Which Netbooks Cost Under $300?

Category: Laptops

I'm sending my daughter off to college this fall, and she needs a decent netbook computer for word processing, web browsing, email, etc. But our budget is limited to around $300 - what models do you recommend?

"I'm Not Gonna Pay a Lot For This Netbook!"

While tablet PCs and laptops are grabbing all the headlines, there is still a good market for the humble netbook. Even better, competition has driven the price of netbooks down. With a tip of the hat to George Foreman, here are five examples of netbooks under $300.

The Acer Aspire One model 255 Netbook PC comes with a 10.1" screen, an Intel Atom N455 Processor & Windows 7 Starter edition for as little as $228. It includes 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, upgradeable to 2 GB. It sports a 250 GB hard drive ideal for storing your multimedia library. An integrated graphics accelerator boosts video performance slightly, but not much. WiFi and Bluetooth wireless connections are supported. It even plays Blu Ray discs. The six-cell battery is rated for eight hours.

The Asus 1001PX sells for a street price of around $240. Its carbon fiber shell is tougher than many plastic cases. Like the Acer, the 10.1-inch screen 1001PX is powered by an Intel N455 processor and comes with 1 GB of RAM and a 250 GB hard drive. A Webcam is included, and so is WiFi. A 3G/4G cellular data modem is an option. Two battery options are available, a 3-cell or 6-cell; the larger battery lasts about nine hours.
Netbooks Under $300

The Dell Inspiron Mini 1018 4034CLB Netbook sells for around $280. It is much like the other netbooks with a 10-inch screen, Intel Atom processor, and 250 GB hard drive. WiFi (802.11/b/g/n) is included. A Webcam is included but its resolution is only 0.3 megapixels. Windows 7 Starter and Microsoft Office Starter come pre-installed. (Office Starter includes only limited functions of Word and Excel, and it is ad-supported.) The six-cell battery is rated for up to 6 hours of use. Connectivity ports include 2 USB 2.0 ports, a 10/100 Ethernet port, and a 3-in-1 memory card reader.

More Sub-$300 Netbooks

The Toshiba Mini NB505 netbook is a $270 model with an Intel Atom processor, 1 GB of RAM expandable to 2 GB, a 250 GB hard drive, and a 10-inch screen. It comes with Windows 7 Starter installed. WiFi is 802.11/b/g/n. It has only one memory card reader, for SD cards, and no Webcam. The six-cell battery delivers over 8 hours of power.

The HP Mini 110-3530NR Netbook, going for $275, includes a Webcam, WiFi, a 10-inch screen, and the Intel Atom processor. The 1 GB of RAM is expandable to 2 GB. Office Starter is included with Windows Starter. The HP Mini includes a multi-format card reader.

As you can see, there is not a lot of choice in the bargain basement. These and other sub-$300 netbooks all share the same basic specs. Although they are not for power users, college students and occasional travelers should find them adequate. For Web browsing, email, movie watching, and photo sharing, they are highly mobile solutions. In addition, their low power requirements translate into day-long battery life.

Do you have a recommendation (or horror story) for a low-cost netbook or notebook computer? Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Which Netbooks Cost Under $300?"

Posted by:

08 Jul 2011

I wouldn't trust any notebook with less that 3G RAM considering the bulky programming in windoze operating system.

Posted by:

08 Jul 2011

I think you mistakenly put 250 GB or Ram for the Dell Inspiron 1018. Talk about hyperspeed huh :)

Posted by:

08 Jul 2011

Acer's seem to run hot. Be sure to keep on a cooling pad.

Posted by:

09 Jul 2011

"The Dell Inspiron Mini 1018 4034CLB Netbook sells for around $280. It is much like the other netbooks with a 10-inch screen, Intel Atom processor, and 250 GB of RAM"

I'm guessing you meant 250 GB of HD storage. If that's 250 GB of RAM that's an amazing deal! :D

Posted by:

09 Jul 2011

Got tired of lugging my heavy laptop everywhere. Now when I travel by air I take my Asus netbook. Upgraded to Windows 7, added Open Office (didn't want to pay for MS Office Professional), added on Dropbox, and now I can do most anything that my laptop does for me. I will point out that I do not run any heavy duty, graphic intense, power hungry programs. Mostly word processing, Power Point type presentations, small databases, and spreadsheets as well as web surfing and e-mail.

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