Best 17-Inch Laptop Under $500 for Professional Use

Most laptop displays are 13 to 15 inches in size, both options offering decent performance and screen real estate for the average user. Nevertheless, people whose daily work involves processor-intensive and graphics-heavy tasks are better off with a big-screen laptop. Furthermore, a bigger chassis fits more powerful processors and GPUs and offers better heat management. If you're looking to make this investment on a reasonable budget, this ultimate guide will help you find the best 17-inch laptop under $500 for your gaming rig or workstation.

Who Needs a 17-Inch Laptop?

A 17-inch laptop is not your run-of-the-mill machine; it's built for a specific niche, albeit a big one. This full-size, big-screen laptop is ideal for:

  • Gamers who need the snappiest processors and graphics quality and big-screen gaming experience without sacrificing portability.
  • Video professionals and photographers whose intricate work requires a large, high-performance display yet portable to lug along to remote locations.
  • Home and family users who want a big, high-resolution screen that suits everyone when watching movies, playing games or video calling.
  • Business and home office users who need a full-featured and portable PC to replace their desktop computer.
  • Power users who need bigger laptops for special cooling and other necessary features for CAD drawing, video editing and modern number crunching.

The truth is, there are a few compromises you have to reconcile when you go for a big-screen laptop. For starters, it'll be heavier than the typical, smaller models so it might not fit a regular carrying case. It'll also be costlier than other laptops, especially if you get high-end processors and GPUs. More so, the battery might have a shorter life than a laptop with a smaller screen size.

Which is the best 17 inch laptop clearance?

That being said, the best 17-inch laptop under $500 might easily turn out to be the best investment you'll make for your daily computer use. So let's dive into our top picks:

1. ASUS VivoBook 17

Sale
ASUS VivoBook 17.3" FHD IPS LED Backlight Premium Laptop | AMD Ryzen3 3250U | 8GB DDR4 RAM | 256GB...
  • 【Detailed Configuration】Substantial high-bandwidth 8GB RAM to smoothly run your games and photo-...
  • 【AMD Ryzen 3 3250U Mobile Processor】2 cores, 4 threads, up to 3.5GHz. Uplift your performance...
  • 【17.3" FHD IPS Display】The 1920×1080 resolution boasts impressive color and clarity. Supports...
  • 【AMD Radeon Graphics】On-processor graphics with shared video memory provide everyday image...
  • 【Other Features】Its precision-engineered ErgoLift hinge has a silky-smooth dual action that...

KEY FEATURES:

Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3250U Mobile Processor

Graphics: AMD Radeon Graphics

Memory: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM

Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD

Display: 17.3" FHD IPS (1920×1080p)

Weight: 5.07 lbs

The ASUS VivoBook 17 is currently the best 17-inch laptop under $500, giving you the most value in terms of price for features. It's designed for personal use and work-related tasks, with a key focus on performance and portability. It sports an impressively thin profile and weighs just 5.07 lbs. What stands out first is its outstanding 85% screen-to-body, thanks to its enhanced 4-way NanoEdge Full HD IPS display that delivers stunning color and detail to draw you in.

This laptop features an AMD Ryzen 3 3250U mobile processor with up to 3.5 GHz, 2 cores and 4 threads. This powerful processor works in tandem with the 8GB RAM to give your robust performance and the ability to run games, typical applications, rendering, photo and video editing software smoothly. It also comes with a flash-based 256GB SSD for faster runup times, as well as data access with less production. On top of that, it sports the AMD Radeon Graphics that combines with shared video memory to deliver optimal graphical performance when gaming or photo/video editing.

The VivoBook 17 also gives you a fluid and comfortable typing experience, thanks to the precision-engineered ErgoLift hinge. But like most 17-inch laptops, the battery life is a bit underwhelming. Plus, it also runs hot at times, mostly when you're running several intense applications.

  •   Pros
  • Fast, powerful quad-core processor
  • Great portability
  • Improved storage
  • Thin profile
  •   Cons
  • Relatively low battery
  • Runs hot
  • Hinge issues

2. 2021 ASUS VivoBook

2021 ASUS VivoBook Ultra Thin and Lightweight 14'' Full HD Laptop Quad Core AMD Ryzen 5 3500U up to...
  • Asus ultra lightweight & thin Vivobook gets your ready to work from home and study online and...
  • Plenty of high-bandwidth 8GB DDR4 memory is for running games and applications, as well as multiple...
  • Hard Drive is 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive SSD providing massive storage space for huge...
  • 14" IPS LCD display with an anti-glare surface provides a crisp, clear view of your content. Its new...
  • Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) is 3X faster than standard with 75% lower latency for more responsive gaming and...

KEY FEATURES:

Processor: ‎2.6 GHz Ryzen 3 3250u

RAM: ‎8 GB DDR4

Storage: ‎256 GB SSD

Display: 1920x1080p

Weight: 3.75 lbs

If ultra-thin and lightweight are essential elements for you in a 17-inch laptop, then the 2021 ASUS VivoBook is an excellent choice. It's built for both personal and professional use, hence ideal as a home, school or business laptop. Moreover, it comes with numerous amazing features that make it one of the best options out there at the moment.

It features the latest 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen 3 3250U dual-core processor with up to 3.5 GHz, 2 Cores and 5MD L3 Cache. It has high bandwidth 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB PCIe MVMe M.2 SSD storage. These superior components mean you get superior multitasking and gaming performance. Additionally, the 17.3" IPS LCD display with anti-glare coating delivers crisp image quality for a great viewing experience.

The 2021 ASUS VivoBook also features cable-free networking. It's fully compatible with USB 3.1 ports, Type-C ports and 802.11a/b/g/n for ultra-fast data transfer. And not to mention, the slim profile plus the silver color blend perfectly for an attractive and stylish laptop.

  •   Pros
  • Ultra-thin
  • Robust computing power
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Great display
  •   Cons
  • Lacks backlit keyboard
  • Mediocre audio

3. Dell Precision M90

KEY FEATURES:

Processor: 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

RAM: 2GB

GPU: FX1500M

Display: 1440x 900p

Storage: 8.4 lbs

If you're looking for a budget laptop in this range, the Dell Precision M90 is well worth your attention. It's a high-performance notebook workstation, a 5-in-1 media reader that's well suited to content creators, graphics professionals and people interested in high-end graphics. It's a well-designed machine that offers great performance in a solid build with durable components.

The Intel Core Duo processor is definitely not the latest, but it still delivers maximum performance and efficiency. That means it also has a better battery life than most options on this guide. The same can be said of the display, clocking at just 1440x900p, but you will hardly make out the difference with a higher screen resolution.

However, it's worth considering that this is one of the bulkier options, so carrying it around might need a bigger backpack. But what you get with the package is certainly worth the minor trade-off. This is a 17-inch laptop that won't let you down regardless of how you intend to use it.

  •   Pros
  • Good battery life
  • Ideal for gaming
  • Enhanced audio quality
  • Loads and streams fast
  •   Cons
  • Lacks a PC camera
  • DVD drive issues

4. Dell Precision M-6700

KEY FEATURES:

Processor: Intel Core i7

RAM: 16GB DDR3

GPU: NVIDIA Quadro K3000M

If you aren't particularly looking for a high-spec laptop, but rather one that simply gets the job done reliably, the Dell Precision M-6700 is worth your consideration. First, it only weighs fairly lighter than most power gaming laptops, although it offers almost similar performance to power workstation laptops.

It features an Intel Core i7-374QM quad-core processor with a base frequency of 2.7 to 3.7 GHz and 16GB DDR3 RAM that can be upgraded up to 32GB. It's a high-performance laptop designed to give your flexibility and expandability. The 17.3" FHD display is just as outstanding as the rest of its components, ensuring that you get great visuals whether you're gaming, working, watching or browsing.

In addition, the Dell M-6700 comes with Windows 10 Professional (64-bit) pre-installed to get you going right out of the box. This is undoubtedly a great laptop for the price, with all these innovative features designed to meet the demands of today's business world.

  •   Pros
  • Great audio
  • Impressive display
  • Snappy boot speed
  • Decent battery life
  •   Cons
  • Slab-like design might not appeal to everyone
  • A bit pricy

5. HP Flagship Model 17.3"

KEY FEATURES:

Processor: Intel Core i3

GPU: Intel HD Graphics

RAM: 8GB DDR3

Storage: 1TB HDD

Display: 16000x900

Weight: 7 lbs

Our last entry on the list, the HP business flagship laptop 17.3", comes with a 6th Gen Intel Core i3 processor, GB DDR3 RAM and ITB HDD storage. It's suitable for both personal and professional use, assuring you good performance, portability, durability and affordability. Plus, it also comes with a Super Multi DVD burner for more versatility.

It features an HD+SVA BrightView WLED-backlit display, probably not the best screen resolution at 1600x900, and Intel HD Graphics. That said, the display is still pretty neat and holds its own for vibrant picture clarity. This laptop also has a full-sized island-style backlit keyboard that gives you an improved typing experience. It has around a 7-hour battery life with mixed usage, but that reduces on video playback or when running heavy software.

  •   Pros
  • Outstanding portability
  • Brilliant display
  • Okay battery life
  • Solid multitasking
  •   Cons
  • Runs hot at times
  • Might not be best for high-end work

Factors to Consider in the Best 17-Inch Laptop Under $500

1. Processor

The most important aspect is any computer is always the processor. You have one of two options; an Intel or AMD processor. If you don't plan on running heavy programs, you can get by with an Intel Core i3 processor, which offers decent performance and good battery economy, thanks to the lower power consumption. Similarly, AMD's recent Ryzen series is equally worth considering since these laptops have a relatively thin profile.

2. RAM -z

RAM goes hand in hand with the CPU. It determines how well a laptop can run multiple applications at the same time, which is especially critical for people using editing and rendering software. Most laptops nowadays come with DDDR3/4 RAM, and we recommend having at least 8GB to get the best out of your 17-inch machine.

The best part is, RAM can be easily upgraded in most modern machines, so you can always switch up as your needs change.

3. GPU

The Graphics Processing Unit is another important factor to take into account. It relies on two fundamental aspects, graphics card and screen resolution. Most modern laptops come with an integrated graphics card that'll get the job done for the average user.

However, if you need more graphical performance, say for gaming or rendering, you'll have to get a dedicated graphics card. In which case, the Nvidia GeForce series is a good place to start for cutting-edge graphics.

4. Storage

Adequate storage capacity is also critical to ensure that you can save all your files and content internally. The 1TB HDD option is arguably the most common for most 17-inch laptops, although some do come with 500GB. However, if you want faster loading speeds, both for the operating system and apps, you can consider going for Solid State Drive (SSD) storage, starting with at least 256GB.

5. Display

Nowadays, most laptops come with Full HD displays. In which case, we recommend having at least a 1920x1080p screen resolution for good image quality. You can also look at 4K resolution displays, but these might be a tad limited at or under $500.

We also recommend looking at display panels that offer more color accuracy and support a wider color gamut for an enhanced viewing experience overall.

6. Battery Life & Portability

Battery life varies from one machine to the other, depending on various factors, such as usage, the intensity of running tasks, screen resolution and brightness. Unfortunately, 17-inch laptops don't always have the best battery life, despite bigger batteries, mainly because of the bigger screen size and typically high-end components. However, you can still expect around three to five hours.

As much as a 17-inch laptop is relatively heavier than its smaller counterparts, it still shouldn't be cumbersome to carry around. Ultimately, a laptop is partly designed for portability, to allow the user to move around with their machine easily. Therefore, your ideal laptop should have a reasonable weight that doesn't make it challenging to move around with. And since battery life is not particularly the most reliable, you might also need to bring a charger with you more often than not.

7. Connectivity

It's just as crucial to consider at the laptop's connectivity in terms of the type and number of ports it includes. Ideally, it should come with the latest USB ports, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity. The main idea is to ensure that you can connect multiple devices to your laptop.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on 17-Inch Laptops -lm

1. Is this a good screen size for a gaming laptop?

Absolutely. First, the larger 17-inch display gives you wider viewing angles. Second, more screen space combined with great graphics quality and high screen resolution certainly gives you a better gaming experience.

That being said, a $500 budget falls a bit short of the price range for the best 17-inch gaming laptop. If you want the ultimate big-screen gaming experience, you might need to spend a little bit more.

2. Can a 17-Inch laptop fit in a backpack?

Yes. You'll find several laptop backpacks that can fit a 17-inch laptop. Although these laptops tend to be heavier, portability is a breeze with the right backpack. However, the regular ones might be slightly small and harder to fit a 17-inch machine.

3. Is a 17-Inch laptop too big for school?

Yes, to a certain extent. This is definitely a beefy machine, but it's not too big as to bring you problems carrying it to school. Manufacturers understand portability is key to getting the best from a laptop, which also applies to 17-inch laptops.


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