The pack only barely fits a 17.5-inch Dell Laptop, unless you don't use the padded insert, which is probably important to keep from jarring the thing when you set the back down, especially on the floor or in the car. Has adequate, but not excellent, extra pockets for the various items one might keep with a laptop, such as extra DVDs in xtal cases, places to stuff pens and papers and additional organizer features. It isn't too deep, so it keeps you from overloading it, that is for sure. It has adequate back padding and venting, but little other protection for your prized possession, unless you stuff the front of the pack yourself. A more protective case is made by *****, but not large enough for a 17" laptop.