Last updated: August 11, 2021

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17 inch laptops are among the largest and most powerful laptops on the market. They are available in many variations and are the perfect companion for both stationary use and on the road for longer trips. 17 inch laptops are particularly suitable for gaming, productive work and for enjoying versatile multimedia applications.

With our large 17 inch laptop test 2021 we want to help you find the right product for your requirements. We have compared gaming laptops, multimedia laptops and ultrabooks with each other and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision easier.




The most important facts

  • 17 inch laptops are the largest laptops on the market and are available in different price ranges. They are suitable for all people who rely on a large screen and high performance.
  • Basically, 17 inch laptops are divided into gaming laptops, multimedia laptops and ultrabooks. Gaming laptops stand out because of their performance, while ultrabooks have a long battery life and are pleasant to take on the road because they are lightweight. Multimedia laptops are all-rounders and convince with their versatile application possibilities.
  • Other important purchase criteria are the operating system, the type and quality of the display, the type and number of interfaces and the presence of a DVD or CD drive.

The Best Laptop 17 Inch: Our Picks

In the following we have selected six different 17 inch laptops for you. Each laptop has different features, so you can compare according to your criteria and choose your favourite.

Laptop 17 inch: buying and evaluation criteria

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible 17 inch laptops. The criteria you can use to compare 17 inch laptops with each other include:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in the individual criteria.

Battery life

An important purchase criterion for laptops is battery life. This differs depending on the type of product. With gaming laptops, the battery life is shorter than with multimedia laptops or ultrabooks because of the high power consumption. Ultrabooks convince with the best battery life and are the ideal companion for travelling.

Here you should know for which predominant purpose you want to buy a 17 inch laptop. The average battery life can often be found in the product description. If this is not the case, at least an indication of the battery's capacity in watt-hours or milliampere-hours is given. These sizes can be converted into each other.

The higher the milliampere hour number, the longer the battery will last. To be on the safe side, read the customer reviews for the respective product.

Performance

The processor is crucial for the working speed of your laptop. Most laptops on the market are equipped with AMD and Intel processors. Intel has i3, i5, i7 and i9 processors. I3 and i5 processors are sufficient for office applications and surfing. For intensive graphics applications, i7 and i9 processors are important for smooth operation at maximum settings.

In addition to CPU performance, the graphics card and RAM are also crucial for performance.

The main memory stores data that must be quickly retrievable. This is often 4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB. At 4 GB, many applications may not work simultaneously without delays. The higher the RAM, the more multitasking the laptop is.

Especially for high-resolution games, the built-in graphics card is crucial. Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards are often installed in the products. There are countless variations here. There are benchmarks for the respective graphics cards on the internet that show you which applications and games are possible with which graphics settings.

Screen

Depending on the use, the resolution of the display is very important for 17-inch laptops. For graphics-intensive games, the display should have at least a Full HD resolution (1920*1080 pixels). For email, office and surfing, a lower resolution is sufficient. Nevertheless, a full HD resolution is recommended for editing photos, videos and films, as otherwise the image can become blurred.

The brightness and contrast of the screen are also important criteria when playing games or watching films. The display should not be too dark and should not reflect too much so that everything can be recognised even in bright light.

Many displays have an IPS panel, which ensures viewing angle independence and colour fidelity.

TA panels are also often installed. Compared to the IPS panel, these are characterised by a fast response time of less than 1ms when changing colours and are therefore very interesting for gamers. However, the display is viewing angle dependent and the colour fidelity is below average compared to IPS panels.

Weight

Depending on the intended use, the weight of the product can be an important purchase criterion. Will the 17-inch laptop be used mainly on the move or stationary?

Ultrabooks are very easy to transport at around 1.5 kg, but gaming laptops are among the heaviest and can weigh up to 3 kg. In terms of weight, multimedia laptops are somewhere between ultrabooks and gaming laptops.

Here you should find a balance between performance and weight, whereby ultrabooks can also be strong all-rounders. However, the purchase price is correspondingly high.

Ports and drive

Ports are necessary to connect non-wireless accessories such as a computer mouse, USB stick or micro SD card to the laptop. A USB port is built into every conventional laptop. There are different variants, such as USB 2.0 or 3.0, which differ in the speed of data transfer. Some products only have USB-C ports.

When buying a laptop, make sure that it has enough USB ports to meet your requirements.

Furthermore, some laptops have a Thunderbolt 3 port. This looks exactly like a USB-C port, but has a lightning bolt symbol next to the port.

With the appropriate Thunderbolt cable, transfer speeds of 40 Gbit/s can be achieved, four times faster than with USB 3.2 ports. Another important port is an HDMI interface for connecting the laptop to a projector, monitor or TV.

Many laptops do not have an optical drive because improved technology allows data to be stored digitally, for example via a USB stick. An optical drive is used to store, burn and play CDs and DVDs. Alternatively, an external drive can be connected via a USB port. If an optical drive is important to you, check whether one is built into your laptop.

Hard drive

The hard drive stores data such as documents, pictures and games on your laptop. There is a basic distinction between a solid state drive (SSD) and a hard disk drive (HDD). New laptops almost only have an SSD hard drive integrated, as these are more robust and less susceptible to mechanical faults.

The big advantage over HDD hard disks is the read and write speed, which is 5 times as fast, and a significantly shorter access time. Thus, the operating system boots up in seconds with an SSD hard drive. The advantage of an HDD, however, is the larger storage capacity.

For normal use, a 512 GB SSD hard disk is completely sufficient. If a lot of data is to be stored, a laptop with 1 TB storage capacity is recommended. In addition, if the storage capacity is insufficient, an external SSD hard drive can be connected. This requires a USB 3.0 interface or higher to enable fast data transfer.

Operating system

The vast majority of 17-inch laptops are equipped with the Microsoft Windows 10 version. A distinction is made between the Home and Pro versions. The Home version is absolutely sufficient for everyday use. The Pro version comes with some extra functions.

The most important ones are Bitlocker encryption, Remote Desktop Connection and a few other functions for professional use. With the help of Bitlocker encryption, drives can be encrypted and all applications can be put into lock mode if the device is lost.

Remote Desktop Connection allows you to access another Windows device, for example your work laptop or computer from home. Upgrading to the Pro version is very easy, but there is a surcharge.

Laptop 17 inch: Frequently asked questions and answers

In the following, we address the most important questions about 17 inch laptops. After reading this guide, you will get a more comprehensive insight into 17 inch laptops.

Who is a 17 inch laptop suitable for?

A 17 inch laptop is suitable for anyone who needs a large and powerful laptop for office use, surfing, multimedia and gaming, and who wants to be mobile. It is also the ideal companion for your studies or training.

17-inch laptops are ideal for both professional and private use. (Image source: unsplash / Sincerely Media)

17 inch laptops are convincing due to their performance, their versatile use and their screen size and thus also serve as a replacement for stationary computers. Wireless networks make it easy to connect laptops to WLAN routers and other devices and enable simple data exchange.

Because of their screen size, these laptops are among the largest on the market, making them ideal for older people with difficult vision. Often the accusation is that they are too heavy to carry around. But the market has changed, because the very light ultrabooks have also eliminated this problem.

What types of 17 inch laptops are there?

If you want to get a 17 inch laptop, you can choose between a gaming laptop, a multimedia laptop or an ultrabook. To help you decide, the advantages and disadvantages of each type of product are summarised in a table below.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Gaming laptop powerful processor and graphics card, at least Full-HD screen, excellent performance for all intensive applications such as CAD programs and high-resolution games high price, often high weight
Ultrabook powerful and lightweight, ideal for longer trips or long commutes, very long battery life, performance sufficient even for intensive applications high price
Multimedia laptop strong all-rounder, best suited for surfing, watching films, office and on the road, good battery life, good price-performance ratio no top performance in games and complex programmes

The advantage of a gaming laptop is its performance. Intensive applications such as CAD programs and high-resolution games run on the laptop without delays. The display and graphics are on a high-end level and also ideal for watching films and series.

The ultrabook convinces with its low weight and is ideal for travelling. The battery life is often very long and the performance is also suitable for complex applications. Surfing, watching videos and films and working is child's play with the Ultrabook. If you are on the road a lot, then the Ultrabook is for you.

Laptop 17 Zoll

Gaming laptops offer the best performance for all applications and games and are also sufficiently illuminated in the dark. (Image source: Unsplash/ Fredrick Tendong)

The multimedia laptop is a strong all-rounder and suitable for all applications due to its high performance. The battery life is about 8 hours on average. This makes the laptop well suited for on-the-go use. If you are looking for a laptop that masters all applications well and has a good price-performance ratio, then we recommend a multimedia laptop.

What alternatives are there to 17-inch laptops?

Basically, there are also gaming laptops, ultrabooks and multimedia laptops with a size of 15 inches, 13 inches or even smaller. For laptops smaller than 17 inches, there are also special business laptops and so-called convertibles (also called 2-in-1 laptops). These are flexible and function simultaneously as a laptop and a tablet.

  • Business laptops: Business laptops are particularly thin and light and are especially suitable for your business, school or studies. They impress with long battery life, fast boot-up and solid performance.
  • Convertibles: Convertibles stand out from other laptops because of their functionality and also function as tablets. They bring together the simplicity of a tablet and the performance of a laptop.

Due to their low weight, both business laptops and convertibles are perfect for transport and allow flexible working. They impress with a good battery life and fast performance.

What are the minimum requirements for a 17-inch laptop for certain applications?

Besides the usual applications, there are more complex programmes that only work properly with certain system requirements. These include CAD programmes, image and video editing software and games.

Laptop 17 Zoll

CAD applications can be used to construct and modify computer-aided geometric models that are used to manufacture a product such as an aircraft. (Image source: unsplash/ Sigmund)

Minimum requirements:

  • For CAD: The manufacturer of the well-known software AutoCAD recommends a Windows operating system from Windows 7, a processor performance of more than 3GHz and a working memory of at least 8 GB. The graphics card should have at least 1 GB GPU with a bandwidth of 29 Gbit/s and be compatible with DirectX 11.
  • For gaming: For gaming, the integrated graphics card is crucial for performance. It must have its own graphics memory with a size of at least 4 GB. In addition, your laptop should have at least an i7 processor with 4 cores. The display should have at least Full HD resolution and a refresh rate of at least 60 Hz.
  • For image editing: For Adobe Photoshop, the laptop must have at least an Intel or AMD processor with 64 bit support and a processor speed of 2 GHz or more. In addition, the 64-bit version of Windows 10 and 8 GB of RAM are mandatory. The graphics card must also support DirectX 12 and have a memory of 2 GB or more. The monitor resolution must be at least 1280*800 pixels.

Is a 17-inch laptop with 1600x900 pixels suitable for HD?

HD resolution is defined as 1280*720 pixels or higher. Accordingly, a display with a resolution of 1600*900 pixels is suitable for HD.

Conclusion

17-inch laptops are versatile in their use and are basically equipped with good hardware. Due to their screen size, they are particularly suitable for working and playing games. Their mobility sets them apart from desktop PCs and is increasingly in demand.

There is a wide choice of gaming laptops, multimedia laptops and ultrabooks, and the price range is high. You can choose your 17-inch laptop according to your preferences based on the purchase criteria performance, battery life and weight. If you are on a tight budget, you can still get a used product.

Image source: Guillem / 123rf

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