Okay, so you’re on a budget but still want to get a solid processor that you won’t have to ditch within hours of installing it. The Core i3 processor is a good place to start. It’s perfect for everyday use such as browsing, office applications, watching movies, and playing light games.

The point is not to serve up the cheapest (and mostly useless) models available because there is a gazillion of those. Rather, an i3 processor that provides actual value for your money. Sounds like a plan? Allow us to share with you some of the Best i3 laptop models on the market. 

Comparison of Best i3 Laptop

Best Core i3 Laptops
Laptop NameEditor's ScoreSizePrice
1. ASUS VivoBook 15 (10th Gen)10/1015.6”
2. Acer Aspire 59.9/10
15.6”
3. HP 15.6″ HD9.5/1015.6”
4. HP HD Touchscreen9.5/1015.6”
5. ASUS VivoBook 15 (8th Gen) 9/10
15.6”
6. Dell Inspiron 15 9/1015.6”
7. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (3.40 GHz) 8.5/1015.6”
8. Microsoft Surface Pro 78.5/10
12.3"
9. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (1.2 GHz)8/10
15.6”
10. Dell Inspiron i35838/10
15.6”

Best i3 Laptop in 2020

1. ASUS VivoBook 15 (10th Gen)

“Best i3 Laptop”

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop,...
  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way...
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU...
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM and 128GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard with...
  • Exclusive Ergolift design for an...
Pros
  • Nano-edge display
  • ErgoLift hinge design
  • No bloatware
  • Sturdy
  • Fast
Cons
  • Screen brightness is underwhelming
  • Sound feels muffled

Asus is known for building robust laptops including their premium range ZenBook laptops. I love that the VivoBook laptops sport some features previously reserved for the ZenBook series. If you’re looking for the best i3 laptop that’s lightweight, stylish, and offers respectable specs at a pocket-friendly price, say hello to this baby.

Performance

This laptop is powered by the 10th generation i3-1005G1 dual-core processor along with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage. Thanks to the SSD, booting, and app launches are quite fast with some users indicating that they spent less than 20 seconds to get everything going.

Here you have plenty of memory for daily tasks like word processing, working on spreadsheets, web browsing, or watching Money Heist on Netflix. You can also open multiple tabs and switch between them with ease. 

Portability

At 3.75lb and measuring under 0.8 inches, the VivoBook is lightweight and thanks to its slim profile and travel-friendly dimensions, it’s one of the most portable budget laptops on the market. At this price point, I know budget laptops that weigh more than 5 pounds. 

Battery life lasts approximately six hours before recharge although some users state that their batteries didn’t go beyond four hours. Our tests have revealed that you can get more out of the battery if you disable some functions. If you minimize screen brightness and turn off the keyboard light or set it on low, you can get more battery life.

Display

Right off the top, you’ll notice that the laptop lacks flashy trims but that’s what makes it so appealing. With muted colors and a clean matte finish, it comes off as sleek and business-like. The 15.6-inch display is encased in pleasing narrow bezels that accommodate a webcam on top.

The screen resolution on this machine is 1920 x 1080 which is fairly decent and boasts an 88% screen-to-body ratio. That means you have a more enhanced viewing experience. Even so, some users claim that the display is not very vibrant so this may be an area that Asus could look into.

The laptop’s graphics are integrated which do a good job but don’t expect it to power AAA games, but it can handle less demanding games at low settings. 

Other Considerations

The VivoBook has generous connectivity options. You get two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.1 port, one USB Type-C port, an HDMI port, and a microSD card slot allowing you to connect to various peripherals. There’s also a DC jack and one headphone/mic combo jack.

The full-size keyboard comes with an ErgoLift hinge which tilts the keyboard towards you making for a comfortable typing experience. The touchpad feels just about the right size and is both smooth and responsive while the backlit feature that makes the laptop usable in darker environments.

I love that the laptop is compatible with Google Classroom which allows teachers to create, distribute, and grade assignments online. If you’re working from home, the VivoBook has your back.

Bottom Line

When you think about the VivoBook’s overall performance, price, premium looks, and features, this machine has set itself apart from the competition. For students, teachers, on-the-road writers, and business professionals looking for a robust laptop, this is a worthy option.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 10/10
  • Processor Style: 10th Generation
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Weight: 3.75lbs
  • Display: 15.6”
  • Battery life : 5-6 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: Integrated UHD Graphics 620
  • OS : Windows 10

2. Acer Aspire 5

“An Alternative to Intel i3 Processors”

Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop, 15.6 inches...
  • AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor...
  • 15.6 inches full HD (1920 x 1080)...
  • 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports &...
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Backlit Keyboard; Up to...
  • Windows 10 in S mode. Maximum power...
Pros
  • Acer BlueLightShield to prevent eyestrain
  • Smooth navigation
  • Impressive screen
  • Great viewing angles
Cons
  • Touchpad feels flimsy
  • Speakers could use an upgrade

Intel processors dominate the market and they certainly do a good job at it. But if you’re looking for a solid alternative to Intel, this AMD Ryzen processor comes fully equipped with AMD Radeon Vega 3 graphics, a full HD display, and a ton of other features that will feel like a breath of fresh air.  

Performance

This Acer laptop comes bundled with an AMD Ryzen 3 3200u dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and up to 128 storage which is plenty much for day to day tasks like word processing, web browsing, video conferencing and streaming, and light photo editing.  It’s perfect for a home office or college use. 

Most users don’t experience slowdowns as the apps launch fast while switching between tabs feels buttery smooth. In terms of competitiveness, this processor stands almost shoulder-to-shoulder with the 8th generation intel core i3 processor which is pretty good considering the latter is a known workhorse. 

Portability

The scales tip at 3.97lb and the laptop is only 0.71 inches thick. Just like the VivoBook, this machine is lightweight and portable. You can carry it in your laptop bag all day without experiencing the strain of a heavy laptop.

On a single charge, the battery can last up to 7.5 hours which is fantastic. I found that working with medium settings, the laptop could last me all day, even with the Wi-Fi turned on. But then, watching videos back to back definitely reduced the hours. 

Design

Most laptops we’ve come across at this price point are made from cheap black plastic that comes off as ugly but I must say Acer had done an impressive job with this machine. The silver exterior and aluminum lid gives this laptop a premium look while the black keyboard is a nice contrast to the silver chassis.

The 15.6-inch display is surrounded by slim bezels although the top and bottom bezels are slightly wide to accommodate the webcam and HP logo respectively. The full-HD display is a refreshingly welcome feature that provides vibrant, colorful, and sharp images. It also makes for wider viewing angles so you and a friend can view the screen without distortion.

At the mention of AMD Ryzen and Radeon Vega graphics, most of us will admittedly wonder if you can game on this laptop. After much research, we found that you can play games like Dead Space, Fortnite, GTA V, The Witcher 3, and Mass Effect 2.

Other Considerations

This laptop comes with a backlit keyboard, perfect for those late-night work sessions and I love that it’s comfortable, feels sturdy with medium key travel. The keys are well-spaced but I can’t say the same for the Numpad which feels a little cramped, but definitely not a deal-breaker.

The touchpad doesn’t have dedicated right and left click buttons, rather the entire surface is clickable. If this doesn’t work for you, you can always use a mouse. Many users feel that the touchpad is quite large which may get in the way of your typing, but I’ve found that it hardly responds to false hits. 

Connectivity-wise, the laptop comes with one USB 3.1 port, two USB 2.0 ports, a full-size Gigabit Ethernet port, and an HDMI port as well as one audio jack and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity. 

Bottom Line

Apart from the finicky touchpad, I can’t think of any other compromises that you have to make here. So is it worth buying? Well, the laptop is lightweight, expensive looking with a crisp display, and enough processing power to handle your usual productivity tasks. Add the price tag and hands down, it’s a steal.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.9/10
  • Processor Style: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U A515-43-R19L
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Weight: 3.97lbs
  • Display: 15.6”
  • Battery life : 7.5 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon Vega 3
  • OS : Windows 10

3. HP 15.6″ HD

“A Budget Option”

HP 15.6" HD Intel 10th Gen i3-1005G1...
  • 15.6" diagonal HD SVA BrightView...
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 (1.20 GHz...
  • 4 GB DDR4 SDRAM | 128GB SSD | Windows 10...
  • Built-in HD Webcam with Dual Speakers |...
  • Multi-format media card reader | 1 x...
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Stable battery
  • Executive design
Cons
  • The fan is loud
  • Some users report poor packaging

Many of us put off buying a new laptop until the very last minute and justifiably so because a new machine is a financial investment. But even when you’re working with a tight budget, you still want the best bang for your buck, right? I think this little budget laptop has much of what you’ll need for daily computing tasks.

Performance

This laptop makes use of a dual-core Intel i3 processor along with 4GB of RAM and 128GB storage. For college students, and work-from-home professionals, this machine provides speedy performance in basic computing tasks. 

The memory and storage specs are on the lower side but are still sufficient for most people. Many users who work with multiple tabs on Google or stream YouTube or Netflix indicate that they experience no impediment to their productivity or entertainment while using the laptop.

I know users who have upgraded their laptops and now enjoy more storage and even greater speed, so if this is something you want, you can ask your geeky friends to help you out.  

Portability

This laptop checks all the lightweight and portability boxes. It weighs 3.70lb and is only 0.7 inches thick. To put things in perspective, I have a friend who carries two of these laptops to work every day, because he uses them both. And I have never heard him complain.

The battery life is decent giving you five to six hours between recharges. You can find laptops with more life, but they also come at a cost, so at this price point, it’s workable. Seeing how light the laptop is, throwing the power adapter into your bag won’t add much weight.

Design

The all-silver exterior and keyboard give the laptop a clean, smooth, and attractive look that makes you want to pick it up immediately. I love how the black bezels bring out the silver in the keyboard. 

Speaking of bezels, this machine has outdone itself with a 6.5mm micro-edge display that has basically cut down the left and light side bezels to almost nothing. You get a wider screen-to-body ratio (82%) to enhance your viewing experience. 

The BrightView screen resolution is glossy and gives the display a richer and vibrant feel. Add the integrated UHD graphics and you’ve got a budget laptop with a terrific display.

Other Considerations

One of the greatest trade-offs you are going to have to make is in your connectivity options. There is only one USB 3.1 Type-C port, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, one HDMI port, and a media card reader, and an audio jack.

The keyboard has a dedicated Numpad and it feels well-spaced, steady, and comfortable to use. The key travel is decent, while the touchpad is responsive with no annoying clicking sounds, which can’t be said of laptops at this price point. 

Bottom Line

This is arguably one of the best i3 laptop models on a budget. Even with a compromise or two, you still get an HP laptop with a beautiful screen, wide viewing angles, and speedy performance. Not to mention affordable, light, and aesthetically appealing.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.5/10
  • Processor Style: 10th Generation
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Weight: 3.70lbs
  • Display: 15.6”
  • Battery life : 6 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD
  • OS : Windows 10

4. HP HD Touchscreen

“Best Entry-level Laptops for Kids”

New HP 15.6" HD Touchscreen Laptop Intel...
  • 15.6 in HD WLED touchscreen (1366 x...
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i3-1005G1...
  • 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2666MHz, 128GB SSD, No...
  • Intel UHD Graphics, HD Audio with stereo...
  • Realtek RTL8821CE 802.11b/g/n/ac,...
Pros
  • Beautiful display
  • Responsive screen
  • Reliable performance
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Noticeable fan noise

With studies going online, more parents are searching for laptops that their children can use for their online classes. This HP entry-level laptop is easy to set up, easy to use, and the perfect size for those little hands to use. Best of all, even adults can enjoy using this machine.

Performance

This machine runs on the 10th generation dual-core i3-1005G1 processor alongside 8GB of RAM ensuring that you can handle your daily computing tasks without a glitch. Along with 128GB storage, you have just about enough space for your files. 

Most parents appreciate how easy this machine is to operate with kids loving the touchscreen feature that makes them feel like they are using a smartphone. You can open multiple tabs allowing the user to tackle their research without any drama and when it’s time for a break, you can stream your favorite movies and tv programs.

Portability

This HP laptop checks in 4.4lb, which is heavier than the 10th Gen VivoBook but it’s still slim and portable. So, if you need to take it with you, all you need is your laptop bag and you’re good to go.

We are yet to establish how long the battery lasts between recharges, however, most users agree that the machine holds a charge for long. So you should be able to get many computing tasks done before reaching for the charger.

Design

Just like most HP devices, this touchscreen laptop looks very attractive with a silver exterior and a black interior. The machine doesn’t come off as cheap or tacky. The narrow bezels are highly welcome and HP has managed to fit a webcam on the top bezel.

With a resolution of 1366×768, the 15.6-inch screen has a beautiful, bright, and clear display. There is no dedicated graphics card, but the integrated UHD graphics are decent. You can enjoy Minecraft, Sims, and Roblox, and other lower-end games. 

Other Considerations

This machine ships with Windows 10 S operating system which essentially allows you to use apps found on the Microsoft store only. This means you won’t be able to install third-party apps like Google Chrome. We recommend uninstalling the S mode for more versatile use.

The keyboard is well-spaced and comfortable. This also goes for the trackpad that most users find responsive. If you don’t like keyboards and touchpads, you’ll be happy to know that the screen is just as responsive so touch away.

There are multiple connectivity options on this HP laptop including one USB 3.1 Type-C port, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and one HDMI 1.4 port. Bluetooth connectivity and Wi-Fi connections are also available.

Bottom Line

The build quality on this HP touchscreen laptop is solid and can withstand continued use, plus it looks very sharp and attractive. It may not have high-end specs but if you’re in the market for a usable laptop for kids, for personal use, or a backup laptop, we recommend you look it up.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9.5/10
  • Processor Style: 10th Generation
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Weight: 4.4lbs
  • Display: 15.6”
  • Battery life : not tested yet
  • Screen resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD
  • OS : Windows 10

5. ASUS VivoBook 15 (8th Gen)

“Best Value”

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop,...
  • 15.6 inch full HD 4 way NanoEdge bezel...
  • Intel core i3-8145U processor (4M Cache,...
  • 8GB RAM and 128GB M.2 SSD; Windows 10 in...
  • Ergonomic backlit chiclet keyboard with...
  • Exclusive Ergolift design for an...
Pros
  • Fast booting time
  • Upgradable memory
  • Useful fingerprint reader
  • Easy to use
  • Beautiful edge-to-edge screen
Cons
  • Narrow viewing angle
  • The fan may get loud

Another VivoBook makes our list and with good reason too. It’s not every day you come across a laptop that packs some amazing features including the ErgoLift Hinge, fingerprint sensor, and multiple connections all the while remaining under $1,000. If you’re looking for real value in a budget machine, look here.

Performance

Under the hood, you’ll find the 8th gen. dual-core i3-8145U plus 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage. With these specs, the machine boots fast and feels snappy while carrying out usual computing tasks like checking mail, editing spreadsheets, word processing, browsing, and streaming videos.

I noted that the cooling fan kicks on—but not in an obnoxious way—whenever I run multiple apps or stream videos back to back. It wasn’t a big deal for me and certainly didn’t disrupt my chain of thought. And if you feel that the space is insufficient for your needs, you can always expand it with a flash drive.

Portability

Just like the 10th gen VivoBook, we looked at earlier, this laptop is highly portable weighing only 3.5lbs and measuring 0.75 in thickness. Carrying it around the house or to college or work won’t feel like a chore. 

The battery lasts just over seven hours on a single charge, which is way better than most budget laptops. Yes, I know we always want more battery life out of our gadgets and seven hours may not be spectacular, but hey, it’s close to a full day’s worth without reaching for the power adapter.

Design

This VivoBook is available in multiple colors but I prefer Slate Grey because it looks classy and expensive. The flair you get on the outside extends to the inside. Like the HP 1W830UA laptop we reviewed earlier, this notebook has a NanoEdge display which helps minimize the laptop’s footprint. 

Despite the narrow bezels, the laptop houses a webcam that’s perfect for video chats and conferencing. The 15.6-inch full HD display delivers clear images, vibrant colors, and great viewing angles that you find in more expensive notebooks.

The integrated graphics do a decent job allowing you to indulge in a game of Minecraft, Dota 2, and even CSGO on lower settings.

Other Considerations

A key feature on this laptop is the ErgoLift hinge design tilts the keyboard up slightly to make typing more comfortable. For writers, like me,  and other computer users who spend lengthy amounts of time on their computers, this can help minimize wrist pain.

The backlit full-sized keyboard feels comfortable with medium travel while the touchpad is fairly responsive and the fingerprint reader is a nice touch. However, the touchpad lacks physical buttons for clicking, which may take some getting used to.  

This Vivobook comes with a plethora of connectivity options to ensure that you never run out of possible connections. There’s one USB 3.0 Type-C port, one USB Type-A port, two USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI port, one microSD card slot, and a combo audio jack.

Bottom Line

This laptop excels in providing usable features that may enhance your day to day tasks at a palatable cost. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or someone who needs a laptop for light work and entertainment, check out this machine.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9/10
  • Processor Style: 8th Generation Core i3-8145U
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Weight: 3.5lbs
  • Display: 15.6”
  • Battery life : 7.5 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • OS : Windows 10

6. Dell Inspiron 15

“Plenty of Storage”

2020 Newest Dell Inspiron 15 5000...
  • Latest and Powerful Powerful and lastest...
  • 15.6" Full HD Energy-efficient...
  • Ram is upgraded up to 32GB DDR4 Memory...
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x...
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit English, the Best...
Pros
  • Comes with a bonus 32GB TELA USB Card
  • Brilliant screen
  • Lots of storage space
Cons
  • No click buttons on the touchpad

Inevitably we’ll want to use our laptops for more activities that require even more storage space. But a quick look around most budget laptops reveals that RAM and storage are major compromises. So if you’re looking for a laptop that offers above-average specs including super-sized RAM and storage, check this one out.

Performance

Powering this laptop is the 10th generation dual-core i3 processor and 32GB of RAM which translates to super-fast booting, quick data access, and advanced multi-tasking abilities allowing you to get more down without unnecessary delays.

The laptop has a fantastic combo of 1TB Hard Drive and 500GB SSD. This far exceeds storage specs in budget laptops and even some more expensive options. With so much storage space, you can store all your files, videos, and just about any else you’ve got

Portability

At 4.9lb, this laptop is heavier than many other laptops we’ve reviewed here but is still light enough for daily commute or movement around your home office. Admittedly, the machine comes across as bulky, it can still fit into a backpack for easy transportation.

There is no mention of how long the battery lasts on a single charge. However, if I’m to go with my experience with Dell laptops the laptop can likely last several hours between recharges.

Display

This machine comes in a smooth silver casing that looks very attractive and sleek and black bezels adds to its overall appeal. I appreciate the narrow bezels on this laptop because thick ones are so out of style and typically there’s a webcam on the top.

The 15.6-inch full HD renders, vibrant, richer colors, and crispy clear images perfect for both work and entertainment. I think dedicated graphics would have made this machine perfect, but this is a budget laptop, so that’s that. The integrated UHD graphics still do a good job, so if you want to stream Netflix, or engage in a game, go right ahead.

Other Considerations

If you need to connect to peripherals like mice or printers, TVs or Monitors, etc, you’ll be happy to know that this laptop is equipped with several of them. You get two USB 3.1 ports, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, an SD media card reader, and a combo audio jack. 

The full-size keyboard comes with a Numpad that feels spacious, with good key travel, and is comfortable to use. The touchpad is also responsive and while it lacks dedicated click buttons, there’s a distinction on the pad for left and right-clicking.

Unlike many budget laptops including some on our list, this Dell laptop ships with Windows Home OS, without the S mode, allowing you to install third-party apps drama-free.

Bottom Line

What you find in this Dell laptop is a solid across-the-board contender boasting superior performance, and features that aren’t commonplace in this price range. Why spend money on external flash drives, when you can have all the space you need in this laptop? Over to you.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 9/10
  • Processor Style: 10th Generation
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • Weight: 4.9 lbs
  • Display: 15.6”
  • Battery life : not tested yet
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD
  • OS : Windows 10

7. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (3.40 GHz)

“Best for College Students”

2020_Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15.6" HD Laptop...
  • Intel Core i3-1005G1 Dual Core Processor...
  • Integrated Intel UHD Graphics;15.6" HD...
  • 8GB DDR4 2666 MHz RAM (4GB OnBoard + 4GB...
  • 256GB 2242 NVMe TLC SSD Storage;...
  • Up to 7.5 Hours, Battery Life; Windows...
Pros
  • Privacy shutters on the camera
  • Decent battery
  • Light and thin
  • Quiet cooling fan
Cons
  • The webcam has low resolution
  • Laptop warms up with intense use

In years past many budget-strapped college students had to make do with exceeding low specs in the laptops in their price range. But that’s in the past now because today’s budget laptops, particularly this Lenovo IdeaPad comes with more RAM, more storage,  and more battery life, perfect for college life.

Performance

This IdeaPad 3 is powered by a 10th gen dual-core i3 Intel processor with 8GB of RAM delivering enough horsepower for booting up, app launches, and handling multiple tabs. Many college users indicate the laptop is sufficient for their school assignments, web surfing, and movie streaming.

You get 256GB storage and the manufacturer throws in an extra 32GB external USB flash drive when you buy the laptop, giving you even more storage space. Engineering students can smile now because you’ll have plenty of space for those large files. The rest of us will happily store our music and videos 

Portability

This laptop has a very slim profile and at 4lb, it’s heavier than the VivoBooks but still passes the portability test. It’s light enough for you to carry and will fit nicely in your backpack along with your stuff. 

The battery on this IdeaPad is impressive. It can last over seven hours of continual use and around five hours if you’re streaming online videos. While I always recommend keeping the power adapter nearby, seven hours on a single charge is pretty good for a day in school.

Design

The laptop’s frame feels reasonably sturdy and a user who accidentally dropped his was pleased to see that the laptop still held up. Just don’t go bumping yours! The abyss blue color isn’t too flashy but comes across as stylish and a statement piece. Hey, gray, silver, and black colored laptops are too common.

The 15.6-inch display is surrounded by narrow bezels and has a 1366 x 768 screen resolution. By today’s standards, this is rather low but the screen remains bright and clear.  The screen comes with an anti-glare coating that helps eliminate reflections, so kudos to Lenovo for that.

The integrated graphics work well, so when you want to take a break from schoolwork, you can play Roblox, Fall Guys, and other lower-end games nicely. 

Other Considerations

This IdeaPad is equipped with a non-backlit keyboard with a dedicated Numpad. The keys are nicely spaced and have a short travel. Both fast and slow typers will find the keys quite reliable allowing you to type your reports and assignments easily. 

The touchpad is positioned little to the left which may take some getting used to, but it’s very responsive and registers physical inputs with precision.

For connectivity, there is one USB 3.0 Type-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, microSD slot, an Ethernet port, and a headphone jack. It also allows for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

microSD slot, an Ethernet port, and a headphone jack. It also allows for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Bottom Line

This Lenovo IdeaPad combines great battery life and decent processing power to offer solid productivity performance that just might get you through college and possibly beyond. The display is a little behind, but overall the machine works. Plus, it’s very stylish and is easy on the pocket

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8.5/10
  • Processor Style: 10th Generation
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Weight: 4.07lbs
  • Display: 15.6”
  • Battery life : 7.5 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD
  • OS : Windows 10

8. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Ultra Lightweight

New Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – 12.3"...
  • Next gen, best in class laptop with the...
  • A more powerful pro — more than 2...
  • More ways to connect, with both usb c...
  • Standout design that won't weigh you...
  • All day battery life upto 10.5 hours,...
Pros
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Outstanding display
  • Responsive screen with stylus interface
  • Fast charging
Cons
  • Type cover is purchased separately

If you’re constantly on the road, meeting up clients, or holding up a gadget when doing presentations, you know the kind of strain this puts your wrists and arms under. If you need a lightweight alternative to your heavy laptop, this Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is the gadget for the job. Yes, it’s super lightweight, has a superb display, and impressive battery life.

Performance

Surface Pro7 runs on the 10th gen Core i3 processor that works hand in hand with 4GB of RAM to ensure fast startup, app launches, and incredible Wi-Fi performance. The tablet’s multitasking abilities are noteworthy allowing you to shuffle between tabs without any bottlenecks. 

Whether you want to shop, bank, stream Netflix, tackle some office work or present your ideas to an audience, this 2-in-1 laptop will help you get it done. You’ll have 128GB storage, which is sufficient for most users.

Portability

A key selling point for this 2-in-1 laptop is its weight. It comes at a paltry 1.7lb and is 0.33 inches thick. Business travelers, college students, busy moms, and just about everybody else who’s looking for a lightweight machine can benefit from this laptop.

With such travel-friendly dimensions, you can slip into your sleeve, bag, or backpack and get on the road. The battery is superb as well, with the capacity to last over 10 hours—for a person who is on the road, this is fantastic news. Naturally, battery life will depend on usage as streaming videos back to back or gaming will take a toll on battery life. 

Design

Surface Pro 7 looks very elegant with its lightly textured magnesium body, clean lines, and rounded corners. On the back is a robust kickstand that enables you to use the laptop in three different positions – laptop mode, studio, and tablet.

The 12.3-inches screen is surrounded by thick bezels, which may feel ancient but actually help you hold the laptop without accidentally pressing the screen. At 2736 x 1824 the resolution is very high so you have enhanced viewing, no dealing with pixelated images, and that kind of stuff. 

The screen responds to both physical touch and stylus. You can use the one that suits you best. And lastly, the integrated Intel graphics can gracefully handle whatever light games you throw at it.

Other Considerations

Surface Pro 7 can be paired with a type cover to turn it into a functional laptop. These type covers are sold separately and are available in multiple colors, so you can choose one that complements your style. Also available for purchase is the surface pen and surface arc mouse.

To keep you connected, the laptop is fitted with one USB-C port, one USB-A port, one surface connect port, one microSDXC card reader, surface type cover port, and headphone jack.  

Bottom Line

Surface Pro 7 is the perfect halfway house between a full-blown laptop and a tablet. Despite its lightweight and slim profile, it packs enough power to handle your day to day tasks in a fast and efficient way. Looking for the perfect travel companion, Surface Pro 7 is the way to go.

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8.5/10
  • Processor Style: 10th Generation
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Weight: 1.7lbs
  • Display: 12.3”
  • Battery life : 10.5 hours
  • Screen resolution: 2736 x 1824 pixels
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD
  • OS : Windows 10

9. Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (1.2 GHz)

“Best for Beginners”

2020 Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15.6" Laptop Intel...
  • 10th Generation Intel Dual-Core...
  • 15.6" HD (1366 x 768) Anti-Glare Display...
  • Modem description: Cable
  • System RAM type: DDR4_SDRAM
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Fast boot time
  • Reasonable battery life
Cons
  • Questionable build quality

If you’re buying your very first computer, you most likely won’t be needing a high-end processor that costs thousands of dollars. A budget best i3 laptop is a good stepping stone and the Lenovo 81WE008HUS IdeaPad is a worthy candidate. It’s easy to set up, easy to use, and has everything you need to embark on your journey. 

Performance

Running this baby is an Intel dual-core best core i3 laptop processor alongside 8GB of RAM and 256GB storage. It’s got plenty of processing power to keep the machine from random freezes or crashes. You can open a couple of tabs and transition between them seamlessly.

Storage space is far better than you’ll find in other budget laptops since most are stuck at 128GB and the same goes for the RAM. You have plenty of space for your work, ebooks, photos, and videos. 

Portability

This Lenovo laptop checks in at just over 4lbs measures 0.7 inches thick. It feels satisfyingly light and super easy to carry around. If you want to commute, just stash it into your bag and you’re ready to go.

According to Lenovo, you can get up to 7.5 hours out of this machine. And possibly so, as long as you are using it for casual non-intensive work. Streaming videos and gaming will reduce your battery life significantly. 

Display

The blue-colored exterior surface gives this laptop a clan and near-professional look and I love the contrast created by the gray-colored keyboard and black bezels. Everything about this laptop looks stunning.

The 15.6-inch anti-glare display is large enough for comfortable viewing whether you’re viewing documents or watching a movie. The 1366 x 768 screen resolution is rather low but to sort of compensate for this, the machine comes with AMD Radeon R5 Graphics, so videos and games still look good.

Other Considerations

The laptop ships with Windows 10 S and this is the one time that I endorse this operating system. By restricting you to apps only found in Microsoft Store, the OS prevents you from installing any software that can potentially harm the machine. It’s perfect for new, inexperienced, and cautious users.

The keyboard looks a little cramped, you can easily press num lock when reaching for the backspace. Even so, it’s comfortable to use with good key travel. The touchpad functions effectively, but you’ll notice that it’s set more to the left rather than the middle. 

Bottom Line

Thi stylishly blue laptop is fast, efficient, and perfect for everyday tasks. It steps up from the frustrating annoying freezes and crashes that plague most entry-level machines, so if you need a machine for a novice user, look here. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8/10
  • Processor Style: 10th Generation
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Weight: 4.40lbs
  • Display: 15.6”
  • Battery life : 7.5 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon R5
  • OS : Windows 10

10. Dell Inspiron i3583

“Best Intel Core i3 Laptop”

New ! Dell Inspiron i3583 15.6" HD...
  • Intel i3-8145U, dual-core, four-way; 8GB...
  • 15. 6" touch screen, 1366 x 768 HD...
  • Weighs 4. 41 lbs. and measures 0. 8"...
  • HDMI output; Built-in media reader...
  • 30-days trial of Microsoft Office;...
Pros
  • Highly responsive screen
  • Microsoft Office free 30-days trial
  • Feels sturdy
  • Soft keys
Cons
  • Thick bezels

Touchscreen laptops unshackle you from the restrictions of a keyboard and touchpad giving you the freedom to interact with your display. So, if you need something bigger than your smartphone say hello to this touchscreen laptop from Dell. It’s highly responsive, fun to use, and looks good too.

Performance

This touchscreen laptop is powered by the Intel i3-8145U dual-core processor with 8GB of RAM and 128GB SSD storage. It’s processing power is sufficient for swiping left or right effortlessly. 

Plus, you can have multiple tabs and applications open and navigate through them instantly. Whether you’re jotting down notes or zooming in on web pages, this laptop adds a lot of versatility to your day to day tasks. 

Portability

How heavy is this laptop? It tips the scales at 4.41lb which is reasonable for a budget laptop and light enough for you to carry, whether you’re moving from one room of your house to another, or commuting. Plus, it’s only 0.8 inches thick so it can fit into most backpacks and leave some space too.

I couldn’t find any reliable information on how long the battery lasts but I’ll have you know that touchscreen laptops tend to consume more battery and drain the battery faster than standard laptops. So you want to keep the power adapter close by just in case.

Design

I love the thread-like impressions on the laptop’s surface. Boasting an all-black color, this machine comes across as very chic and professional too. My only beef with Dell is the bezels are thick, although some quarters believe thick bezels protect the screen, so it’s a personal preference.

The 15.6-inch screen has 1366 x 768 resolution providing crisp clear images perfect for recreational use. The integrated graphics are fantastic but don’t expect to play high-end games on this laptop, just the less demanding ones.

Other Considerations

Even with the touchscreen feature, Dell has provided a sturdy full-sized keyboard whose keys feel soft to touch and comfortable to type on. The touchpad is fairly responsive so for those occasions when you’ve got to use a keyboard (crunching numbers, etc.),  no compromises have been made here.

Connectivity is pretty good, you get two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one USB 2.0 port, an SD media card reader, Ethernet port, HDMI output, and an audio jack. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity is also available.

Bottom Line

Overall, this touchscreen offers good value for your money. It delivers incredible responsiveness, multitasking power, and the speed you need for your tasks. And it looks good while doing it. 

Specs Recap

  • Editor’s Score: 8/10
  • Processor Style: 8th Generation
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Weight: 4.41lbs
  • Display: 15.6”
  • Battery life : not tested yet
  • Screen resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD
  • OS : Windows 10

FAQs about Best i3 Laptop 

1. What does Core i3 mean?

Core i3 refers to an entry-level dual-core computer processor developed by Intel for their “i” series processors. Most i3 processors have two cores, but you can find up to four cores (quad-core) in select high-end processors. Core i3 processors can be used in both laptop and desktop computers. They are known for their low heat generation and battery conservation capacity.

2. Is i3 still good in 2020?

The i3 is still good in 2020 offering ample support for daily computing tasks such as web browsing, media software, office applications, and low-end games. However, if you want a processor that can run intensive productivity tools, tough creative applications, or handle 4k games then you’ll need a more powerful processor like the i7.

3. Which OS is best for i3 processor?

i3 processors are compatible with most OS including Windows 10, macOS, Linux, and even Chome OS. To check for compatibility, visit Intel’s compatibility database and head over to the processor OS compatibility. Check the section that matches the first part of your processor i.e. i3-10110U, i3-8350k, or i3-8100 and you’ll see all the compatible OS.

4. Can I upgrade from i3 to i5?

There are differing schools of thought on this with some quarters swearing that you can while others stating the opposite. Even so, there are things you’ll need to consider. If the processor is integrated (soldered) into the motherboard, upgrading will not be possible. Secondly, some processor sockets may not fit both the i3 and the i5 and lastly, you’ll also need to check motherboard compatibility and see if you need to update the BIOS settings among other things.

5. Can i3 run GTA 5?

Yes, i3 can run GTA 5 because the minimum system requirement for running GTA5 is 4GB of RAM. Further, you’ll also need to pair your i3 processor with a 2GB graphics card. It’s worth noting that working with minimum requirements means you won’t be able to play the game on HD settings. The game will be laggy and pixelated.

6. How much RAM does i3 support?

It depends on the processor you’re working with. Old generation i3 processors were limited to 16GB of RAM, while newer generations support 32GB of RAM and more. If you would like to know how much RAM your specific processor can support, visit Intel’s support pages. They provide useful information on the supported memory type for the different intel laptop processors.

7. Is i3 good enough for everyday use?

Yes, the i3 is good enough for everyday use. It’s modestly priced, faster than Atom-powered laptops, conserves battery, and generates less heat than other processors. It’s perfect for office applications, web browsing, and playing low-end games. That said, it can’t handle intensive applications like serious video or photo editing or high-end gaming.

8. Is i3 good enough for college?

i3 processors from any generation are good enough for college, especially if you’re on a budget. They offer value for money and handle most tasks with ease including entry-level programming, media viewing, and light gaming. Newer i3 processors like the 10th-generation and 11th-generation chips offer even better performance and battery efficiency.

9. Is i3 good for streaming?

You can stream with i3 processors but you might experience some bottlenecks due to the number of cores. If gaming is a major consideration, you may want to look for a quad-core i3 processor rather than the usual dual-core processors. Another important factor is the internet upload connection speed. The faster the upload speeds, the smoother you’re experience will be.

10. Is Core i3 good for gaming?

Core i3 is good for casual gaming This is especially true if you’re using an older generation, i3 processors. Modern games tend to experience screen tearing, lagging, frame rate dropping, and slow loading. That said, the 8th, 9th, and 11th generation Core i3 processors offer a good gaming experience even for middle-range games. You can enjoy LOL, Fortnite, and Overwatch among other games, even though you won’t reach three-digit framerates.

The Final Verdict

As we wrap up our review of the best i3 laptop models presently, we trust you have identified a laptop (or two) that matches your needs. Core i3 processors are capable of handling what most of us need from a laptop, so don’t shy away from exploring one. Do you own a Core i3 laptop? Share your experience with us, we would love to hear from you.

Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API