The ASUS Transformer Book Chi has a great touch display and 2-in-1 design, which makes it the best laptop you can buy for under $300.

Many people are in the market for a new, low-cost laptop during the holidays. Whether it's a versatile 2-in-1 — like the ASUS Transformer Book Chi — or a more conventional notebook — like the Dell Inspiron 11 — we've made shopping easy with our choices for the best laptops under $300.

Best overall

ASUS Transformer Book Chi

See at Microsoft

The ASUS Transformer Book Chi's amazing 1200p, 10.1-inch touchscreen is perfect if you're looking for a laptop that can also be used as a tablet. When attached to the keyboard and touchpad, the laptop is 0.5-inches (1.27cm) thick — with the keyboard and touchpad detached, you're down to a 0.3-inch (0.76cm) tablet that is comfortable to hold at only 1.25 pounds (0.56kg). You get an Intel Atom Z3795 processor with up to a 2.39GHz clock speed, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and 128GB of eMMC storage. This laptop starts at about $279.

Bottom line: For the best laptop that also makes a fantastic tablet, check out the ASUS Transformer Book Chi.

One more thing: Get about eight hours of battery life on a single charge — enough to get you through a workday.

Why the ASUS Transformer Book Chi is the best laptop you can buy under $300

When it comes to laptops under $300, nothing comes close to the ASUS Transformer Book Chi.

Buying a budget laptop — especially one at about $280 — usually means the display has a low resolution and the body is thicker than usual. The ASUS Transformer Book Chi breaks the mold with its 10.1-inch touch display with a 1920x1200 resolution and great color and contrast.

Inside the slim, light tablet you'll find an Intel Atom Z3795 processor with a clock speed up to 2.39GHz, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 128GB eMMC drive. Attach the keyboard and touchpad for when you need to multitask, or keep the device as a tablet for watching videos or web browsing — it is comfortable to hold for extended periods of time at only 1.25 pounds (0.56kg).

With a Micro-USB 3.0 port, a Micro-USB 2.0 port, a Micro-HDMI port, as well as a battery that will realistically last up to about eight hours, this device is great to have in your corner no matter the task at hand.

Runner-up

Lenovo Ideapad 100s

See at Lenovo

The Lenovo Ideapad 100s is available at a great price considering what you're getting. The 11.6-inch display has an LED backlight and a glossy finish for a great picture at 768p. Inside, you get an Intel Atom Z3735F processor and 2GB of DDR3 RAM that allow for light-duty work, and the 32GB eMMC drive is backed up by the 1TB of online storage you get with the included one-year subscription to Office 365. Available in four colors, including blue, red, white, and silver, this slim laptop is a great option for only about $200.

Bottom line: The Lenovo Ideapad 100s is a great budget option if you don't care for a 2-in-1 design.

One more thing: Expand the laptop's storage further with a microSD card.

Best cloudbook

Acer Aspire One

See at Amazon

The Acer Aspire One's internal storage isn't huge at just 16GB, but included with the purchase is two years of 100GB OneDrive storage — your laptop won't get bogged down with files, so you can keep performance up. The Intel Celeron N3050 has a clock speed up to 2.16GHz, and is paired with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, which is enough for word processing and web browsing and other light work. With an 11.6-inch display at 768p, this is a great compact laptop you won't mind toting around with you. This laptop starts at about $180.

Bottom line: For a great laptop that thrives when connected to the internet, check out the Acer Aspire One.

One more thing: Plenty of ports here, including one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, one HDMI, and one SD card reader.

Best convertible

Dell Inspiron 11

See at Microsoft

If you can't live without a touchscreen on your laptop, the Dell Inspiron 11 is a great choice. The 11.6-inch display has a 1366x768 resolution, and the touch function is responsive and precise. An Intel Celeron N3060 has a clock speed up to 2.48GHz, and 2GB of DDR3 RAM keeps things running smoothly — this laptop is great for a light workload. Rotate the screen around for tent, stand, and tablet modes, or keep it in notebook mode for when you need to get serious work done. This laptop starts at about $200.

Bottom line: Consider the Dell Inspiron 11 if you want a great convertible laptop under $300.

One more thing: Pair this laptop with OneDrive storage so that the 32GB eMMC drive doesn't fill up.

Best business

Dell Inspiron 14 3000

See at Dell

Having multiple projects going at once demands a larger screen; the Dell Inspiron 14 has a 14-inch display at 768p. As far as RAM goes, the initial model comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, but it can be upgraded to 4GB if you find that having multiple processes open is slowing things down. The Intel Celeron N3050 processor has a clock speed up to 2.16GHz, which will handle word processing and web browsing, and the 32GB eMMC drive is backed up by a year of 20GB Dropbox storage. This laptop starts at about $200.

Bottom line: The Dell Inspiron 14 3000 is a great business option for under $300.

One more thing: Pick up a 1TB external hard drive from Dell for a lot of extra storage and a total price still under $300.

Conclusion

One of the best budget laptop options is the Lenovo Ideapad 100s, but the overall best choice is definitely the ASUS Transformer Book Chi. If you want something for business, check out the Dell Inspiron 14 3000, and if you want a convertible with a touchscreen, go with the Dell Inspiron 11. Looking for a great cloudbook? Check out the Acer Aspire One.

Best overall

ASUS Transformer Book Chi

See at Microsoft

The ASUS Transformer Book Chi's amazing 1200p, 10.1-inch touchscreen is perfect if you're looking for a laptop that can also be used as a tablet. When attached to the keyboard and touchpad, the laptop is 0.5-inches (1.27cm) thick — with the keyboard and touchpad detached, you're down to a 0.3-inch (0.76cm) tablet that is comfortable to hold at only 1.25 pounds (0.56kg). You get an Intel Atom Z3795 processor with up to a 2.39GHz clock speed, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and 128GB of eMMC storage. This laptop starts at about $279.

Bottom line: For the best laptop that also makes a fantastic tablet, check out the ASUS Transformer Book Chi.

One more thing: Get about eight hours of battery life on a single charge — enough to get you through a workday.