Best Intel® Core™ i3 Windows Laptops from Acer [2023]

edited August 2023 in PC Tech

If you're looking for a dependable and affordable laptop in 2023 for under $500, consider one with an Intel® Core™ i3 processor. Laptops with Core i3 processors offer significant value for a lower cost.

The i3 processor is Intel's entry-level chip. It's excellent for general productivity and multitasking and offers solid performance without breaking the bank. It's the most economical Core CPU in Intel's lineup. Due to their low heat generation and conservative battery use, they're ideal for entry-level or lower mid-tier laptops.

If you need more power for demanding tasks, you'll want to step up to a Core i5, i7, or i9 processor, but a Core i3 laptop should be more than enough for everyday use.

Is the more affordable Core i3 right for your needs? We'll help you decide and show the best laptops with Intel® Core™ i3 you can buy in 2023.

Who's the Intel® Core™ i3 processor for? 

The processor is the computer's brain, and the i3 is perfect for people who want affordable computing that doesn't require a lot of power. They're an excellent option for:

  • Office and home office users 
  • Students and family members 
  • Lower-spec gamers

Intel's i3 chip is the budget model of the Core series and is ideal for web surfing, video calls, streaming movies, photo editing, Microsoft Office work, and handling some games.

What is an Intel® Core™ i3 processor? 

The Core i3 is a dual-core processor developed and manufactured by Intel. Each of the two cores receives instructions to process tasks and uses hyper-threading technology to improve performance. As a result, your computer can run multiple processes simultaneously, increasing speed and performance when multitasking.

What is i3's Hyper-threading? 

Intel's hyper-threading helps your processor run more efficiently by enabling multiple threads or instructions to run on each core. With hyper-threading, each core acts as two processors instead of one. More threads processed mean more tasks can finish simultaneously for even faster performance. Highly threaded programs such as games can complete more work in parallel and deliver better performance with hyper-threading.

Intel's 11th generation i3 processors built on Tiger Lake architecture can easily handle multitasking and are suitable for those who need the power of a desktop computer in a laptop.

What is i3's Turbo Boost? 

In combination with hyper-threading, Intel® Turbo Boost Technology dynamically adapts to your workload to give you a burst of speed when needed and improves energy efficiency when you don't. Turbo Boost runs the CPU at its base clock speed for light tasks, then cranks to a higher clock speed for more intensive tasks such as gaming. With the i3-1115G4 chip, each core can clock from its 3 GHz base speed to 4.1 GHz for single or dual-core turbo boost.

Running at a lower clock speed means the processor uses less power, which reduces heat and boosts battery life. But when more speed is required, turbo boost temporarily increases the processor's clock speed within safe temperature and power limits.

Which Intel® Core™ i3 Generation? 

Not all Core i3 processors are created equal. When buying a Core i3, you can purchase different generations of chips (8th - 13th). As the chip's architecture has improved, the performance levels have also improved.

On PassMark's CPU Benchmarks, where higher scores mean better performance, you can see the vast difference between 12th and 9th Gen performance:

As a result, the 12th generation has more than double the processing power of the 9th generation. Buy an i3 11th Gen chip or above for the best blend of power and efficiency.

Is Intel Core i3 good for gaming? 

Yes, i3-powered laptops can still handle gaming. Intel's i3-1115G4 dual-core processor is the entry-level chip for the 11th Generation Tiger Lake family. It can manage your day-to-day computing plus run casual e-sports games like Fortnight or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive at 1080p with decent FPS settings. With widespread cloud gaming adoption, you can now play AAA titles with a speedy internet connection without buying an expensive gaming machine. 

Choosing between i3 vs. i5 vs. i7 vs. i9 

The Intel Core i9 series is Intel's extreme performance line, and the i3 series is in the budget tier. The numbers give you an idea of performance but don't represent the speed or number of cores. As a rule, the higher the Core number, the more powerful the chip is. So, an Intel Core i9 is more powerful than a Core i7, which is more powerful than a Core i3.

Additionally, Intel releases chipset families based on different micro-architectures every 1 to 2 years. Within these generations, they have their Core i3, i5, i7, and i9 series. So, a newer generation has improved performance. For example, an 11th Generation Core i7 processor performs better than a 9th Generation Core i7. The latest released 13th generation is called Raptor Lake.

Here's who each processor type is best for:

  • Core i3: Standard computing use on a budget. Suitable for web surfing, Microsoft Office, social networking, and movie streaming. Not for professionals or gamers. 
  • Core i5: Intermediate users. Those who want a balance between performance and price. 
  • Core i7: Power users. You multitask with several windows open simultaneously, run powerful video apps, and waiting isn't optional. 
  • Core i9: The extreme performance tier. For creators, video editors, and pro-gamers who require the best and fastest machine performance and hate delay.

So depending on your requirements, each Core family can meet your business or personal use.

How to choose the right Intel i3 laptop 

When purchasing a laptop, you're looking at more than just the chip. Decide what you'll be using it for. Consider how much disc space and RAM you require. Do you need an ultra-portable or gaming machine? Think about:

  • Storage space: Solid-state drives (SSD) are faster. 256GB or more is ideal for most users. 
  • RAM: 8GB is suitable for general use. 16GB or more for gaming. 
  • GPU and display: Intel® UHD Graphics shared memory is acceptable for general use. You'll want a dedicated graphics card if you're seeking a gaming laptop. 
  • Battery life: Look for long-lasting lithium batteries, as you'll want at least 6 hours before charging if you're on the go. 
  • Screen size: Larger screens are better for watching movies. Small screens are more portable. 
  • Operating System: Windows 11 is now standard.

What are some of the best Intel Core i3 laptops from Acer? 

Acer Intel Core i3 laptops are lightweight, budget-friendly, and offer all the performance you need for home, school, social connection, or work. Here are two of our most reliable and well-known i3 laptops.

1) Aspire 3 Laptop: Budget Friendly Value 

The Aspire 3 is perfect for students and busy professionals seeking a lightweight and ultra-affordable laptop. The 11th Gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 processor packs enough power for everyday performance, and its integrated Intel UHD graphics is ideal for casual gamers. The computer has a bright narrow-bezel 15.6" Full HD display to offer more screen estate and is perfect for watching movies.

Stylish, lightweight, and ultra-portable, you'll be more productive at school, work, or play. The 256 GB speedy solid-state drive should provide plenty of storage space for your files. Wi-Fi 5 offers fast connectivity and reliability you can count on wherever you go.

Aspire 3 Laptop Specs: 

  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i3-1115G4 
  • Screen: 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 
  • Graphics Card: Intel® UHD Graphics shared memory 
  • Memory: 4 GB, DDR4 SDRAM 
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD 
  • Weight (Approximate): 3.75 lb 
  • Battery Life (up to): 9 hours 
  • OS: Windows 11 Home in S Mode

2) Aspire 5 Laptop: i3 Powerful Productivity

The Aspire 5 is a powerful and versatile laptop perfect for everyday use with its slim design for portability. Equipped with a speedy Intel Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM, you can efficiently multitask between different programs.

The bright and clear 15.6" Full HD display has a sizable screen-to-body ratio for visual clarity. The 256GB SSD provides plenty of storage space for your files, plus plenty of ports to stay connected. Plus, the Acer Aspire 5 comes with Windows 11 Home in S Mode pre-installed to enjoy a smooth and responsive user experience right out of the box.

Aspire 5 Laptop Specs: 

  • Processor: Intel® Core™ i3-1115G4 
  • Screen: 15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 
  • Graphics Card: Intel® UHD Graphics shared memory 
  • Memory: 8 GB, DDR4 SDRAM 
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD 
  • Weight (Approximate): 3.65 lb 
  • Battery Life (up to): 8 hours 
  • OS: Windows 11 Home in S Mode

Bottom line 

While Core i3 processors aren't the most powerful in Intel's lineup, they offer good performance and value for under $500. They're ideal for Windows laptops, and Acer offers excellent design, specs, and affordable pricing. 

 *The opinions reflected in this article are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect any official positions or claims by Acer Inc.

About Robert Stark: Robert is a Taiwan-based writer and digital marketer at iamrobert design. He has a passion for helping people simplify their lives through tech. 

Robert is a Taiwan-based writer and digital marketer at iamrobert design. He has a passion for helping people simplify their lives through tech.


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