It can be easy to compare the similarities of these laptops under 300 dollars since the specs are often very similar among the mini laptops. The price ranges of the models we used for this comparison range from $249 to $300 laptop computers for the new models. This range changes frequently though since the prices include limited time special offers and other comparative pricing measures among sellers and retailers. But what about the specifications? What should you expect from the performance of a 300 dollar laptop computer? As we mentioned before, the specs are really similar among the mini laptops under 300 dollars. This is actually a good thing though since it allows you to compare the best bargains based on the price more so than the actual features or specs of the laptop.
Consider the processor for example. Most of the big name manufactures like Acer and Dell for instance use the Intel Atom processor in their mini laptops. The specific processor in the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 series which we used for this comparative analysis is the Intel Atom N455 which runs at 1.66 GHz. This is the same processor that is in several other mini laptops which we have reviewed. Some other common examples of this are the N450, z530, N455 found in Dell and in Acer mini laptops like the Aspire One as well. The reason why so many manufactures use these has a lot to do with the design which is very specific to the energy efficiency and performance of the small mini laptops. Yet these are not super high end in their performance compared to much higher priced laptop computers.
This is important to keep in mind and it is also why the mini laptops are so highly recommended for basic computing and online activities. This is precisely what many consumers are looking for when they are searching for laptops under 300 because if you don’t need the extra features you really should not have to pay for them. This brings up the next thing to keep in mind. The mini 10 netbooks do not have built-in optical drives. What this ultimately means is that you will need to use an external USB CD/DVD drive. This is usually not an issue especially with the ease of use for file storage which USB keys and jump drives are so readily available and cost very little these days.
The next similarity is in the memory capacity. Typically the most popular mini laptops under 300 dollars will come from the factory with 1GB and can be upgraded to 2GB if you want. This is alright since the designs of the hardware running Windows 7 Starter Edition for instance are within the minimum system requirements however we recommend that it is well worth maxing out the RAM to the 2GB if you can for all around quicker response from the computer.
As for hard drive size, this can be considered an upgrade at the time of purchase but the standard range currently is anywhere from 160GB to 250GB at least in this price range. Some of the refurbished laptops will have Windows XP installed on them and as for the new mini laptops they are currently offered with Windows 7 Starter Edition. Is the Starter Edition a concern? Not really and in our experience the people looking for the best laptops under 300 dollars do not seem to need any advanced features found in the premium editions of the operating system.
Ultimately the screen sizes of the $300 laptop computers we reference here are in the 10.1 inch range with minimal variation in size. Obviously the smaller the screen sizes will usually mean a more affordable laptop. WiFi is absolutely a feature which if found across all of the models today. This should provide a good idea of just how similar these models are from any of the top laptop manufactures today. So the key aspects to consider in a new or refurbished laptop under the 300 dollar mark are ultimately screen size and price if you do not require any specific advanced hardware specs.