Making the right choice while buying a gaming laptop could be pretty difficult. There are so many aspects that need to be kept into consideration that finding a best gaming laptop under $300 that meets all criteria is a rare event. You need to take account of the RAM size, the hard drive, the processor performance and also the speakers and the display. As you can well realize, getting all of these in a laptop within a budget of $300 is a tall order. However, here’s a list of some of the good gaming laptops under $300 in the market right now. Most of these laptops will run older games smoothly without any problem. You can even try newer games at low settings. If you are looking for even more cheaper options, see our guide to find out best laptops under $200.
Best Budget Gaming Laptops under $300 Reviews 2018
1. ASUS 15.6 High-Performance Premium HD Laptop
For the sake of open marketing, almost every laptop nowadays carries the premium tag along with its name. The Asus laptop in question is no exception to that rule. But what sets the device apart from most other products is the fact that it actually lives up to its name.
I find it quite astonishing as to how Asus can deliver such a premium product at such low rates. For starters the display screen is full HD, supporting a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The LED display supported almost everything I threw at it and played HD videos with relative ease. The Intel HD graphics card obviously kicks into action when one starts playing games on the laptop.
The laptop runs on an Intel Pentium N3700 quad core processor which I feel is the best processor it can run on right now. The processor could handle almost anything I threw at it. Be it videos, multiple applications or games. One of the primary reasons I had to invest in a new laptop was because my previous laptop couldn’t handle games very well. I was initially anxious as to whether even this machine would be able to handle it.
True it does have the required specifications. But so do a lot of other devices and they could never handle it. Anyway, the first game that I installed in was Lara Croft Tomb Raider. The game ran perfectly. There were no hitches or lags or any sort of frame drops.
I still wasn’t convinced as I wondered if the machine would be able to maintain this performance level. It has been over three months now, and I am completely satisfied with the performance of the device.
I would also like to mention two aspects about the device which impressed me. First being the stereo speakers. The speakers are some of the best quality ones I have seen in this segment. The sound levels were consistently good and the audio output was pretty clear. There’s also a feature which prevents the laptop battery from overcharging.
There are some products that you can just not help but gives a thumb up and heartily recommend it. Needless to say that the ASUS 15.6 High-Performance Premium HD Laptop is one of the best laptop for gaming under $300 I have ever seen.
2. HP Pavilion 15 15.6-Inch Laptop
The HP Pavilion series has over the years gained a credible and strong reputation as being one of the most consistent laptop series that HP has rolled out. The laptop is quite frankly speaking one of the best gaming laptops that I have ever laid my hands on. Elegant, pristine and highly competitive in terms of performance, the Pavilion ticks just about all the right boxes.
Though while investing in the laptop, I had noticed that the screen size was 15.6 inches, nothing quite prepared me for when I saw it for the first time. It is absolutely humongous. Now, this size, while actually being a boon for playing games, is very difficult to carry about on the go.
Another welcome feature that the Pavilion incorporates is the two keys at the bottom of the trackpad. I could play FPS games quite easily because of the buttons.
Something I noticed just a few weeks into using the product is the extremely fast start up time. The OS is clutter-free and has no freeware that needs to be removed manually. However, I would recommend you to install another browser because the Edge browser is frankly disappointing. Apart from games, another thing I wished to use the laptop for was photo editing.
Among other things that deserve a mention are the DTS speakers which are some of the best speakers, I have seen on any laptop. The VGA camera also gives out excellent picture quality and the integrated microphone makes Skype a breezy affair.
The graphics card installed in the laptop is far superior to the usual Intel’s Integrated Graphics we find on most laptops for playing games. You can run some of the newer games but you have to downgrade to a lower setting for them. You can even play Batman Arkham Asylum and Assassin’s Creed on this.
There are some products which require no introduction or recommendation. If you want a gaming laptop for $300 that is high on performance and providing excellent value for money, the HP Pavilion is the one. Period. Those who can bump up their budget a little, should check out guide to best gaming laptops under $500.
3. Newest Lenovo Premium Built High Performance 15.6 inch HD Laptop
Nothing beats the aesthetic appeal and power of a Lenovo laptop! Call me biased but I’ve been an ardent fan of the brand ever since I used one of their Chromebooks. Powered by Intel’s Pentium 4405U Dual-core processor, the device offers a speed of 2.1 GHz that can be further increased using Intel’s Burst Technology.
The 1 TB hard drive and 6GB RAM boosts up the functionality of the laptop. Lenovo Premium comes with a 64-bit Windows 10 configuration that supports the most complicated of operations effortlessly. Slim, sleek and elegant, the device is an absolute treat for the senses. The black chassis and solid metallic construction are almost unbreakable, scratch resistant and waterproof.
You cannot possibly find a better audio support anywhere else! The stereo speakers come with Dolby Advanced Audio Processing system, and HDMI card reader and built-in microphone. Realtek Audio HD integration produced crystal clear sound while the glossy 15.6-inch HD display is pretty vibrant. I love the graphic support and integrated web cam that allows me to play high-tech RP games for extended hours. The power saving Pentium 4405U processor is very silent and lightning fast.
For light gamers, this is a reliable buy. You could use this both for your work and for less demanding games like Minecraft at the end of the day. However, for the more demanding ones, you would probably need a laptop more dedicated to gaming.
Lenovo laptops come with Wi-Fi integration and Bluetooth support, the Premium gaming laptop is no different. With Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n internet connectivity, I could browse through websites and load games super quick. I could even sync the gaming scores and other content to other devices as Windows 10 OS is compatible with almost all other platforms.
Lenovo is known for launching new and improved gadgets that have set the yardstick for quality and performance in the industry. The latest Lenovo premium gaming laptop introduced recently further upholds its reputation. If you are looking for a powerful, solid and reliable gaming laptop for under $300 price, then this product is worth having a look.
4. ASUS VivoBook X540SA 15.6-Inch High-Performance Premium HD Laptop
It is important, while investing in a laptop, to understand what exactly you want from your device. Obviously, if you are searching for a gaming laptop at a cheap rate, you should expect the laptop to cut some corners.
I initially had bought this laptop for my nephew. The most I expected from it was to run some light games and provide some quality audio and visual backup while watching movies. Before gifting it to him, I decided to use it for a couple of days to find out how the device runs.
The Asus VivoBook X540SA knows that it is not a premium offering and the best part is that it never tries to achieve that. On the exterior, the device looks sleek and suave. It has a professional look about it and could seamlessly merge into an office setting. The first thing that caught my attention as soon as the device booted up was the trackpad.
The trackpad is actually better than the one on my more expensive Inspirion laptop and I was absolutely mesmerized by how responsive it was. Applications like Skype and PowerPoint ran without a hitch. The Intel Pentium Quad-Core processor makes for a smooth browsing and gaming experience.
I decided to push the device and installed Assassin’s Creed on the laptop. To my utter surprise, it ran like a dream. Yes, there were a few frame drops while playing but upon dropping the resolution settings to low this problem was resolved. The 500 GB hard disk ensured that I could install multiple games without worrying about running out of space.
However, while using Photoshop, I faced quite a few problems as the application crashed down. I eventually had to use a lighter photo editing application. The sound on the device is also something that is so commendable. No matter whether I played games or watched movies, the sound never disappointed me.
The VivoBook X540SA is far from being one of the best gaming laptops on a budget of less than $300. Sure it does get all the basics right but the lack of 3D support may cost it dearly. As a result of this, games look a little flat and I could not get the depth that was essential to get immersed in a game. But given its price tag, it is a solid, durable little product guaranteed to satisfy your light gaming needs.
5. HP 15.6″ HD WLED Backlit Display Laptop
The HP WLED is not exactly your conventional budget laptop. It is more of a midrange laptop with specifications suited more for the school student than the occasional gamer. Unlike the Dell product I was using before this, the device is not rugged like a tank.
The exterior is smooth and consistent, quite pleasing to the eye. The design is reason enough to invest in this product.
But, for those looking for more performance oriented devices, the HP WLED works wonders on this front as well.
For starters, the 15.6 inches display is bright and the resolution is pretty impressive. However, if you have been looking at the Acer SP111 then you would notice that the display of the HP product lacks the finesse of its Acer counterpart. The screen of the HP WLED, for all its plus points, comes with a substantial amount of glare. When you use the screen in open sunlight, the screen is very difficult to see.
The product sports a Quad-Core A6-7310 APU 2GHz processor which worked quite well when I ran Netflix to watch movies. Even when I was on Skype for hours, it didn’t slow down the computer. The 4 GB RAM ensured that I was able to multitask graphic-intensive as well as sound projects simultaneously.
If you wish to use the laptop as a gaming device, there should be more to it than just performance. And it is here that the HP WLED outdoes all other gaming laptops. The keyboard is well spaced out and the keys are springy. While playing FPS games, such springy keys are a big help as they help react faster in the game.
Even the trackpad works like magic and I even played Hitman: Blood Assassins with limited success. Though the product does run games quite well enough, it is not quite proficient while playing modern games. Modern games do not actually run very well on the laptop.
The data transfer options on the laptop are quite varied and diversified. The laptop sports a USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and also a card reader. I could easily use these to transfer pictures from my action camera to my external hard drive and vice versa.
The HP WLED could well be the flagship among the budget devices that the maker has to offer in under $300 gaming laptops segment. The product is one of the best gaming devices that I have ever come across. And at this price, I don’t see why you shouldn’t invest in a stellar product like this.
6. HP 15.6″ HD Premium Laptop Computer
Gone are the days when HP sold out a product by virtue of its brand name solely. Given how competitive the budget market segment has become, HP has been receiving tough competition from Asus, Lenovo, and Samsung. I think the problem in this decreased popularity has got much to do with the fact that the product just doesn’t combine the right elements to make it attractive.
When I tested the HP Premium laptop, being a huge gaming fan myself, I had just two requirements from this device. Gaming and watching movies. Given how simple my interests were, I decided to invest in the premium offering from HP.
The first thing that impressed me was the matt black finish of the exterior. HP laptops have always traditionally sported the piano finish.
However, I would admit that the matt finish doesn’t look too bad. At the very outset, I am inclined to point out the hinges of the product are not durable at all and I expect them to cause problems within a year or two.
On the performance front, the AMD Quad-Core processor while being quite enough for everyday internet surfing and watching movies, is just not enough to play high-end games. I would have really appreciated an Intel processor as most other competitors provide Intel processors even at the budget segment. You can run World of Warcraft and Sims 4 on this one. But you have to do so on lower details.
Certainly, if you wish to cut costs, this is not a corner you should start on. With the 4 GB RAM and 500 GB hard drive, the laptop slows down quite a bit but should work just fine if you are using it for preparing school projects or office work.
The keyboard is average and so is the touchpad. However, I was quite pleased with the battery backup of the laptop. Granted that it wasn’t a lot, but for a good gaming laptop under $300, this is decent enough.
I would recommend you to use the laptop only for games such as Mario or Metal Gear Solid first edition. Anything more than that, and you risk a possible crash. But if you wish to use the laptop for daily household work then it should work perfectly fine.
7. HP 15-F222WM 15.6″ Touch Screen Laptop
The HP 15-F222WM is one of the best budget laptops for a variety of reasons. The first thing that attracted me to the laptop was obviously the professional black color of the device. Now, in a laptop which I essentially wished to use for gaming, I wanted a good battery life.
And the fact that the laptop had a battery life of five hours really helped my case. Such a long battery life is especially impressive when you consider the fact that the touchscreen does consume a lot of battery juice.
On the performance front, the HP offering comes with an Intel Pentium N3540 quad core processor. Now, this is certainly not the fastest of processors that I have come across and has its fair amount of shortcomings. The processor has a base frequency of 2.16 GHz and a burst frequency of 2.66 GHz.
Even with this processing speed, I experienced a few frame drops when I was playing Need for Speed: Pacific Drift. The races stopped midway and even reducing the screen resolution didn’t really help. I eventually had to stop playing the game altogether.
However, Photoshop ran smoothly on the device without a hitch. The number of games you can play on this device is greatly accentuated by the fact that it is a touchscreen device. As a result playing games like Angry Birds have an altogether amazing experience. The touch is pretty smooth and is a great help when editing videos and pictures.
The optical disk drive is an added feature but which I consider to be pretty useless considering just how obsolete they have become. The 15-inch display provides sharp and crisp graphics but the limited processor speed didn’t really allow me to explore this option.
The HP 15-F222WM is one of the best gaming laptops at a budget price of under $300. That the laptop combines the best of touchscreen and optical modes is truly impressive. Granted that the device cannot run most high-level games, it works fine with light games and makes for great time pass.
8. ASUS X551 15-Inch Laptop
As a tech-enthusiast, I was pretty excited to check out the new and improved gaming laptop launched by ASUS. Competent, robust and very responsive, the X551 model comes with all the standard configurations and features you’d see in any heavy-duty professional laptop. Introduced only recently, the device is shipped with the Bing version of the Windows 8.1 OS and is hence, a lot cheaper than the F551 model.
I decided to start off slow and used the Skype for around four hours straight up to make video calls. The camera quality was decent to say the most. The audio was for the most parts consistently good. The full keyboard of this laptop is undoubtedly one of the best I have come across in this segment. The function keys are well spread out and the keys vibrate every time you press them.
With its glossy 15-inch display monitor, the laptop offers incredible resolutions and graphic support. The X551 also supports ASUS’s Smart Gesture technology that allows you to navigate through the interface simply by scrolling and zooming in on the screen.
Powered by Intel’ dual-cores Celeron N2830 processor, the Bay Trail version, the laptop operates at a standard speed of 2.16GHz. You can boost the speed and RAM of the device via Turbo. In terms of performance, the ASUS X551 was a bit of a disappointment though, considering the Bay Trail processor support.
The laptop uses Seagate 500GB hardware for quick and efficient data processing and transfer. The 4GB in-built RAM is pretty decent. I was satisfied with the Intel’s HD Graphic core for video output that supports DirectX 11 integration. Add to that the Optical Drive DVD-RW drive and a long battery backup and you have got a keeper.
When it comes to gaming, the laptop is a pretty decent entry-level model in its price range. I could easily access titles from the Windows Store, although the Modern UI interface was very stable and solid. You can play Minecraft pretty well. But the same cannot be said for Arc of Survival. It is a better option than Intel Atom Processors and is perfect for some of the older titles. I noticed that games which are a bit dated like the NBA Live 2001 run quite smoothly. Truth be told, this laptop is not meant for 3D games such as Tomb Raider or FIFA 15.
The Asus X551 is a great product to buy if you are looking for a cheap gaming laptop under $300. If you wish for a product that is durable and provides you value for money, I would eagerly recommend this laptop. However, do keep in mind that if you wish to play games on this device, you would be better off playing old school games.
9. HP 14″ HD Laptop PC
The HP laptop PC is one of the most promising laptops in the budget gaming laptop segment. Obviously, high-end gaming machines have almost always justified their exorbitant price tag with unmatched performance and crisp gaming experience. If you thought that you would get the same in a budget gamin laptop, you are surely mistaken. However, some of the variants do come close to the tall standards that are expected of them. This gaming laptop for $300 from HP under review surely is one of them.
Nothing attracts a customer to a laptop like a good bright display and the HP device, I am happy to note, is one of them. The HD graphics ensure that be it games or videos I always experienced perfect picture quality. The screen glare is also not as high as I had expected.
As a result of which, I could take the device to that park and could generally work with it under any circumstances including under sunlight. The 14″ screen laptop is just the perfect size to put in bags and carried around easily.
The most prominent feature that the laptop offers is the HDMI port through which I could connect the laptop to the television set and just cast the laptop screen on to my TV.
This is especially useful when playing racing games and the like which could work wonders on a big screen.
Thanks to the Intel N3060 processor, I could effortlessly run multiple tabs simultaneously. Initially like I do with all machines, I thought of pushing the laptop to its breaking point.
Accordingly, I opened up about twelve tabs to various websites ranging from Netflix and YouTube to Facebook. Only after that did the computer show signs of slowing down. It was also quite heartening to see that at a time when laptop manufacturers are desperately cutting down corners to decrease production costs, the HP product maintains a 4 GB RAM and an HD webcam.
The HP 14″ HD Laptop PC is one of the most sorted devices on the market right now for under $300 gaming laptop. It does not compromise on the display or the speaker quality of the device and as a result, is bound to be an instant favorite as soon as you lay your eyes on it.
10. HP AMD E2-7110 14-inch Laptop
After having looked at the specifications of the device on paper, I wondered if HP really meant for this to be a gaming laptop. I have often noted that products mostly fail because they fail to live up to the hype that they themselves create. Fortunately, the HP AMD E2-7110 is an exception. Let me start with the display. The HP laptop sports a non-touch screen with a resolution of 1920x1080p.
The color output is quite bright. Since the screen glare is very minimal, I could use the laptop even under direct sunlight. What separates the display of this laptop from other ones is obviously the viewing angles of the device. The device has an unmatched viewing angle of 178 degrees.
This wide viewing angle ensured that while watching movies, I and my friends could play games on the laptop without any problem whatsoever. When you consider that this is a feature that laptops rarely come with, it certainly invites a recommendation.
As a gaming laptop, I could run The Wolf Among Us without any trouble. It might also be capable of playing Hello Neighbour, Roblox and Ducktales Remastered. The 4 GB RAM ensured that I could work on multiple tabs easily. Internet browsing and video calls were also pretty smooth for the same reason.
The storage space of the device is only 32 GB. As you can well realize the problem I had while downloading movies or games. True, the reduced space does make the laptop lighter, but it also makes it difficult to play graphic intensive modern day games on the device. However, you can easily fix this issue by adding a high-capacity SSD to it using an adapter case.
The only advantage of not having a regular hard drive is that the traditional problems associated with the hard drive, like system crashes, are not imminent on the device. Lastly, the battery life on the device is also quite up to the mark and with a full charge lasting for around 5 hours, you can smoothly carry out your work.
The HP laptop does get the performance part of the system quite right. Where it fails to become an absolutely killer gaming laptop is in the limited hard drive space. If you can play games given the low space, this is a good product. Nonetheless, you always have the option to replace the hard drive with an external SSD to boost the operation speed.
The Bottom Line
If I absolutely have to narrow the choice down to just one best gaming laptop for under $300, the ASUS 15.6 High-Performance Premium HD Laptop will be the one I’d put all my money on. With its powerful processor, bombastic speakers and bright display, it is the best gaming laptop you can buy for only $300. Its closest competitor in terms of performance and durability would be HP Pavilion 15 15.6-Inch Laptop in my opinion. That’s all for today. Just remember to take into account your specific requirements before finalizing your purchase. Happy gaming!