Laptops come in a variety of screen sizes, from the super-small to the not-so-portable. Each extreme serves its purpose but also comes with disadvantages. Smaller laptops can be extremely portable, but provide a reduced viewing experience for graphics-heavy applications. They also have less room for hardware, so they aren’t as powerful.
On the other hand, larger laptops provide a much better viewing experience but can be quite cumbersome. Many provide more heavy-duty features but also weigh more than most users would prefer. We crowned the MSI GT73VR Titan as the best 17 inch laptop.
For those who need or want a larger laptop, 17 inch models are a nice middle ground between a large screen size and a reasonable amount of portability. These models can also provide a much better viewing experience than smaller laptops, often a top concern among users.
How we chose the best 17 inch laptops
Many people choose 17 inch laptops to support their career, hobby, or entertainment needs. Photographers, videographers, drafters, gamers, students, movie-lovers, and video conferencing professionals will all find that these laptops provide an excellent balance between screen size and portability. To help you in your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best 17 inch laptops on the market.
As 17 inch laptops are built to suit a number of needs, knowing which one to buy can be a bit tricky. We gathered feedback from those who use these laptops in order to identify the most important criteria for choosing your device. After gathering feedback from users across a variety of use cases, we narrowed our criteria down to the following five:
We determined this final list by considering which criteria were most important to those who need larger laptops the most—gamers, photographers, and movie enthusiasts among them.
The five best 17 inch laptops
Here’s a list of the best 17 inch laptops;
The most important consideration when choosing the best 17 inch laptop
There is a world of features to consider when choosing any laptop, and the 17 inch variety is no exception. Depending on your intended use, you may want to think about processing power, portability, hard drive space, or any number of other factors.
However, for most uses of a 17 inch laptop, one consideration that stands out above the rest is graphics.
If you’re going to sacrifice a degree of portability to get a larger screen, the last thing you want is to have a terrible viewing experience. Because many 17 inch laptop users run graphics-heavy applications such as games and video, it’s vital to choose a graphics processor that will avoid lag and keep up with your needs.
While integrated GPUs can be quite powerful in their own right, we recommend a dedicated GPU with an absolute minimum of 2 GB RAM, particularly if you do plan to run graphics-heavy programs on your laptop.
Other considerations when choosing the best 17 inch laptop
When it comes to viewing experience, screen resolution goes hand-in-hand with graphics processing. Low-resolution screens provide poorer visuals and can be a real drag to photographers, videographers, and gamers. Even simple movie streaming can be less enjoyable with a low-resolution screen. On top of that, low-resolution screens can cause headaches and eye fatigue.
Screen resolution is tied to screen size. Smaller screens can get away with lower resolutions to some extent, but for a 17 inch laptop you’re going to want at least Full HD, or 1920 x 1080 pixels. Why do we recommend this number? There’s a pretty good answer here.
Next in line after resolution is the laptop’s CPU. That beautiful display won’t stop you from being frustrated if your laptop can’t keep up with the demands you’ve placed on it, and that means more than just graphics. This is particularly true for gamers and photographers, but anyone who plans to get the most out of their 17 inch laptop will benefit from having a good CPU and plenty of RAM.
The Intel i7 CPUs are at the top of their class. An i5 is often sufficient (and easier on the pocketbook), but remember that the more you want your laptop to do, the more important it is to have a good CPU to support your needs.
We recommend a minimum of an i7 CPU.
Just as your GPU needs a certain amount of RAM to carry out its tasks, so does your CPU. The amount of RAM your laptop has will have a direct and noticeable impact on how well your device performs under pressure. RAM is important for heavy applications like games and photo editors. It’s also vital for multitasking.
We recommend a minimum of 8GB RAM to support most uses.
Portability is next on our list. It’s true that you will lose some portability with a larger screen size, and to some degree that can’t be avoided. However, even within the realm of 17 inch laptops there can be big differences in how portable one device is compared to another.
When it comes to portability, three things to keep in mind are weight, thickness, and battery life. A laptop with good portability doesn’t feel heavy in your bag and can be used for hours without needing to find a plug-in power source.
How slim a laptop runs also contributes to its portability. Just because you’ve chosen a large screen size doesn’t mean that your laptop has to be a brick in your bag. Many 17 inch laptops are reasonably slim, especially if you’re willing to go without a disc drive.
The best 17 inch laptop
Our #1 Pick for all-around best 17 inch laptop is the MSI GT73VR Titan. The MSI Titan is our winner because of its excellent graphics abilities. Based on user feedback, the Titan performs at the top of its class and more than meets expectations. This laptop earned its spot as our #1 Pick due to its high-quality GPU, powerful combination of CPU and RAM, and brilliant screen resolution.
This laptop comes with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 dedicated graphics card with a whopping 8 GB of RAM, a fantastic choice for your most demanding applications. Users report a high level of satisfaction with the graphics on this laptop, particularly gamers.
Along with a top-of-the-line GPU, the MSI Titan offers two choices for screen resolution: Full HD at 1920 x 1080 and 4K 3840 x 2160. Confused about the difference between Full HD and 4k? Check out this article for the low-down on different screen types.
Processing power is no joke with this laptop. With an Intel i7 CPU and 16 GB of RAM, the MSI Titan is well suited to support most uses efficiently and effectively.
The MSI Titan is just 1.8 inches thick, not bad for such a feature-rich laptop. It weighs in on the heavier side at 8.8 pounds. Not as light as we’d like to see, but still manageable and not at all unreasonable for such a powerful machine.
The one downside to this laptop is its battery life, which can be as little as two hours under intense high-needs gaming scenarios. Fortunately, this issue is offset by multiple power consumption profiles that you can switch between depending on your power needs.
While it’s not perfect, the MSI GS73VR Titan is an excellent all-around machine for those looking for a high-powered 17 inch laptop.
The four other 17 inch laptops we tested
The Alienware 17 inch laptop came in second on our Top 5 list.
The graphics processing power on this device is not quit as strong as on the MSI Titan. Nevertheless, it’s a powerful unit that gets the job done. Like the Titan, the Alienware has a high-quality NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, this time with 4 GB of RAM.
Also like the MSI Titan, the Alienware offers a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 Full HD, and can be upgraded for 4K resolution. Based on the feedback we gathered, the quality of the display on this device more than lives up to expectations.
The Alienware has an i7 CPU with 16 GB of RAM. This laptop’s processing power will easily keep up keep up with the demands of most users, particularly those running Photoshop and other image editing programs.
This laptop has a fantastic battery life at up to seven hours depending on use. It’s just 1.4 inches thick, further contributing to portability. It’s still a bit heavy at 8.3 pounds, but not unmanageably so.
- Intel Quad Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz Processor
- 16 GB DDR4. GTX 980M
- 1 TB HDD + 256 GB SATA SSD Storage; Optical Drive Not included
Coming in at third place on our list is the Lenovo IdeaPad Y700. This machine is a great combination of excellent graphics and relatively long battery life.
The GPU on the Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 is a NVIDIA GeForce 960M with 4 GB of dedicated RAM, comparable to the Alienware laptop. The screen resolution is 1920 x 1080, with an anti-glare screen for those whose eyes don’t respond well to shiny screens.
Like our other contenders, the IdeaPad Y700 has an i7 CPU and 16 GB of RAM. If you’ve been using anything less, you can expect greatly improved speed and less lag-time with this much processing power.
The IdeaPad Y700 has an advantage over many other laptops in terms of portability. It weighs less than others on our list at 7.7 lbs, and is a slim 1.1 inches thick. The battery lasts five hours on average, not bad at all for a high performance laptop like this one.
Although the Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 is an excellent choice for a 17 inch laptop, it came in third on our list because it doesn’t provide the option for a 4K display like our top two contenders did. Even so, it’s an excellent pick.
- POWERHOUSE GAMING LAPTOP: This portable notebook computer, built with Advanced...
- HIGH PERFORMANCE MEMORY AND STORAGE: 256 GB SSD hard drive and 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM...
- POWERFUL GRAPHICS CARD: Discrete NVIDIA graphics give you crisp visuals to sharp...
Fourth on our list is the ASUS Rog, another feature-heavy gaming laptop with a well-deserved reputation.
The ASUS Rog has a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M GPU with 3 GB of dedicated RAM. Although this GPU has less dedicated RAM than our top three picks, it’s still powerful enough to meet the needs of most users.
Resolution on the ASUS Rog is 1920 x 1080 with IPS panels for increased colour accuracy.
As far as processing power goes, this device measures up to the others on our list with an i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM.
In terms of portability, the ASUS Rog performs well at just 1.5” slim. It weighs in at 8.8 lbs and has a battery life between three and six hours depending on use.
The ASUS Rog placed fourth on our list because it has less dedicated RAM for the GPU. While 3 GB is still powerful, it couldn’t outcompete our top three picks.
- Powerful 6th-generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6 GHz (up to 3.50GHz). 16 GB DDR4...
- 17.3-inches Matte IPS FHD display, 1920 by 1080 resolution. NVIDIA GeForce GTX...
- Backlit anti-ghosting gaming keyboard with 30-key rollover for precise command...
The final contender on our list of the Top 5 best 17 inch laptops is the HP Envy. This laptop doesn’t pack as powerful a punch as some of the others, but it still has a lot to offer.
Unlike the other picks on our list, the HP Envy comes with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU rather than a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card. This type of GPU is ideal for those who want a high-quality machine but won’t necessarily be using it for gaming.
Screen resolution is 1920 x 1080. Like the ASUS Rog, the HP Envy comes with IPS panels for an improved viewing experience.
This laptop has the same great processing capabilities as other devices on our list. With an i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM, the HP Envy can more than keep up.
The HP Envy weighs less than any other laptop on our list at just seven pounds. Battery life is quite good at up to seven hours. It’s not particularly slim at 4”, but unlike the other laptops on our list, the HP Envy comes with a DVD burner for those who want to be able to play and burn DVDs from their laptop.
For those who want a fast, reliable 17 inch laptop without some of the high-powered options found in our other picks, the HP Envy is a great option at a slightly lower price. Ultimately, it came in last because it lacks a dedicated GPU and is slightly less portable due to the inclusion of a DVD burner.
- 6th Gen Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core Processor 2.6GHz (6M Cache, up to 3.50...
- 17.3 inch diagonal Full HD WLED-backlit IPS Display (1920x1080) Touchscreen
- 16GB System Memory (RAM), HP TrueVision HD Webcam with Dual Digital Microphone...
The bottom line
We compared many laptops to find the Top 5 best 17 inch laptops. Among these, the MSI Titan came in as our top pick.
After a detailed analysis based on feedback gathered from users and tech experts, the MSI Titan came in as the first place winner on our list of the Top 5 best 17 inch laptops. The MSI Titan scored highly because of its fantastic graphics capabilities.
This device has a lot to offer in terms of its GPU, CPU, RAM, portability, and screen resolution. Many of these features are available in several options, allowing you to customize your machine to fit your needs.
The other four laptops on our list are not to be ignored. The Alienware, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y700, and the ASUS Rog provide a brilliant combination of high-level graphics capabilities and beautiful display. The HP Envy maintains many of the best features of a 17 inch laptop without losing the DVD drive.
Although the MSI Titan most definitely deserves its place as our #1 Pick for best 17 inch laptop, the other laptops on our Top 5 list beat out many other laptops to join the ranks. Any of these five laptops is a great choice for those who work and play on a 17 inch screen.