Best 17 Inch Laptop – 2020 Guide

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One of the main reasons for buying a 17 inch laptop is the increased screen real estate that it offers. Given that the screen is such a paramount feature of a larger laptop, I will assume that you are looking for a computer that makes the best of it, whether it be for watching movies or playing games. In addition to a good screen, the best 17 inch laptop also makes good use of the extra space that the size brings, and offers an experience that is difficult to get on a different sized model.

List of best 17 inch laptops

Below is a list of the best 17 inch laptops right now. After the list there is a guide for what you should be looking for when doing your research.

ASUS VivoBook Pro

Image of ASUS VivoBook Pro laptop

The ASUS VivoBook pro is a great 17 inch laptop. It has a full HD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The bezel on this laptop is not as small as some smaller laptops, but it does measure at 17.3″. You can also connect a 4k Ultra HD screen to this laptop.

The laptop comes with an 8th generation i7-8565U. This is not the newest CPU on the market but it is a good one. The i7 is a powerful CPU that should serve you well. It should also be capable for use in gaming, especially since the laptop also comes with a GeForce GTX 1050 GPU. The GPU will not be as useful if you dont play video games or perform any compute heavy tasks.

The laptop also takes advantage of the bigger body by having a combination of SSD and a regular hard drive. There is a 256 GB SSD on board, something that would be a little small by itself, but it also has a 1 TB hard drive. You install your programs on the fast SSD and then you can keep any long term file storage on the hard drive. This is a common setup, especially as SSDs are more expensive.

  • CPU: 8th gen Core i7-8550U
  • RAM: 16gb of DDR4 RAM
  • Graphic processor: GeGorce GTX 1050, 4gb
  • Hard drive/SSD: 1TB hard drive and a 256GB SSD
  • Battery life: 8 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080

16 GB of DDR4 ram is about as good as it will get on most reasonable priced laptops. There will be options with more but they are usually gaming focused laptops and are much more expensive. The fact that it is the newer DDR4 version of RAM is also good as is both faster and it uses less power.

The 17 inch laptop actually has up to 8 hours of battery, which is pretty good considering that there is a huge 17 inch screen. Apart from high end components, it is usually the screen that will draw a lot of the power from a laptop. Therefore you will often see smaller laptops that have amazing battery life. The battery also has fast charging technology and can charge 60% in just 49 minutes.

The laptop has decent amount of ports as you would expect form a laptop of this size. It also has a fingerprint reader which seems to become quite popular on laptop these days. It might be influenced by how well they are doing on smart phones.

The VivoBook pro is a great laptop that you should definitely check out.

See the ASUS VivoBook Pro (#ad) on Amazon

LG Gram

Image of LG Gram

Another great 17 inch laptop is the LG Gram. The screen on this laptop is really good, coming in at 2560×1600. The screen has almost no bezels which looks really good on a laptop of this size. Despite having such a large screen and high resolution the laptop still manages to give up to 19.5 hours of battery which is a huge amount for a laptop of this size. There will be no need to bring a charger around.

There is no GPU on this laptop so if you are looking for something that is good for games then you should check out one of the other options. The CPU is an 8th generation i7. The laptop comes with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, which is as good as you will get for a reasonably priced laptop.

The laptop has passed the Mil STD 810g durability test so you can feel comfortable that the laptop will at least stand the test of time physically wise.

  • CPU: 8th gen Core i7-8550U
  • RAM: 16gb of DDR4 RAM.
  • Hard drive/SSD:  512 GB SSD.
  • Battery life: 19.5 hours.
  • Screen resolution: 2560 x 1600.

The laptop is also really light, only weighing 2.95 pounds. When you get a large laptop I assume you are not too concerned with the weight of the laptop, but that is so light can be a nice benefit for many. Although it might not fit perfectly in small backpacks or bags, it will still be light to carry around.

The SSD on the laptop is 512 GB. This should be enough for most. Especially since this is not a laptop for games, as games often take often take up a lot of space. There is always external storage too if you feel like you need it at a later point.

If you are looking for a larger laptop that is still light and offers great battery life, then the LG Gram might be the one for you.

See the LG Gram (#ad) at Amazon.

HP Envy

Image of HP Envy

The HP Envy comes in at 17.3 inches with a full HD touch screen, 1920×1080. The product claims ultra thin bezels but it is not as thin as some others. Regardless, it has a good screen that should be nice to look at even over long periods of time.

The laptop comes with an 8th generation i7-8550U. This is a decent CPU that should work well for most of your needs. There is also a Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory. Having a GPU makes the laptop more suitable to play games on, as well as for other more compute heavy tasks such as video editing.

There is 16 GB of DDR4 RAM on this laptop, something that seems to be quite common in this category. You will find more models with the DDR3 kind in smaller laptops.

  • CPU: 8th gen i7-8565U. 1.8 GHz, up to 4.6 GHz.
  • RAM: 16gb DDR4.
  • Graphic processor: Nvidia MX250, 4gb
  • Hard drive/SSD: 512gb SSD, no regular hard drive.
  • Battery life: 7 hours
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080.

The battery life on this laptop is average. It comes in at around 7 hours, something that should be enough for many people. If you plan on doing more compute heavy tasks then of course it will be less. The laptop weighs 6.63 pounds so it is more heavy than some of the other options.

If you are looking for a 17 inch laptop that has a little more power then this should be a good option.

See the HP Envy (#ad) on Amazon

What to look for in the best 17 inch laptop

When buying a computer there are certain things that you need to research. They include the type of screen that the computer has, what the keyboard is like, and what hardware is inside it. You also have to look at the material that the computer is made of. The build quality will be an important factor in how long the laptop will last you. 

Screen

There are a multitude of different screen options available. They differ not only in screen resolution but also in the coat that is applied to them. Some are glossy while some are matte. You also have the option of getting a touch screen. 

Glossy screens

The glossy screen offers you better picture quality, but they have a lot of glare when the sun hits it the right way. If you are always going to use the computer in a darker room, this is probably the best type of screen for you. If you want to use the laptop close to windows or somewhere where you can’t control the light then you might be better off with a matte screen. 

Matte Screens

My personal favorite is the matte screen, but in the end it comes down to the situations you are going to use the laptop in. The matte surface reduces the glare by diffusing the light that the screen sends out, and as a result the picture quality takes a slight loss. That being said, I have an external monitor that is glossy and my laptop is matte, I don’t see much difference between the two in picture quality. If you are going to do work that requires the screen to provide the absolute best image quality, such as photo editing, then you should probably go for the glossy screen. Invest a little more in the screen now, and have a good viewing experience for longer. If you plan to keep the laptop for several years you should get a better screen. That being said, if you want to do things that require a really good screen you might be better off getting a second external high quality monitor in addition to the laptop.

Touch Screens

You also have the option of getting a laptop with a touch screen, but they tend to be more expensive and have shorter battery life. You also will not find them with a matte display if that is the type of screen you are looking for. They are not the most popular option, and in general I do not recommend getting a touch screen. 

Screen resolution

There are a host of different screen resolutions available, ranging from the low 1024×768 to a high of 3840×2160. Unless you are looking for the cheapest option available, and not the best option, you would want to get 1920×1080 (1080p) or higher. There are quite a few 3840×2160 (UHD/4K) available, and as time goes on there will be more viewing options available in 4K as well. The most bang for your buck is probably going to be around the 1080p range, but if you want the best 17 inch laptop because it has a bigger and better screen, then you should go for the higher resolution screen.

Hardware

There is a lot to know about hardware, but keep these things in mind when doing your research into what is the best 17 inch laptop for you.

RAM

There will be a limit on how much RAM a laptop can use, and probably a limit on how much you need. It really comes down to what you are using the laptop for. If you are doing video editing or programming you might need more, and if you are just browsing the internet you will need less. That being said, you should probably get at least 8gb of RAM, with the option to add another 8 later. There are often 2 slots on a computer and only one is in use. 

If you don’t expect to do much heavy work on your computer you can get away with 8gb, but if you expect to do more intensive tasks, I would recommend 16gb or more. Programs require more and more memory these days, so it is better to be prepared if you want to keep the laptop for some time. 

GPU

Some computers come with a video card. Typically you will find this in a pricier gaming laptop. If you plan on using the laptop for gaming, you should probably get one with a dedicated video card, if not you can manage without one. Also, if you plan on doing doing anything related to AI or machine learning you should also get a GPU. If you want a more powerful laptop you can check out our guide on best laptops for AI.

Hard drive vs SSD

You should definitely get a laptop that uses an SSD. It will provide you with better performance than a normal hard drive. That being said, it is common to have one of each, using the quicker SSD to store your operating system and many of the programs you use, and the hard drive for storage of things that don’t require fast speeds, such as storing files. Also, SSDs tend to not provide a lot of space, so having a second hard drive in the laptop will really come in handy of you plan on storing a lot of data, especially considering that it is a lot cheaper than a SSD. 

CPU

CPU is like the brain of you computer, having a decent one is important. Again, the kind you need depends on what you plan on using the computer for. If you are doing more work intensive tasks such as gaming or video editing, then you should look at higher end CPUs. If you are planning on writing emails, you will do just fine with a cheaper model. 

Ports

Having a good selection of ports on the laptop can be important. Just make sure that you have enough ports for a mouse, keyboard, and external monitors. For USB you want to make sure there it at least one USB v3 port. Also consider if you want a CD drive as many are doing away with them. 

Battery

Bigger screen equals more battery usage. Better specs also tend to equal more battery drainage. Most laptops have average battery life, and very few have exceptional battery life. You can of course get around average battery life if being disconnected from a power source is something you will be often, as you can get a second battery that you can carry around. 17 inch laptops do not have the best battery life options if you compare them to smaller models. 

Keyboard

As with screens, there are different keyboards available. They differ in the amount of travel that each key has, the size, if it includes a numpad or not, and if they are backlit or not. I would recommend a keyboard that has the most possible travel, and with the bigger laptop I would make sure it also comes with a numpad. More travel usually equates to a better typing experience. Many computers have keys that barely click at all, and if you will be doing any significant amount of typing you want a good keyboard. If you enter any significant amount of numbers while typing, you will be happy for the numpad. Depending on the surroundings where you will be using the laptop, you might want to get a backlit keyboard as well. It can be useful if you want to type when it is dark. They often have a button that will toggle the light on and off. 

Taking all these factors into considerations, I have compiled a list of the best 17-inch laptops that I think you should consider. Only laptops with a reasonable price have been included. 

Final comments on the best 17 inch laptop

One of the main reasons for getting a 17 inch laptop is the large screen. They also tend to have powerful parts. Keeping these things in mind, don’t expect great battery life. You might also want to consider getting an external monitor instead of a larger laptop. 15 inches is a better balance between power and portability, and you can easily use an external monitor as long as you are okay with it not being as portable when you plug it in.  Keep the pointers from above in mind and you should be able to select a great 17 inch laptop.

You can have a look at our guide about best laptops for grandparents if you want to learn more about laptops.