It’s more than just size that sets the best 17-inch laptops apart from their 13-inch and 15-inch laptop rivals. While they are bigger with larger displays, they also tend to come with more powerful components. That’s due to the fact they’re physically bigger and have more room inside, which not only allows for better thermal efficiency but also more robust internals like Nvidia’s Max-Q GPUs.
This extra power makes the best 17-inch laptops ideal solutions for video editing, 3D design, gaming, and other more resource-hungry tasks. They will, of course, lose when it comes to portability, with the notable exception of the LG Gram 17, compared to their little brothers. But, they can offer performance on par with some of the best gaming PCs and best computers out there.
No matter if you want something for gaming, photo editing, or 3D or video editing, you’ll find something that will fit your needs so read on to find which of the best 17-inch laptops of 2021 is right for you.
The best 17-inch laptops at a glance:
- Gigabyte Aorus 17X
- Alienware Area-51m
- Gigabyte Aorus 17G
- Razer Blade Pro 17
- Dell XPS 17 (2020)
- Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701
- LG Gram 17 (2020)
- Asus TUF Gaming FX705DT
- HP ZBook 17 G5
- Lenovo ThinkPad P73
- Also check out all the best Windows laptops of 2021
The best 17-inch laptops of 2021
The Gigabyte Aorus 17X is hardly for everyone, especially with that breathtakingly steep price. However, if you are looking for a 17-inch laptop that can pretty much slay anything in its path, this one’s got that face-melting performance you’re looking for, with 10th-generation Intel Core processors and Nvidia’s most powerful GPUs for gaming. Besides its performance, it’s got a few other things going for it including a display that is a complete stunner, a mechanical keyboard (nothing short of that is good for gaming) that’s incredible to use and build quality that’s designed to last.
Read the full review: Gigabyte Aorus 17X
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
If you want an absolute beast of a 17-inch laptop for gaming, Gigabyte’s Aorus 17G is a worthy candidate both inside and out. While this megalithic portable has a substantial weight of 5.95Ib to match, it’s a small price to pay for such power inside – namely, 10th-generation processors and up to 64GB of memory, as well as Nvidia’s most powerful RTX and Super RTX cards. There’s nothing this laptop can't handle (or annihilate), making it a prime example of what a next-generation desktop replacement can be. And, that’s without mentioning its 1080p display touting a whopping 240Hz refresh rate and its solid build. Just be ready to break that piggy bank, as this won’t be cheap.
Read the full review: Gigabyte Aorus 17G
The Razer Blade Pro 17 may have limitations in terms of configurations – you would have to stick to one of five available configurations and cannot personalize the specs further – but whichever one you choose, you know you’re taking home an incredibly powerful 17-inch laptop. With a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 chip and Nvidia’s higher end consumer graphics cards, there’s plenty of power under the hood for whatever graphics-intensive tasks you need – gaming, video editing, designing on AutoCAD. The 300Hz refresh rate on its display and variety of ports help as well, even if its weight and unimpressive battery life might hold it back from being the best of the best.
Read the full review: Razer Blade Pro 17
For a 17-inch laptop, the Dell XPS 17 (2020) is impressively thin and light, especially when you consider the fact that it boasts powerful specs for that top-notch performance that content creators require. Among the best 17-inch laptops out there, this is practically the whole package, touting a big, gorgeous screen, fantastic battery life that will last you the entire day and a gorgeous design on top of everything else. That’s without even mentioning its mid-range price of entry, giving the MacBook Pro 16-inch a good run for its money.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 17 (2020)
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 award-winning LG Gram 17 is back, with the same innovative lightweight design on a 17-inch chassis. This time around, it comes with fresh new specs under the hood including Intel’s Ice Lake chip, alongside a few other amazing features like a beautiful display and an incredibly long battery life. A very comfortable keyboard is also on offer, and this whole package makes it excellent for anyone that has to work on the go. The CPU performance and speakers could be much better, but as long as you’re not doing processor or graphics intensive work, this one’s a winner if you’re looking for the best 17-inch laptop designed for the nomadic lifestyle.
Read the full review: LG Gram 17 (2020)
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.
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