When purchasing a new laptop, several factors can affect your choice. From specs, brands, color to measurement, these considerations can make it challenging to select which one is best for you.
However, when it comes to laptop size, the two most popular choices are 15-inches and 17-inches; both offer various features, performance, and portability. While many people would say the bigger the screen, the better, that isn’t always the case.
In this article, we will discuss the difference between 15 vs 17 inch laptop, who they are for, and the pros and cons of using them, so you can choose which laptop size is right for you.
15 Inch Laptops - Who Are They Best For?
15-inch laptops are perfect for anyone who plans to carry their computers with them wherever they go. This type of laptop is light, thin, and more compact, which is why it is more portable than 17-inch ones. This is because laptops in this size range tend to be thinner and lighter, which is why the additional weight in your bag won’t be too noticeable.
Buying a 15-inch laptop offers a lot of benefits, especially if you need something convenient. The size is perfect for people on the go, so it is ideal for students, office workers, digital nomads, or people who love to play games at their friends’ homes. The portability of 15-inch laptops is unmatched for people who commute to college.
Compared to 17-inch laptops, 15-inch ones are a much more affordable option. If you‘re on a budget and want a computer with good specs, this is for you. You can still get excellent components and value for your money, making them a great value choice.
However, they might lack some performance power and tend to heat faster than a larger-sized laptop. They also have a smaller screen, which can sometimes be a dealbreaker for video editors, gamers, or anyone who requires a huge display. For example, if you're a hardcore programmer, you may need a bigger screen.
Lastly, you should note that this type of laptop is not suitable for workers who run intensive editing software or gamers playing CPU and GPU-intensive apps. While it can run the program, it won’t run as well as a larger laptop with GPU. Still, it should be fine with some projects and allow gamers to play some of their favorite games.
17 Inch Laptops - Who Are They Best For?
17-inch laptops offer a variety of features that would benefit different types of users. For example, their larger size creates more room for better components, such as a more extensive cooling system. They also come with a larger screen, making them ideal for gamers and editors since they don’t have to use another monitor.
Since this type of laptop often has a better cooling system for gaming and high-end programs, it can also run GPU processes more effectively than its 15-inch counterpart. This means that you can run games at higher visual settings without encountering any problems.
In addition, since it has a better GPU, it can handle programs that usually take up a lot of the laptop’s performance. This makes it a better choice for people who always run heavy programs. If you don’t travel too often, this can also make an excellent alternative for gaming desktops.
Since 17-inch laptops are not portable, they are great for people who tend to leave their computers at home. However, it would not be a good decision to walk around with it, as they tend to be very heavy. Apart from that, the power bricks that come with them are bulky and annoying to transport.
Lastly, 17-inch laptops aren’t just bigger; they are also more expensive. So if you’re choosing this type of laptop, create a firm budget and do your best to stick with it so you won’t go out of range. Otherwise, you will be paying a substantial amount that can drain your bank account.
15 Vs 17 Inch Laptop: Which Tasks Are They Best For?
A 15-inch laptop vs a 17-inch laptop may only be two inches apart, but the difference in screen size can affect their performance, which can make or break your experience. This is why you need to consider various aspects before buying one. Here are some of them:
Portability & Ease To Carry
When it comes to portability and ease of carrying, 15-inch laptops are the apparent winner. They are lighter and thinner, which makes them easy to carry around in your bag. On the other hand, 17-inch laptops are heavier and have a bigger power brick, which can be difficult to bring. So if you need a portable laptop, go for a 15-inch option.
17-inch laptops tend to have more powerful components, which gives them a premium price tag. On the other hand, 15-inch laptops can’t house bigger parts, making them an affordable choice. In fact, you can get a 15-inch laptop for as low as $300, unlike 17-inch ones that start at $500, depending on the specs.
To understand how these two types of laptops differ in specs, we have listed two Razer laptops with different screen sizes.
Razer Blade 15 Advanced
Razer Blade Pro 17
Intel 8th and 9th gen Core i7 CPU, Hexa-cores
Intel 9th Gen Core i7-9750H CPU, Hexa-core 2.6 GHz (4.5 GHz boost)
Intel HD 630 and up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
Intel HD 630 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM
15.6 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS equivalent, 144 Hz, matte
17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS equivalent, 144 Hz, matte
16GB, 32GB, or 64GB
16GB, 32GB, 64GB
1 TB SSD
1 TB, 2 TB, or 4 TB SSD
80 Wh, 230 W charger
70.5 Wh, 230 W charger
Both of these laptops offer impressive specs. However, with the 17-inch model, you get more options with graphics and storage.
When it comes to gaming, 17-inch laptops are the ideal choice. Gamers won’t be needing an external monitor because of their screen size, and they offer better components such as an excellent cooling system, which is a must for playing heavy games. They also often have better GPUs, which renders better graphics, making them more appealing to gamers.
Programmers don’t usually need a laptop with powerhouse components. Any laptop size will do as long as they can type codes and test websites, programs, and games.
This is why both 15-inch and 17-inch laptops will work for programmers. However, they tend to need something more portable to easily carry them from one place to another, which is why 15-inch laptops are a more popular choice.
For Graphic Design, Video And Photo Editing
If you're a graphic designer or video editor, a larger screen will allow you to have a better workflow and more immersive experience. This is why a 17-inch laptop would be an ideal choice for this task. Apart from that, this type of laptop can run heavy apps without encountering any issues and has a better cooling system, allowing you to work for hours without interruption.
For Office Work
If you usually bring your work laptop for meetings outside and to your home, a 15-inch laptop is a better option. They are lighter and thinner, so commuting with them won’t be too much of a hassle. But if you don’t need to bring your laptop anywhere, a 17-inch laptop can be a great desktop computer alternative.
Bringing your laptop from home to school can be difficult, especially if you own a heavy laptop. This is why you need something lightweight and portable. A 15-inch laptop can give you that without sacrificing too much on the specs, so you can still get good performance with convenience.
If you travel a lot for work or pleasure, bringing a 17-inch laptop can be inconvenient. Not only are they heavier, but the trays that airlines and trains are often limited in sizes, and 17-inch laptops usually don’t fit. That’s why getting a smaller laptop like a 15-inch one is the best choice.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How do I know my laptop size?
Laptop size is measured diagonally from corner to corner, but not including the bezel. The size is usually measured in inches. Using a measuring tape, place it on the bottom left corner of your screen and stretch it out up until the top right corner screen and convert it in inches. Alternatively, you can use this guide.
How do I measure a laptop to buy a case?
Apart from measuring the laptop size, you also need to get its dimensions. For the width, take your measuring tape horizontally from left to right. For the depth, measure it vertically from top to bottom with your laptop closed. Finally, for the height, fully close your laptop and measure it from bottom to top.
Can a 17-inch laptop fit in a backpack?
Yes, some backpacks can fit a 17-inch laptop. However, remember to always check the measurement of a bag before buying it if you plan to put your 17-inch laptop in it.
Remember, the size of the laptop you will buy depends on you and your needs. List down all the things you need to do on the computer, and check whether your choice can perform these tasks.
Ultimately, 15 vs 17 inch laptops differ in performance, size, and power. So knowing what you need can help you quickly decide between the two.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.