One thing I just realized is that these i5s are dual-cores that use hyper-threading. In that case would an i3 be any worse? I wanted to go for the i5 because, I thought it was a quad-core.
Also, I don't want acer. They used some decent parts inside but, these two laptops have cheap keyboards, cheap batteries, and a lot of bloatware. All things I'm trying to stay away from.
The laptop i5's have Turbo boost so yes it will be better. All laptop i3's and i5's are dual core. i7's are the only intel mobile processor that is quad core and only if they have the "QM" designation at the end.
If you need a laptop for only basic computing then Intel Core i3 processor would be more than enough but if you really want a core i5 laptop then there are many choices available like ASUS K55A which comes with 3rd generation Core i5 processor. There are also other brand laptops like Dell Inspiron i15N and Lenovo G570.
However I would suggest you to expand your budget by $29 and get Acer Aspire V3-571G
It also comes with 3rd generation Core i5 processor but alng with it packs 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT630M dedicated graphics which will be very helpful playing online videos, running heavy software like photoshop and also gaming too.
Acer Aspire V3-571G features
3rd Generation Intel Core i5 Processor
1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT630M dedicated graphics
15.6 inch LED-backlit widescreen display
4GB DDR3 Memory
500GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
USB 3.0 Port and 1 HDMI Port
Plus it got 2 usb 2.0 ports, 1 usb 3.0 port and hdmi port which will support fast data transfer. And the best part you can buy this for just $529.