Laptops

6 Best i3 Laptops: Reviewed, Rated & Compared

Processors have come a long way in the last decade. We can now create CPUs with power that we could only dream of previously. At the top end, tech giants push the boundaries on what is possible and bring us into a new era of computing power.

Luckily this has a drip down effect. You no longer need to spend a fortune to get an extremely capable level of processing power. The newest generation of i3 processor is powerful enough to guide your computer through all but the most demanding tasks.

If your computer usage is usually limited to web browsing, word processing, and occasional gaming and Netflix binges, you do not need to fork out a wad of cash for an expensive processor. The i3 processor requires less power, drains less battery, and costs a lot less than the i5, i7, and i9.

This means that you could save an absolute fortune by purchasing a laptop with an i3 processor installed.


i3 Laptops Compared

Image

Product Name

Screen Size

RAM

Storage

Check Price

2021 Newest Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series 3593...

15.6 inches

8 GB

256GB SSD

2020 Newest Lenovo Ideapad 3 (S145 Updated...

15.6 inches

12 GB

512GB SSD

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop,...

15.6 inches

8 GB

128GB SSD

HP 15 15.6' Laptop Computer, Quad-Core Intel...

15.6 inches

16 GB

1TB SSD

2021 Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 Inch FHD...

15.6 inches

20 GB

2TB SSD

Dell Vostro 5000 Series 14'' FHD Display...

15.6 inches

8 GB

1TB HDD


Important Considerations When Buying An i3 Laptop

Intended Application

The first thing you need to consider when researching what laptop you need is what your specific usage looks like. You need to know what kind of tasks you need your computer to handle; this will narrow down your options.

If you are looking for a laptop for gaming, for example, you will need to ensure that there is a capable GPU installed with enough RAM to support it.

Core i3 Specs
  • Number of Cores
    The number of cores is almost like the number of individual brains your processor has. Each one can work independently of the others. Virtual cores are made virtually; they work just like physical cores but do not have physical hardware. Dual-core processors and quad-core processors relate to how many physical cores your processor has.
  • Clock Speed
    Clock speed is the measurement given for how many decisions your processor can make in a single second. 1GHz is 1000 processes per second.
  • Generation 
    Every couple of years, the tech giants AMD and Intel release their newest generation of processors. These are usually updated versions of an existing line. In the current range of Intel processors, for example, we are on the 10th generation of processors. You should always aim to purchase a laptop with the most recent generation of processors possible.
  • RAM
    Your CPU is the most important component in your computer, but it cannot work alone. Backing your processor up is perhaps the second most important part, your RAM. Your RAM creates pathways that your other components can take to do their job quicker and more efficiently. The more RAM you have, the smoother your computer will run, and the easier it will tackle demanding tasks.
  • GPU
    Your Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) or Graphics Card is the most important component when it comes to the graphics display and visuals that you see on the screen. This means that if you plan to do any gaming, edit any videos or photos or want to watch content in 4K, you will need to make sure your GPU is up to scratch.

If you plan to do some heavy gaming, you might want to check out the following articles:

Screen Size & Display

Another thing that you should consider before you purchase your laptop is how big you would like the screen to be and what quality. The bigger the screen, the easier it is to see smaller details, but the higher the battery will drain. A good way to decide is to ask yourself if you are buying a laptop to work as a desktop computer or a portable workstation.

Storage Space

Your laptop's storage space is where you keep everything that is necessary for it to run, as well as any files that you decide to keep, such as photos, videos, games, and music. Nowadays, there are two different types of storage commonly used in computers.

The first is the old reliable, the HDD. This type of storage is cheap, easy to use, and has the potential for vast storage. The only downside is that they are extremely slow to transfer data.

The second is the new kid, the SSD. This type of storage utilizes flash storage, the same type that your RAM uses. This makes them lightning-quick when it comes to transferring data. The only downside to SSD is the cost; they are much more expensive.

Battery Life

The importance of battery life will depend entirely on how often you use your laptop away from a power socket. If you travel a lot and need to use your laptop for long periods without charging it, a long battery life will be important.

If your laptop will be sitting on your desk at home for most of its life, battery life will not be as important. This is worth knowing as a stronger battery life usually comes at the cost of either reduced computing power or increased price.

Design

Laptops come in a huge range of different stylings, designs, and materials. Laptops made by Dell, for example, usually come in matte black stylings that look good in an office. Asus's ROG department makes flashy RGB laptops for gamers, and Lenovo makes laptops that look very plain but hold extremely powerful components.

Take a second to figure out what you prefer, and then narrow down your options.

Build Quality

The higher the build quality, the better. Laptops made from durable parts that do not fail under pressure are always our preferred choice. Many laptops undergo rigorous military-style testing. This testing is to make sure that your laptop can survive, even in the harshest of environments.

Price & Warranty

Finally, we have the price tag and the warranty. A good laptop will perform extremely well per dollar spent. This is a good way to sift out those manufacturers that extort their prices for no reason.

A good warranty is also a blessing. Anyone who has worked around computers for long enough knows the stress they can cause when they break down. When this happens, being able to send your laptop back for a speedy repair can be a lifesaver.


6 Best i3 Laptops Reviewed

1. Dell Inspiron 15 3000

2021 Newest Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series 3593...
  • 【Memory & Storage】Memory is 8GB...
  • 【Processor】10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1...
  • 【Screen】15.6" HD Anti-glare LED-backlit...
  • 【Ports and Operating System】2 x USB 3.1...

Best i3 Laptop

CPU Processor

10th gen i3

RAM

8 GB

Display Resolution

1080p

Graphics/GPU

UHD

Screen Size

15.6 inches

Storage

256GB SSD

The first laptop on our list comes from the tech giants Dell, one of our favorite brands for laptop quality. The Inspiron 15 is a 15-inch laptop wrapped in Dell's carbon matte styling.

This new 2021 model comes packed with the latest generation i3 processor at its heart and is supported by 8GB of RAM and a decent sized 256GB SSD.

The screen is an HD Anti-Glare LED panel, which looks great in all lighting and from all angles. The colors are great, and the darks look really deep. This makes it perfect for watching all types of content.

The keyboard is impressive, too, and feels like the keyboard from the much more expensive, top of the range XPS series. It has the same kind of throw and resistance, making it an outstanding laptop for word processing.

You get a goods range of ports too, with 2 USB 3.1 and 1 USB 2.0 as well as an HDMI and a headphone jack.

This is a laptop designed to be a perfect workhorse. It can undertake most tasks with ease and runs extremely smoothly. It scores highly in every test and doesn't have any glaring down points other than the quality of the speakers, which is pretty poor.

Good
  • Dell quality
  • Great keyboard
  • Good screen
Bad
  • Poor speakers

2. Lenovo Ideapad 3 S145

2020 Newest Lenovo Ideapad 3 (S145 Updated...
  • 【Upgraded】RAM is upgraded to 12GB...
  • 【Processor】10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1...
  • 【Screen】15.6" HD Anti-glare LED-backlit...
  • 【Ports and Operating System】2 x USB 3.0,...

Best Rated Touchscreen i3 Laptop

CPU Processor

10th gen i3

RAM

12 GB

Display Resolution

1080p

Graphics/GPU

UHD

Screen Size

15.6 inches

Storage

512GB SSD

Next, we have the winner of the best-rated touchscreen i3 laptop. This time Lenovo has taken the crown with their updated version of the Lenovo IdeaPad. Lenovo has a pedigree for making extremely capable workstations with powerful components stuffed into a plain-looking shell.

The Ideapad 3 is no different. This touchscreen beast comes with the latest generation i3 and 12GB RAM and a huge 512GB SSD to hold all your files and programs.

The screen also looks incredible, especially considering it is a touch screen. The precision of the touch screen is also really good, allowing for pinpoint accuracy without error.

The keyboard could be slightly more responsive, but the position of all the keys and the throw is nice enough.

The design of the Lenovo is nice, too, with a brushed aluminum chassis in almond grey. It is definitely a classy looking machine.

This is also a great laptop if you want portability, weighing in at only 4 pounds. It has a great battery life, too, making it the perfect choice for those who need a laptop for school or college.

Finally, when you purchase Lenovo, you can rest easy knowing that you are going to get some of the best customer service and warranty cover around. Lenovo has become the kings of the tech world for this reason.

If you need a touchscreen laptop that is portable and comes with a great brand behind it, this is where we would spend our money.

Good
  • Lenovo brand backing
  • Touchscreen is precise and accurate
  • Lightweight
Bad
  • Low powered GPU

3. ASUS F512JA-AS34 VivoBook 15

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop,...
  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge...
  • Compatible with Google Classroom; run Google...
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU (4M...
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD

Best Cheap i3 Laptop

CPU Processor

10th gen i3

RAM

8 GB

Display Resolution

1080p

Graphics/GPU

FHD

Screen Size

15.6 inches

Storage

128GB SSD

Next, we have the winner of our best cheap i3 laptop title. This is the best laptop for those that want a capable machine without blowing the bank. What you get for the price here is pretty incredible.

The FHD display is absolutely beautiful and takes notes from the more expensive VivoBook range. It does not matter what angle you look at; the display is deep and vibrant, the colors pop, and the darks are crystal clear against the backdrop.

It doesn't stop there either, the 10th generation intel i3 processor makes sure there is enough power for most tasks, and the 8GB of RAM does a great job at keeping everything running smoothly. The SSD is on the small side at 128GB, but that is to be expected in a budget-friendly laptop.

The backlit keyboard is a nice touch, too, with generously sized keys considering the size of the laptop. The 15" laptop hardly weighs a thing, and the thin bezels make the screen real estate look larger than life.

The design of the laptop is aesthetically pleasing, too, with a slate grey chassis that reminds us slightly of the MacBook Pro.

Asus has included some nice additions, such as the compatibility with Google Classroom and the fingerprint scanner, USB-C ports, and ergo lift keyboard design.

Then you have the high-quality lithium polymer battery, which can pump out 12 hours of battery life. There is fast charging tech onboard too. This allows you to charge from 0-60% in under 49 minutes.

The speakers are also surprisingly good, using Asus's Sonic Sound technology to provide deep and rich sounds that can fill the room with ease.

All in all, this is a laptop that performs well above its price tag. This makes it easy to suggest as our best cheap i3 laptop.

Good
  • Slate grey looks awesome
  • Nice features
  • Attractive price tag
Bad
  • Intel integrated GPU

4. HP 15

HP 15 15.6" Laptop Computer, Quad-Core Intel...
  • CPU: Intel Pentium Silver N5030 Quad-Core...
  • 15.6" diagonal, HD (1366 x 768), Non-Touch,...
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM Memory; Hard drive:...
  • Realtek RTL8821CE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (1x1)...

Best i3 Laptop for the Money

CPU Processor

10th gen i3

RAM

16 GB

Display Resolution

1080p

Graphics/GPU

FHD

Screen Size

15.6 inches

Storage

1TB SSD

Next, we have the laptop that we think performs the best in terms of pure dollar to performance. This title falls to the 2021 version of the HP 15.

This laptop doesn't look like much; it has the same stylings as most of HP's mid-range laptops, but under the surface is a different matter.

Inside the HP15 lies 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. When you add the 10th generation i3 processor to the mix, the HP 15 doesn't look quite so ordinary. With this much fire-power, there really isn't much that this laptop cant take on.

You get to make use of HP's innovative keyboard design, which is one of the smoothest feeling keyboards on any laptop. Your fingers glide from key to key with ease, and each key is positioned in just the right place.

The screen has a great range when it comes to colors, and watching content is easy with the anti-glare screen. The darks are deep, and the contrast and brightness are good without being overpowering.

The speakers can fill a room with an adequate level of sound, the bass is slightly lacking, but you really can't complain for the price. In terms of portability, the laptop only weighs 3.8 lbs, making it perfect for taking it to and from your home.

Good
  • 16GB RAM
  • Great screen
  • Great value
Bad
  • Tiny speakers

5. Acer Aspire 5

2021 Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 Inch FHD...
  • 【Upgraded】Seal is opened for upgrade...
  • 【Dual-Core i3-10110U】10th Generation...
  • 【High Speed】RAM is upgraded to 20GB DDR4...
  • 【Enormous Space】Hard Drive is upgraded to...

Best i3 Laptop for Programming

CPU Processor

10th gen i3

RAM

20 GB

Display Resolution

1080p

Graphics/GPU

FHD

Screen Size

15.6 inches

Storage

2TB SSD

As a programmer, you probably spend hours upon hours watching a screen, altering code, and fixing problems. This means you need a laptop that can keep up with both your demands and with the tasks that you undertake.

Our winner of the best i3 laptop for programming category is the Acer Aspire 5, a computer that has a secret, an immense programming power. With 20GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage, this is a mean laptop. With this support, the 10th generation i3 can really come into its own, and the results are pretty strong.

Next, you get Acer's sleek looking style, with a brushed aluminum shell and black keys. The screen has a good level of real estate and looks good from all angles.

The keyboard is backlit and positioned in such a way that makes programming really easy, and the touchpad is sensitive and accurate, too; everything about the Acer Aspire 5 feels responsive.

At the top of the screen is a 720p webcam that performs better than expected. During meetings, it kept great focus and had a reasonable frame rate. 

If you spend long hours programming, this is the laptop that we would suggest you buy.

Good
  • 20GB RAM
  • Great for programming
  • 2 TB SSD!
Bad
  • Might benefit more from an i5 processor

6. Dell Vostro 3000

Dell Vostro 5000 Series 14'' FHD Display...
  • 【Display】15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)...
  • 【10th Gen Intel Core i3 Processor】10th...
  • 【High Speed RAM And Enormous Space】RAM Is...
  • 【Tech Specs】1 x SD Card Reader, 1 x USB...

Best i3 Laptop for Students

CPU Processor

10th gen i3

RAM

8 GB

Display Resolution

1080p

Graphics/GPU

FHD

Screen Size

15.6 inches

Storage

1TB HDD

If you are looking for a laptop for your kids who are going off to college or if you are yourself a student, our next category is the best i3 laptop for students. This is the laptop we think is best suited for student life.

The Dell Vostro 3000 takes a lot of features from Dell's more expensive range of laptops. You get an FHD screen that is one of the best screens on any laptop for this price tag, from college work to Netflix. This is due to the Intel UHD graphics, which is the best-integrated graphics card you are going to get for this price.

The Vostro 3000 is powered by a 10th generation i3 processor and has a 1TB HDD, perfect for storing all of the files, pictures, documents, and games that you might want. You also have a capable level of RAM.

In terms of other features, you get Dell's excellent keyboard layout, which is one of our favorites, and their incredible level of customer support, which is some of the best of any tech giant.

The Vostro is also really portable, weighing in at just over 4 pounds. This makes it easy just to slip it into a backpack without any issues. The 15" screen is the sweet spot in our eyes, too, perfect to use as a desktop and perfect to use as a portable workstation.

If you need a good i3 laptop for a student, this is the best option on the list.

Good
  • Dell quality
  • Lightweight
  • FHD screen
Bad
  • HDD is a bit slow

Core i3 vs. Other Intel Core Processor Laptops

Intel Core i3 vs. Core i5 Laptops

The difference between an i3 and i5 laptop will only really be noticeable if you have the supporting players. The biggest reason to opt for an i5 is when you are also buying a laptop with dedicated graphics like a GTX 1660.

Intel Core i3 vs. Core i7 Laptops

Intel i7 laptops are at the top of the consumer range; they are a lot more powerful than an i3. Whether or not this is worth the money will depend on your usage. If you do not undertake any processor hungry work, like gaming or modeling, you will most likely not appreciate the difference.

Intel Core i3 vs. Core i9 Laptops

Intel i9 laptops are the pinnacle of processor technology right now, simply to buy an i9 processor, you would have to spend more than most laptops cost on this list, and that is just for the CPU. Unless you are doing machine learning or hardcore graphics work, it simply isn't worth the upgrade.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Where can I find the best details for these Core i3 laptops?

Head to Amazon, and you will be able to find all of the details and spec lists for all of the laptops on this list.

Is Core i3 outdated?

Every year, intel release updates for their processor range; if you get the 10th generation i3, like the ones used in laptops on this list, you will have an up to date i3 processor.

Is a Core i3 laptop good enough for learning Photoshop?

An i3 is the perfect choice for learning Photoshop; once you start advancing to the higher levels, you can think about upgrading.

Is an i3 laptop good for online teaching?

An i3 laptop is a perfect choice for online teaching; it will be able to handle any kind of video chat room with ease and will enable you to teach from anywhere.


Conclusion

I hope that this article has helped educate you and guide you towards a laptop that takes your fancy. Every laptop on this list is a capable laptop, each with their own different qualities. If you are struggling to decide, we recommend our top pick, the Dell Inspiron 17.