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10 Best i5 Laptops 2021 (11th Gen Intel Core i5)

best i5 laptop There are several reasons Intel Core i5 processors are among the most popular in the entire line-up. They budget-friendly and also offer decent speeds for most common processing pursuits.

Eleventh-generation i5 laptops are the latest offering from Intel and promise to up your productivity by boosting both single-core and multi-core performance.

They make it simple to work with 4K content and also offer inbuilt AI and Wi-Fi 6.

While you can easily use i5 CPUs for office work or business, they are also pretty good for some amount of gaming.

On a standard eleventh-gen i5 laptop, it is possible to play some AAA games like World of Warcraft. You can work on multimedia applications such as Photoshop as well. It stands to reason that laptops powered by Intel Core i5 processors are in high demand.

How to Choose the Right i5 Laptop

Your purchase decision will involve many crucial choices. How much RAM and storage do you require? Is it worth paying a premium for an extra-bright display with a high refresh rate if you are not a gamer?

Some criteria are almost a given – for instance, robust yet lightweight build and plenty of connections like Thunderbolt 3/4 USB Type-C ports. In the contemporary work environment, an ergonomic keyboard with backlighting is always helpful.

You can find numerous i5 laptops offering superior sound output with Nahimic 3, Dolby Atmos, and noise-canceling technologies for better calling experiences.

Here are a few more rules of thumb to go about zeroing down on the perfect pick:

  • RAM and storage: For most computing tasks, a minimum of 4GB of RAM is essential; 8GB is perfect. Look for SSD storage to the tune of 256GB or more. SSD works the best if you plan to use the laptop for gaming or multimedia content generation and editing.
  • GPU and display: If you are hunting for an i5 gaming laptop, you will probably consider a dedicated graphics card. An NVIDIA GTX or RTX card can also be helpful for creative professionals like artists, architects and photographers. In a budget range of around $1000, you can find QHD displays with precise colors and immersive real estate. If you do not have such requirements, it should be okay to settle for Intel Iris graphics and cut costs.
  • Heat management: High performance can be sustainable only if you have an efficient cooling mechanism. If your CPU and GPU get heated up too much, they will eventually melt. Many i5 laptops come with dual fans and systems to improve the airflow. Some use a hinge-based design to offer a lift and promote heat dissipation.
  • Battery backup: It is wise to get ample unplugged usage if you need to travel often. Many i5 laptops provide over eight hours of battery backup; some even last for over 24 hours. A quick-charging battery is a blessing for those with frequent meetings and limited time for powering up on the move.

Our Picks: 10 Best i5 Laptops 2021

Arguably, many Intel Core i5 CPUs can fulfill most processing tasks for a variety of users. From light to moderate gaming, getting stuff done at work, and enjoying multimedia streaming to unwind – i5 processors hit the sweet spot. But as we discussed, it is finding the right i5 laptop that often proves to be challenging.

Best i5 Laptop – Recommended Specs

Processor11th Generation Intel Core i5-11400H
11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7
11th Generation Intel Core i5-11300H
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Memory8GB 3200MHz DDR4 RAM
Storage512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Display15.6″/14”/13” Full HD (1920 x 1080)
WeightUnder 5 lbs.
BatteryUp to 10 Hours
KeyboardBacklit Keyboard
OSWindows 10 Home 64-bit

In the list below, we have attempted to make things easier for you by handpicking the best i5 laptops in the market today. They cater to different audiences, from the office-going professional to the student and the gamer to the traveler.

1. HP 15-dy2021nr i5 Laptop

hp 15-dy2021nr

At a little over $500, the 15.6” HP 15-dy2021nr i5 laptop is an affordable choice for multitasking. It gets driven by an eleventh-gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD, and ‎Intel Iris graphics.

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An FHD monitor with IPS and a screen-to-body ratio of 82% let you visualize a clear, vivid picture whether you are viewing multimedia content or browsing the internet.

The configuration is suitable for both students and professionals who need to perform day-to-day computing tasks.

This HP laptop offers a decent amount of unplugged usage – more than seven hours – which liberates you from the need to stay tethered to a power station. If you run out, quick charging lets you fire up to 50% in under an hour.

A lightweight build (3.75lbs, 0.71”) and high-speed Wi-Fi 6 connectivity add to the overall portability of this budget-friendly laptop.

2. ASUS ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim i5 Laptop

asus zenbook 14 ux425 14-inch laptop Here is an ergonomic and portable pick for on-the-go users: the ASUS ZenBook 14 ultra-slim i5 laptop.

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It costs around $779, which is reasonable for its powerful specs. The processing compartment houses an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.

An FHD monitor with a screen-to-body ratio of 90% and 400 nits of brightness allows you to see every detail.

This ZenBook supports a travel-intensive lifestyle. A military-standard build (MIL-STD-810G) and lightweight chassis (2.58lbs) make it easy to carry around.

The battery life of 21 hours is an especially winsome feature of this device. Thanks to quick charging, it powers up rapidly to 60% in 40 minutes.

How about the connectivity? Well, things get sorted with the two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports and the MyASUS app for inter-device synchronization.

An inbuilt IR camera provides secure access via facial recognition. An inbuilt IR camera provides secure access via facial recognition. The backlit keyboard offers plenty of space to type comfortably because of its edge-to-edge design.

3. HP Pavilion x360 2-in-1 i5-1135G7 Laptop

hp pavilion x360 14-dw1024nr The 14” HP Pavilion x360 2-in-1 i5-1135G7 laptop is an excellent choice for users looking at multi-mode usage and top-notch portability.

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It is a budget-friendly device that costs just $680.94. Driving it to efficiency is an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and Intel Iris Xe graphics.

A 360-degree, geared hinge enables interaction with this laptop intuitively, using the FHD touchscreen for a personalized experience.

The monitor comes with IPS, which lets you view it from different positions without coming across distortion. Also noteworthy is the B&O audio that plays a significant role in enhancing your multimedia experience.

HP is frequently associated with dependability while traveling. Here too, you can enjoy over eight hours of wireless streaming.

When the battery gets drained, it takes as little as 45 minutes to power back up to 50%. A lightweight chassis of 3.55lbs and Intel Wi-Fi 6 further enhance the overall mobility of this laptop.

4. Dell Inspiron 13 5310 Intel Core i5-11300H Laptop

dell inspiron 13 5310 2021 If you are looking for a 13.3” form factor, then the Dell Inspiron 13 5310 Intel Core i5-11300H laptop is a sensible choice.

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This $789.98 device comes with a competent configuration for everyday pursuits at work: 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and Intel Iris Xe graphics.

The anti-glare FHD monitor has 300 nits of brightness and a narrow-border design.

Built to be portable and sustainable, it delivers over 11 hours on a single charge and comes with Dell Mobile Connect and Alexa. The feather-light weight (2.78lbs) and low-VOC waterborne paint make it a smart option for those frequently on the run.

Keeping you cool during CPU-draining endeavors are the efficient fans and the lift-based hinge for enhanced air circulation.

The uniquely designed keyboard is a charmer. Designed edge-to-edge, it gives you more space and bigger keys for a comfortable typing experience.

A fingerprint reader is built into the power button to incorporate an additional layer of security.

5. HP 17-cn0021nr 17-inch i5 Laptop

hp 17-cn0021nr 17-inch laptop This one is for those who need an expansive screen but also demand a fair degree of portability.

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The HP 17-cn0021nr 17-inch i5 laptop is priced at $639.99 and provides an HD+ display and dual mics for a smooth multimedia/calling experience.

The Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU at its helm gets able support from 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. An HD camera (with HP TrueVision) employs two microphones for crystal-clear interactions.

The screen is non-reflective and offers anti-glare. If you need to work outside, the low-gloss monitor will facilitate it beautifully, minimizing external interference.

You get a significant amount of battery backup – eight hours – that adds to your sense of liberation every day. The lift-hinge design for the keyboard is another asset since it makes your typing experience more comfortable in different setups.

Note that as a 17” laptop, it is a heavier choice (4.6lbs) than others on this list.

6. Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Pro i5 Gaming Laptop

lenovo ideapad 5i pro 16-inch The 16.0″ Lenovo IdeaPad 5i Pro i5 gaming laptop is a brilliant pick for gamers and multimedia professionals.

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The 2.5K QHD display is awe-inspiring. It features 350 nits of brightness, a narrow-bezel design, and a 100% sRGB color gamut to ensure a detailed rendition of your gameplay or content.

At $929.99, Lenovo brings you the power of a speedy Intel Core i5-11300H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and immersive NVIDIA GeForce MX450 graphics.

Superior audio quality is a prime advantage of this 4.4lbs laptop, thanks to two Dolby Atmos speakers. (Yes, it is possible to delineate game sounds in 3D space.)

From a sustainability standpoint, you get 10 hours of battery backup and an effective cooling mechanism.

On a 15-minute charge, you can get up to three more hours of battery juice. A wide assortment of connections, including Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C ports, keeps you plugged into your content at all times. You can also connect to external displays or gaming peripherals.

7. LG Gram 14Z90P Lightweight i5 Laptop

lg gram 14z90p white laptop Battery backup of 25.5 hours and super-lightweight build set the 14” LG Gram 14Z90P lightweight i5 laptop apart.

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This $1,199.99 device offers a splendid WUXGA monitor with a DCI-P3 99% color gamut – perfect for gamers or those in creative businesses.

DTS:X Ultra audio and MAX 5W Smart Amp allow for improved rendering of 3D sound.

The performance, led by an Intel Core i5 1135G7 CPU, is excellent for daily tasks and some CPU-intensive endeavors like casual gaming. The RAM support and storage are 8GB and 256GB (SSD).

Design-wise, LG deserves kudos for the ergonomic backlit keyboard that makes work a lot more comfortable. The keycaps are large and flat, and the key-pitch stroke is 1.6mm (from 1.5mm). The result is palpable, particularly when you are frantically trying to get stuff done and need to avoid typos.

This 2.2lbs MIL-STD-810G laptop has several inbuilt connectivity options. With two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, Alexa, and an HD webcam, you can carry your world around.

8. Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS Laptop

acer aspire 5 a515-56 If you are scouting for an affordable, multipurpose i5 computer, then the 15.6″ Acer Aspire 5 A515-56-50RS laptop is worth your consideration.

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It costs $619.99 but packs in premium features like an aluminum top cover and customized cooling modes.

An Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU holds the reins, along with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The bright, realistic FHD display realized by Acer Color Intelligence has a screen-to-body ratio of 82.58%.

Acer uses an ergonomic hinge-style keyboard to offer multiple advantages to the user. Not only will you experience comfier typing but also enhanced audio and more effective heat dissipation. The keyboard is backlit to permit you to work in low ambient lighting.

Mobility has always been a high point with Acer, and this laptop lives up to its lineage. It weighs 3.63lbs and incorporates a fingerprint reader for quick, secure access.

On one charge, you can work for up to 8.5 hours. Wi-Fi 6 lets you stay connected to the internet as you travel.

9. MSI Prestige 14 EVO Professional Laptop

msi prestige 14 evo a11m Durable and contemporary, the 14” MSI Prestige 14 EVO professional laptop is a safe option in the i5 space.

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It gets powered by an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and Intel Iris Xe graphics.

The FHD monitor uses a super-thin bezel to reduce any interference. This setup makes it suitable for versatile activities at work or your home.

So, on the one hand, this $849 laptop grants you dependable performance for processor-intensive activities like working on multiple spreadsheets. But you also get enough razzle-dazzle for creative tasks and wireless streaming.

MSI thoughtfully uses a 180-degree hinge in this device to make content sharing intuitive and straightforward.

Since it is a surprisingly light device at 2.84lbs and has Thunderbolt 4 ports, you can lug it around for meetings without any hassle. The battery capacity of 12 hours keeps you going throughout your workday.

A special note on the accessibility: Windows Hello and FIDO 2 authentication provide you with both security and speed.

10. Dell Gaming G15 5511 i5-11400H Gaming Laptop

dell gaming g15 5511 The 15.6” Dell Gaming G15 5511 i5-11400H gaming laptop is a terrific option at $1,049.99 for those seeking an adrenaline rush in the arena.

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The powerhouse specs – an Intel Core i5-11400H CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD – support excellent performance.

An absorbing FHD display (with 250 nits of brightness) and Nahimic 3D Audio allow you truly to immerse yourself in the game.

The refresh rate is 120Hz – enough to translate special effects and transitions in many modern games.

Things get perfectly immersive with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card. It bundles spectacular features like ray tracing and images enhanced by artificial intelligence.

Dell is committed to providing gamers with all the armor they need. Inside this 5.37lbs device is a command center (Alienware) to customize the hardware and the software. A combination of Killer Gigabit Ethernet and Killer Wi-Fi 6 enables smooth online gaming.

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Closing Note

The results you can expect from an eleventh-gen i5 are much better than its predecessor, particularly in single-core performance. Undoubtedly, such laptops make good work companions as well as entertainment partners. However, selecting the right Intel Core i5 laptop for your needs deserves to be a considered decision.

The trickiest part is that eleventh-gen i5 laptops vary significantly: across target users, requirements, and specifications.

For instance, laptops like MSI Prestige 14 EVO do not offer an NVIDIA GTX or RTX card.

However, the Lenovo IdeaPad 5i does offer one, and the price difference between the two is not immense (around $100). It means it is easy to settle for a less than optimal choice if your research is inadequate.

Fortunately, with many leading manufacturers like Dell, Acer and HP coming out with Intel Core i5 laptops, you can rest assured on quality and build standards.

The choices in screen sizes are aplenty, from 14” to 17”. Innovative design elements like 180-degree hinges for collaboration and multi-mode usage for a more intimate user experience cater to different audiences.

In the present technological landscape, these devices make intelligent, budget-friendly picks.  You can entrust them with a large bundle of tasks, from photo editing and browsing to 3D rendering.

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