Looking for a Core i5 laptop? Here are our favorites.

Intel Core i5 processors are ideal for folks who want solid performance for a great price, as they’re less expensive than more premium options like i7 or i9 processors but are also significantly more performant than Intel’s budget-class i3 CPUs. This balance has made the processors very desirable, and thus, there are tons of great mid-range laptops on the market that are equipped with Core i5 chips. Our favorite is the HP Pavilion 15 since it has quality specs, a premium design, and a good price, but there are plenty of other excellent options for best Core i5 laptop available as well.

Best overall: HP Pavilion 15

The HP Pavilion 15 offers a superb balance between performance, design, and price. It comes with a reliable 11th Gen i5-1135G7 processor, Intel’s impressive Xe integrated graphics, 8GB of memory, and up to a 512GB SSD for storing files. The laptop’s 15.6-inch micro-edge FHD touch display is nice, too, as it gets sufficiently bright and features great viewing angles and a fairly wide color gamut. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 are supported as well, giving you access to some of the best connectivity available. The seven-hour battery life falls a bit short of its advertised eight hours, but it will still be good enough for most people.

Design-wise, the HP Pavilion 15 is as sleek and slim as many pricier premium Ultrabooks. The keyboard and trackpad are both durable and comfortable to use, and the inclusion of a USB-C port as well as dual USB-A ports means that you’ll have no difficulty hooking up peripherals. The 720p webcam is good, too, making the HP Pavilion 15 a good choice if you often find yourself in video meetings. Overall, this is one of the best mid-range Core i5 laptops that money can buy, even if the battery life could be a little better.


  • Quality specs
  • Strong display
  • Premium design
  • Solid ports


  • Battery life could be better

Best overall

HP Pavilion 15

$790 at Amazon
$680 at Best Buy

The mid-range king

The HP Pavilion 15 is a gorgeous mid-range Ultrabook that features good specs, a strong HD display, and a premium design that doesn’t disappoint in the slightest.

Best premium: Dell XPS 13 (9310)

While Core i5 chips are typically reserved for mid-range devices, they are available in some top-of-the-line Ultrabooks as well. Enter the Dell XPS 13, a stunning device that represents the best of Dell’s laptop lineup. With it, you can pair a i5-1135G7 CPU with Intel Xe graphics, up to 16GB of memory, and up to 1TB of SSD storage (there’s a microSD card port, too). The 13-inch FHD display is nothing short of gorgeous, featuring a stellar peak brightness of 500 nits, excellent contrast, and an amazing range of colors. Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and an excellent battery life of 14 hours round out the laptop’s impressive specs.

In terms of design, the Dell XPS 13 is arguably the best laptop on the market. Its keyboard is incredibly comfortable to use and features bright backlights, while its excellent trackpad is incredibly well built and never feels wobbly or loose to use. Dell includes dual Thunderbolt 4 ports as well as a standard USB-C slot for connecting accessories such as the best laptop docking stations, and Dell even includes a USB-C to USB-A converter in the box that you can use to hook up USB-A peripherals if needed. Overall, the Dell XPS 13 is expensive, and the webcam could be better, but there’s no doubt in our minds that this is the best premium Core i5-equipped laptop available.


  • Top-notch specs
  • Incredible display
  • Superb battery life
  • Stellar design


  • Expensive
  • Webcam is just OK

Best premium

Dell XPS 13 (9310)

From $862 at Dell
$1,424 at Walmart

The best of the best

The Dell XPS 13 may be pricey, but you get what you pay for. Between its stellar specs, gorgeous display, and impeccable design, this is the best laptop on the market you can configure with a Core i5 CPU.

Best convertible: Lenovo Yoga 7i

Most convertible laptops available today feature Core i7 chips, but the excellent Lenovo Yoga 7i also has a few configurations available with a Core i5 chip. You can pair a i5-1135G7 with Intel Xe graphics, up to 12GB of memory, and up to 512GB of SSD space. The 14-inch FHD touch display has a solid brightness of 300 nits and has decent contrast as well as great colors, though it’s reflective and can be difficult to use outdoors due to sun glare. The device also has a solid 8-9 hours of battery life, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0 support.

The laptop also features a sleek design with full 360-degree rotation on the display and rounded edges that are both comfortable and stylish. You also get dual Thunderbolt 4 ports and a USB-A port, which is great for a convertible device in this price range. The keyboard is excellent, but the trackpad can be a little unresponsive at times. Despite this and the device’s reflective display, though, the Lenovo Yoga 7i is nevertheless a great convertible we wholeheartedly recommend.


  • Strong specs
  • Solid display
  • All-day battery life
  • Quality design


  • Display could be less reflective
  • Trackpad can be a bit unresponsive at times

Best convertible

Lenovo Yoga 7i

$680 at Lenovo
$950 at Best Buy

Adapt to any situation

The Lenovo Yoga 7i is a great convertible for people who want to pair the balanced performance and price of a Core i5 with a premium 2-in-1 design, good battery life, and a solid FHD display.

Best portable: Acer Swift 3X

All laptops are great for mobile computing, but few devices available with Core i5 configurations are like the Acer Swift 3X. This 14-inch device is one of the most portable laptops on the market thanks to its incredibly thin and light design, yet the performance for most productivity workloads is still great thanks to its i5-1135G7 processor, Intel Xe graphics, 8GB of memory, and 512GB of SSD storage space. The FHD display has great colors, 330 nits of peak brightness, and a matte finish that makes it enjoyable to use outdoors as well. The 9-10 hour battery life is respectable, and the connectivity benefits of Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 are great as well.

The design of the Acer Swift 3X is mostly notable because of how thin and light the device is, but the keyboard is nice too, and the port selection of one Thunderbolt 4 and dual USB-A is solid. The trackpad’s resistance to clicks is a bit too strong for our liking, but overall, the design is great, and the Acer Swift 3X is perfect for people who need something performant in a thin and light package.


  • Strong specs
  • Great display
  • Good battery life
  • Portability focused design


  • Trackpad is too resistant to clicks

Best portable

Acer Swift 3X

$900 at Acer

Get moving

The Acer Swift 3X is perfect for folks who need a laptop that was built from the ground up to be as portable as possible while still offering great performance.

Best for gaming: Acer Nitro 5

The Acer Nitro 5 is one of the best Core i5-equipped gaming laptops on the market, and while some people won’t appreciate the device’s unapologetically “gamer” aesthetic, everyone will love the Acer Nitro 5’s strong specs and performance. Between its powerful i5-11400H CPU, its excellent NVIDIA GTX 1650 or RTX 3050 Ti, its 16GB max memory, and its max 512GB of SSD storage, the Acer Nitro 5 is a stellar device for 1080p gaming. The 15.6-inch FHD 144Hz display looks awesome, too, featuring great brightness, vivid colors, and strong contrast. The seven-hour battery life is solid as well, especially for a gaming laptop. The battery will drain rapidly when actually gaming, though, so you’ll need to keep the charger on hand.

The design of the laptop is unique in that it’s aggressively angular with lots of sharp edges, and it also has its trackpad placed on the left of the keyboard surface instead of the center. The keyboard and trackpad themselves are quality, and there are three USB-A ports as well as a single USB-C one included as well. The device is a little bulky and has a blurry webcam, but ultimately, the Acer Nitro 5 is one of the best Core i5-equipped gaming laptops out there.


  • Great gaming performance
  • Quality FHD 144Hz display
  • Solid battery life
  • Strong port selection


  • Design is a little bulky
  • Webcam looks blurry

Best for gaming

Acer Nitro 5

$780 at Best Buy
$970 at Walmart

A stellar HD gaming experience

The Acer Nitro 5 is one of the best mid-range gaming laptops available thanks to its Core i5 CPU, quality NVIDIA graphics card options, up to 16GB of RAM, a respectable 512GB of SSD storage, and its strong selection of ports.

Best budget: Dell Inspiron 15 3000

Want the performance of a Core i5 in a more budget-friendly device? Look no further than the Dell Inspiron 15 3000, which is one of the best budget laptops currently available. You can configure it with a 10th Gen i5-1035G1 or an 11th Gen i5-1135G7, and it also features Intel UHD graphics, up to 12GB of memory (we recommend choosing 8GB to save some money), and up to 512GB of SSD storage. The 15.6-inch display is a bit dim and doesn’t have the widest color gamut out there, but it still looks good overall and gets the job done. What more can you ask from a budget laptop? It also has a decent battery life of around seven hours and supports Bluetooth 5.0, though it lacks Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.

In terms of its design, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 has a relatively slim design that isn’t as snazzy as what you’ll get with more premium devices, but it’s still compact and easy to carry. The keyboard is comfortable to use, though it doesn’t have backlighting. Aside from some loose corners, the trackpad is nice as well. The device also features three USB-A ports, which is great. We’d have liked to see a USB-C slot, too, but its absence isn’t a huge deal. Overall, despite the compromises that come with choosing a laptop like this, the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is nevertheless a fantastic Core i5 budget laptop.


  • Good specs
  • Solid display
  • Plenty of USB-A
  • Affordable


  • No Wi-Fi 6
  • Various small drawbacks

Best budget

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

$606 at Amazon
From $539 at Dell

Budget excellence

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000 is a great Core i5 laptop that offers solid performance for a great price, making it one of our favorite budget laptops available right now.

Bottom line

Devices that feature Intel’s Core i5 processors are some of the best mid-range laptops available, and while we have plenty of favorites, we feel the best overall Core i5 device on the market right now is the HP Pavilion 15. With that said, you shouldn’t overlook any of the alternatives we highlighted here, as all of them are excellent in their own way.

If none of the options in this list appeals to you, make sure you check out our roundup of the best Windows laptops. If you’d prefer devices that have more power under the hood and don’t mind paying extra, you should also review our list of the best Core i7 Windows laptops.

Original Article