While current trends continue to push laptops to thinner, lighter models, some people still need a larger, more powerful laptop for their lifestyle. Designers and developers may require extra screen space and memory for their work. Gamers on the go may need a reliable machine for their gaming parties — without compromising the experience. The best solution here is a 17-inch laptop model that can handle what you throw at it. But which models are right for you?
After reviewing hundreds of different laptops, we’re good at spotting what makes a larger laptop work: The Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 is the best choice for those who need more screen space on a portable computer. However, we’ve got several other picks for you to check out as well.
The best 17-inch laptop: Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1
Why you should buy this: Dell’s large laptop is an incredibly versatile option.
Who’s it for: People who need a laptop that can do a little of everything.
Why we picked the Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1:
If you want a very, versatile laptop that’s also capable of playing some light games, Dell has your number. Yes, this really is a 2-in-1 with a 17-inch screen, which means you can swivel the display around and use it as a large tablet if you really want (handling is a bit awkward due to the size, but it does work).
You can equip the laptop with two internal hard drives for extra space and allocation options, and choose from a variety of powerful processors: Our linked model includes an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, plus a Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU.
Despite being a 2-in-1, the laptop also manages to include two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, and an HDMI port. It’s also quite affordable compared to our other top picks, and makes a good choice if you are working with some specific budget limitations.
The best 17-inch gaming laptop: Razer Blade Pro 17
Why you should buy this: It’s a powerful gaming laptop with the customization you want.
Who’s it for: Serious gamers who want a dedicated – but portable – machine.
Why we picked the Razer Blade Pro 17:
The 2019 Razer Blade Pro 17, weighing 6.1 pounds, is built from the ground up for gaming, and it’s strictly professional about it. The slim, square design may not invoke Razer’s style very often (although the RGB keyboard lighting is top notch), but every component is optimized for your gaming experience.
The keyboard is perfectly responsive, the cooling is incredibly effective for a laptop, and yes, there are options for installing an external GPU and other accessories if desired. The model linked below uses a 9th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce 2070 RTX Max-Q GPU, has 16GB of RAM, and comes with 512GB of SSD storage.
The display is nothing to sneeze at, either: It’s a 100% sRGB, pre-calibrated, 1080p screen with a matte finish to reduce glare and a 144Hz refresh rate (at this size, 4k still doesn’t have the biggest impact, and Razer chose to favor refresh rate instead). As for ports, you’ve got plenty of options with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C 3.2, USB-C, USB-A 3.1, HDMI, SD card reader, and a 2.5GB Ethernet connection. It’s also one of the few models on the market that offers draft Wi-Fi 6 compatibility for when Wi-Fi 6 hits it big in 2020.
The most powerful 17-inch laptop: Alienware Area-51m
Why you should buy this: It’s serious gaming machine with customization options all the way to the top.
Who’s it for: Gamers who want maximum performance and don’t care much about size.
Why we picked the Alienware Area-51m:
Alienware packs so much into this gaming laptop that portability almost seems like an afterthought — it may take a little work to lug this beast around, but it has all the power you need, including a heavy-duty cooling system. The display is a 1080p panel that offers G-Sync compatibility and has options up to 144Hz, plus some interesting eye-tracking technology.
Several different configurations give you a range of power options for the Area-51m. The weakest model offers a 9th-gen Intel Core i7 chip, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive with an 8GB SSD hybrid component: Stats only go up from there, and the top model offers much more SSD space if necessary.
In addition to its somewhat awkward bulk, this laptop doesn’t offer much battery life, so be ready to keep it plugged in. It’s designed to work more as a desktop replacement if you need a solution that can be moved around if necessary.
The best 17-inch budget laptop: HP Envy 17
Why you should buy this: The Envy 17 is an affordable laptop that can double as a work computer.
Who’s it for: For those on a budget, but still need a larger computing device.
Why we picked the HP Envy 17:
Gaming laptops offer impressive stats, but they also tend to have high prices. If you’re looking for a much better deal, but still want a laptop to handle gaming and other demanding tasks, check out the HP Envy 17.
These affordable laptops stay slim but are packed with useful specs and are highly customizable, offering up to 16GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage (or a TB of DDR storage), and a processor up to a Core i7 chip that can be boosted to 4.9GHz, with a Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU. The display is an FHD 1080p panel, with an option to make it a touchscreen.
The other nice thing about the Envy series is that they’re great laptops for a variety of purposes, particularly professional work or school. Oh, and there’s an integrated numeric keypad, which some gamers (or officer workers) may prefer.