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Best Overall: ASUS VivoBook Pro at Amazon
"A surefire winner, in terms of size, performance, and aesthetic."
Best Lightweight: LG gram 17 at Amazon
"Weighing in at just 2.95 pounds, it's the lightest 17-inch laptop ever manufactured."
Best 2-in-1: Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 at Amazon
"Featuring an absolutely stunning 17-inch 2-in-1 touchscreen display."
Best Value: HP Envy 17t at Amazon
"A well-built laptop that makes few compromises on its specs."
Best Budget: HP 17-X116DX at Walmart
"Doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles of machines double or triple its price, but is an outstanding choice for performance."
Best for Gaming: Dell Alienware 17 Gaming Laptop at Amazon
"With powerful 2.1 stereo speakers to create a fully immersive gaming experience."
To no surprise, the Asus VivoBook Pro is a surefire winner, in terms of size, performance, and aesthetic. For those seeking an exemplary 17-inch laptop, it runs laps around the competition. Equipped with a 1.8GHz, 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor, it also comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Add to that its 256GB solid-state drive, and you've got plenty of storage to boot.
Moreover, the company has squeezed a litany of powerful components into one super-slim, 0.8-inch profile, which only weighs around 4.6 pounds. It employs a single USB-C port, accompanied by USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, LAN, a standard SD card slot as well. Driven by Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics, its 17-inch, 1080p full HD display boast eye-popping color and high visual fidelity. Joined together, these components make the perfect companion, whether you're working from home or traveling across the world — or, more likely, binge-watching Netflix at the end of the day.
Typically, opting for a 17-inch laptop means sacrificing portability for a larger screen. This isn't so with the LG Gram, which is light as a feather when you pick it up. Weighing in at just 2.95 pounds, it's the lightest 17-inch laptop ever manufactured.
But don't let its slim profile fool you. There's a wealth of features under the hood, including an Intel 8th-generation Core i7-8565U processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB solid-state drive. It also squeezes a microSD card slot, HDMI, three USB 3.0 ports, and a USB-C port — as well as a fingerprint scanner that doubles as a power button — into this tiny package. All this, and you still get nearly 20 hours of battery life.
The backlit keyboard features bouncy, tactile keys, with a responsive touchpad underneath. But the main attraction is the 17-inch screen itself. It's a stunner, and while the 2560x1600 resolution isn't quite the same as 4K, you're getting a fantastic picture for the price, especially if you're looking for a powerhouse in a svelte package.
Dell’s Inspiron 7000 is their newest inclusion to the Inspiron line, and it’s one of the few 17 inches offered by the popular consumer brand. It makes our “best display” spot on the list for that absolutely stunning 17-inch 2-in-1 touchscreen display. The resolution is a mind-blowing 1920 x 1080 pixels, and it employs Dell’s brilliant Truelife display functionality that offers brilliant backlit colors and impressively wide viewing angles.
To run that beautiful display, you’re looking at a 7th-gen Intel Core i7-7500U 2.7 GHz processor, which turbocharges up to 3.5 GHz. There’s 16GB of onboard DDR4 RAM and an included 512GB SSD for whisper-quiet, mega fast standard computing operation. The screen flips completely over, 360 degrees so you can turn this thing into a super powerful touchscreen tablet. There are built-in speakers with MaxxAudio and Bluetooth 4.0 functionality. There’s also an onboard 720p webcam, which is the standard for laptop video chatting. Battery life is six hours with the four-cell lithium-ion battery, and there’s even a bright backlit keyboard for night use.
Plain and simple, the HP Envy 17t is a well-built laptop that makes few compromises on its specs. Its slim footprint makes it a real alternative to Apple’s MacBook Pro, although this machine comes in almost $1,000 cheaper. It packs a 1.6GHz Intel Core i7 720QM plus 16GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive.
Design-wise, it is a bit heavier than a MacBook at 6.75 pounds. It is housed in a sleek aluminum and magnesium chassis and has a beautiful, backlit keyboard and a large touchpad. Perhaps most gush-worthy is its 1,920 x 1,080-pixel display, which looks spectacular under edge-to-edge glass. HP has also partnered with Beats Audio for impressive bass-boosting built-in speakers. While it might not be the most travel-friendly PC given its short 1.5-hour battery life, this 17-incher makes an excellent desktop replacement.
HP’s 17-X116DX computer doesn’t offer all the bells and whistles of machines double or triple its price, but, with a price tag that’s budget-friendly, the HP is an outstanding choice for performance. Inside the PC is a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 1TB 5400rpm hard drive, 8GB of RAM and a DVD/CD burner for burning all your movies to the sizeable hard drive. The non-backlit keyboard adds a number pad that’s soft and comfortable for all-day typing. The 17.3-inch 1600 x 900 resolution display includes both high-quality imagery, while offering energy efficiency to help maximize overall battery life.
The 5.7-pound weight of the HP is fairly standard for the 17-inch price point, but it measures less than an inch in overall thickness. The addition of a lone USB 3.1 port adds support for high-speed, third-party data devices, including ultrafast data transfer speeds. An HDMI port also adds connectivity options to a larger display or monitor.
Since its release, the Dell Alienware 17 has jumped to the top of reviewers’ lists — including ours. The Alienware 17 boasts remarkable processing power, with its Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, Nvidia GTX 1070, and a 1TB hard drive. The 17.3-inch screen perfectly showcases its 2560 x 1440 resolution and, combined with its powerful 2.1 stereo speakers, creates a fully immersive gaming experience.
The 17’s TactX keyboard features new upgrades, offering 2.2mm of travel, n-key rollover, and storage for over 108-key commands, allowing gamers to maximize their number of actions per minute. In addition to quick tactile responses, the keyboard is reinforced with a steel-back plate, guaranteeing long-term functionality (up to 10 million keystrokes). Additionally, Alienware boasts a 6 cell 99 Wh lithium-ion battery, delivering the maximum amount of battery life legally allowed for this type of battery, and consequently blowing its competition out of the water.
The one downside to this laptop is its bulky design: the 17 is an absolute beast of machinery, weighing almost 10 pounds. The device is too heavy to carry around, but considering the hardware packed inside, the pros certainly outweigh the cons (so to speak).
Operating system - Are you an Apple fanboy or a diehard PC user? While it’s pretty easy to adjust to a new operating system these days, people tend to like to stick to what they’re familiar with. Both operating systems have their merits — with Macs being more intuitive and design-friendly and Windows being more secure and business-savvy — but the choice is truly up to you.
Processor - If you need a PC that can handle heavy-duty work, pay close attention to its processor, or CPU. The battle between the manufacturers AMD and Intel gets fiercer every day, but AMD’s CPUs tend to be a bit cheaper. If money is no obstacle, look at the number of cores it has. More cores equal a faster and more efficient processor and the high-end options out there pack up to eight cores.
Display - On a 17-inch laptop or bigger, displays can be truly dazzling, with wide-viewing angles and brilliant backlit colors. Depending on your preference, there are touch and non-touch options. Resolution can vary, with the most impressive screens measuring around 1920 x 1080 pixels.
Light and slim for its size
Good-quality built-in speakers
Lag in touchpad
Gets warm with sustained use
Frustrating design touches
Our testers loved this laptop’s “big and beautiful” screen, as well as its high-quality built-in speakers. “Combined with the speakers, it's great for watching movies or gaming,” wrote one reviewer. Unfortunately, one of our testers did have some technical issues while using this laptop. “It froze up on me multiple times requiring a hard reset. I noticed that this freezing often happened when I picked the laptop up and carried it, and was often preceded by the monitor flickering in and out.”