That 17 inch laptop will be difficult to fit in any top box Steve, but if you have a good case to carry it in any side pannier should be able to store it for you. As for the drag with the Jesse top box? I do not even know it's there. To be honest I have never felt drag on any of our trips with these bags. We use the top box almost 365 days a year because it sure makes commuting easier, stores our helmets, quick release makes it easy to take of if you choose and really convenient to access "stuff" one would need on a trip without having to get into your side bags. I love the top box even though it appears to be quite large. We have a back rest that can be attached to the box for a passenger but like you noticed we rarely ride two up. Cheryl is my passenger at times and with the Jesse box it's a little snug on the 800 but she can lean back and says she is comfy. The color is black and we have the 8inch old version of the Safari. Thought about trading up the 9 inch but even Al Jesse said "keep the smaller ones, you are used to traveling with them and why add more space for more crap?" We used these on the Triumph Tigers we borrowed thanks to Al Jesse and with all the rain we ride in they have proven to be water tight. I really like the look and functionality of these bags. Like the rounded corners and even the mount. Jesse luggage mounts close to your bike making as narrow as possible. Many other systems I see out there make the bags stick out more than they should. Cheryl and I like the idea of using a system that keeps the bike narrow within the handle bars width so when we ride in traffic etc, we are not worried about clearance. in the end, it's all about your own needs, budget and of course if you like the look. So, good luck, I think I would get a smaller laptop to start and then get some luggage... I can fit my 13 inch MacBook Pro in the top box no problem and I make sure I use a well padded cover.