Fortunately, it's not the only place to find a cheap laptop, with all manner of retailers pulling some seriously attractive deals out of the bag ahead of Christmas. But budget laptops do not hang around for long, so if you see a spec you like at a price you like, snap up that laptop.
As we outline below, you'll find various specifications available below £300. The best deal is likely to be an Intel Core i3 laptop with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of solid-state storage or a 1TB hard drive, and a 15.6in HD screen. You can find many laptops with full-HD panels at this price too, but beware of them reducing the spec elsewhere to accommodate a sub-£300 price.
1. HP Stream 11 + Office Home & Student
Now: £179.99 (Free Office)
A great deal on a bundle that includes a basic Windows 10 S laptop with Microsoft Office subscription.
2. Lenovo V155 (15.6in FHD, Ryzen 3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
Now: £279.90 (£20.09 off)
Though the Black Friday discount itself isn't huge, this is a cracking laptop under £300. Offering double the memory and solid-state storage of most laptops at this price (8GB/256GB), it also has a 15.6in Full-HD screen, a Ryzen 3 processor, Windows 10 Home AND a DVD drive.
3. Acer Aspire 3 (15.6in FHD, AMD Ryzen 3, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD)
From: Laptops Direct
Now: £264.97 (£65 off)
Now with £65 off the price, this Aspire 3 laptop is arguably the most appealing of those listed here, with both a 15.6in full-HD screen and the best processor, the Ryzen 3 (also from AMD).
4. Acer Aspire 3 A314-21 (14in HD, AMD A9, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
Now: £249 (£100 off)
One of several variations of the Acer Aspire 3, this one has an AMD processor and a 14in screen.
5. Acer Aspire 3 A315-22 (15.6in FHD, AMD A9, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD)
Now: £269.99 (£60 off)
Slightly more expensive than the Aspire 3 listed above, this model swaps out the SSD for an expansive 1TB HDD and comes in a flashy red colour.
6. Acer Aspire 3 (15.6in FHD, AMD A6, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD)
Now: £269 (£30.99 off)
By swapping out the AMD A9 for the more power-efficient A6, at the same price Acer is able to include a 15.6in screen. This budget laptop also has a 1TB HDD for storage.
7. Lenovo IdeaPad S340-14API (14in FHD, AMD Ryzen 3, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
Now: £259 (£120 off)
A fantastic deal on a Windows 10 S laptop under £300, but if portability isn't everything save some money and get a larger screen on the 15.6in full-HD model above. Both have the same core spec with the Ryzen 3-3200U chip, 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD.
8. Lenovo IdeaPad 320 (15.6in HD, Intel Core i3, 4GB RAM, 2TB HDD)
From: Laptop Outlet
Now: £299.96 (£80 off)
The highest-storage option in our round-up of budget laptop deals under £300, this Lenovo laptop has a 2TB hard drive - perfect if your storage needs are great. It also runs a Core i3 processor and has a 15.6in HD screen.
9. Lenovo IdeaPad S145-15IWL (15.6in HD, Core i3, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
Now: £299 (£100 off)
Though you can find better value for money in the laptops higher up our list (while stocks last), no-one can complain about a 15.6in Windows 10 S laptop with a Core i3 processor at £299.
10. HP Stream 14 (14in HD, AMD A4, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD)
Now: £239 (Free Office)
If you just need a basic laptop without breaking the bank then this is bargain from HP, with a no-frills AMD A4 processor that isn't the fastest you'll find in the budget market but capable for most daily computing tasks. It's got what you need, plus includes a one-year subscription to Office 365 with 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage.
11. Asus 14in CloudBook with Office 365
Now: £214.99 (£35 off)
Much like a Chromebook, this CloudBook from Asus has a browser-based operating system that enables it to run on some pretty low-power hardware, hence the cheap price. Note the inclusion of a one-year subscription to Office 365, which could make this an ideal laptop for homework.
12. Acer Chromebook 14
Now: £239.54 (£60.45 off)
Cheaper than Acer's other Chromebooks, this model is also more easily portable with a 14in HD screen. It runs an Intel Celeron chip and has 32GB of solid-state storage, which sounds meagre but should be plenty given that you'll be interacting with its browser-based OS.
13. Acer Chromebook 315 (CB-315-2H)
Now: £248 (£31.99 off)
A great deal on a budget laptop running Chrome OS, this Acer model has a 15.6in HD screen and an AMD A4 processor. Step up to a full-HD screen and the AMD A6 chip for an extra £13.99.
14. iOTA 360
Now: £142.99 (£47 off)
Save with this super cheap iOTA laptop, which has a 360 convertible hinge, a touchscreen and Windows 10 - but don't expect miracles from it, this is a low-power laptop.
15. iOTA Flo
Now: £99.99 (£71.01 off)
If you simply need a laptop for a little cost as possible then check out the iOTA Flo. This little 11.6in laptop might not have very powerful specs but it will handle basic tasks if you just need to do things like email and word processing.
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 HP 250 G7. It was on sale at just £289.92 at eBuyer, but unfortunately is now out of stock, which is why we urge you to snap up these cheap laptops while you can - but do keep your wits about you. Often the way to get down laptop prices is to reduce the spec, and that model came with a Core i3 processor, 4GB of memory and a 128GB solid-state storage drive, whereas the model we reviewed has a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD (also discounted at eBuyer to £397.98).
For many people that cheaper option is going to be more than enough for their needs, but it goes to show that when buying budget laptops you should be aware of small differences in the spec - and 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'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 low. By that we mean you're looking for something that's good for homework, replying to emails, browsing the web and social media, and watching the odd video.
These chips will have integrated graphics, and you should not 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 proper 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 down side is they are slower, a little noisier and more fragile.
The size of the screen and the overall design of the 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 easily portable, but it's easier to get stuff done on a larger screen, especially if you are wanting to watch video, 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 software that is installed on them, with Chromebooks instead using Chrome OS. You'll also find CloudBooks, which run Windows 10 S.