Whether you're streaming TV shows or working with multiple spreadsheets, 17-inch laptops are the ultimate productivity machines. And while they've historically been criticized for being large and clunky, the recent trend toward thin bezels has reduced the overall footprint of these laptops. In 2019, 17-inch laptops are the same size and weight as some 15-inch laptops, which makes them travel companions that you can slip into a backpack and use on a plane or bus.
Yes, we still recommend 13- and 15-inch laptops for more frequent fliers, but if you want to maximize your work rate or simply want a theater-like experience, then go with the biggest display you can find. Without further ado, here are the best 17-inch laptops for every need.
News and Updates (February 2019)
We are currently reviewing the Asus TUF Gaming FX705, a 17-inch mid-level gaming laptop.
We reviewed the LG Gram 17, the world's lightest 17-inch laptop. Read our full review to find out why it's the current best overall 17-inch laptop.
Best Overall: LG Gram 17
As the world's lightest 17-inch laptop, the 2.95-pound LG Gram 17 weighs less than most 15-inch laptops. Combine that lightness with a relatively compact design enabled by the laptop's slim display bezels and the Gram 17 is one surprisingly travel-friendly laptop. Oh, and the Gram 17's nearly 12 hours of battery life means you can use it for an entire day without even dropping into battery-saver mode. You wouldn't buy a 17-inch laptop if you didn't need a gorgeous display, and Gram doesn't disappoint with its bright and vivid panel. To conclude, the Gram 17 gets you a superlight, relatively compact chassis, all-day battery life and a gorgeous display — what more could you ask for?
Pros: Lightest 17-inch laptop ever; Very long battery life; Bright, vivid display
Cons: No discrete graphics; Keyboard quirks; Slow SSD
The Acer Aspire 5 is a chameleon. The laptop's sophisticated looks are perfect for an office environment, while its dedicated MX150 GPU will satisfy casual gamers. But no matter what you're doing, the 17.3-inch, 1080p display will provide a vivid and detailed image. For under $1,000, you also get a spacious, comfortable keyboard and strong performance, thanks to the Aspire 5's Core i7 CPU. Another perk is its dual storage drives: a 1TB HDD stores files while the primary 256GB SSD does the heavy lifting. Although the Aspire 5's speakers and webcam fall flat, you'd be hard pressed to find a better 17-inch laptop for the price.
Few 17-inch laptops can convert into a tablet, so it's fortunate that the Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 is such a capable machine. While it's rather unwieldy in tablet mode, the 7000 2-in-1 gives you a massive canvas to let your creativity go wild. And you shouldn't experience any hiccups running photo or video programs since the Inspiron comes armed with an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and a discrete MX150 graphics card. DJs and sound mixers will also appreciate the Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1's powerful and revealing speakers. Unfortunately, the laptop's display isn't very good and it relies on a sluggish hard-disk drive.
Pros: Fast 8th Gen CPU; Good audio; Decent battery life
Cons: Fuzzy display; Slow HDD; Heavy
Key Specs — CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U | GPU: Nvidia GeForce MX150 with 2GB of RAM | RAM/Storage: 12GB/1TB HDD | Display Size/Resolution: 17.3-inch/1080p | Size/Weight: 16.2 x 10.9 x 0.9 inches/6.4 inches
My goodness: The display on the HP Envy 17 is truly something to behold. Capable of reproducing a whopping 209 percent of the sRGB color gamut, this 4K panel is about as colorful as it gets. With its large surface area, the captivating viewing experience provided by the display can't be overstated. While the large screen is the clear highlight of the Envy 17, the laptop also flaunts powerful speakers and a Core i7 CPU. The Envy 17 has been updated with an 8th Gen CPU and a GeForce MX150 GPU since we reviewed it, so expect even better performance.
In the expanding world of gaming laptops, the Alienware Area-51m is king. From the spacecraft-booster aesthetic on the rear of the laptop to the bright RGB keyboard on its deck, the Area-51m is unapologetically flashy. But that design isn't just for show; the Area-51m is fully upgradable, and even lets you replace the CPU and GPU, along with RAM and storage. Matching its brawny looks is the ridiculous power pumped out by the Area-51m's Core i9-9900K CPU, 64GB of RAM, dual 1TB SSDs and Nvidia RTX 2800 GPU. Of course, none of this comes cheap. The Area-51m is exorbitantly priced (it starts at $2,549 and our review model cost $5,099), but there really is nothing else like the Area-51m on the market.
Pros: Beautiful Sci-fi design; Outstanding CPU and GPU performance; Fast SSD; Upgradable components
If you don't need to run games on Ultra settings but still want a capable gaming machine with a 17-inch display, then the Asus ROG Strix Scar II is your saving grace. Trust me, you won't be able to get your eyes off this sexy machine once you catch a glimpse of its slim, brushed-aluminum chassis. The only thing that will divert your gaze is the Strix Scar II's colorful, 1080p, 144Hz display. The ROG Strix Scar II may not be the most powerful gaming laptop available but the GTX 1060 GPU (6GB of VRAM) inside this beast can play even the most graphically demanding new titles.
Feel the power. The Dell Precision 7730 isn't for everyone — it's massive, expensive and lasts only a few hours on a charge --- and yet, it has everything you could ask for in a mobile workstation. This monster's Core i9-8950HK CPU and 32GB of RAM provide outstanding performance and its 4K display is one of the most colorful panels we've ever tested. In addition, the Precision 7730 is outfitted with a Quadro P5200 GPU, which can run even the most graphics-intensive programs and games. Throw in a super-comfortable keyboard, and it's easy to see why the Precision 7730 is an office worker's dream laptop.
When we bring a laptop into our lab, our goal is to see how it would work if you brought it into your home or office. While we use a number of industry-standard benchmarks, such as Geekbench and 3DMark, we focus heavily on real-world tests that we have developed in-house.
To test endurance, the Laptop Mag Battery Test surfs the web at 150 nits of brightness until the system runs out of juice. To judge pure processing power, we use a giant spreadsheet macro that matches 65,000 names with their addresses, a video transcoder that converts a 4K video to 1080p and the Geekbench 4 synthetic test. We measure graphics prowess with both 3DMark Ice Storm / Fire Strike and a series of actual game titles.
We use a colorimeter to measure screen brightness and color gamut while other instruments help us determine a laptop's key travel and ambient heat. See this page on How We Test Laptops for more details on our benchmarking procedures.
Specs: 1080p / Core i5 / 8GB Are Best Bets
You can spend a lot of time delving into specs, but here are the key components to think about when buying a 17-inch laptop If you just want really good mainstream performance, go for a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1080p screen.
Screen Resolution: Unfortunately, 66 percent of consumer laptops and 51 percent of business systems have low-res screens. If possible, get a display with a 1920 x 1080 (aka 1080p, or full HD) or higher resolution.
CPU: An Intel Core i5 provides good mainstream performance. Some budget systems will come with Core i3, Celeron or Pentium CPUs, which are good for basic tasks, but not heavy multitasking. Get a Core i7 or a quad-core processor (serial number ends in HQ or HK) for gaming or high-end productivity tasks such as video editing and 3D modeling.
RAM: 8GB is ideal for most users, but power users will want 12 or 16GB. 4GB is acceptable for budget systems. Secondary laptops and Chromebooks may have less. Storage: Unless you're a gamer or a power user, 256GB of internal storage is probably enough. If possible, get an SSD (solid-state drive) rather than a hard drive, because it's going to make your computer a lot faster.
Graphics Chip: Gamers and creative professionals need to do some research and figure out which discrete GPU from Nvidia or AMD is good enough to run their favorite software. Everyone else will be happy with the built-in Intel HD Graphics that come with the CPU.