

The C720 has an 11.60inch screen, 1,366×768 resolution and a 10-point touch screen that works well with games like Angry Birds. Don’t mistake this for a toy though, with the weight (2.8 pounds) and long battery life of around 7 hours, you can get some serious word computing power out of this, and all for a bargain price of around £200.


Dimensions: 20.2 x 28.8 x 1.9 cm
Series: Chromebook C720-29552G01AII
Colour: Iron
Screen size: 11.6 inches
Processor: 2 1.4GHz Intel Celerons
Hard drive: 16GB
Operating system: Chrome
Average battery life: 8 hours

PRICE: £200

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HP Chromebook 11

A highly commended Chromebook, the HP Chromebook 11 has an attractive build for the price, with a fast boot up time and a relatively above-par screen. The Chrome OS is limited, but for users on the go, you can’t get better bang for your buck.

At around £230, the Chromebook 11 does exactly what it says on the box, and it feels special. HP has obviously put a lot of work into making the idea of a Chromebook work, and as long as you don’t want to do anything special like video editing or playing the latest game, a Chromebook is a good shout.


Series: Chromebook 11-1126UK F3V22AA
Colour: Piano white
Screen size: 11.6 inches
Processor: 2 1.7GHz
Hard drive: 16GB
Operating system: Chrome OS

PRICE: £230

Acer Aspire V5-123


The touch screen on this Aspire utilises Windows 8 well, and the laptop carries enough power to work with office programs fast and efficiently, thanks to the i5 processor and 6GB of RAM. However, it seems that the price sacrifices have come in the form of battery life (around 3 hours), which doesn’t clock in as impressive at all, and the screen’s viewing angle has room for improvement.

What makes up for the shortfalls on the Aspire is the build quality, which is good all round, and consistently sturdy. The metal effect looks smart and the 24mm thickness is only a tiny bit more than that of an Ultrabook. However, the Aspire does weigh in at 1.2kg, not making it the most portable.


Series: Aspire V5-123
Colour: Silver
Screen size: 11.6 inches
Processor: 2 1GHz
Hard drive: 500GB
Operating system: Windows 8

Price: £299

Dell XPS 10


Okay, strictly speaking, the Dell XPS 10 is actually a tablet. But get the keyboard for it, and it suddenly turns into an impressive tablet hybrid that can function extremely well as a tablet or a laptop. An 18 hour battery life and Dell branding make this a solid, workhorse affair, however, at 1.3kg it’s still on the heavier side for its size. The fact that this comes with a full copy of Microsoft Office is a major plus point though, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz processor is a little too slow these days, especially when loading some apps. But if a hybrid is what you’re after, you can’t really do better than the XPS 10 for the under £300 mark.


Series: XPS 10 table
Colour: Black
Screen size: 10.1 inches
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz
Operating system: Windows 8 RT

Price: £245

Samsung Series 3 Chromebook


Currently around £230 online, the Series 3 Chromebook from Samsung isn’t the newest laptop, but still packs a punch in the budget category. The 11.6-inch screen is fairly decent quality, but the real shining feature here is the keyboard. Isoleted keys, like those found on Macbooks, provide a fast and fluid typing experience. It’s not the fastest laptop, with an ARM 1.7GHz processor, but its light weight (1.1kg) offers great portability for trains or flights.


Series: Chromebook XE303C12
Colour: Silver
Screen size: 11.6 inches
Processor: 2 1.7GHz
Operating system: Chrome OS

Price: £230

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