Laptops come in different sizes and technology. But as bezels get slimmer and construction gets thinner, should I buy a 17 inch laptop? Size is just one aspect to consider here among other factors including technology, use, and features.
Typically, laptops range from 12 to 15 inches, but with the clamor for larger screens, technology companies gave birth to 17-inch screens. This is a crowd favorite among programmers who are yearning for larger screens to code, develop websites, and create killer graphics.
Considering the screen size
For travelers and those looking for convenience, 17-inch laptops might be a bit of a bummer. Even if the construction is thin, the screen size can still be a challenge when it comes to transportation and storage in typical bags.
However, big screens are champs when it comes to visuals. But if you’re just using a 17-inch laptop for the modest tasks you have, you’re better off with something smaller. Besides, it’s not worth the backache and hassle to have a large laptop in tow if you have no specific purposes to it other than having a large display.
With this, I’d like to point out that 17-inch laptops aren’t just about the size. With a larger build, these computers can house more hardware and cooling systems for optimal use.
Pros and cons of a 17 inch laptop
Even though many aren’t fans of big laptops, there are tons of advantages to investing into one. Here are some of the benefits together with some gripes that I found along the way.
Large screen. If you don’t have an external monitor to use, a 17-inch laptop would be an excellent choice. The wider screen allows better visibility, especially for businesses that are into visual products. For example, if you’re a photographer, a larger screen will make it easy for you to show work pictures to customers.
More room for hardware. These large laptops aren’t just made for large visuals. The bigger build gives more room for cooling hardware needed for high powered graphics processors. It’s also the best buy for gamers who need large panels and high-performing graphics processors.
Better memory. Like what I said earlier, the screen size also allows more space for hardware installation. This includes more RAM slots, drivers, and other powerful additions that improve the performance of the computer. All of these translate to max speed and memory.
Better than desktops. If you want the screen size and performance of a desktop but in a portable version, the 17-inch laptop is your best suit. You can get a device with the highest possible configuration without the need to switch to a desktop from time to time.
Bulky and heavy. Some 17-inch laptops tend to be bulkier and heavier than most of its counterparts. This is one reason why some users shy away from the additional inches on the screen. For travelers who pack light, a 17-inch gadget could be cumbersome and space-consuming. So should I buy a 17 inch laptop? It’s up to your needs.
Not always the best choice. If you’re a student who only uses basic word processors and browsers, buying a 17-inch laptop may not be an optimal decision. If you don’t see yourself performing more complicated processes like programming, graphics, video editing and the likes in the future, it’s best to try smaller laptops first. Still, this is a matter of preference and convenience.
A bit large for the road. If you’re traveling while working, having a 17-inch laptop fit on your lap can be a challenge. This is also true if you’re sitting on a plane and squeezing it on the tray table.
Resolution and color accuracy
Like what I said earlier, there’s more to 17-inch laptops than its screen size. The most important thing is the resolution and color accuracy. For someone who’s editing or processing multimedia files, this is a must-check.
If you don’t mind having a bulky machine, always look for an IPS (in-plane switching) or IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) panels. These yield crisp and sharp colors and better contrast than the usual all-around laptops.
These types of panels also have the widest off-center viewing angles for an impressive visual advantage. If you plan to use this at work or for gaming, you’ll likely benefit from choosing either IPS or IGZO.
Touch screen feature, anyone?
When it comes to 17-inch laptops, the touch screen feature is usually unpopular. This is true even for work and gaming setting. This is because non-touch screen versions offer more control over the mouse, pixel by pixel.
If you are to buy a 17-inch laptop, forget the touchscreen idea and focus on getting at least a 1080p resolution. This is the bare minimum for gamers and those who work on multimedia content. Still, you can weigh the pros and cons of a 17 inch laptop if you really want the touchscreen feature.
This can mimic the desktop experience, especially for workstations where small laptops are total goners.
Memory and storage
The defining feature of every laptop is its CPU. What’s under the hood is as important as what you see onscreen. For 17-inch laptops, the Intel Core i7 is the top option for gamers and businesses alike. If you want a more powerful processor, the Intel 8th generation version with at least four processing cores would be a champ.
However, you should know that the 8th generation Intel is very costly, not to mention the possible arrival of the 9th generation in the coming years.
There are also great options from the Ryzen processor but quite unpopular for many due to the glitches recorded by some users.
Personally, I’m not a fan of Apple processors, but if you are, there’s nothing bad about sticking to the Apple brand. Mac boasts a user-friendly, intuitive, and exclusive option while the usual Windows are familiar faces in businesses and the academe. Should I buy a 17 inch laptop? Should it be Mac or Windows?
There’s a long-standing argument about which is best among the two. My opinion here is that it’s best to stick to something you’re familiar with. Also, explore other processors, but invest at your own risk.
One reason why Mac laptops are a bit unpopular is its high cost. Some loyal Mac users justify this by emphasizing top-dollar hardware and software options. But in the point of view of someone who has used both, Mac does come with interesting technologies as well as some limitations.
If you only have a small budget, you’re stuck with an Apple laptop that you simply can’t upgrade. As compared to cheap 17-inch non-Mac counterparts, it’s obvious that you have better options.
What are you looking for?
Before you purchase any laptop, it’s important to know what you actually want or need. Each brand will have something to offer but your choice will depend on the purpose. Laptops can come in Chromebook, Mac, Windows, and other operating systems.
Always consider the amount of RAM in the laptop. This will dictate how strong the computer is when it comes to handling multiple processes at a time. The heavier the load is, the bigger the RAM should be. Also, check the number of ports present. Does it have an HDMI slot? How about a DVD/CD burner? All these will make a big difference when it comes to functionality. Always weigh the pros and cons of a 17 inch laptop before purchasing.
Best 17-inch laptops to consider
If you’re scouting for the best options, I’ve reviewed here some of the frontrunners in the market. I’ve also searched for a budget-friendly option as well as the best find for gamers and businesses.
|17-INCH LAPTOP||LAPTOP NAME||KEY FEATURES||EXPERT
|17-inch Asus |
|>1080p Full-HD |
940MX graphics card
>16GB DDR 4 RAM
>256 GB SSD
|Dell Alienware 17 |
|>Intel Core i7 7th Gen|
>8 GB DDR4 RAM
>1 TB hard drive
>2560 x 1440 res
|HP 17-Inch X116DX||>Intel Core i5 |
>8 GB RAM
>1600 x 900 res
17-inch Asus VivoBook Pro
Look-wise, this Asus VivoBook Pro can give Apple a run for its money. It has the same thin construction and professional finish. If you’re looking for a larger version of the popular Macbook, this is the closest you can get. Display-wise, this is a champ at 1080p Full-HD paired with a high-powered NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card.
Its overall construction is just .8 inches so expect a super slim computer that you can easily slide into a thin briefcase. So should I buy a 17 inch laptop? The Asus VivoBook might be the answer.
The Asus VivoBook Pro is a powerhouse laptop that sports an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor paired with 16GB of DDR 4 RAM. To give you the bigger picture, most budget laptops nowadays only have 4GB RAM which makes the VivoBook Pro the best-upgraded option. Its processor speed is in turbo of up to 4 GHz with a 256 GB SSD so the processor won’t slow down.
Performance-wise, this has a USB-C output that can transfer data at a speed of 5 GB per second. Considering all these features, it’s safe to say that this laptop is fit for gaming, business, and for students performing complicated computer processes.
Dell Alienware 17 Gaming Laptop
For gamers out there who are planning to invest in a 17-inch laptop, the Dell Alienware 17 is the next big thing. It boasts a 7th generation Intel Core i7 with an 8 GB DDR4 RAM. Aside from that, this is also powerhouse storage with a 1 TB hard drive.
Its 17.3-inch screen has a magnificent resolution of 2560 x 1440 perfect for an immersive gaming experience. This is paired with 2.1, stereo speakers for crisp and clear sounds.
The excellent tactile response is worth the recognition since players can maximize more actions per minute. To ensure that the keyboards will stay functional for long, it’s constructed with a steel back plate that can endure up to a million keystrokes.
Worried about energy efficiency? To be fair, 17-inch laptops are known to be power suckers. For this HP laptop, a 6-cell 99 Wh Lithium-ion battery is used for optimal power and battery life.
HP 17-Inch X116DX
If you’re on a budget but still want to have a decent laptop, the 17-inch X116DX offer of HP will be a strong choice. It may not be close to what top-dollar computers can offer, but it is a nice pick in its own right. Working using Intel Core i5 with a 1 TB hard drive and 8 GB RAM is already enough to support usage of students and businesses.
This laptop also comes with a DVD/CD burner plus a resolution of 1600×900. Overall, this is more than decent in terms of imagery, energy efficiency, and the pros and cons of a 17 inch laptop.
Construction-wise, this still falls under an inch when it comes to thickness but a bit heavy for its 5.7-pound weight. I guess this is just the right bargain considering the addition of a single USB 3.1 port for ultrafast data transfer.
The bezel of this laptop is of medium size and the appearance is sleek enough to suit offices and school settings. Besides, this is more than what you pay for an affordable price tag.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of 17-inch laptops here, I have added points for you. This may or may not apply to you depending on your preference.
➕Buy the laptop personally. If you can and if convenience allows, check the laptop in person in a brick-and-mortar store. If you are to order online, always purchase from stores that will allow you to send the product back in the event of factory defects.
➕Shop around first. Never settle for a 17-inch laptop just because it has a factory price. You may find a more expensive piece but with more specs that meet your needs. Letting a few more bucks slip is worth it in the long run.
➕Always check connectivity. Personally, this is one of the purchasing factors for me. Even if a 17-inch laptop is thin and light enough for convenient use, I’m willing to trade a few millimeters for added ports and DVD drivers.
➕Think of the future. Right now, your laptop looks like a newly released car model. But in a matter of two years, it will soon get out of trend. Make sure that you can upgrade the RAM and other hardware in the future if needed.
So should I buy a 17 inch laptop? Yes, if it’s for the right purpose and intention. In the end, it will all boil down to your preference and budget.