Getting one of the best 17-inch laptops is the way to go if you’re looking for serious real estate in your portable. These notebooks tend to stand out from the pack with their hulking designs and massive air vents, some even touting that sports car look, which is somewhat appropriate since many 17-inch laptops are designed for gaming.
With their massive displays and bigger chassis to fit in a more powerful engine, it’s no surprise that these laptops are typically gaming laptops. In fact, the best 17-inch laptops on the market can rival some gaming PCs out there in terms of performance, which makes them great for intensive creative work like video editing and 3D design as well. And thanks to things like Nvidia’s Max-Q technology that helps such portables shed some weight and millimeters, a number of these laptops boast slim form factors as well.
To make your hunt for the ideal 17-inch laptop easier, we gathered the best 17-inch laptops 2020 has to offer and put them on this list. Each one has been tested and reviewed by us, so you know you’re getting the best value for your money, whichever one you end up with. And, if you’re not quite ready to go big however, our 13-inch or 15-inch laptop recommendations – or indeed our overall roundup of best laptops – might have something to fit your needs instead.
The best 17-inch laptops at a glance:
- Alienware Area-51m
- Alienware m17 (2019)
- Razer Blade Pro 17
- HP Omen 17
- Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
- LG Gram 17
- Asus TUF Gaming FX705DT
- HP ZBook 17 G5
- Lenovo ThinkPad P73
- System76 Serval WS
- Also check out all the best Windows laptops of 2020
The best 17-inch laptops of 2020
Alienware makes some fantastic gaming machines, including the best 17-inch model on the market in our opinion. The Area-51m benefits from a great build quality and striking design, but more importantly, some supremely powerful components to drive fast frame-rates.
This laptop can pack up to an Intel Core i9-9900K processor and GeForce RTX 2080 graphics, all backed with up to 64GB of RAM. All of this helps to make the most out of the Full HD display’s 144Hz refresh rate, with G-Sync on hand to keep everything super-smooth in demanding games.
There are plenty of other smart touches with this Alienware model, including the ability to upgrade the GPU and CPU for future-proofing, a quality keyboard, and some very impressive speakers delivering both clarity and bass. Notebook speakers that don’t suck? Yes, they do exist…
The downside is the amount of damage the Area-51m will do to your bank balance, particularly for a higher-end spec. Still, if you’ve got the cash, it’s well worth the outlay.
Read the full review: Alienware Area-51m
The Alienware m17 2019 boasts more powerful internal components and a bold new design that you won’t see on any of its rivals. This Alienware gaming laptop looks good inside and out, so you can have the most immersive gaming experience of your life and look good while gaming, whether you’re at home on your couch or at a cafe. It’s portable as well, with an impressively thin and light chassis that’s ideal for gaming on the go. This is the most well-rounded 17-inch laptop for gaming you’ll ever find. Just be prepared to shell out a bunch of cash.
Read the full review: Alienware m17 (2019)
You’d be doing this laptop a disservice by not taking it seriously. The Razer Blade Pro 17 may be a laptop designed for gaming – and an excellent one, at that. But, it also boasts enough power and delivers a fantastic enough performance to deserve to be called a workstation, making it one of the best 17-inch laptops to consider if you work hard and play hard. That comes at a steep price, but this laptop is future-proof and somewhat upgradeable, it should last you a long while too.
Read the full review: Razer Blade Pro 17
The recently refreshed HP Omen 17 comes with many of the most powerful specs in a gaming laptop. The only difference between this and its rivals is, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to take one home. It’s a nice surprise, especially considering that HP can and does charge a premium for many of its best laptops. The thing to really pay attention to here, however, is the display, as HP does offer a number of options that include a couple of 1080p ones with blazing fast refresh rates. If affordability is a priority, this one’s definitely a shoo-in.
Read the full review: HP Omen 17
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
As you might guess from the name, LG’s focus with the Gram is on making a very lightweight and thin notebook which still manages to pack in 17-inches of screen real-estate. The Gram 17 is 17.8mm thick, appropriately, and weighs 1.34kg, making it extremely light for a large machine. Unbelievably light, in fact.
That 17-inch IPS display, incidentally, boasts a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 and is fantastic for a spot of movie watching on the go. Another major positive with the LG Gram 17 is a good level of battery longevity, which helps if you want to watch a couple of movies while on a long journey.
You also get a good selection of ports, and while the SSD may not be the fastest, this notebook still offers great performance for everyday computing thanks to an Intel Core i7-8565U processor capable of Turbo to 4.6GHz, along with 16GB of system memory.
The end result is an excellent all-rounder which can cope with everything, bar gaming – but it wasn’t designed for that. Furthermore, LG’s Gram can truly be dubbed ‘ultraportable’, which is a real achievement given the 17-inch chassis – and that’s why this LG machine snatches our accolade for best overall 17-inch laptop.
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.
If you want extreme performance from your 17-inch laptop, HP’s most recent ZBook is absolutely packed with power. We’re talking Intel Xeon processors at the top end – or up to a Core i9-8950HK – backed with heavyweight graphics in the form of up to an Nvidia Quadro P5200 (with 16GB of video RAM).
The ZBook comes with a 17.3-inch 4K IPS DreamColor screen which boasts 100% AdobeRGB coverage (or there’s an option for a more basic 1,600 x 900 panel). There are various storage options for PCIe NVMe SSDs or solid-state hybrid drives, or indeed Intel Optane Memory to accelerate that storage.
That display truly is a fabulous thing, and the HP ZBook 17 G5 is obviously a top-performing machine particularly when fully specced-up, but there’s an equally obvious downside in that it’s very (unsurprisingly) expensive. Still, if you want an incredibly powerful PC capable of crunching through heavyweight computing tasks which you can take on the move with you, well, here it is.
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 look no further for something that can cater for all their needs, at a relatively reasonable asking price for the workstation market.
There aren’t many choices for your operating system if you want an alternative to Windows 10 with your 17-inch laptop – there’s no MacBook, or Chromebook at this size – but you could, of course, run with Linux. And this dedicated Linux portable from System76 is a great pick on that front (although it’s worth noting that some 17-inch workstations do have a Linux option, like the above Lenovo which can be pre-installed with Ubuntu rather than Windows 10 Pro).
With the Serval WS you can opt for either Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or Pop!_OS, and choose between a Full HD or 4K display. There’s also a choice of 9th-gen Intel processors (up to the Core i9-9900K) backed with up to an Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 graphics card. It’s possible to load this portable with up to 64GB of system RAM, as well, and up to 8TB of storage.
So there’s a good deal of power on offer here, and you get impressive connectivity, along with quality input peripherals like a very nifty backlit keyboard. Those who want a 17-inch Linux machine can’t go wrong here.
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