The best 17-inch laptops tower over their smaller counterparts in more ways than one. These laptops are not only herculean in size, but in power, performance, and display as well. So, while 13-inch notebooks might win in portability and 15-inch laptops have proven themselves a favorite among professionals, a strong case can be made for the biggest portables.
You’re not just getting a much bigger display – although the fact that you have more screen real estate is definitely a major advantage, especially for gaming and video editing. More importantly, excellent 17-inch laptops come with more powerful processors and GPUs, which means that they can handle the more demanding workloads. Some even come with bigger batteries. Finally, since they have a lot of room in their chassis, they have enough space not only for such components but also better heat management.
So, even though 17-inch laptops may often sacrifice portability – with the exception of a small handful like the LG Gram 17, they make up for it in a massive way. And, if you’re looking for a notebook for gaming, content creation, or design, you should consider getting one of our top picks below. Be sure to check out our price comparison tool as well to get the best laptop deal available.
The best 17-inch laptops of 2021
If you don’t know already, Dell makes some of the most amazing laptops on the market, especially with its XPS line. So, it’s no surprise that the Dell XPS 17 (2021) tops our best 17-inch laptops list. It’s pricey but for good reason. It comes with the kind of components that can get you through any task including up to an Intel Core i9 CPU, 64GB of RAM, and an Nvidia RTX GeForce 3060 while touting a stunner of a screen and a design that will take your breath away. We only wish it came with more ports, but it is a nearly perfect laptop in every other way.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 17 (2021)
Laptops for work are rejoining the 17-inch fray and leading them is the much-lauded LG Gram 17 whose amazingly thin and light form factor has won awards. It’s back in 2021 and better than ever, with more powerful internals like the 11th-generation Intel chips and the Iris Xe graphics as well as two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports. The long battery life and stunner of a screen are back, though as is its steep price tag. It’s worth it though, as this is among the best 17-inch laptops for non-gaming folks.
Read the full review: LG Gram 17 (2021)
A tactile mechanical keyboard and a 300Hz refresh rate display are just the beginning. The Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021) touts an incredible gaming performance that might just be worthy of desktop gaming PCs. With one of the RTX 3000 GPUs under the hood, this will see you through the most graphics-intensive games, including competitive ones. And, because of its impressive battery life, you can do so away from a power source. More than just the best 17-inch laptop right now, this is among the best gaming laptops of 2021.
Read the full review: Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021)
One of the most powerful gaming laptops that money can buy in 2021, the Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733 barely breaks a sweat. That excellent performance is due to the impressive specs it’s kitted out with, which also sadly put out of most people’s reach, price-wise. If you can afford it, however, there are a few other things you’ll love about it, including that unapologetic design that lights up like Christmas due to its resplendent RGB lighting and that optical mechanical keyboard that’s simply one of the best we’ve experienced on a laptop. This isn’t just one of the best 17-inch laptops. This is among the best of the best out there, and a worthy consideration if you’re not limited by your budget.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix SCAR 17 G733
If you’re looking for an absolute beast, the best gaming laptop for you might just be this follow-up to Razer’s 17-inch leviathan. More than just a gaming portable, it makes for an excellent mobile workstation for creators as well – although gamers who have the cash will appreciate the RTX 3000 GPU, up to 64GB of memory, and display with fast refresh rates. It’s pretty expensive, though, so unless you need all that power or you just have the money to throw away, you really have to make sure you’ll make the most of it.
Read the full review: Razer Blade Pro 17 (2021)
Who says you can’t have your gaming cake and eat it, because with laptops like this ROG Zephyrus, it’s possible to have an incredibly powerful portable which isn’t even remotely hefty, but remains very svelte and, er, portable.
It is, in short, a gaming machine for which you don’t have to employ air quotes around the word ‘portable’, being 18.7mm thick (or rather, thin) and weighing 2.7kg. Compare that to the above Alienware which is 43mm and 4.8kg…
Yet with this Asus 17-inch laptop you still get a Core i7-8750H hexa-core CPU backed by a GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q with 8GB of video RAM (there’s up to 24GB of system memory, incidentally). All this means you can ramp up the detail levels and enjoy any game you want.
The display is also a fabulous piece of work, and what’s more it’s Pantone Validated with 100% sRGB color gamut, meaning the color accuracy is spot-on out-of-the-box, and this notebook can be used for professional photo or video editing.
Bear in mind however that battery life is disappointingly short, and the price is disappointingly hefty. For those who don’t have the hefty budget to cope with this, or the aforementioned Alienware laptop’s price tag, breathe easier and check out our next entry for a more affordable gaming option.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
The words ‘cheap’ and ‘gaming laptop’ don’t mix well. Simply put, if you’re on a strict budget, you won’t get a machine capable of playing the latest games at palatable frame-rates – especially if you want a 17-inch screen to boot. So that’s why the FX705DT is our ‘affordable’ pick as opposed to ‘budget’. Remember, if you want to go really bargain basement, you’ll be confined to casual gaming only.
This Asus gaming laptop, however, packs a Ryzen 5 3550H processor with a GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card with 4GB of video RAM, plus there’s 8GB of system memory. The FX705DT also boasts a roomy 512GB NVMe SSD and a backlit keyboard optimized for gaming.
All of which makes it a great choice for tackling the majority of games at good detail levels while still keeping things pretty smooth – and remaining relatively wallet-friendly. At the time of writing, there are some pretty tempting deals to be had on this Asus machine, too.
One of the most powerful mobile workstations out there, the Gigabyte Aero 17 (2021) comes with a lot of power, a gorgeous display, and a whole lotta ports. Best yet, it’s priced well below its less-powerful rivals, making it a better proposition even if you have a more flexible budget. It isn’t by any means perfect. The battery life could use a bit of a boost, for example. But, for how much you’re paying and for the other things you’re getting in return, it’s a minuscule sacrifice.
Read the full review: Gigabyte Aero 17 (2021)
This is another mobile workstation, but it represents a somewhat cheaper – and indeed a slightly slimmer – alternative to the above HP machine, with the P73 being ideally suited to content creators.
You get the choice of an Intel Xeon E-2276M processor or 9th-gen Intel Core CPU (up to an i9-9880H with vPro), with up to Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 graphics and up to 128GB of system memory. But the display is the jewel in the crown featuring a 4K resolution, 400 nits brightness, Dolby Vision HDR and 100% coverage of the Adobe color gamut. The screen is, quite simply, ideal for serious photo or video editing.
The cutting-edge hardware support continues with Wi-Fi 6 on board, and you get a good selection of ports for wired connectivity, including a pair of Thunderbolt 3 connectors. Creative pros need to look no further for something that can cater for all their needs, at a relatively reasonable asking price for the workstation market.
How we test 17-inch laptops
Every 17-inch laptop on this list has been extensively tested by us because we know that buying a new laptop can be a huge investment. So, we don’t just look at their design, although we do pay close attention to that as well. We take a look at every laptop’s portability, how light and easy to carry it is, how comfortable it is to work on, how responsive and easy to use its keyboard and trackpad are.
To test the performance, we use every 17-inch laptop in our day-to-day lives – that’s for work, entertainment and everything else. We run various Windows 10 apps to see how fast they load and real-world tasks to see just how responsive the laptop is. If it’s a gaming laptop, we naturally see how they perform with the best games both indie and AAA. Naturally, we also perform a number of synthetic benchmarks to get those numbers and compare them to rivaling notebooks.
A laptop’s battery life is just as important as its performance, and in the case of 17-inch ones with heftier components, it’s even worth paying attention to. To test each laptop’s battery, we pay attention to how long we can use it performing regular tasks before it requires charging. We also perform our looped 1080p movie test until the battery dies as well as the PC Mark 10 battery life benchmark.
Finally, since these days, webcams and microphones have become integral in our daily lives again, we also take time to see how well they work, paying close attention to such things as resolution, image clarity, and sound quality.
When all is said and done, we take all that information we’ve collected for our final verdict, comparing it to the price to decide whether or not it’s a good value for its target users.