The best cheap laptops for $350 or less in 2019

Pick of the best $350-or-less budget laptops and convertibles.

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(Image: CNET)

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Not everyone wants to pay hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for a new laptop. Some are happy with cheap and cheerful systems that get the job done. Here are a handful of such systems, all priced under $350.

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Best cheap laptops 

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Dell Inspiron 15 3580

Dell Inspiron 15 3580

Dell Inspiron 15 3580 (starts at $330)

An everyday laptop that's perfect for work or school. Modern enough to feature 4GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, yet old-school enough to cater for those looking for a wide variety of ports. There's even the possibility of adding an optional DVD drive, if you still need one.

A good all-rounder, with enough power for the average user.

Tech specs:

  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Intel Celeron processor
  • 15-inch display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 1TB hard drive
Dell Inspiron 11 3195 2-in-1

Dell Inspiron 11 3195 2-in-1

Dell Inspiron 11 3195 2-in-1 (starts at $240)

A great device for those who can't choose between a laptop and a tablet -- with just a flip of a hinge you can swap between one configuration and another with ease. Choose between tablet mode, presentation mode, tent mode, and laptop mode.

The 64GB eMMC storage means this is a more robust platform, ideal for throwing into a messenger bag or school bag since there's no hard drive to knock about.

Tech specs:

  • Windows 10 Home
  • 7th Generation AMD A9-9420e processor with Radeon R5 graphics
  • 11.6-inch touchscreen display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB eMMC storage
Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11 3181 2-in-1

Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11 3181 2-in-1

Dell Inspiron Chromebook 11 3181 2-in-1 (starts at $250)

A great device for those looking for a Chromebook, but who can't choose between a laptop and a tablet. The hinge allows for four possible configurations: tablet mode, presentation mode, tent mode, and laptop mode.

Chrome OS also makes this a great solution for those who are security conscious and want updates applied automatically, or those who would otherwise neglect security and allow the platform to turn into a hellstew of awfulness.

Tech specs:

  • Chrome OS
  • Intel Celeron N3060 processor
  • 11.6-inch touchscreen display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB eMMC storage
HP 15z

HP 15z

HP 15z (starts at $290)

  • See it now: HP

A rugged, yet stylish and affordable laptop designed for daily use, and with a decent 9-hour battery. This laptop also features a fast-charge feature that can boost the battery by 50 percent in 45 minutes.

It also features a wide array of ports for expansion possibilities, a feature that is absent on more modern systems. And all this comes at a very decent starting price of under $300. 

Tech specs:

  • Windows 10 Home
  • AMD A9-9425 processor with Radeon R5 graphics
  • 15.6-inch display
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB SSD
HP Chromebook 11-v010nr

HP Chromebook 11-v010nr

HP Chromebook 11-v010nr (starts at $200)

This HP Chromebook comes kitted out with several really amazing features, from the slim design to the 12 hours and 45 minutes of battery life. Also, since it is powered by Chrome OS, most of the hassles related to security and updating are handled automatically.

Super solid and highly reliable, this is a great workhorse, especially for those who use Google service or Android apps.

Tech specs:

  • Chrome OS
  • Intel Celeron processor with Intel HD Graphics 400
  • 11.6-inch display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 16GB eMMC
HP Chromebook 14A G5

HP Chromebook 14A G5

HP Chromebook 14A G5 (starts at $350)

A sleek Chromebook with USB-C ports and a nice 14-inch touch display, making it great for those who want reliability and power. It's also great for hard-use environments and has a keyboard that is spill-resistant and pick resistant, so it can handle abuse and mistreatment.

The fast charger is capable of recharging the battery to up to 90% within 90 minutes, which means it is hard to run out of power.

Tech specs:

  • Chrome OS
  • AMD A6-Series APU processor
  • 14-inch touch display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB eMMC
Lenovo 100e

Lenovo 100e

Lenovo 100e (starts at $270)

A cheap and cheerful laptop. Nothing special here, but you get a robust Lenovo base platform that is rugged and reliable and time-tested. It's not going to win any awards for design, but you get a package that can survive day after day in a classroom or work environment, and keep coming back for more.

And with a 10-hour battery life, Lenovo 100e is ready for work whenever you are.

Tech specs:

  • Windows 10 Home
  • Intel Celeron N3350 processor
  • 11.6-inch display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB eMMC
Lenovo IdeaPad 1 11-inch

Lenovo IdeaPad 1 11-inch

Lenovo IdeaPad 1 11-inch (starts at $210)

A lightweight laptop with a decent processor wrapped up in a lightweight yet robust package. On top of that, there's an 8-hour battery and Dolby Audio platform. A nice workhorse that comes with a decent array of ports, and has enough power for day to day tasks in the home, school, or office.

Tech specs:

  • Windows 10 Home in S Mode
  • AMD A4-9120E processor
  • 11.6-inch display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB eMMC
Lenovo Chromebook C340 11-inch

Lenovo Chromebook C340 11-inch

Lenovo Chromebook C340 11-inch (starts at $300)

A Chromebook, but with the Lenovo touch. 10-hour battery life, a 360-degree hinge that allows it to switch from a laptop to a tablet, and the convenience of Chrome OS.

While coming in at under $300, this device still feels like a premium device.

Tech specs:

  • Chrome OS
  • Intel Celeron N4000 processor
  • 11.6-inch touch display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB eMMC
ASUS C202SA-YS02 Chromebook

ASUS C202SA-YS02 Chromebook

ASUS C202SA-YS02 Chromebook (starts at $230)

Need a robust Chromebook? Look no further! Here you get a Chromebook with a spill-resistant keyboard, and reinforced rubber wrapped frames that so it can survive knocks in the home, office, or school. The 180-degree hinge allows this to switch from laptop to tablet and back again with ease.

Tech specs:

  • Chrome OS
  • Intel Celeron N3060 processor
  • 11.6-inch display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 16GB eMMC
ASUS VivoBook 11.6-inch

ASUS VivoBook 11.6-inch

ASUS VivoBook 11.6-inch (starts at $250)

A cheap and cheerful laptop that's also lightweight and thin, and even comes with a USB-C port to complement the USB-A port. The 180-degree hinge allows it to be laid down flat, and despite being an 11.6-inch system, it features a full-sized keyboard that's quite pleasant to use.

Tech specs:

  • Windows 10 in S Mode
  • Intel Celeron N4000 processor
  • 11.6-inch display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB eMMC
ASUS L402YA-ES22 Thin and Light Laptop 14-inch

ASUS L402YA-ES22 Thin and Light Laptop 14-inch

ASUS L402YA-ES22 Thin and Light Laptop 14-inch (starts at $250)

Thin and light laptops that are cheap and yet have a good selection of ports -- including USB-C -- and a touchpad and keyboard that are a pleasure to use are quite rare, but that's what you have here. It also comes kitted out with speakers that don't sound weak and tinny, and a display that's actually easy on the eyes.

All in all, this is a great package at a very competitive price.

Tech specs:

  • Windows 10 in S Mode
  • AMD E2-7015 processor with Radeon R2 graphics
  • 14-inch display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB eMMC
ASUS VivoBook Flip J202NA-DH01T 11.6-inch

ASUS VivoBook Flip J202NA-DH01T 11.6-inch

ASUS VivoBook Flip J202NA-DH01T 11.6-inch (starts at $299)

At the heart of this package is a pair of durable 360-degree hinges that allow the device to switch from being a laptop to a tent to a tablet with ease. The touchscreen display is both very accurate and responsive and pleasant and easy on the eyes.

There's also 8-hours of battery life, which is very decent for a platform of this kind, so this reduces the anxiety of working away from a power port. 

Tech specs:

  • Windows 10 in S Mode
  • Intel Celeron N3350 processor
  • 11.6-inch display
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB eMMC