The best alternatives to the late, great 17-inch MacBook Pro

Goodbye, 17-inch MacBook Pro; now what? Here are the next best options.

The old 17-inch Pro, RIP. James Martin/CNET

The sudden disappearance of Apple's 17-inch MacBook Pro laptop after yesterday's WWDC keynote provoked split opinions on CNET. Photographers and videographers will weep, some said. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display has more pixels and will be a great replacement, said others.

Whichever way you slice it, potential suitors of the 17-inch Pro suddenly find themselves looking for a new partner. Alas, here's what you'll soon discover: most 17-inch laptops on the Windows side are "gaming laptops," built clunky, bulky, and leaning toward power over battery life.

(Note: yes, commenters, I agree. Of all Windows laptops, the HP Envy 17 would probably be the closest match. HP still sells the 17-inch version, and it costs as little as $1,249 on HP's website. However, we haven't reviewed the current 17-incher: for the closest equivalent, see our review of the HP Envy 15.)

Here are the closest equivalents we've reviewed at CNET, but you'll rapidly realize that none of them perfectly match what the Pro offered.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch with Retina Display
Wait, this isn't the same, you cry! Well, it has similar dimensions, a similar price, and more pixels. Apple clearly wants you to think of the new Retina Pro as your 17-inch replacement. Read our hands-on impressions .


Sarah Tew/CNET

Razer Blade
Largely due to its outrageous $2,800 price and oddly implemented feature set, I wasn't high on the Razer Blade. The funny thing is, the Blade is the closest thing in a Windows laptop to a 17-inch MacBook Pro, except it has SSD storage and no optical drive, just like the new Retina Pro. A chassis 0.88 inch thick (compared with the new Pro's 0.71 inch) offers a similar feel, but the Blade's very odd Switchblade touch pad/touch screen will throw off any non-gamers. Read the full review .


Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Series 7 Gamer
An excellent 1080p 17-inch screen, a top-of-the-line processor and graphics, and a Blu-ray drive amount to a great feature set for $1,900. However, the Series 7 Gamer is hardly easily portable: at about 9 pounds, this machine won't go much farther than your desk, and its battery life is merely passable. Read the full review .


Sarah Tew/CNET

Asus G75VW-AS71
At nearly 9.5 pounds, this laptop's even heavier than the Series 7 Gamer, but it's more affordable, if you consider $1,499 and up affordable. Read the full review .


Sarah Tew/CNET

Toshiba Qosmio X775-Q7170
It's big, it's gaudy, but at a little over $1,000 this 17-incher's more affordable...and it weighs a comparatively light 7.5 pounds. Read the full review .


Sarah Tew/CNET

Origin EON17-S
The Origin EON17-S is one of the first laptops to offer Intel's third-gen Core i7 CPUs. It's a powerful, highly customizable gaming laptop that can get expensive, but can also include overclocked components. You'd never know it from the outside, though; even with a new back panel, it's still very generic-looking, and our configuration cost over $3,000. Read the full review .


Sarah Tew/CNET

HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx
We reviewed this HP laptop last year, but you might still be able to get it at prices as low as $599. This is the budget 17-incher: yes, its resolution is only 1,600x900 pixels, but the size and price might make it make a lot more sense than some of those mega gaming laptops above. Read the full review.


Maybe the best replacement for the old 17-inch Pro just might be the 15-inch Retina Pro...unless you prefer to order a discontinued 17-incher online. Do you disagree?

 

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