Under $299 Options
Dell Inspiron 14z
Our top pick in this price-range is one that you'll only be able to buy online as Dell's Inspiron 14z is a great value at $299. It sports a Core i3 processor (many in this range have a Celeron or lower-end AMD processor), 4GB memory and a 500GB hard-drive. A bit more portable with a 14" screen, this Dell Inspiron 14z is, at its $300 price-point, a very good deal.
Our honorable mention can be found at both Sears and Kmart this Black Friday. While Asus may not have the name recognition of a Dell, HP or Lenovo, Asus is actually rated higher in overall reliability according to a December 2011 PC World survey.
The laptop features a Celeron processor, 2GB memory and a 320GB hard-drive – perfectly adequate specifications for a $200 laptop. Further, Sears and Kmart are likely to be less trafficked than Walmart and Best Buy too, which may increase your chances of getting one this Black Friday.