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 machines.
Yes, we still recommend the best 13-inch laptops and the best 15-inch laptops if you want something portable, but if you want to maximize productivity or want a theater-like experience, go with the biggest display you can find.
17-inch laptops are great for content creators because of their vast canvases. If you're a creator who wants specific recommendations, check out our best laptops for photo editing and best video editing laptops pages. Although they fell out of style a few years ago, laptop makers are bringing 17-inch laptops back, and the new Dell XPS 17 — the first in a decade — is a great example. While it doesn't quite make our list, HP's Envy 17 is worth checking out.
We've got you covered with all the latest 17-inch laptop news and reviews.
What is the best 17-inch laptop?
Our favorite 17-inch laptop is the Dell XPS 17, which is a larger version of the renowned XPS 13 and XPS 15. It dials things up a notch with its superfast performance RTX 2060 graphics card. The XPS 17 also flaunts a relatively small chassis yet it packs a powerful quad-speaker setup for excellent sound quality.
The LG Gram 17 is a game-changing laptop in some ways. Its unthinkably lightweight and thin design proved that a large display doesn't need to be attached to a big chassis. Other vendors haven't followed in LG's footsteps as we had hoped, but similar models are slowly emerging. It might not fit in this category, but Apple's new 16-inch MacBook Pro is a good example.
Most laptops with 17-inch displays are gaming rigs. Our current favorite is the Asus ROG Mothership, although it's not for everyone. This pricey laptop, or portable 2-in-1 (however you want to look at it) delivers whopping speeds for both gaming and productivity. But it's expensive and not very portable. Perhaps a more practical option is the Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR, which has a slim design and a gorgeous screen.
Dell's XPS 17 takes everything we love about the XPS 13 and XPS 15 and supersizes it. But don't get the wrong impression, the XPS 17 is a surprisingly portable laptop thanks to its relatively small footprint, which is aided by a four-sided edge-to-edge display. As impressive as it looks on the outside, there is no ignoring what's on the inside.
Powering the XPS 17 is a beastly Intel Core i7-10875H CPU and up to 64GB of RAM and 2TB of storage. You can even get some excellent gaming performance out of the XPS 17 thanks to its Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q graphics card. When you're finished gaming and want to listen to some tunes, the quad-speaker setup in the XPS 17 sounds fantastic, better than any other laptop we've tested. Also, the battery life, at 9+ hours, is great for a laptop with a 4K display.
See our full Dell XPS 17 review.
Formerly the best overall 17-inch laptop before the XPS 17 stole the crown, the 3-pound LG Gram 17 weighs less than most 15-inch machines. 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.
You'd expect one of the best 17-inch laptops to flaunt a gorgeous display, and Gram doesn't disappoint with its bright and vivid panel. You also get a great range of ports and the SSD in the new model is light years ahead of the previous one. Sadly, the Gram 17 took a few steps backward this year with worse battery life and below-average performance.
See our full LG Gram 17 (2020) review.
You've never seen a laptop like this before. In fact, calling it a laptop would be a stretch. What exactly is the ROG Mothership? It's essentially a mini all-in-one gaming PC. All of the components reside in the display portion while the keyboard below can be detached.
By propping the base up on its kickstand, you can turn the ROG Mothership into a stationary gaming rig. Apart from its wonky design, the ROG Mothership offers incredible power, great audio and a comfortable keyboard, making it one of the best 17-inch laptops.
See our full Asus ROG Mothership review.
If you want a portable laptop capable of playing the latest games on high graphics settings, then the Aero 17 HDR should be at the top of your list. This specific model comes with a 4K HDR display that we found to be both vivid and bright.
On top of that, you get a sleek aluminum chassis, a comfortable keyboard and more than 5 hours of battery life.
See our full Aero 17 HDR review.
Don't have a budget and need the most powerful gaming rig out there? Consider the MSI GT76 Titan, a massive machine that packs crazy fast performance and eye-opening specs, including up to 128GB of RAM and up to 2TB of SSD storage.
But it's not all about raw power. The GT76 Titan has an attractive design and its 4K panel is bright and vivid. You also get a comfortable RGB keyboard, even if it isn't mechanical.
See our full MSI GT76 Titan review.
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, the Aspire 5 undoubtedly deserves the title of best 17-inch laptop under $1,000.
See our full Acer Aspire 5 review.
The price to performance ratio of HP's Omen 17 is absurd. For $1,629, you get a 17-inch, 144-hz display, an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU and a GeForce RTX 2070 GPU with 8GB of VRAM). You also get a decent keyboard for the price and a bright 1080p panel.
See our full HP Omen 17 review.
The Alienware m17 R4 will give you all the power you can handle. The Nvidia’s new RTX 3080 GPU with its ridiculous 16GB of VRAM tore through every game we threw at it. And the 10th Intel Core i9 processor made light work of our multitasking loads. And a straight-up chef’s kiss to the display’s 360Hz refresh rate that’s so smooth it’s making babies’ butts everywhere jealous.
For $3,339, the display could be a tad brighter and more vivid. Also, I would expect faster file transfer speeds. And, of course, longer battery life always sits at the top of my list. But if power and super high refresh rates are paramount, the Alienware m17 R4 is the laptop for you.
See our full Alienware m17 R4 review.
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 the best 17-inch workstation.
See our full Dell Precision 7730 review.
What to look for in a 17-inch laptop
- 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: 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.
How we test 17-inch laptops
We put 17-inch laptops through extensive benchmark testing -- both synthetic and real-world -- before they end up in the hands of our reviewers. We evaluate everything from speed and battery life to display brightness, speaker volume and system heat.
We use a Klein K10 colorimeter to detect the brightness and sRGB color gamut of a laptop's display. For performance benchmarking, we run the laptop through a gauntlet of benchmarks, including Geekbench 4.3 and 5.0 and 3DMark professional graphics tests.
To determine real-world performance, we task the laptop to convert a 4K video to 1080p resolution and to duplicate a 4.97GB multimedia file. Our real-world graphics test is the Dirt 3 benchmark with medium settings and 1080p resolution.
We also run heat tests by playing a 15-minute full-screen video and our battery test consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness. We consider everything over the category average (8 hours and 36 minutes) to be a good result. Of course, these tests are complemented with hands-on testing from our reviewers.