For a lot of users, buying a Core i7 or a Core i9 can be a bit of an unnecessary expense. On the other hand, going for an i3 can be a tad less from the performance perspective. In this case, when you want to buy something more capable than an i3 but not as over the top as an i7 or an i9, a Core i5 can be the ideal choice.
Core i5 laptops can be great if you are looking to buy a laptop for normal office or everyday use. Coupled with the right memory and storage, these laptops can give you a smooth experience running normal programs and software.
In this article, we’ll be looking at some awesome Core i5 laptops that you can buy in 2023. We will include devices from different brands in our list so that you can get a nice idea about the products available in the market.
If you don’t like any of the products we’ve suggested, you can always take your own pick. We will add a buying guide at the end of the listing to help you with that process.
Let’s get started.
In a hurry? Here are our top 3 favorite picks when it comes to the best Core i5 Laptops in 2023!
What Is A Core i5 Laptop?
‘Core i5’ is essentially the name of the processor that powers the laptop and not the name of the latter itself. Core i5 is a member of the Intel processor series. This processor consists of four cores and eight threads in total. Like the other processors by Intel, Core i5 chips are available in different generations ranging from 1st to 13th (recently released).
A newer generation of the processor means newer and more advanced features/capabilities. A Core i5 11th generation will be much better in performance than an i5 6th generation…or even an i7 6th generation, for that matter.
Nowadays, new devices usually come with an 11th or 12th Gen. processor. The 13th is, due to being recently released, more of a novelty right now. It’s not very commonly featured in consumer-grade laptops.
Is Core I5 Better Than I3?
Yes, Core i5 processors are significantly better than i3 processors. Core i3 processors typically have two cores, whereas the i5 versions have 4. Judging from the number of cores, we can say that the performance of an i5 can be twice that of an i3 in the same generation.
Do I Really Need To Buy An I5 Laptop?
Core i5 laptops give decent performance, and they are formidable enough to handle tough programs as well. If you are in the habit of using laptops for running somewhat heavy software like video and graphic editors, word processors, etc., then an i5 can be a good purchase.
On the other hand, if you use your laptops only for light and breezy stuff, such as surfing the internet, writing and checking emails, reading books, etc., then you can settle for an i3 instead.
Now that we’re done with the basics, let’s move on to look at some i5 laptops that you can buy in 2023.
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The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i comes with a nice combination of performance specs, aesthetics, decent connectivity options, and affordability. For the specs provided, the price tag of $650 is surprisingly low.
With the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15” version, you get an Intel i5 12th Gen. processor combined with 512 gigabytes of SSD storage and 8 GBs of RAM. As we said, for the price, an i5 12th Gen. processor is simply outstanding. Plus, the other specs are nothing short of excellent either, making this laptop an overall “good value for money” machine.
As the name indicates, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3i 15” version has a 15.6-inch display size with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It comes pre-installed with Windows 11 Pro and even has the Windows key upgraded to the newer symbol.
If you are in the habit of using your laptop while traveling, the IdeaPad 3i can be a good choice thanks to its sleek size and profile. With a total thickness of 0.78”, you can carry it in just about any standard laptop bag or carry-on without any worries.
Considering all the features and specs it provides, the IdeaPad 3i can be a good option for users who run moderate to heavy software. The 8GB RAM also makes it good for multitasking.
Why Is The Lenovo Ideapad 3i Great For Office Use?
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i can be excellent for office use due to its excellent specs, full-size keyboard, and clear display. Unless we’re talking about graphic designing or CAD modeling professionals, most people can find an i5 12th processor and 8GB RAM just fine.
Thanks to the slim design, the IdeaPad 3i is also easy to carry while traveling. If you need to take this thing with you during the commutes to and from the office, you can do it easily without any trouble.
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Yes, that’s right. The second device on our list is also a Lenovo IdeaPad. We’re not biased. They’re just that good.
The features and specs of the Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Pro and 3i are quite similar. With the IdeaPad 5i Pro, you get an 11th Gen. i5 processor instead of a 12th Gen. The memory and storage are the same, i.e., 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD.
Surprisingly, although the specs and design of the 5i Pro are a lot similar to the newer 3i, the price is substantially less. You can get the IdeaPad 5i Pro for just $547 (at the time of writing), which is a pretty good deal.
This laptop comes with a full-size backlit keyboard and a thin-bezel 16” display. The connectivity options are also pretty decent. Other than the standard USB Type-A, HDMI, and SD card slots, the IdeaPad 5i Pro also comes with a USB Type-C 2.0 and a Thunderbolt 4 port. This combination can help you easily connect external displays and peripherals easily.
Although the specs and features of the IdeaPad 5i are pretty good, there is one problem that you’ll have to be a little careful of. The cooling vents on this device are located on the underside. To give way to the vents, the bottom of the laptop has four feet at the corners that give the chassis a little elevation.
If you’re going to place the laptop flat on a soft surface, the vents will get blocked. This will cause the device to overheat, which will further take its toll on the performance. So, for travel use, this is not the best laptop to buy.
With decent specs and a decent price, the HP ProBook 450 G8 is an excellent, well-rounded device that you can buy in 2023. It comes equipped with 256GB of SSD storage and 8GB RAM and has a price tag of $767 at the time of writing.
Now, considering the price, the specs can look a little bit disappointing, especially when compared to the two laptops discussed above.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 3i is considerably less expensive than the ProBook 450 G8, but it has better storage and a better processor. While the ProBook 450 G8 has an 11th Gen. i5 chip, the IdeaPad 3i comes with a 12th Gen. Similarly, the IdeaPad 5i is also less expensive than this ProBook, but it has better storage, albeit it’s pretty much the same in the memory and processor department.
However, we still recommend the ProBook 450 G8 as a worthy product to purchase. And the reason for that is simple. To begin with, the ProBook series, in general, has a good reputation for featuring awesome devices.
If you are currently using an older model in the ProBook series, jumping to the 450 G8 can be a smooth upgrade. Plus, other than this aspect, the 450 G8 has two other features that weigh in its favor, i.e., the elegant chassis and the Intel Iris Xe graphics card.
With the above statements, we definitely don’t mean to imply that the IdeaPad models aren’t worth buying. Our contention merely signifies that the ProBook 450 G8 gets away with the high price and the comparatively lesser performance specs due to being a part of the HP family.
Like the device discussed above, the HP Pavilion 15 also comes with a stylish chassis and a good combination of performance specs. This device comes equipped with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 512GB SSD storage. The processor is Core i5 11th Gen.
The HP Pavilion 15 also comes with the Intel Iris Xe graphics card, which makes the overall specs pretty good.
The chassis construction is one of the salient and distinguishing features of the Pavilion 15. The laptop comes with a silver body and a black border around the display for some nice contrasting aesthetics. The keyboard keys are also silver with black inscriptions, which further complements the overall monochromatic theme.
The Pavilion 15 also performs well in the connectivity department. It comes with a USD Type-C port, HDMI slot, SD card reader, headphone jack, and 2 x USB Type-A ports.
The Dell Inspiron 3511 is somewhat average in terms of the specs. You get 256GB SSD storage combined with 8 gigs of RAM. This laptop is powered by an 11th Generation Core i5 processor, which is fairly awesome considering the price tag.
Like the Pavilion 15, the chassis is one of the special and salient features of the Dell Inspiron 3511. The whole laptop body sports a black color, save for the white inscriptions on the keys.
The bezels around the display are thin and sleek, which helps in making the viewing experience immersive.
Apart from the chassis, another feature that makes the Inspiron 3511 worth buying is the touch-enabled display. If you’re currently using a touch-enabled screen, upgrading to a device that also offers this feature is recommended.
That way, your transition will be smooth and less disturbing to your workflow.
The Dell Latitude 3000 is more or less identical to the Inspiron 3511 in terms of performance specs. You get the same type of i5 11th generation processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 256GB SSD storage.
Compared to the Inspiron 3511, the Latitude 3000 does not have a touch-enabled display. With the hefty price tag, this can seem like a bit of a letdown, considering that the performance specs are nothing mind-blowing either.
But the Latitude 3000 does make up for it with the display quality and the stylish chassis. This laptop has a full HD, 15.6″, 1920 x 1080 resolution display. It also features a full-sized keyboard and a black aesthetic construction.
The connectivity options on the Latitude 3000 are also pretty useful and impressive. It comes with 3 x USB Type-A slots, an HDMI port, an SD card reader, a headphone jack, an Ethernet slot, and a USB Type-C port.
Let’s end with a bang, shall we?
The Dell Latitude 5000 is…awesome, hands down.
The reason that we are mentioning it right at the end of our list is because of the hefty price tag it comes with. If you are still reading about this last product, you’re probably not very convinced with the others. And if that’s the case, the Dell Latitude 5000 could be where your search ends.
This laptop has a 12th Generation “Deca-Core” i5 processor, 256GB SSD storage, and 16 gigs of total RAM. Other than the storage size, the rest of the specs are nothing short of impressive. The Latitude 5000 has a 1920 x 1080 display with thin aesthetic bezels.
A remarkable and distinguishing feature of the Latitude 5000 is the selection of the ports and slots at the sides. On one side of the laptop, you get 2 x USB Type-C ports, whereas the other side has a collection of Type-A, HDMI, SD card, and ethernet slots.
Buying Guide: How To Buy The Best Core i5 Laptop In 2023?
And that is about it for our list of recommended devices. If you’re not convinced to buy any of the seven laptops discussed above, no worries.
Below, we’ll provide you with a brief buying guide that you can take help from to purchase a good laptop yourself. We’ll tell you about what features and specs you should look for and which of them you should avoid.
Let’s dive in.
Processor And GPU
So, one of the primary things that you have to watch in a contemplated laptop is the processor and the GPU (i.e., the graphics card). The better the processor, the faster your laptop will work. And the better the GPU, the more efficient your laptop will be vis-à-vis graphic rendering.
Now, since you are looking for a Core i5 laptop, you probably already know which version of the processor you’re going to have to look for. But, other than the version, you also have to look at the generation.
When we talk about the generation of the processor, the simple rule to follow is the newer, the better. Ideally, in 2023, you should not look for a generation older than the 10th. As you may have seen in the products listed above, a lot of the laptops had either an 11th Gen. processor or a 12th Gen.
Newer generations essentially come with better features and abilities as compared to their older counterparts.
Storage And Memory
After the processor and the GPU, the next important things are storage and memory.
The storage size of a laptop essentially decides the number of files and programs it can store. Nowadays, it is advisable to go for at least 512GB of storage. If you want to settle for something smaller, i.e., 256GB, then you should have an external storage device at hand.
More important than the storage size is the storage type. The two storage types used nowadays include SSD and HDD. HDD is short for Hard Disk Drive, and SSD stands for Solid State Drive.
Although HDD is probably used by a lot of people nowadays, it’s not actively featured in new devices. HDDs can store a lot of stuff, but they aren’t as quick when it comes to retrieving it. For this reason, laptops that have their OS installed in an HDD are somewhat slow and sluggish.
On the other hand, SSD is way quicker. Most new devices nowadays have an SSD installed in them. So, combining the storage type and size, we can say that you should ideally go for a 512GB SSD when buying an i5 laptop. If 512GB is a little out of your range, you can settle for 256GB instead. But in this case, it’s advisable to invest in a good quality external hard disk for storing surplus files.
That is as far as storage goes. Now let’s talk about memory.
The memory (AKA the RAM) denotes the capacity of the laptop to run multiple programs and software at once. A laptop with a bigger RAM will be able to run a whole load of tabs and windows without getting slow or stuck, whereas a device with a smaller RAM will struggle to do the same.
If you are buying an i5 in 2023, the lowest you should go for is 8GB (with regard to memory). Anything lower than that could be a tad less…considering the type of software used nowadays.
There are a couple of different things that you have to keep an eye on when it comes to the display. They are as follows:
- Screen-to-body ratio
- Touch support
As far as the size goes, you need to make your pick depending on your particular need and requirement. Are you looking for a laptop for portable/travel use? Go for a 13” or 14” device. And if you are looking for something bigger (i.e., for office use), go for 15.6 or 17.3-inch devices.
Then comes the resolution. The resolution basically decides the quality and sharpness of the display. Nowadays, newer devices come with 1920 x 1080 resolution, and that is where you want to set the bar. Don’t go for a resolution lesser than this; otherwise, you won’t enjoy the viewing experience. If you have the budget, you can go for a sharper resolution, e.g., 2K, 2.5K, or 4K.
The screen-to-body ratio is essentially a measure of the area taken by the bezels and the panel itself. New and modern devices usually come with super thin bezels around the sides (three of them, if not all). Although this is not something that will change the performance of the device or how you’ll use it, it’s still nice to have a large edge-to-edge design.
Touch support could be a necessary feature for you depending on your past habit and usage style. And even if you don’t really need it, it can be a nice gimmick to have. Touch-enabled screens can help in making the overall user experience smoother and more comfortable.
But bear in mind that if you want a touch-enabled display, you will need to dig a bit deeper in your wallet.
One of the sad things about the new and modern laptops is the absence of the good old slots and ports like HDMI and USB Type-A. Although there are new releases that still come with these options, they’re slowly getting fewer and fewer. Nowadays, Thunderbolt 4 is taking the stage. Some new laptops went to the extent of featuring only the Thunderbolt 4 ports on both sides.
So, this is something you have to be a little careful about when making your purchase. If your setup is still a little old-school, you should look for a laptop that comes with the ports and slots you need. For example, if you have a multitude of peripherals and a monitor that runs with HDMI, you should buy a laptop with an HDMI port coupled with a few USB Type-A slots.
One thing you should keep in mind about the Thunderbolt 4 slots is that they are not necessarily a bad or unwanted feature. They’re great, actually. They’re revolutionary. They allow your device to get charged.
They allow it to send audio + video signals to external monitors. You can easily find USB hubs that can be connected to a laptop using the Thunderbolt 4 port. You can then plug in your peripherals to the hub and enjoy more connection space.
Hopefully, after reading this guide, you’ve made up your mind about which Core i5 laptop you want to upgrade to. The ones that we’ve mentioned in our list above are some pretty good options, so be sure to give them a proper look.
But, if you want to take the choice into your hands, you can go right ahead. You can take some tips from our buying guide to help you make the right pick.