How big of a backpack do I need for a 17 inch laptop?

It seems like the world champions the 17 inch laptop and ignores it at the same time. Most laptop backpacks are made for 15.6-inch laptops. It’s annoying but we need to make sure unmarked backpacks can hold our big 17 inch screen laptops. The question is, how big of a backpack do I need for a 17 inch laptop?

A 17 inch laptop needs a backpack at least 10½ inches wide and 17½ inches long. The laptop compartment or pocket needs to be at least 2-4 inches thick as well.

Average 17 inch Laptop Dimensions

Measuring how big a computer is usually is made from the width, height, and depth(or thickness). Computers have been on the slim and trim style for a while so the depth or thickness of a laptops doesn’t matter as much anymore. Sliding a laptop into a protective case that fits can be a challenge for a 17 inch screen. The world is a cold place for 17 inch backpacks. It’s hard to find backpacks the right size. Many backpacks don’t post how big they actually are. I see 24 liter or 35L backpacks now. What am I supposed to do with that number? Am I supposed to know exactly how many 2-liter of Coca-Cola I can stuff in my bag? This is maddening for anyone I’m sure. If you take the average size of a 17 inch laptop you’ll find the common dimensions are:

  • 10.5 inches from the spine to the folding tip
  • 17.5 inches from one side of the back screen to the other
  • 2-4 inches of depth or thickness to the laptop

Screen Size & Width Differ

The average width of a laptop is typically different from its screen size. Screen size is measured diagonally from one bottom corner to the top corner across from itself. The actual width of the laptop will differ depending on the bevels around the screen. The bezels are what the thin, or thick, part of the surrounding material on the outside of the laptop screen is. Televisions, computer monitors, and smartphones are usually promoting shrinking bevels as a selling feature. Bevels are one of the main causes for a laptop screen size and a laptop’s total width will differ by varying degrees.

Small Laptops

Small laptops like 11 inch netbooks or Apple’s MacBook Air or standard Macbook share this screen size. These are slightly bigger than larger tablets like the Samsung galaxy tab series or the Apple Ipad Pros. This screen size is usually never in question of fitting well inside a backpack. Most of these devices never leave the house exposed because dedicated cases are cheap or because they fit in most travel bags.

The Apple Macbook Air is 1/10 of an inch thick. These will have no problem fitting in most flat zipper compartments in most bags. If these small laptops could be manufactured with quad-core processors, 512mb discreet video cards, and 8-16 gigs of ram I would switch from my heavy laptop within the second of writing this. 13 inches is enough room to edit for Instagram or write a blog post. You can easily find custom bags that you can design yourself for these laptops as well.

Average-Sized Laptops

Most laptops have 15-15.6 inch screen sizes. The 15 inch surplus screen size is a main reason I write this blog today. There is serious preferential treatment in the world of accessories for standard size laptops. You will find thousands of backpacks, bags, and totes in many different styles. Being a 17-inch laptop owner offers fewer options in general when comparing it to its 15-inch cousins. It’s easy to find custom backpacks you can design on your own for average-sized laptop computers.

For some odd reason, there are more gaming laptop backpacks for 15 inch laptops than 17 inch one. I wonder if the gaming market is trying to broaden the scope of their accessories for mass-market appeal. Either way, 15 inch laptops are the default size of pretty much all the laptop bags out there. Stay vigilant, you can find some laptop bags made for the gamer hardware you tote around.

Gamer Laptops

Most gamers need a beefy laptop to handle all the high-quality graphics displayed in blockbuster games today. The graphics cards that run these games actually affect the size of these laptops a bit. These dedicated laptop graphic cards make the laptop thicker. Laptops have been slimming down over the years but gaming laptops are yet to catch up.

Gaming laptops also need to be cooled efficiently. This is because of an increase in hardware under the hood. Cooling fans make the body of the laptop thicker as well. Research into liquid cooling solutions is growing every year. Small liquid cycles fluids inside laptops reduce the need for big fans or air travel corridors tp filter heat out of the computer. These advancements in gaming laptops can make these mammoth laptops into beautifully slimmed-down teacup piggies. The thicker the gaming laptop, the bigger the backpack needs to be. I hope this helps you find the right backpack. If I missed something feel free to comment below and I will get back to you soon.

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