Best 17-Inch and Larger Laptops

Desktop replacements are the most powerful of the mobile laptops. These systems pack in the features and functions that make them competitive with desktop computers. With the increasing performance of smaller systems, more and more of the 17-inch systems have becomes specialized with a focus on mobile PC gaming. Based on my research and experience, here are the top desktop replacement laptops that use 17-inch and larger screens for a variety of different budgets, features and uses.

Best Value - Lenovo IdeaPad Y700

Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 17-inch Gaming Laptop PC
Lenovo IdeaPad Y700. ©Lenovo

Picking a value system in the 17-inch category is a lot more difficult now. This is because the majority of these systems are designed for gaming and performance and thus have higher price tags. Instead of just strict price, I am judging it based on the features and performance in addition to the price. With a price of roughly $1200, the Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 offers a nice balance of features without costing too much. It features a fast Core i7-6200HQ quad-core processor and GeForce GTX 960M graphics making it capable of just about any task you might have. It is relatively thin at just over an inch but still relatively heavy thanks to its durable construction. Performance is also boosted compared to previous models thanks to the inclusion of a 128GB SSD with a 1TB hard drive instead of using a solid state hybrid drive although that is still an option on some models.

Best Gaming - Alienware 17 R3

Alienware 17 R3 (2015)
Alienware 17 R3 (2015). ©Dell

Most people looking to get a 17-inch laptop generally want it for gaming. They are also looking for extreme performance. The problem is the highest performing gaming systems generally have to be plugged in anyways because they can't last on batteries. If that is the case, why not have the option for desktop class graphics. This is what sets the Alienware laptops from the rest with the Graphics Amplifier that allows a desktop PCI-Express graphics card that can drive either the internal or external display. That is an expensive option but even without it, the system using the latest 6th generation Core i7 processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M or 980M graphics processors provide excellent gaming performance. Of course, the system is quite heavy at eight and a third pounds but once again most people game plugged in and just need to carry it between locations.

Best Portability - MSI GS70 Stealth Pro

MSI GS70. ©MSI Computer Corp.

More and more companies are starting to produce thinner and lighter 17-inch laptops to try and make them as portable as possible. MSI has done a superb job at making an extremely thin and light system with the GS70 Stealth Pro yet not sacrificing performance. It is just .85-inches thick and weighs under six pounds but managing to include a Core i7-6700HQ quad-core processor and GeForce GTX 970M graphics for blistering gaming performance. To speed things along, it even features a 128GB solid state drive for fast boot and load times. Don't worry, there is another one terabyte hard drive for data storage. About the only downside is that it can run a bit hot at times and the screen is not as nice for color and brightness as some newer systems.

Best Battery Life - Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Touch

Dell Inspiron 17 5759 17-inch Touch Laptop PC
Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Touch. ©Dell

With such an emphasis on performance and the larger more energy demanding screens, 17-inch laptops are typically not that well known for their long battery life. Dell seems to realize that some people want longer running times such that they designed their Inspiron 17 5000 Touch around lower voltage processors such that it can get over six hours of digital video playback. That is fifty percent longer than most 17-inch laptops. It even features a touchscreen display which most companies have avoided. Of course, performance is much lower because of the low power consuming dual core processor such that it is only suited really as a general purpose machine as it relies on internal graphics. Pricing starts well under $1000, unlike most other 17-inch systems.

Best Display - Acer Aspire V17 Black Edition

Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition 17-inch Gaming Laptop
Acer Aspire V17. ©Acer

Acer is not a brand that one typically thinks of for high-end displays, particularly in laptops. The Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition is surprisingly thanks to the inclusion of an IPS based 17-inch display panel that offers an incredible level of brightness, color and viewing angles right out of the box. This makes the system an excellent choice for anyone that would like a high-quality screen for doing graphics work. The system also comes with some solid performance thanks to the Core i7-6700HQ quad-core processor and sizable 256GB solid state drive. The system is also quite compact with a one-inch thickness and 6.8-pound weight. The big downside is that it has a relatively short battery life.

Honorable Mention, Best Display: ASUS ROG G752

ASUS ROG G752. Courtesy of

While designed as a gaming system, the ASUS ROG G752 series does offer a very impressive IPS display panel as well. Out of the box, it does not have as accurate color or the same level of brightness as the Acer but it is still very good and after some calibration is extremely impressive. Graphics performance is also better from a GTX 970M but it is slower from a hard drive rather than SSD. The big downside is that it weighs almost three pounds more than the Acer.


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