The best 17-inch laptop might be ideal if the price of portability is too high. When you get all out for a laptop that's smaller, thinner and lighter, you’re also sacrificing screen real estate, power, and cooling performance.
The beauty of the best 17-inch laptops is that you’re really only sacrificing portability, generally speaking. Bigger chassis means more space in which to fit more powerful components, a better cooling solution, and a much bigger display panel. So, while they aren’t the most portable, they’re just the ticket for intensive tasks such as gaming, programming, and content creation.
Just bear in mind, however, that most of the best 17-inch laptops are better left sitting comfortably on your desk at home or in the office. These notebooks tend to weigh anywhere from 2 to almost 4 kilograms, which isn’t exactly conducive to lightweight commuting. Even the occasional ones that seem to defy gravity, like the LG Gram 17, are still too massive for many people to want to travel with, which could be relevant if you're looking for the best laptops for photo editing that are also practical to carry with your kit.
Luckily, photographers, videographers, and editors are used to lugging around heavy equipment so this isn’t as big of a deal-breaker. And, they’ll benefit from having that massive display – especially when having a dedicated monitor isn’t possible – not to mention, a wider port selection.
Although it can be argued that a few 15-inch and 16-inch laptops now come with the same or equally powerful innards as these behemoths, especially some of the best MacBooks, 17-inch laptops are simply better equipped with a more effective cooling solution to help those components stay cool under pressure and keep them from throttling.
Of course, there’s no one 17-inch size-fits-all laptop out there. When choosing one for your photo and video editing needs, there are a few things to keep in mind. A powerful dedicated graphics card is most important, but having an SD card slot, several port options, and a high-resolution screen are also vital. Keeping those in mind, we’ve rounded up the best 17-inch laptops on the market right now to ease your selection process.
Best 17-inch laptops in 2023
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The Razer Blade 17 is made specifically for creative professionals, even just looking at that eye-watering price tag. But, you’re getting nothing short of premium here, from its sombre yet still renegade look to the high-end specs on hand, which you can upgrade up to an Intel Core i9, RTX 3080 Ti, and 32GB configuration - just the ticket to do that 4K at 120Hz display justice. Well, as long as you’re prepared to pay that steep price, that is. If you are, there are other things to love here, including its variety of ports, vapor chamber cooling for better heat management, and a 1080p webcam for your video meetings with clients and streaming needs.
See our Razer Blade 17 (2022) review
The Dell XPS 17 may be a premium laptop, but every penny of your hard-earned money is well-spent thanks to its breath-taking combination of performance, design, and feature set. You’re getting your money’s worth in other words, especially when you invest in the higher specced configurations that deliver enough power to see you through your photo and video editing workloads while looking effortlessly gorgeous and staying relatively portable at 4.79lbs (2.17kg). And, there’s a ton of features, including a fingerprint reader, infrared camera with face recognition, four Thunderbolt 4 ports, and an SD card reader, that make it a boon to photographers.
The LG Gram 17 slays when it comes to portability and design. This isn’t just among the most lightweight 17-inch laptops out there; this is lighter and thinner than many of the premium 15-inch laptops, which is an impressive feat. Of course, being as thin as it is, it doesn’t have any configurations with discrete graphics on hand. However, its 11th-gen Intel Core processors and Iris Xe graphics are good enough to see you through your less intensive or quick needs - not to mention, daily emails and video meetings with clients - when you’re on the field or on-the-go.
Acer’s Helios line delivers gaming power at a comparatively affordable price when looking at the competition, especially given how much is crammed into these laptops. That also means video professionals can benefit from its clout without necessarily breaking the bank.
Available with Intel Core i7 power coupled with up to 32GB RAM in its top-of-the-line guise, it can rival some of the best laptops around, and thanks to ample storage – up to a 1TB SSD, or a SSD and hard drive double act, it’s a perfect option for 4K footage hoarders.
Like some other gaming laptops, there’s a Turbo button you can hit to overclock performance for intense editing bouts, and there’s also granular control over the fan, so you can ramp it up or down depending on whether you’re in the mood for a cool laptop or a quiet workspace.
See our Acer Predator Helios 300 review
Content creators who enjoy kicking back with the latest and greatest PC games will get a lot of mileage out of the Gigabyte Aorus 17. Don’t worry about the 1080p screen; you’re most likely going to leave this on your desk anyway, which means you can always get a dedicated 4K display later. You’ll benefit not just from its impressive specs (you can get up to RTX 3080 and 64GB RAM), but also its whole array of ports to connect all the peripherals you’ll ever need for your workflow. If you want a powerful laptop for both business and pleasure, here it is.
There are many things to love about the Asus ROG Zephyrus laptops, but we appreciate the 17-inch model for its plethora of features. This is an undeniably expensive laptop, but you’re also getting a lot in return - namely, its unique keyboard that automatically pops up five degrees when you open it, which is also an optical-mechanical keyboard that’s a pleasure to use, and its three NVMe SSD (content creators, after all, needs as much storage space as they can get). Of course, when it comes to performance, it’s an absolute beast, which is true for both creative workflows and gaming. And, while it might not win any best-in-battery awards, it does give you around 5 hours per full charge, which isn’t bad in the world of gaming laptops.
The Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 is poised as one of Lenovo’s contenders in the business laptop market, which makes it a boon for running your own photography business. But, its powerful specs, including the Nvidia RTX A5000 16GB Max-Q, are designed to make creative workflows smooth and seamless as well, which makes this 17-inch notebook perfect for your photo and video editing needs as well. And, the fact that it is rugged makes it the best laptop to take with you when shooting outdoors, especially if you anticipate extreme weather conditions. Of course, if you get the 4K display version, you’ll reap the benefits of a 500-nit panel with Dolby Vision HDR and factory color calibration as well.
How we test laptops
When reviewing a laptop, we assess its internal hardware features, build quality, ergonomics, performance in a variety of usage scenarios, value for money, and its overall suitability for its target buyer. Although we'll evaluate a laptop with a typical user in mind, we will also pay particular attention to the perspective of photo and video enthusiasts, with special focus given to screen quality and color space coverage. Where possible, a monitor calibrator will be used to measure a laptop's display performance to assess whether it matches a manufacturer's claims, and software benchmarks like GeekBench are used to measure a laptop's processor and graphics card capabilities.
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