At a Glance: Before you invest in a laptop — even a more affordable one — understand the pros and cons when factoring in your needs.
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In 1983, Apple introduced its user-friendly computer, the Lisa, to the market. Price tag? A whopping $9,995. (That would be more than $23,000 today!) Soon after, Apple rolled out the famous Macintosh personal computer at a much more reasonable cost of $2,495.

Thankfully, times have changed, and you can find a variety of laptops for less than $300 that are perfect for a student on a budget.

Here are three recommendations worth considering:

HP 15-f272wm Notebook
About $300

Pros: This highly rated laptop boasts multiple ports, a rewritable DVD drive, an HD BrightView WLED-backlit display and an Intel Pentium N3540 processor. And to top it off, it’s cherry red. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recommends no less than 250GB of space for college students; this computer has 500GB.

Cons: This laptop weighs in at five pounds, a bit heavier than a lot of others on the market.

Acer Chromebook R 11
About $300

Pros: If you’re planning on presenting often and work with graphics, this is probably a smart buy. The touchscreen display on the Acer Chromebook R 11 features In-Plane Switching technology, which lets viewers see the display from wider angles instead of having to look at it straight on. Good sound quality is another bonus for videos and other presentations. The memory and storage are also good for an inexpensive Chromebook.

Cons: PC Magazine notes that the keyboard offers a little too much resistance when you type. Other complaints from customers include printing problems.

ASUS Chromebook Flip (C100PA-DB02)
About $280

Pros: PC Magazine praised this Chrome-based laptop for its impressive performance, speed and battery life. The Asus Chromebook Flip also has a 16GB SSD (solid state drive), meaning the hard drive has no moving parts. It’s faster, less prone to wearing out and more immune to bumps and falls than traditional hard drives.

Cons: The laptop has a low-resolution display.

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