Laptops are not going anywhere and with the rise of working from home, more people need them than ever. Whether you need one for yourself, a present or for your child to do homework, we have shopped high and low for the best Black Friday deals on cheap laptops - budget just became bargain.
It's possible to get a pretty solid laptop without spending much, especially if you're smart and buy something during the current Black Friday sales season. You can even get Intel Core i3 devices with touchscreens and SSDs, and we're constantly keeping an eye on the best prices.
If your budget does stretch just a little bit higher, we'd recommend you look to our best budget (sub-£500) laptops chart; otherwise, here's a selection of models below £300 that will suffice for casual tasks and get you out of a tight spot.
1. Acer Swift 1
Now: £279 (£120 off)
You'll struggle to find a better Windows laptop for under £300 as this Swift 1 has a Full HD screen, a 128GB SSD and a free 1-year subscription to Microsoft 365.
2. Asus E210
Now: £159.99 (£70 off)
Windows laptops don't come much cheaper than this one from Asus, which is now £70 via the Microsoft store.
It's got a compact 11.6in screen, a 64GB SSD and the trackpad doubles as a number pad.
3. Asus Vivobook X415
Now: £269 (£110 + freebies)
A 14in Windows laptop with a 128GB SSD, Full HD screen and a year of Microsoft 365 worth £59.99 included for this price is a rare find.
4. Acer Chromebook Spin 513
From: John Lewis
Now: £299 (£100 off)
This Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Chromebook from Acer is now under £300 and the firm has promised to plant 100 trees for each unit sold. Just register your device here.
5. Asus Chromebook C223NA
From: Laptops Direct
Now: £129.97 (£70 off)
A stylish and compact Chromebook from Asus with an Intel processor and compact 11.6in HD screen. A bargain if you just need a cheap machine for basic tasks.
6. Asus VivoBook F415
Now: £289 (£90 off)
There's a whopping £90 off this Asus VivoBook Windows 10 laptop with a Full HD screen, 128GB SSD and 1 year of Microsoft 365 included.
7. Coda 1.4
From: Laptops Direct
Now: £149.97 (£50 off + bundle)
The 2-year warranty, Norton 360 Deluxe and Microsoft 365 bundle included with this laptop are worth almost as much as you'll pay for the device itself.
8. Asus C523NA Chromebook
Now: £249.99 (£80 off)
This Chromebook has basic specs, but it's a bargain if you only have less than £250 to spend on a laptop. It's got a Full HD touchscreen and Intel Celeron processor.
9. Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 1i
Now: £147 (£52 off)
The Celeron processor and 64GB of storage here may be basic, but this Lenovo laptop is still eligible for a free Windows 11 upgrade and is currently 26% off.
10. HP Chromebook 14
Now: £169 (£70.99 off)
A 14in Chromebook for under £250 is already a bargain but you can save £70.99. You'll get a 14in screen with a 180-degree hinge, AMD A4 processor and B&O Play speakers.
11. Lenovo 100e Chromebook
Now: £199.99 (£22 off)
This Chromebook from Lenovo is now under £200 and will make a handy laptop for doing basics like email and word processing. It's highly portable with a compact 11in screen.
12. Acer Chromebook 315
From: Laptops Direct
Now: £189.97 (£75 off)
A great deal on a budget laptop running Chrome OS, this Acer model has a 15.6in HD screen, an AMD A4 processor and a 64GB SSD.
How to find a great deal on a budget laptop
We review budget laptops all year round, and our favourite model right now is the Asus E410, which offers a great all-round experience, despite anticipated weaknesses such as poor maximum display brightness. While the most affordable SKU can be picked up direct from Asus for £229.99, a more powerful version can be had from the likes of Currys, running on Intel Pentium silicon, instead of a Celeron chipset.
The very fact that various SKUs exist of most laptop lines means you need to be careful of what you're buying: that laptop you just read about in that glowing review may not necessarily be the same laptop you've just found at a bargain price. Check for things like screen size and resolution, processor model, and amount and type of RAM and storage.
For many people, those cheaper options will be more than enough for their needs, but it always helps to have some idea of what to look out for in the first place. This way, if you see a great laptop deal we haven't mentioned here, you'll be able to work out whether or not it's a good buy.
Key things to look out for are the processor, memory and both type of storage and amount of storage. At under £300, you're unlikely to find anything higher than an Intel Core i3/AMD A-series or Ryzen 3 processor; if you do find a Core i5, snap up that laptop right away. You won't find a better deal.
You'll also see Intel Pentium and Celeron processors listed, and these are less powerful options often found in older models and Chromebooks/CloudBooks, but still more than capable if your needs are basic. By that we mean you're looking for something that's good for homework, replying to emails, browsing the web or social media, and watching the odd video.
These setups come with integrated graphics, and you shouldn't expect to find a dedicated graphics card at this price. Your laptop will be more than capable of playing YouTube and movies, plus some casual games, but if you're really after something capable of higher-fidelity gaming we'd recommend upping your budget to £500+ and going for a Core i5 as the bare minimum. We've got some more options on slightly pricier laptop deals here.
At this price, you're most likely to find 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, although at the budget end of the market you often find solid-state storage is swapped out for a traditional mechanical hard drive. The upside to this is more storage space; the downside is they are slower, a little noisier and more fragile.
The size of the screen and the overall design of a laptop are going to be purely personal choices. You'll find everything from 11in to 15.6in screens at this price point; a handful with Full HD (1080p) displays but most with HD (720p) screens. Smaller laptops are typically going to be more readily portable, but it's easier to get stuff done on a larger screen; especially if you're wanting to watch videos, play casual games or work with spreadsheets.
Don't overlook Chromebooks, with which your children may well be familiar from school. The difference between these and traditional Windows laptops is the operating system that's installed on them; with Chromebooks instead using Chrome OS. You'll also find CloudBooks, which run Microsoft's pared-back Windows 10 S.
More Black Friday deals
Black Friday arrives on Friday 26 November this year, followed by Cyber Monday on 29 November. We've been busy rounding up all of the best Black Friday deals across all sorts of tech - not just laptops.