Best Cheap Gaming Laptops Under $300 (Year 2018)

Whether you use a mouse or a controller, a good gaming laptop under $300 should at least 8 gigabytes to properly run your games. It should also come with a big enough hard drive that can save your games, documents, and other media without having to upgrade it to something bigger in a year. These are the 5 best and most cost efficient gaming laptops that are under the budget price of $300.

Ranking

Image

Product

Our Score

Price

Top Pick

HP EliteBook 745 G2

99/100

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#2

HP EliteBook 8540w

98/100

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#3

HP EliteBook 2570p

97/100

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#4

Dell Latitude E6510

96/100

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#5

Lenovo Thinkpad T420

96/100

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Why is buying a refurbished laptop a good choice for a gaming laptop under $300?

Purchasing a refurbished laptop for gaming is a good idea for customers who are looking to save money and get a quality laptop.

As far as quality goes, the lower in price you go, the amount of RAM, hard drive space, and other specs start to decline too. In order to run and play large file and high-quality PC games, you’ll need a laptop that can actually run them.

Lower priced laptops that haven’t been refurbished won’t come with a good sized hard drive or amount of RAM. The good thing about buying a refurbished laptop is that you’ll get more for your money.

The reason behind this is because many people feel uncomfortable knowing that the laptop was retouched in some way, it isn’t factory new, or it’s a fixed up older model. You can still find quality laptops for gaming that are refurbished and will run your PC games.

Can I run a PC game with 8 gigabytes of RAM?

You’ll need to check your PC game’s requirements to see what the minimum amount of RAM is needed to run your particular game.

Basically, don’t go any lower than 8 gigabytes of RAM, because it will lead to slower wait times and loading times from start up to in game play. The lower in price you go, the lower the amount of RAM you will find in laptops. However, you can increase a little budget, gaming laptop under $300-$500 would be better.

So if you want a laptop that can still run games but has a lower amount of RAM, be warned that you may need to update the RAM only or the entire laptop in the future. So please consider this as PC game requirements may increase over time due to better graphics and play quality.

What are some good accessories for beginning gamers to have?

  • Mouse and mousepad: the mouse can come with a cord or can be wireless, good for directing your game characters and faster transitions between pages and programs, mousepad serves as a smooth surface that is easier and better than maneuvering over desks and surfaces with dirt, crumbs, or debris on them
  • Headset: a headset with a microphone is important for hearing improved audio details and cues within PC game play, can be used for privacy or for respecting others by minimizing sound, they can come with a cord or as a wireless headset for less inconvenience, is great for chatting and communicating game play with teammates and other players, and can improve your overall gaming experience and is better than ear buds alone
  • Messenger bag or backpack: for easier transport of the laptop, mouse, mousepad, and headset, for safer storage that can decrease potential scratches and damage that could occur without it
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1. HP EliteBook 745 G2

Description: This is a refurbished notebook laptop that is good for gamers who are on a budget or are just starting out as a beginning gamer. Has a good sized hard drive space for the price.

Pros:

  • You’ll be able to have the minimum requirements to run a PC game at 8 gigabytes of RAM
  • Has 500 gigabytes of HDD storage that will help you build your game collection
  • Has an AMD A6 Pro-7050B 2.2GHz Processor so your computer can calculate what it’s doing
  • See game bosses in a 14 inch high definition matte screen so you won’t get many visual interruptions from light and glare
  • Runs on Windows 10 Professional for compatibility requirements
  • Only weighs a light 3.5 pounds, so you can game from the couch, a desk, or any other place you can get get good wireless
  • Has a dark grey shell on the outside and a lighter silver around the black keyboard
  • Comes with a 90-day warranty because it is Certified Refurbished

Cons:

  • There’s no mention of a backlit keyboard, which makes chatting or gaming in the dark more difficult for beginning gamers
  • The speakers may not be high quality because it isn’t highlighted; however, sound can be improved with a headset or earbuds
  • Matte screen may reduce glare but also dull the vibrancy of colors you see

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2. HP EliteBook 8540w

Description: This is a refurbished laptop that costs the same amount as #1, has half the amount of RAM, but has a significantly smaller hard drive space. However, it does come with a DVD drive that is also a DVD burner.

Pros:

  • See more map and character details with the 15.6 in anti-reflection screen
  • Has a DVD drive and a DVD burner drive, so you can watch your favorite movies and copy them, then listen to music and copy those
  • Has an Intel Core i7-620 2.67 GHz Processor that helps with faster and better game play
  • Windows 10 is compatible with many games, so you won’t have to deal with installing it yourself
  • Weighs 6.4 pounds and comes in a dark charcoal grey color that looks cool
  • Has a 90-day warranty because it is a Certified Refurbished laptop, in case you are nervous about purchasing
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Cons:

  • Has 320 gigabytes of hard drive space that will do well for a beginning or casual gamer with a smaller gaming catalog but may not be good for long term storage
  • Has only 4 gigabytes of RAM, which may not be enough for bigger file PC games
  • You may end up having to upgrade the RAM which can mean more money
  • Does not come with a backlit keyboard that can help new gamers with locating keys that are needed during battle

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3. HP EliteBook 2570p

Description: This is a mid-range and older model laptop with a huge hard drive space for the price. It has an adequate amount of RAM to play PC games. Has a DVD rewrite drive that can be useful if you like to make music playlists, have documents you need copied, or for other uses.

Pros:

  • 5 inches of screen space that is compact for those with minimum desk or storage space
  • Has a terabyte of hard drive space that is a huge upgrade from the other two laptops
  • Has 8 gigabytes of RAM that will run your PC games better than if you were to go down to 4 gigabytes
  • Intel Core i5 2.70GHz for better processing games and their many files
  • Has a webcam if you like to video chat with friends for fun or create videos
  • Windows 10 Pro is compatible with many games
  • The DVD rewrite drive is good for watching DVD’s if you have a collection or if you want to make copies of files you can burn them onto a CD
  • Colored silver and has a strong shell that won’t flex easily

Cons:

  • No mention of a backlit keyboard, which can be annoying when you’re first learning how to navigate a keyboard in game play
  • You may need to upgrade your RAM in the future if you want to multi-task using different programs, such as live streaming and playing at the same time
  • No mention of the type of the specific type of video card, so your video quality depends on that

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4. Dell Latitude E6510

Description: This laptop has the same huge hard drive space and RAM size as #3. It comes at a lower price than the other laptops but is an older model.

Pros:

  • This laptop has a big screen at 15.4 inches, so you’ll be able to watch movies and play PC games that won’t make you squint to see what your team is doing
  • 8 gigabytes of RAM is enough to play games online
  • You’ll also be able to download games and their downloadable content with a terabyte of hard drive space
  • Has a DVD rewrite drive so you can burn movies, music, and documents
  • Has an Intel Core i5-520M 2.4GHz CPU processor to help your computer process those large gaming files and an NVIDIA NVS 3100M graphics card for better graphics quality
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Cons:

  • Has Windows 7, so you may need to upgrade to Windows 10 for better compatibility with PC games
  • Doesn’t have a backlit keyboard that can be helpful when learning the ropes of a new game
  • If you want the most up to date RAM, you may have to upgrade this laptop in the future to better customize to your needs

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5. Lenovo Thinkpad T420

Description: Like laptop #1 and #2, this laptop is also refurbished. It comes with enough RAM to run games with and has more than adequate amount of hard drive space for new gamers on a budget.

Pros:

  • Has a 14.1 inch screen that’s on the bigger side, so you won’t be straining your eyes over time
  • Has an adequate amount of 8 gigabytes RAM to be able to start and play your games
  • Holds a terabyte of storage that will let you store the games you buy online or from game streaming services
  • Isn’t heavy at 5.3 pounds, so you can easily carry it with you throughout your home, work, or during travel
  • The DVD rewrite drive is there if you want to make extra copies of your favorite shows and movies
  • Has a Skytech 1 year limited warranty for labor and parts because it is a refurbished computer

Cons:

  • Has a 90 day virus warranty that is nice but could be annoying if you don’t upgrade or delete it when it expires
  • Installed with Windows 7 Professional, which may need to be upgraded to Windows 10 in order to play most games
  • Has 30 days of Corel Office, which is not a name brand
  • Eventually you may have to upgrade your RAM size due to the potential for PC games improving over time

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Conclusion:

The HP EliteBook 2570p is the best gaming laptop that’s priced under $300. It has a mid sized 12.5 inches screen that’s big enough for gaming.

It has a huge terabyte of storage that was more than the first two laptops, and has 8 gigabytes of RAM. It came with a decent Intel Core i5 2.70GHz processor, but failed to mention the type of video card it came with.

However, it came with a DVD drive that lets you rewrite DVD’s and CD’s, which makes up for no backlit keyboard.

This is a perfect beginner budget laptop that will serve you well in your gaming adventures. Just make sure that the games you like or want to play are compatible with the 8 gigabyte RAM.