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The 6 Best Large Dell Laptops for 2024

Are you in the market for a new laptop but crave a bigger screen? Look no further than Dell‘s impressive lineup of 17-inch laptops. These large and in charge machines give you ample space for serious multitasking while packing in powerful hardware under the hood. And with Dell‘s signature build quality and clever engineering, you won‘t have to sacrifice portability for screen real estate.

After thoroughly researching and testing Dell‘s offerings, I‘ve put together this expert guide on the best large Dell laptops you can buy. Whether you‘re a demanding professional, an avid gamer, or simply want the most immersive Netflix experience, there‘s a 17-inch Dell laptop here for you. Let‘s dive in!

The Benefits of Going Big

Before we get to the top picks, you may be wondering: why choose a large laptop in the first place? While they‘re not as easy to slip into a small bag as a 13-inch ultraportable, 17-inch laptops offer some compelling advantages:

  1. Expansive screen for enhanced productivity. The extra screen space is a boon for multitaskers, allowing you to comfortably view multiple windows side-by-side. More viewable area also means more room for toolbars in complex apps like Photoshop or Final Cut Pro.

  2. Jumbo-sized keyboard with numeric keypad. Most 17-inch laptops include a full-size keyboard complete with a numeric keypad, a great convenience for number crunchers. They also tend to have excellent key spacing and travel.

  3. More powerful components. The larger chassis provides more thermal headroom to pack in high-performance CPUs and GPUs for demanding workloads like video editing, 3D modeling, and gaming. Many also include one or more hard drive bays in addition to an SSD.

  4. Immersive entertainment. Bigger screen, bigger sound, bigger fun. A 17-incher with a quality display and speakers offers a cinematic experience for enjoying movies and shows. Some models even integrate a subwoofer for extra bass.

  5. Desktop replacement. A 17-inch laptop can be a viable stand-in for a desktop when paired with an external monitor and peripherals. The best models provide ample connectivity options including Thunderbolt, HDMI, and SD card slots.

Top Picks

Without further ado, here are my recommendations for the best 17-inch Dell laptops:

Best Overall – Dell XPS 17

The crown jewel of Dell‘s laptop lineup, the XPS 17 deftly balances power and portability. The latest model boasts a breathtaking 17-inch InfinityEdge display with your choice of 1920 x 1200 or 3840 x 2400 resolution and ultraslim bezels. But this sleek aluminum beauty has brawn to match its beauty. Under the hood, it offers up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, NVIDIA RTX 3060 graphics, 64GB RAM, and 2TB SSD storage.

Despite those muscular specs, the XPS 17 maintains a reasonably trim profile at 19.5mm thick and starts at just 4.65 pounds. Factor in the excellent keyboard, huge trackpad, booming speakers, and multitude of ports, and you have a dream machine for demanding users of all stripes. The nearly 10-hour battery life is icing on the cake.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous, immersive display with slim bezels
  • Robust performance for intensive tasks
  • Four Thunderbolt 4 ports plus SD card slot
  • Surprisingly portable for a 17-inch laptop
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Eye-watering prices on higher-end configs
  • 720p webcam could be better

Best for Gaming – Alienware X17 R2

Alienware, Dell‘s dedicated gaming brand, pulls out all the stops with the X17 R2. This unapologetic gaming battlestation flaunts a 17.3-inch display with blazing 360Hz refresh rate and your choice of NVIDIA RTX 3060, 3070 Ti, or 3080 Ti dedicated graphics. Processor options go up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900HK and you can pack in up to 64GB of RAM.

While all that power generates serious heat, Alienware‘s "Cryo-Tech" cooling design with four fan intakes and vapor chamber technology keeps thermals in check. Other gaming-centric features include per-key RGB lighting on the mechanical keyboard, customizable LED touchpad, and HDMI 2.1 port for 4K/120Hz output to an external monitor.

At just over 15 inches deep and around 7 pounds, the X17 R2 isn‘t exactly travel-friendly. But for those seeking an uncompromising portable gaming/VR rig, this is as good as it gets.

Pros:

  • Unrivaled gaming performance
  • Advanced cooling system
  • Fantastic high refresh rate display
  • Striking, fully customizable RGB lighting
  • HDMI 2.1 port for next-gen 4K gaming

Cons:

  • Chunky and heavy
  • Loud fan noise under heavy load
  • Configuration costs add up fast

Best for Productivity – Dell Precision 7780

Engineers, architects, data scientists, and other professionals will appreciate Dell‘s most powerful mobile workstation. Configurable with up to Intel Xeon processors, NVIDIA RTX A5500 graphics, 128GB of RAM, and 12TB of storage, the Precision 7780 excels at CAD, 3D rendering, ML/AI, and complex data visualizations.

But it doesn‘t just rely on beefy specs. Dell also includes its "Optimizer" software that uses AI to learn your habits and tune performance and battery life accordingly. There‘s even a special "privacy screen" display option that prevents visual hacking. Rounding out the package are ISV certifications for industry apps, optional 5G connectivity, and extensive ports including HDMI 2.1.

Pros:

  • Blistering performance for demanding workloads
  • ISV certified and supports ECC memory
  • AI-tuned performance and battery optimization
  • Plenty of ports plus optional 5G
  • Privacy screen option

Cons:

  • Very expensive, even before add-ons
  • Lacks consumer niceties like biometrics or slim bezels
  • Plain aesthetics

Best Battery Life – Dell Precision 5770

Don‘t be fooled by the "Precision" moniker – the 5770 is a sleeker, more portable take on Dell‘s mobile workstation with exceptional battery life to boot. With the optional 97Whr battery, you can expect 15-17 hours of mixed use, enough to leave the charger at home. But you‘ll still find plenty of muscle here too, with up to an Intel Core i9-12900H CPU, 64GB RAM, NVIDIA RTX A3000 graphics, and 4TB of storage.

At .77 inches thick and starting at 5.5 pounds, this is one of the most portable 17-inch laptops you‘ll find. The slim aluminum build still finds room for four Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI, and an SD card slot. And creative pros will appreciate the optional 4K touch display with 100% Adobe RGB coverage. While pricier than an XPS 17, the Precision 5770 is a top choice for power users who spend a lot of time away from outlets.

Pros:

  • Class-leading battery life
  • Portable, premium build quality
  • Excellent connectivity options
  • Stunning 4K touch display option

Cons:

  • More expensive than non-workstation 17-inchers
  • No numberpad
  • GPU options more limited vs other Precisions

Best Budget 17-inch – Dell Inspiron 17 3000

For those seeking a capable 17-inch laptop without breaking the bank, the Inspiron 17 3000 series delivers a lot for the money. Starting around $600, you get an expansive 17.3-inch 1080p display, a full keyboard with numpad, and surprisingly robust build quality with metal palm rests.

Processor options range from Intel Core i3 up to i7 and AMD Ryzen 5 and 7, with integrated Intel or AMD graphics. Up to 32GB RAM and 2TB storage (HDD, SSD, or both) cover typical needs, and there‘s even a DVD drive for legacy support. While you‘ll have to accept some compromises like a dimmer 220-nit display and no biometric login, the Inspiron 17 3000s are solid desktop replacements for general home/office use.

Pros:

  • Large 1080p display for an affordable price
  • Highly configurable specs
  • Sturdy construction
  • Has legacy ports like HDMI, USB-A, Ethernet, and DVD

Cons:

  • Thicker and heavier than pricier 17-inchers
  • Lackluster TN display with limited viewing angles
  • No USB-C ports on some models
  • Middling battery life (5-7 hours)

What to Look For in a Large Dell Laptop

When shopping for a 17-inch Dell, consider these key factors:

  1. Display – Resolution is just one piece of the puzzle. Also weigh qualities like color accuracy, brightness, contrast, viewing angles, and touch/pen support for your given use case.

  2. Performance – Pick a CPU, RAM, and storage combo that will comfortably meet your needs, but avoid overpaying for power you won‘t use.

  3. Graphics – Gamers and creative pros should opt for a dedicated GPU. For general use, modern integrated graphics are fine.

  4. Battery life – 17-inch systems have room for large batteries but more power-hungry components. In general, 8+ hours is good.

  5. Weight and size – The best models minimize heft and bulk without sacrificing connectivity or thermal management.

  6. Keyboard and trackpad – A quality keyboard with good tactile feedback makes long typing sessions a breeze. Look for a Microsoft Precision trackpad for responsive multi-touch gestures.

  7. Connectivity – More ports mean greater flexibility. A Thunderbolt 4 port covers all bases, and a USB-C power delivery port lets you charge and connect a display over a single cable.

  8. Biometrics – A fingerprint sensor or IR camera for face recognition speeds up logins and keeps your data safe.

The User Experience

Using a large Dell laptop is all about embracing the screen real estate. Once you taste the freedom of having multiple apps open side by side on a big, immersive display, it‘s hard to go back. And while some 17-inch models get carried away with size and heft, Dell‘s top offerings find a sweet spot between performance and portability. With the recommended models above, I had no trouble toting them to coffee shops or the office. They even fit on most airplane tray tables, though I wouldn‘t want to use one in a confined economy seat.

When you‘re ready to buckle down on serious work, these laptops are a joy to use. The full desktop-style keyboards with numpads feel great for extended typing sessions, and the generous touchpads provide ample room for navigating and gestures. I also appreciated the robust port selection on models like the Precision 7780, which let me connect to a dock and run multiple monitors and peripherals with a single cable.

While large laptops once required significant comprises, today‘s 17-inch Dell systems prove you can have your cake and eat it too. With all-day battery life, compact designs, gorgeous displays, and more power than many desktops, these machines are a top choice for anyone who refuses to feel constrained by their computer. Whether you‘re a creator, executive, gamer, or simply an uncompromising user, there‘s a perfect 17-inch Dell laptop waiting to meet your needs.