Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15-inch Laptop Has the Basics for $299

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 laptop
(Image credit: Best Buy)

Sometimes, you don't need the fastest laptop around — you just need something affordable that will work for basic office or schooling use. This Lenovo IdeaPad 3 deal is a perfect fit for such cases. It has modest specs, but with a price of just $300, it's as cheap as many Chromebooks and is far more capable.

For example, it gives you an Intel Core i3-10005G1 Ice Lake processor. That's last year's model, now superseded by Tiger Lake, but it's still way better than the typical Chromebook CPU (Celeron N3060) you'd find in this price range. It also has twice the RAM (8GB) and four times the storage (256GB SSD) found in a Chromebook.  There's more.

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (i3-1005G1 8GB 256GB): was $449 now $299

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (i3-1005G1 8GB 256GB): was $449 now $299
This budget laptop has everything you need for basic school or office work. It can handle most tasks and includes a 1080p display and webcam.

Along with the modest specs comes a 1080p display and a full version of Windows 10. Some people like the stripped down interface of Chrome OS, but it can also be very confining. You can avoid all of that with the Lenovo IdeaPad 3.

Just don't plan on playing modern games on the laptop, unless you plan on using Stadia, GeForce Now or some other streaming service. While the UHD Graphics can handle streaming video just fine, and lighter games should be okay as well, it's still half the theoretical performance of Intel's faster Gen11 Iris Plus Graphics, and that was barely breaking 30 fps at 720p in many games.

Jarred Walton

Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge '3D decelerators' to today's GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.