If you’re anything like me, you absolutely love having as big a screen as you can possibly get, and we are absolutely not compensating for anything. At all. Period. In all seriousness though, having a larger screen can help you get into the game and add to the overall immersion. This is especially the case on a laptop, where you’re possibly not going to be playing in a quiet and visually empty environment.
Problem is, it’s hard to find high-grade gaming laptops with a 17” screen. Nonetheless, there are some pretty awesome large screen gaming laptops and ones that you don’t necessarily have to pay an arm and a leg to buy.
So, what are the best 17-inch laptops?
Best Choice: ASUS VivoBook Pro Thin & Light
Pros & Cons
- Thing and light
- Good IPS display
- Great GPU
- Lots of storage
- Battery life not that great
- Hard to upgrade
- CPU: Intel i7-8550U
- GPU: GeForce GTX 1050 4GB
- RAM: 16GB DDR4
- Screen: 17.3" Full HD
- Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD
ASUS VivoBook Pro Thin & Light Review
Often times it’s pretty hard to toe the line between performance and budget, especially when it comes to laptops. Thankfully, Asus has managed a pretty good value laptop in the VivoBook Pro.
While the exterior design may seem pretty simple, this laptop actually managed to pack quite a punch. The GTX 1050 is a reasonably powerful GPU, and it isn’t even Max-Q’d which is certainly a delight. Granted, you aren’t likely to play games on ultra settings, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you can play most games on high.
Similarly, Intel’s 8th gen i7-8550U is pretty powerful and you shouldn’t have any issues running most software, except maybe editing software, although even then it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
The 16GB DDR4 RAM certainly helps in this situation, and is more than enough for any business applications, making this laptop great for both gaming and non-gaming purposes.
Similarly, the absolute ton of storage you get is a massive plus, especially since you don’t see that much storage on even more expensive laptops, and with the 256GB m.2 SSD, things are going to run lightning fast.
Particularly nice on the VivoBook Pro is the FHD screen, which unlike the 15-inch counterpart, has an IPS screen. As such, color reproduction and accuracy are pretty excellent with 87% coverage of the sRGB spectrum.
That being said, it does suffer from some of the common problems of IPS displays, and so response times are a bit on the higher side than I would have liked for a gaming laptop.
Given that it’s a 17” laptop, you get the pleasure of a fully-fledged, although compressed, keyboard. While the keyboard itself is plastic, typing is pretty comfortable with the keys having a short travel distance, and the clickety click sound quite pleasing.
That being said, the decision to make the numpad and arrow keys really narrow will take some getting used to, as it’s a little unintuitive in its design.
The touchpad is pretty responsive and comfortable to use, although I personally don’t like the lack of dedicated buttons for left and right click. On the bright side, the touchpad does include a fingerprint sensor in the top-right corner which can be used to unlock the laptop, as well as support Windows Hello.
Battery life is surprisingly good, with 3-4 hours on movie watching, more than we’re used to on similar types of laptops. Unfortunately, while temperatures of the laptop are ok when idle, under load it tends to get pretty hot, especially in the middle of the keyboard and the underside of the laptop.
Thankfully, the fans do a relatively good job of getting rid of that heat, and they aren’t particularly loud in an averagely noisy environment, so you won’t feel like you’re just about to takeoff from a runway.
Overall, the VivoBook Pro is an excellent value laptop that has middle-of-the-road hardware that can handle most games and applications. Granted, the screen response times aren’t great, but for the price you’re paying, that’s forgivable and a great bargain. Add to that a reasonably good battery life, and you have a laptop that’s going to serve you incredibly well.
Premium Pick: MSI GS75 Stealth-093
Pros & Cons
- Pretty thin for a 17inch laptop
- 144Hz refresh rate
- Great battery life
- Small storage
- Max-Q RTX 2080
- CPU: Intel i7-8750H
- GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2080 8G Max-Q
- RAM: 32GB DDR4
- Screen: 17.3" FHD, 144Hz 3ms
- Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
MSI GS75 Stealth-093 Review
The GS75 Stealth is a pretty awesome laptop all around, and is probably one of the best MSI laptops out there. One of the things that is most impressive here, is how they’ve managed to keep the laptop both thin and light, even though it’s packed to the brim with high-end hardware.
It also looks pretty snazzy but in a very minimalist way, with an all-black design with gold trimmings, including a smaller than usual MSI logo on the back. It’s also a much sturdier design than it’s 15-inch little brother, although that’s likely because it needs to support a much larger screen.
Performance wise, you’re likely not going to find a much better laptop, especially in terms of gaming as it has an RTX 2080 Max-Q. Granted, the Max-Q version is not as powerful, and some not as top-end, non-Max-Q graphics cards can easily compete with it, although it still sits at the top nonetheless.
You certainly shouldn’t have any issues running most if not all games, so it’s not a deal breaker by any means. You’ll certainly need the RTX 2080 Max-Q to push the pretty high end screen, which is Full HD and awesomely 144Hz, something you see often on a laptop.
Given the screen and GPU combo, you’ll likely be getting 90fps, and if you’re willing to go down on the graphical settings a bit, you might even manage to go a bit higher.
That being said, it’s not a 2k or 4k screen, which is a shame for a laptop that costs around $3k, and it doesn’t support G-Sync either, although if we’re being honest, neither of those is a real problem since it’s not going to be easy to support a 144Hz 2k or 4k screen on a laptop.
I should also mention that the screen is IPS, so you’re getting some really awesome color reproduction, and with a reasonable 3ms response time, you’re getting some great performance as well.
The rest of the hardware is also pretty top end, with an Intel i7-8750H with 6-Cores, which should be more than enough to handle most applications, even production software like Photoshop or Pro Tools.
Backing that up is a surprising 32GB of DDR4 ram, another thing you don’t often see on laptops, so you can really have several dozen tabs open on your browser without feeling too much of a pinch. You also get a nice 720p webcam, which isn’t the best and I’d expect a 1080p one on a laptop like this, but it’s probably not something most consumers care about too much.
The keyboard is another standout feature here, with fully RGB keys, as well as per-key lighting if you like a bit more customization with your RGB. Typing is pretty good, although I wouldn’t expect anything less for a keyboard designed in coordination with SteelSeries. The touchpad is equally good, being both roomy and responsive.
The only thing which is really a letdown is the storage space, which is pretty small at 512GB, although it’s an NVMe SSD so it’s pretty fast. The laptop comes with the SSD partitioned into two drives, one for the OS and one for anything else you need.
Personally, I’d suggest buying an external hard drive, since the storage isn’t going to be enough for the kind of games you’re likely to play on the MSI GS75 Stealth.
At the end of the day though, this is a pretty excellent laptop all around, with high end GPU and CPU that can blow any game out of the water. The big, IPS screen, with a high refresh rate also means that AAA games are going to look absolutely stunning. If you want one of the best 17inch gaming laptops out there, this is the one.
Best Value: Dell Inspiron 17 5770
Pros & Cons
- Great price
- Touchpad with fingerprint sensor
- Not very portable
- CPU: Intel i7-8550U
- GPU: AMD Radeon 530
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400MHz
- Screen: 17.3" FHD
- Storage: 128GB SSD+1TB HDD
Dell i5770-7449SLV-PUS Review
For a budget laptop, the Dell i5770-7449SLV-PUS actually has a reasonably hardware package, even though it won’t necessarily blow any other laptops out of the water.
The external casing of the laptop is made of plastic, and it doesn’t feel very premium, although it does reduce the weight a little bit, which we’ll get too a bit later. Inside it’s a tad nicer with a brushed metal finish, so it’s still nice for when you’re using it.
Screen wise it’s pretty good for the price, with Dell opting for a TN, FHD screen. That being said, color reproduction and accuracy isn’t that great, although I wasn’t expecting it to be too ground breaking either. Of course, it is a 17” screen for $1k, so it’s about what you’d expect at that price point.
Thankfully, it does have reasonably good hardware inside. The i7-8550U is a pretty powerful mid-tier CPU, and you shouldn’t have many problems running applications on it. While the AMD Radeon 530 isn’t anything to brag about, it can still run most games which aren’t graphically demanding, such as Overwatch or Fortnite.
It’s also reasonably good at dealing with editing apps, although again, don’t expect anything too stellar.
On the bright side, it does actually have tons of storage, with a 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD. While the 8GB DDR4 RAM might seem a bit low in comparison to other laptops on the list, it’s actually a pretty good number, and you could always look into adding another stick of RAM at some point.
The keyboard is also pretty smooth and comfortable to use, and you’re getting a full-fledged keyboard with a numberpad that isn’t weirdly compressed like with the VivoBook Pro. The arrow keys are a little bit on the narrow side, but since they’re placed really well, it’s not too much of an issue.
As for the touchpad, it’s surprisingly accurate, even though it’s not that big, and the included fingerprint scanner is a nice little touch that helps with convenience.
One big downside I’d like to mention at this point is that the laptop is a little bit on the heavier side, and for something that’s meant to be portable, that’s not great. For the most part, you’re likely going to use it a desktop replacement without moving it around too much, so certainly keep this in mind.
Battery life is pretty good at around 5 hours for general use, although given that you’re not likely to carry it around a lot, I’m not sure that will be much of a comfort. While the Dell i5770-7449SLV-PUS certainly has its issues relative to more expensive laptops, for it’s own price bracket it’s actually a pretty good laptop.
Gaming performance isn’t that great, sure, but if you want a good budget gaming option, this is a good choice. That being said, you can get some really good gaming PCs for $1000 as a desktop, so that’s also an option if weight/portability is a worry for you.
Best Budget: ASUS ROG Strix Scar Edition
Pros & Cons
- Good processor
- Great audio
- Strong GPU
- 120Hz refresh rate
- Fan noise can get pretty loud
- CPU: Intel i7-8750H
- GPU: GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
- RAM: 16GB DDR4
- Screen: 120Hz, 17.3" Full HD
- Storage: 128GB PCIe SSD + 1TB Hybrid HDD
ASUS ROG Strix Scar Edition Review
If you’re looking for another great budget option, the ROG Strix Scar Edition is a pretty great choice, packing in a bunch of awesome hardware to run your games.
For starters we have the GTX 1050 Ti, which can pack quite a powerful punch compared to it’s non-Ti equivalent. Pair that with the Intel i7-8750H and you get yourself a laptop that can handle most applications, whether it’s gaming or not. Granted, you aren’t going to be playing AAA games on the highest settings, but for the price you’re getting it I’d say it’s a great combo.
One thing that I particularly like about this laptop is the screen even though they decided to go with a TN panel. Color reproduction and accuracy is relatively good, but what stands out is the 120Hz refresh rate, which isn’t very common in laptops.
While you likely aren’t going to be able to hit those frames with high graphical settings, it is great for dealing with potential screen tearing that you might get running a spec hungry games on the GTX 1050 Ti.
Storage is another thing I actually like, and given how prone manufacturers are to be a bit stingy with it, the 1TB SSHD is a nice inclusion. As for the RAM, it’s pretty standard for gaming laptops at 16GB, and you shouldn’t run into any problems there.
The typing on the keyboard is nice, with the concave caps giving your fingers some nice support, although if you’re coming from an ultrabook, the longer travel distance can throw you off a bit, but you get used to it.
Of course, you do get a full keyboard with number pad, although the arrow keys are a bit weirdly placed, jutting down slightly from the rest of the keyboard. Thankfully, the numpad isn’t compressed here, so it’s a breeze to use, although again, with the arrow keys interjecting a bit, it might throw you off from time to time.
One thing that can be problematic is the heat, with the majority of it focusing on the top and center on both sides of the laptop. Similarly, while the three fans are pretty quiet during idle, once they start getting up to speed they can become surprisingly loud.
As for the battery, you’re looking at 2-3 hours for watching movies and general use, and about an hour and a half for gaming, which is about standard for gaming laptops. The ASUS ROG Strix Scar Edition is a really good budget laptop and ASUS has done a good job with hardware choice, which isn’t always the case with laptops in general.
Heat does tend to be an issue under heavy use, as are the fans, but given that this is a pretty common issue with gaming laptops, you aren’t going to find much better performance anywhere else. The only big downside is the reliability issues some users have experienced, which is probably why this laptop is ever so slightly on the cheaper side.
Best Keyboard: Omen by HP 17-Inch Gaming Laptop
Pros & Cons
- Great Price
- GTX 1050TI
- 120Hz refresh rate
- Can get pretty hot
- CPU: Intel i7-8750H
- GPU: GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
- RAM: 12GB DDR4
- Screen: 120Hz, IPS, 17.3" Full HD
- Storage: 128GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD
Omen by HP 17-Inch Gaming Laptop Review
If you like the Asus Strix Scar Edition, then you’ll love the Omen by HP, being almost exactly the same computer with a slightly cheaper price and slightly less RAM.
Much like the Strix, the 1050 Ti and Intel i7-8750H are an excellent one-two punch for most video gaming needs. While it won’t do the best job with big AAA titles, you can probably play them with medium to high settings, so there’s still a ton of gaming possibilities.
While the HP Omen 17 doesn’t have an SSHD like the Strix has, it still has a pretty fast 7,200 RPM HDD which should be almost as good, and pretty much the same for simpler titles such as indie games.
While you giving up the SSHD, you also have to give up 4GB of RAM, since the HP Omen comes with only 12GB, a rather strange number if you ask me. Thankfully, you do still get a 120Hz FHD monitor, not to mention that it’s IPS, so it has much better color reproduction and accuracy.
The keyboard is a joy to type on, being backlight and having the WASD keys colored differently for quick identification. You also get a full Numpad, as well as some fully fledged arrow keys, a nice change from their previous version where the arrow keys were a bit small.
Speaking of small, the touchpad is a bit on the average side of size, although I really do appreciate the separate left and right buttons, something I was we saw more often.
So why should go for the HP Omen instead of the Asus ROG Strix? Well, that comes down to your own personal needs. When you go for the Omen, you get a better screen, which is a considerable difference, but you trade in a bit of hardware specs for it.
The bigger thing though is that HP has slightly better reliability and QA, and the customer support is easier to deal with when it comes to RMA if it ever gets to that point, which hopefully it shouldn’t.
17-Inch Laptops: Buying Guide
The biggest issue with choosing a 17” laptop is that there really aren’t that many of those out there. That’s mostly because powering a larger screen requires a bigger battery and a better graphics card, both of which increase the amount of heat a laptop produces. That being said, there are certain things you should consider when buying a laptop.
While CPUs don’t tend to be an issue when choosing a laptop (aside from the fact that more powerful ones produce more heat), you’ll want to keep an eye on the GPU. The GPUs that go into a laptop need to be much smaller than their desktop counterparts, and therefore they tend to be intentionally underpowered.
How you spot that is when you see the term “Max-Q”, which essentially means the GPU has been underclocked for the sake of keeping the laptop from melting any surface it sits on. Now, don’t let that put you off from buying a GPU with “Max-Q” in the name, you just need to be aware that, for example, a GTX 1080 Max-Q is not going to be as powerful as a standard GTX 1080.
Storage and RAM
Obviously the biggest problem when it comes to laptops is their size and the precious real estate inside of them. Due to that, you tend to not see massive amounts of RAM or storage in laptops.
For the most part, 16GB is actually pretty good for a laptop and is pretty standard on higher-end laptops. Some laptops can come in 32GB, but that’s a bit of overkill for a laptop, although if you tend to use a lot of programs at the same time and have a ton of tabs open, it can be super-useful.
As for storage, 1TB to 1.5TB is usually what you’re likely going to see. Personally I don’t see this as too much of an issue, especially since external hard drives are reasonably cheap and not too big. Of course, if you don’t want to carry one around, then you should just be aware of how much storage you’re getting in the laptop you want to buy.
Battery and Heat
Now, the two biggest issues with laptops are battery and heat. First off, let’s tackle the battery. As you can imagine, running a powerful GPU tends to take a ton of power, and as such, it’s pretty hard to find a battery that isn’t the size of a car that can run it for a few hours. The same goes for the 17” laptop screen. That’s why most gaming laptops tend to only have about 2-3 hours worth of battery life, and probably even 1 hour for gaming.
As for the heat, well that shouldn’t be a big surprise. Even mid-tier CPUs and GPUs produce a bunch of heat, and it doesn’t help when you stuff them in the tight space of a laptop and then add a battery and RAM. So you should be aware that 17” laptops, especially gaming ones, can get pretty hot when you’re running them full force. That, or the fans will be running like crazy to help get rid of all the heat, so it could get loud.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Largest Screen Available on a Laptop?
17.3 inches is probably the largest you’ll find that’s available for the majority of consumers. There are also laptops with 18.4” screens, although these are incredibly rare and pretty expensive. At some point, laptop manufacturer Saber made a 20-inch screen version, but it’s discontinued.
Is 4K on a Laptop Worth It?
If you have a large screen like 17” and up, absolutely, but if you’re going for a smaller screen of 13” the proposition becomes pretty dubious since you won’t really see a big difference from 2k or even 1080p.
Even on a 17” screen, 4k takes a lot of processing power to run, so the laptop will need to have a good GPU, which in and of itself makes things more difficult.
Are Touch Laptops Worth It?
Unless you see yourself using a touchscreen often (because you already do), then the answer is probably no. While they do add a bit of functionality, their drawbacks are pretty big, especially on a laptop. For one, it adds a lot of dirt to the screen as hands are generally not super clean, to begin with. Then there’s the issue of battery usage, which increases a lot when you add touchscreen capability.
Ideally, you'd get a high-quality Bluetooth mouse for optimal portability and ease of use.
Is a Bigger Laptop Screen Better?
A larger screen can definitely be helpful if you tend to watch a lot of videos or play a lot of games. That being said, larger screens make laptops less portable, plus they tend to eat up more battery than smaller screens.
And there you have it, a great selection of mostly mid-tier and reasonably priced gaming laptops, to some super-high-end stuff that you’ll probably need to mortgage your house to buy. While you’re at it, don’t forget to get an awesome gaming mouse to enjoy your gaming with. Don’t forget a high-quality gaming headset either, that can come in handy as well.
Whichever choice you go for, I wish you the best of portable gaming and by the way, try not to melt whatever surface you put your awesome gaming laptop on.