The best i3 laptops to buy this year.
Picking a laptop is always a search for the best hardware obtainable for your money. The processor is typically the first item of hardware to control as it largely defines the prices and totally affects the performance. Intel is the worldwide leader on the market and it has been for a while already.
If you are aimed at finding the best i3 laptop, the small list below will be helpful at targeting the most performant models in several price categories. Those, who don’t know for sure where to set their priorities, will find the closing section helpful.
If you’re shopping for an i3 laptop, consider these six models below that have the best characteristics on the market. One of them is likely to fit both your hardware and pricing priorities and if you’re not sure how to set those, read the help section at the end.
CPU: Intel Core i3 | GPU: Intel | RAM: 8 GB | Storage: 128 GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 3.75 pounds
⊕ Very robust construction
⊕ Modern and stylish
⊕ Small dimensions
⊕ Well-powered and reliable
⊖ Somewhat desaturated visuals
⊖ Absence of Thunderbolt 3
It is the best i3 laptop model for those who want a stylish and performant 15-inch device to carry it around. It doesn’t have a large battery so long trips away from sockets might not be a good idea but it does last decently. It is the perfect model for attending lectures, working in an office, or browsing and entertaining yourself at home.
The performance is pretty good for this processor and you can multitask with comfort. In addition, the device has a large monitor and an array of connectors. This model is pretty striking altogether, especially if you consider that the affordable price includes redesigning as well as the things mentioned earlier.
CPU: Intel Core i3 | GPU: Intel | RAM: 8 GB | Storage: 128 GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 4.40 lbs
⊕ Sensor screen
⊕ 8 GB RAM
⊕ Reasonable price
⊖ Low screen resolution
⊖ Little memory
This is quite a powerful model running on a 10th generation processor that has full 8GB of RAM to carry out its tasks. It can easily do several of them at a time too. The device is so well-powered that a full working day plus some evening entertainment can all be performed on one charge.
Whatever you might do, it will all look a treat on the vibrant HD screen with the thinnest bezels. It’s hard to say what this beast lacks, considering that the screen incorporates a sensor, data is stored on an SSD, and various ports are present.
CPU: Intel Core i3 | GPU: Intel | RAM: 4 GB | Storage: 128 GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 5.69 pounds
⊕ Stylish profile
⊕ Great Mic
⊕ Saturated and bright screen
⊖ Won’t run high-end games
⊖ No illumination in keyboard
⊖ Internet browsing slows the system
Few affordable i3 processor laptops have any good looks and this model here is a welcome exception from the rule. However, that is slightly undermined by the battery which cannot last you the whole working day so you have to keep an eye out for sockets.
Still, the 8th generation processor is quite agile and can handle all the mundane tasks of an office employee and much of the entertainment as well. This is by no means an industry leader, just a regular laptop powered and priced sensibly enough for a regular user.
CPU: Intel Core i3 | GPU: Intel | RAM: 8 GB | Storage: 128 GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 4.45 pounds
⊕ Weighs little, compactly designed
⊕ Unfailing performance
⊕ Supplied with a wireless mouse and keyboard
⊖ Limited to one USB 2.0 port
⊖ Lacks an optical DVD-RW drive
⊖ Hardware upgrade possibilities are limited
If you prefer having an AIO instead of a proper laptop, here is a very good option. It comes with a sensor screen, which significantly speeds up regular office tasks. You will have a luxury of an uncluttered workspace and sufficient performance for any kind of regular use be it working in MS Office software or just streaming some series.
If you absolutely want an AIO but can’t afford this particular model, a simpler one exists with a somewhat older processor and less storage. It can still do the same tasks but without much speed for multitasking.
CPU: Intel Core i3 | GPU: Integrated | RAM: 4 GB | Storage: 64GB | Display: 13,3-inch | Weight: 2.97 pounds
⊕ Affordable but well-made
⊕ Very convenient keyboard
⊕ Durable battery
⊕ Decent screen
⊖ Somewhat short on RAM and storage
⊖ Outdated design
If you want a cheap laptop with Intel core i3 processor, why not make it a Chromebook? This one is currently the best deal for about $400. It is decently powered for regular use, has a nice monitor, and a very convenient keyboard.
If you ever experience the need for some heavier processing, the 4GB of RAM would be insufficient for you. Any kind of studying, office work, or browsing is not an issue and most average users are more than happy with a device like this one.
CPU: Intel Core i3 | GPU: Intel | RAM: 4 GB | Storage: 128 GB | Display: 15.6-inch | Weight: 3.15 pounds
⊕ Supports lighter gaming
⊕ Suitable for professionals
⊕ Amply provides for general use
⊖ OS is basic
⊖ Upgrading is problematic
This is a great device for those who need powerful performance on the go. The battery can last pretty long and the fast charge feature makes sure you don’t lose touch with whatever matters to you. Another nice feature is the modern screen design that allows you to see more of the content due to the thin edges.
The device comes with Windows 10 Home but the S mode allows to use it in a professional environment. Your data will be protected from phishing or other dangers with no unpleasant aftermath like lagging. The device is entry-level and its price is quite reasonable but the hardware approaches that of the next level. Such a combination of performance, reliability, and compactness is hard to find.
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If you want the absolute best i3 laptop in terms of performance, it is important to know what specifications to look for. Below, you will find a set of tips helpful to make a proper choice. Just pay attention to these few parameters and you will get a device of impressive capabilities considering its somewhat modest hardware.
Try to get the latest generation of CPU or, at least, nothing older than 8th. In the specifications, the generation is the first number after the processor type. So, if you see something like i3-8250 or i3-10300, you will know that these are the 8th and 10th generations respectively. There is one more marking that makes a difference. If you see m3/y3, these are the CPUs designed for convertible or small devices where ventilation will be an issue. A U marking, instead, is more preferable for a laptop as it will be stronger.
A 4GB capacity would be enough for light tasks like browsing or working with documents and thus would cover any regular office job. An 8GB capacity, instead, is crucial for gaming and can only cover the less demanding play. Heavy multitasking is another mode of operation requiring this amount of RAM. However, if you found the perfect model that has everything except RAM, remember that this feature can be improved by installing an additional chip.
This would matter with a different processor but all the i3 models come with an integrated video card that hardly differs from one device to another.
Those who want a really cheap core i3 laptop would not have this in their menu but an SSD is worth spending money on. It would significantly speed up the operation of your laptop. But, if money is tight now, yet again, you can get a simpler model and substitute the hard drive later. There is plenty of information on how to do it and the procedure is not difficult.
The majority of options will have an HD screen or an HD+ at most. For a 14-15-inch screen, this quality can be considered optimal, taking all into account. If the device is smaller, such image quality will cause it to be extremely slow. If you feel unsatisfied and want Full HD, prepare to hop in the next pricing segment because these are never affordable.